Category Archives: Health

When I’m Injured

So, I am injured. I think it’s a stress fracture. In my head. Okay, that’s not true. It’s in my foot. My running foot. Well, I actually run with two feet. That is to say, both of my feet. Needless to say, I am going crazy. It’s not fun. I love to run. It makes me happy. And while I am living, I aim to maximize my happiness.

Injuries are like happiness assassins. They’re like “oh, you like to run? Yeah, well, take that!” POW! BOOF! SPLAT!

And then I’m injured.

And no, I am still young. Don’t you dare.

And no, I don’t do too much. That’s plain ol’ poppycock.

Right now, I am running in my mind. It’s soooo nice in here.

Shit.

Jessica says that I should lay on the bed, on my back, and rotate my legs and arms so it “feels” like I’m running.

I told her to stuff it.

Because, you know, we love each other.

A sampling of that love:

Facebook back and forth

Happy running, idiots.

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Creating The Villain

They tell me I simply need to let it be; to pay no mind. But how is such a thing possible? The anguish that was caused; the heartache; the grief; these are attributes of my character, in the sense that they have shaped my emotional, intellectual and mental understanding of the world, of people, and the way in which these things interact with one another.

Wait, scratch that. I know it’s possible to let it be. After all, if I don’t, then he’s winning.

But, what if I don’t want to? What if I need him to play the role of the tormentor? What if I need to relegate him to evil, dictatorial villain?

What if I need to know that a person like that will struggle, experience hardship?

Don’t I have some say as to how he does this? Am I not part of the social barometer that demonizes infidelity, abuse, hypocrisy? If not, then who? Not, quite assuredly, god; the latter of which I find to be especially frustrating. To live forever, after this? Really?

Presumably psychologists would say that I was losing it; that I, to some degree, am failing to see the picture. I beg to differ. It’s really quite simple.

A is evil.

A causes B pain.

B’s pain surfaces when A’s damaging effects are witnessed within context of familial structure.

In order to absolve pain, B must do one of two things:

B can steer clear of the rest of family.

B can implement the “A as villain” approach.

If option 1 occurs, B suffers.

If option 2 occurs, B finds solace.

Or perhaps B needs to get over it.

Trying.

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I’ve Got Malaria

Well, that’s not entirely true. Actually, it’s not even remotely true. I don’t have malaria. But that doesn’t stop my allergist from prescribing me anti-malaria drugs. That’s right. I don’t have malaria, but I am taking a drug which is meant to combat malaria.

I suppose it’s what I deserve. Or, rather, what my body deserves. The doctors, they need to treat the symptoms. If one drug doesn’t work, they need to move onto the next. And the next. And the next, until all of their options are expended and they are forced to reach into their rabbit hats to pull out the drugs that aren’t actually meant for the resounding symptom: the anti-depressants (“has anti-itch elements”) and anti-malaria drugs.

Just like the Doxepin, this drug can be prescribed “for other uses.”

In the meanwhile, I am going to tell everyone I have malaria, and that I contracted it by wrestling an okapi in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and that they should just stay the hell away unless they want respiratory and liver failure, meningitis, a rupturing of the spleen, shaking chills and anemia.

Note: I am in no way making fun of the disease that is malaria. I am merely commenting on the ridiculous nature of the situation I am in.

Courtesy of Wikipedia


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My Histamines vs. Your Anti-Histamines – I Win

The Hydroxyzine didn’t help. But how could I expect it to? A drug that was first introduced when Dwight D. Eisenhower was president is not the drug for me. It may be for the child that has an itchy nose, or the old man that has a scratch in his throat. But not for me. I am, if you remember, the 0.1%. Which is to say that my histamines beat your anti-histamines. Or, until they come up with a drug so advanced and experimental and wildly dangerous but has shown some extraordinary results in 1 of 1 million patients – until then, I will remain itchy and likely to dip my head into ice baths.

Take That Silly Anti-Histamine Weakling!

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Planet Zorbatron, the 0.1% and the Histamine Hulklings of Sector Eleven

The last time I wrote about my allergies, I was unsure whether or not I was allergic to gluten. Since my last posting on the subject, the GI doctor confirmed that I can, in fact, eat gluten without any major issues. That’s good news. But, alas, my stomach pains still continue, even after the colonoscopy and endoscopy which provided no additional insight. Nonetheless, I’ve realized since that it is a separate issue; separate from the (four) seasonal allergies I suffer from.

My allergist and I met yesterday to discuss the next step in our plan to curb the itching problem, and the sinus infections, and the redness that travels in long streaky patches across my skin. The steps that preceded this conversation included a week’s dose of Doxepin, a drug that has been around for quite some time, and is traditionally prescribed for depression, but has, for my proposed benefit, anti-itch qualities. It didn’t help. Before that, it was a cornucopia of Xyzal, Zantac and Singulair, all of which were taken twice a day. That hasn’t helped either. And before all of that, it had been a series of OTC drugs, anti-itch lotions, anti-inflammatory medicines and the like. All to no avail.

And after all of this, I find myself a meager 10% down on the itch factor; and my doctor, who is generally a very emotionless guy, explaining to me how frustrating it is for him that he can’t figure this out. Seriously. It was a bit of an odd experience. I sat quietly in my chair, looking upon a veteran of medicine as he squirmed and sighed and put his palm to his forehead, all frustrated and flummoxed and unsure of what to do.

It was a bit unsettling. And so when he asked me what I wanted to do, after explaining a few of my options, I was taken aback. How was I supposed to know, I thought. Needless to say, his frustration was cause for anxiety on my own part. Doctors are the experts, I said to myself. And my doctor, well he isn’t sure what to do. He is stuck.

