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I slept really badly last night with reflux and gas and pain. I'm almost certain it was a post-stress thing because this is the response I'd expect from my body after the day I had yesterday. It hit hard enough, though, that I called to cancel my PT appointment. I really hope I did it correctly because it would suck big time to have to pay for the missed appointment.

I'm not even sure why I'm still up at this point. I meant to go back to sleep. At first, it was because I thought I might eat something, but everything I looked at in that direction provoked nausea.

I think that my miscalculation yesterday was to go ahead with our evening plans instead of crashing after Cordelia's appointment. I enjoyed seeing our guests, but I think I wasn't up to it. Also, one brought some mildly cheese flavored potato chips, and I likely shouldn't have had any given how things have been the last few weeks. I don't know how much those contributed to the reflux; given how things went, it's possible that they didn't have any effect on it at all. It's just that the rest of what I ate yesterday evening should have been safe.

Unless I was doomed to reflux no matter what I ate.

I have about 2/3 of my character for Scott's Firefly game. He keeps shoving paper character sheets at me and expecting me to fill them out. I finally explained very explicitly that no character sheet is important enough for me to write it by hand at this point. I'd been trying to figure out the best way to make my own version of the sheet online, but Scott tells me there actually is an online version. I'm kind of bewildered as to why he's been pushing the paper version at me for months.
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I've got my Not Prime Time assignment now. It's not something I expected to match on, but it is something I already knew I was comfortable writing rather than one of the things I looked at and thought that maybe it would be a fun stretch to try them. I'm not sorry to have matched on this, not even remotely, but I have to laugh a bit after how I worried about whether or not I could actually write some of the things I offered. I think the main hitch for this assignment is that my recipient and I have focused on different bits of canon. Nothing insurmountable.

The Tylenol they gave me in the ER helped my chest pain. That surprised me because, with most pain I get, taking Tylenol wouldn't help in the least. Of course, the bottle store brand stuff we've got is pretty much impossible for me open at this point due to my hands. I have a much easier time opening child safety lids on prescriptions than I do this stupid little pop-top thingy. Last time, I ended up spilling tablets everywhere, about a third of the bottle, because I had to use the edge of a toolbox to pry the dratted thing open.

I kind of want a nap, but Cordelia has an appointment in less than an hour, and I really can't send Scott off with her, solo, on this one. If nothing else, Scott will need time to park the car and so be late getting to the office. We'll be cutting things pretty close. He should be home around 4:00, and the appointment is downtown at 4:15.

I ordered lunch from Cottage Inn, a calzone, a milkshake, and cheesy bread (that last only because I was two cents under the minimum order for delivery). I had wanted to get a burger on my way home from the ER, but when we got there, there were two school buses in the lot and the drivethu was very backed up. Scott's sister really wanted to get home, and I didn't really want anything else I could have bought nearby, so I just asked her to take me home.

Scott's sister ended up staying with me all through the ER trip. Scott's parents had only just gotten out of bed when she called them, and Scott's father had a rehab appointment mid-morning. Scott's mother was prepared to come down after that if necessary, but we were done before it became an issue. There was a possibility that I'd be stuck there until after Cordelia got home because there was a possibility that they'd have to do a CT scan. I didn't want that if I could avoid it, so the doctor offered me a blood test to see if I had a clot anywhere in my body. He said it gives a lot of false positives and that, because of that, he doesn't usually bother with it. My having recently been on Tamoxifen made pulmonary embolism a concern.

But all the ER staff understood my desire to minimize more radiation exposure for my chest, and I think all of the signs were pointing toward me being right that the whole thing was chest wall muscles. They just needed to be sure they weren't missing something that would kill me. I didn't have a fever or a headache or nausea or coughing/sneezing. I wasn't wheezing. My blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygenation were all good. My cholesterol has never been even remotely iffy, nor have my triglycerides.

The doctor was willing to wait on ordering a chest xray until after we knew if he'd need to send me for a CT scan. The latter would show everything the former did and then some, so the only reason to do both was if we were in need of something immediately available. They do xrays within about ten minutes of them being ordered. CT scans take a good bit longer.

I do find it kind of boggling that the radiation oncology people reassure patients by telling them that the radiation levels involved are much less than those involve in an xray while the ER people kept telling me that xrays were much less than the levels involved in radiation therapy. I suspect they're both lying and that the answer is more complicated. They're used to patients panicking at the mention of radiation of any sort. I pretty much said that I was willing to do what the doctor thought was necessary but that minimizing additional exposure for my left breast was something I wanted taken into consideration.
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As I thought, the problem is entirely chest wall/muscular. It might be something I pulled. It might be an infection that's not having other symptoms. It might just be fibromyalgia.

I'm to rest, take Tylenol if it helps, and apply heat. Oh, and not do anything that makes it feel worse.

I have to schedule a follow up with my primary care doctor, too, but I'm not giving that the world's highest priority. It comes after a shower and lunch and may not happen until tomorrow.
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And the nurse doing the screening at UHS says I'm to go to the ER. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. I've called my SIL who is going to call my MIL. I don't want to call Scott because he doesn't have time to take off work and because I'm pretty sure this is nothing at all. It's just that the nurse said that heart attacks in women manifest in weird ways and that this might actually be that.

I'm packing up some things and will then call a cab because it will be at least an hour before my MIL can get to Ann Arbor (it would take Scott nearly that long to get home, too).

I will update when I know more.

