Resolving Timeline Issues

Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

About 12 years ago, I was working at a movie theatre. I was carrying some paper towels from the back to the front and slipped on a patch of grease on the floor. I went down on my ass. The next day, I phoned my dad’s physiotherapist and made an appointment (he kept my dad working and walking for years until he had back surgery). I went in, he adjusted my back, advised me to rest and said there wasn’t much he could do.

(I suspect he was actually trained as a chiropractor, but being British his credentials didn’t transfer over)

About 7 years ago (give or take) I was teaching aquafit at a pool, demonstrating a cross country move with a jump on deck and came down on a straight knee (left). It didn’t feel too good, but I finished the class and then filled out the necessary paperwork. Worker’s Compensation referred me to a sports medicine specialist who said that I only needed to strengthen the muscles around the knee. The next day, I had an MRI – I don’t think the specialist ever saw it because I know that WCB never forwarded it to my GP. At any rate, I hired a trainer, went back to work and things were okay.

Over the next few years, I had various lower back twinges, knee pain, but nothing that a little advil (or losing 30lbs) didn’t help.

About 6 years ago, my knee and the left side of my back were excruciating. I could barely walk most days. WCB refused to give me a new claim or reopen the new one. So I went back on limited duties, dipped into savings and suffered.

About 5 years ago I started a desk job and finally had the cash to go see a physio. The evil little Chinese woman physio identified the problem with my knee: my iliotibial band (that connects your hip to your knee) was so tight it was pulling my kneecap sideways. She showed me how to stretch it and basically fixed me. I still do those stretches to this day.

Note, I also carry things on my left side only. I am inherently right-handed so any fine muscle movements (e.g. – fumbling with keys, writing, etc) need to be done with my right hand.

Back around December 20, I was putting a stainless steel  bowl away in a lower cupboard when my lower back muscles spasmed to the point that my legs collapsed. Darren heard me cursing and swearing in the kitchen and heard the bowl drop and came running in to find me on the floor. I sat there for a minute, then he helped me to my feet and I walked around feeling bruised for a few days and having problems going from sitting to standing. My hips hurt.  But the pain did go away.

What this boils down to is that I’m used to a bit of pain on my left side until I stretch – generally I feel a pop as the IT band relaxes and everything’s good after that. Until I started getting a pregnancy belly, I could still pop my lower back too, and would do that every day.

Until last Thursday. I ended up getting up about an hour early because my left hip was hurting so much. Stretching was painful. So I bit the bullet and phoned a chiro when I got to work. They worked me in as the last appointment of the day at 7:30pm. He poked and prodded my back and hit all the spots that hurt the most which ended up being halfway up my back (?!!!)

He is alarmed, to say the least. My left side (shoulder and hip) sit higher than my right. More alarmingly, my lower back muscles are so tight that they’re not letting the bones in my pelvic girdle separate the way they need to. Or rather, the way they will need to in May to allow my daughter to come out. I don’t even want to think about what that will feel like because I am (a) a wuss to begin with and (b) generally a chickenshit when it comes to sudden pain.

I have an appointment at 4 on Tuesday.

If the poptart has her* way, bladder kicking will be the next Olympic Sport. To be quickly followed by Rib Kicking. Oy.

I shouldn’t complain. Everything, according to the ultrasound, is absolutely, perfectly normal, poptart is sufficiently squirmy and measuring in the 80th to 90th percentile in everything. And a week ahead. And I get to go in for the gestational diabetes test in a month or so because of a history of large babies in my family. Oy.

And my blood pressure is crawling on the floor at around 100/70.  A drop in 10 points on either number = hypotension. Oy.

But hey, life would not be complete without salt, right?

Or fetal feet in my ribcage.

*”Her” loosely defined. We’re going with “her” even if its not fully accurate yet.

Today, I guzzled a litre and a bit of water in 40 minutes, and then didn’t pee for a couple of hours.

