Saturday, February 4, 2012

My Health At Age 57

I don't know if this is wise.

Actually, it probably isn't.

So why am I writing this? So I can have it in writing.

I turned 57 on Jan 12, 2012, which was three weeks ago, plus a few days.

First, I'm what's called a pseudo-hemophiliac, which means I have one of the non-major forms of a hemorrhagic diathesis. It's called Von Willebrands Disease. That's the most minor thing as I grow older, though is potentially serious should I get in an accident...

I've had 5 surgeries on my eyes with 12 total (including eye surgeries). In the eye category, I've had 3 cornea transplants (one wore out) and a cataract implant. The other surgery was to remove a cyst given to me by a 3-year-old sunbeam while he sat on my lap when Betty and I team-taught his class. He raised his arms suddenly, hitting me in the eye with his thumbnail and cutting it. I had a visit and was given an anti-biotic, however the cut was deeper and a pocket of infection stayed... That's the short version.

The other surgeries are my knees, a shoulder, an angio-plasty and a back surgery. I can't remember the other 2 but will after I post this, should I be inclined to think about it.

There's some history. Yes, abridged and missing incidentals.

Currently I have a degenerative bone issue. So far I've lost 1.5 inches of height, and the increasing pressure on the spinal column is causing enough pain that when I don't take pain medications I slip into a pain-induced depression that is worse if I do anything physical at all with sharp pains in seemingly unrelated parts of my extremities... and elsewhere, too.

That and having been diagnosed with diabetes during the past few months. Last night my bgl (blood glucose level) dropped to 84 and I thought I was going to die. Since 84 is in the normal range of 80-120, I felt miserable because my bgl has been so high for so long and I wasn't used to it being 'normal'.

So, I'm not medicating for diabetes as my diet seems to be working well, however it's frustrating not to be able to eat what I want, especially when my employer is now stocking the place with free pop, juice, cocoa, water, etc...

But other than having to take 1600mg of gabapentin (generic for Fanatrex, Gabarone, Gralise, Horizant, Neurontin), 60mg to 180mg of codeine and then 50mg to 150mg of tramadol (generic for Ultram, Rybix, Ryzolt) every 4 hours exactly, so as much as 5 times a day if I don't get much sleep, which is common. I can't sleep more than 8 hours or I have trouble getting up in the morning because of the pain I grow during the night. Oh, and I take a double dose of Allertec, Costco's generic for Zyrtec, ever day. And if I get stung by a wasp/hornet (and I don't know what else), I have to take a bunch of Benedryl and get medical help, "just in case".

I used to sleep in on Saturdays, but now it appears I sleep in, however it's because I stay up later on Friday nights so I can take one last dose, then go to bed, which means 8 hours later is between 9am and 10am, which is how late I slept when I would actually sleep in. I would get to bed earlier than 1am or 2am back then.

So, I have to lose weight, and I think if I make that happen, which I am a little at a time, my diabetes will go away to come back when I'm older than my current age, which I indelicately pointed out above.

So there you are. Boring stuff to all but me and my sweetheart. She's worried sick about me and is certain she can heal me by changing my diet. Hopefully she's right. There is one more thing I get to suffer, but which is a delicate subject I hate to share. Suffice it to say one of the side effects of the drugs I take is that I give birth every 4 or 5 days to a concrete brick that pinches and tears it's way along the old alimentary canal. That's a recent development as well.

I have a good doctor who is uncomfortable with the amounts of drugs I take, however is prescribing them on the word of the neurologist he referred me to, who he told me before I went, is the only one he knows that isn't nuts. She is cute, however, but unfortunately a bit of a bimbo, too. It's embarrassing, actually, and makes both my wife and I uncomfortable. I don't need to see a cute little Vietnamese neurologist's cleavage when I need a serious discussion about my "18 year old's brain and nerves" as she puts it.

I don't have a lot of confidence in her, however, because the nerve conduction test she did where she put electrodes on my body here and there, then ran electricity through them to see where the nerves have issues, did something strange to me which she ignored. My right arm almost tickled, but my left arm just about killed me. It was agonizingly painful. She said they were the same. How can that be? I brought that up to my regular doctor and he explained that the test just measures nerve conduction, not how painful that conduction is. Ah, so the fact that one hurt like the dickens and the other didn't has nothing to do with conduction? Go figure.

But, back to her comment about me having nerves and brains that test out to be only 18 years old. I guess as we age, things dim, so it stands to reason that "younger brains feel stronger pains", as I just thought of and said (wrote). So it's obvious to anyone who knows me that my nerves and brain never grew up! Dang, huh? But there you go. I guess I have always known my brain never grew up and figure it never will. So, as my brain goes, so do I.

Of course, she pointed out a couple spots on my brain that will eventually cause a stroke, which is awesome, right? Uh? - - no.

Okay, now I'm done with this little diatribe, however there are things I didn't cover, like my doctor prescribing enough so I can experiment with larger and smaller doses and different combinations and etc, etc, etc... I think I about have it figured out. I may quit the tramadol and take a lot of the gabapentin and codeine, plus the other stuff, like B-12, which I have to have to think at all, and a B-complex, eye-specific thing, and some other stuff too annoying to go look at and figure out better.

I really don't think I can go through writing all this again, so may just copy and paste if I want to do a new entry on this nonsense. Better yet, I'll just edit this one and let good enough stay here.

Update on 2012.08.11 during the last weekend of the London Summer Olympics.
I am now going to a Korean Acupuncturist. I have begun to think it's making me worse. I'm in more pain, and now the medicines are starting to make me just fall asleep without warning. I'll be typing, and next thing I know, my eyes open and I've typed a bunch of whatever character is under my heaviest fingers. It is making me nervous, and wondering whether I'll survive another year. Who knows... There's more, but some things can't be written down. They are too personal for this forum. Maybe I'll write them in my Google Drive journal. Yes, that's where they go. So no end yet...