Miracle medical journey… or how I feel like I was kicked in the balls

One of the items about my wife and I’s relationship change is the possibility of children with another partner (from me, not her). I do not want children at all. I am turning 41 soon and I don’t want to be 60 or older going to my child’s graduation. My wife’s health and family pressures right now wouldn’t handle a child to the mix. Since this is an actual worry if I hooked up with someone else I felt I have a responsibility to ensure there are no accidents. So after talking for awhile I decided my most logical option is to get fixed.

So about two months ago I set up an appointment with Group Health to get fixed. It would require an initial appointment with the surgeon, then the actual date of the surgery. Of course, contrary to what people say about American healthcare, I had to wait almost two months to see someone. Eventually I was able to see my doctor, for sake of this journal let’s call her Doctor S.

The wife and I both went to this appointment (her feedback for this and opinion matter just as much as mine). We sat with Doctor S for about twenty minutes. Doctor S seemed unsure about giving me the procedure, especially since I don’t have kids. She kept pushing the fact that I might want children later. I in turn pushed back that I am almost 41 years old and I am happy not having kids. I haven’t felt any regret about children at all. Finally the wife convinced the Doctor to stop pushing for no-vasectomy. She did this by explaining to the doctor that the wife couldn’t afford to get accidently pregnant due to her medical condition. It is partially true, a hormone fluctuation like that could be devastating to the wife, of course she left out the part that she has been fixed since she was 22.

Once the doctor agreed to do the procedure, they set me up for the actual operation. It was three and a half weeks later (which was last Thursday). I have been a little stressed about this for several reasons, mostly the idea of a knife and my testicles doesn’t go well for me.

The day of the procedure I found I had put the wrong time of the appointment down. The wife and I ended up at the Group Health facility at 9am only to discover my appointment was at 2:30pm. I had already taken the valium (and was a little loopy). The office was nice, prescribed me a second valium for when I came back in and we went home. I should note here the wife was awesome. She drove me there and back and she hates driving. I felt so bad that she had done that.

We got the script, and waited around until Torie showed up (she was going to come over after the original procedure to be there for us). She ended up being here before the actual procedure and she agreed to take us down (the wife hates driving and after taking a second valium I was way too loopy).

We drove down and I was brought in fairly quickly. There was a medical assistant that I will name J. J took me back into my room. She was probably the most unfriendly of all MA’s I have met before. She really didn’t have much small talk and sort of ignored me. She had me climb on the table while Doc S came in the room. J disappeared for most of the procedure.

Now, they said there would be just mild discomfort. You know what…. THEY LIED!!!!. S gave me the lidocaine and I suspect she didn’t wait long enough. There wasn’t any actual pain as if she was cutting me open, but she ranked my balls harder then I have never had happen before. I thought I was going to cry. I could feel her cauterizing the tubes (it was a bizarre pressure, not actual pain, but the longer she kept the cauterizing on the more it was uncomfortable).

By the time she ended the procedure on my left testicle, I was really wondering if this was a mistake. She began on the right testicle, and there was very very little discomfort. This is why I suspect she didn’t wait long enough on the first testicle. The second one was mildly uncomfortable, but nothing bad.

S wrapped up. I watched as she took the tubing from inside my testicle and put it in sample jars. I hadn’t realized that the vas deferens (see wiki link here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vas_deferens) looks like rice a roni. It was strange, and just underlines how our bodies are machinery. I guess they keep the vas deferens to prove that they actually did it. I suppose its to protect them against lawsuits if they grow back.

S smiled at me (she had been warmer during the procedure then during our first visit) and said that J would be in to help clean me up. Mainly all of the iodine that had been used had coated my crotch (there was actually very little blood). So S left and J came in. All J did was toss some towels at me and drop off my script. She then rushed me out of the procedure room (I only had about a minute to try and wipe myself down).

I then limped my way out the procedure room, by myself to my waiting wife and Torie. The wife was wondering why the hell the nurse/MA hadn’t escorted me out as I was having trouble walking.

They then got me home (after a quick Dairy Queen stop) and I have spent the rest of the weekend moving around slowly. I am feeling fairly good and I have no regret for this procedure. I just wish that the medical group was more compassionate.

At least within the next couple of months, if something unexpected happens, I won’t have to worry about pregnancy (just STI’s).

