Monday, July 30, 2007

Allergic Half to Death and Bitching and Moaning About it Too. Excuse, Please.

The sleeping bit is usually because of either the *fever sickness,* or allergies.

Or both.

Or, toss in a good flareup of the rheumatoid arthritis too. Get 'em going all three at once? Yup. Sleepytime, round the clock.

I said, starting out, that I'm on vacation here not just from regular life but my health problems too. That's a lot of the purpose in staying here for so long. Once I realized my overall systemic allergic response was much lower here than in South Florida at this time of year, I knew I'd be stronger physically if I hung around breathing cleaner air for a while. A very good thing indeed.

Mentally and emotionally, too, it's been just wonderful. Many of you can understand from reading her blog that Livey is a truly good woman, and a gifted health care worker. And you also understand - being discerning people - that experiencing those qualities in person has a far greater impact than just reading about them. It's healing to me to be here.

When you have to do something requiring you to be as strong as you can, it's a good idea to pay real attention to building your strength. Work on it, mind and body and heart.

I have to do some potentially dreadful health work when I get home. Now they've finally ID'd the mycobacteria, it's time to slam it with more antibiotics. The permanent 2-antibiotic regime I'm on seems to be containing it okay, but it's not enough. My IgG tanked too, and I'm susceptible to new infections now in the worst way of my life. I was immunocompromised before. That's why the left foot, my skin, everywhere really, kept getting infected or reinfected the last several years.

That was BEFORE the IgG tanked. IgG is the immunoglobulin that actually produces the white blood cells that fight off infection. It tanked, and I ended up hospitalized with a lung infection. Apparently this is a classic response to low IgG, recurring upper and lower respiratory infections. Add on a bunch of allergic responses, with asthma and post-nasal drip and congestion and airway swelling and all that damn snot everywhere? The good old Great Breeding Grounds for germs?


Not good.

When I get home, I'll be hospitalized for 24 hour observation as my ID doc administers 2 oral doses of whatever 3rd antibiotic her research tells her is the best one to try. This is because of my history of allergies to antibiotics. If I'm already inpatient, if I get another bad allergic reaction, they can keep me alive much easier.

If I am allergic to it? Or, if it simply doesn't work?

She estimated I'll need seven weeks inpatient, getting slammed with vancomycin or whatever IV antibiotics are best for the myco.

I've carried this infection in my arm for 3 years now. Am I pushing things, not getting the treatment immediately? Perhaps. But it's been hanging around for a long time, and I am on both Cipro and minocycline, so it's not as if I have no protection at all. Not to mention: past experience has taught me that trying to fight off infection while I'm in an extreme allergic state is much harder.

Well. Finally, the pollen here got to me. Livey too. We're both walking around with purple puffy eyes, fatigued beyond belief. Breathing that pollen is like breathing chloroform.

But I'm still far less allergic here than I would be in South Florida right now.

At the same time, my fevers have spiked badly, and the arthritis eating every piece of my connective tissue, head to toe, has gone bonkers. Bad pain days, bad ones.

Crashing a bit.

I'll sit it out. I'll be fine, get better soon as the pollen goes back down. Head slowly home, and do what I gotta do.

In the meantime...well, if you'll bear with me, I just had a need to gripe a bit. Break vacation mode and whine a little.

Because tonight I really wanted to go see Snowshoe Baseball, and I was just too sick. Too sick to drive the couple miles to the ballpark and sit on my scooter and watch the show.


I try SO hard to be patient with all this health stuff. Mostly I pull it off okay. I never forget how lucky I am to still be alive and still have the use of almost all my parts.

But when it stops me from doing things I really want to do? Stops me from having a little fun weeding, or trying out this new meatloaf recipe, or making bread and brownies for that sweet Old Mr. Half Ear, or taking pix of these great mushrooms sprouting up?

Or going to Snowshoe Baseball?

I HATE that.


Thanks for listening to all that goop, everyone. Thank you, very much., I'm going back on vacation again. So - as they say -

Back to our regularly scheduled programming.


Livey said...

Aww it's ok, I didn't really wanna go anyway, it was supposed to be as crowded as the 4th of July and I it took me 3 hours to water all my plants, so I wasn't really ready to go either.

