Archive for July 2011

Conflict and Confusion

So much to write about and so little time.  Hitting the road to Canada today and still lots to do before I go.

I’m recovering well.  Had my first post-operative visit on Friday and my doctor said that I was literally the poster child for the best recovery ever.  He then told me not to tell lots of women about how well I felt after my hysterectomy because it wasn’t normal to feel this great this fast, ha ha.  I think that being in good physical shape before the surgery definitely made the difference.  Also one of the reasons I feel so good is because I don’t have pain any longer.  I didn’t realize how much pain I was in on a daily basis until it was gone.  The relief is amazing.

Yesterday was a tough day though.  Hubby and I were scheduled to work the wine garden for three hours at the fair.  All it involves is standing and pouring wine.  It’s fun because a lot of the folks have no idea what they even like so it’s a good opportunity to show off what little knowledge you have.  Plus I really love wine and it’s fun sharing that love with others.  About two hours into my shift the pain started.  It was some intense cramping and eventually subsided after taking a painkiller.  However it did force us to return home immediately after our shift was over.  Well kinda….we got on the freeway and I soon discovered I left my glasses there so we had to turn around and go back to get them.  But eventually we made it home.

This past week has been challenging for me.  I started out evaluating a friendship I had and wondering where it will go because of some issues that have been going on.  I just can’t tolerate toxic people and/or situations in my life and if I can control that, I will.  Lots of conflict in my heart and I’m hoping the time away gives me some perspective.

While I’m away I also want to do some serious thinking about work vs. school and what I intend to do with the rest of my life. Yes, I’ve registered for school but I miss working.  I miss making money.  And….yes, this is horrible to say, I miss disposable income.  I miss knowing if I want/need something I can buy it.  I’m human, shoot me.   Maybe I don’t have what it takes to make the sacrifices required to finish school.

Confusion is everywhere.

That’s where I am today.  Lots of things for me to think about while I’m on the road.

1st stop – Lincoln, California

Still working on my housewife training

Before the surgery my doctor told me I would be able to resume “normal” activities within a week.  Apparently normal means – sitting on your ass a lot.  He did advise no kickboxing or sex for six weeks.

Ugh.

I was tired after Wednesday’s adventures but felt okay on Thursday.  There were things that I needed to get done though and they could not wait.  Thursday was the last day that I could have my pic taken for my badge so that I could work the wine garden at the OC Fair.  I also needed to get to Cerritos College and take care of a hold on my record that was holding up my transcripts.  Last but not least, Beav’s phone broke and I had filed an insurance claim and needed to get to the retailer to replace it.

Yesterday when I woke up I wasn’t feeling so great.  It took a lot for me to get out of bed and get going.  But I was determined to get the grocery shopping done.  MISTAKE.  Two days of activity pretty much destroyed me and by the time I got home yesterday afternoon I was in pain, in tears, and I believe at one point I asked hubby to just shoot me.

I napped and watched television the rest of the day and barely moved.  The pain and general feeling of misery was intense.  And I learned my lesson.  When I wake up in the morning and my body says no and I’m only four days post op maybe I should listen to my body.

Tomorrow hubby and I are scheduled to work at the OC Fair but given my situation I don’t think I’ll be able to go.  I already gave them a heads up but I still feel bad about it.  I hate to bow out of a commitment, but, three hours on my feet might not be such a good idea.

The other day I received notification that my membership in a large organization I belong to (connected to my previous occupation) was expired.  I’ve been wrestling with whether or not I should renew.  Should I let that whole entire part of my life go?  I currently serve as a board member for the local part of the organization.  I had the opportunity to discuss it with one of my best friends today and it was so helpful.  During our discussion I realized a couple of different things.  I enjoy working in the medical field and want to work in it again (if I can find a position to work around my school schedule).  I was a good practice manager but I’m a great medical biller/collector/coder and it would be silly of me to turn my back on that.  I’ve worked hard in this field to gain a good reputation and I have developed great peer contacts and I don’t know what tomorrow might bring.  I might find myself in the position where I have to quit school and go back to work full time (although my girlfriend quickly pointed out this was not an option) and it’s important I maintain my knowledge and contacts.

I so appreciate having her to bounce this stuff off of.  I really was torn up until our discussion and I could hear myself making the decision as we spoke.

Other than that it’s a quiet weekend since hubby won’t let me do anything, grrrrr.  I’m saving all my energy to work in my garden tomorrow while he is working at the fair (shhhh, don’t tell).  It is badly in need of some weeding.  In the meantime I have an entire season of Housewives of Jersey Shore recorded and I haven’t watched one so I have that to keep me busy.

Don’t judge…have you seen that show?  It’s GOLD.

Last, but not least, I know that I’ve heard from some people on twitter about having to log in to leave a comment.  I have changed that…for now.  We will see how it goes.  All comments will still require name and email and will be moderated.

 

For My Mom

Anyone that has been reading my blog knows that losing my mom was seriously the worst thing I have ever experienced.  I wanted to memorialize my mom with a tattoo for a few different reasons.  The first being, she hates my tattoo.  I know that this sounds odd but it seemed fitting.  She hated them, but she accepted them and it is how I express myself.  Getting a tattoo wasn’t for my mom but it was for me.  My mom loved the story of the Lion and the Lamb (it is also a gospel song) and we had the image engraved on her grave marker.

Last year I had the opportunity to meet Terri of So Cal Tattoo.  I immediately liked Terri and got a good vibe off of her.  She is also a mom and a grandma and I thought she would be a perfect person to do my tattoo.  It took several months to just decide to do it but I had my appointment to meet with Terri for yesterday.  I had a few pictures but not being creative myself I was hoping she could offer a lot of her own creativity.  Terri and I discussed the pictures and what I was looking for and she told me that while she really wanted to work with me she didn’t think she was the best artist for the work.  LOVE her for that.  She referred me to Tom Berg.  Tom immediately knew what I was trying to do and we scheduled an appointment for August.  He told me to plan for two sittings.

