The One Where I Say Good-bye to Health Woes

The last time I wrote, I’d just found out that my breast lump was just a cyst. AMEN TO THAT.

Since then, I went and hiked the tallest mountain I’d hiked yet. It wasn’t a hard trail, but the altitude and the things it does to my body made it hard. I get altitude sickness. Because of course I fucking do. I get every other weird assed ailment possible so why not this one, too? I don’t know what to do about it. I do know that I need to find a way to force myself to drink more water as I hike up the mountain, despite my feeling that I’m doing a good job of drinking water I am not. I need to snack more as I go up. Stopping at the saddle, just 500 feet short of the summit, did me in. If I’d just kept hiking I would have made it to the top. But stopping and letting it all catch up with me caused extreme dizziness and nausea to hit. I didn’t want to lose my balance on the last bit of up that was steeper and I didn’t want to push the nausea as I’m not supposed to throw up after my surgery. So….great.

The hike was lovely and now that I’m over a week removed from it I’m super glad I did it but at the time I was just mad. I felt like shit and my body hurt and I felt like I had no business doing it and even said “Why did I think I could do this?!” and everyone looked at me and said “Well…you did do it sooooo….what’s the issue?” I hate it when everyone just doesn’t let me be illogical and unreasonable. It’s so rude.

I was afraid to eat once we got to the post hike grub but a cheeseburger was exactly what my body needed and I inhaled that thing and then felt so much better. Behold the power of the cheeseburger!

And I’ve not done much in the way of activity since. I did some hallway walks. I did the gym once. But I’m committing to doing both of those much more often. The heat is getting higher here so I doubt I’ll be doing neighborhood walks for a bit but I can swim laps in the pool and do things like that in between hikes and gym.

On Friday I had the cyst aspirated. They did it with an ultrasound so they could ensure they got all the fluid out and let me tell you that was pretty dang cool to watch. I saw the needle go in to numb my breast and the cyst, which was the most painful part. And it made me queasy. Likely since I was watching it and feeling it. But then watching the needle go in and start to drain the cyst, seeing the cyst start to shrink smaller and smaller until it just no longer existed was awesome.  The bonus is that the fluid that was in the cyst didn’t have any blood in it, they even showed me that and it was awesome and gross. Like, that just came out of my breast!! But the lack of any blood meant that it was simply a cyst and no more testing or concern was involved. They just tossed it into the trash and that was that.

Later that night, though, my boob hurt like hell. It was tender and uncomfortable. I wasn’t anticipating that. But it recovered. It still has a bruise but it’s not sore anymore.

And with that, my current state of health is HEALTHY AND GOOD AMEN.

Tonight I am doing meal prep for the week and getting back on that train. I will lost 15 pounds and that is final. I’m making some nicely seasoned chicken breasts, some sauteed red peppers and zucchini, oven roasting some brussels sprouts with red onion and bacon, cleaning and cutting up some fruit for snacks, and making my bacon fat deviled eggs to breakfast. Solid plan. Solid menu. I’m a fan.

I also have become obsessed with Hippeas snacks. I like to feel like I’m snacking so it makes my heart happy to still have that while knowing that my snack is healthy. It’s a win win!! Woo!

My boyfriend has started eating less and running more, as if he needs to. But he’s doing it for me. So I’m not in this alone. And I love him for that and that’s gonna motivate me to really be actually motivated this time. Because dammit, I need to be motivated this time!

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I’m Kool & The Gang

Because I’m celebrating that my breast lump was only a cyst. ONLY A CYST!!! It’s a rather large cyst. Like, sneaking a peek at the mammogram while the tech was out of the room without knowing what it was yet was jarring. Then seeing that big black area on the ultrasound was jarring. I made jokes and laughed but inside I was terrified. But the doctor came in and showed me all of it and talked me through it and explained that it’s just a cyst. I have a smaller one, too. So two cysts in one boobs, none in the other. I need to get it aspirated, however, since you cannot see through it to make sure nothing else is hiding back there. But overall I am full of relief and I can feel myself relaxing.

During the mammogram, they move you around into position and all that jazz. So, I’m all tense and she has to keep reminding me to drop/relax my shoulder. She’s trying to move me and get me to relax and several times she’d say “Wow, you are really strong. ” So I must have been an immovable force. Then, at one point, she’s trying to move me and she said “You really are strong. Are you a trainer or something?” and I got all proud on the inside and just said “Well, I hike a lot…” I don’t know if my stress was making me “strong” or whatever but I just do not feel like I’m that swole or whatever. But it sure did make me feel proud.

