Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." Genesis 9:13

Friday, December 31, 2010


I have never made any real secret on here that my sister-in-law tends to make me crazy.  I remember meeting her and finding  her so overbearing and making myself pretend I didn't feel that way because I was so glad to see my brother happy.  And for years as angry as she has made me and as hurt as she has made me at times I have been glad my brother had her.  My brother can be an intense experience as well, and he has his own set of issues from growing up.  He's considerably older than I am and we didn't really grow up together and things were very different for him, but my father was terribly cruel to him because my father didn't want him.  He was the result of a teenage pregnancy and my father was involved with someone else when forced to marry my mother.  In later years my father would claim he never wanted any of us (even though I was conceived after years of infertility before that was really treatable so he sort of knew what was ahead if that succeeded) but that was more a way to hurt than truth.  My brother he truly resented.  My sister-in-law made my brother happy, gave him a path in life that he was finally happy to follow, and they just were a pair because they were so alike in so many ways.

Last week my mother and I started wondering if something was seriously wrong.  My sister-in-law has been away for a while because of the death of one of her parents and then she went away for a while after that.  Her trip plans were weird and we had a discussion about "could there be problems?" "no, everything seems fine".  And her behavior had been normal enough for her, right down to asking to borrow money to go away after the funeral.

At Christmas she was plain weird. One of her weirder things is that she'd never made an effort to meet my niece.  So soon after my sister arrived and I was holding my niece I carried her over and told her "now you need to meet your aunt um... Doris".  My sister-in-law did not talk to her, reach for her (despite that I was practically holding her between us), or anything and paid little attention to her the entire day.  As per usual she made me angry, once by doing precisely what you don't do when someone gives you a handmade gift and is trying to explain something about it, interrupting about how it wasn't going to work, without even giving it a shot or letting me finish my sentence.  And as per tradition she made an inappropriate joke about psych patients at dinner then commented how she has the right to do this because she worked in a psychiatric hospital for several years.  It's totally inappropriate for one thing because it's making fun of ME to say the kind of things she was saying, and also because there is a time.  I have hilarious stories from my years of working in psych and some I'll share but in the correct context  and only with respect.  I never have laughed at my patients in a cruel manner nor did anyone that I worked with, where she seems to have the idea that messing with people's psychotic minds is funny.

Anyway, during Christmas I noticed my brother was tense and that the two of them didn't talk much.  Again we blamed it on grief.

And today we found out she's moving out and  they are getting divorced.  And while I've always been willing to be rid of dealing with her I find that that was always hidden behind that "but she makes my brother happy" thing and now all I want is to have my brother's life by happy again, even if it require medication for me to handle time with her.

We won't go into what I think is the incredible inappropriateness of being at Christmas to begin with, much less accepting gifts that could have been used to help my brother out of a tight financial situation.  I know it's judgmental.  I don't care.  I'm angry because whatever has happened she's hurt my brother.  He's not perfect and I'm sure he had his role, but this has her name all over it.  I think she's been planning this for a very long time, hence the avoidance of my niece.  (I guess there's now only one other aunt to beat out for best aunt :)--JOKE.  She should have used one of the myriad of excuses available to her and not been present.  My mother suspects she was planning to use Christmas to tell everyone and that somehow my brother stopped her or she never got a chance as things were moving pretty rapidly because of the baby.  And during the one time at dinner she might have had a chance I would have prevented it by handing out my family Christmas gifts which distracted everything for a bit that normally would be chatting.

I hate this so much.  Just because her social skills suck doesn't mean I want my brother to hurt.  And there are things that are part of this which make it even more easy to be angry because just like always my brother will bear the brunt of a lot of it.

I just wish there was a way to make my brother feel better.  And there's not.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Catching up...again

My last post was apparently a little confusing.  What I meant was that if I had the information that my patient had all this private information, some of which might even help me with my job, hanging out on the internet that I shouldn't attempt to access.  Especially when I knew it was someone like me who sometimes has a hard time being honest about some things.

Otherwise, this has been a somewhat difficult week.  I had another asthma flare-up that kept me home on Tuesday, so now I have to work Sunday when I was really, really looking forward to having 3 days off in a row.    I am looking at weeks without free days in a row.  But that just makes the week that I finally have free more precious, I guess.

I then had to admit that I am not able to treat my asthma with just the mild meds I wanted.  Yesterday I requested a med that I have to take with caution because it could theoretically interact with my MAOI and I will have to monitor my blood pressure while using it.  I'll only use it when I have a bad day but hopefully it will help keep things from cycling out of control. I hate that because it scares me, but I cannot continue wheezing, then not sleeping, then having trouble getting to work.  I also can't keep coughing constantly.  It hurts, it's annoying, and it makes me feel horrible.  I also realized that this is not currently a minor issue, and if it continues and I get a cold or sinus infection then I am going to be very sick again and again I'll be back to the "Jen needs steroids, that means inpatient, and who is going to admit her" because I have nobody to admit me medically to the hospital I need to be in to get the best psych care.  So I'm going to be working on getting a referral to a pulmonology at Dr. Brain's hospital who can be brought up to date on the situation and hopefully will be willing to admit me if I need steroids.  So that will be fun, another doctor 2 hours from home.    I really hope Dr. Brain knows one of them.  Sometimes she has specialists she's worked with before who are more understanding of psych needs, such as needing hospitalization for something usually done outpatient without difficulty.

Monday my work computer's hard drive died.  So today I spent 2 hours getting a new one hooked up while my poor trainee sat and waited.  She had a rough day.  We also had a caregiver yell at me for quite a while for doing my job.  He then declined services which is a blessing as he has been making it increasingly difficult to do my job and now I don't have to.  It did mean a lot of documentation though as that chart is likely to be carefully evaluated if he complains as much as he says he is going to.  Thankfully I had the witness to the screaming, and I also had the nurse at the physician's office back me up 100% on the decisions I made (which weren't decisions but following protocol) that he didn't like.  Nonetheless, I am tired of being yelled at for breathing.  Which I don't have anyone now who will do that, but it will move on to someone else soon I'm sure.  I just feel bad for her because he yelled at her too for a minute and she did absolutely nothing but show up with me.

And I don't think I wrote about it but I had a sobbing, painful session with Dr. Mind Monday and it's a lot to think about.  I don't think that the issue at hand was what I was so very upset about, I think it's feeling so overwhelmed and disconnected from him lately.  But we got an extra session set up for next week and hopefully things will get back to normal soon.  I hate feeling like each session is nothing but "catch up and go" and that's been how the last 2 months have been.  I need the continuity from having feedback on an ongoing basis about whatever is going on and whatever I'm trying to deal with.

