Apr 26, 2009

20 seconds

Well....it looks like my attempt to become a runner again is going to take a lot longer than planned. I lasted less than 30 seconds running the other day and had to settle for a walk instead :(

Less than half a minute! I used to be able to run for over an hour.

Apr 22, 2009

i'm back!

Great news! My test results are back and I do not seem to have an autoimmune disease.

After a two-hour evaluation in the 'big city' nearby, the mood disorder specialist agreed with my psychiatrist that I am a "difficult diagnosis". I have no history of mania, but never really respond to antidepressants fully. Unipolar depression? Bipolar? Not depression at all? My main issue is fatigue, but hard to tell if it is physical or mood related. Great.

And so, my next stop is a date with Adderall or Modafinal. I really don't care what they put me on if it gets me out of bed and moving around again.

I've decided that my goal this summer is to run a 5 km race. This should be interesting as I am currently struggling to walk 20 minutes with my dogs without sitting down to rest. But hey, it's good to have a goal.

I've been remembering all of the things that used to be part of my life - playing in a punk rock band, rock climbing, traveling (and seeing more than just the hotel room). It is time to get my life back.

Today I am going to hit the treadmill and try to run/walk for a few minutes.

Here I go!!

Apr 9, 2009

What's up with Billy Bob Thornton?

I was listening to CBC's "Q" this morning with host Jian Ghomeshi, as he commented on his attempt at an interview with Billy Bob Thornton yesterday.

While I applaud the work that Mr. Thornton has done to raise awareness of mental health, I suggest that he take some time to work on his own issues.

I was disgusted by his immaturity and lack of respect for the interviewer, his band mates, and Canada in general. 

Overall, I think that Mr. Thornton has added to the profile and discussion of mental health (and mental illness) through his public service and through his cinematic career. 

I sincerely hope that this was just a bad day for him and not indicative of a more serious illness or addiction. In the meantime, the Boxmasters concert is one I will be taking a pass on.

As for Mr. Ghomeshi, this must have been a nightmare interview for him, but I applaud his professionalism dealing with such an uncomfortable situation. 

After hearing that the Boxmasters had cancelled the rest of their Canadian tour dates, my husband and I decided to catch Willie Nelson and Ray Price in concert earlier this evening. 

Ray Price was simply incredible. In a sharp suit and tie, he was a consummate performer. I had shivers down my spine listening to him croon through "Heartaches by the Numbers" and numerous other country classics. To make up for the last minute change, both Price and Nelson extended their sets. 

What good fortune we had to see Mr. Price perform. He reminded the audience that he is 83 years old, and while he would love to return and play again, 'time is a monster'...

Willie Nelson was fantastic. He was obviously enjoying performing new arrangements of his older works. His entire set had a blues/jazz fusion feeling and a soulful harmonica player added to the stripped down music.

It was good fortune that the Boxmasters caught the flu *um, yeah, sure* as Mr. Price and Mr. Nelson do not deserve to be associated with the negativity caused by Mr. Thornton's childish antics.

Price & Nelson - absolute professionals. Spot-on musicians. Superb showmanship. It's too bad that the Boxmasters didn't take notes from these fine performers. 

Apr 8, 2009

you kneaded me!

With my recent spat of headaches, I've found that all of my family and friends have been very kind and helpful...this morning, my cat joined in too!

I woke up today with kitty on my pillow, 'kneading' my head. It was just like a massage - with claws!

Apr 7, 2009

the joys of anonymity

One of the aspects of being a patient that many take for granted is their relative anonymity.

In many Canadian provinces, we work in a health "system", which means that in any one geographic area (around 1 million pop) all of the hospitals, long-term care facilities, health service providers, mental health & often public health services are part of the same organization. One organization I worked for had over 20,000 employees.

For patients, this can mean more integrated care, consistent policies & electronic record sharing - kind of like a restaurant chain - you know what you are getting, no matter where you access service.

The downside I have learned happens when you (as a professional) become a patient in your system. Having worked with the vast majority of department directors, managers, vice-presidents, medical officers of health, and specialist physicians, I don't can't just "blend in", I am not invisible.

No matter which site I go to for care, there is a good chance that I am going to run into a colleague. The thought of having to explain my miscarriage, depression, overall illness, resignation and entry in to the PhD program is more than I want to get into with most people. To be candid, I feel like I failed, in that I could no longer keep up with my work demands during the worst of my illness.

Next week I am going to be seeing a specialist in a city about two hours from my home. It's going to be nice to be where nobody knows my name.

Apr 4, 2009

dog park

It was a good morning. My puppies curled up next to me on the couch as I sipped my coffee. My husband was still sleeping soundly in bed next to the cat. And there was no headache. No headache at all.

With the sun streaming through the window, I felt alive for the first time in weeks. I actually wanted to go outside. How long has it been since I took the dogs for a walk? Months?

When all of us were up and about, my husband and I put on our coats and boots, filled our pockets up with plastic bags, and headed to one of my favourite places - the dog park.

The puppies ran and tumbled, bowed and growled and chased. They looked so happy to be in the sunshine, running freely. I'm holding hands with my love, and feeling absolute joy. This is my family, this is my life. This is what a good life feels like.

Apr 3, 2009

don't worry, it's just a little atrophy...

If your head CT report concluded:

"mild frontal atrophy"..."perhaps related to condition" (what condition?), would you feel concerned?

Apparently not, according to my new internist.

Good news, I suppose, but still...brain and atrophy aren't words I want in the same sentence!

Apr 2, 2009

the headache

I saw the Internist today. What a letdown. No answers yet.

Of course, I knew that she wouldn't be able to tell what is wrong with me with one visit, but I was so hopeful that there would be an answer in sight.

She is doing more blood work and told me my thyroid is enlarged and my cortisol levels are low (adrenal fatigue, anyone?)...I will get my blood taken tomorrow, but won't get the results for about three weeks.

My headache is back. I feel nauseous and will be putting my laptop away soon as the light is making it worse.

I'm not sure how much longer I can handle this relentless headache. I am in tears tonight trying to manage it.

Tylenol 3 + Advil = no relief

Any other suggestions? I'm at about 8.25/10 on the worst headache of my life scale.