I didn’t realize I had neglected my personal blog for this long (let’s not talk about how I have three draft posts dating back to the end of March, lol)! School and health issues have really been kicking my ass. But since I have people in my #menchins asking wtf I’m talmbout, I figured it’s time for a bulleted update, followed my a revelation I had a couple of weeks ago.
- Rock the Red Pump was hella fun (see photos here & here)! My bff & I got free drinks from a guy who I think was named Chris (maybe?). It wasnothing lascivious; he was just genuinely being nice! That has NEVER happened to me before… it really does make a girl feel good. 🙂
OH! and my bff met Kim Coles in the bathroom. She *literally* jumped & hollered, LMAO!!! And you know Kim, she was all, “woo, woo, woo!” We got pics with her later (yeah, I’m behind on posting things; backed up since Feb). And one of my girls from DC was here for the event, so we got to hang with her, too! Anyhoo, this is what I ended up wearing ~>
- I ended up back in the ER on April 12th, thinking my cyst was bursting. I sat in the lobby for 4 hours, high on vicodin, only to be told the hospital wasn’t going to be able to help me b/c the ultrasound folks had gone home already. At 4:30 in the afternoon on a Thursday (apparently they leave at 3 or so). So basically, it’s a great thing the cyst *wasn’t* bursting, ‘cuz I woulda died. But I didn’t, so there’s that, lol.
Fortunately, I already had an ultrasound scheduled for the following Monday, so they argued w/ me about a pregnancy test, threatening not to give me a vicodin Rx if I didn’t take it (their urine dips are almost $250). I told them I had plenty of vicodin at home to get through the weekend and then some. It took another hour to get released. Utter BS.
I got to my doc & learned that the cyst had increased to the same size it was back in November, so she officially diagnosed me with endometriosis & ordered surgery. I had figured as much by then. I wanted to wait until after classes ended in June, but after a two weeks of being unable to poop, I got worried & decided to bump things up. (My grandmother died of a “bowel obstruction” at age 33. This is not normal. We now think it was endometriosis.)
- Ph.D. advising drama ensued throughout much of May. smh… Upon review of the post, I realized it needs some editing that I don’t have time for, so I made it private for the time being. Let’s suffice it to say that my advisor was not very helpful (apparently this is common in doctoral programs), so I did my entire plan by myself. While I do appreciate that it forced me to think about what exactly it is I’m doing, it really would have been nice to have had a) a reminder – many of us missed the mass email that came out months earlier; b) known that half of it was due in March – no notices were given about that one; & c) help with the planning. With that last bit, I might have perhaps completed the in a few days, rather than a few weeks. Right before surgery. While I was trying to keep up with classes & not keel over. Yeah, I’m bitching a lil bit, lol.
- In the midst of all that, I decided to take incompletes in all my classes so that I could have time to heal & write some decent papers. That was like, the most awesomest decision ever. My advisor was really smart in telling me to go for July 1, instead of June 15 (I bitch, but it’s not like he’s a total idiot or anything, lol). Of course, since I technically have the whole summer, I wish I’d given myself more time. At the same time, I wanna be done already. Yet I sit here blogging at 1:30am. I need to do better about planning my self-care time (blogging counts as part of that).
- Surgery was May 17th and it was successful! The doctor got the cyst out with no problems & cleaned up everything she could. The trouble is that endometriosis is plastered all over my abdomen – every organ, even my diaphragm! (LAWD don’t take mah sangkin’ muskull!) Doc says I have stage IV endeometriosis & that the scarring is so bad my colon is fused to my uterus & cul-de-sac. Yay! (I do have pics, but they’re kind of gross & I realize some of you barely put up with my swearing, lol. I’m glad you stick around, so I won’t post ’em. Anyone who really wants to know can google images.) There is also a new cyst forming on my actual uterus. Moar yay! This doc isn’t comfortable operating on organs (it’s really risky) & she says I’m probably not a good candidate for colon surgery, but admits that she’s not an expert in that area. Fortunately, Mama J is more of a nerd than I am, so by the time I woke up in post-op, she had already found this guy who seems really awesome.
(This post is getting hella long, isn’t it? I promise y’all, I do keep trying to be short.)
- I also decided to downsize my living arrangement so that I can rid my life of excess and save money to pay all these bills that are piling up. I looked the only place available. It’s above a restaurant, so there are mice. And the restaurant would be moving out as I moved in, thus shaking up the mouse situation.
source: tbs screenshot (lol & thank you to whoever uploaded this!)
- A week after surgery, I gave two lectures (in the same day – rescheduling was a no-go). My 1st class had been bumped up by an hour (8am is such an evil time of day). I had ordered private transport (we get that free via the disability office!) Mama J said I missed it; I say it never came. Either way, I ended up on the illegally crowded regular bus. Fortunately, two of my classmates were also on it & one gave me his seat. I rocked both lectures. o/ I was also reminded that talking forces you to swallow lots of air. Not fun when you’re still trying to get rid of all the air they pumped into your belly to operate on you, lol! But again, I kicked ass, so I treated myself to doing nothing for the rest of the night. It was awesome. 🙂
- I had a job interview for an awesome opportunity to mentor high school students apprenticing as research assistants. I might have to give up my summer writing class, but it’s offered every term, so I might just tack it on to Fall quarter if I can’t take it this summer. That’s not the ideal situation but a) I want to do research & b) I need to pay rent. I find out whether I’ve been hired next week & will start in two weeks if I am! (See why I should’ve given myself more time on finishing those incompletes?)
- That guy who seemed awesome? I finally reached out to him tonight (Friday, June 1). At 10:08pm, asking if he’d take a look at my pics & records. He wrote me back at 12:10am (11pm Utah time) saying yes, he would. And then he recommended two doctors in Milwaukee ‘cuz they’re closer. He’s already won me over.
So, this was more epic than I thought it would be. Lemme make this last part as concise as possible…
Prepping for surgery got me to thinking about my mortality. Not that I haven’t thought about it before – I think about it quite a lot, actually. [insert rambling about the precarious nature of the cyst, risks of surgery, and things of that nature.] I’ve never been afraid of dying – at least not as far back as I can remember. I’ve always figured, if the afterlife is supposed to be so much better than life here on Earth, why should I be afraid to pass on? However, I do have two concerns about death:
(1) I don’t want to die tragically or painfully
(2) I don’t wanna leave a mess for other people to deal with while I’m gone
[insert rant about having to juggle school & surgery prep, including legal considerations.]
[insert rambling about what Freudians would say about me starting window box gardens just as thinking about death becomes a bigger concern in my life.]
After surgery, I came to a new understanding of (my) life:
the purpose is to have fun & help other people also have fun.
None of this is really any different from what I’ve declared in the past, but I think it’s a broader perspective on it.
And no, I wouldn’t say that pursuing a Ph.D. is anyone’s definition of “fun” (although I’m sure there is someone out there who thinks it is). However, this educational struggle is a means to the end of helping young people advocate for the support that will allow them to enjoy this life they’ve been given. So basically, if I’m gonna be here, I’m gonna make the most of my life & work to enjoy doing so as much as possible.* Of course, this does mean I need to stop taking myself so damned seriously…