Helping women with chronic illnesses

Merry Christmas & Happy Hanukkah!! Happy Holidays!!

I have been trying and trying to figure out a special post for Hanukkah, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day but I am, frankly, too tired to write the type of post that I had envisioned. So I’m going to keep this short and simple.

In my house we celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah. So things have been busy lately.

We’ve been lighting the Hanukkah candles every night and we are preparing for Christmas visiting tomorrow.

I am currently sick and have not decided whether I’m contagious or not. So I may or may not be able to participate tomorrow with the Christmas visits.

I’ll have to decide that soon but right now I’m just not sure exactly what is going on (i.e. allergies, virus, bacterial infection?)

If it is bacterial, I’m already on an antibiotic for an abscessed tooth but that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m not contagious.

If it’s viral then I shouldn’t go & infect others… no matter what day it is.

If it’s allergies, I can go.

The problem is that I don’t think it’s allergies. I’m still sorting it out based on many past similar “bugs” but I’m guessing it’s viral. So I probably will not be going for our planned Christmas visits.

I do not want to be responsible for getting anyone else sick. I wouldn’t want to make anyone else feel like I do now. I can’t get caught up in what day is on the calendar. I have to listen to my body… for my own good and for the health of my loved ones.

This does make me sad but it’s not the first time I’ve had to sit out Christmas at home. With my immune system, this is a tricky time of year.

With various family members being especially susceptible (i.e. people with asthma) and with my niece just getting over pneumonia, I am coming to terms with the fact that I will probably be home for Christmas tomorrow.

I have learned to accept such events as part of being chronically ill.

Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas! Being chronically ill can be especially hard at this time of year. Keep your chins up!

Sending everyone best wishes, peace, and joy!

So… Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Season’s Greetings to everyone!

As we approach a new year, let’s hope for healing and comfort for those who are in pain.


This article was posted by Jeanne via “Jeanne’s Endo Blog” at

This post was written by Jeanne at Copyright © Jeanne — All rights reserved.

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Reading: Merry Christmas & Happy Hanukkah!! Happy Holidays!!


1 Pamela Jeanne { 12.24.08 at 7:47 pm }

Love the sentiment. All the very best to you and yours, Jeanne!

2 Jeanne { 12.24.08 at 7:50 pm }

Pamela Jeanne,

Thanks! Enjoy that beautiful fireplace! 🙂


3 Squidgeaboo { 12.24.08 at 9:54 pm }

It’s hard to make that decision, but good for you to listening to your body and doing what’s best for everyone. Even if people don’t understand right now (as my family might not) you are still doing the right thing and they will appreciate it in the long run. It’s also better for you to not tire yourself out and get well quickly! There will be time for visiting, maybe when the weather is better!

Further to my doc appt. I will be tapering my medicine off slowly, it was my doc’s suggestion, and I’m totally in agreement. The sleep apnea is still dangerous and it’s mainly due to the meds I’m on.

Hope your Christmas is Merry and your New Year brings you health and happiness!

4 gertru { 12.25.08 at 12:40 pm }

Merry xmas!

5 Yaya { 12.25.08 at 1:46 pm }

Merry Christmas! Hope you’re feeling better soon!

6 Jeanne { 12.25.08 at 4:56 pm }


Feliz Navidad!!!! 🙂



7 Jannie { 12.25.08 at 5:53 pm }

One thing I know – your blog is contagius!! And so are you, to me.


Happy Hanukkah!!!

8 Jeanne { 12.25.08 at 5:59 pm }


It was hard but I did decide I really needed to stay home.

Between my abscessed tooth preventing me from eating solid food/causing severe pain, my not wanting to give anyone the ‘bug’ I have (which is probably viral?) to others, the nerve pain that feels like electric shocks in my tooth & that make me yelp and upset those around me (a reflexive yelp that I can't help!), and the fact that I am concerned about my niece with pneumonia… it just wasn't meant to happen today!

My family misses me and I miss them but I know I made the right decision.

It was hard explaining my decision to my mother in particular… and she is, of course, disappointed that I won't be at their place today but I tried my best to explain my reasoning and I think she understands (as well as can be expected when she was looking forward to everyone being together).

My hubby & daughter will be going there without me (to my parents' house). They are at my mother-in-law's first (now). (My father-in-law and step-mother-in-law live out of state).

I feel really lousy and would not be fun to be around. I don't need to infect a house full of people.

My tooth is throbbing and I'm typing to distract myself from it.

It's amazing how helpful the computer is at distracting me from various types of pain… I just get engrossed in whatever I'm writing and it takes the edge off. (The painkillers can only do so much).

