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Archive for the ‘17. Journal’ Category

I over-slept again, which is and isn’t surprising.

I wasn’t able to pull my full shift yesterday. Not only does my entire abdomen swell and “pull” while I’m working, aggravated intensley by wearing a bra, but I also took the wrong medicine to work and had nothing on hand to tame the headache.  I swear, when I was in the break room in the back of the building, I could hear a fork scrape a plate at table 214, which is in the second dining room, far right corner of the front of the building. Sounds from the dish room were piercing, and each time I walked into the front dining room, I felt like I was being bombarded by a million screaming voices.  I was in tears most of the day, with permanent crease down the center of my forehead from squinting – not from poor vision, but pain. I was scheduled to work ’til 7, they let me go at four.

I took off the bra in the jeep, which seems to have become habit, now.  It’s like tying a rubber band around a water balloon – it just puts too much pressure.  As soon as I got home, the kids tucked me into bed, brought me medicine – and that was it, I was down for the count.  Woke at ten just in time to say goodnight to the kids, take another dose of meds, finish my traffic school course (YAY! It’s done!), and then passed back out by 12:30.  It was after 8 when I woke this morning.

While I napped last night, I had several incoming calls from friends and people who are concerned.  I slept so solid I never heard the phone ring, but the voicemails were extremely touching and provided a bit of comfort when I needed it most.

I should get blood results today or tomorow. I’m hoping for today.  I just want to know what it is that I’m dealing with here. It’s hard to brace yourself for a blow when you don’t know where the blow is coming from, or aiming toward.

Will try to pull my own weight at work today and push through the whole shift. I’m scheduled for 9 hours, and Thursdays are usually my best money days.  Then, I have two days in a row that I don’t have to be Wendi the Wonder Waitress.  I do have Friday booked for readings, and I think I’d be okay there since it’s mostly sitting. My only concern is the driving, as driving seems to aggravate this thing. I may end up cancelling those appointments, which burns my ass because I’ve been working so hard to build a client base, and some of these clients are new.  On the same token, if I push myself too hard, who knows how long I’ll be out of commission.  I guess I’ll play it by ear throughout the day and make my decision by day’s end.

No time for the Daily Dose today – plus, I’m resisting it a bit, I think – but will get back to it as of tomorrow morning, provided I feel okay and don’t overlseep.

Life is good.

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So, I finally made it to the doctor.  It was about ten after five when we walked through the door at Urgent Care.  By five-thirty I had all the paperwork filled out, and then it was a waiting game.  I suppose it was somewhere around six when they called my name.  The kids gave me the inquiring eyes: “Should we come with you?”  I made bug eyes at them, which meant, “Don’t be ridiculous! Of course you’re coming!”

We get nestled into our room and the nurse begins her investigation, taking note of everything I said.  I figured it’d be a while before the doctor came in, but it was actually very quick.  I liked the doctor.  It was a young woman with a short haircut and big eyes.  She had a warm smile, and her concern for me was obvious.

Sometimes you go to the doctor and they make you feel like you’re an inconvenience, or like there’s really no reason for you to be there.  They don’t listen, they cut you off in mid-sentence, or they just treat you like you’re ignorant.  This woman was none of those things.  She listened intently to everything, asking a few questions along the way.  Then, she made me giggle with her choice of words.

“Okay, I’m just gonna look at your little belly.”

“Now I’m gonna look in your little ears.”

“I’m gonna take a peek at your little face.”

Everything was “little”.  I thought that was cute.

When it was made clear that I had a run in with cancer ten years ago, the concern was obvious.  She decided it’d be best to start out with a full blood screen, and a few x-rays.

The x-rays came first.  A much bigger, much less friendly woman came into the room and instructed me to follow her down the hall.  The room she took me to felt like a freezer, it was so cold!

“Take off your jeans, put on this gown, lay down on the table.”

