Saturday, May 12, 2007

the phantom slips in to spill blood even on the sweetest honeymoon

I'm going to be a little more personal, here, than I usually am, because I guess I'm a little more troubled right now than I usually am.

I know I've been a bit sarcastic or made references to the fact that dear Auntie Flo is the bane of my existence, and of late has not really gone away, but this has turned into a serious situation, and if anyone at all reading this someday (as if that's likely) can be helped, I'd rather say it than not.

I have always had irregular periods, since I started menstruating at twelve years old. Doctors have always pretty much said there's nothing that could be done for me, and eventually, I gave up on going to the doctor. Of course, if you know me, you also know that I have possibly the lowest self-esteem it's possible to have. I think there's a connection between health and self-esteem. After all, I don't think I'm worthy of being healthy, so I'm not worthy of going to the doctor when I'm sick.

So when I started yet another lengthy heavy period back in November (October?), I didn't think much of it. The fact that it was extremely heavy didn't worry me much. Heavier than usual, and I don't know if even any women out there could possibly understand how heavy I mean (and I'll spare the details). And months went by and I saw it as par for the course and stress-related and punishment for some imagined crime or something.

And eventually, I started feeling very sick and me, the workaholic, started missing work. And I missed significant hours of work during the month of April. And I felt too sick to suck it up and go in.

And I was poking around and I read indigirl's post about how she had similar health problems and saw a doctor and was frustrated but she saw a doctor anyway and I commented on her post and she wrote me back and encouraged me to go to the doctor even though I was frustrated.

And I stopped making excuses and I saw a doctor.

And I had tests done.

And, as it turns out, while I'm not entirely sure what is causing the heavy, ongoing periods yet, the blood loss is so significant, I need a blood transfusion. Next week, if not sooner. Because I am now lacking 50% of the blood in my body. And I am close to cardiac arrest. I can barely eat anything, or move, or sit up, and knitting is out. Because my heart wants to do as little as possible.

I haven't had the transfusions yet, and it might be too late for me. But it might not. I owe you, Amy. I might owe you my life. I definitely owe you my gratitude and sanity and a host of other things I am not talking about yet here.

Don't wait to go to the doctor. No matter how poor or low on self-esteem you feel. Don't wait until it's too late.

To be clear, I don't *think* I'm going to die, but I don't see the doctor for a few days, and I'm at a critical stage now. It's hard for me to be Pollyanna, "I'm going to be okay!" when I feel so tired all the time and when I know that I am basically bleeding to death. I know I am close to the "cardiac arrest" point, but I don't know how close. Also, thanks for your support; I need it. I am kind of going through this alone, due to other circumstances in my life, so, uh, I appreciate the words.


Blogger Kristin said...

Oh my gosh. It can't be too late, can it? I'm not a prayer sort of person, but you are foremost in my thoughts. Please keep us updated on how you are! (Isn't strange that sometimes the people who don't even know you care about you the most?)

11:49 AM  
Blogger Becca said...

It may be inappropriate and not helpful,but I am pissed at doctors in general on your behalf. They pull that shrug-the-shoulders "can't be helped, tough luck" attitude with way too many people, usually women.

Hang in there for the treatment. Sending a virtual hand squeeze your way.

1:07 PM  
Blogger meg said...

oh man. i'm so so so sorry to hear that and i really hope that it's not too late. i hate hearing that and i don't even know you. i don't believe it and think that you'll get through it. self-esteem aside, you're one tough broad. please take care and know you're so in my thoughts and i'm sending good vibes your way.

1:27 PM  
Anonymous Melissa said...

<3 You know I'm always here for you. We'll do our very best to be horribly boring tomorrow so that we don't overtax you. Try to relax & I'll be on your doorstep tomorrow. I even promise to drive like a normal human being for once :)

3:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you have the lowest self-esteem in the world, you should think that you do not deserve your own money and give it away immediately to a person who deserves it, like, I dunno, a doctor who has given their life to make people feel better and be more healthy.

Seriously, there are shitty doctors, and the minute you get bad vibes from one, go to another. The good ones are angels on earth, and will move mountains to find out what they can do to help you.

Mine doesn't do a thing for me except phone my codeine prescription into a pharmacy, but hell, that's all I need her for, and I commend her for her lack of interest. If there were something truly wrong and I was worried, I'd ditch her immediately.

7:39 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

OMG - I'm so sorry to hear this. Many prayers, happy thoughts and good vibes coming your way.

7:55 PM  
Blogger Rabbitch said...

I'll be pissed if you die. Don't.

8:13 PM  
Blogger Janice in GA said...

Yeah, you totally need NOT to die. I had to sit with a cat being put to sleep today, and I watched a character die in Spiderman 3, and I want NO. MORE. DEATH. in my circle for a long, long time.


Be well, sweety. You DO deserve it.

9:04 PM  
Blogger Ann said...

I'm not going to accept anything less than you getting well.

Let me know if I have to hurt or injure anyone to make sure they get you better.



