White puppies sneaking around bed. Dark things scurrying around on the floor: kitties? ratlets? Must go to sleep now.

wow, that looked like a cat tail with snake markings on it. And it's right by my foot - the one hanging over the bed. HOpe nothing gets me tonight - hallucinatorally speaking.
1. I'm watching Law & Order: UK, and Jamie Bamber's English accent is very disconcerting. It keeps throwing me out of the story. FWIW, I'm liking him more in this than I did as Apollo - not because of his acting but because mostly I thought Apollo was an ass.

2. The answer to my clenching jaw was .5mg of Lorazepam. Nice and relaxed after that, and I got the added bonus of a solid 8 hours sleep. I sleep about 6 hours a night usually, and that's with frequent wake ups. I need a lot more than that these days, and I find that I end up having to go back to bed after having been up for an hour or so. I don't sleep in because I have so many meds to get down in the AM.

3. Speaking of meds, it looks as if my maintenance dose of prednisone is 4mg. Stepping it down to 3mg leaves me with so much fatigue and pain that it's too hard to function. It amazes me that 1mg can make that much of a difference. Don't get me wrong - with 4mg I still have fatigue and pain, but I can work my way around it. I'm trying to find the absolute minimum that I can get away with. I'm still going to try to step down every few weeks or so just to see what happens. I keep hoping that I'll go into remission, but I know that not everyone gets that lucky. I don't want to think that I'll be tied to pred for the rest of my life, but I'm grateful to have it when I need it.

4. I'm trying to get back into writing, but it's a scary proposition. I haven't written purposefully for several years now, and during that interim lupus has had its way with my fluency. Not to mention my ability to type :) I want to try to finish a long essay that I started (and quit) in 2006. I was rereading it earlier today, and I could barely recognize myself in it. I don't know if I can still write like that, but I have to try. I see a lot of frustration in my future.

5. Now they're on the "order" part of law & order, and it's the damn wigs that are distracting me. I can only hope that I'm never dragged into a British court, because even with my minimal OCD tendencies, I know I'd be trying to pull someone's wig down so it looked like it fit rather than perching precariously like a recently deceased albino muskrat on the person's pate. OK, you know what I'd love to see? Dolly Parton and her humongous hair playing a British barrister. Can you just see that curly little wiglet clinging for dear life to Dolly's mountainous mane? It would be like a little sheep straddling an alpine peak. Baaaaaaaa!
My PCP has improved since she had her babies, really, but she still has this mad desire to load me down with samples of the latest new drugs. I've been having trouble with pain again, so I asked her for oxycontin; I've taken it before, it works, and the side effects aren't extreme. She said she didn't have a problem giving it to me because I don't have an addictive personality, and I'm obviously not a drug seeker. But first . . . why don't I try these samples of a brand new pain reliever called Tridural. Sigh.

I took them home and tried to do some research on them, but they really are brand new so there's not a lot of literature. What I do know is that it's a slow-release 24-hour prescription med, so if I was going to have a bad reaction, it was going to be a long time in leaving. I had to wait until today to take it because it's the first day that Mark will be around to do the driving for the household. And just as I figured . . . it makes me, if not a zombie, then a fuzzy-headed tortoise. It's not as bad as some pain meds I've taken, but it definitely is not something I can take and still expect to drive or do anything beyond simple tasks. At least it did help the pain if not the burning and numbness. Next time, I get the oxycontin.

Oh, one more weird med tale. I took a small amount of Lyrica last night because it's supposed to help with the aforementioned nerve pain and numbness. Backfired big time. I spent the night not only in pain, but sporadically my hand or my leg or my shoulder would just jump violently. I had no control over it at all, and it was freaky as all get out. I've taken low dose Lyrica off and on for the past couple weeks, and this was the first time I've had this reaction. It sure as hell will be the last.
It's been a bad couple of days for me. I don't know if I'm having a flare or if this is the rest of my life, but it's no fun. Lots of pain, very little sleep. I'm not much help, and that just makes me feel bluer.

At Dar's suggestion I'm back on prednisone for a few days to see if it makes a difference. Obviously I hope that it does, but I feel as if I''m admitting defeat. Stupid, really. (No, really.) I hate prednisone for its side effects, but then so does everyone who's ever had to take it. I was really hoping that I could get through without taking it again.

