Second Laparoscopy: Day 20 and Day 21 post-op

Day 20: Thursday, January 6, 2011

I swear, all I wrote on my notes for that day was that I was able to lay on my stomach for half an hour while I napped. I was really tired all day that day. I don’t remember anything else. That’s what happens when I get behind by almost a week!

Day 21: Friday, January 7, 2011
I had lots of energy that day, and used it to get some paperwork done, work on my first semester self-evaluation report, and to get some exercise in.

At 2pm, I climbed the stairs to the split Victorian house we live in. I climbed the stairs three times! The pain hit once I got up to the top of the stairs the third time, so I called it a day for exercise. Sadly, I experienced increased pain and discharge within 10 minutes of stair climbing. :(
I took 600mg Ibuprofen for the pain.

Despite the cramping from the stair climbing, I began feeling guilty for missing work, even though I still had the entire next week slated to be off work. I was itching to get back and I was feeling like I was milking this whole time off thing. So I called my head teacher after she’d gone home for the day, and spoke with her. I also phoned the director on her cell phone. I even spoke with the school secretary. All three of ’em said I need to take the time off to let my body heal up, and not come back to work too soon and risk injuring my surgical incisions or worse, tearing anything inside.
We agreed that because my return date was the same date that my next period is due, that I would also err on the side of caution and take part of, if not all of that week off, too. That means I’m off work for six weeks instead of four. Of course, six weeks is what my surgeon wanted me off work for, anyway. I am the one who originally thought three to four weeks would be sufficient.

Taking more time off work brings up my old PTSD issue, because after my first surgery, I was fired from a job when they thought I’d be ‘cured’, even though I told them from before surgery, after surgery and each time they brought it up that there is no cure for my condition, and that surgery is not a guarantee for pain relief. All we can ever do is hope for the best. Endometriosis is brutal. It sucks. It’s not fair. IT’S NOT MY FAULT THAT I WAS BORN WITH IT.


Friday night, my husband and I went to a nightclub to celebrate a friend’s birthday. It was the first time I’d set foot inside a nightclub, but not a bar, since surgery. The bar was on January 4 for another friend’s birthday. This night, it would be a full on dance club venue, and I would be tempted to see if my body could dance.
We got there and the music was nothing I’d like to dance to, anyway. My husband took my coat upstairs to coat check, and I hung out with friends and acquaintances until he returned. Because I didn’t really know anyone, naturally I wanted a drink. Old habits never die. I ended up getting pretty drunk that night. This is the third time I’d had alcohol since surgery.
I didn’t make an ass out of myself or anything, but I do feel guilty that I drank so much. I was indeed a bit hungover the next day.

?, My husband, me, Caroline

?, My husband, me, Caroline.

Sharon and me

Sharon and me

Two things accomplished despite the pain

This morning my husband confirmed that he would be late to work so that he could take me to the DMV to renew my license. I hopped in the shower and made myself all pretty and off we went. We made it in time and only had to wait 15 minutes, thanks to me having made an appointment. That standing around though, first for the fee paying for the new license, and second for the photo, caused a lot of pelvic pain. There literally was nowhere to sit. I was on 1 Soma and a half a Tylenol 3 plus 400mg Advil, so I was sleepy and yet still in pain. The trapped nerve in the neck was behaving, at least.
Once I got through everything, I was told my new license will be in the mail in 2-4 weeks.

My husband had parked a few blocks away because the DMV was so packed – I overheard a woman telling someone that the Hayward DMV had closed down, that’s why the Fremont DMV, usually a quicker adventure, was now looking like Oakland (packed out the door all day long. So my husband had parked a few blocks away. I shuffled along and my husband was impatient and worrying about getting to work, so I told him to go on ahead of me. We agreed to meet at the half-way point – at the Smog Station across the street. I went in and used the restroom, and met my husband outside. We drove back home and on the way, I took another half Tylenol 3 for the pain.

The bleeding had subsided ever since my shower this morning, which I was grateful for, but of course the continuing pain let me know that more gushing will be on the way.

I got home and rested a bit, then got a burst of energy, so I tackled the pile of homework still waiting to be finished. I got five illustrations done! I hope to finish off Binder #4 tonight for my Language Arts class, and do some more work on the Rationale paper for that class. Any homework I have left to do is LONG overdue, but I will eventually finish it and hand it in, and will still receive a grade. I’ve not stopped being anxious and guilty about it but I’ve stopped freaking out over it. I come to accept the fact that I’ll still be proud of myself no matter when I turn the homework in, and that all of their threats to have people turn in homework in a 2 week turnaround were mostly empty threats poorly designed to try to motivate people through fear. Which is hilarious, considering the book Positive Discipline, which is so encouraged throughout our Teacher Practicum seminars. But who says anyone ever listens to their own advice or reason. This training center certainly doesn’t.

Around 1:50pm, I re-upped my medication and took 1 Soma and 400mg Advil. I have not needed the Tylenol 3 since this morning, because the cramps abated, and the bleeding still had not resumed.

The Soma made me sleepy, and around 3pm or so, I took a nap in my own bed. I slept for nearly two hours, and woke from some crazy dreams, which I’m sure were medication-induced. I can’t even remember them, now. I think it had to do with a classroom.
I noticed that the bleeding had resumed, but only by a tiny amount, and I was still free of cramps. The trapped nerve in the neck however was agitated again, but it wasn’t time to take meds, yet.

