Category Archives: health

Schnozz Talk, Part II

Standard

I did it.

I waited until himself was upstairs so I wouldn’t be interrupted or embarrassed.

It went pretty well? I think? Right nostril was first for the inflow. Came right out the other side, no problem.

Left side…it felt different. Colder. It came out of the other side faster, and ran down to my throat immediately. So I guess I know which side is the difficult one! I was able to intentionally close off my throat so it didn’t run into my mouth – and still breathe – which makes me think this is something I do not do involuntarily. Perhaps doing this rinse will teach my muscles to close that part off more often?

There was a strange not-smell immediately afterwards. Similar to what I think of as the smell of a runny nose when I am about to get a cold. I have a lot of drainage still, 20mins later. I’m not getting blocked up or anything. It just feels damp in there. I’m doing a good bit of hawking back snot. It tastes extra salty so maybe I didn’t get all of the rinse out.

Oh, and because I’m both curious and disgusting, I drained into a glass container so I could see what came out. Nothing was black, grey, or green – but there were a lot of white bits. Will be interesting to see if that changes with regular use. You’ll be glad there is no photo with this post! I could have, but I’m not that disgusting.

About a half hour later now and the left side is starting to close up. Well, I’ve had a sore spot in there for a few days so I’m not going to read too much into it.

Oh, joy. Hubby just came downstairs and I told him, ‘I did the nose thing.’

He said, ‘I can hear it!’

‘Wait, what?’

‘You sound more “nasally”. I thought you were putting it on.’

Fantastic. I sound even worse than I normally do, it seems. Sigh.

For those who do this, a question. Once a day or twice?

Advertisements

Schnozz Talk, Part I

Standard

I wake up every morning with a clot of yuck right at the top of my throat. It is solid, it isn’t green, but it has flecks of brown in it.

I googled that shit, after a good few months of waking up thinking I was getting lung cancer.

Turns out that a lot of people have this morning guck. People who don’t smoke, never have smoked, never have smoked anything. So that made me feel a little less cancerous.

Last night, I mentioned to himself that I think I should try a neti pot. Background: My sister has been trying to get me to use one for years. I’m scared as hell by the idea of intentionally pouring anything liquid into my breathing apparatus. I choke on spit. A LOT. Sometimes when I wash my hair water gets in my sinuses and it freaks me out. More of Whhhhhyyyyyy than Owwwww, but you get the idea:

I’m not keen on putting salt water up my nose. I’m for-sure gonna drown. Gonna breathe that shit in, gag and cough until I wet myself. Might as well strip naked and stand on a towel to try it!

Himself brought me home this today.

Oh, shit….

Healthy Wealthy and Wise

Standard

I might have the Wise part. Maybe. The other two have been in massive decline for the last decade or so.

I’ve been at my current workplace for just over 5 years. And it is a good place to work. Before that (when I first started this blog because I had free time), I was unemployed for nearly two years. We were just starting to get out of the financial hole from all that delay this last last summer… then Spot died. While the vet bills were very reasonable, we had already spent our ‘extra’ money on my bass guitar, flights to America and tickets to see Iron Maiden. And of course, then we got Lumi. He’s now on illness benefit and it doesn’t cover the bills, so back into the hole we go. At least we don’t ow tens of thousands to the hospital. 

The flights to the US never happened, as himself is too unwell to travel further than the stairs to the bedroom. Iron Maiden had to be done with himself in a wheelchair. He could stand and walk, but not for hours.

Best thing about a wheelchair at a concert? No queueing. Right in the door. Worst thing? Other concert goers who thought he was “brave” or “awesome” or “cute” when he got into the music and whipped his long hair around (like you should do, if you are a man with long-ass hair at a Maiden concert). One fucker actually patted him on the head like he was a dog. That twat is lucky I didn’t break his damn fingers.

We’ve learned a lot about how the world is not wheelchair accessible. I’m a strong woman, physically, but I got sore pushing him around on walkways that tilt to one side or the other. You wouldn’t even notice the cant on foot. Gravel? Forget it. A two inch curb? Not happening without him getting out of the chair first. Oh, that last one was learned at our local hospital. Of all places to be perfectly accessible to a chair, you would think a hospital would be top of the list, wouldn’t you? Nope. 

He has iGA necropothy, an immune disease that attacked his kidneys in October 2015 and left him with 30% kidney function. He will need a transplant one day, its incurable. The treatment to keep his function from continuing to decline was a very heavy doesage of steroids – which has lead to the rare (of course) side effect of pinching off the the blood supply to his left femoral head (the ball of the hip). So, the bone started to die. Literally. At first we thought his pain was gout. The iGA has done so much damage to his kidneys, which means they don’t filter correctly, and a buildup of ureic acid is gout. However, the pain went on too long in one single place. He was misdiagnosed twice by his GP with muscle or sciatic nerve issues. Once he was screaming and writhing in pain he was given morphine and sent for X-rays.

