I have few complaints about my time in the hospital. The thing is, the complaints I have are things that were consistent and kind of important.
For instance, the pain management – it really sucked.
I must have told 7 people on Friday, individually, that I couldn’t have dilaudid because I have a bad reaction to it (I get nauseated and get a massive headache, which I found out in January when I had that food poisoning incident).
I woke up from surgery on Friday night (very late – they started my surgery nearly 4 hours after they were supposed to, which is another story I don’t have the energy to type, right now), listening to nurses ARGUING with each other about my chart and the fact that they couldn’t get my boyfriend (who was sitting in the waiting room, where they told him to be so they could call him on the phones provided) on his cell phone. You know, because we were in the basement. Hence the wall o’phones. Which only my surgeon had the wherewithal to use, before I’d awoken.
[That rectified itself when Forrest took it upon himself to find us, and literally ran into us when we were switching elevators. I was still writhing and making weird noises, however, so it wasn't a great reunion. He was worried, and I was throwing up and yelling.]
Here’s the thing – I don’t actually remember the pain I was in. I remember my reaction, and I remember the nurses talking about what time it was because they had to chart different things they were doing.
I woke up from surgery at around 10:30pm. They literally said, “Okay, 2230, patient is awake.”
I didn’t get my first dose of post-op medication until around 11:15pm (aside from an injection of a minor anti-inflammatory because my movement was making things swell – I’m not joking when I say “writhing”).
For 45 minutes, I was where I imagine childbirth would put me, and what was happening around me? The nurses were trying to get a hold of my surgeon to ask if morphine was okay, because I’d told so many people that dilaudid was not, and that’s what they were getting ready to give me.
My surgeon got a hold of them fairly quickly, but they had to set up my paperwork for a morphine drip (with a button, because hell yes), and that took some time.
I’m not angry…like I said, I don’t remember the pain…but this sort of thing went on all weekend, with everything from my painkillers (because they were trying to have me leave Saturday afternoon – tactical error) to my gas medicine (because even though the doctors ordered it, the nurses missed the part where I had a cane and was brought in via wheelchair and were trying to get me to walk up and down the halls, which would have been fine were it not for my nerve issues).
The position I was laying in after I awoke was very distinct and telling: my back was arched, I was basically laying on the balls of my feet and shoulders (something I couldn’t even do before the surgery), and the nurses kept shifting me around to keep me from moving my abdomen too much. I kept rolling back to that weird arching-back thing, anyway. I kept trying to say something (I have no idea what, but apparently the urge to talk is the same no matter what anesthetic I’m on…at least I didn’t cuss like a sailor, this time?), but could only moan like what I assume sounded like a deaf woman having an orgasm. I had these alternating pressure cuffs on my calves, and the leg that wasn’t presently being massaged felt like it was on fire (as an aside, I want one of those machines so badly).
I finally was able to utter the phrase, “I’m going to throw up.”
I was given phenergan. Over and over again, for a total of 5 doses in those 45 minutes. I still threw up from the pain, but I managed to get it all into the little baggie they had in front of my face.
Finally, I was handed the little button for the PCA morphine. They’d adjusted my dose three times after listening to me, until I was on a dose that should have knocked me out. I was awake the entire night, and not entirely because Forrest was snoring (though I tell him that, because it’s kind of funny, and he IS loud – I just should have been able to sleep with my pump set to what it was).
After about 30 minutes on the pump, I felt okay unless I tried to sit up on my own (I gave the back of that bed a workout – every time I had to get up to pee for the first full day, I had to lower the legs as far as they’d go, then raise the back to almost vertical positioning and then kind of scuttle-butt my way off of the bed).
I got to a point later in the afternoon on Saturday (while they were trying to discharge me), where even my surgeon could tell I was miserable, and he decided to keep me again overnight so we could work on controlling my pain better, because the nurses weren’t keeping to the schedule, and they’d stopped giving me the liquid NSAID that was supposed to control incidental pain (they gave me 2 of the 4 doses they were supposed to…they just stopped). I could barely move, and I laid there with my teeth gritted and eyes closed. My dad and stepmom were in the room, and they thought I was asleep because of the lack of movement. I couldn’t speak, once again, because of the pain. It was awful.
