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Category Archives: gluten free

I’m SO over it

Father’s day is Sunday. It’s now Friday. I started asking about Father’s day plans of my two local brothers about three weeks ago. I got no response, so I pushed the subject again last Friday.

Background… Hub and I usually do Mother’s day here at our house for his and my mothers and for all our local siblings. We generally do brunch, because that’s what our moms like to eat. For Father’s day, we usually go out because my Dad likes to eat foods we don’t usually cook at home. It’s generally my married brother’s job to arrange Father’s day because Hub and I do so much for Mother’s day.

I eat gluten free. My married brother’s wife has a lot of food issues, in that she eats nothing. I have no idea how she maintains her weight, but she eats nothing. She’s allergic to olive oil, and in the past couple of years she says she’s not eating meat…well, except for hot dogs and chicken. And she doesn’t eat fish. And she doesn’t eat most vegetables. For those still paying attention, 90% of pasta (which is something she’ll eat) or pizza (another thing she’ll eat) is made with olive oil when it’s mass produced.

So I started pushing my brother about Father’s day. He spent Saturday  morning with my father but “forgot” to ask what he wanted to do about Father’s day, considering we’re all still struggling with the loss of my mother. When he finally asked Monday night by phone, my father said, “Whatever you kids want to do. I’d prefer to eat out, but we can eat at home, too.” (Btw, eat at home means Hub and I cook, because my married brother and his wife a) don’t cook and b) never have us over to their house. One time in the 10 years they’ve lived there we ate there, but MY husband grilled the food. And the rest of us prepared it in their kitchen once we arrived.)

So now it’s Tuesday and we’re chatting online about where to go for Father’s day. Lots of places around here are going to be mobbed, but even worse, my SIL doesn’t eat anything. So there are few places they go out to eat, even though they eat out more than they eat at home. We ran through a bunch of places, but most of them either have nothing for me to eat or nothing for her to eat. So I suggest a local diner, which has a MASSIVE menu. My brother says he’ll check with his wife. This is Tuesday after lunchtime. Wednesday at lunch, I email him to ask what the answer is about the diner, because if it’s not the diner, we have to figure something else out. And if the answer is eat at home (which my dad doesn’t REALLY want to do), then I need to plan and get out and buy food. Which I TELL him in the email.

NOW it’s Friday morning and I get an email from my brother saying his wife has “tried” the diner with a friend and it made her sick. So that’s out. And it’s FRIDAY MORNING and now what?

I seriously wrote like four emails, and attempted to write four different messages in chat, and I sent none of them. I’m so angry that when I got dressed this morning (after reading the email) I forgot I put on deodorant and I put it on again. I’m so angry that when I come downstairs and tell Hub what’s going on, I end up crying. I’m SO ANGRY that I finally tell my brothers to do whatever, that I’ll eat NOTHING at the restaurant because this is FATHER’S day and Dad should eat food he likes. (Do you think my SIL offers the same? No. And as for more background, at least 50% of the time she is supposed to do something with us, she doesn’t show up because she’s “not feeling well”. So we go through all this shit about what she can or will eat and then she doesn’t bother to show up…)

So my married brother suggests a burger place. Which I am just flummoxed by, because we could make fucking hamburgers at home (which we did three weeks ago for Memorial day when the my aunt and uncle came to join us). My father likes seafood and pork and bacon and sausages…stuff he doesn’t eat at home. So my married brother says, “why don’t we just get together and eat dessert?” My father doesn’t eat dessert. He likes to binge on fatty fried fun foods, not dessert. Where has my brother been? Does he not KNOW my father? No, the answer is, he’s thinking what is easiest for him, not what my father wants or likes. My married brother suggests we go out early Saturday evening to avoid crowds, despite the fact that I told him that Hub has to work Saturday afternoon. Because it’s all about him and his wife and her issues, not anyone else.

