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Updates on Last Hospital Visit/Pulmonary Embolisms

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at Kalamazoo Hospital- warts and all, no fuckin’ filter. 

Consolidating everything here:

I had a DaVinci Robotic hysterectomy on 12 July- they kept my ovaries (and doc says I may not go into menopause til near 60, as I apparently have abnormally young bits, yikes)- this surgery cured a lot of pain, but caused even worse. I almost died suddenly from blood clots to both lungs which were directly from the surgery, they surmise.

3 Weeks after my initial diagnosis and my embolisms on both sides are exactly the same as they were on August 8, but have not gotten new ones and they haven’t grown- had chest CT at Bronson last night.

Doc believes the first embolism may have occurred on July 27th, as I had an ‘attack’ that I thought was a newfound food allergy- but consistent with PEs.

However, it doesn’t sound like they’ve gotten any smaller, either…

I need to see a cardiologist at Bronson ASAP and have a Holter monitor done to find out what is going on, but they cannot do that In the ER.

They seem to think that my symptoms are because of this PE and I need to take it easy until the cardiologist fits me with a Holter- 

I feel very frustrated that I am basically supposed to be bedridden. The doctor said it was more important for me to hydrate than to move around at this point

Hospital cut me loose last night with a long acting beta blocker (metoprolol)- I am only supposed to take a fraction. He wants mr to start with half at bedtime, but I’ve played this bp med game before. I will do a quarter tonight.

I am waiting for the referral to go through with the cardiology department at Bronson in Kalamazoo, MI- which is 45 min from me, but a better hospital than the one around the corner.

Until then, I am basically supposed to act like a vegetable and keep hydrated.

My resting heart rate is higher daily, no matter what I do. This morning I woke up to it being 83 on avg while flat on back. I am power hydrating. My old avg per fitbit was 69-70. It goes up every day now this week. If I stand, it shoots up to 120-130 minimum.

Took over a dozen sticks, an u/s, and 1.5 hours to get a 20 port IV into me so I could have a CT. The head mosquito vascular nurse said I broke her streak. I’m a horribly terrible poke. LOL. Basically, I am the micropenis of the vein world. That’s a comforting thought. 

However, probably the nicest hospital experience I’ve had in years. Immediate, prompt care- real eye contact. Immediate info and they didn’t hold us hostage for 3 days and keep trying to drug me with hysterical Victorian woman meds.

There you have it.

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When I am coherent again, I have to talk about the body shaming going on STILL in 21st century reproductive healthcare

When I am coherent enough, I am going to blog some super TMI issues re women’s health post hysterectomy.
 
I am really shocked and alarmed by the ignorance of the ‘counselors’ at my oncologist’s. When describing symptoms, after having to google a lot of things on the wonderful site Hyster Sisters, I had to refer the damned PA to the site.
 
Every time I mentioned something, her response was “I never heard of that”. I felt body shamed. I had to tell her to go to the web boards and google it herself, so she would not have to use those words again with someone else- someone perhaps a bit more trusting of her doctors and less able to do their own research.
 
Same thing happened in Borgess after I couldn’t urinate when the catheter was removed. I had a male AND female nurse with me and I said:
 
“This is a bit TMI, but the only thing I can liken it to- and I’ve never had any issues peeing after previous abdominal surgeries- is when a person has an orgasm and cannot pee after from the swelling”
 
Well, shit. The female nurse turned BEET RED and I was left with the male nurse, who was patting my hand and commiserating with me. The female never came back, btw.
 
WHY are women in the 21st century STILL too scared to talk about their bodies?! WHY is it taboo to mention things to your own health care providers?!
 
Eff this shit. There needs to be a change.
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today’s post surgery updates

1. no, I am not well enough to do x, y, z
 
2. I am in pain, still. Called my doctor, waiting for a returned call.
 
3. If you’ve asked how I am, I am mostly sleeping. If you haven’t asked and think I should be recovered from this now, then f*ck off. Forever. Don’t pass go, don’t collect $200 dollars. Not having a good day today.
 
