A Chocolate Donut

November 7, 2007

CPAP is here!

Filed under: CPAP, fibromyalgia, health, life, sleep — Wizus @ 7:25 pm

My Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine arrived today!  I have mixed feelings about wearing an unflattering piece of headgear and being hooked up to a machine all night.  On the one hand, it is ugly and not very comfortable…but on the other I don’t want to rob my body of the oxygen it needs. 

When the airway is blocked and breathing stops during sleep, you are being momentarily choked or asphyxiated, and the sudden drop in oxygen level causes carbon dioxide levels in the blood to rise. The body tries to protect itself from harm by making the heart work harder to move the remaining oxygenated blood through the body. So, your heart rate increases too. ~respironics.com

The results from my first sleep study showed I had a mild sleep apnea with  AHI 11 and  oxygen saturation of 92%.  My doctor told me that I didn’t have any instances where I would miss a breath, but that I have very shallow breathing…I’ll take that as a good thing as the whole ‘stop breathing in your sleep’ thing is very scary!  Most people with only mild sleep apnea can get away with using a mouthguard that would help keep the airway open.  Since I take medications that cause drowsiness my doctor is afraid my throat muscles could become too relaxed which would make it more difficult to breathe.  So, he sent me in for a second sleep test to try out the CPAP machine. 

I slept much better during the 2nd study than I did at the 1st, mostly because of the Rx I take that help me sleep.  Plus, the second time around I felt more at ease since I knew what to expect.  I was able to try out the different types of masks available for the CPAP machine and I picked one that just goes under the nose (there is one that covers the whole nose and one that cover the mouth and nose).   I think the one I picked works the best for me because the pressure was more direct into my nose and with my sinuses giving me so many problems lately I finally felt like I was breathing “right” again.

I really have high hopes that I will wake up feeling much better than I have been!

A look at my soul…

Filed under: life — Wizus @ 9:06 am
You Are a Prophet Soul

You are a gentle soul, with good intentions toward everyone.
Selfless and kind, you have great faith in people.
Sometimes this faith can lead to disappoinment in the long run.
No matter what, you deal with everything in a calm and balanced way.You are a good interpreter, very sensitive, intuitive, caring, and gentle.
Concerned about the world, you are good at predicting people’s feelings.
A seeker of wisdom, you are a life long learner looking for purpose and meaning.
You are a great thinker and communicator, but not necessarily a doer.Souls you are most compatible with: Bright Star Soul and Dreaming Soul

What Kind of Soul Are You?

November 5, 2007

A series of unfortunate events.

Filed under: fibromyalgia, health, ic, life, rant — Wizus @ 2:32 pm

Last Tuesday my doctor informed me that I have what is called “interstitial cystitis”,  IC for short.  She did a test in the office that included inserting a catheter “the size of uncooked spaghetti”, as if knowing that was going to make it any better.  Anything going into my bladder from that direction is not good.   I then had to rate how I felt after she put a solution into my bladder, she drained the solution and put in another one, drained the 2nd solution then put in something that was supposed to “soothe” my bladder and whatever I felt I had to try and hold it for at least 30 minutes. Well, after that ordeal I couldn’t “go” for nearly 6 hours.  Now they expect me to go into the office 2 times a week for the next 3 weeks to have the soothing ‘cocktail’ inserted via the spaghetti sized catheter.  I really don’t think I am up to torturing myself in this manner.

She also gave me instruction to eliminate some foods from my diet and proceeded to name 1) everything I had eaten that day…bananas, orange juice and yogurt…2) everything I was planning to eat for the rest of the day…tomatoes and spicy food (spaghetti sauce and meatballs)…and 3) every beverage known to mankind…coffee, tea, fruit juice, soda, wine, beer and liquor.    I am a creature of habit so this wasn’t going to be very easy for me. I like what I like and if I can’t eat it it is hard to find a substitute but that night I ate the spaghetti (the irony!) with no sauce, my salad with no dressing  and washed it all down with a nice cool glass of water.  So far so good.  I was going to be fine with the diet, it is only temporary, I will begin adding foods back in after a few weeks and see if anything was a trigger food that made the IC worse. 

Friday I had an appointment with my allergist.  It was my second round of the skin test to see what was causing the allergy symptoms I had been having for the last 15 months.  It had become a serious problem because I have never had any allergy problems, yet for the last year my sinuses have been stuffy and swollen and I have had 5 sinus infections..the only 5 I have ever had in my life!   I had already had a scan of the sinuses done to rule out any abnormalities there.  I think the stress of it all was wearing me down and I woke up that morning just aching all over. 

