Today Odel and I did something he probably wasn’t supposed to do: we went for a two mile walk!
During the past week, Odel has used the car to make a few quick trips around town, and has resumed responsibility for most of the many tasks he handles around the motorhome. He works hard on his knee exercises and rehabilitation each day, but hadn’t taken a walk of any duration yet.
The past few nights, he has had a very difficult time sleeping, and it is the opinion of his PT that he doesn’t sleep much at night simply because he is “at rest” most of the day. Remember, this is a guy who walked 4-5 miles each day before his surgery; now that he is overcoming the effects of surgery so well, it seems that maybe his body is ready for more exercise.
So, today he decided he was going for a walk. And I decided to go, too. We walked (slowly) along the Sacramento River levee, behind Cal Expo, talking about his knee, my allergy, and where we want to go when we leave here in two weeks. It was almost like old times. :)
Although Odel’s knee is not pain free, he has less pain now than he did prior to surgery. It is easy for us to imagine long walks and hikes in our future – maybe on the beach in Oregon, in Olympic National Park in Washington, in Glacier National Park, all places we plan to visit later this year.
As for my problem, it is still a mystery. I went to stay with Sydney and Frank for 2 nights, leaving the Sacramento Valley with all its wind and pollen, and leaving anything in the motorhome that could be causing my problem. Absolutely NO improvement; if there was any change at all, it was for the worse. Benadryl (taken at maximum dosage and maximum strength) did nothing but turn me into a depressed zombie. Neither Allegra nor Zyrtec has had any effect.
Finally, I made an appointment with my dermatologist, who I saw yesterday morning. She was shocked by the look of my eyelids, swollen, red, and raw. I think her exact words were “oh, you poor thing!”. That was the perfect description! She said it is not a food allergy, but is caused by contact with an allergen. We went through everything again… any new shampoo, makeup, nail polish, bedding, detergent, soap, fragrance, drugs, nutritional supplements, on and on and on. Drew a blank.
She sent me off with a tiny sample tube of Halog (a steroid ointment) to apply sparingly twice a day, and a prescription for hydrocortisone cream to use when the Halog is gone. I filled the prescription, then went off to the health food store for organic vegies and fruit, having decided to embrace a diet of organic fruit, vegetables and grain (along with copious amounts of vitamin C) until whatever this is is under control. (At least none of that is fattening – I have lost 7.6 pounds on Weight Watchers since we have been here.)
Last night, for the first time in many days, I slept through the night. When I awoke this morning, I could see an actual improvement since yesterday – slight, but real. I feel about 1% better – not much, but a welcome move in the right direction.
The steroid ointment is helping the symptoms – but I still have no idea what is causing my problem. As we walked along the levee this morning, we both looked forward to moving out of the Sacramento Valley in a few weeks, hoping will we will my allergen behind. Until then, a little more improvement every day would be most welcome!