Posts tagged ‘Health’
Princess Celestia has a dog named Vito that she adopted from the animal shelter. He’s a large dog, probably a shepherd, maybe even purebred. When she took him home it didn’t take long for him to start losing weight at an alarming rate. He was also constantly having little “accidents.” He ate ravenously but suffered from chronic diarrhea, and, worse yet, seemed to be starving to death.
Many of you may read this and assume the dog is diabetic (as would be my first guess) or that the dog has pancreatic cancer. Both are good guesses. But you would be wrong. Vito’s problem is caused by the failure of his pancreas to produce necessary enzymes to digest food efficiently. His disease is serious and life threatening, but it is easily treatable.
Princess Celestia had to pay for many rounds of expensive testing for Vito before he was finally diagnosed. However, once Vito was properly diagnosed she had already found an internet forum for owners of dogs with EPI. EPI is Vito’s disease, and it is an acronym for Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency.
The people on the EPI forum were able to put Princess Celestia in touch with other dog owners in the same situation, and they were able to help her with recommendations on medicine and enzymes and how to properly deliver enzymes to Vito. So, working in cooperation with her veterinarian and her friends on the EPI Forum, Princess Celestia was able to get poor Vito back into fighting shape.
EPI is a disease that is often fatally misdiagnosed or looked over. The people on the EPI forum are working to spread the word about EPI so no more dogs are put down or made to needlessly waste away. They are trying to raise awareness among veterinarians and to raise money towards research to combat the disease.
And now I’ve done my part by calling your attention to this website. If you’re an animal lover, then you should go check it out. You never know. You might save the life of a dog or cat one day…simply by knowing the symptoms of a rare but fatal disease.
I almost never get indigestion. Last October, around the same time as my dog went blind, I had one violent attack of tummy ache. I left work early and took some Tums and laid down. Since then, nothing, until about three weeks ago, when I dared to eat Jack in the Box for breakfast. I would recommend that if you know that you have gallstones (which I didn’t) that you lay off the Jack in the Box.
Pretty soon after that I was experiencing some discomfort. Then I decided to get lunch from Short Bus Subs. Short Bus Subs are excellent, and they offer some healthier sandwiches. However, eating again aggravated my stomach issues, and I went home early because I was in so much pain. The pain was in my central abdominal area, and it was like heartburn, only it wasn’t heartburn. It didn’t reach that far. What it did do was make me violently ill. I threw up in the women’s restroom before I went home.
The next night I went over to the Mr. Brewsters’ so that I could ghost write a cover letter for a job interview. We had chicken and spaghetti. Again, I experienced discomfort of the same sort as before. I drove home and threw up in my kitchen sink. I couldn’t make it as far as the bathroom. That was a Friday night, and I had pain pretty much every day thereafter. It would go away when I went to sleep at night, and I’d wake up the next morning feeling alright. I never knew what was going to set it off. I would eat something and then live in hell for the rest of the day. That is, until the following Thursday.
Thursday I went home a half hour early because that was all I could stand. I felt bloated all the time, like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. And I couldn’t get rid of the air. I popped into bed, took a ton of acid reducers and Tums and lay there miserable while nothing happened. The next morning, more Tums and acid reducers, and I was just as miserable. The pain had kept me up half the night. I chatted one of my coworkers who works from home.
i am so sick to my stomach lately; i’ve been sick since yesterday, and nothing i take makes it any better
do you feel nauseous?
could be your gallbladder. you better go see a doctor.
So, I made an appointment with “my” doctor. Actually, my doctor was in India again, so I made an appointment with someone in her office. I rattle off my symptoms, and the doctor says, “That sounds like it could be your gallbladder.” And I said, “I thought so.” This is because I have the internet and can diagnose and prescribe for myself.
The doctor explained to me that he was going to send me to get an ultrasound. The ultrasound was to check out what was going on down there. If it was my gallbladder, then one of two things could happen. If it wasn’t so bad, then I could live with it until I could schedule a surgery. If it was as bad as he thought it was, then I would probably have to have emergency surgery. He gave me a prescription for some hydrocodone. I went in to work for only long enough to explain to them that I had to go home and take narcotics.
