Since I’ve Been Gone

While freezing my butt off on a cold winter day (today) I decided that it had been long enough since writing about my life. I had been waiting for something to happen since my life is so terribly interesting (cough cough) but then realized that in my absence on WordPress that a lot has happened. Too much to really discuss in one post. So, I suppose I will start from where I left off and see how far I make it.

The medication that the doctor had just started me on the last time I wrote definitely does not help with my fatigue, but it really does help with my pain. My average pain level has gone from a 7 (when I started going to the pain clinic) to about a 5. That is a major improvement and makes it worth taking an extra medication.

My car is still functional, although it doesn’t have my complete trust yet, especially on these really cold days. However, it does get me from point A to point B and I have roadside assistance just in case.

My niece and her daughter moved in with me for a short time (about a month). It was great having family here and getting to babysit my grandniece was so much fun! However, I misplaced my trust and got burned by it. My niece had a key to my house and I didn’t have my medications locked up. The very last thought on my mind was that I wouldn’t be able to trust her. I ended up with at least 6 percocet, 20 strattera, and about 30 tramadol missing. It breaks my heart that she would break my trust, but it hurts even more to think that she has a drug problem. I have literally watched her grow from a baby to a woman and she just isn’t the person that I thought I knew…she isn’t the same person she used to be.

To end on a positive note, I had a wonderful Christmas. I had a real tree and was able to get presents to put under it. Family came over and we celebrated for two days with way too much food. It was the best Christmas that I’ve had in years. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday as well!

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I Miss My Car (Sort Of)

 

With all the craziness of breaking my foot I forgot to tell you guys about my car. On Tuesday I went to physical therapy. Afterwards I stopped by the local Sprint store to exchange an accessory, and then I headed home.

Now, I noticed that my air wasn’t cold, but since I was smoking at the time, I assumed it was because it was an oven outside and I had the window rolled part of the way down. Once I was done, and the air still wasn’t cold, it finally occurred to me to look at the temperature gauge. It was all the way at the top! I had a hard time pulling over because of an eighteen wheeler who wouldn’t let me over, but I finally got stopped on the side of the highway. My car was smoking! I was so scared that it was going to catch on fire or something, but luckily it didn’t.

After about 20 minutes on the side of the road the car finally quit smoking. Another 15-20 minutes later M showed up with some coolant for the car (I had let my AAA lapse…I know…my bad).  Even with the coolant, the car still wouldn’t crank up. So, we had to find a mechanic to tow the car.

The next day M talks to the mechanic and tells me that the radiator blew up (I don’t know if that’s really a thing, but let’s just go with it) and that since I had driven it without water in it, that it had messed up the head of the engine. GREAT! The grand total to fix my car: $1,000. It really sucks, but it’s a lot less than buying a new car.

In the meantime, M rented me a car to use. It has been great being able to drive a new (model year) car! Unfortunately, my week is up tomorrow and I will have to take it back. Then I will be without a car until at least Friday. That will suck, but hey, it happens. At least it’s being worked on even as I write this post.

At least by having the rental car I was able to go to my birthday party on Saturday. My grandniece’s birthday was the 14th and mine was the 11th, so my niece decided to throw a party for both of us. It was so much fun! My 2yr old grandniece is an angel and I was honored to celebrate with her. It was the first birthday party that I’ve had in a very long time…I don’t even remember the last time I had a party. But we had a blast! Here are some pictures from the party…

 

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Happy Birthday to Me :)

Image credit: http://birthdayb.com

Image credit: http://birthdayb.com

Today was my birthday. This year, for once, it wasn’t just another day. I mean, it was because I still went to an eye doctor’s appointment…but it wasn’t because I felt that today was what it’s supposed to be…a celebration of my life.

M has never really celebrated his birthday. He says he doesn’t see the point. I get it. If it wasn’t a big deal growing up or just isn’t a big deal to you, then ok. That doesn’t mean that it’s not a big deal to other people. I respect his wishes and let his birthday be just another day (after the first couple of years when I made him a cake and I could tell it bothered him). However I have made it clear to him that I feel your birthday should be a special day. It should be a celebration of the fact that you’re alive and ANY kind of small gesture can symbolize that.

