My Day

Haven’t posted since getting back from Ohio. Had several weeks of recuperating, a day or two of decent health. Murphy went to camp, which I’m going to write about in a more pleasant post, but this, unfortunately for you, Kind Reader, is not going to be a pleasant post.  This post is about My Day Today.

So, here’s my day.

I wake up early, and as usual, my laptop won’t connect to our internet somehow.  I can’t figure out what the problem is; sometimes it works great, other times it connects for two seconds, then disconnects over and over.  It’s not the ISP; all the other computers in the house work fine, so it’s something in the way my laptop communicates with the router.  Go figure.

I take my handful of meds with my coffee and breakfast and go to take a shower.  I’ve been heartbroken about  being out of my favorite soap and shampoo, made by Lush. Fragrance is Karma, a blend of patchouli and orange, which is strange because while I love patchouli, I hate orange.  But it works.  Anyway, on a whim, I look under the other sink in my bathroom in the box I keep my Lush treasures in, thinking there might be a sample of something else in there, and what do I find?  TWO bars of Karma shampoo bars.  I leave it to you to visualize the dancing of the happy dance naked in the bathroom, or not, as you prefer.

I take my shower, no mean feat for me. Taking a shower wipes me out, but I’m bright and shiny simply because of my Karma. I get dressed and go to work.

That’s where the trouble begins.  My boss, BR, is not home, and her fiancee is, and obviously torqued off. They’ve been having issues lately, trying to see if they can save the relationship, and I think uh oh, maybe not!   I sit down at the desk and sigh. The desk is piled HIGH with disorganized miscellaneous papers.  Bills, mail, lesson notes, club info, catalogs, checks and payment receipts, tons of stuff to sift through before I can even begin to figure out what I need to be doing.  There are three companies that I’m doing bookkeeping and administration for, each with a clearly marked inbox, yet only about half make it to the correct box. Of the remaining half, half go in the wrong box, and half are strewn all over the L shaped desk.

So I wade through the papers as much as I can.  It’s so awkward for me because there are hundreds (literally) of notes scrawled on the backs of envelopes, on lined paper torn from legal pads, on torn up recycled scrap, all over everywhere, and I don’t like to mess up her piles,or delve too deeply into what it is, because I don’t know what’s personal, what’s confidential-none-of-even-an-admin’s-business, and what is stuff I’m supposed to deal with.  I do my best and after about 40 minutes, I have a little bit of a clue; well, I found the mail, opened and sorted it, and figured out what bills need entering, as well as cleared a small work space.

I begin doing my thing, and run into the next snag. The printer was out of cyan ink for weeks, and hooray! they finally installed new cartridges!  But the  *%&$(+ HP machine (or the computer, actually, now that I think of it, it has to be the computer) still thinks the cyan ink is out.  Despite the lovely ink indicator widget that shows it’s full. I have a work around that manages for a while, maybe an hour or so. BR comes home, obviously torqued off, and in a rush, because a client is at the door.  She needs copies of the intake forms, which I manage to print for her, and she asks for several more copies for later. I start trying to diagnose the problem.  I align the cartridge. I clean the print heads. I check there’s no tape over the thingys.  I reboot the printer.  I re-install the cartridge through the program on the printer.  Nothing works.  I try the help forum on HP; astoundingly unhelpful. I finally decide to reboot the computer.

Disaster.  The laptop will not boot back up. I try and try and try, for fifteen to twenty minutes, same thing every time; the computer stops booting really early in the sequence.  Finally, radically, in an effort to NOT have to take the laptop to the repair shop, I try accessing the BIOS during boot up- it works!  Get to the BIOS menu, continue boot up from there, and magically, it works.