It’s now closing in on noon and we’re no closer to an answer. No one is saying anything anymore. I’ve already told Hub that if this keeps up, he and I are going to get barbecue take-out with all kinds of food that Dad likes, and bring it over to his house Sunday for dinner. And screw the rest of them who don’t like or can’t eat that food. Because I’m so over this. Why am I bending myself into a pretzel for them when it’s supposed to be about my father?

SO OVER IT.

 

 
 

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Nutritionally nerdy

A few weeks before Christmas, Hub and I went to a lecture given by a nutritionist who works in the same organization as T. I saw the announcement for the lecture in email, but then T also sent me an email saying, “this is really cool! I’ve been doing some research on this…” because the lecture was about the “second brain” in your gut. The gut-brain connection, basically. It was a topic T and I had spoken about briefly, and something that I had already done a little research on myself.

We attended the lecture, which had a very small audience–like six or seven people–and had a chance to meet with and hear from the nutritionist. Who told us multiple times that she was “nerding out” over what she was talking about. I found her information really interesting but a lot of it I’d already read about or heard before. Hub hadn’t, but I had. What was almost as interesting was the conversation we had with the nutritionist after her lecture was over. She had brought some drinks and food for us to taste that was supposed to be good for our gut. I tried a few things, and amusingly enough so did Hub after the nutritionist kind of challenged him to do so.

In the end, we took some of the nutritionist’s advice, including changing from drinking low-fat milk to whole milk (because low-fat milk is more processed and has more sugar)…organic milk even. Then we started a regimen of drinking Kefir every day, made again from organic whole milk, in order to get more good bacteria into our gut and colon. We had tried Kefir before but the brand that the nutritionist brought to the lecture for us to try was actually really good, so I make a special trip to a local organic market to buy it every two weeks or so. We made these couple of small changes after the lecture, and then Hub decided he wanted to go see the nutritionist for an individual appointment to see how she could further help our health. With his diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and my gluten and stomach issues, we have been looking for better ways to eat healthier. Part of the problem, though, is that Hub does not eat a big variety of vegetables, but the nutritionist assured us that she was up for the challenge we were presenting as a couple.

We met with her, J,  last week for just over an hour. I think she was encouraged that we were able to make some changes already just based on her lecture. Most of the appointment was taken up with history and getting-to-know you information. I will note, though, that she has a really good sense of humor and seemed able to take Hub’s jokes in stride. Part way through the appointment I was telling her that we tried to eat an avocado–which neither of us really likes–in order to figure out how to get it into our diet since it’s a really good “fat”. I had asked the vegetable and fruit guy at the store to help me pick one, then we went home and cut it and tried to eat it plain. It was bad,  ya’ll. It tasted like…well, Hub said it tasted like a hardboiled egg that had gone bad. I’m not sure it was all that, but it wasn’t good. So in a weird twist of fate, J actually had brought a second sandwich in to work that day (I get hungry, so some days I pack TWO  lunches she tells us…Miss J who can’t weight more than 100lbs soaking wet) that had avocado slices, cucumbers, and mayonnaise. And lucky me (I actually knew about this ahead of time because I had stalked her on twitter before our appointment), J keeps a gluten free home, so the “sandwich” was on gluten free bread and made in a gluten free kitchen. She handed me half her sandwich and said, “Try this!” It was actually pretty good, but we have no idea why HER avocado was okay and ours was so gross. But I promised we’d try the avocado again.

And for the record, she’s asked me to start eating breakfast (yay I say sarcastically) because she thinks it might help with my fatigue; she’s asked us to try to cut back red meat to once (or twice) a week (although we don’t always eat red meat every week, it just depends); she asked Hub to cut back on his juice drinks and try liquid stevia instead of powdered; she asked us to try getting more dairy that is hormone free (since we both eat cheese and yogurt and milk). Then she asked us to check back in with her when we feel that these changes have become routine rather than something we “have” to do. And that we’d take things step-by-step, little bits at a time. She said she likes to “meet people where they are” and encourage small changes at a time. And in the meantime, she’s working on more food plans for us, with the hopes that Hub can find some more foods he can eat that are healthier but also actually doable for him.

