Resting day.

It’s so beautiful this afternoon. Today was a day for my additional MRI tests. Even though I medicated last night and during the night with steroids and Benadryl I had a reaction to the contrast dye just like last week. I had to get IV Benadryl before I could leave the hospital. Not truly unexpected on my part. We arrived home about 1230 and I proceeded to go to sleep with him at say 15 minutes or maybe 30 minutes. And I didn’t wake up until 5 o’clock. For me the IV Benadryl is kind of like being in a coma . I know my ever watchful angel Brett was here all afternoon with me and my big girl Layla lay right beside me while I slept on the couch. I’m awake now but I’m in a fog and I hate that feeling . It’s the kind of fog that makes arms and legs feel like they’re moving through quicksand and to me it’s very uncomfortable because I’m used to moving around at a zippy pace before I got sick. There are so many things that I’d like to be doing like cutting back the crêpe Myrtle’s or snipping the tendrils off the wisteria or even folding a load of laundry at this point looks good. But it’s really hard just to move enough to do those things it seems monumental. I did get up and make tuna fish salad for dinner so Brett would eat . So very simple empty three cans of tuna in a Tupperware container , peel the already hard-boiled eggs, cut up onion in small diced pieces, add a little bit of garlic and dice up some pickles , and add mayonnaise. Stir. Add some pepper to taste because I’m a Pepper fanatic . But all the while I felt like it took me an hour to make the tuna fish salad . I’m sending for a few minutes outside at the patio table.Enjoying the afternoon sun and I would love to be in the swimming pool. Right now I feel like it would take someone to strip off my clothes and apply my swimming suit. Ughh. I don’t think I’m depressed I feel pretty good mentally. I’m not worried about much but this morning I was nervous as a cat before this MRI test for some reason . I’ve said my prayers and I know it’s all in gods hands and he’ll tell me what to do’s been doing that ever since I got sick. I miss playing golf! I miss walking the dogs! I miss my husband! He’s here but I’m asleep some days it seems like 18 hours a day . I would love to be restored near full health . I continue to ask for divine intervention and direction on how to approach this condition. I just found out a childhood friend Anita was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma . So I’m praying for her and praying for other people that I know that having suffering going on and others that I don’t know they’re suffering . I’m praying for people I don’t know like the congressmen that were shot in the DC security agents that were shot yesterday. I’m laying inside the MRI up to this morning and had a nice long time of prayer with my Lord. It calms me down to pray while I lay inside the tube and helps me to relax while the tests are being done. I know I’ll spend some of the evening and probably all night sleeping off the Benadryl hangover and I’m hoping that I wake up tomorrow feeling good . Been quite a while since I’ve had a good day .  I thank God for the good things in my life of which I still have a full cup.

Peace and blessings.

Advertisements

Sleeping and sleeping..

The past two weeks have been very, very different. Before I had nights that I couldn’t sleep at all. This was because my blood pressure kept going up extremely high and my heart rate going up like a jackhammer. Since then my labwork came back abnormal again which is no surprise. I saw the doctor a little over a week ago and he said that we have to get more aggressive looking for the secreting tumor that’s causing all the symptoms. Yay I can’t believe somebody finally said the words “get aggressive”. After all it’s only been going on for six months And I have finally gotten to where I couldn’t walk up steps couldn’t walk for more than about hundred yards straight and have lost my ability to play golf or even swing a golf club or play with the dogs. All of this since Christmas and at that time I was going to the YMCA with Kathleen three nights a week at least and walking on the treadmill for 30 minutes or more without any problem and sneaking off to work on my golf swing any time that I had more than five minutes! A lot has gone wrong over the last five months. I got a call from the doctors office last Wednesday. Alex told me that my lab work was all “very abnormal”. I’ve been so sick that I didn’t even ask what tests and how abnormal…which is totally out of character for me. He said Dr. Latif wanted to get MRI scans as soon as possible of my full spine, chest, abdomen and pelvis. He also doubled one of the medicines I was on which had just been doubled the week before. And he started me on an 8th medication another beta blocker . I had two MRI scans yesterday morning . Lucky me I had an allergic reaction to the dye and they had to give me Benadryl 50 mg IV to shut it down . I have made up on my sleep since then Benadryl knocks me out, but with IV Benadryl I pretty much could have surgery done and never know it. I have slept for 18 hours straight with one bathroom break. The new medicines have knocked my blood pressure and heart rate too low.  I’m going to stop the new beta blocker. My arms and legs feel like noodles and when I get up all I can hear is that buzzing in my ears. You know the buzzing…the kind you get right before you pass out. I’ve been drinking water like crazy to keep blood volume up. This sucks. I have two more MRIs next Thursday. I will lose a full day then too because I have to pre medicate with steroid and Benadryl this time. I’ll keep you posted….too tired now. Still praying they find the little sucker so they can take it out. Peace and blessings. 