Compared to how they were giving the gas meds, however, their command of pain med schedules was masterful.
Sunday was tolerable enough that I went home in the early afternoon.
And despite it all…I don’t remember a damned thing except my reaction.
The brain is a wonderful thing.
This post took about 2 hours to write, because my hands are super-sensitive about having a large IV in each of them. I will resume general hospital and recovery stories (including the Traveling Case Study) when I can.
Thanks, everyone, for the well-wishes, donations (both monetary and the items for the raffle!), and companionship. When I was bored in the hospital and only had my tablet, you liked, commented, responded, and lightened the mood considerably. I seriously appreciate that.
I still haven’t gotten a good night’s sleep, so I’m going to try to fix that, now.
I will have some funny stories, I promise. They just mostly involve my surgeons. (I have to admit, DaVinci lived up to his nickname, and saved me from the awful worst-case scenario, despite the fact that he likes to operate while wearing bright red Crocs).
Generally, things are okay, right now. I have some things that are awful, but that’s to be expected. Overall, peachy.
Thanks again! going to go away for a few more days, methinks.
[Before you read this: There are so many more people that have been awesome to me this year, and in years past, than there ever have been assholes. That may be why the assholes stand out so much. Being that they stand out, they annoy me greatly. If I've ever fussed at you, but I'm still talking to you about what's going on, don't get paranoid. I've explicitly said to the people I'm talking about, here, that they were pissing me off; this is just me cleaning out my bitch-box. Okay, carry on.]
This isn’t about me being sick, necessarily.
It’s not about side effects, at least not ones that I feel all the time.
It’s about the way people react to me (yeah, I call that a side effect).
Now, I touched on this, before (it appears I just really need an outlet, right now – I didn’t count on the level of stress I’d be feeling): how folks don’t quite know how to react to me when I honestly answer their questions. I expressed that the blank looks and formal responses are frustrating, but that’s a result of me being absolutely tired of having nothing else to tell them, moreso than me being tired of other people.
There’s ONE EXCEPTION to this rule (isn’t there always?), and it’s the Blatant Asshole Response.
You know the type…they’re the people who ask who you are, and ONLY want happy answers. They ONLY want to hear things that make them feel good. Your function on this Earth is to give them what they want, and if you don’t, clearly you’re at fault for any other bad thing that happens to them, that day.
I have family that is SO CLOSE to this position, but they stop themselves before turning into complete jerks. (Their favorite thing to say is, “look to the future!” And I am. Some days, as I said, it’s more difficult than other days. They know this, they’re just trying to help, and I realize that.)
The people who step over the line are usually folks who’ve known me a while, or think they know me because they’ve read my blog.
This blog is not representative of who I am as a whole entity. It’s what I choose to write about, and it’s often the extreme parts of my personality, which are loud and ridiculous and sometimes prone to hyperbole.
What’s the line? It looks something like this: “Man, you must be really happy you got so sick! Now you have something to actually complain about!”
I am a cynical bitch, yes. I have strong opinions, and those opinions include things that have happened to me, things I’ve read, and people I’ve met…including every single person who’s ever commented on my blog. I form an opinion of you based on your word use, what you choose to comment on, and how often you comment. This is not necessarily a bad thing – it’s how my brain works, and yes, it is a large part of my stress (because I’m ALWAYS processing things).
I’ve been this way my whole life. I question everything. I LOUDLY question everything, in fact, which has caused my parents no small amount of amusement and frustration over the years. I’m painfully aware of this, as well. You don’t need to point out that I’m fond of saying, “I don’t like this.” Trust me…I know. I do live here, after all.
The part that REALLY chaps my hide is that these are some of the same people who give me blank stares AFTER asking me how I’m doing. [I've learned to give them a blanket statement (such as, "I'm okay. How are you?" or "Resting today, you?", or even "Meh...how about you?" because I am having a horrible day and just can't bring myself to lie, even for politeness' sake) and turning the conversation on them, since that's what they really want to talk about, usually. Yeah, I can sometimes completely Shanghai a conversation when certain questions are asked, but if I sense I'm talking too much, I will clam up and wait for a signal from the other parties involved. I'm not a total cretin.]
