What the

Posted by Slowplum on 5/27/2008 10:05:00 AM in
So CT & x-ray results? No stone. Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot. Over.

No explanation for blood in the urine either. Also, fun fact, I lost 6 lbs in 3 days (probably due to my appetite going to almost nada. I'd probably have lost more had my husband not thrust food upon me now and again). I already had an appointment set for this Thursday for my doctor, so I'll just have to wait until then to talk to him about it. What's two more days, right? In the meantime, percocet and gravol are still in steady diet rotation. I do my best to go as long as possible without taking the perc, I hate taking meds.

I'm pretty sure my chronicles here are just further fueling the point with my American friends that socialized medicine can be pretty frightening.

I feel pretty guilty complaining here when there are a kazillion people dead in the East due to natural disasters. I have to think about that - at least I am alive, I have breath in my body with which to complain. All of this may turn out to be nothing, just some weird viral infection and at least I do have access to medical help in some capacity. My family is whole, I am not fretting over where my children are. They don't know what it means to go to bed hungry, to wake up hungry, and to have nothing to fill their bellies. I have a warm bed and clothes on my back. A cupboard full of food. A job that not only pays well, but has supported me through this illness. I need to count these blessings and be thankful.


Oh joy

Posted by Slowplum on 5/23/2008 08:42:00 AM in
I went back to the hospital last night with terrible pain in my left side & back, on top of everything else this was a new pain. They took a urine sample & there was blood in my urine (not visible but a blood count there) so the doctor believes I may have a kidney stone on top of every thing else going on (he said my other symptoms are more neurological and I'll have to wait for MRI for that) so today at 4:00 I'm going for a CT scan of my abdomen, they want to see if it is blocking anything or if it is small enough to pass. They gave me more meds, and told me to keep drinking lots, and after the CT they will give me a strainer to catch the stone (how fun is THAT)

Isn't life grand?

You know what would be really awesome? What would be really awesome is if this is really a kidney stone, if passing it would just make everything go away, it would be totally worth it.

If wishes were fishes, right?


mini update

Posted by Slowplum on 5/22/2008 01:25:00 PM in
on my way to the bathroom (because i go about as often as a pregnant woman these days), i collapsed on the floor again last night. came to, to see S hovering above me looking very very concerned. i couldn't see him at first although i am told i had my eyes open the whole time, and was actually talking to him. i came to with a terrible buzzing noise in my ears and i couldn't feel my legs for a while. S got me up and into bed but neither of us got much sleep. i just didn't feel right no matter what i did, but i refused to go back to the damn hospital. head aching and i couldn't see out of my right eye for a short while. and stabbing stabbity stabbing in my left side, but that might have just been gas, who fucking knows anymore.

saw my family doc today and he managed to get me an MRI for June 19, at about 8 o'clock at night. That really isn't so bad when you consider the regular wait times for them are terrible - i have a friend who has hers scheduled for september, and she made the appointment in january. maybe it depends on your circumstances, but i'm pretty glad i got on the short list. basically there isn't much more he can to for me. he's trying to get the neurologist appointment but so far no luck - because my testing results were ambiguous or clear (dude i don't even want to go into how many times i've been poked with a needle - heroin addicts have less holes) some neurologists will not bother, however my symptoms are not getting better. i have some good points of the day but for the most part i'm buggered.

on the positive: i may get out of jury duty due to my illness. here's hoping.

ok, nap time. i feel like such a tool from being so fatigued. i guess i will have to get used to it.


Ok so.

Posted by Slowplum on 5/21/2008 01:15:00 PM in
I've posted this elsewhere, I forgot to post here. Those of you who read it elsewhere can ignore this. It occurred to me that not everyone is privy to the other posting, and since some of you have been asking, I felt it was time to give you an update.

Here are some things.

Ok, here goes: As for how I am faring, I WAS doing well as far as getting better last week, then I had another episode that landed me back in the hospital (I've been there a few times now, beginning of April I had pneumonia & bronchial infection, back to work for a week and then back off work). Here is the story of what happened.

