The Physical Ailments


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Yar!  I promised thee a blog post!

Alright this is apparently the year where I celebrate having insurance again by being a responsible adult that takes care of her physical well-being.  Parts of this are easy, and other part not so much.  Also imbedded within these words will be an update as to my mental health and the meds I’m now taking.  So way to be relevant to the blog topic, self!  *pats self on back*

So, topics to cover:

  • Head
  • Shoulders
  • Knees
  • Toes
  • Eyes
  • Ears
  • Mouth
  • Nose
  • Lady Parts

Maybe not in the order, huh?

EYES: A major “yay!” and a slight “WTF MATE!” included!

So all 5 of my clan went to the eye doctor this week.  The husband, oldest and I have all worn classes since we were each respectively 7 or 8 years old.  So for us it was just a yearly check in.  Nothing of note for Pat or Thomas, other than Thomas has my eyes in more than just color.  (Did you know that it’s been proven that the more you read, the more near-sighted you become?  Explains why I’m damn near blind.)

I, of course, need new glasses as well only… So apparently based off their previous records on me, my current prescription, and what the script in my current glasses read to be, the last place to examine eyes and get my lenses really messed up their readings *coughWALMARTcough*.  What’s the most fucked up about that is that the year I got those glasses was the only year I’ve ever had insurance through work and Wal-Mart was basically the only place that took that insurance and my mom still had to pay through the nose for me to get these glasses and apparently the royally messed up. That or my eyes magically got better by a lot and then tragically got a little worse than they had been the year or two prior.  So, really?  Every other year the government has paid for my glasses, which I no longer feel guilty about because I’ve gotten a better doctor and better glasses that I need to see because I’m going blind.  Anyway I’m back to one of my 2 old eye doctors (I flipped between them based on location and who could get me in without a 15 month wait) and they have always run consistent to one another.  So I know where I’m staying here on out.  Also?  She got me to 20/15 which she apparently can never accomplish in people with eye-sight as bad as mine and I can confirm has not happened in a really, really long time.  I’m so excited for those glasses to come in!  I’ll read all the things!  ALL OF THEM! *cough*

Lucas, who turns 7 today *sob* will be getting his first pair of glasses, and while we aren’t surprised he needs them, we are surprised just how bad his eyes are at his age.  When Thomas first got glasses he could take them off to play.  Not Luke.  I think this kid is about to see a whole new world!  Also; he won’t sit with his nose glued to the TV while watching anymore.

Sammy, who also sits nose to TV, has been confirmed to do so because she is 3.  The good doc did detect she isn’t exactly 20/20, but it’s a small degree of vision imperfection and usually not worth trying to convince a 3yo to take care of glasses over, unless there are other signs of trouble. (There aren’t.)  So while Sammy will indeed be wearing glasses in the future, she isn’t there yet.  Which is good.  It’s inevitable with the poor girl’s genetics, but I really am not up to that battle.

Lady Parts:

I’ll spare you details.  However, let me say that while I am two years out of sync on what should be a yearly appointment due to first no insurance, and then a chaotic uprising, I’m back on track here and scheduled for my yearly.  Also: When was your last well check here?  Guys, I know most/all of us are falling apart in so many ways, but this appointment is so important and can not be skipped.  These doctors look for some scary stuff.  Especially scary if left untreated.  So please, if you are behind, pick up the phone and schedule now.  No insurance?  Planned Parenthood takes care of so much of this as well, for I believe decent prices.  It varies by location; ask.

HEAD:

I’m doing mostly ok in the mental health department, but this is with the help of a dozen pills a day.  Since getting back in, I have been seeing my meds doctor regularly. Then, despite a few month blip where I had to cancel due to a funeral, and then not making it back in for a bit, I am back to seeing my therapist every couple of weeks.  I actually had a meds appointment today, which is why I owed you this blog post and didn’t write it on the spot, and we had a discussion on the current main symptom, which I’ll get to in a second.  First we’ll discuss the pill regiment up until today’s addition.

First, I’m on Cymbalta 60mg every morning.  It’s my go-to anti-depressant and I actually look forward to taking it when I start to fall apart.  Oh, it kills my sex drive and makes me fat, but it is also the best I’ve found at making me feel stable, without the robotic after taste.

I take 300mg of Trileptal every AM and 600 in the PM.  It is the mood stabilizer that has always been good to me.  Again, no robotic after taste.  As an added bonus, it doesn’t want to kill me like Lamictal does. (Can you imagine death by rash?)

New for me is my twice a day 1mg of Ativan.  This is a fairly low dose (higher than the 1mg part implies) that doesn’t take away all my stress and anxiety, but it takes away the physical tics it brings.  A higher dose that kills the anxiety does things to me (man).  But as my anxiety tends to make my skin crawl and other just not fun things, I’m on a high enough of a dose to prevent that crap.  As an added bonus: for the first time in about 7 years, not only do I have hair but it’s past my shoulders now!

