Monthly Archives: February 2013

Feeling better!

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Guys, I’m so excited! One, I’m feeling a lot better. I managed to get a full night’s sleep last night, and woke up feeling a heck of a lot more like myself. I also found out last night that my dad had something almost identical to this a few weeks ago — sweats and chills, body aches, etc — and that his was about a 24 hour bug as well. So hopefully this being sick nonsense is over!

I’m also excited because I had an epiphany today. I’ve found that I really, really love belts. A few months ago I discovered that I love scarves, and now it’s belts. This all might sound a bit shallow and flippant, but it’s a huge deal for me. I’ve always been the type of girl who only wore jeans, t-shirts, and sweatshirts. I realize now that that’s because I was really uncomfortable with my body; I was trying to hide behind layers of fabric. Well, I’m still uncomfortable with my body. I’d love to lose about 40 lbs, and I’m trying. I want to be thin and feel healthy, but I’m definitely not there yet. Because of all this, I’ve remained that jeans and t-shirt girl over the years, who always tries to hide her body. But over the past few months, I’ve found little things that have made me feel a lot better, and a lot more beautiful. A scarf here, a belt there — it’s helping me reshape my thinking about myself and develop a more positive attitude and outlook.

I still look in the mirror and typically hate what I see, but, with the right clothes, I’m slowly starting to change that reaction. I think I’ll always look at myself and find flaws and zero in on the fat that I want to get rid of and think of the stretch marks under my shirt and wish they weren’t there, but I’m starting to focus less on what’s underneath the clothes and more on my body and how I look as a whole. I went out today and bought another belt, a brown one this time (so I’m not up to a black one, a brown one, and a turquoise one!), and then came back and tried some different outfits on. Oh my gosh! A simple belt has transformed my clothes! I had shirts that I thought were too baggy, and made me look shapeless or boxy — not any more! I had things that were too plain — no longer! I tried on outfit after outfit, and felt better and better. I think it’s because I’m beginning to like my body’s curvier shape. I’ll never be one of those waif -ish girls, and I don’t want to be. I want to be fit and healthy, but I want to keep my curves. I want to be happy with what I see in the mirror.

I’m just feeling so much better about pretty much everything today. I wish I had discovered some of these things sooner — I might have been happier my freshman and sophomore years — but I’m glad I’m finding them out at all. I kind of feel like I’ve been on What Not to Wear, but without Stacey and Clinton guiding me; I’m proud that I’m managing to get it together on my own. Who knows? Maybe I’ll finally be able to pull off finding a boyfriend. But for now, I’ll keep working on making myself feel better, as well as working towards losing that weight. If I can get my fibro and flare-ups under control, maybe it’ll even be possible!

Can you just keep put for a bit, please?

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Looks like I’m in for a miserable night. The nerve pain from my arm has jumped down into both of my legs. Honestly, I wish it had stayed in my arms. Why can’t it just stay put for a bit so that I can get used to and learn to deal with it? Does it have to keep roving around without warning? Every time I figure out a good way to deal with the pain I’m having on a particular day, it’s suddenly gone and appeared somewhere else in my body. Please, just hold still and stay in your place. I can deal with arms, but legs are much, much more miserable, and a heating pad does little for nerve pain. I’ve taken a melatonin pill, so hopefully that’ll help me down, but I’m not holding out too much hope. When I’m just laying there, trying and failing to sleep, is when that type of pain is the worst. I can feel it shooting all the way down into my toes. And I can barely touch my legs without making it flare up even worse. I guess I’ll just read a ridiculous amount of the fourth book in the Wheel of Time Saga until I pass out from sheer exhaustion (I’ve read up to ten, but then I stopped and now I can’t remember what all happened so that I can finally finish the series! I’m going to be reading these forever!).

On the bright side, I did watch the first two parts of Parade’s End on HBO. Holy crap, can Benedict Cumberbatch act. I cried in both parts because of him. That man is absolutely delicious as well. And I adore everything BBC. I can’t wait to watch the next two parts tomorrow night, even if that means going to bed a bit later than usual. If you haven’t seen it, find some way to! You won’t regret it!

And now off to bed with me. Wish me luck D:

Get yo’self under control, body

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Meh. That pretty much sums up today. I went to bed fairly early last night so that I could get a good’s nice sleep and be up super early for my eight AM class. That plan didn’t go well. I spent the entire night alternating between sweating from just a sheet and getting horrible chills when I threw the sheet off (often within seconds), in addition to nearly getting sick. I managed to find my thermometer on my night stand (with minimal knocking of things off, for once) to monitor myself during the night. Average temperature of the night: about 95.8 degrees. What?!

