My Adventure in Health 2018 Edition: Part Two – Hospital Stay

When life gives you lemons, you make…a really stressful trip through the hospital and they remove your tumor. Yeah…that didn’t flow I know, but life really gave me a bucket of lemons and I guess I’ll squeeze them one by one. Today, we shall talk about the procedure.

I opted for the open procedure where no robotics were used and they got the whole tumor out in one giant lump. And it was giant – weighed over a kilo and pretty much had been impeding my bladder function for the better part of six months. Benign, so that’s a relief (apparently even the technicians thought it might not be so the result came in like 2 days instead of the usual week, surprised even my doctor). Because of anesthesia I pretty much don’t have memories of anything an hour before and apparently five hours after the surgery. My husband had to recap me on what happened – the procedure took all morning, and they just couldn’t bring up my blood pressure to stabilization for like hours afterwards. When they finally did I was rolled (on a gurney, with two dude nurses moving me – I’d be scared or bewildered had I had the energy to be any of that at the time) into my hospital room at 7 pm. I wasn’t in that much pain because they used a nerve blocker (ah the progress of medicine). I was hopped on a lot of painkiller after so in that regard, it was fine.

The hospital was really nice and all the nurses were attentive. And the food wasn’t shit. Like seriously, I mean hospital food are usually bland and horrible but it’s true that to patients like me, it’s actually palatable because eating things without wanting to throw up is a major feat. So is going to the bathroom. I had a huge blood clot afterwards that again, blocked my bladder function, so they had to put a catheter in me. And as painful as inserting a catheter is, I’ll have to say in my short, relatively healthy life the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced was the sensation when you want to but can’t pee. It was horrendous; I never want to go through that fucking ever again. It was so bad I think I started crying uncontrollably. I’m sure childbirth will be more painful but, you know it’s different. Pain I know how to handle and what it means, this thing, man, it’s a different sensation and it’s just so bad.

That was the first day. After that my blood pressure was super low so they had to do a blood transfusion. Well, guess who has really small and deep veins that’re dehydrated because, you know, surgery shit? So they had to put the IV on my hand instead of my arm, and boy did the blood transfusion hurt. My entire hand and up to my elbow felt like someone’s pumping 5 thousand liters of water into a small 1 cm tube. The nurse had it on the slowest setting and I was on a lot of painkillers and it still hurt like a bitch. It worked; I’m alive, my blood pressure stabilized, the blood count went up, I didn’t have any allergic reactions and to my current knowledge no weird diseases, all that good stuff. So yeah, another prop to modern medicine?

It was less eventful after that. I got up and walked (because they force you to walk around because apparently that makes you better quicker – there’s actual research about it) a bit. I had to keep the catheter in until after I get home because the swelling wouldn’t have gone down that quickly – a whole new situation which I will talk about next time. The nurses all had different shifts so I’ve probably seen like a dozen people during the time but I only vaguely remembered people in the last day and a half – the first two I was too out of it to recognize my caretakers. They were all very professional and nice and attentive so props to them! Sorry I was so bad at remembering – too many drugs going on at once.


My Adventure in Health 2018 Edition: Part One – Overview

Hello everyone. It’s now January of 2018, and I’ve been pretty much MIA from the net (and computer in general) since right after Thanksgiving 2017. Truth be told, 2017 was a shitty year. It started off okay, was good when me and my husband went to Japan in May, and then it’s just as steady decline to shitville. I am so glad it’s over. 2018 has got to be better than last, although, now that I’ve said it out loud, I probably just jinxed it so it’ll be much much worse.

But hopefully not.

Anyways, since I want to start fresh, I need to get rid of my last year’s baggage. So I’m going to spend a few days talking about my last month health-wise. I’ve had a major operation where a large fibroid tumor was removed, leaving me a 5 1/2 inch scar on my abdomen like a c-section. I was in the hospital for four days, had 1000 cc (a full liter) of blood transfused into me, was basically bed-ridden for the majority of the month of December, and to date still can’t bend my middle section nor lift anything heavier than 10 lbs (hence I could not sit up on my desk chair and so my computer was off for basically the whole month) In addition, I’ve had another cornea abrasion – that would be the third one. Yes, it busted open again as soon as I opened my eyes in the morning, and I will talk about why later, because I am just that unlucky apparently. I’ve got enough narcotics to jump start an addiction and am tapering off them (successfully, I might add, no I did not get high because that’s dangerous. Nobody wants to voluntarily be a junkie.) One good news is that my tumor was benign, so no cancer for this girl, but everything else accompanying it was shit.