ETA: Scott's sister is coming down because her parents only just got up. She's about half an hour away, so I'm not going to call a cab. A cab might save ten minutes, but it wouldn't be more than that and probably, at this time of day, would be less.
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Damn. I'm going to have to call UHS tomorrow and hope they can fit me in around my other appointments this week. The right side of my chest is hurting and has been getting worse for the last four days. Up until today, I was assuming it was a pulled muscle since it mostly hurt when I reached for things or picked up something hardcover book or full kettle heavy, but it's been hurting to breathe off and on today, and the part of my chest between the collarbone and the actual breast on the right side is tender to touch. The other areas that hurt when I move/breathe are not tender to the touch, but they very definitely go around the side and up into the armpit.

It might just be fibromyalgia fuckery, but it also might be an infection of some sort. I don't have a fever, at least, but I'm concerned about the feeling of pulled muscles in my chest when I breathe. The list of potential causes of right side chest pain that I found is almost all things that seem pretty unlikely because of the location.

An appointment tomorrow might work since my potential conflict is anything after 3 p.m. If they can get me in earlier, it might work. Or maybe Thursday afternoon. PT will end about 11:30 Thursday.
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My physical therapist says that I may need more sessions and that he thinks I'm likely to do well because I have a good attitude. He wants to get me to 50% less pain from the tendinitis because he sees that as a point at which what we're doing would clearly be working. He gave me a set of more general fitness exercises, and I'll have to figure out the best times for those. Before breakfast would be ideal from one point of view, but I don't see a way to do that unless I get up with Scott. The exercises themselves wouldn't take that long, but right now, I get up about an hour and fifteen minutes after Scott does. I can sleep in that window, but I can't if I decrease it at all.

My gynecologist is going to talk to oncology about my test results. Neither she nor I think that there's anything to worry about at present, but the endometrial thickening is something to monitor because it can hide things. It's just that it's not an uncommon thing for women my age on Tamoxifen. She said that I shouldn't consider this a factor in my decision about whether or not to go back on Tamoxifen.

On the assumption that I won't be restarting the Tamoxifen, I scheduled a uterine ultrasound for early August (not, thank goodness, a hysterosonogram this time). I need to set up a return visit with the gynecologist for after that.

I had lunch at Totoro after the appointment at UHS and then took the bus up to the hospital. I discovered that, if I walked really slowly, the tendon didn't start getting cranky nearly as fast. I had hoped to do some Ingress, and I did, but not as much as I'd expected. The Ingress servers seemed to be having problems so that, half the time, I couldn't see anything at all in terms of portals. When I could see portals, it took minutes, sometimes as long as five minutes, for a hack to process. I ended up taking about half an hour to walk the four blocks from Totoro to the bus stop.

My phone ended up with a reasonable charge at the end of the day, and I'm pretty sure that the slowness of Ingress was a factor. I had a charger with me. Of the two I found, one worked, and the other didn't. The one that didn't has Scott's company name on it and was, if I recall correctly, some sort of swag for days without accidents or something of the sort. Scott's of the opinion that it was very, very cheap and that the surprise is that it ever worked at all.

Scott put more memory in my laptop last night. That means that I'm going to spend some time this afternoon seeing whether or not it gets cranky when I try to run certain programs. Messages is still rejecting my AIM login, though, which is probably not surprising but is annoying. I suspect that this also won't help my problems with trying to access IRC with Adium (I don't like having to run Adium for AIM and Colloquy for IRC at the same time).

I ate a turkey (lunchmeat) sandwich for dinner last night around 7:00 and started having reflux issues around ten. Given the way my body was acting, I'd have thought I'd eaten bacon, a lot of bacon. I put off doing anything but eventually took an Ativan. That helped; the problem went away entirely, so I only lost about an hour of sleep instead of the three I'd have lost if I'd taken Tums and sat up waiting for things to resolve. I'm still inclined to make myself more black tea to see if that makes me more alert.

I've got two hours now before my cab comes for OT. Since it's Thursday, mostly what I'll be doing during that time is household chores. I want to run the dishwasher and make sandwiches for Scott and Cordelia and move all of the things that shouldn't be out when the cleaning lady comes. I should be home at least an hour before she comes, but I might as well do that now as later. Most of it takes very little time.

I'm very glad that the Not Prime Time moderators decided to make the requests public. I've seen a few things in fandoms that I wasn't planning to offer that I'm quite sure I could write. I can tailor my offers pretty carefully. If I understand the sign up form correctly, one need only offer one character grouping. I hadn't looked at those fandoms at all because I felt that the requests were likely to be entirely things I couldn't write due to the size of the canons in question. These groupings fit into corners that I know reasonably well and/or could review quickly. I need to settle on two more fandoms to offer and to figure out what I want to request. Once I know what I want to request, I can write my dear author letter and then sign up.
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Good news on the hysterosonogram-- No fibroids, no polyps. Things aren't quite right in ways that the doctors put down to the Tamoxifen, so they want me to have another scan (not clear if another hysterosonogram is needed or if a uterine ultrasound would be enough) in three or four months. I've got moderate sized (about 2 cm) simple ovarian cysts on both sides. If I understand correctly, because of my age and the size of the cysts, those will have to be rechecked every year unless they go away.