Another night awake

It’s 3:18 AM. I was sleeping so well from 10:00PM until about 1:45. I woke with a start to the pounding of my heart beat in my head and ears and chest, just galloping away. These spells are so tiresome at times. My body blasted so much adrenaline into my system that by the time I made it downstairs to check my blood pressure it was 165/115 and my heart rate was over 115 beats per minute. I’m as awake as if I were standing in the middle of a busy street during the middle of the day. There’s no rhyme or reason. I had to take my “rescue” blood pressure medicine and am working on relaxing it down now. Tomorrow is going to be a tough day. Hopefully I’ll get back to sleep in the next hour or so and can get a couple hours before time to get up. My next appointment is June 2nd. I’m praying we’ll get more tests and scans to help find whatever is causing this. Well, I hope someone is sleeping. I’m going to continue watching an old movie, Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Jojo is asleep in my lap dreaming doggie dreams. I can feel his little legs running in his sleep and he’s quietly sleep barking at times. At least he’s resting well. Hoping to drift away myself. Peace and Blessings..

Gentleness, Kindness and Truth..

It’s Tuesday. I’m thinking today about the terror attack in Manchester, England. Sadness fills my heart for those people who lost family members just due to Evil. I have a love for all people. I have been a RN for 36 years now. Today I am thinking about Islamic radicalism. I’m not thinking about Muslims versus Christians or Jewish versus Christians. I’m thinking about radical Islamists. What do you mean by radical Islamists? I am discussing those that are based out of the third century and feel like their God calls them to slaughter innocents and infidels. ISIS takes credit for last nights bombing. There’s no way to combat evil in less you recognize that it is out there and it is preying on people. My prayers go out to all those families I can’t even imagine losing a child after they’ve gone to a concert to have fun. To be clear I can’t even imagine losing a child under any circumstances. We must, across the world, standup and call this for what it is and recognize that they consider all of us infidels to be slaughtered if we’re not following sharia law. Unfortunately I don’t see any way out of this except through armed and intentional annihilation of the enemy. This is not the first time we have faced this in the United States. Thomas Jefferson had to face the Barbary Coast pirates who were Islamic terrorists. I try not to blow my political thoughts out there but last night particularly tweaked my thoughts.

I’m sitting here in my hometown working and all I can think about is I’m surrounded by my husband and my dogs and my children, my parents and all of those friends that I love and have not personally been touched by terrorism since 9/11/01. Today I don’t feel quite as safe because I have grandchildren out there in the world at different places . I am thankful that before I left for work this morning I saw all of my four-legged loved ones around me running around acting happy on an early summer day in the sun. Annabelle had her balls in her mouth running around throwing them everywhere and Layla was hopping around giving me kisses before I left for work. All the others were running around in the backyard playing. I pray for peace across the world and it’s something I pray for all throughout the day . I pray for peace for you and yours and I hope you aren’t touched by this great evil.

Blessings to all..

An Actual Spring!

Good morning to all!

