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Attitude Adjustment After Yet Another Setback

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

OK. My doctor's appointment on Monday wasn't what I was hoping for. My doc feels like he's out of ideas for my perplexing symptoms. He's consulting with other specialists to see if there are solutions aside from putting me on long-term doses of drugs best left to short-term use.

So, I encounter yet another setback. This frustrating streak continues. I know that life is full of hurdles and challenges, but after fighting for the last 5 years I don't have many reserves left.

A few years ago, I would not have believed that I would willing wake up early to walk 4 miles . . . and LOVE it! I finally found the right motivation, paced myself to allow the problem knee to strengthen gradually, and was so looking forward to upping my daily walks to 3 miles and weekend walk to 6 miles. Now I'm banned from outdoor exercise - my only proactive defense for avoiding the particulate matter in the air. I may not be allergic, but breathing those irritants seems to have the same effect on my sinuses as a sandblaster.

OK. [Deep breath.] In the last 24 hours I've worked through the anger and the wallowing, so I guess it's time to get a grip and just deal. I'm a smart cookie. I have mad research skills. I will conquer this latest hurdle and find a way to work my new restrictions into my active life. I enjoy my DVDs, but I want to walk outside while I can - before the hot weather arrives (a big migraine trigger). So, what are my options?

1: Indoor gym.
I am sticking with my "old" gym for now; I can work out when I travel to the big city, and I can work out at several other branches when I visit my family. I will make time to get there as often as possible. (Not one local gym opens before 6am and has decent weekend hours - I need one that opens at 5am or it won't work with my schedule, and I need to keep consistent hours even on the weekends.)

2: Protection from outdoor irritants.
So I did some research tonight and I found a "sport allergy mask" designed for aerobic activities. OK, I may look like an ax murderer, and I might have to stop walking one of my venues so I don't freak out the security people. But I can buy one of these and keep walking outside . . . it may be enough to protect me from my environment.

3: Remember to be thankful for what has improved.
Today, this has been a real struggle. But I have to remember how far I've come before I can appreciate where I am (sound familiar?).
-A- My migraines are diagnosed and under control - and the recent tweak in my meds eliminated the daily low-grade headaches.
-B- My body has manged to hold onto the new antibodies - at least for now. For the first time in my life, I have adequate protection from routine bacteria . (Huge thanks to the Human Genome Project for making this testing possible.) I'm also thankful that my missing antibodies were the easy-to-cure ones, and that I don't require the expensive and painful IVIG treatments.
-C- My sinus lining has grown back, so I have some natural protection again.

OK. Another decent night's sleep and I may be back to myself tomorrow. The prednisone is kicking in, I'm breathing better, hurting and itching less. Tomorrow will be a better day. I will order a pollen mask if I can't find one locally (which I probably can't). I will do some yoga and some strength training. And I will continue to strive to be healthier overall while my head tries to kill me. I may be sick, but I'll look better because I can wear a smaller size in pants.

Yes, this really is my life. One day I'm going to get a Bedazzler and sparkle up a T-shirt with my personal motto: Better living through legally-prescribed pharmaceuticals.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • FORESTLITTLE
    Hello there! Have you ever tried a Neti Pot? I saw it on the Oprah show when she had the awesome Dr. Oz on there! Check into it if you have not heard of it, I heard this nasal rinse is a miracle for people that have allergies! Hope you have a fantastic day!!!
    FORESTLITTLE
    4427 days ago
  • KEYWEST3
    wow! here you've been telling me that I inspire you, but I am definitely humbled. You have REAL roadblocks, any ONE of which could have put you on the sidelines but here you are--strategizing about how to overcome them. YOU are MY hero! You can search the boards all day long and not find that comment from me anywhere to anyone else. YOU are MY hero!
    4428 days ago
  • LAB-LOVER
    Hang in there -- I think the mask is a great idea... I know I'd want to try ANYTHING that might work. Its hard when you feel like you have to trade off different aspects of your health!
    -LL
    4428 days ago
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