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).

Pillowpalooza.

Pillowpalooza.


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.

Second laparoscopy – Day of surgery

I slept maybe four and a half hours the night before surgery, but was ready for the day when my alarm went off at 4:30am. I had showered the night before.

It had rained all night. I got my stuff together and off we went in the wee hours of the morning to the hospital. I was very stressed out that we’d be taking my husband’s car to the hospital – I’d desperately wanted a rental car for the day of surgery and the ride home. The reason is that a couple of years ago, the sunroof in my husband’s car leaked, and it was months before he got it looked at, so the interior of the car molded. It smells awful to this day. I even bought him a mold spore detector, and it came back nasty. He sent it in to be analysed and the results came back indicating mold.
He took his car in to to the detail shop to be cleaned, and declared his car all better. But his car was not all better – it still smelled awful. Ever since then, he’s been highly defensive and even angry whenever I bring it up. I have a mold allergy, so I rarely like to ride in his car. We totally smell whenever we ride in his car. He swears he cannot smell it. It’s a point of constant stress between us.

I did not want to have mold on me just before entering surgery. I did not want mold on me on the ride home from surgery. And yet, this is all we had to work with. My car was not an option because the seats are far too low and I feared I’d be in worse pain for the ride home.

We got there at 5:30am like we were told (2 hours before surgery), only to be met with the fact that Admissions was not open, yet! There were two or three other groups of people waiting outside the admissions office as well. My husband went to park the car in a better spot while I waited.

Good morning...waiting for Admissions to open...

Good morning...waiting for Admissions to open...

”It’s


Once Admissions opened, it wasn’t very long til I was registered and sent up to the third floor. I turned in my paperwork at a little window and was given a room immediately. I shared a room with someone this time – an older woman with a jaw injury of some sort.
After I got into my surgery clothes (gown, slippers, net hat), my husband decided I should wear the fez I brought. I was saving it for being discharged from the hospital, but decided what the heck, and put it on. This of course had the whole team of people who came to see me full of smiles and giggles.
A woman named Michelle came in to ask if I wanted to be part of a study for endometriosis, and I told her yes, definitely. I signed all the required paperwork. The anesthesiology team came in and I had notes for them this time – I wanted the drug Versed, and I wanted the intubation tube to be smaller, cuz they’d scraped me going in, last time. I was told everyone gets Versed, now. Woo! Party! heh.

My husband and I went down a partial list of my worst allergies, including latex. I have to thank my husband for remembering to bring that one up, cuz I was focusing on foods. The latex reminder was super important as it meant I’d get a silicone intubation and catheterisation. I focused on the corn allergy, because I did not want dextrose in the I.V., so they gave me a regular sugar/saline bag instead.

I also talked with anesthesiology about bulging discs in my neck, and remembered to bring copies of my MRIs and x-rays which proved the condition. They promised to take good care in positioning my head and neck.

The surgical team came in and introduced themselves – there were four people. Probably the same as last time, but it seemed like a lot. The surgery room sure can get crowded, sheesh!

At some point, my I.V. was hooked up, and I was denied numbing agent – I was told by the woman setting me up that she didn’t carry any on her, or they were running low on it, or something.

After I talked to everyone, the Versed was injected into my I.V. line, and I felt the effects immediately. Soon afterward, I said goodbye to my husband and gave him my eyeglasses and fez for safe keeping, and was wheeled into surgery.

This time, I remember being wheeled into surgery, because they took me so soon after giving me the Versed. I remember entering the surgical room and being asked to help with the placement of my body on the table. Thankfully, the table was not cold, as other women have described on the endometriosis forums. I don’t remember anything after that.

The next thing I remember was being wheeled to a room. People left me on the gurney in the hallway for a few seconds to finish prepping the room. I was in and out of consciousness. My husband says I was conscious upon exit of the surgery room, and says I recognised him. He says I was in the post op recovery room for two hours after surgery. I don’t remember any of this.

The next thing I remember was seeing my husband in the room I was admitted to. I asked how it all went, and he told me they’d gotten all the endo they could see/find. I did not question the fact that I’d been admitted because I didn’t yet realise I’d been admitted.

The surgeon came in a little while later and told me she wanted to keep me overnight for observation, because they’d bumped into the mesentery of the small intestine, which caused immediate bruising. She said she didn’t realise at first that they’d bumped into it with the camera scope, so when they turned on the camera and saw the bruising, they panicked and began searching all over the area for a puncture mark. They called in an oncologist in the event they were dealing with a cancer. The oncologist assured them that it was just from being bumped, and that I’d be okay, and to stop prodding around.

I’m very glad she told me all of this, and of course I was a bit worried. I didn’t like the fact that I’d been admitted to stay overnight, but I was glad at the same time that my surgeon was taking precaution.

Upon hearing the news of surgery complications

Upon hearing the news of surgery complications


At this point I was told I needed to get up and walk around, and that I was still catheterised. I was still pretty wiped out, and high on pain meds – I found out I was being given regular doses of Dilaudid intravenously. The slightest movement made me very dizzy. Getting up wasn’t going to be easy. I began to fret immediately over two things: how much extra things were going to cost insurance-wise, and dealing with a catheter while conscious – especially the eventual removal of it. *shudder*

I really cannot remember too much of the sequence of the day of surgery. I was in and out of consciousness all day. It was extremely painful to move. I needed regular doses of medication and for some reason wasn’t given the pump they said they’d give me. I needed to be repositioned often, because I hurt and was not comfortable in any position. The act of repositioning also hurt like hell, but nurse Annika was good to me.

