Wednesday, June 30, 2010

And the Total is now.....

28 tubes of blood and 2 cups of pee.  Today's contribution was 4 tubes and 1 cup.  Surely, we can finally get a diagnosis this time.  (Okay, all together now...."don't call me Shirley!")

Got an e-mail from Ginger.  One of the swimmers made it to the finals.  I don't know anything more yet.  Ginger met the Crown Prince of Bahrain and got his picture.  All kinds of fun stuff.  I'm just ready for her to be home.  A week is long enough.  She arrives at the Dayton Airport on Sunday afternoon, just in time to get home, have dinner, and sit out in the front yard to watch the mega-fireworks.  It will be a good day.

We almost had a disaster here at home yesterday.  I saw Snowflake (the albino squirrel) and other critters in the backyard rummaging for peanuts, so I opened the door to go outside and oblige them.  The two furry princesses (Thelma and Louise, the wonder kitties) were right there ready to run out on the patio.  Snowflake sees me and also comes running down the hill onto the patio to get her peanutty goodness.  Louise sees Snowflake.  Snowflake sees Louise.......and the chase is on!  They both take off like bats out of hell.  I'm yelling at Louise to stop.  Snowflake is half way up a big bush and looking at me like I'm Salome and she's about to be the head of John the Baptist while Louise is poised at the bottom of the bush.  So I go get Louise.  Being the good kitty that she is, she comes right back over to the patio.  I go up to the top of the hill and start tossing the peanuts around.  Louise stays put.  Snowflake climbs down the bush and comes up to the top of the hill.  All is well.  Whew!  Never a dull moment around here.

So I guess you all are probably getting tired of all this "day in the life" stuff.  Nothing witty or life changing.  No diet news.  No book talk.  Which reminds me.....someone who shall remain nameless (PEGGY! PEGGY! PEGGY!) wrote to me yesterday, "aren't you supposed to be writing?"  Well, hey, I've been doing a lot of word pushing this week for work.  And I've blogged a lot this week, which is more than I can say for someone who shall remain nameless (PEGGY! PEGGY! PEGGY!).  :-)  (Time out for a commercial.  If you want to read Peggy's blog, it's here on Blogger/Blogspot/Whatever and it's called "To Ponder, To Chortle, To Weep".  And it's good.)

Seriously, there will be some talk here about the diet and the book soon.  I can tell you that I haven't lost any weight and I haven't written a word of the book.  I can also give you 10 or 20 excuses, none of them worthwhile.  I've been doing a lot of thinking this week, some contemplation, a little self-examination.  Ever since I turned 30, I try to have at least one mid-life crisis per decade, and I think I'm having the crisis for my 50's now.  Nothing like being in a good blue funk to make you clear out the cobwebs and figure out what's important.  So I'm a little busy right now clearing and figuring.  I'll write more about that later.

In the meantime, I'm going to Joey and Tommy's graduation party on Friday night and then fetching Ginger from the airport on Sunday.  I'll be doing some mass cleaning of the house and some outside work on Saturday so the place looks fabulous when Ginger walks through the door.  So it will probably be just a few days before I'm blogging again, unless I hear from Dr. OhMyAchyBody about the labs I did today.

Everyone have a fun and safe holiday.  Happy 4th of July!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

We're Up to 25 and other Odds and Ends

And maybe more.  I got a call today from Kathy at the office of Dr. OhMyAchyBody.  I will be reporting to their lab tomorrow at 1:30 PM to part with more blood and pee in their cup.  (Better their cup than mine!) I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to that.  Not.  The next tube of blood will be number 25.  I wonder if I get a free microwave or something when I hit number 100.

I had the weirdest thought today.  (My random thought generator has been in overdrive all day.)  I was officially diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 1995, and so I have now officially had 5,475 consecutive days of pain (not counting leap year days or all the months I had the pain before I finally got a diagnosis).  If I live to be 80, there will be at least 8,395 more days of pain.  Not that I'm complaining.  Excedrin is good to me. :-) It's just that I find those numbers mind boggling.  It doesn't take much to entertain me.

