milk

Passing out at an ice cream shop

I was just reminded of a “funny” event from the worst of the mast cell activation disease days (before doctors knew what I had). I was just released from the hospital for something — maybe from my second fake heart attack, I don’t remember for sure — and I thought, “If I’m going to die before they figure out what’s wrong with me, I’d like to have a chocolate milk shake.”

So I drove to a placed called Sweet Cow in Louisville, Colorado, ordered a milkshake, and then began going unconscious before the order could even be completed. While the poor guy was making my shake I walked out of the store, sat on a bench outside, and put my head between my legs, hoping I wouldn’t pass out. The guy who was making my shake was probably only in high school, and he eventually brought the shake out to me while I sat there with my head between my legs. We had some sort of conversation, the gist of which was I was trying not to pass out and him saying that the milkshake was free.

With the help of a few people I eventually stumbled out of there and made it home. Such was life with the worst of the mast cell disease.

P.S. — These days I’m much better, thank you.

August 31st, a new anniversary

August 31st is a new anniversary for me: One year ago today I hit rock-bottom health-wise. On that day, despite feeling very sick, I needed groceries and went to the store. By the time I got to the milk section I was shaking quite a bit, and when I tried to pick up a half-gallon of milk, I didn’t have the hand strength to hold onto it, and it fell to the floor. It exploded open and soaked my lower legs and feet.

After a few moments of humiliation, I thought I better find a store employee so they could clean it up. As I walked around trying to find someone, tears were welling up in my eyes because I was so upset about my health; I couldn’t even grip a half-gallon of milk. I finally found someone, a young, healthy man — healthy, like I used to be — and when we got back to the milk section he nicely said, “No worries, don’t cry over spilled milk.” That made me want to cry even more.

When I was laying in bed later that afternoon (because that was all I could do by that time), I started doing research on my phone, and made a decision to stop taking a medication a kidney specialist started me on in February. Stopping that medicine made me even sicker in some ways, but that turned out to be a good thing: It became the final clue that I have Mast Cell Activation Syndrome. These days, other than significant dietary restrictions, I live a relatively normal life.