On the other hand, someone (B.?) asked about my niece.  She is wonderful.  She's very chubby, working hard on sitting up, wants to be involved with everything (positively refused to nap during Christmas because there was excitement to be seen and attention to grab), and is of course a genius.  She's laughing and "talking" a lot and has formed an attachment to my mom that's so cute because she'll hear my mom, turn her head to her and just grin.  Since she also drools a ton it's a really cute, gooey grin.  She was hysterically funny at one point.  My sister tried to sit her in a box but she didn't fit.  She somehow figured out that if she kept her hands on the sides and stuck her butt way out that she could stand "alone".  She was so very proud of herself for that.  I couldn't get over how sturdy she is now.  When I saw her last she still didn't have full head control and now she can sit on my hip.  She also was very funny when my sister opened up a hat I made her.  I was goofing off and put it on my head.  Someone happened to be holding her above me and next thing I knew I wasn't wearing a hat and she was giggling.  Just so very cute.

And that's about it.  I need to write my last note and get to sleep.  I'm actually seriously considering sleep and writing the note in the morning as it's almost done and will take only a few minutes.  I just hate leaving work for morning.  However, I also want to sleep, a lot.  So we shall see what battle wins......

Monday, December 27, 2010


Here's why I could never be a mental health therapist.  I would die of curiosity.  Today Dr. Mind was trying to get me to quit sobbing (apparently when I say something is upsetting me I am deadly serious); I said "this tends to make me cry and then sobbed for a very long time".  But some of his positive words led me to start talking about this blog, of all things.  I was talking about how incredibly good it has been for me since I started talking much more openly about my life and the abuse and the effects of bipolar.  I was talking about how much support I get here, from Michal's little devotionals to comments that mean the world to me.  And somewhere in there I realized UH-OH, I just told Dr. Mind one of my biggest secrets.

He could find it.  I'd not know; I never look where people are from, and he could easily have a service like mine that says I'm from Columbus Ohio, which is hours away from here; it's not even the closest city.  If you know enough about me you can find this easily and he certainly knows.  But ethically he can't. I don't think, anyway. And that would be TORMENT to me.

Too tired for more tonight.  This may be one more lighter posting week.  I'm exhausted, my work computer broke and I may have to write things out for the next few days, I had a bad day with asthma today, and I have a weird work schedule.  However, I have a 3 day weekend and the only thing on the book is a visit with Dr. Mind.

For now, it's time to try to sleep.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A good Christmas gift

I seem to be responding to the asthma medicine.  I think I'm sleeping better (I feel less exhausted anyway), and am not coughing as nastily, nor am I nearly as hoarse today.  Plus I can FINALLY feel the goop that has been making breathing hard to do for so long loosen up.

We're having Christmas tomorrow so today doesn't even feel like Christmas.  I'm trying to get more sewing done (note a theme lately; I don't know what all I've made but it's a LOT).  Then I"m going to my mom's to help cook and spend the night.  No baby tonight, which is ok since it lets me not have all her stuff finished.

I'm making myself crazy with the idea that I KNOW I made a bib with the moon and stars and I'm pretty certain it was recently, not for the shower and I haven't seen it anywhere.  Oh well, it will turn up or not I guess.  Besides, we're about 12 bibs into this, ti's not like one missing matters so much.

Anyway, gotta go see if I made the printer do what I want.  Chances are good that would be no since we've been having a fight for some time now.  But whatever.  I've got better things to worry about.  Like the star and moon bib.......:)

Hope all of you having traditionally planned holidays are having great ones.

Friday, December 24, 2010


I'm on a sewing break so that my back can practice being straight for a little bit. I'm doing fun things like getting new license plates.  Mine are so old that I can't stick any more renewal stickers on; last year I had all kinds of trouble and had to buy a 2nd one.  And Ohio came out with new plates that I do not like, so I just did something uncharacteristic and got "special plates".  They have a cat on them.  Most of the extra cost goes to spay animals and frankly I don't CARE about the cost to avoid the ugly plates.  I'm just proud I remembered to do it early this year.  Generally I remember 2 days before my birthday.

 I just received B's comment on the last post about enjoying my niece which reminded me of what I'm so excited about.  They were originally not coming up until Sunday and that is when we're having Christmas.  I'm spending tomorrow at my mom's finishing sewing if needed (likely) and making cookies and goofing off.  And they are now thinking of coming up in the evening.  Which means extra baby time!

Speaking of Christmas time to get back to present making.  I can't believe how much there is to do even though I've done so much in advance.  This is why you shouldn't spend November and December sick and sleeping.  (There are other reasons for that.....)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Diagnosis: Asthma

I was right.  Kinda hard not to be when the symptoms match so closely, especially after I'm symptomatic now after being a good bit better after someone smoked near me.  It may or may not end after this year; it may be temporary lung damage from whooping cough and it may be permanent. That much will be a wait and see.  I'm guessing though that my lungs took a hefty hit with the whooping cough because my voice is still not back to normal.  From what I've read it may never be quite the same; right now I have no idea as asthma flairs make it worse as does the time of day, how much I've talked, etc.  The exhaustion is probably from waking up coughing and I'm on another med that should be my main med for this which will hopefully help at night (Singulair). I'm also continuing Spiriva for another 10 days then will determine if I still need it or not.
The trick is that these are the only 2 asthma meds I can take.  I was afraid of that, and actually let him know about 10 days ago that I was developing reasons to believe this was asthma and that I realized treating it was going to challenge him.  I did not ask the obvious question of what happens if these don't work.  I pretty much know.  If I continue in an acute fashion as I have been for so long and continue just being sick I will have to do steroids.  If this continues long-term and these meds don't work then I assume several things happen:  we get creative, I see a specialist (probably at the big-deal hospital where Dr. Brain works), and compromises will be made.  Whether this is breathing treaments again (presumably with the slower than molasses stuff as I have few options for those as well), use of Xopenex which is contraindicated with MAOIs but may not be horribly contraindicated meaning we may be able to try it with me monitoring my blood pressure closely (but this also left me feeling a bit agitated when I took the couple doses I did take), or hospitalization to get everything under control with steroids and try to go from there.  I suspect that is the one that happens most readily, partly just to get it controlled enough to see if we start from controlled if I can maintain that with the wimpier meds I can use, rather than trying to make the inflammation go away without using anything very strong at doing that.

When I was in college I had this thing (ok, it was a learned behavior from childhood) where I did not take pills.  Period.  I made it from freshman year of college (1995) until 2002 with no antibiotics for illness, although I did have a round in grad school for an infected toe.  I occasionally took something for a headache. That was it.  I did take allergy meds in the summer, but hay free and camp counselor is not a good combination, and that was usually only 6 weeks and then maybe a few in the fall. That is why I delayed antidepressants for over a year of really needing them:  I hated the thought of meds that I would rely on, even if it would only be 6 months or so.  Since I never believed I was sick that pretty much made medications pointless.