My PCP gave me some pain meds that I haven't started to take yet. They're brand new (based on Tramedol), and they're a slow release over 24 hours. Since I don't know what my reaction will be to them, I haven't wanted to try them while Mark is away at Cape Cod. If Gertie has a dire problem with her cria or if a sudden emergency comes up, I'm the only one here who can drive. I can't take the chance that I'll have a bad reaction or that it'll turn me into a zombie for 48 hours. I figure I'll try it next weekend when I'll have some backup. In the meantime I'm trying to come up with some other way around the pain and sleeplessness.

And I'm out of Bailey's. Woe.

Speaking of homonyms, one of my icons presents me with a problem each time I use it. It's a picture of the sailors from Master and Commander looking down at something with awe. The text reads "Woah!" Yeah, not whoa. Woah. Now I love that icon, but I feel as if I should put up a disclaimer everytime I use it: I know this is misspelled. Sigh.

Conchita may be pregnant again courtesy of Hannibal. Those alpacas have one hell of a sex drive. Or procreation drive, I suppose. She just gave birth a week ago. Honey, don't you want a rest? And Cinnamon Girl was kushed right next to her, waiting her turn with the studmeister. However, Hannibal wouldn't give her a second glance yet. Her hormones have to give off the right scent for him to pay attention to her. I figure two more days. Oh well, as Dar said, at least we won't have to keep trying to keep Hannibal apart from them anymore.
My hopes that I could wean off the prednisone quickly and smoothly have been dashed. Dashed, I say. The past couple of days and nights have not been good. My body isn't adjusting to lower doses of corticosteroids by manufacturing enough cortisol to keep in balance. It means I'll have to up my dosage a bit and slack off the tapering schedule. Right now I have adrenal insufficiency, and that's been the cause of the frequent chills, increased joint pain, and greater fatigue that I've been having the past few days. My kidneys are acting up, too, and it's still another month or so before I get the renal biopsy report and see the nephrologist again. But at least it's just two weeks until I see the cranky Wunderdoktor in London, so yay on that.

Still no cria, but Gertie is showing some physical signs of being close to delivery instead of us just trying to read her behavior patterns. We stopped by our friends' place this afternoon to pick up some grain for our alpacas, and we had to pass their herd to get back to the barn where the grain is stored. The pasture seemed to be overflowing with gorgeous crias running, pronking, and playing; I admit to a pang of jealousy. I can barely wait for our crias to be born, and Neo sure as hell needs some playmates. He's driving the big boys crazy - "big boys" being Sparky and Valentino. And then the moms get dragged into it, and it's a big ol' noisy, spitting face off. Nobody gets hurt or anything, and it is funny to watch, but it plays havoc with the whole concept of a peaceful paddock. I took some pictures of the latest dust-up, but I haven't been able to upload them Flickr tonight. Hopefully tomorrow. Consider this your only warning :)

It was a gorgeous evening tonight. I was out in the yard trying to wrangle the last of the cats inside, and I felt like a meanie for doing it. If I were a cat, I'd want to be outside enjoying the twilight for sure. Hell, I was wishing that we had some mosquito netting; I'd have made up a little bed for myself in the paddock and spent the night out with the alpacas. Come to think of it, the mosquitoes haven't been that big a problem this year which is strange considering the amount of rain we've had this summer. And by that I mean lots. Dar and I were talking about what a weird summer it's been - mercifully free of a lot of heat waves and bad air days, but it seems to manage to rain at least a little bit almost every day. Frequently we get short downpours. It's not been kind the crops or our pasture.

And now it's time to lure Chloe out of my bedroom and try to get some sleep. Hopefully the chills won't be back tonight, and I'll get more sleep than I've managed in the past few days. Sleep is good, eh. And I'll try to dream about a little girl cria being born tomorrow :)
So far the only bad thing about the free account at LJ is that I have only six icons. Now as far as things that I should spend my time complaining about go, this is pretty frivolous. But really guys, I have literally hundreds of icons stashed away on my hard drive. Hundreds and hundreds. Those who know me know that I'm not an acquisitive person. I rarely buy things for myself, putting needing something above wanting it. (I'm not bragging about that, btw, because I also know that it can verge on a sort of Cult of Deprivation.) However, I go nuts over icons. I'm thinking that this will be a good lesson then. And I can always rotate through my vast warehouse. And just how boring is my life anyway?

