Friday, January 2, 2015

Charging Into The New Year Like a Grocery Cart Jockey In A Downhill Obstacle Course Race, With A Blindfold On.

If you're gonna go, go all out, like the old commercial says. So I went. All out, and every direction, all at once. Am I rambling? I suspect so. Pain meds do that. No, shockingly, not pain meds for shingles. Got you! Thought I had them again, didn't you? That'd have been a safe bet, but no. I went even further out this time.

The last post I wrote was morose, at the very best, verging on depressive in reality. I was in a bad spot when I wrote it. Oddly enough, I wrote that on the 23rd, right before Christmas. which was three days before I got the real devastating news. I sent Christmas cards this year, something I failed to do last year. The day after Christmas, I got a phone call from a woman named Jennifer. She's the daughter in-law to Sonny, the handyman from Castalia whom I worked with for fourteen years. Jennifer explained that Sonny had died very unexpectedly in September. The entire family had tried desperately to find a way to contact me. They had pictures of Sonny and me, of him and my sister, of all three of us together They knew my first name, because Sonny had talked about me all the time. But he'd never told them my last name. They had no phone numbers. No way to find me, or the other girls from the farm. They were tormented by this inability to reach us. By the fact that they had to bury their husband, their father, and loved one, without people that he loved even knowing that he'd died. During the obviously shocking and upsetting phone call, Sonny's daughter in-law asked if I would be willing to speak to his widow. I said yes, of course. She cried, I cried, both of us sundered by the loss of a man we loved, even though the two of us have never met each other. She told me how much Sonny loved me, and I told her how much I loved him, then the two of us announced that we both loved each other. Back on the line with Jennifer, she kept apologizing for having to tell me the news at Christmas, and I kept thanking her for telling me at all. We're going to get together sometime in the near future. They would like to meet my sister and I, whom Sonny talked about so often. And they have a few things he wanted me to have, apparently. I want to meet them too. We might have managed to get together this week, but fate decided to play meddlesome games with me.

It started with what felt like a leg cramp. I woke up Sunday the 28th with what I thought was a leg cramp in my right calf. Being on vacation as I am, and being lazy, I couldn't think of any specific incident in which I might have strained the muscle. But there's always the chance of middle-of-the-night charley horses, which could leave morning-after pain. So Sunday, I did gentle stretches, to no avail. Monday morning it was a little worse. I figured I'd live dangerously and took one of two leftover Flexeril from my last rhomboid trouble. It *seemed* to help, though the discomfort didn't entirely leave. I continued stretches and messaging it. I didn't sleep great Monday night, as I kept trying to alleviate the cramping sensation by stretching my leg out, which only caused more discomfort. Tuesday saw things much the same as Monday. I took the remaining Flexeril, and polled Facebook for suggestions. (might have polled Facebook on Monday, can't remember, too lazy to check) Since my new insurance (which might actually pay something) didn't start until the new year, my sister and I decided I wouldn't seek any medical advice until it had kicked in. That was before I spent Tuesday night wallowing and got up Weds morning with pain in the calf that had inched its way into near-constant. Walking was painful. I was still stressed from the Sonny news, about to go on my period, and miserable for the second week of vacation (the first having been spent with shingles, round three for the year) so I regressed into a blubbery mess of frustrated tears. After discussion with my Mom, we went to First Med. Who sent me to Martha Jefferson for an ultrasound 'just to cover bases' and instead of 'covering bases' the ultrasound tech found a blood clot in my calf. At 35, no traveling, no smoking, no 'at risk' me had a deep vein thrombosis.

Now, the good parts (so far, anyway) are 1. I went to the docs and we found it early. 2. It's a 'small clot' in a 'small vein'. 3. Numbers 1 & 2 *theoretically* reduce my chances of suffering complications from my DVT. 4. I totally got to see the insides of my legs on the ultrasound. It sucks that I needed to have it, but hey, it was something new I'd never experienced before and it was awesome.

So the girl who has a tendency to break anvils, and fall off roofs, and down stairs, and self-damage in all sorts of random, unexpected manners, is now on the blood thinner Eliquis along with pain meds (just until the blood thinners start to do their magic, thus reducing the pain) and will have to undergo further blood work and testing so that we can hopefully pinpoint why I developed a clot, with the goal being, of course, to avoid developing any other clots in the future. I'm hoping that it can be linked to the Minastrin birth control. While that would be sad because it works great for me with no side effects (besides the clot, obviously) it would be a tidy, not scary explanation that can be easily remedied by not taking it again. But we'll see how the testing goes.

The craziest thing about this week, is that I feel like I've turned a corner somehow. I don't mean in a 'omg, I almost died, I feel alive!' way because while the DVT is serious, and could get more serious suddenly and without warning, I'm not that dramatic about it. I mean I've turned the corner in a more abstract manner. It's hard to describe. But I've written pages on the Farm Memoir project. I'm getting words out, and it's not like pulling teeth to do it. I feel like I'm back in life, and not just watching it go by. Which is a pretty damn good feeling.

I'll sign off now, see if I can get a little writing done before crashing for the night. But I'll leave you with a picture of Sonny and me. It was taken one of the the last times we were together.


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