Exercise


Well, I’m anemic, but I’m not. It isn’t my iron that’s low.1 It’s my B12. It’s around 300 pg/mL right now, which is low for most of the world,2 but it’s not low according to American standards.34 Fortunately, the hematologist’s office realizes that those standards are messed up and that a person who takes monthly injections of B12 shouldn’t have a level that low. They also realize that the gastric bypass surgery and my family’s predisposition to the B12 deficiency makes me more likely to have issues absorbing it and maintaining high enough levels. So now I get to re-load on B12. That means 1 shot a day for 7 days, then 1 shot a week for 7 weeks, then 1 shot a month like I’ve been doing for years. Fun, right?5 The nurse practitioner also wants me to be checked out by a pulmonologist6 and, possibly, a cardiologist.7 She definitely wants me to undergo a pulmonary function test. She said that it could be that when I fell  at the pool several weeks ago, the water that I breathed in may have caused some issue in my lungs that I’m just not over yet.8 The other possible thing was the day that my dad put Clorox in the toilet. I didn’t think and I peed in a toilet bowl full of Clorox which led to a rather enjoyable release of chloramine gas.9 I coughed for days afterward and felt like something had scorched my lungs and throat.10 Well, technically, there are other possible reasons for my breathing to be so rough. I do have a history of severe asthma and severe allergies. Vitamin B12 deficiency itself can cause shortness of breath, but it’s a rare occurrence when it happens. Of course, rarities are my specialty.11 I need to go shoot up12 with some cyanocobalamin.13 The magic of birth control pills. ↩The low end of normal elsewhere is around 500 pg/mL. That’s where symptoms like fatigue, pale skin, dementia, etc. start occurring. ↩The low end of the American range is 200 pg/mL. ↩Bad standards. Very bad. ↩If you say yes, then there’s something wrong with you. ↩Lung doctor. ↩I guess because I have ongoing issues with tachycardia. Shortness of breath is linked with tachycardia. ↩Face-planting in the water is dangerous, yo! ↩Yeah, science, bitch! ↩A sane person might have gotten checked by a doctor after that experience, but I’ve never been a sane person. ↩As are face-plants, social awkwardness, and gourmet cooking; a lady must have an entire repertoire of mad skillz. ↩My thigh muscle. ↩Don’t call the cops. It’s totally legal. ↩

I’m Not Crazy, I’m Just a Little Unwell


After I nearly fainted after getting out of the pool, I quit exercising. It’s not a permanent thing. I will start back after I get cleared by my doctor. That will probably be after an infusion or two. Between the wooziness that day and the constant shortness of breath, I just can’t justify the risk right now. And somehow I feel like I’m a failure for not being physically able to do this one little thing. What’s that about? I know my body has limitations, but I don’t like what those limitations mean. I don’t like that my body seems to be fragile compared to most. I know, I know. Being disabled means that there are things that are more challenging to me than to able-bodied people, but knowing that doesn’t mean it’s any easier to deal with.

I Haven’t Been Exercising Lately




I could say the title is about Nigel Farage’s ode to xenophobia or, as it is more commonly known, UK’s EU Referendum or Donald Trump’s ode to xenophobia, better knows as his candidacy for president—and it could honestly apply to both or either—but the title actually refers to something I did today.1 I hadn’t been to the pool in a while. My family has been a bit busy with Nana’s nursing home situation, dad’s potential for dementia, & other issues that are a tad more pressing than exercising in a pool. Unfortunately, not going to the pool tends to reinforce my anxiety issues, which makes it harder on me emotionally to leave the house. Basically, as not-pressing as it is, it’s still important. So today I went and… I TALKED TO SIX PEOPLE.  Six.  Not one or two,2 but six.  And I wasn’t related to any of them, nor had I had any real contact with any of them before. Even though a few have been in the pool when I’ve been there, I hadn’t really tried talking to them. But today I did, and one of the ladies actually came back to talk to me (with her husband) afterward. It was just…wow. And, in most of the cases, the first person to make the attempt at conversation was me. So this attempt at acting like a social being was even more significant.  My family was proud. My therapist will be proud.3 I’m proud.  Fist bumps and happy dances for the introverted, agoraphobic, socially phobic ginger.  Photo credit: Fouquier ॐ via Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC-ND But, seriously, what the fuck, UK? Did you really need to out-crazy Trump & the Republicans? Congratulations, you did it. I just hope your fuckery doesn’t get him elected here. No, that’s not me being paranoid, that’s me being realistic. Your dumbfuckery is so not what we need right now. Kindly go fuck yourselves. ↩or three or four or five ↩She’s happy when I manage one a month, so six in a day will thrill her. ↩

