Someday, hopefully in a few more posts, I will be up to date on everything I didn't write about and can write on a blog, and then I can just pop in with what's up or on my mind. Won't that be nice? I think it will be a lot funner. So, when your body gets to be 40 something and you've been wearing it ragged, it finally will start complaining. A few years ago, I started having some problems with a cough and a feeling when I laid down at night that I was suffocating. Then that got so bad, even when I wasn't lying down I was short of breath, so my Dr sent me to the ER, just to make sure my lungs weren't filling up with fluid or something, ha! So since they weren't I got sent home with vague possible explanations and I went to see an ENT, who sent me to a GI who did an EGD of my esophagus and stretched it back open again. Don't you just love medical acronyms? They save so much time! A year later, I start having a whole gob of stomach symptoms, loss of appetite, heartburn, nausea, etc and then one night my chest hurt so bad and I had such weird symptoms with it that we had to go to the hospital again, just to make sure I wasn't having a heart attack. Which of course I wasn't so they sent me home with vague explanations like some kind of inflammation, but luckily a smart nurse had told me that it was probably my esophagus. SO I went back to the GI, who told me yeah, a bad esophagus attack feels like a heart attack. Oh, and you shouldn't be eating anything spicy or citric and you should have stayed on the medicine we gave you last time for life. Except I never got that memo, just to not eat right before bedtime. I had another EGD, got stretched, got meds and since there were scars from ulcers this time I had to stop eating all the things I live so much. No more chile and lime! No more grapefruit or pomegranates or pineapple, or need I go on? BUT, since eating these things causes great pain, it was relatively easy to kick the habit. I just look back fondly at that food I can't eat anymore. Those were the good ole days!
SO, next I do fine for a while and the problems start up again anyways including problems swallowing. I get another EGD. It didn't really make much difference. Meanwhile, I find out I have osteoporosis so since I'm having all the problems with my esophagus, I can't take the meds for that, so I get an infusion. They tell you to take Tylenol after cuz you have flu like symptoms. I had to go straight after to a class so I bought some Tylenol on the way. But then in class I got so dizzy, I thought I might faint. Then I came home and had the worst flu of my life, and all I could do was sleep. Eventually, on the third day I noticed that the Tylenol I bought was Tylenol pm and so it was making me sleep. So I stopped that, by then all the aches and pains had gone away and now I was no longer dizzy and sleepy! I figure next time should go much much better seeing as I will be real careful to take regular Tylenol. It did help because now I only have osteopenia. Getting the treatment through my insurance was a real pain in the neck. If I can get that worked out again I will have that treatment soon.
While all this was going on, the GYN also found what turned out to be a cyst in one of my breasts that I couldn't even feel, but when I went back a year later, they found a huge lump I think on the other side. So the technician was really freaking out and got the doctor and while I'm waiting, she comes in to let me know that the doctor will look at it soon and I suddenly realize that I am looking at a magazine about gardening and I am totally at ease and completely absorbed in thoughts of what to do with my garden while a total stranger is worrying sick about my health and after all, what if I turned out to have a cancer? Well, that would really mess up my summer plans but I really didn't have time to die so I'd need to do whatever treatments were required and hope for the best. I figured getting all uptight when I was going to have an ultrasound and find out within the half hour would be a lot of senseless worrying time that would be wasted if all was going to be well, so I decided to go back to the garden magazine. I did think it would be completely ironic if i ended up having cancer after the excessive amounts of nursing that supposedly lower your risk, had pretty much wiped away most of that body part. Such is life. Like running out of gas in Iraq. Did you see that movie? It was an Italian movie ...A Tiger in Winter I think it's called. That's when I discovered Chileans really speak half Italian and took it up for a while till life distracted me but if you want to learn a language a fun way for free, check out livemocha.com, awesome site! That last message was brought to you by a lack of Concerta, because stimulants give me heartburn so they are off the table too.
Back to our story, after the ultrasound it turned out it was just a big cyst and everyone was relieved and I was so proud of myself for making the decision to put off worrying. Except, what about that sister in my ward who was told the same thing and the next year they said, no, it's cancer?....That's sort of like the story a comedian told about mosquitoes. It turns out that Female mosquitoes buzz but they don't bite, so if you hear a mosquito in the dark while you're in bed, don't worry about it, go to sleep! BUT if you DON'T hear anything, well the silent make mosquito could easily be in your room getting ready to bite! Sweet dreams!
But wait, that's not all! If you have heart attack symptoms that you know are just your esophagus, how iwill you know when you get older and have a real heart attack that you are having a heart attack? Getting older is getting more and more complicated and I have decided the best solution is to not even go there. It's better to read gardening magazines until you keep over. You will at least die happier.
So, I have spent the last year working out how to take calcium and vitamin D with my acid reducers so that they aren't cancelled out and how to get off acid reducers and not have problems because they cause as many problems long term as they solve. Crazy. Also , meanwhile, I was having too many headaches and dizziness and weird sensations that felt like adrenaline rushes and palpitations. This was all pretty frustrating, so that's why I started really working on getting enough sleep, eating better and exercising and meditating and doing other exercises to reduce stress. Things still weren't very wonderful. Managing my body was starting to get to be a real job. NO wonder people get to the point where they don't mind dying. I started getting theses shooting stabbing pains in my head. That turned out to be an abcessed tooth, so I got my tooth pulled. That fixed that pain. My Dr. gave me stronger meds, had me do the holter monitor, which came back "normal enough" and sent me back for another EGD. Meanwhile I was felling crummier and crummier. I needed to go to girls' camp and wasn't sure I could make it through a day there. So, I asked Papi to give me a blessing. This is when I learned an important lesson. At one moment I was told that I needed to exercise my faith to be healed. This was the missing link. Once again, I assumed I just had to suffer through all this and figure it out myself, I mean God can't just come take away all the pain in life for the asking or what in the heck would we learn here? Except maybe I have that part figured out and I need to learn the other half, showing up and asking like a little lid for Him to take it away. Since I just got told to do that, I did, and SHazam! It worked! I felt a whole lot better. Stuff was still getting stuck in my throat so I went on a semi liquid diet for the week till I got my EGD, but all the other symptoms went away! This time, when the Dr did the EGD, he stretched out the whole length of my esophagus, which actually looked better than the last time but felt tighter. SANTO REMEDIO, as we say in Spanish. Now I just have to work at maintaining my new wonderful health. Which is enough work for me as it is. THE END. (Don't you hate it when people tell you about all their every ache and pain in gross detail? :) )