Posts Tagged With: medications

“Should” Is a Dangerous Word

I don’t know about you but I have a lot of chatter going on in my head quite often. I’ve learned and been able to quiet it down a bit more but it’s amazing how loud it can get in there. My goodness. The things I say to myself. I used to be really mean to me and abusive and I realized that I didn’t like those bruises anymore, that I didn’t deserve them, so I have gotten in the practice of TRYING to take words and phrases out of my head that do me more harm than good.

“SHOULD.”

That word needs to be considered what is called a “bad” word. How often do I find myself “Should be” with the “Should be” because “Should be” is “Should be” and back and forth. It’s awful really. I set myself up on this pedestal and the expectations start. I expect more of myself than others expect of me. For goodness sakes. I mean I have multiple sclerosis and lupus and if I count what’s been happening the past few days, I’m also dealing with a sinus infection and have been sick from that.

ISN’T THAT ENOUGH?

Why does “should” even come into my Being. Why do I even let it in? I try so hard to take it out of my vocabulary. In fact, even writing this, I find myself wanting to write the word “should” in a sentence over and over again. But it always gets me into trouble.

If I act on the “Should Be”s then I am only going to get tense and stressed out if and when I can’t follow through. This became very clear to me again this evening when after a long day of crunching numbers, some rest, taking medications, taking care of my sickies, taking care of my Cleo Kitty, taking a lovely walk in the fresh cool air as the sun set, spending time with Corey and just living my life I found myself playing the “Should be” game.

ONLY IT ISN’T A GAME.

It’s always more serious and it is never fun. It says I’m not enough. It says that I’m not doing enough. I’m not good enough.

Well I have news for me.

THAT’S NOT TRUE. I AM ENOUGH.

SO NO MORE “SHOULD”.

And when I say it again to myself I gotta try not to be too hard myself about it and just try to stop myself and either reword it, trust that all is as it should be and/or tell those words in my head to go away. That they are no longer welcome.

As I said before, I’m getting better at it, at keeping the “Should”s away but it is very hard.

Since I didn’t act much on the “Should be”s today I am relieved to say that I am a bit better from the sickies. I’m also feeling a bit loopy and strange from the antibiotics and the mucinex but I’m not feeling sicker and more miserable so that is a plus.

Progress is a good thing.

I think I’ll write to the people who write the updated dictionary every year or however often they update it and tell them to take the word “should” out. What I do know is that in the Book of Nahleenisms, “should” is not included. In fact, the word no longer exists…

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I’M OK

I’ve been reflecting a lot about my Blog post yesterday, “Diagnosis Part 5: MRI”.

It helped so much to write that. I needed to really get that out. I needed to tell the whole world about my experience. It freed me a lot. I felt lighter after I wrote it and I’ve been breathing easier ever since.

And what I’ve become aware of even more today is something so enlightening and positive.

I’M OK.

I, Nahleen Virginia Blake (yes that’s my Middle Name), am OK. Oh my goodness! I’m OK. If you had told me that night of my first MRI that over 10 years from that whole experience I’d say I was OK I’d have pushed you away. I’d have ignored you. I wouldn’t have believed you. I probably would’ve gotten sick to my stomach.

No Way! I was so terrified about my life, about my future, about my body and everything that I had no control over. I “HAD CONTROL” of my life back then…I thought. I was on my path. Full speed ahead! Get out of my way. I’m following my dream. Actually…I’m chasing my dream. It can’t get away. My grip is so tight and I won’t let go. Keep on going and going and going and going. Well, guess what Energizer Bunny? You can’t keep going either no matter what those commercials say. Sorry but you run out of Oomph too!

Throughout these 10 plus years since I have been told by so many people older than me that I am too young to think the way I do. That I am too young to go through what I’ve gone through. That I should be going through all of this illness and crap when I’m older. Well, let me tell you all, I HAVE NO CONTROL AND I NEVER HAVE. I was powerless over what was happening in my body and my mind was bound to change. My life was bound to change! My outlook was bound to change! Change change change! Life is about change!

How could all of that not change?

I couldn’t work 2 jobs anymore. That was crazy to start with. I couldn’t be a Production Assistant for 12 hour days on my precious weekends anymore.  I couldn’t couldn’t with the couldn’ts. Suddenly my life came to a halt.

SORT OF.

I had to rest more.

I’M SORRY. DID I SAY REST?

What is REST? Well, that means I STOP all I’m doing to the best of my ability and sit my butt down. I can lay down on the bed. I get some quiet. I learn how to meditate. If I can’t stop I at least SLOW DOWN. Yes, slower is OK. Really. There are so many ways to rest. Forcing everything to a point of a racing heart is NOT RESTING. Nope. Everything in Fast Forward is not resting.

Actually, my life is usually better than OK but I didn’t know that until 8 years later when I was diagnosed with a second disease of lupus. A…SECOND…DISEASE……..OF…LUPUS….Now THAT ONE KICKED ME OFF MY FEET AND STRAIGHT ONTO MY BUTT and there was no getting up.

No question.

I hit a wall so hard it’s a wonder I even survived and I am NOT EXAGGERATING.

And my choices were simple yet so complicated for someone like me to understand. You see, simple is not simple. It can’t just be that pretty much everything in my life has to STOP AND SLOW DOWN and not just a few things here and there. This affected EVERYTHING.

I HAD TO CHANGE.

MY LIFE HAD TO CHANGE AND FAST.

I FELT I HAD NO CHOICE.

See, I used to say I had no choice. I had to stop working…for now…until further notice…maybe…no really…I still wasn’t feeling up to it months later…symptoms just kept kicking my butt…I needed Tender Loving Care from everyone but especially from ME. I could’ve gone back to work. Right. OK. And run around and been in an environment that was so toxic for me that I would’ve ended up in the hospital the next time. Sounds like a great quality of life.