I cannot believe it…I am having the horrible fibromyalgia pains that I have not felt for nearly 3 months?!  I had even gone to Hawaii last month and spent 4 days swimming, hiking and even paddling an outrigger and not once did the fibro pain come back.  What is so different now?  I’ll get out the yoga mat and try to relax… I convinced myself that it was tension and eased the pain away…

It was hard for me to sit still while the allergist is discussing the results of my tests, my body was aching and it made me restless…for this second test nothing was positive and the first test showed only a few weak positive results.  He sends me for a blood test…5 tubes of blood! 

Between the 2 doctors I had 5 new prescriptions, 3 of which I needed to take at night because they cause drowsiness.  I decide to call the Xyrem pharmacist (it is a controlled med that is supplied by only one pharmacy in the country) and ask her if there will be any problems taking these together and she is worried about only one of them…it is a sixth one, a decongestant that I had been taking for the last 2 weeks.  I decide I am not going to take anything until I can get this pain under control.

Hubby comes home and he is worried.  The pain has taken away my appetite and my confusion about what I can and cannot eat worried me so much that I have only had water all day.  “Maybe your potassium levels are too low?” he suggested, “That causes muscle cramps, doesn’t it?”   A quick search on the Internet and I am not so sure that is it…it takes more than one day of no food to have low potassium levels.  I do more yoga but this time I don’t feel any better.  More stress.  Lucky for me I have my Xyrem, it knocks me out cold.  I hope to wake up pain free.

I get out of bed but my feet fail me and I fall to the floor, I crawl to the bathroom door. It won’t open. I am crying and I cannot understand what is happening or where I am.  Hubby sits up and turns on the light…that’s the closet he tells me.  I feel panicky because I don’t understand him…What? Hubby helps me to the bathroom and I want him to leave me alone. Everything is swirling and I cannot stand up straight.  I try to get a cup of water and just pour it all over myself.  My heart is racing and I am trying to catch my breath.  Please let this be a dream…

“Hypokalemia”…that’s the diagnosis.  Seems that the decongestant I had been taking interferes with the absorption of potassium.  Combined with the limited diet I had for the past three days and I am lucky it is not more severe. Did you know low potassium can cause cardiac arrest? That is very scary stuff!  Hubby has been so great to me, not only has he not said  “I told you so!”  but he spent the weekend taking me to my favorite restaurants!

It has been two days and I still feel a uneasy from the scare.  This morning I had my usual breakfast including a banana and orange juice and the best part…my bladder feels fine!  Maybe I won’t need to eliminate too much of my usual foods after all.  

October 29, 2007

AZ State U wins again!

Filed under: Arizona, family, life, parenting — Wizus @ 3:41 pm

Congratulations to our ASU Sun Devils…they are undefeated this season!

Here is a look at our family’s annual trek to ASU’s homecoming block party and game:

KK

KK loves going to “Sparky’s school”!  Only 10 years until she will be a student there!

Kenny

Kenny playing in a police car that was on display.

Pictured below, the kids in the student section rushed the field and somewhere in that mess is Ricky…he says he’s the one wearing the gold shirt  😛

Ricky

And once again, I am the one that takes all the pictures so there are none of me  😦 

October 28, 2007

Feeling good with fibro…it can happen!

Filed under: fibro, fibromyalgia, FMS, health, life — Wizus @ 11:13 am

I almost feel like my old self again! I cannot believe how good I have been feeling since I started the new drug.  It has been a long road to get to this point (3 years from diagnosis!), but I am so happy to have finally found a doctor that really understands how to treat it.  

Everyday I have one or 2 people read my post  “Fibromyalgia sucks”. The search term “fibromyalgia” is in my blog stats everyday and I wonder, how many people are looking because they have it too?

If you are one of those people, and you are having problems finding the relief you are looking for, I suggest checking to see if there is a clinical trial near you. The drug trial I signed up for (and is the one I am using now that I am off the study) is Xyrem.   Xyrem is not a new drug, it is already widely used to treat narcolepsy.   My doctor had me do a sleep study and the results showed “alpha intrusions” which means deep sleep is interrupted by bouts of waking-type brain activity.   I found an article at medscape.com written in 2003 about the connection between sleep, FM and the use of this drug (I tried to link it but the site won’t let me).  I even found one dated 2001 but it was short and too technical for my liking, but I find it interesting (and sad) that this connection was made so many years ago and the treatment is still in clinical trials!

I never thought I would feel this well and it has been only 3 months since I started treatment.  I have been afraid to make a new workout schedule.  It has been 13 months since I last attempted my running routine and that was a disastrous 2 weeks of hit-and-miss run/walks; exercise one day and spend the next 2 days paying for it, repeat, quit  😦    I have been trying to get back into yoga but even without pain, the stiffness is still there so I get frustrated with the poses I can’t do yet.  I keep telling myself to check the attitude and just do it, but retraining my brain is not easy, either!  After all these years I can hardly believe I am feeling this good!