By this time, it’s almost time for me to leave. I tidy up and write BR a note.  The same note that I’ve now written three times.  I need her bank statement from May, in order to reconcile her account. That’s right, I said MAY.  Her bank account is online, and if I ask her to log in while I am there, she gets all flustered and upset and can’t remember how to log in.  So I’m trying to get her to print it out for me when no one is looking over her shoulder. You need to understand that BR uses her debit card for EVERYTHING and keeps no record, so at the end of the month I have to enter a hundred or so individual debits into QB to keep her account equal to the bank.  Now, add to all this knowledge the fact that she pays in and out of ALL THREE separate companies; a trust from her parents, her personal, and the business account; she pays in and out of all three accounts sort of indiscriminately.  No funny business at all, don’t misunderstand, just a disorganized mind and a poor understanding of accounting.

In the note, I also ask again about the mortgage bill, which here on the 6th of the month, I have not seen yet (due on the 1st).  She has no clue.  She will go and pay it at the bank, with a check I will have no record of, and I will also have no record of the principal vs interest on her adjustable rate mortgage to post. Sigh.

So, for three more-complicated-than-they-need-to-be accounts, I work three hours, twice a week.  How much can I realistically get done?  Pretty much the only productive, necessary thing I got done today was putting the business deposit together to take to the bank.

The one good thing about the work situation is that both of them, BR in particular, don’t usually take their stress out on me; they speak civilly to me at worst, and nicely most of the time, but seriously, the tension in the house is ungodly. I’m so glad they don’t have kids.

So I come home.  Too tired to go to the bank, and not enough time, really. I get a phone call from Murphy’s school; they want me to come work for them. Gratis, of course.   Dear god.  Really? You’re going to do this to me now?  They need someone in the office two days a week, 8 am to 2 pm  and since we’re applying for a scholarship and all….. I’m freaking out; first of all I’m driving, and I hate talking on the phone while driving, but when I saw it was the school… well you know I’m a catastrophic thinker.  I’ve got all these thoughts in my head – what if this is a threat to our scholarship?  Why, just when I was getting some bites on paid fiber ed jobs?  Why, when last week I couldn’t even walk without a cane and my brain is turning to mush besides?  But maybe if I was volunteering, it could turn into a paid position, and she even said as much, and how cool would that be?  I explain my situation a bit, and say I’ll talk it over with the Beloved and get back to her.  And I’m home.

I have a doctor’s appointment at 1:30.  I’m famished, but the only quick food at hand is tuna salad, and I took pity on the poor doc and opted for rice cakes and vegan cream cheese. Tidy myself up, leave, and am at my appointment 10 minutes early.

Now, I take the 1:30 appt because it’s the first appointment after lunch, and theoretically, they shouldn’t be behind. So, I sit and wait, and knit, and sit…. actually, today the wait actually wasn’t bad, only about 20 minutes or so.  From the appointment time.  I limp in to the prep room, get weighed (if you had an appointment every day, they would still weigh you.  Drives me nuts.)  I note that I have gained about four pounds in two weeks; partly due to fluid retention, and partly due to old habits slipping back in.  I’ve been so stressed, and so immobile to fix my own meals as much, that I’m starting to make poor choices again, which feeds more poor choices.  This has to stop now.  They take my blood pressure, 120/90.  My diastolic tends toward the high, but no one in this office has ever even commented on it. Mostly, it hasn’t been that high, but like I said, I’ve been under a lot of stress lately.

I head towards the exam room; they asked why am I here?  Duh, cause he told me to make an appointment for two weeks last time!  I give the poor nurse a break and say for Fibromyalgia follow up.  She asks my pain level, and actually, it’s not horrible, so I say 6.  She says, the doctor will be in shortly.  So I sit, and I knit, and I sit, and I sit…. The longer I sit, the more my pain worsens. I do focused breathing while knitting, and it helps a bit. Finally, the doctor comes in.  He’s pleasant, as he always is.  I do note that since I took my husband with me, he does seem to take me more seriously; don’t know if that has anything to do with it, or if it has more to do with an actual diagnosis by someone he thinks is smarter than him, but either way, it works.

He asks “What can we do for you today,” and again, I think YOU wanted me to come in. I ask about the ultrasound of my thyroid I had last week, and he’s flustered, he hasn’t seen it. I ask about the status of the consults I’m supposed to be getting: ENT, GI, PT, Rheumatology; again, he knows nothing. I ask about the preauthorization he was going to get for my thyroid med that is no longer covered, and the Lyrica we wanted to start; again, nothing. He says “you haven’t heard anything?”  I’m supposed to hear?

