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25th April 2015

6:41pm: Bruce Jenner
I only got to see the last forty five minutes of the Bruce Jenner interview last night. It made me quite annoyed with myself that I didn't get to see the whole thing.
I am old enough to remember watching Mr Jenner win the Olympic decathlon, and I thought it was one of the most amazing displays of athleticism I'd ever seen.
Now I have seen this man display the most astounding courage, the most soul wrenching honesty, and a true depth of class we should all aspire to.
I am humbled.



*Mr Jenner has not yet specified that a new name or pronouns should be used, so please forgive me for my use of his current name and male pronouns.
Current Mood: contemplative

21st March 2015

10:07pm: I'm Still Here!
Geez, gone a long time between posts again. Sigh.
Well, I did finally land a job. Took me almost 3 months. It doesn't pay what I'm used to-- which I have adjusted to-- but the biggest issue is the medical benefits are dreadful. And due to my MS, I have enormous medical bills. Soo... I have been forced to file bankruptcy.
Meanwhile, I'm in the middle of a full blown MS flare (my first in several years) and not doing well at all. That's been going on for almost a month now and showing no signs of abating, damnit. I am in the process of adjusting to a new MS medication (an oral one), so I'm hoping if it works for me, it will start working soon! I'm quite miserable and painful at the moment.
I am still able to work, thank god. I am working as a claims examiner and I actually quite like it. There is no phone work involved at all and it keeps my brain busy. I find I enjoy figuring out the intricacies of healthcare billing and solving any problems. Right now I am a bit hampered by MS "fog" (uncooperative brain!) but I am fighting my way through.
I'm still loving the 2012 Honda Accord I bought in June and it's getting very good gas mileage. It also proved to be a real trooper in the horrible weather we had this winter. My job site was forced to close on several occasions in February and early March due to severe ice storms.
Well, let's see how long it takes me to post again! Argh, I really need to get organized...
Current Mood: aggravated

31st August 2014

12:03am: Fuck You August!
Well, I've had an exceedingly craptastic August.
Laid off with no warning from my job of six years.
Lost an old friend in a car accident two weeks ago.
Despite an excellent resume and great references, have been unable to secure employment so far. Nobody wants to hire someone with MS.
Apparently my only financial option at this point is to file bankruptcy-- and my lawyer can't guarantee that I won't lose my home.
I'm ready for August to be over. Hopefully September will be a better month.
Current Mood: depressed

19th June 2014

6:25pm: Um, I Bought a Car...
So, last night I traded in my 2010 Honda Accord for a 2012 Honda Accord with 37,000 miles on it. Mine had 81,000 on it already, LOL.

The 2010 Accord has been giving me major headaches in the last 5 weeks. It has a mysterious air conditioning problem that the dealership can't figure out. In the last 5 weeks, it has spent four full days at the shop, and even with the warranties has cost me $350. They fixed the ac long enough for me to make a trip back to Pennsylvania, but a week after I got home, the ac died again. Urgh! It was at the dealership two whole days this week, and when I went to pick it up yesterday after work, they weren't sure if the repair they made was going to last. They wanted to tear apart the evaporator casing, but my warranty wouldn't pay for it unless they actually found a leak when they did so. Which would leave me with a $1,000 bill if there's no leak. Apparently there's no way to check that casing for a leak without actually tearing it apart (it's under the dash, and the whole dash has to be removed to get to it-- a six hour job). So I told the service advisor to keep the damn car and walked into the showroom and bought the 2012 Accord. Hahaha.

I love this car! It's basically the same as my 2010 (same body style, same style interior), but they made some tweaks that make it so much better. Transmission is MUCH smoother, it doesn't have that annoying electronic hum, the stereo is better, the dash displays are more organized and user friendly, and the interior is beige and dark brown instead of all beige. The steering wheel is different and much more comfortable. This car is red like my other one, but with a slightly different tail light assembly.

It's rated for a slightly higher gas mileage, so I'm very anxious to see how that works out.

