I tried to eat a Subway sandwich last night. It was almost impossible. I forgot how terrible this felt. Mostly because I like chewing, chewing is good, and I know that if this continues I’m going to have to be on a soft foods diet for the next few days. I would go to the doctor, but I’d probably get the same old “oh, it’s just thrush, here take some pills” or “oh, you have reflux so now you have ulcers in your throat, we’re going to make you drink some chalky-ass liquid and stand on your head for 10 minutes, and then take some pills”. Although another prescription for vicodin wouldn’t hurt me, and I am out of ambien. A person can only live on milkshakes and jello for so long. I did it for a really long time back before my thyroid came out, and I have absolutely no desire to do it again.
I guess now is as good a time as any to explain my issues. I have a wonky immune system. It tends to get angry with me and attack different parts of my body for some strange reason. It think my own body is some foreign germ or something that shouldn’t be there. Sometimes I feel like screaming, “Hey! Immune system! Stop fighting with those joints or I’ll turn this car around and we won’t go to Grandma’s house!”. But anyway, it started when I was about 2 months old with psoriasis. Anyone with psoriasis will tell you the absolute hell it is. I was teased mercilessly growing up. As an adult, people look at me as if I’m some kind of deformed freak. Kids are still the worst. So that was the first thing that my immune system attacked; my skin. It was pretty bad, but it wasn’t like I was physically ill because of it, so I dealt. Next, and this was years later, my immune system decided that my joints were the bad guys. Actually, I’m not sure how much later this was. I wasn’t officially diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis (kind of like rheumatoid arthritis) until I was 28, but I probably had it for much longer. Seems to be a running theme in my life, which you’ll see later on.
Wait, let me back up a bit. Back when I “only” had psoriasis, I was on a variety of treatments for it. There is no cure for psoriasis, unless some geneticist figures out which of my genes is defective (I’m defective, better announce a recall). So I used creams, pills, sun lamps, sticky medicated tape that my mother used to have to put on me, and the best one of all, tar. Yup, I used to have to put tar on my arms and legs. As in road tar. I swear it was the same stuff.Oh, and I had to wrap my arms and legs in saran wrap. Try that out sometime; wrap your arms and legs in saran wrap and then make yourself go to sleep. Then imagine doing that and being six. Good luck.
So now I’m 28, I have psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, but I still think I’m doing pretty well. They make my life more difficult, but they certainly aren’t life threatening. I don’t have insurance, so I can’t go to a doctor for a while, but after 6 months at this brand new job (touchy subject) I will, so I wait. But my throat hurts really bad. And my glands are really swollen. I work for a hockey team, so I go down to the team trainer to see if he can figure out what’s wrong with me. There are no words to describe the look on his face when I walked into the office. Sheer horror is close. He tells me I need to go to the ER right away because my thyroid is swollen beyond belief. Well, remember I said I have no insurance? I’m not paying an ER bill out of pocket. So I figure I’ll go home, sit on the couch for a day or two and drink some tea. I’ll be fine.
Guess again. I did end up going to the ER later that week. Turns out I had severe hypothyroidism, and with my history of auto-immune conditions, they figured that I had Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Which is a fancy way of telling me that my immune system had chosen my thyroid as it’s next enemy. Great. See they come in bunches, these auto-immune conditions. So it’s probably not over yet. But I digress. They took out my thyroid, so I have to be on medication for the rest of my life. Let’s do a quick recap:
I have psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and hypothyroidism (no-thyroidism?). I take 2 pills a day for the thyroid, and one dose of 6 pills and an injection once a week for the arthritis. Oh, and I take folic acid because the pills they give me for the arthritis are also used for chemotherapy, and would probably make me vomit everywhere if I didn’t take the folic acid. So that’s 3 pills a day, with a weekly bonus of 6 more and a shot. This would be fine, I could so totally swing this, if that’s where it ended. But guess what every medication in the world comes with? It’s not a pony, that’s for sure. Side effects! The arthritis meds are eating away at the lining of my stomach and esophogus, so I’ve not got acid reflux. 2 more pills. I can’t sleep for god know what reason. Another pill. I’m in constant pain even though I’m on two different arthritis meds. More pills. I’ve got heart palpitations because of the thyroid meds. More pills. I’ve got a constant headache, for like the last 6 months, and now I can’t figure out which drug is causing it. But hey, let’s take more pills! I’m 31 years old, and I’ve got 3 separate pill cases, plus the bottles of advil and vicodin I carry around, and a case of various pain killers. I hate to think what my pill cases are going to look like when I get to 60. Of course, I may not get to 60 anyway, so I’m not sure why I’m worried.
See, like I said, auto-immune conditions come in bunches. I think if I were to pick the next organ that my immune system turns against, I’d pick a kidney. Just one. But I can live with only one kidney. Just to be clear, I don’t expect anyone to feel bad for me. I don’t look like a sick person, and that’s fine with me. I don’t want pity. I just want people to understand why I can’t do everything I’d like to do, like do physical labor on Monday’s (my pill/shot day), or even get out of bed sometimes. My roommate is amazingly understanding about this. I am incredibly blessed to have a friend like him.
Anyway, onto something a bit less depressing. I made the first tea toter yesterday, and I think it turned out super cute. I’ll get it posted in the shop later on in the week I think. I’ve already made two, they take almost no time at all. Even after complaining that I wasn’t going to be as productive as I would have liked yesterday, I made a pair of leg warmers, finished two sets of coasters, finished that ruffle scarf, made a tea toter, and started another coffee cozy, which I finished this morning before work. So I guess I underestimated myself again!
Anyway, enjoy your Monday everyone!! 🙂