I'll tell you what's not boring - wrassling dead and/or semi-dead critters out of the mouths of our various cats. Pixel, Chloe, and Mao have taken to bringing little gifts up onto the deck. Pixel and Mao just lay them there for our adoration, but Chloe . . . Chloe thinks of them as furry take-out. She'll bring them up and start snacking on them. Gross. I know what it's what the little predators are bred to do, but . . . gross. Trying to take it away from her? Gross to the nth degree. The other day while I was going out the front door, Pixel came trotting up the sidewalk with something very colorful in her mouth. I didn't have my glasses on so I couldn't really make out what it was, but for a moment all I could think was that she had tracked down and killed an exotic frog. An exotic nearly extinct frog. On the protected species list. Pixel, no! It turned out that she had caught a Monarch butterfly. She must have just snatched it because it was still alive, so I managed to get it away from her without too much harm to any of us, and I set the poor thing in a bush then hustled Pix out of there. When I was out in the back field much later that day, the butterfly was there doing its little butterfly routine of going from flower to bush and back again. I swear to you it was the same butterfly. We just don't get too many of them around here for some reason, and it was a very distinctive color. I'm sticking by that story.

The weaning off prednisone is going swimmingly. I'm down to 7.5mg daily from a high of 25mg. I do have more joint pain than I had on the higher dosage, but OTC meds take care of that for the most part. The best thing about coming off the pred is that my head is usually clearer now, and I haven't been on the edge of a homicidal rage in days. Heh. Seriously, my mood is much improved. I have a better affect as the medical types would put it. I still get foggy brained but that comes on when I become fatigued, which is more frequent now because I feel better so I tend to do more. It's your basic vicious cycle but not a big Tour de France cycle more like a little tricycle. With training wheels.

I still have the usual staggering gait at times, and my balance is still off. My legs and arms are weak and frequently feel as if they're on fire, my voice still gets really raspy, and my kidney function appears to be steadily and slowly declining according to my biweekly blood work. But I feel better :) Because prednisone really is that awful to be on. But I won't be on it for much longer, so yay on that. Yay, I say!

Now to bed. We're on cria watch again. (Well, that's mostly Dar on cria watch, because I have to stay out of the sun.) Gertie and Conchita both really look ready to pop. Now we're wondering if they're going to give birth on the same day. Yikes. They're so different in their approaches to labor that it's a complete guessing game on our parts as to when it's going to happen exactly; it just seems pretty apparent that it's going to be soon. Satine hung on for extra weeks because of the cold weather, but we don't have that issue with these ladies. Come on, crias!
Yesterday was my brother's birthday. My baby bruder turned 58. I'm here to tell you that this aging thing sneaks up on you. I don't usually feel old. I feel sick, but that's different. My brother was laughing that now when he and his friends get together in Manhattan, they have to take a nap before they go out for the night. Heh. Yeah, stamina ain't what it used to be. My theory is that we are each allowed so much energy over the course of our lives, and I used up all of mine during my 20s. I probably used some of yours, too. I apologize. But damn, I had a good time :)

Speaking of a lack of stamina, I've been sleeping on and off all day. Every joint in my body was hurting last night so I took an oxycondin before bed. It turned out actually to be 40mg of percocet. Body meet bed. Body and bed never separate for hours and hours and hours and hours . . . I figure it'll work out of my system by tomorrow. Interesting dreams, though. I dreamed that my right arm and then my right leg started to levitate. It felt very real, and I'm not entirely convinced that I was truly dreaming. It felt so cool that I started cheering myself on to levitate completely and then I woke up. Ha!

A question for y'all. My LJ is up for renewal, but I'm not sure I'm going to go for a paid account again. Does anyone here have a free (basic?) account, and if so, what are the drawbacks. I keep hearing about advertising. As long as it's on the borders I don't think I'd mind, but if it's that flashing nonsense that's always in your face, well that's another story entirely. So give me your input, please.

