I’ll remember the fun I had…

…as I descend further into the underworld on my monthly journey of chronic pain.

Tuesday night, I was sure that the pain was ramping up, and that by Wednesday morning, I would be in severe pain. The only co-worker I could line up to sub for me said it would be best to let him know Tuesday night as opposed to early Wednesday morning. So after 11pm Tuesday night, I made the decision and my co-worker confirmed he’d be in for me.

Wouldn’t you know it, on Wednesday I wasn’t in a lot of pain. But I’d already sent someone in to work for me. The guilt came and went, back and forth, all day. And still no outward presense of george.

Throughout the day, I had severe low back pain when attempting to do anything other than recline on the couch. I could not lay down, I could not sit at my desk, I could not stand for any length of time. The only comfortable position for me was sitting on the edge of the couch cushion or leaning all the way back on the couch.

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I had mild to moderate nausea all day yesterday, and was weak and shaky upon standing/walking. Despite this, I was experiencing XXTREME NESTING, which meant I wanted to bleach the walls and floors, vacuum the cats, and shake out the mattresses.

Over a three hour period, I was able to wash four small walls in the bathroom, using warm water and borax mixture. Our bathroom is crazy-shaped, and has eight walls. I also washed a few dishes and scooped the catbox. That is a lot of activity for someone who is nauseous, weak and shaky. But I am stubborn and had to do something with my guilt complex.

I did not take any medication until bedtime last night, when I took 600mg Ibuprofen and a half of a Tylenol 3. I had begun spotting by midnight, but when I got up this morning, I was no longer spotting, and I wasn’t in pain. So I went to work.

By 11am, the pain was making itself known, and I’d begun spotting again. It was thick, dark, sticky.
My pain on the Allie Brosh pain scale was at:

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…which is actually a 4.5 to 5 on the Mankoski Pain Scale.

By the time the kids were dismissed to lunch, my pain was reaching a 5 on the Allie Brosh scale:

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…which is actually a 7 on the Mankoski Pain Scale.

I promised myself I would leave work right after the childrens’ lunch hour. There was no one to take my place during that critical hour, so I pushed through it.

When I left work for the day, it had become almost too difficult to walk to my car, which was parked a block and a half away. Every single step was jarring to my pelvic region. The nerve pain seared from my pelvis down the insides of both legs to my knees. It’s so difficult to describe the leg nerve pain that comes with endometriosis – people aren’t usually able to comprehend that one would have leg pain associated with pelvic pain – but it makes total sense if you look at the nervous system. The pelvic area is rich with nerves (as seen in yellow in the image below), which extend down the legs.

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If you look at a full body nerve diagram, you can see a bit better that any nerve inflammation in the pelvic region would of course touch on surrounding nerves and radiate down the legs.

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All this is actually in line with what Dr. Ian Fraser is saying in his Mysteries Of Endometriosis Pain lecture last year. He had found in his research that “Sometimes sizeable nerve trunks were identified passing though peritoneal lesions, something never seen in normal peritoneum”, and had commented that “It seems probable that the invading endometriosis bringing its own nerve supply links up with the intrinsic (enteric) nerve plexus of [for example, the bowel], resulting in excessive branching and proliferation of multiple nerve fibers.”

When I got to my car, it was difficult and painful to get into my car. I drive a Dodge Neon, which sits low to the ground. On top of that, the seats also sit low inside the car, so it nearly feels like I’m getting into a go-kart or bumper car.

I curse myself as my illness worsens through the years, saying I really need a Volkswagon or maybe even a Jeep – something which sits higher up both outside and inside.

When I got home, I sat in my car for several minutes, trying to work up the courage to draw up my knees, turn and push myself out of my car. The prospect of that seemed traumatising to me, considering the level of pain I was in.

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I let all my breath out and slowly, methodically got out of my car, one muscle group, one body part at a time. Bending forward to get to my belongings behind my chair was painful task #2, and then stepping up onto the high curb was painful task #3. Then I was home. Thankfully I was able to have parked directly in front of my home.

