Stupid Migraine

I had lots of topics in mind to write about. Then I got a migraine and wrote nothing. I don’t get migraines often, but when I do, I lose the ability to focus my eyes. I’m literally legally blind for hours. So that’s what I did this evening instead of working over time or writing – I lost the ability to see for several hours and took a nap. What else could I do with a splitting headache and no vision (especially since I have hearing loss and lipread)?

Now I feel like tomorrow will be overwhelming because I’ll need to put in even more overtime to catch up on the overtime I should have put in, but instead had a migraine. I’m sure withdrawing from the medication the pharmacy lost started the migraine. I went through this once before when the pharmacy failed to send my meds. It’s both infuriating and depressing since there is nothing I can do about the pharmacy that won’t jeopardize my own job.

Migraines are so stupid. The pharmacy is stupid. I’m going to bed.

Money, Money, Pharmacy, Gyoza!

Money: The Vet Appointment

BigDog went to the vet today. He’s been coughing for a couple weeks but I was hoping the cough would clear up on it’s own because I have no money. Sadly his cough didn’t clear up so to the vet we went. A few tests and $230 later, BigDog was diagnosed with a bronchial infection. Thank goodness it wasn’t something worse. I was concerned he had swallowed one of the children’s toys or that he had contracted heart worms which are both so expensive to treat that I could have afforded neither.

$230 is difficult. $230 will require months of sacrifice on my part. But it is possible for me to come up with $230 and I’m grateful. I love BigDog and I’m so glad he’ll be better after a few weeks of antibiotics.

Money: Can I Afford 4H?

Speaking of money, Luke and Oliver have decided they want to attend 4H camp this summer at $250 each. On one hand, I would really like them to experience summer camp. On the other hand, that’s $500 and I earn *just* enough that we don’t qualify for financial aid. I don’t know where we’ll come up with the money. I really don’t know.

Pharmacy: Ugh…

Still no word from the pharmacy on my missing meds. The current hypothesis is that the meds are lost in the mail. However, the pharmacy won’t release the USPS tracking numbers to me so I have no way of confirming the meds are actually lost. I’m so frustrated I’m tempted to price other insurance plans just to see if there is any way I can possibly afford an insurance that doesn’t require me to use such a crappy pharmacy.

Mmmm. Gyoza!

On a positive note, I found a package of frozen gyozas in the bottom of my freezer. A friend brought me treats from Trader Joe’s months back since I live on a mountain in the middle of nowhere 4-6hrs from a Trader Joe’s. I made the gyozas as part of dinner and Luke discovered a new food he loves. The gyozas were filled with bok choy, carrots, ginger, onion, and some other vegetables. Super delicious dipped in soy sauce.

The Awful Pharmacy

The past 3 days have been hard. I’ve paid for my day of normalcy with pain which had kept me from sleeping well which has led to extreme fatigue. To make matters worse, the pharmacy my insurance requires that I use still hasn’t shipped the meds I ordered almost 10 days ago. I’m cutting ultrams, orphenedrines, and lexapros in half to hopefully make them last until the meds finally arrive. I take lexapro, an antidepressant, for fatigue so halving my dose is making the fatigue from not sleeping well worse. I’m afraid to take more ultram so I can sleep through the night because if I run out I’ll have to suffer through withdraw.

The pharmacy is awful. Even the lady who answers the phone is terribly rude. She’s hung up on me several times. I wasn’t rude to her in the least, but she has no patience for answering questions…which is kinda her job actually since she’s the customer service person at the pharmacy.

Work has been a pain this week as well. I haven’t gotten breaks so the only time I’ve been able to leave my desk is to use the restroom. People often call my cell while I’m in the restroom. It takes 3 min for me to walk to the rest room, urinate, wash hands, and return to my desk. People cannot wait 3 min. I have more projects than I can complete and feel constantly behind and overwhelmed. My job is designed for men who can devote their lives to work while their wives take care of the children. My job is not designed for me.

