The Doctor Appointment: or I’m the Girl with the Most Cake

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I attended the doctor appointment of intrigue on Monday, and found out SO MUCH INFORMATION! I have needed two days to recover. Also, my nerve blocks are wearing off, so please bear with me, my face hurts.

Well, it seems the lovely doctor who did my nerve blocks at the other hospital is now not able to be working at both hospitals. This may have contributed to communication breakdown. But it also means she had no reason to see me or take me on as her patient. When I sent her that desperate email, I had no idea, and she could have said, sorry, don’t work there. However, she took me on as her patient at the other hospital. I am so very thankful.

Now, the doctors at the clinic wanted to know how much I know, which was nothing.

The very first miracle was having the admin at the pain clinic bumping me up in the schedule so I could see the migraine doctor in the first place. I think she only saw a few people, and my husband was very nice to her, as he just is, and she knew how much pain I was in, so she got us in right away. I don’t think she brought many patients with her back to her clinic.

Now, back to the appointment. Remember the scary, nasty woman who worked there? She was in charge of this appointment. She was a ray of sunshine. I believe it was finally having job-related duties. Anyway, we had a lovely conversation. Originally, I was sent back to this clinic to get off of an inappropriate medication. Then she asked some questions. Who has been following up with me? No one. What are your other issues? Well, I spoke about my knees, arthritis, we are going to the arthritis society, it’s not too bad.

My pubic bone. I spoke about being laughed at and dismissed by the EDS Clinic. She looked concerned. I told her that it might not be an EDS issue, but it still hurts, and even if he says it shouldn’t it still does. Then it clicked. I told her it might be an injury from my daughter’s birth. They tried to keep her in until she was 37 weeks, but she was an oz short of 8 lbs. The doctor had to stand on the table during my c-sections and rip her out of my pelvis. The only reason I know is because my husband is 6’5″ and could see over the curtain. He turned white (er). He didn’t tell me until later. She looked at me in horror.

I told her about my back pain, which she blamed on inactivity, of course, but my husband jumped in and mentioned it was our original reason for visiting the pain clinic, and how I was improving for so long.

When I thought about it though, doesn’t it make sense that the back pain is the other side of the pelvic pain? Duh. I really am ashamed it took me 16 years to figure this out. Not to mention I was in labour for 2 days with my son slamming against my pubic bone. They gave me an epidural for the pain right away. Then when they looked at the ultrasound realized he wasn’t going to fit. I am 5’8″. I’m not some little, slight, thing. Oooh, fun fact. While I was still under the illusion of VBAC I received advice from Michelle Duggar, who was on kid number 8 or 9 at the time.

When the doctor came in he told me he had given me one round of Botox injections. I agreed. We then went through everything again… at which point I corrected him and said: Dr, you gave me two sets of Botox, and a guided nerve block under anaesthesia. He was not like being corrected, but was kind of… okay! Knows her stuff!

At the end of the meeting, he was unimpressed no one was following me. We were expecting to see an appointment at the EDS pain clinic in September. So he booked me for a full exam in July.

Surprise! We have an appointment with the EDS Pain Clinic mid – June! So we are going to let the other pain clinic know, just for transparency, and see what they can offer. Another Miracle!

It was so amazing, I called my Mom as soon as I could, as my spoons came back, on Monday. We are so different! I was marvelling at the miracles and my luck, my Mom wanted to know how everything got so screwed up! She said everything should be perfect! Well, yes. It has taken me so long to get over that expectation. Sometimes miracles happen when things are messiest. I can’t demand perfection when I live in chaos. My daughter has perfectionist tendencies and it nearly cripples her from doing anything. It’s painful to watch.

Embrace your imperfections. They are some of your most endearing qualities!

I am still working with the Cefaly! I will give you an update in a couple of days!

Intrigue…

giphy3In my previous post, belatedly posted, we established I have chronic migraine and messages between my doctor and me were not being relayed through the clinic, like they were supposed to be. My doctor was displeased, but I saw her at her home hospital, and I am on the pain clinic waiting list at the EDS hospital. The issue is, not many doctors hold a license for prescribing one drug I am on, but have been trying to quit, but my doc hasn’t had enough time to make that happen. Now it’s a priority. So I have to go back to the bad clinic for a bit.

