Category Archives: I feel Sad

The Post About Me & Sinuses and Teeth.

I vaguely remember a time that I didn’t have sinus issues. It was before that time I flew to Oklahoma when I was in my early-20’s with a bad head cold. Things were never the same for me after that. Chronic ear crackling; crackling every time I swallow and any sort of elevation change, and when we go up the mountain to Big Bear, my ears squeal at me as they try to adjust. It’s awful. Yet, I saw an ENT in my late 20’s and was told everything looked normal, probably just allergies.

So, I pursued allergy treatment and after feeling like a pin cushion for a couple months, I decided it was easier just to deal with it.

About 6 months ago, I had some pain in my upper right gums. Enough that I went and saw the dentist. He performed an x-ray and didn’t see anything amiss as far as my teeth went. He did notice that a crown wasn’t fitted properly and there was a small decay in the tooth next to it, but he said he was fine with watching it until next year when I suspect our dental insurance will change to better coverage, as long as I kept it really clean.

In August, I went and saw another ENT. His office performed a hearing test and then the ENT peered briefly in my ears with an otoscope and said I had some minor hearing loss, but since I wasn’t a judge and didn’t really need to hear every word someone said, I should just deal with it. He also recommended my son come in for a hearing test, because he felt he might be deaf, as well. Since I figured out he was a douchebag, just for fun, I asked him about preventative hearing protection for when I drive my convertible with the top down. He told me there was no need to do something like that, it wouldn’t impact my hearing at all. Oh really? Good thing I started wearing earplugs 10 years ago or so when I drive somewhere.

Three weeks ago, I had major pain in my upper right gums again. I waited a week and then went into the dentist’s office and instructed him to just do what needed to be done to the molars. He drilled the improperly fitted crown off, cleaned up in there (there was some decay under the crown), and fixed the cavity in the tooth next to it. I asked him about the swelling in my gums and he told me that looked like a maxillary sinus infection and that I needed to see an ENT.

So I pursued a referral to get a second opinion through my GP. Meanwhile, my gums were swelling larger, my face was swollen in response and I was in a ton of pain. When I got to see the 2nd ENT, I couldn’t even touch my face it hurt so bad — despite the Advil I was taking. After an actual exam (he looked in my nose and ears and checked my tonsils!!), he prescribed antibiotics and authorized a CT Scan.

Surprisingly, the diagnostic imaging place called me that night and fit me in the next day (last Friday). By the time I went in to see them, I had taken 3 antibiotic pills, and as I climbed into their scanning machine, my gums burst from the pressure. The relief was instant and the taste was utterly gross.

On Monday, the ENT’s office called and left me a voicemail telling me the authorization had come through and to be sure and schedule the CT Scan. I listened to the voice mail and rolled my eyes. Clearly, they had no idea how on top of things the diagnostic place was.

Yesterday, I went back to my dentist and while he was fitting my permanent crown, I told him my gross story about my gums blowing out from the infection. He took a look, went back and looked at his x-ray, and suggested that perhaps I go see an endodontist, just to be sure the roots were OK. Said if there is a problem, it’d be easier to get to now rather than down the road, because the crown is not on permanently and it would not be wise to put a brand new crown on just to potentially drill it off again in a month if there’s a problem. He further said that maxillary sinuses are the only sinuses that drain upwards, and he told me that blowing out the gums is an odd place for them to drain, they don’t usually have enough pressure to do that. He secured the crown with tempbond and sent me over right away.

The endodontist did x-rays and told me the tooth was dead. He tested it three times with liquid nitrogen (super fun!!). He showed me on the x-ray where an infection was still present and recommended doing a root canal immediately so that it didn’t infect the surrounding molars. I wish I could have had him take a picture of how he prepared my mouth for surgery; it was kind of amazing. He put sunglasses on my eyes and then he clamped something on the infected tooth and then spread a plastic cape to surround it so nothing landed in my mouth. The image I had in my mind as he worked was of a solitary tooth sitting on a picnic blanket. HA!

