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Rambling

I have a million things I want/need to write about. We'll see how many I manage to get to before my writing-fu weakens.

Ruth's Chris Steak House Birthday Dinner

Last night, Lisa took me out to dinner for my birthday. Okay, yes, my birthday is in March, but I've had so many debilitating physical and mental health crises in the past 8 months that we just kept putting it off. But I'm very proud of myself for being assertive enough to tell Lisa, "Remember how you were going to take me out for my birthday? And we said we would put it off until I felt up to it? Well, I feel up to it now, even though it's 8 months later ... so ... wanna spend some money on me now?"

She took me to Ruth's Chris Steak House in SF, and we had one of the most amazing meals of my life. I did a fairly admirable job of avoiding looking at any of the prices on the menu, but I did accidentally notice the price of the steak Lisa had encouraged me to order (which was the same steak she ordered for herself)—the "bone-in filet"—which was $65. So we each had a $65 steak, plus we shared a tomato salad appetizer; sides of au gratin potatoes, creamed spinach, and asparagus with hollandaise (we brazenly picked up the asparagus with our fingers and dipped it into the hollandaise—I felt quite liberated and daring); and then made a valiant attempt at the berries and cream dessert which nonetheless defeated us in the end. Everything was phenomenally delicious, and I think it was the probably the best steak I've ever had.

The "bone-in filet" was their specialty, and for some reason this meant that the usual steak knives that came with our standard place-setting were not sufficiently grand. The waiter whisked away the "normal" steak knives and instead brought a fancy wooden box which he opened with a flourish to show us an array of about a dozen knives within. He explained the differences between the fancy knives (one kind was from France and was not serrated, the other from Germany and serrated) and then urged me to make my choice. I was finding this all highly amusing, but figured that my childhood full of visits to Sizzler had taught me that you need a serrated knife for a steak, so I went with one of the fat German knives. Lisa chose a slender, white-handled French knife. After the waiter walked away, we giggled for quite a while about the pretentiousness of being presented with a box of knives to choose from, as if we were preparing for a duel instead of a meal. Lisa has been there many times, and has ordered this particular steak many times, and so I'm sure the knife-choosing process was not new to her, but she did nothing to rain on my amusement parade.

Anyway, we had a fabulous dinner (preceded by much confusion and adventure, as we had initially planned to dine at the Ruth's Chris location in Walnut Creek, and in fact ended up meeting in the BART station there before turning around and riding BART all the way back through our neighborhood and across the Bay to the location where she was able to get a reservation). We took the cable car back to BART after our meal, since the cable car feels slightly festive and we were in a celebratory mood, and I guess I spent a solid 4 hours in constant conversation with her, which is a LOT for me. Lucky I'm still hypomanic.

Medication

Speaking of still being hypomanic, the Meds Doc and I have been messing around with my meds, trying to deal with the annoying side effects while also trying to get me more stable. I saw him on Tuesday and we came up with a plan, but then the plan didn't work out too well, so we've had to revise it. Here's what we've been doing (for my own future reference as necessary):
  1. I had been taking 2 1/2 250-mg Depakote pills each day before Tuesday, and I was off the Geodon
  2. I took 2 Depakote pills on Tuesday (one in a.m. + one at bedtime) + 40 mg Geodon at bedtime
  3. I took 1 Depakote pill on Wednesday + 40 mg Geodon (both at bedtime)
  4. On Thursday, I took no Depakote, but 40 mg Geodon at bedtime.
  5. The plan was that I would move forward with no Depakote, but 40 mg Geodon
BUT ... both Thursday and Friday mornings, the two days immediately after I completely stopped the Depakote, I woke up feeling really weird: confused, groggy, unsteady, like I was really drunk. I was feeling bad enough on Thursday that I called in sick to La Cheim, because I was certain that I wasn't safe to head out of the house by myself. I was feeling fine by about 2 p.m. (which was why I ended up being able to keep my dinner plans with Lisa), but I was absolutely useless the whole early part of the day. When it happened again on Friday, I knew we needed to change things up, especially since I also had really terrible insomnia both Wednesday and Thursday night (probably due to Depakote withdrawal).

So I called the Meds Doc, and we decided on the following plan:
  • I added back 250 mg Depakote through the weekend to hopefully help with the insomnia (though this will probably prolong my digestive side effects).
  • I lowered the Geodon to 20 mg last night to see if it would get rid of my morning weirdness
  • Meds Doc wants me to take the Geodon back up to 40 mg ASAP, since it should be helping to stabilize my mood.
I'm not sure how well the changes are helping. Last night I slept about 11 hours & didn't get up until amost noon, so I don't know how much I might have been staggering around at 7 or 8 (which is when I was having bad problems on Thursday and Friday), but I wasn't feeling too weird at noonish. So I'm increasing the Geodon back up to 40 mg tonight, and we'll see how I feel tomorrow. My main goal is to get this figured out a bit before Tuesday, since that's when I'm due back at La Cheim. I didn't like calling in sick last week.

Of course, I'm also hoping that I'm feeling all well and fine and good on Monday, because that's when CWC is having their annual Thanksgiving lunch, which is always one of the highlights of the social year there. I've been really looking forward to it. (And then Shannon and I decided to do actual Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant this year, rather than dealing with lots of relatives. We're going to HS Lordships in the Berkeley Marina, and it's supposed to be very good, so I'm excited.)

(I'm also really excited that the new, and final, Hunger Games movie is out, and I can't wait to see it! But that's related to nothing else in this journal entry as far as I can tell.)

Jay

Jay went in to the hospital again so that the orthopedic surgeons could reevaluate his wrists after his second surgery (after the first one had failed), and it looks like he's healing well this time!!! Hurray!!! No more surgeries!!!!!!! So he's living at home now, and his extremely heavy arm casts have been replaces by lighter, removable splints, but he's still under very strict orders not to use his wrists for anything more extensive than picking up a light plastic cup of water. We had a nice long phone conversation a couple days ago, and then exchanged a bunch of texts (which he dictates using Siri) yesterday, which was great. I've been so worried about him since September 15th, when he had his accident; it's a great relief to know that he now seems to be healing well and it's just a matter now of time to let that healing take place and work to rehabilitate the injured body parts. He's still in a lot of pain, and that makes me unhappy, but he says it's slowly getting better all the time, and I suppose that's the best we can hope for. In another couple weeks, maybe he'll be able to put some weight on the leg that was broken, and that would probably make his life a lot easier. Having both hands and one leg totally out of commission is pretty major.

Meralgia Paresthetica

Speaking of legs, I've been having increasing problems with my left thigh, where I've had numbness for several years, which doctors have dismissed as being unexplainable, unimportant, or otherwise unworthy of attention. Instead of just numbness, in the last couple months I've started having sort of tiny, multiple "electrical shock" sorts of feelings in the same area, like someone is touching me with dozens (or more) of tiny electrodes at the same time. It's weird. One night, it was extremely painful and woke me up from a sound sleep, but got better when I rolled over onto the other side. In any case, I contacted my neurologist, who said that it sounds like "meralgia," and that I should come in to see him if it persists. Well, it's been persisting, so I'm going to see him in in early December. Apparently, as I understand it, meralgia is caused by a nerve getting pinched. So I've got a nerve getting pinched in my neck, and a nerve getting pinched in my leg. My nerves are just all pinchy. Lucky me.


Okay, my writing-fu (or, really, my brain-fu) has weakened and I must collapse now. I have many more things I'd like to write about. Maybe tomorrow.

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