Monday, August 30, 2010

Do They Make Armored Band-Aids?

I took a spill the other day. Skewered myself on the corner of a marble table top. Tripped, dragged my feet across concrete and gave my second toe something akin to an arterial bleed.

Being in the middle of a busy playdate (featuring boys who were not potty trained, but yet not wearing diapers due to way too much optimism on their mother's part, who then ended up hosing my house like firemen) I sucked it up.

I didn't cry.

Or whimper.

Hell, I didn't even reach for a band-aid until I had bled right through my sock.

Turns out this particular injury, minor as it is in the grand scheme of things, has become much more painful with time.

Because, now, instead of the universe gunning for my knee, it stomps on my toe.

Over and over.

Like there's an effing pheromone infused magnet in there.

Damn thing has not healed one iota as a result.

Weird.

In other news...

1. The endocrinologist does the ultrasound during the appointment. At least that's what the secretary told me. At least I did my part to get it right, so I wash my hands of it.

2.I am losing my hair. Again. Given that the pill should be controlling the PCOS (the supposed cause of previous hair loss), I wonder if my thyroid is acting up.

3.Which seems plausible since I slept 8 hours last night plus took a 2 hour nap. I am dragging. Can't even work up the energy to work out.

Or maybe it's the adrenals. Aren't I lucky to have options?

4. Toddler's PT is going okay. No complaints of pain for the last few days. Not showing any progress either though. Maybe the PT will see something we can't at our appt. later this week.

Peace out.

Watch your toes!

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Current List of Health Things on My Mind

1.The toddler had her first PT session. It was a huge relief for me. The therapist immediately saw and affirmed the subtle issues I've been seeing.

I have to say, doing the massage therapy thing, really highlights, for me, how little doctors seem to deal with the musculature of the body in their practices. Yet it is SO important to finding resolutions to pain and problems like the one my toddler is having.

I finally feel like we are doing something productive and proactive instead of farting around with go-nowhere office visits. This is a nice feeling.

Unfortunately, I am also seeing some symptoms (not new, but now more prevalent to where I can't blame it on imagination) in the toddler that are worrisome, but I'm trying to contain it until we see whether PT achieves anything or not.

The downside of the PT is now the toddler is in pain from the exercises and 1) That is really hard to deal with as a parent and 2) I haven't quite figured out how to coach her through the pain and 3) It's making everything worse (which I guess is normal as we are placing stress on already weak areas).

The toddler is also going to start a dance class and a preschool sports class (assuming I can get her in, registration is more competitive than Black Friday shopping, I may have to break down and camp out in front of the building). We were going to do this anyway but the therapist also recommended it.

2.I have really pissed off my neck and spine and my whole body just aches and I don't know why. I think it might be the season change? We've had a drastic cold snap this week and tomorrow it will be 90.

Probably wouldn't hurt to go to bed before midnight. Also the three times I had whiplash aren't helping either (bad karate flip where my head landed off mat followed by 2 car rear end type accidents. Oh wait, make that 3, we were rear-ended when I was pregnant.)

Self-care is key and I'm not making the grade. I always told my massage therapy clients that if they didn't take care of themselves, neither would massage. I should take my own advice.

3.The CT scan to check the 'thing' growing in my lung needs to be scheduled and I am trying to be positive. However, I have to say, meeting the criteria for being able to say 'I have a tumor' is not calming. Especially when I have a dear relative who was just diagnosed with a massive lung tumor that is cancerous.

She is not expected to survive.

Hard to keep my mind from drawing parallels, no matter how inaccurate or how little based in personal facts they may be.

I am really hoping the growth is gone, that it was some aberrant thing related to the asthma.

Hoping, hoping, hoping.

4.I believe I also need to get my thyroid scanned and toute suite too--my memory is a little foggy on this. Otherwise I'll have to cancel appointments with the endocrinologist until I can get it done. It kind of fell on the back burner, what with my adrenals not keeping up and trying to crawl back up from the black hole of asthma gone bad.

P.S. The pic is one of my fave vacay pics of the toddler. First, the cherry swimsuit is too cute and apropriate for the cherry producing capital of the world. I love the kinetic energy in her body. I just wish I could've gotten her to look at me.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

How to Kill a Knee in 7 Easy Steps

1.Let your hubby whack it pretty hard with a kayak.

