New Year, New You, With Spots!

splotchy

We all knew there was too much pressure on 2021.

(I’ll skip talking about politics because even though it’s a huge big deal that’s not what I do here.)

I started the new year out with SPOTS! Woo Hoo!  I had an ear infection on Christmas. Payam pulled major strings with his mad phone skills (that’s what he does all day for his job) and called my doctor for me while I pulled on my ear like a baby and tried to sleep with hot compresses. The doctor came through with a super strong prescription for antibiotics, probably from his cabin in Aspen or moonlighting at the local ER as a superhero, and I started off the new year with meds!

Nine* days into my prescription to Amoxicillin, my earache was long gone but I broke out in hives and tried to itch my skin off. I’m so glad I shared on instagram even though it was TMI because people came out of the woodwork to say that the same exact thing happened to them. What a relief to be able to narrow this allergic reaction down so quickly. I had a lot to work with: pet dander from an over-achiever golden retriever who sheds enough to knit sweaters daily, a new bra from China that I failed to wash before wearing, msg in all that take-out… There were a million things I could be allergic to, mold, plants with gnats, politics, stress, Google… All of the above?

Anyway it was craaaaaaazy! I’m already a sort of nervous person to begin with. When I have anxiety I become obsessed with my rough cuticles and any little itch or bump on my body so add in some hives and I was literally crawling out of my skin. I hate to take naps but I dosed myself with Benadryl and tried to sleep it away. I’ve been asleep for the past four days. It was the only way to cope.

Monday morning hives started forming on my lips and mouth so I freaked out and went to the ER even though it’s the last place on earth I want to be right now. Thankfully at six in the morning our local ER was not over-flowing with COVID patients. I got in quickly. They gave me a shot of Benadryl in my tattooed arm and I slept. Then the ER did get busy (It’s heart breaking. The doctor checking on me was so stressed out.) and since I was not going into anaphylactic shock they discharged me with some steroids and I went home. I’m really thankful. That could have been a lot worse.

I stood behind an old women in line when I checked in who was obviously suffering from breathing problems. The halls were filled with nurses wearing full head gear and dividers were set up keeping rooms separate…even though our little ER is really nice and new, I could tell they had been in the trenches and were effectively bracing for more.

Now I’m all pumped up on steroids and feeling like Trump (gross, I know). My spots have faded into softer versions of themselves. I probably look like I’m covered in bruises but they don’t hurt and they are only on parts of my body that don’t show so I don’t care. No itching is heavenly!

Hill-Hike-2021

So just a quick new year check in from me! Sorry it’s so personal when so many other more important things are happening in the world.

Happy 2021! I don’t think I’m going to do a calendar this year. I’ve started several. But I really want to do a different format. I hardly use the full page full of boxes layout anymore. Do you? I want to make a day planner but I have not found a template that lets me customize the art on every page and I really don’t feel like formatting 356 pages. There’s got to be something out there. I know I’m a million months too late but who knows, work might get slow again.

How are you doing my faithful loyal internet friends? Cathy, Gingermog and Susan and a few other lurkers who comment now and then? How do you even find me anymore? I don’t deserve you.

I’ve been writing snail mail letters to friends lately and it’s really been helpful. It’s funny how a phone call or a text just doesn’t do it for me but pounding out a two-page letter is incredibly therapeutic. Blogging after all these years is still my therapy. Thank you.

*I missed a few days and I’m terrible at math.

 

The DIEt

Cartoon about low-sodium, diabetic diet

The DIEt has been big news around here lately. I’ve been reluctant to talk about it because I wanted to respect Payam’s privacy but lately, it’s become our way of life. It’s a lot.

Then my mom ended up in the hospital and now it looks like she might need to go on THE DIEt too so it’s super relevant.  So, I got everyone’s permission and now I’m sharing.

I’ll talk about my mom first because that is top of mind. My mom had shoulder replacement surgery last Thursday, the 20th of February. She was supposed to have this surgery in December but was hospitalized for an intestinal blockage in November so they put it off until she improved.  It turns out her kidneys have been compromised because of the diabetes medication she takes, which leads to her having complications after her surgery. We are in the thick of those complications. Right now things are looking up but it’s been a sketchy few days and she is far from out of the woods.

She came home from the hospital Friday. She seemed fine but on Sunday she started acting a bit loopy. Bug and I were hanging out with her and she was lost in dreams. We played music for her and she was playing the piano in the air and talking about dead bugs in the towels. She had no pain and started to make less and less sense but then she’d snap back to normal and we would think everything was fine.

Well, it turns out she wasn’t fine. Her kidneys were not processing the pain medication she was on and she was having renal failure. Super scary. I feel partly at fault for this because at one point on Sunday she fell (into her chair, thankfully) and got out of breath. We panicked and called 911 thinking she was having trouble breathing (a side effect of the powerful narcotics the hospital warned us about). The paramedics came out and checked her vitals. Her vitals seemed normal. We all collectively decided it would be more traumatic to take her to the ER than to stay home. This was a mistake. And I should add, my flying-high-as-a-kite mom did not want to go back to the hospital. The last thing she wanted was to go back to that place where they serve her gross disgusting turkey meatloaf. She was so funny, calling the paramedic a cowboy and making nonsensical conversation. But anyway, she stayed home. My dad called the nurse hotline the next day, worried. She still hadn’t urinated in three days.

They told her she needed to go to the ER and now we find out her kidneys have been failing. Her numbers are right at the level where she might have to have dialysis if they don’t improve. But the experts expect her to improve so we wait. We should know by tomorrow and if she is good then she gets to go home. I will keep you posted.

Sigh.

I don’t even feel like talking about the DIEt now which is sad because I had a lot of funny stories to share. Maybe they will come later.  It’s just been a lot, worrying about my mom. I think she is going to be okay. We gifted my parents a cruise to Alaska in May for their 50th (!!) Wedding anniversary (which is actually in October) so we are all hoping and praying that she gets better in time. Of course, her health is the most important thing. Trip Schmip. I’m just thankful that I bought trip insurance so it’s no big deal to cancel the trip if we have to.

I wish my mom lived next door like she used to that one short year I lived in my Grandpa’s mobile home. That was so nice. It would be so great to be able to help my parents with the DIEt and maybe I could even work-out with my dad. Now that my mom has been going through these health problems, I am even more motivated to keep myself healthy. I even took a run this morning which I haven’t done in 10 years. I think I just needed to clear my head like the real runners always say. It’s just too much sometimes when you feel like you can’t control anything.

So if there is anyone else out there trying to control diabetes or has relatives with diabetes and is fighting the good fight with me, I tip my hat to you. This is not for sissies.  We eat to live now.