Friday, March 29, 2013

Interviews and doggy OCD


It was such a nice day today.  Sunny.  No rain.  Warm.  Flowers everywhere.  I went on a long walk but I got super sad there weren't cute little furry butts trotting in front of me.  I miss my dogs so very much.  I'm filled with a ton of anxiety that something is going to happen to them.  It doesn't help that my ex keeps calling me and telling me that they are hurt and she doesn't know what to do.  It's usually relatively minor things like cuts and my cat got an infection that needed antibiotics, but the way she presents it with tears and her own anxiety fuels my irrational fears.  Every time I see her number pop up on my phone I panic a little that she's calling to tell me someone is hurt or died.  

My lab has a little bit of OCD (of course I choose the OCD dog) and he licks his legs raw when he's feeling stressed or anxious.  He's begun to do that again which makes me sad.  I hope he's not doing it because he's separated from me.  If he could, I think Cooper would choose to be permanently attached to my skin.  My ex wrapped his leg up with vet wrap a little too tight and now his foot is raw and swollen.  She called me crying about it.  Despite my own anxiety I calmed her and told her he's okay and he's a lucky dog, but honestly I feel like crying now.  I'm so worried.  It's like I always end up sucking in all of her anxiety and bad feelings, so she feels better after, but I feel awful.  I just need my dogs back.  They are an important part of my life and mental health.  

Walking in the warm sunshine made me feel good.  I think I better invest in one of those "happy lights" if I'm going to stay in this part of the country.  I went on a long, slowish stroll around my friends' neighborhood.  There were flowers and plants blooming everywhere.  Little squirrels and cute tiny finches hoping around the ground.  I decided to turn back when this guy started following me and belting out "Indian" chants.  He was clearly trying to scare me.  He even asked me if I was scared.  I said no, because I wanted the answer to be no.  But my heart was pounding.  And it pissed me off.  I ducked into a nearby store and waited for him to find something else to do before I came out.  I walked home feeling really upset with myself that I was so needlessly scared and still having a hard time returning to a normal.  I took a klonopin when I got to my friends' house.  

I am feeling excited and hopeful for this new job possibility.  I had a phone interview on Wednesday for a job working with kids.  I interviewed on the phone for one position, but they asked me if I would interview for a job working with young adults about to age out of foster care.  I'm thrilled.  My interview is in person on Monday.  I was so nervous for my phone interview yesterday.  My anxiety was extremely high as I waited for the phone to ring.  I literally sat at a chair, at a desk, staring at my phone on the table for twenty minutes (she was a little late calling me).  I thought about taking a klonopin, but I didn't want my brain to be sedated during an interview.  It wasn't an easy interview at all, but I was very confident and passionate about the subject matter (children and foster care).  The interview went very well.  I feel very good about it.  After I hung up I had a panic attack, but it was a weird panic attack with mixed energy.  It surprised me actually.  And then I had a hard time regulating my anxiety for the rest of the day.  I hate being so crazy.  

I really hope I get this job on Monday.  It doesn't pay that well, but it does offer full benefits.  I really want...  No I need to get an apartment so I can have my dogs and cat back, and start my life.  I really need this job.  Please please please hire me.  I would be so good at this job. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Interviews, my Homocidal Sister, and Too Much Acid.

I have a phone interview tomorrow.  I'm so nervous.  I've never had a job interview on the phone before.  It's for a night job at a group home, but that's okay.  I'm awake most nights anyway. 

I've been feeling a little sad lately.  Missing friends and other people I care about.  It just sucks that so many people turn their backs on me so often.  Why am I so easy to leave behind?  It just sucks.  People suck.

I'm stressed about the job and the medical bills.  I sent out my application for financial assistance to the hospital today, so I hope they approve it.  They want a lot of information that I can't really provide, like 12 months of pay stubs.  All of my stuff is in my friend's storage unit a thousand miles away.  I sent them what I could.  I've called my counselor at the hospital twice and he has not returned my calls.  That freaks me out a little.  My one week stay in the hospital, two ER visits, and three surgeries are going to be somewhere near $100,000, according to my counselor.  I haven't received most of the bills yet. 

