The ebb and flow of chronic pain continues…

Tuesday, June 8, 2010: spotting turned to flow again. 6.5 on the pain scale. I went to work anyway, and took half a Tylenol 3 and 600mg Ibuprofen. They were really short staffed, so I felt I had no choice but to be there.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010: spotting, intermittent cramps, right side pain.
To top things off, when I got home from work, my cat let me know she’d somehow gotten a bladder infection. She mewed for an hour until I realised she wasn’t trying to get into the bedroom. We usually ban the cats from the bedroom and they love to mew outside the door, cuz they love laying on our bed instead of on the couch or their own catbed. But somehow I came ’round to the idea that she was trying to tell me something, and she was. The poor thing.
I followed her around the house and quickly realised she was trying to find anywhere to pee, but the urine was just not coming out. She glanced up at the bathroom sink. I lifted her up and into it, and she squatted and a trickle came out. Oh my god. I about cried. My poor baby!

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I took her to the kitty emergency room and confirmed the diagnosis. She was put on antibiotics for a week, and now she’s all better. But boy, what a scare. She’s 14 years old, so any health problem could be a major one; it could mean her time has come. Cats in her family line live to a maximum of 17 years old, so she’s only got up to a few years left with me. Of probably 20-something cats that came from the matriarch from 1992 onwards, only three are still living, and two of them are in my household. The third lived with my Ma until last month – now he’s at the Humane Society, awaiting adoption, because my Ma cannot be trusted to properly care for animals.

Saturday, June 12, 2010: Pulled left upper arm/shoulder while stretching. Pain lasted all week through today.

Monday, June 14, 2010: I began commuting to a teacher training course. It’s a one-week course from 8am to 5pm, and it’s 40 miles from where I live. It takes an hour and ten minutes to get there, and an hour and a half to two hours to get home. I have the same unfortunate route that rush hour traffic takes – both ways. I sit in my go-kart of a car (the seats are low to the floor) for over two hours a day, and I sit in class for 8 hours each day. I’m not just at a desk though – I also have to get down on the floor, sitting either on my knees or cross-legged, stretching over a rug, like my teacher. It is the Montessori Way.
These positions did NOT help with my strained shoulder/back issue, and it certainly doesn’t help that I have congenital chondromalacia patella, so sitting on my knees hurts more than my back, it also makes my knees feel like they are on fire, because they get so inflamed.

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The other problem I ran into during the training week was that of scented people. I’m not used to having acute chemical sensitivity – it’s only been since September 2009 that this has plagued me so bad – only nine months – so I’m still figuring out how to cope.
Being in class with up to 30 women is a scary thing, because women tend to love scents, fragrances, perfumes. I picked a seat on the end of one of the long tables, and as it figured, one of the scented people in class chose to sit right next to me. The sore throat and headache set in within an hour.
The next day, I chose a seat across the room from this woman. The day after that, I was late to class, and the only open seat left in the room upon first glance was right next to that same woman, and another scented woman.

Not all oils, body sprays, soaps and perfumes have chemicals that are immediately toxic to me. These particular women, whatever they were wearing – the chemical makeup of their fragrance was too toxic for me, no matter how little or how much of the scent they had on them. So it’s not like they were doused in the stuff – on the contrary, it was probably a light tap or spray and most people probably wouldn’t even notice the scent. But the chemical(s) in their perfumes hates the hell out of me – the one with the compromised immune system. Go me.

After Day 1 of class, we were told to clean the tables and tidy up the room. I got stuck with table washing duty, and was handed a bottle of clorox surface cleaner. Of course, I choked and ran to escape the fumes. I had a talk with my teacher, and the cleaner was removed by the next day. She had the students use 409 cleaner, instead. It was a little better, but not vastly. I switched duties with another student and tidied up the curriculum materials on the shelves, instead.

You know, I got back into child care because I had lost my mind in the field of computer software. I had gone to school to be a teacher, not a technical support lackey.
However, the challenge of returning to the field of child care in my thirties has meant dealing with escalating health problems while trying to remain limber and agile, which are the basic requirements for being a preschool teacher.

I find myself in the past year wondering more and more often, “Did I really make a wise career choice for myself?”

Wanting to do something is one thing. My body and health cooperating with this is another thing entirely. But what else will I or can I do for a paycheck?? I’ve never been anything other than a child care provider or a clerk or a corporate office lackey of some sort.

