Pre-doom update

The pain got to a 6 on the pain scale on Sunday December 6, and I took half a Tylenol 3 while working behind the scenes at the Dickens Fair with my friend. The pain encompased my entire pelvic region into my lower back, and down the front and sides of my hips and thighs, nearly to my knees. Every time I bent forward, I got a sharp pain in my upper legs.

Also on Sunday is when the ass bleedy began. This happens every month right before george.

The pain dissipated by Monday morning, and I found out later that the pain was overshadowed by my body coming down with the flu. By 3pm I had a 100°F fever and was coughing a lot, had a horrible headache, and my left shoulder/neck/back had gone out in the same way a pinched nerve takes me out. I developed diarrhea as well. Initially, before I realised I had the flu, I thought my shoulder was going out because of how stressed I’ve been over finances lately. The shoulder/neck pain started upon waking, and grew worse over the course of the day. By 3pm when the fever set in, I had to rethink the stress theory and go with the flu as reason for shoulder/neck pain. My lymph nodes in my neck are HUGELY swollen, and I’m sure that’s impinging on my buldging disks in C4-6, setting off the pinched nerve.

This morning, the flu continued ravaging my body, and the pre-george pelvic pain also returned. I’ve been wrestling with it all together, all day. As of Sunday I’ve been dipping into my supply of Tylenol 3, which is supposed to only be for the endometriosis, but holy cow, the neck/shoulder/back pain is freaking unbearable.

I went to the doctor this afternoon – she showed no sympathy – said my fever is due to not hydrating enough. Won’t give me Soma (a muscle relaxer) for bum shoulder/neck, says it’s part of having the flu. Bitch.

I did not work on Monday because it was in the 40s fahrenheit outside, so I was dismissed for the day by just after 9am. Good thing since I hopefully didn’t infect anyone. Today I did not go to work, and because I still have a fever (currently 101°F), I will not be going to work tomorrow, either.

I hate to have my period when I also have the flu, but honestly if my body makes my period late in order to deal with the flu, I could end up missing next week at work, too. I am NOT happy about this. I NEED the money BADLY. :(

I am confident that I got the flu from working at Dickens Fair. The first weekend of Fair (Thanksgiving weekend), several of my cohorts fell ill for days. This past weekend, more of us fell ill. This happens every time we all work faire, anywhere we work faire, whether it’s outdoors or indoors, whether Renaissance Faire or Dickens Fair. This means I am rethinking attending or working faire ever again. Filthy humans.

Back to the pelvic pain update – since I’ve been consuming a lot of coffee, I noticed that the cramps I’ve been having come in short, sharp piercing bursts, rather than the usual dull achey drone. So for me personally, caffeine should remain a no-no.

Next update probably when menses actually arrives.

One thing after another

Well I guess I prefer one thing following another rather than having it all at once!

TMI to follow, may be triggering…

Between January 31 and February 3, I got over the cold virus that was plaguing me. And then that allowed my body to start in with the premenstrual stuff.

Since about February 5, I have felt like I was developing a urinary tract infection, and overnight, I got a pea-sized bump on my right outer vulva. I’ve also been experiencing the worst anal shooting pains in probably ever.
It got to the point on Friday night while I was at a Taiko drumming show that I thought I’d need to leave and go directly to the emergency room. My entire abdominal region extending into my pelvic region felt bloated and inflamed, and it felt like someone was intermittently shoving what can probably be described as a splintered broomstick up my ass, plunging, then pulling it back out again. Dear gods. On several occasions, I gasped and elevated out of my chair. Same thing on the drive back home. I took medication when I got home.
The next morning, I was feeling better. The bump on my vulva even went down significantly. I had only a few moderate anal pain instances on Saturday, which can be described as someone shoving a safety pin into my anus. The pain was over much quicker.

Now, the first thing I think of when I get such pain is, what have I been eating or doing differently?
I have not had a drop of alcoholic beverage since January 1…but in the past week, I’ve added dried apricots to my diet, and I’ve been chowing down on gluten-free chocolate chip cookies out of PMS cravings. In the past week, I began drinking skullcap tea once a night before bed because it’s a calming agent (I’ve had a lot of self-induced anxiety over the past couple of weeks, centered around self-manufactured blogging deadlines).

