Ready for the Heartache

I went for an early dating scan at 10 weeks, 4  days, the baby quit growing at 7 weeks, 6 days, no heartbeat. I had never heard of a “missed miscarriage”, till my doctor explained it. My options were bad and worse: wait for my body to recognize the loss, medication to induce miscarriage, or a D&C surgery. My other half and I discussed it and decided to wait it out, and let my body heal itself. My doctors only reservation was that she didn’t want it to go beyond 12 weeks, so we agreed to pills in that event. At 11 weeks 5 days I saw my doctor, she gave me the prescription and we discussed the bigger picture. This baby was an accident, but both my other half and myself decided we really wanted to add to our family, we would try again. We wanted to keep the process as natural as possible to keep scarring and problems to a minimum. I have been fortunate, this was my first loss, and according to my doctor the next should be fine, it was likely just a fluke. Though at 36 years old time is not on my side, if we’re going to do this sooner is better. We went home and I had the prescription filled. The other half had bought concert tickets months before, I made him go to the show with his friends, it was going to be a rough weekend.

I took the pills vaginally at 2am Saturday, it would allow things to start in my sleep, which the doctor recommended. I woke up at 7 am, no real signs, but I couldn’t sleep. By 9am the bleeding had begun and the baby had passed. I spent the day cramping and bleeding. Everything I read gave these horror stories of blood loss and pain, my experience was not like that. I bled but never filled more than two maxi pads an hour, when I peed I gushed blood and tissue. My only pain medication was Motrin, it was sufficient. I passed the placenta around 5 pm and the bleeding slowed significantly. The other half took me out for dinner at our local pizzeria, I was looking pale and he thought food would help, he was right.

Sunday I had considerably light bleeding, by that evening the cramping and gushing had returned.  Monday I called out sick. Monday night I didn’t sleep, my body was running hot and cold, my body felt dehydrated no matter how much I drank, I was miserable. Tuesday morning the other half read me the riot act, he demanded I call my doctor when they opened. I went to the office and situated some legal paperwork I had to get done. The office opened at 9, I let the on-call know what was going on and she sent me to the emergency room.

I spent a good amount of the day in the emergency room. Placental fragments were wreaking havoc, I was developing an infection. The ER doctor wanted to do a D&C, the procedure I was trying to avoid. The operating room wasn’t available  so she stabilized me and set me up for a first thing in the morning out patient procedure.

The next morning I came back and had my procedure. I bled for about a week, and I have a check up in a couple days to make sure everything is ok.

In the middle of this ordeal my grandmother who raised me passed away from congestive heart failure and on the same day my sisters husband dropped dead in his bathroom at age 47. My heart is so hurt from loss I can’t begin to know where to start. I’ve read through many grief advice columns, but much like when my little brother passed I think for me it’s best to just keep moving forward. I’ve cried till I have no more tears, it’s time for new beginnings.

In Bloom

My son turned 16 in January, he is a sophomore that loves art and music. My daughter turned 13 in February, she is in 7th grade, she loves Dr. Who and small fuzzy animals. I turned 36 yesterday. As of March 20th I had shed 2 dress sizes and was back to being active. My health has been fantastic, constantly improving except for a nagging tummy bug. After a week of being sick I gave in an peed on a stick to ease the other half’s mind. Except, that’s not what ended up happening …… Congratulations!!! your expecting. Then I really felt nauseous. I couldn’t go back to sleep and my heart felt like it was going to come out of my chest. I laid there rolling the information around in my head for the next couple hours till the other half woke up. He finally stirred and asked if I had taken the test yet, I told him I had and that I was pregnant. He pulled me in close and we talked for a bit about what this means in the big picture. Then we got up and drove 100 miles to move his brother. The whole way there and back conversation revolved around the pregnancy. Do we keep it? How can we make it work? what about my schooling? What about child care? By the time our heads hit the pillow again, it was decided, the baby was here to stay.

Here we are two weeks later, 8 weeks along. I look like I’m four months pregnant, so we had to announce much earlier than anticipated. I’m going to have a toddler and and adult …. Here’s to starting over.

Winters End

I have been so busy since January. We took my son out for his 16th birthday to Roy’s Hawaiian, they have an excellent gluten-free menu and we gave him a PS3. We re-decorated the girls room and took her for sushi and Frozen for her birthday.

As it turns out my son and I have the gluten allergy, my daughter does not (though she is allergic to tomatoes and almonds). Eating out has become a chore, my new hobby is recreating the things I love to eat in a gluten-free variety. My family is all trying it out as well. My sister Jen is having tremendous results, the others see a slight difference. My next recipe I want to mimic is kitsune ramen. Fresh ramen (not the “top” variety) is one of my favorite dishes, I have found a few recipes for noodles I just need to work on adapting them.

Spring semester started, I’m taking 9 units, Poli Sci, Soc., and Psyc. Getting just a little bit closer to my goals each semester but I’m starting to waiver a bit on my end game. I love architecture, there is a richness and beauty to design……. 3/12/14

Fast forward 2 weeks, and I caught a game changer that will require it’s own post ………

Really, no really

Two weeks on a gluten free diet, who knew. The only thing I’m waiting on is the numbness in my right foot, everything else is going or gone.