2.Wrench it pretty hard doing Zumba.

3.Have Hubby kick you in the knee while doing Zumba himself.

4.Have Toddler kick you in the knee because she thinks Daddy is playing a Fun! New! game.

(Note: 2 - 4 were all in within 20 minutes of each other.)

5.Then feel your knee ache to the point where the pain flares stop you in your tracks. Add in uncontrollable muscle spasms both outside and inside the joint.

6.Yet, you still don't go to the doctor. Or get a brace. Or do anything useful at all.

7.But you do keep working out. Somehow. Even though that makes things worse.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

What Is This Doctor's Problem? I Would Like to Know!

The notes from the toddler's last appointment with the specialist came in and all I can think is WTF? Is this guy on the same planet even?

In our second visit I addressed things the specialist left out of his report from the first visit--Mainly all the atypical stuff the toddler did right in front of him and the resident. You know, the entire reason we were referred to a specialist in the first place.

And this is a world class medical system. Famous even. So bizarre.

So the notes from the second visit arrived today and they don't match anything we actually agreed on or discussed during the appointment!

As in he told me a diagnosis (which I think is BS) and then didn't put it in his report. What is up with that?

The physical therapy (PT) we agreed upon, he wrote we would do only if the falling continued. Which is not what we discussed and decided at all,we agreed to do PT now.

In talking to the PT office today (her first session is tomorrow), the notes are actually confusing them because it says one thing and we are doing another.

I am irked and feeling that this is probably a sign we should find a new specialist if we continue to need one (I am hoping the PT is the magic bullet).

Is this just par for the course? I am completely new to all this.

My concern is, if the toddler has an ongoing, more serious pathology at play here that these notes are going to become an obstacle to appropriate medical care, you know? They aren't accurate at all.

Which is not cool. So WTF?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Violating the Laws of Fatness

My pants are tight.

But I've lost 7 lbs.

I was not exactly thrilled about having a doctor's appointment right after a vacation that featured cherry pie nightcaps. With whipped cream.

I was awash in carbs all last week. Good carbs, bad carbs, I left no carb uneaten. It was a fun break from my usual routine, albeit a bit painful as my digestive system went into shock at the onslaught of refined foods. My entire gut just ached for the first three days until it finally adjusted.

So I had my carb face on; that particular blimp bloat that comes with sugar in the morning, sugar in the evening, sugar all the time. That pic of me with the toddler a few posts back is what carb face, in its full glory, looks like.

Because I don't have a scale, I had no idea how much water I was retaining from the junk I ate, but I wasn't curious enough to be happy to get on the scale at the doctor's office, you know?

But that's what I did today.

Stepped on the scale and found out I lost 7 lbs*.

However, my pants won't fit until I get rid of all the water retention that comes with a carb binge.

And they say the universe doesn't have a sense of humor.

As for the doc appointment, it was fine because the asthma is fine. Very unexciting and uneventful. Too bad I can't become so dull as to not need these appointments at all! My diagnosis now is 'severe persistent asthma.' Prior to March it was 'moderate persistent asthma.'

*Since the last weigh in which was in...late May? I think. Meaning I'm losing like 2.33 lbs a month. Dismal. I'm telling ya, I can't eat the watermelon and corn (or anything I ate on vacation). I bet I would've lost twice that if I'd cut out those carbs. Although, I haven't finished losing all the water I've retained, so maybe the weight loss is more than I think it is.

I really need to get a scale, but that requires the toddler to become fully self-sufficient on the potty, which I estimate will take forever at the rate we're going. Right now I've got too much potty junk in there to fit in a scale.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

A Mother's Worries

The toddler did not do so well on vacation. She complained, for the first time, of pain (heartbreaking to hear too). She couldn't walk as needed to get to beaches.

Once she was in the water, she was fine, but the walk to the beach? Made me want to shoot myself. Repeatedly. And then cry.

It's tough for us because we are never sure if she's playing us or having genuine difficulty. On top of that, the beach that was perfect for little kids required about 1/4 mile walk in sand to get there, which is, admittedly, pretty strenuous for a toddler.

