Even after the year I’ve had… still so much thankfulness

 

I originally posted this on Facebook, but a friend suggested I put it here too since I have the most wonderful blogging family EVER!!!! 🙂 I totally agreed, as I love you guys to no end. So, here goes. 🙂

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I know it’s past Thanksgiving, but I’ve never really followed the rules for anything anyway. I have some things I want to let everybody know that I’m thankful for, and so much of it has to do with all of you.

I am so very deeply thankful for all of the love, kindness and support my friends here have shown me. It’s so easy for social media to be a place filled with nothing but political banter, disagreements, and or superficial–but very often still funny–types of things.

What I have found this year is it is also a place filled with love and prayers and people who come out of the woodwork to truly let you know that they love you and only want the best for you. That has meant more to me than I can ever begin to express.

I am also incredibly thankful that I’ve been able to return that love to so many of my friends that are having a very rough time of it lately. Whether you’re in emotional pain, physical pain, or both (which is likely the case), being able to let you know that I love you and that I truly am here for you brings me great peace. From the bottom of my heart I mean it when I tell people that they can call me and just cry for an hour, or just sit in silence for an hour knowing someone is on the other end of the phone if they do decide to talk. Hell, I’ll watch a TV show with you over the phone. Or you can just scream and yell cuss words at me until you can’t utter another word because your throat is sore. I truly mean with every fiber of my being that those of you who are going through hard times can call me and do any of those things.

It may have been many years since I’ve seen a lot of you, and we may not have even been close in high school or at a job or wherever it is that we met. Heck, we may not have actually ever met in person, but we’re here now, together, and to me that is what matters.

I’m also so very thankful to my family for supporting me through the last 10 and a half months. That my husband tells me I’m beautiful, even though I’ve lost 75% of my hair and gained a shit ton of weight from not being able to do anything, including walking, for almost a year just blows my mind. And the anazing thing is, I believe him. To know that the man you’ve chosen to spend your life with truly cherishes you is the best gift anyone can ever give or receive. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m sure he’d be thrilled if I lost 40 lbs, and I know he’ll be happy for me when my hair grows back in, but in the meantime he does nothing but support me and lets me know that he loves me regardless of any of that superficial bullshit. That’s such a gift and I can never express my gratitude enough for loving a man who loves me for me, not for me as arm candy, or a bank account, or any of the other reasons so many men have been with me over the years. He loves me. I will forever be thankful for that.

And for those of you who grew up with me and my sister, the very beautiful and loving Becky, you’ll know that she and I had our ups and downs as we grew up. It’s hard being so close in age when you’re a teenager and then your twenties and unfortunately tend to attract and be attracted to the same types of men. God knows it caused a verbal cat fight more than once. But my precious, angelic sister has truly become my best friend. She lets me call her anytime night or day and never makes me feel like a burden.

When Becky was here taking care of me after surgery, she was the most amazing medical advocate for me. She took no shit off anybody and made sure I got the best care possible. When you’re as fucked up as I’ve been, you need somebody strong to have your back. And Becky was that. She never made me feel embarrassed for the hideous things she had to see and do. God bless her for that. She can never unsee the things she had to deal with and yet she’s never made me feel bad or humiliated. She just took it all in stride and made sure that I knew that she loved me and she would do anything for me. That kind of love is simply amazing and I’m so truly blessed for all of that.

While I still have a long way to go to get back to normal, and it may still be a few years before I have enough emotional energy to be a truly good friend in the way that I like to be, what I’m thankful for is that the people who love me understand that I don’t hibernate because I don’t love them or don’t want to talk to them. I don’t hibernate to avoid being a good friend. If 95% of you called me tomorrow and told me you needed me to be on a plane to come take care of you, I would be on that plane. But what is such a beautiful thing is that the people who know me understand that my keeping to myself is me just licking my wounds and trying to heal my brain, my heart, and my body. Plus they say it takes about 3 years, if ever, to feel normal again after severe sepsis, so thank God everyone seems to understand that me not leaving the house to go party has nothing to do with not wanting to see my beautiful friends. It just has to do with me taking time to heal so that when I am back on my feet I’m going to kick ass from here to Maryland and back… Taking no prisoners!

