Travelin’ gal

I graduated from the Montessori teacher training center on June 24! Yay!



That night, my husband and I hopped on a plane to Boston, Massachusetts to see a friend get married.

Married in a lecture hall at MIT!

We hung out in Cambridge, Boston and Salem for five days. We literally walked until my feet bled. Granted, I didn’t have the best shoes with me for the trip (a pair of dress shoes and a pair of combat boots being the only choices).
We flew back home on the 28th, arriving late at night.

I was home for roughly 30 hours before having to board another plane, this time without my husband, to go visit my family.

As you can guess, the timing worked out well for both the wedding and the visit to family, as I was between pain cycles.

I flew in to Detroit, stayed the night at my Ma’s house, and drove with her down to Kentucky for a family reunion, in which she reconnected with a bunch of her first cousins for the first time in 8 years (the last time being at her mother’s funeral). She connected with even more family she’d not seen in something like 45 years.
It was like pulling teeth to get my hermit mother to commit, but once finally there, she really enjoyed herself.

My Ma and her aunt

We stayed in Kentucky for two days, then drove back up to Michigan, where I dropped off my Ma and bolted for a friend’s house to enjoy a reprieve between family visits. I stayed two nights with my best friend, Heather, and her family.


After some R&R, I headed up north to see my dad. It’s the same amount of time driving as I had spent going to Kentucky with my Ma. She’s nearly 5 hours from her cousin’s family farm, and my dad is about 5 hours from my best friend’s house. All told, during my week-long stay in Michigan and Kentucky, I did just over a day and a half worth of driving.

Me and my Dad

The trip was necessary but exhausting. My folks aren’t gettin’ any younger, as my dad likes to say, so it’s important that I try to see them every year. I really need to figure out though how to do this again next year without nearly killin’ myself with exhaustion.

I got back on July 7 and spent two days severely jet-lagged and barely coherent. On July 9, the pre-menstrual cramps kicked in. George arrived this morning. So even though I’ve now had two surgeries, I still only get about two weeks of uptime each month before the pain.

The good news is that the pre-menstrual pain hits a day beforehand, rather than up to a week beforehand. The great news is that instead of 7 to 11 non-consecutive pain-free days each month, this time around I had, if I marked the calendar correctly, nearly 17 consecutive pain-free days!

The bad news is that once george arrived, the pain kicked in immediately, which is a turn for the worse compared to the past four or five months, when the pain was hitting me around Day 3 of my cycle.

Maybe it’s just this month, cuz of all the stress and travel, not to mention coffee and alcohol drinking. I dunno. There’s a saying in Michigan – one that I probably used to use all the time but have forgotten about since I no longer live there. It’s a fatalistic life view, which is part of the reason I left Michigan. The saying goes, “It is what it is.” Basically, no sense in trying to understand or change something – it is what it is.

I think it might be easier on my sanity if I just say ‘It is what it is’ regarding my illness, rather than always trying to rationalise the pain – rather than trying to find a common denominator in all of it – rather than figuring it out at all.

Endometriosis is what it is. I can’t do anything to not be in pain. It’s not my fault. I was born this way. It is what it is.

But I’ve never been one to just roll over and be all fatalist. That’s a whole other discussion I could go on for days about.

My brain is spinning

The right side ovarian pain has been intermittent and mild throughout today as well.
This morning I had my follow-up appointment with Dr. Giudice, my ‘new’ GYN. She had a new nurse who wanted to make sure she had my history correct, so we went over the notes. I love how the nurses and doctors prepare themselves before speaking with the patients, it’s pretty awesome. Even if they only just read my history a few minutes before entering the room, they do a great job of putting off like they’d spent lunch hour or the night before poring over my file. It makes me feel respected and valued – imagine that! So far, Dr. Giudice’s office is three and a half to four star in my book (Not five star? Communication issues sometimes are the problem).

This morning we caught up to the present pain, and the nurse typed up everything for Dr. Giudice:

“38 year old with history of endometriosis and chronic pelvic pain presents for follow-up. worried about growth of endometrioma. increasing pain on Right ovary intermittent, stabbing. walking, heating pad not work. severe dysmenorrhea is stable, but patient reports worsening debilitating pain 1 week before her period which is new (similar to pre-surgery 2007). tylenol #3 and ibuprofen not work. during menses – bedridden, around-the-clock (ATC) meds. pain currently Right side, but can be on both sides.

