Saturday, March 29, 2014

Trouble sleeping

Things are not going all that well around here.

Two weeks ago I got rear ended on the interstate - both cars totalled. While I did walk away (and thank all that is good in the world that my 10 yr old is fine)... I still managed to get whiplash out of the deal.

I'm not going to go into the details, because it feels like the guy who hit me is maybe trying to lay blame elsewhere and I'm not sure this won't all end up in court if things go poorly.

But I will say, whiplash sucks. My head has hurt for 14 days straight. My neck? AGONY repeatedly. Ice does help, but you have to take breaks. I have some shooting pains in my shoulder that occasionally migrate down the right side of my back... mostly I think from stiff/tight muscles who don't like the pain I'm in. Lots of ibuprofen and heating pads on those muscles. Lots of trip to the chiropractor and he's helping the muscles remember that being loose instead of tight is less pain. The treatments are helping and with each treatment I feel a slight improvement. But there's A LONG road ahead of me and every step feels like it's just not going far enough, fast enough.

My first big mistake after the accident? I had already scheduled a driving trip to Colorado. OMG. BIG MISTAKE. DO NOT... I REPEAT NEVER, EVER take a 10 hour drive within four days of being rear ended. I thought I was in pain before we left. Pain meds just don't touch it (well, the ones I can take anyway... being allergic to strong pain meds is a big pain).

Second big mostake? Catching a head cold. Every sneeze, every cough is pretty much followed up with a moan or a cry or a yell. I've been brought to tears multiple times today over sneezing.

Now, I've got two days without having to work in front of me, hello weekend, we love you.

But then I have to go to MN for work and am so NOT looking forward into getting into a car for a road trip again. I'm packing a neck pillow, some one-time-use ice packs and am going to curl up into a ball in the corner of the car and try not to weep the whole drive. As if my life wasn't stressful enough before.

It's always something, and lately? it's been beating the crap out of me.

Monday, March 17, 2014

High Stress and new injury - worried about another relapse

Stress has been identified as one of the potential triggers for flare ups in symptoms.

Friday night I was supposed to be dropping my youngest son 'a' off with his dad. Only, we never made it out of town.

There had been stopped traffic on the interstate.

And while I had managed to come to a stop quickly enough to avoid hitting someone? Someone behind me wasn't so lucky - and rear-ended my car. Thankfully, we were all able to walk away - even the secondary collision that happened about 20 feet behind us involving two cars and a semi. Not sure about the accident a half-mile further East - that was the root behind the traffic at a complete stop in all lanes on the Interstate.

Sadly, my car is no more.

And, even worse? I have moderate whiplash.

I spent the weekend dealing with unbelievable frustration and irritation at the car rental agency who never managed to get me a rental car even after multiple reservations made and complaints escalated. And two trips to the airport, plus standing in line for over 30 minutes in extreme pain.

But this morning, I finally got through to the one person who was able to retrieve the original reservation made by my insurance company. Only, he couldn't provide a vehicle either. He was, however, able to forward my reservation to the office of the car rental company that has served me extremely well over the past couple of years... and they got me a car within 10 minutes.

I had said to my son that I should just go deal with it myself with the office I liked, only I was trying to follow the directions I had been given. That's what I get for trying to follow directions.  I should just stick with my gut.

Now, I'm at the rough spot of hurting like the dickens due to the whiplash and nothing I'm taking or doing is lessoning the pain. But I'm doing my best to keep the inflammation down, got the xrays taken finally (now that I've got a car)... and hopefully the insurance company will mostly be really helpful with taking care of those bills. And if not, then I can always sue the pants off of them for the pain and suffering.

But, now I'm mostly worried about how I'll be feeling in the near future. I felt like I was climbing back out of the whole I'd gotten into health-wise. Stress and injuries tend to spiral downward with my health and I just don't need that on top of everything else.

We had originally planned to go to Colorado this week... my son is driving. And I think I'm still going to do it. I might spend most of our little bit of free time we get laying down in the hotel room. But it's away from home and the stress there. If I'm going to hurt no matter where I am, and the doctor did verify that going shouldn't cause new harm... so I might as well be someplace more scenic than home!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Traveling

I have a pretty limited diet - being both gluten free and dairy free can be challenging... even without adding travel... but it's becoming more 'understood' and isn't  impossible. But if you also remove all fried foods from the equation? That gets SO much tougher.  For fast food places? About the only places I can eat are Subway and Wendy's.

Most regular restaurant's have a couple of items on the menu that I can eat... so looking at a menu changes dramatically from being able to look at what they offer and decide what sounds good.... to becoming an exercise in finding SOMETHING I can eat without distress... or something that with a change could become edible. I've more than a few times gotten a grilled chicken sandwhich with no cheese. Then remove the bun after it arrives.

