Jean Therapy

I’ve been holding off posting anything new because I was waiting to get the results of the 24-hour urine test. But guess what… we still don’t have them. It’s only been 18 days since I turned it in.  Thanks Tri-Core, you smelly turds.

I got all excited one day because I thought the results were in and said the protein in my urine was in the 400s. Had that been the case, it would have been incredible! But, sadly, once I took the time to actually read the results, it was a different lab result. I don’t even remember what now.  I have to repeat the 24- hour test in the next week or so; I’m sure these last results are just lost. Geez.

About a week ago when I woke up, I could just tell immediately that I wasn’t so swollen. Got on the scale and sure enough, I’d lost about 8 pounds over the past week… all fluid. It is such a relief. The water loss has continued through this week as well. And with the loss of the fluid and the weight, my blood pressure is slowly coming down. It ain’t great yet (in the upper 130s over 80s) but an improvement.

Yesterday and Monday I overslept, which is rare for me. Not to the point that I was late to work but to the point where I had to hustle to get out of the house on time. I’m not great at hustling, but I made it. Both days my eyes were really swollen (that hasn’t yet improved with the fluid loss. Fingers crossed it will); it’s just such an annoyance.

But today I felt—dare I say it?—almost normal. I EVEN WORE REGULAR CLOTHES! For nearly the last four months, in my non-work life, I’ve been wearing stretchy fleece-lined pants (all I could fit in to) and usually a thermal long-sleeved shirt, another long-sleeved shirt and often a short-sleeved top over that (since I’m always freezing).  And of course, when I leave the house, and often even in the house, I put on a sweater and a jacket. Today I actually wore jeans!! And they fit!! It was comparatively warm-ish today (maybe in the low-50s? I didn’t check) so I only wore one shirt and a sweater. I felt nearly human. I’m going to have to wear “regular” clothes more often.  It was definitely a boost to my mental health.

And I took a break from the compression socks today. I generally wear two pair, one pair that comes up to my knees and another set that technically is for plantar fasciitis. They’re open-toed and come up to about mid-calf if I wear them over my feet. But I just needed a break. So I took those damn things off and went crazy and wore my orthotic flip-flops! It felt great. Alas… my legs and ankles are pretty swollen tonight so my special-girl sock break will be coming to an end.

I had a bunch of running around to do today, as normal for these Wednesdays now, and I had a lab appointment in the afternoon. As I was walking across the street to the clinic, I noticed a woman walking rather slowly in front of me. She was ahead of me on the ramp leading to the hospital, and she had to stop halfway to rest. I just thought, “I can relate, honey. Been there. For sure.” I went on ahead of her.

When I was in the oncology clinic, she came in as well. I think I’ve mentioned this before but the clinic just has a bunch of nice, comfy recliners because some treatments take several hours or most of the day. There are no partitions or curtains or anything like that. HIPAA be damned! Typically, the nurse will say to just grab whatever chair catches your eye. So when this woman came in and the nurse told her that, she looked around and asked, “Are they all the same color?” That cracked me up. I could see asking if they were all as comfortable maybe, or if they all reclined or did they all have the same level of firmness, or something of that nature. But the color? Ha. I don’t think the nurse expected that either.  Anyway, she settled in.

Then the nurse was speaking with another woman, and she said, “Your hemoglobin was 8.3 today!” The woman said, “Really? Oh my god. I can’t remember the last time I was in the 8s!”

Good lesson for me to absorb. Here I’m constantly whining about dropping into the 8s and how exhausted I get when that happens, and this woman was absolutely THRILLED to have reached the 8s. Okay okay, I get it. Of course, many many people have it worse than I do. Time to get some perspective. Again.

My day today consisted of going to my mom’s house to pick her up, heading over to Costco to pick up meds for one of the dogs along with some groceries for friends/family, back to my mom’s house to drop her off, realizing I was running hella late for my appointment at the clinic so I had to leave all the refrigerated items at my mom’s instead of dropping them off at my house as I had planned, cruising down the road to the hospital, heading back to my mom’s to get the cold food, heading to my house, packing clothes and food for my overnight work trip tomorrow, heading to Kyle’s to drop off his groceries, and heading to work to pick up a hearing aid that came in today that I need for tomorrow. I even walked up the 17 stairs to the second floor at work. First time since all this crap started in November. It’s almost shameful to say it wasn’t easy, and it wasn’t fast, but it got done. (If I were in the office more, I could use this as “therapy,” since I don’t have any stairs at my house. But I’m not at the office very much.)  I left the house around 10:00 this morning and got home for good around 8:30.  

All this to say… it didn’t completely wipe me out. So far. Now of course I’ll see how I fare over the next few days. I would love to be able to string together several good days. Maybe that’s asking too much. I don’t know. But it seems like I haven’t had a REALLY bad day (a “couch day”) in a while.  Hopefully things will continue to look up.

My hemoglobin today was 9.9 so that was an improvement with the increased Aranesp last week. But still, had it been an “Aranesp week,” I would have had to have gotten another shot. We’ll see how things look next Wednesday. It’s just so odd to me that everything is improving (in theory) but not the hemoglobin.  You’d think it would all go hand in hand. Kidney function tanks, hemoglobin goes down. Kidney function rebounds, hemoglobin improves. Clearly not. Still… I’ll take 9.9 over the 8s, for sure.

I managed to trip again yesterday at work, and while I didn’t fall, I stumbled completely across my office and slammed into the filing cabinet, my arm taking the brunt of it. I tripped over either the rug or the chair, I’m not sure which, but man, I was pissed. At myself, I mean. It HURTS. And now I have yet another lovely bruise on my upper arm. It’s about three inches long by an inch wide. It’s a good one. I knew when I hit that that it was going to leave a mark. Dumbass.

Some random good news: my boyfriend, my friend Brian, and my friend Jack (with the brain injury) are all scheduled in the next few days for shot #1 of the vaccine. That’s such a relief. We have another friend who’s had a ton of health issues over the last several years. I haven’t heard from her yet if she’s gotten scheduled. I need to ask. If anyone should be at the front of the line, it’s her. I also scheduled myself for a much-needed medical massage for next week. I was getting these routinely before COVID, and I am in a lot of pain without them. (If anyone needs a great massage therapist in ABQ, let me know!)

My dog Zeke is scheduled for his bilateral knee surgery this coming Tuesday. It’s going to be a rough (ruff?) couple of weeks after that. I’ll be staying at Kyle’s, sleeping in the living room so I can hear him when he needs to go outside (Zeke, not Kyle. Snort). He’s going to have to stay kenneled most of the day and night at least for the first several weeks. He ain’t gonna be happy about that, and we’ll hear about it! He’s not SUPER talkative for a Husky, except when he’s demanding his meals.  But the last time we had to keep him kenneled when he was recovering from heartworm, he damn sure let us know that he was unhappy to be in that cage.

I talk to my dogs like they understand me. Our old dog (turning 17 next month) is about completely deaf and can’t even HEAR me, and I’m sure Zeke is just waiting for the word “treat” to come out of my mouth. But I’ve just been telling him that he has to trust us, that it’s going to be hard but he’s a tough pup, and that we’re putting him through this upcoming hell for a good reason. I guess it’s more for me than for him that I’m saying all this. I definitely believe it though, and I just feel like we’re going to have a good outcome. Paws crossed.

No, these are NOT the jeans I wore. Pretty rad though! If I could pull off the look I’d wear them!

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