semperfiona: Picture of a gas cloud in space that looks like an upraised middle finger (fuck you universe)
I seem to be getting more and more sense-sensitive over the years. By which I mean that smells and sounds that didn't use to annoy me are doing so more and more. Some of it also appears to be a heightened startle reflex.

I am not actually allergic to fragrances, as far as I can tell, but I do seem to have a sensitivity. I have to hold my nose and dash if I need something from the laundry detergent aisle at the supermarket, and I hate going into the ladies' room at work after someone has put perfume on. Enough fragrance at one time will set off a headache. But I don't mind scented lotions or soaps, and I occasionally use BPAL or light sprays of eau de toilette. Back in the day (probably more than 20 years ago now) I used to wear Poison. There's no way I could do that now, and while Tammie sprays about six or eight times when she uses her eau de toilette, I might do three...and I stay out of the bathroom right after she uses it. It dissipates quickly, thank gods.

And sounds, oh my god. I spend all summer in a mild state of irritation because my house does not have central air, so we run room air conditioners and fans instead. I hate the noise. Hate it. If I'm alone, I'll turn them off and be hot to avoid having to listen to it. Sometimes I go to another room and do that even when people are home.

Whining dogs. Both of our dogs have the horrible habit of whining constantly. The bigger one will also burst out of complete silence with a loud sharp bark that nearly always startles the hell out of me. I end up twitchy for quite a while afterward.

Dog chewing and licking and slurping. Both of the dogs lick themselves ALL THE RUDDY TIME.

Leafblower man. Our neighbor across the street runs his leafblower for nearly all the hours of daylight from February to November.

Styrofoam. I've posted about that before, long ago, but the very thought of styrofoam makes the hairs on my arms stand up.

Most of my sound issues are with mechanical noises, but there's a whole set associated with the dogs. I think those may be less sound issues than dog issues, but I'm not sure. The noises irritate the everloving shit out of me, but I don't mind the dogs when they are not making those noises.
semperfiona: (maple)
I think I have mentioned here occasionally, but I've been in a longterm funk. Ups and downs, but basically it goes back eighteen months or more. I've been going to counseling, but am still having some really bad weeks. It seems to correlate with my periods: the week or two before one I'm having terrible crying jags and constant anxiety. So I have finally decided to try antidepressants. I am dearly hoping they will help, although I also think some of my depression is situational and can't be fixed by me alone. Still, if I can cope better, maybe we can work through the issues better together.


Feb. 16th, 2016 10:26 am
semperfiona: (maple)
Yesterday afternoon I went to take a shower and wash my hair. So far, so normal.

I sat in the tub and shaved my stubbly legs. So far, so normal, even if I've been a bit inconsistent about it during the winter.

I wanked for a bit. Again, pretty normal.

Then I stood up and started the hot water and rinsed myself off. Just about the time I'd gotten all my hair wet, I adjusted the water which was getting chilly. My vision went all black blobs with yellow edges. I reached for the grab bar and hung on for a moment. Started to taste bile in my throat. Shut off the water and huddled down on the bottom of the tub until the nausea settled down and my vision cleared.

I tried again. Stood up, turned the water back on to a nice toasty warm...and promptly found myself crashing to the bottom of the tub. Bashed my right cheekbone and above my right eyebrow on the inner tub edge, scraped my right knee and left elbow, and scratched up the silver ring on my right hand.

Tammie and Chris called from the living room, "Are you OK?" I said, "Noooooo...." and they came running. After lying on the floor of the tub for a while with a couple of towels over me against the cold, and multiple checks whether my eyes were dilated different sizes, we think I wasn't concussed and I probably "just" fainted. Doesn't seem likely to have been low blood sugar or lack of salt: I had just eaten quite a bit of pizza a couple hours prior. Might have been my usual orthostatic hypotension, but the symptoms differed somewhat--I've never know that to be temperature related, and the hot water really did seem to trigger it--and I don't usually faint or fall down, nor does the dizziness linger the way it did yesterday. Or it might have been related to menstruation (or "punctuation", as we call it around my house). I did once faint in tenth grade calculus class, apparently due to menstruation.