Nigh is the End



I’m not sure how much I’ve talked about this on here, but here goes. I have trouble regulating my body temperature. I don’t sweat enough to cool down. I don’t exactly know why. It’s probably due to one connective tissue issue or another.  Not sweating can be dangerous, especially when exercising,12 so when I saw the family practice doctor today, I told her. She said I should talk to my rheumatologist or his nurse. I called the rheumatologist’s office & the nurse told me that she’d never heard of anhidrosis/hypohidrosis34 and that I should call: (a.) my endocrinologist,56 (b.) family doctor,7 or (c.) go to a walk-in clinic.8  I asked was she sure that Sjögren’s/UCTD couldn’t possibly cause a person to not sweat. She assured me that lack of sweat has absolutely nothing to do with either condition.9 And I’m sorry, but who goes to a walk-in clinic for an issue that even a speciality clinic is saying they’re unfamiliar with? Why would you even recommend that?10 If you’re going to recommend calling a doctor, why not recommend a dermatologist or a neurologist. I no longer have either of those, but at least skin and the nervous system have something to do with a lack of perspiration.  I called the family practice clinic back and asked them to leave a message for my doctor. They said she’d call back. She didn’t. I guess maybe it’s been queued for sometime later, but I am not going to hold my breath on it.  I am frustrated that some offices don’t take real problems seriously.11 And I am even more frustrated that I cannot change to doctors/offices who/that do care because of insurance.12 Photo credit: Kullez via VisualHunt.com / CC BY On the 18th, when it was 80°F outside, I went for a 45 minute walk & a 18 minute walk. I came back when the left side of my head felt like it was being destroyed by some very angry person with a hammer. I was nauseated, had some gross intestinal issues, my muscles were cramping, my skin was bright red, and I had one or two drops of sweat on my face. The rest of me was dry. It took 3 days to recover. ↩I tried a short walk this week in cooler weather with similar outcomes, but recovered in hours. ↩the actual terms for the issue ↩I used lay terms while describing the issue. ↩I don’t have an endocrinologist. ↩Sweat glands are part of the exocrine system anyway, not the endocrine system. ↩The one that said to call her. ↩Yeah, really. ↩That’s why NIH has 14 pages of journal articles on Sjögren’s and anhidrosis. Because there is absolutely no link at all. Ever. And why it’s actually something that has been known to impact patients with Sjögren’s, Ehlers-Danlos, UCTD, MCTD, Fibromyalgia, Dysautonomia, etc., which are all treated by…rheumatologists! ↩And when it’s a condition that can be fatal? No, you don’t ship someone to a doc-in-the-box when you can’t be assed to understand potential symptoms of diseases you treat every day. ↩And, in case someone wants to launch into some rant about how they think I’m making this up, go talk to a wall. It will give you all the attention you deserve. ↩The American medical system is super fucked up. ↩