 I’m in the Midsouth and we’re having an actual spring! By this time of year most of the time it’s in the high 80s. I’m sitting on my back porch right now and it’s about 60 maybe 62°. The wind is blowing through the trees which is a rarity . Our spring started early this year just like it always does back in March. Now we are in the middle of May and we’re still having what one would consider comfortable temperatures and more importantly low humidity. Our humidity by this time of year is normally in 80% plus range. Normally we’re already talking about the heat index and I have only heard that one day so far. If you don’t know what a heat index is, it’s when the humidity plus the temperature makes it feel at least 5° warmer feeling outside. Instead it’s comfortable and peaceful out here this morning. I’m surrounded by the dogs who are basking in the sun. Annabelle of course is laying in the sun playing with her traditional ball . Layla loves that cool feeling of the back porch concrete on her belly . I was up at 2 o’clock this morning from my heart pounding and blood pressure so I took advantage of it and put away the dishes in the dishwasher. It’s up again right now but I’m not all that inclined to take the extra medicine I’m supposed to. It’s just too dang nice out here and I’m enjoying taking in the springtime views of my flowers and bushes that are growing like crazy. Tomorrow I have to do another 24 hour urine collection . That will keep me at home all day from tomorrow morning until Monday morning early . I have to take that back to the lab Monday morning and my doctors appointment is a couple of weeks away. 

Today We’re going out to the Millington Memphis jetport today the Blue Angels air show is in town!! If you’ve never been to an air show there will be over 100 different airplanes there to look at, to go inside, sit inside and marvel at. At 3 o’clock the blue Angels will start their show and they are totally amazing! There’s nothing more exciting than watching those jets pass within 6 inches of each other as they fly across the sky. They’ll come from all directions at one time and there’ll be six of them. The sonic boom will surprise all. We’ve been to this show many times before, and I’m amazed again each time. Nothing can make you feel more red, white and blue than watching the Jets from our American military force doing their maneuvers high above you and even low above you! I hope you all have a great day today and I hope it’s as beautiful where you are as it is here! Peace and blessings..

I accomplished 2 things today

It was a beautiful day today. The sun was shining and there was a breeze blowing. I think it got up to about 78°. We went to Lowe’s and bought eight bags of hardwood mulch for the yard and flowerbeds . I bought two plants to put in the front flower bed. All I could do was get one plant planted in the corner and the second plant planted in the middle of the flower bed. Then the day went to junk. That but of exertion blew up my blood pressure and heart rate to the point that I had to come inside and lay down for over an hour, take more medicine and was so disheartening. I love gardening there’s nothing I enjoy more from Easter into the fall than working in my yard with flowers and dirt, except golf would come in there as number two . Right now I can’t do either one . I’m trying my best to keep a “stiff upper lip”, as the British say . But it’s about to get on my last nerve! I have to find a way to get back to normal life . I’m sick of being sick! I’ve been praying every day like I normally do. I have changed my diet. I would love to exercise but I’m just not able to get any exercise aerobically which I am sorely missing. All of this is lost because of this mysterious disease process that’s going on right now. I know there are people worse off than me, so some people would say you just need to be thankful for what you have. And I am thankful for everything that I have! It’s just that right now this is very personal and I’m not the most patient person in the world… and I’m not the best patient in the world either. 🙍 Not only that but once again I am swelling every day. I had to pry my rings off today. The other day when I went to the doctor I had gained 7 pounds in the span of about a week. And I have pitting edema and both of my legs right now. My face is very swollen too and I hardly recognize myself sometimes when I look in the mirror. Overweight has always weighed heavy on my head and my heart . I don’t do well with it and it’s making it harder for me to feel like doing anything outside the house. I know that sounds very shallow . On the other hand on Thursday I got a good report from the cardiologist to basically cut me loose. She said that all of my cardiac test are normal except for my atrial fibrillation so as far as they were concerned I was clean as a whistle . She said this whatever ?? is metabolic and continue to go to the endocrinologist . But to change the picture…  Brett is in there working on the computer, the dogs are all gathered around and as far as I know all my children are happy and healthy, my grandchildren are happy and healthy and my parents are too. So I have so much to be thankful for I’m overwhelmed! Okay I’ll stop this pity party now and tomorrow is another day. Maybe I’ll get some mulch in the beds then! Peace and blessings to all…

Alright! I’m awake okay?

