Thursday, May 12, 2016

Update on Life

It dawned on me that my last post was kind of crappy and maybe I should update the 2 or 3 readers I do have.   When last we met I was going for an MRI to assess what exactly was going on in my coochie.  My first MRI.  I was cocky as hell when they asked me, several different times, if I was claustrophobic.  "No, not at all," I said with swagger.  So off I went with my friend AS in tow for moral support.  To say everything leading up to the MRI was a debacle would be an understatement. I was sent to the wrong area of the hospital.  I had the wrong body part to MRI listed on my order. Everywhere we went there was no actual employee of the hospital, just volunteers who are minimal help.  And when we finally get to the MRI location, the volunteer there is a dead ringer for Fred Gwynne!  

After a brief wait, Herman Munster informs me that they are ready for me and a technician comes out to get me.  We go back, I put on some ginormous scrub pants because I foolishly wore jeans not thinking that the zipper can't go into the machine.  I'm lead to the the scary ass looking MRI machine, lay down and get some earphones.  I ask them to put on 91.3 the Summit because it doesn't have commercials and I would most likely hear something good.

OK... I'm ready, the table starts moving and suddenly my swagger is GONE!!!  My palms start to sweat, my head gets dizzy and I want to put my arms up and stop the table from moving into the big freaking iron lung looking thing.  OMG!   I had no idea I'd be so terrified by it.  But I was.   I really really was.   After a little reassurance from the techs, the table started moving again and I started to freak out, but then they said, "that's as far as we're going."  Phew!   My head was still out of the machine and I could see the ceiling.   I felt so relieved, still nervous and stuff, but relieved that I could see out.  That is until the radio came on and I heard these words, "And now John Fogarty in concert!"  Oh shit, are you telling me I have to listen to John Fogarty live for the next 40 minutes!? What have I done!   I couldn't change it now, they started.  Well luckily it was only one song and after that I actually heard some great stuff that helped calm me tremendously (Siouxie, Iggy, Echo and the Bunnymen, Bowie).  It is true that music can sooth the savage beast.  And after one little snafu, I was done in about 50 minutes.   My friend AS was getting worried and I think she ended up asking Herman Munster if I was ok.  He didn't know, of course.

My doctor called on Monday (since the MRI was a Friday) and indicated some worry.   It turns out that there was still no definitive answer as to what was lodged in my cooter, but she was certain it had to be removed and soon.  She also was sure this would be an OR situation because the size was even more significant than they expected.  I opted to have this done immediately, much to my doctors relief.  She told me later that she was thinking that this was something very very bad because the location was unusual and the tests were inconclusive.  Surgery was scheduled for the following Wednesday and I would be out of work for at least 2 weeks (I work Jan-Apr).

While all this was going on, Mom's dog was undergoing his own trauma.  Turns out he had been munching on his blankie on and off for who knows how long, weeks, possibly months.  So much so that he was no longer able to pass the wool that accumulated in his little belly (he's a toy poodle). This little guy was very very sick.  He ended up having surgery the day before I did.  Mom was supposed to come to the hospital with me, but now her other baby was sick and he was unable to do so.  Instead I decided I'd go visit her the night before my surgery and maybe we could calm each other down.  I was scared and worried.  The lingering idea that I might have cancer was still there. At this point I was no longer getting much reassurance from my doctor.

When I got to mom's she informed me that we had to go pick up the little guy from the vet and take him to the animal clinic so he could be monitored overnight and her vet didn't offer that service.  This might be the last thing I want to do the night before surgery but I do.  And it's insane.  The little guy had a huge ball of wool removed and a third of his intestines.  He's still pretty doped up but we take him and go to the clinic to drop him off.  This was not a quick and easy undertaking and it ended up taking, all totaled, about 4 hours.  At this point it is too late for me to eat so I never got dinner that night and I never got to express my own fears.  When I left my mom's at almost 10 pm, I cried the whole way home.  I was scared, upset and had gotten no reassurance or comfort because the pooch needed it more.  I'm not saying this because I'm bitter or blame my mom.  It's just how I felt at that time... scared, nervous.   I had to be at the hospital at 5:30 am.  I was a mess of emotions, and yes worried about the pooch too.

The morning of surgery I took some anti-anxiety meds that I have since they told me I could and it helped tremendously.  After checking it, it all becomes a blur as drugs are administered and things get underway.  The last thing I remember is moving myself from the gurney to the OR table, looking up at the lights and then being woken up in the recovery room and having to pee like mad!  A nurse came and walked me to the bathroom, and this ended up being the first of several hobbly wobbly journeys to the restroom in recovery.

Luckily I was able to go home that afternoon and didn't have to stay overnight.  But to say my recovery was horrible would probably be an understatement.  In fact, now, 3 months later, I'm still not completely recovered.  I was unable to sit without leaning to the side for 2 weeks.  I had to use icepacks and take pain medications.  I said often that the irony of the situation is that I spent 50 years not having kids only to end up dealing with the aftermath of childbirth!   Just my luck.