I slipped out of my jeans, unfolded the paper napkin she called a gown, and then wondered… “Hmmm, does it open in the back, or in the front?” I debated for a moment, standing there shivering in my panties, then opted for opens in the front because it was my front they were x-raying, so it seemed logical.

The woman calls out to me from behind her glass window: “Are you ready?”

“Maybe.” I reply.

“Maybe?” She responds.

“Yeah. Which way is this thing supposed to open, in the back or in the front?”

“It doesn’t matter.”

“Well, how do most people do it?”

“Most people have it open in the back.”

I giggled.

She came out from behind her glass window and proceded to wrap and tuck my “gown” around my hips and tummy on the ice-slab she called a table.

“It doesn’t matter, Hon. You’re so tiny we could wrap this thing around you eight times and still have left overs.”

I was shivering.

She went back behind her glass wall and said, “Okay.  Take a deep breath in.  Hold it.” She makes a loud click sound, then says, “Okay, you can breathe.”

She comes back to the ice-slab, takes something out of it, and says, “Okay, we’re probably done. Just let me check this real quick. Stay put. I’ll be right back.”

While she was away, my whole body started tremmoring.  Teeth chattering.  I thought I was gonna freeze to death.

She comes back with a bit of a different expression on her face and says, “We’re gonna do one more… a little lower this time.”

I knew right away she’d found something.

She sends me back to my room and I instantly ask my son for his hoodie.

“Mom, you look ridiculous!” he says, then does an impersonation of me shivering.

“Well,” I said, half giggling, “I had to take off my pants….”

Before I could finish my statement, the boy interrupted, “That’s not part of the x-ray procedure, you know.”

The three of us cracked up.

“They found something, you know.” I said, point blank.

“How do you know?” My daughter asked.

“I can just tell. Trust me.  I don’t know what they found, but they found something.”

Everyone exchanges glances, then my son says, “Don’t worry.”  Then, he and is sister entertain me by doing goofy dances and playing music through their ipod headphones. A few minutes later, the nurse came in to draw blood.  Rhythm left the room for that part, but Stinkerbelle held my hand and let me bury my face in her shoulder.

Five minutes after that, the doctor was back.

“Well,” She starts, “If it’s okay with you, I’d like to schedule an MRI and a CAT scan – we really need to take a closer look at you, and we’re not equipped to do that here in this office.”

“Okay…” I say it, but we all understand it to be more of a question.

“Your x-ray came back showing something that I believe is your kidney.  I’m saying kidney because…” And she goes on to describe the differences between the smooth edges of the kidney vs. the jagged edges of other internal organs as they appear in x-ray, then she continues, “… but I question whether or not this could actually be your kidney.  It has to be, I think, but if it is, it’s extremely enlarged.  I mean really enlarged.”

“Okay, what causes that?” I ask.

“It could be a mass inside the kidney; but it could be that you’ve got compounding problems here, which is why I’d like to do more tests.  I’d like to make sure you don’t have any tumors or abnormal growths in your head causing your headaches, and really make certain this is your kidney I’m seeing.”

In the mean time, she’s given me two medications: a muscle relaxer and something for the headaches.  She said we should have results of the blood tests in 24-48 hours and when they call with those results, they’ll have a time and place for me to go have the MRI AND CAT scan done.  She said if I feel I can handle it, I should be able to work, but that I should listen to my body and if I feel it’s too much, then honor that and don’t go to work.  Of course I’m going.

So, I’m a bit on edge, yes.  They seem to be leaning toward thoughts of cancer.  I took both medications just as I pulled into the driveway, and it’s the first relief I’ve had from this headache in days.  The kids are concerned, but supportive and encouraging – and my mom was Johnny on the spot meeting me at the pharmacy offering to pay for my prescriptions ’cause she knew I couldn’t afford them.

So the diagnosis is incomplete, but a large mass in the kidney is what’s suspected, and they’re looking for tumors in the head.  Groovy.  In the mean time, I’ll continue to serve the beans ‘n’ greens with a smile and hold to my personal motto:

Life is good.

