two steps forward

.. and one step back. Look for my debut video with an animated cat.

I’ve been feeling almost pretty good about myself lately: I’ve accidentally gone down a dress size. The items I’ve ordered recently in my usual size have all been strangely voluminous, to which I attributed a thousand other things than the most obvious one: I’ve somehow gotten smaller. The situation came to a head when I ordered a dress that shouldn’t have fit me, but it was the closest size available without going in the opposite direction .. and it actually fit perfectly. Neat! I patted myself on the back (carefully, because both of my shoulders are completely fucked due to repeat dislocation), and went about my day.

Yesterday, I had an appointment to meet a new doctor because my previous one is trapped in a tower somewhere. We briefly discussed my medical history, and he set about writing up a thousand prescription refills for me because I am running hella low on the drugs that keep me alive and upright. He wants to change up my current diabeetus meds, because, “it’ll make you lose weight! it’s so great!”. I mean, I HAD been feeling good about myself for the first time since 1987, but sure. Tell me repeatedly that these new meds are so great because I’ll lose weight. Like, 50 pounds of it. I think I was supposed to be excited to hear this, but dammit – I’m FINALLY in a place where I fully acknowledge my extraness, and these days I rarely break down crying when I look in a mirror. Could I stand to lose 50 pounds? Sure. Do I WANT to? I could take it or leave it. I’m already finding that many of my clothes are fitting strangely due to whatever incidental weight I’ve lost, and if these “so great!” miracle drugs make a portion of me disappear, I’ll have to buy a whole bunch of new clothes. I know that’s a silly argument for not wanting to be the best and thinnest Kimli I could possibly be, but see above re: dammit – am I not allowed to be satisfied with my person as I am?

I’m going to try these miraculous shrinking drugs anyway, for science. I’m apprehensive for additional reasons, though: these are the drugs I was taking the last time I almost died and stuff. That could be interesting, so I’m going to give it a go and see what happens, because what are the chances I’ll go into ketoacidosis TWICE? Except for the whole near-death thing, they actually worked really well (too well) to make me pee all the extra sugar out of my blood. While I’m rather ambivalent about the potential for weight loss I apparently so desperately need, I’d like to get my blood sugar down even further. I’m still trying to make up for a really fucking horrible 2018, which saw my A1C spike to outrageous levels (aka 0.7%), so if this will help, I’ll try it. What’s the worst that could happen?

Don’t answer that.

Being at a hospital when I’m not a complicated medical anomaly is interesting. Ed’s upstairs getting a camera inserted into his nethers (throat) to see what is happening all up in there, so I’m waiting in a cafe and writing all about my woes, working, and ruing this tart I bought that is made of horrible horrible raisins. Also, I scheduled myself for a mammogram for the sheer fun of it, aka my previous doctor told me to go get myself all squished in the tits, but the only way to book an appointment was over the PHONE like some sort of busty neanderthal so I didn’t do it. On my way to the cafe to work, I noticed that the mammograms actually happen in this building (we’re not in the actual hospital, just an outpatient centre) .. so I went to the desk and booked myself in for some squishin’. For science. I hope they’ll let me take pictures.

Sounds like Ed is done with his butt (throat) scope, so I’m going to go collect him and take him home. I am an excellent wife. An excellent, super fat, wife.

living dangerously

Yes, even more than usual.

My Mirena IUD – the only thing between me and an entire flock of verbose, busty children – expired in February. I’ve written before about the very real danger of a lifetime of sperm ingestion catching up with me in one fell swoop (that’s how it works, right) – but I haven’t had the time to Do Anything about it.

It’s not my fault. When my palm flower lit up, I was halfway around the world. Also, my doctor went and gave birth and subsequently closed her practice because her damn controlling baby won’t let her work (that’s how it works, right). So not only did I literally run out of time to get my vaginal wheels aligned, I have nowhere to go to get it done.

I wasn’t entirely foolhardy about my expiring IUD, though. I did some internets, and found that while the Mirena has a uterus-life of 5 years, *technically* it can work for up to 7 years. That’s two more years! I could USE those years!

Naturally, there are capital-C consequences. You see, the scientific term for the Mirena is Fancy Baby Gate, which means in addition to making my womb a hostile environment for baby juices through the sheer toxicity of copper alone, it also has a medicinal element: for the past 5 years it has happily dispensed hormones like Pez, obliterating all negative or icky activity from my lady cave. Like, all of it. Nothing goes on down there but fun, and the party don’t start til I walk in. Do you know the last time I bought feminine protection that wasn’t literal and lethal? Okay, it was less than a year ago – but it wasn’t for me, it was a bulk purchased to donate to WISH. Hell, I’m on my second Mirena. The last time I had to buy myself items for *down there*, I was still going through the stash acquired when I worked at Procter and Gamble a lifetime ago. It’s been a while, okay.

