Second Laparoscopy – Day After Surgery

Day 1 post-op

I had blood drawn at 4am and again at 7am Saturday morning. I didn’t really obtain deep sleep all night, so it wasn’t too bad to be woken up by the nurses. I think I got up for the day before 8am.

Before 9am, my surgeon Dr. Giudice came in to see me. She told me that overnight, my blood count had dropped, and she was concerned. She told me that before surgery, my blood count was 34, and right after surgery, it was still 34, but at the 4am blood draw, my blood count had dropped to 27.

I asked her what that meant. She said that if my blood count gets to 20, they’ll have to open me back up again, because it means internal bleeding.

My heart dropped. Panic began to set in, but I didn’t want to start screaming like Ren & Stimpy in Space Madness. Meanwhile, my surgeon was talking about blood transfusions if I stay in the 20s with the blood count. She suggested that I start asking friends who would be willing blood donors, rather than going to the blood bank.

I emphatically told my surgeon with a smile that my next blood test would be 33. She said that her realistic expectations were 27-29. I told her it’ll work out, you’ll see.

At this point I cannot recall if she showed me all the photos of my surgery on Saturday, or if it had been Friday night. In any case, I’ll detail it, now. My surgeon told me that I am currently stage I or stage II endometriosis, because it was centered on the ovaries and uterus alone. She could not find the 1cm endometriosis implant on the bladder reflection, and said that sometimes, implants disappear like that. WHOA. CRAZY.
She also found no endometriosis on the bowels or the rectum or the vagina, THANK THE GODS.

The left ovary was adhered to the side of my uterus this time, and all the adhesions were cut away and they freed the ovary up again. Endometriosis was burned off the exterior of the uterus and the pelvic sidewall. I think the left ovary is the one that has an endometrioma dead center in it, so they could not get to it without destroying the ovary. I am assured it will not cause pain.
The right ovary had two endometriosis surface lesions, which were burned off of it.

Dr. Giudice took a shitload of photos of my surgery – before and after shots – and they were not blurry like the one single ‘after’ shot I got from my last surgery.

When my surgeon left, I drew a deep breath, suppressed a scream, and then called my husband, who had gone home to try to sleep in a real bed.
I tried to sound as calm as I could, but as the words spilled out about the low blood count, my voice got higher with panic. This news of course made my husband panic. He panics by getting silent on the other end of the line. He then said solemnly that he’d be there as soon as possible. I apologised and said I just need him physically close, is all, and not to worry, that it will work out, but that in the moment, I needed him real bad.

I then posted to facebook, asking if anyone out there is O+
Nobody was who saw that post go by that day. My husband is O+ but the surgeon refused him as a candidate outright, in case we want to have children some day. It messes with the antibodies or something. Feh. We don’t want kids. Feh.

I realised after I’d called my husband that the rental car he was to try to score that day would no longer be happening, and that I’d be doomed to ride home in his moldy compact car. More feh. I was not in a good mood, but I was determined. I had a little talk with my body and ordered it to straighten up. Then I got up and went for a shuffle down the corridor, and I did my breathing exercises I was prescribed to increase lung capacity again and keep the blood flowing well (10 slow deep breaths in through the mouth, then out through the nose every hour).

I can’t remember when I finally noticed it, but the night before, my husband had put some goals on the white board for me…

Goals for the day...

Goals for the day...

At some point, I got my I.V. removed, because I was peeing up to 10oz at a time, and having to pee every half hour to hour. This helped elevate my mood a bit, because I felt more free range at this point, rather than tethered.

My husband arrived shortly before my next blood draw. My left arm was now looking pretty scary from all the times I’d been stuck over the past 26 hours.

My poor bruised arm

My poor bruised arm

My husband leaned over to hug me and I clutched onto his arm and just held on for a minute.

The rest of the day was a waiting game – I had to wait for delayed breakfast. I had to wait for the nurses to come in when I called them and they were always late or didn’t show at all, which meant my meds were constantly late. I had to wait for the results of the 9am blood draw. Then I had to wait for my urine ‘hat’ to be emptied and realised by this time, nobody was bothering to record my urine output, anyway. I was putting it on the whiteboard in case anyone cared, but the damned hat was full. When someone did come to empty it, I immediately filled it with 10oz again and nobody ever came to check on it again. The daytime nurses really are not in my fan club. The daytime nurses are fragranced, at that. There was one nighttime nurse who was perfumed, but she was not my nurse. I passed her in the hallway and nearly choked to death. She asked me if I was okay. I told her I’m chemically sensitive and that health care professionals aren’t supposed to be scented, anyway. I asked another nurse for a face mask and was happy to receive one with a charcoal filter in it. The scented nurse made rude comments as she walked away. I pfft in her general direction.

