Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It's my job to worry.

I was trying to remember where I had heard a quote something like my title when, for no particular reason, I remembered one of the quotes I had to memorize for Mr. Lavelle's notoriously difficult AP English final in high school. In 1990. (Looking back, I realize now that the final was actually really easy. A gift to us, the students he had made think all year long, but we all liked the mythology behind "the hardest final ever" which never changed a single freakin' question from year to year.) Mr. Lavelle was my favorite teacher ever, so in his honor:
Not tho' the soldier knew
Someone had blunder'd:
Their's not to make reply,
Their's not to reason why,
Their's but to do and die:
[Alfred, Lord Tennyson's "The Charge of the Light Brigade"; Googled only for correct punctuation]

Anywho, that totally has nothing to do with this post, but it's weird what you can suddenly remember 20 years and some months later when you honestly can't recall what you ate today.

So, "Forward, the Light Brigade! Charge for the guns!"

It suddenly occurred to me today that when I have my larproscopy on January 12th, it's possible that rather than finding nothing and leaving me to wonder what to do with this pain and other "stuff," or finding endometriosis and/or adhesions which may cause me to lose my uterus, that a third possibility is that I might lose it all. Or most of it. It honestly hasn't popped into my thoughts the whole time I've been agonizing over whether or not to have my uterus removed if they find nothing when they open me up. (The doctor said that sometimes some people find relief from pelvic pain of unknown etiology by having a hysterectomy. I won't be doing that as there are too many other things that might go wrong: cystocele, hernia, worsening of my IBS, greater surgery aggravating my autoimmune illness/inflammatory response, vaginal, vaginal vault, urethral, small intestine or rectal prolapse and, ironically, pelvic pain.)

This lead to a rather intense anxiety attack with much sobbing. The thought of taking hormones for the rest of my life, when I am not yet 40 and my family has a life expectancy of around 80 or 90 years, usually, terrifies me. I like the way I look, flaws and all, but I do not want to gain more weight, I don't need any drier or pimplier skin and I am not fond of synthetic hormones to begin with. (But the nearest bio-identical doctor is near Philly. Too far for me to travel for a doctor's appointment; I grumble over traveling to Hershey, for crap's sake!)

All of this on top of the mystical proclamation that recovery will take four to seven days to four to six weeks depending on what they have to do, leading me to wonder how employed people plan for this shit.

So, I worry, but that is nothing new. It's my job to worry.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Always Remember...

"We are all just 4 or 5 decisions away from shitting in a bucket."--Matt Paxton ["extreme cleaner" from Hoarders, owner of Clutter Cleaner]

I share a nose with a dead woman.

I just re-lit the pilot light on the 60-some year old stove which my great-grandmother installed in her kitchen when she remodeled her then 20-some year old kitchen. The kitchen in the house of which she oversaw every single detail as it was being built. The house I now own and love, warts and all. (The house was not kept sparkly new in the latter years of my great-grandparents lives, mostly because they lived very long lives and 98-year-olds don't always have the wherewithal for plastering, painting and remodeling. Go figure... The good part, for a house geek like me, is that almost my entire house is original.)
I knew the pilot light had gone out because I could smell the gas which should be burning but was not. I smelled it from two rooms away, but I am the only person I know who can smell when our pilot light goes out. And I smell it almost immediately. The tiny amount of gas leaking in a not-airtight house isn't really dangerous, especially when you notice it within a few minutes of the pilot having gone out. Apparently my Nana had this weird unlit-pilot light ESP, too.
My Nana and I have a lot in common in many ways, both physically and personally, and sometimes I weirdly feel like I was destined to take over her beloved household in which I spent home-sick-from-school afternoons as a child. So it didn't surprise me when I was told that Nana always knew when the pilot light went out.
I have an afghan which was Nana and Grandpa's and it hangs in the back of my couch just as it hung over the back of theirs for my childhood. Not a day goes by that I don't look at the afghan as I sit down on my couch and feel a connection to the woman whose home--and nose--I share.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

gin & zombies

gin and tonic strawberry ice cream filet mignon with monteal seasoning medium rare mashed potatoes with so much butter and sour cream mixed in that you might think potatoes are a dairy product lots of family time watching tv and zombiesZOMBIESZZZZZOOOOOOMMMMBIES!!!!

