Four dozen
Wednesday December 13th 2006, 10:21 am
Filed under: Life

I woke up this morning, yawned, stretched… Hey! Did it again. Not the slightest hint of tremor. For the first time since early September. None.

My old band with four turquoise stones lives a happy life in my imagination, wherever it may have turned up in real life. It’s a symbol of someone’s undying love, it’s a circle of happiness, it’s a gift between hearts…

…It’s good and lost. But I have lived long enough to know that the end of its story with me is not the end of its story, and there’s this odd happy anticipation mixed with the loss in what that could mean. I can half-picture myself (almost) writing to the San Rafael and San Jose police departments that, should it show up at their station, to please let the honest person who made that effort have it as a thank you from me, and send them my best wishes.

I googled turquoise when it disappeared, and found that turquoise tends to form in dry places in the world, that it is formed when water runs over copper and aluminum; that it rarely ever forms crystals, and that that means it’s often as fragile as window glass.

Gee, if only I’d known, years ago when we lived in New Hampshire. Where the bathtub turned bright turquoise blue within a week from the effects of acid rain on the copper pipes. I could have put an aluminum pot under the faucet and been harvesting my own gems in no time!

The doctors at Stanford never did figure out what was going on with this whole shaking/seizure thing. I came home from the hospital craving apricots; opened a three-pound bag from Costco, ate quite a few over several weeks, a random fact that for some reason I remembered. My shaking episodes improved greatly, and I put it down to the increasing passing of time since a late-summer bout of pneumonia that had triggered a lupus flare.

Two doctors I saw after I got out wondered out loud if it could have been a potassium or magnesium deficiency–but why, there’s no reason I would have that.

Last week I called my doctor after reading an article in Newsweek. Suddenly I’d found my eyes flipping to the same spot on the opposite page, which turned out to be one of those all-the-fine-print pages on the backside of a drug ad. Right to where it warned, in capital letters, DO NOT take this with drug x. Put together, they can crash your potassium levels. OH. I was taking drug x and a large dose of the advertised one at night and a smaller dose by day. That would explain why it was worse at night, too…

Potassium. They said… I looked it up. For muscle contraction and to relay nerve impulses. Hey! Dried apricots have over three times the potassium levels of bananas; they were the number one food on that chart. HEY!

My doctor immediately took me off the problematic drug. I ate a lot more apricots. That drug interaction had taken three years to build up to the point that nobody could ignore it, and it may be that it will take awhile to go all the way back down again: but so far today so good, for the first time.

My generous sweetie got me Sea Silk yarn to celebrate the day today, just because he knew how much I liked playing with the stuff.

And a new turquoise and silver ring, made by hand by Native Americans, as the old one had been, because he knew that that would make me happy. Honoring the craftsman, honoring each other. Silver, needing polish and attention to keep shining bright. I like that.

My dysautonomia had not progressed to fatal Multiple System Atrophy after all. It was all just an easily-correctable medication problem. And the attending physician I got to meet at Stanford loves his wife’s lace scarf out of hand-dyed Lisa Souza yarn.

I will live as forever as everybody else. I have beaten the odds yet again.

I have my sweetie who loves me, four children who are the best any parent could ever ask for, and a new ring and new yarn just for the fun of it. Let me hold still while he puts it on my hand.

Turn on the stereo.

Happy birthday to me.

!!!ROCK ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Pictures later, gotta run…)

12 Comments so far
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Happy birthday! I like the idea of living forever just like everyone else. A very nicely-turned phrase.

Comment by KT 12.13.06 @ 10:51 am

How awesome! Today is my Sweetie’s birthday too!! –HUGS– to you from this VA Tidewater Native.

Comment by Kimberly 12.13.06 @ 1:07 pm

Happy Birthday! (Robb just yelled “Happy Birthday Alison!” from across the room) and hooray and I’m so glad that it all got figured out.


Comment by Kristine 12.13.06 @ 5:26 pm

Happy Birthday Alison! I’m happy to hear you figured out what was happening with the meds. Yay for you.

Comment by Mary Anne 12.13.06 @ 8:38 pm

Happy birthday! What a great birthday present – figuring out what’s wrong, and feeling better!

Comment by voglermom 12.14.06 @ 4:04 am

So glad for you– what a nice gift for the holiday season. To have the med thing figured out and not be anything more serious. I got a cancer marker blood test back yesterday, and it also was pretty good. and 0.5 less points than last year! So I wanna steal your phrase about living forever as much as the next guy!
Happy Birthday… And maaannyy more!

Comment by Anne in Wy 12.14.06 @ 7:22 am

Happy birthday! Glad you have such wonderful gifts, human and otherwise, in your life. Remember, too, that you are a gift in many, many people’s lives.

And you’re right – if I wait long enough, the options for commentors who are “Other” and “Anonymous” DO show up! ;o)

Comment by AmyS 12.14.06 @ 8:06 am

Thank you so much, everybody. And Anne–you stay well with me, y’hear? Best of wishes to you!

Comment by AlisonH 12.14.06 @ 1:27 pm

Happy Birthday Alison!!! I’m so glad you figured out the medication problem.

Comment by Joni 12.15.06 @ 6:11 am

Happy Birthday!

Comment by Anne 12.15.06 @ 8:05 pm

MAN! I missed it. Happy LATE birthday, Twinkletoes. I think that your instinct with the apricots was like a gift from the inner Alison…you know, the G word. It is good that you were listening that day! You gave YOURSELF the birthday present and YEAH, where’s that CAKE?

Comment by Lisa S 12.16.06 @ 6:11 am

So glad to hear you are feeling better and just in time for your birthday!

Comment by Donna 12.22.06 @ 7:36 am

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