metaphortunate: (Junebug)
Science is wonderful. Medicine is wonderful. Back in the late Cretaceous, there were two things you could do for a cough:
  1. Codeine, which worked;
  2. Everything else, which did not work.
And since you probably don't want to give codeine to a tiny child unless there's no other choice, when tiny us got coughs, we just suffered through it. And, though I am not a neglectful parent I swear, I thought those were still the options. So though Rocket has been coughing and coughing at night, and it is just awful to hear, it doesn't actually wake him up. And he doesn't seem to mind it during the day. So we hadn't taken him to the doctor. Until he got a fever.

And holy shit y'all, now you take your tiny child to the doctor and they send you home with a six month supply of albuterol and a little nebulizer. Protip: tell the child the face mask is an astronaut mask. Ten minutes and the wheeze is gone. Just fantastic.
metaphortunate: (Default)
Read this before the end of the year if you have eczema.

See, I've been to dermatologists about eczema about half a million times, & they all:
  • got that sympathy grimace of "this ain't gonna do shit"
  • advised me to wear gloves while doing the dishes
  • prescribed me a few things that, as advertised by their facial expressions, didn't do shit. Maybe made it itch a little less but hurt a little more, kind of a pointless annoyance of a tradeoff.
But you get desperate, so I tried, once again, a new doc. And she looked at my current medications, and told me these things:
  1. The advice to never touch water is deprecated. The kind of eczema I have is a birth defect where my skin loses water like a sieve, which is why it's so dry and itchy. And I can bathe in Aquaphor like I do, but it won't help unless there's moisture in the skin to keep in. So it's fine to get the skin wet, just cover self in a thick layer of petroleum jelly afterwards.
  2. Which explains why I had through trial and error found that first a layer of some moisturizer and then a layer of Aquaphor was doing the most good.
  3. Sanding between coats is not necessary.
  4. And in fact, per the doc, I should go back to being the one to wash the kids. And furthermore, I should put a tablespoon of bleach in the bathwater. Yes, some people get to bathe with bubbles, some people get to bathe with fancy glitter from Lush, but my kids get to bathe with bleach; because, and for some reason this is not something that had really occurred to me before, when you go around all the time with bleeding cracks and raw patches in your skin, it increases your vulnerability to infection! So bleach in the bathwater helps fight that.
  5. One of my old prescriptions was Protopic (tacrolimus ointment.) According to this new doc, sometimes that works! But it can also irritate the skin. So! Less itching, more pain, pointless annoyance of a tradeoff.
  6. The other one was generic fluocinonide ointment. And supposedly the name brand (Lidex) is pretty good. But I had the generic. And according to this doc, the difference between the name brand and the generic is the penetration enhancers, which I realize sounds like lube, but actually is the so-called inactive ingredients which allow the active ingredient in the meds to get absorbed through the outer skin layers to where it can do some good. So apparently, the name brand manufacturers put money into developing penetration enhancers that are effective and non-irritating. But the generic manufacturers just stick some propylene glycol in there. And propylene glycol, she said, works by eating holes in your skin that the active ingredient can go through. Which, when your skin is already all fucked up and irritated and hypersensitive, has exactly the effect that you would expect.
  7. Less itching. More pain.
  8. So instead, she gave me a sample of a new drug called Neo-Synalar. It's a steroid and and an antibiotic. Here's the thing:
    IT'S WORKING.
    Months of torment and this shit cleared me up 97% in a matter of two days. If you have eczema, and you haven't tried this yet, you need to look into it. And you need to do it now, because the other thing is that Neo-Synalar is holy fuckballs supercalifragilisticexpialexpensive. Like, one 60 gram tube costs about $440. But I got it for FREE, because Medimetriks Pharmaceuticals is giving out a $0 Copay Discount Card and my doctor gave me one. But it's only good through 12/31. So if you might need this, look into it now. See if your doc has one. And if you can't get the card, get the $0 Copay Rebate at the manufacturer's website.

    Good luck, and try not to claw your skin off in your sleep. Cotton gloves do help.
metaphortunate: (Default)
This is the pants-shittingly awful thing about depression.


When I have the flu:

What do I need to do in order to get better?
  • Sleep.

What is the only thing in the world I feel capable of doing?
  • Sleeeeeeeeep.


