Author Archives: Kathy

August 11, 2016

Yesterday was my 3 month follow up appt with my physician.   Good news is I lost 5 lbs – blood pressure is doing great.  Oxygen was at 100%.   Now we hope my blood work comes back good.  🙂

I talked to my doctor about my foot pain which is more then likely the RSD.  Crushing deep pain in both feet.  She wants me to see the podiatrist in her group so they are setting that up for me.  I am sure if this new doctor feels I need to have new tests done, they will make sure I get them.

Last night for the first time in a very long long time I actually dealt with vomiting.  I got scared because I could feel me getting flushed and of course I was here by myself.  No chest pains so I knew it was not a heart attack.   The problem is, and I am pretty sure about this.  I was diagnosed with a Hiatal Hernia years ago. After I had my little bout – I jumped on the computer and vomiting does/can happen with a Hiatal Hernia.   I have had problems swallowing and I am going in next week for an Endoscopy/Colonoscopy.  My Gastro doc is well aware of my swallowing issues and I hope there is no blockage of some sort.  Yea, having some anxiety but I think that is normal.

As always, I have to insert some humor and I am very blunt…As I was doing the vomiting dance – I was also letting loose on other end well, what I mean I could not stop from peeing all over myself.  Oye Vey.  Yep, let the world know Kathy.   LOL   Afterwards, I had to laugh what else could I do?   That’s life…the old bladder just could not be controlled.  Ha!

So, next Wednesday I go to Endo Center in Torrance and have both tests.  Hoping and praying all is ok.

Bad day today…

It felt like my foot was being crushed.  I have these pains off and on in my right foot.  When they hit – they hit hard.  I just starting crying and my poor dog came over to me.  Max is so sweet.  My husband comes over to massage my foot hoping the pain will go away.   They know!!  🙂

I have terrible bursitis in my right hip and I also tweaked it while trying to garden the other day.  I forget I am not superwoman.   I hate having this RSD.  It is miserable stuff for sure.  I wish I did not have to deal with all this crappy stuff.   I’m use to it – well I guess I am.   I certainly do not dwell on it but when I get those awful pains, it’s just a real reminder for me.   My life is so different today.

 

Stress

My grandson has been in the hospital since May 26, 2016.  He has been on life support due to his lungs as well as infections.   I have not been to hospital in awhile but I do read the updates on Christopher.   It’s actually not that good of an idea for me to be up there since I carry a staph.  I have been hospitalized for several days due to Cellulitis in the past.

My heart hurts for Christopher and for my daughter.  I hate it that Chris is going through all of this.  Hate it that Tara is going through even more heartache.

I stress out from afar.  Believe me when I say I do worry endlessly.  Stress causes more problems for me but this is my grandson who I love very much.  He has been our guiding light.

Stress causes people with chronic illnesses more problems and that is for sure.  It intensifies our already pain.  Very tough.

July 31, 2016

Has been awhile since I have been in here.   Nothing has really changed.  I take one day at a time and often have to rest up.   The other day I was dealing with a lot of leg pain which is not really unusual for me.  It was just a bit more intense and of course I had that burning pain.  It’s all related to the RSD I am sure.

Not sure I shared this but I did join a small group that has monthly meetings out in La Habra.  Great group of gals dealing with a lot of the same issues that I deal with.   It’s nice to share our stories and to be free to vent to each other.

Being chronically ill is not fun at all.   You put on a brave face and try to get through the day.   People think you are not ill because you have your hair done – a little make up on and so the story goes.  Reality is, we are just coping.   I cannot do a lot in one day anymore.  I might get a few things done in the morning and then I collapse on the couch.   It sucks.  I am so thankful for my husband who understands and is patient with me.  He helps when he is home if I am having a bad day on that day.  Could not ask for a better husband and I am so thankful for him.

May 25, 2016

I haven’t been in to give any updates lately.  I did get a good report about Diabetes.  I have brought my numbers down and A1C looks good but could be better.

Saw my ophthalmologist  and my cornea disease has not gotten any worse.  I’ve had terrible issues with dry eyes so it’s back to the Restasis.   Nothing can be done about floaters.

Been dealing with terrible pains in stomach.  Making the appointment tomorrow to have two tests that they want to do.  Will be glad to get that over with.

Dealing with memory issues.  Sometimes I get the days confused and I can’t do recall.  Very frustrating.

Just take one day at time…I try to persevere and not give up.

Melanoma re-check

Tomorrow is my 6 month check up for Melanoma.  Hoping nothing has popped up.  I am at high risk due to being diagnosed with A Nevus about a year ago.  I’m pre-cancerous…  I had a biopsy and it was discovered.  Just means I am at high risk of getting/having Melanoma.

An issue that needs to be out there and is very important – the need to be open about medical issues within families that are genetic.  Really important to be open with your family members.

 

Our Mother…

I have yet to sit down and talk about our mother.  Sometimes it’s painful for me and I can only speak for myself and not for my siblings.  Even though I know it still bothers them…  Tonight, I thought I would share our mother.

