DRAFT TODAY, POST TOMORROW: Some posts may be in draft status until I (aka procrastinator extraordinaire) get around to posting them.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

But we can have rice.

When I realized the end of the month was approaching, and I was told that I have a lot of vacation time left for this year, I decided to take today off work.  I had not taken care of my new license photo that had to be done by the end of August, so I needed to get that done.  It was top priority, so it could wait till the end of the day, right?  I already had an appointment scheduled with the naturopathic doctor and student, so I scheduled a trip to the orthodontist in Chandler, lunch with a friend, and a haircut, then to the DMV or whatever they're calling it these days.

I started the day with a fruit and yogurt smoothie.  I was running a little early, so I went to Dutch Brothers by ASU for a Kicker.  I noticed the students going to school and thought back to my ASU days--I remember being so relaxed.  I was stressed, but I was relaxed.  I don't remember--when did I lose that?

I went to the medical college and saw the student (mostly) and the doctor.  I don't know if I'll remember all the details but I did a lot of crying again.  I actually told Dr. H that I am generally a happy person (is that right?!) and she said she got that sense about me.  Here's what got me started.  I've been avoiding wheat, yeast, and eggs, as well as soy, for 2 weeks.  I've lost five pounds.  I still feel like shit.  Okay, I had a couple of moments where I thought I had more energy, but that is totally negated by the painful days I had to endure. And she tells me we have to get my GI tract working.  I need to avoid dairy because it is giving me inflammation.  And no coffee.  And no red meat.  Did you catch the one about dairy?!  I just had a smoothie made with milk and yogurt, and a latte.  I've been eating cheese, yogurt, and cottage cheese as my primary calorie sources for 2 weeks.  I just spent a bunch of money on groceries I can't eat.

What. the. fuck. am. I. supposed. to. eat?

I'm sorry, am I crying to much for you?  Do I seem emotional?  Is anything I ever do enough?  EVER???  Does there always have to be something else?  Does there have to be another shitty thing to deal with?

So they did acupuncture on me, putting needles in my legs and feet.  Because my GI tract is inflamed.  And left me alone to weep for a while.  I seriously hate my life.  I know I have awesome things in my life, but all I can think at that point, is that I. hate. my. fucking. life.

I feel totally out of control.  I have NO fucking control in my life.  And I have to kinda take whatever they say and do it because I have so much fucking pain that I just want to do anything.  Yes, I am that crazy desparate person who will take any snake oil or magic pill.  Just make it stop.

So the doctor added another pellet thing to my regime.  It's phosphorus, for that out of controlness I mentioned.  Actually, the bottle says Cough and Sore Throat.  I have to take 3 under the tongue daily.  They are kind of like bad pop rocks.  Yeah, pop rocks aren't on my diet.

I realized after the acupuncture that the clock wasn't working in the room (and I'm not wearing my watch since they keep feeling my pressure points or pulse or whatever they're doing.)  And I'm late for the orthodontist.  I call and get the okay to be there in a half hour.  I barely make it.  I'm the last appointment they see before they close for lunch.

The orthodontist says my top retainer is fine, although I need to wear it lower; the bottom retainer has to be replaced.  I get a mold taken and schedule an appointment for next week.  He wants me to wear my retainer all the time.  That makes me furiously happy, considering the day week I'm having so far.  I'm a 40 year old professional.  I'd love to wear my retainer all the time.  NOT.

Next, I meet my friend, J, at Kona Grill.  Between us, we are allergic to (or can't eat) just about everything.  But rice is okay, so we have sake.  I decide that sushi is back on the menu.  I haven't had an infusion in over a year and those jackasses never tell me anything about my test results unless I ask, so fuck it, I'm having spicy tuna rolls.  Even J seems a little thrown when she realized that most of the sushi menu has tempura (wheat) or cream cheese.  Plus I'm not eating soy.  I've never had sushi without soy sauce.  The waiter is patient and accommodating.  He brings us fish tacos, with the fish blackened instead of fried, and the tortillas on the side for J, and lettuce on the side for me to make lettuce wraps instead of tacos.  And a sauce that I can use for the tacos and the sushi.  It was good.

