Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Whats Your Inner Gender

This really doesn't suprise me much... still have to finish the tag me-me, but I'll work on trying to figure out eight things to write about me and get it posted.

Your Inner Gender is Male

You are rational, matter of fact, and quite dominant.
You like to get things done, without any emotional messiness.
You truly don't understand most women. And you definitely feel more comfortable around men.
No doubt about it. You're a guy - at least on the inside.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

this is cool

Click to view my Personality Profile page

I've been tagged - but have no one to tag

Besides Stephanie who isn't checking her own blog or writing any more... the only other blogger I know tagged me... well, except I read the Dilbert guy's blog, but pretty sure he wouldn't want me tagging him, huh? oh, man, this is going to be tough.

Note: took me five days to finish this post.

"Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog."

  • I no longer trust the doctors. The experts don't know everything, but I should learn to at least trust some of them. Easier said than done.
  • I'm really letting the stress get to me lately. I need to "let go" more often.
  • I paint my toenails, but not my fingernails - go figure.
  • I need to sleep with the tv on... too many bumps in the night got to me at the old house - and having background noise helped me sleep through the night.
  • I've gone from being all about writing checks to writing about three a month. Besides on-line bill-pay and debit card at the pump & checkout... there are two checks to the daycare and about a check a month to some place where I just didn't have my debit card handy.
  • I'm cheap, cheap, cheap, but love technology. I have a flat-screen monitor at home only because my monitor died, and I found one on-line only $10 more than a regular monitor. I have a HD LCD tv - because my 26 inch regular tv died, and I found one on-line for under $200 - and I snagged that deal. I have a camera phone - but it was a free upgrade. "a"s portable dvd player died - and I've been shopping online - I'm trying to snag one on ebay, but am not paying more than $50 for it.
  • I've decided that if I want another romantic relationship, I can't camp out in front of the tv every night and not take chances. I've made it a goal to flirt with five different men every week. It's Friday, and I only managed to flirt with two guys - so I'm going online to throw some "flirts" out.
  • First thing I do every night when I get home from work? Strip off the bra... lol

Saturday, July 28, 2007

I'm feeling down

"a" is at dad's this weekend, which is awesome. He gets really excited about going, and although when he's gone a long time he gets homesick, he does really enjoy time at dad's. Gives me a chance to tackle the dirty pit that I call home. Not that I've done anything yet, I was up most of the night last night finishing off the last Harry Potter book.

Work is stressful but it's getting better. I've just run out of patience with the co-workers I'm supposed to be babysitting who can't get anything right. I finally sent an email that was pretty pc, but basically still stating how ridiculous it is to maintain two sets of documentation when the second group can't find their a** from a whole in the ground. They are constantly making copy/paste errors in Excel and with a 2000 spreadsheet, I can't be expected to know every day if it's current or right. I can tell you my 2000 row database is right and the spreadsheet I pull out of it weekly is right - but the rest of it's just nuts. The good news is that enough people are realizing that you can't always pull an elephant out of a hat and that they need some more realistic deadlines. So the official statement is that we still go live on go live date - but that nobody uses it until it gets cleaned up. Whatever - hope the stock brokers and market feel that it's fine since that's probably the only reason we're sticking our guns to "dates".

Oh, and good news... "a" is pretty much potty trained. NO MORE DIAPERS - how awesome is that? We still have to have regular discussions about number two... as "a" believes going poo in the pot is "gross" and mommy feels that cleaning up poo from underwear is "gross". But, we'll get there. He doesn't have any "wet" accidents at all. So, I'm pretty pleased. His dad worked with him when he was there for a couple of weeks at the end of June - and the week after his birthday school suggested going without diapers, and it seems to be working.

In the meantime, I've just been feeling pretty down... missing my mom, tired of living without a man in my life, tired of doing it all on my own. I've thought about returning back to counseling again, I just don't think I want to drive out as far as the counselor I was seeing last winter. Would like to find someone closer to home or work.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Need to brain dump

