An M.E Diagnosis: Remember- It May Not Be M.E

 How A Diagnosis And Treatment of Hyperaldosteronism Significantly Improved My Chronic Fatigue Symptoms.

As I’ve stated in a previous post, my fatigue symptoms began in 2003 following an injury to my spine in 2001. With time a pattern coud be seen with flare ups with pain and fatigue with relatively improved  periods in between.  I was virtually house-bound for years. With going out for an hour twice a week. For a time I was also virtually bed-bound, resting during the time I wasn’t caring for my children, or carrying out my basic care needs.

During a flare up in 2006/2007 I was referred to an M.E Clinic in Exeter (we live in North Devon). The journey took close to two hours. The clinic is situated in the psychiatric hospital. They were very helpful in dealing with fatigue for the appointment. A room was available with a bed to have a rest before the appointment. This was very welcome and made the day more bearable.

The day itself was very challenging . Just getting washed and dressed each day was way above my baseline activity at that point. Getting ready, travelling and dealing with sight, sound and movement were way too much stimulus for my nervous system to deal with.

I was seen by a Consultant. I always get psychologists and psychiatrists confused, so it was one of them. He was very blunt when he told me…

‘It is M.E. There is no physical cause, so don’t go looking for one.’

I looked at him straight in the eye, whilst in my head I told him to “F… ‘go away'”

How dare you say that with your limited knowledge on the subject! No where near enough studies had been done carried out on M.E. I knew that one day he would be proved wrong when more knowledge of either M.E or my medical condition was discovered.

It was in August 2007 that the World Health Organisation stated that M.E is a physical condition. Yes! It didn’t take long for him to be proved wrong.

Okay, fast forward a few years with my pain and fatigue symptoms continuing with the same pattern. I received a diagnosis of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, along with my son when he was in Year 9 (roughly 2010). At some point around 2013/2014 I discovered that I had high blood pressure. Some very close relatives in my family also have it, so I was aware that it may be an issue for me. On discussion with my GP I decided I would keep an eye on it whilst trying to lose weight to see if that helped. So, I started to go for a walk when my daughter was at school. I didn’t build up slowly enough, as I was keen to lose weight and wasn’t feeling too bad initially. This was with walking for ten to twenty minutes every other day. After two or three weeks the fatigue began to return. Carrying out my usual activities started to become a challenge. I didn’t become as bad as I had been in the past, as I am much more aware of the warning signs and pay attention to them.

I ordered some leaflets from the M.E Society to see if there was anything new I could learn. I wondered if I had POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome) as my symptoms became worse on standing. There was a big difference between my lying and standing blood pressure. It went up more than it should have done (in my opinion). My pulse increased a huge amount too. My GP referred me to the Cardiologists.

On a little side note I would like to express how well I have been treated by my GP. When so many people with an M.E diagnosis are NOT REFERRED ANYWHERE DUE TO THEIR M.E DIAGNOSIS. I find that ludicrous. But it makes me more grateful for the referrals I’ve had for my pain and fatigue through the years. 

I was also fortunate with the Cardiologist I saw. He has an interest in POTS and had recently been to a convention. Initially I had a heart echo, which was normal. I also had a 24 hour heart rate measurement, which showed tachycardia. The ECG I had following this showed Sinus Tachycardia. This explained my heart rate going over 150 when I hoovered one room. The 24 hour blood pressure monitor showed I also had Hypertension.

At this point to mobilise out of the house I needed to use two crutches. The longer I walked for the heavier my legs became, which wasn’t that far. I would need to drag my feet along the floor to move my legs forward. It was a massive challenge. It just felt as though there was a missing connection between my brain and my legs. We ended up buying a wheelchair, as we had previously booked a cruise. There was no way I would be able to move around the ship safely with the crutches. The last thing I wanted to do was cancel the holiday.

I had a Tilt Table Test next. I found the test a challenge. I didn’t realise they moved you from laying to standing so quickly. The good thing about the test was that it showed my symptoms started gradually after standing. The problem was that I couldn’t manage to stand long enough to complete the test as I had nothing to hold on to, even though I was secured to the table. The consultant carrying out the test informed me that I didn’t have POTS as my heart rate didn’t increase enough.  I was so upset. I’d had so many tests in the past which were negative. I just could not believe that I felt as bad as I did and nothing was wrong with me.

I was surprised on the follow-up appointment with the Cardiologist. He ordered a blood test for my renin-aldosterone levels. I had never heard of these chemicals before. I was more surprised that the test actually showed ‘markedly elevated levels of aldosterone’. I was sure that wasn’t going to show anything.