I stayed longer than I should have.  But she was the perfect person to see at that time.  She, probably more than anyone, understands me today.  But I was almost half an hour late to get my hair cut.  And I noticed while I was driving that my contacts are really unhappy about the crying.  I can barely see out of my left eye.  I get nervous that I will have to take an eye test at the DMV.  I tipped her a little extra.  I was just disappointed because she hurried since I was late, so it was not at all relaxing either.  And I was not feeling so great, getting some pain.  Probably from all that dairy this morning, right?

Next I headed to the DMV.  I still couldn't see well, and I was in quite a bit of pain when I arrived but it waned and I got my new photo taken and got my new driver's license.  My face looks (is) fat, but it's a good picture.

I thought about getting a pedicure before going home, but at this point, I'm mentally and physically beat up.  Whipped.  Tortured.  I came home to cry.  And take my contacts out.  I can't see clearly.  I just see how much my life sucks.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

It's not working. And stuff.

I've been eating "allergen-free" for about two weeks.  I'm having a pain day.  This is my second or third during this timeframe.  It comes and goes.  My husband thinks Tuesdays are bad for me, but I was already headed in this direction Sunday night, Monday morning.  I'm pretty frustrated.  I have my second appointment with the naturopathic doctor tomorrow.  None too soon, I guess.  I have a glass of wine and a few tidbits of the day:


I am below the 180 mark again!  Let's see if I can stay in the 170s for a while.


Someone in my office mentioned Revo Burrito having a gluten-free menu.  I was planning to go to Safeway at lunch to look for figs, so I decided to go.  Their menu (link includes music--prepare to mute on the lower left) reminds us that the kitchen is not gluten-free, just certain menu items are expected to be.  I had the chicken fajita rice bowl.  O. M. G.  It was good.  And enough for lunch and dinner.  For some reason, they gave me flour tortillas on the side--those are not g/f, but the chips are.


Someone in my office likes to "hide" his chocolate stash in my office.  I asked him to take it because I can't eat any of it.  (as compensation for storage of course.)  So he (and the new gal) has been on a mission to find chocolate without soy lecithin.  He found some at Whole Paycheck Foods.  I tried this one, just one square.  Um, yum!

Monday, August 29, 2011

I can cook

I wasn't feeling great earlier but I'm feeling okay now.  So I cooked chicken for dinner, with a sauce we picked up at Sunflower Market, and some brown jasmine rice.   I added water after pulling the chicken out, to make a saucier sauce.  I thought it was pretty good.  I have a half a jar left and my husband didn't really like it.  *sigh*

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Outback and Sunflower Market

We took my grandma out for her 85th birthday.  We agreed on Outback near her house, so I checked out the gluten-free menu ahead of time.  I had the chicken and ribs combo.  Instead of the fries, I got mashed potatoes.  Maybe I should have had veggies, no seasoning, but I love mashed potatoes.  I started with the salad, no croutons.  It was a good meal.

We went to Sunflower Market before heading home.  My husband got some beer, I got some wine, and we picked up a lot of groceries.  I wish they had one on our side of town.

I picked up some Coconut ice cream, both the coconut flavor and the chocolate flavor.  The coconut flavor was okay in a "I can take it or leave it" kind of way; the chocolate was better.  They are pretty good mixed together.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Today's dining delight: dinner at Wendy's.  Wendy's has one of those websites that people with allergy issues are so excited to find.  (There is a separate page for you if you only need gluten-free.)  I found quite a few items I can have--from an allergy standpoint--and I point that out because I did run across some information previously about what's in a Frosty and I don't eat them anymore.  By looking through their list, I found out that American cheese has soy in it; I can have the (yummy) chili, some salad and dressings, as well as the hamburger patty or Ultimate Chicken filet.


Some writers are so poetic when they write.  It's so unexpected when someone is writing about chronic illness such as MS.

This illness, any chronic illness, is a curse, a vile and venal monstrosity that is the very definition of horrible. But despite this beast attempting to consume me, I can endeavor to rise above, to mindfully claim each moment as my own, and to control my emotions rather than have them control me, thereby creating my own reality and snatching it from the gaping maw of illness.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Fajitas and drinks

My schedule was a little crazy today, so I met my husband and our west side bowling friends at Fajitas rather than going home and then going there.  They have corn chips and awesome salsa.  We ordered shrimp and chicken fajitas and some sides, including the mixed grilled vegetables (it's a starter, but it goes with the meal).  The fajitas come with these great little flour tortillas, which I skipped.  I had the meat and veggies with some cheese and salsa.  It was actually filling, and of course, as yummy as expected.  (If you go to Fajitas, get fajitas--they are great at fajitas but I've heard not so much for the non-fajita menu.)

