Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Chronic Illness and Love

My last post in January was about my back issues.  Sadly, so is this one.  It’s still almost a daily struggle for me, unfortunately.  On the plus side, this is the first time that it’s gone out this badly in almost 7 months.  Every other time since, I’ve been able to push through.  This time I was off for over a week without pay. So that sucked. Ended up needing more injections, as well.  May need more next week. Possibly even an epidural.

As those of you also dealing with a chronic illness know, it can be pretty demoralizing.  The repeated doctors visits, the trying of one medication after another, they all wear you down.  Especially when there’s so little payoff.  I have to be so careful at times – and even then, I feel such lack of control, because my best behavior doesn’t always help.  I’ve missed out on so many opportunities and experiences because of it.  If not because of the pain or the risk of it going out, then because of the financial toll.  I’ve been trying harder lately to experience life to the fullest, but there’s still things I can’t do or have a hard time doing.

My parents, especially my mom, have been wonderful and have taken care of me so incredibly.  Helping me with shopping, helping me pick things up, driving me to appointments.  I could never express how thankful I am.  But honestly, without my boyfriend, I don’t know how I would have made it.  He has been so beyond incredibly supportive.  I try so so hard to be strong, but sometimes I just can’t keep it all bottled up.  Every time I’ve broken down and cried on him, he has never failed to immediately take me into his arms and tell me it is going to be okay.  He’s never failed to tell me he loves me and that he loves me just as I am.

It might be a product of my own self-esteem, which has honestly taken a beating from all of this, but I worry constantly about being too much of a downer or ending up being a burden.  His response has always been that I could never be a burden and that he’s happy with me and loves me.  In my darkest moments, I still worry that I don’t deserve him; that he might be better off with someone who doesn’t have these problems.  I don’t ever want him to miss out on something because of me.

I came to a realization the other day, however.  He’s never once given me any reason to doubt how much he loves me.  He’s never once given me any reason to believe that he’s tired of dealing with my issues or that he doesn’t accept me as I am.  This is what love is.  Love is being there for the person you love in good times and bad.  If (god forbid) it were him going through something like this, I wouldn’t hesitate to be by his side and support him in any way that I could.  I would stand by his side no matter what.  Because I love him. It’s as simple as that.

My work mom today reminded me that that’s what an adult relationship is.  Being there for each other.  We all have our issues.  If there was something that limited him being able to do something, I wouldn’t leave him to go find someone else who could.  So I just need to trust him and myself. Because wow.  How I love this man and his daughter.  And when I’m not down and beaten, I can admit that I’m not so bad myself.

I have hopes that this will eventually get under control again.  Maybe pure weight loss is the answer.  Maybe not. It won’t fix the arthritis and bulged discs and cyst, but it can only help. In the meantime, I’m just going to do what I can and accept the love and help that is offered.

November 10, 2015admin No Comments »
FILED UNDER :Health , Love

2015 Goals

Hi all! Yes, two posts from me within one month!

Things are still so-so for me. Struggling with my back some this week and yet another sinus infection. I think the hardest part of having to deal with my back issues is just the missing out on living. I have to be so careful as one wrong move can throw it out again. Sometimes, it’s just sitting wrong or bending wrong or standing wrong. And you never realize it was wrong until it’s too late.

I miss getting out and enjoying life. I miss going walking at the arboretum and going to museums and art galleries and socializing with friends as much as I used to. I hate missing out – both on the life experiences in general and the opportunities to connect with loved ones.

But I’m going to keep doing my physical therapy and keep trying to lose weight in the hopes that that will help some. I still had problems with my back at my lowest weight, but it wasn’t like this. Hopefully this hasn’t become just a chronic thing I have to live with forever.  At least on this scale.

While I don’t believe in resolutions, I do believe in goals.  Goals are good to have and to work for. They keep you moving and striving for something better.  I have several for this year:

  • Continue working on losing weight. I’ve slipped the past couple of weeks. But while I haven’t been tracking meticulously, I’ve tried to stay conscious of what I’ve eaten and haven’t been overdoing it too horribly.
  • Continue working on making my back as healthy as it can be with my walking and physical therapy exercises.
  • Try to keep to a minimum the times that my back keeps me from doing things, if at all possible. I need to still get out and experience life.  And I need to try harder to get time in with my friends, regardless of how my back is doing.
  • Continue focusing on building and renewing relationships with the people I care about. Spend more time with the people that make me feel good and less time with those who make me feel bad about myself.
  • Be as good of a girlfriend and partner to my boyfriend as I can be. I want him to know how much I love him and that he truly has someone on his side, someone’s got his back. I want him to know that he has someone he can lean on in good and bad times. Along with this, continue to nurture my relationship with his daughter. I want to be someone she can count on, as well.
  • And lastly, continue working on my finances and getting debt paid off. I have a plan, and have already implemented it, but it’s gotten sidelined the past couple of years by medical bills. So this year I signed up for an FSA to help recoup some of that money. My allergy shots alone will probably help me meet my deductible this year. I do need to look into other ways I can cut back.

