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Papa’s Visit to the Dentist

Yesterday, Ken had a dental emergency and needed to see a dentist about a tooth infection that caused some swelling in his cheek. Of course, dramatic as our daughter is, Miyu vehemently expressed her interest in attending. So, because he couldn’t get an earlier appointment anyway, we waited for her to get home from school and there we were, at the dentist, waiting for Ken to get seen. They drilled a hole into his tooth and removed some of the nerves. He was given antibiotics and some weak sauce pain meds. He ended up using my 400mg Motrin (x2) but even that wasn’t really enough to deal with the pain. Barely takes the edge off, apparently. Hmm, now he understands how I live at the moment. LOL

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Do my eyes deceive me?

img_4452After getting poor sleep Sunday night, I promised myself that I would go to bed early yesterday. Fell asleep pretty fast and when I woke up, I didn’t feel too groggy. Pain level was slightly improved, but my left toes are still swollen, still can’t fully utilize my right elbow, and both wrists feel crabby.

I know this app isn’t entirely accurate, but for the most part, I’m just glad to know that I got a full 7-8 hours of sleep. And side note,  it seems to record Ken’s snoring, not mine (I have the audio recording to prove it!). Anyway, it’s extremely rare for me to get 100% sleep quality on a weeknight, much less on a Monday. But I hope to make this my new normal.

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Possibility of SLE

On Monday, November 2nd, I had an appointment with my rheumatologist for an ultrasound of my fingers, and a followup regarding bloodwork from last month. Dr. Matsueda informed me that my bloodwork, along with my ultrasound results, completely ruled out Rheumatoid Arthritis. Since my ANA and Smith AB were high, he is suspecting SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus). He can’t confirm this diagnosis until I provide more bloodwork sometime in mid-December. But, considering that my ANA has been high since November 2018, I’m almost certain that I have SLE, or at least some kind of auto-immune disease for sure. My migrating joint, muscle, and nerve pains just don’t align with any form of classical arthritis.

It hasn’t really hit me yet. I feel like I’m in some sort of limbo teetering on the edge of a nightmare. But I’m doing what I can to keep my head above water. The pile of work I have for me at my job following my recent promotion is overwhelming and the constant barrage of house chores and mom responsibilities leave me little room to succumb to defeat.

Throughout all this uncertainty and quiet chaos, I’m only ever aware of one truth. And that is…I will find a way to get through this, just like I always do.

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Undokai + Halloween 2020

This year, due to the pandemic, Miyu’s first grade undokai was shortened. I wasn’t disappointed, if I’m being honest. Crowded places, noise, and a language I can’t speak spells disaster for my anxiety. But the nicest surprise was that Ken decided to forego work and spend the day with us instead. Afterward, we shopped and ate, and then before we knew it, it was time to go trick o’ treating.

I’m happy to report that Miyu finally experienced her first ever full Halloween event. I got her a leopard/cheetah costume from Amazon that she absolutely adored. At around 6pm, Ken and I accompanied her as she went trick o’ treating on base. At first she didn’t really know what to do or say, but after the first two houses, she quickly got the hang of it and was on a roll.

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Potato for your thoughts.

It’s Friday night and Miyu is in her room, playing with her toys because I had declared TV time over. Our microwave oven says that in 17 minutes and 45 seconds, the baking sweet potato inside will be ready to devour. Outside, the sounds of cars passing by rain-slicked roads make my eyes and shoulders droop with the promise of a good night’s sleep.

My thoughts are like the tangled Christmas lights boxed up in our closet, eager to come out but the timing just isn’t right. Lost time, vivid dreams, flashes of pain. My little girl is growing up and she’s becoming more and more beautiful each day.

How I ache to hold my camera.

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A Painful September

Toward the end of August, I started noticing that my arthritis pain was getting more frequent and intense. The following month of September was pretty much a series of flareups that killed my mood to blog. If it wasn’t my fingers or wrists, it was my ankles, knees, elbows, or shoulders. Actually, it was so bad this time around that even my hip joint hurt. Two of those flareups were caused by significant dips in atmospheric pressure, so it had absolutely nothing to do with the foods I ate. The most recent flareup was so bad that Ken had to help me shower because I couldn’t bend my right elbow.

Fasting helped for a while, but then I noticed my body was burning through its meager stash of vitamins and minerals and I wasn’t feeling so great. As a result, my intermittent fasting is currently on hold while I’m making an effort to eat meals that (1) avoid sugar, gluten, and milk, and (2) contain good fats, protein, and spinach. I was going to say leafy greens there but in reality, spinach is the only dark leafy green that I actually like. I’m also taking Vitamin D3 (2,000 IU) and Magnesium Complex supplements. So far, I’ve noticed that the intensity and frequency of my pain have significantly lessened. The only major factor that’s left for me to correct now is making sure I get at least 7 hours of sleep each night, which is proving difficult for me. I’ll think about exercising once this pain is under control.

On the plus side, because I fasted a lot during September, I managed to lose a good chunk of weight. As of October 4 at 7am, I weighed 125lbs, which is a total of 26.2lbs lost since April 2019. I’m almost at my happy weight range of 110-115! I swear the remaining ten pounds is in the spare tire hanging at my midsection.