First off -- Mr. Potatohead (aka Hubby) is coming home tomorrow. He is having dinner with his sister's family tonight and then will get up early in the a.m. and haul booty from Georgia to Maryland. My response when he told me? I think I deafened him with the "YAY!!!" I shouted into the phone.
He's been gone for a month, and while we've spent much more time than that apart (especially during his Marine Corps days), it was particularly hard for me this time. I know some of you may be thinking, "Whine, whine!" No. I'm not feeling sorry for myself at the moment. I know I'm a lucky woman for so many reasons.
But...Bodhi has been difficult for me to deal with on my own. The last 3 days, he has only gotten one walk per day (as has Lily), because of the bitter winds we've had here. You know how it is when the wind is blowing and your eyes start to water and air is getting in around any possible opening in your jacket? Yeah, that plus trying to keep him from eating the pumpkins that the teens smashed all over the neighborhood and the fresh mulch in the flower beds around the complex. Again this morning at 5 a.m., he was puking up grass and mulch. I wanted to strangle him when he went for the stuff as soon as he was back outside. I feed him a high quality food; why in the world does he feel the need to graze every time he leaves the house? So there's tugging and pulling and grazing and coughing and wind in my eyes, tears streaming down my face from the wind, and a poop scoop in my hand. I nearly sat down right in the middle of the walk to throw a tantrum, but it was too cold!
60 degree temps and sunshine will be back Friday and Saturday, so we can clean up the yard, cut the grass, and bag it all up. Plus the walks will be so much easier with two of us. I'm stoked!
Counting my blessings...have to tell you this one.
Again, not to whine, but I've been running a low-grade fever and joint pains for about 2 weeks now (but the headaches have been at bay - Thank God for that! That is a blessing!) So just file this under the-older-you-get-the-more-things-can-go-wrong or maybe check-your-genes-at-the-door. My mom had lupus, and my sisters have lupus. My daughter has lupus, and my niece might have it. So, yeah, my risk is very high. I get checked every so often, when I'm feeling lousy. I finally decided to call my doctor yesterday and tell his nurse what was going on. I had thought I was coming down with a cold at first, but I have no other symptoms - just fever and joint pain (accompanied by fatigue just from feeling lousy). So I isolated. I kept to myself and didn't even go to church services on Sunday. All I wanted to do was bundle up and sleep. He did the right thing and ordered labs for me.
This morning I went to the lab to go through all the testing again - something like 8 vials of blood and a cup of pee on the side. I was blessed to be at the hospital satellite clinic where I used to have physical therapy (after my mild stroke/hemiplegic migraine/whatever it was). I gave and received so many smiles and hugs that it truly made my day. To top it off, I sat next to a beautiful woman who will be 87 years old on Friday. She said that her best friend used to introduce her as "the old witch" in a joking manner (because her birthday is Halloween) and would always have a big party with her every year on her birthday.
She leaned over to me and whispered, "She got me a stripper on my 75th birthday!" I cracked up! What a great lady! That's what I want to be like at 87. In fact, I realized, I want to make it to 87.
And here is where I ask for your prayers...
When I finished work for the day, I decided to rest. It was too windy to take the dogs back out, and the fever had inched up to 100, making me really chilly. I had just curled up under the blankets when my sister called. Her voice was muted, subdued. I wondered, suddenly, if our aunt had died. After all, she's in her 80s and in poor health.
"Is everything okay?" I asked. "What's wrong?"
"Well, I have to go tomorrow to have blood drawn," she said.
That wasn't it. I mean, yes, blood draws are traumatic for her. They usually involve multiple sticks, multiple lab techs, heat packs on her arms, pulling out all the stops. Her veins - if they cooperate enough to be stuck - frequently collapse. Whereas for me, it's one stick and 5 minutes of my day, for her, it is several painful hours of stress. And it's dangerous for her to be there in the first place. Lupus has riddled her body's defenses and left her allergic to most antibiotics and extremely susceptible to infection.
I knew that it had been a tough week for her last week. She'd had her annual mammogram and her annual eye exam. At the eye exam, she found out that her eye pressure is a 2, meaning she has the beginnings of glaucoma. She's 57, and it isn't fair. Her body looks good on the outside, but inside it is all pain and fever, antibodies attacking her body's own cells, and unpredictable wellness. Still, there had to be more.
She said, "Yeah, I have to go for a mammogram next Thursday."
(didn't register with me at first...I was a little tired...)
"Oh, that's good...I'm glad you got it scheduled."
Then it dawned on me. She had a mammogram last week.
"Wait," I said. "Didn't you just -- ?"
"Yeah," she murmured. "They called me today to tell me I need to come back in. They said that I can expect to be there for 2 1/2 hours. I'll have a more in-depth mammogram and an ultrasound. They said someone will probably sit down and talk with me after that."
My blood ran cold in my veins. No. Not my sister. It isn't fair.
I assured her that since she had always had fibrocystic breasts, it was probably nothing, and then she told me how the density of her breasts had changed drastically over the last year. She figures it is just the last gasp of menopause. But to be called back in like this. She's freaked out. Nothing I could say could assure her, maybe because I couldn't assure myself. Not my sister. Not fair.
So whatever your beliefs, please pray for my sister's health, that the doctor discovers absolutely nothing on the next round of testing. If you don't pray, send positive thoughts and energy to the general vicinity of Houston, TX, where I wish I could be tonight to hold her hand and assure her, where I wish I could be to hug her and make her laugh. So many things have happened to her. She's had so many close calls. She's a survivor, but she's scared.
I'm scared, too. And we would both appreciate your love and support while we wait out this very long forthcoming week.
Peace - D