Monday, August 8, 2011

"It's Always Something" (Bummer post - skip if you don't want to be depressed!!!)

Which is the title of a blog I follow. Lo, bless her heart, is a fascinating octogenarian who blogs far more religiously than I do!

I figured I'd steal her Blog Name for a Post Title...

See, I know I've been lax about blogging lately (Yeah, so what else is new?!), but I've been in a bit of a "funk" of late. And when I'm feelin' funky, I don't feel much like blogging ('cuz this is s'posed to be my Happy Place!) and, in fact, I don't feel like doing much of *anything* (so there's ultimately nothing Happy to blog about in my Happy Place!)

...I always swore I'd never become one of those "Old People" (sorry Lo - definitely not referring to you - on the off chance that you're reading this!) who sits around complaining about her aches and pains and latest doctor visit and blah-blah test results and yada-yada.

See, I've always been blessed with - more-or-less - Excellent Health. I've had the occasional run-in with some kind of Mystery Illness (seriously - when I get sick, I *really* get sick - and it's usually something previously unheard of!). Ever since my diabetes diagnosis, things have pretty-well gone to hell in a handbasket - which really, really sucks!

I definitely don't have a "Garden Variety" case of Diabetes - and it took a Specialist @ Stanford Medical Center to *finally* bring it under control by finding the Exact Right Mix of Pharmaceuticals (including a hyper-concentrated form of insulin that would *kill* a normal diabetic). And it wasn't *just* the doctor who did it. There was a whole lot of OCD/Fanatical-Tracking on my part (including a massive spreadsheet where I tracked *everything*) to finally bring things to a manageable level...

And a HUUUUUUGE part of the credit for "steering me in the right direction" (after countless doctors tried to kill me!) goes to Jenny of She's the one who held my hand (figuratively) and dried my tears (again, figuratively!) (She lives on the east coast and I haven't yet met her in person) (but I will - someday!), and ultimately convinced me to "Find a teaching hospital" ("Oh yeah... Stanford! Duh!"). So HUGE thanks to Jenny...

Anyway. My Stanford Endocrinologist was able to get me pointed in the right direction. She was able to *stop* the weight gain (which was happening at an alarming rate - given the craptastic direction I was given by my previous doctors) and when I started Byetta, I was even able to shed some of the gain. 35# worth (just a drop in the bucket, actually - but I'll take it!).

Unfortunately, I still have 100# to go and It. Ain't. Budging! *Nothing* I do (short of full-on starvation) results in any kind of weight loss. And, to top it off, I have ZERO energy.

Now bear in mind that in my younger years (not all THAT long ago - thankyouverymuch!), my family gave me the nickname "Amazon Woman." The reason for that was, if there was ever any Heavy-Lifting needed, they'd call me. Want a chest freezer hauled up a flight of stairs? Call Nancy! "Nah, don't bother emptying it, I've got it. Noooo, I don't need any help - just get out of my way!" Seriously!!!

Well, I've gone from being Amazon Woman to Feeble Waif - and that sucks beyond comprehension. When I first moved in w/DH, I was able to cultivate the entire garden area (1/4 of our lot - which is 1/4 acre) the "old fashioned way" using a hoe and 4-pronged cultivator - and back then, it was solid-packed cement-like clay! Now, I can't even drag a 2 cubic-foot bag of mulch out of the back of the truck and into the yard (using a wheelbarrow!) without resting afterward...

Couple of weeks ago, it was time to deadhead the Birds of Paradise. I have my little squat-stool thingie, so it's not like I'm having to do a lot of deep-knee bends or anything, and I had the Green-Bin close-at-hand. So I deadheaded one plant. Took me about an hour and I - literally - had to lay down for 2 hours afterward! I was freaking exhausted (and, literally, in tears because I should *not* be this exhausted!).

And now I'm starting to "get down on myself" over it. I mean, clearly I'm not getting enough exercise and that must mean I'm LAZY. If I exercised more, I'd have more energy so GET OFF YOUR FAT LAZY @$$ and DO SOMETHING!!!

But I really, truly lacked the energy to DO it!

