Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Stinkin' Pluerisy

Four bouts of Pluerisy in the past two and a half weeks.


Good news is that "A" is able to help use a chiropractive move to help alleviate the pressure from a hiatal hernia which seems to be partially at the root of some of the issue.

More good news (or not) is that vomitting seems to take care of the rest of it.

I don't really like to vomit. In fact, I can remember quite a few times of thinking that if I could vomit I would probably feel better; then going quite a ways out of my way to try to avoid it.

The pain from the pluerisy is massive. And the nausea and stomach pain is horrendous. Vomitting makes it all go away... eventually. Did I mention I hate to vomit?

It's not like I really have much say in the matter, when it comes down to it. You combine extreme pain with stomach upset and things kind of take care of themselves. But I am learning to not fight it quite as much and give into it.

Last I've talked to was ER doctors only; and they were all convinced that the hiatal hernia has nothing to do with the pluerisy. But, I'm now completely convinced that the pluerisy starts about two minutes after stomach upset from the hiatal hernia. Treatment for the hernia is trying to adjust eating behavior first, then perhaps surgery if that doesn't work. So, I'm focusing on trying to eat very small meals every two hours; sleeping at a 45 degree angle. Anything I can do to avoid kicking off stomach/heartburn issues.

I see my regular doctor on Jan 20th; which is a ways away. If I can get it to stop the attacks on my own before then, all the better. If I can't at least I can tell him what I've been doing so we can start planning next steps.

... you know me.... even if I don't have a solution, if I have a plan, I feel better.

In the meantime, I am about five weeks in on the new job. I have had next-to-no training because everyone has been on PTO for the most part; but I've still been able to contribute an itty-bitty-bit. I am now bored to tears for the most part; but expect that to change with the new years. I figure that I can just use the down time I have right now to recharge my batteries after wearing myself out in the old position. With my constant fatigue, I don't feel great right now; but I do feel much better than I have in a long time... so it does seem to make a difference.

On the kid front... "a" had a great Christmas. "A" had an ok Christmas... but he also got to experience things a little bit from a different perspective this year. He's living with his new gf who has a four year old son. And he went out of his way to make sure that little boy had an awesome holiday. He and I have chatted (a little) about it; and I truly feel that while I certainly made some mistakes in raising him; that one of the things I did well was to "gift" him a wonder for Christmas that he's dying to share. That... that I did right. I was really proud of how he tried to surprise both his gf and her son and give them a really special holiday.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A couple of months later....

There have been a few health improvements; and not-so-much issues post-surgery.

I'm still having pluerisy attacks, not as frequent as before.... but intense, none the less.

Next to last one stunk the worst - I was driving home from Iowa City with "a" after he spent the weekend with dad. On Interstate 80, I got hit by a wave of pain... tried to drive through it for the first five minutes or so; before the dizziness become overwhelming. Pulled onto an off ramp; and sat there for 20 minutes trying to decide what to do.

I broke down and called an ambulance because I couldn't sit by the freeway for hours even though I was pretty sure that there wouldn't be anything the hospital could do for me... but felt pretty desparate and uncomfortable.


In the meantime, there hasn't been anything exciting or fun going on in my life for a bit. I've been struggling and frustrated at work - but didn't want to spend time venting.

My mid-year review came along after two co-workers nominated me for a special recognition at work for service excellence. And I got rated barely above mediocre by my manager. Another symptom of being under appreciated. Last year I didn't get a raise, and while I would understand it if few people on my team got raises due to economy... the truth is that the company I work for had good returns last year in spite of the economy. And co-workers who we have trouble convincing them that they could pull a little more weight got some pretty hefty raises.

So, figuring that I'm being un-appreciated, and not recognized by management as being a valued member of the team (just co-workers) and being that I am pretty sure I'm being set up to be missed again for raises. I've also been informed that a promotion is not going to ever be in the works if I stay where I am....

I am tired of complaining. I figured it was time I do something about it.

So.... I just applied for and got a transfer to another position in another department. It's a lateral move, but they are planning on giving me a promotion within a few months of starting and there's lots of room to go from there.

The manager is used to working with other technical people and isn't as touchy-feely/sensitive as my current manager. OMB.... I am really nervous about starting over. But thankful I get a chance to keep my benefits, seniority, etc.

