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☗ The Door Opens – Part II ☗

This article is a continuation from last month. As said before, if you do not like reading about things that are medical, especially Women’s Issues, skip this and go elsewhere.
I do not hold anything back.

I awakened to see the Specialist (OB/GYN) early on December 29th, 2017. I did not sleep well the night before, awakening every hour on the hour, having issues falling back asleep. Though the sun was not up I decided to hop out of bed and get ready for the appointment. I could have slept the extra thirty minutes though the thoughts racing through my head pulled the adult out of me and I decided a hot bath along with my iced tea would be the best solution.

Stepping into the tub it dawned on me that it was December 29th. Fear filled my entire being. This was not just a Medical Appointment day but also Aunt Norma’s birthday (Paternal Side). She endured “female cancer” as they used to call it, in the early 1960’s-70’s. The poor soul was never able to have children and physically she never fully recovered, consumed with pain until the end. I remember her telling the stories of a complete hysterectomy followed by heavy radiation treatments leaving her burned in area’s of her body.

As a child and now adult, I shudder at what she went through. Although she recovered from the cancer, she was in agony with scarred, unbearably itching skin until the day she died – decades later on September 21st, 2005. Fortunately I got to speak with her before she passed. She died while under general anesthesia. A Sleeping Beauty, taken from Earth with complications of surgery. She awakened in Heaven.

I loved this woman dearly and although by DNA we were not related, it felt like we were. Married to an uncle, I was the Flower Girl at their wedding in 1976 at the ripe old age of eight. I wore a floor length red gown, embellished with several white hearts down the middle. Very Seventies, but it was groovy! She bought me flowers to keep, rather than throw to the floor. Brilliant, because I got to bring them home with me. It is one of the few truly happy memories I have as a child.

I was crazy about her and the dog that always sat on her lap, covered with an afghan, (it was his thing) a Chihuahua named Pepé. The dog loved me, instantly. It amused Aunt Norma because Pepé liked only a handful of people. I still giggle when thinking back to when Rick and I were dating and his meeting with Pepé the first time, 1985. I warned him that Pepé was in the house, by himself, and be careful and do not bother or pick him up. Rick said, all dogs loved him and he wasn’t worried. Okay then, and we entered with my key. I picked up Pepé, who came running, charging, and barking, like a blazing inferno. I held him back. And Rick did not take heed to my warning. Rick got bitten by a Chihuahua almost immediately! It went a little something like this:

Rick: “Hi Pepé!” (attempts to reach out and pet his head)
Pepé: CARUNCH! (bites Rick hand – HARD!)
Sheri: I TOLD YOU MAN! – I TOLD YOU! (laughs hysterically)

Looking back, I believe Pepé was trying to protect me. Sorry Rick, he was only doing his job. I belonged to Pepé, or so he thought, and he liked me – that was something to be honored with and this pooch. He would bite or snap his teeth at strangers and people he would see wherever Norma brought him. I have fond memories of Pepé. And that one just happens to be my favorite. Bless His Heart! Aunt Norma and Pepé are together once again.

I thought of this while sitting in my tub full of sweetly scented bubbles. I realized I was smiling though my fists were clenched. I did not notice I was doing so. Ouch, and now I did! Back to reality and present time. Remembering her Birthday and she had cancer, something I am still potentially facing and it is Doctor Day with this new Specialist… my head was spinning with memories and too much information. Wiping away a tear from thinking about Aunt Norma I whispered a “Happy Birthday” to thin air, praying GOD would send it to her. I have faith that HE did just that.

Before I knew it we were walking through the doors and beautifully decorated padded elevators to the OB/GYN. Padded Elevators, interesting concept I thought. Blue with metallic threading running through. Intriguing. Her office is enormous and nearly filled to capacity. Well I hope this is a good sign my inner monologue uttered to myself. She certainly has a lot of patients. Once seated and filling out paper after paper . . . I saw the other people who were there visiting their MD. Girls. Young girls. All pregnant. No one was even close to my age (49) except maybe a few ladies there with their daughters. What a shocking slap to the face. I wondered what these girls thought of me. Maybe something like, “This old chick is having a baby?” Everyone was polite, no weird stares though I felt uncomfortable.