There's some confusion about the appointment I have scheduled for Wednesday morning. UHS's system doesn't show any such appointment ever existing, but the patient portal still shows me that I've got an appointment there at 10:50 Wednesday morning. It popped up with instructions for the appointment last night, and I still have the upcoming appointment reminder I got a few days back and the appointment scheduled message. I would rather not need to go to UHS Wednesday morning, but I also don't want to deal with a missed appointment fee or not go if the doctor has something to say.

I crashed hard yesterday at about 4:30. I don't think I slept, but I also wasn't awake. I lay in bed and didn't move much at all for about three hours until it was absolutely necessary for me to eat something and take my dinner time medications. After that, I ended up staying up until my normal bedtime.

I got a response from my email to Interlochen. They do have accessible cabins, and they supply golf carts for campers who can't manage all of the necessary walking (there's a lot of walking. Certainly more than Cordelia could manage day after day on crutches). My impression from what the contact person said is that they put in temporary ramps for whichever cabins need them, but I could be completely wrong.

Scott and I finished filling out most of the forms last night. There's one more that we need to get Cordelia's doctor to sign before we turn it in, but that one doesn't need to go in until June. I had been under the impression that it wasn't mandatory, but apparently it is. It's a permission slip for giving Cordelia specific OTC medications as needed. The form says they'll only do it twice a month without specific other forms from the doctor filled out for each occasion which seems kind of silly for something like, say, ibuprofen for menstrual cramps.

I need to do some laundry today, and the trash needs to go out. I've already done several minor chores, so I'm resting a bit. I kind of want a nap, but I think I need water more than I need sleep because I had very little water yesterday.

I have some ideas for things I can add onto my Fandom5K to make it work better. My first reader pointed out that there's a good bit of time between the deadline Saturday and the reveal, so I can edit if I come up with more text or change things or whatever. I'm very used to thinking of posting deadlines as the end. One of the changes I should make will be painful because it will involve changing POV for some events and losing a few lines that I love. I don't usually have to do the killing my darlings thing, but this time, I need to.

The OT yesterday showed me some hand flexibility exercises. She also showed me some massage techniques for my hand and then told me that I can't do them because the pressure required would be bad for the thumb on the hand doing the massage. Given that, I'm not quite sure what the point of showing me was. I've got a short list of (hopefully) not too expensive things that might help with the exercises or with tasks that I need to do.

She had a pen that she thought might be easier for me to use. Sadly, I couldn't even get it all the way to the paper. It was too long for me to hold it the way I was supposed to, and the way I need to rest my hand to deal with the tremor was an issue, too. Basically, the things I do to work around the tremor actively conflict with the things I should do for the osteoarthritis. Since I can't write at all without dealing with the tremor and can cope with the osteoarthritis long enough to, say, address an envelope, the tremor coping techniques win.

She also showed me their pain scale which doesn't even remotely match mine. For me, pain bad enough to provoke swearing is a six or a seven. Pain bad enough to want to take medication and/or to be constantly aware of it is a three. For them, swearing is a nine, and medication/awareness is a five to a six. I kind of looked at the chart and thought that it was really for people who don't normally experience pain. It basically stretches out the lower end and has no room at the top for severe pain. I've always assumed that anything that hurt enough to rate a ten would kill me because my body couldn't handle it and that a nine meant pain so bad I passed out or mentally checked out in some other way.

ETA: And the nurse from the gynecology clinic just called to say that, oh, she was wrong and I do have an appointment tomorrow. She thinks I should keep it, and I think her reasoning is sound. If nothing else, I can get clarification about what additional scans I need when and see about scheduling anything that needs doing soon. I think that I would also like the gynecologist to talk to the oncology folks. The pain issues had inclined me heavily toward not going back to the Tamoxifen, and I think this is more on that side of the scale. I'm also kind of curious as to why the radiology report said I was post-menopausal when everyone else keeps saying that I'm not there yet (all of them use 'perimenopausal' except my primary care doctor who hates the term while still acknowledging it as a stage of life. I think she considers it too medically imprecise to be useful).
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I’ve posted my Small Fandom Bang fic. It’s part of the House of Sulfur and Mercury arc, a divergence in which Luke comes back for Merlin himself and Merlin does his best to manipulate Luke.

Nothing False and Possible.

I’ve also posted an if-I-get-hit-by-a-bus draft of my Fandom5K story. Well, I suppose it’s more of an if-life-overwhelms-me-this-week draft because that’s actually what I expect to happen. I’m not entirely happy with the ending, and I want to find someone to look over it for SPaG and for consistency in things like capitalization and the names people use for each other, but I don’t think there’s anything truly horrible that way in there (it’s explicit darkfic, so there are plenty of intentionally horrible things in there). I’ve already had to go in and edit three times after I posted because I forgot to write a summary, to delete some notes, and to set the rating.

Maybe I ought not post when I’m low on sleep?

I’m low on sleep because I kept coughing last night. It was that sort of tickling dry cough that doesn’t do anything except make my throat feel less irritated for a second or three. I only slept at all because I discovered that, if I breathed through a bit of the sheet, I didn’t feel the urge to cough. I suspect dryness in the air as the problem because this didn’t feel like illness or allergies. I spent a lot of the night dreaming but still awake enough to be focused on the necessity of holding the sheet in just the right place even when I rolled over. I was convinced, at one point, that the cough was a curse (of the magical type) that had something to do with me not being vegan.

I’ve paid the deposit for choir camp for Cordelia. I still haven’t gotten an answer to my inquiry about accessibility and all of that, but it’s been a week, and I don’t think I’m ever going to get an answer. I really wish they gave a phone number at the school to call with questions like this. I’ve now emailed the camp directly as the pictures on their website are not encouraging and as they make absolutely no mention of accessibility/accommodation except to mention how to get wheelchair seating for the school affiliated concert hall.