I made myself some late lunch just after 5:30pm, and have been on the couch ever since, just resting. I am groggy from the Soma. I am still feeling really guilty for having taken today off of work, even though I have been drugged all day and know that without the drugs, I’d be in a lot of pain. The early part of the day, I had pelvic pain despite no bleeding. So it’s still valid and it’s still reasonable that I called off for another day.

What is unreasonable for me is that my body chose to have the calm between the storm in the middle of the day, which means the Last Gasp might not happen until tomorrow. This means I stress out, wondering if I’ll have to come home sick from work tomorrow, too. FOUR DAYS! I have NEVER taken four days off work from this job because of the endometriosis. Ugh. Is it because of the new endo growth? This is month two of really heavy bleeding. Is it due to perimenopause? Is it because of leftover stress from the summer training classes? Four Days!!! I don’t even usually take THREE DAYS off in a row like this. It looks so very bad on the résumé, so to speak, and makes me consider whether I should file for disability again. Bah. I don’t miss 14+ days of work in a month, so there’s no sense in filing. They will reject me again. I really hope this job does not fire me for my increased absences. I cannot afford surgery until spring or summer, so absences will happen every month. :(

Something else I accomplished today – I checked back through my diary to see when the last time was that I took Soma when also dealing with endometriosis cramps, and it seems like it was in 2007.
I also found out from my own Things I’ve Tried page that “Soma dissociates me so nicely from the pain but leaves me moderately to severely depressed after taking it for even one day, contributes vastly to weight gain“.

What was I saying recently about how some things are best forgotten? In this case, it would have done me good NOT to forget. Now I have to monitor myself for further depression. I have already been gaining weight – I’ve gained 6lbs in the past month, and my whole body is feeling it. I don’t know if you can relate but I swear, my FAT hurts in my hips and arse. No joke.

Let’s hope I can undo the trapped nerve in the next couple of days, so I can get off the Soma again. But DAMMIT, it DOES dissociate me so very nicely from the endo pain. Blah.

Symptom tracking

I have spent all day today going back through this blog and digging out information for

Awhile back, I registered with a bunch of symptom tracking websites to try ’em all out. So far, works the best for period tracking, but it’s obvious that the site is there for young women who want to breed, and the site has a lot of limitations to women like me with gynecological disorders who are trying to track our periods.

Despite the limitations, it still seems to do the best report output of compiled data.

Because I have spent all day on this, I don’t feel like rehashing my symptoms here in prose, so I’ll just give the straight up info I’d spewed on the symptom tracking website:

Tuesday, June 1, 2010:
Tylenol 3 at bedtime – partially for cramping, partially for joint pain, partially for brain weasels. This is also the day I had to go to E.R. after going into respiratory distress over an assistant teacher’s perfume. I received 3 shots that day: 1 Benadryl, 1 Atavan, 1 Epinephrine. I slept for most of the day and into the night.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010:
Took 600mg advil before bed due to cramping.

Thursday, June 3, 2010:
Some cramping, nausea, 99.9°F fever.

Friday, June 4, 2010:
My Period – First Day? Yes
Flow: Spotting Flow Color: Brown Clots: none
Comments: Mild cramps – intermittent. Nauseous. Pain around a 4 on the scale. Super tired – in bed by 9pm.

Saturday, June 5, 2010:
Flow: Medium Flow Color: Brown Clots: none
Comments: Spotting turned to flow, then got heavy by nighttime. 7 on the pain scale.

Sunday, June 6, 2010:
Flow: Heavy Flow Color: Dark Red Clots: Medium
Comments: Clots began by nighttime, and I passed a medium one – it took from 10:30pm to 12:30am before it was finally out, and I nearly vomited from the pain. The clot was thick, long. Not very wide. Consumed roughly 2.5 Tylenol 3 and about 1,600mg Ibuprofen for the pain. Had heating pads on all day and night.

Monday, June 7, 2010:
Flow: Medium Flow Color: Red Clots: Small
Comments: Heavy flow in the morning, then medium, then heavy, then medium, then light by nighttime. Took the day off work. Consumed roughly 1,200mg Ibuprofen and 2 Tylenol 3.

I’ve also been having crazy weird dreams and nightmares for the past three or so days – even before I took any Tylenol 3.

I’d like to also note that I have in the past week consumed a lot of cow’s milk ice cream, a lot of mint chocolate candies, and a lot of gluten-free ginger cookies due to out of control sugar cravings.

I have been moderately depressed since my trip to Michigan (May 14 – 23 was the trip), because I am triggered by the horrid housing state in which my mother continues to let herself live in.

Lastly, a note about the weather – I missed out on another gorgeous warm and sunny weekend because I’ve been on the couch since Friday night.

Impatient and frustrated

I’m still convinced the horrible pain I was in last Saturday was a ruptured ovarian cyst, because the bleeding took so long to begin this cycle, and it’s very thick and dark. I slept for about nine hours and woke at 12:30pm yesterday. I was still barely spotting and was not experiencing a lot of pelvic pain. I should have been jumping for joy, right?

Instead, I began fretting over Time.
I was due on Friday. I’m usually on time. Descending to the underworld full speed ahead Friday morning would have meant that by Sunday night, most of the pain and despair would be over with, and I’d have a good chance of returning to work on Monday.

