Adjusting

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This has been a tough week. I’m trying so hard to stay positive and happy, but I just feel so awful all the time. I don’t have much time where I can sit up before I need to lie down again to relieve the symptoms. I did end up sleeping from Friday evening -our whole family was in bed by 9 on Friday, until dinnertime. And then I slept this morning until 11. I hope it helps. My back is hurting like crazy, but it is probably related to the leaky spinal fluid.

I think I’m so upset because I am afraid. I am afraid things won’t get any better and I will be stuck not only in pain, but even more useless.  I am trying to not dwell on this, but I need to get a certain amount out of my system. I am trying to appreciate the benefits of the relaxed life. There is the grand possibility I could be fine. God, I hope so.

I get very lonely. I don’t have much capacity to reach out or to be a friend right now. Online is so tough, I am often misconstrued, rightly so, I am so tired or not thinking about how my words are interpreted. I don’t get back to people, I have to run sometimes if I have to vomit or stuff. It isn’t ideal. Phone sometimes works, but my husband will work from home, and no phone for me! 😆 or my face hurts so much. But that is a possibility. 😊

I’m trying to watch funny and positive programs on tv. There are so many things on tv I missed out on! Friends was so Great! Arrested Development was amazing! Bojack Horseman is hard for me to follow, and I need to decide on what’s next. I’m enjoying this.

I started reading again. Reading was tough for a while. I’m not certain if I was too jumpy or if I can only concentrate on short stories, but I just finished an excellent book. I will tell you when I can get the title. I can’t move just now. 😜

There are plans to change my medications, consult with this doctor,  that doctor. But this all takes time. I am trying so hard to be patient. But I’m uncomfortable.

But when I look forward to my future, do I have 35 years left? 83 is a ripe old age (okay, we generally live longer in my family, but please) what am I going to accomplish in this time? This disease has already derailed my (sad) career. I cannot start anything in this condition. This blog is a major effort (of love!) Thank God I was able to have the kids I was told I would never be able to have or I’d feel like I had passed through this earth leaving nothing (ymmv). Maybe I’m just having an existential crisis all on its own. I’m prone to those. I have way too much time to think. My sister told me to “just don’t think about it” which is brilliant advice, but yeah, when you’re lying here in pain, your brain goes to dark places. It sucks. I’m working on it.

I was thinking about my friend who had told me early in the year that I needed a new doctor and the way they were going to fix me was without pills. He was right, in a way. But I don’t think I will be making the miracle recovery he expects. It’s not q-ray bracelet technology. If the blood patch works first time (unlikely) I need physio of between 3 and 5 years to be up and walking to where I would be enjoying time with my family. Not to mention getting on proper medication, etc etc.

I will be so much happier when I can at least lie down and not be hurting, you know? It’s bad.

Sending my love!

 

So Grouchy

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I have been thinking about posting all week, I have just been so grouchy, I didn’t think it wise. Everything seems to be irritating me. I don’t like this at all. Isn’t it just like me to be irritated about being irritated? 😆

My head is sore. It hurts almost constantly. It’s bearable when I am lying down. My neck has this sharp kink where it feels as if something is sharply out of place.

I have about three to maybe four hours in the morning, where, if I’m very careful, I can sit up. I need to lie down periodically, but I can get a few things done. I can’t screw around, and when it’s time to quit, if I delay I may have to rest tomorrow, too. It’s tough, because I’m easily distracted and really clumsy.

And oh, so tired. I’m thinking it was the three hour appointment, but we are ten days past that now, I should have my strength back. But I can’t accomplish anything much.

I’m reorganizing everything I can get my hands on, which does tell how stressed I actually am.

I am trying to learn to relax, although I have no experience in it. Doctors orders. I’m also trying to watch positive shows, humour, and be generally happy. It’s helping. I mean, I know I am irrationally irritable. I’m trying to keep it to myself and not inflict it on anyone.

This pain. I do occasionally have better times. Resting is my lesson.

On the plus side, I really enjoyed Friends and Arrested Development. I was working so much when they were on, I didn’t see them. I’m not certain what’s next… Archer?

