And God Laughs
I told God my plans and He laughed. So now I am living, laughing, and loving according to His Plans.

Ups and Downs

I wish I had something brilliant or hysterical to write about, but I have spent the last week since my Dysautonomic crash recovering and sleeping 16 hours per day or more. That was definitely one of my worse crashes and one I would like to avoid. The actual written protocol that I have in my medical binder of records and other pertinent information, because doesn't everyone have one of those, to treat a crash is to carefully infuse fluids until my blood pressure begins to rise to my normal, treat pain as needed, and call the neurologist with any questions or concerns. Living in a small town, the local drs have no familiarity with someone as complicated as me and thus my neuro wrote out a treatment plan. Also unfortunately triggers are not easily avoided. They include things like getting too warm or too cold, being in a loud environment for too long, bright lights, flashing/flickering lights, stress both emotional and physical, low blood sugar, forgetting to drink enough (because I have no sense of thirst), and pain. Stress can actually include positive emotions like being excited about something. Things I can no longer do because of the triggers include going to concerts (I love music), going to movies in theaters (I have about a 60/40 odds of triggering a crash if I go see a movie, not in my favor, from the rapid flickering of the film and the loud soundtrack), attending any crowded events, being outside in summer. Yet even if I avoid all triggers I can still crash for no apparent reason, seemingly out of nowhere. This is something that it took a long time for my family to understand, that I really was sick at virtually every family get together because it was so stressful, loud, and crowded. Now the stress has been reduced a LOT, and as you can see from the video of the wrapping paper fight I did fine this year.
This coming week I have two doctors appointments that I have delayed just a wee little bit. So I have been having almost daily fevers for the past, um, two months or so. Sometimes Tylenol works, sometimes throwing in an illegal Ibuprofen finally works, sometimes they are stubborn. I know dysautonomia impacts my body's ability to regulate temperature so I am going with that being the cause, but I have a feeling my internist is going to be a little unhappy that it has taken me two months to come in and mention this to him so we can eliminate other possibilities. Actually I am taking bets between the internist on Monday and the hematologist on Tuesday as to who is more angry with me for my "ignore it and it will go away" approach to medicine. Hematology is my yearly checkin since I am on Lovenox (injections of blood thinners) for Lupus Anticoagulant (blood clotting disorder) after having had a stroke (RIND) when pieces of two blood clots in my arm broke off and went through the hole in my heart (PFO - we did not know about it until afterwards) to my brain. I think I may be bounced back to the GI doctor/nutritionist since even though I have recovered the ability to swallow, my stomach seems only able to tolerate simple grains like corn flakes, bagels, toast, corn chips, and rice. If I eat anything more complicated, especially a protein, I become very nauseous (Thank God for Zofran!) and my stomach hurts. Yet I am gaining weight as if preparing for a famine.
I will try to write something much more entertaining this week. If nothing else I can write about freezing to death tomorrow when temperatures are in the single digits with negative windchills and I am waiting for a handicap accessible bus to take me to my doctor's appointment and the fun of wheeling through snow and slush. Tomorrow I will be wearing enough layers that I will be able to do a wicked imitation of the kid in A Christmas Story "I can't put my arms down!".
Thank you for reading this!! You Rock!!

OK, so the "too cold" trigger will be present tomorrow. No movies, no flickering lights...TV too? Geez. Yeah, eating all grains will put the pounds on...I can vouch for that. But comfort food is all you want when you are so prone to nauseousness. Good luck tomorrow!

I wish I could leave a brilliant comment but I'm a little hysterical reading about how fragile you are.

I don't care if your docs get mad so long as they give you something worthwhile.


Job 8:21

"He will fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy."

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Wild Olive

Wild Olive

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Creative Victory

This is Me

I am a thirty year old enigma who has defied every expectation ever placed upon me and refused every definition created for me. My greatest passion in life is to make a difference in the lives of children with special needs and their families. As a special education teacher I broke all of the unwritten rules to make sure that my kids received the services they needed and had a right to receive. I have never been so proud to be reprimanded before in my life. Now, due to unpredictable twists in life, I am learning first hand what life is like when you rely upon a wheelchair for mobility. I am a medical puzzle with the pieces slowly being identified and put together, and my medical bills alone could fund a small nation. It takes a village to keep me alive. :) However, I am not defined by the genetic misspellings. I am a teacher, a daughter, an aunt, a friend, a dreamer, a reader, an amateur photographer, a writer, an advocate, a star gazer, a world changer. I am stubborn, situationally shy, quick to use humor and wit to make others laugh or cope with a situation, sarcastic, fiercely independent, giving, compassionate (sometimes to a fault), protective of those I love, defiant of arbitrary boundaries, perfectionistic, self conscious, self assured (yes you can be both!), articulate and occasionally dramatic. And that is just what I could fit in two sentences! :)

Who's On First, What's On Second, I Don't Know! (Third Base!!)*

Simple Vocabulary Definitions for those who may not speak fluent medical :)

Undiagnosed Progressive Neurological Disorder- This is the diagnosis that is believed to make everything else fit together. It explains my frequent infections, my muscle weakness and dystonia, my dysautonomia, my cardiac issues, my inability to regulate blood pressure, my dysphagia, my ataxia, my severe fatigue, my extreme nausea, my gastrointestinal dysmotility and IBS like syndrome, my unbelievable migraines, my sensory changes in my arms and legs, my vision issues, my hearing loss (so much for blaming medication), and so much more. Going back to infancy and childhood, this would explain the severe apnea, the significantly delayed motor skills, the reason why I could never keep up with my peers in physical activities, the neurogenic bladder, the malfunctioning thyroid, and my frequent illnesses and vomiting. This is the diagnosis now being used since the DNA testing for Mitochondrial Disease came back odd and I can not afford the expenses of a workup at the Mayo Clinic. We are treating symptomatically.

Pan-Dysautonomia- "Pan" means that it impacts many different systems of my body, "dysautonomia" is a failure of my autonomic nervous system or the part of my brain that does all of the automatic things that do not require conscious thought like telling your heart to beat, regulating your blood pressure, adjusting your body temperature, maintaining balance in space, digesting food, hunger and thirst, etc. It is believed that I have had this from birth based upon my history of symptoms, including severe life threatening apnea as an infant, but the cause remains elusive at this time

Dystonia- abnormal muscle tone and spasticity, including painful spasms, that primarily impacts my feet and lower legs and is now starting to be a problem in my back

Ataxia- difficulty maintaining balance and coordinating/executing movements

Dysphagia- difficulty swallowing due to any number of causes including muscle weakness and poor muscle coordination

Adipsia- the absence of a sense of thirst

Other Medical Issues- Lupus Anticoagulant (autoimmune disease that causes me to tend to form blood clots and has already caused two deep vein blood clots and one mild stroke), Migraines, unknown connective tissue disorder, abnormal gastric motility, allergies, history of v-tach and severe sinus tachycardia, changes to my echocardiagram that include leaking valves and a new murmur, low blood pressure, ataxia, untreated PFO (small hole in my heart that increases the risk of stroke), chronic lymphadema in my left arm, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Narcolepsy/Idiopathic CNS Hypersomnolance (believed to be a result of the dysautonomia and my brain's inability to regulate the sleep/wake cycle), mild hearing loss, malformed optic nerves, polycystic ovarian syndrome, pernicious anemia, vitamin deficiencies

* Title comes from an old Abbot and Costello routine that I chose to memorize in 6th grade and absolutely love.