Health · Personal

Health Update

Today was awful. I woke up at 5am with a migraine and couldn’t go to the PPP Group (more about that later) because of it. I’ve been having cold sweats all the day today, starting with the migraine. Thank God the migraine went away by about midday but the cold sweats persisted so I was a little bewildered by that. Then around 3pm terrible stomach pains set in, thanks to Crohn’s Disease. I had to go number two 7 times between 3pm and 6pm, and the rest of the time rest in the bed. At about 5pm I started to feel dizzy whenever I was up and a little later on one of those trips to the toilet found out my period had started. Which totally explained the unusually awful stomach pains, increased bowel movements, cold sweats and the dizziness and just generally feeling I was about to expire. It’s a pretty normal thing for me that the Crohn’s is a little worse the first day or two of the period. I loath periods but I suppose I should be content – it was 14 days late from the estimated start time. Now to hoping it will end like it should in 5-7 days and not keep on going. It’s near midnight now, I still feel like I might faint I’m up more than a few minutes at a time but at least the stomach pains have dulled down to a blunt ache. Fingers crossed that I won’t feel so weak or be in so much pain tomorrow because I can’t NOT go grocery shopping.

Update on my health & life & car situation behind the cut…

Otherwise it’s been pretty even keel since my last update in April as far as my old health problems. Migraine and Crohn’s Disease symptoms all have been pretty much the same the past months, no big variations and certainly nothing to write up about. Had my Crohn’s Disease specific routine check-up last month and all but hemoglobin was within acceptable ranges/no change for worse. Hemoglobin was 117 which it has been for about a year now, I think. Nothing new there but they added some more iron tests to my next routine check-up which is in January.

Heard this week that I might have developed Type 2 Diabetes. My fasting glucose levels have always before been below the diabetes threshold, if just barely a few times, but now for the first time, it was above. Going to have another test in December and if that too is above, will have to start medication.

I started this weight loss group called Pieni Päätös Päivässä (small decision a day) a little over a month ago (it’s where the diabetes related blood work was done). I went mostly because I need to start eating not only healthier but also in a proper rhytm. It’s a group for people interested in not just losing weight but starting an overall healthier life style. Your BMI needs to be over 30 (although everyone in my group is closer to 40 or more) and you need a doctor’s referral. In my group at least we all also have chronic illnesses (several others have as an example hypothyroidism like I do), some of us are still in work life and some are unemployed-should-be-on-sick-leave-or-disablity-pension. It’s been great for peer support because we’re all in pretty much the same situation, health wise and want better quality of life through healthier life style choices such as better nourishment and more excercise. It’s two hours at a time, little bit over an hour is for conversationally going through healthy foods, eating habits, latest in nutrition etc. and then about 45 minutes is for excercise theory and habits. We’ve also excercised almost every time such as trying sauvakävely (apparently this is “nordic walking”) or gym. I actually liked gym (I loath sports, I only like swimming) so I think I’ll take that up – there’s also a PPP gym group that only those who are or have been in a PPP Group before can use. There’s 10 PPP group meetings all in all, there’s 4 left and then there’s a follow up in I think 6 months. The aim is to make permanent life choices, not jojo your weight around. I have liked it a lot, always going there with a positive attitude.

In August I, my GP, my social worker and my unemployment agency worker had a meeting together in order to figure what to do with me and my future. The unemployment agency cannot offer me a job or further rehabilitation in my current condition – I’m not in good enough health for the services they have on offer and am basically on wrong benefit (this is not at all an unusual situation). I should be on long-term sick leave or maybe even disability pension. We don’t really know what is left of my working ability, what if any kind of jobs I might be able to do, and because my health situation has gone on this many years (since 2008) it doesn’t look like it will ever significantly improve but has settled on what it is now (or will become even worse in the future). So we need to find out how much of my working ability is left, if any, and what, if anything, are the options to improve it. My GP remembered that TYKS used to have a multi-professional clinic that investigates these issues and makes recommendations etc. So I asked through the IBD Nurse at TYKS for a gastroenterologist to refer me to that clinic, and I’m waiting to hear from that now. Considering Christmast isn’t that far away, might be next year before anything happens with it, but at least one step forward towards further clarifying my situation has been taken again 🙂 That’s a great thing! 😀

