Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Today is Halloween! YAY! Enjoy the day and for all of my gallbladder disease sufferers please eat all the candy corn you want... IT"S FAT FREE!!! so are Red Vines and Nerds so have a ball and enjoy the candy!

From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!

Monday, October 29, 2012

My EYE!!!!!!

So.... I spent the evening vomiting and moaning and begging for relief. My boy friend had noted in the middle of this ordeal that I seemed to have broken a few blood vessels in my eyes during the whole ordeal...

After I got home and slept for a few hours I got up and sent my mom to the store to get my Percocets. I went to the bath room and nearly fainted when I saw my face...

I was puffy and slightly yellow (due to the bile back up) and my eye... MY EYE!!!!!

It was awful! Horrible! I was totally freaked out by it! When my son got home later in the after noon he took one look and said "Mommy... your eye is gross" Gee thanks kid... it took almost twoo weeks for it to completely clear up. and during that whole time it turned many alarming shades of yellow and orange... I do work in radio but I am mostly the Executive assistant... so I have to talk to clients and personalities and I act as a receptionist and greet people at the front door.... Lucky for me My boss forbid me from coming in on Friday so I had a whole weekend to go from a solid red eyeball to a fall colored eyeball... Reds, Yellows, Oranges... it was very festive.

Most of my personal clients did not mention anything but our production director said... "you know at first I thought I was seeing things... but when I looked a second time I was like.. yuck"
seriously guys I know its awful....

here is what it looked like 8 days later:

Pretty colors
Mostly cleared up... like I said it was almost a week after this shot before there was no more noticeably red, yellow or orange streaks in my eye. I am glad to say that as of about five minutes ago my eyes look like this:

Crazy eyes!!!
 I did the crazy eye thing so you can really see my eyes.... ahhhh and its super funny and I am sooooo changing my facebook page header to this!! LMAO

Friday, October 26, 2012


The day is Wednesday October 3rd, 2012 its about 8:00pm. I have just finished a big ass salad that had three cheese ranch dressing and a sprinkle of Italian dressing. There were glorious Texas toast croutons and lots and lots of yummly veggies. I am now settling down to an evening whiskey. I don't do it often but occasionally I feel like some Tennessee honey on the rocks. That all too familiar pain begins to creep across the upper right of my back. It's insinuating itself around to my front. oooo I know what this means.

Immediately I am up and taking some Motrin. Out comes the heating pad. I call my BF to tell him that my gallbladder is beginning to act up again. He's very supportive and begins talking me through it. Eventually we both remember that we have a friend who recently went through GB problems. Maybe she has some tips to calming an angry Gallbladder.

I hang up with him and begin texting her. Her answer: "Have it taken out!!!" that is a direct quote.

We chat some more and come about 9:30 we say our good nights. The pain is seriously intensifying. its getting pretty bad. but so far nothing I can't handle with some lamaze breathing.

10:00: it was like a grandfather clock began chiming the hour... except instead of chimes it was vomit. My mom gets up at 10 every night to go to work. Just as she was coming out of her room I was pacing the hallway... but as soon as I said "good morning" I excused myself and began the hurried rush to the altar of barf.

By 11:00 I had called my boyfriend and begged him to come over and take care of me. If I was up barfing anymore I would need someone to drive my son to school in the morning. And I needed him to call my co-workers and find someone to cover my shift on the sound board at work in the morning.

12:00am I have thrown up again and thrown in the towel. The pain is now worse than when I was in labor and I have a constant stream of tears running down my face. I made the decision to go to the ER. The Most Amazeballs Boyfriend in The World got my son up and dressed and helped me down the stairs and into the car, he drove me to the ER.

When we arrived they got me a wheel chair and wheeled me right in. Lucky for me there was not a big crowd... it was Wednesday after all.  (or technically Thursday since it was after midnight). Immediately after I sign all the paperwork that says "sorry I'm poor and only work part time and don't have insurance but I absolutely promise to pay my bill" I ask for a barf bucket and begin throwing up again...

The trick to being seen immediately as a walk-in at the ER: begin throwing up in the middle of the waiting area.