2 visits with UCSF pain management psychologist – insurance stopped covering. sees psychiatrist (new appt next week), psychologist, alexander technique pain management (less movement)

4/21/10 – patient referred for pelvic MRI to rule out adenomyosis. Referrals for chronic pain clinic and pelvic physical therapy were given. She declined Mirena IUD, Lupron, presacral neurectomy.

6/23/10 – patient returned to review MRI. MRI revealed 1.4cm Left ovary endometrioma vs. hemorrhagic cyst, no evidence of adenomyosis. patient declined GABA cream hormonal treatment, or antidepressants. Patient is interested in surgical resection of endometriosis. The decision was made to defer surgical intervention.

Since then, she has called the clinic several times regarding nausea (7/2), passage of thin grey tissue during menses (7/26), and a heavier than usual menses (8/20). Her pain is currently controlled with Tylenol with codeine and Ibuprofen.”

That’s a pretty good history – I didn’t expect them to have preserved notes on my calls to their office! So cool. The only thing I take issue with is the “GABA cream” – perhaps the nurse got it wrong, I dunno. But during my visit to the pain management director in May, and my visit to Dr. Giudice in June, the word “cream” was not used to describe Gabapentin. It was called Neurontin and Gabapentin interchangeably, and was told to me that it’s usually prescribed as a seizure medication.

That aside, everything was ok with the notes/history. Dr. Giudice came in and we talked about my current pain, went over the available treatments again, and it was suggested I try an aromatase inhibitor. Dr. Giudice was under the impression that I was offered and had refused this treatment before. I find no reference to it in this journal, and I knew in my head that I had not had the conversation with her, so I asked her to expound. She told me that a lower dose would be used for me than for breast cancer and ovarian cancer patients, and that she’d have to add a progestin sidecar so that my ovaries won’t go into overproduction or further estrogen dominance.
I might have been sold but for the fact that progestin was mentioned. I told her why I’m reluctant to even use the Mirena IUD, which contains progestin, and told her that on Levonorgestrel, I get severely depressed. Granted, the dosage is much higher in what I’ve taken (Plan B) than in the Mirena IUD (controlled release), but I don’t want to take the chance after what’s happened to me in the past.

I told Dr. Giudice that I’m seeing a psychologist who strongly suggests I be put on mood stabilisers, and I will be seeing a psychiatrist next week who will see if that’s really the case. After I’m put on psych meds, I told Dr. Giudice, then I might consider the aromatase therapy. She was totally satisfied with my idea/request.

Next, we went to the exam room, and I underwent my second transvaginal ultrasound of the year. I know the routine now so we got right to it. I prepared myself a little better this time by taking 1mg Ativan before my doctor visit, and even though I still experienced pain from the procedure, I was a bit more calm this time around, and not traumatised at all.

The ultrasound revealed bad news: I now have endometriomas on BOTH ovaries, and I still have the damned free fluid (which means it’s likely pools of blood from the endometriomas) around the ovaries. My left ovary has also become reattached to my uterus…all within five months, since my last ultrasound and MRI scans.

So begins the Twenty Questions:
Did the stress of going to school over the summer hasten my illness? Or is it just progressing this way on its own? Is it my diet? Is it not enough exercise? Or is it just the illness, no matter what I do or don’t do?

I suffer emotionally with the 20+ questions, and I suffer physically with the pain.

After the ultrasound, Dr. Giudice made her recommendation – she wants to schedule me for a laparoscopy.

I asked her what changed her mind between her decision a few months ago NOT to give me surgery, and today. She said that there’s obviously more growth going on, and she does not doubt for an instant the pain I am in, based upon what she saw on the ultrasound in April and then today. She’s seeing the growth in progress. She asked me how soon I could schedule surgery. I told her next summer would be best, since I could take part of the summer off to recover. She asked if I could do end of December. I told her I’d have to check with my school, but I’d need more than 10 days this time around for recovery, since I’m not at a desk job like last time around. This time around, I’m chasing after preschoolers all day.

I asked her, if she has to take at least one ovary, what would that mean for me – what adjustments would my body have to make? She looked at me funny and said that apart from the endometriosis and a routine biopsy at time of surgery, she wouldn’t think of taking my ovaries. She said it’s always a risk to do so, since the ovaries, fallopian tubes and uterus are all so closely connected via ligaments and such to the bladder and bowels. It’s tricky stuff, she said.
Hah. That’s quite a change from my visit to Kate O’Hanlan a year ago!

Dr. Giudice told me to think about scheduling surgery soon, and said she’ll have her scheduler give me a call.

