Tag: health (Page 1 of 13)

Eye Spy

The other day when I went to the doctor I showed her a few tiny nodules on my upper left eyelid that I’d been wondering about. She diagnosed blepharitis – a kind of infectious condition that can inflame and gunk up the eye and is often mistaken for conjunctivitis.

“Don’t touch your eye!” she shrieked, as my fingers crept toward it. “You need to bathe the eye daily to get rid of crusts, or use sterile eye wipes.”

“Um…sometimes I wear mascar…”

“Chuck it.”

I was particularly underwhelmed by this situation. I could not find any description of blepharitis on t’internet that really fitted with what the things on my eyelid looked like. I had no irritation, and would never have even seen them if I hadn’t been examining and bemoaning my skin at close range in the mirror.

Nevertheless, she is the one who studied medicine, and I’m the idiot who did an arts degree. I scrubbed at my poor eyelid trying to move the ‘crusts’ and quickly realised they were going nowhere fast. They were ATTACHED to me. And now my eyelid hurt.

I went to see my optometrist today. It’s been a long time since I went to St Kilda. I’ve been seeing these optometrists since 1992 when I lived in a flat in Barkly Street and their shop was down a scungy arcade next to the equally grotty supermarket. Both of these are gone.

I went to their shiny new shopfront this morning and poured out my woe. I was inspected. I do not have blepharitis. I have tiny skin tags that I can continue to ignore, but was also given a referral to an ocular plastic surgeon in case they become bothersome. Yay! And the fun did not stop. My eyes (lasered back in October 2002, and last checked in 2006) have IMPROVED! Apparently my vision is totally kickass! I even got to see the imaging done of the back of my eye – pictures taken through the pupil showing my ocular nerve and blood vessels. All good.

My blood test results, on the other hand, were a surprise. My iron has improved (thank you Spatone and nightweaning) but my Vitamin D levels are spectacularly crap. Weird. God knows how long this has been the case, but it sucks to think that all the time I’ve been taking calcium supplements, they’ve probably been doing nothing. Without Vitamin D the body doesn’t absorb it. Grrrr. Now I’m on a triple strength dosage and am questioning my religious application for sunscreen to face and neck.

A pain in the…

Yesterday we had an Easter gathering at mum and T’s house. Me, she-who-will-not-be-blogged and Small Brother all in the same room for once! It was a lovely day, only hampered by Small Z having had a fever all through the previous night and me feeling as though a truck had rolled over me. Somehow, during the day, I began having a sore back/left butt cheek.

By the time we got our caravan to L&D’s last night (where we were staying due to a meet up with other friends the following day) it was pretty uncomfortable. However, bolstered by three pillows, the night wasn’t too bad – but this morning? This morning I resembled my father a few months back. Not so much hunched over like a pretzel, but barely able to walk.

And then I started getting the tingling all the way down to my toes, numbness and a kind of occasional giving-way feeling in my left leg. Notice how that last sentence just tripped off my fingertips? That’s because I write that sentence all the time. About OTHER PEOPLE. At least one file a week that I work on has someone with sciatic symptoms (those words? sciatic symptoms? typed in a nano-second. believe it.) So yeah. I know the drill.

I am desperately tempted to find myself an osteopath, despite knowing that rest and gentle exercise are really the only answer. I am limping around, unable to pick up Small Z, feeling (here I go again) frustrated by my limitations and ongoing pain. Hee hee. I find it darkly ironic. Anyway, I have organised my ever-helpful maternal parent to come and look after Small Z tomorrow, which I will make a work day – as sitting is the most bearable position, M will do the same with Wednesday… and then I will see how I (ahem) stand. Hopefully not listing gently to the East… because then you can call me Eileen.


I try and not be too much of a sooker. But last night the numbed out pain in my left calf (radiating to the arch of the foot and toes with associated paraesthesia – yep, that was a work sentence) got on top of me and I had a lovely big cry. Cleansing. And then spent the best part of an hour trying to get comfortable in bed, while Small Z slumbered a foot away, oblivious.

In the end I couldn’t find the position, although I briefly had a window where circulation came back to my leg and my left foot (should that be My Left Foot?) got warm. Deliciously. Anyway, I just tried to think of anything besides the ache in my left hip/butt cheek and watched three episodes of 30Rock – bringing me to the end of my fourth season episodes (have to check with my dealer…maybe there are more?!) and was so weary that I passed out until 4am.