4. I cry a lot. I didn’t expect that part. This wasn’t easier than gallbladder or c-sections. Maybe it was the fact that they took my cervix and tubes that made it a bit worse- or the fact that they had to shove a huge piece out of a too small incision, from what dad and R told me (as I’ve not spoken to my doctor since before surgery).
 
5. I feel like I’ve been stabbed in the abdomen multiple times and I am still bleeding through the dressings.
 
6. I am not dead, people can text me or message me. Unless you’re one of the few that seems to want a reading, then you can forget I have a number.
 
7. My belly swelling is going down. It’s bruised nicely.
 
8. Food is gross. All food. I had to negotiate down to 1 piece of toast this morning to take my pain meds. I don’t feel the need to eat two pieces of what taste suspiciously like charred assholes, hair still on.
 
9. Told R to stop trying to give me a menu. If I have to eat food with my meds, just bring me the minimum and don’t torture me with the prospects.
 
10. GasX is amazing. If you ever get pumped full of CO2, you will want to eat these things after, just to keep you from screaming in pain. Gas pains are hideous.
 
11. Please send me funny memes. Anything funny. IDGAF how tasteless. It’s boring being bedridden.
 
12. Pooping is miraculous after abdominal surgery- and appalling. All hail the workings of the kishkes. Once they start functioning again, it’s like the heavens have opened up. If the ‘heavens’ were closer to your rectum, that is.
 
13. I cannot discuss food right now, people. I don’t like it, possibly for one of the rare times in my life. Even the thought of it makes me wanna puke.
 
14. I love coffee. Coffee and tea are the only two things keeping me sane right now.
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off I go to the slaughter house, I mean hospital- hysterectomy day…

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sleeping toddler, on a hotel bed covered in My Little Ponies

Mumu on, check.
No makeup/lotion/nail polish/perfumes, check.
Jewelry off, check.

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I have to be at check in at the hospital at 7:30 am- it is about 20 minutes away from hotel

They say to expect my tum to be swollen a few sizes larger, from the gas they pump into the torso, after surgery.

I don’t know if I stay overnight or not.

I really know nothing.

I am flying by the seat of my pants on this one.

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No coffee for me 😦

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Current Mood: “They’re Coming To Take Me Away- Haha!” and Solar Eclipses and Surgery and Mr Roboto…

I am packing now for the hotel. Tomorrow is surgery. I’m dragging my feet.

I am scared to death.

Tomorrow will be a solar eclipse in Cancer, incidentally, my 12th house.

Yikes.

Also, an ode to the Da Vinci robot that will be eviscerating me:

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Mourning the impending death of my uterus

 

Not only am I creepily naked and sobbing in the above photos, I am also disgustingly smearing my lipstick, so that it symbolizes the last period I will ever have in my life.

A lot of women hate their periods. I really didn’t until the periods became unbearable. Going into the crone phase, even if it is partial, scares the shit out of me.

Pretty emo for someone of a half-century, I will admit. It’s my crotch party and I’ll cry if I want to…

While my first inclination, as always, is to make snarky jokes about the robots coming for my lady parts tomorrow- I can’t stop crying.

Words fail me.

The fact that I’m having essential organs- parts that are meaningless and useless now- that somehow DEFINED THIS MEAT SUIT for me- removed permanently really is messing with my brain right now.

If I leaned more towards the esoteric, I could just say this is all illusory… this body, this gender, this glove we wear.

I can’t fucking do it. I am grieving, mourning- an anxiety ridden mess.

All the worst case scenarios run through my head:

What if I die on the table?  What if I am that small percentage that has cancer and it causes it to spread?

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/02/18/hysterectomy-laparoscopic-morcellation-amy-reed/5347093/

Luckily, now very few hospitals combine DaVinci robotic surgery with morcellation:

https://www.hystersisters.com/vb2/showthread.php?t=588404

The entire thing is usually pulled out of the vagina, presumably after the robotic bits sever the organs from their places.

Still, fucking scary.

