Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Lets talk about me ...

   I'm not really sure why I can't get myself motivated to let everyone know how things are going here at Seldom Seen Acres, but I just don't seem to take the time to do it. I'm sorry.
   I know I've always kind of kept this blog about my animals but I'm veering off that for a moment to talk about me. I have something I need to get out there. I'm not sure why but I feel I need everyone to know what I've been going through. So this is going to be a long post, as I should have been keeping you all posted as I went along and I didn't -  or couldn't because I just plain didn't feel like it.
   Honestly, I had a couple (okay, more like four) years that I was really sick. I just didn't feel right but couldn't put my finger on what IT was.
   The last week of October, 2010 - I was laid off from my job of 16+ years when I was 5 1/2 months pregnant with my second child. That pregnancy was nerve wrecking enough, because I rarely felt the baby move and at least half of my appointments the midwife couldn't find a heartbeat. I'd get sent for an ultrasound to make sure everything was fine - and it was. But it took a tole on me and I kept questioning if maybe I should have left well enough alone and been happy with just one child. I was constantly afraid some freakish thing was going to happen and my baby would die before I ever got to meet him, although at the time I didn't know whether he was a boy or a girl. So on top of all of that I got laid off from my job... yes, I did! Talk about anxiety and depression setting in. At the time I didn't know that is what was going on but now - several years later - I know that is what it was. Add that too what ended up being a complicated emergency c-section for the delivery of my son in February 2011, with little to no help once I got home, complications with the incision site, etc, etc. I ended up with so much anxiety that it took everything I had just to cope with day to day life taking care of an infant, a two year old, their father, all my animals, and my home.
   In October of 2011 I ended up in the ER because I thought I was going to have a heart attack. I had laid down to rest in the evening while the kids were taking a late nap and there dad was not home. I was so exhausted, and while laying there my heart started racing. Of course I panicked. The thoughts that run through your head when you are home alone with two very small children and something like this happens, are not very good ones. I took my pulse and it was 160 bpm. I'm sure, now, a lot of it was my adrenaline because I was thinking 'whats going to happen to my babies if I die'. I called my mom who came over and called T home. I ended up going to the hospital by ambulance but by the time I got there my heart rate was back to normal and they couldn't find anything wrong. This heart racing thing would repeat itself every few months over the next year or so. I didn't end up going to the ER again just my family doctor. But again, when I was at the office my heart rate would be normal, so they chalked it up to anxiety. I started noticing that even when my heart wasn't doing its racing thing, there were times that I'd get kind of sick to my stomach and just not feel right. I'd get light headed or kind of dizzy feeling. That would lead to me getting nervous and my heart starting to race again. I dealt with this for a long time. The 'episodes' stated getting closer and closer until it got to be at least once a day it would happen. I was scared to go out in public because it was so debilitating when these feelings started. If I was out somewhere and it would start, it would be gone by the time I got home. So I kept thinking it really was just anxiety, but I didn't want to be put on medication for it because I hate taking meds of any kind.
   By the fall of 2014 I was sick all of the time. I had had a sinus infection or a cold almost all year and I was just sick. I couldn't explain to anyone how I felt, I just didn't feel good at all. I had been to the doctor for sinus and ear infections in Sept and Oct, but they just wouldn't clear up. I continued to have fluid behind my eardrum, especially my right ear, even after being treated for a double ear infection. On October 24th,  I started getting a headache. The kids wanted to go to the local Fire Dept's Halloween party. I didn't want to go because the pain in my head was to intense and for some reason T couldn't go with me but was going to meet me there. My mother, being the great lady she is, went with me and the kids. I don't really remember the party that much. All I really remember is how sick I was and how much my head hurt. I thought I was going to pass out at any moment -  and the look on my mother's face every time she looked at me. I knew she knew I was sick and was worried about me. That night I didn't sleep well because my head was hurting so bad. The next morning Mom ended up taking me to the ER. They did a bunch of tests and scans and gave me some pretty potent pain killers. They concluded that I had a lot of sinus congestion on the left side of my sinuses -  that was odd as it hurt on the right side over my eye. Anyhow, they sent me home with drugs and told me to follow up with my doctor if the headache returned. I was in bed all weekend and by Monday my back had started hurting and I was generally sick all over again. I don't remember actually having a headache just my head feeling strange because of the pain meds. I couldn't eat or drink without getting really sick to my stomach... so I just slept, and slept some more, only getting up to go to the bathroom. Tuesday I went to my doctor's for blood work. Of course he did an exam and told me "if you'd lose weight you'd feel better". Really? He I am sicker than I've ever been in my life. I can't even sit here and talk to you with out crying and can't even tell you all the places I'm hurting or feeling sick and that is your answer? I've been this exact weight for at least three years so I don't think that is my problem today!! I left there so discouraged! I went home and went back to bed. Wednesday morning I got my kindergartner off to school and laid down on the couch until my mom came to get my 3 year old to take him home with her so I could rest. Then I went to bed. Sometime that day the doctors office called to say my blood work came back and I was slightly dehydrated but not much. "Just get some rest and we'll see you tomorrow for your follow up". I honestly wondered if I'd still be alive the next day, that is how sick I was. When T got home from work he and mom decided I needed to go back to the ER after he talked to the doctor in person and all Doc offered was some more pain meds. In the ER I had more scans more blood work and was told I had Acute Kidney failure and was going to be admitted. I remember the feeling a kind of relief wash over me because someone had finally found something wrong. Not because I wanted to be sick but because I knew I was sick and no one believed me, until now. T wasn't happy because I had to stay in the hospital. He has this strange sense that he can't handle the kids or life on his own, so I need to be there. I  really wonder what he would do if, heaven forbid, I ever die. I ended up being in the hospital from Wednesday night until Saturday afternoon. My creatine level still wasn't down to where it should be but the doctors felt that they would continue to drop as long as I kept drinking lots of fluids.
