I Got Screwed

Back to the oral surgeon this morning. Last night the screw that holds things in place before the tooth implant can be put in came out. Thank goodness the base in the bone was okay, but I had to get another screw. I had called the after hours line last night and they said to not worry and call to get an appointment.

Well I’m here and I’m healthy, but my gums grew in overnight. So he had to take out tissue again. Not fun. Liquid diet for a few days.

Busy Day

Maintenance is here doing a biannual check.

This morning I went to the GI doctor about the daily vomiting. He prescribed a medication that does the same thing as another medication that a different doctor has given me. I do not have high hopes for it. They also have me scheduled to stick a camera down my throat. As you can guess I am not looking forward to that.

In the meantime I might see if it is one of my other medications causing this problem. I’m on one that helps me but it may be creating the nausea. And if it is I’m going to have to go off that pill. Because daily nausea and vomiting for the foreseeable future is just not an option.

The awesome girl who does our cleaning was here today and it felt so nice to come back to the appointment and smell all the cleaning products and see the stripes in the carpet from the vacuum. So that’s probably going to be the highlight of my day.

Later on Angelica has speech and OT. Then I can finally be done. Angelica has a friend over right now and they are watching 101 Dalmatians.

Now for the ultrasound tomorrow. Yay.

Lab, Summer

This morning I finally made it to the lab to get tests done. The doctor wanted to run several tests, so they drew five vials of blood. I know from the paperwork he’s testing at least 10 things. I also had to do a test where you breathe into a bag, drink a weird drink, wait 15 minutes, and breathe into another bag. This is to test for certain stomach ulcers. I had to bring Angelica with me because this was the only morning that worked for me all week, and I couldn’t get the babysitter for today. Of course Angelica was extremely well-behaved. She asked if her Bible was allowed inside, and then brought one of her little Bibles with her to the waiting room.

I was glad that they were able to get the blood for me without too much trouble. I am usually a pretty hard stick. The first time she tried she had to dig around and it didn’t work. She had that long needle just moving around. I hate that feeling. But on the second try she got it on the other arm.

Shortly after I came home the really nice girl who cleans for us came.

Angelica has been playing non-stop with a friend since we got home. We got home before noon. We’re approaching five. She’s been playing all day.

School starts in a few weeks! We are coming up on August and everything is getting so real. It felt pretty real when we toured the school and then when Angelica had her evaluation and Craig and I did the parent interview, but it’s amazing to think that before I know it I will be dropping her off. Time is running out.

This spider is really pissing me off. It keeps trying to spread its silk in the air around my back porch swing. That’s not okay. I keep finding fresh string but I can’t seem to find the spider himself.

It is some sort of weird spider season. When I look out the front windows I can see spider threads flying down the street. Some species of spider do disperse their babies that way. The little babies propel with silk and just glide through however many feet or even miles they can before landing on something to build a nest. I just really don’t want to get one stuck on me. I’ll have a heart attack.

Something is Not Right

I got into a last-minute doctor’s appointment today and I will see what they say. So last Sunday I went to the emergency room because I have been throwing up bile for hours every day for awhile. They couldn’t find anything wrong and said it was a stomach bug. Well 4 days later and I am still vomiting bile every day. Something here is not right. Something here is very wrong. This is not a stomach bug. So back to the doctor I go.

New Cleaner, Close Call, Horror Story

We are looking for a new house cleaner. I hopefully have someone coming to interview today. We’ll see how it goes. I don’t want to go much longer without someone to clean. Obviously, I clean too. But I definitely need someone to come on a regular basis and do cleaning.