*big breath*

W

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As promised, I called the doctor yesterday morning.  I told them I was being referred by my mother, and they told me they could get me in within about two to three weeks, then asked what I needed to be seen for.  I explained to the receptionist about the severe headaches, occasional nose bleeds, rapid weight loss, and the swelling in my right side.  She said, “Okay, we can get you in today. How soon can you get here?”  But when she realized I was a new patient, she went back to her original tune, “We can’t see you for at least three weeks.” She then encouraged me to go directly to the ER.

I’m not going to the ER. Instead, I went directly to work.  I worked the full day, almost.  By six-thirty, my entire right side was tight, solid as a rock.  I’d noticed some strange interactions – like, the headache was a constant presence, but mostly a “numbness” or “tingling” rather than pain.  But whenever I’d pick up a tray (with my left hand), I could feel a cold tingling shoot up my back and into the base of my head. It felt like cold water.  The headache would intensify the entire time I was holding the tray, but as soon as I’d set it back down, I’d feel the “cold water” slide back down my back until it was gone.  I tried to eat, but didn’t get along too well with the grilled chicken I’d ordered and mostly just pushed things around my plate, forcing in a few bites along the way.  At about six-thirty, when I went to pick up an iced tea pitcher, I felt a “pop” just under my rib cage. It wasn’t painful… just weird.  Then my whole abdomen started to swell.  They let me go home.

When I got home, both of the kids were concerned and wanted me to go to the ER, but I suggested we wait and carry through with our original plan, which was to go to the urgent care center after they get home from school today.  We discovered that if I lay down, the swelling and tighness subside.  It’s when I stand up or am in motion that it seems to be aggravated.  The “ball” or “mass” that was under my rib cage seems to move.  Last night, it was lower in my torso, near my belly button, off to the right a bit.  My mom came over and pushed things around, wiggled things up, and the knot disappeared all together.  Later that night, when I was sleeping, it came back out… under the rib cage again.  So, it moves, hides, then resurfaces.  It’s not painful, though – it’s just “weird”.  There is a tenderness to touch… but it’s more like nerves or pinched nerves than it is a pre-existing pain.  You have to touch it in the right spot for it to hurt, but if untouched, it’s just “there”.  So, when the kids get home this afternoon, we’ll drive into town and visit the urgent care to see what’s going on.  Meanwhile, I still have this stupid headache.

Gonna push through a Daily Dose this morning, then wrap up my traffic school.  Tonight, I need to type up the reports from last week’s Tarot Readings and numerology, because I’m already booked full for this Friday. I’d like to get last Friday’s business in order before this Friday accumulates more.

Haven’t studied at all this week, or worked on my articles.  Part of that is just because of the headache, and the stress I’m carrying around.  There are so many things I’m worried over right now – the Jeep, the dogs, the bills, the lack of groceries, the romantic situations, the business, my health conditions, work issues, etc. — it’s hard to be creative under that mountain of stress – and I’m sure that stress is responsible for some if not all of my physical issues.

Nonetheless, life is good.

W

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I over-slept.  It’s not often I do that — not often at all, but I sure did do it today.  I remember turning off the alarm, then giving myself caution, “You didn’t hit snooze, you turned it off.”  Then, I excused myself, told myself I’d get up, and proceded to go right back into a deep sleep.

This is the third night in a row I’ve dreamed about babies.  I’m either pregnant with them, just had them, found them (orphaned and needing cared for), or helping someone take care of theirs. I also dreamed about my little brother.  I was walking though some kind of market place, but I was looking down at my own feet, lost in my own thoughts. I bumped into someone, said sorry, and tried to move to the right – without looking up.  The person in front of me moved with me, intentionally blocking my path. I moved to the other side, the person moved.  Frustrated, I was in the process of raising my head to meet the person eye to eye as I said, “Excuse me, Sir.”  And that’s when I saw his face and squealed.”

