Wednesday, March 21, 2012

It's Not All in My Head

I had a few good days (!!!) last week and, like always, I begin to doubt myself.

I felt good, I was out and doing things, working, shopping, spending time with people I care about, it was really nice. And in the back of my head I was thinking, "Oh, God, I was just so lazy. I wasted years because I was 'tired' and 'depressed' and 'in pain', when really all I ever was was bored."

And I get so embarrassed. And I feel so guilty.

But then, like I always do, I crash. Something like spending 40 of the next 48 hours asleep-- like I did this weekend and have been dragging ever since.

Part of me is grateful for the crash, if only because it reinforces that I'm not crazy. It reminds me that I'm really not in control regardless of how it may seem for days at a time. So in a way it's comforting.

It's amazing how easily the months (years!) of misery can be so quickly undone by a few days of normalcy. "Hey, this feels normal!" becomes, "What if I'm actually normal...?!"

But my body never lets me down. Sooner or later, or very sooner, I'll be back in bed.

Because I'm sick. Not crazy.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

But Wait, There's More!

Yeah, there was something I didn't tell you in yesterday's post.

I had an appointment with Dr. S. Monday morning. Just my regular monthly appointment (more like 6 weeks now, go me!). But my dad's had a nasty cold all weekend, and Monday morning I woke up with a little sore throat. Knowing how my body handles colds, I mentioned this to Dr. S. at my appointment, hoping to get some antibiotics so I wouldn't have to go back in a couple days just to get them then.

So Dr. S. is feeling my throat and he hits an enlarged lymph node in my neck. I tell him it's been there for 10 years and is named Henry, but this isn't true because it's actually been there for more like 15 years and is named Henry. My old doctor knew all about Henry and said it wasn't anything to worry about because he had a node, too, that never really went away and was perfectly fine.

Dr. S. doesn't care, though, and says that the ear, nose, and throat people upstairs take my insurance and will take me right away, just to get it checked out.

So I go upstairs and they rush me past the many, many people waiting that gave me many, many dirty looks (which I totally deserved, I felt so guilty) to see Dr. V., who was incredibly sweet and gave me a full EN&T exam. My ears were normal (oh, yeah!), and my nose was mostly normal, but apparently I have a deviated septum. I was like, "What the hell?" and Dr. V. said as long as it doesn't affect my breathing we don't have to do anything about it. Thankfully it doesn't affect my breathing. Hallelujah.

So then he gave me a throat exam. This included sending a camera up my nose to get a gooooood look.

Good times.

Dr. V. asked if I got heartburn, and I said no, because I don't. He said my esophagus was really red and inflamed from Acid Reflux Disease. Then he said we should get a CAT scan of my throat and if the results of that aren't what he wants, then the next step is a needle biopsy. More good times!

The whole thing seemed so ridiculous. I was going to just take my prescriptions and be like, "Yeah, thanks, see ya later." and never fill them.

But then I looked up acid reflux disease and it turns out I do have a number of the symptoms, just the less obnoxious ones. So I still considered not doing anything, because another pill is another pill to take, more medication floating around my body, and more money every month.

But then I read that untreated acid reflux can lead to esophageal cancer.

My uncle died of esophageal cancer a few years ago, five tortured months after his diagnosis.

Yeah, I'm taking the damn pill.

The whole thing came on so fast, I was really confused and upset for a while there. It's better now but at first it was just...crushing. "This, too, shall pass" applies to good news, too.

And I've still got that stupid sore throat.