Tag: medicine


I’m not a whiner…however…


I am seriously over this crud!  Guys, I’m still hacking and coughing.  I am beginning to wonder what in the heck is going on.  Seriously!  I’ve had, thus far, 2 Decadron shots, 2 rounds of Prednisone, 2 different antibiotics, every anti-allergy med known to man in varying and increasing doses, dual-dose nebulizer treatments throughout, Dulera inhaler, and Flonase spray along with whatever other OTC/vitamin supplements that are supposed to help.  There have been changes, sometimes from day to day, in how this “is”…whether the secretions are thick or thin, whether the congestion seems loose or tight, the cough “wet” or dry, etc. but overall, there’s really not a whole heckuva lot of improvement.

It’s driving me nuts.  Besides absolutely wearing me out.  I’m exhausted.  The house is beyond hopeless and I’m stuck in it all day.  I have not stepped foot outside the house since I went to the allergist on Thursday.  I opened the back door to wave at one of the boys in the yard.  That’s as “outside” as I have been.

I’m scheduled for allergy testing on the 13th which is too stinkin’ long to live with this after I’m past a month with it already.  I’m considering trying to get in with a pulmonologist.  I mean, I’m sure I need the allergy testing anyway, but I’m wondering if there’s not some lung issue.  Why are the steroids not more effective?  I mean, I’ve taken them often enough over the years, not often, but enough times to know that they normally produce a noticeable improvement within a couple of days.  But with this?  No such thing.  And I’m sitting here wondering if I should finish up this last course of Prednisone I have.  I mean, that stuff jacks my sugars up so bad.  It’s like insulin has no effect on it almost.  I raise my temp basal as high as it will go, 173% and STILL have to override the boluses to give 2-4 more units of insulin to cover my food.  Well, not cover it even, just to keep it below 200.

I’m thankful to have the CGM now so I can keep on top of what my sugars are doing while the steroids jack with my sugars.  I shudder to think of how bad they have been in the past when I didn’t have a way to keep such a constant watch on them.  Ugh!  At the same time, though, watching them stay up there while I’m “throwing” insulin at it as hard as I can is just maddening and more than a little scary.  I don’t know about any of you guys, but when I know my sugars are up and I can’t get them down (quick enough to suit me, of course) all I can think about is all the damage being done.  All the blood vessels being clamped shut and nerves being killed out or whatever goes on in there while there’s an overabundance of sugar floating around.  It drives me nuts!

So here I am.  Still hacking, still unable to speak with my actual voice.  It’s more like I’m doing the voice of some alien monster thing complete with alternate growling and shrieking.  I just wanna get well, y’all.  Is that too much to ask?

Alright.  Like I said, I’m not a whiner, so I guess I’d better shut this down before I become one.  heh  Maybe that should be, “I TRY not to be a whiner”?  Yeah, probably so.

Ah well…I’m not changing it now!  ha ha

I hope none of you guys are this sick.  I guess I’ll update you if I get in with a lung doc next week.  For someone who never worked in an environment that was potentially lung-damaging or who never smoked (other than a couple months in high school), it sure seems odd to me that this would be some lung issue.  It honestly seems like it should be entirely allergy related.  But then that brings the question of why in the world aren’t the meds helping, then?  I have always been weird with medicines…either it takes a ton of it to work for me (pain meds) or I’m allergic to them (antibiotics) or they stop working…??  Why would that happen?  It’s not like I’ve ever taken steroids for long periods of time.  I have had them several times over the years, but not for extended periods or even frequently, so what gives?

Argh.  I give up.  It’s scary to think that there’s some (other/more) weird thing going on that is causing my body to no longer respond to these medicines.  What do you do when nothing will heal you?  Um…die?

Gah.  I need to stop thinking about this.  And I need some answers…and um, some relief.  “and that’s all I need…” ~Navin R. Johnson

 


crap sammich


That’s where I’ve been living for almost a month now.  Now, I don’t normally use the “other” word…$h!+.  So don’t go thinking I toned this phrase down for posting on my blog.  I assure you, I didn’t….but that’s about all I can think of when I ponder how my life’s been these past few weeks.  Just a big ol’ crap sammich!

They are telling me it’s allergies, but I’ve never had allergies treat me so bad in my life!  I mean, this started out like just a case of the sniffles.  Seriously!  Nothing major, just a bit of drainage…not even a sore throat, and then that cough started.

I guess I’ll never post any such declaration as> THIS <again!  You betcha!  I mean, the very title is just asking for a big ol’ dose of Murphy’s law or karma or whatever you wanna call it.

I don’t actually believe in those things, but if I was trying to decide whether to believe or not, these weeks since that post would make a believer out of me!  And God knows, I wasn’t bragging!  I was just trying to share my joy!  Honestly!  sigh

So here I am now, for whatever reason God has, with this nasty bronchial/sinus infection now.  After going to see a doctor I didn’t know, (because I couldn’t get in touch with mine due to a cruddy phone system) y’know, to get in front of this thing, and getting NOTHING done other than confirming no infection (and I am sure I didn’t have one at the time) I have ended up Friday having a Decadron shot, a round of antibiotics, doubling up on the guaifenesin, adding a steroid inhaler plus nebulizer treatments, making sure I take the nasal spray steroid (that I’m so bad about missing!) and now another 3 days of oral steroid just because my cough was still bad when my doc called me Monday.

