Sunday, October 21, 2012

Gunky and Funky

I'm getting pretty tired of the constant post-nasal drip that I have been dealing with for the last three weeks.  The sore throat comes and goes as well.  Then there's the general 'blech' feeling after taking various handfuls of pills throughout the day. The headaches have been less bothersome recently (crossing fingers here).

I have still not noticed any physical improvements yet.   However, I am still cautiously optimistic.  I appreciate the fact that it should take at least a full two months of antibiotic treatment to rid my body of the spirochetes.  I do not expect that their mere death with reverse all the damage that they have been the root cause of many annoying health issues.  The first things that I hope to notice is a reduction in my inflammation response and/or an increase in my general energy at that point or soon after.

I will probably modify my diet for a few weeks to something akin to a mild and gradual detox regimen, to help get any remaining Lyme toxins out of my system along with any crud leftover from taking strong antibiotics for a long period of time.  Late Fall and early Winter are not fabulous times for getting fresh fruits and vegetables.  However, some of the larger grocery stores do seem to have a good selection of fresh organic (carbon-heavy shipments from around the world) and frozen organic produce to pick from.  If I go off the antibiotics right after Thanksgiving, the timing will be challenging with all sorts of holiday food lying about.

My mood in the last week has been kind of funky.  I am mostly a positive person these days.  However, life's challenges do get to me eventually.  Dealing with chronic health issues is a big psychological burden of course.  Some personal challenges have also been eating at me this week (lingering financial challenges being caused by medical expenses, parenting doldrums watching my son drop out of college - perhaps for good, mediocre social life, feeling like my current home is an albatross in my life that I can't get rid of, feeling alone in all of it).

This week should be interesting.  I'm only working through Wednesday.  I've taken off Thursday and Friday to commemorate my 50th birthday.  I plan on getting a massage and generally pampering/indulging 'me' next weekend.  On Saturday I hope to meetup with some acquaintances/friends for lunch and arcade time in the earlier part of the day, and then a group of us are meeting up for a screening of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show".  Most of us are planning on dressing for the event, and we'll of course have props with us to interact with the flick.

While I will appreciate the company of the dozen or so people who will be sharing my birthday with me, none of them are 'close friends' or 'family'.  I find myself really missing having regular interaction with people that I feel a strong bond with.  I grew up an only child with a parent who had no real family ties of her own.  When I went to college and met some good friends, I felt like I was building my own kind of family.  Then I married into a family who seemed to embrace me wholeheartedly.    I also picked up a few good friends during the early part of my career.  I chose to move away from my college friends (and work buddies) for a number of reasons.After my divorce, my ex's family washed their hands of me.  The friends I have made since the move are a diverse and busy group of people who I see irregularly.  Good people, all, but we don't have as much invested in each other as my group of college friends and I do.  Part of me wants to move to be closer to some of the folks from that group.  But another part of me says that I should figure out a way to cultivate deeper friendships in the region that I want to continue to live in.

I think that 'big birthday' is adding to my funky mood.  I plan to post something just on my feelings about turning fifty later this week.    I'd love to know if anyone is reading this tale or if it's wholly an archival exercise never to viewed again.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Headaches are us?

I used to get tons of headaches, sometimes even migraines.  A few years ago the frequency dramatically decreased.  Eventually I put it together that my headaches decreased in frequency and intensity with the onset of menopause.  So, yay!

As I previously mentioned here, I've been waking in the wee hours with a headache that may be related to an increase in teeth grinding.  Then again, it may be yet a byproduct of the spirochete die-off.  This morning, I woke to the worse one yet.    I hadn't taken an antihistamine last night before bed, like I've been trying to do lately, in case the "cold" symptoms are because of allergies.  So, I took one then.  Headache is still here a bit.  I need to get on the exercise bike, but I've been trying to wait out the headache.  Getting your heart rate up when you have a headache is a bad idea.  I've done it.  Not enjoyable in the least.

I didn't have any particular plans for today, since I knew being in training last week was going to take a lot out of me.  Now I feel like I need to do something 'productive', even though I really am still exhausted.  Hopefully, I can find some small-energy endeavors to appease my 'productivity gods'.  I'm already feeling blue enough right now (because of K's revelation that he may not go back to college).  If I go to bed tonight without feeling like I've somehow improved the state of my home, I will REALLY get depressed.  Maybe that's inevitable at this juncture.  A lot has been going on lately that has not made me feel good about the universe. 

Yes, yes.  I know.  Let me pull out my mantras.  I have a great paying job doing (mostly) stuff that I enjoy.  People at work seem to even respect me and seek my input (sometimes to my chagrin ).  I am no longer in a toxic relationship.  My son is healthy.  I just closed out a pile of (partially foolish and partially unavoidable) consumer debt that was a drain on my well being in numerous ways.  I have a comfortable home that I can afford to be in. I am better off in many ways than most people on the planet.