Rough Morning

Well this is it, I am getting ready to go get snipped and am a little nervous. I have had a ton of people give me good advice so I am not worried about the future. The morning has also been rough though because I can’t get my old LJ to export correctly, so I am now going to go back through my entire 10 years of LJ, selectively pick posts and move them manually over. I am not sure if the new LJ/Dreamwidth codes broke the older exporters or not, but not a big deal either way. I guess this way I can get rid of all the stupid quiz crap 🙂

We also got our first bill from Verizon, of course there is $100 extra in connection fees and they didn’t yet give me the discount for my employer yet (and they wont back credit me when it does go through). So the bill was close to $300. Then of course this morning I get a bill from Sprint for $800, for the ETF and for almost $150 in local charges/taxes/ and misc fees. I really fucking hate Sprint.

Even though this makes me cry, the new phone service is 100 times better and now I am not worried that if my mother goes to the hospital, or my wife has an emergency, that they wont be able to get through to me.

Crap, better get ready to go to Bellevue now 🙂

High Anxiety

The last week has been full of anxiety on many fronts.

Work: We have a new manager (temporarily) and that has been stressfull. In some ways he is pretty cool, he will back you against an entity without thinking. However, like I have bitched about earlier he sucks on interpersonal interactions. He has further limited the flexibility of my job, which sadly is the only positive at the moment. With paycuts, benefit cuts, and no COLA in the last five years the biggest plus for this job is our schedule flexibility. He has instituted (at least until my old manager returns, if they don’t keep it permanently) changes that are limiting the flexibility. So that has been stressful. I don’t hate my job, its still not a bad job, but its frustrating.

Possible Jobs: City of Mukilteo was a no-go. Not a big deal, I suspected with as many experienced people that it wouldn’t pan out. However, now a week from Friday I have a job interview with the City of Seattle as a Senior Accountant for the Department of Retirement Services. It pays about the same as that Accounting Manager job (minimum it starts 15% more than I am making now) and the benefits are a lot better. The only stressful thing would be its the same job day in and day out and I tend to get bored, and the commute. Although I found if we get that new apartment its only a 40-45 minute bus ride from a block from my house to the front door of that job, so it wouldn’t be bad at all. If this doesn’t work out, I probably won’t apply anywhere until winter, which case I will apply at Fed jobs since it takes six months to get hired. So if I apply at the end of this year, I should get the interviews around my five year mark with the office.

Although, even with all the bitching I am doing, my current job isn’t horrible. Its weird to have work that I don’t just bail on when I am not happy (in the past I bailed on jobs left and right, hence 50+ jobs into my career its weird to work four years at the same place). I think that gives me a bit of anxiety. Because of my retirement vesting in 11 months and because of the medical needed for wife I can’t just say “screw you” :).

Tomorrow: Tomorrow is probably the most anxious part of everything. I am going in to get snipped. Now first let me be clear I have no interest in kids. I haven’t even considered kids in the last 18 years at all. I don’t want kids, and if for some reason I did want kids I think I would like to either foster or adopt. There are a lot of kids out there that need a parent, I don’t need to make my mark with my genetics.

Yet for some reason last two nights have been full of nightmares and stress. I am sure the snipping is part of it, but I also suspect the relocation and job situation are just adding onto it.

Relocation: Relocation is a bit anxiety ridden as well. We haven’t heard back yet for sure, but the manager did call to say they are behind because the owner is sick. The new place is cheaper, only a block away from wife’s school and near several shopping/hobby locations. Plus its going to be closer to Seattle when I eventually get a different job.

It is a bit smaller, but we have already gotten a car load of stuff out of our current place, sold the weight bench (tattoo money) and its starting to look sparse in our current place. Honestly we don’t use huge chunks of our apartment, its a waste we have that extra space. I always feel better when we reduce our possessions. I guess its a flashback to being young and having to be ready to move at a moments notice (until age 24 I could fit everything I/We own into a pickup truck). I am hoping to cut out another 50% of my belongings, not counting electronics, before we move.

Oh, and one final bit of anxiety, our landlord had some people come in and measure our current apartment (she doesn’t know we are moving yet). Either they are selling the place, or they are going to try and raise our rent a second time (not worth it without a washer dryer). The landlord claimed it was for refinancing, but the wife said it didn’t feel like that.

So, I guess overall I am just saying I am a little anxious today.

