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Monthly Archives: February 2015

Mom update

So just before Valentine’s day, my parents headed out on a cruise with my mother’s brother and his wife. They’d been looking forward to this since before my mother’s cancer diagnosis. My mom was feeling okay, but unfortunately my father’s diabetic neuropathy had flared up pretty badly and he spent most of the cruise in a borrowed wheelchair. My mother had to push him everywhere, but at least she was able to. She’s been recovering pretty well, and told me this morning on the phone that she had just gone up and down their stairs (from main floor to bedroom level) without holding on for balance yesterday.

Apparently that accomplishment was just a short time before her oncologist’s office called to talk to her after her CT scan from Thursday. They wanted to move up her follow-up appointment with her doctor, which isn’t good news. Then they put her doctor on the phone with her and he said two lymph nodes in her pelvic area are enlarged. He’s asked her to go for bloodwork on Monday, then he’s going to see her on Wednesday. Likely next step is a biopsy of those lymph nodes. I’m devastated for her. We have no clue what is next or what could be, but she even told me that she had hope that it was going to be a clean CT. I tried to remind her that we take one step at a time, which she’s really good at. I am not.

So of course I hung up from the phone with her and told Hub what was happening. And then I cried. I’m not Googling anything. I’m feeling in shock and frozen and not wanting to do anything.

I go for TWO medical tests on Monday, my mother goes for her bloodwork. My brother goes for a colonoscopy on Tuesday and my dad is going to acupuncture. Wednesday I’ll be going with Mom and Dad to her oncology appointment. I still haven’t taken care of my baby tooth or seen the dentist about that sore on my tongue. I haven’t taken care of my eye exam or new glasses. I am so overwhelmed. I feel sick. Every ache and pain feels amplified.

My parents were supposed to go on a trip in May, which now could be not possible. Hub was supposed to go on a trip in July…who even knows what might be going on then. I don’t even know how my mother is finding strength for this new fight–whatever it might be. I feel weak and completely blown away, and it’s not even my body at this point.

 

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Boob squish (mammogram)

Well, at least that is over and done with. The worst part, sadly, was that they made me sit around and wait for over 45 minutes before they even called me back for my appointment. Waiting to take a test is bad enough, but having to sit around for 45 minutes with an anxiety disorder? Bad juju. I’m actually surprised and pleased with the fact that I didn’t feel anxious. I was nervous when the tech took me back, but it felt like normal nervousness, not “anxiety”.

The tech was really nice. I can’t imagine how many times a day she says, “I’m so sorry!” … and still with me she sounded sincere about it. The top/down squish was passable. It was weird, but I was able to bear it without trouble. The side squish, on the other hand, was bad. That hurt. And I was doing the 3d mammogram, too, so I had to hold my breath while the 2d AND the 3d ran. Good news, though, was that it was less than 30 seconds per boob-gram, and then it was all over. I had to pee like nobody’s business (since I sat around for an hour before, not wanting to go find a bathroom and MISS being called any second), so I pretty much threw my bra and shirt back on, then dashed into the waiting room where my mother was waiting for me. The radiology office was in a hospital, so it seemed like we walked forever to find a public restroom.

After all that, we stopped off to drop off the 35 hats we had to donate to the infusion center (on the same campus), only to find out that my mom’s regular infusion nurse was out. Aww. Well, we dropped off the hats and asked them to pass along to the nurse that we were there and missed her, then we headed home.

I feel heavy and a little sore, but nothing major. My skin was initially really red and irritated looking, but it seems to have faded. Hopefully no bruising results, but again, it could have been worse. I know everyones pain tolerance is different. I think what bothered me the most on the side pictures was because they seem to grab more than just “boob”… they take side boob and almost chestal areas. And because those areas aren’t as soft or flexible, that hurt. (My shoulder seems to be hurting pretty badly, which is unfortunate. Probably from being adjusted around and having to hang on to the equipment. I’ll probably have to use the heating pad to get some relief from that…) And again, the poor technician pretty much apologized in between every other word. But through most of the appointment, she chit-chatted with me, joking around and telling a story, so that was really nice of her. She knew it was my first official squish, so she explained everything, too.

Hopefully they won’t need to call me back to redo pictures and hopefully all will be clear.

Squish achievement unlocked.

 
8 Comments

Posted by on February 25, 2015 in anxiety, doctor visit, family, health, pain, stress

 

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Rope’s end

I might be at it. I might be at it.

Between all the hormones and the pain and cramps and headaches and nausea and fatigue and then a cough/cold, and a cough with my PVCs…and my PVCs. Crash. I went to go to the bathroom a few minutes ago and just burst into tears on the toilet. Sorry if that’s TMI.

