Pain has a way of clipping our wings and keeping us from being able to fly ... and if left unresolved for very long, you can almost forget that you were ever created to fly in the first place. ~William Paul Young, The Shack
Just keep moving forward and don't give a shit about what anybody thinks. Do what you have to do, for you. -Johnny Depp

Friday, February 17, 2012

How long was War and Peace? I may have beaten it. LOL.

I keep thinking that I should write here. But write what? I slept 12 hours, woke up, did what I could, and went back to bed? Boring. LOL

I've been knitting/doing crochet as much as I can. Some days the muscle spasms in my hands are just too bad, and other days, I simply can't wrap my brain around it. I finished a set of items for a little girl that some friends of mine are expecting any day now (I won't post pictures of the gift until they receive it){this post has taken me so long to write that the baby in question is here! Ashley Violet was born 2/12/12, and she is beautiful!}, and a hat for my cousin Ry'ver.

In November of 2009, I made Ry'ver a Baby Berry Hat and I've been told that it was the only hat she wore when she was little. Everything else, she just tore right back off her head, but she loved to wear her berry hat outside to play and have Papa push her in her swing. This is Berry The First:

Of course, the only constants with children are that they are always learning and they are always growing. Ry'ver has grown and changed so much since 2009. She's a smart little critter, too - always learning. Sadly, she's outgrown Berry The First, so she needed a new hat to wear when she plays outside. Her favorite color is red, so Berry The Second is a strawberry instead of a grape:

She got her new hat tonight, but she was playing with a kitty she had never met before, so I'm not sure if it really clicked for her. Hehe.

It's interesting to me to see how much my knitting has changed in those two years. I know way more tricks, like putting the little seeds on (duplicate stitching if you're a knitter) and Berry II doesn't have that seam running up the back (magic loop, go me!)

Now I have two more babies to crochet for before they arrive, the blanket that was supposed to be done in November, one more small project that even older than that and Shady wants a new purse. Thankfully, Shady will wait as long as she needs to.

Alright, Ambure, shaddup about yarn already.

As far as my health goes, things are still moving at a snail's pace. As I said in my last entry, I spent December with a sinus infection and having trouble hearing, but when the future Dr P (the med student) check my ears, she said they looked okay. It just got worse from there, and I figured the infection had moved into my ears. When I called the doctors office, my Dr P was super busy, so I had to see a woman that also works at the practice, Dr L. Man alive, am I glad the Universe put us together with Dr P when we started with this clinic. Yeesh.

The first thing she did, having never met me, having never read my file, was put me on Lisinopril for high blood pressure. Never mind that Dr P sees me once a month and wasn't concerned enough to do so himself. Then I got a lengthly lecture about losing weight and how exercise will help my Fibro. We had to remind this woman that I wanted her to look at my ears. She, too, thought there was nothing wrong with me and told me if I had headaches, it must be because I clench my jaw. (I was clenching my jaw because she was pissing me off.) I asked her how clenching my jaw would effect my ability to hear, since I'd been asking Bud and Shady to repeat everything for weeks and had to have the TV up really high to understand it. Instead of admitting she might be wrong, or looking for alternate theories, she had my hearing tested and when I passed, she told me again to quit clenching my jaw and left the room. Rawr. That appointment was the 19th.

I had horrid side effects from the Lisinopril. My feet, ankles and lower legs were swollen and I couldn't get rid of the swelling. Two of my other medications sometimes cause swelling, or I get it if I eat a crap ton of salt (no more of that with the high blood pressure meds!), but I can usually get rid of it with a combination of fluids, massage, elevation and soaking, and it would usually go away when I slept. Once I started this medication though, it got so bad I could barely walk and nothing we normally do got rid of the swelling.

I started the pills the 20th of December and by the 22nd, when I had my monthly appointment with Dr G, I already knew they had to go. I mentioned all this to Dr G as we were talking and she asked what diuretic Dr L had prescribed with the Lisinopril.

