Sunday, May 22, 2011

I'm all whiny...

If you could hear my voice, you would hire Chuck Norris to roundhouse kick me in the back of the face. That's how whiny I'm feeling. You know the kind of whine it is- long, draaaaawn-out words. A bit of a nasal sound to it, mixed with my husky, manlike voice. Mix in an occasional arm-flailing, you got me on a bad day.

As we all know, because I know you all take notes and follow the minutiae of my day- last week, I went to a small, two-day renaissance faire. I had fun. And I paid for it on Monday, the day I had to go to my daughter's college, and again on Tuesday. So very sore.

I started to feel better on Wednesday and then... Wednesday night... bam! Insomnia-lite. The Vicodin and the muscle relaxer gave out and I was there, wide awake, staring at the glitter-covered ceiling in my room. You didn't know that, did you? My entire house, kitchen included, has that sprayed-on stucco crap with the glitter in it. It looks nice for about seventeen minutes and then the dust sticks to it and the glitter eventually falls off. But I digress...

I was up till five in the morning on Thursday. I slept for a few hours and then got up again. I'm pretty sure that those nerves that are connected to my muscles don't like it when I "do" things. You know, things like walking around and having fun. (that other sentence, that was from an annoying drug commercial where the woman says: "I learned that connected to our muscles are nerves..." Really? You "learned" that, did you? Wow. I took biology in middle school too!)

Friday... humid.
Saturday... huuuuuumid.
Today... enter the whine.

Every muscle you can imagine hurts. My hands and arms are so sore I feel like I've been digging holes or something. You may not know this, but I use my hands and arms everyday! I use them to type, to pick things up, to hold onto railings... really, they're important to me. My legs are sore, but if I'm not standing, well, who cares, right?

Every morning since I switched back to the muscle relaxers is an experiment in pain. Everything hurts. My skin is achy, my muscles feel bruised. My hair brushing across my skin feels strange. OH, and my fucking foot... I have no feeling in the skin on the top of my right foot along my big toe and the second toe. When I have my sneakers on (I have a pair of the no-name-brand "Shape-ups"), the pain is a fiery experience in a numbing pain. I had no idea that pain could also be numb. I didn't know that "to lose feeling" would cause so much agony. (it's more than likely neuropathy and I'm already getting the pain treatment, so as long as things are still working, I'll mention it at my appointment next time. Not worth trying to get a sooner appointment).

Let's picture a red-hot railroad spike... now picture it being hammered into the top of your foot, between your big toe and second toe. Now walk around. Yeah, you can see where the whiny is coming from.

I've got my shiny red Docs on right now. And they're not hurting me, at least, not as much as they do when I have the sneakers on.

And because I have no real way to end this, I'm going to show a photo of my shiny red Doc Martens.

219- original

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Oh, Gabapentin, you silly goose!

If you read the last post about the snafu in my medicine refill, you also know that I have a brand new bottle of Gabapentin on its way to me.

Except there's a problem...

In the time I was tapering myself off the Gabapentin because I was running out, I discovered that it was making me swell up. How? Because as I was taking less and less of it, I was swelling less and less till I wasn't swelling hardly at all. Now, I already have an issue with "unexplained edema", so I didn't realize that the Gabapentin was causing me to swell more. When I got to the point where I was taking 200 mgs once a day, I went three straight days without swelling. And I'd even had potato chips with lunch one day.

So, I called the VA hospital, left a message with the human at the phone and within the hour the doctor herself called back! I know! I was shocked too! She asked if I still had any of the Cyclobenzaprine (muscle relaxer) and I did. So I'm back on that for now and I have a follow-up in June. From there we'll go with either Lyrica or Cymbalta. Whichever one of those the VA says I can have. I've been off the Gabapentin for almost a week and I've only swelled up like a normal person who stood too long would.

Last weekend was the Janesville Ren Faire and I went both days (small, two-day faire; no jousting). I worked the first day from 10 to 4 and spent about an hour walking around talking to people before going home. The second day, my daughter, Ceej, went with me. We were there from before opening (we were about 20 minutes early) till almost 5 PM. We had a good time, of course. The first day was cloudy with a tad bit of rain. The second day, the clouds disappeared, the sun came out, but it remained incredibly windy.

I did good. My feet were the only problem. My body didn't ache too much. Till Monday. On Monday, we had to go to Ceej's college for her orientation/scheduling/boring thing. I was not only exhausted, but so sore I could barely stand. The pain in my right foot was so horrible that I had to elevate it on a chair during the "boring" part of the day. We went from there to my other daughter's home (she lives in the same town) and had dinner then went home.

Tuesday- pure pain hell for me. My feet (the right one, especially) were screaming. My body was the "thrown-from-horse" all-over sore. Today, the rain came back and so I've got that exhaustion thing going on too.

