Second Laparoscopy: Day 35 post-op

Friday, January 21, 2011

I was still spotting. On Thursday night, I had set my alarm to wake after 8 hours sleep, to try to get back into the routine of waking to an alarm.

I woke between 2 and 3 am after a dream that Ms. Wendy, surrounded by her husband and her Ashram folks, had died. Her husband quietly proclaimed, “she has awakened.” The mood in the room was joyful, everyone was proud of Wendy for ascending. I felt this joy, but the moment I woke from the dream, I was filled with sadness. I was immediately aware of the idea of not letting go, of holding on to material things, including people. My husband happened to be up at that moment – he had come back from the bathroom and was climbing back into bed, so I told him about the dream and he held me. I was able to drift back to sleep.

When I woke for the day, I had breakfast, posted a memorial to my departed uncle and wished love to my family, and arranged to meet up with a friend at a local park. I wanted to ride my bicycle, but it’s behind a bunch of stuff in storage unit, so I got the bright idea to roller skate!

It was a 15 minute trek from my home to the park, so I put my skates on and tried it out. I only stopped for a few seconds before continuing on in my clunky, out of practice way. My arms flailed, my legs felt like Frankenstein walking.

About 2/3 the way to the park, I finally fell into my groove and skated more like a hockey player. I was still clunky but getting there. A nice, even asphalt street would have made things perfect for me; alas, the road was patchwork for most of the route to the park.

By the time I arrived at the park, I had used up most of my spoons. :(
I was tired and sore. My friend and her toddler showed up, and we hung out. I ran into two parents from the school I work at and chatted with them for a bit.

After hanging out at the park, I walked home, which took about half an hour. I was too exhausted and sore to put the skates back on.

When I got home, I ate some junk food, went to Costco with my husband for some school supplies, came home and endured a horrible sales transaction between a friend and a mental neighbor. I popped 1mg lorazepam to deal with it, and then my husband and I went off to cheap sushi to make it all better.

I came home, exhausted from all the exercise I’d gotten, and went to bed. However, it didn’t stop my husband from making eyes at me, LOL. Guess I wasn’t so tired after all!

Firsts: intimate with husband for first time since surgery.
Complication: dry. This never happens. Further exploration of this matter needed! ;)

Second Laparoscopy: Day 28 post-op

Friday, January 14, 2011

Had a sad dream where I was in a stonemason’s shop, searching for my own headstone.

When I woke, I became alert to the fact that my pelvic pain had worsened overnight. The pain did not feel like post-op pain. It felt like my “usual” menstrual pain. My period was due on Monday, but because I had pelvic surgery 28 days ago, who knows…perhaps my period would be early or late. All the organs being fiddled with and such…

I called my surgeon’s office and my family doctor and asked if anyone had gotten my blood test results back, yet. My family doctor was the first one to call back with the info.
I was told that my red blood count was at 33 (low again) and that my liver count was normal at 42. However, my white cell eosinophil count was still high – it was 1,100!
I asked what I do next, and the doctor replied, “you go see your surgeon!” I asked if there was anything I should be doing in the meantime, should I go to E.R.? Am I contagious? The doctor replied she does not get to make recommendations, that this is on my surgeon. She said to just wash my hands thoroughly in case of contagion. So I called and left another message with the surgeon.

Flustered, I sat straight up on the couch to adjust my sitting position, and I screamed because I was hit with a sharp pain at the site of my pubic incision. It was a deep pain, not a surface pain. Maybe the pain was not in the incision itself but the same area where prior to surgery I would say “the pain was low in the uterus near the bladder”.

You know, I had been truly surprised when, right after surgery, my surgeon told me she had not found any endometriosis on the bladder reflection like my previous surgeon in 2007 had. My new surgeon said she found on evidence of endometriosis on or near the bladder or bowels. So all the pain I have is just radiating, then? It feels like it’s bladder pain but it’s really just a large aftershock of pain that had radiated out from the uterus?

I hate endometriosis so much.

After my screaming episode on Day 28 post-op, I whimpered and emotionally caved in to medication. I had barely been taking any medication at all, and had not taken ANY Tylenol 3, since December 27th when I was terrified I’d killed my liver.
But after the screaming pain, I caved in and took 400mg ibuprofen with a half a Tylenol 3.
Shortly thereafter, I went for walk with my husband because I was too stubborn to lay down and submit to the pain. I figured if I walked, that perhaps I would loosen up adhesions and such.

We walked 2 miles and stopped at grocery along the way!

