Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Catching You Up On All the Chaos

I thought it might be a good idea to catch up with things here, in case someone actually reads it. I know a few do and they ask questions. So, I'll give you a quick rundown of what has been happening. First, medical updates, since I suspect that is of primary interest to those who are concerned.

Most of you know they found a nodule on the lower part of my right lung about three weeks ago. I went to see the pulmonologist last week and he is sending me for a CAT scan of my full chest area. He wants to see if I have other nodules. I suspect if I do, he's going to want to biopsy something. It makes sense to me. He is the same doctor that will do the sleep study but although that is the easiest thing to address, he didn't. So, I suspect, despite his calm demeanor and friendly attitude, that he's more concerned about the nodule than my lack of sleep. See how that works?

Oddly, I'm not feeling any stress over the nodule, at least, no consciously. When they first found it I sort of freaked but as I sat in the ER I realized, nothing I can do will fix this. Nothing will change the outcome. It is what it is and has been all along. They find what they find, do what they do.

I really wish he'd addressed the sleep apnea first. I suspect he figures if these nodules aren't benign, sleep apnea is the least of his worries. But it would be nice to get some good sleep.

I've ordered the Lyrica from the VA and am waiting on delivery.

I've had several days where I actually had the energy to do some things around the house. On Saturday, I had a cleaning lady in. Some of you may remember way back when I hired my son's former mother-in-law, Sue, to come in and clean for me. I've been saving here and there and I hired her this weekend. She said she'd do it for free but you know, that is a big job and I don't feel right not paying her. She took care of bathrooms, floors, the fridge, and I did laundry all day. I finally got all the wash done and put up. It felt great to see the last of that mess. When Sue was done my house was virtually spotless and smelled lovely. I still need to dust, but I'm doing that as I go now.

This morning I moved some things around and am going through books in preparation to giving some away to David's wife, Felicia. She likes mysteries and I have several that need to go.

For several days the last week I've had spurts of energy that allowed me to do a couple of things I needed to do. Lately, I've just decided if I have any energy at all, I better use it while I have it. So, gradually, those things that have been sitting around waiting for me to organize them and put them away are getting done.

I worked about three hours this morning moving a small bookcase and putting the books in it. I've mentioned before I want to get rid of my extremely large bookcase. Virtually all books are out of it now, but I've got some other things on it as a result of getting rid of the leviathan computer desk. My goal is to clean three closets out. I have clothes to get rid of and once that is done, I will be installing shelves in my smallest hall closet. The items on the bookcase will then be put away and the bookcase gone. It isn't much, actually, mostly games and some files. Anyway, I've got plans on what I want to do. I just need the energy to do it.

I've also been editing the stories for the local writing groups anthology. I'm about halfway done with those. I need to do a final edit of my own story so I can send it out to be edited by a friend. I can't very well do the final edits and hope to catch everything. I'm hoping it passes muster though because I don't have a second one to fall back on.

So, there you have it. If you think about praying for my lung issue, I'll appreciate it. I haven't asked people to do that. If that sounds odd, well, I can't explain it. Rheumatoid Arthritis is an assassin, lurking all over the body and eating away at the systems that keep you alive. It chops away at them one at a time, or maybe several at a time. It isn't just your joints he attacks. He enjoys liver, heart, lungs, kidneys, all sorts of things, in no particular order. He's rather unpredictable, as all good assassins. And I have no defense against him. I can't do anything about it. And I'm rather tired of looking. He can just go to hell. I'll do what I can do, as long as I can.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Up in the Air

I'm not one to welcome winter. My joints do not appreciate the cold, but that picture is so cozy and makes me want to sit by a fire and read a good book.

This morning, I got Sarah off to school and crashed in the recliner for two hours. I simply couldn't stay up. Tomorrow I go to the doctor about the nodule on my lung and to start testing for sleep apnea. One doesn't know what to hope for in these cases. Oh, the nodule is easy. I hope it is benign. I don't know what I'll do if it isn't. I haven't thought that far ahead. The sleep apnea, if I have it, means a machine I'll have to wear at night and lug around wherever I go, not that I go anywhere much these days. I'm kind of just not feeling anything at the moment about any of it.

I've had virtually no joint pain and now swelling. Just blinding, unrelenting fatigue. I managed to get to church yesterday and when I left I was exhausted, but I couldn't go to bed when I got home because I had Sarah here. She had a friend over and so I sort of dozed in the recliner, but I didn't dare sleep. She's very good, but I don't like people who sleep when young children are in the house.

I'm evaluating options. I have some decisions to make and I hate not having someone to sit down with and go over them. Making major decisions alone is not exciting or fun or even interesting. My inclination is to just toss everything into the air and whatever lands on the table is what I'll do. It seems as efficient a way of decision making as any.

