Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A LEEP of Faith?

So .... Friday I go in for what is called a LEEP. If you are squeamish - don't look it up on YouTube. I'll just summarize it: LEEP is where they take a hot wire to your cervix and slice off some chunks to test.

I already had biopsies of my uterus and cervix ... and they came back bad enough that I am now having this procedure. I can only assume this is to test where to bad tissue stops and the good tissue starts? I don't know because nothing has been explained to me worth a damn. I am also going to assume that is pretty damn serious because my lab results are coming back within 4 days - and each subsequent procedure is booked for the same week that labs are in. I was called on Thursday with lab results - and they booked me for the following Friday for this LEEP.

Right now I still haven't decided if I'm supposed to worry. Well, my indecisive -ness is because of the lack of information I am getting .. and I blame this on the military hospital. The 'doctors' I am seeing are not doctors. They are Nurse Practitioners. I honestly don't think they are qualified to tell me what they see on test results because they haven't told me anything.

When they took an endometrial (inside the uterus) sample for my biopsy ... that part was not explained to me. I was not aware that a long .. thing (I couldn't see) was being put INSIDE my uterus and twisted around (it literally sounded like a potato being peeled) for 5 minutes. It was painful. No one told me to take some tylenol before I came because there would be no kind of pain management used while taking the biopsies of my uterus and cervix. I showed up thinking I was basically getting a very in depth pap.

This time I have decided to prepare MYSELF. This was a bit of a mistake. I watched the procedure being done - and it just looks painful. Its humiliating and painful ... and I've already been warned to take 800mg of Motrin an hour before my appointment. I asked about 'real' pain medication for afterward ... but was just told "Motrin should be enough." Bullshit. Once the adrenaline from the stress of the procedure wears off .. I am going to hurt. I better get some damn drugs, damn it.

So much crap going on that I don't know whether I'm coming or going. I'd like for everything to just be finished. This is also happening in the midst of us leaving to move to Germany in ... about 8 weeks. Yeah. Awesome timing.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

On Stress, Worry, and Being Worn Thin

A lot has happened this week.

I realize that I haven't posted a blog in forever - but does that really matter? No. I blog when I think about it - and this week I've thought about a lot of things.

I don't even want to go into the whole backstory of everything. I almost don't even want to say what's been going on. Maybe if I just get the imaginary fat turd down the toilet then maybe I could stand the stench.

I am awaiting lab results. I had a colposcopy last week and am now waiting to be told whether or not I have cervical cancer.

Let me start off by saying that if a military doctor tells you "The procedure isn't painful, you'll be able to walk right out of here with no problem" tell them to kiss your ass and give you something for pain anyway. This procedure was the second time I have been told that it was 'minor' and 'almost totally painless' ... the first time was when I had 3 wisdom teeth sawed out of my jaw then sent home with no pain medication and no stitches.

This time - I had some sort of spork rammed into my uterus where they proceeded to scrape at things so loudly you could hear what sounded like potatoes being peeled, as well as taking biopsies of my cervix. The cervix part wasn't too painful - until the person doing my biopsy said "uh oh" and asked the assistant to go get some Colonel. Apparently even in 2011 military medicine hasn't progressed much passed the MASH 4077 or something. All I could hear before the biopsy lady was interrupted was: "I was trying to take a biopsy of the abnormality at 12 o'clock when .. well the tissue was so soft .. and ..." then the Colonel asked "You ok? You feeling faint or nauseous or anything?"

3 hours. That's how long it took. That's how long I was spread eagle on a tiny table with 3 people all looking at this microscope thing seeing inside my vagina. 3 hours and 4 flat hospital bed pads full of blood later - I am told to just hop off the table, get dressed, and walk myself out.

Here's my main complaint about the procedure. I was not told that anything was going to be put in my uterus. It was very painful. Its still painful 3 days later. I was only told that there would be a sample taken from my cervical opening -- but I was not prepared for the pain of having the inside of my uterus scraped at for 10 minutes. I was not advised to take any pain relief medication before my appointment - which might have helped with some of the pain - but was also given nothing after the procedure itself. I've now only been told that the samples will be tested in pathology and I will receive a phone call by Tuesday the 22nd with results.

I'm thinking that maybe once I have those results that I will be more prepared to talk about things - but since everything is kind of hanging in the balance I don't want to think one way or another right now.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Sometimes Life Will Drop Kick You

Its true. Sometimes you'll get punted in the face by life.

Someone mentioned suicide today on a blog. I was horrified to the point of almost tears reading the comments. Never EVER should mention of suicide be taken as a joke or a bid for attention.

My 'crazy' uncle Julian committed suicide December 23 2000. As time has passed we've (and by we I mean my family) learned that Julian wasn't crazy - he was mentally ill. He had depression and very likely schizophrenia. He saw no other option for himself because he had no support system. My grandmother (his mother) had just moved away. He was an ex Marine who had seen the ugliest side of war. His second marriage was failing, and he was probably more than worn out from being a cross country truck driver for 10 years.