But what kid takes the time to fake out their parents when there's a beach in front of them?

None of the ones we saw. They were too busy making a mad dash for the waves.

But not the toddler. She was very busy crying and refusing to walk.

So we had to carry her.

Sigh.

I noticed other things too. New problems, probably due to fatigue from all the activity.

Sometimes I think, I'm crazy, that I'm making mountains out of molehills. And then she does stuff like this, which makes me worry even more.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Whacked

Vacation has been a ton of fun--we have just two days left, it goes so fast! I am currently decompressing from the day and thought blogging might be fun.

The big news is my lungs feel GREAT. Like maybe they finally finished healing from March??? I hope. That would be awesome news. I no longer feel like I'm constantly on the precipice of a bad attack. I feel whole, which is amazing.

Time will tell.

As for vacation, it has been awesome. It includes all of my paternal extended family. My brothers. Grandma and Grandpa. My parents rent a big house in the wilds of upper Michigan and we hang out for a week. It's really nice because we get a lot of quality time together as a family and we all get along really well.

So my family is pretty active and my father is a binge exerciser. As in, when he had walking pneumonia he kept running 5 miles a day. He also does big workouts where he doesn't stop until he's lost weight--as in 6 hours of cardio. Nuts.

As a result, vacation for him is all walk, swim and run and my brothers have joined him in the obsession. Four hour kayaking tour yesterday followed by a five mile run.

While I haven't done as much as they have, nor matched their intensity, this has been a pretty physically active vacation for me. Lots of walking, particularly in sand, swimming, tennis and badminton.

We did go on a two hour kayaking tour, which was so horrid it was hilarious.

Hubby gave my bad knee a solid whack with the kayak.

I kept running in to snarled bushes on the river bank.

I also capsized the hubby when he was trying to help me under a fallen tree.

As he capsized, he dropped the tree trunk on my neck, which gouged me pretty good. (The trunk was about as thick as an upper arm.)

Hubby's blackberry died too, although I still don't understand why he brought it with him.

I didn't know how to stop, so when he capsized, I kept going and didn't see him for another hour.

The water was too shallow and we got stuck a lot.

There was a ton of debris both above and below water that required constant navigation. Except I didn't really know how to steer and the outfitter hadn't given any instructions.

Hubby's boat kept taking on water.

Other kayakers were obnoxious and failed to control their children. Which put me back in the bushes as I tried to avoid a collision.

It was truly awful, but thankfully crossed the line of being so bad it was funny. Hubby and I were laughing hysterically, except for the times I was asking 'are we done yet?' Because man, was it a miserable trip.

I used to think I wanted to get into kayaking as a hobby, but I don't know anymore. While it was a great bonding experience for us, I'm not sure I want to volunteer for more pain, you know?

And that's it. The lungs are doing really well. I am so excited and trying to block out the fact that the toddler starts attending the germ factory preschool in just 2 weeks, which will surely mark the end of this 'good health spree.'

Friday, August 6, 2010

Cornered By Sins of Omission

So you know what? I didn't really tell lots of family about the toddler's specialist deal-io. And now that it's turning into a long, hard slog kind of thing, I need to come clean.

Not sure how to do that in a casual, no biggie kind of way.

"By the way, the toddler will be going to pt" is just going to raise a lot of questions. Such as "Why didn't you tell us?"

To be fair, my parents go off and have surgery and don't even tell me until they need a ride.

So medical secret keeping isn't exactly a new dynamic.

What is new is that I would do it. I'm usually an open book.

But when the ped told me we need to go to a specialist, the sinking feeling in my gut had the pull of a black hole. I just couldn't bear to say anything, my mouth would not open. Emailing and blogging were okay as it turned out. So some people found out by email and then you read about it.

And then I never said anything more.

Do you know I didn't even put anything down on the toddler's medical forms for preschool? She didn't have a diagnosis at the time and I couldn't figure out what to say. I now need to go back and correct that.

So I've spun the web and am trapped in the corner trying to find the graceful way out.

How would you handle it?


P.S. We're off for a family vacation with the grandparents and uncles. Internet access will be spotty just FYI.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Toddler Sentenced to 6 Months

Quickly, just so I don't have to write 2 posts. I'm feeling okay with prednisone. Better, but still kind of dragging. Not sure what is up.