Half-way through the walk, I had to sit down for about 15-20 minutes before hitting the store because the pain had ramped up in my lower back and my pelvis. It had made it difficult to continue putting one foot in front of the other. We sat at a bench and just hung out in the warm sun for a bit.

My husband

My husband

Me, sitting straight up cuz of the pain

Me, sitting straight up cuz of the pain


A view of San Francisco and the smog...

A view of San Francisco and the smog...

Closer view of San Francisco in the smog

Closer view of San Francisco in the smog


Alameda beach and Bay Farm peninsula in distance

Alameda beach and Bay Farm peninsula in distance

Alameda beach and Bay Farm peninsula in distance

Alameda beach and Bay Farm peninsula in distance


 

When I felt ready, we continued our walk and went towards the grocery store. As soon as we got to the store, my surgeon’s office called back. It was Dr. Wang, and she insisted that whatever infection is going on with me is NOT directly related to surgery. She suggested allergies or at worst, a parasite infection. She told me they do not specialise in this area, and that my family doctor has to see me. At that point, my family doctor called on the other line, so I took the call. She’d been briefed already and apologised to me for pushing back to the surgeon. I told her it’s okay, I think the surgeon is the one passing the buck, here. The family doctor said I’ll have to submit stool samples to rule out parasites. HOW THE HELL WOULD I HAVE GOTTEN A PARASITE INFECTION.

UGH.

Family doctor told me to stop in on Monday to pick up the collection tubes. I went back into the store to find my husband and finish our shopping.

When we got home, to my surprise, I had increased mobility! We made and ate dinner, but within two hours, the pain returned. I took another 400mg ibuprofen and another half Tylenol 3.

We spent the evening at a friend’s house playing card games – I could not sit in the provided hard chair because I kept getting sharp pelvic pains whenever I laughed or sat up straight. I was given a plush computer chair to sit in and that helped a bit, though I still had to get up and stand or walk around every half hour or less.

After game night, we came home, and I crawled into bed.

Firsts for today: Walked two miles despite having premenstrual pelvic and low back pain.

Complications: Sharp pains beginning in afternoon and lasting til evening whenever I laughed or sat upright.

I am not amused.

I woke up in the middle of the night itching after a bad dream. I checked myself out – I have a yeast infection! Two days before surgery! Panic set in further and I took 1mg ativan to get back to sleep. =(

The bad dream consisted of tornadoes – which for me suggests major upheaval in my life – sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse, but always indicating short-term chaos and turmoil. I guess I shouldn’t have read my horrorscope right before bed. My mother figured prominently in the dream – I kept trying to evacuate her before the tornado hit. We got through the first one, then left the house in her car and ended up driving into the path of the same tornado again. Ugh.

When I got up this morning, I called the nurse line at the hospital where my surgery will be performed and told them of my symptoms. I was told taking Diflucan is okay this close to surgery. Thankfully, I had an extra pack of it in the house. I ate some breakfast and took the Diflucan. Now I get to experience gas, nausea, cramping and intestinal upset right before surgery (side effects of Diflucan for me, though I don’t always experience all of the above).

Today is my last day at work. Last night I cleaned much of the bedroom. Tonight I will use my gift cards to get some microfiber socks and a second nightgown. I don’t think I mentioned that I own my first nightgown since childhood…it arrived last weekend from Land’s End. Ankle-length, long sleeved, soft fabric. It was just too difficult for me to cope with pajama pants after the first surgery, so I’m going the nightgown route this time.

Tonight I will also clean up the living room and kitchen – oh and schedule the rental car – if I can get to it in time. Otherwise, I have all of tomorrow off of work to do that. Although, I’d rather spend tomorrow in constant chill mode, just relaxing and breathing and moving each body muscle in a determined manner.

Surgery comes early on Friday, at 7:30am.

This remains a scary cycle

Yesterday’s running thought was, “I cannot for the life of me believe that this much blood can keep coming out of me.”

The flow is usually heavy for several hours, then it dies down.

It never died down yesterday.

I turned in for the night after midnight and was still bleeding heavily and whimpering in pain and had nausea. My abdomen and stomach muscles all feel like I’ve been doing situps.

Actually, that may be true…yesterday was the first day I forced bedrest for much of the day, rather than continue sitting in the hard chair in the kitchen. Although it was easier on the pelvic pain to sit in that hard chair, I wanted badly to be under warm blankets and SLEEPING. So I forced the bedrest. Once in bed, I was restless and could not sleep for very long – due to the pain – so I kept sitting up.
Going from prone to sitting up uses the abdominal muscles. Perhaps I strained myself.