(I have to interject here. All of ^ ^ that was written Februrary 5th. It is now February 17th. Yes, I had Valentine's Day to contend with, but that's slow, even for me!)

Anyway, knowing nothing about blood pressure medications or the condition itself, mainly since I was given exactly ZERO instructions from Dr I-know-better-than-you, I didn't know you were supposed to be given a diuretic with Lisinopril. Dr G can't make changes to my regular meds, being my brain doc, so I had to keep taking it until I saw Dr P on the 29th. I explained to him everything that had happened and the new swelling and he switched me to a Lisinopril that has the diuretic already in it. I can't say I feel any difference in regards to the blood pressure, since I wasn't feeling any symptoms in the first place, but at least the side effects from the meds have stopped. And you know what? I still have no instructions, aside from a quick "no salt" from a hurrying M.A.

Let's see, what else? Oh, yes. Remember when Dr G wanted me to get a sleep study? Well, my insurance company, in their infinite wisdom decided I needed a test before I can have the sleep study. Of course, I wasn't told that. However, just before my birthday in early January, a random woman I'd never heard of called while we were out one day to set up a time to drop off the preliminary test, which I didn't know was coming. (Confused yet? We were too.) We set it up for the next day, which would have been the 5th. She dropped off a little machine about the size of a graphing calculator that was attached to one of those alligator clips that shows how much oxygen is in your blood. I think this one also read my pulse and maybe my blood pressure - I'm not sure because I had a panic attack about this random human invading my home and Shady had to talk to her and learn about the machine. Anyway, I had to wear the clip and machine all night while I slept, and the results were to be electronically sent to Dr P, according to the random lady, who I actually met when she picked the machine up the morning of my birthday, the 6th.

We didn't see Dr P again until January 30th. When I asked for the results, he had no idea what test I was talking about. Turns out, it was the one Dr G asked for, but since Dr P is my primary doctor, his name goes on everything. So here we are on February 16th, and I still have no idea what the results of that test are. Shady and I both have appointments to see Dr G on the 23rd, so I'll ask her then. Sheesh.

Although on the flip side of that coin, when Dr G requested the sleep study, she referred me to the county mental health office for counseling. I got through their call in pre-approval questionnaire, but now I have to go to the office for a meeting where they figure out what kind of problems you may have, what kind of help you may need, and set you up with a counselor. The only problem is, this meeting is set up in the most asinine way possible.

Monday through Thursday at 8:00am and 1:00pm, the first 3 people who show up get meetings everyone else gets to go home. Their office is not quite on the other end of town, but it's close enough. So now, every time I think about going in for this damn meeting, I have a panic attack.We get up in time to pack the whole household into the car and get over there by 7:45am at the very latest. In my mind, of course, there's always a huge line, and we're not even close to the magic first three. Then we have to find some way to kill 4 1/2 hours without spending any money so that we don't have to waste the gas to truck our butts back home. 12:45pm finds us back in the huge line and we're turned away again. During the panic attacks, this goes on for weeks before I'm finally seen.

Of course, Shady is seeing Dr G for the first time on the 23rd, so I'll try to get her a referral too. Then, at least we can go together for a reason. I don't know why I have to go through this when I have the referral, but whatever. I'll tell Dr G about the panic and maybe she'll have some insight.

I've started keeping track of my  pain level every time I take pills. You know how ER doctors always ask you how much you hurt on a scale of 1-10? I just mentally take stock of what my body's doing right then and jot down a few notes like mild headache over right eye, pain in rt knee + hip, legs sore, hands spasming and my pain number at the moment, based on this scale. Since I take pills three times a day, I can average the pain numbers together and get one for the day. That way when people argue with me and tell me that I can't possibly hurt that much, I ask them what their pain level is right now. Most people are gonna answer somewhere between 0-3, right? I live my life between a 4 and a 7. So their "I feel awesome!" is my "I might be able to wash my hair today."