I looked at the ingredients on the gluten-free cookies – they’re safe.

I looked up apricot allergy and found this webpage, which helped me a lot. Parts of the second paragraph really applied to me. It says, “Symptoms are more severe including generalised urticaria, abdominal pain…Individuals with apricot allergy also tend to develop adverse reactions to other fruits including peach, apple, cherry, plum, and nuts (such as hazelnut and walnut).”
Fascinating…I cannot eat the skin of apples or peaches without feeling like my intestines and asshole are being ripped apart. Now I know it’s all tied as an allergy. I don’t normally eat cherries or plums, so I can’t comment on whether I have a reaction to those. I haven’t paid attention to whether I have a similar reaction when I eat hazelnuts and walnuts, so now I can pay attention to that.

I looked up skullcap, and while I found that it won’t give me any abdominal or intestinal side effects, the webpage I found did go a long way in explaining why my anxiety was increasing rather than decreasing. I’ve been using the max dosage for my tea (30 drops of tincture) instead of the minimum (15 drops). So I’ll scale back on that and see if I notice any results.

With my thoughts on the apricots, on Friday, I phoned up my allergist and requested to go forward with the endoscopy that he wanted me to do last year. He wanted me to do this because he felt the blood test for celiac was not enough to go on, and he wanted a better test to rule out celiac. He really thinks I have it. I have not wanted to do the endoscopy out of fear, but now I feel that it is time I do this, to get definitive diagnoses ruled in or out. I spoke with the nurses there and they told me that peaches were tested for but not apricots, and the peach panel turned out negative for allergies. The doctor is to call me back this week and we’ll go over what all needs to be done in preparation for an accurate endoscopy reading.

In keeping with my ever-expanding goals for 2009, I am also trying to locate a rheumatologist so I can get my osteoarthritis looked at again, and rule out whether it’s rheumatoid arthritis or just osteoarthritis. This could be an important distinction, because of the fact that I have other immunological problems (endometriosis, allergies, spontaneous onset of acute pancreatitis at age 21).
I would also like to know definitively whether osteoarthritis is also considered an immunological disease like rheumatoid arthritis is.

I have osteoarthritis in my cervical spine, with bulging discs at C5 and C6. I thought this was from the car accident in 1994 but it may be that I’ve had degeneration since childhood. I definitely have osteoarthritis in my knees for example, and I had to have doctors notes exusing me from certain activities in gym class all my life. It’s possible that the car accident severely exacerbated the osteoarthritis and that’s why I now have bulging discs.

I also recently found out that I have osteoarthritis in my thoracic spine! I was looking back through all of my medical reports through the years and found a report from my chiropractor. In that report, it is noted that I have a diagnosis of Hyperlordosis and mild levoscoliosis, or curvature of the spine. Okay, I’ve known this since I was about 12 years old, and my family never had the money to fix it. And several of my aunts, as well as my maternal grandma also have/had this.

But the real kicker of this report was what I found at the bottom of the report: I also have osteoarthritis in the thoracic spince, from T6 – T8. I don’t recall this ever being properly explained to me. I’ve always focused on my neck injury. This totally explains the out-of-alignment bump on the spine that I have in my mid-back, which my husband likes to play with, because he finds it so weird-feeling. ;)

Now I wonder, did having this out-of-whack thoracic vertebrae CAUSE my acute pancreatitis when I was 21 years old? Hmmmm.

Anyway, to wrap up, the more immediate issue had been the abdominal/pelvic/anal inflamation and pain. I’ve not eaten any apricots since Friday, and the pain hasn’t been a problem at all today. Hopefully my system will get back on track in the anal region before the pain really sets in within the pelvic region by Saturday.