What was my point? Oh right, consequences. Because my little friend (say hello) is end-of-life dead, it’s run out of the good stuff. This means that I am once again having SYMPTOMS. Of a menstrual variety. Things are happening that have not happened in more than a decade, and IT SUCKS.

It’s not just the physical discomfort of shedding my uterine lining for sport: I am having FEELINGS. Big ones, ones that I am wholly unprepared and unwilling to deal with. Everything is making me cry! I am literally writing this on a plane, from an aisle seat, with no one between me and the dude in the window seat, with enough room to actually use my laptop for once, on my way to my favourite city for no reason other than “I wanted to fly somewhere”, and I have CRIED. More than once. I cried at a sad song on my phone. I cried because Ed and I had a Long Boring Talk About our Relationship last night (literal this time, and not just a discussion about the power bill). I cried because I said something uncharacteristically sappy-sweet to Ed when he dropped me off at the airport this afternoon. And the worst of all? The lady across the aisle and a row up from me was watching a shitty Mark Wahlberg family comedy with subtitles on, and IT MADE ME CRY. What the FUCK. This is bullshit!

Until I get this *situation* dealt with, these feelings and symptoms are only going to get worse AND they’re going to happen every 28 days like goddamn clockwork. I am fairly certain I did not agree to this. I want a do-over.

When I get home, I’m going to have to go to the women’s walk-in clinic and throw my vagina across the counter in a desperate plea for help. Worst case scenario, they’ll prescribe me another (surprisingly expensive, even with benefits and the horrors of socialized medicine) Mirena that I will have to arrange to get shoved all up in my business after the other one is unceremoniously yanked out (which fucking HURTS, to the point of thinking “is pregnancy and the resulting 18+ years of parenthood really all THAT bad”). Best case, they’ll agree that I am too fucking old to deal with gas station pregnancy tests and worrying that my mom’ll kill me if I come home knocked up and scoop my goddamn tubes out with a spoon already. I mean, I’ve only been asking for 23 fucking years. What’s another two decades (eat a dick, science) of worrying about an unplanned pregnancy?

Vaginas, am I right? Yeesh.

The preceding post has been about the inner workings of my female anatomy. If you are at all uncomfortable with talk of the female reproductive system and the fluids contained therein, please do not have read this post.

it looks like you are trying to avoid procreation! do you need assistance?

two point two pictures

HELLO

I’M STILL ALIVE

Funny story: I haven’t written in a long time because I had nothing good to say – my life is a never-ending series of whines, rage tears, and vaguebooking. I didn’t want to make a triumphant return to my poor neglected blog only to complain about how awful my ridiculously priviledged life is, so I kept my head down and cried my sad tears and posted dumb little Facebook updates about my unhappiness and then guess what.

I sort of exploded from the stress, and desperately needed an outlet that wasn’t poor Ed talking me off the ledge. Oh, if only I had a safe outlet in which I could vent about my FEELINGS. If only there was a friendly, non-judgemental place where I could air my dirty laundry and extreme dissatisfaction at my lot in life and also throw in the occasional random reference to movies from the 90s. OH IF ONLY.

I never claimed to be as smart as I tell the internet I am

So, here we are. Strap in, everyone. I’m going to cleanse my soul the only way I know how: dumping it out onto the internet for the seagulls to pick through and poop on.

Continue reading

the dope show

I made a list of things I needed to do after we had moved, because I am highly organized and anal retentive. At the top of that list was “transfer prescriptions”. There are a large number of chemicals keeping me alive these days, and seeing as “being alive” is pretty much the only thing I have going on right now, it was imperitive that the spice flow.

I stupidly assumed that because the pharmaceutical industry is highly regulated, pharmacies themselves must have solid, air-tight procedures when it comes to all things people and medication related. This is .. not true. In the slightest. It was exceedingly difficult to transfer my prescriptions from one store to another (in the same chain, no less), taking multiple online submissions, two phone calls, and three in-person visits to the pharmacy to prove my identity only for the entire thing to be not be done at all correctly. The last straw was an attempt to refill some medication online and being told my birthdate was incorrect. Frustrated to the point of picking up the phone (I really really hate the phone), I called the pharmacy to get my birthdate corrected. Oh, you sweet summer child – your birthdate isn’t wrong, it’s your prescription number. That’s from the old store. You need to download the pharmacy app and manually set your home store to be the new one, and your prescriptions will just show up. Why don’t you know this? Women just don’t get technology.

Great (if condescending) advice, right? And straight from the pharmacy owner’s mouth, so clearly I was in the wrong here. If only I understood how mobile apps work!