It was a long day. I was determined not to stay on the catheter – it was getting increasingly uncomfortable, anyway. By evening, nurse Hannah was on duty, and helped me with catheter removal. I cried out several times but she was slow about it like I requested, and very patient with me. It stung and pinched and hurt so bad. Ugh. I haven’t been in that much pain since childhood UTIs afflicted me.

After that, the goal was to urinate on my own, and that meant having to get out of bed. Nurse Hannah put a ‘hat’ in the toilet bowl to measure my urinary output.

At some point, dinner arrived. I was served Juk and hot water with option of a tea bag. I declined the tea, but was so hungry that I ate a third, if not half of the Juk.

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Not long after, I experienced horrible pain under my ribs, radiating up to my shoulders. I recognised this pain from the first surgery as the gas pain, and I also knew that I had eaten too much too soon, because of the pressure on the diaphragm. The pain was unbearable, and I was moaning and crying. Most likely I was a 9 on the pain scale. I got up to walk at this point.

On my very first walk, I shuffled the length of the corridor and back again! I was impressed with myself, and the pain level in the ribs and shoulder dropped to about a 3. My husband and the nurses were impressed with me, too. But the walk took a toll and as I approached my room, I began to experience bad pain. I was once again elevated – an 8 on the pain scale. This time, the pain was centered in the pelvic region and was of course due to the walking.

My husband had gone home and come back – so he’d had a very long day. He stayed with me until about 11pm and was reluctant to go, but needed to go home because he needs a CPAP to sleep.

Husband, watching over me in the hospital.

Husband, watching over me in the hospital.


Nurse Hannah was the best nurse I had while in the hospital. She cared for me all night and was so patient and unconditional. To pass the hours, I tried to listen to my headphones, and I got out of bed and stood for awhile, and I spent long periods of time in the bathroom, trying to get my brain to reconnect with my bladder. I can’t remember when I was able to urinate, but I was very proud of myself.

Finally, around 1am, I was able to sleep. I could only sleep for an hour to an hour and a half at a time, because I had to keep getting up to urinate.

Hopefully the last of it

I did wake up relatively pain-free, but not without having had a bit of a rough night.

I went to bed by 9pm because of the pain and immense fatigue. My husband came to bed sometime before midnight. I know because not long after, we were awakened by the phone ringing. It was my neighbor – her parrot had just died, and she was sobbing hysterically.

I got dressed and walked to the back of the house – she lives in the smallest unit in the converted Victorian. I spent the next hour with her – holding her, hugging her, talking with her, listening to her. I cried a lot, too. I have lost pets dear to me before, so I knew the pain. And I liked her parrot – he was quite a character. He was 20 years old. She said he hopped out of his cage and started making weird sounds, and flapped as he staggered across the room to be with his human. She put him up on her shoulder and I guess he tried to settle, and calmed for a moment, but got all twitchy again, then got weaker and weaker, and just fell into her hands and died.

Chili 1990 ~ 2010

Chili 1990 ~ 2010


My husband had to be up at 5am to drive an hour to the other work location for an early morning meeting, so I knew that me getting up at midnight and being gone for an hour like that was sure to disturb his sleep. It’s two hours earlier than he usually has to get up, so he was already not sleeping well to begin with. The fact that he had to get up an hour and a half before my alarm also meant that my disruption in sleep would greatly affect me.

When my alarm went off, I snoozed and snoozed til the last possible minute, but of course it’s fretful sleep when you hit snooze repeatedly. I was able to shower and get to work on time, though. I was thankful that the pain had passed.

However, by the time I got to work, I was already hypoglycemic and achey. The weird thing is that they did not expect me in today or tomorrow! It was written on the calendar and everything. The secretary was pretty confused, and said I’m always good about letting everyone know when I won’t be in, so how she wrote me off work like that was weird. I half jokingly told her not to worry, I might not last the day, anyway.

And so it was. The pain set in by about 10:45am, and the bleeding returned. It was all the stooping and bending, all the sitting down on the hard floor and getting back up again that did me in. But that’s what a preschool teacher does – a lot of moving around like that.

I was hoping that last night’s massive pain and bleeding had been “the last gasp” as my husband calls it, but I guess not. Although, the bleeding did not return with force today. It was just a bit of spotting. The pelvic pain was the thing that returned with force. I asked a fellow assistant teacher if I could do the snack cleanup duty instead of group time overview (because it meant more stooping and bending and getting up and down).

Even washing up some dishes and loading the dishwasher was too much for me. As I was drying the food containers a parent had brought, one of my head teachers approached me and told me it was the first day of her period, and her cramps were really bad, so she was going home. I wished her well and told her I hoped the pain would not be too bad for too long.

I returned to class and was on my way to get my water bottle when my other head teacher looked at me and said, “are you in pain?” I stopped and blinked. I thought I had masked it well enough today, cuz I was trying to stay up and about instead of giving in to the pain. I sighed and said I was just about to take some Advil, that the cramps had ramped up again.
The teacher told me she had worked with her friend’s sister in this school before, and one day she passed out from the pain. My eyes grew wide. I reassured her that I have never passed out from the pain, and that I would go home if the pain got too bad.

She replied, “You don’t look good. You should go home. We’ll be okay.”

So I took 600mg Advil and wrapped up the snack cleanup that hadn’t been fully finished because the newest assistant seemed a bit overwhelmed today. It’s okay – she’s doing an awesome job. Duties just sometimes get behind the pace of the schedule. We go with it and try to keep the flow. She provided overview with the children at group time to be there for another assistant teacher who was running the group, and I cleaned up and it worked out.
I made sure the afternoon supervisor would be okay without me, and then I saw the children out to the lunch tables at 11:30am with the rest of the lunch staff, and then I went home for the day.

