No, I'm not really locked up in prison, I've never done anything that bad, but some days it feels like I live in a prison just the same.
My list of health problems keeps growing longer, thanks largely to the fact that I'm on steroids for my asthma, and it keeps getting harder and harder to manage. Here's the current list:
Severe, chronic asthma
Chronic Back pain
GERD – Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
High Blood Pressure
History of borderline Hypo-Glycemia
Severe Food and Environmental Allergies
Accelerated Heart Rate
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Kidney issues (I don’t have a name for it)
Treating all of these issues takes a three pronged approach. Medication, diet, and exercise. Sometimes I wonder if I get my migraine just from trying to keep it all straight! Each of these approaches has it's own complications as well.
Exercise is the hardest one. Every doctor tells me I need to get regular exercise, but can you imagine how hard that is when your regularly struggling to breath, have a severe migraine, or just plain worn out because your anemic? I was starting to be able to at least go for walks regularly before we went to Phoenix, but my body is taking it's own sweet time recovering from that trip so I haven't been able to get back in that routine yet.
Medication is a daily chore for me. Between all the medications, and the vitamins the doctors have told me I have to take, I end up taking about 30 pills a day. Yes, I said 30, that wasn't a typo. I have two pill boxes, one for morning and for the evening, and I sit down once a week to fill them all up. Usually takes me about half an hour. Often it involves making a note that I'm out of X medicine/vitamin and making plans to go get them.
Taking the medications is a whole other issue. Because of the GERD issues, and because I messed up my stomach with an intestinal parasite at age 17, I have to be very careful how I take my medication. Juice is necessary to help keep me from gaggin on the taste, and I need to have a full stomach. Often, in the mornings, I have to eat some before I take my pills and then eat something after I take them to keep from tasting them for the rest of the morning!
Then we have diet issues. Because of the severity of my asthma I'm not allowed to have any milk. Food allergies rule out another portion of the food world. Low sodium because of my blood pressure. No nitrates (a common meat preservative) because of migraines. No caffiene because of both migrianes and heart rate. I've also been trying to eat a semi-diabetic type diet because of the blood sugar issues (which the steroids exaserbate), but I just found out that's not enough!
Apparently my kidneys are leaking protein. Now, usually, this is related to diabetes, but it can be caused by other factors. My doctor is pretty sure that it's being caused my dependance on steroids. But we can't just stop the steroids because then I'd end up in ER fighting for my life trying to breath!
Here's the rub - the medication that would be best for helping my kidneys is apparently dangerous for people with severe asthma and allergeis. IE - me. So the next step is a visit to my allergist to have me tested to see if I can even think about taking the kidney medication. If I can't, then the only way to treat it might be my diet.
Until I'm on the medication, and probably after as well, this means I get to eat as much like a diabetic as possible. I can't just eat a "kinda" diabetic diet, nope, I need to go hard core. Apparently this will help reduce the stress on my kidneys by lowering the amount of sugars my body is processing and helping to keep my blood pressure lower.
Can you see why I feel like I'm trapped in a prison?
Some days the fight just feels like way to much. But I can't give up.