  • work is insane and there's no way we'll ever make the completely impossible deadline and really have a working system. It's a MAJOR new system with a HUGE set of systems interfacing each other and they still can't get a single application through the user interface. Our own piece, just one small piece of the puzzle? We've only completed maybe a tenth of the testing we should do just testing the interface... and are supposed to have ALL defects fixed by this Friday... when we know there's probably a good chance we don't even know all the defects. Good news is that it's really more of a "publicity" thing that we're going to deploy in August because they don't want it to go public that we missed the deadline. Users probably won't touch the system until it's in better shape. Kind of like Microsoft Office or Windows with all the "known" bugs...
  • The doctor had the nerve to suggest that the ever increasing un-diagnosed breast pain that's been bothering me now for three months is related to a brand new bruise that is only three days old and I knew when I bumped my arm that I would probably get a bruise.
  • My sister's apartment (which is in a basement) has flooded for the third time in 18 months. Good news is that she's finally to the "angry" stage of grieving... bad news is that she's venting to me.
  • "a" is finally doing a REALLY good job potty training. He's been diaperless for two weeks now, and has only had dirty underwear - he's gone two full days without a wet accident.
  • "A" is dating miss 15 yr old again - this time under CAREFUL supervision of the parents, they can only be alone in VERY public places. I'm ok with that. "A" is coping with it pretty well. Afraid he's going to want to propose to her post-graduation; he's thinking long-term already. Good news is that it's three years away, so who knows what will happen in three years.
  • Tried to buy a kids outfit from the clearance rack at Walmart - couldn't as it was on "recall"... tried to joke with the cashier that I didn't want "dangerous" clothes, but don't think her English was good enough to figure out the joke.
  • Had an alergic reaction to the expensive & unnecessary tests two weeks ago. Good news is that I can probably now talk them out of running that test every time they "don't" get that it's probably not that. Bad news is that if I have that issue - I'm no longer going to be eligible to get the test I might need.
  • Got a wasp sting on my cheekbone - they have a wasps/hornets nest at the playground at the apartment complex. I swell up like a balloon... ice is helping, but man, it still stings... feel llike a big baby. Good news is that it was me and not a child...
  • "a" is having a really tough time being a "little boy". He's got a swim aide that's like a double-innertube, with a seat in the middle of it. He swims the entire length of the pool and gets in and out of the deep end all on his own, he's even been experimenting with pinching his nose and putting his face in the water... but now? He tried to "dive in" head first like the big boys... thankfully I was watching him really carefully and reached him literally seconds after he did it. He had enough time to kick free of the tubes and bob up and back down once. But, now he's scared. Though he keeps saying "I scared him"... which makes me feel terrible. But at least he didn't swallow a ton of water and get really scared of the water itself, I hope. We'll see.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Swelling reduced

Good news - the underarm swelling reduced after two days. I can now put my arm all the way to my side. Still sore and swollen a bit - rest of the arm is a little sore from being held in an unusual position - I tried to "prop" it up a lot - but that doesn't work when you're walking.

Am hoping that things continue to improve. If I'm still having trouble, I guess I'll just wait for the appointment on the 17th. After doc three couldn't find the lump, I rechecked it myself. The lump is still there roughly the same size it was. Just that now it seems to have a "leg" branching off of it... maybe that was always there and i didn't notice it, but I don't think so. Found a second lump about the size of a pea about an inch from the other lump... but am not going to take it seriously just now. It's close to ovulation time and I want to wait and see if it's still there in two weeks before I let it concern me.

I'm convinced the doctors think that I'm a hypochondriac making some of this stuff up, or that I'm seeking medical attention in some way, I need to find one how understands how much I wishI weren't feeling like I need medical attention. I'd love to go back to feeling normal and healthy.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Utter frustratopm

Went to the doctor ( a new one)...

My armpit is now swollen to the point where I cannot rest my arm at my side.

He didn't feel a lump in my breast nor under my arm... they're not visible, but I can find them and I'm not a doctor... and I had two doctors before this guy who were the ones who told me I had them.

He assumed that it's either an inflammation (which is what the other two said) OR it's a clot. Because, obviously, if a person has a clotting disorder, they never have anything else wrong with them besides a clot. I told him I didn't think it was either inflammation (because that's only supposed to last a max of 3 weeks, and I'm heading toward 3 months) nor clot (because none of the symptoms of a clot are present)... and didn't get anywhere.

I had to have a couple of thousand dollars worth of testing to prove that it isn't a clot - and I was right, it isn't.

Now, I'm being treated for inflammation even though I know it can't be that either.

There are basically five possible things that would cause inflammation (which btw isn't helped by taking anti-inflamatory meds)

1) bacterial infection - done the antibiotics, they didn't help
2) viral infection - been three months, this is supposed to only last 3 weeks
3) clot - proven that isn't it due to the damn tests today
4) a benign cyst that will need to be removed
5) a non-benign (cancerous) cyst that will need to be removed.

As far as I can see - the logical course of action would be to biopsy the damn thing to try to figure out if it's 4 or 5 and schedule removal... but the doctors can't get past the first three possibilities. I was sooo mad I cried for almost half an hour at the doctors office - AND I HATE when I cry because I'm angry.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Still wanting better diangosis

I'm waiting a few weeks, if after three more weeks (it's been one week since told to come back in four weeks) if my lump is increased in size. If it has or hasn't grown, I think I'm going to go to someone. Return back to the former doctor if it has grown (because he'll do something if it is increased in size) or go to someone else if it hasn't grown. I've really struggled with this, as I think that I (not unlike a LOT of people) want to believe the doctors when they say it's nothing.

