Delinquent, Part 2

The ER was a trip! Right around the corner from the Radiology wing, as luck would have it. Someone from the ER came over to lead me there. I was surprised that they didn’t wheel me over as a matter of protocol, as hospitals do. But I was fine, I could walk.

Yeah, I was fine. Ha! I was itching all over. But not panicking at all, since I wasn’t breathing hard or anything (they were worried that my throat might close) and I had Dah there with me, which is a great bonus through anything but ultimately most comforting when something unexpected like this happens.

He had offered to be there “just in case” and I guess this is the case in which it’s good that he was! Of course, we thought that the most that could happen was getting a late breakfast together after my appointment, for which I had fasted. Then we’d see where the day took us. Apparently the day had more in store for us that we could have imagined.

I had been tagged with a wrist band upon checking into Radiology for the scan, and still had that ID on, so when I got to the ER they put another one on the other arm. There’s a first. Two admissions in one day, different departments, as the story unfolds. I had just had a catheter in my left forearm to get saline and the contrast dye shot into me for the CT, so the ER placed an IV in the other arm. They pumped me full of prednisone and followed it with a chaser of benedryl. I had never had steroids before, at least not like that. Cortisone cream maybe, and a shot of it into my foot leading to the inevitable surgery, just to see if by chance that would work, which it did not. So I didn’t know what to expect of that. I’m diabetic, so they warned me of high blood sugars. I had heard of that happening, and though, ok, I can watch more closely, it shouldn’t be that hard.

Yeah, right. I’m skipping ahead with this, but I was also given a three-day course of prednisone to take after leaving the ER, and what ensued was a week of inescapable, unmanageable extremely high blood sugars. Like, my blood sugar was higher than my bank account. But this was expected, and though I couldn’t seem to get a hold on it, I was more fearful of insulin overdose. As with routine insulin management, it was touch and go. Just more extreme than figuring out your average dose relative to meal plan. I ended up going to Urgent Care and mentioned it then, but the most reassuring answer I found was, of course, on the Internet, where several forum answers, some supposedly written by doctors, pointed out that in a case where it’s absolutely necessary to use steroids short-term, the high sugars for a short time are worth it. Stated plainly, having extremely high blood sugar for a very short time won’t immediately kill you, but anaphylaxis certainly might. Better to wait out the high BG than to risk having your throat close.

Good news is, the effect of the prednisone on my blood sugar tapered off and normalized (what’s normal for me) relativelyl soon after taking the last pill. I noticed some residual effects that I think might be related – like a beauty mark I had on my arm decided to leave me – but otherwise everything seemed all right, just a little off. I was worried that I might be more susceptible to colds and such, but, on the contrary, whatever I went through seems to have given me a measure of immunity. My daughter has been sick twice already since I went through all this, and I haven’t succumbed to either of the illnesses that she went through. That’s good.

As a lifelong allergy sufferer, I’ve taken quite a bit of benedryl. Not my drug of choice for anything but a guaranteed night’s sleep, and I’ve been avoiding it for fear of recently noted side effects (brain damage, dementia, etc.) but if that’s what they thought I needed, I let do what they thought best. They being the nice doctors and nurses of the ER who got me so loopy loo I thought the air was melting. I don’t do recreational drugs (usually) but do enjoy a good trip under controlled medical supervision, and this was one of the best. There was a brief moment of metallic taste, but then I was just fucking stoned.  I encouraged Dah to take a video, knowing I was like the Youtubers who post shit after just getting out of surgery, in that beautiful state of being awake yet gone. I did manage to sleep after a while, but it was totally wack, not restful, maybe not even sleep. I might have just been so out of it I couldn’t remember to keep my eyes open. Better than watching daytime TV.

They kept me in the ER about 3 hours, and by the end of it I was fighting hungry. Still slogging, Dah led me to the onsite pharmacy with my follow-up steroid and antihistimine orders, then took me to the cafeteria for soup and popcorn, and to keep an eye on me to make sure I really was OK before going home.

It seems strange to me now, but he did, in fact take me home, despite my having to be back in the area of the hospital to pick my daughter up from school not long after. We didn’t go directly home though. It was the last day of the month and we had Chik-Fil-A Cow Calendar coupon deals to cash out, so we got our free bowls of fruit there, then stopped at home, then he drove back up to the school with me sitting shotgun – I was way too groggy to drive at that point. I wasn’t even really trusting the ground I walked on to be quite solid, and I remember closing my eyes in the car and thinking we were on a runway in a plane!

So, it does pay to have a friend or loved one go along with you “just in case” when you have routine medical things done. Certainly was a help that I had Dah with me through this adventure!