Last week Dar and I dove head first into the day-long Mad Men marathon on AMC. The Canadian broadcast channels are showing the first season, but they're only on episode four, whereas the new seasons starts on AMC this Sunday. Before I realized that there was a marathon, I was really torn about whether to continue watching it on Canadian TV and be at least a half season behind, or just jump into the new season without really knowing what happened (and try to catch up by watching S1 every week on the CTV channels.) Tah-dah - problem solved. Although Dar had it right when she said she ended the marathon feeling like she had smoker's cough and a hangover. Hee! As someone who actually lived through that time period, I can tell you that they have it down perfectly. People smoked everywhere. Only church was out of bounds. I can remember going to see To Kill a Mockingbird at Radio City Music Hall in NY, and trying to peer through the haze of smoke to see the screen. All the seats had ashtrays in the arms, for FSM's sake! It was really nuts.

I was shocked by last night's SYTYCD. Shocked! Read more... )
All of my doctors have been talking about putting me on Lyrica for the burning in my extremities, so I finally broke down and took one 75 mg tab yesterday morning. I'm still loopy from it! I was a zombie yesterday, couldn't think, didn't really want to move. Dar gave me something to counteract it, and that did help clear up the fuzzy brain anyway. There is no way I'm going on this full time. It did help to dull the burning, but the side effects are too extreme for me.

I did manage to wander out to the paddocks yesterday afternoon, and after fumbling around with the camera for a bit (How does this work again? Oh, turn it on first. Yeah.) I took some pics of the guys. It seems that Adama has a bit of Ferdinand the bull in him: he looooves eating daisies.

The guys )
As you can tell, we finally got our internet connection back. They said that it was an intersatellite collision. Uh-huh. I still say that the Pentagon shot it down when they went hunting for that rogue satellite. Bastards.

It's been cold and windy and hella snowy. I haven't had to deal with it that much, being housebound, but poor Dar has been out in it every day. I'm just hiding out waiting for the damn seasons to change and some warm temps to show up. My car is snowed in after the latest storm, and none of us is really up to digging it out, so it damn well had better be melted out by Wednesday morning when I have a long-awaited appointment with the neurologist.

I've completely stopped taking those blood pressure meds that I nearly OD'd on last week. I switched over to a diuretic, and I've started tapering back on the prednisone that I've been taking for the lupus. (Prednisone raises blood pressure, so I want to give my arteries some slack until I get the bp meds sorted out.) Everything went pretty well last week, but I took it down another half a tab two days ago, and a lot of my former wonky symptoms have returned. I'm swanning around the place like a major drunk. Or like I'm auditioning for a part in an earthquake movie. Or the bridge crew of the Enterprise. But the upshot is that my breathing is much better, and those of you who have lung problems will attest - breathing is good.

Chloe is in heat now. She's a lot quieter about it than Jane is, but she's also much more physical. Her butt is everywhere, trying to get some action. Poor baby. We had our vet come over a few days ago to do a housecall; she gave both Chloe and Jane their rabies booster shots, so they should be good to go for the fixing as soon as they're out of heat. Uh, I mean Chloe is in heat now and it looks like Jane is heading back in. It's a zoo around here. The vet also checked out Pico and Little Cat, both of whom have become more aggressive and seemed to be having some medical issues. Nothing was found on examination, but we need to bring them in on Tuesday to get blood work. After drugging their furry little butts off. Seriously, those are two anxious kitties. Piera (our vet) tried mightily to get a blood sample from Pico, but he wasn't havin' any of that. Uh. Uh. She didn't even try it on Little Cat based solely on her physical examination. Little might be little (hence her name) but she's wiry and fast like a freak. (Yup, still miss my show.)

Speaking of shows, Lost is kicking my butt, blowing my mind, rocking my world and other metaphors like that. I can't believe that they have the guts to take the story where they are, but I'm more than happy to go along for the ride. I love, love, love the new guys, Frank and Dave. I got a bit weepy over Desmond's big scene at the end of the ep, because really . . . he's my favorite character, brutha. I've decided to be uncharacteristically optimistic about his future. If I can use that word :)

But for now, I need to shoo Rocky off my bed, which won't be easy because he's sleeping and all adorable looking and everything and I'm a huge softie about stuff like that. If I fall asleep with him on my bed, he'll just wake me up later to let him out. If I let him sleep and keep my door open so he can leave when he wants, I'll have cats trooping in and out all night long, with all of them jumping up to see if I'm awake and available to either feed them or play with them. Possibly hoping for both. Uh, no, kitties.

