Remicadence

Photo on Wednesday7-23-14 at 12.58 PM

 

Here I am again, at the infusion center for my second infusion of Remicade. I’m flying solo this time (no Jeffrey), although I am sharing the room with a gentleman I described, on Facebook, as follows:

“a slightly ruffled, cute, young bearded ginger, ala young Kris Kringle in Bass & Rankin’s ‘Santa Claus is coming to town’ “

We are also sharing the room with a woman who looks to be in her 20s, and seems to be willing the Remicade to move through the IV faster, with her mind, by the way she’s staring at her arm rather intensely. Also, to be honest, I’m fairly certain she’s listened to a KD Lang album before and watched an episode or two of Ellen, if you know what I mean *wink wink nudge nudge* (Also, she just admitted to recently going camping and chopping wood and she’s wearing VERY comfortable shoes …mmmmHMMMMMMMM.)

The nurses i n the Remicade room always introduce us to each other as we arrive, which I suppose is a courtesy since we’re all sitting as close to each other (if not closer) as we would be in my living room. Everyone does an obligatory “hello” or “hey” before turning to focus on whatever electronic device they brought with them to keep them occupied for 2 hours. I do miss the other infusion room I was in, a few months ago, with curtain dividers between infusion chairs to give, at least, a semblance of privacy. Not that I’m anti-social, it’s just easier to look at porn on my laptop when I’m not in such an open space *giggle*

I had no reactions to my Remicade the first time, so I anticipate no reaction this time. I will meet with my GI Doctor after this infusion, today, to do a touch-base/check-up/ask-me-enough-questions-to-qualify-it-as-a-doctor’s-appointment-and-justify-a-co-pay-appointment (I kid.) We will actually discuss my current status, my future on Remicade, and what it means for my body and over-all health and well-being, so I’m game. But I do have a game night tonight with my men’s naturist group, so I want to be out of here in time to get there and sport my new “everything off but my man-girdle” look.

And so the adventure continues…

Oopsortunity

I woke up this morning with every intention on getting dressed, getting out the door, getting in the car, and going to some place to walk and explore. This would have a triple purpose: get my exercise in, get more driving in, and have fun exploring a new town. Unfortunately, I dragged my feet a little too long, enjoying the cuddle fest with Harvey and Rita, and opting for a second cup of coffee. The temperature was already starting to climb and I knew if I didn’t get out before it reached the promised 94 degrees, I wouldn’t leave the house at all. With herculean effort, I shooed the dogs off my lap, got my sneakers on, put the dogs in their crates, grabbed my sunglasses, phone and wallet, and stepped into the garage, locking the garage door behind me.

The more astute of you may have already realized I did NOT mention grabbing my keys. Bingo! I was locked out of my house, standing in the garage, with no keys in my hand. However, I had anticipated I would do this sooner or later, and had taken the appropriate measures, so I located the hidden key (What? We have no hidden key. I don’t know what you’re talking about) and let myself into the house to get my house/car keys. This, of course, set the dogs off on a wild barking spree because, even though I’d been gone all of 12 seconds, I obviously was back to let them out of their crates. (Although I think our dogs are relatively well behaved, we have not been able to break them of the initial bark fest when we get home. We do, however, admonish them and won’t let them out of the crates until they are quiet and calmed down.)

So now my dogs are barking/crying like mad. I tried to ignore it and stepped out of the house to get on my  way, but the incessant barking was breaking my heart and frustrating me.  I stupidly walked back in to chastise them, but now I’m wavering on leaving them in the crates and walking away a third time. Yeah, I’m a total sucker. I got them quiet and sitting, let them out, and decided to throw in the towel and just stay home with them. But I was already upset at myself for waiting so long to walk and I knew I’d beat myself up over it if I didn’t walk today.

I realized this was a great opportunity to try walking them for the first time since my surgery, killing two birds with one stone: getting my exercise and giving them the doggy version of euphoria: a walk around the neighborhood. I’ve hesitated doing this, up until now, as Rita is quite strong and can be a “puller” on her leash sometimes. I was afraid her pulling would hurt me, but I figured I could give it a shot and always return home if I thought she was going to be a problem. I put on their harnesses and grabbed the tandem leash and we headed out. The heat wasn’t too bad yet…it was only on the 70s, and the neighborhood was still pretty quiet. I set my timer on my iPhone for 30 minutes (I try to do at LEAST 30 minute walks, but longer if I can) and we proceeded to walk about the neighborhood. I had wrapped the two straps of the leashes around my arms to help keep any pull in my arms and away from my abdomen. Rita was surprisingly very well behaved (as was Harvey, but he is an excellent walker) and we had a nice walk going. Unfortunately, we came across several un-fenced yards, wherein owners were out with their unleashed dogs. I turned up and down streets to avoid passing them, but everywhere we went, there was another unleashed dog. I couldn’t risk one of them running up and tangling with one of my dogs or Rita trying to tear my arm off to chase one of them, so I finally gave up and we headed back to my house. (Side note: I don’t care how well trained your dogs are.There is a leash law and a reason for it. Even if your dog is friendly and runs up to my dogs to say hi, they would be darting out and sometimes across the street and risk getting hit by oncoming traffic. Also, you don’t know the temperament of my dogs, any more than I know the temperament of yours. It’s unsafe and stupid. If you don’t have a fenced in yard, keep your dogs on a leash or keep them inside.) We didn’t make the full 30 minutes. We were back at my front door in 24 minutes. But at least I got a walk in at all, and now I know I can walk them without hurting myself, so I will start doing that, perhaps earlier in the day, or somewhere where there are less considerate people around.

I’m glad my “oops” (locking myself out of the house) turned into an opportunity to walk the dogs.

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Here are the kids after our walk, tired and hot and waiting for me to sit down so they can resume their lap cuddling.

I’m Super…Thanks For Asking

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Today I began a self-imposed get-back-into-normal-life-as-much-as-possible, gain-no-more-weight therapy.

I got up with Jeffrey, saw him off to work, showered and dressed, had my coffee while sitting with the dogs, then headed out for my morning walk. I decided to sport the Captain America T-Shirt you see on me, above, to inspire me to be my own hero, get off my ass, and get moving.

To make my walk more productive, I drove to the nearby downtown Troy, (we actually live in Speigletown, but Troy is only 5 minutes away,) parked, and went on a walking exploration, listing all the restaurant and shops I discovered on my walk, on my iPhone for future reference. I did discover one or two small places that I was not aware of before, but mostly knew about the rest. Still, it was fun and interesting to go out exploring on foot, and I got my hour walk in with no problem.

After my walk, I headed to the grocery store to pick up a few items, then headed home, put on laundry, threw together a small salad for lunch, and got caught up on texts, e-mails and Facebook.

I know that probably sounds like a pretty ho-hum kind of day for some of you but, for me, being able to shower, get dressed and get out and around all by myself, is a pretty big deal. I’m still wearing my man-girdle, and I am still unable to bend or lift anything, for the most part; otherwise, I feel pretty darn close to normal again after a 6.5 week hiatus from life.

The open wound on my abdomen (from the coughing fit a few weeks ago that split open my incision) has healed from a cavernous hole we (Jeffrey) had to pack with saturated gauze every day, to a relatively minor sore spot that I simply have to cover with a new bandage myself each morning after showering. It has actually been pretty amazing watching this thing heal and get better day in and day out, as opposed to just removing bandages after several weeks and seeing it already healed.  I may be back to work as early as July 31st – just 10 days away – if I get the green light from my surgeon when I go for my check-up on June 30th.

In preparation for returning to normalcy, Jeffrey and I have begun making tentative plans for the fall, to a few drivable get aways, as well as a possible, long overdue, trip to Arizona next April.

As much as I’m not excited about returning to my cubicle and the hour drive to and fro every day, It’ll be good for me to get back to work. I’ll need the distraction. Jim is leaving for India for a couple weeks, for work, and then will be on vacation, so I won’t see him for a month or so and that’s gonna suck. I’ve gotten spoiled seeing so much of him during my recovery. He’s such a big part of my life, it won’t be the same without him here for so long. In this case, however, I have no doubt that the adage “absence makes the heart grow fonder” will hold true. At least for me. He’ll probably be relieved to get away from all of my health issues and unhealthy dog attachment issues for awhile (ha ha).

Now to get back off my arse and find something productive to do.

The New Normal

I had the closest thing to a normal weekend so far, thanks to these two guys:

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Jim and I had dinner and spent the night in Lennox, MA last night. Today, we explored nearby Lee and Lenox Center, two cute little towns, where we had lunch and shopped a bit.

When I got home, Jeffrey and I caught up on our last evenings, then headed out to pick up my comics and meet our friend, Mark, for cocktails and dinner (and some more light shopping) at a local restaurant and mall.

Despite being a little sore and very tired, it was wonderful to be out of the house and spending time with the men in my life.

I’m a lucky fellow indeed.