…they pull me back in. To the hospital that is. CSP & I were just talking about that I had finally gone a full year without being in the hospital when Thursday night happened. I was really uncomfortable at dinner. Then as we were trying to go to sleep the uncomfortableness turned into flat out pain. Not just standard crampy pain but specific knifing pain in my lower right abdomen. I googled it and Google said I had appendicitis. So I called the nurse line for my insurance and they said to get to a hospital. So I woke CSP up and off we went. By this time I could barely stand. I hadn’t had this type of pain since my fallopian tube twisted and had to be removed. Luckily it wasn’t that busy at the ER. We got there around 2 and didn’t get to leave til 10 am. They did a CT Scan with contrast and ruled out appendicitis. Then they said “Do you still have your ovaries?” What? Yeah, I guess I do. I totally forgot about my ovaries! I have no use for them so I never think of them. So they did an ultrasound and an internal ultrasound and found the problem. I had a very large cyst rupture. They prescribed me some nice pain meds and put me on bed rest for a week. I have PCOS so ovarian cysts aren’t unfamiliar but I haven’t had one rupture since before my hysterectomy. Put quite a kink in plans! CSP was off work for 4 days and we had so much planned. But at least he was home to take care of me!
For the last 3 weeks I’ve been getting Orthovisc injections in my knees. I have no cartilage in my knees and the Orthovisc helps replace that lost cartilage with a mix of cartilage and amino acids. Let me tell you, it hurts. HURTS. The word acid is key. It burns like a motha. So 3 days every 6 months or so I’m out of commission because I can barely walk after my shots. But a week later and I can walk so much better than I could before the shots. So the last time I was getting my shot I asked my doctor what was in the gel? He said “Rooster comb.” Excuse me? Rooster comb?? “Yeah, you know, the thing on top of a rooster’s head.” I know what it is, but you’re saying you are injecting me with rooster comb?? He then explained that rooster combs are cartilage and since they can’t recreate human cartilage (we can put a man on the moon but can’t do this?) that the rooster comb is a good substitute. I told him I guess it’s a good thing that I’m a Gamecock fan.
The other day I went to my eye doctor to get my glasses fixed (the little nose cushion thing broke). While I was there they told me that it was time for my annual exam so did I want it. Ok that’s fine. So my exam is going well up until the eye drops part. I HATE eye drops. I can’t stand anything in my eye. All the sudden my eye doctor said “Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry I just dilated you!” WHAT?!? I was like “I live 40 minutes away!!!” So I went out to the lobby area to wait for the dilation to happen so she could finish the exam. I typed a couple of unreadable texts then finished my exam. Then it was time to go. Let me remind you that I live in Charlotte, NC and it is as bright here as, I don’t know, THE CENTER OF THE SUN. I asked for glasses. This is what they gave me: A roll up sun shade that goes behind your glasses. THANK THE GOOD LORD I’M NOT SINGLE, cause hooooboy, I would NOT have done well that day with the fellas. Here’s another view. Take in the sexiness. Luckily my sister lives near my eye doctor so I dropped by her house to let the sun go down. On the way there though I realized these roll up sun shades just weren’t cutting it as far as keeping the blinding sun out of my eyes so I added some sunglasses to the mix. That’s 3 levels of optical beauty right there people. Don’t hate.
I went to the dentist and eye doctor today. Everything went well at the dentist – I’m getting a retainer (!) and I helped the front desk lady with her couponing. Then at the eye doctor for my annual exam my doctor accidentally dilated me! I was 45 minutes from home and blind! Luckily my sister Sara lives up that way so I hung out at her house for a few minutes to get my eye holes a little back to normal before hitting the highway. Check out the roll up “sun glasses” they gave me: They were no match for the Carolina sun though so I had to add my own sunglasses over the whole deal just to see to drive. So pretty!
I went to my ortho doctor recently and he did some new xrays. If you’ve ever wanted to see what advanced arthritis of the knees looks like- here you go! I took a picture of my xrays with my phone. As you can see, I’m bone on bone. And see those little hooks on the ends of my bones? Those are calcium deposits from the arthritis. The round things are my knee caps. Apparently they are higher than they should be. Looks like I’ve got coasters on my thighs!
You know that thing under your tongue? Well mine has been swelling up and hurting a good bit lately. I asked my dentist about it and she poked around in there and told me that I have a salivary gland disorder. Wha? She said I may notice that thing under my tongue turn white. If that’s the case to go in because that means there’s a stone stuck in my salivary gland that needs to come out. Why can’t I have a normal dentist appointment?
A few nights later I was getting ready for bed. My under tongue area was all swollen and hurting again. I took a look at it in my makeup mirror and noticed a part of it had indeed turned white from its standard angry swollen red. Well, I’m Southern and us Southern folks are known for some self surgery. It was late at night and I couldn’t wait until morning to find out what was growing in my mouth. So I grabbed my tweezers and out popped what looked like a giant sesame seed. I ran into the bedroom and tried to show CSP but he’d have none of it. I should have taken a picture but I was too busy playing with it. I tried to cut it in half and it shot across the bathroom, never to be seen or heard from again. It was rock hard! I guess that’s why they call it a stone!