Thursday, June 17, 2010: I was so sleep deprived by Day 4 of the training class that I decided to make a giant mug of caffeinated tea and take it with me to school. This helped me immensely with being able to stay alert and awake for the 8 hour class.
However, by early afternoon, I began experiencing left side pain and ovarian pain. It was intermittent throughout the day. It was Day 8 of the new cycle, so I wondered, is it the caffeine or is it Mittelschmerz? Or is it both?

I had gone for a brisk walk on my lunch hour twice during the week with a schoolmate I’d met during a teacher training course last Autumn, so I was really trying to exercise and work out the kinks in my back. It didn’t work. I was experiencing muscle tightness over my entire body, and at night while trying to sleep, I was getting charley horses in my calves and feet. I was sure I was drinking enough water during the day – I had been bringing two or more bottles of Smart Water (electrolyte water) with me to school each day.
I haven’t been so good at remembering to take my calcium pills – actually I forgot for the entire week. I was only taking Vitamin C and Zinc pills, and occasionally remembering my Evening Primrose Oil capsules. So perhaps I’m deficient in calcium and potassium, and perhaps I’m dehydrated despite what I think was good hydration. It certainly didn’t help my stress level during the week.

Friday, June 18, 2010: The last day of class. I was caffeinated that day, as well. I went out that night and drank some alcohol with my husband. I got buzzed, not drunk. I had a good time and my body felt more relaxed than it had in a week.

However, when I woke Saturday morning, the full body muscle strain was back, and the left side ovarian pain ramped up again. I dealt with the ovarian pain radiating up to my sides and down into the tops of my leg all day, just as I had on Thursday.

Today is more of the same with the ovarian pain. I have been on Ibuprofen and/or half Tylenol 3 pills for much of the week for the pain.
Thankfully, I have a followup appointment with Dr. Giudice this week to go over the MRI report. I can’t wait to get that out of the way.

Each day that passes leaves me wondering if I really should try out the Gabapentin or something similar.
I’ll talk to the doc on Wednesday.

Today, I woke up wanting to cry. I still have classwork to finish. I am expected to put in an appearance at work tomorrow, despite telling them I’d be taking the summer off for the training courses.
I have this week to finish the coursework, and a new class starts the following week. I have three classes back to back to back in July. I’m a tad stressed out over all of this. Each class is college-level intensive – it’s like 11 weeks condensed into one. On top of that, I ended up being partially responsible for taking photos for the class, because the two people who said they would totally flaked, and I panicked, knowing photos were needed, so I began snapping pictures of the demonstrations. Naturally, others saw this and began asking me to share my photos with them. Since we only have a week to assemble the binder, inclusive of 200-something photos from class demonstrations, I began to stress over just one more thing – not letting people down.

So I’m pretty depressed over just about everything right now.

I got the photo thing off my plate by yesterday – all the pix are uploaded and invites sent to classmates to pull down the photos from the web (Picasa). I have an order of printed photos waiting for me at Walgreens.

Now that I’ve made time for journaling, it has helped somewhat. Despite the pelvic pain and shoulder/neck strain, and despite the guilt over not being able to join my husband to help him celebrate with his dad on Father’s Day, I will now start my day and try to finish that damned 3-inch-thick class binder, and begin assembling the summer theme materials to take to work tomorrow.

I’m not working with children tomorrow – my head teacher decided to take off last week during tear-down week. The office already knew I was roped into a class which was pushed up a week. So both of us were gone and our outdoor classroom has not been set up with materials for the summer session. The head teacher is still supposedly AWOL, and the director asked me to come in a few days for a few hours each day to clean up and change out some materials in the outdoor class.
Of course, I said I’d do it, because I felt responsible for picking up for the head teacher’s supposedly unauthorised or poorly-timed absence.

