Soon

Yep nothing.  You just stopped by to read nothing.  You could be doing other things but you decided to take a time out to read nothing about nothing.  Surely you have something better to do.  Surely.

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If you’re here for hysterectomy stuff you’re all out of luck.  The ghost of my uterus is out haunting the blogosphere … somewhere.  However, in the meantime I’ve finally come up with my new blog idea.  You’re not going to be surprised if you’ve been following closely.  My NEW blog is about … surprise … CATS!  Yeah, I’m sure you figured this out before I did.

I know, I know … how many times am I going to say this blog is dead and over with?

I’ve got the idea — CATS!.  I’ve got the blog name — you’ll have to wait for that.  Now I just have to create the blog!  Finally, I’m free from hysterectomy stuff … and so are you!  I will link my new blog as soon as I make it … or at least have some stuff on it.  Soon.  Soon.

SOON!

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PS: I was going to write a post thanking the 200th follower.  Well, that day came and went and now I have over 200 followers!  Woo hoo!  Whoever you are, thank you.  Thank you for being that person.  Don’t expect much here, OK?!  I’m going away soon.  You can always dig though old posts.  WHO does that?!? I was going to write some awesome post about YOU and show off your site and all, but whatever.  I’m not now.  Don’t worry, I still appreciate you and you will remain anonymous.  I’ve got cattitude just so you know!  STAY TUNA-ED! 

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“It’s MY cattitude showing!”


 

I wish …

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I WISH …

I seem to be out of material so I think I’ll have another surgery so I can create another blog.

NOT!!! 



Dear new followers

 … and oldies too!

First and foremost thank you all for following this little blog … this odd mixed-up blog mostly about hysterectomy  cats  BS randomness.  (there will be no “second of all” because I like to break grammar rules and punctuation)

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Dear new followers,

Thank you for finding me and following me. gif-thanks-for-following-cat-bunny I’m often confused why some of you would choose to follow in the first place, but whatevs.  My best stuff is behind me just so you know.

Personally, if I were to read this blog I’d either: 1) start from the beginning, or 2) just keep reading the posts backwards.  If you start from the beginning things make more sense but also deteriorate in a way … if you start from here and go backwards, posts start to improve but are read chronologically backwards … somewhat confusing  — YOUR CHOICE — I’m simply glad you’re here! WELCOME!

SHORTCUT SELECTIONS FOR YOU!

  • If you want to start from the beginning click HERE.
  • For recommended reading about da Vinci hysterectomy click HERE.
  • My most popular post HERE.
  • Finally, MY favorite post … yes, I can like my own stuff!  HERE!

Does it seem a little bossy and controlling that I’m telling you how to read my blog like you’re: 1) actually interested, and/or 2) an idiot?  Well, rest assured, this is simply a way for me to write another post … a little how-to if you will, and no, no, no I don’t think you’re an idiot … not yet anyway but there’s always hope, and I’m not even confident you’re interested in this blog … not yet anyway, but again there’s always hope!

Also, if you’re a guy reading this I’m definitely NOT judging … I’m fascinated any guy would want to read my blog … aside from the cat-loving guys of course!  cat-thank-you-drawing

I hope you enjoy your journey through this blog.  I can’t believe I’ve written both so much yet so infrequently.  If you don’t like reading, the pics are pretty entertaining.

I wish you the best here … and I love comments.  I’m still so small and not over-popular that I respond to most every comment.  I’m also still alive so that helps too!  Share your opinion, ask questions, correct my grammar, share links … whatever floats your boat!  Oh, and sign my GUESTBOOK if you get a chance. 🙂

Hugs from the blogosphere!

Elizabetcetera … 


Dear oldies & faithful followers,

gif-swinging-cat-thank-youfor hanging on, keeping up and commenting!

Yeah, it’s that short for y’all! 🙂

Well wishes again for a GREAT 2017!

Elizabetcetra


cat-rescue-thank-you

Photo credit: Regina Cat Rescue of Saskatchewan, Canada. Adopt a cat — your life will improve! OMC (oh my cat!), isn’t this kitty so cute!  Look at his (or her) little baby bottom teeth!  He (or she) is so cute I want to eat him (her) up!  If you LOVE cats, you’ll get that … you won’t think I actually want to have kitten stew!  Eww!


PS: And for extra fun … here’s YOUR fortune today:

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“You will take offense from a post on the internet today, even though it was not directed at you!”  


2017:Gratitude & Aspirations

There will be NO New Year’s resolutions here … they often make me feel worse.

