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January 2012

Bladder Infection?!?

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I know that I was feeling good yesterday, so I guess this is a sign that other things that have been off are not that severe.  In addition to my blurry vision, I have been experiencing something quite odd.  The inability to pee without super super straining.  Like crazy straining.  Where I feel like my brain might pop kind of straining.  I am usually the world’s fastest pee’er.  I run in and out of a bathroom in about 10 seconds flat.   I pride myself on the fact that I am not one of those chicks that sit in the bathroom forever when they have to go.

Until now.

For the past week or so, I’ve been sitting there.  And sitting there.  And sitting there.  And pushing.  And then, finally, a trickle.  And more straining.  Ugh.  It really is quite frustrating.

I drink plenty of water.  I always carry around a water bottle wherever I go, so it isn’t a matter of not flushing out my system.  So, what is it?

After my optometrist appointment yesterday, I headed off to yet another doctor appointment.  The regular old GP.  She asked me for a urine sample.  Yeah, right, I think I mentioned that I can’t pee?!?  I ended up sitting in the office for 2 hours slamming water and reading Eat, Pray, Love while praying for pee.  I finally got the sample out and left with her assurances that she would test it and then call me with the results.  She wanted to either confirm or rule out a bladder infection before sending me onward to a Urologist.

She rang last night and confirmed that it is in fact a bladder infection.  Weird thing is that it feels nothing like any other bladder infection that I have had.  You know, that irritating frequency to pee all the time.  But she gave me a prescription (of course) for a course of sulfa for 3 days.  Here is to hoping that works!

 

Blurred Vision

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It is funny that in the same day that I post that I am feeling much better, I am also being totally fucking annoyed by the fact that my vision seems to be failing me.  My vision is totally blurry.  Which is a) really weird b) really disconcerting.  It wouldn’t be so worrisome if it wasn’t happening quite rapidly.   In the past few weeks I have gone from perfect 20/10 vision to not really being able to see long distances.  But even stranger is the fact that it doesn’t happen all the time.  In fact, oddly enough, yesterday after I had a glass of cava for brunch, I could see perfectly again.  And a few days prior to that when I drank a few sneaky glasses of vino, I could, once again, see perfectly.  And I have a witness to this weirdness.  I pointed a billboard out to boyfriend and tried to read the numbers.  Couldn’t do it.  But then the next day?  Everything was perfectly clear.  WTF?!?

My suspicion is that it has something to do with the meds.  I have emailed the Rheumy, but he passed the buck on me and pointed me towards an optometrist.  So I made an appointment and went in to see him this morning.  He dilated my pupils and did all the usual 1 or 2, 3 or 4 things.  Unfortunately, this was one of those days that I hadn’t been on some alcohol, so my vision was back to the weird blurriness.  He says that my eyes are perfectly healthy and then looked up the meds that I am on and said that none of them cause blurred vision.  Then he gave me a prescription for glasses.  UGH.  I know that it is not really my vision.  I KNOW that it is something to do with the meds.  You don’t just go partially blind in a few days time, do you?!?

Now I have to figure out what to do next.  It is very frustrating that no one really wants to address the meds issue.  Even if one medication doesn’t necessarily cause blurred vision, couldn’t the combination of all this shit that I take have some unforeseen consequences?  The question is really how to address this.  All the doctors appear to pass the buck or say, “I don’t know”.  I don’t want to damage my eyes by wearing glasses only to find out that I didn’t even really need them.

Grrr.  Back to being frustrated!  Wait till I talk about the other issue that I am having.  That is certainly a good one.  And then funny thing is that I am still having a way more fruitful and healthy feeling day than I have had in a long time.  Trying to hold on to that thought and be thankful that at least I don’t have aches and pains and fatigue!

Welcome to Lupies!

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It seems rather fitting that today is the first day that I am posting and also the first day in a looooong time that I have woken up pain free and with some energy.  I guess the blog is already proving to be beneficial!

I decided to start this blog to document my neverending battle with a disease called Lupus.  For those of you who don’t know what it is, I will keep it short:

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease, which means the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. This leads to long-term (chronic) inflammation.

I guess you can sum it up by saying that it sucks, as any chronic disease sucks.  Lupus is particularly annoying because you never really know when it will flare up and take you out.  Let’s also be clear that there are varying degrees of the disease.  I am actually thankful for the fact that I am a lucky one and don’t have the organ involvement that other people suffer with.  That is when things get really scary and can lead to death.  Usually when people ask me about the severity of the disease, I respond by saying, “Well, I won’t die from it, but I will live a long and miserable life”.  Yeah, I guess that sounds very negative, but, sadly, it is probably true.

I have found with my recent bouts of dealing with this disease that reading other people’s experiences have been very helpful.  It is good to read about the ups and downs of what people face emotionally with this disease.  There are some stories that make me feel grateful for the fact that I am not as bad as them.  Evil, I know, but things can always be worse!  It is also nice to hear that the fear, sadness and depression is a perfectly natural thing to go through.

I also had hesitations about writing this blog.  It feels almost whiney to ruminate in this disease.  I spend so much time thinking about it that writing about it almost seems morbid.  I don’t want to be the person who is the bummer bringing everyone down with my complaints all the time.  I would like to be a more positive person.  One of those people who embraces life and gets on with it.   Those people who go and do a marathon despite having cancer.  The ones that smile and are happy with life.  Yeah.  I’d like to be that person.  But I think I am probably not.  Don’t get me wrong.  I also hope I am not a bitter person either.  I think I sit squarely in a place called realistic.  I am still struggling to find my place in this world with what I have been given.  My life has had to adjust a lot over the past year and I am still coming to terms with what exactly that means.  I am mourning the loss of my old life still while trying to make adjustments to keep this one going.  It is very difficult and hopefully writing this blog will sort some of it…  Or at least other people can sympathize with the struggles.

But today I am feeling good.  For the first time is a really long time.  Yay for that.  It is like being a gift when you wake up pain free and not exhausted and beaten down before the day begins.  You really learn to appreciate those days and pray that the next day will be just as good.  So, I’m off for now to enjoy feeling good!