Category Archives: body stuff

Normal

On one hand, I worry about how much sleep I’m getting. On the other hand… I’m actually getting a fairly normal amount of sleep for me when I am unmedicated at night. This is what my body… does.

There is this belief that you must get a “reasonable” amount of sleep or you can’t be healthy. I believe it is true… to a point. Do you know how grateful I have been to have doctors start telling me that my sleep stuff is probably related to a combination of ADHD (I burn more energy with less need for rest than average) and PTSD hypervigilance. I probably don’t NEED as much sleep as other people. Seven hours is pretty average for me with heavy sleep meds.

So getting 3-5 hours is low but… not scary low for me?

One of my favorite parts of giving birth is my horrifying anxiety just… lifts. I have a little anxiety about my babies but not a lot. Mostly I feel competent in a way I rarely feel in life. I can’t sit around like a queen giving orders when I’m pregnant but I don’t hesitate postpartum. Bring me that. Fetch the other thing. Go do this chore. No problem!

I will sit here and hold my baby and somehow manage to still be wildly productive because my mind feels so thrilled to be doing what it is doing.

I love my baby. She is perfect. If she weren’t canonically perfect she would be perfect to me. I’m not scared of my children having problems. I have problems. We cope.

Like, we get to take her to Stanford for an ultrasound for her kidney because stuff wasn’t perfect at birth. I don’t care. Whatever I have to do for her will get done. She is my baby.

If I have to blow things up to take care of her I will. If I have to mow someone down because they are blocking something I need for her… I won’t flinch.

My children motivate me in a way nothing else on this earth ever has or ever will. I will find a way to change for my children. I will become whatever they need from me. It doesn’t matter if it is hard or if it hurts. I brought you into this world. I owe you. I owe you everything.

I don’t mean “everything” like every class or toy or treat you want. Boundaries make healthy people. But I owe you my life. I owe you my sanity. I owe you my need to get up in the morning and try again.

Apparently in our house we now have a Sissy and a Sibby. (Sister/Sibling) This is… making me cry in a nice way. My big kids are so happy about the baby they are about to burst.

After the next diaper change I’m starting a load of diaper laundry. This makes me weirdly very happy. Let the next cycle begin. I am so ready. I am ready to take care of you and do what you need. You are worth all the work I could possibly put into you and more. I will give you what I have. It will fall short of your needs because life is like that. Luckily you have a daddy who loves you to distraction. And you have a Sissy and a Sibby who want to take care of you when I can’t do everything.

You, my lovely daughter, are going to be ok. We will make sure of it.

My milk hasn’t fully come in yet, but my boobs are sweeeeeelling. It’s hilarious and painful because my boobs are already getting to that point where my nipples are hard for a newborn to manage. Overwhelmed by boob is a hilarious facial expression. By later today my boobs will dwarf her head. Ha.

Last night I swaddled the baby super well and gave her to Noah. I went to bed a few minutes before 8. I got up for the day at 2:30 for the second feeding (the first feeding was around 11, I think?). Amusingly… that’s barely short of sleep for me. I hope Noah will sleep in. If I get up and get breakfast for the kids, this may be a fairly good pattern for a couple of weeks. I get a solid chunk of sleep for the first shift then Noah gets to sleep.

We’ll see what normal we find.

post-partum healing

If you’ve been reading me since the poop chronicles this will seem like a normal/gross piece from me. If you think body information is tmi, maybe skip this post.

I have figured out the best regime for caring for my mutilated crotch post childbirth. The afterpains suck monkeys but my external bits are gloriously cared for.

Before the birth I set up a station in the bathroom. A big pile of cloth pads interspersed with Thinx underwear. I loaded up the different panties with pads and stacked them up on a shelf. I have witch hazel pads, “Bottom cream” which is a bunch of herbs and essential oils, a hand mirror, the peri bottle the hospital gives you, and a bunch of the softest cloth wipes I’ve ever found.

I start out by emptying the pipes as much as possible. (I’m living in a weird alternative universe where my body shits like a champ. I don’t know what the heck happened but it’s all coming out formed and perfect. I have mastered pooping! It only took till age 36 for it to just… work!) Then I use the mirror and the peri bottle to clean as much gunk/blood/poop as possible. The mirror helps. Because of the mirror I can tell you that my cunt is not nearly as fucked up as it was after ECs birth. That was… hamburger. Ugh. Three god damn hours of pushing in that birth. Ugh.

