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Showing posts with label Back Pain Issues. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Back Pain Issues. Show all posts

Friday, March 09, 2018

Is It A cold Or Just Spring Fever?

Dear Diary,

I woke up this morning with a scratchy throat. Thought at first it was a side effect of trying my wife's CPAP nasal pillows instead of my usual full face mask. Lo and behold, at the end of today, it's still there.
I've been feeling kind of "off" for a few days now with a really stuffy, runny nose. I've been trying to blame my wife, spring fever or at least, the two cats but now I think something else is afoot. Hmmmm!

We went out to lunch with one of our close friends today and (of course) stuffing ourselves to the very gills. Now I'm gonna feel like a beached whale for the rest of the night!
Probably gonna skip supper and just have a little soup later.

The weather's starting to turn cloudy again for the next few days and I may be feeling the effects of that as well.
It's a good night to retire early and read in bed with a kitty on my chest. I'm so glad I have that luxury! It's not all bad being dirt poor! ;)


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Today's Six Minute Walk

Dear Diary,

Just had my latest six-minute walk at St Joe's this morning. Despite my recent weight gain of 28 pounds, I only lost 7 meters in distance from the last time which really surprised me.
Their baseline goal is 400 meters in six minutes. So far, I have always come up short of that.
They really want me to get my BMI down to 33, minimally before they will even consider surgery.
My current calculated BMI is 40 and getting it down to 33 would require me to go from my current weight of 288 to 235 before they would seriously consider cracking my chest open.
This is not an easy task! :(
I am going to follow their advice and have a consultation with one of their bariatric docs. I'm not too optimistic that she will be able to help but I'll at least give it a shot.

Medicare kicked in exactly as expected, thank goodness and we had zero payments or co-pays for today's visit. :)

Today was officially my 65th birthday but I don't feel a day over 90, LOL! Trying to decide if I should allow myself a nice, big chunk of birthday cake!!! Updates to follow.


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Probably Set Up To Fail!

Dear Diary,

Alas, the ill-fated six-minute walk at St Joe's is actually tomorrow, the 7th, which also happens to be my 65th birthday. It will commence at 0830 hours and followed up with a consultation with Dr. O, the pulmonologist.

For some reason, I thought the appointment was farther out than that so, unfortunately, I have no time to lose any weight. The added 20 pounds will likely cause me to fail the test. I hope they can see that the weight is responsible for the failure and not disease progression!

This will also be the first time using Medicare so hopefully, that will go well.

*fifteen minutes pass*

Good news! I just got off the phone with the Health Insurance Marketplace and have successfully cancelled my primary insurance, effective March 20th.

Some potentially bad news. It appears Wal-Mart pharmacy is no longer honouring my prescription discount plan for Xarelto, offered by Janssen Pharmaceuticals.
This is bad because I have been eligible to get the drug without cost and now it appears I will have to fork over $200+ each and every month which is not possible for us.
Not sure if this has something to do with the transition to Medicare or not.

More on that later. Gotta go schedule a lab appointment now.


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Brief Late Night Musing

Dear Diary,

Just a quick post for now regarding my weight.

I have a six-minute walk scheduled within the next two weeks and I'm gonna fail it for sure unless I can drop a few pounds before then. I'm down a couple of pounds since my recent maximum of 289 but I'd really like to show up for the testing at around 279.

I'm still cramming in the carbs which is ridiculous. As a matter of fact, I just finished a large dinner of pasta and sauce (I passed on the garlic bread)!

I just don't understand why I let myself get like this!

More later.


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Friday, February 16, 2018

Back From The Abyss...I Hope

Dear Diary,

Well, I guess I've survived the past two weeks of hell. That last post reflects the side of me that rears it's ugly head when I screw up my meds! I'm feeling better but still can't focus properly. I have a lot of trouble making simple choices. The high dose of sertraline helps me cope with the OCD but there is something else going on here as well. I'm still suspecting the Lupron.

