Tag Archives: calvin and hobbes

My Blood Just Might Be Slightly More Interesting Than Yours

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Vast knowledge makes you strong.  A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.  My dad used to say that last bit.  And it follows that if you believe something, it is very real in its consequences.  So if I believe my left foot is possessed by satan I might be inclined to cut it off.  Even though my original notion was probably wrong, I still end up hopping about on one foot.

I’m sure there’s a miraculous point in there somewhere, although it could be simply a tangent my brain took off on when I remembered my great love of medical dictionaries and encyclopedias in my youth.  Those books have been replaced by Google.  I had a mothers medical book when my kids were small and was able to diagnose them with every childhood affliction going.  Now there are millions of new conditions so I have great empathy for todays parents and their boggled minds.

I still research diseases and random symptoms and come to wild conclusions.  Then I go to a real doctor to be assured that I am not in immediate danger of dropping dead.  So far they have all been very accommodating.

The condensed version of my medical history is just as likely to lull you in to a coma as the detailed one, so I will skip over both of them and jump right to the diagnosis.  IgG4.

Yes, of course, I could not have something mundane and ordinary.  IgG4 is a rare systemic fibro-inflammatory disorder.  Here is what I know about it, even though I have googled these facts and realize you are not supposed to blindly believe everything you google.  Hasn’t stopped me yet.

Immunoglobulin G is an antibody found in blood and extracellular fluid which controls infection of body tissues.

By binding many kinds of pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, and fungi, IgG protects the body from infection, neutralizes toxins and helps maintain food tolerance by the immune system.

Inflammation is a result of infection.  

Okay.  The original specialist I saw no doubt said all this to me because he wrote it all in a report which I didn’t see until very recently.  Two years later.  All I heard was NOT CANCER blah blah blah.  He said he didn’t know the cause of the infection or the inflammation, gave me heavy-duty antibiotics and then a course of prednisone, and since neither made any difference suggested we forget about it.

The inflammation never went away so my doctor and I thought a follow-up visit in a little over a year would be a good idea.  Same clinic, different doctor, and it’s like he never read my file and started over again with all the same tests.  Eventually he didn’t know what to do with me next and referred me to a lung specialist.  I learned more in that one visit to them than I figured out from him in six months.  They are the ones who showed me the original doctors report.  They sent me for blood tests and then referred me to a hematologist.  I saw her on the 3rd of August and she was wonderful, even though she sent me to a lab to have seven more vials of blood taken so they can analyze the hell out of it.

Her diagnosis, unless she finds anything new, IgG4.  Treatment for now – none.  Steroids could cause more problems than they solve so no point in going that route yet.

The inflammation hasn’t spread much except to a lymph node behind my esophagus and a couple in my lungs.  Any organ in the body could be affected.  It seems to be a little unpredictable.  Fibrosis is a possibility.  Not a lot of studies have been done on this yet and there are differing opinions. But really, I am done losing sleep over it.  Skin rashes and thyroid problems and type 2 diabetes are all related and I remember saying once I thought whatever was going on was a systemic thing and holy crap, I was right.  Maybe everything is systemic, I don’t care, I still think I’m smart.

On Wednesday I’m going to see a dermatologist on the hematologists recommendation.  Then I would like to do what the original specialist suggested and forget about it.

How’s that for a plan.

 

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Sharing My World 56

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Haha! Just messing with you.  I know it’s Thursday. Happy early April Fools Day. Unless the world ends before tomorrow, then the joke is on me.

SHARE YOUR WORLD – 2016 WEEK 13

Are you left or right-handed?

I am right-handed but I like to practice doing things with my left hand just in case the right one ever wears out or goes missing.  This is a sign of a great worrier, thinking up obscure and unlikely events and preparing for them.  Or worrying because I’m not prepared for them at all.

If you had only one TV, would you prefer the TV in the living room or another room?

We do have only one TV.  It is in the basement.  I like it there, away from the rest of the house where I can’t hear it.  Most commercials  (and all advertising) drive me nuts.  I am near-sighted and don’t like wearing my glasses, and I don’t hear well.  So I watch TV shows up close on my iPad, with subtitles.  If there was no television in the house I don’t think I’d miss it much.