I'm really upside down on my car loan now, but hopefully this Honda will last a long time without the issues that other one was having. In addition to the ac problem, that car had a minor transmission slip and the cd player liked to burn up my cds. It was nickel and diming me to death! I did get this newer car for a very good price-- but I had to add a portion of my previous car loan on top of it, so that flipped it upside down. The dealership really did work with me on getting the newer car (they came down $2600 on the price) and gave me a reasonable trade on my 2010 even though they're going to have to wholesale it and not resell it on their used car lot. My car salesman also pulled the custom floor mats and trunk liner from my old car and put them in the newer one, LOL. I promised him I didn't see a thing....

It's going to be 95 degrees today, and it's really muggy and miserable. But I now have a car with a working air conditioner! Yay!
Current Mood: cheerful

5th April 2014

7:14pm: Spring!
I have to say, I do like spring. Love dandelions and all the daffodils that just seem to spring up out of nowhere around here. I always thought daffodils had to cultivated and tended like tulips, but there's a version that seems to grown wild in my area of the state. I've even seen bunches of them in cow pastures.
So, long overdue update. I'm still working, still muddling my way through my life, LOL. Managed to break a tooth, so I'm undergoing my first crown procedure. Fortunately, I don't have a dentist phobia, but it's still not exactly enjoyable. Especially since I keep breaking the temporaries. Argh.
Lost my elderly fawn pug, Molly, in February. She was 12.5 yrs old. Spirit was willing, but her body wasn't, and I had to make the decision to euthanize her. She was so excited to take a trip in the car and go to the vet (she loved my vet and his staff) that it just broke my heart.
My Chihuahua turned 15 this week. He is in early renal failure but still doing well. He's going with me as usual when I make my trip home to Pennsylvania in May to visit my parents. They love him and he likes to take road trips. It will be his last.
I have obtained a new dog as of about a month ago. Didn't plan on getting another, but, well, they just sort of fall into my lap! She is a two year old Chihuahua mix. She came from a hoarder situation. Her owner had 31 dogs in a tiny mobile home. She had never been outside, she was flea/tick infested, she was malnourished, she was not socialized, and she was not housebroken. First three days I had her, she spent hiding under furniture. A month later (with a lot of work and love), she is romping in the yard, playing with toys, snuggling with me and the other dogs, and she is doing well with the housebreaking. Her name is Gidget and she is a joy.
Lovely spring day here today, if a bit cold. Had lunch with a dear friend-- and managed to kersplat! outside the restaurant. Tripped over the uneven sidewalk. Huge lump/scrape on my knee, bruised knee and palm, and wrenched my back. So I'm sitting here with a bag of frozen peas on my knee, and eying the narcotic pain relievers I have left over from my kidney surgery. They look pretty good right now...
But despite that, it was a good day!
Current Mood: cheerful

29th December 2013

6:09pm: Apathetic
Another year almost gone. Wow. I feel like I have accomplished so little this year. Huh. Another year where I feel like I have spent most of my time fighting illness and medical bills. The MS? Yeah, that's a given, but now I'm battling kidney stones too and a chronic foot issue. Ugh. I found out yesterday that my cranky old Chihuahua has gone into kidney failure. He's 14.5 years old, so it's not entirely unexpected, but, geez. He's a tough old boy, so he may last a lot longer than anybody thinks. We'll see. My oldest pug is also having serious medical issues (spinal arthritis). I suspect 2014 is going to be a bad year for my dogs.
I am curious to see what the new year brings...
Current Mood: apathetic

24th November 2013

7:26pm: Wow, It's Been a Long Time!
I'm so behind on LJ! I haven't had time or inclination to peruse my reading page, etc. I can't get on LJ at work, which would be the ideal place to catch up. Oh well.
I've returned to my old MS medication as of this month (the monthly infusion) as the new one I tried didn't work. Sigh.
I developed a kidney stone-- that was a surprise! Never had a kidney or bladder issue in my life. It was a big one, and had to be removed with a scope and a laser. I had a bad reaction to the anesthesia and spent the night in the hospital. (It was supposed to be a day procedure.) The real problem was the stent the urologist placed in my ureter to keep it open. It was extremely painful. I spent a week on pain meds (which didn't help enough!) and on the sofa or in bed. Finally he took the stent out. I'm still undergoing tests to figure out why I developed a stone and how to prevent a recurrence. Joy.
I acquired a new dog in July. He was given to me by a local rescue as he has severe skin issues and they couldn't adopt him out. He's a Boston Terrier, about two years old. I've named him Colton, and he's a very good boy. I've got his skin pretty much cleared up, but I'm still working on how to keep it under control without steroids. He's going to work with me for the first time this coming Wednesday. I'm anxious to see how he does.
Still getting used to the new car. I've had it since Jan/Feb, but it still feels unnatural to me, LOL. We're supposed to have bad weather this week, so I'm very curious to see how it handles the roads. This car must earn my love! LOL.
Going to a friend's house for Thanksgiving, and I'm even making peach cobbler. It's an event! Diana cooking! I'm just looking forward to watching movies on their huge flatscreen TV, haha.
Happy Thanksgiving!
Current Mood: amused

