[ the good the bad and the ill – January 11th, 2012 ]
January 11, 2012 Comments Off on [ the good the bad and the ill – January 11th, 2012 ]
I guess this post has been quite a long time in the making. I haven’t made a full out personal update since June 10th and I haven’t updated at all since my last article in September for my old internship. There’s been a lot of reasons for this, most of it being the fact that while I find it cathartic in some way to vent on the internet and write things out, even if no one reads them, just to get things off of my chest, I’ve been unwilling to speak about the events of this summer and how things got so bad and really went down hill. Some pretty huge things have happened in not only my life but the lives of both of my parents that made the second half of the year (and continuing into the new one) fairly stressful and on some level, well on all levels, rather upsetting.
I’ll start with my Dad as its the shortest and simplest story. In May, actually while he was visiting me he got the call literally as he got off of his plane, he found out he’d gotten accepted to work overseas. Work overseas? What does that mean? That means my Dad got hired as a contractor to do supervisor work over in Afghanistan on military compounds. This was both amazing and horrible at the same time. This caused a lot of strain in our relationship both financially and other wise, but for him it was great. It finally got him up and working and making money again instead of feeding into a business that was quite a bit of money in debt after the economy crashed, that’s sort of the problem with being in construction. I’m so proud of him for going for it and taking the opportunity even though he’s doing a job at 60 that a lot of men at 40 wouldn’t even be willing to do. He’s hit another rough patch (after his second trip out from December to March he will no longer have work unless he finds something within the next month) and unfortunately we are no longer on speaking terms for now, but as everything usually does I’m sure once the stressors are down and he’s back in the clear things’ll get better between us.
This next paragraph is more difficult for me to write as it involves my Mom and a life treatening illness, and should explain why I’m a bit disinterested and meh about talking about me and my Dad’s issues, as they are pretty much non-issues in comparison.
In June I got a phone call from my Mom telling me she’d gotten some weird blood work back and been told she needed to see an Oncologist. I knew what this meant immediately but decided I just would push it to the back of my mind and not stress myself sick over it until we knew for sure. While I was visiting her in the beginning of August, what was suppose to only be a 2 week trip down, she sat me down one night and told me the truth: she had lymphoma. For those who don’t know, lymphoma is cancer. Not only did she have lymphoma in her bone marrow but her spleen was where the majority of it was an, well, by this point in time it was already rather enlarged in risk of rupture which would be, well, incredibly deadly.
This story is not all bad, August was also a good month for my Mother. In December of 2010 she compelted her General Education BA with a specilization in ESE education and from February until the end of May was a substitute teacher, unfortunately as is a rule in Florida she did not get the permanent hire for the position because a teacher who lost her job applied, however, in August she was offered a 2 month substituting position from a teacher that they knew would not be returning even when her maternity leave was over. In November, my Mother was called into the Principle’s office and officially hired as a teacher, less then two semesters of substituting and she’d reached her goal — this also meant that she now had insurance that would cover her cancer care, which was the most important and amazing news she got out of the experience.
Her doctor’s allowed her to wait until winter break to remove the cancerous spleen. On December 21st she went in to have the bloodflow cut off from the organ (procedure 1) on the 22nd the spleen was removed (procedure 2). Just to put into perspective to everyone how inflamed and enlarged the spleen was… your spleen is suppose to be about the size of an orange. After the spleen had decreased in size (they guess around a third) with the blood flow cut off (thusly feeding off of itself) it was still so large that the doctor said it reached from her rib cage to almost her pelvic bones, yes, that is a spleen that is about the size of the watermelon slice this woman is holding. She was in the hospital for a week and unfortunately had to go back in on the 28th to drain fluid that was collecting in her torso, however now she has had the drain remove and seems to recovering well. She’ll be allowed to return back to work but of course has to be very careful, something worrying since she works with ESE children (children with severe emotional and behaviourial issues). But we’re just glad the worst is over and hopefully she can put off chemo until next summer when it won’t jepordize the job she worked so hard to get.
Some of you may know but some of you may not but I’ve been struggling with my own health issues for about 2 and a half years now without having the slightest clue what was wrong with me. I was too dizzy to function some days. I was getting really achey and in March I fainted at the Glassjaw show after just 1 beer because I was standing on a balcony and had a vertigo fit (for lack of a better way of saying it).
Unfortunately my symptoms got much more severe about half way through May. I was sitting at my computer and I got up to go try and get Pickles out of the window (I do not condone yapping at midnight!) and about halfway there I lost all feeling in my legs after a brief moment where I felt like -every- nerve in them had gone off. I couldn’t get up off of the ground immediately and it took me about 3 minutes until I could get back to my chair. For the next two weeks I was in so much pain that I really didn’t leave my house and certainly could not make it to class. My regular doctor finally admited that since it wasn’t MS (which we had found out officially 2 weeks earlier) that with the new severe pain that she should have me tested for fibro myalgia. Why is this significant information? Because I’d been calling on and off for 2 weeks trying to get her to give me a recommendation for a rhumetologist so I could see if it was Fibro in the first place but she was insisting this was all being caused by a mixture of carpal tunnel (in my hands, which only hand minor numbness and weariness at this point, and certainly nothing comparative to the numbness and weariness in my legs even post collapsing). I was finally put on painkillers to control the pain and after a few days of being a bit loopy was able to return to school, unfortunately I had another pain episode that was, honestly quite a bit worse a month later that caused a devistating blow to my summer classes participation grade, because apparently two doctor’s notes, an e-mail from the school, proof I’m on painkillers, and not being able to walk is not a good enough excuse to miss a freshmen level course that I still got an 88% in based off my exams/papers (I however recieved a C+ because my attendence grade was dropped a full letter for missing 3 classes).
Unfortunately no matter how many places I looked for and called in the Chicago area, no one could see me prior to September 16th. For awhile it looked like I wasn’t going to get diagnosed until I returned from London, thankfully though after I returned to spend the remained of my summer with my Mother at the end of August a doctor in Daytona Beach was able to fit me in.
Diagnosis: Fibro Myalgia and a slight allergy to milk that I was previously unaware of but apparently that’s why it was making me a bit phlegmy.
I can’t not express enough how relieving it is to have a diagnosis, now I can go to my school and officially get academic consideration and assistance because of it and no longer just simply be at the mercy of whether a teacher wants to be understanding or think I’m a liar who is just hungover (yes, I’ve had that said to me over the course of this by a professor).
Well, I think that’s enough for today. In the next few days you’ll get a 100% good post, promise! I have loads of updates about what I’m doing in school now that I’m dying to share with everyone but I thought I at least owed the people who read my blog and follow my tumblr an explaining of why I mostly disappeared off of the face of the Earth.