Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sorry for the disappearing act.

I know I haven't posted for a while, and it was driving me nuts.
First, I was in the hospital. It started on Thurs 10/15, I woke up and my left ankle and foot were swollen to twice the size of my right foot. I just elevated it and took my pain meds as usual. You know, I am used to being in pain, so I just thought this was another fibro flair. But, when I woke on Friday morning, my entire left side was painful and numb at the same time. My ankle and foot were still swollen and painful, but also a numb tingling feeling at the same time. Also, the right side of my face was numb. I was concerned, but this is something I've had before, my neurologist diagnosed me with MIMS, Migraine with Impaired Motor Skills. I just put it off as that. As the day went on, I started having more and more symptoms. Lightheaded, dizzy, felt like the room was spinning, ears popping and then feeling disoriented, and this overwhelming feeling that I NEED to take a nap. Not just that usual fatigue that fibro-mites get so we go lay down. This was overwhelming. My husband and youngest son had already left to go camping with the scouts for the weekend. I was home with my oldest son (17) and his friend from scouts. My son started pleading with me to go to the hospital to get checked out. Of course, being stubborn I argued with him that I just need to lay down to take a nap and I'll see how I feel later. He is just as stubborn as I am, and wasn't letting me get away with that. Finally, he told me he was scared. As a mother, you never want your kids to be afraid. So I went to the ER. It turned out that it was a good thing I did. When I got to the ER, they were taking their good ole time, as usual. Until my bloodwork came back. Then the nurse came in and said "Now you've done it! You went and bought yourself a bed". As soon as she pulled the curtains back, I had doctors, nurses, aides, interns, everyong swarming around me with IV's, heart monitors, and got me to the telemetry unit quickly. It turns out my electrolytes were bottomed out. My potassium, magnesium, calcium, and blood sugar were dangerously low. Potassium, regulates your heart and kidneys. They told me Potassium should be 5 and I was 2. They tested me for blood clots in my legs, my carotid arteries, and a CT of the brain to see if I had a mild stroke. I will give you a warning, if you ever have to get IV Potassium, it BURNS like hell!! My arm was red and it felt like it was on fire as it went in!! They packed my arm in ice and slowed down the drip to take away some of the burn, but it didn't help much. I was not very happy with the care I recieved and neither were my primary care doctor or my pain management doctors. They didn't order any of my regular meds, even though I took in the meds in their original bottles to show them that this is what I take, I started going through withdrawl because they stopped 2 of my pain meds, and my anti-depressant. Even though my electrolytes were low, and my EKG was abnormal, they never ordered a cardiology consult. Then my primary doctor told me that I never should have been released last monday. My levels and my EKG were still very abnormal. I got a survey today from the hospital today, I guess you already figured out how I filled that out.
To make matters worse, I came home on Monday (remember, my son and his friends were at the house alone all weekend) the house was a mess, and my laptop was fried. I haven't been able to go on my laptop for over a week. Since I sell AVON, I need to access my e-mail for orders, and check my on-line store for orders. I also need to get on my web office. It turns out that it was a simple fix, but my lazy husband kept putting off calling Toshiba for tech support. I would have been on last week if he called sooner.
He's another pain in my butt. I've been run down for a while now, and I do my best to keep the house clean and neat and smelling nice. I not only came home to a mess (which you expect from teenagers), but it has stayed a mess until today when I finally said F it, and got up and cleaned it myself. Believe me, the entire time I was cleaning I made sure I made nasty remarks about him not helping me until he finally got off his butt and started some laundry. Now lets see how long it takes before he folds the clothes.
Well, that's been my adventure for the month. I hope you all were much better than me.
Soft Hugs to All
Laurie D.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Stop the world, I wan't to get off!!!