I did have a point about meds.  As thankful as I am for the meds that have saved my life and that we finally have found a combination that works well and is adjustable for me, it is still also true that since the day that I was told by Dr. Guru that yes, I had bipolar disorder and due to how rapidly I cycled, the severity of my symptoms, and a few other factors that there was no way that any one medication available at that time (or now) would ever work for me and in fact he suggested starting with a 3 med cocktail in a clinical trial that I fit the criteria for perfectly (ie people with severe rapid cycling who had not gotten any control with other med trials).  That was 8.5 years ago ago and I have been on many, many cocktails since then.  And over time as the intensity of the meds changed I started adding on more and more other meds to counteract side effects and damage caused by these (granted the damage really was caused by lithium toxicity, NOT just from taking meds, but lithium toxicity added a thyroid pill, an acid reducer thanks to my ulcers from vomiting constantly, 2 pills (only b/c they don't make the dose I need of a medication to make my kidneys function correctly).  Antipsychotics caused me to add Provigil, which morphed into a new version called Nuvigil, to allow me to get to work something like on time.  Seroquel added all sorts of different meds for constipation; at one point I was taking 8 pills and a dose or 2 of powdered med daily for constipation alone.  Now I just take 1-2 pills for that.

Asthma meds are novel in that they aren't caused by psychotropic use.  Yet it's weird to think that without bipolar I would just now be taking 1 pill and 1 inhaler dose daily and instead I take something like 17 pills, 1 patch, and 1 inhaler dose daily.  This is the first "big" (size is very relative; as long as these meds work I'll have pretty mild, controlled asthma) problem I've had besides bipolar and all the consequences of treatment for that.

Anyway I have some more sewing I want to get done tonight.  I am pushing the edges of time to finish things, even though I finished a big pile today.  That's ok, we'll make it somehow.

Lesson Learned

Months ago I was perusing Etsy for a Christmas gift for my older brother.  I found an e-book on brewing beers, something he enjoys.  I bought it and paid no attention until a couple weeks ago when I discovered it is nearly 700 pgs.  So this $1.50 (and I assumed neglible cost in paper and ink) book is costing me tons of money because I've had to buy 2 reams of paper, 1 black ink, 1 colored ink, backups of both as I'm not sure they can complete the whole thing, and one enormous binder.

Always pay attention.......


This has been on my mind a lot lately and I just suddenly decided it was time to share. Actually it just occurred to me that there might be someone out there who faces this situation.

I've been talking over the last few years about a lot of remodeling in my house.  I've done a lot of things, and am now really 3 major projects (and a thousand minor ones) from done.  One of these is replacing flooring, which I'm hoping to do this spring.  The other two are big, expensive projects which will require quite a bit of saving to do (total kitchen redo, total bathroom redo which includes replacing subflooring, fixtures, and hopefully moving a nonweightbearing wall in a foot so I have a linen closet.

For a long time I just couldn't see selling this place after it was done.  For one thing I wanted to enjoy my remodeling.  I grew up in a home constantly being remodeled and nothing ever was finished.  I consequently grew up in a not very nice environment that we were taught was great because "it's being remodeled".  Um, so that's why our kitchen counter was plywood for 12 years?  For another it's making progress at being paid off, something important when you're in my shoes and don't really know how long you'll work.  Plus there's little market for homes here right now.

But I've decided that if I'm still at this job and as happy as I am now in 3 years I will probably try to sell and move much closer.  My mother and I were talking about this and she was telling me what a good idea it is.  Then she paused and said "Plus, down the road that makes you a lot closer to [sister] if you get sick and need help."  This clearly was something that has been discussed.  I try not to think about my mother being gone or unable to help, leaving me having to turn towards a sister who certainly never asked for the responsibility of an adult who gets very sick from time to time.  I asked my mother then if she and my sister had talked about that part of the future and she said only that they had and that my sister knows someday that she'll probably be the one looking out for me if I need it.

I keep wondering what that is like for my sister.  She's certainly never seemed resentful or angry about it, and hopefully I'll be doing as I am now and even when not psychologically good for long periods I am functioning pretty well.  The physical illness did in my house and I have needed cleaning help, but that's the physical stuff not emotional.

I just wonder what it is like to be in her shoes and know that someday she'll be checking in daily on a sister who can be fine one day and very much not fine the next.  Does anyone have experience with this?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I know myself......

I did some sewing until I thought I was sleepy.  I took meds at 7:30.  It is now 7:33 and I'm pretty sure I'm going to go finish my stupid notes for work because I'm not relaxing and I don't want to keep sewing right now.  I'm doing something incredibly simple and just putting an outside seam on diaper liners (fleece, not disposables) and I have like 24 of them.  It gets boring.  I have other things to sew, a number of them, but I'm aware that I'm too tired to be coordinated.

So that means try to settle down in here or do those notes.  I really hope for settle in here.  The notes won't take long and I'd like to take them with me to the dr's to do while I wait.

This is the first time I've ever had paid days at Christmas without having worked to make up the days.  I am not trusting the concept.........

Tomorrow I know I'm going to miss Dr. Mind.  I'll be so glad to get into a routine with him again.  When we miss as much as we have the last 2 months each session is awkward because we play catch up and then we both know better than to start down any path that could potentially become painful in any way, shape or form.  That's even more true this time of year.

Oddly though Christmas and my birthday aren't bugging me.  I think some of it that I've been so sick for so long that Christmas still seems far off.  Partly it's because I don't care what I have to endure to get to actually see and hold my niece.  I've even requested spending my birthday with her which is the first time I can remember looking forward to my birthday in at least 15 years, since the birthday from hell.  Partly it's that although I did more expensive things overall I have fewer gifts I'm handing out because I mainly got people big presents.  And it also helps that I am well enough to have multiple interests so that people didn't even ask what I wanted, I am just getting things.  I haven't had hobbies or things I wanted in so long I can't remember.

We'll see how I feel in a few days, but for now the holidays are not seeming traumatic.


I did it.  I got all my patients seen in 3 days.  I have some fast notes to write up but that is it.  Those are waiting for tomorrow I think as I'm worn out.  I'm seriously considering taking my meds and going to bed at 7 and I probably will.  My hesitancy is that sometimes if I do that I somehow succeed only in waking myself up and then I'm groggy and awake until later than if I did bed more normally.

I go to Dr. Body tomorrow for a lung re-check and hopefully a diagnosis.  There is more and more evidence it is asthma; I hadn't been wheezing for several days and then I was in a smoker's home yesterday and have wheezed ever since.  Where I work has a lot of pollution and I have more trouble breathing/coughing when I'm down there and even by the end of the week versus the beginning.

I feel like I forgot my brain when I left there today.  So tired....But that's ok because aside from the appointment in the morning I get to rest until Saturday, and even then we're just hanging out as we're having Christmas on Sunday.

Anyway a better post after I'm coherent.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


I just deleted someone I've been following for a few years from my google reader.  I generally will leave blogs I don't even read on there just because I hate deleting.  But this one has had several statements I've been bothered by, and I just found my endpoint:  If you are going to help the homeless don't turn around and complain when some of them are mentally ill---and don't withhold your help on that basis.  Really????  To do so is Christian HOW?

Merry Christmas........

(I'm really not in this awful mood as this sounds like.  I'm tired but I got a lot done today and I still have a lot of paperwork to complete.  I just hate people's attitudes sometimes.  I quit reading facebook (which I just joined) because I don't have time to bother with figuring out how to hide a distant relative who made "retard" jokes which multiple people actually "liked" her for.  I'll go back when I'm not too tired to find a way to get rid of her.)