Now, where's my damn dinner woman?!

k said...

It's in the kitchen. Waiting for you to make it.


It's calling you! Can't you hear it?


Desert Cat said...

Well rats. I knew your health issues hadn't gone away--that'd be too much of a northwoods miracle. But I was sure hoping the foreign pollen wasn't triggering your usual misery.

I'll be praying, of course. Do you think anyone will be able to update us on a regular basis? Or do they have wireless access in hospitals these days? Seven weeks is a long time for us to wonder in the dark if you're still alive.

Livey said...

ok.... you're fired!!!!

k said...

Well, thank you. I didn't really get bit bad by the pollen until a few days ago. All by itself, that's a small but fabulous miracle. I just wanted to not think about it for a while, I mean beyond the ordinary daily practical aspects.

My plan, to tell you the truth, is to NOT do the 7 weeks at all. Instead, I plan to get NO allergic reaction to the oral antibiotic, and for the ID doc - who is truly gifted in her field - for her to be so astute, she picks the perfect 3rd antibiotic on the very first try.

That's the plan, anyway. ;-)

If I do have to go inpatient, we've already picked the place. It's a hospital I haven't stayed at before. Holy Cross is OUT. (feeding starches to a diabetic!!! trying to put a CA MRSA carrier in with another patient instead of isolation!!!)

It's surprising how many hospitals have wireless these days. I haven't checked with this place yet, but they certainly are nicely modern in many other ways, so perhaps they have it too.

Barring that, I bet Walter would fix me up with a media card or something to use while I'm in there.

Cause if I have to go blogless for 7 weeks?!?! I just KNOW survival would be dubious at best!

k said...

hee hee!

Well, you can't fire me.

Because obviously, the REASON you want to fire me is because -

I already quit!


prettylady said...

Snowshoe baseball sounds boring. I'd much rather hear about your fascinating health problems!

(Well, of course I'd rather hear that your fascinating health problems have miraculously vanished, but until that happens, I shall listen intently without complaint.)

Livey said...

Oh My God, she CAN NOT go 7 weeks without a computer! You should see her, she absolutely HAS to check her comments before she goes to bed!
And you can't quit, You're fired dammit!
If it wasn't so damn important for you to eat breakfast I'd quit making it for you!
Now put some damn clothes on or go to bed!

k said...

Oh, thank you, Pretty Lady! I'm relieved.

And - if you've never seen it? - you might be surprised at Snowshoe Baseball. It's most definitely NOT New York. Or Chicago. Or Ft. Lauderdale.

Which is half the fun. Nothing to do with the game at all. There's a truly sweet hometown feel to it. A genuine one. Normal Rockwell would get disgusted and leave in one instant.

Watching the guys trundle around the bases on their snowshoes can be pretty fun all by itself, too.

It's the healer in you listening to the health stuff. When I take a break from addressing it, I miss that.

So in some ways, a vacation isn't always the best thing. Or not a panacea at least.

If the health problems did miraculously vanish, that would be a fascinating tale in the MOST stand alone way, wouldn't it?

k said...

Oh, HAR DEE HAR HAR! I already HAVE my clothes on. And have almost all day.

Once again you're mistaking me for the dog.

Livey said...

Yeah for once you have clothes on! I've seen your bottom half more than I've seen my own!

Cindi said...

I'm hoping and praying you won't have to be in the hospital for seven weeks. Nope, that's not gonna happen!

Re. that other hospital...geez louise...I'm glad you'll be going to a different hospital.

Dazd said...

I'm glad to see your enjoying your vacation. I found, when I used to take vacations, that a break during a vacation is needed to realize exactly why you went on vacation in the first place.

Maybe you should start a drive to have the snowshoe baseball aired locally.

Livey said...

It already is dazd!

sue said...

I was wondering how the health issues were up there in a "strange land"... interesting that it isn't as bad as Florida. Huh.

You better be keeping in touch, Lady... we worry, you know!

pepektheassassin said...

Get better, both of you!

My best friend's seventeen year old grandson, a terrific basketball player and who is being recruited by several universities, has just been diagnosed with MRSA. I don't know what this will do to his scholarships and his basketball career....

