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Oddness - wanting to share, but nothing to explain [Oct. 31st, 2014|10:25 pm]
So... about, dear lord, three years ago, I had a bad case of sciatica. Scary bad. "Am I disabled?" bad. I said it was in "my hip" but my doctor told me, no, that's my lower back, or my leg.

Well, I understood what she was saying, but... damn it.

Well, a massage therapist finally wrung the tightness out of my piriformis muscle, and that stopped a lot of the pain, but I still felt something was "wrong" with my leg. It felt turned out.

I went to a few physical therapists, but none of them seemed to have any idea what was going on. One thought that I was having serious hip issues - while I was running 3+ miles a day! Others just never seemed to approach the area having problems.

I later learned that there are two big, major muscles - the psoas muscle, and the ileacus muscle. They attach through your pelvis to your upper thigh. And I became a bit obsessed, because they both pass through the bottom of the pelvis in the groin region, and I felt like I had a steel cable embedded in my left groin.

I can't explain what I did. I just kind of kept up my awareness of the muscles that seemed too tight, and not working quite right and kept trying to find the way they should work. I kept thinking about lengthening and strengthening them.

And the pain got better, and started to shift.

This past week, I suddenly realized I could kind of shift my hip in a way that wasn't painless, but felt like it was close to where the hip was supposed to be, and it felt like I had some muscles fighting back, but... well, they weren't fighting *quite* so hard any more.

Previously, I'd been working mostly from the leg - trying to use the leg to force how the hip moved, but now, I feel like I'm engaging the lower back/hip. I feel like I'm knocking on the door of having a normal stride again. (Not that you would have noticed my stride being *ab*normal before now... but I'm starting to think that dancing, or martial arts, might not be out of my reach. Assuming I can ever handle the physical exertion without going all fatigued, of course!

Adding to this, I pushed my doctor to let me try Provigil which seems to be having good effects, and Monday, I do my four day EEG. I'm kind of hopeful that things might be on an upswing for me.

Here's hoping life is treating you all extremely well - I know I haven't been "here," in both senses of the word, that much recently and hope to be more present, more often, in the future.
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Before I can forget again [Oct. 30th, 2014|12:20 pm]
So, I've started the new medication - provigil - and it's definitely having an effect. It's really hard to describe.

Sometimes I feel a bit like I have had too much coffee when I haven't slept well - not in a bad, jittery way, but in a "wow, I'm wide awake," way. It's not unpleasant, but it's very different, and I'm also not sure how I feel about it.

It's definitely worth waiting a few days to see how I like it. But there is some weirdness. With my eyes being a bit irritated by dry eyes at night, I *feel* sleep deprived, even though I'm pretty sure I'm not.

I have noticed I'm getting more done without really noticing the effort. And that feels weird, because usually, when that happens, I have a bit of euphoria (because it happens on my good days, you see), and I don't have that. That feels strange, but then, I also realize it's probably a good thing. If this is normalizing me, so I have normal energy, even on my not-great days, I shouldn't be feeling euphoric. And if this did make me feel that good, it'd probably be addictive for me.

In the meantime, my four day EEG is scheduled in - geez! Four days! So I'll definitely let you all know when I'm all wired up.

I've been finding myself a bit curious about what they can tell on an EEG reading. Some things I can easily imagine - "patient is asleep" or maybe "patient is probably having sex" but I wondered how voyeuristic EEG docs were and what they could translate with any level of certainty.
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The good news and the bad news... [Oct. 18th, 2014|02:05 pm]
The good news: by staying on a strict ketogenic diet - < 30 grams of carbohydrate a day - I managed to avoid my worst symptoms for ten days.

The bad news: a side effect of a ketogenic diet can be dry eyes. Imagine waking up with your lids feeling glued to your eyes, and then feeling like your eyes are sandpapered all day - to the point that you have a hard time keeping your eyes open *or* closed. And staring at a computer monitor, checking log files and performance indicators? Forget it! Driving anywhere is a moderate risk - you can probably keep your eyes on the road, but you can't be sure....

I lost as much time to work last week as I ever lost to fatigue. And I was nearly as miserable due to the dry eyes.

So: I did some carb loading yesterday. And my eyes are significantly better today. But I'm also feeling the beginnings of my symptoms returning. Oh, it's not horrible - if this was the worst day ever, I'd be doing pretty good. But experience tells me this is more likely a "good" day.

So: Monday I see an eye doctor. And hopefully, we can do interventions to keep my eyes from injury. And in the beginning of November, I do my four day EEG and hopefully, we find something, and hopefully, we can fix it with something that doesn't dry the ever living (expletive) out of my eyes.
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Tapping the hivemind... [Oct. 12th, 2014|08:30 pm]
Does anyone know a good tablet that has 4G (or heck, 3G) connectivity that *isn't* an iPad?