Can't be worse

Yesterday was truly a bad day.  I did something so embarrassing I don't want to talk about it, and it truly was because of bad directions but still, so, so embarrassing.  I forgot something important at a pt's home.  One pt. was sick and couldn't work.  Another I sat 30 minutes trying to wait for the nurse to fix his blood sugar; no dice. A third the assisted living double-booked 2 therapists-again.  So I'm working my butt off trying to get everyone done and getting absolutely nowhere.  That means today is terribly stressful again.  I'm trying to avoid having to work Thursday, a day I'm supposed to be off, because I would have only a few patients and therefore would have a mess as I have to be in the City 2 hours away to see Dr. Body, and have no desire to drive up to see him, then down for 2 hours, then back home.  I would lose money on it, even at holiday pay, and also a day that I really need the time to finish Christmas things.  So after running around like crazy all day I had a grand total of 2 pt. visits that really were worthwhile, one that just upset the patient, and 2 that were pointless.

I'm kind of scared to go in today.  I don't want to be that stressed again, and I will be unless something odd happens and I have a few cancellations.  Otherwise I have no clue how I'll get through this schedule.

Speaking of, I suppose I need to leave.  I really, really don't want to......

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Not needed

The day I went to see Dr. Body first with whooping cough he told me that the hardest part of treating me is that I'm ok to take the basic drugs, like antibiotics, the ones that keep people from dying like they did 100 years ago, but that keeping me comfortable is a whole other issue, because quality of life drugs are usually either something I'm allergic to or that I can't take for some other reason.

Well, I am now allergic to Bactrim, I'm pretty sure, which means all sulfa drugs and drugs related to sulfa drugs are out.  About a week ago my lips began to peel like crazy and became puffy but that seemed consistent with how sore they were to me.  I also became more flushed daily but thought that it was due to dry skin or coughing or whatever.  The last 24 hours I was on it it was clearly a rash.

I know that with my history nothing gets a second chance, so unless something concretely makes Dr.Body know that I wasn't reacting I'm done with sulfas forever.  And I couldn't be more underwhelmded.

How to lose 10 lbs. in 5 days

This post probably only applies if you are on a lot of medications.  Psychotropics are well-known for causing serious constipation but so are pain meds and other meds.  I think even my inhaler can.

Regardless, this post is about constipation so if that bothers you, this is your warning.

I've written about it before.  I'll write about it again.  Because it is physically painful, because it is part and parcel of bipolar disorder for me and others, because I am fascinated by how much well, crap, we can hold.  This time it was 10 lbs.  T.E.N. P.O.U.N.D.S. of POOP.

My situation is complicated by, as per usual, restrictions on how we treat it.  Because it comes from being dehydrated chronically because of diabetes insipidus thanks to lithium, miralax which adds water to stool doesn't help unless taken in huge doses that are not good for you.  Other meds risk further dehydration and a worsening cycle of no solution.  I can't use thing that irritate that colon because they usually don't work and also can just make it worse.  My colon has stretched drastically over time which doesn't help but can't be treated.

The thing though that anyone else who suffers with this one needs to know is that a new med is available that is awesome.  It's called Amitiza and it's horribly expensive, unfortunately.  However, you may get lucky and have your doctor tell you "I thought this was going to be great and got all these samples and then found out that not many people really need it", which resulted in my getting a TON.

It's supposed to be a twice daily med and technically is for people with no known cause.  It increases intestinal lubrication. For me, I only have to take it once a day, and then if things get backed up twice for a couple days.  The only reason things got so bad now is that I carefully held it for a few days when I started the stronger antibiotics because we all know what those do.  Except for me, apparently.  And by then it just got lost in the crowd of psychotropics, cough meds, etc.  And then suddenly it had been 10 days or more and only 2 pairs of scrub pants, the ones leftover from before I lost weight fit, and I still didn't figure out it out at first when i had gained 10 lbs. in a few days, then suddenly I realized WHY, and prepared to fight.  I'd never tried amitza against this before and I was prepared with the heavy duty meds and suppositories.  I did not need a single one.  In fact, Amitza started working before I was prepared, when I was still out shopping.  That was unfortunate.  (no more will be said there).  But sure enough all weekend at intervals without any need to do more than take the usual amount after the first day or two it has done it's job and I have lost 10 lbs. this weekend.  I am so thankful for something EASY.

Friday, December 17, 2010

There is no theme here

I haven't been writing because I've been typing.  I have done so much work at home this week.  It's because of trying to get through a zillion patients fast, and I have not succeeded.  But I am trying.  Today killed me though.  I had today planned to knock off a bunch of visits and some of the driving for the week.  Instead we had a huge snowstorm with roads that were maybe 30 mph, usually less, with my AWD SUV in lowered gears for much of it. It is so weird to drive that in the snow and not have to scared of constantly sliding.  I slid very slightly once and it fixed it.  I can almost relax even when it's bad, although I know enough to stay very aware.  When I lived in Michigan I had a Festiva, essentially a tin can on wheels that weighed about 25 pounds.  I used to be amazed that I managed to stay on the road while there'd be lines of SUVs that had spun off because the drivers were overconfident.  I promised myself to never do that.

I'm also writing a very long post that will see the light of day eventually.

And I'm coughing.  I'm pretty sure Dr. Body's guess of asthma was right.  I am not sure but that is making sense.  We'll be more sure it's not bacterial in a couple days; my last antibiotic is tonight so I'll be sick by Monday if it's bacterial since I am still symptomatic.  If I ever start writing about not believing myself about this again feel free to tell me to look in a mirror.  We had our company Christmas party tonight and I put on makeup, which I haven't done if forever.  Because I"m nearsighted that means shoving my face into the mirror.  I couldn't figure out what the weird dots were, like something had been resting on my face when nothing had touched it.  I've known for weeks that I've been very pale with pink cheeks but since I'm very fair I have red cheeks a lot and I also get dry skin easily this time of year on my face.  Well, looking for a couple minutes made me realize I have petechia (broken blood vessels) all over both checks, my neck and my forehead.  I knew I had some broken blood vessels in my eyes as my eyes are bright pink when I first wake up, but I didn't realize my whole face was covered in it. I suppose that explains the headaches lately; if I cough that hard all the time my head should hurt.

And next week is so over-scheduled that I'm frightened.  As is today, come to think of it.  But the weekend is coming.  Slowly.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The right thing

This one is easy.  Please go to this page and sign the petition to help save the life of a Pakistani woman who has been sentenced to death because of religious politics in the region.

Thank you.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Something Good

I've been pretty honest on here that when I took the traveling job it had a great deal to do with the money and that I made enough to catch up on debt, much of it acquired in the 8 months of disability in 2 years that made up 2006 and 2007.  I've managed to fix my credit completely after being rated "poor" 2 years ago.  There were several years I had to pay extra premiums on my homeowners because my credit was so bad.  But that's not the point.

The point is that I've been trying to start giving back.  My plan is that when I'm settled into this job I can move into tithing although it will be to charities rather than churches.

A blog that I found while not doing well that made me laugh aloud is Cakewrecks  I've had them my reader for a while and have found they are consistently entertaining.

