I’m not doing the best. I don’t even know what all I’ve told y’all, but there’s been a ton of cancer garbage and other health crap going on for the past three years.
I want to say that for the most part, I’ve adapted and overcome, but I might be fooling myself. Or I might be doing an excellent job, I just can’t see it right now because it’s a shit mental health period.
My guts hurt. I had colitis a couple of times last year, and I have diverticulosis, so it could be either of those, or something else entirely.
My brain is fuzzy. I can’t remember things like I used to. I can’t use words like I used to. I can’t make connections in my head. I feel like an idiot trying to make art anymore because I’m no good at it.
I want to do so many things but I’m discouraged. I tried to tell myself yesterday that it’s okay to stay in bed all day if you feel bad, that it’s okay to take a bunch of naps in one day if you can’t stay awake. Today I’m still in bed because it hurts, but I can’t believe myself when I say it’s okay.
My brain says I haven’t had surgery, so there’s absolutely no possible reason that I should stay in bed.
My brain is an asshole sometimes.
I’m dizzy and my head hurts all the time and my vision is going to hell in a hand basket. I’m worried there’s cancer in my brain now. I want to tell myself that’s silly, but is it really? I don’t know anymore.
I’m a huge fan of the “ignore it and it’ll go away” philosophy. I feel like that’s weird. I tried to do that with my adrenal tumor and they just found lung cancer. I tried to do it with my reproductive system and it just hurt worse and worse until they took it all out. I tried to do it with my neurostimulator and they had to take that out. Maybe I’m just not as good at ignoring things as I think I am. Except my own friggin mental health. I’m super great at ignoring that.
I plan so many projects and I want to try so many new things and then I kick myself when I physically cannot do them.
Sometimes I wonder why I keep trying.
I tried to take a cognitive function test yesterday and I learned that I can’t do the logic puzzles that I used to love so much. They’ve become secrets of the universe to me.
I don’t even know how much I’m supposed to feel like garbage with all the hormones that are gone and can’t be replaced and all the hormones that are replaced with pills and do I even know what I’m talking about anymore?
I don’t know.
Maybe if I start writing again things will get better. Maybe they won’t.
I do feel a little better after all this though. I need to go blow my nose.
I hope you’ve stuck it out this far, because I didn’t think to say this earlier. I’m not dumping this for pity or condolences. It is what it is. I’m dumping this so maybe someone else having a rough go of it won’t feel so lonely.
Life isn’t always peaches and cream; I guess I know that as well as anyone.
I got dressed today. On a scale of 1-100, getting dressed always takes me up at least one point. I can’t sit and put makeup on today though.
When I feel better I need to make an art caddy for these days when I can’t sit at my desk and create.
Yes, April, even though you said you feel like a fraud with zero talent, that desire to make art is still there. Maybe take that as a sign that you’re not entirely hopeless and uninspired.
Oh, I make notebooks now. I would love to send you a care package of tiny notebooks and art and who-knows-what if you want one.
I think I’m gonna go catch up on my collage fodder tutorial videos now. Thanks for being here.
Y’all. I have changed so much since I last posted. I’m missing something that I’ve always had before.
Two days ago my gallbladder was removed.
It all started a few weeks ago, when I would get brief twinges of super mild pain in my right upper abdomen. I didn’t worry about it; I figured it was my gallbladder, and I already had an appointment with my family doctor scheduled for October 5.
On September 29, it started hurting again. I went to work, but it kept getting worse. about two hours into my shift, I told my manager I had to go to the hospital. He was very understanding, having had his own gallbladder out last year.
My husband picked me up and brought me in, where the triage nurse completely mangled my explanation of my complaint. When I got into a room, we got that straightened out, and I got an IV, some pain meds, an ultrasound, and a CT scan. And the first of five urine pregnancy tests.
That doc told me that everything was within normal range, even though Ian watched my ultrasound and saw how large and round my gallbladder was. The doc was also a little uneasy to tell me about the lung nodule on my CT–and I just realized I haven’t told y’all about that. It’s fine right now, tell you more later.