Add travel and sometimes limited options for eating? And suddenly it's not so easy. The last couple of hotels I stayed at offered complimentary breakfasts... and unless they offer fresh fruit, it usually won't work.

My solution has been to either pack a cooler (if driving) or stop at the market shortly after arriving (when flying) and making sure I have a refrigerator and microwave in the hotel room. Then I can have my almond milk for creating nutrition shakes, I can have some vegetable juice smoothies. And absolute worst case? I carry pre-made packages of tuna salad. It's not ideal and it's not my favorite meal in the world, but it does keep me from starving when I can't find anything to eat.


Monday, March 03, 2014

Month three

Better and better, though some days are still pretty challenging.

Current Treatment:
I'm missing my half-dose of Opticleanse (my bad - need to get to the store)
ALA tablet, one per day
3 methylfolate L-5-MTHF - ES (15 mg) daily
NAC tablet, one per day
sublingual methyl B12 (occasionally 2)
1 dropper of Vitamin D oil
1 capsule of Liposomal Vitamin C - taken apart from other treatments
1 dose of 30 mg Armour - first thing in the morning on an empty stomach

Current Symptoms/Severity:

Dizziness spells are GONE

Fuzzy-headedness is still improving. I'm having several hours of clarity every day - but more issues later in the day once fatigue has set in.

Leg pain is mild, but never ending.

Left shoulder pain that radiates down my arm - GONE.

Back pain no longer gone. Having a few mild re-occurances - STILL MILD

All over-ache (feels like flu) - still present, but not something that I'm not used to.

Severe muscle-based exhaustion - probably at about 75% of 'normal' energy level for about two hours a day now... and down to only about 50% the rest of the time. Starting to try to focus the few bursts of energy I get into actual housework as best I can. No stamina, but I'm used to that. -- still the same as last time. But, I do feel a little more capable every morning... and getting out of bed isn't the hardest thing I have to do every day any longer. Which is really saying something.

Tingly/not-quite-right-sensation/mild numbness - seems to be almost GONE

Had some trouble with my left ankle. - BACK, left toe, left ankle, left knee and left hip joint are starting to take turns hurting REALLY BAD.

Left breast - still cycling... not too bad lately, just went through another cycle, it didnt' seem to hurt as much this time around.

Swollen lymph nodes - still swollen.

New symptom: brown powder/crystal? something in my urine stream not blood, and not dark urine... just some of the brown 'solids' that come out. Current plan is to make sure I keep adding more liquids in my diet and perhpas later check for gout and/or bladder stones. As it stands, there's no pain. So, hopefully they'll go away on their own. If I tie this to the joint pain, that's probably a bad sign that it might be gout. Am looking  into possible treatments / testing for gout.

Next Steps:

I'm going to see the doctor in Colorado in a few weeks and start seeing about finding ways to get my son's treated. 

Check for gout and treatments.

Focus primarily on energy conservation. I am thinking about asking for fewer classes to teach in the fall so I don't get as burnt out by working two jobs so much. Focus on getting my ten year old to help out more around the house so things don't get so bad while I'm not up to picking up after him.

Monday, February 03, 2014

10 yr old funny

My eldest son are doing that thing.

That thing you hated when you were little.

Talking about the 'olden' days and how things have changed. Talking about phones that weighed ten pounds and you had to insert your finger into a ring and swing it around a dial to 'dial a number'.

When 64 MB seemed like a crazy amount of memory.

Tonight, I was watching tv when I was informed by my ten year old that he had rediscovered a favorite show from his childhood.

It was Lego Ninjago and it aired a few years ago.


Month 2 - updated treatment plan

OK, third month in and some more mild improvement... and considering that I have a cold, I figure that still feeling better than before is really saying something.

half-dose of Opticleanse daily
ALA tablet, one per day
3 methylfolate L-5-MTHF - ES (15 mg) daily
NAC tablet, one per day
sublingual methyl B12 (occasionally 2)
1 dropper of Vitamin D oil

Have just added in 30 mg of Armour daily for border-line low TSH.

Within a week of adding the Armour, I'm feeling more rested in the morning (woot!).


Current Symptoms/Severity:

Dizziness spells are almost entirely absent!

Fuzzy-headedness is still improving. I'm having several hours of clarity every day - but more issues later in the day once fatigue has set in.

Leg pain is mild, but never ending.

Left shoulder pain that radiates down my arm - GONE.

Back pain no longer gone. Having a few mild re-occurances - not sure if it's related to the stress tied to my cold.

All over-ache (feels like flu) - still present, but not something that I'm not used to.

Severe muscle-based exhaustion - probably at about 75% of 'normal' energy level for about two hours a day now... and down to only about 50% the rest of the time. Starting to try to focus the few bursts of energy I get into actual housework as best I can. No stamina, but I'm used to that. -- still the same as last time.