But no. The pain and bleeding ramped up late Saturday afternoon, so that means I have Saturday night and all day Sunday to get this endometriosis cycle out of the way before Monday 8am.

Fat chance.

I hate taking time off work every goddamned month for this illness.

I’ve been fired from two jobs because of this illness, and although I’m assured on the current job that I’m special, needed and wanted despite my illness, I still suffer the PTSD from those two other jobs. One harassed me for months before firing me. One harassed me for a couple of weeks – I quit 2 days before they were to fire me cuz someone leaked it to me.

I hate that I barely make enough money to even try pulling any financial weight around the house. Missing work gives me that much less money to work with. It may as well be babysitting money. I cannot cope with not being able to go halfsies like my husband and I used to do. He assures me it’s fine – that he’s so happy to see my sanity restored by working with kids again instead of in corporate hell. He keeps gushing about seeing all the kids that ran up to the fence Friday afternoon to say goodbye to me as I left work for the weekend. I call them my fan club. ;)

And those poor kids – I currently assist a class of mixed first and second graders. One of their teachers has been out sick for over a month – she’s got something serious and the staff’s not talking much about it. Could be cancer, could be lupus – it’s definitely taken out her immune system and she’s been having surgeries. I spent 3 weeks in that class with the co-teacher, and now I might be out sick for a day or two. The kids can’t take much more upheaval. Some of them were literally sobbing when their teacher came by for a visit Thursday afternoon, they miss her so much.

So it’s pretty obvious then – I don’t like letting people down – and having endometriosis means I will miss work, I will miss parties, I will miss appointments, I will miss out on life. I’ve been meaning to chronicle how many sunny days I lose to endometriosis in a year. It was in the 60s and mostly sunny today, and I couldn’t be out in it to walk around, bicycle, go hiking, because of the pain.
If I can make what I go through as concrete as possible to people, I think that might help quicken the pace towards a cure – more people will demand and fund more research to find a cure for endometriosis.
Education and awareness – it’s a small bit of hope I have.

Serious pain has arrived

I’m bedridden right now, waiting for the Tylenol 3 to kick in, enduring nausea, ragey feelings, sharp stabbing pain in my left pelvic quadrant, and a low body buzz of inflamation.

Today was Day 5 of spotting which rolled into Day 1 of actual flow, around 10:30am.

I had minor pain from the time I woke up this morning, and decided to go in to work. I had stayed home yesterday, expecting the worst, and it didn’t happen. At the moment I had called in sick to work though, the pain and nausea was bad. It just dissipated is all. I was a mental basket case all day yesterday though, so it’s best I stayed home, anyway.

I did a bunch of slow large hip circles before going to work and lamented that I couldn’t do them while on the job cuz it looks too risqué ;)

I wasn’t much better emotionally this morning, cuz when I got to work, both the school director and the financial director said they needed to see me, and the school director offered to take over for my start-of-shift duties. I told her I’d be fine, and went. But of course I fretted to the point of near panic attack, fearing that I was going to be fired for missing work. Hello PTSD!

It turns out that the school director just wanted to know more of how I get through each moment with the pain, and the financial director wanted to go over the purchase request forms I’d submitted for my classroom, to be sure she understood everything before making a store run for the school today. *big sigh of relief*

Today I fluctuated between a 1 and a 3 on the pain scale until 1:15pm.

Just as I was going to my lunch break, my legs felt weak and the pain ramped up to 7.5. I shoved 600mg Advil liqui-gels down my throat while eating watermelon and dried mango, because 5 minutes was too long to wait before my lunch was done cooking in the microwave. I sat through my 45-minute lunch break hunched over the table, my hands trembling as I tried to eat. I seriously considered going home.
I made chit-chat with the school secretary, who was also on her lunch break. We talked about Michigan cuz I finally got plane tickets for my husband and I to visit between Christmas and New Year’s. Her family is from Troy, Michigan. We talked about the seasons and where we’ve traveled within the state.
About 8 minutes before the end of my break, the pain cleared, and I sat up straight, and felt alright. I slowly stood up and the pain didn’t return, nor was there any gush. How excited I was!
I went back to my outdoor classroom and finished out the day, tremendously proud of myself. The pain fluctuated between 1 to 4.5 for the rest of the work day.

As the parents arrived at 3pm to pick up their children, the director of the school came outside and asked me how I fared today. I told her how the day had gone well until my lunch break, and that I toughed it out waiting for the meds to kick in, and they did! No opiates! Just the liqui-gels, and I was ok by the time my break was over.

The director smiled broadly and I told her ‘what luck!’ that I’d had the pain come and go again in-between the time I was around the children. She was happy for me and remarked that she’s watching me in order to gain more understanding of what her own daughter goes through and how she might help her through it. Awww, isn’t that sweet? Seriously! I am happy to tell her whatever she needs to know about endometriosis and how I personally get through each day.

I got home and immediately changed into my pajamas and resumed the slow large hip circles to manage the pain. I tried to get some homework done but couldn’t concentrate and was literally falling asleep at the computer. Around 6:30pm I forced myself to get dressed and went for a 3½ block walk to my favourite sushi joint and got some take-away dinner. I was able to walk briskly and surprisingly, I had energy to burn. The pain fluctuated between 1 and 3 over the half-mile round trip.

