Wednesday, August 25, 2010

More August Symptoms

Just keeping a record of what's happening...going to eventually go in a file for the MDA (when they finally return my messages...sometime this century would be nice):

The heat and humidity is making me very sick. I can't be outside or drive very far without becoming short of breath, light headed, dizzy, and weak. I've almost driven myself to the ER twice while driving home from Gautier (35 minute commute). I'm having to stay indoors as much as possible. Must get a car with air conditioning ASAP. This is not a luxury, it is a necessity.

I'm still crashing daily and having to lay down often. I believe my potassium levels are fluctuating constantly due to 1. The ungodly heat 2. My IBS which is giving me trouble 3. My fluctuating pH 4. Any activity...ANYTHING...household chores, grocery shopping, standing or sitting up for too long...it's all affecting me tremendously right now. It's a good thing that my fall classes are online this semester, because I would not be able to be on campus right now.

My pH is still fluctuating in the 6's. I just ordered some sodium-free alkalizing drops to put in my water. I hope it will be the kicker in bringing me back into the safety zone. At least that will be one battle won. I'll report back once I start using the stuff.

I am having significant muscle spasms again, including charlie horses in my legs. My neck muscle (the one I strained in December that sent me to the ER throwing up and blacking out) is acting up again as of last night. It is the muscle that starts at the back of the head, goes down the neck to the shoulder blade...don't know what it's called. But when it contracts, it is like a charlie horse in my neck. I can't see or move my head, and I feel like I'm going to throw up. I took a muscle relaxer and anti-nausea to try to ward off another ER visit. So far so good, but it's been giving me grief all day and is still doing so at the moment. Will have to talk to a doc soon about this as it is not entirely safe for me to drive right now but don't have a choice.

I've contacted the MDA again about getting advocacy for disability and proper medical care, and once again, no returned phone call. They have not acknowledged me whatsoever since I started leaving messages for them months and months ago. I've even called various regional chapters, and nothing. Thanks a lot, MDA.

I am having to function in spurts. Put a load of laundry on, paint a few minutes, lay down, cook, eat, take meds, lay down, wash a couple of dishes, sit down, catch up on email, have a snack and take meds, lay down, get up and wash a couple more dishes, lay down. My best times of function is when the potassium has peaked in my system, but it's not keeping my levels stable and I crash again. There are days when I can only sit up and read...no cooking, cleaning, or painting. There are days when I function fairly well and I work like a mad woman to get things done. Most days I have to choose between tasks...do I do laundry today or clean the kitchen? I can't do both. And on days that I teach, I crawl out of bed, go teach, come home, and crash for two days. It takes every ounce of strength I have to make it through a class, and my students are having to help me set up and clean up the room. They are concerned about me as they have seen my decline. I've told them that I will teach as long as I am physically able, and I am very grateful for their help and overwhelming support.

I went up to the college the other day to pick up my textbooks, and the line was too long. I couldn't stand there, so I had to leave. I stopped for a minute and talked to a student who was standing in line, and when I told her that I switched to part time in school, she yelled "THANK GOD! You were KILLING yourself!" Even though she only saw me once a week two semesters ago, she had clearly noted my decline and told me several times that I was trying to do too much. She's right, but I feel the need to constantly prove myself to those around me that I am trying. Even though it's pretty frickin' obvious to those who are actually paying attention. If I wasn't trying, I would not be showing up to teach a painting class every week, on my feet, with half a dozen pulling muscles while sick to my stomach, weak, exhausted...and I sure as hell wouldn't be killing myself in my fourth attempt to make it through college. Thank you.

That's all for now. I can't sit up anymore.

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