Wednesday, December 19, 2007

unimpressive antidepressant

I've been taking Lexipro for over three weeks now, and the results have not been spectacular. I have also caught yet another cold, and been trying to sandwich Christmas preparations into the day as well, like the rest of North America. I am actually in pretty good shape on that front, though I haven't decorated the house much.

So, mainly the Lexapro seems to make me feel flat. I don't much want to do anything. I haven't felt like I have anything to say. That includes conversation and writing. Since I usually run off at the mouth without applying the breaks, this is pretty unusual for me. I've pretty much had to force myself to do things.

I've also had a huge increase in flatulence, which is pretty embarrassing in a public service job. There's also been weight gain, and I haven't been doing my physical therapy exercises. I just stopped at some point because they didn't seem to be helping. Now I feel like some kind of slug. I am going to try to buck up and do more. If nothing else, I need to firm up, or buy a new wardrobe. Of course, shopping is another activity that is very difficult.

I see the psychiatrist tomorrow night. When I saw him three weeks ago, he thought I would be feeling much better by now. He said if I wasn't, he would increase the dose. What a great way to spend my four-day mini-vacation! OK, I've vented a bit.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

long time no type

Been busy. Three doctors and a therapist appointment last week. Overdoing it, besides. I have been sleeping better. I had a weird earlobe explosion. I am contemplating giving up pierced ears. I just don't need something that gets infected. Even little infections can have serious effects on me. I am continuing to view every medical eventwith great caution. It may seem silly to some, or hypochondrical, but I am the person in charge of this vessel. Staying afloat is a major goal.

I received a wheel chair yesterday. It's a loaner, but the company doing the rental told me I can keep it as long as I need. Of course, it's like another piece of furniture in the house. It is currently parked by the bicycle. It is a lightweight, folding model. However, it is too large for my trunk, even if I cleared out the stuff. It just made it into the back seat, with the foot holders off. Besides my general ambivalence, I'm not sure where/how to keep it. I don't like driving with it in the back seat. It obscures the rearview mirror, and shifts around a bit on corners. Maybe a bike rack would work?

I also really wish it had arrived on Friday, as planned. The rain screwed up their deliveries. I didn't go to the OB parade...too much walking...sad to have missed it.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Saved by the script doctor (non-union)

To get out of the emergency room last Sat. (I may fill you in on it more later) I had to promise to take Zyprexa until I could see my primary care or neurologist. Then I went home and took one and my gross motor skills went south. I was none too happy, but since I slept 11 hours straight I decided to stick with it.

I have been taking it religiously, but not feeling much better. Unfortunately, I only had a few left from the spring--not even enough to last until my p.c. visit next Monday...

First, I called my neurostar's office and left a voice message. I did not hear back from them. The neuro-resident in the ER had told me she wasn't available then either. So I'm thinking she's in France, like in April, skiing Gstaad or something. I know she works hard, but why do I have crises when she's out of town? But, I digress.

Neuro's office called the next day to tell me to go through either the neuro clinic at the hospital or my primary care. So, next, I called primary care and talked to a nurse. The nurse felt I should go through the neuro resident that first prescribed Zyprexa, wherever he may be.

Then I remembered the trick-cyclist I saw last spring after my delusional episode, Dr. Full of Himself. He's an M.D. psychiatrist with another degree or two in pharmacology. Actually, I generally refer to him a "Hubba Hubba." So I called his office. I have the habit of putting business cards in my billfold. Once again, that came in handy. Himself could not reorder without seeing me again. Hubba had openings that afternoon (yesterday) or today. I conferred with the Boyfriend, and today at 1:30 worked best with his schedule. Truly a rotten way to spend vacation hours. Will have to try to make it up somehow.

Hubba asked me the usual 20 questions about where and how I was and when. He decided I have been mildly depressed for a few months. I should discontinue Zyprexa--wrong drug. I strongly felt that was worth the co-pay. I asked about Paxil. He said he didn't recommend it because a primary side effect is weight gain. (I didn't realize he was calling me fat until I got home. It's true. Am a pudge. Blaming lack of exercise plus strong desire for chocolates.) Anyway, he is putting me on Lexapro aka Escitalopram. Here's what Medline says are the side effects:

* nausea
* diarrhea
* constipation
* changes in sex drive or ability
* drowsiness
* increased sweating
* dizziness
* heartburn
* stomach pain
* excessive tiredness
* dry mouth
* increased appetite
* flu-like symptoms
* runny nose
* sneezing

Since I had vast bouts of nausea on Sat., I really hope I skip that one! I'll keep you posted--I'm hoping as a happier camper.

N.B. Isn't that a wonderful image? My friend Jenne just found it when looking for an avatar--somehow it's related to a librarian in Russia? Anyway, I love it.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The best there never was

Jesus Louis. I am out of my mind sometimes! (Enough with the exclamation points,) even if they do add to my girlish charms. The Offspring thinks I chat like a twelve year old. She doesn't understand what an accomplishment that is for someone just shy of half a century! Eek. That one just escaped. In any case, I came up with several interesting and/or funny things to say this morning. But I need to change blogs first. Just give me a minute. You may talk among your selves.

First: song lyrics are just song lyrics. Some song lyrics have deep meaning. Others not so deep; they are just lyrics. Kind of like great poetry vs. good poetry vs. doggerel. (Pause to reassure Spot he isn't doggerel.) (Another pause for a cleansing breath.)

Second: Saying I am not the Annoyed Librarian doesn't mean I am not depressed. I am depressed. Enough with the happy chatter.

Third: If you want to feel good about yourself, check out the online support groups>

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The best is yet to come

Notice I put an optimistic headline. And gave you pix of the Wonder Dog with his favorite toy. No one can ask for more.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Heart full of rubber bands

Actually, most of me feels full of rubber bands. I think it is the MS reaction to the antibiotics. My legs started getting really squiffy yesterday. Today, it's International Walk-Like-A-Drunken-Sailor Day, right? That's how I look, lurching around. We went out briefly, a food coop, library, drug store run. I had to stay in the car or rest on benches most of the time. I hate when the Camille routine crops up when I have things I want to do. Grrr.

I know that both my primary care and my neuro would say that I was crazy to do anything this week, let alone to work four eight-hour days. I think I'm supposed to write myself off as on disability on a semi-part time, semi-permanent basis. Meanwhile, I am scheduled to work tomorrow. My current plan is to go in, play the itty-bitty violin a bit, and spend most of the day in the office. Of course, I try that plan regularly and end up spending most of the day standing and walking around helping people. It's a mug's game.

