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Friday, May 18, 2012

Blood pressure results and MS issues

Can you believe that after waiting over one week, I STILL haven't heard back from my general physician's office after I left a detailed message on how my blood pressure has been dropping too low?  Ugh!!!  I'm so glad I took matters into my own hands and called my endocrinologist (Dr. Raman) rather than continue to wait and wait and wait.

My appointment yesterday was not with the doctor but with Maria, one of the nurse practitioners.  She didn't feel my blood pressure readings had been too low, but they had been low FOR ME.  I was not feeling well and needed to do what I could to make this better.  To get a clearer idea of what my blood pressure readings are throughout the day and night, I was hooked up to a blood pressure monitor to wear for 24 hours.  I was allowed to take it off to bathe or get dressed or undressed and was told to try to live my life as usual to get an accurate read on my b.p.  When I took the monitor in today I ran into the doctor, who asked me to just wait a few minutes and he would have the results before I left.  My parents and I waited in the front room of the office and a very short time later, one of the nurses appeared and let me know the readings were normal and Dr. Raman didn't see any reason to be alarmed at this time.  When I had her read some of the numbers to me, my "awake" readings were actually much higher than usual and my "sleeping" numbers were quite low.  I think I will probably need to be on some sort of blood pressure medication but not as high a dosage as I had been taking.
The funniest thing about wearing the monitor was having it on when I went to bed last night.  My Jinger loves to spoon with me so she was asleep and I had, apparently, already passed out.  The cuff tightened on my arm to take my blood pressure reading and the sound of it in the dead silent house scared the living crap out of her.  Jinger practically leaping out of her skin and scurrying to get out from under the covers woke me up and this pretty much happened every hour on the hour, the entire night.  I shouldn't giggle as I remember this but it was cute in a very pathetic sort of way!

Aside from worrying about my blood pressure, which has already leveled off since I stopped taking Lisinopril last weekend, the pain in my pelvis and hips has kept me from being as smiley as I would like.  OK, that and my right leg feeling as if it weights at least 200 lbs.!  Ohh, wait, that's not all.  Everyday (or evening) during the last 3 or 4 days, I have not been able to make it in time to the bathroom before peeing quite a bit in my panties.  Yeah, I feel sooooo attractive, sexy and all around desirable when this happens!  I hope this is only temporary as I cannot wear pads.  They give me the most horrible rash all over the place and it's not worth the hassle to wear them.  I bought two packages of panties just a few weeks ago, knowing I was having bladder difficulties so I wouldn't have to do laundry as often as I had been so I'm not going to worry about it too much.  I try to laugh it off as much as I can but there are days when, even though I'm usually alone, it's still terribly humiliating.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

What a month this has been.. and it's only half over

I'm sitting here tonight watching the television program Private Practice, where one of the main characters is in labor and refusing medication to ease her intense discomfort.  As I see her racked in pain, crying, it takes me back to what happened at the end of March with that horrible kidney stone.  I was in more pain than I have ever experienced and was terribly frightened that it was the MS attacking me, but in a way I had not felt before.  Just the memory of that day/evening has me crying more than I did when it happened.  I realize being in labor is probably more intense than having a kidney stone, but at least you are somewhat aware of what is happening to your body and afterwards, you get to hold your precious baby!
This entire month hasn't been what I would call ideal.  Try as I may, I have not been able to get through to my general physician's nurse to make an appointment to see him to discuss my low blood pressure.  At a friend's suggestion, I called my endocrinologist's office and am scheduled to see one of the nurse practitioners this Thursday afternoon to address this issue.  I hope a solution can be found as I am growing tired of feeling exhausted every moment I am conscious.

I spoke with a representative of Tysabri's Touch Program, the support program for those of us on this disease-modifying drug.  I was curious to know if having continuous low blood pressure was a common side effect of being on Tysabri or if I was in the low percentile, as is usually the case with me.  I already knew it was common for blood pressure to drop during or after the infusion but I wasn't given much information other than that.  I will need to address this with Dr. Short (neurologist) when I see him next month before I receive the Tysabri.

