Took us long enough, right?
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So I chugged this 33.8 fl oz bottle of caffeinated water (my beloved Water Joe) to be ready and “full” for ultrasound. Wait an hour past my appointment. First thing the tech says when I get called back: “Use the bathroom and empty your bladder. The internal pictures were much better last time so I’m just going to do those.”
All that delightful Water Joe for nothing, on an empty stomach. That’s 120mg of caffeine, equal to two cups of coffee, or two espresso shots. It doesn’t sound *so* bad, but my thumb is shaking as I tap out this post. I can feel my eyes are HUGE, almost pie-eyed, and there’s an odd pressure in my head. Oddly, I do not feel any more awake. In fact, I’ve been yawning through my heart flutters.
I do still have to pee.
DEAR GOD I’VE MADE A TERRIBLE MISTAKE
Live and learn … At least the good news today is that my 3.6cm cyst is now 2.5, so no cyst removal for me!
This is a follow-up to a post I made recently, detailing some health issues with my dog, Pippin.
On one recent Sunday, I took Pippin to work. He’s the best in the biz.
Long story short: NO SURGERY FOR THE SMALL DOG! The ultrasound shows a nodule on his pancreas, and some of his organs were a bit enlarged, but there’s no cancer, no foreign object stuck in his gut, and absolutely no need for surgery, as the first vet had pressed so firmly into my brain.
Basically, his big tummy was full of air and food that was fermenting, which was the culprit in his gastro issues. He’s a small dog that’s getting older and the high-fiber vet food just wasn’t right for him. I put him on soft food of a different brand for a bit, but when that didn’t stop the gastrointestinal distress, we put him on the tried-and-true diet for doggy diarrhea: chicken and rice. He’s been eating it since with only one short-lived gastro issue over the weekend when we relented and gave him a bite of egg white.
No more panting all night like a cow in labor. No more shitting himself. No more tear-inducing farts that wake us up out of a dead sleep in the middle of the night.
My dog did not have cancer. My dog had to take a shit and change his diet. THANKS, VET NO. 1, FOR THE PANIC. I guess doctors of all shades can be total dipshits.
We just had a meeting with some of the upper brass about our revenue and numbers, which aren’t terrible. There was the usual spread of cookies, cupcakes and rugelach from Publix, and the added thrill of everyone receiving a blue ticket for a cash raffle after the meeting. When a reporter took the necessary step of asking if we’d ever see raises again, our President of Something Important began a long explanation which, after about seven words, you already know is too many to be a “yes.” So that hope is dashed for another quarter.
BUT IT GETS BETTER.
The raffle. Oh, that raffle. I have terrible luck with these things so I didn’t expect a prize. What I could not have expected is not only would the newsroom clean up — a coworker that left and came back as a part-timer won for the second time (the first was in December), a sports desker and a new reporter and wire chief took home some serious cash money (between $200 and $500 each) — but my raffle number was 620. Phil, sitting on my right, was 619 and won $100. Robert, sitting on my left, had a completely odd number series and won $100. The woman two rows ahead of us was 621 and she won $200. Even when they drew a few cash cards based on random employee ID numbers, I did not win. I was a little steamed as we walked out, having literally been surrounded by cash winners while we’re on deadline. So as we’re walking out, The President of Something Newsy — who was also the day’s gift-giver — was shaking hands and thanking people for coming. I shook his hand, and before I knew it, I was telling him “I had some bullshit luck today, and here is why.” (Yes, I used those words.) And I pointed out Phil, Scott, Andrew, Robert, the lady with No. 621. I was just expecting to get a laugh. Instead, this member of the Upper Brass pulled cash out of his pocket and tried to hand me a $20 bill as a consolation prize. I threw my hands up, being surprised and scared to take money from him. Ultimately he talked me into it, agreeing that I’d had some seriously crap luck today and I’d earned it. And I walked out of there with $20 that I feel weird about but now can’t return.
Now I’m working on a locator map for a new Greyhound station that will be my second graphic in print for this newspaper this weekend. Not bad, considering I only started official graphics training on Tuesday. However, I’ve been walking stiffly and hunched over the last few hours, my heating pad scalding the crap out of me, as I start on day one of a brand new birth control that I’ve been reminding my gyno about for over a week (and going without in the meantime). At least it was free. Thanks, Obama! Please find a way to make my uterus behave.
So what did you do at work today?
Just because I’m on vacation doesn’t mean I forgot tomorrow is March 1 … which means endometriosis awareness month is here again! All month long, I want to see your yellow shirts, your yellow ribbons, your contributions for the 2013 Endo Month Challenge. Go to endosucks.wordpress.com for more information & email your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also tweet it: @endosucks, hashtags #endosucks and #endomonth.
Keep your heads up, and go yellow!
Holy hell, folks.
It’s the end of February. Which means it’s almost March. Which means (you maybe guessed it): Endometriosis Awareness Month is here again!
In previous years, I’ve tried to blog every single day for Endo Month. Sometimes that’s worked really well; other years, not so much (i.e. I’m still trying to get over the fact that I abandoned ship in the middle of the month in 2012 after a traumatic gyno visit, about which I *still* have yet to talk to anyone about).
This year, I’m going to take a different approach that I think we all will enjoy: More articles, more reblogs from other awesome endo folks, more photos – maybe not every day, but certainly no blogging famine either.
And in that spirit, I present to you a challenge. THE 2013 ENDO CHALLENGE, to be specific.
