Wednesday, April 23, 2014
I want to start off by saying that I am feeling SO much better! Hooray! I'll start with the iffy stuff first, and work up to the happy stuff!
I had an appointment with my doctor last Wednesday, one day after I posted my last blog. I was already starting to feel so much better (comparatively) and I was excited to share that news with her. My blood pressure was still high, and I'd started to have some mild/moderate pain in my ear and along my jaw and cheek bones, which I reported. My doctor seemed concerned, and told me she was hoping I'd be feeling much better now, which I tried to insist I was! She told me that the fact that I didn't have the pain I was describing while I was on my meds indicated that I might have some nerve damage, and she wanted me to see a neurologist to find out what was going on, a little scary! She told me she was going to talk to the neurologist first, and that I'd get a call in a day or two with more instructions.
On Friday I got a call from my doctor's nurse telling me that after reviewing my case they definitely want me to see a neurologist, and that there is a chance I have postherpetic neualgia, which is something that happening (somewhat rarely) after shingles. It can be extremely painful, and the neurologist and my doctor wanted to start me on pain management medications. I questioned why I should be taking medications without an official diagnosis, but eventually I backed down and agreed to try it. I was prescribed an anti=depressant to take every night at bedtime (used to help rewire the pain signals from the nerve), and Vicodin, with several warnings to not abuse it. We were leaving to visit my husband's family after work that day, so we quickly picked up the medications on the way out of town.
I was warned that the main side effect of the anti-depressant was morning grogginess. From the very first pill, I can tell you that it was SO difficult to open my eyes and get moving! I've only been taking it for five days, but it is really challenging to wake up in the morning, and I tend to feel sleepy or heavy lidded for about two to three hours after waking up. The fog clears, and I feel pretty good! My headaches have been much less severe, and the pain in my face and ear has been mild most of the time - I haven't taken a single Vicodin, since I can manage the pain just fine with over the counter pain meds.
My coworkers and friends have commented on how much better I seem, and how much more energy I have. I've been feeling SO much better than I decided it was time that I started to get MOVING again! My husband jokes that I've been "rusting over" since I'm been so stiff the last few weeks. I wanted to jump back in the pool to do AquaZumba (my latest exercise love affair!), and since it is more resistance then cardio, I knew I could handle it. I called my doctor's office to make sure it was okay get back in the pool, and while I was cautioned to wait until I see the neurologist next week to get a clean bill of health green light, I didn't hear a solid, absolute NO, so rebel that I am, I went! My instructor knows what has been going on and told me to modify and take breaks as needed, but it felt absolutely WONDERFUL! She commented that I was really pushing it out there, and I knew I was - but it just felt right! I was VERY careful to keep my head clear of the water and not get anything in my ear canal, and I stopped for water breaks when I normally don't stop at all.
I'll admit my ear has been shooting off a few more pain signals since last night, but nothing major. If I'm feeling up to is, I'll go again on Thursday, and if I'm not, I won't! I know I'm still healing, but I'm just SO excited to be feeling better!
So, last but not least, I've MET my two April Goals - I got back in the pool for AquaZumba before the end of the month, and I started cooking again this week! Up until Sunday/Monday it was extremely difficult for me to stay standing for extended periods of time and I was too dizzy to handle knives, but I've been much more steady in every way, so I made dinner on Monday night, and I'm planning on making us some more food tonight! Baby steps, but important to me!
If I can ask, please send positive/healing vibes or prayer this way for continued healing and improvement. I'd really like to be back to 100% before my neurologist appointment next Tuesday, and get the clean bill of health that I'm looking for! Thank you so much (in advance!) everyone!
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
I have to chuckle to myself, because i just read through the last blog entries I made (LAST SUMMER!!!) and it seems like my blog is nothing but a Woe is me sad fest! I wish I were about to write a happy go lucky blog, but truthfully April has been R-O-U-G-H!
On April 1st I woke up and couldn't smile on the right side of my face. My husband thought I was trying to pull an April Fool's Joke on him, but when I started to panic and was insisting that I really was TRYING to smile, he immediately insisted we go to the ER. I could move my arms and talk okay, so I was fairly certain I hadn't had a stroke, but something was certainly wrong. I was initially diagnosed with Bell's Palsy, an inflammation of the nerve bundle behind my (right) ear. I was prescribed steroids and Valtrex and told that I had a 90% chance of partial to full recovery and sent back to work.
Within two days, I felt TERRIBLE. My face felt like it was on fire, I was dizzy, had a headache, and my stomach was killing me. I was told to come in to the doctor and I was told that I actually have Shingles in my ear, and that everything is the same except that now I have to worry about losing my hearing, and will need to be seen more often. I was sent off with instructions to take it easy and come back on Monday!
