Prep Day

Tomorrow is prep day for my colonoscopy and endoscopy on Tues. I’m so so stressed. The thought of going without food, having to take heavy duty laxatives, the pain it will cause me. Uggggh! Why,why can’t they find an easier on patients way to do these tests.

How the hell am I supposed to take all my medications on an empty stomach without getting sick?! You can’t get sick because you need to keep the laxatives down. I can’t take Gravol. I’m allergic and I forgot to get a Zofran script in time.

This is going to be pure torture. It causes the very thing I’m trying to stop.

I need answers. I need these tests, I just can’t wrap my mind around the prep.

I’ve been though prep once before that was actually even worse than this one. It was for having my bladder removed. I hurled because I couldn’t stomach the shit load of antibiotics they made me take after two days of fasting and emptying out. Two days prior to the surgery, then the day of, and 5 days after of nothing by mouth. 9 days I went without food or fluids other then IV.

This I have to fast for tomorrow, and I won’t be able to eat until sometime after the tests on Tuesday. If all goes as planned, the tests are at 9:30 am thankfully.

Tomorrow I’m allowed to have clear fluids. I’m stocked up on banana Popsicles,  Jello, chicken broth (Although I’m allergic to garlic & onion and chicken broth has both. So for that only if I’m really desperate). And I have lots of Gatorade.

I’ve been given permission to take Ativan before I go to the hospital since my fear is extreme. In fact so extreme with medical procedures that it will trump sedation. Ativan does nothing for me when this fear hits. I will take it anyway before I go and again while I’m there waiting.

I’m also being put right to sleep because of the above. Sedation won’t work for me. I’m grateful they’re willing to put me to sleep. I don’t want to know or be aware.

So wish me luck. I’m going to be one hangry, scared person for the next couple of days. Poor Mr. CrankyPants. He’s going to be home to help me. There is no way I’d be able to look after our needy dog while going through this. I also won’t be able to drive myself.

Tomorrow is our family day holiday so Mr. CrankyPants is home. Tues. he’s taken a day off work to take me to the hospital and look after things after.

I’m scared too that the diagnosis is going to be what I suspect. The other side is that I’m scared things are so bad and there won’t be answers. Sigh. They will be doing biopsies too; With those I’ll have to wait a week or so for answers, but anything they find with the scopes, I’ll know as soon as I wake up enough.

Gahh I want out!

Scared & Stressed,

CrankyPants

 

Advertisements

I Forgot..

Does anyone else struggle with a bad memory? Holy crap on a cracker mine is terrible. I’m impressed I even remembered what I wanted to blog about.

Not only do I have a bad memory but..

I have so much trouble finding my words when I’m talking. Ever since I was on Methotrexate. (No longer on it).

When I was on Methotrexate, it was even worse. I couldn’t form sentences. Especially the night of and the day after I did my injection. I had a lot of side effects on Mtx that forced me to come off of it, but I’m left with this one side effect.

I know what word I want to say but I can’t get it from my head out my mouth. It’s so frustrating. Sometimes I worry what kind of damage these meds do to our brains. I truly hope they don’t cause things like dementia. With my memory so bad, and struggling with words, it really worries me.

I think that’s all I had to blog about today? 😉

Rainbows & Butterflies,

CrankyPants

CrankyPants Rant…

Before I start I want to say that I realize most people have good intentions and just want to help. Having said that, with all do respect please I beg you stop trying to fix our disease. It’s not helpful. If you want to be helpful just listen to us, be there for us, maybe be willing to work around our illness to spend time with us, make it okay for us to ask for help if we need it. Read up on what we are living with. Learn about it. You can’t know how much that would mean to us. Cry with us, laugh with us, walk alongside us.

Please don’t say things like:

If you ate healthy you wouldn’t have RA.

I swear if I hear that one more time I might slap someone. Healthy eating might, and I say might help with inflammation but it neither causes or cures autoimmune disease. That kind of comment actually blames us for getting these diseases. The last thing we need is guilt for being ill.

