Friday, May 02, 2008

Turning the Corner

There's a point in most any illness where you feel the change take place. The day before, you may be sort of wondering, am I starting to get better? - but you're not quite sure.

The next day you wake up and you know.

The fever's broken. It still creeps in here and there, but it's not knocking me off my feet any more. The wound is still draining, but it's also closing, from the inside. The safe way. The infected area is smaller, by far; it's pulling together into a localized infection instead of all spread out through the hand and fingers. The feelings in that hand have changed: the intense bone pain has lessened significantly, and the general tenderness and redness and swelling is down.

I stayed out of bed the entire day today, even worked around the house and outside some too. Grilled half of a ribeye, ate a small head of broccoli, a half an ear of corn, a caramelized onion, and a little red potato. Except for Lotus Chinese Kitchen, I can't remember the last time I ate any *real* food. And it seems to be staying down just fine.

Last Friday evening, after trying so hard for two days to see a hand surgeon, I called Walter and said: --There's nothing left to do. I'm out of options. On Monday I can try a couple back, but for now, there's absolutely nothing I can do except keep taking care of it myself. So I'm going to devote the weekend to staying calm and not thinking about it, maybe working my butt off in the yard if I can.

He agreed.

Another thing I decided to do was dispose of the poor, blown-engine Saturn.

Our excellent ex-neighbors, former employees, and friends, H and Danny, love cars. They feel about cars the same way I do about plants and animals. And they've been wonderful to us over the years. I sat on the front porch looking at the Saturn and thinking about H's face when I told him I was just going to junk it, that I didn't have it in me to mess around with getting a new used engine for it, cleaning it up, and selling it.

His face fell. He almost looked like he was going to cry. Oh no!!!

He looked, to me, exactly the same way I feel when I see people throwing away big beautiful plants that could very easily live. I do plant rescues. He wanted to rescue that car. He just lent us $7800, unasked, to buy the Isuzu. Part of what made him decide to do that, I think, was simply because it was a car, a very nice one at a very good price, just right for me. And I was without a car. This bothered him. A lot.

They have five cars between them, the father and son. That's why they park two over at our house. They live a block from the ocean, and their parking is limited - they just can't fit all their vehicles there. I certainly don't mind the extra cars; it makes it look like a bunch of burly Car Guys live here.

I didn't even want to go to the trouble of junking the poor thing. I just don't do cars.

So I asked H if I could give him the Saturn. I wasn't sure he wanted it.

But he did. So I signed the title over to him. The only thing I like about cars is that paperwork ceremony, that's fun, all solemn and significant. I told H I hoped he made a gazillion bucks on it, making it all nice again and finding it a good home.

OH, what a happy time! It was just great.

And I spent the weekend making serious progress clearing the yard. Early Monday morning I called to make the appointment with that hand surgeon - then I shattered, and was more or less not conscious again until Wednesday.

I didn't even have the strength to make my espresso. If you've been sick like that with a very bad flu or pneumonia or strep or so forth, you know what I mean. You hurt from head to toe, headachy and feverish and doing the sweats and chills, throwing off the covers then piling them back on, then pouring sweat and kicking them back off again, sleeping all the time but never feeling rested, and wondering what day it is and if that clock means 8 AM or 8 PM...

I love feeling better.


Pretty Lady said...

Hooray! So good to have you back!

Dazd said...

Glad to hear you're feeling better!

SeaPhoenix said...

Maybe Pretty Lady and I mojo'd ya back to health...

overactive-imagination said...

Glad you are feeling better. I hope the worst of it is definitely behind you.

pepektheassassin said...


Nancy said...

Very glad you've turned the corner.

Take care.

Desert Cat said...

I am really glad to hear you're doing better.

I knew you would, but it is nice to see.

k said...

PL, it's so great to BE back. Wheee! I have to be careful because I'm not quite ready for boinging yet and I WANT to.

Dazd, thank you. And what a LOVELY pic you have! Your face is wonderful. You're a very comforting, sweet, calm, music-loving looking guy. I bet you and my nephew would get along like a house afire.