I really, really don’t understand my body. Incredibly low temperature…but sweats at the same time? The chills make sense, the sweats do not. My temperature has gone back up a bit over the course of the day, but it’s still a degree or so lower than usual (I’m normally at about 97.9-98.4 degrees). It feels like I have a fever, but I don’t. I’m really low. I just don’t get it.

I’ve also been having neck pain on the right side for the past day or so, and have thought that it might be lymph-node related. It hurts with my pulse, and comes and goes in waves. Feeling around a bit, it feels like that side might be a bit swollen around the muscle, but I’m not very good at judging those types of things. I’ve also had a bit of intermittent flank pain (right side) and cloudy urine for the past week or so. I almost brought up the cloudy urine with my doctor, but I was already unloading a bunch of things on her, so I thought that one was less important and pushed it aside for the moment. Perhaps I shouldn’t have done that. I haven’t noticed anything in my diet that could be causing an increase in the cloudiness, and I’m worried that it could be protein. I dunno.

I’m strongly resisting going to the student health center. For one, they’re completely incompetent. The last few times I’ve gone for things, it was a total waste of my time. But, at the same time, this could be something a bit more serious that I shouldn’t ignore (especially considering the cloudy urine and bit of pain). I’m usually a “better safe than sorry” person, but there’s another factor. If I go in thinking that I could have something like a kidney infection, this will be I think the fifth time I’ve had a false alarm on kidney-related issues. Every other time, I’ve gone in with kidney infection-like symptoms and they’ve found nothing. I feel like it’s worthless to try to go in again. They’ll just find nothing and send me home with instructions to use my heating pad. I hate that feeling of being sent away with no answers and more questions.

And my fibro is also flaring up again. I’m worried that this reduction of my meds is going to cause a lot of problems. I spent an hour or two feeling like my right arm was in a vice and being stabbed. It’s abated for now, but who knows where it will roam next?

Meh. I dunno. I guess I’ll see how I do tonight and in the morning, and then decide whether or not to make an appointment. In the mean time, I’ll just keep watching television (got to see all of Fried Green Tomatoes this afternoon — love that movie! — and am now watching I (Almost) Got Away With It — again, meh), sitting with my heating pad to try to put a stop to this horrible fibro flare-up, and fretting about the classes that I’ve missed today. I tried e-mailing my professors to explain the situation and try to figure out what to do about the drawing and the paper that I had due today, but I’ve gotten no replies. Hopefully my assignments will be accepted, and hopefully I’m getting worried about nothing health-wise! I just really need someone to force my body back in line and stop this nonsense. Kidney infections? Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Time to get that memory back!

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So I went to the doctor today for a follow-up on my meds. I feel like I just kind of dumped a whole bunch of problems on her, but that’s her job, I guess. One of my issues was my hips popping and clicking when I walk, and feeling loose and unstable. I get to go visit the Sports Medicine department for an evaluation. Yay. I feel like, I just finished PT, and now it’s time for more musculoskeletal-related evaluations? Oh well, I guess you have to do what you have to do. Hopefully they’ll be able to fix whatever’s going on with just some more PT.

But the bigger problem I brought up with her was my memory issues. She was definitely concerned, especially when I told her the incident where I basically forgot for a few seconds how to roll down my car window. That definitely shouldn’t be happening to a 21-year old. So I got a bunch of blood tests ordered (took a few tries to find a vein. I really hate my tiny veins, since I have to get blood drawn so often. And I hate needles, so it was even worse. And, on top of that, the tech kept telling me what she was doing and how she needed to keep wiggling the needle, and I was just like “STOP! I don’t want to know this, just draw my blood and let me go hyperventilate somewhere by myself!”), and she’s reduced my Lyrica from 225mg 2xday to 150mg 2xday, thinking that the meds are probably causing my memory problems.

While I really want to get this memory stuff resolved, I’m also worried about reducing my medications. I feel like my pain is pretty well under control, with bearable break-through pain. What’s going to happen when we almost cut that in half? I’m worried that my pain level is going to go way, way up, and that I’ll have a harder time managing. That’s not something that I want to deal with during the end of my final(ish) undergrad semester, while I’m working on grad school stuff and completing my final major classes. But I guess we’ll just have to see — we can always increase it again if we have to.