This led to a referral to the Endocrinologist. He ordered another blood test as I was taking NSAIDS (etoricoxib). He said the test should be normal after two weeks of remaining off the medicine. It seemed like a long wait for the next lot of results. They were still a lot higher than they should have been. To confirm a diagnosis of Hyperaldosteronism I needed to have a Saline Suppression test. The test was done a week before Christmas in 2015. I was given a recliner chair, as my feet had to be elevated. A venflon was put in to each arm. A blood test was then taken before being given two or three bags of saline solution. If I’m correct this would lower aldosterone levels with remaining in a laying position. A blood test is then taken straight after the saline infusion has finished. If the aldosterone levels remain high, the diagnosis is confirmed. The blood is then sent off to be tested. I had to wait until well into the New Year for the results. Once I had the Hyperaldosteronism diagnosis I had to have a CT scan to check my adrenal glands for tumours. There is a percentage of Hyperaldosteronism which is caused by a tumour. In these cases, when the tumour is removed, the hypertension is normally always resolved. My adrenal glands were of normal size and symmetrical, thankfully. I was not looking forward to having a venous adrenal test. This is where they take a sample of blood from each adrenal gland, by placing a tube up through a vein in each thigh.

In contrast to what I was told by the Psychologist/Psychiatrist. When the Endocrinologist told me there was no visible tumour on my adrenal glands. He said that it doesn’t mean there isn’t one there. He went on to say there is probably a small one that couldn’t be detected by the CT scan.

I was prescribed 25mg of Spironolactone. This helps to balance out the sodium/potassium levels, which the adrenal glands are unable to do with Hyperaldosteronism. Within twenty minutes of taking the first tablet my fatigue symptoms lifted. The heaviness in my face lifted. The heaviness in my legs disappeared. Even the burning sensation in my head went (I have experienced this since). An hour after taking the tablet I was able to take the bus to a local child’s play area with my husband and daughter. What’s more, I was able to do this without using the two crutches I had relied on for so long. I was amazed at the transformation of my symptoms. I actually felt so much better than I had felt since the fall I had in 2001. To this day I have not needed the crutches to walk outside. The only issues I have with walking now are pain with the osteoarthritis in my knees and pelvic pain with probable Endometriosis.

The diagnosis and treatment of Hyperaldosteronism has changed my life. I actually feel like I have a life now. Before I was just existing, however much I tried to push myself to do things with my family. I honestly feel like a different person. All my cardiac symptoms have gone. I no longer have crushing chest pain on small exertion. It takes longer for me to become short of breath, (I still have Sinus Tachycardia), my blood pressure is under control, I am able to hold longer conversations as my face never gets so heavy that I struggle to form the words with my facial muscles. Also, I don’t crave bananas. Some days before the treatment, I would eat three small bananas a day. One of the symptoms of Hyperaldosteronism is low potassium! I haven’t had a banana since taking the Spironolactone.

School Bans Pupils Dressing Up As Sports Stars, Pop Stars and YouTubers For World Of Work Day!?

A school teaching kids about the world of employment have organised a World of Work Day where the pupils can dress up as professionals. However, they have banned the pupils from dressing up as Sports Stars, Pop Stars and ‘famous’ YouTubers.

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/school-bans-pupils-dressing-as-sports-stars-and-youtubers-on-world-of-work-day-and-twitter-is-divided_uk_5a5f1a21e4b096ecfca8c9ee?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl1%7Cdl-headline%26pLid%3D259475627_uk

The head teacher responded with “Our school sets no limit on the children’s aspirations and we follow the philosophy of the ‘Be The Best You Can Be Programme’, launched in our school by ex-Olympic athlete David Hemery, which helps the children work out the path they could take to get to their dream future.  It also encourages them to consider other options for their future alongside their ideal job.”

As a person with limited ability due to numerous medical conditions, I am a self-employed YouTube Creator, receiving a monthly income from the platform. You don’t have to be a ‘famous’ YouTuber to be successful on the platform. All that is required is uploading regular, good quality content. Being a YouTuber was my Plan B. I wanted to be a Macmillan Nurse, however when nursing ceased to be an option due to health, I had to re-think my dream job. I tried a couple of more ‘normal’  self-employed jobs before being starting my YouTube Channel for young children. Thankfully this was successful, allowing me to work around my pain and fatigue whilst still being able to look after my children.

Yes, having a plan B is important, however all children should be encouraged to follow what they feel is their dream job. Any negativity put on their ambition is likely to have a negative effect on its outcome.