After the water I carefully and gently use a cloth wipe to blot the area. I don’t really wipe with this cloth. I just make sure there is no poop or blood clots hanging out. Then I get a with hazel wipe (like Tuck’s but a different brand). These are tiny and little. I wipe with these to get the edge of my vagina and my hemorrhoids clean. It’s important to geeeeeeeeently wipe the hemorrhoids. Leaving any bits of poop in there can lead to infection.

Then I use my finger and scoop out a big wad of the bottom cream. Ahhhhhhhhhh soothing. Of course I start in the front and slather my entire inner labia/around the vagina opening and then I make it back to my anus. Those hemorrhoids get covered entirely. Then I put on the nice Thinx panties with a cloth pad.

Ahhhhh. Soothing. Nothing abrasive. Nothing that irritates.

My crotch is so happy with my care. I want to pat myself on the back for being so nice to my cunt. Forward thinking on this plan is giving me so much ease and comfort.

The pad is taken off after 2-4 hours (the time span is getting longer) and the panties last an extra 1-3 hours past the pad coming off. The pad/panties are all nice flannel/cotton feeling. Disposable products give me rashes.

I truly wish I had figured out this system for the first kid.

Notes from today’s visit

I am on day 4 of a nasty headache. I am not overall prone to headaches so this is concerning in my 37th week of pregnancy. We used Noah’s blood pressure cuff and got a reading of 134/77. That is not generally speaking high but I am usually between 105 and 120. I called the OBs office and they asked me to come in for testing. Sure, fine.

First question: “Have you taken Tylenol?” First answer: “So I have fibromyalgia and over the counter medications ceased being effective years ago.”

That was received with full respect.

I got hooked up to monitors so they could check on the baby and on my blood pressure. I spent 3 hours just hanging out so they could see how it’s going. They took blood and urine samples.

I’m fine.

When I was leaving I had a great chat with the nurse. She was a really nice lady. She asked me if the blood pressure cuff at home s electric and I said it was. She asked if it has been calibrated lately and I said definitely not. She told me not to use it again because these devices are famous for getting out of whack and once the medical team have a number they have to show concern.

Totes legit.

The nurse and I had a long chat about my labor plans. She was super nice and gave good advice. She was frank about the fact that some of the nurses on staff are going to push me in directions that make their job easier not my labor easier. She told me that it would probably be wise to have my husband prepared to advocate for me. I shared with her that I spent some time articulately screaming at my nurse during my first labor when I got bad advice about pushing and she grinned. She said I’ll do fine. She said she was really happy to hear that my birth plan is, “Let’s see what happens and consult with professionals in the moment because who the fuck knows what the right plan is.” She said with that attitude (and an open mind towards medication) I am very likely to leave feeling satisfied with my experience.

I need to go find my advance health care directive and bring it to my appointment with my OB tomorrow so it can be scanned and added to my permanent medical record. Sounds great. I paid for one. Might as well use the fucker.

I notified our labor support people that I was doing this testing but it probably would go nowhere and then I checked in when I left the hospital saying I was right, no one’s day will be interrupted.

The nurse and I chatted a lot about having kids with ADHD and dyslexia. That was fun. Her kid is in college now so it’s a whole new ball game.

She was super cool about my marijuana usage. She noted that it was on my chart and totally fine. She kind of hinted around asking if I was using extra to deal with the headache and I said, “I am trying to reduce my usage, which is causing my general pain levels to go up, because once the baby comes I have to be on a lower dosage for a while to increase my alertness. It’s a rough balancing act.” She nodded and said that sounds great.

All in all, an uneventful peaceful trip to the hospital for some necessary checks. Everything is fine. I’m very likely to wait another two weeks.

Now if only I could get rid of this god damn headache.

Oh yeah, that’s why.

Every so often I go off my meds for stupid reasons. Forgetfulness, or self-punishment, or feeling ashamed of myself for being a drug addict.

I forgot a full day of meds in the past few days. Whoops. That’s why I’m feeling so god damn bad. That’s a lot of medication missing from my system.

The medication that lets me: eat, sleep, feel less pain, have more of a pause in my brain so I don’t panic, feel less suicidal, reduces overall anxiety, reduces stomach pain…

Sure. I’ll just stop. And see what happens. Because “If I really cared about my baby I wouldn’t give them drugs.” So it is better for me to be unable to eat solid food. It is better for me to violently vomit up my attempts at solid food rather than use this medication. Better that I wake up every 20 minutes all night long crying from pain. Better that I feel like I should die and I am so consumed with managing that obsessive thought that I pretty much cease all other meaningful work. Better that I be in so much burning stomach pain that anything I eat or drink makes me cry. Better that I have nothing but burning diarrhea because my body cannot handle the amount of stress it is feeling and it flushes everything as fast as possible.