October 24, 2007

Hey 19…

Filed under: children, death, family, life, parenting — Wizus @ 1:07 am

He is lost and wanders aimlessly through life. 

He stays up all night and sleeps all day.  He will leave home for days at a time.

I don’t know what to do to for him.  He needs help but I cannot force him to get it.

He was only 7 when he followed his step-brother into his dad’s bedroom.  He watched Daniel pick up the air rifle and fill it with BB’s.  He counted the pumps 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9…

He walked behind him as they went down the hall to the living room.   He saw him raise the gun and pull the trigger.

Then he watched his big brother fall to the floor.  

What did he hear?  I don’t know.  I could not listen to the 911 tape.  What would it be…crying? screaming? silence in the background?   I know he was scared.  He was alone in his dad’s house with his dying brother and the teenager that was supposed to be taking care him.

I ran into the emergency room.  I was escorted to a little sitting room and there they all were with their heads hung low…his dad, his stepmom, his stepsister, Daniel and my little Ricky.  No one looked up. “Where is Kyle?” I asked…nobody answered but I already knew. I had sensed it.  I felt him leave. 

…We had been shopping for Christmas gifts when we stopped to get a bite to eat.   We were discussing where to put the new freezer we had to buy when it happened.  Hubby says he saw it in my face as I abruptly stopped what I was saying and began talking about Kyle.  I knew it was him as he traveled right through me, it felt like a wind blowing through my chest and my mind filled with thoughts of him.  I felt restless and I told Hubby we needed to go home, now!  I knew there would be a message waiting for me and I dreaded having to push the PLAY button: “Come to the hospital immediately.  There has been an accident…” …

I had to say it again, “Where is Kyle?” and my baby boy is the only one to looked up at me to say, “He’s dead.” 

A single BB had torn through his shirt and entered his chest and punctured the pulmonary artery. The pericardial sack slowly filled with blood until his heart could no longer beat.  

I took Ricky home with me and held him all night.  I have held him many nights through the years.  He was 16 the last time I held him, I mean, really held him while he cried.  He was in so much pain my heart still aches from the memory, “I feel so lost right now and need my big brother“, is what he confessed to me.  

All summer long he watched Grandpa slowly die. I thought he was doing OK but it has brought back the horrible feelings of grief.  He didn’t tell me at the time but he had stopped going to work and he neglected to register for fall classes. 

I want to hold him now and tell him everything is going to be alright, but Mommy’s kisses cannot fix this.  

September 26, 2007

What the…?!?

Filed under: children, family, life, parenting — Wizus @ 10:52 am

I truly love my daughter more than words can describe.  She is my pride and joy and after two sons I was thrilled at the thought of all things pink.  What I wasn’t prepared for was how different she would be from me, I don’t understand her at all.  

Now, I think I have a good sense of humor, but what in the world would possess my sweet little princess into doing something like this to her little brother?

Look who is a big boy now! (not for the squeamish)

Filed under: family, life, parenting — Wizus @ 10:33 am

Kenny had just put his toothbrush in his mouth when blood began pouring out over his chin.  I saw it in the reflection of the mirror so I turned to look at him,  his eyes were wide and he just stood there with his mouth hanging open and the blood pooling in his lower jaw.

“Spit!” I told him.   He leaned over the sink and spit out the blood and froze there watching it drip, drip, drip, into the sink.   

“What happened?” I asked.  “I lost my tooth!” he said with a big grin.  I looked in the sink and sure enough, there was a little pearly white tooth mixed in that sea of red flowing towards…..the drain! 

I fished it out of the sink and I have to say, Wow! That little tooth had the longest root left on it that I have ever seen on a baby tooth!  He has knocked his teeth loose a couple of times so I am going to guess that is why it came out like that.   Look at the size of the hole it left!

Isn’t that the most proudest big-boy smile you have ever seen?!  I resized the picture so it is not too big for this post, but if you look carefully you can see that his top tooth is a shade of gray…that one was knocked loose by a sidewalk in California about 18 months ago but it has held up pretty well.   His 2 top teeth and the 3 left on the bottom are just a tiny bit wiggly now.   He was very happy with the dollar the Tooth Fairy left for him (yes people..I did an informal poll of the moms in my area and the going rate is $1,  do not give your child more so as to make my kids feel gypped  )  so he cannot wait to lose those teeth, he has some big plans on how he will spend his money! 

September 24, 2007

10 Days

Filed under: death, family, life — Wizus @ 9:48 am

It has been 10 days since Dad died.  I have been trying to write something about him every since, but the words are not coming to me.    What an odd phenomenon!  I have something to say about everything…even if its not the right thing to say at least it is something.  Through the years I have learned when it is appropriate to speak up and when it is best to keep my words to myself, but I can use one hand to count the number of times I have experienced speechlessness.  Dad, on the other hand, always said exactly what he was thinking.  He had an opinion on every subject and he would tell anyone what that opinion was.   He blurted out all his thoughts no matter if it was politically correct or not.  Think Archie Bunker, and you will know a lot about my dad.