I feel the school should back up their philosophy of the ‘Be The Best You Can Be Programme’ 100% by allowing the kids to dress up in whatever they choose. Does it matter how many pupils dress up as Sports Stars, Pop Stars or ‘famous’ YouTubers. It appears to me there is some hypocrisy in this as they are saying one thing but doing another.

You will find a great diversity of talent on the YouTube platform. Many of the creators already have a skill/talent/profession behind them which they are sharing through their videos.

YouTube is a long-term career choice with many levels of success. Maybe the school should have YouTubers attend the school to provide some education for the pupils and teaching staff.

I have often heard people say ‘YouTube isn’t a real job’, which is far from the truth…

Job Definition:   (Collins) 1. countable noun ‘A job is the work someone does to earn money,’

…however the Collins dictionary definition appears to disagree with that statement.

I would encourage anyone to become a YouTube creator, even with their latest change in monetization policy. More so if  you have limited abilities due to any kind of health issues, or with caring for children.

 

 

 

 

Preparing For A Gynaecology Appointment

I have a Gynaecology Appointment at the end of January. The referral was for the removal of the polyp on my cervix. The G.P has also mentioned my Endometriosis symptoms as that has not yet been surgically diagnosed. I don’t actually want, or feel the need, for a surgical diagnosis. I am more concerned with long-term management of symptoms rather than short-term pain relief. I know everyone who has had surgery for endo wants their pain to go. But it just seems that so many people who have surgery, only end up with the same, or worse pain afterwards. For all I know I don’t have endo, but just a lot of adhesions from my laparoscopy when I was 20 and my umbilical hernia repair when I was 9.  It will be good to discuss the symptoms with a specialist and hear their opinion.

FAMILY HISTORY:  i) My Nan and my cousin passed away with ovarian cancer. ii) My Mum had a hysterectomy in her 50s due to fibroids or ovarian cysts and possibly because of migraines (she can’t remember).

MY GYNAELOGICAL HISTORY: 

  • Severe period pain from the age of 12
  • IBS symptoms from age 12; constipated in the days running up to a period. Diarrhoea when my period started.
  • Polyp found and removed from uterus during a laparoscopy. Age 20/21.
  • Pregnancy to full term 1996 and 2004/5.
  • Ovulation pain.
  • Bleeding between periods. Oestrogen patches prescribed in 2000. Unable to tolerate them due to migraines.
  • Fall down garden stairs. Tears to L4/L5 L5/S1 spinal discs. Chronic back pain followed. Always worse before and with a period.
  • Chronic Fatigue started in 2003. Always worse before and during a period no matter what level of fatigue I experienced.
  • 2013: Passed out with period pain. I wasn’t able to take NSAIDS at the time whilst waiting for an MRI scan due to flare up of back pain, (in thoracic spine).
  • 2017: Flare up of pelvic pain following washing  the kitchen floor (kneeling down). Ultrasound scan showed left ovary tethered to bowel.
  • 2017: Flare up of pelvic pain during stay in alternative accommodation. Led to similar pain experienced with tethered ovary to bowel in a few other locations.
  • 2017: Passed blood rectally 4 days before period. Had stomach cramps prior to this. Went to the toilet and passed a lot of gas, along with mucus and dark red blood in discharge (similar to blood I pass PV at the start of a period)
  • Painful intercourse
  • Pain with passing urine.
  • Pain with bowel movements.
  • Rectal pain (wakes me up in the night)
  • Pain with sitting down.
  • Pain with walking.
  • Ovulation pain.
  • Can become constipated due to pain passing stools.
  • Nausea generally a week before period starts

 

MY MEDICAL HISTORY:   

  • Born with rectal fissures
  • Umbilical Hernia repair age 9.
  • Sinus operation age 18.
  • Laparoscopy age 20 or 21: Polyp removed from uterus.
  • 2000: Polyp removed from cervix. Started oestrogen patches for bleeding between periods.
  • 2001: Fall down garden stairs causing tears to two spinal discs.
  • 2003: Neurological symptoms: loss of sensation to skin. Tingling in hands. Vertigo which lasted 18 months.
  • 2007(ish) diagnosed with M.E
  • 2009 Diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome.
  • 2015: Diagnosed with Hyperaldosteronism.
  • 2015: Diagnosed with Sinus Tachycardia.
  • 2017: Diagnosed with ovary tethered to bowel.
  • 2017: Fibroids discovered on ultrasound scan.
  • 2017: Diagnosed with Osteoarthritis in knees (G.P).

Why Online Prescription Services Are So Good

Having help with picking up prescriptions is more than welcome. Whilst juggling many things it takes the pressure off and ticks off another box on the ‘to do’ list.

