Thursday, May 31, 2007

Still feeling (relatively) good

I'm still feeling pretty well today. For me, right now, that means I was able to take kids to school, put dishes in the dishwasher, take the dog for a short walk, feed my animals and shower without having to nap. My pain level is also pretty good. My chest is not at all painful and my hips are only about a 2 or 3. Its 1:00PM and I still haven't needed to nap, but I will after writing this post.

Hubby is due back from North Africa tomorrow. Hooray! I miss him.

I had a pleasant surprise yesterday. When I went out to feed my goats, I found one of our hens had hatched ten little chicks. I was so excited! I hadn't even realized that one of our hens was nesting. Modern chickens have had the broodiness bred out of them and so you normally can't get them to sit on a nest for the month. I do love baby animals. I spent a nice chunk of the morning just watching them. I have to keep an eye on the dog tho', cause she'll think the chicks are nuggets with feet.

The woods are beautiful and inviting and I keep reading through my backpacker mags. I miss hiking soooo much.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Feeling human again

So here I am at the feeling better part of this pattern. My chest is still sore, but its no longer agony and my painkillers are taking care of that. I can actually skip the nighttime dose without waking up...Which is good 'cause Vicoden gives me some seriously funky dreams. So rather than 4-5/day, I'm only taking 2-3. And rather than 600mg of ibuprofen every 6 hrs, I only take 200mg. Hooray! My liver and kidneys do a happy dance

If the pattern holds true, I should have about 4-7 days of feeling relatively well (if frustrated by my lack of energy).

Hubby is away in North Africa. I went to the food Co-op before he left and filled up on relatively healthy frozen food. I realized that we were eating out waaay to much. Enough that it is adversely impacting our budget. My brain woke up enough to realize that if I bought the designer frozen food that the local equivalent of Whole Paycheck sells, we'd still save money and I wouldn't have to actually cook. And my children can actually eat something other than junk. It seems to be a good compromise.

Cleaned my kitchen yesterday. Hooray! I even managed to mop my disgusting floor.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Yay pleurisy

Saw DR today. My lungs sound good, which is a relief. He said that the pain in my chest was most likely pleurisy.

Fortunately, pleurisy is a more or less benign if painful inflammation of the membranes of the lungs. The symptoms are:
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Chills
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weight loss
  • Poor appetite
  • Sharp chest pain with breathing. Pain can limit the movement on the side of the chest with pleurisy.
  • The pain can also be in the back, up into the neck, or down into the abdomen.
  • Rapid shallow breaths
  • Inability to take a deep breath
  • Itching in sites on the back (near the site of the lungs, but no visible rashes)
Except for the fever and weight loss part, I've pretty much got all the other symptoms. Its part of all this random inflamation. I was worried that it might be a pneumonia relapse, so I'm quite relieved.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

A subtle pattern begins to emerge

By logging my symptoms, I've started to notice that I do have a pattern to them. The day after I take the every 48hour medication, I feel more tired and achy. I also have a longer pattern that seems to go about every thirty days or so. I go thru a couple of days (maybe as much as a week) where I feel relatively human, then I get the weeps with joint pain , then I get some new and interesting scary symptom. Usually chest pain of some variety.

I slept badly last night because I was having an asthma attack and I was all out of albuterol. It wasn't serious, so hot water and breathing thru my nose worked for it. I refilled my inhalor rx. Now I have a vague ache in my back up high in the vicinity of my right lung. I'm also breathing hard climbing stairs.. I'll go see my doc tomorrow.

Its reassuring that there's some predictability to these symptoms, but I really could do without the chest pain thing.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Bad day yesterday

Actually I had a pretty rough weekend since about last Thurs. I'd written a nice long post about it and then my computer crashed.

I had another one of those weepy days and both my kids were home sick. My dog ate my brand new sandals. Then thought it would be fun to chase the baby goat.

I'm having this new thing where if I don't eat, I get all shaky and weird. I've been sleeping badly. Husband is away. I found myself crying at the least provocation.. Ice packs were required for my hand after I spent all that time typing.

I hate this.

MFTN stopped by and hung out for a while which really helped and other friends called just to check on me.

Its good to have friends. In a very real way, they are my lifeline right now. Hugs to all of you!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

The tyranny of the positive attitude

When is complaining a useful piece of communication and when does it become destructive? There's this preacher who's gotten on the positive attitude bandwagon and is telling his congregation to quit their bitching.

