Thursday, June 23, 2016

Up and Down

Got my blood test results.

TSH continues to climb, unfortunately.  I don't know how long it will take to finally cross the line into official hypothyroidism or if there's any hope of it reversing itself.  Time will tell.

My ferritin is finally in range! Woot! I brought that sucker up from a 4!!!! Hemoglobin dropped though for a second time. Other values are low still as well. I am assuming it will improve as the ferritin continues to improve.

AND my husband says I got faster on the bike. That's the first I've heard that in over a year!

So maybe I'm turning this shit train around!

Except my gut is trying to have diverticulitis again. (What? You thought I was going to suddenly be healthy or something? Send me some of what you're smoking!)

They say avoiding certain foods is an old wive's tale BUT it would appear that popcorn is really a problem for me. I tried it again for the first time in 9 months. It was okay, initially, but on the third try I'm having issues.

And being on iron, even iron that I can tolerate, isn't helping. I'm finding I still have to be careful.

I'm doing my best to head it off at the pass. Wish me luck! I really hate Augmentin.

As for my writing, I left off last time thinking I was going to go out of business. Well, I reviewed my income for the last few months and it's better than I thought. I'm not thriving. Not even close, but I am surviving.

Sadly enough, I'm in the top 10% of authors per a recent earnings survey. Which means most people make nothing.

But I am tired of the stress and drama and constant changes. Not to mention business taxes suck. My husband is up for a big promotion that includes stock options and bonuses and there's a part of me that thinks I'll take a break if that happens.

(Although I am never one to sit and do nothing so I would probably just find some other new thing to do. But there would be a lot less financial stress. Who knows? Maybe I would write books and give them all away just to avoid taxes!)

Thursday, June 16, 2016

A+ to B12, F- to Medicine

So thumbs up on the B12 shots. I just did the second one and there's definitely less razor-blades-slicing-muscle-fibers pain in my legs. And I've doubled my mileage in some of my biking sessions. I'm still slower than a dead turtle, but maybe there's hope.

It's been tough to gauge their effect because I've had issues after each shot. The first one, my husband gave me a horrible cold so there was never any energy boost.

The second one, the puppy kept us up for 2 nights in a row (and puked in our bed at 3am the one night because this is my life) and then the kiddo had one of her prolonged night sleep deprivation killed any immediate energy buzz.

Point to the patient though for finding a way to make things better.

I saw a new primary doc who was fine. My blood test results just aren't showing up in my medical record though, which is frustrating. I hope the new primary isn't refusing to release them or something weird like that. (Can they even do that for regular blood work???)

The nurse did call me and say my iron had improved, my cholesterol had improved, fasting glucose was its usual high normal and said nothing about my thyroid (so I assume it was also normal).

But I want to know how much my iron has improved because I've been suffering through the process of getting it back up. I've been doing all the work. I want the payoff of seeing the damn number.  And I want to know how normal my thyroid is.

Because it is always the case that I pay more attention than the medical system does. I am the quality check. So give me data, please.

As for the iron...The iron supplements I've found that I can tolerate (in lower than recommended doses, I've never hit the 18mg they said I should take) are a dessicated cow liver pill (that could be filled with anything) and a liquid supplement called Floradix from Europe. I did a month of cow liver and am now on the Floradix which seems to be better regulated than the liver pills.

Again, point to the patient for not giving up and sticking with it to find something that worked.

In other news...

Publishing is going down the tubes for authors. The system serves Amazon's hegemony alone. I suspect I am going to go out of business. And I say this as someone who has built a great marketing coop with an annual advertising budget of $30,000. If the coop can't make a difference, there's not much else that will.

So I need to figure something out. The top earners in publishing are spammers and those few authors that break out in a big way. If I'm going to keep writing, I've got to pick one....and find another job to pay for the marketing.

Sigh. I'm working on a really cool series right now. I'm bummed that unless I come up with five figures in marketing money, it won't even have a chance.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Dear Life: Just Slow Down

This is my Monday...

Car wouldn't start.

Naturally, I needed to get my kiddo to summer camp.

Last night, I went to bed with the beginnings of pink eye (No doubt contracted during puppy training class which was really an hour long pee sprinkler session. An almost 1 year old pup with serious anxiety spent the entire class piddling, dragging her tail through it across the dirty floor and then wagging it all over us).

So I figured I would be in Urgent Care for that sometime today.

Plus our puppy has diarrhea all the time and needs to go to the vet. (She's a lab, labs eat stupid shit and get sick. Mine has been chomping on the toilet for a month now--ya wouldn't think one could chew porcelain but my dog has found a way. The other day, she ate all the dust bunnies before I could get to them with the vacuum.)

But I have no car.

Bonus...I have asthma today due to wheat. A tiny speck of wheat was all it took. I was up using my rescuing inhaler in the middle of the night.

Am I having fun yet? NO! I am not having fun! Glargh.


My husband is great with cars and quickly fixed the problem on his lunch break.

My wannabe eye infection cleared up on its own which was a huge help.

I knew another family going to the same camp and I caught them before they left their house. They graciously gave us a ride.

The puppy has a Vet appointment tonight. Hopefully they'll do something productive for her. (IME vets don't get arrogant like human doctors, but it's just as difficult to find one who can actually problem solve in a proactive manner. You think this is the first time I've brought the puppy in for diarrhea? Ha. Try third. You must not need medical care too often.)

And wheat is still drop-kicking me all over the place.

Meanwhile nothing on my to-do list beyond the vet and summer camp is getting done today. Ugh.

PS: I didn't get the flu from that conference!

PPS: For the sake of other lab puppy owners: Labs puke, poop, and pee their way through their first year. It gets better, but you might have to replace all the carpets in your house by the time they get past it. (We did!) Vets are mostly useless when it comes to labs and their sensitive stomachs so here is my advice:

1. Kaopectate is your friend. Google for the dosage.

2. Firm Up is also your friend. This is a dried pumpkin and apple fiber powder you can add to their food to help make stools more solid.

3. Try to keep them from eating stupid shit. This means crate training when you're not around and not leaving them in your yard unattended. They'll still eat something--eating inappropriate things is the breed's raison d'etre--but they won't get as much which means less diarrhea...maybe.

4. Think about a sensitive stomach dog food.

5. Keep doing stool samples at the vet just in case they do pick up an infection/parasite. Labs put so much crap in their mouth, the odds of an infection/parasite are probably higher than other breeds.

6. Keep your dog hydrated. With diarrhea, I stop all dog food and give my labs a mix of rice and broth to keep fluids up. (As they get better, I add in cooked chicken, then start mixing in their dog food and then transition to regular dog food 100%.)

7. Puppy proof your house so they don't get into anything and eat it! If you have kids...God help you. Just accept you'll be pumping the puppy's stomach or paying for surgery to remove intestinal blockages sooner or later. (I have a kiddo so I'm probably doomed! Our puppy has already been gnawing on various toys despite our best efforts.)