My sister isn't doing so well these days.  I picked her up and helped her do some errands and shopping today.  She smelled so bad.  She hasn't showered in probably a week, at least.  She believes there are worms living on her head and has been putting diaper rash cream in her hair.  I did my best to try to convince her to shower.  She has been drinking every single night since I moved up here.  It's really worrying me.  She has mentioned that she's had some homicidal thoughts lately and that freaks me out beyond belief.  I do not know what to do for her.  I know she'll never act on those thoughts.  She's very docile and reserved, but it's scary to know that she's been having those thoughts.  She thinks people are out to get her all the time.  Everything is some sort of sinister conspiracy.

I have not been feeling all that well physically.  I've been waking up in the middle of the night really nauseous.  Last night I woke up throwing up.  There was no warning at all.  I suddenly sat up at like three in the morning and threw up all over my lap and bed.  I had to clean it up, strip the air mattress and wash my sheets in the middle of the night.  It was awful.  The other night I felt very close to throwing up.  I'm eating pretty healthy.  Other than the grilled cheese I had in the hospital, and a couple croissants here and there, everything I've eaten has been vegan since I started staying with my vegan friends.  And I am not eating that much fat either.  Once I ate a veggie sandwich with pesto on it and felt so sick for like two days, so I'm trying my best to avoid super fatty foods.  However, I did eat a tiny bit of peanut butter with jelly the other day and was just fine.  Ugh.  It's so frustrating.  I feel so hungry at times, but I'm really afraid to eat.  I end up avoiding food as long as possible and then feeling so ravenous by the time I do eat, that I eat until I'm stuffed.  This, I am sure, isn't helping my problem.  I think I'm feeling so sick at night from acid reflux or something.  I've never had acid reflux before.  I've never even had heartburn before, so I'm really just guessing.  It's just a different kind of acidic nausea feeling.  I don't know who to call about this because I still don't have medical insurance and I don't have a doctor.  I guess I could call the surgeon.  I hope someone hires me and I'm able to get medical coverage soon.  There really isn't much in terms of free health clinics out here. 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

What do I do?

I hate being so reliant on people.  I feel like such a leech.  I know I've got to be in the way of my friends and have way overstayed my welcome.  Not only that, but I ended up needing someone to take care of me because I got sick.  I can't find a job and feel like such a freaking loser.  I've been looking into housing assistance, but I don't think I qualify for anything.  I'm also really terrified of having to live with certain types of mentally ill people.  Fighting, yelling, any kind of violence or anger, knowing people don't like me flips an off switch in my brain.  I mean literally.  I shut down and become pretty useless.  I saw a social worker at the hospital a couple weeks ago, but the only thing she did was hand me the Classifieds section from the local newspaper. 

I'm way too old to still be struggling this much.  I'm too old to have someone taking care of me.  I'm too old to be this much of a burden on my friends.  It's like I just aged out of foster care, except there isn't a college dorm room in my future.  Why can't I find a job and take care of myself?  I'm really freaking out about it today. I am such a loser. 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Doggy birthday and medical bills

Today was my dogs 7th birthday.  I miss him so much.  I know it's kind of pathetic, but I cried because I miss him today.  I have never been away from him for this long in the almost seven years that I've had him.  I have this nagging anxiety that something is going to happen to him or my other pets before I can get them back--that maybe I won't ever see them again.  I know it's irrational anxiety, but sometimes it's really hard for me not to ruminate on those thoughts.  I end up needing to take Klonopin or something to calm down.  I would just have a glass of wine, but I am not supposed to drink alcohol for a while because my liver is still healing.

I am still not able to find a job and I really have no idea why.  My resume looks pretty good.  I've had many friends help me fix it up.  I write cover letters for each job I apply for.  I have good references.  I'm not sure what else to do.  I guess I need to open up my job search to many different states.  I really want to stay here in my current city.  I'm so tired of moving and I like it here.  I like the people, the trees, the quirkiness.  I don't want to move anymore.  I want to find "home" somewhere soon and stay for a while.  I am feeling pretty lonely though.  My friends I am staying with are awesome amazing people, but I really miss my friends in Los Angeles.  I miss Dr. K.  My pets.  My markers and paint.  My garden.  I miss the sun a little bit too.  

