Chronic pain vs. chronic pain

Hmmmmm … where do I begin?  I guess at the start.

The White Rabbit put on his spectacles. “Where shall I begin, please your Majesty?” he asked.

“Begin at the beginning,” the King said gravely, “and go on till you come to the end, then stop.”

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

My chronic pain of dysmenorrhea.(and then hysterectomy) was initially why I started this blog. Bleh … over and done with thanks to surgical intervention! The chronic pain was dysmenorrwhat … [dis – men – oh – reeeee – uh]. Yes, dysmenorrhea.  Kind of sounds like diarrhea, but it’s not. For many years I suffered with this biatch of a uterus cramper and torturer … pain so bad it traveled down my low back into my legs leaving me more fatigued than the after effects of a man having had an orgasm for the first time in a decade — and not in any good way!

Now I have my special new diagnosis of chronic pain from neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome (nTOS).

Symptoms of Neurogenic Thoracic Outlet Syndrome:

  • Numbness and tingling in hands and fingers.
  • Neck and shoulder pain.
  • Neck muscle spasm.
  • Headache on affected side or both sides — occipital headache.
  • Worsened symptoms with overhead use of that extremity.
  • Pain or weakness in the shoulder,  arm and/or hands.
  • One arm that tires quickly.
  • Atrophy — shrinking and weakness — of the pad of the thumb, the muscle of the palm that leads to the thumb; this is quite rare.
  • Symptoms may come and go, but they are often made worse when the affected arm is held up. The longer the arms stay up, the worse the symptoms can get.
  • Arm pain at night causing pain-related insomnia.  No, night pain is a symptom of rotator cuff injury that can include bursitis. 
  • Crankiness with curt answers due to a constant state of pain (that’s my own symptom I added to the list).

NEUROGENIC — Arising from or caused by nerves.

THORACIC OUTLET — Not to be confused with any outlet in your dwelling … if you live in a teepee of course there are no outlets to confuse you  — just this one. The thoracic outlet is a grouping of blood vessels (veins and arteries) and nerves in the space between your collarbone and your first rib (thoracic outlet).   (see pic below)

SYNDROME — Something fun and extra in your life that makes you special!  Often something that people can’t tell you have just by looking or talking to you, and will not care about because who wants to talk about you and your pain or syndrome or whatever it is.  BORING!  NEXT!  Actually, syndrome means a group of symptoms that collectively indicate or characterize a disease, a psychological disorder or another abnormal condition … or a group of physical symptoms making you feel like you’re developing a psychological disorder!

ntos

Hope YOU are paying attention because there’s a quiz later!

From the Mayo Clinic … not to be confused with the Mayonnaise Clinic — that’s a different place altogether if such a beast exists!  Mmmm … I do love mayo!

Neurogenic (neurological) thoracic outlet syndrome (nTOS):

This form of thoracic outlet syndrome is characterized by compression of the brachial plexus. The brachial plexus is a network of nerves that come from your spinal cord and control muscle movements and sensation in your shoulder, arm and hand [mentally f*ucking with your brain and emotions].

nTOS sounds much more exotic than that icky dysmenorrhea stuff.  People look at me like I’m from Mars (or an escapee from a psych ward) when I say I have neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome … I might as well have said , “I have gooby jooby hooka pawna wawna syndrome and it hurts!”.  Then I have to explain it in easy to understand terms … If they haven’t fallen into a coma by then.

I’ve been a desk jockey for 11 years (yes, I am a desk nurse), and all the typing with mousing has contributed to this horrible posture — the leaning forward of my head with overuse of my arms and hands … repetitive motion disorder … also, consider 8-9 hours a day at a desk sitting plus a total to and from commute to work of an hour of sitting.  Then of course, after the brain gymnasium (AKA work) I come home and sit some more spending time on the couch (the pseudo brain playground to destress from work — I sit and relax from my day of sitting).  I probably total 10-14 hours of sitting daily!  That’s probably why I have a flat @ss!  I ain’t got no glutey in the booty!

My point with this comparison is I’m not sure which is worse: Dysmenorrhea or nTOS.  With dysmenorrhea I was in acute pain for 3-5 days on average every month.  With nTOS the pain isn’t as acute but it’s with me every day, some days worse than others.  At least with dysmenorrhea I got a total reprieve for the majority of the month. nTOS is like herpes … the gift that keeps on giving while chronic like COPD!