If you eat healthy you’ll be better.

No we won’t it’s a chronic progressive illness. Babies get these illnesses so it can’t be blamed on food. Period.

My father’s sister’s brother’s uncle has “lupus,ra…” and he’s doing just fine.

Who the hell cares. Don’t compare me to someone else. Everyone is affected differently. Many hide the pain, and things can change in a nano second.

You are lazy.

You’re ignorant. No we’re not. We’re sick. We have a fatigue so extreme it’s debilitating. No amount of sleep can fix it. Walk one day in our shoes and you likely wouldn’t be able to handle it. Our body is trying to kill us. That’s tiring. Not to mention the wicked side effects of most of the meds we are on.

You just need to get out more.

Don’t you think that we know that? Furthermore don’t you think that if we could, we would? Damn if only we could.

You need more exercise.

You need to shut the hell up. You cannot imagine the kind of pain we live with and many of us still do exercise. Imagine every joint in your body feeling severely sprained, never getting better and only getting worse. Add the fatigue, breathing issues, gut issues…and much more. Now you exercise. Get back to me on how that goes for you. Dr’s I’m talking to you too.

You need to lose weight it’s hard on your joints.

I thankfully haven’t had to hear this one. I’m underweight because I’m ill. Case and point right there. My joints are very painful. Weight isn’t causing it. Again, Dr’s listen up. And please Dr’s while we’re at it learn about these diseases. I had a Dr. tell me I don’t fit the box for lupus. What box?! We’re all different. Get your heads out of your text books and be willing to learn from your patients.

You don’t look sick.

What does sick look like prey tell? Someone could be dying with heart disease but you wouldn’t physically see it. Just because we don’t look sick doesn’t mean we aren’t. We become very good at hiding it, in part to avoid all these kinds of comments. This is a particularity tough one when using handicapped parking without any aids. It’s very likely it’s taken every bit of strength and energy for us to even get up and or shower in the morning. You have no idea. You won’t see that when we’re out and about. You won’t see the extreme suffering we go through when we’re at home. If we happen to get out once in a while it’s a big deal. Oh and you won’t see just how much we pay for said outing later.

You should try a homeopathic Dr. everything starts with the gut. Or try “abc” diet. It helped/cured so and so..

This one ticked me off today. Just know that when one is this sick we will likely have tried just about everything out there to get better. I did a two year candida diet. I went off all carbs, sugar, and anything you can think of that wasn’t healthy. You know where it got me? Sicker. That’s right sicker and very underweight. I did all the so called right things to no avail And if it all starts with the gut then again, why do young children get these illnesses? Again these diseases affect us all differently. Keep the “you should’s” to yourself.

If I tell you I have RA, and Lupus and you say something like, “I have a sore pinky finger.”

I understand it hurts. I’m sympathetic to you, but you will recover. Maybe if someone tells you they’re battling an illness like the above, listen show interest learn. Don’t automatically jump to telling them about your pain. It’s hard for us to talk about it, so when we do we likely trust you and want to be heard. We want you to take interest. Don’t confuse that with wanting pity or attention. It’s not what we’re after. Sometimes we just need to share our pain. They are lonely diseases.

I know there’s many more but since this is getting long I’ll stop there. Please add the things you hear that drive you bat shit crazy in the comments. Wherever there’s a chance to educate others let’s take it!

What do you hear that is upsetting? If I get a good list from you guys, I’ll post it with your permission.

Sunny days & Getting out,

CrankyPants

 

 

Arrrgh!

When my Insurance company and the Enbrel company are butting heads on a new payment protocol that’s not working. I’m left without my meds. I called last Friday to renew the script. I found out Tuesday there was an issue. It’s now Thurs. and the issue still isn’t resolved. Tomorrow is when I’m due for my next Enbrel injection and I’ve got none left. I called in what should have been lots of time to have it by now.