The other weird thing that happened was when I phoned my husband to tell him I came home early. He asked, “Came home? From where?”

I blinked at the phone.

“Uh…from work. I had to work today. It’s Thursday.”

He replied that he didn’t know I was well enough to return to work at all, after having seen the condition I was in last night when he got home from work. I giggled – he’s right, how could he have known my plans if I’d not told him, “tomorrow I think I’ll be okay enough to return to work.”

So I told him how I had felt better and how after a few hours, the pain returned, like it does.

He told me to take it easy for the rest of the day. Sweet man.

I got home and ate my leftover Indian food (Saag Paneer and rice), and felt the crushing weight of fatigue upon me. But my mind would not let me sleep. I’m 15 days from surgery and all I can think about is getting things in order before the downtime.

It didn’t help that I got restless by being home all afternoon.

The carpets were filthy.

I vacuumed.

I COULDN’T HELP IT!

I wanted to clean out the fridge. I wanted to clean the bathroom walls. But I didn’t, because I knew it would make the pain so much worse. As it was, the vacuuming brought on a new round of cramps. I knew it would, and I did it anyway, because I was antsy and had cabin fever. The fact that it’s raining again doesn’t help the pelvic pain or my joint pain, either. Bleh. And I’ve been freezing all day. I had the furnace on and the space heater. Stupid hormonal whack. Stupid illness.

That’s how it goes.

I crawled into bed at 8pm, and texted my husband. He was exhausted from his long work day, and was now on his way to band practice.

Aww man! I forgot he had band practice tonight.

I’d been waiting for him to get home so he could declare how exhausted he was and just order us some food.

Poop.

So out of bed I got and made some gluten-free mac ‘n cheese with canned tuna.

It’s the same thing I made for lunch yesterday. Le sigh.

trader-joes-gluten-free-rice-pasta-cheddar

 

But I’m being responsible and eating what’s in the house, instead of ordering out like I did last night. And besides, the bills need to be paid up so that I don’t worry about ’em during recovery from my surgery. The more bills and such I cover right now, the easier the financial burden will be on my husband when he has to support me for a couple of months while I get back on my feet financially after having been off work for a month. I’ve been doubling up payments on one of my credit cards, too. Paying bills online today was one of the things I was able to check off my pre-surgery To Do list. The other thing I checked off the list was scheduling the ECG. I had no idea my family doctor could do that in office! Oh. Crap. Gotta make sure the insurance will cover it at that office, though.

Anyway, so here we are at 9:30pm. I’ve taken a total of 600mg Advil and 2 Tylenol 3 half pills today. And actually, I might take another half pill soon, because the low and mid back pain is increasing like it did last night before bed. :(
I need to get out of bed one last time to put away the uneaten portion of the mac ‘n cheese for tomorrow’s lunch.

Here I go.

Another pain status update

Thursday was a pain-free day! Yay!

On Friday, the pain returned. I had a lot of joint pain and back pain that day. By evening, my upper back was trying to seize up. By the time we left our friends’ house, my left upper arm was in constant spasm. As a matter of fact, it’s still in spasm.

Despite the low back and pelvic pain for much of the day (which was kicked up after being intimate, OF COURSE), I went walking all over town with my husband, and I refused to take pain medication in case I wanted to partake in any alcohol with friends (which I did later that evening).

I wondered if the resurgence in pain could be attributed to having been intimate with my husband, or if it was due to the impending rainfall, or if it was due to eating inflammatory foods, or all of the above. I felt guilty only for the inflammatory food ingestion, but only a little guilty. I have to LIVE my life, dammit.

When we got home last night, I thought I would need to go right to bed, because for some reason I was running a 99.9°F fever. I got all paranoid that someone I’d spent time with at two Thanksgiving gatherings the day before had gotten me sick. The flu is going around, and I’ve been trying to avoid the preschool crud for the past month as it is.

Despite the fever, I found I was restless. This is when the urge to CLEAN came over me again, as strongly as the urge had been on Wednesday night, when I was on my hands and knees wiping down baseboards in the kitchen and bathroom.

I was up til nearly 3am dusting furniture in the living room and rearranging toys and knick-knacks that we collect.

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Part of the reason for this rearranging was that my husband has just purchased a new television and will be purchasing a new furniture stand for said television, so we needed to clear off the old entertainment center. I just had the energy in me to do it in the middle of the night last night, is all…

All the dust from the shelves had stirred up my allergies, so I took a full dose of Benadryl, hoping that it would serve to knock me out so I could finally get some rest.

Rest was not to be found! Though the good news is that my temperature went back down to normal.

I went to bed around 3am and still could not settle. And on top of it, I was freezing (thanks to premenstrual hormones). My entire body was tense, and my left arm was still in muscle spasm – not painful spasm mind you, but just a continual muscle twitch up near the shoulder.

Around 4am I could take it no longer, and I took my very last half pill of muscle relaxer I’d been saving. Finally, between the Benadryl and the muscle relaxer, I was able to get in a few hours of sleep. However, by 7:30am, my entire body was in full on clench mode again. I was sleeping with my fists balled up and my shoulders trying to touch. Even the heating pad didn’t dent the muscle tension.

I swear, at this point I prayed for horse tranquilizers.

Intermittently throughout the night, the pelvic pain also made itself known. It’s hard to know if the pain was solely because I’d been intimate with my husband the day before, or if it was solely because my period is due today, or if it’s the rainstorm that finally manifested overnight, or if it is a combination of all of the above.

Then there’s the fact that I’ve eaten nothing but inflammatory food and drink all weekend (pie, cookies, chocolate, nigori sweet sake, ham, steak, crab, butter, waffles with syrup, bacon, coffee with sugar and cream, cheetos!!).
Seriously, every last one of those items is on the inflammatory foods list and/or my forbidden foods list.

