Cognitive Skills Severely Impaired

Damn it I just want to sleep. I would give my right arm right now for REAL uninterrupted, healthy sleep.

I have had sleep issues for about as long as I can remember now. Between unrestful and odd sleeping patterns, to straight up insomnia I dread nights. I also hope every night that this is he night that will be different. It never is. I’m always tossing and turning, aware of every ache and pain in my body, never in a comfortable position to relax, and waking up on average every hour on the dot. Green Day’s Insomnia plays in my head pretty much constantly. My brain doesn’t work right, I can’t carry a conversation half the time and I have not driven my car in over three weeks because I’m just not fit to.

Yes I’ve tried Advil pm, melatonin, tea, klonopin, Ativan, ALL my night meds have drowsy side effects, and had a sleep study done. No sleep apnea, but I do have restless leg syndrome. Basically I’ve been told to keep trying things I’m already doing, let my body sleep when it’s ready and adjust to its schedule. Right now I get my best sleep between 7 and noon. Pretty fucking convenient right? And double that with the Chronic fatigue and I have been living one huge party life lately of feeling pretty much like death. So for all those I’ve been neglecting, I’m so sorry. I’m just trying to get it together here.

My darling husband on the other hand, will sleep anywhere:

20140604-003615-2175919.jpg

Image

Adventures in the ER

Image

Got to love trips to the ER right? Three hours to get a bed. And I have duck dynasty for roommates where one of them injured their dick and is letting their IV beep uncontrollably. I wish I could make that up. He seriously walked into the ER waiting room, holding his junk, blood running down his leg with his wife and friend and was all “ya’ll need to be fixin’ this up!” When they put me in the bed next to him 3 hours later Ken and I had to try to hold back our laughter at the absurdity of it all, because the guy kept making dick jokes from behind the curtain that divided us.

BUT, the reason I was there. I have had this pain in my left flank for 3 days that was growing. Hoping it was just muscular, I was just trying to ride it out. When I couldn’t roll over in the bed without wanting to scream though, that’s when I decided I needed at the very least, drug intervention. I was worried it was my kidneys again and I didn’t want to take chances with that. I hadn’t slept much in days over this. So off to St. Mary’s we went, where we waited 3 ridiculous hours in wretched pain in the ER while totally ambulatory got beds before I did, even after I checked in. I understand the concept of triage ALL too well. I’m no stranger to hospitals or even working in healthcare where you make those types of decisions, but from what I observed, this was bullshit. Nothing I could do to change that though, you’re at their mercy while you are there.

Turns out, after one UA, a CT, and a ton of blood work (which i have yet to see the actual results of, but never fear, crazy healthcare lady WILL get that) It was all muscular and there was a lot of inflammation in the muscle tissue surrounding…..my kidney area. So i wasn’t far off identifying WHERE the pain was at least. Big sigh of relief that it wasn’t my kidney at all though. Muscular inflammation I can wait out and work with. So with a nice dose of torodol and dilaudid to get me started, I was sent home with some pain killers and anti inflammatories to get that process started. I’m trying to lightly stretch it out at home, and do all the usual muscle pull types of things and following up with my doc because I was supposed to see her two months ago anyway. I’ve just been too fatigued to do so.

I hope that guy gets home with his dick intact. That catheter bag is going to go down awesome at the hunting club I bet.

Letters From Quarantine

It’s been 5 days since the quarantine at House Woodland began. We arrived home on Sunday with Ken feeling pretty bad, sore throat and congestion. After a terrible sleepless night, for me, due to his snoring and angry retorts when I tried to move him he was full on sick the next day. We managed to attend a doctor’s appointment and head to the grocery store for what would be the last time in the near future.

Day 2, Ken had moved to the couch so I could get some rest, but it didn’t matter. Whatever this was, I succumbed to it anyway. Sore throat, nose at a full stop, and chest congestion out of nowhere. Migraine city had come for a visit too. I am glad now I withheld my Enbrel this week because that would have only suppressed my immune system more and this hell would have gone on a lot longer.

There was soup to be slurped and Netflix to be watched, and dual moaning was heard across the Woodland abode.

However in an effort to brighten our spirits we did make one kick ass french cut crusted rack of lamb for New Years dinner, that was hands down the best thing I have eaten all year. Being sick wasn’t going to suck ALL the joy out of New Years even if we did pass out by 10 and there was no toasting or kissing.

Stir crazy began to set in the next day and between coffee, naps and TV we proceeded to make one hell of a dent at purging the junk on our downstairs floor for our upcoming move. I’m more than proud of us, and doing it while sick? We are beasts. We are now slowly working on aspects of the second floor believe it or not.

