Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Bad Stuff. Happens.

The Matron could be feeling incredibly sorry for herself. She had a couple of crabby days. Then there was a dark evening that extended into night and beyond. Trust her, if there was a pool of muck to wade in, she indulged.

But that's over.

Regular readers may know that yours truly has had her share of adventures in health care. Thank you, God-Buddha-Allah-Oprah-Universe, her Affliction Plate has been filled: Graves' and Hashimoto's diseases (yes you can have both and if you don't believe her check in with her endocrinologist who is at the MAYO clinic and also treated Barbara Bush. There). She also suffered from Graves Opthalmopathy, a particularly unpleasant adventure that involved taping her eyes shut at night for a few months.

Then she had carcinoid cancer. (but got a really good story!)

Plus, she is a well-documented hypochondriac: weekly brain tumors masquerading as headaches or stubbed toes that most certainly will develop gangrene.

So the Matron gave herself a big old pat on the quaking back for NOT getting hysterical about something as middling as heartburn. Pat, pat and down two Zantac. . . . and baking soda, throat coat tea, omeprazole, lemon, or honey.

For three yeras.

Until December's Mystery Flu. Which nobody else got. And didn't feel like 'normal' sick. Three weeks of intestinal acrobatics followed the 'flu.'

On some level, the hypochondrial, cancer and autoimmune-prone Matron was not much surprised when an esophageal biopsy revealed . . . . a brand new rare disease!

(it's okay to grip your keyboard here and feel sorry for her for just a second--even if spitting out the story is taking a very very long time. Certainly, you will humor her. Poor Matron)

She has Eosinophilia.

So . . . her esophagus is chalk full of these darn little eosinophils, busy makin' her life miserable and eating, unpleasant. But she can LIVE with that. The tough stuff? The main cause of this disorder/disease? Food allergies.

Final testing comes Friday but it looks like the Matron may be allergic to a long long list of items that include wheat, corn, dairy, coconut, pineapple, orange, cocoa (chocolate), and those are just the things that she likes and can no longer eat.

There's the poor little chocolate-cookie-brownie-pie loving Matron's problem. No more favorite foods.

So she's over the Hump of self pity? Not yet. But accepting recipes and a new immune system.

Monday, March 19, 2012

And You Know This . . . How?

When confronted with particularly egregious gaps in or missteps of knowledge, the Matron routinely asks her students: "How do you know this? Where did you learn this?"

The answer is SILENCE while the brain struggles to retrieve the exact source of information -- kernels of knowledge like health care reform will cost every American $1000, women make even MORE money than men, Asians are better at math than (rest of planet), or Native Americans are, well, peaceful by nature.

No one can ever point to the article they read documenting and quantifying why most men who like to figure skate are gay. Everybody just knows that.

Her point? Much of what we 'know,' we get by an osmosis of sorts, cultural wisdom or myth that free-floats through public and private space to settle as 'truth' in psyche and soul.

Or it comes from your grandma.

The Matron was reminded of this high-brow, finely-tuned method of Knowledge Acquirement just this morning when she (for no real reason) asked Scarlett if she always washed her hair with shampoo, twice.

Matron: "Because you have to wash your hair twice to get all the dirt out."

Scarlett: "Where did you learn that?"

Matron . . . . silence! It's the brain struggle! "Uh . . . Stephanie Luknic. Eighth grade. I was at her house while she was washing her hair in the kitchen sink and she told me you had to use shampoo twice before conditioner. Otherwise your hair stays dirty."

Scarlett (knowingly): "Thought so."


Knowledge that the Matron -- believed in and practiced! -- was not only dated by about 30 years but from a completely unreliable source AND she didn't engage in this conversation with her sons but just her daughter.

Her entire adult grooming life has centered on the advice of a 13 year old. Plus she is sexist.

She is not alone in the camp of dim or dubious knowledge.