Turns out, one of the roots in the “dead” tooth was still half alive which made for an interesting drilling experience and many apologies on his behalf for causing me pain. It was my first root canal and I cried — such a bummer and all because of an ill-fitted crown. I cannot believe I’ve spent this much time chasing this problem and 4 1/2 hours in various dentist chairs yesterday.

On the upside, though, I finally got a CT scan, so I can’t wait to see what that shows as far as the sinus problems (probably nothing, but still). AND, one of the best discoveries of yesterday? Bite blocks. The endodontist used one while he performed the surgery and I didn’t want to give it up. I will be asking for bite blocks at all my future dentist appointments!

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Filed under Health/Endo, I feel Sad, I Stimulate the Economy, I Worry A lot

Out of the Ordinary.

The night was crisp and cool, I was driving with the top down on my convertible, and I made a wish on a shooting star. The star appeared out of nowhere, bright and fleeting, visible to me for maybe five seconds. That was two weeks ago. Or was it three?

I felt silly then, I knew my wish wouldn’t come true. All the wishes in the world couldn’t change what was already happening. Of course, my wish didn’t come true, and I realize now that it wasn’t a shooting star, it was a falling star. The word makes a difference, at least in my brain.

It was a pretty thing to see, anyway, in the darkened night sky. Something I’ll remember. Something out of the ordinary.

I watched the sunset tonight while swimming laps in our community pool. I swam and swam and swam and swam and swam, and then swam some more, until I couldn’t swim no more, because I had to get out and pee. I swam hard, it feels so damn good to be able to use every muscle in my body again. I want to feel every muscle in my body again.

I think I’ll get that wish tomorrow.

Thing was, I was trying to outswim my mind, or swim it to the point of exhaustion, anyway. That didn’t work so well. The mind is always going to be faster, more fleeting and agile, than the body.

Grief is a strange thing. Weeping is something I find myself doing without any conscious thought, suddenly, I’m just there crying and I’d like to stop, but there doesn’t seem to be an off switch I can find. It just eventually tapers off, until the next session. I guess it’s just best to let it be?

On Easter, the day our Lord rose again so many years ago, we buried Miracle. Do the innocent go to Heaven? I’d like to think so. I’d like to believe that Miracle is in Heaven, holding my dad’s hand with her left hand, and our Heavenly Father’s hand with her right.

Now that would be something out of the ordinary.

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Filed under I feel Sad, Kid Quest

Peering Through Pain.

Tony is a little amazed that I just seem to keep going, pain or not. He says most people would just stay home… I suppose he’s right. But the thing is, I learned a long time ago that if I let pain control my life, then pain becomes my life. I’d rather have a life and deal with pain, than to isolate myself because of my fear of pain, or fear of showing others my pain.

As with most life altering things, I’m learning that having a miscarriage is one of those things that silently twines itself around the daily happenings of a person’s life. Of my life. It’s weird, because it’s like this quiet grief of which no one ever speaks. No one I meet on the street has any idea that at the moment I’m telling them “I’m fine,” in response to their standard greeting of, “How are you?” I’m actually losing a life I’ve nourished for 2 1/2 months, and a dream for which we’ve prayed for 3 years.

Today would have marked the beginning of my 2nd trimester.

The dreams are hard, and I’ve awakened more than once the past few days because I’ve been crying in my sleep. ~~ I felt like I’d been punched in the gut the other day when I saw a woman holding her newborn close to her cheek. ~~ I wanted to punch someone in the gut when, within the first five minutes of meeting him and his obviously pregnant wife, he made more than three comments about his wife being pregnant.

Irritable. Sad. Sensitive. Tired. Impatient. Cramps. Bleeding.

Yet, despite the pain — emotional and physical — I’ve been able to carry on a semblance of a normal life. I’m able to go to work, learn new things and practice my craft as an assistant. The people I work with are cool and hip. There are fun perks at this company, like free breakfasts every Friday, sponsored by the company.

Tony and I were able to have a great weekend together. Friday night, we went up to the local mountains and, Saturday morning, visited our friends (the cook & waitresses) at our favorite breakfast restaurant up there. Which also means we’ll think of them and our time up there for most of the week, because we have breakfast leftovers.