Which showed sweet fuck all, of course. Then an MRI after more waiting. Finally a diagnosis. I won’t go into how long it took to get his surgery, but the pain started March 15th and he had the surgery May 18th. So two months on addictive painkillers and nerve blockers, which of course is another worry for us. He is voluntarily weaning himself off of the painkillers this week. 

The surgery was core decompression. They drilled a bunch of holes into his femoral head in the hope that blood would start flowing to the bone again. No bone graft, no cartilage added, but between 7-20 holes were drilled. We don’t know how many. He was sent home the next day, about 26 hours after the surgery. We spent more time waiting in the hospital hoping to be seen over those two months than he actually spent in recovery.

He was handed a pair of crutches. Neither of us has ever had to use crutches, and don’t have a clue how to use them properly. He wasn’t given much education on using them, either. YouTube was more help. Thanks to the Aussie lady who helped us figure out stairs!

He’s put on a ton of weight due to the steroids, which he is still on, and of course that makes moving around on crutches even harder. He can’t put any weight at all on his left leg for six weeks (down to four now). His right leg and knee are sore, along with his arms, just from the amount of moving around the house he can do. 

I could talk about the issues he has just peeing, or having a shit. I’ll leave it at this – it is incredibly complicated, and I’m so very grateful that I have access to the medical equipment to help him.

Showering is even more fun. If he didn’t have long hair, it would be a shorter process. I don’t care: I love his hair and I’ll take care of it for him when he cannot. It took an hour and a half tonight to get him bathed and dressed again. The hardest part is the compression stockings he has to wear to prevent blood clots. Let me tell ya, those bastards are tight! I stuck my arm in one to turn it rightside out and holy crap, it was even tight on my skinny wrist. Trying to get them on his legs is a job and a half. I feel a bit shit that I can’t do the bath more than once a week as it wears us both out. 

We had a scare last week, too. His crutch slipped and he fell on the stairs, landing on the bad leg for a moment. He had also fallen getting off the couch the day before. His left foot, the bad leg foot, was sore to touch. So I rang his GP and asked what we should be worried about regarding this new pain … it turned into ‘a thing.’ His uncle came and drove him to the GP, who sent him to A&E because he was worried that the metatarsals were fractured, and that there might be a blood clot in the left leg as the pulse was slow in that leg. I was already at work and spent most of the day in a panic, but it turned out the GP had panicked instead. He had soft tissue damage to the foot, and no clot.

I’m tired. The worst thing is that I have to give an injection of blood thinners into his belly every day. He is a bit needle-phobic so no chance he could do it himself. Sticking a half inch of pointy sharp metal into someone you love is incredibly hard. I nearly threw up the first two times I did it. I’m better now, two weeks on, but his stomach is a mess of bruises now. It hurts to see what I’ve done to him. I know it is for the good but fucking hell, it sucks that I’m okay with it now. It’s just another thing like emptying a urinal or replacing a bandage or getting him a glass of water so he can take his pills.

Neither of us is happy with this version of life right now. He’s only 44. The world feels upside down and inside out, and not quite real. 

What Is Odd About You – an Informal Experiment 

Standard

I got to thinking. Scary, I know! What occurred to me is that being able to move your toes independently, curling your tongue, and wiggling your ears are actually primitive abilities.

First, if you can, watch this:

If you can’t or don’t want to watch the video: lie your arms flat, palm up, and touch your thumb to your pinkie finger. If you see this raised thingie in your wrist…


…then you have the unnecessary muscle, palmaris longis, that is only really useful for climbing trees freehand. I have the palmaris longis in both my arms. Hubby does not, in either arm.

Clearly the three Auricularis muscles (ear movers, if you didn’t watch) are more developed in those of use who can wiggle our ears or scalp. From the video, I understand that both of these are traits that quite a few of us have evolved beyond.

I’d like to know – do any of you who do have odd talents have the palmaris longis? Do any of you who profess to have no human tricks have it?

My next question is likely to get fewer answers, but might explain my ‘unevolved’ state.

I’d like to know if any of you who responded to the original post have had DNA testing done on yourself, or close family members. I bought my father the National Geographic’s Genographic Project DNA testing kit a few years back. I won’t go into heavy detail here, but one part of his results does relate to my as-yet-untested hypothesis.