Or perhaps I’m bleeding so much that it’s “normal” for my abs to feel all bruised like this. I don’t know which scenario is true, and whether I should be concerned/scared…but the emotional truth is that I am really scared.

I woke up a few times during the night to go to the toilet, and even in the wee hours, I was still filling the bowl with blood – and also big clots. I kept saying to myself, “It’s never this heavy for this long. What is wrong?”

Both my gynecologist office and my local doctor herself called me back yesterday to tell me that all this bleeding is NOT caused by the endometrioma on my left ovary – that the ovary itself does not produce blood – that the bleeding is caused by the shedding lining of the uterus – that it must have just been extra thick lining this month.

And yet, every woman I’ve talked to who has dealt with ovarian cysts and/or endometriomas has said that they have encountered super heavy bleeding. My online friend V said she went through FOUR pads in one hour a few days ago!!! She also has an endometrioma.

Also, Mayo Clinic, the U.S. governmental Women’s Health page, and wikipedia all tell me that abnormal bleeding can be the result of having an ovarian cyst and/or endometrioma. These sites even mention the ‘bruised ribs’ / ‘worked out abs’ feeling I am experiencing – as being ‘normal’ for one who has an ovarian cyst or endometrioma.

So my endo sisters and the Internet ease my panic and fears over all this heavy bleeding, while once again, my doctors dismiss my experience.

I woke in pain at 7am, after emotional dreams. My best friend from high school and my best friend from back in 2002 – both who left me – was morphed into one person in the dream, and she was re-establishing contact with me to introduce me to her wife and show me her toddler son. She had been uneasy about this little reunion, because she thought I’d be mad at her for coming out of the closet, since I’d had a crush on her and she’d spurned me. I just wanted everything to be okay between us again. It was very awkward and emotional.

Anyway, I got out of bed and went and stood in the kitchen eating some food so that I could take more medication without running the risk of a stomach ache. I took an entire Tylenol 3, 600mg Ibuprofen, and .5mg Ativan.

I cannot remember how much medication I consumed yesterday. I think it was a total of three Tylenol 3 pills in a 14 hour period, and 1,200mg Ibuprofen, and .5mg Ativan.

My pain yesterday never got below a 7 on the pain scale, and was often hovering near 8. I need to also note that I’ve had annoying ‘growing pain’ type pain in the left leg all throughout this cycle.

In graphic terms, it would look like this on the Allie Brosh pain scale:

alliebroshpainface8

 

But when I woke at 7am this morning, still bleeding heavily and passing big clots, I became even more scared. I kept saying to myself, “The bleeding is supposed to have tapered off by now.” This put me in the Allie Brosh pain scale graphic of:
alliebroshpainface7

 

The drugs have kicked in, so I’m going back to bed. I lose another productive morning to the pain. I hope I do not lose the entire day like I did yesterday. There’s so much homework still to be done. I return to work on Monday. I had completely hoped I would have all of my homework done by the time I returned to work. Because of my emotional meltdown at the end of July and into the first three weeks of August, and because of the endometriosis pain last cycle and this cycle, I have lost MANY DAYS of productive homework time.

I hate this illness. I hate it. HATE. IT.

Day 3 in the Underworld

Today I slept in til 10:30am, but when I got up, immediately the pain and bleeding resumed.

I ate a breakfast bar and the last quarter of a protein bar I didn’t finish yesterday, and washed it down with Almond milk so I could take my medication. I took 600mg Advil gel-caps and half a Tylenol 3.

I heated up two rice pads, and then I could not get comfortable. Standing hurt. Sitting hurt worse. Laying on my back hurt. Laying on my side hurt worse. So for awhile I was okay as long as I laid on my belly on the bed with the heating pads on my lower back. I tried propping up on my elbows so I could be on the laptop, but typing on the laptop meant ‘moving around too much’. :(

I’d say I’m at a 7 on the pain scale.

After a short while, my neck and shoulders had enough of that, whether propped up or laying face down, and of course I developed a headache (thanks bulging disks in the neck).

Now I have reheated the rice pads and I’m reclined against two pillows and a pillow chair. The drugs have kicked in enough for the pain to begin easing off. Sleep will follow soon.

Side note: I’m still having crazy/bad dreams. Could be from the meds, not sure at this point cuz the dreams have been ongoing since a week or so before my period.

Currently it is 65°F outside, bright and sunny. Today I am feeling bad for not being out in it, and yet the brightness is hurting my eyes, even through the windows.

Day 2 in the Underworld

Yesterday I consumed over 1,600mg of Advil gel-caps and I think a total of 2 Tylenol 3. I sometimes forget.