The bane of my existence…

It has been a struggle, my health that is. Unfortunately over the last twenty years or so I haven’t been as physical as I was when I was 21. Partially because of responsibilities, partially because of bad ankles or allergy to my sweat. However, let us be honest about this, it is mostly because I am lazy. 

For years my diet consisted of fast food, pop, candy and pretty much everything else standard in the American diet. I have for the last few years pretty much stopped pop, and fast food is actually really rare (less than once a month, and usually only if I am traveling up to Bellingham for a tattoo and I need to eat something before getting worked on). What hasn’t stopped is candy and sugar.

We actually eat meat fairly rarely, especially red meat. We also do eat a lot of bread products I am cutting down on both and I am currently staying under the 2,000 calorie diet. This has all been fairly stable except my love for the sugar. Even eating sugar I don’t break 2,000 calories very often, but its a waste to use those calories for that. Pop was really hard to stop, but I can say that I no longer like it, although on occaision I do break out a diet pepsi or a pepsi zero (although the whole 0 calories is a lie of measurement).

What I need to do now is get back to working out regularly and stop eating sugar. I am going on vacation after today until the 11th of July. We aren’t going anywhere, but it will alleviate the pressure of work. I was surprised to figure out I eat when stressed, it was more surprising that  I eat when I am bored. I have noticed I actually eat less on the weekends then I do during the weekdays. So this vacation time I am going to focus on my eating habits. It will give me almost two weeks of practice without “hurrying because of work”.

Also during this time I am going to get back into working out. I did it for awhile last year and within a few weeks the wife noticed muscle building up on my chest and shoulders (and even arms). I want to get back into that. Almost two weeks of no work means there is no excuses and I can start on a regimen. The reduction on calories and increase in exercise will hopefully start me on a path to not have lovehandles of DOOOM!!!! 

Oh, and unlike what my trainer tried to tell me to do, I won’t eat my calories I burn working out. The wife introduced me to some good books and resources on the science of weight loss and working out. Eating your burned calories is very bad for you and definitely stops you from losing the weight you want. I won’t be doing that.

So here it goes, starting tomorrow the beginning of cutting out sugar and working out (I wont cut out caffiene yet, I figure that is way too much to do).

The Verdict is…. Surgery.

Today was my appointment with the podiatry doctor. When I was 14 I broke my ankle, since then my ankle has never fully healed (I still have a bone chip floating around in there). It would swell up whenever I was active on it (and of course the less active I was, the heavier I got, the worse my ankle was, the heavier I got. The dreaded downward spiral).

Fast forward 23 years. At age 37 I finally have enough insurance to go to the doctor. At first they x-rayed it and found nothing. So they sent me to the physical therapist (plus my knee is injured as well). After a couple of sessions the PT doesn’t want to touch my foot without a Podiatrist looking it over. Fast forward two weeks and I am seeing the podiatrist. He doesn’t think it looks good and most likely requires surgery. He got me into an MRI and here I am again back in his office awaiting results.

The initial worry was that two ligaments would be completely torn. He had some good news and some bad news. One of the ligaments is looking a bit shredded but still intact. The second ligament was intact….(drum roll please)…. but it was attached to the free floating bonechip. This is a good thing though. It means its in the best shape it can be. In addition they found some tendonitis and tendonapathy from the tendons trying to do the job of the ligaments that weren’t really working.

This means in late October/Early November I will go in for surgery (I don’t want to mess up going to Dying Light so I will go after the season). They will slice down my leg and across my shin, reattached one ligament, move another ligament to help support and do any tendon repair work they need to do. It will result in 3-6 weeks of crutches and then at least another month of physical therapy.

I am ok with all of that, I am just happy they might actually fix it.

Ankle, Dreams and RIP

I woke up at 4:34 this morning, I felt something pop in my ankle and that was enough to wake me up.  It burns now, but actually it feels more stable. We also found out yesterday that the two fractures in my ankle are older ones (one from age 14 and the other from 2002), but it looks as if my fall on the porch flaked a piece of bone off that newer fracture. I am now wearing a huge stormtrooper looking boot when I am outside, but it is unfortunately way to small so I don’t wear it at home. I am supposed to go in Tuesday to seen an orthopedic Surgeon. The ARNP was worried about my ankle and the future of that ankle.

