seventhe: (Cats: I LIKE THEM)
This just in: still alive.

I'm not even going to get into work here because the things people have done to me and the things I have done to people in the last six weeks belong in a horror film. One about fire and brimstone and lots and lots of swears.

More importantly, I finally got in to see the rheumatologist. I'd delayed calling because I am a busy and forgetful fuck, and then when I called there was a 6-8 week lead time on appointments, but I've finally been in to see an expert. Diagnosis re-confirmed, it's fibromyalgia. There's also some general autoimmune-disease stuff going on in there, but Fibro is an absolute.

(With fibro, there are these "trigger tender points" that are part of the diagnosis process: for people with fibro there are certain points on the body where the nerves are hypersensitive, so a normal touch feels like someone punching you directly on a bruise. Things I wasn't prepared for. The doctor was doing his check-over and hit the one on the knee and I screamed. I've always just thought bodies were sensitive there. Things I wish I'd known years ago.)

So I'm being taken off the escitalopram (anxiety med) and put on Cymbalta. The Cymbalta should be able to take the place of the Lexapro with regards to anxiety, and additionally will help deal with the fibro pain and sensations. I do get to keep my trazodone -- you can pry that sleeping pill from my cold dead fingers.

I'm on a starter dose for now, which will be increased if/as needed, and if Cymbalta doesn't work Lyrica's next.

As part of the prescription, I've also been "prescribed" exercise. The doctor says that mild (no strenuous weightlifting or sprinting intervals) exercise will help the fibro and, even though it hurts, will also help the Cymbalta work -- basically adding some exercise activity will give the drug the best chance to be effective as time goes on. As I would really like (one of) these drugs to be successful, I'm going to go back to the gym and just be gentle with myself until/as the drugs start to work, and then go from there. I'm thinking of restarting yoga in addition to that.

I am sure it won't be easy, and adding something else to my to-do list and daily schedule is moving in the absolute wrong direction, but I'm at the point where I've needed a reminder that my health is important even though it's complicated to care for.
seventhe: trowasfacewhen.com (Trowa: OH NO)
  • I am still in love with my sleeping pills. I've discovered through some trial and error that trazodone has a very narrow window of sleeping -- so my usual "get in bed and read/play games/whatever for 45 minutes" method does not work. Once I take that pill I've got 5-10 mins tops and if I get caught up and read through that drowsy couple minutes, I'm back to my usual looonnnnn-n-ngg-g-ggg ass falling-asleep time. Trazodone is apparently a picky mistress. I forgive it its quirks because it is so good to me.

  • I have solved my shorts dilemma - a shorts dilemma I may not have mentioned here; I hate shorts. Absolutely despise them. All ladies shorts I've tried - and I have tried quite a few - just don't fit right, don't look right on my body, make me feel many levels of uncomfortable: it isn't just an issue of how I look and feel while wearing them, uncomfortable in the sense ofoh god I look ridiculous, most are actually legitimately uncomfortable -- like help I cannot bend over, also when I sit down my thighs bulge at angles I didn't think skin could do and my ass sticks to what I am sitting on and also did I mention I cannot really move at all and I feel sweaty and sticky?. The problem is mainly that shorts are tight, and my thighs are ungracefully still built as if I'm running half marathons - even if that muscle has been replaced with pudding - and no matter what length the shorts feel like they are as tight as saran wrap and my legs look like sausages. I swear to god I have tried every style out there in the stores and I just went to wearing maxi skirts made out of the kind of fabric that feels like you're just wearing pajama bottoms even though you look ~fancy~.

    --- BUT THEN I FOUND THE ANSWER, and it is: DUDE SHORTS. They are comfortable as legitimate fuck, exactly the feel and convenience I was wanting, and since my "sense of style" is already kind of like "hobo bum that can't match things" anyway, they go with everything I have. I am legit so happy about these shorts I am blogging about them. Don't make fun. THEY ARE SO COMFORTABLE. I AM SO HAPPY. Today I was actually a normal temperature in the summer because I wasn't wearing jeans. HOW DID I NOT FIND THIS SOONER.

  • I have a lot to say about the new job but it would take up so much time. I have been there late 2/4 nights this week. I had to take Friday off because I was just so fucking behind on everything that I needed a day to lie in bed and then do four loads of laundry. (This is not a joke.) On Wednesday we had a massive storm front move through that flooded out a giant portion of the tank farm - complete with tornado warnings! We evacuated! - this is seriously the kind of thing that makes old hands at the job stress and die, and I had been there all of ten fucking days.

    I am exhausted. But I freaking love the job so far. It is -- it is a breath of fresh air to be actually doing things that will help people, even if they are so far the small things - "low hanging fruit" - and I'm probably going to feel underwater for the next three months before I get the hang of it all. I love the job; and I hate that I love it, because it is very tiring and all-encompassing. I get emails at 1am -- and sometimes I answer them when I get up to pee. But so far this was the right decision. I will not say a GOOD decision because I am so tired and burnt out on people I had to take a vacation day to wash my unmentionables -- but it was the right decision.