But, the truth is that I've been told twice in my life that I would probably not have permanent nerve/brain damage if only I'd gone in to see a doctor sooner.

The first time was the nerve damage in my wrists from chronic wrist pain. I'd been to about ten doctors in about two to three years... and every last one of them told me that the only thing they could do is recommend ibuprofen for the pain and splints. The splints did help a bit, and I still wear them as needed to this day. But the ibuprofen? that just destroyed my stomach... and it never did anything for the flare-ups I would get. Nurefen plus, now that works REALLY well. AND I've got quite a few left over darvacet so that if I have flare ups before I can get to Canada again (or I bribe Phil into bringing me some from England). But, about ten years later, now, suddenly I have a doctor telling me (actually a couple) that I should have had the surgery years ago. That at this point, they aren't going to do anything (whatever?!) but that if I'd had the surgery back then - I the nerve damage I have now wouldn't be permanent and could have been prevented... if only....

The second time was after I made three to four trips to see my doctor, and ER doctor, and a nuerologist when I was having my TIAs - and got misdiagnosed. I then spent about a month in bed totally unable to walk or function like a human being and went to Iowa City only to be told "if only...." I'd come in and gotten some preventative treatment.

Now, I've got a brand new lump in my breast very much different than any fibroid tumors I've had for as long as I can remember... I'm having pain where the lump is, there is a brand new cyst where the lump is (although the cyst itself is only 4mm) and I've got enlarged lymph nodes. There are three possible scenarios -- the most likely is that it's a simple breast inflamation and nothing else... however, all my searches end up with results that "inflamation" is also known as mastitis, which I've already had antibiotics for and didn't see an improvement. The doctor thinks that it's quite common for women to have pain in one breast (with swollen lymph nodes - but NOT with a lump) for six months or so without seeking doctor assistance nor having any "found" lumps. I do have a lump though - he found it when he was doing his exam. Another possibility is that it's a benign cyst. Although you can't tell if a cyst is benign without a biopsy, a biopsy he refuses to do. A third option is breast cancer. Although it's the least likely possibility; the only way to know for sure is a biopsy. According to this doctor - breast cancer doesn't hurt... only I know better, sometimes it does hurt.

Now, as everyone well knows, I've been struggling with exhaustion and pain for almost two and a half years now... I've had test after test after test all of which came back saying "nothing wrong". I had about five doctors tell my regular doctor it was 1) in my head or 2) fibromyalgia. The doctor I went to to see if it was fibromyalgia told me that it WASN'T fibromyalgia. Just in the last couple of months have I had tests that actually diagnose a condition. After fighting and seeing over a dozen doctors, I've been finally diagnosed as being anemic, potassium deficient, vitamin D deficient and vitamin B12 deficient. All of those cause symptoms of tiredness and pain. Going on supplements has helped a little, I'm still not 100% but after a couple of months of supplements and with the exercise program from the pain management clinic... I'm doing much better... say 60% better - a little more than half-way back to being me.

I only got this much better by pushing and pushing for doctors to pay attention to me... and the news is that even with the very aggressive forms of breast cancer, that early diagnosis is the key to beating breast cancer... I just can't see waiting three months to get my reassurance that it isn't cancerous. I've been able to confirm online that 4mm is NOT too small to do a core biopsy... which isn't what I was told by the doctor who finally at least answered my questions. I don't see a reason to biopsy the "mass" BUT, I do think that the painful lump and/or my lymph nodes could be biopsied without more than a stitch or two and could all be done while I'm still on my blood thinners.

The only other alternative would be to pay for genetic testing for the breast cancer genes... which if I did inherit them from my mom's side of the family would up my cancer risk enough to take any lump seriously. Since neither my sister nor mom have had it... they don't see it as necessary even though I did have four Aunts who have had breast cancer. Trouble is that I don't know enough about my Aunt's diagnosis nor size of tumors at start to know if my situation is that similar. With my aunts and my mom passed, there's no one around to ask about it.

So, I'm going to keep pushing and fighting for my health - after all, if I don't do it who will?
Best case, I don't have cancer and I got a stitch or two to prove it under my arm or in my breast... Worst case, I catch the cancer early enough that I could probably get away with a lumpectomy instead of mastectomy. I just can't imagine that there are women out there suffering breast pain for up to six months (not just during their cycle, or during pregnancy)... and I've never heard anyone who has gone through it. I wonder if it was a lump in the testicles with pain whether they would do the same wait and see approach. Though of course, you know that the mammogram machine was invented by a man - and that no one could ever convince a man to put his testicles in a compressive device like that.