My nTOS pain to my right arm woke me up at night (saying, “F*ck you!  I hate you!  Get up and suffer — NOW!”) sometime between 2 am and 4 am and I couldn’t go back to sleep until I got on Trazodone — a medication I didn’t associate with good thoughts because there are some people on Trazodone with severe mental disorders and I don’t want to be in that group — I have enough problems.  But now that my pride has waned, I’m able to swallow this bitter pill; I associate my low-dose Trazodone with restorative sleep that gets me all the way through the night WITHOUT PAIN!  I know longer stereotype people on Trazodone!

Here’s a duh comment for you: sleep is important.

Sleep is like ammunition for your body — you wouldn’t go into war without enough bullets would you?  First of all, I wouldn’t go into war — they wouldn’t take me anyway, and secondly, I would never abandon my cats.  Life without cats is worse than life with nTOS!

sleep infographic

“Losing four hours of sleep is comparable to drinking a six-pack of beer [or a bottle wine — I don’t often drink beer],” says Tom Rath, Author of the New York Times bestselling book, Eat Move Sleep.

“I don’t want to be in a serious meeting with a person who drank six beers or lost four hours of sleep. I don’t want my child’s teacher to be that person. I don’t want my doctor to be that person. Still, we don’t view the two scenarios (beer drinking and not sleeping) as equal. In fact, our culture views a person who needs sleep, as a person with a weakness [my emphasis]. “

Right now to combat my nTos, and yes, this is war folks … I’m doing the following:

  1. Physical Therapy with McKenzie exercises
  2. Taking Trazodone nightly
  3. Taking Lyrica (pregabalin) (I stopped — it gave me elevated scary blood pressure)
  4. Acupuncture  (I stopped — it wasn’t working)
  5. Myofascial release massage therapy 
  6. Topical analgesics (AKA strong smelling camphor & methyl salicylate based ointments)
  7. Trying to find the person who is using me as a voodoo doll!  (this search has been in vain so far)

I have yet to get back into chiropracty  … I’m already busy with all the above.

cat stretches

I’m not sure if nTOS has an end or it’s something I live with for the rest of my life or I have surgery down the line to correct it or I move to Washington or Colorado living off medical marijuana —- NOT!  At least with my severe dysmenorrhea the surgery of hysterectomy was a curative solution.  I don’t need surgery for nTOS and it’s not recommended either … not yet anyway!

nTOS is an expensive hobby to have!  I don’t recommend it in the least (for many reasons — chiefly PAIN!).  On the upside of all this, my husband built me a standing desk for home.  Nothing can be done for my work station at this point with my job.  My supervisor didn’t even believe that sitting was bad for you until just earlier this year.  I’ve know this for at least 9 years.  My supervisor came out and proclaimed how bad sitting was after reading an article … when I told my boss almost a decade ago the look I got was like I was cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs and simply a malingering hypochondriac … oh, and that I was a special princess now needing special treatment and office equipment. Ugh.

sitting is killing you

Sitting is the new smoking … have you heard?

During the past year, sitting has become the new smoking. “Past studies have found,” declares a 2014 article in The New York Times, “The more hours that people spend sitting, the more likely they are to develop diabetes, heart disease and other conditions, and potentially to die prematurely — even if they exercise regularly.”

What’s the science behind this alarming claim?

The animated TED-ED video (below) begins to paint the picture.

I’ve moved on to one intermittent chronic pain condition to a new constant chronic pain condition.  In comparison, dysmenorrhea was better if I had to choose one sucky disorder over another!

This is probably the end of this blog as I’m planning on starting a new blog related to my chronic nTOS pain and subjects related to this issue.  Oh joy, hold onto your pants because I know you can’t wait!  Cats will continue to be part of the new blog … stay tuned!  MeOW!

I will let you know my new blog site once I get it started … sorry to leave all of you who have hung in for hysterectomy information (go read some old posts … like all of them) … and for those of you here for the cats — you’ll still get cat stuff in the upcoming blog!  Yay!  Cat stuff! ❤

cat stay tuned


 

 

 

Why I have not posted lately

No one has asked, but somehow I feel better putting this answer out into the blogosphere.

I have not written any posts since June because my right arm hurts A LOT and typing aggravates the pain.  I have gone through some testing and have neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome (NTOS) — pretty fancy schmancy sounding isn’t?  If you want to know what it is click on the hyperlink because I’m not taking any more time to type this out.

I’m so fancy with my new diagnosis and all … kind of like Iggy Azalea … or not:

Fancy

LYRICS TO FANCY because if you’re like me, you really don’t know what she’s saying and this video has explicit words I would have never caught (like I really give a f*ck) … but could only read (find) through the lyrics.  I especially like the chorus.

