One meeeeeleeon dollars! [puts pinky at corner of mouth]

Soooo if you go back and read the previous post, you will see that I am apparently psychic. Or at least my post titles are. Because - and I'm not even shitting you a little bit - it was not within the week, but as soon as it got cold and critters needed somewhere to stay, guess whose house got some mouse guests?

Okay, so it's not rats. But I figure if I go for a big ask (see post title) and I even get half of that, I'M DOING OK.

Anyway I took care of the mouse bidness because I am Mouse Hunter, hear me roar, see post from 2009.

You might want an update on the whole "might have lupus" situation, and I am pleased to tell you, I don't have lupus. Probably. The rheumatologist seemed fairly certain but caveated that with, why don't you keep feeling like shit for 6 months and we'll test you again?

Basically my blood work is fine, "with some glitches", but said glitches do not add up to anything right now.

So, good. Except for the part where I still fall asleep at 7:30 every night, or I could if I didn't force myself to stay awake until 10 because that's what normal people do goddammit. And the part where I have such ongoing brain fog that I'm pretty sure I'm just one of the dumb people now. Hopefully I don't get fired.

My GP has run every test she can think of and has basically given up. She suggested a naturopath, which I'm pretty sure is code for "please go away and stop bothering me", and also "you will never eat or drink anything good again".  Oh, and also code for "I hope you have one meeeeeleeeon dollars because naturopaths are fucking expensive".

So, universe, you'd better pony up.

Do you want rats? Because this is how you get rats.

So remember the "I'm back" and a pithy title making fun of my ability to get sick all the time and never have any energy? Wasn't that funny?

Ha. HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.

A couple of days ago I got a phone call from my doctor's office wanting a follow-up on some blood work. But...I had already done the follow up on blood work. In which we determined I had way too much progesterone, remember?

"...different blood work?" the beleaguered medical admin guessed.

"Okay," I said, and promised to come in the next day. I figured my doctor was maybe having a senior moment? Even though she's not senior? But I should humor her because she was the one who figured out that I had too much progesterone and I was feeling much better.

Turns out there was more blood work, tests that had to be sent away to...Siberia, possibly?...and hadn't made the long trip back by the last appointment. Turns out that I have auto antibodies in my blood, which indicate an autoimmune disease. Probably lupus, but from what I can tell autoimmune diseases are like one big bad Venn diagram of labels and symptoms, and you might be in 3 of them or you might be in the middle in limbo, and it will probably change by Thursday, so a rheumatologist just picks one at random (I assume. Possibly there's more science involved than that). It doesn't really matter what your ultimate label is, if you have an autoimmune disease it basically amounts to: Your body is trying to kill you.

Maybe not today! But probably tomorrow. And possibly Wednesday. And then maybe it will take a little rest, or even a long rest, and contemplate the next time it tries to kill you. Maybe the kidneys? The brain? Nah. LET'S GIVE HER DRY EYES. SHE'LL FUCKING HATE THAT.

When my doctor told me and made the referral to the rheumatologist, I took the day off and went home and laid on the couch and cried a bit. To be fair, I was probably going to do that anyway because I had an infected tonsil and I was in a lot of pain and kept thinking I was going to choke to death reeeeaaalllly slowly, but the autoimmune thing really didn't help.

I sort of feel like I've been handed the world's worst decoder ring. I hold it over my medical records and it says things like "you had premature ovarian failure because AUTOIMMUNE" and "you have Hashimoto's because APPARENTLY YOU COLLECT AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES" and "you get infections from every little thing because AUTOIMMUNE" and "you get weird green numb fingers when you're cold because AUTOIMMUNE". And you're like, ohhhhhhh of course! This all makes so much sense! Let's hover the decoder ring over the part that gives you answers about how to fix it! And you get

That's all we know.

WE KNOW FUCKING NOTHING.

I'm still processing this, clearly.

In the meantime I'm going to be naming all of my posts with random quotes from whatever I'm watching right now because if I'm going to have psychic, predictive post titles they might as well be interesting.

So this week next time? Rodent infestation. BOOM.

(I'll probably be a bit more selective with my random quotes once I test this theory.)

I wonder who I’d talk to about that redesign.

