George arrived on Sunday, March 8 at 6:48pm. I’d been cleaning the house all afternoon in preparation for george, and documenting it for YouTube.
I’d been documenting different parts of the video all day as ideas and the script came to me, and getting excited as to how all the parts would fit together at time of edit. This was the first video I was creating that would have a soundtrack and voice over parts, and my confidence level was high – I would figure out how to put it all together in iMovie.
I was in the bedroom, photographing the stuff I would use to entertain myself with while bedridden, when suddenly my face and ears flushed. I felt stingingly hot and winded. I went to the bathroom and there was george – a day early. There was bright spotting at first, and the pelvic cramping returned. I immediately popped 600mg ibuprofen, dropped everything I was doing around the house, and zoomed off to the store to finish grocery shopping.
By the time I returned home an hour later, the pelvic pain was at 6.5 on the Mankoski Pain Scale. I can’t recall but I think I took Tylenol 3 before bed that night.
On Monday, I went from bright spotting to dark brown spotting, and then it turned bright red by evening time. I note this because all through 2008, I had dark brown coffee ground type material on my first two to three days of menses before the heavy bright red flow set in. And then it was November 7, 2008 when I was diagnosed with a 4cm ovarian cyst, which left me very ill throughout the month of November. I went on a detox diet for liver and kidneys that month, and by the end of November, the cyst had shrunk to 1.6cm.
I’ve had dark brown spotting on and off since November. I’ve only had one month so far that menses started off bright red and stayed that way throughout.
A healthy menstrual cycle is supposed to be nice and bright from day one of menstruation. The dark stuff means something not right is going on inside, such as a cyst. So I keep track of the colouration every month, now.
Going back further in time a bit – after my last day working over in Daly City, on Friday, March 6, I went to a health food store I always frequented when I used to live in that area ten years ago. I picked up some liquid iron supplement, and also purchased iron supplement pills. I spoke at length with the dietician running the register, and he told me that for my condition, my doctor would probably put me on 1,800mg “of the harsh stuff”, meaning the really constipating iron tabs. He sold me stuff that’s supposed to be much more gentle on the stomach and intestines. I’ve been taking the iron since Saturday, March 7th: 100mg per day of the capsules and 4tbsp (20ml) per day of the liquid stuff.
That is to say, I’ve been taking three times the recommended dosage of the capsules, and two times the recommended dosage of the liquid, because I lose so much blood every month, and because a year ago last April, when I was in the emergency room, I was told I may need a blood transfusion with all the blood I’d lost (I declined treatment, I just wanted to go home cuz I’d had a horrible hospital experience).
Tuesday is when the cycle got very heavy and painful. That day was the Full Moon. My pain level was at a 7-8 all day on the pain scale. I went through a lot of Tylenol 3 that day. So much in fact that I’d wager to say I overdosed a bit, because by evening time I had mild hallucinations and found it difficult to breathe. Despite having taken so much Tylenol 3, I was highly productive on Tuesday. Being that high allowed me to dissociate from the pain and work on my YouTube video quite a bit.
On Wednesday, I woke from a medication-induced nightmare which left me on edge for much of the morning because it involved friends disowning me. The pain and bleeding was moderately heavy, but it fluctuated all day. I ranged from a 4 to a 7.5 on the pain scale for much of the day, but despite that, I was very tired and listless all day. I refused pain medication for much of the day because I didn’t like how much I’d taken the day before. It wasn’t until around 9:30pm that I resumed taking Tylenol 3, because the pain and bleeding ramped up again. I went to bed feeling 8 on the pain scale.
Thursday is when I had my Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.
First off, I woke up from another medication-induced nightmare in which tornadoes, my father, my husband and some friends were involved.
But I fully expected to feel better after having two heavy pain and bleedy days. This was not the case. If you can believe it, the bleeding was even heavier than the previous two days. I was soaking a pad an hour, I was dizzy, off balance, disoriented. I took my pain meds and considered whether I should go to hospital emergency. Every time I stood up or adjusted my position, I soaked a pad.
I had just stood up and had picked up my bottle of orange juice, when the lid popped off and the bottle fell from my hands, splashing all over the place. It wasn’t even 10:30am yet. I wrote about it after cleaning everything up, but my bad day didn’t end, there. After cleaning up the mess, my pain got considerably worse of course, what with all the stooping, bending and mopping I had done. I took my rice heating pads to the kitchen to heat them up in the microwave, and shrieked.
