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Jan. 11th, 2013

The latest health update is that in addition to an auto immune disorder, rheumatoid arthritis, and valley fever (which is a fungal lung infection that in most people goes away without them even knowing that they are sick, but in my case is pretty severe and has to be treated so that it doesn't go septic and kill me) i also have a nasty flu which is going about.

They put me back on immunosuppressive therapy in addition to the treatment for the valley fever, which has been extremely unpleasant to say the least. I can't sleep without drugs (ambien or promethezine depending on how many hours I have) and I can't keep a thing down. It's also made me really tightly wound, paranoid, and I feel like I'm crawling out of my skin. Unfortunately I don't really have a choice - I need to be on these meds so I don't get worse.

All in all I'm on 7 different prescriptions, and a handful of OTC stuff. If I have a liver by march it'll be a miracle.

I'm trying to stay positive, focus on the things that make me happy and give me hope. I actually got a tattoo on my wrist right after New Years that says "Ngi ne themba" which means "I have hope". It's one of those phrases that I've kept close for years when things get tough, and being able to see it everyday is a reminder to stay motivated. It probably seems dumb to anyone else, but I can't express how emotionally and mentally exhausting this has been and is going to continue to be.

On the bright side, I got news this week that my packet for the medical eval board is finally rolling. It's going to the doctor on post for approval, my blood work got done again, and if he says it's okay to go, it'll get sent up to the powers that be at ft Lewis for review. All very good things.

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So last year happened. I'm going to try and update more, if only to keep track of my health and transition stuff, since the doctors think that's a good idea for my mental health or whatever. They also seem to think having a chronic serious illness means I'm going to be super depressed and want to kill myself or something? News flash guys, being at ft Huachuca is depressing and my body is slowly mummifying itself. I don't need to help it along any.

I had a good time on leave - i did basically nothing but sleep for two weeks which I really needed. We also got snow on Christmas Eve, which was beautiful. Birthday was basically a non-event, like every year, but I'm trying to be an adult and not be sad about it. It's just another day and everyone does things on Christmas; after 27 years I should really not expect things to happen the way I want.

I swear I'm not as much of a sad sack as my journal makes me sound. Serious. Read my twitter or my tumblr >_>

Also I miss hockey. That is all.

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Rough week. Finally got a partial diagnosis from my rheumatologist: Sjögren's syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis. That was Halloween . Day after I spoke with my primary care here on post and i was told that they were initiating a medical evaluation board to discharge me. They told me that my case was "pretty obvious" and so probably wouldn't take long to go through.

Which means I'm out of a job, a career, a home, and a life that i planned on being mine for the next 20 years in the next 6 months or so.

On the health end, it is positive. A diagnosis means treatment for a problem I've been honestly suffering with for 8 months. They've put me on immunosuppressants (same stuff they give cancer patients) and no lie, they are rough. I can't keep the slightest thing down, I'm bone tired, and I feel like I'm made of hollow bird bones and swimming through concrete. I actually feel about 50x worse than I did before hand, but I'm told it'll only suck for 2-4 weeks. Ugh.

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Soldiering on

Army life keeps trucking on, but they finally got me in to see a physical therapist and an infectious diseases specialist. For Physical therapy were doing aquatics which seem to be helping with my mobility. My specialist went over all my blood tests with me and I found out some interesting stuff. Apparently, even though I was treated for Lyme, I never had a confirmed positive test, just two inconclusive ones. My doctor, lacking other options, treated me anyway, and she and I just generally don't communicate we'll. she doesn't tell me much and doesn't listen well.

My CBC tests have been very not good consistently, apparently dramatically so (1:640 Titer With low sedimentation. Not really sure what that means) She thinks lupus is very likely, although she is having me tested for valley fever just in case. I am being referred to a rheumatologist either way based on my current labs.

She also thinks lymphoma is a possibility, but right now I don't exhibit enough tell-tale symptoms for them to refer me to an oncologist. I got sent a list of things to keep my eye on just in case though.

What I don't know yet is if I DO have lupus, what that means for my army career. It's very disheartening to be honest, but the best I can do is say fuck it and drive on. I can't stop moving just because I'm sick, I have my duty to do whether I'm puking all day or tired or hurting so badly I can't walk much. Doesn't matter, so I just suck it up, fake the motivation, act Hooah as hell and keep going.

