happy_ukitake, ponytail_ukitake

Rewards

So... went to my allergy and asthma doctor today for my check up and to see where I was after three months of meds, allergy shots, and trying a new exercise regimen. After the first two months of finding myself at 61% and 63% after meds, it had kind of woken me up to the possibility that I was losing lung capacity permanently. And the prospect of permanently losing a third of my lung capacity was... a bit much for me to deal with.

I even set up a reward for not just setting up, but going to my appointment. Peaches.



Peaches mark the end of summer, for me. And they (in this case the Western Slope Colorado Peaches, which can be picked ripe because they travel a very short distance to my house), along with the local sweet corn roasted over fire, are the epitome of summer food for me. The local high school band and the cross country racing team were both selling 18 pound boxes of Palisade peaches as fund raisers, and the growers actually bring them in their special crates (which cheerfully speak of the boxes being loaded in the shade of the fruit bearing trees) themselves.

Peaches... I think it's because of loving T.S. Eliot's The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock for most of my adult life that I adore peaches. They touch on my hedonistic side when they're really, really ripe, when the perfume of it calls me, and the velvet skin slips so easily off the globe of rampant golden juicy sweet soft flesh...

Ahem.

Peaches. Really ripe peaches. There's a reason they're the fruit of immortality in Chinese myth.

We're sharing one box with the neighbors, another whole box is coming in a couple of weeks, so I'm reveling in them and trying new things with them. We've been eating them the last couple of days, but John and I hit the Cheese Importers today and I thought I'd gild the lily rather ostentatiously, so I bought an eight ounce tub of Italian mascarpone.

After dinner, I sliced two of the ripe peaches in half, dabbed on a bit of melted butter, and then grilled them outside on the grill, cut side down. When they were good and marked and starting to soften, I turned them over, added a teaspoon of mascarpone and a sprinkle of cinnamon and just a dash of nutmeg. When the mascarpone melted just a bit, I took them off the grill, set them on desert dishes, and then drizzled the tupelo honey I'd found in Florida all over them.

Yeah. Gilding the lily with pure gold.

It was worth it. It was astonishingly rich, sweet, ripe, and sinfully luscious. Warm and soft, the fruit tartness offsetting the center coolness of the creamy richness of the mascarpone. Just a touch of spice playing with all the other flavors and the nutty brown caramel tones of the butter grilled with the sugars of the fruit itself.

So.

Yeah.

The appointment went well. Far better than I'd hoped.

I'd been hoping to get, maybe 10% of my lung capacity back. I hadn't hoped for much more than that, as the doc had originally prescribed the medications to see if things would open up, and I'd only gotten 3% back then.

This time, with the steady exercise, I got back 15%. So I'm now at 78%, which is over the three-quarters threshold for when he was worried about my losing too much lung capacity to stay active enough to keep on top of my asthma. I'm now "functional".

I'm still supposed to stay on the everyday meds, and in the checkup in six months, he's hoping for a little more back or, at least, nothing worse. John came with me to ask some questions he had.

So it turns out that the progressive thing that my friend died of is an entirely different beast. Saying that I have pulmonary fibrosis is like saying I have a rash. The rash being from an allergic reaction from poison ivy or the rash being the result of a flesh-eating bacteria, it's still a rash. My friend had something that was causing the stiffening and scarring in his lungs on a continual basis. I do not. So little to no likelihood of dying in the next couple of decades of this. Which pretty much made my day.

I just need to stay on my meds, do my allergy shots, probably up the doses in October, and make sure I get my exercise.

So plenty to do...

From there, I dropped John off at the OUR center so he could work. I then parked at the library and got some "Learn Chinese" kits, and dropped them in my car. From there I walked to get an iced latte, a refilled ink cartridge for our printer, and a bottle of my favorite rosemary and mint hair conditioner from the Aveda store on Main. It was just a three or four block walk, and it felt pretty good. And I was going slowly enough to help a guy in a wheelchair get into a shop he wanted to get into, to say hi to people that smiled back, and just enjoy the small town feeling of being in downtown Longmont.

From there I hit the recycle center, the post office to send another box of anime and manga back to amberley, and right when I was pulling into the parking lot of the OUR center, John called me. Hee. So I picked him up down the alley and we hit the Pumphouse for lunch and met up with ex-coworkers who were still pretty compressed from the recent layoff. We let him vent, and enjoyed our lunches.

A couple *more* errands, including the Cheese Importers, and then we were home. An hour later we were at the bus stop to get Jet with 23 other kids that were on the bus. Last year, we were lucky to see four or five kids on the bus, but this year there were 23 this morning. Yeesh. I guess gas prices are getting to people. Plus the school is another whole mile away...

Jet and I played Okami until dinner. John made carnitas tacos, and after dinner we had my "experiment" that turned out quite well. Then I got a few minutes to write, and now I need to get Jet into bed...

So it's been a very good day. Thanks to everyone who has given me support on the lung thing in the last couple of months. I appreciated it all very, very much. Now I think I have a much better idea of what I can do, what's going on and what's NOT going on. So I think I feel much better now.

Thanks.
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I'm glad to hear things went better than you thought. That is always, always an important thing when it comes to health.

And though I'm allergic to fruit, those peaches sound mighty tasty!
Thank you! *smiles* Yeah, not good to eat what you're allergic to, but... they are very, very nice peaches.

And, yeah, it was a good surprise and a very important thing for me to *get*. Thank you!
Oh Swan! I am so happy your lung capacity has increased I worry about you!*snuggles* also I have to say....though I am not a peach person that peach of yours sounds amazing!

Miss you! ♥

♥ I miss you, too.

