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Friday, June 10, 2011

Do you bite your lip?

In all honesty I have no idea where to start with this one. It seems like an easy question and answer, right? It’s either:

  1. No, I don’t bite my lip.
  2. Yes, I bite my lip accidentally sometimes when __________. (eating, chewing…)
  3. I only bite my lip when I’m nervous or thinking.
  4. Uh, no.

Normally my answer would be number two: I occasionally and accidentally bite my lip while chewing. Lately, probably over the last week or so – give or take, I’ve been biting my lip in.the.exact.same spot. I don’t even have to tell you how painful that is, right?

Each time it has happened has been without warning. I’m minding my own business chewing a piece of gum or eating dinner and then wham! There have been a couple of times that I’m only yelling at reprimanding the children when I’ve suddenly bitten my lip in the same spot. I grab my mouth, pause for a moment and mumble for my children to leave me alone and just do what I said.

Then things go back to normal… at least ‘til the next time.

That next time came last night. I decided to luxuriate in the bathtub and enjoy some semi-quiet time. Did a lot of girly stuff, oiled down and piddled around. Eventually I unlocked my door when my neighbor knocked to see if I was ready for dinner. I could hear all of our children as well as my oldest and her friend hoopla-ing it up in the living room.

I decided to enjoy myself alone. When I finally decided to eat, she brought me a plate and I sat on my bed. I took a bite of the salmon (OMG, it was soooo good), scooped up some homemade mashed potatoes (Mmmm, yea baby!) and savored my famous spinach pie (needed more seasoning). Just as I was really getting into my meal I chomped down – really hard – on my lip in.the.same.spot!

The pain was excruciating and there was a piece of something dislodged. As I tried not to dribble the food out of my mouth and get it carefully chewed and swallowed I could feel the piece of my lip sorta hanging out. I had bit the same spot open and a piece of the inside of my lip was on the outside. I summoned my oldest daughter and after some investigation, mumbling and OMG-ing and whatnot, we decided to go to the ER at the Veteran’s hospital. I figured since I couldn’t eat at all or talk well that it warranted an ER trip.

After some numbing, snipping, bleeding, cutting and more bleeding the piece was finally removed.

How many times have you said eeewwwww while reading this?

Come to find out – now here’s the not-so-funny part – is that because of the Sjogren’s disease I have to be very careful. Huh? What? Well, the doctor said because of the dry mouth that can cause me not to realize how hard I’m biting down. I maintain that I don’t have time to realize anything ‘cause I’m in the middle of talking or chewing. When I asked my daughter who is my backup medical observer and absorber she said she had no idea either. Just to be careful.

I can’t even be normal when it comes to biting my lip? Seriously?

It was all a bit funny and sitcom-like until I found it it’s related to one of my diseases. Sigh…

Anyway, do you have any crazy, bite-my-lip stories? Tell all in the comments.

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Bigger than me

Today I went downtown to Morehouse School of Medicine to participate in a research study on multiple myeloma. (You remember that’s one of the things I’ve been diagnosed with, right?) I read through the materials regarding the study and was even more pleased that I chose to participate. In layman’s terms: The study is looking into the genetics of those who carry the whatchamacallit (yup, that’s the medical term) that causes multiple myeloma, which – per Wikipedia - is defined as:

“Multiple myeloma (from Greek myelo-, bone marrow), also known as plasma cell myeloma or Kahler's disease (after Otto Kahler), is a cancer of plasma cells, a type of white blood cell normally responsible for the production of antibodies.[1] Collections of abnormal cells accumulate in bones, where they cause bone lesions, and in the bone marrow where they interfere with the production of normal blood cells. Most cases of myeloma also feature the production of a paraprotein, an abnormal antibody that can cause kidney problems and interferes with the production of normal antibodies leading to immunodeficiency.”

(I left the links to the various terms so you can get more info if you like.)

It took about an hour and 15 minutes to answer a bunch of questions and give blood. Piece of cake. And it even gave me the pleasure of knowing that I can remember almost every address, entirely, from the time I was a toddler ‘til now, but I can’t remember how long I’ve been taking some of the medicines that I take everyday. At least my long-term memory is intact, right?

I wanted to participate because it’s something I deal with and because if my dealing with it can help those in the medical field discover a cause, a cure and a better treatment just by me answering a few questions and giving some blood then I’m all for it. (Here’s a link to the last post I wrote about  my health.)

This study is so much bigger than me. Do you know what I mean? … My experiences and participation have the potential of helping others.  Now that’s priceless.

What experiences do you think are priceless?

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Monday, June 6, 2011

14 pills a day

Once a week, on Sunday or Monday, I refill my daily pill thingies. It’s one of my most dreaded tasks. Why do I dread it so much? I’m not exactly sure of the answer because I often hide thoughts deep in the recesses of my brain, but what I do know is that it takes way too long to finish and it’s a reminder of sickness/illness/disease/limitations.

100_4729I keep the majority of my medications in that white basket, which sits on top of my refrigerator. I line up the day of the week containers and fill them. I spent about two to three weeks not doing that because I wanted to do something else with my time and not think about it. So I took the minimum and went on about my business. After running away from home last weekend I realized I need to get back to taking good better care of myself so I re-started filling the daily thing. 100_4730

100_4731That’s what it looks like (on the left)  after all the pills are in there. The little lids come off then pop back on. Then I put the little containers into the stack thingy. There is only one pill in there that isn’t prescribed and I have one condition that isn’t currently being treated because it’s in remission. Yippee!

(For those new to my blog, check out my health and weight loss journals for more information about my health challenges.)

This is just a day in the life of a “chronic babe” … It’s also one of the reasons I have my womanly wishes. Is there something you do everyday, or weekly, that’s necessary but annoying? Do share.

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