15th April 2013

3:37pm: More Stress Than I Know What to Do With...
Hmm, I haven't posted in long time. Probably for good reason, LOL. I'm not much fun these days.
Still getting used to the new car. It's nice though.
My job? They've introduced a new computer program for us to use-- with no training. WTF? Oh, they tried to train us a couple of times, but the system kept crashing. But they insisted on making us start using it. Guess what? IT STILL DOESN'T WORK. My job right now is a nightmare. My department told the powers that be, that this system wouldn't work properly for us (even when it's not crashing) but they don't listen to us. Now, the corporate bigwigs are freaking out because, oh, guess what, it doesn't work for us and they can't pull their precious reports, etc.
And people wonder why I smoke...
Two weeks ago, my beloved Emmy died in her sleep. She had been fading, but was still eating and drinking and happy to go hang out in the yard in a sunny spot. She truly didn't seem ready to go yet. I got up for work one morning and she was dead in her crate. Quite the shock. Needless to say, I didn't go to work that day. I took her body to my vet for private cremation. My coworkers called my vet and found out how much the cremation was going to be, and they took up a collection to pay for it. $150! I don't think anybody has ever done anything that thoughtful for me. Ever. The girls (and the IT guys) said they knew how devastated I was, and that I don't have that kind of money at hand, so they just wanted to help.
I miss her every day. Stubborn old dog. She took the decision of euthanasia out of my hands and went when SHE felt it was time. I"ve had a lot of dogs and I've loved them all, but there are a precious few who are special. Emmy was one of them. She came to me from a terrible life. She was heartworm positive, had two kinds of cancer, and then a serious bladder issue-- but she didn't let any of it knock her down. She enjoyed her three years with me, and she made me laugh every day. You really can't ask for more than that.
I've started a new MS drug -- hopefully it'll work.
Hope everyone else's life is swimming along. I've not had time to catch up on my reading page for a long time. I can't get on LJ at work, which is a total drag.
Anyhow, sun's out, spring is definitely here, and it's all good...

9th February 2013

1:48pm: Changes...
My beloved 2000 Honda Accord EX finally passed on last week. At 227,300 miles, the engine unexpectedly died. It may be kinda weird, but I loved that car. I drove it for ten years, spending an average of two hours every weekday in it. It carried me through some insanely dangerous conditions during the Nashville Flood, toted me through ice and snow storms, and zipped back and forth to various points in the US to visit friends or family. It never had a major mechanical issue and it never once left me stranded. It was comfortable and roomy enough to haul dog crates and assorted baggage, and it still got over 30 mpg. I MISS my car!
I've got a 2010 Honda Accord LX now. It's nice, it's big! (my, the Accords have grown over the years!) and it's red. It doesn't handle quite as well as my old EX (EXs are the sportier versions of Honda Accords), but it's adequate. I'm curious to see what the mpg will be, as I drive about 2000 miles a month. I'm sure I will grow to appreciate it, but right now I'm so sad over my old car! My ex husband says I'm strange because I cried over the death of my old Honda. Yeah, this coming from the guy who won't part with a decrepit truck he's been hanging onto for 20 years! Ha!
I told him it's not just grief over car death, but sorrow at the reality of car payments! I haven't had a car payment for years!
Current Mood: exhausted