Today I will begin the round-the-clock Ibuprofen dosing. The pelvic pain is a low, droning ache. The low back pain is moderate, and is as a result kicking up some nausea. I’ve been doing slow stretches since last night for the pain.

My fever has not returned – so far so good! I really don’t like dealing with the endometriosis flareups while also being sick with a virus.

Outside, the rain is an on again, off again drizzle, with threatening-looking clouds. It’s a breezy 52°F (11°C).

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And that’s the report – I was due today but so far nothing has started to flow, yet, aside from the pain of course.
I estimate I’m currently a 3.5 on the pain scale. And now it’s time to get up and move around…and take that ibuprofen.

Pre-menstural pain is debilitating

The mid-cycle pain (mittelschmerz) started on November 16 and lasted through November 17.

On November 18, I was highly fatigued, and missed a friend’s concert. I was however able to get some teaching internship homework done that night, with my remaining spoons.

I got through work on November 19, and had to return to work on November 20 for the annual Fall Harvest Festival. Parents of the children who attend the school were put into groups and had a continent assigned to them. They all had to cook or bring foods found or popular to a particular continent. Each class did songs and dances relating to the continent/country they are studying. My class has been studying the Philippines in Asia, and so they counted from one to ten in Tagalog, sang Sampung mga daliri (see another cute rendition here), attempted a traditional dance, and sang I Am But A Small Voice (which went so well that they got wild applause).

After the Fall Harvest Festival, I needed downtime. I’d used up all my spoons, but I still wanted to go out dancing that night. I was pretty upset with my body for being so tired and achey. I was mad at my mind for being so moody and premenstrual.
I ended up staying home and joining a party of friends 2,500 miles away in my home state. They were having a party and so I joined them on Skype. They were all super drunk and having a fun time, so my husband and I decided to have elderflower fizz – it is elderflower liquor with champagne.

Well, the champagne hated me worse than I expected. I know I’m not supposed to have anything with yeast or sulfites, but this particular champagne must have been loaded with them. My stomach hadn’t hurt that bad or been that upset in a long time. What a shitty day overall it had turned out to be, health-wise and emotionally for me.

On Sunday, November 21, I went to a matinee with my husband and two of our friends – we saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. When I got home, I spent the rest of the evening once again catching up on teaching internship homework, and practicing my presentation for Monday.

Despite the weekend’s ups and downs, my husband and I were able to enjoy each other intimately. I note this because with endometriosis, it is often difficult to be intimate without grave pain. Twice a month is the norm – anything more than that and we’re jumping for joy. Such as it was this month – a veritable jumping for joy.

On Monday, November 22, I began to experience gnawing uterine cramps, and I knew this was the result of having been intimate with my husband over the weekend, because I am diagnosed with dyspareunia. Same thing happened which set off the mittelschmerz last week.
So on Monday, I had sharp stabbing pain on the right, then on the left, then radiating through the rectum as day/night progressed. That day, I took half a Tylenol 3 + 400mg Ibuprofen at lunchtime at work. Later, I ingested half a Tylenol 3 + 400mg Ibuprofen at dinner time, and then another half Tylenol 3 after dinner while at a friend’s house catching up on The Walking Dead.

When I got home, I experienced a painful bowel movement, which set off some nausea and shakes, and reminded me what I’ve known for years – that I have rectal involvement with endometriosis. I went to bed with a heating pad on my abdomen and lower back all night.

This morning, I woke nearly two hours before my alarm clock went off, and could not get back to sleep. I had only had five hours of sleep. Despite that, the pain level was very low, so I went to work. I did not bicycle to work because the pain has been too unpredictable, and it has also been raining.
While walking from my car to the workplace, I was so shaky that I thought I might collapse. I couldn’t tell if the shakiness was from nerves or from my body becoming so weak from fatigue and recent pain, but I forced myself to keep walking.
I got through the morning in a moderately agitated state, with frequent bouts of ‘warm flashes’ because my hormones are doing acrobatics inside of me.

The gnawing uterine cramps started up again at lunch hour. I experienced intermittent sharp stabbing pain on the right ovary. I took 600mg Ibuprofen at lunchtime at work, but the pain radiated to my rectum, which left me debilitated, shaky and nauseous. Right before I was to end my lunch break, my bowels went into a painful tizzy, and I spent many minutes on end at the toilet, trying not to vomit from the recto-vaginal pain as a painful bowel movement tried to happen. When I finally did defecate, there was blood in the stool. My anus did not hurt, so I wondered if it was from hemorrhoids or from endometriosis perforating my bowels. Either way, I was feeling really ill.

I can handle a certain amount of uterine pain more than I can handle the ovarian pain, but I cannot handle the recto-vaginal pain at all. May as well beat me senseless, it’s all the same.

When I got home from work today, I applied a heating pad to my bottom, half a muscle relaxer (Soma), .5mg Ativan, and a nap. I slept from around 3pm til nearly 8pm. I woke to urinate, then had cereal for dinner, which caused a new round of painful defecation – loose this time, with some more blood, and nausea. I took my temperature – it’s 99.4°F. But then it’s been 99 point something more often than not for months, if not over a year, now.

I began to wonder if I have an intestinal virus. I’d spent the better part of last week fighting off an upper respiratory tract infection. Preschoolers – they’ll kill ya.

Now I’m back in bed, journaling all of this before returning to sleep for the night.

Good night.