If that’s not enough, I shipped a package to a customer Monday it should have been to them Tues. or Wed. at latest. It’s still not to them. So long story short, at this point the package is lost in the mail. No one knows where it is and my poor first time customer is anxiously awaiting it. This does not make me look good to a new customer.

Sometimes I wish things could just be easier, even once in a while. I’m so tired of battling. Battling for answers, for Dr.’s, for meds. If something would go right even once in a while it would be nice. That reminds me, I now have to try and get through to my Internists office. Wish me luck, that’s always a crap shoot.

Yep like yesterday two times, no answer today. If I a leave message they never return my call. I need to know if I need to stop a med before my scopes and how long before. Fat chance I’ll get an answer.

At least we have sun today after getting 50 cm of snow last week and  temperatures that were at -50 c (-58 f).

*Update: Something went right. Not only did I get through to the Internists office on the third try but, and this never happens, they called me back in 15 mins. with an answer. The Dr. just happened to be walking by the secretaries desk just after I called so she asked him. I don’t really have to stop the med at all which is bonus, but I will stop it on the prep day because it does the opposite of what the prep does, so it just doesn’t make sense to me not too. 

Sunny days & Less winter,

CrankyPants

Rheumatoid Awareness Day

Rheumatoid Disease

I thought I’d blog a bit about Rheumatoid disease in light of this awareness day. In part, this is in memory of my Grandmother who suffered horribly from it and died a long slow painful death.

Rheumatoid Arthritis/Disease is not just arthritis. It is an autoimmune disease that can and will attack any part of your body at any given time. Joints in the form of degenerative arthritis are a part of what this disease attacks.

  • RA doesn’t just strike old people. It can strike at any age.
  • Those living with Rheumatoid are at higher risk for heart and lung disease, cancers, organ failure, diabetes. And much more.
  • The side effects of the medications used to treat this and all autoimmune diseases are often just as bad as the disease itself. One of the treatments is low dose chemo therapy.
  • RA is life threatening and does kill
  • More often then not when you have one autoimmune disease there will be others overlapping.
  • I have sero negative RA. That means it doesn’t show up in my blood work.
  • I also have overlapping autoimmune diseases. Lupus, raynauds, and awaiting testing this month for crohns/colitis and I have osteoarthritis
  • RA can run in families.
  • RA causes extreme fatigue that no amount of sleep can fix
  • RA causes pain that would put a healthy person in bed and leave them there, or in the hospital but we go on with life everyday with this pain
  • RA is an invisible disease. We often hear, “You don’t look sick.” We are sick as hell, our own immune system is attacking us and trying to kill us. That’s exhausting. We just get good at hiding it so we don’t have to hear uneducated comments and maybe so we can feel a bit normal
  • RA is progressive. We won’t get better. We will progressively get worse
  • Meds that are helping can at any given time stop working
  • RA is unpredictable as are the side effects of the medications for it. We can be holding our own one day and fighting for our lives the next
  • RA is lonely disease often leaving us isolated at home. It’s not that we don’t want to do what everyone else can, it’s that we are unable
  • We don’t ask for pity. In fact no thank you. We just want people to show some empathy and compassion. When we have to say no, don’t give up on us keep asking or find a way to include us on our terms
  • RA causes chronic pain. We are always in pain. levels can change from bad to worse but there is never a day without pain

Nan, when you were alive I watched you suffer so much my heart went out to you and there was some relief when you passed away because I knew you weren’t suffering anymore. Now I understand just how much pain you were in, because I’m living it. You were a stronger lady Nan then I even realized back then. I miss you today.

If you live with RA I’d love to hear your input and experiences with it. The more we talk about it, the better.

RA Warrior & Better Days,

CrankyPants

A Better Day

Today was a way better then yesterday. I took my new med and only half a dose. If it works as well as I think it did today. I will get some of my life back. It also seems to be slowing down the frequency I deal with without a bladder. It’s making me thirsty and allowing me to drink fluids without having to run to the washroom.