On Monday the 28 April, I ended up collapsing on the floor with a severe headache and pain/tingling on my left side. Initially I figured it was a migraine (which I am prone to) but it persisted beyond anything I was accustomed to. It felt like I was hit by lightning, and no matter what I did I couldn't get comfortable or lessen the pain. I had a friend drive me to the hospital. They ran some tests, among them a CT scan, and then 2 doctors attempted a lumbar puncture (Spinal tap). Neither was successful and ended up giving more pain than good - bruised, they kept hitting the spinal column, and poked me a bunch of times before I finally begged them to stop. I wanted to go home, they said if I went it was AMA, and then filled an IV with something to help me sleep. They kept me overnight until the head of the ER department could see me the next morning. She came in and managed to successfully do the procedure, I barely felt it. But the damage had been done. While the lumbar puncture came out clear (a good sign - they were concerned of aneurysm or possibly meningitis, they did a full run of testing on me) the fact of the matter is the botched attempts traumatized my body.

My family doctor wasn't sure at that point if it's the original issue, a third issue, or if I'm suffering from post botched lumbar trauma, but he is pretty adamant about me not going back until he says so. I'm supposed to and allowed to get up and out for a bit each day but I'm supposed to rest when I feel the pain surging (which it inevitably does after about 45 minutes of me sitting up and pretending I'm ok) and it's completely frustrating for me. He also figures since I'm only just recently recovering from pneumonia/bronchial infection, that my symptoms are taking longer to heal than they typically would. I'm only just now noticing the IV bruises going away, and they gave those to me several weeks ago so there you go.

I ended up back in the hospital the next night because I was still in pain. They hooked me up to toradol and then sent me home next morning, and then I threw up all the next two days and I couldn't keep anything down, not even water. I had to pee constantly which also contributed to the dehydrated feelings.

On the bright side I didn't/don't have an aneurysm which was the whole point in them sticking a giant needle up my back in the first place. I'm pretty mad at the hospital and my husband took pictures, counted about 7-9 holes where the first two doctors butchered me. He has half a mind to file a formal complaint.

I suffered from severe symptoms of lp trauma, including headache, vision disturbance, nausea, ear pain, and my left side was still in agony. When I saw my family doctor a few days later, after not being able to keep any food down or in, he said it was difficult to discern if I was still suffering from the initial symptoms or if it was still the lp stuff. He put me off any work or any thing for that matter, and suggested lots of bed rest.

So then on Mother's Day after taking my mom out for brunch (my first outing in 2 weeks) I got back to her house and basically threw it all up again. My left leg was killing me and my left arm and back were hurting and tingling. I took some advil and whatnot and instead of getting better, I started to feel worse. After a few hours I finally begged my husband to take me back to the hospital. The head of ER happened to be there again (this will have been my third visit now in 2 weeks) and she ran more tests. The end result is they still don't know what is wrong with me and she is going to work with my family doctor to get me a neurologist as soon as possible. She did some weird tests where she would touch various parts of my arms and legs with both blunt and pointy things, cold and hot things, and noted some loss of sensitivity on my left side. I couldn't discern between pokey and blunt with my eyes closed, nor cold & hot. She made me try to walk a straight line one foot after the other, and I was completely unbalanced. She is suggesting the possibility of MS, if not another neurological issue. I'd need an MRI for that, but it takes time to get one here. My family doctor up to this point has been entertaining the idea of inner ear issues, but this new information may blow that out of the water. I've since been feeling the numbness sort of taking its turns, my hands then my feet then my face for a while, and my back really really hurts. And I have to pee like, all the damn time. And my eyes get blurry and my balance is messed up. And the back of my head hurts. And sometimes my ears feel like they are full.

I'm just really tired and I'm tired of being tired. I'm doing my best to get better, I'm hoping the doctor will maybe entertain the idea of me coming back to work on shorter hours at first until I am 100%. Here's hoping. In the meantime I'm stuck with fuzzy thinking and a body that doesn't want to work the way I need it to.

It's now May 21 and it is cold outside. Last night I saw a few flakes of snow fall.

I'm going to see my family doctor again on Thursday, I'm hoping he will approve me going back to work for short hours at first, letting me build back up to my full hours. I have a feeling he is going to say no, but I am going to try anyway. Because frankly I am completely frustrated and I just want to be able to get up and go and do things and not be so tired and hurt. Really what I want is to see a specialist, see someone who is actually capable of telling me what is wrong. A diagnosis means at least they'll know how to fix me. I don't know. It's sort of like a marathon runner, and one day they break their leg. They want to keep getting back up on their leg and they can't. But the doctors don't know what's wrong with their leg, so they just pump them with pain killers and tell them to sit the hell down. But who's going to race? They need to get up and run, dammit!

