Life with Mr Monk

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Occasionally, upon arriving home after a long day at work, I’ll meander on over to Scott’s front porch bench (OCD neighbor, aka Mr Monk) and sit with him out in the sunshine for a bit.  While he strums away at one of his old guitars,  he’ll unhurriedly tell me about his day or a thought that’s been heavy on his mind, often making me chuckle at his questions about life and wonder at the strange adventures he’s gotten himself into over the past 70 years.  Sometimes we don’t say much at all , sort of agreeing in silence that it’s been a long enough day to just sit and rest, listen to the strumming and watch the birds fly by.

Sometimes words just aren’t what a person needs, he seems to get that. Not many do these days.

A most unlikely bit of family to find living next door, to be sure, he’s rather like a long-lost grandpa I never knew.  My dogs he calls Boris and Natasha ( I can only assume from Rocky and Bullwinkle) or when he’s feeling especially cantankerous, ‘the two gargantuan beasts’.  He often refers to me as the  ‘little fairy girl next door’, insisting that upon moving in two years go, I brought life to a Jasmine plant that had been hibernating for the past 10 years in his front yard.

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While I hardly find my presence a likely cause for it’s bloom, I cannot seem to convince him otherwise. He is certain I am part fairy.

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Despite his quirky ways and questionable beliefs about fairies living next door to him, my dear Mr Monk is a delightful neighbor who has, on more than one occasion, taken it upon himself to ensure my health and well-being. I cannot count the number of times he’s called me over to grab a plate of dinner,  watered my garden, warned me about creeps hangin’ out nearby, given me good, solid, grandpa advise, and pointed out minute flaws in the paint on my front door.

This was a text he sent after I thanked him for a flower that mysteriously appeared in my garden one morning in place of another that had been removed.

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After being sick for a week and unable to eat much of anything, Scott decided to concoct some sort of chicken dinner that his mom used to make and assured me I would not have a problem getting it down. Twas the best comfort food I’ve ever tasted.

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And lastly, this one is quite self-explanatory…

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(:  Pardon his french, he has as much sailor in him as I do,  I’m afraid.

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No more needles

There’s nothing quite so good as hearing the words ‘I’ll see you in six months’ from your doctor, especially when it’s been “I’ll see you in two weeks” for the past year and a half.

Kinda makes me wanna dance.

I went back for a final blood test two weeks ago and was relieved to hear that my iron levels look great, which means my body took in the infusions well and my iron is currently excellent.  No more anemia for me!  They do not expect me to need infusions again for at least another year, and I’m already feeling the benefit of not being depleted.   Also, for the first time in a long time they did not make me do another blood-test while I was there, given the fact that they already know that most of my other labs will be abnormal.   Lupus will always make blood-tests a bit wonky for me, and who needs to continually see wonky blood tests?

Not me.

The doctor said I will ‘always be sick’ in one sense since Lupus can only be managed and not cured.  This is a bunch of bullocks if you ask me. I’m determined to prove him wrong even if this thing does make my blood look funky on a chart. I think there is plenty I can do for myself that involves neither needles nor medication.

I mentioned before that I was going to try a new diet, one more conducive to a body dealing with lupus. I have been implementing this to the best of my ability, and while I’m definitely still learning and researching,  I’ve already found some foods that I think will be a good start.  When it comes down to it, most of this simply consists of eating a well-balanced diet and staying away from processed foods.

That being said, I’m really not one of those people who will ever be terribly good at eating a strict diet all the time.  I don’t think there is ‘one way’ of doing most things, and this is no exception.

You can’t eat tofu and rice and make it go away.

While I know some foods will be helpful to for me to be eating on a regular basis,  I cannot say I will be dedicated to a black and white diet 100% of the time.  In-N-Out fries and deliciously processed snacks will be sure to make their way to my tummy on occasion, and I am not claiming otherwise. I’m just trying to eat better as a whole to try to give myself a chance to feel better without the intrusion of needles and steroids.

So in my particular case, my biggest issues are severe anemia, chronic nightly fevers, tender joints, and lung, kidney and heart damage. None of these things can be cured by a certain diet, obviously, since simply put, Lupus is a body attacking it’s own healthy self.  What I can do, however, is eat an over-all healthy diet, rich in dark veggies full of iron, good meat, and a balanced diet.  Some say avoid inflammatory foods, but I haven’t really figured out what exactly that means or if it’s even true.  For now I’ve incorporated the following things.

Water, lots of it

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Fish like baked salmon or tilapia

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Lots of dark green leafy stuff

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Good meat

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Dark Fruit

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Greek Yogurt

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Whole grains

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Gburger

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He he. Well hey, I told you I couldn’t be good all the time.  Also, if you’ve never tried Gburger you really truly need to. Best cheeseburger on the planet, it’ll make anyone feel better. Take that, wonky numbers.