Monday, October 13, 2008

You think ALS Sucks? Try the Common Cold.

Now I know why people with ALS have to avoid colds. Wow. In the daytime it’s a normal awful cold for the most part, punctuating with bouts of wheezing, choking and gagging. Night time is another story. Sheer misery. I’m barely able to breathe, I get winded rolling over in bed ( which takes me some time anyway to be fair) and I get stuff caught in my throat that makes me gag and not be able to breathe at all. Very scary.

First Mac then Kathy pointed out that an email we had gotten from Mary whose husband Brian had ALS (see blog entitled Brian’s Song) said immediately call the doctor at the first sign of a cold. This was of course the one instruction I didn’t follow since I didn’t get the email til AFTER the first sign and I’m very literal. Just kidding. I just hate calling doctors is the thing.

The upshot is I called Dallas, the research nurse in charge of the lithium study I’m on and now I have a plan of action now and I’m doing better- had a decent sleep and no wheezing/choking until morning. Big improvement. As winter comes, the prime directive seems to be stay warm and germ free. Kathy and I were already scheming about clothing that is both warm and easy for someone to help me with in the bathroom since staying germ free means drinking lots of fluids means peeing a lot means lots of muscle power for my accomplices. We came up with skirts with thigh high socks – easy to negotiate yet a little saucy for the naughty cripple in the know. Don’t suggest crotchless panties, please – after all I might catch a draft!

So one of the things I like about being single ( I like almost everything actually) is that if you have a husband, other men don’t help you fix shit because they think your husband can do it which would in my case have been ever so faulty of an assumption. On Friday Jon Evans noticed that the brake and the wheel on my wheelchair weren’t lining up just right. I had noticed this too but ignored it. Upshot is I was about a day away from losing a wheel, which was narrowly averted by his eagle eye and mechanical skills. I whip around pretty fast in that chair so loosing a wheel could have been ugly.

In the meantime I have Wendy’s husband Barry selling my beloved Miata, installing off-set hinges on doors and fixing a loose threshold made looser by my reckless driving. It’s like when you go out of town and they give you an upgrade at the rent-a-car place and you’re driving around in a vastly superior vehicle to your own at home AND you don’t have to take care of it since it belongs to someone else. Rent-a-Man!

I officiated another wedding today and think I would have made it through had the wedding started only half an hour late rather than one and a half hours late. I thought that only happened in romantic comedies. What doesn’t happen in those movies is your minister doesn’t call in a pinch hitter because she can’t be understood. That’s what happened. As I can’t drain the mucus it pools up so I am virtually unintelligible. Luckily Sofia ( who jumped in to pinch-sing at the last wedding when I broke down crying in the middle of the tune) read the service until the point where I could talk again. She also took me home and got me out of my dress which she did at the last wedding too. The next wedding I’m supposed to officiate assuming I can is hers so we need to find a new Sofia before then.

If I ever get a cold again, I’m going hunting with Dick Cheney.


Megan Lynch said...

Eek! I hope you're feeling better now. It *is* pretty odd that Science has come up with bupkis for the common cold. But it's true that fatal diseases have priority and should have priority. It's amazing what we've managed to defeat in the First World. I was reading about the 1925 serum run to Nome, AK (which the Iditarod kinda sorta commemorates) and I had to look up diptheria. Not that I am unfamiliar with the word "diptheria" but I'm completely unfamiliar with the symptoms, cause, etc. And that's due to a vaccine having been developed in the early 20th Century and living in a country privileged enough to be able to distribute that vaccine broadly.

One of the advantages of being laid off and not having a lot of friends is that I haven't caught a cold or flu in aeons. But I'm at my parents' right now and there are a lot of grandkids rolling in and out of here so I wash my hands several times a day. Definitely wash your hands, Carla.

You continue to inspire and crack me up.

Anonymous said...

Glad you are on the mend. When you feel better send me some dates in January and February you might be able to do the fundraiser at LMC. And if you ever want my chicken soup, let me know. I can drop it off quietly. It knocks people's colds on their asses. JPF

CT said...

I know for a fact that Dick Cheney doesn't hunt with women. "The god damn pussy stank scares off all the fuckin' birds." His words, not mine*.

*potentially fallacious

Anonymous said...

I know for sure what causes diptheria as I was told constantly in my childhood not to eat snow or I would get diptheria. There Megan you now have the answer.

Carla, you are the only one I know who could cause someone reading your blog to say, "Oh no, "oh no, then read the last line and fall apart laughing.

So hope the mucus problem is history.

Anonymous said...

Hope this cheers you up. It did it for me....