Unfortunately I am poor with no insurance, I have had an unhealed fracture in that ankle since age 14, I put a second fracture in it because it was weak in 2002 and for the last three years there have been two unhealed fractures. This time it just flaked a piece of bone off. Unfortunately its going to stay this way til I have a miracle occur or win the lottery. Life is pain and its relatively easy to get used to. At least this explains why since high school I can’t run more then two or three blocks without my ankle swelling up (lol guess running on fractures is bad).

Now for the dream:

I had been dreaming that I was on some sort of starship that was parked on a forestry type planet. I had to POV, one was being outside in the grass in front of the ship with some sort of rifle (I think it was supposed to be a Shuriken, but my asleep mind didn’t picture one right) and a group of aggressors were approaching the ship. Evidently we knew them as there was a girl on the other side that was apologizing for what they had to do. I apologized back and didn’t fire at her but started taking out her buddies coming up to the ship.

My POV then changed to inside the ship, the ship rocked a bit from being hit and the fishtank in the ship (about twice the size of the 46 gallon fishtank we have in real life)spilled water out, meanwhile for some reason the snapping turtle we had inside the tank quadrupled in size and ended up filling up most of the 96 gallon tank. The next room was a huge swimming pool and somehow the entire room there was half full of water (not just the pool). I became worried how we could take care of the turtle now that it was so big until we realized we would just let it live in the room with the pool. However at that point in time I realized the ship was listing (I think one of the landing struts was taken out and all I could think was we wouldn’t be able to take off.

I then woke up, got up (sure I woke up W accidently, she has been so fucking good to me its not even believable, I love her so much). I wandered into the living room, fed the cat and the big tank. I turned on the smaller tank’s hood light (the 30 gallon that Lenny and Eve live in) and noticed a problem. Lenny was unmoving behind the driftwood (as in no mouth moving, which is super unusual considering he is always trying to eat 24/7) at the same point Eve had retreated from the light and kept trying to swim under the gravel. I am pretty sure Lenny is gone, and Eve will probably soon follow.

God damn it, I really did like those two, its stupid but I always love my pets, even the fish and its sad to lose them (I have lost tetra’s but they are so small and numerous they count as an overall pet, not as individuals). Damn, Eve was going to rule the fucking world and Lenny was just cute always kissing. Ok, now I just saw the saddest part, Eve keeps trying to push Lenny and swim under him. Lenny used to always have swim bladder problems (he would float upside down, not move, etc) and Eve would always come over and push him around and he would eventually swim with her. Its the saddest thing to see Eve pushing on Lenny (no she isn’t trying to eat him) and he is just there not responding.

God damn what a fucking way to start my day.

No Good Deed – AKA The Day of Suckage.

First and foremost I want to make it clear that I am not complaining about my friends I am doing this for, so please read through, chuckle but don’t think its being said in a way that indicates I am upset with you two.

My day started at an early 5am. I got up and balanced my check book, sent Geico the insurance payment until next January, paid the cable bill and prepared for school. At 7am I had realized I had watched this episode of “the Pretender” (yes I am sad) so I figured I would go check on the kitty’s at Ashcake and Talkswithwind. I have agreed to feed the pretty kitties once a day for a week and then for three more days on the 4th of July and on. I had figured I would get this out of the way so I am driving to Sudden Valley (about a 20 minute drive). It’s not a bad trip out, I enjoyed the ride. 

I then pulled up to the in question house, low and behold I see the “scardiest cat” of the group on their front porch. I went through a quick mental inventory and verified it was her (I had a hard time comprehending why would she be outside as we left all four of them happily eating the night before). I slowly approached hoping I could slide by her and open the door to let her in. As I walked up the stairs she jetted by me and around to where the garage is. I checked the door and it was still locked from yesterday, I figured I would draw her in by leaving the door open and making sounds like I was feeding the other three cats. She did not respond and I did feed the other three cats in order to get them into the side room so I could shut the door and focus more on the outside fourth cat.

I realized that the window over the patio was partially open and the corner of the screen was pushed outwards, A-HA!!! I had discovered the likely escape route. 

As I finished filling the bowl I heard a low throated growl, Jez was watching me and growling. I kind of stood there stupidly trying to figure out why she was growling (although when I got there all three were acting growly and upset, probably because their fourth member was outside the door trying to get in). I put some of the “tasty paste” on my finger and offered it to her. I realized at the last second that was a mistake as she launched herself onto my hand, putting three deep punctures on my left middle finger. I got her off of me and retreated out of the room.