It was ME. I had to change MY LIFE.

I had to take care of ME.

Why was that so hard? Why IS that so hard?

I know it’s worth it. I know I’m worth it. And it’s a work in progress…It really is about Quality of Life, not Quantity.

But when I focus on TLC and turning the attention of my TLC to me my life gets better. My life looks different, feels different, and even smells different. There are flowers to smell and see everywhere here in LA. There are trees with leaves that blow in the breeze. That is one of the most lovely sounds I have ever heard. There are clouds. Oh I have always loved clouds ever since I was a little kid. Give me a cloud to look at and I am thrilled. Everything else goes away. There is an ocean that keeps me Present when I can see it. Even driving by it changes my mood if I can see it. I am in the moment. Do you know how beautiful the moment is? Have you been able to feel your breath as you look at the vastness and the colors of the ocean as the sky and the light of the sun reflect on the ocean? Have you watched a seagull float along in the sea breeze? Even watching other people in the water puts a smile on my face.

Smiling. I do that so much more than I used to. I used to be told all the time to smile when I was in my 20s before the MS diagnosis. I had no idea I wasn’t smiling. I was so dang busy pushing and pulling and forcing and going that I forgot to smile. I had a frown on my face I was so intense. It’s a wonder I had any friends, family, work colleagues or anyone else who wanted to be in my life.

But somewhere along the way I forgot me. I still do sometimes and I am constantly working on bringing ME back.

And bringing my focus back to me, I see the shining emerald green glimpse of hummingbird. I see the butterfly off in the distance. I find myself sitting in my car listening to my favorite song and not getting out until I’ve finished belting it out to myself. And back to smiling because I find it so powerful. Smiling at others? Smiling at others and watching them smile back. It is so rare now for me not to connect with others with a smile. I have met some of the best people in the grocery store. We are all just people living our lives trying to get by. I have had lovely conversations in hospital building elevators with others about colors and clothing and my Muppet bag/purse.

I have sat next to some wonderful people while sitting in doctor waiting rooms. See doctor waiting rooms are tricky for me. I still can’t stand going to the doctor. In fact, I think in some ways it’s worse now because I have so much chronic illness doctor’s office visit fatigue if that makes any sense. I am sooooo done seeing so many doctors even though the appointments are currently usually further apart. Usually. But those waiting rooms can be so grueling and talking to others helps. If I don’t I feel closed off and not grounded. I find myself more nervous about the appointment than I was before. I find myself noticing that so many people are not feeling well, that they’re older and looking at me wondering why I’m there at whatever Specialist Doctor I happen to be at. It’s rough.

I have gotten to know the office staff at almost every doctor. I now have at least 2 friends at the Pharmacy I go to and I’ve had coffee with one of them. They are people too. Great gals actually. I have learned that it’s really not a problem usually to stand in line at a store. Why not look around? Why not watch a little girl or boy with their Mom and see what they see as they look around? Getting annoyed and irritated is probably going to make me feel worse. Life does not have to be lived so fast.

And what about finding myself through writing? I think I’ve always been a writer. I have written off and on all my life. This Blog has helped me get through what was a huge writer’s block for too many years. I need to write. It is part of my Being. Even if I write the hardest and deepest thoughts and words I still come out of it smiling. I wrote! I expressed myself!

And then there’s meditation, guided imagery, spiritual support groups, coffee groups, texts with friends, Facebook, Twitter, the online community in general, the longer conversations I get to have with people on the phone if I feel up to it (this one is still hard for me because being social is one of my favorite things but it also tires me out very quickly and as I get better I am more able to talk and maybe even visit but it’s still a one day at a time thing), the exploring of neighborhoods as I walk every day (by the way it’s been over 450 days since I started taking a walk every day!) I never know where I’ll end up. I have found the greatest local businesses that way. Some of the best coffee shops are in Santa Monica. I wouldn’t have known that before.

And sitting on my balcony especially at night is one of my favoritest things to do ever. I sit back in my lounge chair and look at the sky, look at my iPad (feel so fortunate and lucky to have such a supportive husband who bought me an iPad even before my lupus diagnosis and it has changed my life–the online world is a much more accessible place because sitting at the computer with the big screen can be hard for me for so many reasons), talk to my plants, and I can even have plants that I love and adore! And let me tell you, they respond so much better when I talk to them and give them love.

I have found faith and hope during these slower times. During these quiet times it has not all been fabulous. As they say every rose has its thorns and that is so true. There is beauty in life everywhere. There is also struggling, and excruciating feelings, and trudging, and crying, and anger, and memories, and reliving traumas, and temper tantrums, and grieving, and missing the old days when I thought my life was something else, and when I was younger before my MS diagnosis, and wanting to punch things and having very very hard times and hard days. I find I’m also having an identity crisis. Who am I? Who is Nahleen with MS and lupus? Will I ever work again? What will I do? Which idea am I going to pursue? Where is my life leading? Is this my life? I can’t live my life as someone who is identified only as my illnesses but it is a major challenge to break away from that when my life is lived in doctor’s offices talking about everything that’s still wrong with me, even talking about those few things that are getting better is still on the subject, just being there reminds me too much about my reality, having to prove my Disability to other entities who are trying to not help me, dealing with insurance issues, reliving the past for new doctors, taking over 4 hours to get going before I feel human in the morning, taking my medications, keeping up with my medications, keeping track of symptoms and the severity of them and watching for patterns, exercising so I can keep functioning and I could go on. Please let my life be more than that.

BUT YOU KNOW WHAT?

I’M OK.

