Antibiotics and migraines are all the fun.

Why aren't side effects ever fun? They are never like these meds might cause you to have a party in your pants. No instead it's like nausea and dizziness.
Image- Why aren’t side effects ever fun? They are never like these meds might cause you to have a party in your pants. No instead it’s like nausea and dizziness.

I finally got over that terrible stomach virus and started my antibiotics (Bactrim) on Wednesday, April 12th. It has not been without issue though. I am a very sensitive being and I do get all the best side effects…. nausea, stomach aches, mild diarrhea. You know all the stuff I just had when I had that stomach virus… sigh. And I’m sure the side effects are worse now because I literally just had that virus too and barely had time to recover from it before I started the antibiotics.

Needless to say, the last two weeks has thrown my Keto diet  (I am still on the IC diet though) out the window with a vengeance. When the stomach virus hit me…I immediately started on sick food: saltines, ginger ale, homemade chicken soup, bananas, applesauce and the like.

I have now been on the Bactrim for 5 days…have I noticed a difference in my bladder??? Sometimes… sometimes I don’t. So it’s hard to tell. But I am only 5 days into a 2 week round of antibiotics. Only time will tell…Ruth tells me I should notice a difference but maybe it’s just hard to tell because of all the side effects I’m having.

I know the Bactrim will take care of the E. Coli… but who knows what else is in there. Ruth thinks there is another infection underneath the E. Coli. And I will be doing a test for Lyme’s Disease, which is from a tick bite…the test is called iSpot…it’s a blood test. I’ll be getting the blood drawn for that in May because I need to be off antibiotics for at least two weeks before they can test the blood. 

It’s difficult for me to plan my summer when I’m so unsure where my health will leave me a month…let alone next week. But I will say this… I will plan on resting as much as possible this summer. Not pushing myself too much or doing too much. I will start an exercise routine that isn’t too strenuous and that my physical therapist, Jen, will help me to plan out so that I don’t hurt myself further. I used to do yoga almost daily before I was diagnosed with IC. But once the IC got really bad it just became too painful to continue doing. So we shall see what happens…..

In others news…My physical therapist and I decided to take a break from pelvic floor therapy (PFT) while I am on antibiotics to see if there was any noticeable difference because it would be difficult to tell what improvements are happening if I am also doing PT.  So instead we decided to work on my migraines… I actually just got back from that a little while ago.

I will tell you this… I prefer the PFT, which sounds insane…because that’s internal PT that hurts so much. But this PT was like nothing I’ve ever experienced. I have trigger points all up and down my shoulders, neck, and head. Well…of course I do! Because I have chronic migraines…Duh! At one point she was pressing on a spot on my shoulder and it hurt so incredibly badly that I could feel it up in my temple. But she said that was a good thing because it meant that it was something we could work on… I was like…oh good…

Of course, it’s good. I know it is. But wow…I just did not expect it to hurt so incredibly much. It was just beyond brutal in ways that I can’t describe. It left me dizzy and disoriented. Luckily I don’t drive myself to PT…I always take Uber. My entire head, neck, and shoulders hurt… just like any other PT session. 

Also, I have increased my Topamax (aka dopamax), which is a migraine preventative, to the max dose- 100mg/daily. Which, of course, comes with its own side effects. Nothing is without side effects these days. Side effects like feeling dopey…hence the name dopamax. Forgetfulness, issues with word recall and understanding words…which is great to have when you’re in grad school. I don’t need words to write papers…nah. That’s silly. /sarcasm. 

image- My excuse for being brain dead is called Topamax. What's yours?
My excuse for being brain dead is called Topamax. What’s yours? Topamax aka dopamax

 

This semester can’t be over soon enough…Just two weeks left of this semester… I can and will get through this. This has been the hardest most frustrating semester I have ever experienced. I am not sure I will get through it with my sanity intact but as long as  I get through it… that’s the best  I can ask for at this point. I have a ton of school work to get done so I probably won’t write any new blog posts until the semester is over… but I’m sure you understand 🙂 xx

Image- Anyone can give up. it's the easiest thing to do but to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart... that's true strength
Image- Anyone can give up. it’s the easiest thing to do but to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart… that’s true strength
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At least you have your health… oh wait.. no you don’t… my bad.

image-Sorry you're sick again and have invisible chronic illnesses and are so behind in school ... but at least you have your health.. oh wait..
Sorry, you’re sick again and have invisible chronic illnesses and are so behind in school … but at least you have your health … oh wait…

The last two weeks have been rough. Reid, Aaron and I have been varying degrees of sick with a terrible stomach virus. It hit the two of them first and took me down last and hardest. Save the best for last??? ehhhh…. I spent this whole week in bed. Now I’m finally up and about. Trying to get back to life…No easy feat.