My friends and family who have gone through this say it’s a piece of cake- I will no longer be in constant pain, I will love it, etc.

As a consolation prize, they will take my fallopian tubes and keep my ovaries- as long as I agree to ultrasounds every 6 months to monitor the cysts. This means I can go into eventual natural menopause and not instant menopause, as I have Factor V Leiden and can never use hormone replacement.

Also, what makes us female? Is it biological, is it physical, is it a dangly bit of spongy flesh in our innards- is it a hardwiring of of hypothalamus? Is it a spiritual choice made prior to incarnating?

WTF IS it?! Do I become some gender fluid, non-pronoun using being after this?

I don’t know why I am so hysterical right now- I just know that I am.

I know I won’t cease to be ME, who or whatever that may be (unless I die, of course).

I surely didn’t freak out like this when they took my gallbladder almost 2 decades ago.

I’m just scared, I guess. Scared shitless.

My stomach is fat, like a woman 4-5 months pregnant- the adenomyosis has me swollen like a tick on a dog.

I feel miserable. This procedure is supposed to make it all better.

I hope it does.

Losing pieces of ourselves, I wonder if zombies feel the same way, if they were real and could think.

“Oh, shit, my whole crotch just fell out… need more brains…”

Yeah, I need more brains.

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#worldselfieday

We missed #WorldSelfieDay Yesterday, so Maisie and I (and my son) made up for it today lol

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Conversations with the oncology social worker… or, what happens to my lady bits after they take them? PLUS UPDATE- SHE CALLED BACK WITH THE ANSWER AND GAVE US MORE QUESTIONS!

Oh boy.
The oncology social worker called to ask if I had any questions regarding my upcoming hysterectomy.
I really could not think of anything… then I giggled, because I DID have ONE question- and I asked her:
“Um, what happens to my uterus after? Do I take it home and bury it under a tree? I mean, they let you take your placenta home now after birth… what’s the etiquette with losing your body parts?”
I went on to further explain that I didn’t want to eat it or anything- like some do with their placentas- but I wanted to make sure they didn’t do something with it, like turn it into Soylent Green.
The lady on the other end of the phone stuttered a bit and said:
“Wow, nobody’s ever asked me this before- let me ask them. I think it goes to pathology for cancer testing and disposed, but IDK if you could get it returned to you… wow, yeah, let me ask”
I laughed and told her that it really wasn’t a pressing issue with me, but she continued:
“No, no- I really want to find out, too- I know a lot of people who take their placentas home. This makes perfect sense- no one’s ever asked me this”
I think I may have begun anarchy in the uterus removal trade today, inadvertently.
LOL… I mean, I was just curious. If they give it back, do I have to give it a funeral?!

UPDATE:

Megan, the social worker, called back not even an hour later with a reply!!

1. they used to let you take your body parts home with you, if you signed a waiver of some sort- but now you are no longer allowed to do so due to health and hygiene laws.

2. Megan and I then wondered what the hospital would rule (I like this chick) if, say, someone from an Asian religion had this surgery and needed the part back due to their belief in progressing in their Afterlife.

That was some interesting banter. I really like this office.

I speculated  that it would probably be a state’s law and hospital policy call.

For example, in the state of Michigan, you are allowed to opt out of vaccinations due to religious reasons.

Megan agreed. I mean, you could possible do someone irreversible harm by incinerating their spleen or what-have-you and not allowing them to sew it up in an embroidered cloth, simply because they’d believe they were not going to the Hereafter because they didn’t have all their bits.

That could mean a lawsuit.

I then absolutely assured her that they could have my troublesome uterus, as I didn’t want the damned thing, and that this conversation in no way reflected my personal beliefs.

She laughed and told me I needed to go to law school and come work at her hospital.

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Day 1 & 2 of New Fast and How Much I Gained Back After Refeed- plus Fitbit Versa stuff and other sundry nonsense.

Am on day 1 of another 1-3 day fast. The wasp bite is necessitating some inflammation busting, immune system assistance. My epi pen will not be available until Walgreens can locate more, so I have to be careful about future stings for now.

