Part Nine ~ Tummy Rash/Virus/Mammogram

All throughout this ordeal I was experiencing what I thought were swollen glands all over my body, but when I would show and tell the many doctors where they were, they'd look at me like I was crazy. They explained you don't have glands in those areas. So each one would run crazy blood work on me. Everything would come back fine.

Rich was back home to Virginia from Ohio, thank god, no more Ohio! This was huge in my mental well being. But I was still a stressed and anxious. It was out of my control, and in my gut I knew there was a reason for it. It wasn't your typical run of the mill anxiety over being sick or stressed.

I still had a hard time with my bowels, still gassy, and my food belly still cramped into a knot but mostly without pain, but when there was pain, there was pain. However, that was an improvement and my food intake was getting better. Sleep still eluded me.

My go-to for comfort and pain relief was a heat pack that my mom got me from the drug store. You put it in the microwave for a minute and it was heavenly for about half hour. I used it several times per day over the course of a few months, and I'd hug it to my stomach while lying in bed trying to go to sleep at night. Anyway, after a hot shower one day Rich noticed I had funny, splotchy bruise-like marks on my stomach. I thought that couldn't have been good. Sure enough I googled it, and it wasn't. I didn't need a doctor to tell me that I had Erythema ab igne which is known as toasted skin syndrome, it was 100% obvious, and now puts me at high risk for a kind of skin cancer. I stopped using the heat immediately no matter how much pain I was in or how tight my stomach knotted - no more heat for me. 

Oh, the things I learned through this ordeal.

In March I was still the same, and maybe could sleep 3-4 hours per day. It was heavenly. My bowels were still the same, I don't think I explained before, sure I was only going to the toilet once or twice per day, but when I went it still wasn't normal color and had zero odor I mean none at all. And when I had to go I HAD to go - it was urgent. I needed to be near a toilet at all times. One of the reasons I never left the house and hid from everyone.

Shortly after Rich moved back home, he had to go out of town for a couple weeks for training in his new job. To Ohio, same place he had just moved from. And boom Kayla brought a nasty flu-like virus home from work, everyone at the pizza place had it, but were still working. I wonder how many employees passed it on to customers. That place is a joke, I won't even go into the drama of that place that's a whole other story. But anyway I got it too, and my mom came over for two hours to cook me dinner, and she got it too. We were all sick for weeks. I had no one to take care of me, I had to muddle my way through it, and ended up losing more weight. I had a fever for days, I hardly ever get a fever! (remember I should've had a fever as a symptom of C Diff, so they said). I panicked with the initial onset of the fever, since it wasn't the norm for me and ran to my GP to make sure I had no bacterial infections. Because if I did I wouldn't know what to do because I don't want to ever take an antibiotic again, remember the reason I got the C Diff in the first place was due to overuse of antibiotics, after the drugs wiped my system of all bacteria good and bad, the C Diff bacteria took over my system AND my life. But this illness wasn't THE flu and it wasn't bacterial, it was viral, which meant I had to ride it out, and I did for a few weeks!  I was pissed when I got that virus. I'd been doing well to ward off the serious flu that was going around. And I was trying to heal and get my immune system up. That didn't help. At all. 

In April I got notice I was due for my mammogram... I'm in the system at the navy base so no referral needed, thank god since that system was working out so well <--that's sarcasm in case you couldn't guess. I go in and the next morning I get a call back, they saw something on my films. Rich was not home he had been sent for training again for his new job. My knees were weak, I'm sure I went pale, and I cried.

My follow up mammo was set for two weeks, two weeks I had to stress over it, BUT I only let myself stress for a day then said, “buck up!” and did my best to not think about it or stress, I did pretty good, I don’t think there were any more tears. 

I was still nervous but this had happened to me once before, they said my breasts were dense and they needed a better look, so I had additional films and all was better. Turns out there were nodules. It had nothing to do with density that time, so I was skeptical when they said it was a density issue this time, but with only one breast.

One day at a time... 


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