Heat Wave and Disappointments

Ugh. That is the word of the day. It’s hot, we are having a heat wave this weekend. Highs in the 30C area, at night it’s about 15-20C. Wreaks havoc with my chronic illness. The kids had a rough week, the older is still having sleeping/eating/meltdown issues as well as teething (he lost his first tooth and the adult tooth replacing it is coming in fast), the younger is teething and growing so eating and waking a lot. My Mom brought me her old mobility scooter now that we’ve moved and have the space to store it, that’s been very helpful. It helped me get out to see her yesterday for her birthday. It’s now been a week since my surgery, healing is slow as I expected it to be (there’s a whole post in the works for that). I’m having issues getting up and down the stairs today. We got a good walk in though to loosen things up. There is a family gathering tonight that I completely forgot about that we aren’t going to. This has upset people greatly. I hate how taking care of myself leads to unhappiness and disappointment in others, let alone myself. I’m enjoying the time with my husband and kids today but I’m really unhappy about people being unhappy with me for taking care of myself. Well they aren’t unhappy with me personally, at least I hope not. Just sad about the situation. Thing is this same person gives me crap for not getting enough rest and self care and whatnot. Just feels like I can’t make anyone happy, least of all myself.
I’m seriously considering medication for depression again. Probably Wellbutrin since it will help with the smoking. I also need something for my Fibromyalgia, and need to discuss my worsening joint pain and such. My rheumatologist moved my May appointment to August. It will be almost a year between appointments. I am not pleased with my current quality of care. I can’t even find a family doctor close to my new home, I don’t think finding a new rheumatologist is going to be any easier. I need a vacation from life or something. 

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Fear and Loathing

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So I shared this meme today on my Facebook page. An acquaintance asked why do it then, as in why hate my body. I answered that I can’t help it sometimes. I’ve waxed all philosophical about it and decided I needed to write an actual blog post about it. As the title alludes to, there is a lot of fear and loathing involved in my relationship with my body. It’s never been an overly healthy thing. That’s the toss up for hopping out of the womb three months early and surviving, I guess. I caught pneumonia for the first time at one week old. For all the sickness I had as a child, none of it was a disability. My body generally worked, my immune system was just crappy. I think I was seven or eight the first time my knees started to ache. Younger for the first angry colon/bladder incidents. It still wasn’t until I was thirteen or fourteen where things really started to fall apart. I remember trying out for track and field at my new elementary school, having just moved to Surrey. As I sprinted across the field, fully expecting my legs to piston as always regardless of pain, the first real fear moment struck. It didn’t hurt a lot, my knee just refused to take my weight, and into the gravel I went. It would take a few years of debilitating knee pain for the loathing to start. When your body hurts every day, for no particular reason, you eventually start feeling pissy with it. This acquaintance, like a lot of people who don’t live with chronic pain, says I always have a choice in how I view my body. In reality, I really don’t. Chronic illness and pain do a number on the brain chemistry. So while sometimes I can pull myself out of the more, a lot of the time I can’t.

Crisis

**TRIGGER WARNING** This post contains details of child illness and emergency situations.

I think I’m finally starting to decompress from the crisis my family had this week. I’m writing it out here in an effort to ease the anxiety and stop the impending panic attack. I’m the Calm Centre of the Universe you see, everyone else around me gets to fall apart. I don’t. At least not at first. Takes a few days sometimes but it’s finally starting to slip out.

Yesterday my little family came home from the hospital. We had spent three days (two nights) there with my son.

It started off with coughing and sneezing on Wednesday, we were up all night with him crying almost non-stop. The crying all night bit has happened before when he was teething so I assumed it was his teeth again. By Thursday morning he was refusing to eat, refusing water and milk, all he wanted was to lay on my chest. He wasn’t wheezing, we’ve taken him in for wheezing before, he had been diagnosed with Bronchiolitis. He was definitely working very hard for breath though. When he wasn’t screaming (which was good in a way, at least he was getting that much air in) he was moaning with each breath. I called my hubby and he came home from work and off to emergency we went.