We’ve been having trouble with ants for the past few weeks, and have tried several remedies. The ants always find a new way into the house. In the two and a half years we’ve lived here, we’d never had ant invasions until this year. Because of the recurring ant invasions, I’ve come to scrutinize any room I enter before going about my business in that room. This means that I had just been in the kitchen less than an hour prior to my re-entry, and there were no ants. And yet here they were now, a full busy highway of them. They had found my cats’ water dish but surprisingly not their kibble. They were having an all out pool party in the water bowl. Miscellaneous ants crawled about the kitchen, checked out the liquor shelf, and cruised alongside the bottom of the refrigerator. The source of their entry was through an opening in the cabinets below the kitchen counter. This is the area – that entire back wall of the kitchen – in which the ants have been trying to come in through various sources for weeks, now. They’ve even tried coming in through light switches.
Upon entering the kitchen and seeing this, I put down my heating pads and sobbed. I had to clean up this mess NOW, or else I’d go mad, and the ants would be in the cat food and in the fridge within minutes.
Good thing I’d already popped a second Tylenol 3.
I set to work with the ‘Bugs R Done’ orange spray. After coating the kitchen in that stuff, I opened windows to air out the house, and mopped up ant carcasses. To the latest entry point, I applied ‘Ant Eater’ brand anticide, which contains diatomaceous earth and clove oil. I then stripped down and took a nice hot shower. While showering, several ants streamed out of the towel rack in the shower and began running up and down the shower wall.
I sobbed and sobbed. Depression set in full force at this point.
My husband came home early from work, bringing peppermint and cinnamon oils in tow. He moved the fridge out, cleaned up under it, and we applied soaked cotton full of the oils to various potential ant entry points around the kitchen.
I went to bed early last night – around 9:30pm – as the bleeding tapered off. I laid in bed first listening to progressive relaxation tapes, then reading The Witching Hour – a book I first fell in love with back in 1995. I had three heating pads on various parts of my body. I finally was able to get to sleep around midnight.
We’ve not had any further ants and hopefully it’ll stay that way.
Today I am feeling better. I’m back to spotting again. I have mild to moderate low back pain. The problem today is that around 9am this morning I had black, bloody stools. This is important to note in relation to my iron supplement discussion above, because it is a sign of iron toxicity. Insofar as symptoms go, I also have metallic taste in my mouth, and a headache. So I’ll be laying off the iron supplements altogether until I see my doctor. I have an appointment today at 2:45pm.
Tomorrow, I’ll be up in Calistoga for an all day spa event for a bride-to-be. I’m a bridesmaid in her wedding next month, and so we are treating ourselves and the bride to massages, swimming, relaxing, and dinner. We’ll cap off the night with a girly slumber party and then come back home on Sunday.
This Monday, it’s the 16-year anniversary of a local nightclub, and so my husband and I will be heading out to that.
Coming up this Tuesday, I have an appointment with Social Security Disability Insurance, which will likely be a waste of my time. I set up the appointment yesterday in the throes of my depression, because I am feeling unemployable again due to the fact that I have just missed another week of potential work, and I can’t shake it from my head that the last job might have continued had I not been out sick for nearly a full week every month, and the daycare agency never called me back when I asked to be reinstated (that’s the same agency that told me “I knew it! Every time I need you you are not available!” in August, 2008, because they seemed to only call me on a monthly basis, and when I was bedridden).
I talked to state disability yesterday. They told me that per their rules, they can only pay out a maximum of 55% of one’s paycheck, which means one must be inable to work for more than 14 days out of each month. Because I can work 23-26 days out of each month, I do not qualify as disabled per their requirements. So although I am potentially unemployable due to my health conditions, I fall through the cracks for state assistance. I was referred by state to federal. I know that will be a joke, too, but at least they’ll take time to interview me rather than just deny me outright.
This Tuesday, I also have an interview for a nanny position. I know I will ace the interview because I am confident in my skills and educational background. But I am not confident I will get the job once they find out about my health condition. I go back and forth on the issue of whether or not to divulge my health condition.
We’ll see how it goes.
Next Saturday, I’ve got an appointment to get my hair coloured. I’ve not done anything colour-wise with my hair since the wedding five months ago. I’ve been letting all the colour and length grow out so I can get the copper and red tones I originally wanted before that one hairstylist screwed up my hair just weeks before our wedding last year. The woman I’ll be seeing next Saturday is the miracle worker who fixed what the other hairdresser had done to me.