Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Another Interview

This time its one I got off the schools website.

I will be going to bed early and resting throughout the day tomorrow so that it goes over well.
I have been abnormally tired today and that doesn't encourage me....but this is an office job where I shouldn't need to be on my feet hardly at all.

Monday, October 27, 2008


Just because something is similar does not make my circumstances the same.
I am not like you.
We walk the same path, yet differently.
I am not like you.
We choose the same career, but yet...
I am not like you.

We went to the same school.
I went my way, you went yours.
We worked at the same job.
I did mine and you did yours.
Just because the footprints walked down the same path
does not make me like you.

When trials affect
I am not like you.
I see the positive, you the negative.
I am not like you.

The same trials often affect two very similar people in very different ways.
I see a lot of people who compare apples to oranges. Two different people will endure many things the same, but there is always one thing that keeps us different. Our perceptions.

Yesterday a lot of bad things were pointed out to me, but I didn't view ANY of them as being negative.
My father is a truck driver, right now it is a very lean time in that industry and he doesn't get many loads....God is keeping him home safe....yes, money is tight for them, but DHS is helping them get things that if he was working more he still wouldn't be able to afford because of their cost, but because he isn't getting the income they are helping him get his furnace fixed.
I see that as a positive....if he had more money, they wouldn't help...and the proportions are way off.

My mom had the flu, she also had a flu shot, they do that, that's how you get the antibodies, sounds pretty good to me, if she didn't get the flu from the shot, she would likely get it from a person later and be much sicker....sounds more like a positive than a negative to me.

My grandmother had a stroke, ok this isn't really a negative turned positive, but think about it this way....she is 90 years old, she had a good long life. She isn't dead yet. When my mom had her stroke it was a bit different, she was 48, not 90, at 90 I don't see it as a bat thing, there is a time to stay and a time to go. She isn't going to live forever, and why would anyone want to exist solely in a nursing home in this day and age...her life was full and its not over just a bit harder right now...she isn't really suffering it even took them a while to figure out that it had even happened. While it isn't a positive, its part of life.

My daughter got scolded for interrupting, ok this is the norm in my house, she has my total attention MOST of the time, so when the phone rings, she wants my attention. I don't appreciate the interruptions, but I do find it positive that she isn't afraid to come to me because she knows I won't hurt her just because I am on the phone.
If anything, maybe I shouldn't be on the phone while she is awake since she needs me more than whoever is on the phone if they are irritated by her needing my attention. I am her MOM, that means she is my job.

I have been sick, very sick....But God has not yet abandoned me. When I feel really bad, God shows me what I need to get through. When I am depressed he shows me why that's not what he wants for me. I have been able to talk to my husband more since I got sick than the entirety of the rest of our marriage. We have found several potentially life threatening conditions before they became life threatening. No, I can't walk on my own, but I am not wheelchair bound.
I had a heart attack nearly 10 months ago, but I am not dead. There are many people who are much sicker than I am....and I don't see most of them trying to off themselves because "life's too hard now" So I am just grateful that God has given me another day...I am grateful that Romans 8:28 says he will use ALL THINGS, to his Glory....that means the negative things too...and if God uses them, than how can it be a bad thing.

Needless to say, I am not like you. I choose to see the positive since the negative helps no one.
When I share my negatives with others, its not cause I want you to feel bad, but because I want you to pray for God to continue to give me strength to survive the trials.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Weird Day

Today has been different.
We dealt with many issues of varying intensities.

I had a rough go with Lauren this afternoon, she wound up in time out for half an hour due to hitting...came out with a better attitude.

Chris and I dealt with Keys for Kids issues today as they dealt with blaming others for actions that neither party controlled.

then my sister and I got into it, over I am not quite sure what exactly, since I don't think it was what the blow up seemed to be about. Basically she was upset because Lauren acts up while we are on the phone and she only hears the negatives....I don't know really.

Then I talked to my dad, which helped calm me down, I have been so blessed with an AWESOME family, even through tough times.

God blessed me with Ecclesiastes Chapter 3, a time for everything, yes, right now it seems EVERYONE is having a tough time, but you know what, God works through those tough times. He blesses us when we don't deserve it, he provides our needs, not necessarily our wants, but our needs are always met.