I’d think that Interlochen’s camp buildings would be covered by the ADA’s accessibility requirements. The school might get out of it by saying that this is a completely voluntary thing (in spite of saying that all students are expected to attend), but I don’t know that the camp could.

Of course, Scott thinks Cordelia’s going to refuse the surgery this year at all, that she’ll only consider it when she dislocates her knee again. I think she might go for it, especially if her aunt tells her it’s a good idea. She’s said several times that, much as surgery scares her, she really, really doesn’t want to go through a dislocation again.

Scott tried some pork on Saturday. He was okay with the small amount he had for breakfast, no ill effects, but he had a larger serving in the evening and had some intestinal issues the next day. He’s inclined to put that down to the pork, but there’s a chance that he and I both had an intestinal bug of some sort (I put my Saturday issues in that direction down entirely to anxiety, but who knows?). He’s going to be very unhappy when I point out to him that the turkey bratwurst he bought Saturday have pork casings. Of course, I can’t eat them, either, and I don’t think Cordelia is likely to eat more than one or maybe two. Cooking and then freezing seems indicated.

I’m still kind of desperately hoping for good news from the hysterosonogram on Friday so that I can cancel the gynecology appointment on Wednesday morning. Not getting anything before then doesn’t necessarily mean bad news, but going into the appointment with no idea makes it vastly more stressful. I can’t think of anyone who might be available for hand holding purposes on Wednesday, either. Scott and his sister will both be working, and [personal profile] evalerie has a critical all day appointment for her youngest. Scott's parents won't be back in Michigan until next week, and it will be longer than that before my parents get to Michigan.
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I’m feeling really really terrible right now. I don’t know if it’s some sort of post-stress thing or if the fact that I won’t have results from yesterday’s test until Monday at the earliest is smacking me hard. I woke with a headache that started heading very definitely migraine-ward with nausea and a desire for complete silence.

I took a cab to PT, and that meant that I really didn’t have much pain until I was walking back out of the hospital. I guess that from the entrance of the hospital back to the PT office is the distance I can walk without setting things off. The therapist taped things again, but that only held until evening before friction between my leg and the couch rolled the tape beyond remedy.

Scott’s sister picked me up about twenty minutes after my appointment, and we went to the Syrian place for lunch. They didn’t have the cauliflower salad that I love. The woman behind the counter said that it’s because cauliflower is too expensive just now, about $5 a head. She said she tries to buy local, from the Farmer’s Market. She said that a head of cauliflower makes about 1/2 pound of salad, so that she’d have to charge about $20 a pound.

I drank forty ounces of water between when Scott’s sister dropped me back at the hospital and when they called me back for my scan. I met [personal profile] evalerie upstairs about twenty minutes before the appointment, and we headed downstairs into the maze of corridors. The signage was adequate, so we didn't quite get lost, but my heel was hurting a lot by the time we made it to the right clinic.

I didn't feel like my bladder was full when they called me back, but apparently it was full enough because the technician said everything was good. The entire procedure took an hour because there were three different scans. The second and third would only work if my bladder was empty which, well, forty ounces of water. The third bit was a two person job with a physician doing part of it. That was painful, not beyond bearing but unpleasant.

They didn't tell me anything about what the scans showed, just said they'd send the results to my doctor and that they should be there by my appointment on Wednesday. I'm not happy about this because the doctor saw the scans. Technicians aren't allowed to say anything at all about what they see even if they know what they're seeing, but doctors are. I really don't want to wait until Wednesday.

In the evening, I got a message from the patient portal that test results were in. I was pretty cranky when I discovered that it was the completely unsurprising negative result on the mandatory pregnancy test they had me pee in a cup for before the third scan.

The appointment running so long meant that [personal profile] evalerie would be cutting things uncomfortably close if she tried to take me home before going to pick up her youngest. I ended up waiting about half an hour for Scott instead. That wasn't a big deal except that my phone was nearly out of charge. I was really angry when I realized that the dratted thing was downloading app updates when it had a 20% charge. It wouldn't let me stop the updates, either. By the time Scott arrived, I was at 10% and the phone was complaining about everything I did with it (just texts to Scott to tell him where I was, texts from Scott to let me know when he'd arrive, and an occasional check of the time). I had turned off the wifi connection to prevent it from starting any other downloads or from using charge maintaining the connection.

Scott wanted to go to the local March for Science, but what with things that have to be done and me feeling really, really terrible, there was no way to make it work. The Ann Arbor march started almost an hour ago. There's a march in Ypsilanti at 3:00, but I kind of suspect he won't make it to that, either.
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I still haven’t decided if I’m taking a cab to PT or not. I will be buying lunch out and did so yesterday and the day before, so saving that $11 may be a good thing. On the other hand, I’m probably going to be unhappy after the second appointment today even if all of the news is good. Less pain for my Achille’s tendon is likely to be a good thing.

The OT I saw yesterday was actually very helpful. She was completely focused on helping me figure out strategies for the activities I had on my list of things I need to do that I have trouble doing. She did conclude that the only thing to be done about my problems with writing by hand is to do it as little as possible. Everything we tried that was supposed to help amplified my hand tremor to the point that writing legibly was nearly impossible.

