It's Been a Week

Reading time: about 5 min.
disability  knitting  reading 

My biopsy on Tuesday went surprisingly well. I took an Ativan and a Percocet beforehand (yes, I know you’re not supposed to take both at once, but as we’ll discuss later, the Ativan dose was not very large) and had a very good conversation with the doctor about the potential forks in my path depending on the outcome of the biopsy:

  • Benign: replace the Liletta IUD with a Mirena IUD; I would like a D&C but the doctor feels like that’s an unnecessary surgery but then again she’s not the one who’s been bleeding for a month, either.
  • Atypical or malignant: total hysterectomy, including ovaries. This would be complicated by my other abdominal issues, but she seemed confident that the surgical gynecologists at Christiana could manage it.

The pathology came back Friday afternoon and I got an email notification, but the doctor didn’t call me. But I’ve gotten really good at reading medical reports and this sentence is pretty clear:

Scant partially pseudo-decidualized endometrium and benign squamous epithelium

I feel like that’s pretty clear: the only thing I had to look up was “pseudo-decidualized” and that basically means “endometrial tissue that’s been changed by hormones.” And we all know what benign means.

Such a relief.

And I’ve fired my old psychiatrist and gotten a new one. Or, rather, I had an intake appointment with the potential new one on Wednesday and decided that I was going to fire my old one.

I’d been unhappy with her for some time and the last appointment I had with her was basically what put me over the edge: the first thing she asked me was how many times a week I was taking Ativan. Not how anxious I’d been, not how my mood had been, but: how many benzos was I taking.

In the course of my conversation with my new psychiatrist, how much psychiatric medication I was taking came up and it turns out that the amount of Ativan I was taking was really low and not a concern, and that the doses of Lexapro and Buspar I was getting were essentially too low to know if I were getting any sort of therapeutic effect. Like the Buspar? At least 8 times too low based on most people.

New psychiatrist doubled my dose of Buspar and increased my Lexapro by 50%. He also switched me from Ativan to Xanax. And gave me refills. I can’t even, because my old psychiatrist would never, ever, ever give me refills. And when I talked about how awesome Wellbutrin was for me in terms of improving my energy and focus and how sad I was that I couldn’t have it again, he said that we could talk about adding in an ADHD medication once we get the anti-depressant situation sorted. But he also immediately twigged to the fact that Wellbutrin isn’t what triggered my seizures 4 years ago, that it was the sub-arachnoid hemorrhage; you know, that little stroke I had?

So I’m pretty pissed–I think what was going on was that old psychiatrist was just not comfortable with my medical complexity and wanted to keep me on as little medication as possible. Which ultimately wasn’t doing me any good, especially since she refused to do anything to treat my trauma disorder.

And on Thursday I saw my GI doctor, who gets to look sadly at me and tell me to stop doing things or to not do things and I obey. I don’t even obey my father when he tells me to stop doing things. I showed him my nose piercing and he wasn’t happy about it, but it was done. And then I mentioned I was getting a tattoo.

I was told in no uncertain terms that I am not to get a tattoo, no matter how much I want it or how long I’ve wanted it, because to go off the blood thinners for it could cause a complete collapse of my portal vein system which could potentially kill me. I am really, really upset about this: I wanted to make a permanent change to my body that I chose to make and not something that was done to me. But I have canceled the appointment and eaten the $50 deposit.

Dr. U also told me to stop taking the phentermine that weight management had put me on, so I did–it wasn’t doing much anyhow. I need to look into all my medication side effects because there is something going on there. Of course, I’m also full of fluid and am going to get tapped next week (thank God).

This week was a lot.

Instead of reading something new, I’m reading Victoria Goddard’s Hands of the Emperor for the third time since I bought it in April of this year. There’s just something so comforting about it–probably because the main characters are just so damn competent. I love reading about competent people doing things like, oh, reworking an entire world’s system of government so it benefits all the people, not just the elites.

I’ve also been slowly finishing up my current knitting project, a large scarf by Casapinka called “Circus Movement.” I’m using Miss Babs’s Caroline, which is a wool/cashmere blend and is as soft as a kitten, so the yarn has been a joy. What has not been a joy is the border. I spent five hours last weekend re-working the final border because the math wasn’t working.

I have knit a lot of Casapinka’s patterns and am generally accustomed to her pattern writing quirks, but I don’t think this pattern was even test knit. One of her quirks which I hate is that it’s pretty obvious that she writes up patterns in Word and exports them to PDF and doesn’t make sure the page breaks make sense, so there are a bunch of two row repeats where they’re on two different pages. And I am always having to make notes on how many repeats there are of each section because she’ll have a 12 row pattern and then say “repeat these 12 lines 4 more times” and I have to add “5 total repeats” because otherwise I get confused (which is frustrating, because I’m not exactly a newbie knitter).

This pattern was published in 2020, but I think it was written well before then. There’s only one picture of the finished object and it’s blurry–and it’s artistically crumpled so you can’t even see what the whole thing looks like. And it contains design elements that none of her other patterns have; specifically this pattern has you knit a rectangle on the bias and then pick up stitches for the rest of the length which is done horizontally. Then there are two borders, which involve picking up stitches along the length and one end of the piece. All the other patterns of hers I’ve knit have been either horizontal or on the bias, not both. And none of them have had borders like this. And those design elements are why I wanted to do this pattern.

Anyhow, I’m getting close to done and then I’m going to start my first sweater: Hannah Fettig’s Featherweight Cardigan, which I’ve wanted to do for years and years. I have three skeins of Malabrigo sock yarn that should do–and if not, then I have plenty of other yarn that I can use on the sleeves. I’m looking forward to it, it will be a new challenge, which I think I desperately need with my knitting right now.

…and I think that’s enough for now, as I now need to message my hepatologist at Jefferson with all the recent shenanigans, including the fact that Dr. U wants me to get an MRI sooner than December.