I took my blood pressure meds this morning, as it is finally elevated again.

Anyway, back to weight gain…. drumroll, please: I gained 5 lbs back overnight! Total weight loss from initial 6 day fast minus weight gain= 9 lbs in 6 days (after refeed). It was initially 14 lbs, but I knew a majority was water weight.

Still, not too shabby.

Also, my Fitbit Versa somehow got stuck and didn’t reset at midnight last night. I am currently in Fitbit limbo and we tried to reset it, but can’t.

Update- it updated the next day at midnight.

Day 2 and I lost 2 lbs, which brought it down to 11 lbs total in 8 days.

I broke fast after day 2 and will do intermittent again starting tomorrow.

I am a bit improved from wasp issue, now dealing with a bit of sciatica.

Spring cleaning the house currently, as my nephew from Palau is coming to spend his leave from the US Army with us. He’s been a year in Iraq, poor thing.

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6 Day Water Fast Journey Log – 14 LBS LOST IN 6 DAYS!

UPDATE: LOST 14 LBS IN 6 DAYS!

I decided to water fast again because I’ve attempted and failed so much lately since being diagnosed with my female issues.

I still haven’t heard back yet from the oncologist to see if my first biopsy was malignant or benign, so it’s a bit nerve-wracking.

I am doing this primarily for spiritual reasons- this year has been incredible intense, with some negative things that I am not used to. I also gained 20 lbs since coming back from California in March, so that is also a motivator. It’s been really difficult for me to stay keto lately… I tend to eat my feelings, even if I am generally pretty active. My activity level has also plummeted in the last month.

Doc says my uterus is enlarged to the size of a 3-4 month pregnancy at the moment, so this probably also has a lot to do with my weight gain issues and bloating.

Mostly, I want my body to heal itself before my surgery and I want to reset my immune system.

Water fasting, from my previous experiences, has always been the best way to regenerate yourself.

I am a huge believer in intermittent fasting, cleanses, juice fasts, and the most extreme version: water fasting. In the past, I’ve gone up to 40 days on various cleanses, multiple times, and kept my autoimmune disorders in check by diet and fasting alone.

A word of caution: if you are prone to eating disorders or are already too skinny to begin with- I don’t recommend you do this. 

I have never in my life been ‘too thin’, as I am naturally muscular and more prone to gaining a few pounds if I don’t keep a strict eye on myself, but I’ve always been able to drop weight when needed as well.

It’s getting more difficult the older I get, so the activity had to be adjusted to match my infernal appetites (I eat like a farmhand).

Periodic and intermittent fasts are a great way for the body to rest, heal, restore. It’s also almost spiritual and relaxing for me.

I started my fast on 12 June 2018, after seeing pictures of myself at my son’s high school graduation. Yikes!

I will be keeping this as a journal and not posting this until it is completed… so here goes:

DAY 1 (JUNE 12) IDK how much I weighed on the 12th, but last week when I was at the doctor, I was 20 lbs heavier than when I left San Diego in March. Experienced some intense headaches at night. I am not typically prone to headaches. Wasn’t very hungry.

Imbibed 130 ounces of liquid. Got just a tad over 10k steps for the day and 62 minutes of exercise.

DAY 2 (JUNE 13) DOWN 7 LBS FROM MY DRS OFFICE VISIT LAST WEEK OVERNIGHT!!!  I realize I didn’t lose that much, obviously, but I will take it. Woke up with a crazy caffeine withdrawal headache. Felt good mostly, but tired and had to nap. Spent most of the day in and out of bed.

Was starting to get hungry from watching all the Anthony Bourdain memorial shows. I honestly DO NOT RECOMMEND that you watch food shows or read about food during the first days of your water fast.

Drank 124 ounces of liquids. Did 50 squats with a band. Got 11k steps on the Fitbit and 52 minutes of exercise.

DAY 3 (JUNE 14) down 2 MORE LBS this morning- 11 lbs away from my California weight.