I do realize I should have probably just written a fucking book as this is about the length of one, but it’s 4:32 in the damn morning and I felt like telling everybody how deeply, deeply thankful I am for all of you.

I know I often say things in my comments like “much love,” or “tons of hugs,” or “XOXOXOXO.” And it may seem like just the way I sign off on my comments. But I really mean it. I have so much love in my heart for so very many of you and I just want you to know it. So I will tell you that over and over and over again so that there’s never any question about how I feel.

In closing, finally (right????), know that I do love you guys and I am so very thankful that you are in my life, and that you take the time to show me love means more to me than you could ever possibly know.

May God bless every single one of you and take care of your every need. I love you all so much. If you ever need me, I’m here.

LOVE YOU GUYS!!! Have a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and every other happy sentiment I can send you! 🙂 XOXOXOXXO

The Truth Behind the Facade

Hello, my darling friends.

I shared this video (with the egregious freezy face) on Facebook tonight and from the emails I got it seemed to help some people through their own hard times. So, I thought I’d post it here too.

Miss you all so much! Tons of love…

For those of you who suffer…mentally…physically or both, this is for you.

This is me at my most vulnerable and sharing something I NEVER thought I’d share, but it’s important for me to let everyone else who is in pain, in whatever way, know that you are not alone. I am here for you. Call me. Text me. Email me. Cry, scream, vent or sit in silence on the phone with me. We can watch a movie together over the phone. If you need someone who understands your fear, your anger, your pain, your desperation, your exhaustion…I’m here.

God bless and much love to you all, including the amazing people who help take care of us during our darkest hours. Your job is so very hard and so very appreciated. Love you all!

 

PS: What a HIDEOUS FREEZY-FACE! Really, they couldn’t pick something that looked even slightly less stupid???? 😉

Pre-surgical update (From HELL!) ;)

First and foremost, thanks so much to all of you for your wonderful prayers praying-kittenand well wishes. It means the world to me.

Surgery is in 19 hours and to be quite frank, I’m a wee bit scared. So any additional prayers or healthy vibes you guys can send up would be so appreciated!

After getting some more tests (thank God all the blood work came back great! Yay!) my doc said that she didn’t feel comfortable just having a surgical assistant in with her since (this is not a direct quote but is pretty much what she said), “My insides are so fucking fucked.”  😉 So, she’s having a second surgeon join her in the operating room.freaky-kitty

Yeah, she was far more delicate than that, awesome doc that she is, but that was the jist.

Seems as though all my prior surgeries have made everything such an adhesion-covered mess that they could not even SEE my ovaries during the internal ultrasound (read that as being viciously fucked by a cattle prod…ouchy!!!), they found 8 tumors and tons of uterine muscle lesions. Plus, with my last cattle prod adventure, they told me my bowel had grown into my left ovary and now share a blood supply.

I guess it’s good that my innards all get along so well…they place nice together! 😉grumpy-cat-no

Anyway, it looks like this is going to likely be a complicated mess and while my doc is still hopeful and is going to peek at everything first by putting a little camera in my bellybutton (which is seriously like 9 feet deep!) and looking around, she thinks it’ll probably end up being an open surgery. OUCH!

And she’s going to go in through my old zipper incisions, which is good in that I’ve already been opened up there 3 times already, but bad in that vertical incisions take so much longer to heal and they hurt like a mo fo.

I’m doing my very best to prepare everything for the smoothest recovery possible and trying VERY hard to keep all my fears to myself as not to scare my family as I’m sure they are nervous enough, but I had to get it out somewhere. Being opened up like this a 4th time is truly terrifying, even though I’m an old pro at it.

Surgery is a 7:30 on Tuesday and luckily I’ll be at a great hospital, Scottsdale Shea, that has a great reputation, so, I’d be so very thankful, from the bottom of my heart, for any extra love you can send my way around that time.