I really really really wish the outdoor classroom head teacher had the freedom to teach in her own style, because the children really are learning and really are excited by her lesson plans. Alas, the parents and teachers and office administration are less than happy with this teacher, because she allows the children and the outdoor classroom to get absolutely filthy. And well, her personality is a lot like a friend of mine back in Michigan – most people just have no clue how to even deal with people like my head teacher and my friend; these two people are on a whole other plane of thought and reasoning. My friend self-diagnosed as Asperger’s Syndrome, and he’s also officially diagnosed as Paranoid Schizophrenic. So, taking his personality and communication style, and seeing how closely my head teacher matches him, I don’t want to diagnose her – rather, I go with how I’ve learned to interact with my friend and apply it to this teacher. Things have worked out for the most part pretty well between us. But I don’t think I can save her from the parents, the teachers or the administration. :(

So I am covering her ass for a few days, for a few hours each day this week, as the children begin summer school. I will see teachers and children, but I am not instructing the children. I am not taking in any pupils to the outdoor classroom. I’m merely there to use what I learned last week in class in trying to set out some materials for summer session.
This is of course a bit stressful in and of itself, but also a good learning experience, no?

Making plans before departure to the Underworld

Yesterday and today I’ve been experiencing mild uterine and vaginal cramping. I’ve been “checking” a lot.
I came home from work around 2:30pm with a 99.9°F fever, and it hovered around 99.7 for the rest of the day. I was not able to get a last minute appointment with my acupuncturist.

Despite the low grade fever and cramps, and being a bit sunburned from lunchtime recess at work (I’d forgotten my hat and sunblock again), I still got a burst of energy yesterday evening, as my body went into what I call XXTREME NESTING mode.

My body does this every month right before I bleed. Sometimes I have the energy to act upon the XXTREME NESTING pull, and sometimes I just spin my brain meats and go stir crazy because I’m in too much pain to act on said pull.

Last night I took out recyclables, composting, did a load of laundry, loaded up and ran the dishwasher, got some more grocery shopping done to prepare for being homebound, mailed some bills, and scrubbed the bathtub twice. To my horror, neither the Borax nor the straight vinegar could fully clean the tub. We’d been using novelty Halloween soaps given to us for our wedding, and I’m convinced the soaps contained permanent black dye and wax. Ugh! On top of that, my husband has dyed his hair black twice in the past month and a half, and has not bothered to rinse the residue after his showers. So the tub is to me a horror story. But then, it’s nowhere near my mother’s bathtub. I went to visit my mother a few weeks ago in Michigan – it was my first trip home in six years. She has really let her house go down hill. It made me figuratively and literally sick to be in that house for more than a few minutes. My allergies exploded after 8 minutes in the place.

*shudder*

ANYWAY, after my attempts at cleaning the tub, I was sickened by the vinegar smell and just rinsed the damned tub and called it a night. I took 600mg Advil and went to bed.

I had even more crazy dreams. The dreams this morning entailed not being able to find a cab ride out of Detroit after a night at Cityclub, because the cabbies were taking furlough days on Sundays. We ended up walking all over the city around 4am trying to find a cab before we found out about the furlough issue. Then we ended up at our friend Bronica and Monkey’s place (but in real life, they live in Oakland, CA, not Detroit, MI. I guess it’s similar enough though). Then we took off for food at daylight, and I stopped at a street vendor who was selling broccoli cheese soup in a bread bowl. I convinced her to put the soup in a to-go bowl and put that bowl into the bread bowl so I could enjoy the soup without the gluten, and my husband could share the soup and also eat the glutenous bread. I was also trying to reach a friend or a cousin on my cell phone. I think I was trying to reach my childhood friend Rain, and I told her we were near the intersection of Aricka and Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard.
There is no Aricka street – Aricka is my cousin’s daughter.

Why all these strange dreams?

This morning, I’m registering at 99.4°F temp, and I’m uncomfortably nauseous after one bowl of cereal.

The nausea really pisses me off and usually means I still have an ovarian cyst going on. I’m convinced I’m either going to puke or start bleeding or both before I can get out the door to work. Part of me wants to call in sick, but I’ve already left work early twice this week, and it’s only been a four day work week.

We’ll see what happens next…

Blogging on the road

I’m in Michigan – first time I’ve been home in six years. Updates may be sparse. Here’s what I have to update with so far:

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 – got george, stayed home from work.

Thursday, May 13, 2010 – stayed home, cried from george pain, it was so bad.

Friday, May 14, 2010 – flew to michigan – bad george cramps necessitating 1 Tylenol 3 halfway through the flight. Got in, checked into hotel, my husband crashed out, I felt well enough to join my chosen sister, her husband and their two kids for dinner at TGI Fridays.

