health

But I Like Having Cats

I have awakened within the gates of allergy hell.

My eyes are bloodshot, itchy, and swollen so much that I feel the need to yell, “Cut ’em, Micky, cut ’em!”

My nose is a set of one way streets,  one side police barricaded preventing the flow of anything in or out; the other side allowing only backing traffic.  This will only lead to frustration for my family, fellow students and coworkers, who will eventually give me the sideways glance that screams out the parent’s rallying cry, “Go blow your nose.”  Wish I could people, wish I could.

My head echoes like a cough in a cathedral then fills up with sand absorbing every sound as a dull thud behind my eyes.

My voice is a combination of Brenda Vaccaro and Fran Drescher – deep, rough and nasal.  I could make a good living doing 900 calls this morning.

I really have no right to complain.  I do this to myself.  On the allergen skin test, with a scale of 0 to plus 4, I register, oh, about an 8 when it comes to cats.  I have four cats.

Cats have been part of my life for over 40 years; Midnight, Pete, Clyde, Oscar, Max, Janie, JB (Janie’s Brother), Sully, Quinn, Shai, Boaz, Winnie, Pooh and now Ruthie, who by the way still refuses to acknowledge her given name.  Perhaps we should have gone with Zelda, but I digress.

The allergies are a fairly recent development and by recent I mean in the last 15 years.  The allergists have told me that allergies can take years to develop and have slow onset or what seems to be an overnight thing.  One day you’re sitting down with a plate of shrimp doing fine, the next day your kitten walks in the room and BAM! you start sneezing your head off.  Go figure.

I have in the past submitted to weekly allergy shots.  I made it almost a year’s time on a four year plan.  Since it wasn’t a life or death type of thing, it just became too inconvenient.  When I first began the regime, the allergist’s office was literally around the corner from my home then they moved to Western Podduck, 25 miles and upwards of 40 minutes away.  Their magic elixir just wasn’t worth it to me at the time.

It’s beginning to regain it’s value.

Sniff, sniff.

Kamikaze Germs

Bleh.

Three foot surgeries, one broken ankle, several other surgeries, tendonitis, arthritis – I have had my share, but the two worse things I loathe when it comes to health issues are head colds and most of all, stomach ailments.

Empty desks have spotted the work floor this week.  Stomach ailments.  The shark was circling.

I’m not a big advocate for all the hand sanitizers and whatnot that people are always slathering on these days.  Too many good germs get washed away – throwing the baby out with the bath water, as my mother says.  I just wash my hands with soap and try not to put my fingers in my mouth on a regular basis.  Besides I find that most grab me up by the scruff of the neck stuff is airborne anyway.

Those rotten little kamikaze germs finally found their way to me this week.

Monday’s symptoms had me sweating all through Anthropology class and out for the count for work.

False hope reigned on Tuesday.

Wednesday’s child is full of woe is me.  This morning, as soon as the last bite of raisin bran hit my stomach, I knew.  Ambush.

Bashert will tell you in a heartbeat that I do not do well with stomach ailments.  I prefer my stomach contents to be processed in the correct direction and will fight the last good fight for this to remain so.

She found me upstairs an hour later in the bed immobile.  Not moving has always been my best defense.  The next line is a wonderful little chemical prescribed by physicians called promethazine.  Outside of a tincture of belladonna, it is hands down the best stuff I’ve ever had to combat stomach ailments.

We call it white gold.

Bashert kindly had the doctor call some in for me and I can feel the effects beginning. Stomach has settled some and soon I will be easing off into a nice visit with la-la-land, sleeping my way through the evil little germs’ war with my system.

Give me sore feet any day.

Vacation Souvenirs

Today I found out that I brought back a souvenir from our family vacation.

Its not a t-shirt or baseball cap (first time ever I did not purchase either of these).  Its not a snow globe or even a miniature replica of the Washington Monument.

No, my souvenir took me to the doctor this morning.

Turns out that all that walking and running about resulted in a stress fracture of the second metatarsal of my left foot.

I should have known something was up when it felt like I was shoving my foot into a 5 inch, narrow toe stiletto instead of my sturdy, reliable New Balance® walkers.

Talk about adding insult to injury.

I wish I had gotten the t-shirt.

For those of you new to these posts, I will explain.