My father has “… about 2% Neanderthal, which is in the range for most of European extraction. (1-4%) No Denisovan.”

If my father is 2% Neandertal, that means I am about the same (the test only works on male DNA). So perhaps I got a bit more from mom, or dad has his own set of throwback abilities. Hi Dad! (Waves) Maybe send me an email and let me know what you think!

So who is in? Let’s see if my hypothesis that we who have wiggly bits that most don’t, also might be less evolved? I certainly don’t take the idea as something derogatory. I rather like the idea that I’m a bit of a throwback. 

Meet…Lumi

Standard

We got a kitten. I wasn’t ready, but Siamese Lokii was pining badly for his buddy Spot. As we all were. But he was crying all the time, and eating the dog toys even more than usual. I won’t say he was clingy, because the pair always shared me together and he didn’t really know what to do with us humans, when he didn’t have his brother with him to show him what to do.


It didn’t take long before he became big brother to Lumi. My legs, by the way. 


Good boys.


Sleepy kitten. 


Sleepy kitten with big paws. Do you see the glitter? His toes are sparkling silver.


And his nose is sparkling gold. 


Kissable little boop-nose. And he lets me kiss it. 


Those eyes. 


When he first wakes up from a long nap, he loves to talk about it. He still has the tiny kitten voice, so I wake to him sleepily coming up to my face and ‘meeping’ to me. Then he licks my nose, or eyes. Usually my eyes! I think this picture gives an indication of what he might look like all grown up.

Lumi (Finnish for snow) is a lynx seal point snow Bengal. His markings will darken, but the white will stay white. I didn’t get him for his looks, but his personality. I couldn’t imagine life without a Bengal in it. He has been such a little love, I know I did right. I didn’t replace Spot, but made a new place in my heart to be filled. 

This n That

Standard

I’m not depressed. I could be? But actually I’m positive at the moment. I had a good Friday this week. A text that made me so proud and happy; a thing I did at work that was very appreciated and I’m quite proud of. A notch tighter on my belt in the morning when I got dressed for work. My new-found love for playing bass guitar!

It’s not like me to focus on positive things, and it feels weird. I’m just not that kind of person. I look sideways at things: looking for the shadow that is, in my experience, hiding in wait to bite.

But maybe I can learn, still, to see the silver lining that mom said was in every cloud?


My good old man Spot has a new problem – this time his guts. A vet visit came away with this cat bed, that he chose himself, and a cocktail of drugs in liquid form that he HATED. Seriously, I’ve never seen a cat gag at the idea of something being put into his mouth before. It didn’t work, either. Wednesday he goes back in for a biopsy of his intestines. I suppose the vets wouldn’t even suggest it if he wasn’t robust enough to handle the procedure. The cocktail did make him feel better, anyway – he’s as playful and cuddly as you could want out of an old man kitty.


Lokii also loves the new bed. But Spot has set down clear rules that if he is in the bed, it is his territory and Lokes can just piss off! Poor daft Lokii thinks they can share…nope!

So the silver lining is that we bought a cat bed that the cats actually like. It might be a first!

Reblog: Gory Story Time!

Standard

I don’t think I’ve ever reblogged one of my own posts before. But some unknow person was perusing my blog today, and found this. After a re-read, I’m pretty happy with it and want to share it again.

Hardly anyone reads the old crap, right? And yeah, I’m tagging this as humour for the wayI wrote it, and that fact I survived to laugh about it. 

Content warning – lots of blood, and possibly sexual misconduct by a doctor.

This story is about the first time (that I know of) that I almost died.

“When I was 16, I kept getting colds and bronchitis all the time. It got annoying. So my parents and I talked it over and decided that I should finally have my tonsils out. I was sort of old for the surgery, but I have been a lot less prone to that sort of illness since having them out.

I don’t remember much about the surgery itself. I know they made me take my shirt off, and I clearly recall my surgeon saying to the others in the room as he moved the sheet down (why!?!?) to expose my chest, that I was “very mature.” That bothered me for years. I was ashamed to even speak about it. It felt like visual group rape. I’ve often wondered: did he/they give me a suggestion to not talk about it when I was all the way under the anaesthetic? Because after I told someone the first time, it got easier until it didn’t bother me any more.

What will bother me until the day I die is that not that he was a bit scuzzy and inappropriate, but that he cut too far down on the right side. Really, really far down. I have a pocket between my tongue and what should be throat-meat, but isn’t. Quite often, food that is small and hard gets stuck in there (peanuts and popcorn shells are the worst) and the only way to get it out is to fish it out with my index finger or suck it out while making vile-sounding slurping snotty noises. Thanks, doc.