It seems like a lot, but really, other than getting my debt paid off, they’re all long-term goals that aren’t rigid. They’re life-betterment processes.  Or that’s how I see them. Baby steps to make my life more enriched and fulfilled and to help bring focus on things that are important to me.

What are some of your goals for this year?

January 16, 2015admin 2 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Health , Life in General , Love , Weight Watchers / Weight Loss

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to you!

It’s been a very long time since I’ve written on here. Very long indeed. I feel, however, that blogging is something I’d like to start again. I’m not promising daily posts, but I am promising an effort. I think my journaling form of blogging was good for me. As before, this blog won’t solely focus on weight loss. It’ll be whatever I feel I need or want to write about pertaining to my life.

2014 was a very rough year for me in most ways. I’ve struggled with a back issue for years, but it has been mostly manageable for the last decade.  This year, it decided to be extremely trying. I’ve had visits to the hospital several times because of it. The first time resulted in an extremely frustrating overnight stay. The second go-round involved the nurses not even asking me what my pain was on the 10 point scale. “That looks like a 10 to me.” It also resulted in me being out on short-term for over a month from work.  I’ve been through two rounds of physical therapy and multiple steroid trigger-point injections. I think these injections have helped the most.  I believe I was able to ward off more ER visits with a third round of injections in November. They want to go in and burn/kill some of my nerves in my lower back next time, but I’m going to avoid that if at all possible.

I have degenerative disc issues, bulged discs (plural), and arthritis in my back.

Right now, I’m stable-ish. I have to take a pain pill most evenings along with doing my physical therapy exercises as often as I can throughout the day. I can’t take the pain medicine during the day because it makes me too groggy.  On top of the back issues, the physical therapy has recently caused a second flare-up of tendinitis in my foot. Which, of course, makes it difficult to do my physical therapy exercises for my back. It’s a vicious cycle.

Factor in more than one sinus infection, beginning allergy injections, and a host of other fun things, it’s been a rough year health-wise.

On the plus side, I’m back on Weight Watchers and was down 21 pounds the last time I weighed in.  Unfortunately, that was before Christmas and my scale has finally died after 8 years of faithful service so I’m not entirely sure where I am right now. I know I’ve slipped a bit in my diligence, but I’ve stayed somewhat aware of what is going into my mouth. Once I get a new scale, I can check in as to where I am.

As with my blogging, I’m not promising perfection this time around. Last time I was on weight watchers, I was very much a hermit and rarely went out. That’s quite different this time around. I’m allowing myself to be more flexible and to have more fun. It’s going slower, but I think I’ll be happier in the long run.

On the happy side of things, November marked a year and a half with my boyfriend and his four year old daughter. They have brought quite a bit of laughter and joy to my life. He’s such a great dad and is a very caring, affectionate man. She is such a loving, imaginative little girl. I love them both very much.

More to come in my next post; I just wanted to get the ball rolling. I hope 2014 was a good year for you and that 2015 is one of your best yet.

If any of you who used to check in are still around, please feel free to drop me a note in the comments. I’d love to hear from you and find out how you’re doing. Same goes for those of you who might be stopping by for the first time.  Welcome!

January 1, 2015admin 6 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Health , Life in General , Love , Weight Watchers / Weight Loss

Doctors

It’s been a while since I’ve written.  It’s been a while since I’ve had anything to say – and whether I even do now is, of course, questionable.

It’s been a rough few months.  No, the past few months have been hell.  That’s really the only way to put it. Anyone who has been following my blog for a while (if any of you are still out there – I know a couple are, and for that I’m grateful) knows that I haven’t felt well for a long while. A few years ago, when I was at my lowest weight, I went through a long period of time where I just got fed up with feeling like hell and went through a wide variety of testing – of which nothing ever came from it.  I eventually got so fed up with not getting any answers and visiting so many doctors and having so many tests done, that I pretty much just gave up. After a while, I even went back and made the posts I’d created during that time private.

Well, fast forward a few years. Over those years, I’ve continued to feel crappy, but just kind of learned to live with it, I guess.  And gained a lot of weight back in the process.  You all know this has been a pretty rough year – starting off with my back causing me pretty bad issues again.  It’s not as bad as it was at the beginning of the year, but it still gives me a great deal of trouble.  But several months ago things started getting worse.  To the point of being unbearable.  Horrible fatigue (even worse than usual), dizziness, lightheadedness, and a variety of other issues.

