Category Archives: My Life

My random daily thoughts, issues, problems, joys…just the “stuff” that happens in my life…

Making a Murderer & A Dose of Self Awareness

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On November 15, 2005, I wrote the following on this blogsite:

“I also had an idea about writing a book about this man in Wisconsin, Steven Avery. He was in prison for something like 18 years for a rape before evidenced proved his innocence of the crime and he was set free. There were then stories in the media about how this poor man lived in a small ice fishing shack because he had no money and his life was taken away. I remember seeing these stories and feeling so bad for him. Today, he is being charged with the rape and murder of a young Wisconsin woman. Tell me there isn’t an interesting story here.”

Charlie and I binged on Making a Murderer the past few days. It is a documentary series regarding Steven Avery’s conviction in the Teresa Halbach murder. I am still trying to reconcile my feelings now with my beliefs before the documentary.

At the time and up until a few days ago, I really felt that this was an evil man who got what he deserved. I did think there was impropriety within the justice system. But, in my mind, if it got him off the streets – I was okay with that.

So, why was I so convinced he was an evil psychopath? Because I am far more influenced by the media than I was willing to admit. It was actually without any conscious or active absorbing. In one part of the film, we noticed that a news reporter used the term “compound” in regards to the Avery property. We both chuckled at the absurdity of that. Switching terminology here and there can make a world of difference when it comes to the forming of public opinion.

Another thing that really bothers me about my own assumptions – during this very time, I was going through my own trauma within the justice system. I was accused of a crime I did not commit…of being something I could never be. It was one of the most difficult, horrific times of my life and probably the only time I have ever truly come close to considering suicide. Not long after, I was treated for PTSD due to that event.

Even though I had first hand experience of being caught in the merciless claws of the justice system; even though I had people lie about me, turn against me and felt as if my life was torn apart – I didn’t consider that maybe this was also happening to Steven Avery. That makes me feel ashamed.

Did he kill Teresa Halbach? I do not know. I don’t know if we will ever know. But I do now think it is VERY possible that he did not.

I may write more about the particulars at another time. I don’t know. A lot being written lately – so probably no need. But I really urge you to watch this 10 part docu-series on Netflix. It will really open your eyes to what probably happens far more often than we would ever imagine. Power drunk egos with an axe to grind can ruin many lives and much too easily without consequence. Scary as fuck.

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LCHF: Worth a Try…We Shall See…

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LCHF-Straight-Arrows

I have written about my weight before. Some may even think I talk about it too much. Or, at least, worry about it too much. I suppose I would agree. I certainly don’t want my daughter to be as concerned with her body image as I have been with mine. I get to the point of beating myself up mentally whenever I look in the mirror. I cry. I yell. I throw my clothes on the ground and refuse to leave the house (this isn’t a regular thing, but it has happened). I would never want Cassidy to feel this way – so why do I do it to myself? It has been ingrained in my head since childhood that how we look is the basis of our value. Cognitively, I know that is crap…but my subconscious sees my fat or cellulite or signs of aging as unworthiness. It truly is fucked up. And telling me “stop feeling that way” is about as productive as telling a depressed person to “cheer up”. Believe me, if I could – I would.

So, a little background…When I was pregnant 11 years ago, I gained 70+ pounds. Shortly before becoming pregnant, I went on a beta blocker for my heart – so that didn’t help. After having her – using a multiple of dieting methods – I was able to lose some but a big chunk wouldn’t budge. I honestly tried everything. Finally, I went off of a medication (cymbalta) and the rest fell off with sensible eating. I lost over 30 pounds in less than 3 months. And I kept it off for a number of years.

In 2014, my medical issues got worse, I had surgery and then post op complications (the whole antibiotic thing I wrote about a few months ago) – I gained about 30 in a fairly short block of time. And with my liver injury – my body has been holding onto fat for dear life. Again, it just wouldn’t budge. Over the last year, I have VERY slowly been able to lose about 13 pounds. But that stalled a few months ago and no matter what, the rest just won’t leave.

So, I have decided to try the LCHF (basically, Atkins) diet to get things progressing. I do not know if this will work. I do know that I have never really tried this before. I want to lose 15 lbs but would be happy with 10. It isn’t like I have a shit load to lose. So, I realize my results won’t be like those who lose 10 pounds in one week. And there ARE a lot of people like that.

