2020: Bring It On

The last time you heard from this blogger, it was to wish you all a Merry Christmas. The words were no sooner written when all hell broke loose in the McLain household. The good luck from the black-eyed peas that I prepared on January 1, 2019, apparently ran out sometime in mid- to late-December.

It’s true that for the most part, 2019 was a pretty darn good year. My sister Bec’s breast cancer turned out to be level 1, and she recovered completely following radiation treatment. That’s good, huh?

My son Court got a promotion for which he had hoped and is in a job that he really loves. That’s good, huh?

Three of my nine grandchildren continued from elementary school to middle school, and one of my grandchildren continued from middle school to high school. All adjusted quite well. That’s good, huh?

Following an arduous process, one of my daughters-in-law received permanent legal status in the United States. That’s good, huh?

Another of my daughters-in-law had successful ankle surgery and is recovering splendidly. That’s good, huh?

In fact, many, many more good things happened to me than I have even mentioned here. I think it’s safe to say again that the black-eyed peas’ spell lasted through 11/12ths of the year.

Here’s where things went wrong: On December 23, 2019 — a mere seven days ago — I was admitted to the hospital with another bowel obstruction. I wish I knew what to blame it on. Too many Christmas cookies? Too much holiday stress? God reminding me that I should wrap the gifts as soon as they arrive in my house?

Who knows? The good news is that the obstruction resolved quickly……

This is me patiently awaiting the results of my CT scan that I already KNEW would indicate a bowel obstruction. The smile is fake. The pain was real.

After much arm-twisting on this nana’s part, the doctors agreed to let me out the next day, which was Christmas Eve, with my promise to take small bites of my Christmas goose, chew thoroughly, drink lots and lots of water, and refrain from spicy foods and alcohol for a couple of weeks. Done, done, done and done.

The thing is, my body wasn’t done. Literally the evening of my release from the hospital, while eating dinner at Dave and Jll’s, my neck started to hurt. I have arthritis in my neck, but this pain was different. It was much more severe than I had ever experienced with arthritis, and nothing seemed to address the pain. Not heat, not ibuprofen, not massage, nothing.

Nevertheless, Bill, Jen, and I left on a jet plane for AZ as scheduled. This time we took Jen’s dog and our eldest granddaughter Addie with us. Winston-the-dog came because Jen will be staying until March following knee replacement surgery in mid-January. Addie came because she could. We had made our plans many months earlier….

We ate Christmas dinner (with me taking small bites) at Erik and Josey’s house. Addie and I are on the right side. The smile was fake. The turkey was real.

We enjoyed Addie’s visit, but we had to limit a lot of our plans because of the pain. She was lovely and didn’t complain, but I was sorry to be sick during her stay.

The day after she left, I called my primary care physician’s office and thankfully got an appointment that day.

An appointment at which the doctor indicated I HAD SHINGLES!

What? I explained that I had gotten the shingles shots, so that was impossible. She explained that I didn’t have a medical degree, and that even with the vaccine, a bout of shingles can occur under the right conditions. Like stress. The vaccine would shorten the length and severity of the outbreak. Maybe.

I’m happy to say that I feel better. My stomach feels fine. My neck is so much better, and managable via Ibuprofen.

One last note: When Bec told Erik that I had shingles, he responded, “She should eat more limes.” Bec’s response? “She doesn’t have scurvy. She has shingles.”

But who knows? Scurvy might be next on my list in 2020. As soon as I’m drinking alcohol again, it’s nothing by gin-and-tonics with LOTS OF LIMES.

Happy New Year.

9 thoughts on “2020: Bring It On

  1. Kris: Sounds to me that if it wasn’t for bad luck you’d have no luck at all! I’ve had a case of the droopies lately…..worked numerous crossword puzzles, watched many game shows, and I think I’m on the downhill to feeling better. I wish I had Bills doctors for Parkinson’s. Take care, get well, enjoy that AZ sunshine!

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