Meanwhile I attempted a third time to call Ashcake but my phone kept dropping the calls. Eventually I called on their land line and she gave me directions to attract the fourth cat. I tried for an hour or two like this (by now it was 10:30 and I had  been here since 7:15 or so) Eventually I attempted to open the garage to let her in but that scared her out of view. I went back out to the front porch and as I walked across the entryway rug on the porch I heard a “crack” and my foot rolled into the hole that now appeared. There was a bit of pain and as I pulled my foot out and walked back into the house I realized my ankle was hurting. I called Ashcake back and explained I hurt my ankle and we agreed I would open the patio door and hope the fourth cat came in on her own.

I then proceeded home where the wife said she believed I had fractured that ankle again. It didn’t feel like that to me but I agreed and we went to Interfaith. I arrived at Interfaith, the doc looked it over and then sent me for an X-ray, she believed it was only a sprain and maybe a torn ligament and gave me an air splint and some meds(plus now I have to take antibiotics for the cat bite because evidently they have really gross bacteria in there). I got an x-ray, they gave me the results and referred me back to Interfaith. I contacted Interfaith (a public health clinic for lower income) and they said they can’t help me, because I would need an orthopedic surgeon, the cheapest way to see one is go to the ER. It turns out that on top of the already “unresolved fracture” from age 14, I now also have a cat bite and a flake fracture of the tip of the lateral malleolus, can only really be fixed by surgery (plus its sprained and probably retore the ligament I tore three years ago on that same ankle.

Well I am broke so I cannot afford the ER nor can I afford to have pins put in my ankle (the needed surgery for my ankle) FUCK AMERICA AND ITS FUCKED UP MEDICAL SYSTEM. So the wife and me went to Hoagland’s Pharmacy, picked up three different scripts, a set of crutches, an otoscope and batteries.

So, in the end, the cost of today.

1. Not enough sleep (thats my fault)
2. Missed all of my classes today.
3. Had to spend a ton of money
     $15 X-ray fee
    $30 medicines
    $30 crutches
    $50 in misc medical supplies (such as ice bag, etc).
  and still an unknown amount owed to Interfaith for seeing me.
This was an expensive day ($135+), and I am tired.

Time to nap now, (btw I dont begrudge watching the kitties, just was a long ass “Ernest Goes to Camp” sort of day).

Health

Well its official, I screwed my foot up walking up and down Alabama hill in the snow (we walked from our house to the mexican restuarant beside 7-11 yesterda) although I am tubby I am remarkably sore free except for the top of my right foot and my back (but my back was hurting yesterday before I went so I am sure I slept on it poorly).

I very much need to get in better shape, I need to shave off about 57lbs for me to be happy (drops me to a trim 220 that way). Funny enough I weigh more then certain individuals but they look heavier, but thats because my flab is “stealth flab”. Now I realize everyone will think that 220 isn’t trim, but actually on me thats pretty damn skinny (and I do look boney at 200 so 220 is good).

Now, I do have a plan for this. This week I will be going to the public pool and begin participating in Water Aerobics. I realize thats kinda funny but I still have an unresolved fracture in my left ankle, I never have been able to run very far without it hurting, this way I can do something physical and be balanced in water and not screw my foot up. I also plan on as soon as this snow is over biking more. My bike is finally out and I do enjoy riding bicycles so this will also aid me. My goal is if I can keep up the water aerobics at least three times weekly then in February I will actually go get a membership at BAC and start working out. I just wanted to start at a place I know I will do better (between my rashes from sweating and my ankle, the pool is probably the best place to start). 

Yes I realize five million people have made the same goal, but I have proven to myself as I come up on my one year quitting of pop (I have tried pop a few times and found it not so interesting) and coming up on four months of no coffee shows I can commit to something. I used to never work out and be in excellent shape due to the fact I rode my bike everywhere, thats just what I am going to have to start doing now. 

I am hoping to only be a fat bastard for a short time longer (well 6-9 months). My target weight’s target date is June 1st, thats 142 days to drop the weight, I realize I may not make it, I also realize if I build muscle I may actually not lose the weight, I guess in the end my goal is to just get rid of the flab.

Damn stealth flab.