He goes to check on those things with the nurses in the office, and I sit. and knit, and sit. While I sit my doctor visits two other people and a pharmaceutical rep.  I know that he did, because the walls are so thin that even with the doors closed I can hear what’s being said.  I even heard the nurse discuss the approach to take with Medicaid in approving my meds. I sit, and I sit, and I sit.  The longer I sit in that horrible chair, the worse my back is getting, and my pain has moved from a 6 to an 8.  I’ve had no pain med today, and I’m miserable. I’m shifting around in my seat like a hyperactive 5 year old at a birthday party – in a candy store!

Finally, he comes back, tells me the work around we’re using with the meds, so I’ll get them tomorrow.  Tells me they’re still working on the consults, and tells me the u/s showed my thyroid was slightly enlarged, but not enough to cause the trouble swallowing I’m having.  He can’t think what might be causing it, and says the ENT will figure it out.  If I ever see him.

He makes the mistake of asking if there’s anything else he can do for me. Well, yes, there is.  I feel shaky in the afternoons. My hands  and sometimes my legs, have tremors, sometimes (not often) bad enough that it’s hard to knit. This is a problem, since I’m currently trying to earn a living (unsuccessfully, but he doesn’t need to know that) by knitting. To my surprise, he actually pays attention to this one.  He does a bunch of “touch your nose” type neuro tests, and while I pass, he can visually see my hands shaking. He’s not quite sure what to do about this either, and starts thinking about a new med, and I stop him.  I’d rather know WHY.  We decide that until it gets worse or there’s other symptoms, we’ll just “watch” it.  I leave with new meds called in, still waiting for consults, with an appointment guess when?  Two weeks.

I’m really grateful to be able to see a doctor; I know a lot of people aren’t able to, people in worse shape than me. But still, I think, here is medicine at the bottom of the barrel.  Literally across the parking lot is a Complimentary Doctor I’d love to go to; a doctor that blends “alternative” medicine with “regular” medicine, who has an open mind, who could provide treatment and medication and testing that is simply not available to those on Medicaid. I know that his office is private enough not to hear other people in the hall or even across the hall.  Instead, I have a doctor who seems less than sure of himself, who doesn’t seem to understand a lot of what I say,or what I’m going through (although, I must admit, he was much better today!) in a clinic with paper thin walls and a door that must be unlocked to let you into the examining area. I would LOVE to see a chiropractor, and it’s even covered on Medi-Cal (though I’m not sure about the new Gold Coast (ptooey), but that doesn’t matter much when there isn’t a single one that accepts it. PT would help a lot too, but the consult for that has been pending for 2 months, as have all the others listed above.

So anyway, I get my appointment scheduled and get ready to leave.  Suddenly, my phone rings.  Now, when I went home between work and doctor, the Beloved was out cold on the couch.  I got my snack, cleaned up and left with him still snoring. I forgot that today was Murphy’s first real day back at school, and he needed to be picked up at 2:30.  My phone rang at 2:57. It’s the Beloved. No one had picked up Murphy.  He seems a bit annoyed. The Beloved does drive him to school in the morning, and I usually pick him up, but with the crappy day I’ve been having, coupled with it being the first full day and me forgetting to set my alarm, the appointment that I didn’t expect to last an hour and a half, and the fact that the Beloved had passed out as soon as he got back from dropping him off, and slept through my noon visit, I thought he’d probably be awake to pick him up.  Of course, he didn’t know what kind of a day I was having; the last time he saw me I was doing the dance of joy.  A wee bit of a miscommunication deal here. So, I go pick up Murphy and drive home, not looking forward to soccer practice at 4:30. Thank goodness, the Beloved agreed to that duty, and even said he’d get pizza for dinner, so I can rest. Instead, I wrote this train wreck of a journal entry.  Helped to get it out anyway. It’s now almost six o’clock; hopefully the rest of the evening will be peaceful; tomorrow is Murphy’s birthday and I have a TON of stuff to do. Sigh.