Hubby and I decided to eat while we were out and went to a spot up the street.   About halfway into our lunch I received a phone call from So Cal Tattoo and Tom’s morning appointment didn’t show so they asked if I wanted to come back in and get started.

Excitement doesn’t even begin to describe my response.

Three hours later I had this.

It is better than I even imagined.  In some ways it is really overwhelming.  It’s out there for the world to see and is a reminder of not only losing my mom but recovering from that.  It’s my way of saying “I love you and I miss you.” I purposely chose to not include any wording about my mom or losing her.  The tattoo is for me and I know what it signifies.  Most of my tattoos are small and mean things to me, but they’re not out there for the world to see.  Everytime I look in the mirror I’m still shocked by this one.

I can’t wait to show off the finished project but I have to wait for August for that to happen.  In the meantime I am taking good care to see that this heals properly and as you can see from all the red in the picture, it was fairly painful. Painful yet cathartic.

If there was ever a time I needed my mom this week was it.  The hysterectomy was scary.  Not knowing what was going to happen was scary.

And now I know I will always have my mom.  In my strength, in my inability to give up even though so many times I want to, in knowing who I am and rejoicing in my independence, and in a million other ways.

Thanks mom.

 

A little less of me on the inside doesn’t change who I am

I’m alive and kicking.  Okay, I’m not kicking because seriously from the waist down, OUCH.  I no longer have a uterus or a cervix but my ovaries are still there.  That is the first question I asked when I woke up from the anesthesia, “do I still have my ovaries?”

Because the thought of hormone replacement therapy was freaking me out.

My bladder was okay and there were no signs of cancer.   These are the kinds of concerns the doctors had going into the surgery and the not knowing was starting to seriously fuck with my head.

I arrived at the surgery center at 6am sharp, ugh, as directed.  I was the only surgical patient that morning so that was kind of nice.  What wasn’t nice was the nurse that repeatedly attempted to insert an IV into my hand.  I have very bad veins.  They’re tiny and uncooperative.  Normally when I know I’m going to have blood drawn I drink more water than normal because that helps and I always recommend the tech use a butterfly.  However, because of the surgery I had no food or drink after midnight and that doesn’t help things at all.  Also, I’m 42 and I’ve had this issue my whole entire life so I know when it’s a good stick and when it’s not.  The first stick in my hand blows my vein up and I end up with a nice black and blue welt.  So then she tries again but I can tell that she can’t get it, she’s digging and it HURTS LIKE HELL.  And I am not a wussy.  I can handle pain so if I say it hurts, it really hurts.

I make her stop at which point she tells me she almost had it and asks if I’m afraid of needles.  While I restrained from back fisting her I explained does it look like I’m afraid of needles, um, hello, piercings, tattoos.  DUH.  I was trying so hard to be pleasant but seriously, I’m wearing a gown that doesn’t cover my backside, it’s cold, I’m about to have my insides taken out, and you’re poking the hell out of me with a sharp object.

At this point she decides the anesthesiologist would do the IV and since I had already made that decision myself, I didn’t argue with her.  He was able to get it in on the inside of my wrist which was tender, but not nearly as painful as what she did.  I barely winced and I couldn’t help but look at her to make sure she noticed.

The surgery went well.  The doctor told hubby it was very textbook.  My bladder had no damage, there was no sign of tumors but there was a lot of endometriosis.  He believes he got most of it which means I should have no  more pain and without my uterus I won’t have any periods so the endometriosis won’t be able to come back.

YAY.

Needless to say it hurts. I’m moving slow and I’m sure it will be a few days before I feel normal.  I definitely feel that having a good exercise habit makes a significant difference in my recovery and am thankful that I take care of myself.

I don’t feel that I’m any less of a woman and I haven’t (so far) experienced any significant emotional distress.  There might have been a bit of time yesterday when I cried for a while, but mostly because I hurt and wanted my mom.   I normally avoid taking pain killers because my pain threshold is fairly high but I’ll admit this is kicking my ass.  Vicodin makes me itch so I’m shuffling around my house looking like a meth addict.  See, I still have my sex appeal :)

The only downside is that now I can’t blame bad moods on PMS :)

I am woman, hear me whimper

Tomorrow is the BIG day.  It’s what I don’t know that worries me.  At my pre-op visit the doctor advised me that he wasn’t sure I would be able to keep my ovaries.  That brings a whole new bundle of worries.  There are tons of horror stories about hormone replacement therapy and I’m already hearing tales of women that turn into raging bitches after the surgery.

I’m already a bitch now, I can’t imagine my family would want to stick around if I became even worse.

The doctor is also concerned about damage to my bladder.  At this point I’m not sure what will be left of me by this time tomorrow.  I think it’s what I don’t know that worries me more.

My subconscious has been working overtime.  Thursday night I dreamed about four men.  One of them was my hubby and the other three were representatives of my sexual past.  They each represented different ways I’ve experienced my sexuality.  They were all saying goodbye to my sexuality in my dream.  The next night I dreamed that I showed up at a lover’s house in lingerie and he turned me away.  Last night I dreamed I was pregnant.

It’s been exhausting.  I’ve been emotional and yesterday kept crying at the drop of a hat.  I’m trying hard to stay optimistic and I keep reminding myself that after this is over I will feel so much better.

Because seriously, I miss being able to button my pants.

Wish me luck.