To say that I have been in a “dry spell” is an understatement. I have been wandering in an arid desert for some time. It has been a month since I have written anything. Nothing has surfaced to the tips of my fingers during that period. Life has been happening, as usual and there is little control that I have over it. It is a good thing that I trust in God to take care of the universe and that I do believe that everything is in divine order, even if I cannot see that.
I have been dealing with bee stings and the consequent physical reactions to them. No, I’m not completely allergic to them. I don’t have to carry the little needle stick thingy that some people have to carry. But I do get very bad localized reactions – swelling, infection, and inflammation, which means a trip to the doctor.
So then I had to deal with antibiotics and tapering steroids, followed by the consequences of taking antibiotics (you ladies know what I mean by that!). And so, guess what? Another trip to the doctor. Which then meant more antibiotics – great!! The weather then turned “grey” for several days and my spirit, which was struggling to stay afloat anyway, took a nosedive.
Just to add to my personal misery, I took a tumble. I was having lunch at one of my favorite restaurants, stepped from the carpeted area onto a very slick (read greasy) rubberized part of the floor around the food area, and felt like I had stepped onto an ice rink. I managed to not fall on my back (which was where I was initially headed), but went down hard on the outside of my right knee. It’s amazing how something like that can affect the normal routine of life.
First of all I had to cancel my Pilates lesson and make yet another trip to the doctor. When I walked in this time I asked his receptionist if she had my key ready. She looked somewhat confused and asked, which key? I smiled and said, “The key to my hotel room. I feel like I’m taking up residence!” I went home with a knee brace and instructions to “RICE” – Rest, Ice, Compress, and Elevate. So no Pilates for a few days, no exercise at all for a few days.
Just to let the universe know I was not happy, or maybe vice versa, who knows, two days later I banged the toe next to my little toe on my left foot into a door. I’m not sure what kept the cuss words at bay. Perhaps a lot of practicing at reducing this particular defect of character. After icing it for a couple of hours it turned the requisite deep purple and blue green and I decided I should buddy tape it in case I had broken it. I made the decision not to go to the doctor’s again just in case he thought I was stalking him.
It is at this point that I remember thinking that I would like to go to the airport and get on the first flight that came along. Then I thought that maybe that could be to “Small Town, Idaho” (no offense to any natives from there). So I went out and bought a bar of the best chocolate I could find and deliberately comfort-ate with a nice cup of tea. Very British of me!
Well the last couple of days have seen a slight shift in the weather. Not quite so hot and definitely not so swampy. I love the heat and the sun and I even tolerate humidity, but we’ have had six or seven solid weeks of relentless heat and humidity and I have discovered that it drains me on all levels. And when I’m drained my Muse disappears:-(.
So the cool breezes and lower temperatures and the lack of high humidity levels seem to have freed my spirit enough to get on the keyboard. I am hoping that this will continue for a while now because I can already feel some ideas catching up and getting ready to pop out onto the page. Have a great Labor Day weekend.
I am totally forcing myself through a dark grey cloud at this moment, making my fingers push across the keys on my laptop. Unfortunately the weather isn’t helping. It’s grey and miserable out there and has been since yesterday.
There’s a voice in my head that belongs to perky Ms. Cheerleader (one of the many “committee members” who inhabit my brain!!), saying over and over, “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. A snarling voice that belongs to another committee member, Mr. Censor, throws back at her, “what if I don’t want to make lemonade!!!”.
If what I am feeling right now is akin to depression I really empathize with those suffering from that disease. I have cried at least a dozen times since yesterday evening. I have absolutely no energy or enthusiasm whatsoever. So what bought this on, you are wondering? Here goes.
You remember I got stung by a wasp (we’re now thinking possibly a hornet) twelve days ago? This was Lemon #1, and that story is in a blog I wrote about eight days ago. Well I was put on antibiotics for that and they have a “depressing” effect on my system. Not too bad, but I wasn’t my usual happy-go-lucky self. Had to work at being upbeat. Lemon #2.
Last weekend was a busy, fun filled time: gardening, attending a parish picnic, and riding to St. Augustine on our beloved Harley. However, by Sunday I noticed that my right index finger was a little tender around the lower and left nail area. I saw that I had a “hang nail”, dropped a little alcohol on it, and got on with my day. By Monday morning it was reddish and a little swollen. So I applied more alcohol and decided if it got worse I would see my doctor. I did not know that this was Lemon #3 developing.
Serendipity came that evening in the form of my second pottery class. The three pieces I had created two weeks prior were nicely dried and ready for glazing. I already wrote a blog about this on Monday evening. What I didn’t write in there was that my husband was packing for a business trip that evening and the “gods” were conspiring against him and consequently creating some aggravation and irritation between us – rather like “pre-deployment bitching”. But that’s a whole other story (and Lemon #4!); I’m just painting background here!
On Tuesday morning The Finger is throbbing. After having kissed and made up, Richard left for the airport and I left for a cat scan. It was to be “with contrast” and so entailed the need for an IV. I am not going into details. Just accept that my left hand was “butchered” in an attempt to get an IV in – I almost came off the table and I was screaming through clenched teeth! Lemon #5.