I have been sick. I have been vomiting bile for hours every day for several days. I finally went to an emergency room to make sure that everything was okay and that I didn’t have a recurrence of a medical problem I have had before. They took a CT scan and said that everything was good. They gave me some medicine for nausea, and I’ve been taking that for 2 days. It helps a lot more than it did when I was pregnant. They also told me that I have a cyst on an ovary that probably needs to be fixed. Sometime this week I will call a gynecologist. I just really don’t feel like it. I don’t want to go into one. So if it’s not too big I will probably just let it burst. It hurt like hell the last time that happened to me but at least I didn’t have to go in for one of those god-awful exams. It’s just important to make sure that the cyst is not above a certain size because if it is you can have a lot of internal bleeding when it ruptures. I am just beyond grateful it wasn’t the problem I was afraid it was.

It must be a stomach bug, but this is a very unusual and long-lasting stomach bug.

I have been doing some writing but not as much as I would like. On a bright note, I have begun writing horror (what a weird sentence). I’ve been talking about it for ages, but I put fingers to keyboard and I started a story. I have the beginning how I want it, although as usual I will have to revise 50 more times. I just not sure how I want it to end. I’m not sure where I want to take it. And I have a second story in the works.

Pure Tiredness

I read Angelica an adorable story called, “Love Monster.” I saw it from across the aisle at Target and knew immediately that we had to have it. We sort of have a monster theme in our family, and this just looks like the cutest book.

Now I am so tired. The pain killer for my jaw is making me tired, and worst of all I am almost out of it. I am still laying that side of my face on a heating pad a lot to dull the pain.

Yesterday, though I was in pain and undoubtedly way too whiny about it, I got to hang out with my friend M and our kids got to play together. It was lovely.

More later. Half asleel.

Lost a Tooth, Lots of Screaming

Last night Craig and I went to the Spider-Man movie he wanted to see on a date. I bit into a Sour Patch Kid while the movie was going and I suddenly felt two hard things. My crown and piece of real tooth had just popped out of my mouth. The hole was so deep on one side that it went below my gum line. It was night and I had to find an emergency dentist to go to.

Apparently what happened is this. When the dentist put my crown on a couple of years ago, he put it on top of a cavity. The dentist last night said, you have a cavity, and at first I thought that he meant the real tooth that was around the edge and was exposed to food and air. I thought I just hadn’t brushed it well enough. In actuality he said, the cavity was in the middle of the tooth and was sealed in by the crown. He said that the dentist who put the crown in put it on top of decaying tooth. They didn’t take care of a cavity that was in there. They just put a crown on a tooth that was decaying. Finally the tooth became so decayed and weak that it couldn’t hold the crown on anymore or the growth around it. So it just came off. The dentist who put my crown on stuck it on top of a cavity and the tooth was just rotting under there day by day ever since. He said every last bit was rotted inside all the way down to the very thinnest bottom layer. It was not salvageable at all. He had to extract it. Some of it was so soft, but some of it was extremely brittle and he was jerking on and pressing on and yanking my jaw so much that I thought he might dislocate it.

When he was going at it with the drill the stench was horrendous. I know that you usually smell burning bone when they have to drill into your teeth like that. I’ve had cavities before, and a root canal, so of course this was not my first time smelling burning tooth. But there was another horrible smelling thing that made it hard to breathe. I asked what it was and they said it was the smell of the bacteria in the cavity. The rot. I could have passed out. It was horrendous.

The whole thing was hard. To start with I have a fear of the injection needles that they use to put the novocaine in. It’s been getting worse and worse over the years. I had Klonopin with me and I took some to help with the anxiety and fear. It did help, but I was still so panicked that I screamed during all the injections. When it was done and I managed to calm down and breathe I told him I was glad I at least had the Klonopin because that helped. They raised their eyebrows and said really? But it would have been worse if I hadn’t had the Klonopin. I was trying to scream quietly, since Angelica was in the waiting room with Craig at that point and I don’t want her to develop a fear of the dentist. But apparently she did hear some of the screaming even though I was way in the back. I think I’ve reached the point where when I make normal dental appointments I need to go to one of those places that will put you under. That’s going to be expensive. But I took double klonopin and I was still hyperventilating and screaming. Last night though there just wasn’t an option to wait find one of those dentists who puts people under though. The hole was bad and it had to be plugged immediately. They put a bone graft in to hold me over until I go to an oral surgeon after I do some healing.

