Sunday, December 23, 2012

Reveling in Slowness

I was stuck in bed today.  Yesterday started with a trip to the ER for a bladder infection that came on rapidly and ended with a migraine.  So today was a day spent in bed.  You would think it makes me sad and in some ways it does.  Hubs threw one of his predictable temper tantrums but was much better after some car therapy in the garage.  I'm annoyed that I am THAT sick.  AGAIN!

However, there are certain days that I revel in the slowness of being bed bound. Today was one of those days.  I've renewed my love of radio broadcasts.  I get to listen to NPR's Saturday lineup which consists of Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, the Radio Lab and the Vermont Story Slam.  All of which are wonderful to listen to on a slow afternoon.   It is a strange combination of geekyness and story telling.  Today was an odd combination of grammar jokes, mathematics and personal stories.   And it was wonderful!

While I listen to the radio, I get to watch the clouds floating around; forming and dissipating on their own schedule.  I also get to figure out the air traffic patterns out of Logan for the day.  This changes with the weather and wind so I'm never quite sure which way the planes will fly on any given day.  Of course, during warmer weather I also get to listen to and watch the neighborhood birds.  Today being the day after winter solstice, however, I got to watch the bare tree branches bobbing in the wind which is almost as calming as watching ocean waves crash on the beach but without the dramatic sound effects.

Today I was treated not only with sunshine through my window (a rarity this month) but also a spectacular sunset.  If I had been doing my usual thing I would have missed the short lived glory of the brilliant red clouds.  So sometimes I enjoy lying abed all day.  I get to see life that occurs on a slower scale than we normally live it.  All the subtly that we are too busy and too bustling to normally see.  So despite being sicker than normal and hubs' hissy fits, I had a nice day.  An enjoyable day.  A day reveling in slowness.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Hormonal Apocalypse

Just to add to the general fun and games of CFS, being female throws an extra curve ball into the works every month or so.  Yup, this was the week of the Hormonal Apocalypse otherwise know as my period.  What makes it worse is that since the CFS started I have no idea when it will show up.  It skipped a month this time so arrived unannounced on Friday evening.  This explains my bizarre meltdown on Wednesday closely followed by the three day physical crash and burn culminating in not being able to get out of bed yesterday.  Ah fun times...

 At least when I was healthy, I knew when it was coming and I understood my bizarre behavior and took some extra B6 to avert the sense of impending doom.  I tend to get very VERY depressed just before my period.  It slowly builds the week before to climax in an epic meltdown.  It was so predictable that when I went crying to hubs that I was a terrible mother/wife/employee/fillintheblank, he would ask me if my period was coming up.  This meltdown phase rapidly ends as soon as my period starts.  It is like a light switch gets flipped and I'm happy again and left wondering what the big deal was a couple of days ago.  Yeah, whack.  I know.

So now I have a problem.  How can I tell if I'm truly depressed or if it is just hormonal?  The randomness of my periods doesn't allow me to use the calendar as a warning system any longer.  I have so many mood swings because of my illness anyway that I am at a loss to figure out whether to take antidepressants or not.  I hate adding more meds to my regimen.  I hate taking antidepressants in general.  But this last meltdown was a doozie, a total sobfest on my shrink's couch on Wednesday.  I had no idea it was hormonal.  I'm probably going to try the antidepressants.  This emotional roller-coaster I'm on sucks.  I hate it just slightly more than I hate taking the meds.

I did feel better when I started my Paleo diet a year ago but I'm no longer sure if it was due to the food or the hope that it would "cure" my CFS.  While the diet has helped with symptoms, I'm obviously not over the CFS.  I've been cheating a lot but I don't know if that is due to my pissy mood of late.  Apparently carb cravings are part and parcel of depression.  After all, wheat acts as an opiate in the brain so it isn't too much of a stretch that it makes you feel better emotionally after you eat it.

BTW, yesterday morning I couldn't get out of bed.  In fact, I could barely move.  You know what I did... I ate sandwiches.  Yup, I had a carbolishous day!  Roast beef sandwich and fries, then a turkey club on sourdough with potato chips and a chocolate shake.  You know what.  I feel GREAT today!  I'm up.  I'm moving about.  I have a little bit of intestinal pain from all the bread but I got to shower and go grocery shopping and go out to eat with hubs.  And I'm happy!  So potatoes or prozac????  Or was it just the end of the Hormonal Apocalypse???

