Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Dry Panic

There is  a dry panic setting in me today, despite the percocets.  I feel like I am doomed to die soon.  I woke this morning to more pain in my back.  The pain is not overwhelming, so that's not why I am worried.  It's just that the pain is not supposed to be there.  The Diverticulosis is supposed to have gotten better by now.

"A couple of days is the usual recovery time."  Said my doctor at the ER.  But it's been a couple of days and I am not better.

I was going over my hospital discharge records and I noticed that CT scan cleared me of inflammation of the colon, of the appendix, of the gall bladder.  All good things.  But for some reason, even though we did two CT scans, the doctor was unable to see the bladder.

He did not order a third CT scan even though I came into the ER complaining of bladder pain.  I also noticed that I did not see anywhere on my chart a complaint of bladder pain.  Despite the fact that I told the nurse specifically that the reason I called off my vacation and went to the ER was that I was experiencing bladder pain.

At the very least I am certain that there must be some inflammation of the bladder.  I have frequent urination.  I have painful urination.  It could also be there is a a puncture in my colon that has melded (a fistula) into my bladder which causes pain from the feces draining into areas that it should not.

This morning I had chills.  A sign of infection.  A little diarrhea.  Two times, but then it stopped.  I took a perc to calm down and take the edge off my pain.  Percs can give you constipation, which maybe hiding another symptom like drug resistant diarrhea ( a side effect of the antibiotic I am on.)  More things to worry about, folks.

I am thinking about going to the ER later today if the pain is still there.  Maybe have another CT Scan.  If I wait and go the doctor appointment tomorrow I think they will just tell me to wait and see if   it gets better.  I am sure a regular doctor's office doesn't have access to a CT Machine.  Either that or they will ask me to go to some other office that has one.  Another visit.  Another co-pay.  More wasted time.

I'm quite worried that I will need surgery to repair all this.  I have no idea how I'm going to pay for this.  I have no idea how I can live without going to work.  Worse, if I miss work, my insurance coverage goes away.  (A neat little trick to make sure that really sick people don't get coverage.)

You got to love this country.

A big FUCK YOU to all the Republicans out there that say that in Europe and Canada they have to deal with rationing of health care.  So do we.  Only this country rations based on money, access to good jobs, etc.  Not rationing based on reason, like who is the sickest etc.

We get what we deserve.  We let these fuckers fuck with us.  We let them try and gut the clean air act, we let them give millionaires tax  cuts.  We let them sock it to the poor and elderly.

Why?  Because we all want to be Donald Trump one day.  We are the morons in line at the grocery store with two carts of groceries and 20 dollars in cash wondering why we can't afford to get everything we want and then getting indignant as soon as some one points out the folly of our situation.

When will we learn?  Never is my guess.  The same guess as the ruling class every morning when it wakes and pours itself a big bottle of $2, 000.00 wine.

They laughing at us.

Bottoms up assholes!

Monday, April 25, 2011

I see a light at the end of the tunnel. (This is your hero on Narcotics. Legal ones at that.)

I'm back to blogging again.  I know I took a while off, so most of my loyal readers are probably gone.  But I have noticed a few of my die hard readers are still here.  I want to thank you for sticking around when there was really no reason to.

I think this blog is moving into the uncomfortable realm of reporting my first person view of my hypochondria.  I apologize for that.  But I will try and keep it interesting and light hearted. A big bonus goes out to those readers who wonder what it is like to have general anxiety or panic attacks, if you keep reading you will find out.

I can tell you that it sucks.  The fear and dread we live with is not something that you can simply snap out of.  Believe me, if that's all it took I would.

For the first time in my life I am actually going out in the world and taking charge of the things in my life.  I am getting help.  I am changing my lifestyle to manage some of my illnesses.

For instance:

I now get up once an hour and walk around the house for a few minutes.  I read that sitting all day is bad for people.  It's especially bad for people who have been diagnosed with Diverticulosis.

I am changing my eating habits.  I am eating more fiber than I used to.  I am committed to making some dietary changes that are palatable to me, but which can be of help to me.  It will require some sacrifice on my end.  I will have to give up things like eating WhataBurger 6 nights a week.

