Tuesday, November 30, 2010

To whom it may concern...

As of this afternoon I have given my notice and quit my job! December 17th is my last day and I am very much looking forward to the things that await me in Atlanta.

In other, mostly unrelated, news.... I am having my gallbladder removed next friday. I discussed the results of my HIDA scan with my doctor this morning and we both agreed that it needs to come out.

Although the results of my HIDA scan were in the "normal" percentile range, the fact that I experienced symptoms during the test points to my gallbladder being the main cause of my issues. The doctor explained it to me like this: my gallbladder is running like an old beat up truck. It will still get you from point A to point B, but it's going to gunk up everything around it in the process.

So, Friday December 10th I am leaving behind my gallbladder. The next friday, December 17th, I am leaving my job. Approximately ten days later I am leaving Savannah for our new home.

Clearly December is all about shedding the things that cause me pain and stress. Hopefully this new year in a new city will be better than the last one.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

not the best way to start the day

This morning at 7am I had my HIDA scan. It wasn't what I was expecting (no getting naked) but it still wasn't really a pleasant experience.

If you've never had an IV before (like me prior to this morning) I'll let you in on a little secret... they hurt! I am typically pretty good with needles. Getting blood drawn isn't an issue. I just don't look at the needle and I'm fine. Umm, yeah. That strategy did not work today. The radiologist did a great job and only had to stick me once, but that one time still felt like my arm was being ripped open. I blame it on the fact that they have to use a big needle.

Anyway, the proceedure itself wasn't too bad since I was just laying there for an hour. The worst part was after the 30 minute mark the radiologist woudl inject this stuff into my IV that was essentially the test material. It would show whether or not my gallbladder is doing its job. However, this test fluid has the crappy side effect of making me feel like I'm going to vomit. Every 3 minutes I would get another dose of "thank god I haven't eaten anythign or it would be all over yoru shoes".

After it was all over I got my super cool arm bandage and permission to eat and drink as much as I want.

This would be much better news if I wasn't still feeling nauseous and didn't have this funky metallic taste in my mouth. I coudl also do without looking jaundiced and feeling ridiculously bloated.

My results should be in tomorrow. Hopefully the doctor will at least have something constructive to go on.

Friday, November 19, 2010

I need a minute....

Yesterday my twin/best friend got a huge bomb dropped on her. I had no idea what to say except that I'll be there for her no matter what. And that was and is the God's honest truth.

However, today was my day to process all of the information. My brain handles stuff like this at dial-up speed and I need a good chunk of uninterrupted time to fully process it all.

So, after work and a suprise 40th birthday party for my aunt-in-law, I was able to come home and process. I grabbed cozy pajamas, tummy friendly home made pumpkin spice coffee, and turned Shrek on for comedic relief should it prove necessary. After a few hours I think I'm in the place I need to be in to be able to be there for my BFF.

I honestly feel like the move to Atlanta is even more meant to be now since it will afford me the opportunity to physically be there for her more often than I would be able to if we were still in Savannah. For this, I am thankful.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

hello nausea, it's been a while

As of yesterday pretty much all of my symptoms from September/ October are back in full force. I feel too nauseous to eat and when I force myself to have something so I don't get dizzy I get stabbing pain, bloating, and less than glamorous other issues.

Seriously, last night I was only able to eat a few spoonfuls of mashed potatoes before my body reminded me that it hates me. Mashed potatoes. Probably the least offensive food ever created after dry toast. Which I tried this morning with very poor results. So I'm just sitting here sipping some ginger ale, praying that things calm down a bit.

BTW, whoever made nausea pills that make you even more nauseous if you don't take them with food is a cruel and evil jerk. Same goes for the mouthbreathing creeper who made the pills to relieve stomach pains that must be taken with food or they cause crazy blurred vision and dizziness. Dizziness + nausea = a bad idea.

I'm pretty convinced that my anxiety only serves to worsen my stomach condition (whatever it may be). Yesterday was a terrible day at work... tears, yelling, stress, the works.... and it just seems suspicious to me that my issues flared up immediately after it happened when none of my other triggers (meat, dairy, fried stuff etc.) have so much as looked at me sideways for weeks.

Add this to the list of reasons to get the heck out of dodge.

Last thing I swear: I'm losing followers. This makes me sad. Last time I checked it said 25 and now I'm down to 23. I guess some people are tired of hearing about my weird medical issues and how much I hate my job. I really can't argue with that. I'm gettign pretty sick of it too. But this is my life for now. Maybe I'll be more entertaining/ interesting/ informative when life settles down again.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The naked test?

