11/01/10 – Monday

New month, new banner! Another one by Christine, who saved my bacon once again. Thanks, Christine! You rock, as usual. 🙂 + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +   The 2011 calendars are now available! I’ll link them at the top of … Continue reading “11/01/10 – Monday”

New month, new banner! Another one by Christine, who saved my bacon once again.

Thanks, Christine! You rock, as usual. 🙂

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The 2011 calendars are now available!

I’ll link them at the top of this week’s entries, and there are links in the sidebar to the right ——->

The sidebar links will remain until the end of the year – or until I remember to take them down, which means they very well might be there ’til March.

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Attention, readers in SE Texas and SW Louisiana!

From Metz:

My friend Brinn who lives in Texas is trying to find a new home for her kitty Sheba. The whole story is on a blog post of mine, so you don’t have to take up too much of your space just maybe a quick shout out and link to her story. It is really breaking her heart to do this, Brinn is a super sweet girl and she loves all of her pets so much. But she’s just not able to keep Sheba any more and wants to find the best possible home for her.

Go read more about Sheba here!

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So, remember two months ago when I felt like I had food poisoning for a couple of days, and then I had digestive issues for another week, and I lost 15 pounds in something like 10 days? And then I went to the doctor, and they did a fecal (or whatever it’s called for humans) and found nothing, so referred me to my gastroenterologist, setting the appointment for a month later?

And then after I lost that 15 pounds, I gained it all back plus a couple of pounds, and then I lost 10 pounds and gained 8 back, and just imagine the needle on the scale bouncing back and forth before settling pretty much where it was in the very beginning before the “food poisoning” (or whatever it was).

So at the end of September, I went to see my gastroenterologist, and he came in and gave me a look and was all “Hasn’t it been a while since I last saw you?” and I was all “Yeah, I was supposed to see you last Fall but, uh, I forgot.” and he grabbed that rubber hammer that they use to check your reflexes and pretended like he was going beat me with it.

“Please tell me someone has been monitoring this stuff,” he begged. “This stuff” meaning my liver function levels.

“Uh… not so much,” I said.

He grabbed the rubber hammer again and pretended to beat me with it again.

So, bottom line (har HAR), since I was diagnosed with Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis, the digestive issues I had in August could potentially have been the onset of colitis (most times people who are diagnosed with PSC actually present with colitis before the PSC is discovered) and guess what? OH GO ON, GUESS WHAT. What’s the one thing you expect a gastroenterologist to order which is also the last thing you WANT him to order?

That’s right, it was COLONOSCOPY TIME! WOOHOO!

But do they do the colonoscopy right then to get it over with? Well, no. Because your digestive system has to be squeaky clean before they can go spelunking in your colon. And do they do the colonoscopy, oh, the next week? No, no, no. They do not. What they do is they schedule the test at the next available time, and of course that next available time is a month away. So they schedule you on September 30th for a colonoscopy to take place on October 29th so that YOUR ENTIRE MONTH has a I-am-going-to-have-a-colonoscopy cloud hanging over it. My entire month of October was covered in a slight film of oh-christ-why-me mixed 50/50 with a dusting of fucking-a-jesus-christ-i-don’t-wanna.

And the people you know who have had colonoscopies in the past are always reassuring and tell you that it’s no big deal, and I believed that completely, but I still didn’t want to have it done.

Let me take a step back for a moment to inform you that when I was 15, I had a tumor on my right knee. They didn’t know until the tumor was out and went to the lab whether it was cancerous or not (it was not). You know how in Final Destination, the kid beats Death, but in the end Death comes around and gets everyone who escaped him the first time around? That’s kind of how I feel about cancer – it swung and missed when I was 15, but sooner or later it’ll be back for real. Maybe when I’m 42, maybe when I’m 58, maybe when I’m 75, who knows? So I can tell you that I pretty much expected the colonoscopy to show a big, raging tumor. And the thought didn’t scare me, because it would just be another thing to mark off the checklist, and I could stop waiting for that shoe to drop.

The idea of the prep – though everyone said that the prep was the worst part – didn’t scare me.

What scared me? The idea that I’d be awake during the colonoscopy. That they’d dose me with something like Versed, and that I’d be lucid during the procedure and say something obnoxious. Because someone who would be, um, present during the procedure might bear a resemblance (to me) to that goddamn Muppet reporter, and I WAS TERRIFIED I WAS GOING TO BLURT IT OUT DURING THE PROCEDURE.

