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.