So anyway, yeah, the daytime nurses were also scented, but not nearly as bad as the one nighttime nurse was. Thankfully she wasn’t my nurse that night. My nurse was Hannah, and she was the best nurse I had the entire stay in that hospital. I’m in her fan club for sure. She did everything with a pleasant air about her and unconditionally, and really listened and was attentive to her patients. Even when I mentioned as nicely as I could that the guy next door was keeping me awake by his incessant pounding of the call button and his constant adjusting of his bed, nurse Hannah nodded and told me in a non-judgemental tone that the poor man is really ill. She’s a doll. I told her so myself. I’m going to send her a thank you card.

When the blood count finally came back around 10am, I was thrilled that it was 30. I asked if I could go home, and Dr. Wang said I could! Another doctor on the surgery team came in a short while later – the only male doctor on the team – and he told me too that I could go home. He asked if anyone had ever told me I am anemic. I told him no, and that I’d tried to get blood work to prove it, but it always came back “in the normal range.” He told me that my ‘normal’ before and right after surgery, being 34, is anemic. I thanked him for this information, and told him I’d suspected it for years. I told him I have gentle iron tabs at home to take, and he was pleased by this.
Both doctors felt that my surgeon was being a bit too overprotective to keep me longer with the blood count the way it was, but I told them I trusted her word and didn’t want complications to arise later. So they called her up, exchanged the info, and she okayed my discharge with a blood count of 30.

I gently high-fived my husband twice and grinned ear to ear. WOOHOO! I’m being discharged!!

But the waiting was not over, yet. I had to wait nearly FOUR HOURS from the time I was told I’d be discharged, to the time I was actually given a wheelchair ride to freedom. In that time frame, every last one of the people in the rooms adjacent to me, including the guy who was “really ill”, had been discharged! It was a ghost town in that ward!

Waiting to be discharged

Waiting to be discharged

My I.V. port was finally taken out, and I was finally given the discharge paperwork around 2pm, but the nurse on duty did not have the prescription pain meds. She had to phone the surgeon and get it called in to our local pharmacy. In that time, she set the discharge paperwork on top of water the food tray lady had spilled, and then she began writing info on a piece of paper on top of the discharge paperwork, which are carbon copies. So of course whatever she was scribbling went through the copies. Stellar. And she was scented – so I had to put my face mask back on.

I was really glad to be out of there when the wheelchair guy arrived. I forgot to take my breathing contraption. Ah well. I put on my festive fez and off we went!

My husband went to get the car and the male nurse waited with me in the lobby. I was wearing my fez, and the nurse was fascinated by it. I let him hold the fez and examine it, and told him the website where he can get one of his own. :)

Me in my zombie monkey fez, ready to go home!

Me in my zombie monkey fez, ready to go home!

My husband opened the passenger door and I could immediately smell the mold in his car. YUCK!! I braced myself so as not to cry at this indignity, and allowed the male nurse to help me into the car. It was still raining outside, as it had been since the day before. The rain and wind had been fierce overnight. I was given the giant pillow chair to hold onto for the ride home – my pillow chair which had sat in my husband’s car all night, and now smelled like his moldy car. Ugh.

The ride home was just as excruciating as last time. It’s a compact car on bumpy roads. I cursed Mercury Retrograde all the way home for not granting us the ability to have scored a luxury rental car for a smooth ride. I cried, literally cried, on the way home. I took off the fez before the tears spilled, because there’s nothing more sad than a sobbing person wearing a fez.

We got home and I shuffled to the door. My husband was so exhausted that he did not get the wheelchair out of the car that we’d packed for this moment. He walked me to the door and let me in, and then he went and parked his car.

I’m pretty sure I went right to bed. It was excruciating to have to climb into a bed that didn’t have a motor to lower the bed for me. We had to prop up blankets and pillows to get the right incline for me, which also supported my head well enough. And of course once I was settled, I had to pee, so I had to get out of bed again, which hurt like hell. I think I cried a lot that day (Saturday).