Let’s go back to why I complain, however: I am stressed. I feel terrible a good bit of the time. I have a disease that’s not readily accepted/understood by many people in the freakin’ field of study that I have to turn to for help. It’s basically like having AIDS in 1981 – judged horribly, misunderstood, and overtaken by the homeopathic morons who think you can cure cancer with a heating pad. [Crazy people are really slowing down the progress, here...but Lyme makes you legitimately crazy if you have it long enough, so we're kind of screwed if we don't get something done, soon. Yeah, that's a bitter pill.]
Excuse the hell out of me if I’m frustrated by these things, which ARE MY LIFE.
Get that? I HAVE NO LIFE BECAUSE OF LYME DISEASE. So fuck you very much for trying to force me to conform to YOUR idea of how I should be acting in the face of the scariest and most painful fucking thing I’ve ever experienced.
Yeah, I’m complaining. Get the fuck over it, or stop asking me how the hell I’m doing. WIN-WIN FOR EVERYONE: You don’t have to listen to me complain, and I don’t have to listen to you be an asshole!
Also? When you know something big is about to happen in my life, don’t tell me not to worry. I’m about to have an organ removed, and possibly have another organ modified in a major way (modern medicine is making this possibility a bit easier to swallow, but it’s still scary because my immune system is compromised). I have a mass in my abdomen that my surgeons can’t identify, and it STILL might be cancer, because it’s growing at an alarming rate.
If you can’t even imagine, a little bit, how utterly frustrating it is to have two surgeons at a TEACHING HOSPITAL (as in, THEY teach other surgeons) unable to tell you just what the hell is growing inside their area of interest (yay, i’m a zebra! again!), then I seriously have nothing else to say to you.
Everyone else, carry on. I’m legitimately happy to answer questions, even if they’re worded awkwardly. I’d much rather have people who want clarification than those who are willfully ignorant AND decide to take out their personal issues on me.
In fact, if you want to ask me ANYTHING (I mean, don’t be an asshole, obviously), go here. I will answer you honestly. As you can see by what’s already there, I will answer any question, even if I’m not exactly friendly about it. Also, it’ll give me something to do while I’m in my recliner and doped up on painkillers. WIN-WIN. :-D
[I'm terribly sorry for the O GOD MY LIFE, but I promised myself I would record everything I could about my disease, and this is a legitimate part of it that I'm sure others can relate to...and since I've been told that my blog actually helped a couple of people (one person used it for school work and got an "A" when talking about Lyme in dogs compared to humans...sorry, that's just cool), I'm making the time to record not only the physical, but emotional and mental things that I'm going through right now.]
I swear, there’s got to be some spiteful, sentient thing controlling my uterus (“parasitic twin” has been mentioned by more than one person…womp, womp). I mean, it managed to hide its condition for YEARS, giving me generic symptoms of endometriosis while slowly but surely killing any chance of being a properly functioning organ, while also attempting to destroy my bowel. Then, when it was discovered, it started just yelling, “BANZAAIII!” and nuking me from orbit every month (the months since the last surgery haven’t been pleasant…the only thing keeping me from going nuts is the knowledge that I have a couple of months left of discomfort [from healing after surgery], specifically from my uterine area, and then it’s over, except for hormone adjustments).
I had my period a couple of weeks ago, had about a week of reprieve, then it started up again the same day my mom and eldest sister came into town on their way back from vacation (Thursday). It’s been…special. It’s finally slowing down, again (for a “half-period,” it was very…robust), so I won’t have to be like, “Watch out when you start cutting sections to remove!” to the surgeon, but I lost a couple of days to cramps when I could have been doing laundry (washing or folding), running errands, or cleaning up in preparation for sitting on my ass.
I have a lot to do, and I’m getting stressed because I have less time to do it.
This isn’t even a “left it to the last minute” thing, either – it’s literally been an, “oh, you need to get this done? TOO BAD!” on the part of my body…because when I think about it, and I get even a little stressed, my immune system turns on the warning siren and things start to just shut down or go wonky.
