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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Laid Low

Here it is, the twentieth of the month, and I am writing what is only my third post this month. I am embarrassed to have let you down this way. I've been less than forthright with all of you about what has been going on, and I hope that the explanation I offer will help you to forgive me.

The sad truth is that Trent and I have been sick since the day after Christmas. I don't know about what's happening where you live, but there is a dreadful cold-type ailment going around here in parts of Colorado. Trent woke up with it the day after Christmas, and I joined in on the festivities soon after. Since Trent takes immunosuppressing drugs to protect his transplanted kidneys from rejection, things like this grab onto him and don't want to let go. As for me, having lupus leaves me susceptible to whatever flavors of cooties are currently making the rounds.

So we have spent almost four weeks with congested, full-of-cement heads and noses, along with yucky, coughing lungs. We have remarked on an almost daily basis that we seem to have relocated to Hackensack. It's a terribly bad joke about how we feel like we're hacking up our lungs multiple times daily. Please forgive me the dreadful pun-ishness.

Although he was deep in the throes of this mess, Trent was scheduled to have parathyroid surgery on January 5th and opted to go ahead with the procedure. For anyone who is curious, there are four parathyroid glands near the thyroid. Their function is to regulate the calcium balance in the body. These tiny glands think of the bones as a storage area for calcium, and if there isn't enough in the blood, they direct the release of calcium from the bones. Sometimes, especially post-transplant, the little guys just don't know when to shut down. They get inflamed and overactive and keep calling for calcium to be released into the bloodstream. Such was the case with Trent. He now has osteoporosis, but this might start to reverse now that three and a half of his parathyroid glands have been removed.

Because of his cough and the gunk in his lungs, what was supposed to be a simple overnight stay ended up being three nights. Trent couldn't get enough oxygen in his bloodstream post-op. After three nights in the hospital, he was released to go home on oxygen. Luckily he only needed to be on oxygen for a few days. (The equipment is still in our home racking up charges, however. Don't even get me started on the fact that we can't just return it unless the doctor writes a prescription releasing him from using it. And the fact that the doctor needs to have a form faxed from the supplier, and the supplier doesn't want to fax it, etcetera. Argh.)

We have barely had the energy to get out and do the most minimal of errands and doctor visits. I really can't remember the last time we let our refrigerator get this empty and just didn't care about it. Instead of having the desire to write, I have spent time losing my mind over a word game on my computer. This game requires you to find words in a field of letters. The first letter of each word, if it's in the phrase you need to guess, is revealed in the phrase. As you have more and more turns, the number of letters you can reveal is lowered, making you guess the phrase with very few letters showing. 

So here I am, with my fairly extensive vocabulary and moderately acceptable knowledge of quotes, phrases, and names, losing my darn mind playing this game. The problem? The quotes, titles, things, places, and names are all user-submitted. Which is really a pain in the backside when they don't say the phrase in the same way as the other 99% of the English speakers in the world. Or if they decide that a certain thing is a "department store manikin" and all you've ever heard of is a "mannequin." 

I've experienced moderate frustration at moments like this, but there was one the other day that was just too much for me. There was a place that I just couldn't figure out because the number of letters in one of the words just didn't add up properly. Let me be the one to tell you that somewhere there is a lady, I think her user name was Connie, who submitted a place for her fellow game players to solve. The place, according to Ms. Connie? The Canadian Rockie Mountains. Yes, you read that correctly. Rockie Mountains. Since I live within sight of the beautiful Colorado Rocky Mountains, and since I felt crummy, this really ticked me off. I had to tell Trent how aggravated I was with the improper spelling. Which led to a fit of knock-me-off-my-feet-because-I-am-not-taking-in-enough-oxygen coughing. Yep, it was time to quit playing the game because the going was getting rockie rocky.

I hope you'll accept my apology for neglecting you, as well as for complaining. I'm trying really hard to get both of us back to our version of normal. And with any luck, I'll be able to write enough soon to make up for lost time. I've missed it.


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