We headed to another friend's birthday party at a nearby bowling alley.  It was fun.  Everyone was drinking beer, so I ordered a "Honey Jack lemonade" drink on the menu.  I watched the bartender make it, and was a little disappointed that I ordered it.  There was no lemonade.  It was Jack (I don't think it was the "Honey Jack" in the picture), Grand Marnier, Sweet & Sour mix, and a splash of something else.  It was okay, but so sweet (I'm not sure that's the right adjective...) that I only drank half of it.  Oh well, live and learn.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


I occassionally go to Luci's Healthy Marketplace for lunch.  They have some groceries as well, so I thought I might be able to pick up a few things.  I love, love, love their green tea.  When I arrived, I checked the lunch menu and felt at a loss for what to eat, so I checked out the groceries.  I picked up some grits and unsweetened shredded coconut, checked out the chocolate bars (yes, it's true, they have soy lecithin), and headed to the cooler.

While I was checking out the yogurt, a couple of ladies at a table started talking to me.  One was Luci!  We talked about our health issues and she introduced me to her husband, Ken.  She recommended a new-ish yogurt so I picked some up.  It is full-fat, but I'm trying to eat good fats rather than so many low-fat food products.  She also talked to me about their lunch menu.  She recommended the burger with no bun.  She pointed out that turkey or veggie burgers often have wheat (bread crumbs) and/or eggs as binder since they don't naturally bind as well.  She also thought one of the soups and a turkey roll-up would work.  She said the potato salad doesn't have mayo so I could have that on the side.

I ordered the burger, no bun, with bacon, cheese, and mushrooms, and on the side, potato salad.  And the chef brought me a burger with the toppings, no bun.  And no potato salad.  Instead there were tater tots, which Luci had told me I couldn't eat.  He told me they don't have the potato salad, so he brought me fruit.  I am not a fan of the mixed fruit--everything always ends up tasting like the melon.  My burger was not cooked well enough at all, so I took it to go and microwaved it at the office.  Then it was very good.  And the tea is still amazing.

Later, I tried the honey yogurt.  It.  was.  so.  so.  good.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Bertha's and Seasons 52

I needed to pick up a quick lunch on my way to my afternoon meetings out of office.  I stopped at Bertha's Cafe and got my new standard, the chopped salad (greens, chicken, avocado, bacon, blue cheese, veggies) and the soup.  The soup was their gluten-free mango gazpacho.  I get the large so I will have some left for later.  I forgot that I would have it with me during an afternoon of meetings.  So I ate it all during the first meeting (where others were also eating.)

I went to dinner with some professionals I know and volunteer with.  I was a little nervous when someone said this place is known for their great flatbread.  Once we got menus, I thought it would work out.  The table did get a flatbread and I didn't have any.  The waitress told us that everything on the menu is under 500 calories (it was less but I don't remember the exact number).  I found a fish dish that I thought would work.  When I ordered, I asked if it had soy and she said she would check with the kitchen; it didn't, so we were good to go.  The fish came on a bed of vegetables and black beans.  It was amazing.  For a nice dinner out, I recommend!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I'm not a Hoarder. Now close my pantry door.

Don't judge me, but I tend to stock (overstock?) my kitchen pretty well.  I'm sure it's residual from my childhood of non-abundance.  With my new restrictions, I have started cleaning out my pantry.  Again, since I did this when I started taking certain chemical ingredients out of my diet.  The wheat and eggs are pretty predictable, but I'm finding soy in a lot of things I didn't expect.  My canned tuna in water says vegetable broth (soybean), so I assume the tuna pouches that also say vegetable broth, without saying soybean, probably have it too.

So out goes the Nutella, the cans of chicken broth, the soup, most of the pasta and cereal.  I'm rearranging so that I can keep some items for entertaining although I can't eat it, and some items for my husband, although I can't eat it.  It's a little annoying to see all the food I have bought and can't eat.

