Aw, Geez. Here Goes Polly-Janna Again

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Health-wise, I’ve had my problems over the past three years. While it was better than the previous two, last year was…not really optimal.

Just when I was regaining my strength from a number of surgeries and rounds of antibiotics to try and rid my body of a bone infection — which only ended when I had a below-the-knee amputation — my temperature went up, my insulin needs soared, my HbA1c went up, and I began a round of trying to find out what the dickens was happening.

Many tests and a procedure or two later, it was discovered I had a kidney infection and a gi-normous kidney stone. One of the procedures, meant to rid my kidney of the stone, resulted in an unexpected trip to the intensive care unit. I still had the stone, which had to be surgically removed about six weeks later.

In the meantime, I had a stent in my kidney, which was painful and which resulted in two or three trips an hour to the bathroom. That, in turn, resulted in me being extremely tired and grouchy and accusing various and sundry doctors of being sadistic. That is, I kind of grumbled to myself. I tend not to like to piss off doctors: They can get back at you. You know, like put you in the hospital and make you eat sugar-free Jell-O.

The other procedure was a colonoscopy, where some polyps were discovered (and removed). Did I tell you that the scope wasn’t long enough to reach the length of my colon? So I was told I needed to go to Indianapolis to have another colonoscopy. Oh, joy. I get to go through another prep, another colonoscopy, and pay another bill, just because neither my town’s largest clinic nor its newest surgery center can be bothered to have the proper equipment. Oh, yeah: Because the procedure will be out of town and because of the consequences of the prep for a colonoscopy, there will be a hotel stay involved. Sans dinner out. At least, I don’t know of any restaurants that specialize in clear liquids. Maybe a bar…

Actually, I should have done the second colonoscopy some time ago, but the kidney situation cropped up and put it on hold. I still need to submit a couple of days worth of samples for that, too, to find out what kind of medication I need to prevent further kidney stones. Just as soon as I find the paperwork. It’s around here. Somewhere.

Did I tell you about the retinopathy? The bad news is, I have a spot of background diabetic retinopathy in each eye. The good news? The spots are no big deal; no treatment needed. But now I get to see the ophthalmologist twice a year instead of once, so he can keep an eye (pun unintended) on that situation.

So what’s going on now? My HbA1c is up to 7.9%. To put that in perspective, I ran between 5.9% and 6.4% all during the bone infection mess. My white blood cell count is up. My creatinine level, which measures kidney function, is up. Again. It’s still within normal ranges, but has been slowly creeping up over the last few tests and is now getting toward the high end of normal. My endocrinologist took me off metformin (brand name Glucophage and others), which is fine with me: I tend to gag when trying to swallow large pills.

While I dislike all of the doctor visits, I’m glad they’re being proactive. Keeping a close watch so potential problems are detected in the early stages could save my vision and my kidneys.

But I have to do my part, which is to schedule the colonoscopy, do the kidney labs, and tolerate whatever needs to be done to figure out why my white count is up (again) and then deal with that. While being obsessive about maintaining the best blood glucose rates I can, which isn’t easy with all of the extra insulin resistance going on right now.

Gee, that sounds like a lot, now that it’s all laid out in one place. Maybe I should be depressed.

Nah! Been there, done that, have the tear-soaked T-shirt. (Disclaimer: I take an antidepressant for stress-induced depression. I used to take two, but don’t need both now.)

So it really isn’t overwhelming. At least, not to me. I’m a “glass half full” kind of person; the kind who is sure everything is going to turn out all right. So I don’t worry much about things. I let my husband do that.

(“But what if you do so-and-so and something bad happens?”

“What if it doesn’t?”)

There are some last-minutes things to do for my trip to NYC with my granddaughter later this month. Because we have an early flight — and because it’s winter, with iffy weather — I want to make hotel reservations near the airport for the night before our trip. None has an accessible shuttle, but the manager at one hotel said he would get one for me. That place must like return guests. Please remind me that I need to remember to make our seat reservations on the airplanes. I have the important things: Tickets to Spider-Man!

I’m already checking my hot-weather clothes to see what I need to fill in for the April-May cruise through the Panama Canal (and points before and after). And I’m reading a really interesting book on the history of the canal given to me by a friend (thanks, Karen!).

Thinking a bit here, I just got back from a trip where friends cobbled together a ramp for me just so I could stay at their house. That’s pretty amazing. Love manifests itself in many ways.

There’s a lunch planned with Sally. Sue wants to meet for lunch, too. And Dorothy wants to have coffee. There’s a garden to plan. Who knows what else will come along? More good things? Maybe interspersed with some bad? I’ll just have to see what shakes out. Whatever, it’s usually an interesting ride.

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