Because if I cared about my baby I wouldn’t use drugs.

If I stopped using drugs I’m not sure I would live to see the delivery. Would it be ideal if I didn’t need drugs? Of course. I wish I could do ok without these fucking meds. They are expensive and taste like shit. But my life isn’t usually full of me getting to choose just what I would like to do. My life is full of a lot of “What do you have to do?

I have to be able to function. I have not been able to think much this week. I’m dropping balls all over the place. I’m not responding to emails. I’m missing appointments. I’m not doing mandatory online work that is supposed to happen.

I’m just sitting around feeling like a pile of dog shit. Because I was stupid about taking my meds. Missing pills has consequences. But it’s hard to take them all and not feel ashamed of myself. It’s a totally fucked up system.

But after almost a full 24 hours of being fully medicated as I should be… I’m hungry again. After days of not eating. Do I want to need this medication? No. But nothing else has ever worked.

I need to stop opening the fucking cannabis threads.

Very little sleep

My whole god damn body is an explosion of pain. I feel like I am minutes away from vomiting and I’ve felt like this for hours. I try to sleep and my shoulders hurt so bad I wake myself up every 20 or so minutes.

My massage therapist won’t work on me if there is ANY illness in my house because her mother is very elderly and sick and at risk. It’s totally reasonable for her to have this boundary but it sucks to be me. So I didn’t get work last week and I won’t this week. I may need to look for another massage therapist and that’s not a pleasant thought right now.

I think I’m spiking a fever based on the fact that I’m so hot I feel like I’m about to burst into flames. I am so hot I am sitting in my currently unheated house naked. This Does Not Happen. My breasts feel like little fire balls.

I’ve had terrible diarrhea all night.

I’m really over being pregnant. And this whole damn sick season. This fall/winter has been so brutal. My kids haven’t had more than a week or two of consecutive health since October.

But once I turned the humidifier and air purifier on in the bedroom FMC stopped coughing. So there’s one tiny victory… Haven’t heard a cough in hours.

Stripping my clothes off did help me feel slightly less on the verge of immediate vomiting. Ugh.

Didn’t puke till 8:20. wooooo

current medical dump

I’m really itchy. Apparently that’s a problem during pregnancy. I need to go in at 7am for a fasting blood draw to see what is going on with my liver. Hopefully all will be well. If things aren’t doing what they should do I will have to deliver in week 36 or 37.

In 11 days I go in to see what is going on with LIghtning’s kidneys. As of the last time I checked they aren’t where they need to be and there might need to be a pediatric urinologist on hand for the birth. The pediatrician will have to know about this possible condition before birth.

My massage therapist says she is feeling arthritis develop in my hands.

My massage therapist fixed the fucked up groin bits! God I love her. She’s a miracle worker.

I’m now taking Zantac. I slept better with less acid reflux. Let’s see how long one pill does anything for me… (I don’t take most over the counter medications because of how fast my tolerance climbs. It just seems… silly.)

My chiro says he is surprised by how much strength I am still able to demonstrate. Even though I don’t feel like I’m exercising “enough” I’m clearly still doing something that’s good for me. Yay for sit ups.

I’m going to place several huge orders with my dispensary this week. As of January 1st the laws on edibles in my state become absurd. And they are more than doubling the tax. Wheeee.

The “sick enough” dance

I keep feeling like I should put together a binder with all of my medical results and data. Then I am reminded that having such a binder means that many doctors will view me negatively as a drug seeker and they will refuse to give me treatment because I will be seen as a problem.

So I sit here and feel anxious and don’t follow through.

But I have spent literally years going around in circles trying to get a Lorazepam prescription. I don’t want heavy drugs. I’m not looking for opioids. I deal with my chronic pain through a combination of white knuckling and pot. I’m not asking for heavy mood altering medications. I’m not asking for anything intense at all. I don’t even want a god damn daily dose. I want a mild anti-anxiety drug.

That now I am being told is the correct first line of treatment for my problems. After years of begging and being told no. I am so frustrated.