So I am back to feeling sorry for myself. I can barely stand it myself, besides being barely able to stand. I still have the low-level headache that I have been blaming on the Doxycycline. Only two more doses left--yeah. So I am hoping the headache and some of the neuro misfires will ride off into the sunset together. Then I am going to try Paxil, which my neuro prescribed in April, but which I did not try then. First I have to get off all the cold meds. Then I need to start on a weekend I am not working, to see if there is more drowsiness or if motor function is affected.

I am going to try Paxil, in hopes that it will lessen the hot flashes. They have been much more frequent lately, and really interrupt sleep. Though Paxil is mainly an anti-depressant, it seems to have some effect on hot flashes and muscle spasms. I am pretty nervous about taking it. I tried it many years ago and had a panic attack the first time I took it. Then, years later, my brother had a manic attack after stopping Paxil too quickly. I know that going into it with that knowledge makes me forewarned/forearmed. I'm still nervous about it. But I can't keep complaining and then refuse to try treatments. So I may try it next weekend, or I may not. Will discuss with shrink tomorrow night.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The catarrh

I started this post last week, then everything sort of went out the window due to the wildfires. We are fine. MPOW was closed Tuesday, but otherwise its been pretty normal. The air quality still sucks, though much improved over earlier in the week.

I know my naval-gazing on my health problems may seem pretty cavalier when there has been such bad happenings here. But so far, no one I know has been directly affected. A friend of the sister of one of my co-workers had their home burned down, but that's the closest connection I've had so far. We had evacuees from all over using our PCs at work, and apparently all the hotels near here are full, but otherwise, it's pretty normal.

Of course, my lungs have been unhappy. I went to my primary last Friday. She diagnosed bronchitis--I'd made that diagnosis 2 days earlier, and went in to get a script for an antibiotic.

From last week:

I am trying to figure out roughly how many times I've had bronchitis. I know the first time I was prescribed antibiotics for it was in college, i.e., more than 25 years ago. The doctor there kept talking about removing my tonsils, whether or not it was tonsilitis, which I must have had ten times at least. I know I'd never had antibiotics before, or had anyone talk to me about asthma before.

I remember a bad bout of bronchitis when Emily was a baby. We lived on a hill. It was before we had a car, and I couldn't push her stroller up the hill without coughing fits.

The word "catarrh" comes from the Greek "katarrhein": kata- meaning "down" and rhein meaning "to flow."

Two weeks ago, the Santa Ana began to blow. Our sunsets were gorgeous from the dust in the air. But my respitory allergies began to send mucus flowing through my head and chest. Shortly thereafter my bronchia started seizing up. I upped the Flovent for the asthma, and it got a bit better, just the dry little asthmatic cough.

Then I lost my voice entirely--a viral laryngitis. I pushed fluids and took ibuprofen like mad. The cough deepened. Matt said I had a cold. I said ok, and kept working. On Thursday, the cough was the type that people don't want to be near. It wasn't very productive, as my mother would say, but the tiny bit of mucus I coughed up was pea green. I said bronchitis, and called for an appointment. I actually got in to see my primary care MD in 24 hours.

When I got to the office, the nurse went through twenty questions. 11 days, no fever, the usual meds. There was some mix-up about the room I was in, but my primary care finally came and apologized. She did a good listen to my lungs and agreed with my diagnosis. She ordered doxycycline, then told me to use albuterol with Flovent and Sudafed along with Robitussin DM every four hours, plus Benadryl at night. I said that albuterol gives me insomnia. She said to use it anyway. I have been politely ignoring that instruction, because I felt I needed sleep more than anything. So I'm taking the antibiotic with Flovent every four hours, and a half dose of Sudafed twice a day; Robitussin and Benadryl at bedtime. I am definitely rattling with all the meds. The cough is much improved, however, so I will keep up the regimen a bit longer.

I seem to have a headache, nothing dreadful, just sort of boring, with difficulty focusing. I'm going to sleep, and hope to feel better

There are wild fires burning in the County, including one not too far from where I work. That helps with perspective.


I kept going with the meds. I think the bronchitis has mostly cleared up. The asthma was pretty bad Monday. I caved and used albuterol once that morning, and got an acute case of the jitters, which did not help me deal with the general sense of calamity. Tuesday, the whole library system was closed, so I mostly stayed in bed. So, I've been ok. I think the Benadryl and the Flovent kept the worst allergies/asthma at bay.

I finally got my schedule switched! No more six days in a row. I will now be off alternate Fridays, work alternate Saturdays, and in every Monday. I think that will work better for me and for work, as there are more meetings on Mondays than on Fridays. So that's my big new and good.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

still have a toehold

Great news--my toe shows no sign of infection! This may not seem incredible, but in February I had a hideous infection on the right foot. I started to think of it as the wrong foot. There is still some very minor wigginess at the sight of that infection--which I am happy to ignore. If Monday night's stupid injury can heal up nicely with no doctors or nurses involved, I will be one happy camper.

I say that, and immediately you should become suspicious. Her, happy? Really and truly, the toe thing, minor as it was, could represent a victory. I am still happy when my blood pressure scores normal. That took a bit of work last fall. I am also happy to have low cholesterol, no sign of diabetes, and a really healthy-looking liver according to an imaging tech. Hell, I'm still happy to have an explanation for my squiffy knee and the fatigue. Good things.

Here comes today's "but". I had an interview today for a position I am not sure I want. But I dusted off the resume and a suit, and worked on a very positive attitude. I thought I was pretty ok. Then they handed me a sheet on the qualifications that I had not received with the description. It said "must be able to lift 50 lbs. and push a book truck weighing over 200 lbs."

It shouldn't have hit me hard. I'd already considered that getting a new position would require another physical and medical clearance (it's outsourced, of course). But seeing those numbers in print was somehow a sucker punch. I know the whole schtick with getting a letter from my neurologist and requesting accommodation. But I went through all that grief with that other library system last fall. Even though they eventually offered me the job, it was grudgingly. So grudgingly that I said no. Let's face it, even though ADA says no one can discriminate on the basis of disability, no one wants an employee with MS. It's too big a wild card.

Part of me can still say, well, that's their stupidity. Part of me wants to prove them wrong desperately. I'm going to try to listen to the part that says I am going to keep doing my best. I really like my job and the people I work with. It's no hardship. My co-workers do not mind at all if I ask them to lift a box or push a book truck. Really, I am not paid a professional salary for my brawn, thank goodness. I'm going to concentrate on wisely using the resources I have to offer--and still celebrate my victories, even by a toe.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


I stubbed my toe last night. Actually, I sliced a bit of flesh off. Much blood and stinging that way only toes sting when they are hurt. No big deal, just kind of the capper on a day I was severely overtired.