They got me an anti-nausea pill. They offered a suppository if I thought the pill wouldn't stay down but I declined. It worked! I didn't throw up again until almost 5 am and that was because of my own stubbornness.

Most of the rest of the evening passed in flashes of bright pain followed by brief snatches of complete detachment.

*I have spent the last twenty years of my life studiously avoiding narcotics and opiates because of a series of bad reactions as a teen. I haven't taken anything stronger than a Motrin800 in those years. Not even cough syrup with codeine!*

I was given a shot of morphine and that helped about as much as throwing a baby aspirin down the gullet of an elephant with a headache, that is to say not much at all. It was followed by a shot of dilaudid. This helped a bit more...

I was experiencing my pain in waves. Apparently this is common. Your gallbladder is trying to evacuate and is contracting. If your bile is exceptionally sludgy or the bile duct is being partially or fully blocked by a gall stone then you will experience waves of extremely intense pain followed by brief periods of lesser but still intense pain. From experience I can tell you that it is like going through labor except the pain meter has been dialed up to 11! The combination of Dilaudid and Morphine where helping during the "down-time" I was able to breathe through that pain, but during the contractions I was a thrashing foul mouthed pain filled puppet.

During all of this my seriously fantastic BF called my sister and had her come get my son from the ER waiting room. He figured that the boy was going to need to sleep at some point and there wasn't much point in sending him to school after only a few hours of sleep. BF kept my mom, my sister and my co-workers updated and once my son was off with my sister he was by my side the rest of the night.

At some point I had blood drawn and an ultrasound of my GB. A nurse came in and gave me another pain shot in my ass. That one was completely useless since it did nothing for the pain and as a matter of fact it caused way more pain in my left butt-cheek than any pain killer has a right to cause! I don't know what time it was. No clue.

My sense of time left somewhere after the morphine shot and did not return until my alarm went off at 5:30am (when I usually get up for work).

I do know that at some point a doctor came in and told me that I had gall-stones but they were not causing a complete blockage so emergency surgery was not needed. I was in a ton of pain still so he ordered up another shot of dilaudid. By that time I had not had anything to drink since my whiskey and I was thoroughly parched. I was begging for water. they told me that water would only make me vomit again.. I told them I didn't care. so they gave me ice chips... I was sucking on these when they came in with the next shot of dilaudid.

They put that needle into my IV (they gave me an IV but no fluids.. I'm still confused on that one) and pushed the plunger down. The now familiar cold burn of the drugs entering my bloodstream spread through my arm. In a matter of moments I was pain free for the first time since 8:00 the previous evening. It was sometime near 4:00am. 8 hours of pain. 8 hours of misery. 8 hours of knowing I was going to die. I sat up and cried.

BF said he could see the relief wash over my face.

I was finally released with a prescription for percocet and a referral to the surgery center to have my gallbladder removed. The drive home was harrowing but I made it all the way back to my front porch before I threw up again. This time it was the dilaudid and the ice chips. My boyfriend was amazed that I even had anything left in me. I was too frankly. I don't think I ever digested even a bit of that damn salad...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Ouch... that hurts!

Two weeks go by and everything is going along swimmingly!

I have stopped bleeding and resumed my normal life. No more worrying about carrying and entire box of tampons with me everywhere I went. I was experiencing some serious hot flashes and fatigue but who the hell cares! I wasn't bleeding anymore!

Wednesday September 26th, 2012
approx. 9pm: The upper right side of my back started to hurt.
9:30pm: the pain is beginning to get worse and starting to wrap around to my front....
10:00pm: My mom is up and I am in some serious pain. I thought maybe if I had her pop my back it would be some relief. I couldn't even lay down on on my front so she could try
10:30pm: I call my BF and tell him what's going on. He's the smartest person I know so he should have an answer...
11:00pm: I have taken 4 motrin and am leaning on my heating pad. BF thinks it might be that I have pulled a muscle or strained it some how.
12:00am: the pain starts to subside and I finally get to sleep

Whew.... that was intense but nothing I couldn't handle with some motrin and a heating pad

