Staring Down the Barrel of a (Hot Glue) Gun

Sometimes your mind can be so open that your brain falls out.

Friday, November 30, 2007

I Changed my Mind

Right now, I'm actually glad that my cortisol levels came back so low and I need to be back on the meds. I didn't realize how crappy I'd really been feeling until someone else told me I *should* be feeling like ass. Guess I thought I was just 'doing something wrong', for lack of a better term. The migraines, dizziness, shaky hands, crazy moods, narcolepsy -- it all kind of makes sense. I'm much less freaked out about the Happy Pills now, too (although I still think they need tweaking as well.)

Hooray! I've been given licence to feel bad guilt-free! Oh, I had forgotten, I'm still recovering from BRAIN SURGERY.


So Much Fot That Plan

Well, shit.

Doctor's office called while I was napping. Said my steroid levels were waaaay too low and that I should get back on the Hydrocortisone ASAP. Definitely 5 mg, possibly even 10. She said she wasn't surised I was feeling crappy with numbers like those.

So much for my hard work weaning and my big plan to get off all my meds...


I am *so* high from my meds right now.... kind of a bad day for Mags to be home sick from school...

I Nearly Forgot

No really, I nearly forgot to go to my sleep machine appointment for the second day in a row. Two friends of mine unexpectedly dropped in yesterday morning, and I was so enjoying hanging out that I forgot to watch the clopck. Only by accident did I happen to cacth a glimpse of the time, screamed, and left poor Minnie standing in the dust of my wake recuperating from my bellow as I ran to the car.

But I made it to the appointment on time and got my new machine. It was surreal sitting in the office, talking with the technician as she walked me through the different types of machines to choose from (4), and the array of masks (8). It was like thumping mellons to see which was ripest; listening to the volume of this machine, trying on different masks to test for fit and compare the feel of each one. I rememebr thinking, this is really a money making market? And how did this 20-something girl pick such an odd niche market as a career? Does she inwardly laugh as she watches patients put on these ridiculous masks? But she was very professional and relaxed about the whole thing, and eventually the oddness of the whole situation wore off.

I will admit, though, last night I slept in a separate room from Husband because I was so self conscious about the whole thing. And at one point I did have a little oh-poor-me cry. I realized I had been dragging my feet about getting the machine, and now that I had it, it made me feel really 'broken'. For the first time since being diagnosed with the tumor, I was angry and upset and sad about the whole thing. The unfairness of it all. I'm only 33, fer christ's sake. A machine to help me breathe?!? Possibly for the rest of my life?

Le sigh.

I got over myself long enough to plug myself in, and with the help of some melatonin eventually fell asleep hooked up to the machine. I didn't make it through the night, but I'd been warned this process was gonna take at least a month to get used to.

So, there ya go. I've decided to refer to the mask as the Heffalump, as I feel like I look like a cross between a scuba diver and an elephant. Oh well. If ya can't laugh at yourself.....

Too Many Knobs

I am really strugging right now with the way I feel. Too many pills, lots of side effects, and I don't know what's causing what, so on top of everythng else, I'm feeling really frustrated.

Let me explain. No, there is too much; let me sum up:

I started back on anti-depressants in October after being off of them since early spring. Those have been ramping up for the past several weeks. Even though it was exactly the same two meds I was on prior to my surgery, my body chemistry is so wildly diferent, I'm having a completly different experience than previously and have been tweaking the dosages on both almost nonstop since I started re-taking them. On top of all this, I've been weaning off my steroids since June, which means that my body chemistry has been constantly changing as well during this process. Oh, and there's a fourth pill that I take, which of course is reacting oddly to new bosy chemistry as well.

Of the past two-ish months, I think I've actually felt good (and I mean seriously cloud-nine blissed out is-this-how-everyone-else-feels happy) for about two, maybe two and a half weeks. That's when the happy pills finally kicked in. Unfortunately, something has gone horribly wrong, and I feel like shit again, combined with my sleep being tweaked above and beyond the apnea, clenched jaw, migraines, being uncomfortably high, and ferocious constipation.