I haven’t slept more than 4 hours per night since about a week ago. That’s part of the reason my stress is compounding, right now.
It’s irritating, is what I’m saying.
I talked to a friend who’s had Lyme (diagnosed) since around 2001-2002. He was at a point where he couldn’t walk, and they mis-diagnosed him as terminal (ALS) before catching his Lyme and beginning treatment (that “terminal” diagnosis really screws up your future, too, even if they rescind it officially, because it’s on your record, regardless – that’s why accurate diagnostic methods have to be implemented ASAP). He’s now able to do things around the house and yard, but they nearly killed him trying to get rid of two tick-borne diseases at once. Basically, he’s a good guy for me to gauge whether or not how I’m reacting to meds is unusual, because he’s been on freakin’ everything.
I got reassurance that what’s going on with me is “normal” – meaning that it definitely happens to people being treated, even if it doesn’t happen to everyone being treated.
“Reassurance” is great. I mean, it tells me that I don’t really need to change anything at the moment. The problem comes when I’m not thinking like that, and I’m just experiencing the side effects.
Sometimes with the side effects I can’t even think. I can’t say, “This is the road to better things.” I can’t imagine the future beyond the next med time. Pain, fatigue, worry, nausea…they gang up on me and just take over, and I feel like this monstrous host to some evil thing. And while that’s true, obviously I’M still “here” – I wouldn’t be complaining, otherwise. And I’m not giving up, even though I’m officially permanently disabled (I’ve got the handicapped placard and everything!), by means of nerve damage in my legs.
I’m just so frustrated. It’s only been 5 months (going on 6 in November), and it just seems like every time I think of something I need to do…even if it’s low-stress…I spike a fever, throw up, or my joints try to abandon ship. I have at least one more year of this (depending on whether I can take my antibiotics during the first month of recovery). I know it could be so much worse, but not many people know how this feels, the “research” released isn’t helping perceptions, and so I just look like a whinger.
People get tired of hearing me talk about how I feel, so I don’t in general conversation, any more. I just do a general “not feeling well” explanation and then stop talking (like, literally, I’ve been in gaming calls, lately, and I will just sit there until there’s an opening for a generic dirty comment or I see something that needs to be pointed out to the streamer – it’s not that I talk about being sick ALL THE TIME, it’s just that I’ve forgotten how to talk to other people because I feel so awful, if that makes sense).
When I go into more detail, I can feel the awkwardness like a thick fog. I can see it in people’s faces. They look down, one corner of their mouth goes up, and they knit their eyebrows – it’s a universal, “I have no clue how to respond to this” look, and I’m tired of seeing it. I’m tired of hearing the generic, “Yeah…” and the trailing off when I’m asked for more details, and then I give them. I can even see it in typed conversation – the cadence of words changes, the word choice abruptly goes more formal, and sentences get shorter. If this is how people act after they ASK for details, what’s supposed to make me want to share anything at all without it being dragged out of me?
People generally find Lyme really interesting, but usually only as an organism, not a disease.
(I’m not trying to paint EVERYONE with the same brush…this just happens so often that the folks who listen and respond are like these bursts of fresh air that I don’t have the energy to seek out, right now.)
And this is why I need therapy. I wonder if my doctor has found anyone she recommends, yet, because I’m getting tired of waiting. I know if I had a dedicated person to talk to about this, I wouldn’t be as frustrated.
I’m writing this in Word, waiting for my internet to come back, where I will cut and paste it. I’m pointing this out because…well…my internet is derping, and this may be a lengthy entry, meaning typing it online wouldn’t work too well. Logistics, I guess.
First, there’s a new raffle. Erin has graciously offered her time and blog to the cause of helping me to be sure I can handle things with surgery, since there have been new and exciting tests, costs, and meds associated with prep and the surgery itself. Part of it is that my insurance is no longer sure what’s going on, because everyone’s calling them to ask about the ACA stuff. The other part is that, well, apparently since no one knows what’s going on with the nodule, they want to get as much info as they can, leading to lots of appointments and such that are steadily eating away at my reserves.