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WORK:

I continue to be grateful for my job of over 11 i-work-hard-so-my-cats-can-have-a-better-life-170e1years! While my job has had its ups and downs throughout the years, I hope 2017 will bring an excellent coworker (new hire) to the group.  I also hope to eventually accept a minor but significant change in my job duties and that my ego can get over the addition of a mind-numbing task. 2016 made me feel proud in how I handled a overly-sensitive supervisor.  2016 marks the best year in over a decade I have dealt with this person.  I aspire for 2017 to be even better in my interactions with said supervisor.  While I never expect to become buddies with this person, I do hope for the happiest and emotionally healthiest interactions possible.  Wish me luck!


HEALTH:

I am grateful my health is overall good despite a lingering shoulder bursitis and newly diagnosed hypothyroidism … oh, and the mysterious ankle edema.  I aspire to raise my vitamin D, somehow get rid of the ankle swelling and learn how to motivate myself to exercise.  I am grateful  I don’t have TCOS (thoracic outlet syndrome) like I thought I did, but instead have bursitis of the shoulder with rotator cuff injury.  With the rotator cuff injury there is likelihood my condition will improve, whereas the TCOS sounded like a never ending bag of sh*t I would endure perpetuitously.

I am grateful my 2014 hysterectomy has given me a quality of life back that I didn’t have prior to my surgery.

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RELATIONSHIPS:

Regarding relationships: family, coworkers, spouse and friends … I aspire to be more assertive, assessing situations while calling out things that just don’t seem right or that I don’t agree with.  Usually, I simply want to get along, go along and don’t speak up.  I am grateful for a wonderful drama-free relationship with my in-laws.  This unto itself is a miracle for most! taco-for-followers

I am grateful for the bloggers I follow for they often make my day and lighten my mood when I’m down (especially the cat blogs).  As for readers of my blog, I am also immensely grateful because your comments mean a lot to me as well as any likes (that star button I’m sure you’ll likely press after reading this) — I love when people reach out!  And while my blog isn’t the most active one on the planet, I aspire to continue to make it a source of interest, support and humor … oh, and a place for cat pics too!

Dear 2017,

Hi!  How are you young one?  Welcome into existence. My aspirations for you include trying to figure out the human race … pretty lofty, huh?  Well, maybe just trying to treat my body better and to figure out how to be more mature in some ways while still having fun.  I don’t have any grand expectations but simply to be happy, be grateful for what I have, purr more, say thank you even more, bounce back sooner from disappointments and eat more licorice all while continuing to love my cats.

Take care! (and please take care of everyone and me too!)

❤ Elizabetcetera


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Why & how I stopped HRT

I never thought I’d be able to stop HRT (hormone replacement therapy).  I tried twice before without success.  My intolerance to hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, headaches and brain fog kept me coming back to hormones the two times I tried to quit.

I had no real idea how any woman managed to stop hormones successfully.


There are a lot of people who simply can’t relate to my life with this challenge.  They include and are probably not limited to:

  • Any woman I know who is not taking and has never taken hormones
  • Those women who have gracefully eased into menopause
  • Any male — definitely my husband, father and father-in-law
  • Those against many, most and / or all medications of all kinds

That list above is about every person I know.  I’m not sure why but it’s important for someone to me and vice versa when I’m experiencing challenging or upsetting experiences in my life.  I’ve had this feeling with innumerable issues — the desire to find others who are experiencing or have experienced what I’m going through.  Many people I talk to say they don’t need anyone else to relate to them; I wish I could be that resilient and nonchalant, but it doesn’t feel natural for me.  Emotionally, I get a lot from others who share their experiences with me and I don’t feel so alone.

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Intellectually I know exogenous hormones can be detrimental to one’s health for various reasons.  I don’t like being on a medication that has to be taken daily.  It’s interesting what can make the final push to get one to start or stop something.

I hesitated writing this post because I wanted to make sure I was off my hormones (a low dose synthetic estrogen and progesterone combination) before I made the sweeping statement, “I’m off my hormones for good!”  It’s been over two months since I quit the Lo Lo Estrin … and I didn’t exactly quit because I wanted to — not like the other two times I didn’t succeed in stopping — I wanted to stop then simply for the sake of quitting.

I quit HRT because I started to get changes in my body that I had no idea as to what to attribute them to.  I stopped the hormones and any PRN (as needed) medications to see if it would make a difference.  I developed swelling in my ankles and I read many sources stating hormones can contribute to or cause this.

Some other medications can also cause swelling in the legs. These drugs mostly affect the water balance in the body or cause blood vessels to leak fluids.