Chris, my husband, usually collects them for me. Until recently he also put the repeat prescription form in the box for me too. A couple of months ago I finally sorted out renewing prescriptions online. So now Chris only has to collect them from the chemist.

Generally this runs smoothly. However, there have been a couple of times when there has been some confusion with ordering/collecting medicine. I wanted to share these stories as they are funny to look back on and Chris doesn’t mind me sharing them.

A few years ago, Ben was giving us lifts to places as the turbo had broken on our van and damaged the engine. It wasn’t worth paying to fix it. So, on the way to do a food shop we stopped at the local chemist to drop a repeat prescription form in to the surgery. To save time Chris took the form. It should have taken less than two minutes. After five minutes Ben and I agreed that Chris should have returned. I then realised that he thought he was collecting a prescription. Ben went into the chemist to tell Chris it just needed placing in the repeat prescription box.

Today there was more confusion with a prescription. I saw one of the G.Ps at the surgery for the Gynae referral for the polyp on my cervix. She also gave me a prescription for everything I needed to cover Christmas and the New Year. I usually drop off prescriptions at the chemists next to the surgery. However, today I thought it would be easier to have them sorted at a local supermarket.

To cut a long story short, Chris took the prescription with him, to do whilst he was out doing a few bits and pieces. I pointed out to him it was the green side of the prescription which needed to be handed in to the chemist. I also told him that they may not everything which was prescribed. When he returned I asked if he had waited whilst the prescription was made up. He was very surprised at this question, informing me he thought it was a repeat prescription form. He had posted it into the box in the surgery! Luckily I didn’t need anything on the prescription straight away. I rang up the surgery, who said they would leave it in reception to be picked up tomorrow.

Reflecting on this makes me realise how easy it is to order repeat prescriptions online and have the prescription sent online straight to the chemist. No pieces of paper can be lost or put in the wrong place. The only time things may go wrong is in the event of a power-cut, a computer crash or system failure (in which case they would hopefully have a back up server to keep everything running)

I will learn from this experience. The next time I am given a prescription at the surgery, I will take it straight to the chemist next to the surgery!

Diary Of A T.B Patient At The Benenden Chest Hospital Part 2 March

Monday March 1st:  Fine day. Had blood test and x-rays. The doctor is pleased.  People getting ready to go home. Shall miss Gladys but glad for her. Said our goodbyes.

Tuesday March 2nd:  There’s a thick frost but the sun is shining. Much excitement with the girls. Saw them off on the bus to catch a PLANE home. My turn soon I hope.

Wednesday March 3rd:  Beautiful morning. Sister said ‘You look full of beans’. Think I will be another week before I take a small walk.

Thursday March 4th:  I was wrong. I can take a walk. Pete has the day off. A bomb at the station thought he would not leave. Had a lovely afternoon with him and Ann. Saw the Primroses and Puff (?)

Friday March 5th:   Lovely morning. Gained weight again. Had a lovely day. Girls have gone down for their ops. I did the .  Walked half the loop with Ann. Saw snow drops and dafs in bud. Rang Pete.

Saturday March 6th:  108 days. Nurse Cooper’s wedding day is 26th June. Had a busy day with other people’s bits. Read Ann’s letters.

Sunday March 7th:  Nice morning. Wonder if Maureen and John will come. Had a good night. Had a laugh. Good job they (illegible) come with ma. Had a good laugh today. Then Sister put the —–. Susie and I were ordered out of the lounge and to bed. It’s snowing hard 8 o’clock.

Monday March 8th:  It’s snowing but it will clear. I am waiting for the doctor. Poor Ann SHATTERED TOO ON GETTING HER PAPERS. IT IS—– (T.B). How can you console her?

Tuesday March 9th:  Ann leaves, also May. Will be hard to part as it’s as if I’ve known them always. Hope John feels better. Pete sounded queer last night. Bright but cold. Had a good laugh, all the kids came in.

Wednesday March 10th:  Lovely morning. Doctor pleased. 6 weeks up, can now stay up – he seems pleased. Rang Pete. Poor old Lou’s husband passed away. Something else to worry about. INJECTIONS HALTED.

Thursday March 11th:  Very windy and cold. My legs were bad lasst night, mustn’t overdo it. Hope Pete keeps o.k. Lou alright. Didn’t stay long. Got a womble up now. Dorothy lost purse on her birthday.

