I’ve been sick again.
I fell in October and injured my wrist, and it turned out the slip and fall gave me carpal tunnel problems. A steroid shot in February triggered a 4-day migraine and pulled two already-bad cervical discs back of position. An MRI ahead of what will be epidural #10 showed a growth on the left side of my thyroid.
Ultrasound showed three new thyroid nodules, but no isthmus of organ. It looks like the surgeon really did get everything he could; I just happen to be a freak whose super power is regrowing glands.
But for the last 18 months, I have felt horrible. I told my GP that I felt like my thyroid was crazy, except there was no thyroid left. My bloodwork always looks perfect. He suggested it was stress—from work and kids and school and GOAL—and offered to put me back on an SSRI.
I have written before about choosing to take a mild anti-depressant when they boys were little. As a new mother in 2001, I was paranoid that something would happen to my child. I was bordering on becoming agoraphobic. My then-obstetrician started me on a very low dose, and I felt better taking it than not.
But after ten years on the medication, I was heavier than I’d ever been. I was miserable in my own skin, and I was unhappy in my marriage. I was absolutely numb.
I stopped taking the medication, I lost a ton of weight, I felt better, and I got divorced.
But then I felt bad again.
Yesterday was wrist surgery, next week is a thyroid biopsy to get a read on the nodules that are as big as what came out in 2006 and 2013, and a cervical epidural is the following week.
Worker’s comp is covering the wrist treatment, which is great for my wallet, but payment for missed wages doesn’t begin until I’ve missed a week of work—all of which has to be covered by me with my own leave or unpaid. It sounds unfair, but that’s how worker’s comp law works in Georgia and most states.
The orthopedist won’t let me return to work for at least five days. I also need to make sure I have enough leave to cover my epidural day and the activities for Tricky’s 5th grade graduation. I am in constant neck and back pain because of the cervical damage, topped by constant weakness and cramping in my left hand, combined with constant tingling in numbness on the other side of the same hand because of my neck.
I’m a damn mess right now.
But through it all, I have to keep going. I am irritated and petulant that the doctor won’t let me go back to work today. I understand that I need the tendon in my hand to rest and heal properly. I scheduled this surgery during the break between the upcoming summer semester and the just-finished spring semester—which saw my third perfect research paper in a row (worth 100 points) and maintained my 4.0 GPA.
I don’t like sitting still under the best of circumstances, and this is likely to drive me crazy. Even in pain, I push through because shit just has to get done. Rango and the boys help as they are able, but most of the housework falls on me. My standards and expectations differ from theirs.
There is so much to do, constantly.
But for the last month, I have felt as bad as I ever have in my life. Lethargic and weary, like pregnancy fatigue, plus horribly itchy, dry skin and stomach issues and this intense brain fog that causes terribly dysphasia at times. It feels like placenta brain, but it’s not. I am still gaining weight.
It’s hypothyroidism with blood results that look perfect.
So my endocrinologist has changed my thyroid hormone a bit. Even after just a few days, I am feeling less foggy. They asked me in pre-op yesterday to rate my pain. My wrist was fine; my back was not.
So this physical pain will hopefully be relieved before I start summer classes, but I can’t sit still for the next two weeks, waiting for that to happen. I have to keep pushing through. When I was at my worst over the weekend, a quote from Rune Lazuli popped up on my Facebook feed:
Got it. Really.
This is a reminder that I have to slow down and take care of myself. I have to be still in this and just let it heal. No matter how much glitter I may trail across the world, it’s not magical—not like that anyway. It will mend my broken physicality the way I like to think it mends hearts.
So I’m going to post this and get the boys on their respective buses and pick up some things at the pharmacy and then watch TV and maybe read.
Because apparently, this is exactly where I’m supposed to be.