Nearly everyone, including Rick and I were taping away at our Smart Phones/Androids, etc . . . The girl across from us, appeared to be around 25 and we could not help from hear her conversation she was having on her cell because she was that loud. Apparently she wanted everyone to hear her. And what an idiot she was. I guessed her to be around 22 weeks and texted it to Rick. He replied back with “how do you know?” and I typed back, “She is here for her Glucose Test”, she just announced it to the room. Rick was impressed at my memory of when that is performed but in my mind it was Spring 1989 just a few years ago when I had my own pregnancy glucose test. Time passes quickly. My memories do not. My memories rarely fade.

I rolled my eyes at this young woman in front of us. “TAKE IT DOWN A DECIBEL OR TWO WILL YOU?” She was making herself look so uneducated. She was describing her test, she did not know what it was called. I found this laughable. She spoke a 9 on a 1-10 scale, “YEAH, IT’S SOME KIND OF, I DON’T KNOW, SUGAR TEST OR SOMETHING, AND UM, I COULDNT EAT, AND THEN I HAD TO DRINK THIS SWEET DRINK AND THEY TOOK MY BLOOD AND THEY ARE GONNA DO IT AGAIN IN ABOUT AN HOUR.” Blah, blah, blah, blah. . . I was texting back to Rick, “Do you hear what she just said?” – He replied back with, “Yeah, but she isn’t making a lot of sense.” I tossed back an, “OMG, she doesn’t know it is called a GLUCOSE TEST! What a moron!” I hope she starts reading the infant care books and on the double, good grief!

I knew what a Glucose Test, a common test for all pregnant women, when I was around age 17. To see and HEAR this adult although younger than I, talk like that, knowing inside her a precious baby would be under her care one day, ugh, I was astounded. Ok, maybe not everyone reads on the things I did YEARS prior to childbirth, but I dislike fiction so much, it has to be real for me to enjoy it. I ate up anything medical. I read it all, everything I could get my hands on. How many 10 year olds do you know who are reading Doctors Medical Books and Journals? I was that kid. I also (laughing) had a subscription to Parents Magazine at age 12 and continued renewing for many years.

Then there was the other girl. She was Asian, around 18 at the most, probably more like 16 and looking scared to death. Her first appointment I thought. Wrong! She uttered out, “I need a Pregnancy Test.” Folks, let me add something in here. If you do not want 50+ people in a room hearing your business, learn to whisper! When she was there for a mere pregnancy test the entire room zipped their heads towards her. Okay, it is not really funny but geesh, they sell the kits at every grocery store and pharmacy I know. I remember girls in high school, way back when taking them when it wasn’t just a stick you urinated on and get results in seconds but a 2 hour COMPLICATED Chemistry Lab Test. I’ve seen it happen and I have taken those ancient ones myself in the eighties. For someone to come in asking for a pregnancy test, in todays time, peeing in a cup was all she did. She went to the Doctor for a pregnancy test? She knew how to get pregnant, (possibly) but could not whiz on a stick and wait a few minutes? M’kayyyyyyyyyyyy . . . She paid over $200 for this? (blink) Maybe the kid was just too scared. I know I was scared, of course for different reasons. Ah, to be young again and my only concern being a positive pregnancy test.

At last I was called back and hauled the old man with me. If the people working there thought that was odd they didn’t say anything. I first met with a nurse who did all the vitals, weight, height. Unfortunately appears that I am shrinking! She pulled the lever up and pronounced me to be 5 foot 6. “NO, no, no” I argued, I have been 5 foot 7 since the 7th Grade. She checked again, “Nope, you are exactly 66 inches!” She said it cheerfully, well of course she did, she could not have been more than 5 foot 2 herself. Where did an inch go from me? Did it go on vacation? What’s this about? Do I even want to know? – Nah!