23rd December 2012

3:04pm: Happy Holidays!
It's a four day break from work-- yippee! I'm in the middle of reading two books, watching Torchwood Miracle Day and Strikeback, cleaning, and taking lots of naps, LOL. I'm also planning on making chili and cornbread on Christmas Eve, which for me is a three hour, kitchen wrecking affair.
My beloved Emmy, the French Bulldog, is feeling much better after her fabulous vet and I did some serious research and put her on three new medications about a week ago. I haven't had to put her diaper on for several days now, and she is acting more like her old self. I'll take that as a Christmas miracle, thank you!
My kind of holiday! I spent so many years working pretty much every holiday, that I take my downtime as a gift in and of itself, LOL.
Happy Holidays to Everyone!
Current Mood: cheerful

21st October 2012

2:50am: Near Disaster
I nearly lost my Chloe on Thursday. At work of all places. I work in a dog friendly office, and she comes with me most days. She's a 2.5 year old black pug, and she has her own bed next to my desk, and an assortment of toys. She's a real charmer whose only fault is she is a food gulper. She was starved as a youngster, and it's a behavioral trait I have not been able to eliminate.
One of my coworkers gave her a biscuit, one of her favorites, and one she has eaten many times. This time it nearly killed her. Apparently she tried to swallow the whole thing, couldn't, bit it once or twice, and gulped the pieces. A large piece became lodged in her throat. I was facing my computer and didn't realize anything was wrong until a coworker said, "hey, something's wrong with Chloe". I turned around in time to see her pitch over on her side and start paddling. She was completely silent due to the choking--if my coworker hadn't noticed the problem I probably wouldn't have gotten to her in time. As it was, myself and the coworker who gave her the biscuit hit the floor. I Heimliched her (Chloe, not my coworker!)--no results. My poor pug was already blue from anoxia. My coworker flipped her up sternal, and I stuck my fingers down her throat. Well, one finger. Chloe, like most brachycephalics (squashed face breeds) has a very hypoplastic esophagus and trachea. I could only get my forefinger into her throat. I located the chunk of biscuit deep in her throat, but I couldn't grasp it with one finger and there was no time to hunt for some kind of utensil. So I pushed it down her esophagus. Pulled my finger out and swept as much of the copious thick saliva out of her mouth and the entrance to her trachea as I could. Bless her heart, my little girl took a breath, pinked right up, and started wagging her curlique tail. It took her a few seconds to get her feet back under her. It took a lot longer than that for me to wrap my head around the incident, let me tell you!
This is not the first time I've had to deal with animals or humans with compromised airways, but it's different when it's your own pet. There's a whole other level of adrenaline involved! Thank god the coworker who leaped in to help me is a former veterinary nurse like me-- she didn't panic and she knew how to hold Chloe.
I phoned my vet to confirm at home treatment for Chloe's abraded and inflamed esophagus (benadryl and topical lidocaine--which I have at home). Forty eight hours of soft food, and she's completely back to normal.
I have four dogs, three of whom are elderly and two of them have serious medical issues. But it's the two year healthy dog that nearly slipped away from me! There's no rhyme or reason...
And I have new gray hairs!
Current Mood: calm

3rd October 2012

6:59pm: Strike Back?
My latest guilty pleasure is watching Strike Back, the Cinemax series. Anybody know where to find good Strike Back slash fic?
Current Mood: calm

8th September 2012

12:09am: I'm Over It!
In the last month I have missed nearly a full week of work because of an MS related equilibrium issue that made it impossible for me to drive. I had another brain MRI (because of the equilibrium problem). I had an endoscopy. I've had five doctor visits--three with blood draws. And my usual infusion today. I am tired of people poking and prodding at me! Even with good sticks, I've got three large bruises and a mild phlebitis at one catheter site. I'm over it!
Current Mood: cranky

2nd August 2012

9:20pm: I Knew It Was Hot!
The final tally for these past scorching July days: 23 days in July were 90+ degrees. Six of those days were 100+ degrees. The humidity ran 60 to 80%. It was the hottest July on record for my part of the state.
It's now the second day of August and it's been 98 degrees with 70% humidity both days. For god's sake, if I wanted to step into a sweat lodge every time I go out the door, I would build my own and invite chiseled hunks of naked manflesh!
I'm over this weather!
Current Mood: cranky

