Tonsils Takedown!

A sore throat is very uncommon to me especially if it last more than a day, I knew there was a problem. It’s the one symptom I have had lately that I could not connect to crohns, but ignored it anyway at first, thinking it was allergies/sinuses.The sore throat started Saturday night and was still there when I woke up on Sunday, but still decided to go on with my day. Met a friend for brunch, ran some errands and realized my throat was still sore and only gotten worst throughout the day. By 6pm on Sunday, I could barely swallow. I quickly did a google search for an urgent care center, and only found one that was open on a Sunday, wtf??

Walking from the parking lot to the check-in desk I was out of a breath, yeah . . . something was wrong . . Young lady at the check-in desk asked if I had problems of breathing and/or chest pains . . I said both. I had reflux issues earlier that day and I was out of breath . . I didn’t lie! but I later understood why it was important to ask. After waiting 45 minutes, I meet with the doctor and the first thing they said was their X-ray technician was gone for the day, but you can come back tomorrow to get an x-ray done. First thought, how is this a 24/7 urgent care center?!?  Secondly, it cost me a $50 co-pay just for a visit why would I come back?!? . . . .yes I am very cheap, because I’m broke!

They took my vitals and of course my blood pressure was high . . sighs . . . I hope its just stress related but my last few doctor appointments my blood pressures has been consistently high. I’m worried because hypertension does run in the family. I tell her my symptoms and before examining me she believed it was sinusitis, which I agreed, but then she told me to open wide and her response, “Your tonsils are HUGE!, oh my gosh!, open again! Wow” ..  I wanted to laugh but it hurt so bad lol They did a throat swap to test if it was strep, but the results were negative. She determined it was tonsillitis, which is something I had as a kid once, 20 years ago.  I was given a prescription for Augmentin and because it was Sunday night, no pharmacies were open, I had to wait until the Monday morning.

When I woke up on Monday it was like I ran into a brick wall. . . body aches, chills, and could barely breathe. When I was finally able to get out of bed went to my pharmacy to fill my prescription, still can’t believe it took an hour, maybe because it  was MLK day and they were short-staffed *shrugs*. As soon as it was ready I popped that pill like it was candy and was knocked out 1 hour later. Since then I’ve been home sleeping and drinking gallons of hot tea. I did a half day at work today, regret going but I was starting stress thinking about it since I have no back-up support. It is Day 3 on antibiotics and still have a sore throat, and dealing with crohn’s-like side effects, diarrhea, bloody stools, I had bad flashbacks. I haven’t been this sick in a long time and absolutely hate it! This is the 2nd viral infection I’ve had in the past year, does Humira play a factor?

Remaining positive and hope to be well again very soon!

New Year New Beginnings? . . .

Happy New Year! Another year and another colonoscopy. . . For a 2nd year in a row no inflammation was found in my colon nor rectum. My colon looked so good my new GI wants to take me off my last medication of Humira. . . Holy Crap lol In a way i’m not really excited, is that weird? It took a good 2 years to adapt to this new lifestyle of being chronically ill. Going from barely taking multi-vitamins to up to 14 pills a day and being admitted to the hospital, deep depression, side effects of steroid use . . . to let’s take you off everything . .wowzer

I guess my fear is relapsing if i’m taken off all medications. I had a little flare-up this year hence the reason why I had another colonoscopy. But to be completely off is kind of scary. I have heard how the disease can go dormant for periods of time, I read one woman had  a flare up after 20 years of no symptoms, this disease is something else.

I’m still awaiting the results of my biopsy but I don’t expect anything, think it was taken as a precaution. I need to be grateful and enjoy this moment. I am finally healthy again mentally and physically, starting to look for a new job, new place, recently connected with family members (ancestry DNA test is amazing!), 2017 might be a good year after all . . . we shall see!

 

The fear of going under . . .

I just had a good cry, I should sleep very well tonight!  I was watching a show called Code Black, thinking it was a typical ER drama I had it on my TV as background noise to tune out Ms. Godzilla that lives upstairs (can’t wait until this lease ends!). As I was barely paying attention to the main story in this episode; a young cop having an explosive lodged in her leg, for some reason the story of the woman who went to the ER alone because she wasn’t feeling well caught my attention. She didn’t look ill, but why would she be in the ER? I thought to myself, I can relate! The day I went to the ER I remember my outfit vividly cause I thought it was cute and it was one of my best hair days lol, I didn’t look sickly at all. Minutes later she’s in a hospital bed stating it was difficult to breathe and fussing with her brother. Her brother asked if she was really sick, she responded I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t and then she mentioned it was her Lupus. . . I slowly put my laptop to the side and gave the show my full attention. It’s rare when television shows discuss invisible illnesses such as autoimmune diseases so I was weirdly excited.