Yeah, the pharmacy doesn’t actually HAVE an app. Never had. The steps I was told to take not only cannot be done, but do not exist and have never existed. I don’t know what sort of drugs the pharmacist was sampling, but they made him dream up a process, place it into a non-existant iPhone app, then chastise someone for not knowing about it.

Few things piss me off more than someone I have to trust with my life making careless mistakes. When they make mistakes that are not only beyond careless but in the realm of dystopian fiction, I see fucking red. I’d once chewed out my previous pharmacy for refilling all my medications except one (prior to being able to refill them myself online), because the actual dose was a 2-parter and they missed the second part. They apologized, everything was great, and we had a good relationship until I moved. There was no excuse for the new pharmacy to fuck up like this, so I complained on three official channels: Twitter, email feedback on the website, and a call into corporate.

I got the standard boilerplate apology from all three channels, which whatever. Twitter went one further, and asked if they could pass my information onto the pharmacy owner so he could contact me directly to apologize. Since he was the one I spoke to in the first place, I did not want this and I told them so. They’ve promised to review their processes and that this will not happen to anyone else. That’s all I need.

I’ve now been emailed three times, called three times (once from South Africa), and had a note attached to my last refill request, asking that I speak to the pharmacy owner. I DO NOT WANT TO DO THIS. I already DID speak to the owner, when he called me at 6am to apologize. All I wanted from him was to ensure he and his staff knew the proper procedure, and to not give shitty and 100% incorrect advice to anyone else when to comes to things like this. That’s it. I don’t want grovelling or a refund or a discount or a fucking scholarship opened in my name – just promise me you won’t mislead someone else who may not be able to figure out the depth of your bullshit as quickly as I did (I’ve been using the official app since day one, as it helps me to avoid talking to actual people. I knew there was no “pharmacy app”, and that the “very simple” steps I needed to take did not exist). Luckily when I picked up my last prescription, he wasn’t in the pharmacy. I told the tech who rang me out that I did not want to speak to him and to please remove that note and any other that may exist on my file.

This was before we went to Hong Kong. In that time, he called twice and left voicemail, and emailed me again yesterday afternoon. FUCKING CUT IT OUT. I am under no obligation to talk to you, and I’ve been more than firm about this. If he attempts to contact me again, I’m calling corporate and moving my presciptions to a different store altogether. I don’t want to be stalked, let alone by someone with full access to my medical history. This is not cool.

Hong Kong was great, but also not cool (it hovered at 34C with 87%+ humidity the entire time, dropping down to 29C at night). We’re heading to New York this week for a combination birthday trip, coming home for a biopsy, then heading to Seattle for a birthday party. And I’m in Redmond all next week at the mothership. I am busy.

Here is a picture.

hong kong and kowloon at dusk

it’s nice here in the sand

You know that thing when you really really have to do something but you are sort of paralyzed with fear and procrastinate for an eternity because you’re scared? Yes, that. Right now. It me.

I need to see a doctor about an alien growth near my armpit. I have an odd mole thing on my upper body that I’ve had since birth: it is a birthmark. However, it is disconcerting to look at. Anyone who sees it tells me I really ought to get it checked out, which happens a lot because I am frequently naked all over the place. The birthmark has all the hallmarks of a Very Bad Thing: it is irregularly shaped, sort of lumpy, and a variety of unappealing colours. I usually ignore it and the repeated advice of “go see a doctor” because I know I’ve had it since birth, and because seeing the doctor for something that looks like skin cancer is scary as hell and I am an ostrich.

It’s been easy to ignore my dark mark (not to be confused with the Dark Mark, or my brown friend Dark Mark) because it was quiet and unassuming and it didn’t really do anything at all. However, it’s been bothering me a lot lately in the form of an irritated open sore. On my irregularly shaped, funny-coloured, lumpy weird mole.

You can see why this is slightly terrifying.

Logically, I know several things. I know I’ve had this birthmark forever, and it’s always been unusual. I know it’s changed shape because I’ve changed shape; it grows and shrinks with my body whenever I decide to diet/forget to eat for extended periods of time/gorge on cheese-filled cheese pies. Lastly, and probably most importantly, I know why the mark is irritated and sore and open: the underwire of my bras end precisely on the mark and rub against it all day long, tearing at the skin and giving me the ow. Everything going on with my mystery spot can logically be explained away, so I have nothing to worry about.

.. right? Looking up melanoma symptoms at 2am when your mystery spot is damp and hurting is not very good for peace of mind. I am worried. Someone please tell me I’m just being paranoid so I can get back to ignoring my various flaws until someone points them out next time I’m naked.

I do not like my dark mark.

it’s not lupus

I have too much sugar in my blood
I have insulin resistance
UH! Type 2 Diabetes!

