Friday, August 21, 2009

September 2004 (2nd part)

I've been here on this planet nearly 90 years. My health problems have made my stay here rather unpleasant. Depression, undiagnosed, plagued the first 50 years. Extremely unpleasant. I made my way through it all. Greatly misdiagnosed through many 70 years. Finally diagnosed at age 70. Doctor finally found the medication that brought relief. Five years ago sciatic surgery was required and some say that probably accounts for the hellish fibromyalgia that keeps my muscles burning and aching all night. What hell. Much reading, I found no remedy yet. My wife is very patient and helpful. The massages are most helpful. Many clinics and doctors world wide are not working with FMS to no avail, yet.

I pray for a remedy. We all suffer the great pain. Is death near? We sometimes think so. At 90, the problem is debilitation. Very low energy all through the day. I have cut back on many of my activities and volunteering.

My youngest brother is 77. We came out of humble circumstances. All served missions. All college grads. I acquired doctorate degree, and thus accomplished, [abducted into] the college hall of fame. My brothers have done well financially--and so their children. 

Sept 23. I awoke with an extreme pain over and around my stomach area. By 6 am my wife took me to the emergency room. They quickly arranged a room and began the process of diagnosis, x-rays, blood work, etc. By 9 am a diagnosis had been made: peptic ulcer. Pricole (sp)  prescribed and 2 1/2 sheets of  info and instructions. Sent home. The extreme pain has not returned, but doctor suspects other things being wrong. She gave me a referal to an endoentologist (sp). She was very suspicious of the black stool, etc.

 Sept 24.  Evening I was doing very well, but yesterday and today not too well. The usual weakness and nausea. Went to lab during pm to fill a prescription  and a blood sample was taken for a half dozen tests related to my ulcer problem, I presume. We went to the dining hall for dinner, but I didn't feel up to it but it turned out all right. Felt horribly bad later arriving home. [Wife] suggested a priesthood blessing. Sons came. Wonderful blessing. Took a long nap.

Sept 24. I felt slightly better than most mornings. Even did early morning chores, took out trash and paper, prepared breakfast, etc. Did not go to the elementary school to tudor, I'm not ready yet. Doing much better today. Son came by after his work. Worked on computer.

Sept 25. Not so good. Slept very little last night. Tiring day. Legs have improved since monday, but I slid back somewhat today. My legs do not hold energy. I walked from the lobby of the hospital out to our car about 1/4 mile and it put me out for a couple of hours rest.

September 2004 (first part)

Many came to the funeral. I gave the family prayer. Eleven young mothers sang a beautiful hymn. He was buried in the old family plot my grandfather acquired back in 1890. I missed the lunch the RS served and had my sons take me back home because I was so fatigued. I slept through the afternoon. [Wife] and sons went to [north] to go errands for [relatives.] My sister, brothers and their wives came over and we visited and went to dinner.

Sept 5. I watched the Francis Hurricane hitting mid Florida covering 300 miles dia. and moving 3 mi./hr. Francis hit Florida Coast West Palm Beach after dark. [on TV] Great damage. [Wife] returned from [north]. I was so glad to see her. My good time with my brothers and sister resulted in an emotional goodbye after they left my place Friday, they returned to UT on Saturday. I let out my emotions that had accumulated in the past four days. Had a barbeque with family in evening.

Sept 6. Labor Day. Saw "Hero" early pm--An ancient chinese story of power and sword, magic, love. Visited my sister and she gave us a house plant in appreciation of our help through week of her husband's funeral. She is 75. The big rush is over--family hosting-- and now it's quiet. Sadness again settling in. But only temporarily because my wife is so optimistic and uplifting to all.

Sept 7. Slept well last night--the first night in two weeks. But woke up at 5 am on fire, down deep in physical hell--the usual case with fibromyalgia. Very weak. It took a bit to walk five steps to bathroom--muscle pain, aching, horribly depressed. I have my mediation routine to come out of it, though it may take two to four hours (or all day.) Glass of water with 100 mg of caffeine, 1 tablet of Lorazopam, 1 tablet of methylphenatate (sp), 1/3 tsp. baking soda well desolved for nausea. Then back to bed for medications to take effect. I exercise in bed--stretch, roll, hard workout stretching muscles. Isotoner (sp). By 6:30 or 7 am, I'm usually able to get breakfast, but still slow and weak, but recovering enough to set table, etc. I usually get a short rest sometime after breakfast.

