Answers

So, in the last post I said I felt mostly fine and insisted that even though it sounded like I likely didn’t feel mostly fine I really did. Well, that was mostly true but also mostly not true. I haven’t felt 100% since the ER visit in June but why sit around and whine about it?

So, I had my stress test and the unofficial results are that my heart is good. It works the way it should. And I’m nice so all around good heart.

This Wednesday I had that HIDA scan. It wasn’t as scary as I thought it was going to be. And the lady that put in the IV portal for the injections was so good that I didn’t even feel her do it and I’d like to take her to all of my appointments that require an IV and have her do it! She gets a gold star in starting an IV.

So, the first hour of the HIDA scan is just taking random photos every 5 to 10 minutes after they inject you with the nuclear tracer to see how things pass through your gallbladder, pancreas, and liver. I don’t know if that’s the proper order but that’s the organs they watch. You have to lay still on your back but you can use your phone so I IMed with my boyfriend a few times, took photos for Instagram (seriously…I’m the worst), and listened to podcasts. It wasn’t as uncomfortable laying like that as I thought it would be. In fact, it was just fine.

Then I had to lay on my side for 3 minutes to get that view, no issues.

Then back on my back for the last 30 minutes of the test where they then inject you three times full of some hormone that makes your gallbladder empty. As soon as that hit my system all of my horrible symptoms hit me all at once in fast forward. I felt nauseated. I was dizzy. Then my chest hurt. Then down into my middle abdomen. Then lower abdomen. Then I was fine. I went through that three times. As I’m experiencing this she’s taking notes and says “this is good information!”

Then the test it over. I feel fine. She says to drink lots of fluids to flush out the radioactive material and that I can eat without restrictions.

LIES!

What she wasn’t realizing was that she just really irritated and pissed off my gallbladder and even plain old water was going to make me feel like I was going to die. I also did not realize this so I went straight to work instead of my home, just 6 minutes away, and started drinking water. Which immediately made me feel like I was going to die and then I decided to try to drive myself home but my very kind coworkers were all “You stubborn asshole. Ask for help and stop being so dumb.” and drove me home.

I called my GI doc and was all “Get the results of this test ASAP so we can fix this as I’m going to die!!!!”

I puked. I felt terrible. I took a nap. I woke up and ate a little bit. That was fine. I started drinking water. That was fine. I felt sore, like I’d been throwing up all day, but mostly fine. Well, my new fine. My boyfriend drove me to get my car.

Also in that time frame my GI doc called to say “The test showed your gallbladder is fine, however it’s a liar so call this surgeon to have that lying bastard yanked out.” So I did! I’m meeting with a surgeon in August and we’ll schedule the removal of this dumb gallbladder of mine.

It seems that in about 21% of women that have HIDA scan results that show a fine gallbladder despite having the symptoms during the test and that is called biliary dyskinesia and I shouldn’t worry about us taking out a seemingly healthy organ because it is not healthy. It’s a dirty liar, though.

So…yay! I now know what the fuck and I am oh so pleased. In the meantime I shall continue to eat bland food diet, which isn’t so bad since it’s all comfort food. I’m trying to be reasonable and so far my weight is holding steady and I should be able to increase my activity next week without all of the doctor’s appointments holding me back. I have about two and a half weeks to be active during the day! Yay! But that also means I have about three plus weeks left of not feeling super great. Then a surgery to recover from. But it’s fine.

I’m fine!

Catch All

I debated just doing a review of the “Purple Rain Deluxe: Extended” cd/dvd set that was released today but, instead, I’m gonna jot down all of my notes and info about my bullshit GI issues so I have them in one spot to refer back to. And, in case any doctors or medical folks see this they can say “Oh, that’s XYZ condition and you should ask for abc to be done!” Because I’m not enjoying being a medical mystery at the moment.

