Learning to set boundaries…

tree Usually my whole apartment is decorated Thanksgiving night. I have been sick lately, might need to make an appointment to rule out pneumonia, so I only got the tree done and I didn’t get to it until tonight. I have some adjustments to make, including adding some color to his arms that can hardly be seen in this pic, but I’m leaving it as is for now.

Quick update on my health: These new chewable bc pills don’t seem to be alleviating my pms symptoms. In fact, my pms lasted longer than usual this time as well as the period. I’m willing to be patient though. Maybe my body needs time to get used to them. I think I would be much more disappointed right now if I weren’t so damn grateful about having ZERO side effects. The taste isn’t fabulous but compared to the toxic reaction I had to the last ones, I’m not going to complain about that at all. After some more extensive research, I am going to ask for a few specific blood tests. I still have a feeling some of my random problems are connected or caused by one another. Maybe not all of them but some of them at least. There is a big picture here and I won’t be satisfied until I can see it. I have a few theories worth looking into.

My stress level has been pretty high lately. Taking care of my mother is taking a toll on me more than ever. I have been her primary care giver since I was a child. I love spending time with her but I worry about her when I’m not there. She lives about 40 minutes away from me so I can’t be there quickly if she needs me. One of my challenges is my sister. She lives just as far away from ma but she hardly ever visits. As I have explained before, my sister is a compulsive liar. These days she has ma convinced she has skin cancer. She has been “diagnosed” with liver failure, fibromyalgia, severely high cholesterol, lupus and more. No proof of course. Ma still believes her every time she come up with something new. So do I let ma worry for nothing or do I say something? I have always said something but it’s exhausting. I took my therapist’s advice and tried to set more boundaries. The other day I told Ma that I need my sister to pitch in and at least start helping her with grocery shopping. My sister can’t take Ma to the doctor because 1) Ma’s doctor banned my sister from the office because last time she went she caused a scene and 2) I wouldn’t trust the info she shared with me about Ma’s appts. Anyhow, Ma said the conversation didn’t go well. My sister spent the whole time talking about some cancer research place she has to go to and when Ma brought up the topic of helping, suddenly my sister had to get off the phone. I kindly reminded Ma about when my sister was about 18 yrs old and mysteriously disappeared. We found letters she had written to us explaining how she was going to LIARS REHAB! She claimed there was a place in the city that helped people with her problem and she was going to be staying there. I asked Ma today if this cancer research center was near that liar’s rehab….Hehe! The whole situation is frustrating! And the heartbreaking part is she is keeping my niece from me. I have no clue what she has told my niece about me and PC but she (my niece) hasn’t called or texted me in months nor has she returned any of mine. I miss my sweetheart!! These are the kinds of situations that make my HSP almost impossible to live with! Ok, that’s enough of that.

PC has been extremely sweet lately. We didn’t get to spend Thanksgiving with his family like we usually do because of his work hours and I didn’t go because I didn’t want to get anyone sick (especially our very new great-niece) but we had a quiet evening together. Sometimes that can be a nice change. I’m afraid Christmas might be the same. PC doesn’t get holidays off unless they fall on his normal days off. I don’t like going without him but I may have to. I feel guilty for missing so many get togethers. I don’t think they really understand just how much I have take life a day at a time. Today I might feel fine and tomorrow I may be stuck in bed with excruciating cramps, or panic, or vomiting… I can’t wait to feel better! Lol!

House hunting is still fun so obviously we haven’t chosen one yet. We got a little side tracked because we were offered a pretty good investment opportunity. I think we are going to pass on it though because it will throw our house buying plans off some. I guess we’ll see.

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!

Much Love To All!

Steady My Heart

My cousin posted this video this morning. It struck me. I listened to it at least 3 times in a row. I felt like they were singing to me. I thought it was beautiful. Then I realized why I needed to hear that.

About an hour later, I learned my great niece was born this morning. I hadn’t heard the news yet because I unfriended my nephew and his gf months ago from facebook. His gf was a horrible source of daily reminders. Matter of fact she never just posted once a day, so it was more than just daily reminders from her. For those of you who are not familiar with that story here is the very short version: My nephew (now 21yrs old) and his girlfriend (not even 21 yrs old) already have a son. They announced their pregnancy in the middle of my IF journey and they fit the “Why do THEY deserve a child” category perfectly. Then they announced their second pregnancy before their son was a year old, at our family Easter party, which I later found out I was the only one who didn’t know about the pregnancy before the party. That was awkward to say the least.

Anyhow, the baby is precious. I feel different about this one. Maybe it was the absence of all those reminders I no longer get thanks to unfriending. I’m not sure. Hopefully it means I am coping better these days. That would be great news.

