Thursday, July 23, 2009

Results from neurologist

Well, I got to see the neurologist today and found out why my doctor referred me to her. The MRI found some small lesions on my brain and my doctor wanted to rule out MS (which I don't have, thank Maude). So, for the migraine headaches, I get to take topamax every day, and if I still get a migraine, then I get to take fiorinal to get rid of it. Have to go back in 2 months and see how I'm doing with the meds (and I have to keep a diary of when I get a headache, day and time, and what I was doing when I got it, and so on and so forth). I'm hoping that the meds keep me from having them, they aren't any fun at all (nausea and sensitivity to light and sound make them worse). Dr D said the topamax might make me lose a couple of pounds, but not to worry about it unless I lost a lot of weight suddenly (all she wanted to know about my weight was if it was staying the same).

The Cymbalta and relafen aren't doing much for the back pain, but they seem to be helping with the fibro (I actually sleep better at night and feel like doing more during the day). The rooster comb shots haven't done much for my arthritic knees, they still hurt most of the time, just not as bad (until I try to walk across the yard or any other uneven ground). I see my PCP next week, so we'll see what she says then.

Jon and Tina are bringing the dog up this weekend so DH and I can take him to the vet to be neutered. Where they live, it would cost them $450 to have it done, our vet only charges $175 to $190 (depending on how much Max weighs). So DH and I are having that done for them for their Christmas present.
We took our cats to the vet for their yearly shots, and they've both lost a little bit of weight (FatCat went from 17 lbs to 14.7, and Slick went from 16 lbs to 14.2, so it's not like they're skin and bones). Both of them are really healthy, well, other than Slick liking to gorge himself, barf it up, and then go eat some more. I swear that cat must be bulimic or something (DH calls him Puker half the time).

The last time Jon and Tina came up, we all went to the drive-in theater (we saw Land of the Lost and The Taking of Pelham 123). I should have known that LotL was a comedy when I saw that Ben Stiller was in it (I don't much care for him), but it was pretty good. And TtoP123 was a lot better than I expected it to be. John Travolta makes a very good villain, and did an excellent job in this movie. DH even liked it, and he wasn't sure he would. I haven't seen the original, nor have I read the book, so I don't have a clue if anything was different this time around, but I liked the movie. We're going to the drive-in this weekend to see that new Ice Age movie, Dawn of the Dinosaurs. Don't remember what's playing with it. If Jon and Tina come up on Saturday, they'll go with us. Tina had never been to a drive-in and really likes She can't get over the fact that you get to see two movies for $5 per person (so it's $20 for the 4 of us, and we take a cooler with our own soda and ice). The only thing we buy at the drive-in is a tub of popcorn to split.

I bought one of those Topsy-Turvy planter things and planted a couple of tomato plants. Wasn't sure we would even get any tomatoes this year since the directions said you had to have a week of 50 degree nights before you could put them outside. We don't have anywhere inside to hang the darn thing, so they didn't get planted and hung outside until the middle of June. They aren't growing down like they show in the commercial, the plants are growing up around the planter, with just some of it hanging down. We do have 5 tomatoes so far, and a lot more blossoms, so I'm hoping we get enough tomatoes that I can put some of them up for goulash and chili this winter.

And I found out the hard way that steam is nothing to be careless around. I was frying some boneless, skinless chicken breasts for dinner the other night and put the lid on the frying pan to finish steaming them. When I took the lid off to check them, damned lid tilted and the steam burned my arm, on the inside just below my elbow. Ran cold water over it right away, but I burned it pretty good, it's blistered. So I've been keeping Neosporin + pain first aid cream on it and covering with a bandage so I don't rip the blisters open. At least it's quit hurting now (the ice pack that evening helped too).

We got to watch the parade for Sinclair Lewis Days from our driveway again this year. They changed the parade route so that they wouldn't have to close the main highway through town, and it comes right past our house. We also got to watch the fireworks from our front yard, they set them off over the lake, just about a block and a half from where we live. And on Wednesday nights during the summer, they have concerts in the bandshell across the street from our house, so that's pretty cool too. They also have the craft show/sale in the park across the street from our house, so I don't have to drive and worry about parking if I want to go to it. They have some pretty neat stuff, usually about 30 or 40 vendors, and a lot of them come back every year.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Physical therapy is a bust

Well, I gave it my best shot, but physical therapy just isn't doing much for my back. The two exercises I was given to do just made the back pain worse, and both of them were very hard on my knees. I am keeping up with the walking in the pool for exercise, however, because that doesn't make my back hurt worse afterward, and it's easy on my knees (and the hot tub helps a lot with that too).
I went back to see my doctor and told her the physical therapy didn't help. So now we're trying Cymbalta and Relafen for a month to see how that works for the pain (and there are other options she's willing to try if these don't work). She also said that there's a back and neck place in St Cloud that she can refer me to, maybe they would have some ideas on how to strengthen my back muscles without making my knees scream at me. I told her that I was considering buying one of those wheeled walkers with a seat. That way, I could go for walks and when my back cramps up, I have a place to sit until it quits hurting and then I can walk some more. She said to see if Medicare would pay for it, and if they will, she'll write me a prescription for it. She also asked if I had ever been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, I think because the Cymbalta is one of the drugs they give to people with fibro to help with the pain. I told her I hadn't had a formal diagnosis, and she said that fibro was difficult to diagnose, but that could be something to look into also.
Seems like now that she's seen I'm willing to make an effort to follow her directions/suggestions, she's more willing to come up with more ideas on how to manage my back pain. I can get on board with that. I also think it helps that I let them weigh me today (and I wanted to see where I was at too), and I haven't gained any weight since February. I'm maintaining, which is fine with me. Maude knows I don't want to gain any more weight, but I don't think I will as long as I continue to eat the way I have been eating - eat what I want, when I want, take my time, and stop when I'm nearly full (if I eat until I'm full, then in about half an hour, I'm uncomfortably full).