I Am Sick & Tired of Being Sick & Tired

I’m over it.  I want to be able to write witty blog posts about the antics of my hilarious children. I want to complain about normal mom problems, like the Halloween Hangover (the struggle is real!) What I don’t want to be doing is writing yet another blog post about my ongoing health problems, and yet here I am.

It is easier for me to have a blog that people can read to keep up with my saga so I don’t have to explain it a thousand times.  I love talking to people, I just don’t love always talking about my crappy health.  And I know that the people who love me (and not to brag or anything, but there are a lot of you) are just worried and want to see how I am doing.  I wish the answer was that I am great, but the truth is a lot more complicated.

Some things are great- my girls are four and a half now, and although they have their moments, in general I am loving this age.  They are cute and funny and still think I am cool, but are old enough to entertain themselves sometimes. My husband is working hours that both of us hate, but there is never a moment I have any doubt that he is my perfect partner in this nutty life.  Our new apartment is great, and we are loving a break from the stress of home ownership (no more lawn maintenance and when something breaks we just call the building to fix it!!)

Mommies In Need is growing beautifully and we just accepted our 17th family, and are about to celebrate our 2 year anniversary, and I am loving my new part-time job at my dad’s company (I get to talk to adults! And go to the bathroom by myself!)

And yet I was hospitalized this week… that’s not so great.

Since I wrote Just Keep Swimming, a lot has happened.  My surgeon went ahead and cauterized all those bleeds, which seemed to be working…that is until I went to get my blood checked and found myself at a hemoglobin of 7 (which is almost to the point of needing a blood transfusion.) So we scheduled another scope (a colonoscopy for a person with no colon) and the surgeon found…nothing.  Everything was healed and my j-pouch (fake colon made out of my small intestines) looked good.

That would be good news except my hematologist (blood doctor, I have a specialist for everything) said that kind of a drop could only be explained by bleeding.  The problem then became figuring out where this mystery bleeding was coming from.

I went to my GI who had this theory about me having disappearing- reappearing ulcers in the scar tissue where they cut apart my small intestines to make my j-pouch.  That made sense to me and I was all set to follow his plan that we watch my blood and go in and cauterize the ulcers whenever they come back and just hope that the tissue will regenerate over time (with a possible trip to a hyperbaric chamber to speed up that process.)

Then on Tuesday I started bleeding ****TMI Warning, if you are offended easily by bodily functions please stop reading now****

Now, a certain small amount of rectal bleeding is normal for me-once again, stop envying my glamorous life.  But this was a whole different thing.  After four or five trips to the bathroom with nothing but large amounts of blood, I texted my internist and asked at what point I needed to go to the ER.  Her answer was, “NOW. Go Now.”

So I did.  Luckily Mike was home and my mom could take me so off we went.  After hours in the ER they decided that they needed to check me into the hospital overnight because if this type of bleeding kept up eventually I would need a transfusion.

Luckily, around 2 am I stopped having as much blood, but the on-call GI still decided to do another scope to see what was going on.  The good news- my pouch looked fine again! No re-occurrence of the ulcers, everything was normal.  He said the only thing he saw was some hemorrhoids.

Seriously?!!  I was hospitalized for HEMORRHOIDS?!!  I asked if it was even possible to loose that much blood from hemorrhoids and he said, “Oh, yeah.  I had a guy almost die because one was attached to a blood vessel.” Not helpful dude.

Now I am planning all my follow up appointments to deal with my hemorrhoids from hell and waiting to see if my surgeon thinks he can fix them.

So if you ask me how I’m doing, these days I will probably just respond, “Hanging In There,” or “Well, I’m Here.” But if I’m really in a mood I might say something like, “Bleeding out of my ass, how about you?”

If I do, please forgive my rudeness, I’m just really fucking tired.

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As Always, Making the Hospital look GOOD!

 

 

 

 

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Brave October

Today, I faced a huge fear, conquered it, and feel like a superhero!  What did I do? I gave myself a B12 shot (the B12 might also be part of the reason I feel so good!)

If you have been reading this blog at all, you probably already know that I have been through a lot of medical stuff, some of which was extremely painful.  If this is your first time here, you can visit A Brief Timeline of Crazy to catch up. I get IV iron infusions and bloodwork every week and have had 5 major surgeries and several minor ones in the past few years, so rationally I shouldn’t have a problem with giving myself one little shot.  But, as my husband can attest, I am not confined by the bounds of rationality.

When other people give me shots or take my blood or cut me open, I don’t have to look!  My fear is of the sight of a needle going into skin, not the feel of it.  But today I needed to get my B12 shot (I have severe anemia and a combo of weekly B12 and IV iron is the only thing that keeps me upright) and no one was around to give it to me.  I really didn’t want yet another doctor visit for something so small and I have all the supplies at home.  So I put on my big girl yoga pants (well actually pulled them down, the shot went in my upper thigh) and gave myself the shot.  And I didn’t even take a Xanax before doing it.  And guess what?  I was ok!  I didn’t faint, or cry, or stab an artery or anything.  I gave myself the shot and then went about my day.

But I had a little extra pep in my step.  I faced that fear and I totally owned it!  So I started thinking… being brave and facing something that really frightened me gave me a burst of energy and confidence… maybe it could do the same thing for other people… Halloween is supposed to be scary… Halloween is in October…wouldn’t it be cool if I could get people to challenge themselves and do something that scares them in October, to be brave…I’ve been hearing that word everywhere lately…I could call it Brave October or Bravetober…Bravetober sounds ridiculous, Brave October is probably better…I can be all #BraveOctober everywhere…Wow, those people already have a huge blowup spider in their yard…Oh crap, tomorrow is the first day of October, how did that happen?…I should probably get started with this thing if I’m gonna do it…It’s awesome that my kids don’t like chocolate, I get to eat all their candy… I could really use a Milky Way right now…

That went on for quite awhile until got myself some candy and decided that I was going to take those random thoughts and use them to create #BraveOctober.

Here are the rules of the Brave October challenge.  This month, do something that scares you and then let the world know about it by posting about it on Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter- you can simply write about it or include pictures/video if you want!  Then challenge your friends to do the same and use the # BraveOctober. If you want to use this as a platform to raise money for your favorite charity, awesome! But the real point of Brave October is to get people to step out of their comfort zone and do something they have been holding back on because of fear.

Maybe it’s something like riding a roller coaster or petting a snake at the Zoo. Maybe it’s submitting a piece of poetry to a publisher or signing up for that open mike night you have always wanted to do. Maybe it’s sharing a personal story that you have kept to yourself and finally getting to talk about it so that weight doesn’t feel quite so heavy.  Maybe it is standing up for somebody when your first instinct is to walk away.  And sometimes, maybe being brave is just getting out of bed in the morning and facing the day.

Whatever it means to you, let’s start being brave. There is a lot to be afraid of in this world- I live in Dallas, we had our the nation’s first confirmed case of Ebola reported today at the hospital I go to 1-2 times a week!  While I can’t do anything about that, I can stop being afraid of doing some things that would be positive in my life.  Like deciding that I can take an exercise class even though without a doubt I would be the most out of shape person there. Or finally having the courage to leave the house with my kids in their big girl underwear and trust that even if it is a disaster I will live through it.

Let’s do this people.  Help me make #BraveOctober a thing!

It's almost Halloween, let's all be brave! #BraveOctober
It’s almost Halloween, let’s all be brave! #BraveOctober