Thursday, In The Emergency Room…

I’m fine now. Okay, maybe not one hundred percent fine but so much better than I was on Thursday. I just FEEL like I’m alright in comparison with…you get the idea.

The left side of my head was wracked with searing pain, I could only describe it (and again this makes NO sense)  as oozing green jello on crack cocaine wearing a choker collar, fastened way too tight. The black collar was sharp, with metal triangular studs bursting through it about to swallow my skin. I have never had a headache, a one-sided headache, that bad, deep and unrelenting before in my life. And yes, in my imagination, there was blood, messy, crimson, creepy blood dripping from all my veins into my wide open mouth.

It was the headache that went on and off for weeks but got progressively worse.  Anyone living with Fibromyalgia is no wimp, let me start by telling you that. I’ve known all kinds of chronic pain but this was new. “Join the club” did not seem like an appropriate greeting. This stabbing, shooting misery aimed directly at the left temple and whole left side of my face were like launched missiles hitting their target every single time.

I've had a migraine/headache for 6 days straig...

I was also nauseous and my left arm tingled. I was my in my war zone. Finally, after a few hours of this non-stop torture, I agreed, I even urged, to go to the Emergency Room where luckily there were no lines of people waiting ahead of me. I was so grateful that there was only one family before me that I could have started sobbing at the registration desk.

I was already dizzy, so that when the security guard on duty started asking me questions,  I just had to pry my aching head, from my folded arms on the counter, and squint to answer what my name was, my address etc. that was all I could handle.

“Have a seat” never sounded so good to me before. My husband rushed in after parking the car and with his arm around me, my head nestled into his neck, I tried desperately to hold on to my sanity with all the pain.

When they finally called my name they led me to a room which happened to house another patient with the same symptoms, it was so odd. The nurse, the lovely and sweet nurse, was amazed at both patients’ similarities and if we could have laughed, we would have but at that time we still hadn’t received  pain relief and we had no sense of humor.

Grey's Anatomy (season 1)

Grey’s Anatomy (season 1) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After what seemed like hours, the ER doctor breezed in and while questioning a few things on my chart (not confidence inspiring At ALL)” What’s a stapedectomy mean? What does the drug Savella do?” 1) ear operation 2) a drug for Fibromyalgia.

Finally, FINALLY they gave me shot of some heavenly drug with a dose of benadryl and a huge bag of saline solution. They took me for a CAT scan and insulted my brain and my age which were not the same (never mind)  as they should be and left me to doze.

The medicine wore off quickly and while all I wanted was to get out of the hospital, away from potential staph infections (I watch way too much Grey’s Anatomy) my neighbor chose another shot (not that I blamed her) and slept it off. At one point I actually wore small blue hospital gloves that embarrassed my husband, shocked the ER doctor and amused me immensely.  I left to just get out of the hospital germ zone and they gave me a Percocet to swallow on the way out. All of this is true.

We left at 1:30 am and I stumbled to bed. The next day I had three, yes, three doctor appointments: First with the Rheumatologist that my husband was hell-bent on me keeping (I regretted that. 2) My Internist (follow up from the ER and 3) New (bad-ass) Neurologist because I had no choice and I lucked out with a great doctor!!

She was an impressive, straight forward, to the point and very, very nice and I begged to be her patient to which she smiled and said she didn’t care who I made my post office appointment with and half winked….We love her. (A big thank you to my friend Phyllis.)

So, now I wait, until eleven pm, a more decent time to go to bed than 8pm. I’ve been waiting for this time, this pain pill, and my pillows all day and night. I think of it this way, nothing could be worse than the headache of yore. It won’t happen again, I hope.

*All typos and grammatical errors are due to prescription drugs that I am NOT abusing.

*”salt ur food?”

my rifght haand is clutching tht ice pack over the big bump on the lefftt hand side off my head,,  my heaed has beien pouwnding 4r days and it hasnt sto[[pped. this my not look prrtty but it sure as hlkl is genuine, though by now, if u r reading my blog this wont come as a big surprise.

My World

My World (Photo credit: GollyGforce – Living My Worst Nightmare)

this is thre fourth time i have blacked out for no s apparent reason; sondssy b sunday night was the worst, i ended up craShing intoa wall my(forget the ice pack) left thigh thrown into the table landing me on the floor with a chair over my head.

