Archive for February, 2011

An update on my post from Sunday

Good – My blood work came back showing marginally low Vitamin D, which a OTC Vit D supplement with 1,000 iu’s per day should correct.  Easy peasy!

Better – Since I seem to get more migraines during the winter than during the summer, we’re going to beef up my preventives by adding Baclofen, a muscle relaxer.  Last March, I got stuck in a 3-week-long mega-migraine cycle that couldn’t be broken.  No fun.  The plan is to prevent a reoccurrence this year.  My neuro gave me her top 3 recommended meds and I chose to try Baclofen first.  (Have I mentioned that I ♥ my neuro?  And her PA?  And their awesome nurse?)

Best – My MRI showed no signs of MS!!  Whoohoo, non-existent bullet dodged!  They did pick up sinusitis, but that’s old news by now.  Needless to say, I’m thrilled that they didn’t find anything serious.

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New Recipe!

Greek Chicken Wraps

I am always looking for new recipes to throw into the rotation.  A few weeks ago I found one for Greek Chicken Wraps on AllRecipe.  Hubby and I both loved it, which is saying a lot because I’m not a huge fan of chicken and he thinks meals without red meat don’t count as “dinner”!  Anyway, I highly recommend it.

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Night Huntress #4: Destined for an Early Grave by Jeaniene Frost

Considering Jeaniene Frost is one of my favorite PNR authors, Destined for an Early Grave wasn’t my favorite Kat/Bones story.  There’s an important plot twist in this book (I won’t ruin it!) that made reading this story very frustrating and, I have to admit, I got a little annoyed with Miss Kat.  None-the-less, I heart me some Kat action and overall I enjoyed the book.  I can’t wait for the next book in the series, This Side of the Grave, which comes out TODAY!

You Lost Me There by Rosecrans Baldwin

Eh, You Lost Me There just didn’t do much for me.  It was neither entertaining nor educational, and the title pretty much summed (sums) up my overall impression of it.  This was another book recommended on the NPR blog post Weird and Wonderful Books, and it was my least favorite of the three books recommended there that I chose to read.

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In addition to–or, rather, in conjunction with–my decision to give up on books if they don’t catch my interest by page 50, I also vowed to take more reading gambles in 2011.  The Orange Eats Creeps was just such a gamble when I found it recommended on an NPR book blogger’s “Weird and Wonderful Books: 2010’s Hidden Gems” list. 

Other reviews were interesting, to say the least.

Like something you read on the underside of a freeway overpass in a fever dream. The Orange Eats Creeps is visionary, pervy, unhinged. It will mess you up.” -Shelley Jackson

And so I began the adventure of the twisted poetry.  While reading, I occasionally wondered at the constant vulgarity of the prose, frequently felt metaphors sailing over my head, and was always delighted when a phrase jumped out at me.  While I hated certain aspects–the metaphors I couldn’t decipher!–I loved the parts that spoke to me, and to me only.

My traumas are individual and specific and private…”

The parts that made sense…

Walking; walking all night on the roadkill tour of Oregon.  Flattened hawks every few miles on the freeway.  How do you run over a bird of prey?”

And the parts that didn’t…

At dawn I dug up my dream cat, collapsed dead in the snow.  I held up the damp hide as snow fell silently around us.  I kept digging away and found more and more signs of a past race of modified creatures—a mass grave of psychic cat-rats.”

I tugged at my raw throat and coughed forth an owl pellet.  My eyes pounding out of my head, fighting passing out I tore at it, breaking it open with my hands I discovered the fine white bones of my dream cat. I had eaten him!”

But even for those words that didn’t exactly make sense, I loved the way they sounded in my head.

The wild blackberry bush consumed it all, lapped up its death, this gift that stained its own blossoms and caught like whiskers in my throat.  I swallowed a wild pulpy mass of blood and tiny white whiskers gathered in the palm of my hand.  My hand devours wild blackberries.  We are all voracious for wild blackberries.  We eat without care until the bushes are reduced to piles of whiskers and bramble.  We eat all the blossoms, they plump in my mouth and I spit out half-formed blackberry babies.”

And, rather than annoying me as I thought they would, the repeated phrases and themes gave the book a sense of familiarity toward the end.

Cats rats snakes

            Roadside diners

                        Chamomile vagrants vomit


                                                Men bones blood


                                                                        Insects calico poison

                                                                                    Convenience stores

                                                                                                Sugar hippies teens

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I had a follow-up visit with my urologist back in December.  It was my first visit since he diagnosed me with an OAB back in October and was pretty much a quick, in-and-out deal.  The medication he put me on (Vesicare) seems to be helping, although I feel like the improvement has plateaued by now.  However, at this visit he mentioned a technique–called Timed Voiding–that’s designed to slowly retrain your bladder to have more appropriate urges.  Basically, you choose a manageable time interval, say 1-2 hours, and limit bathroom trips to that interval.  I’m not a huge fan of the name…so I prefer to call them my “Pre-scheduled bathroom breaks”.  It’s pretty much a mind-over-matter technique, and it really works for me.  Love it!

In my original post, I mentioned that I was going to follow-up with my neurologist about any connection between my OAB issue and a potential neurological link.  Last month I had a routine follow-up visit with Dr. M, my fabulous neurologist, and I asked her about the OAB link.  She was immediately concerned (making me glad I brought it up).  Contrary to what my urologist indicated,

Migraine history + bladder issues = Concern about Multiple Sclerosis

Other risk factors I have are: 

  • Being female (women are twice as likely as men to develop MS)
  • My age (most people who develop MS are diagnosed in their 20’s or early 30’s)
  • Living in a temperate climate (MS affects approximately 1 in 2,000 people in temperate climates, while those in tropical climates have a 1 in 10,000 chance)
  • Being caucasian (whites are at the highest risk for MS)

So, Dr. M ordered an MRI with and without contrast, as well as blood work to check my Vitamin D levels.  (Recent studies show that sufficient Vitamin D levels confer some protection against developing MS and/or progression of the disease.) 

Needless to say, this is all scary as hell for me.  MS is nothing to take lightly, and ever since my visit with Dr. M (which was otherwise positive), I’ve had a nice little knot of panic festering somewhere just above my diaphragm.  My gut feeling is that I don’t have MS, but I haven’t been able to shrug off the initial “holy crap, what if…” reaction, either.  

My MRI is scheduled for tomorrow morning, so I should know in a couple of weeks….

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