Went to see the surgeon today and discovered that I don't have a tumor after all. Good news? Yes. So what's causing all the problems? Good question. No answers. Once again, I'm on the trail of seeking answers for the pain. I do get to have a CT scan and an angiogram of my head, which should be interesting. I don't know what that will show, but it will definitively rule out the glomus tumor, which has been pretty well ruled out already. Migraines is a very good possibility I need to look into. I do get migraines and there's a good chance that this stuff is connected to that. Soooooo, I need to have that medication re-evaluated. I think I need to have all my medications re-evaluated. At this point, it wouldn't surprise me if a medication interaction was the cause of some of this. But, I'm fighting a migraine and it's been a long day. It's time to crawl into bed and try to find some kind of relief from the pain. Thank God for essential oils!
I had a very rough day dealing with life and myself, so we'll see how I do with the writing thing tonight. The first real symptoms I noticed that told me something wasn't right were the nausea and the dizziness. Now, I've got a few other issues going on, too, so it took me a while to realize that not all of this was just part of my usual package. The nausea was starting to become an almost daily thing. I was having trouble even thinking about food some days. Even with the ondansetron now, I often can't stand even the smell of some foods. I'm finding that peppermint or rosemary essential oils tend to help with the nausea, too. I also use one of my company's blends, Anchor, to help me with the nausea and the dizziness. The dizziness! Ugh! Whenever I'd get a cold or some sinus/respiratory issue, I'd always end up feeling the pressure in my right ear and have a few dizzy spells until the stuff cleared up. This time, things weren't going away. In fact, it was getting worse. I was having days where I'd have several dizzy spells more often. This started increasing to the point where I'm constantly fighting the dizziness at some point every day. Usually all day, every day. Meclizine is the prescription I've been given for that. It helps to a point. The Anchor essential oil blend helps a lot as well. Ear pain. That pretty much speaks for itself. Sometimes my ear just hurts like hell. I can't wear earbuds, earplugs, or and kind of in ear headphones or ear protection. It hurts. Sometimes even just loose, soft cotton balls hurt when my pain levels are high. Is this from the tumor or the Fibro? Good question. I really don't know. I guess I'll find this out after surgery and recovery! Today has worn me down to nothing. Time for me to get off here. There's a lot more to come of my journey down this rocky road. If you're interested, stay tuned. If not, there are plenty of more interesting journeys out there.
I'm back after being away from LiveJournal for a long time. I updated my bio to include my lovely laundry list of medical issues I've been dealing with. Most I've been dealing with for many, many years, even long before I even considered going to a doctor about any of them! The PCOS, or PTSD, for example. The Fibro, I've been diagnosed since, oh, about the mid-2000's I guess. All this is for other journal entries or even a book I've been nudged to write. Several times! I'm no stranger to health issues, obviously. So, when I started getting more and more dizzy spells and more nauseous about 3 or 4 years ago, I didn't really worry much about it. I have issues with one ear after having a severe infection in it and an allergic reaction to the antibiotics I was given for it back in the mid-80's. I have a partial hearing loss in it and have had trouble with motion sickness and stuff like that ever since. Well, that dizzy and nausea stuff started getting really annoying. I started getting some very odd type of dizzy spells, too. Not the usual vertigo, room spinning type of thing. Nope. This was more of feeling like I was controlling my legs right, or my arms. Sort of like what happens in dreams when you're trying to move, run, punch, or something like that, but you just can't get your body to get the power behind it to do the motions right. So, I decided to go to my doctor. By this point, I'm sure some people reading this have probably guessed how well that went. I'll spare you all the details. This journey started three years ago, maybe a bit more by now. I've been through three primary care doctors, a rehab doc (he was my Fibro dr, but retired, darn it), two neurologists, a gastroenterologist, and an ENT. It was my current primary care doctor who referred me to the ENT doctor who finally found out what was going on with me this past fall. Believe me, I'd heard all kinds of stuff, including that it was just panic attacks and all in my head. In a way, I guess it is all in my head. It turns out I have something called a glomus tumor jugulare in my right, inner ear. Yep. You got it. There's a tumor in my head and now I need to have it surgically removed. I've heard that this is a 1 in 1.3 million occurrence, so I guess I happen to be the lucky one. This is the unexpected turn my life's taken. Definitely not anything I could've predicted, for sure. I get to see my surgeon for the first time Friday, January 8, 2016. I'll be updating my journal after that, but sometime this week, I'll try to add an entry with some of the odd symptoms I've been experiencing. It's often hard to describe things, so I hope I can make sense of some of the weird things that seem to be going on in my brain.