I averaged being awake for an hour to an hour and a half at a time, and then sleeping for an hour to three hours in between.

I ate chicken broth and jello and drank smart water all night, and continued to take two Tylenol 3 every 3 hours all night.

My husband tried to get some more housework done Saturday night; dishes and laundry I think. He was already mentally and physically exhausted, but he kept trudging along. I kept telling him to stop and take a break, but he wanted the stuff done. But I swear, it broke him. He was near tears himself, the poor man. I could tell that the work layoff had begun to take its toll on his mental state.

It’s just the last thing we needed when I needed him so desperately to be at beck and call throughout the surgery and the weekend. So to the company that laid him off, I say a big EFF YOU. I say it again. EFF. YOU.

Pre-op update

Monday, December 6: intermittent stabby low uterine/bladder pain – late afternoon. I had consumed caffinated tea at lunch time.

Tuesday, December 7: sharp shooting uterine pain. I doubled over twice, took 600mg ibuprofen about 2:30pm. This was after having consumed caffinated tea less than an hour earlier.

Thursday, December 9: Visit to local family doctor to get peace of mind on the heart murmur that I was born with. I was told it’s barely detectable. I passed a cursory health check and she wrote me a note clearing me for surgery in case I needed the note.

Friday, December 10: Mercury went retrograde. UCSF anesthesiology failed to call me like they had planned, to go over surgery details.

Saturday, December 11: all-day teacher seminar. One of the instructors locked her keys in her car. I chose to call my auto insurance to get the keys out, since she said her husband always has handled the insurance stuff, hence she didn’t know it. The benefit to me waiting for a road service dude was that I didn’t have to sit in a room with 65 women and men wearing toxic scents. Well, for the first hour, anyway. Good thing I’d chosen my seat next to the door before everyone else had arrived.
Got home from the seminar, ate dinner, went to bed.

Sunday, December 12: Attended the (Charles) Dickens Christmas Fair with husband – met up with friends there. Pelvic pain and low back pain hit after walking around for 4 hours – I took 600mg Ibuprofen when I went to bed.

Monday, December 13: saw my shrink, discussed fears of surgery. She donated her old shower stool to me from when she’d had surgery (she has Crohn’s Disease). Husband got home from work that evening and informed me that there would be layoffs on Tuesday. He’s survived four or more rounds of layoffs over the last couple of years, but neither of us were optimistic about this one.

Today, Tuesday, December 14: Husband’s work laid him off. Spent much of the day crying. Had to come home from work at 2:30pm because I wasn’t coping. Husband arrived home shortly after me. I had shots of booze waiting for us. He drank two shots of fine whisky, I drank a shot of rum. We spent the afternoon talking about everything financial as related to the surgery. He’s got 4 months severance and health benefits, so he thinks we’ll be alright. He’s got money in checking and savings. I have nothing – I never have anything – I don’t make shit for pay. It all goes to two credit card bills, renter’s insurance, car insurance, earthquake insurance, special-needs groceries, and Internet access.

I spent this evening cleaning the bedroom, as I was scheduled to do before my surgery. We also went grocery shopping. My husband was invited to a friend’s house to drink – I was invited too, but declined because the nesting effect is so strong right now before surgery. And well, I’m not supposed to be drinking alcohol, especially so close to surgery, anyway.

Tomorrow is my last day at work for four to six weeks. I am taking the day before surgery off work as a mental health and preparedness day.

I don’t recall if I went into details before my last surgery – about the emotional aspect of having surgery. There’s a lot of normal irrational fear of dying, fear of something going wrong, fear of nothing being found. My added irrational stress is that we’ve just entered Mercury retrograde in Capricorn on a waxing Moon in Taurus. Also, with the surgery being a week before christmas, if anything goes wrong, my husband is left to mourn every christmas season.
Rationally, scheduling the surgery at this time works out best, because we both have the time off work (holiday shutdown), and because the deductible has already been met, so out-of-pocket cost is about $300 (and it doesn’t roll over to the next year). The surgery works best right now especially, since we don’t know what kind of insurance we’ll have after this. So the timing is shitty, but at the same time for the best.

I just wish I could stop getting myself worked up to near-panic mode.

