The bad news:
The Endometriosis pain has officially set in.

The good news:
I continue, albeit at a much slower pace, to tidy up and decorate the house for the coming year. The results are perty, which makes me very happy.

May you also be making the best of your night tonight.

Health-related post (Gallstones, Endometriosis)

eet ees confirmed….

Gallstones – I has them.

It’s no surprise to me. I passed a gallstone when I had pancreatitis back in 1993. And in 2007, I had another gallstone attack, which I staved off by eating a shit-ton of green apples, apple cider vinegar, horseradish and chamomile tea. That doesn’t get rid of the stones, though. Just helps to stop the pain.

I totally meet the criteria for gallstones. My body makes too much estrogen as a result of the Endometriosis, and I also these days meet the Four F’s: Fat*, near Forty, Female, Fertile.

So I hope this gallbladder flush gives me some overall pain relief and allergy relief aside from the mid-back and shoulder pain relief.

*The ‘fat’ comment is fact, don’t try to compliment me out of it. ;)
Although I don’t consider myself anywhere near obese, I am in fact fat at 172lbs as the charts go. Normal for my body frame and height (5’5″) should be more like 130-145lbs. ;)

Edit: I wanted to add that I’ve not been having recent gallstone *attacks* to prompt this gallstone flush. I’ve not been in direct acute pain from gallstones. I just figured it was high time I did a detox/flush, and I knew based on the attack I had last year that I’d find stones. It’s only natural given my high-fat diet (mmm cheese, mmm sour cream, mmmm butter…) and all the pain meds I take that I likely always have gallstones going on. IMNSHO, everyone should do a gallstone flush a few times a year.

Health update – detox diet done, now the flush

The low back pain has gone away!
The vertigo seems to be fading more and more each day. I still have minor episodes but I’m glad to report it’s going away.

Friday night was the last night of the detox diet, which I’ve been on for the past month. Tonight is the gallbladder/liver flush. So today I need to take it easy. Tonight and tomorrow will be gross. Tomorrow night I will hopefully be recovered from the flush, cuz I have a dinner date!

I went on the detox diet at the advice of my Qigong practitioner, after I’d been feeling so lethargic and had constant kidney pain going back to last spring. After years of hedonism and also after taking so many painkillers for the past 21 years for the Endometriosis, my legs had become swollen and tender to the touch, my sides always hurt, my shoulder was always going out…I felt it was time to detox my body. I was afraid to embark upon this detox and I’ve been putting it off since springtime. After the wedding, I moved full steam ahead and finally took the detox plunge. Tonight is an excellent culmination of the detox, as we’re still on the Full Moon and all… and the Full Moon is, for those of us who believe in such things, an excellent time to release or purge.

I’m told I’ll need to do the detox three to four times a year from now on. I’m looking forward to the next one to see if it begins to help over time with the Endometriosis pain issues, too. Who knows, might as well give this a try – I’ve tried 9867523478076 other things that didn’t work!!

I’m also gonna stop by the local Yoga Station Real Soon Now – do a drop-in session, see how I like it. I just picked up two $.25 yoga VHS from a yard sale recently, too.

Feeling much better

This morning, I awoke feeling MUCH better. My energy was back again and I came up with a goal to be bold and start taking the baby for walks again, vertigo and ovarian cyst be damned. I’m tired of all the ‘take it easy’ crap with the Endo, the cyst, and now the vertigo. I’ve not taken the baby on a 2-mile stroller ride up and down those hills since before the wedding. That’s 1.5 months at least.
While getting ready for work, I marvelled at how often I was NOT dizzy this morning, and got happier each minute.

So anyway, I had this plan, and then I got in my car to go to work. I got scared that driving to work with vertigo might be a bad idea, but I’d already missed the bus. So I decided to be preemptive and responsible and take a Meclizine – just one.

Within 20 minutes, likely less, I was super tired. Wiped out. Literally wanting to fall asleep at the wheel. And dizziness returned, albeit mild.
My first thought was that the vertigo had returned despite my best intentions. By the time I got to work, however, I suspected the Meclizine for making me so tired, because as I said, I woke clear and vivacious. So I looked it up.

Sure enough, Meclizine causes such drowsiness that the makers of it advise against using machinery or driving a car while on it! AND, another side effect is DIZZINESS!!! WTF!?

So to answer to my question from my last post, “does fatigue make vertigo worse?” The answer is perhaps, but Meclizine is DEFINITELY what makes vertigo worse. At least for me. Now I know why I slept for so many hours Saturday night, and remained super tired all day yesterday, crashing into bed before my usual bedtime. I had taken 2 Meclizine on Saturday and on Sunday.

