Cough….cough….

asthma-airways_lg
To find out more about asthma please click on this picture, or search the internet.

Yes, I am coughing a lot again.  I’ve been coughing for quite some time, it got better, but it has gotten worse again.  So much so I had a hard time swallowing because my throat has been so raw.

It started getting worse on Friday, I saw the doctor yesterday.  She says my Asthma is not uncontrolled.  So I’m on a different inhaler for a while, she said I’d probably start to feel better in about 4 days, I know I slept better last night. Thank goodness.

This issue has been causing a lot of symptoms that we thought were from my other illnesses.  I have not been getting enough oxygen, they tested it yesterday and it was at 95%, not bad, but not great…..and I wasn’t having an attack, so my oxygen levels will drop a lot during those times.  I was also given another test…and frankly I’m not sure what it was called, I had a hard time hearing the doctor, her frequency just wasn’t hitting right.  Anyways, the test showed how much air you can expel when you blow out as hard as you can.  It was supposed to read 380, the highest I could get it was 300, I had to blow 3 times, and I almost passed out.

So what does this mean?  Not getting enough oxygen, and not having my lungs working properly can be causing a lot of my dizziness lately.  Especially when I go from sitting to standing.   I was getting worried because I can’t walk from one room to the other without getting winded and the room starts to move.  I thought the getting winded was because I can’t really do cardio, it hurts my head too much….it raises my CSF pressure.  But now I found out that I’m getting winded so easily because I’m not getting enough oxygen. I also found out this is probably why I’m so exhausted and lethargic all the time.  I sleep so much, and have no energy to do much of anything except maybe watch TV, and sometimes read.  But reading takes comprehension and recall, things I simply haven’t had lately.

Having your oxygen levels just a little bit lower than it should be can really cause havoc.   I knew my mother was going through a lot when she had lung cancer, and her oxygen levels were low, but I feel so much more for what she had to put up with.  I remember the insurance company not wanting to pay for my mother to have oxygen at home…I don’t remember what level they said she had to have but her’s wasn’t low enough.  I can’t imagine losing any more breath than I have and being told I can’t get help.  Luckily her doctor called the insurance company and wanted to know how they could say what her patient needed when they aren’t doctors and haven’t examined her.  She demanded that my mother get oxygen, and she did.   I was impressed with her doctor for that…for some other things, well she took good care of my mother, but she did not handle things well.    But that’s for another rant sometime.

So my dear friends, I haven’t meant to stay away so long, or so often.  I simply haven’t had the energy.  For example, today I woke around 11am, I went back to sleep about 1pm, I woke coughing and sick to my stomach about 3:30pm….it’s now 5pm.  It’s the end of the day for most people, and I’ve only been awake for a total of 3 1/2 hours.  I will probably stay awake for a few more hours, but I’ll be asleep by 11pm at the latest.  You can do the math to see how many waking hours I will have today, it’s too hard for me to think that much.

Update on other things. My darling hubby hasn’t found a job, but he has a phone interview tomorrow, and he had a long talk with a recruiter today (they really think he’d be “perfect” for that job, but we’d have to move to Nashville….if he thinks he’ll be happy, I’ll live anywhere.   The big worry he has is leaving me alone all day.  He’s worked at home for years now, even before I got sick.  I think it will be good for him to get out and go to an office…..I’ll be fine, or I’ll hire someone to come stay with me. Another big worry about Nashville…my doctor’s aren’t there.   I’d have to try to find a Neurologist that’s a headache pain specialist because I have to get the Botox shots every 3 months, and I can’t see Stuart taking a day off every 3 months to bring me to Durham.  I’d keep my ear doc, after having the second CI implant…..(I still don’t know when, I’ve had to cancel many appointments with him..dang-it.)…I won’t have to see him very often unless something goes wrong.  And it just won’t…enough of that!

I mentioned the Botox shots, I got my happy little Botox bee stings on the 7th, and I’m a happy camper!  Oh my goodness those things sure do make a difference.  I’ve gone from having pretty much, NO, pain free days, to mostly pain free or very low pain days.   I’m not afraid I’m going to run out of medication, so I take it earlier and abort the migraine before it takes hold and ruins my life. My doctor also prescribed an NSAID shot that Stuart can give me if I have a really bad headache or have one that last more days.  That makes me feel good to know that it’s available.  She also prescribed a muscle relaxer….after I asked about it….I feel that my migraines last longer because I tighten up so much during it and just can loosen up even after I’ve taken my migraine meds.  She said they do often use that as a cocktail to help.  And it has helped!   I can’t take pain medication any longer…..unless I want to itch for at least a day.  For some reason, I’ve become very sensitive to pain medication.  We’ve pretty much tried them all, but since they are mostly all opioids I’m having a lot of the same problems with all of them.   And I can’t take NSAIDs by mouth, my tummy does not like them!  So that put a big dent in how I could fight my migraines.  Now I feel we are on the right track.  I hope the Botox last a good while….I don’t want to be bombarded with migraines before it’s time to visit the Botox Bees.