Nothing against the iPad - but I *know* about the iPad. I'd like to know if I can get an Android tablet that has more than just wi-fi. And I'd like to learn more *without* searching wireless providers websites - I'd like to pick the device, and then check providers, rather than letting providers decide for me. (Maybe I'm just being silly - but it matters to me.)
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A belated happy birthday to... [Oct. 7th, 2014|09:59 am]
supergee! Congratulations on another year of making the world a bit better (and a bit less stodgy) for your presence!
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On a more serious note [Sep. 29th, 2014|09:45 pm]
Okay: it seems that a severely restricted carbohydrate diet is a big help to my managing my symptoms.

It also seems that I might have evidence that emotional state is more important than heart rate or blood pressure for causing my problems. This is good. This is good for more reasons than I can explain, yet, especially if I can get my doctors to sign off on the issue.

And even better news... well.

Friday, I called the Insurance Commissioner's office. They listened sympathetically, but pointed out that the Washington Health Exchange is not a government agency nor is it a private company, and it's a shame they are the only way for people to get subsidies, so people like (me) are stuck in the... I don't need subsidies? Then why don't I go straight to the insurance companies, rather than working with these nimrods who could screw up a rock fight?

I was boggled, of course - see, the "individual market" just wasn't what people *did* prior to the ACA. Oh, sure, some people did, but not people with pre-existing conditions. I'd taken antidepressants in the past - in some markets, that, alone, would make it so some companies wouldn't sell me a policy - at any price! And I've got that, *plus* chest pain last year, plus wonky blood sugar, plus this mystery disorder.

So I checked the regulations, and saw I had 60 days from the day my insurance expired, and visited an icythyoid artillerist. I mean a canonized freshwater fish. no, wait, I mean, I went *HOLY CARP* that's TODAY.

So I planned out how to get insurance and found out... my insurance information was transmitted over the weekend. I'm covered. For all of September, for all the good that does me, and then onward. And when I renew, I don't have to use the exchanges (because I'm *so* not eligible for subsidies), so I won't have to deal with the Washington Exchanges again.

And I kicked names and took asses at work (have you ever had to remove a mule from your SQL Server instance? It's not a pretty picture, best to call in the professionals).

So, all in all, a good day.
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Another musical quest completed [Sep. 29th, 2014|07:17 pm]
Blue Moon.

Do you know how hard it is to search on the most memorable lyrics?
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Happy birthday to me... [Sep. 19th, 2014|10:24 am]
So, my birthday was good, the day after was pretty good, the weekend after was okay - and I fell off a cliff somewhere, and I'm not sure if I'm climbing upward or not.

Once again, I've got a lot of variables going on. Had a surprisingly stressful (though very brief) encounter with an ex, my carbohydrates ticked up a bit (so it might be loss of ketogenesis), and other stresses popped in.

Depression is really bad this week, but in a decent kind of way. I'm feeling things and sometimes very intensely, and I haven't fallen into tired numbness.

Emotional energy is a bit risky, I think, if I have TLE, because it seems that emotional states can trigger problems. But *staying* emotional means I haven't triggered anything bad enough to make me tired and numb.

So: I'm trying to stay positive about that and look on the bright side. But it's not easy, and OMG have I been having a lot of "I just want to make it all stop! I'm tired of this!" thoughts.

At least I'll have answers to some of this, *if* my insurance ever gets through. It hasn't yet. But I'm also having a bit of "No, I don't want the testing, what if it comes back negative?" Which is silly, but I will admit, I am more than a bit nervous about that.

Hm. And now, the eternal quandary of the depressed poster: "I have nothing much to share in my life that's not a statement that things aren't much better, why should I post this?" But it's a good sign if I can write and post anything, so I think I will.
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Still not king... [Sep. 2nd, 2014|07:15 pm]
... and still not insured.

Apparently, although one gets a documentation declaring one's eligibility, that's completely meaningless. One must provide documentation establishing eligibility. And no one will tell you that if you're one of those techy-geek-losers who use the web site, rather than the cool kids who call in.

However, after two too-long, excruciating phone conversations, I have sufficient documentation uploaded. I may get insured when the documents are processed.

They're running 30-60 days behind right now.

Sigh.
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Letting out a breath I didn't know I was holding... [Sep. 1st, 2014|10:22 am]
I'm taking a week of vacation. Technically, four days (I get labor day off with pay)... but that makes 9 end to end. I'm planning mostly rest because I need to learn if that helps with the fatigue.

Well, I'm a contractor - if we got paid vacation, you know how they'd run it. They'd give me two weeks of paid vacation and cut my hourly rate to 50/52 of the rate for someone without paid vacation. I swear - if I was a contracting firm. I'd split the difference but insist on no more than one week in "vacation pay" (i.e., you get paid but don't take time off). But maybe that's just because I know how much overwork hurts *me*.

Anyway. I can handle this. Easily. I've got 7 weeks of pay in my savings account, which isn't *enough* but it's more than enough given my medical status. But I want 8-10 weeks saved up.

So I was worrying. Just a bit, but I was worrying.

I just got a refund for my escrow account. About four days of pay. I won't have to dip into my savings at all. Sometimes, life works out well.
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