Friday, March 4, 2016

Area Woman Disappears, Reappears

When I first started this entry about 11 months ago, it was about my cat bite hospital stay. It was going to be tongue-in-cheek, like everything else in this blog, to help me deal with the pain and move on. I tried to settle myself, catch my breath and deal, but then another thing happened. And then another. My favorite method of dealing with difficulty is humor, but it takes time before the event can be funny. When I didn't get a break, nothing was amusing. None of it still is. However, I wanted to get all of it out, clear out the negativity, and sort it so I can move on. This isn't to garner any sympathy; I'm merely hoping that maybe, if you have a friend out there you haven't heard from in a while, you might want to check on them, to see if they are okay. A quick tweet, text, call or email just to say hello can make a difference. We all have struggles from time to time and it can be difficult to reach out for help. Knowing that someone out there misses you and gives a shit is significant in the healing process.

Anyway, instead of a long winded explanation of my personal tragedies, I'm just going to post a picture relevant to each event from throughout the last 11 months with a quick comment. And then hopefully this will all be over and I will win Powerball and Mega Millions and go to Europe and drink lots of wine forever.

cat bite
My 18-year-old blind, asshole Tuxedo cat bit through my hand in March 2015. Off to the ER to spend all of our money.

providence hospital room
The antibiotic from the ER didn't work. My hand tripled in size. I was admitted to hospital for Spring Break. Good times.

broots at vet
I was supposed to go to the Spring Beer and Wine Fest. I couldn't because the antibiotics weren't out of my system yet. While I was home, my formerly feral 15-year-old Broots, whom I'd bottle fed as a kitten, threw a clot from a heart condition and lost use of his eyes and back legs. We went to the vet and had to say goodbye.
female beard
The doctors told me I would have abdominal distress after being on so many antibiotics. I took probiotics but my abdomen kept getting more gassy and excruciatingly painful. And then I grew a beard. And then my abdomen started growing, too.

pre-endometrioma surgery at Good Sam
So, it turns out my left ovary had decided to grow as big as a cantaloupe and try busting out of my lower abdomen, causing lots of systemic and hormonal problems. It needed to be removed immediately by an oncologist, because it might have been cancerous. Thankfully, it wasn't; it was an endometrioma. It still cost a shit-ton of money and lots of wonderful people I can never thank enough donated a lot of their hard-earned cash to get us out of trouble. I'm still humbled and amazed by it all.

grand jury
The day after I got home from my surgery, I received a grand jury summons. I went to the jury room a month later, my abdomen still recovering, and ha ha ha, I was chosen. I wanted to start getting back into shape following the endometrioma ordeal, but the universe decided instead I should sit on my ass for a month and listen to stories about some of the worst people in our community. It was very interesting, but very emotionally draining at the same time. 

positive pregnancy test
After the ovary removal, the surgeons said I had about six months left to try having a baby, because the odds were that my other ovary would develop the same problem. I didn't feel anywhere near well enough yet but they wanted us to get on it right away. Months ticked by without any good news, until I talked to some friends who encouraged us to go on vacation. We scraped together a few bucks to go away at Christmas time. When we got back, lo and behold...

calico on a bar
I made an appointment with my GP for a pregnancy confirmation. As I was getting ready to leave, our dear calico Daisy had a terrible, violent seizure, and lost all of her faculties. Kip took her to the vet as I went to the doctor. I got a positive pregnancy confirmation at the moment Daisy was being put to sleep. I wish I could say even one more time, "Get the fuck down from there, Daisy!" Too many emotions in one day.

copyright 2016 Jennifer Kesgard ms paint drawing miscarriage
I didn't take a photo on this day. It was only a couple weeks ago. Women still don't talk much about miscarriage, even though it's common; I wish it was a little less common for me, personally. I had problems years ago with holding on to pregnancies, but that had been attributed to the previously undiagnosed celiac disease. This miscarriage was different, likely because of all the psycho-level stress. My midwife had entirely different advice moving forward than the doomsayer surgeons did. I'm getting myself back to health and not worrying about another ovary explosion. We'll just have to see what happens and deal with it then. I joke about vampire babies but I would love a healthy parasite of my own.

I'll end on this note: we all have surface public lives and deep private ones. Sometimes they cross over. If you don't think you're seeing enough from someone, don't chastise or ignore them for not going to your party or pub night or poetry reading or dinner party or team function, etc. Maybe they're dealing with something. It doesn't hurt to ask or just say hi. I had some good friends and my boss be very supportive during this time and it meant a lot.

My next blog entry won't be this serious. I hope. I have some more terribly wicked gym stories that need to be told.

February 2017 Update:
I'm not doing a republish on this. I'm only adding a few other details about why I haven't written anything since this last entry. I'm close, though.
Since this was published...
  • I lost my job of four years due to some unfortunate events. Wasn't my fault. My boss and co-workers all suffered the same fate. School politics are shit.
  • I lost another pregnancy in the middle of the summer. I had thought my job loss was okay because I was having a baby, but, no go.
  • I was photographing a Timbers match and ended up with a severe allergic reaction to the goal smoke. I normally had asthmatic reactions to it but dealt with it; this time it got in my eye and I could have lost it. It was so red and inflamed so fast. I had to take 4x the normal dose of eye antibiotic, and some pill antibiotics. I was instructed by my medical professional to never get near that smoke again if I want to keep my eyes. FML. March 2017 addendum: If I want to go to the matches, I have to stay in the south deck and never wear my contacts. I hate taking pictures with my glasses but I'm going to give it a go. We'll see what happens.
  • I slipped down the stairs in my house and popped out a rib. Don't wear slippy socks on your hardwood stairs, kids.
  • I started having bad hot flashes, insomnia, daily headaches, acne, mood swings, etc. The remaining ovary is farting out early, it seems. Menopause?!? Hormone pills to the rescue!
April 2017 Update:
Eye doctor overrode GP, says I can wear my contacts in the south deck, but told me to remove them and use an eye wash he gave me in case I get exposed to the smoke at the matches. Much better option. Thank you Dr. Miller.

March 2018 Update:
It took me a lot longer to adjust to the menopausal symptoms and hormone replacement than I thought. Simultaneously dealing with that and having to come to terms with really REALLY never being able to have children was soul crushing. I'm only just now feeling slightly back to like myself. Ugh.