I broke down and went to the doctor when I almost passed out after getting out of the shower one day.  She was a bit baffled and ran some blood tests.  In thinking that my PCOS may have had something to do with it and my very low anemia, she prescribed a birth control pill.  This would be my second attempt at taking one.  The first time around a few years ago, I never could get over the horrible nausea.  I seriously felt like I was being poisoned.  It was horrible.  I would get seasick from just sitting and not moving.

This time around, once I got off an antibiotic for an infection I had, the nausea was bearable, but it totally jacked with my blood pressure and I ended up in the ER twice within a week.  I couldn’t walk across the room without feeling like I would pass out.  I barely got out of bed for two weeks.  I’m still having some problems with that now, but I’m extremely sensitive to medications in general, so am trying to watch what I eat and move around more in order to stay off a BP medicine.  But that may be next in my future.  The one they tried me on the week I was in the ER seemed to just make things worse.

In the process, I learned that I was severely Vitamin D deficient.  My level was 7.  Yup, just 7. WAY low.  So I’m taking 50,000IU each week and trying to eat more Vitamin D-containing foods and get in the sun more.

I’m finally feeling like I’m back to where I was before I went to the doctor,  but still trying to figure out what all is going on.  I had a sleep study done about a month ago and finally got the results back last week.  They discovered that I do have mild sleep apnea.  In fact, this possibility had been mentioned to me several years ago – during that first round of testing when I was at my lowest weight, but none of the doctors ever followed through on it.  It rather makes sense due to all of my issues of fatigue, lightheadedness, concentration issues, short term memory issues, etc. It can also affect anxiety, depression, blood pressure, etc.  And no matter how much sleep I DO get, I NEVER really feel rested.  I sometimes even feel worse when I wake up than I do when I go to sleep.

Right now, because it did show only mild sleep apnea, it seems they want me to try other methods before attempting a cpap machine.  Of course, due to the anxiety of even being there, I actually only slept for 3 hrs the night of the study, so I wonder what it would have looked like if it had been a regular night of sleep for me. But one thing they’re wanting me to try is to keep myself from sleeping on my back. This isn’t easy since I go to sleep on my side in order to keep my back from hurting anyway, but often wake up on my back.  I’ve started attempting the tennis ball method which hasn’t really worked – it just ends up with me rolling halfway on my back in my sleep and waking up with an even sorer back in the morning.  An oral appliance of some kind or surgery may be other possibilities (though I am very anti-surgery at this point).  But I go see an ENT on Friday to see what he says.  Honestly, there’s a part of me that just wishes we could shoot straight for the cpap and see if I can’t just get some freaking rest for once.  But I’m going to keep giving the tennis ball trick a try.

I’m really hoping that this is the answer to a lot of the issues that I’ve been having.  However, I still have the issues of my PCOS, and have been having some stomach issues that kind of point towards an ulcer that I’m needing to have checked out.

The unfortunate consequence of hitting the ER twice in one week was that I met my high deductible for the year – so owe quite a bit in medical bills.  The positive consequence of that is that I can get this other stuff looked into without worrying about the cost.  Unfortunately, I’m seriously burned out on doctors right now and don’t even want to deal with it.

Just tired of feeling crummy.  But I’m forcing myself to do what I need to.  I’m attempting to get back on plan, to eat better, and  to eat things that are better for me. In fact, I started counting points again today.  I’ve been trying to cut back in general the past few weeks, but am going to try to actually count for a while. But for the past few months, I’ve felt like such crap that I haven’t had the energy really to cook or put much effort into what I was putting into my mouth and I’m sure that hasn’t helped matters.

So I’ll keep you posted as far as what happens. And throughout all of this, I have actually been able to have a little bit of fun in the past couple of weeks, so I’ll tell you a bit about that in my next post.

I do hope to begin posting more regularly. I think it would do me good. Plus, I just miss some of you guys. 🙂

July 16, 2012admin 4 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Health

Lil’ Bits

This is going to be another one of my little bit of everything posts, and it’s going to be a bit long, so you might just want to skim through and see if anything catches your eye that you’d like to read further. I know I’ve been a bit M.I.A. lately, and hopefully I will be able to change that soon!  I’ve been a regular on Twitter, so you can always catch me there – the randomness that I post there knows no limits.

Though I’ve been feeling that I need to take a step back from even Twitter for a bit.  To be honest, I think I’m getting a bit burned out on the whole technology thing.  There’s such a thing as being too connected, too overstimulated.  I kind of miss the days of just having tv and books and regular phones. LOL  Don’t get me wrong, I’m eternally grateful for the new friends that I’ve met, and I’m not going anywhere, but sometimes you just need to unplug for a bit.  I feel one of those times coming and will let you know if it happens.  (Of course I say that, having fully intended on having such an unplugged moment for over a year now and have yet to do it.)

