Thursday, October 22, 2015

Pain in a pain, you know what I'm sayin'? [part two]

{Part One Here}

I have a battery of blood work done and given new medication that is an "anti-spasmodic"...not for me in general, but for my intestine.  I think this is going to be super because it's a really, really bizarre sensation to feel your intestines - especially when it's spazzing out and contracting.  This new medication basically slows down the contractions, hence making the cramps less powerful.  However, what it does to your inside also generally does to your whole damn body.  SO fucking tired!  I am already exhausted all the time from whatever the hell is going on...tacking on a new med that a side effect is drowsiness is just lovely. 

Within 5 days of taking the new meds - I wake up at 3am to the worst pain that I have ever had.  Literally, every had.  It was so powerful that while lying on my back in bed, it shot my legs straight up.  Luckily, it only lasted about 2 seconds and then it's gone like the wind and leaves me behind with only worries.  I emailed my doctor that morning and told her the new meds aren't working as I hoped and I'm getting nervous, especially after review of some of my blood work.  I only had one that was out of range - lymphocytes were low out of range - there were a few dangling on the edge of "not normal".

A nurse wrote me back and interpreted what a Nurse Practitioner said (which, by the way, Kaiser freaking LOVES having Nurse Practitioners around - I think I've seen more N.P.'s than actual doctors).  Anywho, this NP basically tells me that it's assumed I have IBS...on top of my hibernating ulcerative colitis.  I stare at my computer screen, in shock, because not too long prior I bleed, had debilitating pain and they are trying to pass IBS on me?  I type a nasty gram and tell them that it's essentially bull shit because IBS is an excuse for a diagnosis - hit send on the message and cry. 

This last Friday, back at Kaiser for a follow up to see how I was doing.  This time with yet another Nurse Practitioner.  I was glad that it was a new one - I would be able to hopefully sell my case to a brand new jury. Within the first minute of us talking, I am in tears because I am SO frustrated with all this pain - I just want it to go away.  I tell her everything that has happened over the last 6 weeks and she makes me feel like I am being fucking paranoid. She looks me in the eye and asks if I have been put on anything for my moods yet.   She even muttered "PTSD".

She then goes on to tell me that she's worked in family planning and talked about my bad periods for a good 5-10 minutes.  Listen, I will take whatever I can in the bad period department, but I don't think my monthly's are going to cause me damn cancer.  I start getting agitated towards the end of the appointment because after telling her that I am worried the Melanoma went to my bowels, she's correcting me saying "everything is fine with your bowels, you had a colonoscopy".  Yes, you're right Ms. Fake Dr, but I'm talking about my small intestine and colonoscopies just don't (can't) go there.

I leave the office with paperwork for damn stress classes, a name of a book about fucking periods and a 'prescription' for magnesium oxide that I can get at Trader Joe's.  I cry the entire way back to work.  I started feeling like maybe I am being paranoid. Maybe I am causing this pain from stress.  That's a hard-jagged pill to swallow; to know that I'm having all of this physical pain that I am mentally causing myself.  The weekend sucked after having this slowly sink in like grease on concrete.

Guess what?  O-kay, you'll never guess, so I will tell you.  Tuesday I have an email from her saying that she showed my case to a (real) doctor and he thinks that I should have a CT to rule out metastasis.  Finally!  Someone gets it!!  I wrote her back and told her that Friday was really hard for me because I was feeling like I was crazy - I even mentioned the crying the whole way home part.  I hope she read it.  I hope she felt just a teeny bit bad.  I hope it changes the way she talks to people that are fucking crying in front of her. 

For a good thirty minutes I felt wonderful.  Vindicated.  Heard.  Then, naturally, panic sets in because someone finally agrees that there actually may be something wrong.

Scan is set for Saturday.  This is my first one with contrast (drinking that chalky-ass shit and being hooked up to an IV).   It's taking up nearly my whole damn Saturday.  Not really, but at least the fun middle part of the day.  I fast for four hours before (so no eating by 10:40), then I arrive two hours before the scan (get there by 12:40), start drinking liquid chalk and get dressed in my gown for the scan at 2:40.  I should be out of there and starving by 3:30...hopefully.

I'm sure it's to end up being nothing.  This is going to be a huge step for me just to make sure that everything is o-kay.  I can then move on with life.  My brain hasn't been right for months because of all of this crap.  If it is IBS...ugh...then I will let it soak in deeper and deal with it.

Wish me luck!

Pain is a pain, you know what I'm sayin'? [part one]

There has been lots going on over the last few months.  I started writing a post about it back in July - but it ended up being a super long and drawn-out...which this may totally be, too.  In a way to hide that this is going to be an excessive post, I am going to chop it into two!  I am sooo tricky!

Basically, I've been having pain in my lower abdomen for years now.  Two to be exact.  I have always assumed it was due to my Ulcerative Colitis.  After having bummer exam numero 3 (or more appropriately numbered 3.5), I am told my large intestine is looking great.  I am actually shocked to see the images because it's SO not what I was expecting.  I expected lots of ulcers, lots of inflammation, lots of something...definitely not lots of beautifully pink insides. 

Exactly one week later after the colonoscopy, I am back sitting on an exam table at Kaiser because something doesn't feel right.  If it's not the U.C., what the fuck is causing the pain?  I am popping Extra Strength Tylenol like candy (which those don't even work that well - I am not "supposed" to take anything else).  The pain is primarily in my lower right abdomen, sometimes it radiates around my entire midsection, every now and then it's a sharp, stabbing pain...every day it's a dull ache to crampy.  So, then it's got to be my internal female bits, right? 

I have a lovely PAP done...which I hate.  Hate like loathe, hate them.  One of my previous docs said that trying to find my cervix is like going on a roller coaster ride.  Not cool when the car is the speculum and the track is my who-ha!  She tests for all kinds of gnarly things which means extra weird looking swabs attacking my cervix.  My tests come back stellar, which I completely anticipated because my girl is all good.  Then the next logical step, per my doctor, is to make an appointment for an ultrasound.  This isn't the typical preggo type ultrasound though, this is to take a look at the female bits from the outside AND the inside.  The probe (that I nicknamed Slim Wandy) is sheathed in a super-thin, narrow condom slathered in hospital grade lube...which is comical to say the least. Once Slim Wandy is inside, the nurse takes him on a guided tour of my uterus - and he finds nothing suspicious. There is nothing abnormal with ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus or bladder. 

About a month after the probing, I am again back at Kaiser.  I had an appointment scheduled for a few weeks later than this particular date, however a couple things happened that kind of startled me.  I bled.  Now, it wasn't like how I bled back in the day - but hey man, bleeding when you're not supposed to bleed, especially from a place that isn't meant to bleed, is terrifying!  I told the hubs if I bleed again then I will push my appointment sooner.  Well...the next morning the pain in my abdomen was so strong I could hardly stand up.  It was 7am and I was contemplating going to the hospital.  It eventually passed and didn't happen again the remainder of the day, so I called Kaiser first thing on Monday.  The rep I spoke to told me that I probably should have gone to the hospital and should definitely if it happens again.  Esh.