Oh too?

Apr. 6th, 2017 06:53 pm
outsdr: (Dalek Longcat)
So i did get put on oxygen at night, 2 liters of it per minute or something. Brand new machine that sounds a bit like a milking machine and condenses the O2 out of room air, which is nice. I've had it for little over a week and I think it's making a positive difference. Hard to describe, but I think I'm sleeping a bit more deeply and I'm more clear headed in the morning.

And then I found out the damn machine will cost me $93 per month, after insurance, forever.

Holy macaroni. What a racket. But then, this is also the same company that screwed up my CPAP insurance submission years ago, didn't fix it, didn't tell me, then turned a bill of $1,500 over to collections. After that, I refused to ever do business with them again ... but they're suddenly the only game in town.

I found an O2 Condensor online for under $600, and asked my sleep therapist if she had any objections to me getting it; she said no. Yay! I ordered it up, she sent of the prescription, and now I wait.

I packaged up the one I have to return to the company, who were going to stop by tonight with more paperwork for me to sign that I apparently should have signed when it was delivered in the first place. I've told them twice I'm only available after 5:30 pm, and so far they've left a note on my door saying they were here at 11 am, and a phone call asking me if I was available right now - at 4:30 pm.

I would sigh, but I probably shouldn't spare the air.

Stuph too

Feb. 20th, 2017 09:10 am
outsdr: (Dalek Longcat)
Oh for Pete's sake ...

So, good news first- I'm on a week of PTO. My employer caps the number of personal time off hours I can accrues at 140. I'm at 139.74; if I don't take some time off, I lose anything earned over 140.

And I desperately need a week (or more) off. There's a new supervisor at work, and my prospective employment under him does NOT look good, for various reasons. After saying he doesn't understand what I do, so he's not going to change anything ... he's changing everything, from telling me I am not in a leadership position, even though that's exactly what I've been doing for the past year, even stating I never should have been treated like I was in a leadership position, but that he "supports me" if I ever want to transition into one.

So work right now is ... tense. I fully believe he is looking to get rid of me. That's not stressful at all! I am looking for new employment opportunities ... but I don't want to. I like what I do, and I'm good at it. I was not planning on leaving this company any time soon.

At least I have the week to think about it.

On the health front ... I've been working to change my diet. Downloaded some diabetic recipes from the internet, things like that.

The same bloodwork i had done at the beginning of February that showed me as being pre-diabetic also showed an abnormally high red blood cell count. My primary care physician asked me to follow up on that with my sleep therapist, because it can be caused by untreated sleep apnea, so I did on Friday. She founded it odd that I have "thick blood" even though I'm on blood thinners. Yay.

She ordered an at-home night time oxygen test to see how much oxygen I'm getting while I sleep. If it's low, then oxygen therapy will be added to my CPAP (I had that done when I was hospitalized ... it simply involves an adpater on my mask that adds oxygen to the air flow.)

If it shows normal blood oxygen levels while I'm sleeping, then I'll need to have the excess blood cells manually removed from me. That doesn't sound fun at all, but I'm assuming it will be a process similar to having blood plasma removed, or dialysis. Neither of which I've ever had done, but it sounds simple enough.

On a different note ... when did LiveJournal remove the spell check option?

Random food

Jun. 7th, 2015 10:56 am
outsdr: (Dalek Longcat)
I have five servings selected from the list below of fruit and vegetables. I also have a snack of one thing from the list twice daily.

1 3oz. serving raw mushrooms (20 calories)

1 cup raw sugar snap peas (40 calories)

1 serving (6) cherry tomatoes (18 calories)

1 banana (121 calories)

1 mandarin orange (40 calories)

5 celery sticks (15 calories)

1 small apple (78 calories) (usually with peanut butter)

2 Tablespoons peanut butter (190 calories) (I could probably lower this by only eating all-natural peanut butter ... but it doesn't taste as good)

1 bottle flavored water (20 calories)

1/2 cup flan made with almond milk (46 calories)

1 ounce toasted almons (169 calories)

1 snack-size box raisins (100 calories)

1 snack-size box yogurt covered raisins (120 calories)

4 prunes (100 calories)
outsdr: (Dalek Longcat)
Chicken Salad:
1 baked chicken breast (500 calories)
1 1.4 cups pico de gallo (100 calories)
1/2 cup light mayonaisse (280 calories)
4 celery stalks (24 calories)

Makes 5 servings
Total calories: 904
Calories per serving: 181

Sandwich:
2 slices whole-grain bread (140 calories)
1 serving chicken salad (181 calories)

