Monday, April 30, 2007

Updates, Various

I think I hate this past month or so. It's pretty much sucked more than one of those Dyson vacuums (which I seriously covet) is rumored to do... only in a really fracking BAD way.

And Speed, yeah, I'm wondering why parrots live so long and our fuzzy little friends go so quickly. I'm sure there are people out there with parrots who are passionately attached to them and have very affectionate relationships with their birds. I'm likewise sure there is both joy and pain in knowing that your pet is very likely to outlive you, but at this moment in my life? I'd take that over what I'm feeling now.

The same day Little Guy died is the day I had my endometrial biopsy. My doctor did prescribe the Valium (5 mg, 1/2 Wednesday night and 1/2 Thursday morning). He was going to do two, but I'm a total lightweight with meds, so I told them I only needed one. Considering Thursday, I should have kept my big fat mouth shut and just let him give me two. Ah, hindsight.

At least the Valium was well timed, all things considered.

At any rate, it was MUCH less ooky than the cervical biopsy I had 12 years ago. That one involved tissue removal with some sort of snipper thingie, which was decidedly less than fun. This one mostly involved kind of sucking stuff from the endometrium with a straw, to put it in very basic and likely incredibly inaccurate terms. The worst part for me was when he placed the tenaculum to dilate the cervix. The actual biopsy bit wasn't an issue. There was no cramping at all, even though I was warned there would be some as the uterus really doesn't like things going into it (smart uterus!).

What there has been alot of is spotting. And more spotting. And semi-period-ish stuff, followed by more spotting. My last period ended on April 13th, and the biopsy was done on April 26th, so that means I got a whopping two weeks free of sanitary supplies. Yippie freaking ki yay. I'm calling in tomorrow to see if I should still be spotting, or if I should chalk it up to a slow-starting and light-for-me period.

I should have the results back at the end of this week, and am to call in Friday if they haven't called me by Thursday so someone can find out what the hold up is.

In other, happier news, I have three cats! A dear little girl named Emily came to join our family on Saturday.

You can see her Catster page here:
http://www.catster.com/cats/472892

(You'll likely have to copy/paste it because I can't seem to get Blogger's "Insert URL" feature to work.)

We didn't get her because we lost Little Guy. I'd actually been pitching Emily to my husband for a few days prior to LG's decline and demise. Big reason I wanted her? She's a GIRL! And she's a cute snuggly little affectionate feline as well. But most of all: GIRL!

I've been pretty outnumbered by the tripods here. At last count there were three human males, two feline males, and one canine male. And me. Six to one. GACK! But now? it's 5:2. Boo on the downslide to five, but yay on the two!

It did become a bit of a hard call going to get her, considering my Beast's death. I tossed and turned the idea around in my head and finally decided that as I'd been planning to get her prior to that particular event, that I wasn't breaking the cardinal rule of "Never EVER immediately get a pet to replace one that's just died." I didn't get her to replace my boy... no animal ever could replace him, bless his little incontinent heart (I warned y'all I'm a bit inappropriate with this grief thing). I got her because I needed a girl.

And now I have her. Welcome home, Emily. And if you knock Little Guy's ashes off the piano, we're going to have to have a little talk about respect for the dead.

(Uhm, I mentioned inappropriate, right? Yeah.)

Sunday, April 29, 2007

My Mind is Blank

I've not been able to write much in the past few days. As you've likely noticed from the previous entry, my geriatric mutt passed away last Thursday. I'm torn between heartbreak and rememberance, and making incredibly inappropriately macabre-humorous remarks, which is my usual method of coping with tragedy. I know he was "just a dog," but he was MY dog, my first, very own, mine-all-mine dog. My boy.

When he was a little puppy he had rather smelly fur. Actually, to be truthful, he maintained the odor of wet mutt throughout his life regardless of the humidity of his fur. But when he was a baby I just couldn't understand WHY he stunk! Then someone told me that, as he was part terrier, terriers tend to have an oil in their skin that kind of keeps the funk going on.

My solution? "Obsession" scented perfume for dogs.

He forgave me for that, fortunately. And I wisely let him maintain his distinctively doggy odor after that little experiment failed.

When he turned five I got misty-eyed as I considered that, if he were human, he'd be heading off to kindergarten in the fall.