Today in Bahrain, the temperature was up to 103 degrees.  Yuck!  Out in Vegas and near Phoenix where I have family and friends, it's not unusual for the temp to hit 112 or 115.  My sister always said, "But it's a dry heat, it's not so bad."  Baloney!  That's freaking hot!  You can fry eggs and burn toast on the sidewalk in that kind of heat.  Anyway, I haven't heard from Ginger yet about how the International Children's Games are going, but I have had a couple of e-mails from her.  She said that her hotel is fabulous and the food is magnificent.  I can't wait to see all the pictures she's taking.

So yesterday I was in my usual stall in the ladies' room at work.  No one in the bathroom but me, myself, and I.  Another woman comes in and sits down in the stall right next to me.  I swiftly move my feet over so she can't recognize me by my shoes.  Pretty smooth, huh?  But I recognize her shoes.  It's the same woman who brushes her teeth in there every afternoon.  Now I ask you: would you brush your teeth in a public restroom?  I've read that when a toilet is flushed, bacteria and microscopic poopy flecks come barreling out of the bowl at 600 miles per hour.  Even with the stall door closed, you know that potty sludge has to fly right over and under the door and straight to her toothbrush.  EWWWW!  I'm all for good dental hygiene, but that's too much for me.  I'd rather just chew sugar-free gum after lunch and brush when I get back home.

I was thinking today about all the idiots who are screaming for everyone to boycott BP.  Do they really think that by not getting gas at a BP station, they can have a huge effect on BP's bottom line?  That's nothing.  Not even a drop in BP's profits.  The only finances they're affecting are the poor people who actually own the stations.  Why would anyone want to make a hard working, barely getting by, station owner lose his or her business?  That's just mean.  I'm as pissed off as anyone else about what this oil mess is doing to our coastline and the life it sustains (animal, fish, and human), but let's not penalize some station owner who has absolutely nothing to do with the problem.

I did it.  I got back on Facebook.  I'm keeping my friends to just relatives, girlfriends and boyfriends of relatives, and a couple of friends from way back when.  So far, the "Let's Kill All the Gays" and "If You're Pro-Choice, then You Must Be Pro-Abortion, So Let's Kill You, Too" folks haven't found me.  (Just for the record:  I don't condemn anyone who has an abortion.  Sometimes it really is necessary.  I wouldn't have one myself, though, because I believe that life begins at the moment of conception.  I also wouldn't have an abortion because that's my CHOICE.)  Anyhow, so far, so good, and I hope it stays that way because I really like keeping up with my nieces and nephews on FB.

My cat just walked across my keyboard and past my face, and she left me a cloud of kitty fart.  I really have to go now.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Excuses, Excuses

I was going to post a new blog tonight, but I used up all my time playing with the fish at the bottom of the screen.  :-)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

It's Party Time!

You know it!  We're talking a pound of bacon and sausage for breakfast, whatever I want for lunch, cereal and popcorn for dinner.  And the best part?  I can run around the house in my pajama top and underwear the whole time.  Why?  Because these are the kinds of things I do when Ginger leaves the country.

Yep, my better half is traveling to the other side of the world.  I drop her off at the airport tomorrow.  She heads to Virginia to hook up with her traveling companions; hops a plane the next day to London by way of Minneapolis; from London to Qatar; and, then from Qatar to Al Manama, Bahrain.  "Bah-what", you ask?  Bahrain, an island country in the Persian Gulf, east of Saudi Arabia.  How come?  Because she's way cool, that's why.  Also because she is traveling with Team Chesterfield from Virginia.  This team will be participating in the International Childrens' Games which are being held this year in Bahrain.  Her daughter has been taking Team Chesterfield to these games for several years now and is doing it again this year.  The three grandchildren (one in college, two in high school, all former participants) are making the trip, too.  What a great family thing to do together.

Better her than me.

I am such a homebody that I miss Ginger and the cats when I'm at work.  We're talking seven miles away from our house.  It's not like I've left the country.  I just love being at home.  I did venture to Italy last October and had a fabulous time.  But I like my home and the family I live with in it.  I like sleeping in my own bed.  I like trips where I'm away for only 2 or 3 nights and I can drive back home in an hour.  I'm not much of an adventurer in travel.  I miss home too much.