Monday, August 22, 2011


A large group of my coworkers went to lunch at Zipps today.  I know it's kind of bar food, but I thought I would easily be able to eat there.  I think I probably can but I have to be more specific.  I ordered a chicken sandwich; it came with some toppings, including cheese and BBQ sauce.  I told the waitress that I couldn't have wheat or flour so no bun.  I got a side salad instead of the fries or other fried choices.  Everything was good, although too much sauce and dressing, and the salad was covered in croutons.  Really, croutons?  When I ordered no bun?  *sigh*

Sunday, August 21, 2011


K top row, me middle, A bottom row

average 113!

Saturday, August 20, 2011


I was invited to join a few friends for lunch at Yardhouse.  I asked if they had green iced tea and they do.  I wasn't using sweetener but the waiter told me that they have honey sticks.  That sounds yummy.

I read through the menu, skipping the pages of beers and mixed drinks.  I found a dish that sounded like it might work for me, but when I asked the waiter if it had soy, he said yes.  So I had a walnut pear salad.  The pears were not good, but the rest of the salad was very good.  Unfortunately, I was not full; in fact, I was hungry, so I had something else to eat when I got home.

Survey says...

Monthly survey is complete.

A gluten-free education

We had a potluck party, although I did cook some chicken and vegetables.  Several friends brought things I could eat; several brought things I obviously could not eat.  (including all of the desserts, although I ate the frosting from one of the gourmet cupcakes, while my friend ate the rest.)

One of the potluck dishes was rice with beans and chicken.  I had some but then, when they were leaving, and I decided to keep some, I found out that it was a yellow rice packet.  I used to eat those (and really liked them) but stopped due to some objectionable ingredients.  That certainly may have changed but I don't know.  She told me that it might have MSG--that's okay right?  Later, I got a text that it had a "minuscule" amount of soy.  It's not their fault that I can't eat soy and don't eat MSG, but this education is going to be rough!

A friend posted on Facebook that she made Ethopian food for dinner; one of her friends listed a link to her blog post on how to make the bread--gluten-free.  I have been browsing her blog and found this list of tips for the newly gluten-free.  "Don't trust anyone or anything.and "Don't worry about hurting someone's feelings. So many people have the right intentions and will cook what they think is a GF meal for you, only to find out that they added soy sauce (which has wheat as a main ingredient) or used a mix with flour or barley in it. I know you feel badly for this person because they worked so hard to please you, but don't eat it just to make them feel better. You'll get sick and they will feel even worse. Just politely refuse the food and tell them how much you really appreciate their effort and caring. Move on..."  Wow--this is going to be even harder than I thought.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Salad Bar

A good size group at work decided to resume "Salad Bar" day.  I brought dressing, including one I love and can still eat (Drew's Roasted Tomato) and two that I can no longer eat (Sprouts dressings containing soy).  I filled up on salad, with toppings including carrots, garbanzo beans, ham and turkey, red bell peppers, beets, green and black olives.  I skipped the radishes and croutons.  I felt full but needed a snack a couple hours later.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Slice of Sicily and IHOP

A few coworkers were going to Slice of Sicily for lunch and they invited me.  They all ordered the lunch special--a slice and a salad.  There were several chicken dishes on the menu, so I asked if they were breaded.  She told me that they were not.  I clarified there is no flour and she said there is.  At that point, I thought I would end up having a salad for lunch but once she understood I couldn't have wheat, she said they could leave the flour out for me.  The chicken came with spaghetti or fries, so she brought the fries and garlic bread for the rest of the table since I was paying for it anyway.  So for twice the price of the lunch special everyone else got, I had a salad and a fantastic chicken dish.  It was a pretty light lunch.  Am I going to get used to this?

We have club meetings about once a month, currently at IHOP.  Their breakfast is really the only thing I have found good, so I thought I might have a difficult time.  I read through the breakfast menu, and skimmed the rest of the menu.  I ended up getting a side salad and a side of turkey bacon.  I did not feel that I would order either again.  I think we are going to look for another meeting place, but it is hard to find somewhere with a separate room that we can reserve nearly monthly at no charge.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A naturopathic doctor, a student, and an MS patient

I ate an apple with peanut butter and iced coffee with creamer on my way to the appointment at the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medical.  I arrived on time, with my paperwork filled out.  I went to the restroom--yay, it's all working today.  The student, H, took me to a room to get my vitals.  She explains that the next room is being set up with cameras.  We go to the room and I've already forgotten about the technology.

