Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Wand Worked

Those fairies making wands in China are totally badass. Voila! I am better. From feeling like my head was going to detonate and shoot my teeth out like shrapnel to perfect health. Just in time for other sh*t to hit the fan, but this blog is not about that sh*t.

We've been taking the toddler to church because she is curious about Jesus. I have PTSD from being a preacher's kid, as evidenced by the sorry fact I cry every time we go to church, but we go anyway. I have learned to bring Kleenex. (No, not kidding. Yes, totally lame, I'm working on it.)

This week, they dressed up in their costumes and collected change for UNICEF from the adult Sunday School classes. Isn't she adorable?




When I was a pre-teen, the family business took me to weaving conventions on a regular basis. It was as hippie dippie as it sounds. My mom bought me the kimono the toddler has on* and I dug it out of the closet when I saw how cheap and crappy the store costumes were. Sorry, not paying $30 for fall apart crap made with industrial carcinogens--those fairies in China are slacking on the Halloween costume front.

(*I did actually wear it. Worse, I liked it. Which may explain why I was such a loner during my adolescence. Kimonos were not and are still not 'in.' )

Of course, only after I got the toddler all excited about the costume did I find out the kimono has some value. It's about 60 years old and people collect them. I had no idea! Now I'm just holding my breath that this is not its last year on this earth.

But she's happy. I'm happy she's happy given that she had a 5 hour fit over costumes a couple weeks ago. And it's kind of a family tradition as I was a Geisha girl for Halloween back in the day.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Snot vs. Anesthesia

I am trying to fly without steroids today. Of course, today is also much worse on the boogie front. Possibly looking at a sinus infection, although it's too soon to say for sure.

So...what level of sick is too sick for anesthesia?

I know I need to call and ask, but I'm hoping if I wave my daughter's little made-in-China fairy wand around and consult the magic 8 ball (aka the internet) that things will magically work out.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fast 10

The toddler got sick just in time for her big birthday bash.

*bangs head on wall*

We are 0-4 on avoiding the birthday bugs.

And now I have whatever she had.

This bug is more insidious than the others I've danced with recently and is causing the adrenals to flake.

By the time I was using red lights as an excuse to nap, I figured I should take some steroids.

I'm starting at 10mg and it is slowly percolating through my system, lifting the fatigue monkey off my back.

It is amazing, still, how fast this all hits. The night before the sore throat started, I had massive crying-in-my-sleep charley horses in the arches of my feet. I even woke the hubby, which is a feat since he sleeps like a vampire at noon.

I couldn't figure out what was going on. Spasms in the small muscles of the feet and hands are classic signs of HPAA suppression, but I was fine, so WTF? Then the sore throat hit. My appetite died. Then I couldn't stay awake and ended up on the couch, too out of it to prevent the toddler from using my kneecap as a push-off point in her efforts to spin in the office chair.

I thought about moving several times, but just went to sleep instead.

Today I woke up and the fatigue was just bad news. I napped sitting up in the waiting room at PT. Based on that, I realized if I dropped the toddler off at preschool and went home, I would probably fall asleep and not be able to wake-up to go get her.

So 10 mg seemed like a good idea.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Last Laugh

Hahaha. Well played, Murphy's Law. Well played.

I have food poisoning (the windshield).

It's not terrible, but just enough to completely derail me (the bug).

And, lucky me, we have a Halloween party.

Which the toddler has been throwing a 16-year-old tantrum over costumes. Hours and hours of emo drama. Oh. My. God.

We tried 4 costumes. I even pulled out an 80-year-old vintage kimono and did a Geisha costume for her. She looked darling. Which means, of course, she hated it and her shrieks spiraled into new octaves.

I'm about ready to yank her clothes altogether and call her Lady Godiva, except I hear CPS frowns on that.

My student canceled tonight, which is good since I feel pretty yuck-o. Of course, yet another Monday with no billable income. I'm, like, totally talented at making no money.

The other federal school program is still waiting on funding.

Further, the endoscopy with anesthesia to combat my Twilight Kung-Fu now conflicts with that job. They haven't fired me because they have no idea as to start date and think they can get a sub so it may work out. But I would not be surprised if this one fell through too.