My doctor was glad that I came in because she wanted to be up to date on all of the things that the other folks I see have to say. She said she’d never heard of Tamoxifen causing the problems that I’ve had. It took a little discussion for me to realize that she wasn’t doubting that it had. She just had not run into it because she only has a handful of patients taking it and because it’s a rare-ish side effect in the literature (about 3%). She understands why I don’t feel like I can deal with Medequip right now but urged me to do it as soon as possible. She ordered a bunch of blood tests. Some of the results came in yesterday, and some aren’t in yet. Those that are in are all in normal range.

I got lucky on the blood draw and got someone who is really good at the process. It almost didn’t hurt at all even though we did like five vials.

The A-Ride got me to my OT appointment quite a bit early, but they didn’t have a later pick up time available in the schedule. I didn’t like the walk to Wolverine Tower much because it rained. I had an umbrella, but it was still annoying.

I had lunch at Totoro. That was good as always.
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I’ve got half an hour until the point when the A-Ride cab might arrive. I think I’ve gotten the absolutely essential pre-cleaning lady chores done. I hope so because I’m probably not going to have time between when I get home and when she arrives.

After PT yesterday, [personal profile] evalerie and I had lunch at Juicy Kitchen which is a hole in the wall vegetarian place out on Maple Road. The menu is small and leans heavily on eggs, so there were a lot things I just couldn’t eat. I had a dish with mushrooms, sweet potatoes, kale, and quinoa in some sort of vinegar that I quite enjoyed.

I did six loads of laundry yesterday. Today, I think I’ll get away with three, and one’s drying while a second is washing.

We only had one person over last night. Two of the other people were sick, and the third had something going on for the older of his two kids and Science Olympiad. I tried to go to bed at 9:00, but Cordelia kept checking on me until she went to bed at 10:00. I didn’t actually sleep until after Scott came to bed and (finally!) shut down his laptop.

I slept pretty soundly. When Scott’s alarm went off, my lower back was hurting, and I’m not sure why. It has to have been the position I slept in or the level of inflation of my side of the bed.

I have two appointments today— OT at a new location with, I hope, someone who actually does what I need. Then, I need to get to central campus to see my primary care doctor. I’m kind of spacing out on what I should talk to my PCP about. When I made the appointment in February, I was wanting PT for my Achille’s tendon and OT for my hands.

Medequip called yesterday, but I was on my way to PT, so I couldn’t even think about scheduling. They’re not willing to see me at any point when Scott would be available. I will have to dig up a phone number for them and try to call them later. (They called me from a generic number that all parts of the UMHS use to mask their real phone number. One can’t actually get anywhere by calling it back.)
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Scott had an allergic reaction to something starting at about 3 p.m. today. In the preceding couple of days, he hadn't eaten anything that was likely to have been beef contaminated (most of it was stuff we cooked at home). The timing was weird, too, because he usually has problems somewhere between eight and twelve hours after he eats the problem food. The entire period that we'd normally focus on as the problem was while he was asleep.

He has had a lot of pork products in the last couple of days. Not an amount out of the ordinary for him but pork roast last night and pork sausages this morning. This allergy has been mostly stable for eighteen years, so having it suddenly increase in scope is worrying. It's possible that the casings for the sausages are beef derived (Google indicates that 'collagen casings' generally are), but he's had this brand of sausage before without issues. Unfortunately, we don't have a label from a previous batch to compare to this one. Of course, the sausages were less than five hours before he started having problems, and the pork roast was about twenty hours before.

Easter dinner was ham, so if pork products are now a problem, Scott's going to continue being sick tomorrow. He can't stay home from work because he's used all of his sick days (two every six months), so he's hoping benadryl and immodium will see him through the day.

I'm actually really hoping it was the sausage casings.

I was a bit worried because the Easter gathering was half an hour from home, but Scott was certain he could drive home. He'd had to drive out to buy benadryl because no one at the gathering had any.

I'm going to have to pitch the sandwich I made for Scott for tomorrow because that's ham. (Cordelia won't eat it because there's margarine on the bread. I won't eat it because this particular brand of ham lunchmeat has a lot of fat and is likely to make me sick.) Fortunately, all of the remaining lunchmeat we've got is turkey.
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Getting to the hospital by bus didn't cause me too many problems in terms of pain, but getting home again was much harder. By the time I got home, I was utterly exhausted, and my Achille's tendon hurt even when I wasn't walking or standing. I iced it and did as little as possible all evening. I had intended to wash my hair, but I didn't think I could stand up long enough to manage that.

The physical therapist is male. He used the same office that the woman I saw for lymphedema did. He was perfectly willing to address both back and tendinitis, but that is apparently making bureaucratic problems that have the clerical support staff unhappy with both of us. There was a little weirdness with him telling me that all sorts of long standing diagnoses weren't in my medical record. I have no idea what was going on with that. The fibromyalgia diagnosis, for example, goes back to 1987, and I've been in this medical system since fall of 1985.

I have two calf stretches to do regularly. I tried one last night, but the tendon was hurting so much that I couldn't. The other requires setting up something I can safely stand on that's a couple of inches off the ground and positioned so that I can hold onto something for support. The PT suggested stairs but only stairs with railings on both sides. Our basement stairs don't have that. Also, he seemed to want me to get my heels down to the floor while keeping the balls of my feet on the raised surface. I don't think there're many (any?) human beings capable of doing that on a standard set of household stairs. Scott's suggestion is a stack of hardcover RPG books. They're big enough and won't, we hope, slide.

