Last Wednesday, Day 16 of treatment was a day I had been looking forward to since a week before I left. It was our weekday visitation. I got to see my Emma finally!! Instead of getting her a fancy souvenir, I opted for a cheap little coin purse (she’s a purse girl) and getting a pedicure. In a way I was the souvenir — she got a more healthy Jackie who could take her out. It isn’t often her and I can get out together and do something. Sometimes we go over to my friend’s house, but that is a lot of me laying flat. She plays with me at home, but that, also, is a lot of me laying flat. If run around with her, I tend to have to lay down the rest of the evening.
So, we went and got pedicure. Ever since I was teenager, I’d admired the mother-daughter duos in the nail salon getting pedicures together. I thought they were so cute and I couldn’t wait until I had a daughter of my own someday to take. My little cousin was always freaked out by the nail place when she was little, so this was my first time getting to take a little girl for her first pedicure. The foot bath was pretty intriguing to her. She’s a watcher, so she carefully observed all of the other customers. I did what I always do in new environments which is whisper to her what is happening, what different people are doing, how different people are related to one another, etc… I can tell she likes it because if I zone out and something that is new to her happens (uhh why is that lady taking a razor to the woman’s foot?), she quickly turns her head to see why I’m not explaining. She asked for a caterpillar to be painted on her big toes, but the woman said she couldn’t do that on her tiny feet. Emma settled on a beautiful butterfly.
We ended up being in there for over an hour. When I realized this had occurred without my being acutely aware of every passing second, I was so excited. Yes my throat hurt, I was fatigued, my head hurt, my heart was pounding away, my stomach wasn’t quite happy…. but none of it was any worse than before Emma arrived and we went to the nail salon. I could not believe it. It was the first activity I had done (outside of lying flat in a dark, quiet room) in 5.5 years where I didn’t feel more sick when the activity was over than when it began! As we left, everyone was cooing at Emma and she froze because she’s shy. I turned to see if she was coming and almost walked into the giant storefront window. This cracked her up. When we got outside, she reminded me “You said you’d carry me to the car” (She had wanted carried in the salon and I’d said later I would but not while our toes were wet). Fair enough. I had another realization moment where I realized I could carry her to the car after sitting upright and talking off and on for over an hour. I was so ecstatic that I picked her up like a baby, ran/skipped/hopped all of the way to the car, and then I spun her in circles. Spinning in circles doesn’t happen at all when you have POTS except for imaginary circles from your extreme dizziness. She giggled and was so happy. It just meant so much to have had a symptom free outing with her.
We went through the Walgreen’s drive-through to pick up a prescription and then she asked if we could stop at the gas station so she could buy some gum with her money. Usually I would have had to say no. However, I was able to say yes! I didn’t even need to rush her due to being unable to stand. I didn’t even fret when I had to bend and reach all over the place because she spilled the contents of her purse all over the backseat and under her car seat when she tried to open it. She had $1.30 so we weighed the pros and cons of gum versus a few pieces of candy. Ultimately, she decided on buying three pieces of candy and giving on of those pieces to her friend. When we got home, she helped me make the avocado puree I like to put on top of my salads. I didn’t rush her with that either. I was SO excited at the end of all of this because, although I did really need to lay down and rest, I didn’t have a bunch of symptoms pop up or the existing ones get worse.
I have had two days so far like this. Days where I absolutely cannot believe I don’t feel sick after doing what I did. There have been other days that went pretty smoothly, but symptoms did pop up or get worse. I can’t wait until days like my evening with Emma are an everyday thing… or even better, until I don’t think it is unusual to not be in pain or otherwise ill!
Now, just for fun… Here is a lesson on how to get someone’s attention when they’re using the computer.