Today we were blessed with curriculum in the mail Borrowed from a friend, but it didn't cost me a dime.
Yesterday Chris and I were blessed with some alone time, a date of sorts, something we needed to reconnect.
Today I was able to rearrange some furniture, it was a cool bonding time for Lauren and I, she had a blast helping me move things.

ya, its been rough, but its all good, because Romans 8:28 says ALL THINGS work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

It doesn't say some, it says ALL. And yes, all includes the bad things too.

Friday, October 24, 2008

What a Week!!

Well, its been a roller coaster of a ride.

My headaches have been truly out of control, What used to be a little scab on my leg from the itching is now almost the entire side (about 6 inches square) my eyes hurt and every inch of my body aches.

I sat this morning praying, crying out for some relief. I realized I am approaching an anniversary (in just a few weeks I will have been seeing Dr. Silverman for a full year) then I look back, I just passed the anniversary of when I realized that I was REALLY sick again. This week would have been the week I had the MRI, CT and X-Rays to verify the shunt wasn't working.

But that's not what overwhelmed me. What got me, was the fact that I was trying to prevent a problem from getting worse (my pressures were 36cm in December) and ended up with a lot of problems being worse.
Before I had the surgery in February, I had daily headaches that would keep me in bed, ringing in the ears and nausea that was enough to incapacitate me....after the surgery, I found out I had sleep apnea, Chiari Malformation, and my leg stopped working due to nerve damage...supposedly TEMPORARY nerve we are finding that that TEMPORARY damage may be permanent and 10 months later I STILL have all the original problems only exacerbated quite a bit.

I am scared, frustrated, hurt, in constant pain and just getting tired of trying to get better.
I have been fighting this battle uphill both ways for too long and its worn me out.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Rough Weekend

Well, I am not sure if it was the stress over the interview or what, but this weekend has been the roughest period of time I have had since July.

The headaches have been excruciating and if I didn't have my appointment in just 5 weeks with the neurologist, I would be makes no sense to call when it would likely take more than half that time just to get in (and even if it didn't when the headaches calm down, I don't have what it takes to get something done...when I am not hurting, I don't like to remember the ROUGH parts)

My right side has been really bad along with my neck and the base of my skull--and of all the nerve, my leg nerves have been really causing a great deal of pain. I needed my cane most of the weekend til just a few hours ago. I still should be using the cane since my balance is still really off, but I tripped over it twice while trying to move so I gave up. My back and neck are also in a great deal of pain. I am not used to hurting all over, this is the first time in several months its been this bad and I DO NOT LIKE IT.

Every sound has seem amplified, even the sound of my typing seems extremely loud and painful. The ringing (wooshing and buzzing) in my ears is driving me mad. The flashing lights are enough to cause me to despise anything but pure darkness. And between the dizziness and nausea, I just don't have the energy to do much.

I think I am going nuts. I really just want this to go away.

Friday, October 17, 2008

That was a Waste of time

Ok, even if I do get offered this job, we wont be taking it, training is nearly an hour and a half drive or more and will last 4 weeks....40 hours a week for a part time position. Blech.

Feeling especially cruddy today, I am guessing its due to all the stress. Too tired to really post but I can't sleep yet, my brain is running on overdrive.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Another Interview

Wow today turned out to be a busy day.

I thought I was just going to be dropping off paperwork for my work study, that turned into a visit to career services and an awesome conversation, for once I actually feel somewhat confident that I will get a job.

Then we came home, we had barely walked in the door when we had a phone call from our this can't be good (I had just deposited Chris's paycheck a few hours earlier) but it was good, I had applied there because my FAVORITE service lady at our old branch said it was a great idea....and they don't check credit, lol and they called me for an Interview, Hooray.
I go in tomorrow at 4pm.

Chris will Take Lauren to see her grandmother while I am there and hopefully I will walk out with a job.

Its in Gods hands but I really REALLY want and need a job.

My PTC or whatever has been getting the better of me lately. I don't really care though, I am NOT going to let it get the better of me.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Unique Gift

Last night I received a unique gift, a phone call from a VERY good friend of mine.

What's so unique about this gift? We only seem to talk when something is bothering one or the other of us, ironically, its NEVER the bothered one that makes the call.

We have been friends since 1995 when we went to college in Tennessee together. I was the Maid of Honor in her wedding in 1997, but we barely spoke during the early months of 1996....she was angry with me and all I could do was pray and wait....when I had some struggles later, she would call me just to share that she was praying.

Over time this has become our very strong bond, God lays one of us on the others heart, usually when we need that friendship most and its always right there just as if it had NEVER been apart.