With all the pain in the past week, I was really depressed. The depression was already setting in the week prior – it’s my annual winter blahs, which always hit pretty badly by February. The pain just made the depression REALLY BAD for a few days. I hope I’m coming out of it, cuz I really need to be emotionally strong in the next week to be able to battle the endometriosis pain – and the fact that I’ll be bedridden for days again.

Sickie update

Yesterday afternoon I started feeling much better. I was convinced that earlier that morning having been the 72-hour mark, that the cold crested and would be going away, now.

However, by the time I got home at 6pm, I was a coughing, phlegmy mess again. The yellow gunk with blood in it returned.
*sigh*

This morning, I felt so horrible that I wasn’t sure I could make it in to work. My phlegm was dark green. I think I felt this badly yesterday, too, but didn’t have the green gunk. I did go to work and instead of getting better with the neti pot flushes and Cepacol and Fisherman’s Friend lozenges that I bought yesterday… I’m getting worse. The green gunk turned back to yellow again but still I feel like absolute crap.

My eyes feel puffy and they hurt. My ears are clogged and hurt from the pressure. The neti pot can’t get through anymore. My head hurts. My neck hurts – I’m convinced that swollen lymph nodes have a negative impact on bulging discs in the cervical spine, cuz my neck feels like it wants to ‘go out’ again.

Pelvic pain, and other pain

I experienced pelvic pain within an hour of being intimate with my husband on Saturday. The pain was dull and continuous, but if I sat down fast or sat on a hard chair, the pain would be immediate, severe and knifing. That only lasted for a moment, then I returned to the dull continuous pain.

Saturday night, we had plans to go out dancing. Even though I was having pelvic pain, I wanted to go out, so off we went.

The pain became moderate within the first couple of songs, and spread to my lower back. And at the same time, my knees began complaining a lot. I have congenitally misaligned knees, which over time have become quite crunchy and arthritic. Normally I know before I go exercising whether I need to wear my knee braces, but this time the pain came on without warning.

Still, being the stubborn person I am, I continued dancing to songs I liked all night.Towards the end of the night, my husband was still boogyin’ on the dance floor and my body just had enough. I tried to walk gracefully off the dancefloor but staggered a bit because my knees were giving out and the pelvic pain was so bad. I felt faint. I had not drank any alcohol tonight at all. The pain had me staggering. I had to go down a set of stairs and holy crap, I thought I was gonna collapse, mostly because of the pain and weakness in my knees though.

I was able to collect everybody (there were three of us) and get us to my car. The drive home was pretty painful for both my knees and my pelvic region. And I realised that now the bulging disks in my neck were joining in the chorus. When we got home, I could barely get out of my car because my knees were so weak and painful.

My question to myself is, is all the pain I’m having stemming from the pelvic pain? Is there a full auto-immune response going on? I have arthritis in my cervical spine cuz of the bulging disks, and also in my knees which are congenitally misaligned.   That’s something for me to research, cuz right now, I gotta get myself medicated and in bed.

Other things that are going on

I’ve not had time to write everything that’s going on with me. There’s so much, and so little time to chronicle because of wedding planning. I swear, I don’t know how working people plan weddings. This is taking up all of the unemployment time I have right now.

So, what else is going on with me is that on Friday I took public transit from start to finish on my own for what is probably the second time ever – I took a bus, then took a train, then joined up with my friend in the city and walked all around and took busses so we could eat and shop and just hang out. It’s been a long time since I saw my friend.

I took the train back to the bus station and the bus back home again, where I met up with my man, and we went to the movies. We saw Iron Man (really awesome btw). At the end as the credits were rolling, I laughed at one point with my man and suddenly felt a SNAP in my left shoulder/neck area.

Before the smile could even leave my face, my shoulder went out. I felt the muscle puffing up and the pain seeping in. I tried to push my shoulders down but the left one kept wanting to rise up with the muscle. I could feel the pain slide down my left arm to my elbow, and my elbow kept feeling like I’d hit the funny bone because of the nerve damage radiating down. I had to remember to breathe and keep my shoulders as relaxed as I could til we got back home, where I could pop a Tylenol 3 and put a heating pad on my shoulder (heating pad works for the pinched nerve – that’s what this is. Icing it makes it all VERY BAD for me).