Starting into this change my only goal was to drop a couple pounds, and instead I changed my world. All the rashes are gone, all that’s left is a scattered bunch of scabs slowly healing on their own. The pain that made every breath and movement a punishment are gone , in their place very mild joint soreness. I’m no longer fatigued, I have more energy than I can burn. My cane has a new home in the closet, I haven’t had to use it in almost a week. Initially my gait was clumsy but like a duck to water I’m back running up and down the office halls. I had a couple things change I never expected, my big, scaly, ugly psoriasis is all healed and gone away. The biggest surprise was the swelling, I didn’t know I was swollen. I have dropped 10 pounds in just water, my body has contours I’ve never seen and my circulation which has been a lifelong problem seems to be fixed as well. I have notoriously cold hands and feet, the latter even turns colors if I’m in any one position too long, they are both warm and the same shade as the rest of me. I feel better that I ever have in my life.

The next question is “What is it?”. Only my doctor can sort out whether it’s celiacs, an intolerance or and allergy. What I do know is that my mom’s mom had celiacs, I never considered I might have it because I didn’t get bit water blisters when I ate bread. On my dad’s side I only had a cousin with and allergy to wheat, until I mentioned on a social media site that I feel wonderful and how shocked I am at the culprit, then my dad called. My dad was recently told by his doctor that he’s allergic to wheat and dairy, but because he didn’t plan on actually following what the doctor told him, he didn’t say anything.  They did the same thing with my asthma and an iron intolerance, they waited till I was in bad shape then “oh, by they way”. Once my co-worker gets back from taking care of her mom, I’ll get in to see my doctor.

My kids are if nothing else supportive. Once it became clear it was likely genetic, they decided they wanted to go gluten free as well. My son who will be sixteen next week has had tremors since about the age of 5, his hands constantly shake. Doctors have checked him for all kinds of things, but like my pain there seems to be no cause. He also has Aspergers , he is a super smart, awesome kid, just not good with other people, memory tasks (like spelling, remembering formulas, remembering multi step tasks ect), or pressure. He wants to see if the dietary change will affect his ticks or tremors. My daughter is just shy of 13, has a laundry list of food sensitivities, A.D.H.D. and is one of the shortest people at her school. Some people are just naturally short in stature, she didn’t grow for four years, the doctor told me she was just going to be a “little person” but never took much interest in it. She is in the 3rd percentile for her age at 4’8″, 70 lbs. even though I think she eats her body weight at each meal. She’s hoping the dietary change will help her to grow a few more inches and help her over all health.

I am so tickled to be walking around without the pain, I don’t know where to start. I just want to run and jump and spin in circles and I don’t know ….. Here’s to a better year and a new start.

 

Hard Reset

December was if nothing else, eventful. We had a great time as a family at my sisters place celebrating my niece’s 4th birthday the first weekend of December. The following weekend we were supposed to all go out and see the “Nutcracker Ballet”, instead I came down with pneumonia. Though even with pneumonia I managed an A in both Communications and Genetics. I was better just in time for Christmas, the first time I have ever made and served a holiday dinner for my family. Of course it couldn’t be without a low. My Dad and my Stepmother got their butts completely out of joint because I didn’t invite them. I wasn’t being mean, I just have a tiny condo, the eight people that I had were too much. Here we are in the middle of January there still maintaining radio silence.

The weekend between the Christmas and New Years I went to a party thrown by my one of my oldest dearest friends mom. Sounds innocuous but it was the emotional equivalent of  riding viper backwards, in the dark, in a hale storm. I saw so many people I haven’t seen in years, some of them with good reason. Then the dick showed up. Never ever under any circumstance date your best friend, because unless you beat some giant odds you will only accomplish making life awkward forever and you will no longer have a best friend. What make it worse trying to rekindle things under the premise that he is single (broken up from a mutual friend he started dating when we parted ways), only to find out he is not, and is living with that mutual friend you rarely ever talk to and she is a mutual friend with everyone. I didn’t know where mad ended and embarrassed began. We have manged to only cross paths a handful of times, mainly because I don’t go where I know they will be. Our friends cross so much I know they just had a baby, and you know what I am happy for them, despite anything else I am happy for their happiness. So coming back around to the party, they walk in the door and my chest seizes so hard my hair hurt. They step on to the patio and make a beeline straight for me, we all exchange awkward hugs, I congratulated them on their baby. A this point there are 20 people trying to perch on the patio, and I think I’m the only non-smoker, so I go inside. Their visit was brief, the baby came early and spent her first few weeks in the hospital, they were on their way back. As they were leaving there was another exchange of awkwardness and she gave me a hug, something that hasn’t happened in over 6 years. Shes still married to a dick, and that may take a little more time for me to get comfortable with, but that gesture mean a tremendous amount.

We rang in the new year with friends and family, I even got a visit from my nearest and dearest. My kids both play Magic the gathering (I can’t say much I played in college), my friend also plays so my kids spent more time with my friend than I did, which I’m actually pretty amused by.