I asked J what I could eat for breakfast that would be quick and easy and protein-full, because that was her suggestion to keep me full and energized. Mostly she suggested Greek yogurt, but she wanted me to get organic and whole milk again. She suggested a brand–the same as the Kefir we enjoy–and said I might want to try making my own granola again to put on the yogurt. We bought a couple of different versions of the yogurt she suggested and so far…blech. I’ve got a container of the vanilla flavored version that is passable, and I DID make my granola again, but I can’t say I love eating breakfast. I don’t feel like my stomach is awake and most things make me feel BLEH that early in the morning. I was NEVER a breakfast eater. I don’t like breakfast foods. I don’t like eating early in the morning. And these days, I don’t like trying to fit the food into my morning routine because I’ve been on the go so much these past weeks. BUT I AM TRYING.

I’m not sure how much Hub is trying his stuff. We are looking to eat less red meat, so that’s on our radar. We’re hoping J has more suggestions for dinners because we’re going to get tired of eating fish, especially since neither of us is incredibly fond of fish.

Oh, and yeah, she asked for copies of our recent blood work. She said she just loves to see how the blood work results work in tandem with each rather than how the doctors looks at the results for each individual test independently. She said she just “nerds out” over blood work. She’s a nice lady but she’s kinda weird. Of course, I’d be interested to see if she makes anything of our blood work, but then again, I’m kinda weird, too.

That’s our nutrition journey at the moment. Good times.

 

 

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And so I fly… (part 1)

Spoiler alert: I made it home alive (and so did my husband).

Yeah, so the trip is over and I survived the flights both going and coming back. It was not fun either time and I hope to not fly again. Ever.

Our round trip was Sunday. On Friday night I started getting nervous. More about whether I was going to forget something or get to security and have to throw something away. But behind that, I was starting to get nervous about the flight itself. Hub isn’t a good flier either, so he was starting to get nervous, too. In some ways, that made me feel better because he doesn’t have anxiety and yet he was getting worried about the flight. Anyway, we left for the airport and parked our car in the daily lot, then grabbed the shuttle to the airport. We found the security line, which ended up taking almost an hour to get through. It was crazy ridiculous. I did what I was supposed to, including putting my liquids (mostly makeup) into a clear baggie and on the conveyor belt outside of my small bag. But guess what? After going through the xray doohickey, they stopped me and a female TSA agent said she was going to have to pat me down around my waist and my ankles. I actually thought nothing of it at the time, just let her do her thing, then grabbed my stuff and my shoes and went to where Hub was putting his shoes back on. We hurried along to find our gate, which seemed to be the last gate on that concourse, of course. Once we got there, we found seats and tried to stay occupied. We had about 45 minutes before boarding. I kept asking Hub if we needed to be in line for something because people kept lining up, but he said they were getting their seat assignments, which I had already done online when I booked the tickets. Also, I had checked in online (for both flights) the day before so it would save us some time and money.

They finally started boarding the flight. We were almost in the last group to board because our seats were in the back of the plane. I haven’t been on a plane in 17 years, so I forgot how small the aisles and seats are. And of course, I’ve got nicely padded hips…and our seats were in the back, so I had to pass alongside all the passengers already boarded. That kinda sucked. When we got to our seats, we found the person in the window seat was already there. Thank goodness he was a small guy, so I didn’t feel like I was smushed in between him and Hub, who is a big guy. We put up the arm rest between Hub and me, then I went to find my crochet in my bag. But I realized REALLY quickly that there was absolutely no elbow room to crochet. Ugh. I was really counting on that as part of my relaxation technique. So I swapped it for a book, then plugged in the headphones for my iPod and put the earphones over my ears. Were you aware that United uses their headrest tvs to show the safety video? It’s like a commercial and they tried to make it entertaining. Hub and I just rolled our eyes through the whole thing.

