After the attempt at an IVF cycle failed miserably and painfully and I had a breakdown, I was given most of August off of work to recover. I did another partial hospitalization program, at a different hospital from the one I did in 2011. A much better hospital.
It was really good to have the structure of getting up every morning with somewhere I needed to be without the stress and responsibility of work. As therapy, though, it was more of a stop-gap than actual treatment. It was 6 hours a day, but with an hour for lunch, and an hour of guided meditation, during which I always fell asleep. Support and validation and a little education on distress tolerance were helpful components. I also visited my regular therapist twice a week from August through October.
By the end of September, the pain from the hematoma (what happens when you hemorrhage internally, and the blood sits in there in the way pushing on stuff) finally left.
At the beginning of November my strange abdominal pain and nausea came back. I immediately called Mayo in Rochester for an appointment with their GI department. But, I missed more work days, and despite getting the required doctor’s note, I got fired for absenteeism. I was really disappointed and upset, but, I realized that without the job I could focus on figuring out what was wrong and getting treated. Plus, I wasn’t going to be eligible for paid vacation, and even then, only 1 week a year, until I had been working there 13 months. Also, even though I was doing the same job as one of my co-workers, who had not finished his Master’s degree, which I have, he was full time and a scientist and I was a part time technician. I didn’t have a very good deal.
At Mayo, the gastroenterologist was incredibly thorough, and figured it out within half an hour. This pain and nausea that I had been dealing with on and off for 6 and a half years was not serious and deadly and chronic. It’s called abdominal wall pain, and is very common, but rarely diagnosed. The theory is that most doctors don’t think about it when there’s a possibility of life threatening illnesses. After you rule out all the possible organ failures, someone should think of it, I think. The treatment is a steroid and pain killer injection into the worst part of the pain. I finally got that done November 21st, and within 24 hours, my life was changed. The pain, nausea, exhaustion, anxiety, and even a lot of the depression, so much suckage just stopped.
I had three fabulous pain free weeks. And then I missed two doses of Effexor because Target didn’t fill my prescription the first two times I asked. The night sweats started Sunday night, after the first missed dose. By two hours after the time I should have taken the Monday dose, I was so dizzy that moving my head made the world go black. I got these funny electric shock feelings every once in a while, just little jolts, especially in my hands. There was no possibility of eating. Target finally got my prescription filled so that I was only three hours late on the dose Tuesday morning. The shocks finally stopped Wednesday afternoon. I could eat again Wednesday night, but I was nauseous and a little dizzy for the first few hours of the day for another month. DO NOT miss your Effexor!
About six weeks after the miracle injection, the pain started coming back. The shot shouldn’t be more often than every 12 weeks, so my next one is tomorrow. I’ve been using Lidocaine patches to get me through, and they help a lot.
Wednesday I hope I’ll be done with this bronchitis, and the abdominal wall pain will be gone again, and I will feel great!