Friday, January 28, 2011

2010 Recap #2: Falling down.

Fall #1. If I recall correctly, this was in March. I may be wrong on that, but that is what seems right. My car was broken. I think this was when something was seriously wrong with the brakes. I drove it to the garage down the street a little ways, maybe half a mile or a mile from home. It was an unseasonably warm day, and had been raining all week. I was wearing flip-flops, I had actually taken off to go somewhere.. the store or somewhere else that didn't require serious shoes. It was on the way the THE NOISE started, so I just drove right to the garage. I started to walk home, despite bad shoe-ishness. I slipped on some mud right after I started and went down on the knee - right into more mud and gravel. There was gravel embedded in my knee. I tried to call Debbie for a ride at this point, but she didn't answer. I had to walk all the way home, which now was a BIG DEAL. By the time I reached home there was blood running down my leg. Picking out the gravel really hurt! I survived, but had a small scar afterward....
Then came... Fall # 2! (May) I was walking on the "Rails to Trails" trail with Garet. I must have turned my ankle and down I went landing on, you guessed it... my left knee again! The trail is cinder-type gravel, but no gravel stuck in this time. It was a much deeper wound this time!
Despite the knee wound being deeper, the more serious part was on the right side. I didn't even notice it at first because the knee hurt so bad. Once again, the walking home the time we walked a little way I realized my ankle kind of hurt along with the knee. By the time we actually got to the neighborhood it was pretty damn painful. I kind of wanted to ask Garet to go get the car and come back for me, but I didn't want to be a baby, so I kept on walking. Duh! Poor choice!
Fall #3. December 19. Michael got a well-paying, professional gig, playing for the Cardinal Stage Company production of "A Christmas Carol." As a performer he got comp tickets for one show so I got to go see him without spending the thirty bucks, YAY! After the show Michael, Travis (a fellow performer with Michael), and I were walking to the car. I unwittingly hit a patch of pure ice on the sidewalk, slipped and went down on... you guessed it... the left knee, followed by an equal and opposite reaction which then involved the left hip (my bad one, of course - everything that is bad on me is on the left side, no wonder left means "evil!"). This picture is two days after the fall. Please note the reddish-colored, triangular scar from Fall #2.
Strangely, however, that bruise didn't go away. It grew and grew, ultimately reaching all the way to my ankle. It was funny, though, I didn't really limp, didn't feel like I needed to. The knee was extremely tender to touch, however, and especially at the end of the day the joint inside was very sore and painful. Ten days after the fall it looked like this...
January 26 it looked like above, still a bump and some bruise, still sore, especially at night.
January 16 it looked like above. Sorry the pictures are out of order.

Somewhere in there, I think about two weeks after the fall I went to Dr. Karin. She worked on it, but it was so tender she didn't do too much. She said we'll let it heal some more and then explore it again. When I went back she touched it a little deeper and guess what... I totally screamed in her office! She said for it to still be that bad, there has to be a bone broken in there! Yes, you can break your knee! She said I could go get an x-ray if I wanted to confirm it. I asked if she would do anything differently if we had an x-ray and she said no, you don't cast knees. You have to keep your knee moving or you use mobility. If you're amazed I will back her up by testifying that when I broke my elbow - yes you can break your elbow too, and I saw the x-ray on that and it was broken literally to pieces - the orthopedic surgeon said the same thing about joints. As a matter of fact I went to physical therapy for the elbow for months and still lost a certain percentage of mobility. I saw Dr. Andry sometime in the last couple of weeks and he said the same thing about keeping it mobile. For some reason the fact that it is broken totally upset me. I saw her again today and she worked on it some more.

End of recap #2 in other health news...

I mentioned that I saw Dr. Andry. We have switched around my medicines again because I have been feeling SO bad. I haven't been able to go to the dancefit classes since about the second week of November... I was at hip-hop one night and became so ill I thought I was going to pass out or die. Apparently I looked like it too, based on the other class members' level of concern! In the end it took about four weeks to determine that it was a newly prescribed potassium supplement that made me so ill. Ironically, I was just starting to feel better from that when I fell and broke my knee! So I haven't been able to do much exercise when I had been doing about four fifty minute classes a week. I started with belly dance only three Mondays ago because it doesn't really have any impact, but even it makes my knee hurt by the end. I tend toward depression and probably have SAD. Last year I started buying full spectrum light bulbs and have one in every room (maybe two years ago - was that when Katie lived here?). This year, however, it is really bad. It is probably part of the reason I haven't been writing much. I cry a lot, my sleeping is off, my eating is strange - basically everything is wrong. One of the things we did - "we" meaning Dr. Andry and I - was decide that I need an anti-depressant, so I started Welbutrin. I have taken it before and it seemed to help. It's been about 10 days (I just looked at the bottle to figure that out, smart huh?). I don't really feel better yet. Most anti-depressants have a cumulative effect and Welbutrin is among them, so it might take a couple of weeks.

