I always thought of blogs as being narcissistic, business related, or as my sister's, a way of keeping in touch or memorializing.

But, by necessity, I am learning a lot about myself. I find I need to get my thoughts out, and it helps me to know that someone else will read them. So I have created this little space for myself, to express the things I have trouble saying (be it emotional or physical trouble), to share what I'm going through, and what I'm learning through it.

I absolutely welcome comments. It's nice to know how people relate to what I'm saying.
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Friday, 23 March 2012

Stairs and Swelling

The last couple of days have been amazingly good, in terms of my energy levels, and mood. I feel like things are coming back together for me, and I could not be more pleased. However. The last few days have also brought on an eczema flare like I haven't had in 8 years.

I woke up on Monday, and my ears were a little itchy. Then in the afternoon, so were my hands, and my cheeks a little. And then the red splotches appeared. In what I can only imagine was a mis-guided effort, I iced one of my cheeks last night, because it was burning. When I woke up this morning, I could barely see out of that eye, it was so swollen.

In the meantime, this week, I have had some really great moments; I surprised myself by making it all the way up the stairs in one go, I went home, I did some pre-packing for the trip to Cali, and I even brainstormed with my Mom on school stuff.
I'm especially pleased about the stair thing, because for months now, I've been walking up a few steps before I need to sit down to ease my palpitations, and then I make the rest of my way up a little bit at a time on my bum. I even made sure to always have my Kobo with me, so I didn't get bored - it took me that long. I was starting to wonder how much of that was purely habit. My son, however, was greatly enjoying his ability to go up and down the stairs three or four times by the time I got to the top. It also became kind of a special time for us - when he'd sit with me, and we'd chat on our way to brush our teeth.

So imagine my surprise when I found myself in my bedroom. The last conscious thought before "omigod I'm here!" was "I need my backpack." I think I actually whooped out loud. Because not only did I not sit out of habit, I didn't even notice. There were no palpitations. All the way up the stairs and into the bedroom! Without needing a rest! So cool. And the best part really is knowing that I really was sitting out of need, and not some hidden drive, or habit.

It was really nice being home for a little while, too. I paced myself carefully, but managed to get round 1 of pre-packing done. Round 2 will come sometime this weekend. And I'm extra proud, because if you know me at all, you know planning ahead is not one of my strengths. In the past, I wouldn't even think of packing until the night before. But now, I'm learning to be aware of my limitations, and plan things out. Yes, I am indeed learning how to take care of myself.

While I was home, I also picked up the creams that the dermatologist had recommended all those years ago, and that have worked really well with my lesser outbreaks of eczema. I haven't had any at all in the last year or so, but before that, it tended to erupt on my fingers, sometimes creeping up my arms, and when I was really young, in the crook of my arm. Only that one time, when my boy turned one, did it show up on my face. Until now. And I don't remember it ever going on my ears.

By then though, I was desperate enough to try icing it when the cream did little but bring a moment of relief. Which it turns out was a really bad idea. So this morning, my darling father ran out to get me over-the-counter cortisone cream, and I did some googling, to find that coconut oil is recommended as a topical remedy. Well, lucky we have some of that! So all day I've been alternating between the two, and the swelling has gone down quite a bit, especially on the side I did not ice. Never doing that again!

So, Andy, you ask, why didn't you go see your doctor and get real cortisone cream? Well, because she's on vacation. And as much as I trust her partners when it comes to common things, I don't with this. When I saw one of them two summers ago about my knee, they gave me incomplete information, which may have set back my recovery. Now this thing on my face - it looks like a lupus rash, as it did 8 years ago. Back then, I had to see one the other doctors, and they told me it was probably lupus. Then they sent me off to a dermatologist (why not a rheumatologist? I don't know, and I didn't know anything about lupus back then, so I never even thought to ask), who told me it was eczema. And now, with my file being as thick as it is, and all the testing that my doctor has had done, and the confusion regarding my condition, I just can't imagine them making a good call. I don't really want to wait to see a dermatologist, nor do I want to spend time explaining my medical history to my doctor's partners, just to be told they don't know what it is, or how to treat it, which based on my experience is quite likely. So here's my whiny moment: "I want my doctooooor! Waaaaah!"

My wonderful Osteopath did see the rash the same day it developed, and said it looked like an allergic reaction. So I've been careful. But it got much worse, and since she is so accessible, I asked her about it again, but really, she can't do anything about it, especially without seeing me again, which she can't do until our next appointment. Which I totally get. And even if she could, she can't give me a perscription anyway. Shucks darn it all. She recommended seeing a doctor anyway. Which is probably a good call. I just don't want to, and I'm being stubborn about it.

My mom is bringing some cabbage home tonight, which has always done wonders for me in terms of reducing swelling, and I am going to continue what I've been doing today. But it doesn't stop, I will have to give in and go see a doctor - probably at a walk-in, since I won't be able to see anyone in the practice until Monday. Ah well.

And that is what has been going through my head this week. Aren't you glad you took the time to read it? He he he. The funny thing is even though I'm horribly uncomfortable, I'm not worried, and it's not bringing me down. It's just one more thing. If it turns out to be a more serious something, then I'll deal. If not, then I'll still deal. In the meantime, it's giving me something different to whine about.

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