In case you are a non-D person and don’t know, anytime a person with diabetes has to take a steroid, it sends their blood sugars soaring.  That’s just the nature of the beast, which is why some doctors are so hesitant to give them to a PWD.

I assured my doc I could adjust the basal rates on my insulin pump to handle the rise in blood sugars, but man, I had forgotten just how hard it is to manage my sugars while on steroids.  Egads!  Having high sugars makes you feel like poo all by itself, so it’s like a crap sammich with a side of poo, y’know!?!

Today has probably been the least fatigued I’ve felt since this whole thing started.  I’m not sure if that’s because my mom and my aunt came down to help with the house this morning or not.

I really, REALLY didn’t want them to come.   I mean, Lord knows I need the help around here but do you have any idea what the home of a depressed person with diabetes who has been sick for weeks actually looks like??  It is NOT pretty, folks.  And my mom is a perfectionist housekeeper.  We have had some doozies about my inability to keep my house up to her standards over the years.  But bless her heart, she didn’t fuss too much and I know good and well she wanted to.  I guess maybe she’s figured out I have been really, really sick.  Maybe it’s sinking in that dealing with depression on top of diabetes is a big load to bear and doesn’t lend itself to being an organized, always-on-top-of-it person who keeps their house spotless.  Especially not one of those who also has some hoarding tendencies.  Heaven help!

So yeah, I might be a tad better today.  I sure hope these steroids will move this cough on out, though.  I have one day left of those.  My doc wants to send me for a cardio workup just to make sure none of this coughing is due to a heart issue though.  I really don’t think it is.  The only time I have any sort of lung issue is if I :

  1. get tickled or
  2. get choked or
  3. get something like this

Then I’ll end up hacking my lungs out, sounding like a long-time smoker (no joke!) and needing a rescue inhaler.  I think the main reason Doc is sending me for cardio tests is that I had a nasty coughing fit in her office.  You could hear me barking all over the office.  They were bringing me cups of water and Doc wouldn’t let me leave til I had taken the sample steroid inhaler and then a nebulizer treatment.  It was awful and I was sure glad it wasn’t far to my house, but then I had to stop at the pharmacy, which was on the way.  Only, they didn’t have the one item I really needed right then…the cough syrup…so I had to drive back across town to get that at another location.  sigh  Ain’t that always the way, though?

Anyhows, so that’s where I stand with this lastest issue of Creeping Crud Magazine.  Ugh.  I am so ready to be done with this.  I realized though, thanks to Facebook and Timehop, that I’m always sick, getting sick or getting over being sick at this time of year.  If it IS allergies, then perhaps if I set a reminder on my calendar for the end of August to start being super-diligent with my allergy treatments, up the vitamin C, etc. if maybe, just maybe that would help?  What do you think?  Is that crazy?  I know if I don’t do that though, I’ll forget it completely.  Do any of you do things like that??…set reminders for yearly things besides birthdays and anniversaries??

So how are you guys doing with allergies?  I take allergy meds year round and have done so for decades.  Used to, this seasonal stuff really didn’t bother me but now, oh boy.  It sure jacks me up!

Hope you are all well and free of Creep-o Crud!


frankly Friday: how do you feel about “a cure”


Okay folks, once again, Friday is for us PWD’s (that’s People With Diabetes) but as always, I hope you will all enjoy the post and it will get you thinking about things maybe for the first time!

I just read this article that initially sounded like yet another “we’re closer to a cure for diabetes” thing, but when you got into it, I found that it’s about getting closer to a way to detect future development of T1D and then possibly a way to prevent it from ever developing.

You can read the article here:  Type 1 Diabetes Breakthrough: Scientists Identify Key Molecule Targeted By Immune System

See what I mean?  The title is like “DIABETES BREAKTHROUGH!” and you’re all like “WOW!  YAY!  YIPEE!”  then it just tells you they’ve discovered a fifth molecule that is attacked by the immune system during the development of type 1 diabetes.

depressing letdown  Yeah.  I mean, that’s great news and obviously it’s progress, but for me, it is definitely a little anticlimactic!

How does it make you feel when you hear news about a possible cure for diabetes?  I’m not talking about the okra-water cures that are constants on Facebook.  I mean the news reports from legitimate sources researching a cure.  What goes through your mind?  Whether you are a diabetic or not, I’m interested in how that makes you feel.

For me it’s a mix of emotions.  I’m usually like, “Yay.  Thank God those coming behind me might be spared living with this nasty disease.”  I never feel hopeful of a cure for me.  If you ever look at the clinical testing sites, they want people who were diagnosed t1d within the last year or two, or maybe sometimes you’ll find a study looking for people who have had t1d for as much as ten years, but forget being eligible if you have had it over 20 years.  I know this isn’t the case, but to me it feels like they’re saying, “Oh man, you’re practically dead from it already.  Sorry, we can’t help you.”  Pshhh!  Sorry… did I shock you with my killer negativity?  Yeah, I apologize.  It sneaks out sometimes.  grin

Personally, I don't think us diabetics 'get used to' injections or finger pricks. I think we simply accept that it's necessary to survive.

