Posts Tagged With: Physician Assistant

Sinus Infection and Hope

Sinus Infection.

Infection.

Infection.

That’s what I feel like I’ve heard over and over again over the past few years especially. Perhaps I don’t hear it as much as I used to but for awhile I think I was just one big walking infection of one kind or another.

And today was no exception. The only difference is, I haven’t been to see a doctor about an infection for 8 months. I think I’ve hit a new record. If I’ve felt sickies coming they have been fought off by my own body and Chiropractic adjustments have helped a lot too.

So I called my doctor’s office this morning at 9am when they opened and couldn’t reach anyone till 9:30am. Turns out their phones were ringing off the hook for at least a half hour straight with people calling like crazy trying to get squeezed in for an appointment because so many people had the same symptoms I have had. They have had the puffy swollen face, the cough starting, the sinuses filling up, the fever, the feeling of the head being squeezed off, sneezing, etc. And I found out later from my Physician Assistant that most of these infections have started with allergies and become an infection. She also said that most of her patients have said it has hit hard and fast and feel like they’ve been hit by a bus. Well, yes, I kinda have felt like my head was hit by a bus actually.

Yes. Ugh. Ow. All that stuff.

I was miserable today. I’ve been in a funk and not feeling good as you all know by now. I tend to get really upset when I get sick because I feel as though I am sick enough with MS and lupus. I really don’t have anymore room for any other yucky symptoms and discomfort you know? I really don’t want to be sick anymore. I would love to get a break. I was just icky mentally and physically.

Yet as I drove to my appointment this afternoon I took a deep (as deep as I can when I have a tight chest congestion issue) breath and looked to my left at the ocean. I love this drive. I love the area I get to drive in to get to this doctor’s office. I love the area itself where it’s located. To be honest, it’s one of the main reasons I go to this doctor.

Anyway, I looked at the ocean and its sparkles and then looked to my right to the cliffs that so clearly mark PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) and I think it’s then that I found myself more in the Present again. It’s hard to stay Present when I don’t feel good. My head goes all over the place into the future, the past, backwards, inside out, sideways, and usually feels buried under bricks of ick. It was the ocean and the sunlight’s shadow play on the cliffs that struck me. There I was sitting in my car and feeling stronger than I have in awhile. I sat a bit more upright. I started feeling inside the rest of my body and realizing that this may be the first time I wasn’t completely overtaken by so many symptoms from all my ailments that I didn’t know what was bothering me. I just knew it all sucked. And I realized, I AM improving. I am feeling a bit stronger. This time I’m really going to the doctor to address the sickies. I don’t need to address all the MS, lupus, IBS and all the other symptoms that are completely overwhelming me. And for the first time in about 2 days I started to feel a bit more hope and positivity. That I’d make it past this.

I always find myself in this trap in my head. As if I’m never gonna get through the next wave of whatever is making me feel crappy. It feels permanent. Like I’m doomed. Quite often, though, the horrible wave passes and I pull out of that and go to the “normal wave” of discomfort.

But it was the ocean, the cliffs and sunlight that pulled me out just a bit. They gave me something to hold onto. And then as I talked to my PA at the appointment she helped me remember the progress I’m making and how far I’ve come compared to 3.5 years ago. She has always been there for me. She has coached me and encouraged me and also been able to take me seriously and with so much compassion. She reminded me that we are all human. That as humans we get sick. This is almost a normal thing to go through, this sinus infection. This is gonna happen. But she also acknowledged that yes it would be really nice if I could get a break. She knows how much I’ve been through.

So I’m now stocked up with antibiotics, mucinex, juices, water, tissues and anything else that will help me get better. I fought off this infection for 2 weeks on my own. THAT is a victory. This all still sucks but if I can pull my head out of the muck I can see where the hope is.

And as I’ve read before and I just love this quote:

HOPE: Hold On Pain Ends

It’s hope that keeps me going. So I will hold on.

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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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You’ve Come A LONG Way

Helloooooo!!!!

First of all before I forget, I want to welcome all of my new followers!  Thank you thank you thank you for joining me on this crazy journey of life with chronic illness.  It means so much!

Hope you all are starting your week off alright.  I got to start my Monday first thing with a “Fasting” appointment with my Primary Care Physician’s Physician Assistant this morning.  I tell ya.  The fun I have.

