Monday, July 11, 2011

salivating anxiety

We are leaving for DC tonite. I am  anxious, I can feel the anxiety in my chest. I can feel it in my tummy. I can feel it in my toes. I can feel it in the back of my mouth, like I am salivating anxiety. Can one actually salivate anxiety? I guess so.

In DC I will go to Jemsek Specialty Clinic. They will “test run” my next IV antibiotic. Now, the words test run don’t give me a lot of comfort. Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t that what people do with a car they would like to buy? They don’t test run a car expecting a crash.  You take that silver jaguar out for a little joyride, bring the keys back in and say, “well there was this little red sign that said S-T-O-P that I just didn’t see.......”

In DC the objective is to see if I do crash....comforting, I know. Crash being anything from puking all the way up to anapyhlactic shock. Oh, is that all? Perfect. Is everyone carrying their EPI pens? They do actually take really good care of me there. I am just freaking out! Don’t forget - I am salivating anxiety.

Did you know that according to the movie The Holiday, “Severe stress makes women age prematurely because stress causes DNA in our cells to shrink until they can no longer replicate. So when we’re stressed we look haggard.” Now I realize that The Holiday is not the Bible or even Wikipedia, but that sounds about right, and haggard is not the look i’m going for here. I may be sick, but you can bet your bottom dollar I’m not going to look like I’m sick. Fashion still reigns supreme. Even if I am in anaphylactic shock, at least my hair will look good.

So back to the test run....

I don’t know what is causing my anxiety to become drool. It could be that Melody’s house almost burned down, it could be that last time we were at the airport I got laughed at, it may be that I feel bad for barging in on Klon and Tracy after they just returned from vacay, it may be that we are selling just about everything we own in a garage sale on Saturday. It may just be Herx (you’ll be up on that word in a minute.) I don’t know. But, each new drug has the possibility of bringing on new, what the people in the know call Herxheimer Reactions. Now if you are really cool, like me, you call it Herx, because who has enough time to actually say the entire word? You may have noticed my application of this principle earlier in this paragraph - see how cool that makes me. Seriously, it’s like a total epiph. You totally have to give it a whirl. You say Herxheimer, I say Herx.

Okay, let’s get down to business. I’m really running on rabbit trails today. Let’s just blame it all on the anxiety salivation. 

I am looking through the binder they gave me. Should I be concerned that there is an entire section on diarrhea? I mean the tabs are pretty normal….FAQ – normal…..Dressing change info – normal…..infusion instructions – normal……Diarrhea – NOT normal. Have you ever had a binder that had a bright yellow tab reading Diarrhea? Be honest – the answer is a big resounding NO!! The section consists of five pages. How much is there to say about diarrhea? Page 1: It is awful. Page 2: You’ll be stuck on the toilet all day long for the rest of you life. Page 3 : Stay hydrated. Page 4: Do not, under any circumstances, have anyone over for dinner. Page 5: We are going to take every shred of dignity that you had left and drowned it in the toilet.  

Hmmmm... I wonder how many people want to come visit me now, eh? That’s okay, it’s not a time I’d like to share with you either. If that hasn’t scared you off, just call Charles before stopping by to make sure I’m not spending some quality time with the porcelain princess.

Speaking of the porcelain princess, next in the long list of Herx (see how cool that makes me sound) is puking, tossing your cookies, throwing up, retching, barfing, upchucking, hugging the porcelain princess, vomiting, ralphing. I’m sure you get the idea. I’m not sure which is worse, choice A or choice B. Now the DOUBLE WHAMMY would be A and B together. Herx will no longer be a cool word in my book. I will no longer want any visitors. Please, for the love of all that is good in this world, don’t visit me if I get the DOUBLE WHAMMY. 

Well, there’s nothing to do about it, eh? Except shrug my shoulders and take the test choice, no turning back now. We are in it to win it. At least you got a good lesson in being cool and rocking the half words. Of being fashionable during anaphylactic shock. You learned that you can actually salivate anxiety. Words of wisdom about diarrhea and vomiting. And if all fails - you learned a new word - Herx.


  1. Last time I was there I felt like you still looked 25, which means I am 24 so I think we are doing pretty good! And I can assure you I will still come and visit and will hold your hair back or ... well, you're on your own with the other! I love you and am praying for you, Charles, Dr. Jemsek and his team, the girls and everyone taking care of the girls! You are going to beat this!! I think about the scripture that was given on Sunday morning ... Philippians 3:12&13, Paul says, "I press on to posses that perfection for which Jesus Christ first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead!"

  2. I think you are going to have to turn this into a book when it is all said and done. It will make a really good book. And I agree with TR. Love you! And your girls too!!

  3. Pretty funny if I didn't know how awful you feel
    love you-