Thursday, October 22, 2015

Surgically Altered and the Silver Lining

I went into pre-op on Tuesday this week for a couple of "emergency" surgeries (meaning I've been waiting a month to get these authorized), and it just made the whole thing more REAL.

I have had such bad lady problems, I would have done ANYTHING to make it all stop right then and there. But I've had things under control for about a month now, and except for the pills that make me aBSoLuTeLy BoNKeRS, I'm fine. :)

Same thing with my gut. Some days I feel I am in so much Pain, I can do the surgery right there on my own, by myself, and still be in less Pain. And then there's right now. I hurt but it's just uncomfortable if anything. Except for the impending Pain and the complete exhaustion I have fighting it, I'm fine. :)


I don't take a lot (if any) medications because 1. I don't really need any and, 2. I can't stand the side effects. Sure, Tylenol and Ibuprofen help with Pain and inflammation, but they kill my liver, kidneys, and stomach (I'm very sensitive).

So, when it comes to surgeries where they use Needles to pump drugs and fluids into me, let's just say  I don't get all giddy about it.

Needles are on my Enemy list. When I was a child, I had several doctor visits matched with much blood work. I had nurses, doctors, phlebotomists, and my mother yelling at me to NOT MOVE or the Needle would break in my arm and I would DIE.

I was not a Screamer or an extreme Wiggler, so I suppose they were trying to scare me just in case. Well, it worked!

I am also not a big fan of burning body parts or removing them (both of which I am scheduled to do). I definitely like the benefits of having all my body parts in tact, but I guess mine are faulty and something must be done. Barring a touch-of-Christ's-robe kind of miracle, I suppose surgery is the only real option for me.

But I am looking for the Silver Lining among the clouds...

After the Pain subsides and Healing truly begins, I won't have the Pain and mess of faulty Lady Parts anymore. I will still get to keep them (if this particular procedure works) and their built-in hormone regulators.

I have spent decades struggling with my weight and I see the gallbladder removal surgery as an opportunity to help with that. For just a few days (or more) I will be on a limited diet to help clear out any residual operating medications and not be sick. After that, I will slowly adjusting my body to food that is easy to digest. I have had several friends and colleagues suggest I can go back to eating whatever I want, I just have to be near a bathroom within about 30 minutes. But if I am to use this surgery, and its subsequent side effects, to my advantage, I better make a true Lifestyle Change.

I will be eating Clean but on my own terms. Part of my issue was trying to eat better while watching others around me not sharing my eating options. My dear husband has offered to eat with me and help me find a way to eat Clean that is more Me and not what others say I should be. I love that I have been so blessed. 

Unfortunately, these procedures cost money, despite my low-cost Obamacare. So, I have set up a GoFundMe Account to help offset charges. Through the help of my amazing friends, I believe I will reach my goal and not have to worry about money along with everything else weighing on my mind.

Despite my hardships (and I know everyone has their story, but this is mine), I truly feel God's love for me. I feel watched over and care for, and I am grateful. My cup runneth over!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Wrinkle Me This

Are wrinkled faces and grey hairs SO BAD that we spend over $2 BILLION dollars a YEAR on trying to get rid of them or at least hide them?!

Why are we trying to hide the fact that we are indeed getting older? So what if you got grey hair and you're not even 30 yet?! You have wrinkles around your eyes and mouth?!?! GET OUT OF TOWN! You mean you smile and laugh a lot and your face really shows it?!?!

Seriously, folks?!?!

I'm pretty sure you don't look like this...
and if you do, you probably don't care so much about it anymore because you found more important things to focus your energy where you put your teeth!

So what if you think you look more like the picture on the right than on the left...
You. Are. REAL! You have real kids, a real life. If you have people in your life suggesting you look anything BUT real, may I suggest removing them from your life...

Monday, August 3, 2015

It's not Cancer, and why I'm not happy about it


This post may get a little gory. I will try to stray from details in hopes you will get the gist of the conversation...

I have been bleeding for 60 days now and I'm in the gray area of Crazy. I have been bleeding excessively for about 50 of those days. I have been tested for Cancer, Thyroid, Polyps, Cysts, Hormones, Hemoglobin, Cholesterol, Diabetes, and Iron. The only thing that came back positive was Cysts. Despite my weight and this bleeding issue, I am in very good health. ALL my numbers are so good in fact that no one seems to be too concerned with my bleeding issue except me!