These “fasting” appointments always get me extra tense because well, who wants to go to a doctor appointment and not eat when they’re body is yelling for food?  Aren’t we told to eat 3 healthy meals a day and to be sure to eat breakfast?  Well, we can’t eat breakfast when we go to a morning “fasting” appointment now can we?  These doctors want accurate blood test readings for cholesterol and blood sugars levels and such.  Yeah, well, tell that to my body who decided to wake up this morning and be INCREDIBLY hungry!  Isn’t that always the way?

Sure I’m pleased that my body was hungry because 2 years ago at this time I was trying to teach my body how to eat and ACCEPT food again after being so severely ill I had to start on a basic diet of chicken broth and then build to applesauce and go from there.  BUT when I “fast” I can’t take my morning medications with an empty stomach so that waits too and my whole body gets screwed up.  And it was 2 years ago in June when my body started going into a huge shock of what we all believe (NOW) was part of a major lupus flare (had no idea at the time) that all started with a basic “fasting” appointment for an appointment with who was my NEW doctor at the time so he could get BASE levels of bloodwork for me.  Well, that “fasting” and then running to work and then running through the rest of the day was too much for my body to take and I became severely ill with vomiting, etc.  So of course I still take that baggage of memories with me to my appointments now.  I’m working on letting that go but it is VERY SLOW.

So anyway, back to the appointment this morning.  Sorry for the tangent.  I was able to see the original Physician Assistant who is now back in the office after being on her own Medical Leave of sorts that included Maternity Leave for what seemed like FOREVER, and it was really great to see her.  How cool is that?  It was felt really good to see a medical professional again.  I really think she is THE ONLY MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL I currently see who DOES NOT make me NERVOUS.  I put those words in caps because that is how nervous I still get around almost all medical peeps.

This woman is probably younger than me (hmm, seems to be happening A LOT lately and I’m not THAT OLD) and has been so caring, supportive, compassionate, has always listened to me, been calming, loving, has always paid attention to detail, is really smart and knowledgeable, has a great memory, and has ALWAYS made it a point to ask me so thoughtfully how I’m doing when she walks in the room and I know she means it.  What I remember most along this very slow and at times VERY DARK 2 year journey with her is how she ends each appointment with me telling me how far I’ve come and really making sure I understand that and give myself credit.  I can remember one appointment when she was telling me how happy she was that I was “feeling better” and even though I may have a long way to go to hopefully feel “good” one day, that I have come so very far and she was starting to cry.  I was pretty much in disbelief.  I almost wondered why she was crying and then I realized she was crying about me!  She REALLY connects.

So the appointment today went really well.  And wouldn’t you know my blood pressure was “normal”.  CRAZY.  It has not been normal lately ESPECIALLY when I have been to see my Rheumatologist for lupus and my Neurologist for MS.  It has been quite high.  I have known for quite a long time that I have “white coat syndrome” but this just proves it to me.  I saw the one medical professional I feel the most comfortable with and my blood pressure was normal.  I was nervous but not anxious around her.  There is a direct connection.  So now if she could be with me wherever I go that would be great.  Do you think she’d go for that?  To be my constant moral support everywhere?

To be honest, I’ve considered changing to a different Primary Care Physician than the one I’m seeing now (this lovely PA I speak of currently works in his office) because I don’t know that he’s a good fit for me anymore.  He’s not a bad doctor at all.  In fact, he has helped me immensely.  There have just been some issues that I have with his medical care that I don’t necessarily like and it may be time for a change.  However, after seeing this PA today I’m not so sure.  I see her every other appointment and I have to see him all the other times.  Is it worth it to stay with this office (really GREAT office staff!) and deal with the Doctor I don’t exactly like in order to see her half the time?  Not really sure so I guess that means it’s not the right time to make that decision yet.

Only time with tell what decision I make.  Luckily I don’t have to know that answer right now.

So just for today, I am satisfied with the appointment with a medical professional who really “gets it” who sent me on my way at the end of the appointment today with, “You’ve come a LONG way, Nahleen.  I’m very proud of you for all the work you’ve done.  You deserve to feel better.  I hope you give yourself credit for that.”–and AGAIN, I know she means it.  It’s not just part of her script.

Oh and by the way, it’s currently 6pm (Monday) and I’m doing okay.  Nothing horrible has happened because I “fasted” this morning.  Sure it messed up my body’s schedule, but thankfully my body can take it today.

 

…Guess I HAVE come a long way.

 

 

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