I’m using this new month to refocus and remotivate and I’m going to the gym tomorrow and then every Tuesday and Thursday like I used to with my trainer and I had to tell a coworker friend that I can no longer provide her a ride on those days and that will help me stick to my goal because if not, I’m just the jerk that isn’t helping her out when I totally could.

I bought a planner and I started using it this morning to fill in my goals, my tasks, my progress and all of that to keep me on track. I’m gonna do this! I have before and I will again. Boom!

I”m gonna do meal planning and meal prep and all of the things. Watch out!

But in the meantime, I have celebratory Oreos. Oops.

 

Nature of Humans

Wanna know something new that I forgot about that is just yet another thing my doctors should have explained to me in regards to my surgery? Sure ya do:

So, all of our stomachs have this mechanism that tells us when we are full. It’s towards the top, naturally, and it activates when we eat to say “Hey, I’m full. You should stop eating.” Well, when you have a fundoplication done, that mechanism gets moved and wrapped around your esophagus and, therefore, no longer works. Which is another reason I was so miserable for those two weeks. I’d been on a spree of food with no regard to how much I’d ingested.

To combat this I have to be mindful of what I am eating. I have to self regulate. I have to pay better attention. And, therefore, I simply just leave food on my plate now because I have no way of knowing if I’m full and I no longer want to feel as bad as I did that last time. So, I’ve been eating smaller meals more often. Which, is the ideal way to eat. But it’s tiring. And it’s just so weird that I have to pay so much attention now. Bleah.

Maybe it’ll help me with my weight loss, though? I dunno.

Today I read some commentary that part of the Prince death investigation wrapping up meant that all of the photos and videos that were taken in Paisley Park during the investigation have now been made public. That includes his death scene. Meaning his dead body laying on the ground. And people are publishing this and, I assume, people are looking at this. And this is where my not being able to understand human natures kicks in because who the hell wants to see that?! Why would you want to see that? I saw the photos of the famous vault the other day and even then I thought “This feels weird. Should we be seeing this?” and now that I know it was part of that photo evidence it feels even weirder. I will not be looking at any of those photos and I don’t understand those of us that will seek them out.

Human behavior is just so tricky and I wish it was easier. Like, I know it’s not best to hold on to things that bug you until you explode…but I also don’t want to hear about every little thing I do that bugs you. I’ve been in that situation. It makes me feel like I don’t do anything right. And I don’t want to be the person that is highlighting the flaws in another person all the damn time, either. But I also know I hold on to shit until I explode. So, what’s the balance? How do you determine what is worth pointing out and when? Bleah.

And on an end note it’s hard to find out that you’re not as important to people as you once thought you were. It stings.

High Anxiety

Friday night I was watching a live feed from a Prince Celebration concert that Paisley Park was putting on for the second anniversary of his death and it hit me in my feelings because I just love him so and he’s gone and the police report was aired on Thursday and it’s all very sad. Like, it sounds like his death could have been prevented but there’s not enough evidence to show who could have prevented it and all of that sadness. So, I’m watching the video and enjoying it when it hit me that he’s gone and then that reminded me that I have a lump in my breast and what if it’s a huge lump of cancer and that it’s metastasized into other areas already and there’s nothing that can be done and then I’m gonna die but then, you know, I could be with Prince except I don’t believe in all of that but what if I’m wrong and I don’t want to die and that is so very scary and I spiraled right the fuck out, guys. Just….a death spiral, literally.

Then I went on a hike on Saturday morning and it was great. For a while. I decided I should have a lady person in the know locally and I chose one of my hiking friends for she is logical and reasonable and involved in the health care industry so I felt like she could talk me off my ledges. And she did. We let the others get ahead of us and I stopped and asked her permission to burden her with news and I told her and we talked and I shared that even on a vain level this is all very bothersome to me. I’m not the most confident person in my appearance. But I have lovely breasts. This I know without question. Will that be taken away? It shouldn’t matter…but it’s part of it and that’s ok. But she was great and it turned out she’s been though something similar twice and she helped me feel so much better.

But not 100%.

I didn’t know this, however, until I reached a portion of trail that I’m not a fan of. I don’t like areas that have a slope toward the edge where I can also see exactly how high we are. They freak me the hell out. And? I did just that. I freaked the fuck out. I could not go any further. They tried to get me past it but I’m way too anxious at this time and I couldn’t truly explain all of that to the others and that’s ok. So, me and the girl in the know turned around and did a walk around on the road to the other part of the trail and walked down. And? We wound up getting more distance in that way! Go us!

Apparently I’m just one big old bundle of stress and I need to find a way to work it out. Because I still have a week and a day to go before having this thing mammogrammed and ultrasounded. Ugh.