Dr. H arrives and starts asking a lot of questions about my history while H takes notes in her laptop.  She has me (overemotional, more than usual right now) crying in no time.  We discuss the MS diagnosis, symptoms, progression, treatment, my physical therapy, the car accident, my previous weight gain/loss/gain, family, childhood, medical history.  I let her know that I've been chasing an answer to this pain for about 5 years, with no real results, but lots of comments from doctors who think I should lose weight and it will go away, always ignoring the fact that I gained this weight because of the pain.  The pain started when I was thin.

I gained weight over several years after I was in a serious car accident during my college years.  I finally did a "nutrition" program through a gym and lost the weight around the time we got Cassi, then a puppy but now 9 years old--I remember because she gained weight at about the rate I lost it.  The program was a low-fat, high-chemical diet.  I say high-chemical because I was eating a lot of "sugar-free" products.  I lost more than 50 pounds, but MS came along soon after.  Dr. H seems to believe (and I may agree) that the program I used to lose weight has contributed to my body's poor functioning.

She has me lay on the table and does an exam, but not a "normal" exam.  She feels certain pulse points and tells H her observations as we are talking.  She feels my shoulders, neck, head, pelvis, sacrum; many of the comments sound like I'm back at Dr. T's office for physical therapy.  She talks about tightness and tension and finds the tender areas and misalignments.  She also feels that I'm holding on to a lot of trauma.  (I can't imagine what trauma!)

She has me sit up and take 4 tablets from a lid, put them under my tongue and let her know when they soften to mush.  I do this with 4 different types of tablets.  H later explains that I should not touch the tabs, only take them from the lid as the active agent is on the outside.  Based on the rate of dissolving, Dr. H determines which ones my body needs.  The first is the one she precribes; it is for liver function.  We all know that the MS drugs are wrecking my liver.  She essentially said that my liver is being taxed.  After my birthday celebration this weekend, she is going to want to make some changes to improve my liver function.

We talk about the fatigue, when I remember it starting. I first noticed when I would fall asleep watching something interesting on TV.  Dr. H observes that my body is exhausted and I must be going on pure willpower. This makes me cry--I have felt this way for so long.  Now that I think of it, I think it was there earlier, that I felt like (and I feel like) I can't do the things that people normally do, or it is such a struggle. But I just keep going.

H asks me questions about my diet, discussing breakfast, lunch, and dinner separately, while she takes notes.  She asks about my breakfast today while examining me, listening to my rib area with the stethescope.  Apparently my body is grumbling about the light breakfast.

Dr. H indicates that they will be able to help me; the treatment will be a dialogue.  She can't say that MS progression will stop or even reverse, but there are steps we can take.  They will do another allergy test if they need to fine tune the strategy in the future.  We will work on improving my body's function, and they are going to recommend a lot of changes.

We also talked about my non-herpes diagnosis.  There is some mention of Candida, which is a yeast related gut problem and I have read about since my MS diagnosis.  The discussion of why I thought I had herpes since very young childhood brings up that we had always thought that my mom's husband gave it to me.  If I had these sores since childhood, and it ends up being a Candida problem, does that mean that I have had MS symptoms my entire life?  Just asking, not that I asked the doctor.

She asked me about swelling or puffiness and I said I didn't have anything noticable.  Later, I realize that I have noticed something.  In fact, I want to get a tattoo for my birthday but I'm unsure since my ankles are often swollen.  But no one notices so I thought it might be my imagination.  She examined my ankles, which don't appear very swollen to me at the moment; she agrees there is some swelling.  She thinks I should wait a few months for the tattoo--my husband will be so happy.

Besides the "kali phos" for liver function, she prescribes a probiotic (I ended up with Culturelle), and instead of fish oil, she recommends a flax/borage oil pill for better absorption.  I got my supplies from the medicinary there and made a followup appointment.  I was at the office for two and a half hours, so I'm sure I have missed a lot of the details here.  I'm hopeful that I will see changes, but anxious that I won't.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Totally. Freaking. Out.

I got the results of my allergy test.  I am allergic to: egg whites, wheat, and bakers yeast.  What?!  What do I even do with that information?  I think I'm in shock.  I'll be back.


Okay, I'm back.  I am so emotional right now, a lot of mixed emotions.  I cried during lunch with a friend, and every time I think about it, I want to keep crying.  For some reason, I didn't cry when I told my husband, but I want to cry all the rest of the time.