I’m so fancy
You already know
I’m in the fast lane, from L.A to Tokyo
I’m so fancy
Can’t you taste this gold?
Remember my name, about to blow

~ Iggy Azalea

Hmmm … isn’t it interesting when some songs are sung they are so much better than when you read their lyrics?  Honestly, these words look idiotic to me as I read them, but her honey voice make them come alive!


I have written many posts in my head.  They have not made it to my blog.  I am sad about this because:

  1. YOU don’t get to enjoy my reading (and count my grammatical errors)
  2. Writing is my therapy

Strangely enough people are still visiting this site … I guess it’s all my glorious free information.  And perhaps the cats.  It’s always the cats.

cats in hats

My husband says I’m the one on the right and he’s the one on the left … I disagree.  He’s the one always talking and yammering on as I sit and listen.

I’m still alive.  I’m not dead.  I love responding to anyone who is brave enough to pose comments and questions for me.   As for my arm and my NTOS I start physical therapy next week.  My speculation as to how I got NTOS is from my desk jockey job of almost 11 years … type … type … type … type … oy vey!  If you haven’t discovered it yet SITTING IS BAD FOR YOU!  And it’s not likely I’ll ever change jobs so I’m stuck with this sh*t.

Hey things could be worse … things can always be worse.

things can get worse cartoon

Boy, aren’t they in for a big surprise!

PS: My hand and arm hurt.  I’ve written too much already.

PPS: My 2 year hysterectomy anniversary came and went without event.  Sorry no post on that day.

PPPS: My “Frankentoe” (scroll down in that post and you’ll see the toe I’m referring to) is healed!  Maybe when I get off my lazy tuches I’ll post an updated photo.  Maybe.  Or YOU can simply use your imagination as to what a healthy great toe looks like.  Remember imagination before everyone spoon fed you images?


 

Heterogenous post-Hysterectomy Happenings.

Yep, you read it, I said it.

HETEROGENOUS  post-HYSTERECTOMY HAPPENINGS …

I have so much to say and it’s all discombobulated.  Furthermore I don’t care … and neither should you!  The problem is WHERE to begin.

Let’s start with my anniversary dinner and wine promises.  (I made some silly promise I would drink no wine or only one glass … something ridiculously stupid and unachievable on my anniversary like that.)  To sum it up, our anniversary was amazing.  This is my favorite holiday.  Some people like Christmas, others Thanksgiving, some Valentine’s … others Flag day (that was flag not fag).  Actually, there is no Fag Day but there is NCOD (National Coming Out Day)— just so you know.

We went to one of my favorite restaurants.  I wasn’t very creative; there are A LOT of restaurants from which to chose in my eat-out city but I chose our old stand by.

I chose the place because:

  • Healthy food choices
  • Excellent wine list
  • Close to home
  • Great Phenomenal kiss-your-@ss service
  • Free dessert with mention of any special occasion
  • It’s my go-to place with the hubby
  • It’s dimly lit (how romantic!)

I won’t recommend others to come here because if they go and tell me it was “meh” it will break my heart … possibly altering the friendship forever.  I’m not joking.

Here’s what we drunked & eated:

  • Grilled artichokes (appetizer) with aioli from the mother of goddess
  • One blue cheese-olive (4 olives) stuffed-martini each
  • Beet, walnut, goat cheese salad (and the goat wasn’t barnyardy!)
  • Italian wine (1.5 glasses each!)
  • Striped bass topped with spicy shrimp & sautéed spinach with Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Filet mignon (medium rare) & a crab cake with kale pepita salad
  • Petits Pots de Crème à l’Orange (on the house Baby!)  (see photo below)

Anniversary 8

I cannot even begin to explain how much I love this restaurant.

Every server we have each time is top f-cking notch!  I told myself I was going to have only one drink — a glass of wine to be exact but … it was our anniversary and this restaurant makes killer martinis to die for and wine that cannot not be experienced.  I caved and couldn’t resist!  I was only going to have one glass of wine, but our server pushed us to split another glass (he didn’t have to push very hard) … twist my arm baby.  It had to happen.  So, instead of one to two drinks, I had 2.5 special beverages over almost three hours time.  Yes, we were there for quite a while and I wasn’t driving home — the man who weighs more and makes more alcohol dyhydrogenase was!

Let’s just say when you don’t drink for quite some time, you become a lightweight again.  I felt the buzz … a little too much, but no regrets.  Especially worth THE WINE!

Centoneze Frappato anyone?

[Frappto’s] a grape variety that yields beautifully fresh, floral, lighter-style reds, even in the warm climate of Sicily. This is a truly seductive, floral example.