Like previously stated, it’s now day 5. Symptoms have improved on both of us, but we are not ready to be released back into the world just yet. We gaze out the window longingly but the harsh freezing temperatures of the outside air would harm us should we venture out I’m sure. I hope we survive this. I’m writing to document our last days should we turn on each other and fail to successfully co inhabit this domicile any longer.

Peace out.

Don’t Mess With a Wife on A Mission.

I wish I even knew where to start with this mess of a blog these days. Life just keeps on ticking and by the time I turn around, I’m choosing sleep over blogging. For weeks now at a time. I love writing but the perfectionist in me wants to sit down and write some quality stuff from my brain, not just go through the motions.

I learned a lot the past two weeks about being the family member of a sick person. Ken has had some serious medical issues and I have spent two weeks at the hospital, biting my nails, waiting, and playing psycho patient advocate to make sure he only received the best care and a solid diagnosis. We are still working on that last one but I have made some real progress. It is SUPER frustrating to know enough about certain conditions because of being no stranger to chronic illness yourself, but not being taken seriously by doctors because they don’t want to hear the valuable information you may have to offer. Turns out after two weeks of craziness and one exploratory surgery, the doctor walks into Ken’s hospital room and declares its one of two things I have been pushing to get on the table for MONTHS now, like it was his idea all along. GGGGRRRRRR!!! Get the fuck out doc! Seriously? Because all this is certainly news to me….*snark*

Before all this mess, we did have a really good Thanksgiving in DC with my grandmother. She really is the stable force of family in my life, no matter what is going on, and when I come up, it makes me happy to do things for her…..even when it’s braving those horrendous Costco trips. It’s all worth it. I taught her to use a Keurig this trip so now, its K Cup parties up there too, and while Ken shakes his head, I notice he does not hesitate to have his several cups of coffee throughout the day. For the record, the Cinnabon K Cups, and BOTH Starbucks Holiday Blend and Christmas blend coffees this year are pretty damn awesome.

Also, why didn’t I know that Amazon Prime was so awesome before now? I now have kitty litter and toilet paper scheduled to show up at my door every other month (along with a few other things) through subscribe and save, so I never have to lug it home again. BECAUSE I HAVE NO SHAME IN GETTING MY TOILET PAPER DELIVERED. For free. This could get addicting. Plus more streaming video is pretty awesome. I’m really debating getting rid of all major cable at this point because I really think we could survive off the streaming video services we have. Except for HBO. HBO Go is a gift to myself this year (for half off.)

Fingers Crossed For Progress.

You know what’s cool? The Enbrel seems to be working! I’m in so much less pain, I’ve cut way back on the pain meds and my morning stamina is even up. I still have bouts of burning hands and feet, but this start is nothing short of amazing in my opinion so far. I’m still kinda on edge about being constantly immunocompromised and therefore easily able to get sick but so far so good.

My sleep cycles however are a totally different story. Since recovering from the accidental over saturation of sedatives on my liver, I’ve been able to recover from that but it’s brought back all my sleep issues. Namely, my body thinks it’s time to get up for the day at 3am no matter what, and my fatigue tends to get really bad after about noon. I’m going to be doing a sleep study soon to see if we can get some clarification on that because my sleep has been wildly out of control for one reason or another for over 10 years now.

I was also molded and folded and stuffed and fitted for a new bra this weekend for the upcoming bout of Army formal fun. My boobs hurt just thinking about that experience but there is an upside to this. Due to my recent weight loss of 60 lbs my dress has to be taken IN now! Sadly though, my boobs did not shrink. It was like hauling sandbags into a hammock. But I will be pretty damn it! Along with my hot husband in his brand spanking new service uniform, we will look good for once this year!

And with that, coffee #3 is calling….

The Light at the End Of the Tunnel?

So things have been cooking over here at Casa Woodland. While the government is having its own crisis, we have been having our own financial crisis ourselves. It’s tough to write about, so there won’t be many details, but we are poor people living off of financial aid, grants and loans with a wee bit of military pay at the moment, and well, EVERYTHING went haywire and as things sometimes happen, the money wasn’t coming in on schedule. Imagine me first waiting by the window for the mailman like a dog. Progress that image to me fighting Ken in a race to the mail box every day to get to it first to see if “today was the day!” I could stop dying inside and pay the power company who I was sure were going to personally drive over with huge scissors and cut the power to our house. Now at the end of this ordeal, I was asking moral questions, like, “is it wrong to inflict violence on the mailman or others if no money comes? Should I put the weapons away, or look for more household items to wield into battle gear?” Seriously, it was getting all survivalist up in my head.