Well, I just received a call saying there was a cancellation at the bad clinic and they called me right away because they know I am in need and they want to have a discussion about my needs going forward.

Anyone else sense a clinic about to lose a lucrative client?

I am certain my migraine doctor spoke up about leaving me hanging for three months. Part of the reason I hadn’t directly emailed my doctor earlier is I had once, and received a confirmation call from the nurse on duty who refused to speak to my husband, who is by my side constantly through this, and eleven years at this clinic, he has signed all forms indicating he is my proxy. She made it sound definitely not okay to be emailing.

Or, it could be just to refill my prescriptions.

Anyway, my migraine doctor recommended a new 20180525_120251.jpgmachine alled Cefaly. I hope it makes me look like Wonder Woman. I haven’t tried it yet. They zip tied the zippers on the case together and I thought I might sever an artery if I tried to cut it open. My husband opened it with nail clippers. Genius.

I am losing large chunks of my brain, it seems. I just can’t remember things. My brain is usually razor sharp. I’m forgetting how to spell! Well, but am I forgetting, or just screwing up? I wonder.

I’m starting to relax a bit. I hope to blog a bit more. Truthfully, Things have been tough. My parents follow me everywhere on social media, and are asking so many questions; after our distant relationship, it’s really hard to adjust. I’ve tried speaking with them, but I don’t think they get it. They imagine me talking to friends or my kids or my husband. No! Most of my friends deserted me. My kids are introverted teens. They talk to me when they need their Dad to understand something, and my husband gets up at 5 am, gets home at 8:30 and I may see him from 9:30 to 11 pm if he stays up late and I’m not in a sleep phase.

But things are getting better. I have more friends now. I’m not always sleeping. Though I have my weeks. My sister was here at Christmas, but the last thing I did with a friend was last June. Ha. Last time I even went out that wasn’t a doctor appointment. That sucks.

It’s just tough having your parents witness your every human interaction. My mom means well, but she offers opinions, and I take it as criticism (because it always has been in the past, even though she doesn’t mean it that way?), partly it’s great that people are treating me as normal, but I am really delicate still. I don’t get jokes much, (maybe it’s living with three people with autism?) Maybe I am too weak, still? I feel as if we are just going to end up hurting each other or saying something the other will misunderstand, because it’s easy, and I am in pain or the medication has made me fuzzy. But I feel too weak to have the conversation, too.

Blah, it’s awful. Does anyone else feel like this or am I awful? Or both.

On a lighter note, shortly after my Botox in July, I’m getting my hair done! Decided. 😜

Much love

 

Waiting for Results

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I had the MRI as planned last week. They had to redo a portion of it because I was moving, but I was in so much pain I couldn’t be still. My back was just so sore, being flat. Somehow this is affecting my back, and this pain is the worst pain. It almost affects me more than anything.

I played with makeup for a couple of days. It was tons of fun, but a bit of shadow kept falling in my eyes, as i had to do it lying on my back. I’m resting today. I haven’t seen my husband since yesterday morning because I have been asleep. I was awake all weekend, so I need it.

I am so weak yet so hungry. My body is gearing up for something.

I may be a bit less frequent than usual. I don’t have much energy these days. I only seem to have enough to buy scented candles. And makeup. But that’s not hard. I’m going to try going on a no buy tomorrow for the rest of the month. We shall see.

Exhausted.

I Don’t Want to be a Pirate!

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…and I don’t want to walk a marathon, either.

So, I went to my appointment at the brand new EDS Clinic last week. I managed to survive. It took me a while to not only recover physically from the appointment, but to process the appointment itself.

Overall, the appointment was a success, I think. I went into the appointment with a fairly open mind, free from expectations, just hoping for some benefit.

Now, it seems the purpose of this clinic is to gather specialists who have an interest in seeing patients who have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. They currently have a gastroenterologist, a psychiatrist or psychologist I can’t remember which, and are working on the physiotherapist.

They reviewed my case, and then did a physical examination. First there was one doctor, then another came to see me and did her review. This took over two hours. Nothing special, except they detected arthritis in my left knee, which would explain why it hurts so much, and probably why the pain wakes me up at night. This is fairly new.