(I know I’m supposed to be icing but 2 minutes won’t kill me and if my husband comes in you will know I’m icing again.) I have no idea what caused me to go down in the first place, no idea, none. This is the fourth time this has happened and my dear internist, known as The Ice Queen, has always poo-poohed this and said just add more salt to your food. She has said, for the last twelve years, that she also has low blood pressure, and that she feels dizzy and light headed too when she stands up from a seated position. That’s all the advice she ever gave me. I swear.

Oviously that’s NOT working. I know I have low blood pressure, extremely low blood pressure and all my doctors know about it but my new Rheumatologist was the first one ever to suggest calling my Nephrologist (kidneys, weak and small, stage 3) to see if I could be given a drug that would be safe for my kidneys and bring up my blood pressure.

Aneroid sphygmomanometer with stethoscope, use...

I called both doctors early this morning. Both of them, repeat both of them were out. I know it’s just a bad coincidence but the Rheumatologist will be out all week and the Nephrologist might be back on Wednesday. The Ice Princess has to step it up, she is literally only good when there is a mystery to be solved so here is her chance.

She scheduled me for a head CAT scan immediately, blood work and an EKG, referred me to a Cardiologist that I know and am going to see this week and the rest will just have to wait until the other doctors come back.

Usually, I would worry myself to death and hope for nothing wrongbut not now. I want there to be something fixable, to figure out what is happening and find a cure. It’s enough that I have Fibromyalgia, a chronic pain illness with no cure, there better be a cure for this illness. I do not want to be passing out and crashing on floors, driveways, under tables and I forgot the other place.

I’m on “bed rest” this week and I am fine with that, I will obey and be a very good patient but I’ve had enough; I want concrete answers and I will not stop until I get them.

* I want to THANK members of my “Moms” group who helped me with referrals, names and numbers within minutes of my request. They say “It Takes A Village” and yes, it certainly does.

ass fur countingg my . as for salting my food? salt your vb oiwn foode doc .

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Fibromyalgia Update: It Just Gets Worse?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging - Human brain side view

Magnetic Resonance Imaging – Human brain side view (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

July 30, 2012

My Fibromyalgia update is not full of rainbows and unicorns and fairy dust, it’s plunking along through a slow and painful process, apparently it goes on forever. Now, in addition to Fibromyalgia and the auto-immune disease, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis I’ve had to deal with Nuerological issues as well. Imbalance? Ah yes, you know it well.  Now I have another doctor to include to my semi-annual repertoire  and I have a feeling it isn’t ending here. Just a feeling though…..

I’ve already had a brain and cervical spine MRI, the results were fine. My new Nuerologist (yeah, now I have one of those too) sent me a note saying that everything was normal given my age. “MY AGE” as if I don’t feel old enough. I do remember in the exam he exclaimed” So, what you are telling me is that you were basically a healthy woman until you hit the age of 50.” That grounded me, but it is so true. I know we weren’t supposed to trust anyone over 30 when we were young but no one said anything about falling apart when turning 50. You would think that would be written somewhere, or at least a warning sent when you are 45, (“ENJOY YOUR NEXT FIVE YEARS!!!!) not that we would have believed anything so preposterous.

Whoever says 50 is the new 40 does NOT have Fibromyalglia, I can pretty much bet on that. Tell a person who has Fibromyalgia that 50 is the new 40 and you are most likely to get a response like “my ass it is.” I couldn’t agree more.  I am so frustrated with different doctors and medications, I’m tempted (merely tempted) to talk to my Rheumatologist and see what he says about stopping Savella. I know, I’m ALL talk, Savella helps me, at least a little. However, my Rheumatologist put me on something called Topomax which he said would help me and I took it for many months.  I took it until my balance was so off kilter (even more than usual) and my forgetfulness was at an all time high AND I was getting tingling in my feet and hands; that scared me. One look at my medical history and the Nuerologist immediately said: Topomax: First two side effects are tingling and imbalance. Seriously, Did my Rheumatologist not know that? You would think that my Internist would be involved in some way but if it isn’t strep throat or a sinus infection, “it’s not her job.”

Once in awhile I have taken to using a cane, especially when walking our really strong 5 month old puppy, but with an 18 year old daughter, who embarrasses easily, I think I will use it more in three weeks when she goes to college. Wednesday, I am going back to the Nuerologist for results of my tests, I will see what he has to say. I’m bringing my husband along with me to listen; I am a horrible “listener” at a doctor’s appointment. I think it’s called the “white coat syndrome” whatever the doctor says, I seem to only remember the one or two bad words. My husband is much better at things like that than I am.

