Oct. 19, 2020

New Symptoms But Still Not That Sick

Woke up with a stuffy nose and slight cough this morning. Not too bad. If COVID wasn't going around I would shrug it off and just continue on with my life, but because of this pandemic, I have to take all these extra precautions just in case. Such as not leaving my room and minimal contact with my family.

First issue was that the 10yo uses my phone to do his Zoom meetings. I ended up washing my hands good then using sanitizer on them then smearing some of the sanitizer on the phone before handing it over to him. I told him to wash his hands after using it before he does his homework and gets lunch. I doubt he does.

The next issue is going to be helping him with his homework. He usually needs me to explain the instructions for his English homework because he doesn't fully read it all. He's pretty good at doing his math on his own. Then there's his specials. He was supposed to have gym homework done for today that I doubt he did and has art tomorrow. I'm going to have to make sure someone looks over his work to be sure he did it all. I'll probably email his teacher to let her know I'm sick as well and won't be monitoring him as closely.

The biggest issue with being quarantined in my room is I have no access to food. I can fill my water in my bathroom, but that's it. I have nothing to eat and no way to get any food without asking the kids to do it. That extends into the next issue. There isn't any food in the house that doesn't need to be cooked and there's still little of that. We're almost out of the stuff the kids make voluntarily (fish sticks, mac & cheese, sandwich stuff). They won't cook for themselves and they sure won't cook for me. Last night, my husband warmed up the last of my leftover pork roast and rice so that's the last of the easy stuff they could get me. He can make hamburgers and a couple other things that we don't have ingredients for. I do 95% of the cooking in the house. When I can't cook (because I'm sick usually), they eat cereal (which we don't have), popcorn and ramen for the most part.

And because I have nothing to eat it's all I think about. In the past, I would combat that hunger by drinking water. Any time my stomach grumbles or I think about eating or being hungry, I chug some water. It sort of tricks your body into feeling full. Problem is my throat is sore so drinking water is not a fun experience.

It's all so frustrating. I still don't feel like I have a fever. At least I'm not warm to the touch. It's just the scratchy, slightly sore throat, bit of a cough and stuffy nose. I feel worse when I get a cold most of the time. And when I do get colds, I'm sick for weeks so it'll be hard to tell if it's anything more. Last time I was sick was the end of February/beginning of March--right when COVID showed up in the US. I had a sore throat for several days then the cough settled into my chest. I had no fever that I could feel (we don't have thermometers in the house) but the cough lingered for over three weeks. I just continued doing what I normally did because the worry about COVID hadn't hyped up yet. Now...

I thought about putting my mask on yesterday and making a big batch of burrito bowl for myself. I wasn't coughing yet and with the mask on, I figured I'd pose a minimal threat if I washed and sanitized my hands really good. Then I'd have the food in the fridge and the kids could just warm it up for me each day but then I remembered we were missing ingredients and can't really go shopping until pay day (tomorrow). And if the 20yo finds out I left my room she would freak out. She wouldn't let the grandson out of her bedroom the entire time the 14yo was sick back in August/September even though she has the same mild symptoms I had. Actually, I think her sore throat was worse because she begged for more cough drops and advil. I don't feel that bad.


It's just really bad timing to get sick, although not unexpected. I always get sick when the weather changes. I missed my typical start-of-school cold I catch when the kids head back to classes since schools are still closed. I probably picked this up when I was at the store on Friday. Actually, just looked up the incubation for the common cold and it's 24-72 hours. I was out Friday afternoon and started feeling sick Saturday night. Common cold usually starts with a scratchy throat--check followed by sneezing, runny and stuffy nose--check for all of them (although more stuffed up than runny nose right now--not sure which is worse). Other symptoms are malaise--check. And it says generally there's no fever.

So, I'd say it's just a common cold. Still sucks but I'm not going to fret more than usual. I'll stay in my room as much as possible and wear my mask if I leave (because I'm going to have to make food for myself eventually). If my symptoms get worse then I'll start to worry. Still not sure how I'll get the sleep apnea test machine, though. I don't know if they'll let my husband pick it up, and I can't go if I have symptoms of COVID (even if they're just a cold and not COVID).

Here, I was excited to get that machine this week, get the test done, and start treatment. I'm 100% sure I have sleep apnea. Yesterday, I was trying to nap and woke myself up every few minutes from snoring. I don't normally wake up but yesterday, it was every time. I barely slept all day or night because of it. I did notice that I don't actually breathe through my mouth at night like I said. They asked me that and I figured I did since I drool so much, but the whole time I was sleeping, my mouth was shut--the drool would just gather and sort of slide out the corner of my mouth eventually. I could still start breathing through my mouth in the middle of the night when I'm fully asleep, though. Either way, the amount of drool I have is ridiculous and annoying. My pillow is always soaking wet half way through the night.

I'll just be happy to start treatment because it's freaky thinking I'm not breathing all through the night. No wonder my brain is a mess and I can't think straight most of the time--I'm constantly starved of oxygen. Kind of explains my nap anxiety as well. I thought it was just because I hate the headaches and feeling of exhaustion after, but maybe, my brain is terrified of the oxygen-deprivation and trying to warn me to not to sleep. Not that I have a choice because the fatigue is too much to fight against.