Ginger, on the other hand, retired a few years early just so she could travel.  This woman has the good energy and health of someone half her age.  She's been all around the world and still going.  I love that she doesn't mind traveling without me and I think she loves that I don't mind her doing it.  I hang out at home, take care of the kitties, fetch the mail and newspaper, whatever needs to be done.  She doesn't worry about anything at home and I don't worry about having to try to pee in a small trench dug across the floor.  (Don't ask.  You don't want to know.)  But as I was saying, she's okay for me to stay.  And I'm okay for her to go, because.....

I can sit around the house in my pajama top and underwear!  No pants!  There's just something wickedly fun about that.  I can head to Frisch's for breakfast and eat my way down the breakfast bar (with an extra plate for all the bacon and sausage, of course).  If I don't feel like cooking dinner, I can just toss a bag of popcorn into the microwave and there's my meal.  I can stay up all night on the weekend and watch movies without worrying that I'm being loud and keeping her awake.  Actually, I can do that now.  But it feels like I'm getting away with something naughty if I do it when she's not here!

So here's to Bahrain.  Here's to Team Chesterfield.  Here's to Ginger and everyone traveling with the team.  Have fun!  Safe passage!  Tomorrow afternoon I'll be sucking down nachos and cheese at the movies followed by M&M's for dessert.  It's so good to be me!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Restroom Etiquette 101

I can be a little a bashful in the "public restroom" department.  I'm much better at it now than, say, even 3 short years ago.  But there is still an occasional episode when my kidneys say "hell, no, we won't go" and the number 2 zone won't do a "number" or a "2".  So I know already that I have potty issues and I'm okay with that.  But there are a few things that just totally creep me out and they should creep you out, too.

The first one is that I absolutely cringe when I go into a public restroom stall, drop my drawers, sit down, and the seat is warm.  I just can't stand sitting on someone else's butt heat.  If the seat is cold, I can pretend that no one has ever sat on it before me.  But if it's warm...well, I don't know where that butt's been.  I know that's weird, but there it is.

It gets weirder.

The ladies' restroom by my office has either 7 or 8 stalls in it.  Almost every time I'm in there by myself, whistlin' a tune and doin' my business, someone else comes in and sits down in the stall right next to mine.  Why, when there are 6 or 7 other empty stalls, do you (and you know who you are) have to sit right next to me?  That's just creepy.  If you really gotta go, by all means come on in and sit for a spell.  But when I'm on the throne and it's just you and me and all that empty real estate, don't sit next door.  That ain't right.  I'm sure there must be a law against that somewhere.

If, when washing your hands, you get water all over the counter, please dry it off.  I'm short, okay?  And I'm tired of dragging my belly...I mean, it.  And stop shaking the water off your hands and flinging it on the floor.  Were you born in a barn?  That's why God makes paper towels.

Finally, wash your hands.  Yes, you.  And you.  I know who you are.  You never wash your hands after you've wiped and flushed, and it's really grossing me out.  STOP IT!!!

Whew!  I feel so much better now!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Surely, You're Joking

No, I'm not.  This is me wearing the torture contraption that I will be sleeping with every night after the next time I stay over at the sleep lab on July 7th.  Probably not a moment too soon because you can tell by the bags under my eyes that I didn't sleep well last night.

And this is what the thing looks like when it's not on my head.  This is the kind for people like me who are too claustrophobic to have the mask that covers the nose completely.

I have no clue how I'm going to sleep with this on me.  When I would open my mouth to speak while the air was pushing through, I would feel like I was suffocating.  When I exhaled through my nose, it was like breathing into a really thick bath towel.  It's not easy pushing air out your nose while some machine is forcing air into your nose.  I'm going to whine about this a lot.  I'll just warn you now.

On a brighter note, I''ve been assured that I will get used to it, and that my quality of life will improve immensely.  Yeah, right, I can't wait to see how that works out for me.  But I'm determined that it WILL work out.  I have no other choice.  Sleep apnea is nothing to mess around with, plus I'm so tired of being so tired.  I'll get the hang of this thing, one way or another.  I'm thinking Ambien.  Lots of Ambien.  And Cheetos!  :-)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I Have (YAWN).........