We drove down Saturday afternoon to attend a Honda-sponsored dinner event for the people who rode on their float in the Rose Parade. A dinner at a ritzy steakhouse, with appetizers, salad, main course (filet mignon for us, please) and dessert. The representative from Honda said they’d stayed away from having riders on their floats in years past, but now might reconsider that policy in the future because all the float riders this year were so wonderful. As a thank you, beyond the experience, memories and dinner, they gave all the float riders photo albums and DVDs. I continue to be so impressed with Honda corporation.

This weekend was also Marigold’s birthday and the Steve/Marigold/Huck/Milo Show invited us to join them at Disneyland. Our schedules meshed up, so we spent the afternoon at the happiest place on earth, riding kiddie rides with the kiddies and getting our picture taken with Mickey Mouse.

The best ride of the day was the Jungle Cruise, because I got this picture of nephew Huck just after we saw the hippopotamuses get “shot at” by our guide. He wasn’t pleased.

Grateful. Blessed. Loved. Grace. Amazed. Miracles.

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Filed under Best Husband, Entertainment can be Cheap, Health/Endo, I did something Special, I feel Sad, I have Family, I Left Home for Awhile, Kid Quest, Money Hump Building, Sometimes I Dream

Physical Processing.

I went for my second opinion on Friday. The news was really a moot point. I knew what it would be, for I had started bleeding last Wednesday.

Mostly, I just wanted one last picture of our baby.

It amuses me the lengths to which the medical community goes to avoid calling our baby a “baby.” Each visit, I wonder what term the doctor will come up with. This time, it was “results of conception.” Clever, very clever. For isn’t that what each of us is?

So, my body started cramping on Saturday afternoon and took a turn for the intense side of things on Sunday afternoon in its attempt to “pass the results of conception.” (“Passing” sounds so easy, doesn’t it?)

Throughout the process of physical pain and inconvenience, I was simply amazed at the sheer amount of insulation my body had provided to protect this little one. And then, by last night, the intense pain was all gone and left me feeling tender and fragile inside.

I felt well enough to continue with life as usual. In my capacity of “normal.”

Which is why I was unpleasantly surprised when a contraction hit with such force this afternoon, it took me to my knees at work, and then my boss walked by. Oh Lord, I was so embarrassed but unable to do anything except remember to breathe. Now I find myself wondering if I’ll lose my job on top of our baby. (sigh)

I couldn’t go home because I couldn’t sit, and even if I could have sat down, it was horrifying to imagine myself driving in rush hour traffic with that kind of pain. I couldn’t figure out why the pain was so much worse today than yesterday (although not kidney stone passing kind of pain). The only thing I could think is it’s maybe like when you vomit? It’s less painful if you have water or something in your stomach? Maybe that’s why the pain was so much worse today, because there really wasn’t that much left in there to wring out? I’m grasping at illogical logic here. Indulge me, please, I’m hormonal.

Really, though, emotionally, I’m OK. Sad, of course, but it’s as if the physical process is a tangible culmination of the emotional pain I’ve had since mid-February. At this point, I simply want my body to correctly finish what it’s supposed to do, as I do not want surgical intervention. Which is also why I don’t want to ask my doctor about this process, because how many women do they actually “allow” to miscarry naturally? They’re surgeons, every one of them, and all surgeons want to do is poke, prod and do surgery. I just have no idea how long the cramping is supposed to last… or why it waited 24 hours before coming back with such force.

I’m just praying for the grace to get through each day and that my body will do what it needs to do correctly. But, God, this hurts, and I won’t have a baby in my arms to show for it when it’s all done. And that, frankly, just sucks.

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Filed under I feel Sad, Kid Quest, Money Hump Building

I Need You.

I sat down here tonight to type my weekly Love & Loathe post and am finding that I just can’t do it. It feels superficial and forced, too perky for where we are tonight emotionally. Physically, too, now that I ponder it.

Tony is driving out to Las Vegas this evening to meet his dad and brother. His sister has been missing since February 25th, and they are attempting to find her. She has a mental illness and is supposed to be taking medications to help her, but she has missed important doctor appointments and, as a result, is likely off her meds. Tony has put together a simple website to get the word out on Facebook and Twitter.

