Tuesday, June 12, 2018

I Don't Have Cancer







Thursday, June 07, 2018

All the Pain and No Baby


I had my uterine biopsy and IUD insertion this week. In the ranking of pain in my life:

1. Stroke
2. Herniated L4-5 disc
3. Uterine biopsy
4. Spinal tap

It was NOT FUN! My gyno is a warm positive empathetic lady who I swore at in between crying and hollering. She kept apologizing and saying how great I was doing. I also tapped into Chandler Bing levels of sarcasm.

I took misoprostol the night before to dilate my cervix. Apparently, it wasn’t dilated enough so my cervix had to be propped open by a speculum. That was so painful, I started trying to shimmy away from the doctor.  In these kinds of procedures, your body is in constant fight or flight mode. It’s just your frontal lobe keeping you on the exam table. I also started talking about my Grandma who had 10 kids. I called on her when it got bad.

They gave me a break before going forward so I just laid there crying and apologizing for being a wuss. I got nothing but warmth and encouragement from the doctor and nurse. Also, they had a heating pad on my belly which helped with the cramping. When they moved forward, the biopsy just felt like a pinch and the IUD placement was a stab and big cramp. I believe the entire procedure lasted less that 30 minutes!

Afterwards, my brother was there to give me a hug and got me home. I slept for most of the afternoon. I’m still achy and crampy. I checked out some medical forums and there were ladies who fainted after their biopsy! Some had to be on Valium or be under general anesthesia. So. I am a BAD ASS! Also, much respect for moms out there - hours of that pain? Superheroes.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

WebMD Life

You know how Web MD inevitably tells you that you might have cancer? Well, the nice MGH doctor told me that. So, I am having a biopsy June 6 to rule out cancer. Her first theory is that my pain and the changes I’ve been noticing is pre pre menopause that tends to happen in the 40s. Second possibility is uterine cancer. I’m having a biopsy of my endometrium and Mirena being inserted because the progesterone can help my symptoms cancer or not. If it is cancer, I’ll need a hysterectomy.

So as the doctors explained this, a little voice in my head said, “Wow, you’re taking this well.” I did until I got home after work. The funny thing is I wasn’t upset about possible cancer as much as my mother, after hearing this news, decided to cancel our plans Mother’s Day. But I shouldn’t have been surprised. This is the same woman who complains that she thought she would be done mothering once we moved out and jokes about her sisters being too involved with their kids. So, I rallied other family members who can give me support. I’m lucky that my family is so big! My brother is going to take me home after my biopsy. My boss knows what’s going on and is cheering me on.

The big struggle is my brain chemistry but luckily I have a solid sense of humor and years of therapy. Because come on, I can’t survive a stroke and wind up with cancer! What am I? Job? Part of me kind of wants to have cancer so I can tell BIDMC, “See? You assholes missed this for a YEAR! Thanks for not listening.” On the up side, uterine cancer is totally survivable and after a hysterectomy, no more periods. Plugging my ears la la la-ing any menopause talk. Upside talk people!

I need to take a medicine that dilates my cervix the night before. I was told it would be a suppository. But when I picked it up, it was a pill with oral instructions. I had to call my doctor’s office. I was told the pill is inserted vaginally and I asked, “Should I do a handstand afterwards?”

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Fed Up With Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

For the third time in a year, I contacted patient relations due to errors in a medical file. My ultrasound report claims that I have a syndrome that I have never been diagnosed with. On top of that, BIDMC screwed up bill coding for a doctor’s visit from November. So, I had to explain to a complete stranger that I hadn’t been in an accident but was in mourning when I saw the doctor.