I have a friend who used to claim that the human body required a redesign.  Instead of toes, we should all just have flaps, he figured, and eye injuries could be avoided by acquiring one giant, segmented eye on top of our heads.

I’m not sure on the eye, but I’m with him on the flaps.  I have terrible luck with toes.

I came to that conclusion yesterday, when I was hopping around swearing through tears because I caught my toenail on a box and almost ripped it off.  It’s bruised and bloody, but it’s not the worst abuse I’ve heaped on my smallest digits.

(As an aside, I shall point out that I also have a massive bruise on my calf from stumbling around my basement, because for various reasons it looks like a homeless hoarder lives here.  But the computer is down here.  You see my dilemma.)

No, the worst thing I did to my baby toe was in high school, when I broke it. 

I was biking back to school one day at the end of my senior year.  It was already fixing to be a good, hot summer, and I was wearing shorts and sandals, and had picked myself up a slurpee at lunch.  Because I was carrying said slurpee, I was attempting to steer the ten-speed with one hand in the center of the handlebars.

I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to do this, but it’s not terribly effective.  I tried to manoeuver the bike into the narrow sidewalk that would take me between two houses and into the back of the schoolyard, but my turn was far too wide.  The bike and I brushed up against a wrought-iron fence.  My exposed smallest toe snagged on one of the decorative iron rails, and brought me to a halt.  My slurpee dumped on the ground.

I looked down at my foot.  It hurt, but it looked okay.  Well, that toe was sticking out at an odd angle.  Huh.  There was a bit of a cut between it and the next one, too.  I tried to push it back in towards its friends.  It wouldn’t go.

Some blood oozed out.

Slurpee forgotten, I propped my bike up against the fence (I would remember it 3 days later, which was probably 2.9 days after someone had stolen it), and limped into the school.

“Mr G.,” I asked the first teacher I saw, who happened to be everybody’s favorite Geo Trig teacher, the one who laughed at your jokes and kept chocolate-covered coffee beans in his desk, “Do you know if the nurse is in?”

“Why, what did you do?” He glanced down.  “Other than rip open your foot?”

I trailed bloody footprints into the nurses office, which was empty, but someone flagged down a pre-nursing student.  She wasn’t much help but kept me company while I waited for my mother, marveling at my ability to continue to crack jokes. 

(I think it’s called “going into shock”.  Pre-nursing students should probably look into that.)

I spent far too many hours in the hospital, waiting for x-rays and staff in general, while the pain faded to a dull roar and I began to consider that living life with one perpendicular toe wouldn’t be so bad.  I tried to convince them of that when they re-set the toe, all joking pretense gone, clinging to my mother and screaming in pain.  They had to try a few times.  That little piggie is hard to get a grip on.

The real indignity of this injury was that it was 2 weeks before my prom, and any hope of wearing 6-inch stilettos was gone.  Sandals weren’t as fancy then, it was the era of cheap leather water-walkers.  I had to buy big, sparkly earrings and hot-glue them to some black sandals to complete my “goth graduation” look.  At least I didn’t still have the crutches, nobody was buying my “I got bitten by an alligator” story.

That tiny toe, which still goes purple when it’s cold and is aching now with the memory of it all, remains the only bone I’ve ever broken.  Good thing I made such a show out of it, knock on wood and all that.  I still won’t get on a bike.

What about you?  Got any good injury stories?

I'll be nudging myself into traffic soon. Think of the STATS!

A conversation, several months ago:

Me: "I got us Windows 7."

Paul: "Oh, okay, I'll install it soon.  Is there anything important we need to back up?"

Me: "I don't think so.  All the software I use is on my laptop."

Paul: "What about pictures?"

Me: "They're all backed up on my iPod."

Paul: "Oh, okay."

 

A text message, a few days ago:

Paul: "Installing Windows 7."

 

Another conversation, later that same day:

Paul: "He wanted music but I couldn't figure out how to get your iPod to work on the docking station."

Me: "It died after my trip to NY.  I thought it just lost it's charge but I plugged it in and nothing happened.  It may have bitten the dust."

 

A realization, later that night:

Me: Windows 7...iPod...photos...shit.

 

A relief, the next day:

Me: Okay, I burned CDs of all our photos from Oct 2007 to early Oct 2009...and this SD card starts at November 2009...which means we're only missing about 3 weeks worth of photos.  Oh, thank gawd.