30th July 2012

8:59pm: Athletes? Why, Yes, Please!
Pretty much stuck in the house since Saturday afternoon with a stomach ailment, so I've been watching an inordinate amount of the Olympics. I've always enjoyed the gymnastics, having a sister who was a national level competitor many years ago. At least I know what they're doing! LOL.
I like the swimming and diving events too. Gotta say, I miss the days when the male swimmers wore speedos. But hey, the divers still wear the itsy bitsy scraps of cloth! Eye candy for everybody, but especially us prudish Americans. You just don't see speedos here, with the exception of certain beaches and/or subcultures. And those are considered suspect by your average American, sorry to say. I would go so far as to state that here in the Bible Belt, in my own town, a man showing up at the city pool in a speedo would at the very least be denied entrance to the facility. At the worst, he would be harassed and probably smacked around by the local rednecks. Sigh.
Anyhow... I'm enjoying the nice tight butts, speedos or not! Damn, I'd hate to have to do all that waxing and shaving though...
Current Mood: calm

4th July 2012

2:15pm: Cold Front! Hahaha...
It's the Fourth of July (you know, that big American holiday that involves lots of fireworks and outdoor grilling). I'm in the house hiding from the heat and watching random TV shows. I have discovered I really like a few of the nature oriented reality shows like "Swamp People" and "Gator Boys". The "Gator Boys" show is kinda cool because they actually rescue nuisance alligators from being killed by trappers. And they do it barehanded.

Anyhow, it's only supposed to be 98 degrees today. A cold front! Sheesh...

Joanne Soper Cook has deleted her LJ account. I have spent very little time here in months, so I have no idea why she did so. I see she has started a blog elsewhere, but it's pretty minimal at best. I have followed her writing for a few years and own four or five of her books-- I am curious as to why she left LJ. She was a prolific poster.

Read Lynn Flewelling's latest Nightrunners book the other week ("Casket of Souls"). Awesome book, probably the best since the original trio of novels. Also tried Anne Lyle's debut novel and quite liked it. Kevin Hearne's latest Atticus book is fabulous as well. My team leader and I especially love the Irish Wolfhound character in these modern druid tales. He can "talk" to certain people and is quite funny. We have an Irish Wolfhound at work, a gorgeous reverse brindle youngster. I haven't seen an Irish Wolfhound puppy in years and this one came clomping in the door a few months ago with a new employee. And I do mean clomp. He was barely ten weeks old and all feet and legs. He's still trying to figure out that whole "majestic dignity" thing. LOL. It was so weird; Amy and I were talking about the Hearne books one day and looked up to see this Wolfhound coming up the stairs.
Okay, enough randomness for one day. I'm off to read Barry Eisler's latest short piece. And to drink some good ol' Southern sweet tea.
Current Mood: lazy

30th June 2012

12:33am: I'm Melting....
Good god, the weather is trying to kill me! We've had unseasonably hot weather here since the end of March, but now it's hit a new high. Literally. It was 109 degrees today. The highest temperature ever recorded for Middle Tennessee. My house air conditioning unit couldn't get the temperature below 80 until about 9pm. And I have a good, solid, well maintained central air unit. What I wouldn't give for some shade trees! My house has no shade and the front of the house is in full sun all day. Of course, it would help if I could get the pugs to quit laying on the air vents. Smart little buggers.
I shouldn't complain though-- one of my friends can't get her house temperature below 85. Ugh.
Tomorrow and Sunday should be 106 and 104 degrees respectively. We're not supposed to drop below 100 degrees until Thursday. And the humidity is climbing as well.
But hey, the upside is, we're also in a drought and all the vegetation is withering away. I don't have to worry about mowing the grass...it's dried up! LOL.
Current Mood: hot

