Terrible week

It’s been a terrible week, last week and this week. 

I’ve written posts, and not posted them. I’m in a really bad headspace, of not wanting to communicate, not wanting to connect, not wanting to talk to anyone, and then feeling so horribly, terribly alone. 

Really, this started after the wedding. Well, I mean, I held it together for a few weeks, but when October hit, there was just too much to deal with. My birthday, the new schedule (it’s wonderful that Kat has a new school, but I’m still dealing with the new schedule and trying to find a happy medium type of scheduling or planning), my grandpa, past suicide attempts and the memories of the why, the whole underwear memory, leaving the boyfriend, finding out I was pregnant.

 And then going into November, it doesn’t get better. There are memories of having an abortion, the wreck I became afterward, Bea turning shrinky, the realization that I had no control as a child, and of course, this entire election mess. To top that off, I have been dealing with sinus crud since October (the usual), migraines from stress/anxiety/flashbacks (does anyone else get migraines after particularly bad flashbacks?) and that sinus crap turned into a full blow infection I couldn’t get rid of and then I ended up with an earache. 

And let me tell you, this earache business is no joke. I know exactly why babies and kids scream and cry. It’s like having a friggin’ migraine in your ear. I can’t even. And those homeopathic earache drops they make? Those a a joke. Seriously. They don’t do a thing, except add to the pressure in your ear and make your ear feel like you need to clean it out, except you can’t because you have an ear ache and it hurts like nothing else, and sticking a q-tip in your ear when it hurts like this is a dumb idea. Inprofun doesn’t help either. It’s a racket. And my ear hurts. 

I called my doctor on Friday, and her office only had opening with a male physician. I declined the appointment, stating the time wouldn’t work, and hubby took me to urgent care later that day. It was awful. At least the doctor was female. But she kept asking me if I had damaged my ear, of I had caused trauma to my ear, of I had shoved a q-tip on my ear and damaged it. I kept saying no, and she kept asking. It was like she was accusing me of lying. It was so upsetting. I mean, I clean my ears after a shower or bath with q-tips sometimes, but I think I would remember if I hurt my ear! Right? 
The pain started in the middle of the night of Thursday ,that itchy something is in my ear uncomfortable feeling. Friday morning, at 6:00am, it had turned into a constant dull pain, that achy throbbing kimd of pain, like a headache, and it was punctuated by sharp pain, and this feeling of my ear being stuffed with cotton or water, clogged somehow. So I’m pretty sure it’s not something I did. She eventually said it could be that the sinus infection spread and that it was possible the sinus stuff was putting pressure or had created a middle ear infection. She said all she could see was some dried blood and some pus. She prescribed antibiotics after fighting with me about amoxicillin. She wanted to give me the Amox, and I said no because it gives me a terrible rash, and the rash only gets worse each day I’m on it, to the point my doctor had to treat with a steroid shot the last time someone prescribed Amox. She kept telling that was a side effect, not an allergy, and that the rash does not mean it shouldn’t be prescribed. Eventually she wrote a script for z-pack and I was on my way. I wanted to cry. I felt like I’d been verbally attacked. And after 4 days of z-pack, my ear still hurts. I called my regular doctor’s office, and made an appointment for Thursday. My doctor is out of town this week, so I’m seeing the female nurse practitioner. Of course now I’m afraid she is going to accuse me of hurting my own ear, too, and yell at me. Ugh. I’m hoping my ear gets better before then because I really don’t want to have to go to the doctor again. I have a lot of anxiety about this right now. 

Between all of that, the grown up Alice is struggling to stay present. The little girl has been ruling things. And she likes to hide, to stay cut off from people. Well, she wants people around, but she is afraid to ask. She is afraid to say she needs anyone. She’s terrified of reaching out, needing something, and finding no one there. She can’t do it. And so here I am, holding onto posts I wrote over a week ago, reading blogs and writing comments that I then delete instead of sending, I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Either there is nothing wrong with me, or everything is wrong with me. 
(I wrote this on Monday. Since then, I have been back to urgent care, this time with a different doctor. She looked at my ear and said it was a really severe infection and prescribed stronger antibiotics with ear drop antibiotics too. The doctor warned if it wasn’t better by Wednesday to go to the hospital because I will need IV antibiotics. She was concerned about the infection going into the bone. This doctor, and the nurses, were really kind and compassionate. I was crying and upset and I know the little girl was running things but they treated me very kind and were really gentle. I got a shot for pain so I could sleep that night, which helped a lot. Now it’s Wednesday and my ear still hurts quite a bit, but it is better than Monday. I’m not sure if ‘better by Wednesday’ meant no more pain or just better than it felt on Monday. At the moment I’m planning to take Kat to school and to go to therapy. After that, I’ll see.) 