I slept through the night on Saturday. That is an unusual enough occurrence, that I actually celebrated. It was wonderful. A full night's sleep without hot flashes or muscle spasms. I have no idea what I did right, but I would love to do it again. I'm thinking one solid night a week and I could be a happy human.

Of course, Sunday night was a disaster. I doubt I got four hours. When I got up, it was obvious that my legs hadn't gotten the memo. But I soldiered on and went to work. I bumbled around there a bit. At one point, when I was weeding a high shelf, I decided I had to take a bathroom break. So I went into the bathroom and contemplated going home early. But, I had a shrink appointment scheduled for after work, and I didn't want to go home and then have to go back out to go to the shrink. So I did my best energizer bunny routine, but I doubt anyone thought I was 1) happy to be there 2) doing very good work.

I had to take a different route than usual route from work, as I needed to drop off materials at a neighboring branch. Then I did the classic California freeway thing of being in the wrong lane, and nearly got killed by an unchivalrous pick-up truck that did not want to let me in his lane. I was also driving into the setting sun, so that whole trip was fraught...My vision isn't that great to start. I am getting very nervous about it. Then on the way home from the shrink, I took the wrong exit. Oh, I forgot to mention that I missed my exit for work this morning. Only the second time I've done that. Tomorrow, I have to go to a meeting at Solana Beach in the morning--another great opportunity to get lost!

It may not seem that related to anything, but when I am fatigued (the MS kind--here comes a big fat quote):

Fatigue is a sensation that is both universal to all and very specific to people who have multiple sclerosis. The fatigue that all people experience is due to tiredness and weakness affecting muscles after exercises or exertion. In multiple sclerosis, that fatigue that many people have is rather different since the nervous system as well as the muscles are involved.

The cause of MS fatigue is not fully understood. What may happen is that great difficulty is experienced in the transmission of nerve impulses along demyelinated nerves. The strength of the impulses is much reduced, resulting in feelings of weakness and tiredness. Sensory nerves as well as motor nerves are involved in this kind of fatigue.

Fatigue of motor nerves can cause weakness, a tired heavy feeling of muscles, incoordination and shakiness. Fatigue of sensory nerves, which help us to see, to hear, to taste, to smell and enable us to distinguish how objects feel, can cause problems in one or more of these senses. When we are fatigued, we don't just experience a heaviness, but we may also have blurred vision, numbness, or other difficulties in the sensory system.

So that's the kind of fatigue I was having yesterday--motor and sensory. Actually, I still haven't recovered from aquatics. I know that sounds crazy, but there have been so many times it's taken 6-8 weeks to heal up after an episode. I don't think I had a full-fledged MS attack from the aquatics, but I don't just recover from stuff. That was actually my primary symptom long before I was dianosed with MS.

Then I got home last night, did the breakfast dishes, and started dinner. When Matt got home, he was very grumbly about the bad day he'd had at work due to a co-worker's inconsideration. I grumbled back. We ate dinner, then I did the dishes to cut Matt some slack, even though I was having difficulty standing at the sink. I'm getting so used to fighting through the fatigue, that I don't listen to my body's signals. So, at bedtime, after emailing Em because I didn't hear from her at all this weekend, I stumbled in the kitchen and somehow sliced a piece off the middle toe of the right foot.

Much blood, as only a flesh wound can bleed. But it did stop. I took a hydrocodone, and slept ok, if drugged sleeping counts. I was scheduled to work 11:30-8 today. Before I took the hydrocodone, I had already decided that I would call in and just go in for the late night--4-8. So now I'm going to go back to bed for a bit. I'll pick up around the house, then shower and get a hair cut will be ok.

Matt disapproved of me going in late, because I have a promotional interview tomorrow. I think it's important that I get more rest...I don't think he realizes how hard I've been pushing myself. It's that whole "but you look fine" thing. Oh, well. I am tired.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Calcium blood tests results


My level was 10.5, which is just over the borderline to high. It had tested that way twice, according to Dr. Grunwald, the Argentinian GI guy.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

yes, I know what a parathyroid is

Back to the GI doc. The biopsies were all negative. However, he was very concerned about my calcium levels. I old him I'd had a letter from my internist telling me to drink lots of water, and the I had cut down on the amount of calcium supplements I take.

He told me that those would not effect the amount of calcium in my blood. That is mediated by the parathyroids. I said ah, my parathyroids were damaged when my thyroid was removed in 1997, but they had regenerated. He said that they might be overcompensating, but it could cause kidney damage. He sent me for more blood tests. If the level is within normal range, I won't hear from him...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

my legs hate me and other non-news

I can't really remember where I left off in my whining. I know I blogged about The Geriatric Aquatics Class That Killed Me. Its deadliness has continued. I stayed home and licked my wounds all Monday afternoon. I returned to work on Tues. a.m. My knee was still buckling a little, but I thought it would be ok. Around 10:30, i.e., half an hour after opening, the knee completely went out from under me. I was standing at the circ desk, doing a new card registration when I took a swan dive. One of my colleagues ran over and took over the transaction. I thanked her and hobbled into the break room. I took a break (in the morning--how novel!), then hobbled back to the reference desk. The operations manager was very concerned about my safety. I agreed I would leave when the other librarian arrived. I ended up leaving at 1:00.

I had already scheduled myself off on Wed. to do the prep for the colonoscopy on Thursday. So I went in and worked 9:15-12:15, taking care not to push the knee at all. it was still unhappy, and buckled when I squatted down to get books off a botton shelf, but I got through it ok.

Then it was off to Target to pick up the prep. I'd been trying to get it since Sat. It was non-formulary (i.e., not on the plan's approved list), like every other prescription I've gotten in the last two years. When I'm really so freaking healthy that I have nothing else to whine about, I will carry on and on and on about my prescription plan some day. They really do take the cake. They claim to cover just about everything; in reality, they refuse to cover almost everything. (But they do cover Copaxone, street price $20,000/year. So mustn't grumble.) So the pharmacist kept faxing the GI-man to see if she could substitute a similar prep that was soooo formulary as to not have a co-pay. But GI man never responded to her messages or mine, so I shelled out $57 for something I knew would give me the runs.