 I’m not a morning person anyway . I got to sleep last night around 1030 which is pretty early for me and then was back up again at 1:15 because my heart was pounding in my head . I just woke up at 5:15 and my blood pressure is 180/110 And my heart rate 115. Soooo all I can say is alright I’m up already! Pardon my description but it feels like somebody has shoved a Live Wire inside me.  I was gonna say up my … But that may have been too much so I’ll just leave that part off.  These “flares”, for lack of a better word, cause me to shake all over, instant anxiety and just be  immediately alert with a large headache. I jumped up like shot out of a cannon and grabbed my literal handful of blood pressure and heart medicines. Good grief. So I’ve turned to my blog because the rest of the house is still asleep. I can hear the birds outside chirping for glory. Most people enjoy morning sounds.. Me not so much. I’m an official morning sour puss. I’m dedicated to it, have been all my life. LOL. I can barely grunt to say anything in the early AM and I’m not one for small talk. I get to work about 8:00 but my people light doesn’t come on till 9:00. I’ve tried over the years to get up earlier and force that nice Sheri to come out early but she told me to ______myself and shut up! LOL  I would blame it on too many years of night shifts but it’s been that way much longer than that. It’s all starting to calm down now, so we’ll see what the day brings. Everything was elevated all day yesterday and I spent all day treating myself with the as needed medicines. By the end of the day I was exhausted. I called my doc because my next appt isn’t for five weeks and it seems to be getting worse daily. Hopefully, they’ll call me today. 

I hope everyone has good day. Peace, love and blessings..

Notes of a successful, normal day.

