Time Flies…

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Hi there! I know I have been super neglectful, but the last couple of months have been quite the rollercoaster and I have not had the spoons to also actually get off my arse and keep you updated, so now the time has come.

Firstly, I finally got in to see a gastroenterologist  and a fellowship student. Hallelujah! They listened, asked questions and took my concerns seriously! I am on a few new medications, I can’t even begin to describe how much better I am feeling. When you go from pooping every 14 days to nearly every day, what a difference! My back pain has cleared up considerably. I have a number of tests to do in January, scopes and such, so hopefully we can learn what is going on. Rather annoyed this took so long, but was rejected by rather a lot of doctors.

My chronic migraines are leaving me so dizzy I’m having to use my wheelchair more than I would like. I was referred to another doctor as my new doctor is studying for a year, and I think it will take some time to adjust. First visit, he injected into my jaw and chewing has been a nightmare since. I see him in a couple of weeks, so I will discuss this. He seems nice, so it shouldn’t be a problem.

My vision is so bad I can barely see even with my new glasses, so I’m going to try to get that sorted. I think it’s the migraines, but who knows?

My kids are struggling with school attendance. They love school, but anxiety is high, and with autism and learning disabilities, it’s just not easy. They get pretty high marks, though, so I hope they can pull through.

I’m still having trouble sleeping. I’ve been begging for help for over a year now with no results. I was told I needed to see a psychiatrist as they are the only ones who know about sleep medications, but when I brought it up to my doctor again he told me it was a waste of a psychiatric appointment. I have no idea what else to do. I’m becoming suicidal and wondering how much longer I have to live before I can say I tried. When I spoke to another doctor about crying from exhaustion she said “oh, yes, so you’re depressed.” My jaw dropped.

So everything is fantastic, as you can imagine. I am so tired of fighting to be heard. It’s frustrating to say something to a doctor and have them completely talk down to you, then have my husband say the same thing and they suddenly switch on their understanding. For example: I spend most of my time in my bedroom, but I’m not lying down or sleeping,  I’m puttering around.  Doctor tells me I’m lazy and should do something so I will feel better.  Husband repeats what I just said, Doctor now understands that I spend the day doing crafts, playing with makeup and puttering. It makes me furious!

I’m going to take a break now and cry some more. I will try to be back to a more regular schedule. Perhaps not as mentally deranged. Although I have a sense of humor about it. 😜

Hope all your pain is fleeting!

❤🦓

 

My GI Tract Will be Scoped

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I will also be looking at downsizing my huge tracts of land. I just tried on a 2x shirt I ordered and could barely get it over the girls. This is untenable.

Back to my GI appointment. I was a bit nervous because it was through the EDS clinic, and I met that awful doctor the first time, but these doctors were probably the best I have ever met. They had a fellowship student do the intake. She listened so carefully and asked such good questions. She really led the appointment and I didn’t feel like I had to explain myself or guess what may have happened to me. By this, I mean my guesses about my birth trauma are just suppositions. That’s when the pain started and it makes sense, but it’s really a guess.

I was examined, found to be full of gas, you can play my gut like a drum. The doctor came in, she confirmed everything and we went through the listing of about 6 scopes I will be going through. Timeline will be about six months. We will check my motility, scope up and down with a camera, I have to swallow rings and be xrayed the next day. Lots of things to check my motility. I won’t be enjoying those scopes, but I will like to poop more than once every 10 days.

Going to the EDS clinic is great, because there is an administrator there who is made out of sunshine. She is just the coolest person, and she talks with me and husband before our appointment AND takes care of stuff. I always feel like a real person again. I always look forward to seeing her. There is another woman who works there who used to work at my old pain clinic. I couldn’t recognize her face, but when I listened to her voice for a while, I realized it was because I always sent my husband up with my cards to register. I recognize her voice, but I didn’t see her much! I hope I see her soon to tell her! She’s sweet!

My husband does research, that’s his ‘thing’. So he looked up the lead doctor at the clinic. Not only is he handsome, he has a pretty darn good reputation for research. He may not have the reputation my pain clinic doctor has, but he has headed some large and important studies. He has the potential to be just amazing and well-known. My husband told me he is only 43. I am not comfortable with doctors being so much younger than me! (Not really)

I have sent letters to the patient relations department of the hospitals. One, being that my first appointment didn’t go well. I do not qualify for hEDS under the new qualifications, however it’s because I scored 4/9 on Beighton. Now this was January, and I told the doctor I could push further, I was in pain, but if he wanted to see something specific, please tell me. He was silent. The Patient relations person is amazing, and they aren’t taking away my diagnosis, but I am nervous. We are discussing. I can repeat the test fine during summer months, so we shall see.

The other letter is to the other hospital regarding the pain clinic and how I am not being heard. I am still in incredible pain. I’m not sleeping in any kind of pattern. 3 hours here, 2 there. I’m exhausted.

My husband and I have been discussing my presentation around doctors. I don’t know if I am doing something wrong or not. Am I not deferential enough? Too aggressive? I am running on pure adrenaline usually.

I have a whole new butt-load of medication to try. I know being more active will help, too. Sigh. I have also gained back 40 of the 120 I lost. I will cop to 15 lbs of that. When I eat oatmeal for breakfast and a couple of oatmeal bars for lunch, no dinner, how am I gaining weight? Besides not pooping? Honestly.