…counts remaining pills…

Yeah, that’s correct.

Today I have taken a total of 2 Tylenol 3 and I have consumed 1,000mg of Advil gel-caps.

*** TMI ALERT ***


My day started at a 7 on the Mankoski pain scale and when I sat up in bed, blood just gushed forth. I am so glad that I wore my super giant fabric pad to bed last night. When I got to the bathroom, I was amazed at how soaked the pad was in just that instant. When I had cleaned myself up and got up to flush the toilet, I was amazed to see freshly clotted blood on the lid of the toilet behind me. I tried to wipe it up with a quick motion, but it still smeared. Shock set in at that point, I swear. I can only handle so much blood.
My husband came home from the gym about that time, and I emerged from the bathroom, wide-eyed, and told him all about it, the poor thing.

He takes it in stride, I think. Poor guy has been seeing me in pain and with abnormal periods for the last ten years, now. Hopefully he’s used to the TMI. We’ve both seen each other through surgeries and worse, anyway. We’re young veterans, heh.

In other news, I forgot to take my supplements so far today. It’s been hard, since yesterday and today I have suffered moderate nausea and low appetite.
Last night, my husband brought home sugar-free, dairy-free Coconut Bliss ice cream, and I ate that for dinner, heh.

I noticed that when I’m bedridden, I’m pretty much on a cereal diet, or a diet similar to one who has the flu. Sometimes there’s a load of comfort food / junk food thrown in, but not always.

Today I got so nauseous that I had to stop reading my homework, and I could not look at the computer for very long. I’d type something in chat and then look away for minutes. Still, I forced myself to make some lunch around 2:30pm or so. I cooked up some chicken and made a ‘Thai’ broth; a cup of chicken broth with half a can of coconut milk, 1tbsp chili paste, 2tbsp fish sauce, and some other seasonings. I added broccoli and mushrooms, onions and garlic, and some baked chicken. I put it all over some Basmati rice. It was pretty good. Needs to be spicier next time, and less salty.

After lunch, I read some more homework for a bit, then took a shower. The bleeding usually abates when I spend time in the shower or bath. Or at least it used to. For the last several menstrual cycles, this has not been the case. It’s more like a scene out of Stephen King’s “Carrie”.

Oh and I’m still having weird dreams and nightmares. Last night I had a doozy – an actual out of body experience from sleep state. It was actually kind of neat, though.

Tonight my husband has a dinner engagement that he’s been looking forward to me attending with him, but I have to pass. I don’t want to be center of attention when the cramps start back up again. I don’t feel like being out in public with this much bleeding going on. I don’t use tampons because I’ve always been prone to yeast infections and urinary tract infections, and on top of it, I have a short vagina and a retroverted uterus, so things hurt when they’re put into the canal. And anyway, I bleed right through a damned tampon. So in case anyone wanted to suggest that in order to get me out of the house, you can forget about it. ;)
I feel bad, but at the same time, I’d rather not move around much and make the pain worse. Even getting out of bed to make lunch earlier set off a new round of cramps, and I had taken 400mg Advil. I should have taken twice that, but I knew I was already at the 1,000mg mark for the day, so I backed off until after I got out of the shower, when I took a half a Tylenol 3 in order to make sure there is constant overlap in my medication dosing. Just don’t wanna chance getting up to 7 or 8 on the pain scale again.

The past two days have been sunny and in the 70s outside, and I have not seen any of it. This time around, I don’t even care.

Hormonal rage

Today, my own hormones are doing a number on me. I am full on with surging rage.

I was awakened by the recycling truck using its backup sirens for too long, and then idling with its rumbling engine in front of my home. Then the cramps set in – about a 4 on the scale. Then I was journaling and had another flashback to doctors who have pissed me off over the years and that just threw me into a spiral. My heart began racing and I wanted to kill the nearest thing, which happened to be my cat, who was licking plastic bags again. Don’t worry, I didn’t kill her, I just took her bag away. That cat can find any plastic bag or cover in the house. She simply walks away from one confiscated item and finds new plastic to lick. I swear, if she gets tumours, I’ll be sure it’s from all the xenoestrogens she’s licked up off of all the damned plastic bags over the years.

I ate some cereal and took 600mg Ibuprofen, but I’m still restless. Thankfully the pelvic pain has not ramped up, but the pain in general is radiating from my pelvis all the way down my legs to my ankles.
It is rare, but it has done this before. Usually the pain only goes to my knees. It is a dull ache – it feels like I have bicycled for 10+ miles. My hips, thighs, upper legs, knees, calves and ankles feel strained and swollen. My legs are restless, twitchy and painful. I’m drinking water and tea as though I’m trying to ease the dehydration – but I know that it’s not dehydration. It’s just part of what endometriosis puts me through.