The toddler saw the specialist again and I think I want to fire them.

Visit 1: "No, it clearly can't be X diagnosis. She would have ABC symptoms and they aren't there."

Visit 2: "Diagnosis is X."

I was taken aback enough that I didn't call them on it, I was just kind of in shock. Trying to reconcile it all and thinking WTF?

So poor toddler is one of 'those' patients. Gray. Doesn't fit in any box. Has weird symptoms. In short, she's a mini me. Great.

I did call the specialist on an omission in their report from Visit 1. The resident who did the main exam was clearly biased and quite happy to be a member of the 'you are an over-functioning mom' camp. He actually even kind of made a dig about me to my face, so not a fan sadly. As a result, his report only included the normal things the toddler did and left out the abnormal stuff--the very stuff that triggered the visit in the first place!

This peeved me off. Fine, you don't see a problem. I don't have an issue with that. I am thrilled to the moon and back that y'all can't find a 'real' problem, but your report should include all the data points, not just the ones you like. That is not science. It's a disservice to my daughter and isn't in her best interests.

Further, I am not the momma bear you want to poke.

I explained this to the ped who encouraged me to confront them on it. Which I did , politely, and it was kind of anti-climatic as, I think, unlike the residents, the specialist knows to just nod and smile at the crayzee parental units.

Anyway, the toddler is going for physical therapy. We still don't really know what is going on (I'm not buying diagnosis X right now given how it went down and given how the toddler lacks some of the primary symptoms) but I am really hoping PT is our magic bullet. If not, we move on to MRIs and more invasive testing.

At that juncture I may fire the specialist based on the X bullshit. Perhaps I am the only person on earth like this, but I am okay with a doctor who says 'I don't know.' I am not okay with doctors who make shit up just to have something to say.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Things Fall Apart

Well I feel like crap, how about you?

And this is the second time I'm writing this post because my computer decided to do an update without telling me.

Irked does not quite describe it.

So I'm not sure what is wrong with me. Ever since I did that running interval workout last week, I haven't felt great. Lost my appetite. Very tired.

Feeling like the adrenals are pooping out on me.

I upped the Pulmicort, which I've been slowly tapering, but that didn't help.

I may have compounded things by manipulating the pill schedule. (Sue me, I want to go on my vacation, not send my PMSing alter ego.)

But is it possible, I can't tolerate the physical stress from that kind of workout?

My other big concern, the toddler starts preschool soon and you know what that means.

Germs.

Not just any germs. No, we are talking bad ass kung fu kamikaze germs. If you have kids you know what I am talking about.If you don't have kids, count yourself lucky in that respect.

When I was in the ER in March and the Pulmonology Grand High Poo Bah came down to see me, I was struck by what he said about his family. His wife has asthma. She and the kids were homebound in the early years trying to dodge the germs. She couldn't work and they avoided other kids.

Sadly, I can relate. We have talked about me going back to a 'regular' job but I can't quite get around the fact that one of my daughter's bugs put me in the hospital. Call me lazy, but I can't see how I'm supposed to be the primary parent (even with hubby helping a ton, mommy is still #1, I can't escape it), work full time, cook, clean, and then be sick on a regular basis. I am not psychic, but all I can see is me getting fired for too many sick days in that scenario.

So then we talk about me working second or third shift. Which is great, but that requires a lot of energy as I would essentially have no downtime. I would parent all morning, work all night. When would I exercise, which I consider a medical necessity? How would I avoid exhaustion when I'm already handicapped in the energy department?


So parenthood, chronic illness, and traditional employment are not compatible as far as I can see. Maybe once I'm past the adrenal stuff? Maybe once my quick-to-trigger lungs finally settle down? Maybe once the toddler is a bit older and processed through most of the bugs out there so she's not bringing home anything new anymore?

I do bring in income. I do work, but it's nothing 'traditional'. It's all entrepreneurial. Last  year I was on track to building a nice part-time income online, but then the bad economy hit the internet and I lost everything. Tutoring only brings in income 6 months out of the year, so while it pays well, it's limited.

So, to recap, I feel like crap and I don't know why and working is proving to be problematic. Fun.