Friday March 12th:  NO SIGN OF PURSE. Very cold, rain nearly all day. Gained weight again, thank goodness. Had a good go and finished squirrel. Had a quiet evening with Sue. The kids came in and started womble (2). Had a couple of—- 8.30

Saturday March 13th:  Rain eased so had a bath. Did Womble. Went on a nice little walk. I picked a couple of primroses, they are just coming out. Good day. Picked 4 primroses.

Sunday March 14th:  A dry morning. Feel o.k. I’m looking forward to seeing Pete. I think I’m going to have a new lady next door. Yes, the rest of my stay will be lovely. Had a lovely afternoon with Pete. The time goes so quickly. All the trees are in bud. Shan’t want to go back for that reason.

Monday March 15th:  Raining heavy. Had a blood test. Hectic day, everything rushed. Two new girls here today. Heard from Ann. Had a funny parcel from Mick. Rang Pete. he’s bought me a ring.

Tuesday March 16th:  Not so cold, not raining. HOPE WELFARE CALLS. HOPE HOPE AT LAST. Worked like a beaver to finish Womble.

Wednesday March 17th:  Very misty, Doctor calls today. On 6 gains now (? weight) doesn’t make a lot of difference, but must  mean I’m getting better.

Thusday March 18th:  Calf born yesterday. Misty, don’t think it’s going to be so good. (Intakes?) Had a bath at 5 o’clock. Dying for a cuppa.

Friday March 19th:  Fine day 10 o’clock. Pat’s Husband Phone. Weight gone up. It’s a nice morning. I’ll be able to go out. Got my dog to make with £2 Union sent me. Took Susie for her first walk. She did it better than me.

Saturday March 20th:  Lovely morning, cold. Worked all day on the other Womble. Didn’t go out.

Sunday March 21st:  Don’t forget S.T for Peter. Thick frost. First Sun coming out. George coming today with Pete. Had a nice walk. George thought it wonderful, beautiful ring Pete bought for me.

Monday March 22nd:  I saw the doctor I’m off the injections until Wednesday 7th. Said our goodbyes to Kath and Bella. Rest of the day pleasant. Still losing balance.

Tuesday March 23rd:  Lovely morning. Going out this afternoon. Got  a nice letter from Pam. Great news, Susie’s daughter had a boy. Very cold today.

Wedneday March 24th:  See the doctor today. The sun is shining. No news the doctor just said nothing. Picked more primroses. It’s warmer too. Go out in two weeks.

Thursday March 25th:  Not too cold. Got patterns for Ann. Heard from Maureen, she moves on April 2nd. Pat goes to Surgery tomorrow.

Friday March 26th:  Weigh in, gained weight again. very depressed and tired today. But finished the day with a good laugh. Pat settles in. New lady lives near home. Very nice.

Saturday March 27th:  Lovely morning. Got some lovely cards from Maureen and Pam. Resting up, today feel better.

Sunday March 28th:  Lovely day. Went for a walk this morning. Pete got here and looked a bit better. He enjoyed the walk. Nasal wash in the morning. Like a summer’s day, everyone is on the balcony. Pete got home at 7.

Monday March 29th:  Start fresh tests. Had X-ray and Nasal Wash. Doctor calls today. Rang Pete up for cassettes. Had a letter from Afma- A GREAT GIRL. Had a good day.

Tuesday March 30th:  Another lovely day.  Did crochet for most of it. Edna did my hair. 3 more intakes today. Hope the doctor gives me some news tomorrow. Susie upset. 

Wednesday March 31st:  Dull morning. Saw Dr Mayer Chief. Very pleased with progress. They have put me on 8 Hours (observations ~pulse, blood pressure, respirations~ or medicine?) Good news, Sister says she will try and let me go Tenterden in 2 weeks.

 

 

 

Paronychia: Finger Infection and Allergic Reaction To Antibiotics

FRIDAY 10th NOVEMBER 2017:  Within the past couple of days I bit a small hang-nail from a finger. I’ve done this before and never had any problems. Yesterday there was a little redness and soreness with it. I thought it would clear up after a day. Unfortunately when I woke up the redness and swelling were worse.

SATURDAY 11TH NOVEMBER 2017: The swelling was worse again this morning. There was a pocket of pus visible on the left side, curving around to where the nail grows. The swelling was very red. I thought I needed to see a doctor as redness was tracking down the side of my finger. After a shower and getting dressed I noticed there was some draining from the infection. I was pleased about this because we had arranged to go out to drop Chris’ Mum’s birthday gift off. I felt if I hadn’t gone because of my finger, the reason wouldn’t have been believed. This is still difficult to deal with, from over fourteen years of living with several invisible illnesses. That when you can’t do something because of illness, the reason is seen as you not wanting to go, not because you actually can’t. I have a long way to go with processing this and moving on. Many things were said to me, to point out that other people ‘really were ill‘, and that I wasn’t. I know that the problem isn’t mine, but I am still irritated/angered/niggled by it. I shouldn’t have to justify my decisions to others. If people respect me my decisions should be accepted.