I’m better than I was 10 years ago even before my MS diagnosis. I see the world in front of me more. I see the world. I am in the world. I am not on the outside looking in. I am NOT living the life I want to live on a whole just yet but isn’t that normal? I want to live a life WITHOUT MS and lupus but that is a lot to ask right now and to be honest it pisses me off and I can feel the rage right now even as I write this. But right now I’m in a better wave. I don’t know how long it will last or if it’s the new norm. Life is always happening and it is always in session. I have learned that time and time again. And I don’t know how I’m going to feel the next moment from when I write this sentence but for now I’ll take the feeling that life is a bit easier. How cool is that? I’m a bit more at ease. What a gift.

But it is not a life to be rushed through. Time goes by too fast. I was a tied up ball of knots rushing around plowing my way to the next goal in my mid-20s thinking I would someday rule the world, but it was never good enough. And in the past few days, life is good enough. Sure, I want more money, I want a bigger place to live in, I want that dent out of my car that someone so nicely put in there at a time I wasn’t around to see it happen, I want to be thinner, I want to feel so good that I am frolicking and skipping down the street and I don’t ever want bad things or hard things ever to happen again.

But that’s not real.

And I’M OK.

And the best part is there are parts of my life that are so very happy. I am happy with my husband and my Cleo Kitty. Corey keeps me laughing and on my toes. He is so incredibly supportive and always by my side. We are the best team I know. Cleo Kitty and I are best friends. We have been there for each other during each of our health problems for the past 3 years. She cuddles and plays and needs to eat and she demands her pets.

I also have a roof over my head, wonderful people in my life who don’t let me isolate even for one minute and they are from all parts of my life, 2 cars that run well, air conditioning that usually works, clothes to wear, food to eat, a bed to sleep on even if the mattress is so old there are hills and valleys in it and the list is endless.

I have a full life. A pretty darn good life. It can be very hard. And sometimes it can be easy but those times seem rare. Perhaps that will change. I don’t know. What I do know is that I breathe easier. I’m not nearly as tense. I feel much better than I did last year in July 2012 (and it doesn’t mean I am all better but I will take whatever I can get), I smile and giggle more than I frown and grumble. My bad days aren’t nearly as bad and intense and I recover quicker. And this is all just for today.

That is all I have. That is all WE have.

And that is OK.

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Doctors: Please Take ME Into Consideration

Full Name: Nahleen Virginia (Knight) Blake. Knight is my Maiden Name. Where did Nahleen come from? Well funny you should ask. I’m sure I’ll have to repeat to you over and over how to say it and how to spell it but let’s get it right the first time. What’s the significance of Virginia? It’s my Grandmother’s Name.

Birth Date: 5/28/77. Thanks! Yes I just turned 36. Uh huh. I’m aware of what 36 means. Wait, what does it mean? Do I dare ask?

Male/Female: I’ll let you guess.

Phone Number: Oh great now you’re gonna bug me all the time.

Any Other Good Numbers to Call?: Nope. And even if there were some I wouldn’t give them to you because you’d chase after me and I’d get no peace. And no you are NOT getting my work number. I made the mistake of telling you that number before and you kept calling me there. Um hi. I’m busy there.

Address: Great. You might stalk me. You’ll at least be sending me bills here. Why else would you want it? Why do I want to give this to you?

Is This a Good Billing Address?: Knew it. It’s all about the $.

Emergency Contact Phone Number: ACK! What’s gonna happen here? There’s gonna be an Emergency here? What if I have no one? And if I give you someone, will you call them every time you can’t reach me? What if that person is across the country? How will they know where I am? Great, now they’ll be worried.

Weight: Does that really matter? Is this any indication of anything? There is no black and white here.

Height: 5’Short–according to my Chiropractor I should be 5’5″ someday as long as I keep going to get adjustments/treatments from him.

Usual Blood Pressure Reading: As if I’m gonna tell you if it’s high. Uh huh. But you’ll take it here in the midst of White Coat Land and freak me out EVERY TIME and take that as a regular reading. Oh you want me to check it at home to get a more accurate reading? How will that be accurate again? I’ll know when I’m gonna be doing it and it will go up.

Usual Body Temperature: 97.5 but you won’t believe me so when you check my temperature and see that it’s 98.6 you’ll say that’s normal and I’ll say it’s high for me and you’ll pass it off.

Hair Color: Well now that’s a good question. Some kind of purple since March 2012.

Hair Type: Pretty dang curly. It’s really short right now.

Eye Color: Blue and to me my eyes are tiny. I also wear glasses so it’s hard to tell they’re as blue as they are.

Birthplace: Homestead, FL (Does that really matter?)

Where I’m From: Kingston, NH

Where I Live Now: Los Angeles, CA

Grow Up With Both Parents?: Yes. I’m blessed to have done so. However, growing up with Single Parents wouldn’t make me less than.

How Old Are They?: None of your business.

Siblings?: Yes. An older sister.

How Old is Your Sibling?: Isn’t that Private? I already said she was older.

Employed?: No. What’s your point? Thanks for reminding me.

Insurance?: Yes. What if I said no?

Are you the Insured? The Primary Card Holder?: HUH?

Primary Insurance?: Ummm…

Secondary Insurance?: WHAT THE?! Leave me alone!

Insurance Information (and everything you didn’t even know you needed to know…): OK. Let me just dig through my purse and wallet and FIND that all for you. Didn’t I just give you my Insurance card? Isn’t it all on there?

Driver License Number: Geez. Nosy! And didn’t I just give you my ID? Isn’t that what this is?

Social Security Number: None of your business. Stop snooping around. I think I need to report you.

Disability?: Meaning what? Yes I have Disability Coverage but don’t get me started about all of that. Am I Disabled? YES! OK?! I think that’s in the mind of the beholder.

Married? Single? Divorced? Domestic Partner?: What does that matter?

