So Tell Me

16 04 2012

Little G turns four in 15 days. I know. Don’t ask me where the time went—I’m as stumped as you. Today I got an email from Fisher-Price, because of course they want me to buy his birthday gifts from them.

Question: Do all children now magically turn into girls when they turn four? Because that’s kind of the vibe I’m getting here:

*Still no final diagnosis for Big G. Just waiting, waiting. All the time waiting. Losing my mind waiting…

**Also, I’m sick again, because the universe hates me.

***It’s possible I’m slightly depressed.

****But that’s okay. I’m going to plant a garden.

*****I realize that’s not at all related. I just felt like saying it.

******Plus I have to plan a party for a four-year-old, so I don’t really get to sit around moping. Dammit.

*******Is it really spelled “dammit” and not “damnit”? That doesn’t make any sense, but that’s what the WordPress proofreader claims.

********Why do I suddenly trust the WordPress proofreader? The sickness must be eating my brain! I must immediately take to my sickbed!

I’m Totally Okay! Well, Mostly.

21 02 2012

As some of you know, my doctor diagnosed me with croup almost two weeks ago. What sort of adult gets croup? Hey, I think we all know if any grown person can get croup, it’s going to be me.

I took some steroids. I didn’t get better. I went back to the doctor, who said…pneumonia. Oh, and you’re wheezing too, so here, take this antibiotic, this steroid, and use this albuterol nebulizer solution. Bah, I thought. Stupid pneumonia.

I took antibiotics, steroids, and used the nebulizer (and somehow didn’t crawl up the walls). I drank plenty of fluids. I rested.

I got worse. Now I couldn’t breathe and I had chest pain. Still, my oxygen levels were good, so it couldn’t possibly be that bad, right?

Back to the doctor. Wheezing gone, but now he heard something in the lower lobes of my lungs that wasn’t there before. Crap. Off to the hospital for a chest x-ray, which came back…negative for pneumonia.


At this point we were all confused and rather concerned. Because of my clotting disorder—complete with history of blood clots—chest pain and shortness of breath (SOB! Hee!) that can’t be accounted for by another diagnosis is a bit worrisome. My doctor decided to treat with steroids through the weekend (this was Friday), and if I wasn’t better by Monday, it was time for a CT pulmonary angiogram to rule out a pulmonary embolism.

And that’s when I started to worry I might die.

It sounds stupid, right? I’m 35 years old. Sudden death from a blood clot in my lungs seems rather unlikely, especially since I take blood thinners to make sure it doesn’t happen.

And that’s when I started to worry I was a hypochondriac.

I’ve spent the last five days swinging between the poles of “Holy crap, I’m going to die” and “Why do I blow these things out of proportion? Everything is fine.

It’s been a little stressful, especially since I felt like talking about it too much might make it more real. Obviously the last thing I wanted to do is make anything in this situation more real.Plus if I talked to the people close to me, they might worry. (News flash: they worried anyway!)

I had my CT scan today. It was a good news/weird news/not great news kind of thing.

Good news: Immediately post-scan they told me I was all clear and could go home. Yay! No blood clots!

Weird news: My doctor called me and told me the radiologist saw a tiny spot that could be a small embolism, but he felt “deep down in his soul” that it’s not because something that small wouldn’t cause these symptoms.

Not great news: The radiologist saw signs of developing pneumonia. Once I finish this round of antibiotics (the apparently not-so-magical Levaquin), I’ll start a new course of antibiotics (the hopefully more magical Omnicef).

Overall, I’m starting to feel a little bit better, but I’m exhausted. Physically, emotionally, mentally—I’m just done. I’m ready to be healthy again, but it looks like it’ll be a while before I’m back to 100%.

I admit, I wish the radiologist had said to my doctor, “Yeah, I see some pneumonia, but that’s it.” I’m glad he feels comfortable deep down in his soul, but I also know malpractice insurance exists for times when his soul perhaps should’ve been doing a few leg lifts instead of lounging in the beanbag chair. (I’m not saying I’d sue—I’m just saying doctors aren’t God. You got that, right? I’m not at all litigious.)

My paranoia is calmed, but still lurking under the surface. I’m finally at a point in my life where I’m comfortable saying I’m not a hypochondriac. I have real symptoms and real cause for concern. I have no desire to be ill, and no need to be the center of attention (beyond the confines of this blog, of course).

I’m not sure I’ll ever be free of that faint hum of disquietude. Frankly, I’m not sure I should be free of it. My body has failed me spectacularly in the past. If it were a person, I would’ve shunned it long ago. But it’s my body, not a person, and I have to be okay with an uneasy truce.

For now, it works.

*Ideal truce: “If you promise not to drop dead on me, I will keep you supplied with brownies.”

**Sorry this isn’t very funny. I haven’t been feeling well. I know. If you didn’t pick up on that, you might want to reread the above post.

***If you do need a laugh after reading this, I highly recommend reading this woman’s tale of her first visit to a French gynecologist. You’re welcome.

To Breathe or Not to Breathe

1 11 2011

Prepare yourselves, friends. I’m going to talk about my health for a bit.

I’m getting sick again. I had bronchitis at the beginning of October and now, less than a month later, I feel the vise tightening around my lungs.

I am so. Very. Angry.

In rehab I learned that anger is a secondary emotion, and if I stop a minute I can admit that I cried for an hour on Sunday because I can’t bear the thought of another winter like last year—you know, when I got pneumonia and then had bronchitis something like six times.

