Thursday, January 26, 2012

Health update vol. #156038569.A-The Luscious Lyme Edition

Okay, my hang-on-my-every-word peeps. (You do do that, don't you?  DON'T YOU???)

It has been a busy coupla days.

After we went to the actually-fairly-interesting-but-super-technical talk about Lyme Disease and treatments, Sky King and I came home and decompressed.

Then, it was off to Dr. M bright and early to get my final FINAL FINAL results from all the poo, urine, spit and blood I've been handing out lately. Good thing I'm not a dude, or I might have been asked to step into a room with some dirty mags, and fill a cup.  Unless that's a fun thing to do when a nurse is waiting right outside for the specimen.  The pressure must be intense.

So there we are, sitting in our little doctor office, and Dr. M shuffles in (he wears Birkenstocks, and the only way to walk in them is to shuffle). I had already decided that I had multiple co-infections.  That way, if I only had one or two, I would be all, "Awesome! I only have two other diseases to combat!  Fuck YESSSSS!" (which might be why they always close the door extra tight when I'm there-all the emphatic cussing.)

I DON'T have parasites.  Yay!
I DON'T need a major overhaul OR a rebuild on my thyroid.  Awesome!
I'm NOT completely overrun by a massive yeast infection called Candida. Can I get a Booyah!

One of the nastier co-infections is Babesiosis-NEGATIVE, bitches!!!!!

The ONE I tested positive for is Bartonella.  It is known in the disease world as an opportunistic pathogen.  So, you know when there's a hot guy at the club, and all the bitches are strutting their stuff all in front of him in order to get his attention? Bartonella is his mildly not-repulsive friend that's going to hang around and try to get the hottest chick talked into a threesome.

And the talk on Sunday gave us a little bit of info on how this bastard gets ahold of you.  Remember when I talked about the little critter that bores into your red blood cells, splits into eight, then waits for the cell to die off to find eight more red blood cells to penetrate?  That's my little bugger.

So the way Lyme treatment works is like this:
First, once you figure out the co-infections, and usually go after those first.  This is the part where I try to explain the space-time continuum--oh wait, no.  This is the part where I explain why I have to be in treatment for this disease, and the treatment is talked about in terms of years.  YEARS, people. Like, batten down the hatches, it's going to be a bumpy ride. By the time I'm rid of this shit, we could be able to teleport. Cancer might have a cure.  Our nation could be debt-free.   THAT long.

When Dr. M talked to us, he basically gave us some choices. He only works with oral antibiotics (that means "in pill form", you pervs).  Which means, if I want IV meds, or I get to a point when I stop responding, I need to go to Palo Alto to the Dr. that does that.  I would have to travel, and have a PICC line, and self-administer.

I decided that, while I've always been intrigued by IV drug use, I would save that little treat for a special occasion. So, we left with our lists of stuff to do, and stuff to not do, and off to the pharmacy we went.

Here's where I tell you the importance of shopping around, especially for drugs. Wal-mart wanted $160 for a month's worth of Doxycycline, and $289 for a month of Azithromyacin. Ouch.  Costco, on the other hand, was looking more like $70 per month, for BOTH. Even I can see the value in that math. Off to Costco went me and my Princess.

At Costco, they got me all hooked up with their super-drug-user-saver card.  This brought it down to $46 per month, once I explained that it really did say 60, and not 6.  The pharmacist was perplexed, and expressed concerns about my impeding gastrointestinal situation.  I can only imagine what he's going to say when he sees me next month...with scrips for the same pile o' pills.

The only downfall was the wait-35 minutes inside Costco.  In actuality, the cost of the pills will need to be figured out with the addition of the crap I bought waiting for the pills.  This is how that might look:

Wal-Mart                                                               Costco
Cost of meds-$459                                               Cost of meds-$46
cost to my psyche-immeasurable                      Cases of trail mix, chips, granola bars, jerky, cereal bars,
                                                                                 shampoo, Ibuprofen, a 2-pack of wool socks, a 2-pack                                                                                       of capri leggings for Princess,and a 25 pound bag of
                                                                                 tortilla chips-$128

Total cost-Infinity                                                  Total cost-$174

Costco is the clear choice.  Next month-just for shits and giggles-I might try to run it through my HMO.

Fortunately, I will be moving to a PPO in a couple months-April at the latest.  One of the many good things about owning your own business is the ability to make my own insurance decisions.  And in this case, my decision won't affect my employees either, so all's good.

Once I got home, it was time to sort. What I had to do was take my list of current medsHarumph.  And to think I was overwhelmed when I had to start using a pill sorter in the first place...

Picture some hot chick dressed in the latest style leaning up against the wall smoking, saying, "You've come a long way, baby".

And just like all those ads that were devised to encourage women to be independent through the constant inhalation of carcinogens, I have graduated to a bigger brighter larger pill storage system. Let's call it the BBBPPS for short.  Or shitballs.  One of those.

Now I have 3 things along with a glass of water on my nightstand.  Then in my lunchbox (foodbox?) I have breakfast and lunch and snacks for the day, along with that day's breakfast and lunch pills. All because I brought these cool pill sorters that pop individual days out for taking along. I bought two: one green and one orange.  Green for breakfast, orange for lunch.  I didn't want to have to write on each little pod, so I figured I would use them alphabetically. That way when my brain fails me, I can at least ask people what colors they are, and which one comes first alphabetically.  Almost Aimee-proof, I tell ya. I then converted the AM/PM one to Dinner/Bedtime with my handy dandy Sharpie, and voila!

To quote Huey Lewis (I have been wanting to say that for like, forever!) I gotta new drug.  Or two.  A new diagnosis (dx, for you medically literate geeks).  All I need is .....a new attitude? No, that was Patti LaBelle.  I know...I was told I need a new name, that Fearless Fibro Warrior doesn't exactly cover my situation.

I guess I was a little short-sighted when I named my blog.  I posed the question to the ever-helpful world of Facebook, and it seems as though I need to use Luscious.  Lyme, of course, which one pal pointed out could also be indicative of a love of margaritas.  And Goddess, rather than Warrior, to be powerful, yet uniquely feminine. (Man, should I write ad copy, or what?) I heard some serious shout-outs for Lymbrolicious as well.  I dunno.  Maybe I should stick with my old name.  I mean, just because a little baby girl is named Candi or Bambi, doesn't mean she has to change it to something else when she does not grow up to be a stripper, right?

Stay tuned for the dramatic conclusion, "What will those antibiotics do to Aimee's bowels?"  on the next episode of FFW...


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