I feel overwhelmed.  I feel both undereducated and like I know a lot.  I feel hopeful that my pain will stop when I figure out what to eat and not eat.  I'm terrified that it won't make any difference.  I feel angry that I am just getting this information.  I feel annoyed by people who won't help me change, and a little annoyed at people who don't understand how difficult that change will be.  Or who don't understand at all (don't want to understand, IMO), but that's another matter.  I am grateful for the support I am receiving, as soon as I asked for it, even from those who don't know anything about it but they care.

Out of all this, I took action.  I called and made an appointment at the College of Naturopathic Medicine, to see Dr. H and a student tomorrow.  I will report back.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Is this my prelude to courage?

On Friday, I left work early (but not as early as my husband M would have liked--I had a meeting that ran an hour late) so we could pack and head up the mountain.  We got on the road before 6:30.  Apparently, that is about the time that a hay truck caught on fire, so I-17 was closed and there was no way around.  So we were delayed an hour and half or more.  M even took the dogs out to potty while we were parked on the freeway.  Once we got past that, our drive to Flagstaff was pretty uneventful.

We were at the RSVC hunting test on Saturday.  There was controlled burning so it was very smoky driving into the area, but it cleared up after a couple hours.  I walked the dogs down a wildlife trail for some exercise, but they also got to run in the field later.  We went to dinner with some of the club members.  One of them wanted to discuss my MS.  La Fonda was awesome and everyone seemed to like it.  Although I had 2 margaritas, I had a beer when we got back to the room while I was reading.

Sunday was beautiful.  I took the dogs for another walk.  I was annoyed later by a lady with a puppy; she was unaware that not all dogs like puppies.  We didn't have a problem but another dog snapped at the puppy, and then she still wasn't paying attention so I was rude and told her that if she was paying attention to her puppy, maybe it wouldn't be eating cow shit.  As the day progressed, I went to the porta potty several times to make a deposit.  I was feeling less well but trying to do all my coping techniques.  M drove out of the area and we switched just before we hit the downpour.  Since the truck was super dirty, it was a nice nature-made car wash.  By the time I was driving down the mountain, I knew the pain was going to get worse and there wasn't really anything I could do about it.

As we got close to Phoenix, I saw a sign that the 101 was closed westbound, so I thought I'd have to go to I-10.  And then I saw it.  The exit for the 303.  And I took it.  And I saw 3 cars for the whole section going west.  Traffic picked up on the southbound section, but it was a great detour for us.  We were excited to find this route.

Unfortunately, when we got home, I was in a lot of pain.  It came and went like it does so I helped unpack and get laundry started and cleaned the laundry room (where we had enclosed Jill so she wouldn't make messes throughout the house).  And then I gave in.

And then all day today, it was more pain.  Okay, it came and went, but when it came, it really wanted my attention.  I was crying and barely able to walk and in the bathroom, unable to pee, and just generally miserable.  The last hour of the day, a coworker noticed and the sympathy got me crying.  But when I was alone again, I was what I think of as depressed, for me.  I don't "get" suicide, but I certainly "wish I was dead" sometimes.  But more than that, I'm pissed off.  I'm mad.  I'm angry at my body.

Anyway, I made it home and remained in pain until late.  So I was completely unproductive.  Well, I did some reading, but otherwise, I did nothing on my list.  And I ran across this article that caught my eye a while ago.  The author says:

At my first session, after I’ve wept for an hour, my new therapist startles me with this pronouncement: “Depression is anger turned inward.” Later, a recently divorced girlfriend shares with me a quote by Eric Hoffer: “Anger is the prelude to courage.” I write this down in my journal and look at it, frequently. It strengthens something inside me, bit by bit.

Nhat Hanh explains that the mother holds the baby not only to comfort him but to divine the source of his pain. That, too, is our job when we experience anger: to hold ourselves and know where we’re hurt.

So I do what the PT instructed: be still; listen.  But I only hear pain.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Trial update

Today I had my blood taken at Sonora.  The technician told me she was going to stick me even though I told her not to tell me.  grrr.  N from Hope told me that next visit will include Dr. M, but I don't have to see Dr. G or do all the tests (peg, disappearing eye chart, and stuff) at Hope anymore.  Then she took my vitals and we were done.  Pretty quick and easy.