Hope you had a Happy Valentine’s day!

A Piece of the Puzzle

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I visited the neurologist yesterday. She is amazing. Just lovely. Personable. Kind. Great bedside manner. She actually cares. Or if she doesn’t, she is a great actress! 😆

My appointment was for 2:30. We got in at 3, and left at 6, after everyone else. That’s dedication. Plus, she gave me nerve blocks in my face and head. I’m so happy!

Remember how I have been whining about these headaches since March, when they started? I have been having nausea and vomiting, dizziness, and a few other symptoms that are too minute to go into. I saw my pain doc in June, who is a neurologist, asked him about going to the emergency room. He shrugged, and kind of stumbled over words. I’m not a fan of the ER either. I’ve asked each doc about going to the emergency room with my symptoms and none were enthusiastic about me going, but didn’t love me sitting home in pain, either. But every one referred me to a neurologist.  We have a definite shortage right now. I’ve been rejected by a few.

Anyway, this doc feels strongly it is Spontaneous Intracranial Hypotension. Essentially, I have spinal fluid leaking and I will need to do what is called a blood patch to fix it. I think that is a transfusion of my own blood and an epidural with it, but I was tired by then. I will have to research more.

Yes, it’s absolutely an EDS thing. Lucky me.

I do need an MRI, but the doctor said she felt my case was so strong, she felt we may not have to wait for the MRI before the patch, but she would speak to the doctor who does the procedure. He is someone I have worked with before. Highly skilled! Love him!

In the meantime, I need to be horizontal as much as possible, because it causes the least pain.

I’m going to rest now. Yesterday was a long day!

Hugs,

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. 😜

At The Bottom, Looking Up.

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I’m trying to stay positive. I want to be positive. But my body is revolting (joke). I have never been in this much pain before. If you remember, I haven’t had any Botox injections in my body since last June. This was a treatment I had been having for 11 years, every 10 weeks. I have also only had one migraine Botox treatment since then, October. So no relief from the neck and head pain or migraine pain since then.

My sleep is terribly fractured. Pain keeps waking me up. My current doctors don’t feel qualified to prescribe what they feel I need to help with this. I did sleep for 24 hours Friday to Saturday, so that was amazing. I did have to take a bunch of medication, still within my prescribed plan, to get there.

There’s a bunch more, but it’s a bore. The meniscus in my knees have gone. I would love to watch me walk as I dash to the washroom, because they are popping in and out like crazy. It must be hilarious.

The point is that I will be incredibly fresh when I get to the EDS Clinic next month. I will have had no treatment since October, just my meds.

I’m like a goldfish right now. I try to keep thoughts in my head, watch upbeat shows, save my energy for my husband and kids. I cry much of the time. I don’t even realize it, but the tears are there. Pain. Exhaustion. I don’t want to sleep through life! My kids seem to be doing quite all right for the moment! It’s really new, so I am crossing my fingers.

I play with makeup a lot. Although it will take me 3 to 4 hours what should really take 45 minutes. Distracted by tv, Looking for stuff, what was I doing?, oh yeah, that brush…

One of the scariest things is that I’m getting pins and needles down my arms. I can’t feel my fingers that much anymore, my fingers are all cracking and cramping. They become more and more useless. I have to figure it out, but I never have the strength to. Or I never remember when I’m at that moment. Grrr! I even keep a notpad to write things down, but I haven’t captured it yet.

My husband is being wonderful, as usual. He has been baking gluten-free brownies every week so I can have them with my evening medicine. My gynecologist put me back on Visanne so maybe we can stop some of the cramping. Yay! Acne and weight gain! I’ve put on 10 and taken off 2. I had been hitting the chocolate pretty hard over Christmas.

Anyway, I’m getting pretty tired. Hugs to everyone going through same or similar. When I don’t have energy for makeup, I have been making some crappy crafts by covering old containers with duck tape. The decorative stuff they have out now.  I will try and take a photo of some projects if I can. They aren’t gorgeous, but they keep my hands moving. It’s something to focus on, other than what’s hurting now. It’s good.

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!