I feel at the end of my rope. These cramps are driving me nutty, but almost even worse are the PVCs. Not only are they causing me to cough (which apparently is a THING, as the PVC aggravates the diaphragm) but they are working my anxiety nerve big time. I had told T that I was struggling and she reminded me that the majority of what’s happening is specific to this situation and that unless distraction could work for me–which it isn’t–then her best suggestion was to wait it out. Just make my way through the days until my hormones are back to normal and the cramps are gone and the fatigue eases. But you know what? That doesn’t resolve the PVCs and those are getting to me.

I’m trying diaphragmatic breathing…a lot. To the point where I sometimes feel like I’m going to hyperventilate. I’m trying to stay in the moment with my senses, grounding myself. I’m trying to remind myself that they are benign and mean nothing. And still…I feel like I’m within snapping distance. Strung tight like a bow and ready to go. I keep thinking I want to try some of the yoga DVDs I have again, despite my previous poor attempts. But I feel so shitty physically that the thought of doing it makes me kind of ill. And tired. And so I don’t do it.

At night in bed I try to breathe and meditate. I breathe and stare into my dark eyelids, pushing away thoughts and focusing on nothing. I try to ignore the PVCs. I try to ignore the cough. I fight the cough sometimes. Sometimes the cough is from this cold thing I have, sometimes it’s from the PVCs. I fight them both because they make me feel weak and like I’m giving into the PVCs, even though I’ve read this is involuntary with the PVCs sometimes (because of the aggravation of the diaphragm). I try to give in to the cough and the PVCs and let them both happen. The cough hurts my chest (along with the chronic cold-cough). The PVCs have changed how they feel again, and are now almost always accompanied by those ripples of anxiety.

I want to go upstairs and crawl into bed and cry, but I know that’s only going to make the PVCs more noticeable. “Waiting this out” has made the PVCs more noticeable because without having something to do, I focus on the sensation more. I wait for it. I hate wasting my time and “waiting it out” but I’m not finding another way through this at this point.

This week is busy. Besides my parents finally returning home from a trip (and the release of my dog-sitting duties with Cray-cray Lab), I have my mammogram, and now I have a ultra-sound scheduled. And my session with T. Three consecutive days. My mom has a CT scan this week to check for any changes in her cancer. I won’t be able to go with her because it conflicts with one of my appointments. She doesn’t need me to go with her anyway, as my dad will take her and there’s really nothing to the test itself.

I feel overwhelmed and taut. I feel at a loss. I feel tired. I feel weak and stuck and frozen and … just at the end of my rope.

 

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Party announcement

Everyone? Eyes up here, please!

Party guests present up to (and including) today include: stabbing lower abdominal pain  burning upper abdominal pain, achy lower back pain, dry eyes, unrelenting headache, extreme fatigue, sleeplessness.

We have some new guests that I want to call out.
Night sweats. Seriously? No one asked you to show up…especially not at 2am.
Nausea. Really? As if I need that working the room all day and night?
Bloating. Who wants that puffed-up buffoon in the house?
Radiating pain to lower body. Hips and thighs seem to want to run around the party screaming. I can’t say I blame them.
Murderous rage. I’m pretty sure she’s considering ripping out all my innards. And I am considering letting her. I picture her with Lady Gaga long pointed fingernails.

Honestly, I thought I was going to be able to make this a funny post…I had plenty of time to plot it out last night and this morning when I wasn’t sleeping or sweating or swearing. In the end, I’m pretty sure I missed the mark. Sorry ’bout that. I’m off to weep for a while, since Cray-cray Lab, whom I am dog-sitting on and off this week, just jumped up on me while I was sitting in the recliner and scraped her long-ass nails down my stomach.

 

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Pill expedition update

I have been SO tired that mustering the energy to post about how tired I am was nigh on impossible. Obviously, since I haven’t blogged about it for a couple of days. Along with the no energy portion of the game, I’ve been dealing with an overwhelming feeling of….blah.

I had my session with T today, and of the 60 minute session, I suspect I spent about 15-20 minutes of it sighing and saying how BLAH and tired I felt, often rubbing my eyes like a two-year-old who missed her nap. T offered to end the session early, but I didn’t want to waste my WHOLE session with her. I only see her every other week, and I felt like I had things I wanted to talk about. Partway through two different conversations–that I started–I stared at her and admitted I had completely lost my train of thought. She reminded me this had a direct cause–the progesterone–and that it had a time limit. I told her I was having flashbacks to my prilosec fever, and again she reiterated that this had a clear and distinct cause, and that I could finish the two days I still had. That I needed to just wait it out.