a perfect Sunday night.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Eating Fat by the Spoonful

I've made a few new changes to my daily routine which are dietary related and I thought I'd share. Feel free to critique if needed, lol.
  • A few years back Nate bought me a copper cup which in Ayurvedic medicine is used by filling it the night before with water and drinking it in the morning for the mineral infused water. I've used this off and on, but have started using it every morning to take my morning pills. I keep a 1.5 liter reusable bottle of water on my bedside stand so I don't have to go to the kitchen tap filter every night.
  • I bought an almond and cashew nut milk "cream" too use in my coffee. The nutty flavor will cut back on the flavor syrup I add (less refined sugar: YAY!) and cut down my dairy consumption.
  • I've started drinking kefir again. The stores around here stopped carrying Lifeway for a while and I'm not a fan of the Helios brand, but yesterday I found out the Healthy Grocer started carrying those little individual serving bottles of Lifeway (think Dannon Drinkables) now. So I got those. Helps with portion control, too, but I don't like the wasteful packaging...
  • I've started eating a spoonful of extra virgin unrefined coconut oil every day. It's weird to eat a spoonful of fat, but it actually tastes quite lovely.
  • I've been drinking a two ounce shot of pure beetroot juice a day. The first day I bought it, I drank the shot right off the shelf, so it was room temperature. I do not recommend that. Cold seems to round out the flavor making it very good if you like beets. Warmth (room temperature) seems to bring out the earthiness and quench the sweetness.
  • Lastly: Panther Piss. Some people call this different things, but most alternative medicine routes include some version of it. Two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar (with the mother, so Bragg's is a good one), eight ounces of filtered water and raw honey to taste. Again, tastes quite nice, surprisingly enough.
I'm hoping these changes help me with digestive and metabolism issues I have and just add to my general allover health.
Suggestions? Comments? Recommendations?

I've also started using the lightbox again after forgetting for about a week. My depression is creeping in as the days shorten and I have no life outside of the house nor a job, so every little bit seems to help to stave it off.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
UPDATE:
I forgot to include a cup of white miso every day.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Cats are fuckin' insane.

I really could just end the post with the title, couldn't I?
I've always loved cats and dogs, but since my first two cats I had who were solely my pets died, I have yet to meet a cat with that special spark with me. I love my cats, but they are both insane. NCL (pronounced nickle) is Evil Insane. Born of incest and the hardscrabble barn cat life, he's just never been "right." Gertie is a lovely cat and happy to be here, but she's as Neurotic As All Hell. If she were a person, I wouldn't even be able to be friends with her, and we all know how mentally healthy I am, right? Somehow, though, the two of them get along. They stage late night pranks trying to get the dogs into trouble by getting the dogs all riled up and then hiding so it seems the dogs are the crazy ones. They picket our bed every morning demanding their fair share of rations as if they haven't eaten in years, chanting little cat versions of militant slogans. If the had thumbs, I'm sure they would have signs, or perhaps even chain themselves to the bedroom door.
Yesterday saw the last of their food, but I didn't know until it was too late to go buy some and it is still too early to go to the store where I buy it, so right now they are rioting upstairs. I'm not kidding. I hear myriad pounding footsteps as if they were an army of toddlers. I hear things falling, sliding, scattering, strange yowling, meowing, shrieking, litter scattering. And yet when I went up I found nothing amiss and both cats sitting at the top of the steps looking at me as if to say, "What? We're just sitting here. Totally not staging a peasant uprising. My what a pretty neck you have..."
Ten o'clock will not come soon enough for any of us.

A few thoughts about coverage of Elizabeth Edwards's impending death.