Hopefully, things will get better once the apnea is being treated. Then I can discuss the bipolar meds with my doctor. I don't think I can continue on these meds. I was looking at the notes from the sleep med appointment and they flagged my weight several times. I was 280lbs which is hella awful, but even more concerning is the weight gain over the last few months. The app they use lets you compare your stats over all the visits to their clinics (it's really cool). So we could see that I've gained 20lbs since I started the new med at the beginning of August. 20lbs in two months is not good.

And I don't feel any less depressed. I have a little more energy and focus, but the benefits are not outweighing the side effects at the moment. I keep wanting to hold on a little longer to see because the apnea could be effecting everything. How much more energy and focus could I have if the sleep apnea wasn't slowly killing brain cells? Would the depression be better if I could actually get some rest. I've been in sleep deprivation mode for years and not even noticed because it's just "normal" for me now.

Either way, the weight gain is bad with this med. She did say there were options for meds that could control the weight gain. Not sure what those are or how they would effect me. It's an option but only if the bipolar med is helping with my moods. If not, then it's time to try something else. I have stronger dosages I could try but are they going to make me gain even more weight?

It's all up in the air until I get this sleep situation sorted out. I can't keep it all straight. The weight thing will be the deciding factor for this med, though. I'm so heavy now that I can barely get up and down the stairs. My legs feel like lead bricks (not helping because they're super swelled up right now). My knees creak and feel like they're going to give out. What a difference just 30lbs makes because at 250lbs, I could run up and down the stairs without issue (other than the creaking knee).

I have to make an appointment with the psych doc in a couple weeks. I'm not sure how much info about the sleep issue I'll have, but we're going to have to discuss this med to control the weight gain while we try to figure out of this mood stabilizer is the one that will work for me

Ugh. Now my head hurts from trying to sort this all out. I just need to catch a break with something.

Written by justanotherjen

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Posted On Oct 20, 2020

Hope you get well soon! I think the best way to lose weight is to eat much less food, or even fast, combined with some light to moderate physical activity daily. That's probably something I need to do myself too.

Posted On Oct 20, 2020

@JustMegawatt Unfortunately, when you're on a med that's causing weight gain, it doesn't really matter what you eat. Obviously, I should eat healthier and smaller portions. I try to do that anyway, but I could eat 1 salad a day and still gain weight because of the medicine. It sucks. I had already cut back to a half lunch and small dinner--like half of a sandwich with a small bowl of cottage cheese and grape tomatoes for lunch and I eat my dinner on a smaller salad plate (an idea my 17yo had to portion control). On the other hand, my depression gets the better of me a lot and a gorge on chips and stuff I don't need then regret it later. Sigh.
The only time I've lost significant weight was in 2017 when we had no money for food. After weeks of eating one meal a day, my husband and I switched to eating every other day so the kids could have more food. I would have one small meal (1/2 chicken breast, spoonful of instant potatoes and a scoop of peas) one day then eat nothing the next day then have that same small meal the next. I was probably living off of 1500 calories a week! I dropped from 255lbs to 225bs three weeks. I do not recommend starvation diets--they suck. I did keep most of the weight off. After we could afford food again, I went back up to 235 but stayed there for over a year until the fatigue got me. I stopped doing stuff around the house and just sat there. I was up to 260lbs when I started this new med and in 2 months, I've gained 20lbs. Not good. At this rate, I'll be 300lbs by Christmas. My knees can't take it. I can barely get up and down the stairs now. Ugh. Definitely going to have to talk to the doctor about it soon.

Posted On Oct 20, 2020

I had a friend who was on rheumatoid arthritis meds that made her gain weight, and it really sucked. Hopefully your doctor can figure out something to help.

Posted On Oct 20, 2020

@Achaius I'm hoping. It means either trying a different med or she said there are some meds I could go on to help control the weight gain. But of course, those have their own side effects and might not work. I think I'd like to try that first but it all depends on whether the bipolar meds really work. And right now I can't tell if they're working because I'm so fatigued all of the time from the sleep apnea. At least, I now think that's what going on. So first, I have to start treatment for the apnea and see if that helps the energy levels. If those go up then hopefully the bipolar meds will start working better. If those meds don't work then I don't need to stay on them. It's hard to figure out with so many things up in the air right now. But definitely want to try the weight control meds in the meantime, I think.

Posted On Oct 21, 2020

Just saw this post from earlier. I hope it's just a cold and that you get some good food. I used to weigh about 90lbs. I was tiny as hell, people joked that if I turned sideways I'd be invisible. I started on a medicine and all the sudden went all the way up past my goal weight to 135lbs which is also a big difference. (Honestly having a body at all is super weird isn't it?) After I went off that medicine though my weight dropped a bit. That was the only thing that changed I wasn't eating less or working out at all. Medicine is wild, it's really a double edged sword...

Posted On Oct 21, 2020

@iyazo Yeah, it's all about weighing the pros and cons, and right now there aren't enough pros to continue taking the medicine if I can't control the con of weight gain. I'm usually lucky and don't have significant reactions to the drugs I'm on. Other than my allergy the penicillin, the only other time I remember really reacting was some anxiety med (I think it was) that caused me to be very shaky. I already have tremors in my hands, but this med magnified them. Like how old people can't control the shaking in their hands--that was me. Once I got off that drug, the tremors went back to being just a random nuisance usually when I was tired or worn out. I think there was also one anxiety med that made me all-over jittery before knocking me out completely for hours. I still have some of those I take if I need to sleep and feel really worried about stuff, lol.

Posted On Oct 21, 2020

Well I hope you feel better off the med, or whatever you decide to do!

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