Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ugh, my back.

"On your left!"
That's what bicyclists are supposed to say when they pass you on the trail.
However, the meat-head who was zooming along with headphones and no helmet didn't know this rule.
Don helped out my back a little today but my neck still hurts.
I'm cranky. And my social policy homework is intimidating.

Friday, September 24, 2010


Man, I've been bitching a lot lately, haven't I?
I apologize.
But seriously, I'm going to bitch about my sciatica now, mmmkay?
I've been having that "twinge" in my butt for a bit over a day.  Last night it hit around a nine on the pain scale- I could still walk but I was whimpering and sobbing.  Not my most bad-ass moment.  I managed to get some sleep.  (Thanks, Vicodin!) However, I woke up still in pain, still walking funny, and dreading those desks at school.  I seriously considered champing it.  I am a bad-ass... regardless of crying into my pillow at midnight.

In the end I thought I could miss just this one.  And hey- I could use my day off to call my Rheumy!
Oh yeah... he's off on Fridays.  Rich bastard.  Social Workers will never probably never be able to have leisurely three day weekends every week.  Except for furlough Fridays... but don't even get me started on those...
There I go digressing again. Anyway- Dr. Mansour was off today.  I thought maybe my PT (Don) could work some magic.  He was entirely booked up.  I gritted my teeth and called my primary.
Quick background on my relationship with her:

  • In order to see specialists (Rheumies, for example) you need a referral.
  • Referrals come from Primary Physicians. Sigh.
  • She's HUGE on vaccines.  It's quite annoying to remind her, yearly, that I don't do the flu shot.
  • She's big on telling me about my diseases.  This drives me BONKERS. "You know, with lupus there's increased sensitivity to the sunlight so you should always wear sunscreen and just avoid the sun as much as possible."  No kidding?!  Thanks for the FYI, Dr. Obvious. "People with lupus often experience fatigue as a part of their condition." OMG.  Is this why I'm so tired all the time?! Thanks for the insight!
I should have gone to med school.
Wow, there goes my bitching again...

So, I don't really enjoy going to see her. Today she was helpful, though.  She gave me a shot of something that seemingly has reduced my pain down to around a 4.  However, this shot was in my ass.  For the first hour after receiving the shot I couldn't tell if the nerve pinching hurt more or if the injection site did.  

But, after a three hour nap I think I'm less cranky about the whole shot-in-the-ass thing.  I'm hopeful that Cassie and I will still be able to go wine tasting and apple picking tomorrow.  Apple Hill should be beautiful.  I'm taking my camera.  

I guess I should just be happy that I found something that made me feel a little better.  But seriously, the injection site still hurts.  


Have a great weekend everyone!  

My bed buddy today...

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Yeah, that's a mouthful.
For most of today and yesterday I've been having chest pain.  I didn't know the name of it until today.  My doctor just told me that there's interconnective tissues all throughout your body.  This includes the place where your rib cage connects to your sternum. Lupus attacks those tissues... add it up.   
I think especially for folks with a history of asthma- having difficulty breathing is pretty scary.  If you also happen to have knowledge of some of the pretty bad things that lupus can do (fluid in your heart, lungs) then the feeling of weight on your chest is terrifying.
I remember calling Dr. Mansour the first time it happened last year.  I went into this big long monologue about how I know it's not an asthma attack, but I took my inhaler anyway and it didn't work and now I'm jittery and then I thought maybe I was having an anxiety attack but I wasn't worried about anything but now I'm REALLY worried and OH MY GOD AM I HAVING A HEART ATTACK?!
Dr. Mansour's response: "Does the pain go down your arm?"
Me: "No... IS THAT BAD?!"
Dr. Mansour:  "You're fine, but if it persists for longer than a day call me back".
                    .......Whoops.  Probably shoulda called him today.
I'll do it tomorrow morning.  I just thought I would inform you all about this very-hard-to-pronounce perk that comes with my lupus.

Be jealous.  

Have a good night, everyone!

Ah, PT...

Now, I can't state that I'm at 100% after physical therapy today, but I can tell it helped.  I felt like a bit dork just floating in the pool and moving my legs around, but at the same time I think I needed to feel weightless for some time.
Mary (No Don for me today) worked on me before the pool.  Whatever she did, the sciatic pain I was feeling this morning is no longer shooting down my leg, making walking difficult.

I took advantage of this moment of feeling-like-I-could-walk to go to Target.  Ever since grad school, lupus, etc., my nice NY&Co pants I bought for court early last year are a bit... *clears throat*... snug. So, I needed to rectify that.  On Sunday I have to go buy some new black slip-ons and maybe some new homevisit shoes.  I feel like people have been staring at my black tennis shoes...  And then something happened to the buttons on my other ones...

That something's name is Spartacus.

