Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Alex and McKinley Visit!

Last week was a hard one. On Wednesday morning I woke up feeling awful so I called work and told them that I would be a bit late and was going to try to sleep it off. I did make it in and really just dragged myself through the rest of the day.

The next two days weren't any better so I stayed home from work. I would wake up and take a shower but would be so exhausted from that little physical activity. My breathing would get heavier and I could feel the life draining from my body and I would just stand there hoping to make it through the shower while I leaned against the shower wall. When I got out I couldn't even dry myself off. All I could do was crawl back into bed. I'm surprised I even had enough energy to call work.

Friday morning I had my first appointment with Dr. Pugh, the endocrinologist. She was really nice probably asked more questions that any doctor I have seen before! We went over my entire medical history and I told her about my recent episodes of hot flashes and extreme flash sweating. She told me she had no idea why that was happening. I was really hoping I was going to get an answer to that today. Dr. Pugh changed a couple of my meds and told me that MUSC would be contacting me to schedule my dose of radiation.

Earlier in the morning I contacted Dr. Eads office to see if they could work me in since I didn't seem to be getting any better. They told me to come in after my appointment with Dr. Pugh. When I saw Dr. Eads I told him of my extreme exhaustion, excessive flash sweating and overall funk. Unfortunately he had no idea about the sweating, also. He told me that all my labs came back normal and he wasn't really sure what was up with me. He did more lab work that day to see if my B12 was low. At this point I am so over feeling horrible, seeing doctors and paying co-pays!

When I was talking to Robin later on she said that she thinks my body needs to be reconditioned and time to get back on a normal schedule. I sat on the couch or layed in bed for almost a month so I wasn't used to physical activity. We decided that I should start taking a daily vitamin. After my appointment we went home and took a nap.

I did manage to go out for a bit on Thursday evening. I received a phone call from Alex, who is the daughter of my old high school friend, Jennifer. Jennifer and I knew each other way back in the day of my school years in Washington State. We haven't seen each other in 25 years! Jennifer's Mother, Aunt, Alex and her younger sister McKinley were visiting Charleston for the week and Alex and McKinley wanted to touch base since I promised to show them Charleston. I was feeling pretty rested so I asked if they wanted me to pick them up and take them on a night time driving tour of the city. They were game so I woke Robin up and told her we were taking the kids on a tour!

I picked up the girls at their hotel and we were on our way. I wasn't really sure what they were interested in and when I asked they said "The Citadel, cemeteries, history and haunted things" Well, that was right up my alley! We ended up driving around Charleston for a couple of hours and I showed them so much stuff. First off was The Citadel since Alex will be starting her Freshman year there in August. We drove around campus, which is pretty small. We made a stop at the Old City Jail, which is my favorite building in the city. As we walked around the outside of the building I told them the story of Lavinia Fisher, which is my all-time favorite ghost story! I also threw in a little history about Denmark Vesey for good measure.

We drove around the Battery, up and down the major streets of Charleston while I spouted out all the useless facts I knew about Charleston with some history added here and there. Around 9:30 we decided to call it a night and I decided to take the girls over the new Ravenel Bridge for an amazing view. After dropping them off at the hotel we headed down to Waterfront Park to see if we could get a better shot at the full moon. I took a couple of shots and realized that I was just too tired to even mess with camera settings for night photography so we headed back to the car. As soon as we got home it was bed time. Even driving around is a lot of exhausting to me right now!

On Friday evening Alex called asking what I was doing on Saturday. I told her I didn't have any plans so we made arrangements to hang out. Robin and I picked up the girls up in the morning and we headed downtown. Since the girls were interested in cemeteries I decided to take them on the Gateway Walk which connects the most amazing churches, in my opinion, of Charleston.

St. Phillips Cemetery

St. Phillips Church

Unitarian Universalist Cemetery

St. Matthews and Unitarian Universalist Church

Unitarian Universalist Church Interior

I was pretty bummed because the West cemetery of St. Phillips was not open. Because of this we walked around the parking lot to go to the Circular Congregation Church. When we got there that whole churchyard was closed too! What the hell?? Those two church yards are major parts of this walk. It was 10:30am on a Saturday - they should be open!!

We continued our walk through the Gibbes Museum of Art courtyard and I started having one of my flash sweating episodes. The sweat drenched my hair, my clothes, poured down my face and dripped from my arms. I was wearing a skort and t-shirt and it was only about 70 degrees. I should not have been sweating! I kept apologizing to the girls and told them it was like this since my surgery and they said they understood. Still, it didn't make it any better. The girls and I continued our walk to the Unitarian Church and Robin ran to find a pharmacy. I told her we would meet in the Unitarian Churchyard.

The girls and I stood and watched the Unitarian Church members do their monthly churchyard clean-up and I told them about the alleged story of Edgar Allan Poe and Annabelle Lee and their secret meetings in the cemetery. Tour guides love to tell the story of the courtship of Edgar and Annabelle and the legend of Annabelle being buried in the cemetery but I have never found proof of this. I even attend the Unitarian Church (when I can get my lazy butt out of bed!) and have never heard talk of it!

A bit later Robin, again proving she is the best girlfriend in the world, returned to the cemetery with tissues and water from Tellis Pharmacy where she apparently made friends with owner Vera Tellis. Robin dabbed the sweat off of me while I drank the water. After getting cooled off we continued our walk through the churchyard and made our way to Broad Street to The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. We were so fortunate because the church was open and we were free to explore.

Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

Alex and McKinley taking confession

Sweaty me (look at my shirt!) and Robin

We walked back through the Gateway Walk to see if the cemeteries were open yet, but no such luck. We headed back to the car and over to Magnolia Cemetery for a little tour.

From there we headed over to Sullivan's Island and Isle of Palms which was kind of exciting since the girls had never seen the Atlantic Ocean! Actually, all of this must have been fun for them since they live in chilly Colorado!

Alex and McKinley do the Atlantic Ocean!

We waded in the surf of Sullivans Island for a bit and also witnessed a wedding on the beach

I love the sunbather in the background!!

After having lunch at Poe's Tavern we were trying to figure out what to do with the rest of the day. It was about 4pm and I decided to take a trip over to John's Island to see the Angel Oak. I mean, how often do you get the chance to see a 1500+ year old oak tree?

After the Angel Oak and multiple stops at different Piggly Wiggly's for Robin to find Wickles (she fell in love with Poe's pickles and the waiter suggested she get Wickles!), it was getting late so we headed back to the hotel to drop the girls off. I really had a great time hanging out with them! They are amazing, worldly, intelligent and thoughtful girls - Jennifer did an fabulous job raising them! I really wish she could have been on the trip also, but I will see her when she brings Alex back in August.

I hope I didn't bore them too much with my constant babbling about how great Charleston is! I love showing people our amazing city off and each time I do, I realize how incredibly lucky I am to live here.


Clytie said...

You know what? If I ever go to Charleston, I'm going to want YOU to show me around! What an amazing tour guide you are!

I was on medicine once that caused heavy sweating - hot flashes from hell, basically. I can so totally identify with your problem!!! I suffered with it for 6 months before the docs finally changed my meds! Much better now.

PS - LOVE the old tree!!!

Pamela said...

Absolutely!! I would give you the best tour that you have ever had!! Let me know when you get here!! Bring Beth!! :)