Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Song for my Mother

So after re-reading and reflecting on yesterday's most cathartic blog post, I realized that the song I mentioned writing, about the pangs of living so very far away from the ones you love most has been literally, sitting on the virtual shelf since 2011. 

That ain't right and today I corrected that by:

a) registering it at my songwriter's copyright association here in France and

b) by making a video for it using stills I've taken during my vacation times in the magnificent Rocky mountains where my beloved family lives now--plus a few shots  mixed in from here and there from  Canada's East as well as a bloomin' cactus from the little desert town I was born in called, Drumheller.

As the blog title states, this song was written in honor of my dear maman, Doreen and she may not even remember it, it's been so long since she first heard it--so here's to her hearing it now and hopefully, finding it as sweet as I do 'cause it's right from the heart.

The song is called, "Bide My Time", lyrics by moi, composition by the ever-talented Bob Boisadan, performed together as our duo, "Dragon & Rosebud" some years ago.

bon vibes,

: J  (aka "Rosebud", and sometimes depending on la mood, "Dragon" too)

Monday, February 25, 2013

It's All in the Delivery

Hello again dear Juan Day Readers,

So I was sitting by the fire yesterday, poking it here, nudging it there in my usual Indian Chief fashion that never fails to sooth the soul and I was just letting the thoughts float by, no matter what they were and one of them took me back to the day in hospital when I received the news of what my diagnosis *may* be.

I say *may* because at that point, even though the biopsy results were in, there were markers that still weren't adding up and they were still not sure exactly what the actual cause of all the symptoms might be.

This was during my first few days in Nephrology, and just to shed light, the hospital is also a school, filled with interns and externs and a rather hussle and bussle place at times.

My room mate then was still the effectively deaf older woman who' s name I never got, (Frenchies are weird about introducing themselves, even in such close-quarters without curtains, apparently, so I will call her Whatina), and she was in her bed at the time reading Vogue when the diagnosis news arrived.

So there I sat, it was just past breakfast time, the best hospital meal o' the day, (save for the grey coffee), on my wee bed in my jammies and in fairly good spirits as by that point I had already had a couple days of I/V corticosteroids in me and was at last feeling no pain.

In walked my doc, to my delight as not only as I've mentioned, does he speak wicked English, he's also very smart, listens well and actually answers with an "I don't know", if he actually doesn't know--a rare trait in any human these days.

But it was not only he who entered the room, nay--in his wake were perhaps 8 other young and bright-eyed interns, all sponging up all they could while he made his daily rounds on the 14th floor.

So 'round my bed they gathered, with the good doctor at the foot, me sitting with my knees pulled up, sipping the dregs of the last of the coffee facsimile while he proceeded to let the possible cat outta the bag.

As he spoke, saying the name of the disease, which at first fell on my ears like some kinda space language, he went on to further detail what it really is, how it works, what it had done to my little kidney beans, then thankfully shedding more light on how this rare and serious autoimmune disease hadn't chosen to attack to my: brain, lungs, heart, teeth, sinuses or skin, (much).  It had obviously over the years taken a huge toll on many of my joints but all in all, the fact that my kidneys were still at 35% efficiency, was all very good news in terms of NOT needing dialysis.

As all this information slowly filtered into my wobbling brain, tears of shock and disbelief and fear naturally welled up in my eyes while I tried to process it all and with him reminding me the whole time that they were still not 100% sure that this was actually the disease I had--but probably.

Tears in many of the interns eyes welled up too and lemme tell ya's, it was a very strange and deeply sad scene to be a part of as I saw my expression echo'd in the eyes of so many others in the room.  It was very hard to keep it together.

I remember quickly switching gears, trying to desparately control my emotional state as questions jumped up outta nowhere like, "Will I be able to have champagne?!??!"  Seriously, that was one of the first Q's that I had.  And people say I'm not Frenchified.

Then came the realization that I'd be on blood pressure meds for life, leading me to wonder if exercise, (of the hardcore, military nature that I have a bit of a penchant for), was to be avoided because of those meds?

Then Q's about the treatment itself which he was explaining little by little, rolling out words like chemotherapy, prednisone, heavy antibiotics and vaccines and YEARS of it to boot.  Well, you can imagine the room was quickly getting heavier and heavier and wow, I SO would have preferred him to have laid that shit on me one on one.

But alas, as mentioned, this hospital is also a school and with that, the protocols of learning and teaching go with and wowzers--I'm sure that whole team learned a whole lot that morning.  I know I sure did.