So yesterday we found out that Senator John Edwards's ex-wife is discontinuing cancer treatment. The news coverage I have seen since is driving me nuts for a few reasons.
  1. They keep saying how "treasured" she is to the American people. I'm sure to some, yes, but to all of the American people? A bit hyperbolic, no?
  2. They keep describing her as "resilient." If I were her, I'd be, like, "Really? The best you could do was the title of my freakin' book? Don't you even have a synonym for resiliency??"
  3. They keep saying how she is teaching America about a new way to deal with end of life choices. Um, not really. Tons of people die at home under hospice care and surrounded by their family every day. Soooo...thanks for acknowledging those people and their families existence and all that...
  4. They keep saying that John Edwards is at her side "for the kids." Nuh-uh. They were life partners, business partners, co-parents et cetera, for how long?? He's there for her. And probably for his conscience. Yes, a bit of atonement is good for your own soul.

Monday, December 06, 2010

The Scoop Which Hopefully Doesn't End in "The Scoop"

I talked to my doctor for a while on the phone today. We went over all of my recent problems, the tests results and further actions we can take. In the end I believed we've done everything which can be done without looking under the hood. So I told him I'd like to go ahead and schedule a laproscopy to check for adhesions and endometriosis, neither of which usually show on ultrasounds or x-rays. The scheduler will be calling me soon to set up a pre-op evaluation appointment and the laproscopy itself.
My decision on my uterus is this: If there is something visibly wrong with my uterus itself when they open me up, then they can take it, regardless of how bad the "it" is. I don't want to have to be opened up again because the scar tissue or endometrial tissue grew back. However, if there is nothing visibly wrong I will not have a hysterectomy. There is too much too risk for not much guarantee of relief. A uterus helps work as a placeholder for keeping everything structurally sound and without it, I feel there is too much of a chance the empty space could cause as many problems as having the uterus there what with my IBS and the inflammatory actions of my autoimmune disease and all of the other "normal" things which could go wrong.
If I do have my uterus removed, I will be asking them to take my cervix with it. I've had abnormal paps several times, so at least the idea of not getting uterine or cervical cancer are comforting ones. Many women don't want to lose their cervix for sexual pleasure reasons, but I can honestly say I've never noticed any particular sexual gain from that bit of flesh.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

MPT (Medical People Time)

So after more than two weeks for two blood tests (one of which was pointless as I'd just had it done) I finally called the gynecologist's office myself. His nurse just called me back and said everything is "normal." Bloodwork, ultrasound, etc. So I said, "Well, what's my next step? Because obviously everything is not normal in there." And she said she'd let the doctor know, but I should rest easy tonight knowing I don't have a tumor. Well, then, maybe they should have let me know that before two weeks plus had passed. And, also? DUH! Something is wrong they just don't know what it is yet...
ARGH!!!

Morning Reporters

Maybe it's because I'm tired and more easily annoyed, but every time I watch ABC's morning news, I find myself pondering if Mike Von Fremd is a real reporter or if ABC is having a laugh. The man looks like Charles Grodin and the "r"s at the end of his words go on forever. I often wonder if he's fallen asleep at the end of words ending in "r." And every one of his sentences has the exact same cadence. I just cannot even fathom a real person sounding like he does. It has to be a character he's doing. Or maybe he is Charles Grodin doing a character...

Weepy Patriotism

These past few weeks, I have been feeling blinding anger about the new TSA procedures which include the "backscatter" machines and the "enhanced" pat downs. (Remember the last time we added the word "enhanced" to something in the "War on Terror?")
I've been fighting the good fight, so to speak, over on Facebook because, apparently, a lot of people don't mind giving up their rights for an illusion of safety.
So I've been pretty exhausted as far as writing anything here. But I do want to state one thing unequivocally here for posterity.
Over my lifetime, because of my ├╝ber liberalism, I have been accused many times of being the antithesis of a patriot, literally called a "traitor." Yet I doubt many of those people (who usually call themselves patriots) would say what I'm about to say and feel the truth of the emotion behind the words.

I would rather die with my Constitutional rights intact than fly "safely" without them.

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