Always with the catching up

NOTE: This post contains references to relations between a married couple. You know, hootie hoo, insert tab A into slot B… that sort of thing. It’s on topic!

I’m looking for a job full time, researching and blogging for endometriosis awareness full time, and going to job interviews. So now my pain diary is falling behind. Don’t even get on me about ReliefInSite or CureTogether – I’ve barely touched those, either. Always playing catch-up.

So let’s go back in time once again, and then get caught up to present day.

Thursday March 12 was the ant invasion on the heaviest day of my menstrual cycle. My husband brought home peppermint and cinnamon oils. We tried those in dilution, to no avail. The next day, I said screwit and applied cinnamon oil directly. That seems to have worked.

I noted that I felt better on Friday, March 13. I continued to feel better. I did go to the doctor and saw whomever was available – Dr. Tsao was good to me. She told me black stools are normal when taking iron, and nothing to worry about. She sent me for a blood draw. A week later it came back that my iron levels, despite having taken all that iron, were still low!!! She said my levels were on the low end of “normal”, but still low, and to just continue taking the supplements as I’d been doing. I backed off anyway, though. I’ll just take the recommended dose for the next month and see how that goes.


I did get to Calistoga and had a nice time. I swam in a 102°F pool, I got an hour-long massage, and I giggled with a gaggle of women and we all helped our friend have a great, low-key bachelorette, just what she wanted.

I did get out to the nightclub for the 16-year anniversary party of that club’s existence. Had a fun time. Danced my little patootie off.

I did get to the job interview on Tuesday, March 17, and I did great, but as expected, I did not get the job, because of my health condition. She stated it directly as the reason why she did not hire me, but thanked me for being forthright.

Now, I don’t really talk about this … but really I should…as uncomfortable for me as this is, it’s important for me to be able to track back and relay this info to my doctors…I was intimate with my hubby on March 17 but I had pain and spotting right after. I am clinically diagnosed with dyspaneuria (pain with sex) as part of the larger endometriosis diagnosis, though doctors can’t say for sure if it’s because of the fact that I also have a tipped uterus or if it’s because of the location of the endometriosis in my pelvic region.

The uterine/bladder pain continued into the next three days, with moderate low back pain as well. So Tuesday was mild to moderate uterine pain, Wednesday was moderate uterine plus low back pain, Thursday was on and off pain in uterine area and low back, and then on Friday, it worsened. I noted that I felt the need to urinate frequently. This began overnight, and worsened through the day on Friday. I had stinging pelvic pain, and I also developed hip pain after walking in San Francisco a mile and a half from my gynecological surgeon’s office back to bus station. I could have taken the bus, but I hate taking the bus because I really don’t like being in that close of proximity with strangers. I had too much mental energy going on and preferred to walk.

On Saturday, March 21, the pain was gone. I did get my hair coloured, and it turned out faboo! My husband liked my new hair colour, too. >:)
More intimacy ensued, and there was no pain during or after! (the month of March is by far the most action I’ve given my hubby in a long time. Wish it could be like this all the time, with no pain of course).

On Sunday, I had another job interview, and it went really well, but again, I’m not holding my breath.
Sunday evening, we joined up with friends at a local theater which was abruptly shut down after longstanding disagreements and negotiations between building owner and tenants failed to produce an outcome desireable to the owner. People were out collecting signatures to try to persuade the owners to reopen the theater. We saw our last show there with friends, and I had two glasses of wine. When we got home, my husband handed me a shot of whisky. It had been a tough day – we were both wrecked emotionally by seeing our friends literally weep because the place they got married in was now shut down. I promised the guy doing the paper petition that I’d help him also get an online petition going to further his cause, and now that seems to have become my third unpaid job.
I have a full time job of looking for work, a full time job of endometriosis awareness blogging, and now a part time job of monitoring signatures for an online petition (we’re already up to 316 signatures in just two days!)

Noting the fact that I drank alcohol on Sunday is important because…

On Monday night, I was preparing to go out dancing again. As I leaned forward in a chair to tie my boots, it felt like my entire pelvic region was frozen in place – it simply didn’t want to move with the rest of my body. The pain was sharp, stabby, and made me cry out. The pain didn’t dissipate like it sometimes does after a wrong move like that. The pain just continued, like waves fanning out after something initially hits the water. I popped half of a Tylenol 3 and went out dancing anyway, because I’m stubborn like that.