Centonze Frappato 2013 Sicily, Italy

13% alcohol. Succulent, supple, floral nose of red cherries and rose petals. On the palate this shows supple, sweet fruit with red cherries and plums. It’s quite light-bodied, but generously flavored, with a slightly grainy structure. Fresh, supple, pretty and delicious. 91/100.

Kitties and wine

Per Madeline Puckette, wine geekess extraordinaire: 

Ever notice the lack of consideration that dieting has for your wine habit?

How are you supposed to start and maintain a healthy lifestyle if it completely removes a wine lover’s reason to live? Not to worry, there has been overwhelming evidence pointing to wine as a healthy form of booze when consumed in moderation. Here’s how you can stay healthy and still enjoy wine.

The following 7 tips may help you enjoy a healthy diet that includes wine.

Know wine’s calories   [yeah, right]
Earn your glass   [sure]
Don’t drink before you eat   [why?]
Do drink dry red wine   [usually, of course]
Don’t drink too late   [OK, OK … I know, but what’s the definition of “too late?”]
Do spend more on wine   [at least a minimum of $10]
Drink wine away from home   [or at home if you don’t want to risk a DWI]

How did I stack up with her 7 tips?

  • I didn’t give one rat’s @ss about the calories.  Seriously.  I wanted Italian wine which reviewed well and that alone was my criteria.  Life’s too short to count calories.  Plus I’m not so hot at math … and neither are cats.
  • Earn your glass.  Hell yeah!  I’ve been married 8 years and it feels more like 20!  I probably earned at least a case of wine that night, but I know my limits (sometimes).
  • I drank while I ate … I ate the artichokes with the martini. AND the martini had olives!
  • I then drank RED wine with dinner.
  • Too late?  Nope, we had reservations at 6 pm like old people!
  • We spent enough on the wine.  Plenty …  but not breaking the bank kind of thing … that’s silly.  And no, no, no, no, no 2 buck upchuck for me.  Gross.
  • Yes, we drank away from home — it’s called eating out.

In total, I scored 6 out of 7 on Madeline’s list — that’s about 86% on the money; who said me and a calculator can’t do math!  (or maths for all you UK people reading this!)

cat math math cat

Math Cat says, “This math stuffs gets harder and harder, but the most difficult part is writing because I don’t have opposable thumbs.”

I celebrated like a queen!  We had a great time!  The next day I gained some weight, but told myself JUNE is a new month to start over with weight loss, eating healthy and getting fit … and then … MY STUPID TOENAIL. 😦

My Franken Toe

UGLY toe

Oh my … this is so ugly.  Go wash your brain now — preferably with a glass of Côtes du Rhône.

Believe it or not, this great toe looked worse one month ago!  This is the improved “healing” version.  I sound like a wimp, but whatevs folks … this mother-f-cking toe hurts!  Everything I do, my toe says, “Hey, feel me!  I hurt!  Ow!  I need attention.  Me!  Me!  Me!” I’m now limited with my physical activity related to this thing.

Wondering how I got this beauty?  I lifted a terra cotta pot at my dad’s house that was disintegrating while taking it to the trash and it fell into multiple, heavy shards directly onto my great toe — that’s not so great now.  F-cking A.  F-cking O.  It hurt so much.  It bled more than my heaviest period, I cried for two hours straight and iced it it down with holding pressure.  I had to ask my dad for the medication he had from 2014 from his knee surgery just to control the pain.  He complied and I felt a wee bit better.

I’m sorry for such an ugly picture when I know I should be posting a picture of a beautiful cat.  Here’s my lovely cat so you can clear your mind of that ugly toe.

Handsome Mr. T!

Handsome Teo

This is one of my REAL LIFE cats!  Can you believe how gorgeous he is?!  My friend Tunie calls this a “money shot”!  Ha!  He’s one bad@ss furbear!


Sooooooooo … my point is … I drank wine because I wanted to celebrate.  I can’t work out like I want (need) to because my toe has messed up everything (for a while) and my cats keep my happy and distracted.  I’m human.  I will continue to be healthy after my hysterectomy.  I promise.  I’m still eating healthy, but physical exercise is a challenge.  It’s amazing how much one toe can effect your life!

