When Negative feels Positive!

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Lots of beautiful sunsets this summer :)  Shot on my iPhone.

HELLO everyone, it’s been so long, hasn’t it?  It’s also been so long since I received good medical news! After some delay due to changing my insurance (hate you ACA for causing me to change insurance every year, but I won’t rant about that right now) and having to find new doctors….it really sucks to break your care from one doctor to another for the same issue.  But anyway, it took me almost half a year to find a new Gyno Oncologist to take my case and check to see if the LEEP and everything went well from 2015.  They did blood test for HPV and a pap to check for lesions – before the LEEP I had CIN-2 lesions.

And everything was negative!!

No HPV. No lesions.  Nothing on my skin.  Everything is healed.  I cried a little when I got my results.  And this might be the first time I ever shed a tear out of joy.  Special thanks to my boyfriend, who supported me through a whole lot of crying, depression, and panic attacks related to my health and whether I could pay for my health.

On the downside, I got a letter that says, yet again, my insurance is ending this year as this company is pulling out of the Individuals market.  Goddammit.  I don’t know what to do about insurance anymore.  I can hardly afford what’s left in the individual market, and the prices keep going up, yet I do not qualify for subsidies.  Insurance should NOT cost as much as rent, what the FUCK.  So the pressure is on to find a staff job with benefits….which is tough in my industry.

I have several posts about my medical issues, such as getting the LEEP procedure here. I’m just so happy to be healthy.  Now let’s see what my primary care doctor has to say about my cholesterol, hahaha….

My Experience With HSIL And The LEEP Procedure

A needle, over a foot long, to administer anaesthetics. Took a pic while waiting for the doctor to come in to the exam room.


Note: I wrote this on my phone about 3 weeks ago, on my commute home from my LEEP procedure.  It took me some time to revisit this entry, since a big part of me wanted to forget about it.

As I ride the subway home from the hospital, feet apart to manage the sway, I wonder to myself. Do I feel weak from being nervous, or from having an electrical current shooting through me?

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How I Beat Molluscum Contagiosum

Most people have never heard of this virus, unless you’ve been infected.  And once you are, it can be nerve-wrackingly awful, as it deprives you of precious self-esteem and even your sex life.  There’s a lot of articles on blogs out there about how people dealt with this, and a lot of forum posts (on spammy, ad-riddled sites).  I’d like to tell my story of how I got it and dealt with it.

There WILL be pictures, way at the bottom of this article, way after the jump.  It’s technically SFW (safe for work) but there will be close ups of molluscum.  I took some pictures myself to keep track of how they looked and where they were, for my own knowledge.  Which was great because I did forget where one of them was at a certain point, because it had healed and disappeared.

Now let’s start this off with…. Continue reading

How To Beat Tinea (Athlete’s Foot), Naturally

Tools for the cure.

I’ve been struggling with my health this year, due to a weakened immune system from a surgery I had in the Spring.  Diseases that aren’t that bad affect me in horrible ways.  Things that don’t affect normal, healthy people trigger illness in me.

One awful thing I got lately?  Athlete’s foot…and HANDS!!!  Yes, it can happen and it’s as awful as it sounds!  This is embarrassing to admit – most people I know in real life had no idea I got it.  But I think it’s important to write this out for whoever may stumble upon it on the internet, in case what I learned may benefit them.

This is gonna be a massive product review article as well, for things relating to treating Athlete’s Foot.  Basically everything you see in the above pic; Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap, Micatin, Jojoba Oil, and Tea Tree Oil.  These are all based on my personal experience with them.

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Post Op Follow Ups

Today was hectic. Two surgeons meant I had two post-op appointments today. It would’ve been nice if I could see both doctors in one trip, especially since Mount Sinai hospital is so out of the way, but their schedules are completely opposite on Thursdays.

Lately I feel weak, I have no strength. The painkillers they prescribed hit me with side effects much worse than localized pain. Fatigue, drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, constipation, frequent peeing (liver getting worn out), random and uncontrollable shivering and teeth chattering, odd, laborious breathing. Again I lament, no side effect of euphoria. I stopped taking Percocet for about 3 days, but this left me unable to sleep. The pain and irritation at my stitches was unbearable, and I’d sleep at 5 or 6 AM. If I was lucky enough to fall asleep before then, I’d wake up at 3-4AM because of pain.  Yesterday, I was having trouble concentrating at work….which stemmed from the irritation of sitting on my stitches. I gave up and took some extra strength tylenol.

