If I was given a self evaluation in my twenties, I would have labelled myself a feisty survivor. Someone destined to do great and fantastic things. I would have painted myself into a finished fantasy series, a fluent second and/or third language speaker, and an accomplished world traveler. I would have continued my martial arts training, competing and performing, honing my craft.
If I was given a self evaluation a month ago, I would have labelled myself an exhausted zombie. Someone destined to never have children, travel and die of a horrible disease. My body is at a broken state that it has never been before, martial arts all but forgotten. My creativity had reached an all time low. Even at work, I felt like I was just going through the motions.
Every month, my PMS symptoms kept getting worse, and curiously, started further and further before my period actually began. I started getting worried when I would get strange nausea and chest/shoulder pains four, five, and seven days before the start of my period. From January of 2015 on, I was getting these symptoms with increasing intensity almost a week and half before my period.
It was confusing, because each time, even though I track all woman associated happenings, I would become convinced that it must be that my period was going to start. That was it. Then it wouldn’t.
In January, the chest and shoulder pains threw me into such anxiety, that I, the stoic who brushed off doctors and hospitals, actually left work early to go see my doctor. Granted, it was my chiropractor, who when I called for advice, suggested I get myself in to see a doctor and get checked out.
I was having one long anxiety attack on top of all of this. Sitting in the waiting room, all I could think was “I’m having a heart attack and I don’t even know it”or “Oh my God, I have a pulmonary embolism!” Thank you very much WebMD.
Well, after an EKG, the doctor informed me that my heart was perfectly fine. Even my low blood pressure and anemia, which had been present the last time I was at the doctor’s office were not manifesting. The doctor lightly mentioned the possibility of taking an ultrasound, but told me to just be extra careful and sent me to the hospital for a chest x-ray to rule out lung issues. This too proved not to be the issue.
I went home feeling anxious and crappy, convinced that I was developing anxiety disorder.
Fast forward to the end of April. On the last Sunday of April, I wasn’t feeling that great. I didn’t want to cook, so we ordered a pizza. Bad idea, but maybe one of the best things that could of happened to me. Once again, the same pain and nausea returned, but combined with my period symptoms, it was bad enough to keep me up all night, moaning and intermittently crying. That was what prompted me to go to the emergency room. I didn’t want to be a sissy (I have a high pain tolerance, so this has always been my M.O.).
This wasn’t normal in any way though. I remember thinking, “if I don’t have children, this is the closest I will get to childbirth.”
I called the doctor’s office and they told me to go buy a pregnancy test to be sure that I didn’t have an ectopic pregnancy. It came back negative. Now I was relieved and worried at the same time. The doctor told me to call the office when it opened in the morning to make an appointment, as it didn’t sound like I needed to go to the emergency room. I’m thinking that maybe I downplayed how bad it was?
At about 6:45 in the morning I was done and ready to get some relief. I went to the emergency room. An ultrasound and IV later, I had been diagnosed with multiple gallstones and a high white blood cell count, meaning my gallbladder was most likely infected. I asked if I could try to use a stonebreaker herbal formula first to try to pass the stones, and the look on the doctor’s face freaked me out.
It wasn’t the usual “you crazy” look that I get from doctors when I try my healthy methods first for medical issues (which by the way have worked the majority of the time). It was the “I am afraid for you if you leave this hospital” look. When she explained that this wasn’t just stones, but infection, I was a little freaked out. They wouldn’t let me leave the hospital, because my gallbladder could rupture and go septic. Gulp.
My husband told me that the doctor came out and spoke to him when I was in recovery after the surgery. He said my gallbladder was full of stones and infected from the inside out. Whatever “infected from the inside out” means, it does NOT sound good. Apparently, it was a VERY good thing that I got in when I did.
It hasn’t been that great recovering, but way easier than when I had my ACL surgery. I’m already experiencing huge relief from many of the symptoms I was experiencing. I’m eating less, losing weight, and overall, more conscious of what I’m putting in my body.
The best part is that I can feel some of my energy returning. Not all at once, the way I’d like it to, but a little at a time.
I am more hopeful about the future.
Which leads me to some of the goals I’ve had that seem to have slipped away.
I’m not going to announce these goals to anyone on Facebook, family members, friends, etc. I’m going to keep them here, in my cerebral domain. I’m going to work on reclaiming my vocabulary, verbal and written confidence, and positive energy.
Here are my first two current “working on” goals:
First, I’ve been fighting this thing where certain words and names elude me. That really freaks me out. I know some of this may have been from all the exhaustion from fighting a failing gall bladder, for what was probably years. My plan is to make a list of these words/names, and work on making them incredibly familiar to me in the context of situations I experience on a regular basis.
Second, the more secretive goal. Writing anything has been incredibly difficult for me while all this was going on. I’m writing this post on one of the worst days of my period, which is way better than any of my best days have been for the past few years. I haven’t had any caffeine, yet I am still managing to finish this post. Bravo!
My plan is to take the 1.5 to 2.0 hours that I have before my husband gets home from work every day and start writing again. No research, no background planning, just writing. This could be writing my fantasy novel, writing in my journal, or even writing for this blog.
All of this seems rough and my writing feels choppy, but it will only improve and smooth into something palatable if I do it on a regular basis.
And that is what.