So he prescribed tramadol and sent me home with a referral to a GI doctor for a HIDA scan to check on my gallbladder’s functionality. Okay, cool.
Saturday before yesterday I did my bestie’s daughter’s makeup for her first Homecoming dance. Y’all, she was gorgeous! And such a pretty dress, and glitter hairspray because she likes to sparkle as much as I do. I was feeling much better from the night before, but not good in any way.
Sunday morning, October 1, we went back to the hospital. This time I got a CT scan with IV contrast (and a second UPT) and learned that I’m now allergic. Got a nice rash exactly matching the one I had a few months back and realized that was the same week of my abdominal CT with contrast. Good times.
This doc sent me home with percocet and reiterated to followup with the GI doc. Okay, cool, we can call him tomorrow.
Guess what. The doctor I was referred to doesn’t take my insurance, so my husband called the other clinic he heads that does accept it, and an ER referral was not good enough. So he called our family doc and explained everything and they said they’d send a referral over. He called the GI clinic back and talked to someone who said sure, fax over the paperwork you got from the ER. She said she’d work on it but a doctor has to approve it before she can schedule an appointment, and they’d probably want an assessment before they considering doing the scan. Awesome, right?
I got worse again, and we ended up going to the ER at the same hospital as the second clinic on the recommendation of the GI nurse because then they could just called the GI doc on call over to have a look at me.
Thirteen hours later, I left still in pain, without seeing a GI doc or having any imaging done. I did get another urine pregnancy test, though. The ER doc put in a stat referral for me and said to call the next day.
This past Thursday morning, we were still waiting on approval. We went to our scheduled family doctor appointment and told the new nurse practitioner what was going on. She was super nice, and put in another referral for me, along with a neurology referral for my migraines.
And a rheumatology referral for my positive ANA test that no one had told me about. That means I may have lupus. And no one told me or tested me further. Thanks guys. At least you verified that I’m not pregnant for the fourth time this week.
Anyway, still no approval on the referral. I was feeling well enough to go to work, but I warned my boss I was not at 100%. I went home four hours in after getting worse.
Last Friday I woke up early and in more pain than ever before. I took a percocet and then another an hour later. It didn’t help at all, so when my husband woke up, we got ready to go back to the hospital again.
He called the GI clinic to check, and guess what! I finally got an appointment for next Friday. He told the girl that I was in a lot of pain and we were going back to the ER right then, so was there any way I could get a sooner appointment, and she rescheduled for Tuesday at 230.
This time the triage nurse did not take me seriously at all. She told me to hold still and sit back and relax because she needed an accurate blood pressure reading. Yeah, screw her a lot.
This doc gave me some pain meds that didn’t help at all, and that’s when I figured I was in trouble. I had a fifth and final UPT, and this time my bloodwork finally came back with an elevated white count, indicating infection. We found this out when my second nurse came in with a bag of antibiotics and confused the heck out of us, because the no one had said anything. She only beat the doctor in by a couple minutes.
He said he’d called the surgeon to have a look at my ultrasound from a week ago, and I’d be staying at least one night, and maybe have my gallbladder out in the morning. Okay, cool.
I’d never had “real” surgery with cutting and everything before, so I was starting to freak out, even though my husband and my mom and most of my friends have had their gallbladders out and had all been reassuring me that it’s the absolute easiest thing and I”d be back to myself in no time.
The surgeon came in to talk to us and said “I’ve got one more ahead of you, then we’ll get you upstairs and get that gallbladder out. I’ve already done three gallbladders today so I’m warmed up, you’ll go home tomorrow.”
I signed the consent.
The anesthesiologist came in and went over his paperwork, and I signed his consent.
I got an EKG in the midst of a flock of nurses getting everything ready for my transfer upstairs. I got naked and removed all of my jewelry, which someone then had to catalog, even though it wasn’t leaving my husband’s custody.