We had to get up early on Saturday and run all over the damned place for wedding-related stuff. I took Ibuprofen 600 and went into trance-like states several times to try to get control over my body to relax the shoulder and neck. I don’t think I left the house on Sunday – I nursed my shoulder, and yet stressed myself all to hell over wedding planning.

My neck is still out so to speak. But it’s better than it was. There’ll be no weight lifting tomorrow.

Oh and as I type, I’m getting minor uterine cramps. T-minus just under 36 hours til george arrives.

Workout, Day 5

I’ve been posting the workout summaries in my LiveJournal to get immediate feedback from friends, but I’ll start posting summaries here, too.

Today:

elliptical – 10 minutes

situps on a situp contraption – hah, only 5 of them before my neck protested BADLY.

recumbent bike – 7 minutes

arm rowing thingy – 10 minutes

“gazelle” type elliptical – 3-4 minutes.

I wanted to try out the “gazelle” type elliptical cuz it looked different from the other elliptical. It has less of a pedaling or climbing motion and more of a cross-country skiing motion to it, which strangely hurt my knees even more. Here’s a picture of it. I found and wore my knee braces today, and it helped IMMENSELY on the elliptical.

My sides are sore from today’s workout – I felt it during the arm rowing thingy, which is supposed to help build up the torso, anyway.

A friend was telling me about dead lifts as a way to strengthen the neck and back, since I have so much trouble with those areas ever since the car accident. So today I went to talk to a trainer dude about how to properly do dead lifts, and the guy was SLEEPING at his desk. I made him get up and work for his money and show me what to do. I’ll be practicing that stuff at home instead of at the gym for awhile since the trainers there appear to be useless and normally non-existent. I’ve seen so many people jarring their bodies on equipment, and nobody there to stop them or properly guide them.

Tomorrow = swimming! It will be the second time I’ve used the pool there. I can’t even do arm-over-arm strokes, because it hurts my neck and shoulders too much. So upon advice from a friend, I’ll be using the swimming board.

Flashbacks, triggers, unsafe, fear

I really hate DVDs that autoplay previews and won’t let you fast-forward to the main menu. I couldn’t get out of the preview in time and as a result watched something against my permission that trigged a flashback of the car accident I was in back in 1994.

There was a scene where two people were in a car talking and next frame shows the grill of a bigger car and then you hear the BAM!

This in turn sent a searing shock through my heart and stomach and injured my mind. I cried out THAT WASN’T NICE and began crying.

That’s how it went for my car accident that almost killed me.

There are three things in my life that I wonder if I’ll ever get over emotionally:

  1. Being impregnated against my will and having a shotgun held to my head for making a decision for my own body and mind in 1990
  2. Having an incurable illness which my body won’t even allow to be treated with conventional medication or surgery
  3. The car accident which nearly killed me in 1994

The first time I ever had a panic attack after the accident, a few months had gone by and I was still healing. I was in a car one day either by myself or with the same bf that got us into the car accident months earlier, and on the road up ahead, an ambulance roared by, sirens blaring.
I’d seen ambulances on the road since my accident, but this one set off a panic attack and I started crying and hyperventilating.
I asked my bf what kind of ambulance took me to the hospital on the day of the accident.
He said it was Garden City Fire Department.

That explained it then – the ambulance that caused my freakout was red – a fire department ambulance.

And to this day, if I see a fire department ambulance roaring down the road, my heart races.

A few months ago, my man was driving us to our friend’s house and up on the road ahead was a big dumpster.

Jokingly, he sped up and swerved his car towards it. That set off another flashback of the accident. I hadn’t expected that – the only flashbacks I’d had of the accident were from ambulances up to that point. I was very shaken, and pissed off at my man. How could he have known I’d get all PTSD? But he won’t ever do that again.

Now, I sit here trying to breathe. I will take a shower in a minute… got another journal post to make.

The forgetting returns

I’ve been doing very well at remembering stuff lately, but in the last few days, I’ve gotten into a perpetual state of anxiety because george is late, and so I started forgetting stuff again.