Obstructive Sleep Apnea!  Not just OSA, but severe OSA.  There's that "flippin' overachiever" streak coming out again.  It seems that I stop breathing for at least 10 seconds over 100 times an hour.  The average episode of apnea (a Greek word that literally means "without breath") lasts 17 seconds.  The longest episode recorded for me was 33 seconds.  Well, for pete's sake, no wonder I'm so tired all of the time.  First I've got the fibromyalgia zapping all my energy and now OSA on top of that.  I have a narrow airway and it collapses when I'm sleeping.  Can't I just have something normal like simple insomnia and fix it with a pill?  Okay, Debby, no whining! :-)

The night that I did the sleep study, I had no stage 3 or stage 4 (REM) sleep at all.  I'm surprised I'm on my feet, much less actually functioning at home and on the job.

So I go back to see one of the technicians on Friday.  We're going to take an hour or so to let me check out the CPAP mask, try wearing it (I've got this thing about devices on my face, especially covering my nose), see if I can handle having air blasted up my nostrils to keep the airway know....all the fun things a gal likes to do when she has a day off from work.  I had already planned to be seeing a movie on Friday afternoon, but now I'll be panicking at the sleep lab instead.  The next night that I'll actually sleep there is July 7th.  That's when I'll try to sleep for the first time with the mask on and if I can, the tech will spend the night adjusting the air pressure and personalizing other controls just for me.  Because I'm spatial.....I mean special!  Then I get to bring it all home with me and try it out for a month, after which I go back to see Dr. SnoozeAndDoze on August 11th to consult on how I'm doing after a month with the mask and machine.  I'm predicting that by then I will have clawed all the flesh off my face after ripping that thing off every night in my sleep and I'll be a raving, sleepless lunatic, haha.

Let me present you with a little something about OSA for your reading pleasure:

"Obstructive sleep apnea is a very important diagnosis for physicians to consider because of its strong association with and potential cause of the most debilitating medical conditions, including hypertension, cardiovascular disease, coronary artery disease, insulin-resistance diabetes, depression, and sleepiness-related accidents.  Over time, untreated obstructive sleep apnea may hasten death through heart disease, hypertension, stroke, myocardial infarction, heart failure, cardiac arrhythmia, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, or vehicular or other accident due to sleepiness or other behavioral affects noted."

As Cheech and Chong used to say about some of their marijuana...."That's some serious sh#t."  But that's why we do the sleep study and start using the CPAP mask whether we like it or not.  It keeps all that bad stuff from happening, and we live long enough to play with the nieces' and nephews' children. :-)

I'm going to scroll down to the bottom of the screen now and play with the fish.  Nighty-night, sleep tight!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Let's Try This Again

So I did this sleep study a week ago today.  It was at Dr. SnoozeAndDoze's office building.  I arrived there and was given papers to fill out about how I was feeling on the sleepiness/tiredness scale, when I last had caffeine, when my last meal was, and so on.  Then I got into my jammies and waited for George the technician to come back to do the first of two sessions of hookups to wires.  But I'm getting ahead of myself.

The room was very nice.  There were at least four private rooms.  Mine had a double bed, TV, desk and chair, and a very nice bathroom to go with the very nice room.  When I first saw the bed, the bedspread looked to me like a high-priced Persian rug which gave the room a particular atmosphere, and of course I said, "It looks like a bordello in here!"  Nothing like embarrassing myself right off the bat.  What does that mean anyway....."right off the bat".  I know it means "immediately", but how did the saying get started?  Probably from baseball.  DUH.  I'll have to Yahoo that.  Hang on a second.....Here it is, straight off the Online Etymology Dictionary web site:

"right off the bat is 1914, earlier hot from the bat (1888), probably a baseball metaphor"

Well, I'm so glad I looked that up.  Another DUH.  Excuse me for a moment while I go roll my eyes.

Okay, so I was at the bordello, I mean sleep lab, and George hooked up all these electrode thingys to my head, face, across just below my collarbone, and on my legs.  They're all wired together and the ends meet in this---I don't know what to call it---a giant plug kind of thing.  This goop he glommed on my hair to help the thingys stick to my scalp was just gross but, fortunately, water soluble.  Big globs of what looked and felt like Silly Putty, only stiffer, thicker, and sticky.  By the time he finished, I looked like the Bride of Frankenstein waiting for Igor to meet her for a little thrill in the graveyard, you know?  Then he draped the big plug whatever and wires across my shoulders and said he would be back at bedtime for the second round of wiring.

