I’ve had a string of bad luck since I returned home from wintering in Florida. It all happened in a 3 week period starting at the end of March.
First, there was the colitis flare up that hit me the day after getting home. My bowels had pretty much been behaving themselves while in Florida and I had made it thru the long drive home without shitting my pants. But then some bloody diarrhea hit me for a few days. It’s always unnerving to see the toilet bowl full of crimson red fluid. Luckily, it only lasted about a week until I could get it under control.
Then there was the extreme fatigue and unexplained weight loss that struck me in Florida. Walking up a flight of stairs or doing any physical exertion winded me and necessitated that I sit down to catch my breath. And I dropped another 5 lbs even though I thought I was packing in the food. In total, I had dropped 25 lbs over the course of a year without trying. Some would welcome this type of weight loss. But for someone who was pretty fit at 190 lbs and could ride a bike 100 miles, being down to 165 lbs and getting winded walking up stairs is a little scary. Once I got home, I went to see my Doctor. Blood tests showed I was pretty anemic and had low iron levels, which was causing the extreme fatigue. Don’t know how the anemia happened, since it started before the colitis flare, but I was put on iron supplements to help get my strength back.
Then in the course of diagnosing my fatigue and weight loss a chest X-ray and CT scan showed I had some very small undetermined masses/inflammation in my lungs. Luckily it wasn’t lung cancer, but the lung specialist says I have “organizing pneumonia” in some small areas of my lungs (a type of lung disease). It’s not causing me any problems and can be treated, but it’s not something that goes away on its own. In some rare cases, this can be caused by my colitis or the medication I take for my colitis. Great. Ever since I got diagnosed with colitis over 2 years ago, I’ve been a case study for rare side effects. I’ve had drug induced hepatitis, drugs that made me sick as dog, and a rare drug induced blistering skin condition that could have killed me. Having colitis is bad enough, but having it cause problems in another vital organ sucks.
Then there was the episode of running in my sleep. Yes, you read that right - running while I was asleep. It’s a much faster version of sleep walking. About a week after getting home, I was having a dream that I was running thru the woods. In reality, I was running in my bedroom. I was head down going flat out like a football running back when I ran into a door frame and went careening sideways into the hallway. Hitting a door frame while running is a sure fire way to get woken up. It also woke everyone else up in the house. As I lay in the hallway re-gaining my senses, I thought I might have broken my hip and big toe. Turned out I was lucky and just got some really bad bruising and some soreness.
Then there was the crème de la crème of my bad luck. While working in my garage, a 16oz claw hammer fell off its hook and hit me squarely on the top of my head. The hammer was up on the wall and had a chance to build up some speed before it smacked me in the head, claw first. There was much swearing and cuss words spewing from my mouth as I thought I might pass out from the hit. It also left a mark as the blood tricked down the side of my head. Turns out, my head is pretty hard and I was left with just a scab and a lump the size for of small egg.
After the hammer hit incident, I told my wife to be prepared for me to get electrocuted or set on fire. It’s been that type of 3 weeks.
When bad shit happens to me, I sometimes think about other folks that have it worse than me as a way to put it into perspective. But I don’t know - maybe I’m one of those other guys.