They have an annual 12 days of Christmas thing where every day counting down to Christmas they ask readers to donate, if able, $1 to a featured charity of the day.  They pick really good charities and it's done through First Giving which should mean it's a safe way to give.

So, please join in if you can.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Question answered

I don't know why this is being funky with formatting but it is.  Regardless, WinnyNinnyPoo asked a good question:

I'm not sure if you call it addiction if you are adding something your body is short of and needs. Are diabetics addicted to insulin?

I was on clonazepam for a few months for my headache disorder, and unfortunately the side effect of making the headache worse outweighed the benefit of helping me sleep. Glad it helps you sleep and helps with anxiety. You do have withdrawal from it if you don't decrease gradually but for me it was minimal.

I think that yes, what I have is addiction.  Not in a bad way, but controlled addiction.  Do I care?  Not at all.  Am I surprised?  Not at all. Don't forget, my situation is a little different than most patients. I have been on benzos constantly for somewhere around 10 years now.  I've been on moderate to high doses nearly all that time although I've had a few random months without, although that's long ago.  I don't take normal doses of these meds. In fact if I am hospitalized it would not be shocking to have someone question the amount of some of my meds.  My body works strangely.  I either over-respond or under-respond, usually under.  Therefore my family doctor repeatedly has told me throughout different cocktails that he has never seen anyone take what I do and be awake, much less working, driving, etc.  And then the next time I go back I'll be on even more and still functioning.  There was a period of time that I was on the highest doses of 2 extremely sedating meds at the same time that he had seen on either drug, and I was still taking benzos and other sedatives.  I was given a morphine shot last year when I was being checked for appendicitis and they thought I had to be asleep and talked about my test results while I laid and listened helplessly because I had the rails up and no call light.  I never fell asleep.  I'm just used to heavy sedation.  My body handles medications so differently that at one point I was taking more depakote than any female outpatient at the major teaching hospital where I go, plus I was on a benzo and other sedatives as well as a high dose of seroquel.  In fact I actually was on the highest dose of the 2 combined of any patient known there for a time after the other person on what I was had a dose cut because of side effects.  I have also required 2 benzos together for a time.  But eventually we went to high dose Klonopin, usually used short-term and that was the hope for me, but we also did it knowing that hope for me isn't a promise we get what we want, and thus far I have needed to continue indefinitely this extremely high dose.  My current situation has me 50 mg from the FDA approved maximum for Seroquel but my doctor says she will go much high for me.  It's just how my body works.  It does, however, make things different than most people's med experiences.

In a typical situation you might have a little withdrawl.  However, my body is primed to expect benzos, and not only that to expect a LOT of benzo.  For most of the last 15 months I have been on huge doses of them and for several months on high doses of 2 together.  In my case it is not a little withdrawl.  In fact I reduced my dose slightly a few months ago by cutting back on one pill and Dr. Brain had to tell me I had to take that pill again because I couldn't cut 1/4 of my daily dose with significant withdrawl that caused major issues for me.  So when we talked about backing down a dose yesterday we knew it might not work.  I was just startled at how significantly it didn't work and how quickly the need to take it if I wanted to function was apparent because I've always escaped that in the past even when there was no reason it shouldn't have happened.

There is also the implications of getting to a lower dose if I ever get stable enough to try to go back to the target.  When we went to the very high dose I've been on since March (?)  we knew that getting me off could be hard as to reduce I have to be stable for a while first and it's been a while since I've done that.  We also knew that I had chosen to start talking about some very intense stuff and that the medication was justified as my PTSD was raging out of control.  As it has turned out I've continued to battle anxiety and continued to deal with a great deal of pain in therapy up until I got sick.  For now therapy is glueing me together to deal with a few more days and that's not a good time to take away meds.

But can my body function at all normally with klonopin?  Nope.  Are the symptoms of not taking what I'm used to just minor discomfort as I've experienced the few times I've had some withdrawl?  Nope.  This is full-blown GET THAT DRUG IN ME orders from my entire body.  Which is fine.  We actually knew that I might have increased difficulty getting off it since I've been on liquid vicodin and pills of vicodin for 6 weeks for coughing as needed.  I weaned down after using it for 2 weeks and did ok but I have still been using it occasionally.
It's just never happened before and therefore is a weird fact.

As for what does it mean, nothing.  It's not like someone like me will need intense intervention to come off or anything; I just will need to be careful to not miss doses until the time comes that we can lower it, and lowering it will probably need to be the priority.

But in reality big deal.  I can't lower my non-additive meds either; I NEED them.  And as long as I do I'll take them.  I care very little about things like that; once you make decisions to continue taking meds that are hurting vital organs you stop worrying about lesser effects.  And I made that decision years ago.

ETA:  I do not intend to go off Klonopin or reduce my dose at this time.  All we were hoping was that if my body was overwhelmed by Seroquel it wouldn't notice the change.  That didn't happen.  No big deal, I'll just stay on the high dose Klonopin and manage the Seroquel the best I can until i stabilize.   

Saturday, December 11, 2010

I am an addict

When I first needed antidepressants I fought tooth and nail against it because I'd heard so much incorrect information and so many stereotypes at my conservative Christian college.  I didn't want addictive meds, didn't want to be dependent on medication to be happy when I felt I could learn happiness if I could just move beyond my past. After I became so sick and so deperate that I knew I had to make a difficult decision I went to the health center with the psychologist's recommendations (unfortunately verbal).  I remember which of the 3 exam rooms I was in that day, the yellow and blue cinderblocks, and that the physician's assistant refused to listen to me and insisted if I wasn't sleeping I needed xanax not antidepressants.  I kept saying "that's not what Dr. Mind the First says! He says I am depressed, have been depressed a long time, and need antidepressants!".  Finally they LIED to me and said they'd ask Dr. Mind the first and call me if he disagreed.  (Pre-Hippaa). So I took the stupid Xanax, barely could get up the next day, and then fell asleep IN CLASS.  I then proceeded to sleep nearly constantly for 3 days. I stopped the drug and spent the next few days furious with Dr. Mind the 1st. How dare he do THAT to me when I was so scared of meds to begin with?  Turned out when I angrily entered his office that nobody ever talked to him and that he was quite opposed to Xanax. I was sent to the doctor again that day with a very specific letter.  That time they didn't bother to shut the door to give me privacy in the same tiny exam room, but they did give me Paxil.