Sometime during the week of May 11th I had my issue with the tacos. I was eating tacos and I suddenly felt like I was having a heart attack. I don’t recall it lingering and I’m pretty sure I continued to eat as normal in the days after. Since I don’t remember what day this was I don’t know if I was on my period when it occurred or if it was right before. But period was involved.

June 3rd I ate pizza and felt like I was having a heart attack and a gas attack and I couldn’t get comfortable or puke or poo or fart or burp or anything and I finally fell asleep and then woke up and felt fine. My period started the next day.

June 17th I ate potstickers and all of the above happened but it seemed worse and it was so soon after the last time that I contacted my Aunt and she told me to go to the ER so I did. That was the last day of ovulation.

After that incident I felt like shit for about a week but was able to eat and I pushed the limits like a maniac.

June 24th I felt the worst I have felt and I finally threw up and then felt immediately better. But then I continued to be a maniac and feeling like shit continued.

I went to a cardiologist and he is absolutely convinced this is not cardiac but I’m going for a stress test this Friday. It’s just money afterall.

I’ve been eating a mostly bland food diet because I felt terrible and I cried a lot and felt frustrated and people treated me like I was being a maniac. Because I was. So, bland food. But then my period ended and I felt oddly good. So I tested the waters and ate Mexican one day for lunch but kept it bland the rest of the day. I ate BBQ the next day for lunch, bland the rest of the day. Rinse, repeat.

I mostly feel fine. Eating pizza last night made me feel like I could start to feel bad so I stopped eating it and then that subsided. I am, however, more gassy than usual. I burp a lot. Fart when home alone. My stomach gurgles and makes sounds. And I feel hungry sooner than usual but that could just be because my bland food meals are also sort of small. I may not be eating enough. I also feel dizzy/vertigoish at times. Which seems to all contradict that “I mostly feel fine.” statement except compared to just a week or so ago, I do.

So, now I’m wondering if my GI tract and my hormones are in cahoots to just make me feel horrible all of the times. I guess we’ll fine out. I have to have a super fun sounding HIDA scan next week. Once I have those results I’ll talk to my doc and we’ll go from there. If we rule out all of the GI issues it could be and take all of my money to do so I’ll then go see my gyno to see if she can take more of my money and time and find out what the fuck.

That’s all I want to know these days. What the fuck.

Gassy

I’m now 0.2lbs lighter than my 2017 lightest so….yay! I guess. We’ll see.

This week I did my lunch time walks, I cut out most carbs, and a lot of the sugar I’d been consuming. I think these changes helped get me on the right track. That and actually having good meals that involved things like vegetable and proteins and fiber.

Since being at the ER this past Saturday I’ve noticed that I’m more burpy than usual and feel a bit more gassy in general so there’s definitely something going on in my body and I cannot wait to find out what it is. I don’t necessarily feel bad…like I can’t say “You guys…I feel so bad!” But I do feel overall ugh and blah and not 100%. Which is fine. I have discomfort in my center upper abdomen just under my heart, a deep sharpish pain on the lower left side of my abdomen when I breathe in deeply, and just a general feeling of gas all over. It is almost like how you feel after a day of vomiting. Like how sore your abdomen is with deep ouch like areas that aren’t necessary painful, just ouchy. And I sort of have a rumbling belly a few hours after eating that makes it sound like I’ve not eaten at all that day. And then I get sort of dizzy a bit, too. So, yeah.

Anyway. That’s what doctors visits are for, right? At least I currently have good health coverage. Thanks, Obama! /politics

It’s hotter than hell outside so I can’t get a lot of extra exercise and due to the way I’ve been feeling I’ve sort of decided that maybe I shouldn’t exert myself too much so the gym hasn’t happened. But once I get the doctor’s visits out of the way and hopefully some answers I can get back in some sort of groove.

Despite all of this my mood is actually really good. I feel more focused and centered and content. So, I’m on the right track! Yay!

