About Me

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Los Angeles, California
I am 47 and thriving in Southern California. One day at a time.
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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Side Effects

So, it's official. I am noticing side effects from the increase in my meds. Headaches, nausea, insomnia, loss of my cycle (15 days late...no I am NOT pregnant!),weight loss. Despite everything I am doing to help....chiropractic work, massage, good eating and exercise, it's just not enough...

These drugs are just so toxic.

The ones I take to suppress my immune system increase my blood pressure, so I'm on something to counteract that. The steroid I take incurs bone loss (I have osteopenia) and gingivitis, so I take calcium to aid with that. I also take iron tablets b/c my hemoglobin is low (my kidney can't keep up), a B complex for the sores that have developed around the corners of my mouth, a specialized vitamin supplement to replace what my kidney cannot produce (the kidney is a VERY complicated organ) and then Lamisil to aid (ineffectively) the fungus I have on my nails that my body hasn't been able to heal since 2002.

It's all very overwhelming. Yet, after 25 years, I think I am used to taking these drugs twice a day. I still wish I didn't have to, but it's my journey and that's life, man...

I don't feel sorry for myself, just frustrated by all the toxicity.

Frustrated by the days I spend in bed when I am wracked with side effects.

Frustrated by the long road ahead...

But I do know things could be worse. So much worse. And I think so very often of those whom are willing to be tested for me. Probably more than they even know. Their bravery stuns me. Their hearts inspire me. Please look at their photos (I am still collecting them). They are beautiful, amazing friends. We could all learn a lesson from them...

And then there's Kevin.

How blessed was I to meet this man? His love for me is glorious. Anyone who knows him, knows how amazing he is.

I never thought I was the type of woman to be lost without her man, but he is my complete and total rock. I never had dreams of getting married, but the team we have cultivated over the last 13 married years (17 together) has surprised me. We are not without our issues, but the recent road we have traveled has strengthened our bond. I can't imagine my life without him.

God, enough sap, Henny!

Yesterday, I watched a repeat broadcast on the "Oprah" show with Michael Moore about being "Sick in America". Boy, did it terrify me. I know I have good insurance. My $189,000 bill at Cedars only cost me $1800. That's 1% and pretty amazing, I think. My meds are expensive - the reason I make a bi-annual trip to Toronto twice a year. But I worry about what's ahead. I didn't qualify for health insurance this year, due to my inability to make the SAG quota. We now pay $690 a month with a government subsidized plan. It runs out in 14 months.

What's ahead? Eventually we will have to buy into a group plan that could cost us $1000-$2000 a month. Stressful to say the least...Canada is looking very appealing, but there are so many factors we need to consider. Our house which has lost a lot of value and Kevin's successful business, and all the friends we have in our lives...and I happen to LOVE California! And so, I must admit, it is extremely daunting to attempt to start over again.

You can't go home again...


  1. I'd say you have a very high maintenance organ there... not only does it control your body/soul/mind it is trying to re-locate you... I mean, what more does it want?
    I'm sorry things are so stressful.
    I love you so much, you are so brave!

  2. This made me laugh! I never looked at it that way...really, kidney dude, do you need manis and pedis, too?