Things are still hurting. I'm pretty sure that the calf muscle is knotted badly. I'm trying to figure out a good way to massage that. The best I've been able to do is to apply pressure with my other foot. I can manage a fair amount of pressure that way, but it's kind of hard to target. Experience says that tennis balls don't work worth a damn because I can't get into a position where I can put enough pressure on one to have it be useful. I strongly suspect that getting to and from the hospital by bus will make the ultrasound treatments the PT wants to give me pointless.

I tried to call my grandmother last night to wish her a happy birthday, but the phone rang and rang and rang. She lives with my aunt and uncle and their seventeen year old granddaughter, so I'm not worried in that respect, but it seems very odd because I know they have an answering machine. I'm planning to try again in about three hours. If I still can't get an answer, I'll email my cousin who lives in the same town so that he can find out if they're having phone problems (or tell me if the number has changed).

I've promised Scott that I'll watch Agents of SHIELD with him when I'm less stressed. He really likes the series but isn't willing to watch it alone. I'm not sure why he feels that way about it given that he watches other things alone. Possibly he's just feeling off balance because I've been leaving the living room most evenings for the last few months. That's because I'm too tired to cope. I'm not sure what to do to change that.

Today's main goal is to finish that letter I started. The secondary goal is to figure out how I'm getting to and from PT tomorrow. I also need to wash my hair and to do an assortment of things to prepare for the cleaning lady's arrival. I usually do most of that last during the hour before she arrives, but I'll be at OT during that time.

I'm kind of tempted to nap instead.
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I’m now over 3000 words on my Fandom5K story. I think I’ve finished the backstory/set up. I just have to find the right transition to move forward.

The folks at oncology have told me to go ahead and stop the tamoxifen for a few weeks to see if that changes things. If it doesn’t change my pain levels, I can start it up again without hurting the course of treatment. If it does help, well, I almost certainly won’t start it up again.

We’ve firmed up plans for Easter dinner. We’re bringing a green salad and a serving of some sort of meat that I can eat. We might or might not bring something else. We’re to be there 2:00 or a little later. The hosts will get home around 12:30 and thought 2:00 was reasonable in terms of them having some time.

The library will be closed on Sunday, so we don’t have to work around that. We’ll likely go in on Saturday because there’s a hold Scott wants that expires then.

I’ve got ten minutes before I need to leave for PT. My plan is to try the bus, just to see how walking to the stop affects my tendinitis. I’m hoping it will be a minor thing because the bus is free and doesn’t require someone else carving out time to transport me. [personal profile] evalerie has expressed willingness to help as she can, but this is every day with two appointments some days.

I have off loaded some of the phone calls that relate to Cordelia onto Scott. None of them should take very long. The only complication will be if we need Cordelia to sign a release in order for the surgeon's office to tell us the procedure codes for the possible surgeries, and we want to get her to sign a release anyway so that I can call and do things like ask what time her appointments are.

I'm going to hold off on scheduling anything with orthopedics until I find out how stopping the tamoxifen affects my hands. I'd really hate to jump into unnecessary surgery. The tamoxifen didn't cause the underlying osteoarthritis, but it may be making the pain levels worse. I'm not holding my breath that it will be a magical solution, but I might get lucky.
the_rck: (Default)
I’m feeling really overwhelmed right now. I’ve made the OT appointments, and they’re one a week for the next three weeks (including this one). They are, sadly, at Domino Farms, so I have limited options for getting there. I’m going to try to get my act together to see if the A-Ride does go there. My neighbor says that her mother has used it to get there, but that doesn’t mean that I can. I’m not supposed to be able to use it for anything on the Plymouth Road bus route, and someone being nasty might take the fact that the nearest stop is more than a mile away as insufficient to count the place as not being on that route. Domino Farms is right off of Plymouth Road. It’s just that the bus doesn’t go out that far.

The PT appointments are at the main hospital, and I definitely can’t use the A-Ride for getting there because the Plymouth Road bus stops right outside the main entrance. Scott will be able to get me home from two of the appointments at the hospital because they’re late enough in the day that I’ll be done around when he’d get back to town anyway.

I wrote about 1000 words last night. 940 of them were on the Fandom5K story, so I’m nearly halfway to minimum word count. My current goal is to get a bus draft as quickly as I can and then polish it as much as I have time for after I post it. Bad news about the various uterine tests would likely leave me with major problems making the deadline, depending on what treatment was recommended and how soon.

My mother emailed me this morning to let me know that her cell phone has been stolen. She mainly lost phone numbers because she’d been clinging to an ancient phone that could make calls and send texts and not do anything else at all. She’s hoping she can still avoid the smartphone trap.

Scott’s sister just called, and she can’t come to the hysterosonogram appointment with me. She can, however, take me to lunch in the 3.5 hour gap between PT and that appointment. I was mostly worried about being alone at the hospital for that time. After how I melted down before last year’s mammogram, I’m trying to make sure I have someone around in the time leading up to similar tests. (Which is why I’m so hugely grateful that [personal profile] evalerie was able to be there with me yesterday.)

My gynecologist sent me a message to say that my hormone blood tests show me as perimenopausal but not yet fully menopausal.

I really, really want a nap right now, but I think it will be Saturday before I can fit one in. Instead, I’m going to cat wax a bit by looking online for plastic storage bins that might fit under my bedside table. Amazon mostly seems to sell those in batches of six, and I only want/can use one, but having some specific names might help when going to Target or Meijer or wherever nearby.

