Boot camp

Boot life is interesting since I started wearing the immobilizer to keep my right metatarsal break from getting worse.

  • Stairs are a challenge, but doable if I take my time
  • Will need a ride pretty much everywhere, because boot
  • Sewing? Not unless I learn to use the machine with my left foot
  • Walking around = slow and clunky
  • Getting in and out of bed? Since “my” side is the left side of the bed …
  • Getting boot off and on – big production, annoying as hell
  • Working – Omg I’m so slow now, and patients are nosy about das boot

The list goes on, but suffice it to say I’m on day 3 of boot wear and already can’t wait to be back on my own two feet.

It sucks, but mostly in a whiny, “woe-is-me” kind of way. An annoying-sick-but-not-sick-person kind of way. To sum it up: I need to suck it up. Get over myself. Keep on truckin’.

So graceful

I wouldn’t consider myself overly clumsy. I mean, I occasionally I’ll trip over something that I didn’t see in my way. Bump into chairs, benches, walls, etc. But I usually am aware that I’ve done said clumsy thing.

So what, exactly, did I do to break a bone in my foot? Your guess is as good as mine, because I haven’t done any of those clumsy things in the past two weeks (which is roughly when my foot started hurting). Nope. No tripping over something, no banging my foot into the bed frame, no kicking my husband in my sleep (I don’t think ūüėČ ) One of life’s great mysteries, I guess.

My first fractured bone has been an interesting experience. It started with very mild pain when I walked (mild enough that the day after the pain started I was wearing 2-inch heels to a work party for a few hours), and gradually increased until I was limping at work and fumbling around the apartment when I was at home. So far I’ve only missed one day of work, and that was largely because I knew I was “extra” staff that day so I didn’t feel guilty about calling in. Otherwise? Faithfully at work, walking around the office like it was no big deal.

Logically I know that different breaks cause different amounts of pain, but for my first time breaking a bone I’m unimpressed. I thought a broken bone was something that knocked you flat out, having you call the doctor ASAP as soon as you were in agony. That’s how it always is on TV, at least (until the prop/costume departments give the actor a sling or fake brace–then it’s back to life as normal apparently). Shouldn’t I have been, like, in enough pain to notice when the potential injury happened?

It’s possible I have a stress fracture, which is usually (according to a brief and lazy Google search) caused by overuse and/or repetitive action. Like with runners and athletes. Oh, the irony. I’m more inclined to believe it’s due to my excess weight, which makes me even more determined to lose some of it. Salads or fresh fruit/veggie juices for me at lunch. A few bites for breakfast to get my motor kick-started. After I finish the pizza I ordered last night.

Well, what was I supposed to do? I wasn’t supposed to be walking/driving. Immobilization: that’s my order for the next few days until I have the appointment with a podiatrist. Fingers crossed that this is all the restriction I have. I’ve¬†got to work. No options there. Stress fractures are usually (according to my brief and lazy Google search) minor, so I should be able to work–right? I damn well better be able to work.

I guess that’s about it. I’m going to be bored as hell with the restrictions, and I’m going to be frustrated as hell that I can’t drive. Yep. Right foot fracture. When I screw up, I go all out. Time to start arranging rides with coworkers on days when my husband can’t take me to work. Also time to learn how to walk up and down stairs with this stupid boot. Lucky me to have a second floor apartment.

Dollar Dilemma

So what do you do when you need diagnostic testing for a problem and can’t afford said testing?

Well, I may end up just telling the doctor “Sorry, doc. I can’t get this done right now. I’ll just have to keep coughing until it goes away on its own.”

The system is ridiculous, too. I mean, I called the diagnostic center and they told me they can’t tell me how much it will cost because they don’t know how much my insurance is going to pay. So I have to call the insurance company to find out how much they’ll pay, then determine if I can afford it. Wtf? What kind of answer is that? How do you not know how much you charge for X test? Just tell me the out-of-pocket cost & I’ll figure out if it’s “worth it” or not based on that.