What sucked was that it was my lunch hour, and I was starving. As is usual with the pain, I was very picky with what I wanted to eat. I didn’t want the fresh vegetable soup I just made, noooooo. So I popped a Tylenol 3, made some gluten-free pizza and a chocolate cake, and after eating my pizza, took a drug-addled nap.

To describe this month’s cycle in two words, I would say HIGHLY AGITATED.
I don’t want to be in my own body or mind. The brain weasels are bad enough on a New Moon without the hormonal whack of endometriosis adding to it. Can’t wait for this month to be over.

Thankful

George has not shown up yet today. Because of his tardiness, I was able to get in another full day of work. :)

Upon waking, I did have some pain, and was sure that by the time I was to leave for work, I’d be in full blown pain.

Instead, I was feeling annoyingly bloated, having low level cramps, and feeling like I might burst into tears at any moment. I went to work, because it was too late to arrange for a substitute teacher. I went in thinking I’d have to turn right back around within an hour.

While waiting for the parents to begin the drive-in drop-off at the school, I stood in silence, taking in the nice sunny morning. It was mostly cloudy but I could still see enough of the blue sky and feel the sun on my face. I stared at the trees in the lots surrounding the school, and I just wanted to cry my eyes out, and I could not explain to myself just why. Hello, PMS.

Although I think part of it is that I expect routine from my illness, and when it deviates, it messes with my head. When the pain is absent for too many days, I actually get hopeful – I envision my illness just vanishing, and I wonder how long it would take for me to really believe it and TRUST being pain-free. Not being bedridden today when I thought I would be gave me some hope that perhaps this cycle won’t be as harsh, and maybe it won’t even be painful at all. But 24 years of cyclical endometriosis pain seems to laugh at that notion.

Just after 9am, the pain was enough that I took what Ibuprofen I had on me – 400mg gelcaps – and waited for the “real pain” to arrive.

I was super tired for most of the day, but the pain never got above a 4 on the scale. :)

All day I have had fierce sugar cravings, and I’ve had to keep my attitude and my anxiety in check all day, because of the PMS. I swear, if I’m not experiencing pain before my period, I’m experiencing really bad PMS! I will take that over pain though!

After work, I went to my acupuncturist appointment. I was super tired, forgetful, and dazed, but not in pain! I got treatment points in the feet, legs, pelvis, left wrist, hands and ears, then after that treatment, I received treatment points in the lower back, since that’s where a lot of my pain has actually been in the past week.

When I got home, I was still feeling tired, but not as tired as I’d been before the acupuncture appointment. With a little coaxing, I convinced myself to get some housework done with this extra time on my hands.

Because george was late, I was able to work an entire shift today, go to my acupuncture appointment, fold and put away five blankets and a slew of clean towels, unload the dishwasher and load it back up again, and wash some stuff that can’t go into the dishwasher. I also cooked up some gluten-free, yeast-free pizzas for me and my husband.

All that, on a day I was supposed to be bedridden. :)

So despite my crazy emotions, I really am thankful to have had one more day without george.

Visit to underworld imminent

I was able to enjoy one more night out on the town before calling it quits and admitting to my body shutting down for the next cycle of pain.

Friday April 9, I think I stayed home, cuz all day at work I had been really tired and had low back pain. I had gone to bed at 9pm the night before, and had to be at work much earlier than usual (6:50am vs. 11am earlier that week), so I’m sure some of the fatigue was just because I had to get up so early.

Saturday, my husband and I took a jaunt over to the other side of the Bay and I got an impromptu hair cut to get back the bangs I’ve been missing:

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Later that evening, we had dinner and discussed what to do that night. My husband wanted to see Rocky Horror Picture Show, but another friend who planned to go with us fell ill. That’s when another friend called and said she and her husband were throwing a hotel party for their one year wedding anniversary. We met up with them for a couple hours in their super awesome Death Star-like suite, then like the rock stars we are, we jetted off to Club Gossip, an 80’s club night, where another friend was having Part One of her birthday weekend celebration.
No pix to share from that night, sorry!

