AGGGGHHHHHHHHHhuaguaguaugaahhh

Do I need to create a separate category for progesterone pill side effects?!?!?!

AAGAGAGAGAHHHHHH

Today I pushed my luck at work. I got unruly with customers. I got loud. I exclaimed out to my boss several times at how suck-ass our customer service is and how stupid the customers are. I couldn’t control myself.

It’s the hormones.

This is *exactly* what I’ve been telling you. I told you that the first and only time I tried birth control pills in 1991, I became a psycho hosebeast, and that was on the lowest dose available back then. But noooooo. People keep telling me that the doseages have changed since then, and I’ll be FINE.

WELL HELL NO I’M NOT FINE. I’M ABOUT TO THROW MY FECKING CHAIR THROUGH THE GODDAMNED COMPUTER MONITOR!

I was fine this morning til I got on the road to commute to work. Then a surge washed over me. A huge, hormonal surge of do0m. It manifested as anxiety. I had to control my breathing to avoid a panic attack.
Once at work, I thought I was fine. Then the surge re-occurred. And re-occurred. Throughout the day. I was a psycho bitch all fecking day. I knew it as it was happening but could not control myself. I started bashing my water bottle down on my desk when the idiot customers wouldn’t follow directions or couldn’t understand how to even fecking LOOK to the right of their application to see the obvious goddamned tabs to click.

*slow, deep breaths*

Okay.
I’ve just called the on-call nurse for my gynecologist/surgeon. She told me to call the doc tomorrow on lunch hour (I don’t have a cell and whined ‘what do i do?’) and demand to speak to the surgeon right then and there and let the staff know I don’t have a cell, that I’m at work, and that I don’t get home til well after their office closes for the day.

This on-call nurse rocked the house. She was very explicit in how I should weild myself when calling, tomorrow. I could hear her kids screaming in the background but she continued to talk to me. I felt much better. I can do this. Doc will talk to me tomorrow and we’ll figure out a new course for the meds. I’ll even talk to my boss if need be, to let her know what’s going on.

*slow, deep breaths* … sip of Mai Tai….

I JUST WANT THE RAGE TO STOP.

TMI post-op stuff

For my memory and for others with Endometriosis who may find this journal:

Today is Day 32 post-laparoscopic surgery, in which Stage III Endometriosis was found.

At Day 32, the following is true for me:

  • Sex resumed at Day 24 but bright red bleeding occurred afterwards and lasted a half a day. Sex again on Day 31 resulted in the same. It’s not enugh to fill a pad.
  • The glue plugs are STILL in the incisions (well, one of the three fell out the other day), and the belly button is the most tender and keeps getting inflamed due to clothing and skin rubbing on it throughout the day (skin if I slouch while sitting). Wearing a bandage, carefully placed, seems to help.
  • The left ovary (the problematic ovary for me) still gives jarring pinches of pain on occasion (roughly every other day throughout the day), enough to make me gasp.

At Day 14 on Yasmin birth control pills (bcp) for Ovarian Suppression – that is to say – using bcp as a way to try to prevent the Endo from growing back, the following is true for me:

  • Breakthough Bleeding is present on a daily basis – it’s very light.
  • Breasts are VERY sore for up to three days after even light sexual play.
  • Highly energetic – my legs are constantly bouncing and I come home from a desk job nearly every night to work out (for me this means dancing til I sweat buckets).
  • My face seems blotchier than usual – a noted side effect in the Yasmin instruction packet.
  • I get bursts of aggression bordering on rage that can be difficult to control if I’m not careful. This is reason #1 why I stopped taking bcp the first time, back in 1991. I’ll see how Yasmin continues to treat me and try something else if I have to.
  • I am happy to report that libido is NOT negatively affected by the Yasmin.
  • Acne was a problem in the first week of taking Yasmin but was easily remedied by swabbing my face and back with Witch Hazel twice a day.

Also re-noted for posterity – the first period after my surgery did NOT show any signs of relief – it was as bad (felt a bit worse actually) than my periods before surgery, and I was home sick from work as a result.

