Zapped

I’m not just tired – I’m zapped.

Almost a month ago, I started coming down with a sinus infection. My husband and daughter were also hit pretty hard that week. We spent time at urgent care. We made repeated trips to the pharmacy. We lounged around as a family, consuming ridiculous quantities of Kleenex, Netflix and popcicles. We fought over the thermostat because one of us had the chills or a fever at any given time. Within a week, they were back on their feet, with just a little residual cough.

But not me.

Sinus yuckiness migrated to my chest. I had full blown bronchitis and started another round of steroids. And the cough – the mighty walrus-barking, neighbor-wall-permeating, chesty cough was awful. Painful. Disruptive. Gut-wrenching….as in literally vomit-inducing. My sleep apnea worsened, but I couldn’t properly wear my mask through the night without choking on phlegm. It was gross.

All my doctors say that REST is the best medicine. But what’s a working wife and mom to do? I’ll tell you –  work, and try to keep my husband and daughter happy. I’d push myself to keep going and going until my body collapsed.

And if finally did. I was so exhausted that I started to sleep again. Long, glorious stretches of slumber that would last 5-7 hours! It’s been ages since I could sleep that much! Unfortunately, I also feel tired all the time. If I’m able to grab a nap in the afternoon, I do. I finished up my third round of antibiotics, and finally cleared up the chest yuck with a pill also used to treat anthrax and tuberculosis. Seriously.

So a month later, I’m 10 lbs heavier, weak from so much “rest” and desperate to feel healthy. I started a fitness challenge, Fitness Battle Royale UT (or #FBRUT on Twitter) and I’m trying to push myself without overdoing it. Wish me luck.

TMI Friday: Being on Steroids for Lousy Lungs can Give you a Better Rack

sexy hospital gownIn the past month, I’ve filled over 20 prescriptions. In addition to playing “profession patient”, I’ve become the Foursquare mayor of several different pharmacies and medical clinics. I feel like my local Walgreens is the pharmacy equivalent of Cheers – “where everybody knows your name” (In fact, thinking about it makes me want to drown my sorrows in a Flaming Moe).

It started with seeing the hormone doctor. He put me on progesterone, which was supposed to temper my mood swings, make me sleep through the night and help me lose weight. The hormone pills didn’t help… Despite having the obvious signs of progesterone deficiency, the lab results showed that my normal hormones with vitamin/mineral deficiencies. My Vitamin D was low enough that they gave me an osteoporosis-fighting prescription drug.

About a week later, I started retaining water like a bloated water balloon. My blood pressure reading was sky-high, despite no prior signs of hypertension. So I went to my primary care doctor who gave me Lasix, a diuretic to help my body drain off the water weight and lower my blood pressure. It literally gets you running to the restroom every 30 minutes. Lasix makes your body deficient in potassium, so I’m taking a potassium supplement too. I got some sexy compression stockings to help my circulation and force out excess fluid in my legs. And you know how I had to get my wedding ring cut off a few weeks ago? My replacement cubic zirconia ring, which is 2 sizes larger, is already too small because of the swelling in my hands.

Then the poor air quality caught up with me. I started coughing and wheezing when I was outside, or whenever I exerted myself for anything beyond climbing a flight of stairs. I was choking and coughing in my sleep, which is not a good sign with sleep apnea. I started having constant chest pain. When I presented for Ignite Salt Lake, I thought the tightness in my chest was from nerves…but it was pleurisy. I was in urgent care with an asthma attack 2 weeks ago, where they sent me home with steroids and a big box of nebulizer vials. Since then, I’ve been back to urgent care, spent a long day in the ER, and have seen my new pulmonologist. He’s treating my dyspnea and sleep apnea problems more aggressively, and he’s strongly suggesting surgery. After lab work, chest x-rays, pulmonary function tests, arterial blood gasses, and lots of waiting in freezing cold rooms in thin hospital gowns…I’m worn out. The meds have made me gain weight at a rate I can’t seem to control (although I know most is due to fluid retention rather than bad eating habits).

So what’s the perk with all these steroids and weight gain? My boobs. I wasn’t small to begin with, but I’ve gone up almost two full cup sizes so far in 2011. A new bra I purchased a month ago leaves me spilling out. My newest blouse needs to be safety-pinned between buttons. People are no longer making eye contact with me in public, but they’re definitely looking. I don’t know how much of this excess size will stick around when my body calms down, but it was perfect timing for filling out my Valentines Day linger aie. If you’re considering a breast augmentation, maybe you should try going on steroids first.

Happy TMI Friday everyone!

Wordless Wednesday: The Impatient Outpatient

Asthma sucks

Sorry for the recent lack of blog posts, I’m busy being a professional patient. Air quality is bad, and my lungs are totally out of whack. And I’m sick of being sick.