Cough, Sneeze, Cough 1-13-2013

Sorry, but if I have to feel it you have to read about it. Oh come on, it’s not that bad. And it’s not like you are being exposed to germs. I mean I can’t send them over the computer even if I wanted to. Which of course I don’t. Except to a few people who have been mean to me in the past, but I won’t mention their names because that would be juvenile. As if I wasn’t. My head hurts, it’s throbbing like a jack hammer inside the front of my brain, I hate it when doctors ask, does it hurt here or here? It friggin hurts in my head, I don’t know which quadrant. You’re the doctor, figure it out.

My throat is sore and I’ve been pretending it’s been allergies for weeks now. I gave up the fight tonight when our son told us he was sure he was getting sick. I surrendered. What else could I do? I happen to have an auto-immune disease (Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis) as well as the old stand by Fibromyalgia so I’m pretty much f—–ed in catching whatever is going around. Those of us with compromised immune systems are…..umm, what’s a nice way to put this…..concerned?

Whatever is going around, here in the USA, is the FLU. Oh, not the flu I got the flu shot for, nope not that one. Apparently the CDC was wrong:

sick

sick (Photo credit: Jaysun) I guess it was a very different flu this year, sorry, my bad. People are lined up 3 x3 to an emergency room to get seen by a doctor. Fevers of 104 degrees are being reported in ADULTS. I’m no doctor, but that is not good. I worry about my elderly loved ones. I worry, period. Got something against that? I suggest you don’t bring it up. Because any minute now my mood could snap from quietly feeling sorry for myself to wide eyed bitch on attack. We all have those days, now don’t we?

I don’t want to get sick and I don’t want others to get sick, oh and die. People are dying from the flu. DYING. What the heck? Stay home, stay in bed, if you have to go out, I suggest you wear a mask, even if you look like a tool, people will think you are a god or goddess, truly. You will be helping others, perhaps even nominating you for sainthood (I’m really not sure at all how that works). Do unto others…and all that. Most importantly, wash your hands constantly like someone with OCD and keep Purell handy. Also, when you open a door in one of those medical facilities, don’t let them fool you, use a paper towel. We are not amateurs here, we are chronic sick professionals. Listen to know. Having a chronic pain disease is not fun but we do know the moves. Ask us anything. We are here for you. We know.

p.s. Still waiting for the sickness to hit me. This time I’m ready, I made chicken soup, all my son had was a cold.

Tis The Season For Eppiglottitis To Be A Bitch, Again

22 | Co-amoxiclav

Oh Lordy, Lordy, Lordy, please let this be a false alarm. My throat IS sore, not tragically sore as in I swallowed a steak knife the last time I WAS hospitalized with Eppiglottitis so I do have a chance,  but just seeing the increase on my old blog “Calling Eppiglottitis  A Bitch Is A Vast Understatement” rise in numbers,  my chances of getting it again are on the rise too. No really. I feel the first signs and I am not happy.

Poor people, write to me right away and tell me if you too have the stabber-sicker -than- death -disease now. Or is it just panic setting in for all of us. This is the first time in a year that I have felt poorly and while I have lost my voice I feel the need to have someone stand nearby with some calming chemical that might or might not be legal near me…..just in case. Last time at one appointment my lovely internist promised me morphine if this should happen to me again. “Drugs,” she promised, “Heavy, duty drugs.” I trust her but I haven’t even gone to see her yet. I feel like I’m playing roulette here. It’s the only time when I feel like a “playa.” Uh-Huh.

Besides, trying to get through to the big medical practice where I go on a Monday morning in the winter is I N S A N E. It really is, you could die and get buried and have a service before they pick up the phone…and I’m not saying they are lazy at all. They are just really, really busy and everyone is trying to call to make that same day appointment, press 2.  As for me, I tried, I really tried and held on for as long as I could manage and then I just hung up. It wasn’t worth it anymore and I was so tired that I gave up and took a really long nap even though there were workers on the roof making essentially painful noises like jack hammering but it was better than being on hold and having some fake secretary voice tell me to “be patient, someone will be answering your call soon.”  That never happened.

I’m holding on for another day, I’m sipping huge quantities of Progresso chicken and dumpling soup and drinking cranberry-pomegranate juice with semi-crushed ice cubes from a blue and white straw and hoping against hope that all this misery will go away in a day or two and it won’t get worse. That for once I can be a “normal” patient and tomorrow I will be all better. It would be nice if the kink in my neck will work itself out and that all my symptoms will go away with no need for a Z-pack or any other kind of antibiotics or cough medicine/ medication. Yeah right.