On Sunday, I slept in, and while stretching in bed to wake up, I “blew an ovary”. I swear, that’s what it felt like. I cried out, went fetal and clutched myself, whimpering for a couple minutes. I had right side ovarian and uterine pain for the next two hours. I took it easy on the couch for at least that long. Ugh.
By late Sunday afternoon, I felt well enough to start laundry, but of course, the pelvic pain returned. I pushed through it. I did do three loads of laundry, dangit. My husband and I also went grocery shopping, I cleaned out the fridge, and got some vacuuming done, all despite the pain, which was at a 4 on the scale.

Speaking of pain scales, I’ve been using the Mankoski pain scale, developed by Andrea Mankoski, who also suffers from pelvic pain and did a beautiful service to women by providing a more rational scale than the one normally used by doctors and emergency rooms.

However, I think it may be time for me to turn to another revised pain scale, developed by Allie Brosh, who, when I wrote to her, admitted that she too suffers from endometriosis.

I LOVE her pain scale!

Today I have been at a 4.5 on the Mankoski pain scale, or a 3.5 on the Brosh scale. Here is what 3.5 on Allie Brosh’s scale looks like:

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I needed 600mg of Ibuprofen gel-caps to get through work today, and every time I sit down or lean over, I end up stuck in that position and the pain sets in immediately. I have to move really slowly to try to straighten my back out.
All day today I have felt like I am out of breath. This is “normal” for me when I’m about to be stricken with another endometriosis flare. I call it a flare because I do not suffer symptoms full time – just around the time of my menstrual cycle.

I have also been suffering from anxiety today, despite the fact that groceries are purchased and bills are paid. Oh and yesterday, I thought I might tear my husband’s head off over things that probably don’t normally make me upset. I say probably because right now I have no idea. Who am I again?
Maybe it’s the impending New Moon. Maybe it’s the impending Mercury Retrograde. Maybe it’s the cold, rainy Pacific winter that won’t leave, yet. It rained all day today.
Or maybe it’s just that my hormones are completely whacked because of endometriosis. I need to start drinking the specially prescribed Chinese herbal tea again, now that I’m heading into the next cycle.

Well shit. It’s 8pm. Gotta get some XXTREME NESTING type cleaning done, as well as some cooking, before I attempt to crawl in to work tomorrow.

PMS raging

Wow the hormonal imbalance is really working itself today. I have no time to write with my usual grace. It’s already past my bedtime.

Today I felt angsty. I got home from work, hopped on my bike and rode half a mile to the post office, went to bank – can’t cash checks cuz husband let the joint acct lapse w/ no cash in it. I let him have it.
Went to grocery anyway and spent the $20 i had on me. rode home, told hubby i need more groceries.
Drove instead of rode bike to work cuz I’m still crippled from going dancing Monday night.
I did 1.5 hours of after hours daycare at work while some parents had a meeting. i watched five kids. one escaped immediately down the hall and was returned by his mother. i felt like a total failure. apologised profusely. while watching the kids, i had stabby right side ovarian pain again. lasted only a couple minutes.

got home, felt ragey. changed litter box, emptied trash, readied recyclables, emptied and reloaded dishwasher, made a batch of 7 vegetable soup, made a batch of thai coconut soup, baked some chicken breasts.

ate some thai soup, popped a tylenol 3 and 600mg ibuprofen because the joint pain warranted it.

The premenstrual rage and XXTREME NESTING (i.e. cleaning frenzy) isn’t always this bad, but it’s not unusual for me, either.
There’s been food cravings, too. I’ve gone through two bags of gluten free chocolate chip cookies in the past 7 days.

Going to shower and go to bed, now.