Medical bills have started to arrive at my friend's house.  Did you know that 40 minutes of anesthesia is $900?  And that's only for one procedure.  I had three.  My first ER visit was $3000, but the ultrasound was only $105, which I find interesting because I think UCLA charged my insurance ten times that last time I had one.  I'm very interested in how much medical services cost.  Interested, but terrified.  It's weird how I'm getting a bunch of bills instead of just one giant one.  And my bills are coming from the North East side of the country, which is weird.  The hospital I went to is only about a mile away from my friends house, yet the bills come from thousands of miles away.

Physically, I am feeling much better.  Other than being a little sore if I move a certain way or bend too fast, I am almost pain free.  No more horrible pain and vomiting.  I am having some digestion issues, but I ordered some bile salts and other supplements that will hopefully help with all of that.  I'd rather deal with this discomfort than the extreme pain, pancreatitis, and liver infections that comes from gallbladder disease. 

I saw my surgeon on Thursday.  She took my blood pressure and asked me if I was anxious because it was a little high.  It was 110/75 when she took it at the end of the visit, so I guess maybe I was anxious.  Having people touch my body freaks me out.  She lifted up my shirt, pushed on my belly a little bit and told me that everything looks good.  The blisters surrounding my incisions were because I am allergic to surgical tape.  She wrote it in my chart and told me to tell them I am allergic "next time."  Gosh, I hope there isn't a next time for surgery.  She said that I was in so much pain after surgery because of my pancreatitis and liver failure.  She also said that my gallbladder had a ton of tiny little stones it.  It was kind of like a hacky sack.  That means that I would have continued to get attacks and infections and that there was nothing I could have done to prevent the need for surgery.  It was comforting to hear this because I really didn't want surgery for a long time because I thought I could find some alternative way to treating it without removing my organ.  It's amazing how much better I feel.  It hasn't even been two weeks since I had surgery yet and there is almost no pain and all I have are four little cuts on my stomach.  It's hard to believe they removed an organ through one of them.   

Monday, March 18, 2013

I'm finally up and about

Once I was admitted to the hospital, I was taken to the radiology unit.  I'm not sure why.  Perhaps that's just where they had an open bed.  I had my own room which was nice.  The majority of the patients in the unit were elderly and required a lot of care.  I kept hearing them tell this elderly man in the room next to me not to take his clothes off in the hallway.  "You're not at home Bill, you have to keep your clothes on."  I'm not sure why he spent so much time out of his room, but he seemed to have some mental decline issues.  I however, found him hilarious and charming.  Every time I saw him in the hallway when they were taking me to or from a procedure, he would tell he I looked pretty in my dress (huge hospital gown).  I have no idea if he was joking or not, but it made me giggle nonetheless. 

I was in the hospital for six days, not including the 18 hours I spent in the ER between Wednesday and Thursday.  I was admitted because my liver and pancreas were starting to fail because I had stones stuck in my bile ducts infecting both organs.  Surgery was no longer an option, but a necessity.  
I was unable to eat or drink for the majority of my stay there.  On Friday I had a procedure called an Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) which means they put some tools and a camera down my throat, through my stomach and then it snaked back up through my bile ducts in my liver and pancreas. They inflated little balloons in my bile ducts and made slits in them so that the stones and blockages could pass.  My gastro doctor who performed the ERCP was super nice and funny.  He drew pictures and was so animated about everything, even acting out my angry liver.  He apologized that he wasn't able to give me my blocked stones or catch images of them as souvenirs.  Eww.  I was fine with that.  He was so down to Earth and competent at the same time.  Not at all like the doctors I've seen in Los Angeles.  My surgeon was nice too, but she was a little less social.  She did take the time to talk to me a few times and explain everything to me before the surgery.