Lucky me, the little guy at the window seat kept his window shade open. So I pretty much had to crank my head toward Hub the whole flight. I clutched onto Hub as we took off, wrapping my arms around his arm so that I was pretty much attached to him. I did that almost every time I felt the plane bank, or there was turbulence, or we sped up or slowed down. I felt every single shift in the plane. Every single shift. I am so hyperaware of movement because of my vertigo and imbalance that I knew when the plane climbed higher or descended even a little. I tried to think of turbulence as pot holes, though that didn’t help very much (we had a good amount of turbulence as we ascended, then more during the length of the flight). I cranked my music and tried to sing along in my head. I tried to read but the book was terrible and I couldn’t concentrate. The woman in front of me put her seat back–of course–so I put my table tray down and just rested my head in my hand and my forehead against the back of her headrest (against the tv screen, technically). I had the little air blower from the ceiling on high, so that blew down the back of my neck and kept me relatively cool. I swayed my head to the music, tapped my fingers, and intermittently clutched at Hub as we flew. With the time zone change, I was having trouble tracking how long until we were supposed to land. At one point I was all happy because I thought we were going to start descending any minute, only to realize we had almost forty five minutes left. That was just less than half the flight. UGH. So back to the music I went, swaying and singing silently.

The pilot announced we were going to start descent, so of course I plastered myself to Hub, even though we still had twenty minutes before landing. I closed my eyes and just tried to ignore everything except the music I was blasting in my ears. The landing was hard and fast, and it felt like it took forever to slow down and stop. Everything was so loud…louder than I remembered from all those years ago. It took forever to get off the plane, because as I mentioned we were in the very back, just four rows from the bathrooms. It was interesting to watch the debarking process, because people were really patient and allowed other passengers to get off in order. All except ONE GUY who was sitting behind us who had jumped up as soon as he could, and instead of letting us out like he should, he pushed his way right up along our seats so Hub and I (and our seatmate) couldn’t get out in order like everyone else. SO RUDE, dude! I mean, really? How much faster were you going to get out by being an asshole?

Have you ever flown into O’Hare in Chicago? That mo’fo is HUGE. Walking to find the baggage area to get outside for pickup took forever. We used the moving sidewalks, too, but I was so tense on the plane and so squished into the seats that I was exhausted and in pain. It was kind of slow-going. But we had landed 30 minutes early (YES!) in comparison to the schedule, so we had some extra time to get outside. One of my brothers picked us up (along with some relatives coming in at the same time but via a different airline) and we were off to the hotel to meet my parents and change our clothes for the wedding.

Our flight out was an hour and forty minutes. The wedding itself, specifically, was thirty minutes long. Then we sat for ninety minutes in the reception room, as appetizers were circulated and the open bar, well, opened. I hadn’t eaten before flying (it was too early) and after we landed we went to the hotel. I had packed a tiny bag of gluten free cheese crackers, which I inhaled at the hotel (along with about six ounces of apple juice), but that was all I’d eaten all day. Unfortunately, every single appetizer was either breaded and fried, or had some sort of bread base (egg rolls, spanicopita, bruscetta), so I had nothing to eat again for those ninety minutes. I had two Shirley Temples and some water…and a few Hershey’s kisses that were on the table. That sucked. I was so hungry and I was getting a bad headache. Then the soup came out…but I can’t eat soup because it’s usually thickened with flour. But the waitress said they had some fruit, which she brought out for me and a few other people there who had allergies. That was some awesomely tasty fruit, ya’ll. 🙂 Then they served salad, which was good enough.

Luckily, my brother (it was my niece’s wedding) had arranged for a gluten free meal for me, which turned out to be pretty tasty. I was impressed because normally “gluten free” means plain and dry. But it was pretty okay, including a nice big baked potato, which I scarfed down like I was starving. They ended up bringing out chocolate mousse next, but I was too worried about being sick on the flight home that I didn’t eat it. Before we knew it, Hub and I were retrieving our bags from the car and changing back into our travel clothes in order to leave for the airport to fly home. When we went in to hurry around and say good bye, they were just serving the wedding cake (which I couldn’t eat anyway) along with what looked like ice cream or custard or something, and maybe some other small desserts. I’m not sure because we were already a few minutes behind schedule and it was more important to me to say good bye to my family than to see what we were missing dessert-wise. Then we were gone, on the road to heading home.