However, on the reasonable side of life I don’t really think this is gonna be cancer. I think it’s gonna be a fibroadenoma. Which is gonna be fine.

It’s all gonna be fine.

Imaginary Converstations

I’m riled up today. I’ll get to that in a moment. For now, let’s do a quick catch-up:

  • I did an upper GI test last week that revealed that my surgery has not failed, which is awesome news! It’s just a wee bit on the tight side, which is good so it lasts for a good long while, and my esophagus is tiny so I just need to take smaller bites, chew more, etc. while also making sure my bathroom habits are regular and staying ahead of that instead of allowing gas and constipation to build up. Woo!
  • I’m down 3.2 pounds since February. Not the almost 10 I should be down by now but I’ll take it and run with it. But because we both have a lot going on we’ve decided to not do the challenge any longer. I think that’s for the best, really. But I’m going to continue on my own. Which is also for the best.
  • I had my annual exam on Tuesday. Apparently, with all the other health concerns of mine, I’ve been slacking on the monthly breast exams. Now I know to never ever ever do that again. Because I have a rather sizable lump in my breast and have to wait close to two weeks for the mammogram to see if it’s a clear lump or a solid lump and then have needles inserted into my breast to drain it if it’s just a cyst or take a biopsy if it’s not. I’m a bit freaked out to say the least and my anxiety brain keeps bringing up all the ways I’ll need to tell people when (IF!!!) I find out it’s cancer and that’s not helping. I don’t think. Or maybe it’s my brain’s way of preparing me for the worst? Hope for the best, prepare for the worst! So, I dunno. I also am just slightly superstitious without wanting to admit that I am and I don’t want to worry the bad news into existence so I’m trying to be chill and not think about it but then I find myself fondling the lump and being mad that I didn’t notice it. And then worried that some of my GI issues are actually related to this lump. I had adhesions on the gallbladder. And my stomach. What if….
    So, yes. I’m worried. I think it’s reasonable to be.

Now…on to my riledupedness!

I am SO FUCKING TIRED OF EXTREMES! Guys. It’s ok for me to say “man the education system here in America really needs some work.” Nowhere in there did I say “Man, America fucking sucks!” It’s possible to enjoy a thing while, also, seeing where it can improve. But nooooo, the “Get out of American if you hate it so much!” crowd cannot be reasoned with. Shut up.

I’m also tired of the extreme liberals who think everyone that isn’t a liberal is some racist, dumb-shit mouth breathing moron. No they are not. Stop being a snob, you assholes.

I’m tired of people acting like if someone you admire did anything at all bad even once in their life they are now “problematic” and should not be supported ever. With that mentality Martin Luther King, Jr. wouldn’t have gotten very far. None of us would. Stop being so all or nothing, damn. Humans have issues.

If you can see the headline “Trump advised that Cohen is likely to flip” and you can still tell yourself “Trump ain’t done anything wrong!” then I do not understand you. A person cannot “flip” if they have nothing of value to share! That’s not how it works, folks.

Starbucks is having a racial bias awareness training. This is dumb. I’m sorry, but it’s dumb. The country, mostly the white citizens of this country, simply need a “Do not call the cops unless you see a literal, verifiable crime taking place. Is there no crime happening? Then do not call.” It’s really that simple.

Hell, for that matter can we all have a “Be a Reasonable Person Training.” I think that’s what I want. I want for everyone to reset back to neutral. And then if I’m talking to a friend of mine and I say something that is racist but I’m not aware it’s racist and they say “You know, Andrea, that’s racist.” and I then respond “Oh, my goodness I had no idea, I’m so sorry.” and then we both move on with our lives…. That. That is what I want every single person alive to be able to do. No drama. No butthurt. No defensiveness. Just….reasonableness. Why is that so impossible?

If you know better, you do better. Right?

I’m tired of journalism being a joke. There are so many other things this administration is up to than porn stars, Russia, and dumb shit tweets. Scott Pruitt, the head of the EPA (protecting the environment is right there in his fucking job title!) is too busy spending money to protect his phone calls, his car, and his plane rides and then scaling back actual protections of the environment yet it gets very little notice. Ryan Zinke is running around shrinking public lands so we can drill and frak and log on them. They’re making it so it doesn’t matter if a rare type of bat lives in the area, log them trees, bats be damned!! I hate it and I hate that journalists are keeping the other dramas alive instead of highlighting the bullshit that is happening in EVERY department of this administration. Do your jobs, journalists.

Basically, things have gotten to the point of being so extreme on both ends that I have very little faith that we can ever be a truly united citizenry ever again. I’ve lost that hope. And that makes me sad. Because it’s very much a sign that most, not all, people are truly that simple minded and selfish. On both sides. And that is heartbreaking.