The ERCP was strange.  The first time they took me to the Xray room.  They had my lay on my stomach, put a sticker thing on my butt, a round thing in my mouth with a rubber band that went around my head holding it in place to protect my teeth and hold my mouth open I supposed.  They put something in my IV and the next thing I remember is being wheeled back to my room.  My gastro doc told me that the procedure failed because I kept waking up and "trying to help them."  I'm sure he meant I kept trying to pull the tubes out of my throat.  They kept giving me more of the sedation medication but my metabolism kept burning through it too fast and it became too dangerous for them to have sharp knives inside my vital organs that I was yanking on.  As soon as I began to wake up (literally five or ten minutes), I was wheeled back down down to the OR to be put under again.  Everything was basically repeated like before.  Laid on my stomach.  They put something on my butt, put oxygen in my nose, tube thing in my mouth, but I had to sit in this funny foam thing.  I was knocked out and then woke up puking and in pain.  My throat and gallbladder type pain were killing me.  They gave me strong drugs and wheeled me back to my room.  The first surgery started at 12:30, and I got back to my room the second time around 7:30 pm.  Yikes. 

A few hours later, I felt so much better.  My throat hurt, I felt a little sore and bloated, but that constant extreme pain in my upper right abdomen was almost gone.  They let me eat veggie broth and juice for the first time in close to three days without any sort of food or water, other than an IV.

They decided not to do my gallbladder surgery on the same day like they originally told me because my liver and pancreas were not doing well enough to handle that much stress at once.  They wanted to monitor my liver and pancreas over the weekend, which they did.  They took my blood every four hours from Thursday-Tuesday.  My arms look like I am a hardcore drug addicted.  They could only take blood from the arm that did not have an IV, so my right arm had a pretty long line of "track marks.".  It's a good thing I wear long sleeves anyway.

The lab techs who drew my blood kept complimenting me on my veins.  It's such a weird thing to be complimented on.  I really think I just have "such nice veins" because I'm so fair skinned I'm almost see through.  One creepy thing that happened during my stay in the hospital was my IV failed and the entire bag of IV fluid went into my arm.  I woke up and noticed that my hospital bracelet was super tight.  Then I noticed that my arm was like five times fatter than normal.  I freaked out.  Tell me my liver and pancreas are in danger, and I'm totally fine.  Accidentally fill my arm full of harmless IV fluids and I freak out.  Actually I wasn't aware that it was harmless and just because my IV failed.  I thought maybe it was a symptom of a surgical complication or something.  It was also after my gallbladder surgery, so I was also in a lot of pain and on a lot of drugs.  My arm is normal sized now.  :-)

I had my gallbladder removed on Monday.  I was expecting the experience to be similar to the ERCP, but I was wrong.  They wheeled me down to "short stay" where I had a nurse check my iv and make sure I wasn't wearing anything but a hospital gown.  He made me take off my underwear and put on these weird disposable hospital underwear instead.

The experience of going into the OR was different this time.  No one was really talking to me, but  everyone around me was so busy.  People were strapping me down, lifting up my gown, totally exposing me.  I'm glad the doctor gave me a sedative in my iv before all of this happened because it was very stressful listening to these people talk about you like you weren't there, and talk about cutting into your body as they strapped you down onto a table.  My legs were strapped straight onto the table.  They put on these boots that massaged my legs.  Those things were really awesome.  I wish I was able to take them home.  My arms were spread out on these extensions from the table.  I remember them talking to me right before I passed out, but I don't remember what they said.

The last thing I remember is them putting on oxygen mask on my face and then waking up in the recovery room.  This time I was in extreme pain.  I was so sick but afraid to throw up because of the pain.  I had to cough because there was a breathing tube put in my throat and they made me cough even though I felt like I would rip open if I did.  The nurses in the recovery area are not very sensitive or nice.  I understand that they deal with people just waking up from surgery in pain all day, but they were so forceful and "rough" with me.  I was breathing really hard from pain, and making a grimace face and my nurse said, "You need to take a chill pill."  I said, "Do you have one?"  The calmer I got, the nicer she got, but I would have responded better to someone explaining to me where I was, and why I was in so much pain, rather than barking at me right away.  I woke up, scared, confused, and in a ton of pain.  Anyway, she kept giving me pain and nausea meds.  I was getting more upset by the way the nurses were talking to the woman next to me who was kind of hysterical.  She was upsetting me too, but the scolding tones of the nurses were triggering for me.  I was just glad that I know how to suffer quietly.

