Dear Friends and Family,
BEN'S CELLS ARE ALIVE AND WELL AND THEY'RE PRODUCING NEW BLOOD CELLS!
That means that, for the first time in about twenty days, my blood and my body is getting stronger, like HEALTHIER, like ON THE MEND! Yes, I'm relieved. The next week will be devoted to strengthening the blood further, because the counts are still very low and infection sensitive, AND THEN GETTING OUT OF THIS LITTLE ROOM IN THE HOSPITAL! I can't wait. I'm biting at the bit. I'm feeling well enough at the moment that I was able to pedal my stationary bicycle five miles on the hardest setting this morning! I was only able to do it because I had some good study material (on altitude related illnesses) to read at the same time and distract myself with. So hopefully I will not be hassled by fevers or any other issues and I'll be out in about a week.
Beyond that I've been making lots of cute little beaded bracelets and doing some reading in the Wilderness First Responder text so I can take the course and examination next summer and have a little background. I've also been being very gentile to my broken vertebrae which doesn't hurt unless I hurt it, that is to say, move it in a way that it does not like. My feet have been doing this weird thing where they start burning on the soles of the foot. It would wake me up at night and it'd be torture to get even the few meters to the bathroom on them. Fortunately, ice works really well to eliminate the pain so I've probably slept about four nights with ice packs on my feet and the rest of my body snuggled under my comforter. That all equated to one day of lots of suffering, then two days of just total resting and then today I feel just great. That's the way of things now, though. I understand that I'll be bonking up and then back down with the random fever or graft verse host symptoms. It's ok. I'm ready for it. I just want it all to work.
The other really good news is that my mouth and throat are finally healing and I can eat again! I can even chew things and don't have to survive on the mush platters of the world (yogurt and oatmeal, mainly)! This is a major accomplishment. I "hooved" a luscious chunk of homemade spanakopita today AND ate some cottage cheese and I even ate my first few chunks of heavenly Finish chocolate! (THANK YOU SO MUCH! YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!) It just feels amazing for me because I haven't eaten chocolate in months and there's no way I could eat a cookie even now. I still can't chew crunchy things or anything that'd get stuck in my teeth because my gums are still very raw and I still have a chomp taken out of the side of my tongue from where I bit it in the seizure so I still have a ways to go but it's so very nice to see some progress.
Lastly, I'm totally bald again. It's not just short this time but skinhead short/gone, which I don't mind for now, as long as I can wear pink and cute nities to bed and stuff like that.
Thanks so much to everybody for your encouragement and the confidence you send me and for the help you've given my parents in cleaning our homey but very dusty little cabin. Nearly every day I'm simply boggled by the support and caring that's floated my way, from literally all over the planet, and I don't even know how to begin to express the joy and amazement and warmth that it makes me feel. I laugh and sometimes tears even tinkle from my eyes. I'm just so proud to have friends and family like I do.
Lots of love and please, just enjoy being able to chew and swallow these next few days.