The hate

I was feeling guilty for just sitting in one spot all day, barely moving, because I didn’t have very much pain. I felt that I should have been able to go in to work for the agency today, who needed me as a substitute somewhere.

I felt like when I called in sick yesterday afternoon, that I was being preemptive. That I should have just gone in to work today and maybe I would’ve been fine. Bugger the fact that I felt like shit this morning – I really did start to feel better by mid-morning.

And then I took a shower. That’s all I did was take a shower. And the pain and bleeding started to ramp up.

But I didn’t stop there! No, masochist that I am, I washed some dishes! Yes! How could I! I did some silverware and two glasses! Oh noes!

And that is all it took to seal my fate. There are unwashed dishes, in nice hot soapy water, just begging to be cleaned. But I’m back on Tylenol 3 again and have to lay down with a heating pad to curb the pain.

George is three days early this month

George really is here. He gushed forth around six this morning. I made the decision to still go babysit for my ‘trial day’ with a local woman – a friend of a housemate. Her maternity leave is almost up, and I’ll be working 2-3 days a week for her as a nanny, soon.
The pain really began to ramp up around 12pm, but I stuck it out. She came home by 1pm.

When I got home, I had diarrhea. That’s kind of odd – normally I am really constipated with george.

I was contemplating taking a Tylenol 3 for the pain, when my male cat decided to suddenly try to leap up into my lap. He’s a very clutzy cat, and nine times out of ten he will fail in his attempt to leap into my lap. When he fails, he tries desperately for a foothold. This means that all of a sudden, you have this black furball leap up at you, miss, and dig in with his two front paws, right on your upper leg. He’s just started this behaviour in the past year or so, so I’m still not used to it when he makes the sudden move, and I can’t always deflect with my arm in time.
Today was one of those times. His claws sunk into my legs. I let out a gnarled yell of pain. The adrenaline surged through me, which is regulated by hormones. The uterus is hormone-rich, so it joined in the chant and BAM! Instant spike on the pain-meter for me. That sealed it. I popped a Tylenol 3 and nursed my bloody, dripping leg. He got me good – I required a 2″ guaze pad because a band-aid wouldn’t do it.

At that point, I gave up. I give in to the fact that I’m in downtime, and that I’ll be bedridden three days earlier than anticipated, possibly for as many days.

This means that I had to call the agency and tell them I cannot work for them tomorrow. I tried to explain my illness to them. I don’t think they understand at all. I don’t think I care to spend the energy fighting them if they fire me for being sick like the last job did. Mainly because I have other work lined up. Mostly because I’m burnt out in trying to pursue the last job that fired me. The labor board is still on their asses. They are confident that I will get a settlement. I’m not so optimistic anymore.


“Ohmygod what is going on” – Nick Fiend in the song “Camel”

I can barely see straight now that the drugs have kicked in, but I want to communicate with you before I go into this dark tunnel for the next three days.

The last couple of days have been so surreal to me when I step outside and see yellow diffused sunlight on the ground. I keep looking up at the sky and instinctively looking for storm clouds. Yellow diffused light in Michigan means “storm’s a comin'”.

Normally in California, the sun shining down leaves crisp, white light on the ground. Not yellow. The yellow of course is because the skies are still thick with forest fire smoke.

This month marks eleven years that I’ve lived in California, and yet things like yellow diffused sunlight on the ground still throws me right back into instinctively looking up at the sky to check for storm clouds. Because I spent the first twenty-five years of my life – my formative years as they say – in Michigan, I don’t think I’ll ever let go of a lot of instinctual habits, or of certain words, or behaviours.

And over the last couple of days, I can’t help but to just stare at the ground, marveling at the yellow light, then looking back up at the sky a second and third and fourth time, hoping to see storm clouds. When my gaze comes back down from the sky, I hope to see giant maple trees in the full bloom of summer, the thick lush green grass and trees everywhere, and to feel the humidity that sets it all in place.

But instead, I get dry, yellowing grass (where grass can be found), California poppies, palm trees, the crazy viney ground cover that people out here jokingly call Kudzu, and dry, dusty air.

I find myself wistful. I miss home. I miss a good summer storm.

Blah. I’ve got iTunes playing on ‘random’. The first iTunes song on random was “Third Eye” by Tool, which makes me really miss home and people from back home, and a time in my life where I really did open my Third Eye.