I am REALLY tired. I went to bed around 11:30pm last night, but I did not sleep well all night. I kept having more strange dreams and nightmares, and I had to keep getting up to pee (welcome to having a period). The only nightmare I remember was tornado like conditions happening outside. The wind was blowing fiercely and banging things around. The sky outside was dark grey and brown, and the air was brown because of all the dust and dirt flying around. This is California, near the San Francisco Bay, so these conditions are not reality.

According to DreamMoods,

“Tornado

To see a tornado in your dream, suggests that you are experiencing some extreme emotional outbursts and temper tantrums. Is there a situation or relationship in your life that may be potentially destructive?

To dream that you are in a tornado, signifies that you are feeling overwhelmed and out of control. You will be met with a series of disappointments for the next week or so. Your plans will be filled with complications.

To see several tornadoes in your dream, represent people around you who are prone to violent outbursts and shifting mood swings. It may also symbolize a volatile situation or relationship.”

Well, I did get into it with my husband for the past two days over chemicals in the house. His hairspray (Rave) woke me from a dead sleep and rendered me disabled for half the day on Monday. And on Tuesday, he berated me after I began choking when he used the Trader Joe’s lemon scented kitchen hand soap. I thought we agreed to stop using it – I should have thrown it away. I washed my hands with the orange scented dish soap and he said, “And yet you’re okay to use that stuff.”

I read off the short list of natural ingredients to him, had him TRY to read the long list of chemicals in the lemon soap, and then put it in no uncertain terms that he can either accept that I have chemical sensitivity or we can re-evaluate our relationship, because if I have to move out, I will.
That shut him the hell up.

I then informed him that I want this household to be scent free in the next 12 months, which means his hair products especially have to go. I told him I ordered him some unscented hairspray from NationalAllergy.com, and that we’ll have to work on finding scent free hair gel and other stuff. I reordered scent free shampoo and conditioner, and I’ll have him try it out. I already have scent free liquid soap (Dr. Bronner’s) in the bathroom shower, I’m going to make sure that’s available in the kitchen dispenser as well.

*big sigh* Yeah I’m just a pretty picture, aren’t I?

Oh, and the bleeding that started off bright red yesterday? It turned into dark, sticky brown discharge, and continued on like that all day. And it went away overnight! It returned this morning, but as a shadow of itself from yesterday. I expect by the end of today, there will be actual flow happening.

In the meantime, I’m distressingly tired (also welcome to having a period), but I cannot go back to sleep because the brain weasels are in full force today. I’ve got unwanted thoughts and memories returning to my head – stuff dating back 9 or more years. It’s totally unnecessary.

I’m going to take a No-flush Niacin, get some housework done, and try to start on my homework.

If the brain noise does not abate, I’m going to take one of my husband’s xanax pills (they’re leftover from the last time we had to get on an airplane).

1pm update: The brain noise abated and I was able to take care of the clothing issue in the bedroom. That occupied me for about 4 hours. There’s just not enough room because two drawers are taken up with framed pictures that I had to put away because the wall space has to keep going away to make way for upward storage in this small place. So my clothes – clean and dirty – have been just being thrown into piles on the floor for weeks, which really irritates me.
I did get creative though, and I did purge some clothes, so it worked out…mostly. Around noon, the menstrual flow became more pronounced, and with that, the cramps began ramping up. I’m at about a 5.5 on the pain scale at the moment. I just ate some leftover pesto chicken and sweet corn so that I can take half a Tylenol 3 with some more ibuprofen.

To make a visual of it, I’m going to use the Allie Brosh Pain Scale – here’s where I’m at on her scale:

alliebroshpainface51

alliebroshpainface6

 


I feel like I’m being bum-rushed outta my house by Hades, and I keep pulling back, saying, “Hang on, just one more minute! I’ll be done in a minute! Wait!”

*sigh*

The sooner I acquiesce and go to the underworld, the sooner I can do my time and be done for the month.

Meh. I’m just so tired of this.

1:35pm edit: Hades took me. I’m fully in the underworld, now. OMG it hurts. :(
Six and a half on the Allie Brosh scale, Seven and a half and moving steadily towards 8 on the Mankoski scale. Inner thighs and tops of legs on fire with nerve pain that’s radiating down from the pelvis. I took a full Tylenol 3 and 400mg Ibuprofen. I’m taking another half a Tylenol 3 NOW dammit. OMG.