Y’all, they put me in a size 10X gown. It was like I was wearing a sheet.
They took me upstairs and put me in the holding area and gave me some pre-op Versed and Pepcid. I was a little bit stoned at that point, and insisted on taking the blame for the broken chair so that the nice nurse Sara wouldn’t get in trouble. Apparently she was listening to me argue about it with my husband and thought it was hysterical. The chair was broken when we got there. I didn’t even get near it.
The scope ahead of me turned into another gallbladder removal, so I waited a bit longer than expected, but I finally woke up in the recovery room, just me and two nurses since I was the last surgery of the day. I started crying as soon as I woke up because I still hurt so bad, and they gave me more pain meds and put me on oxygen because I’d had so many opioids that day. Eventually it got a little better and I was finally able to go up to my room and see my husband.
He put my wedding ring back on and told me not to worry about my earrings until I could put them back in myself. I reluctantly agreed because I was worried about them closing since I’d had to wait so long to go into surgery after taking them out. But really, I knew it wasn’t a big deal.
Everyone had told me that I would feel so much better when I woke up, but I didn’t. I still had the same gallbladder pain until I threw up some of the sludge that had been collecting in my guts for the past who knows how long. I immediately felt better, but that sludge was the absolute grossest thing to ever come out of my body. Google it. That stuff came out of my mouth.
Since I was finally doing a little better, my husband agreed to go get a bite to eat and pick up some things from the house. He’d already called my boss and his boss and my parents.
While he was gone, I dug the specimen cup with my earrings from my personal belongings bag and painstakingly replaced them, one by one. The only one I didn’t have a problem with was my freshest piercing. Go figure.
And then I started feeling bad again. Ian showed back up and I was so happy to see him, even though I was puking as he walked in the door. It was more sludge, and this time, getting rid of it didn’t help me feel any better. I called the nurse, but it was too soon for any more nausea medicine, and I had to wait another hour for a percocet. I didn’t think the percocet would help since I’d had two that morning and no relief, but it was a straw to grasp, so I stuck it out.
A few minutes after I finally got a percocet, I vomited for the last time. Including that long-awaited percocet. It was still too early for zofran, but the nurse talked to my doctor and got me some phenergan, which knocked me right out. I startled back awake every time Ian moved in his chair next to me, so he eventually decided that it was time for him to go home. He said it was about an hour after I got the phenergan, but seemed like five minutes to me. I only remember waking up twice before he left.
I am very glad he agreed to go home and not stay the night with me, as much as both of us would have liked him to stay. We both knew how bad his back would hurt the next day if he slept in a chair, and he’d already spent so much time in uncomfortable waiting rooms that day.
My nurse woke me up a few times to check my vitals and once to give me meds. I was so much better from the excruciating pain I’d been having right before I went to sleep. I remember she said it was probably from the local anesthetic he’d put inside wearing off that was causing me to hurt so badly.
When she woke me at five to check my vitals I had to poop, but I knew better than to try just yet. I had some serious tummy cramps, but my abs just had some more serious holes punched in them. I finally did poop, and that’s what I was doing when my husband came back. Sorry fam.
Yesterday morning I was off the clear liquid diet that I didn’t really get since I got to my room too late for dinner anyway, even if I’d wanted to eat. I didn’t.
The day nurse let me have the strawberry jello from my clear liquid breakfast while I waited for my real breakfast. I had scrambled eggs and two slices of bacon and some dry rice chex. It took me about twenty minutes to eat, and I gave Ian my biscuit.
He brought me a KitKat. It was delicious. He told me he rode partway up in the elevator with my doctor, who said as long as I’d stopped throwing up I could probably go home. Ian told him that I’d already texted him that I hadn’t puked any more. Unfortunately, I was on the fourth floor, and the surgeon was just starting his third floor rounds.
But it wasn’t too long before he came in and said okay, you’re good to go. Don’t worry about a followup unless something goes wrong. I don’t have any stitches or staples to remove because he used Dermabond on my incisions.