Status

This is not OK:

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This is also not OK:

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We’re still doing a bunch of tests to find out what the fuck so we can make it ok, however. It’s either my heart or my gastro system. We’re clear on that much. Unless we find something else entirely not related to either of those things and then I’ll be “Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?!?!” about life.

This, so far, is OK:

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And that’s where we are with all of that.

 

On Being a Woman

I’ve been thinking a lot about how I feel about being a woman thanks to all of the think pieces going on now in regards to “Wonder Woman.” Overall, I don’t relate to a lot of what’s being said. But I can say that after bingeing on “Orange is the New Black” and “The Handmaid’s Tale” I’m ready to kick the shit outta some old, conservative, rich, white dudes and shake some white women until sense returns to them. (Disclaimer: Today is a bad day for me to express this, I just realized. I’m not tone deaf, mostly.)

“Wonder Woman” did have an impact on me, however. A much bigger one than I realized but, still, not in all of the ways it’s impacted other women. By the time the movie was over I was thinking “All of my life I thought Batman was the only superhero I needed in my life. How was I so wrong?!”

Generally speaking, I have to accept and acknowledge just how confident I am in who I am as a person in the world. I don’t feel the need to see myself reflected in my entertainment. I don’t watch things to see my story, after all, I’m living my story! I go to be entertained. So it doesn’t matter to me, really, if the cast is all men, white, black, women, Asian, speaks with weird accents or anything else. Is the story good? Great, I’m set. (Disclaimer: It does matter for me to see a movie based, say, in China told with Chinese actors, however. Some things matter, I’m being broad here, OK? I understand about representation and how important it is, I’m only speaking for myself now. Which puts me in the asshole privileged white lady category and I know that.) 

I also realize that my experiences aren’t the same as everyone else’s, either.  So many women report dealing with sexual harassment and discrimination in various ways and I just don’t have that experience. Or, the times that I can sit and point to that were somebody trying to be sexist in my face I didn’t internalize because that was on them, not me. They’re a jerk, I’m not and it didn’t hold me back or change my view about my place in the world around me.

I explained this to a friend at work and she smiled and said “You’re Wonder Woman.” And after seeing the movie I can understand why she said that and it kind of makes me feel awesome.

But it also makes me feel kind of sad. That there’s apparently so many women that do internalize this and question themselves and their place in the world. (Disclaimer: Here I am not talking about the women who are actively held back and discriminated against due to sexist assholes. I’m talking about the women who hold themselves back because they are women and have the belief that they should hold back.) 

This isn’t to say bad things haven’t happened to me at the hands and actions of boys. They have. But I never ever once raged and thought “If I’d not been a woman….” Never, not once. My only thought has ever been “That asshole! Why did he think he could do that?!” And I guess I just wonder why more women don’t think that. And I know the answer is misogyny and sexism. But internalized misogyny sucks balls and I just wonder what we can do to get that out of our fellow females’ brains? I want so much for women to just be more confident in who they are and to never question their ability to do something or assume they can’t do something simply for being a woman.

Your own individual limitations, sure. We all have reasons we can’t or think we can’t achieve something. I can’t climb certain mountains because I’m super afraid of heights and the thought of falling paralyzes me sometimes. Is this because I’m a woman? Hell naw, this is because I’m a neurotic mess in some regards. That’s genderless!

So, overall this is sounding a whole lot like I’m saying “Y’all just need to be more like me.” I’m not perfect, so that’s not what I’m saying. Especially since this is reeking of soooooo much white lady privilege right now. I should just shut up.

My main point, if you’re still with me after realizing I’m an asshole, is that we women need to help each other let go of that internalized crap. We need to help our friends and mothers and daughters and nieces to believe what I’ve always believed (so much love to my parents for that one), you can be/do anything you put your mind to. No limits. No exceptions. What do you want to do? Work toward that without doubt or question and you can do that. You can be that.

