Health issues

So I’ve been having a lot of health issues since late last year.

Last year a blood test came back saying that my cortisol level was high. I had to go through several tests to confirm or deny if my cortisol levels were indeed high. I even had to go to a new endocrinologist so I could get some saliva test kits that were used by the lab that is in-network for my insurance. My first saliva results were mixed, so I had to take the test again. For those who haven’t had it, you need to take the test around midnight. Least to say I had to wait until Friday or Saturday nights so I could sleep in and recoup sleep. After a long time of going through this and waiting for results, finally the tests came back and said my cortisol levels are normal.

Then there is this year.

I tripped and fell in my office. I turned as I fell trying to catch my fall. In the process I hit the side of my head against a piece of furniture, just above my ear. So for a few weeks I had to wear earbuds as headphones hurt that area too much.

Then I got really sick. I went out for some soup as I barely started to feel better. However, I have this bad habit of both trying to push myself and be productive with my time. As I was feeling a teeny bit better I decided to go to a store across the way for some very quick shopping. Being sick I wasn’t mentally at 100 percent. I didn’t notice that the concrete parking barriers for the spots in front of the store extended the whole length of the parking area. Normally they just sit in the middle of each parking space. Well my foot hit the concrete barrier and I went flying. Again I tried to catch myself. In the process I very badly hurt my right (dominant) hand. I scrapped it very badly, especially on the side of my pinky finger. My hand was shaking from the shock and pain. I ended up injuring a tendon in my hand. I couldn’t even pick up a mug of water with my right hand at all without being in instant pain. Gripping anything and putting pressure on it hurt. It took over a month for my hand to heal properly.
I’ve tried to learn from this lesson to not be tempted to overdo things when I’m sick. As much as it may be beneficial to do X while I’m out sick to be productive, chances are pretty good I’ll just injure myself again. So I’ve forced myself to squash any temptation to do more than sitting at home and recouping. (I tend to feel guilty if I’m home sick. I feel like I’m not doing anything. I have to realize self-care and resting IS doing something.)

Then I got vertigo for the first time in my life. 0 out of 10 would recommend getting vertigo. It came on suddenly while I was sitting in a chair at home. I finally got some will to head to bed. Except that made it a thousand times worse. When I lied down it was like I was on the worst waterbed in the world. I watched as the fan on the ceiling quickly moved left, then snapped back to the center of the ceiling. Then move, then snap. Yeah my stomach didn’t like that feeling at all and reacted accordingly. I spent a couple of hours just sitting up, trying not to move, with a bucket in front of me. I slowly inched backward on the bed to see if I could at least lie while sitting up as it was already evening and I was getting very tired. Every time my stomach roiled. Finally, I had to throw in the towel and ask my husband to call 911 for an ambulance to the nearest ER. There was no way I could survive a car ride to the hospital with the condition I was in. I got several doses of various anti-nausea meds injected and spent hours in the ER just waiting for the nausea to stop, and fearing that lying back would make the world spin again. After a few hours I finally felt, well not better, but not horrible as I had been. After the doctor confirmed I could walk around while looking up they sent me home with some prescription medications for me to take for the vertigo. I spent the next couple of weeks having lightheadedness and small brief dizzy spells. In the end the ER doctor said that one of the crystals that sat in my inner ear probably got loose and messed with my sense of balance which caused the vertigo.

Finally there was the day before Easter. I was busy getting dressed and accidentally smacked my right foot against the frame of an open doorway. I hurt a couple of my end toes and bruised the top of my foot right below the toes. The next day I wanted to go to an urgent care as I was realizing that this really hurt, except the urgent care places that are in-network were all closed for the holiday. After a couple of weeks of pain, I went to the urgent care and they buddy taped my pinky toe, but she didn’t see anything on my x-rays. Then in the middle of the night both taped toes hurt like hell. I’m guessing she wrapped them too tightly. I made an appointment with a podiatrist the next day. So there I was 3 weeks in and getting x-rays again. The podiatrist says there’s an area that looks suspicious that may be a fracture, but of course it’s hard to tell with the pinkie toe being so small. He also gave me a special (huge) boot to wear to keep pressure off the toe. As of today the pinkie toe still hurts, though it seems limited to one spot now. I’m suspecting that’s where the fracture is. Ugh. Another injury that is going to take some time to heal.

This has been the worst luck I’ve ever had medically. It’s just been one thing after another.I swear I need a good luck charm along with a good health charm.

You know I would like to think there are better ways for the universe to tell me to slow down and take care of myself more. Blarg.

Do you believe in magic?

So in the past, my boss went to a convention in Houston TX. While there, as he told me, there were people there bringing attention to the bats in the area. They were using the noisemakers pictured below. True to my boss’ nature, he asked if he could get one. They told him only if he would use it. Oh, he assured them that he would. So they gave him one.