After the Xanax experience I was even more opposed to anything that could be addictive or have such strong effects.  I did use Ambien in college successfully after I took myself off my antidepressant against my dr's advice because I felt that even though I had been through severe depression and PTSD and might not make it without meds I deserved a chance. (Ambien isn't addictive although you do develop a tolerance to it eventually).  I went through a number of meds in the next few years but none were addictive at all.  When it became clear very soon after I started my first job that my antidepressant wasn't working well anymore and that my anxiety was intense I started playing antidepressant roulette.  I went through 2 or 3 family doctors before settling on one who I liked and trusted, but even he kept doing the worst thing on earth for potentially bipolar patients:  letting me rapidly max out on an antidepressant then changing to another.  He tried for about a year before I found myself "in trouble".  Basically Christmas happened and I flipped out.  I had been struggling even more than I was before since 9/11, (now I realize that it triggered my own PTSD in crazy ways), and generally declining. There was a specific incident/nightmare so terrifying that I couldn't recover from it and ultimately a friend helped me find and get into a psychiatrist.  She immediately changed my antidepressant to yet another one.  And about 6 weeks later when my friend came to tell me I was possessed and not a Christian per a vote of people who don't know me on the same day that the Columbia, something I had been avidly following in the news, exploded just moments before I woke up so that I woke up to the "something awful has happened and we don't know what" and fixated on things like what was found in what radius (which included body parts) and my mind went out of control between the 2 things.  I could not quit crying and had to take days off work, pretty much my first sick days ever.  I finally called the psychiatrist and was given ativan.  I started at a very low dose and then graduated to a fairly normal dose (.5 mg twice daily). I was so tired of being in a constant state of panic that I didn't even fight it.

Over the next few years my ativan usage waxed and waned.  I went through one period without any.  Other times I was allowed to take up to 3 mg/day (or something like that).  I know at one point I was taking 2.5 mg just to sleep at night, along with other sleeping pills.  But I always adjusted well when it was time to back off and like I said I could go off it cold turkey from time t time, sometimes for a month or more.  In 2007 (I think) Dr. Brain and Dr. Mind discussed my situation with anxiety.  Both believed it was heightening everything.  I wound up on a combination of ativan morning and night and a mild tranquilizer/anti-histamine taken 4 times during the day.  This allowed me to work harder on some of the underlying issues with Dr. Mind and overall reduced my anxiety.

It wasn't until I was in the hospital in 2009 that out of the blue I realized I'd developed tolerance to ativan.  Presumably this had happened during the month before admission when I was taking a great deal of it.  Once I finally realized this and asked for a new anxiety med I was switched to klonopin and I remember the sheer relief of that stuff working right away along with my doubled dose of Seroquel.

I left the hospital on a moderately high dose of Klonopin.  Over the next month I had so much anxiety that all kinds of things were tried including adding ativan, the antihistamine, and eventually low dose valium which finally calmed things down.

We don't wean my meds in the winter usualy.  And after the hospital I was so traumatized that although I came of valium easily, reducing anything else wasn't a consideration.  Dr. brain told me that for someone as sick as I'd been that I had to hold stability for a year or more before backing off much of anything unless there was a cause.

Eventually things happened that made my PTSD spiral out of control.  I could not calm down.  And so I was increased gradually to QUITE high dose of Klonopin.  For a while I was alternating half doses of konopin with antihistamine every 2 hours just to make it through work.

In the recent months I'm pretty much totally dropped one dose, leaving me me a morning dose and 2 at bedtime.  In the last week I've give up the daytime dose not because I don't need it but because it lets me stay awake.  Today with Dr. Brain we decided I could try cutting one at night to help me be able to take the Seroquel dose I needed.  And it turns out that my body won't relax without the full dose.

So, addiction it is.  (At least at this point it is an expected and controlled one.........)

Catching you up

I haven't posted much lately.  Basically I'm sleeping and working and that's it.  I'm still not feeling very good and the depression is ongoing as well.  I'm not a highly functional person right now.  As much as I love work it is too much right now and I have to stick it out until Christmas weekend before I can rest much.

I am responding a little to the meds I'm on.  The coughing is less and more in clusters now than it was a week ago when it was every second.  But it's still with me and until it is gone and stays gone a while I won't trust it much; I've responded partially to antibiotics at least 2 other times then gotten sick again.  I will say I MUCH prefer the 30 seconds of bad taste in my mouth from Spiriva to 60 minute nebulizer treatments.  Everyone seems to agree that I can't take this much longer and everyone wants to avoid the next step.  But I've expressed my wishes now to do steroids to both doctors if this fails.  So that would mean going to the hospital right around Christmas.  Or even for Christmas which sucks for messing up Christmas for my family but if I went the day I see Dr. Body (the 23rd) then I might not miss as much work.  At least I'll know by then how I'm doing so I can be prepared.

I talked to Dr. Brain about hospitalization today.  To my great relief I'll be able to be on a medical floor with a consulting psychiatrist who will give PRNs to keep me sedated as needed.  She said I could do it closer to home but my preference is to be at the hospital where I see her.  For one thing she has influence over the psychiatrists there.  For another I am afraid of the psychiatrists in the city where I would be if not where she is.  They did some pretty horrible things prior to my diagnosing myself and finding real help and I don't want those doctors.  A lot of them also refused to take me on their regular caseload without even assessing me, just based on my diagnosis.  And I have less and less trust in doctor's ability to understand my needs after having arguments with doctor's who don't seem to know what an MAOI even IS.  No matter what happens if I'm near her I can reach her and she can talk to whomever is treating me; she said she doesn't do hospital consults but her office is with the people who do.  So that's going to be the plan.

Psychiatrically I'm not in great shape.  This has worn on me badly and so I am depressed, but I feel even worse than I probably am because in my mind being tired like this is a WARNING!  NOTIFY TREATMENT TEAM AND BE ON ALERT and in reality a great deal of the fatigue is physical.  However, being sick for so long is scary and makes me feel powerless and so that does not make this easier.  Counting the period of runny nose for several weeks before whooping cough (that I called allergies) I've been sick for almost 2 months now.  I also have not slept well in all that time because I can't get comfortable and I think I wake up coughing frequently and reposition myself but I am so sedated at night that it is impossible to know that for sure; I do lots of things at night in my sleep.

Partly I feel bad psychiatrically because I'm not myself.  I hate shifting patients around to different days and then working a weird schedule.  I hate that I'm forgetting things and messing things up at work.  I hate that my patients aren't getting the energetic therapist they deserve.  My house is horribly messy/basically dirty.  My mom is going to try to come help tomorrow but may be held back by snow.  I hate that I am not working at my usual rate, some of which is my fault and some of which is not. I'm too tired to cook and most things don't appeal and I'm gaining weight to show it.  And the thing that would help the most is a Seroquel boost.  I did this last weekend and it helped, but since then I've been so incredibly tired I've had to cut my Seroquel and klonopin doses just to get out of bed.  Tonight I took the dose I need at 6:30 pm so hopefully I'll sleep by 8 or so and be ready to work on time.

I look sick.  I always have fair skin. Now I have pale,pale skin that is flushed from heat, cold, fever or the exertion of coughing.    Today I noticed that even my hair doesn't look like it feels good.

So, there is a tiny bit of positive news and the rest of the news is that I am struggling hard to make it through this and that's pretty hard when you don't even know what it IS.

I don't think there is a whole lot else I can say right now.  Well, especially right now as the meds are doing their thing and I need to set alarm clocks, feed cats and get snuggled up.