If Yes to Married, what’s your Spouse’s Name?: What if I’m not married? I feel like crap now.

If Yes to Married, Spouse’s Social Security Number: Well now that everyone else has been left out…now why on EARTH would you EVER need their Social Security Number?

Allergic to Anything?: What exactly do you mean by allergic? I hope not! Great now you have me paranoid.

Eyesight: Yes I have it but I’m pretty blind. Do you mean do I wear glasses? Yes.

Illnesses?: Must you remind me? (Sigh.)–Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, High Blood Pressure, Asthmatic Tendencies, Hay Fever, IBS, Prone to Infection, Probably Depression–and now I’ve crawled under the chair in the corner…

Is This a Work Related Accident?: I knew it was an accident I had all these illnesses! Yes! I’ve wanted to blame my work for something! Perfect!

When Did It Happen?: Ummmm…which dates are you looking for? What are we talking about now?

Medications: Hmmmmm. Do you have a whole book I can fill out? This little box here ain’t gonna cut it. And do I include vitamins in this or not? None of you ever know if you care about these or not.

Other Doctors?: Too many to count. Again, looking for a book to fill out. I might have room to write down one doctor.

Can We Contact Your Doctors?: Meaning what? Yes aaannndddd No. How’s that? And will you really contact them?

Any New Doctors?: Chiropractor (not that you pay attention to that because they are NOT in Western Medicine…OH but he’s a doctor too? OK…). Psychologist/Psychiatrist: Yes she’s both.

Symptoms?: Ok great. Thanks for reminding me. Yep. (Tense up).–Fatigue, pain, stiffness, weakness, tingling, heat fatigue, eye light/dark sensitivity (new–and I’m annoyed), dry eyes, dry mouth, cognitive symptoms, emotional symptoms, overall malaise, hair loss, nausea, bloating (hmmm there’s not enough room on here. In fact, there’s not enough room in any of these boxes on here. What the heck? Do you really have any patients who can fit their life/health histories in such a small space?)

WHAT KIND OF A FORM IS THIS?

*THESE ARE JUST EXAMPLES OF WHAT I’VE BEEN ASKED OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN!*

Seriously, doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, medical assistants, nurses, office staff, lab technicians, etc.: How often do you really look at these? Are you even looking at these? And do I even want ALL OF YOU to see EVERYTHING I just answered? That is a flat out NO! And why isn’t there an overall database that all medical professionals have access to? Why do I have to KEEP filling out all the same questions? Why is each form different? Why can’t they be uniform? I’m tired. I’m tired of writing all of this down. I’m soooooo over rehashing all of this.

I AM NAHLEEN.

What does that mean? That means I’m a Person. I mean something. I’m not my penmanship (which used to be really good btw until I kept having to write these answers over and over again). I’m not just my name. I am 3D. I have Depth. I giggle a lot. I’m struggling all the time with my diseases. I’m not working and that was one of the hardest decisions to make. I’m afraid to say I’m feeling better because I don’t want you to think that I’m all better and shut off when I tell you that. And who knows who will be looking at these files/records and will assume I’m magically all better and then what? I don’t fit in a box. I don’t come in black and white. I come in many colors. Perhaps that’s why I express the purple that’s within me. Yes, my hair is purple. That doesn’t mean I’m happy. That also doesn’t mean I’m crying out for attention. Purple is a part of who I am. Purple has been a part of my soul since I was at least 10. That’s a long time. Can we get passed my purple hair? Thanks. Yes, I have a husband. We’ve been together 15 years. Married 6. Why does the part where I’m married mean more than the commitment of the relationship of 15 years? Yes, I have a weight problem. I’d think I myself would be the most aware of this at all times since I have to live with me. I have ALL MY LIFE. Sure I don’t get to exercise as much but how much do I need to do necessarily? I’ve been walking every day now for 401 days! I know it’s cool. You better think it’s cool! I stretch every day too. Cardio? I try. Coming here to all of my doctor appointment should count as cardio. I’m serious. Oh and did you ever ask me how I am? How I’m feeling? How I’m really doing with all these illnesses? You want me to come in next week too? Did you ask if I’d feel up to it? Did you take into account my life? You are not the only doctor in my life. You are not the only part of my life. You want me to try a new medication? Oh it only has THAT many side effects? Will you be able to pay for it? I’m currently low on funds. Did I mention to you that I’m going on a trip soon? That I want to do more than go to doctors? That I want to have a fulfilling life not focused constantly on medical crap? That I want to try to live my life not ALWAYS talking about my illnesses? Not being defined by these life disrupters? Did you know I have a Cleo Kitty? That I love to write. That I have a Honda Fit that I love? That I miss my family and loved ones back east like crazy? That I’d love to be a Producer of TV, feature films, short films, videos of any sort and to be that creative and not worry about how much time that would entail and how much that would wear me out? That because I’m always seeing you I get really tired and don’t have a lot of time to be social? That I love to be social? I almost forget this myself because I’m so caught up in stuff with you. Don’t get me wrong. Thank you for helping me or trying to. Thank you for helping me feel better (well at least a lot of you–I won’t talk about the others). Thank you for being proactive and part of my time.

BUT PLEASE TAKE ME INTO CONSIDERATION.

I am a person. I have a life. You take up a lot of me. I don’t see you for fun. I see you to get healthy. Perhaps we need to take a look at the best way to keep me healthy. Is it by seeing you all the time? Filling out these forms? Getting my arm constantly squeezed by the blood pressure cuff only for it to spike when I’m there? Is it by constantly talking about my weight? Is it by constantly stabbing my arm to check my blood work levels over and over again because you haven’t been in communication with my other doctors about my blood count levels that were taken just last week? OR is it by spacing out these appointments a bit more? By letting me expand and grow my life to see what I can do and not do? By taking the time to see that I am a human being who needs to breathe and to LIVE and experience the world as this newer more enhanced version of Nahleen???