 

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Rinse and repeat

So here I am, just days away from surgery number two. I wrote about my pre-surgery nerves in this post last time. I’m feeling pretty crappy these days, some of which is because I haven’t been sleeping. I’ve been having nightmares and I’ve felt overheated at night. I’m terribly heat intolerant, so it keeps me away and/or wakes me up when I’m too warm. And of course, if I’m warm when I try to go to sleep, then I can’t fall asleep. So it’s been sucky sleeping lately. Not a great way to go into surgery, I’m sure. Also, my throat has been dry in the mornings and my nose feels stuffy. I’m hoping it’s allergies, because I can’t take the thought that it’s a cold, which might (or might not) postpone my surgery. No fever, so I feel like just a cold won’t be an issue, but my anxiety makes me worry about it. Repeatedly and often. Woo.

In my previous post, I talked about all the prep work I was doing in advance of surgery. I re-read the post and feel kind of embarrassed at how much I was doing. I made all that food and ate none of it. I got all that yarn and used none of it post-surgery. I borrowed all those books and it was over a week (or more) before I could read anything. I used almost none of the things I packed to take the hospital. Even so, some of it was worthwhile. I’ll be changing and washing sheets in advance, because I like the comfort of the laundry detergent when I get into bed. Hub will be getting me deli turkey and making me gluten free biscuits because those were the two things I ate for the first two weeks, almost exclusively (great diet, eh?), along with plain water. So no soup, no lemonade, no mushrooms and cheese…that was all a waste of time the first time.

I’ll pack my small bag for the hospital with pain medications (leftover from the first surgery, so we don’t have to pay for them a second time), my gluten free chewing gum (peppermint, to get my stomach working again), and my pillow for the ride home. I’ll have my lip balm and my cell phone and my advanced directive (again). That’s pretty much it.

I’m still going to the library tomorrow, so I don’t have to go soon after surgery, but I know now that reading will be nearly impossible the first week. Even watching television was nearly impossible, because my brain just wouldn’t focus.

And on top of things, I’ll be worrying about surgical menopause. Woo hoo. There are horror stories about this, and I’ve been trying really hard not to read them. I talked with T about them at my last session, but I’m not sure I can be reassured about this. I’m mostly worried about the insomnia…and then the possibility for increased depression and anxiety. There’s a whole host of new symptoms for SM that I’ll have to learn, and that my health anxiety will have to feed on. I’m wondering if acupuncture might help. I’ve been trying to read about it, but I know full well that acupuncture doesn’t always work for everyone.

I finally saw the massage therapist last week. It was so nice to have her work out some of my muscles. I wasn’t able to lay on my stomach, but she was able to work most everything while I was on my side. I can’t say how much it all helped long-term, but it felt really good during (with the exception of the trigger points which generally hurt like a mofo). I really hope I’ll be able to get back to her more quickly after this surgery than after the first. My muscles really took a beating after surgery.

No matter the fact that I went through this surgery (basically) once before, I’m nervous. I know now how it is going to feel to wait in pre-op…and how I felt in the post op, and how gross and out of it I felt in recovery. And on the way home. And the immediate days following. I made it through, obviously, so I get that, but it doesn’t mean it was easy and/or no big deal. In the back of my head, I’m also thinking about actually making it through the surgery. I’m afraid. I don’t know another way to be at this point.

My PVCs have mostly dropped off in the last two weeks or so. I had some last night, but they were mild and didn’t last very long. I hope that continues, because I can do without those.

 

 

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Don’t pity me

I’m doing that just fine all on my own. Bleh.

