For those of you fortunate enough to have Love in your life...don't take it for granted. Love with all you have in you...like each day is the last. Always leave your partner with loving words and a kiss...and greet each other the same way. Cuddle as you fall to sleep...even if you stray in the night. Set your alarm 5 minutes early so that you can cozy up before starting your day. Sit on the same side of the booth in restaurants. Hide love notes for the other to find. Smile at each other. Hold Hands. Hug. Kiss. Touch...even if it's just hands passing in the hall or your foot to his foot in the middle of the night as you reposition in your sleep. It's the little things that mean the most. Whisper goodnight, sweet dreams and kiss him even if he's already sleeping. For those of you fortunate enough to have Love in your life...don't take it for granted. ~Angela Pearl
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15 September 2009

angela medical update after 1st lidocaine iv infusion

first off, thank you to everyone for your well wishes, thoughts, prayers, meditations, and such while i have been going through this miserable medical mystery. i appreciate your support more than i ever get the chance to tell you. thank you.

yesterday was my first round with the lidocaine iv infusion. i think, initially, i was more worried about the procedure than i was about the after-effects. the medical office requires that you have a driver to take you home after the procedure. my sister took me for this appointment. thanks sis, i love you! i got checked in at the front desk and then a nurse came and got me. she took me to this little room with an over-sized medical recliner, a heart monitor, iv stand, and a waiting chair. she had me sign some papers and she explained to me how it works. she was super nice and kinda relaxed me when we started talking about our pets. anywhom, she hooked me up to the heart monitor and explained that once she got the infusion going she would start at the lowest setting and gradually increase the levels depending on how i was doing with it. she got my iv started (she was good! i barely felt a thing!) and set me on the first level. she said that basically i would start to feel like i had one tooo many margaritas. (which is why you need a driver) she sat and talked with me for a few more minutes and since i was doing fine she kicked it up a notch and left me for a bit. the receptionist came back and wanted to know if my sister could sit with me. i said yes, of course. Heather came back and said that she was going to walk around the mall but it was closed that early in the morning. so she sat with me and we chatted. i could tell i was feeling more and more drunk and i kinda had to concentrate on not laughing most of the time. nurse kept checking on me and kicking it up to the next notch. i was really having to focus on talking with Heather... but it was nice to spend some time with her. i love my sister very very much.

eventually the nurse said "now you're at full blast!" yay! i could certainly tell! it was so weird. i mean, i've been drunk before, but i havent drank in a couple of years and just sitting there with the drunk feeling coming over me was odd. she left me at full blast for a while then came in to disconnect me. she said i did well and that the front desk would set me up with another infusion 4 weeks from now. earlier, the nurse had explained to me that the people with the best results after this treatment usually are the ones that go home and do nothing but rest. she said no mowing the lawn or doing laundry or anything like that. she also said that they need me to keep a journal of how i feel from now until my next infusion. she said that i wont feel better right away. she said it will be slowly noticed things... like... i'll notice while standing in line at the bank that it doesnt hurt so much to stand there, or it doesnt take as much out of me to vacuum, or i can wash my hair, tie my shoes, or hold the phone to my ear for longer without so much pain in my hand and arm... and a list of other examples. she said they need me to pay attention to all those sorts of things and journal them.

i checked out and they set me up for another infusion on thursday october 15th. we got out of there and sis took me home. my roommie, Michael, had stayed home to watch my doggies for me. KaiYin specifically since she is only a few days out of her 6th cancer surgery. i got home and c r a s h e d! i didnt just feel drunk at that point... i felt hungover. i felt miserable. my entire body was angry. i fell over on the couch and was attempting to explain to my roommie how it went and i think i just passed out. he let me sleep. i woke up a few hours later, still "hungover". i asked Michael if he could maybe fix some dinner while i showered. he did. my shower wasnt really as relieving as i had hoped. but dinner was yummy! we ate and watched a movie, then i cuddled my doggies on my couch while Michael played online and read his book on his couch. i guess i must have passed out again because i didnt wake until this morning. suppose i needed it though.