I have to get an implant tooth. I’m really dreading this. It will happen over the next few months. And I know that for that procedure at least he said that they cannot put me out because sometimes when they drill to screw the fake tooth in they accidentally drill into the nerve that runs along the jaw, so they need you to be awake so that if they hit the nerve you can raise your hand and yell so that they don’t drill any further. But to make you at least a little less miserable they do give you Novocain and part of your mouth, which means at the very least one more time I have to have one of those needles come at me. My heart is absolutely racing at the thought. Part of it of course is the pain. I’m a sissy wimp and when they stick that needle all the way in down deep and you feel it hit, that really hurts. Plus I am considered hard to numb, so they have to stick a lot of needles and most of the time and inject a lot of the novocaine before I am numb enough for them to do what they need to do. But part of it is not the pain at all. It’s just the absolute Panic of seeing the needle there and knowing it is there and feeling a piece of metal being inserted into me like that. Part of it really isn’t the pain it’s just what’s going on. It’s the act of having a needle inserted into me. If they could get rid of the pain that would help, but I would probably still be doing some screaming and panicking just because of what’s going on. It’s an injection. Injections give me panic attacks.

Not a great night. But I am grateful to my husband for all his care. We got home late and he was out at 11:30 picking up my pain medicine and antibiotic. He made me comfortable with a warm pad. He woke me up for my medicines. When I couldn’t sleep for a long time to begin with because of the pain he just held me. I remember moaning and crying. It was a rough night. And somewhere in the middle of all that he found the time to clean my ankle brace for me because it really needed to be cleaned before I could wear it again and in the midst of pain drugs and pain and exhaustion I wasn’t up to the task of cleaning it. He was up so late that he went to bed at 3 this afternoon to prepare for his morning shift. I am trying to take the pain medicine on time so that I don’t lapse. I love Craig. I am thankful for him.

Does Weight Loss Make You Happy?

I am on Instagram more often than I should be. And everywhere I turn there is some girl posting before and after pictures. The before picture is usually of some cute chubby girl with her kids or even a very heavy girl smiling with her husband. The after photo shows a very slim girl, usually in very tight clothing or just a sports bra, talking about how wild her success has been. Most of the time they are selling weight loss products or coaching services. As you read their captions you will find that when they were fat they were absolutely miserable. They had no energy for themselves or their families. Their lives were unfulfilling. They were disappointments to themselves. They failed at everything in life. Then they started hitting the gym or buying special supplements or becoming a Beachbody Coach or what have you. Now their lives are valuable and worth living, they are better mothers to their children, they are no longer failures, and they are proud of themselves. They lost 25 or 50 or 100 lb and it’s the best thing they ever did.

As my weight fluctuates I question this narrative. I lost 50 lb last year. Let me tell you, it didn’t make me any happier. I got that brief zing of pride whenever I posted a picture of myself in a smaller dress. I suppose that when you live in a society that values thinness so highly it’s natural although not right to feel that little zing. From that perspective I understand all these girls posting their weight loss photos on Instagram. But my life has been no happier. The thing is, my life wasn’t miserable before. I was already a good mother with energy for my child. I do wish I was a more energetic person in general, but losing 50 lbs didn’t make me more energetic. I didn’t feel like a failure when I weighed over 200 lb. Not usually. And when I did have moments where maybe I looked over my life and felt like I could have done more or been doing more, it had nothing to do with the fact that I was fat. My life was extremely fulfilling. I had my family and my writing.