Now I have the gene testing proving that most psych medications aren’t going to work for me. I have the failed CPAP study in my history showing that I do not have severe sleep apnea and I am not a good candidate for that sort of therapy. It doesn’t solve my problem. It took so much begging to get this damn sleep study in the first place. Despite people telling me left and right that I should have had a sleep study years ago and they are so easy to get.

I was told to go home and take a Zyrtec.

It’s kind of like how I had to throw a kicking screaming tantrum before my last psychiatrist was willing to test me for ADHD. She said that she didn’t think that was important until she had gotten me stabilized on medications I didn’t want to be on. Even though knowing that piece of information changes how my treatment model should look.

I’m so frustrated.

Even though she was the one who did the gene test and she HAD PHYSICAL EVIDENCE IN FRONT OF HER that these medications were unlikely to be terribly effective for me… I have to try everything or I’m not really trying and I don’t care about getting better.

If I don’t give up more years of my life to the misery of drug testing then obviously I don’t care about feeling better. Like, duh.

I have already been through years of drug testing. Literal actual years if you add up all the months put together because I did it in batches at different periods. And all the way I’ve been saying, “I don’t want drugs.”

If I put together a binder to document why I don’t want their drugs I will be labeled as a drug seeker and I will be denied the treatments that are appropriate to me. Until I get on the drugs they think I should be on. The drugs that will hurt me.

It’s kind of like how I get to 35 and talk about my sensory sensitivities and all the ways I struggle to conceptualize people and all the elaborate mechanisms and rituals I have created to pretend I’m normal and a well educated clinician says… “Yeah you are autistic.”

That would have been god damn useful to know more than 20 years ago.

But that requires looking at me and listening to me beyond “Wow you have big feelings let’s medicate the shit out of you until you are compliant and then I’ll talk to you about something else.”

No. That’s not acceptable. It’s not ok to say that I don’t deserve help until I am fully compliant with demands that hurt me. But that’s what doctors have effectively told me for many years. I find doctors so terrifying.

I’m really grateful the new OB asked a lot of questions and mentioned that there are mixed reviews of pot during pregnancy and when I could rattle off all the specifics of the studies she was off-handedly referencing she backed right off and said, “You probably know more than me then.” That’s what respect from a medical provider looks like. My current pain doctor isn’t willing to test me for EDS even though several people on my medical team want him to… but he is otherwise very responsive to my comments and requests and he is thrilled to support the medication plan I want. He says that I have a really good handle on medication stuff and he’s happy to hear that I am not looking for increased pain management through drugs. His entire job is helping people who are crumbling from pain cope. He thinks I’m doing great on that front.

The current OB office is poorer looking, the furniture and building look shabby. I feel like it has translated into the OB not having time to worry about stupid shit. She’s not stressed about my pot usage. When I can demonstrate that I have extensively researched the consequences she didn’t argue or push. That’s not something she has time to worry about. I didn’t feel pushed into deciding shit I don’t care about. I didn’t feel judged about my weight or relationship status. That was nice.

I think that medical providers are very important. I think that I have to deal with them. It is hard getting to the information in their brain that hides behind their innate prejudices.

Having a body sucks.

Apparently it depends on how you phrase things.

The sleep doctor wrote a long impassioned plea to the insurance company about why she believes I REALLY NEED to try a CPAP machine given my constellation of problems and she explained in great detail how trying this is cheaper than all of the other tests and follow up stuff she is going to ask for if they turn down paying for a CPAP.

They are paying for me to try a machine.

I feel stunned by the medical system not being the biggest douchebag possible.

I go in for that fitting next week. I’ll try just about anything to see if it helps. It’s not that I’m unwilling to look for solutions. It is that so many of them fail.

Sleep study

I went in and got the results of the sleep study. I’m so pissed that it took years to get a fucking sleep study. I HAVE BEGGED. I don’t have sleep apnea. Well, technically I’m barely clinically in the range because I have slightly more apnea incidents close to REM sleep than is “standard” but pregnancy increases apnea incidences. The apnea scale goes from 0-30 and 0-5 is considered normal. I’m at 5.6. Given that pregnancy increases apnea incidences… I don’t have apnea.

The more important metric is blood oxygen level and I never got below 96% which is great.

So the last several years when doctor after doctor has told me they wouldn’t give me sleeping pills because I might have apnea but they weren’t willing to test me… that was a big fat fuck you.

I need to go through all the medical results I’ve gotten in the past year or two and put into a binder like Sarah has. I’m tired of having debates with doctors about whether I have this condition or that and whether or not I should just get back on Prozac. UGH!!!!