After dinner, my sis and I went to Borders Books and to CVS drugstore, then met up with the rest of the family at home. I got back to the hotel around 1:30am. The bleeding subsided overnight.

Saturday, May 15, 2010 – cousins reunion – we checked out of the hotel, had coney island for brunch, which consisted of coney dogs (no buns), chili, onions, mustard, cheddar, and a chocolate shake which can only be described as a corn syrupy Hershey chocolatified toxic wasteland for my body. It was kinda gross.

I was shopping w/ my husband and my cousin Jennifer for party supplies when the pain and bleeding returned – it ramped up to 8 on the scale within half an hour. I went grey in Trader Joe’s and spent the next few hours on Jenny’s couch on 1.5 Tylenol 3 and 600mg ibu.
I’d already taken half a Tylenol 3 and 600mg ibu 2 hours earlier to keep the pain at bay but it didn’t work.

My cousins showed up for the party really late – between 4-5pm – and we went til 11pm.
Only Five cousins out of 16 living Michigan-centric cousins showed up. Poo.

My pain went away by around 8 or 9pm so I made the decision to go to a nightclub w/ friends like we’d planned. My cousin let us get ready at her house and all the remaining cousins marvelled at our gothic attire, heh. ;)

We didn’t get to the club til 1:30am because of a traffic jam, which was due to a hillbilly festival called the Detroit Hoedown. It was frustrating and tense and arrrghh but thankfully we got to our hotel at the Renaissance Center, checked in our luggage, and got a cab ride to the club, where several friends had stuck around patiently for our arrival. Also, thank goodness the club stays open til after 4am.

Five friends were there – two stayed til closing with us, and then we all went to the diner formerly known as Citybites (now Luci and something). We sat at the bar and we were served greasy spoon food by a goth chick and two stoner dudes working the kitchen. All provided silliness – it was after all 4:30am.
I think all told there may have been 15 people in the diner – all floating in at the same time – rush hour for the tiny diner.

Our friends gave us a ride back to the hotel and we passed out until 2pm Sunday.
George had abated overnight, and had not returned. Yay! My husband slept while I showered – I woke him at 2:45pm.

We moseyed into some clothes and finally walked out of the hotel and out to Greektown for a late lunch around 4pm.

After lunch, we walked back, hung out at the river front, then took off in our rental car for the ‘burbs, where I needed to buy a birthday prezzie for my chosen sister’s daughter.

While we were out, george struck AGAIN.

The pain ramped up to a 6.5 and to my horror, I had no pads with me for the bleeding, which had also returned.
I refused to take meds and toughed it out because I was so mad at my body. Yeah…I know. Makes no sense. I do this every month. I get mad at what my body’s doing and refuse to treat the pain. I’m strange.
Instead, I wanted Dairy Queen. Yes, Dairy Queen. I got a heath bar blizzard to eat. There aren’t many Dairy Queens in the Bay Area where I live, and it was a common summertime treat for me when I grew up in michigan, so being in Michigan visiting again, I had to have a dairy queen blizzard.
The pain of course was not helped by the ingestion of dairy, I knew that but went ahead with it, anyway.

We got back to the hotel and I pretty much turned in for the night. here I am, journaling from the laptop in bed, as the Detroit Hoedown wraps up its weekend 53 stories below me next door in Hart Plaza. I can hear the crowd screaming, and guitars wailing, and the occasional murmur of human voices over the microphones.

I hope george is gone tomorrow – we’re going to the zoo with my chosen sister and her family.

Not horrible so far…

As I mentioned in my last entry, George arrived on Friday, September 4th. Because I am stubborn, I did in fact go to work that day. I composed myself, hastily threw together some lunch and snacks, took 600mg Ibuprofen and off I went. I got through most of the day, uncertain at times if I would make it through the next 15 minutes. But I held on. I only ever got to about a 6.5 on the pain scale…until the lunch rush.

At lunch time we have between 50 and 60 children under the age of six eating and then playing on the playground. There’s a lot of stooping, bending, sitting down and getting up, sweeping up after, wiping of tables, and even running across the playground if there’s an accident or a fight. The pain of course ramped up to a 7.5 during this time. But I still hung in there, because I didn’t want the children to not have enough teachers present. I didn’t want to create a situation where the school was not within its legal student/teacher ratio obligation. Though I had been in contact with upper management since arriving to work that morning, as expected no help arrived – no substitute to fill in for me. So I just hung in there, and told the director I’d be leaving after lunch duty.

