I really wanted to post an image of a middle finger here but all the ones I like are copy righted and to be honest, I am tired and still sick. The middle finger though would be firmly placed at anyone who suggested I should “toughen” up and I believe we know who that is. And maybe those out there who kind of treated me like maybe I couldn’t be that sick and made me so incredibly insecure about being ill. You know who you are, if you even read.
Do I officially know what is going on? No. But my surgeon/gyn has a very strong suspicion and it is serious. Of course, like all things MommyRhetoric I shoot for oddball things that people haven’t often heard of and with strong flashbacks to my pregnancy with #3 many technical terms that are hard to pronounce. But in my words, my surgery introduced foreign objects into my uterus. It freaked my uterus and uterine muscles out. In that process, a chemical was released that caused an immunological response (aka triggers your body into fighting a massive infection). The problem is all or most tests come back fine but your body continues working overtime to fight this phantom infection that may or or may not exist. Overtime as in revved up in fever, revved up heart, revved up endocrine system, revved up everything. It takes huge tolls. Sometimes it truly is there and sometimes not. The only sure fire way to know is surgery.
When those words were spoken, I will admit it…I was almost hysterical. “No way, that is how we got here.” He says, “Actually, I have treated this before here and I really like to back into it so to speak. Start where you would normally end because surgery is always serious.” He gets out his drawing pad because he likes to draw for me and I like visuals. He draws how this feels and ironically it did look just like how I feel. A roller coaster kind of thingy where moments are really good but the bad moments are really bad. He draws the female anatomy and the surgery and the things they look at. His method of treatment which is two heavy dose antibiotics, the one he already placed me on on Friday. And another added today. The previous patients he has had that needed treatment for this faired well and fevers calmed down after 4-6 weeks (but felt much better after a week or so of the heavy dose treatments) no surgeries if that is the cause. My medical tests are in my favor that this is it as are my symptoms: high bp, vomiting and high fever with no other known explanation (yes this is an actual diagnosis and one you don’t want because this is where diagnoses go to die).
I have literally been touched, looked at, prodded, poked, rubbed, digitized from every angle. And the questions I have been asked. As I sat there I was buzzing at a cool 101 and feeling awful. In the waiting room I am surrounded by really really pregnant women and I am gagging, hacking and looking not so good. I imagine they thought I was in my first trimester. There was a time when I would have gladly done all of the above if meant I was getting a beautiful bouncy baby at the end. But I am glad that time is over. And I am sorry I did giggle a little inside as they looked miserable. And then I realized I too was miserable.
I am gonna get vulnerable for a minute….I seem to be obsessed with this idea that it is all imaginary that I feel this bad and that it cannot possibly be. I am not sure if it is because someone told me so. Or that I truly do care what people think. Or I am scared that I will never feel normal again. My doc comes in and first thing he does is rub my back and say, “You cannot fake a fever like this.” I think to myself, “Ha. I don’t get sick. Other people get sick and I care for them. That is what I do. I was a mother long before I ever had children.” I begin to cry because really what else can you do?
Going forward I have to try and get through the next few days to see if these antibiotics will respond and hope this is the right course. I kind of feel in my gut that it is. In the mean time he wants me to have a fever reducer in my body by the clock to be able to try and function as best I can in the real world and give my body a germ fighting break. I wasn’t doing this not out of not feeling better but out of sparing my body all of those drugs. I take them to be a wife, mother, graduate student and teacher. After that is done, I just rest.
If by Tuesday I am not changing we have to begin to look at other options that we will discuss at my appt. on Thursday (aka surgery). To me it didn’t sound like it needed to be emergency but immediate. But he really didn’t want to go there feeling fairly strongly that I am fighting the above. If I am feeling somewhat better when I check in on Tuesday I continue same course of treatment and I get seen again at my appt on Thursday and every few days until I am better. Obviously, if it gets worse ER immediately.