I look forward to going back to swimming, but the sign says:

No swimming

This says NOTHING about swimming with your cat.  Next time I go to the gym, I’ll bring my cats!  And that chick’s open wound on her arm is 10 times grosser than my toe.  Bleh!  How did she get that wound on her arm?  What a weird place.  F-ck splashing “unnecessarily” — I’ll splash as much as I want; I’m not 5 years old for Pete’s sake!  Swimming in your bling … hah, hah, hah!  Really people — yeah, I’ll break out my pearl necklace and diamond earrings.  Oh, maybe this is all about ocean swimming and attracting (or avoiding) sharks … cute info graphic anyway regardless of the body of water.  Do RED bathing suits really attract sharks?

Things don’t always turn out as expected … apparently the Italians have a saying for this:

Italian saying things dont always turn out as expected

I’m simply going to go with this.  I had fun.  I indulged a wee bit too much.  Two steps forward one-and-a-half steps back … but hey, life happens.  I’ll be back with more success.  Please, please I beg of you to wish some good juju healing for my stupid toe!

Juju cartoon

… to my toe please.  And thank you in advance.


 

Vaginal marijuana for menstrual cramps: the grass isn’t always greener

Look what the amazing Dr. Jen Gunter has to share again!

The idea of marijuana via vaginal suppository is quite interesting. At times, I’m sure I would have been very desperate to try such a thing, but today is the first I’ve ever heard of this … plus I don’t live in a state that allows medical marijuana.

Anyway, if anyone tries or has tried this, please let me know — I’d really like to know how well it worked! But it’s not like I’m going to go get a uterus transplant so I can try it myself! My dsymenorrhea (painful periods) are a thing of the past — and it was all done legally!

Hormonal sadness

bdc213b448d464758c645f1e2c226f33

Going off hormones can be a bad idea.

Of course, if you have a breast cancer that’s estrogen receptive or positive, then of course you need to stop those hormones.  Duh.

I wish I hadn’t tried going off my Lo Loestrin for 8 weeks.  While I have restarted the hormone regimen again, my body is taking a while to catch up, especially emotionally lately.  Hormones aren’t like instantaneous pain pills — like take a pain pill and feel better in about an hour.  It doesn’t work that way and I’m sure you know that.

I simply didn’t realize how hard the emotional aspect would hit me after stopping the Lo Loestrin.  I can’t wait until things are back on track emotionally-speaking. I’m not sure how long that part of this hormonal process takes to stabilize.  I really have no idea.

let-shit-go

Easier said than done.

I don’t like feeling sad or crying easily — it reminds me of my teenage years and through the times when my hormones weren’t very balanced.  I hate being a sensitive person and having petty things upset me to a greater degree than they “should”.  I very much envy stoic people … not that I like to be around these unfeeling people much, but I do envy their lack of emotional responses and seemingly controlled cool-as-a cucumber outer appearance (perhaps facade).  And no, no, no I wouldn’t want to be an unfeeling psychopath by any means.

Why isn’t my skin thicker?  It’s a stupid unrewarding question only asked to torture oneself with no real logical conclusion that can only serve to spiral into more self-deprecating thought.  I can only think hormones, genes and past experiences combined play a part in this emotional downspin.

And I don’t want to become a man pumped full of testosterone with a sex change either simply to avoid female emotions.  I suppose the hormone balancing act is one that takes patience … and perhaps the tension of the Christmas season with all it’s various stressors don’t help either.

Where’s my cyber friend Wanda when I need her to tell me that depression is a lying asshole?  Wanda, Wanda, come out of the woodwork wherever you are. ❤ 

Anyway, physically my hormonal symptoms are greatly improving but this lack of estrogen and progesterone (whether synthetic or not) has me reeling into depths of being oversensitive and almost drowning in self-doubt.  It’s to the point that if you tell me I’m shit, I believe you without fight or question.

Sorry for the sad post folks … it’s usually not my style.

Then I feel guilty about being sad … like my sadness is stupid, selfish, a waste of time … I don’t have cancer, I’m not like the woman I saw in the grocery store today with only half an arm, my dad didn’t die, I didn’t lose a baby, I didn’t get fired … I feel like my sadness is all bullshit and trivial.  However, on the other hand I genuinely feel it … it’s not fake … the tears come, the lower lip and chin quiver, the thoughts grow, merge and a take on a life of their own.

No worries please, I know and hope too as the eternal optimist that I am that this too will pass.  It’s just so amazing how it feels like it won’t.  I’m nowhere needing the “suidcidal hotline”.  It’s simply sadness with undertones or rather overtones of unworthiness.

tumblr_static_tumblr_static_6a3mfz5021ogk0c8wwg4cc4sw_640

I also know I need to get myself to yoga tomorrow … yoga does something very special to me … more than words can explain.

healing yoga

Time lost and time gained … and time lost thinking about time gained.

lost TIME

The other morning while I lay in bed I thought about all the days and weekends I missed due to my dysmenorrhea.  I thought about how I would retreat to my bed when I could, after taking my pain medication and sleep … simply trying to sleep the hours away until the pain was gone.