So I really don't know. But I seem to be okay today, except for my face hurting. I even escaped a black eye, surprisingly enough, although the bruising might still come up.
semperfiona: (maple)
In all that posting about last night's Dance Journey class, I failed to mention one important thing. I stubbed my left pinky toe in the latter part of the dance. It hurt a bit when I stepped with it, but when Tammie and I looked at it later, while it was swollen it didn't react much to pressure, so I figured it for no big thing.

Hurt worse this morning after sleep, and I've been limping a little all day. I just pulled my sock off and looked at it, and it's gone all purple and even more swollen. Still not overly painful and doesn't prevent me from walking, but I think I am going to have to get an x-ray.
semperfiona: (Default)
Chris is home, as of yesterday afternoon. We still don't know what happened, but doctors have ruled out heart attack and damage to or aneurysm in the aorta. He's to follow up with our doctor in the next couple of weeks.

They do seem to have been pretty sure it was the heart, whatever the actual problem was or is. Hopefully we'll be able to figure it out soon. We don't need another of those scares!
semperfiona: (Default)
Still no diagnosis. They don't think it was a heart attack, but they don't know what it was. He was going to have a stress test this afternoon, but the cardiologist postponed it because he thought there was a possibility that Chris might have an injury or aneurysm on the aorta (yikes!). C is having a CT scan right now to check for that, and depending on the results we may learn something.

I'm at home at the moment, having left the hospital to pick Rosa up from school and get her evening routine moving, but we'll both probably go back over later on, once he's back from the scan.

It's been a long day mostly filled with waiting around and no news; I haven't seen a single doctor visit him during the time I was with him, but he says he saw someone when he was taken to the stress test area.
semperfiona: (granny weatherwax)
Chris is at the hospital, been there all night, going to be admitted once a bed opens up. We rushed him to the ER with the classic signs: shortness of breath, dizziness, left side chest and shoulder pain. He's had two sets of EKGs, two sets of blood tests, and so far has no definitive answer of what happened but they intend to keep him a while longer.

We left about five am to get Rosa to school and get some rest, and are about to head back over to the hospital.

Five things

Aug. 5th, 2010 05:21 pm
semperfiona: (hope)
1. In honor of Prop. H8 being overturned, I bring back the Hope icon. This morning I even had a surprisingly positive conversation with several coworkers who were also pleased by the outcome. Even in Missouri, folks, the world is changing.

2. Rosa just got back from Camp yesterday afternoon. I haven't seen her yet but I talked to her on the phone for a while and it sounds like she had a good time. She didn't enjoy canoeing but it was due more to the other girls in her canoe shrieking every time they wobbled than to the exercise.

3. Read Julian Comstock the other night. I requested it from the library after reading the thread on Making Light. It's well-written and frightening, the world-building is quite convincing, and I didn't like it. For several reasons: one, I can imagine a theocratic nightmare dystopia just fine for myself, and it's not a world I want to reside in even for the length of a book; two, preaching to the choir, dude!; three, I found the narrator's extreme and willful naivete annoying; four, hope-dashing ending.

4. This has been a very exhausting week. The city sent us a nastygram for excessive weeds in the back yard, and I spent most of Saturday, part of Sunday and part of Monday weeding. It's been the hottest week of the year, and I am only now recovering from all that exertion and the near heat prostration I suffered on Monday.

5. I got a shiny new computer at work on Tuesday, and suddenly I find the computer is actually waiting for me rather than the other way around. Wahoo!
semperfiona: Conversation hearts on the keys of a piano (piano hearts)
After my scary afternoon at the end of January, I had an appointment with my gynecologist. She said she looked up the letrozole in the Physician's Desk Reference and found nothing about rapid heart rate as a known side effect. She wanted me to see my internist and make sure nothing else was wrong with me.