Anyway, I showed Chris my finger when we finally returned home, after stopping on the way back to buy some ingredients for dinner. Chris said we ought to go to A&E straight away due to the redness still tracking along my finger. He was concerned if it wasn’t treated soon it could lead to septicemia. There was no-one waiting at A&E so I was seen quickly. Fortunately I was seen by a Nurse Practitioner who was able to prescribe antibiotics. My temperature was 37.3 and my pulse 107 (I have a follow up with the Cardiologist in December) My resting pulse is still 80-100 after being treated for Hyperaldosteronism. (Before the treatment it would go up to 155 plus with hoovering one room.) I was advised to go to A&E if the redness tracked down onto my hand, if I became feverish or if my heart noticeably started racing. Because oral antibiotics take 48 hours to start working, there was a chance that it would track down to my hand before the treatment started working.

dav
Saturday 11th (slightly blurred)

 

SUNDAY 12th NOVEMBER 2017:  The redness wasn’t as bad when I woke up. The redness tracking along my finger had decreased, which was good to see. Not so good was the nausea and heartburn caused by the antibiotics. By this evening the pus has decreased but has moved to a lower part of my nail. I am feeling very sick and haven’t managed to eat much today. I have a sick bowl by the bed just in-case.

MONDAY 13th NOVEMBER 2017: The infection has started to clear up. There is no sign of the infection tracking along my finger today. I have to take the Flucloxacillin with food as the heartburn and sickness are not nice to deal with. I felt so ill last night. I’m not good at being or feeling sick (vomiting). Probably due to a hospital stay with each pregnancy with hyperemesis. When I woke up my arms were going red. I didn’t really think anything of this and carried on with the day.  I popped out this morning and took the second antibiotic for the day when I came home at around five thirty. Not long after this my face started to feel hot on the right hand side, along with my upper chest. The burning pain I experience in my head (with infection and with food sensitivity) had returned. It was (and still is) quite severe pain. When I looked in the mirror the redness on my cheek continued down my neck to my chest, it wasn’t two separate areas of redness. I hadn’t eaten enough food to give me food sensitivity symptoms. I called the medical centre and had a call back from the duty doctor. He agreed that it sounded like an allergic reaction (as you can have delayed allergic reactions). He told me to take an anti-histamine and to stop taking the antibiotics. He has prescribed another antibiotic which will be ready tomorrow.

TUESDAY 14th NOVEMBER 2017: I started the second antibiotic, Clarithromycin, at lunch time today (after waiting an hour at the local pharmacy). Straight away a pinky/red rash appeared on both arms, but no other symptoms were apparent. I took the next dose at 8pm. This gave me a small, itchy rash above my chest. I had weird chest pain, although I feel this was more muscle-skeletal due to activity over the past couple of days than cardiac. By 10-11pm I became short of breath. I could still move around and speak, it wasn’t severe. I took a dose of Cetirizine which cleared the symptoms up. My finger is clearing up, the skin has started to loosen and lift where the pus drained from.

cof
Tuesday 15th

WEDNESDAY 15th 2017: I felt sick this morning when I woke up. Eating breakfast made it worse. My arms were still pink/red and the rash on my chest had resolved, as had the shortness of breath. I had a telephone appointment with one of the GP’s from the surgery I attend. As the infection is clearing up he advised to stop taking antibiotics. If the infection returns I need to see a GP.

cof

FRIDAY 17th NOVEMBER 2017: My finger is just about healed up now. The area exposed from the skin peeling is a lot less red. There is no sign of infection returning. My finger no longer hurts to write and type.

Dental Abscess Treatment

I finally finished the treatment for my dental abscess a few days ago.

The first part of the treatment, which I’d had two weeks previously, lasted twenty minutes. This part of the treatment involved removing some of the soft tissue. They don’t remove all of the dental pulp. Then time is given to allow the tooth to settle down. I was dealing with tonsilitis at the time. I didn’t feel too bad as I didn’t have a headache. I didn’t want to postpone the appointment as I’d waited so long for the treatment as the second appointment was for an hour. It’s impossible to get booked in for this length of time at short notice. I’d had a fistula draining through my gum for a few weeks by this time. The dentist was happy that everything was okay. By the time the first treatment took place I wasn’t really in any pain with it and didn’t need any pain medicine. My mouth was sore when the numbness wore off. However, this was nothing compared to the initial pain of the abscess. I was so relieved to have the abscess removed. The fistula drained a little more after the treatment. After this it gradually healed and closed.