Oh, and my apnea score only qualifies if you look at this amalgam number. If you look at the base apnea number I’m at like a 2.3. (I’m not bothering to look it up this second because Jesus I don’t give a shit.)

So my insurance company will not fund a cpap machine. I’m not clinically impacted. The sleep study place said I still might have some improvement in sleep if I tried a cpap, so why don’t I spend $800 (that I can’t get back) to try out the machine! Sure I have no signs that it would help and I’m ridiculously sensitive to things on my body interrupting my sleep, but WHY NOT spend a whole bunch of money on something that probably won’t help?! DON’T I WANT TO LOOK LIKE I’M TRYING TO GET BETTER?!?!?!?!?!

I fucking hate every doctor.

The sleep doctor said that looking at all the readouts from my study she would guess that I am waking up from a combination of pain (probably fibromyalgia based) and hypervigilance/anxiety. I would probably be helped by a simple sleeping pill or anti-anxiety pill but she hesitates to prescribe anything like that while I’m pregnant because extra sedation on top of the pot is mixed.

So you know how I’ve been BEGGING for lorazepam for YEARS?!?!?! That’s a simple sleep/anti-anxiety pill. I take 10 a month when I get to decide my dosing. BUT OH MY GOD IT’S HORRIBLE FOR ME TO DECIDE THAT I NEED A MEDICATION CLEARLY I MUST BE ON A DAILY PILL THAT RUINS MY LIFE OR I’M NOT TRYING.

I feel rather like I have improved my life and my body against the direct efforts of medical providers for a long time now and that’s confusing and mixed.

I still haven’t gotten my records transferred from the OB practice so I can be permitted in a new practice. That’s 3 weeks now. I should go throw a temper tantrum today because I’m 22 fucking weeks pregnant and going a month without care isn’t acceptable because they don’t fucking feel like sending some god damn paperwork. Walk down stairs. Make a copy. Hand it to me. That’s the end of this discussion.

Sleep study part the first

That was… fine. Just the initial consult. She said that I have an extremely posterior jaw and a narrow throat opening and that doesn’t bode well. With allll the symptoms I have I am definitely in need of an in office sleep study because they need to check so many factors.

Treatment is likely to have three options. The easiest and most obvious is a cpap. The only trouble is… I’m a fantastically active sleeper. I roll and kick and move all night long. I’m ridiculous. I have no idea how I could manage to stay attached to a damn hose. The second option is a dental appliance that would shove my jaw forward and keep my throat more open. I am so sensitive to all the braces and mouth guards and what have you I’m already supposed to wear that I imagine this is going to be painful. She said it often causes TMJ problems and I said, “I already have TMJ problems.” She winced.

Third option: surgery! There is the possibility they might want to cut hunks of flesh from my throat! DOESN’T THAT SOUND FUN?! And it might be really wise to go back to the orthodontist who wanted to crack my jaw then wire it shut and follow through.

The next few years are going to be really shitty. Maybe we won’t be moving if I’m in the middle of a bunch of medical treatments that really need to be followed through to completion. Fuck.

But how much pain do I want to be in for the next few decades? Sleeping would do a lot to decrease my pain. Just by itself. It is restorative and I don’t get it. That’s a problem. What would it do to my ability to control my mood?

Fuck. I don’t have good choices ahead of me. Can you imagine trying to homeschool two children while trying to care for a baby with your mouth wired shut for three months?

Maybe it’s time to break out the ASL videos and start practicing. Fuck.

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

WHY AREN’T THE CHOICES ABOUT MY BODY MORE FUCKING FUN?!?!?!

I’m going to go cry now.

Next this afternoon we get to go meet EC’s possible new shrink. Onwards and upwards.

Please, if anyone upstairs is listening, please let me give my children all the tools they need to survive being in this world as my child. Please.

Ugh

The fourth IV vitamin injection has me feeling nauseous, dizzy, and my neck hurts so bad I’d be ok if someone wanted to chop my head off.

Health. Yeah. That’s what I’m pursuing.

Moar doctor

Pain doctor yesterday. The previous visit was the “shit you are so low” visit. This was the “shit you are so high” visit. We looked at inflammation markers and heart disease stuff. Apparently I have that thing where your body produces a fair bit of cholesterol regardless of what you eat. I was told that if circumstances were different he would want to address that. But my cholesterol level is so low that he wants to encourage me to eat anything I want.