There we have it, an update on my little family……oh Max is doing fine, right now he’s trying to push my laptop off my lap.  He loves me so much more when I’m doing something.

What’s in your Medications?

I posted this on my other blog Wendy Cooks, but thought it important enough to post it here too.

When you have a food allergy or intolerance it is very important to know what all the ingredients are in our medications.  However, it can be hard to find reliable information about the inactive ingredients.  I’ve asked my pharmacist to be sure to check the ingredients, but they are busy, and I’m sure some of them don’t actually check.   When I was diagnosed with Fructose Intolerance (malabsorption), I asked my pharmacist to check to ensure there were no ingredients in my medications that would make me sick.  He told me that I wasn’t on any liquid medications so I didn’t have to worry.  I wasn’t really happy with that answer, so I looked up the ingredients in the medications I bought that day.  I soon found that one of my medications had Mannitol in it, something I should not be taking.  It was easy to rectify, I just called my doctor and got a prescription for the regular tablets.  However, if I had taken the pharmacist at his word I would have wondered why I was continuing to get sick.  (and unfortunately, I had to pay for 2 prescriptions)

I was looking at the Health Resources listed on my library’s website, and I found this wonderful site.  Pillbox, is part of the US National Library of Medicine, it gives “rapid identification, (and) reliable information” on medications.  Pillbox, has two ways you can check for your drugs.

One is a Quick Search, and one is the Advanced Search.  I used the Advance Search, simply because I found it first.  The Quick Search has photos of the medications, it is still under development, so some medications may not have photos.

In the Advanced Search, just fill in what you know about the medication, and it will give you a list, choose your medication and it will give you all the information you need.  I tried it on a few of my medications, including an over the counter allergy medication.  One I put in the name, one I just put in the description, and one I just put in part of a description.  For most it found the medication I was looking for, the only one it didn’t find was one that is labeled as a pharmaceutical food supplement.  It gave all of the ingredients on all of the medications except the over the counter allergy medication, but they are listed on the box.

I hope this will help you and give you more peace of mind about the medications you are taking (or giving to your children).

http://pillbox.nlm.nih.gov/index.html

Please let me know if you use the Pillbox site, and how well it works for you.

Feel free to comment and subscribe to my blog so you won’t miss a post.

Guilty!

The fraudulent Gluten Free Baker, Paul Seelig, owner of Great Specialty Products, was found guilty of 23 counts of fraud, and sentenced to no less than 9 years in prison.

To read more about this please see my post on Wendy Cooks: Fraudulent Gluten Free Baker Sentenced.

Thank you all for supporting me through this.  I’m so glad this is over, and I put it behind me.  I used to buy gluten-free products from local bakers, trying to support our local businesses.  Now, that has been spoiled.  How can I trust people to really be baking gluten-free?  Until the FDA states the requirements for a business to say their products are gluten-free, I won’t be buying any products that aren’t certified gluten free.

I think I got Glutened.

It’s so hard to know for sure, with all the GI trouble I’ve been having, but this is different.

Last night after dinner.  Which was very good, by the way, my stomach started hurting so bad.  I ate a brand of “Gluten Free” pasta that I don’t normally eat.  I have eaten it before, but only once or twice.

I read on the internet today and it said that they make their gluten-free pasta in the same facility that they make their regular pasta.  It does not say that on the package.  It doesn’t even say that on their website.  I found it on a Celiac site.  I tried to contact the company and the Contact Us link wasn’t working.  I really thought this was a reputable company.  Today, I’m questioning that, because I feel really bad.

All night, I kept waking up with my stomach hurting and with horrible gas pains.  I told Stuart that I felt like I had piranha in my stomach trying to eat their way out.  Pepto was my very good friend last night.  I must say, I didn’t get a lot of sleep.

Today, I still don’t feel good, and I can’t stay out of the bathroom.  This time, it’s very painful.  My stomach really hurts, like it used to before I stopped eating gluten.  My head hurts, and I ache all over.  Yes, it sounds like I have the flu, but I’m not that sick.  I just feel like crap.

I’m also very afraid to eat, but if I don’t eat, my stomach hurts.

I hate getting glutened.

Tomorrow I should feel much better.  That’s always the up side of this, it does go away.