Second Laparoscopy: Day 35 post-op

Friday, January 21, 2011

I was still spotting. On Thursday night, I had set my alarm to wake after 8 hours sleep, to try to get back into the routine of waking to an alarm.

I woke between 2 and 3 am after a dream that Ms. Wendy, surrounded by her husband and her Ashram folks, had died. Her husband quietly proclaimed, “she has awakened.” The mood in the room was joyful, everyone was proud of Wendy for ascending. I felt this joy, but the moment I woke from the dream, I was filled with sadness. I was immediately aware of the idea of not letting go, of holding on to material things, including people. My husband happened to be up at that moment – he had come back from the bathroom and was climbing back into bed, so I told him about the dream and he held me. I was able to drift back to sleep.

When I woke for the day, I had breakfast, posted a memorial to my departed uncle and wished love to my family, and arranged to meet up with a friend at a local park. I wanted to ride my bicycle, but it’s behind a bunch of stuff in storage unit, so I got the bright idea to roller skate!

It was a 15 minute trek from my home to the park, so I put my skates on and tried it out. I only stopped for a few seconds before continuing on in my clunky, out of practice way. My arms flailed, my legs felt like Frankenstein walking.

About 2/3 the way to the park, I finally fell into my groove and skated more like a hockey player. I was still clunky but getting there. A nice, even asphalt street would have made things perfect for me; alas, the road was patchwork for most of the route to the park.

By the time I arrived at the park, I had used up most of my spoons. :(
I was tired and sore. My friend and her toddler showed up, and we hung out. I ran into two parents from the school I work at and chatted with them for a bit.

After hanging out at the park, I walked home, which took about half an hour. I was too exhausted and sore to put the skates back on.

When I got home, I ate some junk food, went to Costco with my husband for some school supplies, came home and endured a horrible sales transaction between a friend and a mental neighbor. I popped 1mg lorazepam to deal with it, and then my husband and I went off to cheap sushi to make it all better.

I came home, exhausted from all the exercise I’d gotten, and went to bed. However, it didn’t stop my husband from making eyes at me, LOL. Guess I wasn’t so tired after all!

Firsts: intimate with husband for first time since surgery.
Complication: dry. This never happens. Further exploration of this matter needed! ;)

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

Second Laparoscopy: Day 18 post-op

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I woke up at 6:45am and got ready for a psychiatric appointment. Since I had been out with my husband last night, this meant that I got 6 hours of sleep when I’d been so used to 8 solid hours, so I was really tired.

Outside it was so cold that there was frost on my car windows. I’m glad I’ve kept my snow scraper with me all these years after having moved from Michigan! It came in real handy that day.

After scraping ice off half the windshield

After scraping ice off half the windshield


It doesn’t snow at ground level in the Bay Area, but every winter does bring some frost on the ground and on the cars. After scraping and warming up my car, I successfully drove to my appointment, but was late because parking was stupid. The meters in two out of the three places I tried to park were not working correctly. Finally I parked and went inside the building. They have an elevator, so I used that rather than brave the stairs first thing in the morning. My mid back was already stiff and sore from getting into my little Neon, driving, and getting out of the car again. Any time I have to twist side to side for anything, the pain ramps back up again.

My psychiatrist still wants me to try Abilify. She’s been pushing this on me since September, 2010 and I’ve been too afraid to try it because of all the side effects. She offered to get me an even smaller prescription dose than she gave me in September (which is still sitting in the cabinet), and she said while I’m off work already, this should be the best time to try the Abilify to see if I will have side effects.

My rationale states that I want to be alert to any possible surgical side effects FIRST. I don’t want to try to figure out if my mood or whatnot is caused by EITHER surgery OR the Abilify. Too much on my plate, y’know?

After I got out of the psychiatry appointment, I decided to take the stairs down instead of using the elevator. There were three flights of stairs. I took it slowly, but by the time I reached the bottom, sure enough I had pelvic cramping going on.

When I got home, despite being in pain, I wanted to get some housework done, so I tackled laundry. I slowly loaded up my laundry basket with two loads’ worth of dirty clothes, and then scooted the basket over to a waiting luggage cart. I finagled the basket up onto the luggage cart and secured it, then towed the laundry basket out to the back of the house where the laundry room is.

After the first load washed and I had put it into the dryer and the second load into the wash, I took a nap, because all of that had worn me out. I set out 600mg Advil and a half Tylenol 3 for the pain, but then refused to take the meds all day because I’m stubborn like that.
I slept for nearly an hour.

After my nap, I was still really tired, but I brought in my laundry and just let it sit (folded) in the basket. I threw myself together to go join a friend for her birthday dinner. We were late, which made me feel bad, but it all worked out. She was at a Mediterranean restaurant, and since I still have not reintroduced solid meat to my diet, there was very little I could eat. The waiter cobbled together a vegetable plate for me, consisting of sliced asparagus and bell peppers, and I used those to dip into the Hummus. I also drank red wine for the first time since before surgery. I was happy to have the wine because my social anxiety was spiking again. There were only five of us for dinner, but still, I felt very awkward socially.

To my glee, I did not have any major digestive problems with the vegetables or the wine! Yay! The bell peppers usually give me heartburn, but even that was minor on that night. Awesome.