Anyway, between going clothes shopping with my mom on the 2/5 (she bought me stuff for my birthday with her tax return) and being in the flower shop for Valentine's Day, I'm hurting like a mother. Yes, I went in to the flower shop. The lawyer said it was okay, and Bossman had me on light duty and short hours. He also checked on me often to make sure I was coping okay.

I was alright in the moment, but looking back on it now, I can see myself crumbling. Spelling errors, trouble focusing, getting frustrated more easily, having a harder time being yelled at, and not being able to remember procedures I've been doing for six years - some of it I know is the Topamax, but some of it's me. I think that I need to keep my brain busier and not let it turn into mush.

Okay, enough about health stuff.

 The most exciting thing to happen as far as family goes is that my newest Goddaughter, Crystalynn, could be here almost any day. Kitty is 34 weeks pregnant, so I'd prefer it if the baby stayed put a little longer, but she'll be Earthside when she's good and ready. If she's anything like her big sister, she'll do what she wants, when she wants. Hahaha.

I hope we can find a way to get up there for her birth, but we'll have to see how that works. I've been trying to borrow a car, but that's not been working well for me. Any other way we could get up there (Amtrak, catching a ride, Greyhound, etc) means we lose the ability to jump in the car at 3:00am if we need to, not to mention the fact that someone will have to come get us from the Greyhound station or whatever -which means they'd have to leave in the middle of the labor- to get us to the hospital. Then, when it's time to go to the house, Chris would have to make multiple trips of about an hour each, because there's no way we can get him, me, Shady, Crystal, and Crystalynn in the car in one go. Of course, then, we'll be stuck at the house, because we'll have Christina too.  I mean, I know Crystal won't want to do anything for a few days after the birth, but heaven forbid we want to go out to dinner or something. Then, we'll have to be taken back to the station an hour away for the ride home however many days later. Nope, going to have to borrow a car - or rent one, but that's problematic without a credit card.

What else, what else? Book challenge! Over on, you can set yourself a reading challenge of reading however many new books in each calendar year. I stress new because I tried to count stuff I re-read last year and it didn't count any of it. Anyway, I started out with a challenge of 44 books this year, but since I already have 11 books read, I think I may have to bump up that total of 44 a bit. Since I'm not as focused on my yarn work right now, I'm reading a ton more.

Got my taxes done. That's another thing people like to tell me can't be as bad as I claim it is. Think about how much your household made last year. Between Shady and I, our income was less than $5,000 for 2011. That's not a typo, it says five thousand dollars. And you're whining because you don't have the most recent itoy? Get a grip.

Anyway, we're getting a smaller refund then in past year due to an idiotic change in a tax law, but at least I'm no longer owing taxes every year. However, my federal refund was supposed to be here the 15th, and isn't here yet, and when I checked on my state refund the other day, it said it had been pulled for manual review. So if you're waiting for packages from me, perhaps for your new arrival, it'll be after the funds for postage arrives.  :)

WOW. Wow. I paused in the middle of that last sentence to talk Bud down after he got killed for the millionth time in his video game and the events that followed led to the biggest, baddest, partial flash back panic attack I've had in a year. I'm done for the night, and finally, after nearly two weeks, this entry is done.

Edited Later to add: I hate to be this blogger, but would you all please comment here on the blog? I know some of you are following a link from my old blogging site, which is once again rumored to be vanishing, and I'd like to actually be able to see what you have to say if he decides to take the membership fees and sod off. You don't have to have a blogger, log in or any of that. kthnxbai.

Friday, December 9, 2011

More of the same.

16 to 18 months.

That's how long it's taking to get a disability hearing in Oregon at the moment. That's how long I have to continue feeling useless and like a drain on everyone.

The lawyer was nice enough, we signed the contract and all that, and now I probably won't hear from her for ten months. That's how long it'll take her to even get access to my records from disability.

This sucks.