Today I was a bit dizzy and out of sorts, but spent it scrubbing and cleaning my porch. That is a lot of work- plus we repainted furniture, painted some new art, cleaned the inside of her playhouse and bleached it… then I made a little bed for her and Filipino style kulambo mosquito net from scratch out of pink and purple tulle.

I wasn’t able to hit my 10k steps, but I don’t give a shit because I worked my tail off. I actually don’t know how I didn’t hit my step goal, I barely stopped moving today. I will be super sore tomorrow.

I am not going to lie- today sucked, especially the evening. I laid in bed and was SO hungry for the first time since the fast began. Will definitely be staying away from Anthony Bourdain episodes tonight.

Drank 120 ounces of liquids. Did 40 squats, with and without a band. 8500 steps, which is far below my usual Fitbit count. I also found my old mini-trampoline rebounder and set it up for Maisie- we spent a lot of time bouncing on that thing- which is good for the lymphatic system.

DAY 4 (JUNE 15) down another 2 lbs (total since drs appt, which is probably not accurate, is 11lbs less than my drs appt last week).

Had a bit of a headache when I woke, but slept an entire 8+ hours, which is unheard of! Spent most of my sleep state dreaming, dreaming, dreaming. I love dreaming, for the most part. I guess everyone does.

I haven’t had any BMs since embarking on this journey, so I took some potassium and magnesium today. My uterus is laying on my bowel, which is another reason for it to have to come out, so I already have issues. Let me just say- the potassium and magnesium worked a little bit too well. It actually interfered with my day, lol. While I was pleased that I was no longer clogged up, I was not happy with the repeated running to and fro the loo.

Feeling good so far, going to work outside today (can you tell, I update this journal haphazardly? I just post my daily updates to this fast journal as it happens or after)

-Endometrial biopsy of my uterine lining came back negative for cancer!

That being said, they still want to go ahead with the hysterectomy, as I have severe adenomyosis- and they still have to actually biopsy the rest of my tubes and uterus as well, once removed.

I am not looking forward to the 2 month recovery time. Hoping this fast helps get me down to my pre-MI weight, so I can recover without gaining.

-I am finding myself to be more tired as the day wears on, even though I haven’t gotten out of bed and it’s 2 pm already. I am also a bit hungry- was hoping this would go away soon.

As the day wore on, realized hunger wasn’t abating. Everywhere I looked- food or food references. I was scared I would break. I didn’t. I also didn’t eat the neighbors, children, relatives- and much to his regret, R.

The idea of going to bed at 8 pm sounded really great, but I had to get 10k steps today, minimum. I missed my step goal yesterday and I hate not meeting my goals.

All that being said, today sucked by the evening. Probably worst day so far on fast. Lots of detoxing. This ain’t my first rodeo- I know if I push through, I will hit the sweet spot. It’s just getting through the detox phase that really blows the most.

Imbibed 120 ounces of liquid. Did 50 squats minus the band. Gardened ALL day.  Got about 13,500 steps on Fitbit and 69 minutes of cardio.

DAY 5 (JUNE 16) lost another 2 lbs– back in CA range- 13 lbs gone so far!  I look thinner because I am not lifting weights, though. I will gain at least 5 lbs back after I go back to keto, but regular IF should keep the weight loss and good benefits humming along.

My REM sleep has been off-the-charts since starting my fast. It is so nice to sleep now. I sleep MORE at night now that I am fasting, which is a great thing.

Woke up hungry, again. Am waiting for that blissful loss of hunger part of the program. It usually kicks in by now. Blah :/

Later, was not really hungry, but super tired in the afternoon. Having trouble getting my steps and getting my work done. I am detoxing heavily and really need a nap. I may have to take it easy on myself today, but I have houseguests coming in a week and I need to get this house cleaned.

Discovered that LaCroix key lime tastes exactly like key lime pie if you haven’t eaten in 5 days- and not just like bubbly water a key lime pie farted into.