On the food front, still not doing so great.  Could be worse, could be better.  Exercise – ha.  Unfortunately, my 33rd year that was going to be so wonderful hasn’t gotten off to the greatest start.  As I posted, my birthday itself was absolutely spectacular, but it’s pretty much just gone downhill since then.  Maybe my 32nd year was going to be my best? LOL  But it’s still early, and I still have hope that things are going to turn around.

Did you all have a good weekend?  Mine was okay.  I mowed the front lawn and part of the back on Saturday before it started raining.  Then I ran some errands and drove out to see where my friends are going to be moving to.  VERY nice.  I’m hoping that it turns out to be as nice inside as it is on the outside, and really hoping they like it here.  Found out yesterday that they have a 13-month lease, but based on past experience and the number of times they’ve moved already, I’m not expecting them to stay any longer.  So don’t worry, guys, I won’t get offended if you move on from here!  Though I will give you a hard time about it. 😉  So I’m excited to see them hopefully this coming Saturday.  I’m just a bit worried that I won’t get to see them as often as I’d like because of my work hours.

The problem with Saturday was that I didn’t eat all day, because I was so busy.  Then, by the time dinner rolled around and I could actually sit down to eat, I was so hungry that I ate really fast….and ate pizza.  Enter the worst indigestion you can imagine. OMG all of Saturday night was absolute hell on earth.  I thought I was going to die.  Payback is a bitch, let me tell you.  I learned my lesson, though (ha-we’ll see).  I’m sure all of the stress I’ve been under at work, home, etc. didn’t help all that much either.  Even now, my stomach is feeling a bit iffy.

I really am going to try and get myself back on plan.  I need to do this for me.  I need to be proud of myself again.

On the music front, I pulled out some old CDs and have been listening to Melissa Etheridge’s “Lucky” CD.  I adore it.  I bought the CD for this song, because I heard it right after my brother died and the lyrics “I’m all right, I’m all right. It only hurts when I breathe” caught my attention:

And this one is one of the most powerful ones I’ve heard about 9/11:

It had several other truly beautiful songs and some fun ones, so if you like her music at all, I recommend checking it out.

On the book front, I’m still reading Lynsay Sands’ “Born to Bite.”  Pretty good so far, but haven’t been much in the mood to read lately (I really must be sick!).  My pile of books to read just keeps stacking up.  I did read two on-topic books recently:  “Life in the Fat Lane” and “The Fat Girl.”  Both are young adult books.  The main character in “Life in the Fat Lane” annoyed me and I really felt that she didn’t learn much over the course of the book.  The relationship in “The Fat Girl” deeply deeply disturbed me.  But I don’t want to share too much more so that I won’t ruin it for anyone that decides to check them out.

I’ve been watching several movies lately.  Don’t know if it’s because Halloween is coming up or because I think fall is finally here (and I’m LOVING it), but I’ve been leaning towards scary movies.  I’ve watched Shaun of the Dead (LOVED it), Hot Fuzz (can you tell I love Simon Pegg?), Darkness Falls, Cube 2: Hypercube (which kept my attention, but my reaction to the end was WTF?!), Legion, and Zombieland (which I also loved and thought was hilarious) among several others.

Okay, that’s all on my front.  Seen any good movies or read any good books lately?

PS – I’m hoping to do my own post about this if I can get around to it, but as I’ve mentioned, Brené Brown’s new book, “The Gifts of Imperfection,” is coming out on 10/4.  I absolutely can’t wait to read it.  But she has launched “The Perfect Protest” on her website today.  Please make sure to check it out and I hope you’ll participate!  It’s so wonderful!

A 100 Calorie Pack NSV and Some Goals

As I mentioned yesterday, I’m still buying various 100 calorie packs.  What can I say?  They’re handy!  But I have made some great strides in the past couple of months.

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’m a “quantity eater.”  I like to eat.  I like to eat a lot.  I won’t deny it.  I can eat a lot in a very short amount of time.  Um, yeah, pretty much the definition of a binge.

However, you would be so incredibly proud of me! I know I am!  A few months ago, I searched and searched for my favored 100 calorie packs of Cheetos.  I’ve posted so many times about them on here and mentioned many times that while it would be cheaper to buy the big bag of baked Cheetos, I would never be able to trust myself not to eat the whole bag in a day or two.  I tried it once, and measured out the bag in serving portions using Ziploc bags.  Even in the bags, they got stale before I could eat them.  I went back to the 100 calorie packs.  I then tried the big bag again, but just in measuring them out each time.  That lasted about two times until I went on a full-blown “let’s eat the whole bag” binge.

