Log: May 26 + 27 (Tue + Wed) Medical worries

May 26 (Tue):  Therapy 8:30a; Work 10:30a – 5:30p;
May 27 (Wed): Primary care dr appt 11a; Work 1:15p – 5:30p;

Indian Paintbrush

Indian Paintbrush from some days ago (one of my favorite flowers)

Tuesday: Insomnia until around 4a or so. Slept a few hours, woke up drenched in sweat and having a nightmare (ex-related, again). Somehow made it to therapy, late. Was a little irritable at first. Made it to work. Nothing to do but I didn’t go crazy from it this time. I stayed occupied. Visited Peter after work and we cooked+ate, went grocery shopping, and then to bed. Only, I had a stomach ache and my shoulders were stiff and I so I couldn’t sleep. At all. Finally, a few hours before waking time, I got up, did stretches, and took a lorazepam tablet (they don’t make me sleepy, so that’s why I chose that one). I also asked for more space so I could stretch out more on the bed, and then I did sleep for a bit of time. (I wasn’t miserable about the insomnia, though, because I was in Peter’s arms the whole time and it’s incredibly sweet. If you’re not going to be asleep, this is the next best way to spend a night.)

I think my shoulders were so stiff because I’d been bicycling the day with a REALLY heavy, bulky load both tied to my bike and in my backpack.

Wednesday: It’s Wednesday! It’s silly and cliche but I’m rather happy. Let me first explain what’s happened so far today. Oohh boy.

First, OMG it was hard to get out of bed. But nice anyway, because Peter was there, and I made us very late because I was so tired. But finally I got up and we showered, cooked + ate breakfast, and were on our ways to work… Sort of. I realized that it would take me an hour to bicycle from work to my dr appt, so I didn’t even go to work. I went straight to my doctor’s appointment and was only about 20 minutes early. I snoozed in the waiting room.

So for the appointment, my suspected yeast infection was confirmed (that’s the second one in like a month, which mark the ONLY two I’ve ever had in my whole, entire life). But she wasn’t really sure about the bumps in my mouth. I expressed concern. She did a swab for culture for herpes, but says there’s a 30% chance that it will say negative but actually just be missing if I have it. So basically, if it’s a Yes, it’s a Yes. If it’s a No, it only means “maybe not”.

She also gave me the vaccine for tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. AND gave me lab orders to have my thyroid re-checked AND a bunch of STD things. Again. Yay me. I’ll be really glad to have these results. Although she warned me that it’ll cost me $1000 if my insurance doesn’t at least help control what the lab can charge me. So yeah. My fear of my body’s health far outweighed my money anxiety, so I said, we’re doing this today.

I had a blood test

I had a blood test

I biked straight to the lab, brought my bike up and everything because I hadn’t been anticipating this today and hadn’t had my bike locks with me. Got my blood drawn, got a cute panda sticker that says, “I HAD A BLOOD TEST”, swung by my uncle’s house to pick up a few important items I’d left behind (like, um, my thyroid and antidepressant medication), and then off to work I went. He wasn’t there, so I thought he might be at work.

I chose to bike the whole way to work. It takes about as much time as catching the trains anyway. And I feel SO MUCH better after a bike ride. I just love it. IF ONLY I could make myself ride my bike next time I’m in a funk, but I know I won’t have the motivation for it.

So I’m at work. I don’t see my uncle. Or anybody, for that matter (they are not being lazy — it means they are out ‘in the field’ somewhere). I accomplished a couple of random, brief tasks for work and now… I wait for phones to ring or people to need to be let into the building or have things faxed or… I study online on Khan Academy because that site is just awesome.

Jelly fish sailer

Jelly fish sailer, some days ago

After work, Peter + I are going to cook something but we haven’t actually decided what yet. We have so much trouble with that!

I got invited, possibly, to a family event in DC. I say possibly because after Peter invited me, he then remembered that he should first ask his cousin if he minds me there too. It’s for a Bar Mitzvah. Some of my family is Jewish but I have never been to one before, so it would be pretty neat for me. It’s in like a month from now, so obviously $$$ would be a concern for me, if I do get invited and if I do end up able to attend.

For now, Khan Academy and maybe try to think of something for dinner.

