An Autocidal Life, Part 6: In Which Babe Becomes a Magnet!


By the time you reach the end of this post, you will have learned how
^^’ ooky someone’s life is.
๐Ÿ™„ You: “Dang! SO glad that’s not me!”
๐Ÿ˜€ Me: “You’re welcome!”
 
(If you missed the beginning of our exciting and gross-but-still-riveting story, here it is. It won’t take you long to catch up.)
 
Getting High on Life
 
Where Babe gets a little fever. So what.
 
By the end of every day, Babe began running a fever.
 
The Bee Gees

Make It Stop! It Burns! It Burns!!


 
Not a big fever–just 99 or 100 degrees. The more tired she was, the higher the fever.
 

Young Asian Girl With Fever

My Bottom Lip Pouted More


 
Along with the temperature rise came what Babe called her “full head” feeling–because that’s exactly what it felt like–like her head was full of something.
 

(No. Not something good, Vanessa. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ Go back and study Parts 1 through 5 ๐Ÿ˜Ž and come back tomorrow.)

She got used to it. You can get used to almost anything.

Barfing, But Barely

Ew.

Babe had always had the baby-barfs. If she ate something sweet first thing in the morning, and then bent over to tie her shoes or pick something up, a small amount of breakfast would gently roll back up her throat. Icky.

Duh: So she avoided sweet breakfasts. She didn’t like bear claws or waffles anyhow. (I know! Hard to believe!)

Bear Claw Cookies

THESE Bear Claws I Would Eat–COOKIES!! Num, Num, Num!!

But now, the baby-barfs started happening even when she didn’t eat sweet things. They happened even when she wasn’t bending over.

No big deal.

Study Questions:
Why is this chapter here?
First we get BLOODY vomit, rages, and floor-spitting, and then THIS?

Swallowing, But Barely

Where Babe has trouble eating and drinking.

She was choking!

Babe had been swallowing her tasty tuna salad, when suddenly her throat had clamped entirely shut in a very painful spasm. She waited it outโ€”what else could she do? The spasm released.

Babe decided she must have just done something weird, like timed her swallow wrong with her breathing. So, she very tentatively tried to finish getting the mouthful down, with a little tiny sip of a swallow.

No good–her throat clamped tight again, and the pain was truly terrible!

Painful Swallowing in Older Man

Unlike Ads Aimed At Doctors, This Post Shows MALES With Mysterious Pains, Too


Doctors call it “pharyngeal spasms”, or “dysphagia”
           [fuh-RIN-gee-ull]         [dis-FAY-gee-uh]
Probably because “choking” is too hard to say.

Babe learned to take smaller bites. Sometimes, the spasms happened anyway. They hurt like a son-of-a-b-tch.

Trouble Swallowing Your Pride

“There’s nothing wrong with your throat. Lots of people have trouble swallowing their pride.”

Study Questions:
Isn’t this a sign of cancer?
Shouldn’t Babe see a doctor?
(Raise your hand for why she didn’t.)

Napping, and HOW

Where Babe gets sleepy. Again. Big deal.

Babe was losing energy. Every afternoon, right at two o’clock, she had to take a nap, immediately! It was actually a nap emergency–she literally could not keep her eyes open, and fell asleep the instant she shut them.

Nap Emergency At Work Guy On Floor

Book Feels SOFT…Ah…It WILL Be Soft Soon, After Its Drool-Soaking.

Babe would sneak into her office, lock the door, and collapse across her desk, waking in a puddle of drool. It was odd and scary and weird to her (not to mention gross), and she was really worried that her staff would find out.

Bart Sleeping Animated Gif

(Note the Still-Short Haircut)

Study Questions:
What is so bad about needing a nap?
Doesnโ€™t Bart look so cute?

Huffing and Puffing

Where Babe gets short of breath.

Stairs began to be difficult for Babe. She got so out of breath she would have to stop halfway up and struggle to get enough air.

