Hey friend, where the heck have you been?

image- I'm pursing my graduate degree but if the opportunity arises to become a ninja, I'm taking it.jpg
Image: I’m pursuing my graduate degree but if the opportunity arises to become a ninja, I’m taking it.

I have literally abandoned my blog. How sad is that? And it is not because I am feeling all better because I am most certainly not. If anything all my health stuff just keeps getting more complicated and worse even. 

But I have been insanely busy in grad school. Grad school with my internship has kept me just crazy busy. I missed my blog. And so I’m trying to come back and post again because I miss the community here and I miss having a place to discuss the issues in my life. 

As of right now my biggest health issue is strep throat type B (read- noncontagious). Yea, I have had it for almost 5 months. It started last fall semester, around September, I had a sharp constant pain in my throat, not all over but in on specific area are on the right side where my gland/tonsil-ish is. At first, I thought it was something stuck in my throat, a chip…maybe? You know how that can happen… And I didn’t mention it to anyone right away. Not even Aaron, because I didn’t want him to be concerned about something that seemed not so important. I did eventually mention it to my friend Shelby but it didn’t seem like a huge thing. And time went on

Somehow I went through most of the semester like that. I could barely eat hard or crunchy foods. My throat hurt constantly. Finally, (and don’t judge…okay fine maybe a little but let me explain.) When I went to see my primary care doctor (PCP) in November I mentioned it to her. And she did a throat swab but held off on giving me antibiotics because I’ve been on antibiotics for months at this point for back to back to back to back bladder and kidney infections. 

So the throat culture comes back a couple days later positive for strep. Oh snap…I’ve had strep for a long time. But I’m a grad student with a family and other health demands so my throat was not my top priority for whatever reason. In hindsight, I regret that. 

So far, I’ve been through two rounds of antibiotics and it’s still very much there. I have an appointment with an ENT tomorrow so I will hopefully find out what is going on in my throat. But again, this is noncontagious strep so it’s not like I was giving strep to everyone I met…because I wasn’t. So it just wasn’t that easy to identify. As a child, I always had strep throat so I know what strep feels like and this wasn’t/isn’t it. 

My IC symptoms are still going strong. I’m in between antibiotics right now. But I’ve been on them for a long time. I generally only feel better while on antibiotics which is sad. 

My third semester of grad school which was the fall 2017 semester was incredibly stressful for a variety of reasons, including my internship.  Well, that reason includes…it’s grad school and that’s enough reason. I took 4 classes plus my internship. And now it’s the Spring 2018 semester and again I am taking 4 classes and my internship. I have one year left of my program because I am in a 3-year program. 

I will leave it here for now. But I plan to be back after I have results from the ENT.  

Hope everyone out there has been well while I’ve been MIA. Take care and talk soon! 

Image description: “Yes, hello, I’d like a refund on my body. It’s kinda defective and really expensive.”- Anyone with a chronic illness
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I hope your antibiotics cocktail doesn't backfire, causing you to conceive and become an unwitting host to super-bacteria

Laughter is the best medicine…or is it?

I hope your antibiotics cocktail doesn't backfire, causing you to conceive and become an unwitting host to super-bacteria
I hope your antibiotics cocktail doesn’t backfire, causing you to conceive and become an unwitting host to super-bacteria

They say laughter is the best medicine…. but is it? Because recently, I’ve been in a lot of pain. I thought something was wrong with my right kidney. Went for a renal ultrasound last Monday and finally got the call yesterday saying nothing was wrong. Along with a serious attitude from my urologist. Gee…thanks. I hate my (now ex) urologist. 

Help wanted: New urologist who is nice and caring. Believes me when I say sometimes is wrong. Believes me when I say I have layered infections and doesn’t scoff at me when I tell her about my new IC practitioner who they have never heard of.  

Meanwhile, back with my IC practitioner who cares, Ruth…she got the results of my pathogenius urine culture. It was … colorful, to say the least. They found not 1…not 2… not 3…but 7 bacterias. Yes, friend, I said seven. Remember when I had E. Coli? Well, the E. Coli went away and then underneath of that there were 7 more delightful infections

36% Lactobaacillus johsonii -This is a healthy bacteria for your gut and has zero business being in the bladder.

31% Ureaplasma urealyticum – This is very commonly found in IC patients. The number was probably higher but I was recently on the antibiotic azithromycin (also known as zpack) for Bronchitis which is often used to treat ureaplasma. The ureaplasma can be carried and given back and forth by sexual partners. So in this situation, Aaron will have to be treated as well. That does not mean for sure he has it but really to prevent me from getting it again, he will be on a short-term (one week) dose of antibiotics. 

15% Streptococcus equinus – nobody likes strep. bleh.

2% Leuconostoc citreum 

2% Finegoldia magna

2% Lactococcus lactis

2% Acinetobacter radioresistens

So last week Ruth prescribed me more Bactrim to help me out until she could see what infections I had. And as we can see listed above…I have a lot. I will finish out my two-week dose of Bactrim and also she is starting me on two more antibiotics: minocycline and nitrofurantoin. I really don’t relish this process. Being on all these antibiotics isn’t great… but neither is being in so much pain from all these infections. I asked if it was possible that any of the infections could have traveled to my kidney. She said that was very possible. 

Here’s the thing. My urologist…did a renal ultrasound and the most basic urine culture ever and found nothing. nada. zip. zilch. She made me feel like shit about myself. If I didn’t have Ruth on my side… I would have felt hopeless. I knew the pathogenius urine culture ordered by Ruth would show results…I didn’t realize how many results… but I knew it would. 

There are so many IC patients and patients who have chronic illnesses who are treated so terribly by the medical community. It’s just not right.

Our doctors who took an oath to first do no harm…but my urologist did harm. She looked at me like I was insane when I told her what was going on. She made me feel less than. 

But I am not less than. I know my body and I know when something is wrong. And I know I am not alone in matters like this. This happens far too often. It’s really just unfair…more than unfair. It’s ridiculous. Ruth said something akin to I’d like to give these doctors IC for awhile and see how fast they end up in the ER from all the pain. They have no clue what it’s like to be in so much pain and for us to look to them for help only to be brutally rebuffed time and time again. We don’t deserve that. We deserve to be heard. Because what would have happened if I didn’t have Ruth on my side? My urologist would have just been like.. well nothing in your urine and nothing in your kidney…See ya next time. And I would have been sitting here unaware that I have 7 infections and nobody to help me. Which is such a bummer to think about. So let’s not. 

So on a completely different note… I had to get a TB test for my recently acquired internship…so the good news is… I don’t have TB. I am, however, still riddled with other diseases…womp womp lol.

And I’m on summer vacation. It’s …. yeah. weird. I have nothing to do. I’m not used to not working. I feel very useless. I’ve been reading. I have a nice mix of novels and social work type books related to my specialty that I am working on. But yea…besides that I have been going to a lot of doctor’s appointments, picking up Reid from school, hanging out with my cats 💗, ummm… watching stuff on Netflix. I really miss working right about now.

So is laughter the best medicine? For a lot of things…but not for infections. But I do often lean on laughter and humor to get through hard times. I’ve always said laugh or cry. Jews often use humor to get through hard times…that’s just how we Jew it. And I think that’s why I often use the Someecards in my blog posts because they make a great point and they are funny. And I shall leave you with this…

what shall i get for the girl who has everything? antibiotics
shall I get for the girl who has everything? antibiotics