Today was foyer day (yeah, I have a huge 106 yr old house)- I cleaned the LL Bean Waterhog mat, with the help of Miss Maisie and youtube tutorials- and we scrubbed and polished woodwork and mopped. My three year old LOVES to help clean. I loathe cleaning, but soldier on because of her joy in doing it.

 

The guys also helped, when I decided I could no longer stand and needed a bit of a nap, just before 7 pm… which lasted til 8:30 pm.

I am really thinking of breaking this fast early and going back to intermittent fasting and keto. I have been detoxifying really hard- this is probably the most intense fast I’ve ever done in my entire life. I feel so weak tonight, like I am dying. I know if I power through this, it will be ok. Still, if I quit before 10 days, this is still the longest fast I’ve done in years. It’s all good.

I think part of it is my inability to allow myself to rest- my brain says  ‘get those steps’, when my body says ‘lay down, damn it, and REST’. What usually made for successful fast before (pre-fitbit) were days and days of allowing myself to lay in bed and ride it out.

Here are links to the stages of fasting:

https://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/stages-of-fasting-what-happens-when-you-fast/

http://www.anti-aging-plan.com/en/fasting_by_stages

Tomorrow is Father’s Day and R is enticing me to quit this by offering to make low carb enchiladas (a dish I never had in my life til this year) and a big breakfast.

I am now torturing myself and fast by watching “Parts Unknown”. I adored Bourdain. He was a snarky asshole and his shows were charming. I am a snarky asshole foodie, so he appealed to me even more, in the way people recognize their tribes.

Tonight’s episode is from season 8, with Eric Ripert- a Sichuan odyssey of burning spices and cultural musings- and sadistic torture of Ripert by Tony, which I love the most.

One can almost imagine the hellacious heartburn and anal ring burner after these men consume staggering amounts of chili pepper flavored foods. It MAY keep me on my fast, after all.
Imbibed 124 ounces of liquid. Did 0 squats today- screw that. Cleaned foyer like a madwoman.  Got about 10,500 steps on Fitbit and 52 minutes of cardio.
DAY 6 (JUNE 17) Lost another 1 lb- so down 14 lbs in 6 days. Going to call it quits today and get back to intermittent fasting and keto.

I expect to gain back 3-4 lbs once I start eating, but short IF will keep it off and get weight lower.

Woke up today with minimal pain, which was a first in EONS.
Means my inflammation is probably down and my immune system is feeling better.
This was tough. It reminds me to stay keto in the future. Eating improperly is so bad for inflammation and the immune system.
I am back within 6 lbs of my California weight, so the rest should be easy to drop. I need to the energy to clean house as well, as I have a houseguest coming this week.
Not going to lie, this was the hardest fast I’ve done- and I’ve done loads of 10-20-40 day fasts- pre- Maisie. I’ve only done short 1-3 day fasts and intermittent ones since her birth.


I love how much thinner I look and feel when I wake up. Indeed, even with the annoying bouts of dizziness, I feel pretty damned good on the whole- when I am not in crazy detox mode. I am not much for letting myself get ‘too thin’, but the bits of me that harbors a lot of pride in my looks enjoys it when I am curvy and feel sexy and fit.

Aging, for me, hasn’t been a huge issue psychologically. I feel stronger and clearer the older I get. I am certainly happier, with more joie de vivre. I like the evolution of my face, the character of it. The increasing innocence that has crept in since Maisie’s birth.

However, I have to maintain a certain weight to feel my best- and that is generally 140-150 lbs. Any less and I look emaciated. I am built like a brick shit house French pony- muscular and strong. Thank goodness. I eat like a farmhand usually and move as much as I can possibly muster.

Fasting is amazing, even with it’s drawbacks and psychological tortures.

TOMORROW, I will hopefully do a short 2 day fast, then ease back to the 1 day one, 1 day off intermittent thing combined with keto.

I only have 5 lbs to lose to get to the CA lowest weight- and 15 to get to pre-preggo weight.

I’ve been heavier than I was before the kid for nearly 4 yrs now, so I’m not sweating it as much. I like the way I look.

It is more important to FEEL good, in my opinion. Healthy is what I am aiming for.