Hoover Dam…

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Hoover Dam style bloody nose. Choking on the blood as I rush to the bathroom sink. Trying not to vomit from it trickling down my throat and into my stomach. Rumbles inside, holding in the intestinal upset that my body decided to attempt to expel at the same time it released the gates through my nose. This is how my Monday work morning started, just a short time after arriving. Not only was I stiff as a board when I woke this morning, which caused me to be 15 minutes late, I also had to attempt to cover what looks like scabby pick marks meth heads have, all over my face and neck. images (1) Trying to find something to wear that won’t irritate the over sized fluid filled cyst pocket that decided to grow in my armpit this weekend. Getting two small children ready for the day, and having my teenager decide at the last minute she would also like a ride to school. Guess the rain wasn’t that appealing to her. Being a chronically ill single mom is the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life. Being a single mom was rough, and I took each moment in stride. It was difficult, but at most times I was able to handle every problem with a certain level of grace.

Since I became ill in 2011, I have slowly become less and less graceful. I am not sure if I will ever handle anything else with grace. My fumbling hands, arms, and legs has been followed by this lovely fog that makes it hard to even have one conversation without stopping. Whether it is forgetting what we were talking about, rolling off into tangents, or not being able to form words properly, it is difficult and growing worse. I have no idea what to do with my body that is going to make it better. In order to physically function, I have to take gabapentin which causes a slew of side effects. There are other medications I take, but this one has the most severe I have ever had. Here is a list of the most common, rare, and unexplained. (I have put the ones I suffer/have suffered in the past in bold):

  • More common
  • Clumsiness or unsteadiness
  • continuous, uncontrolled, back-and-forth, or rolling eye movements
  • Aggressive behavior or other behavior problems
  • anxiety
  • concentration problems and change in performance
  • crying
  • depression
  • false sense of well-being
  • hyperactivity or increase in body movements
  • rapidly changing moods
  • reacting too quickly, too emotional, or overreacting
  • restlessness
  • suspiciousness or distrust
  • Black, tarry stools
  • chest pain
  • chills
  • cough
  • depression, irritability, or other mood or mental changes
  • fever
  • loss of memory
  • pain or swelling in the arms or legs
  • painful or difficult urination
  • shortness of breath
  • sore throat
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
  • swollen glands
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
  • clay-colored stools
  • coma
  • confusion
  • convulsions
  • dark urine
  • decreased urine output
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness
  • fast or irregular heartbeat
  • headache
  • increased thirst
  • itching
  • joint pain
  • large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs (mildly, only when exacerbated by celiac) 
  • loss of appetite
  • muscle ache or pain
  • nausea
  • red skin lesions, often with a purple center
  • red, irritated eyes
  • skin rash
  • unpleasant breath odor
  • vomiting of blood
  • yellow eyes or skin
  • images (2)

  • Some side effects of gabapentin may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
  • Blurred vision
  • cold or flu-like symptoms
  • delusions
  • dementia
  • hoarseness
  • lack or loss of strength
  • lower back or side pain
  • swelling of the hands, feet, or lower legs
  • trembling or shaking
  • Accidental injury
  • appetite increased
  • back pain
  • bloated or full feeling
  • body aches or pain
  • burning, dry, or itching eyes
  • change in vision
  • change in walking and balance
  • clumsiness or unsteadiness
  • congestion
  • constipation
  • cough producing mucus
  • decrease in sexual desire or ability
  • dementia
  • difficulty with breathing
  • dryness of the mouth or throat
  • earache
  • excess air or gas in the stomach or intestines
  • excessive tearing
  • eye discharge
  • feeling faint, dizzy, or lightheadedness
  • feeling of warmth or heat
  • flushed, dry skin
  • flushing or redness of the skin, especially on the face and neck
  • frequent urination
  • fruit-like breath odor
  • impaired vision
  • incoordination
  • increased hunger
  • increased sensitivity to pain
  • increased sensitivity to touch
  • increased thirst
  • indigestion
  • low blood pressure
  • nervousness
  • noise in the ears
  • pain, redness, rash, swelling, or bleeding where the skin is rubbed off
  • passing gas
  • redness or swelling in the ear
  • redness, pain, swelling of the eye, eyelid, or inner lining of the eyelid
  • runny nose
  • sneezing
  • sweating
  • tender, swollen glands in the neck
  • tightness in the chest
  • tingling in the hands and feet
  • troubled breathing
  • trouble with sleeping
  • trouble with swallowing
  • trouble with thinking
  • twitching
  • unexplained weight loss
  • voice changes
  • vomiting
  • weakness or loss of strength
  • weight gain
  • wheezing

Now, when it comes to medication, you are going to have to choose the lesser of the two evils. Granted I suffer all of these side effects, some of them are going to exist on different levels with or without the medication. The pain I suffer from the fibro, RA, and celiac flares are much less severe, as well as being cut down in time suffering. Without this medication, I would not be able to get out of bed in the mornings. I would be stiff as a board, without the ability to loosen up my body in order to move. The more this illness progresses, the worse it gets. I know I have posted before about getting used to my body, finding my limitations, and staying within them. Fibromyalgia1 Sometimes I am a silly sick girl, and I push myself too far. I know that the reason I have had a rough morning was due to the weekend activities I pushed myself through. The way I pushed my physical, emotional, and mental being was beyond what I should have, and I knew it. Yet, sometimes you just have to try to be as normal as possible. There is a point that you reach each day, and you know if you stop you will not get back up. Instead of stopping, I pushed through it all. I not only used up my daily spoons, but every spoon I could possibly muster up inside me.

It started with Friday: Movie date with my 7 year old. Having to rush home early due to my oldest having a teenage meltdown, and needing to be supervised. Shopping for supplies, and doing a 3 hour photoshoot on Saturday, followed by a quick shower, bathing my children and heading off to a birthday party for a good friend. Pushing myself into interacting with all the friends who showed, and having a bit of wine to get me through it. The next morning began with a breakfast out, then shopping non stop for home upgrades, cleaning supplies, storage bins, etc. A new tablet for my two little ones, new shoes, and many other things. I did EVERYTHING I have been putting off for weeks.. maybe even months.. in one day. My home is looking great, but… I did this all because I knew once I stopped, I would be down. I had to push myself as far as I could to get this all done, or it was never going to get done. And what happened? Hoover Dam happened. Hoover Dam in the form of blood, cysts, swelling, pain, and so many other things. Was it worth it? Ask me in two days… two weeks.. however long it takes me to recover, because today I am suffering the effects of my own self destructive behavior.

Hoover Dam happens in many forms, and I feel like that is an accurate description for a flare. For the side effects we suffer for trying to be a normal human being. For trying to be who we used to be, and failing. Failing miserably, because I am not the old me. I am not the same woman I was even last year. 473368-22729-48 Last year my Dam was holding up much better; A few cracks and leaks here and there, yes, but not a full on break. Now.. I break. I can’t help but think to myself how much more broken I am going to get. If I am having Hoover breaks now, what will I suffer with a year from now? 5 years? 10 YEARS? How will I survive??? Perhaps it is giving in, and just trying to patch what I can. I had to finally cave and purchase tighter fitting shoes with inserts for more heel and arch support. I can no longer wear shoes with heels. At all. Purchasing items that most won’t need until well into their 40’s and 50’s is rough on my mental state, but I accepted it… kinda. This may put a bit of a hold on my Hoover Dam, but maybe not. We will have to see what is going to happen with them.

Weak, tired, and moody.. here I sit suffering through my self inflicted break. Trying to patch things up with what I can, and looking like death in the meantime. Nothing else I can do at this point but remind myself that this was a terrible idea…

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