   Even after leaving the hospital I still got that strange dizzy feeling every now and then and just felt there was something else going on. I talked to my doctor about it and he said he thought it was because my body was no adjusting to the creatine levels, since it could have been off for a long time and we didn't know it. Okay, whatever. I could tell he was back to the 'she's fine she's just got anxiety over being sick" thinking.
   Over the couple of months the sickness returned to almost the same level it was before. Thanksgiving 2014 was horrible but of course I brushed it off as being anxiety because Mom's house was full of a lot of noisy people. I left early and sure enough, shortly after I got home I was fine. Early in December I returned to the doctor and told him I thought I was ready to be put on anxiety meds. He gave me the lowest dose and I only took it once. Wow, that was the worst mistake ever! Even the lowest dose knocked me out for seven hours.  By the end of January 2015 I was so sick at least every other day that I couldn't function well. I knew I had to go back to the doctor but was putting it off, I'm not sure why but I did. I was talking to a family member, one day in late January, about my situation and she asked if I'd ever had my gall bladder checked. I told her that the only thing that was ever mentioned about my gall bladder was one morning when I was in the hospital back in October, during shift change I had over heard the nurses going over my chart and the one nurse saying they had done an ultrasound of my kidneys and everything looked normal but they did find cholelithiasis. I had asked her what that was and she said "gallstones". I hadn't given it much thought as none of the doctors had mentioned it and the only thing I knew about gall bladder attacks were stories of severe pain. I didn't' have that so gallstones never crossed my mind.
   February of 2015 I made an appointment with the doctor again. As it turns out there was a new doctor in the practice and I was to see her that day - probably the best thing that has happened to me in five years! After a thorough exam and lots of questions she ordered all my blood work to be redone again because it hadn't been done again since the first week of December to make sure my creatine levels stayed down after reaching the normal level. During that appointment I asked her if there was anything in my chart about the gall stones. After looking through everything she did find it. It was like a little light went on.... she nodded her head and said "I bet that is your problem. I wonder why no one ever mentioned it before?" Remember the only one who ever mentioned it was the nurse, thank you Paula!
   March 13th, 2015 I had my gallbladder removed. I had a few issues with digestion for a couple months following surgery but I feel SO much better. No more general sickness, or heart racing issues. I was still having a lot of sinus issues during 2015 and still had fluid behind my right ear drum no matter what we did. I still got dizzy occasionally, probably due to the fluid, but nothing like I had been through in the last five years.
   In mid November 2015 I got a horrible toothache and abscess in my lower jaw - in a molar that had been capped at least 20 years ago. I was put on antibiotics but couldn't get in to see the dentist until mid December. The antibiotics cleared up the infection and also seemed to help my ear issue a little. On December 18th I had two, bottom right, teeth extracted. The capped molar and the molar behind it, that had been broken off at the gum for many years. During that appointment I also asked the dentist about starting the process of getting upper dentures. All of my top molars are broken off at the gum line. There are only six teeth left, on top, that are not broken off. One of those is a root canal that was done eleven years ago and I can feel that it is badly worn. Now that I've done more research on root canals I wish I'd never had them (I have two total) done in the first place.
   The dentist told me I have two options for my upper teeth. Either fix up the remaining six teeth, which all have issues, and get a partial or pull them all and get a top denture plate. He also told me that even if I fixed up my remaining teeth and got a partial they would probably only last another five years - yeah, they are that bad!
   I'm thinking these bad teeth are a big part of all the sinus and ear problems - not to mention the high platelet counts that I've been having these past few years. Did I mention the platelet counts? No. I think I forgot that, but yeah there is that too. It has started to come down since having those two bottom teeth taken out so hopefully that continues. I'm feeling so much better than I was a year ago but I'm still not where I want to be. My mouth doesn't really hurt but I sometimes have a lot of ... what should I say? Kind of like pressure, maybe. It feels almost like I have something stuck between them, but I don't even have any teeth there to have something between. Does that make any sense? No, probably not. The teeth never hurt when they broke off either. I'd be chewing something and, pop, there went part of my tooth. I'm guessing I've lost about one a year for the last ten years. Even when I did have dental insurance it wasn't enough to cover what needed to be done to fix them. They weren't really hurting so I just kept putting it off. So here I am almost 41 and getting top dentures. I've kind of known my whole adult life that this was coming and should have done it at least six or seven years ago.
   So, yeah, this is the start of a new journey... I'll try to keep ya posted.

Six years ago today

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