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Bird On A String

So hey blog readers

I had kind of a crappy Christmas, how about you?

A few days before xmas, we had a rare for Vancouver big snow and slush day. I trudged all over the city, as the busses were not up to the ice and the slush. I even went to my doctor and loaded up on my HRT drugs and my high blood pressure meds for the next few months, and talked about getting some blood work done as my BP was slightly high, the last couple of visits, and i kept forgetting to get the blood work done.

I also stopped along the way home and picked up some unsold artwork, and calendars that I has been selling at a pop up store craft sale over the solstice weekend. I made almost a hundred bucks on the calendars and postcards. On the way home I stopped and had a seasonal beer and lunch with a good friend. She bought a couple of calendars (still owes me 30$ on those, but no worries) and we caught up on our lives.

When I got home I was feeling pretty chipper about getting around all day without getting too soaked, or falling down. Then of course, bam I slipped on the back stairs going to take garbage out, and have a puff.

I landed awkwardly on my left hip, but I thought did not hurt myself too badly, as I also grabbed the railing and softened the fall.

A few days later on xmas eve, I was home alone, me and kitty and my hip started to really hurt. Got out the old heating pad for awhile, had a couple of ciders, and went to bed (heating pad done by then) I woke up in the middle of the night to go pee, also feeling kind of wonky. When sitting on the toilet, i got sudden cold sweats and almost passed out. But it passed, and i sat until i felt okay, shrugged, drank a bunch of water and went back to bed. When i woke in the morning, my whole left leg was swollen to at least twice it's normal size.

Said to myself, that's not right, posted on FB about it, and that I was going to get a cab to an ER maybe, which of course everyone encouraged me to do. a friend offered a ride. it took her awhile to get to me, and took us awhile to find the hospital, as i chose to go to Mount St. Joseph's, which is closer than the more famous Vancouver places, that i knew would be super busy with OD's etc on Xmas day.

Once i got in the ER, they fairly quickly figured out it was a DVT, or blood clot in layman's terms in my leg near the crotch area. I even saw it twice on the mobile ultrasound. pretty scary. They also asked while confirming with me, 'How long have you had diabetes?' Umm, I said, 'Since you just told me, now'. really. I have had slightly high BS levels occasionally but never any kind of diagnosis. my BS was at 35. yes you read that right, elevated from a likely slightly lower number due to my body fighting the DVT also. but crazy right.

So I spent a couple of days in the ICU, where everyone was pretty awesome, especially of course the nurses. Shout out to Bettie Jean, and Chantal who were really there for me in a pretty stressful time. Chantal was especially awesome around the trans stuff, gendering me right, and asking questions in the 'right kind of way'. Even after seeing me naked she thought I'd already had bottom surgery, because that's the kind of 'shrinkage' that can happen on HRT, with some bush, at a glance, well i look like a cis gal. This made me happier than maybe it should have, especially when another nurse thought the same thing when i was moved to the 'regular ward.

Folks there were really great with pronouns, and only a couple of older nurses seemed a bit weird about my trans status.

Once i got to the 'regular' ward, I had an especially great 'room mate' who i got on with like gangbusters, at first through the big curtain. Eventually one of the nurses pulled the curtain open so we could yak and see each other, which neither of us had thought of. DeeDee and I had a lot to talk about, both being long time East Van residents, having spent our youth in many of the same haunts like the Town Pump (her working, me not) and we just talked like a whole day, and commiserated over our ailments.

The first few days my leg was so swollen and stiff that if i got up (not til after i was off all the IVs.) i used a walker to go to the restroom, or where i needed to go. I had every kind of test, and went from having blood drawn every 2 hours in the icu, to just once a day towards the end of my almost two week stay. After DeeDee got sprung, I had a few 80 something elder ladies in the room with me, who were all as sweet as could be. Maybe we didn't chat as much, but they were super nice. Lots of friends came to see me, even after I got 'hospital flu' midway through my stay. They brought me toiletries, healthy snacks, books, and even an 'adult' colouring book.