Suddenly the nurse tells me in a forceful voice,

"You need to take a very deep breath.  Lets go.  In....out....  I don't think you are trying.  Take a deep breath in."

Something starts beeping and other nurses come and start doing stuff to me.  One nurse starts rubbing my arms and stuff.  I think I passed out again.  She turned the pressure on my leg massaging boots up.  Then they put me on oxygen which was on so high that I felt like I might choke on it.  Whatever was happening seemed to stop once they hooked me up to oxygen and I passed out.

I spent the rest of the day in pain, on oxygen, with my legs being massaged by these boot things.  I had an alarm on my bed so I couldn't get out of bed by myself.  I found that so very triggering.  I don't know why.  Every time I had to pee, I had to call for help.  The nurses wanted to help me do everything in the bathroom and I was so uncomfortable about that.  I  was okay with them helping me get to the bathroom and helping me get back to bed, but not with anything else.  After some tears and compromise, I let them sit me on the toilet, and then leave the bathroom, I was able to do everything else myself.  I began to loathe my bladder because first, I would have call a nurse and tell her that I had to pee.  Then she'd have to unhook me from a ton of equipment--the leg compression, the oxygen, my IV, sitting up was so painful and I was so dizzy.  I'd go through all of that, then get connected to everything all over again. 

Then I would sleep, except for the nurses checking my vitals every hour.  I got IV pain meds every two hours, but they didn't seem to be helping much.  I felt better the next morning, but still in a lot of pain.  I feel like so many people minimized this surgery.  Everyone kept saying how this was not that big of a deal so I wasn't quite prepared for the amount of pain I was actually in.  I went home Tuesday night at my own request because I didn't feel like I needed to be in hospital anymore.  My nurse actually wanted me to stay one more night, but I didn't see what the point was.  My friends picked me up, got my meds, and took me home.  They have been so good to me.  They plopped me down the the reclining sofa and did not let me get up from it except to use the bathroom or to eat.  I feel very cared about.  I do need to get my own place though.  My friend told me that I am a very unobtrusive guest and that I can stay as long as I want, but I would feel so much better about myself and can stop feeling so guilty once I get my own place. 

I've been taking percocet and an acid medication since I left the hospital.  Percocet makes me kind of stupid.  I am moving and feeling a lot better today, but a few days ago, I was having a hard time changing my clothes.  It took me a really long time.  I had to hobble outside and into my friend's studio where I've been staying before the hospital. I changed my shirt and sweater, got out of my pants, put on some new socks and underwear. This all felt like I was running a marathon, heaving breathing, spinning head and all. When I was finished, I hobbled back outside toward the house. It wasn't until I was unlocking the door that I realized I didn't put any pants on!  I'm glad there wasn't anyone around to see me.  At least I hope no one saw me.   

I'm doing much better today.  I went out and did stuff for the first time today.  I'm still very tired all the time.  It's a bit frustrating.  I didn't take any percocet yet today because the pain isn't so bad anymore, but eating is still pretty hard for me.  I can't eat very much in one sitting, and it feels like I am not digesting my food very well or very fast.  I'm still really full from lunch six hours ago and I was only able to eat 1/3 of my meal.  I'm sure my body just needs to figure out how to digest food differently now.  It's only been a week, so I keep telling myself I need to be patient.  I've developed these weird blisters all around my surgical tape.  I called the doctor and the receptionist took a message, but she hasn't called me back yet.  I think I am probably just allergic to the surgical tape since I got a big rash on my arms from the tape they used after drawing blood and for my IVs.  They don't hurt or anything.  They just look like little chickenpox blisters.  I see my surgeon again on Thursday.

I have to apply for financial assistance with the hospital.  The counselor they assigned me wants me to get letters from the people I've stayed with stating that I'm basically "couch surfing" and living off the kindness of others.  He also wants me to apply for food stamps and submit my W2's from the last two years of taxes.  All my tax papers are in a box in a storage unit in LA.  I feel like such a loser, but my hospital bill is going to be somewhere between 70-100k according to my counselor , so I have to do what I have to do. 