Now that I’ve been on Yasmin for 2 weeks, I anxiously await the next menstrual cycle to see if it tries to show up. I’ve been instructed to take Yasmin uninterrupted for a year because my periods are so bad.

another post-op update

Yesterday morning in the shower, another glue plug fell out. This was on the right side, and it left more of a hole than the one on the left side. I don’t think all of the glue came out of the incision on the left side, now that I look at it. so I’ve been keeping the right side incision bandaged. The only glue plug left now that’s been giving me grief is the belly button. Because I have a bit of a belly, the button gets irritated by damn near anything I wear, waistband or not. I’ve bandaged it from time to time but it seems to make it worse. *sigh*

The Yasmin has me very antsy. I have all sorts of energy. I’ve been coming home every night and turning the house into Club Steph. I dance and dance until I drip-sweat.

I’ve lost two pounds. YAY! Down to 153lbs (69kg).

Oh, and I just spent $150 that I shouldn’t have, but the outfit is friggin gorgeous and I *must* look fantastic for an upcoming gothic festival in May.

Retroscope Lolita shirt
Retroscope Lolita skirt

Hormonal changes?

Almost had a panic attack at work last week. I was just sitting there taking call after call and suddenly I felt like I was being choked to death. I had to regain my composure and breathe slow, deep breaths before answering the next call.

Today at work, I got bitchier and bitchier as the day wore on. I felt like at any moment, I could stand up, begin screaming like a wilderbeast, throw things off my desk, and heft it over the railing (I work in a loft).

I’m beginning to think that the Yasmin is affecting me.

Gah. And still two more days of work to go this week. :(

The state of Steph

Over the weekend I was finally able to have some intimate time with my man. Only 24 days after surgery! Technically I was supposed to wait another week but well, we couldn’t hold out. ;)

Of course, this brought george back temporarily. Barely any cramping. Then he disappeared.
Then today, two days later, without warning – george re-appeared – bright red and flowing. WTF!!! And horrible pinching pains on the left side again! It’s a good thing I have my post-op doctor appointment today.

I went to a pain management doctor today for the back pain I always have. This doctor talked about epidurals and surgery and steroidal injections into my spine! I told him I only want his advice on further NON SURGICAL treatment options. So he’s going to get me an MRI and also refer me to a specialist who can teach me to do gentle stretches.
I have back pain since my car accident in 1994, which leads my back to go out about 3-4 times a year. Each time, I’m out of work for about a week. But today I was not presenting pain symptoms. He felt my neck and shoulders and asked me a lot of questions, and gave me a preliminary diagnosis of Cervical Spondylosis (arthritis of the neck). I’m not shocked by that at all since thirteen years out from the car accident, arthritis is a given.

I just want the bleeding to go away so I can spend more intimate time with my man. We’ve waited weeks to enjoy each other, dammit!

4:46pm Edit: I went to the post-op appointment and had to walk two and a half blocks from the parking garage in the pouring rain. I had my raincoat on but my pants got a soaking. The good news is that doc tells me I’m healing up just fine. And she also explained the images she took of my pelvic region during surgery, and drew on the images with her pen to illustrate where the Endo was. Click here and here if yer not easily squicked by pictures of innards. Sorry about the crappy huge font – I couldn’t figure out how to make the font size smaller on my boyfriend’s Photoshop software, and I don’t have Photoshop installed on my ‘new’ Mac Mini, yet.
Doc tells me that the bleeding is within the realm of what could happen for the first month post-op, especially once resuming sexual activity. She tried to talk me into taking Lupron, which is chemically-induced menopause. But I’ve seen the effects of that on a friend recently, and I’m not into simulated Niacin flush hot flashes that last 20 minutes or more on a regular basis. So I’m to continue taking the Yasmin for a year with no interruption – no taking the sugar pills for the ‘week off’ to allow a period to occur. We’ll see how it all goes. The only side effects to the Yasmin so far have been slight nausea on the first day, and breast tenderness/swelling as of last night. I feel like I’ve already gone up a cup size. :(
But so far, no reports of extreme depression or any of the nasty side effects listed in the booklet.