I feel like I’ve landed in the twilight zone. A bunch of medical providers are telling me to EAT ALLLLL THE THINGS. JUST EAT. DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT. JUST EAT. AS MUCH AS YOU CAN. AS OFTEN AS YOU CAN. I didn’t know doctors were capable of saying those sentences. It’s surreal. Even during my previous pregnancies and I was vomiting constantly I still got push back about “not eating too much”. Not this time!

EAT ALLLLLLL THE THINGS.

I now have a list of supplements to go buy. I want to cry. No more.

I’ll take them. But I’ll whine too.

Another ultrasound

The tech was… not warm. She had crappy bedside manner. But I have pictures of Lightning. The tech inappropriately told me that she saw nothing wrong. That’s supposed to come from my doctor. But that’s fine. Likely no Down’s Syndrome.

There’s a part of me that is feeling angry about people being relieved my baby is any way. However they come out is how they are supposed to be and fuck you very much. Are there some ways of being that create more work in the world? Yes. BUT WE LIVE IN THE FUTURE AND WE CAN AFFORD THAT SHIT SO STOP ACTING LIKE PEOPLE ARE SUPERIOR BASED ON HOW ACTIVE SOME PARTS OF THEIR GENOME ARE.

I just…

It’s bothering me. Like it would be The End Of The World And The Worst Thing if my baby were born… dunh dunh dunh… abnormal.

Guess what motherfuckers. We’re abnormal.

And lots of people in my family are disabled in one way or another. I’m not real open to the perception that we should be sad about any of us existing.

Reading White Trash and looking at the genetic stuff that likely comes from poverty and trauma…

GAH.

I would not terminate a less than “perfect” child. I will embrace them and figure out how I need to grow and change to support them in their path to independence. That’s my job.

I’m in this with them until I can’t be anywhere any more.

That’s the deal.

Dr Notes again

We are still going through test results. Today consisted of a lot of him (pain doctor) going down a list of vitamins, minerals, or whatever your body is supposed to have and saying, “Barely in normal range but it’s so low I’m worried” or “Totally deficient” and a couple of times he dropped in, “Ok, it’s a little weird but ____ is normal. Hunh. I wonder why.” For example, my amino acids are doing great and that baffles him.

But I’m deficient in most places. Especially B and D.

I have to come in to the office twice a week for ten weeks to get intravenous vitamins. I want to cry. Other vitamins I can take sublingually. Some are going to be liquids. A few chewable that I’m supposed to just suck on forever.

Sigh.

But very few new pills! That’ll be good!

He says my GI tract is so fucked that I can’t absorb vitamins almost at all and that’s why I’m so deficient. Given the decades of diarrhea that seems legit to me.

I point blank asked about exercise, Blacksheep. He said, “Walk. Don’t jog. If you are feeling REALLY good and you want to walk a little fast… maybe… But DON’T JOG. YOU DO NOT NEED TO RAISE YOUR HEART RATE. Just move around.”

Which is exactly what I’ve been trying to nail down for advice. Tell me what my limits need to be because I think my limits are…  not where other peoples are.

I’m going to have a more boring couple of years, here.

I had a somatic therapy session today. That was good. I spent time working on my ridiculous need for validation. I talked about my codependency. I cried a lot. Lots of grounding was done.

Appointment notes

Midwife said “Well your sugar level IS healthy…. but it’s incredibly low. You should probably be eating every two hours. Preferably protein.” How much you wanna bet they are going to get hysterical in a few months about gestational diabetes and BUT DON’T EAT SUGAR. Bah.

[I went and looked up low hemoglobin. Turns out it can be caused by… duh duh duh… low folic acid! You know that thing that I had tested and it said I can’t absorb it like I’m supposed to? Like that.]

She was not real keen to accept my marijuana usage. Luckily it’s not up to her. She’s not the OB. From the gist I’m getting from the midwife and the other OB I talked to… I think the dude OB I’ve been assigned to is going to be completely chill about my pot. Luckily when I spent a while going off on my various medical diagnoses and the reasons I use pot and I detailed that I fucking have tried more “acceptable” drugs and none of them work for me… She backed off. And she contradicted herself by saying that the salves are fine anyway. She uses them herself. And she gives her dog cannabis because he’s a little excitable.

BUT I SHOULD GET OFF THIS MEDICATION BECAUSE OH MY GOD.

Pregnancy is a festive time.

I heard Lightning’s heart beat. Right around 160bpm like it should be. Yay.

I now have… three follow up appointments. Because of course I do. The first is tomorrow.

