Friday, October 4, 2013

We're Not Made to Keep Our Eyes on Our Ears

Dear John,
Today has been interesting. If I tell you about it in as much detail as I want - like, word-for-word - this will turn into a Russian novel. So I'll have to give you the condensed version. At least, I'll try.
Yesterday I woke up with an itchy left ear. I had a teeny spot on the top - about 1 mm diameter - where the skin was broken and there was some serous drainage. As the day went on, the broken area became about an inch long and the drainage became heavier, and the ear was red and swollen. This morning it was worse, so I called Joe's office and went in.
It turns out that I have cellulitis. I have no idea why. I'm on Clindamycin - Joe's treating it as MRSA just in case. I'm to call and report in to him on Monday morning, and I have strict instructions to go to the ER if it spreads any further, I run a fever, or I have any change in hearing or vision. I told him I didn't need encouragement to do that, and that the car can get to the Goshen ER by itself. For now, I'm quarantined and keeping a close eye on my ear. Which isn't as easy as it sounds.
While I was there, I updated him on everything else that's going on. He ordered another thyroid panel and free T4. He really hopes it's down from 6 months ago - even if it's in normal range, if it's trending downward he can put me on Synthroid. He agrees with me that fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue are the same thing with symptoms in differing proportions. He also agrees that I'm more toward the chronic fatigue end of the spectrum. In the eyes of DSM - and, I'm sure, the insurance companies - I now have a double diagnosis: fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. And it's validation, which really does help.
I updated him on the bad-but-not-as-bad-as-it-was short-term memory problem, and the residual dizziness I've had since the head injury. I told him that I know he can't magically make any of this go away, but I do want to be honest with him about things. Bless him, he wishes he could fix it. But I told him that if I get dizzy when I move my head too fast, I just don't move it that fast. He said there were so many adaptations I was having to make and he was so sorry. I felt bad for him - I told him that none of these things are anywhere near the every-nurse-has-one list of things I don't ever want to have. He remembered the list, and I finally got a laugh out of him. (In case you've forgotten: high spinal cord injury, aphasia, and a cardiac index in single digits.)
This is why I drive over an hour for primary care. He still worries about me being without you. I told him that, with the memory issue, I wouldn't be safe working in any patient care job, and he agreed but worries about my financial position. I reminded him that I'd be okay in two years when I turn 60. He still worries about me.
And that's the short version! Aren't you glad I summed up?
And speaking of Russian novels, today I started reading Dostoyevsky's "The Idiot." I'm enjoying it. You read that one, didn't you? Or did you just read "The Brothers Karamatzov?" I don't remember. They were both free on Kindle.
The really bad news about all of this is that I can't go anywhere. I was going to go to Goshen's First Fridays tonight. And since I can't go anywhere - and this is the really, really bad news - I have no remaining excuse for not vacuuming. I loved the fact that you really enjoyed doing that. If you'd like to drop by tonight, I'll be happy to let you!
Miss you in so many ways,

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