I took down a few posts I made Christmas week but I think I'm going to restore them because they offer a glimpse into the awful crazy mess Christmas with my in laws turned into. Cliff Notes version. My brother in law and his new wife behaved very badly the week we drove 1,500 miles to see the Maw In Law and them for the holidays. A trip planned six months ago. A trip where I spoke to them less than a week before we left and everything seemed copacetic before veering into el strango passive-agressive land once we arrived. It wasn't even the Airing of the Grievances of Festivus.
The worst part of the holidays was watching my beloved husband suffer at the emotionally cruelty of his brother and his actions towards my adult children. Snub me if you like, but hurt my family and earn my blazing hatred. I am done with them.
The good of the trip is that it's shown all of us in our little family how close we are, how deep our bonds go. It's given me a new appreciation for my husband, my children and Laura's boyfriend. It was a good time together for our family.
One thing that the trip exposed is that the many phone calls I'd received from my wonderful Maw In Law right after they moved her to the retirement home near the Brother in Law's might have been more than just her moving anxiety. There's clearly something that has happened negatively between the brother in law's new wife and my Maw In Law. They live mere minutes away, yet visit every week or so. There's some sort of tension and resentment that Maw In Law doesn't deserve.
Maw In Law has been nothing but pure kindness to me since the first day I met her. I had a mother in law that hated my guts in my first marriage and have forged a great relationship with her over the last thirty two years. She doesn't deserve to be drug away from everyone she knows and then ignored like this. Jim has started taking steps to try to move Maw In Law to the large retirement community five minutes from us. Brother in law is already upset over this. I predict there's going to be a huge amount of drama from their side, but Jim and I are going to do like we did on the trip, be as kind, polite and logical as possible and not accept any more bullshit from his brother. What's the most important is making sure Maw In Law is being taken care of.
And while all the family Christmas hijinks were ongoing my thumb is no better. I'm only able to use the computer for a short while daily and am mostly on my iphone for Facebook since texting is easier on it. Downloaded a program that turns voice to text for things like this.
This Monday I reached a level of frustration over my thumb still being swollen, red and unbending and saw that it's clearly spreading to the other fingers in my right hand. I can use my ring finger and pinky on the right hand, the others do not bend and hurt very much.
So what do you do when the doctors at the primary care office you go to keep just simply tossing in more and more antibiotics to something not healing? You try to find a specialist and get a second opinion. For me since I have unbending digits I went to a friend of mine who happens to be a local orthopedic surgeon. Since Monday I've had another set of xrays, a MRI and another set of blood tests, this time looking for any number of rheumological illnesses, yes, like lupus or rheumatoid arthritist, lyme disease, even things like hepatitis.
All negative. The only thing the tests and exams revealed is that I am having a fever around 100 degrees daily, I'm in extreme pain, have a elevated sed rate and white blood cell count. Something systemic is going on.
Here's what he's thinking I have. A fungal infection picked up in Costa Rica that has lain mostly dormant until the minute I got put on a brand spanking new high dose inhalable steroid med by my lung doctor. Which made my immune system stand down and allowed this thing to grow. If this is true then all the antibiotics I was given merely strengthened this thing according to him.
I'm not convinced it's not psoriatic arthritis because of the why my hand skin looks and the many symptoms I have. But we'll know something soon. His staff got me an apointment on Wednesday with the local infectious disease specialist and I'll be getting skin biopsies that will conclusively tell if I picked up one of the many fungus's or viruses common in Central America. Culturing the skin will take three weeks but will narrow things down finally.
So the local guys have misdiagnosed me, and when I didn't improve just simply threw more antibiotics at me. At least my friend gave me a prescription for enough strong narcotics to get the entire town high. If I have to deal with this pain for another month before getting a definitive diagnosis and treatment there has to be some pain relief better than what I was on.