Daleks Facing Obstacle of Stairs

“Drat.”

Often she had a sharp ache deep in the center or side of her chest. She pretended this was due to a return of her childhood asthma, thanks to the L.A. smog, but she really knew it wasn’t asthma. Unlike childhood, she didn’t wheeze once.

Study Questions:
Does an asthma attack always involve wheezing?
Why on earth does anyone want to live in Los Angeles?

Los Angeles Smoggy Sunrise

Are You Kidding? Get a Loada’ That Gorgeous Smogrise!


Stiff Fingers

Where Babe can’t make a rude gesture.

Most mornings now, Babe’s fingers were swollen like puffy sausages. She could close them only part-way, and couldn’t hold anything.

Sometimes, they moved in little jerks and pops, and ached terribly.

Other times, though, it simply felt like the air resisted her. Then, it was kinda fun squeezing the invisible force–like when you push same-pole magnets together!

Magnet Pinkie

Came in HANDY At Work, Too! ๐Ÿ™‚

Sometimes, Babe’s middle finger would lock closed, and she couldn’t force it open. (She became a more polite driver.) Usually, after a couple of hours, and a very hot shower, her hands were much better.

Babe didn’t think much about any of this, because the same things had happened to her mom (Babe’s mom had needed surgery to unlock her fingers).

The day Babe had trouble holding the steering wheel, though, she decided to see a doctor.

Woman Driving With Gloves and Straw Sunhat

Even Gloves Didn’t Help

She made an appointment with a rheumatologist at the famous Cedars Sinai.

Study Questions:
Is Babe eating something bad before bed?
Is she making too many rude gestures in her sleep?

Part 7, In Which Babe Is Saved By a 15-Minute Miracle

MAD-ENDUM

Googling “pharygneal spasms”, I found attitude:

(1) Cricopharyngeal” spasms are blamed on hysteria, and patients demeaned as hypochondriacs (even though food allergens can trigger the the spasms). My spasms weren’t these, since sources (e.g. ) say:

– the patient senses a lump in the throat,
– the pain is mild,
– it disappears when food swallowing is attempted.

(2) Johns Hopkins does list causes other than hypochondria, but buries these WAY down, and manages to sneer at patients:

Judgmental Version:

“Dysphagia refers to a patient’s perception of difficulty in (swallowing). Patients typically describe … a sensation of food ‘sticking’ in the throat or chest. They may also use the term ‘choking’ … to describe the same feeling.”

My Version:

Dysphagia refers to a patient’s difficulty in swallowing. Patients typically describe … food sticking in the throat or chest. They may also use the term choking.

A good clinician will take care to find whether the feeling is a mild sticking or a painful choking, as the difference may be clinically significant.
 
Part 7, In Which Babe Is Saved By a 15-Minute Miracle
 
SPLAT-ENDUM

For all y’all who were disappointed at TWO puke tales so far with nary an animated gif–HERE you go!:

*** *** *** *** *** ***
NOT 4 THE PUPPET-PHOBIC
*** *** *** *** *** ***

Puppet Vomiting Animated Gif

Mannekin Hurlen!


 
Part 7, In Which Babe Is Saved By a 15-Minute Miracle


 

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33 Comments

  1. [speechless]

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    • I don’t blame you for being speechless at THIS part, Maggie :D. It was pretty anti-climactic compared to the others, but my compulsive nature made me need to include it. Thus the 2am posting, which led to posting it with a typo in the first sentence–the THIRD time I’ve done that with a post–ARGHHH!!!.

