How Daylight Enlightens Me and MR-enterographies Enlighten Doctors About What’s Inside Me

Hello Reader.
With the exception of yesterday’s stormy weather here in Bellingham, these past several days have been as sunny and enchanting as anyone could ask for in early March.


And what does that do for our moods, you ask? Well, it makes us extra adventurous, of course. (Bear in mind, “adventurous” to Adam and me might probably have a different definition from yours. We are not bungee-jumpers in this household.)

Instead, we do things like try to suck every last bit of daylight out of the sky when Adam gets home from work. I think we still are recovering from living in Alaska (or at least I am, anyway) where daylight was scarce and sometimes literally non-existent.

Monday morning was my MR-enterography. It was very trying on my body and my mind. I spent the rest of the day recuperating, but when Adam got home, we decided it was high time that we saw some sun and got inspired by something.

And so, we loaded up Juvenaly in the car and embarked on one of our favorite activities: discovering cute old neighborhoods and oggling the houses and deciding which one we want to live in.

But before that, photo-shoot on the parking garage, yes?

Look at Juvenaly’s big rabbit feet. It kills me.

A quick intermission of boring stuff:
I’m still waiting on confirmation from my doctor, but it appears now that I have four strictures in my intestines instead of three. That there is some fierce scar tissue. Clearly this is not pleasing news, but we’ll know more after the rest of my procedures this month.

Also, I got another migraine. (And subsequently a chance to try out my new migraine meds. Result: Inconclusive and frustrating.)

Symptoms started Tuesday evening but I naively did not think it was going to turn into a migraine. I’m still learning about this migraine game. By the quite-early hours of Wednesday morning, I was desperately fumbling in the dark for the migraine pills. I was still essentially incapacitated until about 1:30pm or so, but it was definitely not the worst migraine I’ve had. It eventually turned into more of a dull pain, so I decided “Why not? Of course I should go to Pre-Sanctified Liturgy tonight at church.”

We were about halfway there (20 minutes into the drive) when I realized that I had perhaps made a terrible mistake. By the time Liturgy started, the pain was so bad and so debilitating; I don’t even know how to explain how I felt. A deep concern that I would be carted out of there in an ambulance? I was really scared, honestly.

(Have I mentioned lately that Adam is a saint for taking care of me?)

The point of all this: Who the heck knew that migraines existed. I mean, of course everyone knows what a migraine is and that people get them. But I had no understanding and no appreciation for what a migraine was until I started getting them myself. How is it that this is a thing for people? When it comes to my weakling body, migraines feel like the entire right side of my brain and neck are simply shattering. Completely breaking down. It’s terrifying and surreal. Using the charming term my mom suggested: I have now decided to be prayer warrior for every sick person and migraine-ridden person in the world. Just let me know, and I will wage a prayer war for you.

Intermission over and back to fun stuff.
Adam and I also spent a lovely Saturday afternoon browsing our local bookstore, Michael’s Books. It’s one of those huge used bookstores that looks like a tornado hit the place and that every book is a precarious domino that is about to cause the entire store to come falling to the ground.

That’s a tad exaggerated. But Adam and I love the place. They also have boxes and boxes of free books that sit outside the store everyday. That’s right; I said free.

We scored with these lovelies.

All but the top book were freebies. They have an endless supply of freebies, it seems, so we don’t feel too bad about leaving with five!

We don’t really know what A Touch of Danger is yet, but Adam insisted on it.

I’ve wanted to read The Elegance of the Hedgehog for a while now, so when I found it at Michael’s for cheap, it was a no-brainer-purchase. I’m about a third of the way through. It’s translated from the French, so it’s written kind of oddly. But in an amazing way. The language is so bizarre, so thoughtful, so whimsical, and often an enigma.

The story itself is incredibly cynical right now, and it’s all about social classes (which isn’t my favorite topic, but it’s French so I can forgive it. heh heh…). But I happen to know from a very good source (my librarian-mother who knows exactly what kind of books I like) that I will love this book. So I’m excited to see where it goes. I do enjoy it already.

So, to end this post in a way that it seems many bloggers do, I will leave you with this:

Currently Reading: The Elegance of the Hedgehog, also Jane Eyre (gosh darnit, I love it so much it hurts), and reading out loud to Adam as a bedtime story: Coraline (a favorite of mine, and I’m telling you, Adam suggested that I read it to him. I didn’t force it!)

Currently Listening to: a heck of a lot of Sharon Van Etten (click name for a great song!) and Frightened Rabbit (click name for another great song!)

Currently Watching: Let’s just say I am now obsessed with the film, The Hours. Let’s be real, this is probably going to get its own blog post, so I’ll leave it for now.
Also, Adam and I are still making our way through the Wes Anderson films (I only have 2 left to show him!), and the Hayao Miyazaki films. More on that later!

Happy Thursday! Many blessings to all.

