Thursday, September 11, 2014

Well... I've had worse and managed to live through it...

As optimistic as my few posts about the new drug were, it seems we were premature in any happy-dancing or whoo-hooing we were doing. Bristol ended about two weeks ago, and I thought things were going okay. I was trying to ignore everything that had gone wrong.

The pain came back (but not as intensely as before).

My left foot with that whole swollen flipper thing (well, that MUST be from all the walking at faire, right?)

Flareups started happening on a regular basis. (well, dammit, the weather is changing, right?)


So yeah, turns out that the Effexor wasn't working for me. I mean, at first it was amazing, but the longer it went on, the worse things got. I had my followup appointment today and not only was I swollen, the scale said I haven't lost any weight from faire. And that's ridiculous because I lose weight EVERY season at Bristol. My jeans were loose to the point of being able to pull them down without unbuttoning them. Well, till a few weeks ago, when the swelling took up a lease and rented space in my legs.

I was trying to ignore the pain, too. But it came back. It seemed more like it was localized in my larger muscles and of course, my hands. The swelling didn't help any of this at all.

What kind of swelling am I talking about? Well, I took photos. Let's take a look, shall we?

I took these photos on Monday (September 8th) in the evening.

Well, that looks awful. My ankles and feet are so small because I had just taken off my hiking boots. I figured they looked worse against the bed like that, so I took two shots from a different position, with my leg in the air.

So, yeah... I should have taken some photos of the flipper-foot. That thing is freaky.

The doctor told me to stop taking the Effexor (and don't worry about that- there are people who take it and have to wean off it. My dose was so low that it shouldn't matter). They're going to try me on the generic form of Cymbalta. The good news is that if the Cymbalta doesn't work, they'll HAVE to put me on Lyrica. And then I can become that annoying chick in the commercials, griping about the "all over pain" and how our "nerves transmit pain signals to our brains" because even though I failed 10th grade biology, I still knew that without the commercial's help.

As for the numbness and pain in my foot- they're going to run some blood tests and if my blood says I need it, I'll start a B-12 supplement. You see, I have three strikes against me for the neuropathy thing.  One- the fibro. That's a huge thing that can cause neuropathy. Two- my thyroid disorder. That's another thing that can trigger a severe neuropathy thing. And my blood work today showed that my thyroid had gone wonky again. And three- having a knee replacement. While the knee replacement is the best thing ever, it also has some pains in the ass to it as well. Well, not actual ass-pain. But you know what a pain in the ass having a numb foot and toes can be. If you don't, you should totally try it out! (no, don't. It isn't as much fun as the brochure led me to believe).

So, we have to tweak an existing drug (the thyroid pill- I've been on it since I was 18 and have had the dose fiddled with here and there), change up the other drug (Effexor to Cymbalta), and then check all the blood again in "about six weeks". The date I have to go in for the lab work is on the first day of Teslacon (because I'll be in town anyway). I sure hope everyone at the VA hospital that day likes the Steampunk outfit I'll be wearing.

And now- let's talk about the faire... because I like to end on a high note.

Overall, this season was much better, pain-wise. I also had my usual amount of fun and I loved nearly every minute of faire. I had mostly good days, related to fibro pain, but my foot/feet caused all sorts of issues. It was worth it, though. Because I'd rather be at Bristol in pain than at home (in pain or otherwise). It happened too fast and it felt like it had just started when we were on closing day. I won't get to see most of my faire family again till next year. But, luckily, I can see a lot of them in a few weeks at Stronghold and then again at A Gathering of Rogues & Ruffians a week after. Then, a whole mess o' them are going to be at Teslacon. And as we know, the only reason I started going to Teslacon was because of my people.

~Here's the link to my 2014 Bristol photo albums~

And, here are the 365s I did at faire this year. (if you want the whole story, you'll have to click on the photo to read it). When I look back at these photos, all I can see is a puffy and pained person standing next to a bunch of cool people who do a lot harder work than I could even imagine.

They do all the hard stuff and I show up and take pretty pictures of it.

Me and Sir Mauldron (real name- Steve)- using the remote trigger, Christine as my human tripod.

143 of 365 part 5: Sir Mauldron!

Me with the Baby Dragon fairy as a human. (real name- Savannah; she gave me a signed photo of Steam Powered Giraffe).

149 of 365 part 5: Savantastikal!

Me with "Squire Archer" (one of the dragon's younger brothers, real name- Colton). Big shock, I was talking when I took this shot.

157 of 365 part 5: Squire Archer!

Me and Todd!

163 of 365 part 5- Hot Toddy!

Me with the Storm fairy named Epona. (real name- Tess. She was my favorite with the baby dragon). Because of her, I kept extra treats in my basket.

164 of 365 part 5: Do you see that?

Me with Christine's boyfriend, Casey, on his second day at Bristol.

170 of 365 part 5: This is Casey

And this is Loki! (we love Loki- real name is Vince). I had the great idea to make the tall person hold my camera while I used the remote trigger.

171 of 365 part 5: Loki!

This is Jeff! Usually he's wearing historically-accurate clothing (he's with the Guild of St Michael- the historical reenactors at Bristol), but he took a patron day and attended the faire with his family.

177 of 365 part 5: JEFF!

Don Vincenzo (real name- Vince) and I are photobombed by Todd.

178 of 365 part 5: Don Vincenzo di Sicilia! And Todd!

Me, the Italian, and Edgeron's giant pickle (yes, we know it's a zucchini)

185 of 365 part 5: The Pickle doesn't far from the Tree

Me with Joseph at the end of a particularly exhausting day. We sat in the dais after the last joust and chatted about life, the universe, and everything for about twenty minutes.

191 of 365 part 5: The end of an exhausting day...

A slightly blurry photo of me with Sir Maxx (real name- Matthew; who happens to be the father of the baby dragon and the squire, pictured above).

192 of 365 part 5: Sir Maxx!

Me with Edgeron. I don't cheer for Edgeron. Ever. But the guy named Jack who plays him, he's pretty cool. (compare this photo with this one from three years ago!)

198 of 365 part 5- Edgeron has cooties

And me with Mauldron again. Except he's in regular clothes. He was injured after being unhorsed the previous week, so he was not jousting as a precaution (he's fine though! Just a little banged up).

199 of 365 part 5: Look who stood next to me for two jousts!

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