If losing 50 pounds was the best thing I’ve ever done, then maybe I really should reconsider my life and what I’ve done with it. After losing 50 lbs I can honestly say I’m the same person living the same life. If anything I have been less happy since losing the weight. Wearing smaller clothes is nice for sure. It gives you way more options when you go shopping, and what girl doesn’t want that? But all the good things in my life that were there before are still here, thank God, and the negative things are still here also. I don’t really feel proud of losing the weight. And in fact if it hadn’t been for all the societal pressure I felt to do it I never would have lost it. I was fine with myself and my husband was happy with me. And now that I have lost the weight I am under tremendous pressure to at least maintain it and honestly to lose more weight. It’s frustrating. I miss eating. This is not fun. I try to remember that the benefits outweigh the negatives, but sometimes they honestly don’t.

There is this pervasive stereotype about fat people that their lives revolve around food. Well I don’t speak for everybody obviously, but I can honestly tell you that when I was fat my life didn’t revolve around food at all. When I wanted it I had it and I just didn’t give it a second thought. I didn’t run around from hour to hour thinking about food. Since starting the diet however, food is all I think about. Part of this is simply because whenever you can’t have something or you’re not supposed to think about it, it’s automatically what you think about. Part of it’s because I have to go hungry. And when you’re hungry you think about food. And part of it is because maintaining a strict diet requires a lot of thought. You get up in the morning and want to reach for a granola bar. But then you have to think about the fact that you can’t and what will happen to you on the scale if you do. You sit down to have pizza for lunch with your husband and you can’t dig in. Instead you have to get on MyFitnessPal and calculate the number of calories from a slice of pizza and the number of calories from your drink and add that up and sit there and think about the fact that you won’t be able to have very much, or anything at all, for dinner once you have this pizza lunch with your husband. Your husband spends good money thinking up a nice date to a good restaurant and when you get there you have to focus on the salad or make sure you don’t eat more than a quarter or half of the food that you’re given. It’s disappointing because you want food and you’re supposed to be out having fun, and of course it’s an utter waste of money if you sit there pretending to be some natural waif and just leave the food on your plate. They don’t give you a discount for the uneaten food. The truth is, unless you’re one of those people who’s extremely athletic and loves the gym, and you genuinely love things like salad and yogurt, in order to lose weight you are going to have to think an awful lot about food. Especially to lose as much weight as I have. And realistically if you are one of those athletic, gym loving people who genuinely enjoys a plate of celery you probably wouldn’t be fat to begin with.

This is where maintaining your weight comes in. But seriously, it’s miserable. Maybe I need to give it more time. I don’t know. But I have not reached the point where I naturally only want one slice of pizza. Maybe this is a self control issue. I guess you could look at it that way. When I was younger and had an eating disorder I was very good at restricting calories. I had the problem I am currently having, which is that all I could think about was food, but I was so strict and regimented. And then later in my twenties when I healed at least somewhat I ate whatever I wanted. Moderation is not my strong suit with my personality. I just hate having to be so aware of what I eat. It takes up headspace. I would rather be thinking about art or poetry or even imagining outer space than thinking about the calorie content of a slice of toast. On top of that, between the meds I am on and some other medical issues and what have you, I have found that unless I keep at or very close to 1,000 calories a day I gain weight. I don’t even maintain weight. I actually gain weight. At first the payoff for this, smaller clothing, seemed worth the effort. But sometimes it just feels like a bunch of crap. If I can get to a point where eating very little is a natural state for me then maybe that will be different. But it hasn’t come yet and it has been months. I don’t want to be 80 years old and look back over my life and realize I spent 50% of my time thinking about what food I could or could not eat.