Problem is, I just don't know where to place the blame. There's just too many things affecting me right now. As of last Sunday, I took my final steroid pill. My body is still probably adjusting to having to pick up the slack, and historically withdrawal symptoms do include migraines and screwing with your mood. (Just took a blood draw Wednesday; waiting to see if all my levels are ok.) There's pill number two, which could be causing the constipation due to new body chemistry. Then there are the Happy Pills, which could be contributing to, well, basically all of the symptoms, in various combinations. Jesus.

Basically, I'm just juggling too many pills right now, and I know that what I need to do is start from scratch, for lack of a better term. Plan of attack: Ditch random pill #2 entirely, for the time being. Its not life threatening/saving, and can definitely wait until things shake out. Next, continue to ride out the lingering effects of Hydrocortisone. Two pills down; good. Then start tapering off of one Happy Pill entirely (probably Zoloft as it was most suspect when I was previously having troubles in the spring.) Lastly, take a constant dose of Happy Pill #2 (Wellbutrin) at the same time every day in a constant doe that doesn't involve cutting the time release pill in two (what can I say, I've been desperate.)

I know this process will take at least a month to even get some sort of true reading from having only one pill in my system, but I really think this is the only way I'm gonna know what pill is causing which problems with new body chemistry. Then I've got to start adding pills back on and waiting to see what happens then. Of course all of these pills don't immediately kick in, and there's waiting involved as the meds build up in your body. Its frustrating, I'm impatient, and I've already warned Husband that the next month is gonna be pretty ugly. But I don't feel like I really have much choice.

I'm gonna try to stay as even keel asI can through this process, given that all of these things are going to be in flux. I know that's gonna require a lot of having to consciously use logic instead of depending on my body/hormones to give me clues, which is challenging. But I'll try.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Oh, the @!@#!!! Irony.

I just slept through my appointment to go pick up my CPAP machine. Dammit!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Necessity is the Mother of All Invention

I think I earned a badge today, but whether its for creativity or stupidity, I'm not sure.

Our carpet has gotten particularly gross over the last, oh, 9-12 months since last it was steam cleaned. With two relatively laid-back parents, a toddler and a tumor, it really comes as no surprise. Recently, however, it has come to pass that when you spot clean a spill at our house, your eye is forevermore drawn to the island of near-white in an ocean of nasty grey carpet. Hell, it was even bugging Husband. Definitely time to do something about it.

After a 15 minute (ok, hour and twenty) round of Sudoku on the computer, I wrestled my way into the front hall closet and pulled out our vacuum and the steam cleaner we inherited from Mer. With glee, I filled the reservoir with soap and hot water, spot treated the carpet and took a deep breath. Soon, so soon, I'd have the satisfaction of watching all the water get sucked out of the carpet and back up the clear top of the cleaner, installed specifically for weirdos like me who get off on watching cleaning actually taking place!

Wearing a pair of boxer shorts and nothing else (ah, the joys of being home alone!), I turned on the switch and began pushing. But joy was not to be mine. For some reason, the water wouldn't drain down into the sprayer. Oh sure, the cleaner still sucked like a $10 hooker, but there was nothing there to swallow. After a 15 minute (ok, and hour and twenty) interlude of listening to the crappy music while on hold with the help line, I gave up and started thinking of alternate ways to get my carpet cleaned. I could've just taken the cleaner into the shop and had it fixed, but I'd already moved furniture! Sprayed spot cleaner all over everything! Stalled on the other projects I should've been working on! I couldn't give up now; I just couldn't!

I splashed some of the soapy water onto the carpet and ran the cleaner over it to see what would happen, and lo! It actually lightened the shade of the carpet from 'Chimney Sweep' to 'London skies', so I tried it again. Splash water. Run and turn on vacuum. Drag cleaner over affected area slowly. Repeat 2-3 times daily, or per doctors instructions. Progress was being made. However, the uneven splashing of the soap was starting to make our carpet look like a bad Pollack painting (I briefly considered writing something with soap on the carpet, but the idea that someone might come over to our house and see 'Husband has a nice ass' or somesuch written in the grime of our floor was a bit much, even for me.)

I didn't mind the tediousness of the process, but squiggly lines in the carpet were just not the look I was going for. How better to evenly distribute the cleaning solution over the carpet? A spray bottle would've worked, but my hand would've cramped long before there was enough soap down to do any good (plus that's my mastubating hand.) And luckily for Husband, we do not own one of those machines for spraying grass seed all over the lawn. Hmm. I know -- lemme try the vegetable steamer! And you know what? It worked! I sprinkled a gentle rain shower of industrial soap and water down on our carpet and then sucked it back up again. Rinse, repeat. Rinse repeat. Bucket after bucket of satisfyingly black water went down the drain; hooray!