And the very next song that came on? “Mary” by Oingo Boingo. Which of course applies perfectly to me.

Last night I went into an emotional tailspin, having flashbacks of my childhood up through my early twenties, and all the bad shit that happened to me, growing up in poverty and watching crime and shady dealings all around me.

Some people have dreams to tell them what’s going on in their life. Sometimes I have magickal synchronistic iTunes.

“See I think drugs have done some good things for us, I really do. And if you don’t believe drugs have done good things for us, do me a favor, go home tonight and take all your albums, all your tapes, and all your CDs and burn ’em. Cuz you know what, the musicians who made all that great music that’s enhanced your lives throughout the years? RrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrEAL fuckin’ high on drugs.” – Bill Hicks, quoted in Tool’s song Third Eye.

My head hurts.

Oh shit.

I’m spotting.

If george really does fully show up by tomorrow, I’m screwed for working maybe tomorrow and definitely on Friday for the agency. This means I tarnish myself with the agency, because I’ve missed so much work with them at the beginning of the month (george, then sinus infection).

Part of me is ‘oh shit’ about the agency firing me, and part of me is saying ‘relax’ cuz I likely have the nanny gigs.



I woke up cranky this morning, and started reading the news, which of course made me crankier. I felt all out ragey before breakfast. But then I read about a friend who might have Endometriosis – she’s just now hearing about this from her doctor and hopes she doesn’t have it. So I spent part of the morning replying to her and pointing her to my site. This helped me to calm down about everything else in the world.

I’m super tired, so I’m glad today is my day off, so to speak. I babysat for a friend yesterday and took the kids to the beach. The air at the beach is lovely and breathable compared to anywhere inland with all the forest fires raging on.

Tomorrow, I will babysit another child, and Friday I will work at another daycare through the agency.

George is due Saturday, but I’m afraid he’ll show up while I’m at work on Friday. I’ve already started cramping as of this morning, and I have thusly started premedicating.
The pain is dull and feels like it’s in the fat cells in my thighs, and there’s also a low dull pain in my uterus. I’m at the point where I’m starting to check if I’m spotting when I go to the bathroom. So that means george is 24 – 72 hours away.
I also have food cravings from hell – I’ve already gone through my inaugural bag of cheetos, which my man brought home for me the other night without me even making an official demand for them, because he is THE AWESOMEST HUSBAND-TO-BE ON EARTH and knows my cycle so very well.

I have not yet caved to ice cream, caffeine or to very much alcohol (aside from Monday night). I hope I can keep up the strong will to avoid these deadly foods, for they always bring the killer cramps. I’ve already failed on the corn syrup front, as I’ve gone through a small bag of M&M’s in the last few days. And dairy in general I failed at a little bit, as I went through a can of Fritos Jalapeño Cheddar cheese dip.

Must. Remain. Strong.

Post-mortem on sinus infection

I saw my doctor on Saturday the 14th and demanded antibiotics. Those worked to knock out the green goo within 48 hours, but then I went dancing on Monday night, and was coughing and sputtering yellow crap all over again for the next two days afterwards. Since about Thursday June 19th, I’ve started to feel better again. I finished all my antibiotics on the 18th. About once a day, I’ll have a coughing fit, where I’ll spit up yellow gunk and sometimes some blood (from irritated throat due to the coughing fit), but for the most part, I feel much better. The coughing fits come either first thing in the morning, or at the end of the day as I’m preparing for bed. I’m told this can last for up to a month post sinus infection. It’s just been so long since I’ve dealt with these, that I’ve forgotten their behaviour. Up until 1992, I used to get sinus infections several times a year, because I lived with parents or other people who smoked a lot, and my first year working in a daycare didn’t help, either. After that time, I used to get an annual sinus infection – a real doozy – and this lasted until I moved to California, and my body began to realise it was not in such a horrid enviornment anymore, and adjusted. I stopped getting sinus infections by 1999 or 2000 if I recall correctly.

Anyway, so there you have it. I’m on the mend. But I cannot guarantee I’ll stay mended, being that I’m working with children again. I just have to develop an immunity to their germs again is all.

Not soy now too!!!

Tonight my man took me out to sushi. I brought along my wheat-free tamari.