It doesn’t help that I never lost weight for myself, truly. I put on a dress that was too tight and I felt bad that it was too tight because I knew that I was already at a dress size that everybody and their brother would tell me I shouldn’t be. But since I was happy with my life and myself I didn’t honestly start my weight-loss journey, and everybody calls losing weight a journey for some reason, for myself. I did it so that other people would be okay with me. I did it so that other people would think I was attractive, although my husband already thought I was hot and thought the diet was pointless. I did it to avoid the judgment of family members and friends. I did it so that when I walk through the mall I could hold my head high because I would look much closer to what people considered conventionally attractive and socially acceptable. I am not on this so-called journey for me. If no other people in the world existed I really wouldn’t give a f*** what my dress size was. I do it for other people and that makes it much harder to stick with. It’s not something I enjoy or that I feel like I’m truly benefiting from. Like I said, wearing smaller clothes does make shopping way easier and way more fun. But I only buy clothing a few times a year. And if I explored more sites that have plus size clothing and I liked them, and other people wouldn’t give me a hard time or look at me like I’m some sort of alien, I really wouldn’t care. I’m giving up food that I like and giving a completely boring subject so much head space so that other people are okay with me. People that either should be okay with me anyway because in theory they should love me, or people I don’t even know. I am seriously concerned with what random men, and some very judgemental women, think about what I look like. I’m not banging any of them, obviously since I’m married and also attempting to try to follow the Bible, and yet I’m concerned with whether or not they think I look bangable. I’m trying to please a society that I know is twisted and that I tend to look down upon. Why do I care about what these people think? What have they done for me lately?

I am trying to stick with the diet for now. And even make improvements. It’s just really hard to do something when you’re not doing it for yourself. Even when you change something about yourself for someone you love it’s difficult. It’s a lot easier than doing it for people you don’t have a relationship with, but even when people do something to change themselves for someone they love it’s pretty hard. The best thing to give yourself good odds of succeeding in whatever it you’re trying to change is to care about it yourself. I’m trying to learn to care about it. At what point will this be something that I really want to do for myself? How do I get to a place where I’m doing this for me? What do I get out of this other than the approval of others? When do I reach a point where I enjoy this, or if I don’t enjoy it it becomes as natural as breathing? The only reason I care about being a smaller dress size is because I want the approval of other people. I’m afraid sometimes that to make this work for the long-term I’m going to have to find a reason to do it myself. But I cannot find one single significant thing, and only one minor thing, in my entire life that has been improved by this diet.

Ankle

Today I went to see the surgeon in Denver for his opinion. My doctor in Colorado Springs recommended that I do that since the problem with my ankle bone is uncommon and pretty severe. This doctor reiterated that the problem was severe, and that I would never have a normal joint again, but he gave me a brace to wear and the name of a special kind of shoe to buy. The doctor said that I may have no choice but to do surgery right now, and I definitely will not be able to avoid surgery in the future. However, every surgical option I have has a very low success rate. Sometimes people even get worse. And on top of that they are not permanent. There is nothing that can be done, from taking out a piece of bone from my hip and grafting it into my ankle bone, to finding me a cadaver match, to fusing the ankle and getting rid of the joint and the movement all together, that has a high likelihood of success. Of the three, fusing the joint and getting rid of it has the highest likelihood of success. However the downside is that when you do an ankle fusion you have a good chance of getting arthritis in your foot from having to use the middle of your foot too much. Then you can end up having to get your foot fused. If that happens you have no movement anymore. That’s not good. So he said that fusing the ankle should be a last resort.

He also said that a good section of my cartilage is pretty bad. My leg bone is also damaged and deteriorated. There’s evidence that the first surgeon in Virginia drilled into my leg bone for some reason. There is appears to be a drill hole going through the bone diagonally. He didn’t say that that’s what has caused my leg bone to be damaged. He wants to see the notes from that original surgery see what exactly was going on. But he cannot fathom why that drill hole is there. I doubt it’s exactly helpful, but we will see if there was a good reason for it. But part of the leg bone is damaged, and that connects to the cartilage that’s pretty much shot, and that connects to a damaged ankle bone actually missing a chunk of itself.

