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Showing posts from February, 2007

Diagnosis

I saw the Neurologist/Pain Management specialist today. He came highly recommended from my vascular surgeon, and I can see why. He also sang Dr. J's praises to high heaven (as I do, too).

When Dr. K came into the examination room, he sat down and told me this would be a one hour visit. He would take my medical history, review my charts and then we would go over treatment options. I was quite impressed, because most doctors don't spell it out for you-and I wondered if this was because I was seeing him in a teaching facility. I just now googled his name, and he is the first google entry-more on that later.

He does his exam after taking my history and the nurse assists me in removing the Unna boot. It has definitely done its work-the wounds are shallower in the week's time. He notes the muscle atrophy, the degradation of the skin,, color abnomality, and a temperature difference of five degrees between the two legs. What does this mean? I appear to have classic sympto…

Y'all know what I hate, right?

Okay, you all know me pretty well. What peeves me more than anything else? For those who are new to me or the blog, the correct answer is that I hate looking like an ass or being unprepared.

Today, I was both. I was supposed to be at work at 7am to adequately prepare for the design class we were giving. My cell phone rang at 8am to find out where the hell I was. Strike one, I look like an ass, and strike two, I'm NOT GOING TO BE PREPARED! Frantic, I run around the house dropping numerous F bombs and get out the door in 10 minutes. I walk into work 20 minutes before the classes would start.

Now, to those who sat through my classes, they probably thought it was okay. Okay. That's not what they deserved. I needed to wow them with the products I demonstrated and my expertise with the design. If I'd been there on time, I would have nailed it.
Couple that with the frustration with myself that continued to mount with each subsequent group I taught and you probably get …

More good news

Today's good news is courtesy Gameboy.

He sees a psychiatrist for his Asperger's and assorted alphabet soup of issues. He has since he was six. When we moved to Tampa, we lucked into finding a great one. Dr. P really seemed to enjoy working with our son, and said so much when our insurance changed. He continued to see older son, but every other month, for a much reduced rate in an effort to keep him as a patient.

Eventually, the off label uses of son's meds led Dr. P to send us over to the local university's psychiatry department. He wanted to be sure that Gameboy was treated by a good doctor, so he even gave us the name of the supervising psychiatrist that he should see. We were very lucky, Dr. S sat in with a great resident, Dr. D. She's got a great approach with him and has been great at addressing our concerns. We have had more med changes in the time we've been with her than we ever had, because she understands where we are coming from.

For this reas…

So close...

Tonight, for the first time in a few months, I went to sleep in my own bed. I tend to toss and turn in my sleep, which would wake me up with the leg in the present condition. Off to the extremely comfy couch, where the lack of room prevents this and allows me more sleep (this being a relative term)

I lasted an hour and a half. The Unna boot doesn't seem to do too well with the typical movement I make in my sleep. Someone (cough cough) is so happy that I was back in bed that he decided he needed to breathe loudly in my ear. Yeah, that's it, breathing loudly...

I'll try again tomorrow night.

And now, the progress report on the leg....

Insert teletype noises, as if listening to 1010 WINS! :) Scratch that.

I saw Dr. J yesterday. I was honest with him, that I haven't used the debridement ointment twice a day every day. It's impossible to do that and work full time. I explained that it is not an option for me to be off from work and/or screaming in agony while working. He then informed me that if he'd had his way, I would have been out of work for three weeks and in the hospital for debridement when I'd come in back in December. He's a damn good doctor because he listens to the patient's needs in figuring out treatment plans.

So, I graduated to an Unna Boot. This resembles a soft cast. It's a layer of medicated gauze, then an ace bandage, then medical wrap. The average boot uses a layer of calamine permeated gauze, but I'm allergic to that, so mine is a zinc oxide layer instead. They wrap it tight. Very tight. It's like Arnold Schwartzenegger is giving my leg a bear hug with…

Family

It's funny how we're born into this world related to others that if not for that one connection, we would have nothing to do with whatsoever. No shared interests or anything that would keep a connection going, other than having the same mother and/or father. Perhaps shared grandparents.

This blog has shared some of the downside of my large family. My mom's side has more than it's fair share of screwed up individuals. They probably think I'm as messed up as I consider them, lol. However, watching some of my relations make asses of themselves, treat others poorly or treat their own bodies like crap really made an impact on me as a kid. I think this makes it easier to understand why I don't have such a close bond with every sibling-and why I have a close one with Kathi.

On the other hand, we choose our friends. In the past month, I've told a few of my oldest and dearest friends what I've always thought, but never spoken-they ARE family to me. They&…

So close, and yet so far...

Remember the intro to ABC's Saturday afternoon sports extravaganza, "Wide World of Sports"? Jim McKay's voice would intone "The thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat..." over images of the best and worst in sports. I spent quite a few Saturdays of my youth watching it and can still hear that music running through my head. The agony of defeat holds more meaning this morning, which I'll get to in a moment.

Some of you know that I'm married to a major gearhead. If it's got an engine and wheels and is racing somewhere, my man will be watching it (and younger son, too). When I started dating this man, I found out how passionate he was about motorsports, especially Nascar. As I wanted to understand what made him tick, I started following it. It wasn't too difficult-as I'd worked with people at a previous job that shared his passion for the sport.

