Monday, December 03, 2007

St.Nicholas and other Life Adventures



Yesterday at Emmanuel, St. Nicholas paid a visit to our brunch and had with him a bag of treats for the children. The good bishop (Jason) arrived just in time and thankfully Mom found his beard and wig just in time, too...
Jeff had the honor last year!






Life adventure - illness: back in October, I first posted about being ill and having pneumonia. I surely didn't expect to be on a roller coaster of continued illness almost 2 months later. A few days after finishing an antibiotic, my symptoms of extreme fatigue, night sweats and intermittent chills returned. I was told that the med was still working and that I needed to wait. There's that word - wait - not good when heard from the medical community. Since I have a congenital heart valve defect that only needs to be evaluated every year, they sent me for an echocardiogram to check for endocarditis. No changes from my last one. It's two weeks later now, and it's time for some blood cultures. No bacteria found, but it's difficult to detect after finishing an antibiotic. Elevated white count, still feeling like crap, so let's do another antibiotic. Again, symptoms returned after finishing that med. Let's send her to an infectious diseases specialist. Quick exam, another set of blood cultures taken and no bacteria found. I was angry because of instead speaking with their staff, they left a message that I should follow up with my primary physician. Assertive Julaine now - I called my cardiologist's office and after going through everything that has happened, they said that I need to be evaluated. Appointment this Friday. It can't come too soon for me, as I went to the ER last Thursday with symptoms of a transient ischemic attack. The whole right side of my body suddenly became weak and felt heavy. I had to catch myself from falling. Since whatever causes the blockage is temporary, they won't always see evidence on a CT scan. Probably a pinched nerve in my lower back. I have now written down everything that has been wrong with me. I am counting on getting some answers at my appointment. This has been going on way too long, and I just want my life back and a little energy to go with it - I don't think that's too much to ask ~












While I have been down, the most therapeutic and creative thing I have been working on involved knitting these "showercloths." I know they look like potholders, but teamed up with small bottles of shower gels, they'll be great for quick Christmas gifts this year. I used the Sugar 'n Cream cotton yarns and found that mixing a solid and a variegated yarn looked the best. The first ones were for Jeff, Jason and I - we have been using them and love how they feel on the skin, altough the men would prefer a larger size. I've wrapped the cloths around the shower gels, and tied them up with more yarn. I've made 18 of them and they're ready to go in case I hear, "Mom (or Dear), do you have anything that I could give for a gift?"

The whole experience has made me feel depressed. I used to think that only seniors had problems with not being listened to. Since I haven't been caught up in the medical system that much since my aneurysm surgery 6 years ago, I sure can see the differences in the time they take listening to you and responding.

4 comments:

Karoda said...

Julaine, I'm so sorry to hear of anyone's drawn out experience with illness and the medical establishment...it took years for the PH that I have to be diagnosed...I had alsmost reached a point where I was ready to accept the horrid symptoms as "just the way my life is".

Hang in there and keep dialogue going with your docs and keep demanding that something more be done when they come up with nothing. You know your body better than anyone.

Gerrie said...

I agree with Karoda. You must be proactive though and I like the fighting spirit that I hear. there has to be a cause and a fix!!

Julaine Lofquist-Birch said...

Thanks, ladies...

Karen said...

Julaine, I feel your agony! After having gone through a horrible bout of double pnumonia I was left weak and fatigued for several months after I was 'better'. My doctor was wonderful and supportive for me thankfully. She warned me that it would be months untill I really felt like me again. One of the bad effects of pnumonia is the risk for heart problems. Take care and dont be quiet! You should have all your questions and concerns answered fully! I will be pulling for you!