After about an hour, the doctor’s office called. A different doctor than the one I’d seen originally advised me to hold off and schedule the surgery for later. Then the doctor I’d seen originally had a nurse call and tell me to get myself to the emergency room where they would be expecting me for surgery. So, I packed my little overnight bag and drove myself to the emergency room.
Turns out they weren’t expecting me. In severe pain, I walked, with my loaded suitcase and my purse, back and forth from the emergency room to my doctor’s office and back again, twice. They could not admit me. The doctor’s office hadn’t sent the ultrasound or anything they needed. Well, it turned out that the doctor’s office had sent it. I was just asking the wrong people, apparently. When I finally got a bed in the emergency room, after nearly two hours of waiting, a doctor told me that he’d been waiting on me and asked me what took me so long. He was under the impression that I was in my doctor’s office when my doctor called him. No, I told him, I was in the comfort of my own home, enjoying my pain pill. Then I packed my little bag and drove myself here.
Now, when I finally got a bed in the emergency room is when life started to get better. They hooked me up to an IV and gave me morphine. Morphine? I thought that was what they gave to people who were about to die, like terminal cancer patients. Morphine! But seriously, I love morphine. I didn’t even realize how much pain I was in until they gave me the morphine. Wow! This morphine stuff is great.
They moved me to a bed in the hospital. I was going to have surgery the next day. I was not allowed to eat or drink anything. Seriously, I think you’ve never had a gallbladder attack if you think I want anything to eat or drink. Go ahead and hook me up to that saline. I hadn’t eaten since just before noon of the day before. I never wanted to eat anything again for as long as I lived. What was eating but pain and misery? Eating: it’s so not worth it.
In the hospital, they wrapped my legs in these leg warmer pump thingies that they give you to prevent blood clots from surgery. When the orderly came to get me for surgery, first off, he helped me get my computer in my suitcase ‘cause he felt sorry for me, trying to keep the back of my hospital gown closed and close my suitcase at the same time. Then, he grabbed my fancy leg warmers ‘cause he said that they would charge me for new ones unless we took those with us. I am going to spend the rest of my short-lived life paying for this surgery, and every little bit counts. I loved the orderly.
I really don’t remember much about the first procedure, which was the gallbladder surgery itself. I was “under” before they put me under. It was a laparoscopic surgery, so that means that they cut a small incision on the right side of your abdomen, just under your rib cage, just right of your sternum. Then they poke two holes under the incision, further right. They pump you full of gas. They stick a camera inside of your abdomen, along with a light and a tiny vacuum cleaner, I think. Then they basically suck your gallbladder out of you and glue you shut. No kidding. They don’t sew or even staple anymore. They glue you. Someone should redo Operation as a video game and make the players perform simulated laparoscopic surgery. I think there could be some serious money in that.
After they sucked out my gallbladder, there was more! Once I woke up from the surgery they explained that they needed to do a second procedure to remove some gallstones stuck in a duct, along with some bile. Honestly, I didn’t pay attention. There was something about a wire going down my throat, and then a balloon, like an angiogram, and somehow the balloon was going to pick up on this bile and the stones. I wonder how that works exactly. Static electricity? When I woke up the second doctor (the balloon guy) said he “flushed” it four or five times, so he was pretty sure he got the last of the stones and crap. How do you flush something with a balloon? Maybe it was a water balloon. I think it should definitely be a part of the new Operation. Sounds fascinating.
That was Saturday afternoon, and I was told that it was possible that I might get out by Sunday. I called Lubbock, and she insisted on picking me up and having me stay with her for a night or two, and that’s what we did. I called the Mr. Brewsters, and they would have come to visit me on Sunday, but I got released from the hospital before they could make it there. Lubbock drove me to her home where I promptly swallowed two hydrocodone tablets and passed out on her couch. I slept right through the Charlie Sheen special on the Biography Channel. I slept right through a neighbor coming to visit. I slept until sometime in the early morning.
I didn’t get much sleep in the hospital. Someone was always waking me up to change an IV bag or monitor vital signs or poke me with something or other. Not to complain or anything, but I liked the day nurse better than the night nurse. At least he let me sleep some.