So, what did I get from him for my birthday today? A single rose? A 99 cent birthday card? Nope. I got NADA except for a “Oh yeah, Happy Birthday” when I woke up. I mean, the fact that I was given life should mean more to him than that, right? I’m not asking for an expensive gift. I truly don’t want an expensive gift. But I would like some gesture that my life is worth something. This has gone on like this for as long as we’ve been together and once again has me questioning if I truly mean anything to him.

My best friend is a woman I met around a year ago right here on WordPress. We have become very close. I can tell her anything and she can tell me anything. We Skype each other just as we are, which is usually lounging in bed in our pajamas because we don’t have the energy to do any different. This woman who I have known for less than a year sent me a gift package today. She made sure that it would be delivered to me on my birthday. It’s not about the gift…which happened to be a card, a beautiful journal, a password book, and a magnet…but about all the thought that went behind her putting it together and sending it.

So the way I see it, I mean more to this woman than I do to a man who has been part of my life for almost seven years. How messed up is that? Now, I know this sounds like I didn’t have a great birthday, but despite M’s lack of caring, this was a totally AWESOME birthday! The gift box sent to me by my best friend meant the world to me. We had our “Birthday Skype” and then she texted me and told me how much I meant to her and how happy she was to have me in her life. That in itself was enough to make it a great day! It almost made me cry to think that I mean that much to one person, and made it even more special because she means that much to me too. She has gotten me through some really tough times this past year when I might have just gone crazy without her.

Therefore, I dedicate this post to my best friend who made this birthday the best I’ve had in years. I am grateful and blessed to have such a wonderful friend in my life. She is more than a friend. She is family.

Weekly Update…

Well guys, this week has been a doozy. It was going pretty good until today actually.

Tuesday was physical therapy. It was much better this week than that one week that it sent me into a flare. No flare this week, just a couple of really tender trigger points in my hip area that had to be worked out. Honestly I don’t know that the trigger points were released seeing as how they’re still hurting. Of course, it could be my bursitis acting up. It may be time to pay my rheumy a visit to get injections in my hips again.

Wednesday was a sad day. It was my last visit with my psychologist seeing as how she has married and is moving to another city. I will start seeing my new therapist mid-August. I had gotten used to things with my therapist and I really hate to see her go. Even more I hate to think about having to start all over again with someone who doesn’t know me. The good thing that happened Wednesday was that the keyboard/case for my iPad came in the mail. It is a lot easier to write posts using the keyboard than using the screen of the tablet.

Thursday was supposed to be a day of rest knowing what all I had to do on Friday, but it turned out to be a bit busy as well. The screen protector that I had purchased for my iPad on Monday was already starting to peel up. So of course, I took it back to the store for a refund. Then I decided to buy one from Verizon and have them put it on for me. It was a good decision. I have never seen any screen saver (phone or tablet) not have at least one bubble until that day. The man did a beautiful job with the screen protector, told me that once it was scratched to come back and he would put one of the two remaining protectors on for me, and sold me on a glass screen protector for my iPhone. Then, I called the police station and finally found out why it was taking so long on the police report…they had “misplaced” it. So then I had to drive downtown, purchase the police report, and then take it to the rental place. Like I said, busy day for a “rest” day.

Friday was like every time I get my check. I run all across town paying things that I am unable to pay by phone. Depending on the lines that can take anywhere from 2 to 5 hours. This day took 3 hours, so not too bad. Then I went back to Verizon, bought the glass screen saver and a car holder for my iPhone, and to Target to buy a case. By the way, for those who don’t know, Target will match prices- even online. They will match Amazon’s price just as long as the product is sold and shipped by Amazon and not a third party. So I was able to get a $35 case for $22.99 thanks to Amazon’s scanning ability and Target’s competitiveness. After that I got a hankering for a new purse, so I went to Burlington and found a beautiful red leather purse and matching wallet on sale. Happy with the day’s purchases, I made my way home (aching body and all). Shortly after getting home the mailman came with my birthday package from my best friend. So now I have a set of bluetooth headphones to use when I’m driving or when I’m doing housework and want to listen to music without carrying my phone around. All in all a very good day, but completely exhausting!

Today is Saturday. I slept in late (It was about time I got some good sleep) but I still woke up utterly exhausted. I really need to go grocery shopping, but my body hurts so badly that I don’t know if I’ll be able to. Not to mention that I have dishes and laundry to do. I would really like for my day to be productive, but I just don’t know if I can. I have used my inhaler and taken a pain pill, so maybe in a little while I will have some energy and less pain so that I can go. I know that if I do I will have to use one of those electric cart things and I absolutely hate using them. But, I suppose it’s worth it to have food to eat, right?