Oh and I had diarrhea yesterday and today, when for the past couple of months, despite being on a lot of herbs and vegetables for a detox diet, I’ve been so constipated my butt bleeds, courtesy the ovarian cyst side effects. So having diarrhea twice in as many days, I looked that up too. And sure enough, Meclizine can cause diarrhea.

Other side effects include low blood pressure and racing heart, neither of which I need right now. Remember my Qigong practitioner saying my dizziness was as a result of low blood pressure? Well that was before I went on the Meclizine, but I’d rather not do a self-fulfilling prophecy, mmkay?

Anyway, my last Meclizine was this morning around 6:30am. I’ve not taken another since then, and I did fulfil my goal of taking the baby for a walk. Being out in sunlight was good for me. The daylight savings time change has really made me quite depressed with it getting dark by 4:30pm. It hasn’t helped with my energy level with everything else that’s going on health-wise. The walk wore me out but in a good way. I had more energy later on in the day, and the vertigo seems to be lessening. Yay!

Tipped uterus

I forgot to mention yesterday that the radiologist told me I have a tipped uterus.

My first words out of my mouth were that I knew that already, I’ve assumed it for years.

But later on I realised, this was the first time I’ve ever been told *officially* that I have a tipped uterus. Today I searched back through my various incarnations of online journals – there’s not one mention of me having a tipped uterus. Perhaps I’d mentioned it somewhere in my written journals over the years? In any case, I knew I had a tipped uterus, I’ve known for years, but I probably wasn’t told by doctors til now.

For me, the painful sex set off my gut feeling about having a tipped uterus, and the fact that all the Appalachian women on my ma’s side of the family have thrust-forward abdomen/pelvis and arched/slouched backs. I’d say the lot of us have scoliosis, and I’m sure that lends to tipped uterus all on its own. So I was damned either way – Endometriosis runs in that side of the family, as does scoliosis, as does tipped uterus.

Painful sex because of a tipped uterus, you ask? Yep! says it best: “Some women who have a retroverted uterus can feel discomfort during sexual intercourse or vaginal penetration at times, because of pressure on the rectum and ligaments of the tailbone.”

It’s amazing what we know about ourselves intuitively if we just take the time to really listen to our bodies.

The one thing I didn’t know until reading up on tipped uterus until now – often it’s the result of having endometriosis! So again, damned no matter what with them Appalachian genes of mine.

Cyst update

The radiologist said she wasn’t supposed to discuss what she was finding on the ultrasounds but as I rambled on about what I have experienced over the past month and what I knew so far about the cyst, she admitted that from her standpoint, the cyst looks to be getting smaller.


I just need to make sure I keep making that little bugger smaller and smaller til it’s reabsorbed. Until then, my body will likely have the low back pain, nausea and dizziness. I’m still swimmy-headed even now. I did eat today – at my last post, I had leftover palak paneer and rice, and now I’m having a protein bar and am about to make another full meal.

I am feeling a bit emotionally relieved but I will wait to hear what all my GYN says of the ultrasound report, and find out where to go from there. I know it can take months for a cyst to go away. I had one back in July, 2005, and it was only 1cm.
However, two months after it was found, I was still complaining about it.

Past that, I don’t know if it was just the Endometriosis or the cyst exacerbating the Endometriosis, so I didn’t ever notice once it went away. Which means I didn’t leave documentation for myself in the event of future ovarian cysts.

I already have abnormal periods because of Endometriosis, so it makes it hard for me to know when something else is going on. Back then, I blamed the worsening pain on my diet. I was still eating chocolate, sugar, and drinking a lot of coffee back then.

The only reason I knew this time that the pain and weird bleeding pattern had to be a cyst was because of the earlier cyst in 2005.

So that’s a start, I guess.

So now I have something else to get better at – recognising when I have an out of control ovarian cyst, and recognising the markers during its lifespan and deterioration, and eventual reabsorpion.

Oh yeah, and become a buddhist monk while I’m at it, since some authorities believe that anxiety, stress and anger can contribute to ovarian cyst formation. If that’s a leading cause, then I can point the finger straight at my interactions with my father over the past 12 months, because he’s the person I clash with most frequently. He’s the one who told me I was violating the sanctity of marriage by wanting a Halloween-themed wedding, and all the things he said over the past year just got worse from there, and continued after he flew back home again after the wedding. He never said such enraging things to my face, mind you. It’s always from the safe distance through a telephone.