Tingly/not-quite-right-sensation/mild numbness - seems to be limited to my arms and legs and my face. Funny... it almost always was my right-side before.... and always the whole side... now it's more equally distributed on left and right side, but just the bottom half of my legs, bottom half of my arms - and on both sides of my face. Mild - but annoying.

Had some trouble with my left ankle. - GONE

Left breast - still cycling... not too bad lately, but due to worsen soon.

Swollen lymph nodes - still swollen. WIll have to remember to discuss with my next Integrative MD appointment. -- totally spaced it because I had more urgent matters to discuss.

New symptom: brown powder/crystal? something in my urine stream not blood, and not dark urine... just some of the brown 'solids' that come out. Current plan is to make sure I keep adding more liquids in my diet and perhpas later check for gout and/or bladder stones. As it stands, there's no pain. So, hopefully they'll go away on their own.

Next steps:

Adding daily liposomal C to my daily supplements pile (well, separate from supplements but in the must remember to take pile).

And mostly just focus on getting over my cold and taking it easy (not an easy proposition when working two jobs).

Friday, January 10, 2014

One month progress - with starting over

So far, much better.

Not quite the dramatic uptick I saw last time... but I'm also starting out ever-so slower.

I'm currently still at :

half-dose of Opticleanse daily
ALA tablet, one per day
2 methylfolate L-5-MTHF - ES (10 mg) daily

Have added in one sublingual methyl B12 (when I remember it,  need to figure out a better option to make it easier to remembeer)

as well as

1 dropper of Vitamin D oil

Current Symptoms/Severity:

Dizziness spells are slightly less frequent - maybe 1-2 a week over the 20 or so. Still pretty severe when they come... but thankfully over within a couple of minutes.

Fuzzy-headedness is still improving. But plenty of room for more improvement.

Leg pain is mild, but never ending.

Left shoulder pain that radiates down my arm - almost gone.

Back pain still gone.

All over-ache (feels like flu) - still present, but not something that I'm not used to. Some episodes lately where it's been slightly worse.

Severe muscle-based exhaustion - probably at about 75% of 'normal' energy level for about two hours a day now... and down to only about 50% the rest of the time. Starting to try to focus the few bursts of energy I get into actual housework as best I can. No stamina, but I'm used to that.

Tingly/not-quite-right-sensation/mild numbness - seems to be limited to my arms and legs and my face. Funny... it almost always was my right-side before.... and always the whole side... now it's more equally distributed on left and right side, but just the bottom half of my legs, bottom half of my arms - and on both sides of my face. Mild - but annoying.

Had some trouble with my left ankle. - this is now gone (woot!).

Left breast - still cycling... not too bad lately, but due to worsen soon.

Swollen lymph nodes - still swollen. WIll have to remember to discuss with my next Integrative MD appointment.

Next steps:

Add in the other (missing) 5mg of Methylfolate.

Add in the NAC

Add in Vitamin C (need to investigate the 'better' forms to consider taking).

Friday, January 03, 2014

More adventures in online dating in your 40's

It's funny the work we'll go to - to avoid certain subjects.

Two cases in point.

I am doing everything in my power to not call attention to the fact that I'm a grandmother.

1. my grandson is my son's fiance's son... even if it comes up in the conversation three times.

2. I am his dad's mother... yeah. I know. Still makes me grandma... but I don't have to use that 'word' - lol

Time enough in the future to talk about grandkids... but they really don't have to be things discussed on the first date... even if you are talking about already existing kids. I'm thinking that's for future date conversations... lol.

Dentures.

I wear dentures. I'm not really ashamed of wearing dentures and if asked... I'll admit to them. But who on earth asks if you are wearing dentures unless you've already been discussing the topic with them? I can bet guys on their first dates sure won't.

But here I am after a denture-atastrophy... (dog chewed them up). Trying to figure out how to delay our first official real date (not the meet for coffee thing) because my dentures are destroyed and it'll be two weeks before I can get fitted with new ones (a minimum of two weeks).

And I don't even want to bring up the subject that I wear dentures. Because while I'm sure he would be understanding that I'm too embarrassed to be out in public toothless... I really don't need him picturing me that way.

These things have to do with timing. I won't lie about them. I won't deny them. But I don't think they need to 'come up' all that soon. Soon enough after you find out if you really like each other, first.

So, what did I do ?

I took a dremel sander to the dentures I have and after two hours have now ground them down to the point where I think I can at least appear in public. sigh. They're not really functional. But, I think I can wear them to the office and to a movie and get away with it. Might need something to numb my gag reflex a little better... but, just maybe I can survive a couple of hours with them in?

I'm trying today. I'll see if I can last two hours. If so, then maybe I don't have to admit that I am avoiding our next date because my dog ate my teeth... good news is that it's such a bad excuse, that it's unlikely he'll think I'm lying about it.