I was going through old photos recently and found this “Bleeding Heart” drawing that I made on a Buddha Board back in February, 2015. FWIW, Buddha Boards seem to make good Christmas gifts. I got this one as a Christmas gift in 2014.
Over time I’ve discovered a number of things that I have no memory of from the years 2014 to 2016, when I was at my sickest with the mast cell disease. Apparently I created this image and wrote these words on August 24, 2015. (Here’s a link to the original post, if you’re into that sort of thing.)
April 24, 2015: I don’t know how you spend your mornings, but these days I spend 40 minutes each morning administering intravenous medicine to myself via a PICC Line that has been inserted/installed in my arm and chest. You can read about the whole experience in my diverticulitis diary if you’d like.
(April 24, 2017: Today marks the 11th consecutive month that I haven’t required a trip to the ER, which is pretty much a record for my last four years.)
April 20, 2015: In sad news, the Motherlode Lodge burned down in Hatcher Pass, Alaska. I used to drive past it 5-10 times each summer, and I always thought that if I had enough money I would have liked to re-open it, and I even discussed that possibility with several people. A little story and video is here on adn.com.
I had it in my mind that the worst of the mast cell disease (MCAS) side effects didn’t kick in until later in 2015, but I just saw this memory on Facebook from January 3, 2015:
“The day started off with a bad dream, after which I woke up, threw up, and had the shakes for long time. Fortunately it got much better as the day went on, and I eventually enjoyed a belated Christmas celebration with friends and family.”
I remember the vomiting and shakes started long before this – I learned to keep a trash can by the bedside – so those symptoms would have been well back into 2014.
If you like cold weather, this photo was taken at the airport I used to live next to in Talkeetna, Alaska.
Five weeks ago.
This is a photo from the drive from Santa Fe, New Mexico north to Colorado, taking the back roads (Route 285) rather than the expressway. I took this photo in March, 2015.
A farmer plowing a field in Palmer, Alaska on May 20, 2015.
At 10:30 pm.
I meditated last night until I started falling asleep. I kept trying to fight through the sleepiness, but it was to no avail.
I got up, went to bed, and almost immediately had one of those “You’re not Al, you’re somebody else” dream or dream-like experiences (like when Captain Picard went unconscious on the bridge and lived another life). After a long period of time I woke up in a bed with tears streaming down my cheeks because of what had just happened. (A friend died in my arms.) I sat up, looked around, but couldn’t figure out who or where I was. With my body/brain/mind rejecting the situation, I barfed into the trash can by the bedside. I was glad someone put that there.
After somewhere between thirty and ninety seconds I remembered who/where I am. With my body shaking as usual after one of these experiences, and not wanting to go back to sleep, I bundled up and went for a long, cold, after-midnight November walk. The clear sky was beautiful, and I was glad to be alive, even if I felt like crap. I made a note to myself that I need to take midnight walks more often, I appreciate the solitude.
~ November 12, 2015
I woke up this morning and immediately knew something was wrong. I ran into the bathroom, turned on the light, looked in the mirror, and saw that my head looked a lot like a Talosian from Star Trek. “Oh crap,” I thought, “I’m having an allergic reaction to this new medication.” So I went flying out of the apartment and down the hall, yelling, “Help! Someone call 911! Does anyone have some Benadryl?”
Fortunately it was just another dream.