So today I went in with the intent on talking about my rage.  Sure enough, when the other symptoms are under control, I become a raging beast.  I’m not psychical or violent, but I’m loud and can use hurtful words.  I think we all know first hand that words can hurt just as much, if not more, than violence and actions.  So after brief discussion, per my request I start back on Geodon tomorrow.  Oh, antipsychotics aren’t a joy to be on, but I’ve been on/off them enough to know the pros and cons of either side of that decision and I’m looking forward to feeling more like Dr Jekyll, and less like Mr Hyde again.  (More Banner, less HULK?)  Even if it does mean I’m going to eat every carb in sight and pack on another 20 pounds.

KNEES?:

Speaking of packing on another 20 pounds, I’m currently the heaviest I’ve ever been and I don’t like it!  It’s like over the past 3 months I have just packed it on!  Well, with the Holidays behind me, I’m fixing that, dammit.  I wouldn’t say I’ve given up pop, but I’ve cut way down and am working on drinking a lot more water.  I’m eating less pasta and more rice.  I’m doing my best to be more physically active, but I’m writing this a week after buying my first cane (knees!), so there is that.  Nevertheless I don’t need the cane everyday, so on my good days I’m going to go out and walk/run the neighborhood like I swore to when we first moved in (and then life fell to shit around me).  I won’t ever be society’s idea of skinny, but that’s ok.  I just want to be happy with my body within my own ideals of attractive, and I’m not.  I also want to fit all my clothes again, and I don’t.

MOUTH:

Ugh.  I can’t even… It took us something like 8 years to find a dentist that both took our insurance and was someone we were willing to go back to.  I tell you, there are a lot of bad dentists in the world.  It’s even worse than regular General Practitioners.  We finally fund one just to have him close down his business in the past year (had to go back home due his mom’s failing health).  I don’t even care that he was in the opposite side of town.  I would have made the drive.  Now I’m back to square one and we are all well over-due for a visit.  I seriously… Why is this so hard?  I mean, I can tell horror stories.  I really liked the dentist that we finally found too.

NOSE:

Speaking of general practitioners… I need one of these even more than I need a dentist but I’m seriously dragging heels about this.  Frankly, most just don’t know how to help me or are scared of me.  How my Borderline Personality Disorder scares a way a doctor that won’t even be treating it as I have a great mental health team, is beyond me.  I literally could scream.  Dear Doctor, if you want to be frightened away by a condition, at least let it be the fact you aren’t competent in treating fibromyalgia.  Oh, about that.  Mind you, I’ve only had one doctor ever even realize I suffer from fibro, so that is annoying in itself.  But now that it’s finally on record, I’m opening with that.  However, the reason I’m not going back to that doctor, besides the fact he’s terrified of my mental health that he isn’t treating, is that he was constantly wanting to treat the fibro with meds I was already on for the mental health or meds I had been on for it.  First off, and yes this does give you some leeway to be scared of the BPD monster, you can’t just throw a mental health pill at a mental health patient, without considering the repercussions.  Also, if I was on a pill for years for my mental health and it never ever helped my fibro, why would it suddenly magically make my fibro better now?  Ok, I’ll humor you.  Oh look, I’m suddenly suicidal because misuse of antidepressants can do that, ironically.  Alright, fine.  Maybe his fear of my mental health WAS valid.  But only because he was a moron.  And he isn’t even the doctor that I walked out on, or the one who put me on blood pressure meds to treat the wrong kind of headache, and then claimed he was 150% sure that the meds weren’t what caused me to gain 20 pounds suddenly over a 2 month span despite me doing everything else right. (True fact: In a study of whether or not blood pressure meds cause weight gain, what he put me on was called out by name to cause rapid and massive weight gain.  Yet he was 150% positive that those meds don’t cause weight gain and in fact tried to pin it on the fact I just had a baby.  This was about 6 months AFTER giving birth.)  So needless to say I’m a little skeptical about the medical profession and not looking forward to having to find yet another new doctor.  However, the husband is insisting and it would be nice to have someone to see should I have a general illness, and should he actually know how to treat my fibro, and not be scared by the BPD monster… well, I’m not holding my breath.

Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes

Bleh

 

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ER Doctor: So what did you do to your wrist?
Me:I tripped over a kid, not my own, and braced my fall with it.
Dr: Ow!  And you did this today (Late Thursday)?
Me: No… Sunday afternoon.
Dr: And you’re just coming in?
Me: Well, I’m a klutz with fibromyalgia.  If I came in every time something hurt, I’d never leave!
Dr: *chuckling* Well, it’s good you know this about yourself.  We have plenty of repeats who don’t.
Me: Exactly.  I figured I had just sprained or strained it as usual, stabilized it, and have taken Ibuprofen for pain and swelling.  But 4 days later it’s getting worse and not better so I figured now it’s time to make sure I’m not being stupid.
Dr: Makes sense.  Alright, let’s get some x-rays.

30 minutes, if that, passes

Dr: Alright you have a hairline fracture about here. *points to where thumb meets wrist* I’m going to wrap it for you and refer you to an ortho for follow-up to see if you need an actual cast.

