Slash Rant Archive

How March 2021 Began

Posted April 15, 2021 By kmarrs

I wasn’t feeling very good leading up to March 1, but I honestly thought it was food poisoning that lingered. After all, I’d just had a set of iron infusions so my hemoglobin should have been going up, not down. And yeah, my stools were black and tarry, but iron can do that. Plus I’m a whole entire dumbass due to brain death from repeatedly not having enough blood over the span of 4 years. That doesn’t help.

After 3 days of feeling rotten and not getting better, and having lost the ability to walk more than 100 feet without having to sit down to catch my breath, I called my mom and had her take me to the ER. Here is a key thing though. Usually, I go to the Ohio Health ERs but I was getting more and more upset with the entire Ohio Health system. So this time we went to the closest Mt Carmel hospital.

Mom found a wheelchair, wheeled me in, and we got situated in the waiting room. Triage called me back and I explained everything. By that point, I was figuring it really was blood in my stool and my hemoglobin was probably down to a 6 or 7. They took some blood to send to the lab, and I sat and waited.

I don’t know exactly how much time passed, but it was pretty much exactly how much time is needed for my blood to go from ER to lab, the test to be run, the alarms start ringing, and the lab to go “Oh Shit!” and call the ER with a stat report. They immediately found me in the waiting room and rolled me to one of the rooms reserved for cases that can’t wait, talking about immediate blood transfusions.

Fam. My hemoglobin was a 4. Now some of you have been here for a while. Some of you are new. I don’t want to assume prior knowledge anywhere. So I’ll go ahead and gently remind you that as someone who was assigned female at birth, my hemoglobin should be between a 12 and a 16. I’ll further remind you that when my hemoglobin dropped to a 6 a few years ago and my doctor called me in the middle of the night and told me to get my ass to the hospital stat, it was explained that at a 6 I basically had half as much blood in me as I’m supposed to.

It was March 1, 2021, and with a hemoglobin of 4, I had about 1/3 as much blood as I needed to survive. I should be dead. That is not an exaggeration. Luckily I basically refuse to die and despite such a low amount of blood, I hadn’t even passed out. I have, however, over the years suffered a consistent lack of blood and oxygen to the brain and this most recent episode really was pretty harsh, so I have suffered some amount of brain death not yet determined. I’m a touch salty about that. I used to be really smart. I can tell the difference. So can those who have known me a while and who talk to me regularly. So I wasn’t passing out but mentally I was suffering.

Anyway, they gave me blood pretty much immediately and found me a room on the surgery floor. The next day they did an endoscopy and found nothing at all. They had a colonoscopy in the plans, but that would have to wait a day so I could do the prep. They decided before they started the prep, they would do a CT of my abdomen.

They found a mass of something attached to my lower bowel and I was immediately scheduled for exploratory surgery the next day, March 3.

The surgeon and co were reassuring that the odds were it was a clump of blood vessels that shouldn’t be there but would be an easy enough thing to fix. It was a reasonable source of bleeding and would likely explain the anemia. So they opened me up to check it out and remove it.

They did not find a clump of blood vessels. They found a tumor that was confirmed to be cancer in the days that followed.

They removed all of it, and along with it, about 5 inched of my small bowel. The pathology shows that it was a slow-growing tumor. On the spectrum of how aggressive cancer can get, this is cancer that isn’t likely to spread and once gone, isn’t likely to come back, since they removed enough of the surrounding bowel. So it’s currently gone, and it is probably gone for good.

As of the oncology appointment I just had on April 13, I consider myself in remission. I won’t even need chemo or radiation. Just the one aggressive surgery and regular CT’s of my belly for probably the rest of my life, just to be sure.

So that’s good.

When I was released from the hospital, after like 6 or 7 units of blood total (along with proving I could use my bowels as intended post op), I had a hemoglobin of 7.9. 6 days later when I checked in with my brand new, Mt Carmel affiliated PCP, I had a hemoglobin of 10.3! Guess who can make their own blood after all! It turns out I’m even really good at it!

Which really pisses me off.

I was seeing a cancer specialist for 3 years and he refused to run any further testing to figure out what was wrong. He assured me some people just don’t make their own blood and gave me iron infusion after iron infusion along with the occasional blood transfusion. For 3 years I asked time and time again for this test and that, always affirming and reaffirming that it couldn’t be cancer. He assured me it wasn’t cancer, but ran no tests to prove it. Apparently, there is a really simple test he could have run checking for cancer markers what would have told him I had cancer somewhere so that we could have started the search for it. That test was never run.

3 years later, a little over 4 years after this all started, I almost died of cancer. Almost doesn’t even cover it. I was a day or two out from dying of cancer at most. I was down to a hemoglobin of 4 and was still losing blood. I had no time left in me when I showed up in that ER.