Referring back to the last post, I was serious, living in metro Phoenix really does suck and dying here takes the cake. Arizona is beautiful but Phoenix has really turned into a hellhole of pollution, crime, and a major preponderance of assholes.
I swear if it wasn't for my wife, our two kitties and our little backyard sanctuary with its population of feral cats, raccoons, squirrels and various birds, I'd be in a 'rubber room' by now!

*nips on a glass of bourbon*

If I could only manage to get off these damn diuretics I'd be a lot happier. Do you have any idea what it's like to constantly piss all day long? I'm between a rock and a hard place with that. If I take them in the morning, I can't go out for the rest of the day without piss running down my leg. If I wait until the end of the day, I just piss all night in bed!
If I totally stop taking them, I will most likely re-develop pulmonary edema which would most likely land me back in the hospital for a week or so.

*another nip...slightly bigger*

I frequently ponder the question of how long I have left. Do I really want to know? I can't even make up my mind on that! Doesn't really matter though since nobody can tell me anyway.
Lying in bed at night, I often wonder what the status of the myxoma growing in my left atrium is. It's weird having something ticking away in your body that you can't feel and causes no symptoms yet could kill me abruptly, any day, any hour, any second.

One of my favorite followers just emailed me, just before I started to write this. Susan, I will get back to you real soon. I miss hearing from you too! Don't panic, things are cool.

Back to the blog. I can't really think of anything more to write about tonight so I'll log off with a pic of my co-authors. They are where the talent really lies! ;)


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Friday, February 09, 2018

Life's A Bitch...Then you Die

Dear Diary,
Woke up in a foul mood this morning after sleeping about 2 hours late. Wife's gone to work, no coffee made and my back hurts like hell
Pissing all over the floor trying to get a goddamn diaper on has gotten old long time ago!
I've got so fucking much work to do around this place that I'm totally overwhelmed
My weight is still out of control at 282 and I can't seem to do anything about that either.
I want to get mad and take out my frustrations by punching a wall but I can't even do that because I have no testosterone left.

I have no motivation to do a fucking thing.
To make matters worse, my wife has become so absorbed in her latest project that I rarely have a sounding board bounce things off from. Looks like I'm going to have to seriously look into a physical support group.
Maybe, with any luck we can find a good one and I can get her to at least occasionally go with me. Maybe that will help.

Now I find out that Medicare is going to cost me a lot more than I thought it was. It's going to be just a shade under what I'm paying for my current health insurance and there's no guarantee that it's not going to go up in price. So, if my wife should lose her job we're up shit creek without a paddle because I won't be insured at all.

I'm considering taking this diary offline because nobody reads this garbage anyway. I really don't know why I ever thought of starting it. I used to get a little feedback now and then but that stopped a long time ago.
I don't care, I really fucking don't give a flying shit!


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Almost Feeling Normal Again!

Dear Diary,

It's Thursday night and the wife has tomorrow off. I'm feeling almost normal again.
The fatigue and depression seems to be lifting for a while. I am now convinced that these symptoms are from the ADT.
My feet and lower back are not bothering me too much either which really improves my energy level and mood.

The good news is that I'm drinking a lot less alcohol. I now only imbibe when the wife is home and we can drink together.

More good news. It is possible that I've found a reputable source for free or very low-cost dental care for both myself and the wife. There are a number of clinics offering 'donated' services to children and the elderly who cannot afford insurance and private care.
I'll be posting more on this as information becomes available.

As far as the weight problem goes, I'm giving myself a target of this coming Monday to get back on a proper diet. One thing I've gotta do is quit penalizing myself for overeating.
I guess it's a matter of finding something else to do besides eat!

Time to chill out and eat a little Mango ice cream. Lol!


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Not Quite As "Blah" As Yesterday!

Dear Diary,

So...I'm not feeling quite as bad as yesterday but there's still a lot of mental fogginess and fatigue.
I'm about 99% certain that the ADT is the culprit. If this doesn't get too much worse over time, then it's liveable. There are still no hot flashes but I am getting more aches and pains than I used to.
Who knows, maybe it's all just the process of getting older. :(

Lots of lower back pain lately due to my increased weight. (279 up from 260) I seem to have become a carbohydrate junkie again. I just can't face going back on my keto diet right now!