That may not seem like a bad thing or even a big deal to you.  But many of you have lives.  You have things that interest you.  You have support systems and lovers and things like that.

I really don't.  I have no joy in my life.  The few things that actually give me joy are killing me.  I enjoy reading and the internet.  I love going out to eat at fast food.

I need you to understand this.  One of the very few things that get me through the day are eating fast food burgers and surfing the web on my laptop.  I day dream my way through work by thinking about these things.  I substitute having a real life with these preoccupations.

Why must I preoccupy myself in such a way?  I guess because I don't have much of an imagination about some things.  I can't think of things that can entertain me or add meaning to my life other than these things. I know what you are thinking. I am a small human being.  And I plead guilty to such accusations.

I think what gets me in trouble with you liberal types is that ruminate on things like meaning and the big picture.  Therefore; I think you think that I ought to come to the right conclusion.  That service to others is how we deal with our feelings of doom.

But not me.  I just can't fake that shit.  Intellectually, I can agree  with the idea that to escape our self preoccupations we need to focus on others.  But that answer is totally unsatisfying to me emotionally.

I remain a captive of my ego-mania.  My self concern.  This is not selfishness.  I hate selfishness.  I am not a selfish person. It's not so much that I am selfish, more like I'm a child, in the sense that I don't come equipped with a view of the world that is outside of me.

Speaking of that.  If I had lost the leg from the MRSA then I would have at least been able to get some pity pussy.  Don't you think?  Girls, do you fuck one legged men?  You should.  They ain't got it easy.

But I don't get pity pussy.  Even though I am pathetic.  I live in this weird world were every one feels sorry for me.  Somehow they all believe nothing is my fault, and in most cases there is nothing I can do to help myself.  But at the same time everyone believes the contradictory notion that somehow I should be doing better.  That I should be better looking.  More successful.

Actually I am pretty sure that's not true too.

The weird thing is that nobody notices me. Which if you like my personality on the blog seems weird, right.  Like I seem very outgoing and crazy.  Certainly worthy of some double looks.  But in person I often lack charisma.  It takes a long time for me to work my magic on you.  I am like a visiting parasite or virus.  I can lie dormant for years, then melt your insides like flesh eating virus.

And bitch.  There ain't no cure for me yet!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Diverticulosis sucks (and don't ask me to pronounce it.)

I have Diverticulosis.

It's a crappy thing.  If you want to know what it is click the link.  It's what links are for.  Hyper-Space man. How long have you been on the Internet that you don't know these things?

I missed my vacation.  I was supposed to go see my Mom and my brothers in Florida.  It would have been a great time I think, even if not it would have been nice to see them.  I haven't seen my family in a few years, but lately since we all got on Facebook I have been communicating more with them.  Since I actually talk  and interact with them now I miss them.

Before Facebook I never talked to my family.  I'd  call them every few months at most.  I talked to my Mom once or twice a year.  My Mom for god's sake.  Most people think that is pretty crazy.

I was all set to go.  I had my e-ticket.  It was bought and paid for by my dear Mother.  She squandered 281 dollars on me.

But as you know I have had a lot of health problems lately.  Not just worries and anxiety about possibilities.  But actual real problems.

I contracted cellulitus on my leg.  I have had the infection for over 2 weeks now.  It still looks pretty gross.

That's bad enough, sending me panic and anxiety about going on a trip thousands of miles away.  But the morning of the flight I woke to some pretty intense bladder pain.

I had been having issues with frequency and stream control, but with the added pain in my bladder, the need to urinate constantly, some back and spinal pain and pressure, along with stomach cramps I felt like not going on vacation.

I called my mother and explained.  I think I sent her into a near panic attack.  She called my brothers who called me and hoped to talk me into going out.

I did not.

Instead I spent the day in quite a bit of discomfort.  It was hot in my apartment.  90 degrees inside without the A/C on.  I was seated on the toilet all day.  I was drinking tap water that was stored in old Gatorade quarts that I leave in the refrigerator to get cold.