Thank you everyone for your support and encouragement through this!  
 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

I am alive

I don't want anyone to worry.  I am doing alright.  I will update when I can.  Sleeping a lot. 


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Friends

Had an okay day.  My pain was moderate, but I was distracted by four awesome people who came to visit me and we talked and laughed about totally inappropriate topics in a catholic hospital.  I only recently met a couple of the girls who came to visit me today.  They are friends of my friends.  I feel very cared about.  It is a strange feeling.  I think I have found some great people here in my new city. 

I have surgery at noon tomorrow.


My view from my room:

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Grilled Cheese, carrots, and flowers

I just ate solid food for the first time since Wednesday.  My stomach seems okay so far.  I feel so much better.  My pain is really low.  My liver is no longer on the verge of failing.  My pancreatitis is worse but they expected that to happen because they shoved tools down into and made slits in my bile ducts.

I can't believe how many people have sent me flowers or stuffed animals.  Most of the flowers came from people I don't even know in real life.  Some women that I wrote a letter for in AZ that are working on changing a law for foster care sent me a ton of flowers.  New friends of friends reached out to me.  Friends in LA called me.  It has really helped me keep a positive attitude while being here and facing such a big bill.  Even the people from this blog have helped me.

My mind likes to make positive things that happen to me painful for some reason.  A good example of this was my brief moment of feeling depressed that people who don't know me sent me flowers.  I felt undeserving and that they wouldn't have sent me flowers if they knew me.  Why do I do this?  Why do I turn good things into reasons to feel bad about myself?

I've tried to ignore that little voice in the back of my head and just enjoy the well wishes and beautiful flowers. I am so glad to be feeling better and anxious to get out of the hospital.  If everything goes as planned I will have surgery on Monday and go home on Tuesday.  

Hospital update

I will be in the hospital until Tuesday.  My first surgery today failed, so I had to repeat it.  I was in so much pain most of the day, especially after the surgery.  They were able to take out a couple impacted stones in my bile ducts which was infecting my liver and pancreas.  The stones could bot have been able to pass on their own.  After some serious pain meds, I now feel so much better than I have in a long time.  They let me eat for the first time since Wednesday afternoon.  Just veggie broth and cranberry juice but it feels amazing to have something in my stomach.

I feel very cared about today.  I had people calling and texting me all day.   I got flowers from several people.  An orchid, lotion, and magazines from Melody and her husband.  I got a bag full of goodies that I can't wait to dive into.

My next surgery is on Monday.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Admitted

I have been admitted to the hospital.  My liver stats were so bad they asked me if I had ever had liver failure before.  Tomorrow I am going to have a procedure called an Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography to clean out my bile ducts and remove the stones that are causing the pancreas and liver infections, if there are any stones.  I may or may not have my gallbladder removed tomorrow.  God. I hope they just rip the thing out.

I have to admit that I'm feeling kind of nervous about the procedures and alone in the hospital.  My nurse in the hospital is nice, but she forgets to ask to touch my body.  She walked in and lifted up my gown without even warning me.  And she made weird jokes about adoption when I told her I didn't know much of my family history.  She asked me if I was adopted and I said no, which seemed to really throw her off.  "What are you an orphan from the street."  I just said, "foster care."  She didn't seem to understand how someone couldn't have a bio family connection or adopted family.  Perhaps its because of her language and culture.  She was clearly not born in the US.  Other than her awkward attempts at uncomfortable humor and abrupt manner, she is pretty nice.
I feel kind of pushed around here at the hospital.  So many people tell me different things.  I am not sure when I should just accept things as they are and when I should fight them.  Yesterday I sobbed because I knew giving me vicodin and sending me home was ridiculous and although I cried and told people what I felt, I still accepted what they told me without much question. 
This is going to be a freaking huge hospital bill.  I hope someone in the billing department takes pity on me. 
The room next to me is filled with family members of a patient.  I wish I had that many close family relationships and friendships.  That many people who loved me in one room. 