Anyway, the raffle is almost exclusively hand-made items (there are quite a few books in there, as well – signed by their authors), and it’s worth a look. Thanks, Erin, for the amazing effort! <3
My surgery is coming in 9 days. In that time, I have 4 days where I will actually be able to do the things around the house that are necessary to make sure things are organized for me being in the hospital as well as for when I get home. I will be spending most of my time in the living room (recliner FTW), but that also means that my room needs to be organized as possible for Forrest to be able to get me things that I need from my bedroom and bathroom, in case I screw up with getting that stuff corralled before I go to the hospital (it happens).
I still don’t know how long I’m going to be recovering. As I get closer to surgery time this is stressing me out more and more, as I add to my to-do list.
Therefore, I’ve made a decision (this is partially due to political stuff online, as well as general feelings of not being able to do anything about…well, anything): I am taking a partial internet sabbatical.
What does this entail?
- I will not be updating my blog until I’m done with surgery and part of my recovery, unless something else comes up that needs to be said. Big deal, I know (it’s not like I update a lot, anyway), but this time it’s on purpose rather than due to distractions.
- I may post occasional links and whatnot on Facebook, but I’m not going to be reading it. If you need me, email me. Facebook is not a means of getting things done, at this point…there’s too much going on, there, and I don’t have the energy available.
- For those who use Twitter, I’m going back to basically pretending it doesn’t exist, except for October 12, when I will be tweeting for a 3-hour charity stream I agreed to do for breast cancer.
- I will be checking email, but replies will be scarcer than usual. My hands REALLY hurt, you guys, and typing is one of those things that’s suffered the more I’ve gotten sick. I’m developing symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis in my joints, and my hands (having a lot of joints), are developing symptoms much faster and with abandon. (That’s part of what’s keeping me from blogging, lately.)
- If I promised you something between now and, say, the end of the month, I’m sorry, but there’s a good chance it may not happen. I have no idea, yet, and I don’t want my general health or my surgery recovery to be impacted by me trying to get things finished or mailed out or whatever by a deadline. I’m not trying to be rude…please remember that.
Unless something major happens, I likely won’t be updating anyone on what’s going on, because there are so many unknowns that it’s stressful to say, “Well, THIS could happen, but it might be like this,” every time something changes.
I appreciate happy thoughts, comments, prayers, emails, etc. – I don’t want anyone to think they’re being outright ignored. When I can, I will respond, either with a quick email or en masse, via blog or Facebook.
Thank you for the emails, donations, prayers, comments, messages, etc., over the past several months. I hope you all know how much I value you.
If anything happens that’s REALLY bad, Forrest will have my login information for the blog, and he will make a post. If you don’t hear anything from anyone, assume it’s status quo (“no news is good news”).
Much love – I will see everyone after the 18th!
…as well as because someone asked, I’m going to try to make my blog a varied-topic place, again.
I slowed down because my life is pretty one-sided, right now, but my interests are all over, so there’s no reason why I can’t focus on more than one thing.
I was recently asked by a friend to do a music review for him, others have asked my opinion on a few video games (from the perspective of a relatively new, but older, gamer), and of course there are recent and aged news items that I definitely have opinions on that I’d like to at least bring up, even if I’m not sure what to say about them in detail.
(I know people will use the, “someone asked me about this…” excuse to write their opinion on something while making it look like it wasn’t their idea, but I assure you, there’s an album review coming up after I give it a good listen…links and whatnot will happen at that point, as well. The game reviews will occur as “Let’s Plays,” from a new YouTube channel, and links will appear here, where you can either follow them or ignore them, to your liking. The opinions about things will happen because I have an opinion…you know, like I used to, back in the day. All of this is without giving a flying frog whether people want to read about it – I figure if people like what they see, they’ll come back, and if they don’t, well, they might be petty for judging an entire blog on the basis of one entry, yaknow?)
Anywhoodle, with my surgery coming up, and recovery after that, I figure I’m going to go really stir-crazy, so this is an attempt to prepare for that. And why am I letting you know? Well, probably so that people don’t think my blog has been hijacked. :-)
Yesterday, I weighed in at 184.6lbs. This puts me officially below my wedding weight (which was around 185-186…don’t remember, honestly).
