Right, so I do think there is some sort of upswing going on here for a bit, and that’s a good thing. It’s letting me do a little more at OStatic than I’ve been, and I even managed to keep my commitment (which I would have been really bummed not to) as an essayist on LISNews’ Summer Series. So there’s this upswing, and there’s all these stupid catches involved that in some ways make it slightly more comfortable to exist and a lot more frustrating.
Meclizine HCL does a great job keeping the vertigo to a manageable level. I need to limit screen time, but I can at least get stuff done. Well, most of the time. Because I can type and move my hands a bit more, those large lumps I discovered on them a month or so ago — which didn’t seem overtly painful — became so. All right, and me and pain — we have a hard time recognizing each other. We do. I think I scare it, so in very few circumstances does it take hold, and it’s those circumstances that it knows I can’t ignore it, it knows my acknowledgement is guaranteed and gives it life (oddly enough, this also powers closet monsters). So it tends to be fleeting. It keeps me from doing stuff, but it is fleeting.
One bump is a cyst. I believe that, I know what got it going. The others, symmetrical, located in the same two places on my left and right hand, they say, are arthritis. Once I got a picture of how hand bones work, right, makes sense. There’s not much we can do about it, they say. Tylenol — well, no, I take Percocet (though I won’t be for long. It’s a useless pain killer and since it seems to only, incongruously, make me alert — which I appreciate — but it shouldn’t. If I’m going to be treated like a drug addict by doctors who don’t know my case, and get apologetically carded by the pharmacy staff — who have known me (sadly) for years — it’s going to be for the Ritalin/Concerta ER, which has the same alert effect, is supposed to, and my sleep doctor has said there is probably a little room for upward adjustment. And then I can take stuff that works for pain — like ibuprofen or naproxsyn).
My concern is this — I’m 36, which, okay, fine, I could be getting osteoarthritis at that age, it’s also in my lumbar spine because of some falling off horse directly on ass injuries in my youth — but the likelihood of it being symmetrical when I am most definitely not ambidexterous, occurring at the exact same point in time, and the large spaces in my knuckles they felt as well gives pause to wonder. I know weirder things have happened and it could be osteoarthritis. I also have this nagging quote from Dr. G (not the medical examiner, I’d like to avoid her for a while) that it’s far less likely to be something completely unusual as it is to be something fairly common presenting in a completely unexpected way — and I probably, by this point, have a few different things going on. Law of averages.
Given a family history of a close blood relative with neurological issues and completely normal ANA titres, who developed a rash that was biopsied and found to have lupus — though the purely neurological symptoms are the ones that are kicking her ass, I have this niggling concern that perhaps it’s not osteoarthritis. And that would be a fairly significant change in treatment from extra strength Tylenol.
The neurological issues are the worst, of course. And when told they only concern themselves with cyst removal if interferes with daily activity (the cyst doesn’t hurt, the other ones do) I kinda didn’t know where to start. First, we’re assuming I have anything ever that I can rely on doing on a daily basis. My daily activities consist of getting up, not knowing what the hell it was I meant to do, sitting down, remembering… Being tired, drinking water, taking a trip to the latrine.
The dehydration/drinking oceans has been a problem. Of course, I don’t think weaning down to reset is going to do much. It’s also pretty self evident. I’ve tried, because it’s a pain in the ass, and it’s disturbing. And when the pain doubles you over so you can’t stand up, and you start to get darkness around your visual field — which happens after about two hours, day or night, without water — there’s not a lot you can do. I know that’s something that can be adjusted. At least, they can do it with things like central diabetes insipidus. It’s worth a shot. There’s way too many places I can’t bring water and that have manky bathrooms I might want to visit some day.
And there’s been some fun migraines, again, that I can do nothing for thanks to the Percocet. I had a fun one, lasted about six to eight hours, and I could’ve knocked it on its ass with Alleve. I can’t wait till that crap is officially gone. I really am not expecting miracles, but I am so sick of the band aids that get in the way of treating things, and what feels more like an excuse: “Medicine can’t fix everything.” I never expected or asked for that. I know that. But sometimes I’m wondering if it’s an all or nothing scenario with it — what medicine can’t fix, it doesn’t try real hard to make much better.
I feel bad saying that. A lot of people, again, were suddenly dropped into the mess that’s my medical history. But y’know, right now, I have nothing but this history and the (oddly persistent) hope that someone will make a move to try a little more soon. And it’s been this way a long time. A long time. Maybe my self worth is over inflated, but you know what? My time is worth a whole hell of a lot. And once things are settled, someone is getting a big freakin’ bill for what’s been wasted.