Back to the er

I'm back in the ER.  Waiting. Waiting. Waiting.  More than three hours.  My blood pressure is 150/88.  Why do people eat in front of sick people in the ER?  No matter how many times I move, someone sits next to me and eats.  The next person might just get a surprise in their lap.
Here alone and in so much fucking pain.  I pray someone takes this thing out now. 

Dramatic ER visit

For more than a week, I've been having gallbladder attacks.  They are extremely painful, with nausea and vomiting as a bonus.  I've never felt this kind of pain before I had my first gallbladder problem.  I would not wish this kind of pain on any human being ever.  No matter what they've done.

For the past week I've been having them everyday.  Last time I went to the ER for an attack was 11/30/12.  They gave me 24 vicodin.  Today I used the last pill, which means I've had around 15 or 20 attacks since December if you count all the times I've taken more than one pill.  Tonight, err, well last night I was in so much pain that I decided to go to the ER even though I no longer have insurance.

I arrived around 9:30 PM.  I checked in, got my vitals taken, got some blood drawn, sat in the lobby for about ten minutes, and then got called back to a room.  They would not give me IV pain meds until my pregnancy test came back negative.  I ended up sobbing, "I'm gay.  I'm can't be pregnant, I'm gay.  I'm gay.  I'm gay!"  Once the vomiting started, the nurse decided to believe me that I could not be pregnant and gave me my first dose of dilauded.  That is some weird stuff, but it worked.  I ended up having three doses.  The doctors were able to pull up my records from the hospital I went to at the end of November and told me, "You should have been admitted and had your gallbladder removed that day!  I can't believe they let you go home."  He then told me that they would be admitting me and taking my gallbladder out, but they wanted to get an ultrasound to make sure it didn't need to come out tonight.

Well, I got the ultrasound around 4AM.  Around 4:30 the doctor told me they were gonna discharge me and give me a number to a surgeon to schedule surgery with.  I broke down crying.  Never in my life did I think I would end up sobbing because I WASN'T going to have surgery.  But I started crying and I could not stop.  This gallbladder business is torture.  Eating has become scary.  Sleeping has become scarier because it usually happens in the middle of the night.  I've sobbed almost every night for a week from pain and it takes a lot to make me cry from physical pain.  I have a very high pain tolerance.

I cried and cried and cried.  I just could not stop.  I heard the nurses talking about me in the nurses station about 8 feet away from my bed.  They has been the sweetest nurses I have ever encountered before then, but they discussed my lack of insurance and that it was bizarre that I was crying because I wasn't going to have surgery.  "Well how is she going to pay for the ER visit?"  I heard someone say.  I cried harder.  I don't know how I'm going to pay for the ER visit.  I asked to talk to the doctor again because I just can't go through this pain anymore.  At first he refused.  The nurse said, "Well, he told you everything you need to know."  I cried some more about how they were just going to give me vicodin when I came in because the vicodin wasn't working.  I cried because it took a lot to get myself to go to the ER by myself without insurance knowing the insane bill I would get, but I did it because I couldn't take it anymore.  I cried because I wasted 7 hours thinking there was finally a light at the end of the tunnel, even though I was terrified of having surgery, only to be told nothing would change.  More extreme physical pain in my future on top of everything else.  Sob sob sob.

Eventually the doctor came back in and asked me, "What can I do for you?"  I told him that I don't have insurance so no surgeon would take me and that I can't handle the gallbladder attacks anymore.   Seriously, I could not stop crying.  Maybe it was the dilauded.  Maybe it was the week without much sleep.  Or the week full of intense pain.  He said he would see what he could do.  I heard him call a surgeon and tell him about me on the phone.  I heard a bunch of medical lingo that I don't understand like my ASP and AST  being high but something else was normal, and my history.  Then he came back and told me the surgeon did not care that I don't have insurance and said that if I thought I needed it, they would admit me today, but I wouldn't be able to have the surgery for a while.  Or I could schedule and appointment with him on Friday and then have surgery on Tuesday.  I decided to go with Tuesday.

So after all of that, I am going to have my gallbladder removed and it sounds like the doctor is going to do it for free.  Or whatever "I don't care about the insurance" means.