By the time all three classrooms had gone in for naptime and a few of us teachers were cleaning up, I was ready to cry. I was more emotional than painful actually, but either way it signaled for me that my threshold had been reached. With every sweep of the broom, I wanted to cry. You know, you use pelvic muscles just to sweep with a broom. You don’t realise this because normally it’s such a non-issue. But when your entire pelvic region is on fire, you feel everything – every step when walking, every breath, every muscle when reaching for something, and every sweep of that broom.
I finished up, told my cleanup co-workers, the afternoon supervisor, and the teachers for the three classrooms I work with that I would not be available for the outdoor classroom or end of day daycare (we call it extended care).
I came home just over two hours before the end of my shift, but instead of feeling guilty or failed, I was proud to have made it through most of the day.

When I got home, I took Tylenol 3 and unfortunately got into a fight with my husband. His dad is on dialysis and his dad’s wife keeps running away because she can’t handle having to take care of someone. She takes frequent vacations and notifies us at the last minute to look in after dad, like he’s some kind of friggin’ cat. It’s pathetic. My husband was really mad at her latest vacay announcement and said it totally interrupted his plans to be at a gaming convention this weekend. So the fight we had was me reminding him that at the heart of all his hatred for this woman, and his rebellion towards her – behind all that IS HIS DAD, who needs some fecking assistance. I just got tired of biting my lip on this and went splodey at my husband over it.
I spent the rest of Friday afternoon napping and sitting around in a pissy mood, although I did apologise to my husband for losing my temper, and we did talk things out. I continued stretching and doing slow wide hip circles whenever I could. I think I went to bed before 9pm Friday night.

On Saturday, I put on my stubborn pants again so to speak, cuz I got up at 6am and was out the door by 7:15am to go to class. It was my first day of class for the school I work at, to get me certified in the subjects I am supposed to be teaching. It’s a long story… I used to be a head teacher many years ago, and I just came back to the field of teaching in 2008, and the school that hired me this year wants me to be a co-teacher so they’ve told me to take a class and so I am. Until I complete the course, I only get assistant teacher status and pay. Upon completion, hopefully I’ll get a raise and updated status. I hope I don’t have to wait until I’ve completed the entire program. We’ll see…
The class I’ve signed on for meets every other Saturday from now til Halloween. It’s college-level immersion, so there’s going to be tons of homework.
I was in class from 8am to 4:30pm on Saturday. The pain level got to be a 7 at times, and I shifted uneasily in my chair. By 2pm I was done, but stuck it out. As everyone was helping to clean up at the end of the day, someone accidentally knocked over one of the shelves in the classroom, shattering several bowls and artifacts. The loud crash startled me of course, and kicked up the adrenalin, which in turn set off a new round of cramps so intense that I thought I would burst into tears and puke at the same time. I was really rattled and emotional by this point. I helped for a few minutes to pick up pieces of broken porcelain, then fled the room and waited for us to be officially dismissed after the mess was cleaned up.

When I got home, my husband wanted to go out to eat. We decided on a local taqueria, but for some reason it was closed. As we walked a block back to our car, the pain ramped up again. I made it through dinner at another Mexican restaurant, but was quite uncomfortable.
We stopped home for a minute, I took more ibuprofen, and then we went to Target. It was Saturday night and I didn’t want to stay home, but I was incapable of being at a party or a nightclub. We went to Target to see if any of the Halloween merch was out, yet. Halloween is our favourite holiday – our house looks like Halloween year ’round.
I lucked out at Target, finding spooky PJs and socks and shirts, but my husband was disappointed – nothing in the men’s section for him at all. We were there for about half an hour when suddenly I felt the need to just lay down. I seriously felt like my body had become leaden. Every step had me out of breath. My eyes began to droop. I had to call my husband to tell him where I was in the store so he could come find me and take me home. My speech slurred, and I wasn’t even on Tylenol 3. I slowly put all my merchandise back on the shelves and we left the store. I nodded off in the car on the way home.

The last few miles of the drive home became excruciating when a new round of pain set in. When we got home, I took Tylenol 3 and just went to bed.

