Sunday, September 10, 2006

The worst is over

For now. I think.

And in the context of what all else we think of at this time of year, my own struggles can seem so insignificant.

Yet they are, still, mine, and need dealing with.

It's been a month since my last big health adventure. I saw the Infectious Disease doc several days after my ER visit. The MRSA cellulitis was already cleared. Being on one anti-MRSA antibiotic at the time I was infected surely helped, as did catching it so fast. No screwing around putting off going to the ER, no more, not for me. I'm real big on keeping my Parts attached to my body.

To watch what so clearly could have segued into an abscess, cool off and calm down and shrink and disappear, was like a blessing from on high. A tiny little miracle.

The reason I was so sick wasn't just because of the infection. I had a reaction to the Rifampin too. Those special antibiotics are so very toxic; it's why they usually hospitalize patients who take them. They suck your blood constantly in there, checking your liver and kidney function, ready to pull the IV bag if the antibiotics are making your organs crash.

Bleed me they did on my Wednesday visit, desperately seeking a usable vein, infiltrating and digging around and trying somewhere else, mangling my right hand - the one uninfected from MRSA, but surgery-scarred and riddled with tenosynovitis and little mycobacteria lumps.

Yuck, huh?

Rifampin can make you sick even without those organ problems. The doc asked about my symptoms. Excruciating muscle pain - usually with me it's connective tissue pain, joints and bones, tendons, but not muscles so much. Vicious headache. Weakness, shaking, trembling, sweating. Dizziness, like too much Happy Hour. She asked, --When you close your eyes is your head spinning? --Exactly.

She said, Remember that you are very sensitive to any medications, especially antibiotics. Those are symptoms of a Rifampin reaction. You don't have to show liver damage to react this way, it's a different kind of reaction. Being on Minocycline makes it worse, they work together, the reaction is much stronger. You've been on that for eight months now. We keep most patients on it only 3-6 months. It's time to stop.

So I'm off both antibiotics now, and slowly, slowly, mended.

Sick weak shaky people - with really bad feet! - have trouble walking around. Which brought me to address my scooter issues.

See, getting one of those little electric scooters a few years ago made a big positive impact on my life. Ah, the mobility-blessed just have NO idea.

But at Wilma time, it broke.

And some fool at Health Options or elsewhere had told me I'd have to pay a $500 deductible to get mobile again.

It turned out, this was Not True. That's when you buy a new one. A broken scooter, they are supposed to FIX. Or replace.

Finding this out, of course, I got all excited. I did get a new scooter, no cost, but it's defective. So a whole new Scooter Saga has been working in my life lately too.

Meanwhile, I've wanted to fix something else to get that mobility going. The brick path and patio leading into my house had two steps. Not very high, say a 2" and a 4" one. High enough that getting the scooter in and out the front door was a mess.

The only cure was to raise the brickwork. Make it a ramp. In principle it sounds easy enough. But any of you who've done it know that dry paving isn't as simple as it looks.

Now try putting a rising curve in your 2-dimensional plane of bricks.

Considering the state I was in, and the need for some soothing Happy Work to occupy my feeble body and mind - something I could abandon for the day if an hour's work exhausted me - it seemed like just the thing to do.

So, yeah. I've been bricklaying. Pix to follow.

And every brick I put in place, every disrupted area I smooth out, adds a tiny repair to the damage and destruction that weighs on our minds, this time of year.


Livey said...

k, you are my hero and my inspiration!

Jean said...

...what Livey said...hugs.

Nancy said...

K. Laying Bricks??? Woman, you take the cake.

btw, how do I go about gettin' one a dem skooter thangies?

I'm having some mobility difficulties myself. Neurologist appt. on Friday the 15th.

I told my mother that it was painfully obvious that when I was born she neglected to take out the extended warranty on me...

k said...

WTF?!? You guys SLAY me! This kind of bricklaying is simple as can be. It really is. Ain't nothin' to it.


I need to get back out while I still have a rain-free afternoon. But! oh, do I feel a Pix Post coming on!

Nancy, I'll talk to y'all about a scooter tonight too. Sounds like you're past due for one. And boy oh boy what a difference it'll make in your life. Even that falling thing gets way, way less scary.

Back soon--