For the second treatment I was concerned about my pelvic pain increasing, due to sitting for so long during the treatment. As well as the stress of having the work done. But, because the chair was titled back it wasn’t really a problem. It just made my back pain worse. I took a codeine before going so this helped with the pain. This was the day I accidentally took an Amitriptyline in the morning, so I was much more relaxed than I would have been. My G.P used to prescribe me a low dose of diazepam for dental treatment. However, since being treated for the Hyperaldosteronism I haven’t felt a need to take that. This treatment lasted an hour. The temporary filling was removed, then the last of the dental pulp was taken out. Once this was complete an x-ray was taken. This was to measure the length of the canals. My tooth is a back molar with three canals. My jaw was so sore with the clamp and rubber dam in place. The rubber dam is a square piece of latex which is held in place by the clamp. This ensures no saliva from the mouth goes into the tooth and canals, which prevents germs from the saliva getting inside the tooth. (A clever invention, or we could be back to square one with another abscess without it!) I don’t know what is used to fill the canals. They heat something up on a bunsen burner first ,which has a strong smell, that isn’t very pleasant. The canals being filled are the last part of the treatment, along with filling the rest of the tooth.  It was a relief to have the clamp and rubber dam removed.

The tooth needs checking in six months as it may require a crown. This happened to the tooth in front of this one.

I admire dentists and dental nurses for being able to perform these treatments. Most of all I am thankful that I have access to this treatment. I can’t imagine what it was like throughout history with no dental treatment available. I do not know how anyone could live with the pain of an abscess. Even if they had the tooth removed the infection would have remained. We are lucky to have this treatment available.

INFORMATION:                                     https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Dental-abscess/                https://patient.info/health/dental-abscess    

(images from Pixabay)

 

 

How Do You Remember To Take Your Meds At The Right Time?

I made a big mistake this morning. I am prescribed Spironolactone for my Hyperaldosteronism. It balances the sodium/potassium levels and keeps my blood pressure low. I take it after breakfast. This morning, after I’d showered and dressed I realised I had taken an Amitriptyline by mistake.  I wasn’t thinking fully on what I was doing, although at the time I felt I was. The worst thing was that I had done this yesterday too. Only yesterday I had driven out with my daughter to pick up a friend before we went out to buy a birthday gift. I had found it more difficult to concentrate whilst driving yesterday. At one point I had to blink to keep my eyes open. I feel awful that I did this with no realisation of the fact.

I have though of an idea to ensure I take the correct medicine at the correct time. I like to re-use glass jars and currently have some tablet strips in one.  They are on the shelf above the kitchen sink. All I need to do is find another glass jar, then draw the sun on one and the moon on the other one. I won’t get muddled up with medication again.

How do you remember to take your medicine?

“I Suppose She’s On The Computer All Day!” 20 Things You Can Do On The Computer

MINDFUL MUM

Okay, so there’s a few things about this statement…

(Yes I’m calling it a statement. It is said as an assumption, not as a question, without time for a response!)

First… It’s none of your business. Our child… our child’s choices (with our guidance)

Secondly… No-one has the right to judge our families choices. We do not judge you or yours. DON’T JUDGE OURS.

Thirdly… Do you actually know what you can achieve on a computer? I’ll tell you

 

  1.  Research: About anything and everything. It’s all there, so much information. It’s not the same as when I was my daughter’s age and had to plow through a massive encyclopedia, or go to the library.      
  2. Keep in touch with friends and family.     
  3. Make new friends (not all of the people online are dangerous)     
  4. Arrange to meet up with family and friends.   
  5. Create your own website.   
  6. Create your own business.     
  7. Arrange a holiday.                                                                            
  8. Learn a language.   
  9. Edit: photos, images, etc.   
  10. Draw: there is so much software available for this.     
  11. Create Videos (you can even share them on YouTube).   
  12. Watch TV, films, music videos   
  13. Create a family tree and learn your family history.   
  14. Shopping: food or clothes or anything else.    
  15. Sell things: Ebay, Amazon, Etsy and more!   
  16. Create a blog!     
  17. Find out the weather forecast.   
  18. Keep up to date with the news.     
  19. Start a petition.     
  20. Raise money for charity.     

Remember the statement?

