Monday, March 31, 2014

Get Your Updates Here...

Hello, hello.

 All is well.  I did manage to attend my research conference last Thursday:

Not too shabby for two weeks post hysterectomy, right??  I am showered, clean and wearing a dress! (Dress was required because I still am avoiding any sort of pants with a button).  Everyone seemed to really like my research, so that was exciting!  (PS.  Jenn- I am so happy you want to read my capstone! I need you to email me at biogirl79 at gmail dot com (because your comments do not have an email attached) and I will send it to you!)

It went really well, but was extremely exhausting.  It's hard for me to know my limits, or maybe it's hard for me to respect them, but I am trying.  I want to jump back into life, but also don't want to do anything that will set back my recovery time or cause some sort of long term scar tissue damage, so I am still trying to take it easy.

I finally got to see my doctor on Friday and talking with him about my trip to the ER was MUCH more comforting.  He seemed to think it did have something to do with the remaining endo or possible scar tissue tearing away.  He did respect the fact that I was saying I was in pain, and never belittled it or acted like it was nothing.  We both agreed that since things seemed to be improving, it was okay to just keep going with the current plan of resting, no lifting, and generally taking it easy.

After talking he did request that I attempt to stay off any type of hormones for the next 6-12 months, rather than just two months.  Apparently I am a prime candidate for having issues with endometriosis even after a hysterectomy, and he said the best way to prevent that is taking an extended break to allow it to all die away.  I am still having pain on that left side, and he said he wants to see if we can get rid of that, which is still caused by the endometrisis.  He said I may always have lingering pain there, but that the longer I stay off hormones, the better it will be.

So... Yeah.  Six months. Or a year.  The hot flashes and night sweats are already a joy. 

Beyond that, I am back to work today, so that's pretty big.  Just doing half time for part of this week, and light duty for a month, so I am easing back in.  Honestly, it's going really well, all things considered! 

Today is also Nick's birthday, and I am happy to celebrate him and his awesomeness.  I am so very lucky to have him.

Happy birthday, husband.  You are very loved.


Thursday, March 27, 2014


Ah! I just realized I haven't posted since Monday where I talked about horrible pain, ER visits and doctors not taking me seriously. This I just disappeared...

 I am fine.  Definitely still recovering and not at 100%, but on my way.  I went to class yesterday, which was a pretty big outing.  Class went well, but walking across campus after was rough.  Today I am doing a poster presentation of my capstone* at a research conference.  I am getting a ride to and from, and cut my hours down at the conference so I am only there a half day.  Tomorrow I have my post op appointment, then Monday I am back to work for a half day.

Baby steps, but getting better.

It's funny because as I slowly attempt to get back into the flow of real life I realize exactly how many things I juggle on a daily basis.  Balls, all kept in the air, labeled mama, wife, sister, daughter, friend, work, school, homework, capstone, tball, cooking, cleaning....  it's a lot.  And as I am working on picking all this back up it seems like the ball labeled blogger might take a back seat.  I will be back.  I just have to get my rhythm.    But don't worry about me!  I am on the up and up.

For now, here is a picture of Henry at his first tball practice.

We have a future major leaguer on our hands... I can feel it.  (And hear it, since every time he throws the ball he makes a sound effect like "HI-YAAAA!" )

*Someone mentioned wanting to read my capstone.  You can find it here!


Monday, March 24, 2014

One Step Forward...

I spend five hours yesterday in the Emergency Room.  So... that sucked.

On Saturday I went to watch Henry's first tball practice (Adorable... blog post to come soon).  It was exhausting, even though I did nothing, but it felt good to be out of the house.  I came home and napped for three hours, then we went back outside that evening to enjoy the beautiful day.  Henry rode his big wheel, I just walked.  Nothing.  I felt like I did nothing.

Sunday morning I started having terrible shooting pain coming from my left side.  It's hard to describe, but it was take your breath away intense and it had me in constant tears.  It was so awful in fact that for the first time in my ten years of fighting endometriosis I decided to go to the Emergency Room.  And at the ER they ran a few tests and decided it was just post surgery pain.  That maybe I pulled something or tore scar tissue away... something that hurts like hell, but nothing dangerous. It was the best answer, but was also a little upsetting because it made the entire trip feel a little pointless since there were no answers.