      It now has a kind of cute version of the same lame intro, which it would, perhaps, have had if I’d waited to post until I’d had four more hours of sleep! Which reminds me: I hope YOU are getting adequate rest, young lady…ahem? โ“

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  2. Such an interesting post..will have to go back and catch up. So sorry for your health issues, but your documentation of them is compelling ! โ˜บ Van

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    • Thank you, Van! I just finished saying to Maggie how anti-climactic this one is. Then, I thought again. The first one is even MORE boring! I can see why my readership has plummeted! Ha ha ha!! But I’m grimly seeing these through to the end–whenever THAT will be…dum de dum dum… ๐Ÿ™„

      Thank you also so much for stopping by!
      ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  3. So what would happen if you walked into the doctor’s office with a thick file folder containing everything you wrote in this series?

    [A light bulb goes on in the doctor’s head. An immediate diagnosis is reached that requires no further investigation or thought. Hypochondria. How could it be anything else?]

    [Cue condescending tone:] “Well, let’s have a look at you!”

    [Checks watch, if I hurry, I can make my 2:00 pm tee-time.]

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Ha ha ha! Careful: You’d better not say that around Victo! (Oh–you don’t follow her, do you, Greg? She is one of those marvelous doctors whom I rarely encountered.)

      But I’m about to: You’ll see when I get there–in about a day–that my (first) diagnosis was even easier and faster than you describe, achieved by a superb clinician who respected and listened to his patients.

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  4. I came here because of your very funny comment at The Venomous Bead . . . .

    and then I read the words โ€˜Pharyngeal Spasmsโ€™. Iโ€™ve got them but since my doctor said they are simply asymmetrical swallowing patterns I go along and do the odd bit of choking, trying to keep it to myself when in company. which doesnโ€™t always work. If I keep very still and try not to swallow the lump, take the pain without whimpering and breathe through my nose until the spasm ends I can usually swallow eventually. So far no puking.

    Well, I never, so Iโ€™m not the only one. The things one learns! Taking pills is a particular pain, I have to chew them and my doctorsโ€™ notes say: has trouble swallowing pills. But thatโ€™s all, no treatment.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • First: Hello, Friko! Thank you! For visiting, and for thinking whatever it was I said was “very” funny ๐Ÿ™‚ (sure hope I was trying to be funny at the time :P)

      If you read backward, you’ll see I had symptoms of neurological involvement, and if you read on as more posts come, there will be new symptoms of this. I suspect my pharyngeal spasms were neurologically-related, since they occurred during the same timeframe as the peak of my other nerve-happy, nerve-zappy fun. I am most fortunate that they have never recurred since.

      I’m terribly sorry that you still suffer. You might read the Johns Hopkins link all the way through–I think it had a couple of potentially-helpful ideas near the end. I’m not certain, since I merely skimmed due to my irritation at their pissy attitude.

      –O. Babe

      Pee Ess: Hope you stick around and join us over here. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  5. Good grief Babe! This is wayyy too much to take in, in one swoop! Dunno what else to say! Its pretty disheartening and dreadful this condition and it still beats me silly where you find the strength to keep holding on! I’m in awe of your tenacity Sweets, can’t be easy at all! I hope and pray things look up for you Babe; and this whole episode and nightmare will simply just pass in a miraculous feat; with you bouncing back and living life fully to the hilt; just as you’re sooo deserving of! Thanks for sharing dearie, you’ll be mighty fine by His grace in Jesus’ Name, Amen! ๐Ÿ˜‡๐Ÿ™โคโคโค

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Wow, Yemie, you made it through this whole slog to here? I should start awarding prizes! By the time I finish this series, there will be no one left, the way the numbers fall off with each chapter! I’m down to 25. But I’m grimly determined–that stubborn Aspie-OCD nature of mine.
      ๐Ÿ™‚
       
      It is a big coincidence that you showed up when you did, because I tried to go to your site night before last at 2 a.m.–I hadn’t heard from you in so long, or you from me–and had a heck of a time. Was it down, or was I just half asleep? I was a bit worried, and figured I’d retry in the morning, but when I awakened, my mind moved to my stomach rather than my friend, and that was that–which shows just how much I value you, my dear.
      ๐Ÿ˜ฅ
       
      And then I thought of you AGAIN almost at the same time you were commenting, when working on the pics for post 7 in the series–you’ll see a mean animal, and while pulling its pic, I found another pic for a vicious, slavering bunny with blood dripping from its evil jaws. You can see why I thought of you, I’m sure.