If it is doing this, holy cow this would be a dream med for me.

I’m cautiously hopeful.

I was able to go into town and get everything done I needed to today with my Hubby’s help. I ended up with a gut ache but I was able to get out of the house and that is good. We were even able to go out for dinner later in the evening.

It’s a brand new medication on the market so docs and Pharmacists don’t know a lot about it. I guess I’m sort of a guinea pig again. I sure hope I don’t grow a second head or something.

If it does work this well I could see it being life changing for those with crohns/colitis/ibd.

I’ll keep you posted.

I made another change this morning. I didn’t have decaf coffee. I wanted to see if it was making things worse. Tomorrow I will have decaff coffee again and see if there’s any difference.

I love the days that give me some hope but, at the same time I’ve hoped so many times before and they were dashed so that’s why I combine cautious and hopeful in the same sentence.

How was your day?

Good days & Breaking free,

CrankyPants

Sick

Oh my goodness I was so sick this morning I was scared. If it hadn’t of improved some when it did, I was debating whether or not I should go to the hospital.

I don’t know if the meds stopped working, or if it’s the nature of this potential disease (crohns or colitis) to override the meds at times. Hubby is picking up the new meds for me on his way home from work tonight, I sure hope that they work better and faster or I could end up at the hospital.

I have so much I have to do tomorrow. I hope I’m not this sick tomorrow.

I’m weary.

That’s all I’ve got today.

Sunshine & Warmer days,

CrankyPants

Make me more Dizzy Thanks

So after the whole, “I need a different med mess” yesterday between the pharmacy and the Dr.’s things have yet again changed.

I get a call back from the pharmacy today from the first Pharmacist I’d talked too. She called to tell me that my GP had got back to her and sent in a new prescription. It took me a minute to process that after being told yesterday no change because we don’t have a diagnosis yet.

In a sense this is good news..

The good part is it’s a pill form, so no more having to drink powder. Yay. I don’t have to work out taking it around my other meds. Believe me that’s been complicated. Yay! And it’s another option yay! With an extra script on file, it saves me another trip to the Dr.’s. Always good!

The bad part is, even after my benefits cover 80% of it, I still have to pay $33 out of pocket. When you’re on lots of different meds that you’re paying 20% for out of pocket,that adds up. It seems the only meds that help me are the most expensive ones. I’m not even a high maintenance person but when it comes to my medical needs, it seem I’m expensive.

Pharmaceutical companies sure make a mint off poor people. It’s sad really.

Thankfully I don’t have to pay anything for my Enbrel because that would be $1800/month. Who the hell can afford that?! My insurance covers 80% of a generic form of Enbrel. The Enbrel Co. itself is covering the rest and giving me the real Enbrel. If I had to pay 20% for that, it would cost me over $800 a month.

I feel bad for those who really need the med and don’t get coverage. It’s got to be disheartening.

So that’s my update for today. I swear I have my own pharmacy here of meds that I’v had to come off of. It’s a shame they couldn’t go to someone who couldn’t afford them. I haven’t been able to dispose of them yet because it just feels like such a waste. It will feel like a bit less of a waste (At least in my mind) to hand them into the pharmacy when they’ve expired.

Hope everyone is having a light pain day today.

Sunny days & Good views,

CrankyPants 

Dizzy from the Runaround

It’s been an interesting few days. Where to start…

I was emotionally wrecked yesterday crying on and off all day with all the below going on. I was scared because I was so sick.

This is the raw reality of complicated chronic progressive illness, not just for me but for most.

First I saw my GP and he told me that the meds the Rhuemie told me to take for my gut were bad to be on for long. I’ve been on them months. Thanks for that Rheumie. Body can become dependent on them. Doc gave me a new med, a script.

