Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sick In The Head?

I'm sick. But not the kind of sick I have been whining about. It's the kind when you stick your foot in your mouth and your stomach goes into your throat and your face turns red and you feel like a complete TOOL.

Today I was reading Twitter and one of my favorite people mentioned that she loved French. Hey, I love French too. It was my minor for crying out loud. My home is filled with the Eiffel Tower and I speak the language casually throughout my day at times. It has been a part of me since I fell in love with the language at sixteen.

But I was tired and cranky and I shot back a quick remark, in French, that I loved French but detested THE French. You see, my actual experience with Parisians was quite negative. After further studying the country's sociological tendencies, I decided that I could live without it altogether. But that is such an ignorant statement and state of mind. That is like anyone saying that Americans are fat and lazy and they have no need for us at all. It's just not true in all cases. To make it worse...she is part French. Funnily enough, so am I. My father's mother was French and my mother's father was Cajun French.

But wait, worse this. Numero Uno of things that tick her off? Yeah, that would be me.

I just want to say Mae, I am terribly sorry. It was ignorant of me...and I usually am not ignorant. Looking back at the comment, regardless of whether you were French or not, it is a classless generalization that I am ashamed to have put into words. When I think of uttering the same about ANY OTHER COUNTRY it seems unfathomable! Can you imagine?

"I love Iran, but hate Iranians".
"I love China, but hate the Chinese".

Who says that???? It is unacceptable and I am eternally sorry. It's not who I am and it's not how I think, but I cannot account for how the thought came to be in my mind. I feel as worthless as the boyfriend who hits his girlfriend then says he didn't mean it. I said it. I can't undo that, but please know that I have thought a LOT about the subject since tapping it out on my iPhone and it is NOT my heart. I have always thought that I loved all people until they individually gave me reason not to. I would like to think that from this day forward I will pay closer attention to never fall into the thoughtless complacency that allows racism, sexism and other forms of intolerance to exist in our society.


My Anniversary Gift to Us

Here is the email I just sent my husband to prepare him for our anniversary weekend that I booked tonight. Tell me what you all think...
I have taken the liberty of making plans for our anniversary weekend coming up. I'm not sure how you feel about surprises but I can't imagine this is a bad one. Allow me to paint a picture with words (and add some in case that's ineffective)...

We will leave after work on Friday, the 9th. We can pack the night before and you can scoop from work at 3pm and head out. After a long drive where I may or may not (who am I kidding, I will) talk your ear off we arrive at our room at the hotel, a Lone Star King room with the atrium view. We can grab a bite at the Riverwalk Cafe and then relax for the evening on our terrace overlooking the atrium.
The next day we sleep in, then wander around the property. There is shopping, an outdoor pool with bar and grille, a walking trail and many other resort amenities. We can get massages or just enjoy the lake. The Texas vs. Colorado game is that day and we will be enjoying it from Texan Station Sports Bar & Grill, where there are 50 flatscreens throughout and a 30' x 52' (yes, that is is called the Wall of Sports) bigscreen.

For dinner we can dress up and head to Old Hickory Steakhouse. It offers a seductive selection of artisanal cheeses and tempting tableside desserts. We'll be sure to make time and visit the warm, rich atmosphere of their Texas vineyard-inspired wine cellar, where we'll find an extensive list of wines to choose from. And of course, you will like their 1855 Premium Black Angus Beef. After a romantic dinner we can plan for a night out at the Glass Cactus, which overlooks Lake Grapevine. There is no cover for us as we are on our Unforgettable Anniversary Weekend package. Aside from the 39,000 square feet of indoor floor space and four bars, the $16 million venue also offers 13,000 square feet of outdoor deck space on two floors overlooking Lake Grapevine. What we do when we get back to our room on our king size, custom-made mattress is entirely up to you. With the plush, luxurious bedding it will be tempting to simply fall asleep.

