Saturday, June 26, 2010

Face, Meet Wall

I've been trying to taper the Pulmicort with the goal of discontinuing it asap. The taper is not going well.

I am napping a lot. Having a hard time with energy. Weak. Dizzy. Loss of appetite. Deja vu meets Etc...

The plan is to retreat back to a higher dose for a few days and maybe try again after the 4th. Our houseguest arrives tomorrow, my birthday is next week and there's a lot going on. I need energy.

On the super good news front, I've stopped bleeding! After something like 3.5 months, it has finally stopped. Sooooooo happy.

More good news. I think? The mole biopsies came back atypical so no cancer, but I've been promoted to twice yearly stripping for doctors. I should get a portable stripper pole to bring with me to appointments.

I haven't decided yet if I'm going to comply with the suggested schedule. I'm sort of meh on doctors to begin with. Add mandatory nudity, itchy stitches, and ...yeah, not much incentive there. Also, I'm kind of booked medically anyway. Take a number, get in line docs, I'll get to you as soon as I can.

Plus, I don't have much faith that they'll catch any cancer early. I have hundreds of moles. Dozens upon dozens that are larger than a pencil eraser with irregular borders and dark spots. It's impossible to keep track of them all.

We'll see, but at least the biopsied moles weren't cancerous. The cancer status of the ones left on my body remains in question.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Snap, Crackle & Pop Curse

It only took me a week to figure out that my persistent low back pain was my psoas and not anything in my back. Now that I've massaged the insertion point on the spine, I'm feeling much better.

I guess my body isn't used to all the wiggling and popping Zumba demands.

I'll follow up with some stretches and positional releases and should be as good as new in no time. Sometimes a massage therapy background comes in handy.

My knee has a pronounced clunk, snap, and thunk. It's the same knee I partially dislocated as a teen so I'm not surprised it has resurrected itself as a troublemaker. Given that most of the pain is in the patella, I suspect the patella is not tracking properly. Or something.

Haven't figured out yet what I'm going to do about it. Don't think I can massage my way out of this one though.

However, it's frustrating to be dealing with something that could sideline my exercise aspirations yet again. I would just like my health to leave me alone for a year so I can get back into shape. The last time I was in super great shape, my greater saphenous vein took a big dump and I needed a vein ablation which meant no exercising. It's like a curse. Just when I start to get somewhere, something happens to sideline me.

It makes me cranky.

The asthma is another party pooper. It is cranky too and I don't know why it won't leave me alone. I do need to call the pulmo and ask for a new prescription for the Pulmicort. I was only ever supposed to use the Pulmicort during flare ups, it wasn't supposed to be a daily med. Unfortunately, I've been on 4 puffs a day since March (in addition to Symbicort). I cut back to 3 puffs this week, but the control is not as good as I would like. Anyway, I'm using it way faster than the amount I was prescribed and that needs to be addressed.

Other than that, just trucking along, trying to battle through as best I can. Tomorrow some of my mole biopsy stitches come out.

Friday, June 18, 2010

How Does Your Booty Pop?

This post is about Zumba, but first...

Daddy's home. Yay! We had lunch and then the entire family took a nap.

What did you think I meant when I said I was going to party on Friday? Dancing? Drinking? Hell no. Sleep, now that's a party. If I'm really feeling really randy, we might go see a movie and then... go back to bed.

I am a party animal. Hear me snore zzzzzz.

So, the live-in ectomorph babysat the toddler so I could go to the Zumba class and she was an absolute pill for him the entire time. When I came back, he made a run for his room, calling over his shoulder "I am NEVER having children."

Ah, I remember those days. I felt much the same when I was in my 20s and my brothers were in their toddler years.

And yet, here I am with a child. Who is driving me nuts. Thank God Daddy is home.

As for Zumba. Oh yeah, baby. It's like Dirty Dancing Goes to Mexico for Spring Break. Complete with hangover. My abs and back were pretty sore after a straight hour of bumping and grinding.

Also, I am booty pop impaired. Seriously impaired. I need help. Can you help me? Does your booty pop?

None of the moves were too difficult (other than those moments I was expected to booty pop at 60mph and walk at the same time while moving my arms in a graceful pattern). I didn't expect to be sore, but I was tight from doing squats the day before so I think that contributed to it.

