Friday, September 19, 2014

A really bad week

Monday night I had this God awful pain in my left ovary. Which is not abnormal when I'm ovulating, however, this lasted longer then usual and felt different. The pain radiated in to my stomach and down and around. The pain went everywhere. It was so intense that I almost told Tyrone to call an ambulance. I felt like I was dying. Whatever happened felt worse then anything I've ever felt. The level 10 pain eventually went down to a 9 so I could roll over from my fetal position, put a heating pad on top of me and go to sleep.

Tuesday morning I called my OBGYN and explained what was going on. They wanted to see me in as soon as possible to see me then schedule an ultrasound. I went in and saw someone who isn't my regular doctor (because it was last minute) and she said her theory was it was a really large cyst not a tube that turned, which is something they worry about with that much pain around the ovary. A few hours after seeing her I went and had an ultrasound done. After that torturous event I went home and awaited results. Which I didn't get until today (Friday) - the results were that they didn't see anything that would cause that amount of pain. She did write in the notes (because I found this out via my health chart online) that she suspected there was a large cyst that burst which is what caused the pain. Whatever happened I feel bruised inside. I still have really bad pain in that spot and I feel like my insides are bruised. It is NO fun.

Wednesday morning Dee called me to let me know that Mark was not doing well. That he was dying and wasn't going to make it much longer. I asked if she had a time table she said it could be an hour it could be a few days. She said she was making him as comfortable as she could. Dee did everything she could to try to ease my mind about the situation. She said she would be in touch. So when my phone rang a little after 1am I knew what had happened. It was still hard to hear. My father had passed away. I don't even know what I said to Dee. I know I asked how she was and how the boys were. I tried not to cry because I didn't want to upset her more. It is all a blurr.

Between my pain being unreasonable and Mark passing away this week has been miserable. I am just at a loss of words. I feel ... I don't even know.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Heading to TN

My father is really sick. He's dying. I'm headed to TN in the morning to see him. His wife Dee is trying to have hope "Well my plan is to bring him home... but it's not looking good. He's not looking good. He's not getting better. He looks so bad Nick." I'm not close to my father. I'm mad at him for not being close to me when I've given him chance after chance. I'm sad because I don't want him to die. No matter what he is still my father, even if I don't know him as well as I want to. I'm angry and anxious. I have so many feelings all at once and I don't even know how to feel it or express it. I know that if I don't go to see him I will regret it. I just don't know how to handle it all. Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

How Can We Save a Life?

     On the Today show yesterday morning Tamron Hall was talking about domestic violence. A very hard subject for many to talk about or even listen to. However, I feel, as do many, that this is a very important subject to talk about. According to the Today show's website "approximately 15.5 million children are exposed to domestic violence every year and three women are killed by a current or former intimate partner each day."
     Tamron sat with a group of women and asked them to share their stories, then she asked a very valid question "What can we do to save a life?" The response that seemed to resonate with me the most was when one woman pointed out that while we are sitting down our children to have the sex talk, we also need to be discussing what domestic violence looks like. We need to tell our children what is the correct way to be treated by a partner and what that looks like. We need to make sure that they know that just one 'slip', 'mistake', 'accident' is not okay. "No one when they start dating you is going to say I'm gong to slap you in six months." The abuse usually does not come until you love the person and/or depend on the person. It is a very rare occasion when a woman get's hit one time and leaves immediately. It is usually something that is brushed off as 'the first time, it will never happen again' or 'their temper flared up and they didn't mean it' or 'I can't leave someone I love because of one accident'. One accident leads to another, and another, and another.
     Even as someone who has witnessed domestic violence, I never thought to myself that I needed to outright teach my child the correct way to be treated by a partner. I did not gave it enough thought, I see that now. I guess I figured she would just learn through the relationships she encountered throughout her life. However, now that I am thinking about it, the conversation about abuse does not usually happen until it is too late. When do you discuss abuse with your children, family, or friends? The answer is, usually when you think it is already happening and most likely, if you suspect it is already happening then it has probably been happening for a while.
     So, what can we do to save a life? We can talk to our children. We can teach them what is the correct way to be treated and the correct way to treat a person. We can start early and show our children that no matter what, we need to have open communication. We need to teach our children that even if it is a scary subject to talk about, they can come to us and that they can be comfortable doing so. No matter how old they are.
     Luckily, as our little one is only three years old, we have a few years before we have to have this conversation. Nonetheless, after seeing this segment and hearing those women's stories, I know that when the time comes to discuss intimate relationships with my daughter we will also be discussing what a respectful and healthy relationship looks like. As well as the signs or 'red flags' of things going wrong. I'm hoping that this sheds a little more light on domestic abuse and how we can teach our children to not be a part of it.

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Saturday, July 12, 2014

How much is too much?