Can’t Sweat Any of the Stuff


1
In the time since HB2 was signed into law, I’ve had several heterosexual cisgender men tell me how terrified they were by the idea “men” being allowed in women’s locker rooms and restrooms. They’re convinced that transgender women are really cisgender men who are trolling for women to gawk at, grope, assault, or rape in a shower or bathroom stall. Because that’s apparently what they think any person born with male genitalia would do. After all, it’s what Mike Huckabee said that he would have done as a young man.1 So, of course, anyone born with a Y chromosome has to be just as creepy. These dudes are also the ones who think that women are even more terrified than them about the issue.2 I bet that they would freak the fuck out over what happened when I went to the Wellness Center Thursday afternoon. On the way over to the pool, I had been talking to my father about how another batch of transphobic folks were saying all women are terrified over trans women coming into women’s bathrooms and locker rooms. That they had talked about women and girls seeing the genitalia of trans folks in the bathrooms, like we play show and tell in them instead of peeing like normal folks. That we would have to shower with and soap up pre-op  cis and trans women because locker rooms in the real world are just like the ones from the porn that they watched last night. That anyone with a dick will use any excuse to rape any and all women using a restroom, locker room, etc. We were both grumbling over the ignorance as he dropped me off.  I went in, checked in, and headed to the pool staging area.3 When I got in, the teacher of an infant swimming class told me that there were men working in there. I changed behind a curtain and those pesky maintenance men didn’t bother to assault me. Obviously they didn’t realize that transphobic guys were rambling away on Twitter about the dangers of people people who are male or assigned male at birth being in a place where women pee, disrobe, & shower4 using bathrooms as hunting grounds. That’s why they didn’t attack any of the women who varied in body type, race, and age. Because they didn’t get the rape-y memo.  Or maybe because most people—whether they are cisgender or transgender—don’t go into the bathroom to assault other people. It doesn’t even cross their minds. Because it’s fucking creepy and a major indicator that a person needs to seek professional help.  And it shouldn’t be something the rest of us expect either—or suggest that we expect as a way to pass unjust laws. We have to be better than that.  Mike Huckabee, lover of child molestation enablers and father of an animal abuser and a Trump spokesperson, said: “We are now in city after city watching ordinances say that your 7-year-old daughter, if she goes into the restroom cannot be offended and you can’t be offended if she’s greeted there by a 42-year-old man who feels more like a woman than he does a man…Now I wish that someone told me that when I was in high school that I could have felt like a woman when it came time to take showers in PE. I’m pretty sure that I would have found my feminine side and said, ‘Coach, I think I’d rather shower with the girls today.’” ↩I’ve seen more women—cis & trans—hate this bill than men, to be honest. ↩Sometimes a girl gets tired of calling it a locker room. ↩Not necessarily in that order. ↩

Men at Work (In the Women’s Locker Room) 



I think I broke my toe/foot on Thursday afternoon. I’m not sure how, but I think I kicked the side of the pool yesterday afternoon when I was in it. I know it started hurting around that time. And I had trouble putting my shoe back on when I was getting dressed.  At first, my just seemed sprained, except that the pain wasn’t going away. I iced it and that didn’t help. I decided to try and ignore it, which also didn’t help.  Moving it is next to impossible and, like I already mentioned, it’s swollen. The pain has been pretty bad, but I really am trying to ignore that as much as possible.  The big thing is that the bruise started worsening. It was one spot, but it is now my whole little toe, plus spots on the toe next to it, the top of my foot, the side of my foot, and the bottom of my foot.  But the bruise spreading so much could have something to do with the 2.16 miles I walked today.1 Broken bones have never really done much to stop me. Sprains, sure. Fractures, nah.2  I am going to take the next day or two off from exercise, but that’s mainly because I’ve exercised for five days in a row.  And I’m back to religiously taking my Vitamin D.3 Which I’m using to mock some body-shaming trolls who think that overweight & obese people are lazy. Middle fingers always up to those lovely human beings. ↩My orthopedist used to have to replace  or reinforce casts I wore for the foot I broke three times. I would bust the bottom out of it from walking too much or doing ballet for a dance tryout with it on. ↩It was dumb of me to not take it for several months given the severity of my ongoing Vitamin D deficiency. ↩

I’m Not Lazy, My Mother Had Me Tested


I’m taking the day off from exercising today and I refuse to feel bad about it. I have exercised every single day this past week. My last day off was last Thursday, March 3rd. I actually should have taken one sooner. Had I taken one off, my heel probably wouldn’t have started popping last night. Several of my pool exercises involve going onto the ball of my foot. I must have strained a certain tendon.1 Anyway, I am taking the day off to keep from inflaming it more or, worse, actually rupturing it. I’m trying to be responsible after being a bit callous with my body’s limitations.  Speaking of limitations, the cardiologist has sent a letter to the UAB doctors to have my tachycardia-related exercise limitation removed. The echo was normal. I just have a heart that beats more quickly than the average heart. Because of my absolutely normal blood pressure the tachycardia can’t be treated with medicine, so the main solution for it: exercise.  Except today, obviously.  Photo via Visualhunt Yep, the one from mythology. ↩

