Although Patty eluded vomiting for yet another morning, again by the narrowest of margins, she has felt a general malaise throughout the day. She strikes me as especially pale; in fact, I adjusted the brightness of this photo so that the flash effect on her skin didn't seem so dramatic.
These days, even when the nausea has passed, Patty complains of weakness and/or fatigue, and she sometimes cannot shake her headache even with medication. Yesterday, when we went for a walk, I could tell that Patty's breathing was more labored. The photo for today's entry was taken just moments ago; Patty can easily fall asleep for hours and in no way respond to the sounds around her. She does have this unsettling habit of twitching suddenly in her sleep, which usually makes me jump if I'm in the immediate vicinity.
Although there are no major changes that are obvious from day to day, we both keep feeling that Patty is growing weaker overall. As silly as this sounds, she's down for the count so often that I often find myself missing her, even if much of the time she's in the same room.
As mentioned, Patty can doze for huge stretches. Unfortunately, I seem to be struggling to sleep these days. Last night, for example, I slept a total of less than four hours, and awakened shaking from three discrete nightmares. On the nights without horrific dreams, I usually awaken three or four times to make sure Patty is okay. I'm not the only one experiencing such frustration -- Connor knocks on our door in the middle of the night at least one night each week. I wonder if there's a point at which this incessant sense of near-panic will fade.
Last night, I was doing some research on the advancement of lupus symptoms and the correlation between lupus and heart failure. As I was surfing through various medical pages, I shared with Patty that I had in the past compared symptoms I was feeling with descriptions of various conditions, and had even self-diagnosed myself with ulcers, obstructive pulmonary disorder, and such. Of course, when I would look closely at the symptoms, or talk with a doctor, I would learn that I was being little more than a hypochondriac (and was usually being foolish.) I then said that it sometimes struck me as surreal just how often these lists of symptoms, for lupus and heart failure, seemed like a checklist of what Patty had been experiencing. In fact, Patty often had both the typical symptoms of a condition and some of the less frequent or even rare aspects. She was so dead on, in some cases, that the discovery of the information was chilling.
That's it for now.