And then they left.

And there I was.

BLOWN outta my waters trying to make sense of all I'd just heard that again, might not in fact be the case.

At that point, their waffling that the cause *might* be Lupus had not been yet laid on me, thank all the stars above because on THAT day, my freak-out shit really hit the fan and if it weren't for my precious iphone and G3 connection, I would have never eventually ruled out Lupus after finding a very good site that listed the 11 classic markers of the disease of which I was only sporting perhaps 2-3.

But I tell ya's, when that one intern thought it wise to share with me a few days later that it *may be* Lupus and after it was confirmed that in fact no, the official diagnosis was as originally thought, Microscopic Polyangiitis, I told him in no uncertain terms that if he EVER--EVER finds himself in the same diagnostic position between one horrendous disease and another even scarier one,  (as I learned that Lupus can often cause major brain damage), TO KEEP IT TO HIMSELF until all is confirmed.

I told him that he took my already half broken heart and just crushed it and to please, think 10 times before speaking in this way to a patient facing so much in so little time.  The fact that he delivered his little speech with the creepiest of corner-mouthed grins was downright disturbing and made it all the more surreal and impossible to for me handle.

Pleased to share that after a day of processing my little speech, he returned to my bedside with a tenderness that he had not shown before, actually touching my leg or arm when he talked, smiling even and making a serious effort to improve his bedside manner.  He quite simply, rised up and made my week in doing so.  

Yyyyyup, that was part of how my fireside day went on Sunday.  It was a day of much rewinding and affirming and all in all, beauty as I really looked around me at the bounty of truth and goodness that has come to hold me tightly ever since this sickness came into my life.

It's gonna sound weird to some, but honestly, it's like I arranged this disease somehow by my own doing, because for many years, my life here in France was not--wonderful.  Truth be told, I was often very lonely and disconnected feeling and no doubt that has much to do with simple time zone issues, making just a phone call often not possible due to the fact it would wake the callee up and who the hell wants to disturb a loved one's sleep just to hear their voice?  I've written a good song about just that.

It also no doubt had LOADS to do with my being sick for a very long time and just not knowing it.  The doc said that that the kidney biopsy showed not only acute damage, (meaning recent and harsh), but some much older lesions showing that the MPA had likely been ebbing and flowing and taking me out in increments over many years.  And that damage is unfortunately, irreversible.

Now that I am a patient, constantly and literally being cared for by so many different people, be them hospital employees, lab workers, or even cab drivers who hear my story and go out of their ways to open the doors for me or help me carry stuff etc, or my dear husband running downstairs to get my little heating pad, (I'm often cold), when I forget it downstairs before bed, I am reminded so often of the grandness of the human spirit and all it is capable of--when it is awake.

When I look around me at all the beautiful friends old and new who have come seemingly out of nowhere to show me love and support and more importantly empathy and understanding, I am humbled and touched and inspired to go on, do more and be better than I have ever been in every way, from the art or music I create, to keeping it ALL REAL, to even the simplest chores of say, cleaning my little kitchen in a way that makes me proud to be messing it up again.

So voila, there is today's Monday blog and I hope it serves to fuel you guys up in one way or another.

take care, be well and +++vibes to you all,

: J

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Scientific Salads 3: J's Bionic Salad ®

Greetings once again, Dear Readers,

So for all the kidney patients out there, and yes, the albeit fewer Microscopic Polyangiitis patients out there, but even for those suffering from chronic high blood pressure and taking meds that cause potassium to be retained, I thought I'd share some specifics of what I eat that is making this recovery process of mine go so well, so far.

First of all, today I did some math and was pleased to see that I'm coming in way under the typical lean protein requirements for a person with Stage 3 Chronic Kidney Disease.  I'm right on the cusp near to Stage 4 but since technically I'm not, I'll call myself Stage 3.  A patient in that category should be having no more than apparently .8 grams of protein per kilo of body weight each day and from what I've calculated, I'm doing well at likely about  50 grams per day, (last time I weighed in I was at 65 kilos). 

So yahooooo, this means I can up some of those levels sans-regret or worry once in a while and enjoy myself a sashimi night more often!  Something I rather love.  Sushi too, (but no rolls allowed as for those who don't know, the el cheapo wasabi most often served in restos and for take away has an astounding amount of sodium in it.)  The real stuff, the real expensive stuff most often safely guarded in Japan is a different story so if you can get your chop sticks on THAT, kudo's and ENJOY the purity.