Now, really, aside from pills, the only treatment for EDS is physiotherapy. We all know this. So it was no surprise this was the hard sell I was given. They told me I was severely deconditioned. I cannot argue with that at all. But it was presented as: the doctor would say it normally. Then he would say it slowly, providing a long explanation. Then he would reiterate it quickly. He tested me for POTS, but kept me standing up, in pain, as the machine kept erroring. Then, he made a note for my doctor to monitor my blood pressure because it was borderline. I was so annoyed. This was toward the end of the appointment, I was in so much pain, the room was spinning, and nobody was nearby to catch me. Gee, blood pressure high? 🙄

One thing I consistently find frustrating is when doctors hear I spend my day in bed, they shut down right there, end of story. I am a complete invalid, sickie. They do not listen to why I choose a bed over the sofa. Firstly, all of my stuff is handy in my room. Secondly, I can stretch out and work out whatever kinks I get when I have space. Essentially, every morning, I fold up the blankets so I have room to work. There is a reason my nickname is Hamster Girl!

Another issue, he seemed not able to grasp the concept my pain clinic was not fully looking after my needs. As of this point, I have only had one Botox Migraine treatment since June 2017, and no Botox in my body at all since June. Although controversial, the body injections helped me a lot, and I am hurting! (Side note: the pain clinic has sent out a note saying they will no longer be doing injections. I also remembered, in my last convo with my pain doc, he said he wanted to switch my pain pills as he felt they weren’t working, I agreed.) Anyway, as we were about to leave, I blurted out we needed a referral to a pain clinic. Any Pain Clinic! He obliged. (Oh! I didn’t receive the note yet, but was told about it because the old pain clinic manager called me, as they had a cancellation with the old pain clinic’s new neurologist for next week. I mentioned this to the EDS Clinic doctor with some of the symptoms and he was very concerned about my head situation.)

Another weird thing was, he asked me if I exercise, and I said I do stretches, which he said do not count. He only counts timed exercise. Well, I hate timed exercise. I told him I used to be very active, walking everywhere, and that doesn’t count either. He suggested I go for a brisk walk. I nearly made another suggestion, but we had moved on.

I always love it when I am told things that hurt ‘shouldn’t’. Like my Symphasis Pubis. I began laughing. He told me it especially shouldn’t hurt because my daughter is nearly 16. Great. I will tell it. WTF?

All in all, it was a valuable appointment. I completely agree that I am deconditioned and physio with someone competent would be amazing. I had a really good guy for a bit, but I was in too much pain to continue, and three times a week – I was too weak to even do that. I think this is even more gentle, more home-based. I’m slightly nervous, because the time before the good one, the physio was all “join a gym! Join a gym!” Not good.

I didn’t like that they were trying to goal-set for me. One doctor wants me to start pool walking by the summer, and the other doctor was “I want to see you run a marathon in five years! Ok walk.” I have no desire to do either of those things. Oh, and the male doc kept saying “you’re still a young woman!” Uh, more than 3 and my bullshit detector goes off. 😆

They were both really pressuring me to start physio now! Now! Now! I do understand momentum is important. But I am not certain they are understanding how messy my pain management situation is. Yes, it’s fear, too! I barely sleep because of pain. I am just hanging on managing my pain. It’s very complicated. I spent this weekend mostly horizontal, trying to stay home from the emergency room. That’s how much that appointment took out of me.

I can completely see they are right. I need their help. But I am scared to add on more without more pain support.

I have scored a gastroenterologist, a therapist, a physiotherapist, and pain management. Not to mention neurology. Here’s hoping that appointment answers some questions.

Thank you to everyone for all your love and support.

 

Great News!

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My appointment with the EDS Clinic has been moved to Thursday! Yes! This Thursday! I am so excited I can barely breathe! Prayer works! Or being on the cancellation list! Or being charming, which the administrator has mentioned twice as being a factor in choosing me and my husband when cancellations come up. Which is very flattering, because I have been feeling like a gaping asshole lately for being so selfish and me-centric. However, I have only had enough spoons to get me through.

I have been trying to remain more positive lately, as one person suggested I not dwell on the past so much. I think that’s good advice. I don’t think that I was so much, but in evaluating, I am certain I wasn’t looking too far into the future. What do I have, really, to look forward to, personally? Let’s say I live another 30 years. That takes me to 77. Let’s hope my pain remains at this level. Oh, Lord, that’s depressing as it is. My grandmother is turning 97 this year, so 77 might be a bit wishful. Ha ha.