Our friend left to go off to a dancing class, and we paid her bill, being that she was the birthday girl. We then got back to our car and my husband drove us over to Forbidden Island Tiki Bar, where we met up with two more friends who had secured an area for our birthday girl. We hung out and had drinks – I drank an Exotica (Coffee liquor and other flavours in a martini glass), a Chamborlada (Chambord and Pina Colada), and part of my friend’s birthday Fugu drink that she could not finish. That was enough to get me pretty tipsy, nay, drunk. Thankfully, not a sloppy or embarrassing drunk. Chatty, yes. Having fun, yes. It was a good night.

At Forbidden Island Tiki Bar for a friend's birthday

At Forbidden Island Tiki Bar for a friend's birthday


We got home around midnight and I went immediately to bed after consuming a pint of water. I had to be up the next day for my post-op appointment in San Francisco.

Firsts for Day 18:

  • Drove alone on my own to Oakland and back – stiffness and soreness returned.
  • Did my own laundry, using a luggage cart to haul the basket.
  • Worked on some homework.



  • Still having pain with climbing stairs and driving.
  • Lifting anything over 5lbs is still painful.



  • Still having thick mucous vaginal discharge – doesn’t smell foul anymore. Is likely ovulation.

So there’s going to be a second surgery.

On Friday, September 10th, I started feeling low pelvic discomfort/fullness. I had the need to ‘check’ myself all day to see if menstruation had begun.

Saturday morning, my husband and I were intimate, and I experienced pain as I often do. :( I noticed bright red bleeding right afterwards. I assumed this was just the little pool of blood that sometimes leaks out from the cervix and sits at the end of the vaginal canal right before menstruation begins. Within half an hour of intimacy, I experienced uterine cramps which lasted all day. However, as I had hoped, the bleeding turned to spotting quickly enough, and then stopped by afternoon. For the pain, I took 600mg Ibuprofen in the late morning, then took half a Tylenol 3 and more Ibuprofen in the late afternoon.
My husband and I went to a housewarming party that night, and I brought my heating pad with me. I did need it. :( I took another half a Tylenol 3 around 9:45pm, and got all the codeine effects – dizziness, fuzzy-headed, super sleepy, heightened sensitivity to light and noise, etc. Those things don’t mix well with a very alcohol-ladden house party. We were home a few minutes before midnight…on a Saturday night…because of my pain. LAME.

The night out, despite the pain, was not too bad. I had my usual bout of social anxiety, and I was a bad girl and took a few sips of whiskey (it had honey it it, how could I not?). As we were saying we wanted to leave, the hostess said she needed to re-introduce me to a friend of hers, who also has endometriosis.

So I talked with another endo sister and stayed awhile longer at the party. ;)
She highly recommends Dr. Cook down in Los Gatos. He’s the guy who only accepts one’s money, not insurance, but the woman I talked to last night is three years post op and says the pain has not returned. She had stage IV endometriosis, and had to have one ovary removed, as well as part of her vagina, her cervix and her uterus. She also had to have part of her bowels resected, because of the endometriosis. Really bad stuff. I asked a lot of questions about the one ovary thing – since I am convinced that I’ll have to lose my left ovary eventually (this is twice now that it’s been pulled by adhesions to my uterus).
She told me that because she had so much removed, her body freaked out. She told me that although the endometriosis pain disappeared, she had to contend with nerve damage on her bowels, and all of her organs trying one by one to shut down on her. She ended up with asthma and skin lesions and extreme fatigue and all sorts of stuff, which took over a year to clear up, and only with the help of some kind of metabolic therapy. She said she was dying a slow death. To this day, three years later, she still has issues with either keeping in or letting out a bowel movement, I forget which.
Despite such horrific issues, she says she’s glad she had the surgery.

My opinion is: given the choice between knowing the behaviour of my illness and not knowing if I will die from all the pain and suffering caused by a surgery such as described above, I will always choose my illness. Given the choice between a one year recovery and my current illness, I’ll take my current illness because I miss less time off work and thusly less money. Given the choice between possible permanent nerve damage from surgery and my current illness, I might prefer my current illness. Depends on where the nerve damage, is, I guess. I don’t think I would like to have to live with bladder or bowel control issues for the rest of my life. That stuff isn’t supposed to happen until I’m elderly. :p

For over a year now, I’ve been going on about needing excision laparoscopy to properly treat my pain, and now that I’ve talked to a woman in person who has had excision done, now I am chickening out. This is silly. I can easily get just as much nerve damage from electrocoagulation surgery as I can from excision surgery. Hell, I can get organ damage just from the laparoscope going into me. So this fear stuff needs to stop.

…there’s something else. When I did a search on my blog for how many times I mentioned ‘excision’, I read back through my entries and got really mad. You know, the human brain forgets things, and there’s something to be said about that. I feel like had I just left all those feelings forgotten, then I wouldn’t be so angry as I am right now with doctors who wrote me off, with all the time I waste trying to find the right specialist, only to be slapped in the face by people saying stuff like, “DO YOU LIKE BEING IN PAIN? THEN GO GET ANOTHER ELECTROCOAGULATION SURGERY” or “I TOLD YOU ABOUT THIS PERSON A YEAR AGO, WHY DIDN’T YOU LISTEN TO ME”.