Around 8pm I was trying to do homework again when I was seized by fatigue once more. I fought it a second time and decided to make a grocery run. I noticed that walking had become more laborious. But still, I was alright when I walked into Safeway. The pain was about a 4 on the scale. However, while shopping I became nervous and felt like a panic attack may occur. I felt a low full body buzz beginning. Then my legs started to get weak. I finished up and got the hell out of there to make it to Trader Joe’s next door before closing time.
It was just after 8:30pm, and as I stepped out of Safeway, it felt like every foot forward was leaden. I felt like I was walking in slow motion. My body just didn’t want to carry on. I forced myself to keep walking, despite the heaviness and fatigue I felt.

The pain reached a 7 on the pain scale by the time I got to the checkout lane. I thought I was maintaining outwardly pretty well, until the clerk looked at me to greet me and worry crossed his brow. He asked how I was doing in that “are you alright?” sort of tone. I quietly and nervously replied ‘okay, how are you”. :/

By the time I got back to my car, the pain had reached an 8 on the pain scale. I was able to drive the half mile back home, but could barely get out of my car. I literally had to sit there for a minute to steel myself and force myself out of my car.

When I got in the house, I took a Tylenol 3, got back into my pajamas, and crawled into bed with the laptop. Screw the Ibuprofen, I needed immediate whacking of the pain. Still, it took roughly 25 minutes for the meds to take effect, and the nausea almost won out.

But here I am, pleasantly stoned, laying in bed with heating pad and laptop. I made it through the pain and chronicling said pain.

Where is my husband, you may ask?

Band practice.

Sometimes I’m bitter at his absense during my intense pain in which I am left to fend for myself.

Other times I am okay with it because honestly, there’s nothing he can do aside from fetch things for me. I didn’t NEED to go to the grocery store tonight. I was stubborn and went, because I’d rather have done that than have gone to bed at 8pm like my body wanted to do.

Tonight was a mixed bag. I’m still emotionally a bit of a basket case.
I hate the hormonal whack that comes with menses.

Bedridden again

The emotional effects of the Levonorgestrel lasted through the end of July before I started evening out again.

Menses was due on Wednesday or Thursday but it didn’t arrive until Sunday, August 9, because of having taken the Levonorgestrel in July. The info on the medication box says that one’s next cycle could be early or late +/- 7 days. Mine was late by 3.5 days.

All of last week at work, I had hypoglycemic attacks. This happens every month right before my period, but usually 2-3 days before my period, not a full 7 days. Ugh.
I also had minor uterine cramping and low back pain on and off for a week before menses.

On Saturday, August 8, I had cramps bad enough that I took 600mg Ibuprofen. I didn’t want to take half a Tylenol 3 because I didn’t want to be loopy at a wedding I was to attend later that evening. The wedding was great, but I did continue to have cramps on and off all night.

On Sunday, August 9, I was feeling extremely tired. I had housework to get done but just couldn’t find the stamina to get off the couch. I had to babysit at 4pm that day, and at 2:57pm, guess what showed up? I downed 600mg Ibuprofen and rushed to the grocery store to get some freezer food, juice, cereal, and other stuff I thought I might want while bedridden. I rushed back home, scarfed down some food, and then went off to babysit.
I really wanted to cancel the babysitting gig, but it was an hour before the start of my shift when the pain hit, I had no idea how bad the pain would get, and it was this couple’s anniversary that they’d been looking forward to, since they rarely get out on a date night since their son was born 9 months ago. I barely know these people but really wanted them to enjoy their anniversary. So I went over.

Babysitting a 9-month-old means you don’t really get a break. I knew this going into it that I could be faced with calling the parents home early if my pain level got to be unbearable.
This particular baby does not get to sleep unless you vigorously bounce him while dancing around and singing to him. He hates to JUST be sat down and rocked to sleep (unless it’s momma, of course).

So there I was, in pelvic and low back pain, having to in effect do a cardio workout on and off for six hours. The baby himself was not that difficult as far as 9-month-olds go, and he got me to giggle several times with his emerging personality and sense of humour.
After I put him down to bed for the night, however, I finally popped half a Tylenol 3, sat down in front of the TV, and waited for his parents.

When I got home Sunday night, I knew that because of my long day combined with endometriosis pain that going in to work on Monday would not be likely. But I had not made any contingency plans for my absense – there was no accessible Internet access at the house I had been babysitting at, nor did I have my contact list for substitute teachers. By the time I got home, it was too late to begin calling subs. So I set my alarm, took another half Tylenol 3 and went to bed with my heating pad.

I woke twice before my alarm went off early Monday morning. The pain was too much to handle and would not allow for restful sleep. It was 6:45am when I began calling everyone on the list to see who might come in and substitute for me. I can’t even remember if I got anyone or not. I called the main office at the school and told them I would not be in and was trying to find a sub. Then I went back to bed. As usual, I didn’t hear back from the bulk of those whom I’d called, and the two who did get back to me said they could not work for me that day.

I spent all of Monday bedridden and cranky from the medication. I’m still on the Tylenol 3 / Ibuprofen cocktail until I see more specialists and surgeons again, who might be able to help me find something that won’t kill my liver, kidneys and GI tract. I’m to see a gynecological oncologist next Wednesday for surgery. The person they want to refer me to for medicinal treatment however is not covered by our insurance. So I’m still trying to figure that out.