Now, for my thoughts as the music flows through my head: Confusion? Pain? Depression? Lost? Deep inside, there's still music. Somewhere, some kind, it's still there. For me, the "she" here could easily be the PTSD. PTSD ties you down, breaks you, saps your strength and life, and pulls the life out of you. For those of us who are Christian, it even pulls the praise, that "hallelujah" from you. It's gone. All of our relationships, whether boyfriend/girlfriend, husband/wife, parent/child, friends, co-workers, there's a degree of trust there and some degree of love, or caring or at least some emotional attachment. Those relationships can so easily be broken, especially in someone with PTSD who has trust issues, and dissociative issues. We break more easily than we want to admit. We live in dark, secret places often. Often alone. Our love and praise can be very broken. We all seem to have our own demons hidden in these places. The fourth verse gets some people. But you know, a husband and wife are supposed to live together as one flesh. What happens when communication breaks down, one or both are hurting inside and neither one opens up? Yeah. Crash. Brokenness. When they are together as one, it's a beautiful thing, but when they are both breaking, it's another broken place. What is love? Emotion? What? In my own life, I can't really say that I've been able to put a real emotion behind that word a lot of times, even for the people I should "love". How do you love a mother you don't remember? How do you love the people who tell you, the child, to ignore the dirty old man who's molesting you? Love seems so cold, then, doesn't it? So then what? I can't always feel it, so what to do? Replace the feeling with a touch? Yep. I've tried that. I've tried to reach out and touch my family. It doesn't always work and I often fail. I'm afraid that I'm really not very good with the emotions thing, so the emotions often just get the off switch hit. Taking names in vain. Dear God, He knows I've screwed this up in the eyes of others. What name? Why? A word is a word, is a word and words can be very powerful and hurt, but they can also express our own hurt and frustration. How are we to judge the heart of a person through what they're saying when they might be trying desperately to reach out from the depths of a very dark place. Those of us who seek to follow Christ need to remember that there is a power, a bit of light, and bit of strength, in every word we speak. That includes the praises sung out of joy in church on Sunday, but it also includes the person curling up in pain, in bed, calling out to God to end the pain in a very "broken hallelujah".
*pokes head around corner and looks around* Well, it's been a very long time since I've been around here! I think I need to do some housecleaning here. Tidy things up a bit, shake out the mats, clean the cobwebs, chase the spiders out of their corners... My life's taken some interesting twists and turns. Not all bad, not all good and some that just make me sit back and think. I've managed to get my Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice, but I find I can't work the hours needed to hold a regular job because the Fibromyalgia just won't take it. I've been struggling with a lot of extra added illness this year and am looking seriously at sucking it up and putting in for disability. Don't know what that'll do to my volunteer work, but I hope they'll find a way to keep me going out there, too. Still doing my chain maille and loving it. My latest creations have been chain maille rosaries (one just sold yesterday! Yaaay!) and I've been playing with paracord. Fun stuff! You can look me up at LadyAreds on Etsy. Drop by, say hi and tell me what you think of my goodies. I've also been diagnosed in the last couple of years with PTSD: childhood onset, with dissociative amnesia. Apparently I've lived with this pretty much all of my almost 48 years of life and didn't realize it. I mean, I knew I was different, but I didn't realize how much I wasn't "normal". Recently I've been discovering just how dissociative my life has really been, finding that much of what I've spent my life doing has clinical names and other people do this stuff too! Fantasy Prone Personality, Maladaptive Daydreaming Disorder... so many dissociative disorders. Learning a lot about myself and my daughter. Making new friends along the way who understand how I think has been very rewarding, too. I've been deeply touched by a song that was made very popular by the Movie "Shrek". Mr. Leonard Cohen wrote Hallelujah, but he was a man who knew the darkness of depression and, I think, he may understand where many of us are coming from. Most of the time when you hear this song done, there's at least one or two verses left out, someone's created their own words (some of those are incredibly awesome, too!), or you may even end up with a few people complaining it's too biblical or too sexual. Can I smack some of those last few please? I'm going to take a HUGE leap of faith here and share with all of you some of the things this song has touched in me as I try to work my way through my own road to healing.