T-minus 2 days

So here we are, two days before my next period – a.k.a. my next bedridden vacuum of lost time, lost fun, lost sunny warm days. It’s supposed to be in the 70s for the next several days!

But let’s go back a few days to get caught up again. I last wrote on Sunday. I was able to be intimate with my husband that morning! Amazing, after the really bad pain I was in the day before. I hung out with my husband Sunday afternoon, since he skipped band practice. It was lovely, warm and sunny outside.

Monday night, my husband and I went out dancing! We’d been looking forward to this, as it was the 17-year anniversary of our favourite goth club. It was packed and the music was good. I danced until every bone in my body ached, which didn’t take very long, and then I danced some more. What a workout!
It was about an hour into our night out when the right side ovarian stabby pain returned. I thought the night would be over, but I pushed through it. The pain was intermittent, though. Just a bit of tightening and stabbing for a few minutes every now and then. We got home sometime after 3am. I showered and went to bed, and I was up for work by 7am, because I’m insane. I only do this once a year, trust me.

Yesterday at work was painful in the sense of sleep deprivation, but I had no pelvic pain at all. Of course, I’m in all kinds of joint pain, especially my knees. I am officially diagnosed with osteoarthritis and chondromalacia patella (as a child, I was not allowed to perform certain gym activities, including any where I had to sit on my knees or bend the knees back for too long a time). The joint pain and knee pain is nothing compared to an ovarian cyst, and an ovarian cyst is similar but still not as bad as endometriosis.

There have been discussions on LiveJournal (see the comments to this post). I want to keep the discussion going, because we endo patients really do have a skewed sense of pain compared to the ‘normal’ population.

When I got home from work just before 4pm, I went to bed and didn’t get up until 9pm. I watched the latest episode of LOST with my husband at our neighbor’s house (cuz we don’t have cable, satellite or regular TV hookup by choice), and came back home and crawled right back into bed. I read for a bit before falling asleep again.

Woke up this morning in a lot of joint pain, with the added pelvic pain again. I had taken a Tylenol 3 before bed, and this morning I’m already on 600mg ibuprofen and rocking back and forth to get limber for the day. I’m doing large hip circles to loosen up the pelvic region. The pelvic pain is not ovarian – it is uterine – because I’m due to menstruate in the next 48 hours.

We’ll see how it all turns out…

Update on the premenstrual pain

Yesterday was the worst pain day, yet. I took a total of 2 Tylenol 3 plus 1,400mg Ibuprofen to get through the day yesterday. The pain was stabby and sharp at times, continuous and gnawing all of the time. I would estimate the pain was at a 7 on the pain scale all day yesterday. I had moments where it spiked to 8 on the scale. I had low grade nausea for much of the day.

Still, not wanting to have my warm sunny weekend taken away from me, I ventured out of the house to go to the post office and to the bank. Within the first 200 feet, I was grunting from the pain. Every single step was painful, but I pushed on to my car and drove to the errands I had to do. On a day like this, I should be riding the half mile to the post office and the bank, but I was in such pain that I had to drive it. When I came home, I was near tears from the pain, and that’s when I began the serious medicating for the day.

My husband drove us wherever we needed to go for the rest of the day. I did NOT want to stay indoors and lose another sunny day – I lose too many per year from chronic pelvic pain.

We went to a local dispensary to see what free services I could get under my Prop 215 card, since the cannabis is not working to lessen the pain. They have Reiki, acupuncture, hypnotherapy, and other stuff, but most of the classes are booked up, so I had to get on the waiting lists.

I think it was while we were on our way to the dispensary I suddenly realised that all this pain is likely due to an ovarian cyst, because the pain has been so focused on the right lower quadrant of my pelvic region, and has been stabby, and I had been nauseated all day.