The prep was as unpleasant as imaginable. Of course, I didn't follow the clock at all--took four hours instead of one to start, then went on for 8 hours instead of one. This did not surprise me in the least. The procedure was scheduled for 1:30 p.m. I had a little Gatorade and a little water in the morning because I was getting very dehydrated. This really concerned the nurse who admitted me at first, but then when she tried to set up my IV, she couldn't get a vein because I was too dehydrated. So everything got delayed while I got poked by multiple nurses. Fourth attempt was finally successful, though I'll be wearing long sleeves for at least a week.

The colonoscopy was blessedly uneventful. No signs of anything, though they still did some small biopsies. I get to go back in three weeks for a consult. Oh boy!

I have again run out of time to work on this post. More gory stories about my gut to come.

Monday, September 17, 2007

one unhappy H2O hour

I finally went to the aquatics class recommended by the MS Society at my local Y this a.m. The plan was to attend every Wednesday and alternate Mondays. It's held 11:00-12:00, so it almost fits my schedule. I decided to start on a Monday, my day off for working on Saturday. So off I went this morning in my swimsuit, with lots sunscreen on, as its an outdoor pool. Turns out sunburn was the least of my worries.

When I arrived, there were already 10-12 old people in the pool doing warm ups. I got in the pool using a ladder, and found a spot towards the back of the group. The instructor, a late middle-aged woman in a floppy hat, called out to start grapevining. I wasn't sure what she meant. I couldn't see her legs, or most of the classes'. Some people were sort of twisting back and forth going across the pool. One of them said to me "It's like Greek folk dance." So I started doing step in front step behind, like a Bulgarian folk dance I learned in college. I noticed that about half the class was just sort of jogging in place and socializing.

The various moves kept changing. After 20 minutes, I felt wiped out. But I thought I could tough it out to at least the half hour. Most of the people in the class looked 70, with a smattering of 60-year olds. I thought I had to be able to keep up with them. The water was making it easier for me to do some things.

We moved on to jumping jacks. And frog kicks. Karate kicks. I started really failing. Te instructor told me not to try to keep up with the instructor, but to jog in place. At that point, jogging in place was harder than jumping jacks. Finally, we did some stretching at the side of the pool. It was sort of thrilling that I could do something like a rond du jamb, sort of.

So I made it through the hour. But I could barely get out of the pool. Fortunately, there was a ramp for wheelchairs to go into the pool, so I could hold on to that railing on my way out. My left leg just crumpled. I had to sit in a chair next to the pool for 15 minutes before I could walk as far as my bag and cane. The instructor came over and asked if I was ok. I didn't know what to say. I told her I had MS. She said I did really well, but that I should come to the deep water class on Tues. and Thurs. That would be better for balance. I told her that I worked, and that wouldn't fit my schedule. Then she said there is an evening class at 6:00. I said that wouldn't fit my schedule either. (As always, I want to growl about people assuming middle class folk work 9-5. But I digress.)

I managed to haul myself into the dressing room. One of the other "students" went off on a long rant about tree-huggers and wild fire and development. She seemed angry with me, but I didn't know why. (Much later, I realized it was my NRDC tote bag that set her off. So what?)) I was trying to change my clothes without falling. My plan was to stop at Target on the way home and pick up an Rx along with some cleaning products.

When I got up from the bench to navigate my way out of the Y, I realized that plan might be a bad idea. My knee was buckling every other step. So I teetered to the car, leaning heavily on the cane. There I sat. I decided to come home, eat something, rest a bit and regroup. Then I'd feel better. Another good plan.

I dissolved in tears when I got home. I was weak and battered and everything seemed too much. I called my EAP, which I had been considering for ages. They are working on a referral for me, but they haven't called back.

Twelve hours later, and I can stand briefly. Most of me aches. Maybe more Ibuprofen before bed? I don't think I'll be able to work tomorrow. Maybe just the morning? I should have quit class after half an hour. All of that jumping and jogging, though extremely low impact, were more physical activity that I've had in eons. I think my mother is fitter than I am. I'm not sure I can go back, or if I should.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

lather rinse repeat

I went for the GI consult. Office was very busy--staff seemed overwhelmed, and rather argumentative. Waited 45 minutes before a nurse took me back to do weight and vitals. Weight came in as 7 pounds lighter than primary care visit less than a month ago. I believe scale at primary care's office is roughly 4 lbs. heavy. So let's call it 3 lbs. It would be a nice trend. Anyway, the nurse said she was going to get the blood pressure meter. Minutes pass, a knock comes on the door, and it's the doctor. He's older than I am--yeah! Not to be ageist, but I think every doctor I've seen since moving to California as been at least 10 years younger than me. I take it back; Neuro-celeb is definitely older than I am.

Gastro-man's first name is Eugenio, but he has Robert, his middle name, embroidered on his lab coat. I haven't seen an embroidered lab coat in years--it seems very old school. Gastro-man actually read through my notes in their entirety, earning my undying gratitude. He felt my diagnosis of a virus in June was correct, and said it could have lasted 8 weeks. I didn't know a virus could last that long. He talked about how Copaxone opens a hole in your immune system.

He feels that the tenderness in my lower left abdomen is due to an injury to the muscle in the abdominal wall. That was a huge relief, though the healing process maybe very long. I was worrying that it was something much worse. However it is still a problem. He recommended I lay off the physical therapy exercises that stress the area. I am kind of loathe to leave off on the abs entirely, as I am trying to really strengthen the core muscles. Keeping problems in check with the lower back and the legs relies to a great deal on the abs and thighs.

I hate letting any area of my exercise regime go for any reason. Getting it back is so difficult. Maybe I can experiment with some other things? I hope to go to th water stretching class next Monday.

Of course, next Thursday, I am scheduled for a colonoscopy. I wasn't surprised when Gastro-man said he wanted to do one. I last had one in 2001, and in light of my recent troubles, he wants to make sure there aren't any surprises. I was ok with the concept, but did not expect to have it scheduled that soon. I was not asked if it fit in with my schedule--just ad to wait another 20 minutes, then handed paperwork with the date and instructions on it.

Then the nurse came back to finish my vitals. BP 127/95 after I was told I'd be missing 1.5 days of work next week. Then I was sent to the lab, where it took 30 minutes to give me a kit for a specimen. I'll have to stop back by the hospital on my way to work to drop it to figure out how to handle the parking!

All told 2.5 hours at the hospital; 3 hours sick leave used. Next week, it'll be back on unpaid Family Medical Leave.