But FINALLY we got a break and in time we received relief. Which of course I promptly cried like a baby after paying all those bills I had been terrified over and watching that money quickly fade away, and the rest fall carefully into a budget that will once again require us to resort to some ramen eating days in order to be “fiscally frugal” until the spring semester.

20131008-071729.jpg
In other news, I woke up one day last week and felt that click in my head and KNEW my Welbutrin/Abilify combo had finally kicked in and my world was clearer than it had been in years. It was like a blanket was lifting off me finally and I can kinda see my way out from underneath. I don’t hate everything as much. It’s encouraging to know I might be on a path to stable. Panic is still a huge issue and we have decided to add a long term medication, Lexapro to see if we can knock that down to a functional level (I would LOVE to drive my car without it being the drama of the century in my head) and maybe make me all around a little happier too. I’ve still got my old benzo friends though for random onset attacks, and to help me sleep.

There is more…. But I’m pooped and written out. And I’m making navy bean and ham soup that needs attention. I’M COOKING AGAIN BITCHES!!!!!

Brought by the Letter M.

Sooooo, a murder victim was found behind my house a couple of days ago. Like directly behind my house they dumped the body. Thankfully I don’t go into my backyard area much or my therapist would have a whole new set of issues to deal with.

As the story officially goes now, a guy killed his girlfriend in a fight and then tried to dump the body behind my house. And someone came across it. When the police went the the woman’s apartment her baby was still inside. And they arrested the guy. I appreciate how everyone in our neighborhood was also notified of the situation via letter in our doors, like when you get a Chinese menu in your door. Only this one was like “FYI, there was a murder today….”

I would also care to mention that this happened when I arrived home from my appointment with psych where I was told officially I had General Anxiety Disorder, PTSD, and Bi Polar disorder. It was a LOVELY day. But there we have it folks. The official reports are in on what I have been going through the past few years that have exploded the past few months. I took the weekend off to process the information, even though I’m not surprised and I was prepared for what much of the personality assessment had to say. It’s just so, sobering, to see yourself, what makes you tick on the paper. The good, the bad and the ugly, and agree with it because you do know its true. There were things I was proud of on that paper, traits I wouldn’t give up, but also things on there I would trade in a heartbeat not to have to ever feel again. If only letting go were just that easy now that I know about it. If just seeing it could cure me and free me of this mess. It’s just not like that.

So instead, I’ll be meeting with a doctor to work out a plan to stabilize my moods and control my anxiety, and I’ll work on learning how to cope and process information in a healthier way with my therapist. I think the next question down the road is, will knowing all this be a opportunity at a last attempt at communication with my parents, or will it be the last break for me before I have to say enough for my own health and really move on in a more drastic measure?

Inkblots and Imaginary Friends.

Lately I have hit this level of exhaustion that has rendered me just too exhausted to write. It’s not that things haven’t been going on, because man have they ever, but just living through them have been enough at the moment. Writing about them, that’s just had to wait. Until the Klonopin wore off and I had my mind back that is. Klonopin is one of those great drugs that calms you down but also kind of renders your brain useless to cognitive thought, so writing is damn near impossible.

Did you know that psychologists still use those inkblot tests for things? I had NO IDEA either until confronted with my very own set last week. Now THAT was fun. Apparently I just see the inside of the human anatomy in everything, and I think she was surprised at my graphic detail on that. And I saw the bat signal on one. But really there was a point where I looked at her and exclaimed “COME ON! A two year old just splattered paint on that,” and refused to “see” anything else. Apparently that wasn’t an acceptable answer and finally I told her “fine, it’s a body.” From the best of my Internet research when I got home, while my answers aren’t standard, I got the conceptual idea of the inkblot cards right, and it safe to say I’m not schizophrenic. That was on the table?! Schizophrenia?! (One little breakdown and they think you might be full blown schizophrenic, that I will never understand. I was never climbing the walls, talking to imaginary people, threatening to hurt ANYBODY or the like.) I’m going to be skeptical of the whole inkblot method though anyway, it’s too much guesswork and not enough proven accuracy for me. Luckily the rest of my visit was more in depth and focused on better diagnostic methods concerning my issues.

20130909-065331.jpg
I’m convinced this one is Optimus Prime.