Add to this, the fact that I had developed a nasty, painful case of psoriasis on the soles of both feet (which made it difficult to walk - let alone wear shoes). That's actually been going on since my mom first went in the hospital (Oct 2009). So I was thinking that, maybe, the constant pain in my feet was dragging me down, but "Get Over It! DO SOMETHING!!!"

Add to that, the fact that DH (Love him dearly - don't get me wrong - and DH, if you're reading this, PLEASE don't get upset!) seems to view the Human Body in the same way as Cars. And Doctors are like Mechanics. Something's not working? Bring it in, they'll fix it! (And, bless his heart, the "maladies" he's experienced really *have* been that simple). Unfortunately, in my case - with two "Chronic, Incurable, but - hopefully - Manageable" Conditions, unfortunately, New Spark Plugs just ain't gonna cut it for me!

Sooooo... Long Story Short... I've gotten the diabetes as "Under Control" as I'm gonna get it. And I've started UVB Treatments on my feet (necessitating drives 3x/wk during Rush Hour to Redwood City), and I'm getting the Psoriasis under control.

I've gotten my DIET under control. Blood Sugars under control. I'm doing EVERYTHING RIGHT so WTF?!! WHY DON'T I FEEL BETTER????

Last time I was in to see my Endocrinologist, I cut loose. I basically paraphrased that last paragraph and stressed that "SOMETHING IS SERIOUSLY WRONG HERE. Are there any tests we can run? Is my B12 out of whack? Is there something else, metabolic, going on?! This DOESN'T MAKE ANY SENSE!!!"

Well, I do love my Endo because she *does* listen to me and takes me seriously (something my GPs/Internists *never* did). She ordered a whole slew of tests... (rather than prescribe an anti-depressant - which was halfway what I was expecting her to do!!!) (And I would have refused it - btw)

Well, the latest diagnosis is: "Unspecified Anemia."

My reaction is twofold:

1. Relief that there's an explanation for my exhaustion (and maybe I'm *not* LAZY after all)

2. WTF is causing it?!!

I find it positively mind-boggling that I am anemic. You'd *never* guess it (I'm not pale or anything) (and my diet *is* heavy on red meats and green leafy vegetables) (I actually *love* spinach!). Iron is low, other things are low. And her initial thoughts were leaning toward "internal bleeding" someplace. Niiiiiice.

Then there's talk of endoscopies and colonoscopies and other invasive NASTY things that basically scare the living sh*t out of me...

Then there's the (inevitable) querying of Google where the "cure" could be as simple as iron supplementation - or I could have Leukemia or Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and be dead next week!!!

Moral: *Don't* consult Google 'til you know more!!!

Soooo... Doc has ordered another battery of tests to try to narrow down the cause. I'll probably have to find myself a new GP (most likely, at Stanford), and work through this with him/her because this doesn't fall under Endocrine Crap...

It'll probably be at least a week 'til I know more (doc is on vacation this week), but we'll tackle it as it comes, I guess.

DH seems a bit frustrated over all of this (but - again - I'm relieved to know there's an EXPLANATION for my tiredness and that it's NOT because I'm a Lazy Slob!). He's trying to be understanding. And I appreciate that.

We went to a concert last night (M.U.S.E. Anti-nuclear power rally thing). Our seats were smack-dab in the middle of the venue and it started late-afternoon. It was blazing hot at our seats (no shade to speak of), so we spent the first half of the concert out in the lawn area - outside of the concert arena. I wanted to minimize the number of trips to (actually *from*) our seats, since it involved walking uphill and TOTALLY wiped me out!

I'm glad I was able to muster enough energy to make it through the concert though. It was an AWESOME show (Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Doobie Brothers, Crosby Stills & Nash, and others). But I am definitely paying for it today!!!

Annnnd... Added Bonus: My psoriasis is trying to return (it's triggered by "stress!" Gee!). But I am still getting thrice-weekly treatments and hopefully we can beat it back...

Anyhooooooo... Sorry for the Bummer Post. Chances are, I'll end up going back and deleting it (or I may not - I have no clue if anybody even reads this blog!!!). But sometimes typing sh*t out can be kinda cathartic - so maybe this was a good thing to do....

Hopefully I'll have Happier Stuff to report on, later! (Dinghy is sold, Driveway is clear, Tomatoes & Yellow Peaches are ripening and I hope to do some canning/preserving - if I can find the energy!)


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