You know with the exception of a few major meltdown days a month (you know what I mean girls…) I’m really a very happy person.

More On Pain

So, I’ve accepted that pain is going to be a part of my daily life.  The question remains: how to cope?

I can’t take ibuprofen anymore; it causes tinnitus. I have a consult pending with an ENT to see if there’s an organic cause, but I know for sure that taking ibuprofen makes it worse, so it is now reserved for severe headache, balancing the benefit against the consequences.

I had been taking Vicodin, about one a day.  I gradually, without even thinking about it much tapered myself off; it just doesn’t seem to help a whole lot.   I now take one a week or so, usually on the days where I have to work, and the pain is severe.

I saw my doctor Tuesday, after work.  I was in pretty bad pain when I saw her, about an 8.  Verge of tears kind of pain.  I hadn’t taken a Vicodin for work that day, because I wanted her to see me in pain.  I explained why I stopped taking the Effexor, and said I was open to trying a different SSRI, so she prescribed Zoloft.  Told her about not being able to take ibuprofen for pain, and she said we could try gabapentin (Neurotonin.)  Gave me prescriptions for both, told me to start them about a week apart.

After doing some internet research, I decided to start the gabapentin first.  It’s an anti-seizure medication that often helps with neuropathic pain.  I read many reviews of people with FM who have used it successfully to reduce their pain.  So I took my first dose last night.

The main side effects are drowsiness and dizziness.  I have never really had a lot of side effects from medication, so I was hoping I wouldn’t with this.  It’s only been twelve hours from taking it, so my experience is limited, but it did make me pass out on the couch, which after several nights of insomnia was a good thing.  Less of a good thing was being unable to move to the bed without help.  Even this morning, I’m dizzy, in a weird way.  I’ve been having bouts of dizziness, vertigo, which I absolutely hate, worse than pain.  With pain, I can still function, though it hurts.  With the vertigo, I’m down for the count; can’t do anything.  Can’t drive, can barely walk to the bathroom.  It’s totally debilitating.  Luckily, it’s only happened a few times.  With the gabapentin, this dizziness is a little different; it’s almost like being drunk without the euphoria.  I’m not nauseous, which helps; with the vertigo I am.  If I move slowly, it’s reasonably manageable, though I don’t think I’ll be driving.  I’m trying to find out from other users if this is a temporary thing.  And a dose related thing.  Right now, I’m on a very low dose; therapeutic  dose could be three, four, or even five times the dose I’m on.  I haven’t really noticed any effect on my pain, but I wouldn’t have expected it to happen this quickly anyway.  So I’ll try it for a week, see how it goes, then try the Zoloft.

A friend pointed me this morning to a link that discussed pain in a really intelligent, thoughtful way.  Chronic pain is so hard to quantify.  I’ve had some severe pain in my life; childbirth, though that wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected (I’d rate it about an 8), and the headaches when I had meningitis  and the pain from gall bladder attacks were both bad enough to induce vomiting from the pain alone. So that’s what I rate as a 10 on the numerical scale.  The most severe pain I can ever remember.  Contrasted with that pain, my day to day pain rates about a 5.  The problem with that is that five isn’t horrid.  Until you realize it’s never going to end.

That post linked to this one.  One of the comments on this post made a wonderful analogy; I’d like to give attribute but the poster was simply named as anonymous.  Here’s what this pain sufferer said:

I wonder if one of the biggest challenges with classifying pain is the fact that there are 2 types, transitory & chronic. Transitory pain can be excruciatingly awful, such as a broken bone, or a migraine, or childbirth… but it goes away. A few days of medication, and there is a resolution. It is clear that it can be “fixed” by drugs, breathing techniques, meditation or distraction techniques.

Chronic pain is a trickier beast. If you have a rock in your shoe, it is not a pain worth mentioning. It is a 1 maybe a 2. The assumption is that the rock can be shaken loose, that the foot will soon be comfortable again, since it is a small pain. It isn’t much, really, just a little thing. An aggravation in your shoe.

But it isn’t a little thing at all.