 

So how do you feel when you see things like that?  Are you “new” enough to have hope that a cure will be found in time to benefit your life?

If I’m totally honest, my conspiracy-theory self thinks there is already a cure, but it is being suppressed because just think of all the money that would be lost if we didn’t have to pay out big bucks to live??  See?  I have this completely pessimistic side and she comes roaring out when it comes to stuff like this.

ANYhow… it IS encouraging that they are learning new things about how diabetes occurs and which genes might be responsible for the misfire that causes our immune systems to attack themselves.  Really, guys, it is.  I just can’t get too excited because progress is so slow and it’s really already too late for “a cure” to save me.

the workings of the t1d brain

Heh.. I was telling some friends last night that I’ve had diabetes for so long, I don’t know any other way to live.  If I got cured right now, I wouldn’t know what to do with myself.  How do you go from spending every waking moment calculating and figuring out food values and dosages for everything that crosses over your teeth and trying to decide how this or that activity will affect your fickle disease to … well, to NOT worrying about those things constantly?  Ha ha… I guess it’d probably be a lot easier than I imagine, but wow… it’s just not something I can really fathom.

diabetes doesn't define me, it just helps explain meI’m gonna close now, but something has been on my mind that I want to share… a couple of weeks ago, I was talking to a friend while waiting for a low to pass so I could drive home.  (fyi: don’t drive when your sugar is low, ‘kay?)  I was explaining something or other about dealing with diabetes when she said, “I thought your pump took care of that.”  I’m pretty sure I contained my dumbfoundment enough that I didn’t bump my chin on the floor, but I was really stunned that she didn’t understand any better than that.

minion: the look you get when explaining diabetes to peopleI guess I just assumed she’d been around me enough to realize, but I guess that’s not the case.  Or maybe I had never really discussed the finer points with her specifically?  I dunno and really, maybe I shouldn’t have been so shocked, but I guess it really floored me that she thought my insulin pump was essentially like a cure.  That as long as I was on the pump, I didn’t have to worry about the disease anymore.

WOW!  People of the world!  AN INSULIN PUMP IS NOOOOT A CURE!!   It is merely another tool in the arsenal that helps us manage life!  I guess I should admit here that I HAVE used the term “external pancreas” to describe the pump to people before.  Now I’m rethinking that!!  I can’t assume that people understand that while a pump is MUCH MORE like that than treating with MDI (multiple daily injections) for most of us, but we STILL have to calculate everything, still have to manage the unexpected, unexplainable lows and highs that can happen.  We still have to deal with going into DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis) if the cannula kinks or we put the port into an area with scar tissue that won’t properly absorb the insulin, or we sweat too much and the adhesive comes loose and the cannula pulls out or… I could go on with a list of possible things that could go wrong, but you get the picture, right?

That’s part of the reason I am writing more about diabetes here than I ever have before.  I believe this wholeheartedly:

I may have diabetes, but diabetes does NOT have me!

I have diabetes.  That’s me, I am a PWD, a Person With Diabetes, but diabetes, no matter how hard it may try, does NOT have me!  It doesn’t define me.  It makes me strong, makes me tough, makes me determined but it will not defeat me.  I may die from the blasted monster, but it will never control me.  I want to live my life to the fullest, be all I can be, yadda yadda… and diabetes may slow me down, it may make me do things a little differently, a little more cautiously, but it won’t keep me from doing what I want.  It may put me in The Pit (depression) for periods of time, it may make me more susceptible to The Pit, but it won’t keep me there.  Never.

ahem   Soooo…. how DO you feel about this??  Please share.  I’d love to hear your thoughts!  Let’s encourage each other, lift each other up, whether you are a PWD or not, if you know me, you have a vested interest in learning about diabetes, you have reason to be concerned about possible cures and other diabetes news.  Chances are, someone you know in your own life (if we aren’t friend IRL (in real life) that has diabetes.  It’s like a plague these days and we don’t understand it well enough to know why!  Get involved.  You don’t have to go join the ADA or JDF, but learn all you can.  Be knowledgeable.  What you learn could one day save my or another PWD’s life, after all!

Please share this post and share your thoughts here!!  THANKS!

mwah!

Blessings,

G~

Acknowledgement:  All images in this post courtesy of Type 1 Diabetes Community FB group


frankly friday: Eli Lilly & the rising cost of insulin


humalog insulin

I dunno if this Frankly Friday thing will stick, but for today, let’s roll with it.  I apologize to my non-diabetic readers, but this is a huge issue for us and if you love a diabetic, you should be upset about this too.  Let’s face it, it won’t be long before you could face this same issue with a medicine that you need!

humalogHUMALOG insulin: the stuff I, and tens of thousands of other diabetics, depend on to stay alive

I came across an article on Facebook about this and it just made my blood boil.  WHY are these companies allowed to do this?  deep breath  Sorry… I should probably let you in on the secret, huh?  Some jerk CEO at Lilly made some really callous, idiotic statements regarding the rising cost of one of their most popular products, Humalog.

eli lilly

Here’s a quote from this jackwad, Lechleiter:

Asked on the earnings call about the current debate over drug pricing, John Lechleiter, chief executive officer, said higher prices make sense because it helps the company fund the research needed to find better treatment methods or a cure.

