Give Me a Hand, cont… Distractions

November 1, 2, and 3, 2019

Life was going on smoothly with my new, blue cast, for a few days at least. We had a good, but short visit from the North Carolina daughter and another surprise visit from a distant cousin. Events like this are good distractions and I am easily distracted when pain is chronic and below a certain level. And then came Friday, with a totally new distraction.

I had an early morning appointment with the ophthalmologist (tempted to just write eye doctor) and was surprised to see the husband up and reporting to me that his leg had bothered him during the night. He thought it was swollen and felt different. I often don’t agree with his assessments, but I always check to make sure. It did look a little swollen and was slightly warmer. I sent a quick email to our doctor and she recommended we come to the clinic and see what was up. So we were there by 11:30, the husband being examined by a PA.

There was the possibility of a blood clot, a DVT, short for deep vein thrombosis. She ordered an ultrasound of his left leg and we set off down the hall to radiology. Halfway there, Dennis could not go any further. He was leaning against the wall and holding on to the handrail, looking scary. I ran for a wheelchair and helped him sit. He was weak and sweaty. At radiology he was feeling better so the ultrasound was done. I watched the screen as the tech worked and although I find it hard to know what I’m seeing, it was evident that something wasn’t right.

From there we were ordered directly to the ER and met with a whole squad of RN’s. They hooked him up to EKG, put in an IV and started monitoring his vital signs. It didn’t help that his blood pressure was 200/104. The ER doc sent him for a CT scan of the lungs and it showed multiple clots in both lungs – significant was the word they used, as opposed to massive. He was started on anticoagulants and admitted to the hospital. That’s where he spent the next two days until his blood pressure stabilized and his blood thinners had reduced the risk of additional clots.

I don’t remember thinking much about my hand the whole time this was going on. That is not to say that I’m recommending medical emergencies as therapy for chronic pain.

Birthday to Remember

April 8th, My Birthday 2019

Do you remember any of your birthdays? How you celebrated? A special gift you received? Someone who surprised you with a visit or a greeting of some kind?

I try to have something memorable happen on my birthday most every year, and I’m willing to come up with it and do it alone if no one is available.  This year I didn’t have to do it alone. My mom and I did something together. We got sick.

Food poisoning, but we can’t figure out what it was for sure. I spent the day barely able to move without passing out.  In spite of being very dehydrated, neither of us wanted to risk putting food or drink into our unstable stomachs.  I spent the day crawling from the bed to the recliner and back again. I cancelled the one appointment for the day – the gym – since there was no energy available for training.  In short, it was not the memorable event I had in mind.  I get a rain check, right?

Today is better. We are both on our feet a little more, but still glad not to have a lot to do today. It is amazing how dependent we are on vital elements, like water. Take away ten pounds of water weight, and I’m barely able to function.  It definitely reminds me of my episode of dehydration on the Appalachian Trail and the recent D post I wrote on dehydration. 

It all makes me think of how we are designed, with enough flexibility to cover the usual ups and downs of life. Most of the time we don’t have to think about how much we’ve eaten or not eaten, or whether we’ve had enough to drink. Food and beverage are available to us on a pretty regular basis, leaving us free to worry about lesser things.

But there are places in this world where it is not so.  What must it feel like to live in a body that is little more than skin and bones, where there is no food or water to be had?  It happens in our own country, where being homeless or in poverty can make it so difficult to be fed with something nutritious.  I was overcome with weakness, loss of motivation, pain and the need to rest somewhere safe.  I can’t imagine being out on the street in a city, or out in a desert village in Africa and trying to survive under those conditions.

I am grateful that I was at home yesterday, recovering slowly as I watched birthday greetings come in on Facebook. I got a delivery of flowers, several cards and a book I had ordered in the mail, a visit from my brother and his kind delivery of some Pedialyte.  I have reasons to remember this birthday, just sayin’…

No Fun Today

I typed that and realized immediately that it wasn’t true.  I am quite sick today but in spite of it, there is fun to be had in resting, reading, doing quiet things that never get done while I’m able to work.  I’m having fun being sick, who would have thought…

Before anyone gets envious let me say that it’s difficult to concentrate when my head hurts, throat hurts, chest rattles with every breath and the aches and pains of fever make me feel weak.  This feels more like pneumonia than anything I’ve ever had before and it came on very fast.  Most likely I will recover but just in case, I want to say that it is very freeing to realize that things go on without me.  I know some people feel like they cannot take a day off when they are sick, or for any other reason, because they are indispensable. Well, nobody is indispensable.  I’m glad I’m not. I stayed home from everything today and plan the same for tomorrow. Nobody wants to be exposed to what I’ve got.  Staying home when one is sick is a way to show love to others.

In between naps I’m getting some reading done, catching up on my blog reader, cleaning out my inbox, and thinking.  How glad I am that I am here in my own bedroom rather than in Cambodia like I was last year when I got sick.  How strange that it has happened two years in a row after many years of not being ill.  Hmm…

I’m especially thinking how God uses sickness in my life to remind me that I am not in control, to increase my compassion for others, to get me quiet and listening,  I’m not afraid of being sick, whether it leads to recovery or not.  I love being here on earth, but I would also love not being here.  Thinking about dying is not a fearful thing, and I thank God for that. As I get older my most common thought about dying is wondering how it will happen.  Accident? Cancer? Pneumonia?  I have preferences but they are between me and God, and I doubt I’ll get to choose.  I think it’s very wise of him not to let me know ahead of time.

This is kind of a stupid post and I’m not terribly proud of it, but having this much time on my hands I had to write something, and these truly are the things I think about while being sick.. Just sayin’…