Thursday, March 17, 2011

Weird Stuff

This has been kind of an eventful week. On Monday, we officially wrapped up the 2011 Girl Scout Cookie sale. Made the final bank deposit and wrote the check to council. We are done. Woohoo. K sold a total of 506 boxes of cookies and the troop total was 3276. We netted about $2,200 in profits. Very awesome.

I have started to have K walk to school in the morning. I walk with her because it is almost a mile from here to school and we have to cross a street (at a signal light) that has a 55 mph speed limit. So far so good, it is nice to have some time in the morning with K where there is not really any pressure (other than making sure we make it to school on time). I am not walking in the afternoon to get her, because it is already too warm in the afternoon for me to feel comfortable exercising. With gas being ~$4.00 a gallon, any way I can conserve is a good thing.

We had our Girl Scout meeting tonight, and it was K's and my turn to bring dinner. Our troop does dinner meetings, and there is a dinner rotation, each girl has an opportunity to be the "dinner hostess". K and I decided to do "walking tacos" for dinner this evening. Only we served them in bowls rather than the individual Fritos bags. What is a walking taco? I am so glad you asked. It is Fritos, taco meat, lettuce, diced tomatoes (we omitted the tomatoes for tonight), shredded cheese, and sour cream usually served in the Fritos bag with a fork or spoon. Dinner was a big hit, most of the girls came back for seconds!

Earlier today, I noticed that my right hand middle finger knuckle was kind of sore, like I had accidentally bashed it, but I had not hit it at all. No biggie, or so I thought. Later in the day (right before I was getting ready for the Girl Scout meeting, I noticed it had swelled up and turned red and started to look kind of "streaky". Definitely not a bruise at any rate. I decided that I was going to go to Urgent Care after the Girl Scout meeting to get it looked at.

Girl Scout meeting went well. Hustled on over to Urgent Care. Thankfully the wait was not long at all. A bit of background information is needed at this point. I have very low blood pressure, and run a borderline high pulse rate (to compensate for the low blood pressure). At most medical clinics, the Urgent Care we go to is no exception, the first person a patient interacts with is a certified medical assistant, basically has about 6-9 months of school. So they really do not understand the nuances of the low blood pressure/elevated pulse rate thing. No problem. The medical assistant took my pulse, then she took my blood pressure. She kind of grunted/sighed and said that she had to take my blood pressure again. I asked her if it was low and she said it was. I told her that I run low blood pressure and asked her if it was around 90/60. She looked shocked and said yes, that is what it was. She took it again and got about the same reading and she was shaking her head. Yes, I know, people with 90/60 blood pressure usually are dizzy, disoriented, and often faint. But I have had this low blood pressure since I had cancer. It is what it is and I live with it every day. And I know not to stand up too quickly or I WILL pass out. I even freak out a lot of doctors with this blood pressure anomaly. The upside is I can eat all the bacon I want!

Well, long story short, I have a cellulitis on my knuckle. I have been given Keflex to take 4 times a day for 10 days, and instructions to come back if it comes to a head, or if, in a couple of days, it has not gotten smaller and more centralized. I may have to have an x-ray to make sure it has not settled into the bone (ugh, don't even want to think about that). I have a free floating anxiety that it might be MRSA, and I really need to block Web MD from my computer. Hopefully the Keflex will be all I need to kill those nasty bacteria. I want to avoid the IV Vancomycin at all costs.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Bilateral Epidural --- L4/L5

I suffer from chronic back pain. It is part of my daily existence. Most of the time I cope fairly well with it (as long as I don't try to overdo it), and have occasional flareups that are handled with the occasional muscle relaxer, or if needed a Vicodin. For this pain, I am under the care of a pain management physician, and have signed all sorts of contracts about not doctor shopping, and sticking with one pharmacy. I am cool with that. In fact I am grateful for that. To be quite honest, the Vicodin makes me itchy all over and I really don't enjoy it.

Every once in awhile, I have a flare up so bad that I can barely walk, and the spasms twist me up so badly that I cannot even stand up straight. I had one of those flare ups starting in winter of 2009-2010. Went for the requisite MRI, tried several different medication regimens, etc. which led up to having bilateral Facet Joint Cortisone injections into the L4/L5 and L5/S1 joints. Relief from the Facet Joint injections? Not so much.

In the past, probably about 11 years ago, I'd had the epidural injections into the L5/S1 space and they were very successful. I had three done in the space of 6 weeks, and they were so successful I did not need to have them for almost 10 years. Since the facet joint thing did not work, my doctor decided to try the epidural injection. I had the epidural last May and got almost instant relief. It did not hurt, I felt no pressure when it was going in, but did get much comfort from it.

Fast forward to today. Starting about 6 weeks ago, I felt like my back pain was starting its downhill path to being back to where I was a little over a year ago. I had an appointment already scheduled with the Pain Czar so I decided I could wait. Saw him last week and told him I felt like things were starting to get more painful. So we scheduled another epidural. This morning I went in, and ooooooh doggies did it ever hurt this time. The only thing different that I can think of is the fact that I started on Neurontin last week after my appointment. At one point I practically came off the table from the pressure going down my leg. Not nearly as bad as the time I had a bone marrow biopsy, but whoa.

I have been taking it really easy all afternoon (and now evening). Hoping that I feel better tomorrow. Also hoping that because this one was so painful that I will get even better relief from it. Here's hoping...