13 August 2020

apple sauce day

Two nights ago thunderstorms washed over us from midnight until almost sunrise. After our first delight and the open windows to let the wind blow through the house, we got grumpier by the half hour and wandered up and down the stairs checking for damage (none) and whenever we had settled down to catch up on sleep, it started anew.

Obviously, we were not in top form yesterday. Also, it got steamy and muggy hot, and before we knew it the sky was closing in with black clouds and not a breath of wind. We got a storm warning from the insurance app and I pulled the router plug seconds before the lightning started. I've experienced my share of thunder storms but this was massive incl. hail stones and water in sheets so dense you could not see through to the other side of our suburban street. 

Today, I made apple sauce from the windfall apples that dropped from the neighbour's garden onto our back lane and cut R's hair, finally. The apple sauce is delicious but the haircut is messy. 

In the early hours before dawn I dreamed that a knife was repeatedly struck in my left forearm. It took me a while to wake up and realise that it was probably the tendinitis in my left elbow spreading down towards my wrist. I got up and leaned against the bathroom mirror while I held my arm under the running cold water. This is nothing, I told myself. A tendon is nothing. Tendinitis is just a minor ailment, even if it's chronic.

Last week I had to see one of the experts. I try to avoid them - like the plague (get it?) but every so often they want to see you in person just to reassure the insurance that I am still here, still chronically ill, still not faking it. Anyway, he is the guy responsible for my ears and the ongoing seasickness and the bouts of vertigo and sinusitis headaches. He now wants to inject cortisone into my ears (intratympanatic steroid therapy). I told him, I want a second opinion. I didn't tell him that I find the idea of no matter how fine a needle piercing my ear drum too scary right now. He shrugged and said, well, the ears are secondary organs, you don't need them to survive. Not like your kidneys. Or your lungs. Or your heart. You need to watch them more carefully. As if I didn't know that.

You have no idea how afraid of death I am some days. And most nights.

On The Covid front, I'll cut and paste as my latest public service announcement from an excellent article by Garret FitzGerald,  director of the Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics at the University of Pennsylvania (the bold markings are mine):

". . . the World Health Organisation estimates there are 165 vaccine programmes under way. This is unprecedented, as is the diversity of approaches to vaccine development. (. . .) Indeed, it is likely we will need more than one effective vaccine if we are to reach the numbers globally that are necessary for effective immunity.

Given the political, cultural, and logistical challenges, attaining the goal of population immunity of 60-80 per cent, necessary in our connected world, is likely to take some time, maybe years.

Population protection in advanced societies with an assured supply of a vaccine by late summer 2021 is a reasonable bet.

Despite politically and commercially-driven promises that we will be protected from Covid-19 by vaccines early next year, this is extremely unlikely. Mass vaccination based on trials of a few thousand patients – as suggested in Russia – would be reckless. 

Masks, distancing, and hand-washing will be the rule for the foreseeable future. In the meantime there is encouraging progress in the development of drugs to curb the severity of Covid-19 and this, as with AIDS, may lead us to a semblance of normality even sooner than an effective vaccine."

 (You can read the complete article here.)





Ms. Moon said...

Well, I suppose that news about Covid is relatively good. It's so hard to believe that in this day and time such a small thing as a virus can cause such world wide devastation. Of course, it is also hard to believe that no one has figured out a cure for your illness. Or at least better ways of making it easier to live with.
I respect you for wanting a second opinion. I believe that is the correct decision.

ellen abbott said...

yeah, I'd want a second opinion too. or at the very least I'd live with it until it became intolerable.

I know storms like that. but how nice that your neighbor's tree gave you so many apples.

I would not trust a vaccine that comes out of Russia and I'm not too sure about ones being developed here. I trust the scientists and Universities working on it but I don't trust Trump and I don't trust his administration's Food and Drug Agency which is supposed to keep us safe. it's all about money for Trump. some of the drugs in studies seem to be working well but they only give them to the sickest. I'd like to see them administer them to people who are sick but not sick enough for hospitalization. it seems to me that the goal should be to knock covid-19 out before you get that sick.