I am grateful my job pays the bills. However, my job is definitely not my life’s purpose. When I consider the things I’d rather be doing, it feels like I’m wasting my life. Fibromyalgia and RA also make what I would rather be doing nearly impossible. It’s a catch 22, really. Outside of this blog, I encourage other people and don’t complain. This is the only place I have to talk about how frustrating my job can be.

And Pay I Did…

I paid dearly for behaving “normally” yesterday. I could barely walk when I woke up this morning and I was still limping severely when I arrived at work. Coworkers stared and asked one another what was wrong with me. I wonder why people don’t just ask the person doing the limping? I’d tell them I have RA. I’d tell them I over did it this weekend and my hips, knees, and feet are reacting in typical RA fashion. Limping (or walking oddly) is something that I deal with from time to time and, while I used to be ashamed, now it’s just part of life.

All day at work I felt like I needed a shirt that explained I have RA in big bold letters so people would stop speculating. The worst speculation was that I’m limping because I’m an unhealthy, lazy, lard ass. (When you say rude things about someone, the subject always finds out through the grape vine.) Yes, I am fat. I’m over 5’7″ and weigh 240lbs. I wear as size 18. I’ve gained weight from taking steroids to control RA and because RA limits my ability to exercise. However, I’m no lazy lard ass. I’m a whole foods vegetarian and I eat that way to help control inflammation – not to make other people happy. I get up and do what I can whenever I am able because I’m tough and I get things done in spite of my diseases. How dare people pass judgement on my health based on my weight!

Losing weight doesn’t fix RA. Losing weight doesn’t fix fibromyalgia. In fact, I was much sicker when I constantly focused on losing weight! Some people are astonishingly ignorant.

Illusion of Normalcy

Today has been a bad pain day but not a bad fatigue day. I stubbornly decided to take the maximum amount of pain meds and muscle relaxers and plow through as many chores as I could while I had the energy. I will pay tomorrow. However tonight I’m glad to go to bed feeling like I’ve accomplished something.

Lately my reserves have been empty. I’ve had no extra money, energy, or time. I’ve been feeling defeated because I accomplish so little and every choice seems impossibly difficult. (I spent several days trying to decide if I deserve and can afford pants, for example.) It’s nice to go to bed with a clean house, clean laundry, and freshly dyed hair. Tonight I feel like a normal person (who doesn’t have RA and fibro) who accomplishes normal things (like cleaning the house on a Sunday.)

Keeping the Pants

I’m keeping the pants. Not because I have money to afford pants, but because a 2nd pair of pants ripped today. That leaves me with 3 pairs of pants to wear to work. Three pairs of pants is not enough. Therefore, I keep the pants I can’t really afford because I need them.  Hopefully Jonathan will earn extra this month and I will be able to afford the pants after all.

I won’t be able to purchase guaifenesin until April. I won’t be able to purchase anything until April, really.

My stomach has been terribly upset for the past 2 days. I suspect I may have a stomach virus. It is quite difficult to cook dinner for everyone when you are nauseated. Of course I persevered. They don’t know my stomach has been upset. I don’t bother Jonathan, Luke, and Oliver by telling them every little thing since I am chronically ill and often sick.

Besides, Luke has bullies to content with, Oliver is dying to go to a summer camp with horses that costs $300, and Jonathan is suffering with insomnia again. They have their own struggles.

I accomplished a lot today in spite of feeling sick. I worked from home for 9hrs and took Jonathan to pick up his newly repaired truck. Then, I washed out the big dog’s crate, did 3 loads of laundry, did 2 loads of dishes, gave the medium dog a bath, cleaned the bathroom, and cooked dinner. I’m quite proud that I sneaked shredded vegetables into the sauce for the baked spaghetti. Picky eater Oliver consumed servings of vegetables without even realizing! Parental achievement unlocked!

Luke’s Shenanigans / Keep The Jeans?

Having a rough evening with Luke. He elected not to start his homework until minutes before bedtime then stay up for an additional hour sobbing about math instead of completing his homework. Jonathan finally lost his cool and shouted at Luke because Luke has behaved badly for a few days and his homework shenanigans were the last straw.