I have too much sugar in my blood
I have a broken pancreas that isn’t creating insulin
UH! Type 1 Diabetes!

Type 2 Diabetes
Type 1 Diabetes
UH! Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults (LADA), aka Type 1.5 Diabetes!

We always joke around that it would be just my luck to end up with a super rare and complicated disease, one that requires Dr. House-style intervention. Gill is convinced I have some sort of super-betes, while Ed has been telling me I probably have both kinds, aka Type 3.

So, about that ..

Let me catch you up on what’s happened since my last update. I’ve been feeling better, but my blood is all over the damn place (literally and figuratively). I was told to get myself some peein’ sticks, and they’ve been showing that the bad news is all up in my everything – basically, I’m consistently in the “get to a damn hospital” range. Sad!

I met with Diabetes Man at the hospital on Wednesday for some education. The plan was to learn all about diabetes and how to treat my specific kind of diabetes, but .. well, we don’t know what kind it is. My blood and pee don’t make any sense. I need to take the official “What Diabetes Are You” Buzzfeed quiz, but that can only be requested by your family doctor, which I do not have. Without that diagnosis, I can’t get the insulin I seem need, without which – and this was stressed to me a number of times – DYING WOULD HAPPEN. Which is weird, because Type 2 diabetics – which we all assume I am because look at me – don’t typically require insulin. It was all very complicated and I kept cracking bad jokes that didn’t go over very well because Diabetes Man was too frustrated by my enigmatic nature to appreciate my acerbic wit. We made a deal: I would test my blood at specific times in the day and my pee first thing in the morning and text him the results, and he would confer with Dr. Awesome to find out why the former would say I’m fine when I am so clearly not fine in the slightest and also what do we do with a problem like Kimli (I like to imagine there was singing).

Cut to yesterday morning. Blood is stupid. Pee is stupid. Every goddamn thing is stupid and also I am exhausted. I texted my numbers to Diabetes Man, ate some Cheerios like a toddler, and tried to work. Around 1pm, Dr. Awesome called me.

So, about all those crossed wires and completely opposite advice/diagnoses from Dr. Awesome and Dr. Nice Shoes ..

No one told Dr. Awesome I had been admitted to the hospital. 

Dr. Awesome called me last Friday afternoon, before I was discharged from the hospital. I had assumed the call was because he had been brought up to speed on wtf is going on, which was the wrong assumption to make: the timing of the call was a COINCIDENCE. He had no idea I was literally on a hospital bed at that moment. Complicating matters even further (because me), the whole opposite diagnosis thing was because he wasn’t looking at the results from my overnight stay – he only had info from the week prior, BEFORE I went into DKA.

Still with me? I barely am, and this is my life now.

Having cleared that up, Dr. Awesome said I needed insulin, and I needed it ASAP. Ed drove me to the doctor’s office in North Van, and I was formally issued some insulin pens and instructions on how to stab myself with them. He also talked about my actual, current test results, which are showing weird things that make him think I’m actually a Type 1.5 diabetic – which is a real thing that actually exists and is not just a cute joke we’ve been making – AND that all of this *might* be due to an undiagnosed bout of pancreatitis (which would explain the high red and white blood cell count from the first blood test that started all of this shit). It’s too early to tell, but if my pancreas bounces back, all of this might go away. It might not. In the meantime, I’m on a tiny daily dose of tummy insulin to make my body process the sugar in my blood (like it’s supposed to do when it’s not being a fucking slacker). What comes next? Your guess is as good as mine.

None of this is officially official without the test, but all signs are pointing towards Type 1.5 diabetes. There’ll likely be a ton more back and forth as things get sorted out, including the medication aspect: we’re not sure if the peanut butter was making me sick at all, as it could very well have been coincidentally timed with my descent into DKA. I don’t know. What I DO know is that I’ve had to cancel my trip to Seattle for next week, because if the insulin isn’t doing the job and I start feeling all acidic again, I have to go to the ER immediately .. and call me crazy, but I just don’t want to try out American healthcare at this point in my life.

I’m super glad we’re getting somewhat closer to a diagnosis/solution, and that Dr. Awesome and Diabetes Man are both helping me through this. Still, it’s hard not to throw myself a little pity party now and then – it’s been a rough month. I was really looking forward to going to Seattle, and I’m tired of feeling like a ticking time bomb of rotten cells. I’m worried that I’m missing too much work for appointments and emergency consultations. I feel guilty as hell because I screwed up Ed’s birthday weekend, his actual birthday, plans he had yesterday, and potentially work-related stuff for next week. Every little twitch and twinge makes me think I’m about to drop into a funky fresh coma of phat death. Stresses: I have them.

Not sure what I’m going to do with all the character this is building, though.