But I want to make this clear – I will never be a militant dieter. I am of the mindset that life is so very short and I plan on enjoying as much of it as I can until I can’t. And, yes, that includes cake. I enjoy food. I am not addicted. I am not obsessed. I enjoy it. It is a great pleasure in life and I will never be one of those people who simply use it as fuel. That just isn’t me. During those years when I kept the weight off – I basically ate healthy, fairly low carb most of the week. On weekends and vacations, I allowed myself to splurge. I am happy with that way of eating.

So far on the LCHF (2.5 days) – I have lost 2 lbs. And I can even see the difference already. We shall see where this goes as it is certainly worth a try. The food is most definitely limited – but also very filling. I am trying to keep my net carbs (carbs minus fiber) under 25 grams per day. This isn’t easy, but so far has been do-able. But if I have a piece of cake at a party or some corn at a fair – I am not going to torture myself as though I am some kind of failure. Because, really, what I want more than anything is to be okay with what I am and how I look in each moment. I am 41. I will never look 20 again. And it simply is not fair to myself to expect that and punish myself because I don’t.

If anyone is interested in learning about LCHF…I will put a couple of videos below. There is also a lot of info HEREBut, again, I am not pushing this diet…not even recommending it yet. I think the science is very interesting and I have seen a shit load of success stories and I am trying it. That’s all. At this point anyway 😉

Nurse Jackie: Addiction Fucking Sucks

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When the series finale of Nurse Jackie ended and the credits began to roll, I was kinda like, “Ummm…so, THAT’S it?!” My feelings were mixed and I felt dissatisfied. After a few minutes passed and I really started to think about it, I soon realized that it was actually quite perfect.

While the writers brought to us: colorful characters (Zoe was by far my favorite), tragically hilarious storylines and sarcastic one-liners – the show was about addiction.  There was no real beginning and therefore, no real ending was called for. They wrote, for us, merely a glimpse into the life of one woman and her illness.

We are spoiled, as viewers. We like to have everything spelled out for us and then wrapped up into a box of closure topped with a bow. We want that big shoot out or that island wedding or some cataclysmic lesson. When everything doesn’t fit back into the packaging at the end, we are frustrated. “Fuck that! What happened?!” Well, folks, life happened. And I guess we just have to accept that the end wasn’t part of the story.

The tale here was simple: addiction fucking sucks. And addicts just aren’t who we once pictured them to be. They don’t come with flags and badges. And no one is immune. Addicts are smart, creative, funny, successful, kind, compassionate – they bear the most wonderful human qualities. They are loved and respected. They live their lives like everyone else – until, they can’t.

Jackie was very good at what she did – a skillful and polished addict. Her lying was survival. Her manipulation – masterful. And Eddie was as textbook co-dependant as one could be. Where there is a Jackie – there is almost always an Eddie. “You are my everything,” he said. They almost welcome the torment – they feed off of it. At least, for a while. Then there are also Zoes – who will worry and tend and clean up until they are strong enough to finally break away. They still carry their love, only it is more and more carefully protected as time goes on.

I cannot count the addicts I have known and even loved. I cannot measure the impact of each blow by their actions. But I am grateful that I have been able to avoid being a Jackie, so far. And for the most part, I have not stood in Eddie’s shoes. I have, however, been a Zoe. I have also been various co-stars and extras standing in the background attempting to duck from the impending shrapnel.

I have my issues, that is for sure.  This bouquet of neurosis has sheltered me from personally developing the disease a number of times in my life – and for that I am thankful. Having had a father, step father, grandparents, uncles, cousins and friends who battle with addiction – I know just how easily it could come for me. My father died at 46. My stepfather has been sober for decades. Others I have known and loved have all lived (or are living) their own story – each with different outcomes.

Dependency is a tightrope and each acrobat comes with their own finite set of chances. Sometimes there is a net on which to fall but eventually that net will fray and become unreliable. Either way, the exact conclusion can never truly be predicted.

How does it end for Jackie? What happens after they run to her as she lies half-conscious on the floor? It doesn’t really matter. We have many options from which to choose if we wish to fill in our own blanks. Perhaps we can insert our own experiences. Or maybe we can just be okay with knowing that the story wasn’t about how it ends – but rather the tenacious grip dependency can wield.

We know what we need to know – that Jackie was enslaved by an illness – like so many we see, know and love. That this illness can creep on suddenly or take decades to evolve. That some people do gain their freedom – to a certain extent. And that many end their stories dreadfully. But most of all, we know that addiction fucking sucks.

That Woman in the Burke Ad is My Friend and She is No Criminal

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Over the weekend I briefly read through some Facebook comments regarding a story about a woman in a Burke for Governor ad who had been charged with a crime in her past. I didn’t read the full story due to time and the fact that it wouldn’t change any of my opinions.