I took a nap around 4pm.  I woke up around 8.  I was dehydrated.  I felt like I was running a slight temperature, even though my thermometer did not agree with my assessment.

By 8:30 I had called a taxi cab and was being whisked away to the Emergency Room at St. Something or another Hospital.

At the ER I grabbed one of those plastic bags for nausea.  A couple of times I almost threw up.  I went to the bathroom after a young Indian and nearly lost it.  He must have some kind of health problem because the smell in that bathroom was like nothing I had ever smelled before.  I was retching before I made it through the entrance.  I had to walk my way backwards with my nose all the way into the plastic tubing so as to catch a different scent.

Eventually I got seen by the doctor.  A NP with bad,  stringy hair from the 1980's.  I talked her into checking my liver and urine.  She ordered a CT scan after pushing on my stomach and detecting a flinch.

The CT tech was a big ex trailer girl with tattooes. She forgot to check if I needed a contrast CT and gave me the regular CT.  Turns out I needed the contrast in order to discern whether or not I had problems in my gall bladder or appendix.

I got the second CT scan and waited.  A few hours drifted by.  I was the only room without television.  But I listened to a few podcasts on my phone.  (I brought all three spare batteries and a charger with me.) I watched some YouTube videos and busied myself with Twitter.

I began to experience some more pain and was offered some relief.  The nurse was about to stick me with some Morphine when she asked about my allergies.  I mentioned Morphine and she quickly set about getting me another  pain medication.

She told me the pain med was 4x stronger than Morphine.  I believe it!  As soon as she gave it to me my face was flushed.  I experienced a sharp pain across my neck and face.  It felt very strange to be given pain medication only to have a reaction of pain? and intensity instead.

In fact I may not have experienced pain so much per se as intensity.

The pain mostly disappeared.  I got a few closed eye visuals and a few spontaneous giggles.  The giggles made my belly move and that actually hurt more than anything.

Around 2:30 the PA told me that the doctor had taken a look at the chart and found that I had Diverticulosis.  The PA asked if I knew what that was.  I told her I had never heard of it.

She explained that it meant I needed a better diet.  One with fiber.  That I could get inflammation and quite a bit of pain from my colon having pouches.  The pouches could catch things in them and get infected.  When this happens the colon is inflamed and the pain would be even greater.  She did give me some good news that my liver and urine samples came back normal.

And luckily my colon was not inflamed so there was no need for surgery.  I was told to take it easy.  Not eat.  Take anti-biotics.  They switched me off Cipro.  I got another antibiotic.  The Cipro was making me feel terrible anyway, so I am glad to be off it.

Sucks that I am allergic to so many antibiotics.

Spent 20 dollars in cab fare there and back.  Spent 60 dollars at the ER.  I was so hopped up on drugs I forgot to tell them to bill me and I just paid it.  If they bill me I never pay.  Just the way I am.  I can't afford all this.  Remember I make under 300 dollars a week.  If I am spending 200 dollars a week on hospitals and medications and gauze I won't be able to make rent.  I figure my insurance paid 250 dollars so the hospital made all the money they needed for that visit.

No freaking TV.

But I did get a prescription for Perks.  Perks handle anxiety as well as pain.  I took a perk today and it stopped my panic attacks.  It eased my general anxiety.  I took another 5 hours later.  It eased them again.  I have not taken anymore and I am feeling pretty good (at least about anxiety.)  I still hurt in the tummy and back.  The pain is not as bad, and the nausea has gone away for the most part.

I hope tomorrow relief comes form the Diverticulosis.  I want to go back to being normal.  I want my leg infection to fill in.  I want to be whole.

Tomorrow I call the psychiatrist.  I will try and get a PCP as well.  Big day for me!  I just want to stop living in hell.  Maybe I will.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Blood, Sweat and Anxiety

I should change this blog from the Self Help Center to the Helpless Center for contracting MRSA and Anxiety.

I am currently battling a vast infestation of bacteria which has left a rather striking gap in my upper side of my calf.  I've been taking all kinds of antibiotics.   I have been having all kinds of terrible syndromes from them.