Hopefully I will be able to think well enough to not be so quiet except for medical updates soon.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

In lieu of a real post

  • The dog is fine. Our vet, with almost 40 years of experience, had never seen the type of thing she had grow on an internal organ.  Apparently she and I have more in common than I thought: crazy issues. The tumor was so big that she is visibly smaller.  The vet offered to show my mom; she declined.  I'd have looked, of course.  But it was just a fatty growth and she is fine and recovering well.  I had to go to my mom's house and use therapy skills to do a sheet lift to get her out of the car, but once she was out she's been walking around and doing well.  She was a bit miffed at my mom yesterday and when I got there she was so happy to see me.  I was so proud of her because we had to roll her onto the sheet and then I lifted her front until it was out then had my mom hold that when I lifted her rear and she stayed calm and let us.  Usually she's a neurotic mess.
  • I am very tired.  I actually slept until nearly when I should have been at work this morning.It worked out, but so embarrassing.
  • The breathing med may be helping a tiny bit.  By tiny I mean TINY but it is something.
  • I have decided that steroids may be the last resort and I've begged to avoid them, but based on whatever I work out about them with Dr. Brain I am ready to do that if this fails.  I can't keep going like this and at least if I got through some sedated steroids I'll get some drugged rest.  I can't function this tired.
  • My tiny little baby niece has hit the 95% for weight and head size.  She's a round little thing.  I saw new pictures today and she is so cute.
  • Today marks 10 years that I have officially been an occupational therapist.
A real post sometime.  When I am not so tired I want to curl up and die.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010


There's another reason I've been so emotional and struggling here.  The first year I was working I had a chance to get an adorable 1/2 lab, 1/2 golden retriever puppy for my mom. Her golden was approaching 20 and I didn't want her to suddenly be without a dog if the elderly one died.  (She lived another 2 years amazingly).  So I worked out this huge secret.  I didn't get the puppy until the Friday before Thanksgiving when my mom would be on break. I actually had her at work for the whole day; I carried her around for my entire day. I had my mother's friend take her out and he invented ridiculous errands to do, then when I called him with a code ring he abruptly brought her home.  I had parked up the street and hidden in my basement room.  When he thumped on the floor I brought the puppy up with a big red ribbon and said Merry Christmas.  It was hilarious because she immediately assumed the puppy was from him.  When we got it straight Gracie quickly became part of my mother's life.

Gracie is a weird dog. She has bizarre fears.  Thunderstorms require sedatives.  I had to sedate her when I was dog-sitting with whooping cough b/c she is afraid of coughing.  She also will leave the room if you have a spoon and bowl in the living room.  As a puppy she once barked at a broom for hours.  Where my mom used to live she became afraid of the driveway.  She wouldn't walk up and down stairs until she was about 40 lbs.; until then my mom carried her to her crate.  She failed obedience school, which was hilarious b/c if the male teacher had her do something she was perfect, whereas my mother had a huge struggle just to get her to walk from the car to the class.  I've seen her refuse to go for a ride, which she loves, because the car wasn't an SUV or because the seat was folded down and that is NOT how she rides.  She is just different.

We bonded that first day and she loves me and I love her as much as if she were mine.

Tomorrow she goes in for surgery to remove a large tumor from her spleen.  There is a 50% chance is it not cancer.  My mom has had to make some incredibly hard decisions including writing a letter to the vet saying that if this is going to be rapidly terminal or if Gracie will only suffer for the remainder of her life that they are to not wake her up.  If the diagnosis/prognosis isn't clear or it appears good or they can remove it all then Gracie will hopefully be home tomorrow night.

We are very hopeful.  Gracie has been through a lot medically the last 6 weeks and the tumor was an incidental finding.  She is acting totally normal, including wrestling hard with the other dog for 45 minutes last night while my mother was writing the letter to the vet.  She has no pain, no changes in behavior, and well, for a weird dog she shows her feelings through behaviors.  Even if it is cancer it may be totally removable.

But I'm scared.   I can't stand the thought of life without her and thanks to feeling like crap I haven't even gotten to go see her to give her a hug and a belly rub (her love language).

Getting through tomorrow is going to be hard, and that would be true if I felt ok, which I do not.  Between my mom and I our vet has now had the hospice for pets talk twice in 6 weeks.  The difference is that my cat DOES have something terminal and her dog MIGHT. Nonetheless it is a rotten conversation even though He's been totally supportive of what both of us have wanted (in my case I don't want testing or treatment of any kind; I don't want to monitor numbers because I know my cat and when she doesn't like life anymore I'll know.  I do watch her weight and make sure she has tons of food to eat, but that is all I will do for her.  If her kidney failure makes her uncomfortable and there's something easy to make her comfortable that extends her life we'll do it, but I will not change her diet, I will not do a lot of testing that just leads to dread on my part, and I will know when it is time.  This cat and I have been together for 13 years and I've been around her for 15.  She can read me and I her.  The same is true for my mom and Gracie.  It's very hard to pray that if she's going to die that the vet is able to make a clear decision tomorrow though.  As much as I hate losing her I would hate more having her recover from surgery, deal with pain, and be gone in a few months, especially if those months prohibited her from being happy and doing what she wants.

So anyway, please pray for my mom and for her Gracie.  It's going to be a long day for both of them.

last straw

I wound up home again today and will now have to work on Sunday to make up, but I felt so lousy I just couldn't try.  My doctor's computer system remained down all day but I was able to get the results from calling the office and forcefully not letting the woman hang up until I had both tests. They were clear.  So I don't have pneumonia, which is good, nor a sinus infection, which is kind of too bad b/c we know how to treat that.  I have questions for him and the system won't be up until tomorrow sometime.  Stress.

I was paid for the first time Friday.  I had to be paid by check because of a problem with my direct deposit information.  Unfortunately they paid me very wrong.  I'm salaried during my 90 day learning period and they paid me instead my hourly rate for office work/meetings which is substantially less.  I realized this Saturday and left a message for the correct person, also asking her to get back to me, stressing I was home sick, please call me there.  nothing.  I called again today, again begging her to call me back because I have a huge overdraft and have not wanted to cash the check since it was an error and I don't know how they handle that.  Again I said to PLEASE call my home # so that I could borrow money from my mother if I needed to.  Nothing.  I just woke up a little bit ago and am going to take meds and go to bed soon.  I checked my work voicemail and she left me a message showing she never listened to a word I said, something about I could cash the check I just needed to correct the direct deposit.  IT'S NOT THE RIGHT CHECK!!!!!  So I left her another message, crying (which I didn't mean to do, I'm just so sick of being sick and need things to go smoothly and am tired of them not), explaining AGAIN.  This person is very nice.  She also isn't great at attention to details, causing a big ordeal with being fingerprinted while on vacation and needing to submit to be reimbursed for that,  and also she forgot another part of new hire stuff as well as sticking me with little to do for a day because of not adding me to the computer system before my hire date.  But for pete's sake, this has cost me a TON of money and she's the one who entered the incorrect information in the first place.  "I'm sorry and will fix this ASAP" seems in order.