Okay, time for the Halloween party. Let's all hope I don't puke!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Coma of Procrastination

I have work to do, but I don't wanna do it. So, hi. Let's kill some time.

Last year, if you recall, I 'fired' birthday parties. Without fail I would be sick or the toddler would be sick or guests would have H1N1. Every year I cooked a full meal for 30+ people and cleaned my house and dealt with the sick. After the third year in a row, I quit.

Of course, no one was sick for the toddler's birthday this year, which did not surprise me. Murphy's Law likes to make an example of me.

(Don't tell Murphy, but I planned it this way. He thinks he's such a maverick...)

The downside? Three separate birthday parties. Which means an exponential increase in cake consumption.

Ergo, I am so high on sugar right now, I suspect I'm having an out-of-body experience.

And nope, still not gaining or losing weight. It really doesn't matter what I eat or don't eat--within reason, a gallon of ice cream three times a day probably would not end well. I'm just stuck and mostly accepting that I have to be patient and wait my body out.

It doesn't help that I cut back on exercise. Something had to give. My energy is much more balanced now that I'm not trying to work out daily on top of everything else. It frustrates me, but I'm also glad to see an improvement. I just need to keep up with some form of strength training as the push-ups help my neck and the squats keep me from sciatica type pain due to de-conditioning. Plus stabilize the knee that wants to die.

Yes, I'm falling apart. Try not to stare. I'm sure part of it is related to the effects of steroids on my muscles.

The other change, I can get up in the morning now. There's no longer the feeling of wanting to sleep forever. I wake up and I'm ready to go, even if I'm a bit short on sleep. It used to be the toddler would snuggle with me and watch PBS while I snoozed as long as she would let me. Sometimes I would negotiate with her for more sleep. Now I don't need the extra sleep.

That's pretty significant progress actually. I can't remember the last time I was able to just get up and go. Probably sometime before March 2010.

Yes there were some moments where I did pretty well, but the default setting has been being too tired to get up, hitting 'snooze' for 30 to 180 minutes. The metric was, it was a bad day if I couldn't get up until noon, anything earlier was a pass. Now I can bounce out of bed. Now I leave the toddler behind because she wants to finish a cartoon and I'm done laying around. That is a super new normal.

Saturday night, however, the hubby and I went dancing. I couldn't do much more than 2 hours (1.5 of it dancing) before pooping out. Today has been a low energy day for me as a result--just dragging. So I still need to be careful and plan to pay the piper on those occasions that I know will exceed my limits.

I really need to remember that just because the HPA Axis is fine on paper, does not mean I can go 1000mph. I've done this before. The recovery is always a slow progression. This has been the most gentle one yet. In past HPAA suppressions, I was cut loose on double digit doses of prednisone and the steroid withdrawal was crippling for up to a year after.

I mean, I can exercise! That in of itself is pretty amazing, even if I have to scale back. Prior episodes, I would try to go for a walk and end up sitting on the sidewalk, weeping in frustration as I waited or the hubby to go get the car to pick me up.

You don't come out of suppression one day and go back to full capacity the next. That's like taking off a leg cast and immediately trying to run a marathon. Why do I always forget this?

Give it time. Give it time. Give it time. My new mantra.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Get Better or Face Evisceration

I finally had a day where I felt like I hit my stride with this crazy schedule I have going. My energy is okay and things are in a upswing.

Thank goodness for the improvement, otherwise I would be fodder for the new fad of targeting and eviscerating patient bloggers who aren't sick in just the right way. Because that's what puts the care in medicine, amiright?

Like I need help finding that kind of abuse. I mean flame war. No, that's not right, umm, trolling? No wait, I mean coping with the stress of a really hard job, you guys, so all you complainers who don't like what's being said? Shut-up.

Or you're next.

Med Bloggers:Where patients are punch lines and on a really bad day? Punching bags with no privacy or dignity or compassion.

It's okay if patients get reamed by name so long as the med blogger is anonymous--right?

Once again, the patients don't make the rules. Or hold any power.

Why am I not surprised?

Internet imitates life.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Quick List

1. The toddler may graduate from PT soon-ish. Squeeeee!

This does not mean that the falls have stopped. I don't think they will, not any time soon. But we have seen progress in physical ability and control. Big picture? I can take her to a park and she actually plays. Before? She just stood there unless you took her by the hand because she didn't trust her body to be there for her.