Well, this time around – a couple of months ago – I couldn’t find those darn 100 calorie packs anywhere!  Every store I went to was out of them.  So, I broke down and bought a big bag.  I wanted some, I measured it.  I wanted some, I measured it.  And so it continued…until the bag was gone.  One! Serving! At! A! Time!  I am now on big bag #2 and have had it for over a month and still have quite a bit left in the bag:

Crazy, right?  Oh, but it gets better!

See these??

Those right there have been one of my biggest binge triggers since college.  Seriously, I could finish a whole box off in a day or two (only two because I did have to work and/or sleep).  Serious deliciousness.

But guess what?  I’ve had this box for over two weeks now.  There are still a ton left in that box.  I’ve been measuring out the serving sizes one by one!  Can you believe it?  I hardly can.  (I will admit that there were two (and only two) times that I didn’t measure them out completely, but I used a really small bowl and if it was over the serving size, it wasn’t by much.)

So while my eating in general hasn’t been the greatest and I’m still going over on the weekends (and will likely show a gain tomorrow), I am definitely making some pretty important strides!

Okay…on to my goals.

They’re the same as they have been for a while:

  • Drink more water.  I’ve been slipping on this one.  And again, I really pretty much only drink water.  So if I don’t drink much water, I’m not getting nearly enough fluid.
  • Get at least eight hours of sleep every night this week.

In regards to my last goal, most of you know that I work some pretty funky hours (well, 2nd shift) and sleep during the day, but I’ve also always had problems sleeping.  I honestly can’t remember the last time that I slept for eight straight hours.  Most often lately, I sleep for four hours, wake up for a while and am lucky to get a couple more hours of sleep after that.  And on the weekend, my schedule flips almost to a normal one with getting up early and going to bed in the evening.  It’s crazy.  I almost always get very very little sleep on Friday nights.  This past weekend was no exception.  In fact, my exhaustion got to me so deeply last night (Sunday night), that while I did keep waking up every few hours, I got almost 11 hours of sleep!

So my goal this week is to get in bed each night with time enough for me to have at least eight hours of sleep.  Ideally, I will be in bed to have at least 9 hours, to account for those times that I wake up.  I’ve been so foggy-headed lately, that I want to see if getting a decent amount of sleep will affect it.  Of course, this is all in prayer that my insomnia doesn’t kick in.

I used to love to sleep and would do it as often as I could.  I loved to dream and could almost always remember my dreams vividly (unfortunately they were nightmares more often than not – but it got to the point where they didn’t phase me).  When my brother died, I stopped enjoying sleeping.  It scared me on a certain level and it also seemed like such a waste of time.  You’ve all heard that saying “I can sleep when I’m dead.”  There were too many other things I wanted to see and do that I couldn’t if I was sleeping (even if it was just watching a stupid TV show).  So after years of this attitude – you can see where it’s gotten me.

This week will be my experiment.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

August 3, 2010admin 6 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Food , Health

What a day, What a day

So let me tell you about my Friday.

First, I was getting ready to make pancakes this morning at about 4:30 am for part of my dinner (remember my odd schedule, right?).  I was getting ready to mix the batter, when I heard a sound like something dropped.  But immediately after that, I heard my mom’s shower shut off.  I figure maybe she just dropped something in the shower.  But after thinking about it for a minute, I decided that I better check to make sure.  I went up and tried my dad first – he’s been sleeping in a recliner in our “tv” room because of some back issues.  I knocked a couple of times and no answer.  When I called his name, though, and asked if he was okay, he said he was fine.  I asked if he had fallen and he said no, that he had just been sitting there.  So I knocked on my mom’s door and she said she was fine, too, but she thought she had heard something, too.  I looked around to make sure nothing had fallen off of anything, but couldn’t find anything.  We decided we were hearing things.

I went back downstairs and threw on the first pancake.  Then I heard someone call my name.  And then again, and I walked out of the kitchen and looked upstairs to see who was calling me and my dad was coming out of the room and when I asked if he was okay, I saw him start to slide backwards like he was going to fall.  I ran upstairs and grabbed on to his arm, as he grabbed mine and he started having seizures.  I called for my mom and we got him laid down in the bedroom.  My mom gave him his meds (that we give him to pull him out of these) while I finished my pancakes.  My mom has a flexible job where she can work from home if she absolutely needs to, so I kept an eye on him while she ran to the office to get her laptop.  When she got home, she let me go to bed.