If I hadn’t read through my old blog entries, then I might not be so mad as I am right now at my husband. But the thing is, forgetting also destines one to repeat history. And this is recent history – the blog entry I’m referring to is from February – only seven months ago. We’re in a cycle, and it does no good to keep forgetting that the finances issue is a HUGE issue. I DID go to school this summer after my husband insisted that I go, and insisted that our tax return money would cover it. When the tax return money ran out towards the end of the summer and my husband had to foot $1,000 more of his own money, all hell broke loose. We’re still reeling financially and emotionally, and then I get told I must have another surgery ASAP.

Back on February 4, I said I could EITHER have surgery OR go to school because we don’t have enough money to do both. This was before our tax return. Once we got the tax return filed on February 20, my husband said I should go back to school, and I agreed. We both thought at that point that surgery could wait.

Who knew that surgery would be deemed necessary the same year? There was no way of knowing that.

But the same frustrations I expressed about our finances are still at the forefront of our relationship today. We did have that talk back in February, and he did say that he would support and help me and that he would stop being wishy-washy. The one point we did not cover was him also promising not to be grudging or angry when I need money. He never made that promise and his behaviour is still that of grudgingly handing over money when I need it.

Last Wednesday, when I got the surgery summons, I told my husband we needed to talk about finances and planning for the surgery. Friday night, we had that talk. Once again, we got into our modes. He wanted to pledge chivalrous yet ambiguous support for me during and after my surgery. I wanted to run the numbers. I broke out the calculator and my recent timecard and compared it to my earnings before summertime to get an estimate of money that could be saved between now and December, while telling my husband about bills and groceries and things that would need to be taken care of. He sat there, eyes glazed over, zoned out, then began playing a video game on his iPhone.

While running the numbers on my end, and noting his lack of engagement after he initiated the talk, I kept working but did not look at him as I spoke, telling him, “Here’s what I need for you to be doing. I need you to go through your bills and expenses and the last three months of the grocery bills, and tell me roughly how much money you have at the end of the month each month, so that I know what you have to contribute towards the surgery, since you said you would in fact take care of me during and after surgery.”

He stopped playing his game, stared at me for a moment while I continued to work without looking at him. Then he got up in a huff and stomped off to the computer room to run his numbers in angry silence.

And this is how it always goes. He’s all talk and then when it comes time for action, he gets his panties in a twist.

He DID do his numbers and we DID compare things.

The end result of my own assessment was that I cannot afford to save money for surgery to cover the co-pay (up to $1,400 out of pocket) AND any post-op care, AND bills that will still be coming due after surgery while I’ve been off work without a paycheck.

My husband’s assessment showed that he was left with just over $200/mo out of his paycheck, if he had to continue to cover all of the groceries, cat maintenance, and all of my bills post op.
I asked if my husband could set aside money out of his paycheck every payday from now until mid-December in order to have that padding available – to cover all the expenses for up to 2 months post-op. He shared that he has about $1,476 left over after bills are paid each month. I asked if he could carve out $400/mo from now until mid-December (leaving him with $1,076 total in the bank each month, but saving $1,200 to cover me), since my bills due on top of everything else are about $316/mo ($632 if he had to cover me for 2 months).
He replied that he could logically swing it, but would feel uncomfortable doing so, in case other emergency expenses came up. He said it would be cutting it too close.
The end result of his assessment is that he cannot afford to save money now to cover me post-op in December.

This pushes my surgery out to either spring break, which is one week optional work in March, 2011 (holiday daycare week), or sometime in the summer 2011, which is a fixed amount each employee can work during the summer, anyway, due to low enrollment.

At first, I was silently very angry with my husband’s refusal to save $400/mo from now until December. But I calmed down and realised that yes, $1,076 really is in fact in the red for two people, should any tiny emergency crop up. It’s just not doable, and I have to accept that.

After doing our assessments on Friday night, I did not feel any better about how we both emotionally handle things related to finances. I still do not trust that my husband will make good on his word to be there for me. It’s all on me to save the money towards the surgery co-pay and taking care of myself after surgery. I have to start saving now.
When we got married, we agreed to keep finances separate. We only got the joint account to pool money for the honeymoon. That was the only reason we got that account. And even then it didn’t really work out so well – I still put a bunch of shit on my credit cards, and used my money, and he still used his money. The fact remains that he is very guarded over the ginormous amount of money he makes in a year, and is resentful that he has to foot all of the rent and groceries. He makes roughly sixty-five thousand dollars more than me each year, and so when he has to split his income in two to support both of us, he gets pissy.
I make sixty-five thousand dollars less than him each year, so when I easily run out of money and need something, I get all pissy when he won’t just provide the money. I don’t look at it as a spoiled princess or entitled bitch thing. I look at it as a fracking charity thing.

Another thing I found out from my assessment is that missing two or three days of work each month loses me roughly $4,000 every year at the current pay rate. At my highest earnings in the dotcom days, I was losing up to $7,200/year of my paycheck because of missing work due to endometriosis. I posted a study about this on the main Living With Endometriosis site back in April, 2010. My personal cost is much higher, but I don’t know if their costs were net pay or gross pay. My assessment was gross pay.