      ๐Ÿ˜€
      “Run away! Run away!” is what I did–always the wisest course, when faced with demons.

      Now, don’t you worry about my health. The idleness enforced by my stupid irksome ailments keeps me healthy. All of this that I write of is long in the past. I have occasional minor foolishnesses, and daily reminders that I am alive, but nothing that makes me spit on the floor or scream with pain or any of the other joys I experienced in the past.

      Perhaps God knows I would never be fully satisfied if I had nothing about which to complain, and so I am given enough to keep me satisfied in this regard. (Grrrr. Oops: Reminder to self: Do not be angry with The Man.)

      How have YOU been
      โค
      โค
      and your smaller version
      โค too?

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      • Oh My Word! You never cease to amaze Babe, so zesty, boisterous and full of life! Had me in stitches with that response you did! I’ve been around, just not in no mood to update the blog! ๐Ÿ‘ฟ๐Ÿ˜†

        Readership is down to the minimum you say Babe, well; reality does bite but you gotta do what you gotta! For you and then for those who will find all of these information useful! You’re doing a very magnificent job in your telling and am glad that inspite of all, you keep going still! You’re one of a kind Phoenix, amazing….straight-up! ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ‘‰

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        Reply
        • Amazing here has been sittin’ on her backside all day, writing, so now, I’m finally going to get up and walk before bed. (There’s something backward about that.)

          Or…maybe I’ll just have a cup of tea and sleep. It was good to hear from you again, Yemi. Smooches and bunny bumps! X X V V

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          Reply
          • Aw! Now am gonna let my waterworks loose and a-flowing! Thanks Babe, you delightful lil doll! Hugging and smooching ya all the sweet way back! Yes I am! Mwah! ๐Ÿ‘„๐Ÿ˜ˆ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ’–โค

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  6. Babe it is magic how you turn ooky-puky into groovy ๐Ÿ™‚ The photos you post are always a hoot and those Bee Gees had me at Night Fever! It is unsettling to read about illness, but your hardships are important to tell for many reasons. Sometimes the best stories are the least popular. Donโ€™t think that less readership is due to your writing, because it is brilliant. I think it has more to do with readers being uncomfortable because our culture is obsessed with optimism and sunshine while the dark things get swept under the carpet and repressed. Much like what you do with pain. And you have had more than your share. You are a survivor and it is a story worth telling. Damn the torpedos and nevermind the readership! It will return when you least expect it. ๐Ÿ™‚

    And I do agree that “autocidal” is an apt term for when bodies turn on themselves. We watched our father self-destruct from the most severe type of genetic A1AD (alpha 1-antitrypsin disorder), resulting in agressive emphysema. We were all tested and thankfully we were all dealt a good dominant gene from our mother in this regard. (This deficiency results in the body destroying lung and liver tissue as it cannot produce the normal deactivators necessary to prevent the breakdown of healthy tissue from neutrophil elastase).

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    • I just came from thisA1AD site. It is so common, and yet no one has heard of it–that was an unpleasant surprise. The testing challenge (with the AAT rise when you are on the pill or have an infection) was a nasty twist, too.

      Because my asthma was so severe as a child, emphysema scares the cr#p out of me. My biggest fear is death by drowning, but suffocation is the near second. I can imagine to a small degree at least how difficult it was for your father and the rest of you. I’m of course glad you escaped the worst.

      I can also relate because I am currently experiencing fear I’ve been successful at quelling thus far due to sporadic episodes of out-of-nowhere severe shortness of breath. Who knows why? With me, it is pointless to wonder. A mere allergen? There is no wheezing… I will just wait as I do with so many health surprises over the years. It will likely self-resolve.