I thought about the ibuprofen and Tylenol #3 (acetaminophen with codeine) I would take while I waited for their effects to slowly chip away at the pain.  I would often, but not always have my heating pad at my back waiting for the pain to melt away.  Yes, that’s the feeling it was.  There was no high.  There was no euphoria.

All the pain medication did was bring me to a state of semi-normalacy … a pain state that was tolerable.  

There had to be a fine balance because too much Tylenol #3 — STILL within the prescribed dosing instructions — and I would become nauseous and later very constipated.  How anyone can become an addict is beyond me and something I never want to discover firsthand.  I HATE CONSTIPATION!

The only treasure in all that misery was some private time, some deep sleep … it was an exit to life of sorts.  I’m not up for exiting life, but with pain and fatigue that wracked my body the brief escape was welcomed.

The idea that retreating from life — a time period comprised of up to one-sixth of every month of my life for countless years is somewhat mind-boggling. Since my hysterectomy and after the four week healing post-op time frame, I feel like I’ve gained extra time.  That’s a gift really.  I used to count on at least, the very least, three days of every month being completely shot.  Worthless.  Kaput.

In a twisted way, I miss the retreat and melting away of pain … and I think this is because it was a way of life for quite some time.  Like a person enraptured by Stockholm syndrome I came to know my abuser (the pain, the dysmenorrhea) well and defending the abuse as my way of life … my way of being.  The pain became a part of me. Rewards came as respite and breaks from pain.  Although my life was never in true danger I sometimes felt like I could die.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My idea of hysterectomy was at times once thought of as frightening because I didn’t know what to expect with the surgery and recovery with life afterward. The dysmenorrhea was predictable, routine and generally consistent.  Had the possibility of children not been on my radar I’m sure I would have had a hysterectomy sooner.

Psychologically it was challenging to live in the maybe-baby zone.  I think it’s much easier to fall on either side of the fence … not wanting children whatsoever or wanting them with fierce desperation.  It’s difficult to be in the middle.  Just ask that middle child, they’ll know all about that middle thing!  Most of the women and friends I’ve come across over the years wanted to have children.  There have only been a handful who didn’t.  There are even fewer women I’ve met who sit in an indecisive position like me.  There is nothing like longing to know you aren’t alone.middle path

I stayed in that grey zone and as such my monthly pain visited me without fail … choosing a definite direction either way I’m sure would have brought it’s own what ifs, possible regrets and other life-defining experiences.  I could only choose the middle path because that’s what felt right to me for as long as it did … until it didn’t.

Sometimes I think about all the time and other experiences I lost to being sick, being in bed, being tired, being in pain, being utterly fatigued, being comfortably medicated and wonder what I could have accomplished or simply not lost to time … and I also know my decision to have a hysterectomy came at a time I was both physically and emotionally ready.

And cats … well cats don’t care about time or choices.  Cats are in the moment choosing the choice in front of them without regret.  Cats don’t ever think all the things they could have done if they’d had more time … cats do have nine lives after all!

*DISCLAIMER

cats during emergencies

What I didn’t say.

EVERYONE needs more education on pain and pain management!

Recently I was talking to a woman who was in her mid-fifties, having outrageous bleeding periods and in-between bleeding and just-for-fun bleeding.  She’s also taking an oral hormone and using two compounded hormone creams.  She’s had a bilateral oophorectomy (both ovaries removed) and a recent D&C (uterine scraping) and continues to bleed.  Ay yay yay!

I didn’t ask, “Have you EVER thought of getting a hysterectomy?”  I wanted to.  But I didn’t.  I used the refrain button.  I didn’t have the energy to explore that conversation with her.  I also thought she has probably considered a hysterectomy at some point and for whatever reason has decided that surgery is not for her.  BUT heavens to Murgatroyd!  How could she NOT get a hysterectomy?!  She better have stock in Kotex (or Tampax … or Depend Undergarments)!