Friday, August 5, 2011

A new shiny doctor

I decided to tackle one of those items that keeps moving forward on my task list: find and see a new primary care physician.  I started on this a while ago, so I have a list started.  I call to schedule an appointment.  Since I am sick, they ask if I want to come in right away and see the nurse practitioner.  Yes, please.  I stayed home sick since I was unable to get a good night of sleep with all the coughing, and I'm still coughing.

I was on time (barely) and then waited a while to get in.  The aide (I don't know what her title was) took me into a room for vitals.  She seemed like a total ditz.  She didn't know what MS stood for.  Not a good sign.  I'm a little nervous.  She leaves and I wait a while.

The nurse practitioner arrives and spends quite a bit of time with me, discussing my current issues with the cold as well as my other medical issues.  My cold is still in the throat but she is concerned that it will spread so she prescribes a Zpack antibiotic, as well as Mucinex for the congestion and cough syrup.

As we discuss my current treatment for MS and thryoid condition, she is glad that I am having my Vitamin D monitored.  She suggests that I go to the College of Naturopathic Medicine as they will offer more options without taking away anything I am doing through conventional medicine.  She also has my blood taken and sent for an allergy test.  They will test for about 25 food allergens.  She suggests the CNM will probably do their own testing.

I thought it was a productive visit and I feel like I have been and am on the right path, but need to keep looking for solutions and improvement.  (And, I crossed "find PCP" off my master task list, and add "schedule CNM."  Neverending.) 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The good, the bad, and the coughing

I didn't want to go to work with this horrible cough, but I had an appointment in Scottsdale with the endocrinologist around lunch time.  I waited longer to get in than I was expecting, but I actually saw Dr. R, not one of the nurse practitioners.  I felt bad about having a huge coughing fit during our visit, but some water helped.  Kinda.

She asked me if I was waiting an hour to consume anything else after taking my Synthroid.  I told her usually yes, but sometimes it might be less time.  Apparently my tsh increased from 1 to 7 over about a six month period.  She wants to increase my Synthroid dose from 75 to 88, and maybe more after that.  She recommended I take it when I hit the snooze button or if I get up early to pee.

She also said that my Vitamin D was 66.  Since it should be over 50, I can decrease my dose to every other day.  My B12 and folic acid were good.

I left feeling drained.  I went home and did nothing. at. all.  This "cold" is getting me.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Confused much?

When I was about 19, I was living with a guy.  We had met while we were in high school, although he went to a different school.  He had never been with anyone else, and he suddenly had a rash on his manhood.  As he was diagnosed with herpes and it was discussed, I realized I had this recurring "rash" for as long as I can remember.  I found out through family that it was very likely I got it when I was a little girl.  I was devastated to find out that I gave this horrible thing to a guy I was so in love with.

When I had my second back surgery, I had the worst outbreak of this rash I have ever had.  It came all the way down onto my upper inner thighs.  I was still not officially diagnosed with herpes, but the doctor looked and said that's what it looked like.

I tried to get in to the gynecologist during an outbreak to get diagnosed but I was always too late.

A couple of weeks ago, I had a couple of sores and decided to get into the doctor asap.  I still had a sore when I went to the doctor, and she scraped it (ouch).  She said it looked like a herpes outbreak.  And then she said they could also take blood for testing in case the sore was too old.  Really?  Why scrape then?  She gave me a prescription and sent me on my way.  I took the prescription until my sores were gone, as directed.

My test results came back negative.  It was a recording, so I called to clarify.  The nurse said the blood test says I don't have herpes; she had no other information for me.  Like what is going on with my body.  I don't have herpes.  I haven't had it for the twenty years I thought I had it.  So WTF is wrong with me?  Is it possible the test is wrong?  Are we done?

Monday, August 1, 2011

I have a plan. Sorta, kinda.

I recently attended a seminar and have been modifying my planner (calendar, tasks, etc) system.  It's obviously still a work in progress--I wonder if it always will be a work in progress--but I do see that I made a dent in my to-do list, now my "master task list."  Unfortunately, I had to move a lot from last month to this month.

I also notice that I have a lot of recurring actions, so I am pondering a sticker or label system that might allow me to skip writing these items out every month, week, or day.  For example, every month, I need to create and send the VSWC newsletter; every week, I need to do weekly planning and bill paying; every day, I need to do daily planning and exercise.

When I have browsing time, I will look for calendar stickers and maybe downloadable pages that can be edited and printed.

I got a new phone recently, so I am able to see all of my calendars together finally.  I think I like it!