CharlieMC (charliemc) wrote,

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IT Pro Bono Half-Day -- Seeing the Nurse Practitioner Later

Just woke from a much-needed nap. Glad I ate something BEFORE going to the Nurse Practitioner at 5:00 p.m., because all I could force down this evening was a slice of cheddar cheese... (And I still don't feel hungry now.)

The morning started with me getting up and pulling myself together (the same routine as a work day, hair, makeup and clothes) to get ready to meet with both Angel and sister Sue. Angel was LATE (circle the calendar -- this NEVER happens, as he's always very early for everything) for the first time ever. I was even worried briefly until he arrived.

He came in and kindly carried my bag (I had the new small bag that contained my iPad, Sue's tablet and my Kindle paperwhite -- he had my bag with my external hard drive and the additional container of CD software, etc.) to the car. With the PAIN from my damn knee (I take that back: POOR KNEE!!!), it was all I could do to carry ME to the car!

I gave directions (bad ones) to get him over to Sue's Starbucks on Hayden Island (which is very near to the river and is the same way people take to go from here over to Vancouver, Washington). Angel lives in Vancouver, so he'd been stuck in traffic getting to me. And there was still quite a bit of traffic heading over toward Sue's. Sue was already there waiting for us when we arrived. Angel bought me coffee (!!!) and I had actual coffee (Pumpkin Spice -- only half the pumps), as it's supposedly good for gout.

After we all had our coffee we went directly to Sue's house. Angel had never been there before and was very impressed by the view (which is lovely).

I started out working on his new Lenovo laptop, sitting as Sue's kitchen table with him beside me. Sue eventually went into her bedroom to see her show (from 11:00 to noon). Originally I couldn't get the first set of software to work -- he has Windows 7 as his OS on the new computer, so there were complications. The happy news? I managed to uninstall and reinstall in a way that made it work (!!!), so we were good to go with that (woo hoo). I was pleased, having had this fail before! I've written down the steps and saved them, because this issue has come up before and is now RESOLVED (which is a very big deal to me!).

After that I installed the second major set of software, using what I'd found on the external hard drive. I hadn't been sure I had it -- the license is through the office, so it's appropriate for him to have a copy (he does so much work for us on his laptop -- most of what he'd ever use the software for is our stuff). While that was installing, I went over to do the work for Sue. I found the cable from the printer and ran it over to Sue's computer (rather than Candy's). I tried just using the Windows built-in hardware wizard installation, but it failed. So I hunted for and FOUND the actual printer driver and used that successfully! Score two for me! Now they can print as needed. Candy needs to print things for work, Sue for cribbage and Nicole for school (homework), so this was important for them. Previously they were networked and could print from both computers, but now they needed to settle for one machine only -- better than at our house were I've never had our printer work, period...

Back to Angel's computer. The software installed fine. And I showed him how to take text/Copy from a PDF and revert it back to Word (it's really not that difficult to do). Then we decided to see if I could get him Remoting or not. I used to have that working for him, but it's been months (!!!) since he could. My first couple of attempts failed. Then I tried one more thing and got it to work!!! (woo hoo) We were shouting and high-five-ing and just very, very excited! Anyway, he was good to go. I wanted to get my own laptop from the office and try to set up Remote on it, so we left Sue's and he drove me down to the office. (We took along Marilyn's old tower that Candy is no longer using, so I can try to put it to use in the office where I'm currently down a computer...)

Once there, Angel kindly carried in my bag AND the old tower. Then he left me to come home with Marilyn and went to his next appointment.

I had to phone our friend Marcia and tell her I couldn't help her with her Excel spreadsheet. I'm far from an Excel expert -- plus I didn't have TIME between now and Tuesday to get it done (she needs it on Tuesday). And it turns out she has a very new version of Excel (2013!). I explained that each version is different, so it would explain why her granddaughter who is good at Excel couldn't do what she needed. (Marcia and husband Stan are dealing with a bunch of SERIOUS health issues, so I'm praying for both of them, poor dears...)

Marilyn and I headed home around 3:00 p.m. Later we headed over to the appointment, but had to rush back home for the paperwork I carefully had down regarding my medication (which I wanted to review with Leslie). Amazingly enough, we were still on time (!!!), even so.