I have been seen by doctors at Tufts Medical Center and MGH recently. I was not met with impatience or condescension. From staff members, to nurses, to doctors I was listened to and treated respectfully with a smile. I don’t know what’s going on at BIDMC but there’s this gloom and lack of attention to detail that is really worrying. The doctor at MGH has finally given me a lead and plan of action for my pain issues! More on that later.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Walking Wounded



I’ve had this nagging discomfort in my lower right side for almost a year now. In the beginning it was a low level throb or twinge around my right hip.  It didn’t limit me or cause me a lot of concern. In the past month, this discomfort has moved into pain territory.  It hurts in bed, it hurts while I sit at my desk, when I drive, and when I walk anywhere.  It got so bad, a couple weeks ago, I went to the ER. I got IV fluids and a contrast dye cat scan. I also had to deal with an asshole doctor who didn’t listen to me. The nurses were awesome.  In discussion with my PCP, we had a couple theories.  Endometriosis, herniated disc, or low potassium. What that meant was I had a blood test, X-ray, and transvaginal ultrasound. My uterus looks fine, I do have some narrowing between discs but nothing herniated, and my bloodwork is normal. Fuck, fuck, fuck. Fed up with Western medicine, I have booked an acupuncture appointment this weekend.

On the heels of all this, I haven’t taken the T in a month. I can barely deal with my commute on good days. Add in pain and exhaustion, I wouldn’t be able to quietly suck up being hit by backpacks, shoved, and twisting around people for a handhold. Barely anyone gives up a seat to a person on crutches so good luck asking for a seat when not bleeding from an orifice.  Lyft has gotten me to and from work with only a couple hiccups.  On the plus side, I get to meet a new person and have interesting conversations.  On the negative side, my bank account hates me.

I have a couple new theories on the pain cause - gout, B12 deficiency, or strained psoas muscle.  Maybe I can find a magical pain doctor who can hunt this down?

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Strange Days Indeed

I’m forty-one years old.  I don’t feel forty-one years old in my heart and soul but my body has been feeling it.  My father acts like every inconvenience of aging is the Universe’s personal judgment on him, not a natural part of getting older that millions of other humans are dealing with. I’m not my father but I have got to admit there have been a couple “What the fuck” or “Nobody told me this is a thing…” moments.  It is kind of funny and kind of ridiculous.

For example, did you know that as you get older you can’t sleep in?  I used to be able to sleep until 2:00 PM but now the longer I sleep, the more pain I am in.  It’s not like my brain even allows me to sleep in anymore.  The only sleeping in I do is heavily medicated and waking up after that I expect to see bruises on my hips and shoulders I am in so much pain.  I need to do the hospital roll to get out of bed those days too.

Coughing can lead to injuring yourself in your forties apparently.  After a bad coughing attack, I pulled a muscle in my back and irritated my crumbling cervical discs.  I am actually enthusiastically watching home medical device commercials nowadays. That doohickey that can help you put socks on – someone get the inventor a Nobel Prize!

Let’s not get too detailed about digestive and reproductive changes either. But stuff definitely gets weird.  I don’t know if I have an allergy, IBS, endometriosis, or perimenopause but I’m tired of trying to figure it out.  I have backup options and supplies stashed at home and at work.  It’s like middle school all over again.  Speaking of, my goddamn skin!  It has become dry and flaky plus I break out at least once a month.  I don’t mind the lines and wrinkles, I mind the red bumps that appear on my nose and forehead!  This week I have been dealing with foot spasms/cramps from who knows what. According to WebMD, it could be a pinched nerve from a herniated disc or diabetic neuropathy.  I’m going to try getting new shoes to help the situation. But those were fun anxiety inducing options, thanks WebMD!

A couple weeks ago, I wound up explaining to my co-workers why the Challenger accident was a big deal since they weren’t alive when it happened. It is a fun running joke on my team. Any dig about my age gets a pouty face and a hearty laugh from me.  Sometimes I stop and think about all the changes and styuff that has happened in my lifetime – it is wondrous and a little exhausting. When I try to turn my attention to what could shift in the future, I mentally give up. Flying cars, civilian space travel and tricorders would get me excited! Aging isn’t all downsides though. I grew up with thin stick straight hair that could barely hold a curl. Now, I have a wavy mop on my head peppered with cool diamond white strands. When I wake up, I look like Goku. Having the hair I always dreamed about is definitely a bonus. 

Basically, aging is a weird ride in a body that sometimes cooperates and other times decides to hurt randomly. Considering that I never thought I would live this long, I appreciate the newness of even the inconvenient stuff!