Movement and exercise did not help.

I am here to tell all doctors, friends and family members, that telling anyone with endometriosis that you’ve heard that exercise helps – IT’S ALL LIES.
So shut the hell up!

The pain was pretty unbearable at times, but I still tried dancing when I could. I rarely lasted an entire song, because I was so fatigued and/or in pain. I took another half Tylenol 3 on the way home from the club.
Late Monday night, the hubby and I were at it again. I was drugged on Tylenol 3 so I thought I was feeling better, right? HAH. The fun didn’t last long. The pain was razor sharp and I started spotting.

I woke up Tuesday and POOF! The pain was gone.

I had yet another job interview on Tuesday, and while at the interview, the pain returned. Go me! :(
I was handling a 6-month-old baby. He’s not heavy – he’s kinda small for his age. So lifting and carrying a baby can’t possibly be what set off the pain, could it? I have no idea.
The pain continued on and off for the rest of the day.

I accomplished putting away some laundry and catching up on endo awareness blogging, but found it hard to wind down at the end of the night. I’m sick of having pelvic pain when I’m not even on my period. I’m bitter. I’m angry. So in that, I become weak and I cave into coping mechanisms. Like drinking. I had a glass and a half of wine last night before bed to chill the hell out. It worked – I was able to get in some leisure reading (oh it’s never JUST leisure with me, I ended up taking notes for later research – the books I was enjoying had to deal with stuff to see in the UK).

Woke up today, and so far, I’m feeling fine.

Today I plan to hang out with a friend in SF whom I’ve not seen in awhile. We’re supposed to go thrift store shopping. Let’s see how well my body holds up.

So to summarise, let’s put it all in perspective, my month so far:


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.

More on the job / sick front

Came home to a curious letter from the unemployment department today. I thought the gubment cut this out of the latest war funding bill at the last second, but apparently not. Dubya relented and signed the unemployment benefits extension on June 30, 2008. This extends unemployment benefits for 13 months.

Californians, see it here.

Other states – just look up your local unemployment office online, or phone them, or wait for your letter w/ contact info. ;)

This is excellent news for me and maybe some of you. Although I am working again, I am not full time, so I should be granted some money. Unless the labor board settlement happens, then perhaps the state will tell me to feck right straight off. But I’ll fight for it for April to my settlement award date though, because I didn’t go back to work officially for someone until May 16, 2008, and only then it was part time and not guaranteed (The agency’s had nothing for me for a month now since I asked to be reassigned).

Getting this letter in the mail was not without its troubles. I went online to fill out my application to be considered for the additional benefits, and in so doing I had to look up all former employers dating back 18 months – in essence, I had to fill out a new unemployment claim all over again. This of course caused flashbacks of all the nasty companies I worked for in the past 18 months. Not only was there the company that fired me for having Endometriosis, which I can now say with authority gave me PTSD, there was also the two jobs I held that summer; one of which was going to fire me for having Endometriosis, but I quit rather than be humiliated, and the other company in which I endured daily racial harrassment from someone who’s had a very rough time with racism in her own life, and wants to take it out on every white person she meets, and is not shy in admitting as much while abusing people.

I had to take a break from filling out the unemployment application, because I started getting chest pains.

Now that the form is submitted, I’m left with a stomach ache.

I am never, EVER going to work for a corporation or company again if I can help it. It’s only private individuals for me until I can become fully self-employed and not have to worry about working under anyone ever again.

Stress today is making me sick

The labor board called while I was out walking the baby I’ve been caring for. They said they were in a meeting right then with the company who fired me. They said they had a counter offer ready for me and wanted me to let them know if I would accept it right there on the spot: $17K, which is $7K more than their last offer. They told me this will cover five months lost wages plus $4K for my pain and suffering.

I told them no, I’m outside at the moment, I’ll have to call them back. The company pressured the labor board to ask me to make a decision. I told the labor board NO, I will NOT make a decision until I’ve had a chance to further review this once I get home, and I’m not currently at home. I asked for til the end of the day. They said that’s not possible. I said give me at least an hour. They said fine but weren’t happy with me. I told them they had no right dictating how fast I must move on this after what they’ve done to me. The labor board representative told me that my decision to call them back within an hour was fine by him, and that I can say no right now if I want. I thanked him and said I’d call back.

