Archive for August, 2015


You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby….

syringeAnyone remember back in 2013 when I was told that I had to self-inject myself in the stomach twice a day??? If not, go here to remind yourself.

Now, I’m on to a new adventure with this little phobia of mine. As one of my many health adventures, I have to deal with the ever-present possibility of anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a fancy way of saying that when I’m allergic to something, I usually wind up in the ER looking like some neanderthal wanna-be. My face swells up; I can’t talk (Some would call that a good development.); and I’m itchy from head to toe. I seem to do this at really random times with no appreciable pattern.

For example, I left my university office one day (air-conditioned, mind you!), got in my air-conditioned car in the middle of an asphalt parking lot, drove home, got out of my car in my own garage, walked into my air-conditioned home and then went into full anaphylaxis. How did that happen? What triggered that? Apparently, the culprit was the vacant lot across the street that hadn’t been mowed in several months. It was rife with ragweed in full bloom. Silly me–I neglected to put the garage door down before exiting my air-conditioned car for 30 seconds. And my allergic reaction to that was basically similar to a tsunami mixed with a tornado.

Thus, I began getting allergy injections twice a week back in 2004. I would like to tell you that I no longer need such injections, but that would be making the assumption that my body acts like every other homo sapien’s on the planet and by now, you surely know that that is just not true.

Now that I’m traveling more often, this twice-a-week allergy shot thing just doesn’t jive well with my current schedule. Plus, nurses are not usually fond of giving allergy injections and are busy people doing REAL nursing, so they only give allergy injections during certain hours on certain days. In my lovely state they’ve also added the requirement that a doctor has to be on-site. Why? Good question–would you please ask that the next time you visit with your local politicians???

So, I had my favorite doctor recommend a place where I could learn to give myself allergy injections. Yes, Phobic MaryAnn actually asked how to give herself allergy shots. Now, you may think that this is no big deal after the stomach shot deal, but you would be wrong. With those shots, the syringes were spring-loaded so that once they were fully injected, the spring-loading mechanism would retract the needle out of my body for me.

With allergy shots, you don’t get this little advantage. To boot, the stomach syringes also came pre-filled with the correct amount of serum. With allergy shots, I would have to fill the syringe myself and not get air in the needle, etc., etc., etc. This may not be a big deal to you drug addicts, but it’s a rather large deal for Ms. Phobia over here.

So, for the past three weeks I have been trying to learn how to give myself thigh shots. All the little steps required to do this right and remembering them in order is enough to make me run screaming into the doctor’s office hallways, except that it might scare the little children assembled there.

No one forewarned me that it might be necessary to wear short shorts after shot attempt # 1. That right thigh hurt like a mother for at least 3 days. I think I may have emptied a rather large-sized bottle of Aleve on that one. (There goes my liver.)

Attempt number 2 seemed to be much better, but I glanced down at my left thigh at the end of the day and it was pretty misshapen. Apparently, I had been scratching it through my clothing without realizing it all day. The good news? It made my thigh muscle look much more impressive. (I don’t think this is listed as a benefit from allergy injections anywhere. Perhaps they should add it???)

Today I pushed the injector (for lack of a better term) too soon and gave my skin a good portion of the shot. Awesome. My thigh skin was not impressed.

But, in some sheer delusionary moment, the nurse handed me a pile of syringes, the shot log sheet, some alcohol prep pads and my serum and out the door I went. I’m told that I push the syringe rather fast (I personally don’t think one can be too fast doing this nonsense–I just want it to be over with!). We might want to report her to the medical board for such obvious malpractice.

So, if you hear a scream coming from Texas next Monday, it’s just me giving myself my first allergy shot solo.

The next challenge? Trying to get syringes through TSA at DFW. May God have mercy on my soul.


The New Chapter…

giving hands

Have you missed me? I’ve missed YOU! Don’t get TOO excited. My current schedule is ridiculously crowded right now, so posting will be sporadic at best, but I find myself missing the writing more and more the longer I’m away from it, so a-posting I will go!

Since I’m rather rusty at the writing thing, today you get “Random MaryAnn.” Okay…okay…okay…so that’s nothing new for me. But, it may take a while to get that WD-40 in the right squeaky parts of my ancient brain so that the creative writing juices are flowing as they should.

Remember way back when I was exploring spiritual direction as a new pursuit in my life? Well, I now have a scholarship to Heartpaths Training and will be pursuing my Spiritual Leadership certificate this year. Every time I meet with the Heartpaths staff, two things happen: I am instantly at peace and I feel like “I’m home” even though we’ve basically only met. They are all Heartpaths graduates, are so calm and “zen-ish” (Yes, I invented yet another word…Deal with it.) and they all say they weren’t that way when they started.

If these folks can get MaryAnn to “zen-ish,” then that place down south just froze over. I am required to be quiet in this program. Note to self: Look up “quiet” in the dictionary and actually learn the meaning of the word. Can you picture me being quiet? Yeah. Neither can I.

I start September 12th and I already have homework. But, instead of feeling stressed about this homework (a chronic occurrence during the pursuit of the master’s), I am actually giddy waiting for my first book to arrive from Amazon and begin that homework. (This is probably a serious symptom for something delusional in the DSM-V.)

The book? Soul Feast. I hope this doesn’t mean we’ll be feasting on souls…that sounds less than zen-ish.

Let’s all hope it means a feast for my soul. If so, then I’m all in. I love nurturing souls, particularly when it’s mine!

Doesn’t the title suggest a good cup of tea? It just brings that to mind every time I think it and that also sounds soothing and calming to me. Remind me to stock up on Constant Comment the next time I’m at the store.

This first year I will be intensely studying all different types of prayer. I hope that, as I take this journey this year, you will stay tuned to “this bat channel.” Because I hope it will inspire the ol’ MIP blog with some “Points to Ponder” and some interesting, thought-provoking stuff here.

And I may throw in a joke here and there just for fun.

Next note to self: I probably should stock up on duct tape now to work on that quiet thing. A 4 foot high pallet of the stuff may get me through the first seminar.


Point to Ponder: What bothers you about your prayer life? Does it even exist? Why or why not? Does it seem boring? Unproductive? What could be done to make it a more meaningful part of your life? Maybe start with a cup of tea??? Maybe get up before everyone else in the morning and journal your prayer instead of just thinking it?