  • I'm now out of energy on this entry. Whoops. More later, then.
seventhe: (Edge/Rydia: no return)
Apparently we've moved the focus of this journal from "complaining about work" to "a DAILY UPDATE of what's wrong with my body."

The good news is, my tendonitis is almost completely gone! I can walk without the ankle braces and without lurching around like a really gimpy undead! The NSAID worked wonders on it and I'm going to be really careful for the next week or two - no running at all - to make sure it stays that way.

The bad news is, the muscle relaxers didn't do shit on my neck. So 5 weeks of PT: ineffective. Muscle relaxers: ineffective. NSAIDs: ineffective. Diagnosis: no one has a fucking clue.

To make a long story short, I have to get an MRI. This morning I went in for my pre-approval appointment. They're going to get approval from my insurance and then make me an appointment for it, which will hopefully be soon. Until then, I have a 60-day supply of Vicodin to take - mostly at night, to help me sleep with the pain, because if I take it during the day I have to stay at my desk instead of going out in the lab - which should help me deal with this.

the longer story )

Good times. One of these days I will be fun again. XD
seventhe: (Life: stress out and die)
There are some days I'm really glad I keep a journal; today is one of those days.

a history of my medical woes this year as told by my blog )

It's now 8 October. My neck/back/shoulders have been bothering me since mid-June, and I've been on a variety of medications pretty much constantly - and unable to consistently work out at all - since mid-August. And I've had bronchitis for 4 weeks straight. Holy fucking shit, no wonder I have been so depressed lately. :/

I've more or less come to terms with the fact that I've got a horribly underperforming compromised immune system; I get sick more than my peers, and it sucks, but after 30 years of it, I can more or less deal. What I hate about my body is when it does this slippery-slope bullshit, this cascading series of one fucking thing after another, when I'm constantly in pain for three months running (with no end in sight) and things just continue to hit and bombard me and it's like the second I get over one thing another has been incubating and just waiting for a moment of weakness to strike. I feel so unhealthy and gross -- not only because I am literally unhealthy, but because without being able to work out at all, my body just feels useless and horrible and flabby-lumpy in addition to being in large amounts of pain and flu-achy and generally grumpy.

It's seriously depressing. And I know depression is a wily beast - I've fought her before - but it puts me in the foulest fucking moods out of absolutely nowhere. I'll start coughing or I'll sneeze and I'm reminded that I haven't felt even close to 100% in like three months and suddenly all I want to do is crawl into my bed with a cat and not come out for sixteen consecutive hours days. I end up summoning the irrational RAGE BEAST on people who don't even really deserve it, because everything fucking irritates me and I'm so frustrated at my body and my weakness and myself that I just fucking snap.

I know that being on different medications for ~8 weeks running probably isn't doing my blood chemistry any good, really. And today at lunch I'm going back to the CVS clinic to have them check out this lingering cough, and if they say I'm still sick, I'll take the afternoon off. I feel like I haven't given myself enough rest -- but at the same time I feel like I've missed so much work lately for PT and dentist appointments and afternoons where Dave kicks me out of the lab because I'm still coughing bronchitis everywhere, so how the fuck am I not better yet?

Whine whine whine J F C.

Off to go attempt to cheer myself up.
seventhe: (Coffee: I Own You)
Blood test results: my vitamin D levels are still low.

I am back on SHOCKER PILLS for the next FOUR MONTHS.

Body, we've been over this. WORK WITH ME HERE. We've got three medical strikes against us in terms of being able to function like every other human being on the planet: (1) you don't absorb normal vitamins at all; (2) you're much more sensitive and your inner workings are much more horribly affected by low levels of some chemicals than most people; and now, (3), even taking the second-highest dose available at the drugstore APPARENTLY ISN'T ENOUGH TO KEEP MY BLOOD CHEMISTRY LEVELS IN A NORMAL OPERATING RANGE. fffffffffffffffffffffffff bodies why.

(at least this explains why I have been the biggest lump on the dumbest log recently. :/ )
seventhe: Rydia (Rydia)
So I’ve been pretty stressed out lately. Rather than talk too much about the things stressing me, I’m going to talk about the good things that are happening because of all the stress, one by one.

  • Snafubar played our first gig on Saturday night. We shared a show with Lithium and I thought it went really well overall. I was pleased with the way we sounded although as always you can critique these kinds of things until the sun goes down… but in the end, not only am I happy about it, I’m happy to have it over with. I didn’t have a lot of practice time in my week to begin with (and now with all the other stress it really wasn’t helping) and while I love playing it’s nice to have a little break. One stressor down. Congrats to Lithium too, you guys sounded awesome. :D

  • FFEX, NGP, help_haiti: all assorted fandom projects with assorted due dates that are approximately NOW, or maybe YESTERDAY, if not LAST WEEK DUMBASS: but all of which will be done this week and I’m pleased as shit with things right now. Even if my contributions to FFEX have been “cheer wildly while coding people make my dreams come true” and “panic”… even then.

