Updated: Dec 22, 2020
Every so often, there will be one day that you will never forget, be it good or bad...
July 4th weekend 1999. I will NEVER forget. The 4th fell on a Sunday. That meant we had Monday off from work.
My family had a big barbecue on Sunday, the 4th, at my parent's house. All was wonderful.
Monday morning, July 5th, the kids and I woke up fairly early. It was just the three of us (single mom since 1994). I decided to take a trip to the beach. We threw on our suits, with shorts and t-shirts as coverup, put on our water shoes and packed a blanket, towels, clothing, sneakers and snacks.
By 10 a.m. we were on the beach. It was a rare chance to spend time just the three of us without having anything else pressing. We had all day to lounge, relax and play. It was perfect, or so I thought.
My son was almost 11 and was jumping waves, not too far out, as my daughter, 6, played at the shore with bucket and shovel. I stood near, watching, letting the water wash over me, enjoying the ocean rippling over the top of my feet, above my water shoes, and watching as it flowed back out to sea, swirling, it's white foam like gentle bubbles dancing a ballet. I could have stood mesmerized for hours had I not had two children to keep my eye on.
I was standing at the shoreline, enjoying the sound of the waves crashing, the warm breeze and watching my kids play with big smiles on their faces. Peace, calm, quality togetherness, complete bliss.
And then... I felt a pinch, a little nip, on my ankle, just above the shoe line. I looked down and there was a small trickle of blood. That was it. I wiped it away and forgot about it. We spent the whole day at the beach, then stopped at the diner for dinner and came home, showered and crashed.
Something had injured me as I stood ankle deep in the sea. Had it been a shell, a needle, garbage on the shore line or some sort of sea creature? That was the mystery. Whatever it was, I STILL have the scar.
The next morning I was back in the grind. Rushing to get the kids to my sister's house so I could get to work on time was no easy feat. After a long, active, exhausting weekend, it wasn't easy to get up and get moving. I made it to work, by some miracle, on time.
No sooner did I sit at my desk at 8:30 a.m. than I felt "funny" in my leg. Not pain, just something wasn't right. I glanced down and my leg was swollen and tender with red blotches. I hadn't felt anything prior to that. Maybe I was so busy rushing around, I didn't notice.
The owner of the company walked by and I showed him. He took one look and said, "You need to get to a hospital." I left and went to the ER. I was admitted into the hospital and spent over a week.
They called in teams of experts - Infectious Disease and many others. I can't remember them all now. I was put on IV antibiotics and they did all kinds of tests on me. I had a severe infection (cellulitis) in my leg.
I had to give Infectious Disease my exact location, and the time of day when I was "stung" or "bitten" Officials were notified. They tested me for EVERYTHING, including digging into the infected area (can you say PAINFUL) and taking a sample to test. My blood showed nothing, the sample nothing. They never did identify what injured me. They even spoke to Atlanta and still, they came up with nothing.
Since being "attacked" by a mystery object/creature on the beach, I've suffered with many infections in my leg, and various other issues including autoimmune. Many of my doctors believe all my problems stem from that day, though it's never been proven. I also believe that was the cause of everything happening to me now.
So now that I'm disabled the past four years, I keep my mind and body occupied by cooking. Sometimes, I even have a cooking frenzy! I also enjoy writing short stories.
It was very difficult when I first developed autoimmune/allergies. If you are new to this or are cooking for a guest(s) with dietary restrictions, take a look at these helpful links. My difficulties are the reason I now don't eat meat.
To be continued... See post now.
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