Thursday, December 31, 2009

Thoughts for the New Year

This year has been a rough one health wise. I have gone from feeling fine to feeling miserable. But it had also been one of the best years in my 21. I struggled for a long time with many different things health related and otherwise. But having an answer to so many questions and finally being able to get comfortable in my own skin has made all the difference.

For the new year, I want to continue this. Continue trying to make the best decisions for my health and on my intended career path and social pursuits. I hope things continue to get better.

I'm going to pay attention to my body. I want to monitor what goes into it, meaning eating healthy, taking the correct supplements and medications that I determine will do more good than harm. I need to listen to it when it is telling me it is tired, no matter how hard that may be.

Hopefully I will be successful and continue to chronicle my journey through college and beyond through this blog.

Happy new year, and see you in 2010.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Finally Caved

I put a call into my rheumatologist today because I am pretty miserable. My left knee is doing all sorts of crazy things to me and I could barely walk this morning. Add that to the rest of the joint pain, fevers and continued fatigue and I figured I should call. Of course she is not in today but the assistant called me back and said that my doc will call me in the morning. Hopefully she will have some recommendations.

I debated calling the doctor because I always feel like I am bothering them or that they will think I am a complainer. Is this a valid way to feel? They are there to help. Back in those undiagnosed days I used to call my pediatrician all the time because I was so scared of what was happening to my body. Now that I know, I feel like I should be able to handle it. But I guess when you need help, you need help.

I probably should have called earlier, I've known what was going on. And now I am 100+ miles from my doctor and will have to scramble around to try to take care of myself.

Monday, December 28, 2009

No Energy

I don't know what my lupus is doing right now. I am supposed to get blood tests every 2 weeks and its been, well, a while since I got them done. I get a CBC with electrolytes, liver and kidney function, sed rate and a urinalysis every 2 weeks and then ANA, complements and other assorted antibodies every 6 weeks. I've been slacking, and therefore I don't know what the lupus is doing other than making me feel like crap. Compounding the problem is that my deigestive system is being messed up by a very large stone blocking the flow of things.

One thing I am noticing is fatigue. I do not have the energy that a lot of my friends have. The thought of going to some club until 2 in the morning dancing and drinking and partying exhausts me, let alone actually doing it. I saw the movie Avatar today (which was A LOT better than I thought) and it was 3 hours long. I also went to get something to eat in the same complex as the IMAX where we saw it. I was done by the time I got home. I wanted to run an errand and maybe also see a friend, but I was so tired. I haven't left my couch or the bed since then.

I get really frustrated with myself. Why can't I keep up with my friends? Its all about limits again, and I just need to realize that. I sometimes think that they think I am lame or whatever, but my body just can't handle very much. My joints have been beating me up recently and I'm constantly worrying about how the food I put into my body will make it feel. But most of my friends have known me for most of my life. And Ihave found some very understanding ones along the way. It's probably all in my head when I think they think I am lame.

But anyway, I hope to be feeling better soon and I hope that my surgery takes care of the problems I am having with my stomach. Or else I need to see a gastroenterologist and I am quite tired of doctors and tests.

P.S. RIP Adam Frey

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas and Prayers

I hope everyone out there that celebrates Christmas had a wonderful and healthy one. I got so much stuff for the new apartment kitchen, so I am very happy about that.

On a sadder note, I have been following the blog of Cornell wrestler Adam Frey who was diagnosed with cancer at 22. Things had been seeming to get better, but he contracted some sort of infection and they are just making him comfortable at the moment. Here is a link to his blog. I'm sure his family can use many prayers right now. I can't even imagine what they are going through.

On a different note, my cousin is having a potluck tonight so I am making mac and cheese. I have to go run to the supermarket now to get the diferent items I need.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


So I am having my gall bladder removed on January 11, which is a little later than I hoped. From everything I read it can take about 2 weeks to start to feel normal again, even with a laproscopic approach. Hopefully that will not be the case because I move back to school January 18. I decided to hold off on my wisdom teeth until May 28 because I do not think my body will handle both surgeries in such a small amount of time.

Also having the surgery later means I have more time to worry about it. And of course I am. I have had surgery before, but always because they were looking for something or removing something that was not supposed to be there. Not to remove a whole organ. I handle anesthesia pretty well - I had a small problem with my heart racing too fast and making me feel short of breath the first time - but that went away in a day or two. I never got sick to my stomach and, really, I spent most of the next few days sleeping. Thats not the part that bothers me. It's the part about removing part of my internal plumbing.

But anyway, I have done nothing but relax the past couple days. I am going to roast my very first chicken tonight, so we will see how that goes. I love to cook, and I love chicken. But I have never cooked anything bigger than a cornish hen (my favorite dinner). So this much larger chicken should be intersting. I am making it with thyme and lemon and it will be accompanied with roasted pecan and gralic bulgur and garlic spinach. Should be tasty!

Monday, December 21, 2009


So sorry for the lack of posts. I finished my finals on Friday and got back home that night. This is the first time I have turned on my computer since then and I even turned off my phone for a while. I went out socially for the first time tonight for my friend's birthday. So I have really just been trying to get my head screwed back on because I think I lost it for a while toward the end of the semester. :)

I met with the surgeon for my gall bladder today. I will be having the surgery, after much anxiety and whatnot. I HATE the idea. I feel like God put it in me for a reason, how can it be taken out with no ill effect? I thought I was at peace with my decision, but I got into a big argument with my aunt just a few minutes ago that has me second guessing my decision all over again. In fact, I had planned to go to sleep an hour and a half ago, but I took her call and now I'm too wound up and anxious to go to fall asleep.