This morning, I came across another post about this woman and recognizing that her story resembled mine, I felt it was time for me to actually read it. My heart dropped not only when I learned this was about a friend of mine but also when I read the comments on the article. It became one of those weird PTSD flashback moments. And I am not being hyperbolic, I was diagnosed with PTSD due to a very similar circumstance.

I will not get into her case and her personal story because that is not my place. If she would like me to write about it in the future, I will. But she has her children and her own sanity to consider. And laying everything out there may not be what is best for her right now. Also, she has been working incredibly hard to move forward and has no interest in defending herself by ridiculing or defaming her children’s father. She just isn’t that kind of person.

My friend, Erin, is a dedicated, loving mother to a couple of bright, lovely children. There is no doubt in my mind that those kids are her world and her love for them compares to no other. I also happen to know that Erin is a benevolent, generous, kind person who works incredibly hard on a daily basis to make this world a better place not only for her children, but the children of strangers.

When I was falsely accused of child abuse in 2005, I wanted to die. When I read the public comments made about it and me, I felt I couldn’t go on. If it hadn’t been for my daughter, I don’t know if I would still be here. The public commentary on my life and my motherhood – reading the horrible things people (who had no idea what they were talking about) were writing – someone may as well have been stabbing me in the gut. A couple of years later, I was diagnosed with PTSD.

Most days, I can live without it pressing on me very much. But then there are times when all of those feelings burst back into the forefront as though they happened only yesterday. And what has happened to Erin in these past days is a big example of that.

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to run for local office. It was made pretty clear to me that after these charges (false or not) that would not be a good idea. At the time this happened, I was entering a social work program at Gateway. I was told after this that I would never be hired in that field. And now, I get turned down for jobs all of the time due to my background check. When I was writing for Patch, commenters loved to look me up and post things about that case simply because they disagreed with my politics. This affects me in different ways all of the time.

In 2012, I was asked to be in a couple of political ads. One was a commercial for a promising U.S. candidate. I was so excited. I was picking out some outfits for me and the kids when I realized that my past could cause a problem. I called the person in charge of the commercial and explained as much as I could. It was decided that I should not be involved in that way. Once again, that one incident brought up those heartbreaking emotions and disappointment all over again.

It never goes away. It may hide for a while. But it’s always there – lingering, somewhere.

When I read comments about Erin today, I wanted to scream and cry and hug her.

People need to know that ANYONE can accuse ANYONE of ANYTHING. People need to know that you are NOT considered innocent until proven guilty. People need to know that it is nearly impossible to prove you DIDN’T do something. People need to know that one questionable decision does not determine who you are – not for a day and certainly not for the rest of your life. People need to know that innocent people plead guilty ALL OF THE TIME and for many different reasons.

Our justice system is a meat grinder. And until you are a part of it – you have no clue what you would really do or how you would really react. It is terrifying and intimidating. And some defense lawyers suck and some D.A.s are crooked with an ax to grind. Sometimes a person will do whatever they have to just to make it end.

But the sad truth is – it never really ends. And now I have to see my friend have this all smooshed into her face again in front of the world and all because she just wanted to make our state a better place to live for everyone.

You need to really take a step back before you assume, before you judge and before you believe what you read. Because you don’t know the whole story. And you better realize that all of this – all of this nightmarish bullshit – can happen to you or someone you love at any moment.

A Journey…In My Words

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Listen. I have had this blog since 2005. I write about many things. And a large portion of what I write is a personal diary. I suppose I have fallen into this narcissistic social phenomena. But this outlet has offered me much release. It has been extremely cathartic. And believe it or not – I get messages from people all of the time thanking me. People in similar situations have been made to feel not as alone in their own struggles. Those reasons alone make it all worth it to me. And if anyone takes issue with that (as I know some may question my motives for posting such things or whether I should share personal stories at all) – they don’t have to read it.

I am not one of those people who cover my Facebook page with only successes and self-congratulatory pats on the back. I am not made of sunshine and rainbows. And I refuse to pretend to be anything other that exactly what I am. You think it is new to me to have people turned off by this? You think that after everything I have been through in life – some of which I have never breathed a word – puts me in a place of making this a top concern? I am me. This is how I express myself. There are those whom respect me for it and there are those who think they are better than me because of it or those who simply do not approve. Fuck it. I really cannot care anymore.

