Sunday, October 6, 2013

Down the Rabbit Hole Again

Well it's that time again - Surgery Time! Oh, boy oh boy.

So this will be a quick update because I need to be in bed asleep in about oh two hours ago. I have to check in at 4:45am. A.M.

You guys. That is my bed time.

My surgery is scheduled at 7:30 and I am just ugh. Yeah. 

So I am winding down now.

I don't even know what the hell to write anymore, to be honest. 

I don't like surgery.

Not even a little bit.

It's a necessary part of my life, however, especially when it is maintenance shit. That part I am OK with. It's the fracking recovery time that just makes me want to punch everyone.

And after not one but two reschedules I just want to get this shit over with.

Stay tuned. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Impending Surgery

My surgery is scheduled for Oct. 1st, which is in roughly 12 days time. I'd have scheduled it soon, but I really wanted to make my Seattle trip. I'm not just visiting friends but also attending a food bloggers conference. I flew in yesterday and felt totally plagued - and of course I forgot all of my anti-plague wards so I had to drop nearly $30 at the homeopathic store and down nasty ass propolis. 

My tummy is aching from emergen-C and I am tired as fuck, but I am feeling a bit better. Today is the last sunny day I'll have before a down pour, but I decided to be an adult and spend it indoors at my friends house to rest up and reserve my energy for the conference itself. I am thankful my room situation sorted itself out most favorably and I won't have to keep trekking back and forth as I initially planned. While this trip is all about friends, food and fun I am also being extra mindful about my energy level and just taking it easy.

Night time is the worst because my heart rate picks up a bit, especially when laying down, so I have to find that perfect position which will enable me to sleep. Funky beats and rhythm is to be expected, but so long as I can keep anything truly emergency room worthy from happening, all the better. 

I have to be honest and say I am very relieved this surgery is happening and rather quickly after my return at that. My heart makes sleeping, breathing, and let's just say it, living my life really uncomfortable right now. A new pacemaker means renewed energy, something of which I am desperately short in.



Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tick, Tick, Tick BOOM!

I start every morning off reading another chapter in a book of a series I am revisiting. It is one of my favorite series - The Nightrunner Series - by Lynn Flewelling. I am not a reader of fantasy, but Lynn is just that good of a fucking writer. The last book of The Nightrunner Series is due out next April and in anticipation of crying myself to sleep every night after I conclude the adventures of characters I love more than some of the real flesh and blood people in my life, I am rereading all of the books. Just so the wound will sting all the more.

I began Monday morning with my new ritual, and while I was lounging quietly in bed a sudden sensation overcame me. Internally. It was as if someone had dimmed the lights inside of my body, with the main switch being my heart. A sneaky suspicion overtook me, and after I concluded that chapter (come on now, I wasn't dying) I stuck the marker in my book and went to submit a transmission of a pacemaker report.

Within an hour, I received a phone call and my suspicion was confirmed: My pacemaker had fallen back on its reserve energy power. It's time to schedule the surgery to replace the battery. Not normally that big of a deal as far as procedures go, but this one is for me. To slightly paraphrase myself from an earlier post:

See, the issue is recovery and how long it is going to take my body to do so. Everyone, myself above all else, is biting their nails about this relatively simple procedure because of the nature of my history and anatomy. My pacemaker is located in my left abdomen, in a pocket under muscle, and the procedure will require the surgeon to reopen the latter part of my open heart scar - which is not something I desire. Given my history with fluid retention at the slightest provocation, everyone is anticipating that I am going to run into a similar issue that I found myself dealing with shortly after the last procedure in 11/2011. Now, I wasn't on the mega high dose of diuretics last time as I am now. So this may very well tip the scales in the favor of a speedier recovery.  

I'm not holding my breath for a speedy recovery, to be honest. I am anticipating the long road filled with weekly trips to the gastrointestinal doctor, another abdominal tap or two and just a lot of frustration and being run ragged again. 

Annoying still, my life has to be put on hold in a way I was not prepared for. As my battery crapped out earlier than I was expecting it to, I have to cancel a heap of plans I'd made for October - including a trip to Seattle and two fun food related events I was invited to as media. I have to put my dating life on hold. My friendships. My main blog will suffer. I've just reconnected with my dad, whose own health is on a constant roller coaster. All of this has to go on the back burner again, and it fucking sucks. I'm not saying this stuff is more important than my health, because it isn't, but it is still irritating.

Some days I wonder why I can't just go out and get a job like a normal person.
Some days I wonder why I can't just hold down a job, any job, and collect a paycheck and live on my own and pay rent and live the life that most of the population in the western world leads.


Then one morning while casually reading in bed a piece of machinery I need to function suddenly needs a battery via surgical intervention and I have to hit the pause button once more, and say to myself, "Oh yeah. This is why I can't have nice things."




Thursday, August 22, 2013

An email to the Past

I am preparing for my 13th session of Camp ~ 13 sessions in 10 years. Oy that's a lot. 

This year is Superheroes and I am unfortunately too piss poor to go all out with costumes and decorations. In my heart, though, I know I am the biggest geek counselor there. I just know someone is going to throw down with me and I'm gonna have to school them some Batman. 

Anyway. Today I found the email address of my childhood cardiologist. Well, one of them. The best one. The cardiologist whom which I hold all other cardiologists against. He set the standard, and he set that bar very high. So high I did not think anyone would ever be able to reach it. 

But someone did.

After switching cardiologists a few years ago, I have not felt as confident or trusting since Dr. S - the childhood cardiologist. Dr. J, my current cardiologist, has finally allowed me to sit back and breathe a sigh of relief nearly twenty years in the making. Dr. J meets that high standard of which I hold all cardiologists - the bar that so many failed to grasp throughout my adolescence and young adulthood. He grabbed the bar, did a triple backflip and landed with a half-twist and a high-five. All while snapping a selfie to post on Facebook.

Back to the email. 

I shared the thoughts I'd been carrying in my heart for two decades; how much love and respect I developed in my heart, all those years that Dr. S was tinkering with it. How I learned to ask questions and communicate efficiently with my medical team. I told him what he meant to me - his impact on my life, that it went beyond the simplification of "you saved my life" although that is true, but obvious.


I was overcome with my emotion as I typed that email, and tears blurred my vision. Though these were words I wanted to say to his face, I had missed my opportunity to do so last October and am unsure if our paths will have the chance to cross again. 

Due to complications of my hypothyroid, I have short term memory issues and cannot recall if I had, in actuality, emailed him before now. I may come off as a lunatic if I had, but the saving grace of deja vu is that at least he knows for sure. Plus, blogging about this milestone now will ensure I need not second guess myself later.

Memory lapse aside, I hope Dr. S receives my email (for the first time) and that it brings a smile and maybe a chuckle to his face. Contacting him after all of these years gives me a sense of closure and peace. 

TEAM RACHAEL! and I are going to be together for a very long time (sorry, guys, you're stuck with me) and Dr. J, not ten years my senior, is going to give that first battle cry against any complications that attempt to besiege my good health from here on out. 

Dr. S gave me more than life - he gave me the love and respect to handle my life. To settle for nothing but the best care, to ask questions, to be involved. To participate in life. My life.

Thanks, Doc.



Monday, June 17, 2013