Next week I will go to the Rheumatologist and try to straighten things out. I would ask one doctor to talk to the other but in the past few years I have noticed they really don’t like to do that. I know, “LIKE?” I will insist, because the only one who can manage my healthcare, let’s face it, is me.

I’ll keep you posted.

REPOST: FOR INVISIBLE ILLNESS WEEK:Thyroid Disease And Fibromyalgia With A Touch Of Menopause

Don't give up

Image by quinn.anya via Flickr

I am NOT a Doctor. I may see a lot of Doctors but in no way am I one. I don’t pretend to be one. However, I am a patient, a chronic pain patient and I believe I know a whole lot more, personally, about these subjects than some Doctors do. Sorry, but it is true. This is only what I THINK, only what I FEEL and only what I have EXPERIENCED. For those who have read earlier posts about my dealings with Fibromyalgia, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and Menopause, this is different; I’ve never once put my own theories down on (computer) paper. Also, for the young woman who responded to a post saying she will check out Fibromyalgia even though her Doctor said “He didn’t believe in it”  YOU GO GIRL!

I hope this will take the five or more years of suffering that I had to go through and help someone; HELPING just one person would make me extremely happy. I mean that from my heart. I think there is a correlation with the above- mentioned diseases/changes, at least for me there was, especially with Thyroid Disease and Fibromyalgia.

I went through Menopause about five years ago, it wasn’t too bad, I had the usual symptoms but it wasn’t anything I couldn’t bare. I think that Menopause was the catalyst to all these (bad) changes in my body. After being in menopause, I went to my annual physical where my Internist did the usual blood work. When the results came back, for the first time in my life, I had an underactive thyroid. (Thyroid disease DOES run in my family, both my mother and sister have it.) I was put on Synthroid (my opinion ONLY: I use brand name, NOT the generic.)  My symptoms were chronic pain, muscle pain, severe aches and pain, and extreme fatigue.  My own quote: ” I felt like I had the flu without the fever.” That is what I felt like day in and day out. I thought the Synthroid  (for my underactive thyroid) would help but it never did. For months I was in bed feeling worse and worse, my said Internist said “there is nothing further I can do for you” and walked out of the room leaving me inside, on the examining table, sobbing. True story.

She finally referred me to a Rheumatologist who looked at me and said I had “Scoliosis” and that with my thyroid disease (an auto-immune disease: Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis) I should be prepared to get OTHER auto-immune diseases. Gee, thanks. There was no mention of Fibromyalgia and since when did I have Scoliosis? Whatever.

I felt horrible, chronic pain, muscle pain, joint pain, I could barely get out of bed. I won’t even mention the doctor ( he gets lower case on purpose!) that I went to who treated me with very DANGEROUS drugs, I will spare you that. I have Fibromyalgia and I really do think, there may be a connection between Thyroid disease and Fibromyalgia. AGAIN, I am not a doctor. However, I recently read about a new study where they are trying to see if T3 levels are linked to Fibromyalgia. (Promising!?)

Please, if you are experiencing all the symptoms I mentioned, don’t let an ignorant doctor make you feel like a fool. You know YOUR body best. Keep fighting, keep researching and, go to a good Rheumatologist, this is the Doctor that you need for Fibromyalgia. I have a friend who has a Thyroid condition like me (Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis) and a severe case of Fibromyalgia and she only goes to an Endocrinologist. Big Mistake but she will not listen to me. Don’t be like her. I just want to help. If you do see a Doctor that scoffs at Fibromyalgia and doesn’t believe in it: leave, do not stay. Check out your Doctor on-line, I chose mine from a list that said he believed in Fibromyalgia, treated it and patients loved him. I am one of his biggest fans. You deserve this too. Good luck.

Hope For Fibromyalgia-Medication (Follow-Up)

Various pills

Image via Wikipedia

For those of you who asked what drug regimen I am on I am happy to answer. However, I AM NOT A DOCTOR just a Fibro patient who has been going through this for over five years. You should have a Doctor, a Rheumatologist for Fibromyalgia. I also have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and sometimes doctors just look at thyroid levels. My thyroid levels were fine but I was still having the intense pain, so I went for different opinions. Don’t just go to an Endocrinologist if your Thyroid levels are fine and you are still experiencing ongoing pain, lethargy etc. Sometimes diseases can be linked together.

At the moment I am on Savella (drug for FIBROMYALGIA) and Nuvigil (was once used for late-night workers for narcolepsy). I also use Alleve at times (2) twice a day if needed but I mostly use that because I have foot problems, however, it may help Fibro problems also, too soon to tell. I also take Synthroid for my thyroid.