Poem: Death II

For selfish reasons,
I recall your final words to him
And his final breath
You will see him again.

But the Selfish Living (me)
wishes to keep you parted
another day
another week
another year
And keep your loving eyes here
Fixated on the living family encircling you.

For selfish reasons,
I fear your absence.
I fear a life without you.
I fear what will become of those you leave behind.

–innerdragon

Poem: Death I

Why do we have to change?
Why can’t we stay the same?
So full of love
Your eyes
So gentle and kind
So full of wanting to see us smile
Wanting us to be happy
Rejoicing in our joy
And your great-grandbabies
Why do we have to go?
Why can’t we stay together always?
Why can’t I wrap you in my love and keep you safe from mortality?
Why can’t you stay with us forever?

–innerdragon

Log: May 25 (Mon) Tonight, I am a hypochondriac

May 25 (Mon): Unknown; Walk with my brother 2p

Grasses in the clouds

Grasses in the clouds

First of all, the morning was awful. Complete, complete nothingness. I roused out of my stupor enough to meet my brother — not exactly as planned. I had him come to me. I couldn’t make it out to him; I had faded away. I barely had a voice by the time he arrived and I was dissociating so any time I looked over and saw him, it was a really weird experience. I couldn’t tell you if it was from lack of social stimulation or if I had eaten poorly. I had eaten what I thought was an okay breakfast but I did skip lunch, mostly because I was in my nothingness trance. (At least in this nothingness trance, I did get a little studying done.)

He arrived with the ingredients I’d asked for. I made rice while he was driving over. We went on a walk. It was beautiful. Super windy and we were high enough to be in the clouds (I’m adding 2 pictures from today). It was really cool and we got along great!

We came back from the walk and I finished with the ingredients and we ALL had them! The (bulk-purchased) corn tortillas got heated up on the grill, my uncle made beef for folks, I had warmed up the beans and rewarmed up the rice, and cut up the lettuce, bell peppers, sweet onion, green onion, lime, avocado, my uncle set out the salsa. My brother warmed up the tortillas. I could be forgetting something but whatever, it was really good! Oh, I grated the cheese for folks.

I do still feel strange. It’s probably from the upset schedule; I tend to get weird on 3-day weekends anyway. It’s the off schedule. But getting out walking and stuff really helped.

So my hypochondria — that started when I ate dinner. I could feel the tingling all over the roof of my mouth. I don’t know what I’m reacting to, but this appeared to be timed in such a way as for this to be an allergy to something I ate or drank. Sure enough, the roof of my mouth is now covered in little red bumps.

But I don’t know. I can feel them in my throat, too. I looked back at my photos and finally sent them out to a dentist (I’ve been collecting odd mouth photos all month). He didn’t know what to make of them, either. One of them, from the start of May, is especially odd. But at least those white patches are gone now. I guess I should have gone to a doctor right away. I feel stupid for not having done that. My tonsils are still all red and my uvula is not the same as it was before. But I guess part of me figured if this was “something”, it would have shown up on my tongue biopsy I had really not that long ago. Nothing showed up on that biopsy except some abnormal, excessive keratin growth and some normal tongue bacteria that they left alone.

So I guess it’s because I can feel it in my throat, now that I think about it, but I’m totally stressed over this. It’s escalated from “surely it can’t be ‘something'” to “emergency” just like that. It’s been irritating my throat all month, on and off. I don’t know what it is. Should have seen a doctor. Will try to see one tomorrow. I see a dentist on June 2, but the dentist I sent pics to tonight didn’t recognize it, so I don’t hold a lot of hope. I’m worried it’ll be like the excess keratin and pass from one doctor to a dentist to an oral surgeon and then an extremely expensive biopsy. The biopsy was necessary, don’t get me wrong. I could never have stopped worrying about the weird growth on my tongue. But the fact that it took 3 different, expensive doctor visits to get the biopsy is what worries me. I want to go tomorrow and get this tested.