This morning I acted against my previously espoused wisdom and attended a chiropractor. I’ve always been more of an osteopath person, but this chiro specialises in kids and pregnant people…and is two minutes drive away. The good news is that it is not, contrary to my GID (google inspired diagnosis) sciatica. Woo!

So what is it? Hips and pelvic bones out of alignment and squishing some nerves, which is why my left leg is numb, painful and my foot is icy. I got poked, prodded, and ice packed for 20 minutes out the back under a big soft blanket. Then I stood on a hydraulic massage table thing and it gently made me horizontal and I got poked a bit more. (There was a gap for Pikelet in it, thankfully…)

It was the prodding of my left calf that was the hardest to take – but both times I got down from the table it was obviously easier to walk. I was instructed to spend as much time as I could lying on my side on a firm surface with a pillow between my knees and my hips aligned, to take the pressure of the nerve/s. And to buy an icepack to try and bring down the inflammation.

M has been cast in the role of carer, which he is doing with perfection. Apparently it thrills him to see me forcibly relaxing. And me? I am a convert to this particular chiropractor, particularly after she said I could call her out of hours on Friday or Saturday if things got worse. It’s good to have a fallback… Meanwhile, it’s great to know what the actual problem is, and I can alleviate it fairly well by lying on my side in the required position. Once this thing improves? There will be ongoing maintenance…

Pack Ice….

Pack Ice.

Backing away

I gave up going to the chiropractor about three or four weeks ago, sick of handing over the $40 a week with no sign of improvement. I had asked repeatedly about any exercise I could do.

“Gentle walking?” I suggested hopefully.
“Mmmm, a bit of gentle walking,” he agreed.
“Anything else? Any stretches?”
“Well, you could do some stretching of your calf muscles when they feel tight.”

It was so frustrating. I felt like a LUMP. I felt like there were things I could be doing, but I didn’t want to aggravate anything and make it worse. I was not at all keen to return to the state I had been in when I first attended the practice. Granted, I still have oceans of appreciation for the chiropractor that ended my pain – but after a few weeks, I made no progress and was basically told to come back each week for ‘maintenance’. Gah.

I went to my GP to get her opinion and told her all of the above. She is a big believer in the wonder of the chiropractor and sees one weekly. However, she felt that I should also see a physiotherapist to get information on what I should and shouldn’t be doing. I procrastinated and left it for another few weeks, but over the past week I have had a few days with Small Z that have really shoved me to the end of my tether, as far as my stamina goes.

Yesterday I went to the physio. She said I was her third pregnant person that morning. She kneaded one butt cheek and then the other, and was awed by the tightness.
“It’s like there’s golfballs in there,” she breathed reverently, squashing one out of the way. “You have the tightest arse I have seen in two months.” I was prone, but attempted a modest shrug.

“So, did the chiropractor tape up your back or did you get a back brace?” she asked. I shook my head. She sighed, and told me that she was going to tape my back and that I needed to report to her on whether it helped. I asked her to tell me what exercise I could do.

“No walking,” she said immediately, “And wear shoes around the house for shock absorption. Avoid lifting and carrying Small Z. The only place I want you walking is in the pool. Jog in there too. Do aqua aerobics. But this is the the main thing you have to remember. At ALL times, in and out of the pool, think of yourself as wearing a short, tight SKIRT and fixate on not flashing your undies.”

I gasped in appreciation at such visual instruction, and before I could say anything she was dragging me down the hall to the gym room, where she put me on a fitball and showed me the exercises she wanted me to do.

Halle-f!@#ing-luah. This is what I’ve wanted for two months. She said that there was about a 50% chance that my L5 disc was not herniated but that my butt was SO tight that it was squashing things and making my calf, foot and toe numb. We would see. Once Pikelet arrives I will be able to have scans and maybe anti-inflammatories, but until then…it’s exercise and imaginary tight skirts. Which is fine with me. She drew a star on my hand and told me to fix my posture every time I glanced at it. Tummy tucked (as much as it can be) and bum relaxed…tummy tucked…and bum relaxed…

I have been endeavouring to do gentle walking up until yesterday and am so glad I can stop. It left me wiped. Last night, with my back taped, I felt normal as I lay in bed. This morning, when I got up, I realised how crap I had been feeling prior to now. It’s the same as the time many years ago when I had a low grade throat infection for months, finally got diagnosed and given antibiotics and felt like the world had jolted into technicolour. I don’t feel anywhere near as whale-like and immobile as I did two days ago. Please, oh please let it continue…!!

Now I just have to figure out if the pool has a lane for me to run up and down in or whether I have to do some scary aqua aerobic class with the blue rinse set.

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