Because when you go for an ultrasound to see the goods on the being using your bladder as a trampoline (and I have PROOF NOW), that’s what they make you do.

At one point, the tech was scanning and suddenly asks me if the bladder situation is getting too uncomfortable. I said I was fine, so long as I didn’t move too much. “Oh good,” she says, “because your baby currently has his or her feet in your bladder and is kicking.”

All the important organs are in the correct places, in the correct numbers, and the spine is closed. Everything looks good. Baby can wave and was practicing quite a bit.

And we sort of got a look at the goods. What the tech said was that there were no apparent boy bits, and they’re usually pretty noticeable. She pegged it at a 70% chance of having a strawberry-flavoured poptart.*

*As opposed to blueberry.

Several years back I received an email with oneliners for men who are going to the doctor to get their prostates checked:

{1} “Take it easy, Doc. You’re boldly going where no man has gone before!”
{2} “Find Amelia Earhart yet?”
{3} “Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?”
{4} “You know, in Arkansas, we’re now legally married.”
{6} “Any sign of the trapped miners, Chief?”
{7} “You put your left hand in, you take your left hand out…”
{8} “Hey! Now I know how a Muppet feels!”
{9} “If your hand doesn’t fit, you must quit!”
{10} “Hey Doc, let me know if you find my dignity.”
{11} “You used to be an executive at Enron, didn’t you?”

And the best one of all..

{12} “Could you write a note for my wife saying that my head is not up there?

(shamelessly stolen from Living with Prostate Cancer as I have no idea where the original email went)

And this is a story of why is pays to get screened early.

My dad is a bit of a hypochondriac. He’s good about it though: he goes to the doctor regularly and gets checked out.

The other side of it is that he’s also paranoid about drugs. You name it, he can find something wrong with it. Morphine? Addictive. Flonase (a corticosteroid spray for allergies)? Steroids are bad. Tylenol? Bad for your liver. So he avoids drugs like the plague (his drug of choice is often scotch).

We deal with the hypochondria/paranoia by being really irreverent about it. We make jokes about medical treatments.

A couple of years ago, his prostate was enlarged. So he kept going regularly to get checked out and had the blood tests, etc. Long story short, he phoned me back in September some time:

Dad: So I have prostate cancer.
Me: Oh?
Dad: Ya, and for radiation treatment, they’re going to implant some seeds in my butt. So I’ll be glowing out of my ass in time for Christmas.
Me: oh, that’s nice.
Dad: But first I have to go in for some blood tests to check my liver and discuss treatment with the oncologist. And some other test where they put a camera up my butt.
Me: But its early on, yes? And they’ll put the video on YouTube, right?
Dad: Oh yeah.
Me: are they checking your liver too?
Dad: Yep. So I have been very good about the scotch.

(after the blood tests came back and his liver was clear, he celebrated with scotch)

Now, I know prostate cancer is a serious thing. This is how we deal with it as a family.

Dad was scanned early on, and the oncologist put him on a hormone treatment to reduce the size of his prostate. That was about a month ago.

He went in for his 6 month checkup a couple of weeks ago. In his bloodwork, the doctor included the tests for prostate cancer (whatever they measure).

With hormone treatment alone, those numbers had decreased by 50%.

See, what happens is that the cancer actually feeds off of testosterone. So they kill the testosterone production for a bit and essentially starve the cancer. You’ll get some hot flashes, but really, that’s just payback for women having to go through menstrual cramping, childbirth and menopause.

So what’s this mean? Gentlemen, I know its not a comfortable subject, but get checked early, and get checked regularly. Learn the pleasure of being a muppet starting at age 40. Prevention and early detection are the best defense against this: early detection has a 90% cure rate. And quite honestly, if you live in Canada, you have no excuse – this is included in your provincial medical care.

And who knows? You might find Amelia Earhart. 🙂

1. I am sick. Its either the virus my manager came in with last week and was hacking everywhere or the flu. Dr. Google says its the flu and my OB agrees. I am therefore home today.