It's always fun to go buy new work shoes, though:
"Uh, yes, saleslady?  I need some sort of black shoes that are comfortable, easy to run in at a moments notice, totally closed-toed because I may be stepping in feces, but still stylish.  Preferably I could wear them to court too, hopefully without setting off any metal detectors...  Oh, and maybe a bit cheap, too- just in case I need to burn them instead of trying to clean them off.  Do you have anything like that?"
I think I'm going to check out Payless first.  If I find good homevisit/office shoes there I'll let myself buy some cuter flats for court and date nights.

I need to get to my homework, though.... preferably before I fall asleep next to this adorable dog who is napping on the bed.  Could YOU resist that face?  Not a chance!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Darn my ambition!

I had this strange desire to go to the gym on Monday.  I got home around six and Kevin insisted that he could finish up dinner and that I should take my homework and chill out on the elliptical awhile.

....sooo I went....

               .....guess how that went...

It was actually great.  Well, the gym was crowded and full of the "professional" crowd (color coordinated gym clothes, using their blackberries in between sets, full-on makeup, lots of flirting.... isn't there anywhere else to meet people after work?) so I couldn't get the arc trainer I wanted.  Also, I'm the kind of person who likes a machine in the corner away from judgmental stares or people who happen to glance at my textbooks (Sexual Abuse in Nine North American Cultures was a fantastic gym read but I think people thought I was weird).  I didn't get an arc trainer and I was right next to the walkway.  Oh, well.

I worked up a great sweat, regardless.  I felt really proud of myself for conquering that voice in my head that told me that I had too many responsibilities to take time off to go to the gym.  Kevin was actually the one to do the conquering, but whatever.  I love him for it.  He even did the dishes.

Poor guy has to choose between his wife getting fat and doing the dishes.  I think grad school has been harder on him than me.

Ever since then my hips have been SCREAMING at me.  Tonight it's hard to put weight on my right side.
Goddamn husband forcing me to go to the gym.
.... I kid, I kid!
But seriously, I think I see a happy pill in my future.

I just can't believe that I went to the gym on Monday and I'm still suffering.  All I as trying to do was be healthy.  A less awesome person would be bitter about this.

Thankfully, I have many things that are keeping me going today.  I have TWO cases at work that I'm a part of.  I wish I could jump in more, but a bureaucracy is a difficult machine to work in.  I'm still not positive how all the cogs work.  Also, Kevin and I decided that if I ignore the candy dish at work 2/3 of the days I'm there in a month then we'll go to FroYo, my new favorite frozen yogurt place.  Nothing like rewarding yourself for not eating candy by eating delicious fat-free frozen yogurt.
                                 .....with crushed oreos on top.
And Cassie comes to town on Friday!  We're going to make applesauce, apple galette, and harvest cake (for the G-parents.  Plus, wine.

We like wine.  :-D

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Just a quick post.

I haven't written in a week.  Such is the life of a socialworkergradstudentwife.
I was planning on posting due to the arrival of my monthly friend (who I haven't actually seen in months).  I, frankly, was not expecting it, but it's always nice to be reminded that I'm not quite going to be a mother just yet.  I also was not expecting how different my period and its symptoms would be on this new birth control pill.  It used to be that I would have back pain and cramps within the first couple hours of my period making its debut.  At the most, I would go to sleep with pain and wake up feeling fine.  Not anymore, it would appear.  My back was constantly aching.  It was a ton of fun.
This is what made physical therapy yesterday so awesomful (awesome and awful, if you're new).  All that aching had done some major damage, it appeared.  Don tortured me for a good half hour.  I was swearing, near-crying, squirming, and I damn near kicked Don in the head while he worked his magic on my lower back and my sciatic nerve.  After I recovered from nearly dying I got a great workout in the pool.
....and then I went to the movies and had a sushi dinner with friends and ruined all that lovely progress I made.
Oh well.
But, I have decided that I will continue going to PT once a week on Thursdays.  If I tell myself it's a medical appointment I won't break it for homework.  If I pencil in "workout" instead I will certainly end up reading about Schizophrenia instead.
...which is what I'm supposed be doing now.
Maybe I'll do better this week.  I'll walk the dog in the evenings, give myself hand treatments in the warm paraffin wax, ignore the candy dish at work.... I'll be awesome!  Or I could be just as "fly by the seat of my pants" as I always am.

....BTW, best bud Cassie comes in on Friday.  I'm hoping for some wine tasting, a picnic, some cooking, and some time apart from Kevin.  I love my husband, but you all know what I mean.  :)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Mr. Cyst Update

He's still there... not hurting all the time... but he lurks.  And then he surprises me with occasional bursts of pain.  Or, he ruins what was proving to be a very romantic evening.  I'll leave the details at that.

Ultrasound in around 4 weeks.

Sexy Torture Devices

Last night I went to a semi-formal event at Intel.  It was "Vegas Night" and they had blackjack, poker, craps, roulette, huge shrimps and cake.  Those shrimps were delicious.  And the cocktail sauce.  Mmmmm.

I digress.