            It was recently brought to my attention that I, potentially, am over sharing personal information. I am not talking about such things as sharing potty training stories or intimate pictures that some people may share. No, I am talking about the symptoms and effects of my heath issues and after thinking it over, possibly they were quite right.
            I cannot speak for anyone but myself but I think for people living with chronic illnesses we become desensitized to ‘over’ sharing. I know that because of having to go to, at the very least, five doctors before finding someone who would help me in some way, I have been desensitized to such words as: uterus, vagina, ovaries, bleeding, and so on. There have been times in my life where I have gone to numerous doctors/specialist multiple times within one week. With that many doctors’ appointments, one becomes use to sharing symptoms, no
matter the severity of embarrassment. I often do not even realize that I am over sharing until the person I am talking to cringes or makes a funny face. This does not just stop with me though, because of me using these terms in my (pretty much) daily conversations, my family is also use to hearing and using these words. So not only does this affect me it is now influencing my family’s vocabulary. I imagine this is a problem with many people dealing with chronic pain and if you are one of them please let me know I am not alone!
            Now, having said all this, I have no plans on changing my ways. I am sure with effort I could think and rethink what I am going to say before saying it and make sure there is not any health jargon within it, but would that be fair to me? This is my life, these are my conditions, and I should not have to curve my words to make sure no one cringes. Especially, since there is no way to even explain Endometriosis or PCOS without mentioning girly parts. So I guess this is my way acknowledging that I am aware that saying “my ovaries hurt really bad because it’s almost ovulation time” may be a little bit on the overwhelming side, but this can be your way of acknowledging you have a friend with a chronic illness and this is probably the least offensive way to explain how they are feeling. Also, on the plus side it can help you acknowledge how lucky you are that you either do not have ovaries or cannot feel where yours are located. At the very least it will help your want to find a cure so the discussion of my uterus can be off the table.

Spread Awareness people!

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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Million Woman March for Endometriosis 2014

I cannot believe that it has been a month since my family and I drove up to Washington D.C. to be apart of the Million Woman March for Endometriosis!

In the car getting ready to go!
March 13th at 5:30am we woke up, packed up the car, and after a quick pit stop we were on our way! We had two cars going, in our car was myself, Tyrone, and Haleigh and in car number two was my sister - Angela, her best friend - Cassie, and Cassie's little one - Junior. Our plans were to get to the parking garage around 9am, then walk the short distance to the Auditorium where the educational symposium would be. From there we would walk to where the March would be around 11:30. We all know what happens with the best laid plans. We ended up getting to the parking garage at 10, however, my sister was not at the garage and her phone was about to die.

We waited in the building above the parking garage to hear from them. I did an awesome job, if I do say so myself, of not freaking out on anyone about missing the symposium (okay maybe I did just an okay job of this...). When we finally got a hold of Angela they had parked a few miles away. We attempted to figure out how to get to them and then to the National Mall where the march was being held. IT. WAS. FREEZING! I guess it wouldn't have been so horrible if the wind wasn't so strong. We had to stop in a local souvenir shop to pick up hats and scarves because we were not expecting it to be SO cold.

At 12pm, we FINALLY made it to where the Call to Action Ceremony was taking place. So, we were 3 hours behind, but all of a sudden none of it mattered, because in front of me was a sea of people in yellow, who were all there to support the same cause. It's a month later and I'm still tearing up thinking about it.

We sat there and listened to amazing stories and testimonies from these strong, incredible women. Many, of whom, brought me to tears. As I listened to all of their stories, the one thing that stood out for me was the feeling of 'I am NOT alone!' We all heard from doctors who told us, this is NOT normal, you should NOT have to live like this, WE want to HELP you. You read that right, Doctor's who want to help. I didn't realize how little faith I truly had in all the doctors I have seen until I heard these men and women speak.

After many inspiring speeches, it was time to get on our feet and dance to Sheryl Crow's amazing and uplifting music. She was incredible and gave us that extra needed energy, after sitting in the cold, to get up and march for ourselves, fellow, and future Endo sisters.

We marched a small ways down the National Mall, crossed over the Mall, and received our medals for completing the walk. Honestly, I was super excited to be getting a medal for walking. After we got our medals we were pointed in the right direction and continued on to Mellon Auditorium.

We spent the next few hours defrosting while eating appetizers, dancing, and meeting new friends. Now, to be honest, my daughter made more friends then I did. Two people she now calls her best friends are Stephanie March (I am SO upset I did not get a picture of her holding her hand or talking with her) and Meredith aka "the pretty lady with the tutu who dances with me." Haleigh had a great time dancing with everyone.

By the time we reached the Auditorium, my pain level was high. Okay, my pain level was really high. I am so upset that I wasn't able to walk around and talk to people, make more friends, or dance with my little one. I feel like instead of soaking in all the great awesomeness, at the end of the night, I was just getting more and more upset over the fact that I wasn't able to do what I wanted to. Thinking back now, it is so silly to get upset over being in pain in the one place where people understand my pain. However, I wanted to take in everything I could from this experience and I was getting upset over being in pain, then getting frustrated with being upset over being in pain. A horrible cycle, that most Endo-sister's have been in before. I eventually was shaken out of it by a wonderful woman who came upon me sitting down and decided to share her story. Which prompted more women to stop by and chat and tell part of their stories. I absolutely love the community we have built together. That's one huge thing that brought me out of my frustration - no matter what, I am a part of this community and now have the ability to share our experiences and stories together.

It was a crazy amazing whirl-wind of a day and I was so sad to see it end. I didn't want to go back to the hotel, knowing I was going home the next day. Still, I knew as soon as I got home, I would be planning on how to be apart of this again next year. Thank you to everyone who made this happen, to everyone who made it or tried to, who walked or strolled, to those who have this disease and those who support us. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

Since it was just posted I'll share it here: If you would like to watch the Endo March you can right here.

Can't wait to see you all next year! June 13th here we come!

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