April 17, 2014

Taking things slow

I had an MRI yesterday. It was a little difficult, because I had a terrible migraine, and hadn’t been feeling good the entire day. I drove myself to the hospital, which was a bad idea. There was no waiting time, which was a first, and which was a blessing. I went straight back to have my imaging done. I managed to zone out during the imaging, but it was hard, because I had the migraine, and MRI machines are VERY loud. Also, after the first set of images, they take me out of the machine, and inject contrast into my veins. Normally, it’s not an issue, but since I had just finished up the steroids, my veins were angry, and extra sensitive; the contrast made me feel even worse, which made it harder to ignore the jackhammering going on all around me.

When the whole thing was over, it was time to go home. I felt absolutely awful, and was not looking forward to driving home. My migraine was even worse, and I was definitely feeling the side effects of the contrast. When I was about halfway home, I started debating whether I should pull over and vomit on the side of the road, or if I could make it home first. I ended up speeding home (thank goodness I didn’t get a ticket) and running into the bathroom, when I was best friends with the toilet for a while. I got back in the car to go pick up the kids, who went to a friends house after school, but didn’t have to drive, because Troy pulled up with everyone. I went back inside, threw up some more, then went upstairs to bed.

I had Thaddeus bring me my emergency migraine pills, and I laid down with a heating pad around my neck and an ice pack at my temples. I tried to sleep, but the pounding my head was too much. Instead I just laid in my cold, quiet room and tried to not think about anything. At some point, I fell asleep, because when I woke up, it was dark outside, the house was quiet, and Troy was in bed next to me watching television. My migraine had receded enough that I could stand without needing to throw up, so I went downstairs and got my own drink. I appreciate that my family will fetch things for me, but it’s really nice to be able to care for myself.

This morning, I looked at the MRI scans. I’m not an expert at reading the images, but I’ve had enough that I know what is typical, and what is not. I definitely have active lesions and swelling, which confirms that I am having a relapse. My last MRI was practically clear, and this one was not. It’s still not as bad as the initial MRI though, that one was terrible. (That’s when all my doctors were astounded that I was still able to walk.)

Anyways, today I’m feeling better, and I have lots of things around the house that I need to catch up on. HOWEVER, I am NOT catching up on everything, because I know that if I do, that I will get sick again. So I’m sitting in bed, with my trusty heating pad, doing homework. When the kids get home, they’ll get some work assignments. Every time I think I have some sort of cleaning/chore routine worked out, I have to change it. Thankfully, we are familiar enough with all the housework in general, that it doesn’t kill us to switch things up. And on bad weeks, we have our M&M’s, and everyone knows that at the very least, these are the chores that must be done.

April 14, 2014

After Effects

The after effects of steroids are pretty much awful. Number one, I am super AWAKE. Number two, my joints are killing me. KILLING. ME. Number three, my mouth tastes really gross, and my gums hurt. Number four, I am insanely thirsty. Number five, I am insanely nauseous.

Meanwhile, I have discovered that there are a few different MS foundations that give away cooling vests. So I've been filling out applications, because I really, really need a cooling vest. I almost bought one last year, but there were so many options, and they prices are so varied, that I couldn't make a decision. So instead I did nothing, and invented my own cooling device.... Which is pretty much me, laying on top of an air vent with a big blanket, letting the air fill it up, so I have a nice little ice tent to hide out in. And yes, I'm totally serious. I'd say that a good 75% of my summer was spent in my ice tent, and I would even sleep that way. It was uncomfortable, but at least I could breathe.

I'm also excited that spring break is next week. We don't have anything planned, but it's nice to not have to wake up to an alarm clock. We don't even get to sleep in on weekends around here. We have soccer games, and church, and all sorts of other activities that require us to be up and at 'em.

But for now, I'm going to to head downstairs, take lots of pills, and pretend that I can sleep like a regular person. I'll let you know how it goes.

April 13, 2014

Get On With It

Today was the last round of IV steroids. Man alive, these meds are kicking my trash. The steroids BURN going in, and it's like they set my insides on fire. They also make me dizzy and nauseated. Overall, it's not a pleasant experience. However, my balance is back, and my gait has improved considerably. Plus, I'm not shaking like a newborn colt anymore.

I think that I'll only do steroid treatments when an exacerbation is screwing with my mobility and vision. I can deal with just about anything else, but I really like to see out of both eyes and walk.

Meanwhile, I did go to church today. I still had the IV catheter in my arm, because my next scheduled dose wasn't happening until AFTER services. And because I serve in primary with a lot of curious children, they instantly noticed the big white sock on my elbow and asked me what it was all about. I told them that I had been sick, and that my doctors were giving my special medicine into my arm. Of course, they wanted to see how, so I showed them a little bit of the IV tube. But then, they didn't understand how the tube could give me medicine, and when I said that they attached the tube to the inside of my body, they wanted to see HOW. So I pulled the sock all the way down, and they say the catheter going into my arm, and collectively screamed "EEEWWW! GROSS!" and covered their eyes with their fingers. Then they asked to see again.

Also: there is now a particular four year old who thinks I am part robot.

At any rate, I got to do singing time with the kids today! They had put a gal in as the singing time leader, and that was great, but I really missed doing it each week. Primary Music Leader is HANDS DOWN my favorite calling of all time, EVER. So I was bummed when we got an official leader. (Because I've never been officially called, but since I'm in the Primary Presidency, and I love music, I volunteered to fill in.) Anyways, they released her and put her in Young Women's, so now I get to do music again! Well, until they call someone else anyways, which could take months in my branch... There's just not many options available.

Yesterday, we went to the King William Fine Arts Festival. Taylor and Thaddeus both had drawings shown at the exhibit. Taylor's was a collaborative collage. She had colored circles with her class, then cut the circles in half, then they traded with each other, and glued the new circles in rows on black paper. Thaddeus' drawing was oil pastels on black paper. He got a lot of depth. It's neat to see how THEY see art. I need to do more drawings with the kids. They really enjoy the whole process, and get excited to work on the big, nice paper. I let them color on newsprint all the time, but then I have my fancy, expensive paper, and THOSE are for art projects.

I was talking to a friend the other day about art projects, because her kids have a tendency to want to save all their drawings. But, she said, the problem is that if they draw for an hour, they'll have a hundred pictures, and they'll want to save every one!

I told her I do not have this problem, because I don't save those. If they want me to save a special piece, then they need to take the time to make it special. I'm not saying that kids don't need to sketch and draw hundreds of pictures. I just don't need to save them all. Basically, if they have worked on something for more than an hour or two, I'll save it. But this nonsense of thinking that something is special because YOU did it, well, that's just crazy talk. If ME doing something was so special and magical, then I should be translated to heaven, because I do laundry... every day! It doesn't mean that it's special. It just means that you did something. I acknowledge that. Now get on with it.