Sunday September 30th, 2012
6:00pm: I am working on pre-show prep for my radio show. I start to notice that my upper right back is getting a little twingey (that's a technical term)
7:00pm: we go live and immediately my entire upper right side spreading down to just under my rib cage is on fire!
8:00pm: still on air and making it through our interviews... still in pain but it's intensity is rolling up and down (a lot like contractions do)
9:00pm: still on air and now I am clock watching... I never clock watch when I am on air. My co-hosts all think I might be having a gall bladder attack... or gas
10:00pm: Show is finally over... I zip home all the while trying to rip a nice big fart because if it is just gas I can hopefully relieve it that way. (also I am praying that I don't shit my pants on my way home but if I do its ok since I am the only one in the car)
11:00pm: after some more motrin and heating pad therapy pain is finally subsiding
12:00am: once again I am finally relieved enough to sleep

Again... intense but nothing I couldn't handle. I'm a tough broad. I have a very high threshold for pain and can put up with a lot more than most people.

Monday October 1st, 2012
I had my follow up with Dr. GreyGyno. I explained to him everything I was going through after having been on the hormones. I was constipated. I had a bad flare up of my eczema on my hands and feet. and then I described the odd pain that had happened twice...

He says "oh that's probably your gall bladder. Hormones will affect a gall bladder that is already having troubles and cause it to get sludgy. We're taking you down to half of the dose of hormones that you have been taking and that should help out quite a bit."

hmmm interesting. Being the research nut that I am I began researching a sludgy gall bladder... its an interesting read. But alas I felt like I was in the clear. It was just sludgy... dialing back my hormones would stop it. I would be just fine....

Monday, October 22, 2012

Ovaries are Under-rated

Quick Catch up....
Sunday - My Boyfriends back!! YAY
Monday - I am totally stressed about my visit to the Gyno
Tuesday Morning:
I rolled into the parking lot of the Doctor's office and parked. My Boyfriend was with me. I was ready... I was poorly under funded (I had my fingers crossed that magically the cost was going to go away) but I was ready for anything the Doctor could throw at me. 

I checked in and took a seat. I filled out the ream of medical history questions that goes with all first time visits to a doctor's office and turned it in. The girl behind the counter called my name and started asking all the standard redundant questions. She got to the one about insurance:

"Who is your insurance provider?"
"I don't have insurance"
"Oh well then your office visit fee is half off. Anyone who pays cash gets a 50% discount"

I paid my half-off fee and sat back down next to my boyfriend. It took me a moment to process that bit of info.

I turned to TMABFE (the most awesome boyfriend ever) and said "did you know that they charge insurance companies twice as much as they do cash paying clients?" I was shocked... he was not. Mostly he was not shocked because he is a complete skeptic and doesn't trust anyone any further than he can toss a Higgs Boson.

We bantered back and forth a bit and he handed me the magazine he had brought with him. (I can't remember which one but it was probably Guns and Ammo 'cause he's boss like that). And he says "Don't you hate it when you get a new magazine and all those silly cards fall out?"
"Yeah its totally a waste"
"Here check out this magazine"
"What.... is it full of them?..."

and from the middle of the magazine and into my lap falls a bright yellow envelope; inside is a get well soon card... *sniff* it still makes me tear up a bit when I think about it...

They call my name... I follow the nurse back and go through the SOP.. weight, blood pressure, temp...
then I am walked into a room and given one of those ass-less gowns and told to strip from the waste down. Finally in walks my Gyno... he's the most adorable little white haired dude....

Great... I'm going to get a full service exam from one of my grandfathers friends.. oh and he brought with him a student doc. "see how when I poke right here the muscle tightens up... don't poke there"

I'll spare you all the gory details and skip straight to the great reveal:

Based on my history, the ultra sound, my CBC levels (I had those done at Dr Thankyoucomeagain's) and the fact that my Uterus appears to be just fine; The fabulous Dr GreyGyno deduced that my ovaries have stopped working... not uncommon in a woman going through menopause. Very uncommon in a woman who is 32.