The rest of this will be sort of a Health Report. I suppose I should be doing it separately, but I'm just going to throw it all in here. If you normally don't read about all my damn health stuff, feel free to stop reading now! (grin)

We began by focusing on my poor knee, because I was in SO MUCH PAIN. This may be the most pain I've ever been in, shy of surgeries. I was calling it more than a ten on a scale of one to ten -- and anyone who knows me knows I rarely ever complain about pain. Leslie agreed that it sounded like gout, by the way. When she looked at the knee, she felt it could either be gout or psoriatic arthritis -- and said they were both treated the same, in any case. When Marilyn asked, she said a blood test would confirm gout, so set me for blood work today (the previous blood hadn't been set up to test for it, of course).

We discussed the knee in detail. Then moved on to the results of my recent labs. The really, really good news was how low my cholesterol was (!!!). Marilyn remarked it was the best she'd ever seen for anyone! My blood pressure was VERY HIGH today -- maybe my worse ever. But I was in terrible pain, and it can bring that result. So we're going to test again in a week, just to be sure. If it's still bad, that medication will have to be raised.

I'm also highly anemic (!!!) and iron deficient. She had no clue why. We discussed my upcoming colonoscopy -- and what it's like when you have blood in the stool. But when Marilyn and I got home we discovered that gout is tied in some way to anemia (we need to study it more). Leslie put me on iron and vitamin C. The down side is that iron is constipating, and I've had recent issues with that. I don't know what exactly I'm going to do, but I'll work on it. (sigh)

My diabetes is LESS controlled than the last time I was tested. This was disappointing to me. But we're changing my meds a bit. I now take Metformin and night. I'll now be taking it in the morning. I've had issues in the past with Metformin and Glipizide combined in the morning causing low blood sugar whenever I do even the smallest amount of exercise, so she's giving me a time-release version.

What else am I forgetting? My weight was up a couple of pounds since the last visit, but that could be related to the swelling around the knee...

We picked Prednisone for treating the gout (or psoriatic arthritis). We had to go get meds after our office visit, which took forever (as always!!!). We got most of the stuff today, anyway, so I could start the Prednisone right away. You take it for five days, starting with a lot of pills that reduces downward. She also offered me pain pills, but I told her I had some and would use that. I took a pain pill right away when I got home and it was soon working -- and I had to wonder why I hadn't done that before! I tend to avoid pain meds and never take a full prescription (even after surgery), which is why I have pills around the house. But the relief was just WONDERFUL, I have to say!

I felt sick after the Prednisone (which could have been the pain meds, too), so I went directly to bed and slept almost immediately. The pain is back right now, but not nearly as bad as before. And I can always take more pain meds, so it should be better than the past several days!

I'm trying to do what Marilyn said and dwell on the positive aspects of this. It's annoying that I have even MORE medication to take on a daily basis (I'm not talking about the Prednisone, which is only five days, after all) -- and that I need to juggle things a bit differently. I honestly take a slew of pills both morning and night and find it daunting to manage sometimes. But I'll learn to deal with it, I'm sure.

She wanted me to have my flu shot today, but Marilyn suggested we wait until my current pain was controlled and Leslie immediately agreed. So I'll get the flu shot when I go back in to have my blood pressure tested in a week. (I guess I need to set up an appointment...)

They were doing a survey today -- mostly about how happy patients are with the service of the front desk (and a little bit with the doctor/nurse they see). Marilyn ended up filling that out for me...

Well, I'm more than ready to head to bed. It's been a long day -- and a long week! And all that pain has really worn me down.

OH!!! I asked if the anemia could be responsible for my constant fatigue, and of course the answer is yes. At least that makes some sense to me! I wonder how long I've been anemic? While it's tied to gout, generally it's anemia bringing on gout -- and not really the other way around. I'll read up and try to learn more, of course...

This is hugely long -- sorry! I just wanted to try and get it all down for myself as a reference for the future. I hate dwelling on my health all the time, but hopefully when things have improved I'll get away from all this and back to normal topics (like TV, movies and books... hahahahaha...).

Tags: 2013, anemia, angel, blood-pressure, computers, diabetes, doctor-appointment, doctor-appointment-2013, exel, fatigue, flu-shot, glipizide, gout, health, health-report-mention, iron, it-related, knee, knee-pain, laptop, leslie, marcia, marcia-and-stan, marilyn, medication, medicine, metformin, nurse-practitioner, october-2013, pain, printer, psoriatic-arthritis, sister-sue, swelling, vitamin-c

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