What’s going on with me?

I know you are asking “What is going on with Wendy?”, she wrote a post about how much better she was feeling emotionally and then she just disappeared.  What? It wasn’t that long ago?  Wow, it feels as if so much time has passed since my last post!

So much has happened.  Last Thursday (I think that’s right, I’ve lost track of time) I had a bad asthma attack and was told by the doctor to come in NOW!, then when they saw me she said, if this happens again, go straight to the emergency room!  Asthma can be one bad mother! (pardon my words, but I was thinking worse…this whole thing with my asthma suddenly getting worse after so many years, well I’m just ticked off about it!)

Want to help someone with Asthma? Please do not wear perfume to the doctor's office. image by Ryan O'reilly at Deviant art
Want to help someone with Asthma? Please do not wear perfume to the doctor’s office.
image by Ryan O’reilly at Deviant art

The real kicker of the whole situation is that I wasn’t that bad at home when we called the doctor, I just hadn’t been able to sleep because of coughing all night.  Then on the way to the doctor we passed someone mowing grass, and I started to wheeze.  I could feel the left side just close up.  I used my inhaler…again….and again.  Stuart said, do you want to go to the Emergency Room, I said no.  Then shortly afterward I croaked out “E…R…”, but then the inhaler started to work and I could breathe again.  So we just went to my doctor’s office.  Unfortunately my doctor wasn’t there and I had to see someone else.  She doesn’t know me.  I do not get anxious when things like this happen. (I get more pissed than anything, I admit I did get a bit anxious when I thought I needed to go to the ER, I hate going there, but that ended as soon as I started to breathe again.)  I’ve had enough happen to me, I stay calm and make decisions on how to handle it.  She thought my “anxiety” was making it much worse, and she’s not the kind of doctor you can explain things like that to.  She would listen, but she would still think she was right.

I saw my doctor on Tuesday, and she agreed, I’m not likely to have anxiety about these things.  And we discussed what type of specialist I should go to, an allergist, a pulmonologist (lung doctor), or an ENT.  We decided on the ENT because I’m having a lot of drainage from my sinuses too.  We figured he may be able to fix that, and if he couldn’t help with the asthma, he could recommend someone in at Duke.  I know you are all thinking I already have an ENT because of my ear troubles, but my ear doc, is just that, he specializes in ears.  He’s an otologist, just ears.  However, we are getting a recommendation from him to see someone in his group.  She wrote me a prescription for a cough suppressant to take at night so I could get some sleep.  Unfortunately, it has high fructose corn syrup in it, not something I can take!  So she recommended Chlor-trimeton, an over the counter antihistamine that is very drying.  Finally, I have been able to sleep with minimal coughing during the night!  I was so sleep deprived I was loopy.

One day…about a week ago now, I fell.  This time I fell into the wall.  Not thinking it was a big deal, I didn’t even hit the floor, but I jammed my arm.  So typing is a bit difficult.  I have to put heat on it and stretch it and mainly just let it heal.  So I won’t be typing a whole lot…it’s hard to do with just the left hand.  I do sneak in there with the right hand, but then my arm aches for a long time.

Oops, I fell, again!  I went to the bathroom and started to spin (the vertigo has been back with a vengeance this past week!), I called out for Stuart but he didn’t hear me.  So I tried to get to the bed as quickly as I could.  I hate ending up on the hard bathroom floor when I’m spinning for hours.  I almost made it.  My walker was near the bed and I went to grab it, but missed (the handles weren’t where my eyes said they were), and I went down.  The front of me mostly landed on the bed, but my knees came down hard.  They hurt for a bit, much like when you fall when you’re a kid.  No biggie, but I’m tired of falling.

Image by Wendy Holcombe
Image by Wendy Holcombe

I’ve had 3 bad vertigo attacks this week!  This week!!!  Since my surgeries I’ve been averaging about 5 a year.  I will have little mini attacks more often, but I think they are more migraine related.  So THREE in one week is unheard of for me now.  But I have found something out about myself.  I don’t panic as much anymore.  (well I started to panic during the one yesterday, it has just been happening so often!  And this one just didn’t want to end.)  However, I’m happy to say, for the most part, I have remained calm.  I tell myself over and over, “it’s not real!”  I also stare at something close to me, often with one eye shut…it seems to help.  I will put my hand on that focal point (usually a cup) and tell myself, “you know your hand isn’t moving so the motion is not real, it will go away!”   I’m also very lucky that I now have Phenergan injections that Stuart can give me.  My migraine doctor wrote the prescription for it, and it has helped a lot.  I still get very nauseous, and some times I feel I might throw up (especially if I look away from my focal point that is close to me, seeing the room…the world…spin is much harder to deal with.) but for the most part I’m not throwing up as much during attacks, or during migraines….yay!  So to sum up, I’ve been having more attacks, but I’m proud I have been handling them better!