It would also help perhaps if I could remember to stick to my Qigong exercises. Beyond that, I force myself out of bed throughout the day to slowly stretch out my torso and arch backwards to loosen the pelvic region. I do slow large hip circles as featured below:

And I do the reclining bound angle yoga pose:

Sometimes these help. I just sorta figured these exercises/postures out for myself. Sometimes it makes it feel like the pain is getting worse. Personally, I believe that the more often I work the muscles, the better it is towards preventing endometriosis adhesions from sealing into place. I really do not want my left ovary stuck to the back of my uterus again, or any organs stuck to my pelvic sidewall again if I can just keep everything moving instead of curling up fetal in a ball of pain and just sitting there.

Whatever works and whatever helps ease the mind as well as the body…

Last night by 7pm I had a feeling I would not be well enough to return to work on Tuesday, so I began a new round of calling teachers. I was able to find someone to work for me on Tuesday, but still I set my alarm and went to bed.
I got up when the alarm went off and instantly pain shot through my pelvic region and lower back. I took another Tylenol 3 and went back to bed. :(

I got up again to see my husband off to work, and I’ve been sitting in a Tylenol 3 haze ever since.

If I have to miss work again tomorrow, I will officially start fearing for my job security again.

Another job discriminates

George finally showed up last night, but the pain wasn’t so bad.

However, I woke in pain just before 3:30am and had to pace the house for a bit, it hurt so bad. I took a whole Tylenol 3 (as opposed to half, which I often try first) and drank as much water as I could. I microwaved the rice heating pad and went back to bed, where I spent the next half hour whimpering and readjusting my position in bed, until the drugs kicked in and sent me back to sleep.

I was of course groggy when I woke for work at 6:30am. The pain set in again before 7am but I tried to ignore it. I ate my breakfast and prepared something quick for the potluck at school today. I had all evening after work yesterday to get something for the potluck, but I didn’t do it because I was too grumpy and sore to go back out again, and couldn’t decide what to do for the potluck. That’s a major symptom of george – indecisiveness. Whether it’s PMS or endometriosis-related, I don’t know, and don’t care. But I do know that I lack completely the ability to make even the smallest decisions just before and during my period.
So anyway, this morning I ignored the pain and prepared something for the potluck, and set off to work. The pain slammed me on the way in to work. I drove – I did not bicycle to work yesterday or today because of the premenstrual pain I’ve been in.

I brought to work with me two pieces of paper – one from my surgeon and one from my current gynecologist, both saying that I have an incurable stage III illness which leaves me bedridden each month. I requested to speak with the director as soon as I got to work, and told her that until now, I’ve not had to miss work on account of my condition, but as of now, my body is not holding up well, and so it’s time that she knew about it.

The director was pissed. She said, “THIS is why we have the health screen.”

Now, the health screen issue… I started this job only two months ago, in April. I got the health screen and it said I had to have a physical. So I called to get a physical. There were no physical appointments until JUNE. So I took the earliest possible and let the director know.
The director got all in my shit about it and told me that IT’S JUST A HEALTH SCREEN, YOU DON’T NEED A PHYSICAL. She further lectured me about how doctors offices will force you to get a physical because they don’t make any money on just signing a piece of paper certifying me as healthy.
I went back to the doctor’s office and told them I don’t need a physical, just sign the paper to say I can work. They fought it for weeks. Back and forth I went with the doctor and the director, while keeping my appointment for the phsyical.
Then I went out of country on my honeymoon, so I was gone for most of May.
I returned to work and started the fight up again. The doctor’s office finally relented and said they’d sign the health screen only if I include my job description. So I took the paper BACK to the director AGAIN and told her they have to know what job I’m performing to certify me as healthy enough to do it.
So I just got the friggin paperwork yesterday from the director and as she was looking over it she read aloud the part where it says I MUST have a physical if it’s been over a year since my last one. She stopped herself short and her eyes popped out of her head, because she realised what she’s been saying to me the entire time. I just stood there and waited for her to pick up her jaw, then when she said, “OH. OKAY…”, I told her I’m pretty sure I still have my appointment, and will check with the doctor’s office.

This woman is always loud, brash, accusatory, demanding, condescending and lecturing in nature. Always. It bugs the shit outta me.

So today when I went in with my gynecologist notes, I knew there’d be trouble.
When she told me “THIS is why we have the health screen”, it meant point blank, “Had you gotten the paperwork filled out BEFORE we hired you, we could have found out that you have endometriosis and not hired you.”

But there’s no way to do the paperwork BEFORE hiring me, because they needed me to start ASAP and hired me on the spot. I didn’t even have a proper orientation because they needed me on the floor that badly, and I agreed to it.

Implying as she did that she would not have hired me had she known about my condition is against the law, which means I have to contact the labor board again to cover my ass.

I always knew since the first time it happened that I’d have to go back to the labor board again.

After our little chat this morning, I typed up a letter to the director, which referenced the doctor’s notes I gave her, and which also made mention to the FACT that for the two months that I have been working there, I have not missed one day of work due to endometriosis so far. I then mapped out the next four months and the dates that I could possibly miss work due to endometriosis pain. I dated and signed the document, made two copies, and slipped one into her mailbox. She thanked me at the end of the day for having done that.

