Friday, March 7, 2014

Doris Day

4:13am. Been awake since 2. Can't sleep. Finished my book, though. Great book.

Jeff's middle name is Harold, after his father, and my middle name is Doris, after my grandmother. When we are feeling old and crippled, we go by Harold and Doris.

So this is me, Doris, posting another health update. As told to Mom and Andrea.

Let's see... how about I go from head to toe.

1. My doctor was willing to up my Zoloft dosage to 200mg/day. He'd never prescribed that much before, but he did a little research and found that 200mg/day is still a safe amount to give out, and is considered the maximum dosage for several conditions. My combined conditions (PTSD, PMDD, depression, anxiety) warranted 200mg/day. I'd been gimping along at 150mg/day for over a year, knowing I needed more but stalwartly refusing to acknowledge that fact. Through conversations with Jeana, James, Jeff, Val, Carrie, Eileen, and Kathi, I became convinced that it was okay to need more. It sorta coincides with the lesson God is teaching me about needing Him.

2. I decided I didn't want to have fibromyalgia anymore, so I tried to convince my doctor that maybe I didn't have it after all. I felt I gave very convincing arguments, but the tender point test is ironclad, not to mention my ongoing symptoms, and instead of telling me I was right and I didn't have it, he gave me the official diagnosis I'd never actually received. He listed a bunch of medications I could take if I wanted to, but he didn't want me to take any of them, and I didn't want to take any of them, so we agreed that I should continue my current treatment plan of fresh veggies, vitamins, water, moderate exercise, and regular sleep. (Except when I feel like blogging in the middle of the night.)

3. For my birthday, I got a laser hair removal package. Five sessions for 50% off, and every session thereafter 50% off as well. I had my first session a couple of days ago, so right now, the lower half of my face looks like that of a teenage boy with a bad breakout. James said, "I can't believe you're going out in public looking like that." (God bless autism.) But nearly everyone I interact with has already seen me out in public with a lot of stubble on my chin, so meh. I'm thankful laser has finally dropped into the affordable range. It will be nice to be a little less beardy.

4. My left shoulder is healing up nicely from last summer's dislocation. I've had 12 sessions of physical therapy, and I think everyone involved is pretty much convinced by now that I don't need shoulder surgery. Thanks be to God. I hit a bit of a snag recently when my physical therapist discovered I had bursitis in that shoulder, but my doctor gave me a corticosteroid shot, which seems to have helped a little bit, but I'm not sure. I think another 12 sessions of PT should do the trick if I am a good girl and do my home exercises and eat breakfast before going to PT so that I stop getting woozy and they stop making me quit before I finish my sessions.

5. The reason I'm not exactly sure how much the corticosteroid shot helped is because five days after I got it, I also got rear-ended. The Dodge Durango that smacked into me as I sat innocently at a stoplight injured my midback, the right side of my neck, my right shoulder, and my right arm. My left shoulder and left arm are also a bit sore, but it's pretty hard to tell if it's new soreness from the accident or old soreness from the dislocation. My doctor said, "Good thing you're already going to PT." My physical therapist said, "He doesn't understand how the billing works." So now I have two separate orders for PT, with two separate billings, one to my health insurance and the other to auto insurance. Thankfully, my appointments are back to back.

6. Sometimes I have a tiny bit of trouble breathing. I've been referred to a pulmonologist to test for asthma. I will be only too happy to update you when I have results.

7. Ever heard of the right chondromanubrial joint? Yeah. Me neither. It's a bit of cartilage that connects the ribs to the sternum. Well, my bit of cartilage got partially dislocated last summer, and it's been popping in and out ever since. My doctor said there's really nothing to be done about it, but at PT, they've been using kinesiotape to stabilize it, which has definitely helped. However, now my left chondromanubrial joint has begun to pop a bit as well, so I see a lot more taping in my future. I'm what's called hypermobile. Unfortunately, this only applies to my joints and has yet to grant me a jump to lightspeed.

8. I distinctly remember Dr. Mays, my college piano professor, cautioning me about practicing Schubert's "Erlk├Ânig" over the summer. He said if I overpracticed it, I could injure myself. Beings as how I have never thought of myself as invincible and I've always somberly heeded such warnings, I've had chronic tendinitis in my forearms ever since, which I've helped along by having deplorable laptop ergonomics. I mentioned this to my doctor, and in addition to making me wear braces on my arms, he sent me... guess where. Yep. To physical therapy. They showed me some stretches, and they said if the stretches didn't result in marked improvement after a week, they'd set me up with a round of PT for my forearms.

9. I've had mystery abdominal pain for a few years now. So far, we've ruled out lingering endometriosis, cancer, hernia, ovarian cysts, abdominal wall issues, and colon issues. Our next guess is peptic ulcer, so back to the gastroenterologist I go. I think I see an endoscopy in my near future.

10. While training for a half marathon a few years ago, I developed burning pain in my lower legs. I thought it was stress fractures, but the pain was in the wrong spot. Plus it never went away. Last week, I realized that I stand on the outsides of my feet, which puts a super strain on my lower legs. So my doctor said, "Stop that." He also said I need to buy special shoes with special shoe inserts. So that'll be fun.

11. Also, I joined the gym. Been walking on the treadmill and pedaling on the recumbent bike. After my shoulders are all healed up, I'm supposed to add the rowing machine. I really like the gym.

So there you have it. Doris's head-to-toe health update.