In And Out

February 27, 2017

So there we have it: my bladder and uterus have prolapsed. I saw the gynaecologist this morning and it was a wonderfully easy appointment. I said what I suspected was wrong, he did an exam and confirmed it, then fitted me with a pessary to be used until I decide to have a hysterectomy. Done. Problem identified, addressed and fixed in one appointment, that doesn’t happen to me often.

I gained other information too. Taking into account my age, the number of children I’ve birthed (1) and his birthweight (7lbs 10oz), I shouldn’t have a prolapse. Dr. M believes I have a connective tissue disorder and we discussed Ehlors Danlos Syndrome, which I’ve wondered about in the past. Dr M stated that he doesn’t diagnose that condition, but recommended I see a rheumatologist. I’ve already been referred to one and am, as seems to be the theme of my life, waiting for the appointment. It feels great to have concrete proof of something going on. There can be no doubt that the prolapse is “in my head”. My organs are literally in my vagina. How’s that for evidence?

This appointment was refreshingly lighthearted, and I was in a good mood. Other than the actual exam, which no woman likes to have, it was fine. I even made the receptionist tear up with laughter. When I went to pay for the pessary, which had already been fitted and installed, I pulled out my credit card only to be told they only accept cash or cheque. I looked her in the eye, smiled and said “Do ya want it back?”


Blast From the (Medical) Past

February 14, 2017

I bought a new coat today. My weight is steady, but still much higher than I’m comfortable with. The only warm coat that fits is a colour that doesn’t look good on me and clashes with all my hats and mitts. The North Face store is having a big sale and, sick of feeling unconfident when I walk out of the house, I decided to take advantage of it. I found a great 2 in one jacket, in a colour I like and that flatters me, for 50% off. Unfortunately I brought my purse but neglected to bring my wallet, so I had to go twice. 

The second time I went back I recognised a fellow shopper as a doctor, but couldn’t place him in my past. He was tall, had a dark brown complexion and a mop of greyish black straight hair. He was shopping with his wife and two children a couple years older than my son. His height struck me as his defining feature, but I couldn’t recall if I knew it in relation to myself standing, walking, laying down, or in a wheelchair. 

It took a few minutes, but in the end I remembered him: Dr M, the internalist that diagnosed me with Addison’s Disease 4 years ago. I went up to him, reached out my hand and introduced myself as such. I didn’t know what I intended to say to him, but it all came naturally. I told him that I’ve had other health problems and nothing has been diagnosed as quickly as he diagnosed me. I said I appreciated how well he listened to me and, from the stories I’ve heard from other Addisonians, I was very fortunate to get such a quick diagnosis. He smiled and, from his remark about sending me to ER, I knew he remembered me. 

He asked how I’ve been, twice, and I said that I’ve had other health issues that aren’t being figured out nearly as easily, but I didn’t really go into it. It wouldn’t have been appropriate and I doubt it would have done me any good anyway. He shook my hand again and we parted. His wife’s face beamed with pride and I felt good for having given credit where credit was due. 

Hospital Times Two

February 6, 2017

I didn’t even get a chance to write about one ER visit before I was back for another. I took myself in today. For 4 days I had diahrea and was feeling worse and worse. It was at the point where I didn’t know if gastrointestinal symptoms were causing Addison’s symptoms, or if Addison’s was causing gastrointestinal symptoms. The days leading up to this I felt so alone and not understood. Each extra pill I took I felt like my husband was condemning me for it, even though I knew I needed it. As I got more sick and confused it hurt emotionally more and more. He’s supposed to be my advocate yet won’t learn anything. I’m afraid he won’t be there to save me when I need it. 

So this morning, when I woke up and voided every bit of fluid and the little food I ate the night before, I knew I had to be the one in control. I had to make the decision to go in before I lost my resolve, became confused, and just went back to bed. It was the first time I’ve gone alone to the hospital. Part of me didn’t like it, but another part of me didn’t care. This illness is my lot in life, and why shouldn’t I carry it alone sometimes? We as a family still had stuff to do that day: getting the basement ready for my cousins visit, my son had a birthday party to go to, general housekeeping and chores. Why should none of that happen just because my body is defective?

So I took myself, and I spoke for myself, and I managed by myself. Going was the right thing to do. I was so dehydrated that they couldn’t get a vein, and didn’t even bother trying the regular spots. For the bloodwork she even went in the top of my hand. Each spot they tried is now replaced with a purple bruise. One is even a centimetre away from the one still healing from my fall down the stairs after my experience at the dentist, which I never did write about and now probably won’t. 

The abridged version is that while trying to yell to my dad in the basement I fell down the stairs and dislocated my shoulder. I’m not sure if I fell because I got weak and my legs or ankles buckled or if I passed out for a second. It was more painful than anything else I’ve ever experienced. I had pain medication while in the hospital but passed down the prescription for home for fear of being labeled a pill seeker.

It’s been a rough few weeks. 

I’m so worried about what my son is absorbing throughout all of this. Two days ago he was sick too, with a sore throat, and I couldn’t be the mother I wanted to be. I wanted to tuck him into a freshly made up bed on the couch, and bring him tea sweetened with honey. I wanted to read him books and stroke his hair. I wanted to massage his body and bring him popsicles. But I could only do any of that in 5 or 10 minute spurts. The rest of the time I lay in bed sleeping. During one long nap he wrote me a beautiful note and made me a present. He wrapped it up and hid it, then made me a treasure map so I could find it. I was so touched. He always finds something to do when Mom is sleeping. 

I’m crying now. Illness keeps robbing me of myself.