Back around the 12 of April I saw a small red bump on my leg.  Within a few days I was walking in terrible pain.  I stuck it out for a few days at work, but the redness got so big that it scared me.  Also the pain standing on my feet all day as a cashier gave me another incentive to finally seek medical treatment.

I have insurance through my job, even though it's not great insurance it offers me the opportunity to get seen.

On the 15th I went to the local clinic by my work.  They treated me, but because the P.A. did not have the tools to do open the wound and drain it, she simply prescribed some antibiotics and suggested treating the infection with warm towels.

I followed her directions, but a couple of days later the infection was getting no better.  I decided to go the ER because I don't have a primary care physician.

At the ER I was greeted by a dismissive nurse who wondered, "Why are you here?"  But the nurse that cleaned my wound and the P. A. that drained the infection were really kind and professional. I was given some iodine and told to soak the wound 3 times a day.

Two days later on the 20th I went back to get the infection checked and have my packaging removed.  I was ordered to get a second, smaller package inserted inside the infection and ordered to take another antibiotic.

I have separated out the course work of antibiotics from this timeline because it deserves it's own treatment.

I took Bactrim on the 15th,  within 3 doses my neck was very stiff.  I had back pain, terrible headaches, I decided to go back to the clinic and get the antibiotics switched.

On the 18th  I was placed on DEOXy Hyclate.  A terrible drug for me as well.  Nausea, loss of appetite. In addition I began to have nerve damage.  Tingling, and burning sensations on my right arm and leg.  Terrible headaches, migraines   Photosensitivity. I had closed and open eyed hallucinations.  

My doctor chastised me for being upset about "yellow diarrhea."  A little diarrhea is not so bad, I was told how I had a serious infection and that there were very few antibiotics that these infections responded to.  In addition to the DEOXY I was prescribed CIPRO.

I decided to go back on the DEOxy hoping that the nerve damage would be temporary.  I began experiencing tinnitus as well increased nerve damage on the 21st.  I was taking benadryl for some rashes that the antibiotics were giving me.

On the 22 nd I went back to the clinic and was told to just take the cipro as I believed it offered fewer side effects. I had a yellow tongue and some considerable lower back pain which I now identified as coming from my spinal cord.  It might also be a symptom of an intestinal infection that I caught as a secondary effect of the antibiotic work ion my good bacteria.

Of course it is hard to say when one symptom showed up as a result of the antibiotics.  It is possible that the lower back pain has come from me sitting all day.  It is also possible that my anxiety (which has gone through the roof throughout all this is partially responsible for some of my internal subjective experience.

Things I know for sure.

I have had diarrhea, nausea, loss of appetite.  I have had migraine headaches.  I have become sensitive to lights, I have had trouble focusing, a general cloud and fogginess over my brain.  I have tingling and burning sensations in my lower extremities and my right arm.

None of those symptoms are result of fear and paranoia.  I can't say for sure which of the drugs gave me which.  But I am betting that Bactrim and the DEOXY reacted against me.

MY anxiety is so bad right now that I can't go more than 5 to 30 minutes without getting a head rush.  My head then sways to the left or right.  I get pins and needles in my brain.  Brain Zaps like when one stops taking Effexor.

I am also coughing.  I have a runny nose.   No fever.  When I cough ( a new aura) I get the convulsive movements.  Sometimes both of my feet "jump" in opposite directions.  I have stereotypic movements.  I was walking around in circles.

I don't know if that is epilepsy or withdraw from the Ecstasy that I haven't used in two months.  I have heart palpitations.  Severe anxiety.  I focus on death.  I think I am dying.  I image that all my symptoms must mean that I have liver or renal failure.

I have a  crappy headache right now.

I think I am leaving out something.

I haven't even mentioned the myriad of other ailments that I need to get checked out soon.

But I am most concerned to see this infection go away.  (IT LOOKS LIKE IT WILL)

Next the seizure like symptoms that are associated with my panic attacks and anxiety.  If this can't get fixed soon I will crack.  I can't go on with all the dread living inside me.  I need to get it fixed soon.