In the next few weeks, I will be writing about my recent hysterectomy surgery, my recovery and complications. I will be writing about it because as I have been through this journey, reading the stories of others have helped me tremendously. I will be writing about it because that is what I do. I am not seeking sympathy to any degree. Every person out there has been through something scary, life-changing, difficult, etc. I compare myself to no one and deserve no tighter hugs than anyone else.

However, I do feel there is a great misunderstanding and underestimation about this procedure. Before going through it myself, I would have never imagined the seriousness of this major surgery. Hysterectomies are one of the most preformed procedures in our country. Because of this, many people feel it is no big deal. Especially when they can sometimes be done without a 12 inch incision dissecting one’s midsection. But just because the scars on the outside seem insignificant – the work on the inside is just as traumatic. Perhaps I can help bring some realization to some misbeliefs.

I had my surgery a little over 6 weeks ago. The struggle has been more difficult and much different from what I expected – both physically and emotionally. That being said, it could have been much worse. While the surgeon did a great job and the staff at the hospital went way above my expectations of care and I have had wonderful support from a few great people – I have not been without road-bumps.

Almost right after surgery, I was having difficulty taking a deep breath. A few times I woke up gasping as I would imagine a person with sleep apnea experiencing. I reached out to a couple of people who all assured me I was fine and that my fears of blood clots were most likely inducing a panic reaction. This has happened before, so that was a reasonable assumption. But I still felt something wasn’t right. This was only the first sign to what ended up being a very bad drug reaction to an antibiotic – something I never considered. I am very lucky it did not cause more trouble than it did. I am still feeling some of the effects, but they are improving and the damage it did to my liver is now repairing. Many people who have had similar reactions have ended up with permanent lung, nerve or liver disease.

This is just one of the things I will share in detail about this surgical experience in the upcoming weeks. From pre-op fears to being wheeled into the OR to my recovery to the wonderful people who have helped me through everything – I will write about this, hopefully, in a way that can help others in one aspect or another. Going through this has truly opened my eyes in some really unexpected ways and in many different capacities. Perhaps others will relate.

For now, I can tell you that I am healing and doing the very best that I can. I still go through moments of pain and fear. But it gets better each week. And I hope to soon be back on my dreadmill, back to writing regularly and back to searching for that life I truly want to live. I look forward to being introduced to the new me – a healthier me.

Thank you for listening.

Freaking the Hell Out

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I am 10 days away from surgery. This sucks balls. Actually, I wish I HAD balls because none of this would be happening at all. Men have it so easy, I swear. I protest the inequality of gender based body parts!!! I’ll start workin’ on a chant…

My uterus is being evicted and hopefully it will not steal valuable piping on its way out. Uterus and cervix are both going. Leaving ovaries but cysts on them may be removed. We know that I have one intramural golf ball sized fibroid, adenomyosis and ovarian cysts. Often times they find more once in there because the ultrasound can only see so much. So, if there are no other issues and everything goes smoothly, the surgery should take about 2 hours using the DaVinci Robotic method.

The Dr. (the gyno I have had for over a decade) who was to perform my surgery sadly broke his leg and will be out of work for a few months. Because of this, I had to reschedule with the one other Dr. at that hospital who does the DaVinci. I was very freaked out and worried about this. I even took it as a sign that I was not supposed to have this procedure. But I met with the new Dr. and was impressed with the time he spent with me, his patience (let’s face it…I can be quite annoying) and his confidence. I think he may be my first Dr. who is younger than me. That does not thrill me – but purely for vanity reasons.

If you know me, you know I sometimes have a tendency to obsess and panic. Well, my brain has definitely decided to focus on a particular fear and, like a rabid pit bull, will not let go for anything. DVTs/Blood Clots/Pulmonary Embolism. Yep. My brain will not stop worrying about this possibly complication. This is a possibility with any surgery, but more so with abdominal surgery. And I am freaking the fuck out. Dying and leaving Cassidy behind is unfathomable to me. Can’t have it. And every single day – at LEAST once – I think about cancelling. To me, being miserable some times is far better than being dead. But I guess that is a silly way to look at it. At least, that is what they are telling me.

I have always had this fear, but now that I am actually facing the possibility of having it happen – my phobia is through the roof. And what sucks, it really isn’t all that uncommon of a complication. In fact, many surgeons around the country and in other countries give prophylactic  blood thinners to prevent them. Some Drs do and some don’t. Mine do not. It seems as though it is controversial and the medical community doesn’t fully agree on the most appropriate procedures. Some surgeons are more worried about bleeding and others, clots. Personally, having read so many stories, it seems that bleeding complications are far less fatal than pulmonary embolisms. I guess I would rather risk a bleed. So yea. I need to let go of this really soon because it is driving me bonkers.