And that’s the overview. I’ll write in detail later, because sitting in this chair right now is a feat, and I still can’t laugh (the belly kind) without hurting myself. Nor can I cough or sneeze without wincing.  It’ll be another month before I could function more or less normal. I’m certainly looking forward to that.

Scratched Cornea – Round Two

Remember me getting my cornea scratched and it healed really slowly? Yeah…no…it didn’t heal at all! I was with my therapist last week and then suddenly my eye hurt something awful. I went to doctor’s and turned out that my scratch didn’t heal because there were loose skin and a lot of other things in it. (Should’ve gone to an ophthalmologist but I didn’t have one and didn’t have time to properly search for one. My fault.) My primary physician got me a recommendation so I went. The ophthalmologist cleaned the wound, put in a stem-cell membrane (never knew they exist!), and then put a contact on top of it to keep it in place. I got prescribed some serious antibiotic drops (like it burned when put in and my eye was sore for an hour afterwards) and a good dose of Vicotin for pain management (can’t take ibuprofen due to upcoming surgery). First time I had actual narcotics, btw; I feel like House. Anyway, after a week of constant checkups and adjusting medication, my eye healed. Finally. My doctor was like, okay, you need to eat more fish and omega-3 supplements, because you have a large deposit of oil around your eye. Either genetics or because you use computer too much (probably both), but anyway it’s not good since you’re so young. I’m like great, I just got my iron levels up and now it’s more pills. But at least I’m aware of it now, right?

So yeah, sorry I’ve been so sporadic with my posting and it’s all filled with bad health things and nothing fun. I’ll try harder hen I get my surgery done and in bed resting with nothing to do but…type on my laptop and watch TV? I hope you guys at least had a great Thanksgiving weekend. Mine was okay – we didn’t invite anyone and had a really small meal (comparatively) for the two of us. I’m just glad I’m generally okay-ish now. Need my energy for the upcoming crap.

Doc Week

This week is filled with doctor appointments. It’s getting close to my operation and there’re more things that need to be done before then. Find a will online (no time for lawyer) and get that notarized, clean the house, call insurance, find eye doctor, etc. etc. My eye’s behaving badly because it’s dry as a desert right now and the stupid cornea abrasion hasn’t completely healed yet (trusty humidifier saves the day!). So much to do with the holidays coming up. At least it’ll keep my mind off the operation thing.

I went to my ob/gyn for the pre-op session. Basically just talking about the risks and recovery process. I learned that there’s a risk for undiagnosed cancer hidden in the fibroid – a form of sarcoma. If they use the minimally invasive procedure that requires breaking up the tumor in many pieces they could unintentionally spread the cancer, which would turn a Stage 2 cancer to a Stage 4. (This isn’t a hypothetical; it has happened before and hence why the information). Sarcomas’ survival rate is pretty low in general, though, so it wouldn’t make that much of a difference I suppose, but a 40-60% definitely looks better than a 15% survival rate (although a completely recovery longer than 5 years seems to be only about 15% – if I have this cancer I probably will just die of it). I mean the likelihood of me having a rare hidden cancer while exhibiting no symptoms whatsoever is pretty damn low. I could opt to not do the minimally invasive one and just let them cut me open like a C-section, which they might have to do anyway since my fibroid is too big, but the recovery time’ll be doubled and I’ll be in much more pain. So all that for a .3 – .06 % chance of cancer. I’m not sure.

I have until the day of the surgery to decide so I think I’ll take my time. They took more blood test to see if there’s any sign of malignancy, which I’ll get the result in a few days. Meanwhile I think I’ll just wait for my Pokemon UltraSun to arrive and play that to keep my mind off things. Oh and also calm my husband down. He’s at work right now freaking out about that I might get cancer (again, I don’t think I have cancer, and neither does the doctor at this point). Good thing I see my therapist regularly. Maybe I should really try to convince him to go to one, too?


I went to my therapist today and learned a term: catastrophizing. It’s basically taking a scenario and think of the worst ever possibilities that could come out of it. You’re driving today? A car might hit you and you become paraplegic for life! You’re sitting in your house? An earthquake might happen and you will lose your house and your loved ones! You got a scratched cornea? You’ll be blind forever! You’re getting surgery in a month? You’ll lose a lot of blood and get a blood transfusion and then get HIV from that! Etc. Etc.