The doctor was very kind and patient and he also made it clear that it was my choice. If the bone proves to be infected I don’t know what I have to do. I have to get blood work done this week to determine that. If it’s infected that might throw a wrench in things. Beyond that he said that surgery is my choice and that I could give some thought into which kind of surgery I would want to do. I highly want to avoid surgery for as long as possible, so I’m going to be giving this brace a chance for a few weeks and get those special shoes. If there was an option for surgery that had good odds for success and would last at least a decent amount of time I honestly would prefer to just have surgery and get it over with. Suffer now to have my thirties and forties be pain free, or almost pain free, and be able to walk long distances like I used to and take the stairs without worrying. But since my chances are not good with any of these surgeries I don’t want to take that plunge if I don’t have to. If the brace and special shoes can give me enough relief for at least a couple of years, I would like to hold off. I really hope I will get some relief.

Removing A Bone

Wednesday I went back to the podiatrist I have been seeing about my foot pain, ankle pain, and the burning pain where my leg meets my foot. I found out I need an ankle replacement, which is major surgery.

My ankle bone will be removed. The whole thing. It has huge lesions, so the doctor doesn’t think it is salvageable. It will be replaced with a synthetic bone substitute around which my natural bone is supposed to grow. Additionally, he said that the pain where my leg meets my foot, that burning pain I’ve had for years, is likely because the bottom of my leg bone (and I forget which one), also has lesions on it where it meets the ankle. That will likely have to be filled in.

I really like this doctor and he seems very knowledgeable, catching several problems that the doctors I saw in Virginia did not catch. He gave me a copy of the MRI results and showed me on a model of the bone what he was talking about and how big the lesions were. They really do take up pretty much the whole bone. It’s possible that some of the bone is even dead. I am still getting second opinion from another doctor, an orthopaedic surgeon, just to make sure there are no other options that maybe my doctor didn’t think of. This doctor has a different specialty, he’s an orthopedic surgeon, so he may have a different perspective. But looking at the MRI paperwork and having been shown on a model of the bone what’s going on, I really don’t think that the other doctor is going to have a different opinion. If he does have a different opinion I don’t think it will be drastically different.

If in fact his opinion is drastically different I won’t even know what to do. They’re both doctors. They both do Foot and Ankle surgeries. The doctor I’m currently seeing has tons of good reviews and the doctor on getting a second opinion from doesn’t really have any reviews. On a bright note that means he doesn’t have any bad reviews, at least not that I was able to find, but he doesn’t have any good ones either to let me know that he’s reliable. If he tells me my phone is salvageable and that I don’t need to do the surgery, will I believe him? I would like to believe him because the surgery is going to be agonizing, but I’m being cautious too. For years I have tried to get this foot fixed. I’ve had two surgeries on it already. I had a bone infection in my foot to go with it all. I want whatever I do to be the last surgery on my foot. If that means going through a terrible surgery as opposed to a milder one, it’s probably worth doing just to make sure that I can go back to living my life the way I used to and taking long walks. I just want this to be over. So if the doctor giving me a second opinion suggests not doing surgery or suggests a drastically different surgery, I’m really going to have to weigh my options and think about the different explanations both of them gave. I would rather do a terrible surgery now and have it over with then try a milder surgery and find out it didn’t really work and then have to do the terrible surgery. I don’t want to be laid up any longer than I have to be. So what I need is either for the doctors to be on the same page, or for this doctor giving me the second opinion to have a really good explanation of a better alternative. I so hope there is another way. Having an entire bone of my body literally just removed sounds terrible, and it probably doesn’t sound half as terrible as it actually is.

I have been asking people on Foot and Ankle pages how bad the pain for the surgery is. Very few people have had the surgery as drastically as the first doctor says I need to do it. Of those who have done it or have done something similar, it’s unanimous that the pain is so bad that you don’t sleep for days. One person compared the pain to having been put through a meat grinder. If you know me, you know I am a total sissy. I feel like running at the very thought of doing this. I just don’t know what else to do. I’ve got to fix my foot.