And why do doctors assume you can afford these things? It’s not like I come in to her office dripping in jewelry, wearing designer clothes, etc. I come in wearing jeans and a t-shirt, with a purse that’s beaten up and dirty and hair that’s Gods only know how messy. Does it¬†look like I can afford radiology testing?

I understand that the doctor is looking out for my best interest, I do…but can’t she take into consideration that I may not be able to afford the testing she wants? Blood work every few months is cheap, but radiology and other diagnostic tests are more costly.

Bottom line is the bottom line. I have taken a look at my finances, and my finances say “No way, Jose.” So sorry, doc. I can’t get this done right now.

Health of a different sort

It’s that time again! Yep, I have my 3-month psychiatrist checkup today.

How fast those three months fly by. Wasn’t it just yesterday I was there? Okay, maybe it hasn’t flown by¬†quite that fast…but it doesn’t seem like three months.

I’d like to think I’ve been doing okay. Aside from not having the motivation to work on cosplay, which I don’t think is related to the bipolar disorder, I think I’ve been doing okay. I haven’t had any severe manic or depressive states that I can recall since my last visit. Been pretty stable.

There is one thing I want to discuss with my doctor, though: a new weight loss prescription I saw a commercial for not too long ago. It’s a combination of two psychiatric drugs, and I’ve been on one of these drugs before. I really think it could help me cut my cravings and stop just stuffing my face all the time.

I don’t trust most (okay, all) over-the-counter weight loss supplements/drugs. A lot of it isn’t FDA regulated like prescription meds are, and there’s no telling how they’d react with my prescription medicines. I’d rather, if my doctor would allow, take the new prescription and try that. So fingers crossed!

I saw my rheumatologist the other day and learned that she thinks I need a chest x-ray. Yep, the cough is still here, though it’s getting better every day, and she is I think concerned that it could be related to one of my RA meds. Fun. Except x-rays can be expensive. And it’s the beginning of the year, so of course I haven’t even come close to meeting my deductible. Yuck.

We’ll see how the cough does in the next week. If it’s still there, I might get that x-pensive ray. Maybe. We’ll see.

The Great Weight Debate

I’ve been morbidly obese for probably close to two years now, and while exercise is fleeting at best (going out walking in the winter sucks), hunger and cravings are exponential.¬†Especially the cravings.

There’s a new drug on the market that I’ve seen commercials for…well, not new-new, but a new combination of two older drugs that have previously been used to treat addiction and mental illness. Hell, I’m already crazy and I’m addicted to food and caffeine, so why not give it a shot?

Next time I’m at the doctor’s (which is sometime this month), I plan on asking about this prescription to see if it’s something I can try. I mean, can’t hurt, right? I’ve even been one of the two meds before (for OCD behaviors like cutting and picking at my skin). So it’s likely safe to take with my other meds, and if the other part of the combination drug might interact with my other meds the doctor would be able to tell me.

Here’s where the PSA comes in:¬†do not take diet pills or any such medications without consulting with a doctor. Seriously. Don’t do it. It’s dangerous as shit and most of the over-the-counter stuff isn’t really FDA regulated as strongly as prescriptions are. Some OTC stuff isn’t even FDA regulated at all, meaning there’s no QC as far as how much of what is in it or the quality of the ingredients. Even prescriptions can be dangerous, so talking with a doctor is a must. Talk with your pharmacist, too. Licensed medical professionals. People with medical and pharmaceutical degrees. Not your second cousin twice removed’s best friend who you kind of know on Facebook. Not even me. Half the time I’m talking out of my ass, but here I’m serious. Talk. With. Your. Doctor.

If you’re overweight (or even think you are), you need to see a doctor on a regular basis anyway. Get your annual physical, get weighed (as much as it sucks to do), get tested for diabetes and heart disease and any other things that can be affected by weight gain.