3rd June 2012

7:38pm: My God, It's Been a Long Time!
I didn't realize it has been so long since I posted anything on LJ. I try to stop by and read posts when I have time, but...
I just got back from a week visiting family in PA. I took my friend Jana with me for the drive (about 13 hours), because she was dying to see the Amish. My parents live in Lancaster County, PA, which has the second largest population of Amish in North America. We had a good time doing all the touristy Amish stuff, LOL.
My team leader from work moved in with me for a couple of months eariler this year (marital issues) and I didn't charge her any rent, so she house sat the dogs for me for free. Heckuva deal.
I'm feeling okay. Had a go round with shingles in May that totally sucked, but it's gone now. Trust me, you don't ever want that experience!
I have been push mowing my own yard but will have to pay someone soon to do that for me. It's too damn hot already. We've been in the 80s and 90s since beginning of April!
I've been going to the gym at the county recreation center for about three months now. It's quite nice and very cheap. My friend Jana and I go at least twice a week. I figure mowing the yard counts as my third workout day, LOL. Hey, I've got a big yard! I was surprised to find how debiliated I had become from the damn MS. I still can't do the treadmill without hanging onto the bars because I can't keep my balance. But I'm getting stronger and my stamina improves every week.
Work still sucks big time and I hate being trapped there. I love the company I work for but I hate my particular job and I especially dislike my manager. My plans to move back into the medical field evaporated with my MS. I can't afford to lose my medical insurance. Oh well.
My beloved Honda has rolled over 213,000 miles and it's still faithfully transporting me. It drove like a champ this past week-- I put about 2000 miles on it. At 33 miles per gallon. I love my car even if it is old and a bit raggedy.
Okay, time to quit putting off cleaning my bathroom...
Current Mood: blah

24th December 2011

1:30pm: Happy Holidays!
So, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, hopeful Good Wishes for this time of year-- whatever your inclination.
Me, I'm eating sourdough bread, watching Bunraku (god, I will always love Gackt. No one should be that pretty!) and listening to my dogs snore. My mom sent me a few bucks for Christmas, my line manager took us all to lunch and gave us Starbucks giftcards (yes, I have succumbed to the Starbucks beast-- but sparingly! They're too damned expensive.), and best of all, my supervisor (Amy, a very dear friend) gave me a $50 amazon.com gift card! FIFTY DOLLARS! Now I must make decisions as to what to buy. I have a 12 page long wishlist...
But it's not just the "things". It's having three days off work, feeling pretty good physically (well, I think I've eaten too much sourdough, LOL), knowing I really do have friends who love me and want to spend time with me, and admiring all the Christmas lights. Love it when people decorate their houses for the various holidays...
Current Mood: cheerful

26th August 2011

11:25pm: Good News
Okay, I went to see my neurologist today. He thought the nurse practitioner's reaction to my statement at my doctor's office was a bit extreme. He was quite miffed that the Nazi Doctor at Rolling Hills never consulted him. According to him, I am not a candidate for SSRIs at all, not just because I am allergic, but because they are serotonin drugs and can affect some MS patients with severe brain lesions (like mine) in a bad way (duh!) and because they are CONTRAINDICATED WITH TYSABRI! (My MS infusion drug.) He also rec'd the paperwork from that psychiatrist saying that I had been on Effexor and did well-- he was incredulous and didn't believe a word of it. He said to me, "You became ill from the Effexor, didn't you." I told him, yes indeed. According to him, what I experienced was serotonin sickness syndrome and I was lucky I didn't end up in the hospital. He was not happy that the Nazi Doctor declined to consult with him.
My new psychiatrist has already called him and they are working out what to give me. They are both leaning towards something geared more for anxiety. I think that would be good. I'm not so much depressed as I am anxious about all these things that are out of my control (yeah, control freak here) and then I get depressed because my anxiety can't be controlled.
Anyways, my doctor is getting me back on the Tysabri. He says I am a star patient for this drug and it has worked amazingly well for me and he wants me reinstated. He says it shouldn't be a problem. He just has to fill out a bunch of forms for the drug company and the infusion center and he will get my infusion rescheduled. Hopefully by this coming Friday. Yay!
When I was leaving, he gave me a big hug and told me not to worry, he will fix it. I love my neurologist. This is such a huge weight off me!
I went and got a pedicure yesterday-- ouch! I hadn't had one in so long that Kathy had to dig my ingrown nails out. But now my feet feel great and she painted them bright turquoise blue. They make me smile every time I look at them, LOL.
Current Mood: relieved