I walked into emergency, hubby had dropped me off and went to park the car. There was someone in front of me in triage and I had to resist screaming at them to hurry the fuck up. Fintan was crying and moaning and I was doing my best not to panic. Another nurse poked her head out and looked at me and quickly motioned me into one of the cubicles to get my info. She took the basics and then got up to take me directly into the back, which was terrifying, usually you sit for at least a good half hour before you get in. I figured we would be heading to the paediatric ward as usual but she took me directly to trauma and they whisked us into one of the beds. My hubby stood back, I stayed close since the little guy was at this point freaking out. Immediately there were three nurses examining him. Within five minutes there were three doctors as well. They worked quickly to get some medicine into him to open his airways and some tylenol for the high fever he was running. A few minutes after he was finished getting his first dose of Ventolin through this little mask, he looked like he was going to toss up the tylenol so I held him up. He gagged a few times and then went white…then ashen. They removed me from the bed right away. He was crashing. His oxygen saturation levels were at 84%, his heart rate was running between 200 and 210. To give some perspective on this, his normal heart rate is 120-130 and O2 saturation should be at 100%. If your saturation levels stay in the 80’s for too long you are looking at brain damage. He perked up almost immediately after they started poking at him and trying to rouse him and started screaming again which was very good. We thought he was going to die. I think that was the most terrifying moment of my life.

He was given two more doses of Ventolin as well as a liquid form of Flovent and we kept the oxygen mask on him. It took some time but eventually his saturation levels would stay at about 90-94% when you took the mask off and his heart rate dropped to about 190. They moved us up to the Paediatric Ward and put us into isolation and that’s where we spent the next two nights. I didn’t really sleep that first night. They were checking his vitals every hour and giving him Ventolin every four. He slept pretty much the whole night in fits and starts. My Mother and Mother in Law had come as soon as we told them what was going on. My Mother stayed with us until 8pm, my Dad showing up around 7pm. I think I would have lost my mind without her. By morning he was still breathing heavy but his heart rate had dropped to the 150-170 range. They had put him on oxygen the day before just to give him a helping hand. Mom came the next day to help out too.

Fintan_Oxygen

Everything kind of blurs together now. A respiratory specialist came to see him at one point when the nurse thought she heard something funky while checking his lungs. He told us that he had Bronchiolitis as a child and that it eventually progressed into Asthma but that boys seemed to have a better chance of outgrowing it. Bronchiolitis is essentially baby Asthma. He took Fintan off the oxygen which was scary but fantastic all at the same time. The little man got progressively better, playing, eating more but still tiring really fast. He slept almost straight through that second night. Saturday morning the doctor came and told us that we could go home. We have Ventolin on hand to use as needed and he will be on Flovent for three weeks. These are both administered by puffers using a chamber. It’s funny that at the hospital he screamed and fought it. Here at home he actually bends his face towards the chamber for me and sits still, breathing the medicine in calmly.

We were all extremely happy to be home, the little man seemed especially pleased. He immediately began playing with his toys. Didn’t take him long to fall asleep and he slept soundly for three hours in his crib. He started eating solids again in the afternoon. The doctors can’t say for sure if it is asthma but it looks that way. The way he explained it was that at this age it’s really tough to diagnose asthma so his diagnosis is Bronchiolitis with a strong suspicion of Asthma. My Dad and I have hay fever and seasonal allergies and I have eczema. These two conditions are connected to asthma apparently so that makes it even more likely.

I’m going to a concert tonight, Fleetwood Mac. My best friend and I have been waiting for months. Now that the day is here I find my anxiety is awful and it’s only 9am. I guess it’s going to be an Ativan type of day.

Happily back at home

Happily back at home

April 2nd, 2013

I had a root canal yesterday. I feel gross. Kinda like someone smashed the side of my head with a sledge hammer. Once the jaw stops hurting I will be thankful that the tooth no longer hurts. Cost a pretty penny too. Apparently I still need a crown on the thing and since it’s the only molar left on that side I don’t have much choice in the matter. Well especially now I guess since I spent so much money on the root canal.

Energy levels have been drastically low. Warmer weather has been helping with the joint pain. Cymbalta seems to be working well on the anxiety/panic disorder. Also seems to be helping with the pain levels. I’ve been able to do a lot more cleaning and keeping of house.

The upper back and neck area have been really bad.

Meds are the same.

December 18th, 2012

Back from the dead so to speak, once again. The little man is keeping me very busy. I can’t believe he will be seven months old in a week. He has two teeth already and is teething like mad which makes him very clingy and sometimes a little screaming terror. He is the light of my life though.