I attempted to take English 101 on a short semester, it is the first time I have ever withdrawn from a class. I spent a week bailing water on the Titanic, and discovered I need a sixteen week course for this subject. English 101 is “Literary analysis” why did the character do X, is the character round or flat, now write a critical analysis of the material. I am bad with reading people in person, and ten times worse when it comes to literature. I love reading, but this is that whole reading more into the situation than is applicable  game. I don’t do it with people and it is tremendously difficult for me to do it with characters in a book. My other half thinks I’m a good writer, and can’t figure out why something so easy is so difficult for me. No way around it so I’m going to have to pony up to the task.

We had Christmas Eve dinner with the other half’s family, his brother’s, wife’s, father is a doctor, we’ll say Dr. S. I see him at every family function he’s a snazzy dancer, and all around nice guy, but I never talk health with him (I figure he’s a Dr. the rest of the time, he should be able to relax). After two years of watching my health get worse and worse, he pulled me aside on Christmas. Suggested I see a Dr. for biofeedback and suggested a diet to help me get some weight off (I am the heaviest I have ever been 209 lbs). I have been carefully following the diet, no bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, starch, more importantly no gluten. My grandmother had Celiac disease and if she had bread she would get big water blisters, I don’t get blisters, so I figured I was safe. A week and a piece with no gluten, my rashes are gone, I was able to do a thirty minuet beginning yoga routine (starting slow) and go grocery shopping without my cane. I’m going to keep going and see how it does, I can live with no gluten much easier than severe pain.

Gobble, gobble, bite me…

Thanksgiving provided a chance to see family and four days off work to attempt some kind of relaxation. Thanksgiving day I spent sitting at my other halfs work doing biology homework. Not being able to drive means entertaining myself for 9 hours so we can leave from the halfway mark (home to his brothers is close to 100 miles, his work is 51 miles from home). Once we got there it was a great day, wonderful food and even better company. The rest of the weekend flew by, I was already sore and being drug to stores was not helping my cause.

I have found myself in the last week of fall semester, wrapping up projects and preparing for finals. The last few chapters of Genetics breezed by and Communications has become a non-class almost. I have maxed out my scores on papers and discussion posts, so other than tests and quizzes I’m done.

The convention went well my other half had a blast, he loved the art and creativity like I do. My son also had fun, he dressed up and struck out on his own, anime boobies are much nicer when moms not around. My sister and my niece went around with us, my niece has a great big toddler crush on the Green Arrow and Batman, she would hide around the corner and stalk them, when approached she blushed an said she was “too shy”.  Everyone had a great time.

On the health front, I’m frustrated. I’m still dealing with the same symptoms with no end in sight. My other half worries, every rash, every bruise, every falter or sigh he stews over. I’m sure it can’t be fun to watch someone deteriorate (it’s not fun on this end either), I don’t want him to be stuck  with me, but at the same time I appreciate the support.  He gets moody because when I’m in pain, I get snappy. Here anymore I’m in pain almost constantly, which does nothing for my mood, or anyone elses.

Relief, maybe?

I finally have my MRI results back, it’s been an excruciatingly long week. My tests are very thankfully negative, no MS. I am of course very relieved to find out I don’t have such a debilitating disease. What troubles me is, what is causing my issue? Foot, hand and face numbness, excruciating pain from middle of my back down my leg (now occasionally around my rib cage), tremors, fatigue, eye pain, limb weakness, weird spasms and jerks, and the occasional non-cooperative limbs (they just don’t respond). If I get in too bad of shape a three day course of Mobic will put me back to par. I can’t go further than a few yards without my cane, my right leg just goes out from under me.

I have been poked, prodded, scanned and manhandled. Every test comes back 100% in range, or negative. I’m very well versed in what it’s not. It’s not mechanical, my joints are perfect for a 35 year old. It’s not peripheral neuropathy the signal is traveling along just like it should. It’s not my immune system all the antibody levels are happy and perfect. My white blood cells, and any other levels they can test for are all the same. The one an only test out of whack is my LDL cholesterol, even my total cholesterol is in range. I have been watching my diet more closely to get that remedied, unfortunately the best way to fix it is exercise, something I can’t physically do right now. The doctors can look at me and see there is an issue, they can poke me and tell I’m numb, they can watch my spasms, test my strength but can’t find what’s causing it.

I used to love dancing, especially at concerts. I’d go to a SKA show and leave drenched in sweat from dancing the whole time. I used to love long walks. I like the beach, but I’d walk the neighborhood just to enjoy the trip. If it was raining I drive to the mall just to walk around. When my other half and I started dating our dates consisted of walking trips, dinner and a stroll. We regularly did 4+ miles on a date night. Now grocery shopping puts me down for three days. I really got into yoga when the kids were little, and I would practice three days a week. I was pretty flexible and the idea of exercising and relaxing had me sold. it’s been two years since I was able to do yoga. To go from someone that was healthy and active to overweight and immobile is devastating. To not know why is insult to injury.

I’m just frustrated, maybe focusing on my sons shoulder belt for the convention this weekend will help with the head noise. Hand crafts and the level of detail they require helps clear my mind.