We tried two new items; king oyster mushrooms, and the waiter’s special tea that he’d gotten from a friend touring in Taiwan. He wasn’t sure what kind of tea it was, but said the loose translation of the Chinese meant ‘mountain tea’, and that it was a famous brand in Taiwan. I peeked inside the cup as the tea was brewing, and saw that the leaves were tiny rolled up balls. As the tea steeped, the balls opened up to lovely green leaves and stems, and tinted the water a greenish-yellow
When I got home, I researched the tea – I think it was an oolong tea, because it had a lovely perfumey scent/flavour and matched the physical description of what I saw in my cup. I highly doubt either of the mushrooms or the tea caused the GI reaction that I had about an hour after eating. I only had one episode of diarrhea, and barely any cramping leading up to it, so it was a mild reaction by my body’s standards.

That leads me to believe that either the rice was glutinous or that the gluten-free tamari somehow had some gluten in it. I researched the tamari on the web and found out that other people had complained about getting sick after using the wheat-free tamari.

Person #1 (although the people on the forum were of no help whatsoever to her).

Person #2 (2nd reply in the thread)

Within that second link, I saw the term ‘histamine toxicity’, so I looked it up and found this educational article.
Also in that second link, people talked about the possibility of mold being in the soy sauce.

So the possibilities I have are:

  • Soy allergy
  • Gluten was in the rice
  • Mouldy soy
  • Yeast contamination somehow

Then again, one of the dishes I had contained a sauce on top of the sushi roll. I wonder if there was any gluten in the mayonnaise-based sauce? It’s difficult to find these things out when the people at the sushi joints we frequent do not speak much English.

This is why I gave up eating Chinese food. First they told me “oh yes – vegetarian” when I would ask if a meal was veggie only, no meat, come to find out that it had pork in it (back when I was vegetarian) … and then they told me “no, no wheat, no gluten” when I’d ask, only to have a fried batter dish served to me. This happened at too many Chinese restaurants to mention over the years. I just got to the breaking point and fired Chinese food from my diet rather than continue risking getting sick.

I really really don’t want to have to give up Japanese food, too.

My next steps:

  • Go back to the same restaurant
  • …with a new bottle of wheat-free tamari
  • Ask for the dish I got again, sans the sauce
  • Try the mushroom dish again

And Wait For It.

November 5, 2008 edit: Sorry it took so long to update. The culprit was the sauce they put on top of the roll.

Cabin Fever!

Okay I have now been out of commission, firstly due to girl do0m for a week, and then from this sinus infection, all told… FOR THREE WEEKS.

I’m tired of looking at the walls.

Last night, my man took me to dinner. The restaurant is a half a mile from our house, but I’d walked no further than half a BLOCK before I was out of breath and coughing. Ugh. We did make it to the restaurant – I just had to walk slow.

Today is another beautiful day – it’s gonna be HOT though. It’s already 70°F (21°C) and it’s only quarter to ten in the morning. So naturally I wanna get outside and bicycle or walk to the local nursery and look at plants and flowers for awhile.

However, my body has other plans for me.

After telling my man that I was feeling better this morning, I started coughing uncontrollably again, and spit up yellow gunk with blood. Go me! I SWEAR that by day two of the antibiotics, my spittle was clear again. I SWEAR that I took all of my antibiotics as prescribed at the same time every night (the last dose was last night). So it’s not like I was being dumb with the medicine. I am convinced that I had another pocket of infected sinus cavity that broke loose yesterday, plunging me back into peril.

And there’s my doctor, in my head, waving his finger at me, telling me IT’S A VIRUS, ANTIBIOTICS WON’T HELP.


So I looked up exercise and viruses, to see if perhaps moving my ass would be a Good Thing™ or a Bad Thing™, because I have serious cabin fever now.

“If you have a persistent or hacking cough or if you’re coughing up mucus, your breathing and lung capacity may be diminished. This indicates you may have an infection in your airways, and exercise should be avoided.

“Illness increases body metabolism, which is reflected in the pulse rate. Gauge your readiness by taking your pulse first thing in the morning. Compare it with your normal resting heart rate. If it’s 10 beats per minute above normal, avoid exercising for the day. An elevated pulse rate is a sign that your body is still fighting a bacterial or viral infection.

“…if your symptoms occur below the neck, as in coughing, fever, muscle aches or nausea, it is best to wait until the symptoms are completely gone before engaging in workout activity.”old article on bnet

Looks like I’ll be driving to the nursery, then. And wearing lots of sunblock FTW.