My pants are all too big for me, except a couple of pairs I can wear with a belt. The ones I can’t wear with a belt…well, they bunch up underneath it and end up sliding down, anyway. Every single pair of jeans, even the ones that technically are only a bit big, can be pulled down without even unbuttoning them. While this is just fine for my fingers on “derp days,” there are all kinds of dirty jokes in there. :-P
Not that that’s a bad problem to have, but at the same time, I don’t look “right” in many of my outfits, right now. I’ll be shopping for a few essentials after surgery, thanks to a gift card from my family that I got on my birthday. I’m waiting until after surgery because I know I’m going to lose more weight, and when I lose it, these days, it stays off.
Fun fact: the boobs have NOT shrunk, but my band size has, so I get to go buy a ridiculously expensive bra, soon. Hooray.
I can wear my reception dress (wedding dress is in storage, and I don’t think it’s even packed correctly, so it’s probably moth-eaten and nasty…but I could probably wear that, as well), and shoes I bought last year are too wide for my feet. Yes, I will likely be selling some of those shoes ASAP, because they need a good home, and I need a bit of cash. I just need the motivation to do so… (they’re mostly size 9.5-10, and are mainly dress shoes with heels that have been worn maybe once).
Okay, so it’s going to happen October 18. I have to arrive at 8am for prep, and the surgery’s supposed to begin, officially, at noon.
Depending on what kind of surgery is happening (which, again, I won’t know until after they have my uterus out), I could be on the table until 4pm or 8pm.
I could be in the hospital for 2 nights or 8 nights.
My recovery could be finished by Thanksgiving, or last through the New Year.
The unknowns are going to drive me nuts. All I can do is prepare as best I can for either possibility.
…and the word “prepare” has suddenly brought to mind ALL the things I have to get done, before then. O.o
Either way, I’m missing Halloween. I’ll just blame it on my uterus, because it’s going to be gone in 3 weeks, anyway…even though I probably wouldn’t have made it to any parties, anyway. *shrugs*
I’ve officially been on Rifampin and Zithromax for 2 weeks, as of today.
Since I haven’t done a proper Lyme Journal entry in a while, I figured I would devote one to my new side effects and strange things I’ve noticed.
The Zithromax is a standard antibiotic (much like the doxycycline) used to kill basic, single bacteria where they are in the bloodstream. Its side effects are minor, if not annoying, and include tiredness, weirdness with both urinary and bowel things, and occasional headaches and dry mouth.
The Rifampin is known as a “cyst-buster”, and is normally used for tuberculosis and pre-meningitis infection. It’s RIDICULOUSLY hard on the body, particularly the liver and kidneys, and side effects range so much that it would be impossible to list them in any order of how common they are. It totally depends on the person, their immune system, and their general organ health before beginning the meds. However, there are a few that remain consistent across the board: fatigue, “flu-like symptoms,” dizziness, muscle weakness, and weight changes (loss is cited higher than gain – gained weight usually means edema, which is one of those side effects that you do not want).
I haven’t had an alcoholic drink since the end of May, when I first received my diagnosis and my prescriptions for my first course of medication (the Flagyl and doxy). The reason for this is very simple: when your liver and kidneys are stressed from filtering out toxins, you don’t do anything to piss them off. So far, I’ve been on antibiotics for 105 days, which looks ridiculous when typed out – nearly 1/3 of a year on antibiotics. Wow.
I recorded my side effects fairly well with the flagyl and doxy, and they didn’t change much up to the end. When I was put on these two new drugs, I was warned to watch my skin tone, because Rifampin, as I mentioned earlier, is hard on the liver, and the first sign that you’re in serious danger is often a slight tint to the skin, either yellowish or even orange (due to the medication putting a red tint in freakin’ EVERYTHING). I wasn’t told much else, except that my herx might be worse this go-round, and to report it if it was.
Well..it is. It’s so much worse, and I can’t even express it properly. I can barely type right now because I’m so exhausted, and my hands hurt, and my neck is aching, and I just want to lay down, but when I do, I feel like things aren’t where they should be, and I have to keep shifting my weight, meaning I’m not getting a lot of rest, and the cycle begins again.