I made it through walking 2 miles after dropping Jonathan’s car off an oil change and inspection this morning. A two mile walk up and down a hill is only possible on a good pain day. I’m fortunate to have two days good days in a row. Maybe the weather will stay temperate and I’ll have a good week? I hope so. Most of the winter has been lost to severe pain, crushing fatigue, and a host weird symptoms. Having a normal person week where I feel well enough to do normal things would be a treat.

Jonathan and I are still struggling financially. I thought I would have enough to buy a new pair of jeans this month since a pair I’ve had for years got an irreparable hole in the crotch. Now I think I’ll have to return the jeans I’ve ordered to stay on budget. Jeans are one of the few items of clothing I buy new. I’m taller than average so most jeans and slacks are 2-3″ too short. Ordering tall jeans (on sale, of course) is the only professional looking option since I wear jeans to work. If I keep the jeans, I won’t have any spending money next month. Do I keep the jeans I need, or return them just in case?

Being poor is often a series of difficult decisions. 

Normal Day; Abnormal Life

I feel…normal. Of course I have some pain today because with RA and fibro, there is never a completely pain free day, but today I feel more like a normal person. I’m not covered in a mysterious rash or barely able to walk because my feet or knees are swelling.

Days like today are the random warm spring day before and after weeks of months of freezing weather. Out of the blue, one warm beautiful normal day to enjoy yourself.

Today I woke up early, made breakfast, cleaned the house, did some laundry, then went out with a friend later for dinner. It was wonderful to have a day to do normal things – the types of things I used to do before I got incredibly sick.

I hope you all had a great weekend too. 🙂

Less Pain; More Shopping!

The pain has decreased some today. My knees, feet, and hands aren’t swelling today so I only have mild foot pain and moderate back pain. Yesterday I experienced such a high level of pain that the pain constantly intruded on my thoughts. Today I’m able to think about other things for a while. I was able to cook dinner without sneaking away to the bathroom in tears afterwards. That’s the difference between a good day and a bad day with fibromyalgia. There is always pain, but on bad days I can’t push through the pain to function.

Jonathan’s work truck broke down this evening so he didn’t get home until almost 9P when he finally asked me to pick him up. Prior to that, he insisted on working on his truck where it stopped trying to repair it enough to drive it home. Normally I parent the kids in the morning through breakfast and catching the bus and Jonathan takes over after dinner until bedtime. Since Jonathan didn’t make it home until bedtime, I was the morning parent, put in 10hrs at work, the doing all the animal chores person, and the evening parent. Thank God today was a better pain day.

I got to take a break at work today. I haven’t gotten breaks for weeks because of a project I was working on. On break I found a great deal on protein treatment for my hair – it’s normally $20 a bottle and it was marked down to $10.53. The protein treatment is sold by Sally’s Beauty Supply, but I can’t find a link to it on their website. Protein is good for curly hair as it helps strengthen the hair and form curls, otherwise curly hair can poof into a big frizzy mess. Some ladies use eggs or mayonnaise. Since I’m allergic to eggs, I can’t use either.

Also, I found two antique metal counter height stools at the consignment store next door for $70. The new replicas of the stools are listed for over $300 on Overstock. Fortunately, Jonathan earned some extra money last week so we can afford the stools. Six months ago, Jonathan built this awesome marble tile bar in the kitchen and we haven’t been able to afford stools to sit at the bar! Most of the materials used to build the bar were left overs from client jobs so, even at $70, the stools will cost more than the bar.

I love finding great deals. It’s the only way I can afford to have nice things!

Pain, Pain, Go Away

Today is a bad pain day. My hands are aching and swelling. I can’t take my rings off my left hand because my fingers are so swollen. It hurts to walk, hurts to type, and hurts to sit or lie still. Bad pain days are the sort of days that take away your mental capacity to think of anything other than how bad the pain feels. I hope the pain and swelling lighten up soon. This is mentally exhausting.

Fibromyalgia and RA can die in a fire as far as I’m concerned.