Uterus Free!

The hysterectomy was my fourth major surgery. What makes this one weird is that I don’t really feel the effects of it just yet. My first surgery was a microdiscectomy (removing herniated disc material) at the L4-5 (lumbar spine). I went into the ER because I had so much pain I cried every time I took a step and I couldn’t walk upright. As soon as I woke up from the surgery the pain was gone.

The second surgery was the spinal fusion. That one sucked because they did some nerve damage, but the sensation in my left leg was back to normal. (I went to see the surgeon because of the declining sensation in my left leg. He ruined the sensation in my right.)

My third surgery was the tendon transfer to correct the foot drop from the second surgery. I was in a cast but knew that I’d be able to move my foot up and down finally again. They had me try when they changed out my soft cast for a hard one. It was so cool.

But this time? This time they took out an organ that gave me problems. I mean, I’m not bleeding now, but I’d gotten a break just before the surgery and wasn’t bleeding then. I think it’s going to take me a couple months with no bleeding to really feel like something was done. I mean. I have the pain from the incision and the memory of the doctor pulling out the drain they put in. That was the single most painful experience of my life. I cried while they did it and I cried after. It was horrible.

I haven’t worn light-colored pants since 2002 since I could never be sure what my uterus was going to do. I don’t think I’ll stock up my closet with khaki pants anytime soon, but it’s nice knowing that I could if I wanted to.

Walking on Sunshine

The change in my mood has been remarkable since I found out that I would be moving forward with the hysterectomy. For people who are chronically ill, the difference between getting good treatment and not is HUGE.

Being chronically in pain or ill is depressing enough. When you compound it with feeling frustrated that your medical providers aren’t listening or don’t seem to be working toward a solution to the problem it becomes almost unbearable. At that point it’s like there’s no end in sight. The thought of living that way FOREVER is pretty heartbreaking.

I saw the ENT this week as well. He reviewed my CT scan with me and sure enough, my septum is deviated. He said that with surgery I will be able to breath better and suffer fewer sinus infections. Since I’m trying to do a half-marathon (that idea seems crazier and crazier to me now as I cut into my training me), I need to be able to BREATHE while I walk quickly/jog. So, we’re moving forward. My tentative surgery date is November 5. That’s probably too close to the hysterectomy, so we’ll likely be pushing it out a week or so.

I am so thrilled to be moving forward on these two things. Finally not having to worry about endless bleeding and heavy bleeding is such a weight off my shoulders. It’s seriously felt like there was an elephant trying to balance on my head or shoulders. It’ll take a bit after the septoplasty, but to be able to breathe well at night should reduce some of my fatigue during the day and give me the energy I’ll need to train and finish the half.

The other thing I’m excited about is that my shrink gave me a prescription for ADHD medication. I tested “average” on the cognitive skills assessment, which would normally mean no drugs for me. However, given my symptoms she thought I could try it for a month and see if it helps. I won’t be starting until after the hysterectomy though. It’s probably a good time to start since I won’t be doing too too much physically and will have be largely focusing on mental tasks.

These last couple months have been great in terms of moving forward in my health. I hope this trend continues into the foreseeable future! I’m not sure what else I can control at this point, but who knows.

A weird thought

A few days ago my friends and I started joking about turning my body parts into characters in a novel. I was building out a whole storyline based on my medical history, not just about the problems with my uterus.

But, the more I thought about my uterus as a character (played by Julia Roberts), the weirder it got. I have this image in my head of Uterus standing outside of a house, sad and lonely, having just been kicked out by everyone else because she’s been so disruptive (screaming and throwing blood everywhere).

I have always been the person who felt bad for stuffed animals left over at the end of a season, and I tended to buy them myself. When I see someone who’s been excluded, I feel bad. So then I got to feeling bad about kicking Uterus out.

I mean, it is weird, the idea of taking a part of your body and essentially throwing it away. However, if my arm were causing me the kind of problems my uterus does, that shit would be off my body so fast. My cycle (or lack thereof) wreaks havoc in my life. On top of all my other conditions, I just cannot deal with it. It is a physical and mental strain I just don’t want to deal with anymore.

This isn’t about me not physically having children. The idea of being pregnant has always freaked me out. It seems like a parasite just taking your nutrients and making you feel like shit. In my opinion, there is nothing LESS NATURAL than dealing with that for 9 months and then trying to shove something the size of a small watermelon out of something the size of a lemon. I hear the hormones make it so you don’t remember any of that mess, which is how mothers are able to love their children.

Still.

I also know what happens next in the scene. The people in the house feel bad about kicking Uterus out, so they let her back in. You know what she does next? She continues to go apeshit, shrieking and throwing blood everywhere. HOW ABOUT NO?

I’ve played this game with my uterus before. Thinking everything is getting better only to learn that no, everything is the fucking same. While that sounds like a party, I think I’ll pass. I’m over having Carrie as my uterus.

So, goodbye and good riddance.

Licensed Professionals, BE SMART

The rant to follow probably applies to a broader group of people than licensed professionals (doctors/nurses, lawyers, CPAs, etc.), but for right now, I’m going to contain it to these people. Why? Because I have a lot of experience with some and I am one.