I saw Karin again today. The minute I walked into the office I started crying. I had a VERY BAD night last night. My left leg (see, the left side) has some kind of lymph problem and swells a lot. Yesterday it got bad while I was at work. I felt really bad. I went to bed early, but awakened in the night in a lot of pain. My leg and foot were so swollen that the skin was stretched so tight it hurt. Because I can't take the potassium supplement I had to cut back the diuretics, so now it has been long enough that my leg was terrible, despite a fantastically expensive "lymphatic drainage massage" thrown in there. At some point in the night I was bawling, and wanted to call Debbie and ask her to take me to the Emergency Room. At the same time I figured there was nothing they could do about it and it would cost a thousand dollars so I didn't do it. As Karin worked on my leg - not just my knee, she also did some lymphatic massage and stuff - I cried and talked. By the end of my visit I actually had an ankle again AND a diagnosis! I am going to copy the email I sent the her tonight below titled "It All Makes Sense"

"Adrenal Fatigue" + Menopause, or at least pre-menopause.. yesterday at work I had a moment when I said, "My gosh. I suddenly feel like I have a fever. Maybe this isn't just sinus, but a fever and I've really been sick all this time." I didn't even think to register "hot flash." Part of the reason I haven't been able to sleep is because half the night I am freezing and the other have I am burning up...

I think also instinctively I have known what nutrients I need... in the past couple weeks or so I have bought supplements of B-Complex, D-3, and magnesium and kept thinking I should start taking the fish oil again. Everything I have read lists so many of my symptoms I feel like screaming, "YES!" It makes me feel like I'm not just crazy, only a little bit crazy, but have something real, too. Too bad there's not a magic pill to make it all better.

It also makes sense that it would become worse since Michael moved away from home, not because of Empty Nest sadness, but because I haven't been cooking as much, and despite my goal of eating more whole foods, have been eating more processed foods and eating out more often. While he was at home, even when I was baking I was subbing almond meal and flax meal in baked goods to try to give HIM more fats. We'd also eat lots of quinoa and more whole grains... I think the last batch of quinoa I bought I haven't used one bit of.

After I left your office I didn't go back to work -which I had already planned and had okayed before I left. I went to the store to buy assorted unnamed beverages, came home and ate a little bit and drank some unnamed beverages and slept until about 5:30. I woke up and called Gillian because we had talked about going out tonight to the puppet show Michael was playing in for girl's night, but our plan had become ethereal by the time I felt so bad and left work. We decided not to go. I ended up feeling better after sleeping and talking on the phone to Gillian and another friend. I went to the puppet show and was amazed by the brilliance of my son and his friends and fellow performers. I also saw a guy who had been at the yoga workshop last night and felt positive enough to go over and talk to him. I told him I wanted him to see me when I was happy so he'd know I didn't cry ALL the time!

So now I am staying up too late, as usual - another symptom I noted!I plan to blog and then try to sleep again so I can feel better tomorrow.

THANK YOU for giving a name to the summary of all my symptoms. gave me a sense of relief in itself, PLUS something new to research on the internet. What fun! :)

So yeah, I am only a little crazy. Thank God/Goddess. I am going to talk to Dr. Andry about it too the next time I go. He will probably try to prescribe something else! I jokingly refer to him as "Prescriptions "R" Us" I have an essay in mind to write about him with that title. I DO think he is a good doctor, however. I think it's kind of funny because his father is a chiropractor and Dr. Andry Jr. has a big wooden plaque in his office with the quote all chiropractors display, about good medicine is about care of the spine, yet he became an allopathic M.D. and writes prescriptions like crazy.

"The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease."

-Thomas Edison, Inventor

Well my goodness. It is incredibly late. Despite my sleeping this afternoon I need to get to bed. Somehow I thought making a mostly picture post would be quick. I should know better. At least this is my real self and not my sick, depressed self. Writing compulsively is the norm for me! I plan to post pictures of the puppet shows on facebook tomorrow. I thought I would do them tonight, but it's too late now. I will demonstrate a modicum of common sense! Surprised?

Good night!

Editing to add: "Unnamed beverages" refers to Gatorade. They make a sugar free version of it now. I have been drinking a quart of it every day because of the electrolytes and not being able to take the potassium. If your potassium gets too low wake-up-screaming-in-the-night leg cramps occur and they are NO FUN. Karin doesn't like me to drink it because of the sucralose. The "alternative medicine" crowd are VERY against artificial sweeteners.

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