Another amazing thing happened, as I noticed my vision had gotten worse, and my readers weren't so good just using my phone. A friend named Ray brought me a spare charger, which was a life saver. i bought extra data, as there was no wi-fi in the joint. But it really helped me so much to be able to update my friends and family on facebook, about exactly how things were going. i cried every day, sometimes just breaking down sobbing maybe more than i ever have. One nurse Isabel was really there for me during one particularly overwhelmed sob fest.

But the incredible thing, was that my friend Ray, and another friend also named Ray started a page for me, to raise money to help me pay rent and bills whilst recovering. I had talked to a social worker about applying for some emergency social assistance, the most of which i could get was likely 400 buck. My friends, family, acquaintances and a few strangers have donated over 1400 bucks so far to help me, so i am putting off the wellie. Maybe i can recover enough and finally have some overdue luck work wise, before i have to. Nothing in this recovery would make me feel better than that. I feel so blessed that so many folks have been so generous to me. It's humbling, and makes me cry happy tears as I write this.

I have been out of hospital over a week, and folks are still helping me out. A friend brought me a tasty veggie lasagna today. My room mate has done a bunch of shopping for me, and as usual still doing more of the kitty care than me. I feel blessed everyday to have such support. More friends are going to help with meals, another friend who drove me home from hospital, drove me to a far off lab for sunday blood work last week.

The actual healing is slow and steady. My leg isn't as stiff and sore, and only painful when i walk a block or two. But it's still pretty swollen, and i will likely be on blood thinners for 3-6 months. Hopefully ebbing the dosage as i go. Tomorrow is another INR test and some fasting Blood sugar etc. I don't have to take insulin, and hopefully won't have to, for the diabetes, just some pills with breakfast and dinner.

I've been doing so much of my own cooking, it's kind of making me a bit batty. but I am mostly in the normal range, up some days a bit, whether i eat the same as the day before or not. still evening things out i guess. still testing my BS four times a day at the moment. Hopefully this will end up being less often sooner than later. those test strips are expensive, and it sometimes takes me a few tries to get enough blood on the strip, despite the blood thinner (i blame the Reynaud's syndrome)

I have a cane for stairs and long walks. mostly to lean on when i get tired. I also need to get more active despite my leg, to help keep the diabetes in line. It is all pretty overwhelming to me a lot of the time, and likely not helping my recovery that i am stressed and worried over every little aspect. I have a diabetes clinic appt, not a class, as i don't need that. i know how to cook and do the moderation thing. but i do have some questions, so i have some one on one with a dietician and a doctor on the 26th of January. Still waiting to find out about the Thrombosis clinic, hopefully soon, as i have a lot of questions about that. was it the fall that spurred it on, the diabetes? i never really got an answer in the hospital. My GP is on it and i should find out soon from her.

One pretty stressful part of all this is that I have to pause my HRT while I am on the blood thinners. I really hope that i can start up again when i am off the warfarin. but I may not be able to. this causes me a lot of emotional pain, as the hormones don't just change your body, they also change your brain in ways that I love. How i respond to things, a part of what makes me such an awesome femme is the feminization the hormones aid. No one needs to take hormones to transition, but I do and want to continue. I try not to dwell on this negative side effect of healing, but I can only do so much about it. sigh.

Sitting here writing this lengthy post has my leg pretty sore, so I need to have a lie down now. up and down has been working for me, in terms of lessening any pain, swelling. but the swelling may end up being a lifetime issue even if i (and i hope so fervently) never get another DVT again. I also sat on my bed and made a little music loop this afternoon. I have been kin of creatively exhausted, not even reading much, let alone writing anything but healthy status FB updates. So it was nice to get in that garageband groove. i make great little soundtrack-ish little loops if i do say so myself. Then i cut together a couple of public domain stock footage vids i had saved ages ago from

I feel like a bird on a string, and a big kitty watching said bird she can't get to, all at the same time.


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