As always, I feel like I should never tell doctors anything. It doesn't pay.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

not really relevant

OK, crunching along here. Doing ok, in the walking and talking categories, but not great. We went to a plumeria show yesterday. Much walking around in circles, before deciding to purchase a plant. The plant doesn't look like much right now, but I have high hopes for fragrant frangipani.

Tuesday I go to for the GI consult. Oh goodie, another MD to break in. I was thinking about my mystery stomach complaint last week. I realized that the major problem began the first week in June. And I fell and fractured a rib the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, i.e., May 27th. The bruising in my mid-section was pretty severe. There was pain, but it didn't bother me that much except for when I breathed.

The daily really severe diarrhea started around June 1. It was godawful. I lived on Gatorade, bananas, and rice. Just before we left for ALA and DC, on June 20, I caught a nasty stomach virus. It was dreadful, lasted around 4 days. I know it was a virus, because some of my staff had it first, then I gave it to The Boyfriend and my 83-year old mother. But everyone else had it about 24 hours, and then was fine. I apparently had it twice? Because 4 days after I recovered, I had to go on Immodium again. Did my body just start thinking daily diarrhea was normal?

It finally started to resolve August first. Solid bowel movements, yeah! I know it isn't healthy or "nice" to think or talk about such. But I need to document. I worry that all of this sounds like a mad woman, and that I don't really need a GI consult. But then, last Wednesday, September 5, I got to spend another morning of quality time in the bathroom. And another hour of sick leave due to the inability to leave the toilet. Ick. I think I will never again complain of constipation (my old faithful). But I don't want to start any gods laughing.

The post title is referring to the two internal medicine M.D.s I saw in June. I am still peeved that they did nothing to help me. I still can't decide which one was worse. I'd say #1 because she didn't even examine my ribs, but #2 wasn't even concerned when the Xray she ordered showed a fracture. Didn't say anything about the trauma causing other problems. It was only because the pulmonologist said that it may have caused pleurisy, that it even ocurred to me to wonder if it damaged anything else.

Meanwhile, the tender spot (not Spot) on my abdomen that has hurt since December still hurts. It's another thing that doesn't bother me that much, but I've had the "don't ignore pain" lecture sooo many times. So I am not ignoring it.

I figure a GI consult has to mean more tests that my poor upset stomach will not enjoy! I read and hear about "Overtreated". The Boyfriend makes noises about medicalizing everything. But I feel like MS kind of sentences me to being hypervigilant. I have to keep watching every single thing, because I don't know where the next attack will come from. And my health history is just filled with weird things turning into disasters. Unlikely or not.

Some day I will do a crabby post on all the ways I test myself daily. I literally ask my body every morning, "How's it going?" BTW, I was able to stand on one foot for a count of 20 yesterday. That's very good. Maybe I'll again be able to put on underwear standing up. That would be a huge victory. Though it couldn't touch typing with four or more fingers. That's a dream.

Monday, September 3, 2007

out to sea

I went swimming in the ocean yesterday--woo hoo! It was great. Three-four foot waves; moderate undertow. Matt stayed with me the whole time, so it wasn't scary. I did tire out after a little while, but I did get to enjoy floating over the waves feet first. So now I've been in the Pacific twice in the last two years--the first time was two weeks ago, though that was really just a dip. The water has been around 70 degrees, i.e., very warm.

We also saw beautiful sunsets the last two nights. This summer has been kind of lousy for sunsets--too much marine layer--June gloom, but only in the morning and evening. But the last two nights have been the spectacular kind of California light shows.

Even though my left leg is still tangled up or spastic or whatever the right term is, I did better this weekend. I worked Saturday, so it was only a two-day weekend. It was ok, because we are having a heat wave, and our apartment does not have air conditioning. We actually had a thunderstorm at work on Sat.--very unusual for San Diego. The temperatures have been high 80s/low 90s, with high humidity. It is unbearable in California terms. Thank goodness we have ceiling fans.

I did ok up until today. This morning, we chihuahua-proofed the balcony. Between the heat and squatting to nail up some mesh plant netting, neuropathy set up shop in my feet. So I was kind of useless. I did fix a pasta salade nicoise for dinner, between two naps. It was deemed acceptable. Mondays are my night to fix dinner. We'd gone out two nights in a row to avoid heating the kitchen, but two nights was enough of that. Let's hope the heat wave breaks--maybe Hurricane Felix will blow the heat away? It will be good to get back to the AC at work, even if I do have lots to do...more than I can think of now. I will just be happy if my feet and hands stop with the neuropathy.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

I want my hands back

Today (now yesterday) was a hard day. I was at library headquarters. I try to cloak as many symptoms as possible there. That passing for normal thing. I don't care so much at the branch because everyone there is kind of family on some level. And the rules of politeness between strangers are in greater play with the public.

Anyway, I used to type 140 wpm for regular word processing input. Ran up to close to 200 for data input. Sometime in the last year, my ability to type with more than two or three fingers at a time started disappearing. A sub worker commented recently. "How'd you get a library degree with only typing hunt and peck." I don't hunt and peck. I know where every key is. I'm probably the fastest two-finger typist I know. Bu let's face it, it ain't pretty.

At the meeting at HQ, when we were all in front of PCs, I was acutely conscious f the the young librarin next to me. Her fingers just flew. Mine stumbled. Because I miss keys a bit, and hae to go back to fix. It seems silly to complain about, but I do mind. I wonder if it will get much worse?

Then there's money. I hate change and do everything I can to avoid it. But part of my job involves a cash register...grr i can't even type this fast enough to finish this. post before the time I set to go to bed!

Another day. Still SOOO tired. Today I had my second pelvic ultrasound in 6 months. Ick. This one was an enormous improvement over the first. The technician was a woman. I'm convinced the internal probe (aka the electric cucumber) was smaller. Or maybe what was wrong has suddenly improved? It was far less painful.

I still wish for a modicum of dexterity back. I don't have to do origami. But not to fumble so endlessly! Pretty please?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

to every thing

Started Tuesday. I really was feeling good for about a week. I planned to do a post saying, see, I'm not whining! I still have to make a note of it so I don't forget it can happen. Whatever sucker-punched me last night did not magically disappear this morning.

Wednesday. Left leg still feels like somebody tied a few knots in the ligaments or something. Stretching has an effect for about two minutes, and then it's right back to cramping and aching. I'm putting it down to MS--I didn't fall or anything, it just seized up. Meanwhile more medical notes:

Got a letter from the new primary saying that my blood results were normal except for high levels of calcium and sodium. "Please drink plenty of water daily and we will recheck at next visit. HBA1C test is normal. Negative test for diabetes."

