Monday, July 07, 2008

What’s Been Going On

The Lady in Red: Lady had a biopsy yesterday. The vet said that her tongue looks better and that the injury is looking more like an insect bite, but took a biopsy just to be sure. Lady is now getting chicken broth to eat, together with side dishes—more accurately, side injections—of antibiotics and painkillers. The good news is that this morning she drank a fair amount of broth, though this evening she appeared to be in too much pain to eat. She got another dose of painkiller, but since she ate this morning (and possibly at other times when no one was looking) and is excreting normally, we’re not too worried. The vet says that the pain will lessen over the next few days, so her eating should pick up. In the meantime, she continues to get her medications and fresh bowls of chicken broth several times a day. The biopsy results should be back by the end of the week, if not sooner, and we are all hoping and praying for the best.

Asthma and the salt room: I stopped going to the salt room a while ago. At first it worked beautifully. I was nearly asthma-free. But then, a few months later, while I was still going for follow-up treatments, I started experiencing respiratory symptoms that were very unlike my previous, “normal” asthma but that were just as devastating for my breathing (not to mention my speaking and singing). I tried taking a break for a few months and then going back to the salt room briefly, but it didn’t help. Conventional medicine had no answers either.

Recently I started going to an excellent practitioner of Chinese medicine. My breathing improved dramatically after only one acupuncture treatment. When I asked the practitioner why the salt room had failed with me when it has succeeded with so many other people and had worked so well for me at first, she answered simply: “Salt is very drying.” Without going into unnecessary and boring detail, considering what I know about the way my body runs, it makes perfect sense.

So I don’t blame the salt room or the doctor who manages it. It is not his fault that I am so highly sensitive to dryness. I know that the salt room works very well for many people, just as it did for me at first, and I would still recommend it. It looks like I just happen to fall within the percentage of people for whom it doesn’t work well—or at least stops working well beyond a certain point.

In memory of Shimrit: Shiva is being held at her home in the neighborhood and in the community garden that she planted, in which signs have now been put up that read “Shimrit’s Garden.” (In her characteristically modest manner, Shimrit felt that the garden should be called something along the lines of the San Simon Community Garden, with no mention of her name.) At any rate, I’ll post pictures as soon as I can.

I am still in shock at her death. (So sudden. So unnecessary. So terribly painful for so many people.) The only sliver of comfort in all this is that as far as I have been told, Shimrit never knew what had happened and did not suffer. Another bit of consolation is that Shimrit had signed up to be an organ donor, so that even as she left her own earthly life, she made a last effort to save several others.

Project in the works: When it’s completed and available, I’ll be posting details here. Stay tuned.

Off to get some sleep. Tomorrow starts very early for me, and will be a long day.

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