After about 15 minutes (ok, and hour and...oh, never mind,) I ran out of soap and had to stop. I ended up only 'cleaning' about 20% of the carpet, and even that could definitely use another pass or two. But it does look so much better. Now I just have to send out an email to the Mom's club and see if anyone has a machine I can borrow while waiting for mine to get fixed. Oh, and I need to clean the bathroom floor as well as the bathtub, because the floor is covered in black drops, and the bathtub -- well, I should've been dumping that crap into the toilet.

So glad I saved myself so much time by manually steam cleaning the carpet instead of waiting until the machine was fixed!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Bathtime Miracle

We have a cat.

Her name is MamaCat. She kind of came with the house when we moved in (in an abandoned-kitty-now-ferel sort of way) and after a while found us acceptable and adopted us (in a still-fairly-skittish kind of way. ) But, more often than not, she has been able to let down her guard enough so that she demands petting constantly, and will sleep on the highest point of your body while you are in bed.

Now, we've had her fixed, gotten her shots, give her flea drops, and feed her well. Admittedly, we're a bit slow on the litter box sometimes, but I think she forgives us. It helps that she's an indoor/outdoor cat. Which brings us to the one thing we've never done: given her a bath.

My understanding has always been that cats are pretty clean animals, and I still agree with that. However, I think Mama must go to some pretty disgusting places when she's out roaming. Mama has been shedding not only hair lately, but dirt and (super yuk) flea poop. Time for desperate measures. Husband and I update our wills, pull out the chainmail, and grab the cat.

Yes, Mama howled like the damned when locked in the bathtub with me . Yes, she tried to escape through the quarter inch gap between the sliding glass door and the wall. Yes, she suffered through the injustice of the lavender-scented shampoo I picked up that very day. But then the strangest thing happened: I picked her up, and she started to purr! I handed her to Husband who wrapped her in a towel, and she purred even louder! He laid her down on the floor so he could rub her dry, and she nuzzled him the whole time!! Still purring! Hell, we opened the bathroom door and she looked back at us like, "What, are we done?"

She eventually sauntered off as cats do, leaving two puzzled but otherwise unmolested humans in her wake. I've never washed a cat before, and after hearing horror story after horror story, you can see how maybe last night didn't play out like I thought it was going to. Mind you, I'm not complaining that I wasn't flayed alive. I just...I'm not sure. Is she really ok with this? Or did she snap when she was in the tub and is now just in her kitty cat happy place, locked in her mind, waiting until she is triggered again, to then slash our throats whilst we sleep? Nice kitty....

Well, if she's gonna snap, I bet it won't be for a while. I woke up this morning with an extra soft, lavender scented kitty balanced on my shoulder, dreaming warm kitty dreams... and drooling.
Bleck. Now I need a bath.

Phone Sex

Husband and I went to bed crazy early last night; almost immediately after Mags, in fact. So we both got about 10 hours of sleep, which was very needed by all parties (well, I did my usual pseudo-sleeping thng, but you get the idea.)

Now, a funny thing happens to me when I am well rested: I am suddenly in the mood. You know -- The Mood. With the not sleeping so good lately thing, this has been few and far between, much to Husband's dismay. Let's just say he didn't complain when I tried to make him late for his dentist appointment this morning. :)

That is, until, I really turned on the heat.....

Bed: (rustling sheets, moaning, groaning, etc.)
Me: Hey, did you get the phone fixed?
Husband: (dead silence)
Me: Augh! No! Don't need to talk about that now! Right! Here I am, totally present.....!

I'm thinking I'm more out of practice than I realized. Luckily for me, Husband was so understanding (or so desperate) that we sort of ran with it. I'm not gonna give you all the details, but you could hear things like "Let's do it rotary style", and moans of "Give it to me, Ma Bell! Who's my bitch?" from our room if you listened closely. Oh yeah. it was hawt, baby.

Thinking back now, I wish I'd stopped halfway through and demanded in a stilted voice, "Please deposit...fifty cents for...three minutes." Yep. Smooth operator, that's me.