I’m calling them tomorrow to report it. I’m not getting many of the “dangerous” side effects – the ones I’m getting are listed concurrently in the “rare” and “normal” effects, and this is a heavy-duty antibiotic – but I’m getting a LOT of the side effects.
Sweating, flushing, fever, blood pressure changes, muscle twitches and pains, weakness, dizziness, the always-hilarious change in color of urine, sweat, sputum and poo (it has varied between orange and red), change in bathroom habits (I’m being polite), loss of appetite, mood changes, and on and on.
I really do feel like I have the flu, coupled with the worst day of fibro symptoms I can remember, then topped off with PMS, just for fun.
And yet – this is not the worst it can get, nor is it the worst I should expect. I shouldn’t even be scared of it (and I’m not, really…more annoyed because showering when you’re sick is an exercise in slapstick injury, for me, thus I’ve been going through a LOT of washcloths, and feel really gross on top of everything else). This is NORMAL for Lyme patients.
THIS IS NORMAL.
I feel the need to emphasize that. People get chemo, or treatment for other severe illnesses, and when they get really sick from it, it’s accepted as the way things are, and portrayed as such. When someone takes antibiotics, it’s assumed that when they feel a bit worse, its just the disease running its course, and in a couple of days, they’ll feel much better (and if they don’t in a week or two, time for the hospital, because clearly it’s a super-bug).
Our attitude about illness and antibiotics is so skewed…and everyone goes through a mini-herx every time they have a sinus infection, or a staph infection…or anything small enough to be treated at home with antibiotics for a week. They just don’t realize it, because we’re told that the antibiotics just take a day or so to kick in, and so we attribute feeling worse to being in our heads, or to the disease, as I said, doing what it would be doing, anyway. The next time you take abx for something, think about how you feel for the first couple of days.
Anyway, so while this is normal, there’s no telling how long I’m going to be “normal” – that could change at the end of the month, or two, or not at all (at least with this medication). The scary part is, the longer I feel horrible, the more severe my infection is. THAT scares me…but as I’ve said numerous times, at least I’m getting help, now, and something’s being done.
My hands are starting to twitch and do strange things, so I’ll stop here, for now.
So Starbucks has said that they would like for gun owners to NOT carry in stores, any more. This is following one of the stupidest fights I’ve seen people get into in the 6-ish years I’ve been a part of the “gun owner” demographic.
From The Practical Tactical Podcast:
One internet poster said: “I never believed Starbucks was an ally anyway.” I would say he may be right. They weren’t. They are an outfit that sells coffee. Period. They just had a policy that wasn’t restrictive, and followed local law. They were unwillingly and unwittingly co-opted by the “rabid gun movement” people, and literally thrust on the national stage in the midst of a highly charged debate without their consultation on the matter.
This is why we can’t have nice things.
There are a couple of points I disagree on, but for the most part, this is how I feel about this situation.
I still think Starbucks either needs to shit or get off the pot (their “respectful request” is not legally binding, and they could choose to post if they REALLY wanted to get rid of gun owners; pick a side and stick with it, or continue being neutral while issuing a statement respectfully requesting that, as a public establishment under private ownership, Starbucks stores are not be used for political grand-standing), but GUN OWNERS PUT THEM THERE.
They stooped to calling people names using fancier language (and that…doesn’t count as ad hominem, which is something that many of you argue against all the time? I must have missed that memo…), trolling a Facebook page that was supposed to be a gathering place for like-minded people (doesn’t matter who trolled it first – you don’t have to continue the trend), and walking into stores wearing unlicensed merchandise and carrying weapons that are too large to be useful in that small of a space, anyway. They threw away logic and practicality in favor of being flashy, and who does that? Think about it.
No, really. THINK about it.
…still think you’re better than “them”?
I’ll add, as a note, that I was vehemently anti-gun about 8 years ago. That turned into pro-gun over the next two years for two reasons, and the first one didn’t have nearly as much weight as the second: 1) I was raped and was being stalked by that rapist, and 2) The people having the conversations about guns, or at least the people I was exposed to, were articulate and awesome.