They did send me to my doctor's office today, but he was out of town so I saw a partner.  It was... not my favorite doctor visit of all time.  I felt like he didn't take me seriously.  He told me to drink more water.  I mean... what?  This isn't intestinal or gas pains here, sir.  This is INTENSE.  And I KNOW PAIN.  But he spent about 90 seconds with me and decided to push me off until Friday when I can see my own doctor.  With the classic "Call if it get's worse.." instructions.  It was extremely upsetting.  And no buddy, I will NEVER call you.

But it is what it is.  It's been a hard 48 hours, but it seems to be getting better.  I agree with the ER doc that I pulled something or had scar tissue issues, but as long as it's improving, it will all be okay.  It just feels like I am going backwards in this healing process.  But I will get there in the end. (Right?)


Friday, March 21, 2014

Still Here, Still on the Mend

Hello. I am here. Just laying around the house healing and what not.

I realized yesterday that I have literally not left my house in a week.  I don't think I have even stepped outside.  That's INSANE.  And what is more insane is that it's not driving me insane.

When they said I needed two to three weeks off work for recovery, then back at light duty for at least two additional weeks, I was skeptical.

Never fails to make me laugh

But turns out these medical professionals know what they are talking about. The actual pain from surgery is MUCH BETTER.  But I am still so easily tired.  Like, I did about three hours of homework yesterday.  I didn't shower or anything before, just sat at the computer and worked.  And when I was done I was EXHAUSTED.  Like, required a three hour nap exhausted.

Beyond the healing and my body rebelling and making me sleep deal, things are pretty good.  I am having pain on my lower left side similar to what was there before the surgery, which is upsetting but I am giving my body time to heal before I freak out about it.  It honestly seems to be improving over these last couple of days.

I am also starting to have symptoms from the lack of hormones.  My hot flashes, which I was already having from the Lupron, have definitely kicked up a notch.  I am also slightly (more than slightly) emotional, and I am thinking that is hormone related.  I have cried during every movie I have watched on break.  I cried when we couldn't find caterpillar, I cried when he was found.  I have teared up several times watching basketball and watching the nightly news... I mean SOME of these would have happened anyway (I LOVE A GOOD BASKETBALL GAME!) but I am giving some credit to my hormones being out of whack.

Family and friends have been amazing.  We are so blessed to have so many wonderful people in our lives.  I have seriously not had to worry about food, childcare, cleaning, school, work, ANYTHING!  It's amazing. And I would feel guilty, except it turns out I really needed this help.  So I am feeling nothing but grateful.

And there I go, crying again.

So that's it. I am still laying around.  Getting better every day.  It's just taking a little time.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Oh The Place's He'll Go...

We found out he will play t-ball for the Cubs this spring.

I got an email yesterday about signing him up for the Kindergarten portal in order to keep track of his grades, his attendance, his assignments once he starts school...

He loves to play with his friends and asks to go to their houses, like a big boy.

He constantly asks us to read things too him and talks about how one day soon he will be able to read things himself.  

The other day as we drove down the street he saw a girl riding her bike and he said "Look Mama, she's a kid, but she is outside... ALONE."  And when I looked at her, she couldn't have been more than few years older than my boy.

I am not sure where the time is going, but I would appreciate it if would slow down, just a little.


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Checking In

Well hello.

How are you all doing? I am pretty good.

I mean, I am down a couple of organs, but who's counting, right?

Honestly, I am pretty sore and surprisingly tired. We spent one night in the hospital, and it changed the entire way I look at in-patient versus out-patient surgery. This surgery was done using the DaVinci robot, so I have four small incisions, so not that different from my other surgeries to remove endometriosis or my left ovary. (I mean, of course this surgery was more complicated, hence the hospital stay and longer recovery time, but the actual incision count was about the same.) And yet the first 24 hours post surgery were SO MUCH EASIER with this surgery than the other six (yes six) because I was in the hospital. Up until now I always bought into the idea that I would rather be home. But as it turns out, I would rather NOT be woken up as quickly as possible to be hurried out the door and into a waiting car.  I MUCH prefer to take full advantage of an IV and catheter while sleeping and letting medical professionals make sure my pain is under control for at least 24 hours.

I mean, look how content I was!