Excuse me?  “higher prices make sense because it helps… fund research to find…a cure”?!?!?  Um, no.  I would love to know the total revenue generated by Lilly over the years they have produced insulin and find out exactly how much of that goes to researching a cure.

I don’t know who he thought he was talking to but all of us out here “in the field” trying to survive day after day with this disease know full well that no diabetes medication manufacturer is looking too hard for a cure.  They make too much flippin’ money selling us stop-gap measures, granted we need them to live, but when they make comments like that and tell us they’re trying to fund research while jacking the prices up for the ONE thing that keeps us breathing??

Nope.  You’re full of crap. Sorry if you’re offended by my watered down language.  I’m mad!!  I’m furious that this is allowed to go on.  It’s not bad enough that we have to deal with insurance companies that dictate which medicines we can or can’t buy if we want their policies to cover a fraction of the costs, it’s not bad enough that they can deny coverage of some things telling us they’ve been deemed unnecessary.  I have always believed that big pharma and insurance companies are in bed together.  Premiums go up, co-pays go up, covered percentages go down, cost of medications go up… you see the trend?  The only people this crap “makes sense” for is all those suit-and-ties in these companies who are making billions off all our pain and suffering.

I gotta get off here and try to calm down.  This stuff just sends my blood pressure through the roof.  What kinda price-jacked medicine do you want to sell me for that, Lechleiter?  puke

Wishing all my peeps a beautiful day.  mwah!

G~


mega X meds


Oh my goodness!  I came back from the recheck at my doc with a buttload of new or changed prescriptions and OTC meds.

Normally, I wouldn’t be very pleased about being prescribed a ton of meds for something, but Read More »


recouping, but slowly…


I am used to being sick. I mean, I do have type 1 diabetes. That is a moment-to-moment adventure of a roller coaster ride way to live. But I do it. I am not bitter about having to do it. God gave this to me for some reason that is meant to glorify Him, so it’s all good. Hear me when I say that I do not believe I am cursed by having this disease.

This isn’t about diabetes, though. I have been dealing with a massive, monstrous sinus infection and asthma flare for over a month now. I’M TIRED of it!! Argh!

After FINALLY getting the doctor to give me a Rocephin shot and a different oral antibiotic, I at last started to get over the horrendous throat and ear pain I’d dealt with for over a week, but it took much longer to get over this mess…and I’m still trying to do that. I have the (apparently) obligatory lingering hacking cough hanging on.

For clarity, I was put on blood pressure medicine at least 10 years ago. Not because I had high blood pressure. Not by “normal people” standards. You see, if you are a diabetic the standard limits and tables for determining an acceptable blood pressure (or cholesterol or ANYthing else) do not apply. No, what would be an acceptable bp level for you will be considered much too high for me. In order to protect my kidneys, when my bp was within “acceptable” levels for you, I was put on the meds. T1D’s are much more susceptible to kidney disease and failure, so protecting them while they’re still healthy is a big deal. However, the bp medicine they put me on, an ACE inhibitor, a very mainstream one, over about a 7-year period caused an awful hacking cough to develop. Ever since then, I’ve had problems with my lungs. *sigh*

I was taken off that medicine and put on a different type of bp med… this happened over and over. A couple of times, because I get tired of trying to keep up with all the different medicines I’ve been on AND because the names of the drugs are changed, after going to a new doctor, I have been put back on an ACE inhibitor…and shortly thereafter, the coughing would resume.

Realize this isn’t your garden-variety coughing I’m talking about. This is hacking til you can’t breathe then you choke and throw up type of coughing. I was sent to an allergist at one point who did a lot of tests and told me (of course) that I was allergic to a ton of things and diagnosed me with asthma.

I’ve said for years that I have asthma, but I don’t really wheeze. I cough my brains &/or lungs out unless I get completely out of breath, THEN the sort-of wheezing starts, but it’s more of a squeal when I try to inhale. Yeah, I do EVERYthing differently. Ha ha…

And so, that’s where I am right now. I have FINALLY gotten well enough to attempt riding my bike again. I have been trying to build up for the past week and a half. I could only do a few miles the first time before I just gave out. The next time, I got in about 9 miles. Then 12, then 14… I had a really bad (stubborn) low blood sugar once and had to wait for Hubby to ride back and come get me in the truck (more on that in another post…it was a really weird experience)

So this past Friday, Hubby and I went out on our own and I was able to get 17 miles in without dying. (ha!) Then on Sunday afternoon, between attending/working as altar counselors both services at church, eating lunch and going back at 6 pm for a meeting, I was able to do 20 miles. Granted, I almost hawked up a lung doing it, but I did it.

