Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Pity Party Continues...

Yep. More rambling/whining... Move along! Nothing to see here!

My hands and feet are still all f**ked-up and I fear I am becoming a bona-fide invalid. Srsly - I am actually considering asking the doc for a note for a "Handicap Placard" for my car. How freakin' sad is that?!!

Today, I had to run to CVS to pick-up a prescription and I wanted to stop at the grocery store on my way back. I lucked-out and found a parking space right in front of the pharmacy, but had to walk a ways to get a shopping cart (to lean on - I wasn't planning on buying anything substantial). It was all I could do to make it to the back of the store for my prescription, then hobble back to the car (leaning on the cart the whole way).

Grocery Shopping was truly out of the question!

Without being too graphic, my particular case of psoriasis attacks the palms of my hands and soles of my feet. Hands: I can kind of "get around" by wearing nitrile medical gloves. Feet: OTOH (har-har - ahem!) are a different story. You know what it's like when, say, you buy a new pair of cheap shoes and they irritate you 'til you've got a blister? Then when the blister bursts, you've got that raw, bright-pink, incredibly painful spot underneath it? Well, that pretty-much describes the condition of BOTH of the soles of my feet. I literally cannot walk right now. And that sucks more than you can possibly imagine!

For awhile there, I was getting phototherapy (Narrow-band UVB) treatments at Stanford Dermatology in Redwood City (appx 30 miles from home - which might as well be 400 miles when you factor-in Bay Area traffic!). It actually worked *quite* well and - after much wrestling with my insurance company - I actually got approved for my very own home unit.

I've been using that, successfully, since around December. But this latest "flare" has been really bad. I think I yammered in my last post about the home-unit possibly being out-of-calibration, and how I Must Stop Phototherapy Immediately. End result: I needed to contact the manufacturer to get a Tech out to look at it...

Well, long story short (Too Late!), it's gonna cost me $500.00 to have a Tech come out and LOOK at it. Oh, and I have to pay to FLY THE TECH OUT HERE from Bumf**k, Ohio, or wherevers... Are you effing kidding me??? I mean, my CO-PAY for the entire machine was less than that! (To be fair, the machine cost several thousand dollars, but still!!!!).

Well, I called the manufacturer back and asked about other alternatives (whilst cursing myself for throwing the shipping box away) "Would it be cheaper for me to ship the unit back to you?"

Turns out, they can rent a meter to me - along with instructions for re-calibrating the unit myself. So that's what I'm gonna do. Well, that's what *we're* gonna do. The gal asked if I was "mechanically inclined" and I replied that I was "somewhat mechanically-inclined, but I'm married to an Engineer." She assured me that, between us, we were certainly going to be capable of calibrating the machine ourselves. :::whew:::

In the meantime, I am still in excruciating pain. All of the Rx unguents that have been prescribed to me don't seem to be doing "squat" so I'm switching over to "Natural" remedies for the time-being. Burt's Bees Hand-Salve actually *does* seem to relieve some of the pain (as opposed to the chemical-goops that actually feel like they're *burning* me). The downside of going the "Natural" route is that I have to keep re-applying every half-an-hour (but that beats the hell out of feeling like I'm administering "chemical burns" to myself!)

Now this weekend, P and I are supposed to be attending a "Clay Carnival" over at Clay Planet (More "Learning" and "Inspiration" kinda stuff - put on by the local Ceramic Artists' Guild). Not sure if I'm gonna be able to attend, unfortunately.... Fingers/Toes are crossed!

In the meantime, I am kind-of in a "Sucktastic Place." I *did* kinda toy-around with the "Alternative Medicine" route - based on some of the Netflix Videos I'd watched. Most of those seemed to center around doing a plant-based "Juice-Fast." Well, being diabetic, FRUIT-juices really don't "play well" with me or my metabolism. But I figured I'd give it a try while concentrating mostly on "Veggie" type juices (with just enough fruit thrown-in to keep it palatable). And don't get me started on the "Gerson Therapy" videos I'd watched (which include multiple "organic coffee enemas" per day - EWWWW!!!!).

Anyway, I *did* just attempt a 36-hour "Juice-Fast" (along with a veritable boatload of water). Now, maybe 36-hours wasn't long enough - but I *really* don't think I could tolerate it much longer than that. Bottom line: I ended up GAINING 2 lbs, overnight.

Yes, I am the ONLY person I know who could "fast" for 36-hours and end-up GAINING weight!!!

But then again, I do tend to shun carbs, as a rule. And the keyword in carboHYDRATE is, in fact HYDRATE. So I am reasonably sure that the weight I gained was water-weight due to the increased carbs...

Nevertheless.... I am taking-in info from all over the 'net, and wherevers... I absolutely DO believe that America's "Obesity-Epidemic" and "Diabetes-Epidemic" and a whole host of other ills is directly-related to "Environmental Factors" and the whole "Factory-Farming" reality that we are dealing with, today. I think that a whole host of "ills" can be cured by "Going Back to Basics" and eating locally-produced, minimally processed - ideally "organic" - foods. I just don't think I can buy-into the whole "Vegan-Mindset" (which seems to be what our "Juice-Fast Friends" seem to espouse). I think humans *are* omnivores, and there has to be a comfortable "middle-ground" where ppl can eat and be "healthy!"

I haven't found MY solution yet. I haven't ruled-out "Juice-Fasts" just yet - and may try to give it another whirl at some point in the future (but it'd have to be a lower-carb variant). There is definitely something to be said for "de-toxifying" - but I think it needs to be a bit less "radical" and allow for the omnivorous quality of Human Existence...

Anyhoooooo... No real "conclusions" to be drawn from this post. Really just a lot of questions (and whining, and ranting, and rambling!). If you made it this far - Congrats! - you must be *really* bored! Thanks for hanging in there! I hope to have more "informative" - or at least ENTERTAINING posts in the future!!!



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