Having got through that trauma, I went and sat in Starbucks for about two hours drinking green tea, breathing, and reading a book. I had a lunch date with a girlfriend that was the most God-ordered thing that happened to me that day. Everything about lunch with Sue was totally serendipitous and allowed me to forget The Finger for a while.
As I drove home I became very aware of the increased throbbing in The Finger. It also looked rather like a small light bulb, glowing red and radiating heat. I prayed that it would explode so that whatever was going on inside would get outside! I went straight to my doctor’s office, and he tried very hard for twenty minutes to gently cause the prayed for explosion, but to no avail.
He decided that even though I was already on antibiotics for the sting, I needed something more potent. After ascertaining that I was headed straight home, he administered a “level three” antibiotic, made sure I had some pain killers, made an appointment to check on it in two days time, and sent me home. I crawled in the front door just before someone threw a switch and sucked out every ounce of energy and enthusiasm that lived inside my body. Lemon #6.
For the next twenty four hours I felt like a grey blob. I cried a lot. I felt as though someone or something was jut pushing down on me, suppressing any joy that I might feel. I was grateful that I had lunch scheduled with Kathi next day and that I had a massage on the books that afternoon. By the time I came out I felt somewhat better – thank you my massage-angel Michael!
I woke on Thursday (yesterday) feeling as though I had been allowed back into my “normal” body, although I was aware that maybe that level three shot had blown my defenses and I was manifesting a yeast infection! Lemon #7. However I felt ready for the day and had at least two ideas for articles that I was going to write when I got home after the doctor’s appointment. But, when he saw my finger Dr. W. wasn’t totally happy and said, yes it was making progress but he wanted to zap me with another level three. Lemon #8.
I crawled home after my appointment having stopped off to get my yeast infection meds and getting trapped in the store by an ungodly storm. I felt the energy and enthusiasm draining out of me again, and I crashed for three and a half hours on the couch. I cried a lot again last night, and some more this morning. Then I made a command decision: this depression, even though temporary, was not going to have a hold of me any more!
So, even though I don’t feel like making lemonade with all those lemons, I am writing. I will not allow it to rob me of that joy. And even though I don’t want to make lemonade, I can at least see that there were some serendipitous moments granted me in the mix, and for those I am truly grateful. They gave me the intermittent strength to make it from one lemon to the next!!
A couple of days ago I had a bit of a traumatic experience. In the bigger scheme of things it was just a blip on the horizon, but it changed my plans over the last few days, causing me to spend several hours at the doctors and then at the pharmacy, and has caused me some severe pain and discomfort. Amazing what a small thing like a bee sting can do.
I’m not going into the details. The location of the sting is personal and somewhat embarrassing. I was innocently weeding the garden when it happened, ripping out whole forests of weeds that had grown in the swampy heat of our Florida summer underneath the Chinese Privets and the Chaste tree.
I grabbed yet another handful of weeds and found myself yanking on a long bindweed vine that was entwined in the Chaste three. I yanked and I yanked and shook the tree to its roots without realizing that I was disturbing lots of bees or wasps (I’m never quite sure which they are) that were getting drunk on nectar from the blooms in the tree. Next thing I know – pure white hot pain.
Within fifteen minutes I had a huge swollen area of skin and no pain relief despite copious applications of ammonia. Because of the location I decided that medical intervention was necessary as a precaution, so took myself to one of these “drive through” medical centers that have popped up like mushrooms. I was told there was not much to do other than go home, ice it down and take Benadryl for the swelling and “did I want some Vicodin for pain?”. (Is it any wonder that people get addicted to these kinds of medication? Doctors seem to hand them out like candy!)
Over an hour later I went home and did the ice thing, was already on an anti-histamine for something else so didn’t bother with the Benadryl, and took two 500mg Tylenol. Up until this point in time I had been dealing with pretty high level pain, so by the time the Tylenol kicked in I was exhausted. I curled up on the couch feeling crappy and wiped out and thankfully fell asleep. It was 8.15pm. At some point in time I must have zombied into the bedroom.
During the night I tossed and turned and in the early morning realized that a local infection had set up at the sting site – it was blistered and yellow:-(. So at a civilized hour I called my doctor and asked to go in. They lanced the blister, took a culture and I was given a Tetanus shot and a prescription for antibiotics. I was sent home with instructions to apply wet, hot pads during the day to “draw out the infection”.
I had an appointment at my favorite Natural Nail Care Center and thought that it would lift my spirits (it always does). But half way through, all I could think about was a nice comfortable bed or couch with cool sheets and a long nap. However, two hours later with my hands and toes sporting Perky Purple nail polish, I felt a little better and decided to honor a date with my husband for a bite to eat and a movie.
Halfway through the movie I became aware of a terrible itching sensation around the sting site, and by the time we got home there was an inflamed area about three and a half to four inches in diameter. I took my meds, did my hot wet bathes and crawled into bed feeling crappy. I had another toss- and-turn night and did not wake up feeling at all refreshed.
So I cancelled all the plans I had for today and have just honored my body and let it rest and relax. No housework has been done (thank God for pre-prepared meals!), no projects embarked upon. I have rested and read a book, bathed the sting site and taken my meds. Hopefully tomorrow I will feel ready to face the day with more energy. If that is not the case, I will honor my body and take another day of rest.