I have some sort-of good news. I'll be insured once again starting December 1, 2012. This means I'll be able to go through the process of locating a new GP and oncologist and rheumatologist and hematologist and dermatologist and will hopefully get all of my issues back under the watchful eyes of people who "practice" for a living.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I've been sporadically taking my herbal concoction. It does work - when I take it regularly my hemoglobin levels maintain between 6-8 and sometimes climb as high as 11 or 12, my energy level is subjectively better, I sleep (a little) better, I have improved focus and my guts aren't all stabby-twisty-pully feeling all the time. However, when I take it regularly my guts are all burny all the time and I have a greatly decreased appetite along with a greatly increased incidence of massive heartburn.
The migraines exist either way. Hmph.
So, an update...
My left thigh from 2" above the knee to above my hip joint continues to be numb to the point where pain does not generally register in that area... or pain that doesn't exist randomly registers in that area.
My knees continue to sublux (aka the kneecap slides off its normal position to the side, then snaps back into position) roughly 2 - 4 times per month, depending on my activity level.
My bones continue to be brittle in my extremities and I'm dealing with several cracked metatarsals at the moment (poor footsie!) and an ominous grinding sensation in my right wrist.
The pain has settled for a level 4-5 daily, without medication, occasionally spiking to an 8-9 and on rare, blessed, occasions giving me the empowering relief of a 1-2.
The migraines exist. Persist. Linger at the fringes of my vision. Ready to be triggered by flares of light or sound.
And the rheumatoid arthritis, though it hasn't begun to show dramatic twisting of my joints, has increased in incidence of flares. I can now expect my fingers and toes to "lock-up" at least 2-3 times a week... larger joints lock, ache, pain flare in accompaniment to these incidents.
And I can't seem to poop. I'm usually like clockwork. Wake up, brush teeth, poop. Come home from work, have dinner, poop. But lately it's gone DAYS between movements and I'm a miserable human being. My guts are hard (and still burny and twisty and rippy and shreddy)and my clothes don't fit. I may have to resort to assistive technologies... yep, considering an enema.
And now for the weird stuff. And by weird, I mean that the italicized portion below is the "gross" stuff that you may want to skip right over. Won't hurt my feelings at all and might save you some nightmares. Really, you can just rejoin the rest of us gluttons for punishment after the italics stop. You were warned.
As my dear readers know, I no longer have any female bits... my cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries are sitting in a jar somewhere being marveled at by medical students. It's been this way for quite some time. So, imagine my surprise/shock/horror when while walking through a local store, I was hit by an excruciating round of "oh my goddess, my guts are ripping themselves to shreds" that, quite literally, brought me to my knees. Yep, my chunky monkey self, on my knees, right there in the dog food aisle. Whimpering. After several minutes, I managed to climb to my feet and use the cart as a walker to get to the bathroom.
Hello. What the everloving frack?
Now, perhaps one of you can enlighten me about this, because I cannot for the life of me figure it out. How does someone who has NO ovaries ... and who has NO OPENING at the place where the cervix "used to be" manage to not only start spotting... but also pass a freaking DERMOID CYST? And yes, I'm very, very certain that's what it was. I have -extensive- experience with these horrific globules of broken dreams. But it begs the question - if I don't have the generating bits anymore - where the heck did this thing come from?
And spotting. Yes, spotting. Okay, maybe something tore loose. Sure. It can happen. Maybe the incision opened up a little to let something through. Okay. I'll even buy that. IF it were an isolated incident. But is isn't.
For the last 4 months, every month, for a couple of days, I have had pink-to-red spotting.
What? I haven't suffered enough with this? Has my crazy body decided to regenerate and curse me once again? Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised.
Okay, enough with the ick.
In happier news, I've been promoted at work. I'm now in a career service position with much better pay and actual benefits. Plus I get to teach, which is freaking awesome.
I've been attending EPI (Educator Preparation Institute) courses at the local community college and will be finished with them by early summer - then I'll snag my English 6-12 and ESE endorsements for my teaching certificate and all will be right with the world.
Guess that's about it for now. We'll see how the great doctor hunt goes in December. I'll be sure to keep you posted.