So I already told you that I was quite sick over my birthday week (yes, I celebrate for a week. Especially milestone birthdays like the big 3-0. Hey, in today’s busy times, not everyone can organize their schedules around just one day. So I say celebrate with an array of people all week 😉 Cheers!) Anyways, I was starting to feel better, although I did notice that the *NeilMed, which is like the super-soaker of netty pots, was no longer helping me break up the mucous in my sinuses. But I kept ignoring it. Until today when I woke up with those beautiful, dark circles under my eyes that us females just adore, so much, and an extremely swollen and throbbing finger.
You see, this past Saturday, I wasn’t being present and instead of focusing on the AmEx credit card I had in between my fingers, I was day-dreaming about an outdoor run on the beautiful, painfully late spring day, and cut right through the card and into my left index finger. (If it isn’t obvious yet, you’ll soon start to see, I’M HEADY!) Blood started spouting everywhere. As I put pressure on my finger and silently cursed myself, I noticed that my “fatty tissue” was sticking out of the wound. (Of course I didn’t use those words when I ran downstairs to show my Dad, choking back tears and proclaiming that I could see “my guts!!”<– actual words I used.) And no, I wasn’t crying because of the pain. I was crying because now ANOTHER thing was wrong with me. Sigh.
I kept getting nauseous every time I checked to see if it had stopped bleeding while my parents and brother laughed at me… But apparently not because I was being dramatic. Nope. Apparently it was because of my “overly descriptive” word use. Whatever. Amongst the chaos of my spouting, bloody finger and my father yelling at me to “use my damn head next time I’m using a ‘weapon'” (a weapon Dad? Really??), my mother was stifling laughter and finally managed to ask me “if-I-was-writing”, end air quotes. Yes Mom, I started my blog. Now do you think I should go get stitches or not?!?
I decided to take my Dad’s advice and just wrap it and put a butterfly bandaid on it…. which we didn’t have. So I, instead, wrapped it tightly and headed to the nearest ShopRite. Yeah well I THEN probably should’ve headed to the nearest urgent care when the ShopRite attendant helping me asked me why my finger was turning blue. Hmmmmmm….
Why am I avoiding the urgent care so desperately? Well one, I had a bad experience with urgent cares in California cuz THEY SUCK MY MAJOR BUTTHOLE AND DO NOTHING FOR YOU! But two, I had my best friend’s from back when we were just two itty-bitty, and might I add adorable! 😉 two-year-olds birthday party in a few hours and I was determined to not cancel my attendance at another social gathering. So I grabbed the butterfly bandaids and some extra wound closures and headed out. Thanks Mister ShopRite man!
Yeah this wasn’t my brightest of plans. Not because my finger was bleeding and swelling more by the minute (though that will come later), more so because my-choking back tears caused me to be one heaping ball of emotions ready to pop in any ear that would listen. (Word to the wise, God created tears for a reason. When you need to cry, CRY ALMIGHTY, CRY!! One of my besties says her Mom always says whenever you are upset it’s usually because you are one, or sometimes all, of three things: hungry, tired or need a hug… I needed a hug FO SHO’!) The next thing I know, I’m telling everyone I speak with the honest truth about why I moved back to Jersey!! On my drive home, I began to wonder if people really appreciate my honest, wear-my-heart-on-my-sleeve mentality, or if they are really thinking “HELP! Save me from this weirdo!” I also realized that I felt the need to explain to people why I was doing what I am doing… why I’m not working, why I left sunny California for “cold, dreary” New Jersey, why I’m not currently dating, yadda, yadda and the list goes on. But I am realizing that I don’t need to explain anything to anyone. The only person I need approval from is myself. In the game of life, not everyone is going to approve of everything you do. That’s what makes things so interesting. My Mom, whom I think is one of the wisest human beings and souls, reminded me recently, that people need to earn the knowledge of your story. If it’s not someone you trust or love, you don’t have to explain shit to them. So instead of cursing myself later for not taking myself to the doctor, I worked on commending myself for all of the other great things I got out of that evening… for I was a little wiser at the end of it and was happy to have caught up with a former bestie 😉
But I’m sure you are still wondering what became of my finger. And if you’re not I’ll tell you anyways… Well, despite my repetitive, anti-septic and liquid bandage use, I awoke to an extremely swollen finger and texted my other bestie (what can I say, I’m popular). Now this bestie is one of the smartest humans I’ve ever known, a nurse and a God-send! (Seriously though. Bless her kind, patient soul for always answering my constant texts about my health and doctor visits.) So with her advice, I finally headed to the urgent care. The doctor looked at my finger and scolded me for not getting stitches and asked me if I had a cold. YES!! Yes I DO! How’d you know? Why do you ask?? Well, apparently my finger was swollen because of the infection that I am still fighting in my sinuses.