Not a very bad appointment, over all. The blood draw was uncomfortable, and I had to get a tetanus shot, but hopefully I’ll be able to get the hip problems and the memory issues resolved with minimal problems!

Not enough

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Okay, I want to write about something that really, really pisses me off: bullying, and how schools deal with it. The other day I got on Instagram and I saw that my cousin (we’ll just call her my cousin for simplicity — she’s actually the daughter of my dad’s second cousin. So whatever that makes her) had taken a screenshot of another Instagram account. The person had taken another girl’s photos from her personal Instagram account and had written “whore” and “slut” over them, and their user name used this girl’s name and called her a slut.

I was furious when I saw this. I study bullying a lot — because of stuff that happened with my younger sister when she was in middle school and high school, it really infuriates me, and I want to help find some way to make it stop. Bullying has grown and morphed as we’ve gained more technology, with kids using anything and everything that they can in order to hurt others. Instagram is no exception to that, but this was the first time that I had seen it firsthand. There were some of the girl’s friends on the account defending her and  reporting it to Instagram Police, but it’s still up. It’s been reported probably fifty times and it’s still there, open for everyone to see and open for the person to keep humiliating her. But it’s not even Instagram and it’s lack of action that’s pissed me off the most.

No, what infuriates me is the girl’s school. I’m just the type of person who can’t let stuff like this go — I figure it’s always better to be safe than sorry, and that the school should know what’s going on. I found the Facebook account of the girl being bullied and found her school. I then called them, wanting to at least let someone know what was going on. I got transfered seven times. No one knew what to do with this report of bullying, especially cyber bullying (a lot of them acted like they had never heard of it, and maybe they hadn’t!). I started out in the main office, then I was transfered to the academic office, then a specific person in the academic office, then back to the main office, then to the guidance office…and so on. I eventually reached a man who I assume was some sort of an administrator. He was super nice…but he honestly had no idea what to do. I gave him all of the information about the page, e-mailed him the link, and told him that I knew that there was no way to find out from the page who had created it, but that I just wanted someone in the school system to know that this was going on, and maybe poke around. He told me he would try, and that was the end of that conversation. Again, super nice, but pretty clueless on what to do.

Why do schools not have some system in place to record incidences like this? Why do they not have a system of action in place to deal with this “new” cyber bullying? People wonder why bullying is so rampant in schools, and why it goes unnoticed or ignored for so long — this is why. There’s no system. They get reports and probably nothing happens with those reports. The bullying continues unabated, and with worse consequences. If I were an administrator in a school, I would create a system that allows bullying incidences to be logged and tracked — that way, they can see if reports point to one student getting bullied regularly, or one student doing the bullying all the time. At the moment, it’s chaos. Sure, now this one guy knows what’s been happening, but he’ll probably never do anything with the information. It’ll probably sit on his desk as the bullying continues, ignored.

My only consolation in this incident is that at least the girl being bullied has a lot of friends backing her up and defending her on that account. That’ll give her some emotional protection from the bully/bullies who made the account. But the sad thing is that a lot of victims don’t have all of those friends defending them. They go it alone and struggle to keep their heads up in the face of such vicious prodding. We’ve seen over and over again what the outcome of that can be. They get to the point where they don’t want to live in a world where they’re constantly the victim. And that can lead to a few outcomes, most of them not good. We’ve seen a lot of kids take their own lives. We’ve seen kids take the lives of other kids. But we’ve also seen kids start amazing programs to help others who are bullied like themselves, but they are more rare. Often, the damages to those kids aren’t physical — they’re emotional, and that damage stays with them forever. It’s time to do something to stop bullying, and to actually help these kids. I only hope that schools wake up soon, and that it doesn’t happen because of another mass shooting or suicide, because they’re not doing enough to stop it now. We need to wake up to this problem and fix it before that can happen again, because we’re not doing enough.

Everyone should watch this video with its spoken poem. I cried, it was so beautiful and powerful. It’s time to find a way to end bullying:

Slowly but surely getting healthier!

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Yay! I graduated physical therapy today! I even have a t-shirt to prove it! I’ve spent the past eight weeks going every Friday to try and fix my pelvic pain. Before any of this started, I had never heard of a pelvic floor physical therapist. When I finally did hear of them, I was like “Ew, that sounds awful and painful.” Guys. It’s not. If you have any sort of pelvic pain, find out if seeing one would help you. I went as a last resort (after CT scans, multiple internal and external ultrasounds, x-rays, blood tests, allergy tests, a colonoscopy, an upper GI endoscopy, a laparoscopy, and about seven different doctors) and found out that all my pelvic pain probably stemmed from one little thing — a rotated pelvis.