Basically rather than slowly going through the process leading up to menopause during my 40's or 50's I have slammed right through it in less than 6 months at 32... and because of that my uterus went on strike and refused to hold onto any of the endometrium lining it was producing it.

Normally he would just go in and take out everything and then put me on HRT (hormone replacement therapy) but since I am hindered by not having insurance the next best option is to trick my body into thinking that everything is still hunky dory through pills.

First a round of pure estrogen to get me to stop bleeding and then birth control pills to force my body back into a regular hormone cycle. For the first part of that cycle I was going on Commando Dose. Double the normal amount... so rather than taking a single tiny pill in the morning I was taking one in the morning and one at night.

Guess what.... I stopped bleeding and everything was AWESOME! 

Also it turned out I wasn't going to need that biopsy after all.  But it was still a good thing that Mom gave me that money... turned out my medications where not cheap.... over $100.00! Thankfully though I had enough money to fill the gas tank and put food back in the pantry.

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Best Boyfriend EVER!

Saturday rolled around and I had a little text exchange with my mom... Mostly it was me saying "I'm alone and scared.. I need my mommy" (in just about as many words) and she replied with "I've been there for you, I'll be there for you. But I won't let it run my life"

I was stunned.... I wasn't asking her to give up her life (like I did when she was in and out of the hospital and bed-ridden for months) I was just saying that I would have liked her to be home with me that weekend.

My BF was not expected back until the following weekend and I was just completely alone. I felt like a 6 year old in the twilight after bedtime but before you actually fall asleep. I just wanted my mommy.

I called my BF to vent a little and as the phone rang I could feel the tears starting to well up... by the time he picked up and said hello I was sobbing... not like "boo hoo hoo I'm crying and my nose is stuffy" but like "baaaaahhh *hic* waaaaahhhhhh" (think wounded donkey with a speech impediment).

In my head I was saying things like "I can't believe she would say that to me." and "I really need you right now" and "Fuck My Life!" but all it sounded like was the hysterical sobbing of a 30 something woman....

My Boyfriend sat through a few minutes of it and when I paused for a breath he says "Baby, I know you must be really upset right now. But honey I need you to take a moment and calm down. I honestly can't understand a word your saying"

He talked to me for an hour. at the end of the conversation I asked him if it would be at all possible to come back sooner.. maybe before Tuesday.

"Honey, I'm already packing my car. I'll be there tomorrow"

I honestly have the best life partner a girl could ever want, EVER. He kept his word. He was there the next day, and he held me while I sobbed. He didn't try to give me silly platitudes. He just held me and told me over and over that no matter what, he was there for me. That was all I needed.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Lean on me.. oh wait... nevermind

I have mentioned a few times that I live with my Mom. Now don't get me wrong.. my mom is awesome, most of the time. But she suffers from a very common ailment Boy-itis. When my mom doesn't have a boyfriend she is 100% focused on her family and friends. There is nothing she wants more than to help people in need. In short my mom is a SAINT when she is single.

Enter... The Boyfriend... they have ranged in size and personality over the years and the most recent incarnation of The Boyfriend is my favorite... He's fun and considerate and he genuiely enjoys making my mom happy. I like him. A lot.

What I don't like is that once mom goes into "girlfriend-mode" she completely looses her senses. She goes from "I promise that I can be home every Sunday so you don't have to get a babysitter" to "How am I supposed to live my life if you expect me to be home every Sunday" in less than 10 seconds. This is not an exaggeration.. Both of these conversations happened... and they happened less than a month a part.

Mom... *sigh*

So let's get back to the conversation about money... Mom told me that she had $400.00 I could have to help pay for the medical bills... this was on a Thursday. On Friday (the next day) I had my Ultrasound.... I went from $300.00 in my wallet to $175.00. I still had to come up with $390.00 for my biopsy the following Tuesday. (don't forget about gas in the car and food on the table too)

Friday night My mom strolls into the the living room and handed me $100.00

"I'll give you another $100.00 next friday"
"but... but my biopsy is on Tuesday... you said you had $400.00 you could give me.."
"Well I only took $100.00 out of the bank.... I'll give you more later"

I was very much a state of shock....