I still feel the same as I did back in February: “I think it’s best that I just go back to pretending that this is what all women go through every month, and stop trying to treat something which ultimately probably can’t be treated, anyway. I won’t die from my condition. No matter what I’ve tried in the last 23 years, nothing has worked anyway, so why bother to continue trying to fight it. I don’t have anyone but myself to help me financially and emotionally, anyway. Same as it ever was.”

Doing better emotionally

I had my little three-day pity party, and now I’m ready to formulate a new battle plan.

Friday night I hung out with my husband and our friends, and we had game night. I drank two vodka drinks that night. I got a buzz but did not get drunk. I ate a lot of chocolate covered espresso beans and cheese. I was in ‘screw it’ mode with regards to my diet. I felt like nothing I do makes any difference – my body is going to continue to be diseased – so why not just live my life the way I want to, and eat the junk I want to eat?

Well, Saturday morning I found out why I can’t do that.

When I woke up, all my joints were aching, and I had a new round of pelvic pain going on, and my breasts were so tender that I wanted to cry. I knew the culprit was firstly all the caffeine and secondly, the booze. I know this because Tyler knows this I have direct experience with noting how my body reacts to caffeine and to alcohol.

However, the brain weasels were still invading en force on Saturday (yesterday).

I went to my friend for a massage (she is trained!) and had a lovely session with her. I started out wanting to cry my eyes out, and my voice was very shaky. I ended up with a lovely state of relaxation that carried me through the next five hours. Alas, the brain weasels are a strong lot.
However, as I was going out the door last night, a co-worker called and asked me if I’d like to share a hotel room with her for the next training class on July 5. I was confused as to the dates, and so she called her mom (who runs the school I work at).

Get this – I thought my next class was this coming week, but it’s not! It’s not until NEXT week! Hooray! I was soooo stressed out about getting all my homework done from the last class, and now I have another week to do it. My co-worker told me not to stress, that I actually have all summer to get my homework done. This jives with what two other co-workers have told me. But the teacher I had for this last class was telling everyone the homework was due June 21, and I was all stressed to hell that it was late already. So glad I have more time. And on top of it, now I have a room to share instead of footing the entire bill for a room myself. Commuting down to Sunnyvale had been quite a bitch last time. Getting a hotel room is much more preferable.

As I was saying, I was on my way out the door. I went with my husband and two friends to see Concrete Blonde’s 20th Anniversary Reunion concert last night (OMG it was so awesome!!), but I was still such a spaz that I felt I needed a drink. I would have taken a half a Tylenol 3 were it not for the fact that I’d left my medication in the car. So I drank to quell the brain weasels, instead. I only had one drink – Mount Gay rum with club soda and some lime. It was godawful but that’s the best the bartender could come up with outside of corn syrup-infested alternatives. I should have just had the rum neat. Ah well. It did its job in the end.

I wore a corset to the show last night, hoping it would stabilise my back, because I always get bad back pain when standing at concerts.

The corset didn’t help. So there I was, in moderate back pain by the middle of the show, and I didn’t have any meds on me, and I didn’t want to drink any more booze in case the back pain got worse, or even worse, in case the pelvic pain returned.

On the drive home from the concert, my mid back began to spasm. I laughed hysterically and kept saying, “at least it’s not pelvic pain, this is actually manageable!” I tore at the corset strings and ripped the thing off, and dug my hands into my back to try to work out the spasm. Things didn’t calm down until I got home and smooshed my back to a tennis ball to the wall and rolled on it to try to work the blood flow in the back.

A TMI note – I was intimate with my husband and right afterwards, the pelvic pain kicked up. I need to note this because I am clinically diagnosed with dyspaneuria, and now I’m ever aware of the cysts on my cervix thanks to the latest MRI report. There was a tiny bit of blood in the vaginal discharge after intimacy. The nerve pain began immediately – first a tiny tickle near my cervix, then fringing out slowly to a burning sensation inwards, radiating throughout my entire pelvis. I reached about a 4 on the pain scale, but I did not take meds because I’d had one rum drink earlier in the night.

Today I’m going to review the list of inflammatory foods, and resolve to cut out sugar and ALL dairy (including goat milk) from my diet. The Budwig diet however calls for yoghurt, so I dunno what to do with that, yet. Maybe I’ll make an exception and just have goat milk yoghurt in the diet and keep the restriction to no cow’s milk anything, no bottled goat milk, no cheese, etc.

The point to the new battle plan is that I want to try to stave the growth of the endometrioma on my left ovary.

Wish me luck. The last time I cut sugar out of my diet, I had an emotional meltdown from the withdrawals.

There’s more

Two days after the Independence Day celebrations, on July 6th, a friend of ours was a guest DJ at the island’s famous tiki bar. She encouraged people to dress up in their beach party best. Because it’s a tiki bar, and because my friend is also a retro chick, I opted for a kitschy 50’s bathing beauty look, complete with leopard print mini skirt.
I love to get into costume, but this challenged my insecurities quite a bit. I had bare legs and bare arms and shoulders for the most part. I NEVER do that. I decided I’d try my hand at being comfortable with my body, and well it failed because when I got to the tiki bar, I was so extremely self-conscious, add to that my social anxiety, that I jumped right in and ordered a zombie – their most powerful drink. I did this with the mindset that it would loosen me up and I wouldn’t need another drink after that.
Big mistake. I had three or four drinks that afternoon, and was so trashed that a friend had to drive me home. So embarrassing. SO embarrassing.
Part of the reason I got so trashed was because my man was not there to stop me. Usually he assumes a parental role with me to curb my drinking. We agreed on this after I got so trashed at an event back in 2005 that he almost ended the relationship because I was that out of control.