I am seeing a psychologist and psychiatrist when I get back from Vacation.  (YA I AM going on vacation, can you believe that?)  Mom is flying me out.  I have spent all week off work dealing with all this.   I can't wait to get off the antibiotics.  I need a god damn Valium or something.

I am worried the CIPRO will cause me to have difficulty breathing.

I realize I am awful when it comes to dealing with my mortality.  I can't handle the prospect of dying.  Hopefully all this gets settled soon.

Back pain still is here.  So are the headaches.  So is the anxiety.  Numbness and tingling in my arms and legs is less painful.  But still there.

I will be getting a PCP when I get back.   I have one picked out.  I am happy about this.

I called the drug/mental health hotline at my work to get a number for the shrink I will be seeing.  I cried on the hotline telling her all this.  (Just the mental health stuff.)

I guess I am depressed and lonely too.

But who would date the mess I just described?

I wished I could just be held and told it will all be okay.

I'm sorry for being weak like that. But I guess I really am.

Some people will take a look at this and say.  Geez it was a fucking infection.  Get over it.  MRSA happens all the time.  I get it at the gym 3 times a week.

I understand your sentiment.

I just lack strength.

I am useless like that.

No one will me miss me when I am dead anyway.

I am very thirsty.  I am going to sleep now.  Good night dear friends.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

My last blog post got 1 billion hits, so this probably won't be much different.

File this blog post under things that should not be.  Here is a picture of my infected leg.

I have this strange desire to touch my infection, and then rub my eyes.

The infection has actually gotten a little better, even though your only comparison is a picture I tweeted the other day where the size looked much smaller.  But the entire leg was swollen and hard from the swelling.  The swelling has decreased quite a bit.

At first I was prescribed Bactrim. I did not handle it well.  I can't take most antibiotics as I am allergic or I have strange reactions to the medication.  The doctors look at me like I'm from outer space when I describe tales of panic attacks, hallucinations, insomnia, minor convulsion like movements, stiffness in neck, headaches.

The physician's assistant tells me that my symptoms are "probably caused by the infection," but she went ahead and adjusted my medication anyway.

I don't have a primary care doctor, so I end up at clinics and ER's and things like that.  I have no history with the doctor and they don't know me well, so they just assume I am crazy I guess.

I mean I am crazy.

I am having panic attacks daily now.  They are even getting worse.  Sometimes I don't recognize my hand or foot as belonging to me.  Even though I know they belong to me.  It's like I am getting an inside view of my fucked up brain when it hallucinates this shit, just so it can prove to me that the data it's working on is real.

I get it brain.  Your shit is real.  How about working on fixing the part of the brain that knows that my body parts really belong to me?  Then maybe we can stop the panic attacks that wake me up at 7 in the morning.

I jump out of bed spreading blood and puss everywhere.  I see closed eyed visuals of swirly jellyfish.  I swing my fists madly like I am getting attacked by something from Pandora.

My emotional life is a mild state of anxiety at all times.  I go hopping from one panic attack to the next.  Dreading the next one.  Sometimes getting caught off guard if it's been a few hours of "feeling baseline."  Not that baseline to me is anywhere near normal of a few years ago.

All my friends seem worried about me.  That write and tell me that I seem to be falling apart.  They know 80 year old men in better health.  I have let all my problems fester.  Now like the wound you see before you, it runs deep buried into my living tissue.  And now it seems to only want to rot from within.

There is stinky pile of puss, fuming away at my insides.  There is a rabid attack force of celulitis set upon me.  I await necrosis.  The ultimate in self destructiveness.

There is so much infection in me on any normal day that I bet the antibiotics are wondering where to go first.  Should we attack the infected ingrown toe nail from 2 years ago?  Should we go after the sebaceous cyst on his scalp?  What about the cancer in his testicles?

"Fuck that!" I bet the antibiotics say.  "I mean we are just for anti-malaria."

Wait didn't I read somewhere that anti-malaria antibiotics are horrible for you?

Whatever.  I'm tired of doing battle.  I am losing it anyways.

So broke I have to break into my penny stash.