He spent his entire life tormented by the memory of his childhood.  He was a little German boy raised by Polish Catholic nuns in a Buffalo orphanage during WWII.  All those adjectives are important as he spoke of these facts until the end.  The last few years of his life he spent his time researching and looking up the people from the boy’s home.  “Why wasn’t I put in the German orphanage?”, he wanted to know.   He became a staunch Athiest and was afraid of the finality of death.  His hopelessness broke my heart. 

He was mostly deaf in his right ear, he said it happened when he was about 6 years old when a nun slapped him on the side of his head which caused his eardrum to burst and bleed.  I cannot recall exactly what he had done to “deserve” this punishment.  It may have been the night he snuck down to the kitchen to find some food.  The kitchen was locked but he found cake in the garbage.   He said he remembered the cake was delicious and could not understand why it was thrown out.  That event may have been what triggered his lifelong obsession with dumpster diving. He loved to bring home the treasures he found and as a kid I didn’t know any different. The used toys he would bring us were more fun that no toys. Heck, I got my first skateboard by climbing into the storm drain and finding one that someone had lost to the road gutter.  Dad was proud!

There is much more to say of this man that lived for only 74 years, he really did a lot with his life and to me it is all amazing.   Dad had cancer for over 10 years, but death is still a shock. I will have more words later.

September 10, 2007

Back to regular life.

Filed under: birthday, family, Heroes, life, midlife crisis, The Sims 2 — Wizus @ 12:30 pm

My “Birthday Week” was much fun!  Here is what I have been up to:

I took myself shopping for some new clothes and found many great bargains. Since many of the major department stores are run by a corporate purchasing office in some far-off-land with a Fall Season, I was able to walk past racks and shelves full of sweaters to the clearance Summer items.  The only thing better than having new clothes is having new clothes at a bargain price!  I really don’t enjoy trying on clothes so when I find something that fits well and I really like it,  I buy more than one, especially if it comes in different colors.  Buying 2 or more items for the price of one really works great for me!

I also bought myself a bread machine.  The only downside I have found to making bread in the machine is that I can only make one loaf at a time, but it is so easy I can make a new fresh loaf everyday!  I just put the ingredients into the machine, push start and viola! Fresh bread will be ready in about four hours.  I can leave the house and come home to the yummy aroma with no effort.

Then I went a little radical (for me anyway!) at the hair salon…I am now a brunette!  Not a even a wisp of blonde hair anywhere on my head. There are no highlights and most importantly, not a sign of that kinky white hair trying to take over up there.   I think the darker hair makes my eyebrows look a little odd so I have been experiementing with different eyebrow pencils to get it right.  (I sell MaryKay so I have my own personal beauty supply store in my home!) So far, I am having just as much fun as I have had as a blond.  Hubby really likes it…his reaction reminded me of episode 72   from the show All in the Family  😉

The kids spent Saturday night with Bigama and Papa so Hubby took me out on a date.  We went to the movie theater to see Superbad. I enjoyed it, I didn’t think it was as funny as it could have been, but there were some very clever scenes that will go down in movie history. We then went out for some delicious Italian food at a place that leaves the bottle of Chianti on the table but charges by the glass with an honor system of asking “how many glasses did you pour?” They even sang Happy Birthday to me in Italian, fun!

I visited my dad, and he while he knew it was me he could not remember the date of my birthday. He says he is comfortable and happy and that is all that matters at this point.

My oldest brother called me to wish me a happy birthday and we had a nice chat. His son was diagnosed with leukemia last year and he told me he is doing well enough to go back to school this year so that is very good news!

When the kids came home they gave me The Sims 2, Bon Voyage (and KK spent the rest of the day on my lap watching me play-and begging for me to let her play her own family, and Kenny wanted me to tell him to come look anytime a new car showed up).  Hubby gave me the DVD set for the first season of Heroes.  He also promises to upgrade my PC, I just need to tell him what I want.  It is a pretty good PC for what I do with it.  Most likely I’ll get more RAM but I have to do a little research on what else I could do to get it to run a bit better while playing TS2. 

Appropriately enough, my mom missed my party to go to a ballgame!  😀  While I didn’t see her during my birthday week, she is going to take me out for lunch tomorrow to one of my favorite Mexican food restaurants so I will just extend the celebration a bit.

Now, it is time for some leftover birthday pie, Lemon Supreme, YUM! (cake is soooo over-rated..everyone should have pie!  8)  )

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