I’ve fired my doctor

It’s not like I’ve ever been able to schedule an appointment with my primary care physician for the past few years anyway. And the one appointment I had to take a vacation day to schedule was canceled when his nurse called me with the results of the ultrasound (that was recommended by a different doctor when I once again couldn’t schedule my own doctor last October).

“It’s just an ovarian cyst, it will go away. There’s no need for you to come in.”

When it returned early this year, I suffered through it for a while because I was still pissed off at my doctor. Thankfully I remembered my OB/GYN, who had helped me with my hysterectomy. He said pretty much the same thing, but wanted to watch it. That was a good thing because it ended up having to come out once he found endometriosis. We thought that was it, but by early June, the pain was back and it was getting worse (and it ruined what was supposed to be a relaxing and romantic vacation in Vegas).

My OB/GYN, being an OB/GYN and not a GP, said that wanted me to have a CT scan done, but as my other ovary looked fine and there wasn’t any sign of endometriosis on the neighboring organs, he’d probably have to send me to see a different specialist (I then got to see photos of my ovaries-the one I kept and the one that was pulled. That was pretty cool).

Three weeks later, I finally got the results of the CT scan: gall bladder stones, a kidney stone (1 cm), two hernias, and diverticulosis. He didn’t catch any of this earlier because my symptoms don’t really match any of these things. DH complains that there’s not going to be much of me left if they keep pulling things out, but I do understand that medicine isn’t an exact science… you treat what you can find and then try to find something else if that doesn’t fix the problem. Although right now I really wish someone would invent a tricorder, because this process blows.

I’ve since seen a surgeon for the gall bladder and a urologist for the kidney stone (the hernias were practically non-existent and the diverticulosis looked fine).

The surgeon, whose name I’m afraid to pronounce because I keep mangling it, says the symptoms don’t quite match gall bladder symptoms so he doesn’t want to remove anything if there’s no need (I REALLY like this doctor). He’s waiting to see how I feel after having the kidney stone removed.

The urologist wants the stone gone, but he’s not sure that’s going to completely resolve my pain either, since it doesn’t quite match kidney stone symptoms. I have an appointment for an extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) treatment in a few weeks to break up the stone so I can pass it. One of my co-workers has been telling me horror stories about his experience, although most of them have more to do with the removal of the stent, which shouldn’t be as traumatic for me as I don’t have a male appendage to worry about.

They did give me some narcotics to to help me get through the kidney stone attacks until the ESWL, but the two times I’ve taken them, the attacks were much more intense. I now actually know what it feels like to hurt so badly that it makes me want to vomit. It may only be a coincidence, but I’m not quite sure I want to try them a third time.

So most days I try to muddle through as there’s always something that needs to be done. Sometimes the pain makes me want to cry, other times I try not to start raging at work when someone does something mildly stupid (more often other agents rather than customers). Today has been a rather productive day off of work for me–very little pain and more energy than I have most days. I not only managed to clean up part of the house, but I also fed my craving for snickerdoodles by making a double batch of the little buggers. Maybe I’ll even be nice and take some to work for all the people who have been putting up with me and my whining for the past 10 months.

And my primary care physician? Well I’m looking for a new one. Any recommendations?

I have an apology to make…

…I’ve been sitting on my ass, goofing off on the internet, and complaining when the bloggers I love to read don’t update often enough to suit me. I’d apologize for not updating my own site often enough for my legions of readers – except that I am well aware that I have maybe two people who bother to check this site (mostly because they were stupid enough to sign up for the RSS feed…bwaahaha ha ha ha!).

So who am I apologizing to?  Myself.  I’ve tried to be articulate and funny and charming and even interesting… and I’ve failed. Now I have to decide if I should shut this site down as a failure, or if I should stop trying to be articulate, funny, and charming and just do whatever the hell I want to do because I enjoy sharing stupid shit with others.

…yeah, I think I’ll go with the stupid shit.

Summer chores have begun a little early this year

Had a bit of a surprise at the doctor’s office during my post-op checkup.  They didn’t remove the cyst.  It turned out there were three cysts and worse issues going on when he went in, so the ovary came out.  Steve and the doctor missed each other after the surgery, so I didn’t find out until the checkup.  Happily, everything was benign.  I was given the go ahead for lifting and proceeded to overdo working on the yard and pulling something.  Stupid.

A friend had some flagstone left over from a project and offered it to me.  So last week I drove her SUV home, unloaded the rock (with Steve’s assistance, of course), drove her SUV back to work, and then spent the rest of the evening in pain from pulling something in the process…again.

There was so much to do to catch up on that I repeated the overdoing and pulling things for two weeks.  In Texas heat (translation: mid to high 90’s).  You’d think I learn from experience, but that lesson wasn’t sticking for some reason.

I’m fine now.  Really.  I’ve started lifting weights again, I’m preparing to start a new routine on the treadmill, and my yard is beginning to look halfway decent (other than all the dead grass from our lovely Texas drought).