I sat in said state of shock for a few hours... then mom came back and handed me another $100.00..

"Here that's all I can give you... I'm going out of town this weekend"

that was the end of the conversation...

now... lets do some math:
on hand: $175.00 + from mom: $200.00 = $375.00
$375.00 - medical bills: $390.00 - gas: $40.00 - two weeks of groceries $100.00 = -$155.00

Looks like its time for me to go put on my hooker shoes... momma needs to pay da bills kids....

Monday, October 15, 2012

Money Don't Grow on Trees... and neither does health care.

Damn it all to hell...

I walked out of my doctors office (giggle) with another prescription for progesterone, a referral for an ultto ra sound and a referral to my first REAL doctor in a few years... a Gynecologist who doesn't work for PP (planned parenthood). 

Knowing that I don't have insurance and that I have to pay for all of this out of my pocket I began calling around and getting the pricing on the ultrasound and the biopsy. 

here is what I found out:
Ultrasound: $125.00


 Office visit: $165.00
 Biopsy: $225.00

Yeah the Gyno wanted me to have an office visit BEFORE I got the biopsy done..

"But Why? If my doctor thinks I need one why can't I just come in and get it done?"
"Because OUR Dr wants to make sure you actually need one"

great... lets see that's $515.00 right at that moment I had $300.00 to my name and I still needed to get gas, groceries, and pay for the after school karate class that I promised my son (and that I have been saving up for).

Have you ever had to sit down and explain to a 6 year old that although you have been promising him for months now that he can take karate classes, you can no longer fulfill your promise? Try it sometime. The disappointment in their eyes will absolutely crush your soul.

I live with my mom... not because I am some loser who doesn't want to leave home but because after I got laid off I could only find a part time job that paid moderately well... not nearly enough to support myself and my son... The option opened up for us to move in with my mom and I jumped... he could live in a good house (rather than a homeless shelter) and go to a good school (or what I thought was a good school) and I would be able to save up some money and hopefully get either a raise or more hours so that I could afford to move out. I told you all this because:

My mom walked in while I am tearfully trying to explain to my son that he didn't do something wrong, but that Mommy is sick and needs to use the money for his karate class so that she can go see a doctor. 

When I was done and had sent my boy off to play in his room my mom says to me:
"sometimes the kids have to sacrifice so that the parents can provide for them"

Then she offered to help me out. She said she had $400.00 I could have to help pay for all this and I wouldn't need to worry. *Phew* I was finally relieved.. a bit...

Friday, October 12, 2012

5 Days Later

5 days after I began taking the progesterone I was worried... my uber heavy flow had lessened but not gone away. What could this mean!?! Why have I been bleeding for over a month now!?!

Because I have to go to a low cost clinic I can not just make an appointment for the next day... sometimes not even for the next week.... I was lucky to get an appointment within a week of finishing the last dose of progesterone. The last day of the progesterone my flow came back with a vengeance!

the flood gates were torn asunder and Moses ran for fucking cover! I began bleeding through a Super Tampon every 45 mins to an hour. This is not an exaggeration I swear.

WAIT A DAMN MINUTE... what has any of this got to do with your gallbladder?

Patience grasshopper... remember this is a journey...

The cramping was terrible and the mood swings were wild and totally unpredictable. I was living in fear of myself and what maybe happening.... 

My family... lets just say that they are not the most supportive of people. With the exception of my youngest sister. She is amazing.. broke like me but amazing... My BF was back in So-Cal (where he lives) during all of this and could only be emotionally supportive.

ok... back to Aunt Flo and her screaming amazonian rampage through my uterus. I go back to Dr Thankyoucomeagain and he basically shrugged his shoulders and said "lets try another round of the pills, if they don't work you need to get an ultra sound and a biopsy of your uterus".


Jesus Christo.... now I am bleeding like the proverbial stuck pig, taking hormones, raising a 6 year old, juggling work, juggling my other work, juggling yet more work from a different job and I may need a biopsy!?

I'm only 32 years old and when someone starts throwing words around like "hemorrhage" and "menorrhagia" and "biopsy" only one thing comes to mind..... the BIG C

yeah I was totally freaked out. to say the least.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Movin on....