Since I didn’t note it yesterday about seeing the pain doctor: I was kinda pissy because he didn’t let me know that he hadn’t gotten more results in. So I drove to San Jose, waited a half an hour past my appointment time… to be told I don’t really get much new data. I let the front desk staff know how unhappy that made me. I need a phone call the day before my next appointment or it is really stupid for me to hurt myself driving down here for nothing. It’s not a casual trip for me.

The only thing he talked about new was Epstein Barr. Apparently I’m still showing up on tests like I have active Mono. Isn’t that exciting? It would explain some of my chronic exhaustion. He wants me to do antivirals. Which can’t happen during pregnancy. He wasn’t crystal clear about whether it can happen during breast feeding or not.

I’m staying up because I have to fill the last tube with spit. I feel like I spend half of my day in medical appointments, dealing with medications, or taking fucking medical tests. It is so exhausting.

But I continue to be a wacky form of “healthy”. “Wow you are in good shape.” That’s complicated.

Oh, and I’m definitely negative for Syphilis.

Notes

Today’s doctor visits were lovely. The pain doctor is going to become my favorite medical provider of all time if he keeps going like this. He’s upset with the psychiatrist I fired last. He thinks it is fucked up (not the word he used) that she did a genetic test on me that showed I wasn’t processing folic acid but she didn’t bother to find out how deficient I am and she didn’t recommend supplementation. Folic acid deficiency can wreck your mood all on its own. And she KNEW I had it but she was way more focused on getting me on heavy psych drugs. He asked me, “Did she know you were trying to get pregnant?” I said, “Yup!” He put his head in his hands and stayed that way for a few seconds.

That right there is enough to make me want to kiss his feet.

He was upset that my shrink is so anti-pot that she told me that 3 hours of sleep is fine. He said he doesn’t want me on anything else for sleep, no sleep aid. BUT USE THE POT. He told me to stop feeling ashamed and medicate how I need to for myself and my baby’s health.

I’m going to be having words with my shrink.

He went through why he believes that pot is the best choice for me. He had specific reasons. He went through other medications that I “could” use and he flat said that he wouldn’t give any of them to a pregnant woman and he’s upset that other people want to. He said, “I know that I have colleagues in the medical field who are not convinced about pot but I am. It is the safest medication we have for your issues.”

He used to be a pharmacist. He can go off on drug side effects all day.

Do you know what he did after going through my test results with me? Order more tests! Because these results mean that he knows which questions to ask next! He won’t be giving me any supplements or treatments till he has a whole cascade of questions answered!

I want to kiss his feet.

He’s starting to outline treatment option possibilities but he’s very clear that he’s not sure where he’s going yet. (I love this man so much.) He is being super specific that there are a bunch of treatments that might be useful that he won’t do till after I give birth. But he’s got a bridge plan to get me there. Stuff to start out with. Gently encourage balancing instead of brute forcing.

I want to kiss his feet.

He told me “Stop listening to people who tell you that pot is wrong. It may be wrong for someone else but it is right for you.”

I feel pathetic that I feel like a drought stricken plant being hit with a nice rain storm.

A doctor isn’t telling me that I’m bad for not wanting to take drugs that make me feel worse. A doctor isn’t shaming me for doing something that helps with my pain and my psychological problems.

And he isn’t pussy footing around and refusing to give me a sleep study and telling me to “Try Zyrtec”.

I feel respected. I feel like this is medical care for me.

Then I went to my woo nutritionist and said “Noooooooooooooooo mooooooooore pills. Can’t. Nope.”

She said, “That’s fine. We’ll do this and that and you’ll put some in juice and some in a smoothie and you’ll be great.”

Fine. I can do a smoothie a day. I can do a cup of juice with powder in it. Sure. That’s less likely to make me puke.

I am at the point where my body associates meal times with pills so my body is starting to gag as I get hungry in prep for the pill madness. It has to end.

I also spaced out the next appointment so I have time to be less than perfect on dosing all the medication daily. Ahem.

Then I went to the dispensary and noticed that I have gotten my pot consumption down to a practically economical $250/month. I feel I’ve been doing well with two pills a day. I’m relatively stable. (That means I actually spent less than that over the past 6-8 weeks because I’ve been not doing the night pill because I’m ashamed. So this is good.) This is a lower place than my tolerance has been in a very long time. This is great. I’m excited.

I don’t feel good. I’m tired as fuck. But I feel hope. It’s a nice feeling.