One of my friends asked which drugs I have tried. The list is so long it’s on my husband’s computer but I will post this now so you won’t have to wait for the other meds.  A partial list included:

Cymbalta, Plaquannel, Methotrexate, Arava, and Tramadol.

Good luck, let me know what is working for you and what is not.

Yes, There Is HOPE For Fibromyalgia

Wildflower

I have made a lot of friends on some of the Fibromyalgia support groups on-line. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia about five years ago. Five years that have crawled at a snail’s pace, going backwards and forwards, up and down, down, down. I wanted to write this blog post for all my fellow Fibromyalgia sufferers and tell you that while there may not be a cure, I have improved.

I never thought I would be able to get out of my bed and get to the bathroom without all the serious, horrendous, stiff, and chronic pain I have had for many years. I never expected perfect, I don’t now, but I do know improvement and I have improved. I almost want to cross my fingers while typing this so I don’t “Jinx” myself, I’m sure all of you can relate to what I am talking about.

I will always have good days and bad days, that is a realization I have accepted. I have taken, in the past, probably about thirty different medications in different combinations and this is the fourth Rheumatologist I have seen (and will continue to see.) While your Doctor does NOT have to be your best friend, you should feel that he/she believes in you AND in Fibromyalgia as a chronic pain disease. That’s very important. The Rheumatologist I went to before this called Fibromyalgia a “lazy diagnosis” and attempted to treat my pain with dangerous immunosuppresant drugs that made me sick as a dog for months at a time. He did this because combined with Fibromyalgia, I also have an auto-immune disease called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. I didn’t know better so I followed his advice and took seriously harmful drugs at a dosage that should never have been prescribed. This old Doctor was a genius, but not in Fibromyalgia and not in being pleasant and understanding. As my present Doctor put it referring to my old doctor “it’s his way or the highway.” Don’t accept that.

I am now on a combination of drugs that not only treat my symptoms but also have treated my energy levels. I am NOT running any marathons, believe me and I have flare-ups that still can make me cry, but overall, at least on some days I am better. Please, do not give up hope, do whatever you have to do to find a good Rheumatologist and only a Rhematologist that believes in you and the disease. One where you feel that he/she really wants you to get better and that they truly do care. Don’t settle for less.

We all deserve better and I just wanted to say to all my on-line friends (Hi Graceful Agony Ladies, Chronic Babes, ohmyachesandpains, etc.) please don’t give up and thank you for always being there for me; I love you all.  To friends that are new or newly diagnosed I NEVER  thought I would feel any better and now I do. How long will it last? I have no idea. I have accepted my limitations, I accept that I will have bad days as well as good but I can say for sure, that compared to how I felt five years ago, I am better. My attitude is better too.

If anyone is interested in which drugs work for ME, I would be happy to tell you. Don’t give up, I almost did. If you are new to this and don’t know how you are feeling or if you are feeling mad and angry and sorry for yourself; go ahead, you deserve it. Been there, done that and try to stay in the present, not the past or the future. As my dad used to say to me “Be in Neutral.” It’s a life lesson from my dad that has stayed with me, try it, it might help you too.

The Stranger

Robber Fly sucking the life from it's latest d...

Image by MasterTaker via Flickr

My head is throbbing, my cheeks hurt from congestion, my legs feel like tree trunks. I want to get showered and dressed and hop into the car except I don’t hop anymore nor do I skip. In the best of times it’s hard to even walk, to get up from a seated position, to lower myself from standing to sitting in the car. I’ve been robbed. I have been robbed of my physical, mental and my emotional health by some unknown force like the robber fly as he takes his victim.

In addition to Fibromyalgia and an auto-immune disease, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis I now have a simple virus or mini-flu which in the best of times makes you feel poorly. But, a virus on top of my other two chronic illnesses makes you feel overwhelmed. I can usually handle the discomfort and pain but not now. Not this time. Is it a flu, a Fibromyalgia -up or a flu on a fibro flare? No one can even tell me what a flare up really feels like or what it does to my body. I don’t really need to know but it would be nice if I could once in a while differentiate my sources of pain. I can’t. I only know that I feel worse, that every step is agony and that I groan going up the steps and down, clutching the banister for support. What has happened to me and who have I become?

I don’t have the energy or the will to get showered, dressed and out the door. Everything I do seems to be an overwhelming task. I cannot remember what it felt like in the past to have such strength and motivation and joy to start a full day. If I can do one errand, get out of the house for one thing in particular, it’s a good day; I have achieved something major.

