Zebra's Child

Living With Common Variable Immune Deficiency and It's Autoimmune Friends

Category: Photography

New Life

© Zebra's Child

                                              © Zebra’s Child

My husband and I just returned from spending a week with one of our daughters, her husband, our almost-3-year-old grandson and our brand new baby granddaughter. We rented a vacation flat that was close by, as there certainly wasn’t room in their small house for two more adults. That also enabled both us and them to have some privacy and to somewhat keep our regular schedules. We are no longer used to waking up in the middle of the night with a crying baby, nor getting up at the crack of dawn with a happily active pre-schooler. So renting a vacation flat worked out brilliantly for all of us.

We were there to meet the new little one, participate in her Naming ceremony, read stories and play with the almost-3-year-old, and generally help out. As my English Aunt has said to me, “Isn’t being a Grammy grand!” It is indeed.

Industrial Water #2

©Zebra's Child

                                           ©Zebra’s Child

Photo taken in Pasadena, California, 08/06/2015.

Eastern Building

Entrance          ©Zebra's Child

Entrance, Eastern Building               ©Zebra’s Child

Historic Art Deco, Eastern Columbia Building Entrance,  849 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, California.

Halos of Light

Halos of Light       ©

                      Halos of Light                            © Zebra’s Child

I was engaged in the mundane task of washing beans for soup, when I noticed that light and water had transformed the task.

Turtle Speed

Flowers by the Roadside

Flowers by the Roadside                  ©Zebra’s Child

My body’s progress toward healing and infusion recovery is slow but steady. It’s complicated by the fact that I’m still not sleeping well at night. Don’t know whether it’s the heat or just that I’m unsettled. At any rate, one of my solutions when I don’t feel well is to look for beauty. We had to go out for groceries this afternoon, and I saw these flowers along the way. Capturing them on film definitely lifted my spirits.

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.

Weekend Whimsy: Ralf

Ralf the Frog         ©Zebra's Child

                                                    Ralf the Frog                       ©Zebra’s Child

HI. My name is Ralf. I’m a frog. Obviously. Just in case you hadn’t noticed, and all that. Thought I should introduce myself before I told you guys to have a Grrrrrrreat Weekend. If you find any flies out and about, just pass them on to me, please. Thanks. Very much appreciated.

A Profusion of Beauty

A Profusion of Blossoms After the Rain

                    A Profusion of Blossoms After the Rain                                                                                         ©Zebra’s Child

Cathedral Window

           Cathedral Window into God’s World

I sometimes think that as artists we are privileged to be given fleeting glimpses of the world as God sees it – full of infinite beauty in the everyday.

Hope in the Time of Drought

A Sudden Rain Storm

                                                                                 Sudden Rain

In the midst of our severe drought, a predicted storm actually arrived and rain fell for a couple of hours!