Trees in the clouds

Trees in the clouds

Where the hypochondria comes in is that I know without any doubt in me at all whatsoever that there is “something” very wrong in my body. I have no doubts. What I want right now is every test in the book. I want every possible blood test, every culture, every panel, every biopsy possible. I want this figured out. If only the pictures weren’t considered so gross, I would post them, and then you’d all understand what’s got me so freaked out. I went from a life time of perfect oral hygiene to this strange, never-ending state of always wondering, is something seriously wrong? / Is it contagious? / Is it curable? / Is it going to kill me? / Do I have a fever? <– still haven’t let myself purchase a thermometer. Not gonna. Always wonder.

So yeah. I’ll rein in my desire for all tests. But I’m certainly going to try and see a doctor tomorrow or ASAP. Tonight’s anxiety is all directed toward that, but isn’t it the case with hypochondria that sometimes the anxiety focus is on the body but really your anxiety could be stemming from something else? At least, that’s what I read once a long time ago. And if that’s the case, then the anxiety is DEFINITELY being made worse by the lack of schedule of these past 3 days. And that will aalllll get better tomorrow. Therapy in the morning and then work. I won’t go straight though — I have a lot to pack and won’t be able to organize it in time for therapy. So I’ll bike to therapy and then bike back, pack and THEN head to work. I’m bringing tons of food to work. It’ll go into a box that I’ll tape shut and then strap to my bike. But I’ll have to gather the food from literally two different refrigerators, two different freezers, and also the box of non-perishables that’s on my bed. It’s going to be tough.

Goodnight, all. Today’s Mood Ranking: 3.7-5

Log: May 24 (Sun): Buy more bread + make Pbj’s; unknown

May 24 (Sun): Buy more bread + make Pbj’s; unknown

Bumper sticker: CAUTION! DRIVER SINGING

(I’m adding some humor to this post) Here’s a bumper sticker I saw yesterday.

Wow. Well, at least I accomplished the one thing I’d set out to do — I went to a different store and found bread for CHEAPER, and made a bunch of Pbj’s for the freezer at work.

I also bought corn tortillas. They were freaking CHEAP. And I think I can make some little rolls of beans+rice with them, and even some with peanut butter and jam (I tested it; it worked).

In some ways, I’m catching a glimpse of depression. I’m catching a glimpse of a wall of nothingness. This weekend, Peter has been out of town and it’s interesting to see how the absence of having places to go and people to see makes such a HUGE difference on me. I can just feel the emptiness. I’m not saying I’m depressed; I’m just saying it is easy to see the complete nothingness. It’s amazing that social activities keeps it at bay like it has been. I definitely need to join some more groups (AFTER I DECIDE what to do with school, work, apartment, etc).

My goal for tomorrow is to get up and SHOWER. Then I want to make a bunch of those corn tortilla Pbj rolls, but only if I can do it in secret (made my uncle very angry because I bought them in bulk — it was only $3! I only had $8 left).

Anyway. Then what? I’d like to change the fish’s water. Then read a book maybe? Paint or sketch for a moment? Anyway, in the afternoon, I am going to go walking with my brother. I have in mind to already make certain topics off-limits to help avoid any lectures this time. But I haven’t talked with him in a long time again now.

My mom’s mom is not doing well. She will probably be moved to a nursing home before I arrive there. It is going to be very hard on her because of her dementia and UTI that causes so much confusion in her, but it sounds like there is no choice right now. She’s too weak to sit up and feed herself, apparently!

I feel like grieving but you know me. Sometimes I postpone grief until later. But I don’t think so this time.  I think I will let myself grieve starting now.

She is not dead but as a person ages, sometimes the person they were before disappears. Sometimes just parts disappear. Sometimes it’s drastic. The Grandma I will visit soon will not be the same Grandma I visited for all of those beloved years. This happens. It’s okay to put that out into the open. It doesn’t mean I love her less now than before. But she is different now and our relationship is different now. When I got to stay with her for a time last year, she was different then too, and our relationship was different then too. Now it will be different from then as well. I don’t know how this will be.

I am assuming she is still alive when I arrive. It does not sound good if she can’t feed herself due to the weakness. I hope that the antibiotics take care of the infections quickly. I hope she will be less scared/agitated. I am sorry that she might be having to leave behind her assisted living home and the wonderful friends she has there. I will miss them. They will miss her.