Along with all this nonsense comes depression. When coupled with OCD, that can be a tough pill to swallow. I find myself thinking a lot about death lately and when and where this might occur. I wouldn't say I'm obsessed with it but it does cross my mind every day.
I suppose that is to be expected, given my age and a long list of medical issues.

I think I forgot to mention that I am now using a cane to facilitate ambulation. I picked one up at the local thrift shop for under $10 and it was exactly the right length! I find that using the cane virtually eliminates the sciatica pain that I've been having. My left leg is about 3/4" shorter than my right so it causes me to have a decided limp which, of course, aggravates the sciatica.

Well, it's high time I went to bed! Maybe tomorrow will be better.


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Feeling Like Shit

Dear Diary,

Overdoing it with the booze, benzos, and food.
Gotta get my act together or I'm gonna die.


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Paradise Is Cold!

Dear Diary,

So it's been really cold here in Paradise for the past few days and I'm really feeling it! The generalized aches and pains are about the same as they usually are but it's the lower back pain that's really getting to me.
Sometimes it's so bad that I can barely walk around the house without feeling like my left leg is going to give out. My left leg is the one that's 3/4" shorter than the other.
I should have been wearing a lift all my life but I didn't and now I'm paying for it!
I've been told that wearing a lift at this point in my life wouldn't do any good so when it flares up I rely on good old acetaminophen.
Hopefully, I won't trash my best and only liver any more than it already is.

Got the results back from Monday's routine labs. All is well. :)

Still not back on my diet. My weight seems to have stabilized at 276 lbs. I've gone and gotten used to eating carbs again and that's contributing to my water weight gain.

The booze is pretty much under control. I now only drink when the wife is home on her days off so that's 5 out of 7 days I don't drink. Quite a change for me. LOL!

So much for Thursday night. I wish there was some football on!


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Sunday Morning

Dear Diary,

It's Sunday morning and it rained last night here in Paradise. I wanted to get out and enjoy the weather a bit but my sciatica is really bad today. Having a hard time getting around, I am.

Watching New England vs Pittsburg and they're tied 7-7 right now. Don't even know who to root for since I like both teams! LOL!

Despite the ADT fatigue, I haven't experienced any of the nasties that guys are always complaining about. It's been nearly six months already and I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I have been feeling mentally foggy lately but I've attributed that to too much booze but maybe that is another side effect. Well, I'm not gonna stop drinking just to prove it!. :)

As I said in another post some time ago, I'm going to try to post a little more often to try and share some of the smaller things that occur in my life day to day. Hopefully, it won''t be too boring!

Incidentally, I am very depressed about my diet lately. It seems I have very little willpower!
More on that later.

I'm also depressed because my Seahawks are getting CREAMED by LA! :(

The old body is starting to hurt so I'm outta here for now.


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Sunday, October 22, 2017

I'm Still Here!

Dear Diary,

Well! It looks like I haven't posted anything for two months! Consider yourselves blessed.

The wife just had carpal tunnel surgery which appears to have been very successful. She is off work for up to six weeks and I'm encouraging her to take all of it. She deserves it.
When she returns, she should be able to do her job much more comfortably.

No idea what the damn cancer is doing. I'm not due for a PSA for 2 or 3 months. I've been on ADT for about three months now with no major side effects. Makes me wonder sometimes if it's working at all! The interesting thing is that the bladder bleeding stopped about a week after I began ADT and has never recurred. Weird!

I go for another right heart cath this Thursday to see how the PAH is responding to the sildenafil.
The PA pressure last time was a whopping 70. With any luck, maybe it has gone down a bit.

My weight is holding in the low 260s. I'm currently on another diet push to see if I can get to 250 this time. I went off plan for a few weeks out of boredom and gained a little weight back so now I'm back on the wagon. At least my diabetes and blood pressure are doing great and under tight control. :)

A bit of sad news.
Our beloved kitty, Pumpkin passed away peacefully of old age early Wednesday morning, Oct. 18th. He was here with us at the foot of our bed when he passed. As much as we miss him we know he is better off.
We had anticipated this as he was 20 years old. He was our fuzzy baby for 17 of those years.
R.I.P. Pumper!