When he was eight years old, my elder son was born. Little Guy was so happy with the baby when he was little. He'd sit on the same quilt with him and just relax in the joy of knowing he had his own little piece of Mommy right there with him.

When he was twelve years old and my younger son was born, he knew enough to stay out of arm's reach from the child lest his fur be grabbed in a tiny fist.

For the longest time he didn't show his age much. At thirteen years old, he was bouncing around with the energy of a little puppy, even though he had some mild cataracts. But the past couple of years he's been failing. And finally, early Thursday morning, April 26, 2007, my baby boy crossed the Rainbow Bridge.

Enjoy, Little Guy. Mommy loves you, always.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

It Seems Griping Works

I can go weeks between posts, months even... today?

Three.

Two posts prior I was whining about not having my test results back. Well, I have them back now. Cyber-whining -- it works!

Anyway, the results:

Pap smear? Normal; friable cervix and "polypoid structure" notwithstanding.

FSH (follicle stimulating hormone)? Normal; no signs of menopause.

Thyroid? Normal.

Pelvic ultrasound? Normal; no masses, uterus size, endometrial thickness, ovaries, fallopian tubes, everything is so normal the nurse asked me if there's ANYTHING imperfect about my bodily functions and structures.

Yay! And huh. Weird.

It's not as if I were wanting there to be something wrong, but I thought maybe I'd get some answers or at least a clue what in the hell is going on with me. I have hot flashes, my are periods beyond weird... I'm going to have to change that damned "prematurely perimenopausal" thingie in the title block... see what happens when non-medical personnel try to diagnose themselves?

So I get to go in sometime soon to have an endometrial biopsy. What this entails, apparently, is the use of a standard speculum (oh yippie), followed by the insertion of a tenaculum (described as a little tube with spikes/ prongs on some part of it) into my cervix. A pipelle (thin tube approx. the size of a tube of ink in a ballpoint pen) will then be inserted, which will cause cramping, and a sample of the endometrial lining will be taken and analyzed. The whole process will likely take as long to do as it took for the nurse to explain it to me. Perhaps we'll get some answers from that. Or not.

I have requested drugs. I had a cervical biopsy once. The doctor then (not this doc -- different state) said, "You don't need anything. It's so fast it will be over before you know it." Asshole. That thing HURT! I'm not going in there without some kind of sedative. I don't think the man wants me going to Hooters and knocking back a few prior to the biposy.

The one thing I gave them problems with was figuring out when to schedule this wonderfulness. They like to do this in the "luteal" phase of the cycle, which if I remember correctly -- give me a break, it's been like 15 minutes since I spoke to them -- is the week before the onset of my period. Question is, when WILL that sneaky little thing opt to show up next?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Oh, and changed the "about me" blurb. Heh.

Degrees of Cuteness

In lighter news: I, apparently, am "cuter than a duckling."

This courtesy of my eight-year-old.

He's a bright child. I'm going to go with his assessment.

Still Nothing

First of all, hiyas Speed! Yes, I'm actually updating this thing again, miracle of miracles. Feel free to comment whenever. In fact, all four of my regular readers (do I have that many?), please comment away!

Now, on to the topic at hand.

Last Monday, April 16th, I went to my GYN about this period insanity. His nurse told me I should hear back on the blood testing in the next day or two. I've heard nothing.

I went in Wednesday for the pelvic ultrasound. They said I should hear something in a week to ten days. They've still got time, but at this point? Nada.

The PAP results should have been in within a week. It's the next Tuesday now. And what have I heard? Zip, zero, zilch.

Most of this wouldn't be a problem as they still have time to get the results in. However, I did call the doctor's office regarding the blood tests. The lady I spoke to that time told me I wouldn't hear for (wait for it) a week to ten days. I told her that I'd been told a day or two on the blood work, and I'd like to know because I needed to know if I was going to live or die -- yes I was a bit stressed. She checked the lab results, said they were all in, and she couldn't figure out why I was worried! Did I have any family with a cancer history? (No) No one who died early inexplicably? (No) Well, I was just fine and I'd hear from them on the results as soon as the doctor signed off on them.

Uhm, excuse me? But the reason I was worried is that my GYN himself appears to be convinced there's Something Very Terribly Wrong with me. THAT is why I was panicky. If he'd just said something like, "Well, you've said that your mother told you she had this same type of bleeding pattern, so perimenopause is a possibility and we'll do testing to see if your hormone levels reflect that. On the other hand, abnormal bleeding can also be a sign of various reproductive disorders (he wouldn't have to use the c-word, and could hold it in reserve in case I asked for specifics... which I would have). You don't have any in your family, but I also want to do testing along those lines to rule anything out."