I have had another mostly successful day at work got about an hour to go . I didn’t get here on time this morning because I was having difficulty waking up after being up all night long or at least most of the night. The thing about this hyper infusion of catecholamines, epinephrine, and norepinephrine being shot into your system is that at night is when all that production goes on. And, as is normal the highest time of release of all these wonderful substances is early-morning which we’re all thankful for because it helps us wake up and not take a permanent nap! LOL I got in a five minute walk today. It was so nice outside that I thought I would walk around our compound for lack of a better word. I walk and then I went back inside because I could tell it had accelerated everything and my blood pressure was 150/110. before January 20, 2017 I could take 30 to 40 minutes on the treadmill fast with no problem at all. So I have really declined in my ability to do what I like best which is exercise and move around at will . I got home and made both tuna fish salad and chicken salad those are a staple around this house. Tried to do some laundry and got it out of the dryer. But that was as far as I got this evening. After I ate dinner I sat down in the recliner for a few minutes and leaned it back and the last thing I remember is leaning the recliner back!  I woke up with a bolt at 11:30 on the dot . It’s amazing how they injection in your body of the epinephrine just shoot uWink and you’re totally clear . Everything is crystal clear, your hearing is acute, your vision is sharp and your thoughts are just flying! Knowing I’ll be up for a while I decided to let the dogs outside . They were all sleepy but we usually let them out right before we go to bed, and I could tell they hadn’t been let out when Brett went upstairs to go to sleep. That was around 1230 and a few minutes ago around 0130 I heard a bark outside.  We have seven dogs and normally do we need a headcount no matter when we’re letting them in and out. For dog lovers you’ll understand that and for non-dog lover you’ll think that’s just crazy. This is one time I forgot to do a headcount. After hearing the bark I could tell I’d left someone outside …Of course it was Wooby the quietest one among the group.He never makes much noise at all. We call him Wooby because when he was a baby he always had to have a toy or blanket beside him and he dragged them all around the house those were his “woobies”. His name is Scotty and he’s a Jack rat terrier. We also gave him the name Wooby because when he moves he wiggles from the tip of his nose to the tip of his tail back-and-forth back-and-forth back-and-forth…LOL. He constantly keeps on toying his mouth and we make jokes about the fact that he does. We say that he keeps the toy in his mouth to keep himself from screaming with excitement! I guess he was right beside the back door even though the lights were out and something must’ve scared him because I just heard one yip after being out there for an hour. Being a dog mom I immediately recognized the Tannibark and knew in my pit of my stomach I had left someone outside alone in the dark and scared. Yes I said I left “someone” just like it’s a person because he’s one of my babies. When I let him in he was wiggling frantically and had a toy stuffed in his mouth that he found outside. I guess he been holding on to it ever since he got shut out the back door. Boy, don’t I feel terrible right now! It took me about 10 minutes of petting and 10 minutes of him running around which woke everybody else up downstairs before he could calm himself down and get up in Brett’s chair …with a blanket. Okay, okay, yes I went and got his favorite blanket. I know it’s kind of pathetic . LOL The next thing I did was the headcount . Now everybody settled back down but I’m still awake and my heartbeat is thumping in my head but I’m watching my current favorite movie which is – 13 Hours the Secret Soldiers of Benghazi. I read the book too that was written before the movie was made back in 2013 . It’s an amazing story of the Americans that tried to save the ambassador Chris Stevens when Benghazi was overrun . Stories especially true ones like that help me to get myself mentally right. It lets me know as a reminder that you can do anything that you need to get through . From what I’m told and what I remember of my childhood, youth and adulthood I came here ferocious and I’ve stayed that way over the years when faced with adversity. I’ve had my share like everybody else. Some would say I’ve had more than my share but I don’t see it that way. I don’t tend to be the kind that looks backward with any regrets. I truly believe that every day stacked on top of the day before has brought me to where I am right now and taught me things that I didn’t know. I’ve got softer edges after 56 years.  The water over the rocks had smoothed me into a little bit cozier maybe a little fuzzier person, which is a good thing. I kind of laugh when I think back into my teens, 20s and 30s at the ever loving Spitfire that I was, with the short fuse and most of the time my hair was on fire. LOL! Somewhere along the way from about 37 through my 40s I just fizzled out as far as the daily Intensity. Some of that was because of working in the emergency room during all those years but most of it was organic, hard wired. I’d have to say the last decade has been pretty mellow on a day-to-day basis for me and my friends will laugh. Because I know that mellow for me is not what most people would describe. I worked hard and played hard ! And that’s still the way I prefer it today. I’ve always loved people and dogs . I still have the occasional quick fire temper but I’m a short burn because eases up so much energy all at one time. I never learned to hold a grudge. Sometimes I’ve even been envious of people who can hold a grudge because I just can’t do it . Having a short memory and being long on forgiveness has sometimes served me very well and at other times it’s made me put my hand on the stove multiple times in a row when it comes to people who might or might not have your best interest at heart. I try my best to meet people where they are. I think I learned that from my parents and I know I learned a lot of it in the emergency room being a nurse for the last 36 years. A lot of people can’t help where they are, even if they are extremely difficult most have a reason for being that way. And no I’m not bleeding heart there are responsibilities that go with bad choices. I just always thought that me acting out toward a difficult person doesn’t help the situation and adds to their burden and makes me carry away bad thoughts and feelings. LOL, I’m definitely no saint and my friends and family can attest to the fact that when I get on a tirade about something my mouth has a tendency to lay it all straight out on the line as clear as glass for everybody else to see. I’m coming to grips now with the fact that this health problem that’s going on isn’t going away anytime soon and there are things I’m gonna have to do in the future test and test and probably more tests to have done. But I can’t control that and I’m just gonna take it a step at a time. Thank God I tend not to borrow trouble. He has blessed me in such a large measure and as they say to whom much has been given much will be expected. I’m just thankful to be surrounded by love on all sides!I’m gonna turn my movie back on but I just thought I would spout off a few words about my day. I hope everybody has a good day tomorrow, strike that, I hope everybody has a great day tomorrow! Peace, love and blessings from Sheri…