Much love to all of you!!! XOXOXXO

Oh, and I’ve decided to bring two teddies with me! Gotta have critters to cuddle! 😉

The Horrors of my Noggin and the Related Panic Attack

I’m telling you, life is NEVER dull. 😉 Not that I wish to be bored, but c’mon, a little peace now and again is a good thing.

So, 3 weeks ago I got my hair dyed.

It’s pretty much been every color in the rainbow over the last 30 years.

My very first “boyfriend” told me one day that, “You’d be perfect if only you were blonde.” Of course what did I do? I immediately went and dyed it blonde and just as immediately realized that blonde is NOT a good look on me. Eeeee gawds, it was a nightmare. Especially with my personality.

If some guy said that to me today I’d verbally cut him until he crawled home crying for his mommy, dragging his entrails behind him. But I was 14 then and always concerned with being as perfect as possible. Thank God I don’t worry about that shit anymore. Take me as I am or fuck off. I rather like that mantra! 😉

I went to get the blonde nightmare fixed a few days later and ended up with 3 different colors of hair. I don’t know why the fix-it hair dyeing adventure turned into such a fiasco, but the good news was that my mom understood that I couldn’t go into public and she let me skip school for a week until I could wash a bunch of it out of my hair. Best Mom Ever Award for that! 🙂

Over the years it’s been light brown with highlights, black, dark brown, that purpley-red color, accidentally green (yep, that sucked as much as you’d think), red, and so on. I get bored easily with my hair color. Now, the style’s been the same for 20 years and will probably be the same until I die. But the color? That I like to mess with.

So, when I got my hair dyed a few weeks ago I went with a blue black. I wanted that shit dark dark dark. My chick used the same brand of dye she always does and everything seemed okay.

Then a few days later I noticed this weird thing on my forehead right by my hairline. It looked like a skin-colored scrape about 1/3 of an inch in diameter. As I was looking at it thinking, “Please God–no skin cancer. I know I tanned my ridiculously white skin a lot when growing up, but I haven’t had a tan in 20 years. Please spare me skin cancer…” I noticed all these black dots on my scalp. What the fuck? Hmmm…they didn’t look like the typical dye blotches that appear on my scalp after a hair color. These were tiny little specks like someone took a Sharpie and put dots on my noggin.

Well, whatever. I’ll just scrub my head harder next time I wash it to get the dye off.

Uhhh…the dots didn’t come off after the next shampoo. Or the next 5 shampoos.

Finally, after 3 weeks I’m like, “What in the ever-loving shit is on my fuckin’ head?” As we know, I’ve been dyeing my hair for 30 years. I’d never seen anything like it. So I had to investigate.

Can I just tell you…NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER Google something like “black spots on scalp.” NEVER! It’s horrifying.

I went from “Hmmm…that looks odd” to “HOLY FUCKING HELL WHAT THE FUCK OH MY GOD I’M DYING THIS IS AWFUL HOW DID THIS HAPPEN WHY ME SOMEONE KILL ME THIS FUCKING SUCKS.” Yep…all one sentence.

When you Google “black spots on scalp” you learn that you’d be better off dead than with the host of things that come up as possible diseases or conditions.

Keep in mind that I typically stick to sites like WebMD or Mayo Clinic for medical advice as I feel they are likely a bit more accurate than, ‘Jodi’s dumb ass blog on weird stuff,” but even those scared the shit out of me.

Some of the suggestions were: Mold (WHAT THE FUCK???). Fungus (I WANT TO DIE). Ringworm (This is when the panic set in).

All of the sites also mentioned itching. My head didn’t itch before I read that. Now it was as if spiders were crawling around on my head. I know, totally psychosomatic, and I kept trying to rationalize it, but I was scared shitless, so a bit of irrational was starting to slip through.

Then Grant gets home and I tell him what’s going on. He grabs a flashlight and tells me I have black dots ALL OVER MY HEAD!!! I thought it was just that one small spot, but nope. They are EVERYFUCKINGWHERE! Oh, the horror!