10:48 PM  
Blogger dragon knitter said...

if you die, i'll kill you! don't do that!

my husband almost lost his foot because he kept delaying in taking proper care of it. fortunately, when it got funny red streaks on it, and he told me, i MADE him go to the doctor. it was a good thing, too, because they discovered that he had high blood pressure, as well. they even threatened to hospitalize him, it was so high.

get well, hon. do we need another godiva infusion?

1:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Janice ewould be so kind as to never post movie spoilers for something I'm about to see, that'd be great. Kthnx.

8:17 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Holy shit. What the hell are you blogging for! Lie down! Be still! Don't excite yourself!

Hang in there girl. Just know lots of people think you are worth taking care of yourself. Sometimes we just need to have people beat it into us because we don't know it ourselves. And if you don't have a doctor willing to try different things, fuck 'em and get another.

And don't know if this is a fix for lots of people, but once I got an IUD put in, haven't bled since.

Take care!

8:29 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Shit, I knew something was up but I didn't know it was THAT bad. That was why I hadn't made any plans to come and see you yet - I didn't know if you were up to it. Let me know if you think a visitor would help though (I'll take care of my own accommodation etc, just thinking you might want some company!).

And if you're feeling that bad and you don't see the doctor for another few days (can that be changed?) you should go to the hospital NOW.

12:22 AM  
Blogger jodi said...

I can't believe that with a discovery like this they didn't get you in the hospital for that transfusion immediately. You can bet your ass if it were a middle aged man with chest pains they'd be a lot more concerned. Hang in there, hon. You deserve the doctors' concern and you deserve good treatment.

10:08 AM  
Anonymous Keiana said...

Hey, sweetie.

I know that we don't get to talk and hang out as much since you moved to DC, but you are missed down here in GA. I am definitely going to be praying for you. You are too great of a person to leave this earth. :-)

I am also going to tell Tracy what is going on. She is concerened about you as well.


10:56 AM  
Anonymous Imbrium said...

Oh, sweetie...I want to come out there and beat the shit out of the stupid doctors who put you off and said there's nothing to be done.

I'm thinking of you. Be safe.

11:25 AM  
Anonymous not jess said...

And you are not in the hospital NOW because??????

Get yourself on the mend, girl, because we have lots of knitting and schmoozing to do.

11:41 AM  
Anonymous Melissa said...

I'm sure she'll post later, but I took Rebecca to the ER last (Sunday) night instead of dropping her off at the airport. She's now at home (not DC) and up by 2 units of blood. The color's back in her face & she's more stable on her feet and seems to be feeling much better.

1:04 PM  
Anonymous Amy said...

Hey darlin -

Oh, I'm so so glad that my complaining helped start you down a healthier path. 50% blood loss sounds so scary. Hang in there. Everyone deserves to feel good as much as possible. Keep us posted!

1:42 PM  
Anonymous BigAlice said...

oh no oh no. Please get better soon. Thank God for Melissa, I'm glad you're doing a little bit better. I agree, 50% blood loss seems like a big emergency to me. I think of it this way: going to the doctor makes my stupid greedy health insurance have to pay out. Those bastards shouldn't make just pure profit.
I would donate to the Red Cross for you but I just tried a few weeks ago (twice) and my fucking iron levels are too low.
I hope you feel better soon, you're in my thoughts.

2:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bless you, Melissa. It takes a strong person to get that stubborn biatch to do anything sometimes, even when she knows she should. Thanks for keeping my best friend safe and alive.

6:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I've never done it before, but I just made an appointment to give blood. Which scares me, but something I've been meaning to do for a couple years now. Be safe, Becca, and take care of yourself. You'll receive a package soon :)

6:32 PM  
Blogger FUZZARELLY said...

Dear Clara Bow,

When I was sixteen, I began bleeding like, like what, like a stuck pig.

The "new doctors" were unhelpful so my mother took me to old Dr. Whatwashisname, who prescribed IRON TABLETS.

I quit bleeding almost right away.

I certainly hope you get better asap!

7:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please get better soon. I am thoroughly amazed that you had the energy to blog! Sending positive energy your way.

1:46 AM  
Blogger Hockey Mom said...

I'm a little late to the game here, but I'm glad you're feeling better. Please know you mean a lot to a lot of people (see all the comments?) and that you should always value yourself and your health.

3:06 PM  
Blogger Zardra said...

OMG! I'm glad that Melissa got you to the ER and that you're feeling better for it.

Take it easy and get better. :)

6:54 PM  
Blogger meg said...

just letting you know i'm still thinking about you and hoping you are okay. hopefully, you've had the transfusion by now and are on the mend.

take care

7:02 PM  
Blogger Lynn said...

Hey, just a random passerby here, hoping you're better now. Health issues suck and self-esteem issues are even worse. Ask for help, from doctors, from friends, from family, from knitters. Ignore those who can't help; they have their own problems. Hug those who can; they are the sweet joy and blue, blue skies of life.

7:03 AM  

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