Then I think, maybe God is helping to steady my heart. But I don’t even want to think that way because there are so many questions that would follow that thought, for me anyways. Like, why would he take the time to steady my heart? Why wouldn’t he help me with my health instead and not have to steady my heart? Why doesn’t he give the couples that don’t even want children an IF journey? Why give anyone those struggles??? Well I am still working through those questions in my heart but for now I will choose to be grateful. Grateful for the peaceful feeling after this birth. Grateful for my blessing that don’t even involve IF. If I stop complaining about my health long enough, I have PLENTY of blessings to be thankful for. I really am blessed in so many ways.

So on a different note, I plan on organizing my blog. Usually I just start writing when my heart has something to say or I read something that I feel I need to share. I haven’t been able to notice if any of you blog on a schedule but I am considering it. If you use some sort of schedule, how has it helped you? I plan on making an effort to post as many positive blogs as I do negative. This is my only place to vent but if I don’t already have a positive post in mind to balance out my negative vent, I will refrain from blogging at all. You bring about what you think about! Maybe that plan will help to KEEP my heart steady!

Much Love To All!

Readers Choice : The Spoon Theory

This is a must read for anyone who is suffering with a chronic illness or even if you know someone who is! I am reblogging this from Bloomin Uterus’ blog. Be sure to follow her and click the link explaining The Spoon Theory. Grab a box of tissues my HSP friends!

Bloomin' Uterus

spoon A photo I took years ago finally has a purpose.

Christine Miserandino came up with The Spoon Theory.  You can read her article, here. It is gut wrenching.The Spoon Theory was Christine’s way of explaining to her friend what life with Lupus is like. It’s a metaphor for our stamina and energy: any task you do during the day uses up one spoon.  You only have 12 spoons…so you must choose your tasks wisely, or else you run out of spoons…and steam.  For those of us with Endometriosis, the Spoon Theory still applies.  Any chronic illness, especially one that causes pain and fatigue, can use the spoon theory.  My Spoon Theory experience truly took shape this weekend…I not only blame my Endo, but my Lupron Depot (which has morphed me into a walking zombie!)
zombie
My beau and I had to go grocery shopping on Saturday and went to Costco

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Is it all related somehow?

As PC and I enter the journey of deciding whether I should have this hysterectomy or not, I am feeling very over whelmed.

At my last appointment my gyn decided to give me 2 new medications that might relieve my symptoms some until we make our decision about the surgery. She gave me wellbutrin and a different bc pill, similar to the first one I took. I decided to only start one med at a time based on the events following the last time she started me on 2 new meds. I wanted to be 100% sure which one caused problems, just in case.

So I took my first Wellbutrin yesterday, late morning. Several hours later I was sick!  Horrible tummy issues, diarrhea, vomiting, anxiety, then my unwelcome friend visited me -nope not Aunt Flo- I refer to her as an Fing panic attack. I calmed down enough to fall asleep last night and first thing this morning I started my investigation with none other than Dr. Google. I am in no way a medical professional and am also in no way giving any medical advise. Here is what I “learned”:

  • It is possible that I have IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). I said possible, guys, I am not diagnosing myself. If that is the case, however, I may not be having a reaction to the chemicals in the meds, but they might be irritating my IBS or whatever GI issue I am really having. What I know for sure is that my tummy has always been sensitive (getting worse these days) even when I am not on any medication at all. I’m kind of hoping if I do have an issue in that are that it is IBS. It seems to be the least severe option and is pretty manageable.
  • IBS, Panic, and Endometriosis are all linked!
  • IBS is similar to PCOS in that it is a collection of symptoms, is usually diagnosed by the exclusion of other causes, has no known cause and no known cure.
  • The “lesions” from Endometriosis can travel and attach to parts of your bowel (among other organs) and possibly be the cause for your IBS symptoms.
  • IBS can make it difficult to find a medication that doesn’t upset your tummy. Yippy!
  • Some websites claim an upset tummy (specifically diarrhea) during your menstrual cycle is normal while other sites claim the opposite. I have that problem every single time.
  • I am no longer going to google info about a hysterectomy. The amount of conflicting thus confusing information is torturous and my HSP can not tolerate it.
  • I am very weird and complicated and should probably offer myself to science or I will never truly figure out what is going on inside me, I do not wish to continue only treating the most severe symptoms. This band-aid method isn’t working well anymore.
  • Since the last one is probably not an option for me (if I knew how I seriously would do it) I am going to have to suck it up and continue trying these different “treatment methods” (in non-doctor terms that means prescription drugs) until I find one that doesn’t try to kill me.
  • Wellbutrin Extended realease is coated and due to the small amount of medication released at a time might be a better fit for my sensitive tummy. That one I got from calling the pharmacist this morning.
  • I may also have to suck it up and have that colonoscopy that 2 different doctors have suggested I have. I am not just terrified of the hysterectomy. I am actually terrified of doctors, procedures, surgeries, and needles (well not so much needles anymore thanks to IF). My body reacts poorly to medications, can you imagine me having any kind of procedure? I would be that .1% of people who look like they are out but can still feel everything! That’s what happened to my mother during hers. (We are a LOT alike) She says she felt like she was awake but the doc says she wasn’t. See??? This particular fear is warranted!
  • Do not watch football and google at the same time if you are a serious football fan. One mistype into the google universe and you might feel the sudden urge to drive to your nearest church and become a nun!! No room for multitasking here…Focus!