I'm sitting by the fire here on a chilly wintery day as I write and I'm feeling better today than I have in well over 4 months, (now sleeping near normally for the THIRD DAY!).

I am amazed at how this diet of mine has allowed me to take such giant steps.  When I rewind and think of how I was for those first few weeks after coming outta the hellspital, it was well, pretty grim. An example would be getting winded and having to stop at just 3 stairs up to the 2nd floor.  Or leaning on Tony's withers to get up from any sitting position.  He was amazing then, totally and keenly aware of my compromised state, letting me lean as hard as needed to help me get up each time.  I love that dog so much it hurts.

So sure, my spirit may have been soaring like an eagle, my being so incredibly overjoyed to be outta that place, which certainly could have much been worse, but the ole bod was NOT in a good way at ALL.

That hospital was really--and how shall I put this?  Just NOT cool by any stretch of the imagination.  Especially those last few days when I was sharing my, (what was supposed to be a single room and remember with NO dividing curtains), with a post-transplant elderly woman who on my last day there had a red alert diaper blowout the likes of which I have never smelled and I will never forget it.  It was worse than a horse barn being cleaned out in mid-summer and hair-straighteningly potent!  The poor nurses were dawning masks, one ran outta the room for the bathroom even, and the process had me out in the hall the whole time griping the guard rails for what musta been over an hour before they got her cleaned up and re-diapered and the room aired.

Digressing, the point is that from about day two of my being home from THAT hella send off, I had enough mojo restored to return to my beloved little kitchen. 

And now that it's clean again, ("Prednisone Clean", heheh...), I now have likely a 3-4 kilo salad waiting to nourish me into nirvana for the next few days--that's IF Pascal doesn't get his eat-on to crazily with it as he had a taster before heading out to do errands today and was rather delighted with the results. 

So voila, here's the little darling, which I have called "J's Bionic Salad".

It's rather similar to that last one I posted but this time, the ONLY non-friendly kidney ingredient is the finely chopped sundried organic tomatoes.  But honestly at only 3 wee halves in the entire salad, it's influence is minimal as it's such a large salad.

Let's face it, the sundrieds TRULY make it shine taste-wise, and if yer food doesn't taste good, you're just not gonna stick to a regime.  When you're eating for LIFE, this is a key factor that must be heeded.

"J's Bionic Salad"

Onto the chopping block went, (everything raw, of course, organic when possible):

A cup 'n a half of frozen, (but thawed), green peas
2 cups of cooked green beans, cooled
1/3 head of broccoli
2 red peppers
3 halves of organic sun dried tomatoes
4 big cloves of garlic
1/2 of a head of red cabbage
2 large carrots
a bunch chives
a small bunch of fresh mint

The Bionic Dressing:

Juice of one lemon, (lime would also rock)
A healthy splash of organic apple cider vinegar
A ginger shake of organic paprika
Minimal ground black pepper
Pinch of Fleur de Sel, (which is hand-collected en France, merci-very-much ; )
2 tbs olive oil

Everything is chopped much finer than that last salad and really, this lil baby's gonna be a staple.

Bon app and bon weekend vibes,

: J

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Or-egg-anic Risotto

G'day, Readers,

So today for luncheon, (I just love saying "luncheon", it's so Grey Gardens, motha-dahhhling), I decided to try my hand at risotto. 
Being half Italian, I'm surprised that I never made it before and what with my new regime and all it's restrictions, since rice IS on the a-list and I had a nice pack of organic Arborio rice on hand, I whipped out the pan and started toasting 250 grams of rice in some sesame oil.

Got it all nice and translucent, browning a bit and then added some water with just cap full of soy sauce for the simmer.

As it bubbled and smelled OHHHH so good whilst, I pressed in a clove of garlic, some paprika, about 1/8th a teaspoon of Fleur de Sel,  and yes, I can't lie, because it's there and I just love it, a lil Mrs. Dash too.  ; )

After it was cooked I cracked 4 organic eggs, (using only two yolks, lucky Tony), and folded them in until it was all thick and rich and velvety and MAN was it hard not to snarf down the whole thing!  Garnished it with some fresh chopped chives and Bob was my uncle.

For those NOT on a crazy restricted diet like myself, the classic addition of grated Parmigiano or Grana Padano or Pecorino even would be fantastic.  As would Feta I'm sure, so get crazy with any fun cheeses and eat it for me, please.

