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Health update

Saturday, October 22, 2011

I was going to call this a brief update, but that turned out to be wishful thinking.

In case you've been wondering why I was in the hospital this morning, I didn't mean to worry anybody about my health, but I guess this morning I put it on my status at the last minute because I needed to know you cared. I suppose a few explanations are in order. A couple of months ago I began to suspect I was having some gynecological problems. I was on vacation in California at the time, so I put it off until I got back. When I went in for tests, they told me I had something suspicious that needed to be checked by way of a common surgical procedure called a D&C. So I had that today. It's not a big deal except for the fact that it requires general anesthesia. I haven't had any major problems with general anesthesia before, but I will admit to being a little scared of it. So there.

The doctor (Dr. T) called later today to say that he removed a "polyp" (whatever that is) which has to go to the lab for testing. If it checks out OK, which Dr. T thinks it probably will, that will be the end of this episode. If not, then my guess is that I'll probably be a candidate for major surgery in the near future, but I won't know that for a couple of weeks.

I am now resting at home comfortably, and I haven't even needed Advil. I’ve discussed EVERYTHING with Dr. T – he has been my obgyn for about 18 years. Ideally, he would like me to stay off my bike for 2 weeks, although he concedes that biking probably isn't as hard on a recovering body as, say, running. He suggested I wait 4 days, try biking, and ease off again for the full 2 weeks IF I have significant bleeding. In order of magnitude, not be able to bike is the biggest of my health concerns at present.

I reminded Dr. T that biking is a key component of my mental health strategy for this year, and that I don’t do very well when I don’t bike. He understands that I’ve been living in *interesting times. *

It has been a hell of a year for me, and I have been coping the best way I know how. Much of it will be already familiar to some of you from my earlier blogs. Other parts of it, you either don't know, or you are less familiar with. I just got tired of being the person who always needed help, so….I've been making a special effort to be cheerful these last few months, but let's just say that my employment situation has continued to be toxic (the more things change, the more they stay the same...), my efforts to find other work have not been fruitful, the children had difficulties with their Dad (my husband Tom) being in Iraq the first part of the year (as did I, plus all of his chores to do), Tom is again "between contracts," and our daughter has all of the anxieties you might expect of an insomniac high school senior applying to colleges. I also had a painful breast “lump” scare that turned out to be a huge and hugely infected hair follicle, and Tom went to the emergency room a few weeks ago for chest pain. Fortunately, with all the tests in, it appears that it was *only* stress. His mother has been terminally ill for two years now. She wasn’t expected to survive his trip to Iraq last year. I haven’t had the guts to even look at the balance in my retirement account for months because of what the financial markets are doing. My evenings involve a great deal of mothering, and trying not to fret about the bills and other things I can’t change. BTW, Tom's best prospects for a new job are ....you guessed it: in Iraq).

In short, there are very good reasons why I need a mental health strategy that involves bicycling as if my life depended on it. The endorphins are the only thing that makes me happy, and the time I spending riding gives me a much needed break from the pressures of home and work. The fact that I'm getting stronger (2 more pounds of muscle), getting faster (turning a 1:20 minute homeward ride into a 55 minute one), maintaining a stable bone mass, and losing body fat (-12 lbs to date) are just icing on the cake. The biggest reason I do it is because of that scary mood word that starts with a “D.” I was on meds for it earlier this year, and they weren’t working. I had mentioned this to my doctor (Dr. L), but he seemed unusually reluctant to change them, so I was kind of on my own for a while: daylight spectrum lights, vitamins, antioxidants, other nutritional supplements, physical therapy, biking, walking, running, strength training – you name it, I’ve done it. I’m happy to report that I finally convinced Dr. L to change them about 10 days ago, and I think I’m finally turning the corner on the “D” problem. But it was a very rough summer, and I literally went to pieces on days I couldn’t ride. Although the new meds are starting to help, I’m still scared to give up biking, plus I need all the other good things I get from it too.
It has been a real effort not to share some of this stuff with you as it was happening, but some of the details are not mine to share, and this is probably the first time I could even write about it without crying.
If you have made it this far, THANK YOU! You mean a lot to me. Some hugs would go down really well right about now.
Thank you, and
Amen
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • TAHOEKARIN
    HUGS to you! I too ride for mental health. When people ask me if I'm riding to lose weight, I know that my number one reason is because I love it and second, to feel good. The weight is just a small part of the big picture.

