Posts Tagged ‘healthcare’

purTY purTY purTY

Pretty red bird, he sings it every day!

Photo by Virginia Sanderson via Flickr

Every day for the past few weeks I’ve heard the Cardinal call,  “PurTY, PurTY,  PurTY.”  What a nice thing for a bird to say!

I’ve always especially loved Cardinals and the male is certainly an eye-catcher,  just as nature intended.

I wonder what the very handsome guy in the above image is thinking, but then I also wonder if birds can think.

I’m too tired to research this question in-depth, but I came across a wonderful article about a Parrot, Alex, who sadly died in 2007, but left with us interesting questions about animal intelligence that I find fascinating.

There may be more to a “birdbrain” than we thought.  The article about Alex is from 1999, but I imagine there remains, “a highly emotional debate about whether thought is solely the domain of humans, or whether it can exist in other animals.”

“Alex can think.  His actions are not just an instinctive response, –but rather a result of reasoning and choice.”  (Dr. Irene Pepperberg, A Thinking Bird or just another Birdbrain).

I’ve always wondered about humans being the most intelligent species and the older I get, the more I wonder.

Living with a chronic illness has a way of putting you in touch with being human.  Living with persistent pain and/or illness is humbling.  Strangely, this experience of being so damn human gives me a sense of connection with all living creatures.

I guess when I think of the pain and fatigue I live with I remember the ticks.  They are so small and relatively low on the food chain, but one bite from the wrong one at the wrong time can change your life, or worse.

There is a sense of oneness in the awareness that these little vectors can transmit disease and that a resulting illness can fall upon any person.  We are all alike in one way.  Blood runs through our veins and a beating heart keeps us alive.

I remember the day I found the baby deer tick on me.  It was in the afternoon and was a beautiful day outside.  I remember falling to the ground in weakness, while walking to my car.  Suddenly it felt like someone had grabbed my throat and was choking me.  My joints protruded for months.  For several weeks, I lost almost complete use of my hand and eventually my arm too.

I remember lying in bed looking out of the window thinking how I’m not any stronger than those ticks.  We are the same in one way you look at it.  We each have our place on this planet.

A few weeks ago, the deep joint pain like I had after the deer tick bite in 2003 reappeared.  This scared me.

I went to the doctor who tested me for autoimmune diseases.  I didn’t think to get tested for any of the tick-borne illnesses.  I’ve seen a few crawling on me this year, but none of them were attached.

“Positive,” one of my lab reports reads.  I received them in an email without an explanation from my doctor.  A lab report I can’t understand, but I do know the word positive.

I called the nurse,  “What am I positive for?” I asked her.

“Something arthritic,” she answered.

I know the test is for autoimmune diseases, but they have to do further testing to know which one.  It could be Lupus or RA and for all I know it could be Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or something else!

My doctor still hasn’t sent me a note, explained anything or asked for a follow-up.  Modern times I guess.

The referring nurse called to say the Rheumatologists can see me in August.  This is April.  Sigh…

We have many fine Rhuematologists here, but they won’t see me because I have insurance for poor people and doctors don’t like it because they don’t get paid as much for their services.  I also have Medicare, but because I have Medicaid, they won’t see me.  The only ones who will take my insurance are the teaching clinics at the hospitals, which is a lot better than going to the public health department like I had to when I lived in the mountains.  That was altogether horrible.

Still, it isn’t very cool that I have a positive test for an autoimmune disease, which was taken because of joint pain and a worsening of fatigue and not be able to know what exactly I tested positive for.  I would at least like advice or counseling, since knowing me, I probably wouldn’t use whatever medication they suggested.  I can’t take medication for arthritis.  They all make me sick.  I can’t take most medications without getting sick.  However, I’d still like to know where I stand and what my body is battling.

I’ve suspected Lupus before and so have a few doctors I’ve seen, but you have to test for this disease when it’s active for the results to show positive.

I’m very tired and life isn’t slowing down for me.  It’s hard to keep up my obligations, some of which are difficult when I’m feeling well.

I keep thinking things will get better.  They’ve been bad before and they got better.

A cabin in the mountains near the hot springs is what I fantasize about.  Taking my dogs, a few good novels and waking up for a month or so, only to walk over to sit in the natural springs and enjoy a Swedish massage afterwards.

For now, I take comfort in nature.  I listen when the birds sing.  I hear that Cardinal.  “PurTY, PurTY, PurTY.”  He is so nice!

Thank you for visiting Dogkisses’s blog.  Please feel free to leave your thoughts.  Emails are never published.

Forest Food Web via mdlk12.org

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