“Non, I’m not sure why this isn’t helping. 99.9% of patients should have responded to those drugs with a significant change for the better.”

Those were his words, more or less. In an odd, mildly masochistic way, it brings me some relief to hear it. It’s true. I seem to always whine and complain about my allergies. But I don’t feel so bad about that anymore. I am 0.1%.

So I told him we should try the Prednisone. If that doesn’t help much, then we have bigger fish to fry. But if it does, then we try to find an alternative with equal amounts of anti-itch gusto.

Anyhow, to spin this positively, I can say that I feel “special” ( if you’ll allow me to just indulge myself for a moment). As a friend of mine said, “I feel like the diagnosis will soon be ‘you are a new breed of human’.” To that, I say “that would be awesome.”

Or, something like this:

Doctor: You are not meant for this world.

Me: But Doc, where I am supposed to be, if not here?

Doctor: You, young man, belong on the planet Zorbatron.

Planet Zorbatron - Image Courtesy of Wiki Commons

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The Day I Stopped Eating – Volume One

The day I stopped eating was the day I found out my father had been dabbling in infidelity.

Or, at the very least, that’s the moment I first learned that I was to take a stab at mediating a grown-up relationship. The eating, or lack thereof, came later.

In that particular moment, we were seated at a Denny’s across from one another. I was a couple of years shy of twenty and he had asked to meet, intimating that it was important we do so because there was something he had to say. I remember driving to the restaurant thinking that it may have been of a marital nature. Him and my mom, well they never really got it right. Sure, they shared intermittent joys. But, for the most part, as I certainly perceived it, it was fairly rough.

I was preparing myself for the worst; and because of the less than stellar relationship we had built up until that point and the aforementioned inkling, I was mildly on the defensive going into it.

When I arrived, he was already there, seated in one of the vinyl booths in the back of the restaurant. When he got up to greet me, I noticed a certain hesitation, a reluctance. We said our ‘hellos’ and sat down facing each other. After a few moments of smalltalk- the smalltalk, dad and I found, to be the only meaningful discourse between the two parties; a sort of reactionary duty-  he let me have it.

He had cheated. The dirtbag.

I remember wanting to take the inexpensive, diner-worn fork and jam it into his eye. I remember asking myself why he would do such a thing; if it were a result of some level of boredom or disgust, or if it were, as my mother had said then and on so many occasions later, simply a man “turning away from god.” The former being something I couldn’t accept, and the latter being one that was any easy explanation (yet not, as I would find later, one suitable for me).

By the time I figured out he had been adulterating around the globe for the duration of their marriage, I was a staunch supporter of Team Mom.

More to come your way in Volume Two


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I Am a Histamine

As some of you know; or, rather, as all within an earshot of  my perennial clamor and whine know, I am allergic to everything. And that’s only, I dare say, a mild overstatement. No sir, I am not allergic to everything, but I am allergic to quite a bit. Enough to make it virtually impossible to exist in a room, or outdoor setting, without being in contact with at least one of my many histamine foes.

Five years ago, after discovering that I was allergic to every variant of mold, dust, tree, grass, plant and dander, I opted for a series of immunization shots. Three years after that, without seeing any faint shift in difference, I stopped. I was frustrated and plum out of money.

At that point, I gave up the search. I told myself that it was simply going to be this way. The hot flashes would find solace in prolonged dunks in ice baths. The itchy skin would find temporary, mild forms of relief in anti-itch lotions and Benadryl comas.

In recent months, however, I started to develop severe intestinal distress (seriously the best euphemism ever), of which I found to be especially so after consuming gluten, and often times following intense exercise (soccer games, for instance). After testing my theory, I reasoned that I had an allergy to gluten, or at the very least, to some food.

So I went back to the allergist and was tested for all foods, just to be sure, to know. Two hours later, my allergist tells me that my test results claim I am allergic to onions, avocados, tomatoes, peanuts, pistachios, celery and few other things that didn’t make much sense. But, I assure you, as does my Doctor, that I am not, in fact, really allergic to these things. No, seriously. I’m not.

Get this: I am so very much an “allergic patient,” that my heightened levels of histamine skew results for these sorts of tests. Unless, as the doctor said, I am eating avocados and onions and tomatoes everyday, that I don’t have anything to worry about.

But I ask, with frustration in my heart, nothing to worry about? Have I not been through this before?

Itchiness? Check.
Intestinal distress? Check.
Hot flashes? Check.
Redness? Check.
Spurts of costly medical care without relief? Check.

So I ask, should I be worried? In response, not really. I’ve been through it before. And while I may have bouts of discomfort and distress and frustration, I still do the things I want to do. I hike. I run. I play soccer atop the grasses that seem to know of my pains, but know me well enough not to kill me.

And I’m happy. I’ve grown accustomed. Mentally. Physically.

The next steps are as follows:

  1. Go back to the antihistamines. Zyrtec, twice a day (wait 2 weeks and then add on Zantac twice a day; wait 2 weeks and add on Doxepin for its anti-inflammatory attributes; if the itching doesn’t go away, add on Plaquenil)
  2. Have a meet and greet with a GI Doctor and schedule an endoscopy to get the final confirmation of Celiac disease

And so I sit here and think to myself, perhaps I am becoming part of it; meeting the solution halfway, so to speak. It’s been such a long, suffused run. Perhaps I am just, quite simply, a version of the pollen that tingles my nose, the elm tree that scratches my throat, the dust mite that renders me red.

I am, quite simply, a histamine.

For information about Celiac Disease, go here.
For information about allergies, go here.

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