A month or so ago she had a really tough time and she was on my heart two days before she lost her job....I delayed calling because she was working (or so I thought) and when I did call, we talked about lots of other stresses too that had been bothering her.
This weekend it was me on her heart, ironically it was after my most stressful week praying about the Lupus and other CTD's.

Isn't it amazing how God always gives us what we need RIGHT when we need it?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Its been a rough week.
I was originally overwhelmed with the thought of possibly having Lupus with all the rest of my health problems, but that was just the beginning.

I ended up researching CTDs since that's what he wrote specifically even though he specifically mentioned the lupus. One of the CTDs I found just happens to have a strong connection to Chiari.

I was so upset, frustrated, scared, the whole nine yards, then I prayed.
And Prayed.

You know what, God reminded me of something....He cares about the smallest of things, the song verse, His Eye is on The sparrow, and I know he watches me, popped into my head.

Even though it seems so very overwhelming dealing with my health issues right now...I see God working. I don't quite understand what he is doing, but it is comforting to know that he is watching over me. God is going through this with me, holding my hand, watching over me and encouraging me.

I go back to James and have to remember to take joy in these rough times because God is STILL in control of what happens.

Am I less scared? not really, but I am reminded that God is in control and everything will be ok.

Fear is a tool of the enemy, but for me, its bringing me closer to God....I pray more, I witness more, I trust more.

I am this way because it helps me deal, I pray for struggling families, like Noah's family and Susanna's family....These kids are going through a much worse struggle than I am, and it brings me great joy to pray for them....and it takes my mind off of my problems.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Time for a New doc, AGAIN

This morning I got my blood work results back, GRRRRRRR

Ok, I do appreciate knowing whats wrong with me, I just wish we had ALL of the answers instead of just some.

He ran about 27 blood tests, and no I am not going back to verify the count.

Out of those 27 tests, most came back NORMAL...unfortunately most aren't all.

My Uric Acid is High, watch for gout (don't even know what that is, but he explained it pretty well) Early warning, not aware.

Calcium-low, take a tums a day (yuck)

b-12 Very low, he wants to see it nearly triple where its at, so I am to take a supplement, 1000mcg daily.

glucose Tolerance-abnormal, reduce carbs, increase protein, no between meal snacks unless its a veggie and a protein specifically green veggies- only whole grains allowed. Move after every meal, my housework should improve since he says even that is moving.

I thought he was done, Grumble.
He ran screens for Rheumatoid Arthritis Rheumatoid Factor Negative YAY
There's more, Uh Oh... Is there a history of Lupus in your family....uhm, not to my knowledge, WHY?
ESR level 43 (should be under 20) Grrr, don't even know what that test is for, but its got something to do with Lupus
ANA titre 1:1280 Should be 1:80 or less, that's the Lupus antibody, it is concentrated out of the blood, but he says I have quite a bit of it in my blood...grrrr

In Summary, I do NOT have Gout, I need to watch it.
I do NOT have Diabetes, I need to watch it.
I do NOT know if I have Lupus, I have a referral to get a definitive diagnosis....that appointment could go something like "Charlotte, you do not have Lupus, and you will be fine" but I was warned it will probably be more like "Charlotte, We can't make a definitive diagnosis right now but we will need to keep an eye on this and we will see you back in x months" OR, and this is the one I don't want to hear....."Charlotte, with all the tests you have had done, with all the symptoms you have or have had, it is clear that you do have Lupus and this is how we are going to treat it right now"

Ok, I love, LOVE, my rehab doctor, he is great, he is calming, he is reassuring, he is just plain awesome.
He referred me to the Rheumatologist, said flat out that I won't like her, she doesn't have a good bedside manner, but that she is good at what she does. I will deal with that, I guess.
I made the appointment, I see her November 17th at 1:30pm, appointment is expected to last about 90 minutes...woo hoo.

I had Lauren with me this morning because I knew it would be a fairly quick appointment, and guess what, his kids all 5 of them are homeschooled, YES my doctor homeschools his kids (or rather his wife, who is also a doctor, homeschools their kids) Isn't that just awesome?
He is a Christian, Homeschool dad, and an awesome doctor, I think I hit the jackpot, not to mention he actually talks to me like I can understand him instead of talking down to me....answers questions if I am confused and doesn't get irritated with questions....he is actually approachable. I am SO blessed...
If I have to go through all of this, at least I am in the best hands, I feel God really provided what he knew I would need to get through this walk.