  • Work has been insanely ungodly busy and while I'm trying to pull something good out of it for the list… I’m coming up blank. Right now I’m working on the largest single amount of polymer I’ve ever made for a request, times four requests. Plus a crapload of other studies and other smaller batches which are still my responsibility no matter what else lands in my lap. Due dates for one major project/study is mid-April; for another project/request, mid-May. So right now is crunch time. At least I’m busy, job security, etc. It isn’t helping the exhaustion but I guess it’s helping the days go by.

  • Health-wise: I got the results back from a blood test I took a few weeks ago (seriously, people, I have had 8 appointments in the past 3 Fridays. I don’t even want to look at my medical bills yet). Apparently I am extremely vitamin deficient in a way that isn’t related to diet or sun exposure at all: good job, body, way to continue to fail at the things other people do correctly. XDD I’m lacking Bs and Ds, I guess: vitamin D you hear about a lot in the winter, but B12 is one that contributes to “normal brain function”. Ha ha ha. Funny. I wasn’t really sure why, because I buy my own groceries and cook for myself and eat lots of fruit and vegetables. But apparently this is the kind of thing that can just happen; my body just doesn’t absorb or process or hang onto this stuff correctly, apparently, sez the doc, and that’s that. YEY.
    The thing is, the symptoms (not just lethargy/lack of energy/exhaustion/sleep disorder, but depression, anxiety, irritability, mood-swings*) match the things I’ve been fighting, the things that have been getting worse. The revelation that the B-vitamins affect mental issues and brain function kind of just made it click for me. Hilariously, when I called my mother to tell her this, she revealed that a great-aunt of mine had once been hospitalized in a psych ward for symptoms that ended up being related to B-deficiency. Guess I’m glad we caught this now.
    So I am on a regimen of shots, weekly supervitamin gutpunches, and pill cocktails for a month; after that I have a delicious sampling of 8 pills I’ll take every day (not including the multi-vitamin I’m holding off on for now until this other shit gets stabilized) until I get re-tested in three months for APPROVE/DISAPPROVE. The reason I'm taking 8 pills / day is because the levels of daily vitamins I was prescribed by the doctor are 2-3x the largest size sold in any given pharmacy. Sweet.
    Honestly, this is better than the outcome I was expecting and stressing over (“Your thyroid is borked! You require surgery/serious meds”) and I’m hoping, hoping, hoping that some of my health issues will get their asses in line once I get myself and my internal systems re-balanced.

  • In-between appointments this week, I wasted some time at a Borders which was going out of business and had discounts on their books. I bought myself a lovely illustrated book on Yoga; it’s hard to find a good book on yoga, because what I really want is a book about building vinyasas for myself, and I’m guessing the discount shelves aren’t the best place to find something that specific. But the book I have has a lot of awesome 360-degree photos of some of the main poses, and combinations to do for pain in certain areas of the body, which is pretty cool: I’m pleased, even if it doesn’t cover everything I was hoping it would. I also got a book on homemade spa treatments (which looks really awesome and fun; can’t wait to try it). And also: I found The deck of Tarot** cards for me. I’ve been looking for a new deck for a while, and who would’ve known the perfect deck lived in the Borders clearance bin? Ha: I should have, as my “inner self” is a cheapass. I haven’t gotten to do much with them yet because I’ve been so busy, but they are beautiful and awesome, the symbolism is fantastic (very faerie-based, beautiful yet with enough creepy to really please me), and this is the first deck since my last one that I have really felt intrigued by. Yoga and Tarot… rebalancing vitamin regimen… who senses a theme? Haha, self!

  • My training plan is going as well as it can. I did my first two outdoor runs this weekend: one 5-miler, and one ~3-miler. My training plan basically has one long run per week, and as long as the temperature isn’t cold enough to trigger my asthma I really want to start doing the long run outdoors. However, I have to find a better road to run on! The path I picked on Friday was a really shit road for running. Anyway, my legs are still recovering from the shock of a real road, but I’m getting there. Training is slow, but I’m getting there.


Anyway, my commitment plate has been a little full, but this week – this week! – a lot of it should get better, and maybe I can get this stress-knot out of my neck and this anxiety out of my gut and this exhaustion out of my head. :) I’m looking forward to this weekend if nothing else! Engineering Bitches hit WineCon 2010. Heeeellllllllllls yeah.

How is everyone else!


* Uh, I guess this is the part where I mention that I’ve been going through a lot of these symptoms lately and having some health and mental health issues…? Heh.
** I like the Tarot as a meditation/therapy/interesting-way-of-looking-at-things tool, much like I like horoscopes. Do I think there is a spirit in the cards (or the stars) telling my fortune? No. Do I believe someone like me (who fails at emotional analysis anyway) can use Tarot methods to better understand who they are, how they feel about situations and what they want to do? Yup. Do I like pretty cards with gorgeous illustrations? Also yes. :P

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