The next morning, after sleeping in for the second consecutive day - an entirely unheard of occurrence for parents of a six year-old - we can extend our checkout to 1 o'clock and head back to the deck of the Glass Cactus for the Grillin' and Chillin' Lakeside Sunday Brunch. With breathtaking lake views and an extensive menu featuring all-you-can-eat shrimp, breakfast items, an omelet station, chilled salads, carved meats, fish tacos, items on the grill, and dessert selections, it will be the perfect ending to our romantic weekend.

Finally, we'll hit the road and head back, blissfully happy and completely relaxed. I can't wait to share this experience with you and I hope you will look as forward to it as I am. I think that this anniversary is really one to cherish. The fact that we made it seven years coupled with the fact that we are more in love and compatible now than ever is worth celebrating.

Happy Anniversary Patrick

Monday, July 13, 2009

Tales From The Crypt

I am trying to commit to getting back to normal starting today. First things first, take all my medicine. I started cutting back on my Zoloft and Wellbutrin because now I know that it is causing my stomach issues. Granted, I do need to go see my doctor and get an actual plan for doing so but that's such a pain. I figure if I've been on the stuff for 12 years I should know better than anyone how to taper down. But yesterday I was a pissy mess and slept all day so I realized that I better just take all of my medication as directed until directed otherwise. In the footsteps of my grandmother, I now have a Monday-Sunday pill box to carry in my purse. I am a sexy 31 year-old lady.

I've also gained three pounds since this mess began. I haven't run in ages and I intend to get back to it starting tonight. I downloaded some songs to my iPhone and I am shamed to admit that one of my favorites is Disney's own Demi Lovato's new single "Here We Go Again". I am a total adult Disney whore. I even recorded Another Cinderella Story this weekend and am really excited about watching it. I'm digressing in age mentally and progressing physically at a rapid rate. Funny how life does that to you.

Now that I'm all caught up at work and things are starting to get back to normal I am hoping to pick up the blogging again. I need something to keep me focused. Ah, speaking of hobbies, I picked up a "Learn To Knit" kit at Wal-Mart last night. For some strange reason Cade has stated a desire to learn to knit. Patrick told him that it was for girls and I responded strongly that my little boy can try anything he likes and make his own mind up as to whether or not it is suitable for him. In a show of solidarity with my possibly gay son I went straight to the store to get the materials. I got burnt orange and white yarn so whatever we knit will be masculine and sporty to ease Patrick into it. Who wouldn't love a Longhorn sweater? But of course, more than likely Cade will realize that one has to sit still to knit and give it up in about four minutes. I, on the other hand, would like to try to knit something. You know, a baby cap or puppy scarf. We're about to take a 14 hour road-trip to Nashville next week and I have to pass the time somehow. Since my body is acting like that of a 96 year-old I figure I ought to try to join it.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Good News!!

I'm aliiiiiiive! I finally got my answers yesterday and I am so grateful and happy to say that nothing is mortally wrong with me. I am quite jacked, but not mortally so.

The final tally is:

1 - Vascular liver tumor (benign) - we just keep an eye on it and check it every six months to make sure it isn't growing.

2 - Hiatal hernia (small - 2cm) - It kicks stuff up from my stomach into my esophagus which causes heartburn and nausea. If it doesn't grow then I will not need surgery. Hopefully it will self-heal.

3 - Gasteoparesis - my stomach is literally weak. The muscles are too weak to push the food out of my stomach and empty it. The food then stays in there and ferments (mmmmm) then bacteria starts to grow and I get really sick, like with food poisoning. This is caused by my ridiculously high dosages of antidepressants over a prolonged time. They broke my stomach. :)

The treatment consists of "playing with my medication" which is so much easier said than done. It seems that all antidepressants have pretty bad side effects that will affect me one way or another. So, between withdrawals from changing and new symptoms from new will NOT be fun. They are also giving me medication that will force my stomach to empty. Sounds fun, eh? Through strong stomach cramps it will push out what is remaining. It's going to be a lively weekend!