I guess this is sort of good, since the sugar level last test was what worried her. Also, getting a form letter with a stamped signature means it is obviously less acute than when I've gotten phone calls from nurses and doctors with test results. Since I NEVER leave an internist's office without orders for blood tests, i barely care she wants a redo on these.

She doesn't say to reduce calcium, which I do take. When my thyroid was removed (1997, I think. Should try to nail the procedure dates down--maybe a sidebar??), the surgeon had to remove much of my parathyroids. They regulate calcium absorption. So, he told me to take calcium. I was also told I was at risk for osteoporosis way back when I was pregnant and didn't gain enough weight (another long story). So I am cutting one dose of calcium per day experimentally. This playing pharmacist for myself stuff does get silly. The new internist made noises about not playing with dosages on my own. I am careful. I was asking her for guidance on when to take which painkiller. She basically said to stay away from the Hydrocodone. I only use it to sleep with intense pain, like a broken rib. Speaking of which...

I saw the pulmonologist yesterday. He said my PFT results were good for someone with asthma, but he wants to redo it in six months. He was very concerned about the fractured rib. When the baby internist called to cofirm there was a fracture, she was very offhand about it. The pulmonologist wasn't sure the PFT last week wouldn't still be impacted by it. He also couldn't believe I'd walked around with it for ten days before I got care. Another lecture on the evils of high pain tolerance. More about the lungs and the heart as well--did you know they are intimately related? Sorry about the sarcasm. I can never believe how many times I am given that talk. In addition, the chest Xray from June showed fluid in the lungs. It was possibly from the trauma to the ribs, but maybe also pleurisy. Of course I thought immediately of The Glass Menagerie and "blue roses."

The upshot is he wants another chest Xray. I plan to do it Friday before or after the pelvic ultrsound. At least I can get them done in the same place and time--as I fritter away the 8 hours of sick leave I actually amassed in July and August!

Pulmo-man also talked quite a bit about Serevent. Technically, Serevent did not make me delusional, sleep deprivation did. Serevent can cause insomnia. Some discussion of isomers and beta-receptors. He said that at some point we might try Xopenex, as rthat has an isomer stripped off. I was very grateful I'd paid a little attention to the Offspring's chemistry homework. I'm sure isomers were ever mentioned when I took chemistry, but at least I have a clue. Basically, I should keep my albuterol inhaler handy in case of a severe breathing problem.

I still don't take the asthma very seriously. He asked me if I get out of breath walking more than one or two blocks. I explained that I do little walking because of weakness in my legs. I will start trying to pay more attention as to whether my air intake is affected or has an affect.

K-one more moan groan. Mi piernas dolor!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Upside and down

Tat's Spot, our new dog. We adopted him yesterday. He is just about perfect--everything I wanted and cute as a button to boot.

However (you just knew there was one coming), the process of viewing dogs at three different shelters was exhausting. Saturday was just killer. It never occurred to me there would be that much walking involved. By the end of the day, I was too tired to make a decision about Spot, or look at another single dog. Yesterday, was very excited about picking up Spot and bringing him home. So the fatigue didn't hit until today. Even so, I was very excited about coming home to Spot. But coming home was about all I was good for. Making supper took superhuman strength.

I've actually been doing better. I was starting to think I'd crossed some magical threshold. Now, I can barely function. I'm hoping an early night will mend the ragged sleeve. Oh well. Try again tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Estelle Williams I am not

I am utterly thrilled that I managed to go in the ocean on Sunday. First time since 2005. Water was 72 degrees, and relatively flat for California. The Boyfriend helped. I no doubt looked ridiculous going in with a cane, but it got me past the breakers. I may try again this coming weekend without the cane, if the weather continues copacetic.

We went to the beach with our friends David and Eric. They brought an umbrella, which made a huge difference in my ability to stay on the beach. Mind you, we still went at 2:45, and left at 5:00. Still got a little more sun tan I needed. Not enough sunscreen--more next time.

I also found out I can take an aquatic exercise class at our local Y through the MS Society. I think I will give it a try. I will have to go in to work an hour late on Wednesdays, but that's doable. Then I will go every other Monday, when I'm off. I still can't convince myself to go back to PT in Santee. There really didn't seem to be much benefit, and getting there and back was exhausting. I'm wondering if I can commit to doing the videos my disease mgmt folk sent. Boyfriend is doubtful I will do it. Well, one thing at a time. I am still considering the counseling via the MS Society...though no idea how I can shoehorn that in...maybe would qualify for FML? quiene sabe.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

pfft, puff, PFT

I finally had the Pulmonary Function Text ordered last February. It was a bit more advanced than the pre-employment one I failed last November. Remind me to type up that unappealing little scenario one of these days soon.

When I say more advanced, I am mainly talking about the equipment, but also about the number of tests. I was in a "plethysmograph, a sealed, transparent box that resembles a telephone booth, while breathing in and out against into a mouthpiece. Changes in pressure inside the box allow determination of the lung volume. " Thank you, Medlineplus.

The Pulmonary Function Lab was high tech indeed. I looked at some of the pretty colored graphs the computer displayed wen I finished some of the tests. The technician, Sarah, was very nice, explaining everything very clearly. She didn't really tell me anything, of course, being a professional, but she made mostly positive noises. Of course, that may have just been that I was able to perform the tests correctly. I did much better following the directions compared to last fall. I know I did terribly in the doctor's office in February. Of course, that was when nebulizing didn't really help. I keep thinking maybe I have a variety of asthma that just doesn't respond to albuterol.

One thing I pointed out to the Boyfriend. On the report I brought home from Thursday's primary care appointment, under allergies, it lists Serevent, and lists the reaction as "Insomnia, psychosis." He had said it was never spelled out to him that the psychosis was a product of the Serevent. He thought it might have been the MS. That didn't jibe with anything the doctors had told me, or that I'd read.

Mind you, "Certain prescription medications such as steroids, anticonvulsants, chemotherapeutic agents, and antiparkinsonian medications may also induce psychotic symptoms." McFox's Multiple Sclerosis Pages Yes folks, albuterol is a steroid.

Mind you, McFox doesn't say where he got that info, and there's no authority of any kind I can find on his site...maybe I'll do some more research on this sometime...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

the new primary

Notes for Millen, 8/16/07
Here's my pre-visit notes, below. I scrawled on the bottom "arthritis, asthma, counseling." Im trying to think about the visit without having emotion color it to much. The doctor definitely has clinical detachment going for her. She had gone over my chart, and seemed to feel there was no worries.