Off I go.
I freely admit that I am not a doctor. Nor do I play one on TV. Nevertheless, I decided to, oh, just kind of experiment with my blood pressure meds. Because I'm an idiot.

My blood pressure has been out of control for months now thanks to lupus and prednisone. (I'd actually had it under control for years before then - to the point where I was completely off hypertension meds.) Usually it's the systolic that's too high; on occasion the systolic will be within acceptable limits, but then the diastolic will be too high. Usually, though, it's just the systolic. (FYI, systolic/diastolic 120/80) Always one or the other, though.

When the lupus kicked in last year and my blood pressure started to go up, the doctor put me on my old dosage of 25mg of atenolol daily. Later that was upped to 50mg. Last November that was doubled to 100mg daily. The high readings still continued. So I figured, "Hey. I'll just up the dosage myself!" So I started a routine of taking 150mg of atenolol for three days, then going back to my usual 100 for a few days, and back and forth like that.

I didn't see a noticeable consistent change in my bp readings. And I really did keep meaning to look up the info on atenolol to see what the maximum dosage was. But I'd only remember when I was away from the computer or right before I fell asleep (because my brain is so helpful like that.) And anyway, a bigger concern was that my asthma has been acting up. Today was just nuts. I was sucking down the ventilin every couple of hours, and at one point I had to take it twice within 30 minutes. Huh. Whatever could be causing a problem? Huhhhhhhhh.

You see where this is going, right? Since I didn't really have enough breath to do anything else, I finally got my act together and found the info on atenolol. You know, I'm lucky I didn't kill myself. Maximum dosage is 100mg. So I've been self-medicating at 50% above that. And you know who has to be especially careful when taking this type of hypertensive medication? People with asthma. Because atenolol constricts the blood vessels in the lungs and makes breathing more difficult. It also slows down the heart. Which would explain why my heart rate has been at 50 lately.

So here I sit, wheezing away, feeling all day like I have pneumonia, knowing I have no one to blame but myself. I'm just kind of riding it out, waiting for the effects to subside and mentally thwacking myself across the head most mightily. Because I really do deserve it.

I'll call my doctor on Monday and make an appointment to discuss trying a different med. If nothing else, at least I found a good site that lists all the types of medications and their actions. I'll print it off and bring it with me, because really . . . my doctor is only slightly less dangerous with medicines than I am.

So that is my tale of woe. Or Moe. Along with Larry and Curly, for veritably I have been a huge Stooge.

Just one more thing. I used to have a Demotivator plaque on my wall at work which read: It could be that that sole purpose of your life is to serve as a warning to others. Bwah! Truer words were never spoken :) And let that be a lesson to you.
I'm so hungry! (damn prednisone) But I'm too tired to go out to the kitchen to get something to eat. (damn prednisone) But if I don't do that, I'll keep waking up because I'm so hungry. (damn prednisone) Do we sense a theme here? (damn prednisone)

Went out to the barn with Dar this morning. We're having that weird weather that's rushing across the northern tier: warm temps followed by flash freezing and dangerous winds. This morning was the warm temps, so I got to play for a bit. Got me some soft little alpaca kisses out of it, and a couple pics.

It wore me out, but what else is new, eh. It was worth it. I zoned out while Q and Dar ran to the store to, as Dar always puts it - completely without sarcasm - "pick up a few things." Two hours and many grocery bags later, they returned. Actually, it was a stock the cupboard run, because the odds are that we'll lose power before the weather system passes. And also, the temps are going to be dangerously cold and the roads should be ridiculously icy, so get it all done when you can.

I tried to shovel all of the slush from around my car this afternoon, because I didn't want to end up parked on the equivalent of a skating rink once the front comes through. I wasn't all that successful and ended up having to move my car and reshovel a new space. Again - it knocked me out for a couple of hours. At least I got to cozy up with Jane and Chloe who pretty much staked out my bed as their own for most of the day. Chloe's cold is back, poor thing. And Jane was like insanely affectionate, patting my face and licking my hands. On the other hand, maybe she got into my prednisone and was just trying to eat me because she couldn't drag herself out to the kitchen where the food bowls are.