My left foot, and by default I, being attached to said foot, have suffered from chronic Plantar’s Fasciitis for over four years.  Together left foot and I have been through cortisone shots, icing, physical therapy, deep tissue massage, numbing creams, splints and three surgeries.

Its only three months out from the last surgery.  Silly me to apply such performance anxiety.

Dr. S. tried to give reassurance by telling me that there’s basically nothing done to treat this type of fracture.

I just love his bedside manner.

I wonder if I can get a copy of the x-ray?

CafePress® could print it and I’d get my t-shirt after all.

“What I Did On My Summer Vacation”.

Health, Wealthy & Wise – 3 part rambles

1) Healthy

The plantar fascia is a broad ligament just dorsal to the foot’s subcutaneous fatty tissue. Microtearing, and the body’s attempted repair of it, results in chronic inflammation.  Heel pain with the first few steps in the morning and after a period of rest is the classic symptom of plantar fasciitis. The pain improves with activity but recurs after prolonged weight bearing, often at the end of the day. Usually, the pain is felt in the front and bottom of the heel, but as the definition of “plantar fasciitis” indicates, it can be felt in any portion of the bottom of the foot where the fascia is located. Often, patients report that the pain is predominantly in the heel but radiates to the arch. (The Journal of Musculoskeletal Medicine. Vol. 26 No. 3 April 1, 2009)

When plantar fasciitis symptoms occur in menopausal women, it’s believed to be…compounded by a decrease in the body’s healing capacity. (vibrantnation.com)

Had my one month check up on the foot yesterday.  Doc says looking good this time except for the stiffness of the scar tissue underneath the incision site.  Its preventing me from getting into my shoe just yet.  Put a piece of duct tape tightly across the bottom of your foot just where the ball starts to bend.  Now walk – that’s pretty much what it’s like, but tender, too. I keep thinking I’ve stepped on something that’s stuck to my foot.

This is the best and simplest diagram I could find to give an idea of what went on.  Doc has some great photos of my actual surgery, but I’m a bit chicken to ask if I can have a copy.

The 1st surgery was just a slice across and the ligament grew back together through the scar tissue.

The 2nd surgery entailed taking out a small square of the ligament, which then attached higher up.

The 3rd surgery was a bit experimental, higher on the foot and taking a larger, postage stamp chunk of the ligament out.   This was to try and avoid having to ‘strip’ the ligament where a zigzag incision is made down the length of the foot and the ligament is cut across in various places down the foot..  Not the option I hope we have to resort to.

I also had a cortisone injection in the other foot. Not fun.  He freezes with a spray of ethel chloride, which in itself stings like the devil as the skin temp drops.  I have no fear of needles, but when he hits the internal the spot where my foot is hurting – oh yeah, its bullet biting time.  Of course it didn’t help that my 7 year old kept asking me, “Does it hurt?”.  My inner childishness was thinking just wait until he has his next round of inoculations.

I can only describe the feeling afterward as if I’m walking on something stuffed inside my shoe.  Its definitely different from the novocaine shots the dentist uses to have you drool, not that this caused me to drool – just wince and wish I could let loose with a sailor’s curse.

So, now I look like I’m walking on hot coals trying to baby both feet at the same time. I feel a bit like those old ladies one sees hobbling around WalMart.  Or for those of you who may remember, Festus from Gunsmoke. “I’ll be right over Mr. Dillion.”

I’ve been on disability for this round.  First time I’ve had to deal with the insurance company in this manner. Its a joy.

We have saved the latest message from them on the answering machine.  Think extremely heavy New York accent – “I need to have the paperwork faxed back by the 10th ‘cawse, I’d really don’t want to have to deny this.”  Are the insurance companies now hiring goodfellas?  I’d made sure that the Doc’s office was up on the paperwork!

I get good parking right now, although I’d rather just park next to the cart return.  What good is it to park in handicapped but have to walk all the way back and forth to return your cart?  Parking lot planners did not think well in that area.

I also get to ride in those little motorized scooters in the store.  I’ve finally gotten the hang of driving them.  I can make hairpin turns now.  In the beginning it was a bit like the golf cart scene from Austin Powers.  My partner will walk with me without fear and that’s saying a lot.

That’s about it for this rambling, especially since I have an impatient 7 year old staring me down.  He wants to go to the store with me so that he can drive the scooter.  Whatever it takes, eh?

Next segment will ramble on about the second of Mr. Franklin’s suggestions: Wealthy.  That should be a hoot.