I had an interesting conversation with the nurse who drew my blood. We talked about what “healing” the body means in context of developmental trauma. I told her, “What does it even mean to “heal” someone like me who never had periods of normal or good health from birth?” She had never read books about developmental trauma. I recommended several. I told her, “In your job, in this office, a huge percentage of your patients are going to be here for trauma whether they can word it that way or not.”

She blinked slowly and had an intense look on her face. She said, “I’ve never thought about the things you are talking about. I have literally never considered what it does to the body to be traumatized so young. What are those book titles again? I need to write them down so I can read them.”

I feel I did a good thing today.

STDs

In the past few years, since having children, multiple people in my body count list have contracted various STDs. Syphilis has appeared multiple times.

Hey folks: if you are anything other than COMPLETELY MONOGAMOUS you need to get tested early and often. If you lie to your doctor about your sexual habits you are endangering yourself and everyone you sleep with. That’s not cool.

I have only a vague understanding that other people are ashamed about their behavior and that’s why they lie about what they are doing. This is odd to me. If I feel ashamed of doing something… I stop doing it. Or I figure out what is fucked up in my moral code and I change that so I’m not ashamed any more.

I don’t think you are bad if you have promiscuous sex. I think there are many reasons people do this, most of them pretty morally neutral.

But when you lie about what you are doing and you place people at risk… that’s different. That’s not about the sex. That’s about not being honest with people you supposedly care about. That is not acting like people matter. That is acting like only your shame matters.

I will be honest and say I am not well equipped to understand why people will hover over their shame and protect it and defend it and make sure it stays entrenched. That baffles the shit out of me.

I talk about the worst shit I do on the open internet where anyone can read it if they so choose. I do not understand hiding in shame.

My experience of hiding with shame is my family. My sister does that. My child raping sister does that. My child raping father did that.

Fuck. Hiding. What. You. Do.

If you aren’t hurting anyone, there is no reason to be ashamed of what you are doing. If you are hurting people with what you are doing STOP IT. WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU.

Lying to ongoing partners is not ok. It’s just not. Not volunteering health information to people you intend to fuck again is lying. So I will interpret not being told important health information as someone deciding that they never want to have intimate contact with me again. Ok, that’s fine. I’m a real pain in the ass so I get why trying hard to make sure that door stays open isn’t always worth the effort. That’s legit. I’m not upset about that. No one needs to keep a door open to possibly fucking me again.

But if you don’t want to tell me about what is going on with your health… that’s making a decision. A permanent decision. A decision that decides whether or not I will ever trust you to be honest with me again.

That’s just how life goes.

The funny thing is, I’ve had partners come to me and say “I got a positive result.” My response was, “Well… let’s look at how we have safer sex. We might want to adjust some behaviors.” I didn’t reject them and I didn’t stop having sex with them over it. Shit happens and I love you not your STD status.

My new cult: boring

I mean to post links. But I’m so tired. I’ve read a lot about the HPA axis in the past 24 hours. Some of it even official-ish shit. I am eager to see the results of the blood tests. This does sound intensely interesting. This offers more hope than any other possible diagnosis and I’m going to grab on to that hope with both hands.

There is the chance I could teach my body how to stop being in pain.

It is going to be hard to do. It’s going to take years and it is going to come in painful inches. I need to become boring.

I need to start defending my sleep schedule with a pitch fork. I have dinner plans today and after today… I need to not accept plans this late at night… again.

I’m done partying at night. Completely. Invite me to brunch.

Speaking of which it looks like we are going to be inviting some folks to a brunch soon. Future Middle Child has birthday wishes.

Brunch brunch brunch. The only meal of the day I’ll be able to muster up social for. Maybe afternoon tea. Those’ll become my meals.

I need to stop raising my heart rate. Do you know what that should probably include?[redacted horrible epiphany I should share and can’t bear to.]

Exercise is going to be complicated. I shouldn’t really raise my heart rate when I don’t need to. Walking. Stretching. Walking around the lazy river isn’t so heinous.

But I need to stop pushing my body on exercise. And that’s… an about face. I’ve worked so hard to get to my current fitness level. I’m in really good shape. I could go walk 8 miles and not flinch. I’m not in running shape and I haven’t been in a while… turns out that’s good anyway. I need to be super gentle on bike riding.

I need to stop causing my body stress. Even exciting stress.

This system is connected to everything. Digestion, sleep, pain, depression, anxiety… the whole system.

I could stop being in pain. It is theoretically possible. After 30 years of pain.

I need to try.