That brings us up to date – I woke up this morning and decided to rebel against taking my meds. This happens nearly every month – I get so fed up with being zombified on pain meds that I refuse them.
I got through most of the day today just taking it easy, doing slow stretches, sitting on the pot, and laying down. But the pain finally got the better of me around 8pm, and I took a Tylenol 3. The pain ramped up faster than I could handle, however, so I popped another half Tylenol 3, and now I’m seriously stoned. I was pain-free thanks to the meds and my new heating pad, but after an hour the pain is seeping through again, so it’s time to lay down.

Tomorrow is Labor Day. I have the day off work and another day to recover from george. I hope tomorrow is the last of that bastard for another 26 days.

You’re supposed to be HAPPY when you get the job you wanted.

The nanny job ended on March 6 and since that time I’ve been looking for a new job. I’ve applied to daycares, schools, and private families who are looking for a nanny.

I had two interviews with private families and both fell through because of my endometriosis being a deal-breaker (time off each month). I had a third person reject me by phone. This hurt me a lot, morale-wise. But I kept plugging along.

On Tuesday, March 31, I interviewed with a Montessori school. I was told to come back today, April 2nd for second round interviewing, and it was then that I nailed the job. But I almost lost it when I announced I’d be on honeymoon for most of May. They want me in there so badly that they made accommodation for me!

So… TODAY I GOT A JOB AS A TEACHER AGAIN!!!!

Because of this victory, george just couldn’t pass up a deal of his own. Call it a late April Fool’s joke if you will.

He showed up a day early – today – while I was at the school for second round interview and observation of students and teachers.

I did the grin and bear it routine. The pain never got too bad today, thankfully. But tomorrow I’m expected back to do observation again, and I’m expected to attend classes next week under the tutelage of the school owner herself, to officially earn my California Early Childhood Education (ECE) units.

I didn’t have to have this schooling when I got the daycare agency job last spring, because they accepted my university transcripts in lieu of.

This school however only approved one class from my transcripts. This is not unusual – every school and agency has their own idea of what coursework is acceptable – that’s why I had a hard time finding childcare work in California when I first moved here in 1997, and said screw it, and went to work in the dotcom industry, instead.

I’m excited that I got this job. I do want it. This will further my career and resume. It’s a golden opportunity, what with the ECE coursework being thrown in with the job offer.
But we’ll see if george behaves. We’ll see if I don’t lose this job the moment I’ve won it.

This of course made me very depressed.

After spending four hours in the school, when I had budgeted up to an hour originally, I went home starving and made lunch. I had to scarf down my food because I’d promised I’d take my father-in-law to the hospital to get his wound checked. He’d just had a fistula installed on Tuesday so that he can start kidney dialysis in a few months (he has diabetes and end stage renal failure as a result. His kidneys are only at 10% functionality right now).

Got FIL to the doctor in time but his wife, who was supposed to pick him up after his appointment, was nowhere to be found. She wasn’t answering her cell phone. I had to be at my own doctor (gyn) appointment in Berkeley, 21 miles away, at 4:30pm.
At 3:30pm, my FIL told me it was okay to go, so I left him at the hospital. I called his wife three more times. She never returned my calls. I called my husband to let him know this. He was pissed at his father’s wife as usual. I don’t blame him.

My husband ordered me to take the rest of the day off and just try to be still and relax so that the pain doesn’t ramp up.

No can do I told him – was on my way to my own doctor appt at that very minute (I’ll make an entirely new post about that, next).

I got to my appointment in time, despite rush hour and construction, because I sped like the devil. Still unable to reach the FIL’s wife, I called him instead. He said he was fine and that they were now on their way home. This means his wife made him wait nearly an hour past the time she said she’d be there!!! This is so typical of her. UGH.

My appointment was fine but nothing much new was able to be told to me regarding my illness (endo) or complications from it, because the test results from the primary care doctor visit on Saturday haven’t come in yet. More UGH.

Endured more shitty traffic on the way home, got home and met husband there. He was home early cuz his car had been in the shop, was all fixed, and so he came home early on the bus to get his car. Once again, he told me to relax and destress.

That’s when the power winked out and back on again, rebooting my computers.