Nancy said...

We've already seen more of you this summer than last, and happy 'cause that means you've been feeling better. Take care, the both of you..

And DANG, now I want to go see snowshoe baseball!

Livey said...

Come on up Nancy!

k said...

Cindi, thank you. I'm hoping too. Actually, I like my Plan. It's a good one. The Not Gonna Happen one? Why, lookit that. It's just like yours! ;-)

Holy Cross just shocked me half to death. And it was just voted one of the best 50 hospitals in America! Whutzup with that?

dazd, you're right on. I used to say, Come home a few days before your vacation time is over, so you can rest up from your vacation.

Aw, Sue. The only thing worse than people worrying about me is when no one does.

The local pollens can be really different. It's interesting. But if I stay TOO long in a more *clean air* location, I'll sensitize to the local allergens. That usually takes 6-24 months.

The only place with truly CLEAN air - as opposed to air with pollen I'm less sensitive to - is the Pacific Northwest. I do amazingly well there. But I've heard that since my last visit several years ago, the air quality has suffered from pollution coming all the way from China.

miss assassin, that's terrible news. I'm so sorry to hear that.

Oh my sidebar in my blogroll is Rhoda's MRSA Story. Good info in there. Also, a link I haven't uploaded yet is MRSA Notes.

They may be able to tell you more about situations like your friend's grandson's. The thing is, CA MRSA is so common among athletes now, it seems to me they'd have no reason to change their minds about him.

If he has a current infection, the antibiotics will clear it. If he remains *colonized* - a carrier, like me - still, he'll be no different from many teammates.

The rash of CA MRSA outbreaks - *Community Acquired,* where it infects healthy people rather than the hospitalized - started a few years ago. High school sports teams were a major breeding ground.

So it's not a new concept to those recruiters. Hopefully that means they're armed with facts more than unreasoning fear.

Nancy, you noticed! WHEEEEE!!! It is true. One reason that makes it so easy to be patient with it this year! I feel like I'm on *gravy time.*

And yes, you really should come on up! Snowshoe baseball is a HOOT, Livey's a perfect hostess, and the Northwoods is just beautiful.

Barring that? Soon I'll have some Snowshoe Baseball pix posted. I just KNOW it.

Jean said...

Definitely is a much better summer for you this year than last.
Thank goodness!
...and, I see absolutely no reason why your plan ...the 'get it right on the first try plan'... should not work. None at all.

pepektheassassin said...

k, thanks for the heads up-- I'll be careful. :)

Jan said...

Well,k,you just complain and whine all you want, that's alright.*hug*
I'll be adding my prayers to Desert Cat's, and I know others will be, too.

MRSA is awful, and allergies are awful, but your positive attitude is wonderful! I think that will take you a long way.

I'm so glad that you and Livey have had this time together, and I can't even imagine how much you will miss each other when you have to go home.

I'm looking forward to more pics and stuff, too!

k said...

Jean, you noticed too. Wonderful!

And that is the BEST plan. I just know it. Practical and practicable, both. heh. I keep telling myself that like a mantra.

Oh, miss assassin! I'm so relieved. That's all I wanted to know. Thank you.

Jan, welcome! Are you the Jan who comments at Livey's and couldn't comment here before? If so, I'm glad you finally got through! Good going.

And thank you. Even on a whining post you think I have a positive attitude? Wow. That's gratifying. ;-)

We both know it will be hard for us when I have to leave. It's going to be so quiet at both our houses and that will take some getting used to again. And the critters, my lord. I love her dog and cat and they won't understand why when I'm not here any more, you know?

I hope Livey can visit me next winter. Not so long from now, really. But she needs some pretty serious neck surgery, fusing vertebrae in a really damaged area, and it requires a long rest period afterwards. So she may be stuck up here convalescing...

But, that's for another day. For now? With any luck we'll make it to Loon Days tomorrow.

That should yield some fine pix indeed.

Jan said...

Yep..that would be the very same Jan!

Thanks, I'm glad I finally am able to post, too!

I'll be looking forward to the pics...

Anonymous said...

Very Interesting!
Thank You!