On the way home we got me an iced coffee with no sugar and some McDonald’s fries which turned out to be disappointingly old and hard, which was probably for the best anyway since I don’t have a gallbladder to help digest fats anymore.
I took the best nap of my life while Ian went to the store, and when I woke up to my get-ready-for-work alarm at 430 I felt a million times better.
Today I feel better still, and I’m looking forward to not hurting anymore.
And btdubs, in case anyone forgets to tell you if you have to have your gallbladder out, you will probably have diarrhea for a while. But that’s better than the pain.
I do not recommend reading a book on writing memoir right before you go to bed. I did it last night, and it was a mistake.
I didn’t even read that much; just a few pages, and then I was like, nah, dude, I’ll read this novel that I also downloaded when I finished Everything We Keep the other night. So I read that for a little while, and it was fine. I got sleepy, I put the Kindle down, I closed my eyes, and next thing I knew, it was five hours later and I had to pee and I had been having some pretty messed up dreams.
I’m pretty sure that every single bad decision I made in my late teens and early twenties came back to haunt me in my sleep last night. And I didn’t just dream what happened; oh no, my good ole brain had to go and make everything a thousand times worse.
Brain: you had an amicable breakup in the middle of dinner at a restaurant then finished eating together and went home separately? Not anymore! Now you’re screaming and naked and fighting for the entertainment of thirty thousand people!
Yeah. That kind of thing.
I woke up feeling the deepest darkest feelings of failure that I’ve ever felt when I’m not in the midst of a bout of depression. Miserable. Like everything I’d done was wrong.
I slept a little bit more and then I was okay for the most part, albeit still haunted by the sensations those dreams had left me.
And then it went away, as dreams and their effects so often do.
It’s funny now because I fell down an internet rabbit-hole this afternoon and ended up reading about James Frey and A Million Little Pieces. I’d somehow missed that story before.
Last night was my second night at my new job. I showed up knowing that I was the only closing driver, but what no one had told me was that I was the only driver from five until close.
So I started off easy, but then it got a little busier. I took a single run, then a double, then a triple, then another triple with another triple waiting to be cooked.
When I pulled up at my eighth delivery, I got out and started to trot up to the front door. I heard someone calling, but they weren’t near enough for me to make out what they were saying. I looked around, and I didn’t see anyone. I ignored it, because jeez, I’m in a good sized neighborhood around dinnertime. There’s all kinds of hollering going on.
I hopped up the steps and knocked on the door, and I heard it again. It sounded like they were possibly talking to me; I heard a woman’s voice calling ma’am, ma’am. My customer hadn’t answered the door yet, so I turned in a circle, scanning up and down the street.
Half a block away and across the street, nearly hidden behind a blossoming tree, I finally caught a glimpse of someone in a dress, outside with a dog. Help me. Was she struggling with the dog? I couldn’t see very well, since the tree was in the way. She started walking, slowly.
I watched the girl stagger out into the street, and I could see that she was splashed with red stains. She was holding her left arm out in front of her body, and there was a large dark stain near her wrist. It felt like I was watching the scene unfold on a screen before me; I mean, who hurts themselves inside and then comes outside for help? Phones are inside. She wasn’t running; she wasn’t acting at all like a person had hurt her. She wasn’t afraid of someone catching up to her and doing worse to her.
None of this was making sense.
My customer, an old woman walking with a cane, opened her door as the girl began calling again. Ma’am. I asked if she had her phone with her, as I had left mine in my car. I said it looked like the girl was covered in blood, and that I thought calling 911 would be a good idea. My customer shuffled out onto her porch and peered around the corner.
“No, I didn’t bring my phone with me to the door but–” Her eyes widened when she saw the girl. “I’ll get it.”
I was still standing there, holding the pizza like an asshole.
The girl was coming closer, the dog with her. She paused every few steps to call the dog back to her. When the girl was on the sidewalk next door, the dog broke away and ran up to me, on the porch, and tried to get into my customer’s house. She shooed it away with her cane, and I blocked it from the doorway while she talked to the emergency services dispatcher.