In the meantime, I read the newspaper, worked the puzzles, had a little snack, and took my nighttime meds.  George dropped back by and connected me to the other big plug end and ports/whatever coming from the wall.  He also put two stretchy cloth bands about 2 inches wide across my chest and middle.  I don't know what those were for.  Then he took this torture device (a rubber tube with two prongs to put into my nose and an upside down prong to go in front of my mouth) and put that on my face and over my ears.  That was to measure my breathing.  I don't take kindly to having anything near or on my face like that.  When I've been in the hospital and had to have oxygen through the little prongs in the nose....well, it didn't happen.  I always sat them on that dented space between my nose and upper lip and hoped for the best.  What's that space called?  Shoot, now I need to Yahoo that.  Hold's called the philtrum.  (You can't say that this blog is not educational!)  But since the major point of the sleep study was to see if I stop breathing when I sleep, I sucked it up and endured the miserable thing.

I don't know how they can expect anyone to sleep with all this crap on.  George said I slept more than I thought I did, but you couldn't prove it by me.  Fortunately, I did sleep enough that all the important data was collected and enough of it was collected to come to a diagnosis.  I find out the official result when I see Dr.SnoozeAndDoze tomorrow afternoon (George was legally not permitted to tell me), but I already have a pretty good suspicion of what it is.  Why?  Because before I left the next morning, I had to sign a paper that said I was aware that I had demonstrated all the symptoms consistent with a diagnosis of Obstructed Sleep Apnea and I understood that I should not drive or operate heavy machinery if I'm sleepy or tired.

So if OSA is the official diagnosis, then I'll have to use a CPAP machine or a mouth splint or something to keep the air passages open.  I don't see how I can possibly sleep with a mask on my face and air being blown through my breathing passages.  But a lot of people do it, so I guess I can, too, if it comes to that.

And Then We Meet Dr. OhMyAchyBody

George came in at 6:00 AM the next morning to unhook all the wires, electrodes, elves, and ladybugs from me.  Then I had a shower to get all the Silly Putty glop out of my hair.  The bathroom was gorgeous.  Nice shower.  All these miniature bars of soap and little bottles of shampoo/conditioner, soft and thick bath towels.  Very posh.  Then I filled out the remaining papers and headed home.  Then my better half and I went across the road to Bob Evans for breakfast.  Hey now....I deserved bacon after the night I had!  After that, I dropped her off at home and headed to the office.

When I got to work, there were two voice mail messages for me.  At this point, I had not yet been contacted by anyone from Dr. OhMyAchyBody's office.  Now I had two messages!  One had come about half an hour after I had left work the day before and the other had come about half an hour before I got to work that morning.  It turned out that there was a cancellation and could I come see Dr. OhMyAchyBody at 11:30 that same morning?  And could they e-mail a whole bunch of papers and forms to fill out and bring with me to the appointment?  "Sure," says I, "I really don't want to work this morning anyway."  I knew it would take a long while to fill out everything and I was right.

So I went to Norwood where the office is located.  Dr. OhMyAchyBody whacked me all over my body with yet another torture device.  Yep, it's official, I have a lot of pain.  Well, no sh#t, Sherlock!  She was amazed at my high SED rate.  She also wanted to know if I have dry mouth and/or dry eyes.  No, I don't, and why was she asking.  Because those are the two primary symptoms of Sjogren's Syndrome, and she's thinking that I may have that because I have the third biggie symptom----are you ready for this?----chipmunk face.  Excuse me, I have what?  Chipmunk face!  CHIPMUNK FACE!!!  I just thought I had cute puffy cheeks.  Nooooo.  I have freaking CHIPMUNK FACE!!!  In professional lingo, chipmunk face means that my parotid glands are swollen.  The parotid glands are the salivary glands beneath each ear.  Sjogren's Syndrome is:

"....a chronic autoimmune disorder in which the body's immune defenses attack the salivary glands, the lacrimal glands (glands that produce tears), and occasionally the skin's sweat and oil glands. In some cases, the illness also affects the lungs, liver, vagina, pancreas, kidneys and brain. Most people with this disease are women who first develop symptoms during middle age. In about 50 percent of cases, the illness occurs together with rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus), scleroderma or polymyositis."