The episode returned back to her story by discussing her CT Scan results. The doctors stated she had a Pulmonary Emboli?!? I think. The blood clot on her lung was so big they had to rush her to surgery. The fascinating thing about this episode is that woman with an explosive bullet in her leg survived, but not this woman with Lupus. She died . . . and I started crying. I don’t know how realistic this story could be but, she went to the hospital with a chronic illness and she knew something was seriously wrong. It’s a scary feeling right? When I went to the ER I knew I could no longer eat anything, but I didn’t really think of the risks with medical procedures, but anything can happen whenever you go under . .

I have always hated hospitals, my favorite uncle died in a hospital when I was a teenager. Being in a hospital have always been a fear of mine ever since his passing.  When I  had to get my gallbladder removed at 25 I was terrified. I remember asking  my co-worker who was a minister to say a prayer for me. We were literally praying in her office. Before my first colonoscopy I said a prayer, when I was in the hospital I prayed hoping that, that night was my last night in the hospital. Every time I go under I say a prayer, you just never know and it’s odd I’m no longer terrified, I just hope for the best. When you have a chronic illness having multiple medical procedures become routine unfortunately.

I finally sought a 2nd opinion, found a GI in my new home state of Virginia (even though I’ve been living here for 8 months now). He immediately didn’t understand why I was taking Apriso and Humira, and told me to stop the Apriso. Thank God! I had stopped taking it weeks ago and it saves me $25  a month. But of course he wants to do a colonoscopy, got it scheduled for Dec. 29th. Third year in a row I’m having this procedure done before the New Year, it’s becoming a tradition. Since I had a flare up a couple of months ago when I’ve been on Humira for over a year, he wants to know why . . sighs . . once again I’m going under . . and plan to say a little prayer and hope for the best.

Can I have a drink? Of course! :)

I just realized that I have not had a cup of coffee or a beer in two years! That’s so crazy!! But, I have become a “wine connoisseur” lately, it doesn’t bother my gut. In addition to vodka and gin, wine is one alcoholic drink that does not make me violently ill.

I have discovered a new pastime, Winery Day Trips! I’ve been to 4 since July. It’s low energy, good time with friends, and bougie as hell and I love it! lol  It’s one of the few times when I am relaxing and having fun. After an entire day of drinking a person with a normal immune system would be exhausted so how do I do it? I don’t! I still suffer, but there are little things I do to prevent me from becoming violently ill.

This past weekend was my 3rd trip to a winery and I  prepared by buying Gatorade, Imodium, and granola bars. Staying hydrated is key, I purposely drink Gatorade all day and the next. Before leaving my apartment I did not eat anything but a granola bar, being on a bus for more than an hour I wanted nothing to irritate my stomach, but brought Imodium just in case.

Throughout our winery trip, I had a glass, then another, and many more followed, while snacking on multi-grain and butter crackers, salami, and various dips, luckily I was okay. The killer was the hibachi grill after the winery, my stomach looked like I was 7 months preggers on my way home . . .  must have been the garlic. I spent the next day on the couch with painkillers and drinking Gatorade once again . . .But I felt pretty good today, proud of myself that I can still have a little fun 🙂

Still waiting on the blood work results . . . sighs . . as always remaining hopeful and taking one day at a time. .  .

Benefits Drama . . . . :(

So it’s Open Enrollment time! My favorite time of the year! (sarcasm) . .. I started my current job last July, 3 months after I was discharged from the hospital. Since I was still paranoid and finally understood the life of living with a chronic illness, I immediately noticed the premium plan was my best option which was $120 out of each  paycheck. Well I just realized today, in late September,  I haven’t met the deductible for my current medical plan in this past year. I guess that’s awesome? This past year I have had fewer visits to doctor offices and no increase in prescriptions . . . ..not too shabby.

My dilemma is should I drop to a lower level in medical benefits? Money is tight now and I need every cent to pay off my dental bills. My new Dentist thinks that I might have periodontal disease and I need like 3 new crowns . . . my immediate response to a proposed dental treatment plan of $7k+ was “Bitch Please” but all the medications, long term steroid use, and me putting off dental work to pay for other medical expenses has finally caught up to me . . . sighs . .

Since I’m starting to look for new employment anyway, I can deal with this lower tier of benefits for a temporary time? . . . Ugh, I need to make more money  to pay of my medical bills . . .  feeling frustrated.