Tomorrow I am scheduled to go to the oral surgeon to have my tooth removed! I am hoping I will be able to make it. If they will do it, I will be there because it hurts!!

I think the abscessed tooth infection may have spread into my sinuses. It’s actually quite possible that the very reason I am sick with sinus pressure – and a horrible, nasty runny nose – is from my abscessed tooth.

I just couldn’t take any chance today that I might have a virus on top of the abscessed tooth.

If I do have a virus, they may not agree to do the tooth extraction. I have to call the oral surgeon in the morning to see what they think.

Obviously they are not open today for me to call.

They decided to use gas (rather than extract my tooth while I am awake) because my medical history is so complicated.

Therefore I can’t drive myself. So my husband will be driving me to the oral surgeon tomorrow IF they agree to have me come in.

I can’t eat for 8 hours beforehand (not that I’m eating much anyway since I can’t chew)! We’ll call it the “dental diet”. (Ha ha). Seriously, I’m going to have to find some soup in a bit!

My dental work was put off a long time while my disability claim was on appeal. The minute I got my disability approved (and finally had some money to pay for dental work), I set up dental appointments for the cavities I knew I had. For this tooth, the disability case was solved too late! Thank you very much, Social Security!

I really think that maybe the abscessed tooth is probably behind the sinus trouble and that the sinus trouble is why my nose is running like a faucet.

All I know is that my runny nose is really bad. I do have some other symptoms which I won’t gross you out with.

Let’s just say that my other symptoms may be related to post-nasal drip issues I have (probably so)… or the infection may have made it to my chest (I don’t think so/I hope not).

I am on an antibiotic for my tooth being abscessed. However, if I have a virus that obviously won’t do anything for bacteria!

Sooo, we’ll have to see how I feel tomorrow when I wake up… and what the oral surgeon says when I call them in the morning.

They squeezed me in for tomorrow because I am in so much pain, because my regular dentist knew how deep the cavity was when he filled it a couple of weeks ago (which is why he knows it’s past doing a root canal if this “spontaneous pain” is happening), and because having the extraction by the end of the year will prevent me from needing to pay the dental deductible by having it done in January.

So I really hope I can go to the oral surgeon tomorrow but it depends on how I am feeling and what they say when I call and tell them what’s going on.

Obviously I don’t want to get them sick either. The thing is that I think this all MIGHT be from the tooth to begin with!!

I don’t know if infection from an abscessed tooth can go into other infections (?) because I’ve never had one before.

I’m guessing that I’ll keep feeling sicker until this tooth comes out.

Soooo, I hope to be seen tomorrow and I’m glad they will be putting me to sleep. I don’t want to be awake for it.

I’m glad you and your doctor agreed to a plan with which you are comfortable.

You are right about the sleep apnea being dangerous. I think I told you (?) by email that I have sleep apnea too… and that I saw a segment on PBS about the mortality rates for sleep apnea patients due to cardiac arrest risk being quite high!

So keep using that CPAP machine! When my nose is this runny, I just can’t use the nasal cannula for my CPAP. Plus my headgear needs to be tightened and I can’t get it any tighter. So I need to attend to my CPAP. {sigh}

I believe you said you’ve been on CPAP for about 3 weeks now, right? Well, keep up the good work with it. CPAP can be very hard to get used to but it’s really helpful for keeping other illnesses calmer.

If you are not getting enough oxygen during sleep, all of your illnesses can flare up. (At least that is what my pulmonary specialist told me when he ruled out pulmonary hypertension and ruled in sleep apnea as the cause for my high lung pressure on an echo-cardiogram/stress test).

PBS said that only a small percentage of sleep apnea patients even get diagnosed properly and those who do have trouble adjusting to the CPAP mask/headgear.

So try to stick with it because it's important to be breathing while sleeping!

Time to go take my painkillers & antibiotic to keep those electric shocks from kicking in like they did when I woke up today!!

When I woke up today feeling like someone was shocking my tooth (the dentist says the pulp is damaged?), I appreciated what a difference those painkillers are making!!!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

I'm sending happy, healthy thoughts your way. I'm sending smiles to Canada right now. I hope you feel better soon!!!


Jeanne 🙂

9 Jeanne { 12.25.08 at 6:13 pm }


I love you, Jannie! Since I’m home sick by myself on Christmas… your sweet comment just made me smile! 🙂

I love your blog because, unlike many great health blogs I follow, yours is about FUN! Your awesome sense of humor always cheers me up!

I wish you lived closer so I could meet you in person. I’m sure we would be fast friends (and so would “K” and “K”)! Hope you are having a nice, sunny Christmas in Texas today!