See how easy that was? No panic, none of this, "I don't think you're pre-menopausal or perimenopausal. There are tests I need to run, because there are... 'things'... that can cause this type of bleeding, and we need to find out what's going on."

I hope it's apparent how his actual portrayal of the facts to me might have, I don't know, FREAKED ME OUT???

I'm peeved, in case you couldn't tell.

I also looked over this post and noticed I've used a bunch of question marks in it. I guess that's appropriate because I am questioning what in the hell is going on here. I don't know why my doctor practically dismissed early menopausal symptoms out of hand when he KNOWS my mother's reproductive history. I don't know why I still haven't heard from them officially on the test results when they know I'm scared shitless. I don't know why the woman I spoke to would even THINK to question me about why I'm freaked.

Holy Jesus God, people.

I'm not just peeved. I'm pissed.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Optimism? HAH!

Right. Remember how optimistic I was that my GYN wouldn't dismiss my thoughts about perimenopause out of hand simply due to my age because, oh, he'd been my MOTHER'S doctor, knew her history, and KNEW her last period was at age 41? And KNEW that she started dealing with this crap around my age, perhaps just a year later?

Feh.

So I go to see the man (who is a moody soul, but was fortunately feeling amusing Monday). And I tell him what's going on and remind him of my mother's experience. I do have serious hopes that he'll actually remember this, as he and my folks are friends outside of the scope of his practice.

Well, he did remember my mother's experience. However, his insightful response to my weird periods? Is that they're "abnormal bleeding" (no shit, Sherlock), and that he doesn't think I'm doing the perimenopause thing. No, no, his ideas seem to center more along the lines of there being Something Really Very Seriously Wrong with me.

I went home and fretted hugely about the "C-word" since I googled all sorts of medical terms like a fracking idiot. But then I remembered my mom saying that he'd also told her she was having "abnormal bleeding" when she had THE SAME THING happen to her, period-wise, around my age (like we think bleeding for three weeks is normal???). And he'd done tests. And two D & Cs. And guess what, kids? It was perimenopause she was going through!

(banging head on desk)

I mean, I like the man, moodiness aside. He's not the most "modern" doc out there, and he's somewhere in his sixties, but he's blunt and to the point. He knows his strengths and his limits, and practices accordingly. I respect him as a professional, or I wouldn't be going to him again. He was in my rotation of OBs when I was expecting my first son (he'd just been doing GYN for several years, but got back into the OB gig for a bit), and was very clear that if I couldn't push the kid out and he was on call that I'd be getting a c-section because a) it had been a long time since he'd done a forceps delivery and he wasn't going to risk me or my son by using forceps when he was out of practice, and b) he wasn't trained in using vacuum extraction, so, well, see the explanation to item 'a'.

Now this didn't really tickle my fancy, but I appreciated that he was so straightforward about matters. And fortunately for me the other OB in the practice (WONDERFUL woman! Loved midwives, used many midwifery model methods in her practice, and was utterly ADORED by the hospital nurses) actually stayed on after her call was over to deliver my son.

With a vacuum.

Thanks to her, I've never had major abdominal surgery. Dr. K, wherever you are, you ROCK.

But anyway, back to my current doc. I'm glad that he's being thorough and checking everything. My GP is so laid back I'm sometimes worried he's comatose, but between the two of them I think I've got a good balance of care. And to be very fair, my GYN is having my pituitary function checked (and something else? the brain, she is fried) to see about the hormonal levels just in case I could possibly be correct and have inherited the tendency to early menopause from my mother.

He's requested the records from my now-rather-embarassing run to the ER, and is doing other bloodwork, some of which I've listed and some of which I haven't due to mommy-brain. Additionally, I'm going in tomorrow for a pelvic ultrasound.

Note: I have a bladder the size of a pea. This should be fun, considering I'm supposed to drink some God-awful amount of water an hour prior to the ultrasound and hold it.

So... we'll see what the tests say. Or if the tests require more tests, which is a strong possibility from my GYN's point of view. What really reeks is that I was wanting to wait to do all this until June, when my good medical insurance kicks in rather than this nearly-useless stuff I have now.

