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March 22, 2019

Down with the Sickness...or Thickness?


It started back in the fall...I felt off- something wasn’t exactly right, but I pressed on. It was a weird thickness or knot in my throat that I just couldn’t accurately describe to anyone. (Plus, my mind is in the gutter 98% of the time so...you know, had the shoe been on the other foot and a friend of mine came to me with said complaint- I would make a dirty joke. #itisaterriblethingtowaste)
Weeks went by....I google-diagnosed myself with a number of illnesses. I spent too much money on OTC meds to count...nothing worked. I decided to visit Urgent Care, simply b/c it was closer to work and I wouldn’t have to take off. #loyalemployee

“Potentially sinuses...here is a zpack. If it doesn’t feel better, come back in,” the doctor said.

Part of me felt better, part of me was calling some serious bullshit. I’ve had sinus issues since I was old enough to properly pronounce the word allergy. This wasn’t that.

After a few more weeks went by, I met with my regular doctor to describe what I had then diagnosed as a potential ulcer. The uncomfortable knot in my throat had been joined with a weird pain in my side...google pointed to my gallbladder- while my doctor pointed out questions as to why I’d stopped taking my anxiety meds last year. #thishasnothingtodowiththat #focuslady

“Okay...I’m going to order an ultrasound of your side for the pain...but what about stress? Is anything new worrying you that could be causing or helping to create an ulcer?” she asked.

“Well...my best friend was just diagnosed with cancer...for the second time. My horse has a respiratory issue and can’t breathe. I can’t fix either of them...so,” she stopped me.

“You can’t worry yourself with things you can’t control,” she said, in a very namaste fashion.

Bullshit, lady. And just who are you to tell me what I can and can’t worry about?! With God all things are possible...and I’m worrying about every last one of them. #withallduerespectmaam

Moving forward, I continued to have the weird throat thickness daily, although the pain in my side faded. I was not overly concerned with the results from my ultrasound because my issue was much further north.

I logged on to mychart.com to check my results- and read a word I’d never seen before. Angiomyolipoma. Angiomyolipoma!? On my kidney!?! I turned to Dr. Google, while rapidly speed dialing my doctor for an explanation. She assured me it was nothing. I think she’s lying, naturally, because if it was nothing why was I being ordered to get a CT-Scan? (Plus according to google, it is a benign tumor- but if it ruptures...you can bleed to death. #minordetail)

Meanwhile...thickness in my throat...still there...every.time.I.swallow. Remember how the doctor said it could be stress related? Adding a new potential diagnosis to the table was not making the stress level go down, no matter how many yoga positions I tried.

CT Scan...midday...and I haven’t been able to eat since the night before so I’m a real peach to be around. I’ve been assured the scan does not include the dye-contrast. (My dad had a reaction to it so I asked because of the likelihood of me having a reaction, as well.)

I get situated on the table, with a tech on each side of me. One is explaining what will happen, while the other begins an IV.

“WAIT...I’m not supposed to have an IV. I don’t get the dye. No dye contrast! NO DYE!” I yelled, snatching my arm away from her, as if I was speaking to someone who didn’t speak a lick of english. (I am not sure why I did that but I needed to be clear, ese.)

“Who told you that? Well, they misinformed you,” the tech assured me.

At this point, I have on no-pants so it’s not like I can just prance my happy ass out of the room in protest. I was feeling a bit like those actresses with Harvey Weinstein, to be honest. #toosoon?

“You’re going to feel like you’re peeing...you’re not,” they say, in complete monotone.

I definitely felt like I had to pee...then an overwhelming urge to sneeze took over my entire body. Don’t panic, do not panic, do not freak out...you don’t have to sneeze, you are not peeing...you can’t sneeze b/c then you may, very well, pee….don’t sneeze, don’t pee...don’t sneeze, don’t pee.

Finally, it was over. At last, I could eat. A week (and a tiny-temper tantrum in the doctor’s office) later, I received the results that the angiomyolipoma was nothing to be concerned with.

“Great...that’s fantastic news. So...about my original issue- my throat is still not right,” I explained.

After I assured her I had not just swallowed something wrong…(seriously, it’s like God was testing my ability to stop myself from saying something inappropriate)...for the last three months, I was referred to a gastroenterologist. While it took two months to get an appointment- I was still excited to have someone, anyone, who may have some answers to the weirdness.

Seconds after meeting my new doctor, I explained all my feelings, while she nodded along.

“I have tried everything. Prilosec for a full month, nothing. I stopped eating any foods that caused issues...even gluten because I read online that it can be a trigger for GERD. It helped some but the odd feeling is still there. I feel crazy,” I said.

“You aren’t crazy...this is one of two things- I think we need to do an endoscopy...and just pop in there and take a look. It is not a big deal- it's a minor procedure..we will give you propofol…”

“Wait...that is what took out Michael Jackson!” I screeched.

She laughed, assuring me they wouldn’t give me that much.

“So more thriller than killer?” I joked.

“Oh...we will have fun with you,” she laughed.

I smiled...hoping she doesn’t plan to video me moonwalking out of the office post-endoscopy.

My youtube debut is tentatively scheduled for 3/26. Fingers crossed for some answers- I’m bringing my sparkly glove just in case. #futureyoutubesensation **Keep my sister/friend in your prayers...Ging is kicking some cancer tail & getting shiny, new stem cells to help her battle. She's our person...our hero...a huge part of our world...and we can't wait until she's back at home!**

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