in which my life suuuuuucks

It’s our last day in Barcelona. Instead of roaming the city, eating tapas, and being romanced by swarthy Spaniards (all of whom want to sell me a selfie stick), I am sitting in my hotel room all by myself having an epic pity party: I’ve been sick for the last 2 days with what is most assuredly the most disgusting and horrible stomach flu I’ve ever had in Spain. The only thing I can keep down is fruit and fruit-based beverages, which makes Barcelona a pretty damn convenient place to be. There’s amazing and bountiful fruit all up in this bitch (“bitch” referring to both myself and the city).

Oh good, a delightful sea breeze just blew the shutters of my hotel Juliette balcony wide open so now I can see the sunshine and gorgeous city I’m missing out on. That’s nice.

I’ll upload my photo gallery when I have a better internet connection, and share some stories when we’re home. Illness aside, I’ve had a wonderful time in Spain – we’re already talking about coming back at a time when Ed’s brain chemistry isn’t made of what my stomach is producing at this moment. That will be lovely. If you’re ever in the mood for some winter jamón, I can’t recommend Barcelona in February enough – the weather is fantastic, it’s less crowded (which is kind of scary, I can’t imagine this place in the summer), and see above re: bountiful fruit, should you come down with late-vacation rectal failure.

You’ve been lovely, Barcelona. I will return, and we will make like the Erotic Museum until we’re both dehydrated and in need of pubic grooming. Until then, I am sad and sick and lonely and sad and really kind of pathetic but damnit, I’m missing out on a third of my vacation and that fucking blows.

just me, my germs, and this marzipan bumblebee.

gone viral

I’ve had a sore throat for 5 days. I thought it was caused by whatever the precursor to Korean Fan Death is, but when it didn’t let up I booked an appointment with a clinic. I was mostly in “wait and see” mode, but the online doctor requested I go see someone in meat space because she interpreted my blood results as my body trying to fight something off that likely wasn’t related to my slacker heart. Tired of not being able to swallow without making faces, I caved and booked myself in for a prodding.

The appointment was an epic shit show from the beginning. I hate walk-in clinics, but they’re my only real option in cases like this (even though we all know how well that worked out for me when I was trying to diagnose why I couldn’t breathe). Luckily, the clinic I use has an online appointment system so you can skip the wait. I booked myself an appointment last night, but when I arrived, I was told the doctor I was supposed to see wasn’t even in today, and there was an hour wait to see anyone. I was pretty furious at this, because I didn’t exactly want to sit in a crowded waiting room full of sick people – it’s why I used the goddamn booking system in the first place – but I didn’t have much of a choice: my sore throat had progressed in alarming and disgusting ways. I sighed, and took a seat to begin my wait.

.. and that was when an elderly Japanese lady asked me when my baby was due.

I stammered that I wasn’t pregnant, and I know the lady felt pretty terrible about asking me, but it still took all my willpower not to cry in the waiting room. The tears welled up several times, but I held fast onto my towering anger at being in this situation at all to keep them at bay. Finally, my name was called, and I was whisked away to see a doctor for a total of 96 seconds.

She looked at my throat and took my temperature, and came up with a verdict of virus. It’s not the Return of Strep, which is good – I was more than a little terrified that the cycle of slowly dying aloud was going to start all over again – but other than that, everything sucks. There are no drugs they can give me for this. I’m just supposed to wait it out, but in the meantime, I’m in pain and am sad down to my very bones. We’re supposed to be leaving for Seattle in an hour or so, but I don’t know that I should go – technically I’m contagious AND have a weakened immune system, both of which point to a sequestering. I could get other people sick. Other people could make me sicker. But .. I’ll miss Ali’s birthday and partying with people and having fun. I don’t know what I should do.

I’ve never before been asked if I was pregnant, and MAN does that sting. I made it home before collapsing in a puddle of tears, and now I am literally sobbing into some cheesecake. It is perhaps a little clichéd and counter-productive, but if there was ever a time that called for cheesecake, this is it. I am a sad, sad Kimli.

oh, you

In British Columbia, there’s a website called myehealth.ca that allows you to view your test results before you see a doctor. It’s pretty cool, and leads to a lot of Googling to find out exactly what you’re dying of. I had blood drawn yesterday in an attempt to find out why I’m so damned itchy (going on 8 months now, it’s getting worse, and it’s spreading), but before I had even viewed my results I was having an excellent time:

I forgot my password. No big deal, that’s what password reset functions are for. Submitted my email address, got the recovery link, opened it. Website wants me to verify my identity by answering a security question.