So, I immediately got on the phone to schedule an appointment with a dermatologist. If I fucking have any of those things I wanted it diagnosed immediately and then I wanted someone to decapitate me.

Of course, out of the 6 I called, 3 didn’t answer the phone (I’m thinking their businesses are covers for drug running, otherwise how do they stay in business?), 2 sent me to voicemail (how can they close on a Tuesday before 4 pm? Must be nice…) and the last one kept me on hold for, and I kid you not, 15 minutes. 4 times people picked up the line and I’d repeat, “Hi, I’m calling to make an appointment as a new patient,” and they’d always say, “Just a minute,” and I’d wait 5 more. I wanted to smash something violently. First off, what shitty customer service. Secondly, I’VE GOT MOTHERFUCKING FUNGUS, MOLD OR WORMS ON MY MOTHERFUCKING HEAD. SOMEONE NEEDS TO HELP ME BEFORE I PASS OUT FROM HORROR!!!

And of course in the meanwhile I’m terrified to touch my head, lean it onto a pillow, let my husband anywhere near me. I made him throw away his brush cause I’d used it earlier in the day. He tried to hug me and I yelped, “NO! You’ll get the Mange!”

Finally, the idiots at the dermatologist’s office get back on the phone and they can’t see me for a week.

Ummmm…no. That’s too long. I’ll run into traffic by then. I’ll shave my head. I’ll die of terror and fear!

So, I make the appointment anyway and then rush out of the house to go to Urgent Care. By now it’s after 5pm and no doctor in the state is open except Urgent Care. And I was sincerely starting to have a panic attack at the idea of a foreign body making its home in my head. God bless Valium.

When I get to the first one, I open the door to what I can only assume was an outbreak of The Plague. So I said, “Uh, fuck this,” and left and went to another one where everyone looked like they were suffering from Ebola. Damn flu season. So, fuck that one too. I just went home and wouldn’t let anyone or anything near me until I could get in to see someone in the morning.

Finally, morning comes ’round (after a lovely night chocked full of wormy, fungus-filled dreams) and I get an appointment to see a doc.

I go there at 10:30 and they are so nice and lovely. The doc comes in and I explain what’s going on.

She looks at my head and says, “I’ve never seen anything like this.”

Great. I’m a medical mystery full of fungus and mold and worms and God knows what.

Then she plays a bit with my noggin and determines that the dye (which is some stubborn-ass dye) had grabbed hold of all the new baby hairs growing out of my scalp and gotten kind of stuck at the follicle (if you’ll recall I mentioned earlier in the year that I had a bunch of hair loss due to thyroid and iron/protein deficiencies). The hair was just a tiny bit of a millimeter long and hardly even out of my scalp yet, so the dye clung to those tiny pieces of hair and went down a bit into the skin. This was why it wasn’t easily washing off in the shower.

Can I tell you that I have rarely been more relieved in my entire life? EVER! I wanted to hump her in thanks for her awesome diagnosis.

She said she could see why I’d have been terrified, but that I’m good to go and that she wished all her appointments ended on such a happy note.

Whew!!!!

What an absolute cluster-fuck. I had told Grant that I just could not take one more medical issue and was going to snap from the stress. Luckily, I have a wonderful hubby who was supportive even when we did think I had The Funk. Thank God it was just some weird dyeing anomaly and I am worm-mold-fungus free! Yay!!!!

So, that’s my saga. I’m just happy that my noggin is good to go. I’m quite certain I couldn’t have handled any other outcome because they were just too damn gross!

Have a happy weekend, my friends! XOXOXXOXO

Starting Diet. Wanna Die.

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Okay, I don’t actually want to die. But I do want to ask God why chocolate, pizza and french fries can’t have the nutritional value of broccoli? WHY GOD? WHY? It’s just so unfair!!!!pizza frenchfries

In reality, I rarely eat any of that. I bet I have pizza once every 2 months or so. French fries every 3 months or so. Chocolate…well…more than that, but only dark chocolate and only in very small doses.