I loved it. I loved the class too, which is taught by volunteers at a city rec center. Everyone makes a donation. There are like 60 people at the class and everyone is shaking their moneymaker--even men, some of whom were old enough to be Grandpas.

So I think I'm Zumbafied now. There's no going back.

PS: The mole stitches finally stopped hurting, but I have red itchy welts from the band-aids, so still sitting on my hands over here. The stitches are pretty ugly with lots of thread sticking out everywhere, I really do feel kind of Bride of Frankenstein.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Fat Head Phenotypes

This week can't die fast enough. I've been doing my best to keep myself busy and distracted. Fatigue helps and since I'm not getting much sleep, I'm pretty much in a fog all the time.

Tomorrow is Friday, I am contemplating throwing a party unlike any other to celebrate. Tonight should be my first Zumba class. *excitement*

Anyway, I now have living with me a relative of the ectomorph persuasion. Ectomorphs are stick people. The human version of those walking stick bugs. Thin doesn't begin to cover it.

Of course my relative, who I'll call Slim, is self-conscious. No one wants their weight to be the first thing people notice. Slim has worked hard to gain weight, stuffing himself full of junk food for the last several years, in an effort to gain weight. All to no avail.

I have often lectured Slim about the long term health effects of a fried food diet and he, being 20ish, could not care less.

This week, I trapped him in my family room and made him watch Fat Head, a documentary that follows a man who eats fast food for a month and loses weight as well as improves his cholesterol. This was mostly an educational exercise to expose Slim to nutritional ideas most people don't know exist. Plus, it is always helpful to understand exactly how political food is in this country.

Now Slim is confused. He eats fat and doesn't get fat. He eats sugar and doesn't get fat. He combines the two and doesn't get fat. He is impervious to fat (someone really ought to study his DNA). What gives? No one knows.

Right now, obesity science is rigidly black and white, constrained by its own prejudices. There are even 'camps' that voluntarily segregate themselves so they don't get each others' cooties. It stopped being about objective science a long time ago.

Frankly, as I told Slim, I believe there are distinct metabolic phenotypes that respond variably to different diets. Documentaries such as Fat Head or Super Size Me are not the end of the story, they are just anecdotes that point to a bigger problem...

The continued scientific myopia that there is only one way to get fat and only one way to get thin which is all fully supported by institutional fat prejudice and discrimination.

We will not even begin to touch the so-called obesity epidemic until this paradigm changes.

As for Slim, I don't know what he'll do but I hope he'll back off the processed foods because even thin people can have high blood pressure, heart attacks and cancer. Thin doesn't protect you if all you eat is mass produced chemical laden food deep fried in dirty week old oil.

And I talk to him a lot about accepting himself as he is. We do share that inability to make our bodies do what we want. Like Slim, I don't have a lot of control over my weight and the control I can exert requires such superhuman precision, I am always this " close to screwing up. At some point, I just decided that it's not my fault I'm fat --I did all the right things all along, I can't help what prednisone and medical science did to me-- and to love myself no matter what.

Everyone else can Suck It. If Slim can find his inner 'Suck It' place, he'll be fine.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Pass the Kleenex

We are not having the best week ever over here. More of a horrible, no good, very bad week.

The last time I was a single parent for a week, things went pretty well, better than anticipated. This time, I, of course, thought 'piece of cake' and, of course, it's been downhill ever since.

First we started with the toddler suddenly peeing through the diaper necessitating frequent mid-night diaper changes and washing of bedding. Which, despite being tall, I have short arms and basically have to Heimlich myself over the crib railing to get the sheets on and off. This is why the hubby always does this, but he's not here. No he's in Atlanta, in a hotel with on demand air conditioning, cable television and a pool.

Then the toddler caught a cold along with the requisite crank.

The dog then decided to have a transcendent colonic spa cleanse all over the kitchen floor. That I discovered at 2 am. Barefoot.

I went in for a simple mole check and came out stitched up like Frankenstein. They told me it would hurt and I was all 'pshaww'. But now? OW! It does hurt. And as a bonus I am sensitive to the band-aid adhesive. It makes me itch. So I hurt and itch. Especially at night.

