Friday, June 13, 2014

Time Out

I can't believe it's been almost 3 months since my last post. Still no news on when the Stanford study will be published.  I'm not sure why.

A lot has been happening physically, emotionally, spiritually. I'm in a major transition.  I've been sick 7 years now although the reality is I've been sick since 2002. I just didn't know it.  But it's been 7 years since I haven't been able to function well enough to work.

One of my biggest fears since the break up has come true.  My car is broken. It had been idling rough for awhile and I thought I'd noticed some blue smoke coming out of the exhaust every now and then when I'd start it but I didn't know what it meant.

For the past 3 plus weeks I've been having increased symptoms, particularly increased OI, dizziness, fatigue, chemical sensitivities, increased difficulty swallowing and other neurological symptoms.

About a month ago my house mate borrowed my car. When he returned he said the car was idling pretty rough and should be checked out. It happened to coincide with needing to get my car a smog check so I took it to a recommended place.  The guy said "save your money-this won't pass smog because of all the smoke coming out the exhaust".  I took it to a smog and repair place thinking it would cost me a couple hundred to fix whatever ailed it.

The smog and repair guy said "your engine is burning oil. It's not worth fixing. By the way-you shouldn't breath it because it's toxic".  He told me about a program here where I could retire the car and get some money.

I consulted with two more mechanics who both said the same thing.

The blue smoke coming out of the exhaust has gotten thick to the point where motorist became angry motioning me to roll down my window and said "You can't drive that car. It's a gross polluter and that crap is poison. Your engine is blown"

My physical symptoms in the car have gotten to the point where driving is not safe. I'm quite light headed and have slowed reflexes along with slight confusion. When I get home I'm absolutely exhausted.  I also get heart palpitations a headache and nausea.

My physical functioning has taken a hit.

I found out Weds that my car was accepted into the program but I have to retire is asap because they might run out of money so yesterday I cleaned out the trunk and the car so I could take it in today to retire it and get money.

For some reason I took all the stuff in my trunk upstairs to my room and put it in the closet. I ignored the fact that the stuff had been sitting there since 2011--that it had been flooded in El Cerrito by underground sewers during bad rain.  I don't know if that accounted for what occurred last night or not.

Around 10:00pm I went to my computer to look up cars on craigslist. I do not have enough money for a decent reliable car which is a bit scary.  I noticed the cord wasn't plugged in so I leaned over while sitting on the chair to pick up the cord and fell. I found myself sitting in an odd position with my knee at a strange angle.  A bit stunned I stood up then suddenly felt like I was going to pass out but managed to make it to the bed where I lay there covered in a slight sweat feeling like the room was about to start spinning.  I was nauseous.

For the next 30 minutes every time I'd try to make it to the bathroom I'd take about 10 steps then feel like I was going to pass out. I glanced at myself in the mirror and saw a white face reflected back at me. I'd lay down and still feel like passing out. It reminded me when I was at my worst with this illness and spooked me badly.

I can only think it had to do with a mixture of the toxic exhaust (I drove my car around yesterday for the first time in a few days) and mold.

My knee is hurt and quite swollen on the outside including the front part of my calf (whatever it's called) so I've been icing it. My back is also injured so I've been icing that as well. I had to drive my car about 1/2 mile to get Advil, an ace bandage and something to help me get up from bed. When I get up or sit down the side of my knee hurts pretty bad on the side where it's swollen. I'm guessing I strained a ligament or tendon. I should go to the doctor but in no way can afford it especially with what's going on with my car.

I'm a bit challenged as far as a buying a car. I can only drive 4-5 miles. I'd like to buy a cargo van however for the amount of money I'll get for my car it's next to impossible to find a reliable one (per various auto mechanics I've contacted).

I have a guy willing to drive 30 minutes from here to show me a car (that I can sleep in) that has less than $200,000 miles on it. He says it's in great shape but they all do. The whole craigslist thing is a trip. A guy responded to my inquiry last night with the following "yeah it's still available but I need money for a lawyer so I have to sell it TONIGHT".  Yeah right buddy. Is that code for it's STOLEN? In another ad the person said all the "bells" have been replaced. Really?  Seems like it would sound sort of pretty.

I have a plan for where I want to go and how I'd get there (it would take me awhile). I just need a reliable vehicle.

In the meantime I'll hope my knee doesn't continue to get worse and that I haven't worsened the already ruptured disc in my back.

Update--I "retired" my car but while there I noticed my left ankle is swollen---not painful at all and clearly edema so I'm not sure what to do. The skin around the ankle is so swollen it's almost doubled over.  I have to figure out if this can wait until Monday. I'm also having some pain in my left calf.  I'm trying to refrain from consulting with google. All that does is cause worry.

Ahhh. Life with a chronic illness and being poor. It doesn't get much better than this.  : )


  1. AAAHHH, yes everything bad always happens at once. Losing your car is a nightmare but getting your foot, knee, back checked out sounds like its needs to be a priority. Really wish I had someway to help you ... I will keep thinking. In the meantime I will cross fingers and everything else that something great happens for you! xo

  2. As they say -- when it rains, it pours In your case, these bad occurrences all happened in a matter of days, and that's quite unfortunate. While you may have had some money from the car that you retired, you could perhaps check out what happened to your knee. You mentioned that it's not painful, but I could fire up in a matter of days if you still haven't got it fixed up. The swelling could also get in the way of your work, so better get this checked out soon!

    Agnes Lawson @ MedWell Spine, OsteoArthritis & Neuropathy Center