It was nice to even FEEL like working hard to get those miles in. Praise God! But now I’m getting concerned about my stinking lungs. I’m now on amlodipine, a ccb drug (calcium channel blocker) that helps widen blood vessels to lower blood pressure. It’s one of the few blood pressure meds that don’t have coughing as a side effect, and if I take it at night, it doesn’t seem to bother me at all, thank God, because now that I’ve had to take these things for so long, I can’t seem to go off them without my blood pressure going up to what is considered high for even “normal” people. Great. 🙁

I realized last week that I’d not been taking a medicine for both allergies and asthma. I know, I KNOW!! Shame on me. But it’s hard to keep up with them all. I’d run out just before Hubby and I left for his last century ride in Elizabethtown and in the chaos of packing (we took puppy with) and making sure we knew where we were going, packing all his cycling paraphernalia, gassing the truck, making a hotel reservation, etc.. I just forgot about it by the time we got back. That and my blood pressure medicine are the only ones I take at night and *blush* I don’t take my bp med consistently (don’t judge…I DO keep an eye on my bp, I just don’t take it every night… more like about 3-4 times a week or so) and so, after realizing the cough was just not getting better, it dawned on me that I wasn’t taking the montelukast (Singulair), I went right out and picked it up. But it’s not like a “rescue” inhaler or whatever, it doesn’t work immediately. Hopefully I’ve learned another lesson about sticking with one of my meds (like the Wellbutrin!) and will stay on top of it better now that I’ve proven how much it helps.

Speaking of Wellbutrin, did I report that I am now getting the brand name (not the generic bupropion) FOR FREE??!!! I had to go back and see the ARNP at the place I’d first gone to for talk therapy so I could continue getting the prescription (hassle since I had to drive almost 50 miles to get there, but…) When I walked into the room the first thing she said was she’d just learned about a program for people with commercial insurance policies that would help pay for the brand name! I had told her how way back years ago when I’d first been put on Wellbutrin (before it became a generic) it worked very well for me, then once the generic came out (and of course, I had to use it because of insurance/cost!) I didn’t feel like it worked as well for me. I had been taking the generic ever since she put me back on it a few months ago at a higher dose, but in generic. Every time I picked up the prescription (which still cost me $30 each time!) it would be a different brand. Nice, when it seems that how effective it was had to do with the “other” ingredients used. We had looked into getting the brand, but it was going to cost me over $200 each month and with another 5-7 prescriptions to buy just for me each month, plus insulin pump supplies?? No way. We just couldn’t do that, so I had to stick with generic.

She gave me a number to call and sent in my info. Later that same day the company called me to verify all the info and in about 3 days, I had a bottle of brand name Wellbutrin XL with no out of pocket cost!! Talk about a blessing!! I haven’t noticed a huge difference, but it will be SO nice not to worry that this different brand generic each month is going to cause a problem. (it has in the past) After realizing how much Wellbutrin helps me, even when I don’t feel like it is/was, I won’t try to go off it again. And now, same goes for the Singulair/montelukast. If it keeps me from having this awful coughing stuff, I’ll make sure to stay on it.

And yeah, I’ll just pray God will spare me the side effects. *bleh*

Okay, then, I guess that’s about it. I will leave you with this though…some notes from a recent sermon:::

“The Bible is like an apple tree. You have to shake it (READ!) to get the fruit to fall!”


under pressure…


Well, it seems I can’t win for losing on the blood pressure front.  If you’ve been keeping up with my medical stuff, you’ll know that I was put on blood pressure medication about 15 years ago as a protective measure for my kidneys.  I did not have high blood pressure at that time and the dose of medicine they put me on was very low.

I took that (an ACE inhibitor) for about 7 years when I started having this horrific cough.  It came on slowly, but developed into this awful tickle in my chest that would either be made worse by laughing (of all things, right?!) or would just progress on its own until I was doubled-up, trying in vain to draw a breath without that squeezing in my chest making me cough violently.

Of course, at first I didn’t realize that one of my meds was causing the cough and thought I must have some kind of weird cold or bronchial thing.  Finally though, the doctors figured it out and took me off the medicine.  The cough got better almost immediately, but I was left with an asthmatic-like reaction to getting tickled (ie: laughing a lot) or getting a mild chest cold.  I would start coughing like a two-pack-a-day smoker and need an inhaler to even start to calm it down.

Now, however, the inhalers don’t seem to help at all.  I was eventually put on a different blood pressure medicine a year after the first diagnosis of the ACE-induced cough and seemed to do fine with it until recently.  With insurance being the nightmare it is, I had to change meds because they wouldn’t cover what I’d been on.  That led to being inadvertently put on a similar medicine and in a few months, the cough was back, but it started when I had an awful flu so I didn’t make the connection til a month after the flu had gone.

Talk about being ticked.  I was and am!!  My endo just took me off any bp meds altogether and told me to watch and make sure my bp didn’t get over 140/70.  Within a week, I was having 185/90 bp’s so he put me on Amlodopine.  Guess what?  That is making me cough too.

I am infuriated and just don’t know what to do.  I mean, first of all, I’m a little ticked that they put me on this crap when I didn’t even have bp issues, ya know?  Even though I realize that’s kinda the protocol, still…  It’s diminished my quality of life, ya know?  And I don’t need meds to do that.  I have a non-functioning pancreas that’s been doing that just fine for decades now.  Ugh.

