In Which I (Try To) Look to the Positive

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Whee, still alive! After the insanity that happened last week between Monday and Wednesday, I had said that if I were to suddenly burst into flames that I wouldn't have been surprised. Fortunately for me, I didn't burst into flames, fall down any flights of stairs, get hit by a bus, or anything else that would have been totally par for the course last week.  

Unfortunately, I did manage to get a cold, and since the weather warmed up a bit, everything decided that it was time to bloom, so the pollen counts were (and continue to be) through the roof. Despite being heavily medicated year-round for allergies, my sinuses felt like they were going to explode. A combination of Aleve Cold & Sinus, Benadryl, and using the Neti pot (on top of my regular Allegra, Singulair, Zetonna nasal spray combo) got me through it though, and now I'm back to my baseline, semi-sniffly, self. I did have some possibly allergy-related adventures this weekend (more on that later), so let's get to the recap.

Thursday was the book signing at the Philadelphia Free Library with Mary Roach, which was lovely. Pam and I went to the Kite and Key, a pub near the library, for dinner and drinks beforehand, and Jenn met up with us. Food was good, beer and cider were lovely, and the waiters were decent too. The signing was pretty packed, but we found three seats together towards the middle of the auditorium (and yes, we climbed over everyone to get to them). Mary (we're on a first name basis, obviously) was being interviewed by Anna Dhody, a curator at Philadelphia's (super cool)
Mütter Museum, and the talk was great. It was funny, informative, and very entertaining. Afterwards, we got our books signed and took some photos. Mary was exactly like I would imagine her to be; warm, friendly, goofy, and basically awesome. I want to hang out with her, just because she seems like a cool lady. Here's a shot from that evening:

Mary and me! We kind of look like we could be related... maybe?

Fun times were had by all, Jenn didn't get a parking ticket even though her meter was over, and I didn't get assaulted on the PATCO train on my way home, so... win! I did feel pretty terrible from my cold on Thursday and Friday, but I survived (although I did kind of want to post a public apology to my coworkers who had to listen to me blow my nose for 8 hours straight). Friday night, Ken left for NY and I spent the evening doing GRE practice, eating pizza, and watching DVR'd TV.

Saturday, I popped some drugs and took the GRE. I was worried that I would be blowing my nose through the entire exam and be "that annoying girl that everyone wants to kill". I was not that girl, but I did develop a lovely, dry, hacking, cough that persisted through the exam... so I was that girl, instead. At least the testing centers provide noise-canceling headphones now, so no one had to listen to me if they didn't want to. The test itself was pretty good, although the first math section was really hard and I had marked some questions to go back and answer and at the end, I ran out of time, so they were blank (which is dumb). The verbal sections were easier than on the practice tests, and the essays weren't terrible (but the prompts were pretty stupid, as per usual for standardized testing prompts). They changed the way the GRE is scored since the last time I took it (in 2007) so I was confused by what my score meant when I got it (164 verbal, 149 math, both out of 170), but ETS provides a handy-dandy conversion chart online, so I think I got somewhere in the neighborhood of 1320-1340. I somehow scored in the 99th percentile for verbal and in the 50th percentile for math, which is super unbalanced, but oh well. In the end, only 2 schools that I applied to needed my GRE scores, and they're in FL, so I don't really care, haha.

After the GRE, I went home and spent the rest of the weekend in bed, essentially. I read, caught up on the DVR'd stuff, watched some movies (Minority Report - Pretty good, Kill Theory - Absolutely horrible, although that wasn't surprising), and willed my immune system to get itself together. Ken came home on Sunday and we went to Zinburger for dinner, which is a new wine and burger bar that opened in Cherry Hill recently. Even though we had to wait 45 minutes for a table, it wasn't that bad because they text you when your table is ready, so we went down to the Barnes and Noble to walk around for a bit. The food was great, and there's a mural of cows on the wall, haha. I had purposes stopped eating before I was full, given my recent history of having stomach pain/nausea after meals. We left and I felt fine, but while we were driving home, I started to feel really nauseated. Ken asked if I needed to stop somewhere, but I thought I was starting to feel better... and then I really wasn't feeling better. As I was trying to find a place to pull over to possibly throw up on the side of the road, my body decided that no, I was going to throw up now. In my car. While DRIVING it.

NB - I do not recommend vomiting in your vehicle ever, especially not while operating it.