After her fall last year, things got bad for her. It also marked the first time she could no longer practice her viola. That was a time for much mourning for her. She lost a lot of independence then. It’s been very hard for her. She gets UTI’s very easily but resents being forced to drink liquids during the day. She is very funny about that — she scolds her daughter for making her drink, and reminds her that SHE used to be the mother, making her DAUGHTER drink and such. 🙂 I smile but she gets serious about that. It’s hard for her to have the role reversal.

I don’t know if she has that much mental cognition right now. I haven’t spoken with her in a while. I don’t know what she knows. She has been doing things like trying to eat plastic bags and blankets. Her children are concerned to say the least.

Obviously that is different from how she was back in the day, when I was growing up. And she and her husband were the central hub for my maternal Family. It was the summer destination every summer, for all of the children and grandchildren (including me).

From a Jimmy Kimmel skit

(I’m adding some humor to this post.) From a Jimmy Kimmel skit

I never wanted that to end. When they sold their house, it was hard. Harder still because I hadn’t known long enough in advance that they were going to sell, so the last time I was there, I didn’t know it was going to be sold. I would have said goodbye to every room, every structure, every plant, every pebble. I would have taken a seedpod from the Shoestring Acacia in the back yard. (I still consider knocking on their old door and asking the current owners if I can help myself to some seedpods…)

Part of me remains with a hole because that is my definition of Family and any time I was apart from there, I felt incomplete. I wanted us to all live together in the same city (not necessarily the same house, although *I* would have liked that). Now the Family is spreading across the country, and some has migrated toward the same general area as where I currently live. I like that although it hasn’t really increased the number of times I have visited anybody. I haven’t even seen my cousin’s babies. I’m very bothered by that. But how do I save up money for tickets? If I had that much money leftover after a month, I’d surely want to put it into Savings, or save it for the following month’s food budget.

My mum is paying for my current ticket. If she hadn’t, would I have coughed up the money to visit my grandma? I hope I would have but I don’t know myself to pull money from Savings. I hope I would have. Wait yes, I would have. I told my mum I was going to come, before she reminded me that she’d promised me a ticket last year.

Money and food is stressing the SHIT out of me. I can’t afford all of the food I’ve been consuming. Today’s Mood Ranking: 4

Log: May 23 (Sat) Bleh… until I ate

May 23 (Sat): Unknown

Roses

Roses from today’s walk

Boy did I feel yuck today! I mean, okay I knew from whatever I’d eaten last night that I’d feel yuck today. But it came true. So here’s the log.

I slept in! It’s been SO LONG since I’ve slept in! AHhhh it felt good. But I also felt guilty for it, of course. I got out of bed around 12:30p! I took my meds, I hung around my room for a bit. I finally got dressed, went upstairs, made myself a HUGE breakfast/lunch. Well, it was 3 eggs and 1 bell pepper. It didn’t taste very good, maybe due to my having burned it. I even added extra salt at the end. Maybe it was just too much bell pepper.

Oh well. I had only meant to eat half now and save half for later in the day, but then I decided I was going to go walking so I made myself eat it all. Then I went back down to my room and researched human eye color genetics for a while. Then I re-studied a little bit on horse hair color genetics, which is always fun. Then I studied birth control methods and read some yuck experiences with the copper IUDs which bummed me out because that’s what I was sort of leaning toward. Well hell no! I ain’t touching those things now. Anyway, so I was on the computer researching genetics-related things for a couple of hours.

Then I went out walking to head to a huge grocery store. I only intended to buy a few key items (I can’t afford any more food this month), but it cost fricking $42. $42! It wasn’t even very much stuff. I even put back the milk I’d hoped to buy, didn’t buy any granola, and bought my aunt and uncle just one cartoon of eggs. I bought food for a dinner idea for this-coming Tuesday evening. I also bought food for the next couple of days for myself.

Sandwiches

Sandwich creation

The bread made 7 sandwiches. So I have wrapped them carefully and frozen them. They will go into the freezer at work and be there for my future lunches. These were ham-and-veggie sandwiches. Tomorrow, I am going to buy one more loaf of bread (fucking $7 at this store. Unbelievable. Maybe I will walk to a different store and check their prices). Then I am going to make a batch of Pbj sandwiches to also freeze and bring to work. That way, I will be able to alternate.