It’s cold and dreary. This of course wreaks havoc on my joints. The plaquenil is definitely helping but it’s not like it goes away entirely. I have had some really intense stabbing pains in my fingers and wrists. Both joints in the thumb and the middle knuckles of the pointer, middle and ring finger of both hands. The infamous “T Zone” is really bad. Not as bad as it was, I think the drugs might be working for that too. I also have an exercise the physiotherapist showed me that helps ease the burning/numb feeling. Two doses of Tylenol Arthritis a day is necessary on top of the prescription drugs. I tested the theory a few weeks ago, which I do from time to time to see if I can just run on the prescriptions, it was a bad idea. I will wait until the weather is nice and warm before I even think about trying that again. The usual pain and dull ache in the major joints, certain movements cause a stabbing sensation in my upper back now that actually takes my breath away. Nausea, headaches, anxiety, agoraphobia, depression, the cold that will not end. And speaking of cold there is the cold toes. So cold they hurt, which of course refuse to warm up. Once I do get them warmed up if I uncover them or walk around too long without slippers they go right back to the frozen state. Appetite is minimal. Weight loss is coming slowly. My period is back to it’s usual trying to kill me mode. TMI ALERT: heavy clotted flow for almost the whole week….ugh. I have started getting flaky red spots on my eyebrows and my skull, with full on scaling at times. Looks like psoriasis, told the doc what it looked like (of course it went away by the time I got to the office) and he agreed that’s what it sounded like. It’s coming back again so I’m going to get pictures. Pretty much nails the arthritis down to psoriatic.

That being said the little man keeps me happy. I just snuggle him or play with him and it helps immensely. Doesn’t help with getting out of the house though. I know I really need to get out but it’s hard to get motivated. He needs to get out too but with the weather it’s hard to get around. My usual habit of walking around the mall is impossible right now, too many people, makes for panic attacks, and I have to ativan left. I may feel awful a good portion of the time but life is still good. I have friends and family I love, a roof over my head and food in the cupboards.

And this….

Fin's 1st Remembrance Day

An Explanation for Rape?

**TRIGGER WARNING: RAPE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT**

During my mindless scrolling through my Facebook feed this morning I came across an article by Jezebel entitled “Rapists Explain Themselves on Reddit, and We Should Listen”. Apparently there is a whole page with comments from rapists, both men and women (remember, women can rape too!), with explanations as to why they raped. I read the article, I have NOT gone to the Reddit page nor do I think I will ever do so. The article itself was triggering enough. In fact I’m writing this post to try and quell the panic and anxiety that is building in my chest. I can count on one hand the number if people I have ever told my rape experiences to. Some got the simple answer, “Yes I was raped…” and some got all the nasty details of it. The reason I am writing this post is because I believe that those experiences effected me a lot more then I like to admit and feed my anxiety and depression. And since this blog is about ALL my fun medical conditions it seems like a good idea to discuss it. I haven’t ever really talked about my mental illness on here. I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder and Situational Depression (sometimes called Secondary Depression). I digress though. I read the article with the usual amount of rightous outrage that I usually feel when I read such things. I have dealt with a lot of the emotional scars of my experiences but every now and again they surprise me.

It was this quote…

“I’m a good man. I have a wife and a couple of kids now and I’m a good father and husband. I’m a pretty moral guy. But I think the thing that has always stuck with me…is how close I came to actually doing it. If I hadn’t looked up at her face and seen what she was feeling, I might have continued. In my mind, at the time, she wanted it. I can remember staring at the ceiling while on the couch thinking “in a couple of minutes she’s going to come out here and get on top of me.”

and this one…

…It was then I looked at her face. She was petrified. I at that point pulled myself together, rolled off her and apologized. My hormones were RAGING. I asked her why she didn’t want to. I told her what I thought above. She started to cry.

These two are what triggered, what set off the panic and anxiety. See my rape experiences were not what society likes to consider a “clear cut” case of rape. I never said no. I never tried to fight him off. I wasn’t beaten bruised and bloody. It wasn’t some big scary man that did this. It was my boyfriend. Who I loved. And who claimed to love me. And on the occasions where he did take what he wanted, he never looked me in the face. Those words made me feel physically ill.

I think that’s enough for me on this topic for now.

Love, Light and the Blessings of the Ancestors.