This is the second time since last night that the power has done this. The power only goes out in the computer room, hallway and bedroom. It is not a tripped switch. We can’t figure it out. I called the landlady and left a message.
Because of the quick outage, the computers rebooted as I said, but the DSL router didn’t come back up. I power cycled it twice. I called tech support and left a message. I logged into my linux box and checked out the ip masquerading and network settings to make sure it was all fine.

I then decided that since I didn’t have Internet, I may as well take that time to offload the phone pix I took at the doctor’s office. While sending the files from my phone to my mail account, the phone spontaneously rebooted.

WTF.

And no, we are not in a Mercury Retrograde. I do still keep up on astrology stuff, even though I’m no longer maintaining my old website for that. Well…not maintaining for now. I hope to take up that torch again in the future.

After an hour, the DSL router automagically came back up and I was able to get my Internet fix before acute shock set in.

We’re all fine here now, thank you. How are you?

…Just in time now that I’m settled in bed with the laptop all cozy…for the cramps to set in.

Today started out so good. Whisky Tango Foxtrot.

Ma’s home

Ma is home from the hospital. She has anti-nausea meds, vicodin for the pain, and her daughter-in-law is staying there with her today.

Ma sounds more with it right now than I do. We joked that we’re both down for the count.

Ma’s having a hard time

I called the hospital this morning and ma is still there. She was throwing up when I called. :(
She can’t stop puking this morning – says she’s still having trouble from the spinal anesthesia yesterday – says she was told that for some people, it takes longer to wear off.

I about cried right there. She’s having such a hard time. Puking is the last thing you need when you’ve had pelvic and bowel surgery.

:(

My sister-in-law arrived as I was talking to ma, so she’s handling the doctors and care for ma now. Good thing SIL works for one of the largest hospitals in the nation. Ma’s in good hands with my SIL directing her care. She works in the E.R. as a nurse assistant, IIRC.

Ma is doing well

Ma is doing well – the surgery only lasted a half an hour and the hernia was able to be pushed back in. I’m told it went so quick cuz ma is so tiny, heh. She received a mesh patch to shore up the area so she doesn’t get a hernia there again. A very small piece of bowel had to be removed. Ma is in recovery room / short term stay room now and will decide on her own when she is ready to leave. She is welcome to stay in the hospital overnight, and my sister-in-law is recommending it just to be on the safe side. But ma is pretty stubborn so we’ll see.

I missed the initial call, even though my phone was right next to the bed, so I panicked when I saw there was a message. But all is well. I await the next update and was told ma herself may speak to me.

Maybe today I can finally have that emotional breakdown I’ve been trying to have all week. I really need to just let it all out. Even now the tears are on edge but refuse to come.

12:46pm update: Just talked to Ma. She’s still in the hospital – just came out of the anesthesia fog a little bit ago. Her voice is deep and hoarse so I wonder if she was intubated. She says she was given a spinal anesthetic, so she has to lie flat on her back for the next 24 hours. She says the pain where the hernia was still feels like period pain (she’s had pain since last Sunday), only it’s worse, now. Both my brother and his wife are there, but of course my brother still won’t call me or answer his phone. That’s okay, I got the room phone, now.

When I told my ma about her having lost part of her bowel, she was shocked, and said her doctor didn’t tell her that. I told her the doctor would tell her everything soon enough, and reminded ma that she just came out of the fog. I was sorry for telling her what my sister-in-law told me, but then my ma said, “I had a premonition about that, last night.” She had a vision that part of her bowel would be taken. She of course thanks Gawd for the pre-cognition.
I told ma not to take anything I say as fact cuz her doctor will tell her exactly what happened (I hope – a lot of doctors think the less you know, the better, because they have no souls or social skills or bedside manners. :p).

Ma is waiting for a tuna fish sandwich and some yogurt, and complains that she drank her water too fast and is now feeling gurgly.

I hope for a fast recovery. I have the empathy pains, as I had pelvic surgery last year, and I don’t want ma to have to go through even a minute of this, even though she must. I’d take it all for her if I could.

There. There we go. There’s the tears. The release. Finally.

… and now the girl do0m sets in. I’ve called in sick to work.

There is good news today, I swear. My chosen sister’s biological sister K had a baby boy today and both she and baby are resting happy and well.

I babysat both my chosen sister and her little sister K growing up, but was always closer to H. Despite that, I still consider K as extended family for me, along with their parents and grandparents.