How's the song go? It was late September.....Oh what a night! Well, it is mid October...Oh what a night and a day!
First, last night, and then again this morning, Fibro-fog got the best of me. I let it get to me and it took hold and wouldn't let go. My husband works the over-night shift. His paycheck goes in midnight wed/thur so basically 12:01Am Thurs. I gave him a list of things we need (he works at wal-mart, it's financially dangerous for us). I woke up at 4:30 in the morning (just one of the many wake-ups last night), but at that time, I couldn't remember what day it was. I was so confused and disoriented, I thought it was Tuesday and I thought I had given him the note on the wrong night and he would go shopping and over-draw the account. I called him in a panic. When he told me it was OK, that it was Thurs morning, I started to cry like a baby. I got so upset. I am, or was, a very intelligent woman. I am very proud of the fact that I went to a premier, girls only, high school in Phila. that you have to have a certain IQ and pass several tests to get into. Now, I feel like a babbling, bumbling idiot. I hate that this is taking my mind away. I can't remember what day it is. I call my kids by my cat's names, I can't speak an entire sentence without stammering to think of the next word I want to use. I hate it! I hate it! I hate it! I am throwing a temper tantrum.
To make matters worse, and I am requesting that you all boy-cot Wachovia Bank, I went to check the bank this morning, and most of my husband pay is already gone. Not enough left to pay the car payment and buy food for 2 weeks, or even food for a few days. I found out that Wachovia has certain policies that were not explained when we opened our account. You are supposed to read through the 20 page document that is in little tiny print, full of legal jargon that most lawyers can't understand. Here is what happened. Deep Breath! I follow and post in my check registery religiously. I know that my mind is going, so I carry it with me, and as soon as we make a purchase or write a check, I write it in my registry, get out my calculator, and write in the new balance. That is what I go by to determine what we can spend. Well, just an FYI, that is not the way Wachovia posts to your account. They don't post transactions in chronological order. They post from highest amount to lowest amount and, purchases get posted before deposits. So, on Tues. we had a small amount in the bank, I made 3 very small purchases, (ex: $1.10 for my prescription co-pay) I marked them all in my registry, leaving us with about $6.00 left in the bank. We then made 2 credit purchases which have not yet hit our account. Last night, my husband made a purchase at about 12:15. We should be good, his check goes in at midnight. NOOOOOO! Our beginning balance was 6 something, they posted the 25 something purchase that he made last night first, over drawing our account. then they posted the 3 purchases we made on the 13th, now we have 4 over drafts, then they considered the 2 credit purchases (which are not posted to our account, they are in a holding pattern) as over drafts, then hit us with $175.00 in fees, THEN put my husbands pay check in the bank. I spent over 4 hours on the phone with different people, arguing with them because they tell you to "carefully follow your register", but they don't post that way. They said this was not a bank error, it is my error because I should have paid attention to the "past patterns" of the way Wachovia posts their accounts and I would have known that they post highest to lowest because they assume that the highest amount is the most important purchase you've made, so they pay that first. I told them that the 25.00 that my husband spent last night is the least important, but that $1.10 is the most important because that was paying for my medication. I have insurance so I don't have to pay alot for medicine, but now my meds have cost me 36.10 rather than 1.10 because they are ASSES!! I kept asking for the next highest supervisor, and one woman told me there was no one higher than her. I asked her if she signs her own paychecks. She wouldn't answer me, so I kept asking her that and finally she said "No", so I said fine, I want the person who signs your paycheck. The president, the CEO, anyone who has authority to refund those fees. She refused to put me through to her supervisor. With that, I hung up, called the Attorney Generals office, explained the situation, they referred me to the consumer protection department and I filed a complaint against them. Next, I have to send notice to Wachovia's corporate office to inform them of the complaint. I needed to vent first before I deal with any more of this so I came here.
I don't need this stress. It's cold, rainy, I'm in pain, I've had a toothache for 3 days now, I've used 2 full tubes of ora-gel and this is making me feel worse.
We have had more problems with Wachovia in the 6 months that we have had them, then we ever had in the years that we were with Commerce. We changed when they became TD, because they changed their policies about the accounts we had.
I will NEVER recommend Wachovia to anyone. I will tell them to run as far in the opposite direction as they can.
That is why I want to get off, so could someone please find the brakes for the earths orbit and stop it, just for a few seconds while I get off.