  1. Arrogance isn’t smart. It’s obnoxious. No one likes to associate with arrogant people (unless they’re pretty fucking arrogant themselves). Perhaps check in with some people, not just your friends, about how you come across.
  2. Unless asked, keep your opinion to yourself. First of all, spouting off what you know about something just makes you look like a douche. If no one asked you, why are you offering? To show off what you know? No one likes a know-it-all. Second, you could get yourself in trouble with your licensing agency.
  3. Be wary on social media. Seriously. Social media seems like a great place to share. You can reach potentially hundreds of thousands of people. That’s not always a good thing. Even if you keep your profile locked down, it’s not hard to copy and paste or take a screenshot, and suddenly what you thought was a semi-private conversation has now gone viral.

Where did this come from, you might ask? I posted about how excited I was to have found a gynecologist who will do the hysterectomy for me! I am SO STOKED about this. My days of suffering will hopefully come to an end soon!

Well, someone I went to high school with is now a gynecologist herself. She jumped into the thread to ask why I wanted a hysterectomy. Then proceeded to tell me how I should be pursuing a more conservative course of treatment, that she surprised that I even found a doctor to do it, and talked down to me.

Despite my consistent posts about everything that’s wrong with me, she had no idea about any of my medical history. She has never examined me. I haven’t even seen her since perhaps 1999.

Why was she offering an opinion then? Your guess is as good as mine.

To make sure I wasn’t being too harsh, I asked a dentist friend to look at it. He immediately recognized how unprofessional (and stupid) it was of her to make the statements she made. Someone else messaged me to ask if it was likely that she was getting kickbacks for the medical product she recommended.

Worse than that, I had a discussion with a couple friends who told me that people they knew used the product, and more than a handful had serious issues with it. The product in question is an intrauterine device designed to prevent pregnancy and manage heavy periods. This “friend” undersold the risks that come with using it – perforation of the uterus, the IUD getting lost (LOST IN THE UTE!) and requiring surgery to get it out, and deep depression.  I and a friend both know someone who’s gotten pregnant using it (fuck your 0.1% of pregnancy).

When I spoke with the doctors I knew an IUD wasn’t for, but now I am MORE THAN SURE. I already have depression, I do not need to chance making it worse.

If I had taken this “friend’s” recommendation and used the IUD and something had gone wrong, would she be liable? Possibly. As a lawyer, I would caution all my friends who are licensed professionals against offering advice the way this doctor did. No sense in testing your malpractice insurance.

So yeah, be smart, friends. Be smart.

When to make a change

Sometimes I like to torture myself by thinking about what I’d be doing with myself if I felt well enough to work like a normal person. If I could be doing anything, what would I do?

I do direct sales. I picked what I did because I like the products. However, I think I’m a shitty salesperson. I hate feeling like I’m pressuring anyone into anything.

What I’m thinking about now is whether to give it up. I’m not really making money at it, but that’s probably because I’m not really working them. I’m not looking for new customers for the products. You can only sell to your warm market for so long.

I don’t know if it’s that I don’t know how to do it or because I’m not committed to the sales part of it. For my main company, I love the product. I live in it. But for some reason it’s not translating into sales well.

Do I give it up? I’ll have to hustle to even be able to do that, but should I move on that course? Did I just put myself in a weird position because I’m not around the product all the time? It’s hard when I can’t go to vendor events because I’m just not in the country.

Ugh. Being an adult is such a crock of shit sometimes.

It’s also never a good idea for me to make decisions when I’m not feeling particularly well. I just want to give up EVERYTHING when that happens.

Part of the issue is that I’m focusing on getting my health in line right now. That is, without question, my number one priority. Without my health being as good as possible I’m just kind of miserable. Feeling like that makes doing anything fun really hard. Being tired makes doing things hard.

I guess I shouldn’t make any decisions until I’ve exhausted (see what I did there), every possibility for making myself feel better. It’s like not going grocery shopping when you’re hungry.

Thanks, friends, for listening while I ramble.

Why aren’t we scared of white men?

Yes, I asked that question. Yes, I know #notallwhitemen Blah blah blah. That’s the bullshit we hear from the privileged race when they don’t want us thinking about them poorly.

Unfortunately, that kind of credit doesn’t get extended to others, black men and Muslims in particular.

Whether we want to see it that way or not, black men are viewed as inherently scary, even as teenagers (Trayvon Martin). If it weren’t this way, why would so many cops who shoot unarmed black men get away with it. They get to play the scared card, even though it’s not justified.

Meanwhile, white men make up the vast majority of serial killers and mass murderers in the United States. Check this out.

But still, this idea persist that black men are scary. Muslims are scary.

WHY do we believe that? Because of what’s portrayed in movies? Who’s writing those screenplays? Who’s publishing those movies? Because of what we see on TV in the news? Who controls the media? Because of what your neighbors tell you? Do your neighbors have black FRIENDS?

It can’t be based on facts. Nothing supports the idea that black men are more dangerous than white men.

So what then? How about prejudices we hold near and dear to our hearts? It comes down to the idea that some is different. And because white people control the media, TV, movies, etc., there’s no way for people to successfully portray something else. Or, when they do, white people freak out about what’s happening on their TV (the success of Grey’s Anatomy, black*ish, How to Get Away with Murder). Never mind that MOST shows are still dominated by white casts.

When are we going to get real and address the problems? White killers and terrorists are treated as individuals – “James Holmes had mental problems,” making him an “other,” a “not one of us.” The same would have been said for the Columbine killers, Sandy Hook. All of it. At what point will people stop and just accept that yes, they were part of YOUR group? They are YOUR people.

Until we get there, they aren’t going to get the help they need. They’re cast off as things that don’t matter.

Well, excuse me. But I’m tired of people dying because people can’t accept that everyone’s got issues, and we’re all in this together.