Saturday, April 17, 2010

On the See-Saw Again

Two weeks on and two more blood tests and my platelets are “behaving like the stock exchange” as my doctor put it. Up and down like a yo-yo.

Last time I posted, a fortnight ago, they had crept up to 34 from a scary low of 22. The following week they bounced to a magnificent 55, lifting my spirits almost as high.

Alas, this week’s blood test shows them back down at 35. However, thanks to my doctor’s meticulous tweaking of the Chinese herbs each week in response to my blood chemistry results, everything else in my system is behaving well, with all indicators sitting where they should be.

My neutrophils (white cells) might be a touch high, and busily munching on my platelets. But I’m not panicking, and neither is my doctor. We’ll wait and see what next week’s blood chemistry shows.

Emotional Highs and Lows

Despite that lovely number of 55, this fortnight has been a real emotional see-saw, with lows outnumbering highs two or three to one, and frequent mood swings every day. At times it has seemed like every hour. As soon as I pick myself up, some loss of control over my life – usually resulting from dealing with a health or welfare bureaucrat or real estate agent – sends me tumbling down again.

Some of this depression is directly from the steroids (depression is a known side-effect from long term corticosteroid use), but a lot is from the uncertainty of my financial situation and the frustrations of trying to find somewhere cheaper to live to match my reduced income.

The past two weeks have been laden with delays, frustrations and intense anxieties, and I have to say ‘emotional lability’ (a tendency to burst into tears with little warning) is quite exhausting. And in itself, quite frustrating!

This Week’s Bright Side

The big plus this week is that my energy and brain power are FINALLY coming back, thanks to the wonderful herbs which I’ve been taking religiously, twice a day, and the restricted diet, which I’ve been sticking to. I feel almost normal again and managed to do the 25 minute walk to my doctor’s surgery (it’s gently downhill), tho’ I had to catch a bus home again.

Another plus is that, with the help of my adult children, I’ve found a cheaper place to live in the same neighbourhood, and my friends and family will help me make the move in a couple of weeks.

And my lovely doctor took pity on me over the expense and utter lack of flavour and texture in commercial gluten-free bread and has allowed me to have a small bowl of porridge for breakfast again!

Autumn in the parkIt’s a glorious Indian Summer Autumn here in Sydney. I can walk through my favourite park or just sit there in the sun, and for the first time in a long time, I’m feeling OK!

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