a woman with scrunched up face and x on her forehead

This is Probably a TMI (Too Much Information) Situation AKA: I’m Having a Pity Party Without Trying to Look Like I’m Having A Pity Party

I don’t know. Do you want to know? Or do you not want to know. Maybe some of you yes and some of you no.

I won’t lie…writing it and putting it out there helps me. Not because I’m looking for sympathy (although maybe some understanding is helpful) but because just getting it out of my head helps. And having a place to put what I get out of my head drives me to write it, because then it feels like it’s worth the effort. And I don’t have much effort to exert these days so, since I’m writing it, I guess I’ll post it, making it worth it – to me at least.

I still don’t know if you want to know, so I’ll try to make it fun, even though some of it is very NOT funny, but definitely comical. So maybe at least you’ll be entertained. And if you don’t want to know…the beauty of written word is that it has to be read and you can stop reading at any time. (It’s true.) I know you don’t want to miss out, and in this case I think you would be if you opted out, but still…you hold the power.

So. My mom has been quite ill and in hospital back in Canada, spending  five days in the ICU. She is more stable now and out of the ICU but is not a healthy woman. There is no way to make that fact funny or entertaining so I’ll just move on. Hopefully you don’t feel lied to.

Now. I’ve had abnormal blood work results and two, ahem, growing symptoms. My breasts are behaving like they have a very young child to feed which they definitely don’t.  (Painful and swo…llen. Big time. TMI?) I suppose those are the perks to the possibility of my pituitary (brain) tumour being back. (An upcoming MRI will confirm or deny.) The hubs is not complaining about the, ahem…perks. I also have a new kind of headache. So I guess technically that’s three new symptoms.

{Don’t tell mom. She need not know. This won’t kill me, but it could be very annoying.}

K, so there’s that and also, my estrogen level is through the roof. Like, pubescent, teen-aged kind of through the roof. The opposite of menopause levels. It’s been suggested that since my brain is a bit backwards, perhaps I am getting younger? There would be perks involved there too.

But if I have not inadvertently discovered the fountain of youth, this could mean cysts or fibroids. I can’t wait for the upcoming pelvic ultrasound. History has proven if there is one male ultrasound technician to every 28, I will get that one. It’s okay. The defecating proctogram I had a few years ago squeezed every last drop of pride right out of me (read that how you will), so at this point…whatevs. (And if you don’t know what a defecating proctogram is, and why would you, then go ahead…ask google. And picture a room of three people plus a doctor vocally cheering me on in the process. (TMI?) ‘It’s not as bad as people think,’ the nurse said to me right before I went in. I don’t know what people think, but I do know it isn’t that. Nurse Positivity positively lied to me. That or she didn’t pass grade six and has no idea the definition of ‘bad.’

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And. Fibromyalgia and CFS/ME have formed an alliance and fully occupy the region of Susieland a week or two of every month. Under their governance my joints ache;  my hands, legs, arms, shoulders, neck and head hurt; my legs stop working, I am often  too weak to shower, feed myself and have to cancel doctor’s appointments because I am too ill and fatigued to get to the doctor. Also I weep a lot. Sometimes because I feel sad, or just really tired, and sometimes because I am laughing and it’s all a bit much – like a middle-aged woman (Not me, I’m getting younger, remember?) weeing in her pants just a teensy bit because apparently funny jokes are a diuretic.

But then, then I start feeling stronger and push the bullies out of these regions, just long enough to shower a few times and smell dang good and my hair looks like I just stepped out of a salon and my little black dress comes out and looks dang fine and my silver stilettos sparkle in the moonlight. (Wow! I just fell asleep at my desk and had the BEST dream! I’m awake now. But I seem to smell really good. Did I just sleep walk and take a shower? Cool.)  So, thanks to energetic personal hygiene minus the dress and stilettos, I confuse the world into thinking that I am doing just fine – I confuse me into it too sometimes: I’ve won the battle and have reclaimed my health.

I mentioned I have Type 1 Diabetes right? Yeah. That’s a hoot.