I got copies of the ultrasound and today’s notes, and then called my husband and told him the bad news.

We were JUST talking over the weekend about going to Yosemite for Christmas break, and now I am pressured to have surgery at that time. :(

I told my husband we’ll have to have a big talk about finances, and that likely we won’t be able to swing December, anyway, since we’re still clawing our way through debt incurred this summer when I went to a teacher training course.

If I have the surgery on summer break, then I can go to Yosemite in December, and I can fly to Michigan for my promised annual return in the summer, after I recover for a month and a half after surgery. That is, I can have my cake and eat it, too.

Then the doctor asked what most doctors have asked me, “How long are you willing to suffer with the pain?” i.e. “do you LIKE being in pain? Get in the surgery room now!”

It’s not that simple, dammit!! I can’t just drop everything and run to surgery. The last surgery, under a different insurance, still cost me $1,500 out of pocket in co-pay stuff, plus eleven days without a paycheck. I have a different insurance, and I make $8/hr LESS than I did last time I had surgery. I have to check with this insurance, and I have to pay back existing medical bills and other bills FIRST, and also talk to my husband to see how he’s catching up financially, before we jump into the whole surgery in December thing.


When I got home, I reviewed the ultrasound paperwork, and compared today’s imaging and round of notes to the last ultrasound, as well as to the MRI.
I found that things got really spinny at that point – it seems that all of us – me and the doctors – have been referring casually to both ovaries as the one which has the endometrioma on it.

In January, March and April, 2010, I experienced debilitating RIGHT side ovarian pain, per my iCal. In mid-March and again in mid-April, it felt like I was experiencing an ovarian cyst rupture on the RIGHT side, I was in so much pain.

On April 21, 2010, the ultrasound revealed the following: Possible endometrioma on the RIGHT ovary, measuring 0.9cm. Nothing on the left ovary.

On May 27, 2010, I went for an MRI, which revealed the following: The RIGHT ovary is NORMAL.
The LEFT ovary has a 1.4cm mass, “which, given the clinical history, likely represents an endometrioma.”

I didn’t pay attention to left or right. I only thought OH MY GOD THE ENDOMETRIOMA IS CONFIRMED AND IT’S GROWING.

In reality, what happened was that Dr. Giudice found an endometrioma on my RIGHT ovary, and the MRI people found an endometrioma on my LEFT ovary. One didn’t just pop out overnight in time for today’s ultrasound.

So in reality, I have had two endometriomas – one on each ovary – for gods know how many months.

The endometrioma on the LEFT ovary was 1.4cm as of May 27, 2010 at the MRI visit, and on September 8, 2010, that endometrioma was visualised on the ultrasound to measure 1×1.1cm. So it is shrinking ever so slightly…possibly.

The endometrioma on the RIGHT ovary was 0.9cm on April 21, 2010 as visualised on the ultrasound, and on September 8, 2010, the endometrioma on the RIGHT ovary grew to 1x1cm, also as visualised on the ultrasound. The MRI did not find an endometrioma on the RIGHT ovary back on May 27, 2010.

I asked my GYN to confirm the size of each of my ovaries – I guessed 3cm. She said just under 3cm. So a 1cm endometrioma is eating a third of each of my ovaries. She didn’t see it that way – she said that the endometriomas are small. But in relation to the total size of the ovary, I’d say the endometriomas are BIG.

In either case, she had already made her suggestion that I get my ass into surgery ASAP.

You know I’m TOTALLY having a pity party right now. :(

Another wasted weekend

So I was right on Friday – I was about to start any second. I began spotting by around 9:30am, and was surprised to see george two days ahead of schedule. I hadn’t had some of the other warning signs, such as change in mucosa or increased cramping.

The spotting was thick, sticky, and really dark reddish brown. Could be a by-product of the ovarian cyst, or it could be due to all the sugar and caffeine I’ve ingested since my trip to Michigan on May 14 – 23. The caffeine addiction was rekindled during the trip, as is often the case when I’m traveling, and so it was hard to break when I got back to California. I was able to transition from coffee to tea within a week, but I was still consuming caffeine. I had also been eating a lot of chocolate again, and my forehead and temples are paying the price as they always do; I look like a teenager again with all the zits. :(

Friday was unusually sunny – I thought it was supposed to rain, but the sun kept poking through the clouds and fog in large doses – enough so that I got sunburned on the face and neck again. I’ve been refusing to wear sunblock because the only tube I can find in the house has been some Neutrogena stuff that dries and flakes within minutes and makes me look nasty. I just read today that sunblock is pretty much useless, anyway.

