Dismal September “uptime”

I enjoyed a mere four pain-free days before pelvic pain returned. I don’t know if this was early mittelschmerz or what, but on September 9 and 10, I endured intermittent stinging and stabbing in the uterus all day long.

Then, on September 11, I had to contend with dyspareunia all day. I had intense low back pain with stabbing uterine and cervical pain all day after intimacy.

For two days after being intimate with my husband, I had right side stabbing ovarian pain all day. It made me cry out “OW!” or yelp in pain each time. Around 4pm on September 12, there was continuous pulsing pain for several minutes, and on September 13 I had intermittent stabbing ovarian pain all day again. Despite this, I bicycled to and from work on September 12 and 14.

I was able to enjoy three more pain-free days from September 14 to September 16.

On September 17 (my birthday), dyspareunia ruined all the fun again, and lasted for two days.

I then had three pain-free days before the pre-menstrual pain cycle set in on September 22. To make things worse, I contracted an intestinal virus, which caused mean stomach pain on September 23, leading to diarrhea, which lasted for two days. I felt like I could die. My entire body ached and my mood was more foul than my worst PMS.

Speaking of PMS…stomach flu aside, I have to say that this month’s PMS was the most aggressive and depressing since I was on synthetic hormones. The level of rage I had in the past two weeks equals that which I experienced when I was on Yasmin back in 2007. I phoned my mother to ask when she started menopause, and she thinks it was right around the time we moved houses back in 1983, which would put her at 39 years of age. She gave several instances of being a raging psycho hose beast from hell (which my diaries corroborate).

Well here I am at age 40…so I wonder if I’m starting down the path to menopause. Half of me shouts HOORAY! because the hope is that with menopause, the endometriosis will burn out.
The other half of me is freaking the eff out for two reasons: #1 I still look, act and feel like I’m in my late 20s, and #2 all the other crap that goes with menopause is terrifying to ponder.

Going back to the whole pelvic pain thing…
On September 25, I attended the annual Alameda Home Tour, despite getting over the stomach flu and enduring more pre-menstrual cramps. I was on Tylenol 3 and Ibuprofen all day, but not to the point of stupor – I took half pills of Tylenol 3.

To cap off the day on September 25, I developed a migraine.

I have started tracking the migraines. I also had a migraine back on September 7, and I complained on facebook that I felt like I was having an increase in migraines each month ever since my surgery last December. My friend Wanda is the one who told me it could be tied to my cycle, and to start tracking it, so I went back as far as I could online and in my iCal to see if there was a connection.

Well wouldn’t you know it, there IS, and it goes back YEARS:

September 7, 2011 – Migraine lasting several hours (two days after period ended. Also, it was 86F outside and I was at work in the heat for a couple of hours, then bicycled home).

April 27, 2011 – mild to moderate cramps, migraine from hell, lasting 5 hrs (on first day of period)

January 19, 2011 – light to moderate pelvic pain two days after my period started, “with migraine that lasted five hours, then major pelvic pain and bleeding with cramps at 11pm.”

October 12, 2010 – Migraine noted in facebook (1 day after period ended)

January 29, 2010 – Migraine lasting for several hours on same day spotting started.

January 8, 2010 – Migraine noted in facebook (During period)

December 26, 2009 – Migraine noted in facebook (during Mittelschmerz)

July 9, 2009 – pounding headache two days before period.

April 6, 2009 – moderate headache on 4th day of period.

January 26, 2009 – Migraine noted in facebook (3 days after george ended)

In all, during my supposed uptime, I enjoyed TEN total pain-free days, which were non consecutive. This is dismal compared to the last few months.

Early September cycle

September 1: Day two of george. Took half a Tylenol 3 by 10:30am while at work because the pain kept ramping up. Came home from work after only three-and-a-half hours there, took a full Tylenol 3 and went to bed. Slept for five hours, completely missing my appointment with my shrink. I was bedridden from 2:30pm – 7:30pm, and couch-ridden for the rest of the night. Called everyone I needed to for work to let them know I probably would not be in the next day.

September 2: Tried to go to work, despite the pain, because I’m afraid of being fired (the PTSD from the company who fired me in 2007 for missing work due to the pain still wells up every month). I took 600mg of Ibuprofen before work in an effort to stave off the pain.

I came home after one hour.

I took half a Tylenol 3 when I got home, took another 600mg of ibuprofen at 12:30pm, and also took another half Tylenol 3 at 12:30pm. I cannot remember how much more Tylenol 3 I had that day.

We had a standing invite with our friends that night, so I tried it out. They live up one flight of stairs now, instead of three, but any stairs are a nightmare for a person suffering from chronic pain. I slowly climbed the stairs, holding onto the railing like one who is holding a rope to climb a rock. The thing is, one of our two friends who lives there also suffers from chronic pelvic pain (fibroids) and back injuries, so having one flight instead of three flights of stairs to climb is a definite improvement for her.
While visiting, I was able to sit in a chair and chat with our friends. We did not play card games or board games that night, which was for the best, because minimal movement was best for me. Sitting upright in a chair or reaching back and forth across a table for a table top game would not have worked out for me. I was on Tylenol 3 and Ibuprofen while at our friends’ house, but again I cannot remember how much I took in total that day.