18th August 2011

12:36am: Life Coming Unstuck
Apparently I have lost the glue that holds my life together, at least temporarily. I just spent six days in a psychiatric hospital for suicidal ideation. I was spiraling downward in a most unexpected fashion and went to my doctor to see about antidepressants (I had already booked a therapist for later in the week), and the result of that little visit was a ride to the hospital. At least she let my best friend drive me there instead of a police car. My appointment was with my internist's nurse practitioner, and she doesn't know me very well. And apparently telling a medical professional that if your MS gets to the vegetative state that you'll kill yourself is something that gets you locked up. So off I went to the psychiatric lockdown unit.
The staff at the hospital were very kind and professional, but firm. This was a locked down unit, so basically it was like being in jail. Strip search and everything. The only thing I was allowed to have was my clothes and shoes (sans laces) and a book. Nothing else. Not even a toothbrush. Shower times were scheduled, and you had to go to the nurse's station to get your "bucket" of toiletries and towels. Then return everything after showering. You couldn't shave without having a nurse present to monitor the use of the safety razor, which they confiscated immediately afterwards. I was fortunate in that I ended up with a compatible roommate, so that was okay. But six to eight hours a day of group therapy with junkies detoxing and suicidals was tough.
The whole thing would have been more bearable if I had gotten a decent psychiatrist, but I got a brand new bitch everyone called the "nazi doctor". She was something else. Among other things, she insisted on putting me on an antidpressant I told her I was allergic to, and made me sick enough that I nearly ended up in a regular hospital.
Anyhow, I got out on the 15th and am home regrouping. My best friend and my boss (who is also a close friend) have informed me that my behavior had become aberrant before the admission, and they didn't know what to do. I have to say, I went to my new therapist today (I like him very much), and he showed me some paperwork that I apparently filled out the day of my hospital admission, and I don't remember doing it. Sheesh.
My neurologist and the drug company have pulled me off my MS drug. They are afraid the drug may have caused the odd behavior. I have an appointment in ten days to see my neurologist for discussion on that point, and to get tested for various nasty things like hepatitis C and HIV for possible reinstatement on my MS drug. Psych lockdown units are considered high risk units similar to jails, and that makes me a high risk patient for the drug. Yay.
On the upside, I lost six pounds! LOL.
Current Mood: anxious

3rd August 2011

9:07pm: Hmm. I May Be Developing a Life!
Last week was very up and down healthwise. Two days off work due to leg weakness-- but to be fair to my MS, I caused the problem on the one day. I went on a tour of one of our plants when I knew I shouldn't have, because it was 95 degrees outside and the plant is NOT airconditioned. So it was literally 105 degrees inside the buildings. But I really wanted to go. I enjoyed the tour and the lunch, and the next day my MS said "fuck you!" and left me hobbling and wobbling around the house. My MS does not like the heat.
Rest of the week went okay, and I had a great weekend for the first time in months. I had enough energy to actually vacuum the house, run errands, and not crash for a full day afterwards.
My boss came over Saturday night and we stayed up until 2 am watching cheesy movies (Army of Darkness, Hardware, and Van Helsing) and laughing and eating pizza. She loves my dogs and they adore her, and Peewee especially was disappointed that I wouldn't let him sleep with her. He did, however, try to climb into her purse, LOL.
Tuesday I went to get my spine MRI and then hustle my ass over to the orthopedic surgeon. No MS lesions on my spine! Thank all the powers that be! The unusually acute pain that sent me to the ER three weeks ago is apparently due to a bulging disc just above my lumbar fusion. With physical therapy and drugs, it is behaving itself at the moment, so we're going to follow that course for now. After my dr appointment, I went to dinner with a friend.
Tonight I went to an informal company happy hour at a new restaurant/bar (I drank soda) and had a surprisingly good time.
Almost a full week of doing normal things and I'm tired, but not devastatingly so.
I think I may be developing a life again!
Current Mood: chipper