I thought for sure that once the spotting started, the pain would begin ramping up, but it didn’t. I made it a goal to finish the entire work day, since I’d left early twice this week already (on Tuesday it was because a co-worker’s perfume put me into respiratory distress, and I went to ER, and on Thursday it was because I was running a 99.9°F temp and feeling really severely tired). I had to pop 600mg of Advil on my lunch break when the cramps ramped up to about a 4 on the scale, but I held fast to my goal and made it through the entire day, even working a half hour later than usual because they were short-staffed by one person.

When I got home from work, my husband, who had been home sick all week with some kind of chest cold, indicated he’d like to get out of the house for a bit. I suggested we take a trip to Costco. I was disappointed to see that they’re still not up on the gluten-free foods thing, yet.
Upon our return home from Costco, we grabbed some dinner at Everett & Jones (eh). When we got home, we were both worn out. I declared crippling fatigue, took a shower, swallowed 600mg of Advil and went to bed by 9pm (1,200mg consumed on Friday).

I woke around 5am with cramps, then went back to sleep til sometime after 7am, until I could sleep no longer. I’d had enough sleep and the pain was ramping up.

I suffered with nausea again this morning. I force fed myself a bowl of cereal with bananas, and the nausea increased.
I didn’t eat again until about 3 hours later.

Today I was able to load the dishwasher and manually wash some dishes that can’t go in the washer, and I was able to reassemble one box fan that I’d taken apart yesterday to clean. I drove us to Berkeley to get my sweetie some gluten-free cupcakes, but before we even got to the freeway, the cramps set in and ramped up. We made it to the bakery and back again, but I had to take half a Tylenol 3 and 600mg of Advil on the road for the pain, and I felt every damned bump in the road. I clenched my fists and gritted my teeth a lot.

When we got back home, I found out that the reason the pain ramped up is because the spotting finally turned into flow. It was still dark reddish brown, with lots of clots.
I took a full Tylenol 3 and spent the rest of the afternoon on the couch. I spent a bit of time today folded over a big pillow and the arm of the couch, as that was the best position for me. Same thing this evening, with heating pads added. Today’s rule has been; Sitting Good, Walking Bad.

I have ingested 2.5 Tylenol 3 pills today and I think 1,600mg Advil. Either 1,200 or 1,600, I’m not sure. I should always remember to write each dose down as I take it.

The pain has been at a 7 for much of today.

My brain is antsy but I’m forced to sit in one place. My joints are aching like hell, possibly from all the ice cream I’ve been consuming. I wonder if that’s contributed to my pain level today. I’m not normally so bad to myself, but the cow’s milk ice cream craving has been out of control this week. I have lactaid pills I take with it. Sure, the lactose intolerance is helped by the pills, but the overall damage done to my body by continuing to consume cow’s milk products is not worth it. By this afternoon, I finally convinced myself to stop eating the ice cream I’d bought.

Tonight, my friends Chase and Jason stopped by to say hello. We’ve not hung out in awhile, so it was good to see them, and they were the first visitors I had right after my laparoscopy, so they know what I look like when drugged and in pain. Plus, their sister suffers with endo (and maybe worse), so we talked about what she’s going through and her upcoming surgery this September. I hope my body cooperates so I can be there for her recovery. I feel terrible that I wasn’t there for my friend Patricia’s last endo surgery, because my body wasn’t cooperating. I was bedridden the week she went to surgery.

We also talked about neurontin, which my new surgeon Dr. Giudice wants to put me on. Jason has been on neurontin for the nerve damage in his neck, and it made him a total zombie. Another ‘NO’ vote. So far it’s been a resounding NO from everyone I’ve talked to. It’s the whole “treatment is worse than the condition” thing again.

I’m stupidly tired from all the medication, and well I’ve been up for 17 hours, so I’m going to bed again. I say ‘again’ because although I’ve been up all day, I haven’t been mobile enough to feel ready to go back to bed. I’m a medicated tired, not a ‘had a full day’ tired. So frustrating. Hence, the ‘wasted weekend’ feeling.