If I have enough energy after responding to so many sweet comments here, I’ll post the story of our power outage last night from 8:30 pm to 1:00 am!!!!

Nothing quite like opening presents in the dark!! 🙂

Quite a night. Smoke alarms kicked off right after the power went out. Classic!

The wind knocked the power lines down. I feel sorry for the electric company workers who had to fix it!

It was COOOLLLDDDDD outside last night! Thank goodness for our awesome woodstove!!

Let’s just say thank goodness for Hanukkah candles and that they are fragrance free (helpful for my multiple chemical sensitivity since I can’t do any fragranced candles anymore)!!

If it wasn’t so recent in my memory, I could laught at last night’s events as being as preposterous as a Seinfeld episode. It was out of control!!

Your always-positive comments are contagious with fun and I’m so grateful to have met you — by you finding my blog! I love your blog. 🙂




Will y’all do me a favor? Please send me some sunshine and warmer weather up North now, ya hear? It’s too cold here!! 🙂

10 Jeanne { 12.25.08 at 8:01 pm }


Thanks! I’m solo at home today (see my comments to Squidgeaboo and Jannie for more details)…

If I can come up with enough energy to do so, I will make a post today out of the events of the past 24 hours. I am living in a sit-com crossed with a drama. It’s pretty incredible!! Nothing like opening Christmas and Hanukkah presents in the dark by the dim light of a fragrance-free Hanukkah candle after disconnecting all of the screeching smoke alarms!!

Wish me luck tomorrow at the oral surgeon (if I make it)! I think this tooth kicked all of the other symptoms off!

If only Social Security hadn’t unfairly denied my claim and made me wait 2.5 years for my benefits and have to testify before a federal judge to prove that, gee, I really am very ill… maybe I could have obtained proper dental care in time to prevent this abscessed tooth! (Can you believe they make sick patients go through the stress of going before a federal judge to explain how sick they are when they have reams of paper from many, many doctors verifying that the person in question really is sick?)

I’m just grateful that my judge “got it” and really understood that I’d much rather be in the workforce (!!) than spending my time going to doctors appointments (commuting to specialists 45 minutes each way). Bopping around (as if I can “bop”) from the GYN to the pelvic pain specialist to the acupuncturist to the cardiologist to the neurologist, etc. is hard work!! I don’t do it for kicks or to waste my family’s money. I do it because I am sick. I just thank God for this blog because it helps me keep my sanity (or, well, you know… most of it)! {Smile}

Now I am spending “non-doctor” time either with family/friends or at home blogging to distract myself from pain! At least being at home allows me to, hopefully, help people with info on my blog. Maybe someday I can actually make blogging a career.

All I know is every time (many!) I tried going back to work at a “regular” job (including when I tried working from home), I wound up back in the hospital again! Blogging may be tiring at times and I may push the edge for burnout by blogging so much. However, blogging is also fun, rewarding, and helpful to others (I hope).

So, at this point in time anyway, blogging is my one chance to possibly get some sort of income and help my poor hubby pay my mountain of medical bills. Time will tell. (At least my Amazon ads are FINALLY getting some activity thanks to holiday shoppers). 🙂


Hint, hint readers… my Amazon ads work year-round… not just at holiday time. 🙂

(Please excuse the shameless Amazon ad plugs everyone!! My painkillers are making me a bit loopy plus I feel guilty that I can’t work at my old job — yet I KNOW I am not physically capable of doing so)!

This doesn’t make it any less stressful on my husband who has a big financial burden sitting on his shoulders). 🙁

I worry about his health!

So thank you very much, Social Security. I appreciate you causing me to have an abscessed tooth due to inadequate dental care on teeth I knew had cavities but that could not be fixed until my Social Security benefits arrived.

Also, Social Security, thank you for paying me interest on that 2.5 years of back pay that I finally got after my hearing was successful.

The Social Security health insurance benefits I had earned with my work credits (you know, all of those 80+ hour weeks I foolishly used to put in before I got wayyyyyyyy too sick to keep up that nonsense up anymore?) came in very handy for getting our house out of the foreclosure caused by my medical bills.

Oops! I forgot. You don’t pay interest to the sick patients that you unfairly deny claims for even when there is a mountain of medical evidence.

You’d rather have the patients need to hire attorneys to present the disability cases in court (and then you use tax-payer dollars to pay the federal judges to hear the cases 2.5 years later) and THEN pay the patients the benefits they have earned, right Social Security??

That’s right. There is no interest. My disability attorney was right that you basically withheld my benefits for 2.5 years so you could have an interest-free loan from me. Plus you do this with many, many other very ill patients. Plus people like me have to live with the stigma attached to being labeled “disabled”.