The summary of our week beyond that consisted of some high stakes finances. It’s like poker, only with our utilities, cable, and rent up as collateral, and we are playing with groceries. Ken’s car unexpectedly died and won a all expenses paid trip courtesy of our checking account to our house from the middle of the road. Now we have one car for the rest of the month. So there’s that to be excited about. Negotiations for obtaining my medication for my Rheumatoid Arthitis are tense and frustrating as its being held hostage somewhere between my doctor’s office and the mail order pharmacy. No one really knows, they both say someone else is fucking up. I’d also like to throw in here, that no one seems to give two flying fucks what i have to say about it because they have pushed this process through every step of the way despite my concerns, and every step of the way it’s ended up a problem for ME. Either way, I’m in terrible pain and no one is sending in back up. Stay tuned. It’s a developing situation.

My Eyes Feel Like They’re Gonna Bleed….

Greenday’s Brainstew. Yes. This is my theme song for months.

I’ve been highly sleep disturbed for the past few weeks. Way more than normal. I really feel pushed to the edge here about this. I’m extremely grateful on the one hand to have solved “the mystery of the batshit insane migraines with vertigo” but it’s not like the hits haven’t kept coming.

I’ve had the equivalent of a nervous breakdown. I ended up seeking to be admitted somewhere for psychiatric help because I had no choice and I was totally freaked out and Ken and I knew it wasn’t normal. Like on a rating of 1 to INSANE I’m probably about a 8.8. You know me, down and dirty with the details here. I was pretty much the meal short of a picnic lunch, I could feel it and I wanted help. That’s a desperate feeling when you are considering giving up your shoelaces voluntarily just to get someone to listen to you because everywhere normal has a waitlist. (This is also not the first time I’ve sought immediate help, but its been a number of years, and the worst, and I thought I had managed pretty well on and off through talk therapy and sometimes some anxiety meds. I’ve also had a shitty time with a past diagnosis/doctor which has made some stuff hard in the trust department.) We have gotten some GOOD help this time after a bumpy start, if you didn’t know, obtaining mental health services can be a lengthy process, I’ve had to get creative and even wait for treatment! I’m finally getting the most comprehensive diagnostic evaluation I’ve ever gotten for Bi Polar disorder after meeting with a professional who has determined it was well worth the time and expense to see me for the evaluation and get it all official and shit for my medical history. I’ll be set up with talk therapy to learn how to understand this and medication management to work out a plan as well. All this is good stuff but as you can imagine, a lot to process. I’m on a mood stabilizer and a antidepressant right now to take the edge off with my anxiety meds but its clear by my sleep issues we haven’t gotten this right yet although I’m starting to feel better and there is a lot less crying and rage going on. And I’m writing about it in specifics. Openly. This is huge.

Going back to the Rheumatoid Arthritis for a moment. I’m in a huge flare since stopping the methotrexate because of the Migraine Mystery, and its finally been decided I will try a biologic medication for treatment. However, getting it all approved and between that and fibromyalgia, I’m feeling pretty shitty with pain, so sleep is also a bitch when you are waking up due to that lovely swelling and burning in your joints or just overall uncontrolled aches.

I realize this post is 100% venting, but its my blog and I’ll cry if I want to. Also, I’ll make as many musical references if I want to. I dare you to stop me. I’m delirious.

BRAIN WWAARR!!

I don’t usually encourage bad grammar or spelling but I really want to scream “IMMA ‘BOUT TO NEED A VALIUM DRIP UP IN HERE!” with all the recent changes going on in my life right now. We all know I’m one crack up from going completely insane, and I just feel like life is pushing those buttons right now just to see if it can break me. JUST SO YOU KNOW LIFE, YOU CAN. YOU CAN STOP NOW. THIS WHOLE BIBLICAL JOB COMPLEX IS NOT AMUSING.

Sure, I’m on meds that are like my secret little weapons of second wave back up forces keeping the anxiety armies and tears at bay. I have the friends kinda dropping in from the sky and beating back my insecurities like kamikaze pilots when it gets bad as well. I certainly don’t want to kill them off, and everyone needs to sleep around here. And I’m fond of their devotion and all that.

But the point here is this, none of these things can keep putting my brain back together if you, life, keep dropping nuclear bombs in here of ridiculous nature. Between my illnesses, the military, financial, and family life struggles I simply need a break. Don’t you give me any of that “God doesn’t give you any more than you can handle” nonsense, because we both know full well I don’t believe in God and that saying is bullshit. Surviving and handling are two entirely different things.

I’m angry right now, I’m venting, I need a good stiff drink and probably a sense of humor. But I allowed myself the usage of the slang “IMMA” for the very first time ever, and now I am going to have to reflect on THAT for a few hours. *Cringe*

20130819-063916.jpg
I’M SO ASHAMED.