This was another mistake. The Percocet I had contained 325mg of acetaminophen, while Tylenol Extra Strength contains 500mg. After an hour or so, I got a headache that lasted from the afternoon to the evening, basically quitting time. It’s weird because people take Tylenol FOR headache relief! But I looked it up and people in my situation, who have experienced either overdose or allergy on painkillers, get something called “rebounding headaches”. More acetaminophen can trigger it.

So….oxy and acetaminophen are officially off my list.

I saw the plastic surgeon at 8:45am, which I was a little late to. Dressing in the morning takes a little more strategy than usual….since I don’t want to irritate my stitches more with extra fabric rubbing against me, I try to be as “crotchless” as possible. As silly as that sounds :) That means skirts or dresses only; no tight jeans or jeans at all, not even leggings. That leaves me with tights, stockings (these go up your leg and don’t hit past the upper thigh), and thigh high socks. Almost the same as stockings, but of cotton fabric. It’s kinda fun to wear hosiery you’d see in lingerie ads to work, but without anyone in the know :)

I haven’t had the will to do laundry in a good while also – I keep thinking I don’t have the energy. Hand washing is fine since all you really do is soak things.

Clients came in and had to be entertained today. Stress.

Appointment with the oncologist in the afternoon was a mixed bag and slight waste of time. The bad news was, I was starting to develop an infection….like my 3 doctors predicted. It’s hard to clean stitches when you’re on zero pain relief and every touch stings! So I was given a single-dose antibiotic prescription and an order to switch from showering to a salt bath. This way I can soak my wound to clean it instead of trying to scrub it. There was some ambiguous news – pathology didn’t get us the results yet, even though a big reason for this follow up was to have the doctor show me and explain the results :( !!!!! The good news is, both doctors said I was healing so well, you already can’t tell they cut up my genitals.

One gross but interesting thing. Maybe 3 days after surgery, I noticed a hard, very slightly squishy, clear…hardened….goo on my stitches. Worried it meant I was doing the worst showering job ever on myself, I turned up the hot water and slowly, VERY painfully peeled it off. Took me two showers to get it all. I was upset and grossed out. Then today, the plastic surgeon said that was actually glue he put on my stitches, to seal and waterproof it. This would give me more time for the wound to heal. Oops….!

Surgery.

I finally went in to surgery this week, to remove the atypical, pre-melanoma cells from my body, which I was freaking out about a few entries ago.  This is mostly a diary entry, made for my own reference in case I wanted to look back on it.  But if someone has questions about the process, or what to expect, or anything like that….feel free to leave a comment and I’ll get back to you.  I may not have mentioned it here.  I’m no expert but I can tell you about my experience and what I know.  This is gonna be a VERY long entry.

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Surgical Oncology

Or, “Why I Disappeared From the Internet For 2 Months”.

It’s hard to create anything with any heart when life sucks. I know some people can really draw from “pain” or whatever, but unhappiness just drains me so much…I feel like an empty husk of skin for the past two months. If you’re wondering why I haven’t really updated lately, this is the reason. Nothing seems that fun anymore. When I get home, I just collapse on to my bed and don’t move until the next day.

UPDATE: Recap of the actual surgery, here.

In early March, my dermatology appointment came up. I was referred there by both my regular (new) doctor and my new gynecologist. Although I don’t have the best insurance, my new program is already worlds better than Medicaid – doctors will actually see me!! They don’t mysteriously cancel my appointments without telling me! It’s a nice feeling, not being rejected. Anyway. It’s weird to say this on the internet, and I’m really uncomfortable revealing this. But I had a mole in in the vulvar region. Let me clarify…that doesn’t mean the vagina…this is like, the regular skin on the outside, it’s not an internal surface. But obviously it’s a sensitive area that doesn’t see the light of day! It’d be covered in a bikini, and that’s how close it would get. So yeah…it’s weird to have a mole there, and even weirder that it just showed up maybe a year or so ago. Maybe a little before then. Previous doctors (who suck and kept dodging me for MONTHS on Medicaid) told me that it was nothing. The latest one almost dismissed it as nothing too – but she mentioned why she thought it was nothing. She thought it was a birthmark. I told her no, it’s new. She referred me to a dermatologist who specializes in patients with skin-related issues in this region.

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