Friday, and now I have the flu

Tuesday I drove down to Rochester for my injection. They decided that since the last one didn’t last as long as hoped, they would do this one with less steroid and more “needling”. Basically, more poking at the painful muscle, in order to convince it to stop whining. It has been screaming since then. the acts of sitting up and laying down have been awful unless I used just the muscles in my arms. I did go back to the Lidocaine patches today and that helped a bit.

Yesterday was the last of my bronchitis, but the start of a really achey flu. I slept on and off ’til noon, then I took a two hour nap this afternoon. It’s completely ridiculous. The Dad has it too.

Also, just for fun, my pap smear in January came back abnormal, and positive for HPV. It’s a recurrence from when I had it in 2004. I had my colposcopy to check for precancerous cells on Wednesday morning. My regular OB doesn’t do them, so it was a doc in the practice I hadn’t met yet. She asked a bunch of questions about my health and life and it was so sad she had to hug me. It was surprisingly not weird hugging a stranger while not wearing pants. Well, I mean, she was about to stick stuff in my vagina, so how much more personal could it get? The results came in today and everything is fine!

Our Minnesota Sacred Harp singing group is having its all-day singing tomorrow, and we’re not going because we feel like shit.

And still, I’m way happier than I was a year ago. There is hope that I will be ok, there is hope that I will someday have a living child, and I feel so much stronger and able to get through. My new-found strength is mainly due to a program I’m in that I’ll write about in my next post.

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Further update

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!