As usual, I will end this post with a plan. Yes, I feel better knowing I have a tentative plan in place. So what I’m going to do is call my gyn Monday morning and ask if she can switch my Wellbutrin to the ER version. I will also talk to her about possibly confirming the Endometriosis and hopefully it’s severity before having a hysterectomy. I refuse to risk having the surgery and experience NO relief. Then I will make an appointment with my GI doc and discuss my options for finding out what is causing my tummy troubles, which lead to panic. It might even be the other way around for all I know but this seems like a good way to find out. I know there is something going on there whether or not it is related to all of my other problems, I need to find out exactly what it is. That will likely help me with any future medication needs. When I spoke to the pharmacist, I also asked if when I take the bc pill (as in which day of my cycle) plays a role in whether I suffer the side effects. He said it does not. If I’m going to have a reaction to the pill, it doesn’t mater if I take it the first Sunday after my period or not. So, depending on what my gyn says, I might take my first bc pill tomorrow. Fingers, toes, and anything available, crossed my body handles it well and I do not end up in the dang ER again. I must remember it could ALWAYS be worse. Now if you will excuse me, I have some football to catch up on….

Much Love To All!

She doesn’t want me to but…

So this is an update after my doctor’s appointment today. I left with mixed emotions but overall I felt good.

This gyn says I have Endometriosis. She claims it is possible I had PCOS at one point in time but my body must have gotten itself in order because I no longer have that. After she went over my ultrasound results with me and gave me the endo diagnosis, we went over my options. 1) Depo shot 2) Mirena 3) laparoscopic procedure to confirm the endo and remove any spots she finds  4) Hysterectomy (this one she said would guarantee me relief. After she explained those to me and I asked a few questions about them all she said there was one more thing that might help. Getting pregnant. She explained now that we know what is going on she is confident she could get us pregnant. I am not as confident as she is. But I can tell she was just not ready for me to “give up” and choose option #4.

I have moved forward already. I no longer feel as though getting pregnant is the right thing for me to do. My gut says it would not work out well at all! I don’t want to feel like a quitter but I just want to finally feel better. Is that selfish of me? I want her (my gyn) to be comfortable with my decision though. She is the one who will be doing the surgery. But do I just go through the motions until she (and the rest of my friends/family) are “ready”? This is not their body. They are not the ones going through all of this.  My SIL had endometriosis also and she feels 100% better after her hysterectomy. She has also carried two children, has an adopted son and a step daughter. So her family is complete and this same gyn took no time at all scheduling her surgery. I know the doc’s hesitation comes from a good place, I really do. She is a wonderful doctor! I won’t let her opinion make my decision for me but again, I do want her to feel comfortable if I do go for the surgery. I am so very relieved that I have a diagnosis. I pray it is right one this time. It’s like a ton of bricks have been lifted off my shoulders uterus! I feel my period creeping up so I am sure that will push me even closer to the surgery. Every time I have one I tell PC, with tears rolling down my face, “why can’t they just take it all out???? I’m not using any of it anyways!!! I can’t keep going through this!”

I am terrified of surgery but I may have to just face my fears soon. If you or someone you know has had a hysterectomy, any tips or suggestions would be appreciated. I am scared as hell!

I think it’s almost over.

Much Love To All!