Calories per sandwich: 321

Subsitute lettuce hfor bread:
2 cups iceberg lettuce (16 calories)
1 serving chicken salad (181 calories)

Total calories: 197
outsdr: (Dalek Longcat)
Tuna fish salad:
1 can tuna in water, drained (40 calories)
1 Tablespoon sweet relish (20 calories)
4 Tablespoons horseradish sauce (100 calories)
2 Tablespoons light mayonaisse (70 calories)
1 celery stalk (6 calories)

Makes 2 servings
Total calories: 236
Calories per serving: 118

2 slices whole-grain bread (140 calories)

Calories per sandwich: 258
outsdr: (Dalek Longcat)
1 cup unsweetened applesauce (100 calories)
1 cup Greek yogurt (130 calories)
1/4 cup raisins (120 calories)

1 serving
350 calories

Coffee

Jun. 7th, 2015 10:16 am
outsdr: (Dalek Longcat)
1 cup coffee (1 calorie)
1 tablespoon non-dairy French vanilla creamer (35 calories)

1 serving
36 calories
outsdr: (Dalek Longcat)
1 cup mixed berries (65 calories)
2 teaspoons chia seeds (85 calories)
1 cup Greek yogurt (130 calories)
1 Tablespoon wheat germ (30 calories)

Servings: 1
Calories: 310
outsdr: (Dalek Longcat)
4 cups Greek Yogurt (520 calories)
3.5 Cups pureed pumpkin (350 calories)
1 cup raisins (520 calories)
6 Tablespoons ground chia seeds (210 calories)
2 Tablespoons honey (120 calories)
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, etc.)
1 Tablespoon vanilla
Non-calorie sweetner to taste (I used five packets sweet & low)

Mix everything together until well blended. Depending on how well the raisins stay distributed, I may add them on a daily basis instead of all at once.

Total calories: 1720
Servings: 5
Calories per serving: 344
outsdr: (Dalek Longcat)
I've been attempting to eat healthier since my pulmonary embolism. Losing weight will help me out a lot, healthwise. For the first time though, I'm going to be ttracking my calori intake. This has resulted in the creation of a lot of my own "recipes" which are really just various food combinations I've turned into meals.

I keep forgetting to write down everything I've eaten though, so I'm also hoping that it will be easier for me to remember "Pumpkin Yogurt" for breakfast (and it's accompanying calorie count) than 1 cup yogurt, some raisins, applesauce ... um ... 400 calories? etc.

And I'll be putting them on here so I can reference them.
outsdr: (Dalek Longcat)
I saw my cardiologist a week ago Tuesday, and he was pleased with my progress. My ribcage is nice and firm (and honestly, you don't know what a huge thing that is until you experience it loose and flexible!) and the scar is healing well. The area under my secondary belly button is still sore, but it has stopped seeping and has a massive, deep scab. I was wearing bandages over it just for protection, but don't any longer (the physicians assistant speculated that there may be a small hematova under it.) Best of all- he said that yes, I can return to work at the beginning of March! He warned me, however, that even if my chest feels better, it's not better yet; the bones still need to heal and regrow, and that's going to take a full six to eight weeks. This week will mark the fourth week of healing come Wednesday, so just to be safe I'm requesting light, desk-only duty once I return to work, which should not be a problem. Neither I nor my cardiologist want to go through this again!

I'm obviously not allowed to lift anything over five pounds yet, and won't be until April. I need to wear my chest vest until the end of February, not only for protection but also as a reminder that I can't lift anything heavy. I was really concerned last night that I was having trouble breathing and catching my breath ... turns out I had the vest on too tightly! I wonder if this is how a bra feels ...

Two weeks ago I set a goal for myself to write 1,000 words per day of something, anything. The first week went well. I finished my docmentation of the "other universe" experiences I had while in my coma, and worked on another project as well. That second project was not coming along like I wanted, and last week I really started slacking, writing a couple of hundread words per day, if that, even. I was unhappy with what I was writing, and it wasn't until this past weekend that I realized this.

I tend to expect my writing to be as close to a finished piece as possible when I write it down, mainly because I tend to work the words over in my head first, and then micro-edit the writing as I go along, doing whatever small, quick edits are necessary (to my mind, at least! I have a feeling that a real editor would rip me apart.)

This latest work I've been, urm, working on has been significantly different in process, and is full of passive-voice and telling-not-showing and make-outsider-unhappy-structure. My big realization was that I'm not unhappy with what I'm writing and writing about; I just haven't recognized it for what it is - a rough, first draft. It's a brain dump to get the gist of the story down, and once that's finished, I'll go back and take this structure and add the meat and dialogue and discussion and description that it needs. I haven't done something like this in so long, I'd completely forgotten what it's like.