Mt Carmel saved my life where Ohio Health left me to die. One of my Ohio Health PCPs even implied my real problem was I was just fat.

So anyway, that’s how March 2021 started. But that was just the beginning.

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Know What?

Posted September 28, 2015 By kmarrs

Fuck maths.

I don’t want to talk about it.

Shit.  I don’t have time to talk about it.

But fuck maths.

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Straight A’s

Posted September 18, 2015 By kmarrs

Straight A’s are nice, but I think I’d rather have friends.  I’m not saying I have to choose one over the other, but that’s only because I’m too awkward to make friends and I can’t help having all the correct answers.  I do need to get better at keeping my trap shut though.  They are downright rude about it.  Which is fine.  But you don’t get to be rude to me about me knowing this shit, and then ask me for help.  Nope.

Sorry.  Needed to rant.

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Hanging In There

Posted May 5, 2015 By kmarrs

I don’t even know that to say.

I’m sitting here it is 6:45PM on Monday May 4th, 2015 and I still have no health insurance because the pissant that will not be legally responsible when I lose my shit doesn’t give a shit that he was incorrect about me getting it back on the 1st as a probably yet worse case scenario.  I’m in withdraw from yes, taking nothing, and like 6 days post-op and I don’t know what part of me is going haywire because of what but every part of my down to the small molecule is going crazy from the volatile cocktail that is Fibromyalgia, unmedicated serious mental health, post operation, and a broken tooth I forgot to tell you all about that happened mid way through the month that will hence forth never be named it has been that horrible.

A month, year, life from now I will look back and see how strong I was to make it through this exact moment in time but for now I’m going to loving punch this kitten in the face.

hang-in-there-cat

Loving because it’s a kitten. In the face because it needs to stop telling me what the to fuck do already.  Be warned other people who might carelessly throw this line around.

So instead of punching kittens I’m going to hide off grid for a bit.  I promise you’ll hear from me soon and before it involves constructing an insanity plea.

Or you’ll hear from me tomorrow, I don’t know, but blogging can be therapeutic.  But my blogging schedule can’t tell me what to fucking do either.

Also, I’m really active on tumblr right now and a bit more pleasant there because I’m currently fangirling over AOU.

Wait can we.

I need to back up.

Guilt.

First of all I feel guilty as hell for feeling as sick as I do because I chose to have my appendix almost rupture while I was withdrawing from my meds, a few days after I ripped a dental filling out of a tooth while flossing.  That shit needs to stop but it’s part of the sickness.  Am a manipulating my husband into giving me more time to hide?

I swear to god my appendix was a physical manifestation of the stress.

Also and my original guilt sidetrack:

I feel this compulsion to justify having spent 10$ on me and my husband’s one no matter what movie a year (MARVEL) when I can’t afford over 2 grand in meds for me in the kid.  And what that movie date did for me in therapy… right down to the three young girls behind us whom as one said “ew” to a kissing scene.

I’m not proofreading this.  Suck it.  I’m literally shaking.

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pills medication BPD Borderline Personality Disorder Depression  Anxiety BipolarAs I type this I’m currently withdrawing from Ativan because I ran out.  I ran out because a minor paperwork fuck up with welfare caused us to lose our insurance for a month.  It’ll be back on May 1, they assure us, and in the meantime if we pay out-of-pocket for the medication Lucas and I need, they will reimburse us.

Because yes, I have a couple grand just laying about.  Luke’s meds alone cost $500.  My Ativan wouldn’t be too bad, but my Geodon dose that I’m running out of next weekend is over a grand by itself and that withdraw is brutal.  Not to mention it’s one of the top medications I take.

So some guy sitting in an office made a mistake, and now we either come up with a couple thousand dollars, that they’ll pay back, or Luke and I proceed to run out of medication one at a time.  Thank God his Vyvanse that he ran out of 2 weeks ago doesn’t cause withdraw.  It just leaves him suffering serious and sometimes dangerous ADHD symptoms.  This is the kids that tried to fly a few years back when he was unmedicated.  That physics experiment left him with a broken wrist.  Luckily age has brought him some wisdom.

Then there is me.  A month ago I was attempting to get myself admitted because I was in rough shape, and now I can’t even take my meds properly.  How is this ok in someone’s eyes.

Anyway, we’re not taking this sitting down.  Pat is writing angry emails to supervisors and spelling out the facts.  We can’t afford to pay out-of-pocket and we can’t afford for me to run out of Geodon.  I can go without my Ativan and I’ll survive the withdraw.  I can even go without my anti-depressant, I might just need to hide for a few days.  But man-o-man is that Geodon withdraw nasty.  I’ll be going from 80 MG to nothing cold turkey, I have no means of tapering down, and unless they find a solution, I have no power to prevent it.