She asked what I was there for, I explained the hospitalization, blood transfusion and said I was supposed to get a PAP TEST today. Her eyes about popped out of her head when asking, “When was your last period?” Her answer from me – “June 2016” – “And I have been bleeding different shades ever since, it will stop for a few days only to come back flooding, like Moses parting the Red Sea!” She looked concerned, asked a few more questions then took us to the examining room. It was huge, looked more like an operating room. High Class all the way baby! Shame I am here for something not fun. She had floor to ceiling windows and with her office high up on the buildings floor, we could see for miles, even the foothills of The Appalachian Mountains. Incredible! This is a brand new building and it is amazing!

We met the OB/GYN, she was darling, only 8 years older than myself. Such a nice lady, I have never had a Doctor who took so much time with me talking. She really is a sweetheart. She felt my legs and said there was no Phlebitis, I assured her weeks prior there was and I had an ultrasound to prove it. They were not there that day, nor have they come back, so she was not concerned about it. Next came the Pap (no comment, ok one, OUCH!) She said I was bleeding a (coral color) from my cervix. I was tempted to comment, “You don’t say?” but kept my mouth shut and remained polite. I asked her what all the PAP could detect and not detect. I was surprised at the answer.

I know much about medical terminology and procedures yet this somehow got past me. The Pap Test can only detect cervical cancer, or if you have been exposed to Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), and or vaginal cancer. It cannot find Uterine, Fallopian or Ovarian Cancers. I told her I was diagnosed with Fibroid Tumors and that I had been bleeding and/or spotting for a year and a half. I told her I was given a CAT SCAN and was told by the Doctor at the hospital that Fibroid Tumors is what was making me bleed, continuously, and we were Vegans then, low iron diet, heavy bleeding, which then lead to Anemia so severe I had approximately 3 days to live.

She looked puzzled, “They gave you a Cat Scan?” – I answered yes – “WHY would they give you a Cat Scan for Fibroids? I don’t understand that Sheri, they should have given you a Trans Vaginal Ultrasound. A Cat Scan is not for detecting Fibroids or having the ability to measure them!” She was angry at the hospital or doctor who ordered the Cat Scan with Contrast Dye. “You must have a Trans Vaginal Ultrasound!” she said. “All I know is that you have a mass in your uterus.” I went from zero to ten on the anger scale, remembering the Cat Scan, IV, the Dye, I was furious.

About a month later I saw just why I was given the Cat Scan. Seeing the itemized bill, the Cat Scan was the MOST EXPENSIVE treatment given. Over $5000.00+, nearly six grand! The Specialist probably knew this also but did not say anything except that I should not have had a Cat Scan and that an Ultrasound (Trans Vaginal) was proper protocol. Rick, the Doctor, and I were all ticked off. I was impressed with her honesty, she put me first before the other Doctor and Hospital. That says a lot about her, in a most positive light.

She wanted to do a Biopsy – right then – I said a firm NO!- She kept on, warning me this could be uterine cancer or worse, and to reconsider, “No way, I have already been warned about having them” I told her. I asked if they would knock me out for this, her answer was no, so mine was too. No way was I going to be awake and have a Uterine Biopsy. Personally, and I KNOW I am not alone here. Doctors who do certain procedural exams should have nitrous oxide just like they do at the dentist. What’s the difference? Start with OB/GYN’s, seriously, this should be routine! I brought up to her, “Can you not just do a D&C (Dilation and Curettage)? She said that she could and would actually get more information that way, but would rather do a biopsy, right then. Again, I declined. We left it at me getting the Trans Vaginal Ultrasound and we would go from there.