Not just another appointment.

giving up

What a day! I am emotionally spent. Allow me to share with you my experience at my gyn appt today…

PC and I were actually in a pretty good mood for having to get up so early. We aren’t used to those hours seeing as how he works nights. So I get to the doctor’s office and sign in. While I am waiting to be called back a lady comes out of the exam room holding her sonogram photos, I’d say she is about 4 months or so along. I kept my nose in my phone while her and the lady behind the counter make small talk about the baby. So they call me back and we start the exam. As I am laying on the table the nurse starts asking questions about my health and why the doc wants me to have the ultrasound. I give her a brief description of what is going on while she gets started. I noticed in the middle of our small talk that she reaches for the jelly and an instrument that does not look like the “wand” I am used to seeing for an internal ultrasound. Before I know it I am getting a regular ole sonogram. She starts putting pressure on my tummy with her little instrument. I have never had one of these before. And I didn’t realize how I felt about it until, while she was applying that pressure and asking if it hurt, I glanced over at the monitor. The monitor with all of my personal info on it and a very depressingly empty uterus staring at me. I immediately started to cry. No facial expression, just a sea of tears rolling down my face. She asked it I was in pain to which I replied “No, that doesn’t hurt but for pete’s sake, I need you to turn that monitor around so I can’t see it!!” She quickly turned the monitor and we did our best to finish our small talk. After she did the internal ultrasound she left the room so I could dress. I cried for about 10 minutes then I realized the tears just wouldn’t stop. I collected myself long enough to check out and run to my car, grateful I wore my sunglasses today.

My doc will go over the results with me at my follow up this Thursday but there were a few things the nurse could tell me. 1) My ovaries did not looked inflamed (they should be if I had PCOS). So it looks like my gyn is correct about that. 2) My uterus is tilted backwards. No big deal at all. 3) I had fluid where there should be none. She believes a cyst must have ruptured. Not a polycystic cyst but the kind most women have around the start of their period. They usually do not rupture. I am under the impression the fluid will be gone once my period starts and I should not be worried about the fluid itself. I may not have understood her correctly though. She was a little concerned about why the cyst would rupture though.  Other than that she said she saw nothing that would concern her.

Anyhow, I sat in my car for quite some time. I figured the tears would stop soon and I could be on my way. I was wrong. So I drove to my SIL’s house and finished my sob fest in her driveway. I went in and visited with her for a while and I felt better.

Why did I react like that? I knew what it would look like. And we are no longer TTC. So WTF????? I was just as confused about my own reaction as I was sad. I really thought once we made that decision, these little reminders would get easier. Maybe it was the surprise element that made it worse. I had no clue I was getting that kind of ultrasound. To an IF woman there is a HUGE difference between the two.

The positives I took away from today….

  • this visit was covered by ins
  • I have a great SIL
  • even though the appt lead to some sort of meltdown, it did not ruin the rest of my day
  • PC was a rock for me today, as usual

I think it is time for a hot bath and one of my books.

Much Love To All.

The road to answers

So far this weekend has been pretty nice. Based on PC’s schedule our weekends start Saturday evening and end Tuesday morning. We visited friends Saturday night, drove around looking at houses today and visited another one of PC’s friends this evening.

Tomorrow I have my internal ultrasound. I am kind of looking forward to it. I hope they finally find something that will lead us to the proper diagnosis. Last time I had this ultrasound they said everything looked good and they found no cysts. Which is why the PCOS diagnosis was so confusing to me. The problem was I had just about ALL of the other symptoms.So again, I pray somehow this time the ultrasound leads to answers. I will follow up with my gyn on Thursday to review the results. I imagine we will also be coming up with another treatment plan since the last one landed me in the comfort of the ER. Once you have experienced the fun that is severe dehydration your body seems to crave water. I have never been a fan of water. Since I got sick this last time, I have had one soda and maybe one full glass of tea. This is a miracle. I have refilled my filtered water pitcher at least twice a day for the past two weeks or so. I guess I can consider this new found craving for water the silver lining to my toxic reaction. I have started a health journal as my gyn requested. Every night I jot down how I felt through out the day, physically and emotionally. I try to record anything that could be considered a symptom. Of course, it is hard to decided what is a potential symptom and what isn’t. I mean, does a hormonal headache feel similar to a sinus headache? I am just going to do my best. I have noticed that since I have stopped taking a birth control pill my mood has been different. I do not feel as depressed these days.

As for the house hunting….Oh my word! It is a lot of fun at times and then a whole lot of frustrating at other times. We plan on staying in the house we purchase for quite sometime so the location is important to us. Every house I find that we both like is either just out of our price range or in a questionable neighborhood. This process requires patience which is not something I have an abundance of most the time. Overall it is still exciting. I am enjoy the times when PC and I are looking through the pictures and talking about our likes and dislikes. It is great quality time for us. I am very proud of my hubs. I hope he is as happy with the home we choose as I think I will be.

Well, I hope everyone has a fabulous week ahead. I will keep you all updated after my appointments. Here’s hoping I end up with some answers.

Much Love To ALl.