Friday, June 3, 2016

I got the worst news from my mom

Ok, maybe not THE worst news, but pretty darn close

I called my mama yesterday, not unusual - we talk often enough. Plus her and dad (plus my brother & SIL and nephew) are supposed to come visit in a couple of weeks so we had a bit to talk about.

Well we were talking and I was like "hey, I just got my mark back on my last class - a B+!"

her - "well done - so do you want to hear some bad news?"

me - "not really, but what's up"

her - "well we're not going to be coming to your graduation"

me - "omg - I'm going to cry" - then the phone hung up.... and my husband came up from behind me (he WAS downstairs while I was talking to her, because when I was talking to her I was making the  meat stuff for hamburgers for dinner and thought he was still down there) and said

hubby - "it's ok, it'll be ok" and I started to just break down

I couldn't believe that finally graduating and my mom isn't going to be to see me get my degree. Ya'll don't understand how supportive my  mom had been of me getting my educaation. When I was trying to get my degree the first time and Big boy was really little, she would watch him so that I could go to clinical. If I had a big paper/assignment and needed time to focus on that, nana and papa would babysit him.

I called her back, still crying and thanked her for telling me. I'm certain it wasn't easy for her to tell me or to listen to me cry over the phone. At least I have another six months for this news to really sink in and I hope I'm not as devestated by the fact that my parents won't see me get my nursing degree.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

A new day

I've been ok - my IIH has been stable, my headaches have been relatively low - I've only had one in the last week or so that I've had to medicate. This includes pain across my shoulders.

I've been to clinical - that was fun! We had a patient come in with a possible stroke - and I saw before my eyes as her symptoms started to ease up.... so she was declared a TIA.... on telemetry it was showing A-fib - no doubt that's what caused her symptoms. Unfortunately, I couldn't tell her this. We shipped her to a stroke-appropriate hospital for further testing and management.

Then there was a patient who went to walk home from the community club through the woods and fell - breaking their ankle and spent the entire night in the woods crawling out of it to reach someone to get help. Plus it had rained overnight!

There was a couple of other things but suffice it to say, this time was interesting and fun so I really enjoyed myself. Plus I love my preceptor so it makes it even that much more enjoyable.

School is pretty good too - I've gotten my assignment done from last semester and I've been working on the assignments for the new class - with this new class we are all reflective and la ti da - so in touch with our emotions and what not. It's a bunch of BS but I'm pretty good at it so we'll see how I do! The other aspect of this class is pharmacology - this is one area that's a bit trickier because there is a TON of medications ya'all!!!!! I hope I can pass that part with good results, I really want a good mark in this class!

Last week marked EIGHT years that I've been married - WOW! Considering what we've been through I'm surprised that we've made it to this point. Living with his family has NOT been easy, major understatement! If I had known that things would be like this I certainily wouldn't have agreed to this - it's been really difficult on our marriage living here. But if things work out, I graduate in December! Then we're going to Pakistan for my BILs wedding - that should be interesting! After that we plan to move... so lots of changes to come. Now to just get through this class and onto the LAST class of my BSN!!!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Going no where fast

Last friday I had to see my primary care physician - mandated by my Oc health person to have some paper work completed. But it just happened to be that I was in serious amounts of pain and my left arm was going numb and tingly as well. It was a weird sensation.

My neck hurt something fierce, as did my shoulders. It felt like there was fluid there and it was creating a pressure on the tissues. Oh my goodness did it hurt. It hurt to turn my my neck to look over shoulder - if someone would enter a room and you would go to absently look, it would send joltingly amounts of pain to my brain. Wow it is disturbing how painful that was (and still is). This area also limited the range of movement of my left arm in particular (more so) but has been starting to affect my right lately. I can't seem to get better. 

The headache is wicked strong. I've lost days. DAYS. I've stayed in bed pretty much because I can't live overwise. The pain is too extreme. 

I went to the ER on friday. I saw a neurologist. He did a LP - my opening pressure (OP) was 21.5 - his words were "ok, so it's normal".... dude, that's NOT normal..... I'm on TWO meds that are supposed to make that NORMAL..... normal is supposed to be between 5-15!!!!  Now for those who don't know brains..... brains don't like it when pressure is anywhere over 18.... mine is OVER that..... UGHHHHHHHHHHHHH........ 

So I don't know what to do because it's not like we have that many places to go around here. So I just curl up into a tiny little ball in my bed and have waited for 4 days to pass in pure hell in the hopes that my body will go back to normal functioning!

My new semester started today, yay for me -- I'm so fucking screwed!