The next week I went to the internist--or technically the nurse practicioner--who did a physical exam and an EKG. She found "changes" in my EKG since the last one I had, which was sometime last year, and referred me to my cardiologist. Oh, with a side of "You're trying to get pregnant and you put things into your body that you don't know what they are?!?" in reference to the Chinese herbs that my acupuncturist had prescribed.

Thursday afternoon I had the cardiologist appointment. Same doctor who, eight years ago, cured my sinus node reentrant tachycardia with an ablation procedure. He says 1) that he thinks the rapid heartrate of January *was* caused by the new medicine and 2) that my EKG shows something called Intraventricular Conduction Delay...the electrical impulse that runs down from the right atrium to the ventricles is slower than it should be. This is not really a problem, although in future it may develop into something called "Heart Block", when the "bottom half" of the heart rhythm doesn't complete at all between "upper half" ticks. If that happens I'd need a pacemaker.

All that said, even though he thinks the letrozole is the cause of my problem, he'd be willing to let me try taking it again, with a heart monitor at hand in case of further issues. However, I'm to have a stress echocardiogram before making that decision, in order to rule out any structural problems in the heart. That will happen next Wednesday.
semperfiona: (Default)
I've had a scary afternoon. Around 1:30 I felt lightheaded and shaky, which I took for hunger. After I walked across the street to Walgreens to look for a couple things (which they didn't have), and was more and more shaky while I walked around the store, I went back to the office and ate my lunch.

But the rest of the afternoon I just kept feeling shaky and twitchy. I thought I was stressed out or overworked or upset about something I couldn't put my finger on. Finally Tammie suggested I call or email Christine-the-acupuncturist and let her know what was going on. In the middle of composing that email, it occurred to me that OMG my heart was running far too fast. I walked down the hall to a room with a clock, and counted it at 130 bpm. Thassnogood.

Back to my desk. Finish emailing C-the-a, and then google the new medicine. Which turns out to have a "rare" side effect of rapid heartbeat. So then I call the Exchange for my doctor. Exchange person wants to know whether it's an emergency or not. I'm like, I need to know whether I should continue taking this medicine or not. So doctor calls me back, she says if your heartbeat is 130 it is not safe for you to take this medicine, and call the office in the morning.

I fucked up. I should never have started two new medications at the same time. Still I think the likely result is going to be that I have to stop taking the letrozole before we even know whether it works for me.

Thankfully, my heart rate and my twitchies settled down during the drive home and I'm feeling somewhat better now, if not quite all here.
semperfiona: (Default)
Day 4 of higher dose Clomid (100mg) and I'm having cramps like it's the
first day of my period. Started suddenly yesterday evening, while I was
out scootering in the alley, and stopped eventually later on. I just had
another brief episode this morning.

Two things

Aug. 2nd, 2006 02:09 am
semperfiona: (boomer)
Further to Monday's post about consent and my subconscious...I had a dream last night/this morning in which I had lots of kissing with someone I've crushed on for nigh fifteen years. At a point at which it might have seemed things would go further, my brain instead imagined me turning myself into a gorgon and being bitten by my own snakes. If that's not a subconscious Don't Go There flag, I can't think what would be.


Today was a good day. I was driving Chris nuts on the way to the stadium because I kept being all smiley and happy and wouldn't let his "are we there yet"'s get to me.

Even the fact that I'm still up, after getting home from the ballpark at midnight and then having to do actual *work*, isn't getting me down.

Nor even the distressing phone call from Diane (aka Nurse KnockYouUp) at the clinic this evening. She says the progesterone blood test Friday does not show levels consistent with ovulation, and has called in a higher-dose prescription of Clomid. But she also said it's possible that the test was too late in my cycle, and the progesterone might have already decreased. So I still don't know anything for sure, except that I haven't gotten a period yet.
semperfiona: (Default)
Whiskey tango foxtrot!? About 10 minutes ago I started feeling like
someone put a steel band around my bronchial tubes and began tightening
it. It's reminiscent of the sensation I used to get with my tachycardia,
but there's no speeded-up pulse to go with it. Just a lightheaded
disconnectedness and an odd not-quite-nausea. It's like I wish I felt
nauseated but I don't. Vertigo, maybe. Yeah, that's close. I'd ask to go
home early but I'm not sure I can drive in this state anyway so there's
not much point. What I think I *will* do is go down to the library and
rest for a bit and see if it goes away.

