The past few days have been pretty hectic. This morning i woke up naturally, way pre-dawn (again) and in between reading and zoning out and napping i thought “wow, even in the past few super hectic days, i’ve been able to maintain all the details pretty well. i’ve forgotten only very minor tiny things which i can’t even remember right now. that’s not so bad. maybe my brain is working again!” I turned to my night stand to get a drink of water and saw my suppository sitting there, unwrapped, ready to be inserted last night. Damnit.
When i went in for escharotic #10, i felt like i was just stopping into the office, between a solemn house meeting conducted in the garden with our near-death cat sunning himself, out of quarantine, and a vet appointment to put said beloved cat down. That week i also dealt with quitting my job and all the lack of sleep and increased anxiety that come with that decision, and even found one of our chickens died suddenly. This was the first escharotic where i spent my bromelain wait texting on my phone (coordinating vet appointment) rather than breathing and meditating. (We decided to give the cat a steroid injection instead of death drugs. This morning he seems to be doing a lot better.) I was also in the middle of biking with two cases of printer paper in my bike cart, which was very very near impossible and VERY VERY VERY difficult and scary. My appointment was just barely up hill from the office store but thankfully my home is all downhill from there. Oh and i hadn’t eaten barely because of all the stress and go go go go. I learned two cases is too many.
As for the procedure, there was no pain at all (or none that registered through my fog of distraction) and my ND asked if i had shed another scab. I had not, and my discharge had just been yellow and thin/crusty (different than thin/watery – crusty dries as a crust). She said my cervix looked refreshed… or rejuvenated… or something. Anyway, it sounded like good news. Now i am on 6 healing suppositories, one day off, then 6 thuja suppositories, and one day off, etc. until i run out of suppositories, probably about a month.
Some diet stuff…
I had hoped to drink a little bit of beer to celebrate my final treatment. I did drink a little beer (about 4 ounces) but it was less excited celebration and more a ritual to acknowledge “fuck, life is hard.” Almost immediately my eyes got kind of runny and my sinuses felt irritated. I’ve been feeling more sensitive/”allergic” to beer over the last several months. This was the first day i ever understood why they even offer a half-pint of beer at a bar.
I had bought some organic cottage cheese for the cat because he wasn’t eating for a few days and someone at the vet office suggested it might help. He didn’t end up eating it, but i love cottage cheese so i cheated and ate about 2 tablespoons. The next morning i had debilitating stomach cramps and spent much of the morning lying on the floor, waiting them out. I’ve had weird digestive issues previously (a couple years ago i fainted off the toilet, and also went to the ER in the middle of the night with stomach pain, which subsided while we were still in the waiting room) so i wasn’t too worried. Just waiting for the indigestion to subside.
I tried to give the cottage cheese to a housemate but she had a similar problem – she had a little bit to test, and then had stomach problems later. I don’t think it was a bad batch of cottage cheese.
Time to reclaim my life.
The discharge has turned to yellow-white-clear mucus, more like snot and less like milk. It’s all very similar. The substitute ND i had today called it pus which is accurate but my initial reaction was a little yucky. Has high pun potential.
I am dealing with big professional changes and a very sick cat right now. It’s nice to have other stressors in my life than my leaky vagina! My poor housemates have had to suffer through my insanity the past few days, from lack of sleep, and doing way too much on way too little food, and all in my state of needing to take it slooooowwww.
Odd things i discovered i had done after the fact: left my supplements in complete disarray, with no recollection of even taking any of them for a 24-hour period. Usually they are sorted based on the time of day and whether i’ve taken them yet or not. And i left a “snotty” vag rag next to the toilet seat for an entire day, where people usually put their hands. I had just taken it out of my pants and was going to put in in the laundry, and instead left it right there where people could easily accidentally brush up against it or land on it. Poor housemates… And i ate a half pound of roast beef in one day because i was sleeping and processing in a craze and couldn’t figure out real food.
Today was #9 out of 10!!! I’m back on my thuja suppositories since after #8. Today in my room i kept smelling thuja (or maybe the Vag Pack smell) so strong and couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. There are too many potential places to look, so i just had to get over it.