Friday, May 13, 2016

What am I going to do

Have to see the Dr tomorrow - I've had an increase in the # of headaches I've been having, plus I've been feeling like crap - more fatigue and exhaustion. Also my pain levels have increased - I'm having pain across my shoulders and up my spine.... so I had my VBG (venous blood gas) checked today to see if I can increase my meds or perhaps I need to make a trip to the hospital tomorrow to have a spinal tap (LP) to see what my pressure is.... who knows, maybe my pressure is low. I mean it IS completely possible that it is low but not likely!

My occupational health lady is coming off vacation and is expecting me to go back to work - and so is my husband - hell I really want to go back to work, I would love to be ABLE to go back to work but I don't know if that's possible at this point. Perhaps if we change my area and hours? I don't know. I guess we would have to have a conversation together about this.

I'm in the middle of writing my last paper of my course - it's not flowing like I need it to.  Geeze I wish it would! I can see the end in sight but holy frig I need this paper to be completed! I guess I'm just procrastinating. I'm such a procrastinator! UGH UGH Ugh!!!!!!!! Guess I better get back to the grind because the faster I get that done the faster I can get to starting this next semester that starts MONDAY!!!!! Sweet bloody hell I feel like the rug is being pulled out from under me. I feel like I'm always running after everything, like I'm never on top of everything because of these damn health issues.

The only good thing about this new semester starting is that my clinical site is AWESOME!!!! OMG I can't wait to start there. I get the same preceptor I had when I was at the ER previously and we've been talking and she's just as excited to have me get started as well. YAAAAY!!!! Awwww I love her! Now I just need to get this stupid paper done (it's all about epidemiology and other crappy health stuff that's difficult to write about).

Friday, May 6, 2016

Technically done this semester

Well I finished my exams for my classes - the english one was a bitch! Geeze, you would think that the last one you would try to make a bit easy. Ya not this professor!!! For fucks sakes teach, can ya give me a break?! I  was on the verge of a B+, now I'll be lucky if I don't end up with a B- sheesh! And I'm generally a pretty good bullshitter... ya it was a no-go with that exam. Frig it sucked!

My other exam was difficult, mostly for the fact that the guide that the prof gave us to "prepare" for the exam was a load of SHIT and definately did NO such thing!!! Luckily, I have a great partner in crime and we were prepared for this bullshit shenaneganes and pulled out with an alright  mark (could have DEFINATELY been better but it was my highest exam mark for her course so I'll take it!). For this course I have a major paper oustanding but considering my health issues, I have been granted an "I" and get an extension for the paper. I've told my prof that I'll take 2 mos to complete the paper. I don't think it'll take that long but I figured that if anything happened then I had myself covered at least, perhaps I should give myself six months! I have up to a year but they want me to state a date to expect the paper in by!..... oh I just got told by my husband that I have exactly 9 days to write my paper - FUCK!!!  Holy shit! Ugh I can't wait until school is done!!!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

I do exist, I am around, I am still surviving

Just minimally and it depends on which moment you ask me!

I have another email in the works but school work comes before blog

But I figured I would at least update the damn thing since it's been a while and the last one I wrote wasn't exactly all sunshine and lollipops!

I'm still having wicked headaches and a few migraines (like the one I had yesterday that is still persisting a bit even now) - and so I've been struggling.

I think we've dealt with the metabolic acidosis - I still have to have the blood test to confirm but how I feel is normal besides the headaches.

Clinical is done - YAY - I passed - YAY! Now I just have to get through the course work and the exams. UGH exams. Who ever decided on exams should be taken out back and crucified - serious - strung up on a pole and made to suffer slowly - because that's how I feel about getting ready for exams. They are absolute torture!

My plans to have my next and very  last clinical be in Texas has not panned out :( - the ones that have agreements with my uni won't accept a student right now (arseholes!) and the other ones that I've contacted said that they already have contracts with local schools - so my goal to do my last clinical in Texas has failed :(  I'm very sad about this. I was really hoping to have this happen. I want to live in Texas and I think that if I had my last placement be there then possibly I might be offered a job afterwards - at least the liklihood is higher.... plus then they could see my skills and won't immediately discount me just because I'm Canadian and not American!  Alas, I have to go to my tried and true place - this will be my third time going there, I actually get back my same preceptor which is good because we rocked together so I'm hoping we do again and all things will go swimmingly. Now I just need to get through exams. So I suppose I should get back to studying for those damn things!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Metabolic acidosis is next up - what next?