I haven’t even gotten into the disgusting part yet. Honestly, it gets worse!

We were given a slip of paper with post-operation instructions. It said: ‘about a week after your surgery, the incision may open up and bleed. This is nothing to worry about if the amount of blood is a teacup or less.’

What the leaflet failed to mention is what to do if it was more than a teacup.

I have a mental picture of when it started: a combination of my actual view and a sort of distanced movie of where I was and what I was doing. I was outside, at the end of our driveway, right by one of the odd, light grey, cinderblock-and-concrete-stucco pillars that lined the road in front of our house. There was a small popcorn tree behind me, and I was facing toward our red-clay driveway. I was talking to one of the two beautiful, white long-haired cats that ‘belonged’ to a neighbour (my grandmother adopted one later, the other was a tom and went feral). I leaned over to pet the kitty, who had trotted across the street to see me, and suddenly I had a strange tickle in my throat.

I opened my mouth to talk to the kitty and blood sprayed on to the driveway.

I can no longer recall if I ran right inside, or gave myself a moment or two to figure out what was going on. I’m not prone to panic, and blood has never bothered me, so I’m guessing I didn’t scream for mom and run inside immediately. When I did go in, we found the leaflet and read it. One of us grabbed a smallish coffee cup (no tiny teacups in our house) and when I had filled that up, mom brought out a massive, three-quart, square Tupperware container from the cupboard. The very same one my sister and I had puked into for years when we were small and very sick. It was so deep there was little chance of splash-back, you see. Mom was practical like that.

Even better, this thing had measurements on the inside of the bowl so we could see just how much blood I was losing. The measurements were in quarts. We dumped in the coffee cup-full of blood, in the interest of accuracy. It had jelled already – perhaps due to the properties of saliva, perhaps that’s what blood does anyway – and it slopped into the bowl, keeping the shape of the cup. That was when I first realised that what was going on wasn’t “normal.”

The spray was at the very back of my throat (probably coming from the right where Dr. Inappropriate had cut too deep; it directed to the left). My mouth was constantly full, and I swallowed quite a lot without meaning to. That didn’t bother me, either. What did bother me is when it finally stopped, and I discovered that I had clots of blood everywhere inside my mouth – the worst were stuck in the top surfaces of my teeth the way potato chips do sometimes. I had to pick them out with my tongue, and swallow or spit.

The bleeding had stopped, so I grabbed the relevant Encyclopaedia Brittanica off the shelf to see how much blood someone of my age and size should have inside them. I’d lost almost a quart, according to the awesome Tupperware bowl. Brittanica said I should have about 4 quarts (a quart being about 950ml). Current Googling gives me a lower number.

In any case I was fine, it had stopped, no panic, and we’d all learned something interesting.

Then a short while later it opened up again. We rang the doctor, and he said to go to the hospital. I kept spitting into the container – good data for the hospital, right? Before we left, it had stopped again. I had closer to two quarts in the bowl, and I now knew that wasn’t a safe amount.

It was a small Florida town, and we had a (new at the time) hospital in town so the drive was short. I was fine, cheerful and chipper as I could be, and the bleeding had stopped again for the longest time yet. They decided I should to to another hospital in the next town over, and have Dr Inappropriate cauterise the area to stop the bleeding. They put me into an ambulance.

They strapped me down, as they do in ambulances apparently (this was my first and only experience inside of one). I started bleeding again on the way. I was tied down on my back, spraying blood at the back of my throat, not even able to talk because I would choke, and unable to sit up and spit it out. I always thought from movies that when a kid was in an ambulance a parent was allowed inside, too? Stupid movies. I remember feeling a bit of panic at that point, waving my arms as much as I could under the straps and gurgling for help. I swallowed a lot more blood before they let me up and I could spit. Into my mother’s bowl, still keeping track. I know I had lost over 2 quarts by then – over half my blood supply in a jellied square mass on my lap. That’s not counting the amount that I had swallowed.

By the way: ‘human’ vampires are bullshit. I know, for a fact, from this experience, that the human body can not digest fresh human blood. I will never forget what it looked and smelled like coming out the other end.

I might have gone a bit light-headed by the time I’d arrived at the other hospital for the cauterisation. I don’t remember anything else.

I know that my mom was irritated that she never got her awesome Tupperware bowl back, though.”

The Best Thing…

Standard

…about sharing bad news with friends is how they listen, commiserate, and then make jokes or be silly to make you smile.

Friends are precious beyond measure.

