Came home ill

Well I went to work this morning. I was sore but had no cramps.

I had slept all balled up and stressed out, my shoulders trying to touch each other, so I was pretty sore. It was a combination of feeling really cold last night and being sore in general because of menses forcing my body to take the pill-bug stance. I spent the morning before and during work doing slow, methodical stretches to stop my body from folding up on itself.

I got through set-up of a preschool assembly today, endured the assembly with a turkey hat on and parents snapping pictures (the kids did great!), managed tear-down after assembly, and was pulled from my class to substitute in the 4 year old class.
I was fine, then I wasn’t fine. I was outside with the kids for morning recess, walking on the playground when suddenly I was seized with sharp, stabbing pain in the lower right pelvic region. I gasped, doubled over, clenched my teeth, remembered to breathe…and then it was gone. I straightened up and carried on walking. I didn’t turn to see if the teacher saw me or not, because I didn’t want to draw attention and I didn’t want to be dismissed if it was only just a quick pain.

While we were outside, the fire alarm went off. I knew we’d be having a fire drill today, but they never tell us when exactly it will be, of course. I herded the children off the playground and the head teacher directed the children to follow me, since I was closer to the exit gate. I called to the children and they scrambled to me. I reminded them to form a line and move against the wall as they filed out into the back driveway. I saw the other preschool classes forming up in line behind my kids, and I opened the gate and led everyone out safely.

After the fire drill, when everyone was back in their classes and had calmed down and resumed work period, I began to feel the pelvic pain ramping up. No more quick sharp bursts – it was a constant level of pain rising up. It started at 3 on the pain scale, then jumped to 5. I let the head teacher know, and then I went and took 2 Ibuprofen gelcaps. I got back to class, and convinced myself I’d be fine, that gelcaps kick in quickly.
Within ten minutes of taking the gelcaps, I was at 7 on the pain scale, rapidly becoming disoriented. The teacher checked in with me and I told her I was poorly. She told me to go now and find another substitute for her, since the class was still in work period and manageable. She told me she didn’t want the pain to ramp up further and me having to leave right when she needed someone to help the kids wash hands and get ready to go outside for lunch. She was totally right. I thanked her and left her room. I stopped by the bathroom on the way to the office. I looked ashen-faced and felt like I would vomit at any second.

I let the secretary know, and added that we’re down a person in the 4 year old room as well as down TWO people for lunch duty. The secretary sent me to the director. I began to explain all of this but she wanted to ask me a bunch of questions about how I cope with the pain. She used to be upset with me for not telling her at interview time that I had a chronic illness, but in the past couple of months, she shared with me that she used to have really bad pain, and now her daughter does. I really appreciate her curiosity and want to give her all the info I have for the sake of her daughter, but I had to gently steer her back to the current pressing need – a substitute to replace me in a teacher’s class, as well as the need for two people at lunch time.
We got that all hammered out while I went to collect my belongings to go home. I had to keep stopping and asking what I was supposed to be doing, because I had lost most of my capacity for concentration. The director would nod knowingly and remind me – “we are going to your locker… we are going to get your coat…do you have your keys?”
I kept breathing through pursed lips. The director said, “my daughter does that, too!”
The poor girl. :( I remember how hellish it was to get through high school and my first years battling this illness, trying to understand its behaviour, wondering what if anything I did to deserve such pain… my heart goes out to young women struggling with endometriosis. I want to talk to every single gal to let them know what’s going on.
Funny that – the director said she’d really like it if her daughter could talk to me sometime. I told her yes, definitely.

Once I had everything, the director stayed in the teacher’s room, and I went back to the office and signed out. I was no longer ashen-faced; I felt flushed and my cheeks burned. Another hormonal surge – the pain would be ramping again soon, I knew all too well. And now I was feeling really light-headed, like I might pass out. Ugh.

The secretary asked how I got to work this morning – I told her I drove. She gave me a long look and said, “do you need someone to walk you to your car?” I giggled and assured her I would not be wandering in the street, this time. She didn’t stop looking at me, so I said, “you don’t believe me, do you…”
She told me to call her when I got home.

I live only a mile from work, but it took what seemed like forever to just walk the block from work back to my car. I started off with a quick shuffle, but once outside the school, the pain ramped up a notch and so I slowed the hell down. I walked like a granny and had to keep trying to stand up straight as I walked, but it hurt. Once back at my car, I realised that in all of this trying to exit work business, I’d forgotten to take the Tylenol 3, so I took half of one as soon as I got into my car (I fired the Vicoprofen after two rounds of trying it out in October. It makes me severely depressed and agitated).
I’m pretty sure I drove under 25 M.P.H. all the way home, because I was so fuzzy-headed from the pain. But I did remember to call the secretary to let her know I made it home.

TMI notes to self for posterity: I was still barely spotting this morning, but it fluctuated all night between pink healthy blood and dark brown sticky goo, getting more icky as the morning went on, finally turning to dark red flow around 9:30am.

Also: it has taken two hours to write this journal entry, because of pain and pain meds and nodding off.

2 Responses to “Came home ill”

  1. Matthew Williams

    Hello,
    It is now the day after thanksgiving 2009. My girlfriend and domestic partner was diagnosed with an extreme case of endometriosis in June 2009(this is just when she was diagnosed, she has experienced pain her entire life that we now link with endo). Since being diagnosed she has lost her job and is confined to our bedroom most all the time. Any attempts to go out end up like the entries in your journal. So, on a good day, we may be able to make it to the grocery store for about 1/2 hour before we have to leave. When we do go out the transport char(wheel chair) is necessary. She is now on the most powerful pain drugs the doctors can issue, yet still reaches level 10 pain. The past 2 days have been a level 10 consistently. Last time this occurred she had a 2 week hospital stay that resulted in only a changing of the medications(changed to the ones she currently takes).
    Yesterday she shared with me that she is considering only drinking enough water to take her pills, with the intention of death by dehydration. She has read about it and it’s ‘humane’ characteristics. She kept mentioning how this would not be considered suicide, and how multiple doctors have written as such.
    Once reads something that she likes, it doesn’t matter my opinion, so I am unable to sway her. Nor am I sure that I want to sway her, being that I believe in the freedom of choice(about the only thing I do believe in).
    I said that she would need to tell her family first of her decision if she were going to carry out her plan while living with me.
    She states that she would not, for fear that they would put her in an institution against her will.
    I didn’t think life would present me with such issues by the time I turned 27, but here it is.
    To be told by doctors that the quality of life will diminish and that there is not too much they can do about it…
    These are the things that philosophers ponder and debate. I am not a philosopher, yet still I ponder and debate.
    I just wanted to share with someone, anyone.
    Endometriosis is a taker of life, a harbinger of pain.

  2. steph

    I am so sorry it has taken so long to get back to you.

    Please let me know that your gf and you are still around. Tell your gf to get on facebook and twitter and chat to interact real time with people going through the same thing or similar.

    If you write back, or if your gf writes back, I can give out my chat info.

    Again I apologise for how long it took to reply to you. I am dealing with hundreds of spam messages daily, and trying to figure out how to lock down my blog without restricting the ability of anyone legit to actually post a comment to any of my blog posts.