Well…a place for deep thoughts

It’s a yucky kind of gray rainy day in West Tennessee and so it’s been slow moving for everybody I’ve talked to today. Sorry I was MIA for a couple days. My appointment with the doctor yesterday went good but questionable … We saw Dr. Latif who I really liked. He’s nice and seems very compassionate. However, the MIBG scan was negative which is kind of what I expected . He said sometimes this could take 8 to 10 years to sort out … Yes I said years. It was a relief to hear that I didn’t show a pheochromocytoma ! But it sent us back to the drawing board as far as he was concerned and as far as our searching goes..sigh. It’s not an easy thing to track down and I knew that from all of my research . I couldn’t help but cry just a little because I was really hoping for something like a benign Pheo that could be removed and I could get my life back quick.  No such luck. We started a new medicine called Cardura which is an alpha blocker, on top of the other five blood pressure medicines that I’m on right now! So I’m spending yesterday and today trying to get used to the new medicine and I think I feel a little bit better today . Of course I haven’t really done much I’m trying to follow the directions on how to get used to an alpha blocker . It blocks the infusion of epinephrine and norepinephrine into your system and helps to keep you from getting the “fight or flight” response in your body. The dogs smell it of course rescue one has taken turn passing by me sniffing the new chemical smell on mom . They’re adjusting to it, amazing how they know! I’m not sure how but their noses are so developed it’s incredible they sniff me from high to low as soon as I come back in from the doctors office every time . The med causes a little dizziness. Yesterday was worse than today and Layla has been close by just to be sure I don’t fall flat on my face . So far it’s not keeping my heart rate below 100 consistently but it hasn’t blasted up to above 120 bpm all day long which is a new development. The biggest problem with all these blocking drugs is that they also block your desire to participate in life, lol. Being the terrible patient that I usually a.m. I have made the executive decision to start and withdraw one medication at a time based on my vital signs. Since I have the ability to monitor both my heart rate and blood pressure and the way I feel internally and how are Espanto things that I’m doing I’m going to try over the next few weeks to knock off one at a time and see if I can get some life juices flowing again . I’ll let you know how it goes it should prove to be interesting! Of course he told me that sometimes these things have triggers… so I should avoid as many carbohydrates as possible. That means try to go on a high-protein diet. This leaves out pretty much most of the things that I like to eat. Luckily I had already started lowering carbohydrates back at the beginning of the year before I got sick and pumping up the protein and fruits and vegetables then so it won’t be a horrible conversion but Rome wasn’t built in a day . Some people really feel it when I eat certain foods..that trigger point I don’t get that.  I get a trigger whenever I try to do something physical like swing a golf club or slide the mop around the floor or get on the treadmill or take the dogs out or take a bath…. just pretty much anything that most of us do in regular life. I will say I’m hopeful for controlling the symptoms . He said that he would see me again in six weeks and I have to have the 24 hour urine lab done in four weeks to see if it’s still as elevated as it has been the last three times. He mentioned that we will probably do what’s called an octreotide scan if I’m still having symptoms. It’s a scan that is has radioactive dye tagged with a hormone that’s specific to some of these types of tumors and can find them in lieu of the other scans. They use it when the go to scan is negative, since with all tests there are about 10% or more false negatives.

 I have the best husband in the world! Brett is so patient and loving. He went yesterday and bought groceries so that we would have all the correct foods. He’s taking care of everything around the house like he has been since January as best as can.  I just thank God for him. He’s such a wonderful man and such a beautiful and loving mate. Without him and the dogs life around here would be pretty solemn. I’m also extremely thankful for my beautiful family, especially my sister. And friends like Kathleen, who keeps up with me no matter that I go silent from time to time. 

 I don’t know if anybody else’s this way but when I’m processing things I’m not the most communicative person in the world. It’s difficult for me to text back and it’s agonizing for me to try to pick up the telephone and call somebody back. I can’t make myself! I find myself just crawling in my shell and have to think for a while! Course the dog babies sense this and try to entertain and cajole the whole day. Annabelle has been bringing me her ball to throw up and down, up and down… all day long. Wooby and JojoHave had several Jack rat terrier wrestling matches in the middle of the floor just for entertainment value if nothing else. Layla has been hippity-hop, big old girl that she is, jumping up and down, following me everywhere smiling that big black playful Lab face. She even started a play towel fight with me earlier when I tried to dry her off after coming in out of the rain . Lyza Jane has done the Chihuahua yip of and on all day just to keep out snappy (pun intended). sweet yellow lab Chase has come over for petting and loving. He has to lick you under your chin just to let you know he loves you and Buddy the most frightened of all, but also the most loyal at times, has given up his spot on the couch just so that mom can lay down . So I’m surrounded by love and I can’t think of a better place to be and the day has been better than the days before so I’m thankful . Now we’re settling into the evening time watching a little bit of tube. They’re all finding their spots around the house where they know it’s time to slow the clock down and get some rest . I’ll keep you posted on this journey. God has provided as I knew he would and I feel encouraged . I hope this account of the journey helps somebody else, because there are a lot of people out there dealing with things … disease in their body or in their lives. It’s good to know that you always come out on the other side. You might not have all the answers but you do come out on the other side as long as you have faith . Peace and love to all!