Stress Salad – Part II

Of course, the DJ thing isn’t enough – it just was enough for one blog post.  There has to be more the the universe decided I could juggle, right?

I hurt my hand whitewater rafting on July 13th.  What I’ve done remains unclear, even after x-rays.  I have not injured the bones in my hand, at least.  I have, however, done something to it as my finger hurts after typing for a while and the knuckle seems…off-center.  So, next step, get an MRI.  There was surprisingly no fuss at all from my insurance company about this, despite the cost.

I worry about this too.  However, my mother keeps telling me not to look a gift horse in the mouth, so I’m pretending I’m not worried and hoping to trick myself.

Anyway, the MRI…sucked.  I didn’t have any dye injected into my hand and it still sucked.  I spent a half hour laying on my stomach with my arm above my head, bent at an awkward angle, while they forced protons in water molecules in my hand to align with a magnetic field.

This sounds neat doesn’t it?  Easy too.  After all, its an MRI – you just have to lie there and not move while they vibrate ever water molecule in your body.  Nobody mentions that this, in itself, might actually hurt.  Everyone talks about how hard it is to stay that still, but nobody says that buzzing gets to you after awhile and then it gets painful, like your marrow has been replaced with a colony of angry wasps.

Well, it’s just my hand, right?  That’s the only thing I have to keep still, right?

Correct, but the magnetic field isn’t all that specific.  They only needed pictures of my hand, but they inflicted that painful noise on all of me.  Between that and how much it hurt to hold my arm in that position, I was nearly in tears by the end of it.  And I was definitely thinking uncharitably about bloodletting and leeches.  Medicine hasn’t come nearly as far as we’d like to think it has.

That was Monday.  Tuesday, I went in for an allergy test.  This is connected to a series of nosebleeds that started back in February.  I went to an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor, who looked up my nostrils and prescribed me an allergy test.  I already know I have allergies , but, okay, fine, I like getting stuck with needles.

I come in for my test and they tell me to strip to the waist.  They’ve given me a gown – sort of.  It’s more like a crop top version of the standard paper hospital gown.  It barely reaches the bottom of my ribs and its inconvenience nearly outweighs its contribution to modesty.

The test was not nearly as bad as it sounds.  The needles don’t actually break the skin, so they’re sort of like sticking your hand in a mildly prickly bush.  But they are injecting stuff that’s supposed to make you itch, including a control test of straight up histamine, which is the cause of all the itching and sneezing in the first place.  And to prepare for the test, you can’t have any histamine blockers, like an over-the-counter allergy med.  Man, I itched all week and the only thing that got me through it was the knowledge that I would get a Zyrtec at the end.

So they inject your skin with histamine and potential allergens, then you get to wait for about 10 minutes to see if you react.  Yes, this does itch, but I installed a new game on my phone, so I spent 10 minutes concentrating very hard on gameplay and keeping my fingers glued to that smartphone.

10 minutes later, I looked like this:

allergy test 8-1-17

The person giving the test comes in, takes some measurements of the little welts on my back, then hands me a Zyrtec and douses me with Benadryl cream, which is probably one of the best things that had ever happened in my life to date.  I mean it.  It felt that good.

The results are not unexpected:  I’m allergic to four kinds of grasses and two kinds of mold.  I’m particularly allergic to a type of grass called “Meadow Fescue.”

What type of grass do we have in the yard?  Fescue.  Of course.

Tuesday night, we also have a meeting with the local Rotary Club.  We are hosting a foreign exchange student from Belgium until at least November.  I’m not sure this is a source of stress, but it is a big change, so I find it stressful.  We’re sharing a bathroom.  I don’t like sharing a bathroom with anyone.

Wednesday, I get a call about my MRI results.  There’s something wrong with the tendon in the middle finger of my left hand – but they aren’t sure what.  (Leeches and bloodletting, I’m telling you.)  I have an appoint with a hand specialist Monday the 14th, the day the I’m supposed to take my car in for repairs.  Of course.

By Thursday, I begin to develop insomnia.  Friday, I work late to update the local events calendar, which I haven’t had time to do because I’ve been on DJ duty.  Saturday, I spend the evening at a remote, dressed as a giant frog.  Sunday…I think I did laundry.  I don’t remember much of Sunday.

The insomnia has continued all this week.  It’s awful.  I’m tired, but I can’t really sleep.  Mediation has helped, but not solved, the problem.

I have not slept much today either.  If this post seems disjointed, that’s why.


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