I got back to my friends house about an hour ago.  I am still so emotionally charged and can't stop crying.  I took a klonopin to try to calm down.  I haven't slept at all today/yesterday, and not much the the past week.

Never in my life have I ever been so distraught that someone wasn't going to cut out an organ from my body.  THAT is how much pain I've been in. 


Monday, March 4, 2013

Patterns

I overheard some women talking about people who are disowned by their families.  Being disowned by your family is awful and so unbelievably painful.  It goes against nature.

Imagine what it's like to be disowned by your families repeatedly.  To be disowned by friends because you don't have family.  To always be searching for family, any kind of family.  To be searching for the piece that's missing.  To always be searching but never able to trust that someone actually cares about you.  To always open yourself up to the wrong people and end up getting hurt.

I always seem to find myself at the last straw with people, but it seems like it doesn't take much to get there.  I'll admit that I have problems, but so do most of my friends.  I don't share my problems with many people in real life because I never know where to begin.  And it always makes it that much harder when they decide they've had enough of me.

I make mistakes.  I'm very sensitive.  I can be kind of needy because my anxiety and fear of rejection put me in this state of constant guard of my heart.  I have pretty low self esteem.  But I have good qualities to.  I am generous, thoughtful, caring, and always wanting to help.  

I feel like any relationship where I open up to the other person and let them see my dark side, my secrets, my real feelings, always ends up unhealthy.  Everything always ends up being my fault in some way, or it's blamed on my "issues" and the other person never has to take a look at themselves. My therapists have told me that I'm attracted to specific types of people, which doesn't help.  This has happened to me a lot, so please don't think I'm writing about anyone specific.  I'm not.  The other person never has to feel sorry that they hurt me, because I'm crazy, or something along those lines.  They always feel like dealing with my stuff is a burden even though I do so much for them.  They always seem to forget about the things I do, or maybe the things I do never outweigh my stuff.  My feelings seem to be dismissed, or not as important.  My behavior, feelings, needs, and everything else gets over analyzed.  It's funny because that's basically how it is in foster care.  Everything is analyzed to death.  It's never helpful because you can always find meaning in everything if you search hard enough.  So why do I get into relationships like this?  Where people analyze me to death and then get upset with me for their projections and feelings of insecurity?  

I just want people who tell me they love me to value me, my feelings, the relationship, not take advantage of me, and to stick around.  How do I find that?  Is that even possible for me?  It doesn't seem to be.  Not with deep relationships anyway.

How is it that I can be super aware of relationship patterns in my life but repeat them anyway?  I jump in too deep, too fast, or never get my feet wet.  And it fucking sucks.

My gallbladder is feeling okay at the moment.  Not great.  It hurts to breathe in deeply, or to walk around too much, but I'm not sobbing in pain like last night.  I'm thinking of applying for medicaid in California.  Maybe I can get it there and then transfer it to my current state.  

I am still without a job and I don't know what to do.  I need to find a place to live soon because although they have not said anything, I know I've got to be nearing my welcome limit with my friends.  Although it's warming up now, I still don't want to end up sleeping in my car again.

I am not a religious person, but I've been praying to every god out there for a job and medical insurance.  I've applied to so many jobs.  I don't know what else to do.  I really want a home.  

Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Angry Bile Duct

I haven't had health insurance for three months now.  Or two months.  I'm not sure.  Right now I am in a lot of pain from what I'm guessing is my gallbladder.  It's been about a week now with nonstop discomfort with a few bouts of intense pain and nausea mixed in.  The only thing that has gotten me through it is the pain and nausea pills left over from my ER visit in December.  Those are all gone now and I don't know what I should do.  I will probably not get medicaid in the state I currently live in.  You literally have to win a lottery to get it, which I don't really understand.  If I go to the hospital anyway, I'll be stuck with a bill for thousands, possibly tens of thousands of dollars because I know they are going to tell me that I need surgery to remove my awful diseased organ.  I've got the kind of gallbladder disease where my gallbladder pisses off it's neighbors and everyone gets a little bit puffy and swollen.  I'm really not sure what I should do.  Ruin my financial and credit future and go to the ER?  Wait it out and hope it gets better?  This sucks.