Soft Hugs to All
Laurie D.

I hope you are all having a better day than I am.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What an oxymoron we are.

I say this because we are Insomniacs with Chronic Fatigue. What!?! How can you be both? I just think it is funny when you tell someone that you have been up most of the night from insomnia, and when they ask you to go out you tell them you don't have enough energy because of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, they look at you like you have 3 heads.
I have not slept for several nights. Today, I can't wake up. I have been trying to stay up long enough to get through my sons homework. That is why I came on the computer to try to occupy myself enough to stay awake.
I could not get to sleep last night if my life depended on it. It was about 3:30 or 4 when I finally fell asleep, and I had to get back up at 5:30 to get my son up for school. I got up again at  8 when my husband came into the bedroom to sleep (he works the overnight shift) and I only stayed awake long enough to go from the bed to the couch. I slept on the sofa all day. I didn't hear my phone ring, I didn't hear my door bell when my AVON partner stopped by, I didn't get up until about 6:30 when my husband got me up so I could help my son. I am struggling to stay awake now. I have to get my husband up at 9 for work. As soon as he is out of that bed, I am going to be in it!!
My doc added to more meds for pain yesterday. One is an ointment that you rub on for sore muscles and joints, it works pretty well. Voltarin Ointment. The other is Soma. I am wondering if the meds are making me so tired.
Oh well, I should just be greatful for the sleep.

I hope everyone is well. I haven't been feeling well enough to check in on everyone's blog and I apologize. I will get back on track soon. I am not dealing well with the seasonal change. I'm sure I will be able to catch up with everyone soon.
Soft Hugs to All
Laurie D.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Update on my son.

I wrote a few days ago about my oldest son. He hurt his knee playing football, and the ER said he fractured his knee cap.

I made him an appointment with an orthopod as soon as possible. We took the x-rays and the report with us. It turns out that the doctor does not think that he broke his knee on Sunday, but it looks like one of two things. It is either an old fracture (the ER doctor mentioned this also). This could be possible, last year he was playing football (the end-zone was a concrete walk-way--boys, you gotta love them) he landed on his knee on the concrete and split it open. We had to go pick him up, took him to the ER, they stitched up the knee, but never took an x-ray of it.
Or, the other possibilit is called a "bi-partate patella". The doctor explained to us that as babies our patella is cartledge and it hardens into bone. Some people, the patella heals in 2 pieces rather than forming together. This is quite possible with my son. He has had other bone anomalies. He had cranial stenosis as a baby. The seams of the skull and the soft spot on his head healed long before they were supposed to. He had to have surgery, a craniectomy, to re-build his skull. (talk about a stressful time for me). and he has a weird shaped rib.
He was supposed to get an MRI, but during the appointment questioning, I remembered he has aneurysm clips in his head from the craniectomy. They are 17 years old, so we don't know if they are metallic or not. We don't want to take any chances so he can't have an MRI.
The doctors office called me back today to tell me to schedule a CT scan and give me the pre-cert number for his insurance. This will tell us if it is a fracture or a bi-partate patella, and it will also tell us why his knee is swollen and has some fluid in it.
The problem I am having now, is getting him to wear the immobilizer. He hates it. My son is 6'1" 220 lbs of solid rock. I can't even wrestle him down to make him wear it.
By the way, he won the driver's test fight. Unfortunately, he failed the test. He went too far over the white line at 2 stop signs. Oh well, we will re-schedule.
I will keep you updated when we have more info on his knee.

Soft Hugs to All
Laurie D.

I have a very bad habit.