The ER visit changed that timeframe. Now I've just got to keep my eyes on all this while it plays out, and pray it doesn't break the bank.

Or me.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Hormones... bleah.

More on the perimenopause from HELL. Stop reading now if this isn't your cup of tea.

Okay, are we all snuggled in now? Good.

Let me tell you a story of a woman in her late thirties. We'll call her "me" for the sake of accuracy. Well, you'll remember how my last period took 41 days to arrive. That selfsame period also took 22 days to depart, finishing off yesterday.

Last weekend I was experiencing frequent episodes of dizziness. I was worried because I was constantly bleeding, so I started myself off on some iron to help with any deficiencies that could be a result of that.

Monday it just got worse. And worse. To the point where I was having to hold a wall to keep my balance, even. Finally, around 3:00, I told one of my bosses what was going on -- and it's really fun to tell an almost-70-year-old man that you're worried you have a blood loss issue -- and went to the ER. I was honestly terrified that I'd just flat lost too much blood. I'd been anemic toward the end of my second pregnancy, dangerously so until it was caught, so yeah. Concerned, that was me.

So... I parked myself at the ER. The doctor, by the way, was a really neat lady, and a total hoot! She did a quick pelvic (I'd stopped bleeding for a little bit, of course), and then ordered all kinds of fun tests, including hematocrit (sp?) and yet ANOTHER pregnancy test. I also had my heart rate monitored, and had my blood pressure taken lying down, sitting, and standing.

Eventually she came back in and told me that a) I wasn't pregnant (we'd kind of figured that, but it was good to have a second confirmation via blood test), b) my hematocrit was good, and c) that my blood pressure, heart rate, blood sugar, and whatever else they tested weren't just good but PERFECT.

Uhm, okay. Now we know what it's NOT. She recommended I see my doctors. I concurred.

So Wednesday I went to see my GP, told him what had gone on, and he determined that the dizziness was due to an inner ear problem, which he said would likely self-resolve as it had been improving anyway. I think he was right, because I'm not dizzy anymore.

He also asked how my husband was handling the never-ending period, because, and I quote, "He isn't getting to have any fun!"

Sure. Because MY first priority, when I've been bleeding for THREE FRACKING WEEKS, is how my HUSBAND is handling his lack of sex life. Oy gevalt. Bless his little heart.

Next up is my appointment with my GYN on Monday. I couldn't get through to their office on Tuesday, so on Thursday I just went up to the med complex and made the appointment in person. The lady who did my intake asked me if there was a particular problem for which I'd like to see the doc, other than just an annual exam. I explained the whole period-that-wouldn't-arrive-then-wouldn't-leave drama, and she promptly put down that I was having perimenopausal symptoms.

It helps that my GYN is also my mother's GYN, and knows that she had her last period at age 41. I'm a little younger, but Mom also had a baby at 36, so that may have put her off a little, is my guess. So at least we have family history going for me.

We'll see how it goes. I'm optimistic that I won't have to do like many women I've heard about who have to argue with their doctors that, no, they aren't too young for this to be menopause, thankyouverymuch. Yes, it's premature, but it does happen. If it didn't, they wouldn't have a category called "premature menopause," now would they?

After that? Something to stop the damned bleeding. Ye gods, I'm tired of it.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Birthday

Well, I've changed some of that funky stuff up in the title block thingie as now I am officially 37, rather than just "nearly."

Not much to say about the birthday. I took the day off from work, took the kids to daycare (yes, I'm a bad mother), and proceeded to do nothing around the house except wash the dishes and scoop the litter boxes. Beyond that? I sat on my duff and read a book.

It was one of the best birthdays I've had in years. It's also the first day I took off just for me in almost two years. The last time I took a personal day off was just before our wedding anniversary in 2005. I was determined to get our bedroom looking nice, as I wanted the nuptial nookie I was envisioning to take place in a room that wasn't overrun with laundry, kid droppings (toys, people!), and other assorted piles.

Well, I got the room scraped up and proceeded to scrub at some spots on the carpet. This was where I really went wrong, apparently, because as I tried to get up from the floor my back screamed at me.

It continued to yell for the next three days. Nuptial nookie? Yeah, right.

So anyway, happy birthday to me! Hey, it's better than the alternative. Now I've just got to finish that book I started reading.