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.

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. ūüôā

Hives, Hives, Hives

Well, the hives are back. At least 40% of my skin is broken out in hives and eczema. It feels like my skin might catch fire from all the itching and burning. I’ve been taking Benadryl at night so I can sleep. Even non-drowsy allergy meds make me drowsy so I try to suffer through the day applying hydrocortisone to hotspots as needed. Every day starts with a cold shower which provides a few hours of relief.

It would be great to know what’s causing this misery. I’m using hypo-allergenic everything. I moisturize with coconut oil with added vitamin E which I patch tested first – that’s not the cause.¬†Does one of the cats or dogs have fleas? Nothing shows up on a flea comb, but I’m splurging on¬†some Advantage II just in case. I haven’t changed any medications, soaps, or detergents.

I really don’t have time for this. I’ve got work to do and I need to close the income gap since Jonathan had trouble finding work this month. That means working the normal day job hours and putting in lots of hours¬†on¬†side jobs. I don’t have time to knock myself out with Benadryl because I feel miserable.

6 Months, Gray Hair, and a Very Itchy Brow

My left eyebrow itches. I can’t scratch it because it’s covered in hair dye. Yes, I dye my brows. ¬†In spite of having naturally dark hair, my brows and lashes are albino white.

This is the first time I have dyed my brows with hair color. Normally I color them with eye liner morning. Thank goodness for youtube. I looked up several tutorials on brow coloring for fear the color would drip into my eyes. In the end, I decided to outline my brows in a thick layer of vaseline to prevent the dye from dripping into my eyes and also from staining my skin.

It’s been nearly 6 months since I last dyed my hair. Partly because I have been dying my hair for the past 13 years and wanted to see how much more gray it has become during that time and partly because the past 6 months have been a whirlwind of events, activities, to-do lists, and 60+hr work weeks.

I now have a thick white-grey streak of hair on the front right. If I had a fringe, the steak would be 3/4″ wide over my right eye. My head is populated with random streaks of white-grey hair now. The natural color has turned from medium warm brown to a dark ashy brown. Perhaps I would be upset about this if I hadn’t started getting a slew of gray hair at 18.

I didn’t start dying my hair because of the gray, but because cutting or dying my hair was outlawed by my strictly Christian parents growing up. It was more for adventure than rebellion because I hadn’t lived with my parents for 2yrs or more at the time. In addition to having a different hair color, I was pleased to find that the dye had a smoothing effect on my bushy, coarse, wild hair. The curls were more relaxed and my hair was smoother and shiner and for 13yrs this was my primary motivation for dying.

About 6 months ago my dad asked what my hair color was. I’m not sure how one forgets their child’s natural hair color, but he had. I guess I have grown my hair out for my dad as much as for myself.

I hate tennis shoes

I hate tennis shoes. I don’t like the way they make my feet look like giant, puffy, marshmallows. I don’t like the ridiculous multi-colored neon combination, but most of all I don’t like that tennis shoes almost always include white.

My rheumatologist and chiropractor both recommend that I wear tennis shoes because my legs are slightly crooked and because I have rheumatoid arthritis. Obviously I’ve been avoiding this recommendation because I find tennis shoes so hopelessly style-less. However, because 2 medical professionals agreed on something, I’ve tried to look for acceptable tennis shoes.

After almost a year, I looked for solid back tennis shoes and last week, I finally found a pair. Yesss! I can finally wear tennis shoes without having embarrassing marshmallow feet.

The Rabid Skunk

There is a skunk that trolls my front porch occasionally. It’s unusual for skunks to be so comfortable around people so I suspect it may be rabid. My neighbors and I have called animal services, but no one has been able to trap the skunk.

Lately, the skunk has been showing up more often and tipping over my paper recycling. How odd. Normally a skunk would be attracted to trash, pet food, or some other type of food stuff. But news papers???

The most annoying thing about the skunk is that his presence upsets the dogs. They start leaping and hopping and hurling themselves at the door. Usually the skunk just waddles off but I’m seriously concerned the dogs are going to spook the skunk one night and it’s going to spray the porch.