And then there's the traditional start to doing the browning in butter, which I surely would've gone for pre-MPA-life.

Et voila,  I hope some of you out there give it a go and if you do, please let me know how it went down.

+++vibes et bon ap,

: J

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Anna Lives!

Dear Juan Day Readers,

Only minutes ago, I woke from a much needed nap and as usual, checked my inbox on my iphone to see a message with a lovely link to this beautiful thing.

The email was sent to me from one of the talented team members at Dreampainters, a video software production company I voiced the character of, "Anna", for on their tres cool video game of the same name being released right now.

I won't lie, I had some lovely crocodiley tears of joy well up as I read it and I just want to give everybody there there a proper shout-out and hearty hi-fives too!

Thanks again, Dreampainters and I look very forward to seeing the game in action soon!

+++vibes and then some,

: J                                              

Monday, February 18, 2013

Scientific Salads: Kidney Date Night Salad ®

Good Day, All,

So, last night after enjoying a side dish of perhaps the best darned kidney-friendly salad I have made yet, Pascal suggested that I make a blog post with the recipe for anyone else out there suffering from chronic kidney disease, kidney stones, or just wanting to treat their kidneys to bit of a dinner date.

I joked the other day about just loving, "eating scientifically", since learning of my illness and together we coined the phrase, "Scientific Salads", which I rather like.

Every ingredient in this salad is low or med potassium and together, IMNSHO, they combine into a very delightful raw foody experience.  I'm munching on some now as I just did the photoshoot and simply could not resist after seeing it look so tempting, plated happily in the sunlight.

"Kidney Date Night Salad"

(If you can get all ingredients from the organic store, or your own garden--all the better!)

1/3 of a chopped red cabbage
1/2 of a chopped broccoli head
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 large carrots, chopped
1 large turnip chopped
2 Pink Lady apples peeled & chopped
1 english cucumber, de-seeded, peeled and chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1/3 head of cauliflower, chopped
1 handful of chives, chopped
2 tbspsl of mint chopped

I can't wait for the Spring to bring back my giant Mint garden!

(All of these Scientific Salads will feed me for days, btw.)

The Scientific Dressing:

2 tablespoons of EV Olive Oil
2 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar
Juice of one lime
4 tablespoons of Mrs Dash spice mix
Just a few turns of the pepper grinder
1/4 teaspoon of French Fleur de Sel

I often hit it with a splash of apple cider vinegar or lemon or lime juice when serving, just to zing it up last minute-like.
And I just realized that doing this salad in the food processor would not only be waaay less labor-intensive, (as wow, was my choppin' arm feeling it after this darned near 2 kilo salad was a wrap!), but it would look pretty snazzy too in very fine bits.

Et voilahhhh...  If you decide to give it a whirl, please take a mo and leave me a comment as I love the feedback.

Happy munching,

: J

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Marvelous Madame J

This post is dedicated to a very special lady.  I will call her Jolin, not her real name.

I met, well--saw her for the first time during probably one of my roughest moments at the hospital.  It was in the morning, just after a migraine from hell, complete with crippling neck pain had taken me over.  They had nothing to handle the pain but useless paracetamol, which I tried anyway, some 1000+ mgs, to no avail, (pesky opiate allergy and no migraine meds on the scene, nor in the purse).

I had been wheel-chaired down to the lab to do a clot test prior to the kidney biopsy scheduled for that evening and looked well, pathetic is the only word to describe it.  I was covered in a sheet due to being very cold, with my head actually under it what with the lights crushing my skull and eyes, unable to turn my head at all from the intense neck pain and there I sat, shaking with the cold and twitching due to I suppose, my electrolytes still completely outta whack, waiting to be returned to my warm and darkened room.

In the same waiting room, seated just to my right was Jolin.  She tried to avert her eyes, as did everyone else in there but it was obviously a challenge.  After what seemed an eternity, another orderly finally brought me back to the 14th floor. 

That afternoon my first room mate, an 80-something mostly deaf woman who couldn't even hear her constantly ringing phone, so each time I had to yell to get her to answer it, was finally discharged and later that day low and behold, in walked Jolin.

Here is a portrait I made of her from a photo I
took just before she was discharged:
My cranium was still at that point, tightly in the grips of the migraine/neck assault and I remember asking my doc, (in English, because he speaks it VERY WELL), if my new roomy was there for an infection or not.  This was later laughed about when I found that Jolin actually speaks English and of course, fully understood my paranoid inquiry.