Have you ever participated in a distance walking, swimming, running, or biking event? Tell your story.

Yes I have!  It was twenty years ago and I walked 15 kilometres for the Children’s Miracle Network, or some such similar worthy cause.  The details are fuzzy after all this time, but I definitely recall the 15 km part vividly.  The choices were to do 5, 7, or 15.  When we got to the 7 km point my coworker (who was the one who decided to do the damned walk in the first place) wanted to stop, but I said what the hell, we’ve come this far, let’s do the whole thing.  Our second mistake was sitting on the ground and taking our shoes off to eat a snack when we made it to the end.  We couldn’t get our shoes back on and we couldn’t get up.  We found it hysterically funny that we might have to crawl to the parking lot and drive home in sock feet.  Physical exhaustion does weird things to your sense of humour.

It didn’t come to that, but there’s a reason I’ve never attempted such a long trek since.  It took days for my muscles to recover.  And there’s a reason why sane people do a lot of training beforehand.  I get it now.

Complete this sentence: Love is… .

Love is hard work and rarely perfect, but worth it anyway.  I don’t think I’ve ever used a bible quote here before, but I quite like this one.

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Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I have chosen four colours for my house and not one of them is yellow!  Well, okay, one of them sort of is but it’s called coconut milk so it doesn’t count.  The back entrance is small and poorly lit and needs serious lightening up.  Coconut milk should work.  I’m grateful that we’ve made a start with white ceiling and trim paint too.  Maybe we’ll need sunglasses back there after this.  Instead of a flashlight.

My medical procedures continue (blah) but I’m grateful this last CT scan on Tuesday was at our new local hospital.  What a great place!  Even though it took three people five tries to find a vein for the contrast dye, I’m impressed with the facility.  It’s a ten minute drive from home and beats the hassle of going into the city.  Had my three-month blood work done today and had to explain my bruises but got poked only once this time.  Little things like this make me curiously happy.

As for next week, who knows?  I have lots to keep me busy, but ever fewer excuses to ignore the art room.  Back to that soon I hope.  Meanwhile, this old house continues to endure its facelift.

Yay for April!

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Resolved

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From the WordPress prompt book:  Have you ever made a New Years Resolution that you kept?

Well, of course I did.  I kept them all.  Just some of them better than others and for different lengths of time.

I’ve done all the popular ones.  Get fit.  Save some money.  Lose weight.  Drink less.  Quit smoking.  Eat healthy.  Put my family first.  Be a better person.  So, you know, been there, done all that, with varying degrees of success.  Perhaps my best one was vowing to no longer drink a whole pot of coffee a day.  Then I got one of those coffee makers that dispenses a cup at a time and has no carafe.  So you can’t drink a pot if you don’t have a pot, right?  I never said I didn’t cheat.

Anyway, after all these years of making sensible resolutions, maybe it’s high time I became more daring.  I should resolve to have more fun, do something crazy, go on an adventure, wear more purple, rock the boat, break all the rules!

Yeah.  Now that I’ve scared myself sufficiently with the possibilities, maybe I’ll just calm down and keep it simple.  Keep breathing, be content with the way things are and thankful for my ordinary life.  Read more books.  Be kind.  Focus on the now, be still and listen, hold no anger, find inner peace.  Easy things like that.

With retirement looming in the very near future (this September I hope) I am also looking at ways to spend all my glorious free time.  I’ve always said I’ll take up painting again, so I resolve to do that.  I will need a studio and lots of supplies. And some ambition would be helpful.

It’s funny how we think we need a brand new year to make a brand new start when every day is a new beginning.  As far as I know, no one is ticking off points on a score sheet, measuring my progress, or waiting around to give me a grand prize for whatever I’ve done.  Most days I like me.  When I don’t, there’s always tomorrow to turn things around and be better.

Keep those resolutions non specific and vague, and you just might be astounded at your success.

I think in terms of the days resolutions, not the years.  (Henry Moore)

No matter who you are, no matter what you did, no matter where you’ve come from, you can always change, become a better version of yourself.  (Madonna)