Day 4 and 5 of November Hell

Friday night (Day 3) I was still feeling crappy. After dinner, I ended up with stomach pain on top of the endo pain, along with the pelvic nerve pain radiating down the legs. I was at that point officially having a pity party. I was getting depressed. I had already missed work and didn’t go outside to see the sun on Wednesday, Thursday, and most of Friday.

I did notice by 9pm Friday though that the bleeding had begun to dissipate. Overnight, I barely bled at all.

When I woke up on Saturday, I hoped I would continue to be heading out of the Underworld. However, that was not the case. We had to get up at 8am to join friends for one of their pre-wedding meetings at the wedding location, but I just did not want to get out of bed. I was seriously tired. At the same time, my back hurt from top to bottom because of having been bedridden for days – again. The pain was intense – it felt like stinging.

I finally motivated myself out of bed at 8:30am and got in the shower. Trying to get dressed after my shower was excruciating. I had to pick up my ankle and move my leg gently, placing my ankle on my knee so I could put my socks and shoes on. I wrote to my friends “You know it’s that kind of morning when you end up shouting, “ON YOUR FEET, SOLDIER! MOOOOVE!” at your uncooperative body.” :(

We made it to the wedding meeting ahead of schedule, thankfully, and I moved super slow. The sister of the grooms showed up as well, since this meeting focused on her, since she is the one catering the wedding. Now she also has endometriosis – we are still waiting to find out what stage. But it’s got to be stage III or stage IV, because she also had a lot of other stuff going on, and had to have her uterus, cervix and right ovary taken from her. :(
Her surgery was three weeks ago, and she still looks like death warmed over. She’s still walking and moving like I was at Day 3 post-op. This is because there was so much trouble during her surgery to clean everything out, that she had to have the equivalent of a C-section. =(

I placed myself on call to help her with anything she needs this week leading up to the wedding next Saturday.

While we walked around the venue and discussed things, the pain began to set back in for me. I and another friend had to sit down for a few minutes – yet another friend who has menstrual pain, on top of chronic pain from two bulging disks in her back, spinal stenosis, and antereolysthesis. Between her, me and our friend who just came through a partial hysterectomy, the wedding party seems full of broken birds. We chuckle at it and go on with our bad selves. What else can we do?

When we finished with our meeting, the pelvic pain was getting to be too much for my friend G and I – mostly because we also had to go to the bathroom really bad. We had all driven separately, so took off on our own separate ways. My husband drove us down to Mariposa Bakery, which is a completely gluten-free bakery. It was my treat for making it through another month in the Underworld…and I got to use the bathroom. It was there I discovered I had started bleeding again. I was not happy about this. Thankfully, though, the pain never got above a 4 on the pain scale.

I bought us two cake doughnuts, a cupcake for the husband, and a pumpkin spice muffin for myself. We both didn’t care for the cake doughnuts. But ah well, it was worth the try! I haven’t had doughnuts in *years*.

We also got some coffee. Yeah yeah, I know, this is all bad – sugar and coffee and baked goods and whatnot. All inflammatory food. I was already bleeding and in pain to begin with, and had been for days, so I was well into “who cares” territory.

All yesterday it was hard for me to move without grunting because my body was so stiff. I started to loosen up by evening, thankfully. Also thankfully, the bleeding had stopped again, and I didn’t even need to wear a pad by evening.

However, by this morning, I was back to being super stiff and sore again. I partly blame this on the fact that we had moderate rainfall overnight, which has continued on and off throughout today.

I was alarmed to find that I had resumed bleeding by 9am this morning. I was furious, because this is Day 5 – after three days in a row of bleeding fully stopping. GAHHH so today I’m back to feeling super tired and run down, and every joint in my body is aching and stiff, and I’m having to wear a pad again. The bleeding is light, but it should be NOTHING by now.
The pelvic cramps are sharp and intermittent, and centered in the low uterus.

In spite of that, I went to my regularly scheduled Alexander Technique class at the dispensary today. I’m glad I went. When I got back home, I needed a rest, but now I am going to try to get on with my Sunday. There’s chores and homework to do for the coming work week. I will emerge fully from the Underworld by no later than Monday night. I decree it so!

Day 3 of November Hell

This morning was Staff Development Day at work. It consists of all-day meetings and guest speakers and whatnot. I am still ill but was expected to show up. I wore the loosest fitting slacks I could find, and a sweater. The idea of sitting in a metal chair all day made me wince, but I needed to at least try.

The pain and bleeding had abated overnight, and I was down to a minimal pink flow – almost spotting, when I woke this morning. But I knew that wouldn’t last long.

I packed my heating pad, some extra cloth pads and my medication, popped 600mg Advil, and off I went.

I lasted an hour before the pain and bleeding ramped up again (about 9:30am).

The first inkling I had of renewed pain was actually anal pain while I sat in the metal chair. Even though I had a chair pad, I was very uncomfortable. When I stood up with everyone to go outside, I felt weak. As I watched my co-workers do a music and movement routine outside, the menstrual flow returned. I slowly made my way to the bathroom, and chuckled to myself as a very pregnant co-worker waddled hurriedly past me. She’s in her last month and has to go to the bathroom all the time. I had a mock image in my head of me and her fighting for the bathroom. Ahh, it’s the dark humour that sees me through…

The pain continued to ramp up as I waited for the bathroom. I could wait no longer, so I shuffled to the other bathroom in the building. Yep, super red flow and clots had returned, and I felt I still had a much bigger one yet to pass. I took a full Tylenol 3 plus 400mg Advil, and waffled on whether to just leave work right then or try to hang on and make it through the guest speaker’s presentation.