In other words, stopped being so critical of myself and start writing as if no one is reading.

Frustrating

Dec. 7th, 2014 06:46 pm
outsdr: (Dalek Longcat)
I've been doing a LOT better. I've been going to cardiac rehab for over two weeks now, and it really made a difference. My progression has even surprised me. And I don't have nearly as much pain now ... I haven't needed any painkillers for over two weeks as well! That inculdes otc painkillers. I've been really, really happy about it. My stamina has increased, and I was looking forward to returning back to work at the start of the new year.

But.

Last week, I think, as I was laying in bed, I rolled over and just happened to have my left hand on my chest when I did. As I rolled over, I felt things move. Things that aren't supposed to move. I did it again, and distinctly felt one side of my sternum left upwards from my chest, and the other side sunk in. Lying still, there was also a distinct gap between the two pieces.

I had a feeling that this may not be a good thing. It didn't hurt though, and I looked up online and read many posts from people saying that it can take six months for a sternum to fuse together, not to worry, etc.

On Monday, I casually mentioned it to my physical therapist during cardiac rehab. She was concerned, and told me that I should bring it up with my cardiologist, even if it didn't hurt. I promised I would.

Tuesday, I remembered that I forgot to have my bloodwork done on Monday, so off to the lab I went. I ran a few other errands and went home. I hadn't been home for long when my cardiologist's office called me. Convenient.

The levels of coumadin, the bloodthinner I take that keeps me from clotting and therefore enables me to continue living, was much lower than it should be. She adjusted my medication, and I mentioned my sternum to her. She also seemed concerned, and said she wanted me to come in to have it looked at. She'd make an appointment and call me back. I didn't hear from her for the rest of the day.

Wednesday, when I arrived for cardia rehab, it was also time for an evaluation by their doctor. My therpist and I mentioned my sternum to her, and I lifted my shirt. By then, it was noticeable under the skin visually when I turned left and right. Her eyes got big when she saw it, and told me that this was definitely something that needed to be looked at, and under no circumstances was I to do any exercise with my arms (which I hadn't been, but was due to start in the upcoming week.)

Thursday morning, I called my cardiologist's office, since I had yet to hear from them, and arranged to come in within an hour.

My operating doctor didn't examine me, but on of his associates did. She took all of 5 seconds to determine that something was badly wrong, and that I needed a CT scan right away. Even without the CT scan, she told me that most likely I was going to need more surgery that will either re-wire my sternum, or fix it with a titanium plate. (I kinda like the plate idea!)

She told me that they would take good care of me. If surgery is necessary, I'll need to be admitted to the hospital a few days prior, so that they can take me off my bloodthinner while monitoring me for clots. Otherwise, there's a distinct danger of bleeding out during surgery.

Sadly, she also told me that I won't be able to return to work in January.

The CT scan only took a few minutes, and I was on my way home.

Surprisingly, my CT results appeared in my records that afternoon:

TECHNIQUE: Chest CT performed without contrast with sagittal and
coronal 2-D reconstructions.

FINDINGS: There has been a previous median sternotomy. The sternotomy
wires do not cross the sternotomy. There is a gap with soft tissue
attenuation at the site of the sternotomy with the gap measuring at
2.3 cm. There is some resorption of the margins of the sternotomy.
Without intravenous contrast, it is difficult to determine if there
is abscess although I do not see significant fluid attenuation at the
sternotomy site. There are degenerative changes of the
sternoclavicular joints. There is some stranding within the
prevascular fat. Subcentimeter lymph nodes are seen in the
mediastinum. There are coronary artery calcifications. There is a
mild pericardial thickening without definite pericardial effusion.

There is a linear area of subsegmental atelectasis seen at the
periphery of the left lower lobe. Right lung is clear. No pleural
effusion identified.

Imaging through the upper abdomen is notable for some fatty
infiltration of the liver. Adrenal glands are not enlarged.
Gallbladder, pancreas, and spleen are unremarkable in the visualized
areas. There are some degenerative changes to the thoracic spine with
mild thoracic kyphosis.


I'm not a cardiologist, but these results did not look good to me, especially the nearly one inch gap between the two halves of my sternum! If someone were to give me a sharp finger to the chest, it's probably hit my heart and kill me. I'm also concerned that there's no sign of the wires that were there in the first place. I don't think that my body would absorb them (although I wouldn't put it past my super liver to make the attempt) so where the hell are they? (Actually, it only says that the wires don't cross the gap, I guess. So maybe they're just hanging there.)