Last thing, I have to brag...kind of. When I did my endoscopy yesterday I elected to do it without sedation or pain meds. Crazy! It's not that I am brave, I am just more chicken of how I react to pain meds (horrible puking and illness) than I was of a big camera getting forced down my throat. Sooooo, they laid me on my side and I closed my eyes. They put in a bite guard then shoved the camera down my throat and into my stomach. And then I spent the next two minutes puking violently (just bile gratefully) because, in case you aren't aware, your body does not want things forced down your gullet. It was horrible. Really horrible. Everyone at the facility was in awe that I did it, and I felt really proud. However, the misery through the remainder of the day made me realize that the lesser of evils is most likely the Demerol. Next time, they will knock me OUT.

And so...there ends (for at least six months) the Erin Health Scare '09. Thanks for all of the prayers and thoughts and well-wishes. You guys are awesome!!

Friday, July 3, 2009

A Shocker

Hello strangers! It's been so long and I've missed you all terribly. I am so out of touch with the blogosphere due to work. But I just got some big news yesterday that I wanted to share with you all, since you've been along my ride with me for a while now.

I was diagnosed yesterday with a vascular tumor in my liver. Two and a half weeks ago I became severely nauseated and it lasted all day and awakened me at night. It didn't go away. At first I thought it may be a pregnancy (thank God that I could have the suspicion for once). After a test came out negative I made an appointment with my GP. She first assumed that it was my gallbladder and sent me for the sonogram. It came back with a "strange mass" on my liver. Then they sent me for a CT scan with contrast and I got the results back yesterday.

Now everything I know about a vascular liver tumor I learned from Google. They made an appointment for me with a liver specialist on Tuesday and I will learn more then. From what I have researched so far there are three types. The first, benign tumor, is almost always asymptomatic and is only found through other tests. The second, a malignant tumor, is treatable with chemo or, if it is confined to one lobe of the liver, surgical extraction. With this tumor, it is confined to the liver and has not affected any other organs. The final one, which I will not accept, is metastatic tumor. This is one that is fast-growing, spreads to other organs and causes discomfort. The prognosis for this tumor is 2-4 months.

I'm not sure what I think here. I am scared. I'm scared because my stomach is completely jacked and it shouldn't be. I am always nauseated, extremely gaseous, and have indigestion and constipation. None of those symptoms should relate to my liver. When I move too much I get short of breath. Upon reading about the third tumor I see that it spreads quickly because the liver filters blood and it spreads through the blood into the lungs, gallbladder, intestines, etc. That is when the symptoms show up and by then it is too late. Of course I am praying that there is another explanation.

It's early yet. Patrick says it's too soon to worry before we really know what we have to worry about. This comes from the man whose mother died 5 weeks after being diagnosed with cancer out of the blue. And the same man never spoke in any depth or addressed his mother's illness at all, so I am afraid I can't really lean on him for support. My parents and brother and sister-in-law are scared and constantly gauging my mood so I am trying to be upbeat about it for them. In all honesty though, I am terrified. I am terrified that my beautiful son, who relies so completely on me, will never get a chance to know me. I know that, if I were to pass, I would watch every moment of his life from wherever. But he won't have that luxury.

Anyhow, I just wanted to jot some thoughts down. It's all rather surprising and there are still a lot of unknowns. I'm just trying to figure out the best way to deal. Today I am at work, even though I am in a lot of pain (my stomach is filled with shooting pains and cramps). What else would I do? After I found out yesterday Patrick left to go take practice pictures of a baseball game and left me alone with my thoughts all night. By the end of the evening I was in tears just watching Cade play and be young and carefree. I know that I need to get out and keep my mind on other things. So, outside of writing this, I am trying to do so.

And on that note, I am going to go study some financials! What is more enthralling than that? I will keep you all updated. It's good to be back!