On Avoiding the ER–and unrelatedly–Exposing Adam to the Works of Wes Anderson

Well Reader,

It’s been a difficult week of doctor appointments and other less-than-pleasant things.

Yesterday, we nearly went to the Emergency Room, but praise the Lord, my amazing gastro got involved and ordered me all the tests and x-rays needed (as well as prescribing meds) to keep us from spending the night in the ER.

I guess I should explain.

One of the many gifts my Crohn’s Disease has granted me are three strictures throughout my intestines. Basically, due to so much inflammation and excess scar tissue, three areas of my intestines have narrowed into such teeny openings that oftentimes, food cannot pass through. Many people wonder why I can’t eat things like berries, nuts, popcorn, most raw vegetables, etc. That’s why.

Sometimes, it seems that it doesn’t matter what I eat; this stricture blockage will still occur. The pain is unquestionable. When this starts happening, I know what it is. I also know that it will typically last up to 12 hours. My usual reprieve includes hospital check-ins and morphine through an IV. The pain is truly unbelievable and unbearable.

I also know what the doctors always tell me: You have to go to the ER when this happens to make sure nothing is rupturing.

And/or other less-than-ideal things.

Let’s speed things up a little bit…I contacted my gastro who saw me immediately and ordered x-rays and blood work to be analyzed stat. (No morphine though…sigh). I did not end up having a full-blown blockage. Praise the Lord (again). The pain was debilitating, but not as bad as I have experienced, and since I didn’t have a blockage, we managed to avoid the ER. By the eleventh hour of pain (10pm), it stopped. Thank God for a peaceful bedtime.

I describe the pain as “contractions”. Yesterday, for example, it would come about every 5 minutes, last for about five minutes, give me a 5-min break, and so on. It’s been my experience before that the “contractions” will start to get closer and closer together, and that is when it seems that morphine will indisputably be a part of my imminent future. Luckily, we didn’t get to that point yesterday.

Today, it is so peaceful. Like the aftermath of a storm, I say, acknowledging the cliche. My abdomen is quite sore, but really that is nothing at all.

I feel that’s enough medical-talk for today. I won’t bother going into detail about this past week’s appointments. I do feel I should mention that I have an MR-enterography on Monday. It is one of my least favorite things. I have to drink 3 bottles of barium and lie in a ridiculously claustrophobic machine for 45 minutes while I hold my breath to the beat of ear-splitting beeping. ‘Nuff said. Prayers always welcomed.

On a more exciting note:

Adam is finally seeing all of the Wes Anderson films! Huzzah!
Some have questioned how I am married to someone who has never seen even one of my dearly-esteemed Mr. Anderson’s movies. To that I say: Who cares. He’s seeing them now.

We are going in no particular order. We watch one, I witness his reaction and take it into account, and I then choose what I deem to be the next appropriate one to watch.

It has been exceedingly helpful to have this great place next door:

Some may say that I can look a tad like a tourist when we go on walks with my Instax camera. Said unnamed person mentions this fact with love. To which I respond “Well, Adam, what the heck else is this for?”

Anyway, Film is Truth is a really excellent local movie store in Bellingham. We’ve been frequenting that place like crazy lately. They also happen to have every Wes Anderson film ever made. I sadly only own The Darjeeling Limited and The Fantastic Mr. Fox, which may or may not be but probably are my favorites.

It may be possible that the reason I never insisted on Adam watching any of the Wes Anderson films before is because I kind of thought, just maybe that he wasn’t going to like them. Perhaps I was thinking that these films do not contain quite enough plot, and a bit too much whimsy, clay, and kind-of-unlikable-characters-who-still-manage-to-be-sort-of-likable for my dear husband.

Turns out, I was wrong. Drum roll. He does like them.

We have three films left for him to watch. This has been the order so far:

I tell you with a certain level of surprise that his favorite thus far has been Moonrise Kingdom. Who woulda thought that the one about the boy scout and the girl in the cute dress with the imaginary books would be his favorite?

moonrise_kingdom_23

We’ve still got The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, and Bottle Rocket. We’re both kind of thinking he’ll like Steve Zissou the best. We’ll see.

We also rented one of Adam’s favorite movies since childhood, Princess Mononoke. Considering my absolute disinterest in anime, I wasn’t sure how I would feel about this. People have told me that I would like Spirited Away (same director), so I was definitely intrigued. Incredibly enough, I liked Princess Mononoke a lot. It certainly had it’s slightly-obnoxious, cartoony tendencies, and it was even a bit gory for my tastes, but it was made beautifully. I couldn’t believe how much I loved some of the scenes. They were really quite endearing.

princess
I think I’ll say goodbye for now. I’ve just realized that my hands are feeling rather like icicles, and this apartment has gotten much too cold AND quiet. Quiet? That’s suspicious. What is that little Juvenaly doing… (Honestly, quiet is good. The cat is probably finally sleeping and done terrorizing things. I better go find the sleepy thing and bury my face in his soft belly.)

I hope that everyone is having a beautiful day.
Until next time!