The War Within

WARNING:  This is one of those posts that may possibly be an assault on your delicate sensibilities.  If you are squeamish in nature, run.  Run like the wind.

Because my latest blood work showed that Lyme Disease is still all too present in my system, my protocol was stepped up to include the addition of a stronger antibiotic to be taken every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  This is in addition to Doxycycline and Azithromyacin.

You cannot know how much joy it gives me to be able to toss around 4 and 5 syllable words.

And then a couple of weeks later, a full frontal assault was scheduled in the form of I.V. Rocephin (another antibiotic) treatments twice weekly.  Fortunately, I am able to get the I.V. locally, and not have to travel to Orlando.

As you might imagine, if you know anything about long term antibiotic use, I developed a case of, well, the scoots.  Day and night.  Night and day.  Despite a regiment of heavy duty probiotics.

Needless to say, my new Lyme protocol has drained me.

🙂

After a discussion with my doctor’s office, we determined that I should drop the Doxycycline and Azithromyacin.  Now without Doxycycline in my system I am able to stroll out to the mailbox without worrying about 3rd degree burns.

However, I no longer have any good excuse to avoid the beach.  Except for the sharks, of course.

The problem has not resolved, so my doctor is suspecting a C. difficile infection, common for folks taking broad spectrum antibiotics over an extended period of time.  How do they determine if I have C. diff?

A STOOL SAMPLE.

Allrightythen.

He sent me a prescription to pick up a collection kit.  And happily, I was also scheduled for blood work the same morning.  And after googling C.diff, I determined that time was of the essence.

One of the happy byproducts of Lyme Disease, and any disease of the auto-immune system for that matter, is that your veins develop a severe case of shyness.  It’s like getting blood from a turnip.

That means that on Thursday I went in for my I.V. treatment, which always means at least a stick in each arm to locate a cooperative vein.  And then Friday morning, another 3 sticks, before finally finding a suitable vein in my forearm.

I have to say that I am blessed to have a pro at the diagnostic center who is ALWAYS able to find a vein, even if it takes 3 attempts.  I was bandaged all up and down both arms, looking rather like something from Curse of the Mummy.

Before I left, she handed me the specimen collection kit which I was to take home.  It was a subtle looking contraption:

I looked at it.  Then looked at the nurse.  “Seriously?  OK, um, if I’m having (lowers voice to barely audible) diarrhea, how am I going to negotiate that thing?”

Without batting an eye, she said, “Well, you just pour it out the back into the specimen jar.  And be sure to refrigerate it before bringing it back.”

This is when the room began spinning, right before my eyes rolled into the back of my head.

I gathered what was left of my dignity and marched out through the standing room only waiting area, holding my specimen collection contraption, which I could neither hide in my purse or under my t-shirt.  LOOK WHAT I GET TO GO HOME AND DO, EVERYONE!!!  WOOHOO!  PARTY AT MY HOUSE!

Since my blood work was to be taken on an empty stomach, you might imagine that I was starving.  And I don’t handle myself with a great deal of diplomacy when my blood sugar takes a nose dive.  I thought that I would treat myself to a Bacon/Egg/Cheese Biscuit from the McDonald’s drive-thru.  A favorite that I have not allowed myself to have in well over a year because I have made an attempt to clean up my diet for the most part.  Except for the occasional trip to Cracker Barrel.

There was a longish line and I placed my order, picked up my bagged breakfast at the last window and made my way back down the street.  I never ever use my cell phone while operating heavy machinery, but I’m not above eating while driving.

As I was about to take a healthy (as in large) bite, I noticed that they had given me a sausage/egg/biscuit combo.  Since my heart was set on bacon, I turned the car around, getting back into the drive-thru line.  I explained the situation and was handed another bagged breakfast.  I looked into the employee’s eyes, “Bacon egg cheese biscuit?”  “Yep.”

Expectantly, I drove off.  At about the same point down the street, I reached into the bag and pulled out A BISCUIT.  A BISCUIT VOID OF BACON.  VOID OF EGG.  VOID OF CHEESE.

I turned the car around and aimed myself back to McDonald’s.  I determined not to sit in line again, so I parked and marched myself up to the counter.