Medications that can cause edema include:

  • Vasodilators
  • Calcium channel blockers such as nifedipine and amlodipine
  • NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen
  • Corticosteroids such as prednisone
  • Steroids, both androgenic and anabolic
  • Diabetes drugs like thiazolidinediones (say that fast with a mouth full of marbles!)
  • Estrogens such as oral contraceptives and replacement hormones  BINGO!
  • MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitor) and TCAs (tricyclic antidepressants)

I’ve NEVER had any problems with hormones — at least no obvious ones. The only problems I thought about hormones causing were heart attacks, strokes, blood clots and cancer.  While peripheral edema can be a side effect of hormones I never put much thought to it.  Sometimes you have to experience adverse effects personally vs. reading them on a list to visceralize what can happen in real life.awareness-then-acceptance

This ankle swelling has done it for me.  As soon as I read this as one of the side effects I went off Lo Lo Estrin cold turkey.  I am scared sh*tless as to what I may have done to my body with various medications over the years.  I’ve never had ankle swelling in my life.  Coupled with the unsightly appearance of lateral swelling to my ankles is a sense of shame and embarrassment that I caused this … making me feel very cautious with whom and when I divulge this problem.

It only took six weeks for me to stop having perimenopausal symptoms from being off the low dose estrogen-progesterone combo.  Those six weeks were no walk in the park though — I got restless sleep, sweated nightly (and daily) and hot flashed constantly.  My mindset was different in this third attempt to quit.  I actually accepted the hot flashes telling myself I’d get used to them, embracing each episode riding it out as each one waxed and waned.  This became my new normal.  And then one night I didn’t have any sweats during my sleep which progressed to a full week without them.  The daytime hot flashes became fewer and fewer to now where I might have one or two brief hot flashes every several days.

Yay for me!  I did it.  I got over the hump with the hot flashes, night sweats, headaches and insomnia.  And because I don’t have the hormonal headaches any more I don’t need the Fioricet (acetaminophen, caffeine and butalbital combo).  However, the swelling to my ankles has not improved and I’m in search of other causes.  ankle-cankles On the upside, my ankles are now easier to shave without a fear of nicks due to their fluffiness and in the process of deciphering the ankle edema mystery, I’ve also successfully kicked hormones to the curb!

Now I have to figure out how to get to the bottom of this ankle edema before I have full on cankles! 


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No, I’m not a rep for da Vinci Hysterectomy!

I’ve been meaning to tackle this comment (see below)  for quite some time, but I’ve been too busy with my rep hours to get to it.  NOT!  

OCTOBER 8, 2016

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Are you a rep for Da Vinci? They are expensive and Dr’s push for their use, the Misgav Ladach method is even better and doesn’t need a machine to spread cancer!

Nope, I’m not a rep for da Vinci Hysterectomy! … although I wouldn’t mind being one!  I researched being a medical sales rep after this comment and learned the average salary is 150k/yr!  Yowza!  That’s a heck of a lot more than I’m making now.  My husband I briefly discussed the potential of this career and after researching some prospects online, I discovered they all involved travel outside the city and state, both flying and driving.  Yuck. While I  like to travel, this wouldn’t do it for me in many, many, many ways.

And here’s why being a rep wouldn’t work for me:

  1. I would miss my cats terribly.  I think of these guys before I go to bed and every morning when I wake up.  I love my buddies so much! cat-memory-good
  2. I’d miss my husband.  Yes, my husband ranked #2 after the cats … it’s only because I alphabetized the listing — “C” for cats comes before “H” for husband.  Does that sound believable?
  3. I’ve been at my job for over 11 years, have many benefits and love what I do.  I would miss it … plus I’d rather commute through crappy traffic than try to juggle plane flights and driving all over the state while dressing all fancy pants to impress some docs.  I like looking blah and comfortable some days — being a rep wouldn’t afford me that!

OK, so the da Vinci procedures might be more expensive than other methods.  However, with my health insurance the difference to me was negligible and I didn’t know going into the surgery that this method was so expensive.  I only learned about da Vinci costs after starting this blog.  I don’t think there is any patient out there who has health insurance thinking about this cost factor.  The self-pays are probably a different story …

My doctor NEVER pushed me to have this method.  And I’ve also talked to numerous women who were scheduled to have the da Vinci robot and not one of them mentioned their surgeon pushing its use.  I don’t know who these surgeon pushers are and have yet to meet one.

Not every woman is a good candidate for the da Vinci anyway.