I am so. Very. Depressed.

My doctor doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with my lungs, but that makes no sense to me, because normal people don’t get bronchitis multiple times a year, right? Yet when I’m between my bronchial issues, my lungs sound like those of a perfectly healthy individual. I don’t cough. I don’t wheeze. I’m as normal, health-wise, as someone with all my other health issues can be.

Speaking of my other health issues, this pesky Antiphospholipid Syndrome I have—you know, the one that caused a blood clot and all my pregnancy issues? I take a medication to keep it under control. It’s considered a DMARD—a disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug—and though nobody is sure of the mechanism it uses, it’s believed to interfere with communication of cells in the immune system.

Yeah. I’m sure you see the inherent problem here, though last year was the first time I experienced such severe respiratory illness and I’ve been on the same immunosuppressant for 11 years.

11 years is a long time. I vaguely remember more joint pain, more migraines…pretty much more pain in general before my meds. I don’t particularly want to return to that. Still, if there’s a chance letting my immune system communicate a little bit better will lead to breathing easier…


Fun fact: I can live with pain. I can’t live without breathing.

I am so. Very. Annoyed.

Enough about that. As yesterday was Halloween, I’m obviously obligated to share adorable photos.

And one of me, just for fun.

Okay, I admit it, I think I look pretty hot. In a creepy, goth kind of way.

I Know Where I Stand

17 03 2011

It’s been a rough week around here, and we’re only halfway through. I won’t bore you with the details—I’ll just say it’s centered around Big G, and there’s a lot of Miralax involved, and then some vomiting. Good times.

Tonight I took the boys back to their room and set my pillow next to Big G’s bed. I figured I’d lay there for a few minutes, let everyone get settled.

Little G felt left out (after all, I was a whole seven feet away from him) and meandered over. He plopped his not-really-a-pillow-pet next to me and snuggled into me. The tension of the day left his body as he exhaled a big sigh.

It was one of those sweet moments I relish as a mom—a boy on each side of me, the stress of the day momentarily forgotten.

Then I heard Little G’s voice whisper, “I love you, pillow pet.”

Hee. My kids are fantastic. When they aren’t puking, that is. Okay, they’re still awesome when they are puking, but I vastly prefer the non-puking versions.


8 02 2011

I try not to use my blog space to whine very often, but today will be a rare exception.

//begin whining

If I get sick one more time this winter, I’m going to cry.

Ah, screw it. I think I’ll just cry right now.

Also? Financial accountability be damned. After I pick up my prescriptions I’m going to buy myself lunch because after spending half the night coughing, I can’t even handle reheating leftovers.

So there.

//end whining

*Hey, WordPress Proofreader? Reheating is totally a word. Microwaves: the technology of the future!

In Which I Blog to Remember

18 01 2011

I resisted writing this post, because I wanted to write something funny. After all, I’ve been non-humorous the past two nights. Still, it’s my blog, and tonight I’m writing because if I don’t, I’ll forget something beautiful that happened, which is unacceptable.

I have a sinus infection. I know. This is a ridiculous winter. My doctor prescribed Levaquin, a very expensive antibiotic. But hey, I’ve had Levaquin before, and my brand name copay is $25. No biggie.

I have new insurance.

I don’t complain about my insurance very much, because I’m just so glad I have it. Still, it’s a bit of a shock to go from a $25 copay to a $95 copay for the same medication.

Still, I’ve used enough antibiotics and been sick enough that yes, this is the medication I need to take, so I sucked it up and thanked heaven that at least insurance knocked off about half the price.

I got home and told Car how annoyed I was about the change in our coverage, and as he assured me that we’d be fine, but he hoped not many prescriptions would cost that much money, Big G came over and sat next to me.

“Mom,” he said, looking up at me, “I have money in my bank.”

There are moments in motherhood when my heart becomes so full that I don’t understand how it fits in my chest.

I started crying. I hugged him and hid my tears as best I could, because kids often don’t get the whole “I’m crying because I’m overwhelmed by the joy of being your mom” thing.

So I write this moment down, because odds are tomorrow I’ll want to duct tape him to the wall. Motherhood is bipolar like that.

He Totally Learned That From Me

7 01 2011

In the interest of saving time, rather than telling you what I found out at the doctor this morning, I’ll just direct you to the post wherein I talk about punching my day in the nads, because it turns out I have exactly the same combination of afflictions. I asked my doctor if he thought my insurance would pay for me to live in a bubble and he just laughed at me. Jerk.

But enough about me. Let’s talk about the hilarious things I’m teaching my children!

Big G is obsessed with Angry Birds. If you don’t know what Angry Birds is, well…that’s probably a good thing. Angry Birds is a ridiculously addictive game available on many smart phones that sucks away hours of your life while creating within you an unreasonable hatred of scum-sucking, egg-stealing pigs. Ahem. Not that I’ve ever played it.

The upside is I’ve been able to turn Angry Birds into a sort of rewards system. “If Grandma and Grandpa tell me you’ve been super-good at their house today, you can play Angry Birds when I pick you up!” He’s actually motivated by this, and it’s free! It’s pretty fantastic.

Also fantastic? Sitting next to Big G while he’s playing Angry Birds and hearing him mutter at the pigs, “Wretched beasts.”

Yeah. He totally learned that from me.