28 July 2009

"See Her Smile"

There was a request for more cat pictures. So for you, Anju:

You can tell I'm really in a sad state when you can find this in my player on repeat.

See Her Smile
Words and Lyrics by Jonathan Larson

It's not you, she says
It's just that life's so hard
We all get blue, I say
Hang on tight
I'll be your bodyguard

Something's breakin' my baby's heart
Something's breakin' my baby's heart
Something's breakin' my baby's heart
Oh, oh, I just wanna see her smile

It's such a drag, she says
When the world's so mean
It's just a red flag, I say
Gotta look for the green

Oh, oh, oh
Something's breakin' my baby's heart
Something's breakin' my baby's heart
Something's breakin' my baby's heart
Oh, oh, I just wanna see her smile

Cynical town can be tough on an angel
Clip her wings baby, one, two, three
I'm her clown cause a laughin'
Angels richer than kings
Oh, baby, don't you see?
Baby, don't you agree?

Wish I knew why, she says
But on a sunny day, I find the rain
Let's give it a try, I say
We can dance all through the pain

Something's breakin' my baby's heart
Something's breakin' my baby's heart
Something's breakin' my baby's heart

Oh, oh
Ooooh, oh, oh
I just wanna see her smile
I just wanna see her smile
I just wanna see her smile
I just wanna see her
Just wanna see her...smile


To hear it, go here.

27 July 2009

More sick stuff

For those of you who are tired of hearing about me droning on about being sick, skip this post. And as a buffer, here's a pic to protect you from the sick wank.

Okay, now, for the rest of you.

Here's an idea of how I'm doing these days.

Yesterday I went grocery shopping by myself. On the way home, I passed a road sign. A road sign that has been there for years. It hasn't changed. Nothing different about it. Yet it made me cry. What was it? Just a sign that read:

Walt Whitman Bridge
No Toll in This Direction

I have no idea why it was so tear-inducing. It was JUST SAD!!!!! As I said to my therapist today, "It's like, you can just get on the bridge and go and no one cares and there's NO TOLL!"

Go figure.

But here's the overall trip in the nutshell: Go to Target. Find out there are no frozen foods. Go slightly postal on manager. Go to grocery. Find adorable toddler to smile at and wave to. Chat with toddler's mom. Get teary-eyed about how cute the toddler is. Forget cheese. Park cart to get cheese. Lose cart. Pass random cart and note that shopper bought same taco sauce I did. Panic that I lost my cart. Pass same random cart and note that shopper also bought same same taco shells I did! Wonder how the fuck loses a cart in less than three minutes. Pass same random cart and note that shopper also bought the same BREAD I did... oh. My cart. Cry in dairy aisle. Check out behind toddler and mom. Smile at how cute toddler is. Pull self together. See bridge sign. Cry on way home.

At work, I am grateful for my theatre minor because I feel like I pull off the Greatest Acting Job ever. I have started to isolate from friends more because I feel like they can't possibly be able to stand one more story about how depressed I am or how tired I am or how sick I am or how sick and tired I am of being sick and tired.

Once I get home, I'm so exhausted from acting at work all day, I just Come Undone. Completely.

Although, I did have a victory this weekend. Despite my best efforts, I was unable to sell my spots in my Wendy Johnson sock classes this past weekend. So I went. It was hard. And exhausting. And frustrating. And annoying. I can't say that I'm completely happy that I went, but I don't completely regret it, either. This, my friends, is a victory.

I would like to say one more thing, especially to my local friends. I know there are many of you experiencing Life right now. Losing jobs, losing relationships, moving, etc. And I wish I could be there for you. And I'm trying. And I'll be there as much as I can. But I refuse to promise more than I KNOW I can deliver. I will, however, promise to do what I can.

And, as always, I do love you.

20 July 2009

Sick and tired, literally

Apparently, my Vitamin D levels are so drastically extremely severely low that my PCP and my endocrinologist felt the necessity to call me and let me know how dire things were. My Vitamin D is 13. Bare minimum people should be at is 32.

My doctor said that at this level she generally puts people on prescription D, but since it's mid-July she's going to try something else. She wants me to try 3000 IUs (international units) of Vit D per day (for comparison, the RDA is 400 IUs) and a minimum of ten minutes of "midday summertime sun" per day.

I spoke to the pharmacist today and he recommended getting 1000 IUs and taking them three times a day, with fatty foods. WITH FATTY FOODS! A silver lining! For those of you playing the at-home game, this now puts me at popping twelve pills a day. And that doesn't count the "as needed" meds for my allergies, asthma exacerbations, nocturnal leg cramps, etc.

The issue is that not only is vitamin deficiency generally not good, but the intersection of vitamin D deficiency and thyroid problem is particularly bad. So that's why all the arm flailing and phone calls between doctors in the past few days. Also, the severe deficiency tends to explain the ongoing achiness, fatigue, and depression despite the thyroid levels getting better. This makes me happy because it means that (1) there's a reason and (2) my most excellent doctor went looking for a reason for my continuing complaints of general malaise.

Now, for the good news:

My glucose is just barely elevated, but this should come down as I lose weight, which is expected to happen as my thyroid levels are controlled. My A1C is 5.9, which is the cutoff for the acceptable range. This gets me out of the pre-diabetes range (YES! this is a major victory, as this is why I went into Weight Watchers), and this is expected to keep going down as my thyroid is controlled. Seriously, folks, MAJOR VICTORY here.

