Category Archives: injury

Take What You Can Get

I started a post on Feb 11th and never finished. It had a great title and everything: “The Dog Days are Over”. It was wrong, I think they’d only just begun.

February 11th I had two new pieces of information: (1) I was surprised with a new dog for my sister. A 10 month old Husky. Her name is Kaya and she’s every bit a puppy. (2) I FINALLY got a job! I was hired the same day we got the dog…and my new job is working with dogs. My official title is “Dog Handler” – I play with dogs, keep them well-behaved and end any fights. With the little dogs I end up cleaning poop, mopping pee my whole shift and with whatever time is left, I pet them. With the large dogs, I keep them from killing each other…not really, they just rile each other up and it’s my job to keep them settled…somewhat. They’re allowed to play, however, a lot of the dogs are right around Kaya’s age and get too excited. By the end of the three hours all the dogs are exhausted and most are stretched out on the floor.

So, there was going to be a whole blog about that…but now there’s more…

Did I mention my root canal finished? It failed. The tooth was pulled. I now have a lopsided mouth. It still bleeds from time to time, but the surgeon thinks it looks good so it’s not a problem.

Last Friday I made my first visit of the year to the ER. Thursday night around 9pm I started feeling pain in my right abdomen. By 11p I thought I was dying…perhaps a bit melodramatic, but I was in a LOT of pain. I tried going to the bathroom, but couldn’t and it didn’t really feel like Crohn’s pain, but I thought maybe. Then I tried a shower, didn’t work at all. Tried a heating pad, no luck there either. Finally I took some pain medication…which I don’t like to do because it tends to mess everything up with my Crohn’s. Then I was afraid to go to sleep because I didn’t want the pain medication to wear off and wake up in such searing pain. I had thought my doctor’s office opened at 7am so I planned to call then, turned out they opened at 8:30a, so I called the on-call doctor at 6:45a. She recommended I go to the ER, she felt it may be Crohn’s related and waiting to see the doctor, ordering the CT, getting the CT and seeing the results would take too long and it was a Friday after all.

So I told my parents where I was going and went on my merry way. There were three of us in the waiting room, I was the third…though I was called in first. (A bonus of having diabetes). The ER doctor felt I may need my appendix removed so he ordered a CT to find out. I survived my very first enema and did “well”…whatever that means. Turns out my appendix is just fine, for now. However, I had a number of kidney stones. They gave me more IV pain meds and sent me on my way. After a short spat with my mother regarding my ride home, I called my PCP’s office and asked for a referral to a Urologist. Then there was another short spat and a trip to the pharmacy…and then another pharmacy because no one carries PercoTAN anymore. My mother dropped me off at home with the THREE dogs and she and my sister left for the day.

Before they left Kaya of course got out because my sister needed to say goodbye to her 5 times and standing on the other side of the gate was unacceptable. Kaya then sprinted around the neighborhood. She finally came back and she was put in her crate. She screamed, cried and yelped…while I was trying to get the urologist to fit me in that afternoon.

I still couldn’t drive, my dad was coming home from work but was still an hour away and I had a friend I’d just canceled on…so I called her. The urologist could only fit me in if I could make it there by 2pm…which was 40mins away. I walked a half a mile down the street…in the pouring rain, met my friend on the corner, she dropped me off at the appointment and my dad met me there. Before leaving for the appointment my tooth started bleeding again. As my friend was driving I called the oral surgeon…he wanted to see me too. So I told him I could meet him at 3pm and explained the ER/doctor situation in a very abbreviated form.

Urologist showed me my CT, I had two large kidney stones and about 10 others in the right kidney and one in the left. He informed me I had a choice to have surgery done or not, but since I was at a higher risk of infection and already have inflammatory issues it was possible I’d need emergency surgery done. If I scheduled the surgery I could avoid another ER visit. …with my luck I thought it best to schedule the surgery. If I passed the stones over the weekend I could call Monday to cancel, otherwise Tuesday was the surgery.