So CLEARLY to avoid future ovarian cysts, I need to stop speaking to my father…or learn to not care about anything he says to me.

On missing work, being judged, and ultrasounds


I worked a total of 14 days out of 20 work days in November. I missed 6 days (1 week) of work in November. However, 3 of those days off were not because of me – the family had the time off work and so didn’t need me to work. I only missed 3 days of work due to complications from Endometriosis/ovarian cyst. Had the holiday not been in there, I’d have worked 17 out of 20 work days.

So far, for the month of December, I have not worked yet.

I don’t like to schedule my life around the Endometriosis – I want to be able to make plans and keep to those plans if at all possible. However, for the second time this year, I’ve had a child care employer tell me that they need to know days in advance if I’ll be in or not, as this impacts their own jobs. Since I don’t know even hour to hour if I can work or function when the Endometriosis flares up, I was forced to take more time off work than I wanted. This was so that the employer could hire on a substitute, and told me to return to work on Friday, once I was sure I was feeling better.

So I was not back to work yesterday or today, when normally I would have been back to work by now.

I understand from the viewpoint of an employer why they need to do this. I’m not bashing them. The problem I have is that because they have me take off more time than I would normally, they turn around and end up giving me the hairy eyeball over missed work.

Were it my call, I’d come in for as long as I needed to each day. That means if I only get in an hour or four on any given day, at least I’m showing the employer that I intend to work. That way, I could say I worked more days in a given month all told.

In the childcare field, however, it’s more stressful on the employer for me to do this, than it was for employers at any of the desk/retail/factory jobs I ever held.

The end result of having to take so much time off is that I feel guilty, faulted, suspect, unproductive and lazy. I feel guilty for going out of the house, even though I’m feeling better. The immediate world around me after all expects me to be ill, so if I go striding out the door and I’m not visibly ill, I will be judged.

I’m not being paranoid about this. I’m not overreacting. This happened last year. I was actually judged.

I was bedridden on November 6 and November 7, 2007.
On November 8, 2007, I awoke feeling crappy, but dragged my ass outta bed. Things subsided over the course of the day, then got worse again, and I took a Darvocet for the pain. I went to the local tea house that afternoon, and a friend who works there as a barista looked me up and down and said, “You don’t look like you have girl do0m…”, which left me feeling angry and hurt, feeling guilty and suspect.

So I’m not just talking outta my ass or imagining this stuff, and I’ve ranted before in general about having to cave to other peoples’ planning expectations.

Today is my radiology appointment. It’s a followup ultrasound to see if the ovarian cyst is growing or shrinking. I took the entire day off because #1 I wasn’t sure a few days ago if I’d be well again and was told they had to know NOW if I’d be in or not, so I said FINE, NO, DON’T SCHEDULE ME, and #2 they don’t want me working only a half a day. It’s the whole day or nothing. Since I’m not going to reschedule important things such as this appointment for any employer anymore, I took the whole day off so I could go to the radiology appointment.

I don’t hold my breath that I’ll find out anything immediately. I think I’ll probably be made to wait until my doctor calls me with the results. Therefore, I’m slated to go back to work tomorrow.

Today I woke with searing low and mid back pain, and nausea. I’ve been nauseated all day so far. I’ve not wanted to eat much as a result. Nausea is another side effect of an active ovarian cyst. Yesterday and for the past week, I’ve been dizzy upon sitting up or standing. My Qigong/Chi Nei Tsang practitioner tells me that’s low blood pressure.

Great. Wonderful. :(
Cuz low blood pressure, along with nausea, are on the list of “when to go to E.R.” for danger signals of ovarian cyst.

I’m really quite nervous.

Today’s symptoms so far:

  • Alternating manic energy and extreme fatigue
  • Clay-coloured stool (from all the Tylenol 3 and Ibuprofen, which means my liver and kidneys are under duress again)
  • Bleedy ass (constipation from ovarian cyst, further exacerbated by all the Tylenol 3)
  • Low-level nausea (probably cyst-related)
  • Easily overheating upon any exertion
  • Racing heart/anxiety (likely due to cabin fever and the manic energetic upswings, halted by not being able to do much with the energy because body won’t cooperate)
  • Continued low back pain
  • Dizziness upon sitting or standing, sometimes when walking (I’ve bumped into walls twice today from loss of balance, and I wasn’t on meds at the time)

The bleeding has subsided once again, as have the uterine/pelvic cramps.