So, of course, the toddler slept through the night for the first time in 5 days last night, but was I sleeping? Nooooo. I was sitting on my hands trying to keep from scratching myself bloody or attempting to find a way to lay without putting pressure on any of the stitches because that hurts.

Is my life awesome or what?

Wait, it gets better.

So I make all these plans today with the toddler, right? We were going to have a blast. Story time. Park. Bubbles.

The day started out great. I exercised for once. My capris are super loose which means weight loss. The toddler is hyped about our plans. Life is good, yes?

Except the car seat has self-destructed. I can't tighten or loosen the straps for some reason. So we are stranded until my engineer genius relative gets home and fixes it or I go out and buy a new car seat while the engineer baby sits.

We were demoted to blowing bubbles on the front stoop. Only the bubbles wouldn't blow. Seriously.

The toddler is crushed. I am irked beyond all reason.

Also, I think I have a sore throat.

And my cell phone broke. (At least I have a back up.)

And I finished my birth control pack which, you know what that means. (Nothing good in case you are particularly obtuse.)

Am I wrong to want to cry? Or drink large amounts of alcohol?

Monday, June 14, 2010


Had the big mole check today. They took lots of pictures--something various dermatologists have made noises about since the 90s but never followed through on--and I lost 4 moles to the big B ( for biopsy).

I officially have "a lot of moles."

Do I get a prize?



The toddler is sick, which has me all hyped up since I do not want to get sick. That will mean prednisone and a possible asthma flare. Plus I will have to stop exercising. So noooooooooooo.

Speaking of exercising, two of the biopsied moles happen to be in line with my bra strap, which presents some interesting challenges. First, I never carry a purse unless I have to. I hate baggage. So, of course, this would be the day I could use a purse to stuff my bra into. Instead I had to shove it down my pants and hope no one thought that bulge 'down there' was anything weird.

Second, exercising is going to be hard without a bra. I can't exactly walk the dog with the headlights on, you know? And there's no jumping unless there's a bra involved. I need the support.

Eh. Who am I kidding? I've barely slept the last four days. Between the hubby being in and out of town (complete with 4am wake-up calls), the toddler peeing through her diaper on a nightly basis, plus not sleeping through the night and now being sick, I wasn't planning to exercise anyway. I mean, I want to exercise, but instead I think I will take a nap. At least for today. And for the last three days.

I'm not sure when regular bra wearing will resume since I have stitches. I've never had stitches before with mole biopsies so this is a new one. It's probably not a good idea to have bra straps irritating them, right????

By the way, if this post makes no sense, it's the sleep deprivation which magnifies my inner moronic qualities.


Monday, June 7, 2010

What Does it Take to Get a Good Necromancer Around Here?

Hello internet. How are you?

I am cleaning. Always cleaning. We've hit the phase of the home reorg/remodel where I have to put everything in its place and figure out how we're going to live in our re-purposed space.

Plus, the impending doom of houseguests hangs over our heads. We have one person living with us this summer already and another due in for a visit later this month. Normally, we are a one guest room house, and now we need two. Which is causing a tizzy over in these parts.

Anyway, spoke to the ped. Amazingly I have NONE of the credibility issues when dealing with the toddler's medical stuff that I do when dealing with mine.

Knocks on wood like a woodpecker on speed.

Crosses self just to be safe.

Peds listen to me. No one thinks I'm nuts. At least not so much that they feel the need to act out and put me in my place. I mean, don't get me wrong, I get blown off and dismissed frequently. But it's different, the peds are never rude about it and are pretty open to the idea that I might be seeing something they aren't.

When she had RSV they ignored me up until I pointed out she had stopped gaining weight (at 4 months) and showed them the notice from the daycare that her fellow inmates had been hospitalized with RSV. Yeah, their tune changed right quick and bonus points to them, they were never irritated with me the 4 separate times I dragged the toddler in to see them because I knew she was sick, I knew it was RSV, but I couldn't get them to see it until the worst was over*.

So the ped agrees things are not normal and that my mommy radar is working properly. We did an x-ray, which I doubt will show anything but it's important to rule things out.