 

You'd think that would be the end of the story, but that would be boring

An occurrence, the following day:

Paul: "FedEx delivered something."

Me: "Whee!  It's the Fisher-Price iXL learny-thingie that I won for Xander at BlogHer!  This thing is cool.  Look, you can put your own music and photos on it!  There's a SD card slot here.  That must be how you do it.  I'll just put one in so Xander can have pictures of himself!"

Me: "Hm, it doesn't seem to be working.  Maybe I should actually read the instructions.  Oh, you have to upload the photos using the USB cable.  The SD slot is just for extra memory.  It says, 'cards used for memory should not be used in other devices as they may become corrupt'."

Me: "..."

Me: "Wait, WHICH card did I just put in there?"

Paul: "Um...the one with the only remaining copy of all our photos from November of 2009 forward."

 

Honestly, it's like I'm TRYING to sabotage my own life for blog fodder. Even my subconscious thinks I'm in desperate need of something to write about.

(Most of the photos seem to be fine.  There are a couple that have become icons that resemble someone's scrinched-up constipated face.  I'm...sure they're fine.)

What void did we scream into before the internet existed?

I've been very "woe is me" for a week or so. My glorious results with the regime from the naturopath tanked, hard, in their third week, and I am back to being bitchy and ragey. I have no functional bathroom, my sewer backed up, my child seems intent on killing himself. I hate my job and want to stab people there. My relationship is...not as strong as I thought it was. I'm pudgy and schlumpy and wah wah wah wah you get the idea.

I was hitting the highway to head out to my parents Ranch on Sunday and there was a cop blocking off the road and funneling traffic onto the overpass.

I thought: Well that is just fucking great, they're pulling people over and I'm going to get a ticket for something because MY LIFE SUCKS OMG.

But as I drove across the overpass, I spied the real reason traffic was being relocated: the distant figures of people in white Hazmat suits, cleaning up debris from some horrific accident. Probably picking up stray eyeballs from the side of the road.

And I thought: Oh, hai, Perspective, where ya been?

Obviously, life could be worse. Or non-existant. I could be, as my mother was always fond of saying, Dead in a Ditch Somewhere.

And then I cried a little tear for the people that were, and maybe another one born of my own frustrations, and kept driving.

(I am going to post this because I feel like venting, but I'm closing comments because I feel that asking for comments is like asking for validation of my whining, and I'm trying to stay friends with Perspective right now. If you still need to think good thoughts at someone, you could send out a healing vibe for some friends of mine who just suffered the miscarriage of a very long-awaited baby. Or you could head over to Becky's and give her hugs. She is dealing with the big C with far more grace and class than I am dealing with my stinky basement.)

What the naturopath told me

She said, "It's all in your head."

Okay, not really. They don't say that. But she concluded that most of my menopausal symptoms are stress-related. More importantly, she made me really realize that. The consultation took over two hours, but this was the most important part of the conversation for me:

Me: "Blah blah blah-de blah, had baby, had mat leave, period came back when he was about 8 months old. It was normal for about 5 months, then it went haywire."

Her: "Was there any major stressor around that time?"

Me: "Not really. Well, I went...back...to work."

Her: "Hm."

Me: "...oh."

Then she hooked me up to a biofeedback machine, and I'm still reserving judgement on that one. While I do believe that our bodies are a mass of cells and therefore must produce energy fields, the concept of a machine that can read them - and give you hard data on what your body is made up of - seems like it should still be science fiction. I mean, why wouldn't ALL doctors have one of these? To be able to test iron/vitamin/whatever deficiencies without invasive tests or trial and error? Is the Western medical system THAT entrenched in their money-grubbing that they wouldn't use one of these?

Maybe. Anyway, I digress. She gave me some supplements and a diet regime (no cow dairy, wheat, red meat, or white sugar - I'm starting to think you can just kill me now, please) and sent me on my way, hopefully to begin menstruating properly again post haste.

So the proof is in the pudding (that I can't eat), I guess. If I resume relatively normal bodily functions, then I'm sold. Naturopaths, all the way.

Unless I need, y'know, something amputated or something. THAT I can do at home.