I’m kind of hoping the Med-equip is its usual efficient self and doesn’t get back to me until some time in May. I really, really don’t have time or resources to try get out there for a c-PAP fitting and all that.
the_rck: (Default)
Health related stress )

Anyway, between this and having a fic to write, I probably won't be answering comments with any regularity until the end of the month or so.
the_rck: (Default)
I got most of the urgent things from my to do list done yesterday. Sadly, the remaining two are the hardest to manage. I’m just so stressed out that I can’t deal.

After our trip to the library, Scott and I went out to Kroger to replace the sausages (which did turn out to still be in the trunk of the car) and pick up almond milk and a replacement hairbrush for me. The hairbrush required an additional stop, at the Rite Aid across the street, and I’m not happy with what we ended up with. The only thing we could find with bristles stiff enough and close enough together to be useful was $10 (wooden handle, extra stiff fake boar bristles) and hurts a bit when the bristles get to my skin.

Maybe my missing hairbrush will turn up now that we’ve bought a replacement. I hope so, anyway.

We went to Barnes & Noble last night. Cordelia got a book by Marie Lu. I got three books that I’ve read before but think I’m likely to reread. Scott was surprised that I bought anything because I usually don’t, but I’m hugely stressed out and have been for days. I needed something nice.

I wrote about 230 words on the Fandom5K story last night and had Scott take a look at what I’ve written. This bit is suffering from me trying to cover a lot of time very rapidly, and I think the bridging sections are weak/dull. I have, however, figured out what I need to write next. Well, I have two options for it. One makes more logistical sense for the characters, but the other would be a stronger emotional punch for readers. Maybe both? There’s no reason it couldn’t be both except that it will take time/space. I’m a long way from being able to put in the stuff that my recipient really wants. I need to build an AU in order to make it all make sense. The 5000 word length is actually part of the problem. With a lower word count, I’d just throw readers in and expect them to figure out what was going on. With 5000 words as the minimum, putting in the backstory makes sense. I just… kind of want to write a novel, and I don’t have time.

I slept badly last night because I was stressed out (I took an Ativan before bed because I expected anxiety to keep me awake) and because of temperature issues. We had the ceiling fan going. I was too warm with the sheet over me and too chilly without it. Ah, well. It did give me time to think about my story.

Today, I’ll finally be seeing my gynecologist about the occasional bleeding I’ve had since the beginning of the year. I’m pretty anxious about it because she wanted to get me in in less than a week after I told her what was going on but the scheduled didn’t work, so it’s been a month. It’s likely that I’ve got either fibroids or polyps. Even if I don’t, they’ll have to take a look at the interior of my uterus anyway which will not be fun at all. My guess is that that will require a referral and an additional appointment or three. I just hope that it can be done quickly so that I can stop stressing out over it.

I need to figure out what we can take to the family Easter gathering. As usual, Scott’s sister’s in-laws will host. Scott’s parents are in Florida. Scott, Cordelia, and I are kind of tacked onto the gathering for Scott’s sister’s in-laws. They’re very nice to us and accommodating of our dietary restrictions. I just never quite feel comfortable.

Bread is possible and a vegetable or a green salad, but someone else usually does that. Scott’s sister is making GF green bean casserole and some sort of dessert fruit salad. Her MIL will make ham and a bit of chicken (I can’t eat ham, generally). Her SIL will bring something, too, but hasn’t said what. There will probably be other relatives there who will also contribute food.

I have a library book due next weekend that can’t be renewed. I’ve been putting off picking it up because it’s heavy enough that I can’t possibly hold it at the right distance to read it. I’ll figure something out, though. I’ve also got two books due this weekend that can be renewed but that I’ve already renewed several times. I’m likely to have a lot of waiting room time this week, so maybe I could work on those during those times. One of the books is a paperback, so I probably can hold it to read. The other is a hardcover but not terribly thick. I’m still less sure I can hold it for more than a few minutes at a time.
the_rck: (Default)
The sleep disorders clinic overnight went okay. I had trouble finding a position to lie in that didn’t make my back hurt enough to keep me awake. The mattress was harder than I’m comfortable with, so it left my body in a much different configuration than I’m used to. I ended up starting on my right side (which is generally my third choice position after back and left side) then switching to on my back midway through the night when I woke.

I had reflux issues through the evening but was okay when I lay down. I took Tums around 7:30 and an Ativan about 8:40. The Ativan helped more.

The technician forgot to let me get up to take my thyroid medication. I didn’t demand it because I had no way to know what time it was. The forgetting was understandable. The other patient she was monitoring ended up needing an ambulance at about the time I should have taken my medication. I took it immediately on getting up, and the timing ended up working out for that because Scott and Cordelia didn’t arrive until an hour later.

Scott and Cordelia picked me up, and we went to breakfast at the Northside Grill which is a diner about a mile from home. Scott and Cordelia had omelets, and I had potato pancakes. Cordelia was very grumpy at having been dragged out of bed so early.

I suspect that my biggest problems with the c-PAP will be odor and temperature. That is, when I breathe warm air, I parse it as stale. I can’t pull covers over my head to sleep unless I make sure I have an opening where I can get cooler air. The c-PAP air was warmer than the surrounding air by enough that part of me kept thinking I wasn’t getting breathable air.

We still don’t have a bedside table for me to put a c-PAP. That’s really urgent now. I don’t have a c-PAP yet, but I’m likely to fairly soon (depending on how many delays MedEquip throws in. Their reputation is terrible in that direction).