From here, I don't know. Depending on how things pan out with the ped, I'm thinking about calling Early Intervention services to conduct a comprehensive assessment. There are some small niggling things that make me wonder if there's more going on than any of us think. Beyond that, maybe a PT? That's my tentative plan at least.

Other than that, she's been an absolute delight of late. I like babies, but it's a lot more fun for me when they start talking. Even if it means more arguing.

As for me, eh. I feel like I've died and been brought back to life by some two bit necromancer who couldn't quite get my soul properly stuffed back into my body. I'm fine, but I don't feel the same. Things have changed and I don't know my body anymore.

I continue to exercise. It continues to hurt. I am working on a Zumba party to quench my Zumba lust.

The asthma flared quite badly at one point, which was disappointing since I'm already taking everything I can take short of prednisone and nebulizer treatments. Even though the Symbicort counter was not at zero, I suspect I may not have been getting the full dose those last four puffs. Odd how things improved with the new inhaler.

Food is going okay. I've found a few things I can eat although it's far from the simple menu plan I had going before that required no forethought because I had it down.Tonight we split a rack of ribs three ways (because we couldn't afford a rack for each person). I made a dry rub for the 'marinade' and then we put BBQ sauce on it on the grill. Very yummy. Too bad ribs are so expensive.

Energy is...weird. I just don't feel like myself even though I'm much better. It's kind of depressing how often random people tell me I look tired or beat. I don't know if it's just an issue of me getting over that last hump from illness to health or the harbinger of some further medical mayhem.

Still bleeding too. Though the pill keeps it from being a hemorrhage. Today I found out my OB prescribed the Bentley of birth control pills. $85 for a month? Are you kidding? My insurance won't even cover it without reams of paperwork that no one wants to deal with.

No wonder the OB handed me a discount card from the manufacturer. Frankly, I wouldn't mind going on a cheaper pill, but I'm sticking with this one for the three months they told me it would take for things to turn around.

Because of the cleaning, I'm not online as much. Things should slow down in a month or so and I have sooooo many things to say that I just don't have time to do them justice to right now.

*This is the downside of breastfeeding, sick isn't as sick as it is in formula feed babies. The toddler was, I believe, the only breastfed baby at her daycare judging from the formula bottles I saw in the fridge there. She never seemed to be as sick as her peers, but that didn't mean I wasn't up all night for weeks making sure she took that next raspy breath. We were very close to going to the ER on several occasions, but she always pulled through to that horrid medical limbo of 'yes, you're sick, but not sick enough.'

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Speed Blogging

Because guess who just woke up from their nap?

The toddler.

Who is now yelling for me.

Hopefully she will spot one of the many toys in her crib and be distracted for a moment. The odds on that are high since she stocks her crib as seriously as a buyer for FAO Schwarz.


Working out, going good. Starting to see some strength returning. Actually did 2 workouts yesterday. 30 minutes on the elliptical and a 20min cardio/squat dvd.

The elliptical workouts are progressing from merely standing on the thing and every so often moving a pedal to actual sweat inducing exercise. Yay!

A quick update...after I allegedly broke my toe, I then stepped on the business end of a kitten heeled designer shoe with my instep. Resulting in lovely bruises on both feet. A matching set.

I've also been whomping my knee on various architectural features of the house. So bruises there too. If I keep this up, I'm going to buy myself a knee brace or knee surgery or something horrible that can only happen to knees.

I haven't been this clumsy since I grew 5 inches in one year. Hope it stops soon or I grow another 5 inches, whichever comes first.

Food and appetite are an ongoing issue. Ever since I hurled up an entire head of Romaine lettuce in the midst of the stomach flu compounded by untreated adrenal insufficiency, I haven't been able to look salads or anything else I used to eat in the eye. This about-face in my palate continues to be frustrating.

Know what I had for lunch today? Cheese. Plain cheese. And it wasn't enough calories so I have been feeling kind of crabby and light headed this afternoon. I couldn't convince myself to eat anything else. I'm working on new recipes, but you know how that goes, at least half will be duds, if not more. Lots of inedible kitchen experiments going on around here of late.

As for the toddler...I just got off the phone with the toddler's ped. I am so thrilled that the specialist isn't seeing anything BUT the fact is the problem persists. Also, I have some new info based on the toddler's ethnicity that may be of note. We'll see.