I’ve had thoughts flitting through my head a lot these days. You know, like they tell you not to let things take hold and push you into anxiety? Don’t ruminate on things, don’t obsess, don’t chew on stuff. I said it was getting really weird for me because stuff will pop into my head and I’ll shoo it away like a gnat. So I feel like stuff is whizzing in and out of my head at top speed. So–after telling me that having all those gnats flying around all the time must drive me crazy–she asked me to NOT shoo them away and instead take one and deal with it using all the tools in my box. On my belt? Whichever phrase you’d prefer to use I guess. To take the thought and bring it to its full conclusion…which we did together. But my point for blogging about this? First they tell you to NOT concentrate on the thoughts, then they tell you to concentrate on the thoughts. WTF. No wonder we’re all a little crazy, right? LOL

That’s all I have for today, I guess. I’m still hanging on to those cramps and the headache. The dry eyes are better but not completely resolved. The exhaustion is clearly still on me. Two more pills. Then whatever comes next.

(Oh, on a completely different note, I had a nightmare last night about being bitten in the face by a vampire bat. WTF?? I woke myself up with muffled screaming. Yay.)

 

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Today’s pill update

Well, good news. The cramps are only at a dull hum today. I slept horribly last night (again), but today I got to keep the heating pad on my back to quell that achy feeling…which later turned into some minor spasms. Fun!

The headache remains with me, though, as do the dry eyes. I have been avoiding wearing my glasses because I thought I would rest my eyes because of the headache, but I kind of suspicion that I was squinting which actually contributed to the headache. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

My PVCs have been buggin’ me again these last few days. Not that they went away, but they seem to be bloopier. I tried to explain to the doctor that they felt like that bubbling up you hear/see in a fishtank? Blooooo-op! So yeah, they’ve been bloopier. And more frequent, more on top of each other. More frustrating, more annoying, more anxiety-inducing.

On top of all that is this fatigue. The weakness and fatigue are really pressing on me. It feels like how I felt back when I was on the prilosec and in the “fever” of it. At that time I was under-nourished and under-hydrated. I’m paying very close attention to my water intake and making sure I eat a normal amount. I’m even watching to make sure I eat enough protein. But still, I feel exhausted by 2pm, and end up doing much of nothing all afternoon. Dinner is a struggle, and then I come up to bed until it’s time to sleep. Or at least attempt to sleep.

I swallow another pill shortly. I wonder how long after the pills end until I start feeling more normal energy-wise.

 

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Just so you know

I’m really just lubricating my eyes, not crying.

I took another pill. Everything hurts. Every part of my body. And the headache still sits pressing on my head. I had a moment of distinct spinning dizziness in the bathroom when I was washing my hands.

If I weren’t afraid that I’d have to do this all over again I would stop taking these damn pills and hope that five days of them was enough. But somewhere in the back of my mind, I get the feeling that it wouldn’t be enough and I’d have to start from scratch with another 10 days of this shit. So I am going to attempt to persist.

Hub noted that I seemed really out of it when I was trying to help him clean up from dinner. He said it sounded like I couldn’t make it across the kitchen. It’s about how I felt. So I came upstairs and got into bed. And at the appointed time, I took the damn pill. And then I cried…lubricated my eyes. With vengeance.

Five more pills.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on February 9, 2015 in anxiety, crying, health anxiety, medications, pain

 

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Hey, good news

Apparently crying is almost as helpful to dry eyes as BLINK tears are. Woo.

I’m still dealing with the stupid cramps and fatigue–which the CRNP has confirmed are both side effects of the progesterone–but yesterday came on a new side effect. DRY EYES. Dry eyes that are also feeling bruised. WTF. So I emailed the CRNP this morning to see if this is a regular side effect and she said NO. I don’t believe her, but whatev. Just because it ain’t listed on the paperwork doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen to lots of people. The problem is, so far, the BLINK tears in a bottle I have aren’t really doing much long-term. So after hearing from the CRNP this morning about it “not being a side effect”, I cried because I’m tired and frustrated and in pain. I feel weak and fatigued and angry…and crampy goddamit! and now this? Really?

The CRNP suggested I take up to 800mg of Ibuprofin to help with the cramps. No go for me because Ibuprofin screws with my stomach. I take NO otc products because of stomach issues and medication sensitivities. So I’m living with the heating pad (wish I had two, one of the front and one for the back…my back is so achy and tired) and trying to remember my yoga-for-pms poses. Also, heating pad means I’m getting warm all the time, and my ability to self-regulate my temperature sucks. So it’s 32 degrees out and I have the ceiling fan going with the heating pad on me. *sigh* Did I mention the headache, too?