Jester the Wonder Horse is living up to his name in unexpected ways. He figured out how to unhitch the gate to his paddock and wander down to visit the alpacas. Dar noticed him rolling around in the snow (literally) in front of the alpaca barn. The alpacas meanwhile were bunched up in the main paddock goggling at him. Dar got Maddie to go out with her and harness him, but before they got there I got to see Adama and Sparky get up the courage to go up to Jester and touch noses with him. Awwwwwww! They can't really be in the same paddock together, but it was awfully cute to see them interact like that.

In medical news (because you knew that was coming, didn't you?), I have appointments to see my new rheumatologist and my neurologist. I see the rheumy at the end of March and the neuro at the end of April. Assuming I haven't died by then. Sigh. Actually I figure that when my all my blood work comes back they'll probably get me in to see them each earlier. I hope. Because basically I'm still untreated for lupus and have no official diagnosis for the neuropathy that's pretty much progressing to the point where it's starting to cripple me.

And what the hell is going on outside? It sounds like snow plows running up and down the driveway. Or trucks or planes or something. Man, I bet it's the wind storm kicking in. And that is my cue to haul my butt out to the kitchen to get some crackers before the electricity goes out. I should probably hit the bathroom, too. Because I know you were dying to be let in on that particular plan of action.

For my future reference, in future plz to be doing in reverse order instead of this:

1. Take all of your meds for th night. Tylenol3 because of the pain at night being back - definitely can make me sleepy. Baclofen because of oversparking brain synapses - can cause drowsiness but usually not for me. Imovane for insomnia - may cause drowsiness it sez on the label. It's a sleeping pill. It had damned well better cause more than drowsiness. And usually does for me, yay. NeoCitran Nighttime Cough Strips - may cause drowsiness, and they usually do especially if taken with stuff like I did tonight.

2.Wash up, brush teeth, brush retainer, water Mao from the faucet. Washing up meant doing neck and pits especially after today, so unbutton blouse to get at odorous areas. Turn off faucet and feel guilty of depriving my poor little Maoser of his one main pleasure in life.

3. Give the cats their nightly ration of opium catnip. One for you, one for you, one for you, one for you, one for you, where's Holmes? Asleep on Leo's knee. (That's Mark's dad.) Bring catnip container, lean over and place big wad of catnip on Leo's thigh. Holmes purrs loudly.

4. Put catnip container back in the kitchen and suddenly realize that you never ever rebuttoned your blouse. So it was you, your breasts, your quite lovely lacey bra, a large wad of catnip, and Leo's thigh.

5. Make it back to room and laugh loudly into pillow.
Hey, guess what I did today? I shoveled snow. And I didn't fall over and die of exhaustion or anything. Dar had said that the prednisone would have a quick effect, but I had no idea just how right she was :) I mean there are still real problems (like bp reading of 152/98 this morning), but I'm just about pain free these days, and that's damn near a miracle.

Okey-dokey, off to bed. Another busy day tomorrow.
So our blizzard hit, and it was actually not all that bad as blizzards go. Of course I must be honest and say that I'm speaking as one who never set foot out of the house, but those who did said it wasn't all that bad, really. Mark's parents' flight from Dublin was only 20 minutes late, and he made the 100 mile trip to the airport dodging closed roads and other hazards in time to meet them as they came through customs. The neighbor guy came by to plow us out, so if the winds don't go extremely crazy tonight, we should actually be able to get out for a bit tomorrow.

Second day of the steroids and they're starting to kick in. I'm practically pain free. I still have some stiff joints and the nerve "thrills" up and down my legs, but the unbearable stiffness in my joints and the deep muscle aches are gone during the day. We still have to work on the night thing, but so far so good. I'm impressed with how quickly it started working.