Dr. OhMyAchyBody has ruled out polymyositis and Dr. Dracula had already ruled out lupus.  I looked up the symptoms for scleroderma and I'm pretty sure that's a definite "no", too.  It wasn't even mentioned in passing.  And let me stress, as the good doctor said, this is not a diagnosis, it is just a musing, a weak guess at this point.  Sjogren's is not the only thing that can cause the parotid glands to swell.  I signed all the forms so that she could get my records from Dr. Dracula and Dr. Evil to see all the tests that have been done so far and their results.  Then she can determine if she needs to have any other tests done or if she can make a diagnosis from the tests I've already had.

Now you're all caught up and know as much about my condition as I do.  And I bet you've already looked in the mirror to see if you have CHIPMUNK FACE!!!  :-)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

My, How Time Flies

Back in August of 1987, my sister Lisa and her husband Dan brought home their first child, a 5 pound lump of baby boy that they named Joseph Daniel.  This morning, I watched my nephew Joseph Daniel Witterstaetter receive his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Electronic Media from the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music.  I couldn't have been prouder if he had been my own son.  This is Joey with his beautiful girlfriend Allison.

This is Joey smooching his beautiful girlfriend Allison.

This is Joey and his brother Tommy.  Tommy graduated from Oak Hills High School last week and will be a freshman (on scholarship, woohoo!) at The College of Mount St. Joseph in the Fall.

And these are the proud parents, my sister Lisa and brother-in-law Dan.

It always makes my heart so happy when my nieces and nephews ask me to be a part of the important occasions in their lives.  I go to soccer games, baseball games, school plays, watch Claire cheer for the football team, and I almost went to Claire's dance recital, but I gave my ticket to another niece who was visiting from out of town.  The oldest of the 9 nieces and nephews is Jeffrey.  He's 38.  The oldest niece is his sister Amanda.  She turned 35 just yesterday.  They're the children of my deceased sister Judy and brother-in-law Bob.  Bob was in the military.  He made a career of the Air Force.  They lived all over the country, so I hardly got to do anything with Jeff and Amy when they were younger, but they knew--and still know--how much I love them.  Boone is out of school now and working.  Stacey (Jeff's wife who I think of as a "real" niece) has her own business.  Claire (age 8), Brandon (age 10), and Brandon's sister Meredith (age 7) are growing older and taller by the minute.  There are still many more events to go to.

 Still a lot of time to fly.......

Thursday, June 10, 2010


I am sooooo mad.  I just spent half an hour writing a post and the little box in which the post is written went totally blank.  I have no idea why that happened.  I had been doing the "save now" regularly as I posted.  It also does a save on its own.  I did "save now" at 9:54.  It went blank at 9:55 and saved automatically a second after.  It saved the blank post.

I'm too pissed off to do it all again.  You'll just have to wait to hear about the lovely night of sleeping at the sleep lab, my appointment with Dr. OhMyAchyBody, and other wondrous and glorious things.

I'm going to go bury my sorrows now in a big box of CheezIts.  Reduced fat, of course.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

Well, I leave for the sleep lab in about 15 minutes.  This should be interesting.  I sleep on my stomach and sides.  I also change position every 10 to 15 minutes because of the fibromyalgia.  And I sleep in what God sent me here with. birthday suit!  When the techies get a load of that, they'll all go blind!

So, being the considerate person I am, I'm taking pajamas to wear with me, which means I'm not going to sleep.  I hope they have cable TV!

Goodnight, Ginger.  Goodnight, kitties.  Goodnight, Mary Ellen.  Goodnight, John Boy.....

Monday, June 7, 2010

Good News! But.......