She said with Fibroids (if that is indeed what I have) it would not mean an automatic hysterectomy. There are other treatments available now she told us. She brought up Zapping the Fibroids with a Laser and it dies soon after, and she discussed inserting an IUD called Meridia (which is filled with Progesterone) and it would destroy them. I shook my head as in, “I understand” but in my head I was thinking. “Oh no girl, you are NOT placing an IUD inside me!” I stand firm on that just like the biopsy. NOT going to happen! I am married – I don’t do “birth control.” Personal reasons and if that makes me a difficult patient, then label me as one. IUD’s? Never! NOT for me. If Rick and I end up the next Abraham and Sarah, so be it.

That THUD you just heard was my husband passing out at the thought of us having more children.

She started to leave the room but popped back in saying, If I give you a Demerol would you allow me to do a biopsy? I sighed heavily under the pressure and said yes. She said after the ultrasound, at the end of January, (I have not had the Trans Vag. Ultrasound at this writing) she would schedule the biopsy.

She gave me a prescription for one 50 Mg. Demerol pill. I laughed. A prescription for one pill. That was a first. She also gave me a prescription for Vitamin D that I must take weekly for 11 months and then monthly thereafter – forever. She then said that she wanted her Phlebotomist to check my A1C Levels. WAIT! (I interrupted) “I do not have Diabetes! That test is not necessary! They just checked me for that 2 weeks ago – I am fine!” She said this was an A1C Test and would show my blood sugar levels for the past 3 months rather just on one day. Again, I gave in not knowing what was about to approach me.

Well, what could I do? Fine, stick me with a needle. Oh that experience was enjoyable. I had this mean assed, large, scary, phlebotomist shove a big gauge needle into my arm. She was terrible at her job. I felt sorry for all the pregnant chicks. And dang, I felt sorry for myself because she was hurting me! I didn’t let on because she was enjoying it too much. She was not for small talk, not even a little nice, and I am quite charming. If you cannot carry a conversation along with me, there is something wrong with you. She wouldn’t even look me in the eye. Hateful! Not to mention she wasn’t at her station to get my blood drawn and the doctor and nurse literally had to hunt her down. Took about 10 minutes. I cannot help but wonder what she was up to. Apparently I disrupted something with this chick. – You could tell – she was pissed about taking my blood – so she took it out on me, the hateful heifer! My Primary Care MD’s people can draw blood and you do not feel it. They use the butterfly tubing and smaller gauged needles. Huge difference! Not to mention – they are friendly.

Finally the torture with this beast was over and we were allowed to leave. We made an appointment for the Ultrasound and told we would know the results of the PAP TEST in 14 working days, bringing it to January 8th. I was concerned when the receptionist said they would be calling with the results. That was new. Usually they mail you a post card that is sealed. Hmmm… I wondered if this was her way of saying “We know you are REALLY sick so we wont bother you with a card.” – I was uneasy but we made it out of there before I fainted from fear.

Within 3 days I knew that there was no way I could go through the uterine biopsy. Three nights of nightmares about being raped. My brain was telling me, “Just have her do a D&C! At least you will be under General Anesthesia!” So on day three I decided I was not going to have this done. I talked to many other women, face-to-face, over the internet and telephone too who had decided not to have one also. Once that decision was made the nightmares ended. I never had another one. I am now awaiting the Trans Vaginal Ultrasound at the end of this month. I am not afraid. No needles involved!

After sorting out the Biopsy decision I still had to wait until January 8th, 2018. We waited for the phone to ring, it did not. The next day came and the sun went down and no phone call. Finally on January 10th, 2018 the phone rang and Rick spoke to someone and then said, “Why don’t you tell her this yourself?” as he handed me the telephone.

The lady on the other end said “Is this Sheri?” – I answered yes – She told me that my PAP TEST was NORMAL (hallelujah!) – I have NEVER been exposed to HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) – and that I was NOT in Perimenopause (I thought I was?) apparently I can still get pregnant. Don’t panic – I WON’T! – She also said, and to quote her, “YOUR A1C, ROCKED!” I started laughing. I knew I was not diabetic. When I go in the next time I will get the number I scored on the A1C. After all, if it “ROCKED!” I want to know the number! I hung up the telephone and Rick and I just PRAISED THE LORD!