And scene

Ah yes. Fibromyalgia: Where you can fracture a bone in your hand and just live with it for 4 days before getting it checked because you’ve had worse pain so how bad can this be.

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I woke up a week ago to the worst headache I’ve ever had and a neck I could barely move.  Now, I’m use to headaches but not like this.

Never the less, I went on to my Math class that night thinking little of it.  It wasn’t until I got home after math, and was freezing no matter what I did, that I decided to take my temperature.

Pushing 102 degrees.

Yikes.

The following morning when I couldn’t get my fever below 101, I went on to the hospital with Pat as my escort.

Sure enough they thought what I thought and I got a lovely spinal tap.  And by lovely what I mean is the doctor did a beautiful job and I was only in extreme pain from it like I was supposed to be and not because he messed up.  Because, you know, drawing spinal fluid out hurts like hell.  For the record.  No need to go and get one yourself  as proof.  Unless that’s how you get your kicks.

The good news is it wasn’t meningitis.

Before, during, and after the tap I was given a lovely course of antibiotics via an IV and I woke the next morning feeling lovely except for the back pain from the tap.

But I was given perc for that.

The moral of the story is: When you go to an ER complaining of an extreme headache, stuff neck, light sensitivity and a fever over 100, they are going to take you very seriously.  So seriously, in fact, that you are most likely getting a needle through the spin.  And if you do that without complaint beyond, “I’m going to puke, I’m going to puke, I’m going to puke,” they know you really are sick.

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One day, many days from now, I’m going to laugh at the fact I spent labor day weekend 2013 laboring over my first kidney stone.  Back contractions and all.  But not yet.  As I type this I’m 96+ hours into this bullshit and not nearly ready to laugh.  On the plus side, this afternoon I got upgraded from Vicodin to Percocet so I can’t currently feel a thing.

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I have been missing it since last fall.  Never thought I would, but the feeling of power that comes from pushing through the burn as my feet hit the pavement, is strangely addictive.

Warm up.  Run.  Walk.  Run.  Walk.  And so on until cool down and collapse.

I have it nowhere near by the book.  I will continue day 1, week 1 until I do.  It might take years. Then I’ll move on to day 2, week 1.  I have my limits though.  Not fat girl limits, but chronic pain issues limits.  If I don’t listen to my limits I’ll do more harm than good.

But I’m working on it.  I’m officially that fat girl making her way down the sidewalk not giving a damn what you think because at least I’m trying.

What are you doing?

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I took my first, and hopefully last, Benadryl yesterday.  I think I prefer the anaphylactic shock I was starting to go into.

Ok, realistically, I probably wasn’t going into full shock.  I’ve been allergic to the wax on apples for over 10 years now.  I’m constantly having my throat swell up due to “bad apples” being snuck into crap.  It’s hard because not all apples will get me.  Are they organic or treated?  How were they handled after they were picked?  It’s a crap shot.  But while my throat does swell up and it sure as hell is anything but comfortable, I’ve never had to have it treated.  I’m patient, it goes away.  And, I’ve fine tuned what to avoid and what to enjoy.

This past week or so my throat has started to swell up like that, no less than 4 times.  I have not had a single apple and I can’t find the common ingredient that is causing it.  The first few times is was very mild so I noticed it, as it is hard not to, but otherwise went along about my day.

Yesterday, during Thomas’ party, shit started getting real.  It’s been a long time since my throat has gotten that bad.  I may well have been able to ride it out,  but not knowing what I was up against and being well aware that this shit can actually kill me, I got a Benadryl from my father.

The good news is I felt better fast.  But oh dear God the come down.  I had to end the party early so I could go home and crash.  Thank God I wasn’t driving, I could barely hold my head up.  I got home, and crashed face down in my bed, lights still on, and I don’t think I so much as moved for about 3 hours while I slept it off.  I then woke up swimming in a pool of my own sweat, feeling like I had been hit  by a train, my heart racing to try to catch up with the train to kick its ass.

No, I don’t know what caused the whole mess.

Yes, I’m keeping a food journal to try to narrow it down.

Yes, I have more Benadryl because while I certainly don’t like the effects, it’s better than death.  Certainly death by Anaphylactic shock.

Yes, I might well have to see about getting an epi pen.  I suppose it depends on what is causing it and how serious this plays out.  I always thought about getting one for the apple thing but I was always able to manage it on my own.

Yes, I’m stubborn like that.

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The official story that will go in my memoir should I ever write one will discuss how I took a hoof to the face while saving a tiny tiny infant from a herd of stampeding unicorns.  Very angry unicorns.  Only the baby and I can see them.

The reality is that I suppose with a condition like fibromyalgia and a history of joint issues, it isn’t unusual for my body to mutiny.  So dislocating my jaw isn’t overly off the wall.  I’m just grateful I got in back in socket on my own.  The urgent care gave me a muscle relaxer and sent me for X-rays.  The tech running the x-rays was flabbergasted an MRI wasn’t ordered.  My doctor will have to be the one to order that if I’m still in pain in a few days.  I don’t have time for this bullshit though so I’ll be just fine.

And the fact I may never eat a bagel again is totally unrelated.

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