Unfortunately, it is difficult to overcome the wiring of suffering.  I try not to wallow in the negative aspects of my life.  Though it seems that anytime some fresh unexpected disappointment enters, it reawakens the others who preceded it.  I suppose it's like adopting a new crying baby when you just barely convinced your other young children to go to bed a reasonable hours and not to continuously cry through the night seeking your attention.

There's another reason to find some way to be 'productive' around the house.  So long as I am 'doing' something, it's easier to ignore the crying children in my head.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Harder before it gets easier?

I get to stay home all week and get paid for the privilege.  I'm doing an intensive online training course.  The organization that is running it decided to hold classes on Central Time to be fair to attendees from all over the country.  The regular class runs from 10 a.m. until 6:30 (EST).  We are given a half hour break, and then there are evening sessions that run from 7 p.m. and 8 or 8:30 pm.  Since I normally get up around 4:30 a.m. and work from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m., this is throwing my system off.  I'm also running into scheduling conflicts with some of my normal after-work activities.

While one would think that I would be physically feeling better to be able to stay at home, mostly sitting in my comfy living room chair, you would be wrong to assume so.  I have a good set up at work.  Plus, I change positions a great deal by walking to the cafe or the restroom, or going to meetings, or just walking around when I need to.  This class is not scheduled around my body's need to take breaks.  There are hard breaks at the top of the hour for 5-10 minutes.  Lunch is an hour.  (At work, I hit the gym for just over an hour, making up the time at either end of the day.)

The classes typically involve computer-based exercises.  I have a poor history with making it through all of their exercises without running into technical difficulties.  This time around has been no exception.  Since we're playing around with some hacking tools, we need to be able to shut off our anti-virus software.  My organization has ours locked down pretty tightly.  I can probably uninstall it (but then I'd have to locate the package on our disorganized network to get it reinstalled) or get the admin password (though that might take a couple of days).

With my illness and my normal level of fatigue because of it, I'm having a hard time keeping the momentum going every day.  We're also supposed to have class on Saturday.  It's an all day team-based exercise.  In past years, the curse has carried over to the last day's exercises in spades.  With my health being a bonus feature this time around, I wrote the instructor and told him that I probably would not be able to participate on Saturday.  Part of me feels like a wuss for bowing out.  On the other hand, I need to accept that I do have some limitations.  I desperately need my weekends to recuperate from a normal work week.  There is no way that I can give up my Saturday after THIS week.

One of my "normal after-work activities" of late has been getting a B-12 shot from the doctor who is treating my Lyme Disease.  For the last week or so, I have been suffering from cold-like symptoms in the evenings.  I do have seasonal allergies but I've never had a sore throat like this before, on top of the sneezing and post-nasal drip (which is also pretty bad right now).  I was wondering if it could be a side effect of my antibiotic.  The doctor said that it could be but that it was most likely just a Fall allergy thing.

I had a dentist appointment on Friday.  I was late to it because of a screw up at the car dealership, where I was supposed to be "in and out in 15 minutes".  Anyway.  The hygienist said that I am grinding my teeth, which is why a couple are getting sensitive and also might explain why I'm waking in the middle of the night recently with a headache.

Are we having fun yet?

When I started treatment for the Lyme, my doctor warned me that about three to four weeks into treatment I might feel physically worse as the spirochetes started dying off en mass.  I'm not sure if I've entered that period or not.  Maybe I'm just having a really crappy week.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Bad allergy, cold, or Doxycycline

I am taking 400mg/day of Doxycycline to treat my Lyme Disease.  While I normally have some post-nasal drip due to various allergies, the past few weeks have been really bad on the 'gunk factor'.  On top of that, I have a sore throat a good deal of the time and I sometimes get moderately congested and sneezy.  Last night I thought that I had the beginnings of a cold.  This morning I feel a little better as far as the sneezing and congestion go.

Also, in the last few weeks I have been getting headaches while I am sleeping.  I usually wake up an hour or so before the alarm goes off.  Lately, I've woken to a moderate headache.  I've been taking acetaminophen and then going back to bed to sleep until the alarm goes off.  The headache has been either less annoying or gone when I wake.

I have an appointment with my doctor on Tuesday for a B-12 injection.  I plan on mentioning these annoyances to him at that time.  I have been on the Doxycycline for just over two weeks now.  While I didn't expect to see any improvement to my Lyme symptoms yet, I wasn't expecting these particular side effects.  It's not enough to want me to give up the antibiotic.  I just want to make sure that these are possible side effects and not something else going on.