I know this is going to sound absolutely BONKERS but I wish I had Cancer! Cancer is something people have heard about. Cancer is something doctors have figured out how to fix! My bleeding issue, and the fact that my body can "handle it" is something no one around me understands. Short of either a miracle of Biblical proportions or a complete hysterectomy, there seems to be nothing for me if I still wanted to try to conceive! (I know I have said that we cannot have another baby, but I still have that glimmer of hope and if my uterus is gone so is that hope. And, no, adoption is not an option either.)

I have heard enough "I'm sorry" or "It's not THAT bad" or "We all have something, don't we" to last me into the Eternities!

I cannot leave my house without the real possibility of bleeding through all my clothes. I've done that going from one floor of my house to the next! (*GORY*) I have soaked through a "super" tampon, 2 pads front to back (at the same time), panties, Garments, 2 pairs of pj bottoms, and a towel in less than 30 minutes in one sitting.

"How can I possibly still be living after a bleed out like that?!?!" you may ask. Or you might say, "I've done something similar and I didn't it was as bad as you're portraying it." I have these two scenarios as examples of what has been said to me.

 Some of you might be thinking that if I DID have Cancer, the doctors would still remove offending body parts that I hoped to save. Yes, you are correct BUT the advantage of Cancer over my mystery is that it wouldn't be a mystery. When I tell the doctors a symptom they wouldn't look at me with some confused expression. They could tell me that the symptom is normal for a Cancer patient, and we'd move forward.

I am at my wit's end. I am crazed with confusion and frustration. I am broken in many ways.

Would Cancer be better? I cannot give you my honest opinion. I have dealt with Cancer in my family (husband, aunt, grandfather, friends) and made it through alright.When faced with a medical anomaly, with more questions than answers, with less options than I would like, crazy thoughts come to mind.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Googled to Death...LITERALLY!

   Have you ever went to Google to search your symptoms? I'm not a big fan because I don't want to walk in to the doctor's office and tell them my findings from WebMd or Wiki. That being said, we did a quick check for Ben a little over 6 years ago. The answers we received are the typical ones I see: something that's no big deal, or cancer. Well, of course, as you know, it was indeed cancer. A few months later when treatment and surgeries were over, a new complication occurred. Again, because time was of the essence, we Googled Ben's symptoms: no big deal, or necrotizing fasciitis (yeah, I Googled that). And, once again, it was the worst case scenario.

   Now it doesn't always turn out to be the worst thing you could ever imagine...when Ben is searching for something. Me, on the other hand, I ALWAYS get cancer as my top answer to whatever is ailing me (according to Google), so I never look there. I am a big proponent of looking in medical books I've acquired over the years or calling my handful of medical professional friends I know and trust. This way when I visit the doc's office I have accredited sources.

   I have had Google be right with the cancer scare when I was having localized pain in my abdomen a little over 10 years ago. The doctor was very concerned it might be pancreatic cancer but was hoping it was simply pancreatitis (Googled that too). Thankfully it was the latter!

Who knew such a tiny little organ could cause so much pain!

   Well, I am 0 for 3 again on the Google searching: Doctors are concerned I may have a clot in my left leg, and wait for it...CANCER! Of course, what we are hoping for is perimenopause. I have a scan today to search for the clot and a series of tests to run in a couple of weeks for the other stuff.

   Not to sound brave or anything, but I'm not worried. Maybe I will be if I get the bad diagnosis. Right now it's a game of Hurry Up and Wait, but at least I will get answers. It may turn out to be like a choose-your-own-adventure series, but I'm up for the challenge...I think...

   I will keep you updated on everything. In the meantime, prayers, good thoughts, that sort of thing are a good thing to have in my corner right now. It may be nothing big, but it's always good to be prepared, right!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Why I DIDN'T Choose "Lose Weight" for My New Year's Resolution

     Ever since I started to really care what I looked like, I have struggled with my weight. Constantly being teased by family, friends, and strangers alike made me determined to get to a size where people wouldn't notice ANY cost.