**03/13/10 Update: After spending Friday in Vegas following leads, on Friday night, Tony’s sister surfaced. We don’t have all the details, maybe never will of what happened, but the important thing is that she’s OK.**

In addition, Tony’s grandfather’s health has been declining since January. There is a lot going on with him, and out of respect for his privacy, I will just share that he has been in and out of the hospital for treatment and testing. We are hoping that he will be OK once they get him stabilized, but will likely need to be in an assisted living facility. This has been especially hard on Tony’s elders as they try to figure out the best way to provide him the needed care, but also ensure that he feels loved, safe, comfortable and reassured.

**03/13/10 Update: On Friday Tony’s grandpa stabilized enough that he could eat solid foods and be placed in a living facility. I hope he’ll be around for many, many more years.**

And finally, Tony and I have been dealing with something incredibly personal as well. You may recall that we’ve been trying to start a family for three years and we were diagnosed with male factor infertility in December of 2007. We were told that the likelihood of me becoming pregnant by “normal methods” were less than 3%, or even less, when my age is factored in.

Miraculously, I am 2 1/2 months pregnant, and have been on pelvic rest for 1 1/2 of those months (no exercise, no sexercise, nothing that moves the pelvis beyond a sedentary life).

However, I was diagnosed last Friday with early pregnancy failure. By ultrasound, they can find the gestational sac and the yolk sac, but no baby. From what I’ve read on Dr. Google, there is a tiny, tiny, tiny chance that, because I have a tilted uterus, the baby may be hidden, but I… well, I don’t know. The doctor didn’t give me any hope at all and said I will miscarry within the next 2-3 weeks.

I spent most of Friday night and Saturday sobbing my heart out, grieving, for this baby we want so very badly, but the doctor says isn’t there. We are working on getting a second opinion, but ultimately, a second opinion won’t change what’s going to happen. Whatever that may be.

In the meantime, I’m trying to hold it together emotionally and physically at a new job, where I will finish my first week tomorrow.

There are times in life when I’ve come to realize that, no matter what I do, there is actually very little I can do to change the outcome of certain situations. When, through it all, I hold onto the fact that I know a God who can work miracles, whether it be peace of mind or putting a baby in my womb. Or giving loved ones wisdom when it comes to searching for a missing loved one or holding a family together when a loved one needs their help.

You guys are my extended family and now, more than ever, we need your love, prayers and emotional support.

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Filed under I feel Sad, I have Family, Kid Quest, Sex, Spirituality, Who I am

Broken Week.

Early in my career, I worked for a large baseball card & sports memorabilia company as the EA to the head of their in-house legal department. The CEO’s assistant, a woman who was in her mid-to-late 40’s, had been with him forever. Her name was Millie. They were like an old married couple, except on a professional platform. They had their routines, they knew each others likes and dislikes. She had his back, and he had hers — no matter what. They trusted each other. They knew they were going to be together forever.

I envied them that, because that is what I want.

That is actually what I had there with my boss, now that I think about it. But circumstances out of our control came into play that caused my boss, and later me, to move on. He was the best boss I ever had.

That is the type of relationship I’ve sought at every job, there and at every job since, thinking I’d found it every time. And, finally, I thought I’d really found it at this last job… it sure seemed like it. In a nutshell, I suppose, that explains why I’m so hurt and disappointed. My expectations weren’t met. Isn’t that where we always get into trouble? We have expectations that aren’t met? (sigh) I’ve had some frustrations this week with the company in getting things finalized, but it all came together today in the mail, so it looks like it’s really over.

I contacted all my prior bosses (excepting the most recent one) this week to request that they act as references and all but one of them got back to me, each giving an “of course,” along with kind words and assurances… talk about giving support when I need it.

On Wednesday night I was working on a project for Tony and the video card on my longtime laptop, the one I purchased in 2002, went out. The hard drive is fine, it’s just that I can’t see to do anything… my window into its soul has been darkened. Most everything on there has been backed up, so there shouldn’t be any loss of data, but I’d like to double check. Dear Vince has a couple ideas up his sleeve to help me out. Shout out to Vince!