I do have side effects. Insomnia was a big one. It took hours and 1/2 of a sleeping pill to finally zonk out, and then my stupid gall bladder woke me a little over 3 hours later. No. Just no. But yes. So when I got up to take something for that, I got swarmed by cats looking for their breakfast, and by the time that feeding frenzy was over, I was too adrenalized to go back to sleep. Needless to day I do the Walk of the Zombie. I'm falling all over the place, and i've taken to just sliding myself down the hallway by leaning against the wall as I walk. In the kitchen, I just tip over against a cabinet and stay there :) I had some blues, but I know that's from the steroid overload, so I paid them no mind. The most annoying is the muscle weakness. I feel like a newborn kitten or one of those brittle damsels in distress. Blanche du Boise, that's who I am. "I have always relied on the kindness of strangers." I'm holding onto the fact that all of this is temporary.

Really sleepy. Not wanting any chance of another bout of insomnia, I dosed up on Imovane, which means I took a whole pill unstead of the 1/2 pill I normally have been taking. See, I can be moderate in my drug use. I just want it to work and sock me out for the night.

Before I fall asleep, I must praise the season ender of Dexter. Genius. Sheer genius.
Insomnia. For reals.

Off to paint the living room. Ta!
Okey-dokey, I took my five tabs of prednisone and two of plaquenil, and I'm still here. So far, so good. Heh. Dar and I headed out to the store/pharmacy early this morning to stock up against the coming apocalypsestorm and get my prescriptions filled. I'll admit that I got a little teary on the way home (just a tiny bit), because I was feeling overwhelmed and stressed and all that folderol, but it passed. I downed the pills - with food, as prescribed - and then sat back and waited to fall down, blow up, break out in lizard skin, have a complete metabolic breakdown, or some other dire thing. When nothing untoward happened, I breathed a sigh of relief and got on with the day. I have had a headache off and on all day, but that could just be from the pressure change of the oncoming storm. And honestly, if that's the worst of the side effects, I'll feel blessed. Just to get a baseline, though, I had Dar take my blood pressure. I also weighed myself and took a photo of myself. I know, I'm a nutcase. But I believe in being thorough, eh. Having good data and all that.

Truth be told, I hate taking new meds for the first time. I don't always have a good reaction - like the day I discovered I'd developed an allergy to penicillin - so I tend to be cautious, especially when facing meds that are known to have some loaded side effects. As noted, though, nothing is pinging right off the bat, so that's a big yay.

All of the medical melodrama is being overshadowed by the Snow Storm. The meteorologists in Ontario are spooging themselves about this one. Apparently it's going to be the biggest blizzard in over 10 years, and in Canada that's saying something. We have wood ready to throw in the fireplace if need be, and I tracked down the guy in the neighborhood who plows out the driveways just to be sure that we were on his to-do list. We got the first snow squall around 3PM just as I was going to the neighbor's house. Yeah, this is going to get nasty. I really don't like big storms like this. I have a near phobia about being trapped, and that's what it feels like after a major snow or ice storm. Because of the open farm land and the high winds and blowing snows, even though the county plows come through, an hour later the road will be literally impassible to cars and trucks without major plows attached to them. Next year we're getting a sled and some dogs. Or moving to New Mexico.

Oh, speaking of animals, Mark too Jane off to her new foster home this evening. We packed a little bag for her with some of her food and a few of her favorite toys. Sigh. Dar had called our alpaca friends Deb and Diane and asked if they could take Jane for about a month, at which time she'll be able to get her last booster shot and then be able to be spayed. They agreed but then called back a little while later to ask if we had another of Mirabelle's kittens that could be outright adopted. It turns out that Deb's ex-husband (recently divorced) is looking for a cat, and when Mirabelle lived at their farm, she was his favorite so he was hoping to raise one of her kittens. Score! Dar explained that Jane was actually open for adoption, so it looks as if Bill will be giving Jane a home once she's spayed. Yay! And her foster home has only two male neutered cats, so they're not going to be hassling Janie, either. And when she lives with Bill, she'll be an only cat which would probably be best for her, and being such a mushball and loving attention as she does, she'll have Bill to herself all day because he's on permanent disability. It really all works out, and we're very relieved. Now we just have to worry about Little Cat going after Chloe, but we figure that very soon Chloe is going to be bigger than Little (heh, so to speak) and Little won't be so quick to go after her. In the meantime we'll be investing in a spray bottle to discourage Little when we catch her harassing Chloe.

