Monday, June 30, 2008

*Blushes & waves*

Wow, now that someone's watching me--someone who other people watch, no less--I'm feeling the pressure to post. Maybe I should do a life update...

Okay, so I got a tattoo on my birthday. My best friend and I got the same tattoo in different locations on teh body, and it was quite an experience. It's my second tat, but the first was no big deal compared to this one. (My first one was a small, 50-cent-piece-sized Aries symbol on my hip.) I'm very happy to have it, and even knowing the repercussions, I would definitely do it again...

So, apparently, any physical trauma can cause an MS flare-up. My nurse had a patient who stubbed her toe really hard and had a "major exacerbation." I didn't know that at the time, however. Shortly after getting my tattoo, I started experiencing severe numbness from the armpits down. The worst part was that the bottoms of my feet were numb, and trust me when I say that if you haven't experienced it, you could not possibly imagine it. So I finally broke down and called my neurologist, who prescribed a regimen of steroids to bring the swelling in my spine down. Three-day IV of one kind (the name of which is slipping my mind pretty hard-core right now), followed by a two-week oral steroid called Prednisone.

So, a nurse came to my house and was very friendly and nice, and managed to get an IV in my arm after only one failed attempt. This IV was supposed to stay in my arm for three days, and I would change out the IV bag & do all the detailed medical stuff surrounding that. However, like an eejit, I went hiking the day after I got my IV in, and the needle crimped and was no longer usable. So another nurse came to my house, and this guy wasn't nearly as personable, and he stuck me twice with no success and refused to try again, sending me to the ER the next morning. Even the ER nurses had trouble finding a vein; apparently I have "shy" and "very tiny" veins. There was a total of six attempts for two successful IV insertions. I felt like a pincushion. I don't want to sound like a crybaby but getting an IV is incredibly emotionally draining, and every time they tried to get it in it was just a little more so. Especially when they were "digging around" with the needle (quote compliments of Branden) trying to find a vein. It makes you feel inadequate, somehow as if you're doing something wrong, that you should be doing something different or better. And the fact that you know that's irrational doesn't really help the way you feel. ANYWAY...

After the IV ordeal was over, my symptoms were pretty much the same as they had been beforehand. The nurse said that was to be expected. I moved on to the oral steroids. Their side effects included increased appetite, and I remember having hunger cramps continually no matter how much I ate. I bought a bag of oranges and ate four, one right after another. Also, my feet swelled up like tiny balloons. I spent all of the time I wasn't at work with my feet up on pillows. I even propped them up in bed, which is an uncomfortable way to have to sleep all night. Walking around was like torture, not painful exactly but so uncomfortable that I remember changing the way I drove because I didn't want to have to move my feet to brake or accelerate. I thought this was because of swelling, so I went to my PCP to see if they could do anything ($30 copay instead of $50, you see), and all they could tell me was that I wasn't swollen, and the sensation must be nerve-related. So... back to the neurologist I go. I got a prescription for Neurontin, which I am still on, and I've been on it for about six weeks. In the beginning, it definitely made my feet more bearable but not a whole lot more than that. In the last two weeks or so, I've been noticing significant improvement, and all I can say is OMFG FINALLY. (And whoo! I shouldn't take improvement for granted: there are plenty of people who are wheelchair-bound by MS.) I'm hoping to be all back to "normal" in the next week or two, and I think I'll cry with relief if I am.

AND... that brings us to today in terms of my health. Branden and I are about to sign another year lease at our place, bringing our projected total time here to four years; in the meantime, all of our friends are either in the process of moving or about to be moving. We are (or at least I am) helping a whole bunch with that. Two of our good friends (and possibly three!) are moving into our apartment complex (I've actually got mixed feelings about this, but shhh, don't tell anyone), so that'll be like having a party in my pants every day! (Um. Maybe not my pants, exactly. More like, my apartment complex. Much bigger than my pants, one would hope.)

There's an amount of drama in my friends' lives, but I don't really feel like talking about it (plus it's kinda none of my business). Hopefully that blows over soon.

I work at a high-end audio/video store here in Boulder, and that's going fine, nothing really to report other than the fact that they're fascist pigs and definitely don't pay me nearly enough. However, in the good-news sector, Branden recently got an excellent internship in a start-up company; his internship salary is $36k/year, and that'll go up in September (if/)when he becomes a full-time, "real" employee. He's the most flexible and innovative, if not most experienced, programmer in the company and they keep telling him what a good job he's doing.

We just got bikes, and we've both been taking the bus to work (and school, in his case). Bikes will make after-work mobility much easier, and it'll be easier/more fun to go do stuff outside. Built-in exercise! Yesterday B and I went and got bike accessories, including helmets, locks, head/taillights, handle grips, and a pump. The bikes themselves are in the shop, getting their Wellbike exam, and they'll be out no later than tomorrow, and allegedly good as new. The bikes are quite old, ugly, heavy, and low-tech, but I can't even SAY how much better than NO bikes they are.

We've recently started playing D&D 4th Edition, and I've gotta say I like it. I'm also jonesing for some MORE roleplaying; I have little creative outlet and it's killing me. >_< Oh, but speaking of which: My DeviantArt account.

Okay, I think that's it for now. Ciao, peeps, thanks for peeking in.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update and I hope you start feeling 100% again!

Anonymous said...

BTW I feel you on the "shy veins" thing. When I was in the hospital after I had LB, They had to reinsert my IV 5 times! I wanted to cry after the 3rd nurse tried and failed. Hang in there!

Anonymous said...

HEY now that you HAVE a blog and you HAVE readers, you HAVE to update it!! Or we go through withdrawals.

I need to email you about something.