Lets review...
May - Aunt Flo gets wonky
June - Aunt Flo disappears
July - Aunt Flow is still gone... or is she?!?

I shit you not... a few hours after I left my appointment with my "doctor" (just really can't call him a Doctor without giggling a little) Aunt Flo comes rushing back with the speed of a Japanese bullet train (that's 300 km/h or roughly 186 mph). And she brought her two friends; Crazy Bitch and Abs McCrampington. 

I started tracking my period a couple of years ago. I use my super fucking awesome iPhone and an app called Period Planner..... 

Here is what the month of July looked like:

Click for the bigger picture

Any day with a red circle indicates that I was bleeding... the red dots in the bottom right indicate the level of flow... days with a red circle but no red dots are days that I was spotting but not actually bleeding... 

Now I was totally prepared for a longer than normal period, after all I did miss two periods in a row, but then July Became August.

Here is the month of August....
Don't judge my choice in games!
You see that it stops on the 22nd... I didn't actually stop but if I tried to input any more days it crashed the app... so I made another appointment with Dr Thankyoucomeagain. My appointment was actually a few days earlier than the 22nd... He put me on progesterone. He said that my fat cells were disrupting my hormone flow and its was causing me to bleeding more heavily than normal... the progesterone should help. If after 5 days of the progesteron I was still bleeding he wanted me to come back....

Monday, October 8, 2012


In the past I have found that blogging can help me get through tough situations. Like Dating.... Which, by the way, sucks big hairy gallstones.... I may occasionally use profanity in this blog. And that's OK because I am an American and I have the right to free speech. I once thought I had the right to quality health care too but I was soooooo wrong! (more on that later)

The purpose of this blog is to document my journey with Gallbladder Disease. Most people right now are thinking "Why is there a journey? Is it a long walk to the Surgery Center?" Alas no... you see I am one of the millions of Americans who does not have health insurance, and because of that I can not have the simple, quick laparoscopic surgery to remove the offending organ.

SO... I must now go on a journey of fear and gram counting that will hopefully culminate in my only seeing the inside of an ER once a year (that's about how long I think it will take to pay off each visit).

My travel to the path of searing pain and eye popping vomiting (I'll post a pic in a future post) started about 6 months ago:

My period started getting a little funny...

May2012: I'm starting to notice that the watch-setting regularity of my monthly flow is beginning to fluctuate (I thought about saying "noticeably fluctuate" and then I realized that was redundant). Not by a day or two but five days... maybe a week. All the ladies in da house can tell you that your period is always the first sign of impending doom...

June2012: I miss my period.... I'm not too worried since I have been known to miss one or two especially if I am under a lot of stress... and let me tell you May was a stressful month. A big project at work culminated into an EPIC fail and I was seriously worried that the new business consultant hired by my bosses was going to dump the whole thing on my head. (thankfully that did not happen)

July2012: a month of serious stress... another missed period and a week long stress ball that involved lugging around lots of broadcasting gear (I'm in radio) while wearing 6 inch heels and rocking a killer set of booty shorts (the only time radio people dress up is when they are doing live remote broadcasts). My friends are beginning to tease me that I may be preggers... Which would be an act of god considering my boy-friend has had a vasectomy for the last 34 years which is exactly two years older than I am! (there sure a lot of parenthesis around here) (oh yeah and there is a 22 year difference in age between me and the BF)

I schedule a visit to my doc (at the low-cost clinic because I do not have health insurance and therefor can not see a real doctor) to explain my flo problems and he seems to think that they stem from my "weight issue". Yes I am "over weight" however EVERYTHING else is perfectly healthy. I eat healthy and I do not live a sedentary lifestyle (virtually impossible to do when you are the single mother to a 6 year old boy and in a long distance relationship with the best guy on earth whose sex drive rivals that of every 20something I know). I get plenty of sexercise!

So Dr. Thankyoucomeagain sends me off with an admonishment to eat right and exercise more and Aunt Flo will return. "Stop being a fatty you fatty mcfatty"

thanks.... jerk