The girl was now in front of the house, pacing back and forth, talking more, shifting her complaints in rotation. It hurts. I can’t feel my hand. Please, my dogs are killing each other. I’m moving. It hurts. My dogs.
My customer and I encouraged her to sit down right where she was, as she was beginning to sway. Another neighbor from across the street came outside and I reassured her that my customer was on the phone with 911. The girl was begging someone to call her dad, and the neighbor ran to get her phone and call the girl’s father.
I opened my trunk to see if I had any towels, old shirts, anything to apply pressure to her wounds. I found a small dishtowel, but I estimated that it was large enough.
I was finally able to get a good enough look at the girl; she was definitely in shock. She’d been bitten quite badly on her left forearm, at least twice, but the bleeding on one had stopped long enough to have dried, and the other was oozing slowly. Her palms were both the dark maroon of dry blood and gray and white bits of fur were plastered to them. Her dress was bloody and furry. She was crying again that her dogs were killing each other inside her house and would someone please go stop them.
Obviously none of us were willing to go deal with those dogs, seeing what they’d done to her.
My customer was still on her porch, leaning on her cane, hollering advice, trying to calm the girl down, and pointing out that she’d ordered a Dr Pepper with her pizza. I’d forgotten her Dr Pepper in my car, so I brought it to her. She put it inside the door and slowly made her way down the sidewalk.
I stepped back out into the street to see if anyone was coming yet. A police officer had just turned onto the street, so I waved to let him know where we were. I told the girl that he was coming. When he pulled up and got out, her dog ran straight up to him, and I felt a moment of panic when he reached for his gun.
The girl screamed no, the dog turned to run back to her, and the cop relaxed. The neighbor took the girl’s dog and dragged it back towards her own home, to keep it out of the way.
Sirens sounded nearby, so I looked back up the street and the fire truck was turning our way. They slowed at a corner a couple blocks up, checking for addresses, so I waved to them as well.
The cop asked what happened, and she told him that her dogs were fighting. The fire truck pulled up and the EMTs rushed to surround her. The cop took a step back so I grabbed the opportunity and asked him if I needed to stay, because I was at work. He took in my hat and shirt and nametag, furrowed his brow, and asked, “You’re at work?”
I told him yes, that I was delivering here, and pointed at the house. I continued my synopsis: while I was at the door, this girl came out bleeding, and I asked my customer to call you since my phone was in my car, but you’re all here now, and well, I actually have another delivery in my car that I’ll need to call the store about if I need to stay.
Since I hadn’t made the 911 call, he agreed that there was no need for me to stay. He wrote down my name, birth date, and phone number and thanked me.
I hope the girl is okay.
At my next stop, my customer made a joke that they hoped I hadn’t gotten in an accident with their pizza; they’d heard the sirens. Yeah, ha-ha. Good one.
So I went to my job interview today. It was for an indeterminate position at a karate school: either receptionist or teacher, depending on who they decided on. They currently have a receptionist, but everyone floats there, and everyone must take lessons.
How cool is that?
Also they want someone able to get a CDL within the next few months. To drive their bus. It’s like every time I look for a job, I end up kicking myself for not agreeing to drive the bus for the blood center and letting them pay for my training and CDL ten years ago.
Also, it’s not a real karate teacher they need, more like a babysitter to do karate-themed stuff with the three to five year olds, so I’m apparently qualified enough for that, having been a Sunday school teacher once upon forever ago.
I interviewed with three instructors, and we got on really well, and it sounds like a lot of fun and a completely new experience, which is exactly what I’m looking for. Fingers crossed!
And next week I have two more interviews.
One at Torrid, and I’m perfectly cool working there, but that’s third on my list.