There’s also the deal where, after having that awful rash in my armpits for 3/4 of last year finally getting to the bottom of that (took 5 doctors who couldn’t dx it to get the one who finally did:  contact dermatitis, of all things?!) and now I seem to be a lot more allergic to MANY things that didn’t bother me before.  Or at least, didn’t irritate my lungs… like fabric softeners and body sprays or heavy perfumes.  So now, not only does my skin react quite negatively to certain things, but strong chemical odors make me cough my lungs out too.

That doesn’t go well with the bp meds making them so reactive too.  UGH!

I stopped taking the Amlodopine about 3 days ago but the cough isn’t hugely improved.  I might try it again, just to see.  I really think that my lungs are just so irritated now that any little thing makes them flare up, ya know?  So I can’t tell if it is actually the medication or other things making me cough.  More than likely, I’m afraid, it is both.

I have always dealt with getting head-achy when coming in close proximity with “loud” chemical odors… someone who can’t set perfume application limits, the laundry aisle at the grocery or the aerosol aisle in the auto parts place.  But now it’s not just headaches, it’s problems breathing.

*sigh*
I sure never realized what an awful problem something like this can be.  I have no clue how to control blood pressure since I really have a pretty decent diet, ya know?  I am gong to do some research and see what I can find out, though.  I am guessing more exercise would be a good start.

Sheesh… and today is SO not a good day to start that since The Monthly arrived last night and I am cramping horribly today.

Hubby had a doctor appointment today and found out his cholesterol is way down and his blood pressure is doing good.  He is off the cholesterol meds because they just made him swell and feel bad, but he does take a couple different bp medications.  His vitamin D was low, so he’s gotta start back on that.  His smart-aleck doctor suggested maybe he ride his bike naked to help with the vitamin D deficiency, adding that it might not help with his criminal record.  *sheesh*  (this is the arrogant jerk-wad doctor that I refuse to see anymore.  he and Hubby get along fine somehow—I don’t get it, but whatever!)   Anyhow, Hubbs called to give me the update on all that and told me to be ready at 6 o’clock and we’d go out and do something.

My first stop will be to pick up some progesterone cream!!  I hope and pray it will help with the cramps again.  I’m too old to be balled up in the bed having period cramps, right?

In other news, I cancelled my appointment with the therapist today because I felt so awful.  I rescheduled it to next Wednesday.  Honestly, I didn’t feel like I had anything to really tell her this week anyhow.  Not sure if that’s a good sign or a bad one.  Does it mean I’m becoming better able to process stuff by myself or is it part of the isolation process again?  I really just don’t know.

Guess we’ll find out next week, huh?  Ha!

Proverbs 4:23Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.”


medical updates…


I went Tuesday (2/24) to this new GP that I went to a couple weeks ago for this cough.  She put me on acid reducer and I thought she was crazy for asking me four different times if I had heartburn.  (the answer was no)  One time she briefly mentioned “silent heartburn”, so I looked that up once I got home, because frankly, I had decided she was a loon!!  I’ve had what I call ‘heartburn’ maybe 5 times in my life.  The burning, belching ick.  That’s what I refer to as ‘heartburn’.  But when I read the symptoms of silent heartburn (llaryngopharyngeal) or silent reflux, I was stunned.  I had all except one of them.   And it turns out that this is very well part of what was causing my cough AND a lot of my sinus problems!  Who knew?!?!?  Not me, that’s for sure.  So I began taking the acid reducer and, here’s the confusing part, at that same time, I ran out of my blood pressure medicine.  Now, I take the bp meds not because my bp is high, but as a protective measure for my kidneys (diabetics tend to get kidney damage).  At that same time was when we unexpectedly got to go out of town for that short vacation, then once we got home, the snowstorm hit, so I was without those bp meds for almost a week.  The cough improved dramatically during that time.  Then I went back on the bp meds and after about 4 days, the cough was back with a vengeance.  So when I went back to the doctor, we talked about the fact that we’d probably found a couple of problems.  I am staying on the acid reducer for now and after talking with my endocrinologist about the bp meds, I’m going off those entirely.  It seems that the meds that offer kidney protection are only the very ones that cause the cough.  So since my bp stays around 120/70 anyway, we’re just going to monitor from home and consult him back if it gets near 140/90.  I’m relieved to be rid of one medicine and not worried about the blood pressure getting to a bad point right now.  My blood pressure has never given me problems.  Lord wiling, it won’t start any time soon either!

I also saw my endo yesterday.  Yes, this week has been jam-packed with appointments!  He adjusted my basal rate a bit from 3 am to 6 am to try and get my morning sugars down.  I’m THRILLED to report that it already seems to be working.  I was 126 when I got up this morning instead of over 200 like usual.  YAY!!

Sorry to mix up these two visits so much, but also when I was at the appointment Tuesday, she asked me what else was going on, what else was bothering me, so I told her my shoulders were acting up and that my neck stays so stiff and causes headaches.

She did a pretty thorough exam of my shoulders and arms and says she thinks it’s probably bursitis and wants me to go to physical therapy for that and also for my neck.  She said the spasms in my neck are pretty severe.  She also ordered x-rays of my shoulders just to make sure there wasn’t something else going on in there.