I’ve had PMS before. I’ve had really shitty episodes and some not-so-bad episodes. But I don’t remember them going on consistently every hour of every day for this many days and nights (so far).

I feel so whiny and pathetic. But truthfully, I feel whiny and pathetic.

So let me go back to my heating pad and count again the number of pills left in that damn bottle.

 

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Waking a sleeping giant

Last night was the second night I took my fantastic pills. I survived yet another round of milder anxiety, and like every other night, had trouble falling asleep. Then, there I am, sleeping like nuthin, when I realize I’m awake. And my second realization is OW OW OW OW motherfucking OW. It’s like someone took my right ovary in a vise, squeezed it tight, and then twisted it around and around and around. I haven’t had cramps like that in years. YEARS. It’s like 3 am, I realize I have to pee, but the pain is so much that I don’t want to move out of bed. I know from past experience that the best way for me to relieve some of the pain is to lay on my back with my legs splayed in a certain way…it was a yoga thing that I learned at some point. But instinct has me curling into a fetal position on my side, trying to scrunch myself into a tiny ball. This relieves my back somewhat, but does nothing for the cramps.

Reluctantly I got out of bed and went to the bathroom, then went back to bed. I laid on my back like I knew I should and listened to the radio I turned on for noise (and company). Hub is snorin’ like a mother, facing me, almost in my damn ear. King size bed and that man ALWAYS knows when to snore right in my face. ARG.

I was up like that for at least an hour, maybe more. I woke up several more times through the rest of the night, but the pain was never as bad as the original wake-up. I’m kind of feeling like my body made me go nap yesterday afternoon because it knew it was going to give me hell overnight. I slept only a couple of hours in between the pain, the peeing, and the snoring. I’m still unhappy and uncomfortable today, but it’s more a undercurrent buzz of discomfort. Mom wants to go to the yarn store later, so I am hoping to be up to that to keep her company. She and my father are going on a cruise, so she wants to stock up on yarn to take with her to make hats. I’ve got my mammogram scheduled (after her cruise) at the hospital campus where her infusions were, so we want to have a good number of hats to drop off that same day (and get to see the nurses there again!).

Just now I realized my left ovary is more angry today than the right one. I guess they are pissed that they are being cranked into gear. Can’t say I blame them, but I wish they’d go hock off the doctor and not me!

 
 

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Pills a poppin’

So follow-up to my poppin’ pills post, I popped the first pill. I SKIMMED the leaflet that came with the pills, then made Hub read it, because even skimming it upset me. Then Hub came up to the bedroom (which is where I retire to after dinner most nights) to stay with me while I started my pill escapade. That was 2 1/2 hours ago. He left me here alone (he went downstairs) about an hour ago. I’m sitting with my heating pad because all my muscles hurt. I’m sure it’s not the pills, it’s how I handled the stress of taking the pills. My entire body was tense, I can feel the after-affects of it. Everything hurts. About an hour in, I couldn’t take it anymore and I asked Hub to retrieve the heating pad from the family room because my arms and shoulder and neck were all killing me (and I cried at this point, too). I was shifting around a lot on the mattress, which I do when I’m anxious. And I was putting weight on my arms and shoulders to do that….and I was sitting hunched over which hurt my back and neck and shoulders.

I’m still in pain. I still feel restless and anxious. I tried to use the techniques I know to keep myself from going over the edge, but I don’t think they were entirely successful. Especially considering the shifting and the pain. My hands really hurt, too, which I’m noticing as I’m typing. Hands and arms. I’m not sure how I’m going to sleep, as I’m still feeling somewhat edgy. And of course the pain isn’t helping. I’ve already asked Hub if there was muscle pain on the leaflet, but he said not general muscle pain. More to the tune of leg pain, which I would assume is liken to blood clot type pain. See, even now I can feel my legs tensing. It sucks. I’m stuffy from crying, my whole body hurts, and I’m warm from the heating pad and edgy from anxiety. I don’t know how I’m going to sleep. I still feel like any minute I could have some kind of adverse reaction or side effect. I’m still anxious.

For some stupid-ass pills. Stupid-ass pills that hundreds of thousands of probably millions of women have taken and survived without injury or harm. And right at this moment, at least I can count myself among those who have taken the pills and come out the other side.

At least, the first of ten times. Ugh.

 

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