My head went into tornado motion back in October of 2020 when I received scary news that I needed a colonoscopy and my insurance had been canceled and, therefore, so was my appointment with the gastroenterologist.
When I made that appointment-I swear it was in August-I was informed that that had been the last available appointment for the remainder of 2020.
Thus, I knew the instant the Florida Blue agent said, “Your policy has been terminated,” that that meant the earliest I could get in to see the gastroenterologist would be January.
That’s why I lost it on the phone. And, I didn’t even think my offhand remark was a hint about suicide. In all honesty, the lethality was about 50%. It ended up getting me my insurance back and, at least consciously, I wasn’t attempting to manipulate them. I know it was reinstated because the company was afraid of a lawsuit.
I am always suspicious of corporate entities-at least on some level. I know some good ones exist but, I find them difficult to identify.
This is off the subject but, it’s one of the main reasons I can’t be a Republican (I’m talking pre-trump reasons). They put too much emphasis on business and making money and big wigs making huge profits. They breed greed.
Ok, I’m off my soapbox. I got my insurance back and the engines started chugging again to get back to what, at the time, seemed to be one issue.
Then, I began noticing I was having pain in the colon region, which is the lower left abdomen. Because of the positive Cologuard test results I thought that’s what it was.
Then my cat died on 12/14-my 17 year old apple of my eye; the one consistent and daily form of joy in my life, died.
I was devastated.
It is still painful.
During this time my abdominal pain slowly got worse and I noticed that my occasional spotting (spots of blood from the female area) increased as well. And, I checked all three holes down there. I figured the spotting might be due to my body not wanting to entirely give up being, “child bearing.”
Also, during this time, I was coming to believe that my intuition and friends might be right and that a man I was intensely attracted to and interested in (which is why he scared the shit out of me) was indeed flirting with me and, perhaps, felt somewhat the same about me. Maybe, I DIDN’T imagine that his pupils were dilated. His eyes are not black, right? We didn’t have the kind of relationship in which those kinds of discussions could easily happen. So, it was confusing and I was afraid to bring it up. He’s younger than me and how often does such an attraction turn out to be real? This might seem off topic but, it did contribute to my state of mind. Although, I don’t blame him; I’m sure he was confused too. But, I do think he expected me to read too much between the lines. Yet, I was hopeful that something would shift to allow this relationship to try and blossom.
Two weeks passed between Cammie dying and the first of January when I found that my hopes about that relationship crashed and burned. And, I found out via a Facebook post.
I’m working through that pain and it’s on the back burner because I have more pressing things to deal with. Plus, my intuition keeps telling me it’s not really dead. I’m just trying not to care.
The abdominal pain was getting worse daily but, I did get in to see the gastroenterologist’s ARNP who set me up to get an appointment for the colonoscopy. I had to make the appointment with a specific person and that ended up taking weeks because we played phone tag. However, I managed to get the procedure scheduled for March 16. It was the end of January at that point.
The early part of February set me up with a work schedule in which over two weeks my shifts were arranged to be over eight consecutive days. I tried unloading at least one shift. There were no takers.
There is a gravitational effect on this abdominal pain: the more I stand on my feet, the more it hurts. I work standing as a grocery store cashier 5-7 hours for each shift.
On day seven of that eight day stretch, I was at work and I felt like my guts were going to fall out and since, I was still leaning toward the pain being related to my colon, I’d begun to think I had diverticulitis.
I told management I had to go to the ER. I left work early. I went to AdventHealth in Altamonte Springs. The pain got bad enough that they gave me a low dose of morphine. I got a CT scan and the results were that, “Your colon looks beautiful. No diverticulitis. No masses.” Then I was told that the CT scan wouldn’t pick up polyps.
Later we discussed my spotting and that the pain might actually be the left ovary. “I’ve been planning on making an appointment with my primary.” “Yes, get a referral for an OBGYN.”
I went home confused but, somewhat relieved there wasn’t something the size of a cauliflower growing in my gut.
I worked day number eight. The whole shift but, it was painful.
I went to Dr. Lauridsen, my primary care physician, and she gave me the referral to see Dr. Bernal, the OBGYN.
That appointment led to the discovery of the vulvar problem-a discoloration. So, now, I was going to get an ultrasound, a hysteroscopy (biopsy of the uterine wall lining) and a vulvar biopsy.
She said she does them a week apart because they can be painful and she wanted to mitigate the pain.
The ultrasound showed thickening but, it doesn’t say why. So, that still has to be investigated more. The hysteroscopy came out benign. Thank you, God.
I had the vulvar biopsy done two weeks ago and the colonoscopy done last Tuesday. It almost didn’t happen and I wrote a blog about that as that drama was playing out.
Dr. Giday, the gastroenterologist, removed two polyps and had to insert clips where the polyps were. I have to make a follow-up appointment with him. I will try to do that tomorrow. Pretty much, I think the colon news was good but, I learned I have a hilatal hernia, which are common, and possibly have acid teflux, which does not match up with my experience. I have MAYBE two reflux incidents a year. I get heartburn often, though. Yes, I’ve faced the fact I need to cut down on coffee.
That will be like ending a good marriage.
As of today, Monday 3/22, I learned I need to see Dr. Bernal about the vulvar biopsy results earlier than on my next appointment with her, which is 4/1.
I go see her on Wednesday 3/24 at 2:40. I’m scared and trying to not be terrified.
Also, today, I scored an appointment to get my first COVID vaccine shot. I got an appointment because someone had cancelled.
My appointment time is noon. I’m supposed to be at work at 10:30 am. It is the first day of my 7 day stretch. I work 8:30-3 tomorrow. So, tomorrow I have to discuss the vaccine situation and scheduling situation with my boss who, I’m pretty sure, hates me.
Then there is all the usual domestic drama happening.
I’m sick of drama. I’m not a drama Queen. People who’ve known me most of my life will agree. I’m seriously sick of all this intensity.
I enjoy intensity in my artistic expression and when I’m making love to someone,
I’m not enjoying this health drama. I think the snooze fest that my health issues have been most of my life have left me really unprepared for all this. I’m unused to having to spend so much time, energy and money on medical issues.
I am sincerely hoping and praying that the news I get from Dr. Bernal on Wednesday is not devastating and I can move past it and begin writing about happier interests-ones that are less personal and immediately scary.