Welcome to my world

My first blog! To say I’m a little nervous about writing a blog post a day for 30 days seems really daunting, especially since I work retail and we are ramping up for Black Friday and Christmas. If you are game to read this, I am game to write this.

My blog will be about my health challenges with Rheumatoid Arthritis and the subsequent weight gain from not moving as much and eating my feelings and the medicines we take to help us move which inevitably caused the Type 2 Diabetes. Sigh…sounds depressing right? Ehh..I’m a glass half full kind of girl, so maybe we can inject some humor in here and along the way I can teach you something and you can teach me something.

I don’t really want to start this with I think my RA started as young as 11, but that is the beginning. I started having pain in my hips, knees, and thighs. About that time I also developed this icky blistering itchy rash on both of my feet. The podiatrist made me soak my feet in this stuff that turned them brown and then slather a steroid creme all over them. The old country doctor we loved said, “It’s just growing pains. Give her some Advil. She’ll be fine.” Luckily, I had some pain, but it didn’t seem to get worse.

I started to have major problems at 40. First, I got shingles right under my boobies. Yeah, try wearing a bra on shingles. Ouch! Ouch! OUCH! Then the joint pain started. I got so bad I could hardly bend and if I accidentally touched a knuckle on a table the pain would feel like I just hit my funny bone. Would bring a tear to my eyes! The thing that really set me on my path to a diagnosis  was when I could not open a bottle of water. Had to use pliers.

First stop was my primary care doctor. Hmmm..maybe you have carpal tunnel. Wear these braces. Then I had a CT scan because I was having lower quadrant pain that PCP thought was maybe pancreatitis. Alas, it was nothing…I scheduled an appointment with a very rude surgeon who asked me why I wasted his time. It was definitely muscoskeletal. I started having a reaction to percoset, so I called the on-call doctor who again was very rude reading my chart and said, ” I don’t know why you are on pain meds all I see is a little arthritis!” My AHA moment…now I knew who to see a rheumatologist !! Lucky for me I was  on a PPO insurance so I set up an appointment with the person who would finally diagnose me with something we could treat.

I was a size 8-10 when I started this journey. Needless to say I am now an 18-20. Acckkk! My fasting blood sugar was high when my rheumy drew blood about 3 years into this diagnosis and decided to send me to an endocrinologist. Yup! Pre- diabetic. The first year I was really good taking my meds and trying to eat right. Something in my mind switched to this is not fair and I let myself go. I am now a full blown Type 2 diabetic. Again, sigh… on the plus side I have found a young guy who really listened to me about my issues. I never forget my RA shots, but remembering to take my pills on a daily was not happening, so he laughed at me and asked if I could do a once weekly shot. I’m so happy. The shot for me is so much easier. It’s  literally my first week doing it and we shall see if this gets me where I need to be A1C wise.

This is my life. I’m very lucky I am still working my retail job which keeps me moving all day and gets me out of my house daily, otherwise I might just be the crazy cat lady you hear about that socializes with no one and stays holed up in her house. Oops! Yes, I have 7 cats, 1 dog, and 1 bird. Welcome to my crazy life! More to come tomorrow.

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Pain and Blood clots Pt. 1

It has been a year since I started and wrote in this blog. In that year, I almost died, I turned 50, fired my first Nasty doctor, quit smoking, reality star Donald Trump became President, and my nephew got his driver’s license. It has been a surreal reality this year.

Pulmonary Embolisms and a DVT blood clot in my right leg…. in July I started having a dry cough and trouble breathing. I went to work on Tuesday and had some difficulties with catching my breath. I took a Claritin and soldiered on because that is what those of us with RA do! The next day was a day off. I slept off and on until 3:30pm then decided to go to Walmart and then pick up my prescriptions. I got home, walked into my house up the front stairs, and ran to the day bed before almost passing out. Worried and knowing that this is not my normal, I got on Google and googled, ” trouble breathing, dry cough, dizziness, and pain under breast.” Two things were found in my search, pulmonary embolisms and pleurisy. Neither is good, so I called my sister who was working hard as a Principal to get her school up and running for the fall term start. She said she was on her way. I called my best friend and told her I needed her to come take me to the hospital because I wasn’t paying $700 again for a durn ambulance ride! I then called my mom and dad and told them I was heading to the hospital.

I sat in my chair and my friend showed up like 5 minutes later from 15 minutes away with her BP cuff in hand saying I bet it’s your blood pressure. We laugh in retrospect. I looked at her and said, “Let’s go!” We got to the hospital and she dropped me at the door. At this time, I’m visibly gasping for air. I sign in and even though the room was full of people sick and bleeding, I was taken in first! They take my BP, slightly raised. My temperature was fine. Must be my heart they say. I say no, ” blood clot in my lungs.” No one listens. They take blood for heart issues and do eeg. No issues. This lovely young girl first year resident comes in and takes out her book and takes the most thorough history of my health I’ve ever had taken. I tell her”Please do a ddimer test. I think I threw a clot to my lungs.” New Doctor walks in and says to me, ” Well…ok we are going to do the ddimer test, but..” She was so not believing I was right. They do the test. Next thing I know I’m being told that there were clots somewhere and they were admitting me. I told my family to head home. I worry more about them driving at 2 am than having someone with me. Wait! I do have someone with me! My other sister lives in Germany and she is up during the night, so I would be PMing her in Facebook the rest of the night when I wasn’t asleep.

I make it to my room at 6 am  and they immediately take me to CT and to get an ultrasound on my legs. I get back to my room and my lovely nurses set me up with some food. I had the best nurses ever! I slept a couple of hours and then mom and dad showed up. About the time they came in I suddenly had 2 nurses one on either side of me hovering. I asked, ” What’s going on?” The nurse to my right said,” You cannot move or move from this bed”, as she is hanging some new meds from my pole. “You have the largest blood clots in your lungs I’ve ever seen!” YES! I should be a doctor! I just giggled and drifted off to nap land! In actuality I was relieved it wasn’t heart problems.

I will finish this story later today. Tired now! Christmas and retail is kicking my RA riddled behind!

 

My process

fb_img_1478139271517I’m back for day 2. Today, I ran up and down ladders getting Christmas up in my store. Pshew! I’m tired. To answer WEGO Health’s question. I sit down write what I want to talk about and post. Yesterday’s first post, I tried to check it before posting, but missed a few glaring misspellings and can I say dang it autocorrect!! Oh well! I’ll look at it later and cringe So far, I’ve not done any facts about my diseases yet. I’m sure that is coming when I try and make a point. At this moment, I’m so tired that I’m glad this is short and sweet lol! Will be longer tomorrow. Oh and BTW, I’m typing these on my cellphone.  Who knew 20 years ago this would be possible!