Archive for the body Category

Details that I might regret sharing

Posted in body, cancer, health, how to, life, rant with tags , , , , on June 5, 2010 by bosquechica

But will keep brief. I’ve been exhausted to the point of collapse for several years now. I actually fall asleep while driving at times (usually I pull over and sleep for about 15 minutes). It’s been hellish and miserable and I have not felt like myself for a ridiculously long time.

My doctor sent me to get some blood drawn, and I added a check mark (after the fact) for a blood test I wanted done that my doctor has consistently neglected to run, in spite of my requests. It’s an “integrative health clinic”, and they always want me to take my temperature for three weeks and do elimination diets and blahblablah.

Got the results back. The box I checked? Yep, that was it.

Simple tiny pill every morning. Typical results of the single little pill? Increased energy, reduced pain, reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes, lowered cholesterol, weight loss, better sleep, healthier hair, skin and nails.  

Why the hell is health care so hard to manage? Why are women discounted so utterly? Why in god’s name have I been put at risk of serious complications because some nitwit didn’t want to do the most obvious possible test for a middle-aged woman with textbook symptoms and a history of facial radiation?

Geez fucking Louise.

Just thyroid. That fucking simple. Not rocket science, not a character flaw, not my lifestyle (my lifestyle is healthy and productive, thank you very much).

You want something done, you gotta do it yourself.

I’ll let you know how it turns out.

 

Hesitantly returning

Posted in body, health, insomnia, life-n-death, Uncategorized, writing with tags , , , on February 3, 2009 by bosquechica

ramona-lifting-weights

I haven’t written anything for months, mostly because of the nasty shoulder injuries that were keeping me from doing anything at all. I think I’m ready to write again, but I’m nervous and shy, have regained my blogging virginity, and have been wondering if I have a damn thing to say.

So, since it’s all about me and all, I thought I’d write about prolotherapy, which is the treatment I chose for my shoulders (yes, both of them).

Prolo therapy is a non-surgical intervention for torn ligaments and tendons. According to the prolo pros over at prolotherapy.com,

Prolotherapy uses a dextrose (sugar water) solution, which is injected into the ligament or tendon where it attaches to the bone. This causes a localized inflammation in these weak areas which then increases the blood supply and flow of nutrients and stimulates the tissue to repair itself.

Let me just say that, after I spent a couple of years skirting around the issue of living vs. dying and being repeatedly slit from my guzzle to my zatch, I came finally through that experience weaker and more wobbly than I knew was possible. Everything I did hurt, everything I did caused a new injury. In about 18 months, I sprained my ankles twice, got a hernia while on a tiny little super easy bike ride, and tore ligaments in both my shoulders. This sucked beyond my ability to convey, but was at least better than actually being dead.

I stopped sleeping, due to pain, started taking vicodin, due to pain, and slid into a vague, extended and tiresome period of being afraid to do anything. Let me say, this did not seem to be an actual depression, although it was depressing. More, it seemed like my body wasn’t willing to carry me anymore, and I was tired, and tired of pain. From some angles, I look like Frankenstein, a constructed being, scars shooting out in all directions, lit more by lightning than by nature.
frankenstein11

So. That did sound a bit depressed, eh?

I am a bit driven, by temperament, and this sloshing around in a half stupid hydrocodone fog, alternating with bright and angry pain, did not suit me overmuch. Hence the prolotherapy, after assorted other modalities did not do the trick.

Here’s what they do, and let me tell you it hurts like holy hell:

prolo-therapy1

The needles feel huge, no, enormous, and for about 30 days after the injections the pain was worse, massively and unbearably worse, which made me feel like a complete idjit. Pass the vicodin, please.

Then one day about a month after, it stopped. Not 100%, but about 80%, not bad, not bad at all. I stopped taking vicodin, and switched to ibuprofen with a very mild pain pill on the side. Stopped taking anything in the daytime, and now I’m taking the pain pill at night just two or three times a week.

As soon as the pain stopped, I started lifting weights and going to the gym (still working on frequency, but really I’ve always liked weights, so it feels good to be able to do it at all). I’m starting to sleep again, intermittently. My brain and body are starting to feel better, not well, quite, but better.

I’ve been driving my wife crazy with my bad sleep, chronic pain and forgetfulness (goes with the other two). And I’ve been driving myself crazy with the sensation that my body is the enemy, and that my brain has gone utterly to mush, never to be its own vigorous, adventurous and imaginative self ever again.

 I will let you know how this goes. It’s the old body-mind connection, can’t have the one without the other. I knew that. Wish me luck.

I’ll be back.

brain-exercise

Doppel

Posted in body, family, life, nice things, personal history, random, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on April 7, 2008 by bosquechica

On Friday, I was shopping at Smith’s on my way home from work. I bought tortillas, sour cream, guacamole, wine and ice. Company expected. On my way out, I paused at the freezer to pick up my 10 lbs. There, I was stopped by a tiny old man with a snowy white beard. He was riding a red electric scooter chair, and his eyes were a sparkling, electric blue (not unlike my husky’s eyes). Morgan

“Whoa,” he said. “I gotta follow you for a little while.” I looked at him and smiled absent-mindedly, thinking more about my house and how to get ready for guests with less than an hour to spare. I crossed the parking lot, stopped at my car and opened the trunk. Then I realized that the little man really had followed me. I looked at him again and he looked back with those sparkling eyes, big smile.

“Excuse me, but I just had to tell you that there is a golden glow shining all round you, and following you, too. You are beautiful!”

“Thank you,” I said. “You know, you remind me of my friend Eunice F.”