On Monday July 7th, I did laundry but mostly slacked off all day, recovering from the horrible horrible hangover. I sent out a plea to my friends to help keep me in check where bars are concerned. Only one friend said she’d step up to this really responsible role for me. I’m very grateful for her. The problem is, she’s rarely at the clubs or bars that I normally go to. But I know I can count on her if she is out with me and my man is not there to provide the parental role.

I worked Tuesday through Thursday this week and was wiped out by the end of Wednesday, heh. I only put in 24-27 hours of work per week now, but it’s labor-intensive and wipes me out. Eventually I’ll get in shape from this work and it won’t leave me so exhausted.

Last night, the band my man is in had their last concert. Their lead singer/owner of the band killed his band name and associated music, and now they’re all working on new material. I’m glad they’ve stayed together but it’s not been without moderate stress on everyone. It’s bold and scary to start off on a whole new project after ten years and an established fan base. There were four bands on the bill last night. I tried ringing up a couple of people to go with me to the bar, so I wouldn’t be on my own and self-destructive again. I did not try hard enough. I should have been on top of this, ensuring a ride with someone days ago. I failed again.
I went to the club alone. I met several people there I know, sure, but for some reason, I was nervous and full of social anxiety all over again. WHY. I don’t know. I don’t know.
I started drinking.
The bartenders there are very generous with their pours.
And yet I had two or three drinks. I got hammered. Again. After having a talk with myself all day about only getting cranberry juice. I rehearsed it in my head – get a drink to make it look like you’re drinking alcohol, so you can join in the party so to speak. But all the while I was rehearsing this, in the back of my head another voice was already at the bar and explaining to someone that she had her cranberry juice and now she’s getting a tall glass of vodka – to go with the cranberry she’d already drank.

That voice – that is my arch nemesis. The one who is literally trying to kill me. The one who seems unstoppable. The one I feel powerless against.

gods help me. At the end of the night, there was no one to drive me home. I drove home drunk. So drunk I had to squint with one eye closed to properly see the road. I have no idea where I parked my car last night.

I do recall taking vitamin B and C before bed, so that’s good because I didn’t wake up with the type of hangover I had only four days ago. Although I am not nauseous, nor do I have a pounding hangover headache, my stomach feels pitted and my kidneys are screaming. Add to that the fact that after heavy drinking, my ovaries and uterus get cranky because the hormones are all whacked out of place from the alcohol poisoning. So now I dread my next period – I’m positive it will be a really bad one thanks to my self-destructive behaviour.

I feel like the next binge really will kill me.
And yet, I know there will be another binge. I’m afraid. So very afraid. I don’t know how to stop myself. I’ve been saying this for years and years and I’ve put myself raw and exposed to people to help me but none of it has worked.

… looking up treatment options on my insurance…

Prior auth required. Hm. Time to make an appointment with my doctor.

It’s all good, now.

Yesterday I took it easy around the house. I walked to the doctor first thing in the morning to get the liver enzyme bloodwork done. It was a nice walk to and from the doctor (about a mile total distance).

I made an appointment to be fingerprinted for the daycare agency I’ve been speaking with since last month (my employment and references checked out, yay!).

I spent the rest of the day organising info received from caterers. I now have a spreadsheet that details total FAILURE on the part of any caterer to work with a $2k – $4k budget. We’ll keep trying.

I hung out with my friends and their infant last night – I’ll be babysitting him this Friday and most of next week. I carried the baby in his carseat for his mother, but that proved to be a Bad Idea™ for me, because the pain and bleeding came back again. It was jarring and then subsided. Then jarred, then subsided.

By the time I got back home, the pain was gone and the bleeding was going away again.

So I decided that I’d rest again today, so as not to upset my body anymore this week.

I got up at 8am and showered and decided I’d take a bus to Oakland rather than freaking myself out with anxiety over trying to park in downtown. Taking a bus or any public transit ALSO usually gives me anxiety, but I had studied the maps and was confident in the short bus ride. Besides, it’s at the same corner my man catches his bus. Somehow I was comforted in this, don’t ask me why, it’s just an emotional weirdness. ;)

So I got to the bus stop shortly after my man had caught his bus there, and the bus arrived in minutes. I got on, paid my money, and suddenly got anxious and asked if I got a ticket or receipt. The bus driver ignored me, so I told myself it’s okay, and I walked to a spot on the bus where I could hang onto the ceiling railing, as the bus was full. I’m very very VERY proud of myself for getting on a crowded bus alone! I’m so afraid of people that in the past, I’d have an instant panic attack.

The bus got me to where it said it would, and I got off the bus and followed the directions on the street-level map I’d printed. I got to the Federal Building and went in, and set off the alarm at security, heh. I was worried it was my nipple rings, but it wasn’t – it was the eyelets in my converse shoes. The lady waved me on, no problem. Got up to the 11th floor, got electronically fingerprinted (pretty cool!), paid what money was due, and that was that! All done!

I got back on the bus at the right stop and got off again at the right stop, no problem.

