Thank you, Sarah Myers. :)
Thank you, Sarah Myers. :)
Lately, I've been getting a bit of a reputation as a butinsky. Surprising? No. Confusing? Yes. I guess people--even when they ask for your opinion--aren't really interested in how to...figure out if they're sick...be in less pain...stick around for their children.
Recently, a "friend" got super upset when I gave him my analysis/opinion of his blood tests (tests I helped his doctor order).
"I think you're looking for Lyme," he said. (UH...DUH??)
"I think you want me to have it so you won't feel so alone." (REALLY???)
Other "friends" (with Lyme) continue to eat horrible diets and wonder why they feel so rotten.
And I know I'm judging here, but...
If I have to a) take care of you, b) listen to you complain, or c) watch you suffer, don't you think I should have some say in the matter???
For the record:
Be thankful someone loves you enough to endure your dirty looks, fight with you at restaurants, and insist you get tested/treated.
I WISH somebody would have done it for me.
Altered Today: Annoyance Level, Patience
If you're anything like me, you probably have a closet full of prescriptions. My GU treatment alone, contains 16+ Chinese herbs. There are yeast treatments, vitamins, pain medications, antibiotics, antivirals, sleeping medications, and more...prescribed by four plus doctors.
I rarely take pain pills. Although I could, I don't like how they make me feel. I also prefer to stick to homeopathic stuff. That said, when my left arm had me writhing in tears last night, the Flexiril prescription hanging on my fridge seemed like a God send.
At 2:00 in the morning, I stumbled into Walgreens: no bra, uncombed hair, plaid pajama bottoms, crying, holding my arm.
The Pharmacist: You wanna wait for it?
Me: Do you get a lot of people coming in the middle of the night wearing pajamas in tears who DON'T want to wait for it?
Him: It'll be right out.
For 10-minutes, I tried to distract myself...
I was never so happy to pay $9.95 for anything in my life. (No pain AND a bargain? Count me in).
Thanks, Walgreen's Prescription Club!!
Me (grabbing the bag before leaving): Do you know if these interact with any herbs?
Pharmacist: Unfortunately, we don't have a lot of information on that. With the major ones like St. John's Wort or Melatonin, maybe, but not other stuff.
I decided to risk it.
Before doing so, however, I did cross-check this script with others in my stockpile. The results surprised me.
Tramadol + Flexeril = danger
Flexeril + aspirin = danger
Flexeril + certain antibiotics or sleeping aids = danger
Flexeril + Magnesium = danger
All stuff currently at my disposal (heck, I was just taking baby aspirin due to the clot issue).
Bottom line? Cross check your meds!!
You might think your pharmacist will warn you (mine didn't).
You might think the stuff you took yesterday will be out of your system (it might not be).
You might think your doctor wouldn't prescribe you things that don't go together (they do).
To check for prescription drug interactions, go here.
For some common herb interactions, go here and here.
PS While you're at it, check your parent's stash too. I found two dangerous combo's in my Dad's pile...one of which may cause high blood pressure...something he struggles with.
Altered Today: Med Safety
A conversation with my insurance dictated GP...
Me: So I might have had coagulated blood accidentally injected into me during a UVBI treatment.
Him: That's not good.
Me: No. We think Magnesium might have been confused for Heparin. Should I get a ultrasound?
Him: Hmmm. Blood clots that go through the arm dissolve pretty rapidly. Plus, there's a filter on the trap to prevent that. When did it happen?
Him: Any symptoms: shortness of breath, arm swelling, etc?
Him: I wouldn't worry. If you had a clot, you'd know it by now.
Altered Today: Back to GU and other business as usual.
PS Heard from favorite Doc's office yesterday (a couple of times). Sounds like Snoogs is in deep do-do from the mix up...which is sad, but probably necessary. Hope this will help her and everyone involved tighten up procedures so this never happens again. As for me, I know I'll be a lot more involved with what goes into my body in the future.
Apparently, when I am worried about major medical stuff, I eat cheat. Not green stuff either. We're talking forbidden foods (ok...semi-forbidden foods): sugar-free chocolate, cookies, cheese, etc.
The last time I "fell of the wagon" (before starting an outrageously high dose of Ivermectin), I devoured half a bagel and a box of gluten-free cookies.
This time, rationalizing a clot might explode in my brain, I chose chocolate-covered, sugar-free coconut ice cream bars (yes, that's plural), a baked potato with cheese, bacon, and butter, and these little beauties...
Hubby stopped me today just short of consuming a basket of Logan's yeast rolls.
Thinking you might die sure does crazy things to a person.
Altered Today: Thoughts about last suppers, diet, yeast quotient. I'm so over this diet thing. Is it bad to say I just don't care anymore???
PS These actually aren't my last supper items. These are more like my last-supper-in-case-I-die,-but-don't-want-to-go-too-far-off-the-deep-end-in-case-I-don't items.
Still, it was nice to E-A-T!!!
Me: What's wrong?
Nurse: There's a clot in your line.
The next five minutes are a blur.
Snoogs calling for help.
Santa Maria rushing in.
My Favorite IV Nurse jumping into action.
Favorite IV Nurse (examining the Tupperware-like syringe filled with sticky, magenta snot): Tell me what happened. You did the Heparin, right? Were you having trouble pushing? What happened before that?
Me (interceding, trying to explain what went down): We used Lidocaine. We also used a vasodilator. When we put the Heparin in, something felt wrong. I became hot/flushed--like I was going into shock and peeing my pants. Later, I got a metallic taste in my mouth. We thought the Hep went in too fast or it was a reaction to the topical stuff...
Worried, we stare at the three-foot plastic tube running from the syringe to the needle to my arm. It's filled with coagulated blood--blood that before we stopped was being PUSHED back into my veins (a part of my twice weekly UVBI treatment).
