Friday, March 28, 2014

Retail Exhaustion

I've been wanting a new pair of jeans to replace my beloved "Mom" jeans. They fit me so well but had so many holes that even the patching was giving out. I finally tossed them and have been looking for a new pair ever since.

Getting dressed each day is especially difficult for me due to my numerous physical handicaps. Trying on a pile of clothes brings me to the verge of tears.But I had a 30% off coupon and I was going to use it. I tried on 3 pair of jeans, a top and a sweater. 3 out of 5 worked, although the jeans were not perfect. I'll still have to wear a belt. You know how they say orange is this new black? I've been collecting orange clothing since 1970. The orange cardigan sweater goes with the top as well as half of what's in my closet.

I couldn't bring myself to go through all the sales racks. I was hungry, thirsty, and had already made my kill. I left the store on a shopping high but on a wave physical exhaustion. I still had some errands to run so I steeled myself and carried on.

Some of my readers will be very proud of me.

Monday, March 24, 2014

It Was Just One of Those Days

No gossamer wings on this day 8 years ago. My wings were lead. Out of the blue, I was diagnosed with leukemia. I felt shock, mainly. Fear would soon follow.

It's not so much that I feared the physical act of dying. During chemotherapy I sometimes wished for it. What I feared was not being able to see my kids grow up. Mariel was about to graduate from high school. Would I live that long?

I did. I saw her graduate from high school and college. I saw Mark graduate from high school and college. I saw Harry graduate from high school and will attend his college graduation in two months.

Physically, I've been affected in many ways. I've had three teeth extracted. My tear glands don't function so I have to wear specialty lenses. My thyroid is shot. I have severe neuropathy which makes me quite unsteady so I fall a lot. Chronic skin and liver issues stemming from graft vs. host disease makes my prescription list lengthy. I have sclerderma, a tightening of the ligaments in my body. Getting up off the floor is challenging and would be depressing if it didn't look so ridiculous.

Mentally and emotionally, it's been a roller-coaster ride. Everyone says "hey, you're alive." Some days, that's meaningless to me. These days it's been better. My brain seems relatively okay, although the other day I ran the washing machine without the laundry in it. I see that as a senior moment. I know that with age comes a gradual physical and mental disintegration. I see it in my friends.

C'est la vie.


Monday, March 17, 2014

Complaining 101, An Intorductory Course

You know the old joke: where's the complaint department? On the roof. Here's a quick course in getting someone (anyone) to listens to your complaints.

To the question how are you? Never launch into complaint mode. Instead, begin with a compliment: gee, that color looks good on you.

Stop smiling and start complaining.

My back, my leg, my stomach, my scalp. You get the picture. Either you elicit sympathy or you don't. Always end with: well, it could be worse, and add your favorite phrase of luck.

You've completed the course.

Now students, you must listen to my complaints.

1. I tipped over in yoga today and was generally unsteady.
2. My orthopedist says that he wouldn't do a manipulation on my shoulder because my arm might fracture. That will be $50. Here's the name of an orthopedist in NYC (his father was Joe Namath's trainer) who is more experienced in complicated cases like yours.
3. Tomorrow is my final occupation and physical therapy sessions. My insurance company is hanging me out to  dry..

Next: Advanced Complaning.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Today's Travels

I awoke with a start. Somehow I'd slept for 11 hours. My body must have needed that extra time unconscious and in a supine position. I slithered out of bed and went downstairs to tend to Buck who doesn't mind sleeping late.

The front walk was once again treacherous. I liberally slathered snow-melt and took Buck on a walk. It was a short one due to the 10 degree temps and a wind chill of 20 below. Who will lose their grip first, Old Man Winter or me?

Thank heavens for my self-starting Subaru, which isn't garaged because the garage has too much stuff in it. I drove to Physical and Occupational therapies, which were torturous. I told them to be rough with me because I have to move this healing process along. I'm considering acupuncture, nutritional therapy for water retention and manipulation of my arm under light anesthesia. The latter is unbearably attractive because I think it will work faster. Who knows?

I went home for a quick lunch and put more mileage on by driving to Harris Hospital for my 4th injection of the week. When I got home my shoulder was aching so much I popped an oxycodone, something I don't do often. I opened a can of an Orangina wannabe, and put on an episode of Law and Order with a blanket over my lower body and a heating pad on my shoulder.

I could complain about other medical issues but I'll spare you the details. Thanks for continuing to follow my blog.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Black and Blue

Forget about slipping on ice. How about tripping over your dog and slamming into a door post. Ouch! I have a huge black dog who seems to enjoy getting under foot. He disguises himself as a rug, which you don't see until it's too late. I am uber-conscious about these pitfalls, but they happen.

At first it was a bump over my right eye with a small cut. I iced it and put a bandage over it. What I overlooked was that since I had my reading glasses on, they hit my right eye, which is now a beautiful shade of purple with reddish overtones.

I hope the color doesn't spread. It really looks as though I was punched in the eye.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Biggest Helath Challenge: Not Slipping on Ice

I went to my local oncologist yesterday. My counts are all good and I'm cleared for injections next week. My skin has improvded a little, my shoulder not so much. Someone told me about a therapy where they knock you out and then manipulate your shoulder in ways that would be too painful sleep. It gets the joint out of its locked position so therapy is more effective. I might try it if I get desperate enough..

In the meantime, my biggest challenge is staying upright as I navigate the ice patches around my house and car. It's been so cold that no amount of salt or chopping has much effect. The only "good" part about this is that it takes me back to 1978 when my mother and I were out in the Hamptons taking care of my grandmother. We went to dig the car out of 2 feet of snow while Paul Simon sang "Slip Sliding Away." I always think of her when I hear that song or I slip on ice.