Confession Time

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.

20 thoughts on “Confession Time

  1. Who would have believed, reading your cheery and upbeat posts, that you have to take all that medication to keep your immune system happy. What a wonderful sister to have to help in that way. You are your own worst enemy as I am sure you realise, I hope that this time, having recovered, you will not be quite so silly again. Lots of sympathy though, you have really been through the wars.

  2. Keanu is a toughie to keep up with the rest of you & all your mother of the farm chores that if you are a creative brain can be done without a thought of the consequences. So glad you are recovering. Hope torn muscle is healing. Without the infection threat that you have to deal with, in the middle of a job I might hurt myself, say ow & keep going only to forget & find later that day or 2 or 3 days later a bruise or a scratch/gash that looks like horror movie makeup & declare farmers motto ‘how did I do that’.
    A gold knitted Mallet should be awarded to you complete with hot water bottle pocket for all your hard work.

    • I feel you get it. I am forever discovering bruises and scrapes that folk seem bewildered I have no explanation for. I always blame the goats😁 I love the idea of a knitted mallet/hot water bottle cover award 🤣

  3. It is most unfair when life deals you blows like that when all you are doing is getting on with what needs to be done . . . but perhaps you ought to hone up your ability to hear the Farm Girl’s voice in your head when you contemplate just one more little (or big) task. I am glad that the medical establishment has been prompt and efficient.

    • I really do need to tine into Farm Girl’s voice but, to be fair, I often sneakily disregarded it when she was here. Funny thing is, you push the envelope a bit and its successful: everyone cheers, the pushed envelope disintergrates leaving you with a wound and unsupported broad beans with an advancing gale warning and youre an idiot😁 my GP is wonderful and seems to delight in my “keeping him on his toes”

      • I know that feeling well. Luckily, I have not been heavily punished for foolish over confidence yet but with every year that passes, it is more certain that my time will come.

  4. Glad you’re getting the rest your body clearly wanted/needed, but sorry it had to happen right at this point in spring – of course that IS why it happened, because you’re at that point in spring, lol. I bet your family went all huntaway at you, barking to keep you in your chair. Mine are a bunch of border collies, all anxiously hovering – does it drive sheep as crazy as it drive me? The gloves are a good idea…I tried to be good about them this summer for similar reasons to you, but somehow, just quickly pulling one weed turns into getting onto hands and knees and doing a whole patch (and you know how that goes – clearly this happens to you too), and I invariably never have the gloves with me at the time. Liz Zorab of Byther farm (Hashimoto’s) uses vinyl gloves (kept in her pocket) but I hate the waste of them. Do try not to look for the mallet again – it will just keep things more peaceful at home and it might mean keeping your digits into old age…

    • Love it…huntaway is so apt! And of course you end up crawling around the garden clearing “just to the camellia”. I use vinyl gloves (which I reuse…shhhh) with robust gardening gloves over them the bamboo managed to slice off the entire gardening glove finger and about 75 % of the vinyl one. The mallet has gone…it now lives in the back of the Farmers ute and I have neither the height nor the key clearance to access that aladdin’s cave🤣

  5. Oh, poor you! I think you might have been over-doing things but I completely understand your predicament (though I haven’t had a kidney transplant) and sympathize greatly. I take drugs to suppress my immune system because of my rheumatoid arthritis. I am always getting infected cuts and I am always covered in bruises! Because of my osteo-arthritis my fingers all twist in odd directions because each time I knock my hands or get a bit too enthusiastic while gardening or doing the housework the joints complain and then a new lump appears. I am supposed to spend 20 minutes at most on each task and then rest in between jobs! Impossible! I cannot look after a house and garden, take my daughter to the station, do the shopping etc. and visit my mother and help her unless I just keep going.
    I do hope you recover soon and your nose stops dripping. ❤ ❤

  6. Hi, I admit I had a bit of a chuckle reading this post given the ongoing parade of disasters. Your post reminded me of my belief that life presents lessons that need to be learned. And if we don’t learn the first time, the lesson keeps being presented until we DO learn – some of us are stubborn students. I am glad you are in recovery mode and taking things easy for a while.

  7. I loved finding and reading this post. We are getting ready to adopt a little boy who is on the kidney transplant list. My biggest concern is what restrictions will he have once he is with us full time. Ya know, on the farm, doing farm boy things. Then of course, what he can and can not eat! So, I love finding other homesteading families living with a transplant!

    • Life is for living. I’ve found the biggest problem to be cuts, grazes and the like becoming infected because the farmyard can be a bit mucky. Having a good first aid kit and taking time to clean and cover the scrape helps. My eating hasnt really been restricted except for no grapefruit… Congratulations on growing your family and thanks for taking the time to comment

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