Saturday, May 31, 2014

Becky Update

First of all, the most important news is that I have successfully pawned off Jonathan's science fair project! His father will be the one helping him figure out which brand of diaper is the most absorbent. WIN!

I, on the other hand, will help Jonathan this weekend by listening to him read chapters of Island of the Blue Dolphins and subsequently bellow about having to write one-page summaries about every. single. chapter. I will also be every character in Romeo and Juliet except Friar Lawrence, who is Jonathan's character in his upcoming class play. I will also assemble a Friar Lawrence costume. I will also research period music for the Romeo & Juliet ballroom scene, arrange it, notate it, and then rearrange it to double as prelude and postlude. Then I will practice it. Because Jonathan's teacher asked me to be the orchestra for the play, and I think I may have said yes very immediately with great glee.

I get to play my favorite riff of all time on Sunday. The riff at the beginning of David Crowder's "O Praise Him." I'm excited. I hope I don't screw it up. I'll probably even cut my fingernails short just to be safe. Not that they're long. They are never long. So I guess what I mean to say is that I will cut my fingernails to the quick just to be safe.

The school year was going to end on Friday, June 13, but apparently, we had a snow day last winter that no one even remembers, so now it doesn't end until Monday, June 16. Maddening. So I had to change the little countdown thingy on my phone. Now there are 16 days left until summer vacation.

Which means there are 19 days left until my hysterectomy. Not to gross you out or anything, but this is my blog and I can say whatever I want, so you can't stop me from saying that I am currently finishing up my LAST. PERIOD. EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now, listen. I know that you want to be happy for me, ladies. And that you are, deep down. But I also know that unless you've been through menopause, every last one of you is struggling to suppress your feelings of extreme jealousy that I'm never going to have another period. And I get that. And I know that you feel guilty for feeling jealous. And I get that, too. So I'm going to help you out a little by telling you what you are not jealous of.

1. You are not jealous that this is my fifth abdominal surgery.
2. You are not jealous that the pain level in my abdomen has a 1-10 base level of 5 which erupts to a 10 for several days twice a month. Yes, 10. As in... worse than labor.
3. You are not jealous of endometriosis.
4. You are not jealous of pain from my diaphragm to my thighs that can be described on any given day as stabbing, shooting, throbbing, debilitating, disabling, burning, excruciating.
5. You are not jealous that my left ovary has codependently attached itself to my uterus and refuses to even explore the possibility of developing healthy boundaries.
6. You are not jealous that my pain level frequently causes fatigue so great that I am forced to languish away in my chair all day watching old episodes of New Girl. (Okay, maybe you're jealous of that last bit.)
7. You are not jealous that it almost always hurts to have *coughsexcough* no matter how *coughgentlecough* your... *cough* moving on...
8. Speaking of coughing, you are not jealous that it always hurts to cough. Or sneeze.
9. You are not jealous of 26 years of losing so much blood for 10-20 days each month that you become cyclically weak, anemic, and useless.
10. You are not jealous of premenstrual dysphoric disorder which manifests itself in violent mood swings, anxiety, anger, depression, sadness, despair, suicidal thoughts, tension, panic attacks, lasting irritability, lack of interest in daily activities, trouble thinking and focusing, low energy, food cravings, insomnia, bloating, breast tenderness, headaches, joint pain, muscle pain, and substantial disruption to personal relationships. And you are not jealous that it requires 200mg/day of Zoloft to keep these violent, friendship-ruining symptoms at bay.
11. You are not jealous of polycystic ovary syndrome and the ensuing insulin resistance, increased cancer risk, and myriad associated health issues.
12. You are seriously, seriously not jealous that I can grow a beard. On my face. Like a guy. Or that if left to their own devices, my legs, forearms, and big toes are hairier than half the guys I know. Or that all this excess hair is black and thick and stands out starkly against very pale, translucent, virtually untannable Irish skin.

So... you can see why I'm a little excited that my 26 years in reproductive HELL are almost over. And why I'm going to continue to freely rejoice about it even if it makes you a little jealous. :)

Up next: the hootenanny that is menopause. I'm not 100% sure, but I don't think you're jealous of that either.

Okay, I'm done talking about awkward girl stuff now.

Things are going well at the gym. I've successfully shortened my routine to 1.25 hours on core days and 1.5 hours on back/shoulder days. So that's happy. Basically, I do 30 minutes on the elliptical, alternating strengthening exercises, and a vast array of PT exercises and stretches. I love it all. A lot. Probably onaccounta all the endorphins.

Things are going well at PT, too. I think I probably mentioned that my insurance graduated me from hand therapy, but I feel equipped to take care of my chronic forearm tendinitis on my own now. Which is to say I know what to do to alleviate the pain in my forearms. It's a bit of a bummer that physical therapists are always trying to work themselves out of a job, but it's probably fine since people keep getting injured all the time. And having surgery. And getting old. And stuff.

Anyway, the spot in my back where my rib is being stubborn aches less and less every day, so that's happy. And the spot above that where it sometimes hurts to breathe is getting less cantankerous. So I think we're just waiting for the spot above that to stop being so sore that I have to ice it every evening, and for my shoulders to relax already, for crying out loud. I have two weeks of PT left before my surgery, and then we're going to "suspend treatment" so I can see how I feel without it. At first, I'll probably feel really great onaccouta my post-op pain meds. After those are used up, all bets are off. So we'll see how things go. But I do feel confident that at some point in the not too distant future, I will indeed graduate from PT. I am definitely healing.

After all that, my big, fat plan for the summer is to go to the gym a lot. At the times of day when there are barely any other people there. I also want to do some hiking. I probably won't try any big hikes after surgery, but I'd still like to try to squeeze one in at some point in the next couple of weeks.

My other summer goals are to finalize the details of James's enrollment in middle school this fall, convince two lackadaisical boys that there are definite benefits to being able to see the floor of their room, sort every damn Lego in the house, assemble some discontinued Lego Star Wars ships and sell them on eBay so the boys can buy themselves a WiiU, read a lot of books, weed my flowerbeds, go camping a few times, and see Jeana.

But wanna hear about the most exciting part of my summer?

It's this summer camp sponsored by the Yakima Union Gospel Mission's youth community center called Madison House. Here is a nifty video about the camp.

I'm part of the worship team for the first week of camp, Jonathan will be a camper, and James will hang around with us. I'm a counselor for the second week of camp, James will be a camper, and Jonathan will hang around with us. It's going to be epic. :)