Another thing I am learning, throughout my health journey, is that when you have a virus, yes it is a virus and must be fought on its own. However! If it doesn’t go away in a couple of weeks, that infection is now running throughout your entire body and you need an antibiotic. Now I am by no means promoting antibiotics. I am all for building your immune system and letting your body heal and fight infections on it’s own. Candida is a growing problem and the culprit of it is usually from the over-use of antibiotics. HOWEVER, I have also learned throughout my journey (and will probably always be my achilles heel in life) that balance is key!! The best way to achieve this, when dealing with health, I’ve found (and everyone is different) is through the combo of Eastern and Western medicine. So… when he decided I needed a tetanus shot and a strong prescription of amoxicillan 825-125mg, I said come to me papa! He also recommended the next time I cut myself and can see my fatty tissue, to make sure I get stitched. Bowing my head shamefully, “Yes doc.” (Another tid bit of info I want to share, if you are an adult and had your tetanus shots when you were younger, great! However, it does not mean you are out of the dark. After your childhood doses, you must keep yourself up-to-date with a tetanus shot every ten years after that. Especially if you work with knives or some other type of harmful metals… and that’s on the safe side. Some doctors say five.)
So now here I am, back in bed with a prescription of amoxicillan that makes me woozy if I don’t take it on a full stomach, and high hopes that I’ll be better before the weekend. (I’m making another attempt to celebrate my birthday with my girlfriends and hoping that it won’t be ruined, once again, by my immune system… Fingers crossed!)
On the positive, however, I got my period this past Sunday! I know what you’re thinking, nice little Easter Sunday treat! Yep, right in the bathroom of brunch at The Olde Mill Inn. (If you haven’t been to the Olde Mille Inn in Basking Ridge, NJ, you should check it out. Gorgeous, country-club type of restaurant and hotel that I thought was pretty funny for me to get my irregular period at. They say timing is everything?! Maybe James Franco’s gorgeous headshot, hanging on their wall of celebrities that have visited the inn, stirred up my reproductive organs. Oh hey, Jamesey heyyyyyy!!!) Anyways, any other female my age would have been mortified, but I just stuffed some TP in my underwear (it’s a light flow so don’t judge me) and headed over to the waffle bar before bouncing up the stairs to my family’s table and announcing to my Mom and sister my big news.
Although I thought I was quiet, clearly my excitement could not be contained. My seven-year-old nephew all of a sudden started chanting “Caroline’s going to be moody. Caroline’s going to be moody, Caroline’s going to…” you get the point. How does he know this kind of stuff? Well, with mucho thanks to my twenty-seven-year-old brother, whom might as well be a seven-years-old but of course! I didn’t care though, I had a period AND I was eating gluten and sugar again… sounds like a great Easter to me 0:)
(As a refresher, I’ve been dealing with an irregular period for five years now so I felt like I was fourteen again getting that magical, crimson surprise in my underwear that morning. I started birth control when I was fifteen. Only a year after I got my period. I know, I know, I was young. And that’s a whole other story that some day I might dive into with you. But for now, just know I was young and my body, I guess, got used to those hormones… since I stayed on BC for ten years. When I stopped it, my period stopped with it. And around a year-and-a-half ago I started getting a period here and there, but nothing was ever consistent. My gyno sent me to a nutritionist, whom said it’s probably because I have slightly polycystic ovaries… which, in her opinion, meant my blood sugars were unstable. I needed to eat a no gluten, no sugar diet in order to stabilize my blood sugars and get my period back. (Now, my brother AND my sister are Type I Diabetics so glucose issues run in my family. So I believed her and took to the diet.) Do you know how hard that was?! The no gluten thing, no problem! But no sugar?? Sugar. is. in. EVERYTHING! Everything. Fruit has sugar in it for crying out loud! And I couldn’t have any of it. This diet worked for a little bit. But then, the periods stopped. What the F??! Well guess what? I’m eating sugar and gluten and my period’s back in action MO FO’S!! (Shit, I hope I just didn’t jinx myself cuz it was kind of light :/ Eek oh well, fingers crossed.) So now that I know they aren’t the culprits of my amenorrhea, I intend to start treating myself to sandwiches, pastas, bagels and glutenous (see what I did there ;P ) desserts. After all, I am from and currently residing in Jersey! Holla, holla!!… But I will always be a healthy eater. In fact, I made the most delicious black bean, stevia brownies for Easter and my Mom got Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup and Oreo creme brownies from the bakery. I tried all of them and I still think mine win. Sugar is great but it’s just too sweet for me now… sometimes. Hehe 😉
I’m having my endocrine blood panel and immunoglobulin blood work done in a few days so I’m eager to see what is found… until then, just going to try to rest, eat well and kick this cold and infection to the curb and think positively. Mind over matter, I’ve found, is definitely helpful. Oh and I’m going to try to stay away from my nephew’s kisses. He’s kind of obsessed with kissing me and call me a germ-o-phobe but he is a walking disease carrier. I love the little lamb to death and call me selfish, but I have to take concern for my health and well-being these days. Which I think I’m deserving of. I’ll write in a few days to tell y’all how the panel went. Wish me luck and keep your fingers crossed for me!!
*I just heard a recent study that the netty pot isn’t the “safest” and “healthiest” thing for you. Apparently if not cleaned properly, it can do more harm than good and cause further infections and mold in your sinus cavities. So if you do like the product and it works for you, by all means, keep using it! Just make sure you clean it thoroughly. I’ve gone so far as bleaching it and thoroughly rinsing it in between uses. However, after giving it more thought, I’ve decided to stop using it and just let my body run it’s natural course of getting rid of the mucous. Colonics, after all, are a similar concept when you think about it, and they definitely did not help me. But make your own judgements: every body is different. Good luck!!