Some day life will get back to normal and I can stop talking about george and post-op stuff. ;)

Finally Friday

George began to fade last night, giving me hope that I was getting better. I enjoyed the company of some friends at their house just around the block, and felt thankful that I have friends living so close. I REALLY need to stop being such a hermit and take full advantage of the fortune of friends living within walking, as well as short cycling distance on the island.

I was sad to feel that george returned this morning. Today is therefore day 5 of george. I know that when he fades and comes back, that he’s about to kill me. So I’m not looking forward to today.

My dad called to check on me last night when I got home from work. I told him how I’d gone in to work and made the best of the situation. He then wanted to know my mental state. I was honest. “I feel like shit, dad. This was a hard week for me. I’ve been in a lot of pain.” He softened a bit, and was happy for me when I told him that I found out the company I work for has an anti-discrimination policy in place for people with medical conditions.

You’d think I was a teenager the way I go on about my dad and how hard he pushes me. Is it healthy that I still feel that young? Is it healthy that he still treats me like I’m that young? I know I’ll be a basket case and I’ll need a very reliable life coach when my father finally leaves his mortal shell, cuz he’s IT – he’s the guy who coached me through living in poverty hell with my mom, through college, through my jobs, through my financial crises.

Home again

I made it through the day without more than a 600mg Ibuprofen. That’s not to say I didn’t suffer, though.

I had to go through ‘new hire orientation’ meetings today. I had to grit my teeth and steel against the pain a few times. Same thing while on the phone with customers during the little bit of phone time I did have today.

And of course, even though I had Monday off for President’s Day (that STILL sounds so silly, I never got that day off when I lived in Michigan and worked for a corporation), the email replies were still queueing up. And being off due to george and a doctor’s appointment yesterday didn’t help either. So I had a shitton of email replies to get through, as well as chasing down escalation cases dating back to last week. Thus, I stayed an hour and a half overtime today. Sure, the pay will be nice. But goddamn, I just wanted my Tylenol 3 and the bed.

On my way home, I realised I forgot to take my Yasmin pill today. Even though I set a reminder for it. WTF. This is how hectic work is to me.

Oh, forgot to tell you – this morning in the shower, the scab on my left side fell off. It left a bit of a pit-mark, but it’s a sealed wound. I can’t wait for the other two scabs to fall off. Last week, a cow-orker who had a Laparoscopy a month before me showed off her scars. They’re nothing at all! I’ll be so happy if mine heal as well as hers.

So anyway, now I contemplate dinner. And Yasmin. And pain meds. And bed.

May tomorrow bring an end to the bleeding.

Fear

Left to my own decision, I’d have stayed home again today.

But the sound of my father’s voice keeps ringing in my head, “Even if you have to crawl in to work…

It’s not just because I fear letting my father down if I lose this job due to poor attendance because of a disease.
I also fear letting my man down, because I’d become dependent upon him financially if I lose this job.

Given my own decision, I would have sold off a lot of my belongings and would have learned to live communally on a lower salary doing a job more suited to my happiness, or even a part-time job somewhere.

But I don’t feel I have a choice or a decision. And that’s sad.

I’ve chosen to want to please my father by being the first to go to college and escape poverty the way he did through corporate work. I’ve chosen to want to please my man through working for an entity which provides a way to pretend to live middle class.

I’ve made my bed, so to speak.

I’m not emotionally prepared to let these men down. And they’re not emotionally prepared to deal with being let down. That’s the fear – being disowned by them. Neither man likes it very much to have to support me financially. Both men give me the hairy eyeball whenever I ask for money or show dependency.

I looked into State Disability. I don’t qualify because I’m not out past eight consecutive days in a row. Not even my surgery qualified me. Although I was out for eleven days, the problem is that Disability doesn’t pay the first week off, anyway. It’s held as a “waiting period”, and then disability pay kicks in. So even though I miss work on a monthly basis, I still don’t qualify for disability. I would have to be unable to work all of the time due to my illness. And the fact is, I’m only ill once a month.

