Category Archives: Health

I suck at consistently writing

Did I really just go an entire month without even thinking about blogging? So much has happened, I don’t even know how to update you properly.

I’ll say I do believe the unplanned hiatus was a result of the medication I’m now on for anxiety. It starting working right away, but I discovered it was actually working a little too well. I went from being anxious about every possible thing, to not caring about much at all. Even the important stuff. So a few days ago I started taking half a dose, and that seems to be working out well. I’m caring again but I’m not having panic attacks, and that makes me very happy. I’m praying that I’ve found the right balance and look forward to moving on with my life.

My daughter turned 8 a couple weeks ago. My precious baby girl is 8. She’s growing up too fast for me. I just need her to slow down. She is currently obsessed with unicorns and animal print – two things I have zero interest in or experience with, so I’m sort of watching her from afar, in awe of her sense of self and unashamed quirkiness. I know she’ll look back on these days and wonder what she could have been thinking and ask me why I didn’t forbid her from making these disastrous fashion choices, and I cannot wait for that day. I was her age during the 80’s, so I have plenty of those groan-worthy memories to look back on.

We threw a party to celebrate right here at the house, with a handful of Natalie’s friends from school and the neighborhood, both old and new. The girls gave themselves Jamberry manicures and ate unicorn cake and rainbow sherbet. Then at the end we had time leftover so the girls put together a fairly rowdy game of Simon Says. It was really something to be on the outside, seeing her in her element and enjoying spending time with her friends. She just seemed so grown up, so “Eight.” It’s one of those days I hope I never forget.

2017-11-11 15.17.45

In other news, I went to a new audiologist today to update the programming of my cochlear implants. While the audiologist I had been seeing was nice and all, we never felt like she really knew much about the technology for my implants. I think she probably dealt more with hearing aids. With my last programming, my husband was positive that it was a big change in the wrong direction, and that I ought to find a new audiologist. Well, I finally did and it certainly paid off. The office only services people with cochlear implants, so that is their specialty. We knew as soon as we walked in that we were in the right place. The visit took a solid two hours but it was thorough and I left feeling a ton more confident about my hearing level and speech recognition. Exhausted, but confident. I’m looking forward to the days ahead, for every opportunity to hear all the typical sounds in a new way with this new and improved programming. Technology truly is a wonderful thing.

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Here’s an honest post

Not that my posts are never honest, just that this one is taking me a little bit of extra courage to post. I’ve got my big girl pants on here, folks.

I went to see my doctor yesterday to talk about anxiety. It’s something I’ve been struggling with for some time now, well over a year, only I’m just now realizing that’s what IT is. So I’m getting help.  And in case there was any shred of doubt in my mind that this was a real problem for me, I got worked up and nervous on the way to the doctor’s, worrying that we wouldn’t get there in time (with 50 minutes still yet to spare), and then the doctor’s office made me wait for a good 30 minutes. So I sat there, appearing completely calm, while my insides itched and twitched and crawled around. My heart was racing, my chest was getting so tight it was hard to breathe. When I describe all this to my doctor, and to friends who are familiar with anxiety, they nod in reassurance that it is a real problem and I’m not crazy.

These little anxiety attacks happen more frequently than they ought to. Very often, too often, they cause me to lash out in anger at my children. They don’t deserve that (usually lol). Also it’s just mentally exhausting to be walking around in an amped up state of mind, with your insides all twitchy and restless. Honestly, it didn’t bother me quite as much when I was fatigued. I’m not saying I want to go back to the land of fatigue, of course not, I’m just saying the anxiety wasn’t as evident. I didn’t really see it for what it was because I was blaming it on the fatigue and I could always just sleep it off. But no more. Now I am healthy and I’ve got energy to feel the things I’m feeling that need to be addressed. And now I’m addressing them. Lord, don’t leave me now. I still need You every day.

I’ve thought a lot about where this anxiety is coming from. Who knows, really, but I wonder if this is the residual effects of my vision and hearing loss. Now that I’ve reconnected with people and I’m in better physical health, maybe this is part of that grief and rehabilitation process. I certainly don’t like to give my disabilities more credit than they deserve, but it’s true that I live outside of my comfort zone almost 90% of the time. Nothing looks right, nothing sounds right. It’s all still very foreign to me. I have to believe that this won’t always be true. I have to believe that I’m going to find my new comfort zone. And when I do, believe me, I will move right in. I’ll decorate it with paisley, Wonder Woman, and maybe a cowbell or two. And all my favorite people will be invited!

