Friday, May 28, 2010

This & That

Somewhere in all of this, post chemo and prior to now, I've had other "little" things pop onto the radar.  I can't recall dates for most of these.  They usually are quick little annoyances that last a week or two. Maybe a month.  Usually we can get them back under control and move on.  Some things just pop up here and there and don't need "tending" to.  They go away the next day or in a couple of days.  They are just reminders that my body continues to rebel.

Until the past few weeks, I've always been tired.  Exhausted.  At some part of everyday, I'm exhausted beyond belief.  Some days my body will just feel like it can't make another move and I have to rest.  I would have to plan my day around if and when I could get a nap in.  And we're not talking just little half hour cat naps.  I needed 2 hour naps.  It used to make me cry.  I would say, "I'm tired of being tired." Many a melt down has ensued because I've been trying to get through a day without taking a nap.  We've learned to not fight it.

I get tendon or friction rubs.  Where the tendons around my joints get tight and tired and they rub.  You can feel the vibration and sometimes hear a creaking sound.   I relate this to a rubberband being stretched to it's limit and then pulled across something.  It's that sort of a sound and feeling.

When we still lived in MD, if the weather was going to be bad, I would actually have days where my joints hurt so bad that I couldn't get out of bed.  Not very often, but once in awhile.  I'd wake up and feel like I'd been hit by a truck.  Always asking, "what the heck happened?"  Hubby would inevitably, always check the weather and say, "it's going to storm."  I used to think this was a wive's tail, that weather could not affect a person's arthritis.  Now I'm a believer.  I even double checked with the doctor to make sure I wasn't going crazy.  Apparently the changes in barometric pressure can affect our joints.  Who knew?

I've had a lung rub.  I don't remember exactly when it was.  I know it was in the winter.  I was stuck in bed and needed pain meds.   I had a pain in my right chest that felt like someone was stabbing a knife into my lung.  It hurt to breathe.  It killed me to cough, or sneeze.  It hurt to raise my arm.  It hurt to even think about.  It hurt to roll over in bed.  It hurt to even type.

A lung rub makes you want to cough.  Like when you have a cold and have "ick" in your chest.  The irritated lung wants to clear itself out.  This forced cough was NOT fun when it caused severe pain!

The lining of my lung was inflamed and irritated, for whatever reason and was rubbing on my ribcage and that was what I was feeling.  It made a crackling noise when the doctor listened with a stethoscope.  If I was quiet and still, I could hear it myself, without the stethoscope.  If the hubby put his ear to my chest, he could hear it.  It sounded like when you rub your finger over a balloon.

If you put your hand on my chest or on my back, you could feel the vibration it caused when it rubbed.

Both were kind of an "interesting" little tricks ... aside from the excruciating pain.  Prednisone ended up being the miracle worker again.  A short 10-15 day cycle and things calmed down.

The lung rub comes and goes.  Never as viciously as that first time and now mostly only if I'm tired or have had a long day.  It never really hurts, I just can feel it.  I know it's there.  It's kind of become my barometer for knowing when I need to rest.  Usually, a good nights sleep and it goes away.

I always seem to have some ulcer somewhere on my hands, arms, or elbows.  Repeated Raynaud's episodes break down the tissues and an ischemic finger ulcer forms.   They last for months and are #1 on my list for pain.  Other ulcers on my finger joints, and arms come from the area being rubbed against something repeatedly or just simple tissue break down.

Ulcers/sores suck and constantly having to put band-aids on sucks just as much, but it's are just a part of my daily routine.  I keep them clean, covered, and protected, and luckily, in my 8 years of living with them, I've never had one get infected.  Whew!

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