Thursday, April 12, 2018

A before and after...

I did a Spring Cleaning in my home, in part because it needed it and in part to see just what it would take to do it all within a short enough time that I could enjoy cleanliness all at once.  It was a gargantuan effort.  But I have thoroughly enjoyed, these past few days, having a fully clean home.  Usually, everywhere I look I am reminded of how poorly I keep house now.  Or I am reminded of how strongly my vision is being affected by my illness.  But, right now, for the moment, all I see is a clean and lovely home.

I also have a full larder ... well, almost full.  Yesterday, I made another batch of Chilorio and one of Peruvian Pork Stew with Chilis, Lime, and Apples.  Good times with pork!  I remembered to use the new fan my sister got me last year (I oft forget), and so the effort was peaceful and cool for me.  I was able to clean as I went, so I did not end with a massive amount of dish labor.  Plus, I thought to take a before and after photo of the stew!

Wait!  How could that be stew?

Through the magic of cast iron!

Afterwards, I wrote the following on Facebook:

One of the great blessings I've had in falling ill is the necessity of learning to cook so that I can avoid those hard-to-digest unpronounceables in processed food.

Meal options from my freezer now:

Spicy Dr Pepper Pulled Pork
Peruvian Pork Stew with Chiles, Lime, and Apple
Pomegranate Pulled Pork
Spicy Corn Chowder
Chipotle Chicken Chili
Black-Eyed Pea Medley
Beef Stew with Beer
Lemon Chicken (for gyros)
Vietnamese Chicken Curry
Santa Fe Soup
Sun-dried Tomato Chicken Meatballs
Homegrown Tomato Sauce
Butternut Squash Ravioli (commercial)

I also have naan, gyro, and Texas flour tortilla dough balls and vegetable stock.

My goal is to add Chicken Tikka Masala and Shish Tawook with Lebanese Rice Pilaf. The former I've made. The latter is the next new recipe that I am gearing up to try.

It it is nice to have good things in the midst of less than good.

I am of two minds about the appointment today with the podiatrist.  Mostly, I feel that it was a waste of time because I do not believe that she was listening to me.  Her treatment plan is: inserts, good shoes, stretching, and ice.  I've already done stretching, ice, and good shoes.  I just cannot see how adding inserts is going to help.  Maybe in prevention, but how can inserts reduce inflammation??

The hard part was that I was nervous and talked too much and then very nearly keeled over.  She was having me walk around the round.  Around and around and around.  I avoid morning appointments because I faint more in the mornings.  This was a cancelation that got me in nearly two months quicker.  However, there I was, going down.  I did end up flat on the floor trying to avoid the practically inevitable.

My pacemaker went off and I had that pressure in my neck, but still I kept walking.  Trying to be the compliant patient.  Being a rather foolish patient.  I did try to say that I needed to get down.  She thought I said "sit down" and guided me back to the chair.  I slid to the floor, eventually, and got my feet up.  I was feeling rather awful, but still tried to push through.

I did feel as if there was a concerted effort to get me gone.  I had brought my shoes with me and so needed to put them all back into my backpack.  With no other recourse, I was standing as I did so.  Standing after a near-faint.  I started feeling the pre-syncope coming on again.  I was left alone to make my way back to the waiting room and took a very, very, very long time to trudge back there.  Reception took once look at me and ordered a wheelchair, took me to valet parking (which I had not realized was there), and got the man to fetch my car even though I was the one who had parked it.

I was not scheduled for a follow up, so I am still wondering what was the point of the visit.  She did mention, before I went down, that if the pain continued I could have a shot in my heel.  I am trying to decide if I should write my GP a message to ask if she could communicate that I had already been following the treatment plan or try to write that message myself ... or wait three weeks until I see my GP next.

Filled with disappointment, though already seeing how the inserts could be of value, I went to get my blood work done.  I had to wait about a half hour in reception there, but I laid down after about five minutes.  The extended rest helped me.

What was most lovely about the lab visit was two-fold:  1) the stick was amazing, almost undetectable and 2) my blood flowed extremely quickly from my hand.  Normally, it flows slowly, which is why asking for a hand-stick usually nets quite a bit of resistance to the request.  But, this time, the vials were filled so quickly I was in a bit of disbelief.

What is not lovely is that some of the results have already been posted.  And my kidney function, despite reducing the Celebrex in order to better my kidney function in preparation for having the dye needed in a contrast MRI.  I am not looking forward to how my GP receives the results.  At least one question was answered though:  dropping the Celebrex by a third was not nearly enough to ready for an MRI.  Not by a long-shot.

I try very hard not to think about the poor kidney function too much ... what that really means for me now.  What it could mean later.

For the record, the doctor said that Sjögren's can definitely affect plantar fasciitis.  That's what I'm blaming for this new wretchedness determined to stay with me.

I think about the before and after of Sjögren's in my life quite a bit.  I feel as if few in my life are listening when I try to talk about it.  Such an extraordinary change in such a relatively short period of time.  It is a before and after that boggles my mind.  And troubles my soul.

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