Thursday, June 29, 2017

Is Anyone Out There?

Anyone at all?

Oh, I do hope so. I'm popping in for a Quick Hello, just to check in and give a brief Update Of Sorts, and then I am planning to get back to Business As Usual after my Jaunt next week. I've just about Had It with Being Unwell and even moreso with Talking About It. Let's wrap it up, then, and Move On.

The Medicals: My labs were a sort of mixed bag, but the whole Vitamin D Thing, which was the Most Important Of All, showed a massive recovery. I am well into the satisfactory/healthy range, so I am on the maintenance dose for life, and feeling so much better. No pains, no fatigue, and while my stamina and strength are still an issue, they are s-l-o-w-l-y increasing. My autoimmune system is still, in a word, terrible; however, unless I am plagued by recurrent infections (I am not), it's not a cause for concern. I no longer need to see my Superhero Rheumatologist who gave me my life back, but will now see the Internist she highly recommended. I burst into tears thanking this doctor and all but prostrated myself at her feet in a weeping huddle of gratitude.

The Universe Is Cruel: My dear friend Shirley wrote me a nice email, and in it she expressed sympathy overall regarding my health struggles, and mentioned specifically how difficult it is to practice serene self-care and recovery whilst the Orange Nightmare/Toddler In Chief is wreaking shitful havoc. It's absolutely true. I feel abused by the Universe, which allowed this abomination, yet felt it necessary to screw me again on Sunday, when it put a rogue piece of gravel in my path, and I fell and sprained my ankle. Because, Life is not difficult enough for me. At least I am used to resting--A LOT--and the sprain was mild. I am almost fully recovered today although stairs are a bitch. (Count me as a fervent disciple of the RICE protocol for sprain treatment).

The Jaunt: I am a little overwhelmed at the thought of, but am looking forward to, our upcoming Niagara-on-the-Lake jaunt as a true getaway from Everything. I think I need a real change of scenery. My wine-drinking capacity is sadly and sorely diminished, but I have no problem doing the Swish-n-Spit as we look to restock our depleted cellar. I only hope Rick is not too bored since we cannot do our usual long, lovely walks by the lake and into the trails. That will have to wait until autumn. In the meantime, we will find other things to do, like attend theatre and taking Short Walks.

I'm anxious for Things to be all back to Normal again. My patience--such as it is--is very frayed. I am restless and bored. This is not the life for me. At the same time, I am beyond grateful that my condition was reversible and treatable. I know so many people whose lives are forever changed by serious illness, and I know how very fortunate I am.

Thank you for staying with me. I'll be back real soon.


Friday, June 02, 2017

In Which I Quote Adele And Check In For Just A Moment...

photo courtesy Sam Donnelly

Hello from The Other Side. I still don't have a Full Tank, so to speak, so I can't stay long, but I wanted to let you know how I was doing and to thank a couple of people.

Firstly, I am feeling a great deal better. The pain is almost entirely gone. Certainly the jolts of pain have been eliminated altogether, and the deep aching in my arms and lower back has been reduced to a once-in-a-while twinge. I still have to use the gel insoles in my shoes for heel pain every now and then, but not nearly as regularly as I did even a month ago. It is very encouraging and wonderful progress.

What I am left with now is a sad lack of strength and stamina. My arms, especially, are astonishingly weak. Even now, after typing only this much, they feel heavy and shaky. Driving more than twenty minutes or so is very uncomfortable and, at times, impossible. My kitchen cupboards have been reconfigured to put heavier items on lower shelves to minimize problems and with an eye to my safety. I continue to try and take short walks, but my stamina is always a variable. I worry about being able to make it back home. The biggest struggle I have right now--besides Patience--is knowing that Fine Line between Building Stamina and Overdoing It.

I have been stacking up more and more Good Days--days when I feel more like Myself. Days when I can think quickly, speak confidently, intelligently, and fluently, and whip through a crossword puzzle in no time flat. I even picked up a little freelance editing work, made almost impossible by the vinyl siding crew working next door (playing thrash metal music at top volume, naturally).

I am tired, however, still very tired much of the time. Large groups of people wear me out; activity, whether I am involved or merely watching it, wears me out. I think the act of Trying To Keep Up With Anything is tiring to me. But I press on, always, for I am anxious to be Well.

No words can express my emotions for Jared's Mother's Day post, which was a complete surprise to me. I am always thankful for the human beings my sons have grown to be, and Jared's thoughtful essay affirmed that he is a caring and introspective adult. That he attributes some of his best traits to me makes me happier and prouder than he could know.

And I want to say a warm thank you to Jill and Wes Wanders, too, who have taken some time out of their busy, busy lives and emailed me expressing concern, inquiring about my progress, and/or informing me of this and that along the way.

Finally, I want to mention my mother, St. Patsy. She has, without fail, sent me an encouraging message--full of emojis--every single day from her trusty iPad. Knowing my general dislike of phone calls and how holding the phone can tire me, she cheerfully embraces this medium of communication despite being in her late 80s. And she has agreed to abide by my rule of limiting the pictures of great-grandchildren to one per day. (That was a tough one.)

Things are getting better, albeit more slowly than I would like. Compared to the Fear and Panic and Uncertainty I faced a few months ago, however, life is much better.  In a week I will have more labwork done; at the end of the month, a followup appointment. And in July, we have plans to visit Niagara-on-the-Lake to replenish the cellar.

Lots to look forward to.


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