A lot of people try to recommend over-the-counter stuff to me for weight loss, and I flat-out turn them down. I mean, I take enough meds as it is between the bipolar disorder and the rheumatoid arthritis…do I really want to take some random OTC drug that may or may not severely interact with one of my other meds? Uh, no. I do not. I want to stay sane and safe.

I risk enough drinking as much caffeine as I do. I take a prescription stimulant to stay awake during the day because I have a tendency to nod off at random times if I don’t. No lie–they even tested my blood for narcolepsy years ago because of this. No narcolepsy associated antigen was found, but lemme tell you, if I don’t get my prescription and/or don’t have any caffeine, I’m zonked. I fell asleep a few times watching¬†Rogue One recently. A freaking¬†Star Wars movie! How can I do that? Well, I didn’t drink any caffeine before going to the movie. Zzzzz. Oops. But that lends to addiction, and to risk of heart problems because my pulse rate is usually sky high even at rest. So another PSA:¬†don’t be a dumbass like me and OD on caffeine.

Anywho, to make a long story even longer, be smart about medications. Even if you think you have no other choice besides OTC “miracle” meds or miscellaneous herbal stuff, talk with your doctor. I want y’all to be safe. I want¬†me to be safe. So I’m taking the plunge and asking about this new medication. It may be costly (most new meds are, sadly), but if I want to get serious about losing this weight I’ve got to cut my cravings, and I just do not have the self control for it. Who knows, maybe losing the weight will help me sleep better…maybe it will amp up my energy enough to where I don’t need the caffeine as much. Maybe I’ll fit into that corset for Phoenix Comicon a little better.

Lotsa maybes, but nothing’s certain until you try.

Just try responsibly.

Triggered

Okay, I gotta stand up and post about this, ’cause it’s relevant to, like,¬†life.

Calling someone “bipolar” as an insult is shitty. A lowdown, ignorant, dumb-ass shitty thing to do. I don’t care how batshit crazy the person may be, you don’t just use a legitimate medical condition as an insult. Fuck you, random guy at Chili’s.

To my credit, I didn’t get up from the table and ream him out. I restrained myself…as a¬†bipolar person is perfectly capable of doing.

It really bugs me when people do that, especially when they act like it’s something¬†wrong. Like a bipolar person is automatically off their nut and can’t function in society. That’s bullshit. Complete and utter bullshit. There’s nothing more “wrong” about bipolar disorder than there is about, say, the color of your skin or hair or something. It’s a part of a person and that’s cool. Well, it’s not “cool,” but I’m cool with it. You have a mental illness? Okay. That’s part of who you are and none of my business, really. You be you.

So I guess it’s a short rant today. Don’t be a dick and use mental illness–or¬†any illness–as an insult. Especially not when the person sitting in the booth next to yours might very well have that illness and you don’t even know¬†because they’re perfectly normal and okay just the way they are.

Back in the swing of it

I worked in a different surgical position at work for the first time in months the other day, and my back rebelled against it with a vengeance. It did not like me standing and washing instruments all day.

I’m determined to make my back behave today. Gonna get some Tylenol on board when I get there and have my husband put some Blue Emu cream on my back before I leave for work. Get those prophylactics on board. I can’t let this arthritis keep me down.

My surgery boss suggested that this position may be too much for me and that she might not have me in this position any more after seeing how much pain I was in Tuesday. The thought of that is depressing, because until now the arthritis hasn’t kept me from doing my job. Sure, I’ve had days where I was in extreme pain, but never have I had to call out because of it. Maybe a couple of time went home a little early, but certainly never missed more than at most a couple of hours, if that. What will it mean for me if I’m limited to only certain positions due to the pain?

I can’t. I just can’t. I’m a grown woman. I can handle this. If I have pain today, I’ll just try to hide it. I mean, if I get sidelined from this one position that means I’m under less control. Which means calling the rheumatologist again. Which means likely another appointment. Which means more meds. Ugh.

Nope. Gonna stay in the nice little town of Nopesville, in the state of Denial.

I can beat this. I can make my body listen to me and force my immune system to quit this shit.