Today my parents came over to finish helping me get my garage under control.  While Dad was putting up the slatboard, Mom and I moved the remaining flagstone to the back yard and the old cement pavers to the front yard. I packed up the Silver Pig with a garage full of recycling and sent Steve off to Austin Ecology Action (I thought it would take two trips, but that little Honda Fit can really pack it in). One more day of cleaning and organizing, and it’s going to be pretty awesome in there.  That means I can start moving things from the soon-to-be-library to the garage in preparation for putting in the hardwood floor. Woo hoo!  (I’m going to admit right here that I have absolutely no idea how to put in a floor, or even how to level and seal the concrete before putting in the floor.)

Tonight the herbs are going in and maybe I’ll do a little more work on the garage. Right now I’m chilling at a Starbucks (seriously, it’s freezing in here) because it’s too distracting for me to write in my trainwreck of a house (after watering every evening–on nights I actually get home before 10 pm–I’m too tired to work on the house.  So it’s a mess).

Don’t worry, I hope to have the house done before our vacation, and have most of the front yard under control. This is while juggling another concert, a new Ravenloft campaign, and dying and cutting my hair (someone else is doing the cutting because I suck at it. I mean I REALLY SUCK at  it).

Tomorrow is a coconut cake. Maybe I’ll have photos up late that night, or it’ll be Wednesday evening before RPGing.  Fingers crossed.

Scraping out an Ovarian Cyst

In just a few more days, I’ll have an opportunity to experience the joys of a laparoscopic ovarian cystectomy. And let me tell you, after six months of pain, I was soooooooo looking forward to it.  Or at least I was until I watched a video on what the procedure actually looks like.
 
I really didn’t put much thought into the actual process involved until that stupid video.  Now I realize that they’ll be ripping the ovary open and then SCRAPING and BURNING that cyst out. How lovely (if you’re a guy, imagine that those round things in the video are testicles and then try not to cringe).

Yummy!

Sometimes I regret not having my ovaries yanked during my hysterectomy a few years ago.  But that’s generally when the pain has me struggling not to reach through my monitor at work and strangle the idiot on the other side of the support chat. When I’m thinking rationally, I’d rather not have to balance all my hormones manually, although my sister is insisting that I’m already hormonally challenged.
 
My doctor says that if I need to, I can go back to work after a few days since I sit at a desk all day, but my manager isn’t quite so sure that letting me provide support solutions while cranked is such a good idea.  I’d like to take a short medical leave instead of just two days of sick time and my regular two days off; however, my company now only covers 50% of pay during medical leave and I really need that full paycheck to cover my newly increased medical deductible (bye-bye new iPad that I finally finished saving up for).
 
All in all, I’m glad I live in the time where trying to figure out how to pay for the procedure is all that I have to worry about.
 
I’ve been following The Mother’s weekly installment on “The Nefarious History of Motherhood“, which covers the role of motherhood and the practice of obstetrics and gynecology throughout history (she also provides an incredibly detailed bibliography for those who wish to verify or follow up on her research – some of it is amusing, while much of it is absolutely terrifying).  My ovarian cyst? Having it taken care of in the early 1800’s was dangerous, and that was just draining the cyst–not removing it.

Up until that time, ovarian cysts were generally tapped with a sharp trochar, draining off as much fluid as possible and as necessary for the sufferer to lead a fairly normal life. Unfortunately, there were a large number of complications and deaths just from tapping; plus, in the absence of removal of the cyst-causing tumor, the fluid kept reaccumulating. The record was held by a Dr. Heidrich, who tapped one woman 299 times for a total of 9,867 pounds of fluid. Ouch.”

Yeah, ouch is right. And it gets worse.
 
During the mid-1800’s, doctors noticed that ovaries influenced the uterus somehow, and by 1872, they started experimenting with their removal to fix gynecological AND non-gynecological problems (from ovarian cysts and epilepsy to hysteria, mania and other emotional problems).
 
Out of curiosity, I actually started doing some of my own research on all this, but stopped after reading a copy of the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal (February 12, 1885) when it started talking about treating a woman with ovarian cysts by applying a leech to the cervix a few days before each menstrual cycle.
 
I think I’m finally ready to stop reading up on this and just let my doctor do his thing.  In fact, I’m going to get up, right now, and make a huge batch of snickerdoodles so that I have something sweet to snack on while I’m home recovering.  That and lots of bran muffins to prepare for one of the side effects of surgery.
 
Mmmmmmm…. snickerdoodles and bran muffins filled with chocolate covered raisins….

USB Flash Drive Washing Woes

A few days ago, while moving wet clothes from the washing machine to the dryer last night – I heard a thunk.  And I know I’m not the only one whose heart drops when things thunk in a washing machine.  Instead of a relatively salvageable stick of Burt’s Bees Replenishing Lip Balm (yes, I’ve washed my lip balm before), I found my USB flash drive.  Not the little green one that I carry between work and home and doesn’t have anything on it I care about – but my big black drive (big in terms of storage, not size).

Crap.

What’s driving me nuts is figuring out how it got there. I don’t keep my drives in my pockets, and I always check all the pockets before my clothes are dumped in the washing machine (the lip balm was an exception). And I remember checking the pockets this time too.

The drive is currently sitting in a tupperware container, buried in uncooked rice per some online suggestions.

I’ll test it out in a few day and hope for the best. Wish me luck.