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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Neuro or GP who do you call first?

I have a doctor appointment in a couple of hours with my GP, general practioner.  He won't refill my Cymbalta script unless I see him.  I really don't like going to the doctor for this kind of thing.  I have nothing personal against my GP, he's great and all, but sometimes I feel like I'm wasting my time.  After 24 years I still never know if I should run everything through Rock Star-my Neuro- or call the GP first.  For instance, I know that UTI or bladder infection is very common in many of us with Multiple Sclerosis.  Sometimes the symptoms are not as easy for us to recognize due to loss or diminished sensations  in the area.  If I do suspect something because of say, frequent urination, do I call GP or Neurologist?  I hate to admit it, but I usually just buy a gallon of cranberry juice and hope for the best instead of calling either.

I honestly can't even remember why I talked to the GP about ant-depressents.  I had been on Zoloft and didn't feel like it was helping any longer and he suggested I try Cymbalta.  Side note here: I hate Cymbalta! If I miss one dose I experience bone-shaking withdrawals within hours.  I also don't think it keeps me as steady as it should.  I will speak with him about this today.

My question for you all is, who do you call first Neuro or GP?  How do you know?

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Christmas fatigue

I know  I have written about Multiple Sclerosis fatigue in the past, but with the holiday season bearing down on us like a hungry bear in stream full of salmon, yeah that's how I think of the holidays sometimes, it might be good to revisit the subject.  The holidays can bring out the best and worst in all of us.  Add bone weary fatigue to the mix of gift shopping, feast making, and cookie baking, can make for a very stressful and disappointing time of the year.  I know for myself I never feel like I am doing enough to make magical memories for my family.  Every year I have visions of turning my home into a Christmas explosion of merriment and sparkle.  I imagine baking loads and loads of cookies to give to our neighbors and friends in sweetly decorated boxes.

When I do venture down to the basement,  just looking at the boxes of decorations makes me run/limp/crawl to the couch for a nap.  Then the thought of baking cookies rears its ugly head as a reality and no longer a confection fantasy.  I get overwhelmed with the amount of ingredients I need and don't have to make traditional Kolachke, Polish cookies, or Barazek, Lebanese Sesame cookies, and I have to have Anise cookies in the mix too.  I have a very culturally diverse family.  Speaking of overwhelmed, trying to find gifts for everyone is crazy hard for a person who hates to drive. I also have crowd anxiety. The whole shop til you drop experience is tiring and a little depressing.  The holidays become especially disheartening when visiting with relatives who like to use the get togethers as a drunkfest- free- for- all.

This year I plan to do things a little differently.   Well, actually a lot differently.  My girls love the holidays.  I plan to let them have free reign with the decorating this year.  I have faith that they will make the house look great. Why not let them show off what they think Christmas decorations should look like to them?  We will do it one room at a time so no one gets overwhelmed and cranky.  Do you know that teen girls can be a little (a lot) snarky when they are cranky? Surprising, I know.

Cookies will be  the pre-made sugar cookies I can get at our local GFC.  GFC is a wholesale food store that is open to the public.  The Husband uses them for work all the time.  The cookies are pre-cut into holiday shapes and taste great.  All we have to do is bake and decorate.  They even have pre-cut gingerbread men!

Gifts are always tough for me because I agonize over choosing the perfect one for everybody. I love to make things, but not everyone appreciates the homemade Christmas gifts.  There are certain family members who only see the dollar signs and have to compare what they spent to what you gave.   Those people will be cut off.  Husband and I decided we were going to limit spending to our daughters and our parents this years.  It was becoming too much to buy for all the nieces, nephews, and the their kids.  We have never received a thank you from any of them and honestly when we see them only a handful of times throughout the year It feels like we are only handing them money for reason.

We normally to go to my parents house to visit with my brother and his kids for a couple quiet hours on Christmas Eve and then we visit the entire day of Christmas at Husband's mom's house.   It's crowded, uncomfortable and don't even think of eating until the entire clan arrives, which is never even close to being at the same time.  So what do people do when they can't eat? They drink.  A lot.  Then when someone shows up with a pie and no whipped cream (us) well then those people (us) ruined the entire day and everyone (us) can just "Fuck off" according to the hostess (Husbands Mom).  Classy right?  Oh and did I mention the alcohol soaked political lectures from Step-dad #4?  He gets all his information from hours in front of the TV watching nothing but Fox News.  Are you jealous yet?  This year Mom-in-law gets 2 hrs max and we are out of there.

I'm also not going to make my self crazy about what I can't do and just do what I can.  Spending time with my girls and husband is what matters most to me.  All the other stuff is just noise.  Even though my daughters are 17 and 15 years old they can still find the magic in the simple Christmas lights we put on the house.  They can find the joy in reliving memories as they pull out our old Christmas tree decorations.  They feel excitement wrapping gifts for each other that they know will be loved.   Through them I can love this season and let myself appreciate the little things. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Changes and Decisions

This month has just flown by in a flurry of college applications for my Swimmer Girl and loads of "sign this so I can do that" for my Dancing Queen. I have to believe that the amount of paper work involved in my childrens` basic high school  education is solely responsible for the deforestation of entire tracks of land.  Even though It's been a major feat of organizational skill that I simply do not naturally possess, I have been able to keep up with it all pretty well, I think.  It's a big help that Swimmer Girl can drive now.  Both girls have joined the high school drama club and are hanging around together like the did when they were little.  Kinda cool I think, but of course I don't tell them that.  I find it crazy that things are changing so fast in their lives, but they are finding their way back to one another just the same.  When they were little they were inseperable and always called each other their best friends.  That started to change when Swimmer Girl turned ten.  The age when the "I hate you" hormones wake up and begin screaming through a girl's body.  Now at 17 and 15 they are actually civil and even nice to each other.

The husband and I have been having some issues lately, but we are working on them.  Mostly I think he's frustrated with work, and then dealing with my MS and anxiety is weighing on him.  I tried to find a therapist, but our insurance won't cover a therapist and Military One Source, who we used about four years ago, won't sign off on just me for free counseling because I am on Cymbalta and that is considered a medical session.  Seriously frustating.  I just wanted someone to talk to.  I have no friends I can talk things out with and I can't keep putting this stuff on my husband.  We celebrated 27 yrs together back in October and although he has been with me from the beginning with the MS, there is a little part of me that suspects he really doesn't get it.  I guess no one can unless they live it.

One big issue is that I have stopped taking my Rebif injections.  I simply cannot bring myself to poke myself with another effing syringe.  Husband thinks I am being very cavalier with my health and it makes him angry.  He believes strongly that if I don't take my injections and suffer a relapse it is my fault and inconveniences everyone.  I'm lost between "fuck you this is my life" and "you're right".  It's not like I am refusing medication all together.  I have been exploring and researching the oral meds available.  I have an appointment with my super star Neurologist, he rocks, at the the end of December.  I have told the husband I expect him to go with me and help me make this decision.  He's completely on board with going to my appointment.  Yay! I am concerned with the possible side effects and the fact that the orals really compromise my immune system.

Let's see anything else.  Oh yeah, I developed this crazy ass rash on my left arm and my checking account was hacked into for about $1000.00 of online purchases one of which was $125.00 for Birkenstock sandels. Really Birkenstocks?  More info on those exciting new developments to come.