I remember ten years ago this month when I met Dr. Ing at Kresge, I was terrified, he was the same kind of doctor....someone I did not fear going to because they weren't there to criticize but rather to help. And help they did... I love looking back now and seeing how God met the needs I had right when I needed them most.

Even now, I was a bit nervous about this blood work (although the only result I was expecting was the GTT results since I haven't had a true normal test ever and I have had them for 20 years) I wasn't expecting the other abnormal results.... But rather than get depressed, I actually feel confident, a little nervous (I am always nervous when it comes to new docs) but I just know God is going to work through whatever the results may be.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Pressure is still up...

Its really bad when I have a cold, nerve pain and everything else wrong and my headaches are still the most overbearing pain I have.

Fortunately since the headaches are so bad, the rest of the pain seems relatively minor, at least I am not hurting equally all over. The headaches are only this bad when the pressure is going up, which is good, because it will come back down...eventually.

In the meantime, today the computers will be shut down until 2pm when we do a reading test for Lauren with school and we are going to work on some activities together...she will be so excited to see that we aren't doing a lot of book work today. Unfortunately for her, its because we are looking for our other books and that will mean more work in the long run.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Feeling accomplished despite feeling like crap

Today we got a lot done. Check deposited, groceries bought, Laundry to get it put away.

My head and chest are still killing me, but I did manage to go pick up some cold medicines (vaporub and cough drops) I plan on going to bed early and sleeping HARD tonight. Hopefully this will be gone soon.

I also misstepped, I have been fairly pain free in my legs this week, probably because I have been off of them for all but very short stints....this cold has really knocked me down. This afternoon on my way to go get the vaporub and cough drops I was going down the steps of our porch...not thinking about the fact that for the last NINE months I have had to go a very particular way up and down since my Left leg will not bear weight on any uneven surface....well normal people take the steps foot step, other foot next step, and either foot can go down first, I can't.

Since I hadn't been really hurting, I didn't think about it, and went down right foot first, DUMB MOVE, I nearly ended up on my head, the left leg gave way and I have been in a ridiculous amount of pain ever since.
I feel ridiculous since I have been doing this for so long...its not a mistake I should have made.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Intracranial Hypertension

My pressure is HIGH, and I know it. While its not high enough to put me in the hospital, I am counting down the days til my neurologist appointment hoping I can make it without calling and asking for a spinal tap early.

Unfortunately I do not even know if he will approve a spinal tap with the chiari so it will probably take two phone calls to get the tap even ordered. I will give it another two weeks (or less if I feel really bad) and I will call the neurosurgeon back, maybe he will order it from the DMC and I won't have to worry about having it at one of the two hospitals I do not really trust at this time.

I so wish I knew specifically which problem was causing this so I could fix it or at the very least I could know what the next step is.

I feel like I am going crazy.

I m so glad we are working on getting me back in school because I think I need the distraction to help me make it through this mess. I am so worn out and just physically and mentally drained from this nonsense.


Well this is getting annoying, my something is flaring, I am no longer able to tell it its the PTC or not since the Chiari and PTC symptoms are so similar, but I am miserable.

My cold is not gone yet, but my headaches and the tinnitus are in full swing making me a walking zombie, at least I can walk here in the house.

Tonight when Chris gets home I am going up to Wal Mart to get some cough drops and some groceries, we only have $15 to get us through til next Thursday but fortunately we don't need much, just cheeses, ground beef and a few goodies.

I need to make a menu for next week. too, I will post that with cost on my frugal blog though.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Still sick

Ugh, colds are not supposed to last this long, nor are they supposed to develop stomach issues.

Yesterday I was feeling a bit better, or so I thought, today I felt like we had taken two steps backwards though and I feel more miserable than before.

I did however manage to get the local community college called today, we will be setting up to start classes in January if I get the proper financial aid, they are going to try appealing the pell grant decision as well.

We will be doing Health Information Technology, I have talked to a few people and they all say that I am not ready to do the nursing program, maybe in two years when I complete my associates I will be, but right now I am not going to try to kill myself, and who knows, I may find I LIKE the office work more than I think I will.

In the meantime, I am going to enjoy this time off, we have been focusing more on school with Lauren and I would have missed the first week anyhow as I have been SO sick.
My headaches are getting worse too, but I see no point in calling the doctors since Dr. Guthikonda just wants me to wait it out as long as I can anyhow....I see Dr. Silverman next month and if we aren't improving, I will ask for a spinal tap though....I want to give it til the end of next month though as its been so rough.