Then we went on to our favourite coffee stop (Peerless – as opposed to Julie’s our favourite coffee and tea house – where we would actually be able to sit and stay awhile), then we went to the AT&T store to finally activate the iPhone my husband gave me so long ago. From there we went to Ikea to look for a bed frame but that was a bust. While we were at Ikea, I saw so many people in wheelchairs, and I REALLY wanted mine at that moment. Other pedestrians in the store were impatient by how slow I was walking, and would brush past me quickly. This made me want to cry, or worse, shout at them that I’m in a lot of pain and to leave me the hell alone.

I have a wheelchair but I refused to bring it with me yesterday because I’m still too proud to use it unless I’m in crying pain. Of course, when I’m in crying pain, I don’t actually leave the house, heh…so I have GOT to learn to not be embarrassed to use the wheelchair when I need it. And yesterday I really needed it.

After Ikea, we went to Endgame, then came back home, ate some dinner, and then went to a friend’s house for impromptu game night. I sat in the most comfy chair I could (a computer chair), but still was in a lot of pain, and had to get up and move around a lot.

With an ovarian cyst, the large hip circles don’t really work – in fact, I think they cause more pain.

When I got home, I had shooting pains on the left side, but higher up – like above the ovary or further. I used the bathroom and when I wiped, I found a dime-sized amount of bright yellow mucus.
This morning when I woke, I had clear, thick, abundant vaginal discharge, and I am no longer in any pelvic pain.

For me, I think this means I really did have an ovarian cyst, and it ruptured late last night.

Here’s hoping the pain is done and I get a few pain-free days before Friday, when my period is due!

“It’s not fair”

Woke up this morning with moderate low back pain that makes me wince and grunt when trying to move around, and full body joint pain. These are more symptoms that the endo is flaring again and about to take me down.

I’m still super tired emotionally and physically. I still feel weak and now have pelvic pain to go with the joint and back pain. The pelvic pain is about a 3 to a 4 on the pain scale. It is low, dull, achey. The joint pain is about a 5 to 5.5 on the scale. It is nagging and at times piercing.

I took a pregnancy pee test just because, and of course it came out negative.

I have a full week before my period arrives, but with how my body is feeling at this moment, it feels like my period is upon me in the next 36 hours.

I started menses at the age of 14 with a mindset of “this is just how it is for everyone”. Later, when I found out that it’s NOT this way for everyone, I became angry every month – “it’s not fair”. Then, later on in life, by the time I hit my 30s, I began to go back towards the “this is just how it is” mindset, but knowing that it’s just how it is with me.
Now, since January 2010, my brain has gone in a different direction. It’s actually turned into fear and near panic, in a child-like state, whereby this inner child has been crying out “Mama, I don’t wanna go to that bad place again!!! Why can’t anybody help me mama?”
My body and mind have gotten tired of fighting this fight for the past 24-25 years, and it’s crying out – it’s throwing a tantrum – like a bullied child does before school in the morning – “I don’t wanna go! You can’t make me go! Don’t take me there!”

The fact that I’ve been in a tearful emotional state since last night, continuing through this morning, is of course another premenstrual symptom. And once again I’d like to yell in anger to the endometriosis, “I STILL HAVE ONE MORE WEEK LEFT! LEAVE ME ALONE!!!”

It started off well enough…

I woke Tuesday morning with no cramps! I checked to be sure my period had actually started. Well, there was bright blood, and it was within a few days of the start date, so it had to be my period, right? I got ready for work, marveling at my body. I have to admit, I had a little smile on my face. I was truly enjoying this no-pain thing.

At work Tuesday morning, I only got the slightest of cramps. As soon as I began to think, “oh no, I feel a tinge of pain, the cramps could get worse any second…” I immediately quashed that thought and replaced it with, “Oh wow, that’s SUCH a tiny pain, I am so happy I can function!” And I’d smile again. I started thinking, “This must be what it’s like to have a ‘normal’ period!”