Our mom was 66 yrs old when she died back in 1997.  Dad died 5 months later.  I should start from the beginning.  Our mother had Cardio-Vascular disease.  Mom had her first open heart surgery in 1990.  In 1993, she had her second open heart surgery.  Prior to her second open heart surgery – she had to have her leg amputated all the way above her knee.  She developed an infection, waited too long and they had to remove it.  1992 was the worse year for my sisters and I.  Diane flew out from Memphis and Barb came down from Big Pine.  My sisters were always here when I needed them.  They also knew I was capable of handling things with mom.  We always stayed in contact once they left to go home.

When mom had her leg removed in 1992, she got real sick in ICU and went into congestive heart failure.  My youngest brother Mike and I happened to be in the room when it happened.  It was horrible watching your parent gasp for air and balloon up.  They threw us out of the room while they worked on mom.  They finally got her stabilized.  Eventually, mom would be transported to St. Mary’s Hospital in Long Beach to under go rehabilitation.  She was there for 3 months.   She also had to learn to walk on her new prosthetic leg.  I recall one day when mom and I were talking and she just started to cry.  She was mourning the loss of her leg.  I don’t think people understand this process.  When you lose a part of your body- you do grieve.  Mom was no exception.

The year, 1993 rolls around, and mom ends up back in the hospital this time having Quadruple heart surgery.  Again, she pulls out of it like the trooper she was.

In 1996 – Mom ends up back in the hospital and this time her other leg is infected and they have to amputate below the knee..   We also learn she has been diagnosed with Bladder cancer.   Each month we would take her into the hospital to have the tumor cauterized.   She cannot undergo aggressive medical care so we had mom for about a year before she died in July 1997. We eventually brought in hospice of course.

I remember the problems mom had with her legs and walking.  She always complained they hurt.  She had terrible varicose veins.    I now understand that pain mom always spoke about because I deal with the same issue.  I have Venous Insufficiency.   So-so painful.

 

Saw my doctor on March 25, 2016

We had a lengthy visit to go over my glucose numbers etc.  I gave my doctor the ok to discuss my issues with my Life Coach/Therapist vice versa.  I think it is very important to keep them all in the loop.  I am very hands on when it comes to my care and being my own advocate.  You have to be.

I took another mini-mental test and flunked it by three points.  We decided I should have a MRI scan of my brain because things have been going on that are a bit disturbing BUT also might be because I am experiencing some hypoglycemic numbers and not realize it.  When our numbers get too low, we do suffer memory issues- confusion etc.   Anyway, we are going to take care of that.

I’m going to really be more proactive in what I eat and make sure I eat something for lunch which I have not been doing.  I have a habit of skipping.  My own fault.

I see my Internist again in May.  Keeping fingers crossed.  I am SO thankful for being able to keep my pain level at half way decent mark.  Only because I take a pain medication that seems to help and I feel very blessed for that.  I take NOTHING for granted.  Not saying pain is not there at all because it is but the medication helps.  So, onward and upward?  Yep.

Depression and Chronic Illness

They do go hand in hand which many do not understand.   I do not know what I would do without having my Life coach to fall back on.  I make a point of seeing her once a week to help me navigate through the struggles that I have been dealt with.

My Internist also knows how I have struggled and of course knows my medical conditions.   I relate to cancer patients because I know what they go through.  I don’t have cancer but being chronically ill is no easy task.

Just because I see a Life Coach/Therapist does not mean I am always 100% or have it all together.  I readily admit that.

What I would love is to have people in my life who genuinely care- know how to be compassionate without over doing it.  I don’t need to be coddled or treated differently.  I just want friends/family to say they care- give me a quickie call to say Hello – or come by and visit.   I cannot push myself anymore and I don’t.  I do what I can on any given day and then, that is it.   I still get out in backyard with my electric mower and do my lawn.  If I do that, it’s the only thing I can do that day, and then I need to rest.

We who have chronic illnesses and terminal illnesses deal with a lot of depression and it is NOTHING to be ashamed of.  When you can’t do all the things you use to do – it is hard… Please do not give up on us though!

Struggling with Diabetes/Sleep Apnea

Back on February 4, 2016 I had my blood work done.  My A1C had creeped up to 9.6.  Not good of course.   Here I am struggling again with my diabetes.  It’s so getting old and tiresome.

I told my doctor I would test my blood at home more – keep a log.   I haven’t totally kept my word about writing down what I’ve eaten.  Why you ask?  Because I forget.

My Lantus (Insulin) was increased from 5 units to 9.  I have to admit it is helping.  My fasting numbers have been running around 110-116 which is so much better.   Yes, they could be lower but I will take those numbers any day.

I quit wearing my CPAP for about 6 mos and just started using it again.  I have been falling asleep a lot during the day.  I already knew that having sleep apnea was a serious medical condition.  What has really upset me is what I just read on the Advanced Sleep Medicine website/blog.  Sleep Apnea causes brain damage??  I have had memory lapses and memory loss which has upset me quite a bit lately.  I’m forgetting things more and more lately.  It has concerned me so much that when I see my physician on March 25th – I’m going to be so demanding about having a brain MRI done.   This is consuming me so much right now.

I advise all people – if they are having problems with sleep you should talk to your physician and have sleep study done.  It’s very important.   One other thing, sleep apnea occurs in people from all walks of life and from thin to a few pounds overweight.