Tuesday came, I had a morning appointment with my neurologist. That was lovely. I have another medication and “condition” or maybe he said “syndrome” but he told me it wasn’t technically a disease…essential tremors. The new med is Propranolol, a beta-blocker. Yay, just what I wanted! Another medication and another “condition”…I think I’ve had enough, thanks though.

Writing about this is depressing…I’ll be 25 in 13 days. It’s not time for my annual “yearly rundown”…but I’ve now had surgery, 2 in fact, am on more meds than I can usually remember, have three chronic conditions and two progressive conditions…2 more than I had last year….more doctor’s visits, more sleep, less life…I’ll shut up now…

So after the Neurologist appointment I went home, grabbed a few things and left for the hospital. I checked in at Noon, my surgery started around 3:30 and I left the hospital around 6:20p. My dad then took me to CVS to get the new medications and then we went home.

I’ve since spent the week peeing blood. I now know what it’s like to have an aching kidney. They put a stent in to prevent it swelling shut…thus the achy kidney. The pain lasted through Saturday. The pain medication has now screwed with Crohn’s and I’m in that kind of pain now…which pain meds will only make worse.

There is a med that is causing me to be really anxious before bed…I’m hoping it’s the pain meds and that’ll go away now that I’m not on them anymore. I’ve finished the antibiotic and the stop bleeding med…but didn’t take the flomax. I can’t really explain why, I think I’m just tired of having weird issues and weird medications and didn’t want to take a med intended for aging men with prostate issues. It’s a dumb excuse, but I think we all have a tipping point, and that was mine.

As a result of the hospital stay I now have three nasty bruises from the attempts at locating a vein for my IV. My sugars have gone batshit crazy…so it’s not just Crohn’s acting up. At least Crohn’s had the decency to wait til the surgery pain had subsided. We can’t always live in a perfect world, gotta take what you can get.


S-A-T-U-R-U-R-DAY NIGHT

Except it’s Sunday night. Mike Myers was on SNL this week (on Saturday night – see it’s sorta relevant). My favorite Mike Myers movie is So I Married An Axe Murderer, which has this song. So, it’s not entirely random.

It’s become apparent to me how much I’m stressing over this coming week and month. If I take every appointment as it comes and each day it comes, I’m fine. Seeing doctor appointments set Monday, Tuesday, next Tuesday and the Tuesday following AND the dentist this Monday too.

The dentist I’m not too stressed about.

My endo – I’m terrified. I know I have an endo complex, but I haven’t been this worked up for a while. My first and second endos were intimidating, one made me cry and the other told me they wouldn’t help me if I didn’t log my sugars. I should have logged my sugars, but I’m stubborn…and I’ve never been good at it. My endo in Montana was wonderful, I loved him. He was respectful and willing to help, but didn’t force things on me. I got a new endo when I moved back to California. He has been good. My first appointment he gave me Symlin and a Dexcom for a week. My second appointment he told me I was the most compliant patient he had and did amazing on prednisone. The day before that appointment was an amazing day, had one low and didn’t go any higher than 160 or something. Today, the day before this appointment, I’ve been 42, 140, 70, 160, 55, 275, 48, 300, 220, 270, 240 and now holding steady around 310. I have no way to explain it. It was just an off day of extreme zigzags. Until late in the evening it was just a lot of over-corrections in both directions. Now, I KNOW I’ve over-corrected, but I’m not budging. I have 15U in my system and I’m still not dropping. I swear, once I’m out of range it’s hell getting back. If I’m too low I really can’t function, if I’m too high I’m a big grumpyface prone to bitchiness. I feel like I need to be able to explain myself. I just don’t know how or why it really happens. It would make sense that this stupid ibuprofen is wreaking havoc on things, so maybe that’s it. Who knows if he’ll believe it though, he won’t believe me that Entocort EC is a steroid.

