Archive for July, 2021

Loss and Honey

Posted July 22, 2021 By kmarrs

Lost my most recent patient, Miss Pattie, to liver cancer this week. I wasn’t there when it happened, but I was with her quite a bit leading up to her final moments.

I really enjoyed the time spent with her while she was still functional. I only had about a week or two of that time with her, but I’ll treasure it.

I firmly believe that everyone we meet leaves an impact on our lives, even if our time with them is brief. Miss Pat introduced me to honey.

I mean, I’ve always been a huge fan of honey. I spend way too much money at the local farmer’s market buying quality honey. I have spicy honey. I have a lot of honey. But I’ve never quite known what to use it for other than adding it to tea. Yes, even my spicy honey.

(Spicy honey in tea when you have a cold is the best. The spice clears your sinuses and the honey soothes your throat. And tea is also good for a cold too, of course. But I’m serious, get yourself some spicy honey for your next cold.)

In her final days, Pat didn’t eat much. But what she would almost always agree to eat was honey on a toasted English muffin. Now, my kids are big on English muffins, so I usually have some on hand. One evening after my shift with her, I tried it, and it opened my mind to a world of honey uses. The next day I excitedly reported back to her that I’d tried honey on a muffin for myself and understood why she lived on them. She sent me home with a fancy jar of honey from her friend’s bees, and instructions to try it on vanilla ice cream.

I’m telling you here and now, honey on vanilla ice cream is absolutely the best way to eat ice cream.

From there I branched out to fancy honey. Expensive honey. But EBT paid for it, and we currently have extra EBT because of Covid, and it’s use it or lose it. So if ever there was a time to try acacia honey and manuka honey, it’s now.

Next on the list was honeycomb. Because I’m trying to honor a woman who I’ve known for a very short time, but touched my heart, I’m diving head first into honey adventured. I will say autism and beeswax in the mouth aren’t the best mix for me, but the honey is good enough that I’ll finish what I have. I melt it over muffins and that helps with the texture. Also, my 13yo, who has a chewing stim, got to discover raw honeycomb, and he is a huge fan.

My final adventure will be creamed honey. I haven’t bought any yet, but that is simply because I forgot. I plan to do that in the next week. That too will probably land on an English muffin.

I really appreciate having met Miss Pat. Watching her die from liver cancer is probably the most triggering thing I could ever watch someone die from, but I honestly think in the end it was worth it.

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Certifications

Posted July 15, 2021 By kmarrs

I’m currently working towards getting certified in basic first aid and CPR. I feel these will make me a better caregiver to the elderly, but also a better prepared mother.

I achieved my first aid certification last night. Most of the class was online lessons, but there was an in person demonstration of how to use an EpiPen which is an important skill that you don’t have time to stop and read the instructions for when in the heat of the moment.

Next week is CPR. That course is fully in person. I’m looking forward to it.

I still want to get my EMT certification. Again, I feel it’ll have me better prepared in an emergency, but also I want to volunteer my services at things like pride. Or even street medic protests. Though my best friend will beat me to death with a flip flop over that last one.

I enjoy learning. I really enjoy learning useful things. And has my brain heals from brain damage from prolonged lack of blood, I’m finding myself capable of learning again.

Speaking of healing, I say my cancer doctor the other day. I am confirmed in remission. I bought us cake about it.

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Gallbladder

Posted July 8, 2021 By kmarrs

Sorry I missed last week’s post. I was physically not OK and spent my usual time to sit down and write napping.

I’ve known for a while my gallbladder was in rough shape. I actually decided in the fall of 2020 that I was going to look into getting it removed this year. Then the whole cancer thing happened. I decided to put it off because it wasn’t exactly hurting me, it just felt like pressure under my lower right ribs. On the pain scale, we’re talking the occasional 2 or 3. Enough to make me want to take my bra off, but that’s it.

Then around 2 am on what was officially Thursday the 24th of June, I started getting the worst heartburn. The worst. I don’t have breakthrough heartburn often, but when I do, it’s a doozy. Only, it wouldn’t go away. I drank a bottle of Pepto, ate a container of tums, tried my hot pepper trick. Nothing.

Eventually, I went to urgent care for their heartburn cocktail. They gave it to me, along with an EKG, and sent me on to the emergency room. There, they did more testing on my heart, but they also scanned my chest and belly and found my gallbladder full of stones and angry as can be.

It took a full week of managing fat intake very carefully and giving up any remaining carbonated drinks in my diet, but I am finally pain-free again and have been almost a week now. Meanwhile, I also have a surgery consult. I’m looking to schedule my surgery for the very end of August or early September. By then I’ll have a week’s paid vacation at work so I’ll only be short 1 week’s pay in my recovery.

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