     I fought with bulimia and anorexia for nearly ten years (no, I was never a size 0. Unfortunately, these tactics backfire on some bodies already damaged or simply lost the genetic battle to have this form of self-abuse "work". I did some permanent damage to my liver, kidneys, and pancreas). And I HATED food! I hated that I needed food to stay alive. I hated food for being the main way to celebrate or get together with family and friends. I HATED food when I needed it so I could still breast feed my baby during THE most stressful time of my life thus far (see beginning of this blog to learn more).

     Every year since 6th grade, I have made "lose weight" my New Year's goal, and EVERY year I failed. A few years back I stopped making single goals and went with themes that pertained to multiple aspects of my life. Eventually "lose weight" fell off my to-do list all together. Sure, I would try and start new schemes every year, secretly and not-so-secretly, but they wouldn't work.

     Last year I started a new approach to eating and I learned a few things about myself in the process. I wanted to end my near life-long argument with food and learn what things actually tasted like. In all my years of eating, I hadn't actually tasted my food! I would just shovel it in hoping to get the deed over with so I could continue on with more important things. So all last year I paid attention to what I was eating and if I enjoyed it or not, and why. Near the end of the year I discovered something: I REALLY like food!

     When this new year rolled around I again toyed with the idea of weight loss. The frustrating thing was, I couldn't find the motivation! Nothing, nothing was a good enough motivator to diet and exercise on ANY program. With my lifelong quest of WHY in mind, I went on a soul-searching journey. Now, you may think it should have been an obvious discovery, but someone with such a messed up mind (me) often misses the obvious and instead of taking the straight path leading directly to an answer, I like to take the circuitous, roller-coaster route to find what I'm looking for (not really, it's just what I do. Yet another quest for myself.)

     What did I find, you ask? I found my answer. I finally like food and I don't want to restrict my intake of if just yet! I want to sit and at length enjoy food. So that is what I am doing. Don't worry, I'm not sitting at home eating mass quantities of ice cream and gourmet foods (I don't have the time or money). And I am being fair with ALL foods, including fruits and vegetables, and for the most part only eating until I am full, not stuffed.

      So this year at least, I have chosen to not lose weight. I have chosen instead to find self-respect and lose hurtful ways of thinking. I'm choosing to repair my relationship with food. I am choosing to like ME.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Time Management

Do you ever get that feeling of being overwhelmed? Where it feels like your entire world is demanding your time and energy at the SAME TIME?


And then you realize, you ASKED FOR THIS?! No? Not you? Well, I seem to do this to myself ever so often. It's a nasty habit I don't realize/remember I have until it's too late because I've committed to so many things that can't be changed unless I want to cause utter ruin and despair. Okay, so I'm not THAT important but it feels like that is my burden.

I have set the goal to NOT say "yes" so much this year, not realizing I've already said it to things last year that pertain to this year... Oh well..maybe next year ;)

One of the reasons I see myself bogged down with what seems to much to bear (is that right? "bear" or bare"? or am I missing another one...anyway) is that I'm in need/want of stretching. I need to learn something (more than how to say "no"). And I am! As I breach from Crisis Mode, I am learning how to prioritize again. No longer are my needs to just survive but to THRIVE.

So I enrolled in school at Idaho State University.

I mentioned this a bit in my Christmas Letter. I am currently in the pre-PTA (physical therapy assistant) program, with hopes of being accepted into the full PTA program come this Fall. I'm a nervous wreck! You do realize, I haven't been to an actual brick-and-mortar school for 20+ years! So, knowing this I enrolled part-time with just 6 credits. With only a couple of weeks into it, so far so good. This is my 4th career change (1. politics, 2. microbiologist, 3. massage therapist, 4. physical therapy assistant). I'm hoping to finish my Bachelor's of Science degree shortly after my program finishes.

I am learning how to manage my time better. I'm not very good at it, mind you, but I'm getting there. I see no need to be too hard on myself for not being proficient quite yet; another breakthrough since only a year ago I would have considered myself a failure!

I'm scared but hopeful. A new feeling for me. "Hope" used to be a four-letter word for me. Now, I'm cautiously using it to reintegrate it into my life for good.

So feel free to send words of encouragement my way as I venture on this scary, treacherous, hopeful road filled with suspense, doubt, and frustrations. I'm gonna need it!