Here’s what I want from participants in the Endo Challenge: Set a goal, know why you’re setting it, and then go ahead and do it. Blog about it, tweet about it, post it in the Endo Sucks! group, email me about it — however you want to communicate it so we can share together.
For example, my first Endo Challenge for myself: NO MORE SODA. No sugary drinks, no sugar-free drinks. I don’t know how many more articles and charts and studies I have to see before I give up the ghost and admit the negative effects my caffeinated indulgence can have: cellular damage, the terrible effects it can have on metabolic rates and sugar spikes, inflammation, the unsavory effect it has on your teeth …. UGH. As the many 2-liter bottles around my desk can attest, we drink way too much of it, even if I work a night job. I’ve given it up before, I’ll survive. I’ll just have to take up Water Joe again when I really want caffeine!
I’ll start there, but how will you challenge yourself this month? Here’s a few ideas from the top of my head:
* Start a positivity journal. Write down something good that’s happened to you every day, to remind you that you are living a life, not just a life with endometriosis.
* Participate in a local endometriosis awareness event. For example, The Great Endo Balloon Race 2013 is a way for endo survivors worldwide to pick a day to hand out yellow balloons to strangers, doctors offices, hospitals — pretty much anywhere — and attach information about endometriosis to it, as much or as little as you like — a definition and a URL of an endo blog or a group like the Endometriosis Research Center, the is a good place to start. They also have tips on more eco-friendly balloon choices and other ideas. Join the group and tell them Endo Sucks! sent you! :D There’s also races, meet-ups, the endo quilt — possibilities abound!
* Get in touch with an endo group. Most countries have endometriosis associations; just check out how many I follow on Twitter or what groups have pages on Facebook, or just Google it! Don’t have one? Consider starting one. Small steps lead to great journeys. The ERC is one; other places to start include the Endometriosis Foundation of America and Endometriosis.org.
* Make a change. Change your exercise routine. Start an exercise routine. Eliminate known food triggers from your diet and see how you feel. Drink more water. Eat less gluten. Again, it’s amazingly up to you. Be sure to give diet changes at least two weeks to judge their efficacy and change one food at a time so you know exactly which food is or isn’t helping.
* Talk it out. Make time for this. Talk to your mom and ask her about her experiences. Talk to your friends and make them know that they need to meet you a little more than halfway when it comes to what you can and can’t do with endo. Talk to your partner and gently explain how you feel and what you need from them when you have an Endo Day. Post to the Endo Sucks! group. Talk to a counselor. Unburdening yourself and educating others is a great way to find support you may never have known was there. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need!
* Do your research. Did you know many women with endo also have Interstitial Cystitis, and some of your pelvic pain may actually be bladder pain? Did you know the company that makes Mirena is coming out with a smaller IUD called Skyla that is supposed to be better tolerated by women who’ve never had children, and can help with adenomyosis pain? Challenge what you think you know about endometriosis and related conditions, and know that doctors work for YOU — you have the DUTY to ask as many questions as possible and explore every avenue of treatment.
* Ask your job for Intermittent FMLA. This is something I believe every single working woman should do. The Family Medical Leave Act offers Americans specific, paid protections of their job when it comes to surgery, chronic conditions, maternity leave and caring for others — but they may not come out and say “Hey, did you know you can fill out the FMLA form, get Intermittent FMLA, and have your much-needed endo days at home paid 50 percent by FMLA and 50 percent by your paid time off?” My job didn’t. You don’t have to tell them WHY you need an Intermittent FMLA form — just sit down and ask for one. You’ll need your doctor to sign off on it, but it is SO worth it. (A guest blog is coming soon on this topic!)
* Take time for you. Dare to take good care of yourself. Get a massage. Don’t get out of yoga pants all day if you don’t feel like it. Treat yourself to a movie. Learn to make a new favorite meal. DO FOR YOU and don’t take no crap from nobody.
That’s what I can think of for now. Leave me a comment and tell me what YOUR 2013 Endo Challenge will be — and if you have a blog about it, please link to it in the comments!
So many times it can feel like we are shouting into an endless, deaf void, one where not even our own voice can return to us. But other times we realize that our shouts are in fact hitting even a few chords. And those chords shake the ones near them, which affects the ones tied to those, and even with small movements we are making a movement.
Which is why I have a love-hate obsession with the stats tab of the WordPress dashboard. Today, for example, this blog was mostly read in the United States. But it also made movements in Canada, Ireland, Hungary, New Zealand and Indonesia. How about that! I love to see where people are reading this blog, and hope that they are getting useful information and connection out of it, especially when so much could be lost in translation.
And in another gift from the universe, I’ve been asked to write a guest blog on another endometriosis site about FMLA and our rights in the workplace. Score! It makes me feel like a welcome member of the community with something valuable to say. And it happens that I am working on getting even more information on this subject right now, so look for that very soon.
Is there anybody out there? Absolutely. Even if you don’t get the echo back or feel the reverberations, your voice is making movements with someone, somewhere.
My journey of kicking endometriosis's butt & spreading awareness
The life of a recovering addict...
Trust Me, I'm a Redhead.
Art and photography by Cari Aiken
My story my struggles, my battle with Endometriosis,chronic pain,fibromyalgia and other illness that I go through. This is to educate support and share that we are not alone in this battle.I also have a support group on facebook(Endometriosis Support Group Peel) Please join :)
DELIVERING LIFE IN COLOR
How I live and work with Endometriosis. Positive discussion and advice about managing endometriosis and the problems it causes. Updated on Wednesdays (health permitting).
Information and support for those with Endometriosis
The trials and tribulations of a girl TTC