Envision if you will, a woman who has not eaten all morning, with bandages crisscrossing both arms, already on the verge of high strung.  I explained as calmly as I could what had taken place.  He apologized and went to retrieve a bacon/egg/cheese biscuit himself.  He asked me if I’d like a complimentary hash brown.  I said no thank you, but if he’d make that a coffee, I would likely not cry on his counter.

He complied.

A normal sane type of person would have checked the sandwich right there.  But I chose instead to head back to the safety of my car before examining the contents.  I opened the sandwich to discover only a hint of bacon.  Really.  There were like a few bacon crumbs astride the egg and cheese.  At this point I no longer cared, so I ate the hint-of bacon/egg/cheese biscuit and called it a day.

I figured it was an omen.  Unhealthy eating is simply too much work.  McDonald’s, you are dead to me.  Except for your senior coffee.

When I arrived home Fiddledaddy spotted the specimen collection contraption and asked the dreaded question.  “How is THAT suppose to work?”   I explained it to him, including the part about pouring it out the back into the cup. Then I simply stepped over his body on my way to the back of the house.

Emme who had been listening quizzed me, “YOU’RE GOING TO PUT IT IN THE REFRIGERATOR?”

“Yes, right next to your dinner.”

They were all going down like bowling pins.

And it wasn’t even 10:30 in the morning.

The way I look at it, it’s all going to be uphill from here.  BRING IT ON, WEEKEND.  I AIN’T SKEERT.

The battle is raging, the casualties are mounting, but I’m winning the war.

August 12, 2011

25 Responses to The War Within

  • I am so sorry you are having so much trouble still related to the Lyme disease. I do hope that C. difficile is ruled out. That being said, your experience has allowed you to write one of the FUNNIEST blog posts ever. Good for you, Dee Dee.

  • I come from a medical family….these types of conversations were normal, usually at the dinner table, so I wasn’t skeert (heeheehee, love that word) and I kept reading……and laughing…….I needed that today!

    Ya know, “stuff” in the fridge could be quite the diet aid! LOL! 😉

  • OH MY! Good luck with this and again OH MY!

  • Honey, are you taking probiotics? Maybe even some Activi* yogurt or smoothies? Cause they do make a difference. Unless it’s C diff, in which case all bets are off.

    Blessings,

    Nate’s Mom

    • I am taking 2 probiotics at night (the refrigerated kind) and also one in the morning. This is just one of those things that usually happen with long term Lyme Disease treatment. All things considered, I think I’m still functioning really well.

      Save for the gag reflex. 🙂

      Have a terrific weekend!

  • I’ve been having an icky week, I struggle with ulcerative colitis, so I was totally relating to your stool story! I remember when I had to do the stool sample, I called my sister (who’s a lab tech) and told her she is not paid enough for what she has to do! Praying for you with your lyme disease struggle.

  • Having nursed a family member through C difficile earlier this year, I am so hoping that you don’t have that misery on top of everything else!

  • LOL!!!!!!! You always make me laugh. You writing really is reminiscent of the great Erma Bombeck. 🙂 I don’t envy the sample you have to give, or the fact that you have been battling lyme disease the last couple years, but I do envy your talent for keeping a good sense of humor no matter what life throws at you. 🙂

  • Two words, darlin’ : Paper Bag.

  • I had C Diff several years ago, a script for metronidazole cleared it up very quickly. I hope you get the same results!

  • Hysterical! That, of course, applies to your blog…not the long-term antibiotics, the Lyme Disease or the C. Diff. This reminds me of the time my loving husband had to have a 24 hour urine collection. It is supposed to be cool. We lived in Hawaii. In July. Yep…that was kept in the refrigerator. However, I have an extremely strong stomach and a very selective memory. Evidently, I ain’t skeert easily either.

  • Praying you don’t have c.diff.
    As for the specimen collecting? Have had to do it a couple of times with my kids. Not fun! I used latex gloves and double bagged it before putting it in the fridge. I was very glad to get it turned in and out of there! Good luck!

  • I’m sorry Emme. I’m laughing at your response, but I’m laughing harder at your Mommy’s response! 🙂

    Once I had to collect a urine sample from a diapered baby boy. I had to tape a baggie around his goods, put the diaper on him and wait. Imagine the fun of removing tape in that department on a sick baby!

  • You are the third person I know who is in the midst of Lyme Disease treatments. I’m so sorry…so, so sorry. You laugh in the midst of it, and let us laugh, too, but I know from the other two friends that it’s horrible.