“Why?” he asked. “What’s wrong with that person?”

“Not a thing,” I said back. He did a nice little preen, put his hand up against the back of his head as if puffing up his hair, and said “Well, thank you kindly” and looked delighted.

“You have a nice weekend, now,” I said. He scooted on to his own car, right next to mine, and put his things in the back seat. His license plate had DAV plates (disabled veteran) and a bumper sticker that said “Honor the dead, heal the wounded, end the war”.

I went home feeling decidedly perked up by this exchange, and thought about his strange similarity to my good friend Eunice F. Eunice F. is the seventh Eunice in a long line of Eunices. She is 63 years old, with electric blue eyes. She attracts lightning, and has been struck several times. She is an apple-faced hippie lady who lives in a stone cabin in the mountains east of Albuquerque. She is a doll-maker and an artist. She has a beard (not snowy white) that she does not remove, and she is a calm and moving storyteller. She is very poor, hauls water and raises chickens. At 63, she is suffering from the effects of a life of hard labor, and she has a lot of physical pain. She made me a doll with wings who flies around the house and appears here and there on window sills and mantlepieces, apparently at will. storyteller doll

I went home and told Mrs. Bosquechica about my strange meeting and she was amazed on many different levels. First of all, who gets stopped by total strangers with that kind of comment? Second of all, another Eunice F.? Astonishing! Funny thing is, though, that like Eunice F. and her repeated encounters with lightning, I have been stopped periodically with the “you are glowing/beautiful/ or something equally surprising” by total strangers, both men and women, since I was very young. Not, you know, weekly or anything, but about every two or three years someone does this. It’s been awhile, though, longer than usual, and I started thinking about that and about Eunice and the little man and his bumper stickers, and healing the wounded and electric scooters and lightning.  It occurred to me that, like the storyteller doll that Eunice made for me, maybe I have started flying again, maybe there has been time for healing and resuming whatever that glowing thing is that attracts lightning to some and odd compliments to others.

And here is the amazing Eunice F., for those of you who have made it this far.

Eunice F.

 

 

Incredible-Hulking-Wonder-Spider-Woman

Posted in body, cancer, family, personal history, Uncategorized on January 5, 2008 by bosquechica

 

In 1959, I had cancer. I was three years old at the time. It came on suddenly and without warning. My dad, the engineer, designed a treatment delivery system that focused the radiation specifically in the hard palate of my mouth, where the cancer was located. First, they fried it, then they cut it. No chemotherapy – it wasn’t yet available. That was 49 years ago (my math – it is superb!).

In direct contradiction to predictions made by teams of medical experts, I did not die, the cancer did not recur, I’m not a deformed monster, and I did not spend my life with a brain cooked by radiation like a vegetable tempura. Far from it.

But here is the family myth I want to share: According to this myth, I am an amazing princess goddess of steel, given superpowers by the radiation itself. Like Spiderman, Bionic Woman, Wonder Woman, The Incredible Hulk. This was the story I was told, over and over again. The script: “You had cancer, such a tragedy. However, you were treated with Radiation (capital R), which means you have special and advanced protection against virtually all other diseases, and it also means you will never get Cancer (capital C) Again!”

This message was a logical extension of the power of positive thinking business that so pervaded my grandparents’ generation. My parents, themselves, were more fixated on how this illness would limit my choices as a damaged female. Their script was something more like: “Thank God you’re smart, cause you’ll never get married with a face like that!” (For the record, I’m actually kind of cute.)

I undoubtedly absorbed both messages, both of them flawed but incorporated into my sense of self. My funny-looking, super-charged special-yet-doomed self. In my adolescence, I suddenly realized that both myths were a lot of hooey, and damn that made me mad. I started wearing black and thinking about mortality a lot. Early goth really suited me.

It’s interesting to me that in our culture, intellect and appearance are set against one another. In the schema that informed my growing up me, female and imperfect, it was always smart vs. pretty, pretty vs. strong. Contradictory. Challenging.

How do we raise our girl children and our boy children to accept the blend of characteristics and circumstances that inform our sense of self? How do we learn to acknowledge, honor and even love the imperfections of self and other?

It is no surprise that in my middle years, I have chosen to work with people with disabilities, where my once “tragic” differences have transmogrified recognizably into the strengths of compassion and empathy. What surprises me more is how many years I worked in advertising, where appearance reigns supreme, and how well I proved myself in that setting, against a jury of my cultural peers. That’s me, Wonder-Spider-Hulking-Woman. Look out.

Work – body and mind

Posted in body, life, Uncategorized with tags , , , on November 3, 2007 by bosquechica

jabba  I was incommunicado for a couple of weeks with shoulder problems. Went to the doctor, who listened to me (!), prodded at my shoulder, then said something like “Well, you know when you have surgery, for every day you’re hospitalized you lose 5% of your muscle tone.”

Or something along those lines. So I started doing this compulsive numbers thing, thinking “Ok, so in the past two years I’ve been hospitalized 9+9+5 days times 5% = 23x.05=115%.

That means I’ve lost 115% of my muscle tone, according to my incredibly accurate compulsotronic calculations and geez, doesn’t that mean I should be a pile of goo by now?

Sigh. I hate when I think like that. But recovering from having been sliced from my guggle to my zatch not once but three times is a slow and tiresome process and I am still easily injured and easily fatigued. And discouraged, too. It is a process.

For today, though, I am energized by the thought of writing that damn great American novel, and energy is the best possible pain reliever. Ta-da! Grand-daddy would be proud (power of positive thinking, rising above it all, etc.)