Advertisements

Broken

Dah checked out my gear shift tonight. “I’ve never heard of something like this happening and couldn’t imagine it from what you described, but it exactly like you said. It’s broken.”

Yep, I broke the car. I’ve had cars break down before, but not just break like this did. I’ve totalled cars, driven them to shit, scraped, dinged, dented. But this one is, simply put, just broken. 

I tried to shift it into reverse to parallel park it behind my other car – fortunate enough a location for a car to break down of identity going to – and something in the gear shift snapped and wouldn’t engage in changing gears for me anymore. Broken.

My mom was in the front yard trimming the bushes, so when I knew I needed help, I asked her to go get the neighbor. She and Carl pushed the car to the curb while I steered.

Luckily, where I live there are no nighttime parking restrictions until winter. So it’s going to sit there a while I. I’m not sure whether to get it fixed, or junk it, it what. So broken.

Like a shoe where the sole’s come completely unglued, like a zipper that’s lost it’s essential mechanism. Dammit

Broken.

– Dit

P.S. In better news, Dah picked me up at 6am and we spent the day trekking to the Lyons Ham Radio swap meet and hitting many rummage sales and thrift stores in between. It was a day of many free donuts. We had salad bar lunch at Gooseberries market and went out for burgers and macadamia nut custard at Kopp’s at sunset. I drove us around for a bit in Frankie, my other car.

Driving Lessons

I knew the way I would learn to drive a stick would be to buy one. So I did.

I could tell the whole long story, but I’ll get to the core of it. I wouldn’t have found the courage to do this without Dah’s patience and support.

The car’s being looked at today because of some acceleration issues. But Tuesday Dah came along with me to the DMV then gave me my first driving lesson. 

I made it all the way around the block, and into third gear. Into and out of first gear at least ten times, but that’s a start.

I was nervous and excited. He was good-natured. This is good.

– Dit

Rain or Shine

I’ve heard it said that you should find people who share your same kind of crazy. We’ve done that.

After seeing Ray Chi talk about Serendipity at Creative Mornings Milwaukee, we took a friend’s car for an oil change, so our friend wouldn’t have to take off work. 

After two days of summery weather, today it was overcast and rainy. Saw that they had big umbrellas in a stand by the door at the car dealership, so we made use of them and walked a few blocks up one of the busiest highways to go get lunch. 

Look how cute we are. He’s of my tribe. 

-Dit

d

It is axiomatic that relationships are built on long walks in the rain. So there.

Well that, and sitting in a car dealer’s waiting room for a car to be repaired.

In reflecting on the passing of Susan Wirth, and my meeting her for the first time the day before, I have said that I’m glad I met her. Every time something like this happens, one can’t help thinking about the unpredictability of things. I think this is a demonstration of why many philosophers have told us to live in the moment, for ultimately that is all we have.

-Dah

Ink and Pancakes

We’re on a fountain pen jag, after attending the Chicago Pen Show last Sunday. 

Yesterday Dah mentioned to me that he needed an ink bottle. I thought I had something at home that might suffice. 

My mom had just finished a tiny jar of kombu her friend Kyoko-san had brought her from Japan. I remember seeing the empty jar and thinking I’d repurpose it. I just had to find it.

Before I had a chance to track it down, he came up with another solution, announcing that he planned to have pancakes, because the syrup sample bottle would work well for ink. 

Dah and I don’t live together. This morning, as I ate my breakfast of a boiled egg and honey-dripped apple, I thought of him waking in his own house to execute his pancake agenda, and thought: bravo, ingenuity! 

Later, I found myself with time to kill on a beautiful day. I was feeling well enough, which I’m sometimes not, so I took a long walk through Three Bridges Park, the section of the Hank Aaron Trail that runs from the Mitchell Park Domes to the Menominee Valley branch of the Urban Ecology Center, near Miller Park. 

Alone but not alone.  There’s ghosts and wildlife, occasionally other park patrons, and of course my thoughts. I feel Dah with me even when we apart. I imagine him walking with me, wishing he could share the slow, myopic trail. 

By the UEC side, there’s a mural that includes quotes from Frank Lloyd Wright add Malcolm Forbes. 

FLW said, “The present is the ever moving shadow that divides yesterday from tomorrow. In that lies hope.”

Forbes, “Diversity is the art of living independently together.”

What Forbes says about Diversity, I think, also applies to Love.

It makes me think of Dah and how much I value his friendship, and the balance we’ve found between being together and being ourselves. 

This diversity of experience is key to keeping interested in each other’s lives. That we do things on our own, learn things, then share with each other. I feel like I’m his biggest fan, and vice versa. It keeps me excited about doing things, and reporting back.

It’s fun and fulfilling. Makes the shadow of the day seem much more hopeful too.

– Dit