  • Oh gosh, I just loved this post….sick, aren’t I?!
    Actually, my husband has been through quite a few ordeals
    with health issues over the years, so I hear ya big time.
    And you know what? Eventually, you realize that your sense of humor is the only dignified thing you have left. AND,
    the McDonalds story….been there, done that. Just recently ordered a fish sandwich, and got a double cheeseburger!

  • I’m with Angie, I had to do a 24 hour urine collection and it was not fun. I was pregnant, working, and had a dr’s appt. I went back to work and packed my stuff saying I needed to go home, I knew they didn’t want that in the work fridge! 🙂 Just remember the white collection goes under the toilet seat, much easier than trying to collect it on top.

  • DeeDee, I love your ability to laugh and make hilarious stories out of this stuff.

  • After staying in the hospital, my doctor also though I ended up with C-Diff. I went to drop off the “sample”, to which they asked what it was. Most humbling experience of my life was collecting/dropping off my poo. Great story about keeping things in perspective:)

  • OK, not sure what this says about me but I haven’t LAUGHED OUT LOUD like this in a loooooong time! Bless your heart for having the courage and finesse to blog about such an event- stuff that we all face from time to time but then all pretend never happens…..!!!!!! Way to take a curse and turn it around (modeling the One who is famed for doing the same!!!!)
    God bless and keep you
    Heidie

  • I laughed so hard my husband said, “Yeeesss????” So, I read it to him and he laughed, too. I recognize every antibiotic – that almost scares me. Recognize the tests, been there, done that. We’ve been through so much, I’m not phased at much these days. I visited a friend in rehab today and he pulled up his shirt and pulled his shorts low enough to show me his scar for his bladder removal surgery. Didn’t phase me at all. A man – not my husband, pulling his shorts down below his belly and I didn’t blink. God, there is just something wrong with THAT!!!

    I guess I am pleased he felt comfortable to show me, because he’s not the type to flash everyone!

    I have to admit, when I turn in my husband’s samplings, I hand over the paper bag (we haven’t had to do poo in a long while, thank God!) and tell them – “Hubby made this just for you!” It always amazes me that these people still take the bag like it’s going to explode.

    In the fridge without blinking an eye. But I loved you telling your daughter that! I could picture the whole thing.

    Thank you so much for taking a hard situation and making comedy out of it. Maybe Fiddledaddy might think about a screenplay?

  • I so can relate to you. Seriously.

    When I was younger I rented a room in this old house in Downtown Toronto – it was cheap, I loved that it was an old Victorian and it had a renovated kitchen and I got an interior hot tub all to myself (cause I got the major washroom!).

    I suddenly came up in blisters that would pop and leave open sores all over my body – they started inside my elbows and knees, under my arms and in um…more private creases on my body – so I went to the doctor – FAST.

    They sent me home with a huge container to poop into….and yes, I had to keep it in the fridge. The SHARED fridge that stored not only my food, but those of the other three (male) roomies in the house. Wow that was not fun – the questions just made it even more interesting.

    In the end – they didn’t even find anything they were looking for.

    So yes, I understand how you feel in this regard.

    Other than that I just wanted to say that I’m praying for you and I hope that this all sorts itself out asap. *hugs*

  • Deedee please ,please write a book !
    I would buy it.
    You remind me of Livvy Purvis (one of her books is called ‘how not to have the perfect family’)but without the dead pan voice .

    I just loved the bit about stepping over the body.

  • “Fight! Win! And call me when you get back darling, I enjoy our visits.” ~Incredibles

    I so hope you went with Kelli’s advice to paper bag it because I can see 2 of your kids losing it and Jensen wanting to do something with it. I think you may need to give Fiddledaddy a shot of chocovine after this. 😉

  • I have coffee with my dad every Monday morning after putting our trash out. I told him about this post, and had him holding his sides laughing, too. I had to take my mom to the doctor today with labs and saw someone handing over a white bag … and thought of you – thinking “Hefty, Hefty Cinch Sack”!!

    Thanks again for making me laugh. I think you could easily do a book!

  • What is it about McD’s that they can’t get a simple order correct?? I don’t get it!
    Hope you get all this health related stuff figured out soon! I can just imagine the looks on the kids’ faces when you placed your “specimen” in the fridge!