I started to feel worse and worse, and suspected it was the medication. I begged to be taken off, or have the medications reduced, and instead was told I HAD to keep taking them, but was given an anti-nausea medication, which caused intestine distress later the week. I am fully done with the medications, and I feel like I'm on a boat, I'm off balance, have a terrible headache (two SOLID weeks plus now), and the only time I feel okay is when I'm laying now. As a result my body is completely tight and I started freaking out that I was getting Meningitis since my neck hurts so much, mixed with my intense headache. In short... I'm a mess!
I'm not really sure what the next step is now... I can't stay home for the next month, but man do I want to do just that right now. If my health care provider isn't asking for me to stay home, what right to I have to demand it, you know? I am back at the doctor tomorrow, and I'm going to have another frank discussion about what's going on and what the next step is....
The good news is that today I did a 10 minute chair workout with Coach Nicole! First time in three weeks! I'm super proud to be taking even that small step. I miss working out terribly, but I can't even stay standing up for more than five minutes at a time right now, so baby steps! I'm hoping to be back in the pool before the end of the month - that's my April goal! My poor husband has had to be my shuttle, my personal assistant, our chef... pretty much everything! I've been menu planning and he's been executing everything, I hope to be cooking before the end of April too (right now me and knives don't go together... just trust me!). Here's hoping the second half of April will be easier/better than the first half!
Saturday, August 10, 2013
I have been in a major funk for a while. Yes, I know why, and while I'm trying to pull myself out of it, it tends to get the better of me more than I'd like to admit. Now, to add a special twist to things, I'm starting to have WEIRD dreams. My eyes popped open just before 3 this morning, and I was wide awake, and royally pissed off. I have no idea what I was mad about, my by jaw was clenched and my brow was furrowed big time. I accidentally woke my husband up with the light of my phone when I looked at the time, and he was like "What are you doing?" to which I got even more upset and answered "I don't know!" before getting out of bed. I tried to figure out what was making me so angry, but couldn't figure it out, and chalked it up to an anger dream. Have you ever had one of those?? They are so freaky!
It took me forever to fall back asleep too. I would be half awake, half asleep and my thoughts wouldn't make any sense (I can't even remember what I was thinking/dreaming about) but I'd feel myself starting to get really mad again, and my half awake brain would try to step in to the dream brain to calm everything down. Waking up was a real battle today too! I feel really tired this morning, like I went 10 rounds last night!
Today is my sister's birthday AND bridal shower, and tomorrow is my mom's family reunion. I am extremely bummed out that I am not able to attend, which is the only thing that I can think of that I might be subconsciously angry about. I thought I'd worked through it though, so I'd be a bit surprised if that was it!
I had a massage yesterday to start working out the tension I'm carrying around (and feeling hardcore now that I've been banned from my beloved Aleve!). It was a great start, but now I'm sore - I don't think I drank enough water yesterday and I feel bruised where she worked the most. I have been trying to take time for "me healing," and this is one of the biggest ways I'm trying to do that.
In terms of how I've been physically feeling lately, my stomach/core is a mess. I am still getting sharp pains, and after looking up more information about the gallbladder, it makes me wonder if that would be part of what is going on internally. I'm trying to get in to get the ultrasound done, but I know it won't happen tomorrow! All this information at our fingertips is wonderful and terrifying, isn't it?? I feel like there are so many overlapping symptoms, and I have at least a handful or more from each new possible issue! So confusing, don't you think?
Anyhow! I should be getting back to work. Which reminds me, I've been considering applying for a different job within the library. I feel like my job hasn't shaped up the way I expected, and I admit I'm a bit disenchanted. Perhaps being in a department that isn't so confrontational and needlessly hyper would be a good thing for me right now!!!! So much to think about...
Saturday, August 03, 2013
This has been quite the week. I felt very ill on Sunday, but since I'm the only staff that works the weekend, I toughed through it, but on Monday I was sent home from work! I passed out for over three hours when I got home, and started to feel better after that.... Tuesday I had an appointment with an internal medicine specialist, Wednesday my aunt and uncle arrived from Ohio, and Thursday I had an appointment with my new OBGYN. Busy week!
I didn't feel like I was in the right place on Tuesday, and fully admitted that I suspected that I should be at an endocrinologist, not internist. The lovely doctor agreed with me, but did a full work up anyhow before saying that she suspects that I may have endometriosis. She has told me to stop taking pain medication because it may be irritating my stomach lining, and has prescribed some medication to try to repair any damage my pill-popping did. I'm also going in for another ultrasound, this time for my gall bladder. My primary and the internist had noted bloating and sensitivity in that area, so it's a precaution! I've looked in to endometriosis, and I definitely have a lot of the symptoms, however, everyone is in agreement that there is most certainly something hormonal going on too... so we're still looking!