24th June 2011

8:56pm: Dad Stuff
My dad came home from the hospital on Wednesday afternoon. All neurological, vascular, and cardiac tests were fine. Doctors decided that his collapse was caused by a virus that had severely dehydrated him, which caused a serious electrolyte imbalance (which caused the somnolence, confusion, memory loss, etc.) So no stroke, thank god! He is still a bit under the weather, but recovering fast.
On the way to the hospital on Wednesday morning, my sister in law and my mom got hit by a dump truck. The idiot was turning right from a left hand turn lane (which is illegal of course) and didn't bother to check his mirrors either (which is also illegal). It was a slow moving accident in heavy traffic, so thank goodness no one was hurt. But my sister in law is going to need an awful lot of bodywork! New door, fender, driver side mirror, etc. And a new tire since the wreck flattened one of hers. The police were kind enough to put her spare tire on for her and pull out the fender (that had punctured the tire) so she and mom could continue to the hospital. Meantime, she's getting in and out of the driver's seat by crawling over the passenger seat.
Lisa's (my sister in law) birthday was June 20. Mine was June 21. It's been a helluva birthday week!
Current Mood: blah

21st June 2011

11:13am: My Sucky Year Just Keeps Getting Better and Better-- NOT!
My dad may have had a stroke. My brother called me from NJ yesterday evening. My mom found my dad unresponsive in his recliner and had to call EMS. He was responsive by the time the ambulance got there (she managed to rouse him with the assistance of their insurance guy and a roofer who were at the house assessing hail damage), but he was very confused and couldn't stand. He is currently in the hospital and feeling much better. he's had a CT scan, MRI and angiogram and the usual assorted bloodwork and we are waiting on results. My sister in law drove from NJ (she and my brother live about 2 hours from my parents) to PA and is at the hospital with my mom. We were all up most of the night texting and calling-- I'm exhausted. My cell phone I just got a month or so ago has sure turned out to be very handy! We're all in a holding pattern right now. This is one of those times I really hate being so far from my parents. I'm going to go take a nap now while I wait for more updates.

Today is my birthday. Happy fucking birthday to me.



Diana
Current Mood: exhausted

19th June 2011

1:59pm: Random Update
The Windows 7 on my new computer is interesting. It will definitely take getting used to. The only thing I"ve found that I really dislike about it is it makes managing documents harder than it needs to be. Not everybody wants to open a second window and drag and drop to move files/folders around. Old XP you just pick the folder you want to move and where you want to move it to, and click "move". And if you are moving a bunch of stuff into the same folder it kept the destination folder highlighted for you so you didn't have to go looking for it every time. Wndows 7 makes you hunt for it every time. Of course, it's quite possible I'm making it too hard for myself, LOL. I'm not exactly computer literate and I've only had a few days to play with the new operating system.
I have to say, the UPS (battery backup system) that my computer savvy friend insisted I buy: this thing has already paid for itself. The second day I had the computer we had bad storms-- lightning hit a power pole in my neighborhood and knocked out everything. Some folks lost some electronic equipment because the power surge was so strong. Not me! My UPS took care of my computer. It makes an annoying whooping alarm sound though. And you can't turn it off. It turns off only once the power comes back on. I went over to the neighbors and sat in their kitchen with their oil lamps and some other neighbors for a couple of hours, LOL.
I had my second Tysabri infusion on June 10. It went much better than the first one. It didn't knock me flat this time. I slept a lot that weekend, but I was pretty functional. Have to wonder how much of my hit the wall fatigue the first time was due to the drug or the MS or a combination. I keep bruising like crazy from the catheters, and I'm not a person who bruises easily. So off to get blood work last week-- which came back normal. I also had an ophthalmologist appointment last week. My eye is almost back to normal. A bit dim and a few teensy dead spots, but MAJORLY improved! I'm so excited. Although I haven't tried night driving yet, and the interstate when it gets really crowded makes me very tense.
There was a gentleman in my infusion group who is on his fourth or fifth Tysabri infusion. He is maybe in his late thirties, early forties, and he walks with a four point cane. Very nice guy, and very positive. He was diagnosed in 2002 and has tried everything (the "CRABS"-- Copaxone, Rebif, Avonex, BetaSeron) and nothing was really working until they finally decided to try the Tysabri. He says he was basically bedridden until the Tysabri, and now he's thrilled he can get around with a cane. Awesome.
I have a manuscript to start reading from a coworker who has written a book. Oh dear. I'm happy to read it for her, but I'm worried it will really suck. She has asked for a critical read-- I warned her that means notes and a blunt assessment. Can you tell I'm procrastinating? Haha.
Current Mood: okay
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