Where are you? *laughs* I am glad I'm getting it back...

Heh... edited to throw my impression of peaches back into the entry itself. *grins*

Edited at 2008-08-29 04:10 am (UTC)
Oh. my. god.
Okay, that was my reaction to the whole grilling of peaches to the drizzling of honey. That sounds fabulous.

And the news you got was certainly worthy of such a celebration! Yay for capacity and capabilities!
It was fabulous. *grins*

Yay!! I'm so glad I seem to have *some* control over how things turn out.
I am so glad for you that things are going better then you thought. The peaches sound most lovely and decadent. You made my Jyuushiro flush with the description. *laughs*
*snuggles and hugs* I hope that all your days are good.
It is a very glad-making thing. *smiles*

*grins* at the flush, as my Shunsui offers to share a peach with your Jyuushiro.

*hugs* Thank you!
I'm so happy to hear that your appointment went well! And those peaches sound exquisite.
Thanks!

Definitely a good reward for going through the uncertainty of the whole testing and doctor stuff.
Damn woman that peach description was like sex for fruit. :D It definitely made my mouth water. I really love peaches. I wish I could try out you recipe but my little one is allergic to all milk products and he's not old enough for honey yet, but it still sounded amazing.

I'm really happy to hear with meds an exercise that you're getting more lung function back. As a mom who carries an EPI pen around for her 2 year old I understand what it's like to have medical concerns on your mind all the time.

\0/ for good days. :D
Not really sure how much it's a kid food anyway... Jet liked his peaches just sliced for him to fork up and eat, he doesn't like "the fuzz" to still be on 'em. So I peeled his.

\o/ !! Hee.

Exactly.
Those peaches sound... sinful, yes. They inspire gluttony and envy in me, so they must be! *drool*

And hooray for getting back lung function and lifespan!!


Oh! http://cadhla.livejournal.com/1560863.html -- I think it's not closed yet (give cadhla 3 words and a poem form (certain kinds disallowed), and eventually, she writes a poem. This can take a long time, but I certainly will think it worth it.), and, well, I'd think you'd like her stuff. You can check her other Iron Poet tags and see.
Ooo... asked for a quatrain on summer peaches. Hee.

The peaches are definitely droolworthy. *happiness*

YAY! *dances about* It is good to have more lungs and lifespan! I'm happier and I can at least stop worrying so much, and just live for a bit.
Funny how having a death sentence lifted will cheer you up. That's got to be such a relief! :)

Uuuuummm, I love ripe peaches, uuuuummmm.
It is quite the relief. *grins* It's good even when it was just my own uncertainty that was denied in a way, it was just unfortunate that the same phrase was used for both situations. So... just a mix up, but it's good to have it cleared up and out.

Yes. The peaches around your area should be pretty darn good, too. *grins*

*hugs happily and parties*

Yes. Definitely better. Seems only fair to post about the good stuff as well as the bad. *grins*

Mmm... good to find a fellow peach hedonist. Hee. I have to agree, utterly, especially with that last bit. I have to admit that part of it probably lies in the fact that they're only this good for maybe a month out of the year. So the longing for them builds the rest of the year...

It was a wonderful way to celebrate. *happy sighs*

Thank you!

Edited at 2008-08-29 04:08 pm (UTC)
It's very good news to hear that you've recovered some capacity. And that you're not going off into the sunset anytime soon because of this.

In reading the peaches thing, I had 2 thoughts. I saw a recipe somewhere that involved roasted corn on the cob with a peach chutney that sounded pretty good (but don't remember where I saw it) and I have a recipe (of sorts) for a frozen treat called stone pops. You basically make popsicles out of stone fruits. They're good and quite... thick on the tongue. Hard to describe but I can dig up the recipe and fire it off if you want.
Thank you! Hm... feels a bit like I get a second chance at writing, now.

Mm... peach chutney... I'm thinking peach salsa, too...

I'd *love* the recipe for the frozen treats, they sound really wonderful.
Whew! I'm glad to hear you're getting better even though I didn't understand about the problem until now. I had an idea something was making you take a new look at life. Now I understand your need to live active yet stress-free.

I must say I get a real kick out of your food adventures. You describe it all so sensuously. :DDD
XDD Yes. Me and food... we go back a long way... *grins*

Thank you. I'm glad I could clear it up with something positive on that front. Whew. Yeah. I actually retired before all the medical stuff really came to a head. Quit work to just enjoy myself... but then this came down. It'll be good to go back to just enjoying Jet and John and life and writing and painting and stuff and not have anything looming. :-)
I am totally stealing this recipe, just so you know! I love peaches, and I don't want to admit what I'll do for good mascarpone. :D

Two big thumbs up for your excellent health news! Hopefully you'll have good results once you've finished the allergy shots, too (are those the ones that gradually de-sensitize you?). I've been very, very fortunate in that my asthma has been under control for many years, and I now only carry a salbutamol inhaler for emergencies - they even took me off the steroids. I can definitely understand how getting yourself to "functional" would be an enormous relief. I'll cross all my bits and hope that things improve even more under your diligent health regimen. :)
*laughs and laughs* Yes, there are things I'd do for good mascarpone that shall not be named.

Hopefully, I'll get better results once I'm desensitized, but at the moment I'm so sensitive that the doc, himself, is pretty amazed.

That is *great* that yours is under control. Whew. And, yeah, it's been quite an amazing thing. Especially since I had a friend that died of progressive pulmonary fibrosis over just a five year span. So for a while, since the terminology was the same, I pretty much lived the last three months contemplating the possibility that I only really had five years or more if I fought it. But...

It's been odd living the last three days without that hanging over my head...