So all in all a pretty good day. I finished decorating the Christmas tree and helped out a little bit with the cleaning and such. Dar did the major work (of course). Mark's parents are supposed to be flying into Toronto tomorrow from Dublin, but we're pretty sure that Pearson will be closing down and the flight will be diverted someplace else. Since this seems to be a whole Northeast storm, we're really not sure where they'll end up, but everyone is pretty resigned to not actually having them show up until Monday or Tuesday. Mark's mom, Marie, kept going on about how much she wanted a big snow storm while she was here. Ha! Be careful what you wish for, Marie :)
I had an appointment with my doctor today, and it went pretty well. I got the prescriptions that I wanted, plus she's ordered a series of tests for me at the hospital. And she said she's going to talk to the rheumatologist about putting me on a wait list for cancellations; hopefully I can get in to see him before 9/19.

Dar was convinced that the specialist had contacted her sometime between when I made this appointment and today, and that was why the additional tests were authorized. To be honest, it did seem that she had them all typed up and waiting for me when I arrived and she has a chest x-ray listed even though none of my complaints were chest related. That certainly sounds as if the specialist wants to check for the pulmonary involvement which sometimes happens with lupus. From the list of tests, Dar also concluded that my doctor thinks I might have a stomach tumor. Uh . . . no. I'd be really shocked to hell and back if one turns up. And she still doesn't seem convinced that this isn't mostly me being depressed, in spite of all of the test results and the many verifiable symptoms I'm exhibiting. She bases this on the fact that she's never seen me with a rash, meaning the malar rash that turns a lupus patient's cheeks and nose red. The rash that several of you have pointed out and that shows up quite frequently, just never while I've been sitting in her office.

Aaaaaanyway . . . it went well, all things considered. And since she's about to give birth to a set of twins any day now, it's probably the last time I'll be dealing with her for the next year or so while she's on maternity leave. Silver lining :)

And in more good news, tonight, for the first time since early January in 2005, I had the house completely to myself. Well, completely to myself plus the five cats. Everyone else was at the mall finishing up shopping for [livejournal.com profile] longshadowsfall's big trip to NYC this Sunday. It was heavenly. But it was also lovely when they came home. I think I've changed over the past few years. Who knew?

I'm waiting for the morphine to kick in, but so far not much is happening. Nothing else is working for the pain, especially at night. Last night was just insane. I took a couple of Tylenol 3s at around 11PM. Nothing. No easing up on the pain (which always worse when I'm lying in bed), no drowsiness. Nada. So two hours later I decide to take a swig of Bailey's to move things along. That backfired big time and left me with a raging fire in my stomach. After some Pepto Bismol that finally calmed down, and I finally managed to fall asleep around 3AM. I'm really hoping tonight is going to be different. Time, she shall tell, eh.

OK, it's been an hour without much effect, so I'm off to take another half dose, as prescribed. Ciao, my babies.
And the number shall be . . .

1. Dar's aunt and cousin and niece came for a visit this afternoon. They're lovely people, truly, and I loved seeing Dar laughing as much as she did while schmoozing with her cousin.

2. My new camera broke. It keeps giving an error message that we need to turn the camera off and then on again. Over and over and over and over and - yeah. I checked the booklet for that particular error message, and it says that we need to take it back to the dealer.

3. I can't find the receipt so that we can take it back to the dealer. Crap. I can't believe that I lost the receipt. I have receipts for items I don't even own any more! Tomorrow I'll tear my room apart just in case I put it to one side for safe keeping and then forgot about it.

4. I'm going to miss participating in Project 365. Really, truly miss it.

5. Leg cramps have continued throughout the day.

6. I started taking a new asthma med a few days ago.

7. It occurred to me that those last two facts might be related, so I did some research and yes, indeedy, leg cramps are a side effect of this particular medication. Unfortunately I didn't figure that out until after I took tonight's dose (idiot!), so I'm expecting to have another rough night. In fact, I'm so wary of getting hit with the cramping, that I'm kind of anxious about falling asleep. Hence my writing this at midnight instead of sleeping as my body so desperately wants me to do. Oh yeah, this is gonna be a good night.

8. At least I have the repeat of Rome to keep me company. That and three cats snoring away on my bed.

9. I miss you guys, you know? I mean even those of you I've never met in person but know from online. I wish we were at a big ol' pajama party.

10. Sleeeeeeeep. With any luck.

August 2015

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