Time passed and even with the by then, slightly diminishing headache, (thanks to probably a couple of kilos worth of ice packs that I had applied to my face and neck throughout the day), Jolin and I had, in a very short time hit it off.

About a half hour later, I was in the process of getting my kidney biopsy, which actually somehow did wonders to ease the migraine, (the freezing of the kidneys was pretty painful and perhaps that distracted my brain's pain).

The biopsy process itself went by quickly, perhaps 15-20 minutes total and I was back in my room in no time.

Protocols for kidney biopsies in France dictate that the patient remain lying on their back for 24 hours post-procedure, which brings me to the part of the story about how I met Jolin's whole family.

It must have been around 6pm and I was working my courage up to try my very first pee in a bed pan.  Being a newbie to this I found myself a tad gun-shy, as it were.  The nurse, who was, "assisting" me was unfortunately not the cream of the care-giving crop and she basically just left me there as I was apparently, according to her rolling eyeballs, just taking way too long.

So, it's right at that moment when Jolin's two daughters AND her husband show up for visiting hours.  Remember, these rooms have NO curtains separating the beds, and so there I was, looking probably like I was just lying there with my knees up, when in fact I was trying to pee.  : /

In minutes, a different and far more qualified nurse entered and upon realizing the situation, quickly and discreetly cleared the room so I could finish the transaction but wow, talk about an uncomfortable way to meet someone's family.  And literally, as the biopsy had to be done with me lying on my belly--a position that due to a missing lumbar disc has always resulted in notable back pain, making the attempt to pee even more of a pain-challenge.

So, fine, boom, with the bedpan finally utilized and everyone back in the room, the next hour was spent quite pleasantly getting to know this lovely woman's family a little.  Jolin is a mother of two beautiful daughters, Lia and Lana, one training to be a political liaison between Egypt and France and the other studying in veterinary school.  Dad, Hamid, is an IT consultant and to my delight, I found that all three of them speak English.  They are all very warm and sweet people and I was amazed at my luck considering the contrast of that other rather less than interactive roomy I had during my first days in the hospital.

Shortly thereafter, P arrived for a visit and minutes later dinner also made an appearance.  Of course hospital food on any day is never drool-fest, but try it all without a lick of salt and it's just frightening--especially after renal failure when typically, one tends to be completely put off by any meat products--never mind grey, squares of fish without lemon, herbs nor salt.

The trays were cleared and I noticed that I was starting to feel a bit--out of sorts.  I felt like my heart was floating around in my throat and I was having some trouble breathing deeply enough.  Next came--cue Dr. House background music: a seizure!  Before I knew it a team of nurses were on the scene, the foot of the bed shot up like a sinking ship and I was doing the funky chicken without my own opinion.

Turns out that they had rather over-compensated with the blood pressure meds used to ensure mine stayed nice and low for the biopsy, which caused me to go hypo-tension, which caused the seizure and near-fainting, apparently.

Again, helluva way to make a new family's acquaintances, n'est-ce pas?

The days that followed however, were pretty darned enjoyable as, as soon as my biopsy results were looked at, my doc hit me with some manna from heaven, corticosteroids via IV and within half an hour of my sucking up that first bag, ALL MY PAIN WAS GONE.  It defined relief and made for many a chatty and even giggly moment between Jolin and I that night, with more to follow with us often talking into the wee hours like a couple of college dorm room mates, as opposed to two struggling patients in Nephrology.

I can still see her small frame silhouetted by the crescent moon that hung big in the window over the Eiffel behind her as she spun tales from her childhood and teen years to present.

Yes, Jolin was there for all of my moments; good, bad, shocked, silly, paranoid and just plain sad--always with a sage word to talk me down from whatever, "research ledge",  I may have inadvertently googled my way onto.

Frantic searches that lead to fretting over Prednisone side effects, or freaking at the thought that the reason my diagnosis was taking 4 days instead of the promised 24 hours was due to their waffling between MPA and bloody Lupus.  Lupus I learned, can easily destroy a person's brain and THAT sent me into a bona fide panic--until I found a Lupus check list site that sited 11 possible Lupus markers, of which I was only sporting, 3.5-ish.

Yup, I'll always appreciate the memory of Jolin; charming, funny, zenned.  I truly grieved the day she was discharged, happy for her, as her biopsy was good but still, so sad to know our time together was coming to a close.

