Saturday, July 14, 2012


Okay!  I made it to the rheumatologist's on Thursday--tada!  In fact, the senior bus showed up half an hour early, hoping I might be ready early.  I crossed my fingers (having had a questionable morning), and off I went.  :)
I started a new medication yesterday called Gabapentin on the lowest dosage.  It's one of those odd medications that is actually for something else (epilepsy) but can sometimes help people with chronic pain.  They mainly warned me that it might make me tired and to stop taking it if I noticed tremors. (Ah...yah!!)
  The meds these days are so scary when you read all the possible side effects and there's a doozy of a list for this one: tremors, double vision, depression, suicidal thoughts, dizziness, loss of coordination, tiredness, drowsiness, swelling of hands/ankles/feet, persistent cough or sore throat, and swollen glands.  So, I'm on the lookout.  ;)
Since this medication is for calming nerves it can sometimes work to alleviate pain similar to a pain pill, I guess.  Non-addictive, though.  So, we'll see.  I take them three times a day and started yesterday morning.  Haven't noticed anything obvious.  But I am so totally shot for a couple of days after being out and about anyways that it's hard to tell.  The highest dose is eight times what I am taking, so this is a low dose, too.
Dr. Sleckman wants me to come back in six months--new medication and all.  Oh, and the clinic has a new website now!  I have my own secret code--LOL!  I can go in and check test results (not that I had any done this time) and I can email Dr. Sleckman.  So, in the meantime, I can let him know if they don't do anything or if I quit them because they do something strange.  I got just one month's worth.  I didn't want more than that.  Told him I figured that should be enough to tell one way or the other.  He called the prescription in to the pharmacy downstairs and I can renew for six months (they deliver).
My stomach had settled down quite a bit.  While I waited for the prescription to be filled I saw the coffee kiosk was still open so, after I got my pills, I decided to buy a small coffee and sit and read Caroline's mystery book for a little while in their comfortable chairs in the big courtyard type area.  Hey--I don't get out much, as you know.  That was a treat for me...and the bathrooms were right there.  ;)  Did a little people watching, read a little, and then called for the senior bus about 20 minutes later.  My big excursion--LOL!  ;)
Then I had to move down by the doors to watch for the van.  Every time those automatic doors opened it felt like a blast of furnace air.  This was my view of the street and circle drive-up to the door where I was sitting on a little bench.
And this was the long hallway behind me.  The courtyard waiting area is off to the right at the end of the hall.  I read some more in the half hour it took for the van to arrive.
So, I made it!  And I'm trying new meds.  Be very nice if they worked--without any funny business, of course--to take that sharp edge off the pain.  That's all the pain pills ever did--take the edge off.  Time will tell, eh?  Wish me luck.  If I start sounding depressed I think you'd notice and tell me--LOL!
The clouds were just amazing one afternoon here but, to be honest, I can't remember which day.  Don't they look like you could spread your arms out and fall back on them as if they were a cushy bed of cotton?
Gosh, they were pretty!  I took a bunch of pictures but I'll only show you a few. 
Times like this I wish I could paint what I see and not have it turn out like I'm five years old. 
Anyways...Dagan and Leah did stop by briefly on Wednesday night, too.  They opened the box and Leah found the wall bracket--which is made of pressboard!  So she took measurements and is going to look for a metal wall bracket.  Whew!  I am so relieved.  What would we do without our tool girl?!
The box is going to have to just lie there until maybe this next week... 
...which, of course, Karma doesn't mind.  I snapped her dozing in the dark over there on the box last night--LOL!
I completely forgot to say that Dagan brought over the rest of the papermaking supplies a while back.  Every time I get things put away I always get more stacks, don't I?  ROFL! 
Anyways, that's about it from Fargo.  I am feeling a bit better today.  Should be back to normal by tomorrow.  I know--pretty sad that it takes me a couple days to recover from being gone for less than four hours.  That's my life.  ;)
We've been in the 90s and they have 108 degrees predicted for Monday!!  I can't believe it can get that hot up here--can it??  The AC and I have become true BFFs this summer.  I mean, we were always tight, don't get me wrong.  Adversity and tough challenges can bring you even closer together.  She froze up on me that one night I didn't pay attention to how cool it was going to get, but she forgave me and we have been simpatico since then.  ;)
Stay warm or cool as the case may be.  Best wishes this fine weekend from Karma and myself.  :):)
"In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity."
Albert Einstein


Beth said...