This morning, I noticed Mr. White (my male fish) had a weird red thing in the bottom of his tank and a bunch of strange things floating around. He seemed happy and was playing with the weird red thing, but … I hadn’t put a weird red thing in there. So I grabbed the long tank tweezers and pulled it out. That was when I realized, with some shock and definite horror, that it was the innards of the tank thermometer. I looked at the side of the tank where it should be and the glass casing was there, but broken off at the bottom. Immediately I thought, “OH NO! MERCURY! HE’S GONNA DIE!! WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!!” Because everyone knows that rampant mercury is like a silver stream of death!! But after an emergency phone call to Fish Whisperer, who reassured me that the fish is gonna be OK, mercury is more toxic to humans (if it gets in the blood stream), than it is to fish and no one is going to die. He said to leave Mr. White in the tank and do a 50% water change. So, I did that with a water vacuum and searched for glass bits and changed his tank’s filter. I examined the pieces of the broken thermometer and realized that the mercury is still intact (phew!!), but the red stuff that’s at the bottom of the thermometer had gone somewhere… dissolved in the tank, maybe? What is that red stuff anyway?

Mr. White has gashes on his sides because he, being the masochistic fish that he is, was happily slamming himself up against the broken thermometer. But he seems to be OK — active, and was actually pretty pissed that I took his toys away from him. Can’t have a pissed fish, so I put an artificial blue spiky plant in there that his dad used to love to beat up and I poked holes in a ping pong ball, soaked it in really hot water for a few minutes to sterilize it, and then sank it in his tank. He’s been having the time of his life this afternoon moving “fish safe” toys.

The blue, spike plant (Notice Mr. White in the lower right corner, moving the plant by “flashing” his body and flinging all the rocks around?)

While those gashes heal, I’ll be doing daily water changes. Good thing I have a little extra time these days, huh?

I figure if I can make it just a few more hours, the Broken Week will be over and we can move on to Recovery Week, right?

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Filed under I feel Sad, Kid Substitutes, Money Hump Building

Love & Loathe – 08/11/09

Love:

* Blaring funky dance music.

* My friend, Grace, who lets me come over to her house on my lunch hour and hang out with her. A home away from home is a welcome midday respite.

* My mom — she is genuinely interested in me as a person. From halfway around the world, she listens and provides needed wisdom. Even though I know she has her own stresses and struggles, she is always, always there for me.

* My husband is one of the most responsible, reliable, loving, compassionate people on this planet. Even though I know he is stressed to the max right now, he never falters at being the best husband, the perfect husband, for me. I am so blessed.

* Gardenias… my gardenia tree just keeps blooming like crazy.

* Plumeria blossoms… my plumeria tree burst out in flowers last week.

Loathe:

* Struggling so very hard to paste a smile on my face when it’s the very last thing I feel like doing.

* Feeling depressed, overwhelmed and in over my head.

* Hormones that are all over the place and based on the knife sharp physical abdominal pain I’ve been having this week, as well as the emotional fluctuations I’m battling, I’ve been pondering just how much longer I have before endometriosis takes over my life again. Oh, Aleve, how I love thee… it helps me take things one sharp pain at a time!

* Having terrible dreams that I actually remember. I never remember my dreams, but I remember the one I had this morning and wish I didn’t.

* One of the cats had diarrhea with blood in it… we have no idea which one, and they all seem overwhelmingly normal in their lethargy, no observable abnormal weirdness or behavior or temperatures. (sigh) (shrug) What to do?

* My husband lost two of his little fish this past week. You know how losing fish makes me so sad.


One Last Thing:

I mentioned a couple weeks ago that my Aunt Marj was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had a mastectomy last week and came through the surgery great, is in no pain, she said, and seems to have a really great attitude — kicking ass and taking names, don’t you know. The doctors believe they successfully removed all the cancer, but they’re testing the surrounding muscle to be sure. She goes in for her follow-up appointment this Friday where she’ll learn the results of the test.

Please be praying that they got it all and that the test on the surrounding muscle and tissue is normal — which would mean she doesn’t need chemotherapy.

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Filed under I feel Sad, Love/Loathe, Money Hump Building