next time, open with that

Ever since I was young, I’ve had thyroid issues. A surgery in high school to remove a benign nodule left me with a killer neck scar, and in the intervening years, things have not improved.

So I finally scheduled an appointment with the first endocrinologist who would see me before 2014, and went on Friday.

It was not a very good day: I got something less than four hours’ sleep; it was bucketing down rain, which is lovely when you can stay indoors and listen to it, but not so lovely when you have to drive in it; and I was catastrophically sleepy. I drove extra-slowly, just in case.

I got to spend a good half-hour babbling with the doctor about my thyroid and diabetes issues, and got some good tips for food and stuff, and then I got taken down the hall for an ultrasound on my thyroid. Miss Thing lubed me up and rolled the sensor around my throat, asking me to turn my head this way and that.

At one point, with my head tilted back and pointed more or less in the direction of the monitor, I saw her clicking around, marking the edges of a brighter section.

“Is that the tumor?” I joked.

“Who told you that?” she snapped back.

“Um … it was … just a joke?”

She was silent for the rest of the ultrasound. I focused my attention on the ceiling tiles.

Then the doctor came in, to look at the pictures she had taken, and run the scanner thing around my throat himself. She pointed at something on the printout.

“I marked it, because it’s about a centimeter.” The doctor mm-hmm’d and kept ultrasounding, and in the thirty seconds before he spoke again, my mind went fucking nuts.

A centimeter? It IS a tumor, goddammit, I’ve got fucking cancer and I’m going to have to have surgeries and radiation and chemotherapy and dammit, I’m nauseated enough from the fucking diabetes medication, I don’t need even more nausea from cancer treatment and jesus christ, do I have life insurance through Loki’s insurance plan? What will happen if I die? I need to get a living will done up, and probably a regular will, and a DNR, because it is not about being hooked up to a machine and oh gods Loki is going to shit because it’ll be his brother all over again and oh gods I have cancer jesus a centimeter-sized tumor — I hold up my thumb and look at the nail, which is about a centimeter and — GODDAMN IT LOOKS GIGANTIC WHY IS THAT IN MY THROAT oh gods I’m going to die cancer cancer cancer cancer AAAAARGH and then the doctor finishes the scan and asks me to sit up.

“So,” he begins, “on the left side we see scarring, and that’s probably from your surgery. On the right side, we see this area, which could be swelling, and we’ve marked it, so we know what size it is now, and we’ll scan you again in three months and see if there’s any change, but it’s most likely not a tumor,” he concluded, way too far into that paragraph than he should have done.

“Not a tumor? Next time, START WITH THAT BIT.”

“Ah, yes, of course. No, it’s probably not a tumor, probably not cancer, but we’ll keep an eye on it.”

And I melted into a puddle of relief and exhaustion and the lifting of a weight, and went home and told Loki that I probably wasn’t going to die from a lump in my throat.

So I’ve got that going for me.

I am angry at food

So a couple weeks ago, my sweetie and I were both diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. It was not a huge surprise to me as I’ve got blood-sugar issues all over my extended family. My sweetie was somewhat nonplussed by it, but we’ve had a couple weeks to come to terms with the finger-poking, blood-testing, pill-taking, food-weighing, carb-counting reality that is Our Life Now.

Well, when I say “come to terms”, I mean “get irrationally angry about it”. Because it’s changed how I have to think about food, and I am (hopefully temporarily) pissed.

I was potato girl. I was firmly in the “butter in everything” camp. Huge bowls of Cheerios for dinner were not uncommon. I was not terribly alongside the idea of dark green leafy vegetables. I made homemade ice cream like it was going out of style, including several based on caramel. I have fourteen pounds of pasta in my pantry, for fuck’s sake, and I love me some homemade Alfredo sauce and a whacking great chunk of garlic bread. Hell, sometimes my entire dinner was a toasted baguette with olive oil.

Do you know how many grams carbs are in a baguette? I believe the technical term is “metric fuckton”.

Now, to be honest, I haven’t really cut any of these things out of my life, because I was told by the nutritionist girl I didn’t have to; instead, it’s about portion control. It’s about being aware of what I’m putting in my mouth. It’s currently about weighing things and taking notes. It’s also about making tradeoffs: if necessary, I will skip the rice with dinner so I can have ice cream later, because if I don’t, someone will get cut.

It’s also about fresher food, more veg and whole fruits, more lean protein. And to be honest, it is all delicious and I’m hardly ever hungry, while staying within my allotted grams of carbs.

Y’know what else fresh food is about? Dirty dishes. Guys, we are rocketing through plates and salad bowls and tupperware like twelve people live here. It is crazy. Homemade strawberry yogurt for two every morning means ten plastic containers in the dishwasher by Friday — and that’s just breakfast! Want cantaloupe with your lunch? Well, lunch is in a plastic chinese food container, and cantaloupe is in yet another plastic bowl.

It’s also pretty expensive. Fresh veg is not cheap, and even taking into account our black-market organic-lettuce supplier, our grocery bill has skyrocketed.