My overall cholesterol is good, although my triglycerides were jacked, but we think that was due to the non-fasting test so no one is panicking. The HDLs were a bit low, but this should also change as the thyroid is controlled, I'm less fatigued, and can exercise more.

Also, Dr. Second Opinion called me Saturday morning. He confirmed that the ultrasound showed absolutely no pathology whatsoever. He sounded as frustrated and annoyed about this result as I am, which pleases me (which may be warped). He said that, unfortunately, we may have to wait for the next episode. If it happens when he's in his office, I'm to call him and come to his office immediately so he can examine me and figure it out post-haste. If it's after-hours or on the weekend, I'm to go to the ER (I've already decided I'm going to his ER). Although this might not sound like good news, I like that (1) he called me on the Saturday of what was supposed to begin his two-week vacation and that (2) he seems just as determined as I am to find an answer.

10 July 2009


Wollmeise is in the house.

That is all.

09 July 2009

What's up, doc?

I saw my PCP (primary care physician) today. As per usual, we spent about an hour together. The first twenty minutes was about her telling me she's leaving for Boston, me crying, her getting sad, us holding hands... Keep in mind that I've seen her every 2-4 months for seven years. And every time between that I got sick. EVERY specialist that I have (and I have eight of them) was recommended by her (okay, except Dr. Second Opinion).

Then down to business. I caught her up on my thyroid mess. And my gallbladder mess. I told her I'm having some problems controlling my asthma, and we discussed adding to my meds, which I'm reluctant to do since I'm already taking asthma meds three times a day.

Her main concern, though, remains my headaches. Rather, my headache. The headache I've had as long as I can remember and quite literally NEVER goes away. Some days are better than others. Some days are really bad. And some days are migraines. Basically, I have three tiers of headaches - Tier 1 (I pop 1.5 grams of acetaminophen and go about my day); Tier 2 (I pop a narcotic painkiller; and Tier 3 (migraine).

Throughout the seven years I've been with her, she's sent me to neurologists, neuro-ophthamologists, and oral maxillofacial specialists. We've tried various medications, combinations of medications, and discontinuing medications (in case it was a side effect from one of the meds I took).

She decided to throw one more thing at me (as she always puts it, which somehow makes me happy). We're trying a new daily med. I'll start with one pill a day and gradually titrate up to as many as eight a day. She also started me on a new migraine med since I told her that my current one sometimes makes me sleepy, which means that I refuse to take it at work.

She wanted to know my thoughts regarding more ideas, but I told her it was fine and that I've learned to live with my head. She reminded me that I need to be more vocal about my pain because since I rarely mention it, she forgets how persistent it is. And that just because I live with it doesn't mean we can't make it better.

Then the regular battery of blood tests was ordered.

In the past four days, I spent: $87.42 at the pharmacy, $20 to see Dr. Second Opinion, and $10 to see the best PCP in the world. Thank God for health care benefits.

08 July 2009

Enough about my grief, let's talk about me

I saw Dr. Second Opinion on Monday regarding my ongoing GI issues. You may recall that I saw him about six weeks ago. In the interim, I tracked down my medical records from when I was in hospital Jan-Feb 2008. This was just a follow-up appointment for him to look at my records.

I spent about an hour in his office while he went through the records, lab reports, H&P from my ER admissions, etc. In the end, he said that he absolutely did not understand why the hospital kept diagnosing me with pancreatitis. The only indication that I had pancreatitis was an elevated lipase level (132). But he explained to me that while a lipase level of over 100 is considered "elevated," when a patient gets admitted for pancreatitis, they'll generally have a lipase level of, say, 2000.

He said it was also curious that my pain is nowhere near my pancreas. Guess where my pain is? Let's all say it together: my gallbladder!

He ordered an ultrasound for next week, on Wednesday. If he sees any gallstones at all, he's going to take my gallbladder out. I reminded him that I have no pain right now, and he said that of people with gall stones, only about 1-2% of them experience pain. So no pain doesn't mean no stones.

So - on Wednesday, please please please pray that they see gall stones. Because I would LOVE few things more than for this issue to be resolved. I'm tired of the pain, tired of dreading the pain, tired of trying to predict when it's going to attack, tired of being told that no one knows what's causing the pain...

He also asked what brought me to him. I explained that three months ago when I got another attack, my regular GI took two weeks to get back to me. He commented that Dr. GI is a good doctor. I said that while I do like Dr. GI, I was already frustrated with the chronic-ness of this issue, and the two week call-back time was too much. His reaction?

He told me that if anything happens on a weekend, go to the ER. If it happens during the week, call his office. If I can't reach him, ask for his nurse. One of them will send me an order for a blood test. He also told me that he's going on vacation for two weeks at the end of this month. He said if anything happens then, he wants me to call his nurse and make sure she gets a message to one of the other doctors. Is there anything better than feeling like a doctor LISTENS????

Dr. GI: You're fired.
Dr. Second Opinion has been promoted.

Bonus: While I was in the exam room waiting for him, I spun a bit. He came in and saw me spinning and asked what I was doing. I explained that I was making yarn, which just means adding twist to fiber. He asked me how the twist gets added. So I started showing him. He was really interested in it and thought it was cool.

MJ vs. OJ vs. Hussein

NBC reported that two weeks into Michael's trial, an opinion poll showed that three-quarters of people polled believed he was guilty. Only five percent had a positive image of him. NBC further reports that this (5%) is lower than OJ and lower than Saddam Hussein.

I am shocked, saddened, and disappointed.