Sunday Snaps: A Week In Chronic Illness Photo-Style

Are You Sponge-Worthy?

PicMonkey Collage Sponge.jpg

I know when last I updated regarding the potential for brain surgery, the answer was no-go. But, I keep sprinkling the issue of my impending next one like it's no big deal. Why? Because of my stylin' sponge. It was the one thing my neurosurgeon wanted me to try, as a stopgap, to see if it relieved symptoms. I thought he was giving me a sweet, essentially patting my bottom, and passing me on my way. So, I barely could be convinced to do it. However, it's like a miracle. Plus, it makes me look hawt. The only time I can't wear it, is when I sleep (it doesn't stay on), and then wake up ten seconds later, because it hurts again. This is my sponge-hat-band. Pretty, right? And, this is my apparently my "just before waking in agony face," taken in whimpers.

Why does it work? Apparently, it crams the itty-bitty bit of dura (that sac-like-lining-thing that holds your brain together) back into the skull, where it belongs, through sheer force of pressure, and holds it there. Brain surgery, meet the sponge. Advanced science, meet pressure contact. It boggles the mind when simplicity enters the picture, doesn't it? An ace bandage and a sponge can provide immediate relief. Obviously, a person cannot live like this forever, so I'll be getting a titanium plate, and some hardware. Hooray for a future that includes peeing myself when the neighbor fires up the microwave, right? At least that's what my dad says. 

Have Your Cake and Eat it Too!

During especially bad flares, which this last one was, I may not eat for days, or even weeks. Between nausea from pain, pain meds, or just sheer exhaustion, I can lose a lot of weight all at once (hooray!). But, this kind of starvation exacerbates all my symptoms, of course. So, when I murmur something like, "I'd eat something with frosting," from under a heap of blankets, my husband instantly responds and makes cake. Even better, when you haven't eaten for days, you are allowed to eat 3/4 of a cake, all at once, because you are essentially starving. These calories don't count. Shhhh, don't explain to me why that's not true.


Smelly Dog...Smelly Dog...You Know the Rest

Are these terrible photos? Yes. Is she a pretty girl? Yes. Am I biased? Yes. Our gorgeous dog gets what we call...wait for it...zoo vagina. Yep, a stunningly, horrible, but accurate description, for the odor emanating from such a massive beast. You know that musky smell, of hundreds of animals at the zoo? Yeah, that's her. Add in the smell of, you guessed it. Her. Big dog=big smell.

California is dry, which is no secret. So, her skin is dry, and she's licking and scratching nonstop, creating all kinds of oil and nastiness; thus, zoo vagina smell reared its ugly head for us this week. Life doesn't stop when you are sick. Dogs still need baths, as she gracefully reminded us by clearing rooms this week. But, look how pretty she is when she's clean.

P.S. Ignore my husband's clogs and socks. We know he looks ridiculous. He know he looks ridiculous. He's on his old-man starter set. He has plantar fasciitis; those clogs feel good around the house, and I'd rather my man have happy feet than be uncomfortable. I draw your attention to his tolerance of the sponge headband.

Speaking of Life Not Stopping....

I made it to my boy's performance, and I'm glad I did. he got an award for his grade. He was honored as a "Good Citizen." I'm often worried that being surrounded by pain is going to stunt him in some terrible way, but when I see him care so gently for me, for his father, for those around him, I'm lifted by it. His principal pulled us aside, and cried when she spoke of how wonderful my child is, and how grateful she is to have him at her school. She said she has not seen a boy like him in many years, and that she is thankful to know him.

We'd promised our boy that we'd both be at the event (it's so hard for my husband to miss work these days), and that we'd go out to lunch, as a family, after, to celebrate. But, the clapping, the sunshine, all of it, were too much during my flare. I was done in. I could hardly stand up. I made a good show, and pretended to be fine, but I was leaning on my husband, and my son could tell, despite my best efforts at well-person-pantomime. School Holiday Programs, awards, homework, none of it stops because you are sick, not for a day, not for a year (not that I was ever much good at math homework assistance).

I still told him that we could go anywhere he wanted, but he said, "Let's go to In-N-Out, bring it home, put PJ's on, and have a Supernatural marathon." That boy is a miracle.

Good citizen, indeed.