The attack last night was strange.  I’ve only had one other attack like it.  I had the spinning and then I just fell asleep.  I woke up a little over an hour later and the room was spinning.  That just isn’t fair!  I told Stuart, that’s against the rules.  When you have vertigo and it finally slows enough that you are just exhausted and pass out asleep, you are not supposed to wake up having vertigo.  At least it was slow moving…but it lasted over an hour longer.  That’s the part I didn’t handle very well.  It’s just against the rules!!

As you can see there’s been a lot going on, and I didn’t even mention it all.

Here’s the highlights….

  • Asthma is better, but not controlled.  Need to see specialist.
  • Meniere’s attacks have increased, but I’m handling them better.  (may be caused from lack of sleep due to asthma)
  • Migraines have been intense, but mostly short-lived.  Coughing raises my CSF pressure, so these types of headaches are expected.
  • Still need to go to cardiologist to find out about palpitations.  (that is rapid heart rate, right?)  I haven’t had this happen since March.  (I have an appointment with him on August 2nd.  Funny thing, it’s Dr. Gray’s husband….if you remember she’s my neuroradiologist who diagnosed me with Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension.
  • Still waiting on insurance to approve second CI, but they wouldn’t operate on me right now anyway.  Not with uncontrolled asthma.
  • Stuart is still not working.  He is looking into going back to school for Medical Informatics.  (I told him he made up that word, but it’s real…I’m so behind the times.)  He would also be working, but things will be tight for a few years.

13 thoughts on “What’s going on with me?

  1. Man! It’s always something, eh? I’m glad you are handling all this crap calmly (pardon my french–lol!). All anyone can do is just slog your way through whatever comes up. You are doing okay with that, but I pray that some of this will subside and give you a break. Let us know if Stuart decides to go back to school. I have never heard of that profession, either. I shall have to google it now. 🙂 Hope your arm gets better soon, too. *love and hugs*


  2. Oh, my dear. Big hugs to you. It seems that when we start getting better at one thing we zig and zag because of something else. (Who says we’re not talented multi-taskers?) I’m starting to consider a walker on wheels that has a seat for those days when the spirit is willing but the head and ears aren’t. It’s still a future thing for me but it’s the mental game of getting ready for something like that.

    Grrr! Went and enlarged your image and I lost my comment. I like the image. Computer generated, drawing, oil? Or a combo of different techniques?


    1. Sunshine, It’s a bad photo of that painting, but I sold it so I doubt I’ll get a better one. It’s bright water colors dripped and tilted on bristle board, with resist applied for the white areas, then paint pens to outline and cause black streaks. There is a blue one too but both sold at an auction to raise money for an art program at a school a friend teaches at. I wish you could see the original.


  3. Sounds like you’ve been having the whole menagerie of your health issues all at once! Makes it difficult to deal with each one, let alone combinations!
    Learning to control panic/anxiety is very important. As you said, panic makes things worse, and certainly wouldn’t help your heart palpitations! Mine are caused by meds (had an ultrasound of my heart showing only a slight anomaly). Hopefully, it will be something easily fixable, or related to a med or other health issues. Also anxiety/panic can make your heart beat faster.
    Dealing in anxiousness and things that are out of my control are two of the things I’m working on with my cbt and health insurance advocate. I’m a wreck that way right now, so while I can’t say I know how you’re feeling — because I don’t have to deal with what you do — but I think I understand the panicky feeling.
    Sounds like your new doctor will be very helpful and understanding.
    Sometimes, doctors who do pulmonary also do allergies/and or heart. You might be able to get a twofer.
    Thinking of you, and sending you (((((hugs))))) and good thoughts!


    1. My dear Zia Dot,
      It’s not as bad as it sounds. We’ve been dealing with most of this for a few years now, and we take it one day at a time. I’m proud of how I’ve begun to handle the vertigo attacks better. They used to really be devastating (still are sometimes, but sometimes…I can handle it pretty well.) Stuart is amazing. I still can’t believe he goes through all of this with me and still loves spending time with me and laughing. right now I’m more worried about him. He’s going back to school, and still hasn’t found a job. He’s stressed, I’m stressed….but I’m sure it will all work out.
      the biggest things we think about. Life might not be what we expected, so our expectations change. Every day I’m able we do something, anything, that makes me feel more normal. We live our life to the fullest.
      most people take a lot for granted, we don’t. We love and laugh and deal with things as they come along.

      thank you for loving us.
      we wish we could see you too!


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