Tuesday I’m seeing my PCP. I’m happy to go there…except that it’s at 9:15a, but still happy to go. I can get my bloodwork done there. Also, I need to ask her about my shaking hands. It’s been really odd, I get really shaky hands. Not when I’m low, not when I’m high, just during the day. It’s slightly concerning. I really like my doctor. She’s nice to talk to about not just diabetes, not just Crohn’s, not just neuropathy…just about me.

I also have my second interview at the dog daycare/boarding facility on Tuesday. If I am hired I will most likely start this week. It’ll be nice to have a purpose for getting out and nice to be around dogs all days. Dogs are easier to be around than people…or at least they are for me. I’m a little nervous of handling school and 20hrs of work a week. It sounds lame, I know…but I really am so limited in what I can do. I get worn out SO easily. I hate being so limited, but it’s reality for me right now. Hopefully it’ll be great, not too much stress, fun and a good fit.

Next Tuesday I see my gastroenterologist. I already wrote about that appointment. I think they’ll be calling me tomorrow. We played phone tag about my dentist’s desire to put me on an anti-inflammatory medication. If they pull my tooth tomorrow, we’ll probably have to talk about what I can take for that too. It’s not worth it and probably not justified, but I feel like it’s my fault things aren’t going better with Crohn’s stuff. Or maybe that I’m not feeling what I’m feeling. Weird, I know…it’s just WHY can’t I get it together?!

The following Tuesday is my neurologist appointment. We need to talk about my muscle spasms and my shaky hands. He and I have only seen each other once and it wasn’t for very long. He doesn’t seem too interested in figuring out why I have neuropathy, but he seems to think I do in both hands and feet.

Eventually I need to see the eye doctor. But, I want to wait until I have a job so I can pay for at least something.

The one positive and even a little bittersweet part about all these appointments is that I can transfer over to my insurance’s mail order pharmacy. It just saves so much money. I LOVE my CVS in Castro Valley. I really don’t want to leave. But when you have meds that are $10, $25 and $40 every month and the mail order pharmacy charges the same for a three month prescription, you just can’t justify it. To make myself feel a little better I tell myself that I can still fill my temporary prescriptions at MY CVS…I’ve been on four or five already this year. I might have withdrawals if I don’t get to see them.

Another, oddly entertaining and somewhat pathetic event happened this weekend. My mother told me it’s been heavy on her heart I need a social life. Yes, a social life…as in getting out of the house. So she intends on occasionally donating $10 to my social life fund. Having no job and no money does play a part in my staying home so often…why leave to pay for gas, pay for wherever I’m going and whatever I’m doing? I can use the internet at home. While doing homework and studying outside the house would be nice…it’s cheaper to stay home. But, getting out will allow me to have some space from our already strained balance in the house. …Plus, I wore a short sleeve shirt today and I seriously need to get some sun!

Well, I started this on Sunday night, it’s now close to 1A on Monday…whoops.

I’ve added another reading assignment to myself…Last Child in the Woods. My roommate in ID had the book and I’d meant to read it but never got around to it. He told me about it and it sounded incredible. THEN my sister had to read the book for one of her classes in the Fall. She gave it to me tonight. Yay :)

One last thing…I’ve added another shower injury to last week. I bruised my toe REALLY badly, it’s black & blue and hard to walk, as I was getting out of the shower. I hit it on the door track. I’ve used this shower off and on since 1998…you’d think I could manage to use it and not injure myself.


Real World

Not an obvious song title, but it is! One of the few positives coming out of my January Technology Crash aka death of my Windows operated computer, is I’ve somehow been able to recover some really old iTunes purchases. The All-American Rejects make me a happy camper :) …I don’t think I’m supposed to admit liking them though…oops.

Anyway, the title actually relates to my post! Lately I’ve spent a lot more time in the kitchen. I’m not 100% sure of the reason, though the possible causes are: – I have no job & one class outside of my house so I’m home a lot – My diet has become something my family is not open to adapting along with me – I cooked a lot of my own food in Idaho.

I’ve always had a huge interest in people and cultures. People fascinate me. And since I’m in the kitchen so often, why not start making foods from various countries?!