“What year did you graduate high school?”

Okay, that’s simple enough. Enter the year, and click OK.

“Incorrect, please try again.”

Well, shit. There’s only one answer to this question, and I know I didn’t enter it wrong. What could it be?

Hmm .. I wonder.

“What year did you graduate high school?”

I typed in “I didn’t”, and pressed enter.

“Thank you! Please enter a new password.”

Past me is fucking hilarious!

I’ve been trying to keep myself away from my blog, because I’m not very much fun to be around at the moment. “I’m itchy” seems like such a small thing, but when it’s a third of your body, intensely uncomfortable, and nothing gives you relief .. well, you’d be pretty cranky too. A great man once roared at the top of the stairs “I’M AT MY LIMIT! I’M AT MY LIMIT!”, and that’s me right now. I’m quite figuratively at my wit’s end, and have sobbed myself to sleep more times in the last few weeks than I’d like to admit. I’m hoping that my blood will show that I’m full of bees or something, but I’m far more terrified that it’s not going to show ANYTHING and I’ll be told that nothing can be done to ease my extreme discomfort. I think people who avoid going to the doctor generally fall into one of two categories – those who are afraid something will be discovered, and those who are afraid nothing will corroborate their symptoms. I’m in that second camp. Don’t tell me my itching is nothing, I have dozens of bloody welts that beg to differ.

I still have some Googling to do, but so far my blood says I have too much potassium, slight lipemia, and high C Reactive Protein sensitivity. I also have a high white blood cell count, a teensy bit more RDW than the norm, too many monocytes AND lymphocytes, extra neutrophils, and too much ferritin. I have no idea what any of that means, but the internet tells me all those things could be elevated due to …….. a viral infection. Which is what I have in my heart. So yep, that checks out.

A running theory about my itchiness (other than the penicillin allergy) is that it’s just my body overproducing in response to all the bad shit going down. I’m not a doctor, but those results seem to lean heavily in that direction. Unfortunately, that’s the diagnosis I’m most afraid of because I don’t know what, if anything, can be done to make my cells stfu and calm their tiny cell tits already. Antihistamines do jack shit, so this isn’t a traditional allergy. I dunno what it is. Perhaps I will let someone who can actually read those results tell me what the dilly is, instead of wildly gesticulating about my fate.

So itchy.

How’s by you?

goddamn lung babies

Running theories of what could be wrong with my lungs, WebMD edition:

  • Bronchitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Paroxysmal Nocturnal Dyspnea
  • Paranoid Narcissistic Dystopia (coincidentally also the theme of the next 7 Assassin’s Creed games)
  • Pulmonary Edema
  • Catastrophic Heart Failure
  • Pulmonary Thromboendarterectomy (not really, I’m just amazed at the number of letters in that)
  • Bilateral Basal Crackles (delicious with pepper jack cheese)
  • Bronchiectasis
  • Night Asthma (not to be confused with Night Moves)
  • Nocturnal Emissions
  • Lupis
  • Lung Babies

I’m still alive .. BUT FOR HOW LONG?!

the canadian thing

It’s 3:45 in the morning, and I’m trying to figure out a) if I need to go to the hospital, and b) how to get there without disturbing anyone. I don’t want to wake up Ed, because he’s sleeping. I don’t want to call 911, because then someone would have to deal with me and I don’t want to make work or cause any trouble. I could take myself, but then I’d be stranding Ed who would eventually learn where I am and possibly want to get to me. What to do?

I can’t sleep because my lungs keep filling with fluid. I Googled furiously to see if I should go to the hospital or not, but all that did was convince me that I am experiencing heart failure which makes me panic and then my breathing sucks even more. All things point to getting immediate care, but I don’t want to bother anyone. That seems so rude and unnecessary.

Truthishly, I’m scared out of my fucking mind and trying to distract myself. I’m still rattling, but it seems to be easing up a little .. but I know as soon as I try to lie down, it’ll be back with a loud annoying vengeance. I’ve tried talking to doctors about this, but nothing has come of it – the rattling only happens at night, so I can’t demonstrate how bad it is during a daytime appointment. Last time it was near this bad I actually recorded myself wheezing and attached it to my Medeo appointment request, but the doctor couldn’t open the file. That’s part of why I want to go to the ER, so I can SHOW SOMEONE how bad the wheezing is – it sounds like I’m pouring a goddamn glass of 7-Up when I open my mouth. That is not normal.

