Pins and needles

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I’ve been sick for nine weeks. Upper respiratory infection-type stuff that runs its course and before leaving my body, regenerates like it’s stuck in a loop.

Sore throat, sinus congestion, stuff issuing from my skull that runs the colors of the rainbow, crusty eyes (at one point double pink eye), a dry cough, then a wet cough, junk dripping down my throat from my skull, popping ears (at one point an ear infection), then a cough that keeps me up all night, then a sore throat and is begins again. It’s run three complete cycles since Dec. 29 including after a round of antibiotics and I feel like I am going to lose my mind if I don’t get totally over it soon. I’m hacking up a lung everywhere I go, I’m hoarse and tired all the time, there are gross tissues falling out of all my pockets and my purse, and I smell like cough drops because I CONSTANTLY have a cough drop in my mouth. I sleep with a cough drop in my mouth or else I don’t sleep at all so my teeth are probably going to rot out. (And I’ve had two nights where I woke myself up coughing around 1 a.m. and could not go back to sleep.)

I thought maybe something in the new house had me on an allergic trip so I went for allergy testing today. After 45 minutes of being poked and injected with pins and needles dosed with pure allergens, I learned that I am only allergic to dust mites, mold and horses. Yes, horses. Because why not?

So it’s not the dogs or the down comforter or even the trees, which have opened up unseasonably early thanks to the warm winter. No pollen allergies. Ain’t that some shit?

The allergist referred me across the street to the radiology clinic so they could do a CT scan of my skull and see what’s going on in there. I learned that a CT scan is a relatively pleasant experience, compared to an MRI. So that’s nice.

At this point if there was a small pony living inside my skull, it would be a relief because at least I’d know what was fucking me up.

Day 307: Reduction

Day 307: Reduction

This photo really only exists as proof that I made it through the day. I’ve entered my 24th hour with this headache, though. I’m scared to go to bed because I might wake up with it again, and I am so tired of being sick. There is entirely too much awesome stuff in my life for me to tend to for me to spend another day writhing in my bed for all the wrong reasons.

[Project 365]

Day 306: Shutters

Day 306: Shutters

Felt good enough to spend some time at the house, unpacking boxes of books and knick-knacks, running ratty paper towels over dusty panes, measuring windows and walls to get an idea of what stuff will be able to fit where, and making notes in neat cursive on old notebook paper. Gave two tours of the house and even got a bottle of wine hand delivered to me by Mr. Fancycwabs, Professional Educator, himself. So far the verdict from my visitors has been unanimously good, but like anyone is going to walk into my house and declare that they hate it. I should probably take a moment here to point out to anyone who feels compelled to do anything but fawn over my hard-won little home that I have a sizable back yard in which several bodies would fit beneath the soil. Comfortably. And pretty soon I’ll have my very own shovel.

All day as I pilfered through cabinets and drawers and closets, I noticed stuff the seller had left behind. Useful stuff; not annoying crap that I have to throw out. Extra window locks, plant hooks, spare floor boards/caulk/glue, paint, painting supplies, cables, kitchenware (containers and storage devices), even a bottle of wine (non-alcoholic chardonnay, which apparently exists) and two bottles of sparkling juice and cider. Oh, and a wine rack! This is in addition to all the plants and outdoor stuff — chairs, swingset, birdbath, water hose and caddy, lawn art, plants (nice plants, like a potted hydrangea and huge ferns and some other things my mom ID’d but I forgot to write down). I’m kind of gobsmacked by it a little, to be honest. I’m definitely going to have to pay it forward when and if I move next time.

Overall I’ve felt better today, even though I caught a couple of welts oh my arms early in the afternoon. I pumped myself full of drugs, though, and that was that. Now I’m fighting another wicked headache that cropped up an hour ago. These things are relentless lately. I imagine it’s all part of the wacky allergens that are apparently coursing through my body like drunken, streaking frat boys. My cells are mutinying, apparently. About time. I’ve been treating them like shit for a while.

Eh, but enough about that. I love my house. I love it.

[Project 365]

Day 305: All Mine

Day 305: All Mine

Friday night I went to bed bundled up, freezing and achey, and woke up feeling terrible with some sort of rash on my elbow and seriously sore eyeballs. It didn’t take long for the itchiness to spread: My feet, then arms, then calves. Before I knew what was happening, I realized there were splotchy red welts all over me. I took two Benadryl, napped it out, woke up with clear skin, and headed to work at 3.

Not long after I sat down at my desk, groggy and grumpy at the prospect of Halloween night in the office, I noticed a bump on my hand. It itched. Over the next few hours, it spread. I took another Benadryl. It didn’t do much of anything. I itched with a fierceness. And it hurt to move around. I threw pages together with reckless abandon and sheepishly left a list of what was left to do with my already overworked co-workers. I had to get out of there. I was going nuts. I’ve never been allergic to anything in my life.

I went home and took still more antihistamines and tried to nap it out on the couch. I was hot then cold, hot then cold. The welts — which I’d decided were definitely hives — just kept coming back. I tried to go to bed but when 2 a.m. or so rolled around, I was covered in them again. Covered. Mom had urged me earlier when I left work to go to the ER, but I didn’t want to. But I knew there was no way I was going to make it through the night without relief. I got in the car and hauled ass out to Baptist East. On the way there, my arms turned into bubble wrap and my left hand swelled to the point where I could hardly make a fist. My legs and back were covered. The bottoms of my feet too.

A couple of hours in the ER and $100 later, I’d learned that I was having an allergic reaction to something. O RLY?! But they didn’t know what. I know; that’s hard to determine. I went home with some prescriptions and passed out as soon as I hit the bed.

Today (Sunday) I woke up itchy and sore AGAIN. Had a hard time getting out of bed, despite knowing that I had so much to do. Finally decided to venture into the world in my pajamas. Got my prescriptions filled, picked up lunch, and went out to the house.

It was my first time there alone. It was surreal. That place is mine and no one else’s. It’s kind of overwhelming. But in a good way. I sat there quietly, eating my sandwich and scratching the bumps on my skin (gross, I know), and just kind of observed the space at rest. I tried to imagine my stuff in there and where I’d put it. What additional things I’d need (a ton). I got excited. And then I got sick to my stomach and had to bolt out of there. Picked up my meds, took them, laid down and felt miserable.

Then the steroids kicked in. I could move without pain, the itching and swelling chilled out, and I got off my ass and resumed packing. Prednisone, I love you.

I still am not a hundred percent sure what’s wrong with me (mom and dad think stress, doc thinks food allergy, I suspect All laundry detergent), but I am a hundred percent sure that I can do ANYTHING as long as I am on steroids.

[Project 365]