 

In sickness and in health…

You know, I try really hard to be as healthy as I can. I can’t undo the damage MS has already done to my nerves, but I can do the best with what I’ve got left and the body I’ve got now. I stopped eating meat back in November. It’s gone well, so I gave up dairy last week. Right after I cheated a few days eating meat. And then I got sick with some nasty chest congestion. Ugh. The cheating was certainly not worth it.

Then today, I’m having coffee with a friend and BAM! I started having an attack of vertigo. It was so weird, y’all, I mean I have experienced dizziness but this was so much more. I mean, everything around me seemed to be literally turning. And it lasted for a good two minutes before it calmed down. The problem was that the feeling never really went entirely away, even long after my friend had left. I texted another friend to see if what I was experiencing was normal, and if I should go the urgent care or something. I was still feeling super dizzy and I was having some numbness in my left arm. But as I was texting with her I realized that yes, I probably should go. So I called my husband to come get me. My knight in shining armor dropped everything and came as quick as he could. In the meantime my friend came over to check on me and keep an eye on my kids while my husband and I were at the urgent care.

Thankfully, all my vitals and an EKG were normal. The doctor explained that it was most likely inflammation from my recent chest cold that got transferred and consequently trapped in my ear drum, and that it should clear up if I just give it time. In the meantime he gave me an anti-nausea medication to take in case the dizziness is really bothering me or making me feel unsafe. The medicine has helped tremendously.

I was just so ecstatic that I wasn’t having a heart attack and that I didn’t end up in the hospital because I have a family reunion to go to this weekend that I am SUPER STOKED about. Because I have an amazing family full of aunts and uncles and cousins and cousins-plus whom I never get to see anymore. I was so afraid that my stupid health issues were going to ruin that, so I’m just happy. Happy, happy, happy.

I did tell my husband – who knows how hard I try to be low maintenance, and loves me despite my utter failure at it – that I’m ready to get back to the “in health” part of our marriage vows. Seriously.

April Update

I am running a 5k next week. I haven’t been training for it. Occasionally I’ll get a run in, and I do fine. So I think I’ll do fine on race day. I won’t be breaking any records, but I’m confident I’ll finish on my feet. Which I guess is the most important thing to me. Just keep swimming.

This morning when my son went to pack his lunch, he found a gang of tiny ants in his lunch box. Eww. He freaked out, rightfully so I suppose, but he went a little overboard if you ask me. I mean, they weren’t biting ants, or even the flying kind. But still, what a mess. The kids managed to get out the door to the bus on time, while I did what I could to clean up before my ride came (dermatologist appointment today), but I’m sure there are still creepy crawlies hanging around here and there. I put his backpack in the garage because they were there too. This is per my son of course, because my vision, you know? They are too small for me to see, unless I know where to look. It didn’t help that his backpack is black, so the sneaky ants are camouflaged. 

Ugh. Then my ride came 15 minutes early, and I was still in my pajamas. But the driver was plenty patient, and everything was fine. The day could only go up from there, right?

And it did! The dermatologist seemed to know exactly what is going on with my face, and it turns out it’s not my fault! It broke out again when I was on the prednisonea couple months ago, and just won’t clear up. He said the prednisone was likely just a trigger for the underlying cause, which he believes to be rosacea. Stress is also a trigger, so I think I need less stress in my life. Anyone wanna take my kids for awhile? Or the dog? Or both? Anyway, the doctor called in a script for a cream, and I’ll go back in a few weeks to see if it’s helping. And he was a super nice doctor and didn’t make me feel crazy or neurotic, so I’m feeling better now. Amazing what a difference a kind interaction can do for your mood.

Now I have the whole day ahead of me, and with a positive outlook to boot. I’m thinking a nice cup of coffee and a good book are in my future today…

Thunder bolts of lightning

Get this, I woke up with a pulled muscle in my neck, and it has me in such pain. I mean, searing, sharp, throbbing pains. I’m in such flippin’ agony I’ve been whining about it on Facebook all morning. If it was just one muscle, I could deal, but this thing is connected to all these other muscles, so every time I move something – an arm, a leg, whatever – I don’t know if it’s going to be okay or if it’s going to shoot fiery bolts of lightning up through my neck. It’s a crap shoot.