Monday night I went out and got a world map from AAA and plan on marking each country I cover. The other twist with this, is I’m going to try to adjust the recipes I find into gluten free versions. I’ve heard some people with Crohn’s (I still don’t have a good term – suggestions??) have success eliminating gluten from their diet. Along with gluten I’m trying to limit my milk consumption. I still plan on having Greek yogurt, it’s cooked long enough to kill nearly all of the lactose. (I haven’t tried my new milks yet…I’m planning almond milk for my gluten free Puffins this morning)

Anyway, I’ve started researching some German and Irish dishes. I think I’ll move to Russia next. I’m primarily German and Irish and my family recently discovered lineage to Russia. I briefly looked at some Cuban food…which I’m excited to try.

My goal is to make a full dinner, meal and dessert from one country once a week. They can fend for themselves the rest of the week…and I’m not sure they’ll go for gluten free 7 nights a week.

The Irish desserts look AMAZING! I can’t decide between an oat cream (yeah oats aren’t 100% certainly gluten free, but I love my oatmeal and it’s staying around) fruit pudding-like dessert or a Baileys pie. We might need to visit the Irish more than once. :) Most of the German desserts I want to make will have to wait until May-June because they involve more fresh summer fruits. There’s this wonderful looking plum meringue pie, plum cake and some other fruit cakes.

If you have any suggestions – of countries or recipes, I’d love to hear them!

This isn’t too nerdy of a goal, right? I think I can consider it a good use of my time, yeah?

Oh, also, a quick health update:

  • My tooth still hurts…and I still haven’t called the endontist…for the millionth time to tell them I’m still not better. It seems redundant. If I’d ever like to have fully functioning mastication abilities, I should probably call. :-/
  • My stomach bruises have changed from purple-blue to black. It looks awesome. My mother was appalled when I lifted my shirt to take my Symlin yesterday…she was also disgusted.
  • I cut myself in the shower yesterday, with an exfoliant. A simple bar of natural ingredients intended to slough off dead skin. Part of me thinks this could be a fault of the product, but the more reasonable portion of my brain is certain this would only happen to me.

So, not good, not bad, but mostly just the same. At least a shower injury is entertaining…a little, tiny bit, but entertaining nonetheless.


Diabetes Debacles

Attack of the Symlin

This is what the right side of my stomach looks like right now. The left isn’t as bad, but there’s less space to inject. Thank goodness I won’t be in a swimsuit any time soon.

Tubing Death Pt. 1

Sometimes I reuse tubing.

Tubing Death Pt. 2

Sometimes that’s a bad idea.


Here We Are Again

The hospital seems to be my home away from home as of late. Total bummer, let me tell you! This hospital visit (or vacation as I’ve started calling it) isn’t related to anything else I’ve struggled with medically; not only this Summer, but ever! No kidding. I’ve had food poisoning once – the artichoke dip at BJ’s, yeasrs ago. Now, the doctors aren’t 100% sure what I have, since all ‘gut’ tests have a 48 hour + turn around period. The likely suspects are salmonella, giardia, yersinia, colitis and celiac disease.

They’ve opted to treat me for salmonella, giardia and yersinia, since the treatments are the same. So I’m on 2 antibiotics, in hopes of that working. To rule out the possibility of the other two I’m doing a celiac screening of some sort and they are recommending I have a colonoscopy. On Monday I’ll call my doctor and schedule an appointment to discuss scheduling the colonoscopy…I know you’re all so jealous.

