What the heck is wrong with me?

Cover of "TIRED OF BEING TIRED"

Cover of TIRED OF BEING TIRED

Sometimes do you wish that the doctor could find out what is wrong with you and that would explain everything?  It would explain why you have a depth of tiredness, weariness, and heaviness that is indescribable.  And explain why you feel nauseated at times, and literally off balance physically, and yes, emotionally too. Why you feel dizzy and disoriented. Why you cannot find the words you need sometimes, and once in a while they come out a little garbled?

Of course I Googled my symptoms and I have been in to the nurse practitioner, and doctor, a local clinic, and even the emergency room when it was not an emergency. The latter is an embarrassing story but today I feel like embarrassing myself. I had a lot of pain in one foot and in one toe in particular. I noticed a raised lump that at first did not concern me. Then the lump became hard. And I thought back and remembered that I had opened the freezer and something dropped out of it on to my foot (because my freezer is just so organized that things slide out at will), so then I thought I might have broken my toe. The pain got really bad, and of course it was a weekend and I could not get in to see my doctor, who, if it had been a weekday I would not have been able to get in to see anyway as he is so busy—so I went to a clinic in the next town that is affiliated with my doctor’s office. And there was a sign on the door that said they were not taking any more patients that day. Apparently one of the doctors had not turned up, so only one was at the beck and call of people like me.

So…….I hobbled across the street to the conveniently located hospital and went into emergency where I knew I would have to wait for days as a painful foot is not high on the priority list for emergencies. Luckily it was not a busy morning, so I got in about an hour later. They took x-rays and asked me what I thought was wrong. I did not really know, and gave them my lame story about something falling onto my foot from the freezer. There is something else that is relevant to this story too—I am forever running into things and hitting my toes. Like all the time. Every day evem ~  and have suffered I am sure from broken toes before—but this time it was different. The pain was intense.

After the x-rays were taken I then had to continue my wait, which admittedly was not that long considering. Finally I saw the nurse practitioner. The location of the bump was awkward so I had to twist myself into a bit of a pretzel to see what she was trying to show me. Now before I tell you what the diagnosis was, in my defence I have to tell you that I showed my husband the night before and he looked a little alarmed and said “You had better see someone about that” in ominous and chilling tones, and scared me half to death. I am just telling you this, cause you are going to think I am really

Public relations of high-fructose corn syrup

NO NOT THIS KIND OF CORN!  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

stupid when you hear that the lump was a corn.

The nurse practitioner looked at me with concern when she told me. I think she did not believe someone did not recognize that they had a corn and she thought I might have possible psychological problems {which could be the case, but that is another story}. But seriously, I could not see it. I could feel it and it hurt like h-e-double hockey sticks. Seriously, who knew a corn could hurt that much and that the pain could radiate up the foot? Probably everyone else in the world except me. I went to emergency with a corn! I have only told a couple of people thus far and it happened about two months ago. I am just now getting over the embarrassment.

English: Illustration of the pain pathway in R...

English: Illustration of the pain pathway in René Descartes’ Traite de l’homme (Treatise of Man) 1664. The long fiber running from the foot to the cavity in the head is pulled by the heat and releases a fluid that makes the muscles contract. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I went to the pharmacy and got some of those corn removers and after about four days—voila I was pain and corn-free.

But that still does not explain what is going on with my health. I sound like I am taking care of it when I tell you that I have been to the doctor and nurse and clinic and emergency, but I really do not take great care of myself. I tend to live in denial until I start to get alarmed. I am starting to get tired of being tired and dizzy, nauseated and off-balance, so I guess it is time to take my Googling self in to the doc’s again. But seriously, it is frustrating and Googling is frightening—it could be anything from thyroid problems to getting older; an infection to some really serious stuff I do not want to commit to print—just in case.

I have rattled on long enough—there is probably nothing really wrong—and I am just feeling the pains of getting older—but where has my energy level gone? And my patience—I am sorely lacking in patience anymore, and I never had a great supply of it in the first place.

Well, I feel better getting this all out—how about you? What niggling things do you have bothering you in the back of your mind? And have you ever had an emergency that was not an emergency?

Or Just Eat Quiche

fried perch

fried perch (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have trouble eating. In front of people. I had TMJ years ago, and though I no longer suffer from the annoying clicking, jaw ache, or barely being able to open my mouth (for a while I was eating through a straw, which cannot really be called eating)—I still cannot open my mouth very wide.