What I wanted to say …

My opinion without actually hearing her side is why, oh why on earth woman would you endure endless bleeding upon bleeding after all you’re doing and keep that uterus?  I would get my uterus out before my ovaries out … but whatever, I’m a different person with different problems.  I never had severe bleeding.  Never.  In fact, I welcomed a juicy flow. Oversharing again … mea culpa.  But I must remind you, you ARE on a hysterectomy blog and anything … well, almost anything can be expected.  Remember, it’s only virtual blood and not the actual thing!pain pain pain

If I had to pick evil vs. evil I would have picked a heavy flow over a painful period that made me wish death was upon me.  I know it’s easy for me to say because I’ve never bled like a stuck pig … but c’mon pain sucks!    And no, I’m not like all those people who say, “Oh look at me, I have a high tolerance for pain.  An anvil can crush my head and I’d think maybe a piece of dust had fallen upon me … or my toenail could accidentally be ripped off and I’d think my foot felt a tiny bit itchy.”

I WOULD NEVER SAY ANYTHING LIKE THAT.  I FEEL PAIN.  I AM HUMAN!

Here is my mini-letter to that person with a high pain tolerance:  high pain tolerance

Dear High & Mighty Pain Tolerance Person,

I am not impressed by your high tolerance of pain.  I am not in a magnificent psychological stupor of your reports of high pain tolerance.  In fact, I think you are broken.  Nature intends for us to feel pain.  It is a signal that something is wrong — not that you have super powers.

Why do you tell me almost in a bragging way about your high tolerance to pain?  Do you want a trophy, a cookie, a raise?  Well, you’re not getting any of those things from me.  I don’t think you’re some miracle from beyond.  You won’t be able to relate to me and my other fellow human beings who actually feel pain.

Don’t look down upon me because I find improved living through chemistry AKA analgesics.  No, I’m not getting high or drug-seeking … I simply want relief of my pain — something YOU can’t relate to. I don’t wish pain upon you, but please shut up about how much pain you can take and how you never need pain medicine.  Good for you oddball … you know you lack empathy on this front, don’t you?  I would NEVER, EVER, EVER want someone like you to be my nurse or doctor or friend because you could obviously never understand.

Sincerely, Me

I am NOT this person — this person with the high threshold for pain!  You and your high pain tolerance can go take a swim in an ocean of razor blades!  But guess what?!  Not everyone has a high pain tolerance.  Let me also defend myself (and others) by saying I don’t have a low pain tolerance either.  It’s not like I get a hair that’s out of place and my scalp is screaming bloody mayhem with that misplaced follicle.  I have a NORMAL tolerance for pain.  N-O-R-M-A-L.

So  … back to that woman I mentioned in the beginning.  I enjoyed talking to her very much — especially  since she was a Canuck.  I just love Canucks.  She’s going to have another D&C for that bleeding that I’m sure will only temporarily alleviate her symptoms.  I’m not psychic, but I have this strong feeling I’ll be talking to her about a hysterectomy in the future.

This whole situation reminds me of when I asked my Gyn about having an endometrial ablation for my dysmenorrhea.  He told me that although the bleeding was likely to stop with an ablation, the pain probably wouldn’t and I would need to pursue a hysterectomy.  I thought why in the world would I want to try a procedure that was unlikely to help me with my actual problem of pelvic pain (and leg pain and back pain and fatigue) and then go on to have a major surgery?!  I’m not a guinea pig and didn’t feel like experimenting with possibilities — especially the probability of procedure failure. Fortunately, my Gyn is honest with me and doesn’t feel like making some money from an endometrial ablation and more cash from the eventual hysterectomy.  Perhaps endometrial ablation is the way to go when a women is finished having children (if she had any at all or wanted to have any) and has heavy bleeding and doesn’t have dysmenorrhea!  Bleeding was NOT my problem.

Here’s one Gyn’s opinion on why she doesn’t do endometrial ablations: Why Dr. Kate O’hanlan doesn’t do endometrial ablation.

Here’s a study … don’t worry it’s not long or too boring … about endometrial ablation and the risks: Risk factors of pain and possible hysterectomy.

This quote alone is enough for me:

A history of dysmenorrhea gave a 74% higher risk of developing pain …

Seventy-four percent is EXCELLENT betting odds!  Where’s the exit train where I can say no thank you, I don’t want THAT!  Oh wait, I already had a Gyn who was up-to-date recommending against endometrial ablation while most importantly I’ve already had my hysterectomy.  But really, could you honestly imagine a 74% chance of developing pain?  I already had pain with dysmenorrhea … would I have simply imploded from even more pain?  Good thing I didn’t get all experimental-guinea-pig-f*ck-what-my-doc-says and try endometrial ablation.  I’m glad I listened to my Gyn because I didn’t read this study until now and I honestly don’t know what I would have done with any more pain than what I already had.  What do you do with pain on top of pain?!  Die?