I hate complaining personally. However, I'm a cranky bitch when I hurt and no amount of positive attitude changes the fact that I hurt. I find that having any sort of conversation is exhausting and people think I'm snubbing them. I try to tell people how I'm feeling, but it comes out as complaining to my own ears. Fortunately my best friends are introverts and don't have any problems sitting in a room with me and not talking. My husband and daughter have more trouble with it. My son keeps up both sides of the conversation all by himself.

Someone told me to read The Secret. I know I'll have to, if only to defend myself against it.

I'm the most positive pessimist I know. I like hearing the worst first, 'cause after that everything is up. I believe that I have a good life. I have the best family anyone could ever wish for. I am living the way I always wanted to. Just by virtue of being born into the place and time that I was I am already better off than 90% of my species.


I am not sick because I somehow "called it to me". Its a bacteria that is, in the grand scheme of things, just living its own little microbial life.

My father is not dying because he thought the wrong thoughts. He's 70 years old and spent too many years playing golf in the sunshine without sunscreen.

The vast majority of victims of domestic violence do not collude with their abusers

Positive thinking is not going to fix the war in Iraq. Some even may argue that an overabundance of optimism got us into that mess in the first place by expecting that our presence would be welcome.

Optimists die every day of the week. Of every kind of cause. And sometimes things are hopeless and unfair. And in those situations grief is appropriate. Even, dare I say, healthy. Normal.

Ghandi and Martin Luther King were angry men. They just understood how to use their anger to their advantage. Listen to MLK's speeches sometime. Barely suppressed rage underlines the greatest of those speeches. The belief that one person can make a difference is different from this pernicious positivity espoused by the talk shows. From the blame-the-victim pop psych self help trash.

Karl Marx is spinning in his grave over this repackaged people's opiate. Mindless positivity is a fine example of mind control. But instead of waiting for heaven in the next life, its our own damned fault if we don't have it here. As the bumper sticker says, "If you're not outraged, your not paying attention."

Monday, May 7, 2007

My fingers

My fingers hurt and its damned hard to type when they do. On the other hand, I'm starting to get back to being able to do things. I'm spending more time on my feet and less time in bed. I can go out and take care of my animals myself which is nice. Just don't ask me to do the dishes--we've got so many chipped dishes from my dropping everything.

Due to the sun sensitivity thing, I need to wear gloves outside and this morning they actually hurt my hands. I hate it when my clothes hurt. I've had trouble lately finding clothes that are acceptable to wear because of this. Complicated by the fact that I've gained weight, I can't find clothes that are both becoming and don't hurt. Let me be clear here: I don't mean these clothes are uncomfortable, I mean they hurt. Imagine a constant sunburn if you will. Some of my pants feel like they're made of metal rather than cotton and nylon.

Its hard to be clear with other people about symptoms when they sound so weird to one's own ears. I had a hard time sleeping last night because of chest pain, okay I can say that, but how do I explain that the sheets were too heavy for my feet?

Anyway, I was going to talk about something completely different, but typing hurts too much this AM so I'm done now.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Doctor visit

Hubby came with me to see DR yesterday. Appointment went pretty well. I'm on the highest dose of the current antibiotic in this protocol and it looks like I'll go to the next phase in June (which would actually be about two months early).

Got into a conversation about wether I was able to ask for help. I said "yes" while hubby sat beside me shaking his head "no". Sigh. Okay, how about "I'm a lot better than I used to be". There was also some discussion about how much I minimize--DR asked me how I was doing and I said "better" and Hubby started talking about how dreadfully I'm doing.

Well, I guess when I said "better", I meant "I can get out of bed most days for 5 or 6 hours at a time before I have to nap" and "I'm only taking 3 Vicoden a day, down from 4". I did give DR my symptom charts that I've been trying to keep which give a better idea of how I'm doing.

DR said I ought to give my friends around here a call to help me out. Hubby made the comment that it was hard for me to do because I am both shy and macho. I think that DR knew the macho part but was, perhaps, surprised by the shy part. I just hate to bother people.

I'm really missing my hiking. Perhaps I can go hiking at night now that the weather's better. I feel a deep homesickness for the woods.