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24 thoughts on “Terrible week

  1. Oh my! Having compassionate, CAPABLE care makes all the difference. So admire that you stood by the NO Amox despite the pressure. Sounds like some improvement and I hope each more…Hope you something to cuddle and a hot cup of something soothing along with soft fuzzy PJ’s.

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  2. So, so sorry for all of the misery! I don’t know if your ear is too sensitive, but I have found a warm compress to be soothing for ear infections. I hope the the antibiotics do the job quickly. And obviously your body does Not like the Amoxicillin. Why the heck was that Doctor trying so hard to push it?!?

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  3. I am sad to read that the little girl is afraid of reaching out and finding nobody there, because it shows that she doesn’t understand how important she is and how valued she is by this community. During this terrible period for me your support has meant so much – you have no idea how much difference it made to have you there with me. I care about you so much and I know many others do too.

    On the migraines, I’ve been told they’re caused by the flood of adrenaline that’s released during a bad flashback but then isn’t used by the body, so you should lean against the wall and push it hard with both hands (or any form of exercise) to use some of it up.

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  4. Dear Alice, I am so sorry for the terrible week. It does sound terrible. So many triggers and memories and flashbacks. That flashback/activated place is so so SO painful and disorienting and jarring and uncomfortable. It feels like it will never end.
    I also understand and relate to not being able to reach out. Sometimes I can’t be very open on here. And I think that is okay. I wish for you to be able to get support and not feel so alone, but also see no shame or judgment in sometimes that being really hard.
    Sending support. I know that you are going to make it through this, and survive this really tough period. And let the little girl know that you are learning to support her, and you want to support her. Let her know that. xx

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  5. Sirena says:

    Oh Alice, I’m so sorry things feel so desperate for you. And an inner ear infection on top of that? ugh, those are agony. A warm compress is a really good idea. Apparently warming rock salt or any salt really in a pan then putting it into a muslin compress draws the infection out… maybe worth a try.
    I don’t get migraines but I do get headaches or dense head pain during and after flashbacks or switches. Very uncomfortable. Our poor brains huh?
    I hope you can continue reaching out here. We are all waiting to hear from you and ready to support you if needed. Take care x

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  6. Hi Alice. As a doctor, I’ll say – amoxicillin can cause both allergic and non-allergic rashes. The allergic one comes up more quickly and is like hives. The non-allergic one is more delayed and has flatter spots but can still be very itchy. It is more common in children and in the presence of a viral illness, but does also occur in adults. But even if your rash was the non-allergic type, you don’t go around deliberately prescribing a drug which you know has caused a bad reaction in the past if there is a good and safe alternative – which there most definitely is for ear and sinus infections. I’m glad you were able to stand your ground, and I’m sorry you were treated rudely and made to feel bad. It’s the last thing you need when you’re already sick and in pain. I hope the new antibiotics work well and it gets better quickly.

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    • Thank you for stating the difference– my rash comes up quickly and is raised/puffy like hives. My GP has actually told me this before because she wanted to make sure I knew the difference– I forgot about her telling me until you reminded me. ๐Ÿ™‚ And thank you for validating that there are plenty of other meds to be prescribed. I wonder if amox is more commonly used in the states than in au, so doctors here have trouble knowing what else to use? Anyway. Thank you, I am finally feeling better.

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      • We are encouraged to prescribe antibiotics according to guidelines which are updated every few years according to costs/benefit analysis, new research, changes in patterns of resistance etc. Amox is still the first line drug but there are recommended alternatives for penicillin allergic patients, if amox hasn’t worked, and a few other situations. ENT specialists will tend to have a different pattern of prescribing because they see the difficult/failed treatment cases. Depending on how things are funded the cost of the drug may be a factor. Hard to know what influences the decision where you are.

        I am very glad you’re getting better though ๐Ÿ™‚

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      • Thanks for answering this. I was just curious (always curious!). I didn’t think about the fact ENT — or most specialists– will have a different pattern of prescribing. Thank you, I’m glad to be feeling better, too. ๐Ÿ’Ÿ

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  7. Alice, I’m so sorry you are having a hard time. Memories and flashbacks can be hard enough by themselves, but when you layer physical pain on top of them, I think it’s even harder to cope.

    What can I offer that little girl? I’d like to tell her how valuable she is, and that when adults don’t respond to her in the way they should, it’s not about her inherent value at all. She remains precious and beautiful no matter what someone says or does to her. It’s so hard to get that message across, but so crucial. She deserves that message, and she deserves a lot of loving care.

    I hope your earache is receding by now and that you are starting to get a little peace. I’m thinking of you, sending hugs.

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  8. oh alice, i’m so sorry the week has been so horrible. I’m glad the second visit to urgent care went better than the first visit. That first doctor sounded so unprofessional. Take gentle care of you while your ear heals. Sending hugs. xxx

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  9. Thinking of you, Alice. I often whether what’s happening and whether you’re okay and whether Bea is taking good care of the little girl. Hope things are less terrible.

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