If I’d seen what was going on in public debates regarding Starbucks and guns back then, I would have stayed anti-gun.
This is NOT what I signed up for when I took on the responsibility. We’re better than that. If you disagree, then perhaps you should leave, because you’re making the rest of us look bad.
I met with the oncology surgeon (Da Vinci) this morning.
I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night, and that, combined with the natural/florescent lighting where we were, and someone’s failed attempt at making coffee (it was burned, and the smell was making me queasy), I started to get a migraine, and my left arm is still weird and shaky (from fatigue, not migraine – that would go into “seizure” territory, and while I was uncomfortable, thankfully that didn’t happen). I still have a headache, but I can’t go to sleep before my next appointment, so here I am.
The surgeon wasn’t there when we arrived (he had a doctor appt, himself, I found out later…it ran over, because MONDAY, M I RITE?), and we’d been waiting an hour before we found that out, and I got to experience a new symptom of my anxiety: going deaf in my right ear when my stress level goes up in a short period of time. Basically, I got pissed because he wasn’t even there (I didn’t know why he wasn’t, at the time, I assumed he was in surgery, but it didn’t stop the initial pissiness that happens before I calm myself down with reason or logic), my blood pressure went up quickly, and I went deaf in my right ear, except for ringing, for about a minute. This happened last week, as well, and I’m recording it partially because it’s new, and partially so I’ll remember it for this afternoon’s appointment with my GP…which I’m going to for stress-related stuff. So it’s relevant.
ANYWAY, we finally got in to see him, I showed him my colonoscopy results (he hadn’t seen them, yet), he said he didn’t see anything significant on the CT scan (it was basically as I said – I had gas, and that was about it, so lulz, I can read them, after all), and we started talking about the surgery.
The mass is unidentifiable, still. There’s a good and a bad with that.
The good: [cue Ah-nold voice] It’s not a too-muh (tumor). It doesn’t have a blood supply, else it would have been like “O HAI” on the CT.
The bad: It could be growing out of my intestinal wall, rather than my uterine wall.
If it’s not growing from the bowel wall, my surgery will be laparoscopic, and will take probably 4 hours. I will be in the hospital 2 nights, max (basically until I can poo), and will leave with just an ovary left, and some simple stitches. 6 weeks later, things would be pretty much back to normal…or better-than, since my uterus will be gone.
What happens if it’s growing out of (or into, depending on what it is and how it has developed) my bowel? I have to get a section of my rectum removed, and then have the whole thing sewn back together. I would be in the hospital for at least 7 days, in case of sepsis, and then the recovery would be about like the other surgeon said – 3 months. This is due to the size of the incision that would be needed (pubic bone to navel, maybe a bit higher), as well as the severity of the surgery (colon re-section = serious stuff).
(My great-grandmother had most of her colon removed due to cancer…I keep thinking about that.)
Either way, I have to do a light colon cleanse before the surgery, because they literally won’t know what they’re dealing with until they remove the uterus, and it would be prudent to be prepared in case they need to open me up to do the major stuff.
They’re calling my OB surgeon (Santa Claus) today to see about scheduling, and I’ll get my instructions, then. They asked about my preferences, and I just said, “As soon as possible.” I know it’ll be at least a week, because I have to stop taking some meds, do the colon prep, etc. I’m thinking it’ll be about 2 or 3 weeks. realistically.
The cool part about Da Vinci is he explicitly said that whenever Santa Claus could do it, he would make room in his schedule. AWESOME.
So that’s the final word…which isn’t final, because we’re still doing the “biopsy on the table” scenario. The Wasband Nodule is outside the casing for the organs (which is called the peritoneum – it’s right next to my cervix, basically), so it didn’t show up on the CT, which means it’s not a danger in the sense of ZOMG SURGERY NAO. It’s just a possible complication that they can’t see, yet. This also means it’s not endometrium, because that wouldn’t go outside the peritoneum.
I’m getting used to things being invisible and dumb (see: Lyme disease), so I’m pretty calm about all this. We’ll just have to see.
In the meantime, I’m preparing like everything is going to go wrong (large incision), but expecting it to go right (laparoscopy).