I feel like it has been forever since I have been here to blog. I have a very bad habit of putting WAY TOO MUCH on my plate. I can do 1 or 2 things and I am fine. I think, I'm doing OK, no big deal if I try to do this too. OK, a little more energy to spend, but I'm getting through. Before I know it, I have so many things going on at once that I feel out of control.
I have always been a "multi-tasker". My best friend used to tell me to take the big red "S" off my chest. She would remind me that it is OK to ask for help or to admit that I can't do it all, and give something up.
Well, I've done it again. Only this time, I look at what I have going on and it seems like nothing compared to what I used to do. I feel like a baby whining about the small things that are wiping me out.
I have a small pile of forms that have to be filled out for my health insurance, my disability insurance, my sons permit, I have to make an appointment for a CT for my son (I'll explain that in a minute), and a form to fill out to order checks. I was only on my second form this morning, and I was falling asleep while I was writing. My husband kept telling me to go back to bed because I didn't sleep last night. I had to keep reminding him that these forms NEED to be filled out. I was aggravated because he would tell me to go to bed, but do you think he would offer to help me fill out the forms? NO. He is very good with helping me and understanding my pain in some ways, but others I just want to scream at him. I can't get him to help me where I really need help.
Along with taking care of all the family forms, doctors appointments, calling in prescriptions, cleaning the kitchen and living room, folding the towels (I hate the way my husband folds towels), I also want to blog as often as possible, and I recently started an Avon business because we are really stretching our money thin.
I finally gave in to my body, and went to sleep. This morning, I cleaned the kitchen and livingroom before I started the paper work. When I woke up, my house looked like a Texas Trailer Park after a Tornado. I was so upset at the mess that was made, and it was only my husband and my youngest son at home when I got up. How can 2 people make such a mess in so short a time? My kitchen is a mess, and my husband is on a clear liquid diet today (he is having a colonoscopy tomorrow). How can you make a mess when all you need to do is dirty 2 cups, 1 for your drink, and 1 for your broth. Maybe a bowl for jello. I don't get it. I also had to get his prep ready, and stay on top of him because he wasn't paying attention or following the directions for his prep. I don't need this. I have been in alot of pain with the change in the weather. The cold has been really causing me to have a great deal of pain in my joints and my muscles in general. This stress isn't helping. I think I just need to get rid of the husband and I might be able to multi-task again. LOL.
God Bless you All
Soft Hugs to All
Laurie D.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Can't call out sick, Part 2

As I posted in my original blog "Can't call out sick from this job", no matter how we feel, we must always be on duty.

Yesterday, my pain levels were off the chart, and Chronic Fatigue had a very tight grip on me. I spent most of my day in bed.

Now, I need to back track.
About a week ago, my 17 year old son was playing football, and got tackled and his knee hurt or about a day. Then this Sunday, he was playing football again, and got tackled right at the knees and this time, his knee not only really hurt, but it swelled up as well. Since he was able to walk on it, we decided to ice his knee, have him keep the leg elevated for a while and we would make a decision from there.

Yesterday, his knee was no better. Finally, we made the decision to take him to the ER. So, it didn't matter how much pain I was in, or how tired I was, I had to get dressed, pull myself together and go to the ER to take care of my son.
After they X-rayed his knee, they told us his knee cap was fractured. Split right down the middle. However, the doctor said it looked like an old fracture, and not like something that had recently happened. While discussing this with the doctor, my son reminded me of another time about a year and a half ago, he was playing football (on concrete) and he busted his knee open. When we went to the ER that time, they never did an x-ray, they just cleaned up the knee and sutured the cut. After telling the doctor about this last night, she felt that this is most likely when he originally fractured the knee, and the hits he took over the past week or so aggravated it.
They immobilized his leg, gave him crutches, and tomorrow we have to take him to see an Ortho doc.
To add insult to injury, he is scheduled to take his drivers exam tomorrow morning, and it is his right knee that he hurt. He is insisting that if he has been able to walk around with a fractured knee cap for more than a year, he can tolerate it for another 15 or 20 minutes to take his test. He REALLY wants his drivers lisence.
I haven't made my final decision yet on whether or not I will let him take the test.
Between both of my sons, I have appointments every day for the next week. Like I said, "You just can't call out sick from this job!"
Soft Hugs to All
Laurie D.