Tomorrow is already Sunday, but it will only be Day 2 of actual flow, and I’ve not even had a heavy flow, yet. I’m assuming I’ll miss Monday and possibly Tuesday unless I bleed like a stuck pig from dawn til 11pm tomorrow. Missing work this week is Not Good™, because it’s the last week of school, which basically is an all hands on deck sort of thing. I want the opportunity to see all my kids go through graduation (there’s one to two class/grade graduations per day this week). I’ve now worked with every single class; the 3-year-old room, the 4-year-old room, the 5-year-old room, the Kindergarteners, the 1st/2nd grade class, and the 3rd/4th/5th grade class.

My body needs to cooperate, dammit.

Bladder pulling

I held in urine to deal with puking husband on first plane ride – i nearly wet myself searching for bathroom at the end of the flight, and then once in the bathroom, it was hard for the urine to start pouring forth, then got a good stream, then it wouldn’t stop – it was a trickle so i pushed a little to get it out…

halfway through second flight, the pain set in – thought it was uterine and/or ovarian – towards the left side. happened when i shifted in my seat or bent forward in my seat.

had a lot of gas on flight home – i let some out but mostly held that in, too. at one point some gas shifted in me and i swear i felt gas bubbles rise all the way up towards my chest – it was creepy.

on the second flight home, i used the bathroom once or twice. i did not have any problem walking the narrow aisle to and from the bathroom, or sitting back down in my seat.

when we got off the plane, my husband needed a bathroom to clean up a bit, and i stood outside the bathroom waiting for him for many minutes.
he emerged from the bathroom and got his belongings, and we set off towards baggage claim.

that’s when the searing pain set in with every step. the pain stabbed every time i moved my left leg forward. i thought i just needed to walk it out, so i kept walking, and grunting in pain.
the pain felt like i had a string tangled inside – connecting from my bladder to the left side of my pubic bone or the left inner crease where my leg meets my pelvis – and every time i took a step with my left leg, it was pulling on this string. each pull felt like it was trying to tear at my bladder and uterus – tear it downwards and to the left.

by the time we rounded the first corner in the airport (perhaps 30 or 60 seconds of walking), i was seriously considering a wheelchair, because i was ready to cry from the pain.

i analysed the pain – it was burning, rather than stabbing or pulsing – which told me i had an acute onset infection of some sort, rather than something being strained.
i ran through all the possible causes:
i held my urine for too long and stained my bladder as a result.
i wore nylon-based panties last night and changed into a new pair this morning because that’s all i had left in my luggage, and now i’ve given myself a UTI as a result.
i’ve been drinking far too much coffee and i had faygo pop three times in the past week, and now i have a UTI as a result.

we had to stop multiple times, and my brows were furrowed from the pain, and i had glassy eyes ready to spill tears. i kept saying WTF and asking out loud what happened and how did this happen, etc. i was really mad at my body. here i was, supposed to be guiding my exhausted husband through baggage claim and out to long term parking so we could get home and get him into the shower – he’d had such a rough flight and had puked several times – but instead, my body began to fail and i ended up being the one who needed care.
my husband of course seemed frustrated – he really wanted to get home, and he really wanted me to press on, but i had to keep stopping. when we emerged from the airport into the ground transportation wing, we could see the long term parking bus up ahead, but i had to stop. we had to stand there for several minutes, because i was starting to cry from the pain. standing or sitting eased the pain from 8.5 down to a 3 on the scale. i became afraid to move any further, and so we stood for i dunno – 10 minutes or so – before i could gather up the courage to walk the rest of the way to the bus stop.

i did not cave in and get a wheelchair because i felt too embarrassed to do so. people on our flight or in general in the airport might see that i was walking just fine to them earlier, and now here i am being a crybaby in a wheelchair. i couldn’t handle what total strangers might think of me. how lame is that?!?

the bus departed as we walked towards it, and my husband slumped his shoulders in frustration. i knew there’d be another bus along shortly but had no energy to say so. we got to the bus stop and i sat down gingerly.
when the next bus arrived, i stood up and cried out in pain. i tried to pull my suitcase but the pain was so strong, i asked my husband to get it onto the bus for me. once on the bus, i sat down and tried to take off my backpack, and cried out in pain again – now even just the effort of moving something more than a pound in weight was too much strain on my pelvic region. people on the bus were staring at me since the moment i set foot on the bus without my luggage. i wanted to tell them to piss off.

I popped a Tylenol 3 but i tell you – it did no good. I had pain all the way home from the airport. I got home and popped 800mg ibuprofen gelcaps and THAT did the trick – within a couple of hours, the pain was fluctuating between 2-5 on the scale.

Blogging on the road

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

While we were out, george struck AGAIN.

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

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

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