All day Tuesday, nothing – just teeny tiny rumbles of pain every now and again. The most pain I felt was while having to rub a child’s back for naptime at work – I have to sit on the floor, and the child is on a thin nap mat on the floor. I used a pillow chair but it was still uncomfortable. So the pelvic pain did make itself known while sitting low on the floor.

You have to realise though that it wasn’t just the lack of pelvic pain through most of Tuesday – I also was not feeling the usual joint pain or the extreme fatigue that I always get with each endometriosis cycle or ‘flare’. This definitely was not starting off as one of my ‘normal’ periods. Since I have been in debilitating pain from endometriosis for about the last 24 years now, I know full well what the behaviour of my illness is. So I began to wonder if the blood wasn’t from menstruation/endometriosis at all – I wondered if it was instead from the yeast infection and having taken a Monistat treatment two nights prior, which I’d had really bad side effects to. The swelling in my labia had gone down quite a bit by Tuesday, but what if the blood meant there was internal damage from the Monistat? Every time I used the bathroom on Tuesday, I’d notice that the bleeding wasn’t getting any darker, nor was it becoming more of a flow. It was still bright red/pink, and there were long, stringy clots – also not the usual for me. Blood clots during menses for me are usually really dark red, squat and thick.

Tuesday night, when my husband got home, we went out into the pouring rain to get some groceries, so that we’d be well stocked in case I did become bedridden. While out grocery shopping, my blood sugar took a dive. I’d spent Monday and Tuesday eating and either still being hungry, or becoming hungry again within an hour of eating. That is ‘normal’ premenstrual behaviour for me, as is becoming hypoglycemic.
Eating dinner when we got home brought my blood sugar levels and thusly my mood back up again.

When I woke on Wednesday morning, I had minor cramps. Since I count the day the blood shows up as Day 1 of each menstrual cycle, I was now on Day 3, and I still was not experiencing debilitating pain. Again, I wondered if the bleeding wasn’t from the infection and/or the treatment. I wondered if I’d know if my period really did show up, and would it show up Wednesday, as originally thought?

Around 11:30am on Wednesday, the bleeding and pain began to ramp up a bit. I checked myself in the bathroom and saw that the blood had begun to darken. My legs felt funny – they were weak, especially at the top of the thighs. For me, this usually means really bad cramps are coming soon. I hadn’t had the leg pain or weakness until now, so I took this to mean that my menstrual cycle had officially hit the green light.
By 1pm when I took my lunch break, I required 600mg of Ibuprofen gel-caps, and it didn’t really help all that much. I notified the teacher I was working with that day that I was in pain and might not make it through the day. I asked if she knew what endometriosis was, and she said yes, and showed sympathy for me. She told me to sit down and take it easy. The class (I was working with the 1st and 2nd graders that day) was watching a marine life documentary, so thankfully all I had to do was sit there, or stand there as the actual case may be (sitting was too painful) for the next hour, until class was dismissed. After the first half-hour documentary, the children began to get restless, so I had them all stand up, shake their bodies, stretch way up high, and then sit back down to watch the second and last documentary on ocean life.
The stretching up high thing…I should not have done that. It spiked my cramps to a 7 on the pain scale for a few minutes. Ouch. I stretched slow, like one does in the morning when getting out of bed, yawning. But george didn’t like that.
At 3pm, I organised the children who were to be picked up by their parents and herded them out the door. After parents picked up their children, I headed to the playground to see if I’d be needed for after school daycare. Thankfully, I was not needed, and I went home.

Wednesday afternoon/evening at home, I took it easy on the couch. Around 7pm, I ate another 600mg Ibuprofen gel-caps, and slept on the couch, and for a little while I even went to the bedroom to nap. My fatigue had grown infinitely between noon and 7pm Wednesday – pain takes a lot out of a person and makes one very tired. Ibuprofen also makes one a bit tired, and I had consumed 1,200mg of it within a six hour period.