When K’s firstborn was about three, I cracked up at the recognition. She was the spitting image of K. It was surreal for me to be looking after K’s daughter at H’s wedding, and spinning her around, just like I used to do with K when she was that age.

Ahhh, memories…

H would kill me if I posted pix of her as a wee one. ;)

Depressed and ready to throw in the mental towel

The promise of a phonecall from my brother today never came true and I know you are all shocked and awed by this. :p

I called my ma’s doctor this morning and told her I’m the daughter, I’m in California, I’d like to come home to tend to my mother after surgery, and so I had questions about the diagnosis and procedure. The doctor was really rude to me, declaring first of all that no aftercare is necessary. She then told me that my ma DOES in fact have an incarcerated/strangulated inguinal hernia. I asked “isn’t that more of a risk to her health then?” and the doctor snapped at me, telling me my ma is fine, the skin looks fine, she has had no nausea or bowel obstruction, and the surgery is one of hundreds done daily and she’ll be FINE.
I asked the doctor about anesthesia and was told my ma gets to choose between a spinal where she’s kept conscious but drowsy, or to receive gas anesthetic. I thanked her for her time and can only imagine her saying the same thing to me as I said to her after hanging up:

BITCH!

I called my ma and left a message for an update. I called my brother again but it just goes to voicemail so I hang up at this point.

My man called to ask if I’d gone in to work and he noticed I left my packed bags at the house. I thought he was gonna take me to the airport with cheapest fare so I’d have to come home from work first and get my bags…but he told me he was late to work today so I was led to believe that meant he had no idea when he’d be home, which made it difficult in trying to choose a flight home.

But this didn’t dawn on me right away. I called my chosen sister and together we looked for airfare. Cheaptickets.com is like trying to play duck hunter. You find the fare you want, you click to purchase it and OHHHH! IT’S GONE! SORRY TRY AGAIN.
Fares on other sites seemed to be too expensive for a one-way ticket. And round trip tickets are well over $800. After about half an hour I gave up, upon realising that I had no way to get back to my house in time, get my luggage, and drive all the way back to SFO, which has the cheaper fares. And besides, it’s the first day back to work for the woman I’m nannying for, and I had no idea when she’d be home, so how could I book a ticket not knowing? The depression and the feeling of everything being such bad timing and out of my control has started to take its toll, and I was near tears all day today.

I want to take this opportunity though to thank my chosen sis for totally being there for me on a moment’s notice. You mean the world to me.

In the early afternoon, my ma called me back, and gave me an update. She’s had a day and a half bedrest and feels a lot better, she says. Being up walking and bending and such at work is what took a toll on her condition, so being off work the last couple of days alleviated the pain. She doesn’t have the nausea or bowel restriction going on. Says she feels fine. Said she saw the anesthesiologist but no decision was made yet on how they’d administer. She didn’t seem concerned. Ma urged me not to fly home for this surgery. She insisted she’s doing fine, and that she’d recover well. She told me she had surgery years ago for something and was told she’d be on bedrest for 6 weeks, and she was up and back to work in two weeks. Ma is confident that her body still has that strength and fast healing.

Long story short:
So it is based partially upon throwing my hands in the air at not being able to score tickets and partially because ma told me to please not come home and reiterating several times that she’s okay now and will be fine after surgery, that I made the decision to not fly home.
But I’m not unpacking my bags until the weekend is over.

Ma said she had to call between 4pm – 7pm Eastern Time to get her surgery time for tomorrow. Well, it’s 9pm her time now and I’ve not heard from her so I’m calling her now.

ok…Ma laughed and said she was just about to call me. She always gets a kick out of me doing this – she’s fundamentalist but believes she and I share a psychic link, heh..
Anyway, ma said my brother promised he’d be there at 7am tomorrow to take her to surgery, and promised to be there with her the entire day, even if she has to get admitted overnight. I hope he keeps his word on this one, or else I’ll fly out there just to stuff him into a steel drum and toss him into Lake Michigan. I’m sick of all his empty promises and lies. I’m beyond emotional and angry at him.

When I got home from work, I ate half a pint of ice cream, took 1mg atavan, 1/2 muscle relaxer, and three hours later I’m having a glass of plum wine. I’ve been working on this post since 5:40pm. It’s taken me 3 hours and 20 minutes to just try to focus even a little bit of the stress outwards via journaling.