I have been listening to some pre-surgery guided meditations and it does help. Also just trying to relax as much as possible. This is definitely one of the hardest things I have ever gone through. I have thought and it has been mentioned to me that seeking out spiritual advice may help with my fears – especially about dying. Because I waste far too much time worrying about being dead to actually enjoy living. This needs to change. STAT. I am going to talk to a few people from different spiritual backgrounds and hopefully this may help.

My wonderful MOFO lady friends had a lovely dinner party for me last weekend. It was so nice – soups, salads, bread, wine, deserts and a lot of great support. I am so lucky to have a group of women like them in my life. My husband and mom have also been helpful and will be taking care of me post-op. They are both kind of on the…ummm…less emotional side. So I do hope they can be supportive when I need it most and when I may be difficult to deal with.

It has been a little surprising who has been outwardly supportive (is inwardly supportive even a thing?) and who has not. I am not bothered by it. Some people just aren’t like that. But even the smallest shreds of compassion or warmheartedness have and will mean so much to me for a very long time – likely forever. You just don’t forget shit like that.

Well, that is enough blabbering on and on about shit no one cares about for now. I will talk at ya later.

Lady Parts Go Bye Bye ***TMI and More TMI…Fair Warning***

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What I write below is very personal. Many will also consider it graphic or gross. I am not writing this for entertainment purposes. I am writing this for those who are out there and in the same boat as me…to know they are not alone. I am also writing this for my own cathartic reasons. It helps. And I hope that maybe it will help someone else too.

It has been almost a month since I last spoke about my glorious gynecological issues. As I explained at that time, it looks as though a hysterectomy is in my future. My symptoms are getting worse and I felt so awful last week that I made an urgent visit to my original OB/GYN here in Racine. As soon as he walked through the door, the tears began to stream. Partially because of how awful I felt, partially because of my fear and partially because I felt guilty for going to another Dr. in the past months.

I have been with this Doc for over a decade. He helped me through a cancer scare and some in office and out-patient procedures. He delivered my daughter 9 1/2 years ago. And he has always been very good to me. I decided in that moment that it was indeed time to have this surgery and that it should be preformed by my long-time doc.

When having a hysterectomy there are many options to consider:

Do you keep your cervix? Do you keep your ovaries? If you do not keep your ovaries, will you use hormone replacement therapy? How much recovery time? Possible complications? Hospital stay? Medications? Anesthesia? Surgery duration? Cancer possibilities and pathology? These are just a few.

For me, I will not be keeping my cervix due to past cancer scares – why take the risk of having to have another surgery later. It’s basically just a cancer catcher at this point. And taking it actually makes the surgery easier from what I have read.

I will be keeping my ovaries because the hormones and blood flow provided by the ovaries are very beneficial to a woman’s health. Not to mention, the thought of going into menopause at 39 sounds pretty miserable and depressing. I do have ovarian cysts and since my grandmother had ovarian cancer – I need to be careful. So he will take a good look and biopsy if needed. Because I am keeping my ovaries, some symptoms will likely remain after surgery.

Recovery time really depends on the particular surgery, patient and the extent of the problems in dat der plumbin’. Hopefully, my issues are not extensive. They usually do not know what they are getting into until they get in there for a look. The amount of fibroids, cysts, adenomyosis, endometriosis, the size of the uterus (the more disease, usually the larger the uterus), possible adhesions to other organs, etc…can all play a role in recovery, surgery time, type of surgery, hospital stay and possible complications. There is so much uncertainty when going into a procedure like this. I really won’t know much until I wake up. Scary.

What is expected for me:

Thursday March 20th. I will go in at 11am. Surgery is scheduled for 1pm. I will be put under general anesthesia and intubated. I will be placed onto a table that inverts me backwards so that my feet are higher than my head (this is going to be WONDERFUL for my back and neck issues…sarcasm). I will then be pumped up with carbon dioxide so that there is room to see everything and for the mechanical instruments to move freely. As long as it is an easy enough case – the plan is to use DaVinci Robotic Surgery (you can actually watch video of the DaVinci surgery HERE from the internal doctor’s eye view – if you are not too squeamish). There will be 3-5 incisions. He expects the surgery will be around 2 hours. You can kinda see the set up below. The surgeon is the one at the video game looking console.