I am choosing to not post a picture of me from right now, but trust that I look less content.

The surgery itself went well.  He found endometriosis was back on that left side where I was having so much pain. He also found it covering my right ovary, which was once again out of alignment.  There was also enough endo everywhere else that he made the decision to not allow me to start hormones right away as originally planned, but to have me wait two months in order to allow all the endo that is still hanging out in my lower half to officially die.

Honestly, this was a little bit of a blow.  I was really banking on starting hormones at the hospital in order to completely avoid that entire menopause mess.  To the extent that I confirmed it with him right before he put me under.  "You have hormones for me, right??" ... I just wasn't planning on fighting with hot flashes and high emotions right now. He agreed before he saw what was going on inside, but now he feel differently.  And that's unfortunate, but it also validates how bad I was feeling.  And I know there is a small chance people can have issues with endometriosis even after a hysterectomy.  My understanding is that occurs when someone takes synthetic hormones and the endo continues to grow.  Whatever he saw, clearly he thinks I am at risk of that.  And that is the LAST thing we want.  So menopause... bring it on.

I would write more, but I am sore and tired.  So... THE END (for today).


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Post Op

Just a quick update to let you all know I am out of surgery and doing well (all things considered). I am in the hospital overnight, which is a huge reason I am doing so okay. I am a big supporter of iv medications :)
Thank you all for your constant thoughts prayers and support. They mean more than I can say.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Watching the Clock

Thanks for all of your kind words about my upcoming surgery. You all always know how to make a girl feel better.

Pain wise, I am actually feeling worse and worse. (Not what you wanted to hear, right?)  It's strange because between the Lupron and the IUD I should actually have NO symptoms of endo right now, and yet... DEAR GOD WHAT IS THIS PAIN AND MISERY.  This pain is shooting through my left side, which oddly enough is the side without an ovary.  It radiates through my back and shoots down my leg and it's toe curlingly painful, even when I take pain medication.  

So that's where I am at.. jealous?  But there isn't much more to say on it.  I hurt, so I am having surgery.  And I am constantly watching the clock waiting for that surgery to arrive.  It's sorta depressing.

Want to see pictures from the weekend to lighten the mood?

I took Henry to the park on Sunday.  I wasn't feeling well, but he LOVED being outside.  I think it was good for us both actually...

Matt came into town this weekend and he and Nick spend the entire time playing video games.  It was like we went back in time ten years, but they both had a blast, which makes me happy.

Matt came bearing gifts for the boy, and he knows the way straight to his heart... a Lego Movie Lego Set.  Well done sir.


Sunday, March 9, 2014

I Am Having Hysterectomy... In Four Days

So now for something completely different...I finished my capstone.  So now let's talk about what else has been going on.

My endometriosis is out of control.  It started to really step up it's level of discomfort back when my shots got out of whack and I was two weeks late on taking one.  And... the ship just never righted itself.  I have had another shot since then, maybe ten days ago, but the pain has only gotten worse.  (that shot, for the record, was ALSO not covered by my insurance.  To date they have paid nothing.)

Wednesday morning I woke up and was not able to get out of bed. The pain was so bad that I was forced to just stay in the fetal position while Nick put on a movie for Henry and we both laid there, waiting for my pain medication to help me be able to stand.

The next night I slept maybe one hour... possibly two.  And the rest of the night I was too uncomfortable to possibly rest. 

And after those two events I realized my plan for a hysterectomy right after graduation were out the door.  How could I possibly wait until summer when I am currently unable to get out of bed or actually fall asleep? 

But how do I have surgery during the busiest time of year in a germination lab while attempting to finish up my last semester of my Master's degree?

But like with all hard decisions, it came down to choosing the option I could live with.  And although I hate to put my work in such a bad place and take off nearly three weeks, and I hate to mess with my final semester, I simply CANNOT deal with this pain anymore.  So, I called the doctor and asked if they could get me in the Thursday before Spring Break (AKA this Thursday) for surgery and they said yes.  That will mean the first week of classes missed will be a week off anyway, and then maybe (MAYBE) I will be feeling well enough to attend class the next week.  If not, my teachers are amazing and they will understand. 