Fibromyalgia hurts my body, my mind and my feelings. Imagine having a disease that gives you extraordinary pain when half the world is smirking and rolling their eyes and the other half are nodding with tears streaming down their cheeks in empathy. The world, as always, is divided.

I both dread and look forward to my appointments with my Rheumatologist. Sometimes I feel that THIS time he will have the magic answers, most times I can comprehend that there are no miracle cures. I have this chronic illness that will not go away, ever. I am not the same person who used to walk with friends for 3 miles in 45 minutes, who was a size 8, who belonged to a gym with my friend Lisa, who was young and independent.

I was a different person years ago. I worked full-time and drove back and forth to work, made dinner, took care of my child, went to bed fairly late and woke up to the shrill noise of my alarm clock and my husband’s arm nudging me awake. Who was that girl, that young woman? Why did you have to keep her held hostage forever? Why not even a reprieve now and then?

I sit, I wait, I lie down, I avoid the ice, the freezing rain, any chances to fall and break another bone. I lie back against three lumpy pillows and think about dinner or when I will feel able to pick up my prescriptions from the drugstore. I am not who I was yet I don’t recognize myself either.

Who am I? I am lost.

These Days

January stinks...

Image by Jinx! via Flickr

I have been feeling extremely discouraged and blue; I’m back to square one, for the sixth time, in my search for a successful treatment for both my Fibromyalgia and auto-immune disease, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.  It’s been over 4 years since my initial diagnoses and I have been given drug, after drug, after drug.  I start a new medicine, each time, with hope and innocence and excitement like a flirtation with a possible new love. Two months go by and then I find out that it was, again, just a fantasy. Side effects are my enemy, I generally am the person that fits in the “possible and infrequent side effects.” Another dream deflected, another dream deferred. Back to the drawing board, again; I eliminate the medicine and so too my hope.

I’m drowning my sorrow in leftover Halloween candy and cookies:  Almond Joy bars, Kit Kat bars, Nestle Crunch, Heath bars, Reese’s peanut butter cups, Twix bars, Keebler chips deluxe  cookies and pretty rainbow cookies filled with marzipan and jam. For my anxiety attacks that wake me up at 3:00 am and keep me up until 6:00 I occasionally take Xanax, one prescription drug that I trust.

Yesterday, I started Savella for my Fibromyalgia and decided to stop using Arava (an immuno-suppressant drug). True,  Arava kept my energy up but my legs ached continuously,  like someone was squeezing them into a vice and wouldn’t let go. I don’t want to be on as many drugs anymore. I want to simplify my life, my body. It’s always a long stretch between taking the new medication ( 6-8 weeks) to kick in and likewise for the drug to leave my body.  My husband kept mentioning how the Arava gave me energy and he was right but at what cost?  It was only the other day that it occurred to me that I don’t have to live with the side effect of leg pain if I don’t want to. I’ve been on this drug for months and the thought just occurred to me. I have a choice but with that comes the acknowledgment of failure.  Am I so used to pain that I feel it’s acceptable, even normal, to have some?

I’m alone in my search because no one really knows how I feel except me and even I get confused, my symptoms blur together. It’s hard for me to describe pain that is not throbbing, jabbing; how does one explain “constant?” I go by hunches and I try to listen to my inner self. My body is telling me now to get rid of the different chemicals and if I have to, start again, reevaluate in the future. For now, I will try to nurse my defeat with sleep, and when awake, look bravely at the sun in the sky while it lasts. I dread winter; I always dread winter. My bones feel frosty and taut, my body aches with pain and my mood becomes as dark as the early sunset.

*These Days by Jackson Browne

Well I’ve been out walking
I don’t do that much talking these days, these days
These days I seem to think a lot
About the things that I forgot to do
And all the times I had the chance to

And I had a lover
It’s so hard to risk another of these days, these days
Now if I seem to be afraid
To live the life that I have made in song
Well it’s just that I’ve been losing for so long

Well I’ll keep on moving, moving on
Things are bound to be improving these days, one of these days
These days I sit on corner stones
And count the time in quarter tones to ten, my friend
Don’t confront me with my failures, I had not forgotten them

Who Am I?

Who am I?