So I'm pretty certain that I will indeed need surgery. In fact, I spent Friday morning preparing to be called in and admitted to the hospital. I expect that the edges of the sternum cut will need to be re-opened so they can heal together. At least I already have a scar that easily marks where they need to cut!

I never did get the call, so probably someone decided I should at least have the weekend before being readmitted. I'm glad, because even though I don't remember being frightened by the big surgery in October, for whatever reason this surgery is worrying me. I'm not sure if it's the surgery that frightens me, or knowing that I may end up inside that strange parallel universe inside my head again. That's not a fun place to go. (I've almost finished writing down my recollections of that time. Fourteen pages and counting.)

So I'm frustrated. Mighty frustrated. Because this means I'm nearly back to square one. All the pain I had to deal with for eight weeks is going to start all over again. Not being able to lift myself out of bed. Not being able to cough or sneeze without excrutiating pain. Not being able to lift anything over five pounds. Not being able to shower myself, or use the bathroom without help, or walk easily, or any of those other little things that I've taken for granted for 40 years.

And my chest hair was just starting to be noticeable again.

Hopefully, since there's no surgery on my organs this time, my recovery will be easier and quicker. I don't see why I'd need to be put on a respirator and kept sedated again, for instance. But this means missing two more months of work, at the very least. I have no idea how long I'll be hospitalized. I have no idea if I'll need to be transferred to an inpatient rehab facility again.

It's a frustrating set back.
outsdr: (Dalek Longcat)
It was interesting when I arrived. The were having a customer appreciation day, and all the font desk staff were dressed up like clowns and fortune tellers. I filled out my paperwork and waited to be called.

My vitals were taken, and some concern was expressed over my slightly high blood pressure and my high heart rate (about 120). The woman noted all these down, and I was left in the examination room to wait.

I was expecting a doctor, but who actually came in were a young woman, red haired and pretty, and an equally young and handsome young man. They introduced themselves as medical students, andRead more... )
Well, isn't that just a great thing to hear.

He ordered a complete set of bloodwork for me, including screening for prostate cancer and testosterone levels, as well as STDs. He also referred me to a psychiatrist for treatment of my depression. I called their office as well as filled out their new patient request form online, and I am waiting to hear back from them.

He asked me to make an appointment to follow up with him next week, which I did before leaving. The receptionist gave me cotton candy.
outsdr: (Default)
Last week, while writing up about the workings of my mind, I don't think I mentioned much about how i was doing physically.
Read more... )
outsdr: (Default)
Last week, while writing up about the workings of my mind, I don't think I mentioned much about how i was doing physically.
Read more... )
outsdr: (Default)
So I have started physical therapy for my neck issues. One of the procedures involves lying on a styrofoam arch running the length of my back and stretching. Keeping my balance is a little difficult, especially since Ike thinks that it's snuggle time, as I'm conveniently on the floor.
outsdr: (Default)
So I have started physical therapy for my neck issues. One of the procedures involves lying on a styrofoam arch running the length of my back and stretching. Keeping my balance is a little difficult, especially since Ike thinks that it's snuggle time, as I'm conveniently on the floor.
outsdr: (Default)
Saw the neurologist yesterday.

The results of my nerve conduction tests showed no nerve compression damage, which is good. However, they're just as asymptomatic as everything else has been so far. There is definitely neck problems occurring however. But he is reserving surgery as a last resort, mainly because they just don't know exactly what is causing the problems. He feels that there is a very good chance that my body will figure out a way to work around this problem in the coming months, and has prescribed 6 weeks of physical therapy to build up my neck muscles, and the neurotin I take can be increased as well if the symptoms get worse. 4 months from now, we'll re-evaluate and see how things are going.
outsdr: (Default)
Saw the neurologist yesterday.

The results of my nerve conduction tests showed no nerve compression damage, which is good. However, they're just as asymptomatic as everything else has been so far. There is definitely neck problems occurring however. But he is reserving surgery as a last resort, mainly because they just don't know exactly what is causing the problems. He feels that there is a very good chance that my body will figure out a way to work around this problem in the coming months, and has prescribed 6 weeks of physical therapy to build up my neck muscles, and the neurotin I take can be increased as well if the symptoms get worse. 4 months from now, we'll re-evaluate and see how things are going.
outsdr: (Default)
My doctor thinks the leg trouble is medication related, so doses are being juggled. I had less trouble over the weekend, although today isn't so great. But it gives me hope to having this resolved in a week or so.

Wednesday I visit the neurologist. Hopefully, I can get some answers there as well. The neurotin is controlling the pain in my hands as well as it used to, unfortunately. It's not unbearable or anything, but I can tell something isn't right.

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