AT THE END OF THE DAY. Because I stayed at work for the whole day. She even commented as I was leaving, “you’re still here! You did it!” But the fact is, there were no children at school today – it’s teacher week only this week. I took a Tylenol 3 and twice today took 600mg Ibuprofen to get through the work day. I fought to stay awake and fought through the pain all damned day. Every half hour was “I should leave. I really shouldn’t be here.” But I pushed on.
Had children been present, I would have gone home, because I could not have supervised in the state I was in.

Tomorrow I may stay home from work. I won’t know til tomorrow right before I’m supposed to leave for work if I’m going to be able to make it in or not.
And thus begins the “I wonder if I’m fired yet” monthly anxiety and PTSD that has plagued me at two other jobs in the past two years.

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!


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.


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.

This past week, and looking forward

George arrived on Sunday, March 8 at 6:48pm. I’d been cleaning the house all afternoon in preparation for george, and documenting it for YouTube.

I’d been documenting different parts of the video all day as ideas and the script came to me, and getting excited as to how all the parts would fit together at time of edit. This was the first video I was creating that would have a soundtrack and voice over parts, and my confidence level was high – I would figure out how to put it all together in iMovie.

I was in the bedroom, photographing the stuff I would use to entertain myself with while bedridden, when suddenly my face and ears flushed. I felt stingingly hot and winded. I went to the bathroom and there was george – a day early. There was bright spotting at first, and the pelvic cramping returned. I immediately popped 600mg ibuprofen, dropped everything I was doing around the house, and zoomed off to the store to finish grocery shopping.

By the time I returned home an hour later, the pelvic pain was at 6.5 on the Mankoski Pain Scale. I can’t recall but I think I took Tylenol 3 before bed that night.

On Monday, I went from bright spotting to dark brown spotting, and then it turned bright red by evening time. I note this because all through 2008, I had dark brown coffee ground type material on my first two to three days of menses before the heavy bright red flow set in. And then it was November 7, 2008 when I was diagnosed with a 4cm ovarian cyst, which left me very ill throughout the month of November. I went on a detox diet for liver and kidneys that month, and by the end of November, the cyst had shrunk to 1.6cm.
I’ve had dark brown spotting on and off since November. I’ve only had one month so far that menses started off bright red and stayed that way throughout.
A healthy menstrual cycle is supposed to be nice and bright from day one of menstruation. The dark stuff means something not right is going on inside, such as a cyst. So I keep track of the colouration every month, now.

Going back further in time a bit – after my last day working over in Daly City, on Friday, March 6, I went to a health food store I always frequented when I used to live in that area ten years ago. I picked up some liquid iron supplement, and also purchased iron supplement pills. I spoke at length with the dietician running the register, and he told me that for my condition, my doctor would probably put me on 1,800mg “of the harsh stuff”, meaning the really constipating iron tabs. He sold me stuff that’s supposed to be much more gentle on the stomach and intestines. I’ve been taking the iron since Saturday, March 7th: 100mg per day of the capsules and 4tbsp (20ml) per day of the liquid stuff.
That is to say, I’ve been taking three times the recommended dosage of the capsules, and two times the recommended dosage of the liquid, because I lose so much blood every month, and because a year ago last April, when I was in the emergency room, I was told I may need a blood transfusion with all the blood I’d lost (I declined treatment, I just wanted to go home cuz I’d had a horrible hospital experience).

Tuesday is when the cycle got very heavy and painful. That day was the Full Moon. My pain level was at a 7-8 all day on the pain scale. I went through a lot of Tylenol 3 that day. So much in fact that I’d wager to say I overdosed a bit, because by evening time I had mild hallucinations and found it difficult to breathe. Despite having taken so much Tylenol 3, I was highly productive on Tuesday. Being that high allowed me to dissociate from the pain and work on my YouTube video quite a bit.

On Wednesday, I woke from a medication-induced nightmare which left me on edge for much of the morning because it involved friends disowning me. The pain and bleeding was moderately heavy, but it fluctuated all day. I ranged from a 4 to a 7.5 on the pain scale for much of the day, but despite that, I was very tired and listless all day. I refused pain medication for much of the day because I didn’t like how much I’d taken the day before. It wasn’t until around 9:30pm that I resumed taking Tylenol 3, because the pain and bleeding ramped up again. I went to bed feeling 8 on the pain scale.

Thursday is when I had my Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.
First off, I woke up from another medication-induced nightmare in which tornadoes, my father, my husband and some friends were involved.
But I fully expected to feel better after having two heavy pain and bleedy days. This was not the case. If you can believe it, the bleeding was even heavier than the previous two days. I was soaking a pad an hour, I was dizzy, off balance, disoriented. I took my pain meds and considered whether I should go to hospital emergency. Every time I stood up or adjusted my position, I soaked a pad.
I had just stood up and had picked up my bottle of orange juice, when the lid popped off and the bottle fell from my hands, splashing all over the place. It wasn’t even 10:30am yet. I wrote about it after cleaning everything up, but my bad day didn’t end, there. After cleaning up the mess, my pain got considerably worse of course, what with all the stooping, bending and mopping I had done. I took my rice heating pads to the kitchen to heat them up in the microwave, and shrieked.