I raise my morning java in your honor, Madame J and thank you again for making my hospital time when you were with me, incredibly, a pleasure.

: J

Friday, February 8, 2013

"But Will I Find that Blood is Not Enough?"

A little Pete Townshend background music to go with today's post as today is the day I picked up my first post-hospitalization blood tests.

Tony and I suited up early and headed out into the fresh 'n chilled Frenchy air to the lab about a km away, me tingling with anticipation the whole darned way and with Pete Townsend in my head rockin' on my every step, (it's the perfect BPM for walking).

Seems that all the levels in the ole tank are yet to show normal readings, specifically, the creatine and urea numbers are still off the charts.  But all the other numbers are well within normal ranges so I'm at least not going to flip out about any of the abnormal ones.

Sure am happy to share that as like I thought, (and felt, hey no more fainting!), via knowing what's in all I've been eating since being released from the hospital), my potassium levels are right on the money!  As are all the electrolytes.

So there you have it, a positive progress report, I'd say.  

I had mistakenly thought they would be doing urine analysis today as well but apparently, that's just every 3 months, so I'll have to wait to find out on that.  

In the mean time, I have sent these results to my dear cousin in Milano who  just happens to be a Nephrologist.  What are the odds!??  He has most generously offered any and all advice he can give to further help me through this journey, so as soon as I hear back from him on the results, (in Italian, and feed into my trusty google translator), I'll likely tag this post with a hopefully further positive edit.

Wishing you all a wonderful, sunny and healthy day! 


: J

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Sometimes, the Bear Eats You

And wants seconds too, asshole.

That's how yesterday went after I noted some heat and weakness in my left hand and then felt the veins at one of the I/V sites become quite hard and chord-like.

I'll admit to panic setting in fast and I got on the phone with P asking him to call the doc to see if I should be worrying or if there was anything at home I could do to alleviate the pain and/or actually help what was seemingly goin' on in there.  Started a warm compress and will do that again soon, methinks.

All my brain could scream was, infection!

So he sends me a cab and off I go to my GP who upon inspection, sends me back to the very ER that changed my whole life last month.

After a mere 8 unbelievable hours--hours filled with a DEAD cel phone, as I hadn't noticed it was at only 14% when I left in the morning--and with only an apple to tide my newly continously ravenous self over for the whole damned day, I was so glad to have at least had my BP meds with me as it was screamin' high when they finally called me in for the assessment--only to return to the waiting room again for some hours.

WHY does it seem that the vending machines in hospitals only sell salty chips and sugary bars?

Anywho, it was finally ascertained via ultrasound, that yes, there is a superficial phlebitis in there and it's blocking some blood flow to the hand.  I'm to put anti-inflammatory pomade sparingly on it for a week which should hopefully fix it's lil blood red wagon.  

Looks like a puppy.   Imagine if it looked like a bear?

 I remember well the day that vein got it back in the hospital, too; the nurses musta been rammin' around in there trying to make the new I/V location work for 10 minutes straight.  Poor lil vein...

Oh and I had the prescribed pomade in question at home already.    *rimshot*

Needless to type I came home just KNACKERED, spirit smacked down by the medical man, wolf-hungry and in no shape for anything except restoration and blessed sleep.  

K, and a hot bubble bath.  

After many hugs from P, a snurggle from Tony and another sleeping pill, I was pleased to finally find myself calming down at last and then quite grateful to one very special nurse at that place named Gayle.  

Gaaaaaaaayle... She practically lead me by my trembling Predded-up hands more than once during that endless germ-riddled disgusting day and I shall always be grateful to her and her big heart.  AND SHE SPOKE ENGLISH, making every opportunity to translate when she was around.  Wonder if I'll see her again?

There are some special people in this wild world and I'll never forget this one's angel-face so THANK YOU GALE, I'm home now and I gotta say, that at not even what appears to be  25ish years old yet,  yer already one HELLUVA nurse.

As for YOU, bear, next time, it's MY TURN, dammit.

; J

EDIT:  I Netted-out the head of the nursing dept at the ER and wrote her today, asking to pass the email on to the wonderful, ever-professional, blessed Nurse Gayle.  Fingers crossed that I hear back!

EDIT TOO:  After meeting with my doc on Feb 21st, he was appalled to find that the ER doc prescribed the ONE type of med that a Prednisone taker should avoid like the plague, NSAIDS, pomade or otherwise.  And she was well aware of my condition too.  Now I know for next time, if there is one, that a compress of alcohol is the order of the day.  Glad I didn't do any serious damage with all that pomading.  Least I don't think I did.