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Somewhere All Bright and New

Life has been pretty darn good lately! Don't worry, I am knocking wood and throwing salt over my shoulder as I type this. 

Work
The new year started off very sadly with a co-worker dying suddenly. She was such a sweetheart with a smile for everyone. She gave me awesome hugs and listened.  I was a wreck for a couple days.  Other than that, I am enjoying my current work situation now.  

Sparkle Analyst is pregnant with twins due in May so between Baby Analyst and me, we are the pending Mama crew. I send links to articles or items that I know my cousins use/love.  Baby Analyst helps with styling and decor. Sparkle Analyst has mild gestational diabetes so I'm also the one who points out that she knew her body until two little people took over.  Fun fact, I thought gestational diabetes is just the stress of the pregnancy affecting the pancreas' processing of sugar but it isn't! Apparently, the baby hormones interfere with glucose processing.

A member of staffing who has been around for over a decade was fired last week. So, that was shocking.  There was no announcement or farewell. I just found out by seeing the discharge paperwork. Baby Analyst was very close with her so its another brick on the Should I Quit side of the scale for her. 

Nu Boss has been here for over a year so he needs a new name. UMass Sass Boss? Oh I love it when he declares something "garbage" or when he gets a pouty face, shakes his head and declares, "That's not our job - tough." He has an awesome sense of humor, has an open door policy, and works collaboratively.  I'm usually his second in command and when shit hits the fan, I'm the one who points out 1. How to catch the problem proactively and 2. How to assess the scope of the current disaster.  This past week's disaster is the new HR system vacation accrual program is not working as intended.

The HR Analyst team are my joy and sanity. There are four of us.  Three of them were born in 1989 so I"m the grandma born in 1976. They all sit in cubicles outside my office so listening to them joke, discuss current events, and complain is like having my own live sitcom throughout the day. "Okay, pause" and "This fool did X..." is batted back and forth all day.  I love it! Granted a couple weeks ago I wound up explaining why the Challenger accident was a big deal to them but the energy, humor, and mutual support is priceless.

Life
I live two blocks away from the Orange line so this past month I've been taking Lyft to or from work at least twice a week. Those new train cars cannot be deployed fast enough!  One morning I had three alerts on my phone before I woke up about delays, a dead train, signal issues etc. I went downstairs and every neighbor I could see was hailing an Uber/Lyft. 

I narrowed down my list of breeders and found a place with an upcoming litter that will be available to take home in May.  I asked for a red male and put down a deposit. Here's what the kitty could look like:


I am hopeful/nervous now. But I have four months of prep to get through the nerves. I am so looking forward to the snuggles! Here are some potential names:
Archibald
Arthur
Aslan
Balint
Bilbo
Charlie
Chester
Copper
Dadu
Finlay
Galen
Gavin
George
Lennon
Leo
Lorenzo
Malcolm
Melon
Merlin
Nacho
Nero
Norm
Oliver
Orion
Oscar
Paprika
Pumpkin
Quinn
Rory
Rudy
Sandor
Sebastian
Stewart
Sylvester
Terry
Tigger
Tony
Ty
Vincent
Wally
Wyatt
Yogi
Zoltan

I've figured out how to heal clean from grief. Let every emotion happen, talk to good people, be patient with yourself, and don't avoid or stuff things down. The more you avoid/stuff, the worse you'll feel. 

My brother has moved out of our parents house finally after four years! I'm so happy for him. That house is a black hole of happiness. We used to joke when our parents sell, we'll set up lawn chairs with beers to watch the house get pulled down. I haven't seen bro's place yet but he has been sick this past week.

Health
A ton of menfolk in my life are down with a version of the flu!  Super Boss texted me last weekend letting me know he has pneumonia and pleurisy. My brother has wicked congestion.  UMass Sass Boss sounds like Snuffleupagus. My head is a little blocked up and I have invigorating morning coughs. Roomie has been sick as well.

I had a wonderful massage a couple weeks ago that worked out so many kinks, I discovered those kinks kept nerve pain at bay! I had sciatica for the first time in twenty years. My cervical nerves were not happy either.  Now I'm all tensed up again with manageable pain.