At first, it is an annoyance, really. An aggravation, if you tend towards anger. But after a while, the pain dominates your thinking. All you can think about is how long until I can take the pebble out of my shoe.

You start trying to walk differently, trying to avoid the thing that causes pain, but then other parts of you start to ache because you aren’t using your body the way it is supposed to be used. So you go back to walking normally, pretending the pain doesn’t exist. You walk slower. When that doesn’t work, you walk faster.

You buy better shoes. You buy a cane. You take Tylenol, and Advil, but the pebble is still there.

You try hopping. You try crawling. Still a pebble.

Mind over matter, you tell yourself. Meditation. Breathing. Hypnosis. And a pebble, still in your shoe.

“You don’t have acute pain, you don’t need strong drugs,” the doctor tells you, and you can see him thinking don’t you know there are people who are in serious pain out there? Stop whining.

“What’s the matter with you?” your boss asks, “Your mistakes are costing me money!” and you want to scream can’t you see the pebble? I can barely think past the constant background noise of the pebble! How am I supposed to work as well as I used to?

But of course no one else can see the pebble. Most don’t even believe it is there, not all the time. It couldn’t possibly be. Pain is a transient thing, after all. No one could REALLY be in pain ALL the time.

Those who do believe don’t understand why you don’t just take a Tylenol and make it go away, like they do with a headache. Pain is conquerable, after all. We have the technology, they say.

Because the alternative is too scary to contemplate: What if the pain never goes away? What if I’ll always have a pebble?

Chronic pain doesn’t have to be a strong pain to have a strong effect on your quality of life. Even a chronic pain of 2 or 3 should be taken as seriously as a chronic pain of 7 or 8, because your life changes in so many ways.

And it doesn’t just affect the person with the pain. My kids are 6 & 8 and my daughter has never known me when I wasn’t in pain, and my son was too young to remember it.

My pain affects their life every day, and I hate that. I find it so hard to live with that knowledge.

It doesn’t have to be a 10 on the pain scale to be a 10 on the “negatively affects quality of life” scale. If a doctor can give me back my quality of life by medicating my pain, even if my pain isn’t a 5 or higher, then why on earth would they choose to not medicate it? Why would one force my kids to make sacrifices in the richness of their life experiences just because one thinks my pain isn’t strong enough to warrant treating with anything more than over the counter meds? If OTC meds were working for me, I wouldn’t be in the doctor’s office saying I’m in pain and please help me do something about it. I’d be out there doing fun stuff with my kids and enjoying my life to the fullest. Yet, being young, and female, and diagnosed with fibromyalgia among other things, I find it next to impossible to get adequate pain control, and our lives are the poorer for it.

This is the root of chronic pain.  It changes our lives, every day, every minute, all the time.  It makes my son think twice before he asks me to get up to come see something he wants to show me.  It makes him ask how just going to watch him play baseball can wear me out so much. It makes my family schedule shopping trips around my pain schedule.  It makes my husband avoid intimacy because he’s concerned about my pain.  It makes me rethink and reroute everything I do. It adds stress to my thoughts and to my relationships, not to mention my finances.  It causes grief, anger, and transient depression.  It’s always there. The affect it has on my family is worse than the pain, so often I do things I probably shouldn’t because I want to be there for my family, and then of course, there’s the payment due, in the form of days or even weeks of a flare caused by doing too much.

It’s more than four years since I first noticed the symptoms; the fatigue and the brain fog was the worst at first, and I didn’t understand it.  Then the last two years it’s been the pain. And it’s still getting worse.  More symptoms, more diagnoses, more drugs and tests and consults with doctors who simply see me as an overweight middle aged pre-menopausal depressed* female with multiple complaints.  They turf me to the next guy in line and never think about how my disease affects my life.

One more link: a really helpful, thoughtful pain scale: The Mankowski Pain Scale.  It really is the most practical scale I’ve seen.  On her scale, I’m chronically at five or six, with flares to eight.