Seriously, this is the first day I’ve been able to concentrate even a little bit. Prior, I was feeling very foggy and dizzy, and like my eyes wouldn’t focus. It was pretty horrible. Thursday I was trying to be a good girl and eat protein, so we had some deli turkey in the house in preparation. Turns out there’s something on there in the gluten range (maybe the seasoning? we don’t think we’ve bought this meat before, it was fresh-made at the store) that was affecting me and I spent most of Thursday suffering from hot-face, which made me miserable. It wasn’t until after I’d had some for dinner that I realized it was probably the turkey and I had to just wait it out. I didn’t start feeling that going away until sometime Friday mid-morning. Meanwhile, my sleep has been close to nil. That has been kind of horrible because it aggravates anxiety big-time, as all us anxiety sufferers know. My PVCs remain annoying…

I’m in some mild pain, but taking ibuprofen twice a day, just to help speed healing, I hope. Friday the doctor’s office called to check on me and the nurses warned me to be very aware of blood clot symptoms, especially with the weekend coming. She told me to not wait and go to the ER if I felt I had symptoms. So now I’m spending the majority of my time worrying about a blood clot. Fan-fucking-tastic. And apparently this is an issue for MONTHS after a surgery. So my leg is bothering me and it’s kind of freaking me out, but I am trying to remind myself that it’s probably a muscle ache and maybe must my knee hurting (which is normal for me). I’m afraid…there’s so much going on in my body, I have no idea how to identify what is normal and what is not. My heartburn is pretty bad (with accompany nausea!…yay), even though I’ve gone back on my regular digestive enzymes and probiotics…they haven’t really taken over yet. So that means I’ve got pain in my chest which radiates to my arms and back. And I have to decipher that as being different from being short of breath and in pain which could be a clot my lung (versus in the leg, of course). This has not been a good experience for me…I’m sure T is thinking “Ooooh, exposure therapy” but I’m thinking OMG how am I going to get through this?

I feel very split up about all this…trying to realize I had major surgery and still feeling like I’m supposed to be active to help heal. They’re all telling me to listen to my body, but my body LIES to me. So how am I supposed to know how much to rest and how much to do? I had major surgery and yet they sent me home five hours after. Which is it? Major surgery and rest, or get up and move? I’m FINALLY able to stand up and sit down without groaning from the pain and stretch, but it’s still uncomfortable.

Eating is difficult because of the nausea and the heartburn. I have no appetite, but I know without food I won’t gain stamina or energy. I’m trying to drink but I’m NEVER a good drinker so I’m sucking with that, too. Which apparently could lead to more potential blood clot issues. So much fear in my body at the moment. I told T when I had my phone appointment on Friday (which I could only talk for half an hour, I was so out of it) that I feel like I’m in the midst of anxiety even though I didn’t feel ANXIOUS. She said it’s my body responding to the trauma of the surgery…and to just try to use my tools even though it’s not really “anxiety”.

My head feels full and pressured. I have a headache (while I’m taking 800mg of ibuprofen…wtf is up with that?) and I’m so tired all the time. I want to be past all this NOW.

On top of all that, Hub has a really bad cold that came on Tuesday night. I’m SO lucky that I haven’t gotten sick yet, even though he’s feeding me and getting me drinks. It’s really really sucky, though, because he’s not touching me. No hugging, no kisses, no rubbing my back or my hands or my arms. No comfort. It’s a really big loss for me… I want so much to be soothed and because we’re trying to keep me from getting the cold, I feel bereft and alone.

Like I said, I’m doing a find job of pitying myself. And now the eye floaters are back, so I’m done here.

 

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Surgical consult tomorrow

Today was my mom’s first day of radiation. Beyond the fact that we arrived 20 minutes early (they were worried about traffic) and they took her 20 minutes late, it went okay. She was nervous, which I knew, and which my father reiterated to me after they took her back. I spent the weekend before thinking about how I could help her. She had her “dry run” on Friday, and she told me on the way out that she was more distressed about the radiation than the chemo. She couldn’t verbalize why. At some point in speaking to my brother about it, I realized that she was going to be alone in the treatment room. When we went to her chemo appointments, not only did she have my father there, but me and also the nurses! And she was in a room full of people. Now granted, the appointments lasted 8 hours each, six times, and they stretched out over about six months. Her radiation appointments are about 20 minutes and should be over in five weeks. But they’re EVERY SINGLE DAY (sans weekends) and she’s in a room all alone.