*DISCLAIMER

My old friend … the heating pad

Recently I’ve discovered since my total hysterectomy (uterus with cervix removal) that I can’t tolerate eating spicy food like jalapeños with the seeds left in. . ass burning jalapenos

I ate jalapeños a few days ago.  They were were in corn casserole and there were seeds.  Big, big, big mistake.  I had abdominal cramping, diarrhea and severe abdominal pain that radiated down my legs.  I also had @ss-burning diarrhea.  The amount of pain and cramping reminded me of my dysmenorrhea.  To combat the pain I went to find my old friend the heating pad.

The last time I used my heating pad it was for dysmenorrhea way back in June 2014 I wasn’t 100% sure where it was.  I had three places in mind.  Of course I found it in the last place of the three — the jeans drawer.  People often say, “I found it in the last place I looked” which I find amusing since yes, of course it’s the last place you looked … would you really continue to look after you found what you were looking for?  Who in their right mind would continue to look for something they already found?

So, there was my old friend to help me with my abdominal cramping.  I guess jalapeños are off the list … at least the ones with seeds.  This isn’t the first time this cramping-I’m-going-to-diarrhea-my-brains-out-before-dying feeling has overcome me since eating jalapeños after my total hysterectomy.

I’m glad I found my friend.  I’ve used a heating pad for years decades.  My mother even bought me a monogrammed cover for my pad.  I think that’s both endearing and sad.  Endearing because it’s like “look at fancy me, I have a monogrammed heating pad” and sad because “look at pathetic me, I have so much pain that my heating pad has a monogrammed covering implying it’s a permanent feature of my life”.

Right now my big fat fluffy cat is lying on it warming his fluffiness.

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I found my old friend the heating pad that won’t be used for my dysmenorrhea anymore, but is occasionally still part of my life.  I’ll just have to watch out for jalapeños!

*DISCLAIMER

Thank you 2014!

In 2014 I got two really, really, really, really good things I’m thankful for:

  1. No more monthly PAIN!  Yay!  Life without pain!  (relatively speaking, of course).  Thank you hysterectomy!
  2. A ❤ of blogging!  Who knew that a hysterectomy could lead to a passion for something.  Out with my uterus and in with a blog!

We can only be said to be alive in those moment when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. ~ Thornton Wilder

In the theme of streaming consciousness … What is streaming consciousness? I’m listing my THANK YOUS & GRATITUDES for 2014 in no special order:

  • I’m glad that hysterectomies work.  At least mine anyway. 🙂
  • I’m glad I have two fur bunnies (read cats) to love on and kiss every day.  It’s just a disgusting love fest over here! =^..^=
  • I’ve found (or they found me) some of the best blogging people … just love them and their comments.  I know there’s a whole world out there for me … unexplored.
  • I’m also thankful for Netflix.  Yep, I said it.  I ❤ watching Anthony Bourdain. Who is Anthony Bourdain and what does he do?
  • I’m REALLY glad that yucky yellow discharge went away.  Sorry to be so gross, but I’m beyond thankful about this.  I promise I won’t keep harping on this lovely subject anymore … but if you want to read about it go HERE.  Sometimes we’re thankful for what we have and other times thankful for what we don’t have!
  • I’m so happy that day of pain OCTOBER 1st 2014 is a thing of the past … I’m talking about my need for a root canal.  If you’d like to relieve my day of pain with me go HERE.  That is my own favorite post!  (Readers like that vaginal cuff thing.)
  • I have a job and am not homeless out in the cold.  I seriously said this while getting in the elevator today; it was 45 F (7.2 C for the rest of the world because the US won’t switch to metric).  45 F is cold for ME.  I’ve been in Texas for over half my life and now  anything below 50 F is cold … brrrrrrrrrrr.  Yeah, I know all you Canucks reading this think I’m really wimpy!  Don’t hold it against me because if you’ve been following this you KNOW I ❤ Canadians. a cold cat
  • I got a KING size bed this year!  If you don’t have one you’re missing out.  I know (only through the blogosphere) this one guy who has 21 cats … I sure hope he has a king size bed for all that furriness when the kitties sleep with them!
  • I lowered my phone bill to $12.50 per month.  Yes, it’s true.  I have WiFi and cell.  It’s monetarily amazing!  Thanks to Republic Wireless that’s all I pay for great service (and a sweet phone too).  And NO this is not an advertisement … I’m simply thankful for a cheaper phone bill!  Seriously.  But if Republic Wireless wants to pay me for this endorsement I’m all for it. 🙂

That’s all the thankfulness I’ve got in me right now!

*DISCLAIMER

What are YOU thankful for in 2014?

cat thankful