Restaurant food is not made for someone who cannot relish their food with big bites. Salads are not cut in bite-size pieces, so I have to take a knife and fork to any salad I order, and I still tend to not be able to get it in my mouth without it: 1. Falling back on my plate;  2. Leaving a smear of dressing on my face; and/or 3. Being stuck with it half in and half out of my mouth, and having to stuff it in with my fingers. None of these would be easy to watch if you are eating with me. And I tell you, it is no fun being a messy eater.

People are kind. They ignore my difficulties and just continue conversing with me even though it is apparent that I cannot seem to feed myself with the proper etiquette.  I really do try to cut things into small pieces, but sometimes I misjudge, and do not realize it until it is too late.

English: Homemade cheeseburger with french fries.

Burger with french fries. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Have you ever tried eating a hamburger if you cannot open your mouth very wide? Close to impossible, as they make hamburgers super thick then pile everything but the kitchen sink on it. I usually sort of nibble away at it—but it is frustrating, and darn it, sometimes I am hungry, and want a mouthful. That is when I get into trouble.

I was out for dinner the other night and ordered perch and coleslaw and French fries. A meal made in heaven for someone with my problem. The perch could be cut into my mouth-size pieces, the French fries successfully dunked in ketchup and easily devoured, and the coleslaw was chopped small enough that I did not have trouble eating it. A blissful meal indeed. (See how I worked bliss into this? Clever, eh?)

I guess I should just explain to anyone I lunch or dine with that I have a problem opening my mouth very wide so they will not think that I am a bit of a pig. I think though I should just acclimate myself to the situation, be careful about what I order, and cut my meal into smaller pieces. Or just eat Quiche. (This can get a little old.)

Do you have to make any adjustments to your eating habits so you will not appear to be a messy eater?

 

Published in: on January 22, 2013 at 5:32 pm  Comments (54)  
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Day 21 ~ 200 Words

English: "Hey, Girls! We may be in luck h...

English: “Hey, Girls! We may be in luck here.” Sadly, they weren’t. I had nothing to give them. They were the gentlest, friendliest animals one could wish to encounter – they appeared healthy, happy and superbly looked after – a credit to their owners. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Another day, another medical intrusion (LITERALLY ~ but I will save you the gory details).  I swear these people are trying to find something wrong with me.  I have had three ultrasounds, blood tests, a mammogram and an appointment with an ob/gyn.

I am not pregnant. I think at this stage of the game that is an impossibility, first because my husband had the snip, snip (he hates it when I use this technical terminology) about 21 years ago after we had our second premature son (both sons are healthy as horses by the way– just how healthy is a horse, anyway?); and second because I am not a youngster anymore.

I am thrilled that we have all these medical tests and procedures, but it does feel like going from one shop of horrors to the next. It all started because of a pain in my side and the fact that I have been ignoring my health for years.  It will all culminate in an hour long physical examination in August where I will hear the results of all the tests. I am hoping to hear that I am as healthy as a horse!

{Whenever I post one of these people get concerned—don’t get concerned –this is my lame attempt at situational humour.}

Published in: on July 27, 2012 at 12:55 am  Comments (30)  
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Tiny Tortures

An oil lamp, the symbol of nursing in many cou...

An oil lamp, the symbol of nursing in many countries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.”  ~ John Muir

As of late, I have been poked, prodded and pinched, squeezed, squashed and searched, jabbed, jostled and ever so slightly manhandled. And all I have to say about it is: Thanks.

At one time or another, most of us have had to undergo medical tests which admittedly are none too comfortable. But we undergo these tiny tortures for the greater good. If we want good health we submit to mammograms, ultrasounds, blood tests, and a myriad of procedures that will hopefully find that we are in good health. If we find out otherwise, then we have options—options that would not be possible if we had not been pricked, prodded, and examined.

I am not the poster girl for preventative medicine—something has to hurt somewhere before I do something about it. A pain in my side that would not go away finally got me to make a doctor’s appointment and keep it. I have been putting my health on the sidelines for a while now, figuring if nothing is screaming out for attention, then everything must be okay.

First I had to have some blood tests. Sounds simple doesn’t it? When I went to to have my blood taken I did not warn the nurse that vampires have difficulty finding my veins, as I did not want to set her up for failure. It soon became obvious to her that I had tiny veins. She was gentle, but had to downsize her needle twice, but finally, she struck gold–err, I mean blood. Now, while we were going through this tiny trauma, I found out that she was getting married in a couple of weeks and we talked about her plans. I am convinced that if she had found my veins sooner, we would not have had this lovely conversation—so, even though I was jabbed a few times, it paid off in warm human contact.

Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last week I had a mammography. The less said about this the better. It hurts, darn it. But the nurse who took care of me was compassionate, and explained that a little pain was not much to ask when there could be so much to gain. I agreed, and read a Martha Stewart gardening magazine, while she went over the results. They have invited me back for an ultrasound. I would like not to RSVP, but I am trying to be wiser, so I will go back. Being dense (not just in the head) makes the mammogram results more difficult to read. I refuse to read anything more into it.

And just this morning I had an ultrasound in the area that initially sent me into my health care provider. In order to have this ultrasound, I had to spend the day before on a fat free diet. Do you know that everything has fat in it besides Jell-O, fruits and vegetables? Oh yeah, I was also allowed dry toast. Usually this would not be so bad, but it was Father’s Day, and I could not let the dad of honour eat my restricted diet—so I suffered through watching my family eat good food and dessert (something we do not have regularly) while munching on dry bread and strawberries. To add insult to injury, I also had to drink four glasses of water an hour before my appointment—so not only was I undergoing an ultrasound (which in itself is not all that bad)—I was undergoing an ultrasound with a full bladder.

I am back home, with a coffee and bagel under my belt, and trying to make a pact with myself not to eat everything in the fridge after yesterday’s almost “fast”. I made my family save a piece of the dessert, which I will be having for lunch. Bon appetit to me.

Happy in Less Than A Minute

Cover of "59 Seconds: Think a Little, Cha...

Cover via Amazon

“I am a busy person.” ~ Sophie

Thank Sophie. She is the reason that Richard Wiseman decided to come up with some alternative ways to achieve happiness without spending  forty years in therapy, six months in an experiential study, or half a million dollars at a spa. Sophie asked Wiseman what he thought of the “self-help happiness industry”. She had just purchased a book on the subject and was curious about his take on the subject. Apparently in response, he sunk his teeth deftly but deeply into the topic and provided her with some of the complex academic works on happiness he was familiar with.

Sophie stopped him in his tracks, told him she was a “busy person” and asked him if he could come up with “some effective advice that didn’t take quite so much time to implement”.  He asked her how long. She said: “About a minute.” So he rose to the challenge and produced the book, “59 Seconds – Think A Little, Change A Lot.”

This little book is a gem of down-sized knowledge. It includes all kinds of tests and some myth busters,  with a little genuine state-of-the-art scientific knowledge to boot. Wiseman is undeniably smart. After all he is Britain’s only Professor of  the Public Understanding of Psychology, and has an international reputation for doing research in unusual areas.

If you are a “busy person” like Sophie, you can skip to the last chapter of his book, aptly named “Conclusions” where Wiseman provides 10 ways that have been scientifically studied and verified to bring happiness to your life. He says he is quite sure that he could “on a good day….describe all ten in just under a minute”. I have chosen five for your immediate consumption, and if you are curious, you can pick his book up and find out what the other five are. And if you are not too busy, you might read the whole 296 pages of his tiny tome.

Without further ado, the teaser tips are:

1. Develop the Gratitude Attitude. Nothing new here, but it bears repetition. He says you should list three things that you are grateful for each day, and by the end of the month you will be “more optimistic about the future”.

2. Be a giver. Apparently even the smallest acts of kindness produce a fast-acting and significant boost in happiness. (something like an antacid).

3. Hang a mirror in your kitchen. People who do this have a 32% reduction in their consumption of unhealthy food. (I will not be doing this.)

4. Buy a potted plant—it reduces stress and induces good moods, which promotes creativity. (Unless, of course, you are like me and forget to water it, and it dies, which then produces a sense of both guilt and failure.)

5. Touch people slightly on the upper arm. It makes people more likely to agree to a request because the touch is unconsciously perceived as a sign of high status. (I might be selective in just whom I would choose to practice this on.)

A really easy way to be happy is to behave like a happy person. And if you need some help, Wiseman recommends that you clench a pencil between your teeth, which forces the lower part of your face into a smile. He believes people who force their faces into a smile feel happier.

My suggestion?  Do this pencil trick in public, thereby not only making yourself smile, but others too—because you will look funny.

Happiness mind-map