I still haven’t heard anything from the rental place about whether or not they are going to replace the iPad. M said that he is willing to finish making payments on it, so at least I won’t have to worry about that bill anymore- whether or not they replace it. I just hate to lose all of the money that I put into it. I want it to be worth it to someone whether it’s M or my sister (who also said that she would be willing to take over payments- well who wouldn’t? There’s not that much left to pay on it!)

How was your week? Did something exciting happen or something sad? Feel free to leave a comment about how your week went.

Turning Lemons Into Lemonade

Monday evening my good mood was stolen from me by the person who broke into my house…it was taken along with my iPad, a cellphone, and a weed eater. I called the police and reported the items stolen and while I waited for the police to show up I called Apple Care. They were able to provide me with the iPad’s serial number (which was also on the box had I thought to have checked) and with the Apple locating software. Unfortunately, since it was a wi-fi enabled device only, it would not show me where the iPad had disappeared to until it was connected to wi-fi…in other words, it is long gone.

I made sure that the device was locked and that once turned on my phone number will show up along with a message to call me. Hopefully that will be enough for it to be un-pawnable (I don’t think that is a word…it will make it impossible to be pawned). I also made sure that the police got all of the information that he needed for his report. For the rest of the evening I was emotionally numb.

Tuesday I stayed home all day making phone calls to see if the iPad was going to be covered under the insurance I pay for every month to the store I’m buying it from (yes…I said buying…in many expensive payments I might add). I was told that they wouldn’t know until they had the police report and then they would call the insurance company to find out if it can be replaced. Hello!?! IF it can be replaced!?! The cellphone that was stolen (which M was going to inherit from me) ended up not being covered under the insurance because the line was not active at the time of theft. Problem was, he still needed a phone upgrade. I was remained somewhat numb that day, but also scared that the robber would come back for the TV and other things he didn’t take. So scared in fact that I refused to even take a shower until M got off work.

Tuesday evening my brain finally began to function and I started weighing my options. I could file it on the store’s insurance and continue to pay exorbitantly high payments for a refurbished iPad 3 that might or might not be replaced within a week (anyone who knows me knows that I LIVE on that thing…I hardly ever use a laptop anymore…so a week just wasn’t going to cut it for me. Or, I could go back to Verizon Wireless and purchase a brand new iPad Air (a.k.a. iPad 5), also in payments but without the crazy interest charges, and it would have wifi and cellular data service. As a matter of fact, the new one would cost me less than what I had left to pay on the old one…it was a no-brainier!

Wednesday after my therapy session I took a trip up to Verizon to make sure I qualified for the payment plan. I did! Like I mentioned before I also needed a new phone for M. They had the 5s on sale from $199 to $99, the 5c on sale from $99 to $49 and the 4s was free. He had asked for the free one. Well, when I said that I was interested in the 4s, the manager came over. She wanted to know why I had opted for the 4s (which still runs on the 3G network) when the newer 4G network phones were on sale. I told her it was simply because he had asked for the free phone. She asked if I would be interested in the 5c if she could get it for me for free…uh YES! So the manager worked her magic and I was able to get the iPhone 5c for M for free!

Needless to say, I totally took my bad experience of a burglary and turned it around. I made lemonade from the lemons I was given. As a matter of fact, I am actually going to be breaking even money-wise. Before, I was paying close to $140 per month for the iPad payment and another $60 per month for my prepaid phone bill. That comes out to $200. My new bill for three lines of service, insurance on each device, and the iPad payment will be about $220. I mean really…you can not beat that! I may have lost my new happy self for a couple of days, but boy am I back!

Another Great Week!

This past week has been a hard one, but a great one! It was hard because of physical therapy. This time, even though I felt ok immediately after PT, the soreness of the next day has lasted me most of the week. I suppose that’s what I get for telling my physical therapist that the week before was a breeze…I won’t make that mistake again. The manual work she did made it feel like I had done a two-hour workout, which anyone with a chronic illness knows is a no-no. It brought on a flare that I am still dealing with. I am hoping that it will get better soon.

