A place for endometriosis survivors & supporters, and all that goes with it.


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Pro tip: What not to drink for your ultrasound prep

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.”

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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!


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Go out and grab…

My mom’s quote of the day


My mother’s kick-in-the-pants, go-out-and-do-great-things-because-you’re-awesome, inspiring words of the day. So good it deserved to be made with sparkly text.


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Update on the little man

This is a follow-up to a post I made recently, detailing some health issues with my dog, Pippin.

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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.

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The battle for the orange bottle continues

English: This is a picture of a Walgreens pres...

This is a picture of a Walgreens prescription bottle. It is not mine. Personal information about the patient is censored. (Photo credit: Wikipedia commons)

If it’s not one thing, it’s another!Ladies and gents, always remember that YOU are your own best advocate and you must be diligent when it comes to your health care. I called Walgreens’ automated service this evening to check the status of my refill orders. I’m glad I did before I got there, because I was surprised/pissed to find they were trying to charge me $160 for FOUR (1-2-3-4) Relpax pills for migraine. Thankfully the fix came easy this time: I called the pharmacy and found that, for some bizarre reason, they had run it through some random coupon program and not my insurance, causing it to be rejected. But I was assured that it will be its usual $10 when I pick it up tonight.

Sadly, this is not the first time for me or for any of you, and it will not be the last. While I know Walgreens staff are humans too, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to fix something with them. They fill the wrong med even though I use the automated system and enter the prescription number myself. They don’t send refill requests. They give me someone else’s medicine and give mine away. They’ve asked me out loud, in front of other customers, why I’m taking birth control. And they frequently run medications incorrectly so that insurance at first doesn’t cover it until I tell them, ask them, fight them, beg them to re-run it.

Not that  insurance is innocent: They’ve put up more than a few fusses and tried to charge more or refuse coverage on different medications, but will pull back and charge the co-pay amount when I’ve pushed back. You never accept a first offer, and you must never be afraid to push back for what you need or when you know something is not right — and even if you don’t know for sure, you ask, question, verify. Don’t just trust that everyone is doing their job to a T; make sure of it.

Your time, money and health are yours, and they are precious. Live it and love it.


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Ups, downs and the timing of the universe

The universe giveth, the universe taketh away and says “No no no, not in my house!”

After weeping my way through four hours Friday of trying on dresses (and walking away empty-handed) for an Easter brunch that ended up canceled by Saturday morning, my uncle shows up with a big basket of Jacksonville delight: Peterbrooke chocolates.

So much chocolate ... plus a yellow stuffed bunny. Mom gave up her white chocolate rabbit; her loss!

So much chocolate … plus a yellow stuffed bunny. Mom gave up her white chocolate rabbit; her loss!

Oh my. Among the bounty: chocolate covered potato chips; white chocolate covered Oreos; chocolate dipped pretzels; and of course, Peeps. In chocolate. Peterbrooke is the best. I always give their chocolate covered popcorn as gifts and — wait, why no chocolate covered popcorn in there?! Party foul, Peterbrooke, but know you are so easily forgiven.

This was the most amazing timing, as my Aunt had decided to come to visit about an hour before this basket arrived. You know, my favorite Aunt — and yours — Aunt Flo.

This is the first time the universe has ever sent me a gift basket. Never mind the whole chocolate-period cliche, I’ll take it. Hopefully I can eat some of it once I stop feeling nauseous. Stupid endo.

To complicate things, my mom and I just ordered a delightful set of meals from Jacksonville’s beloved Metro Diner as our Easter brunch and dinner (I still have to go to work, unfortunately). We’re talking poundcake french toast, bacon, lox & bagel, and the best grilled cheese on sourdough ever. EVER.

But as I was getting ready to go with her, my body decided that kick-in-the-head migraine you woke up with isn’t enough. No, the universe punched me in the gut, made me throw up all the water in my stomach, and I think it may have stolen my credit card.

My mom came running in all panicked but I’m sorry, this is what goes with the territory — not always, just when you need it least.

She went to get the food alone. Sorry, mom.

Off to wash colored dishes for the Easterland patio. I’ll post pictures later. My mom did a great job out there.

A merry pagan ova day to you all! Hoping for the ripping pains in my gut will subside and all will be well.


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You know your gyno is frustrated when …

.. You write “want to discuss BC” on your forms for your gyne annual, and when she comes in she’s wincing and saying “Do we *REALLY* have to talk about your birth control? Nothing has worked for you!”