For about 2 seconds, I was convinced we were going to die, but I successfully navigated the car into a Burger King parking lot, where I sent Ken inside to get copious napkins and a cup of water. Meanwhile, I continued to violently vomit out while leaning out of my car and fortunately no one drove by and asked if I was okay (because clearly I was not and I was little busy and also didn't want to field questions, haha). I managed to extricate myself from the car without completely getting stuff everywhere, and thankfully, I had two Target bags in my backseat. I ditched my jacket, cardigan, and jeans (yes, I took my jeans off in a Burger King parking lot, I am that classy), threw them into the bag, and tossed it in the trunk. After cleaning up the car, we drove home. Interestingly, after throwing up, I felt completely fine and like nothing had even happened. As we were driving home, I was thinking about what the hell could have caused this, and I remembered that a few weeks ago, we were out with some friends and almost the exact same thing happened (although I was at their house and not in their car, thankfully). I had eaten a burger that night as well, and in fact, the meals had been nearly identical. Since red meat, cheese, french fries, and bread in general don't bother me, the only thing that was left was the avocado that had been on my burger.

INTERESTINGLY, there's this thing called latex-fruit syndrome, where people with latex allergies also have allergic reactions to foods that have proteins that are similar to rubber latex. Avocados, among other things, are on that list. Now, we're not exactly positive that I have a latex allergy, but I did get hives the last time I used a band-aid with latex in it (when I had my surgery... that was fun) so it's a possibility. I guess there are about a hundred other reasons why I violently vomited both of those times, so I plan to ask my allergist about it tomorrow at my follow-up appointment. I'll be sure to keep you posted.

Then, as if Sunday weren't already fun enough, I somehow managed to aggravate my back by getting into bed. Apparently, I am 90 years old. I don't know what I did, but something made my back absolutely freak out on Sunday night. I have a history of back problems ever since I slipped and fell out of the shower, herniated two discs, and fractured my spine in 2008 (Note: This is why you should always put a mat in the bottom of your tub, no matter how old you are!) I didn't know I even had done anything until 2010, because the immediate pain had been treated by a doctor with some muscle relaxants and steroids. Finally, after 18 months of pain, I got an MRI and surprise! I had 2 herniate discs and while the bone wasn't still fractured, it looked like it had been at some point. I did PT and eventually got an epidural injection to help with the pain, and since then, I've been pretty pain-free with the exception of a few days here and there (which to me, falls under the category of "normal").

But then Sunday.... it was like I had been transported back to 2010 when I was in so much pain I could hardly move. I figured (hoped?) that it was a little muscle spasm that time, heat, and some anti-inflammatory meds would fix. When that didn't work, I added the Vicodin that I had been given last time for back pain. Nothing. Nothing was touching this pain that at its worst, has made me cry, and at its best, I can almost get away from if I lie very still, close my eyes, and focus on my breathing. It's never gone. I broke down and made an appointment to see my GP tonight, so I am hoping that he can quickly diagnose this issue and fix it. I have had enough of this!

So that was my exciting weekend. Monday and Tuesday were pretty unbearable between the cold and the back pain, although my cold symptoms were gone by Monday night (thank goodness for small favors). Yesterday, I saw the reproductive endocrinologist at Penn, and he (and his resident) were very nice. He totally supported my decision to forgo the Lupron this time, citing that the only real reason to go on the Lupron is for pain management, and since I'm not in pain, why would I need to do that to myself. He said that I will probably be just as symptom-free on the birth control pills anyway. Even if he had said, "Yeah, you should totally do the Lupron," I probably wouldn't have changed my mind unless there was some wildly convincing evidence that he could point to for why I should take it. We also talk about potential infertility issues, and while I do  have some strikes against me, he says that we shouldn't worry until we find out that we can't get pregnant, as he's seen plenty of women in my situation (endometriosis + PCOS) get pregnant the first month that they go off of the pill. He did seem a little surprised that Ken and I want to wait a few years before having kids, but he wasn't pushy about it. I guess when your job is to get people pregnant and you have a patient who says, "Nah, I'm good for now," it can be a little confusing, haha. In any case, I'll definitely be going to him for PCOS/endometriosis problems in the future, and definitely if there are problems in the conception department (way farther in the future than potential PCOS/endometriosis problems, haha).

In other news... Ken and I picked out new glasses frames, which is always exciting. I usually have the hardest time in the world picking out frames, but this time, it was really easy. Here are my old frames and new frames for comparison:

Out with the old...

... in with the new!
The "old" ones are still wearable, and I'll keep them around because I do still like them. I just wanted something a little different and a little more neutral. There's still the teal/turquoise in there, because I just can't help myself, haha. I also tried on the same Kate Spade frames with a light green on the inside of the frames, but my heart belongs to blue.

Anyway, I am going to go so I can get to my doctor's appointment and hopefully get some good drugs. Enjoy the sunshine, everyone!

- A

1 comment:

  1. OH MAN you sound more and more like my cousin. If bananas and pineapple don't already bother you, be careful about those...


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