I had a discussion with ym doctor today to go over my ultrasound results again. After looking at it again the doctor noticed that my galbladder was slightly inflamed so he has scheduled me to go in for what is called a HIDA scan.

As a good patient, I made my way over to google after I got off the phone with him and found this helpful page on the MAYO Clinic website which explains what that particular test involves.

Basically, I have to fast for about 8 hours prior to the test and then a radiologist will hook me up to an IV of a mild radioactive indicator fluid. The fluid will be absorbed into my liver and pass through the galbladder on its way to my small intestine. While this is going on, I will be laying on a table while a gamma ray camera takes images of the indicator fluid's progress. It typically takes about 1.5 - 2 hours during which I'll have to lay completely still so I don't blur the images.

The test will show whether the bile ducts attached to my galbladder are functioning correctly and give an indication as to why it was inflamed on the ultrasound.

My appointment is scheduled for one week from today at 7am.

I'm a little nervous about it, but mostly just because I have to be almost completely naked for the duration of the test. Knowing some complete stranger is going to be sitting next to me while I hang out (pun definitely intended) on their table for 2 hours in nothing but my undies is slightly unsettling.

Still, this test will provide some important information and I'm all for gathering information that could help figure out what's going on with me. I should have the results back when I come back from Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 12, 2010

some answers

The rest of my bloodwork came back yesterday. I don't have Celiac's disease, which is comforting to know.

I also got the results from my abdominal ultrasound. I don't have gallstones or any visible complications on my gllbladder, liver or kidneys.

This is good news. It's a definitive answer that eliminates a lot of potential issues and brings us closer to a diagnosis. However, it also means more tests. As much as I want to know what's wrong, I feel like I need a break from seeing doctors and being poked and prodded all the time.

The vegetarian thing has been working out well with managing my symptoms. The stabbing pain in my stomach is gone as is the nausea and other symptoms. It's difficult to deal with when I get a craving for fried chicken, but I'll skip the chicken if it means I'm not doubled over in pain.

I've also found some great vegetarian recipes that even Steve enjoys! I mastered Spanakopita last week and this week I made a spinach and pasta casserole that was to die for. I'll post recipes later if I can remember. The leftovers made for a delicious lunch. :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

in transition

This weekend was not the best. Yesterday being one of the most frustrating days spent away from work that I've experienced in a very long time. This weekend Steve and I got a chance to see exactly how much our lives, and those of our friends, have changed in the 18 months since we moved away. We got a chance to experience the change in those relationships that we have worked so hard to maintain at their initial awesomeness. The changes are not good in pretty much all but one case.

The worst part is that there is no one to blame. There is no "bad guy" in the situation at all no matter how much I want to place blame on someone. This is just what happens when people with different dreams and different lives make choices which move them toward acheiving those dreams. This is what happens when you choose to live your life. It's what happens when the bonds that secure your friendships aren't as strong as those that pull you toward your dreams.

It's sad. It's frustrating. Regardless, there is nobody really to blame and you have to choose whether to keep moving forward, or try and go back to salvage something of the past.

That's the most difficult part, determining if going back is even an option. Because sometimes no matter how incredible the past was, no part of it was meant to accompany you into the future. Sometimes you have to be grateful for what was and hope for something equally as good in the future.

In this case there is no going back, not now anyway. Steve and I have decided to just stick together through this transition and hope for the best in Atlanta in the new year. Thankfully I still have my twin and we have our families. Other than that it's just us moving together confidently in the direction of our dreams and toward the life we've imagined.

Monday, November 1, 2010

trying something new

For the last week I have been eating a vegetarian diet in order to give my poor digestive system the opportunity to chill out a bit. The last month and a half has been miserable and I needed to find some way to make it even a tiny bit better. Eliminating meat and dairy was a suggestion from my doctor since those things can be rough on the tummy sometimes and I reluctantly gave in and gave it a try. At least, mostly. I still refuse to give up cheese.

Amazingly enough, it's working! I'm not 100% feeling better, but it's enough to allow me to function semi-normal again which feels like heaven after so many weeks of hell. I'm no longer feeling queasy in the morning when I wake up. The stabbing pain after I eat is mostly gone. It's still there when I eat too much and when I try and run, but if I watch myself I can go several hours without being in pain which is a huge improvement!

The down side is that I'm saying goodbye to some of my favorite foods for the time being. I have no idea if this is something that will become a permanent change in my life, but a lot of that decision rests on what news the doctor has for me once my tests all come back. Either way, it's looking like this will be a turkey-free Thanksgiving for me this year. :(

Speaking of tests, my consultation with the gastroenterologist is on Thursday afternoon and the results of my bloodwork should be back any day now. Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers that whatever is causing these problems will be easily identified and treated.