Benefit #1: EXTREME Colon Cleansing
Seriously, I'm pretty sure I passed earwax, but I also passed TONS of toxins, candida, and other stuff. Thanks, Dr. A, for un-jamming my system.
Benefit #2: FREE Lactated Ringer
Electrolytes? Balance my ph level? Help my muscles/nerves function? Something I frequently pay for? Count me in.
Benefit #3: OXYGEN
Lyme hates Oxygen. I hate Lyme. Case closed.
Benefit #4: Sleep
Need I say more?
Benefit #5: Pain Relief (my favorite)
Sunday morning, the pain in my neck and shoulder was so intense, I couldn't lift my arms, turn my head, or sleep (this has been happening for several weeks). By Sunday night, after 32 pills and 14 trips to the bathroom later--yes, I counted them--the pain was SIGNIFICANTLY less.
This morning, after my second enema--and five more trips to the banyo, I was almost shoulder pain-free.
Now, I feel absolutely wonderful (or at least semi-human).
Clearly, I needed some serious detox action.
Angel says I am probably the only person to come out of a colonoscopy feeling better than when they went in.
Benefit #6: Proof--I'm Not Crazy
There's some funny stuff happening in my colon. My gastroenterologist confirmed it. Hopefully, those high-powered, on-site microscopes can figure out what it is. I'll know next week.
Benefit #7: REALLY Nice People
The staff at Winter Park's Endoscopy Unit was AMAZING--very respectful, very thorough, very considerate. I cannot give enough compliments here. The experience made me extremely happy and proud...especially since a) I've been having such crappy luck with doctors lately (un-blogged about) and b) I used to work in the hospital's marketing department.
Benefit #8: Giggles
A conversation with my anesthesiologist afterwards...
Him: So, do you remember anything?
Me: Should I?
Him: Well, we weren't sure. You woke up in the middle of the procedure.
Him (imitating me): "Uh, hey guys? I'm awake here. I'm comfortable. It's ok. But should this be happening?"
LOL. Thank goodness I didn't cuss at anybody.
Altered Today: Opinion about the rope scope, hope for the western medical community, pride in myself for being kind while unconscious.
PS My doc's last words to me? "Don't worry, we're going to figure this out."
WOW! So much better than "Are you sure that's not apple skin?"
Colonoscopies Aren't For Sissies.
There's medication downtime, prescription prep, liquid diet supplies, hospital paperwork, next of kin promises.
Did I mention medication downtime? Man, I'd kill for a muscle relaxer.
Over the next 24 hours, I will eat broth and green jello, drink diet ginger ale, take 32 pills (in 8 batches, four at a time, with 8oz of water), do two enemas, go the restroom X times, have anesthesia, AND get a scope up my rear.
Hope it's worth it. :)
On the bright side, I am looking forward to some uninterrupted sleep and being doped up for a bit.
As my friend Gary says: Make mine a double Venti, please.
Catch you on the flip side...
Altered Today: Everything you would ever normally do on a Sunday that doesn't include taking pills every 15 minutes and pooping non stop.
PS Congratulations, Elaine, you're my new health surrogate--SURPRISE! Not quite the Publisher's Clearing House, but hey...that's what you get for being a badass. ;)
PSS Hoping I'm wrong here, but think I might be getting shingles.
I'll admit it. I've hardly had any good news lately. If it's not thrush, it's my shoulder. If it's not my shoulder, it's my neck. If it's not me, it's my family. If it's not one miserable procedure, it's another.
Justified or not, I'm beginning to feel/sound a lot like Eeyore.
"No gaiety, no song and dance, no "Here We Go 'Round the Mulberry Bush."
Here's me taking a stab at "elevating the conversation" (and my mood) by answering one targeted question:
What do I love about my life?
Feel free to play along.
I love that my cat won't rest until she snuggles up on my leg, chair, or chest.
I love that my dog Betsy follows me everywhere.
I love that I live one minute from Whole Foods, a movie theater, and the gym.
I love my Acupuncturist, my LLMD, my Massage Therapist, and my Chiropractor.
I love that Angel can stay home and make money.
I love singing in the bathtub/car/shower and making up songs while driving.
I love watching movies.
I love my friends--many of whom I never would have met without illness.
I love my handicap parking pass...not that I need it, but that I can use it.
I love being able to go to Disney any time I want to.
I love Deland Bakery Yeast-Free Millet Bread.
I love my family and how willing they are to support me.
I love Angel's sense of humor and how he appreciates animals...even tiny, inconsequential ones.
I love watching the Occupy movement unfold and seeing people stand up for what they believe in.
I love magazines and lazing the day away with a good cup of hot tea.
I love folk music and, to my surprise, Lady GaGa. Did you see that Thanksgiving special? Man is she talented.
I love when Finster (my very large, very bad, white cat) spreads out his toes to chew his toenails.
I love my random folk art collection.
I love my La-Z-Boy(s).
I love witty, satirical, crass blogs that make me laugh til I cry.
I love the ceilings in my bedroom and living room.
I love listening to A Prairie Home Companion and This American Life.
