Tag Archives: stress

Seizures and Blood

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Yesterday, I had a general check-in with my Rheumatologist to check and see how the Enbrel and Prednisone pack had worked out and in general how I was feeling. I never before arriving that I was going to have to deal with labs. For some folks, having blood drawn is as easy as brushing your teeth. I am NOT one of those people.

You probably remember from some of my previous posts, just how much I dislike  HATE DISDAIN LOATHE being pricked with needles (in fact the post was entitled,I hate needles. seriously.”… which is actually rather humorous considering I have to inject myself once a week (although sure click self injectors ARE MUCH BETTER than syringes, I will say).

I don’t know what it is, but I could never handle watching people have needles stuck into their arms or hands- it makes me queasy, uneasy, and nauseous. In fact, even as I was looking for an image to include in this post, I tried to find one of someone having blood drawn and I started to feel all clammy and nauseous. Thus, you are stuck with an SI joint image- because well, the SI is important to me :0)

So back to my appointment. I checked in and my Rheumy told me that we should keep on the path and see if Enbrel can’t continue to improve my situation. If by the next time I come in, I do not significantly improve, we will look for another method (I am confident that Enbrel will work). I will continue on with my Voltaren gel as well as my Nambumetone. I also talked to him about my stupid cold sore. I got it last weekend and it’s hanging around. He told me that it should go away soon, wrote me a prescription, and told me that prevalence of cold sores is normal (whatever “normal” is). In addition, he inspected a hard lump that I discovered under my right lower jaw and determined that it appears to be an infected lymph node. Bacteria gets into the cold sore and infects your lymph nodes (awesome). Again, it should get better on its own over time, but if it doesn’t, I’m supposed to let him know.

Then he said that phrase that I l.o.a.t.h.e.: Did I get labs last time you were here? No I replied in a very sad quiet voice. He chuckled and said we should get them and go from there. So, I begrudgingly went out to the nurse’s station and sat in my chair and instantly felt the anxiety coming on. I tried to push it out of mind reminding myself that the last two times, I didn’t black out at all. The nurse was super friendly and put the needle in quickly and started talking to me. In an effort to avoid the “black spots”, I looked up at the ceiling. Everything was fine until it wasn’t.

All of the sudden I felt myself passing out. I state such and then what happened next is really hard to explain. I felt a jerky sensation and everything was moving really fast and I couldn’t stop my body from “freaking out.” Then everything went dark. I woke up to smelling salts, 4 nurses, and my doctor standing over me asking me if I was ok and how did I feel, etc. They had my legs hoisted into the air (thank god I wore pants, right?) and brought out orange juice, the blood pressure machine, chocolate, and fluids. They proceeded to get me right side up and seated and then calmly said that I had experienced a mini seizure. That they could be brought on by extreme stress and anxiety. It was one of the scariest moments of my life. I don’t like not having control. Yesterday, I lost controlI would prefer not to have that feeling ever again.

So, a while later, I left the doctor’s office with their consent that I was OK. I went straight to the deli and got a sandwich. Then I felt terrible all day yesterday. Now I don’t ever want to go back to that office again but I know I will and I will freak out the next time I get blood drawn. Ugh. Why hasn’t someone developed a tool that can run over your skin and “scan” your blood and automatically read the test results. I’m going to invent that.

Either that or get a prescription for Valium.

Stress. Stress. Stress.

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We all know it, just when we need to be in a completely zen-like state, all hell breaks loose and 50 million things need to be done at once. You start to get those super tight muscles in the back of your neck- you start to breath heavier, you start to worry. It will never get done. There is no way.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have had a lot going on and needed a way out. I was 10 feet under and digging with no sign of light or air. So, after some lengthy discussions with numerous folks and with the support of Andrew, I have gotten myself into a much more agreeable situation.

  1. We hired movers. We no longer needed to put our not so springy bodies through the ringer to try and get all this stuff moved from our apartment to our house.
  2. Calculus. In light of the AS flare-ups and the fact that my Calc prof fell behind grading my assignments, he granted me an extension to May 2, 2012. Awesome.
  3. Classes. After a lot of thought and albeit, a bit of defeat, I decided not to take courses this semester. I have 5 years to finish my Masters anyway, so why cram it all in at a time when I feel physically torn apart and mentally demolished? This will give me time to finish Calculus, move, and get the right combo of drugs!