So, fun story. Some friends and I went on a trip for school to St. Louis in my senior year. While there, we decided (like the very mature almost-adults we were) to roll down the massive hill at the art museum. I rolled down and thought nothing of it afterwards except to fondly remember how one of the guys somersaulted the entire way down (it was legitimately awesome). The pelvic pain started a day or two later. Fast-forward to my first PT visit. The left side of my pelvis was rotated posteriorly, probably from that roll. So all of my muscles had to work to adjust to this unnatural position. This probably caused all of the spasms in my pelvic floor, and thus my pelvic pain. It’s taken eight weeks, but we’ve finally got my pelvis back to its natural position, through internal muscle releases, ultrasounds on my glutes, and corrections to force my pelvis back into its natural position. It’ll probably always be loose, and might rotate a bit if I step off a curb funny or jar it a lot in any way, but I now have a bunch of exercises and corrections I can do if it starts to rotate back again.

It amazes me that I went through four years of invasive tests and procedures before anyone even suggested that, hey, it might just be something with my muscles and not some horrible disease or internal deformity. Shouldn’t musculoskeletal issues be the first thing physicians rule out, since it’s the easiest to do and the least dire of diagnoses? I’m annoyed at all of my previous doctors for not thinking of this earlier, but at least someone did  suggest it (my chiropractor, actually, and then all of the others followed suit) and I was able to get help. I was terrified of going to a pelvic floor PT, and of what the visits might entail, but it really was actually nothing. My PT was understanding, knowledgeable, very conscious of my worries and fears, and just amazing overall. She made an uncomfortable situation something that was completely fine and not awkward at all. Girls (and guys, I guess — you can have pelvic floor problems, too!), don’t be afraid to find out about a pelvic floor PT if you have pelvic pain issues. It might help you more than you could imagine! It’s uncomfortable, and sometimes hard, but it’s worth it. I’m beyond happy that I finally went and pushed myself through it.

Hopefully pelvic pain will bother me no more! :’D

Blah, fibrofog

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I feel like I’ve been writing on here a lot, but I guess I just have a lot of things on my mind that I don’t normally talk about with people. And things are frustrating me.

Like right now. I’ve noticed in the past few months that my memory has gotten a heck of a lot worse. I’m going to attribute it to my fibromyalgia. One of the symptoms you can get is “fibrofog,” where you forget things easily and just generally feel like you’re in a mental fog. I’ve got it bad. I constantly go to get things and forget why I walked into a room. I’m always leaving my phone places and forgetting where. I go to say something and immediately forget what it was. Today, my roommate and came back to the apartment with Chipotle and ice cream (Happy Singles Awareness Day!) and I went to put the ice cream away…and left my car keys in the fridge. Spent forever looking for them. I’m always leaving my cup in the fridge after I put ice in it, too.

I dunno. It’s really starting to bother me — I’m starting to feel like it’s not normal at all. I’m only 21 — I shouldn’t be forgetting things constantly and forgetting words and losing my phone. I’ve never been this forgetful. Just this evening, I was getting ready to leave to drive home for the weekend. I thought I had an appointment with my PCP in the morning, before I had PT in the afternoon. I was just about to leave, I checked my calendar just to be sure of the time of the first appointment…and discovered that it’s next week, not this week. I have no idea why I had it in my brain that it was tomorrow (I tend to do this a lot, too. Also, side note — my doctor is really pissing me off. She’s messed up my prescription three times now, and she always schedules me for three months…but pushes the appointment back instead of forward a week when I can’t make the exact date work. So I always run out of Lyrica and have withdrawal symptoms. I’ve brought it up to her, and she always says she’ll make sure not to do it next time, but she never fixes it. It’s awful and infuriating and I’m considering switching doctors. ARG.).

I’ll probably bring all this up at this next doctor appointment (that’s NEXT week!) and see what she says. I feel like she thinks I’m just making things up and trying to get attention. That’s the problem with having a doctor who doesn’t specialize in fibromyalgia. They just don’t know what they’re doing. I’m probably going to look into going to a different doctor so that I can get the real care that I need, but for now I’m stuck with her. Ah, the joys of living with fibro.