So anyway, the colonoscopy was scheduled for Friday at 2. Thursday dawned, and I woke up starving to death, but had to stick to a clear diet for the day – broth, Jello, popsicles – and since I don’t like any of that stuff, I opted to not eat anything at all. Thursday evening came, and I mixed up the prep and started drinking it. The prep – MoviPrep, it’s called – is this powder you mix with water that gives you a lemon-lime flavored liquid that smells very familiar (I still don’t know what it reminded me of – lemon Mr. Clean, perhaps). You have to drink 1 quart over the course of an hour (8 ounces every 15 minutes), then five hours later, you repeat it.

I got the first 8 ounces down, but after that the smell of the stuff was making me gag. I finally ended up plugging my nose to drink it, which worked well.

I thought for sure I’d be running for the bathroom every five minutes and huddling there in agony but – and is this due to my restructured digestive system? Perhaps. – it really wasn’t that bad. I’ve had a worse reaction from a day of eating too much fat.

I woke up Friday morning very thirsty and with a headache. The paperwork said that I could drink water up until 6 hours before the procedure, so I did.

All was fine until about 10:00. I canned a batch of chicken, I went out and picked tomatoes, I puttered around the house. But shortly after 10, my headache worsened and I got very nauseous. Laying down hurt my head, so I sat and watched the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and petted kittens and got up and walked around, then sat down and petted kittens some more. None of that helped. Fred got home from work and ate lunch, and at 12:30 we left for Madison.

(Have you ever noticed that when you’re very nauseous, no one ever wants to talk about anything but food? GAH.)

I checked in, and they had me in a bed in preop with an IV in place and four warm blankets on me by 1:20. Laying back hurt my head and made me more nauseated, so I sat up and asked Fred to rub my head, which helped the headache a little. I did ask the nurse if they could give me something for the headache – it hurt a fucking lot – and she said they’d call the doctor and ask him, but I never got anything.

They took me back right at 2:00, and my gastroenterologist popped in to ask if I had any questions. The nurse was prepping the room for the procedure, and I looked around at everything (you know they use an air compressor to blow up your colon because it’s all wrinkly? I swore to Fred that if I were lucid during the procedure I’d howl “I’m flying! I’M FLYYYYYYING!”), then they had me turn onto my left side, the nurse anesthesiologist told me I’d be out soon, and the next thing I knew they were wheeling me into recovery.

When they brought Fred back, I told him that I had started to come out from under anesthesia, and the nurse anesthesiologist had told me I’d be back to sleep in a minute. I have only the vaguest memory of that – and I don’t know if it’s a real memory or not, to be honest – but all in all I can tell you that:

1. I don’t remember a damn thing
2. It wasn’t bad at all.

I don’t particularly want to go through it again, but when the day comes that I have to have another one – hopefully in years and years – I’ll know what to expect.

The last time I looked at the clock before the procedure started, it was 2:20. At 3:20 we were in the car and on the way home. We stopped at the grocery store for a few things on the way home, and I was a tiny bit stumbly, but by the time we were home, I was okay. I made dinner, I canned the last batch of chicken, I did some laundry. I was absolutely fine – I didn’t even fall asleep during the movie we watched that night. I had a hard time falling asleep that night, but I woke up feeling fine, and I’ve been feeling great ever since.

The fact that I no longer have to dread the fucking colonoscopy had me almost giddy almost all weekend long, and I must have said “Thank god that’s over with!” about a hundred times.

Oh, and there was no raging tumor, no signs of colitis, no polyps. He took a few biopsies to test for something called microscopic colitis, just to be safe, and expects to have the results by the middle of the week. I expect it’ll show nothing, personally, but we’ll see.

And now you’re up to date on the state of my colon.

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Happy belated Halloween!

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When I was in TJ Maxx a few weeks ago, I saw something I could use to torture the cats with…

That’s Jake, by the way. He sure was good about being stuffed into a chicken costume!

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2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.
2007: “Bessie!” he said, waving his arm expansively. “Are you having a good anniversary so far?”
2006: I hope one of the little brats who took a handful of candy ended up with a slug, too. That’d serve ‘em right!
2005: And I don’t WANNA.
2004: Fuckin’ yawnsville.
2003: No entry.
2002: Bob Riley’s campaign strategy is to say “Nuh uh!”
2001: Did you know that they make foam cups in espresso size?
2000: No entry.
1999: Such appetizing topics, eh?