After surgery I will go to a recovery area while I wake up. If everything goes well, I will be transferred to a hospital room for an overnight stay. If anything is iffy, I will stay longer. I will be given pain medication and they will probably try to get me drinking and walking that same day. This helps encourage the organs to wake up, helps get rid of some of the gas they pump into ya and also helps protect against blood clots. Chances are, I will be released the next day.

I will have my comfy area all set up and waiting for me at home. I am going to prepare as much as possible. I already ordered some nice new sheets, soft jammies, a robe and comfy undies. I have a whole list of supplies yet to purchase. But I will have everything ready because aside from a little walking every couple of hours – I will not be able to do anything anywhere from a couple of days to a few weeks. Like I said, everyone is different. I will not be able to lift over 5 lbs or drive for 2 weeks, I believe. And bending to do anything will take quite some time. I have known people who feel great after a week and others who still feel crappy after 2 months.  One thing I hear from just about everyone is that the fatigue is just insane. Just have to wait and see. Sucks. Thank God my husband and mom will be here to help a lot of the time.

Apparently, some of the worst pain is the gas they pump into you. I guess it goes into your legs and up to your shoulders and causes a great deal of pain. I will be taking meds to help with this but I guess it really hurts – sometimes even more than the surgery itself. This is a worry of mine because my biggest fear in all of this is developing a blood clot – abdominal surgeries carry a higher risk for this. Dying of a pulmonary embolism has been a fear of mine for many, many years. I have never had a real reason to worry until now. From what I hear, the pain from this gas feels very similar to symptoms of a PE. Knowing me…I will likely be a panicky mess. So, yes. As stupid as it sounds…I am very worried about my having to worry.

There are many possible complications with hysterectomies:

General anaesthetic

It is very rare for serious complications to occur after having a general anaesthetic  (1 in 10,000 anaesthetics given).

Serious complications can include nerve damage, an allergic reaction and death (death is very rare; there is a 1 in 100,000 chance of dying after having a general anaesthetic).

Being fit and healthy before you have an operation reduces your risk of developing complications.

Bleeding

As with all major operations, there is a small risk of heavy bleeding (haemorrhage) after having a hysterectomy.

If you have a haemorrhage, you may need a blood transfusion (where you receive blood from a donor).

Bladder or bowel damage

In rare cases, damage to abdominal organs, such as the bladder or bowel, can occur. This can cause problems, such as infection, incontinence or a frequent need to urinate.

It may be possible to repair any damage during the hysterectomy. You may need a temporary catheter to drain your urine, or a colostomy to collect your bowel movements.

(my own mother actually lost a kidney this way…they nicked it during her hysterectomy about 25 years ago and it died. she didn’t know until many, many years later when she received a CAT scan for back pain. she had to have it removed and that was a rough surgery. but she is very lucky she never became septic with a dead kidney inside for 20 or so years.)

Infection

There is always a risk that an infection will develop after an operation. This could be a urinary tract infection, a chest infection or a vaginal infection. These aren’t usually serious and can be treated with antibiotics.

Thrombosis

A thrombosis is a blood clot that forms in a vein and interferes with blood circulation and the flow of oxygen around the body. The risk of developing blood clots increases after having operations and periods of immobility.

You will be encouraged to start moving around as soon as possible after your operation. You may also be given a blood-thinning medication, such as warfarin, to reduce the risk of clots.

Vaginal problems

If you have a vaginal hysterectomy there is a risk that you will have problems at the top of your vagina where the cervix was removed. This could range from slow wound healing after the operation to prolapse in later years.

Ovary failure

Even if one or both of your ovaries are left intact, they could fail within five years of having your hysterectomy. This is because your ovaries receive some of their blood supply through the womb, which is removed during the operation.

Early menopause

If you have had your ovaries removed, it’s likely that you’ll have menopausal symptoms, such as hot flushes, sweating, vaginal dryness and disturbed sleep, soon after your operation.

This is because the menopause is triggered once you stop producing eggs from your ovaries (ovulating).

This is an important consideration if you’re under the age of 40 because early onset of the menopause can increase your risk of developing brittle bones (osteoporosis). This is because the level of the hormone, oestrogen, decreases during the menopause.

 

Needless to say, all of this info is a lot of digest and deal with and is causing me great anxiety. But with the help of family, friends, a therapist and medication I may just get through this without canceling the whole thing. I am not gonna lie. I have had a couple of panic attacks and have been having some obsessive worry about the whole blood clot thing. But I am really trying to be as positive as I can to get me through this next month.