      Calling my writing brilliant: I continue to be grateful for high praise like that, yet continue to ascribe any perceptions of that level of achievement more to unusual content, combined with illustrations-plus-captions, than to the quality of the writing. But I am happy to bask in the reflected glory of both.
      ๐Ÿ˜€
      Thank you, Stephanie. โค
      As for the preference of the muddled masses for happy thoughts, I, too, prefer escapism. I am depressed enough without adding misery from outside sources. So I do not blame others for avoiding it. I am sincerely surprised, however, whenever others find my work depressing. I find this lupus series, for example, educational and mildly amusing in spots, with a touch of the soap opera thrown in. Clearly, I am not perceiving it as are others.

      Now to honesty: Only my online self does the brave carpet-aimed pain-sweeping. Offline, I am a mean-spirited take-it-out-on-all-about cat-kicking b#stard.

      ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
      Thank Maude for cats and their dear, dear little furry faces!
      ๐Ÿฑ โžก ๐Ÿ‘ฟ

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      • Pain tends to make one grumpy. No explanations needed. Gawd, I hope we haven’t stooped so low as a culture to expect people in pain to be cheerful. That’s absurd. Cat’s alive! ๐Ÿ˜€
        Your writing IS brilliant. โค Especially love the soliloquies. And the Addendums. I really get a kick out of those because my job involves addendums everyday. Never-endums as I say, and then I think of yours and smile. ๐Ÿ™‚

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        • Rolling paper into cone shape for hat. I never once thought of NEVERENDUM :(. I now resent you for making me aware of that. I’m not your friend any more and you can’t use my jump rope.

          Like

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        • And I’m not Liking your comment, either.

          ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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          • Well, that would be your prefer-endum. But I still like you ๐Ÿ˜‰

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            • Suck up all you want, but you’re still going to look silly tomorrow jumping up and down with no rope.

              Liked by 1 person

            • I’m going to bed now. I’m in a better mood because:

              (1) I solved the puzzle of that irksome MoSY (you’ve probably figured it out already) and

              (2) I’m finally going to unload some white elephant-slash-albadrosses on Craigslist (although I shouldn’t count my alba-pire-ephants until their buyer and they have both been exposed to daylight–and not before their overlong fangs are unhooked from around my neck).

              After my good fortune raised my spirits, Stephanie, I realized that I may have acted hastily earlier this evening. The thought of you jumping ropeless makes me laugh with delight feel great remorse. Therefore, I now say:

              My good friend,
              โค ๐Ÿป
              you may use as much of my rope as you deem necessary,

              and jump.

              Like

  7. Oh man, I just got to this and you’ve just stuck up Part 7. Hang on a tic!

    I don’t know what to say. You gave me Sherlock Holmes in the last post (I forgot to mention that) and now Daleks! Such geeky joy.

    Sorry, did you say something about being sick? (Bah. You know I’m hanging in here with you. Waving my toilet plunger for you. Exterminate (that yucky lupus)!)

    Liked by 1 person

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    • ๐Ÿ™‚
      You will be happy to hear that the lupus IS almost entirely exterminated. And I go nowhere without my towel, so I am covered on ALL fronts.

      Liked by 1 person

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      • I am VERY happy to hear that. One should never go anywhere without a towel. One never knows when one may have to vacate a planet suddenly.

        Hip hooray. Have a jelly baby. [proffers crumpled paper bag]

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        • I am thrilled to have one in this virtual environment. In the real world, I cannot: I can have nothing corn-related or with gluten thickeners, either of which rules out all the jelly babies I have seen. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

          However, I do take delight in twisting their little heads off, and … but I digress. For now, merely having one, in addition to the paper bag, so that said bag can be inflated and then popped while the baby lies within, sending it airborn on a mission of unwilling exploration–that would give me sweet dreams indeed, MoSY. (I will, of course, first equip it with a tiny towel.)
          ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

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