I'll be getting back into development again doing a lot of what I do now but in an entirely different type of world. So, I will get a chance to keep doing design as well, but also get to improve my coding skills.... :-)

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Ugh .... third episode of pluerisy in three weeks. I caved about twenty minutes in and called A for help. I didn't want to go to the emergency room yet again. All they do is run tests to make sure it isn't a heart attack nor pulmonary embolism... but they will give pain killers so that I can breathe again. A accused me of becoming a druggie because I confessed to wanting to go in so the pain would stop. Of course, this was ten minutes after chewing me out because I wasn't taking the pain killers when I was pain free.

Here is how it goes down... I have been pain-free since the last bout with pluerisy, about four days. So, no sense taking pain killers if there is no pain. Went to sleep on a full stomache around 9 pm. At 1 am I was awoken from a deep sleep with this intense, can't take a regular breath kind of pain. I immediately took a pain killer and focused on getting as deep a breath as I can tolerate the pain of and trying to relax. But the pain is so intense, it feels like your lungs are on fire and someone is cutting them out of your body at the same time.

After twenty minutes, I am I utter agony and not knowing what else to do, I call A (who is at the bar) to come and help me thinking I was stuck going to the emergency room. After he yelled at me for not taking the pain killers, then accusing me of becoming an adict, he accused me of either wanting to die or making it all up because I want the drama in my life. I told him to get out. That if I couldn't stand the pain for another ten minutes I would call an ambulance instead. Thankfully, by then it the pain meds had finally started to kick in instead.

I know that 95% of his attack was because everytime he sees me like that he remembers my near-death when he was 16. But that doesn't excuse his treatment of me. I was sitting there trying to get air into my lungs, pale, shaking and barely able to walk due to pain and he is accusing me of loving the drama. Sigh.

But, truth is... it would have been mostly useless to go to the emergency room... I don't know what I expected him to do. Its not like he has a way to help me with the pain while I am waiting for the pain pills to kick in.

I will eventually find a way to forgive his behavior... he's the only family I really have other than my eight year old son. I have never felt so alone as I did when I told him to leave last night.

Add to it feeling like I am walking some sort of tightrope where I never know when I will be struck down with this again. All things considered, its good that even if there is no treatment for it that it doesn't cause any long term damage... but the intensity of the pain just drops you. Then add how hard it becomes to breath and how oxygen levels drop as a result of that... and its a pretty scary event.

I am going to call the doctor on Monday, maybe he can do some more in depth testing. Or better yet give me some coping skills for during an attack... 40 minutes of shockingly intense pain coupled with difficulty breathing ... is a REALLY long 40 minutes.
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Monday, May 30, 2011


I have two remaining debt payments to make to get to debt-free with companies. Then I owe a dear friend some repayments. Not sure she will accept cash repayments so I am trying to plan something a little more special in hopes that it will allow me to repay her for her generousity when I was literally at the end of my rope.

The last couple of years have been quite brutal, but all the cost cutting and frugality has paid off.

Next is my surgery in two weeks... I dare to dream that it will help with more than the cramping... wouldn't be amazing if in a few months not only would I be debt free but also out of pain and not feeling like a 90 yr old woman who spends her evenings and weekends in bed.

If I can get those parts of my life in order.... then maybe I can start dealing with correcting another portion of my life. My job. I am NOT calling my current job my career intentionally... sigh. The sad thing is that I enjoy what I do, when I get to do it. I have great coworkers. My coworkers respect me an feel like I am a cornerstone in our department. Which helps me maintain my confidence that I am providing a needed service. But my managers are extremely critical, shut me down and are constantly complaining about me. Every time I try to explain the processes we have developed as a team or actual issues that we need to solution for, they can't understand me. I find it really frustrating because I normally pride myself on being able to take technical information and translate it to a form that just about anyone can follow. The issue is that these two particular people don't listen to understand. They shut down early in the conversation. So basically they ask me to explain myself, then stop paying attention, then criticize me when they walk out confused. I haven't been in a place over the last two years where I could afford to take any risks with my career... so I have been doing my best at biting my tongue and grinning and bearing it.

But if my health really does improve, its time for me to find a new career path that gets me away from these idiots. I would love to find a way to do something of true value instead of pushing papers for mortgages. But I am pretty darn certain I would end up getting a drastic pay cut and I am uncomfortable even thinking about giving up my 24 days of PTO a year. Sigh. So I may end up just trying to find something else within the company first.... feed my soul with the charity knitting instead and keep the posh salary as best I can. But at least I can look for a position where the management staff aren't so idiotic as to treat one of their star performers as if they are dirt.

Am really hopeful that this surgery eases things... I hate feeling so stuck.
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Sunday, April 10, 2011


So I was chatting with a co-worker and declaing my love for therapad heating pads for dealing with menstral cramps. Told her how I've stocked up on them and if I was smart, I should invest in the company to get some of my money back.

