Sunday, November 10, 2013

Please Don't Be Jealous of My New Best Friend....

For the next four weeks my new best friend will be my stylish new high tech orthopedic boot. Since I got out of the hospital in April I've had recurring swelling in only my left foot (ankle) which is my more-flat-foot. You know, as opposed to my not-so-flat foot. I finally got sick of not wearing anything but sandals or tennis shoes due to the pain of inflammation, even though I didn't know that inflammation was the name of the beast at the time.

When I couldn't get in to see my regular orthopedist, he recommended one of his new associates. After getting over the fact I wasn't being treated like a Princess from the get-go, I took his advice and went to the new doctor who just happens to be a foot and ankle specialist. Well, duh. Why hadn't I thought of that before? Actually I had been too busy trying to self-diagnose myself on web M.D. and had convinced myself that I was going to be crippled by the long ago curse my mother bestowed upon me. Okay, fine. I have a vivid imagination and I use it frequently.

So, I went to see the new doctor and he gave me a cortisone shot in my ankle, then ordered me to go have an MRI on said ankle because he wanted to *see what was going on in there*, as he so eloquently put it. Last week I bravely returned to his office to receive what I had convinced myself was going to be *the bad news*.

He wasn't all that surprised to see the story my MRI told in pictures. I had a great deal of inflammation in and around my ankle so the doctor asked me if I wanted the *Slow Boat to China* method of treatment or the aggressive *let's-get-it-over-with* method of treatment and of course, I chose to be aggressive. So he prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs and my *shadow* new best friend (the walking boot) for the next month. He believes that when we're done with the treatment, I should be able to at least wear modest heels and even continue to snow ski (if New Mexico ever receives any snow). It's basically the beginning stages of the aging of a former athlete... Otherwise known as arthritis. Actually, after all my years of skiing, I knew this day would come, so I'm hardly surprised.

The prescribed anti-inflammatory drug (to take down the inner swelling) which I thought I'd be alright with, changed that. When I got home and read about the 3 levels of this medication's bad side effects (like the scary bad,  the not so bad and the just annoying), I was horrified. I don't care to have another seizure or another stroke... Thank you anyway. What incensed me the most is the fact that there are so many herbals (totally safe) and/or diet, that have the same effects on inflammation and they have no side effects. Among them are ginger and turmeric which have both been around this old world forever. I won't even go into the whole other list of drugs that have bad interactions with said prescribed medication.

When did people become so disconnected from the earth and all its bounty, including those botanical rewards that can heal us and make us feel better? Inflammation in our bodies opens doors to all kinds of health ugliness but so do many medications. I believe it is prudent to at least try alternatives before opening your body to other threats. There is a time for pharmaceuticals and there is a time for herbals. I feel that we absolutely need to learn to utilize both if we are to survive all the nasty things that are *out there*. 

That said, I developed a wracking dry cough about 6 weeks ago. At one point, I coughed so hard I thought I'd pulled a muscle in my small upper stomach. Yes, I know I'm prone to such tom foolery, but it was a false alarm. Still, I didn't think an unscheduled visit to the doctor was warranted so I just waited until my 2 month checkup. When I told the doctor about it, he said my medications (to stave off seizures, high blood pressure & high cholesterol) were the culprits and gave me some samples of a new drug. I did what he asked of me and took them for a week, as the cough ran amok, worsening, and it began to feel more like I had a bruised or broken rib. Not. Fun. Then... Oops! The new pills caused the same results although my blood pressure was almost to the point of being too low.

Then my doctor surprised shocked me by totally taking me off two of the drugs (lisinopril & levitracetam), admitting that it appeared I no longer needed them. What? How crazy is that? (I mean what would the Drug Pushers Reps say?) Still, I had to do a pinky swear that I'd check my blood pressure at least every other day and I've kept my word. No problems have arisen thus far and the coughing has completely come to a halt, so I remain positive and most likely far too optimistic than I should be.

However, I must refuse to take the anti-inflammatory drugs although I do realize that inflammation is never a good thing! As it turns out, my regular GP doctor agreed that I shouldn't take the anti-inflammatory pills. It would be like opening a whole other can of worms. Not happening here. I guess it's the *Slow Boat to China* method of treatment for me. Sometimes life is very much like a a game of craps.

Additionally, I've been trying to straighten out my issues with my thyroid. While I was in the hospital no one thought to put me back on my thyroid meds and since I wasn't quite able to think for myself, it was simply overlooked. For the first month back on them my hair still fell out by the handfuls but eventually stopped. I'm still trying to clean up all the hair and growing my zillions of 1" long hair in to fit with my chin length hair. I look like I have a halo around my head. Anyway, my B-I-L sent me some herbal stuff called Silica Complex, which makes your hair grow fast and thick. As a result, my head of hair looks different every time I wash & style it. It's crazy, but this stuff really works for me. I'm not really sure what the other one is intended for, but he said it would be good for me. I trust him explicitly because he's never steered me wrong before. Ever. He's my vitamin guru as well as family.

In other news, our daughter SD fulfilled our her dream by passing the Bar Exam. Yay! Now, she can hopefully get a real paying job. Since she moved back to Austin, she will be getting sworn in by a Supreme Court Justice along with untold numbers of other eager *legal eagles*. We plan to be in attendance with the masses of other parents hoping their children can find employment at last. Anyway, more on this at a later date....

'Til then... Happy Trails!


Cathy Monroe said...

You certainly have had a terrible year. Hope all your medical issues continue to get better. On a happy note, congrats to your daughter. That's quite an achievement.

Tracker said...

So good to get the update - have thought a lot about you. I too had a serious medical issue this year, a rare malignant tumor on my spine and after 6 surgeries in 13 weeks, my hair came out in fistfuls. I also took Silica and your description of your hair sounds exactly like mine! All these inch long wisps. I expect my look will change constantly as this hair grows. Glad to be alive to look silly though!

Snooty Primadona said...

Cathy: Thanks so much! We are so proud of that girl.

Tracker: Then you know of what I speak! My hubby said he didn't know who was shedding more... me or the cat. But yes, it's good to be alive even with the current problems. Hope your issues improve too...


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