I just look forward to the day that it’s not such a breath of fresh air for so many women that they allowed the Amazons to have wrinkles and scars. To show their bodies jiggle when they made contact with the ground.  So forward. That, to me, would be the freshest breath of air.

Resignation

I’m now back up the 2 pounds I spent last week losing and for right now, while I’m a mess of anxiety and whatever, I quit.

I just don’t have it in me right now to focus on this and so I quit.

Acknowledgement

I’m anxious and slight depressed at the moment. Don’t even ask me why or point out how great my life is because anxiety and depression do not give two rat fucks about how great your life is. But I’m to the point where I can acknowledge this is going on and that means I’m starting the upswing and can finally get my shit together.

I hope.

I have to fly this week. After the last experience flying I’m really not looking forward to it but I’ll have to fly again some time, anyway, because I like to go places and so why not just get it over with. Besides, I bought the tickets before the last experience and I cannot get a refund and I’m a big girl and I can do this. I’m just not at all looking forward to it.

Like most people, I had a three day weekend. I spent Saturday with my morning walk then doing errands and lunching and car shopping with my boyfriend. I spent Sunday going on a day trip to a lovely hike with lovely friends. Then I spent Monday doing a whole lot of nothing that I had planned to.

Sunday’s hike has a few areas I’m not a fan of when my anxiety isn’t in place. But when it is? Good lord, I’ll act like a loon. But, luckily, my friends know me and they deal with me and get me through them and refuse to let me get angry at myself about it. My brain works the way it works and sometimes I can fight it and other times I cannot.

I had all of these grand plans for Monday. I was going to dust and vacuum my house. I was going to clean off the patio, patio furniture, and pool toys. I was going to test the sprinkler system to make sure they are all functioning as I suspect they are not. I was going to organize at least one room in my house. I was going to take my morning walk.

Instead I sat on the couch for a lot of the day and spent time in front of the computer a lot of the day reuploading photos to my Flickr account to use as a backup. And when I found myself obsessively organizing them once they were there is when I realized “Oh, Andrea….you’re in your slightly bad place.”

I have a lot of friends in my life that also deal with anxiety and depression. I have a lot of people in my life that do not. And what I am finding is that in a lot of ways, neither group has a good understanding of me. Which is fine, but sometimes it’s not helpful when they’re trying to be helpful. Anxiety, much like body shapes and sizes, is not the same from person to person. Yes, generally speaking it is. Much like we all have a heart, a brain, two lungs, etc. there are aspects of anxiety that are present in each of us. But, like, when I’m really in it…even though I have the OCD tendencies, I can’t do anything other than organize photos and then be as chill as possible. To be chill as if being chill is my profession. Because my body and my brain are humming so I have to be chill. And I cannot be chill if I’m dusting or vacuuming or any of the other things. Others put the nervous energy into doing that. Others can direct their energy into other things. I’m not that person. I have steps to go through. I have stages. So, it’s great for those of us that can divert. I’m not you. I wish I was. I logically and intellectually absolutely understand that if I could divert, I’d get out of my mess sooner and easier. If I could just make myself do that morning walk, I’d feel better. If I could divert all of that into cleaning and organizing, I’d feel better. Emotionally, however, I don’t have it. And that’s fine.

Sometimes, I just want to be understood. I just want to feel more acceptance and understanding. It likely won’t happen since when I want that the most is when I go the most hermitty because I just can’t. I cannot with all of the talking and all of the doing and all of the stuff. I just want “you” to understand through osmosis, but sheer force of loving me and caring about me. To pick it up through the airwaves and then to realize “yes! I understand her and what she needs and I will do this.” It’s an impossible request. People that have known me for my entire life still don’t get it. Maybe I’m to blame. I’m terribly good at just taking care of myself, after all.

At any rate, I’m up a pound and down in steps and I know why and maybe after I fly away and then fly back home and that’s behind me I can truly begin the climb out of this recent bout of crap. That’s my plan. I have a plan.

It’s good to have a plan.