And that’s where I’ll leave it for now, cuz the next part of my story requires some background info, and this post is already too long. I’m working on making shorter journal entries from now on…

Worsening fatigue and emotional state

Today for some reason I’ve wanted to cry all day. I’m super emotional about everything. It’s as though my heart is broken. At one point, just before my lunch break at work, I was talking with my co-teacher/head teacher and she kept correcting my language, telling me to stop using adjectives. She said the director of the school always tells her to watch how she phrases things so as not to create a legal issue. This teacher would like me to follow the director’s advice, also.

All I had said was that I needed to know which recepticle to use as the wash bowl, so I could wash the easel. This teacher has in the past told me not to use the cleaning bucket, because according to her, it contains trace amount of bird feces, because we wash the lunch tables with it, and the birds are always landing on the tables and leaving their feces there.
She told me earlier this week not to use the dirty water bowl that the children use to empty water from their work jobs into, because that could create cross contamination if there is bird feces or some other type of contamination on the easel. She says it could be transferred from the easel to the bowl. She refuses to acknowledge that I wash the bowl thoroughly with hot soapy water before and after using the bowl for cleaning.
So I wanted to know WHAT to use to do the washing, said since she did not like my choice of vessels thus far.

She went on a long explanation about proper use of language and avoidance of adjectives, saying she does not lIKE or DISLIKE anything, and that it’s a matter of keeping the children safe and respecting the parents’ POTENTIAL wishes, and they MIGHT wish that their children were in an environment where they were not at risk of contaminated materials.

I about burst into tears. I just wanted her to tell me WHICH FRACKING BOWL TO USE, since she always has a problem (oh wait another adjective – she’ll say she has no problems at all) with what I’m choosing to wash the classroom stuff with.
The discussion ended without her telling me what vessel to use, so I chose the dirty water bowl again and hoped she’d not correct me and tell me to put the bowl down again like she did the other day. As I washed the easel, I noted aloud how tired I was. My co-worker told me that she read or heard of an interesting study whereby if people declare they are for example tired, that they will BECOME tired. I tried to not sound angry but told her firmly that it’s not a self-fulfilling prophecy kind of thing – it’s a FACT that I am tired, and it is part of my health condition, which renders me bedridden every month, and by the way I may not be at work on Monday because of it, FYI.

She didn’t talk to me anymore after that. She is in that camp of people who think that even after 23 years of living with a chronic incurable painful condition such as endometriosis, that I somehow manifested this illness upon myself by pessimistic thinking.

I want you to know that that camp of people will be the first to get the pain transference device strapped to their heads once it’s invented. Ever see the movie Strange Days? The transference device I’m thinking of is like the ‘SQUID’ recordings used in that movie: “experiences recorded directly from the cerebral cortex which when played back through a MiniDisc-like device allow a user to experience all recorded sensory inputs as if actually doing it themselves” –wikipedia.

Anyway, the conversations with this teacher is what nearly broke me for the rest of the day. I literally had tears in my eyes for the rest of my shift, even on my lunch break. I got out of work, came home and had some hot chocolate (Trader Joe’s Sipping Chocolate, mixed with goat milk), and wanted badly to have a complete emotional breakdown. However, I had to be at my acupuncture appointment within an hour, so i could not have my breakdown.

I want to let you know that it is not the teacher who CAUSED my emotional state. I was already fragile to begin with. She is not willfully malicious or mean in any way towards me, ever. My emotional state has nothing to do with her personally. I’m just exceedingly fragile today.

During the acupuncture appointment, the doctor stuck me in the bottom of the right foot and it stung really badly. I yelped and it wouldn’t stop stinging, so she removed the needle. It continued to sting. She said that’s the point for something dealing with my blood. Wish I could remember.
I had needles in my feet, legs, pelvis and head. I laid there for 20 mins, then she came back and removed the needles. I turned over. She put needles in my lower and upper back. These needles – every single one of them – were so painful going in that I yelped and/or cried out, voice shaky and near tears. The one in the lower right side i think it was – that one stung for several seconds, but I rode it out and it abated.
Afterwards, we talked about the herbal supplements I’ve been taking. I am wondering if the ginseng, dong quai and licorice are causing my emotional issues. I’m wondering if the mania I experienced two weeks ago is also related to these ingredients. I have in the past gotten hypoglycemic and irritable on those noted herbs. The acupuncturist said she’d think on it and do further research. I agreed to continue taking the supplements until my next menstrual cycle at the end of February, just so we can note developing patterns.