I also realized, I sound just like my grandmother. She was gassy, burpy, constipated, had awful heartburn, as well. I don’t know if she actually coughs up her food like I do. Gross. It’s like a cud. My grandmother had so much work on the farm and looking after grandpa, I don’t know if she actually had proper treatment.

That’s me up til now.

Will keep you updated if something fun happens.

Love to all.

🦓

 

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

 

You Can’t Tell Me What To Do!

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I really don’t get the chance to interact with many people. It’s a huge effort for me. But your husband and kids! People exclaim. I see my kids when they drop off food, they are teens! Introverts at that. My husband arrives home from work around 7:30 and must take care of homework and lunches and clean up, so he rolls into bed around 9:00. I have an hour or so, if I managed to stay awake.

So, when I get to speak with a new person it’s pretty exciting! Unfortunately, though, some people (though their heart is in the right place, I’m sure, wanting to help) start in with the “You know what you need to do…” and it’s very rarely helpful. Now, of course I am not dismissing carefully considered suggestions, I’m not unilateral in this! What I’m talking about are the questions that could be better phrased as why questions. The ‘You need to find a new doctor’ ‘you need a housekeeper’ ‘the waiting list for neurologists is six years’  these types of unhelpful comments.

It would also be nice to be asked how I’m feeling, but we might all be pretending everything is fine.

I’m still lying here in the semi-darkness, grumbling most of the time. I feel like my life is flying by. I’ve been lying here for a year. I’m gaining weight back because I can’t move. I am having huge gastro problems. I’m so tired today, I can barely move. I’m not sleeping properly, pain is waking me up. My joints are so weak and painful I can barely do anything. I am so angry at being ignored. How much more of my life am I going to spend lying here?  I can do NOTHING right now. Even watching television is a struggle as the light and noise can only last so long.

I did buy a cervical pillow from Wal-Mart, it’s very nice. It’ helping my neck pain. I lie on it at first, after being propped up a bit and my neck hurts so much, but the next day it feels good. Less pain than usual.

I feel like if I could have a good stretch I’d be better. Momentarily, anyway…

 

After the awful van attack in Toronto,  one of the victims’ spiritual leader said she had so many loyal and beloved friends because she was a good person.  *Well* it’s really good to know where I stand. 🤔 Perhaps I should stick to Christianity over Buddhism, as it lauds suffering. 😄(Emotionally self-inflicted counts 😜).

Ugh, just occurred to me, my throat kind of hurts – I get really angsty and grouchy when getting sick. (Started to get that way around age 35. Awful.) At least it doesn’t take weeks to get over anymore.

Time for more rest.

Lies I’ve Been Told…

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“Looks aren’t that important in life, it’s what’s inside a person that matters.” …

“I am your friend,”…

“That looks great on you!” …

“You’ll regret it!” …

“I’ll never tell anyone, I swear!” …

“You can count on me!”…

“This medication is non-addictive.”…

“I would never lie to you,”…

“I love you!” countless…

“If you lose weight you’ll feel better!” x infinity…

“Your doctor will call you back in three days…”.

“Your doctor will call you on Tuesday.”.

(Sigh)

Now, to be fair, it seems the clinic is moving floors. It essentially broke down earlier this year (at last check, admittedly a bit ago, only complaint with my doctor who ran clinic is about paperwork. Will keep you posted. Must have hubby do checking am too weak),  and it seems to have merged with another pain management service. My new doctor, who was only in this clinic once a week anyway, has not been in, due to the chaos. I have confirmed the scan is on my file. Now, I don’t even know if the doctor to administer the blood patch is still on staff. I caught a quick article up online for only a couple of hours that stated there are no doctors in my home city to treat chiari if it turns out to be. I will burn that bridge when I get to it, but I am pretty miserable here. I essentially lie in the dark most of the time. The straighter my neck the better. My vision is very bad. My tablet is turned way down, as is the tv. Very dark. I can’t stand noise. So it’s not always watchable or useable in the tablets case. Last week was great- I could sit horizontally and play with makeup for a little bit! Have a rest. Organize some items I had tossed aside when feeling terribler. So much better than lying on my side in the dark. I have incredible trouble sleeping, so I stare into black space for hours. It can be awful. And the facial pain. Ay-yi. And the back pain so bad you almost faint, but you don’t.  Because you’re home alone. On really good days I get to sit up for a while before the pain starts, the nausea and dizzy take over. On really really good days you can turn on a lamp.

The EDS Clinic said I could be in to the pain clinic there by the end of June, so hope oozes from every pore! No, I am grateful as I’ve been inappropriately medicated for a long time. I would like to sleep, maybe? Once a week? My former pain doctor had been planning to change my plans for medication for a while, as he suspected I might be causing myself pain with what I am on. (Apparently it’s a thing) Plus it has been a year since I have had proper migraine shots, so dealing with intermittent migraines, too. Fun! 😄

Oh, and a lady from Chiari Canada has been so lovely and supportive in corresponding with me, even though she is so busy. I appreciate it so much.

My rugrats gave me their flu or cold or whatever… I am not amused. I shall take my whiny butt back under the blanket.

I shall let you know.

 

 

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!