So, this is good news in a way! Most people, when under stress, will forget stuff.

I am blaming all the flax oil I’ve been adding to my diet for the memory improvement, as that seems to be one of the big raves about the flax oil when I read reviews.

Whatever the cause, it’s very apparent that I can remember a lot more stuff than my man these days, and I’ve come to realise that sadly, since he had so hard a go with severe obstructive sleep apnea, his memory is badly shot as well.
I’ve been pushing the flax oil on him but he’s not submitted to it, yet.

Yesterday I forgot I owed money on a book I had to re-order for my man, and nearly walked out of the bookstore with it once it was handed to me. I was quite apologetic.

On Sunday I forgot that I had an appointment to meet with a trainer at a local gym, and called to apologise and reschedule.

This morning I forgot that just last night I told my friend I’d check in with her this morning about hanging out. I called as she was on her way to work – we’ll hook up sometime this week.

I’ve also been a space case today in general, and still very tired. I panicked further when george still wasn’t here this morning, and took a pregnancy test. It came back negative. Can george just please arrive already and get it over with??!? He’s FIVE days late!!!
I’m tired of the fatigue and the mild to moderate cramping. I’m tired of the constant lower back pain. I’m tired of the shoulders and neck wanting to go out because my lower back is seizing up in preparation for george. I’m tired of premedicating. I’m tired of the PMS overtalkative me. I’m tired of all the chocolate binging because my forehead is now breaking out. I’m tired of feeling like something is WRONG because george isn’t here on time.

And I really need a nap, but I really need to get work done. I had coffee and it only made me super awake for about an hour. Now I’m ready to crash again. Do I take more caffeine? Or just take a friggin nap? Will I be able to sleep with all this anxiety?

Can someone please just send me some chill pills?

AIIIIIIEEEEEEEE!

feeling better

Both my man and I slept through the night. He slept for a total of 13 hours he says. I slept for about 11 hours.

Today we both feel better. Still tired, but the nausea is gone. I’m still bleedy and crampy but continuing to take the medication on regular rotation. I’ve only slipped up once so far, cuz I forgot to wake up in the middle of the night and take more meds. I woke up at ten to six in the morning and was in a lot of pain. I’m so glad to be back on the Tylenol 3 because it kicks in so much faster. I also remembered to eat something with the medication cuz I didn’t wanna chance stomach ache again.
While I’ve not been pain free on this cycle, and while I’ve still been bedridden, the being bedridden is mostly due to fatigue because of george and the meds, not the debilitating pain (except for that little bout I had around 6-7am this morning due to forgetting to take meds).

I can’t decide if I’m just going to sit on the couch all day or if I’m going to take up my Ma’s suggestion (we talked by phone yesterday) and ‘get a hobby’ so I don’t think about the pain. I told Ma that I do have a hobby of organising all my photos into albums, but that for some time now I’ve not had the money for more albums, so piles of stuff have been sitting around. It was then that the idea came to me – just scan all the damned photos and memorabilia and put it on web-based photo albums for now, until I get the photo albums I want. That way, I’m still DOING something instead of just being on the Internet in chat rooms and on LiveJournal and on this journal all the time.
I could also start really WRITING my life story, or other novels…again. I start, stop, start, stop.

And I can also continue working on my astrology business. That’s pretty important, but while I’m in pain and on pain meds, much more difficult to focus on.

Oh, something else I need to mention – once again with the forgetting.

I panicked yesterday because I have no memory of phoning my father on Christmas Day. I called his cell and left a message but he didn’t call back. So last night I called his wife’s cell. She laughed, said she doesn’t remember, either, and then declared my forgetfulness to be the onset of menopause. I told her I’m only 36 years old, and NO, it’s not onset of menopause because I still have a very regularly-spaced period. I told her I hadn’t really talked about it openly with friends and family until this year but I have a HUGE problem with my memory ever since The Car Accident in ’94.
She remained convinced that it’s onset of menopause, so I let her have her view of reality and then talked with my dad. He assured me that I did in fact call him on Christmas Day.