“It’s my baby brother!” I hollered. “My brother’s here!” I scooped him up in a big hug, laughing at the moose antlers he was wearing  on his head.  Moose is one of my animal totems, the totem guarding the West, which helps with personal truths, inner answers, and the path to your goals.  Interesting that my brother’s energy wearing moose antlers BLOCKED MY PATH. 

My dad was also in the dream, but only for a split second.  He was asking me about the Jeep and whether or not I’ve had her fixed, and then said, “Make sure you take care of that little one.” And looked at my tummy.

Let’s recap – I cannot have children! I’ve had a hysterectomy, but some of the cards last week indicated new life, and the dreams are crazy full of babies.  Babies in dreams represent new energy, new beginnings, innocence, and dependency. 

Anyway, no time to go into all of that today… as soon as the uniform comes out of the dryer, I’m outta here. And mom sent me the number for her doctor, so I have to call there before I head out.

Of all days I wish I had time to do a Daily Dose, this is it.  It’s Mabon, Fall Equinox, the first day of Autumn.  It’s also the day we have our new VP in the store, so the day is bound to be high tension. Also today, the Sun shifts into Libra from Virgo, and I’m hoping that Libra energy restores a bit of balance to things in every day life.

Time to call the doc, pin the hair up, get into uniform, and head out…

Life is good.

W

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A Night Cap

Well, this turned out to be a long and semi-painful day.  It was nice not having to go in to work until two, but we were busier tonight than we have been in a long while, and although I was scheduled off at seven p.m., they kept me until nine serving tables, then ’til ten doing sidework and rolling silverware.

I’m not sure if it was all the touchy-feely going on yesterday, or if this problem is just “new” (doubtful), but it felt like someone had taken a baseball bat to my right side.  Each time I’d reach with my right hand to pick up a stack of plates, I found myself gritting my teeth and forcing a smile to hide the wince that was fighting to break free.  When I finally got to the Jeep, the bra had to go… immediately. Even that caused major irritation.  Then, when I got home, I noticed there actually is bruising – not bad, not terribly black and blue, just a bit purple-ish in some areas around my ribs.  And that knot in my upper abdomen is ever present.  Was planning to call the doctor first thing in the morning, but have been asked to go in to work early.  We’ve got a new regional vice president and he’s spending about 6 hours at our store tomorrow, so they want to over-staff and have everyone on egg shells.  I told them I’d try… but going in at 9 a.m., which means leaving the house by 7, is a bit difficult when I didn’t get home until eleven the night before.  And tomorrow was already scheduled as a 9 hour day without me going in early.  If I add two, that puts me there for eleven hours… and I’m just not sure I want to do that while my body is in a state of rebellion. So, I’ll likely opt out of going in early, will do my daily dose, see if I can get in touch with a doctor and hopefully get an appointment for Tuesday.  I really don’t want to go to the ER for something like this – nor do I want to pay the $200 ER co-pay.  I’m off Tuesday, so it’ll work out perfectly if I can get someone to see me then.

I did manage to eat today… and did more than just push my food around on my plate.  I didn’t eat a ton, mind you, but enough.  Still, I know one meal a day is not the healthy approach – and waiting ’til 6 p.m. to eat it is even worse… I just don’t seem to have much of an appetite these days. It has nothing to do with concern for my weight – I have had no desire to lose weight or “diet”. I just don’t feel hunger like I used to – and when I do feel hunger, I’ll get food, take two bites, decide I don’t feel good, and be done with it.

I’d love to stay here and unravel the rest of my thoughts… there are so many of them, but I’m pressed to fire up that stupid traffic school course and get it done with, especially since tomorrow’s such a long day and I’m hoping to be out to see the doctor on Tuesday.

Nonetheless, life is good.

W

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Coffee Thoughts – Sunday

I’m surprised I didn’t wake up terribly hung over.  It’s been so long since I’ve had any adult beverages — not that I ever had a problem with it, but I just reached a point where alcohol didn’t do anything for me, and I prefer life with a clear view.  But last night was somethin’ else and it was the only thing I could think of to help ease the pain.

