Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Day After...

The sun is shining and the heaviness in my heart has lifted. Turns out I was having a mild reaction yesterday. I WISH I could KNOW when that panic/anxiety that fills me is what it is, and only that, and when it's part of a reaction. It can make a girl feel like a nutbar.

Oddly, some Benadryl, Reactine, Ranitidine and Prednisone and while still itchy well into the night and during sleep, the panic subsided. As did the heart palpitations, sense of impending doom, and my tongue ceased to swell. Epi works waaaaaaaay quicker, but I didn't want the drama of the hospital Emergency Room at West Parry Sound Hospital, and being looked at like I am an insane woman seeking attention by the nursing staff, or certain Doctor's, I waited, and waited and waited. It hurt to breathe, because, for some reason, during these reactions there is a spot (always the same spot) in my right lung that hurts like hell when I try to breathe. I used my puffer (Ventolin) but it only takes the edge off. I don't have Asthma. It takes a few hours, usually, for the discomfort to subside. And, yesterday it was my ears, not my kness that hurt like hell post-reaction. I absolutely DO NOT understand WHY this happens, but it does. It's one or the other. Today, I still have earache.

I find crocheting like a madwoman is kind of therapeutic during these episodes as it's meditative and I have to focus on the stitches instead of what is going on in my body. Poor tongue, it looks like it was dragged backwards through a bush today and is covered in what I call the 'red trails of reaction' and is sore, so eating is a chore today. My stomach is purging what little bits I'm putting in today. My poor bottom. Only my eyes and tongue are itchy today, which is better than the neck blotching and face flushing that I had last night.

I consider this a minor reaction. To what? The new computer mouse that my husband bought yesterday? Stress? Feeling sorry for myself? Something from the new furnace? No idea.

I'm soooooooooo sick of this.

However, I AM blessed enough not to be in the situation that Judy is. I don't know Judy. I've never met her, but I listened to her story yesterday afternoon on CBC's White Coat, Black Arts with Dr. B. Goldman. Judy has been living in a hospital room on the East Coast, since last May, on life-support, afflicted with AlS or Lou Gehrig's Disease. Yet, inside of her body shutting down, system by system, vital organ by vital organ, and the prognosis that she might have a year and half left of life, she remains full of love, positivity and has a thirst for living. I find myself inspired by her joy inside her grim situation. So, upon reflection today, I find myself feeling guilty for having let the anxiety/fear of dying/loss of self-control consume me yesterday. The blotches and facial flushing disappeared alongside the fear and today is a brand new day.

So, I remind myself that even though I might have to sit in the car for the Children's Christmas Party in Orrville, Ontario today, that I CAN go out in the car and play "I spy..." with my 7 year old daughter, and that Judy can't. I can still speak, as I am not intubated. I can still listen to CBC in the car (thank goodness...CBC is proving to be one of my connections with the 'real' world out there), or while I bake cookies for the Christmas party. And for these small blessings inside this rollercoaster of hell that is either my latex allergy OR this Systemic Mastocytosis thingy OR whatever the heck is going on, I am utterly grateful.


Anonymous said...

Does Judy have a communication device - such as a DynaVox EyeMax? Many people seem to choose whether or not to go on a ventilator (extend their life with a breathing machine) depending upon whether or not they have retained their ability to communicate. Such devices allow a person to communicate - even if all they have left is movement of their eyes.

Gypsy Princessa said...

My understanding is that she does. She types with two fingers on it, and that's how CBC did the interview. She's quite an inspiring woman and leaves those of us, with lesser body issues, with MUCH to be thankful for.