I may be the only person in the Carolinas who’s not looking forward to Summer. I sometimes wish we lived in Canada or Alaska so it would stay cool all year. Mainly because I don’t like wearing shorter sleeves. Not because of the sleeves themselves, but the people. Recently I was out and about and ran into a woman I’ve met maybe 3 times. I was wearing a shirt with 3/4 length sleeves. Actually it was the Penelope shirt! The woman looked at me and instead of the normal Hello greeting she said “Girl, what the hell is going on with your arms???” I was mortified. I have severe eczema and it really affects my forearms. I don’t know why I don’t have it on places no one can see. I’m used to people looking at me funny, esp at drive thrus or other places where I’m exchanging money for goods. People look at my arms like I’ve been a victim of an acid attack. And frankly, that is what it looks like. During the winter (when I get to wear long sleeves, natch) my eczema is better. When it starts to get warm out the heat flares it up and the patches look really red and angry. But that DOES NOT give anyone the right to embarrass me like that! And in front of people! I would never look back at her and say anything like “Girl, what is UP with your hair?”
If you are unfamiliar with eczema and what it looks like, my arms look very similar to this: It’s not fun. Luckily I have pretty good self esteem and a husband who thinks I’m beautiful even with my spots. Now, before you start listing all the “cures” for eczema, please know that while I appreciate it, I’ve heard – and tried- them all before. I’ve been dealing with this for 20 years. I’ve tried every bath, cream, pill, spray, balm that you could think of. Bottom line is that there is no cure, only temporary remedies. Just do me this favor- please teach your children to not stare. That eczema and psoriasis and the like are not contagious. That unwanted comments are just that- unwanted. That the only license you could have to make comments would be a medical license. And if you weren’t aware of this, now you know. I really don’t want to go through another summer having to educate the ignorant in how to be polite.
Yesterday Sara had her spleen removed to fix her sickness she’s been dealing with for the last 5 years. She came through the surgery like a champ! She was in pain and had some vomiting but was able to come home from the hospital this afternoon. When we were at the hospital visiting Sara needed to go to the bathroom. Well, you know how hospital gowns are. So we told Papa to turn around and avert his eyes. When we were finished helping Sara we found him like this!
FINALLY! Sara has a diagnosis! If you haven’t heard, my sister Sara has been dealing with some medical issues for 5 years now, ever since she gave birth to Joey. She’s been exhausted, swollen, jaundiced, in pain, the works. She’s had a million tests and procedures, been to see a million doctors and specialists. Last year I took her to Wake Forest for tests. That didn’t go well. Finally this summer she went to Duke and they figured it out! Sara has Hereditary spherocytosis. Now that they know what’s wrong with her they can fix her! And unfortunately that means surgery. She will have to have her spleen removed in October, a week or so before Halloween. Because of the disease her spleen isn’t functioning as it should and that is making her sick. Removing it is her only real option. The surgery is Laparoscopic and her recovery time will be pretty short, thank goodness. The surgeon taking care of her does all of the Charlotte area splenectomies so she’s in good hands. I’m so excited for her to be able to get back to a normal life finally! No more steroids! Less blood draws! (she’s been having her blood tested every 2 weeks for years now). She’ll be feeling good in just a few weeks! Hurray! So please say a little prayer or send some good healing vibes on October 25th!
I received a call early this afternoon from Gigi who told me that Momo was in the ER. Momo woke up at 2 am this morning with sharp pains in her abdomen. She went to the local urgent care around 9 am. They took some blood, checked her out and promptly sent her to the hospital. Papa & Gigi were coming down the mountain and were still over 2 hours away. I didn’t want Momo to be scared at the hospital by herself so I scooted down to be with her as fast as I could. Momo’s friend J brought her to the hospital. She was being a total trooper. They did a CT scan with contrast and discovered that Momo had appendicitis. Within 15 minutes of the announcement that she was to have surgery she was wheeled into the OR. Poor Momo was so nervous as she’d never been admitted to the hospital before or had surgery. The surgeon came out after the surgery and showed us the pictures of her innards. You know I loved that part! While he was in there he discovered a hernia! I was so shocked. When I think of hernias, which is every day, I think of old men trying to lug big boxes or move pianos or something. I certainly don’t think of 20 year old girls! The surgeon said it’s actually pretty common for young people to have hernias. Who knew? Momo did great in surgery and came through recovery like a champ. Within just a few hours she was ready to take a stroll up and down the hall. I left the hospital at about 9:30 pm. Momo had just gotten her first round of pain meds and some jello. She’ll get to go home tomorrow afternoon if all goes well! What a day!