Two years after my transplant and I was still dealing with some crap symptoms like bright red patches on my face and legs, the never-ending eye inflammation, wilted brain function and a nagging tummy shituation (if you know what I’m sayin’) that I’ve dealt with since the beginning. I figured it was all due to the sucky cide effectz of my meds. Then I was talking to my friend, Spencer, who told me about this miraculous blood test that measures your cells’ reactions to every type of food. He said you learn which foods are good for you to eat, and which foods cause inflammation in your bod, which triggers your immune system to activate and wreak havoc. So, I figured, what’s OMP – One More Poke?
I went in for the test and three weeks later met with Dr. S5, who presented me with the results and my new diet restrictions. It’s bad. It’s rad. It’s sad. It makes me mad, but I’m improving more than just a tad, so it also makes me glad. You’re stoked there are no more rhymes to add.
Here’s just a short list of my no no’s: gluten (no beer, bread, pasta, cereal, crackers, etc., unless I want to eat the gluten-free varieties, which suck), soy (in almost everything, especially Asian food, which I adore), strawberries, chocolate (no, dear God, not chocolate), grapes (no wine), green leaf lettuce, olives (including olive oil), black pepper (seriously), apples, melon, salmon, oregano, blueberries, squash, kale, and many, many more. The one that really sent me over the bummer top was mung beans! I’m culinarily devastated about the mung beans.
I recently spent a long weekend at a slice of heaven near Tucson, Arizona with my girly friends, Karen and Sharon. This place is a destination spa, with yoga, meditation, ropes course, rock climbing, mountain biking, horseback riding, hiking, gym workouts, fitness classes, pool lounging, healthy eating, and endless seminars on creativity, cooking, coping, arts, and tons more. It’s AWESOME! Anywho, Karen and I signed up for a horse painting experience. When we told peeps we were going to paint horses, we were asked, “oils or acrylics?” We responded, “No, we’re going to paint a horse!” “Oh, like a ceramic horse?” “NO, We’re going to PAINT A HORSE!” Blank stares. The idea was to paint something you wanted to purge ~ something you were going to wash off the horse when you were ready, symbolizing washing it out of your life. It was fantastic, apart from the horse mistaking your paintbrush for a fly and twitching his skin, effing up your work. It didn’t matter ~ it added to the imperfect beauty of the exercise. Cathartic beyond words!
So you saw that this place offered mountain biking, right? Well, I’m up for anything and everything these days (YOLT, baby!), so I signed up for a beginner mountain biking class. I’ve done lots of biking (mostly road), but I don’t know the proper techniques of riding on dirt. When I saw my fellow classmates, I thought, “Oh geez, this is going to be lame. We’re probably gonna have training wheels.” We started out riding in the freaking parking lot, learning how to brake and do such advanced moves as standing up out of the saddle. Gnarly! Pretty soon, the instructors thought we had grasped these skills and were ready to get out on the dirt. About time, clowns! We cruised around on some wide, flat trails then came to a group stop. From this point forward, everything changed. Our once cautionary, charming instructors were evil boss men. We were taken on a super duper narrow single track lined with cacti on both sides. Huge rocks that just barely missed your pedal, but only if your feet were completely level. Giant logs sitting across the trail that we had to go up and over. Tight turns. Hills. Pretty rad sh*t for a beginner class, no? I felt like I was in Navy Seal training school. Ladies were eating sh*t left and right. They cried. They said, “This is NOT fun.” They quit. They left the class. Not me, I effing nailed it. After about 20 minutes of the hard core sh*t, there were only a few of us remaining and our commanding officers told us we had to conquer the “test loop.” Successfully negotiating this insane obstacle course meant you could graduate to the intermediate class. My hands were slick with sweat and could barely grip the handlebars. My turn came, and with all eyes on me, I took off. Over a couple of 12″ logs, around and through the big rocks. I was owning. Then came the tightest curves you’ve ever laid eyes on, and as I was rounding the last one, I had to slow down so much that I could no longer keep my balance. I fought like I’ve never fought before, but I just…
My left quad (a little north of my biopsy disaster) hit a rock. Hard. Then I rolled into a cactus, imbedding thorns into my skin and my cute Lulu Lemons. I failed, I wanted to tell my instructors that they could suck it, but I kept my cool and quietly rode back in pain. No intermediate class for me. Boo F-ing Hoo. Ever since my crash, I’ve had a dent in my left quad. That particular leg has major issues.
Speaking of issues, my recent blood test was interesting. I’ve had nearly 300 of them without incident, so I was due for some blood test excitement I guess. Everything was proceeding as normal. Check in, get armband, sit and wait, name called, plant ass in blood draw chair, phlebotomist approaches, triple check armband, request butterfly needle, choose winning arm, rub with alcohol, apply tourniquet, assemble tubing and vials, insert needle, scream to others, “Bring gauze!” The tubing had a defect that sent my blood squirting all over the place! Five blood peeps snapped into action and there was suddenly gauze everywhere, sopping up the red. It was cleaned up and the vials were finally filled properly and I was on my way. One of my tests was a measles titer, which will tell us if I received any measles antibodies from Leason. I can’t get a measles vaccine (or any live vaccines) until I’m off my immune suppressants, so that would be some nice intel to have.
This silly blog that you have just wasted 10 minutes of your life reading has gone over 90,000 hits in 116 countries!
And more importantly, Dr. Fantastic has finally started my taper of Tacrolimus, and so far, I’m not showing any signs of Graft vs. Host. I’m cruisin’ down the road to a full recovery. 50 Shades of YAY!