I called my father and my man, and talked it over with them. My father advised me to settle. My man reminded me that I was told the hearing between the labor board and the company was supposed to be tomorrow, so why are they calling me today? Good point.

I called the labor board back and got ahold of my representative. He informed me that the date he’d given me a couple months back for the hearing – well that was contingent upon whether it was a WEEKDAY or not, and therefore if it fell on a weekend, they’d do it on the weekday before the weekend. I wanted to hit him at this point. I asked him why he’d given me a definitive date then! I told him I didn’t realise the OFFICIAL hearing was in process when I got the call, else I’d not have been so rude. I apologised to the rep. He said it’s okay. He told me not to worry about it. He explained that if I say no to the $17k, I must give another figure for them to counter.
Well, seeing as the last figure I heard from the labor board was $66K, and my initial thoughts of getting one year’s salary was equal to $36K, I asked for advice from the rep. He said that if I give them a figure higher than their figure but lower than my figure, they can negotiate. He said this can go on until November, when my statute of limitations is reached for this case.

I decided to take it down by half of the labor board’s figure and told my rep $33K. He told me that was a good move, because now the company will see that I’m trying to resolve this, too. Yeah yeah fine fine.

He called back within three hours and told me the company countered again to $22K.

I told him NO. I should have said $30K but I came down to $25K. It’s what they’re counting on – wearing me down. Blah.

I’ve not heard from him for the rest of the day. I’m sure they’ll take the $25 and cut me a check. If they don’t, I’ll be enraged – I am NOT going down any lower than that, and I’ll raise it back up if I have to and start all over again.

Their settlement absolves them of any wrongdoing. This is why I’m so pissed off.

I spoke recently with my friend’s step-mother, who is a labor lawyer. She told me that the company is located in a city and county that she considers to be a ‘bad venue’, because they always get away with so much abuse towards their employees. This company is in the heart of silicon valley of course.

So it should not be surprising then that they are trying to pay as little as possible or of being allowed to just settle, or lawyers being afraid to tackle them. This is why I’m never going to work for a corporation again if I can help it, and I’m making good on my promise to never work in dotcom again, EVER.

In a perfect world, this company would pay me a year at full pay, then pay me a second year of the same to compensate me for what they’ve put me through.

As an example of what they’ve put me through – just the little bit of dealing with them that I had to endure today has left me near tears and having diarrhea. I’ve had two episodes already. I’m super tired and depressed. I just want to go home and cry, but I’m at work.

While all this was going on by phone, I was walking the baby, who started to fuss. After the call, she cried and cried because she was in her stroller for too long (note to self: baby’s threshhold is an hour walk, no more)(I was selfish and wanted to see how far I could walk today before the big AIDS Walk, and thought baby wouldn’t mind). I fed the baby in a local park on the way back to her house, but she was too upset by that time. She sucked down her entire bottle and demanded more, which I did not have. She screamed her head off for thirteen minutes before falling asleep.

Bad choice I made there, with the labor board thing happening today. If I’d known it would happen today, perhaps I’d not have taken baby for such a long walk, and I’d have had all my paperwork and calculator ready!!@!@%#$%^

So I got the baby home, fed her a little more milk, got her down to nap, and thankfully she’s been down for over two hours, now. I could have had it even rougher today than I did.

The being near tears, the diarrhea – if that’s not PTSD from a fecking job, I don’t know what is.

So in a perfect world, not only would they pay me a year’s salary times two, to cover emotional damage, but they’d also be forced to take employee sensitivity training, and they’d be forced to educate themselves on Endometriosis and other ‘invisible’ disabilities. And they’d have to give me an in-person apology in front of their entire company, while handing me a check with the dollar figure on the check large enough for everyone to read. Then they’d have to have individual team meetings afterward, in which their team leaders would explain how discrimination cuts into the company’s bottom line, all the way down to one’s salary, so DON’T DO IT.

In a perfect world, this abuse wouldn’t even happen.

Protected: Unexpected meltdown

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Anyone got any xanax?

I woke up to get ready to work out this morning and had to stand in the hallway for a couple of minutes to guage whether or not I felt well enough to leave the house. I’m not bleeding yet – it’s the pre-menstrual pain and discomfort. I had slight nausea, too. When I have that, usually it means I’m about to bleed profusely.