Then tonight I got a call from Johnny’s Pizza, just not the one I can practically hit with a rock from our back porch. It is, however, one in a part of town that I delivered in for years and years, with no new development since I worked there, so just a day or two and I’d be completely refreshed on the delivery area. Interview there Monday, and I’m sure I’ll be offered a job, maybe even a can you start now, depending on how shorthanded they are.
Buuut will I hear back from the karate school before I hear back from Johnny’s? Because with the karate schedule I wouldn’t be able to do both; it overlaps from lunch to dinner.
Oh, decisions, decisions. I think I’ll just put it out of my head, because there’s no sense counting my chickens before they hatch.
It’s just funny that I hear nothing for three weeks, and then I have three callbacks within two days at places I’ve only just put in applications.
This picture is completely unrelated, but I like it.
I didn’t know what I was going to write about today; it’s been a shit day, and I pretty much decided that I’m not going back to work because fuck that place and those people. Pretty much because I haven’t quit or found a job in years, and the prospect of having to hardcore get down to it freaks me out quite a bit. I’ve just been dilly-dallying for the past month, putting in applications here and there.
Full disclosure: I got and quit my job at Domino’s in 2013, but I’m an old hand at getting and quitting jobs at Domino’s. That’s no big deal. Anyway.
Then I think about when I got this job, and how badly I panicked when it was time to go to my interview, and even worse when it was my first day. I’m scared a lot, and when I say a lot, I mean a freaking lot, and it isn’t safe to try new things and new experiences, especially all by myself. It isn’t safe at all. It’s big and scary and I would rather be four years old and facing monsters under my bed in the dark. Without a blanket to hide under. Dangling my feet over the edge of the bed.
But it’s not fair to myself to keep going to work at a place that makes me so miserable I ugly cry in public. And in private. Really, whenever the urge strikes. I’ve ugly cried more this year already than I did last year, and I had such a bad time with side effects from Topamax last year I ended up skipping my 20th reunion Homecoming game.
So today I posted a status on Facebook: so this is probably gonna be my last day here. Who’s hiring? Within minutes, a friend of mine posted that his part-time job was hiring. At my old mall! At my happy place! I told him I’d apply when I got home tonight, and he said he’d told his boss. Super important bonus: they sell body jewelry, so I won’t have to hide my piercings. So wish me luck on this one, y’all. Thanks fam.
When I got home tonight I changed my clothes and applied for that job. And it’s funny: I wouldn’t give my youngest brother my email a few weeks ago when he called our mom and said he needed it for a job application, because who ever heard of an employer needing a reference’s email address? Well, now I have. Whatever, I still don’t believe my brother. He also said he needed our parents’ birthdates for his application. And really, come on. Know your own parents’ birthdays, jeez.
So I texted my old assistant manager for his email, and I texted another friend to make sure I could use him as a reference. I’m reasonably certain that I’ve asked him that before, and I knew he’d agree, but it’s just good manners to ask, right? Plus I was simply hoping to hear back from him because he’s had a pretty shit time of it lately.
I did hear back, and he did agree, and when he asked what was going on, I told him I want to cry every time I even think about work and I can’t do this shit anymore. Like I don’t plan on going back and I’m crying now because fuck them so much. That sounds like TMI now, but if you’re not going to be honest with your friends, what’s the point of having them, right?
So of course he confirmed that the shit is fucked and gave me some directions for job hunting. And his wife just got a new job herself, and she said she’ll keep an eye out for me, too. Sometimes I think maybe I have better friends than I deserve. But then I remember that I’m not my job, and I’m a decent person, so there’s that.
And then I went to my dashboard to read my spam comments. Yes, it was all spam, but one of them struck a nerve.
It is the best time to make a few plans for the long run and it’s time to be happy.
I have read this publish and if I may I wish to counsel you few fascinating things
or advice. Perhaps you can write subsequent articles referring to this article.
I wish to read even more issues about it!
Okay, maybe not that last bit, but the first sentence, for real though. Thanks, spam.
And then my husband texted me that he’s bringing me home a weird chair, and all’s right with the world. I’ll show you pics tomorrow. I hope it’s weird af.