I guess that he continued to have seizures for a while after that, but nothing out of the ordinary and he seemed fine when I got up later.  I had checked my bank account shortly after waking up to see if my tax refund might happen to be in it – I’ve been waiting since the middle of February – and lo’ and behold, it was in there.  But it was also $400 more than I was expecting.  You see, me, being the oblivious one, didn’t know about the “making work pay” credit or to expect it.  So after a few moments of intense peeviness about the fact that if I HAD known to expect it, my hiney would be in NYC at the “Lbs.” premiere this weekend, I settled down and am enjoying the idea of the extra money.

But anyway, at this point, I was physically feeling like royal crap (not peasant crap or even pauper crap, but royal crap), so I ended up calling in to work. I would soon find out that it was most likely a blessing in disguise that I didn’t go to New York OR to work.

I ended up resting for a while longer, and at this point, my dad seemed fine.  Around 7:30 pm, we were all finishing up watching a movie (“Old Dogs” of which I was only paying half attention, because I was working on something that I’ll share in a bit), when my dad went into the kitchen for a while.  I think he was checking some stuff online.  He came back in the living room and was talking to us and started up the stairs, still talking to us.  As soon as we were done talking, probably the scariest sight I’ve ever seen occurred.  I still shudder just thinking about it. He came tumbling down the stairs head first – no warning.  And when I say tumbling, I mean tumbling.  Head over heels.  He landed on his head/neck more than once, I’m sure of it.  And when he landed at the bottom, he was on his side, but with his chest and face on the ground, his glasses skewed and not moving.  We were sure he had broken his neck.  I remember “Oh my God, Oh my God” coming out of my mouth as I threw my laptop off to get up and help.  I immediately called 911 and answered all of the guy’s questions while my mom checked my dad out and tried to keep him from trying to get up as we didn’t know how badly he was hurt and he was still having seizures.  We could already tell that he was scraped in several places on his forehead and head (including the top of his head) and one of his knees was badly scraped – all from the carpeting.  The proof of him landing on his head is the location of some of those scrapes.

As soon as I heard the sirens and got the doors unlocked, I ran upstairs and threw some clothes on. Remember, I was home not feeling well – so I was in my PJs and robe.  As soon as I came down, we were being invaded by all sorts of EMTs and a police officer.  After assessing and finding out about his medical history, they were able to get him outside and to the ambulance where they had to call to find out where to take him.  They didn’t know if they could take him to the nearest hospital of if they would need to take him to a trauma center.  They were pretty sure it would just be the hospital because he didn’t appear to have any spinal injuries or broken bones – thank God.  And that is where they ended up taking him – to the hospital.

My mom and I followed in one of our cars and when we got to the hospital, they told us he wasn’t there yet.  Um yeah, he was – they left several minutes before we did, they have sirens, and when my mom looked, the ambulance was outside, empty and they were cleaning up.  Finally, a couple of minutes later, she called for us and told us where to go.  When we got back there, my dad already seemed to be doing better.  He was much more alert and was not having any more seizures.  I don’t know if they just stopped or if they had to give him something to make them stop.

But the nurses and doctor came in and checked him out and bandaged all of his scrapes up.  I’m sure the bandage on top of his head is not going to be pleasant to remove.  Tape + Hair = OUCH.  The doctor said that he didn’t seem to have any problems moving and didn’t have any signs of concussion – no dizziness or nausea, so he didn’t think a CT scan or anything would be necessary, but they wanted to keep and eye on him for a while and just see how he did.  Well, he seemed to be doing fine, except he already had back problems, did some acrobatics tonight, and then the bed was really uncomfortable, so he was in some pain.  But he went to sit up at one point and said he got really dizzy and felt like he was going to pass out.  So we called the nurse and they started monitoring his pressure even more.  At one point, it bottomed out at 50-something/40-something.

Now, low blood pressure has NEVER been a problem for my dad.  If anything, it’s been high blood pressure.  In fact, he was on meds for it.  They kept an eye on it, but it still stayed really low and finally did some bloodwork.  But they didn’t find anything wrong with it.  The doctor said that meant no signs of internal bleeding.  So they would just have him lay down and keep an eye on it.  After a while, he seemed to be doing okay, and his blood pressure was back up to 90-something/60-something, which the doctor said was doable.  He asked my dad if he still had dizziness and my dad said no, so they decided to try and sit him up slowly and then maybe would send him home.  Um, yeah, didn’t happen like that.

He got dizzy again, blood pressure dropped again, and now he is a (hopefully very temporary) resident of their new Cardiac Care Unit.