I stood there long enough that my cat woke up and jumped down off the couch and came up to me as if to ask how I was doing. ;)

I decided that since I’d not heard from my friend the night before about gym plans, that there was no sense in potentially awakening her this morning just to say I’m not going to the gym. I went back to bed.

I awoke again 3 hours later of a nightmare wherein I was trying to get to work and kept running into women blocking the road in one way or another. The second woman had a big truck parked on the railroad tracks I was trying to drive on??!?

The tracks were on a bed of gravel perpendicular to the road for cars. I had words with the woman. She was bitchy back at me, saying her car was broken down and she needed help. I treated her like a homeless begging vagrant and turned around to try another pathway to work. Suddenly I was without a car myself and found myself running on train tracks embedded in a cement road, off to the right from where I left the woman standing.

I then heard a train’s horn. I turned around as I ran and saw the train barreling down the tracks towards me. I started to run to get out of the way, running towards a ditch, and my thought was, “I don’t think I’ll make it in time, trains go faster than we think they do.”

And then I woke up.

To analyse the dream, I go to my handy dandy dream dictionary:

“To see an obstruction on railroad tracks, suggests you have done something you’re sorry about.”

“Running in a dream suggests that you are feeling trapped or pressured in a real life relationship. It can also mean you feel stressed by school or work.”

“To dream that you are running in slow motion – or that you are trying to run but cannot make your feet move as fast as you want them to – signifies a lack of self-esteem and self-confidence on your part. Try to believe in yourself more.”

“To dream about people getting killed by a train, or of being in a train wreck, suggests that progress towards your goals is not going according to plans. This may be because you lack the self-confidence to pursue them whole-heartedly.”

I’m still slightly nauseated, still no bleeding, still low uterine pain and now moderate low back pain, and I feel like I want to cry all day.

And the dream is spot on, by the way.

I feel highly pressured to get back to work and this paralyses me with fear. There’s nobody close to me pressuring me – it’s all in my head – fear of being forced by the state to go back to work before I’m ready. The side of my fear is that I don’t want to go through the abuse again of an employer constantly telling me every week that they’ll fire me if I don’t come to work every single day.

I really hope the settlement comes soon. I can’t go back to work. My anxiety is such that I’ll have a full on breakdown over it. I’m scarred mentally from what I’ve been through with that last employer.

With all this fear and paralysis, it makes it hard to continue working on my web business, because I feel I’m no good at it. I feel like I’ll never be successful, like I’m wasting my time, like what I’m doing is totally unreasonable, like I’m being a slacker and a sponge on my man, draining him of his finances.

Today is fired.

At least my cats know this. Kiki has his head on my right leg, and Zenaide is draped over my left arm as I sit on the couch using the laptop. They’ve come to comfort me.

The depression continues

Woke up this morning and the first thought that hit my head was:

*looks around bedroom*


“I think I’m ready to go back to work, now.”

All day today, I’ve felt like I’m on the vacation that’s gone on for far too long.

Despite the fact that up until Friday, I’ve not felt like I’ve been on vacation. As a matter of fact, I’ve been working very hard the past four months to get my astrology site to a state where it looks desireable for customers to want to buy a chart and bring their friends and family in.

But I brought this “vacation” mindset upon myself last week when I was cleaning the house and preparing myself for a long weekend with george.

George didn’t show up and I’ve gotten tired of waiting around for him to show up.

The problem with my thoughts this morning of being ready to go back to work is that I didn’t mean, back to work on the astrology business.

I meant, back to work in the traditional sense – working FOR someone FOR a steady paycheck.

However strong my urge was to look for work today, I realise that we’re still in a Mercury retrograde, and for me, that’s bad news when looking for, obtaining or having trouble on a job.

Mercury retrograde doesn’t stop until tomorrow, but Mercury doesn’t end up going forward in the sky until March 10th. Hell if I’m gonna get a traditional job willfully before that date.
Moving forward. That’s what I’d like to do in life.

I just gotta stay patient and remember that george hasn’t hit yet, and I’m still depressed, and to just take it easy on myself. I’m still in downtime. It’s a bad one with a week of emotional hell leading up to george. But I can get through this.

P.S. I’m freezing.