My appointment with Dr. Dracula was scheduled for 10:30 this morning.  Ginger and I sat and waited and hung out and waited some more.  I was finally taken to an examination room.  Dr. D. waltzed in just after 12:00 noon.  I had not had breakfast, so by then I was cranky with hunger, tired of sitting, and anxious about all the test results.  But I kept my cool, not an easy thing for me these days.  I see him again in 2 months (August 9th).  His scheduler asked me what time I would like to see him that day.  I replied, "Any time that I don't have to wait for an hour and a half."  My next appointment is at 9:00 AM.  We'll see how it goes.

Before I saw Dr. Dracula, I visited with the technician who took vial #24 of blood.  Actually, I don't think I can count this one.  The tube was only about an inch and a half long and a quarter of an inch wide.  This sample came from my finger.  She asked which finger I wanted her to use, so of course I gave her the middle one.  No.  Seriously.  I gave her the finger.  She laughed so hard that I thought she was going to fall off her stool, and then she told me I was funny.  I told her that I don't do anything unless I can have fun. :-)  She got me back, though.  The blood sample was for a CBC (Complete Blood Count) and she squeezed the bejeebers out of my finger!

Anyway, the wonderful, marvelous, excellent news is that I don't have anything that even remotely resembles any type of blood cancer.  I am totally grateful for that.


The normal SED rate for a human is below 20.  Mine is 88.  This indicates a whole lot of inflammation or an infection somewhere in the body.  The protein level in my blood is elevated, too.  This also indicates inflammation or infection in the body.  We can rule out infection because I'm not running a high fever and my white cell count is fine.  So that means inflammation.  I will now be seeing a rheumatologist, Dr. OhMyAchyBody.  Someone from Dr. Dracula's office is setting up that appointment and will call me with the details.  In the meantime, I'm still so sore and tired that I can't half think.

I love my life!  I'm glad that I'm alive to gripe about it. :-)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Just a Quick Update

Sorry I've been so delinquent in blogging lately.  Dad was in the hospital for a week with an infection in his blood.  That was a lot of fun for the family.....NOT.  But he's home now.  He's feeling good, but a little tired as he regains his strength.  Then as we all know, I'm on the medical merry-go-round and dreadfully tired myself.  So just to let you all know the latest.....

I got the DEXA scan results back.  This is a bone density test that women take after they've gone a whole year without a surprise visit during the night from Mother Nature.  :-)  Being the obsessive overachiever that I am, my scan results were spectacular.  My bones are healthy and very strong.  Nice to have good news.

I see Dr. Dracula at 10:30 tomorrow morning, at which time I hope he has the results for all of the 20+ tests I donated blood for.

Tuesday evening, I report to the Sleep Management Institute for the night.  The techies will fill my hair with goop and attach do-hickeys to my head and other bodily places, and then they'll monitor and watch me try to sleep.  My gut feeling is that I will test positive for sleep apnea since I'm fat, I snore, and I'm tired so much.  It won't be the sole cause of all my fatigue, but I'm guessing that it will be a contributor.  We'll find out if I'm right when I go back on the 16th so that Dr. SnoozeAndDoze can give me the results.

I've spent the rest of the week getting my stolen money back into my checking account.  I hope that neanderthal puked up the Subway food and I really hope someone held him up at gunpoint and stole his new Nikes.  I don't want him to have been shot.  I just want the crap scared out of him!

Then I went through changing all of my sign-on IDs and passwords.  There were at least 10 pairs of them.  I stopped counting after that.  I've got the most convoluted, complicated passwords ever.  HA!

And then I called NetZero to cancel my e-mail account.  It was a nightmare.  The guy I talked to was annoying and kept coming up with one reason after another for keeping my account.  I kept saying, "All I want to do is cancel my account.  Can you please just do that?"  He persisted, so finally I said, "Look.  My Dad has been in the hospital all week.  I've been undergoing every blood test known to mankind.  My debit card was compromised and used.  And now you're giving me a shitload of trouble.  I don't need this hassle from you.  Just cancel the account."  He put me on hold for a couple of minutes, came back to the phone, and said very meekly that he had canceled my account.  For pete's sake, why do things have to be so difficult?  Why do these people make it so hard?  The whole thing just about wore me out.  So if you are using NetZero, good luck if you ever decide to go to another carrier.  If you're not using NetZero, DON'T START!!