But, the weekend was good. We had a good time. I took almost 120 photos, three videos and bought two CDs. I also saw lots of faire friends and was quite surprised when a couple of them remembered me from other faires. One in particular, because he must meet a hundred new people every day he's at a faire.

~Link to Flickr Photos~

~2 Merry Men on Facebook~ (one of my CD purchases)

~Water Street Bridge~ (the other CD purchase)

This is part of what you miss when you don't go to the ren faire.


So, the next time you think to yourself: "Bah, ren faires are for NERDS!" remember, the nerds are getting to ogle boobshelves of all shapes and sizes. And you're not. Go to the ren faire, you'll have fun.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Snafu equals FUBAR

I grew up in the military. I knew what those things were before normal people used them on a regular basis. What's my snafu that has things totally FUBAR? ("FUBAR", for those who don't know, is "Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition")... my fibro medicine.

Remember that new dose of Gabapentin I was going on about a few weeks ago? I finally got the pills in the mail- 100 mgs to take with my 300 mgs. In the same way, I start with adding it to one dose- the evening one- so it would be one dose at 400 mgs, then two 300 mg doses. Then after a week, add it to another, so it would be 400 mgs, then 300, then 400. And after all that was dandy, take it with the midday dose and be 400 mgs across the board. Except, two days after I got the 100 mg capsules in the mail, I noticed I was running low on the 300 mgs. I called the VA pharmacy to ask if they were coming, or if they had even been ordered. They were not and they had not. The pharmacist was cool about it and transferred me to the proper extension and I told my story to the person just as we're supposed to do in this situation. That person (a nurse) did her job and put the request in and then we waited...

During this waiting, I started to cut back my doses, because we're not supposed to up and stop taking Gabapentin suddenly. I cut it back to the 300 mgs for three doses, then I cut the midday dose. After a week of that, I cut the morning dose down to 200 mgs so I was taking that in the AM and 300 mgs in the PM. Now I'm down to 100 mgs in the AM and 200 in the PM.

After ten days (standard prescription waiting time and I was on two 300 mg doses still), I called the VA to see what was up with the whole thing. Apparently, nothing. Some sort of fucking glitch in their computer system or something completely fucked me over. And it fucked me over hard and without buying me dinner first. And during this time, my sleep has been completely screwed up. I can't sleep because every time I move, it hurts and I wake up. Or my skin itches so bad I can't lie still enough to fall asleep. So much for exercising to lose any fucking weight.

That phone call was on Monday. They said they'd call me back. They did. On Wednesday. There was some initial miscommunication but now it's squared away and the 300 mgs should be on it's way to me within a few days (if it goes well, I'll have it by the end of next week, but I'll believe it when I see it). So, that little snafu has FUBAR'd my fucking fibro treatment. And my sleep is FUBAR.

Gravity has been pulling me down extra hard. The air makes my skin hurt. My entire body is a sensitive bruise. To compare, men, think about getting kicked in the balls. Yeah, that hurts, right? Now, think about the next few days... how when you're sitting in a chair and you move your leg and your Levi's brush against your jiggly bits. That shudder of pain you feel? That's what my entire body feels like right now. I still prefer my analogy of being thrown from a horse. In the last week, though, I've come to realize that it only works for people who have been thrown from a horse and of those people, it only works if they don't get thrown from a horse on a regular basis.

"Wait," I hear some of you saying, "You know people who get thrown from horses on a regular basis? What's that, rodeo cowobys?"

Nope. Much cooler. And those of you who know me- say it with me- jousting knights. Yeah, I know people who joust for a living. And for them, getting "thrown" from a horse is all part of the job. One of my favorite knights- Sir Mauldron (not his real name)- was thrown from a horse the other day. Face-planted right in the jousting field. Blood and all. He bled real blood in the theatrical joust. But to him and people like him, getting thrown from a horse doesn't hurt them all that much.

They're much tougher than I am. The last time I was thrown from a horse, I was sore for days afterward. Of course, when I was thrown, I got right back on the horse and continued riding- which is what you're supposed to do. And here I sit, in itchy, pain-filled agony, telling you this nonsensical story about how much I fucking hurt and how much I love jousters. Because even though I'm up in the middle of the night and the Vicodin hasn't put any kind of dent in the pain, I'm still getting on that horse again. I'll get up tomorrow and do whatever it is I do. Because I have to.

The Janesville Renaissance Faire is this weekend and I will not miss out on that. It's the start of the faire season and I'm going to see faire friends I haven't seen since October. And I won't let this "invisible" disease keep me from enjoying myself.

Oh, by the way, part of what I do every day is this- Pahz Photography

And then there's this- The World According to Mauldron

Oh, and I do some photo work for Shake Hands With Danger Radio

So a majority of what I do every day can be done from this computer chair. I'd rather be on horseback... at least I'd have a reason for feeling this fucking sore and exhausted all the time.