Finally, finally, though, it looks like we’re settling in. We’re each using a couple apps on our phones to track carbs & blood glucose, and we’re being as good as we can with how we’re eating, and trying to get more exercise, and we’re working our way towards the day when all of this is second nature and we can eat sushi without agonizing over the weight of the rice. And that will be a good day.

In the meantime, though, I’ve lost four pounds. Feature!

a day of many things

First, very many thanks to our veterans. I am grateful to you all. (I wanted to post a picture of the American Military Cemetery in Luxembourg I visited many moons ago, but it hasn’t turned up yet.)

Second, my teeth are finally finished omg. The ordeal that started with a stupid chipped tooth nearly two months ago is finished, and with the exception of a cap and a couple implants that I’ll get when we win the lottery, I have functioning mandibles again. Also, I may actually smile in pictures henceforth. Woo? You betcha.

Last but not least, I got out of the dentist a little earlier than I expected to, and used the time to try again to make the gravy for Thanksgiving. You guys, I think I’ve done it this time. It’s still simmering away, and will do for another half hour or so, but by dint of standing over the stove for a good three times longer than the recipe would lead one to believe, I’ve achieved something that does not remotely smell of carrots. I am quite pleased.

The day’s not over yet, though. Still to come: prepping to try out my new paint sprayer tomorrow night, plus making a start on clearing out the garage, and doing some more work in the office. I shall be one very happy girl when bedtime finally rolls around.

wrist update

I keep having these nightmares about my wrist, and they’re all bass-related: I can’t bend my wrist, and I end up strapping my bass waaaaay up my chest so I can fret without bending my wrist. It’s hard to pick with my arm practically parallel to the floor, and I look incredibly lame.

Happily, the reality is that my flexibility is slowly coming back, thanks to hourly stretching and strengthening exercises … it’s just not coming back fast enough or far enough for me. I’ve got 2 weeks to go before I’m free of the splint forever (probably …), and while the bone’s healing well ahead of schedule, I still don’t have anything like the flexibility I think I ought to.

And it’s dangerous to try to go too fast with the getting-flexibility-back thing: they actually cut the tendon that runs down my thumb to the wrist, and if I try to stretch it too much, too fast, I can damage it. YAY.

I have what ought to be my final appointment with my specialist next week, and I really really hope he’s got some good news for me, or another exercise, or something, ’cause the alternative is lame bass-playing and let’s face it, I don’t need any help with the lame.

baby steps

Today, I tied my own shoes, put my hair in its ponytail and fastened my bra all by myself!

It’s been 3 weeks and a bit since I broke my wrist and today I feel almost functional. It’s a long way from a couple weeks ago when I was reduced to tears of pain and frustration nearly every day.

I still get tired easily, and my wrist hurts more when I’m tired, but I am slowly getting back to full “yeah!” strength.

I’m even typing with both hands! Well, sometimes. That still hurts, too, if I try to do too much.

Soon I will be able to play my bass*, type all I want, open jars, pick up the puppy. And life will be good.

* Which will be good, because we were approached to play Whitby** this spring & couldn’t go, both because of my wrist & Kara’s impending boy-child. I don’t want to turn down any more cool shows than we have to :\
** The Last Dance are playing! And our labelmates, Razorblade Kisses! How awesome would that have been? REALLY FUCKING AWESOME, that’s how awesome.

in which I try to see the bright side

So right, my life.

I went back to work yesterday and it sucked mightily. I really wanted to stay on the couch watching Top Gear & home improvement shows, which is how I’d happily spent the previous several days, but alas, no sick days*.

This morning I went to get the surgical cast off and get a custom splint. It was ridiculously painful. I also got exercises to do, which hurt a really fucking lot.

I made an appointment to get my stitches out next Thursday, and went out to my piece-of-shit rental car, the appalling Chevy Aveo, which would not shift out of Park.

Cue 90 minutes of yelling and crying and whimpering and explaining to Enterprise that no, really, I’ve got my foot on the fucking brake pedal & I’m pressing the damn button, I’ve been driving longer than you’ve been alive, Little Babysitter Precious, I know how this shit works.

They sent out two people to do the same damn things I’d done, before concluding that they’d have to give me a new car.

Which turned out to be a full-sized Dodge Ram 4×4 pickup, which is like driving a fucking aircraft carrier. So not happy.

On the plus side, I can now straighten my arm, which hurts in a good way, and this morning I was able to scratch my forearm for the first time in 10 days. I nearly came.

Also happily, Loki has not yet cracked from overwork and lack of sleep, which is good, since I still can’t tie my own shoes.

So yeah, things could be worse, but I can’t readily imagine how.

* Not, it’s worth pointing out, “no sick days remaining“, but “no sick days whatsoever“. This is clearly a moneysaving move for the company, which is important, as our CEO only has one Bentley, poor man, and only two Rolls Royces. So clearly, we must conserve funds. Why, no, I’m not bitter. Why do you ask?

going under the knife

So I saw an orthopedist yesterday, who didn’t like the looks of my wrist and who referred me to a hand surgeon.

I saw the hand guy today, and got the thrilling news that surgery looks the best option here.

The surgery will happen Friday morning.

I’m a little wigged out.

I mean, the metal plate option sounds like the best one in this situation, but general anesthetic scares me a bit.

Wish me luck, y’all.