Prior to him and all the other librarians at work going to a major convention last month I joked he should give it to me because it will be so quiet at work. That way I could make some noise. He obliged.

A plastic? bat noisemaker

While they were at said convention, one of my coworkers came to visit me for a chat. She noticed the noisemaker and I told her everything I just mentioned above. Then I talked about the bats in Houston, and how the bat population was hurt by Hurricane Harvey. Then I talked about how bats eat insects and then fruitbats and how they eat fruit. I even showed her some Youtube videos of a bat rescue in Australia. I even shook the noisemaker a bit.

Fast forward to later that night. We had a power outage right before bed. I woke up at around 1 am to the sound of the power coming back on, and eventually got myself back to sleep. 45 minutes to an hour later I woke up to the sound of flapping going back and forth above my head. It stopped and I thought maybe I was still dreaming a bit and started to fall back to sleep. Then the flapping sound happened again. I tapped my husband awake who awoke with a start muttering all sorts of things. I asked him if he, “could hear that?” He paused and listened and we heard more flapping. My husband grabbed his cell phone and turned on the light on the phone. Hanging from the bedroom ceiling was a black bat. (And of course, a few of the cats in the room were going crazy watching the bat. Some were on the floor, some were on the bed.)

I am not joking. This seriously happened.

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Seriously you can stop now

So I started having health issues about mid-year. Since then I’ve been dealing with doctors appointments, tests, and having to make payment arrangements to pay off said tests.

First I had to see an ENT over sinus and headache pain that I had been dealing with for weeks. $50 co-pay to see him. He gave me some medicine to take, and thought I might be actually having migraines. So he sent me to get a sinus x-ray to see if anything was going on. He suggested a walk-in place to get it done the same day. I already had to take the rest of the day off of work, so sure, worked for me.

I go there and they tell me how much it’ll cost. Okay, I could afford it and didn’t need to make a payment plan. So sure. Everyone was nice.

I returned to the ENT (another co-pay) a week later to get the results, which came back as normal or as the paperwork said, “Grossly unremarkable.” So the ENT said again he thought I was getting migraines, probably from exposure to a chemical smell that the janitors were using to clean with at work. So he suggested a neurologist who he had sent patients like me and they had all gotten better. Sounds great.

The neurologist was another $50 co-pay. He thought I was having abnormal migraines, but wanted to do a VNG due to dizzy spells I was getting. Fine, whatever, let’s schedule this.

I couldn’t eat anything before the test and it was scheduled for late morning so I was hungry. Another $50 co-pay and I did the test. And boy did it make the world spin for me. I got the worst case of motion sickness on the ride home. (My husband drove.) I spent the rest of the day in bed, being absolutely miserable.

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Goodbye rabbit and good riddance.

“Well, we’ll not risk another frontal assault. That rabbit’s dynamite.” King Arthur from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

When I heard the Year of the Rabbit was going to be a slow year, I immediately had my doubts. When have you ever heard of a rabbit being slow? And I was right..

As I type this I’m dealing with a terrible stomach bug that I’ve had since Thursday. I’ve restricted my diet in hopes that will help it out. So it’s saltines, apple sauce, rice, and jello for me. Yay..

In this Rabbit Year I’ve had the worst head cold of my life. I also had a wisdom tooth removal that didn’t heal well. Wonder why I stopped blogging about it? Because the next day (7?) when I returned to the oral surgeon, one area of my gum had swelled shut and had to be reopened so it could be rinsed out. It was a level 10 pain, a level of pain which I had previously reserved for broken bones and childbirth. I told what happened to another oral surgeon and watched him visibly wince. You know it’s bad when someone in the profession winces.

I’ve still been having sinus issues. Lately I’ve been having jaw pain on my left side by the jaw joint and left ear pain. I’ve been grinding due to stress and have some gum receding going on so quite a few of my teeth are extremely sensitive right now. Tomorrow morning I’m due to have 3 fillings done. I have no idea which teeth or where in my mouth. Three fillings is enough information for me. It won’t be fun. I always get completely exhausted later in the day. I don’t know if it’s from the anesthesia, the trauma, or both. Hopefully though it’s the last of the filling work that I need to have done. At this point I just want it over with. On Tuesday afternoon I go to see an ENT again about my facial pain for further examination. Since I always get sinus issues on my left side anyway, this will hopefully prove informative as to why and what I can do to prevent these issues.

