My knee’s out. Updates will come TOMORROW, not today as planned.
Where am I? Counting my lucky stars that I’m safe, that’s where.
Severe weather blew over the Midwest over the last twenty four hours. The state of Oklahoma got the worst of it; a suburb of Oklahoma City called Moore has quite literally been erased from the map. There’s at least 50 dead.
Here in the East Saint Louis/Saint Louis area, we just got ludicrous flash flooding–watch the cruisers drift over the road, or what might be the road, it might be a river right now.
Here in chronic leg condition land, at about 3 AM, right at the first explosive downburst of wind and thunder, I woke up to a searing pain in my leg. For a moment, I thought I’d been hit by the lightning outside. I’ve spent the day alternating using the Pomodoro Technique–a lifehack involving doing work in short 25-minute bursts with strictly enforced break times–to alternate between cleaning the apartment and using my TENS machine to zap a short sample of pain relief into the leg. It’s the worst it’s been since the first injury three years ago, a few times today having reduced me to this pathetic whimpering thing that couldn’t do anything.
The weather shows no signs of letting up, and to add insult to injury, I have to repair my window boarding again. It blew in this morning.
Firstly: The next 100 Things post will be up sometime Friday evening. There is no guarantee that I will work that day, but there is no guarantee that I won’t either. In either case, there will be much work done with the upper body and I will need a GENEROUS nap before I do any writing. I didn’t work today, but I decided to work out today. *listens carefully* Ah, there’s the ever-present question:
“DO YOU EVEN LIFT?”
Actually, thanks to my knee, it’s all I CAN do. I have the feeling that by the time June hits, I am going to be amusingly off-proportion.
Despite my crap leg, I have to try to stay in passable condition for working, and thus, I have to make sure I do a few things a week. Depending on how money is, this may include a few mall walks—I had the money to pay my rent and…that was it.
HOLY CRAP, DOOD
I was at work today picking up my scrawny little paycheck when I found out that there would be a Comic Con in my area in a very short time. It’s a little more than the usual price for Anime Central in Chicago, but the fact is that I might not be able to go for a reason completely irrelevant to money—my damn leg could sideline me before I get the chance to do anything else. In fact, not even the SIDEWALKS, at last check, were accessible worth a damn—I was gimpy as hell last year for the Distant Worlds event, and the steps were agony. If I’m lucky, the overflow will jam up the hotels to the point even our location’s full up.
(If you’re a con chaser, consider coming down/up—for one, Stan Lee’s gonna be at this one; for another, if you haven’t had St. Louis style pizza, you’ve GOTTA. The provel cheese may be a love-it-or-hate-it affair, but the crust—whoa, MAN, that buttery crispy thin crust is delicious.)
I used to be an adventurer like you, until I took a hotel to the knee
I’ll be perfectly honest with you guys: right now my pain is NOT managed. I’m out of the prescription I got at the initial injury, and the antispasmodic I take is nowhere near as effective as it used to be—which is to say it’s fine if I need to sleep, but it doesn’t do much beyond stopping the unrelated hand twitch (it MIGHT be related to the fact that it’s literally the same bottle as the last fill, stashed an squirreled away in case of such an emergency as this). …you probably have no idea how hard it is to type with one finger constantly going “twitchytwitchytwitch” every time you try and remember how the word pfefferneuse is spelled.
I’ve tried to climb stairs (HAHA NOPE) and the left knee just isn’t having it. For the first few hours of movement in the day, I’m pretty mobile, but it doesn’t take long for me to be reduced to dragging the thing around like some sort of dead weight—and the direction of the stairs, up versus down, makes no difference.
So my erratic presence is therefore explained. It’s going to be a while before I’m reliably present anywhere, as I focus on training my knee to stay in place while waiting to hear back from my doctors.
Best guess for acceptable management: Monday. Saturday at the earliest. I don’t have much in the way of painkillers—some off-brand Excedrin that may or may not be expired, a few borrowed naproxen tabs, a few prescription-strength ones whose potency and freshness are up for debate—I’m going to be pushing my luck here.
But hey, it could be worse. My leg hasn’t fallen off yet.