Because of all I went through with pain and emotional abuse at the hospital, and all the pain in general, and for doing so well in public today, I decided to treat myself. I don’t treat myself NEARLY as often as I should. I deserve nice treats!
So after driving back to Oakland (West Oakland – I decided not to take the bus to that part of town) to pick up another batch of business cards and flyers, I went shopping.



Although you might laugh at my idea of shopping… Keep in mind that I am a stereotypical Virgo!

I got stuff to make me more beautiful for the wedding:

  • Crest tooth whitening strips (I want to have a glam smile for the wedding!)
  • Olay Complete all day moisture lotion with SPF 15 (for my face of course)
  • Make-up wedges for applying foundation or even applying the Olay
  • Plum red nail polish, lip liner and lip stick (okay I dunno if I’ll wear that colour on our wedding day or not, but I like it now and want to start wearing nail polish again! I haven’t been in the habit of wearing nail polish since my gender dysphoria hit in 2002!!!)
  • SPF 45 (to keep my lovely pale look, don’t want any sunburn or tan lines for the wedding!)

I would love to get some new clothes and shoes, too, but that’s quite a bit more money than I currently have.

This evening, I’m going to see my friends and their baby again, to prep for what all needs to happen tomorrow when I sit for them.

And then I hope to have a nice, relaxing evening with my man!

Bad monkey

I’ve been REALLY bad to myself this month, indulging for over two weeks straight on all kinds of junk food, chocolate, sugar, booze and caffeine.
I was still on again off again sick in the beginning of January, but I felt better as of January 5th. I had gone to the doctor on the 4th about this protracted flu or whatever it was, but the doctor refused to give me antiviral medication. But she did send me out for blood work for thyroid, liver and blood sugar. The nausea and diarrhea subsided by that evening. Then on that Monday, I went to the allergist for more referral advice as to what’s all going on with my immune system.

Starting the very next day, Tuesday January 8, I went downhill with my willpower and dietary management. I began eating chocolate and caffeine. I was craving it badly. The next day was my man’s birthday, and I indulged with him on sushi and tiki drinks. One eats soy sauce with sushi. Soy sauce has natural estrogens in it. Endometriosis feeds off of estrogen. I also got a little drunk that night. Drinking messes with the immune system and endocrine system. The endocrine system is what regulates the hormones. The next day, I was declined for the child care job, and I bought and consumed a caffinated mocha on the way home. The day after that, Friday January 11, I was bored at home with my man and we got drunk drunk. The next day, I went out to a nightclub and got drunk again.
During this whole time, despite what seems like an active and energetic streak, I was struggling to stay awake the entire time. I pushed my body hard, and wondered why I was so tired I could cry day in and day out, and why I was so dehydrated (urine was dark yellow to near brown in colour) despite drinking water, juice and tea all day. I didn’t want my fatigue to interfere with plans I’d made with friends. So I pushed myself.

Starting the week of January 13, I was good and didn’t drink. However, I was still going after caffeine – mostly in the form of tea, and also eating chocolates. I had a breakthrough on Monday the 14th – it was my first day back to my old self, energy-wise. I didn’t need the caffination to keep me going, but now I WANTED it. I kept wondering why the hell I was consuming all this chocolate and caffeine with no self control – after all, george isn’t due til January 22nd…but I was glad to have my energy back.

Then on January 15, the doctor’s assistant called and told me I have high liver enzymes, and told me to lay off alcohol and painkillers for the next three months, and then get retested. It took three days to get ahold of the doctor directly to discuss what all is going on with me. Finally got to talk to the doctor on Friday – after discussing how much I drink and when, and how much pain medication I take and when, she said that I should be fine to continue taking painkillers only when george is around (that’s what I do anyway, unless my back goes out before or after george has visited). She instructed me to lay off the booze immediately so we can have a sort of baseline, and then I’ll be retested in April. I’ve since restarted the Chinese herbal medication that was given to me for my liver a few months ago. I’d stopped taking all my herbal meds, as well as vitamins, when I was sick from December 27 onwards. I’ve restarted taking vitamins, too.

Friday is when I bicycled for 5 minutes on the trainer and walked for 5 miles with a friend, btw.
(oh and it was Thursday or Friday that I noticed that my urine was back to a healthier colour, too).

The very next day, I was out with my man, and we happened across a winery, so we went in. Not even thinking, I participated in a wine tasting. It was only four types of wine, and the wineries only give you about an ounce or less to taste, but still. As soon as I realised what I’d done, I felt horrible. I’m not supposed to have ANY alcohol anymore. It will KILL me, I told myself and my man. I’d told my man back on January 15 not to allow me to have any more alcohol and he’s just not GETTING it on my behalf. I don’t know how else to say it. HELLO IT WILL KILL ME – he’s just not taking this seriously and well neither am I obviously if I slipped up and went to a winery for a tasting. My man wanted to go to more wineries but I told him we didn’t have time – which was true – we needed to get back home because we’d planned a gathering at our place. He pushed however until I relented and we went to another winery but it was packed full of people. A sudden onset of social anxiety or fear of people or whathaveyou rushed over me, and I became manic. Good thing my man didn’t want to stay, either. The place was hairy with people. We got back to the car and I just wanted to cry, I was so filled with anxiety and panic. We got into a tiff because I was freaking out, so I had to tell my man what was going on. It’s been years since I’ve had a social anxiety panic attack in front of him, so of course he wasn’t very sympathetic to me because he’d forgotten how to handle the situation when I get like that.