New med, isn’t working, I can’t leave the house, things are bad. Add in it’s in powder form so I have to drink it in water. I also have no bladder. So..Still can’t leave the house even if it was working because of that frequency. I also can’t take it anywhere close to any other meds I’m on. Complicated? Gets better.

I phoned the pharmacy, and talked to them about other options. They said call the Dr. I called the Dr. The Dr.’s office said call the pharmacy and have them fax in my situation, other med options and that I can’t leave the house and hopefully the Dr. will just sign off on whatever they suggest.

Forward to today. NO calls. I just called the pharmacy to find out nothing had been done. I talked in length with the main pharmacist who knew nothing about yesterday. She said because I don’t have an actual diagnosis yet she’s not comfortable recommending anything else. It might not be safe for me. I understand that.

So I’m stuck with this stupid powder that doesn’t work and I can’t leave the house.

Scene two:

Remember how I was supposed to get a call back about a colonoscopy and endoscopy? Well I never did. Things were so bad yesterday that I called the specialist’s office to find out what’s up. They never answer when I call from my home phone but always answer when I call from my cell. The second call was made from my cell. They answered. (This is the Internist’s office). Don’t ask me why I didn’t call the first time from my cell.

I found out that the Internist had sent in the orders for the tests two weeks ago. That’s good, but why did no one call and tell me as they had promised? The secretary said my best bet is to call outpatient at the hospital and ask about it. It will get me noticed and probably booked. I did that and finally got booked. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, but I’m so tired of having to be squeaky.

The secretary at the Internists office said my Internist has been off a month do to burn out. Sigh…our medical system. He was also supposed to be suggesting other med options for my situation today. No call. Am I surprised? No.

Then there’s one doc telling me to do one thing and another saying that thing is bad. My head is spinning. Why can’t all my docs work together?

My GP has no idea that I’m booked for these two scopes and I don’t plan to tell him yet. He didn’t think I needed them yet. The other specialists did.

I got a call back from my GP’s office yesterday with regards to my recent blood work. They said it’s nothing urgent and just a follow up. They don’t call unless something is found. I said to her there’s another test I did that is due in next week. I want to know about that one. Can we wait until that is in to deal with both. She said sure. She then asked if I have any other tests coming up. I told her about the scopes. She said let’s just book the follow up after the scopes and deal with it all in one appointment.

I agreed but then..

I realized I want the results of the test coming in next week sooner if there is anything found. It will give me some answers. Annnd if there is something found, the scopes are the next step. See?

I have the scopes booked in advance guessing it will be the next step.

Feb. 19th and 20th will be the days. I dread the prep on the 19th. As far as the scope I’ve talked with the nurse in detail, and they are going to ensure that I am completely knocked out for the procedures because of my extreme anxiety over medical anything. Otherwise, I’d be heavily drugged but still able to respond and move for them. I told her my fear will override the sedation if I’m even a bit aware. That’s no word of a lie. I’ve had it happen in other situations like the dentist. I don’t freeze or sedate.

The nurse told me I could take Ativan before I come and take more there if I need it while I wait. So that has helped put my mind at ease. The biggest stress is the horrible prep and having to be up all night going through it. I’ll be so glad when it’s over with. I’ll hopefully get some answers.

The good thing is, the day of my prep is a holiday here so I will have Mr. CrankyPants home to look after our dog while I go through this prep. There’s no way I could look after him during it.

And…

Hubby has got a paid day off the day of my scopes so he can drive me there and bring me home. Then look after the dog and I. Phew! That will help a lot. He’s the only one I have up here to help me.

Between calls to and from the doctors, the pharmacy and the hospital yesterday, I was getting confused by the end what I was supposed to talk about and to whom. Then there was the constant washroom trips.

You know what I wish?

I wish I could go even just one month without having to deal with any medical appointments. I need a break.

You really do have to be your own advocate or you get nowhere.

What battles have you had?

Better Days & Twinkly Stars,

CrankyPants