Monday, December 10, 2012

Run of Bad Luck

Well I'm in the middle of a fairly severe and lengthy crash.  I keep hoping it will lift but I fear the winter crash has started and is here to stay until spring.  Basically I have had a run of nasty luck.

I got over excited that my son moved back in and have been going out for breakfast, coffee and shopping trips way too frequently.  I have been enjoying his company so much I didn't want to rest when I knew I should have been.  He has cheered me up immensely and is a sheer pleasure to hang out with.

Then came Sandy and a second storm.  Both of which quite literally put me in bed.  Don't ask.  I have no idea why low pressure systems tank me but it happens to other CFSers as well.  In fact it rained most of November which meant no sunshine for me for the whole month.  NOT good.  I know sun exposure is crucial for my feeling better.  I'm going to have to try out the local tanning bed and see if that works the same way as sitting out in the actual sun does.

Then I got a huge lump in my mouth and had to have it surgically removed.  And two days later it became infected.  I had to take antibiotics that made me nauseous and gave me heartburn.  It made it really difficult to schedule taking those with my other meds and supplements and of course food.  So I spent a week sick to my stomach and underfed.  Brilliant.

I started new medicine for my never ending rash and herxed on it for several days.  I've been eating way too much wheat which the doc pointed out is probably contributing to the continued rash problem.  And I didn't make this connection why?  Oh yeah, the old brain isn't working much these days.

Hubs came home with some crud or other.  While I didn't get it I did crash even worse from the exposure.  It didn't help that he literally coughed in my face when I climbed in bed the first night he had it.  I ended up back in bed and sleeping from that.  I slept 14 hours the first day after exposure.  I could only stay awake a few hours at a time and I would have to go back to bed and sleep again.  This has continued for several days.  Today was the first day I managed to get through the entire day without sleeping for some chunk of it.

So I'm barely on my feet right now.  I'm back to super simple breakfasts of boiled eggs and toast (I don't have to stand there and cook) and dinners out of the crockpot or my son cooks.  I haven't been able to read. Very limited trips out of the house which has meant lots of canceled appointments.  Absolutely no driving.  Very limited walking.  I'm trying to keep it under 50' but that doesn't always work out particularly when my son is driving (he is terrible at parking).

I think the worst fallout from this last nosedive is the fact that I've gotten into misunderstandings and fights on facebook.  Between my being cranky and cantankerous and plain not being able to put two thoughts together to have an intelligent conversation, I haven't done so well in the communication department.   Not sure I'm going to be able to repair those loose friendships.  Might just have to chalk the loss up to lesson learned.  Stay off FB or at least keep quiet when I'm doing so stinky.

Okay, I have to stop writing since my brain is shutting down again and I still have some food and supplements to order online before I get to go to bed.  Night all!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Insurance Update

Quick update on the insurance situation.  I am now officially covered by Medicare Part A courtesy of the US gov and Medicare Part B&D courtesy of my former employer via Blue Cross Medex program.  The coverage is retroactive to Nov 1 so all my costs incurred over the last month are covered.

A few nice things that I have quickly discovered:

  • I seem to not have any copays.  Of course I might get billed later but no one has asked me for copays at time of service!
  • I do NOT need referals!  At all!  For anything!  As long as the doc takes Medicare I can go see them.  WOOHOO!!
My husband still has no health insurance coverage which means that my son also doesn't have any coverage.  My husband is inheriting my old coverage courtesy of my old employer (i.e. I got dropped off the policy and hubs became the subscriber) but they messed up his application form which means they haven't processed him yet.  

So far by refusing to deal with insurance for our family it has cost hubs $350 in meds and ~$100 in office visits. I'm not filing the paperwork for reimbursement when the coverage gets sorted out and I'm not calling to find out why they have no health insurance coverage.  This is a problem of his own doing and I'm going to let him get bit in the butt good and hard for this one.  I'm not being vindictive (well maybe I AM enjoying this a little too much) but I've had a horrible month, I'm still dealing with the aftermath of the "minor" surgery and phone calls and forms tire me out really really fast plus they are really really confusing.  He is a healthy, mentally capable adult and should put his man pants on and take care of this.  

Anyway, so far I think I like this Medicare thing.  It looks like the government gets things right once in a while :-)