The problem is, I am too damn picky!!!!! I could have bought a huge jar of strawberry jam for cheap, but did I??? NOOOOO I just couldn’t do it!!! It was sweetened with high fructose corn syrup and corn syrup.

It’s this shit. Gluten free is $3 a loaf more expensive than regular. I can’t stand it.

I’m going to try adjusting my body back to barley. I’ve been off of it for years, after the allergy testing. But you’re supposed to be able to try adding a thing back into your body slowly after 6 months without. I just never bothered because I felt like I ate healthier without it. But now, I just can’t afford this! It’s RIDICULOUS.

When I finally went entirely gluten-free, it seemed to help a lot of my intestinal issues. So I am scared to try gluten again. But I’m going to do this. Because the WHAT IF I CAN TOLERATE BARLEY NOW and WHAT IF I CAN TOLERATE GLUTEN FOODS NOW heavily, heavily outweighs the benefits of continuing gluten abstinence.

The worst that happens? Some pretty yuck intestinal issues for some unknown amount of time until the gluten responses are gone from my system again. So then I’m back on gluten-free. What’s the best that happens? SAVE MONEY $$$$$. SAVE MONEY $$$$$ SAVE MONEY $$$$$. And be less of a pain in the ass as a guest to other people’s meals and in restaurant scenarios, etc.

I wish the lactase tablets worked for me but they just don’t. So there ain’t no doing for the milk-product avoidance.

Beef, I could probably try building that up for my body too, but I haven’t wanted to. But it *would* be just one more thing not to avoid, which would be a relief. What a pain in the ass — sorry that was cooked in beef broth, I can’t eat that. But on the other hand, what’s the big deal with animal consumption? It’s so much EASIER to eat animals. It saves $$$$ as a consumer, since any “speciality” (not made with beef stock!) or whatever foods can get away with charging twice as much. And it’s easier to just get along in the world around me, to not have things I avoid. But people, why? I just want cheap and easy and not make a big deal or fuss about things. Why that has to mean eating animal meat, I don’t know, but it does. It’s just easier.

I quit bothering with fake cheese years ago. Have you LOOKED at the prices of soy, almond, etc. cheeses? ridICulous. Seriously disheartening. The only time I will splurge on that crap is for pizzas. I love cheese on my pizzas.

Neat flowers

Neat flowers from today’s walk

Okay, enough belly aching. So anyway, I felt really bad today. I had the eggs + bell pepper for brunch. I didn’t eat anything after that until like 8p. Then my uncle had made a little food so I was able to eat some of that (he hasn’t thought I was joining them because he saw all of my sandwich fixings, so really only made enough for him and my aunt, but then he didn’t eat much anyway so there was enough for me to join). Yeah, I felt a lot better after I ate. Then I made my 7 sandwiches for my work lunches.

I got to watch the end of a cutesy movie with my uncle tonight. I fed the dogs, which is the first time in a long time (Bailey is so overweight, it’s hard for me to look at her). They’re both very sweet dogs, and get along so well.

Now it’s extremely late. Oh. My maternal grandma is not well. I’m going to go visit her soon. I can’t expect much for mental cognition; she has pretty bad dementia now. It wasn’t so bad until last year when she had a bad fall. It showed the dementia pretty clearly. She gets very bad when she has a UTI, which she has right now. She gets very confused and also very, very anxious.

But of course none of that matters. She is still my Grandma, even if I see other aspects now than she showed before. Even if there are new aspects now that didn’t exist before. She is still my Grandma and we love her. Everyone grieves for her changes in their own ways. My uncle drinks more. My mom texts more. One of my aunts fixates more on health issues. We all have our own little niche for how we deal, how we focus our attention to something we can focus on with a slight bit less pain.

What the family will become without her, it’s hard to know. She and her late husband were always the Center. She is still the Center. It is hard to imagine what the family will be without her here. I think the siblings are all good at staying in touch with one another. Us cousins haven’t had a central way of meeting in a long time. I still haven’t met a single one of my cousins’ babies, which is really, really sad to me.

Well that’s enough for tonight. Goodnight, all. Today’s Mood Ranking: 3.5 – 5