textiles · exploration · misadventure

One Step Forward…


…two steps back.

Now that most of my family knows this, I can put it on the blog without freaking anybody out. The short story is, even though I feel like hell, I don’t have a catastrophic illness.

The long story is, after that last post, I got worse, fast. One symptom I didn’t mention online, because I didn’t want to freak my family out until I had answers, is a swelling on my neck with spots of incredible tenderness inside. Being a 25-year smoker, I was basically making my will.

A few nights ago, spasms and pain in my throat and chest kept me up all night, and were so bad I took an aspirin to see if that made me feel batter—’cause chest pain + aspirin + feeling better can = a heart attack, you know?

So, the aspirin made me feel almost immediately better, which naturally then totally freaked me out. I called the advice nurse, always a fun thing in the middle of the night, and after a thorough conversation she advised me to call 911. We’re practically across street from San Francisco General, so I woke Matt up, and he walked me to the emergency.

Within five minutes they had an EKG on me. It was NORMAL.

Then they ran liver panels, metabolic panels, pancreas tests, thyroid function tests, and took chest X-rays. They took another EKG.

And in a world of weirdness, this 25-year-smoker came out CLEAN. On everything. Including chest X-rays.

I feel like I dodged a bullet.

Diagnosis is the same: gastro-esophageal reflux, with a complicating esophageal spasm. I will never snigger at heartburn commercials again. This shit hurts bad. Invasive abdominal surgery is my high point for pain, so when something’s a five on a scale of one to ten, that means this shit hurts.

It’s taken several days, but symptoms are calming down. I’ve done a lot of research on this condition, underlying causes, and helpful lifestyle changes.

I’ve already quit smoking—seventeen days!! I’ve already lost five pounds, because it’s hard to eat. I’ve been making some dietary and supplement changes that seem to have helped over the past few days and have more planned.

And I need to say some stuff about my boyfriend, Matthew. I know I brag about him from time to time, because I find him just SO great, and I can’t help it. But he’s even better than I make him out to be.

Through all this mayhem the past month, the man has never had anything but kind and supportive words and actions for me. When I woke him up at a cow-milking hour last week and told him I needed his help, he didn’t ask for an explanation, or say wtf, or oh god, or even close his eyes again for a second. He sat up, reached for clothes, and got me where I needed to be, only asking what was up once we were out of the house.

He asks me five times a day if there’s anything he can do for me, and he means it.

When I tell him shit like, “I’m scared and I hurt really bad,” he listens and holds me and rubs my back and pours sympathy and support all over me.

This is the way a supportive relationship is supposed to be, and while my family loves the hell out of me, we did not have a supportive atmosphere in the home where I grew up. We’ve changed a lot in the past twenty years, since my dad died, but all the same, being consistently treated with respect, affection, and support by Matthew is pretty much the most loved I’ve ever felt.

I have never had it before. Not like this. Not this unwavering, devoted, certain, loving support. We’ve been together for nine years almost, and it means as much to me today as it did when he first started doing it, years ago. Means more, even, because now I know it’s real, and it’s consistent, and that there’s real love and devotion behind it.

And I couldn’t really be a luckier person, and I couldn’t ever feel more loved. If I had made different choices eighteen years ago, I’d likely be dead from alcoholism by now. Instead, I’ve had eighteen years of slowly increasing joy.

13 thoughts on “One Step Forward…

  1. Sniff sniff😂😂😂😂. You ARE loved! Tremendously!! And completely!! Grateful here to know everything checked out well. Kiss kiss, hug hug!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sob!! You made me feel so much better on the phone yesterday. And I did talk to Matt, like you suggested. And he was, you know: Matt. I love you so!


  2. Hang in there, Curves, you will get better!

    Did you know I quit smoking more than ten years ago now? It was the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. After about three months I stopped wishing I still smoked and began to think of myself as a nonsmoker. Today I never ever consider thinking about starting again, zero interest here. One of my friends told me “you forget what it’s like,” which I didn’t believe at the time, but dang, she was right. You’ll forget.

    Hugs and kisses from afar.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Marylouise, it’s so great to hear positive things like, “You will get better.” I’m actually starting to believe that, these past few days. And yes, i do remember that you successfully quit smoking several years ago… I remember you giving me some of your old nicotine gum, hoping it would help me, but I guess I needed my neck to swell up and scare me into quitting instead. What a fun and pleasant thought, thinking of oneself as a nonsmoker. I think I will look forward to that.
      Thanks for your encouragement and positivity, Mare. You’ve always been a fund of that good stuff.


  3. Wow!!! ❤ You ARE very blessed indeed. Wonderful to hear some upbeat positive news for once, instead of the doom and gloom the world seems to be filled with overall. Thank you for sharing! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, back, Embeecee. Thank you for such a positive and supportive comment! When I started it, I never suspected this blog would become a place of support and encouragement, but it has. Lucky me!!!


  4. Remember the tracing fingers, you were always loved and cherished.


  5. Glad it was not worse although it is painful. Congrats on being smoke free and you are a really well loved woman. He is very special

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Still On the Downlow | curvylou

  7. Nothing like a health scare to provide motivation for the next transition toward healthier living. For me, vanity wasn’t enough to stop eating sugar and starch, but high(ish) fasting blood sugar, sure was. Congratulations on quitting smoking! That was more difficult for me than booze or food. So, bravo! And I am so glad to hear it’s nothing life-threatening. Whew!

    As for being loved, that must be the best feeling ever.


    • Yeah, I’ve been trying to find motivation to quit smoking for years, and you’re right: nothing like a health scare. I can’t tell you how it felt to come back with clean chest xrays after smoking for oh, 25 years. And yeah again, being loved: Best.Ever. Matthew in particular. We were friends for a handful of years before dating and weren’t sure we were going to go there. Then we did, and we’ve spent the past ten years healing each other. Love and respect from the same man. Why is that so hard to find?

      Liked by 1 person