I don't really expect anybody to understand what is going on, because I barely understand it myself. I don't expect anybody to care. I'm not the type that likes to milk being sick, I leave that for other people. I am the type that goes to work sick anyway, that schedules six events in the same day, that juggles the lives of 3 other people in a household and still manages to eke out a little time for me. I try not to think about what is happening to me, because frankly it is a little frightening. I don't like going numb for no reason, I don't like having shooting pains in my legs and arms, feeling like my back is going to break. I don't like feeling off-balance, feeling mentally fuzzy. I don't like feeling exhausted. I have never felt this way before and I don't like it. Sadly enough I'd rather go back to just having migraines, at least I could deal with it and carry on.

I think that's enough for now.


What says the sea, little shell?

Posted by Slowplum on 5/19/2008 08:12:00 PM in , , , , , ,
Memory from last year:

K is seven years old. We are driving to a beach and he and his sister C are each looking out a window at the passing traffic and roadside. He is meticulously counting the number of cows and horses we pass. K loves animals.

We get to the beach and start the trek from parking area to sand. The sand slips in between our toes through the sandals and the kids shriek with glee. The sun bearing down and the sand swishing, whispering at our feet. My husband S slips his hand into mine and chuckles as we watch the kids race ahead of us. K is the one to find the spot where we will set our things.

We pull the blanket out and it flaps in the air. I briskly snap it out so that it will settle on the ground nicely. The kids know the drill: sandals on the corners, so it doesn't get whisked away. They run gingerly to the shoreline, gasping and jumping with each step as the sand perfectly reflects the heat of the sun.

We are at a lake but to K it is like the ocean. Any body of water will do, so long as it is vast and can hold some secrets. K is a little bit nervous about submerging, he rarely will swim under water. He does love to look into it though, and share his observations and discoveries with me. One day soon I will show him what the ocean is really like. I will hold his hand and watch his rapture as he feels the salt spray on his face and smells the fresh, damp air. I will glance at him sidelong and drink in his wonder at the life brimming just below the surface of the water. A perfect reflection of the life beneath the surface of his skin.

C loves the water for other reasons. When she was very little, she used to pretend she was a mermaid. She loved the way her hair would float around her in the water. She used to take extra-long baths because she wanted to see what it was like living as a fish. Sometimes I think if she was given the choice, she would take water over land. She gets this from me. It is in her blood and it courses so fully through her, that I cannot fault her for it. She leaps into the water as though into the arms of a long-lost love, and it fills me with a strange sort of mixture of joy and calm to see the rapture on her face as she emerges from the water. Her laughter is infectious, and S will toss her from his shoulders in to the lake again and again until they are both gasping for air from laughter and mischief.

K loves to collect artifacts from the places we go. A leaf, a feather, a rock, a stick. A shell. He brings them to me, eyes full and the words describing his discovery will tumble out in such a rush, I have to remind him to slow down. "Look, mom, this stick looks like a spider. Look mom, what kind of feather is this? Do you think the birdie will mind if I take it home? Look mom, this rock has a fossil in it! How old do you think it is?"

On this day at the beach, he finds a little shell. He immediately puts it up to his ear. Then I note he puts his mouth to the opening of it and starts murmuring. I am intrigued but I do not want to intrude. I keep watching him to see what he will do. I expect him to come to me in excitement and show me his latest treasure. He does not. Instead, he puts it up to his ear once more, and then once more murmurs something into it. Then he does something unexpected. He tosses the shell into the water, as far as he can throw.

I don't press him for information; instead, the day goes on as lazy days at the beach do. We picnic, get an ice cream, swim some more now and again. K and I dig for treasure, while C laps up the last of the waves and S snoozes on a towel. Half an eye on C, half an eye on K, I use a stick to draw things into the wet sand you usually find a couple of inches under the surface, if you dig enough. K thinks this is great fun and then he decides to dig some moats, fill them with water, and float his toy cars into them. He makes buzzing car noises and "oh noooo, he fell into the ocean!" and he and I are giggling. C comes up and splatters water all over us, laughter and the sun.

It is time to go, and we collect our things. Wash the beach off and change into clean clothes. K makes one last trip up to the shoreline to rinse off his sandy feet one last time and looks down. He finds the same shell he had thrown a few hours before. He picks it up and dusts it off and looks at it thoughtfully. He puts it in a pocket and brings it with him to the car. On the way home, he barely sees the cows, barely sees the horses. His eyes wink and blink and then fall slowly to a close. Sweet mouth breathes in and out; K is asleep. C, beside him, recounts her adventures of the day, one by one. She herself is fighting off the sleep; she is nine, she says. She doesn't need a nap anymore. But she is no match to a day full of clean air and sunshine and exercise in the water. Soon her eyes fall heavy and she too is sleeping.