I do not have a date for the surgery, but the scheduler is trying to work it out so that it is next week or the week after so school will not be an issue.

I also found out that lupus has damaged my kidneys a bit. The radiologist noticed it when I had the ultrasound of my belly for my gall bladder. So that explains why I sometimes spill protein into my urine. From my understanding, it is common in mild lupus kidney disease to have protein be found in your urine and then have it disappear during the next test, even if it is just a couple days later.

I had another round of antibody testing that came out fine, even though my joints have been very painful and I have an amount of fatigue that I feel is unusual. I took a nap today! I never do that. I need to speak to my rheumatologist to ask if the medicine can suppress blood tests even when I feel symptoms. My symptoms are very lupus like with the joint pain, fatigue, sun sensetivity and I also have been running fevers up to 100 every day for a couple of weeks now. But maybe I am stressing myself out. I had finals and the end of the semester and now I have to worry about my gall bladder, wisdom teeth and kidneys.

I plan on getting a lot of rest. I really need it.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Rough Week

Well, classes are over so I just have this week of finals. My first one is today from 4-6 and I will be so happy when it is done. It is for my class on world religions and that class has been an unnecessary struggle for no reason. I've been trying to figure out why. I just don't think anything was made clear. We got a lot of information, but none of it seemed contextualized to me.

I have had a lot of trouble with my stomach. It took me a long time to fall asleep last night because of pain and I woke up with pain too. Also a migraine. I got something to eat so I could take my medicine and luckily it has not made me sick. I really hope my gall bladder/liver/pancreas/whatever holds on until I can see the surgeon in a week. I have been running a slight fever, so I'm really trying to be conscious about how I am feeling.

Today I sign the papers to move into the apartment for next semester! So that's great news and I am really excited to get my own room and have a kitchen and bathroom I only have to share with 1-4 other people and not 34.

I cannot wait to go home. I just do not feel well. But I really want to get my finals over with. My hardest two are first. I have no exams on Wenesday, so that will be a nice break.

I also see my primary care doctor tomorrow. I got my antibody tests done again because I had not been feeling well. But of course I can flare without them being positive. So who knows what is going on. It might just be due to what is going on in my stomach.

So for now, I just have to get through this week without my stomach having a meltdown on me.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Found Out What Was Wrong

Soo...I need surgery. Within the next couple weeks. My gall bladder is not working like it should so it needs to be removed soon. I'm risking a serious infection if I do not get it out, so ASAP is ideal. I called the surgeons at the hospital I use at home and left a message to see when is the soonest I can get in. If it is not in the next couple weeks then I will have to use the hospital out by my school. I want to be at home because I live there and I know I will just want to curl up in my own bed after the surgery.

I'm not too happy about this. So hopefully I can keep infection at bay until I can figure all this stuff out.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Not In Control

I don't really think I am doing very well with my lupus. I think I'm just pushing myself too hard, but I don't see any other option. I just want to get this semester, and school in general, out of the way. To postpone my tests and stuff would make me more stressed out in the long run.

I have had a low grade fever for about a week now. My joints have been a lot more painful this past week, my sun problems have started up again, my migraines are coming back and my stomach and throat have been having problems. I'm feeling really run down and just want to get into bed and not think of anything for...even just a few hours. Two more weeks is what I have to keep telling myself.

We got our first real snowfall of the season yesterday. It was pretty to look at, but not so pretty to go out in. I forgot what a pain it is to clean snow off of a car. It was not too bad, the streets are clear. It was mostly on the grass, cars and buildings.

I did get good news today. My friend has an opening in her apartment on campus and I am going to be moving in! So no more roommate problems, I get my own room! And a kitchen where I can make my own food and a bathroom I only share with one other person. I'm so excited!

Today was a pretty good day, but I have a headache that is going to become a migraine. I want to take my abortive medicine but it knocks me out a lot of the time and I have to study for a Spanish test tomorrow. So I'm going to wait a while and take it before I take my shower so that I'm good and sleepy by the time I am ready for bed.

I get my ultrasound tomorrow and I see my doctor on Tuesday. Hopefully I can get some things sorted out. Maybe I should start taking a pain killer regularly again? However, most NSAIDs after a while mess up my stomach. I tried Ultram and was up all night shaking and nauseated, so I don't want that. And anything stronger knocks me out and I do not really want to be on anything stronger. Prednisone has been mentioned, but the side effects of that are numerous.

I guess I will wait and see and pray that I make it through these next few weeks. The end is in sight, I just have to keep focused on it.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Has It Been That Long??

Sorry for the lack of posts. It's been a crazy week. I have had a lot of papers ad I have gotten far less than half of the amount of sleep I should have gotten in a week. I also had a lot of blood tests done to figure out why I have had a stomach ache, low fever and elevated liver enzymes. I have an ultrasound scheduled for Monday to look at my abdomen. I still have a slight fever and don't feel well. I'm thinking that it might just be because I have not been taking care of myself very well.

There really is nothing to report. I've got two more weeks left of this semester and I am so excited to get out. I'm going to lay on my couch at home for a month.