Saturday, November 28, 2009

I guess I needed glasses...

Had an eye test done not long ago. Really, my distance vision isn't much better than close up, but close up was the worst. She wanted to write a prescription for bifocals, but since I've never worn glasses before, she didn't want to do that. However, I need to get my eyes tested regularly because I'll be needing the bifocals before I know it. I'd had problems with distances before, but my eyes tested so well, that they really didn't know how to write a prescription for it. My vision has always been way better than 20/20. So the last time I got my eyes tested, in 2003, they wrote me a weak prescription for distances. It really didn't improve my vision much, so I never wore them except maybe at night when I was driving in an unfamiliar location and needed to read street signs. Really, I can make out most things just fine. So, I hadn't gotten tested since then (not good, but I didn't have insurance and I figured it would be like the last time and my vision would test better than 20/20 and there'd be nothing they could really do for me). But I guess it's been getting worse since then. But the new glasses help when I read. I hope that if I really have trouble with distances I can get contacts or something instead of glasses and just wear reading glasses, like now. That way I don't need bifocal contacts. I don't think I could do that. I also don't really want to do the bifocal glasses either because there are times I really don't want glasses on. I'm very petite (only 4'9") and most glasses are loose on me and fall off or down my nose. Sometimes I need both hands, like when I'm painting, and I can't push them back up or put them back on. As it is, my sunglasses are dirty and constantly need cleaning because my eyelashes are long and very straight. There's almost no curve to them at all. So they rub on the lenses and my mascara gets all over them. I don't want to be cleaning glasses all the time, either. But I wear sunglasses a lot because sunlight triggers migraines for me, so I really can't go out without them. But I hate wearing them. Anyway, at least now I can read. Hopefully there won't be a new prescription too soon. We had a 50% off coupon and my glasses were $120. I picked the cheapest frames I could and I didn't even get bifocals. I knew glasses were expensive, but in 2003 I had an awesome vision plan that was included in my health insurance plan and I got the exam and glasses with frames up to $150, so I got designer frames, and I still could get the anti-glare, anti-scratch, UV, transitions lenses, etc., all for only $10. Of course, that was then and no insurance is as good nowadays as that plan was. The plans cost more and cover less. Such a rip off. I know I've already railed against our lack of a national health care system, so I won't do it again. But I have a friend living in England and she wants to move to the U.S. She loves everything about the country except that we don't have national health care. She has diabetes and her health care costs would be quite high if she lived over here as she's got all sorts of complications that I don't want to go into, for her sake. But that's the thing that keeps her from moving here. That sucks, really. I mean, we live in an awesome place. But we shouldn't have to pay so much just to stay healthy. The way it is now, only rich people are healthy. That just seems very un-American to me. Anyway...

So, everything is fine. New glasses. Thyroid still off. My joints are aching and not feeling very lubricated. I feel like everything is rusty and not moving. Hopefully that will improve when my hormone levels are back to normal and I don't have some form of arthritis, which would be my kind of luck. I can't afford glucosamine although I've taken it in the past and it works pretty well. But it costs as much as one of my prescriptions, even at Sam's, so that's not going to happen. I can't afford a decent knee brace. I have a crappy compression brace, but it does nothing at all to keep my knee cap from popping in and out of place. When that happens, I fall over, especially if I'm on stairs, but that's not the only time. Well, a decent brace would hopefully help, but they're not any cheaper than the glucosamine. So I guess I just have to somehow tolerate the pain for a few months and hopefully it will stop. I have one bad knee that always gives me trouble anyway, but it's been worse than usual and both knees are doing it now. That bad one will probably keep giving me trouble even after my hormone levels return to normal, but at least it will be like before and not like it is now.

Well, enough griping. Hope everyone had a decent Thanksgiving. Mine was fine. Spent 2 days eating with both sides of the fam since parents aren't together anymore. But it was good. R, C, and E couldn't make it and probably won't be over for Christmas either, but I didn't really think they would since they came earlier and I doubt they have the money to come again. Still, I enjoyed the holiday as much as I can when I'm depressed and my grandmother is too and starts crying that we're not all together and she doesn't know when she's going to die (she's been saying this for 30 years and you'd think her death was imminent the way she's always talking about it and making plans for her funeral, etc.). Still, she is at least planning Christmas, so that's a good sign that she's feeling okay. She still wants to go shopping this weekend, although she wouldn't go shopping with me and Dad on Friday. Apparently, she can only do it on her schedule and nothing spontaneous. But, that's Grandma! I just hope she wasn't lying to me when I asked her if her doctor said it was okay (she goes downtown and walks all around down there on foot since she can't drive and is stubbornly refusing to learn how even after all these years even though she can never get a ride from anyone). Hopefully she'll have a good time, though, since this is something she does every weekend and seems to get enjoyment out of haggling for the best deals (yes, she haggles, even at Sears, JC Penney, Macy's, etc.--the shocking thing is that it works and she gets really good deals somehow--I'd be too chicken to try it as I'm sure they think she's difficult and I have a hard enough time thinking that people are calling me a bitch to my face and behind my back). Anyway....going now.

