It’s been 3 years since my last hospitalization. Three! I think I might celebrate year 5 with cookie cake or something that says “5 Years Death-Free. Yay!” Because you really should celebrate these milestones. Give you goals and reasons to live and what have you.
I always tend to get pretty contemplative in the shower near this anniversary. So many things could have gone wrong from the start. And yet, here I am. I could be on dialysis permanently. I could be wheelchair bound. I could have had brain damage that reduced my quality of life as well as loss of facilities. I could have a speech impediment. I could be in a daycare for adults which in reality is rehab. I could be mute. Bryan would probably have to bathe and feed me and become a caretaker. My recovery could have been a lot slower. I could have reduced function in my extremities. I could be homebound due to consistent fatigue. There’s a lot of things that could have gone wrong.
But, for the most part, it didn’t. Although there are spelling mistakes and some sentences that don’t make any sense because my thought process is faster than my typing skills. But, I can always go back and edit that shit.
I remember when Bryan brought me home the second time, every time I wanted a shower, he had to stand in the shower with me to hold me up. I would get through half of the bathing process before exhaustion took over and he would finish where I left off while I hugged him. Hell, I didn’t shower for about 5 days in the hospital because of the catheter in my thigh. It was too much energy to get a nurse to get a plastic glove and duct tape to wrap the catheter to make sure no water got into it. This also made it heavier and it’s dangling from my inner thigh which was quite painful so I said fuck it, I’ll have a shower when we take this thing out of me. Too much hassle and I was exhausted just getting up and going to the bathroom. I ended up using baby wipes all over my body after my morning potty session. Also, dialysis does a number on you.
I think of those time. The times in the hospital, the waking up in the morning screaming and crying in pain, how a burning sensation like someone had lit me on fire coursed through my body the minute I set a foot on the floor in the morning, the terrible back spasms I had where the tranquilizers turned me into goo. Recovery hurts. Coming back from the brink of death hurts. And you have to have patience knowing that although you might never reach 100%, there will be a day where you may feel normal.
You can through me into a deep hole, cover me in shit, and I will still manage to get myself out of that hole squeaky clean. That and dictionaries are a lifesaver. I just tried to spell squeaky sweakie.
Not quite 100%, but this will do.
How do I know I’m recovering? I’m in graduate school getting A’s and understanding psychological theories, approaches, and concepts. I can see how these theories evolved, how they can come together, how to integrate them. After the first hospitalization, I was still in grad school working on my first masters and went back to class where for a week I could have sworn everything was spoken in pig latin. Theories flew out the window and I had to dedicate hours of studying to attempt to relearn what I already knew. You would think I would have scrambled my brain the second time, but I think it ended up righting itself. So here I am, back in school, making a dream come true.
From the fiery ashes, I am made anew.
But enough about that.
Caramel Apple Cider
2 teaspoons caramel
1 teaspoon cinnamon
8 oz Apple Cider
Whipped Cream and more caramel as garnish
Place caramel at bottom of coffee mug.
Pour in Apple Cider.
Stir in cinnamon.
Heat for 2 minutes. Be sure to stir at the 1 minute mark.
Drink as is, or top with whipped cream and caramel sauce.
You could also heat the apple cider on the stove and stir in the caramel with the cinnamon. It’s up to you.
Even though this is not steamed, it still tastes like a Starbucks caramel apple spice. I would always drink those when fall and winter hit. ALWAYS.
But $3 is too much and I know they use cinnamon syrup along with the caramel sauce and that tends to be a wee bit too high in the sugar department. A grande is 74 grams of sugar.
This version, albeit not that diabetic friendly, does not use simple syrup and you can water it down to make a pint. And you don’t have to add the garnishes, although they are so tasty. But if you have to, and you know what I mean, I would totally put a tiny spray of whipped cream in it. You don’t have to go all out like the baristas do. Just enough to make it creamy.