Thursday's appointment was interesting to say the least. My OBGYN is all but convinced that I have PCOS. She lamented how poorly this syndrome is named, and that studies have shown that as little as 25-30% of women with PCOS actually have cysts on their ovaries! I have a whole new set of blood work ordered yet again, this time focusing in on my hormone levels. I may have an official diagnosis soon, or we will for sure know that it is NOT PCOS. Either way, it's an answer! After much discussion, I am accepting that she wants me to be on birth control for the next six months. One of the reasons I started this doctor journey is because my husband and I have not been able to achieve pregnancy. I don't really want to be on birth control, but I'm trying to look at this as an opportunity. My husband can get tested during this time, to see if there are any hurdles from his end, I will get my period regulated again, and it gives me a deadline to go whole hog for food and fitness.
I've been very discouraged/bothered as more and more labels get added to my medical profile. Diabetic (very borderline, but the pre-diabetic diagnosis has been removed from the medical lexicon), obesity, infertility, possible PCOS, possible endometriosis, possible high blood pressure... in two months I've gone from nothing to disaster! Something I'm trying to focus on is the FACT that everything I've been diagnosed with is treatable/reversible.
I have to focus on the FACT that am in control of this situation, and though it has been ridiculously difficult to lose weight in the past, the low amylose diet seems to be quite effective, so it's time to get serious. No more gluten, bye bye majority of grains, catch you later below ground veggies! When I felt really thrown and upset, I stopped my yoga challenge, and I need to get back to it. My stress/anxiety levels are high, and it's just a FACT that yoga has been a big help! Gotta keep working out regularly, and I really need to add in strength training again.
So I have a plan. Have I had plans in the past? Abso-freaking-lutely. The don't always go AS planned, now do they? Haha. But I just have to keep focused and take everything one day at a time. I have to stick to my plan and get my husband on board to help me out. I'm hopeful that the tests will come back conclusive, and I'll be on the right track for answers. I like to have a tangible thing to fight/work through!
Sunday, July 28, 2013
I feel completely lost.
I have been following the "Low Amylose" diet for six weeks and have lost almost 15 pounds. I'm over the moon! After trying different approaches for so long, it has been so refreshing to see weight literally fall off of me for the first time EVER. I started this approach because I was 92% positive that I did, indeed, have PCOS and this is the recommended diet for the syndrome. The only thing left was an ultrasound to confirm there are cysts on my ovaries.
The ultrasound technician was a dream to work with, I felt completely comfortable. I asked if she saw anything at all, and she said that there were many small cysts on my ovaries. Instead of feeling upset, I felt relief. FINALLY I knew what was going on. I had a tangible opponent to fight! I had been doing the right things! These hormone irregularities aided in my insulin resistance! I didn't just do this to myself!
The next day, I'm told that my ovaries look fine.
What am I supposed to do with that? How can this be? I don't FEEL RIGHT, and it's not my thyroid, and now it's not PCOS... well what IS it then? Another day crying in the doctor's office trying to get my questions and issues out clearly, but stumbling over myself because I'm emotionally distraught.
I don't FEEL right. "What does that mean? How so?" Valid questions that are nearly impossible to answer when your brain is in overdrive trying to make sense of the contradictory information you've just received. My stomach hurts, I get dizzy, I'm not in control of my emotions. I feel off. I don't feel like myself.
Another battery of tests have been ordered. Now we are looking for signs of Celiac or Chron's Disease. (I don't even think I'd test positively for Celiac if I have it, since I haven't been regularly eating gluten for months, and that contradicts the guidelines for testing!) Internal medicine, endocrinology, OBGYN... more doctors. More stress. And more than anything else, I am terrified that no one will ever figure out what is wrong, or that I'll have to leave the area (and network) to get answers.
Something in me just doesn't quite accept that I don't have PCOS. It's not always an easy thing to diagnose, and symptoms vary. I don't know how else to put it other than a gut feeling, but I just keep thinking that I have way too many of the symptoms, and that there is most certainly a hormonal issue happening.
I just want answers. I want to know that I'm not crazy, that I'm not having psychosomatic symptoms! I want to feel GOOD for a change. I the occasional pity party, but I feel like the last chick at the pity party ball right now. I don't want to be a whiner, and that feels like all I'm doing. Ugh. Am I just getting all the frustrations out of the way now, so that the rest of my life will be smooth sailing? Cause... that would be RAD!
OH, and just for funsies, my body has decided to bless me with an extra period this month. Cause that's EXACTLY what I want and need right now! :P Thanks ovaries.
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