Lucky for her I just wanted to remind her of the new birth controls I now receive for free (thanks, healthcare overhaul). Also lucky for her, I didn’t kick her in the ovary.

To be fair, she’s been my doc for years, and we have literally tried every. single. thing. Every pill, shot, insertion has been exhausted either before I got there or under her care, except for pregnancy (a fallacy!) or hysterectomy. It’s monumentally frustrating that not one thing has given me the promised relief of alleviating my period entirely, which I made very clear to her at this visit.

But it’s also very frustrating and insulting to be actively told you’re “that patient.”  That difficult one. It ain’t so easy on this side of the stirrups either, sweetheart.

Just a flamingly ignorant comment from an otherwise very supportive physician.


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The buttonhooks are back.

English: Buttonhooks with handles made of horn...

English: Buttonhooks with handles made of horn and wood, on display at Bedford Museum. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

These, my lovers, are buttonhooks. These sharp little bastards were used to help cinch buttons into the buttonholes of button-up shoes, naturally.

And for several weeks, the little demon in my pelvis has been using one to get my attention at most inopportune times. Like at work. Or home. Or sleeping. Or just trying to pee. I usually describe my pains to physicians and friends alike as like buttonhooks pulling my insides apart. (I blame the move “Sybil” for working this imagery into my psyche when I was 16.)

And sisters, the buttonhooks are decidedly back.

This is how I felt constantly before my third laparoscopy: lots of ripping and stabbing, sudden sharp tears of pain that moved quickly from the left to right side, or punctured through the right of my pelvis down through the cervix. You ever been punched in the cervix? Probably not, but most endo sisters are going to know what I mean. Guys, try to imagine one of those long slender metal knitting needles being used to get a really bitching penile piercing, except it’s sliding up your urethra.

Yeah. That.

At the end of February I had a pain spell that knocked the hell out of me. I suddenly lost focus of vision, had ripping, dragging pain from left to right in my pelvis, and couldn’t catch my breath — if I breathed in more than a shallow pant, it hurt like hell under my ribs. I suddenly burst into tears, unable to deal with the shock and terrible feelings. I ended up lying on the floor for a good 40 minutes while the waves of pain increased and then gently floated away. I was glad to not be alone, and Phil talked me through it — mostly he was on the internet, asking my symptoms and entering them into a WebMD symptom checker. After each inquiry, he’d tell me the online remedy was “go to the hospital.”

“Try another one,” I’d reply. I’m not going to the hospital unless I damn well need to. Not only do they not deserve any more of my money, but all they’ll do is keep me cold and braless for 6 hours, take an ultrasound or maybe an MRI if they feel adventurous, and send me home with the classification “unknown cause, please follow up.”

Even just tonight I walked to the bathroom here at work. By the time I got there I was gasping — the knitting-needle-to-the-cervix pain left me breathless and sweating. And the damn things go as quickly as they arrive, so had anybody walked in as I was regaining composure, it would have been a bizarre scene indeed.

I know that my intestines aren’t that happy with me. More pain meds mean more constipation mean more pain — you can’t get around it. And my wonky overtime schedule this week has mean I’m neglecting the awesome essential oils I was given that actually seemed to start to make a gentle difference in my stomach situation.

But what can’t be denied is that I’ve been here before. I was a crumpled mess before my last lap (just go back a few pages, you’ll see) and when they went in — DAMN. Massive endometrioma in the right ovary which was stuck to the uterus and that whole clump stuck to the pelvic wall; the left sigmoid colon stuck to itself and the pelvic wall; endo on the bladder, the uterus, and knotting my ureters together (AGAIN) and for the first time, endo in the cul-de-sac and the diagnosis of adenomyosis.

And I knew I was in pain. I was blacking out from it, even behind the wheel. I was going two weeks with no BM (as I have recently, and it is NOT fun). I was weeping and narcotic drunk and not functional. And it STILL took 4 years, three doctors and a third surgery for anyone to believe it could be “that bad.”

I can’t wait that long this time. Nobody should. I may have exhausted my resources locally, but that doesn’t mean I will let my body suffer. I have one ovary left and it is mine, endo can’t have it, and my life is mine, endo can’t have it.

So I guess it may be time to travel again. You know, I’ve never been to New York City …