Seriously as if things aren’t hard enough… life seems to want to kick me when I am already down. And I just keep thinking…I couldn’t make this stuff up if  I tried. It is all just so ridiculous that it has to be true… because nobody has all the nonstop issues that I have had over the last two years…not just health, but also related to my family and other relationships. Not to say everything is always terrible … but I’m just saying..kick me while I’m down why don’t you…sheesh. 

First of all, I have been seeing a new practitioner named Ruth Kriz who is known in the IC community. You can google her if you want to know more about her but I found out that she is local to the DC area and felt that it was a sign that I should go see her. Ruth’s theory is that IC is a deeply embedded infection or infections in the bladder wall; coupled with other health issues. I originally saw her last month for my initial appointment. I then had to get a ton of blood work and urine work done.

So I actually saw Ruth this past Tuesday, where she gave me the results of my lab work.  It turns out I have E. Coli in my bladder. Embedded infection anyone??? mhm. I also have Mycoplasma pneumoniae, which is another kind of bacteria and it could be because I recently had bronchitis or can be related to the IC. Either way, Ruth is treating both. She is treating the E. Coli with the antibiotic, Bactrim and the mycoplasma with a herbal remedy called A-Myco. 

I am also deficient in Vitamin D, which isn’t surprising since my mom is as well. But Ruth said it is very common for IC patients to be Vitamin D deficient and that is bad because vitamin D helps us repair our body and heal our immune systems. So I will be starting on 5000mg supplement of Vitamin D. 

So…like I said I saw Ruth on Tuesday. After I left her on Tuesday I went to meet Reid at the bus stop and suddenly wasn’t feeling well. It hit me hard and fast..the stomach bug. I was freezing cold down to my bones but I was so hot I was sweating. Never a good sign. It was all downhill from there. Before any stomach stuff hit me, the fever hit me first. Unfortunately, I have had to postpone the start of all my new meds because of this stomach bug.

I do think I had it the worst of the three of us because my body is already compromised from the E. Coli and other health problems. There was a day in there where my fever was slightly above 100 and I struggled to keep it down. It was beyond miserable for me… Neither Aaron or Reid had a fever, but they didn’t have infections to fight off like I did. 

 

Having this stomach virus didn’t do my health any favors as well..that’s for sure. I had physical therapy today. I didn’t go last week…because..well…sick. And I was so tight…All over. It was just insanely painful..in a whole other way than usual the usual painful.

Not just because of the stomach virus but because of my health, in general, this has been a very difficult semester for me. I have really struggled to keep up with my work. At this point, I feel very behind. I keep all my professors in the know about what is going on with my health and they are all very understanding and flexible with the due dates for my assignments…which is great and super helpful for me. But at the same time…it feels like failing. This is just for me personally. I would never judge another person who needed more time on assignments… I, of course, am much harder on myself than I am on others.

I am a perfectionist and an overachiever. I love school so much that I like to say that I’m too school for cool instead of too cool for school. Being behind and struggling like this feels like a failure on my part. Somewhere in my brain, I can hear my logical self saying don’t be silly this isn’t your fault you are doing the best you can. But in my heart, I just feel heavy and disappointed that I let it get to this point. I am that student who finishes all the work first…almost annoyingly early. That’s me. And now I’m struggling to even get my work done at all. Nobody is faulting me for it. Even my academic advisor is on my side, supporting me through this. It’s just hard to feel like I am failing when normally I wouldn’t be. 

It’s yet another part of me that I have lost…along with everything else. This summer I have to rest and take care of myself because in the fall/spring I will be doing an internship and taking classes. I need to be okay enough to do all of that. 

I have no idea what will happen once I start the antibiotics for the E. Coli. I don’t think that will magically cure me…I’m not that deluded. Besides, I probably have another infection underneath of that one. But I am curious to see where this road will lead me…Hopefully to one of better health- physical, mental, and emotional. I look forward to it… and to the possibilities the lay ahead. You know what they say….

image- what doesn't kill you makes you cranky strike out, stronger crossed out, pissed off crossed out, stronger crossed out, grumpy crossed out, stronger (it may take awhile but you'll get there)
image- what doesn’t kill you makes you cranky strike out, stronger crossed out, pissed off crossed out, stronger crossed out, grumpy crossed out, stronger (it may take awhile but you’ll get there)