NOW I REALLY needed a drink, but I can’t drink because my liver enzymes are high. I don’t have anti-anxiety medication, I don’t take anti-depressants, and I don’t smoke pot. So WTF do I do, now? I had to breathe and ride it out.

That night, we had a gathering for my man’s and two of our friends’ birthdays. I was a spaz case because I barely had any time to wind down after getting home and before friends arrived. Despite the fact that it’s our friends and it’s at our house and therefore a safe environment, I was still really twitchy with social anxiety. A friend realised this and took me and another friend for a walk. That helped immensely, but only lasted a short time after we got back to the party. After half an hour or so, I was spazzy again.
Then at some point, my man offered me some of his drink to try, cuz he was proud of his concoction. I tried it and liked it. I asked for another sip and it was at that point that two of our friends noticed the exchange and said, “WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO DO, KILL HER?!?” and he pulled the drink back. I thanked our friends and told them that’s exactly the kind of reaction I need, as I have no self control with alcohol. My man’s reaction? “WHAT! It’s only a TASTE!”
So we all chided him and he bowed his head in shame.
Will it stick with him? Or will he keep wanting to go wine tasting and handing me drinks?

So yeah, that was last night. And at the gathering, I ate chocolates and dips that contained sour cream (dairy), and I drank sugary carbonated drinks (no corn syrup but it did have straight up sugar, which is still bad – I should NOT have that – it makes the pain worse).

Early this afternoon, I was talking with my man and suddenly I had pulsing, knifing pain in my right pelvic area, that made me gasp and double over, clutching myself. The pulsing lasted for a few minutes, long enough to allow me to breathe every 10 seconds before knifing me again. He held me while this was happening. I winced and told my man I must be ovulating, since george is due in a couple of days. Then it was over, just like that, after a few minutes.

At 3pm, I went bowling with friends. Five minutes before we left the house, george showed up.

He’s two days early. I popped an Ibuprofen600 and off we went. I brought leftover party food and of course ate some of it – mostly the chocolates and kettle corn. Ugh. Still out of control.
For the rest of the day since the pain first started, every so often, I’ll get one or three sharp, knifing pains in the same spot. But I’ve had no uterine pain. None. Slight spotting and sharp ovarian pain (happening as I type, too).

I’m really upset with myself. I’m disappointed in myself. I have been way out of line with myself all this month, since January 8th, and now it’s going to hurt REAL BAD.

I’ve got to stop the whole “I just want to eat whatever I want like other people get to do” mentality. It’s feeling sorry for myself. If I want to continue living, and if I want to have any sort of quality of life, I have GOT to stop being so cruel to myself. I have GOT to start putting healthy, nutritious food and drink into my body – food that is specially prepared for MY body and health concerns.

I’ve paid a health counselor $150/month for six months in 2007 to help me be kinder to myself. It didn’t work. I was scared for myself after a friend’s sister-in-law died – I thought this was the wake up I needed – but it only lasted a short time before I was back on the booze full tilt, and back to the sugar, chocolate and caffeine that hurts me badly. What does it take, Steph? When will you learn? When you are dead?

I dread what the next few days will bring me, pain-wise, because of the abuse I have caused myself this month.

I want to change. I don’t want to fall into this again next month. I swear, I need a group home environment where everything is strictly controlled insofar as my food and drink goes, and I need it prepared and served to me on a regular schedule, with all my Chinese herbal medication and my vitamins. But there is no one to do this for me. I have to do this for me. That’s been the whole problem. WHEN will I do this for me consistently and without fail?

One last thing – despite the thyroid and diabetes blood tests coming out normal, I’ve been shivering cold, even in a 73°F (23°C) house all through this month and for part of last month. Frozen fingers, goosebumps all over the body, literally shivering. I’m shivering and have goosebumps right now. I’ve been wearing a hat to bed with FOUR blankets AND a heating pad on my feet, and STILL freezing. I wear my shoes in the house to keep my feet warm because socks and slippers don’t do it for me. Although last night I found that I could put on my sock-slippers, then slip my feet into my small fuzzy black slippers, and then slip my feet again into a third pair of slippers – the big godzilla slippers that my man got me for xmess. THAT does the trick to keep my feet warm.

Is this being severely cold also due to the liver damage? I can’t find anything on google to confirm this.

Forgetting, pre-george, work-related

Monday night I realised I forgot to email my health counselor to let her know that I had a work function on Tuesday, so I’d be late to my appointment with her. I said I’d mail her in the morning, knowing full well I’d forget.

Tuesday morning, I was at work and checked my mail, and she’d written to me to remind me of the appointment that night. I wrote back, telling her I was sorry for the late notice but would likely be late.

She wrote back, saying I could meet with her on Saturday instead, if that worked out better for me. I consulted with my man, asking about our schedule on Saturday. I had time to meet with her.

Of course, then I didn’t write back to let her know this – I forgot.

I didn’t remember until I was done with my work event. Then she got an apologetic voicemail.