When I explained that I am very nervous about medication changes due to the thing this spring with the sleep deprivation and psychotic episode, she was kind of dismissive. I should be careful, but it was unlikely. My health history is literally littered with unlikely events.

She tried to recommend an antidepressant for hot flashes. I told her I have been prescribed antidepressants 4 or 5 times in the last 10 years, for sleep and mood problems. They never helped at all. Oh well. I need some time to process.
Stomach problems--diarrhea frequent 5/5-8/1. Repeated viruses? Really bad in June--daily, Immodium. Seems to be resolving finally. Still some loose stools, but less frequent.

Pain in lower left quadrant since December 2006. Tender when doing PT. Recently some pain in lower right quadrant--fleeting.

In June, Poast said stomach problems could be MS, and to return in 2 weeks for follow up. First avail appointment with Millen was 2 months. Thought I should establish relationship with you. Toughed it out. Is it realistic to see you primarily, or should I go with one of the others? If so, recommendations?

Corey-Bloom not interested in discussing symptoms. In July, said to get a GI consult. First eliminate other problems.

Need new levothyroxine Rx.

Sciatica has come back. Pain and pins and needles, cramping. On hiatus from PT since bruising ribs in late May. Doing exercises/stretching at home daily. Real problems with fatigue. Knees weak first thing in the morning. Don't think I have the energy to do PT while working full time. Even using FML, it's exhausting.

Right foot--lots of spasms. Index toe curling independently. Some soreness still in the wound area, but not acute.

Lots of hot flashes some nights, particularly around menstruating, but other times as well. Hot flashes set off muscle spasms and neuropathy at times--very little sleep those nights. Already doubled up to 600 mg gabapentin at bedtime.

Email notes in advance? Sawires preferred.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


Before I went away, I contacted a peer counselor from my DMS (disease management system, I think). Here's what I wrote her tonight. I think just getting out heped a bit. I really do need to think about how to do things in the future. That being in a stupor thing just sucked. I am deeply bummed by how paltry my human interactions were over the wedding weekend.

I made it without getting sick--big yeah! Unfortunately, the utterly exhausted thing was crushing during and after. I tried hard to rest a bit when I could, but I did want to spend time with people.

The wedding was held on an island, which was gorgeous. Unfortunately, we stayed in a hotel on the mainland. Taking the ferry over each day tended to be as much activity as I needed. But then there was clambering up and down stairs and over rocky ground. I just barely made it. I did soldier on, but it took a lot out of me.

My sister had offered to get me a wheel chair, but I declined. I will use a wheelchair in an airport or at a convention, where there is a lot of walking, but generally, I'd really rather not. A wheelchair makes me feel a bit of a prisoner, plus being treated like a child. I'm sure those are not unique feelings. In any case, I don't think it would have helped much in Maine.

I ended up being so tired I couldn't even speak, so the time I got to spend with my daughter, sisters, nieces, etc., was kind of wasted. I was just in a stupor. I'm pretty disappointed, and not sure what I could have done differently. I used up every shred of leave I had.

Oh well. Are there fatigue management classes or anything? I guess I need to learn to make it clearer to people about what are reasonable expectations. Plus I have to learn to cope with lower expectations from myself. I'm sorry to vent all over you, but it has helped just to let some of it out here. My boyfriend says we should just have family come to us, because travel is so hard on me, and we live in such a beautiful place.

I hope you have recuperated from your travels. I'm both proud and terrified about starting another work week tomorrow.

Friday, August 10, 2007


OK, back from vacation. Semi-successful, as I did not get sick during the trip. However, the jet lag is hitting me hard. Plus, I was kind of upset that I only got to see Em for about 6 hours. And the wedding wasn't much fun, but that's the part I feel unseemly about. I'm kind of opposed to weddings, philosophically. Which makes it hard to eat, drink and be merry. Not that I drink at all any more. And being merry seems like quite a stretch. I will ave to write ore when I a less tired. Right now, lying down is all I can think about.

Friday, July 27, 2007

under currents

I saw the godlike neurolgist yesterday. Actually, she was almost human. Maybe it just takes her a long time to warm up. I've been seeing her for a year. My old neurologist in Philly was a great guy. I always looked forward to seeing him, because we would discuss politics and books. However, he apparently misdiagnosed me for like 8 years, which puts our relationship in a whole new light. I sometimes consider writing or calling him, but I know he is very busy and I don't want him to think I'm thinking of suing, or something...Still, I wonder about how and why. Medicine isn't really an exact science, and even really smart people make mistakes.

So, the San Diego neuro is about as much fun as sorting socks. But she's considered the best MS md on the west coast, and I am lucky she is here and took me. Being grateful is not my best role, and she is more than a little weird. Yesterday, we compared notes on how incredibly stupid administrators can be. In particular, how "negative" comments and questions can get you in heaps of trouble. So, we actually commiserated a little. It was nice, because I felt like she was accepting my intelligence as being equal to hers. I often feel like I have to prove my intelligence to doctors. I think they often end up thinking patients are kind of dumb.

I also always have to go through this thing about my pain tolerance. I have a very high tolerance for pain. This may seem like a good thing, offhand. However, it means I can not notice something is wrong until it's really pretty bad. Little things, like a new pair of shoes being markedly uncomfortable and I take them off after four hours to discover I left the cardboard shape holder things inside one of them. When I am in pain, I keep going. I walked to the ER when I was in labor before birthing my daughter. It took like 2 hours to convince them to wake up a resident to examine me. At that point, I was 9 cm dilated. A nurse told me most women are screaming by then. I just wanted to keep walking, because my back hurt laying down. You know they made me lay down.

Anyhoo, this scenario gets repeated endlessly: I see a doc that I don't know well. I complain about discomfort. They disregard it. A week later, something major is clearly wrong. (My old neuro used to always tell his students how I complained of discomfort after I had a stroke in my spinal column. "Beware stoics," he said.) I feel like I have to "break in" new doctors. Somewhere here, I'm trying to say that maybe I have broken in the new neuro a little.

Her big news is that Copaxone is now approved to go unrefrigerated for up to 30 days. Woohoo! Traveling just became ten times easier. Here it is, official. You see how trusting I am not--I double checked. She told me she found out Wed. (7/25/07) It was announced 6/6/07. I really thought Copaxone should have sent something out--they love sending me mail. This information was so useful, I can't believe they didn't share it. Well, it will make the trip next week a lot easier. Would have made the trip in June easier, but I can forgive them. Just think of the space this gives us in the fridge!