Fake it till you make it, guys.

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I'm doing this whole sobriety thing, and I don't feel like I can talk to anyone about it. Nearly all of my friends drink. It's not an AA thing, I don't think I could get into something like that, but I need to do it for my health. I need to try, at least, and I know my reasons for drinking aren't healthy. My drinking habits aren't bad at all; I partially moved to Arizona in the first place to dry out. after bct, I drink maybe 1-2x a week. Or did. We have a ton of new brigade policies that came down last week so I'm not allowed to drink anymore, which is a huge help, but lets be honest, those policies are hard to enforce practically.

I'm not quitting drinking forever or anything. Part of me still loves having a beer or a drink with my friends, but my health is really poor right now. If it turns out I do have lupus- which at this point were just waiting to confirm my diagnosis- a lot of my habits have to change. But mostly in trying to change the way I think about booze, because somewhere along the line I started needing it instead of wanting it, and it became my coping mechanism and I can't stand that.

So yeah. Hi, I'm Hannah, im an alcoholic, and I've gone 20 days without a drink and its awful.

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I'm going to try and post more regularly. Something not necessarily substantial, because my life is essentially groundhogs day but in TRADOC, so. That sucks. But they're finally getting me to aqua therapy for my arthritis and an infectious disease specialist for my Lyme-that-isn't-just-Lyme. Apparently, my doctor told her boss, who told my 1SG that I have never had Lyme. Even though I've had two separate doctors on two separate occasions within 6 months administer Lyme panel blood tests which were positive. Um, okay. Whatever, she thinks I'm lying or attention seeking or something, but I am sick, I'm sick every damn day and I'm in actual pain every day. That's not right, not okay, and everybody can agree it makes it really fucking hard to live up to all my badass soldier type potential if I can barely hold a pen or walk. But y'know.

Hockey is not happening and I have resorted to watching football. This is a pretty awful state of affairs, friends.

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My roommate is trying to set up her Internet connection right now and has no clue what she's doing. She thinks that all she has to do is "just plug in the box" and her wifi will work. If I pipe up with anything useful re her router or installing the right software on her computer so the thing will work I am the most rude And meddlesome of creatures, but just sitting here not helping makes me a bitch too.

Nerd problems. Sigh.

And I don't even have enough money to go get plastered this weekend because I've been helping her ass out and paying for things the past month (lord knows she won't offer to pay for ANYTHING.) I'm seriously not helping anyone with anything else ever again because they only fuck me over later and then smile like I should be grateful. Uh, no. Go fuck yourselves.

Anyway, gonna go rage quit the universe and take some drugs and sleep for the next two days.

Can I get some rum with this Lyme

Still here in arizona, which sucks but there you have it. Being a hold here isn't all bad; it's not terribly stressful and I get to do a lot of quirky details for both the company and battalion. I'm anxious to get to my unit as soon as possible, but the army and the universe work in ways outside of my control.

Also outside of my control is my Lyme Disease, kind of. I've been doing mostly okay since July - good days and bad days but mostly manageable. I've had a big flare up and they put me back on the doxycycline and put me on Celebrex for my arthritis. When I get to my unit I'm going to try and get approval for the army to pay for a rheumatologist, but we'll see. I feel tired, twitchy, depressed, angry, sore, nauseous and a whole host of other things. It's a really fucking terrible beast of a thing to deal with, especially when I'm gearing up for a PT test that has a big impact on my career. I'm trying to work out 2-3 hours a day in spite of wanting to do nothing but curl up and die a slow agonizing death via malaise and pillows. It's going okay; just difficult and frustrating as hell. It's hard when you're not sleeping or eating and everything just 100 times more difficult than it needs to be and then everyone acts like you're just a lazy malingering shammer. I've gotten into my second week of the flare up, which means I look as bad as I feel and everyone feels the need to point out that I look like shit. Pretty awesome, thanks for the chronic incurable disease, army, it was a real swell gift. No lie, I kind of just want to throw a tantrum because this shit just isn't fair.

On the other hand, I didn't throw up today for the first time in ten days, so that's good.

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The weirdest place I've ever taken a nap is probably a grenade range.

Jul. 7th, 2012

In other news, I sleep better when curled up with my m16. Am I turning into:

A. Deadpool
B. my ex 
C. A crazy person
D. Tallahassee from zombie land, or
E. ______________ ?