I called my cousin to ask how he is doing with his fibromyalgia. He is the one who told me about Alavil (sp).  He has the same reactions I'm having, same side effects: all day dullness and discomfort and short memory problem. His wife is also so afflicted.

Sept 8. Very restless night, up and down and weaker during the night; burning and aching. Aroused at 5 am and treated my problems hoping to come out of the extreme muscle burning and aching. By 6 am the pain was gone--the medications work, but still very weak and depressed. I began to feel much better by 7 am. I hope I can get to the Club meeting by 10:45. A neighbor died (who raised her family in a Navajo trading post). She was a gracious lady.

Sept 9. Had a terrible morning arousing. I could not take a step. Usually up by 5 am or before. I laid back down on the bed and finally made it to the bathroom, hanging and bracing on doors and chest of drawers. Took a cup of water, 50 mg caffeine, 1 tablet each of Lorazopam and methylpendate and 1/3 tsp dissolved soda in glass of H2O. Back to bed. In 30 minutes, I was walking, but still very tired and depressed. Stayed in bed until 7 am. [Wife] got breakfast. I usually get it ready by 7 am. [Wife] in meetings all day [for our retirement community]. Took a long nap.

We've decided on a cemetery. We want to buy two companion sites there. It is a beautiful area beneath a large ash tree and near a statue of Christ with lambs.

"I am my past." -L
"I am part of all that I have met." -Tennyson

Sept 10. Again near hell on arising. Very weak and unstable. I stood by the bed waiting to take the 5-6 steps to the bathroom, but too weak to step and fell backward on the bed. Lay there about 10 minutes, then in mini-movements, stood again. This time, very carefully and steadily, I small-stepped it into the bathroom, holding onto whatever as I moved. In the bathroom, stiffness and much pain--I took my morning antidotes and made my way back to bed. My problem? FIBROMYALGIA (and efs and Epstein Barr according to some MDs.) I slowly came out of it. One more hour in bed recovering, then tried to dress. [Wife] got breakfast. Tired and weak rest of the day. Stayed home, read, slept. Rest is very desirable.

[I find some consolation in that] my cousin is dealing with the same thing I am, and think about our conversation. Birthday committee met here tonight with dinner afterwards

Sept 11. Commemoration in NYC. The Networks carried the goings-on.  The usual bad arousing from my night's sleep. I could not walk to the bathroom. No energy, much pain in muscles. After exercising and stretching in bed, I finally was able to shuffle to the bathroom. My usual medications had me able to get dressed in 30-45 minutes.

I planned to go to our neighbor's memorial, but was too weak and down. I stayed home doctoring and resting and trying to nap. I hope to keep our hospital assignment this evening. (Visiting members.)

Each day in my past included small perturbations that gave small nudges toward what I would learn and become. Decisions so small: trigonometry, radio classes amateur and professional.
My father [when I was a child] ordered a $5 violin from Montgomery Ward. At age 12 I was the one in the family elected to play it. Went on to play the viola... cymbals... Thanks Pop for the violin.... Attended a summer workshop at Harvard.... offered a scholarship at Harvard... Wrote a textbook.... for Harcourt Brace.

Sept 13. I did not go with [my wife] on her trip because I could not cope with the altitude, so I was "Home Alone" and very lonely. She called at dinnertime to say hello and report of the workshop thus far.  Today was a lonely day again. I kept an eye doctor appointment , grocery shopped on the way home. Read and wrote in the evening. Finished John Chrisolm's "The Brethren." Quite a story.

Sept 14. [Wife] arrived home in the evening and we went to dinner. Both exhausted and went to bed early.

Sept 15. At Club meeting, Mrs John Rhodes spoke on the Washinton DC protocal. Quite interesting. [Wife] then went to the temple. I stayed home and called my sister to see how she was doing. She seems to be doing very well. [Wife] returned and we went to dinner, watched the Francis hurricane news. The worst in the History of US.

Sept 16. We went to my appointment with the doctor for Lorazopan and methyphenabate prescription and evaluation. Status quo. It was a nice visit. Dr. was rather jovial today.

Sept 17. [Wife] went to the elementary school to tudor. It was too early in the day that I could go. I am very tired and weak. I didn't gain energy until 10 am.