On the Tuesday following my surgery I had to go back to the hospital for some kind of test involving kidney function. I gave blood again. Then I decided to go to my doctor and see if the back pain I was experiencing was normal. My doctor couldn’t tell me if that was normal or not. So, I went to the balloon dude’s office, and that doctor’s nurse also didn’t know if it was normal to have back pain after gallbladder surgery. Seriously, haven’t these people heard of the internet? The balloon dude’s nurse sent me to the surgeon’s nurse, who just so happened to be a really hot guy.
Here is one foolproof sign that I am now a middle-aged woman. When I was in my 20s I remember delivering an entire comedic monologue while I was out to dinner with some friends, over pizza at EZ’s, about how I hated that doctors were always wanting to see me naked. I have a cyst on my face. The doctor wants to see me naked. I have chigger bites. The doctor wants to see me naked. I have hives. The doctor wants to see me naked. What is up with that? Why do I ALWAYS have to be naked? My modesty was offended. But on the upside, that little rant is how I came to date Dr. Mark, who found it amusing.
I no longer have any sense of shame or modesty. And I haven’t even had a baby. Now I practically volunteer to strip in front of anyone who says he’s a medical professional. The dermatologist who removed my cyst was really, really cute. And I remember being embarrassed about that somehow. With the hot nurse, I no longer care. I’m flipping up my shirt for the whole world to see my scars. Yes, the back pain was normal and was from the gas they pumped me full of. Both the hot nurse and the surgeon poked at my abdomen and declared me healed, then helped me up off the examining table.
After my hospital trip that Tuesday I went to Lubbock’s and hung out, watching reruns of Little House on the Prairie on cable. It was my last day to play hookie. I was going to work on Wednesday. When she got off work I nuked a dinner I’d purchased from Wal-Mart earlier in the day, while I was waiting on my prescriptions to be filled, and we ate dinner together. I think we were watching another Charlie Sheen special on TV.
I said, “You know what I love about surgery?”
Lubbock said, “Pain medicine.”
“That, too. But I was thinking about the sense of accomplishment that you get.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean that everyone gets excited about milestones that you first achieved when you were a baby. Like, look, Ma, I can walk and eat solid food and pee in the potty by myself. Just wait ‘til I have my first bowel movement after the surgery!”
“I think that’s too much information.”
I got my first gray hairs when I was 19. They came in my bangs, so they were very prominent and visible to me. Shocking white and coarse, they were more like horse hair than any of the other hair on my head. I used to search for them and pluck them out from the root. I had a boyfriend who referred to them as “platinum blonde.” God bless him.
My hair at that time was a very light brown or almost a dishwater blonde color. Frankly, I’ve been coloring it for so long now that I don’t know what it would look like naturally except that there would be a lot of gray with some kind of brown color mixed in. I got wise and started coloring my hair almost immediately after I spotted the first gray. This wasn’t solely because of the gray. I didn’t have enough back then. I started highlighting it at first. Next, I went blonde. Then I went red for many years. And now I’m a brunette.
During my redhead years I was really serious about the hair dye process. I bought my own salon apron and a box of gloves, my own reusable applicator, etc. I had my very own salon. I would go to Sally Beauty Supply and pick out a bottle of color and a bottle of crème developer and mix my own color. It was cheaper that way.
If you’re coloring your hair at home and you don’t have a fancy sink like they have at the salon or a detachable shower head, then the easiest way to rinse off the color is to just step under the shower head. So, I got into the habit of doing my color one night on the weekend and then combining the rinse and a shower before I went to bed.
One Saturday night I decided to try a new color. I picked out this slightly more outrageous red color from L’oreal. You know how the boxes of home hair dye come with instructions that say to always do a patch test? A patch test is when you mix a small amount of the hair color with the developer and then apply that small amount to a small patch of your skin and wait for a while to see if you experience an allergic reaction. I don’t believe in them. Patch tests are, as Charlie Sheen might say, for trolls and clowns. I’m a winner. I don’ need no stinking patch test.
I mixed the color with the developer, put it on my hair, waited for the required amount of time, and then I got in the shower and rinsed out the color and washed myself. When I got out of the shower I grabbed for a towel and rubbed the excess moisture off my hair. Then I used the same towel to dry off my body before ultimately wrapping it around my head like a turban and putting on my nightshirt.