Current treatments

I remembered that which I’d forgotten in last night’s blog entry – herbal tea.

My acupuncturist had prepared an herbal tea for me to take as part of my treatment through her. I had stopped taking it some months back because I suspected it was making my dermatitis worse. One of the ways my food allergies manifests is through atopic dermatitis – specifically on my left thumb. At my last visit with the acupuncturist, I said I wanted to try the tea again. I said this because I’m freaked the hell out over the endometrioma on my left ovary, and I don’t want the sucker to grow any bigger. I’m willing to take on as many new therapies and treatments as possible – like a hammer to the problem – if it will help.

A dermatologist I saw a year or two ago told me it’s impossible for wheat or any food to cause or agitate the dermatitis on my thumb. He said it is caused by my skin reacting to direct touching of detergents and other chemicals. My argument stands to this day that it is ALSO caused by ingesting allergenic food and drink. I fired that guy after the first visit – I’ve had enough of doctors telling me what they think is going on in my body, when I have repeatedly proven them incorrect. Remember the doctor who wrote off my endometriosis entirely and said I just have IBS? Remember the surgeon who said I don’t have endometriosis – that I only have dysmenorrhea, and so she refused to give me a laparoscopy? Remember all the doctors for years who fought against me asking for antibiotics right off the bat because they didn’t believe I can have an immediate sinus infection? Remember the E.R. doctor who said and wrote in my chart that the only cause for my acute pancreatitis at the age of 21 was because I must be an alcoholic? (the nurse told me the pancreatitis was from doctors giving me Cipro for repeat sinus infections every month for a year). Remember the humiliating experience of having to submit to STD testing because the doctor was sure my husband was running around on me, since that’s the ONLY way I can POSSIBLY have gotten cervicitis? She even tried to counsel me right there in the office about my relationship!!!!
So ah, yeah. Sorry for the lashing out. Guess I’m not ready to forgive people/doctors, yet.

Back to my thumb:
Within 24 hours of starting the tea again, my left thumb, which had been doing well, split open and started bleeding again. It has to remain fully bandaged when it does this, and looks like I have a broken thumb or something.
And of course, I’m being stubborn and still drinking the tea, because I’m sitting here thinking, “well maybe it’s the dish soap I used – it contains orange oil and I’m allergic to oranges.”
I’m still drinking the tea because yesterday my cramps were minimal, and I want to try to keep it that way by any means necessary – even at the expense of my poor little left thumb.

My current treatment plan:

  • 1/4 teaspoon endometriosis blend tea in a cup of hot water, 2-3x/day
  • My regimen of vitamins and supplements
  • Acupuncture every 2 weeks (I want to increase this to every week)
  • Massage when I can (I want to increase this to every week)
  • Elimination of refined sugar
  • Elimination of all dairy
  • Elimination of caffeine
  • Resumed elimination of alcohol (I’ve had some to drink every now and then since May 2010 but I’ve stopped again because I don’t like how it makes me feel in the moment anymore)
  • Continued adherence to No Fly List (I’m still failing on stuff like butter, salt and chocolate)
  • Continue with trusted pain medicine cocktail (Tylenol 3 and Ibuprofen)
  • Continue with consciousness to posture, correcting gait, and administering large hip circles and yoga pose.
  • Keep getting on my bicycle as often as possible.

 

And yes, I know, I need to get back into the gym, and I need to ride my bike farther than just running errands or going to/from work.

My current surgeon will not give me another laparoscopy until the pain becomes constant and unbearable. She wants to take a wait and see approach to the endometrioma. She says if she goes in and carves the sucker out, another one will just grow back in its place. She knows I don’t want to remove my ovaries because I don’t want to go on Hormone Replacement Therapy, because synthetic hormones make me suicidal (tried and proven twice!).

Randomness

Today I started one day early. I woke with mild, annoying pelvic cramps, but they faded by late morning.

I was fine til just after 1pm when I was startled to find bright red blood during a trip to the bathroom. Soon after that, mild cramping began again. I took 600mg Ibuprofen to stop the cramps from getting worse, and it worked! Wheee!