The big problem is that I’ve had thyroid issues for 25 years and hideous, horrible, ungodly, spend-a-zillion-years-at-the-doctor’s-office cortisol problems for almost 20. I’ve had cortisol problems for so long that when I was first diagnosed no one had ever heard of it. They’d say, “Do you mean cortisone, honey? (like I’m an idiot)” I’d say, “No, cortisol. Your fight or flight hormone??” “What’s that?” they’d say. It used to drive me crazy. And trust me, being in a constant state of fight or flight is a delightful way to live. NOT! 😉 (Oh, and the people asking for the cortisol/cortisone clarification were DOCTORS! I don’t expect us regular people to know what it is…but doctors? WTF?)

The way the cortisol stuff all started, almost 20 years ago, is that I went from a lithe 140 pounds to 180 in a month. I kid you not. It was horrible! I didn’t know what the fuck was going on.  I had black stretch marks all over me. I was barely eating. It was a nightmare.

So off to the endocrinologist I went. They tested me for everything. I had to pee in a jug for 24 hours. I had to be drained of blood every few hours for an entire day. I had to do spit tests. I was told that I had Cushing’s Disease. Addison’s Disease. I got over 12 MRIs and CAT scans. I was put on every drug known to mankind. I was told I had a brain tumor. An adrenal tumor.  Which, by the way, I still get MRIs every few years to locate as my doctors think it’s a sneaky micro-tumor hiding somewhere in my adrenals or pituitary. Basically, it’s been a clusterfuck forever.

I’m severely hypothyroid with a TSH of 16 (if you know about TSH you know that’s 4-to-5 times the highest it should be depending on what scale the doc uses) and a T4 and T3 that are a nightmare too. But no drugs work. Oh, and I’m hot all the time, which is the exact opposite of what a hypothyroid person should be.  I have a ton of other nonsensical symptoms that are completely and utterly adverse to my blood work. It’s so fucking frustrating I could scream.

I’ve had endos fire me as their patient before. Yep, you heard me. FIRED by my doctor. The lazy ones get tired of not being able to fix me. They get frustrated by my weird symptoms and apparent resistance to all medication and give up. Lovely right? Anyone ever heard of the Hippocratic oath? Hello?

I even had a doctor accuse me of being a raging alcoholic as that can cause elevated cortisol. Fuck me runnin’. I bet I have 2 glasses of wine a year, if that.

Anyway, this blog could be a zillion pages long as it’s been a total and complete nightmare for over 2 decades, but to save you time I’ll cut it short.

What’s going on is that my weight varies depending on my cortisol which goes up and down like a yo yo. I literally have 6 different clothing sizes in my wardrobe as my weight fluctuates so much. Holy shitcakes is that annoying!

Unfortunately, there’s nothing they can do about my cortisol. It is what it is. Until they can find a reason for it, I just live in kind of a tough physical state, and quite frankly, a sometimes very frustrating and exhausting emotional one too. Oh, and the thyroid doesn’t help. So I basically spend my life going up and down in weight. Sometimes skinny to the point where people tell me I look drawn and sickly. Sometimes a little curvier than I’d like (but I still like having T&A for days even when I am a wee bit on the heavier side). Think Baby Got Back by Sir Mix-A-Lot. “Little in the middle but she’s got much back.” 😉

Preach on, brother!

So, I’m going to do Atkins. Any diet that lets you eat bacon seems counter-intuitive to me, but I do understand the science of protein, so I’m gonna give it a try.

Anyone done it before? Anyone have any suggestions? Helpful hints? Ways of killing myself that won’t leave a mess? KIDDING on that last part…sort of.

Oh, one last thing, with the cortisol I’ve been told by all my endos that I can’t get my heart rate up as doing so raises cortisol levels, so essentially fuck exercise. Yeah, cause that makes everything so much easier. Ugh!

Feel free to send me good luck vibes (and prayers–I happily take prayers) and let me know if you’ve been successful with Atkins. I usually just eat healthy, unprocessed food, but right now my body is in rebellion, so a girl’s gotta do somethin’! 🙂

XOXOXOX