I’m not the same Nahleen who was working 3 years ago and pushing to do my best no matter what cost it put on my body and my life because I didn’t know or understand anything different. I am a Nahleen who is feeling out my boundaries. Who is not willing to be horribly sick again if I can help it. Sure my body might have its own plans but I will not push it too far. But see I don’t have much chance to see how far I can push. If am pushing, it’s to see my therapist and chiropractor while I’m seeing my other doctors. And these 2 new medical professionals in my life are helping me to figure out how to be a Nahleen with purple hair who still has a chance to smell the roses and look up at the sky (3 of her favorite things were just mentioned here), wants to figure out where her place now is in the world, wants to be social and not live within a medical professional tunnel of health, wants to try new things, wants to do more than rehash her health stuff over and over and who needs to BREATHE!

So if I tell you I can’t see you next week and there is room to BREATHE without putting my entire health at stake (I understand sometimes there are exceptions), please give me that room. You have your life schedule. I have mine. Please respect that. And if I don’t have time to see you, please COMPROMISE. With all due respect, it’s not all about you. You are not my only doctor. You are not the only thing going on in my life. Let’s talk about this. And PLEASE, don’t give me less care because I didn’t put my life aside to come in and see you and pay you more money. There is a phone. There is email. There is always another way.

THANK YOU.

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Telling the Truth is Really Hard

TRUTH: The past 24 hours have SUCKED mostly physically but mentally too!  There I said it!

I TOLD THE TRUTH!

DETOX IS HARD!

ANOTHER TRUTH!

Being on an emotional roller coaster yesterday for HOURS was REALLY HARD!

MORE TRUTH!

Feeling A LOT OF PAIN, FATIGUE WITH HEAVY LIMBS, SHAKINESS, LIGHT-HEADEDNESS, WEAKNESS, TINGLING, WAKING UP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT WITH A HORRIBLE KNIFING PAIN ON MY RIGHT SIDE (making me freak out it’s my appendix or something crazy) AND HAVING TO RUSH TO THE BATHROOM (TMI–just getting you ready) ONLY TO HAVE MY BELLY MAKE THE LOUDEST RUMBLING NOISES AND THEN ACTUALLY HAVING THAT TRIP TO THE BATHROOM BE PRODUCTIVE (used to not be in the middle of the night and I would suffer for hours so that’s something) AND THEN HAVE THAT PAIN GO AWAY BUT FEEL THE DIGESTIVE AFTERMATH IS REALLY HARD!  BUT–THANK GOODNESS THAT KNIFING PAIN WENT AWAY AND HAS NOT COME BACK.

YES I’M YELLING!

PHEW!

It feels so good to get it out.

I have only had 2 Chiropractic treatments in the past week, BUT I have also added an Alkaline Water Detox prescribed by this Chriropractic Doctor added to my treatment so it has been extra potent.  I CLEARLY have a ton of acid in my body.

IT HAS BEEN 1 WEEK AND MY BUTT FEELS KICKED FROM 2 CHIROPRACTIC TREATMENTS?!

OY!

You know, I have heard over the years from all kinds of people on social media and elsewhere talk about all the “GOOD” effects of Detox of the body.  NOT ONE OF THEM THAT I’VE NOTICED HAS EVER TALKED ABOUT ANYTHING NEGATIVE.  Did they ever feel anything crappy going on in their bodies or was it just absolutely divine and magical with birds chirping with light breezes as they frolicked over the rolling green hills singing songs from the “Sound of Music”?  That’s what it’s always felt like to me.  So I have no idea if these people have EVER felt crappy.

Is it because they don’t want to tell the truth because Gawd forbid they look weak?  Is it because they really are feeling JUST PEACHY (although if you ask me I’d never say I was Peachy because I CAN’T STAND PEACHES so it would be the opposite for me if I said I was PEACHY.  In fact let’s all make that note now.  PEACHY for me is CRAPPY.  OK then.  Now that we’re all clear.  Back to my ranting…) KEEN?  Did I even spell that word right?  The point is, AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO HAS FELT CRAPPY FROM DETOX?  AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO IS NOW TELLING THE TRUTH?

MORE ON MY TRUTH:  Okay.  So for the past 24 hours I have wondered what wall I hit this time.  In some ways I haven’t felt like this in a long time.  Felt like someone kicked my butt and the rest of my body really hard.  What’s interesting is that the first 24 hours after treatment were actually QUITE GOOD.  I think I was on a mental high and my body was TRYING to follow along.  I felt so much mental clarity and relief and life almost felt like it was ALL good no matter what.  I almost wanted to skip down the street singing “La la la” but my legs weren’t QUITE up to it.  Oh and just to be clear, I didn’t feel up to frolicking through the rolling green hills singing songs from the Sound of Music.  I wasn’t THAT good.  That’s good right?

Anyway, I did so much in that 24 hours because I thought, WOW, I can do this.  This Chiropractic treatment stuff rocks.  It was ONLY the 1st Treatment that would be really hard at first.  Perhaps I’ll be feeling this later but not now.  LIFE IS GOOD.  I got home, made some medical business calls, wrote a Blog post, did stuff and things and I DID let myself REST a bit BUT THEN off I was running out to get groceries that evening while my mental hyperactivity was still on overload (I think now that I look back).  I mean, we NEEDED groceries and my head told me it was RIGHT then no matter what.  So I left at 6:30pm and by 7:30pm as I was almost done my ARMS started telling me they were really tired and didn’t want to work much more and then they were in pain.  Then by 8pm my BODY was done.  By 9pm my MIND was done.  And yet there was still some clarity so I stayed up way too late.  I CONFESS.  I didn’t LISTEN enough to my body at that point.