Happily the baseball that was removed from my lady bits was nothing terrible.  In fact, the doctors don't even really know how/why I got it or what it actually was.   Oh they analyzed it and were able to determine that it was comprised of fatty tissue, fibrous tissue and hematoma, but there is no name for it other than vulvar mass and it was completely benign.  I'm extremely lucky and I know it and am so grateful for it.

The ordeal is behind me, but I can't help but have a small worry in the back of my mind that it will reappear.   I try not to, but it's difficult to ignore.  It showed up out of nowhere, with no explanation so who's to say it won't happen again?  And I do still have lingering sensation in the area.   In fact, sometimes I feel like a dude... constantly aware of my genitals.  But I'm good.  :)

Friday, January 29, 2016

How Do You Top January 28

Yesterday was without a doubt one of the worst days of my life that didn't involve losing a loved one.  Let's back up to December 30, when I discovered a lump in a delicate area, if you get my meaning *wink wink*.  That was a Wednesday and my primary doctor isn't in, so I called my gynecologist. There... mystery over ha!   Anyway, no one was available to see me that day but they could see me the next, which was weird because it was New Year's Eve.  I was nervous but glad they were able to see me quickly.  Trying to be logical I realized that this thing, whatever it was, wasn't there the day before and it couldn't be anything too terrible if I never noticed it before.  And believe me, it was noticeable.  So I go to my appointment the next day and I'm seen by a midwife since all the doctors had taken off.  There ya go, I knew it seemed weird they were open.  Anyway, she diagnosed what I had as a bartholin's cyst.  It's nothing worrisome and it's fairly common.  Cool.  It can sometimes be treated with antibiotics so she prescribed me some and I made an appointment for a follow up the next week with my doctor.   I was then told the size of mine was "significant".  This is a word I heard four times in regards to the size of my cyst.  It was said by the midwife, by 2 nurse friends I know and by my doctor the next week.

Significant:  sufficiently great or important to be worthy of attention; noteworthy

What can I say, I always strive to be the best and if I have to have a cyst, let it be the biggest most noteworthy cyst ever!

The next week I go see my regular gynecologist and she agrees that it is a bartholin's and gives me a different antibiotic since the "significant" size had not decreased.  If that didn't work, then she wold take a needle to it and drain it.  Ew!  But ok.  The antibiotic did not work, at least not on the cyst.  It did however get rid of the bronchitis that I had at the same time.  So, silver lining.

We scheduled my cystecomy (which I'm pretty sure is not an actual word and I think I might have just made it up) for January 28, yesterday.  I was ready.  While this bit of significance in my coochie was not painful or at all bothersome in any way, I really don't want it there anymore.  So I was ready to get rid of it.  Well, I got numbed up and the needle went in and nothing came out.  So a scalpel went in, and nothing came out (well some blood came out, but that was just from the incision).  My doctor was a little taken aback that nothing happened and decided that she probably shouldn't keep digging around down there and instead decided to send me to a specialist who may be more equipped to rid me of this thing.

While I was standing at the nurse's desk as the nurse tried to find me a specialist with an opening yesterday I heard her say this... "yes, gynecology oncology".   My eyes popped out of my head and landed on the desk.  This is nothing anyone ever wants to hear and not at all what I was expecting. And of course, the tears started to fall down on her desk.  And I couldn't stop them.  I'm in full blown freak out.  Oncology?  What?  I have cancer now? Are you kidding me?  I was told my fucking lube gland backed up!  That was the last I heard, not that I might have cancer!  The nurse is trying to be reassuring and saying that it's just precaution and not to get ahead of myself.  But I'm so far ahead of myself at this point I don't know what to do.  I leave the office with an appointment for 12 noon (same day, yesterday) with the gynecology oncologist.  And go to my car to cry some more.

I called the man, and told him and said I would be calling my mom to go with me.  He was obviously flummoxed and didn't know what to do or say.   I called my mom and told her I was on my way and what was going on.  She was on the spot, "I'll be ready when you get here."  So off I went, crying all the way, talking to my friend LP who has a calming way about her and has experienced many of the medical things I have so she's my most often go to when things get medical.  And she did calm me, somewhat.  But there was always that looming voice, "you have cancer" in the back of my head.  

After picking up mom and getting her the obligatory iced coffee, we were off.   While driving, the man texted asking where the appointment was and what the doctors name was so he could meet me there.  It takes awhile but he most often does figure out the right thing to do, and he did.  I waited until I arrived at the appointment and texted him to tell him the info and he said he would meet me there.  I was very early and he wasn't too far away, so it worked out.  I had a zillion papers to fill out as a new patient anyway.  So after I filled them out, I was called in.  My mom wanted to go in with me but the man had yet to arrive so I told her to wait out there for him.  