No, probably I better stay here, in case it really is something; if I go
to the library and something happens no one might notice for a long

Five minutes later: It's getting a little better, I think.

Ten more minutes later: Yeah, dissipating quickly now. Phew!
semperfiona: (Default)
Ick. I feel like my left ovary is being prodded with a blunt stick, and
every now and again the right one joins the fun.

I was getting pretty dejected because it's already day 18 of my first
Clomid cycle and I still haven't had positive results on the ovulation
detector. But maybe this weird--and not especially pleasant--sensation
is a sign that it's finally happening. One can only hope.
semperfiona: (rain leaves)
I'm not having an especially good day. It's gotten a bit better, but I'm
still sort of down and disillusioned. I was nearly in pain from hunger
when I got to work. Disappointingly, there were no donuts in the donut
basket even though there had been yesterday evening. But I have apples
here and I ate one of them. Still need to get some protein asap.

Went to the gyn yesterday afternoon, having not ovulated for another
cycle. She says this happens sometimes and not to worry, but I can't
convince myself to believe her yet. Nonetheless, she's given me a scrip
for Clomid which I'm to take next cycle. Then I have to go back for yet
another progesterone level test and a physical exam to make sure my
ovaries are not enlarged. If those are both okay (i.e. ovulation does
occur and ovary enlargement does not), I get a refill of the Clomid
scrip for the following month and we try IUI then. July-ish, assuming
more normal cycle lengths. She gave me a drug for that, too.

I'm annoyed at how long it's taking before I even get to *try*; I'd
hoped to have had at least two procedures by now (or better yet a
pregnancy) but I'm still in wait mode. And I'm annoyed with myself, too,
for waiting so long before starting the process. We decided late last
year to do this; I wanted to wait until we were done moving before
getting pregnant, and completely failed to think of the potential need
for various time-dependent tests or of the potential non-cooperation of
my own body.

I've been pregnant twice before, and neither time did I have any
difficulty in conceiving. But now, I have had two annovulatory cycles in
a row and I have to take fertility drugs. I can remember back in
1998-1999, when getting ready to try to have a baby, I asked the doctor
whether my irregular cycle indicated any potential fertility issues. She
said not, and my experience corresponded. But now I'm wondering whether
I was just lucky.

And then I think about the difficulties some of you are having trying to
conceive and I feel like a heel. I'm just starting on this path, I
should give it time and maintain hope.


I did say I was feeling down. I should go eat that snack I mentioned.
semperfiona: (Default)
Punctuated, adj: in the state of having punctuation.

Punctuation, n: syn. period.

So my cryptic post of earlier simply states that finally, after 53 days, I have gotten my period. It's still at least two cycles before I can get inseminated; the nurse practitioner wants to test my ovulation this go-round to determine whether or not to prescribe Clomid, and then the following cycle we'll do IUI.

But all the above had been waiting on a freakishly long and apparently anovulatory cycle.
semperfiona: (rain leaves)
I'm feeling betrayed by my body. 2/25 - 4/4. 39 days and counting, and
still no period. Nor am I pregnant. In fact, the progesterone test that
was done last Thursday says I didn't even ovulate this (overlong) cycle.
It is possible that I really did but it was so long ago that the test
doesn't show any change anymore. It's supposed to be done on day 20/21
of a "normal" cycle, so the test is less likely to be accurate. Still,
given the odd cycle, I probably didn't.