Got up for a dang Fasting Appointment the next morning to have blood work done with a doctor I have VERY mixed feelings about and thought all was going to be OK.  I was still OK.  Sure I was tired but Fasting Appointments are really hard for me.  My body with its MS, lupus, IBS and you NAME IT needs its routine.  No food means no medications.  No medications means my body is already unhappy.  No food yet already being active when on a normal day it usually takes me over 4 hours to really feel like I can go on with my day as a human being is not a good thing for me.  At least let me have some food.  PLEASE.  If my body lets me that is…

ANYWAY, after the appointment, I ate and I felt a bit more invigorated YET to be honest my body was starting to protest more.  And then I ran around doing too many errands at once when I should’ve just gone back home to at least get some more rest before doing them made my body VERY UNHAPPY before 12pm.  The appointment had been at 8:30am.

BY 12PM I had HIT A WALL.

ALL DONE.  Had to push to do the basics.  The emotional roller coaster (was told this would happen even more and be magnified according to my Chiropractor as the emotions are cleared out and released from my body and it was ALL part of the healing process) started for the next 5 hours at least, my body had a hard time letting me do the basics like get up and move around.  It was shaky and weak and in pain.  SOOOO DONE WITH ME.

So I rested.  AND RESTED SOME MORE.  Resting helps.

RESTING HELPS.

Phew.  Sometimes resting doesn’t ALWAYS help the way I want it to.  My body has been recovering ever since.  I’d get waves of physical symptoms into the night last night and then there was that time in the middle of the night of complete and utter pain and discomfort and I’ve been working through that ever since.

SO GLAD I CAN WRITE THIS.

Yesterday I wouldn’t have been able to write this in any way.  ALL OF ME WAS DONE.

DONE.

But this Blog post has been bubbling up to the surface ever since I FINALLY was able to really get up out of bed today.  EXTRA SLEEP HELPED TOO.  I HAD TO WRITE THIS TODAY.  I HAD TO EXPRESS MYSELF.  I know it is all part of the healing.  I call it EMOTIONAL HAIRBALLS.

Meanwhile at the same time, as I think about how my body is overall, I know it’s not a regular lupus/multiple sclerosis flare.  I know my body is flaring up because all kinds of healing trauma (WHAT?  HEALING TRAUMA?  Parts of me want to object to what I just wrote and argue with me.) because it feels cleansing.  It feels like all kinds of toxin crapola is being FORCED out.  My mind is clearer.  My body is clearer.  So strange to say that and feel it and NOT REALLY BE ABLE TO DESCRIBE IT.

So the FEAR comes up.  Is this Treatment too much for me?  How will I do this?  I DON’T WANT TO MAKE MY BODY WORSE.  I CAN’T MAKE MY BODY WORSE.  I DEAL WITH ENOUGH.  IT’S HARD ENOUGH.  But then the nurturing side of me comes in and gently reminds me that I am feeling better at the same time.  I’m going to NEED TO BE VERY UPFRONT with the Chiropractor tomorrow at my next treatment and tell him EVERYTHING that has gone on in the past 24 hours BEFORE he jumps right in and manipulates my body into its relieving craziness of the next treatment.  He had told me it would be hard especially at first and to try to trust and be honest with him and myself in all ways at all times about how I’m doing.  That we would adjust treatments accordingly.  He also told me I’d have to rest more.

That’s hard to do.  I’m TRYING to have a life and I have SO MUCH going on right now.  FINDING BALANCE is a whole other issue I’m dealing with.

WHERE DOES IT ALL FIT IN?

Well what I have to remind myself is that it all fits in the way it is supposed to fit in.  It will all work out and it will happen or not happen BUT the world still turns.  It doesn’t explode because “MY PLANS” didn’t work out the way I liked.

DO THEY EVER?

SO WHY DO I KEEP TRYING TO FORCE MY PLANS OVER MY LIFE?  It doesn’t work that way.

So for now I’ll go back to resting and doing THE BEST I CAN WITH WHAT I HAVE.  It feels really good to have communicated this today.  Thank you ALL for reading.  It means so much to be able to get it out and STOP HOLDING ONTO IT.  Something tells me this may not have come out if it wasn’t for this detox and new treatment journey I’m starting.

I feel much better and calmer right now and I will enjoy it while I can.

Take care all and please if you can, be gentle with yourself and your body.  Healing can be really hard but what I’m discovering is that I’m worth it and so are you.

 

 

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A CLEAN MOUTH OF HEALTH!

OMG!  No WAY!

This is the second time in a row that I have gone to the Dentist and been told that my mouth is doing really well!  HOW COOL IS THAT?!

See with LUPUS and lupus medications, I have had a tendency to have dry mouth syndrome (I know there’s a name for it), swollen gums, bleeding gums, sensitive teeth, a sensitive or swollen tongue (TMI I know), cankers and just a whole bunch of IRRITATION!

Well lately I’ve been thinking about my Dentist appointment coming up and have realized that I have not been thinking about my mouth lately.  Now isn’t that a weird sentence for ya!  Funny how that is.  I have been thinking about issues and symptoms in my mouth for years…EVEN BEFORE THE LUPUS DIAGNOSIS IN AUGUST 2010.

SO YEAH.

All is CLEAN AND WELL IN NAHLEEN’S MOUTH!

That may have been more than you needed to know but I’m happy to share it because right now, any good physical health is a huge VICTORY for me these days!

The ONLY REMINDER I got from my Dentist is to be really careful and pay extra attention to my Wisdom teeth (yes I still have ALL 4 OF THEM!  If only I was more WISE from them…) because that’s where all the problems can really start since they’re so hard to get to.  I get that reminder every time so it wasn’t a big concern.