SeaPhoenix, you did. Actually, everyone did. It's not the first time either. I feel it happening. Felt it going to the hand surgeon's. Intellectually I realize that a whole lot of people would call me nuts for that, including most of my family. I don't care. I feel it. It heals me and keeps me strong.

overactive-imagination, welcome! You strike me as being exactly the sort of person we need more of in the medical field. I can't imagine you would ever go to the dark side the way those surgeons did.

Pepek. I LOVE your smilies.

Nancy - Well put. Being careful is on my mind a lot these days. I'm practicing it all day long, re-learning with everything I do. Talking to myself - no no no, use the tool for that, it might be hot so don't touch it...

Aw, Pops. You've been working too hard, I think. I hope you have a good weekend, full of sunshine and new flowers. Lime flowers too.

John P. McCann said...

Adios, Saturn.

Many miles, many fossil digs have passed by.

May it rest in grease.

SeaPhoenix said...

Great comment, John P. McCann.

Doom said...

Oh, good to hear. I don't drop in a lot, but you cross my mind in my prayers from time to time. Your suffering is epic, if it may have become simple, clinical, or something other in or to your mind. I will keep you in my prayers, even if you should be healed in complete and totality, I do believe.

Thinking of you kindly.

Desert Cat said...

Uh oh. She seems to have gone missing again.

Here's hoping she's in the hospital having her hand properly cared for finally.

Cindi said...

I have been bad about keeping up with my favorite bloggers, k. I'm hoping you are doing better!!

k said...

SeaPhoenix, oh yes. That guy there is extremely funny. We used to work together at the post office, lo these many years ago, and have been friends ever since. Check out his blog. He just did a marathon in under 4 hours. In his 50's, no less.

Thirty some years ago back at the PO, before we'd made our ways into bigger and better careers, he used to rudely keep me giggling when I was trying to work. He was careful not to do it when I was too tangled up in a big piece of equipment or something else dangerous, but all other times were pretty much no holds barred. He loved to make me spit my coffee out my nose laughing.

Doom, hi, good to see you! I haven't been keeping up nearly as well as I like to, myself. Last I checked you were doing okay and still off the tobacco, which is excellent.

That clinical, or detached maybe, sense you may be referring to? I compartmentalize. I don't want my emotions clouding my judgment when I think, right? Raised by a fine-thinking logical scientist, that separation was instilled in me early on. I separate the two - mind and heart - then let them come back together so each informs the other.

So I guess I do something similar with my health concerns. I deliberately detach so I can address them as carefully and thoughtfully as I can, when that's the thing to do. It helps me emotionally, too. I don't ever kill or suppress those emotions - just set them aside for a bit.

Doom, I read little bits - the small bits you choose to post - of your own sufferings, huge chunks of physical and emotional ones both. The details are generally tacit, as may be best for you just now, but it's clear they are harsh. My thoughts are with you surprisingly often. Your kind thoughts back to me are always appreciated. Always.

Pops, I'm back. The hand is staying out of the hospital for now. I've sort of set up my own little drainage system for it, which I hope hope hope will keep the abscess away. It formed a "tunnel," as they often do; if I can keep the tunnel open and flowing, that's good. It's almost 1/4" deep, even though the rest of the wound is nearly closed. If the tunnel "heals" shut, way bad. Since it's still draining infectious material from deep inside the hand, that would mean a good chance of an abscess. So here I sit, performing auto-surgery once again.

Walter's had an on-the-job injury. He got slammed in the chest by a door, right in his titanium mesh. I'll be posting on it shortly, I hope (first thing this morning is yet another doctor appointment). He's not in the hospital, but he can't drive. It not only bruised the bone badly, it set off an inflammatory reaction throughout his chest and rib cage. It's terribly painful and he has trouble talking. That "flexible sternum" thing after open-heart surgery always left me a bit dubious.

This may be it for him being a truck driver. It'll take at least a month for the acute bone bruise injury to heal, and even after that, the inflammation may continue. Putting a seat belt right on top of the bad spot, and working that huge gear shift and steering wheel? I don't think so. Looks like it's Career Over for our boy, now.

Big changes.

Cindi, I've been out of touch too, eight ways from Sunday. I'm glad to hear from you. I checked in a little bit ago and saw you hadn't been posting much, but at least the Stinky Person has left! That had to be a relief to everyone, huh? ;-)

pepektheassassin said...

So sad to hear about Walter's accident...I'm thinking about both of you. {{Hugs}}