Sept 18. A dreadful night. I kept [wife] awake through most of my travail. Fibromyalgia is really hell. The problem might have been exuberated by the dentist sending home Sea Silver with [wife] for me to try. I was up and dressed to say goodbye to [my wife] before she left to visit family for the day. I was weak and depressed. (Typical) So, here I am on a Saturday, alone and depressed. Had lunch with grandsons.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

August 2004

For most of my life it was easy and natural for me to keep a daily journal. About two years ago I halted in this passionate desire. I will be 90 in 3 months. I do not have the energy for a lot of things I once had. I served as our church (ward) clerk--about four years, and was determined to stay with it until I was released, and I did. (Recently.) My sciatica problem made sitting difficult for any length of time. We'd start with meetings at 5:30 am and go until 4 pm. I was relieved to be released, as you might imagine.

My fibromyalgia kept me awake half of the night. I took medications for depression, several painkillers. About noon I took Percocet (codeine) to see me through to 4 o'clock. 

The new bishop had asked me to be the Sunday School President. I had to tell him the truth about my fibromyalgia and how hard it was to live with. I personally knew I would not be able to handle it. The bishop couldn't understand, since I looked healthy and acted frisky in his presence. He couldn't believe my health problems and my advanced age. 

My wife is 10 years younger than I and is still in good health. At age 75-80 I was still running fast and served in the high council, ward missionary, home teaching  new patients in the nearby hospital.

 I stayed home from the Kiwanis meeting today. I was very weak and couldn't arouse from the morning fibromyalgia problems. About 3 pm the cloud lifted.

My wife is very understanding. She is disappointed when I don't go [out] with her. I scream out at night with fibromyalgia pain. She is there to give me a general rubdown, which always helps. Every muscle in the body is on fire and aching. No remedy. My doctors try to help, but nothing works--yet.

I phoned my sister. Her husband is not doing well. I tried to cheer her up.

Next day we went to a movie, "The Village." It was most unusual and a little spooky. I was exhausted when we got home.

Last night was another night of hell. From 2 am on, my muscles burned and ached. I only got short naps until 5 am. My wife awoke once to give me a good rubdown.

 I'm always very weak and depressed on awakening and trying to get going in the morning. I stagger to the 10 steps to the bathroom to take 50 mg of caffeine. It is very effective. Also one Lorazepam, one wethyphencete (sorry, sp.) capsule, 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in a glass of water for nausea. Slowly I gain my usual energy and the small amount of go-power for the next four hours. The medications eliminate the burn and help me on my way. Most unpleasant experience. This condition has plagued me for at least the past six years, during which time I serve 4 years as clerk, 2 years as Club program chairman and 1 year as president.

My sister's husband passed away.
Funeral over. It went very well. 

Had a terrible night. Between 3-5 am I got no sleep. Every muscle is aching. Horribly weak. Started medications at 5 am. Burning soothed but I'm still very weak and depressed.  I improved slowly. Got up and dressed at 5:45 and moved about a bit. Slowly, slowly I improved, but still very weak. Prepared breakfast.

I read from D&C 76 and 88. Paid bills and mailed the letters. Tried to catch up on some sleep.

June 2004

6 June 2004. Upon arising I am very weak. Could not walk to the kitchen. Weak all day, but went to dinner. Slept soundly Sunday night, but very weak Monday morning. Did nothing all day, but endure the weakness. Very discouraging.
Today, Tues. June 16, 2004. All is much better. Why? Who knows. Maybe it is because of a solid night's sleep after being weak and miserable all day! Called the doctor for an appointment.

January 2004

1 January 2004Took 1/2 tablet last night at bedtime. Slept soundly all night without interruptions for the terrible all-over burning and aching, but awoke at 6am very painful, no energy, depressed. Finally I dressed and put breakfast on the table.
Yesterday we contacted three or four cemeteries, visiting two. 
New Year's Day. Ate one meal in the dining hall. M&K and family brought more gifts and we all went to dinner. I made it through.
4 Jan 2004. Took Elavil last night. It was a fair night, but feeling low, low during morning hours. 
5 Jan 2005. Drove up to Lakeside today.

This Diary is a Christmas Present 2003

My current age is 89. I have a number of autobiographical materials I have previously written. I am now living in a retirement community. My wife is now 78 years old.

28 Dec 2003. I am too weak, but went to church. My daughter came in about 12:30 and visited. When I got back from church we all had lunch at the dining hall. I am weak, but managing. They brought gifts: jerky and a box of salmon.  The family got together, but I was too tired to go.
Fibromyalgia attacks at night with terribly painful muscles. I become very weak and depressed.