SO HOW COOL IS THAT?!

I NEED MORE APPOINTMENTS LIKE THAT!

I was so up from that good news and appointment that I found myself eating lunch at the Veggie Grill using a gift card given to me by an awesome friend, and having my favorite B-Wing Salad (if you haven’t tried you have got to!), then driving to Santa Monica beach so I could pick up some purple hair dye and stock up at a new store (of which I LOVE and had no idea about–thank you SIRI on my IPhone–you may be creepy but you helped a lot today), ended up purchasing some special muscle soak bath salts that are all natural and stopped by a Jamba Juice to try to get some extra nutritional needs taken care of since I’m going on a special diet prep for a special Hydrogen Breathing Test on Thursday.  Needless to say Wednesday will be weird, hence the dying the hair purple to pep me up for Thursday’s “UN-FUNNESS” of no eating and no meds till after the test that may take over 3 hours (YIPPY SKIPPY), and nurturing the body because lupus and MS can get very irritated from being so OUT OF ROUTINE and depleted of all things to take care of it.

I also found myself driving along the coast and parking very easily at a spot along the street with my Handicapped Placard (best part about having one is parking and not having to pay for meters or worry about time constraints unless they’re Street Sweeping–learned that the hard way years ago) and walking down the stairway (COULD NOT HAVE PLANNED THAT BETTER), only to find myself walking out onto a WALKWAY halfway onto the beach and then straight towards the ocean.  It was a cloudy cool day so hardly anyone was there…THAT IS EXCEPT 2 DIFFERENT PHOTO SHOOTS (one of them may have been a music video–so WISH I knew who those 2 different women in different locations were with their whole entourages) and lots of birds taking advantage of the absence of weird human creatures.

Once that was done I dragged my satisfied self (getting tired by then but so happy to be taking care of myself and things just so wonderfully falling into place) to the grocery store to get some regular groceries and other items to help me get through the strange diet menu I need to have tomorrow to Prep for that Thursday test.

SO ALL IN ALL.  A pretty good day even if I do say so myself and I DO!

Was also nice to see that our Cleo Kitty was doing better since this morning because this morning she got sick I think from eating her food too fast and that always worries us with her health issues.  She seems to still be recovering but is much better I think.  Was probably good for me to get away and leave her alone so she could get some REAL rest but BOY was she HAPPY TO SEE ME AND I TO SEE HER.

I LOVE MY CLEO KITTY!

OK.  Time to unwind…

It’s nice when days fall into place.  They rarely do that with such ease and I’m going to take the time to enjoy that…

AND BREATHE…

RIGHT NOW.  DID YOU BREATHE WITH ME?  YOU SHOULD TRY IT.  MAKES A BIG DIFFERENCE.

That’s even better.

Hope you all have had a good day too!  We all deserve more of those!  Write to you soon!

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I can LIVE. I can FUNCTION. I can DO.

A week ago today I was in the ER TRYING to get some answers about why I felt digestively HORRIBLE!

TODAY: I feel sooooooo much better!

AMAZING!  I am truly grateful.  It means so much to me to be feeling better.  Sure, I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop (you know, that infamous shoe that is always hovering and just waiting with baited breath to drop) but it hasn’t happened yet.

I definitely still have recovering to do BUT I can eat.  I can LIVE.  I can FUNCTION.  I can DO.

ACTUALLY:

Despite the absolutely miserable week I had last week until about Friday, I have received 3 VERY GOOD PIECES OF HEALTH NEWS that I feel I MUST pass on to you.

1. I heard from my Rheumatologist that all of my bloodwork came back really great and stable and that she firmly believes my lupus has gone into REMISSION.  It doesn’t mean I won’t have symptoms BUT it does mean that all of my organs are healthy and I am stable.  There is definitely no sign of a FLARE of any kind.  I’ll take it for as long as I can!

2. I had an appointment with my MS Specialist Neurologist today and he told me he felt like my MS was under control and that despite all of the crap I had been through in the past week (or even in the past 2 months digestively overall) that I am doing extremely well and my physical well being according to an MS standpoint is BETTER than it was in July!  He’s very happy with my progress.  Now this is with having a VERY early appointment this morning, hardly having time to shower, and rushing to eat (and thank goodness I could even do any of that–not sure how I would’ve gotten there had I felt any worse but I digress and think about things I don’t need to), and being half asleep the whole time.  WOW!  It usually takes me about 4 hours every day to really feel like maybe I can get through a day.  It’s just the way it is.

3. And now it seems that getting a 2nd opinion from a different Gastroenterologist paid off for me.  It’s all about new input and different experiences.  My 1st Gastroenterologist has been really integral in getting my health where it was until about a few months ago.  I do believe it’s time for a change.  This new guy might just be my choice.  He saw things a bit differently, approached it on a different path and convinced me to JUST TRY (he really emphasized that because I was so against more medications) this new medication treatment and see what I thought.  If it didn’t work, then he’d try something else.  Come to find out, my Primary Care Physician’s newer Physician Assistant knew of this specific specialist and was pleased to hear I was seeing him.  She said her experience is that he is VERY GOOD and an expert with what I’m dealing with.  Well OK then.  Guess it was the right choice.