That’s when the director saw me and asked gently if I could try to make it through the guest speaker’s presentation. So that was my decision. I heated up my corn heating pad and sat back down. I knew that by staying, I’d be toughing out the pain til the meds kicked in. I knew that by staying til the pain meds kicked in, that I’d be too medicated to drive anywhere for awhile. I knew that by being on an entire Tylenol 3, I’d become very sleepy. But I chose to stay, because I knew that there were still two meetings to get through today after the presentation.

Well, the presentation lasted til 11:30am. The director told me it was okay to go home, but I was far too stoned on meds by this point to make rational decisions anymore. I hung out for a bit, hoping that the Internship teacher would be speaking, soon, but the wrap-up from the directors on the guest speaker took a half an hour. During this wrap-up time, I sat by the front door of the school, then moved to the library of the school and snoozed on a pillow chair. The whole time, I was within earshot of the wrap-up commentary by the directors, so I was still there in attendance, just not in the same room with my co-workers.

When everyone was dismissed to lunch at noon, I found my head teachers, my afternoon supervisor and my internship teacher, and got whatever notes and details I could from them about the meetings I would be missing this afternoon. Everyone was understanding and said it was okay for me to go home. I was wavering on my feet, after all.

The pain was dissociated enough by this time that I was able to drive home, even though it was too bright outside and my eyes hurt (thanks to the Tylenol 3).
I only live a mile from the school, but it was a grueling mile to drive when so medicated and brightly lit outside.
But I made it home safely.

I got in the door, changed into my jammies, and crawled into bed. My husband is thankfully working from home today, so he went out on his lunch hour and brought us back some Thai food.
I ate half of my meal, then tried to crawl back into bed, but the pain was returning again. It had been nearly four hours since my last dose of Tylenol 3, so the pain was already leaking through again.

I took my second full Tylenol 3 of the day, tried to crawl back into bed again, and could not get comfortable.

This afternoon is officially the part of my cycle where everything is annoying and uncomfortable and I’m just DONE with dealing with the endometriosis.

Part of it is because I didn’t see the warm sunny days for the past three days. Part of it is because no matter how much time I’ve spent in bed, my body is still unable to hold itself upright for too long. My back aches from all the laying around, and yet I can do little else but lay around. And part of the frustration and annoyance is due to all of the codeine I’ve ingested over the past three days – it’s definitely a CNS depressant, and it does make me super grouchy every month after I’ve been on it for two days.

I hate this part of the cycle, because I turn into a three-year-old and can’t use my words. I huff and puff and growl and cry out ARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!! a lot.

This too shall pass.

If you think that’s bad, you should see me on morphine. Not looking forward to *that* hangover after my second surgery in December.

Two last things I want to touch on before I sign off:

Diet – I’ve caved in and have eaten a lot of chocolate in the past seven days. Chocolate is BAD BAD BAD for me. But I keep rebelling, and I keep demanding a play-by-play of how chocolate affects one’s brain and hormonal chemistry. I once got a play-by-play on what happens to one’s body when one drinks Coke. I would love to see the same thing written up for chocolate. Anyone stumble across it? Let me know! Because until I read it, I know myself well enough to know I will still rebel and eat chocolate.

Pain Management – I’ve been going to an Alexander Technique class as often as I can for the past four months. While it does not help immediately relieve my pain of endometriosis, I am convinced that in the long term, applying this technique will do wonders for my pain management overall.

I have not gone to the acupuncturist since July. I simply could not afford her anymore, and my husband is very skeptical that acupuncture works at all, so he’s reluctant to pay for weekly or biweekly sessions. The Alexander Technique, on the other hand, is offered for free through a Prop 215 dispensary near our home.

As far as any other pain management for “in-the-moment” pain, I have lapsed. I really need a devoted teacher to train me in the ways of mindful meditation and progressive relaxation. But again, those classes were unaffordable, because our insurance would not cover the classes through UCSF, where I’ll be getting my surgery in December. They were billed as psychiatry instead of pain management, and so they were considered out of network, because there are only certain psychiatric providers I can see under our health insurance. It makes absolutely no sense to me at all. :(

I noticed today at work that my breathing came in short bursts because I was hunched over my heating pad in the chair, with every muscle tensed in the moment of pain. I tried to sit up straight to open my lungs and draw some air, but it hurt so much that I hunched over again. Being at home on my yoga mat or in my bed allows me the proper comfortable time and space to do my breathing exercises, but out in public, I just want to roll into a ball and disappear. That is what I noticed today.

I’m sad to not be participating in the staff meetings and classroom cleanup today. But I am, at the same time, much happier to be at home where I can allow the pain to BE what it is, and I can freely express how I feel about being in pain within the safety of my own home.

I now have the weekend to recover, and Monday will start a new work week, hopefully with energy restored by then.

The mental state of Steph

I should start noting my mental state here. I’ve been seeing a psychologist, and I saw a psychiatrist on September 14. Both think I may be bi-polar, but they do not agree on which type of bi-polar I am.

The psychiatrist gave me a prescription for abilify, but I refused to take it. I asked for and got Lamictal, instead. I still haven’t taken it, though. I am afraid of more side effects. I’m done with more and more mental stuff going wrong with me.

I’ll restate what I said in my previous entry –
Because I’ve not really enjoyed a pain-free or sick-free or allergy-reaction-free day in about seven weeks, I have hit my breaking point emotionally.

I’ve already been wrestling with what I call ‘dangerous depression’ since the end of July.

Well, it’s getting louder in the head, and more externally vocalised.

I went with my husband to a Victorian-era home showing that happens every year in our city. There were eight homes on the bill to walk through. I did not enjoy it this year. It was painful to move. My low back pain crept back in to flare with the trapped nerve in the shoulder, every time I had to climb stairs, or really move at all. And I was still in pain from one visit to the gym last Thursday.