My body figuratively started to fall apart on me about 15 hours after I turned 40. Is this what getting old is like? I haven’t felt truly 100% since June 17th, back in my carefree 30s. These days, I’m all about a complete inability to sleep, not being able to breathe properly, and itching. I don’t really like those things. I think I need a new hobby.

Going to go try to bed again. If I start wheezing immediately, I’ll ignore my Canadian sensibilities and call for help (but I will feel guilty as fuck for doing it).

It’s so funny. I always thought I’d die trapped in a burning building because I was too busy live-Tweeting the fire to evacuate, not by drowning in my sleep.

file under “good to know”

So about that penicillin allergy .. yeah, I’m still totally allergic to penicillin.

Also, stupid. I’m very stupid. Can’t forget that.

Timeline: I was prescribed Amoxicillin for my strep throat. It worked wonders on me, and I was feeling better a few days into the medication. I finished up the meds I was given (albeit a little slower than recommended – I am not good at medicine) and continued about my merry way, until the strep came back a week or so later. This time, I was prescribed straight-up penicillin to flush it out of my system; a heavy dosage meant to kick germs to the curb as soon as possible.

During this time, I dealt with the other crap the end of 2014 had decided to dole out to me: a cough that wouldn’t go away, waking up every morning at 4am to bolt to the bathroom and noisily throw up nothing at all (or my favourite, nothing at all but bile and chunks of phlegm), chest rattling so loud it kept me awake every night until around 3am, at which point I’d get an hour of sleep before the barfing started, and a mysterious itch along both forearms that could not be soothed. I’ve managed to get all of these issues under control, save for the last one: I’m itchy all the goddamn time, and nothing helps.

I assumed it was just my annual winter skin freakout, so I went about treating my forearms in the usual ways: moisturizing to combat dry skin, antihistamines to control the itch, even more antihistamines to knock me out at night so I don’t scratch in my sleep, swearing, etc. Nothing helped. It wasn’t until last night at Friendmas during a conversation with my favourite Yunn that two and two were put together: the itching I’m experiencing is probably a reaction to the penicillin, to which I was allergic to once upon a time*.

OH. 

Suddenly, everything made sense. Some quick Googling has shown that I am most likely experiencing a common side effect to the various forms of penicillin I’ve been ingesting, which is a horrible non-stop itch with no accompanying rash (thank dog) that starts several days after you stop taking the medication. Everything lines up perfectly, although I’m highly concerned about what comes next: this itching started after the Amoxicillin, but before the penicillin. I’ve already dug a hole in my arm from all the scratching, and both arms are covered in bruises and tiny scabs. In short, I’m a hot mess. A busty, itchy, hot mess.

I’m thrilled that the strep throat seems to be under control, but I would love for this itching to stop. I look like a junkie, with the clear discomfort and constant scratching and nervous twitching (which is only because I have not yet had any caffeine today).

*: A long, long time ago, it was written into my file that I’m allergic to penicillin. I assume this was from when I was a baby, and when my tail was removed. However, I’d never experienced the allergy – I just went by a decades-old note in a file somewhere. I asked about it once, and was told that “these things go away” so I was probably fine to take penicillin if I needed it. Strep throat seemed like a really good reason to need it, so I just went with the flow .. only to find out that no, I’m still pretty (mildly) allergic to it. I got lucky this time.

*scratch*

shame on me

I think my kidney infection is returning, which is about as much fun as you’d expect. That alone would be bad enough, but I’ve got some other symptoms that have me running to the Internet to diagnose myself to save paid professionals the trouble. It’s never a good idea to do this; less so when it’s disgusting – and besides which, I haven’t had any luck at all. Based on the happenings in my pants, I either have sixteen cancers OR I’ve been having a lot of unprotected sex with diseased strangers in my sleep. It’s clearly an either-or situation I’m dealing with here; there couldn’t possibly be any middle ground that could be dealt with using antibiotics. Nope. Impossible.

I know I said I didn’t have any resolutions for 2013, but I did whisper some to myself when no one was looking and I am DAMN SURE that “no more kidney problems” on the list. Also, I thought my vagina and I had worked our differences out and we were cool now. This is not a good time to learn that my womanly garden is a back-stabbing bitch out to sabotage me – I have hilarious things to do, and all of this is cramping my style (no pun intended).

Ow, and fuck.