How on earth would I ever remove the scent of skunk spray from the porch? I get to work more than 60hrs a week then come home to deal with this? Greeeeeaaaat.

21 Days and Counting

I will have worked 21 days in a row as of Friday. This is just counting the day job, but I’ve averaged 60hrs+ a week. It’s exhausting; the type of schedule that is almost certainly followed by an arthritis flare. My brain feels like melted cheese moments from oozing out of my ears. ¬†My hair hasn’t been dyed for months. Some of my toenails are missing polish and the rest have chips and growth marks. I feel like an old hag and am starting to look the part.

At least my pain level has decreased lately. I know it’s only a matter of time until another flare, but at least I’m not working like this thru a flare.

I’d just like a break, you know? Of course I’d like a day off to rest but at this point I’d settle for a day off to do a few loads of laundry.

What a Week…

Everything went wrong at work this week. Because of the nature of my job, I can’t be any more specific.

I tried to confide in Jonathan, but Jonathan’s days are always worse no matter how bad my day has been. ¬†If everything breaks at work, I’m running a low grade fever, my pain level is high, the dogs vomit everywhere, and I barely slept the night before , Jonathan’s ¬†got it worse somehow. ¬†I’m going to

My only set of sheets has an enormous hole. I really don’t have money to replace them and the hole is too large to patch. ¬†So many items in the house have broken this week that I just can’t keep up with the repairs. I’m already behind on chores due to my weeks long struggle with back pain.

My best friend is having a miscarriage. She’s only 6 weeks along. The condom broke. She expressed amazement that I’ve endured the pain of two miscarriages. Miscarriages are painful, but it’s nothing compared to the crushing electric nerve pain I experience in my back. ¬†I’m so sorry she’s going through such an awful experience alone. Her boyfriend didn’t know she was pregnant. She doesn’t plan to tell him.

How is it that nearly every woman except me can conceive after just one accident? I tried to conceive for 4yrs and became pregnant only once to miscarry 6 weeks later. ¬†All these people with their children and families and ability to have children and families… It makes me miss what I can’t have.

I should stay up tonight and try to accomplish some things, but I just don’t have the energy. I don’t even have the energy to dye my hair tonight.

The Zen Art of Finger Nail Painting

I’ve just finished painting my nails. There’s something zen like about carefully painting each nail first with a thin rubber base coat, then a thin coat of translucent veil color, then second, then a thick coat of clear.

Overall I felt better today. My back pain has decreased. Unfortunately the medication I’ve had to take for my back has caused gastritis. This happens every time. The lining of my stomach becomes inflamed followed by constant pain and heartburn for the next week or more.

I’ve been tired today. Not miserably tired, just tired. I’d like to set a goal to wake up at 5AM or earlier since I feel very tired in the evening. However, I also don’t enjoy waking up in the morning. Choices.

Off to bed. The workout DVDs arrive tomorrow.

Stagnation, Relationships, and Expectations

Being chronically ill is a lonely business. I wonder if everyone else who is chronically ill feels this way. I’m sure everyone doesn’t, but I wonder if most people do.

My “peers” are all married, in relationships, and having families. Meanwhile, I’m sitting at work struggling through pain to keep my job or I’m home fighting my body and fatigue to finish basic household chores everyone else takes for granted. I feel like I’m lagging behind…losing ground. Everyone else is advancing with their goals and their lives and I’m stagnating.

Marinating in a job that doesn’t interest me. ¬†In a pseudo-relationship with a man who seems only partly committed. Struggling against my illness to maintain my house. Others think I struggle because I’m female, but that’s not the case. I struggle because my immune system is consuming me and nothing makes it stop. Fatigue. Constant pain. Swelling. Nothing makes it stop.

Say Jonathan wanted to marry me. This would be our second marriage. He has two kids. I’m incapable of having kids and I have a debilitating illness. How long would that marriage last? Suffering for debilitating pain and requiring my partner to care for me, how long can I expect any relationship to last?

This is the worst part of chronic disease. It’s not the pain or other symptoms, but the result of suffering from so much pain. This is the toll of talking about it.