I was extremely happy last week when I was able to drive but this week has proven to be less thrilling.  I was scheduled to see my chiropractor yesterday but was unable to drive due to my right leg feeling as if it weighed a ton and experiencing too much weakness after walking only a few steps.  My parents had been out of town most of the day so I changed the appointment for today, which I ended up cancelling since I was not feeling too well because of my low blood pressure.  If it's not one thing, it's another!
To make my life just a little more interesting, a physical therapist is coming to my home tomorrow afternoon so we can begin my new program.  Ugh.  Good timing!  I'm sure I won't be up to doing too much while she's here as I will let her know what has been going on with me health wise, but at least it's a step in the right direction.  I've grown tired of hurting from simply making myself a sandwich or getting a cup of coffee.

I do hope the rest of the month shapes up better than it has been, but only time will tell.  I can't wait to have another batch of good days again or at least one or two decent ones where pain is the last thing on my mind.  Ahh, how nice that would be!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Single, but not closed off to the possibility of Love

I have chosen to remain single but this doesn't mean I haven't had thoughts of what it would be like to have a long, meaningful relationship.  When I meet a man and we decide to date exclusively, my mind automatically wanders to a long-term commitment and perhaps even a lifetime with this particular man.  For me, it hasn't quite worked out this way and as the years go by I really do not think it ever will but I haven't closed my mind to the possibility of it happening.
When I look back at my dating life I seem to have made the same mistakes over and over again.  There is no doubt that I am confident in who I am as a person but this confidence does not extend over my entire life.  I am used to making my own decisions in my daily life so when a man enters the picture, there is a huge shift in balance.  Since my income is extremely limited and the food I keep in my home is quite scarce, new man and I usually go out to eat meaning he will pay for our dining.  This is nice at first but not too long after, causes me much stress.  I find it very difficult to choose where to eat or what to order, knowing the expense will be on him and not on me.  I do not like to take advantage of anyone's generosity, even if he (or my parents) tell me they don't mind.  But it bothers me.  It bothers me a lot.  And this is just the beginning.

Both times I was married there was too much conflict.  We argued incessantly and it brought endless headaches, migraines, stress and frightened kitties.  I never want to live that life again and I won't.  I do my best at "screening" the men I go out with ahead of time so I have an idea if they are the argumentative type or more laid back.

Once I am in a relationship, the worst thing I do is become too agreeable.  It is never the man's fault, but completely my own.  Honestly, he never has any idea I am doing it, but all the while I'm cringing inside as I lose my voice more and more with each passing day.  The problem is, I can't stay silent forever.  However, I do try to talk about things along the way to give some insight as to how I've been feeling and a few times, some of the men I've dated have realized that I've been "giving in" to simply doing everything they enjoy or watching only television shows or movies they prefer over mine, and encourage me to include them in my preferences.  If he doesn't try to listen to what I said, well, then all hell breaks loose.  I eventually blow up at the man and this is never a pretty sight for anyone to witness.
I'm not making myself seem too wonderful here but I am hardly a terrible woman to date!  I'm all heart, wear my heart on my sleeve and would still love the "happily ever after" fairytale sort of romance but I suppose the realistic side of me doesn't allow this to last for too long.  Yet I still love with all my heart and give as much of myself as humanly possible, but I suppose being 43 years old has something to do with the somewhat pessimistic attitude I've acquired.  Most relationships end and this is simply a fact of life.  I have enjoyed my time with each man I've been involved with and then moved on after the relationship ran its course.

When I think back at the loves I've had in my life, there are very few who really took my breath away and simply remembering the feeling is intoxicating even after all these years.  I long to feel that way again.  To feel my hand in his.  To look into his eyes as he is gazing into mine.  The aching need of his mouth against my lips.  Just to know he is sitting next to me or thinking of me when we are not together.  Every little feeling which would make me feel as giddy as a schoolgirl once again.  Will it happen for me?  This, I do not know but at least I know I have had love in my life and my life is good but if he is out there, why won't he hurry up and get here already?!!  I mean seriously, I am NOT getting any younger so please stop biding your time, OK?