The big bleed out that i had last week inspired me to dig up pictures of when i got a genital piercing at a fat gauge when i was 19 or 20 and bled SO MUCH. There’s pictures of my bloody ass hobbling to the bathroom from the piercing chair, and one of me standing over a messy bloody bathtub, in the process of cleaning the piercing at home. I haven’t seen these pictures in a number of years, so i was cracking up. Variations on a theme.
I’m on day one of a cold and facing a bunch of work-related stress. In the fight between me and the cold, i think i’m winning.
Today was escharotic #8! Getting so close to being finished (at least for this round). Set up my appointment for February 19 with my regular MD gyno, for a pap and probably a colposcopy. My ND can do a pap, and is trained to do a colpo, but the state i live in doesn’t license NDs to do them. So back to the slicers and dicers to cut another couple chunks out of my guts.
After i showered and wrote my last post, i had some light bleeding and within a couple hours it was back to just clear/white/yellow/sometimes-pink milky discharge. I got to use the hand mirror again today, and instead of a thick layer of scab-ish on the face of my cervix, the tissue was fresh and new for the most part. So instead of a mottling of yellows and reds and pinks, it was mostly all pink. A little raw and uneven looking, but basically pink. My doctor said the clots and blood from the other night were probably that mass of scab-ish tissue being sloughed off (“sluffed”). Also my os is very relaxed right now, with some bleeding, leading her to suggest that i probably shed some uterine lining in the process as well, just from the overall stress of the procedure. So in addition to bleeding from the face of my cervix, i may have had a sort of mini period too.
Since i was oozing so much from the face of my cervix, it was more difficult to get the bromelain to stick. And my ND accidentally jabbed me with some utensil, which made me flinch and part of it that was already bleeding a little start bleeding more, but the jab wasn’t painful beyond that. She left the bromelain on only for about 5 minutes and checked in, and the oozing had caused it to mostly fall off by then. So she just rinsed and did the zinc-sanguinaria even though it hadn’t been fifteen minutes of bromelain. I thought it might be more sensitive since the scab-ish had come off, but it felt about the same, or even easier than usual. Looking at the cervix afterward, i could see tissue through the white-yellow-blanching of the zinc-sanguinaria. So it looked a lot different than the last time, where it was more bumpy and pure bright white-yellow.
I got some more roast beef today. My house is like an ice box in the winter, so i got extra, and discreetly stored it in an insulated bag with ice packs, downstairs and away from any warming elements. It will be yummier with my fancy “real” salt anyway.
Melatonin for Vag Pack suppositories = success.
As seems typical, the vag pack suppositories came out all at once, late in the day. This time i was carrying a bale of hay through the house with a housemate. “uhh i think my suppository just came out….” Prior to that i had just a small amount of watery discharge throughout the day.
Then half an hour later while washing dishes, “uhh i think i need to go to the bathroom…..” because i felt much other stuff coming out still, and i waddled away.
Once in my room, i discovered i was bleeding heavily behind the release of the suppository. The dripping-into-your-cupped-hand-while-you-scuttle-quickly-away-from-the-carpet-and-onto-the-toilet type of heavy bleeding. Got cleaned up and just felt mentally preoccupied by it for the rest of the evening. I hoped it was so much blood because the suppository had been plugging it up, and that once it was all released it would go to some light spotting.
Last night was a healing suppository, which does add liquid to the equation. My first thought on waking was that i needed to go straight to the shower. I made a pit stop at the toilet, and on pulling down my pants, a blood streak was left on my thighs and ankles. Two big fucking blood clots (i assume) plopped out onto the floor. The handkerchief that used to be light pink was completely bright red, my underwear soaked, my boxers soaked. The only thing that was saved was my bedding. I left a big bloody ass print on the toilet seat. (pictures of the crime scene here: http://imgur.com/a/8H4td)
I showered. I rinsed the hanky and undies. I took the blood water and the blood clots and fed it all to the blueberries. I wiped down the sink, toilet, and floor. I stuffed my clean undies with a big fat sock. I emailed my doctor. And now i wait to see what today’s discharge will bring.
