Monday, April 10, 2017

Stormy Seas

A few months ago I had some big ideas of where this year was going to take me. I was trying some thing new for my health, focusing on being able to once again contribute to my families finances, changing up my blog and committed to sharing my story. January and February seemed to comply with my best laid plans and then March rolled in and things just kind of go flipped on their head. At this very moment I am trying to my best to ride out the storm and when the waters calm enough for me to get my bearings, I can re-evaluate the course I am on.

After sharing some little wins with my health and the fact that my the pain I usually experience around my cycle and a full moon was gone, the winds of change blew in and the pain came back. Not only did the pain come back but everything started to go in a downward spiral. I am having days as bad as they were right before my diagnosis or during the first of year or so of treatment for Lyme. I just don't know how much more of this I can take. 

My brain is so inflamed and jumbled up right now I can guarantee my spelling and grammar will be off and the words aren't going to flow smoothly as I share whats been going on. It's important that I share this for those of you that have been following this journey, for myself so it clears my mind somewhat and for those that is may help. So please bear with me. 

For some reason my nerves are not happy. The one symptom we had managed to significantly decrease and for an extended period of time was burning nerve pain. The ghost that sneaks up and holds the invisible cigarette lighter against my skin has decided to come back and visit my regularly. I can be cooking dinner, driving down the road, or laying in bed and the searing, burning pain is so bad I am surprised there are no blisters or scars. My muscle pain and weakness has returned full force. I am back to wanting to cut my arms off because the discomfort is so bad. I am battling my seizure type activity regularly. My legs are restless and I just can't get comfortable. I am having muscle spasms all over. 

My heart is acting up again. Palpitations. PVC's. Recently I had to walk a short but somewhat steep hill and I had some chest pain. It went a way quickly but it is still scary. The only other time I have really had chest pain is when my heart rate had jumped up to 272 bpm on treadmill stress test. I get short of breath really easily and just don't feel good. 

My brain is not functioning well. I am confused, lost for words and anxious. I start sentences and stop talking mid way through with out realizing it. My 10 yr old told me the other day I keep doing that and how something is wrong with my brain and I'd better see the doctor. Oh if only there wasn't so much truth behind those words. It really sucks when I have to look up my 5th graders spelling and vocabulary words or words she needs help spelling because I just don't know any more. 

Fatigue. Or should I say FATIGUE! I maintain to this very day that if I only had normal healthy energy and the ability to sleep well and feel rested when I woke up I could live a full life with all of my other symptoms. Fatigue is the one thing that has never gone away. I have been dealing with it consistently for 20 years now. And it's only gotten worse. I am back to being severely exhausted so much so that I can not always stay awake through the day. Miserable. Most days I get the kids to and from school at least. Part of me feels like my body continues to adjust to what I am dealing with. So in someways it may seem to you like I am doing more, and maybe I am, it is not because I have made such great improvements or that I have put the disease into remission but more so that I have learned to survive with a new normal. A certain level of feeling bad becomes normal so I have to feel that much more crappy for things to take me down. Something has got to give. I feel like I am in limbo or some other "in between" state. I know this sounds horrible to say but I am committed to keeping it real so ...sometimes I wish things would get so bad that I was stuck in the hospital. Then the seriousness of what I am facing would be evident. It's like get better or get worse but don't just stay in this in between state that keeps functioning enough for people to think your doing fine and yet bad enough to make you look just plain lazy. 

I know I am at the heaviest weight of my life and extremely out of shape and both of those things aren't helping the situation so I am trying to refocus on those areas. While I do have an appointment to see my doctor next week, the reality is so much of this I just have to figure out on my own. If money were no object I would stand a better chance of getting things figured out but even then this whole mess is just so complicated. It it critical though that we make some way. Not only have I lost a good part of the last six years with my husband and kids, and the my oldest will be gone before I know it but there health is becoming more of an issue. I can't put dedicate what I need to, to help them if I can't take care of myself. And so the story goes. 

This leads me to where my kiddos are in their journeys and my current worries and stress. My 13 yr old continues to be monitored by a neurosurgeon for her Chiari Malformation and Syrinx. She recently had a repeat MRI early than expected for some unusual persistent head pain in the back of her head. All remained unchanged with her other issues which is good but we had no known cause of her pain. If I hadn't shared in any early posts, she also broke her hand just before thanksgiving in a freak accident. It was a fairly traumatic injury and besides breaking her second metacarpal she lost a lot of skin about the size of quarter on the top of her hand. Her scare continues to hurt, the coloring in her hand is off just a little, and she is now having pain along that metacarpal. UGH! She has some random aches and pains and still some dizzy episodes so we continue to run tests, and when all comes up clear I just check the Lyme related box. Unfortunately trauma can cause things to get out of control so I am really monitoring her since her accident and am hoping this doesn't unleash the wild beast of this illness.

My 10 yr old has put me through the ringer the past few weeks and I just have this gnawing feeling in my gut something bigger is going on. She along with my husband and other daughter had been sick earlier in the year with a flu type virus. We managed it at home and either I didn't get it or I did and maybe that's why I am having an issue at the moment. I have never seen my hubby so sick. Fevers, body aches, sore throats, etc...Jump ahead about 4 or 5 weeks and my baby started in with a low grade fever and just not feeling great. It would come and go on it's own, disappearing for  24+ hours before returning. She started sleeping a lot, not eating. Blood work showed an elevated SED rate (which indicates inflammation) and she had (actually still has) and swollen lymph node in her arm pit. Long story short after almost a week she was diagnosed with bacterial pneumonia. I guess it was making its round at school but it was just a little crazy the way hers presented and I am thankful that I was persistent with the doctors that something was going besides the standard virus. She lost almost 3 pounds in a week and she is a string bean to begin with so we are working hard to get the weight back and she is still taking it easy. She gets worn down somewhat quickly and just still isn't a 100%. I do realize the lymph node may totally be related to the pneumonia but I am keeping my eye on it. In addition, she has these spider angiomas. They are typically considered benign. Just maybe fragile blood vessels. I had some as a kid too and they aren't all that uncommon. At her first doctor visit for her ongoing fever and lymph node issue the doctor saw one on her hand that she thought was a petechiae that can be a sign of Leukemia. That caused her to start looking at my daughters hands and arms. While what caught her attention was just an angioma she commented about how many there were. While she doesn't seem incredibly concerned about it there were about 12 which is on the higher side. Usually there are only a few. Well today I found 3 new ones. There isn't any really clear information on what they may mean for a child. They can be indications of liver issues but so far we don't have any other symptoms to go on. So while I am trying to remain calm my mommy sense just is nagging me so I am doing my best to stay on top things. 

I am sure I have so much more I could say but I am tired and brain has decided to give up for now. I once again don't know where I would be with out my faith in God. Frankly I have cried, yelled at and questioned Him a lot lately. What an amazing father He is to love in spite of this. As angry as I get with Him somethings He is also the only thing that gives me hope to go another day. I've got some special people fighting some serious health battles I am keep in my prayers and honestly I'll could use your prayers too. Preparing to take on what ever challenges tomorrow holds for me. Thanks as always for your support.