Looking Hard for Hope

Fallen Tree Leaf and Blossom    ©Zebra's Child
Fallen Tree Leaf and Blossom           ©Zebra’s Child

I’ve talked recently about sometimes having to transplant hope into dark places. But what happens when you look around and can’t find anything to transplant?

I’ve had a request from a reader to talk about what a day might look like for someone with a PID (primary immune deficiency). The idea here is to show how difficult it can be to live within a body that fundamentally doesn’t work the way it should, so that others struggling with CVID, or any other immune deficiency, will not think they are the only person in the world with difficult days. Knowing that you are not the only one out there can be profoundly healing.

So. Here’s a synopsis, with some background. Knowing that I would be 4 days late in getting my infusion upon returning from France, my doctor and I decided that the infusion I received before I left would be 120% of the dosage that I normally received. So far so good. I did wonderfully while I was in France with no infections or other signs that my immune system had to work extra hard. (That is, above and beyond the extra work it has to do on a daily basis.) I got my regular dosage of of gamma globulin upon my return, and all seemed to be well for about 4 days. I then came down with an infection, which is highly unusual right after an infusion. First signal that something was wrong. Since then, my immune system seems to have gotten further and further behind.

This Thursday will be the fourth infusion since I have returned from France. During the 3 weeks since my most recent infusion, my immune system has gotten less and less happy. Suffice it to say that for the last 3 weeks I’ve had all kinds of skin problems that haven’t been this bad in a year. I won’t subject you to the gory details.

Now on to today. Didn’t sleep well last night. Never do when my immune system is struggling this hard. I consider it to be one of fate’s cruel jokes, and will have a word about this with God when I die. Woke up about 8:00 and couldn’t get up. Went back to sleep. Woke up at 9:00 and still couldn’t get up. Repeat. Woke up at 10:00, let the dog out of her crate so my husband could feed her breakfast and decided that standing up was literally too difficult for my body to handle right then, so lay back down. Had an interesting conversation with my body about how I would really, really appreciate it if it would work a little better for me today because it was (is) my birthday and I felt so crappy that I hadn’t even remembered it was my birthday until my husband said “Happy Birthday” when I woke up. My body and I went back and forth with this conversation until 11:00, at which point my 88 year old mom called me on face time to wish me happy birthday. Her first face time call ever. She saw that I was still in bed and was white as a sheet, so this was her first sentence all at once, “Happy birthday dear oooohhhhhhhh you’re not doing well.” “No mom, I’m not, unfortunately.” We talked briefly and then hung up. I was hungry by then and so that necessitated that I get up to fix and eat breakfast. Then had a lovely phone conversation with a friend who also called to wish me happy birthday, but had to cut it short because I needed to move from the sitting up position to the laying down position again. Got up after awhile, took a shower and ate some lunch. Then went to my therapy appointment where I proceeded to cry while I talked about the fact that I have this darned immune deficiency, the skin on my feet won’t even stay together like it does on any semi normal person, and I really, really don’t feel well. I rarely allow myself to do that, but today it just felt overwhelming. I’m glad I did, though, because it actually made me feel better than I had all day. So I stopped by Trader Joe’s for some lettuce and bought some irises as well because I love irises. I came home, turned on the sprinklers briefly, put the irises in a vase, and then sat down to write this post, hoping writing this would make me feel better still. The jury is still out on that. Tried to make this paragraph somewhat humorous because humor is one of my coping strategies, and because I didn’t want this post to be so depressing that no one would read it. The jury is still out on that as well.

My therapist suggested that I postpone my birthday until the weekend. I think that is a really good idea, especially since we have theater tickets for Saturday night. Hopefully I’ll feel well enough to use them.

10 thoughts on “Looking Hard for Hope”

  1. Happy birthday, your sense of humor is so tonic. You made me think and understand that my daily problems are trifling matters. Health is the most important thing, but when we are healthy, we forget it.

    1. That’s very true. We can only work within our own reference point, unless we have a window into someone else’s world. I can remember when having a bad cold made me feel miserable. At the time I had no experience of what it was like to feel worse than that.

  2. Oh, my goodness, I can’t even imagine what you are dealing with and the emotional aspects, as well. Sometimes you just need to let it out and have a good cry, absolutely nothing wrong with that. Dear Hannah, many ((HUGS)) to you and prayers that your immune system bounces back!

    Enjoy those irises!

    1. Thank for you the prayers and hugs, Barbara. Please keep ’em coming over the next few days! Since my immune system is struggling, the infusions have a potential of hitting me harder than normal. And they are never pleasant, even under the best of circumstances.

  3. I hope you are feeling better soon and that you can enjoy the theater this Sat. Happy birthday and I hope God listens to you when you have that conversation! In the meantime, your coping must be going strong as you are indeed funny 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Cheryl. I’ll try to keep you updated on that conversation with God. 😉 I actually talk to him/her about this sometimes with a running conversation. At least the running part is on my end. Don’t get a definitive answer, though. I guess that part will have to wait. 😉 And a definite thank you for telling me that you thought the post was funny. I often write something that I think is humorous, but then double and triple think it and end up not sure whether anyone else will find it even remotely humorous. I’m always really glad to know that someone outside my own brain thinks it’s funny!

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