Now, to look fear square in the eye (OW, as I get a huge pinch on the left ovary causing me to cringe and gasp, while the uterine pain continues), I could say that although it’s rough today, I should still make an attempt to go in to work. Today is orientation day for me. I get to find out what sorts of benefits I get as a full-timer. Most importantly, I get to find out how many Paid Time Off (PTO) days I get, because I’ve already had to use …

…okay this is not cool. The pain is so bad now that I’m crying. I’d stood up to go prepare more food and there was a gush. Then the massive wave of pain. It passed after a few minutes. But I’m left with tears on my face.

*breathe*

I’ve already had to use one PTO day yesterday, and I’ll be using another on Monday for my post-op appointment and my pain-management appointment.
And then there’s the tickets to an event in Portland in May. And the trip home to see my parents in October. And every month, a few days off due to george (Hm I guess I should update that link for george).

*more breaths*

I need to wait for the pain to pass without Tylenol 3. I just took 600mg Ibuprofen, and now I wonder how that will react with the Yasmin, since the Yasmin booklet says also taking Ibu regularly can spike potassium levels (oh look, there’s Fear again).

I think the pain has passed along with the squid. … nope… still more.

But off I go to work. I don’t feel confident about this trek.

I stayed home

When the alarm went off at 5:30am, I got up and stood in the kitchen for a few minutes. I decided it wasn’t worth it and went back to bed. I got up again to call my boss at 7am – no answer. I left a message on her machine and the general manager’s voicemailbox. They never called back so I guess I am approved the day off.

I woke up sometime after 10am. I called my dad (returning his calls to check up on me over the weekend) and again got the response “well you better go in tomorrow even if you have to crawl in.” He’ll never know what I go through – I don’t expect him to understand. That’s why I took out another credit card just before surgery. It’s so I have extra money to pay back either surgery costs that insurance didn’t cover or pay my father back if I lose my job again.

I also called the surgeon and I’m waiting for a call back. Just want her input on the pain situation.
I’m hungry but I don’t want anything to eat. I’m in pain but I have to eat before I can take pain meds. So I’m eating pudding.

Today is Paczki Day. I haven’t had a Paczki since moving to California from Detroit. This saddens me further. The nearest Polish bakery is either in San Francisco or Concord. I’m in no condition to drive and I’m sure their Paczki are inferior to where I grew up, anyway.
Hah, not that my body would like the doughnuts anyway, now that I’m on a gluten-free diet. But in my mental state, it’s just one more thing to prove the world is out to get me.

I wish george was dead. I hope I’m killing him with every Yasmin pill I take. I hope the Yasmin doesn’t kill the rest of my body with george. Then he’d still win, the bastard.

Trying to breathe

Just 12 hours after taking the Yasmin for ovarian suppression, I awoke to such pain that ANY movement whatsoever triggered even more waves of pain. I laid in bed for over a half an hour trying to fall back asleep. I kept waking up and whimpering, so I got up.

This feels WORSE than the usual george pain I normally go through.

My teeth are gritting and the uterine pain feels white-hot and throbbing. I’m getting nauseated from the pain. I’ve taken a Tylenol 3 and now I’m burping up my dinner that I ate seven hours ago.

I’m pretty sure that pain this massive means I’m trying to pass something through my cervix. The bleeding got heavy while I was sleeping.
Can’t wait to see what kind of crap comes out, but I have been warned by reading other peoples’ post-op experiences.

Time to pace the house and do my breathing technique (a.k.a. Lamaze-style breathing) until the squid (or worse) passes through.

3:24am Edit: Just popped my second Tylenol 3. Both ovaries feel like they’re pinching/throbbing in unison. The entire pelvic region is on fire.

4:16am Edit: The pain has subsided quite a lot thanks to both the Tylenol 3 and the yoga poses I’ve been doing for the last half an hour. The yoga poses are found in a book called Fibroid Tumor and Endometriosis Self Help Book, by Susan M. Lark. I sat on my ankles and rested my forehead on the floor in ‘child’s pose’ for a couple of minutes at a time, and I also laid flat on my back on top of a knotted towel at the center of my back between my shoulder blades. I alternated between keeping my legs down on the ground and then knees bent with my feet planted on the floor.
Laying on my back with the knotted towel helped the most – especially when I also included a heating pad for the lower back.

Now I will try and get some sleep before the alarm goes off for work, and see how well I’m doing at that point, or whether I have to call in sick.