And I just want to live while I’m alive.
I think it’s time to update everyone. I’ve had a very eventful couple of weeks. To the point where I haven’t told anyone not directly involved in said events anything about them, not really. It’s taken some processing time. Also, it’s painful for me to be still long enough to write anything.
So, the new year started off with a bang. I went to see my infectious disease specialist on the second. There was good news: I am no longer in the acute stage of mono, I am now in the convalescent stage. Except that really is only good news on paper, because the convalescent stage can last up to six months. And having had mono before, I know that it’s pretty much guaranteed to with me.
I felt so miserable (physically) that very day that I went to the urgent care directly as I had finished my appointment, and they pumped me full of two liters of fluid. I didn’t have to pee once. I tell you this, because as anyone in the medical field might recognize, it was indicative of my severe dehydration.
The next day I took my two younger sprites down to see the lights at the Denver City and County Building, as I was meant to do the day before, but couldn’t, being hooked up to an IV and all. This may have been a mistake, as I was in no shape for it (there was much to see, so we got out and they ran around while I trailed behind and hollered for them not to get too far away), but we had a really nice time and I managed to save my meltdown(s) until I came home.
I haven’t melted down like that in a long time. That night I was like Vesuvius. Explosions and tears and anger and yelling and frustration. . . Well it got very ugly. I was emotionally and physically drained, and had made the mistake of actually looking long-term and realizing that July was when I was probably going to be back to about 85%.
See, that was (and still is) kind of a huge thing for me to deal with, because I pretty much spent three years in bed due to mental illness. Except for appointments and very rare visits with friends, I lived my life curled up in my sheets. I couldn’t wrap my head around being forced back into a state like that, even temporarily, and even when I was doing pretty damned good psychologically.
Well, I had a lovely friend, whom I actually reached out to — which is huge in itself — help me through that night. And for that (among other things) I’ll always be grateful to her.
So I’m dealing with the mono recovery road, but I’m also dealing with sciatica. I developed mild sciatica about a decade ago, in my left hip and leg, when The Artist formerly known as Babygirl (I can’t call her Babygirl anymore, I’m afraid, she’s 13 and way too grown up) had been riding on my hip for a couple of years. It went away — I would get a tinge every now and again, but no big deal.
Well, starting last Fall, it came back, and it came hard. A couple of the times I went to the urgent care for Dilaudid injections, the sciatica was my primary pain.
(Side note: My primary care doctor and I — the one I was certain there was no hope of salvaging a relationship with — somehow hit the reset button during one of my urgent care visits. A doctor at another location in the same network that my doctor works in essentially treated me as a crazy drug-seeker, which pissed my doctor off righteously, and I’m wondering if it maybe made him see the way I felt he was treating me [minus the drug-seeker part, he's never treated me badly from that standpoint]. Whatever it was, he and I are now on the best terms once again. Just goes to show you, there is always hope when a person is a good person.)
It continued to build, and it continued to build, and after seven urgent care trips in two-and-a-half months, and a conversation on the phone with my doctor this past Thursday, I ended up spending Thursday night in the emergency room. My doctor wanted me somewhere they could do a more thorough workup, instead of just treating the pain, and I was happy to defer to him.
It took two shots of Dilaudid (I don’t think the first one was more than one milligram, I think the second was about twice that), but finally, finally, and for the first time in months, I think, I was out of pain. I knew that day that I was in a great deal of pain, and waiting in the ER to even get through triage was pretty ugly, but I don’t think I knew how bad the pain really was until I got out of it.
So I saw my primary in the urgent care on Friday, because his office said they couldn’t get me in until the beginning of February (he said other things when I saw him). I have an MRI set for Monday morning to check for a slipped disk or spinal compression, I’ll be set up for physical therapy contingent on the results of that, I’m taking an oral steroid — if that helps there will be steroid injections to follow — muscle relaxers, and I’ve got my good friends ibuprofen and oxycodone keeping my pain minimal for now.
It took me some time to process all of this, and I’m probably not done — right now I’m just kind of high. I keep hearing things from people like, “Wow, you just have one thing after another,” or, “It never stops for you, does it?” And there is truth in those statements.
But, with the exception of The Night Of Vesuvius, I’m alright. Better than alright. Even that night was just some dealing and processing I had to do to get to here. My mental health is well intact, praise God, and everything else will fall into place as long as I have that. After being without it for so many years, I feel like as long as I’ve got it — and all of the support my amazing friends and family show me — I am leading a charmed life. It may sound cockeyed, but then so have I been cockeyed for pretty much all of my life. ;)
You may not be hearing from me much, as I have instructions not to sit for long, and when I do rest, the only way that I’m comfortable for any length of time is if I lay down and stick two big pillows beneath my hips. You try working on a laptop at that angle.
But I’ve been playing on Twitter; if you don’t already know me there, my handle is @BlushingScarlet. That I can do from my phone, which is easier to stick on my stomach and type with. I’m going to still do everything I can to be a good admin for A Canvas Of The Minds, which now has so many wonderful authors that they can easily run they site without me (which is good, I may not be writing much there for the present).* I’m reading posts from my phone, and clicking the “Like” button is my version of “I was here, thank you for giving me something worthwhile to read”, and sometimes I will attempt a comment — though those can get a little too runaway for a phone and a girl like me.
My personal correspondence is going to be a little slower. And by that I mean even slower than normal. Same with comment responses. But just know it isn’t because I’ve forgotten, okay? I love you all so very much.
I’ll leave you with the pictures I took in the ER while high as a kite on Dilaudid, Prednisone, Valium, and at least one or two other things. I honestly just remember there were multiple shots and I swallowed a cupful of pills, and those of you who know me well know that for me to have been that willing to put so much blind faith in any doctor, things were pretty bad. But I had fun trying to take pictures amid the tangle of wires (blood pressure cuff on my left arm, pulse oximeter on my right pinky, oxygen hooked up to my nose, mp3 player headphones in my ears to help zen me out) in my little ER bed. Thank God the nurse left the sides up, I probably would have fallen out.
“Don’t bend, don’t break, baby, don’t back down. . .”
I won’t if you won’t.
*Speaking of Canvas, we can now boast of two Freshly Pressed authors! In case you missed it, DeeDee was Pressed in December for her piece Coming Out Bipolar, Round 1, and just this past week Alice was Pressed for her piece Epic Quests and crap like that. Congratulations to them both; they write good shit, and more importantly, they’re good eggs. Now they just have to get something they’ve written for Canvas Pressed!
© Ruby Tuesday and I Was Just Thinking. . . 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ruby Tuesday and I Was Just Thinking. . . with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. This work is protected under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.