CDC Symptom Diary Card

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Searching for some kind of balance

Good morning.  My sister and her husband returned last night from a glorious vacation on La Isla Mueheres.  The islands are located off the beautiful coast of Cancun Mexico.  They returned home with bright smiles, relaxed postures, beaming energy and tans.  Well, what a blessing for them.  They deserved it.  They went with a group of friends to celebrate one's 50th birthday and also personally celebrating 20 years of wedding bliss.

For me, this past week was another health nightmare, and I'm really tired of them.  I think I had noted previously having a severe RA flare.  Well my RAdoc put me on 30 mg of prednisone per day, scheduled to taper down in dosage over the next few weeks.  Because my eyes were also severely inflamed, red, dry, painful etc, I was also referred to an opthamologist.

Last Wed I saw an opthamologist who said she was concerned about my cornea.  I should have anticipated that they would dilate my eyes, but didn't, so I wasn't prepared for THAT!  Anyway, I was prescribed antibiotic eyedrops and referred to a cornea specialist. 

Two days later (FRIDAY) I was seen by a cornea specialist who said I have PUK (peripheral ulcerative keratitis).  WHAT?  He scared the hell out of me because he said my corneas could rupture if I don't get my arthritis under control.

Generally, your cornea is connected to the eye by collagen.  My RA is attacking my collagen and that includes the collagen around my cornea.  So in his valiant attempt to minimize the risk, he also prescribed an antibiotic for my eyes, because he saw a mild infection as well.

The cornea specialist prescribed Doxycycline and an antibiotic eye ointment. 

On Friday, in order to see the specialist downtown, I needed to drive to the SCCA, and take a cab to the eye clinic.  So by the time it was all done, I was gone from noon to 6:30 pm for one medical appointment.  What a day.

I was instructed to take Doxycycline with food.  I had soup, bread, one dose of Dox at 7pm.  By 7:45pm,  I was violently ill, throwing up, diahrea until 1am.  It was absolutely the most miserable condition.  I think I ruptured something in my nose from all the pressure.  I was so sick.

My mom tried to get ahold of all kinds of doctors, nobody available, and when she finally did get ahold of someone, he was rude.

I wound up in the ER on Saturday because of bloody stools.  I was diagnosed with a brief GI bleed, idiosyncratic gastritis and given fluids, pain meds and pepcid via IV.  The ER staff were nice and calming, and sent me home after four hours.  I will never take Doxycycline again, ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The past few days have consisted of trying to drink, eat litte amounts of food, and play administrator for my doctors.  I say administrator because the eye clinics and ER are not part of my main medical system at University of Washington. So I have to be the one to get records to them from outside doctors, sigh.

I am feeling better, but this is not over.  I still need to get my RA and eye condition resolved, and to be honest, really don't want to go on a bazillion appointments this week.  When I feel like this I have to remember to be gracious and thankful, as someone like me has no insurance and has no appointments.

I just am trying to say that it is frustrating, I am surviving deadly Ovarian Cancer, and my body is still falling apart.  I have not had time or ability to celebrate.  I want simplicity, no pain, to be able to exercise and have a little fun.  When will that happen, ever?  I just want to start enjoying life a little bit, that's all.

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