When I got out of the acupuncture session, I felt a little less like bawling. The back pain I’ve had on and off all week, and especially painful today, returned right away. It always feels like I’ve pulled a muscle or several muscles in my back every month right before my period. I hate that.
Oh and my vaginal mucus began turning tonight. The last time it did that was on January 5 and two days later I got my period. George is due February 1 but I’m thinking he’ll be here Friday or Saturday.

And on that note, just after 9pm, I’m taking 600mg Advil gel caps and going to bed.

The pre-doom special

Last night I went to bed around 9:30pm. Tonight I’m doing the same. I’ve been thoroughly exhausted for the past two days. I’m bloating like crazy. My lower legs and ankles are swollen. I get worn out and breathe laboriously just by walking or having to get up.

I take my vitamins and I’ve upped my Chinese herbal supplements to 2 pills twice daily. I got anxiety so bad around 3:30pm today that I thought I’d have a panic attack at work. I had to do my breathing exercises and it almost didn’t help. I had to fight through it with anxiety, racing heart and feeling of being suffocated. I left work at 4pm. I wonder if it’s PMS and I’m just stressed out by the data collecting I have to do on the job – I’m just an assistant – my head teacher should be doing all of this. She should have the long day, not me. Ugh. Give me the damned title and pay already, people.
So perhaps it was just that. But part of me is now wondering if it’s the herbs. I’ll talk to my acupuncturist tomorrow. I’ve got to ask her questions about how to deal with bloating and fatigue, as well.

I’ve been feeling low dull pain with the bloating since Monday. On Saturday and Sunday is when the right side ovarian stabby started – at least that abated by Monday.

I took 400mg Advil gel caps before bed last night – doing the same thing tonight.

On a bright note, my husband’s gym is offering a special so I signed up today after work. Half of what he pays per month, plus a month free, plus a free session with a fitness trainer. I told the trainer what my physical restrictions are, about my illness and what my goals are – we are to meet after this upcoming round of doom is over.
We are also experiencing a break in the rain – I think it’s rained constantly for a week and a half, I forget. Today there was no rain. Tomorrow is supposed to be dry, too, and then the rain returns on Friday. Imagine my mixed feelings at this – it’s bad timing for my health, cuz I’m winded just getting up out of a chair right now, and my body feels like lead. I want to bicycle but if I bicycle the one mile to work in the morning, I’ll have used up too many spoons to get through the workday, which involves literally running after children on the playground, both to entertain them and to get to them before or right after injury happens. There’s also the lunchtime cleanup, which involves sweeping around and under 3 picnic tables. It may sound easy to some but operating a broomstick really hurts my back and sides and abdomen a few days before menses. Then I’d have to bicycle back home – if I made it back at all without collapsing, I’d surely collapse for the night as soon as I got home from work. So bicycling this week is out of the question – not enough spoons.

I’ve been doing slow stretches of my arms up as far as I can reach and holding it, then tilting to one side, then the other – very slowly. My back feels like I’ve pulled the muscles. This is ‘normal’ and happens every single month, right before menses, as my body tries to fold in on itself like a pillbug. I’ve also been doing the large hip circles I always do to try to manage the pain. Sometimes it’s really painful to begin working the hips, but after awhile things loosen up and I really do feel better. So it is part of my pain management process.

Gah. It’s nearly 10pm now. I really need to be sleeping but I really needed to provide an update on the premenstrual madness.

Goodnight!