How did this all happen? Well, I woke up on Wednesday with diarrhea. Which wasn’t in and of itself too random, the last 6 months have been a rollercoaster of constipation and diarrhea episodes. (Sorry if this is WAY tmi). Then Thursday I woke up super stiff and not feeling great. I blamed Cymbalta (as I have been for all my crappyness the last 2 weeks). Since I was feeling so down, I opted to join my boss on her trip to town. We left around Noon from home and had some lunch by 4P. (The lunches were completely different and made different places). By the time we got home, around 6P, I was feeling REALLY nauseous. I emailed a lady not committing to Friday morning’s meeting in Salmon (aka ‘town’).  It was about buildings in riparian areas (needless to say, I did not attend). By 8P I was eating dry bread and trying saltines. I also couldn’t get my sugars above 68. Then around 9P I started puking. When it got to be 1A, and my sugars STILL weren’t in normal range, I called my boss. No answer. I finally worked up the energy to walk up to her house. She wasn’t there. I sat on her porch for a bit, then went home. I called the office, because I wasn’t sure I could walk down there. About 5 minutes after 2 calls and a voicemail left my boss showed up at my door. I told her I thought I needed to go to the hospital. She got her stuff together, we were on the road by 2A, 2 hous later, at 4A, we got to Steele Memorial Medical Center.

Initially, they thougt I had the stomac flu and were concerned about my body going into DKA. Despite being 58 when leaving home, I was 260 upon arrival. Before leaving home I had shut off my pump though. The 260 continued climbing until last night, when it finally normalized. Though this afternoon I’m back up to 257. Boo! It’s been slowly climbing all day. Now – as you know – they’re not sure. I haven’t anything to trigger this whole situation. They just asked me if I’ve been in airports recently – also, no. 

I really think there’s no winning in my little world right now. Seriously! One thing after another. All unrelated (throat, infections, this, etc). What the heck?!?! 

Anyway, here we are again, in the hospital. This time with a shower, diet 7up, clean gown, new sheets & watching CMT.

Happy Saturday Everyone!I'm a Fall Risk


Where These Feet Have Traveled

As a child and even young adult my hatred of feet had always been abundantly clear. Doctors had to force me to remove my socks for my yearly physical. I suppose I’ve always been self conscious of my feet. While I was never blatantly disliked in grade school, the one thing I’d been teased about were my too-large, too-skinny feet. By grade 4 I was wearing a 9.5! I think I nearly cried in the shoe store.

In recent years I guess you could say I’ve developed an appreciation for feet. I like the symbolism of footprints, which are impossible without feet. I’ve come to accept my size 11-12 shoe size. And I no longer jump 5ft in the air if someones foot grazes any part of my body. An even bigger step, I’ll still talk to you if your feet touch me. I may even consider politely asking for its removal.

Mostly, my feet haven’t failed me. Perhaps they’re not the prettiest feet around; but come on…they’re feet! They are callused, scarred & maybe a bit odd shapen. Yet they’ve never failed me. They take me places, put up with the poor shoe choices I make from time to time, swiftly adjust from pink to blue to purple painting…they are probably my most loving body part. After a long day of work, of course they’re sore. They’ve had their share of blisters, cuts, burns and even a wart problem as a young child. 

The real question, I guess, is why the hell am I writing about feet?!?! And, honestly, I think it’s because I need something to appreciate about myself. Silly, I know. It’s just been too much lately and my feet haven’t given up. My immune system has revolted (even more than normal), my hormones are off and as a result of the immune troubles, my muscle tone has also given up working. It seems as though my body is quitting and it’s killing me. I need to stop hating me. And my feet are dependable. A fresh splash of my favorite nailpolish and they even appear halfway decent! 

Some day I may look back at this with sadness, pity and embarrassment; though I hope differently. We should be able to appreciate ourselves, every little piece. So, today, I choose my feet. A small part of all of me. It’s all I can muster to appreciate at the moment as I lay in bed, in pain, overtired and a bit defeated. Feet, I’ve decided are a good place to start. They’re the ones who move you, right? 

And today, they’re taking me to Montana.My foot on its way to Missoula


Infusion Set Change #2 & Picture Time!

Since I have a new camera, I’ve been posting more pictures. Here are some from yesterday:

Scars and Bruises

The bruises are relatively new – thanks to the shelving at work. The scars were acquired in July 2009 – falling UP an escalator at the BART station in Millbrae. Continue reading


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