Interesting date, January 10th, 2018, the fifth year my birthfather has been with Jesus. I took this as a sign that everything was going to be okay. After decades of bitterness, I have forgiven him for his temper, rage, physical violence. He wasn’t a drinker, I do not know why he treated me harshly at times. It remains a mystery. However, it is water under the bridge with him now.

If you are wondering, NO, he is NOT the person whom I and seven others have accused of another type of abuse. I do not know if I will ever be able to forgive that person. Only time will tell and it definitely was not my birthfather, let’s get that straight. Although forgiven, I’ve still yet to shed a tear, but that may come on another day. I do know I will see him again, that he is with CHRIST and things are alright now between the two of us. Again, he is forgiven and that huge bolder sitting upon my chest is now gone. The memories did not just pack up and leave like magic, I just no longer dwell upon the past with he and I. It was time, and he is forgiven. I am relieved.

I Love You Dad.

Since the transfusion Rick and I have been eating a lot of Rib Eye Steaks, cooked in butter, and I have become quite good at cooking them. We did go to a local steakhouse and neither of us were pleased. The steaks I cook myself are honestly – better and far more delicious! I am also preparing loaded potatoes with butter, bacon and cheese. I know, bacon isn’t the best but it is an Anemia thing. For the moment, I eat bacon! And just like when we were Vegans a few months ago I still make a mean Spinach Salad to go along with it all.

Even though I am still bleeding, I feel better. My brain worked slower for about a month and then clarity hit. I am breathing just fine, night and day, my heart beats normally, no sweats, no fainting, no gasping for air, fatigue about 75% gone. I have rosier cheeks and lips and able to complete tasks that a few months ago were almost impossible. The transfusion was a definite success as is eating iron rich foods and taking the iron supplements amongst the other vitamins. I would say that my iron levels are much higher though I am still quite light in skin color, but I was always that way. Going on energy alone tells me my Iron is at a different number, much higher than before.

Recently the Flu hit our home. Rick was so sick he missed 14 days of work and had to go to the MD for 2 shots in his tush along with a prescription for 875 mg Amoxicillin! He has downed 3 bottles of Robitussin CF and is still coughing during the day and especially at night. I was terrified with my Anemia (which is considered an immune disease) that he would make me sick too and land me back into the hospital. Fortunately I only had a scratchy throat and a bit of chest congestion for about 3 days and it left, no big deal, no fever, no chills, no problems.

I was warned this particular flu does just that though – leaves – and you believe you are well only for it to come back and hit you again ten times harder, when you least expect it. Thankfully that did not happen. My guess is that either A. They gave me a flu shot without me knowing it in the hospital during the transfusion via I.V. (or) B. The Blood I received, the donors had the Flu Shot and that somehow gave me extra immunity to fight it off, with only a couple of dosages of Robitussin CF.

I am not 100% yet. This is going to take time. I am Anemic and pale but I feel so much better. Now if I could just stop bleeding ( a year and 7 months! ) my life would be much happier. Next up is the Ultrasound, I hope we find out more about everything then. I can’t help but wonder, WHAT is my OB/GYN going to say when I hand her a package from my pharmacy, still stapled shut with the Demerol Pill inside?

I am not going to have a biopsy, I refuse to be awake for something so severe, there is no reason for me to have this prescription here. I am then going to take it back to my pharmacy and sign some kind of waiver (hopefully?) that I refused a procedure and although I do not want my $1.68 back for the pill, I don’t want it in my possession. If it’s not needed, why have it? They say you are not supposed to toss them in the trash or flush so I am giving back to my pharmacy as they gave it to me.

It is now January 18th, the ultrasound is exactly a week from today.

Please Say a Prayer for Me!

IGXO Cosmetics

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