I have yet to get that done, but I need to soon.  My neck is what bothers me most.  The shoulders hurt mostly when I move, but my neck hurts all the time and I can’t find a position that makes it feel any better.

Hopefully soon I will start to feel better!

Isaiah 58:8 — “Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.”


busy (for me)


So yeah, the past couple days have been busy! Not like, normal-people busy, but busy for me.

I was going to fill you all in on how things went at the PA & therapist yesterday, but I didn’t get time!! Let me try to fill you in now, okay?

Okay, at Richmond I went in with the PA first. I really liked her a lot! She asked a ton of questions, both about my past meds and what I’d been on most recently. We talked about how depression “does” me, how it makes me feel, what kinds of symptoms I have (fatigue, disinterest, sleeping too much, self-isolation, malaise) and she even got into asking about my life, some of the “highlights” of the triggers and causes of the depression.

The final verdict? Wellbutrin is the best bet for me. *sigh* That’s great except I took that for over 10 years and it worked great, but eventually seemed to stop being so effective. Matter of fact, the last time I tried to start Wellbutrin again, it just didn’t seem to work at all.

Now, that COULD have been because it was generic. My experience with the generic bupropion have been less than stellar! When it first became generic, I tried it for about a month, during which time it seemed to almost reverse the normal effects of Wellbutrin. It was a bad experience, meaning they messed with my meds which messed me up. I hate that!! So, it was like I spent several weeks going downhill trying the generic, then had to suffer through getting back on the “good stuff”. Not fun, no matter what meds you’re talking about. Several years later, I tried the generic again and it seemed to work okay. And by okay I mean it kept me from being totally dysfunctional, but didn’t really make me “better” feeling at all. So perhaps, in hindsight, it didn’t really work that well after all. I dunno at this point, but eventually it got less and less effective, money got tight, so I made the decision to just not purchase the bupropion and went off it.

I didn’t really seem any worse for that, so I never sought to get back on it. A couple years after that, I was offered (by a doctor!) Viibryd to try and it didn’t really seem to work, so I just didn’t pursue anything else.

And so, having done some research on all these meds myself, I knew that Wellbutrin seemed to be my best shot…would address my symptoms, not cause weight gain and would not induce fatigue…so hearing that from the PA, as I told her, was ‘kinda depressing!’ *sigh* That’s when she told me there were some dosing options. A higher dose of Wellbutrin XL (actually, we’re trying the generic) or a sustained release version, Wellbutrin SR.

Although, as I’m writing this post and searching for info, I’m finding articles like this and this…all about the shortcomings of these generics… so, I’m thinking it may not be worth my aggravation to even try the generic. AND this certainly makes me feel validated in what I’ve always said about the generic, at least for Wellbutrin. I’m not a brand snob, but if the generic doesn’t work, it just doesn’t work! I don’t have time for what doesn’t work!!

But as it stands, I’m supposed to start on 150 mg of XL for two weeks, then go up to 300 mg (the dose I always took) and then go back to see the PA. If it’s not working at all, we’ll try something else (the SR, I guess) or if it’s making me feel better but not “great”, we will go up to 450 mg and see how that goes.

I went straight from the PA to my therapist. I’ll be honest, I’d decided that this visit would determine for me if I was really getting “my money’s worth” out of these sessions. Not that I don’t enjoy talking to her, or that she’s not very easy to talk with… it was just that I wasn’t sure the whole idea of “talk therapy” or whatever it is was really gonna work for me. In my mind, I was like, “Why in the world do I need to pay to talk to someone?”

But I discovered, just in thinking it over in my own little head (heh) that it’s good to have someone totally outside the “fray” to tell things. We talked about a lot of stuff, it seemed like to me. I was able to share how I felt that what my mom had said to me as a child influenced how I thought and how I thought people felt about me. That led to me explaining to her how my parents tend to favor my sister, how they always blamed things on me as a child and even to the point of as adults, verbally blaming me for her making an extremely bad choice. “If you’d just been a better sister to her, she wouldn’t have done that.” I was told. Out of respect to my family, I’m going to refrain from giving any details here. Maybe later I’ll need to divulge, but for now, just let me leave it at that. How they have done for her, buying her cars and building her a house even though she’s married and is now a middle-aged woman. I know they don’t make that much money, I UNDERSTAND that, but we struggle for money ALL the time too. I would never ask them to pay for my meds or my groceries, let alone all the other stuff Mom buys for her… clothes, makeup and jewelry, etc.

I’ve never just sat and “stewed” about that stuff, but it’s there, it’s obvious and it hurts ya know? Mom is the main one who wants to just DO everything for her. My sister has had seizures since she was about 3. She had a surgery at 15 that stopped them for many years, but then when she got to be about 28 or so, the seizures returned. She held down a full time job and lived on her own for periods of time (just up the road from mom, of course, and rent-free in a home they owned) until she married when she was 35.