He gave his friends plenty of warning signs. He boxed up all his belongings (including a massive arsenal of guns) and put them all in storage. He dropped the key off with someone, but left no explanation. He spent a weekend with his best friend after he had given away or stored away all his possessions. Julian had left a 3 page note which rambled but did not explain his reasons for suicide. He took his small pick up truck and a gun into the desert in Arizona and killed himself. No real explanation, no consolable insight. Nothing. He's just gone.

My family has not been the same since his suicide. We spent many years asking ourselves "why" and trying to see ways that we could have helped him. What could have prevented his suicide was seeing the warning signs and taking action.

Here are some warning sings that someone is suicidal:

  • Threatening to kill/harm themselves or expressing the thought of doing so.
  • Talking/writing about death/suicide when such topics are out of character for them.
  • Hopelessness
  • Rage, uncontrollable anger and revenge seeking.
  • Reckless actions or getting into risky situations without thinking twice.
  • Increased alcohol or drug use.
  • Withdrawing from friends/family.
  • Giving away possessions.

In the US ALONE someone takes their own life every 17 minutes. Suicide has been in the top 10 causes of death in the US for the past 50 years and the number of deaths due to suicide rises exponentially every year.

90% of the time the cause of suicide is untreated depression.

Listen, life is hard. Holding onto your life when your knuckles are already white from the grip that's loosening is hard- but there are people who can and will help.

You may think things are bad and that you don't want to live any longer. But when you go, you are taking a piece of every family member and friend with you. Some of those people may even wish to join you when you are gone. It is a cycle that will repeat.

Your life is precious to someone whether you see that or not.

Depression IS treatable. Suicide IS preventable. Suicide is a PERMANENT solution to a TEMPORARY problem.

There are numbers you can call to start down the road to seeking help. If your loved one had cancer - wouldn't you see to it that they got the care they needed? Depression is no different.

In the US
1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)

1-877-Vet2Vet (1-877-838-2838) Veterans Peer Support Line

1-800-SUICIDA (1-800-784-2432) EN ESPANOL

1-800-PPD-MOMS (1-800-773-6667) Post Pardum Depression

Volunteers are what make hotlines such as those I listed above. Please consider becoming a volunteer: http://www.hopeline.com/volunteer.html

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Blog Fail.

Holy crap has it really been almost a YEAR since I blogged? Total blog fail.

I'm not even sure if anyone reads this (or ever did) so its always just been here when I get to it. Today I'm getting to it.

Keith and I took a totally amazing cruise vacation and made the Eastern Mediterranean our bitch. We stayed in Rome about 4 days before embarking on our cruise. We went to:

Rome, Italy
Naples, Italy
Capri, Italy
Sorrento, Italy
Pompei, Italy
Athens, Greece
Rhodes, Greece
Kusadasi, Turkey
Ephesis, Turkey
Alexandria, Egypt
Cairo, Egypt
Giza, Egypt
Taormina, Sicily

All that in 16 days! It was insane. I have a lot to talk about our adventures - but one big post just won't sum it up. Well technically I guess it could sum it up, but I wouldn't be doing those places any favours.

The weight loss is going horribly - but that's because I haven't been to the gym in forever.

The past 6 months or so (at least) around here has been so insanely crazy I just don't know where to even begin.

It started with the prospect of Keith deploying, then our whole cruise was like a countdown to deployment because he was supposed to leave 8 days after we got back. THEN they said "You aren't deploying" and now I worry that he'll come home from work one day and say "Welp honey I'm deploying". Its just an emotional rollercoaster.

So what now? Well I'm trying to get un-depressed at the moment. I'm not sure what's really caused it. Maybe the snap back to reality after a super awesome vacation ... or the fact that I feel horrible after spending 5 months mentally and emotionally preparing myself for another deployment only for it NOT to happen - but I am kinda depressed. I'm hoping that after this week of doing almost nothing that next week I can make myself so busy that I don't even have time to think.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Long Slow Road of Weight Loss

Losing weight is hard. Period. I don't think I've ever done anything physically so hard in all my life. Granted, I haven't been as ROAR about it as I should be - but its still hard.

For the past 8 weeks I have been going to the gym on average twice a week. The physiotherpaist told me to go at least 3 times a week. I'm sorry mini Tony Little, I've let you down. I've let me down, too.

At first just going to the gym was hard. It required a lot of mental preparation on my part. Maybe it will be easier to understand if I explain things a little. As most everyone knows, my husband is in the military. We are stationed in England but we do not live on the military base. We live about 30 miles away. Anyway - I go to the gym on the nearest military base. The nearest base is all fighter jets so at any given moment you totally have a Top Gun moment with F-15s screaming overhead and you can't help but hum a few lines from "Danger Zone".

The gym is full of tall, lanky, lean men between the ages of 18 and 40. Even the women are very lean. My sensibile side says to me that I am there for the same reasons they are: to be healthy - but my immature no self-esteem having side says "They're all laughing at you." Are they laughing at me? Maybe - but at some point I have got to stop letting that thought (and its only a thought because I have never seen or heard anyone ever laugh at me) bother me so much.