I hope the new medicine works for you. I think it must be awful to live with severe chronic pain. I have osteoarthritis which I live with. Hugs for Karma!!

DJan said...

Oh Rita, I am definitely wishing you luck with this new med. Hopefully it will be the Magic Bullet they always promise. But you went out, had a very successful excursion, and made it home safely. Karma looks quite content on the box. :-)

Terrie said...

Thanks for the kind comments about my recipe - hope you get a chance to try it. Hope the weather cools a bit your way, and warms a bit ours..... :)

TexWisGirl said...

glad you and the a/c are best buds again. :)

karma is so cute.

i do hope the new meds will help w/o causing you any further issues! yes, the laundry list of side effects can make you not want to try ANYTHING! fingers crossed for you, rita!

Serena Lewis said...

Glad to hear the Rheumatologist appointment went well, Rita. How nice that you were able to enjoy a cuppa at the kiosk afterwards. I have heard that they use epilepsy drugs for other conditions...Bradley was given epilepsy drugs for his leg problem a couple of years ago but, unfortunately, he had reactions with both types. We had decided to leave it and just live with the condition which would have been easy enough but then, about 5 months ago, he started getting shakes in his hands so we've decided to follow through with another appointment. He is actually seeing the Neurologist tomorrow so, no doubt, they will try another type of epilepsy drug. You're right, the side effects of some of the drugs nowadays can be extremely scary. Do keep a close watch for reactions.

I adore fluffy white clouds!! Wonderful pics!

I think Leah could give Tim, the tool-man Taylor, a run for his money. ;) Used to love that show.

How cute that you caught Karma snoozing on the flat pack. lol

108° for Monday?!!! Thank heavens you have air-con!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Love and hugs,
Serena xo

carol l mckenna said...

yes, trying to make the best of the heat ~ will be freezing soon enough ~ LOL ~ Glad you got out and about a bit and your meds will help your pain ~ helps you to relax ~ natural to 'tense up' with chronic pain ~ need to relax into it if you can ~ meditate? Yoga? ~ yes you and Karma stay cool and feel better ~ hugs ^_^ (Carol and ArtMuse Dog) ^_^

Hilary said...

I sure hope these new meds do their thing for you, Rita. I can imagine how exhausting the excursion to the doctor is when dealing with chronic pain. I feel for you.

Beautiful clouds and of course, beautiful Karma.

betty said...

I type a lot of reports with patients taken gabapentin and I think it does work for a variety of illnesses, so I hope it helps you Rita! Glad all went well with your appt and you were able to make it there and make safely without any problems! Cool pictures of the clouds! 108! Wow that is hot!! I'm sure that will be a day you stay inside!


Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

I hope the new meds work for you and that you recover from your trip out fast.......I don't know why the wall bracket would be made out of pressboard, a metal one would work better well in my opinion but what do I

I often like to look at clouds they can make so many pretty shapes and often look so soft and fluffy.......

Queenie Jeannie said...

Yay! A successful outing!!!! Hopefully the new meds will work for you, without ANY nasty side effects!

It's much cooler here in Germany,than it was in Italy. Cooler is good, but not liking the rain, lol! I don't remember the summers being this wet before??? Still, happy to bits to be here! We're driving out to Kemnath today to say hi to the house and check out our new town!

Toriz said...

I'm glad your appointment went well, and hope the new medicine helps.

Don't feel bad, it often takes me a bit to recover from anything more than walking Kero too. Well, actually, with how I've been lately even walking Kero down the road and back takes me at least a few hours to recove from!

YAY for fluffy white clouds! And, there's nothing wrong with painting like a 5 year old; embrace your inner child painter! ;)

AliceKay said...

I'm glad the trip to your rheumatologist went well. I was hoping it would. :) I hope that new med works for you, without giving you any of those nasty side effects. A friend of ours mentioned that med to me last month, for me to ask my doctor about, but when I read all of the possible side effects, I didn't know if I wanted to try to take a chance with it. Have too many problems going on with me right now as it is. I hope it works well for you, though.