For now, I have to take care of myself.  Somehow I actually felt okay during my capstone defense.  Maybe it was the adrenaline?  I am not sure.  During the final meeting I did have to sit down, but besides that I was okay.  But overall the last week has been very hard.  Yesterday was rough, requiring pain medication and a nap in order to get my pain under control.  Today was worse.  I took medicine and tried to lay with Henry and watch a movie, and I simply could not get past the pain.  To the point of tears.  To the point of more medication and Nick taking Henry out of the house so I could maybe find some relief through sleep.

I don't know what has made it so bad so quickly...maybe I have a major cyst again, maybe my lone remaining ovary has just gone crazy like the left one a couple of years ago, who knows.  But what I know for sure is that I am ready, and I need this surgery as soon as possible.  Part of me is sad of course.  This is it.  The official end to babies.  But 99% of me isn't even thinking of that.  That was decided years ago. The main 99%  is just praying for Thursday to get here, and to finally, FINALLY, have this ten year battle over. 


Friday, March 7, 2014

Mission Accomplished!

Welp, I DID IT!

My capstone defense was today and guys, it went so so well!!  Better than I could have  possibly hoped.

The twenty minute presentation (which I practiced more than any presentation has ever been practiced) Went PERFECTLY!  I didn't even have the shaky voice that I have when speaking in public!  WINNING!

The twenty minutes of question and answer after the presentation went great too.  It mostly felt like we were just talking about my study, rather than feeling like I was under some intense interrogation, which is what I pictured it like in my head.

And the most important part is, I PASSED!  Which translates to, I CAN GRADUATE!

We are off to dinner to celebrate.  Just wanted to jump on here and say thank you all for all the support.  It truly helped.


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Snow Day

**I think I have found a solution to the picture issue, which mainly requires me to give up on Flickr and to start using Google Pictures.  It works well and honestly I should have done it ages ago. I just hate change...**

So we have had a lot of snow here this winter.  I want to make some declaration like it's the snowiest winter in Kentucky's history, but I heard on the radio the other day that that is not even close to true.

But if feeeeeels like it's true.  I don't remember a winter where there were so many days with snow on the ground.  Not that it doesn't snow here, it does!  We get like, two or three snows a year.  Enough to make us fee like we have winter, but not enough to actually make us LIVE in it.

So we have had snow after snow, and each time I think "maybe we should take Henry outside to play in it..." and then I don't.  Because... snow, man.  It's like, cold.  And you have to put on all those layers... and... just.  Let's watch a movie instead.

But THEN we woke up Monday morning to find out that not only had it snowed, but it had snowed SO MUCH that the University was closed!  Nick and I HAD A SNOW DAY TOO!!!

Bundle Up Kiddo.. we are GOING OUTSIDE

Snow Angling it up. LIKE A CHAMP.

The snow wasn't good snowman snow, but WE ARE OUTSIDE.  So Papa did a little improvising on what could be built out of a large mound of driveway snow...

GOOMBA.  (My family is addicted to Nintendo)

It took us until March, but turns out we enjoyed playing in the snow

 Our Goomba is proud.


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Blogger and Flickr Hate Me


IF you all knew how hard I have been working to post one stupid simple little blog post this week, you would all feel really sorry for me.... and now you know, because I am telling you. So FEEL SORRY FOR ME! And be sad for yourselves because you are missing out on some adorable pictures.

Is anybody else having an issue with flickr images no longer being compatible with Blogger? Apparently it has something to do with them changing their embedded images to iframes? I don't even know what that means, but IT IS KILLING ME. Do any bloggers actually use Flickr anymore? Or Blogger for that matter? Can ANYBODY HELP ME? I just want my blog to work. That's all.

I am currently installing Picasa on my computer, since it's run by Google and I figure it should work as long as Blogger works, but this is a HUGE PAIN IN MY ASS because I have used flickr for the last five years. FIVE YEARS OF PHOTOS. Store and embedded from one site that now no longer works.

So, a few questions for the people who know things about stuff:

-How big of a mistake is it to install Picasa without even looking into it? Will I regret this until the end of days?

-Can you fix my flickr problem so I can keep operating in my comfort zone?

-Do you suggest any photo sharing sites that are better/more reliable than Flickr or Picasa for sharing photos on a blog?

 It's days like this that make me want to hang up my blogging shoes.

 Not really.

But sorta.

I would end with a picture here, BUT I CAN'T.