LIVING and LEARNIG every damDED day!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Pressure's On

And it is GOOD, for the first time since I knew it was outta-control-high back on January 10th!

I have a shiny new best friend named, "Omron the blood pressure monitor".  I have been more than happy to see the readings back to normal at last.

Et voilahhhhhh as zee French say, just wanted to share some good stuff and to officially recommend this little unit, (which takes double AA's and comes with a nice carrying case for good portability, btw), for anyone out there in the market for a good BP monitor, which also happens to be the one my GP uses.

Make and model: OMRON Intillisense M6W

Bon weekend vibes, Everyone,

: J

Friday, February 1, 2013

Parisian Taxi Blues

I swear, soon, I'm gonna be writing a song about this phenomenon, one I have never come across in any other country and I've been saying that for years.

Referring to yesterday's adventures, when I went out on my own for the first time since being out of the hospital for an appointment with the doctor who sent my butt into emergency on Jan 10th.  Or as I've come to think of her, "Dr B who saved my arse".

The appointment was basically just to touch base and get a prescription for a blood pressure monitor and some damnDED sleeping pills already, as this insomnia due to the Prednisone is chipping away at me with authority and it came to a dizzying head for me yesterday.

Dr. B. was pretty shocked to see me, which was looking back on it, a bit of a wake-up call already for the day, only to be followed shortly by another big one on the street.

So she took my BP, which was as usual, hovering around 140-145 in both arms and I was eventually on my way after giving her my meds list and other info. 

So the app was a wrap and I stopped into the pharmacy downstairs, filled out the R/X and confirmed with the pharmacist that indeed, there is a taxi station, "just around the corner".  K, well, that turned out to be a long-ass corner and when I finally creeped to where the ONE taxi was waiting, it was empty.  And yes, "creeping", is the right word as I was seeing first hand that this little body o' mine is still but a whisper of its former self.

So yes, this cab gong show; I at that point was already very fatigued and sporting a sizable headache sans-medication in purse, so I just hovered in the area hoping my presence would perhaps invoke that of the driver's if he was in eye-shot at a cafe or something.

He was not, so I hoofed it back to the main blvd, taking what I thought was a shortcut and ending up a bit lost walking an uphill grade winding me back to the blvd where, for 15 more minutes, I Mr. Magoo'd around some more, being passed by three cabs with their service lights apparently on.


When one finally stopped and after I piled my limbs into the back seat with the rest of me, he informed me that my destination was not acceptable as it did not match his, which was in the direction of Paris.  Heeeeeeeere we go, I thought.  Knowing that the drive home was a bee line of perhaps no more than 8 measly kilometers, I asked him if he'd prefer that I find another taxi and due to his accented French quickly escalating in both volume and speed, the tears just welled up and I broke down in some formidably frustrated silence.

In true French form, instead of just reading the situation and chilling the hell out and perhaps choosing to calmly agree to drive me anyway, (after all I WAS in a TAXI CAB), the ride was riddled with his phone bitchings the whole way about his horrible passenger, talking to me only to most condescendingly every 2 minutes or so inquire, "how much further it will be, Madame?", to which I'd answer with phrases like, "now, it's probably 5.6 kms", to which he'd repeat, "Straight on?", which I'd confirm, being the bee line that it was.

So eventually I made it home--sweet, dear, blessed home, without any fainting or tripping or other such possible fancy foot works.  I took a painkiller and had one helluva lie down after shoving some baguette and diet butter down the gorge which had in the process, become ravenously hungry.

So, let this be a lesson, (I ALWAYS almost type, "lesion" when I do that word!), to any would-be tourists thinking about a Parisian holiday and especially to those who like the night life:  If you ever find yourself in the wee hours looking to head home and that's anywhere outside of Paris proper, be forewarned that even IF a cab stops, there is a very good chance that the driver will not only NOT agree to take you to your destination, but that said message may very well be delivered with a finger being waved in your face, complete with tick tick sounds, 5-20 non's in-an-unbelievable row and sometimes, even cherry-topped with a tire-squealed exit stage left.

I can honestly say that that exact scenario has played out in this town at least 5 times since I've been living here in '02.

As for the would-be taxi blues number,  thanks to this post and your reading it, that's now off of my sonic to-do list.



: J