Earned It



I only had the chance to go for one walk today. My family was about an hour late on going to the grocery store, so by the time I recovered from the first walk it was dark outside. Aside from the whole “it’s not safe for women to be out alone at night” thing, the fact my phone is still some place that is else, and the fact that I have to walk past the homes of 2 actual sex offenders to walk, it would be unsafe for me to walk by myself at night because I’m just that clumsy. ((This is not news.)) I won’t be walking tomorrow because it’s my pool exercise day.1  I just hate not getting in all the exercise I can physically handle. Basically it’s the same competitive drive that led to my muscle injury a week and a half ago.  Photo via Visualhunt.com Doing both on the same day worsens my connective tissue issues & might trigger my fibromyalgia, which will limit future exercise. ↩

In Case of Darkness 


1
I was right. The appointment with the cardiologist was no big deal. He’s happy that I want to exercise. He’s pretty sure I will be totally fine exercising with my Thumper-esque heart. He believes that exercise will slow my freakishly fast heart down. That would be nice.  After two technicians finally found my heart rhythm to do an EKG,123 the doctor came in to talk to me. Apparently UAB wasn’t clear about why they wanted me to be seen—specifically that they wanted a new echocardiogram done. The cardiologist did order another echocardiogram in the end, since it had been five years since my last one & he wanted to be safe.4 He said that he just wanted to confirm that my heart didn’t have anything dangerous going on. I can understand and appreciate.5 The echocardiogram went pretty well. A tech there couldn’t find my full blood pressure.67 My systolic8 pressure was 114 at this point. After she tried & gave up, I had to take my shirt off9 and put on a gown.10 It seemed pretty standard for an ultrasound thing, except the gel got in one of my pigtails. Oh, and there was a little shuffly beat that caused the tech and me to do that confused head tilt that dogs like to do when they hear a certain noise that irks them. So she listened to that a few times & highlighted it, so I’m sure the doctor will get to examine it more clearly. Oh, and you know how I get super annoyed about how high the UAB doctors think my blood pressure is.11 They love to hint at putting me on medicine for hypertension.12 And I have tweeted & blogged about how I think that putting me on blood pressure medicine is a little bit of a bad idea.13 I was right to be annoyed.1415 My blood pressure was 98/64.16 Blood pressure medicine would drop that under the 90/60 limit.17 So no blood pressure medicine for me.18 But I’m pretty sure that everything will be okay and that my full clearance to exercise will soon be official. Even with my shuffly beat.  No worries.  Photo credit: Popfossa via Visualhunt / CC BY-NC No shit. They couldn’t get a reading on 3-4 leads. ↩I considered singing “If I Only Had A Heart” while they looked for my heart. No really, I was going to, until I realized that that would make it harder to read. ↩My boobs were out in the open the whole time they couldn’t find my rhythm. ↩He didn’t want to be sued if the medical clearance killed me. ↩Don’t let me die, Dr. dude. ↩I swear I’m alive. ↩And not a robot. ↩Top number. ↩My boobs spent a lot of time out of my clothes today, but not for fun times. Bummer. ↩Those things suck, btw. ↩I’ve complained about this on here & on Twitter many times in the past. ↩Sometimes they don’t hint. They say, “We’re putting you on this medicine for your blood pressure.” I can usually convince them not to prescribe it. One time, when I was anemic and my blood pressure was going under 90/60 at times, they actually did prescribe blood pressure medicine. I didn’t take it long. ↩Because it would literally KILL ME. ↩Unless you want me dead, you should be annoyed, too. ↩If you want me dead, gtfo my blog. ↩Automatic blood pressure machines can suck it. Manual blood pressure ftw! ↩90/60 is the magical number where it becomes hypotension. Hypotension can cause kidney failure. Hypotension is dangerous. Hypotension is a big do not want. ↩Trust your instincts about your own body. ↩

My Heartbeat Post