We get home and S carries them one by one into the house. Pretty soon he won't be able to do this. The kids are growing in leaps and bounds. I follow him up and tuck them each in. C first. She mumbles a thank you for the fun day. I straighten up some mussed hair out of her face and oh, child, please don't grow up too quickly. Then I move on to K. He is in that half-sleep state, eyes fluttery and he's clinging to something in his hand. I gently pry the fingers open and see his little shell. His eyes open and he says in a sticky sleepy voice, "Listen to the shell, mum. I told it a secret." I put the shell to my ear and hear whistling air. I tell him I couldn't hear it quite right. He says "Oh, the ocean must have kept it." I gently rub his back, a ritual we sometimes share when he is feeling extra sleepy. He says "I know it isn't really an ocean, mommy." I say it's okay to pretend that it is. Pretending is the best part of being a kid.

"I know," he says, and lets out a big yawn. I kiss his forehead, and while I am close he says "Mommy, the ocean will always keep your secrets. That's why it's so salty you know - it's full of your tears." I am taken aback and I don't quite know what to say to this, so I say "Is that what the little shell told you?"

I wait for an answer, but none will be given. The ocean is still. K is fast asleep.


Happy Birthday!

Posted by Slowplum on 5/16/2008 03:28:00 PM in , , , , , , , ,

monkeying around

Happy 10th Birthday, my darling girl C. I can't believe a decade has passed already. She is growing more and more each day into a beautiful young lady. I wish her only the best, always. I hope she'll have fun tonight, we will do our best to make sure of it.

This photo was taken on our recent trip with my mom. I let her have a ride on the baggage carrier, because what the hell right? The weekend was about having fun and believe me - she thought being carted around on that thing was hilarious.

Medicating is helping keep me afloat for a few hours a day. I still get fatigued pretty damn easy. Doctor has faxed a case study to the MRI clinic in the hopes of fast-tracking me.

Adding insult to injury, God decided to play a practical joke on me and thus I now have... JURY DUTY. I'm supposed to show up on June 9th for the excruciating process of sitting and waiting to either be selected or sent home. Good news is, I'll still get paid at my job for it. Hah!

I switched my site back to the "Lost in Translation" scheme, because Spongebob was irritating me, and because I'm too tired to make a brand new one.

Ok, time for a power nap before the kids get home and this place turns into a monkey house.


Where K comes from

Posted by Slowplum on 5/13/2008 06:23:00 PM in , , , , ,
I'm still too tired to detail the minutae of my current illness, but I read Hammer's post and it reminded me that I wanted to share what K wrote to me for mother's day. C made me a card herself and was nice to K (a huge gift, she's drowning in hormone soup these days). K's class made "cake in a cup" for the moms. So basically it was cake mix in a coffee mug mixed with an egg and some oil & water. Then icing sugar & water mixed up to "top" the cake once it was microwaved. The poem inside went like this:

"Where I'm from"

I'm from great Christmas mornings.
I'm from the chirps of birds.
I'm from hugs and kisses.
I'm from the taste of chocolate chip double fudge cake (with smarties).
I'm from the smell of yummy turkey.
I'm from dinners at restaurants.
I'm from love.

To Mom from K.

Also, I am proud as a peacock about this - he had a little blurb he wrote about Canadian soldiers published in the education week special pennywhistle thing from our local paper (Pennywhistle is basically a periodical they publish in the paper, each time taking contributions from different schools. During Education Week they publish a special paper on its own with entries from each school in it. K's writeup was selected. He was pretty surprised, he didn't even know about it until I told him when I read it in the school bulletin).

That was an awful long parenthesis

Ok my fingers are getting numb again, later turkeys


Happy Birthday!

Posted by Slowplum on 5/13/2008 12:52:00 PM in , , , , ,

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday, Stephen Colbert!

I'll have an update on what has been going on with me health-wise later on. It's too much to explain and frankly I don't have much energy for it, as I just got back from my doc's office and I'm feeling the meds finally start to kick in.

This Friday is C's 10th birthday. Where the hell did 10 years go? And who gave her permission to up and grow some curves? What happened to my baby? Dammit.

Something I need to be thankful for is all the support I've received, you know who you are. I owe you a million.

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