How thoughtful of you, Social Security, to eventually pay out the patients’ earned health insurance benefits. Yup. You only pay the benefits that should have been issued before. My mistake.

(Readers, please forgive my sarcastic and not very cheerful holiday diatribe against Social Security). I’m upset right now.

Right now my tooth REALLY hurts from the abscess caused by delayed dental care/lack of money to pay the dentist for cavities to be filled that I knew were there… and if Social Security had approved my claim in the first place (like my disability attorney said they definitely should have – despite the fact that he makes money when people like me DON’T get approved)… then I wouldn’t be in such pain right now.

Heck, if all of these symptoms are tied to the abscessed tooth, I might be eating with my family on Christmas right about now!

So, readers, forgive me for sounding bitter. I have tried to keep my sense of humor but my pain is kicking in pretty good right now and it is way too soon for taking another painkiller. So this is my pain talking. (Plus sleep-deprivation from last night’s power-outage-during-the-gift-opening fiasco).

Nothing like not being able to get much-needed dental care because your Social Security claim has been denied unfairly and then all of your money is going to either the HMO (for full-premium COBRA health insurance payments due to zero benefits from spouse’s current job) OR the mortgage (the latter only as long as the funds held out for paying the mortgage before the foreclosure, that is).

Yes… we need universal healthcare so families don’t lose their homes, teeth, quality of life and sanity!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, medical bills can take a family that is doing well financially to a family that can’t pay their mortgage on time… or a patient that needs to decide which prescriptions to take less than the prescribed dose (to stretch out that Rx co-pay as far as possible). [Sorry Elmiron… but you cost the most and bladder instillations can be done more frequently if a smaller dose of you isn’t cutting it for my IC]…

No, Social Security, I should not be sitting here alone on Christmas with an abscessed tooth that could have been prevented if only I could have afforded dental care.

Yes, I would have easily been able to afford dental care (with my dental insurance that pays 50%) IF and only IF you had approved my Social Security claims initially instead of 2.5 years later.

We need universal healthcare so people don’t lose their houses over medical bills or lose their teeth over inability to pay dental bills!

I’m just grateful that I have dental insurance that will kick in for the 50% part! It was my part that I couldn’t come up with. Now I’m getting fillings weekly. Thanks, Social Security. My TMJ/jaw pain really handles weekly dental visits well!

OK. I’m done. Sorry about that. Alicia, I appreciate you being someone who knows how sick I am (not just from reading my blog but from being in my endo support group locally). I know that you know I normally don’t whine like this. I guess the local factor is why my brain decided to go all cathartic on this particular comment. Sorry about that.

Sorry everyone if I sounded like Eeyore! I like to be a Tigger but on days like today a little bit of Eeyore can creep in. (OK… a lot of
Eeyore here)…

Thank you for listening! I apologize to any readers who take this particular comment as a downer.

If you now need a pick-me-up, go watch the December 20th post’s 1946 video clip by Disney/Kotex about “The Story of Menstruation”.

It has some laughs. My favorite part was the “ice cube sequence”. The 1st runner up to that was the “bicycle down the hill” scene. If you haven’t caught that Disney clip sponsored by Kimberly-Clark yet, you’ll get a couple of chuckles.

Just clear the kids out of the room before you watch that Disney clip. It might mess with their brains!!

Alicia, I know your sense of humor and that you can handle this entire comment. I’m sorry to anyone who reads this comment and thinks me a horrible sacrilegious person.

I really don’t mean to be. I’m just sad, mad, upset, missing my family, and in pain right now. Writing is how I “get it out of my system” and I’m in a sarcastic mood today. (I know. You figured out the sarcasm part several paragraphs back, right?)

Alicia, this is why my blog is always so serious. My type of funny tends to come out as sarcastic humor. I can’t be fun funny the way you and Jannie are. That’s why I asked for your help with that Disney post the other day. You can pull off sarcasm without sounding bitter. I can’t.

By the way, readers, I am actually NOT bitter. I’m just angry with Social Security. When you almost lose your house, you miss Christmas with your family, you’re in pain, and you’re about to lose a permanent tooth that could have been saved… it makes you sound bitter. Honestly, though, I’m not.

Please excuse the following CAPS. I am not screaming. I am just emphasizing that I know how lucky I am:


I am grateful for this blog!

I’m sending happy thoughts your way!

Alicia, thanks for being a true friend, a great listener, an insightful person, and a very strong woman. The information your blog has supplied women who are infertile and/or who have had miscarriages is invaluable.

You have helped many, many women this year!!! I wish you a wonderful Christmas!


Merry Christmas!!!



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