You can’t just cold turkey meds.  Medical rule #1.  You can’t cold turkey psyche meds.  It’s dangerous.  It causes bigger problems.  The list of side effects of a cold turkey is worse than the symptoms themselves.  For reference, if I was on a larger dose of Ativan, I could be suffering seizures right now.  Instead, and thankfully, I’m only light-headed, nauseous, agitated, and suffering worse anxiety than usual.

But man the Geodon.

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Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness (bpd)You know, when I was first diagnosed with this illness, right as I was getting pregnant with Lucas, I instantly became an expert on it.  I read everything there was to read and even now I can spit it back out at you.  The problem with telling you what Borderline Personality Disorder is, is that it is different for everyone.  Yeah alright, there are 9 criteria and you have to meet 7 of them.  Here, I’ll provide them for you.

This comes from the DSM IV – TR

A pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image, and affects, and marked impulsivity beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

(1) frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment.
Note: Do not include suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in Criterion 5.

(2) a pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation

(3) identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self

(4) impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., spending, sex, Substance Abuse, reckless driving, binge eating).
Note: Do not include suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in Criterion 5.

(5) recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior

(6) affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days)

(7) chronic feelings of emptiness

(8) inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights)

(9) transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms

But even that, as defined as it is, is so open-ended. There are 9 criteria, 7 needing met (any 7) that makes 36 different combos! And that’s assuming someone only meets 7 of them. 9 more possible combinations if they meet 8. Plus, of course, those of us who meet all 9 that’s another 1.  Add that all together and you have: 46 people in the same room who all have BPD, but none of them share the same combination of symptoms.

Oh Hey!  It’s 5 now!  That’s even more possible combinations!  This room is getting crowded and none of us are alike!

Wow.  And that list defines BPD?  That’s ludicrous!  It diagnoses it, but doesn’t define it.  Doesn’t define us.

Then of course you have the nature versus nurture debate.

There are those who as children were abused, or neglected, or weren’t any of that, but suffered a lack of validation.  Then you have those who suffered no ill-raising at all, but yet, something in their DNA predisposed them to have this illness and there was no real preventing it.  Of course, most patients are a combo of the 2.

We are told we are the patients those in the field of Psychiatry dread.  We are difficult patients.  We have a limited success rate.  Yet there are those of us who are no different to treat than anyone else.  Surely I’m not the only one.  Granted, I have an amazing Psychiatrist that lets me use my knowledge of the disorder and my knowledge of myself to help treat me.  Not everyone does.

We are told we have the emotional growth of a teenager.  Oh, this is true, I suppose, but there are many ways this can play out just like there are many ways the emotions of a teenager can play out.  Emotions are extremely intense things and teenagers are at the phase where they are no longer just feeling them, but they can name them and target their trigger.  They are learning to be at one with them while the process them.  They don’t deny them.  They feel them.  They let them shape who they are and who they become.  “That man crushed my soul and made me feel vulnerable by being overly dominating.  I don’t like that.  I want someone who is more my equal or maybe I want to try being the more dominating one in my next relationship.”  Teenagers learn from their emotions.  If adults don’t at least do that much, then may I stay a juvenile in my processing of emotions forever.  I am at least adult enough to know there is a time and place for it.  Maybe not all with BPD do.  But then, there are some teenagers who do know how to save it for the right time and place.  I’d like to think it’s an even spread for both groups.

We are manipulative, I’ll give that. Some know how to use it for good.  Some know how to use it for evil.  Some use it for both.  Or some try their best not to use it at all.  We are capable of being self-aware.

We have addictive personalities.  I can’t argue that.  But not all are addicts simply because they aren’t.  And some know when they are picking up that bottle of vodka for all the wrong reasons and give themselves a couple of days to work through the negative shit, but then cut themselves off before it ever has a chance of becoming a real problem. Some can’t do this and are otherwise predisposed to suffer from alcoholism whether they are BPD or not.

This is all just the tip of the iceberg.  And just like the diagnostic criteria, there are so many possible ways this can go, so many people with BPD who aren’t all the same.  There is no one thing I can tell you that applies to all of us.  Other than it’s a bad idea to try to “train us”.  (Don’t ask, I came across a site that made me want to puke.  A lot.  From a mental health professional.  No I’m not linking.  She doesn’t need the site hits for her harmful hatred.)  We can be taught and many of us need to be.  What do we need to be taught?  To recognize our behaviors.  Coping mechanisms.  How to allow ourselves to heal.  Fine, maybe that is a training of sorts, but I assure you that is not what the hateful woman meant.

So I leave you this afternoon with the knowledge that if anyone tells you they can define BPD they are either defining themselves or the BPD patient in their life.  Perhaps they are reciting a text-book.  But I assure you, we are anything but text-book.

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