A bit of a meandering, introspective post this time. Life has newsy bits, humdrum bits, and then it has bits like I’ve just negotiated which, for a gal like me, need examining, discussing, pontificating, and dissecting before I can move on. Welcome to the process.
It’s been twenty two and a bit years since I had a kidney transplant. No, I’m not going to ramble on about blessings and thankfulness and all that; in all honesty, it never felt like a hallmark movie to me – all soft focus and slowmo to soppy music – but more like a case of powering up, getting on, and doing what I was put on this earth to do. I do think that poor Keanu Kidney must sometimes look longingly at the running/biking/swimming life he left when he was extracted from my super fit, super slim sister’s insides to reside in my down-home-on-the-farm, Friday night is wine night, homestead cooking form but for the most we, Keanu and I, potter through our days in total harmony.
For that to happen though, I have a delicate handful of potions that I have to chuck down my neck morning and night to make my immune system look the other way. It’s a balancing act that Keanu, my various medical folk, and I are pretty dedicated to and, without boasting, we’re pretty damn good at it. In the ensuing years there’s been not one event (rejection) and, while my regular trips to my GP or various hospital clinics generally result in me picking up some lurgy, even that has slowed down due to the sanitising-and-mask-wearing times we are living in and good food, lots of water, and taking it a little easy is usually the only treatment required.
Hmmm…taking it easy…that’s the bit I struggle with and what has prompted both this post and my recent radio silence.
I’m a little embarrassed to even tell y’all, but one of Farm Girl’s biggest concerns when she donned her uniform and trotted off to conventional school was that, without her steadying influence at home, I would end up breaking myself. You know, without having to take breaks to explain possessive apostrophes I’d spend just a bit too much time in the garden or decide to hoof trim the goats on the same day I clean out all their houses because there were no science experiments to oversee, or use the Big-Bugger (it’s the technical term) does-the-job-in-half-the-time mallet instead of the hammer because, well because there’s no one there to say “is that a good idea?” in all honesty.
I’m even more embarrassed to report she was right but it was a gradual decline.
Hurrying to belt in a couple of metal posts before Colin and I wandered off to meet the returning school kid (thus killing the walk-the-dog and hear-all-the-gossip jobs with one proverbial stone) I pressed the BBmallet into service. I’m not saying it was the magpie’s fault, but he did decide to land on the fence not a metre from me (probably shrieking “is that a good idea?”, I can’t remember) just as I released my final that’ll-do-it beat. Before quietly putting the mallet back in The Bean Counter’s hiding place, shoving my hand in my pocket, and shuffling off down the road for the school meet-up I do remember looking at the base of my left thumb wondering why it didn’t look any different when it was so sore. I confessed, The Bean Counter found another mallet hiding place, and I favoured my right hand for a while to give the left time to mend.
I always wear gloves in the garden as the immune-suppression thing means scrapes and grazes easily turn to infections but when the sulky and downright uncooperative bamboo stick I was using to shore up the broad beans decided to throw in the towel and disintegrate, it ended up taking the right index finger right off the glove along with a good hunk of my knuckle. I cleaned it, put the special supercharged cream on it and covered it up. I’ll just try to do stuff that doesn’t require the use of my hands to give it time to mend.
But from my seat at the table where I was “doing the finances” I could see the Nor’ wester was pounding the little climbing rose I was trying to encourage over the pool shed. It just needed a teeny section of trellis put up and I had the exact right size bit in the barn. All I needed to do was hammer it’s pre-fashioned pointy feet into the ground, wedge it between the pool shed and pump house and hey presto. Yes, I found the BBmallet hiding place; yes I overswung; oh dear!
My body finally took matters into its own *ahem* hands and I came down, at the exact time Covid reared its head not 50 km down the road, with symptoms worrying enough to have me subjected to the nasal swab test. Phew – negative! It was time to front up to my wonderful, supportive, shock-proof GP who looked at my left hand with battered thumb and index finger that has decided to list towards its fellow fingers, my right hand with the knuckle that my poultices had finally worked on bringing to a head, and my right arm that really doesn’t like moving at all and cleared his throat. Oh oh…
So for the last ten or do days I have spent most of my time snoozing in the sun in one of the cosy corners I wrote about in my last missive.
It seems the twack of the BBmallet was responsible for triggering the osteoarthritis that had been silently lurking in my thumb base. I’m on some pretty cool cream to desensitize it but I am now forever stuck with a bendy index finger. He also hauled out a pretty stonking hunk of bamboo from my left index finger. The trellis incident has left me with a suspected torn muscle; I’m waiting for the scan. I’ve finished the antibiotics and the finger has cleaned up beautifully but my wonderful body that puts up with so much rubbish from me in the name of “it’ll just take a moment” is not quite ready to hand control back to me. In it’s immune-suppressed stupor, it has decided the best way to get me back to fighting fit is to seriously flush my system and my nose constantly drips. Even if I wanted to go out into the world, my drippy nose can only be hidden by my mask for so long.
So, have I learnt my lesson? I really hope so but I can’t promise anything. There’s always something to be done here and I honestly don’t know when I’m overdoing and when I’m just digging deep.
But one thing I am sure of: no more BBmallet. It’s now done an Elvis and left the building.