We had gotten to the hospital at about 8:00 or shortly thereafter.  (Keep in mind that I haven’t eaten yet….)  At about 11:45, I was one ravenous, unhappy (still crappy feeling remember), exhausted camper.  I finally broke down and went and asked the nurse if the nearest vending machine was the one near the cafeteria (ah, yes, I am pretty familiar with this hospital), and she was like “why, what do you need?  A drink?”  I replied that it had been a really long time since I had eaten and was hungry.  Her response?  “I can get you a sandwich.  Does anyone else want one?  Are you thirsty?”  It was really nice of her – of course, we’re waiting to see if it shows up on the bill.  This is what she brought me:

Talk about being prepared.  I have to admit that I have been pretty impressed with their new ER (some of you might remember my visit in February of last year for the fingertip to the mandolin slicer incident).  I ate the sandwich, the cheese, and a few of the chips.  My mom ate most of the chips and neither of us touched the pudding.  The nurse did also bring these for my mom, just in case she got hungry, too:

I know – odd that I’m taking pics here, but seriously at this point, I had to have something to do other than watch my dad try and sleep.  At one am, they finally started getting him ready to be moved upstairs to a room:

Only to get us up there and have a nurse come running after us as we got to the room, holding a phone and saying that he has to go back downstairs, because they forgot the CT the doctor decided he needed – just to make sure.  Of course, I’m glad that they went ahead and decided to do that.  But that meant going back downstairs and waiting for him to have that done:

I have to say that I was extremely impressed with the nurse that took care of us (the woman that brought us the food and even brought me a blanket at one point) in the ER.  She was very caring and it was obvious that she was concerned.  When we came back down for the CT scan, she must have told the woman 5 times to make sure that he didn’t sit up and made sure that the woman understood that.  I appreciated that care. I’m actually planning on writing the hospital to praise her.

Finally, we got him up to his room and I have to say that I am pretty darn impressed with the room itself.  It is a pretty new cardiac unit that they just built last year, I believe.  The rooms are very large singles, with big flat screen TVs on the walls, recliner chairs with pull out reading lamps from the walls and they each have a pull-out couch in case someone wants to spend the night.

Both my mom and I ended up coming home, but we’re both a bit concerned.  The nurse seemed fairly young and while she claimed to have a lot of cardiac experience, she has about NO experience with an epileptic.  Which really isn’t all that surprising.  One tip for anyone who isn’t:  a person having a seizure can’t swallow their tongue.  It’s just not possible.  Don’t EVER stick something into the mouth of someone having a seizure.  And she actually asked him if he has problems with swallowing his tongue.  So my mom just explained that all you can do is let the person ride it out and make sure that there isn’t anything around them that they can hurt themselves on if they move.  His meds are also so precise and so extensive, that we’re also a bit concerned about that, as well.  But my mom went over it with her several times and is planning on going back first thing in the morning.  For me, I want to, but it depends on how I feel.

I’m still feeling crummy, and it’s now 4:25 in the morning.  We got home about an hour ago.  So we’ll see.  I’ll keep you guys posted on how he’s doing.  Me? I’m absolutely certain he’s going to be fine.

Food-wise, I’m planing on staying to “the plan” today.  Of course, I used a few extra flex points than I had planned last night with that sandwich, but life happens.  Today, I’m going to stick to it.  I’m not seeing the treadmill thing happening today, though, so I’m pretty resigned to having to start over at day one.  I’m okay with it, because I know I will continue on.

It truly is a miracle that my dad is as okay as he is.  We have got to do something, but I just don’t know what.  Moving isn’t an option.  Our only option is really to build on a bedroom and bathroom (no workable rooms to convert on our ground floor and no bathrooms on our ground floor), but that is entirely too freaking expensive.  But we’ve got to figure something out, because this cannot happen again.

So that’s it in a nutshell.  In my next post, I’ll share what craziness I was working on before my dad fell.

March 27, 2010admin 7 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Health , Life in General

Crying at the Movies

So how was everybody’s weekend/holiday?  I really enjoyed the time off of work.  It was a nice little break.  Too short and it flew by, of course, but it was nice.

I had a very low-key Thanksgiving day.  My parents and I spent most of the day watching Bones, Season 3.  Then my mom went to my grandma’s house while I stayed home with my dad.  He had accidentally messed up his medications and their dose times that morning and wasn’t feeling at the top of his game.  He was worried that he would start having bad seizures, so decided to stay home.  Since my mom didn’t want to leave him home alone, I got to stay with him.  Of course, that didn’t keep me from eating too much.  😉

Yup, food-wise, I blew it.  Oh well.  Today is a new day and I’m re-dedicating myself (again).  It’s actually getting pretty pathetic right about now.

We went to see “The Blind Side” on Saturday and while I really enjoyed the movie it literally had me in tears.  Well, not really the movie itself.  I guess you could say the theater had me in tears.  Throughout the stuff that they play before the previews (the ads, etc.), I was fine.  As soon as they started playing the previews, I swear to God the sound skyrocketed to ear-blistering decibels.  Literally, I thought my ears were going to bleed.  It felt like someone was jabbing an icepick at my eardrums.  Yet everyone else around me seemed fine with it.