I told him that I'd follow the sport for a while before choosing a favorite drive…

Happy Valentine's Day!

It's funny, things that were a big deal when I was younger don't hold as much sway.

Take for instance, today, Valentine's Day. I wanted nothing more than to be showered with romantic gestures and gifts. Flowers were not really needed, because I'm somewhat practical. A gift, a card, dinner out-that was what I wanted.

Having kids, the focus has shifted. I've got presents for the kids. An iPod shuffle (or 'ip', as the small ones are known) for Chef Jr, scored off the Apple refurb site (squee!). Gameboy is getting a Pokemon Mini game with several cartridges that were purchased for 5 bucks off shnoop.com. Chocolate is part of the gift, and we'll probably do a chocolate fondue.

Why the change? I guess the comfort of our relationship is knowing that one day is not the make or break of showing how much we love each other. Would I like gifts, or would he? Heck yeah, but our finances prevent it. And I'm okay with that.

Lyrica is not making music

So, the hope that Lyrica would work as well as the Neurontin was in vain. The initial dose didn't work well, I spoke to Nurse M about increasing the dose. It's thought that this medication does not work better with higher dosing-but I wasn't at the highest dose.

Alas, I now have been taking the recommended amount for four days. Look at the time that I'm posting this and you'll see that I am not getting sleep again. Argh....

The bright spot was that in talking to Nurse M, I asked about alcohol consumption. Neurontin's monograph clearly states that you shouldn't drink at all, but Lyrica's states that alcohol may intensify it's effect. So, tonight, for the first time in nearly two months, I had some wine with dinner. I don't know if it's because I haven't had any in forever, or if the bottles we've had for two years have really come into their own, but it was a DAMN GOOD GLASS OF WINE!!

Drinking the wine begs the question, if the me…

TGIF

So, when the doctor told me I *needed* the painkillers and I scoffed, little did I know HE WAS FRIGGIN RIGHT!!!!! Yes, stupid me. I needed another dose at 9pm, but I was busy closing the store, so I figured it was no biggie to wait until I was done. Forty five minutes later, my leg was screaming for mercy. Okay, I've learned my lesson-keep popping the vicodin. There's occasional breakthrough pain from the debridement meds, but not full out WAH WAH WAH pain. So, get some stock in Watson Labs, because I'm buying their pharmaceuticals for a while longer.

Tonight is the time trail for Pinewood Derby. The boys cars are almost done, just some minor decaling and lettering. Hoping I can squeak enough juice out of the camera batteries to get pictures.

Jane is out of the hospital. I happened to be over in Lakeland to cat sit for a friend and called Mom the other day. The word was she was being released, and I was very close to the hospital, so I went over and got her. She…

Odds and Ends

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I don't really have anything to 'essay' about or have the typical conversation, but here are some snippets of things that have been going on or that I fell are worthy of comment.

I thought that Kathi had a link to the blog. I was wrong, but recently remedied that . In the early origins of the blog, she was dubbed 'Giggles'. The name has always fit her, she truly lives to laugh. She decided to go back to the beginning of my ramblings and commented about her nickname her on my piece of the net. Her husband is an extremely funny guy and was amused by this nickname, but it left him puzzled. "If you're Giggles, does that mean I'm Shits?" ROTFLMAO!

Jane is still in the hospital, however, daily we're informed that she'll be coming home 'tomorrow'. I suspect this is not because the doctors have expressed this directly, more that Jane is tired of being imprisoned in a hospital bed. Hey, who can blame her? Taking bets on whether to…

Weekend off

It's my weekend off and I'm doing exactly what I want...not much of anything. The health has taken its toll on us, so to veg is a good thing. Next month's weekend off is already scheduled for a cub scout camping trip.

I finally have all of the meds prescribed at the doctor's appointment earlier this week. There's a new debridement ointment. Man, it itches like you would not believe, but when I changed the dressing this morning, I could see the difference after just one application. I am hoping that the three weeks of this before the next visit to Dr. J will clear out all the infection and smelly, gross stuff. If it progresses at that rate, then I'll be in the Unna boot by the end of the month.

The hives? Still here, and probably will be for another couple of weeks. That's typical when I'm allergic to medication. The jury's still out on the Lyrica, but I'll give it a week before I sing it's praises or bitch about how horrible it is.

J…

Two steps forward, one step back

Visited with Dr. J and nurse M today. The Solosite that I thought was doing a crappy job received the same review from them. Actually, nurse M wanted to know *why* I was using it, and Dr. J had to admit he'd prescribed it! I was prescribed a different debriding agent and will pick it up tomorrow. This one doesn't hurt as much, but boy, it itches like you would not believe.

While I was hailing Neurontin as the king of all nerve pain relievers, it decided that it was abdicating. I have hives from head to toe, though not as bad as I have had from other meds. Lyrica is the replacement after nurse M saw the hives. I swear, my medic alert bracelet would rival any necklace 50 cent would wear.

Dr. J reiterated his endorsement of the Vicodin. Much as I hate being on pain killers, he tells me that I need them. I was told that if *I* am complaining about pain, it really must be bad. This means I *NEED* the meds. He also went out and printed out the info about the Neurologist…