I slept on a heating pad for most of the morning and then managed to fix myself some lunch – baked sweet potato with butter and cinnamon YUM – and now I’m chillin’ on the couch with a cup of coffee. Coffee on the right, because apparently I can’t reach from the left or the pain kills me, and then the coffee spills. We can’t have any of that happening, now can we?

I went upstairs to get something and by the time I got to the top of the steps, I forgot why I was up there, so I distracted myself with laundry until it came back to me. Managed to rotate some loads, with slow and careful movements of course, and sure enough, it came to me! Drugs, I went up for the drugs. Because I can’t really deal with this pain. I normally boast a high pain tolerance, mainly because surgery and needles don’t scare me, but when it gets in the way of getting things done, that pisses me off. So I took some Aleve, and hopefully that eases a little of the pressure. If it doesn’t work, I’ll have to have the kids unload the dishwasher and take out the trash tonight.

Ok, I’m sorry, but that’s all I have for now. I’ve been a little neglectful of the blog so I really just wrote this to give you something, so as not to get out of the habit of writing. More will come. It always does.

It runs deep

I have a strong aversion to folding the clean laundry. Really strong. If I can think of anything else I can do instead, I’ll do it. 

So today I’m going to the YMCA!

I know what you’re saying, I was doing that already, so not a great excuse, but eh… I woke up this morning NOT feeling it. Almost cancelled my ride to the gym. But fortunately I procrastinated on that too, until the bus came, and now I’m on my way. I know once I’m there I’ll be glad I stuck with it.

And that’s my Friday snippet. Make today a good one!

Everybody does it

I drink a lot of smoothies. Just about every day, a smoothie packed with bananas, berries, yogurt, and spinach. Sometimes I’ll mix it up and add a little juice or milk, or vanilla for flavor. But always the banana, berries, and spinach. Because fiber, y’all. I need it. We all do, of course, cuz it’s an important nutrient, but I seem to be of the brand of human who needs a little help in the elimination department. Oh sorry, I didn’t warn you this post might be TMI for some. But seriously, folks, why does no one ever talk about this? Is it really that sensitive a subject? It’s not for lack of commonality, I assure you. I think it’s just because it’s icky. But I’m not afraid of self-disclosure (clearly, I have a blog for crying out loud) and I’m not afraid to share that I have trouble.

In fact, I’ve always had trouble, so I can’t really blame it on MS – although MS can certainly compound the issue. No, I remember as a young girl having to drink mineral oil and being given enemas. I still vividly remember drawing a picture of my poop once so I could show it to my mom, I was so proud. (You realize what we’re talking about now, right?) She doesn’t remember this, but I do. I don’t know if I should be hurt by that or thankful she didn’t save the picture!

So, back up to the smoothies. It’s really just been the easiest way for me to consume enough fiber. Berries are packed with it, as is spinach, which is virtually tasteless when you grind it up in the blender. Not that I mind spinach, I love it, just not with my fruit so much. My doctor recommends I consume 30 grams of fiber every day and OH MY GOSH, that’s a lot of fiber. So it’s been a struggle, but most days I hit the goal. And it has been helping, but not always enough, so once a day or so I go for a glass of your good ole prune juice. Yech. It’s the most unpleasant beverage I’ve ever consumed, but if you water it down it’s not so bad. It certainly beats mineral oil.

Oh! I almost forgot to mention the best part of this development. In recent weeks I was having a lot more balance problems than usual, and I was starting to use my cane on a pretty regular basis. It had not occurred to me that one issue could be related to the other, but when I started getting “regular”, my balance issues almost disappeared. I’m walking so well now! Now I know I could attribute this improvement to other things like exercise or the change in the weather, but the improvement was so sudden, like within the following day, that I have to give it credit. And the fact that my balance has remained well as I’ve been on this increased fiber – and resulting regularity – just confirms it for me.

I have so much more on my mind regarding food I want to share with you, but I’ve got a lot on my plate this week so it will have to wait for another day. Eat your fruits & veggies, people!!

**If you caught my puns, I applaud you. I love puns 🙂