2. I went to the OB yesterday and my heart rate was a bit high (78bpm for those that know what that means, but since mine rests a bit high anyways its not too bad – and he thinks its from being sick), and the poptart was kicking my uterus so much he had problems getting a fetal heartrate. He finally settled on 162bpm.

This one will be a shit disturber.

3. My blood pressure was 112/70. WTF? Back here it was 134/88  and now I have MORE blood circulating and its the blood pressure of a teenager?

Overheard:

Me: So we have a heartbeat!
Darren: See? I knew you weren’t completely heartless.
Me: :glare:

Let’s back up a bit.

I assumed my last week’s worth of sweats and chills was just due to being knocked up. Or having some sort of virus. They’re not too bad, but they break up my sleep.

To the point that today I called in sick to work because I just felt so absolutely crappy. And slept for another four hours after the alarm went off.

When I finally hauled my ass out of bed and had some coffee (shush! I know!), and breakfast and felt slightly better, I trundled off to the local maternity clinic to see if I could go there instead of New West. Because New West? Is FAR.

And they had an opening for an appointment at 4:45 today. So I went.

After he told me Why My Doctor Would Have Gotten Genetic Testing If It Was Available When He Was Having Kids, How Genetic Testing for Downs Is a Blood Test That Gives A Lot of False Positives, and If You Get a False Positive On The Blood Test You Need to Have an Amnio Which Has a One In Two Hundred Chance of Miscarriage, my doctor took my blood pressure, while I told him about the sweats and chills. He asked about my thyroid and I said I didn’t know but mom is borderline low thyroid and he grunted.

And wrote me a prescription for pre-natal vitamins (with LOTS! of folic acid) and a requisition for a thyroid test.

Then he did an ultrasound. And I saw the heartbeat. He pronounced it a healthy 170 beats/minute.

And I’ve been grinning like an idiot ever since. 🙂

(Originally written September 11-12)

Overheard, last year, while catching up on episodes of Battlestar Galactica (where the female Cylon fighter is pregnant):

Me: So if a Cylon is a toaster, what’s a Cylon baby?
Darren: A Poptart!

September 10, 2008 – I’d been feeling kind of crappy and tired all week. And my boobs were sore – sore to the point that if I went downstairs or upstairs, I had to hold them. And the sleeping. And the peeing.

Anyways, at some point something clicked and I wandered up to the drugstore on my lunch break and bought a two-pack of pregnancy tests (because a one-pack was only $2 less than a two-pack). Then I made some excuse at work about “errands” and went home early.

By the time I got home, I had to pee. So I dashed upstairs peed on the stick, recapped it and put it on the floor in front of me (flat, like the instructions said). Then I finished peeing. By the time I finished up, I had two lines.

Huh! I said. Wow! I said out loud.

And then I went out, got Darren a package of Poptarts, and wrapped it in birthday paper (his birthday is on the 16th). Then I figured, “What the hell” and peed on the second stick. Within about 30 seconds it came up positive.

Then I forgot to phone Darren to tell him I went home early and didn’t realize he was waiting for me at the train station. He was a little miffed. I put the poptarts on his chair in the office.

When he got home, I basically stalked him until he opened the package.

Darren: Oh! I can haz birfday present?
Me: Yes, open it. NOW.
Darren: [shakes box] is it breakable?
Me: Open. Open. OPEN.
Darren: [turns box upside down] This is killing you more than its killing me. This is fun.
Me: You have to understand, the present is really more of a symbol.
Darren: [unwrapping. Slowly. VERY VERY SLOWLY] Um. [peering at top of box on open end] A box! No! A Kellogg’s box? Breakfast? Poptarts?
Me: Ah. No.
Darren: [scratches head and frowns] OH! You’re pregnant!
Me: [grinning and nodding]
Darren: So who did you call?
Me: Well, I thought you should be the first to know, being the father and all.
Darren: Well, when a woman is pregnant she either calls her mother or her best friend.
Me: …
Darren: So, how did this happen?*
Me: If you can’t remember, it must have been a good night.

