This blog post is brought to you by a 100% Harm Avoidance gal, in the spirit of a life lived the Seizure Coma Death way. I present to you now, purely for your reading pleasure, true stories from this last month:
A fever and a hacking cough recently afflicted my youngest daughter. One night as she’s crying in pain, I wake to give her more Tylenol, to bring down her fever. I leave her room thinking, “Hmmm, she’s worse than the night before, when she slept all night without her fever spiking.” I begin to worry thus: Oh no, it’s probably that new mutant strain of the flu that’s worse than most flus but starts as a regular cold and gets worse and worse and worse until. . . it moves into the lungs and my baby might DIE.
And then, as I crawl back into bed, I notice that my big toe is hurting. This is my OTHER big toe, because the first one is already fighting an infected/ingrown nail. When I realize both toes are hurting, I think, Oh no!!! I have DIABETES!! I never knew a 5-pound weight gain could be enough to propel me into type 2 diabetes. I am going to be stuck the rest of my life having to take meds for this.
So I toss and turn awhile and Jonathan finally notices and asks, “Are you ok?” I answer, “NO! I am not ok! I think I have diabetes. Both my toes hurt. My feet aren’t healing.” He retorts, “The reason feet are a problem for diabetics is because they CAN’T feel their feet, not because they CAN; your feet are fine. Go back to bed.” So I try. Even though my toes are still in pain.
The weather here affects my feet I guess, making them more dry and calloused than usual. So maybe I need to invest in some sort of foot cream.
But probably not Metformin.
Later that week, a killer mosquito attacks Jonathan and me. First, it attacks him. We had gone to bed early that night to try to recover from the sleep loss associated with, you know, COUGHING KID. So we are tossing and turning, in and out of sleep, listening to our dear sweet little hacker, when suddenly he jumps out of bed, all flustered, saying a mosquito bit him on the lip. It’s swelling HUGE, and it hurts. I give him the Benadryl cream and we look for, but cannot find, the Perpetrator.
I cover my entire self with the sheets, except for my face, so I can, you know, BREATHE, and I fall back asleep. Then about an hour later, I wake up with a pain in my lip, and it’s a teeny tiny bit itchy. Fearing the worst, I run to the bathroom, only to discover a bite that is TAKING OVER MY FACE. Numbness and tingling spread all the way down to my chin. My lip simultaneously balloons outward and swells all the way INTO my mouth, where I can feel the bulge on the inside of my lips. I think: And when the swelling reaches my windpipe, I will die.
So I slather on the Benadryl cream and search for that blasted mosquito. When I finally find it, I swipe at it with the electric bug zapper. The zapper buzzes the mosquito no fewer than 5 times (usually 1 or 2 zaps is enough to slay a mosquito). When it falls to the ground, it is STILL WRITHING. Of course, even a mosquito as hardy as that can’t survive my foot: one stomp finishes the job nicely.
It takes all night for the swelling on my lip to go down. The tingling doesn’t fully subside until later the next day.
But my airways are still intact.