Anyway, she thought I was doing pretty good. Keep up the Copaxone and physical therapy. I asked her if she could recommend an internist with some experience with MS. I told her about my most recent experiences, waiting ten weeks for an appointment with my new primary care. She said the business with seeing inexperenced mds is part and parcel of managed care. She wanted me to go back to the baby docs and get a GI referral. I am going to try to wait it out and just go to the new primary care when I get back from my nephew's wedding. At least, that's my plan right now.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A very wiggley line

Notes for Thursday neuro visit

I don't know what to ask that woman. She "doesn't deal with symptoms." I do nothing but deal with symptoms. And try to find the line between normal and MS. As noted, a very wiggley line

Symptons today:

Lots of fatigue--falling asleep, wanting to lay down

Week in the knees--literally sinking. Seems to be getting worse

On-going stomach problems since 5/1/07--repeated diarrhea, loose bowels, frequent episodes--every few days. Some fecal urgency.

Awaiting appointment with new internist--young doctor recommended follow up in 2 weeks. 6 weeks to get appointment. Non-neuro doctors seem to always wonder if problems are from MS. I don't know how I'm supposed to know. Except to wait, and see if it gets worse.

Lots of spasms and cramps in the right foot. Still some soreness in the area of the wound from February, but actually, I am never telling a doctor that! I just barely escaped the scalpel.

Bruised ribs in fall on 5/27. Set off neuralgia, the tightness around the diaphragm and pain in mid-back.

Back aches a lot. Neck is stiff, mid-back is all pins and needles and ouch, sciatica has started up again.

I know the key thing with a lot of this is to keep moving. But by the time I finish my morning PT (physical torture I mean therapy) exercises I am exhausted and weak in the knees. Which is where we started today.

Expanded disability status scale:

I think I get a 4.0. Would be great if that were a GPA, instead of "Fully ambulatory without aid, self-sufficient, up and about some 12 hours a day despite relatively severe disability; able to walk without aid or rest some 500 meters." How long is 500 meters? 546.806649 yards. I'm not sure if I can walk that...

* pyramidal
* cerebellar
* brainstem
* sensory
* bowel and bladder
* visual
* cerebral
* other

Sunday, July 22, 2007

The lonely patient : how we experience illness []

The lonely patient : how we experience illness []

Yeah, I figured out how to make the BlogThis button for Blogger work again. These small victories keep me going. This book just floated into my libe from the outside world. I haven't started it, but I'm going to give it a looksee.

It being Sunday, this morning I "did the meds." That means arranging eleven pill prescriptions in my 28-compartment pill organizer. There's also four supplements, all doctor suggested. Plus three inhalers, and one injectable medication. (I always try to say that in sepulchral tones.) In the course of filling my compartments, I see if I need any refills. I also fill up the pillbox in my purse where I keep my 3:00 pm pills. There's only two medications I have to take four times a day, thank goodness. Most of the others are once a day. When I had to titre down on Prednisone after I got out of the hospital most recently, I was on four more meds, and they added another two times a day. I had to keep it all down in writing and mark off each time I took a dose--it was so complicated! Imagine doing this with some cognitive deficits. Wait, which of these drugs has that side effect???

I'm supposed to be thankful for these drugs. They make my life doable, and so much better than it would be. I shouldn't feel like a prisoner, a junkie, an addict.

Wretched wigginess

Well, this isn't going well! I haven't even managed to get down the part from April where I had the adverse reaction to the asthma medication, which led to sleep deprivation, which led to a psychotic episode. It really did have Keystone Kops/Marx Brothers qualities. I should try to get it down. The worst of it has been that now I have been crazy, my judgment is ever suspect. I feel like I don't even know that person--I can only remember a little of it. I never realized how damning it could be. I want to shout from the rooftop that I have MS, not insanity. But a lot of MS does make me crazy.

I sometimes refer to it as the Gaslight disease, after the Ingrid Bergman movie. You see, often my knees feel like the are going to buckle. They even do buckle sometimes. But more often, I feel weak in the knees. There is nothing mechanically wrong with my knees. It's just MS. I am very light sensitive. I can barely stand lamps at all. Headlights are ever an issue--I get a headache every time I drive at night. There is nothing wrong with my eyes--no physical reason for the light sensitivity. Just MS. Tere are phantom itches--like shingles or poison ivy--worse with fatigue. The skin is smooth, white, unbroken, without hives.

Crazy twitches in my feet and toes. My right "index" toe curls and uncurls independent of my other toes, whenever it wants. It's wiggy. I can't even do that--I move my toes and they all move. Grr.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Where were we?

OK, back in the spring, when my foot wasn't healing and I was playing MS/MD roulette. That's kind of the drill: one doctor isn't sure what to do, so they send you to another doctor, then another, and your head never stops spinning as each one prescribes another two/three meds. And you start having reactions, but you can't tell what reaction is due to what drug, or is it just the MS? B b buh bluh bluooie.

MS Activist blog

I'm an MS Activist

I'm not an MS Activist (and I HATE the new MS Society logo, but maybe I'll give it a read sometime.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Pity party part oneteenth

OK, I decided to start this blog because I do have this disease, multiple sclerosis. I have other blogs, but stuff about the disease had a way of coloring what I was doing over there, and I didn't want that. Plus I do need to keep track of stuff, like what medications, which doctors, when symptoms. It is distressingly complex. One of the many things about it that are bummers.

Here's a brief history since February,which I am noting here because I am already forgetting/confusing stuff. On 2/2, I discovered a wound on my foot that appeared infected. I daubed triple antibiotic ointment on it and expected it to go away. Shortly thereafter, I developed a bad cold. The cold set off asthma.

I should mention that I have a rich and varied medical history--the kind residents ooh and ah over. You do not want that! Some day I will post on the evils of baby doctors.

OK, the foot does not heal or clear up. I go to the doctor. (Another long post will be about the want-not want to go to a doctor dance.) The doctor looks quite hard at the foot. It does not help that I do not know what caused the original injury. The doctor hears me cough and says, "What's that?" More poking and listening. I have a sinus infection. The doctor prescribes oral antibiotics, and two inhalers for the asthma. The foot doesn not heal up. I must see an orthopedic specialist. She also wants me to see a pulmonologist.

Xray. MRI. Orthopod sends me to see a wound specialist. Wound specialist says surgery.