I was super depressed.

I guess it doesn’t help that I’ve been on Soma (muscle relaxer) for two weeks, and I know from experience that it adds to my depression. I have not had a dose of it today and will refrain from taking any more of it.

After the home showing, there was the annual parking lot sale over at the famous tiki bar in town, so we went on over.
I immediately went for the booze. First time in 51 days that I got absolutely full on drunk. My husband had gone off to his sacred game night, leaving me in the company of friends still at the tiki bar. I was still going when his game session got out around 10pm. He picked me up and took my sorry ass home. Thankfully, no tears or puke or hangover this time. I drank lots and lots of water, thanks to a very attentive bartender, and was a good girl and drank lots of water when I got home, and took vitamins and advil.

I remain dangerously depressed.

Today at work, while rocking a child at naptime, I got stabbing right side ovarian pain that lasted for about five minutes. It went away until now. I’m just sitting on the couch, typing, and the ovary is pulsing a low stabbing pain. Today is Day 10 of the new cycle, so I guess it’s mittelschmerz, which usually happens at Day 8 of the cycle, but has been off by a day or three for a few months, sometimes not happening at all. I blame it on the endometriomas on both ovaries.

I bicycled home from work in 95°F heat – thankfully the ovary did not stab me on the ride home.
But I am wiped out after spending some time in the outdoors at work today. Ugh.

So this mental health thing. The meds. I’m so tired of meds. Today I started a detox diet – the one I tried to start back in July or August and didn’t keep up with. So I started it over today. Lots of supplemental pills to take with every meal.
And then either tonight or sometime this week, I might begin taking the Lamictal. I’m terrified of it. Read all the horrific side effects here. If you think that looks bad, read the side effects for Abilify, which is what the psychologist originally wanted me on and I said no way.

Now, let me tell you again what I’ve said before. I have been going through what I call dangerous depression since the end of July, 2010, because of all my pain conditions and reactions to medications.

This is also known as, yes I will spell it out and face up to it: suicidal ideation.

I have wrestled with suicidal ideation for much of my life, so this is nothing new. The frequency is what is worrying me.

But look here, if I take Lamictal or Abilify, the warning is basically the same:

Patients, their caregivers, and families should be counseled that AEDs, including LAMICTAL, may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior and should be advised of the need to be alert for the emergence or worsening of symptoms of depression, any unusual changes in mood or behavior, or the emergence of suicidal thoughts, behavior, or thoughts about self-harm. Behaviors of concern should be reported immediately to healthcare providers.

Why would I want to take a drug that will make me MORE suicidal than I already am?

I already went down that road once, with SSRIs (Paxil), back in 2000.

Honestly, I probably won’t take the medication. I’ll get my diagnosis officially recorded as bi-polar something and then I’ll manage it myself. I’ve lived this long…

Pain, fun, allergic reactions and trapped nerves

I tried to go back to work on Thursday, September 16, but the Last Gasp happeed two hours into my workday and so I took a whole Tylenol 3 and came home. Thankfully, by Thursday night, that was the end of the major pain and bleeding.

I went to work on Friday and was able to complete a full day of work – the first all week. I never need this much time off this job for the pain, which tells me either the endo really is getting worse, or I’m becoming a wuss to the pain after enduring it for 25 years. I worked a total of 10 hours that week. Ugh.

Friday was not only my first day back to work, it was also my birthday. After work, my husband took me to a very nice sushi dinner, where I stuffed myself until it hurt, heh. I don’t think we went out that night – I was still too tired from just having spent a week bedridden. That’s how it goes.

Saturday, September 18, set the clock! Go out and have fun til the next endometriosis attack! We went to a nightclub down in Menlo Park to support the scene down there. I didn’t really have a good time, but we did get a nice picture taken of us:

steph_badger_clubsurgery09182010_bygeoffreysmith

 

On Sunday, we joined up with a fellow birthday girl for her annual Ice Cream Crawl, which took place in Oakland and in Berkeley. Around stop #6, I decided to eat sorbet instead of ice cream, which had given me a tummy ache, no matter how much lactaid I had ingested. The sorbet was raspberry chocolate flavour. To my dismay, it was full of raspberry seeds. I shared the sorbet with people in our group, and we all winced at how seedy the sorbet was.

Within twenty minutes, my throat began to get dry, then swell up.
Great.

So now I’m allergic to raspberry seeds? Wonderful. It’s in the same salicylate family with peach skins, grape skins, apple skins, apricots – all the stuff that also hates me either orally or intestinally.

I took a children’s benadryl but it did nothing, so I took a adult dose of benadryl on top of it – 36mg total. This of course made me a zombie, and so my husband ended our Ice Cream Crawl and took us home for the day. The swelling did not abate all day and all night, but I refused to go to E.R., because the last time I did, they told me they could not visualise the swelling, so it must just be me having a panic attack. To which I’d replied, “I know what a fucking panic attack feels like, and this is not it.”

I get the same throat swelling when I eat eel. Actually it’s the uvula that swells up. Same thing happened with the raspberry seeds, only not as horrible as it does with eel, thank [insert deity here].

I refused to go to E.R. because I cannot afford further debt with them – still haven’t paid off the June debt I incurred with another oral allergy attack. And I refused to use my epi-pen because you HAVE to go to E.R. if you use it. So I was kinda stuck. I knew I wasn’t gonna die, or at least I hoped I wouldn’t die choking on my tongue.

I made it through the night and the swelling went down by morning.

What a sucky end to my birthday weekend, though.

All through this whole time, I was still dealing with having to be on muscle relaxers for the trapped nerve in my shoulder. So I was quite the grump.