Current plan: Continue trial of gabapentin for at least a week.  Waiting for approval for the following consults: ENT, GI (colonoscopy), Physical Therapy, possibly Rheumatology.  See doc in two weeks.  Remind her of elevated cortisol and see if aldosterone remains elevated.

*Re: depressed: I always need to make it clear that they see me as depressed, but I am not.  I have moments of depression, as anyone with a chronic issue would, but other than my pain, I love my life, my family, my fiber obsession, music, all the things I do.  I see myself as a very lucky, blessed woman with so many good things in my life, and I appreciate all of then every minute of every day.    There is nothing wrong with a diagnosis of depression when it’s justified, but too often it’s the box they put us in when they can’t figure out (or deal with) what is wrong with us.

Bait and Switch

I feel like I’ve been taken.

Went to the Doc on Tuesday to follow up on our last appointment and get the results of my CT.  Negative, as expected.  Doc is convinced I have fibromyalgia, and wanted to start me on Cymbalta.   If you’re not familiar with it, Cymbalta is an antidepressant.  However, it is also prescribed specifically for fibromyalgia pain.  Having reached the end of my rope and willing to try almost anything, I dutifully read the literature she gave me (explaining the horrifying possible side effects) and filled the prescription.

I got home from the pharmacy, took out the bottle and was astounded to find that the bottle contained not Cymbalta, but Effexor.  Effexor is of course, another antidepressant.  So I called the doctor to find out what was going on; she said that Medicaid will not pay for first tier drugs until the cheaper drugs have been tried and failed.  Nice of someone to tell me.  She said they’re in the same class, same side effects, and that it was worth a try.  So, that night, I took it.

Since then, I’ve had a bunch of strange symptoms, some of which I’ve had before but not this bad, and some totally new ones. So I went to check the side effects.  I was terrified at what I found out.  Yes, the side effects are similar to Cymbalta, and yes, it is used (off label) for fibromyalgia sometimes.  That was the good news.  The bad?  Effexor has the worst in it’s class record for withdrawal symptoms.  Coming off this drug for some people seems to be as bad as heroin withdrawal.  Incapacitating dizziness, nausea,  what they call “brain shocks”, a painful sort of zapping feeling in your brain and down your neck and shoulders.  These symptoms (and more) can last from two weeks to several months.  The stories of the people who’ve experienced this are terrifying.

I feel like they’ve been trying to get me to take antidepressants so hard that now they’ve pulled a bait and switch.  I was willing to try the Cymbalta since it is supposed to help with fibromyalgia pain totally aside from it’s anti-depressant effects. But instead, I’m on a dangerous drug that probably will not help, and will make me feel horrendous when I stop it.

As far as I’m concerned, the side effects I’ve already experienced are enough to stop taking it.  Insomnia, dizziness, hiccups, nausea, headache.  Most of what I’ve read say that the withdrawal symptoms happen after six weeks of treatment, so hopefully with only four doses, I won’t have any problem.  I’m just so angry that I wasn’t told. 

In more pleasant news; Murphy got to ride in the Ojai Valley Little League parade float for the fourth of July.  He was proud.  As were we.  I tried to get a picture but of course, my phone chose that very moment to notify  me that the battery was low, so the float had moved before I could get close.

We went to the fireworks too, and that was fun; they do a good job every year. Ojai is such a great community, and the parade really illustrates its diversity; hippies, Mexicans, Indians, Hindus, kids, cars, tractors, dancers, bands of every sort.  It was HOT though.

My plum jelly has been a hit; I ended up with 24 jars. Still have a few more plums, but haven’t really had the strength to do much with them.  Tried dehydrating them to prunes with less success; they came out rock hard.  I think next time I’ll try halving them.