If it were up to my mom, I would probably be in a wheelchair. I mean, seriously. Not that she’d “put me in” one, but that she would rather me be there than push myself to “do more”. For instance, I used to have horrific neuropathy pain in my feet. That’s something diabetics get, it’s basically nerve damage that causes pain, numbness or tingling/burning. I was also diagnose with plantar fasciitis at that time too, which causes horrible pain in the feet. I could barely walk and she was forever telling me I needed to get a handicapped placard for my vehicle so I could park close and she’d always want me to ride in the motorized carts if she went to the store with me. That’s what I mean by she’d have me in a wheelchair if she could have her way.

I know it was because she wanted to ease my pain, but c’MON, Mom!! And that’s what she’s done to my sister. The biggest difference has been that I married young and married someone who is hardworking and won’t accept handouts OR let me wither away even when I want to. My hubby pushes me to push myself. Sometimes he’s downright annoying about it, but he never tries to push me beyond my capabilities, but he believes I can do more than I believe myself.

So, there’s all that stuff. I feel very “cheated” in a lot of ways. And my sister’s feelings toward me is that I “won’t be” her sister. She resents me because I have friends, close friends who treat me more like a sister than she does (or than I do her, also… I’m not perfect here) But she and I have nothing really in common and she is so consumed with herself, her limitations, her own favorite things…so unless I’m willing to just conform, I “don’t want to be” her sister. She’s even written me letters telling me to just stay away from her (as if I am down there at her door??—she lives next door to me, by the way)… I dunno. The last letter was extremely rambly but that’s what she wrote. Maybe she was just writing when she was feeling very hurt, but the fact that she put it in my mailbox on my last birthday? Yeah, pretty petty if you ask me. I know she is immature mentally, but a lot of that *I believe* is just because she’s straight-up spoiled.

A spoiled child is hard to stomach. But at least you can spank them (hopefully) and there is time to improve the situation if the parents choose. A spoiled adult? Unbearable!! And honestly, there are way too many of them around today. We all know at least one. It’s hard to understand how someone can reach adulthood feeling as privileged as some of them do.

So…yeah. That’s some of the stuff I talked about yesterday. We also talked about the whole “schedule” thing.

I am so NOT a schedule person!! Time has no meaning or context to me most of the time. I’m sure that’s from all these years of being at home. And the hubby is an EXTREME schedule-ist. Drives me flippin’ insane!! He thinks I should plan what time I will start the laundry, estimate how long it will take to finish it and so that will tell me what time I can start or do something else. He lives his life that way, so when he’s home and eSPECIALLY when I’m deeper in depression, it really drives me up a wall to have him around.

Most of the time, he keeps that crap to himself. (heh) But sometimes it spills out and we have some *ahem* ‘vigorous discussions’ about the value or lack thereof of such schedules… however, I am constantly being told I need to be on some sort of schedule.

*SIGH* I don’t wanna. UGH!! But I’m gonna try. It’s just so SO hard for me. So pray that I can improve that area of my life for my and my health’s sake.

We also talked about logging my moods…my emotional and even physical feelings. That’s where this blog will come in, I think.

I mentioned the blog yesterday. I’m not sure what she thought about it, but she was encouraging.

I cried a lot yesterday too. Both with the PA and my therapist. Sheesh. But then, these days it doesn’t take much to make me cry. *sigh*

Okay, so once I finally got home, I needed to get ready for our Emmaus reunion group’s meeting. Our group is called Heart 2 Heart 2. Yes. There’s supposed to be another “2” on the end. We’re a branch off the original Heart 2 Heart group. I dunno who decided to use a “2” but if we branch again, it should be called “Heart 2 Heart < 3" LOL! Okay, so maybe that wasn't as funny as it seemed. Sorry. 😉

Anyway, it was planned for even those outside our group. We had a lady coming to share her testimony and planned to serve food, so I had food to fix. I haven't fixed food for a pot luck in ages it seems. I was at a loss, but decided to fix a crock of Dill Pickle Soup. If you like dills at all, you must try this soup. I am a pickle freak, so to me, it’s divine!! I also fixed what’s become known as “Dirty Puddin'”. One of the boys who still comes around from our days of being youth leaders at our old church told me it was dirt cake. I had never heard of that. This is made from vanilla pudding, cool whip and crushed Oreos. I don’t remember where I got the recipe or if there even was a recipe. When I looked up Dirt Cake, this is not really that similar, so for him, I called it “Co-co’s Dirty Puddin'”. The name kinda stuck.

ANYhow, one of my friends rode down with me. She’s the one who insisted on picking me up the last time I got to a group meeting. We had a great time talking about a lot of the stuff that had been said in my session and how she had those words from her childhood in her head too, that colored how she sees the world, how she interprets things, how she feels others think about her. Then, wouldn’t you know it? At the meeting, the speaker spoke directly to those very issues. My friend was sitting by me, and I was sniffling and crying… she reached over and grabbed my hand. It was a great blessing and that little bit of confirmation…that little nod from God that “Yes, I wanted you to be here tonight.”

On the way home, my first DIL called to ask if I could pick up some ginger ale because my son was feverish and chilling. I stayed down there talking with him for awhile. Thank God he was better this morning and able to go with his brother and my dad to a conference they had scheduled.

So… that was my yesterday. Busy. Crazy. Full of squishy emotional mess, but good. It was all good.

Proverbs 25:11 — “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.”