Friday, November 20, 2009


Well, I haven't been up to much. I know most of the time, I'm talking about my mental health, but I've got other conditions that bother me as well. Mainly my thyroid, but I also get nauseous and get fainting spells that cause me to miss work. The nausea doesn't sound bad, but it can get quite severe. They thought I had stomach flu one time when I was sick and it keeps recurring, so it can't be stomach flu. But I miss so much work that my employers don't like it and I almost got fired from my last job. Finally, I just quit. I guess I'd rather quit than get fired, but I know I'd just continue to get sick and the job wasn't helping my mental state either. It was a very high-stress office. But anyway, I got sick again recently, for about 4 1/2 days. Usually these nausea episodes don't last QUITE that long, usually only a day or two. But this time I was so sick I could hardly get out of bed. And before anyone says anything, I've had loads of tests done to find out what could be causing this, and nothing ever turns up. Is it just anxiety? Surely then, I'd be having fewer episodes then, when my stress level is lower, like now. Nothing much going on my life right now except happy stuff. My sister visited and I had a good time with her, although she was only here for a weekend. But it was great, and we even visited my grandmother, who'd had a mild heart attack, but was doing well. It was good to see her feeling so well and she was laughing (?!) and telling jokes . We also got some information from her regarding our family tree project for my nephew. My grandmother is obviously doing very well, so I'm not worried about her. Her doctor says she's doing great and the medication is working for her. If I was going to get sick, I'd think I'd get sick when I heard about her heart attack a while back, but I didn't. Anyway, later, I'd been painting, and actually, despite the attempt to paint my dog, that I've posted here, I've been getting a good response to my paintings and I've had my little sis commission two more from me. Hopefully, that will lead to more opportunities as she's got a good social life and lots of friends. I've enjoyed the work on top of that, and I'm getting more used to how the acrylic paints behave as opposed to oils. They're very different and I'm having to adjust my style considerably (which is why the examples I've posted looks so weird. Oils are very forgiving and you can make corrections easily. Not so with acrylics; they're too transparent for big mistakes). I've figured out how to do this almost color-block teqnique that seems to work okay, althlough I think I still need some practice getting the stylization level to what will work for me. But I feel that painting lets of some stress when I do have a little. It helps me deal with things that are going on, like when family members don't seem to understand my illnesses and all that comes with them. Most of them are trying to, though, so it doesn't happen often, which is the great thing about my family.

The only thing that happened recently that was not good was that I had my thyroid tested and my TSH, which is supposed to be around 1, was at almost 8. I can't even say how bad that is. Well, I'm sort of a miracle anyway because when I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, my TSH was 877. No, that is NOT a typo. A lot of labs don't test for levels that high because it's not usually medically possible for them to get that high. You'd die long before. But I have the test results to prove it, and was retested just to be sure. The second test confirmed the first test. Weird, I know. Have no idea how I was okay and walking around and functioning with levels that high, but I'm okay, obviously. Anyway, so now my doctor raised the dose of my Levoxyl (didn't take well to Synthroid for some reason). I need to get re-tested in 60 days and maybe raise the dose again. He doesn't want to raise it too fast because there's a risk of heart palpitations. Ugh. I don't want that for sure. I'm already in a few risk groups for heart disease (diabetes, too--yikes). The bad part about my thyroid levels being off (and this should have been a clue that something was wrong, but I always assume I did something wrong myself before I think it might be medical) is that I gained almost 20 pounds. It's not that I care if I'm fat for looks or anything, although I can't say I like the way I look fat, but the main reason is, of course, that I don't want diabetes. It scares the heck out of me. I've got a friend with it, and my b-i-l's aunt had it. I don't want it. Plus, that isn't good for your heart or anything else, for that matter. So, I've got to diet and exercise, which is hard for me. Especially the exercise, although I know it's super-important if you're bipolar to get cardiovascular exercise. The problem is that cardiovascular exercise is my least-favorite kind. I prefer weight lifting or something like that. So, I've got to renew my efforts, somehow. My bedroom is always hot. It's only about 57 out right now (of course it's after 10 for it to get that cool--usually this time of year it's in the mid to upper 70s during the day), but my bedroom gets up to 87 during the day. It's down to 84 right now since it's nighttime and the sun isn't coming in. But I can't stand being hot. Long story from when I was a teenager. My mom wasn't well and was severly anemic and she had the heater in the apartment on in July when it was over 100 F out. It used to be that the heat down here in South Texas didn't bother me much. I was used to it. But after that time in my life I can't stand it. I even get rashes and such when I get too hot. I hate it. Really, I'd just go in another room to work out, but there isn't another place big enough. I don't know what to do. Work out and overheat, I guess.

Anyway, I guess that's it for now. I've got some problems with my eyesight, and will probably have to check my eyes soon. Mostly I have problems with serif fonts, which is why I always choose to type in a sans-serif font. It's much easier to read. I read a lot, too, so that's why I noticed it. I was getting words confused and transposing letter sometimes and even not being able to make out certain letters at all. They just looked like strange symbols to me. I'm not sure why they're not clear. I don't know if it's fatigue (in which case, it wouldn't be bothering me as much as it is because it seems to do it all the time not just later in the day). I don't know if it's just too dim in here. But the computer is just as hard to read sometimes, so I don't think that's the case either. It could just be a part of normal aging. I almost 40 now. I don't know. It just seems like everything happens at once moneywise. Hopefully I can find a place that can do it that isn't too expensive and save up for the upcoming blood test. Still, I have time, so I'm not too worried. Anyway, hope everyone out there is doing well. Have a good Thanksgiving for you Americans out there. I'm going to be at little sis' with Dad. Should be good. : )