Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Purple and white...

After fainting six times in a single day, last night I could not bring myself to take the third dose of erythromycin solution.  The constant dizziness, the fainting, the high blood sugar, the flushed cheeks, and the rapid heart rate are a poor exchange for only partial relief for the innards misery.  Add in the fainting and the cost is too high.  That's really the problem with being on so many medications with conflicting and troublesome side effects in a body whose autonomic processes no longer function in any reliable or reasonable fashion.  Instead, I took the other half of the theophylline and waited.

Today, I am this strange sort of holding pattern.  Already my heart rate has dropped and the flushing is lessened.  The pain and bloating and diarrhea have not yet started.  But the nausea has come creeping back. Even so, I have not fainted this day.  There is that.

Something else, besides the nausea, has become a new constant in my life.  Years ago, when it first happened, I went to see my primary care physician. She told me what it was and then told me it was probably idiopathic in nature.  Now, I know differently.  I was, after all, already fainting then.  From the many articles I have read, it is tied to autoimmune disease, especially such accompanied by migraines.  Migraines.  Those I have in spades.

All those entries I have struggled to write about, to somehow find the words to describe the cold spells I have. To me, they have all fallen short.  I am not merely cold.  I do not merely have the chills.  While it sounds an exaggeration, it is as if I am falling victim to hypothermia.  A friend who is a nurse explained to me why it is that my skin becomes so icy.  While I did understand what she way saying, I did not grasp it well enough to explain it to others.  What I know is that it is a failure of an autonomic process that has to do with the blood vessels in my skin.

So does this new ... cross.  Raynaud's Syndrome.  The photo is from the Wikipedia article.  My fingers turn white, but my toes turn purple.  Numb and purple.  Disconcerting is such an anemic word for what I feel when I look down at my feet, primarily my right foot.  With great reluctance I go to the tub to start soaking my foot in warm water.  Massaging toes is not all that easy.  It is far more difficult when they begin to warm up, when the blood begins to flow, when they explode with pain.

There is sort of distance that comes over me, staring at my toes.  Waiting.  I know what would happen if I do not warm them up.  Yet I frankly do not want any more misery in my life.  There is so few things that I remember, but I do remember sitting in the doctor's office staring at my then blue thumb and first two fingers as she rather blithely told me about Raynaud's before she had a nurse warm them up. The news was of no consequence to her.  In a way, the moment was as cold as my fingers.  However, since it only happened sporadically  I, too, thought it to be of no consequence.

I have felt the migraines to be the straw that broke the camel's back.  Surely, that straw was actually the on-set of near constant nausea.  Yet I wonder if it is the Raynaud's episodes.  Part of me wants to just lie there, with numb toes, and let them die. At least then I wouldn't have to face it.  Only that is not true.  Raynaud's can affect far more than fingers and toes.  Google images of the syndrome and you will see.  Better yet, do not. It is rather nauseating to see the result of a failure to tend to your toes.

Sunday, I had the privilege of dealing with this thrice, even though I slept most of the day .. under a heavy-weight down comforter ... wearing thick socks.  SIGH.

I have not talked about this with anyone.  I have not bewailed this misery on Facebook.  I want to. I want to not be alone in facing yet another challenge, bearing yet another burden. But I feel as if all that is all I am ... just another tale of misery.

I laugh, though, even as I weep.  Some advice about warming your hands is to stick them in your armpits or even put your fingers in your mouth.  When I read that, I pictured myself hopping about on one foot trying to stick my big toe in my armpit or mouth.  I wondered if Amos could be trained to do so.  Strange the things that flit through my mind.

As I sit on the edge of the tub, working on my toes, Amos stands beside me, paws on the edge and head snaked onto my lap.  Even in this he does not want to leave my side, like when he keeps watch over me as I shower.  Our Creator certainly knew what mercy He was doing when He fashioned puppy dogs.  I believe this to be particularly true with Amos.

Lord, I believe.  Help my unbelief!

1 comment:

Becky said...

I know a little about this. My fingers and toes have been turning pale, never blue/black, when they get too cold for years. I get the pins and needles feelings when they warm up. It's usually just two or three fingers or toes at a time. It's annoying and sometimes it happens when they aren't even that cold. I told my doctor, but he seemed to not be that interested in helping me. I don't see him anymore. I am sorry you have one ore thing to manage.