However, I had neglected to tell him about Uncle B. So I broke the news. Dad and and my Ma’s sister used to be buddies, and my aunt still has fond memories of my dad, so I told him he should give them a call. He said he would.

Anyway, the forgetting still pisses me off. I truly panicked – I truly had no recollection at all of having phoned my dad on Christmas Day. My dad’s wife doesn’t help matters by saying the obvious, “it’s not going to get any better, you know”.

YES. I KNOW. THANK YOU. This is why I often wonder if I’ll have early onset dementia.

Blah. Anyway.
Right now, someone is outside clipping trees or flowers or something outside and it sounds like nail clippers, a sound I hate.
And it doesn’t help that I have a headache from having drunk only a little bit of tomato juice. Guess I’m still allergic to tomatoes after all these years. I get this lovely headache every time I have tomato soup, too.

*deep breath*

*exhale*

Ok.

My man is home all day today. It’s Saturday afternoon. Life is good, honest.

Doctors fail me yet again

On October 9th, I missed work again due to george, so I went to the doctor that day to get the doctor’s note to excuse me from work, per HR’s request. At that appointment, the new doctor that I appointed to be my full time doctor told me that next time she saw me, she wanted to do a full physical and really take stock of hte medical conditions going on. She asked if I ever had depression, based upon what she saw in my file (I’d been on Lorazepam for anxiety). I told her yes and she felt for some reason to really delve into my depression issues. I told her I don’t really HAVE a problem with the depression right now. No matter, it’s important, she says!

Oooookay. So I made my appointment for October 23rd…

Today I was almost denied the doctor visit because the front desk people told me that my man’s medical insurance carrier said I already had a physical in December, 2006. In reality it was a new patient appointment which, per my new doctor, “ran out of time because you had a lot to cover, and so it was billed as a physical”.
I told the front desk that no blood workups or anything was done – just the history. oh well! It’s done!
I told them to see me today anyway so they put it down as ‘other’ exam. That’s not the worst part.

The new doctor I hired gave a cursory glance to all the copies of my medical history that I’d made her – stuff relating to the car accident, the neck and back issues resulting from said car accident, the depression, the endometriosis and the gluten allergy, as well as pancreatitis. She said she wouldn’t keep most of it, and said that most of it is NOT RELAVENT!!!
She made suggestions that I try other hormones for the endo, despite me telling her NO, I will NOT go down that road again.
I told her that the pancreatitis and gluten allergy stuff needs to be in my file because it’s stuff that shows I have a weak immune system, and is likely also working hand in hand with the endometriosis, which is also said to be an autoimmune disease. My doctor said that trying to understand my body is futile because it’s all speculation and theory as to if endo is an autoimmune issue and can be tied/aggravated by the gluten allergy, which is also an autoimmune issue… she told me to stay with pain management doctor instead of going to her about neck/shoulder pain.

So she’s fired! By the time I got out of my appointment, the office was closed. I’ll be calling the doctor’s office tomorrow to request copies of my medical records back.

I feel that the problem is that doctors hate seeing my mountain of paperwork – it’s like I’m a threat to them. They like to treat one symptom at a time, not the whole person – not the whole history – it takes up too much of their time.

Oh, and they overcharged me too, today. They insisted each visit is $30. I told them no, it’s $15. They insisted I had a balance of $30. I paid it, plus today’s visit, which I told them I would ONLY pay $15 for, and told them I’ll look into it. SURE ENOUGH, IT’S FECKING $15. Bastards.

The main thing I have to remember is, I don’t NEED to see this doctor regularly anymore now that I’m not under the thumb of the company requiring it. I need only specialists, and the specialists I’m seeing (GYN, acupuncture and pain management) do not require this doctor’s approval – I can just go to them.

Regardless, today just sucked. SHE’S the one who requested my history, then said most of it wasn’t relavent. I wasted my time, my printer paper and printer ink on that bitch.

My next appointment with the acupuncturist is tomorrow. We’ll see how that goes.