When it dawned on me that there won't be any more cramps in a couple of months. Its funny how mind bending the concept of life without cramps can be when your life gets scheduled around them for years.

So now I am also realizing that I need to prepare for the next stage. Since HRT has been ruled out, but at least I am off the blood thinners, I should be able to try some of the herbal options out there. I will be on thinners a couple of weeks after the surgery, but after that I should be able to experiment a bit with non Rx options as long as I do my research thoroughly first.

Can't wait.

But will be really happy when the pain is gone.
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Tuesday, April 05, 2011

It's official

I go in for my partial hysterectomy on June 14th.

I still have a chance to change my mind about it, but honestly? it's such a relief having it scheduled, that I can't wait for it.

The numbers are as follows - there's less than a 2% chance that they won't have to take the ovaries.

There's a 50-50 chance that they can do the surgery using laproscopy... which would mean one night in the hospital and a six day recovery.

If they can't they'll switch to the regular insiscion near my c/s scar - which means two nights in the hospital and four to six weeks for recovery.

So, I'm pretty thrilled that it sounds like an opportunity to at least try to do the minimal surgery.

They're going to do the blood thinners after surgery, the compression boots and get me up and walking asap.... but no guarantees that I won't clot. But, the risk is pretty low because they are being so proactive about it.

Surgically induced menopause without HRT can last six months to two years. Sigh. And depending on how quick it goes, it may be pretty intense. But that said, I would almost rather an intense but brief experience if I had my druthers.

The odds of success are fairly high, not perfect - which was part of the battle for me deciding to do it; but I've reached the point where I can't see a future continuing as I have been.

The 2 days of intense pain every 21 days was bad enough; but now I'm cramping the entire month... and? sigh.... intense cramps after a climax. Ok, I don't know how anyone else views that, but I think it's a cruel joke and must stop. Makes you wonder about the women who don't like sex, add seriously bad cramping and I would eventually not like it either (well, I can imagine that anyway).

Anyway, it's done & scheduled ...... wooosh!!!!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Camping in February

Yep, you read that heading correctly, we went camping last weekend - in February.

We started with banding wild birds...

the back of the head you see & the hands using the plyers? That would be 'a'. He did an excellent job banding a wild Goldfinch.

Then there was ice fishing:

Then there was sledding... some reason, I'm having trouble getting the video loaded.

And campfire smores.

Then dinner followed by digging through OWL pellet (vomit) for rodent bones.

Then there were a dozen young boys doing their best rough housing and running in circles to avoid sleeping.

And there were dads. Lots of dads. In our cabin there were about 12 young cub scouts, and about 11 dads, and me. The only mom. They were great; but lets face it, it was a little awkward. To be completely honest, I think they drew short straws to figure out who was going to be stuck in the bunk room with the "girl". But, they were great with the boys.

And above all else, there was fun. Yes, there was fun.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

time off

Don't know how much it is going to help my attitude, but I set 'a' and myself up for a long weekend at an indoor waterpark.

Figured that I needed a break and he'll get to have fun.

Plus January will go faster... one weekend away, he has a snow tubing trip another weekend, and a third weekend for staying at dads.

February has a weekend camping trip (sleeping in a warm lodge) and a couple of other busy weekends besides.

Hoping we can try to keep busy to forget its winter?
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Monday, January 03, 2011

A New Year

This past year was a little tough. I struggled with some basic things. As I have gotten older, my attitude has suffered, I seem to get more rude and add the health issues... and well, it's not pretty.

Even if I don't solve all my problems overnight... my debt has been cut by 50%. I own my car outright. I live on about 60% of my income.

I am a smart gal, if I can figure out a way to rig the lottery (j/k .... though I am now buying tickets).... or maybe figure out a new place for myself so I am not kicking myself daily for working where I am now. I can find better ways to volunteer my time to feel more fulfilled. Fwiw, I donated several hand knit and purchased items to the homeless shelter, a lap-gan to the veterans hospital, hats to homeless camps, and hats & gloves to needy children in December... went a long way toward filling that emptiness I have been struggling with the last several months.

'A' moved into an apartment he's sharing with a friend. He now has his own car and is making regular payments on his fines. He's really appreciative of the little things like having his own bedroom where he can shut his door if he wants privacy. (Insert evil laugh here).

Anyway, things are better this year than last. So I need to put on my big girl panties and get along with others and get on with it. (I just wish I felt better... sigh.)
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