I’d like to work again, but I’m a realist – the last time I had a job was in 2008 and I have been continuously sick since before I ended that job. There’s a terrible unemployment problem here. Even if I could work full-time or even part-time, nobody’s gonna hire me for a real job when there are literally hundreds of thousands people unemployed with fresher schooling and work history. Best I can hope for are those rehabiliation jobs and “unemployment” jobs. And there are just too many moral issues with them. Mostly it’s today’s form of slave labor. Rehabilitation jobs can be slight better but only if the person really needs rehabilitation and wants to participate – instead of being forced to. That whole side of things is so shady, abusive and useless. Not to mention how it all distort the job market. Unless there’s a miracle that removes a good chunk of my health issues, I don’t really expect to ever have real job again.

 

In not health-related news… we sold my, that is my Mother’s, car! We’d been talking about it for a couple of years and now Mom & her SO suddenly took action. I’ve been driving that car since… 1999? Yeah, I think 1999. They had two cars, only needed one when Mom’s SO retired and Mom gave it to me to use because cars lose their value so fast that she said it wasn’t worth it to sell. Besides they sometimes needed two cars, and often if was handy when Mom and I could go with that car even though her SO needed theirs at the same time for something else entirely. Plus I was able to take some jobs I wouldn’t have otherwise.

It was a really good car too and I don’t mean fancy or expensive, but a solid and reliable work horse. It was a silver Toyota Corolla hatchback, 1990. The only problem with it was that the wind shield froze on the inside in winter and fogged too in cold weather, so you had to reserve a good 15 minutes to scrape the car windows clear both inside and out before you could start driving. Other than no problems at all that had to do with the quality of the car. A few things appeared out of old age – both the winter and summer tires had to be replace, as well as the original battery, plus a part of the exhaust pipe. But that’s it. The problems we had were because of criminals – people tried to steal it or the gas it three times, once even after we bought one of those steering wheel locks so even had they succeeded getting doors open, how did they think they were going to drive it without being able to steer? Idiots. Nobody ever succeeded, instead they smashed the windows, or ruined a lock. Then in 2011 some other idiots burned down the carbage can shelter and because there were no cars between the shelter and my car that night, the heat from the fire damaged the right side door opening mechanism and a bunch of right side lights.

When we first started talking about scrapping or selling it, I felt like I’d lose my independence. Public transportation is expensive on my income (but then everything is on this income) – Mom remained the owner all these years, and paid the insurance, the tax etc. – if I had had to pay those, I wouldn’t have taken the car in the first place. There’s no way I could have afforded it. I of course paid the gas and things like new scrapes etc. but  that’s about it. But my health being what it has been, not being able to do things like visit people as much, or go to things like cinema, and the especially since the hospital trip last year after which insomnia set in and I simply didn’t dare to drive even that much anymore due to being so tired all the damn time, keeping the expenses finally became more than the use we got out of it. I had also gotten used to using public transportation again, and didn’t feel anymore like I’d be trapped home. Besides, I think we both felt it was only a matter of time until some criminal type did yet something more to that car that’d damage it beyond repair and with my luck, at least I felt, we’d end up paying to get rid of it or something. At least if we got rid of it now before that next shoe fell, there wouldn’t be additional costs in order just get rid of it and Mom might even get a little money for it.

Amazingly, a man from other side of the country wanted to buy it to drive, not for spare parts or scrap metal – he came to look at it while on business trip to hereabouts, and bought it! We only got a little bit of money for it, but little is more than nothing which is what we would have gotten had we scrapped it. And now Mom doesn’t have to pay any insurance, car tax excetera so we didn’t lose anything. It just a weight off our shoulders 🙂