So over the weekend I started thinking about what I could do to help her. I had shared with her (a couple of weeks ago) about the gratitude list that T suggested I do every morning. First thing, before getting out of bed, she suggested I come up with 3-5 things that I’m grateful for. It’s supposed to change your chemistry to start off your day. Mom said she was going to start doing it, and the last time we talked about it, she was doing it. So building on that, I came up with about 25 (or 26 or 27) things to be thankful for, and I typed them up. Then I put them on little strips of paper, folded the papers, and put them in a little bag. This morning, before she went in to change her clothes into a hospital gown (she had to wait for the changing room), I told her to pick from the bag. And I said it was a “prompt” on something she could think about and/or be thankful for in the treatment room. Afterward, I gave her the bag to keep with her because I won’t be with her every single day for treatments. I’ll go as often as I can (and as often as she’ll let me), and make sure my father gets a break from having to take her. But some days I won’t be able to go and/or won’t be going, so she’ll still have the bag and she’ll be able to take good thoughts in with her (and know I’m thinking of her!).

So it’s been six hours since we got home from the treatment. At the doctor’s recommendation, Mom took anti-nausea meds she had leftover from chemo treatment (she never took them, but they gave her anti-nausea meds in her IV) before her treatment. They said that nausea could occur every single day, 2-4 hours after treatment. I think she was really worried about that, hence her taking the medication. Fortunately, she doesn’t seem to be getting nauseous…I’ve spoken to her several times and she ate lunch, did her exercises, and has been taking care of some other things. She even sounded chipper the last time I spoke to her. I hope it continues.

Look, I title this about my surgical consultation tomorrow and yet I’ve written more about her appointment than mine. Mostly because mine is the day before and I have nothing to report. I’m getting a bit nervous, but nothing overwhelming. I went to a website I knew about called HysterSisters to read a little information about what to ask. And to be informed on the different options available, and what the terminology means. I want to be knowledgeable but too much information for me causes me anxiety. It’s a difficult balance to maintain. I also did some research about whether the hospital I’m expecting to be in has any gluten-free food options. I found NO information and so I’m assuming that Hub will have to keep me fed. Or I’ll be eating a lot of yogurt and salad. I have no idea how long I’ll have to be in the hospital, but we’ll have to figure something out. I’m really hoping that my parents will be up to dog-sitting for us because I suspect Hub will be staying with me at the hospital while I’m there. That means my parents (and brother) will have our dogs days AND nights, which we’ve only done once before when Hub and I went out of town on vacation. And at that point my mother wasn’t dealing with fatigue from the radiation (which they say could be pretty bad…).

But there’s time to work that out. And we’ll do what we have to in order to work it out. The gluten-free issue as well. We’ll see how I feel about all of it tomorrow after the doctor’s appointment. My mother has her treatment, so she won’t be able to go with us to listen in on the appointment. I had considering asking my brother to go with us, but he’s going to be with Mom because Tuesdays are the days she meets with her doctor…and we have questions. And we have to have someone other than my father asking questions and listening to answers because he’s not reliable for either. So it’ll be Hub and me tomorrow. Fortunately, this is only a consult, and I know I’ll have more times to ask questions before any surgery happens. UNfortunately, this particular doctor is over an hour away. The hospital is 45 minutes away from our house. But I think the doctor is worth it (at least at the moment), and the hospital is the closer of the two he works with. And if Hub is staying with me, it won’t matter how far away it is from home. If this happens in the next six weeks, it won’t matter how far away it is from my parents because I won’t expect them to come visit in the hospital because I suspect Mom will be too tired. And that’s okay. She’ll be doing me more help by taking care of our dogs and relieving me of that concern than if she traipsed an hour there and back to the hospital to see me lying in bed doing nothing.

 

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Struggling

I’m still struggling. Last night was a bad night. I ate something that did not agree with me and for the remainder of the night, I was awash with anxiety. It was a typical gluten’d feeling: hot face, feeling hot and cold, anxious, antsy, wired, and thinking about my health. The few times I managed to doze off, I had terrible dreams that stayed with me even after. When Hub went downstairs to work this morning, I dozed again and had more dreams. Bad ones. Unhappy, uncomfortable ones. I’m tired, and I feel down. At the moment, I’m struggling not to cry.

On top of already feeling like crap today, two different times on tv they were talking about women’s health. The first one was heart health, and how women’s symptoms of heart attacks are different from men. When I saw that the segment was upcoming, I took the dogs outside and stayed out for at least half an hour so I would miss the whole thing. It’s too much of a trigger for me. But then as we were getting ready for dinner, there was a local report about breast cancer and how women are just skipping their mammograms. Since my mom was diagnosed with uterine cancer, I’ve been struggling not to dwell on the potential for the hereditary impact on me. I’ve never had a mammogram, though I’m 42. The year that it was first recommended to me, I was unhappy with my gyno, so I didn’t follow through. I’ve not been back to any gyno since that whole episode, so there’s been no one to write me a script to get one. And truthfully, I’m afraid of what might come of it. Now with my mother’s diagnosis, I’m even more afraid of cancer than I was before. Even though my mother did pretty well (relatively speaking) going through her surgery and chemo, I’m way more sensitive to everything than she is, and I’m afraid of everything surrounding the potential of cancer. Surgeries, chemo, pain, nausea, etc etc. But still, the segment on the news triggered me, and I feel anxious and upset. I know part of it is because I’m really tired, but part of it is because I am me.

Tomorrow I go back to the dentist for a cleaning. I’ve enlisted Hub to drive me to and from. I expect he’ll sit in the waiting room and wait for me, even though the dentist is only 15 minutes away from home and it’s only a cleaning. And if they let him, he’d come back and sit with me while I got the cleaning. I haven’t had a cleaning in about 3 years, and prior to that I was in and out of the dentist’s office fairly regularly. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it. But my anxiety is worse now than it used to be for me. And this dentist is new to me, as is the hygienist I’ll be seeing tomorrow, so I’m apprehensive. I’m not anxious yet, but we’ll see how the night goes. Unfortunately, my back has been bothering me all afternoon, but I’ve already rescheduled once and I’d like to get this over with. I know the anticipation is worse than the actual appointment will be. I’ve had enough cleanings to know that they are generally uncomfortable, but not life-threatening. However, this IS the first time this hygienist will be dealing with my frakin’ baby tooth. Urg.

I had my session with T this past Friday. I ended up crying in session, because I told her how much I miss my writing. She keeps telling me that I need to get back to it, because it is my purpose. Without it, she thinks I’ll continue to be stuck and struggle. I want to write so badly, but it isn’t working. I’m angry that my books don’t sell anymore, and that no one ever gives me any feedback. It’s like dumping a child out into the void, never to be heard from again. It’s hard to continue to put yourself out there and never see any kind of return. In that same vein, I made a hand-made crocheted gift for a friend, sent it to her, and never heard back from her about it. WTH. It’s painful for me to say, but I want to be validated. I want someone to say THANK YOU. To say, “Whoa, you put your heart and soul in that. That’s awesome.” What I get is radio silence. And it makes getting motivated to do stuff very difficult. It used to be that I’d write for myself, but that doesn’t seem to be enough for me now. I need to find that kind of satisfaction for myself again, and quit worrying about other people validating me.

I do feel like I’m a bit depressed these days. I’m tired and angry and stuck. I’m in pain. My tinnitus is acting up big time. My weight is still an issue. I have anxious moments. Is that reason enough to be sad? Or is this a depressive episode? Does it matter?

 

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