Although I started spotting last Thursday, I didn’t actually start bleeding with normal flow until Sunday. Which means I had two days of heavy flow (Sunday and Monday). I had barely any bleeding on Tuesday until 11:20pm, then I had severe pain and bleeding all night. Woke looking like a ghost this morning and the bleeding subsided again.

This is not normal.

I called my GYN office and left a message asking for advice on cysts and low menstrual flow. I continued searching google for the answer to my question – Can An Ovarian Cyst Stop Menstruation?

I finally found the answer, which is yes, a cyst can stop menstruation.

The next question then is, Does That Mean Blood Is Building Up Behind The Cervix? I.e. I Will Be In For Major Pain When The Cervix Has To Dilate To Pass The Clots Which Have Built Up…


Forgive me Father, for I have sinned…

I had a burst of energy, and no cramps, so I got out of bed.

I found the fairy lights.

I took down the old burnt out lights and put up the new LEDs, and now the living room looks prettier. The new lights are purple, not blue. I like blue better but the purple will do. We’ve had a hard time finding blue LEDs this year.

I also organised a pile of stuff that needed to go back out to the storage unit, and cleared a spot by the front window so we can put all the curly willow from the wedding into one pot and create our curly willow christmas tree.

I took frequent breaks, and after hanging the lights, I had to take a nap before I could finish the rest of what I’d started. But I felt deeply accomplished in what I had done, and smiled at the living room as I lay on the couch.

When my husband got home, we went looking for rocks or stones at the local craft store, so we could secure the curly willow in one vase. I think though that we’re going to have to use more plaster and find a way to secure the branches so they don’t fall over again.
We also went to Radio Slack and got more memory for our camera.

And when we got back home, I washed most of the dishes.

That’s a lot of work for someone who was just bedridden hours earlier.

But the truth is, I was feeling better. I was antsy. I had to get out of bed. Both during and after such a productive afternoon, I felt guilty for my burst of energy and health. I felt guilty for having taken a second day off work.

Early this morning, I was in no shape to go to work. I was in a lot of pain – lower back pain and pelvic pain. And I was still bleeding a lot.

And with the type of work that I do, I can’t just say ‘okay I’m feeling better, I’ll just go in and clock a few hours at the desk’. It doesn’t work like that as a nanny. I am either there or I’m not there. There’s no coming in late for half day with that kind of job.

But even when I did have that kind of job, I still felt guilty for feeling better. I’d go into work and management would see me and wonder why I was late. They had no idea that hours earlier I was in crippling pain, shaking and pale from the blood loss. And because I knew management was judging me because of my tardiness and absences, I felt guilty, even when the truth was and is, I AM NOT AT FAULT.

It is WRONG of me to feel guilt over something as lovely as being pain-free for a couple of hours.

When the pain does return, it won’t be because I was active. The pain will return regardless of whether I was in bed or active.

The guilt needs to stop. I need to stop worrying about being judged on account of having an incurable debilitating illness. Those who would judge me for being pain free and happy for a few hours in the middle of my cycle – they are not worthy of my attention, much less my caring, worrying or any emotion. They are not worthwhile.

Say it with me now…
I am not guilty. I have no regrets. I did what I wanted to with the time that I had to enjoy pain-free. I am content. I am okay with my actions. I have no regret.

11:20pm Edit: See? No need to feel guilty. The gushing clotting blood and pain has returned.

(wakes up, blinks, house is dark, it’s dark outside)


And there goes the day.

I reached for the laptop and found that my friend said the very same thing just minutes before I did.

kekeconradin 4:44 PM flaring stopped for now
kekeconradin 4:44 PM my day has been wasted
kekeconradin 4:44 PM you knwo that feeling
steph 5:11 PM i juxzgy woe
steph 5:11 PM just woke
steph 5:11 PM and felt the same – thehouse is dark
kekeconradin 5:12 PM yeah, its all dark now
steph 5:12 PM :(
kekeconradin 5:12 PM 12/1/08 almost all gone
kekeconradin 5:12 PM I was producitve for liek 2 hours, then thats it
kekeconradin 5:12 PM I’m tempted to pop another pill and just screw it, sleep until tomorrow
steph 5:12 PM yep same here
steph 5:13 PM same about the pill too
steph 5:13 PM it’s so depressing.
kekeconradin 5:13 PM why being awake and feel time wasted, body not coorpeating..when one can pop a pill into happy happyu dream land and wake up tomorrow?
steph 5:13 PM yup

My friend suffers from Chronic Pelvic Pain (CPP). He’s the only male I know who I could say really understands the pain women with Endometriosis have.