I just used the link you provide to read up on this terrible disease you suffer from. I wish I had a magic wand.

am said...

I think you may know I angry I felt when I read how that "expert" spoke to you about your ears. You know so more than he may ever know about what it means to have a chronic illness and live with fear of death.

Anger and violence have appeared in my dreams lately but last night in my dream, I went outside a place of personal refuge, where I had previously felt safe but alone, and I consulted with two women about dealing with anger and violence and boundary violations. It was an austere dream with very little visual detail, almost like a stage set, with a simple door to the left of the middle of a vast stage. The door had become a source of vulnerability for me. I took the risk of going through the door. That's when I saw the two strong older women talking, and I knew I could ask them for help. Outside the door, the surroundings looked about the same as the surroundings inside the door. Both inside and outside were illuminated, but there was more room to move outside the door. The anger and violence that had threatened me from the other side of the door was gone. I woke up as the older of the two women turned to me with an air of kindness and courage. I couldn't see the younger of the two women as clearly, but her presence was reassuring.

In my only explicitly COVID-19-related dream, a young masked boy walking his bicycle near where I was standing just outside my front door and called out to me in a patient voice, "Please put your mask on."

Sending love and gratitude.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for that public service announcement. It is so important to read thoughtful analysis like this. Our feeling about a vaccine is to wait until our very trusted Dr. Fauci says it's okay and actually takes it himself. It's daunting to be living in a pandemic during the Trump administration. Pure bloody f*ckin' hell.
I'm glad you are going to wait before that cortisone ear treatment. Please take care there, Sabine. Enjoy your applesauce and stay well, my friend.

37paddington said...

Making applesauce in the face of it all sounds like a fine diversion. I hope it was delicious.

Joared said...

I remember only too well reeling through the house like a drunken sailor, experiencing nausea and worse when vertigo was having its way with me. What a relief when my children’s pediatrician diagnosed what i had been treated for as migraines for years as being eustachian tubes blocked related to sinus infection. So, for years now i must take care to keep those tubes open to also help prevent sinus infection developing. For whatever the reason in recent years this has become a more frequent periodic challenge. Piercing needle-like feelings in one or the other of my ears briefly felt causes me to wonder if something is at work but then its gone. Otolaryngologist seems not to think I have an issue warranting special treatment. A couple MRI’s in recent years reveal no problems, so my life goes on. But I, too, value the integrity of my ears and possible implications for my hearing. Our cognitive status is influenced by the input from all our senses so I’m keen to want to preserve all mine in good working order. Can empathize with your reaction and concerns. Do hope all goes well as you sort out your issues. Oh yes, also do stay safe from Corvid-19!

My life so far said...

The doctor said you can live without hearing, how nice for him. I'm guessing most deaf people would love to be able to hear, the sound of a bird singing, their grandchild's first word, soft rain falling, the leaves rustling in the wind.

I agree with the article. COVID will be be a long haul. There are no quick fixes. It's too contagious and we still don't understand how it attacks so many body systems.

Stay safe my friend.

Linda said...

Ugh! When you talk of your "expert" I can't help but remember every damn doctor that dismissed me, belittled me, and acted as if my illness was in my head. Still now, for whatever reason, they act as if vertigo is a mild annoyance...."go sleep it off"......when one cannot get to the toilet. At one time I had a compassionate doc but he is long gone and I've yet to find another.

Steve Reed said...

Wow! You've had much more intense storms than we have (at least here in my little corner of London). We got some rain but nothing that heavy. That ear injection sounds....yeah. Like you need a second opinion.

Allison said...

Oh good grief, I am so horrified by injecting steroids behind the ear drum. I have a hole in mine after two failed grafts to try to fix the hole caused by a sinus infection. My ear doctor once put steroid drops into that ear, which moved through the inner ear down into the back of my throat. The pain was so intense I thought I would vomit or pass out or both. So that's my experience with steroids behind the ear drum.