Today I was able to accomplish the following:

  • 4 loads of blankets – washed and dried
  • Dishwasher was run
  • Wooden bed desk was washed again (cat peed on it awhile back and I’ve been washing the sucker repeatedly with Nature’s Miracle, Seventh Generation Wipes, Anti-Icky-Poo®, and more wipes – I think I am finally satisfied that it is no longer contaminated. Talk about OCD and germ/filth phobia!)
  • More Montessori homework accomplished
  • Bathtub scrubbed with Borax and hot water
  • Cat puke scrubbed from runner by front door
  • Cat litter exchanged (I accidentally bought the scented version and suffered the chemically sensitive consequences)
  • Back of photo album soaked in Anti-Icky-Poo® – this didn’t work out so well – the back of the album held up perfectly, but the stench and filmy residue are still there. There are two or three photo albums that the cat peed on in recent months. They’ll just have to be replaced.
  • Blankets folded and put away
  • Bed stripped and new sheets/blankets/pillow cases applied

 

That is a whole HELL of A LOT of stuff to be physically fit and able to do on my first day of my period, let me tell you!

Sometimes it just goes like that. I’ve not been doing anything differently – I still ate a lot of chocolate right before my period. I still ate lots of cow and goat cheese. I still drank lots of caffeinated coffee and tea with lots of sugar.

I did see my acupuncturist on June 24th, and on June 26th, I got a massage from my friend who is now a licensed masseuse. Even so, given my decades-long history with this illness, I don’t think acupuncture and massage are what allowed my cramps to be minimal today. Sorry gals. I truly think my illness behaves as it wants to behave, when it wants to.

On June 20, I noticed that I’d become lax in taking my calcium/magnesium pills, as well as my evening primrose oil pills. I noted the constant back and joint pain I was in, and said I’d resume my supplements. Within 48 hours of writing that, I went out and bought a new bottle of calcium/magnesium, and began taking it twice a day with a Vitamin D3 pill for better absorption, and I resumed my evening primrose oil pills along with the Vitamin C and zinc and other supplements I take.
The back and joint pain eased up immediately and profoundly!

As I got closer to menstruation, my mid back began tightening up, as it always does. This puts strain on the lower back, and then it becomes hard to stand up straight, or even sit up straight, for that matter. My massage was great on Saturday and helped loosen the back, but I messed it all up later that night by wearing a corset too tight, and my back went into spasm.
For the last three days since then, my back has alternated between being fine and wanting to lock up from the mid point down, because it’s going into protective mode like it always does every month before I menstruate.

So today the back pain was moderate. I took 600mg of Ibuprofen tonight when I got out of the shower. As I lay there on the newly made bed to cool down after my hot shower, my mid back began to spasm again. It was more of a twitch but a thickening of the muscles, definitely. Not the charlie horse type back pain I was in on Saturday by a long shot, but I could tell my back is definitely out of sorts.
(fun fact about me: hot showers, hot baths, hot tubs, hot pools – it has to be hot – it’s the best thing next to sex).

Oh – today is the first day I was able to get through the day without the following:

  • Coffee
  • Caffeinated tea
  • Raw sugar to sweeten anything
  • Cow or goat cheese

 

It’s not to say I didn’t suffer – it was a difficult day! I did eat two protein bars which contain chocolate liquor (but no sugar!), but I did not directly eat chocolate candies today. The two bars I can stomach the best are Brownie Crunch and White Chocolate Chip, though they do leave a bad aftertaste – probably because of the Malitol. I eat these things not to lose weight but because they’re the only gluten free protein bars that do anything to keep my energy up and stave off hunger for a bit when I’m at work and my only moment to catch a break is during the kids’ lunch hour. I used to eat Belgian Chocolate Organic Food Bars like nobody’s business, but the stores near me stopped selling the chocolate ones. Nowadays I eat almost as many BumbleBars as I do ThinkThin bars, but the BumbleBars don’t keep my energy up or my appetite at bay long enough.

Before I forget, I have been having a lot of strange dreams, lately. I don’t know if it’s the full moon (it was full on Saturday, June 26) or what, but the dreams are crazy.
…or not… I just looked up my dream about having lice the size of crickets in my hair, and this was the translation I got:

To see lice in your dream, signifies frustrations, distress and feelings of guilt. You may also be feeling emotionally or physically unclean. Alternatively, the lice my represent a person, situation, or relationship that you want to distance yourself from. You may be feeling used or taken advantage of.” DreamMoods.com

Fascinating! I was feeling used and taken advantage of!

Alas, I couldn’t get any insight into my dream about my dad’s right leg having to be amputated – the dream site only discusses the meaning behind the dreamer having her own limbs amputated.

*shiver* at least the lice thing is sussed out. When I woke this morning, I decided I would not continue to be angry with the Chi Nei Tsang lady, and I would not continue to feel taken advantage of by her. I put it right by taking matters into my own hands and ordering the supplements I need. I will do my own cleanses from now on if I deem those detox supplements to be of benefit again. This will only be my second time doing the cleanse, so we’ll see how it goes.