We’ve been having trouble with ants for the past few weeks, and have tried several remedies. The ants always find a new way into the house. In the two and a half years we’ve lived here, we’d never had ant invasions until this year. Because of the recurring ant invasions, I’ve come to scrutinize any room I enter before going about my business in that room. This means that I had just been in the kitchen less than an hour prior to my re-entry, and there were no ants. And yet here they were now, a full busy highway of them. They had found my cats’ water dish but surprisingly not their kibble. They were having an all out pool party in the water bowl. Miscellaneous ants crawled about the kitchen, checked out the liquor shelf, and cruised alongside the bottom of the refrigerator. The source of their entry was through an opening in the cabinets below the kitchen counter. This is the area – that entire back wall of the kitchen – in which the ants have been trying to come in through various sources for weeks, now. They’ve even tried coming in through light switches.

Upon entering the kitchen and seeing this, I put down my heating pads and sobbed. I had to clean up this mess NOW, or else I’d go mad, and the ants would be in the cat food and in the fridge within minutes.

Good thing I’d already popped a second Tylenol 3.

I set to work with the ‘Bugs R Done’ orange spray. After coating the kitchen in that stuff, I opened windows to air out the house, and mopped up ant carcasses. To the latest entry point, I applied ‘Ant Eater’ brand anticide, which contains diatomaceous earth and clove oil. I then stripped down and took a nice hot shower. While showering, several ants streamed out of the towel rack in the shower and began running up and down the shower wall.
I sobbed and sobbed. Depression set in full force at this point.

My husband came home early from work, bringing peppermint and cinnamon oils in tow. He moved the fridge out, cleaned up under it, and we applied soaked cotton full of the oils to various potential ant entry points around the kitchen.

I went to bed early last night – around 9:30pm – as the bleeding tapered off. I laid in bed first listening to progressive relaxation tapes, then reading The Witching Hour – a book I first fell in love with back in 1995. I had three heating pads on various parts of my body. I finally was able to get to sleep around midnight.

We’ve not had any further ants and hopefully it’ll stay that way.

Today I am feeling better. I’m back to spotting again. I have mild to moderate low back pain. The problem today is that around 9am this morning I had black, bloody stools. This is important to note in relation to my iron supplement discussion above, because it is a sign of iron toxicity. Insofar as symptoms go, I also have metallic taste in my mouth, and a headache. So I’ll be laying off the iron supplements altogether until I see my doctor. I have an appointment today at 2:45pm.

Tomorrow, I’ll be up in Calistoga for an all day spa event for a bride-to-be. I’m a bridesmaid in her wedding next month, and so we are treating ourselves and the bride to massages, swimming, relaxing, and dinner. We’ll cap off the night with a girly slumber party and then come back home on Sunday.

This Monday, it’s the 16-year anniversary of a local nightclub, and so my husband and I will be heading out to that.

Coming up this Tuesday, I have an appointment with Social Security Disability Insurance, which will likely be a waste of my time. I set up the appointment yesterday in the throes of my depression, because I am feeling unemployable again due to the fact that I have just missed another week of potential work, and I can’t shake it from my head that the last job might have continued had I not been out sick for nearly a full week every month, and the daycare agency never called me back when I asked to be reinstated (that’s the same agency that told me “I knew it! Every time I need you you are not available!” in August, 2008, because they seemed to only call me on a monthly basis, and when I was bedridden).

I talked to state disability yesterday. They told me that per their rules, they can only pay out a maximum of 55% of one’s paycheck, which means one must be inable to work for more than 14 days out of each month. Because I can work 23-26 days out of each month, I do not qualify as disabled per their requirements. So although I am potentially unemployable due to my health conditions, I fall through the cracks for state assistance. I was referred by state to federal. I know that will be a joke, too, but at least they’ll take time to interview me rather than just deny me outright.

This Tuesday, I also have an interview for a nanny position. I know I will ace the interview because I am confident in my skills and educational background. But I am not confident I will get the job once they find out about my health condition. I go back and forth on the issue of whether or not to divulge my health condition.
We’ll see how it goes.

Next Saturday, I’ve got an appointment to get my hair coloured. I’ve not done anything colour-wise with my hair since the wedding five months ago. I’ve been letting all the colour and length grow out so I can get the copper and red tones I originally wanted before that one hairstylist screwed up my hair just weeks before our wedding last year. The woman I’ll be seeing next Saturday is the miracle worker who fixed what the other hairdresser had done to me.

Catching up

Last week I got george three days early. This happened in the middle of the work week, and I noticed that the dark old blood was back again. Last month was the only month in over a year now that I did not have the dark old blood. So I wonder again, what’s going on inside of me? Is another ovarian cyst growing?
Ugh. I hate guessing. I want a full body scanner to read out exactly what’s going on, dammit!!!

Anyway, I notified the people I nanny for and was asked to please try to come in to work. I medicated with 800mg Ibuprofen and went to work. I did okay on Wednesday, February 11. I went to work again on Thursday, February 12. However, the pelvic pain set in. I was still only spotting the dark stuff at that point. I took 800mg Ibuprofen twice during my shift (every 4 hours). I was so tired I could barely function – this is what the endometriosis does to me. Even bending down to pick up a toy for cleanup time gets me winded and exhausted to no end. Climbing stairs with an 11-month old on my hip made me just want to collapse from weakness.
I told the parents I work for that I would not be any good to come in on Friday, February 13th. Thankfully, the mom had already planned to stay home that day in case I was a day early. Thankfully being three days early still allowed me to work two out of three. Jeez.