We still need to unpack everything and we still need to find a subletter, but we are going in the right direction and all in all I am feeling pretty good. Stress is there but not overwhelming. Running helps a lot with it. Now if I could only get my blood pressure down and my heartburn gone!

Too Tired to Think

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I. am. utterly. worn. out. I don’t know what’s gotten into me this past week or so, but I am exhausted. Absolutely exhausted. I drink coffee in the morning and then a glass or two of iced green tea, so it’s not as if I’m not getting any caffeine! And yet, I am still completely run-down. I mean, there has been a lot of excitement going on around here. We just signed a lease for our first house! I had a personal record run of 6.02 miles! I found out one of my best friends is preggers! But I’ve also been getting decent amounts of sleep. So who knows. I am still sticking with the point that I feel great while working out but awful when I’m not. But I can’t work out all day, not with a full time job and not with the life that we’ll be living over the next month or so between traveling and packing and moving and working!

Wednesday at 4:15PM I have a follow up appointment with my Rheumy. I am hoping and hoping and hoping that he tells me it’s ok to go back on Enbrel. The Nambumetone just doesn’t seem to cut it and I’ve been really sore these past few weeks.

For the first time though, I am scared that I may not be able to do it all.

Classes started today. The national workgroups that I’m leading at work start this week. Calculus still has to be completed. We need to pack up the apartment. We need to find a subletter. We need to move. I don’t know if I can do it all. I’m scared that I won’t finish Calc and I’ll get kicked out of Grad School. I’m scared that I’ll fall flat on my face while leading a workgroup. I’m scared that I’ll fall behind in class because I’ll be too tired to do the readings and take part in the discussions. I’m worried we won’t find a subletter. I’m worried we won’t have anyone to help us move. I’m stressed out and I feel like crap.

Somehow things will work out…

A Weekend at Home

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This weekend was our first weekend at home in a while. Even though we cleaned and ran a lot of errands, it was fantastic… mostly because I finished all of my grad school homework for the upcoming week on Friday night so Saturday and Sunday, we got to sleep in! And sleep in we did– at least on Sunday. I slept until 10:30AM!!! I can’t even remember the last time I slept that late. What a great feeling. I don’t think I really ever thought about how much work it would be having a full-time job and going to grad school part time. It’s a lot. I find myself constantly doing work and I feel bad for Andrew because I come home from work and sit down at my, er his, desk and go to work and just hope that he’ll make dinner and what not. He’s been amazing… really. I don’t know how I would do it otherwise. School and work keep me in a constant state of stress, not to mention the added fun of random side effects and drugs that I have to take to try to feel normal.

What an odd thing to say; I’ve always prided myself on not being normal, so it’s funny that I am now trying to find the right combination of drugs to be normal. Ah life, so entertaining. Feeling wise, my jaw hasn’t acted up since last weekend, my injection site is a big red bullseye, and my back has been really sore… so all in all, the usual. I do have the added pain in the butt of my fingers, wrists, and hands just giving up on life constantly. They are super sore and I am finding it hard to grasp things or squeeze things (say like a bottle of spray cleaner). They tighten up and feel like someone is beating them. The funny thing is, I don’t know if that’s the ankylosing spondylitis, the grad school/work combo, stress in general, or what… but regardless I am trying to figure out how to make it better.

I am confident that I’ll figure something out! My next follow up appointment is next week and I just passed the month mark of giving myself injections (where does time go?) so I’m sure soon enough I will find something that works well.

On to more uplifting things… this weekend we got some rearranging done in the apartment, we tried to clean the carpets, we cleaned up the kitchen, we watched some movies, and we made baked lasagna-like spaghetti squash. I can’t wait to try it out! Here are some pictures:

1. First you roast a spaghetti squash in the oven

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. After the squash cools, you shred it like spaghetti, using a fork and mix it with some ricotta cheese.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. In a baking pan you spray with pam or olive oil and then spread pasta sauce or marinara on the bottom to coat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. You spread the squash-ricotta mix on top of the sauce in the pan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Then you spread some fresh basil and dollops of marinara or sauce

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Then you sprinkle on some Mozzarella cheese and a couple dashes of parmesan cheese.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. You cover the whole thing with foil and then bake for 15minutes (until the cheese melts). You remove the foil and bake 5 minutes longer to brown to preference. This is how it looks!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guess we’ll see how it tastes tomorrow!