Tis the season for colds and the flu. Tis the season I always want to move, someplace warm. I mean it. Really, I do.

*****

Next day:

Laryngitis, coughing all night, sore throat still, I made the call, this time it only took me 30 minute to get through. Going in at 4pm. Will post later.

Went to the Dr. and while I saw a Z pack in my future, she saw an Rx for Augmentin in mine. Augmentin. For Bronchitis.

Blech

It’s going to be a really long ten days.

On Being A Patient, Again

I never stopped being a patient, not since my thyroid went out of wack 3 years ago, not since I was told I had Fibromyalgia (and then told it was a “lazy diagnosis”)  Not since the prednisone, the hospitalization for eppiglottitis the 24/7 cough that would not go away, not since I was sent to the Pulmonologist, the ENT  the addition of 5-7 different medications. Not since my stint in the packed emergency room with an overnight stay in the hospital with the worst pain I have ever had in my life.

Here I am again, world! Stuck and pissed off with yet another chapter to my ever-so-boring and relentless saga of pain, chronic pain, auto-immune diseases, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, lack of energy and tonight,  a really bad, horrible, disgusted and angry, almost-in-tears mood.

The latest is that my Synthroid level ( TSH) is very, very low, too low said the doctors.  To those in the Club of Thyroid Disorders out there, (COTD- I made it up but it works) I know you will understand. The T4 is perfect. One doctor, the evil endocrinologist (lower case on purpose) sent a prescription (albeit the wrong prescription) in the mail telling me (no, writing me) he was surprised with my numbers but I should reduce the Synthroid medication (buzz word) to 50 mcg. First I was at 88, then 75, now 50???   That’s like telling someone who has the flu, to get up out of bed and do somersaults while standing on their heads, backwards.  I’m down enough people, now this? It makes no sense.

I wrote to my Guru Dr. in the City who handles the type of Autoimmune Disease (Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis) as in***THYROID DISEASE  to tell him. He suggested that my” Endocrinologist” do a simple TRF blood test and he guessed I might have something called Secondary Hypothyroidism ( I know, I could so be on Gray’s Anatomy with the amount I’ve had to learn and remember.)

Here’s the problem. The nasty, dull, mean-spirited endocrinologist (lower case on purpose again) who I am going to DUMP as soon as I find a new one, refuses to talk to me on the phone. Just for a couple of questions. “No, come in”,  he said. “I just want to ask him a question” I pleaded to his nurses “No, come in.”  I’m seething. First of all I have never heard of a doctor that won’t take a phone call for a question (I wasn’t demanding to speak to him at that moment) and that absolutely refuses to return a phone call from a patient. Second, he knows about my Guru Doctor in the city since I have copied him on everything. (Do you think this could be a terrritorial thing?)  Third, he did not believe that I had, indeed, a note from my Guru Dr. to suggesting he test me for TRF (whatever it is). No. What? You heard me. No. No phone call, no question, no way, no how. “It is too difficult to explain on the phone” the nurse parroted. Are you kidding me? I had one question about the blood (yes, in the lab in the office) test and a simple thought: wouldn’t it make sense to test the TRF level FIRST (as my Guru Doctor said) then to start on a regimen of a new medicine that could take 4-6 weeks to kick in? Isn’t that throwing the donkey in front of the carrots? (or whatever that stupid expression is.) Not to mention, I do not want to go back to a doctor that treats me with such disrespect (and he always has). I know he doesn’t know that the fifty dollar co-payment would be hard for our unemployed selves. I understand that, but, a 30 second phone call?

Well, you know what the answer is I’m sure. “No”. So here I am, calling new Endocrinologists (one is on vacation until the 20th, the other does not return phone calls) waiting to make an appointment. Oh dear Lordy, Lordy, it’s July and the doctors (at least the ones I’m trying to reach) are on vacation, and of course you cannot leave a message.

I have that creepy, queasy, angst-ridden feeling in my stomach. What now, I ask? I can’t reach any doctor AND short of sending an “I BEG of you” message to my Guru Doctor (which I will do anyway in the early a.m.) I will be sitting home in a flurry of frustration and anxiety. I will be sitting on my bed, fed up, confused and furious and yes, a little scared too. A little courtesy, perhaps DOCTORS?? Yeah, right.

I feel totally helpless and demeaned. I feel anxious and confused and ignored. Does anyone understand this?  Is this the time for an out and out binge on sugar- laden treats?  Can I run and hide from my anxiety for a few minutes with cookies and chocolate,  and that sweet powerful surge in energy? This doctor says Yes. Absolutely. Starting Now.