Now, the big question...
Did the clotted blood come from me or go into me?
Neither seems like a good scenario.
Favorite IV Nurse: I don't think it's YOU. I'm 99.9% sure this problem occurred in the line. Based on what you're telling me, I don't think you were given Heparin. I think you were given Magnesium. That's the only thing I know that would cause flushing like that...
Cliff note: Heparin is a blood thinner administered during UVBI to prevent clotting.
Snoogs (looking horrified): I'm sure I used Heparin. I remember looking at the bottle.
Me (trying to understand the impact): If we didn't, then what?
For a few minutes, I'm given the rundown/once over: How magnesium won't hurt me...how this amount is less than I would have received in an IV nutritional...how I should stay for a while...just to be safe.
In between, there are thermometers, blood pressure cuffs, pulse checks, and stethoscopes.
A little ways in, the coast seems clear. Then, as I get up to go to the bathroom, I notice it: a stabbing pain in my right thigh.
Favorite IV Nurse: How you doing???
Me (getting scared): I'm not sure. I have this really weird pain in my leg.
Snoogs (forgetting I can hear her): CRAP! Do you think she threw a clot???
Immediately, the doctor is called. While we wait, I think of every clot horror story I've ever known: My former boss who died when a clot went to his brain...A previous customer who got blood clots in his legs after being on an airplane...A girl I used to work with at Pizza Hut in 1988...
Favorite Doc: What's going on????
Me (trying to stay calm): I don't know. You tell me.
He watches me walk. Asks what I've eaten. Thumps my back/hips. Listens to my heart. Asks about the pain in my leg.
Doc: I don't think it's a clot. If it was a clot, it would travel from the IV site (my arm) to your heart or your brain.
Me: This leg pain's not normal. If there was a problem, how would I know?
Doc: You would know.
Me (half joking/half not): Sure...if I died from an embolism. Other than that, what should I look for?
He rattles off a bunch of stuff: swelling, chest pain, headache, cold hands/feet, area that's hot to the touch. For a more complete list of things, go here.
Snoogs: Should we give her Heparin?
Doc: You can take baby aspirin...it shouldn't be a problem though. Clots dissolve naturally in the body.
The tension was palpable.
As I leave, I try to comfort Snoogs...who looked sadly like a frightened four-year old.
Me (not wanting her to blame herself if I die in my sleep): We don't know what caused this...if you mixed something up or something else. Either way, it's ok (making her look me in the eye). Stuff happens.
It's been a scary 24-hours: a parade of friends babysitters, telling Angel (who's in DC) what to do in case of emergency, debates over whether to go to my general doc or the ER, stopping herbs, starting baby aspirin, watching for symptoms, researching the impact of injecting clotted blood into the body.
Without a CT scan, doppler/ultrasound, or EKG, we won't know if there's a problem...until it’s a problem.
My life's ridiculous.
Altered Today: Worries, Potential New Lyme-Related Health Complications
Just waking up from a nap, hair in a pony tail, hanging out with my dog, when I decide to check my Facebook account.
"Wonder what so and so's up to?" I think, doing the usual parade on some of my favorites. Suddenly, I get the overwhelming urge to check in on one my of my old boyfriends (not a curious urge, like something's wrong intuition). We haven't talked in years (his wife's not comfortable with it), but a few weeks ago, he sent me this random message after I posted something on my wall about having Lyme disease.
Him: Hey, just wanted to say HI ! You look great!
(His way of saying "I know you're sick. Even if we can't talk, I'm thinking of you").
In return, I typed a few lines...hope you are well, family's adorable, saw you changed careers, if I can refer people I will. Today, he's completely gone, off the radar, unfriended.
I can only guess what happened. Perhaps Facebook is acting up. Maybe his wife cleaned up his friend's list. Perhaps the kiddos got in there and started playing around. Who knows.
Whatever the case, I respect it.
K, if you're reading this, I love you and will always be profoundly grateful for the difference you've made in my life. My husband is awesome...something I never would have appreciated or looked for if I hadn't dated you. I'm sick, but I'm happy.
Never, Never, Never Give Up...right???
When it works for you, you know where to find me.
Altered Today: Closure
If you ever need a little bit of cheering, head straight to Garibaldi's Mexican Restaurant to see their Mariachi band. Even if your chest hurts, the steak is underdone, or you can't eat the fried ice cream, just the sound of those guitars, horns, and voices will make you smile...guaranteed.
We didn't set out for adventure tonight, but beneath the festive lights and colorful banners, we found it--a slice of heaven here on earth. My face actually hurts from smiling.
Altered Today: How I spend my spoons
driver who won't let me over, Band Aids that rip my skin, dust bunnies, runny nose, lady who keeps raising my insurance premiums but denying my claims, crappy criminal neighbor, sores on my legs and back, thrush mouth, spotty cell coverage, heavy/stingy arms, thinning hair, chest pain, man who gives me dirty looks for using my handicapped parking pass, bad dreams, exhaustion, bullies, liars, mean people, spotty lab results, worries, memory loss, confusion, emotional upsets, banned food lists, cupboard full of prescriptions, super big needles, sugar free/gluten free diet, tongue that won't heal, never ending medical bills...
Sorry. Some things just have to be said.
I can picture it
like it was yesterday...
the donkey on my pediatrician's ceiling.
I was five at the time,
but the routine stuck.
"Look up there. See the donkey? See the pretty donkey?"
searing pain in my right arm from a shot.
I don't like surprises.
If it's coming,
I'd rather know.
If I choose to,
I'll look away.
I didn't expect the emotions today.
I didn't expect
a trip to the mall
would evoke longing:
for Christmas chocolates,
and mistletoe kisses.
So many simple pleasures....
So many worries
in their place.
Altered Today: Grief, Pain