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What a long, strange, painful trip it's been

Friday, August 14, 2020

I'm back, baby! It's been a long haul but I might be coming out the other side of it now. Did you know that losing a significant amount of weight can cause your gallbladder to fail? Yeah, neither do doctors! But after six years of being miserably horribly SICK I finally read that weight loss is a risk factor for gallbladder problems. I also read that every one of my symptoms that I had seen multiple doctors for and had multiple tests done for and taken hundreds of pills for can be caused by a bad gallbladder. Well, I went to my PCM and she diagnosed me as "severely depressed and suicidal". No. I hadn't been eating and had lost 30lbs in a month because I literally could not eat. I rejected her antidepressants and called my gastroenterologist that day. They had a cancellation for the next morning so I was in right away! Of course, the woman I saw there wasn't particularly keen on being helpful either. She is absolutely obsessed with colonoscopies. I haven't had one because every time it was scheduled something came up. Admittedly I did have to cancel a couple of times but SO DID THEY! So that still hasn't happened. (Although just yesterday my cardiologist said I can schedule that, my weird heart thing shouldn't be affected by that) ANYWAY. Ugh. She tried to push me out of the room but I refused to stand up and said, "Let's talk about gallbladder problems." She didn't even look at me. But she pulled up the checklist on the computer and started asking me questions. I guess I answered enough of them properly because she did consent to an ultrasound. Then the lady in charge of scheduling refused to take it from her! She said it was written up incorrectly and wouldn't show anything anyway. She's my hero :) Did you know that ultrasounds can hurt? I did not know this! They scanned my entire stomach and it hurt so bad I wanted to cry! But it came back negative. I did cry then. My hero next scheduled me for a HIDA scan. Boring. Just lie there for an hour or however long it was. Yawn. Worth it! It showed my gallbladder was no longer functioning! Have you any idea how good it is to get a result after years of being sick and going through test after test? If you do, I'm sorry you went through that. If you don't, it feels damn good! I cried again. At this point the only thing that wasn't painful to eat was pickles. And only in small quantities. So I was eating 2-3 pickles spears a day. Then on August 1, 2019, my gallbladder was finally removed (no stones but full of sludge).

Now, during this time when I was incapacitated, my father became very ill. He developed dementia (Lewy-Body). So my poor mom is trying to take care of him AND me AND my two autistic kids. She's never been good at making herself a priority but this was ridiculous! My kids are now 17 and 24. Daddy passed away in January 2020. And I ... just as I was finally recovering and starting to feel better and like I could function ... ended up in ICU this past February.

They never did really figure out why I was so sick. The general consensus was "I dunno could be pneumonia I guess but let's check your thyroid and a few other things because this isn't REALLY pneumonia but that's the best guess we have." That's when the heart thing started. My heart rhythm is fine but it's just too fast. My resting heart rate was over 140 when I went to the hospital. They got it down to under 120. Now I'm on a prescription that keeps it below 100 except when I'm actually doing something. No clue. Nobody knows what or why.

BUT! After I recovered from my surgery I was no longer food intolerant! Gluten and dairy and soy and nuts and everything else I'd had to avoid no longer make me sick! And I have REALLY enjoyed eating! Oh my gods have I enjoyed eating! I've gained 45 pounds in the year since my surgery.

So here I am. Almost back to where I started a few years ago. Ready to start again. Except this time I can't really exercise like I did before. My heart rate gets too fast too quickly. It's going to be about going back to my good eating habits and avoiding the other stuff... Dr. Pepper and Little Debbie and Ruffles and Totino's Party Pizzas. I did it before, I can do it again. Only this time I don't have a gallbladder to go bad and take me out of the game just when it's starting to get good! Because, damn, I look good in those size 8 shorts!
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