Of course, seeing my kids grow, my husband grow in his career. Die from stress, that will all be fun, too. (Joke) It’s fraught, but there are tons of things they teach me every day. My son takes physical therapy, and they are talking of sending him, ironically, to the EDS Clinic at Sick Kids. He hasn’t been diagnosed, but a diagnosis wouldn’t surprise me. He’s 13 1/2. My daughter has Aspergers, and the anxiety component is so challenging. She is so tough. So is my boy, actually. I spend a ton of time worrying about them, and deciphering whether my husband is actually trying to insult me, or if he’s just being autistic. He has autism as well, we just found out when daughter was diagnosed, only because they are exactly alike. I know he’s never trying to insult me, he just says things how he feels them and it sometimes sounds funny in words.

I’m rambling, sorry. Excited. Tired.

Once we find out what they can do for us, the EDS Clinic, I mean, then we can branch out and fill in the gaps.

Good thing we kept the wheelchair from my appointments, whenever those were. 😜

Resolutions

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One of the resolutions I made for this new year is to be more disciplined in my blogging. I have been very lacksidasical lately, and I don’t like that. Otherwise, my resolutions are month by month, as I did last year. I have most of them laid out, but need to get back to it. January is supposed to be for rest and relaxation, so maybe I’m doing just fine. February is when I crack the whip.

This week was rife with doctor appointments. Last Sunday I met with my cannabis doctor. This was a video call. It was amazing. I was able to talk without crying. He was so nice! He told me I shouldn’t skip any doses and not to short myself. I don’t like the feeling of being loopy, but I’m in so much pain right now, I can’t argue. I have come to some realization about why I’m so leery of being out of control or out of it on medication, but it’s family stuff, and I don’t feel comfortable sharing. However, I  should be able to work through it better now that I know I have a hang-up.

Monday, I had two appointments next door to each other, so I saw my gynecologist first, no big deal. Just a check in to see how I was. Then we had some time so my husband wheeled me around a bit, and we found a Manchu Wok! I haven’t had mall food in years, so I had some… so yummy! Even though I was steadily eating pain pills, by the time we got to the sleep specialist, I was in tears from pain. I got out my story, but she can’t really give me anything but what she has, and she says they are for ‘normal’ people. So I need another doctor. And because I’m crying, I need a psychiatrist. No, I’m in pain. Trust.

But, after that, I decide I’m getting my flu shot because we were there. So we go, but I didn’t count on having to wait under the speakers blasting horrendous music for 45 minutes. Why do they make it so loud? And if it’s so loud, why is it so bad? Then two ladies notice my distress, they were those weird ladies, too. The ones that are really big on top, but have really skinny legs and bums? And they always have feathered hair, and they wear big sweaters that never cover said tiny bums? Anyway, they noticed my distress, so they come over and start singing loudly and tap their feet right beside me and crack up. Lovely. I loathe people.

The next couple of days I just flaked. I did some organizing around here, because it really is one of my favorite things to do. Played with some makeup. Found my contact lenses. I don’t like being loopy, but I sure am in a better mood!

So, Friday. I call my Grandmother. Light of my life. She’s my world. Everything is good.

Then I decide to call an old friend I had been neglecting. Mistake. He starts going on this rant about how I need to find better doctors and I’m too young to be lying in bed all day. I just need to find the doctor who will cure me. I take too many pills. Blah blah. Then: All teenagers think their parents are stupid ergo mine think we are stupid. No amount of conversation would help. Because this wasn’t a conversation, it was a rant. So I started crying and said goodbye. That’s another thing, I’m not going to hide my emotions anymore. Why bother? If I end up just me and my family anyways, people need to know if I am hurt, offended or amused.

My grand total for last year was 4 visitors, including my sister and brother in law, and two social outings. If you count my two day conference as two, then it is three social outings. Not that I didn’t try much harder. I had three more engagements where I was … ditched? Anyway, no worries. Let us see what this year brings.

Check-in

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Hi there! I’m pretty sure I am still alive, but the days and nights are blurring together, and I don’t know where I am, (ha! I’m in my bed, duh!) Or what I am doing. (Either wrapping presents or sleeping. I may be doing both.)

The past 10? days have been strange. I have been incredibly ill. I am so exhausted I don’t know which way is up. I have been existing on what my husband (I presume) has been leaving for me. Brie and crackers, mostly. They are the only things that stay down.  I haven’t seen my husband much. I did force myself awake this morning to speak with him. (Plus, I creaked open one eye and he was running around in his cutest boxer briefs, yay eye candy!) I must be feeling slightly better!