I went to bed. At about 3 AM I was half awake and itching. So, I scratched the itch. I went back to sleep. At about 5 AM I started itching more. This became sort of an uncontrollable compulsion, and it spread all over my body. I finally realized that this was not normal, so I got up and went to the bathroom to look in the mirror.
The person in the mirror was not me. Instead, it was this hideously swollen, red bumpy thing. Hives! I’d seemingly broken out in hives, and my face had puffed to about four times its normal size. A quick scan of my body confirmed that I had the same problem all over. I was a giant raspberry, and an uncomfortable one. Naturally, I wanted to stop the itch, so I reached in my medicine cabinet and found a bottle of calamine lotion. I liberally slathered the calamine lotion all over. It didn’t work, of course. I still itched.
Then I quickly put on some clothes and shoes and grabbed my purse and my keys and headed for the nearest emergency room. When I show up at the emergency room I am the only person there. It was the only time I’ve been to an emergency room in my life when there was no wait. I sat right down across from a nurse who started taking my vitals and I guess performing triage.
The nurse was very sympathetic to my plight, and I remember spending what seemed like a long time talking with her. Since my blood pressure wasn’t super high and my breathing seemed alright she didn’t seem to be in any rush to get me in to see a doctor. Maybe she thought I normally looked like a giant raspberry.
She did seem concerned about the fact that my skin was peeling, but I assured her that was the calamine lotion. Yes, the calamine lotion I slathered on had dried rather quickly and started cracking and peeling, causing my face and the rest of my body to look like my skin was falling off in patches, sort of like a bad sunburn or maybe leprosy.
At one point during our interview, the nurse said, “It’s a shame about your hair. That’s such a pretty color.”
To which I responded, “Why? Are they going to strip it?”
Not my finest hour. I was suffering a severe allergic reaction to hair dye, and I imagined that once I was admitted to the hospital the doctor was going to sit me in a barber’s chair and begin applying beauty treatments.
Finally, we got done with the triage, and the nurse disappeared behind a door and down a hall for a little while. I heard some snickering. Then the door opened back up and the nurse came out to get me. She led me into an examining room where I was told to wait for the doctor. The room was cold.
Finally, the doctor came in after what seemed like an eternity in freezing itchy hell. He looked like he was working hard to suppress a shit-eating grin.
He said, “So, you had an allergic reaction to some hair dye, huh?”
“Yes, I think that’s what it was. I colored my hair last night. It was a new color. And in the morning I woke up like this.”
“It is a pretty color.”
“What’s up with the peeling?”
“That’s calamine lotion.”
“Why did you put on calamine lotion?”
“I thought it would help with the itching.”
“Well, it doesn’t. Calamine lotion doesn’t do anything.”
“I guess I figured that out.”
“You know what does?”
I shook my head no. He held up a syringe.
He gave me a shot of cortisone, and I felt better almost immediately. Then he asked me if I had driven myself to the emergency room. I told him I had. He told me that he was going to make me wait for a while to make sure that I was alright to drive before he would release me. He also told me that in the future Benadryl was something I might try for reactions like mine and that maybe a patch test wasn’t such a bad idea. Then, my favorite advice was that maybe I might want to avoid using the same towel to dry both my hair and my body in the future since using the same towel was probably why I had hives all over my body instead of just on my scalp and my face.
I must have stayed for at least an hour and a half after that, and every twenty minutes or so the door to the room I was in would open a crack or so and a head or two or three would peek in, shut the door and then laugh it up in the hallway.
I’m still reading this Charlie Sheen crap, and I hate myself for doing it, but it’s like trying not to watch a train wreck going on in front of your eyes. I notice that there have been new interviews where Charlie calls himself a genius, asks for a 50% pay raise, says he’s Adonis, and that other people aren’t like him because they don’t have “tiger blood.”
He’s tired of people not recognizing how special he is. No doubt, this is a reaction to the AA term, “terminal uniqueness.” He knocks AA, and this is because they supposedly have only a 5% success rate. He says he cured himself with the power of his mind, because, apparently, that’s how Charlie rolls. I don’t know AA’s success rate, but…high or low, it’s the only treatment that’s successful. And it works if you work it. But you can’t quit going to meetings and quit working the steps and start drinking and using and expect for it to work by osmosis.