and how lovely that i get to wake to dealing with medical bill collectors. really?! the bills they are calling me about are from appointments on 05.11.09 and 06.11.09 ... may and june... it's only september! it's been like 3 months and i am s t i l l on medical leave for the same reason i was then and they are already threatening me with collections?! they say i have 15 days to pay a few thousand dollars IN FULL or they will send me to collections. really?! you people are ass holes. and i realize some people "are just doing their jobs" but you know what? you dont have to be condescending, heartless rocks during our conversation. when i worked for blue cross and blue shield in north carolina i actually got "talked to" by my team leader many times about the fact that i was "helping clients tooo much" (kinda like mr incredible when he was his secret identity bob parr during his day job at the insurance place in the movie "the incredibles"). the way i saw it was, if someone is calling their health insurance company then either they themselves or someone they love has been sick or injured. they are going through enough without having to deal with money and bills. so i always did all i could to help them. we had a $500 cap per client that we, as customer service specialists, could issue to clients without a signature from higher up. so, if i could help someone, even with only $500, i did. anywhom... my deal right now is (primarily) docs and i are still trying to figure out what the hell is going on with me and why am i in sooo much pain! yes i realize i owe medical people money, but i'm on medical leave only getting medical pay and I AM paying my copays and percentage insurance at every visit and paying for my prescriptions and gas money driving back and forth ( i'm still not driving but i give gas money to the people that drive me ) keep in mind that i still have to eat and pay rent/mortgage and such... no, i cant pay your thousands of dollars er bills in the next 15 days. sorry. what they fuck do they expect?! gaaa!

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exhale. sorry about that, folks. this stuff just drives me insane. i am 1,000% grateful that i have a job with benefits and medical leave and medical pay and family and friends that help me when i need it... i am honestly grateful. but i am also worried that docs are still trying to figure out what is wrong and how to fix it and in the meantime my medical leave is almost exhausted but i am still not able to work and i worry about losing my good job and all it's benefits ... oh and i have suffered from depression most of my life, so that's a huge help throughout this ordeal. i am not looking for sympathy or pity or anything like that... sometimes it just helps to vent. even if no one ever reads what i write, it does help to get it out. the only thing about writing that does not help is the fact that my hand hates me for all the typing / writing so i have to do it in spurts.

okay... i have been writing this in between medical bill phone calls. these people are driving me insane. i think i have made/taken my last medical phone call for today. * i need to fax some stuff which means i have to get out of my jammies and out of the house and be seen in public. * blargh. additionally, my cell phone has been acting up. it powers off just whenever it feels like it. i havent been able to notice a pattern. battery is fully charged. anywhom, so i need to get that in to be diagnosed. yay, dealing with more customer service people. phooey. so, if you have sent me texts or called without answer and left voicemails, i am sorry. half the time i pick up my phone and notice it has powered off so i dont know what calls i might be missing that dont leave messages. i did the software upgrade on it this morning, but it doesnt seem to be helping.

*** nice, roommie just got home and said that while he is out running his errands he will fax my junk for me! yay! and i am not sooo concerned about my phone at this moment, so i suppose i will stay in and continue to rest today. that is a relief. ***

this is the current version (remainder) of my medical schedule as i know it to be, right now:

wednesday september 16th i see the pain psychologist for about an hour, then after him i see the occupational therapist who should be giving me a TENS unit i will take home with me.

thursday september 17th i see the pain doc for an "occipital nerve" block injection ( direct injection to the nerve in the lower back right side of my noggin ) as well as "trigger point injections" for the pain spots. yay.

tuesday september 29th i again see the pain psychologist

thursday october 15th lidocaine iv infusion #2

they told me that each time i go in for one specific treatment they will then set up my next appointment for the same treatment to be repeated. so i'll keep you posted as more appointments are made. hopefully they and i know more soon... the not knowing is sometimes the hardest part.

thanks again to all of you for your continued support and understanding.
i love you all oodles and bunches.
be well.
~angela

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