It was a great week because I celebrated my birthday a month early. How did I celebrate, you might ask. Well, I have been having problems with my cellphone which was an Android. Being that I am an Apple lover and have a MacBook laptop and an iPad, and previously had an iPhone until I washed it in the washing machine (oh yeah- I did that) the Android was truly a let-down. I was unable to sync my calendars between my other devices and my cellphone, I was uncomfortable with the operating system, it had no memory (well, it had 2GB which is basically nothing), and it kept rejecting my SD card. So, even though I have been trying to stay away from a contracted phone service, I broke down and signed up for a two-year contract with Verizon and got the new iPhone 5s. The best part? The normally $199 phone was 50% off, so I ended up paying only $99!!!

I am in love with my new cellphone! I hadn’t realized how much I missed the iPhone until we synced everything up (simply by signing into my iCloud account) and all of my contacts, appointments, and apps were automatically part of my new phone. YAY! This will make my life so much easier! Plus, the phone service I had before didn’t work where my sister lives. I would have to make calls using her WiFi. Verizon’s service so far has been outstanding here where I live and where my sister lives (thanks to a trip I took yesterday)…everywhere except for in my house. That is the only downside I have found so far. Trying to have a conversation while inside is a bit of a chore seeing as how I only have one bar and calls keep getting dropped. Oh well- it is SO VERY worth it to have a phone I don’t hate.

So, all-in-all a great week…another HAPPY week. I am loving this “happy” trend I have going on. Here’s to wishing for many more great weeks to come!

One Year Anniversary

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Today is my one year anniversary with WordPress…and what a year it has been! I started this blog as a way to vent about my medical issues and hopefully help other chronic pain patients at the same time. I believe that I have accomplished what I set out to do. I wrote a lot more towards the beginning of my time with WordPress, but I just had so much to say back then. There was a lot of catching everyone up on my issues and informing you guys about adhesions. Since doing that, my writing has slowed down quite a bit, but most of you have stuck it out with me. Also, welcome to all of my new followers. I have met some truly amazing people and made some very good friends…all in all a complete success if I do say so myself 🙂

This week has been great. I am still feeling better from the increase in the corticosteroids. Not quite as well as I did those first three days, but much better than I have these past few years. Just to show you how much better I have been feeling, I will use cleaning as an example. Since my adhesion symptoms worsened a few years ago (but especially since the start of the Fibro fatigue), mopping and vacuuming have been pretty much impossible. I could sweep on occasion, but definitely not as much as one should…especially being a fur-parent. The other day I found a small, lightweight vacuum cleaner and a steam mop (both for $30 if you can believe that!) and I have been able to vacuum the carpet in my bedroom. Today I vacuumed the hardwood floors in the living room/dining room and steam mopped them! I am exhausted at the moment, but it feels so good to have been able to get it done. The steam mop ended up being heavier than I expected (harder to push and pull) but I was still able to get it done. For the first time in a long time I feel as if I have accomplished something big…and I suppose I have.

Physical therapy started this week. I will be going once a week to a new physical therapist. So far, I think that she and I will work a lot better together than the therapist I used after mine moved to a new clinic. She is more “hands on” like the first therapist was and even uses a technique I’ve never seen before. I believe that I might start to see results soon, and that’s great since the second therapist I used never really helped much at all. She would just watch me do my “at home” exercises…what’s the point in that?

The last past of my great week was winning a contest! Michael Fernandez at MigraineDiscussions.com had a contest in June for Migraine Awareness Month. There were two grand prizes for two winners…a pair of Axon Optics sunglasses. Axon Optics specializes in glasses for migraine sufferers. I entered the contest with a post I wrote for Migraine Awareness Month entitled My Migraine Story. Michael announced the two grand prize winners with a You Tube video and it shocked me to hear him say my name! He had two pairs to give away. One was a pair of “cats eye” women’s sunglasses and the other was a unisex pair that can be worn over prescription eyeglasses. Guess which one I won…yes, I won the pair that can be worn over my own eyeglasses! They came in the mail on Friday and I wore them all day yesterday as I was doing a bit of running around (the all day long kind of running around). I was amazed at how lightweight they were. They didn’t make the bridge of my nose start to hurt until the afternoon. The pair I was wearing before would start to hurt after only about an hour at which point I would have to take them off. These new ones I was able to simply reposition and keep going. I will write a review of them after I’ve had a few weeks to wear them, but so far so good! Here are pictures of me with and without the new sunglasses:

Without Axon Optics

Without Axon Optics

With Axon Optics

With Axon Optics

So, I rounded out a not-so-great year with a wonderful week! I will try to get back to writing more often again. I just wanted to thank all of my followers, new and old, who have stuck by me throughout this year and more often than not have been my support when I had none. Thank you for listening to my rants, my tears, and my triumphs, and for being my shoulder to lean on. Here’s to another year of blogging and many more new friends to be made!