We're going to take a break over Christmas and see if she regresses. OT will continue as she just started in July and has a ways to go still.


2. By the way? She'll be 4 tomorrow. *bawl* I don't know where the time goes.


3.I lined up 4 jobs to try and keep my schedule open for various therapy appointments for the toddler as well as to maintain flexibility for if I get sick (I'm still a little skittish.). What are the odds that all 4 would be a bust? For me, apparently 100%. Very frustrating. It breaks down like so:

1.Writing. Guess what? Great reviews from big review sites don't do sh*t for sales. However, I am building a 'brand' whatever the hell that is. Based on reviews of my work so far, an author is featuring my book in their newsletter for their fan base. There's all sorts of positive energy, but no actual cash. Screw the energy, I need the cash.

2.Tutoring. Students continue to not show up which means I don't get paid. The whole program is a waste of federal tax dollars. 1 student in 3 years actually finished the program. ONE. The rest drop out because their home environment and mental health are so unstable that reading and math are the least of their concerns.

3.School program coordinatorwhatsit. Another federal program, this time one with a great reputation. Funding is still pending (it will come, but who knows when) so start date has been pushed back three times.

4.Contract tech work. Ill-suited to my talents, which combined with sh*tty training? Disaster. I'm giving it a month and then I'm going to quit and possibly file some kind of complaint somewhere official. It's not a scam, but it's shady.

My preference would be full-time something, but I held off due to the toddler, my own wobbly recovery, and the fact we may be relocating for the hubby's job. Hopefully, we will hear more on that soon because the waiting is getting old.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

EMIGRATION by Tony Hoagland

I first found this poem when dealing with infertility and ran across it again in my files the other day. What a great depiction of chronic illness.

Try being sick for a year,
then having that year turn into two,
until the memory of your health is like an island
going out of sight behind you

and you sail on in twilight,
with the sound of waves.
It's not a dream. You pass
through waiting rooms and clinics

until the very sky seems pharmaceutical,
and the faces of the doctors are your stars
whose smile or frown
means to hurry and get well

or die.
And because illness feels like punishment,
an enormous effort to be good
comes out of you--
like the good behavior of a child

desperate to appease
the invisible parents of this world,
And when that fails,
there is an orb of anger

rising like the sun above
the mind afraid of death,
and then a lake of grief, staining everything below,
and then a holding action of neurotic vigilance

and then a recitation of the history
of second chances
And the illusions keep on coming
and fading out, and coming on again

while your skin turns yellow from the medicine,
your ankles swell like dough above your shoes,
and you stop wanting to make love
because there is no love in you,

only a desire to be done.
But you're not done.
Your bags are packed
and you are travelling.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Up Chuck Wagon

We managed the pumpkin patch. I hated every second of it.

I spent the hour long ride there battling the asthma and being so tired and weak, I actually searched my purse looking for steroids. Yes, I actually felt bad enough to justify steroids. However, I didn't have any, which was fortuitous as I did perk up by some miracle. For a while there, I thought I'd have to sit in the car the whole time.

But then the hay ride? Jostled my twitchy gut to the point of pain. I thought I was going to end up hurling over the side of the wagon. So feeling good didn't last too long.

The patch itself was hot, overcrowded and understaffed. Parents were ill-tempered and children ran wild. One mom kicked her son in anger. Yes kicked. Those of us who saw it, couldn't believe it. "Did she just kick her kid?" Yes, yes she did.

I saw the back side, the hubby saw the kid's face crumple and it was all very sad. I wish they had been close enough for me to say something. Because I would have. I am not the momma you abuse your kid in front of.

(And I wish I had gone after her, but she was a ways away and we were just stunned. By the time we all processed what we saw, she was gone.)

Then there was the 7/8ish-year-old girl so selfish she had to take toys from my 3-year-old. WTF? I explained to the girl how the toys worked in case she was confused--it was kind of a game and there were enough toys for everyone. When she snatched all the toys away from my toddler yet again, I told her she should've asked first.