Kevin and I took "semi-formal" literally and so I wore my LBD (Little Black Dress) and heels while Kevin wore his suit.  As usual, there were some assholes (pardon my language) who showed up in jeans, but we weren't the most dressed up people either.  In fact, we looked pretty darn good.  Was it worth the two hours of prep time (shower, blow-dry, straighten, makeup, get dressed)?  Probably not.  I'm very fortunate to have married a man who loves how I dress and thinks I'm beautiful with the bare minimum of makeup (Mascara. MAYBE powder foundation.). What made it REALLY worth is was that Kevin bought me an In-N-Out burger on the way home.  He even remembered to ask for extra pickles.  Be still my heart.  :)

The point of this post, however, was to discuss my sexy torture devices.  I bought them for Brian and Maggie's Wedding to go with a hot little dress I had found.  I could go into the horror story about that dress and the wedding but then I'd be digressing again...

They are gladiator style and they buckle around the ankle.  They're hot.  And they're high.  And they hurt.  It wasn't too bad when we were standing in one spot near the blackjack tables last night, but as we walked around to get food or even to leave it was taking serious concentration to not whimper with each step.  The balls of my feet were dying!

And, as I took them off and crawled into bed last night I noticed immediate pain in both of my hips and my lower back.  That was really amazing.  I probably only wore those sexy torture devices for around 2 hours, but here I am, paying for it today.

In conclusion?  Next semi formal event I'm going shopping for some pretty flats.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Here we go!

School officially started last week and I survived it.

Mr. Cyst has decided to calm down a bit.  He still hurts occasionally but he's not interfering with too much of my activities.  I wanted too go for a bike ride this weekend but my PT, Don, told me to give it another week.  I've also been opiate-free since my last post.  Woohoo!

My classes are on Fridays from 9-3.  I took healthy snacks and a low-cal lunch and I survived the day without eating something that made me feel bad about myself.  During my second class we were given a break and I went to Java City and treated myself to an iced green tea.  Instead of my usual Splenda sweetener, I asked for one pump of passionfruit flavoring.  It was quite delicious and probably only added around 20 calories to my drink.  Yes, it's probably made from HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup) but you have to remember to live a little.  Also, I'm not sure they make flavored syrups with natural cane sugar.  Anyone know?

My only issues with my education versus my health was that my sciatic nerve gets pinched really easily in those damn desks.  It makes me cranky.  This was really a factor in the 2nd class of the day (12-3 pm), where the professor insisted that we be "mindful" of how our actions affect the class and the discussion.  I couldn't figure out how the class would be affected by my standing up and rubbing my arse... so I just sat there and tried to ignore it.  :-D

This weekend was spent trying to enjoy the last weekend that I won't be super bogged down with papers and studying.  Kevin and I just enjoyed each others' company and toasted our final bottle of Korbel champagne to me being in my final year of grad school. Last night was our Fantasy Football draft for our League.  My brothers, Brian and David, have joined and I'm really looking forward to sharing this experience with them.  I feel like I don't talk to them enough and the football season allows for lots of smack-talking.  I also hope I beat them, but that's less my sisterly side and more my competitive bitch showing through. I'm not perfect.

I begin my internship tomorrow, one day later than everyone else due to some confusion around who my supervisor is.  I'm using the day for homework and thesis. I've already made great progress on the questionnaire for my project and now that I have a freshly brewed glass of iced coffee I think it's time to move on to my readings for practice class.  The book is called Clinical assessment and diagnosis in Social work practice by Corcoran & Walsh.  The title suggests I'll be bored to death.  We'll see.

I can survive just one more year of school.  Just two semesters.  I can do this.



Thursday, September 2, 2010

Going on the offensive!

Mostly I'm just attempting to figure out how to make these first weeks of school and internship work.  It's not like I'm going on the offensive against Mr. Cyst.  I'd love to do that, but I don't think that's an option. 
I went to campus yesterday to do some research and go to a couple meetings.  In between the idiots in the parking garage, walking all over campus, and dealing with just two items on my to-do list I was exhausted by two o'clock.  The walk back to my car with my backpack was brutal- my lower back was killing me and my ovary was causing me to hunch over like an old lady.  The drive home was worse- my heavy eyelids were causing very real thoughts of dying in a fiery car crash to pop into my head.  Did I mention that I only took ibuprofen that morning?
I came home, popped a vicodin, and immediately passed out for a three hour nap with Spartacus.  Did I mention one of the BEST things about my dog?  Even if he's been napping all day it seems like he'll gladly join you on the bed for another round of Z's.  It's awesome. 
Then in the evening I decided to forgo pain killers at bed time for a couple glasses of wine.  Not a super great idea.  I could barely fall asleep and when I did I awoke often.
So, as far as going on the offensive I'm not doing too well today.  I'm already exhausted.  The only walking I have to do is at the grocery store.  Then I'll come back home and work on my Human Subjects application for my thesis. 
I'm also going to put in a call to my doc to see when I should start exercising again.  It seems my pain is going to stay awhile and I'm wondering if I could go for a bike ride and just ignore it.