I had a whole heck of a lot of stress due to my mother’s failing health. On my birthday she had a breakdown and had to be hospitalized for 2 weeks. They would only let her go to an assisted living facility. She’s that bad. Depression, anxiety, and paranoia. Which explains why she would frantically call my husband and I when she couldn’t get a hold of my brother who lived near her. And why every time it was an emergency that she needed help with NOW. And she calls someone who is a 10 hr drive away.. She couldn’t understand that I couldn’t really help. I can’t do anything in an emergency. Of course later it was discovered it wasn’t an emergency, it was her panicking. My brother was there most if not every day of the week tending to each ’emergency’ she had. Before the breakdown my mom went to the ER 3 or 4 times in 1 week. *sighs* Even now it’s difficult to describe the pressure my mother put on us and stressed us out. My health took a huge tumble and I started having nightly anxiety attacks myself. Fortunately that’s stopped and I’ve been attack free for weeks. *Knocks on wood.*

And that’s why this year’s resolution is simply more “Me” time. Last year I was sideswiped way too many times. Blows came at me like I was playing dodge ball and Fate always had possession of the ball. WHAM! Something unexpected happen. I try to plan for things to not get hit again. WHAM! Hit by something I didn’t expect. WHAM! Hit by something else I couldn’t have possibly expected. And so on. I started to wonder how long this was going to keep going on and how many times could I pull myself up again. I got a bit depressed myself because things kept happening pretty much every weekend, every other if I was lucky. I didn’t get much of a break to get any sort of breather. Eventually you get tired of playing and I wanted to just be left alone for a good while.

During this time I took a class in Fundamentals of Website Design. I got an A+ in the class. Don’t ask me how the heck that happened. I worked my butt off relearning HTML and learning CSS. I’m proud I did so very well, but I’m taking a breather from any other classes until my health finally resolves and I get some major recouping time.

So yeah it hasn’t been a good year no matter what calendar I look at. All I hoping for is that the Year of the Dragon holds some promise of things getting better. I would like to see things turning around in my life soon. I’m tired of being sick, tired of doctor appointments, tired of reworking my schedule to make up lost time from those appointments, tired of burning through the very little that’s left of my sick time since I ate so much of it up last year. I just want to be healthy, happy, and get my quiet life back. Though right now I’d take the healthy so I can finally start getting in some much needed exercise and get stuff done.

Wisdom Teeth Removal: Day 6


I get up by my alarm, take my ibuprofen, check work email, and plop back into bed. So much for getting up earlier. The next time I get up is because I’m due to take my antibiotic. Time to grab some food.

I begin to think about expanding my limited food choices with cottage cheese. I worry that I’m not getting enough calcium and protein in my diet. I’ve started to get a few muscle spasms, and I hope that doesn’t mean I’m low on potassium.

After being up and about the house for a while I decide to try to go out to grocery shop for food supplies. When I get in my car I note I need gas too. So both it is. When I get out at the grocery store I notice in my rear view mirror that in daylight my bruises look much worse. I mentally whimper, feel that self-conscious mood again, hang my head down, and try to avoid eye contact. I maneuver around the store making pains to avoid people and especially children. Last thing I want to do is scare them with my looks. I grab what I need to. A couple of women meet my eyes and smile. I smile back though I don’t feel happy at all. Even smiling too much hurts thanks to the big bruise on my left. No one says anything to me. I’m not sure if I like that or not. It is a bit comforting that I don’t have to explain why I look this way. I just hope people aren’t getting the wrong ideas.

The store feels awfully warm to me and it’s already very hot outside. I’m not sure if that’s because of what I’m going through or not. I’ve been warned on the paperwork to stay out of the sun and heat. Yeah that’s not hard to do when you’re already Irish and turn into a cooked lobster when you sit under the sun for too long. I quicken my pace. A cashier leads me to the self check out. I wasn’t sure I had the energy to do it but what the heck. It’s the only verbal acknowledgement I get. Once I’m outside the heat hits me again and I make a quick beeline to my car.

Next I get gas for the car. But of course I don’t just get it without feeling self-conscious again. I pick the pump with no one on my left and the pump between me and eye contact of the person at my right. Again I keep my head down and avoid contact.

I get home, unpack, and cool down in the house again. Later my husband takes me out for the rest of the supplies I need to get at a couple of other grocery stores. It is still really hot outside. I have to walk further to get in the store and I feel my cheeks begin to burn from the heat. We get what we need and again no one says anything to me nor my husband. Next grocery store same thing. My cheeks burn, I feel warm after being in the store for a while, no one says anything. My husband thinks the trauma to my face like the bruising is probably causing the discomfort feeling in the sun for my cheeks. This isn’t going to be a good week. I’m suddenly heat sensitive like crazy apparently.

After we get home I unpack my stuff again. Later in the day I prepare for returning to work. I’m really not looking forward to being out and about now between the bruises and the heat. I’m wishing I had some cloth to put over my head and wrap around my cheeks to protect them. It might also hide the bruises from a casual glance. I still get tired out during the day and I’m not sure if I’ll have the energy to do a full day of work. Though leaving early is pointless as the midday heat will fry me. It’s supposed to storm tomorrow so hopefully that’ll bring down the temperatures to something I can tolerate better right now. Well here goes nothing. Back out in the public eye and looking all the worse in that daylight sun.

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