At my last doctor's appointment (around July 6th) I had lost 6lb. That's a total of losing roughly one pound a week. Does anyone know the internal heartbreak of working your ass off in a gym up to 2 hours a day twice a week for a measly damn pound?! Its so discouraging!!! All those weeks of all that work and I'd only lost 6lbs. I was so hurt when I saw the scale. I'm still hurt in a lot of ways. BUT even just losing a very depressing one pound a week is the largest weight loss I've had in over 10 years. So honestly, I should look at it that way. Its still progress, even if the progress is slow and unrewarding in its tempo.

What I'd wanted to do was post pictures to chart my progress in this journey - but I haven't yet got that kind of confidence. Will I ever have it? I don't know. I hope I will! Unfortunately right now I do not and to save myself the anxiety I am just not going the whole picture posting thing. Yet. I definitely plan to, just not now is all.

Losing weight is more mental than physical. Yes there is a lot of physical activity - but its more of a mental struggle than anything. Once I get to the gym and get on some rhythmic machine that forces me to do more exercise than I feel comfortable with - I'm fine. I don't have a thought in the world other than "Is it time to leave yet?" But in all honesty it took me 2 hours of me psychologically beating my own ass just to GET me there in the first place. That's the only way I can explain it.

I haven't done enough. I know in my heart that I could work out FAR FAR FARRR more than I currently do - but mentally and emotionally it takes so damn much out of me just to go work out. Being sweaty and sore doesn't bother me even a fraction as much as psyching myself up to go does. But once I'm back home and I've worked out so hard that I can't feel my arms or legs I tell myself "This better be worth it."

I don't have the right attitude, and I know it. At the same time - I don't know how to fix it. Of course I thought at first that my frame of mind would change but it hasn't. Regardless I know that I must continue to exercise in order to lose weight and get healthy. But at this point I have replaced one form of bad health with another.

Being healthy is multi dimentional. You must have physical health as well as mental and spiritual health. Right now I am severely lacking in the mental health department. I recognize this, but at the same time I'm coming up empty handed on how to go at this problem and really get things going in the right direction. Maybe I need to busy myself mentally with more things so that I spend less time worring about going to the gym and instead simply see the gym as part of my routine or schedule which has to be done on a regular basis. Like shaving my legs or scrubbing the toilet. I don't particularly enjoy either of those things - but they are things that I know I have to do every so often.

That's got to be the answer. The gym is like scrubbing the toilet. If you wait more than a week then its going to be really shitty.

Monday, June 01, 2009

I'm a Real Hobbit

Okay so Keith and I have been playing Lord of the Rings Online for a while. We even got lifetime subscriptions ...

I chose to play a hobbit from day one because A) Its kind of like being a mischevious kid. B) They're cute! C'mon! and C) Well I just don't FEEL like an elf or a human, really.

But to my surprise I discovered something the other day. In MMORPGs I spend all my time running around in my armor. I've never been one to buy special 'rp' gear that I have to change in and out of and blah blah blah - but in LOTRO you have the option to equip your 'cosmetic' times in a seperate tab and show them with a simple click. For the first time ever I clicked that tab and discovered that my LOTRO hobbit looks just like I do IRL.

I am a real hobbit.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Its Hard to Say Goodbye to Old Friends

Recently I've had to say goodbye to a good friend of mine. He was protective, modest .. the kind of friend you could get naked around without even batting an eye. I loved this lil guy to DEATH but I'm glad that I've been able to move on. It hasn't been easy. This friend I speak of was my Epic Win Kitty Cat Shower Curtain of AWESOME (pictured above. Click for larger view)

I got rid of my old shower curtain that has brought me (and people who use my bathroom) numerous laughs over the past 2 years. I love having weird crap like my kitty cat shower curtain. Its one of those things that you see at the store and I say "Wow that is so fucking awesome. I be NO ONE has one of these in their house." And usually they don't. Its one of those talents I have for being drawn to 'awesomely bad' things.

I told a few people about my kitty cat shower curtain but I don't think they believed me. By the time I thought to take a picture before throwing it out -- I had already taken it off the shower hanger and had to lay it in the hall floor to snap the picture (which explains the pink and red carpeting).

The Epic Win Kitty Shower Curtain of Awesome was starting to be more trouble than it was worth. One - I was having to scrub it at least twice a week because of soapy scummy-ness making the clear plastic look cloudy. Two - it always got stuck to your damn leg while you were taking a shower!!! I always hated that!

So, my Epic Win Kitty Shower Curtain of Awesome has been replaced. Keith argued with me in the store for about 10 minutes until I said "Fuck it. I like this one and I'm getting it. BLAM! Gimme it." and it was mine. Well .. ours - but mostly mine.

Without further adeu - I present:

The Psychodelic Rainbow Frogs of Pwnd shower curtain... along with a few other things in my bathroom like ... Hello Kitty band-aids, pommegranite smelling hand soap, Dove face cleansing cloths and some toothpaste.

The Psychodelic Rainbow Frogs of Pwnd (click for bigger pic)

Just thought I'd share :) I do really miss the kitty cat shower curtain though :(