She just looked at me like she was hearing that concept for the first time in her life, and then kept grabbing. So, of course, my kid is in tears. The other girl's mom was right there the whole time, but acted like she was blind, deaf, and dumb. I was starting to turn into Hulk the Momma Bear, which is not my best look.

So I pulled the toddler away and just told her that the girl was not nice and she shouldn't play with her. My 3 year old has better manners and I told her as much. She never once grabbed toys and she tried to share.

I hate those situations. Basically, it tells me I'm raising a kid who will always get screwed because she's doing the right thing. Based on the kids yesterday (and there were hundreds) it's Lord of the Flies anymore. From what I saw, manners just mean you get nothing but hurt.

Sigh.

Anyway, today, I feel better. Not as sick but I know if I exercise, I'll destroy what energy I do have and backslide. What does that mean? That I should take some steroids? Do I need a boost? Or should I stop exercising?

I'm confused. Things are not sustainable and haven't been for a few weeks now, but I don't know what to do about it. I don't think anyone else does either. Adrenal crap is the Mojave of medicine.

Maybe it's another adjustment period. I've gone from doing two things; parenting and exercising to adding a more than full workload. I am so busy, I often can't get to everything that needs to be done. I send frantic last minute emails dumping the responsibility for dinner on the hubby because I've run out of time. I'm sure I need a hell of a lot more cortisol than usual for that kind of schedule. Perhaps the HPAA system is lagging a bit?

Or it could be that the gut is a drain on the system. The pain is progressing in intensity. I had the anesthesia consult and need to call to set up the next round of endoscopy with ultrasound.

The thing I really hate is I trusted my body enough to make formal work commitments, but with the way it's been behaving lately, I am concerned that I'm going to end up letting a lot of people down. And losing income. Again.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Deja Vu

Hey,it's Fall. We're going to the pumpkin patch tomorrow.

Except I'm sick.

Hey, I was sick last year.

This year, the toddler is sick too.

So. Much. Fun. that I can't quite find the right swear word for it.

The gallbladder/gut kept me most of the night and that was all the opening the germs needed.

My gut hurts, the adrenals are acting like they are somehow relevant, the asthma has been activated and my sinuses are full of gunk.

You wish you could have this much fun in just one body, don't you? Come on. Admit it.

Well, come hell or high water or whatever medical mayhem ensues, we are going to the pumpkin patch tomorrow.

So there.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Sick with Benefits

The hubby got a bug up his butt about needing to replace the bathroom floor. Sometimes he gets ideas in his head and the only thing I can do is get out of the way. That and say yes to whatever he says because he's crazy until he gets it out of his system.

So now we have a new bathroom floor, whether we needed one is another metric entirely.

Of course, his knees hurt from all the physical labor and we had the following exchange.

Hubby: I need something. What can I take?

Me: How about some Motrin?

Hubby: How many can I take?

Me: Four.

Hubby: Thanks.

Me: See? There are some benefits to being married to someone who is 80 in health years.

Hubby: 80? I thought it was more like 100.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Weak Immune System ISO of Germs for Gang Bang

I am probably going to regret using a p 0 rn reference in my title, but it does pretty much sum things up. Remind me of that when this blog ranks #1 for some perverse s exual f etish.

(Been there. Done that.)

So, basically from Wed through Fri last week, my nose burned and itched like crazy. It was so sensitive that the toddler eating an apple about 10 feet away? Smelled like someone was shoving an apple coated in industrial apple scent chemicals deep into my sinuses. It rivaled pregnancy nose in sensitivity. The only thing that helped was cold medicine.

I kept waiting for the drippy nose to start, but it never did. Mostly I just felt like I was on the verge of cold, similar to the tenterhooks of a sneeze that just can't propel itself into maturity.

Same deal with the cold sores. The corners of my mouth burned, but the cold sores never actually erupted.

By Saturday the nose had resolved, but the fatigue lingered, heavy as a wet blanket. I wanted to exercise. Went so far as to put the shoes on only to end up in bed instead, thoughts of steroids dancing in my head. Sunday was better and I did work out.

Which means sneezing today and more cold sore burning. Clearly not working with a fully functional stress/immune response over here. I'm going to easy pickings for the first germ that hops on board, which is a scary thought.