I was to be seeing my cannabis doctor today, but I can’t. Short of a stretcher, I am not in any condition to be going anywhere. My prescription runs out mid-January, so I do have some time, but I need husband to be able to take me there. They have grown fond of him at work. Problematic. Now, the doctor has a remote program I may qualify for, if you’re sick enough, and if you remember last time I went I was forced to walk due to construction and sobbed through my appointment. They have also started a VIP program for $300 per year, which has something to do with remote appointments, but the info was vague, and my husband was the first to call, so… I am not thrilled about two tiered medicine. I am very thrilled we could afford $300 a year, if that is right. It goes with my husband being so beloved – and he wouldn’t have to take a full day off. He could work from home, and take just however long for the appointment. Such a relief for our family.  (Yes, I am aware this makes the doctors sound sketchy, I think they are on par, frankly. Are they money hungry? Hell, yes!)

I feel terrible I haven’t seen much of my kids, but I have been getting up every morning when my alarm goes off during the week at 6 am, and weekends at 9, but I was up around 8. I have seen my daughter during the week, and my son on the weekend, so not much has changed. They’re teens. Always stuff going on. I always want to spend more time.

In Aquatic news, one of our Elder Pleco died yesterday. We are quite upset. However, downstairsn, it seems we have our second litter of bushynose pleco! We didn’t intend to have them breed, but, here they are!

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I found this hilarious, I am tempted!

 

From my favourite advice column:

Not an Act

Prudie advises a letter writer who constantly gets questioned about her disability.

Mallory Ortberg, aka Dear Prudence, is online weekly to chat live with readers. An edited transcript of the chat is below. (Read Prudie’s Slate columns here. Send questions to Prudence at prudence@slate.com.)

Readers! Ask me your questions on the voicemail of the Dear Prudence podcast. Just leave a message at 401-371-DEAR (3327), and you may hear your question answered on a future episode of the show.

Q. Not faking it: I am currently disabled. I’ve worked my way up to being up and about for an hour to two each day. Whenever I go out, people say the oddest things to me. Today, when I parked my car, a man came up and said suspiciously, “You don’t look disabled.” I said I just had surgery and rushed away. This happens almost any time I use my handicapped tag. Friends will tell me that I don’t look sick, or that I look great, and then take it personally when I say that I can’t go out for long or go to events. One of my best friends today asked if I had just tried increasing my pain tolerance. I never know how to respond, and knowing that these interactions are coming makes me anxious about leaving my apartment. What can I say to strangers who confront me about my disability, and to friends who don’t get it?

A: This will hopefully serve as a reminder to all readers that not every disability is immediately visible, and that it’s not the job of the general public to monitor people with handicapped placards for signs that they “really” need them. You don’t owe strangers a damn thing, much less an explanation, and I’m so sorry that so many people have taken it upon themselves to demand one of you. Feel enormously free to ignore them.

Getting this sort of treatment from your friends seems so much more painful. I cannot imagine why your friend would say something as amazingly stupid as, “Have you tried just feeling less pain?” That’s worth revisiting, especially since you say this person is one of your best friends. This is not something you can simply decide to ignore, and your friend should apologize for suggesting you just “get over” something like chronic pain. I hope there are people in your life who understand that you are dealing with a new reality, and who are looking for ways to demonstrate their care and support, rather than demand when you’re going to “get better.”

 

 

I am thrilled I get to miss the in-laws Christmas again this year, as I always get treated with suspicion. The first 7? Years of my disability leave my SIL would ask if I was working yet? Although, I have thouroughly explained my illness to my parents, and my Mother has asked me 3 times if I am coming up for Christmas.

I do hope you are having a wonderful holiday season if you are celebrating!

We celebrate Christmas, and I am currently trying to wrap what I can day by day. My sister is coming to visit, she has been teaching English in China, and I haven’t seen her in a couple of years. She will be here after the holiday. I have no idea when, but hey – all will be revealed.

I’m desperately trying to rest up. Taking my vitamins. Staying warm, Husband knows he will get sick as soon as he stops.

Ok. I am exhausted. That was far longer than intended, but good to share.

Sending lots of love and light!