Monday, September 20, while bicycling to my psychology appointment after work, I experienced pulling, stabbing pain in my right ovary. This is not a good thing to be going through while pedaling. The pain lasted for several minutes after I climbed the two flights of stairs to my shrink’s office. Ugh.
The pain went away, though. Thankfully. But I was not even a full three days into my new cycle when that pain hit. The endometrioma is doing bad things to me. :(

I was able to bicycle to work for most of last week. I even made it to the gym on Thursday, September 23, for the first time in 146 days. I did the 2lb hand weight workout exercises as prescribed by my trainer, and then I did 14 minutes on the elliptical machine.

The pain from the workout did not hit until Saturday, just in time to help my friends move in 85°F heat. I designated myself cleaning lady that day, because on top of the workout pain, I slept wrong again and the trapped nerve issue in the neck/shoulder flared up real bad again.

On top of all of this, I’ve been bruising the hell out of my legs by running into the coffee table repeatedly, as well as the child-sized furniture at work. I have bumps and bruises and scrapes. I think the clumsiness is due to the muscle relaxers.

Because I’ve not really enjoyed a pain-free or sick-free or allergy-reaction-free day in about seven weeks, I have hit my breaking point emotionally.

It’s not fair that I can’t enjoy my 11 – 20 days between endometriosis pain cycles being totally free of any other sickness or pain.

It’s always something. :(

Set the clock: about 21 days

My husband had woken me up about two hours after my last journal entry, to say he was going to take off to game night, unless I needed him to stay with me. I pleaded with him to stay. He said he would, but that he just didn’t know what to do if I was going to spend the rest of the day sleeping.
I told him that made me feel guilty – that he should just go to game, then.

It was clear he didn’t want to leave me alone, but he didn’t want to not be with his friends. It took me about 20 minutes or so to rouse myself out of my pain and pain medication stupor, but I told him “why don’t I just go with you to game, then?”

He liked that idea.

We collected my heating pads, my meds, the laptop in case I wanted to blog or attempt any homework, and two books; one for school and one for pleasure.

We got to our friend’s house and to my dismay, it smelled like smoke. I have a smoke allergy/chemical sensitivity. I was grouchy at my friend C – “WHY DID YOU SMOKE IN YOUR HOUSE.”
C replied, “Yeah but that was hours ago.”

I resigned to my fate – I was stuck here. My husband was already setting up the kitchen table for game night.

I was told where I could make myself comfortable, and I was told that a friend J, who lives in that house, was downstairs with a burst ovarian cyst. I didn’t want to disturb her unless I heard her crying out in pain, so I stayed upstairs in my own little world of pain.

I tried to heat up my heating pads, only to be reminded that they do not have a microwave in that house. I was directed to a big heating pad and was allowed to use that.

The offending smoker friend also helped set me up on his wireless network, but the moment I was set up, I was suddenly exhausted again and so I put the laptop away. I couldn’t even keep my eyes open long enough to hold conversation with anyone, watch TV, or read a book.

A third friend, also named J, who lives in that house, was also not feeling well. He sat in the living room on his laptop the entire night. He’s had spinal cord injury and had surgery after surgery to cauterise nerves. He thinks nerves are growing back or something, and is in a lot of pain again. I gave him one of my Tylenol 3 because he did not have any Norco on him.

At one point, around 8pm, the stabbing right side ovarian pain returned. I ended up on the floor, moaning in pain, rocking to and fro, with the heating pad. I was on all fours, then on my back, and then I settled into an arm chair w/ ottoman for the rest of the night. Their crazy cat October decided to be nice for once, and curled up on my tummy and purred all night. I was told she only likes women, and likes women best when they are in pain – that is the ONLY time that cat is nice.
Crazy cat.

So, the pain I had on Sunday lasted through until after 10pm, despite the fact that the bleeding had subsided again. My abs and ribs still felt bruised all that day.

I got home, showered, changed into my bedclothes, and went to bed.

Woke up Monday morning pain-free and got ready for my first day back to work. I was still spotting a little. I decided to try riding my bike to work, but as I went out the door to go to work, the pain set back in, and so I abandoned the bicycling idea and drove the measly one mile to work, instead. Glad I did. I needed my energy at work to move stuff around and help set up for the new school year.
I required a total of 800mg Advil to get through the day.

Got home and was very tired, but went on to my psychology appointment. I’m seeing a shrink again ever since I had a major depressive episode at the end of July. I’m still trying to figure out if it was JUST all the stress I have been under from school and finances, or if the Cannabidiol I tried for pain management set off an even worse episode of pre-existing stress and depression.
I evened out by August 18, but that was three weeks of pure hell from one menstrual cycle right up into this next menstrual cycle, which started on August 19. I am still on anti-anxiety meds (ativan).

I spent the rest of Monday evening hanging out with my husband, making and eating dinner, and watching TV. No homework got done on Monday.

Today is a new day – I start the clock so to speak – I have 21 days til next bedridden. Today I will go to work (not sure if driving or biking yet – it’s supposed to be in the 90s today so I guess biking would be better on the ozone), and when I get home, I will force myself to do some more homework.

In about 8 days, I will have Mittelschmerz – so the middle of next week – the first week the children are back to school. Hopefully it will go easy on me while I navigate my first week in the classroom.

One last thing – about last week sometime, I developed a cough again. So this is the second virus / cough since July 18 that I have caught. And now I’m going to enter a new school year with preschoolers. I expect to be sick continually in one form or another until December. I am pounding Vitamin C and Zinc and all the rest of my supplements, and will be back in the gym by no later than Thursday this week, once the heat wave cools down. Today is Day 2 of the first heat wave of the Northern California Summer.