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 🙂

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.

Hypocrisy

I was watching t.v. and saw that they finally approved Plan B. I am very happy to see it, anything to help prevent unwanted pregnancies is good, especially if its not invasive abortion. However, I noticed several fundie/conservative groups are up in arms about it.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t necessarily blame people being against abortion. I can understand the thought that human life is inviolate, its just we disagree on when life starts. That is ok. My issue is these same Christian fundies who spout how human life, even one, is important, yet I don’t see any of these Christian Fundies objecting to us bombing another country, or objecting to the military being used for pretty much anything.

Fundie churches are like this to. I have never heard of a Fundie church (or honestly any Christian church, except certain Catholic Dioceses, ever objecting to our war in Iraq. The same churches that spout how important it is to save even a single human life that is lost to abortion, doesn’t even raise an eyebrow at us killing other people in other countries. The last time I read the bible, Jesus was pretty damn clear about not raising your fist against another, turn the other cheek, Thou Shalt Not Kill, and many other obvious things that indicated taking any human lives was wrong. Yet all these conservative “Christian” people are pro-Iraq. I don’t think Jesus approves of us going to another country period, hell he didn’t believe in protecting himself, he certainly would never agree to invading another country, even to give our country safety.

What is worse is when Christians start quoting things from the Old Testament. They start saying an “Eye for an Eye” and how the Isrealites were allowed to defend themselves. Well if they believe in the old testament then they should still be Jewish. Jesus supposedly changed all the rules, including sacrifices, warfare, etc. You can’t just pick and choose from the bible to match your need. Either you follow the teachings of peace and love that Jesus taught, making you a Christian, or you follow the old testament and your Jewish (well that is a simplification, I realize you need to follow more then just the Old Testament to be Jewish, but most Christians are not very informed and get confused of you start talking about the Torah, etc.).

I get confused, I know many Christians, about 1/10th of them object to war (the rest are either pro-war/Iraq or at the very least it doesn’t effect them either way), and half of that is they only object to Iraq, not warfare in general. It kind of turns my stomach when these same people claim to follow the teachings of such a gentle man as Jesus. If a Christian truly followed the path of Jesus, they would stand out of the pack and would garner my respect. Its funny, most of the people I know who protest the war are hippy/pagan types, types you don’t normally see in church (although there are a few that are church goers I am sure), yet those that proclaim their faith (and who drive huge, expensive, gas guzzlers and work for questionable places, but this is a rant for later), are the ones that object to Plan B birth control pills, but don’t even blink an eye when people are killed in Iraq (not even getting into the children killed by us in Iraq, just talking anyone).

This is why I am a Deist. Yes I believe in God/Divine, and yes I believe every single religion in the world has lost the true message in exchange for power/prestige/riches. If there is a rapture, I have a feeling all those who believe they are saved are going to be the ones burning in hell (oh, and later will be a rant on the hubris of those who have the “In case of rapture, this car will be unmanned” bumper stickers).

I would do more, but this is probably long enough right now.

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).