Happy Again

So, before I tell you guys why I’m so happy, I am going to update you a bit on my medical issues.

I went back to the rheumatologist and they re-did my bloodwork because last time it showed high levels of inflammation. Luckily though, it was negative for lupus and the other diseases they are able to test for. The results of the new bloodwork still showed high levels of inflammation, so the doctor started me on a medicine called Plaquinil. I will take it once a day and they will recheck my levels at my next visit. I am excited about this medicine because I am unable to take medicines from the NSAID family which is what they usually use for inflammation. I didn’t know there were other options. The only thing is that I have to make sure to get my eyes checked every year while on this medicine.

Secondly, I have had a really bad cough for a while now. After starting a new medicine called Symbicort the cough still hasn’t gone away. So the other day the doctor gave me a shot of a steroid and prescribed a course of Prednisone to help clear out my lungs.

This is where we get to the happy part. Somewhere between the Prednisone, my thyroid medicine and the Plaquinil, I have actually had ENERGY! For someone with fibromyalgia and chronic pain, this is a big thing. I am always extremely fatigued, so having a bit of energy has felt great… I feel almost normal. It is so exciting! Add to that the fact that it has actually been peaceful in my home for about a week and that makes one happy Joy. If it could only be this stress-free all the time! Lastly, I treated myself to a pedicure the other day so I have beautiful feet! I am thoroughly enjoying the peace, my energy, and my pedicure.

Too bad I can’t stay on this medicine all the time. That would be nice. It has been so long since I have felt normal. Don’t get me wrong, I still have the chronic pain, but my energy level is definitely better. I only have a few days left of the Prednisone, so it is very possible that my newfound energy stops with it. However, I intend to enjoy every minute of this feeling. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt this good, so I will cherish every minute of it. Don’t worry, though. I am trying to pace myself to where I won’t overdo it. Today has been a day of rest except for a quick trip to the store.

I hope all of you are as happy as I am right now. Oh, and do something nice for yourself. You’ll be amazed at how great it makes you feel!

New Car!!!

The other day I mentioned that I had some running errands to do and was dreading going because my car doesn’t have air conditioning. I live in Alabama and it is already in the mid 90s most days. Well, guys and gals…I have some good news!

Today I got a new car. Well, a new to me car. I live in the city and needed a small cylinder car that would be good on gas. So today I found a car that is a 4 cylinder, has really cold air conditioning (YAY!), and was checked bumper to bumper by a mechanic for any issues (none were found). I was able to pay for the car in cash (thank you very much M.) and therefore I won’t have to make any more payments on it. It’s perfect!

The car hadn’t been cleaned yet, so M. got his work buddy to clean it out for me (it took hours! It was so dirty!) and now it is in the process of drying out. M. is trying really hard to fix the problems we’ve been having lately. He did good today.

I went to the store and got a cushion for the seat and a holder for my phone so that I can use it hands free for phone calls and GPS navigation.

I am so excited! This means that I no longer have to worry about going to the doctor and being all hot and sweaty by the time I get there. I will be able to visit my sister and niece whenever I want (my old car wouldn’t have made it that far).

Things have really been looking up lately. Here’s to wishing and praying that things continue to go well for me.

Health wise, I’m about the same. Today I was too excited to feel much pain. The adrenalin did a good job of covering it up. Hopefully I will be able to get some sleep tonight. I know this might seem like a silly thing to be so excited about, but I am. YAY ME!

Way To Go GP!

I went today to pick up the disability paperwork from my GP’s office. Surprisingly enough, he filled out all three of the forms!!! So, I can now send off the paperwork to discharge my student loans and I was able to go to the local courthouse and pick up the placards that allow me to park in disabled parking spaces. Yay! I’m so excited and for once am proud of my GP. Now, does that mean that I won’t change doctors later? Not really. I will however wait it out until I get notice back from the government that my student loans have been discharged. Once that happens then I will reconsider whether or not to change doctors. For today, I’m just celebrating a win. It’s been a long time since something good happened and I intend to enjoy the heck out of it!