At this point, I am still bleeding from the wound in my coochie from the scalpel but it's not too bad. The oncologist came in and was like a dream.  She was the best I could have ever asked for.  She was kind, gentle, soothing and very reassuring.  And while her diagnosis wasn't definitive, she was "reasonably sure" that what I have is not cancer.  OMG, I could have kissed her!!  I had just come off several hours of absolutely panic, which by the way, reflected in my BP when they took my vitals. The nurse who took my vitals commented on my BP being high and I told her that they were closer to normal earlier in the day at my other doctors appointment but that I'm very nervous right now.  She reassuringly said, "honey, everyone who comes in that door is nervous."  And I don't doubt it at all.  So, I am having an MRI on Tuesday (2/2) to assess what it is, it's exact size and location and we will take it from there on the course of action.   It will be removed, she just needs to figure out if it can still be an in office easy peasy procedure, or a surgical not so easy peasy.  All I need to do is get a blood draw to make sure my kidneys are functioning normally.  They need to know this info because they use contrast during the MRI.

If I say the blood draw was fun, would you think I'm nuts?   It was kind of fun though.  The girl who was doing my draw was a student and when I rolled up my sleeve she caught a little glimpse of my Frankenstein tattoo.  Well, now her and her supervisor had questions, and wanted to see everything I had and were so excited by all my tattoos, especially my Sicily tattoo and my Grandma tattoo.  I was more than happy to show them and talk about something far more fun than cancer or blood or coochie lumps.  The amusing thing is, the supervisor kept saying "oh that was my favorite show!" when she was looking at Frankenstein and his Bride.  I think she thought they were the Munsters!  lol

Is that the end of the story?  Nope.  The rest of the day seemed business as usual.  Lunch, a little shopping, take mom home and then home.  It was a long day, I was very tired and emotionally drained and just wanted to be home, in my jammies, on my couch.  I was about 3 miles from my goal, when, while at a stoplight, fully stopped, I was rear ended by another car.  Are you fucking kidding me!?  I want this day to just go away!   January 28 fucking sucks donkey balls.  I was not hurt (a little sore today but that's standard) and neither was my car.  It's quite shocking actually because I was really really slammed, hard. The woman who hit me was hit by the kid behind her.  And yes, he was a kid.  A mere 18. Cute as can be and devastated beyond belief that this happened.   It was his second or third accident and he will most likely lose his license.  

The woman in the middle, however, was a complete raving bitch.  Granted, my first instinct upon impact was "WHAT THE FUCK!!!!!!!!" and apparently it was hers too.  I didn't get out of the car the second it happened but I heard her screaming at the kid.  Screaming!!!   And he was probably in some version of shock. His airbag had deployed.  Mine didn't, hers didn't.  I know accidents are upsetting. This is the second time I was rear ended in several months.  There are a lot of emotions and anger is one of them.  And ok, her car was brand new (3 months old) it was really fucked up and so was his. But she continued to berate this kid over and over and over.  He was so upset and crying and she never relented.  I felt so bad for him.  He swore he wasn't texting.  His version is that he was trying to change lanes, turned around to see if any cars were coming so he could move over and didn't see that we were stopped.  

So it becomes a matter of waiting for police and then filling out police reports.  Me and the bitch sat in the back of the police cruiser filling out our papers and she kept making calls to tow trucks, to Nissan dealers (because dammit, her car had to be fixed with certified Nissan parts!).  The cop finally told her to get off the phone and do that later!   Thank you occifer, shut that bitch up already before I slap the shit out of her!  And after all that, I finally got to go home. All in all, my crapola day started around 8:30 am and ended a little after 7.  And it was the longest eleven-ish hours ever.  Fuck you January 28.  

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Bullet Train to 50

Well, my lose 50 by 50 diet failed miserably.  No, that's not exactly true.  It started out great but then it failed miserably.  But this doesn't mean I won't try again.  I will.  But with only 10 more days to that big day, it's not going to happen on time.

I'm trying to come to terms with that number.  That 5, that 0.  It seems so evil.  50.  I guess my problem with it all is that I don't feel 50.  I really don't.  Mentally I feel about 18 maybe.   Physically, well sometimes I feel older than 50 especially this week *cough* *sneeze* *wheeze*.   Fifty means more than half my life is over.  It means I'm no closer to doing the things I want to do.  It means I have to start thinking about things like retirement funds and AARP and life insurance.  All that is just too adult.  I'd rather be going to a concert or thinking about that fabulous pair of Fluevog's I want to buy.   I don't want to think about who's going to take care of me in my old age.  

Sometimes I feel like I've missed out on some great times.  Actually I don't just think it, I know it. When the one you're with has no zest for life, no interest in exploring the world, no desire at all to do anything other than maintain the mundane life that he's leading, eventually a few things happen. You fall right into the same rut, which I did, for far too long.  Or you snap out of it and decide to do the things you want to do, with or without him.  Which is now what I have been doing.  Life is too short, far too short.  Yesterday I was making my First Communion in second grade and in 10 days I turn 50. WTF!?  

I have learned through the years to never declare something I am "determined" to do.  I think it sets one up for failure.  But I would like to secure a full time job (yes, still looking even though I have a pretty great temporary job that I will be going back to soon), I would like to travel, I would like to make a commitment to fun.  

I don't know, does that seem attainable?