I think Qwest must have double dipped my account.  Bastards.  And of course the phone company has no service people on Sunday to answer questions for me.  So if you walk past a dis-shelved man and wonder why he is letting blood roll down his leg.  Now you know why.  Fucking penny machine counter was broke.

p.s. send gauze and tape, also antibiotics that don't give panic attacks, but are strong enough to kill this vicious infection, plus some Valium or something for my nerves.

Monday, April 04, 2011

I blog again. I bet when I don't it feels like someone vomited a bucket of boredom into your skull. Also, I add some grocery store etiquette tips to make this thing worthy

I'm holding in a shit while I type this.  Nothing new there.  If you don't hold in shits they get all over the place.  With my weak bladder and my AIDS infested liver I leak shit like your paraplegic boyfriend does.

Though at least he has someone that will change his colostomy bag, all I've got is a girl who texts me to ask me the name of the author she forgot I told her.  Poppy Z Brite is the answer.  And she writes vampire novels, or at least she did a few years ago,  now she writes cook books or something set in New Orleans.

If I have a crush on you I will stop everything I am doing an reply to your text message.  You should be fucking grateful, but I doubt you are.

Here's a idea for you the next time you find yourself in a grocery store standing in line at the check out counter:

Finish your shopping BEFORE you get in line.  People, I really hate it when you just wander off to collect that gallon of water you forgot to purchase even though water comes out of your tap for free.

I have a few more rules for you even though I know you think the rules don't apply to you, which is why you are pushing a cart full of groceries through the express lane and making jokes at me.  At least you are trying to calm my anger.  That's a good thing.  I think you can tell that I am close to losing it, and you might be the thing that sends me off the cliff.

If so I guarantee I will find you outside when I bring the AK 47.  You better damn well believe that I will blow your fucking head off.  I hate people who think the rules apply to everyone else but them.  But you have always been like that haven't you?  That's why you masturbated in your girlfriend's yogurt.  Just to show her who's boss.  Nothing sicko.  You just needed to convince her that your the dominate one in this relationship.

Here is my second request.  Learn to fucking count.  If you can't learn to count use a calculator,  if you are too lazy to count or use a calculator you forfeit your right to question the addition properties of the register (which is a fucking counting machine yo.)

I promise you 5 + 2 + 1 = 8

I don't give a fuck if you don't believe me.  You are not entitled to an "opinion" about what constitutes a number.  8 has a objective reality that exists outside your opinions.  You owe me 8 fucking dollars, now pay up or get the fuck out of my line.

A lot of cashiers can't count.  So if you see the pretty little girl's face squish up in a manner denoting perplexity then go ahead and be confused together.  But I assure you the machine does not ADD incorrectly.  If the prices on the products you purchased reflect accurately then I assure you the machine has ADDED them correctly.  Never seen the machine add 2 and 3 and get 6 like you.

It should be noted that I can add however.  I am bald, ugly, fat dude.  So you can bet I have seen every episode of the original Star Trek series, that I gush over women who wear Princess Lea buns in their hair, that I haven't been laid in 5 years, and that if we are talking Mathematics below finite that I am pretty much know what I am talking about.

I can do multiplication in my head. Yeah!  That's right asshole.  My head is like the calculator function on your cell phone that you refuse to learn how to use.  Some guy took the time to teach your phone to do all kinds of tricks that makes it way more smarter than you and yet you fail to learn to use something that could make you way smarter looking if you used it.

Here's another tip.  Look in your wallet before you buy stuff.  See how much money you have.  Did you bring money?  Do you know the password to your Food Stamp card?  I know why don't you wait until you are in line with a bag full of steaks, kool aid, and beer before you call your fat white girlfriend with the big ass and 3 kids from 3 different dads to ask her what the pass code is on her her EBT Food stamp card that I pay for with my taxes.

I can't remember the last time I had a steak.

I find that to be bullshit sometimes.  As fucking liberal as I am.  I can only imagine what the conservative assholes in line are thinking.  Something like "at least buy a fucking condom with some of that cash."

"No, you cannot buy beer with food stamps asshole,but yes you can buy regular stamps."

--And no you can't buy regular stamps either, Jesus.