Sick all over again

Going out dancing Monday night was a bad idea for me. I was feeling better, and I didn’t drink booze that night. I had a pint of water over the course of about three hours. I should’ve had more water.

It felt so good to be active again, because I spent the first week of June bedridden with Endometriosis, and the next two weeks sick with a sinus infection from hell. I ended up missing two weeks of work because of this combination. So naturally, feeling better again and wanting to go dancing – I thought I’d be okay.


Yesterday I felt so run down, I slogged through the day. I should have taken it easy and napped and fed myself well, but instead I didn’t feel like eating again, and I pushed myself to do the dishes, four loads of laundry, and take care of the cat box and garbage.

I fell into bed exhausted by 11:30pm.

I didn’t want to wake up this morning. Which is okay because the agency didn’t call me in for any work. But when I did wake up after 10am, I had a stuffed head and was coughing so much that I thought I might puke.

I squirted some salt water in my nose to open up the passages, and blood dripped back out.


I gently blew what I could out, and started coughing even more, and out came YELLOW bloody gunk.


I thought I’d gotten over the green and yellow part of this infection! I’ve had clear boogers for two days, now! What’s with the yellow all over again?

I wonder if there was one last pocket up there in a sinus cavity just waiting to burst the infection forth.

So maybe it was good that I got out and boogied, to shake the rest of the crap loose. I dunno.

All I know is, I feel bad again. The sinuses under my eyes are all inflamed after the saltwater inhalation. Now my eyes are puffy, too. I just want to sleep all day. I just want my food delivered because I barely have the energy to make anything for myself. I’m drinking green tea right now, and contemplating breakfast. I don’t want breakfasty things. I want my Thai soup. I do have one can of “Thai” soup left in the house, but I want the REAL stuff, from the restaurant up the street. :p
…They open at 11am. Maybe I’ll drag myself over there. And ohmygod Pad Thai. WANT.
See though, that’s the thing. I should not be dragging myself anywhere. I need rest.

Okay, I googled information on “how to get over a virus” and found something interesting on teh intarwebs.

“Celiacs tend to have weaker immune systems and when they get viruses they tend to last longer.”

Aha! I’d forgotten. I have mold and dust allergies, gluten allergies, and the mother of all immune system weaknesses – I have Endometriosis. So OF COURSE I’m going to take a really long time to get over this infection! Steph! You dolt! Just REST!!!!

Okay, enough whiney babbling. Hope ya’ll are healthy and strong, and if not, I hope you are quicker back to health than I am.

More good news

I was waffling on mentioning this but I’ve decided I would.

I got a nice wakeup call this morning from the labor board!

My case worker said again that the company that fired me for having endometriosis is in full violation of the law and has been proven through documentation I had sent months ago (chat logs, emails, employee manual, etc)

Apparently the company has been dicking the labor board by not getting back to them – they’ve been ignoring and avoiding every request sent by the labor board to date.

So the labor board finally had enough of it and told them in essence, “NOW you owe for the time you’ve dicked us around.”

So the company finally responded and said, “Okay, okay, we’ll settle this – tell Steph that for everything that happened to her, we’ll be happy to pay her a $10,000 settlement.”

The labor board called me up and told me all of this, and said I can accept or decline the settlement and go back to negotiations if I do decline.

Of course I declined!

I talked some more with my case worker. Here’s the plan: I have ACCRUAL on top of my original monetary demands! That means they are pursuing the original demand of one year’s salary (which includes lost wages and emotional pain and suffering) plus my old wage per hour for each 40 hours of the week I should have been working while the company took its time getting back to the labor board.

So then I told the board that I went back to work in May, 2008. The labor board said, “oh yeah? are you getting paid less? …oh you are? Now the company also owes you the difference in pay!”

This means that I get roughly one year’s salary, plus 7 months for the time I’ve been off work, plus one month of salary and counting at the difference in pay now that I’m back to work part time/as needed through this one agency, while I try to score additional work. This puts me at a year and a half salary (and counting), that I am now owed by that stupid company that fired me for having an illness.

The labor board will now tell the company I have refused their original settlement of $10,000 and propose to them the new accrued amount, and sit back and wait. I was warned that this can go on for quite some time until an agreement is reached. Each time the labor board talks to the company, they remind the company that they were in clear violation of the law in firing me.

And now I sit back and wait for the next round of discussion.