I'm on vacation with my family this week in Lake Tahoe - a beautiful place. My favorite color is sky blue and I am getting my fill of it here. My wife
wants to go hiking and my daughter wants to go horseback riding. I want to find a nice secluded spot with a view of the hills so I can (poorly)
watercolor the sunsets. We don't go for the casinos, the restaurants, or the gift shops.
Right now, everything sucks. I have two mysterious health issues which are converging.
I have problems with my swallowing reflex. The blanket term for this is "dysphagia". The problem started after my sixth-grade bully socked me in the
solar plexus, knocking the wind out of me. Shortly after that, I choked on a piece of delicious ravioli while eating at a restaurant with my family.
The problem has been with me ever since, varying in severity. Sometimes it's negligible and other times it flares up bad enough that I have to take
every bite with lots of water, essentially making all my food puree. I've seen doctors and had swallow studies done. These haven't yielded results
Yesterday and today is different and scary. For the first time ever, I can't swallow water. I can't even swallow my own saliva. I shouldn't say
"can't". I can take sips. A teaspoon of water takes a studied, deliberate, ridiculous-looking effort, and makes me feel like I'm drowning for several
minutes. This past week I've probably had a total of a regular days rations of both food and water. I'm getting tired, hungry, cranky, and now,
dehydrated. This can't stand. I would almost rather eat my own # than go to the hospital but I can't even do that now!!! I think I'm going to have to
choose to either go get tubed or die. I'm pissed about it and I'm also scared. It's scary not being able to feed yourself, an experience I never
dreamed I'd have.
My other issue is exacerbated by the first. It is a psoriasis-like skin condition affecting my scalp, forehead, ears, eyelids, lips, neck, back and
sides, genitals, perineum and umm, well it's all over. The skin is dry and tight in some areas, rashy in others, and on my face, the skin is dying
faster than it can regenerate. So it is either large plaques of flaking skin, or, if I take the excruciating hour or so it takes to exfoliate myself
into presentability, it is raw, cracked, red. Normal facial gestures and expressions like talking, smiling, eating, opening eyes wide (as if in
surprise) all split my skin open, resulting in dozens and dozens of visible and invisible cuts. It stings terribly. Showering, brushing teeth, working
out and working up a sweat? All excruciating. Other large areas itch terrible but to scratch stings and opens cuts. I normally wake up with dry,
crusty blood on my mouth and eyelids. My wife and daughter are polite and supportive, but they can't conceal their recoiling during the worst of it.
It is hideous. Again, I'm working with doctors and waiting to find out what's really going on in my system.
In spite of it, I keep my lips sealed. Pun intended. I don't complain to my family, and whenever anyone is socially daft enough to bring it up I
dismiss them by saying "I happily suffer my condition" and change the subject. But right now I honestly don't suffer this condition gladly. I can take
lots of pain and lots of discomfort but I can't take this.
My skin condition absolutely requires me to stay well-hydrated, but now not being able to drink water pretty much makes me one of the most miserable
SOBs in the whole Sierra-Nevada. I'm two states away from home, I don't want to see an emergency doctor here, and I can't eat or drink and almost all
normal movements are uncomfortable, painful, or actually drawing blood.
I don't want to ruin this for my family. We're not poor
poor but we don't have lots of money. This was supposed to be a special trip and we
were going to paint and ride horses and go hiking and I have to call it off.
edit on 6/8/2018 by DictionaryOfExcuses because: (no reason given)