I'm afraid that this is a sign I'm heading into menopause already. Every
time I think about it I'm feeling a weird turmoil of emotions. I have to
keep reminding myself that I've always had these weird long cycles
occasionally (the last time I had one it lasted from 8/12/05 to 9/28/05:
47 days), and it doesn't mean my next cycle will be unusual in any

But I'm stuck in a waiting pattern here. Can't start using the ovulation
predictors until eleven days into a new cycle, and Diane wants to redo
the progesterone test on day 20. She doesn't want to do an IUI until the
next cycle after that. I donwannahafta wait anymore!

She didn't say, but it seems to me that this will increase the
likelihood that Diane and Cat will want to put me on Clomid.

I had some small hope that my choice of a bright red shirt this morning
meant it would finally come today--I've noticed that my subconscious
often does that--but no such luck so far.
semperfiona: (Default)
Surprise surprise. [ profile] mousefeathers called it.

As per Wellpoint, your pharmacy manager, Folgard is a
vitamin and vitamins are not a covered benefit. Thank you for your
inquiry. In order to continue our response in a timely manner, no reply
is necessary unless further questions arise.

So the fact that I have a genetic mutation that means my body doesn't
process folic acid properly is my problem; insurance won't be helping.
semperfiona: (boomer)
Upon filling my prescription for Folgard RX 2.2 the other day, the Walgreens pharmacist told me it's not covered by my insurance. So after fighting the insurance website for nigh half an hour, I finally figure out where the Preferred Drug List is. Sure enough, not listed. So another half hour of googling later, I find out what Folgard RX 2.2 actually is, what the alternate brand names are, and what the generic product is. NONE of them are listed on the Preferred Drug List. The only thing that is is plain "folic acid".

MedicationAvailabilityActive Ingredients
Folic AcidVitamin B-6Vitamin B-12
Folgard Rx 2.2Prescription25mg25mg1000mcg
Folbee (generic)

For comparison, a similar over-the-counter product.

MedicationAvailabilityActive Ingredients
Folic AcidVitamin B-6Vitamin B-12
Folgard OSOTC800mcg10mg115mcg

So what does Blue Cross expect me to take? Half a dozen individual pills to add up to the same dosage?

I did try calling the customer service line: I got cut off after a maze of voice prompts which repeated several times how swamped they are by the inquiries regarding Medicare Part D plans. I sent an email via the website; we'll see what response I get.
semperfiona: (Default)
I really dig the doctor I got at the Maternal-Fetal Health Center. He's got a great sense of humor.

"Well, you're not normal."

*chuckle* "I know that! In what respect am I abnormal today?"

It turns out that I have an abnormality of MTHFR (methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase) called the A1298C mutation. As a matter of fact, I have it on both genes; both of my parents therefore have at least one bad copy. All of the other likely causes of the thrombosis appear to have been ruled out. I do not have an acquired clotting disorder, and I do not have any of the other genetic abnormalities.

This enzyme is part of the processing of folic acid; the abnormality is associated with increased risk of heart disease and stroke (wonder if there's a relationship to the tachycardia I used to have?). Even when
not pregnant or trying to conceive he recommends I take a daily baby aspirin and a daily multivitamin with 400mcg of folic acid.

It is also highly associated with incidence of spina bifida and in later pregnancy with placental insufficiency; high doses of folic acid protect against both. From now until delivery, I am prescribed to take Folgard. Until conception (or say until March/April when we plan to start trying), I should take 1 Folgard every day plus a multivitamin (aiming for 2200-3000mcg folic acid per day) and then start taking two Folgard every day (5200mcg per day).

I'll have to start injections of Lovenox (low-molecular-weight heparin) at 6 wks gestation (must ensure the pregnancy is not ectopic before starting anticoagulants).

His last words to me: "Go get pregnant."

At some point I expect I'll want to have Rosa tested for this condition as well--she obviously has at least one bad copy of the gene--and I'm going to have to let my birth family know about it so they can take whatever precautions they feel necessary.


semperfiona: (Default)

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