I have not been feeling like shit, but i have been in that absentminded state again, where i need to intentionally slow down even though my mind and body are alert. Finding weird stuff half finished and left open.
I usually measure my menstrual flow based on how inconvenient it is, but i can probably translate that to volume measurements. Ok with underwear? spotting. Need a light rag for the day? light. Substantive rag but can wear it all day? medium. Need to change substantive rag during the day? heavy. My period usually floats around medium-light. I would classify this amount of blood as extra extra heavy.
Lower abdominal discomfort. Cervix seems to be cauterized, very little discharge, clear liquid, no blood. Was overeating like a maniac last week, now my belly is sore and i don’t want to use my abdominal muscles to do anything, even reaching and light lifting feels ick. I had three healthy bowel movements today so far, when i’m usually a one-a-day type. Also have a sex drive which i haven’t had in over a month.
I think this all falls in the category of normal abnormalities that come with this process. And i bet over the next (less than) couple weeks (!!) i will see even more oddities.
I will miss my routine bike rides when this is all over! I got to know a bunch of new-to-me bicycle boulevards, and where my regular stops fit in on these neighborhoody tree-lined car-less streets.
Whoa. Okay. Illumination.
Bleeding and cramp-ish-ing are normal. If the cramps keep me awake, i can take my preferred anti-inflammatory (i.e. ibeuprofen), or switch from hot to cold – compresses, shower head action, “sit-soak” (like a bath?). I think tonight i’ll take some melatonin before bed just in case.
Got to use a hand mirror during #7 this morning, and she used a bigger speculum to move more tissue away and get a clearer view of the entire cervix. There’s a spot on my left that she always wants to do extra, where she says “if i were doing a biopsy, that’s where i would want to take it from.” It’s a little difficult to get to with the smaller speculum. I think i found the larger speculum to be more comfortable, too, maybe how the edges press on my tissue/muscles.
Since i had such a surprised reaction to seeing the original pictures of my cervix, i almost didn’t accept the offer to use the hand mirror for fear that i would then have a harder time tolerating the actual procedure. But i figured this was a rare opportunity in my lifetime. Can’t really say no to that. And it was fine.
With all that vaginal canal moved away, i could see my whole cervix in the mirror. It looked a lot bigger than i expected, maybe about an inch and a quarter across. The os which i imagined was a tiny little hole was actually bigger than a pencil eraser at the opening. She narrated that the os was “spitting out” discharge. The tissue was mottled with yellow pus-y scabs, some darker blood scabs, and raw red skin. She said she could see the site that was putting blood into my discharge, at about 6 o’clock, but there was a shadow or i was too distracted by all the mottling, i couldn’t tell.
I did not see how it looked after the bromelain this time, but i imagine it was just all transformed to red raw skin. After the zinc-sanguinaria i viewed it again, and yes, in fact it looked like yellow-white cauliflower. It was all plain yellow-white except the site at 6 o’clock was actively bleeding, from what looked like a quarter-inch long line. My ND said it looks “healthy, well not healthy, but for what we’re going for it looks exactly like it should.” She also said i “blanch really well” with the zinc-sanguinaria.
I asked if all the fluid drains out via the condom, with all the rinsing. Nope, it collects in the “cul de sac” behind the cervix, which is just a little pocket of space at the end of the vagina. Then she sops it up out of the cul de sac with long fat cotton swabs… it’s kind of an odd name.
It’s one of the first days of full sun in weeks, in the low 60s. I biked to the appointment with my dog in tow, in shorts to catch any possible rays. En route we stopped at a fancy market and got some pasture raised roast beef slices. We got to the office early and (i) ate the roast beef along with a giant, beautiful fig from the tree at my house which i had plucked on my way out the gate. On the ride home, we stopped at a dog park for some fetching and our neighborhood apothecary for some oat tops. Not sure if it’s the sun, the nice morning, the great dog, the roast beef, or something else, but i’m feeling in high spirits (with low levels of head fog). So far!