Charlie’s publicist has left him now, and it was really the only smart choice the man could possibly make. Otherwise, he looks like the twit who advised Charlie to spout off at the mouth in his current state.
Charlie won’t get help until he hits bottom, and maybe not even then. The problem is that if he’s talking like this and he is indeed sober, as he says he is, then he’s got bigger problems than just addiction. I read comments all over the internet where people have no compassion for this guy, and he is a selfish ass. But does it never occur to anyone but me that maybe, just maybe Charlie Sheen has some real mental illness beyond just drug addiction here. I mean, we’re talking about the kind of guy who thought the government conspired to cause 9/11…when he was sober.
I think Sheen needs a full psychiatric evaluation, not just a stay in some pampered resort for addicted celebrities. I think Sheen needs to be fired, permanently. Let’s not pussy foot around it. Fire his ass. Make him get help. And even though I think Charlie Sheen is acting like a tool, it’s just plain wrong to fail to have compassion for one of our fellow human beings, especially if he’s actually mentally ill. It’s not a choice. Why do we act like it is?
I found an article on the internet today that’s just plain silly and blatantly sexist. Not surprisingly, it’s featured on Fox News. The article mentions a study conducted by a female graduate student that attempts to correlate the amount of hours a mother works per week with her child’s increased chances of being obese, as compared to moms who stay at home.
This article is so biased it incensed me. You know, in American society most of the time a man and a woman have a child together, and then they, together, have to feed and care for the child. That is a joint responsibility that all too frequently ends up on Mom’s checklist. Dad’s checklist hasn’t changed: go to work and bring home the bacon, mow the lawn, take the trash out, and fix stuff when it’s broken. Mom’s checklist has changed: care for kids and husband and make sure they have food and medical care and a clean, warm, comfortable home, and bring home the bacon.
Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s great that women work. If you’re a stay at home parent of either gender, I applaud you as well. If you can afford to do so, then children are always better cared for when a loving parent stays home with them. But not everyone has that luxury. The single dad doesn’t. The single mom doesn’t. The couples who work for low wages don’t.
Why didn’t the study attempt to correlate the amount of time that parents spend working with childhood obesity? Why didn’t the study take into account stay at home dads? Why didn’t the study also look at gay and lesbian couples who raise children? Why are we once again targeting mothers as being solely responsible for their child’s well-being and not calling fathers to task as well?
I’ll tell you why. This is the feminist backlash at work once again. Keep those women barefoot and pregnant! Don’t give them career options, fool! Marry them young and hot and make sure that they don’t ever crawl out from under your thumb. If they can make as much money as men can, then they will figure out that they don’t need men. The sad thing about the feminist backlash is just how many women help some men to perpetuate this inequality, ones like the
stupid bitch woman who conducted this study.
Many women don’t need men nowadays, but that’s not a bad thing. We still want them. We still love them. And wouldn’t it be a better feeling for both sexes to know that we’re in relationships with people that we respect and love instead of people that we want to merely use for their wallets or their housekeeping services? Wouldn’t you like to know that your woman has choices, and she chose you just because you’re you?
There may be a connection between women working and children being obese, but it doesn’t mean that there’s a cause and effect relationship. The cause of children, or anyone, being fat is taking in more calories than you burn. If you want to lose weight, then eat less and move more. It’s that simple. It has nothing to do with whether or not your mom works or how many hours she does work.
The article surmises that women who work don’t have time to prepare healthy meals, and so the childrens’ diets suffer as a result. Why is this automatically the mom’s fault? Where is dad in this equation? Did he skip out? Is he working, too? How come he can’t help out and make a healthy meal? Did he lose the use of his hands?
I sometimes wonder on this blog why I seem to be in the tiny minority of people in the world who can recognize this injustice for exactly what it is. I told the woman who sits next to me at work how I felt, and she understood. She’s expecting a baby in two more months, and she and her husband can’t afford for either of them to quit working. These aren’t frivolous people. They own one car that they share, and they live in a one bedroom apartment in a reasonably priced neighborhood. She gets it.