I’ve never, ever, ever, ever, ever heard of the Misgav Ladach method.  Not even once.  I would NOT be having a surgical method that I’d never heard of before or that no one in my surgery arena knows about.  I’d be afraid the surgeon wouldn’t be very good at it and I don’t want to be a guinea pig.  Perhaps this method is more popular in other countries like Israel.  I don’t know.  AND from what I read it’s a large transverse incision meant for c-sections.  I wouldn’t want a huge scar across my abdomen unless I needed to or the surgeon was reusing my previous c-section scar which is not the case because it’s not the same incision method — it’s higher up than the Pfannenstiel excision used in c-sections.  Not to mention, I don’t have a c-section scar to begin with!

This was really an apple (da Vinci) to artichoke (Misgav Ladach) example … not a good analogy … and certainly didn’t make me feel regretful for having the da Vinci method.  Would YOU rather have a 10-16 inch abdominal scar or three to five 0.5-1 cm scars?  I really don’t want a huge zipper-like scar across my abdomen no matter the bargain cost.  I’ll take the sprinkling of small various abdominal incisions.

From Wikipedia:

The Misgav Ladach method for Cesarean section was developed by Michael Stark based on the Joel-Cohen incision originally introduced for hysterectomy. The technique was first introduced at Misgav Ladach and is now being used in medical centers around the world. The Misgav Ladach method eliminates many conventional steps, resulting in a quicker birth, less trauma for the mother and more rapid recovery. There is less need for painkillers and antibiotics, less scarring, less bleeding and less need for anaesthesia. Risk of exposure to HIV is minimized and the speed of the operation saves operating room and staff time.

In regard to “a machine to spread cancer” this isn’t even true in the case of using the da Vinci robot for hysterectomies.  The morcellator is what that cancer-spreading machine is being nicknames, but it isn’t even used in the vast majority of da Vinci hysterectomies.  My surgeon explained this to me personally stating the morcellator wouldn’t be used and isn’t being used.  The morcellator and da Vinci robot are two different things … and because one has a da Vinci hysterectomy doesn’t mean a morcellator will even be used.

The FDA’s stance on power morcellators:

The boxed warning informs health care providers and patients that:

Uterine tissue may contain unsuspected cancer. The use of laparoscopic power morcellators during fibroid surgery may spread cancer and decrease the long-term survival of patients. This information should be shared with patients when considering surgery with the use of these devices.

The two contraindications advise of the following:

1) Laparoscopic power morcellators are contraindicated (should not be used) for removal of uterine tissue containing suspected fibroids in patients who are: peri- or post-menopausal, or candidates for en bloc tissue removal (removing tissue intact) through the vagina or mini-laparotomy incision. (These groups of women represent the majority of women with fibroids who undergo hysterectomy and myomectomy.)

2) Laparoscopic power morcellators are contraindicated (should not be used) in gynecologic surgery in which the tissue to be morcellated is known or suspected to be cancerous.

I’m still not a da Vinci rep even after writing this.  I’m a DINK cat momma whose baby house is gone who was a good candidate for the da Vinci method and someone who would do it all again the same way!

No, no and no!

Reflecting on my last post, thinking about medications in general and suffering through hot flashes … all I can think of is NO, NO & NO.

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NO I’m not going to start a new blog about my thoracic outlet syndrome and chronic pain.  What was I thinking?!  All the typing on a new blog is only bound to make my symptoms worse.  But even worse it would be soooooo boring to have to read someone’s blog about pain day #1, 2, 3 , 4 … 325 … blah, blah, blah.  I obviously wasn’t thinking that one through.  So, no, no, no new blog about boring pain.  My pain.  My boring pain.

cat-no-3

NO I’m not taking the Trazodone any more.  I took it for about a month to help with pain-induced insomnia.  While it helped I was slowly developing swollen ankles.  YIKES!  WTF?!  I’ve never had swollen ankles in my life.  I’ve been off the Trazodone over a month  … and the swelling has gone down, but hasn’t gone away completely.  This is crazy.  Medications with their side effects blow.  Of course, some side effects are tolerable and some aren’t.  Right now I’m really pissed at medications.  Don’t worry I’m not going go all hippy green or something.

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NO I’m not taking my Lo Lo Estrin anymore.  Say what?!  Yep.  I decided since my last medication failures I’ve decided to quit my hormone replacement too.  I am sweating with insomnia along with the shivers that come afterwards from the lovely perimenopausal symptoms … I knew what I was getting into having failed getting off hormones twice before.  Something is different this time.  I can’t put my finger on it.  Perhaps I got scared due to Lyrica giving me elevated blood pressure and now Trazodone giving me swollen ankles … I’m thinking about the potential of blood clots and stroke from the hormones.

I feel great about my NOs.


PS: I have another “no” post in the works!

UPDATE: That other “NO” post.

PPS: There will never be NOs to cats … ever!