My biggest concerns are obviously for my family and the fact that they need me 100%. My health and ability to just be a 35 year woman without a massive fever and the gifts that follow a healthy life. My teaching/graduate position. I am actually doing well with this so far. I have only canceled once and that was this Monday to finally deal with this. Thankfully, my mornings are my best and that is when I teach (so those that have seen me wondering around campus and wondered how I could be sick and there…plus that is me). I try and get what I can done in that time. But the TA scene at my campus is getting harder to come by and I don’t want to lose my spot because of this. The money isn’t always the best but the reality is I am gonna have medical bills and we have shitty insurance. Lastly, my graduate work which is probably easier to take a break from but I don’t want too. I have kept up and only missed this past week. I have a conference coming up though that I need to file through research and get it ready. Thankfully I am working with some other amazing TA’s that can help and are so supportive.
HUGE WARNING…I am highly emotional tonight but have things that need said.
My husband has been my very Knight in Shining Armour. He has tried so hard to let me rest, keep #2 from worrying her head off, run the house and give me time to work. He is doing this while working full time, adjuncting and other commitments he has outside of our home. Doing this all while watching his wife’s health get worse. I can’t imagine that it has been easy but he really has been wonderful. As the 22nd approaches it will be the anniversary of the day we met. The day I fell in love and met my guy. He rubbed my foot on our first date and he had my heart forever. I am so grateful.
My children. I cannot even go there. I just won’t let myself. It can be said without words.
Mommy Jargon. My bestest friend ever. She is a nurse and she has been relentlessly telling me, “This is not right. You can’t make this up. It is not a virus. Try this.” All while holding down her own home and three children and she has picked up the phone every single time it had a crying me on the end of it and been unmeasurable comfort. The best decision I ever made was to call you for cupcakes back when our #1’s were in kindy for halloween. Your sweet voice answered the phone the same way it does now. It is obvious just like it was when I met my husband that our lives were destined to intertwine. Our husbands friends in high school (even if they were nerds), our husbands roommates in college. And that wedding where you wore your polka dotted dress, a newlywed. Me trying to decide if this was the guy. I did think you were a snob back then but it was only cause I could tell you were a beautiful person inside and out and who likes that…. 😉
My mother in law and father in law who have been playing kid duty far more than they anticipated at the beginning of this whole thing while trying to maintain their own busy lives and health. They always willingly offer a helping hand if they can. And my girls love them and they get so much love back.
My unlikely but awesome friend who will read this and know exactly who she is. She has spent the better part of her life that I have known her fighting illness, disease and stupidity. She has been feeling very similar to how I have felt for the last two weeks. But she has felt it the last four years being passed from doctor to doctor to doctor while still having no answers. She still faces some hugely scary things but manages to care for me and has always been on the end of that text when needed and surprised me with her beautiful face in our office. Your beauty and strength astounds me.
My own family. Who I miss horribly and wish I could call more and just hear them. I have been texting like mad. Especially in those lethargic crazy moments where you just want to know someone is there. I am already looking at the calendar and planning my visits.
That Professor. She knows who she is too. I say that and it sounds so formal and I consider us friends. But she embodies so much of what a true Professor is and therefore I will always call her that Professor. She is that Professor that changed me. A mentor, a pusher, a friend, a foe if she needs to be, a truth speaker, a light and I could go on. She doesn’t always see herself that way I believe but I do. I have told her this before and I will say it here publicly. When I think about the strong woman/mother/teacher/student I want to be I think of her. Not in an idolizing emulating creepy let me be you way. But in a way that channels the power of her strength, intelligence and dignity with which she deals with the world that can be cruel. Too many people have told people like us we cannot do this and will not. We continue to prove them wrong over and over despite the costs sometimes. It was a message from her that once again provided that professorial edge that I needed.
The rest of you. There are obviously the many more of you that have emailed, text, called, facebooked, tweeted and checked my blog furiously. I appreciate the thoughts, prayers and good thoughts you are sending my way. I can feel them. Thank you. I actually saw my stats today and thought holy shit how is that possible.
There is no proper ending here with all that sap and sentimentality. I love each and everyone of you who are important to me. So much so I drug myself through writing this when all I really want to do is go to bed. There are still questions but I am getting answers. I have an amazing support team and for that I know I will get through. I just hope sooner than later.