Ten

I don’t even remember the date but ten years ago this month my divorce was final. I’ve been divorced ten years! And in that time I’ve gone to Ireland; made friends on blogs and Flickr and traveled around to meet them in person; saw Prince in concert twice; moved to Arizona; become a hiker; lost two dogs and a cat and then gained two dogs; had a brief fling; had a very irresponsible relationship; had another brief fling; had to tell two different very nice guys no thank you; hiked the Grand Canyon; went to Russia; went to Canada; went to London; went to Spain; went to Mexico; had visitors; made visits; met a guy and started the first really good relationship since the divorce; was laid off; got a new job; got a new car; went on two family vacations; and just had all of the other day to day life you have in a ten year span. WOW! It’s just sort of nuts. It’s like I’ve lived a whole other lifetime since that time.

So, last week was horrible and terrible. Why? Because for reasons I have determined to be my own stupidity and my period converging inside of my person, I had a nice build up of debilitating gas. It was so bad I stayed home from work on Thursday. I’ve done all of the things and started treating my stomach much kinder and moved around and taken the OTC meds and it’s all calmed down now. I’ve read the forums full of people that have had my surgery and I’ve come to the conclusion that this is just a thing that is going to happen for a while and until I am, truly, back to 100% (if if that is never) I need to not treat my stomach like a frat house. Moderation will now be key. Sure, I can have pizza. But not the same weekend that I also eat tacos and chorizo and cake and ice cream and beans and all sorts of other stuff. Space that shit out, damn!

And, yes, I understand that generally speaking it’s not that cool to go Googling and winding up on the WebMD diagnosing yourself with some sort of cancer. But that’s not me. I am reasonable, I know what I’ve gone through, I know what I’m going through, and I’ve not really steered myself too wrong yet. I have an appointment with the GI’s office tomorrow, however, just to make sure. Because I’m not a doctor. I’m just a reasonable person that knows how to properly Google.

I’m also a bit with the ruffled feathers when people give me side eye because “well, I know x person that had that surgery and they were fine” or “you need to go to the er immediately because you’re dying” or “did you take any pills for the pain? why suffer?” How about mind your business? Let’s do that.

I dunno. I’m as guilty of this as the next guy but we’re all very much too much with the “Well this is how I would handle it and that makes sense and works well so everyone should follow suit.” Yeah, no. Not all approaches work for all the people so how about no.

How about understand that not all surgeries are the same, not all repairs are the same, not all of our reasons for the surgery to begin with were the same, and how about doctors give us all a heads up that just because this is a laparoscopic surgery doesn’t mean it’s not a serious one. Because it is. And a heads up on all the recovery issues would be nice, too. For fuck’s sake.

So, last week there was no official weigh in but when I did weigh in I was down a total of 5.5 lbs but that won’t last. That was after taking prescription Miralax for two days and not eating a whole lot.

Yesterday I hiked. That made me feel a whole lot better. So, I’m gonna do this thing where no matter what and no matter how I feel I move my body each day. Every day. In some way. Because I want to be healthy. And my blood work revealed that I mostly am. But damn if my triglyceride levels weren’t high. So, no more bacon fat deviled eggs. Oops. I may have just revealed the source of that issue.

To end I want to recommend everyone listen to Dax Sheppard’s podcast “Armchair Expert.” It’s SO GOOD, OMG!! I’m finding my favorite podcasts are the ones where the interviewer is doing more of a good conversation. Marc Maron, Chris Hardwick, and now Dax are my three favorite podcasts.

Severed

After I wrote my post yesterday something very hurtful to me happened. I’m not gonna go into any details here but I’m documenting it because it helped me get to even further realizations. The realizations are also hurtful but they also helpful in letting me know that it’s not in my mind, and that I’m doing just about the best I can in this situation. Of course there are things that I could have done better but ultimately it wouldn’t really matter. Which is the saddest realization of them all.

Because of this event I decided early in the day that I was going to have cake after dinner. I planned it and then I did it and it was too much and it was too much sugar after limited my sugar intake and I immediately felt like crap. I think I’ve even dealing with the after effects today. I feel all weak and dizzy and like I need a salad and protein to soak it all up and out of my system. So I’m having a turkey and bacon wrap for lunch and hopefully that’ll be better than the carbs and sugar fest. Dang.

We’re not doing the official weigh in today at the office due to the other girl being out but I weighed anyway to just stay on track and accountable and I’m up one pound from last week but that means I”m still down 1.5 pounds from the beginning and that’s not a lot but it’s not nothing so I’m using the events of the past 24ish hours to motivate me to DO BETTER.

I can do better.

We all can.