Alrighty, I’ve taken a total of 1,200mg Ibuprofen today and the pelvic cramps were quite minimal (I’d say a 2-3 on the pain scale. Right now is the first time all day that the nerves have begun to start their little dance down my inner thighs, so I’m just gonna high-tail it into bed and hope I wake to another minimal pain day tomorrow.

I really really wanna do a Steph’s Mythical Underworld photo shoot to illustrate from my mind’s eye my descent into hell each month. Even though I’m in minimal pain, I’m still at the gates to the Underworld. It’s not pessimism by any means. I know what I mean and that’s all that matters. ;)

Ooo – another thing before I forget. A few things…

Tonight I tried pesto instead of cream sauce and the result is that I have indigestion and I’m burping a lot. What’s in the pesto? It’s Trader Joe’s brand and it contains basil, sunflower oil, potatoes, olive oil, grana padano cheese (pasteurized cow’s milk, salt, rennet (animal), egg proteins), pecorino romano cheese (pasteurized sheep’s milk, salt, rennet (animal)), cashews, salt, pine nuts, lactic acid, garlic.

Well dammit, it could be the potatoes or the egg proteins or the cow’s milk or the sheep’s milk. Since I have a renewed war against me courtesy nightshades, which I thought I outgrew in childhood, I’m going to blame the potatoes and the egg proteins for the indigestion and burping. How ’bout that. Glad I only got the 6oz jar.

Another item to mention – I’m trying to consciously correct my gait, my posturing while standing and sitting, and how I move my body when bending forward for anything. I’m trying to stabilise my core region in the hopes of easing up some of the pelvic pain I suffer. I really should be back in the gym – I haven’t gone in well over a month now.

I thought there was one more thing but it’s gone. Good night!

Symptom tracking

I have spent all day today going back through this blog and digging out information for MyMonthlyCycles.com.

Awhile back, I registered with a bunch of symptom tracking websites to try ’em all out. So far, MyMonthlyCycles.com works the best for period tracking, but it’s obvious that the site is there for young women who want to breed, and the site has a lot of limitations to women like me with gynecological disorders who are trying to track our periods.

Despite the limitations, it still seems to do the best report output of compiled data.

Because I have spent all day on this, I don’t feel like rehashing my symptoms here in prose, so I’ll just give the straight up info I’d spewed on the symptom tracking website:

Tuesday, June 1, 2010:
Tylenol 3 at bedtime – partially for cramping, partially for joint pain, partially for brain weasels. This is also the day I had to go to E.R. after going into respiratory distress over an assistant teacher’s perfume. I received 3 shots that day: 1 Benadryl, 1 Atavan, 1 Epinephrine. I slept for most of the day and into the night.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010:
Took 600mg advil before bed due to cramping.

Thursday, June 3, 2010:
Some cramping, nausea, 99.9°F fever.

Friday, June 4, 2010:
My Period – First Day? Yes
Flow: Spotting Flow Color: Brown Clots: none
Comments: Mild cramps – intermittent. Nauseous. Pain around a 4 on the scale. Super tired – in bed by 9pm.

Saturday, June 5, 2010:
Flow: Medium Flow Color: Brown Clots: none
Comments: Spotting turned to flow, then got heavy by nighttime. 7 on the pain scale.

Sunday, June 6, 2010:
Flow: Heavy Flow Color: Dark Red Clots: Medium
Comments: Clots began by nighttime, and I passed a medium one – it took from 10:30pm to 12:30am before it was finally out, and I nearly vomited from the pain. The clot was thick, long. Not very wide. Consumed roughly 2.5 Tylenol 3 and about 1,600mg Ibuprofen for the pain. Had heating pads on all day and night.

Monday, June 7, 2010:
Flow: Medium Flow Color: Red Clots: Small
Comments: Heavy flow in the morning, then medium, then heavy, then medium, then light by nighttime. Took the day off work. Consumed roughly 1,200mg Ibuprofen and 2 Tylenol 3.

I’ve also been having crazy weird dreams and nightmares for the past three or so days – even before I took any Tylenol 3.

I’d like to also note that I have in the past week consumed a lot of cow’s milk ice cream, a lot of mint chocolate candies, and a lot of gluten-free ginger cookies due to out of control sugar cravings.

I have been moderately depressed since my trip to Michigan (May 14 – 23 was the trip), because I am triggered by the horrid housing state in which my mother continues to let herself live in.

Lastly, a note about the weather – I missed out on another gorgeous warm and sunny weekend because I’ve been on the couch since Friday night.