The courtyard waiting area looks nice and clean and very "friendly". It's nice to see those kinds of places.

The clinic and hospital I go to has a website for patients to sign in to check medical records, test results, and leave notes for doctors or to schedule appointments. I just had to go to mine the other day to check on a test result. Makes it convenient.

Love the white puffy cloud pics. They look humungous! ;) I've been taking pictures of the skies and clouds, too, but I haven't felt up to fighting with Blogger lately, so I haven't been posting them to my blog.

108 in Fargo??? Unbelievable temps this summer. Either drought or floods...not much inbetween weather this year. We're heading back into the 90s again. The air you can wear is returning. :(

Can't wait to see what your shelving unit looks like once put up on your wall. I hope Leah can find you the bracket it needs.

Love the Karma pic. :)

Hope you have a great Sunday! *hugs*

Far Side of Fifty said...

108?? Please don't send it this way:)

Far Guy takes Gabapentin for his TN it works for many people. I think it works for him to some extent. He would like to eventually get off all his meds..that is the goal IF the pain stays away after the far so good.
He takes a couple of epilepsy meds so I am not sure which one slows his brain the most. Slows down the messages between the neurons that pass the pain message on to the brain..
I hope it works well for you ! Good for you to get out!! The new MY Heath thing works great..:)

Carolyn Dube said...

Fingers crossed for the new meds- hope they help! I loved clouds like that when I would fly as a kid- I thought I could bounce on them like a trampoline of cotton!

Megan Adamson said...

I am so hoping that your new meds work for you.
Thought about you a lot during Thursday, but you seemed to have managed very well ;) I hate seeing people ill and not being able to do anything to help you.

Your skies are beautiful, here we have mostly rain, with a bit of sunshine thrown in, but it has been quite a good couple of days for me.
Hugs to you and Karma!

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

It's hot everywhere, not just in Fargo. I don't see how roofers and people who must work outside all day make it. I especially worry about the people who stand all day with those stop and slow signs on highways.

Sounds like a very busy 4 hours. Glad you got out. It can be fun, after all.

Marianne (Mare) Baker Ball said...

My dad takes gabapentin and it works well for him. He's early Parkinson's. It works for a lot of different things....calming the brain. I pray you find some success w/ it. What a busy day out!

Janie Junebug said...

Here's hoping the new medicine is a big help and you don't suffer side effects. That Leah is a gem, isn't she?


Sandra Tyler said...

Gosh wish you could share your pain meds with my mom. She still has rib contusion pain and is on and off Tylenol with codeine which can have its own unpleasant side effects. But really, if read all the side effects on any of these meds no one would take them at all. Love your cloud pics. My mom is an artist, and not painting much now but she would have appreciated those.

Anonymous said...

I love this quote. I am going to memorize it and repeat it!!
good luck with your meds.....keep working with the will find what works for you!!
I am your newest follower..pls follow back if you can.
stay cool!

ChicagoLady said...

Glad your appt went well. My aunt takes Gabapentin (Neurontin) for her pain and it works for her. Hopefully it will work for you too, without the side effects.

laurak/ForestWalkArt :) said...

i do wish you luck with your new medication. hopefully it does the trick. it's pretty scary when you watch tv and see all the med's commercials...and wonder, shit...some of those side effects sound worse than the initial complaint!! SO good luck!! i hope it works and without too much annoying side effects!

wow, that's a lot of paper making supplies!! looks like you'll be having FUN!! one of these days, i want to try that myself!

LOVELY clouds! i can't believe how HOT it is up there!! damn!! hotter than here in FL!

Gwen said...

Painting clouds is not easy, but you got to start somewhere and keep practising.
Wishing you well, Rita and hope your medication proves to be 'the best medicine'.

Harvest Moon by Hand said...

The pictures of the clouds are wonderful! They do look like cotton, and comfortable enough to rest on. When I was a child, my dad took me on a plane to visit his parents (my grandparents). I remember asking the stewardess if I could open the window and pick a cloud. I thought they were just like cotton balls. :)

Intense Guy said...

I hope this med works!! With all the ones they have out there, it is a frustrating process sometimes to find the "magic one" (if there is one).

Tool Girl Leah... She should have been on that TV show Home Improvement with Tim Allen. She would have put a smile on my face!