Sickest Person of the Day and Other Dubious Honors

I think I deserve to wear the tiara again, because yesterday my doc declared me “sickest person of the day”.  Hmm.  Perhaps I need to invest in a tiara, with all the dubious honors bestowed on me lately.  Summarizing, he is speculating that a weak or restricted heart could be responsible for all my symptoms, including the crazy kidney stuff.  It wouldn’t be unusual.  Lupus frequently causes pericarditis, or inflammation in the fibrous sac that surrounds the heart.  Once the heart output is restricted, organs like the kidneys can’t do their work. 

This is how I am now.  My blood pressure is borderline, on the low side.  My legs are very swollen.  I can walk slowly to my kitchen or front door, but I can’t stand up very long once I get there.  The sciatica has resolved (“the least of your worries” said my doc) a good bit, so the pain with position change is much better.  These years with lupus fatigue have trained me well for coping with this low output state.  I am cooking and doing laundry sitting on a stool, and just a little at a time.  I’m conserving steps by combining errands to the kitchen, garage, etc.  I’m only driving to the doc and the appointments for tests that are set up next week.  I am keeping my feet up when I knit or play on the computer or read. 

My first test is a 24-hour urine collection.  They gave me a big orange jug to bring home, along with a hat-shaped collection cup that goes in the toilet.  I pee, I pour it in the jug, the jug goes on ice.  Peeing never seems like much until they add in a bunch of rigamarole like this.  I’m tempted to do something bizarre with my collection, like decorate the jug.  Restrain me, someone!  This is a dangerous frame of mind.  I had blood drawn to go with this, and I’ll have more drawn Monday when I take it back. 

Next week, the echocardiogram.  I actually like those.  They put the slippery stuff on your chest, then use an ultrasound probe to look at all the structures in your heart.  You can measure the heart chambers and valves, see how well the walls of the heart are moving when it contracts, and see if any valves are leaking.  You can also see if there is fluid or scar tissue around the heart, like you might expect with pericarditis.  The pictures are on a monitor right beside you so you can see what the tech sees.  Fun. 

I am being very, very careful with salt right now.  It’s a bummer, because I can’t enjoy the stuff you usually do when you’re sick, like calling all your friends and saying “feed me!”  That’s okay.  I just enjoyed my homemade chicken and tomato and pea salad (low salt canned peas, of course).  On tv a female doc is telling an FBI agent she could use a scotch.  I can’t do that, either.  Actually, I don’t know what scotch tastes like, but if I wanted a beer, that would not be a good choice.  Alcohol depresses cardiac function. 

I had a long talk with my daughter this morning.  She enjoyed her birthday and the experience of making her own toga for a sorority gathering.  Evidently there’s a youtube video to help us out with that.  Doubt if I’ll need it any time soon.  Anyway, my daughter is a sharp young woman.  She asked all the right questions.  She understands what we both have to do.  I’ve talked to all my sisters, too.  

Enough of contemplating this.  I finished an adorable hat yesterday.  I was sitting next to a bin of yarn leftovers, and a ball of deep red Araucania Magallanes and a ball of Noro Silk Garden caught my eye.  Suddenly it struck me that they belonged together.  They were just untamed enough that they needed to make a nubby textured hat, so I knitted them with a seed-stitch band then a woven-appearing box pattern.   

noroaraucaniahatb.jpg      noroaraucaniahatc.jpg  Sometimes the intense, wildly varied colors in a skein of Noro call me to unify them a bit by combining them with a solid color.  The deep red works well pulled with the multicolored yarn, and the color changes are still vivid and linear.  This was the goal in another piece where I combined two strands of lime green Noro solid (Iroha) with a multicolored strand of Silk Garden.  noroblendsscarf.jpg  I think this is a good way to use color if you have cold feet.  When things seem too bright and wild for you, try pulling a strand of the brighter, wilder  yarn with something more muted that will calm it down and provide a consistent backdrop for all that color.  Don’t I sound like someone on HGTV?  I do love decorating shows.

I wasn’t trying to distract you or myself from the obvious bad stuff that is going on.  But I am a blessed woman, with wonderful people and happenings in my life, and that should be the note we end on.  Thanks for the prayers and jokes.  Equally effective.



3 Responses

  1. I’ve been away from the internet for a bit. I’m so sorry you’ve been so sick! Get well soon. I’ll be sending your kidneys and your heart good wishes!

  2. Re your collection jug: You could knit a cover for it. (Sorry)

    Do you like tomato juice? One of our daughters puts up tomato juice for me. She makes it with tomatoes that her husband grows in their huge garden. There’s nothing in it but tomato juice, and you can add whatever you like – I add a little bit of salt and garlic powder. I’ll be happy to contribute a couple of quarts to your pantry.

  3. o.k. you are officially forgiven for being unable to attend knitting yesterday – heart complications, swollen legs, and kidney issue are officially sanctioned excuses for missing Saturday knitting.

    how all of your tests go o.k. – let me, A, or tut tut know if you need a ride to any appointments. and i had to pee into the jug once and i swear it put me off refridgerated (sp?) food for about a week. just putting that jug in there was creepy!

    hope to see you next week!

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