Fourth… Does that even matter? For all the reasons I have just given.

and…

Fifth… No, actually she isn’t

She also:

  1. Spends time with friends.
  2. Looks after her pets.
  3. Goes Swimming.
  4. Draws (with an actual pencil and paper)
  5. Plans/designs for future projects
  6. Cooking/Baking
  7. Explores new places
  8. Eating: Yes! Sitting down for family meals. Sometimes we even go out for meals or picnics.
  9. Conversation: It  may surprise you, but we speak with each other – a lot. Much of the day is spent following lines of curiosity, wondering about the possibility of life and the universe, future plans, reflection, plus much more.
  10. If you’re very picky with details she also spends time sleeping, dressing, using the toilet, bathing, brushing teeth.

So… the assumption that “She spends all day on the computer”, is somewhat naive, physically impossible, lacking in awareness of our life and daily routine. Above all else it is rude and disrespectful.

All images from Pixabay

 

 

Dealing With A Tooth Abscess With Fatigue And Chronic Pain

One morning, during our time in alternative accommodation, as I took my first mouthful of breakfast, I experienced severe nerve pain in my right cheek.  I had no warning signs, no niggles and it didn’t stop. I experienced persistent shooting pain through my cheek.  That evening I took 60mg Co-Codamol (prescribed for Endo pain), which had no effect. By 10.30pm I decided to take anti-inflammatories to enable me to get to sleep. I am not supposed to take these because of my Hyperaldosteronism. However, at this time I weighed up the pros and cons and decided it would be better to decrease the inflammation the abscess was causing. I only ever take them as a last option. I didn’t want to call 111 or get an out of hours doctor appointment. I knew it was an abscess, as I had one a couple of years before.

I arranged an emergency dental appointment the next day for 3pm. I managed to drive into town with minimal pain meds. My daughter was very helpful and didn’t speak much as she knew it was painful for me to speak and even more difficult to concentrate than normal.

On examination the pain was on a tooth which already had the nerve removed. Although the x-ray showed a grey area above the tooth behind that. The dentist prescribed antibiotics and told me the pain would eventually localise.

On the third day (Saturday) I started to experience double vision and an increase of fatigue. My walking was unsteady, feeling as though I needed crutches to support  me. I also had increased sensitivity to light and sound.

On waking on Sunday my hands were feeling bad. I needed help to make the tea as I couldn’t lift the kettle or bottle of milk. The muscles in my hands were trembling. My hands were visibly shaking when I held them up. I’m unsure if my increase in neurological and fatigue symptoms were due to pain, taking NSAIDS or because I’d increased my Amitriptyline dose (in an attempt to control the pain). However, I increased the Amitriptyline AFTER experiencing double vision. To put the pain in perspective, this was the worst pain I have experienced since giving birth. Although during labour the pain subsides when contractions stop. This pain was constant with no break. It became worse when speaking, eating and brushing my teeth. I never increase a dose of anything to more than I have ever taken in the past, that was prescribed by a GP. Finally late on Sunday my face pain began to decrease noticably. I was able to fully close my mouth and fully open it without causing pain. This was a huge relief as I was able to decrease my intake of pain meds. When the pain got worse it wasn’t as bad as it was initially. The pain never fully went away in the first six weeks. I managed it by juggling pain meds, being mindful that codeine is very addictive. I tried to take as little as possible each time, just enough to dull the pain and enable me to tolerate it.

It is scary when severe fatigue symptoms return. I manage/pace so well that I have it under control. I greatly disliked the return of such severe face pain. I experienced this during my first experience of fatigue (2003/2004). It used to take an hour for me to eat dinner. More than anything I never want to return to being so fatigued that any activity is the same huge challenge it used to be. It’s easy to feel you’re on the slippery slope to losing all you have worked years to gain back. What leaves you in a day or a week can take weeks, months and sometimes years to regain. I’m sure everyone who has experienced any level of fatigue will understand my aim to remain as free from fatigue as possible. My heart goes out to those who remain as severely fatigued as I was previously, with no hope of improvement.

I am so relieved this was an acute situation which gradually improved. The reminders of neurological pain and fatigue helped me to realise how well I am now. Even though I still experience chronic pain with endometriosis and I still have mild fatigue. But compared to my past experience it is much, much easier to deal with. I know how my body works and how it reacts to things. This has taken me many years, a lot of mistakes and some negativity from others. But we know our bodies better than anyone. Because I’ve had an understanding family supporting me, I have been able to rest as necessary, without feeling guilty.

As the post is published I am just over a day away from having the second part of the treatment. This is going to take an hour. Unfortunately, my pelvic pain is at it’s worse. I will take my full dose of pain med in the hope it enables me to sit for that length of time in as little pelvic pain as possible.