So, right now my life is this:  I am totally stressed about both money and work.  I'm exhausted no matter how much I sleep.  I'm coughing and feel crummy and can't do a thing about it except pray these last 2 meds work because if they don't it's time for steroids because anyone else would have had them about 2 weeks ago because of the inflammation in my breathing things.   I can't have them without risking mania and if I have to do it I want to be in the hospital.  Saturday I have to set up a plan for this with Dr. Brain. The current plan is to try to get through this course of antibiotics and hope it works, but if the trend continues and I feel worse ultimately we won't make it 10 days on this.   I also am completely upset because I keep missing work and it's only my 3rd week.  I'm making it up but if I go on steroids it will be more time off and I'll need to explain some of what is happening.  I probably need to do that tomorrow anyway since it's a likely thing.  Keep in mind that I can be released from my contract for missing work during this time and being able to say that they are treating something specific would be helpful.  I am overdrawn at the bank despite having a paycheck in my purse and I can't get the right person to listen to FIX it.  And tomorrow I have to work no matter what.

I also have reached my usual point of if no testing shows anything wrong am I making this up?  Am I subconsciously coughing for attention?  I could tell yesterday that my dr. doesn't think so, but he has no more ideas.  I think he is concerned I've developed an allergy and have asthma. Seeing a specialist for that is high on  the list and again, I don't know HOW because of work.

And now I can't quit crying.  It was actually somewhat easier when I thought this was just more reaction to pertussis.  I'm not 100% convinced it's not; what Dr. Body says and what I've read conflict a bit.  Yet he's usually right now I'm going with him.

I just want to understand.....

Monday, December 06, 2010

Well, THIS is fun

I saw my baffled doctor today. This is not the whooping cough; it's a whole new problem but he doesn't know what.  So I had a chest xray and a CT of my sinuses, got some new meds (another antibiotic and breathing med) and came home knowing this is getting to be the last resort before steroids.  I was actually typing an email to Dr. Brain warning her of this when I got 2 emails from my doctor.  Unfortunately the website where I have to go to read them is down.  Again.  I am so tired of it not working, which seems to be 25% of the time.  And once it is down it often takes quite a while to be back, meaning I may not know the test results until I have to call in tomorrow because there may not be an answer by the time I leave in the morning.  Nothing like an anxious wait to keep life exciting.  Since he didn't call I'm assuming I at least do not have pneumonia, but who knows and some answer would be really nice.

He was really nice.  I think he's picked up that I'm touchy lately because he made sure I knew the frustration on his face was feeling bad for me and not knowing how to fix it, not because I keep coming back with this bug.

So, I've seen the doctor AGAIN and I have no more idea what is wrong except for something with some lymph nodes that I didn't ask enough questions about to know.  I'm a little dazed today.

So please pray that the program works soon and that my answers are there.


I haven't stopped coughing since Saturday and I'm wheezing again and now clearly have sinus infection except I have no idea where it draining.  Maybe it's not and that's why it feels like my head is going to explode.  So I just did a lot of things to make my life feel worse than it is; I stayed home, meaning I don't get my comp day Thursday meaning I don't get to go see my niece and may not see her until the 26th.  I have to so see Dr. Body this afternoon.  The best part is that I seem to have coughed hard enough to burst blood vessels in my eyes, so they are now both pink all the way around.  I was going to work despite feeling crappy until I saw my then red eyes and decided looking scary wouldn't win me friends.  Besides,clearly my current antibiotic is not helping here.

I talked to Dr. Brain finally.  She thinks I feel bad because I'm tired from being sick.  She also promised me that I am not running out of Seroquel doses, a source of great anxiety since I'm already on more than recommended and didn't know how high she'll go.  It sounds like she'll go as high as I can tolerate.

The thing is that I'm supposed to be resting, but when?  I have work.  Then things keep coming up for weekends.  Saturday is Dr. Brain.  Next week our Christmas party for work is on Thursday so that Saturday is Dr. Mind.  Then Christmas which I should have 2 days that week to rest and do nothing else.

I just want to be past this and move on.  Not happening today though.  I always think this time of year drags because it is stessful and constantly busy but this year is topping them all b/c it's the same as usual but I'm not.

Oh well.  I'm just going to complain if I keep writing.  I'm at that point that I think most people get  to when sick where nothing is right.  I'dlove to sleep, but I can't fall asleep.  I can't get comfortable to read. I'm hungry and nothing appeals.  Etc.

Back to my crazy existence in this bed.....

Sunday, December 05, 2010


Between the narcotic cough syrup, my constant fatigue because that's part of whooping cough, depression, and now added tiredness from increasing my Seroquel dose and this is one sleepy lady.  I'm done sleeping for tonight which is fine, but I suspect that after my training is over today that I will be going home and going straight to bed.

In other news I talked to my supervisor about the person who has been slowly working toward helping me a few hours per week.  Getting her trained has taken months, and she still hasn't done an assisted eval from beginning to end (granted the patient was sent to the hospital but she also didn't seem to understand that she needs to plan that her first eval or two, with me, are going to be very long, like 3-4 hours of time to complete.  She needs to devote a full day to this, whether that means working on a Sunday with me or whatever, but I am getting so I'm going to need her.  My caseload is getting big and busy and I have several people who need quite a bit from me.  Going to her and saying that I really need this to happen is a big thing for me so I'm proud of it.

I may get to see my niece this week.  As long as Dr. Body says it's ok I'm off.  He told me one month which is up the 8th, but I have to make sure that it's totally safe with me coughing now still although rarely except since my forgetting I can't tip my head back.  Now I know not to make a dental appointment until I can breathe.......I forgot already how scary that sensation is.  I'm hoping to get in a breathing treatment or two tonight to help fix what I did, which I think was make the goop move around into a bad position and then it almost seals.

And that's about it from here.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Let's see...

Not a lot has happened lately.  I am just so tired.  I had a big mess with the pharmacy Thursday that showed exactly how tired and emotional I am.  I gave up on waiting for Dr. Brain so I upped my Seroquel to the last dose I have control to use on my own.  Last night I slept better and I think I'm getting sleepy now.

Physically I've been better, just very tired.  It doesn't take much wear me out.  The coughing is better but I do have a sinus infection and am on antibiotics for that.  In a lab part of my training today I had to lay flat with my head tipped back and had to stop the demo b/c I couldn't breathe.  I have coughed a zillion times since and had to take the narcotic cough syrup.  I have at least learned to stay calm, leave the room, walk around slowly and focus on slow breathing and when the anxiety reduces so does a bit of the feeling of being unable to breath.

Emotionally, depression is no fun   Obviously.

I think I am actually getting sleepy so I'm stopping abruptly...  I hope..........


I'm posting from email just to let you all know I'm ok but my netbook broke and I'm out of town so the only computer access is the public hotel one.  So I'll be back when I get home to my real computer. 

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Pictures Pages

I'm in a crappy mood so here's some happy pictures from my vacation instead.

I know it's blurry but I love the action shot.  These 2 never came back after the first day for some reason.  All my wildlife was cardinals until I saw a raccoon the size of a house in the tree but he hid before I got a picture.

Crazily placed rocks are part of Appalachia because it was formed by glaciers.

Pretending to be artsy.....

I took a trail called "Upper Falls" excepting to see the top of the waterfalls.  Instead it was a beautiful lake.