I passed out cold right after I made my last entry, which I think was somewhere around ten p.m. – I woke up at about three, head-ache still in tact, with the added nausea of, “Good God, girl, how much did you drink?”  I didn’t vomit or anything, just had to sit through a few major waves of maybe.  With a double lined trash can next to me, I pulled up the traffic school course and ploughed through another hour.  If all goes as planned with no more net issues, I should be able to have that finished by tonight. I need to – not only is it stressin’ me out knowing it’s there every day, but I’m almost out of the time allotted for finishing it.  I’ll be so glad when that’s over!

Went back to bed at about four-ish and had no problem going back to sleep.  However, I did wake up twice more.  Seems the headache is worst when I lay on my left side, or have my head turned to the right (when I’m on my stomach).  At one point, I realized I was sleeping in fetal position with my right elbow pressing into my right side… and I wonder if that may be part of the problem.  Maybe it’s just tender and knotted because I’m pressing in on that spot unknowingly with my elbow while I’m sleeping.  I dunno.

It was 9:30 a.m. when I finally gave up on sleep and fetched a cup of coffee.  The headache was still present, but fading.  Now, at 10:30, it’s more of a numbness than a pain… and although it feels funky, I can handle it. It’s not overbearing or all consuming.

I know much of it is stress related, including the weight loss.  Things at work are getting pretty bad. The economy is kicking our asses – everyone’s hours have been cut and the tips are dropping drastically.  I’m usually scheduled for 37 hours or so each week, and by week’s end, clock a total of 39 or 40.  Last week, I noticed they were giving early outs, cutting the floor much earlier than usual.  On one hand, I enjoyed it because it gave me a few extra hours in the evening to get things done, but on the other hand, I was aware of how much money I was losing.  This week, they just blatantly cut the schedule and I’m only scheduled to work 28 hours.  Yeah, we’re not gonna be able to survive on that.  Not even close… especially with tips being as bad as they have been.  What’s worse is that the entire town is like that… and jobs are not readily available.  Any server position is going to be the same situation because every restaurant in town is feeling the same pressures – tips dropping and hours being cut. I’m not really trained or qualified to do anything else, so of course, the need to get my own business up and off the ground is pressing on me.  I want to do it right now…. and I’m trying to figure out a way that I can actually do it by January 1st.  I’d love to have a “grand opening” on New Year’s Day.  Getting the license won’t be the issue – it’s finding and paying for a centrally located building and then being able to meet overhead costs.  I’ll have to do some serious thinking and planning over the next few weeks before I’m able to determine if it can be done.

September is almost over, thank Heavens.  It has been much harder on me than I’d anticipated.  I seem to be fluctuating between realities – past, present, future.  Everything is still in major transition. Everything is changing.  My heart is divided and doesn’t know what it’s supposed to be doing.

I’ve a short shift today, which is different for a Sunday.  Instead of working twelve to fourteen hours, I don’t have to go in until two, and I’m scheduled out at 7.  Have to go to the market after work ’cause there’s nothing in the fridge or cupboards right now. *sigh*

Gonna go work through a Daily Dose, then take a long, hot shower.

There’s a portal right in front of me… I can feel it.  I have a feeling that within three days, things will look very different than they do right now.  Some of the blanks are about to be filled in, missing puzzle pieces are about to show up.  I can just feel it.  I don’t know what it is… but it’s something.

In spite of the pains and problems, the stress and the instability…

Life is good.

 

W

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The pain is such today that I cannot run, cannot hide, cannot paint on a pretty face to fool the world into thinking I’m fine, fine fine.  It huts… and it’s cracking me into a million pieces.

My son says he knows, tries to remind me, but in the face of this pain, I do not care from whence the source comes –  be it premotionion headache or otherwise…the fact is, the pain is bigger than I am.  And if this is some truth trying to reveal itself to me, I’d rather be blind than to feel this splitting open of my own self.