This year seems to be going as bad as any I've had since Jerry died, at least in terms of my health. Of course, every year since 2009 had been one sort of hell or another. The first three years I'd really rather not repeat in any fashion and it is with a great deal of thanks that I have trouble remembering much of '09, '10, and 11. I have no idea what I was doing those years.

My only motivation for posting this today is just because I wanted to sit down and work my brain. I spent the early part of my day in a stupor and I hate it. I could have written several thousand words had my brain been operational. I have sent off my script for Lyrica and we'll see if that med makes any difference. Tomorrow, doctor appointments to deal with the other stuff. Now, I've got short stories to edit so I'm headed to the mine. Fortunately, I like editing.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Short Shift

Well, what is going on in my world? I've covered some of it here: Writing My Life Away and Rendered Praise. If you're truly interested, you can catch up. If you're not, it will save me having to recount it on this blog.

I spent most of today sitting in my house reading. I didn't really do anything, except maybe finish putting away almost all the laundry. If you read a bit on any of my blogs, you will find laundry is a problem for me. I seem to have an inordinate amount of laundry. I don't know why. We are clean, but I only do laundry once a week, generally on Saturday. I do sheets, towels, and our clothing. In theory, roughly three loads.

However, it seems Sarah has the most laundry but she's only 9 so I don't see how that can be. Wait, that isn't true. She wears a uniform to school. She changes when she comes in. So, two outfits a day would equal 11 changes of clothes a week. O.k. that could be it. Odd, it never occurred to me until just now. Really, it didn't. Must find a solution to that.

Today I did not do laundry. I had already done most of it earlier in the week. I only had one load of everything so yesterday, I tossed it all in together. I didn't care if there were towels with the undies. They will act as scrub brushes and scour any soil right out. And I only had one load to deal with.

The only thing left to put away is two weeks of sheet sets.

I don't care. I hate sheets.

I've been working on the Ocean Sunset afghan again. I picked up some more yarn earlier this week. (See above blogs). I realized I was short of one color. I was not well enough the last week to work on it but one day this week, and I knew I was short, which acts as a damper. So, I went to JoAnn's and got the yarn and worked on it some last night. This thing is just beautiful and I'm going to be sorry to give it away. Alas, I didn't start it for myself. I realized recently I haven't made myself any crocheted items but dish cloths. Very practical girl, I am. There is something wrong with that. Nah, I just love giving the pretty things to people I love.

So, now I'm off. This post will be short tonight. I'm tired and have some reading to do so I'm ending here. Church tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Update to Medical Woes

Courtesy Pixabay.com
I received an email from my RA doctor in reply to one I sent with concerns about the increase in pain I've been having over the weekend and the possibility of prednisone when I reduce my the methotrexate dosage this week. 

If you're behind in that news you're not on my Facebook page. I've had a problem with high liver enzymes and low white count. I have to reduce my methotrexate to try and get those numbers reversed. I'm at high risk of infection at the moment. So, when I got the most recent lab work, I got an email from her to which I sent my question, "What do I do about joint swelling and pain when I reduce the metho?" I asked if prednisone was a temporary solution. On top of everything else, over the weekend I woke up in agony with pain in every part of my body that has hung on for a couple of days. 

Here is her overall response. 

1. The overall pain I described is probably a fibromyalgia flare & prednisone would not help that. (In the first place I was referring to my reducing my metho and using that to help with the joint swelling and pain. Never mind....)

2. She suggests Lyrica for the fibro pain. (Now, I've asked about Lyrica for 10 years. They would never prescribe it for me and for a long time even the insurance wouldn't cover it. Too many side effects for too little return was the interpretation I got from it. But now, as I interpret it, we are out of options so here, try this!)

3. I'm to continue to take Doxepin every night (a really adequate medicine for certain kinds of pain) for the next week or so. (I've taken it the last several nights. I'm sleeping but not as much as I want/need to sleep.) 

Now, if it is a fibro flare, which is likely, it is the worst one I've ever had. The doxepin has very few side-effects but over time I get emotional/mood symptoms I do not like. When I've needed it, I usually take it every other night for a few weeks and stop. Taking it every night is not something I relish. Since I'm prone to depression, I don't go there voluntarily.

No way to know what I'll be dealing with once I reduce the metho. NO alternative suggested at this point. Maybe she's waiting until it happens.

To fair to my doctors, I'm not a compliant patient. I frequently refuse to take things they say are good for me. I also refuse to increase dosages at their suggestions. My theory is that if a low does works, why take a high dose. I'm glad I did that with the metho. If it is causing the problem with my white cell count, I'm glad I refused to go straight to the injections as they suggested. I insisted on a slow increase in the dose over time to see if we reached a lower dose that worked. I shudder to think what would have happened and how much sooner it would have happened. 

There you have it -- the lastest from my medical experts and my opinions.