Also. My feet no longer belong to me. They have become burning blocks of ice ready to shatter into tiny crystals and light the carpet on fire, and yet I can’t really feel them properly. They are numb and agony all at once. The right foot hates me more than the left (my right, not yours –  or my husbands. He gets this mixed up – shouting left when he’s pointing right – it’s a brain glitch) and can dip below 20 degrees Celsius even in the warmest of climates. (Like, in the hot tub or when lying on the beach in 40 degree temperatures wrapped in a heated blanket or whilst taking a stroll on Venus.) The doctors say it’s not diabetic neuropathy but offer ___________ + ____________ + $$$ as an explanation. {That’s a blank space accompanied by a blank look plus money in the bank cuz they get paid with or without a diagnosis. Although I can’t blame them. I’m a tricky one.}

I’ll tell you what is neuropathy: The electricity that zaps me in my eyeballs and my privates (TMI?) and anywhere I have skin. Picture me as a big ball of pure energy just ready to take on the world only not that at all. It’s more like 100,000 exhausting pin-prickly jolts that make the blob that is me want to hurl myself right off of the world. Only the earth is round so that’s not even possible. So relax.

Also neuropathy is my flared up gastroparesis (delayed stomach emptying and extreme slow gut motility) – the reason for me sitting up in bed earlier tonight with a bowl in my hand, my salivary glands mimicking those of a St. Bernard laying on the beach wrapped in a heated blanket. I guess this happens right before upchucking with every second burp that I thought would just be air. The first two surprise ‘deliveries’ convinced me to keep holding the bowl in case I didn’t make it to the bowl. (TMI?) I had stomach cramps and indigestion and gut pain but no nausea. Usually when I’m nauseated, I wretch and dry heave with no success…actually wishing for it to feel relief. I am so backwards.

My hubs said, ‘You should ask your stomach to empty and make some room.’

‘Dear stomach,’ I said as I looked down and gently caressed it with one hand whilst balancing the puke bowl in the other, ‘could you please empty and make some room in there? And intestines, if you could do your job that’d be great too. Amen.’ (This really happened. I have Don as my witness. And God too, I suppose.)

I think I just prayed to my lazy organs. {Insert church organ music}

So, to backtrack a minute, I saw my GP. She sent me for blood work. I saw her again. She referred me to neurology; a brain MRI; an ultrasound. Neurology referred me to an Anesthetist/pain specialist who then ordered another MRI for my spine.

Whoa. Didn’t see that coming! I thought we were there to manage my current problems. Not look for new ones!

But alas, some of my symptoms may point to the possibility of ‘something’ going on there. Sigh. Chances are ‘something’ isn’t happening and one of my other issues can take the credit for my symptoms. (Type 1 diabetes and fibromyalgia LOVE to compete for vague glory!) Dr. Pain Relief’s take on things was this: Too many times things get chalked up to ‘it’s probably the diabetes’ and things can get missed. And if we find a specific problem and can do something about it, then that’s better news than vague glory. And I agree. Mostly. Thoroughness is always appreciated by me and the hubs, and finding solutions are the goal. Spinal surgery however? Hard to get excited about that.

How’s my mental health you ask? Well, my house is fully decorated for Christmas, painsomnia is kicking my butt, while out running errands the other day, I was walking down a high street and found myself smiling ear to ear thinking, wow this crisp fresh air is wonderful and it is so good to be out of the house having a wander, I haven’t been making my bed lately, I am excited for our upcoming romantic holiday to a warm Canary Island, I cry sometimes, I love my coffee dates with friends, some days I feel all alone despite knowing many people love me, I am feeling creatively inspired and crave the energy to sit at my computer and piano and write or play, some days I feel forgotten by people whom I thought were close, I like dressing well with hair and makeup done, some days I just want to eat nutella out of the jar even when I’m not hungry, I love it when I am able to go for a walk and marvel at the beauty around me but often am in too much pain or fatigue or am simply too tired. Yeah…tired.

Sadness and joy sit on a teeter-totter deep within  taking turns being up high, and some days hold their arms and legs just right to hover on the level.

You probably would’ve just preferred a simple answer of ‘It’s hard but l’ll be okay.’ But hey. I am clearly not one to scrimp on words.

I’ll say this here and now: life is not all about me. Many of my family and some friends too, are going through difficult times right now. Still, those are not my stories to tell. So instead, with the risk of looking like a swollen-chested-indigested narcissist, I write my current story and dedicate it to all those going through a rough time.

Did you want to know? I might never know. (Unless you tell me. That might give me guidance for next time I feel like sharing – or over-sharing.) I hope if you didn’t, that you stopped reading long ago. But if you did (and clearly you’re still here so you did?) then know that it means a lot.

Life can be comical – laughable even, and we need each other to get through it, yes?