A word to the wise. If you must get gastroenteritis or heat exhaustion, do so one at a time. DON’T double-up on them like I did. It’s unpleasant enough to deal with on its own, but then the doctors find all sorts of interesting things to stick you with, and all sorts of interesting places to poke and prod and stab with things.
I thoroughly detest being sick. It’s one of the most annoying things out there, in my opinion. (The absolute most annoying thing out there? You know when you can’t get at the last bit of marmalade in the jar no matter what utensil you used and you MUST HAVE that almond butter and marmalade sandwich now? That.) It colors my perceptions of everything so that nothing can be pleasant until I’m well.
This makes a bit of last night’s drug-addled furor seem silly in perspective. Yes, my horse’s arse of an ex will get what is coming to him in due time, but I’m solving nothing by sitting here, seething over it. I could do much more valuable things with my time. He already wasted enough of my time when I was dating him. He doesn’t need to waste more of it.
No, the thing that’s going to be the subject of today’s rant is…the Bland Diet.
For those of you who haven’t been lucky enough to get violently sick with not one, but TWO dangerous things at the same time, the first thing that your doctors tend to do after filling some of the holes in your system back up with needles and fluids and the occasional HUGE SYRINGE RIGHT TO THE derierre is to change your diet up ‘until further notice.’
Now, I can’t complain too much about this change—as of this writing, it’s been two days since my last real meal that’s stayed in my system long enough to derive any benefit from—but anyone who has known me for any length of time knows me as a foodie, and changing my diet is not something that is undertaken lightly. After my most recent trip to the hospital yesterday, I received fifteen pages of literature detailing not what I need to take, not what I have to make sure to do next, but just on what to eat.
“A bland diet is designed primarily to help patients recover from gastrointestinal conditions or other medical circumstances in which improved digestion would be essential.” —Wikipedia’s entry on the bland diet.
Long story short: Low sugar, no spices, nothing with significant fiber content, no red meat, no strongly flavored fish (though tuna is apparently ok). Nothing spicy, nothing processed heavily like lunchmeats, easy on the dairy, no tough vegetables, no beans, and—interestingly—no aspirin or ibuprofen.
I CAN eat: soft foods, plain bread, lean proteins, boiled eggs, and low-fiber cereals.
I CANNOT eat: most of what’s in my pantry.
Right now, sitting in my freezer waiting for me to have a good side dish to go with it, is one of the best delicacies I’ve had the occasion to eat: lobster ravioli. However, lobster’s one of those things that are off limits right now—it is DEFINITELY not lean, and the flavor’s wonderfully assertive. Also off limits are the delicious high-fiber multigrain rolls I like so much for sandwiches, my favorite lunchmeat—Lebanon bologna—and tomatoes.
Basically, I can have saltines and Gatorade. Oh, and canned soup. And I just had my last canned soup.
I jumped online to find options—there’s a bit more leeway to my restrictions than I thought. Apparently, bacon is allowed on the bland diet, as long as it’s fried nice and crisp, and well-drained. Cream of wheat (farina) is also allowed. (So now I have an option for breakfast.) But the restrictions are still pretty heavy, and there will be a lot of adjusting to make until my stomach adjusts to having…you know…FOOD. But…it’s just SO BORING!
Then again, I’d rather not wind up hospitalized for the third time in this single month, so…
*reaches for plain bread*
Remember when I mentioned that ‘getting heat exhaustion’ is one of the Things I Generally Don’t Recommend?
We can add “stomach flu,” “gastroenteritis,” and “dehydration” to that.
Right now I’m crunching on dry udon noodles. It’s the closest thing I have to having saltine crackers, one of the few things that is safe for me to eat right now. (I’m also allowed plain potatoes, plain rice, plain low-fiber bread, and applesauce.)
Something else we can add to the Things I Generally Don’t Recommend? Immediately checking Facebook after getting back from the hospital. The first thing in my feed: news that my ex has given his new girl, of all of two months, A FUCKING PROMISE RING.
I DATED HIS ASS FOR THREE HELLISH YEARS AND NEVER GOT SO MUCH AS THE SUGGESTION OF THAT.
Excuse me. I need to load up his ghost and beat the shit out of it. After the hell this man put me through, I honestly don’t want to see anything happen to him but his entire life unravel as he tries to put it back together.