September 3: Saturday. The cramps were very heavy that day, but the bleeding was subsiding. This was the day of the annual Scottish Highland Games. Again being stubborn, I did not want to miss this event, so my husband and I agreed to bring the wheelchair along. I was in minimal pain, but I still popped 400mg Ibuprofen and a half a Tylenol 3 just to make sure I was ahead of the pain game. I was coherent all the way to the fairgrounds. My husband got the wheelchair out of the trunk and I pushed it. I walked slower than my normal pace so as not to stir the hornet’s nest of pain, but by the time we made it from the car to the front gate, the pain had returned.

I ended up taking a total of 2 Tylenol 3 that day, and 1,200mg of Ibuprofen if I recall correctly. I alternated between pushing my wheelchair and being pushed in it, but I was so drugged that I walked in a stupor. I felt like a mental patient whenever I was pushing the wheelchair. I felt the usual embarrassment with having to rely upon the wheelchair, but I did not let it consume me.

Already exhausted from the pain, but ready to see the games

Already exhausted from the pain, but ready to see the games


 

Caber toss

Caber toss

Caber toss

Caber toss


 

Weight For Height competition

Weight For Height competition

Weight For Height - ball

Weight For Height - ball


 

Wheelchair bound

Wheelchair bound

Standing upright - towards the end of the day

Standing upright - towards the end of the day


 

Glad I had my spare spoon with me!

Glad I had my spare spoon with me!


 
September 4: Sunday. Again, we had plans to be somewhere, and I refused to let the pain stop me from living my life. I was experiencing moderate to severe low back pain, and intermittent pelvic pain, but I gave the thumbs up to attend the monthly Alameda Antiques Fair. I was in search of a dress and accoutrements for my upcoming birthday party, which was to be a 1930s costume theme.

I was on Tylenol 3 and Ibuprofen all day. I cannot remember how much I took. I had my wheelchair in trunk of my husband’s car, but I did not use it. However, I did want it at times, but I wasn’t as bad off as I was the previous day, pain-wise. I rested often and walked slow. Bleeding had slowed, and I spotted all day.

Giant flea market on Alameda Naval Base (photo from web)

Giant flea market on Alameda Naval Base (photo from web)


 
September 5: Monday. Labor Day – I was off work. I was feeling much better, and my energy was up, but so was my anxiety for some reason. I was near panic attack all day.

The next day, I was back to work. It was my uptime, at last!

Missed 1 day of work in August…

So I made it to the end of August. I only missed one day of work (on August 8, during the last cycle).

I’m starting off September by missing half a day of work on the 1st. I am likely to miss the entire day of work on September 2nd. I cannot reach anyone to sub for me for the whole day, though one teacher said she’d cover me for the early morning daycare-before-school-starts shift.

Yesterday was the first day of george. Right as I was about to go out the door to work, the cramps began, so I did actually take 600mg of Ibuprofen before work. Then I began spotting while at work, but I still made it through an entire work day.

The pain ramped up last night while I was at a friend’s house checking out their place for party space for my upcoming birthday. I took half a Tylenol 3 but the pain and bleeding kept ramping up. When I got home, I think I took a whole Tylenol 3 and went to bed. I can’t remember.

This morning, despite the pain and bleeding, I ingested 600mg of Ibuprofen again and went in to work. I lasted til 10:30am, when I could stand it no longer and took a half Tylenol 3.

An hour later, with the pain still ramping up and nausea also welling up, I quit five minutes before my lunch break. I went in search of people to fill in for me for the rest of the day. I shuffled around the building, found two people to help me out, and listed the gaps in coverage for the secretary to help figure out the rest, and I came home.

I ate a full Tylenol 3 with my lunch at 12:30pm, and was bedridden from 2:30pm – 7:30pm.
Whoops, this means I completely missed the appointment with my shrink.
I’ve been groggy and couch-ridden for the rest of the night. It’s 9:38pm now and I’m just now entertaining the idea of dinner. Normally I’m prepping for bed by now.

I’ve already notified everyone’s voicemails that I likely won’t be in tomorrow.

Sad, disappointed and depressed describe my current state of mind. I wasn’t bedridden in February, March, April, May or June. I was couch-ridden from the pain in July and August, and now officially bedridden and couch-ridden in September.

The caffeine and sugar have got to stop. I’ve said this before. I know what a huge challenge this is for me. I might even need to go vegetarian again. My caffeine intake rose sharply at the end of June, so I am definitely blaming my rekindled addiction for part of the pain. Caffeine is a known inflammatory agent. I reintroduced white meat (birds only) towards the end of May or sometime in June. I’ll cut caffeine and sugar, first, then wait a few months to see what all evens out before deciding if meat has to go again, too.

Stress management is also key, but I’ve already set that in motion with the Alexander Technique and Yoga classes, and the monthly acupuncture (too bad I can only get monthly acupuncture through the dispensary, but I’ll work with what I’ve got available). I just need to remember to also add in the daily progressive relaxation tips again.

This too shall pass.