The work event – they are celebrating their yearly anniversary, so they had us all gather at a brewpub and the CEO gave a ra-ra speech and people were nominated as best cow-orkers, and there was free beer and wine. Everyone got a bonus representative of the months or years they had worked there. This month marks 12 months but not to the day for me – not til the 16th, but still… I MADE IT TO MONTH 12 AT THAT PLACE!
I am proud of me. Now I just need to make it to the 16th without being fired for having a health condition.
I drank 2.5 glasses of wine at the work event. Of course this made me get all chatty and not so shy and socially freaked out.

Regarding george – he’s due a week from today, but as of this past weekend, I’ve started to have symptoms. The symptoms cropped up when I ate certain foods. I had coffee during the day, and ice cream in the evening on Saturday, and within 2 hours of each consumption, I was having light uterine cramps. This lasted through the next day before subsiding. I’ve had gassy stomach SINCE Saturday, of the likes that normally appears within 3 days of george.

On Monday, I drank 1/3 cup of coffee and again got pelvic pain.

Just now I got a sharp stabby pain in my left lower pelvic region – probably ovulating.

Right now I’m eating cheese with my breakfast sausage, so that’s not helping with the gassiness.

That’s the brain, employment and uterine report for the day. I’m off to work soon.

Weekend recap

George went away yesterday. I was still bleeding moderately up through Saturday, and he finally died down by a lot on Sunday and was nearly gone by yesterday.

Saturday was spent hanging with my friend who’d seen me through my surgery. She’d moved out of state several months ago and just moved back again, so we hung out for the first time since her return and had a lovely time.

Yay for that, but I’m depressed. The rest of this journal entry will be one big, long pity party.

Later Saturday evening, some friends begged me to come out and join them for a pseudo-bachelorette party – I noticed by Saturday that depression was starting to sink in, and with it the old agoraphobia and social anxiety again. But I ended up going out, anyway.
On Sunday, I went to a going-away barbecue near the beach of our island. It was cold and windy and sunny, so I shivered and sunburned. I was SUPER social-anxiety-girl that day, too for some reason. I know some of these people, and I joked that it was an impromptu East Bay gothnic – only selective – because it was for mutual friends moving out of state. But still, my face fried…again. Second time in a friggin month and it’s my own damned fault.

I’d started eating chocolate again over the weekend, too, and now my entire face and neck is broken out in zits along with the damned sunburn.

Sunday night we joined a friend for sushi dinner in his neck of the woods. Even though there were only three of us, my social anxiety was still peaking. I was glad to come back home at the end of the night, but upset that I’d not done any laundry over the weekend.

Yesterday I started working on my astrology site again while doing laundry, and became immediately overwhelmed again by all that still needs to be written. Tonight sealed my failure when I found a site called My Astrology Book, whereby this guy does pretty much what I’ve been trying to do for two years, only he’s much smarter and quicker than I am. I wish I’d never found this site. I found it while doing research on Sun gods. But now it’s too late. I found the site and I want to scrap all the work I’ve done. I’m fatalistic – it’s bred into me. I can’t stop the wallowing, now.

This spiraled me into “what am I going to do with my life come October?”

Then there’s the fact that I just got paid, yet with all the bills due (two credit cards now and rent, mostly), I have $150 to last me for the next 15 days, and this has to cover gas and groceries and laundry. Gas alone is $20 every three days.

Then there’s the fact that I’ve gained a lot of weight again. I’m up into the 160’s again. That’s 20lbs shy from where I started off in April 2006 and it’s because I’ve discovered gluten free carbs and ice cream again and have been pigging out accordingly.

This is all too much for me right now. I’m full on depressed. It’s time for bed in 13 minutes. My neck and shoulders have been locking up again regularly, so I’ve been popping muscle relaxers again, which also contributes to weight gain.

I want out of this. I want a miracle rescue. I want to be taken care of. My man invited me to dinner and a movie tonight. I went over my budget and told him I couldn’t do it. He was sad, hugged me, told me he was sorry, and went off to join his friend for said dinner and movie. I was left jealous and mad, hiding all of this from him of course. I wanted him to say he’d cover me no problem. I want to be taken care of. But he won’t do it. And why should he? But that’s where I’m at right now – weak, vulnerable, giving up, broken morale, left to fend for myself regardless. And there ain’t no one gonna take care of me but me, and I don’t wanna do it. I’m abandoning myself, abdicating responsibility. Why? Aren’t we the makers of our own reality?
Why must I be so overwhelmed? Why can’t I just say ‘oh neat!’ about this astrology site I’ve found, and keep working on mine? Why the jealousy? Why the defeatist attitude? Why the insecurity?

I don’t know. It’s my mom’s fault? I learned it from her? How do I unlearn it when I can’t seem to get past this moment of abject heartbreaking sorrow over my financial and career choices?
I’m not in control of my diet, my finances, my career choices, so I hired a health counselor whom I’ve been paying $150 a month with no noticeable change or benefit yet to be seen. As a matter of fact, since seeing her, I’ve REBELLED quite a bit, especially on the dietary front. I can’t even PAY someone to fix my life.

I know it’s a full moon – this too shall pass, right?

I shall now take deep breaths and go to sleep, and remember that tomorrow is another day, and not only that, but another day closer to the weekend.

Hooray for journaling! I feel somewhat better, now.