Image by stevec77 via Flickr

Am I more than the sum of my symptoms or less?  It started with menopause, the entire disintegration of my body. All of a sudden my thyroid became underactive and I thought I had achieved a state of false bliss. Just add Synthroid and  I will be able to eat AND lose weight at the same time” Well, as it turned out, not exactly. The image of every foodie fat girl eating AND shedding pounds like my hairy mutt sheds her fur was not accurate, I was disappointed. I was  in pain all the time, my favorite phrase: “I feel like I have the flu but without the fever.”  I ended up not just having an underactive thyroid but I had Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, an auto immune disease of the thyroid, basically my own cells were attacking me. My internist nodded her head and said “there’s really nothing more I can do” and as I lay there sobbing, undressed in the exam room, she clicked on her brown high-heeled shoes turned swiftly and marched out of the room.

One doctor led to another and another all with differing points of view. The second Rheumatologist  diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia but still, my aches and pains continued.

The third hot-shot doctor specialized in RA and Auto-Immune Diseases. “Fibromyalgia” he said, “that’s nothing but a lazy diagnosis.” We treat the auto-immune disease, straight and simple. Of course, not that simple. He started me on Methotrexate which helped but landed me in the hospital for my second bout of Eppiglottitis and possible lung damage. I develped a 24/7 cough, asthma and breathing difficulties, the pain from the Epiglottitis was excruciating. Several prescriptions and an inhaler later I came home.

They stopped the Methotrexate and he put me on Cellcept which worked well, with the exception of intense intestinal distress that forced me to stay in the house (and close to the bathroom for 8 entire weeks). I complained after four weeks and hot-shot ignored me and said “stay on it another four weeks” and like a fool I listened.

If I was rich I would go to the Mayo Clinic but having had no income in a year, that rules that out. One day at a time? How about one moment at a time? Today I stayed in bed, napping and trying to calm my internal self. Part of me wants to kick and scream and fight, the other part is too tired and weak to even imagine it. Along with the aforementioned symptoms I also have narrow-angled glaucoma which is very serious, interstitial cystitis, TMJ and a connective tissue disorder as well as a balance issue. Who have I become? When did all all these symptoms become me?

My latest blood tests come back next week and with it, I hope, will be some helpful information. I am tired of being tired, sick of being sick. I feel horrible when I fall and my two sweet children and darling husband come racing up the stairs to see what happened….again.

Help me, fix me, try me, define me.

The Headache That Slammed My World

I sit in my bedroom, lights dimmed, having just swallowed two Bufferin. I have an aching head and while once the cicadas outside brought me a lively colorful concert, they now are taunting me with their continuous and annoying chirping. I have read many of the blogs on chronic pain, I have also written about chronic pain but I feel I am not worthy of that group, not really. Their pain is so much worse than mine, I think. I have an auto-immune disease (Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis) and some say Fibromyalgia too. I have inflamed joints that are stiff and betray me, my right hand seems to be curled all the time, even in sleep. It is painful to unfurl them, one at a time, like the hand of a grotesque witch, and me.

I am slower and stiffer than I used to be. Getting in and out of cars, (beds, chairs, everything) fills me with pain and stiffness; I feel old and weary. I can live with that, many of my friends on-line suffer so much more.  What I AM missing is energy. Everything in my body hurts, or my infamous line to describe to doctors and friends “it’s like having the flu without the fever.”

I see a rheumatologist and am now on my third medication for my auto-immune disease. The first one worked well but ended up giving me a non-stop cough and I was hospitalized for epiglottitis; (think raw throat pain times a million) steak knife through open wounds, the worst pain I have ever had.  The second medicine, worked great for my energy but the side effects were so bad, (intestinal in nature) that I could not leave my house for 8 weeks.

Now, I am on the third (and last) medicine, I don’t want to try another one. This is the last chance before I just let my body become chemical free and deal with what I have been dealt with. I don’t have the money for holistic remedies, massage, etc. I barely have enough money to cover doctor appointments at fifty dollars a pop. The rheumatologist doesn’t accept any insurance so I have no choice but to pay him the big, HUGE bucks; I don’t go often. I was all set to go to a holistic place that would try to treat my condition(s) naturally until I found out that the cost was seven thousand dollars. Again, seven thousand dollars and this did not include follow-up visits or medicine.

My eyes are lowered, the sound of the cicada’s have lessened.   The pounding in my head is less severe, but now there are dogs barking loudly across the stream. I thought the cicadas were bad, they were an opera compared to these angry, fighting, nasty dogs. Time passes, I play low soothing music, I drink water and I don’t know if the medicine helped or if the darkness provides a cover, a safety net for all. Hopefully soon, I will sleep.