Category Archives: health

Glimmer

Reaching for my ankles as I do yoga again, I reach down into myself. I feel my muscles stretch, and the shackles of a crippling depression start to loosen. I’ve been held prisoner in this hell, for what seems like forever. I’m still afraid to completely hope for true freedom, but against any better judgment I still hope.

If you asked me to tell you 100% honestly what I thought my life was like three weeks ago, I would have said I was not alive; I existed. My very best days were shit, and I fought _so_ hard to get them, and they were becoming so infrequent that I was forgetting what it was like to have a “good” day.

You see, I am a complex mishmash of problems. A medical conundrum, my doctor has told me. A wreck and a headcase, what I call myself.

But now I have this glimmer of hope, and it’s wonderful, and terrifying, and overwhelming, and uncertain.

Yet so is everything else in life.

Body

I’ve lost 30+ lbs and 25 inches off my total body measurements over the last year!  My goal size is on the horizon!

April 18, 2012

I feel like I’ve crawled into a pit. Everything hurts. Everything feels like a chore. I hate lifting my arms because I feel weak. I have trouble lifting the kids, climbing the stairs, cleaning the house, making meals, even washing my hair. I’m always exhausted but I can’t sleep. I started smoking again, too. I have insane mood swings, and fits of rage that feel so uncharacteristic of the woman I’ve come to believe myself to be.

I can’t really play with the kids, and feel like the worst mother. I have a constant low-grade fever, and always feel like I have the chills or hot flashes. One of the doctors said it could be my fever rising and breaking over and over. Fun.

I can’t knit or crochet like before. My hands don’t like to work. If they aren’t just weak, they’re numb, or ice cold, or stinging like cuts of 1000 razor blades. My eyes are so sensitive to light and my vision blurs so it’s hard to read, and I can’t concentrate anyway, so reading has been minimal. My brain feels like mush so I haven’t done any writing, painting, designing.

I feel like I’ve gotten into a pond of self pity and loathing and that I just wade here all day. The handful of friends I had left are tired of hearing me do nothing but complain, and now i feel like I’m being avoided. Even online, which makes me feel like a real winner.

I don’t have much of an appetite anymore, but need to eat so I can keep taking my meds. I’m retaining water, bloated, hurt.

I feel ugly, angry, damaged, ashamed, useless, broken.

I feel broken.

I’m broken.

Please fix me.

Labs, 3/16

  • ANAchoice – Positive
  • ESR – 40
  • RBC – 4.07
  • WBC – 9.8
  • TSH – 2.34
  • Vit D – 43
  • Vit B12 – 861
  • RPR – neg
  • Iron – 31

March 15, 2012

Thursday. 9:47 pm. Freaking out.

I have a neuro consult in AM and am worried he’s going to tell me nothing is wrong. I guess we’ll know soon enough.

 

Symptoms

  • Fibro dx – 2007, positive ANA
  • Low fever/chills, intermittent – July ’11
  • Leg went out from under me  – July ’11
  • Lymph nodes left side, spleen? 06/11. Blood-work said all w/in normal.
  • ESR persistently in 40s
  • Head CT – clean, 9/11
  • Brain MRI – clean, 10/11
  • Allergy testing – no food allergies, 10/11
  • Strep test – negative, 10/11
  • Retrobulbar optic neuritis. Glaucoma-suspect.
  • Numbness/pins & needles – Left arm/hand, Right foot/leg
  • Brain fog – worsening – lose words
  • Extreme fatigue, not better with naps
  • Fibro tender spots more tender
  • Muscle weakness, especially arms/shoulder blades/upper legs
  • Muscle burning, like between bone & muscle
  • Vertigo – 6-months-ish, worsening
  • Uterine fibroids – 06/11
  • pain on top of head
  • headaches, not relieved by nsaids or opioids
  • Weakness in hands, occasional tremor, dropping things
  • Nausea – from vertigo?
  • Nightmares, insomnia, fatigue
  • Thermal instability – too hot, chills
  • Pain worse in heat, even during/after hot shower
  • Crackling/electric shock-like pain down neck/back/legs since 9/11, worse when chin to chest
  • Eye pain, light sensitivity (since 09/11, peaked, retrobulbar optic neuritis) w/pigment desaturation
  • Blurred vision, ringing ears
  • Persistent eyelid twitching, sometimes other parts of face/legs
  • Abdominal pain (left side & gut)
  • Mood swings
  • Always in pain
  • Skin – itching, breakouts, sores? Itchy tattoos.
  • Bruise easily, frequently
  • Sometimes breathing hard, like from cardio but w/o workout
  • Pain on deep inhalation

February 20, 2012

1:42 pm. I’ve neglected this a bit. My health hasn’t been the greatest. I have retrobulbar optic neuritis, swelling of the nerve between eye & brain. Vision blurs, light hurts, red doesn’t look red anymore. And having it increases my odds of developing MS. Just had a spinal C/T MRI on Friday. Almost 2 hours strapped in a tube, ending with searing pain, like my muscles were being ripped from bone. I get a brain MRI this Friday.

I turned 33. The day itself was nice enough. Then I got word that my cousin Ignatius – Iggy – had hung himself. Sad.

Mia turned 3. She spent the day, like most, cheerful and excited. Thursday night we had cake & presents when John came home. Purple kitty boots, pink heart rain boots, “floppers,” and art supplies. Daddy did awesome.

Saturday night John took me out to dinner. We tried Vallata, Pump House, called Turtle Club, drove by Gambardella’s, wound up at Bobby’s. After, we picked up the kids and drove out looking for the aurora and stars. Awesome night.