    I have been through gyn issues too. Nothing is worse than the waiting but sending good thoughts your way. One word of advice, if you continue to spot for more than a week or so, please call your doc. I had problems with that and waited for 3 weeks and until I got dizzy. They just needed to add more of that stuff to stop the bleeding. UGH.

    HUGS Again ! Karin emoticon
    3132 days ago
  • TIGGER622
    Hang in there girl, do what you need to do and if you can't bike, maybe there is another way you can be active in the mean time? Yoga??? Anything to fend off the evil D word!!! We're here for ya!
    3282 days ago
  • no profile photo CD318156
    Oh my Janet, 2010 was my year and let me tell you I don't ever want to have to go through a year like that AGAIN. Many prayers for you and your family. Lean on your friends...it's so easy to push others away, but trust me, life is so much easier when we have others to lean on.

    HUGS and LOVE!

    3283 days ago
  • CANINE_MAMA
    Janet,I'm sorry to hear about your problems. I have had a rough year too - with the death of both my parents within 4 months of each other. With the death of my dad I lost his income so only have my income which is less than $100 a week and may not be able to keep the house. I am looking for another job which will pay more, but have been unemployed since 2007 so I know how hard is it to get a job.

    I have found that writing about my feelings or what is happening has helped me deal with it. Of course I have a great support system in family and friends as well as my church.


    3285 days ago
  • RUTHIEBEAR
    Janet, although my specifics are different, I think I can say my stress level is up there like yours. I am worrying that I am slipping into the "D" word. COuld you let me know in private email what meds are working for you. I am ready to ask my therapist and dr about taking something. ALthough I do not bike, I exercise way too much, but it is my stress reliever. I have always appreciated your friendship, encouragement and support. Know I am here for you. I care about you and your family.
    Thank you for sharing so openly about what is going on. emoticon
    3286 days ago
  • SUZYMOBILE
    First of all:

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

    I can't think of a better way for you to emerge from this year than to be biking, and I totally understand the fear of not being able to do that one thing that keeps you together. I remember you worrying about the winter, too. I'd give it the suggested 4 days and then start back in very carefully.

    You are a very strong, smart lady. You've gotten through the past year gaining some new skills and strengths that you didn't know you had. I hope the pressures on you won't be as bad, but I know you've got the resources to cope when you have to.

    Meanwhile, I'm here for you any time you need to vent!
    3286 days ago
  • DEEJ4FITNESS
    Awww Sweetie... I made it all the way through and I'm so glad I did :) I actually own the prize for "wordy" :) no worries!!

    I'm SO sorry for all you've gone through and pray the new meds continue to help!! I'm thankful your Doc doesn't think the polyp looks bad; so important to have a Doc you can trust in times like these!! I've had similar "scares" so I understand. I'll pray the results are great & that your job situ (& future prospects) improve!! It's also good your hubby's health scare wasn't as bad as it could be & while I totally understand the concern for what your family is experiencing, I have just survived the "teens" with my last two and can confidently say, this too shall pass :)

    I biked last weekend (a form of cross-training for me) and understand the therapeutic effects :) I'm sure if you'll take it easy, you'll be racking up more miles in no time!!

    I'm sending a tight HUG and hope you can feel it!! Continue to blog; I know it helps and it's an honor to be part of your circle of friends who are here to support you and help you through the storms!!

    emoticon
    ~Deej
    3286 days ago
  • 1EVIL_ANGEL
    I'm so sorry to hear about your troubles. The troops in Iraq need better help when they leave so they can be put back into the "normal life" with less stress.

    I'm also sorry to hear about your health issues. I suggest pushing with your doctor a little bit though, When mine put me on anti depressants they were not working, he was also reluctant to do anything, but my husband pushed it and something was done, now they work like a charm and partnered with my anti anxiety meds I can function on a daily basis pretty much. If you need help don't be afraid to ask for it. Whether it's from your doctor or from us! You don't have to pretend to be happy.

    If you are we will smile with you, If not we will support you and cheer you up when you are down.

    Take care emoticon
    3286 days ago
  • CALIDREAMER76
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

    I'm so sorry you have been suffering so. And all the while been so very supportive - I hope your support of me was therapeutic for you! I so understand. I prayed this AM and will pray more intensely for you! Here when you need me!
    Frances

    3286 days ago
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