Pumpkin 1997-2017
I'll update more as I think of it. Right now, I have a bout of fatigue setting in.


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Officially In The 'Lupron Club'

Dear Diary,

Just got my first dose of Lupron yesterday, in the form of an injection in the butt. The area is a little tender but that should resolve shortly.
As mentioned previously, the goal here is to literally "starve" the cancer of testosterone in hopes that is will retard, or even stop the progression for a certain amount of time (the longer the better)!
The average effective range is 18 to 24 months, sometimes less and sometimes much more.
We will have to be content to wait and see.
There are a host of common yet unpleasant side effects associated with hormone therapy and I will be updating if and when they happen.
One of the more common ones is 'gynecomastia' or enlargement of the male breasts. I guess it's fortunate that I've always enjoyed wearing women's apparel! LOL!

I got another Doppler Echogram done on the old ticker today. We need that to keep track of the progress (or lack thereof) of the myxoma. I will know the results of that in about a week. I really hope it hasn't progressed much because I'm still not ready for surgery.

Things are looking much better with the lungs. I was prescribed sildenafil at my last visit to my pulmonologist but haven't been able to get it filled yet due to an unexpected pre-auth.
Apparently, the stuff is really expensive!
Sildenafil is a potent vasodilator and we hope it will be able to relax and open up my pulmonary arteries resulting in at least a modest reduction in pulmonary arterial pressures.

I think I'm gonna go lie down for a little while 'cause I'm getting fatigued

More dirt later!


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Thursday, June 29, 2017

ADT Update

Dear Diary,

I'm now 8 days into ADT with bicalutamide (Casodex) and still feeling ok.

I've had a few bouts of depression and now there is a sense of generalized fatigue. We didn't do a baseline serum testosterone level but I assume it must be dropping.

All I feel like doing now is lying around. I sort of wish we still had a TV.

Some say these symptoms will significantly increase when we start the Lupron in a couple of weeks.

Finally managed to get hold of the kids in Italy. Good to know they're all doing well.
I'm a very proud Grandpa!

L to R  Abbie, Arabella, and Chris

My appetite seems to have diminished a bit in the past few days. I guess I shouldn't complain. Having a real hard time losing the last 4 or 5 pounds to hit 260.

The back pain is still there and I'm still treating it with acetaminophen and Tramadol but it really doesn't seem to help that much. That probably contributes to the fatigue.


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Saturday, June 24, 2017

I Feel Like I'm Falling Apart

Dear Diary,

The past two or three weeks have been pretty rough. My lower back is acting up again to the point where sometimes I can barely walk. It seems to be a pinched nerve (possibly sciatic) that is causing all this pain and numbness in my feet. I'm currently trying a daily regimen of 1300mg of acetaminophen chased with 50mg of Tramadol three times a day.
It's a good thing we kept that walker from a year ago because I'm really concerned about falling, especially when I'm here alone.
It's unlikely that the pain is associated with the cancer as I've had it off and on for many years.
It gets very wearing though, after a few weeks.

I've also been dealing with untreated dental issues including a huge cavity in one of my front teeth. The tooth finally broke off today. I need two extractions. At my age and income, restoration is not an option. I'm looking into local dental schools who might be able to do it for discounted prices.
Turns out, In America, the health insurance industry considers basic dental care a "privilege" and not a necessity. Therefore, they get away with not having to offer it in basic health plans. Sux!

I'm into day 4 of hormone therapy for the rising PSA. No side effects as yet except the strange urge to dress up in my wife's clothing and hang around in ladies' lingerie departments.
No...wait, that's not a side effect, I've always done that!   ;)

*takes 7 pm meds with water, not bourbon*

Last of all, a shout out to my son Chris, in Italy. Your Daddy's trying to reach you on FB but I get no response. Been awhile since we talked. Call me.


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface