Wednesday, May 04, 2005

may 4

and the day has dissolved. Spent the morning at the clinic (more on that later), have been working on the new piece, now it's lunch break.
Our weather is warming up, clear and sunny and dry again. I will need to get water on the perennials before i leave for Cedar Lakes late next week. The tulips, daffodils, hyacinth, and vinca are still holding their flowers. Lilacs about to open. Crab apple blossoms dropping but the air is still fragrant. We didn't lose anything to the freezes last week, but did have some branches broken by the heavy snow.
the piece in process began as rock strata and is built of layers of hand dyes (from Helene Davis, she's wonderful) gelatin prints (moi, it's addictive), and patchwork pieced silk ties (a therapeutic process: cutting, sewing, cutting ad infintum). Today when i got home at noon, i wasn't happy with how the thing looked, turned it on its side and liked it more, especially after slicing it in thirds. i don't know what it is about how i work but this need to white out paint, cut up and rearrange sections of fabric add, subtract, add subtract seem essential to me. so on it goes.

as for the clinic, i have once again strained muscles and ligaments. This time it's a result of heavy luggage and too much lifting of same. (The first time it was a result of 8 weeks on crutches plus one week in an oversized wheel chair on carpeted floors). All my luggage piggy-back and has wheels and none of it is heavier than i can lift. However this last trip i had airports with trams to take the passenger to/from the rental car areas and those trams do not have ramps. Plus they have racks where the luggage is supposed to go = lifting of several bags all about 40 pounds, repeatedly. I'm not quite 5'2", travel alone and have this need to "do it myself". i'm gonna have to modify my behaviour.

I thought that muscle strain was the problem and wanted advice on how to treat it since this is going on three weeks now and it hurts to breathe. Off to the walk-in branch of our clinic. All my vitals were fine, my whole history is right there on the computer but since the pain is *chest pain* they have to rule out every nasty possibility. *My symptoms are/were very much like those of heart attack in women.*

Good news: i have a heart! it works very well. I am, as the PA said "disgustingly healthy". [i knew that] the blood work was clean, heart lungs, liver kidneys, all systems just fine. A very long history of low low blood pressure, low low cholesterol, reasonably active, reasonably fit.
Diagnoses: inflamation around the sternum. Prescription for serious anti-inflamatory, a pain med (i won't take it), rest, relax (HAH), *!ask for help!* with the heavy stuff. yeah right. Check with my primary care Doc before traveling again (next week).

So, why am i telling you all of this? It is way too much information. The thing is that symptoms of heart trouble in women are very different from symptoms of heart troubles in men, and many people do not know this. The PA told me this morning that they often see women over 50, with no risk factors and "feeling not quite right" symptoms who turn out to be either in the middle of an episode or recovering from a recent "silent" attack.

yes it's expensive and a nuisance to keep our medical care up to date and we don't want to be paranoid or hyperchondriacal, but we do need to be well informed. I felt very foolish having all those tests, but admit to a sense of reassurance that i am indeed as healthy as i like to think i am. grin.
I am also taking this as a wake-up call to be less of a super woman and learn to ask for help instead of taking on too much. wish me luck with that one. i have a long history of independence.
it's time to go back to work.
enjoy this lovely day!
p.s. a different sort of caution: there are several new computer virii/worms out there. Some of them spoof sender addresses, some look like they are coming from a real place, they might say "password attached" or "account information" or "here it is!" Be careful if you use Windows, make sure your virus definitions are up to date. Do not open these .zip attachments.


Rayna said...

Ack - sending a big hug for feeling better, Laura - and for the reminder that we caregivers need to take care of ourselves, too!

On another note, I made 3 gelatin plates today for a workshop I am giving this weekend. FUN! I know what you mean about addictive.

teri springer said...

Ah ha! Costalchondritis!! Nasty. It's actually caused by a virus. I used to get it rather frequently but haven't had it in some time (knock wood). I know you don't want to take the pain killers but, keep 'em handy for just may need one. Hope you feel better soon and sign me up for that newsletter....I couldn't see the link on your page....


PaMdora said...

This may a little late, but I'm glad you're not having heart trouble. Have a great retreat this week and hoping you're felling better.