I’m really exhausted, so I’m probably going to post this, set an alarm (we have to be somewhere at 2:30), and see if I can sleep.
the_rck: (Default)
I just tried Flaredown which I saw linked either on DW or LJ, and it can’t quite do what I want. It’s trying to get there, I think, but it really, really isn’t yet. I don’t know if what I want doesn’t exist or if I just don’t know the right keywords to pry it out of the vastness of the internet. My suspicion is the former, given Flaredown still being a work in progress.

Flaredown is designed for daily or less frequent check ins, and I rather want the option for as many check ins per day as that day calls for. Trying to remember dozens of different things from the previous day every morning just seems like too much. It would also be useful to see things like whether I do better with phone calls if I space them out the way I do physical activity or if it’s better to do two or three in rapid succession.

Flaredown tracks all symptoms by a five or six point scale from no problem with that at all to major problems with that. It’s useful information but doesn’t give me a way to track how many times some particular thing happened in a day.

For months now, I’ve been wanting something that would let me track about thirty different things, health-wise, plus subcategories for some of them, to see if I can spot patterns. All the programs I’ve seen, apart from Flaredown, are set up to track a scant handful of things and won’t let me see the sorts of connections I want without me doing a lot of work to make connections and chart things myself. All of this health related stuff interacts, so it’s extremely hard to figure out what’s a problem and what isn’t and what’s a secondary or tertiary factor.

I really don’t want to use ten different apps and then try to coordinate the data manually or to keep text records and then try to mine them for connections myself. The harder I have to work for it, the less likely I am to keep it up.

I don’t need a medication management program or a cycle tracking program or any of the other things I’ve been able to find. Tracking food, for example, is only helpful if I can link it to reflux, sleep, fatigue, IBS symptoms, rashes, headaches, and anxiety levels. And I want to link each of those things to each other and to exercise and passing illnesses and the weather and caffeine intake and… I want to be able to track what parts of my body hurt and how much and when it gets better or worse or if anything sets off my asthma or if I fall or otherwise injure myself.

I also want to track anxiety levels, stressors, time outside of the house, chores accomplished (since they take physical resources), menstrual stuff, my weight, breast self-exams, occasional medications, new medications, and likely things I’m not thinking of.

For a lot of the categories in the two paragraphs above, I want to track more than one thing about them. Exercise, for example, requires duration, time of day, and how I feel afterward. Headaches need type, possible triggers, time of onset, pain level, additional effects like nausea or sensitivity to odors, medications tried and whether or not they helped, and ultimate duration of the pain.

My incomplete dream list of things to track )
the_rck: (Default)
I think maybe my back is starting to get better. I really hope that that’s the case because this pain thing sucks.

My right hand, however, is getting worse. I had to ask Scott to help me brush my hair this morning, and there have been days when I couldn’t floss. The giant braces might help the hair brushing problem, but they also might not because they make gripping and turning things the way I need to too difficult. I mentioned maybe chopping my hair, and Scott thought it might help, but I’m not sure it would because most of the knots I wake up with are high up on my head. I think I’d have to get my head shaved to avoid them.

I also don’t want to do something as radical as chopping off my hair until I know whether or not the problem is as simple to solve as stopping the Tamoxifen. I need to talk to my doctors about that. I’m not sure if it’s something I can stop for a while to see if the pain problems get better and go back to if the pain doesn’t improve. At this point, I’m pretty certain that the Tamoxifen is not worthwhile if it’s giving me this much pain— Five years of taking it will decrease my risk of recurrence by 4%, and the oncologist said that even a year would decrease the risk a bit. I’ve been taking the stuff since December of 2015.

4% is not worth five years of pain. (The baseline risk for me is 10%.)

I need to get Scott to empty the clean dishes out of the bottom rack of the dishwasher (I did most of the top) and to put away the things that require bending. I need him to bring the clean laundry and the clean sheets upstairs. I also asked him two days ago to look for something in the basement (I have a reacher/grabber thing that will let me pick up some things without bending. I’m 90% sure it fell down the basement stairs a few months back, so it’s down there somewhere).

Today is one of the days of the year when going to downtown or campus is decidedly unwise. It’s the Hash Bash, and there will be thousands of people wandering around (and taking up the parking spaces).

Scott’s very conservative aunt just friended me on Facebook. Ah, well, if she hadn’t realized that I’m a flaming liberal, she wasn’t paying attention. And it’s not like I post much. One surprise is that one of my aunts has turned out to be a lot more liberal than I thought she was— She’s reblogging Bernie Sanders stuff. I mean 80% of what she posts is cute dog pictures and pleas for people to adopt/sponsor dogs, but there is some political stuff, all things I can get on board with.

Today’s goal is to finish and return a graphic novel that’s due today and can’t be renewed. Then I work on the Korean DVD that’s due tomorrow and can’t be renewed. Then I write. I would like to watch some things with Scott in the living room, but I still can’t sit there for more than about fifteen minutes at a time without my back feeling worse so not today.

I talked to Scott’s mother yesterday and to my step-father. My mother was in Florida through some time yesterday in order to sell her father’s house, so I didn’t actually talk to her. My step-father says she’ll only be in Michigan for a week in April. I’d been under the impression that it would be much longer than that. I guess I can’t count on seeing her. Pity she’s not up here this week. Both of them will come north some time in May, after my step-father’s semester ends.

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