Winter Health Update 2021

Winter Health Update 2021

Well, here we are in May, and I am now updating you on the winter. Shall I go ahead and tell you about April while I’m at it? I might as well!

The year got started right by seeing my allergy/asthma doctor and switching off a medicine I’ve been on for a decade and taking one that I only have to take one time a day. It has gone well so far, so I hope it keeps working! Taking one inhale of that once a day instead of taking four inhales of one and one of another has given me a lot of spare time! Yet, I still don’t seem to get to bed or update my blog very often, despite the extra time. I should work on that.

At the end of January, I managed to get a nasty ingrown toenail that required a trip to my family doctor for antibiotics while I waited for an appointment with an orthopaedic doctor. (I also realized that I’ve had ingrown toenails for years and never knew it because they hadn’t gotten infected before. PSA: your nail doesn’t have to be infected to be ingrown.) At the beginning of February, I got that cut out and ended up on two more courses of antibiotics to try to get it to heal. It took quite a while and even now still feels a little funny, but it doesn’t hurt! I spent a lot of time soaking my feet this winter thanks to that, but that helped keep me warm, so I am not complaining about that part of it. But y’all. That infection hurt. My cortisol level was all out of whack because of it! After the surgery to remove the nail, I sat around, and Andrew did pretty much everything because walking funny was hurting my knee, and I didn’t want to injure one thing while healing from another. So, I took it slow. I got to read a lot in January!

I had several appointments with the foot doctor, but thankfully we managed to get most of them on the same day as we had chiropractor appointments, so it was just one trip into town, thankfully! Quick side note: if you don’t see a chiropractor, you should. We see a great one, and I am so grateful to have found him! He helps me with my migraines, and he’s been working on adjusting Andrew’s back and helping him with shoulder pain. He seems to find us funny because he always asks us if there were any good auctions lately and if so, what Andrew has bought. So far, the doctor has gotten to hear about a welder Andrew “accidentally” bought, drywall stilts (the doctor jokingly said he’d buy those from Andrew. We decided they could bring him more business if he rented them out.), and gumball machines. He also wants a gumball machine. Little does he know that since we last saw him, Andrew bought a truckload of them… (speaking of which, anyone want to buy a gumball machine? LOL)

In the middle of February and just last week, I saw my infectious disease doctor. We are still waiting to hear from NIH about if they will handle any medications I may need to be put on. In February, we still hadn’t even heard from NIH, but since then, I have called someone (which is never something I enjoy doing). Sometime between then and last week, doctors from NIH got in contact with my infectious disease doctor, and now we are in touch with a different study at NIH that is different than the one I am currently a part of. Right now, I am being seen by one that specializes in fungal diseases. The new one will be for something called bronchiectasis, which is what my mycobacterium problem could develop into. However, right now at NIH, only the person who has the appointment is allowed in the building, meaning I couldn’t take Andrew or my mother with me. If that changes, I will have appointments there at the end of May, and I don’t know what it means if it doesn’t change. I can’t physically or emotionally do those appointments and testings by myself with the other health issues I have, so I suppose that means I won’t see them then, and maybe in the future we can try again? We don’t know at this point. I know that I am not currently showing symptoms, so it’s not an emergency that I start medicine yet, and I am okay with that. I haven’t had imaging done since August, so we don’t know what it even looks like in there to see if it’s getting better or worse. So, that’s been the most fun I’ve had lately!

I also had a dentist appointment in February. Did you know that steroids deplete your body of calcium, so getting your teeth checked well and often is vital to maintaining a healthy life while on long-term steroids? Well, if you didn’t know before, you do now. It’s also good to watch how much calcium you eat, especially when you can’t eat dairy to get calcium. It’s important to make sure your dentist knows about the steroid usage so they can be extra vigilant (upon re-reading this, all I can think of is CONSTANT VIGILANCE from Harry Potter.) Thankfully, there were no new cavities this time, but I still have yet to get my wisdom teeth taken out…

April brought a lot of migraines again this year. I think they are doing better since I’ve started verapamil for them, but they’re still frequent with the weather changing, and allergies don’t help the situation! They’ve been coming and going, so I’ve been resting on the days that they’re bad and rejoicing on the days they’re more tolerable, which is part of the reason this is a month late.

I saw my endocrinologist via virtual visit in April, and everything went well with that. I got some blood work done, which came back fine! My weight has been stable and my appetite is much better since stopping atovaquone last August. All in all, I survived the winter pretty well. I am now sitting at the beach, enjoying the hours of lounging around. Old habits die hard, so I am mostly staying out of the sun and doing a lot of reading!

I hope you all are doing well and that your allergies are not driving you as crazy as mine have been!

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