Saturday, September 5, 2009

Did you take your medication?

Be forewarned. This post is destined to trend whiny.

We just moved to a new city. Or rather we are approaching the end of a move to a new city. I loved where we lived before but am delighted to live less than twenty minutes from a grocery store and in a city large enough to boast actual bookstores. (Well, our last little burg did have one bookstore. Sonshine. Inspirational reading. I never went since I own a Bible already and prefer to go straight to the source if I am seeking spiritual guidance. Self-help in any form, even non-religious but especially theologically based, is an anathema. Don't argue with me about have no chance of changing my mind.)

Moving is hard work. I've done it plenty of times before and you would absolutely not believe the sheer quanitity of crap I can lift, carry, and haul. If I were a superhero my identity would be Antgirl: the woman who can carry up to 100 times her own body weight if it means one less trip from the car!

This time is different. I can't lift as much. And I punk out half-way through to my goal for the day. I just have to stop and lay down for a while. My legs swell up and the skin feels like sausage casings until I raise my feet long enough to let the swelling go down. I used to get more done than anybody but my mother and this time around I feel like everyone else is carrying my weight. That boy I married has done his share and about 75% of mine. I harbor the secret fear that he is looking at me askance because he thinks I've grown lazy. But then he asks:

"Have you found a nephrologist here yet? Are you taking your medication?"

If you have ever had a chronic medical condition or taken long term meds then you will understand there is no phrase more annoying than "are you taking your medication?" It is rife with implied criticism. The possible interpretations are limitless:

You aren't taking proper care of yourself.(Admittedly, I can do better in this arena.)

If you were taking better care of yourself you would be as good as everybody else.

And my personal favorite: You just aren't what you used to be. And the difference is notable.

I am not on the verge of kidney failure. I am nowhere near as sick as life insurance companies think I am. Or as I will likely be at some point in the future. My blood pressure and lipid panels are good but my body can't seem to keep enough iron to carry sufficient oxygen for my robust energy requirements. I lose enough protein through my kidneys that I could eat steak every day and still not break even.

It drives me NUTS. Right now. Not even thinking about what this means for my future. I hate the feeling that my body needs me to put some chemical into it to slow down the ambiguous progression of a ridiculously obscure illness that has no cure and that one of my children may have inherited. Oh, and did I mention that it also causes deafness? Seems convenient, if constant chatter frays your nerves. The noise, however, is not yet diminished. I just don't understand what you're saying half the time. If there is background noise and I can't see your lips moving as a crutch then odds are good I am getting a garbled version of whatever you're asking me.

Don't even think about talking to me if you are standing with your back to me or walking in front of me. I speak English, Spanish, and Redneck fluently and can't understand any of them reliably if you don't speak directly to me under ideal conditions. In bad conditions you sound just like Charlie Brown's teacher. Delightful.

Ah. My cankles have reduced in diameter to discernible ankles again. Time to get back to work.


  1. Being ill does feel like my body is betraying me. And I react badly to certain questions or even just the way they're phrased. I'm sure most of my reaction is my own self-condemnation overlaying what my poor wife is asking. It sure isn't coming from her.

    Hope you get settled in soon. Having any part of life in limbo is no fun.

  2. I would try to write something funny, because laughter is the best medicine, but the Catch-22 is that I'm never funny when I try to be, so I can't just write something funny for you on the spot. So you're going to have to suck it up until I can get in a legitimate wise-crack.

  3. Hang in there big gurl. You shall get better at the turn of the tides.

    Have you designed your Antgirl costume? We can work on it together. :D

    PS: I am so with you on "Self-help in any form, even non-religious but especially theologically based, is an anathema."

    I will most certainly never do anything what someone tells me what I should do with my life. I get damn irritated for some odd reason.

  4. Blogging during cocktails is one thing but I definitely should NOT blog when I'm tired and sore!

    Move is pretty much done and I am logging on with pirated wireless from one of my trusting new neighbors since the cable/internet people aren't coming until Thurs.

    Rick: How's this for humor? Does the Pillsbury Doughboy know you're wearing his feet?

    Aniket: Antgirl costume is not designed yet although I am leaning toward red in honor of the fire ants that colonize this part of the country. So named because their bite contains formic acid and stings like six shades of hell.

    Sarah: Yep. Exactly. Betrayal.

  5. "Have you taken your medication?" is similar to "Bless her heart." It's definitely a code phrase. I have a few others, but they're best shared in person because they require appropriate facial expressions.

    Love Antgirl. The suit must be red. Please with antennae? And a stinger on the butt. Oh, yeah. Gotta have a stingah!!

    Perhaps you could go for the Jeckyll/Hyde approach. Antgirl/DoughAnkle.

  6. Jennifer:

    Oh, yeah! Antennae! But do ants have stingers? I think they just bite. Nice round butts. Convenient for my costume.

  7. Hey Laurel!

    Dunno if you got nominated for the award I nominated you for over at Free The Princess, but if you didn't then you win!

  8. Matt:

    WooHoo! Sounds like I'm a winner either way.

    Cheers, dears!