Yesterday, John took the older 2 to see Mr Justin and Miss Hannah. Peanut and I stayed home since he was vomiting. I finished The Great and Secret Show, started Mrs Dalloway.

Today I started writing, again. Feels totally awesome to have words flowing, to have a character coming together out of nothing. Now, I’m going to get ready for a day of shopping & hanging out with sweetie.

January 11, 2012

8:00 pm. Today has been fun. JR & River built Lego ships, and played Wii Lego Star Wars III (Stars Blocks) together. It was warm outside (10*) but we didn’t manage to make it out. JR wanted to build ships instead, since the Legos had been confiscated yesterday. Mia and I baked blueberry muffins together. She was so proud, standing on a step-stool in front of the oven. She said we have to save one for Daddy. John told me this AM that he’s getting a raise. As hard as he works for them, I’m glad for it. I can’t wait to see him tomorrow. Sure the house is full with our 3 kids, 2 dogs (we’ve got Buffle and we’re watching Sparky for dad), Femmer, and Spaz the Turtle. Still, the house feels big and empty when John isn’t home w/us.

River hasn’t wanted to sleep today. He’s blissfully asleep now, though I’m sure he’ll be up forever later. Oh well.

I’ve started reading “Pride & Prejudice.” Reading and writing seem more important right now than they usually do, or perhaps I’m finally breaking through some Fibro fog. I’m going to aim for snow play tomorrow again, grab some daylight while we can, especially before it gets stupid cold again. Supposed to be down to -40* by tomorrow night. Brr.

Could use a hug & a prayer

I’ve had a crappy few months and I hardly ever come out and ask for thoughts/prayers like this, but I’m asking. I could use a hug and a prayer.

It’s been one family crisis after another. My father fell. My older sister called me, told me to come see him, that he was in critical condition & most likely going to die. John took the week off work, we drove 8 hours down to see him, only to get there & be told it really was just a broken ankle. That was emotionally taxing enough, given that I have such a rough history with my dad, but we’re in a great place now. I wound up getting in the last fight I’m willing to have with my older sister & her twin daughters (who are just 6 yrs younger than I am, and were raised to be my little sisters). That & my dad’s ankle kept me full up on drama for weeks.

While we were in Anchorage seeing about my dad, my husband’s boss lost his job, throwing their whole hierarchy into chaos & competition to replace him. John was stressed for weeks. The company ended up splitting the dept & essentially eliminating John’s boss’s job. The new structure is awful, and John is always stressed, always working, even when he’s home with us. He works out of town 4 days/3 nights a week, but now ends up doing work stuff all the time when he’s home. The kids were having a hard time with it, and I was left refereeing all sorts of toddler squabbles as a result of their internalization of our stress.

Besides their typical bumps & bruises, the kids have been sick and/or teething, one after the other, making them irritable & unwilling/unable to sleep. I’ve been everything for them for weeks now, so that meant I wasn’t getting any sleep. I had to have an urgent root canal a few months ago, then it was redone about two months ago, and then it started getting worse because it had been cracked. So last Friday, I had to have it pulled. That’s been a blast.

My father-in-law was in the hospital for something gout-related a month or two ago. Then my mother-in-law was hospitalized for diverticulitis. Then they started trading illnesses.

Two weeks ago my older brother was arrested (nothing serious, just cumbersome). Bail hearings, attorney calls, court dates, scrambling, drama. All a pain in the ass.

Last week I found lumps — one in my left armpit, one in the bottom of my left breast, and a pain under my left ribcage. I dropped 5 pounds in the last week without trying. I have an appointment with my doctor in two weeks, as he felt that it would either resolve itself by then, or whatever was left would need to be investigated. I’m trying very very hard to convince myself that this is nothing.

Last Friday, John had a dental appointment to be checked for a dental night guard. The dental office couldn’t offer him the one he needed (for sleep apnea) but has referred him to an oral surgeon because they found a growth on his tongue. I smoked for 15 years before I got pregnant with JR (now 4). John smoked for 15 or so years too, up until JR was born. We’re both worried that we have something cancerous going on.

A few days ago, mother-in-law had her gallbladder removed. Today, we got a call that my mother-in-law was back in the hospital. Apparently, the surgeon nicked/severed her common bile duct. She was supposed to go into emergent surgery this afternoon, but they had to postpone it until tomorrow morning because there wasn’t an available anesthesiologist. She’s not doing so great right now, and John has been freaking out all day. I’ve been trying to give him space, since I lost my mother 3 years ago and remember that there weren’t words or actions that could get through the panic I felt. No one in his family will give him a straight answer about how serious the situation really is, so he’s taken matters into his own hands. He’s taken the week off work, and just left to get on a plane from Fairbanks, AK to San Antonio, TX. If all goes well, he’ll be coming home Saturday. If not, well, we haven’t wanted to talk about that.

Through all this, I’ve had clients needing work done. (I help design & maintain websites.) They’ve been marvelously patient with me, but I feel very guilty that I haven’t devoted enough time to them. Some days, all I want to do is tweak some code but can’t get to it, what with all the hats I wear. Other days, I just want to play with the yummy yarn I’ve gotten from Three Irish Girls and the backwards loop. I think tomorrow is a yarny day while I wait by the phone for updates about MIL.

So that’s a lot of whining from me, and I could really use a hug & a prayer. Thank you. <3

Hells yeah

Day 4 and 5 of Shred 1 done.  I have more stamina, and am feeling (and seeing!) a difference in my body.  So is my husband, and that’s just nice.

We bought me a crapload of new foodstuffs on our weekly shopping trip.  It was expensive, but I think it’s worth it.  I’m down 7 lbs already, and am hopeful that many more will follow.

And it’s really nice to think that my ass is going to take on a shape besides flat.

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