Leaving Cassidy is an impossible thought for me. I cannot bear it. So I absolutely HAVE to make myself believe that I will be okay. I have my moments where I think that laying in bed sick and miserable for a few more years would be better than the risk of death. But really, what kind of mom would that make me? Not a great one. And we never really know how long we have…I am almost 40 already! I want to live life. And I haven’t done a really terrific job of that. Especially lately. The list of pros and cons is indeed very difficult to reconcile. But I think this is the right thing to do.

So, that is what I have for now. I am scared shitless. And I really hope I can calm down soon.

Stupid Uterus

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I haven’t written in quite a while and a big part of that is because I have been feeling like absolute shit. I’ve been kind of embarrassed to talk about it publicly. But I have realized that is stupid. So, here goes.

For years now, I have been having extremely heavy periods. Heavy to the point where I really cannot leave my house for up to 3 days per month. Even an hour would be too long. It can be difficult to explain why you can’t make it to an event or an appointment. Luckily (sorta), I am not working because I have no idea how that would even happen. Everything has to be planned just right and even that doesn’t really work when my cycle starts to have a mind of its own.

I was diagnosed with a uterine fibroid that continues to grow. I also have ovarian cysts that can sometimes cause pain. Because of the placement and size of the fibroid, it pushes on my bladder making me feel like I have to pee like all of the time.

It has recently been discovered that this bleeding is making me anemic. I didn’t realize it but I have been having symptoms of anemia for quite a long time. I have felt like shit for so long and have never been able to figure out why. My numbers aren’t super low, but apparently my body is extremely sensitive and reacts to the low iron more than I guess it would for others.

I have been exhausted for years. And I have been searching and searching for a reason – but according to docs, all tests are fairly normal. The fatigue has been increasing and as of this past week, I can barely get out of bed. I have also been having horrible headaches for years. I did find out I also have TMJ so that could be the reason, but who knows. In the past year or two I have lost almost all tolerance for alcohol. I get dizzy and nauseated for no apparent reason. And have had heart arrhythmias for years which could also be cause (or exasperated) by anemia. In the past month, a few new symptoms have popped up – itchy skin, freezing cold yet sweaty palms and feet and I have been eating crushed ice by the cupfuls. It’s been very scary and because of that  my anxiety has gone through the roof.

It was suggested a couple years ago by my Gyno that I have a hysterectomy. If you know me at all, you know how afraid I am of any medical procedures – let alone a major surgery. I just decided to live with it until I had no choice. Well, I think my body is finally telling me that I no longer have a choice – at least not a good one.

I got a second opinion from a doctor who works at a facility where I would want to have my surgery. He said hysterectomy or just keep an eye on it with ultrasounds every 6 months. I am not a candidate for alternative treatments. I mean, I could try some – but they likely wouldn’t work and could make things worse. He left it up to me. After this past horrid week, I made an appointment to discuss surgery options and dates.

There are many different types of hysterectomies and I have no idea what he will suggest for me. I DO plan on keeping my ovaries. And I hope to high heaven that I will be able to do so because the thought of taking hormones scares the crap out of me. But I do not know if I will have to be cut open abominably or be able to have it laproscopically or robotically.

For some people, recovery takes a couple weeks. For others it can be a couple months. For some people, pain is minimal and for others, excruciating. Some people have a hospital stay, others go home. And many times, the surgery plan will change dramatically once you are already asleep.

The fear and anxiety I am going through is awful. I am absolutely petrified. My friend, Glenda, told me to write a list of all of my fears so that we can get questions answered and find ways to cross these fears off the list and go into this without so much trepidation. This is my list so far:

  • Dying during surgery – not waking up: General anesthetic is one of the scariest things in the world, closest thing to being dead
  • Dying from complications after surgery: Biggest fear here is blood clots (pulmonary embolism/DVT) or internal bleeding
  • Scary complications during or after surgery: Same as above even if I do not die from them
  • Pain I cannot handle: I have read that some people wake up bawling from so much pain
  • Losing too much blood: This happened when I gave birth and it was a horrible feeling and very scary
  • Having to take hormones: Increased risk of strokes, blood clots, heart attacks – no thanks!!
  • Anxiety about possible bad things happening after surgery (like waiting for a ball to drop): Not being able to handle the anxiety, ugh
  • Not having the help I need after surgery: My mom still works full time and lives an hour away. And I hate asking for help.
  • Bladder/Bowel prolapse: Very possible and does happen…gross
  • Cancer found during surgery: Again, very possible. What if THIS is the reason I have been feeling so awful for so long. Grandmother died from ovarian/uterine cancer in her late 50s.
  • Gain weight: Have heard this is common.
  • Loss of sex drive: I mean, come on. That would suck.
  • Not feeling any better after recovery: The thought that I could go through all of this just to continue to feel poorly…fuck.