Something is wrong… and I don’t mean something small or insignificant.  Ya know, I’ve known for a while that these headaches were increasing… coming more often, more intense in depth and length.  I’ve also noticed a major loss in weight.  Anorexic? Nah… not trying, not concerned, don’t think about it.  But tonight, after weeks of avoiding truths, I stepped on my mother’s scale and could only say, “Holy shit. Really?”  From 136 to 123 in less than a month.  Ruh roh, that’s a problem.I woke up in pain.  I tried the usual – stretching, bending, rocking…. the pain increased.  I was due to go out with my mom and did not want to be a fuddy duddy stick in the mud, but for fuck sake, this pain is something else.  I went out anyway.  Looked like crap – stuck a baseball cap over unwashed hair, slipped into a pair of jeans and a tee, and called it done.  The day wasn’t so bad, nevermind the ever increasing splitting pain in my head.

When I got home, I tried to take a nap.  Sleep usually cures what bothers me… but I couldn’t sleep.  The pain was such it kept me awake.  Finally, when I’d reached my witt’s end, I called for my daugher.

“Baby girl, I will pay you… just please, please, rub some of this tension out of my shoulders and tailbone.”

We made a discovery I wish we hadn’t made.

On my right side, between my rib cage and hip bone, is an “abnormality”.  We both knew it the second she found it.  No doubt it was the source of my head ache.  It felt like displaced bone, or like a mass – from the outside. From the inside, it felt like tied nerves, knots, electrical wires gone haywire.  Without my permission, my legs kicked and body folded any time she’d touch the spot.  It’s quite clearly connected between my back and my stomach.  I have no idea what this is.

Out of concern, we agreed to call Rhythm in for his assessment.  His concern scared us both even more.

“Mom? Something’s not right. You really need to go get checked.”

Three votes unanimous, we called my mom to come over.  Stinkerbelle gave her the tour of my torso:

“First, feel this side, Mammaw.”  My daughter guided my mother’s hand over the left side of my body.  Then, my daughter says, “Now compare it to this”.

I flip over on the bed, exposing my other side, and my mother’s eyes transform from curiously confused to seriously concerned.

“Do you still have insurance?” She asks me.

“Yeah, through the ex, but I can’t afford any kind of co-pay right now.”

We all agreed, this needs to be checked out.  It’s either bone displacement or some kind of mass that has my entire upper right side in knots.  My lower left side is just as bad, from tailbone to ankle.  It’s as if my hips “slipped”{, the left side dropping, right side elevating, and every nerve between here and there being pinched.

My mom then talked about my weight, stating her concerns about how fast and how much I’ve been losing.

“I’m not trying, I promise” I say to her in all honesty.

We agreed that I’d follow mom next door to her house and get on her scale.  We were both in shock when we saw the 123 pop up on the screen.  I stepped off and back on just to make sure.

Mom poured me a glass of wine and ran a bath for me, thinking part of my problems might be stress and tension.  I soaked in a hot tub and polished the entire bottle, minus one glass that mom had, of white zinfandel.

It’s been months, if not nearly a year, since I”ve had any kind of alchoholic beverage, but I needed something to kill this pain in my head.  It’s unbearable, literally.  I could rip my own hair out.  I soaked in the tub and stretched left and right, constantly aware of the mass in my side and the pain ripping through my head.

My son reminded me: “You know what these headaches are, Mom. Something’s going on.” Still, though, the abnormality in my right side concerns him as well, and he, too, is encouraging a doctor’s visit – even though right now we’re struggling to even put food on the table.

I’m not sure if I’ll go to the doctor or not.  I do know, however, that the bubble bath worked wonders, and the tipping of the bottle has me temporarily feeling no pain.

If I wasn’t so fubared in this moment, I’d go through my archives and take note of every time I said I had one of these headaches.  They’re becoming so much more frequent. But now is not the time.  In fact, now is the time to kiss the kids goonightand pass the F out.

Something is so wrong….

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