4. BONUS: I just had to add this because my goodness, I just brought up all these titles of medical professionals in 3 paragraphs.  I think I need to get some credit for being able to come up with their names when my head is so tired.  Phew!  Rheumatologist (and how on earth would anyone know how to spell this if they hadn’t seen it written out tons of times?), MS Specialist Neurologist (so specific), Gastroenterologist (took me forever to figure out there was an “e” there and not an “i”–not sure why there isn’t an “i” but anyway), Primary Care Physician, Physician Assistant…WHOA!  I AM TRULY GRATEFUL TO HAVE ACCESS TO SUCH TALENTED PROFESSIONALS IN THEIR FIELDS who are so proactive with my health and were completely available for me in just 1 week!  In fact, if you count my first Gastroenterologist, he was also available to me, I just didn’t agree with what he was thinking about my health situation at the time…

So all very very good things are finally happening.  It is about time.  I’m going to cherish them as long as I can because as we all know, everything can change in an instant.  Now about cures…  You know, I stopped expecting cures for anything I’m going through a long time ago.  I’m really just looking for relief and to feel better with a much more improved quality of life.  Waiting for a cure would make me STOP living and I am doing everything I can to LIVE.

IT IS ONE HARD JOB TO LIVE BUT I’M DETERMINED TO DO IT!!

P.S.  I’ve been quite reflective lately about all I have been through.  I think a lot of it has to do with my 10 year MS diagnosis Anniversary coming up.  10 YEARS…I think that speaks for itself.  I feel a very personal Blog Post coming in the very near future.  Stay tuned.  Right now it’s all still processing.  It will be direct from my heart.

LOVE TO ALL!!!

*And special thoughts go out to those affected by Crazy Storm Sandy.  Wishing for peace and relief for all of you!

 

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Reflection: It Started With An Emergency Room Sign

The sign with an arrow supposedly pointing where the Emergency Room was, still sat on the construction wall at the hospital. I balked at how there was still a missing building after all these years and just piles and piles of dirt being moved around.

WAIT. How long had it been, I thought? How long had I seen bulldozers at this site? I could feel my mind’s wheels turning. It had to have been before I became severely ill over 2 years ago and could barely hold myself up on the seat as Corey “rush drove” the car down Santa Monica Blvd. I remembered that same Emergency Room sign that faked us out. It wasn’t a sign pointing into the entrance, it was a sign telling us what street to turn on next–vaguely explaining the location of the actual ER. Talk about a let down. I have never wanted to find an ER so badly in my life. I felt as if my head and body were hardly together and I was so incredibly out of it and nauseous. I really didn’t know if I could make it any longer in a moving vehicle without vomiting. Little did I know, 2 months later I’d be diagnosed with lupus. CRAZY.–And after that I’d know the location of way too many doctor’s offices, where to get bloodwork, the best places to eat, the best places to walk, where to park, which building had which doctor, etc.

*****************************************************************************************************************

THAT was 2 years ago.

Today, as I walked with a bit of a spring in my step down the street even after seeing that Emergency Room sign (I used to cringe and get a twinge inside), I thought about what my Pulmonologist had just said to me a few minutes before that at my appointment. After chatting for a bit, he started reminiscing about how I was 2 years ago. How I had such a hoarse voice, my sinuses were out of control with a major chronic sinus infection, I still had a deep cough that indicated I had a pretty chronic upper respiratory infection that just wouldn’t go away, I had horrible post nasal drip, my throat almost almost always hurt, I felt awful and was very low on fatigue and I could hardly hold my head up to look at him. Now after 2 years of a very strict, proactive and aggressive medical treatment plan (medications including antibiotics over and over again for months, ointments, sprays, taking all asthmatic medication away because it was irritating more than helping, sinus rinses every day, numerous breathing tests, rest, lupus treatment, and all of my other medical care enhancements, him always taking my calls within the SAME DAY, etc.), my voice is much better. I told him today that I thought my voice was still hoarse and he said it was nice to be able to hear me. He used to have no idea how I was able to even talk let alone breathe at all. And to think, I only saw him at first so I could make my Neurologist happy and he’d say my breathing was OK and I would be cleared to start taking the new oral multiple sclerosis medication, Gilenya.

The BEST part of the appointment came at the end. I am still BLOWN AWAY. Call me STUNNED. He said, “Call me if you need me. No need to schedule an appointment. I think we know by now that we communicate when needed right?” and I stumbled all over myself, even stepping back to regain my composure, and said, “Um, yeah. Yeah we do. REALLY? I don’t have to schedule an appointment at all?”. And he shook his head a bit and said, “Nope.”.

My mouth dropped and I felt like at least a layer of weight had been lifted from my shoulders. AMAZING! I wanted to run down the bleak and clinical hallway outside his office and yell to everyone (not that anyone was there) that I didn’t have to schedule an appointment. I had graduated–at least from one doctor anyway! In the past, he had always wanted to see me in a few weeks, a month, then 3 months, then maybe sooner depending on what was going on, then in 6 months (THAT WAS HUGE) and now this! An OPEN ENDED commitment! NO WAY!

I’m still baffled.

****************************************************************************************************************

So there I was taking my walk down the street after passing that Emergency Room sign and thinking about just how long they’d been doing construction on this building and WONDERING if they’d EVER get it finished and it all started coming back to me. Waves of awareness were flowing in. Flashes of the entire 2 years of good and bad and the journey I’ve taken. This isn’t necessarily unusual for me to reflect but the context was completely different.

I AM GETTING BETTER.

It’s slow. Holy moly is it slow–in my mind. BUT part of my journey was finding out that I was a major physical and mental mess and it was going to take a lot of patience (and still does) and one foot in front of the other to get to get healthy. I still have quite a ways to go but I NEED to have hope. Today gave me some more of that.

HOPE.

With the sun (lupus) and the summer (MS) messing with my mind, it is hard to have perspective. Everything acts up in my body and I feel trapped more than during other seasons. I can’t really ever stop being hot. I can’t even really get away from the UV rays (fluorescent lights bother me too) so I’m always just trying to TRUDGE my way through it all and it is HARD.

–By the way, at this point I could point out to the hospital authorities that their Emergency Room sign isn’t that accurate about the actual location and they need to fix it. Do you think they’d want to hear from me about that after all these years? Yeah, I don’t think so either.

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