My mom said that it did seem kind of loud, but bearable.  Not to me, though.  I’m practically in tears thinking about it.  I first tried stuffing napkins in my ears.  Didn’t work.  Finally, my mom found some kleenex in her purse (unused, thank God!) and that let me get through the movie.  And before you ask, I seriously did contemplate going to complain, but like I said, it didn’t seem to bother anyone else, and I was afraid that they’d turn it down too far and then people would bitch.

When I was diagnosed with patulous eustachian tube, I was also diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease.  I don’t think my case is really bad, but I do have some of the symptoms, including some hearing loss in my right ear.  Which is kind of ironic, because while I have problems hearing certain tones, I also have a major problem with really loud sounds sometimes.  As witnessed by my experience this weekend.

I would recommend the movie though.  I liked it!  There are a ton in the theaters that I want to see, but there just isn’t enough time!  I do know that while I had no problems when I saw “New Moon” last week and this hasn’t happened before, I will definitely carry an extra pair of earplugs in my purse next time – just in case.

December 1, 2009admin 1 Comment »
FILED UNDER :Books / Movies / Entertainment , Health

I’m Still Alive

Thank you for all the get well wishes!  They meant a lot!

As you can see, I am still alive! I made it through the swine flu.  It took me about a week to get through the worst of it, but even now, a couple of weeks later, I’m still not feeling 100%.  My cough is gradually disappearing – it’s practically nothing now – but I still get tired extremely easily and I’ve been fighting a sore throat this week.  I have so much drainage (TMI, I know) in my throat that that might be the cause of the soreness.  If it doesn’t get better, I’ll have to go back to the doctor.  Luckily, my parents are still flu-free.

I still have a job and haven’t been written up for going over my vacation days – that I know of.  My boss did say that she talked to the head of HR and explained my situation, but I won’t find out until my next review (next summer) whether it will affect my evaluation or not.

Unfortunately, on the weight front, mine just keeps creeping (skyrocketing?) up.  I’ve been in a rough, rough place for the past several months and getting the swine flu just dropped me right over the edge (some may say on my head).  🙂  It’s sad, because I’m finding myself in a very familiar place of not wanting to get together with family and friends.  The weight gain is embarrassing.  But ah, I’m sure some of you are familiar with that feeling.  If only relosing the weight were as easy regaining the weight.  I’m a bit disgusted with myself (a bit?!).

On a happier note, today is my dad’s 60th birthday!  I’m so happy for him.  His birthday is especially meaningful to my mom and I because of his chronic epilepsy.  You may remember me writing about it before, but we have had several scary moments because of his epilepsy over the years (including ER and ICU visits).  My mom and I were talking about it on Sunday and she told me that several years ago he said he didn’t think he would ever make it to 60.  I’m so thankful he was wrong.  Yup, it’s a pretty special day for a pretty special guy.

I’ve thought of posting on here often over the past few weeks, but I just haven’t really had much to say, nor the energy with which to say it.  Hopefully I’ll be able to beat whatever it is that’s tearing me down soon.

November 10, 2009admin 5 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Health

Swine Flu Hits Home

I know my posts have been getting fewer and farther between, and I freely admit that I haven’t been doing all too great on the food front, but all of that just pales in comparison to what I’ve been going through this week.

The swine flu has hit home – more particularly, my home – even more particularly, me.  I started getting a very slight cough Friday night.  By Sunday morning, I barely had the energy to get out of bed.  I slept all day Sunday and called my doctor at about 11am on Monday.  Luckily, my doctor’s office has extended hours on Mondays, so they were able to get me an appointment at 7pm last night.  I slept all the rest of the day until my appointment.

At my doctor’s appointment, they gave me a flu test, and unfortunately, I tested positive for the Type A flu.  They said at this time of year, it is almost certain to be of the h1n1 type.  Even though it was over 48 hrs since my symptoms presented themselves, they started me on Tamiflu anyway in the hopes that it would get me past the contagious part and back to work a bit sooner.  The doctor also told me that I would have to be off work at least today and tomorrow.  It depends on if my fever goes down and stays down (unmedicated) whether I can go back on Thursday.

The worst part (other than the fact that I feel like crap) is that I used my last vacation/sick day on Monday and my company has a zero tolerance policy on this.  So the world’s most perfect employee (moi of course) 😉 is going to get written up in her file.  Unfortunately, there’s not much I can do about it at this point.  I’m sure I’ll be more concerned when I’m more alert.

Hope everyone is happy and healthy in your lives!

October 27, 2009admin 6 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Health