It's been a great weekend and I can hardly believe how well I've managed to make it through. The Fibromyalgia has actually been pretty level for a while, but it's acting up tonight and I'm really not feeling well tonight. I had an awesome time on Saturday at the Cop on Top event at Safeway. We have a LOT of generous people around here and I'm betting a lot of money was raised to support our Special Olympians. Only for something like this would I suck it up and allow myself to get on a lift and stand up there 19' in the air. I'm not too terribly fond of heights, but I DID IT! After I finished with that I had about enough time to run home, yank my ID off and run back out the door. This time I went to Golden Corral with my hubby to eat and go to the monthly meeting of the Christian Motorcycle Association's chapter here in Sierra Vista. Another great bunch of people. I think I may join along with my husband. I used to ride, but the Fibro would really give my hands some grief trying to control the throttle much anymore. I still love motorcycles, riding and the people who ride them. Going to have a busy week coming up. Have some craft projects to do, need to reorganize my office (again), errands to run and just generally try to keep up with life. This coming Saturday is St. Patrick's Day and I'll be working with the police department again with the VIN Etch being offered to the community again. My daughter and I plan to bring a bit of fun to the event this year with some funky, green hats, Irish music, and she's going to see if her old Irish Dance dress still fits and might even dance a few jigs or reels for fun. Should be pretty darned fun! So another busy week down, another busy week to come.
That's exactly what I'm doing tonight. Mick, my 22lb, tuxedo cat, has decided that he wants me to snuggle with him so my laptop has been shoved aside, sort of, to make room on my lap for him. I've got Lilith, my daughter's little Siamese mix, beside me, so I've got very little room for typing tonight. I actually think they want me to get off the computer and get ready for bed because that means feeding time! So I spent a few hours out at Animal Control today. Our laundry shelves that hold all our blankets, towels and cat and dog beds was in desperate need of sorting and reorganizing. Of course I didn't find out until I was already partway through and discovering what looked like mouse droppings in some of the stuff that the guys had killed a mouse in there the day before. Great. Glad I didn't find another little rodent in there. I don't really mind them, I just don't like them chewing up our good stuff! Then one of the Animal Control Officers and I packed up the pets who had been adopted and had their vet appointments tomorrow and took them over to the vet. My favorite kitty, a Siamese/Manx mix called Bonita, was one of the ones who got adopted and was the only kitty going, thankfully. She was all cuddles and purrs until I put her in the cardboard kitty carrier. Then she turned into the psycho cat from hell. She was not happy about being put in the carrier and taken for a ride and she was letting us know it loud and clear while trying to rip the carrier to shreds. We got to the vet to find that because of the construction around it they didn't have power or water. Thankfully we were still able to leave the animals there and didn't have to take them back to the shelter. I had been holding little miss Bonita in my lap in her cardboard carrier and I'm not sure her carrier, or I, would've survived the return trip! I got my kitties some little kitty beds and another kitty play tent. They're so spoiled. They're loving their new stuff, though. Lilith didn't even wait for me to lay the beds out, she just hopped onto them where I had them stacked on a chair and curled up. Silly little thing. So I now have all of our furballs in here staring at me and Brendan is getting a bit vocal about the whole thing so I guess it's long past feeding time and that means it's long past bedtime. Everyone wants their food and then snuggle up with mom.... no, we don't have much room for ourselves in the bed!