I’m not sure if I’ll share my bad news here or not – it’s life changing for my small family and a major shock. If you are a friend, email me and I’ll tell you.

In the meantime, here are my boys. Showing another way of being friends and one looking out for the other.

  

Fucit Anyway. 

Standard

I supposedly have conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye. Being as my eyes have been itchy as hell since November, and no one else around me has it, I’m kinda doubtful about the diagnosis. It’s meant to be crazy contagious, my eyes never turned pink or red, and I didn’t have eye-boogies. Just a lot of itching!

In any case, I finally got sick of it (pun intended) and went to my GP. 

With a list of other issues, of course. My bodily warranty ran out when I was 25. That’s when I started to need glasses, and discovered loads of other new and fun ways that a human body finds to break down. I’m a right wreck now that I’m about to be officially middle-aged. 

After the checkup: I had blood taken, skin issues checked out and okayed, a 24-HR blood pressure monitor (results normal, and I’m dead surprised at that). I’m on my second course of antibiotics for a wheezy cough, an allergy pill (I don’t HAVE allergies!), big doses of anti-inflammatories for my back (deffo helping), and now steroids (!) for everything, basically. 

I feel as though I’ve been to a vet instead of a human doctor, because a vet always seems to prescribe antibiotics and a steroid.

Did you know I really don’t care to take pills? Bwah-ha-haw! I’m good at it, but I prefer not to if I can. I’m now on…11 a day.

Back to the eye drops, which burn. They burn like I rubbed sand and cat-hair into my eyes and then dunked my face into lemon juice and bleach to rinse them out. It’s also thick and white and goopy and is so damn unnatural a thing to be deliberately putting into my eyes, I kind of didn’t do the twice a day every day for a week as I was supposed to do. It does help – but the cure is nearly as bad as the problem. 

With all of this going on, I never looked at the package for the eye drops properly. When I did, I laughed out loud – in my loudest, unladylike squawk.

  
Yes. Fucit. Fucit altogether! Fucit sideways with a barge-pole! 

Fuc it, I’m falling apart but at least I still have the sense of humour of a nine year old and can laugh at these things. And fuc it, I better put these drops in now and try not to cry all over the iPad 🙂

Still Got a Ganglion – Hear it Roar!

Standard

I had an appointment at the local hospital today. I was all excited, and thought for sure I’d be coming home with a groovy new scar. Sadly, I was disappointed. Instead, I first had an assessment by a fun Indian doctor (we so had the craic) and he sent me off for X-rays.

    Sweet! I LOVE X-rays! 

      
    The pen tip on the right is pointing at the cyst, which doesn’t show up in an X-ray. I can kinda see it? Maybe.

    I was wondering about the round density next to the first joint of my thumb, and my dad asked about it too, so off to the ‘net I went. It is a sesamoid bone (named because they are usually the shape of a sesame seed – I’ll never forget that name, now) and perfectly normal, if slightly mysterious: ‘Sesamoid bones are small more or less rounded masses embedded in certain tendons and usually related to joint surfaces. Their functions probably are to modify pressure, to diminish friction, and occasionally to alter the direction of a muscle pull.’ [emphasis mine, source is courtesy of bartleby.com]

    This is why I love seeing my innards! So educational. 

      
    Side view! I am probably strange, but I think these are rather pretty. And fascinating as hell. It’s astounding that this – my right hand, responsible for the majority of the things I do every day – looks so fragile. Check out the thickness of my ulna and radius in each picture (long arm bones, just in case you aren’t a nerd like me). My thumb bone is thicker than both of them in the side view. That is crazy. From the top view, they are nearly parity with the thickness-win going to the radius. So surprising I’ve never broken any bones but my pinkie toes (not for lack of trying).

    I also like that the veins I can see through the skin on my thumb show up here, too. And all the tendons that must be doing one hell of a job because those bones are…bony.

    Anyhoo, after my irradiation the main doctor who runs the clinic came in. She had a trio of young women trailing behind her, and asked if they could observe. Well, sure! Doc asked a few questions, poked at my still-unnamed cyst (because not one of you gave me a name last time I talked about it, for shame), and said they would schedule me for surgery. Under general anesthetic. I whined (I’ll admit it) when she was leaving; “But…I want to see!”

    Hope you enjoyed these pics as much as I did! Thanks to Dr M for letting me take shots of the X-rays with my phone, changing the operation directive from general to local because I want to see, having a laugh with me, and being able to pronounce my whole damn name with no hesitation (that is huge, let me tell ya). He’s a good doctor, I hope he goes good places.

    Now let’s see how long it takes to get to the next level! October 20, 2015 and counting.