The shots keep comin

From the time of discharge life has sucked - first it was because my head was still killing me when they sent me packing after they increased my Diamox dose. However, that action was very short sighted as my head started to hurt less and I started to experience more and more nausea, dizziness and fatigue.

NOW - here's the kicker..... with ideopathic intracranial HTN (IIH), those symptoms can be symptoms of increased pressure and therefore I just need to be patient that the increased dose that we started me on will eventually work at managing that. OR those symptoms could be a dangeous set of symptoms called metabolic acidosis where the medication causes ingestion poisioning (sorta) and increases the acidity of the body - thowing off the pH of the body. As I've said before, with Diamox, I sit slightly acidotic but my body is able to compensate by increasing HCO3 (sodium bicarbonate) and my body also increases my respiratory rate to utilize my respiratory system to help compensate for what Diamox is trying to do.

So I waited a little bit to see if things would settle down - they didn't and so I went and saw my physician on Monday - had bloodwork drawn on Wednesday and then saw him again on Friday for the results. When I saw him on Friday the ONLY result that was sent was the useless pregnancy test that my physician threw in just for good measure! UGH - and because the lab was closed for the weekend, we would have to wait the weekend to know what the results from wednesday were.

So I went home from the appt rather irritated. I knew that something was wrong - I had the feeling that I was going acidotic and that something needed to be done. I took things upon myself and skipped doses of my diamox here and there to try to manage how severe the acidosis was. I just had an inkling - my lovely nursing senses were just a tingling let me tell ya!

Once home I had dinner then went for a nap. When I woke up I figured that I would try to get some school work done. Things are starting to become due and I can't just procrastinate just because I'm feeling terrible. I was sitting in front of the computer and watching a show and my chest started to hurt with a shocking pressure and charley-horse pain in my left arm from my shoulder to my elbow and I had interscapular pain - I tried not to think about it. I worry about whether I'm actually feeling this or whether it's all in my head. I know that when metabolic acidosis gets really bad that it can affect the heart so it's completely possible. Man did I hurt!

I waited about an hour of feeling like crap - with the dizziness, nausea, diaphoresis to go along with it - that I couldn't take it anymore. Off I went to the hospital. The initial ECG showed tachycardia but other than that it was normal. I also told them that it felt like I was losing beats. The ECG didn't pick it up but it's only a 10-15sec picture so big woop! But of course they don't put me on the monitor (which they really should have - stupid ppl) - considering when I got there my BP was 164/102!

I waited another 5 hours until I actually saw the Dr and when I did she was prepared at least - I didn't have to tell her my back story. She asks what brings me in - I told her about the metabolic acidosis thought and that I seriously needed a venous blood gas. She agreed! I got that then waited. I waited about 2.5 hours to find out that indeed I was suffering from it - though no results were given to me, nor was there any treatment. I was only told that my pH was 7.3 - but that she was concerned that that may continue to drop as my body tries to get through this.

When I was discharged with the blood work results & I was only told to reduce the amount that I was taking daily and to follow up in the hospital clinic during the week (though it doesn't open until monday and I wouldn't know when my appt time would be until monday when they would be the one to call me) but I also went to my family Dr and brought the bloodwork results to show him that I had developed moderate metabolic acidosis and that we needed to come up with a plan. Oh, and the blood work also showed that I had hypernatremia and hyperchloremia - which should have been dealt with considering I am taking diamox - a diuretic! Geeze ppl, way to drop the ball!!! So I told my Dr about what I had been doing to take care of matters myself.... making sure that I drink way more water (no juice or anything else - my K+ = 4.0 so it was ok to go ahead with this) and to skip more doses of the Diamox - but I had to be careful with this because I didn't want to put myself back in crisis mode trying to play catch up...... what a tricky thing I'm trying to accomplish!

So tomorrow is the day that will show everything. I have the requisition for bloodwork to take to my local hospital to have it drawn - unless I hear back from MY hospital of when they want me to see the Dr in the clinic - this would also include blood work. Tomorrow will tell me - I was told that I should hear something by noon. I still feel rather yucky but I feel better than I did. At least I don't feel like I'm having cariac issues anymore - when I got home I was still having the pain - so I had to self medicate with some morphine and zofran - thankfully after that and a nap I was feeling the cardiac pain was sooooo much better.

I had to let my profs know that's been going on with me as well - thankfully both of them have been great and have given me extensions. I just can't believe how I keep getting sick at the same point in time each semester. Now I just need to get better and STAY better!!!!!!! Wow though, these hits just keep coming! Just know that metabolic acidosis is rare - and it's amusing that IIH is a rare condition and then I get the rare of the rare things happen...... go figure!!!!