So I'm up late tonight. I really should go to bed and I've taken my medications for the night, some more powerful ones than I normally do though not my real kickers, and I already have three Lidoderm patches on and I'm still hurting. Darn Fibromyalgia. It's really trying to kick my butt today. I did manage to get some grocery shopping done, made dinner and did a load of laundry then sat back and finished my daughter's dream catcher she asked me to make for her from chain maille. It came out pretty well though there are somethings I'd definitely change if I do it again. Still I guess it's not so bad for an experiment. My daughter loves it so that's me main thing. Next time I'd use a looser "snowflake" for the center, adjust the beads a bit more and find some beading thread or filament that matches either the beads or metals in color.
I've also discovered a cat of ours has taken up reading. Yep, I walked into our bedroom and found this: I guess Brendan found my husband's college text interesting. Hope he got more out of it than my husband or I did!
Okay, I'm going to try to talk myself into going to bed. I love our new memory foam mattress and I've been sleeping SO much better with it. I'm just in a lot of pain before even going to bed so sleep won't be coming easily. Oh well. All part of life with Fibro.
So yeah, it's the end of another day. Wish I could have gotten out to the shooting range and shot the daylights out of a couple of targets but there's always too much to do. Oh well. Eventually even bad or annoying days come to and end. At least I get to go to sleep on a memory foam mattress now! Hubby found an 8" queen sized memory foam mattress for only $300 yesterday! That's just too awesome! Before I head off to that lovely bed, though, I'm passing along a link to a beautiful kitty at the shelter where I volunteer. Meet Storm: http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/20822138?rvp=1 She's been with us for quite a while now and she really could use her forever home. She's a real love, likes attention and will even enjoy talking to her people. She would make great company for someone who's single wanting a pet or a family with older children or even an older couple. She's really a great kitty. So, if anyone out there's within driving distance of south eastern Arizona, come look at Storm. She's a real doll.
I've seen a lot of my friends in various places talking about their bucket lists. I haven't seen the movie myself, but I've heard it was a really good movie. I've been pretty reluctant to make my own bucket list. I'm not sure why. I think a part of me just can't see myself living long enough to actually do anything I'd want to put on it. I've been told that kind of thinking goes along with PTSD so I'm going to try to break out of my own rut. I'm going to type out a few things I would like to put on my own personal bucket list... if I ever officially make one. But at least this is a start. I'd like to learn some different languages. I used to be pretty good at French and Spanish and I've taken a little bit of German and Irish Gaelic. So I'd really like to get back up to speed on both French and Spanish, bring up my German and Gaelic skills, then add in sign language, Hebrew, Arabic and maybe even a couple of others if I can. I'd like to go up in a hot air balloon. I'm pretty afraid of heights, but this is still something I'd like to do. I'd love to own and train a search/working dog. I'd also love to learn how to handle a military or police working dog. I'd love to take the train across Canada. Of course at the rate things are going these days, who knows how much longer this will even be possible! I've already done our local Citizens Police Academy, but I've heard that our Sheriff's department has a similar program as does our fire department and so does the FBI. I would love to attend all of them... and any others I can find as well. There's a firearms training course in Nevada that goes for either 2 or 4 days. If I could ever afford it, I want to take the 4 day course. It looks totally awesome! I've gotten to ride in an Air Force search and rescue helicopter before, but it would be really great to do it again. It's an awesome experience. It would be great to write some things that get published... wishful thinking? Maybe. One of my life's dreams is to have a bank account where I can set aside money that I can use to give where ever and when ever I see the need. Graduating from college with my bachelor's degree would be a great thing. Finding a job within my career field would be even better. Working within the FBI or CIA or another agency in DC, well, that would be the best. I may think of other things later, but this is a start for me, at least.