I love that, since getting sick, I've been able to help a lot of people figure out what's wrong with them.
I love vintage books and using them to make vintage book journals.
I love what UNDAs have done for my brain fog.
I love that I'm able to walk longer and breathe a lot better lately...no cane, no wheel chair necessary.
I love my Favorite Lyme Nurse, Santa Maria, and doc's former Trusty Sidekick.
I love this meditation.
I love thinking about what I love about my life and that I'm still willing to do it (hey, I'm still in here somewhere).
Happy Black Friday!
Altered Today: Focus. No need to be black and blue. Right?
How I looked when my pharmacist--who was trying to fill Angel's script from his doctor's appointment yesterday--
said he couldn't verify our insurance coverage...
What I did while the same pharmacist talked to my insurance company
for 30 minutes to figure out the problem...
What I am grateful for...
Altered Today: Hopefully Angel's health, my dog's crate, and a stranger's fate
(emailed her about the possibility of her daughter having Lyme Disease).
I love you. Thanks for reading.
I don't even know how to begin this blog post so I'm just going to say it: I feel tremendous pressure to be positive.
After all, I live in one of the richest nations in the world.
I have copious amounts of food in the fridge.
I am not dying.
I can move.
Who am I to complain?
Oscar the Grouch?
The mother on Everybody Loves Raymond?
Nobody likes a complainer (including me). As a society, we much prefer heroism, bravery, and strength. Which leaves a dilemma...how to talk about the view when the view is less than desirable.
In an effort to tell the truth, without turning into Pinocchio, I just need to say this...I don't feel much like celebrating.
While nothing in particular is WRONG, what feels more authentic than being thankful is being real...even when talking about that reality isn't particularly inspiring.
The holidays can be a lot of things: Joyful, Nostalgic, Warm. For a sick person, they can also be challenging...foods you can't eat, distances you can't travel, stuff you no longer have the energy to do, noise, crowds, pain, and an overwhelming desire for normalcy.
I want pumpkin pie.
I want to play cards til 3 am without aches and exhaustion.
I want to sleep without crying.
I want to bake bread (and eat it).
I want to stop being poked/prodded/insulted by doctors.
I want my friends and family to be well.
I want my stiff shoulder, neck, and arm pain to disappear.
I want to be better.
I am not bitter about it. I just need to say it.
Not just for me, but for all of my sick friends--especially those who are struggling.
This time last November, I could have never imagined that one-year later I'd still be sick and suffering (Can you imagine, over a year of feeling terrible?? Or, like many of my friends, several years???? Totally crazy.).
I know, it could be worse.
I'm thankful, it's not.
THANK YOU for allowing me to say that...without eye rolling, fixing, judging, comparing, minimizing, or lecturing.
For that, I am truly grateful.
Happy Turkey Day.
Altered Today: LOL. Learned a lot and didn't die. Yes. Buddha would totally be proud.
I grew up reading the serenity prayer. It was everywhere: on bathroom walls, in bingo halls, and on dusty shelves in my Mother's living room.
I believe it.
I believe accepting things the way they are and aren't, while taking actions that make a difference, is the key to happiness.
I am also failing at it.
Although I am courageous, I am neither serene, nor accepting. And, I'm seriously beginning to doubt the wise part....at least not in the way I admire: graceful, zen-like, with a small white lamb tucked neatly around my shoulders .
FRUSTRATED best describes me today.
and sick family members who, despite my best efforts, continue to eat hormone-filled meats, pesticide-covered fruits, and sugar by the truck load.
I can't want it for them.
It's hard enough to want it for me.
Still, I can't deny...
and wishing things were different.
Altered Today: Nothing yet, but I'm working on boundaries, communication, and expectations.
-Rich is still in the hospital...(stupid stones)
- My sister's starting UNDAs...(yes, they've helped me that much)
-I'm dreaming about Mounds bars...(mmmmm)
-My neck and shoulder still hurt, but mostly in the morning or while sleeping... (can't figure this out)
-I have friends who like to pick their nose...(don't ask)
-My mother refuses to buy organic
Love you. Hope you are not stressing about Turkey Day.
If you are stressing, I hope that you can laugh at yourself.
Altered Today: See above.
In the bedroom, Rich, my brother-in-law--who never complains-- stands doubled-over, groaning, covered in sweat.
"Take him to the hospital."
"Get his medications."
"Find the doctor's number."
"Where's his wallet?"
My family's having a horrible time lately.
Rage, depression, migraines, pain. Four people. One house. All living, managing, coping, healing, existing with Chronic Lyme.
Instinct told me they needed help.
Me (armed with vitamins, stuff for green drinks, detox materials): Thought you could use a hand.
I didn't foresee kidney stones (not pleasant, but survivable).
Poor Rich--throwing up, reeling from pain, with elevated heart rate, and blood pressure.
As I type, he's under careful watch, being pumped full of IV liquids.
Everyone else is asleep, completely exhausted.
Life's never boring.
Altered Today: Appreciation for my improved coping skills. I don't worry ('til I have to).