When I have depression:

What do I need to do in order to get better?
  • Get plenty of exercise.
  • Keep my house in some kind of order so it's not despair-inducing just to sit in my living room.
  • Put in the effort to maintain social connections with my friends.
  • Find a therapist, that my insurance will pay for, who is accepting new clients, and who actually works for me. This may involve talking about incredibly difficult personal things to a number of different complete strangers before I find one that will help.
  • Find a psychiatrist, that my insurance will pay for, who is accepting new clients, and who actually works for me. This may involve talking about incredibly difficult personal things to a number of different complete strangers before I find one that will help.
  • Find psychiatric medication that works for me without unacceptable side effects. This may involve trying a number of different drugs. This may involve getting used to some side effects.

What is the only thing in the world I feel capable of doing?
  • Sleeeeeeeeep.


ETA: I am currently fine! Well. At least, I am having the kind of month that reminds me what a luxury it is to be able to be my own worst enemy.

But, on the bright side, I'm not doing that right now. Just meditating on the shittiness of the disease in general.

eczema

Apr. 8th, 2014 05:06 am
metaphortunate: (at one with the universe)
If I had the time, or the sleep, I would try to write something poetic about living in earthquake country and having eczema. Watching your skin bubble up and ooze like magma, then crack and split like faultlines. And are you lying awake because you're worried or because your nerves are itching on fire?
metaphortunate: (Default)
Welp, good and bad.

Good: Rocket let me sleep for one almost 4 hour stretch and one 3 hour stretch last night. Hallelujah, hot dignity dog.

Bad: Possibly because he's got the same thing I've got. Woke up feeling terrible, with muscle aches, and now it's progressed to layering pants and socks kind of chill. So yeah. I'm sick. Freaking daycare.

The problem here is that years of depression have conditioned me to do the wrong thing. See, I remember this from when the Junebug was tiny! If I started resenting him for real, and genuinely falling into despair over my life - bam. Sick in less than a day. See title of last post, for example. And then when I would get better he would be my adorable sweetie again.

But the problem is, thanks to years of therapy and so on, my reaction to feeling bad about my life is "Dammit, self, you get out of it what you put into it. Let's make the effort to all go out to breakfast. Let's tell Mr. E that it's okay for him to go for a run and I'll watch both the kids. I can draw with the Junebug all morning! He could probably use some one on one time with me!"

Which, normally, would be great! Except I think that this time it would probably have been more productive to grab Rocket and huddle under the blanket all day and make Mr. E deal with the Junebug. :/

One plus, though. I got him this little kiddie wipe erase board & blackboard? And this morning, over and over, he wanted me to draw him a kitty cat and a mouse and an elephant and a dump truck. And then he scribbled over them or erased them.

And at first I got frustrated. But then I remembered this story Mr. E told me about this one experiment, probably published in the Review of Poorly Cited Internet Studies, at least I can't find it now. So maybe it doesn't exist. But I took it as a pattern anyway. The experiment was, they took some people, and they divided them in to two groups, and they told the first group to draw the best house they could. And they told the second group to draw as many houses as they could. The upshot is that the best house was drawn by someone in the second group. Because practice makes perfect.

Anyway, so I took it as an opportunity to draw a million elephants and dump trucks, and it became more fun.
metaphortunate: (Default)
Well, I'm sick. Siiiiick. Missed several days of work. Second day without a voice. I think the Junebug is scared of me now because I look weird (I should probably shower) and I won't talk to him. Finally called a doctor. Doctor says 1) no, I can't have any antibiotics until I've had no voice for two weeks, because since I don't have a fever and my snot isn't really green (I've seen green; what I've got is like, maybe celadon, just right after I wake up in the morning from my fucking awful nights where I can't sleep;) 2) this shit just kind of happens when you're pregnant, because your body is worried about accidentally killing the baby, so the bits of you that are normally an army of critters that patrol your body ruthlessly dispatching anything they find trying to prey on you, are instead all restrained and jittery and asking each other "Is this the baby? Should we eat it? What if it's the baby?" "I don't know, asshole, I'm UNICELLULAR! QUIT ASKING ME!" "Okay, everybody just…be cool. Be cool. Are we dying? If we're dying, we dispatch it." "We're not dying." "Okay, then just…chill. NOBODY DO ANYTHING until we figure out if it's the baby."

So it takes a lot longer to get over anything. And I'm home sick. Being kicked from the inside. Can't really concentrate on anything productive. Let me tell you what's on my mind. Here, have a cut tag to spare your page. )

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