Blog on Lumigrate.com "5 things you can do about flu"

This is an interesting and helpful blog about the upcoming flu season and 5 things you can do to help yourself avoid the virus this season.

http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lumigrate.com%2Fblog%2F5-things-you-can-do-about-flu&h=e5778b15684cbad8088565856b521497 )

Not only is this a good blog post, but lumigrate.com is also an awesome web-site with great information for fibromites.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Can't call out sick from this job.

In the United States, we are fortunate enough to have labor laws to protect our workforce. Employees are given a certain amount of "sick" days each year, as well as "personal" days. We are all entitled to "bereavement" time. And many of us have been fortunate enough to have employers who give us paid "vacation" time. Usually "vacation" time is earned and accumulated over time. So, what is all this leading up to. Although there are labor laws to keep workers happy and healthy. And to make sure we are not taken advantage of, there is one job, and I believe THE MOST IMPORTANT job off all, that does not have these benefits. It is the job of being a parent.
No matter how we feel, good, bad, or indifferent, we cannot take a day off. We cannot call out sick. We do not accumulate vacation time. And, unfortunately, bereveament is usually something that we go through together. Like the mailman, neither rain, nor snow, nor heat of day shall keep us from our appointed rounds. The motto of the parent could be neither migraine, nor backaches, nor lack of sleep shall keep us from taking care of our charges.
If you are a parent, you can appreciate this. It doesn't matter how we feel, we can never fully "check out" and take a break or a sick day. We always have a large part of our mind on our children, there needs and their welfare. We need to take care of them when we are sick, they still need to eat, they still need clean clothing and a warm place to shelter them that they can call home.
Why is this the topic of this post? It has been my life, not just for the past few days, but for 25 years. I have had migraines that I thought were going to make my head explode, and one of my children will come bouncing in with some news that is the "most exciting thing of their entire lives", do we ignore them and tell them to go away? No, we grin and bear it the best we can, we let them tell us their news and encourage them. When they are finished, we calmly explain that we have a headache and need to lay down. Shortly after, we are informed that they are hungry, so we get up and make them something to eat. We once again calmly explain that we have a headache and it would really help if we could just rest awhile. Then, their friends knock on the door and before you know it, you have every 6 grader in the neighborhood tackling each other in your living room. What can we do? Freak out on them? No. As parents, we try to grin and bear it. We have all had our time at being children. We have all put our parents through the paces of not having a sick day. Now, it is their turn. And, it is our turn to give back to them. And yes, the mothers curse really works. You know, "I hope someday you have a child just like you". You know the saying "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree", well in my case, "The apples fell right next to the tree".
If you are a fibromite, and you are in pain, or dealing with migraines, or IBS, or any of the multitude of problems that come along with fibro, try to remember the blessing that we have been given. God has put us in charge of very precious cargo. He has trusted us to raise his children. The saying that God doesn't give us more than we can handle definitely holds true here. We have been blessed with children and cursed with fibro. Yet, God felt we were strong enough to handle it.
No matter how you feel, don't let a moment pass that you take them for granted. They grow up too quick and before you know it, they are leaving the nest and flying on their own. We may not be able to get down on the floor and wrestle with them, or run through the park, but there are a multitude of ways that we can spend quality time with our children. We can play a board game, or have the entire family work as a team to put a jig saw puzzle together. When the weather is nice, sit outside at night and stare at the stars, or start a camp-fire in your back yard and roast some marshmallows.
Most important, make sure you never "call out sick".

Soft Hugs to All
Laurie D.