I have been doing this catastrophizing nonstop for the past few months. Probably have been doing it most of my life, which is why I have anxiety issues. (I still avoid driving because I feel like every time I’m on the road I could die any second from people crashing into me). I worry about my husband dying from whatever and since I’m a non-published writer who’s been out of work for about 5 years I’ll just be penniless and homeless and die, and I think about this constantly. (Including right now as I’m writing this.) It’s no way to live but it’s how I live, you know? I told my husband this when he drove me back from the session and he was like, wow, that sounds horrific. That’s what you think about all day? Yep. That is.

So my therapist recommended two things for me to do. One is to just lie down on the bed for 30 min and do nothing. Listen to some yoga music, make sure to turn off every single distraction – like turn the phone off, not on vibrate, or put it in another room entirely. Make sure to relax completely but don’t fall asleep. The second is to write down everything that you’re freaking out about and, get this, freak out at maximum about it for 10 min. I was like what wouldn’t that just put in me in the emergency room from a panic attack and he was like, no, because you’re in control of the freaking out. Panic attacks happen when you feel like you’re losing control. And I have to do these two things every day, because it’s like exercising your body. You have to learn how to relax and it’s not going to cure you immediately. Theoretically these two things would take away some of the heat so I’ll stop catastrophizing so much. We’ll see I guess. I’m a bit skeptical, but I guess it can’t hurt.

NaNo Approaches…

I am so not ready.

I’m a truly planner by heart. Everything goes down to the last detail kind of person. Now I’m pretty much pantsing the whole thing (i.e. writing on the fly) and I am just not comfortable with that. Adding in all the stuff I have to do pre-surgery and…yeah…am totally freaking out.

I guess there’s so much to do in life that you just have to take it one step at a time. So today I’ll have to do stuff I’ve said I’d do for like, a week now, but have been procrastinating due to stress/fear/other things. Mostly chore things, but also work, and figuring out how to call insurance so I know I won’t get bankrupted from major surgery. (I’ve never had surgery before so I guess I’ll have to learn these logistics things). And clean the house it’s so gross now from my negligence. And NaNo starts in two days. Oh my god!

Deep breaths. Woot. I suppose I should start with, hah, actually writing. My bullet journal’s all ready to go again, so at least there’s that small dose of encouragement.

Bad Eye, No Prep

Time for an actual update of myself. Let’s start with NaNoWriMo, shall we?

I had the month all planned out. Got my bullet journal ready and for the first few days I was totally meeting my goals. I was feeling optimistic, driven, and then of course I had to jab myself in the eye and got my cornea scratched…yeah…did anyone ever tell you that if you get your cornea scratched it takes like, 2-6 months to completely heal? Yep, so guess who spent the majority of this month unable to see without hurting her eyes on a semi-regular basis? It doesn’t help that right now LA is 100 degrees and dry as hell. I had to go buy a gel eye drop just so I don’t wake up with crazy gunk scratching up my eyes again the morning. Broke out the trusty old humidifier, too. On top of that I got a date for my fibroid surgery set (had a talk with my gyno and decided to remove the damn thing after all), and then I spent the days where I could see calling and setting up pre-op/post-op/other necessary medic appointments. I’m supposed to receive a packet in the mail detailing everything involving this surgery. It’ll probably be here today or tomorrow.

Needless to say I got like zero actual planning done after the first week of the month. It sucks. I don’t feel comfortable jumping into this novel without some extensive planning (don’t even have some basic structures down, like how the military’s supposed to work and where are all the different principalities supposed to be connected), so I guess I won’t be writing this novel for NaNo after all. At least, not right away. Instead I’ll be trying to finish some of my ridiculously overdue fanfics. Yep, I’ve had fics that’re two years old, 80% written, and never finished. Also sucks. I feel like all I’m doing is running behind and that’s a sad state of affairs. Granted, it’s health issues and not avoidable, per se, but still annoying. So the first half of NaNo (maybe longer, depends on how satisfied i am with the outline for the second novel) will be fanfic and finishing first novel. Not what I originally planned at all, but sometimes you gotta just make adjustments, no?

On a smaller, happier, quite unrelated note, I learned that there’s going to be a mobile f2p Animal Crossing game coming called Pocket Camp. I’m so happy about that! I’ve waited for a new Animal Crossing since forever, and unlike a lot of “hardcore gamers” I don’t have an aversion to mobile games as a concept at all. I don’t mind microtransactions because I never get sucked into the skinner box and gambling aspects, so I actually enjoy the freemium model very much. The Animal Crossing game is on soft launch right now and will be available just when I go into surgery, I believe. Hopefully I’ll be well enough to play in bed.