Not all of the stories I hear are awful. I do have friends who have gone through this with minimal hardships. Everyone whom I have spoken with is encouraging me to do this. Even my mother (who had her kidney destroyed during her hysterectomy) is begging me to do it.

I have to learn how to manage these fears and just get this done. I cannot go on this way anymore. I just can’t.

The Me Me Me Facebook Game – MY TURN!

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So, I guess I was supposed to come up with 11 secrets nobody knows about me. Well…as you may know…my life is pretty much an open book. What I haven’t already or do not talk about – sure ain’t getting put on a Facebook status. But I came up with a few things that many people probably don’t know (nor would give a shit). And I decided to make it a blog post because…well…I felt like it.

 

1. I don’t know how to use chopsticks and I really am too uncoordinated to pull it off gracefully anyway.

2. I used to eat an entire sleeve of saltines after school almost every day as a young child. When I started to drive, that changed to a half of a loaf of fresh, warm French bread from O&H Bakery.

 

3. Even though I would probably love many different things about it, I am not terribly motivated to travel outside of the U.S.

4. A couple of weeks ago, Charlie brought home a pack of cigarettes. Since then I have been smoking about 2-3 cigarettes a day. I feel like shit about it too…physically and psychologically. I really need to start getting my healthy on…like now.

5. Sometimes I am pretty certain I was supposed to be a cat. And not just because I lick my own butt.

6. I have ten ear piercings. 3 on one ear, 7 on the other. Because I am allergic to nickel, it is very difficult to find matching earrings that are small enough and don’t give me a rash.

7. I admit that I did have a navel ring (P.C.) but I have never had a tramp stamp.

8. I take a bath AND a shower almost every single day.

9. I hate winter with the frozen cold intensity of an ice cream headache. I do not belong here and dream of the day when I can see sunshine and feel warm sand whenever I want.

10. I never learned how to play an instrument and I am pretty torn up about it.

11. Chances are, when you see me in public or at any kind of gathering…I am having anxiety. Some times more than others. Chances are speaking to you makes me nervous even though I am probably enjoying it. I am always worried I will say something stupid, have bad breath or just look ridiculous in just about every conceivable way. So, if I am acting weird…it is because I feel weird.

My New Site: Purple Rayne

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Purple RayneI have been blogging for about 8 years and writing since I can remember. I am not formally trained but it is a passion of mine and it provides a cathartic release. I initially wrote about personal topics. But I became increasingly interested and involved in the political world. I would write about everything and anything on my site Ramblings of a Neurotic Housewife.

Since I started writing more about political issues, I decided it was time to start a site devoted to those topics. I will still have the other blog to ramble on about everything else. But this will be my new home for politics and social subjects. 

In 2011, I started getting heavily involved on local politics during the Wisconsin Recall effort. Soon after, I joined the Democratic Party of Racine County. I have been Secretary for DPRC for over a year and have recently been named Events Chair. 

For a long time, I refused to call myself a Democrat. I resented the forced two party system and want to claim my independence from that kind of structure. I learned after a while that the term “Democrat” was not a bad word and it is what you make it. 

I don’t have to agree with all other Dems. Progressives are free-thinking, we don’t typically follow blindly. If I disagree with an elected Dem, I will say so. I am not in a cult and I still have that rebellious girl inside. But I could see that my beliefs and principles followed Democratic values. I could see that these are the people I want to help elect. I could see that, like it or not, this is the playing field and Democrats work for the issues I care about. 

I have been called a liberal and a socialist. And quite frankly, I do not take offense to that. If being compassionate, rational, benevolent, logical, helpful and kind makes me those things – then I will surely embrace those attempted insults.

In the past few years, we have watched as the right move further and further to the fringe. And with an endless bankroll and media loyalty, they have been able to take over in a way that is terrifying. And this is happening tenfold in our beloved Wisconsin. Because of the right moving so far to the extreme, it is my desire to lasso the center and make sure it does not move with them. 

What used to be “liberal” causes (gay rights, healthcare, women’s rights, etc) are now mainstream. And this is why I think we are succeeding at redefining the center. If we can maintain common sense and basic human rights as the far right wing begins to fall off their cliff of greed – then let us be purple. We will take this new shade and make it our own. We will not give up on the people and their ability to simply know what is right. 

They will not take our center. The purple will be our’s. 

I hope you enjoy my new site, Purple Rayne.