HAPPY DECEMBERWEEN!!!!! 🙂
It’s the most wonderful time of the year… the month of a millionty holidays, including 4 family birthdays, 2 anniversaries, Chanukkah, Christmas, and a ton of other reasons to celebrate that I’m, frankly, too lazy to delineate. Other sites have my back.
Anyway, there’s a lot of scary medical stuff going on with me right now that I have been trying not to focus on.
My Immune System Is Very Slowly Getting Worse
You know how I told y’all that my immunoglobulin is low across the board? (Not low enough to require IVIG yet, but if I get sick for an entire month again like I did in October, I’ve got to go in.) Well, sadly, it’s low and not stable. It’s been consistently declining for over a year now… so my hematologist wants a second set of eyes on me. He says that he doesn’t know why, with all my other bloodwork showing readings that are normal, that my immune system would continue to be in decline, but it is — so, I’ve been referred to a blood cancer specialist at Loyola. My appointment is the day after my birthday. *tosses glitter in the air*
It’s Probably Because Of My Liver.
Also in the “all tests show normal, but you’re clearly not ok, so I really don’t know” camp is my gastroenterolgist.
About a year ago, I had such severe abdominal pain that I stopped being able to get myself to eat without medication, since the pain was always most severe right after eating.
An ultrasound came back showing lesions on my liver. So, I got an MRI which showed nothing more than a ton of hemangiomas and the fact that I have a “fatty liver.” Hemangiomas are not troubling. They’re totally natural. They’re noncancerous growths of blood vessels that usually resolve on their own. The MRI radiologist wanted me to follow up with a CT scan. I didn’t, because I felt fine after they increased the dose of omeprazole I take, and being this “being medically interesting” thing gets expensive.
Fast forward to earlier this year — I became pregnant, so they took me off of omeprazole and switched me to ranitidine because it’s safer for the embryo — you know, the one that died anyway. (Boooooo for miscarriages.) I was doing great on ranitidine until November, when the intense pains after eating returned. Dr. D put me right back on omeprazole and now wants me to get that CT scan.
I have no idea why I don’t want to do it, but I really don’t. I’ve been taking my sweet-ass time making the appointment, since the medication seems to be handling it. But I should try to get in before January, since that’s when deductibles reset.
I’ve actually come to the point in my life where I’m trying to comparison shop tests at hospitals to figure out where I can get care for the most reasonable price. UCMC is almost always my #1 choice because of their financial aid options, but Palos Health is much closer. Still, my gastroenterologist works out of MetroSouth, and it’s an option with my health insurance. I can’t get a straight answer from anyone about how much the test will cost. So… I haven’t scheduled shit, thanks to anxiety.
Anxiety Doesn’t Cause Cancer, But MS Drugs Do.
Healthcare in America is BROKEN, y’all. BROKEN. I’m on a Blue Cross PPO through my husband’s work. I have Medicare A & B, and I *still* don’t know if we’ll be able to afford my care. It’s still no reason not to try to get it.
So, while the GOP debates just how badly they want to fuck over literally everyone in the country, I get to worry about whether or not I have a blood cancer or liver cancer (both of which were potential side effects of my MS meds), while raising a precocious 2 year old and managing my multiple comorbidities.
Oh, and hoping that I’ve gotten the “right” gifts for everyone I love. 😉
Wahls Adventure: Stalled
Another thing that I’m taking my damn time on is starting the Wahls Protocol in earnest.
I tried adding 6-9 cups of veggies to my daily diet, and it looked almost exactly like eating paleo again. (Green smoothie for breakfast, soup and/or salad for lunch, roasted something or other for dinner.) Unfortunately, I tried doing that at about the same time that my stomach was like, “Uh, no food please.” 9 cups of veggies is a lot of volume when it comes to food, folks.
So, I’ve been “feeding my disease” instead of “eating clean” because I have to fucking eat, and whatever stays down and doesn’t cause a fuckton of extra kitchen work is pretty good with me right now. Besides, it can take up to a year of being strict on her diet before you even feel better — which, TBH, sounds fucking exhausting.
Fatigue has gotten me so badly in the last few months that I’ve spent full days in bed (not on the couch) on several occasions. I mean, it’s gotten to the point that I keep a protein shake in my bedroom just in case, so I can take necessary medication.
I honestly don’t know how we would handle things without my in-laws’ help with Henry. This is something I regularly think about when anyone brings up the idea of trying to get pregnant with a second child or my PTSD tells me that for our continued health and safety, we need to leave the country.
My thought is that I’ll plan out Wahls-friendly food choices for January (since everyone and their mama seems to be doing that for Whole 30 anyway), and I can start in earnest then. Adam got me an awesome dehydrator for my birthday, so that ought to help too. I am looking forward to making some bitchin’ jerky, fruit roll ups, and veggie snacks.
Don’t worry. I’ll share my January plan here and share the love. 🙂
I genuinely hope that you are having a happy holiday season, and that you and the ones you love are doing well. ❤