Friday I stayed home and that’s when the real bleeding and pain set in. I was bedridden all day. We had plans that night to see Cinematic Titanic – my husband was really looking forward to this because he’s such a huge fan of the people behind the production. They’re the ones who also did Mystery Science Theatre 3000 (MST3K in case you’ve been living under a rock). I didn’t want the pain to get me down so I told my hubby I’d still go with him.

Well, apparently he didn’t know the area we were going to very well, or forgot, or was so blinded by his desire to see this show that he lost sight of the fact that I’d been bedridden all day. I told him while we were still parking that this is a hilly area, and I was not in any shape for climbing hills. He parked the car in a local garage, we got out and BAM I was right – hills. I got very depressed and angry. I told him I wanted to cry. He kept looking upwards and onwards to that destination up the San Francisco hill. So I told him in my weak shakey voice that he could have dropped me off at the entrance. I told him I’m about to cry and that I feel taken advantage of for his own selfish desires.
He hung his head. He asked if I wanted to just turn back now. I defiantly told him NO, that he wasn’t going to put this guilt on me like that. He slouched as we walked. I knew he wanted to see the damned Cinematic Titanic. I knew he’d be bitter if I made him turn around now, a block and a half away from our destination. I took baby steps. He was rushed but tried to slow down for me. I was the bitter one.
I told him to never do this again.
When we got to the theatre, I popped half a Tylenol 3 so I wouldn’t be so high that I’d need to curl up on the floor and sleep.

I did enjoy a few laughs during the show. But the theatre chairs were not made for the big people of the 21st century. I’m 5’5″ tall and weigh 170lbs, so while I’m overweight, I’m not morbidly obese. But I was spilling out of the theatre chair. And the chair back was uncomfortable. And there was an obese man sitting on each side of me, also spilling into my personal space because of the small chairs.
My shoulders and lower back and legs ached from trying to hold still in clenched centered position for over an hour.

I popped the other half the the Tylenol3 when we got out of there. My husband told me to wait in the lobby while he went and fetched the car. I sat on a hard bench. I should have gone back into the establishment and found a nice soft chair to sit on, but I didn’t know if my husband had enough sense to call me when he got to the front door, or just sit there in the car waiting for me.

He dropped me off at home and then went to an all-weekend game convention.

I’m not normally angry and demeaning towards my husband, but man I was really not happy with him that night!!!

I was bedridden Saturday and Sunday as well. A friend was visiting from Seattle, and came over Saturday afternoon to hang with me, even though I wasn’t feeling well. He bought me Indian food for dinner and we rented movies to watch. He ended up staying the night because his plans with other friends fell through. I wasn’t feeling any better on Sunday, and still bleeding like a stuck pig, so I was relieved when my friend was suddenly phoned by his other friends. I mean, I like my friend of course but I just wasn’t well, y’know?

It’s a good thing he didn’t stick around because Sunday afternoon is when the pain got so bad and ramped up so fast that the meds didn’t have time to take effect, that I sobbed for an hour. I started off trying to do the simple yoga I was taught for the pain – the child’s pose or turtle pose as it’s called. Well, that made me scream in pain. I took a second Tylenol 3. I paced the house. I laid on my back with the heating pad. I did my breathing exercises. I kneeled against the bed with the heating pad. I sobbed. I considered calling for an ambulance because there was no one in the house with me and I was scared again. I thought about calling my husband home from the convention.

I knew neither of those options would work, because I knew that the pain would be gone by the time aid arrived. And I was right. Right about the one hour mark, it was all over. The knifing pains up my ass and through my pelvic region ceased. And the meds allowed me to rest and sleep.

I stayed on Tylenol 3 at regular intervals for the rest of the day/night.

I awoke on Monday feeling much better. I still wrestled with moderate low back pain, but the pelvic and anal knifing had stopped and the bleeding had tapered way off. I even got some housework done on Monday.

I got to work on Tuesday and at the end of the day I was given 2.5 weeks notice of my dismissal. The reason given was that the baby is nearly a year old and badly needs socialisation with other children (there are no nearby parks, playgroups or anything for this poor child). I was told they really like having me around but it’s important that she be around other children now that she’s on the cusp of talking and walking. While I understood her points and agreed completely, I couldn’t shake off the flashbacks that started flooding in.

It was October, 2007 and I had just returned to work from absence after another 4 days bedridden. I wasn’t on the job for 2 hours before I was called into HR and fired for my monthly absences.

No matter how much I agree with the family I work for now, part of me wants to cry and part of me feels like a failure and part of me wants to scream ‘discrimination!’ again. It’s the PTSD. And anyway, the family has a rock solid alibi.
The thing is, I wanted out anyway – not because of the family or the child – but because the commute kills me. It’s just that I didn’t get out on my terms is all.
And it kinda sucks that I only got in half a year with them. I was hoping to make it to a year so I could then go to the nanny agencies and be hired (they require a year experience).
We’ll see if I can also count the week I did for a friend and the three months I did for another family. That gives me 9 months at least.

So now I have until my next cycle to see if I can line up another job, much closer to home.
The only reason I’ll be stressed out is if my husband finds some urgency with me getting a job ASAP. Otherwise, I’m going to go at my own pace, dammit.