Witches Brew Roving

I’m spinning for the Tour de Fleece; it’s an annual event held during the Tour de France, where spinners all over the world commit to spinning every day the race runs, and often set specific goals.  I’m on a Ravelry team, the Lantern Rouge, which is a “I’m not sure I can spin every day but I’ll try” team.  I’ve spun at least a tiny bit every day but one, and on the fourth, watching a “Firefly” marathon, I managed to spin a full ounce!  Here’s the fiber I’m spinning; the colorway is “Witches Brew.”  I was aiming for  fingering or sport weight, but I think it’s ending up more worsted.  I really like it so far; today may be a plying day as my bobbin is almost full.Tour de Fleece spinning

If I finish the pound of this fiber I have before the end of the Tour, I have some gorgeous merino/tencel blend that I’ve been waiting to spin until I was “good enough.”  My last few bobbins have been  lovely and even, so I think I might be ready to give it a go.  I spin so slowly though that I might not finish the pound; that is a LOT of fiber!  I have no clue what I’ll make from the yarn, but I can’t wait to see how it looks plied.  I may do one bobbin navajo plied and one plied back on itself to see the difference in the colors; should be fun!

Off to clean my room; I’ve been feeling so badly that everything has been let slide.  Disaster area doesn’t begin to cover it.  Ever seen “Hoarders?”   Approaching that level…

This week’s update

Well, the big news is that I saw my new doctor on Tuesday, and got back the results of the labs I had drawn the week before.  TSH was normal, so Ms. New Doc did not want to discuss thyroid one word more.  She said, lets start fresh, tell me your symptoms.  So  I did, and her diagnosis is Fibromyalgia.  She wants to start me on Cymbalta, ,which is (three guesses and the first two don’t count….) an antidepressant.  It is indicated for pain and a few other things beside depression but the side effects are horrific on paper.  Her directions to me?  “Take one every night for a week, and if you tolerate it, if you’re not suicidal, take two.”  Uh…. really?

I haven’t filled the prescription yet.  Part of me feels like they’re just dumping me again, not treating me as a person.  The Fibromyalgia diagnosis is sketchy; the two criteria for diagnosis are 1.) Generalized body pain (check!) and 2.) Eleven of eighteen “tender points“, which are specific points on the body, bilaterally, which are literally tender to touch.  I have Zero. I counted.  Twice.

My labs were basically fine; Vitamin D is still low despite mega supplements so I’m going to take mondo doses daily now, along with Calcium, Magnesium, B12, and C.  Antibodies were positive, confirming my theory about the last month or two, that I was having a Hashi’s attack.

I asked about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome vs Fibromyalgia; she said “they’re the same thing.”  Which they’re not really, but yeah, they’re in the same group of diseases.

She wanted me to have a Head CT to rule out MS. Which I did; results pending, but I don’t expect anything amiss.

So where does this leave me?  Pretty much where I started; nowhere.  Murphy is rooting for Fibromyalgia, since then I can stop messing with the diet.  The gluten free thing is really hard, much harder than veg*nism.

Other things this week:

The 23rd was the Anniversary of Dorothy’s passing.  It was a little hard, but much of the time it feels like she’s still in Las Vegas, until we go to send

A Plethora Of Plums

that cute picture of Murph and realize again that she’s not there to receive it.  On a spiritual poetic justice kind of level, we are having an absolute banner year for our plums, which Dorothy loved.  The first year we moved here, there was a huge harvest, but since then most of the time there’s been very little.  We blamed it on our Black Thumbs, as I kill everything.  This winter, one of the storms knocked down a tree right through the middle of one of the plum trees, and we thought it was a goner.  Instead, this year the harvest is ridiculous.  Peru picked a huge boxful, and said it was only about one third of what’s left.  Today, we sorted cleaned, and gifted bags to the neighbors and I’m cooking the rest now down for jelly.  I haven’t canned in years, so this should be interesting.  So now you all know what you’re getting for Christmas, right?

On the way to take Eric to a JOB interview (whoo hooo) we stopped at the hardware store and with our dwindling funds bought canning jars, sugar and pectin, so tomorrow, I go wild.  Tonight, I might even try making some plum ice cream.  The house is filled with the smell of simmering plums; yum!

I’ve had a chance to connect a little with my eldest, who’s been a little absent lately, even when he’s here.  Several nice long chats, like we used to do. It felt really good.  I have missed him a lot.

Tomorrow, Peru’s “Band-In-Training” is playing for the Solstice Festival in Mira Monte. Should be fun!