Yeah. We’re gonna be great parents.

*Look kids, we are proof that It Only Takes Once. We are however, supposedly mature adults – or so everyone tells us – with income and good jobs. I always say, if you can’t be a good example, at least be a dire warning.

And not just because the rain is gone from Vancouver – in fact, it is. Its brilliant, and warm out.

No, the reason I can see (almost) clearly now is because of the laser surgery. There’s still a slight bit of blurring, but I think that’s more because I’ve had to wear temporary contact bandages for the last 4 days, and like any contact lenses they’re getting a bit foggy despite the 80 different kinds of eyedrops I’m putting in a billion times a day.

And now, detailed reminiscing of the last 4 days (below the fold for those who really want to know how it works):

BEFORE YOU READ THIS: there is a lot of tongue-in-cheek humour here. Overall, it was an awesome experience (probably because of the ativan).

Read the rest of this entry »

I went to the optometrist yesterday and he put those dilate-your-pupils-to-blind-you-completely drops. I normally beg off on them, but this time I had to have them so that he could stare deep into my eyes and tell me my eyeballs are perfectly healthy. In fact, he hasn’t seen such healthy eyeballs (except for the myopia) and I continue to be an excellent candidate for PRK laser surgery. Go me.

(Note: You can only get LASIK if your corneas are thick enough. Like my mother, I have thin corneas so must get PRK instead. Apparently, PRK is more painful. I hope I get some good drugs.)

At any rate, my eyes turning into saucers. I normally beg off because, well, I hate them. I had a headache already, and all that light pouring into my eyes didn’t help. I also had a hair appointment that I was supposed to drive to but couldn’t because I couldn’t focus. So I cancelled my hair appointment and went to London Drugs for some clip on sunshades for my glasses and wandered the mall with sunglasses on. And checked out my pupils – there was barely any iris visible.

I even wore them while sitting in the hair place in the mall because those lights in the hair salons are really bright.

Sunglasses inside the mall. How much cooler can you get than that?

(Also, apologies to any people reading in readers – I tried to upload a post earlier with a picture but wordpress’ picture hosting is sort of fubared at the moment)

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I didn’t realize it had been quite that long since I wrote about the Elephant on My Head. I feel much better now.

So, first things first, the password for the post below can be acquired in two ways.

  1. It is the name of the character that said, “Life…don’t talk to me about life” from a certain work that answered the question to life, the universe and everything.
  2. You can email me at rtissues at gmail dot com. But try the first one first – its much more fun.

And for those that had the password before, it is the same.

Now that the administrative stuff is out of the way, I really have nothing to say because all I’ve been doing is (a) working (b) WORKING and (c) working. And drinking some wine.

We made it to the driving range a couple of times and it is abundantly clear I haven’t been out in almost TWO YEARS because the driving range is just not fun. Apparently, Wii golf doesn’t count when it comes to playing real golf.

The first time we went out, my sides hurt for awhile. Then I spent about 8 hours over the course of two days working on other people’s swimming strokes (have not done this in YEARS). And then I had to go to work and try to maintain some semblance of normalcy in my private life.

Thank god the cleaning service came at some point in there. Really, I don’t know what I’d do without them.

And then the thing in the password protected post happened and weirded me out.

So I have a month off working weekends. Not that it matters because next weekend I have an optometrist appointment, then have to stop wearing my contacts and on the 31st I go under the laser. Am quite excited about this: not only do I get my vision corrected, but my mommy is coming to take care of me and cook. Daddy is coming too. Maybe I can guilt him into kindly ask him to be removing the laminate from the laundry room for me because its pretty nasty?

So yes, a rather abrupt end, but I have to go get ready for the thing in the password protected post.

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