Monday, July 30, 2007

My Imaginary Hernia

NOTE: I wrote this post the morning of Thurs. the 26th, but was feeling too frustrated to post it at the time. BE FOREWARNED: If you can't handle the mention of my bathroom habits and the words 'ovarian' and 'gynecological', don't bother reading this. Moreover, if you don't like lengthy, tedious, complaining posts, skip this one altogether.

Some interesting news came about yesterday... let me bore you with my ridiculous story:

My doctors office called me yesterday morning to kindly inform me of the several ovarian cysts visibly apparent in my CT scan results from last week, and before she went well into telling me I really should see my OBGYN for a follow-up and told her (again) about my problems, and she scheduled a sonogram, by which she later determined and verified my issues were not , I interrupted her to say it was okay, as I already know all about the many cysts, to which her response was to say, "You know about them?!?" I then explained that the month after my primary doctor had given me nothing but a daily laxative for the months' long pain I was experiencing, I went to see my gynecological and the report has been given to my Dr. already. Her curt reply in rapid succession was then a light, little "oh," with a solid "good," followed by a dismissive "alright then" and suddenly, "well, have a good day!" - click -

pre-surgery consultation I was to have later in the day... So I pick them up, and sitting in the parking lot in my parked car, I whip out the radiology report and read through a few lines of physio babble and various references to the number of and differing sizes of my ovarian cysts and the "pathological" measure of my liver density (excuse me? pathological?) and some more physio words I just don't know, and as I near the end of the report I see the following:

"No evidence of a fat or bowel hernia found."

Wait, huh!?! - - - What!? - - - WHAT THE!?!

And I read the whole thing again...

And then I call my doctor's office and I tell them really calmly and patiently that I'd been called just a little earlier to be told all about the ovarian cysts found in my CT scan results, a CAT scan that was meant to verify the existence of a femoral hernia, but that there was NO mentioned in the earlier call that there's no evidence of a hernia found, so, um, what am I supposed to do next, seeing I'm supposed to have a PRE-SURGERY consultation later today with the fellow who's meant to OPERATE on a now non-existent hernia? Has the appointment been cancelled already? or is there any reason for me to expected to keep the appointment still? Should it be cancelled? I would call them, but no one's ever given me more than an address for this appointment... Etc., etc... [SIDE NOTE: Now all this was said by me AFTER the receptionist had first brought up my appointment history, mind you. So, keep that in mind.]

I then have to explain the whole thing to another person, to be given back to the first, to then RE-explain my whole dilemma ALL OVER AGAIN, from start (that'd be December, when the pain began) to finish (determining if we need to cancel my freakin' pre-op consult!), to then be told I have to call and cancel my own pre-op consult, myself.

(Long pause on my part)

And I then say... rather politely without malice or jest, just happy to finally have THAT answer (was quite proud of myself for not flipping out at this point), but still baffled, nonetheless: "I would make the call, but the surgery consult appointment was made for me through an appointment service once I'd called in to verify the date of my CT appointment with Radiology, and I was never given any contact numbers for the pre-op consult, even when I'd asked for them, only told to call the general appointment line if I needed anything thereafter, and only today did I find out I'd already been assigned a surgeon, in talking with you, although I still don't know his name. Otherwise, all I have is an address... Can you not give me the phone number to call if I'm supposed to call and cancel my own appointment?"

(I then wait on hold for nearly 20 minutes)

And then? She's back and she's very apologetic, but she's now not sure if I'm the one who should call to cancel the appointment... and I am now furious with the lack of managerial organization in my doctor's office, but I remain calm.

And then? I wait on hold for another 20+ minutes, after which I'm finally given a phone number, told to cancel the appointment right away or I could be charged a penalty fee for a no-show. Lovely, eh?

And then I say: "What should I do after that? Is there anyone I should see next?" And dumbfounded, she asks me what for - ? She didn't know why I'd need to see anyone else - !?! Excuse me?

So, I actually have to point out that after 2 misdiagnoses, I still need an explanation for the pain and the issues I've been having, now that it's been deemed I don't have a hernia, after all, according to Radiology. She tried again to tell me I should see my OBGYN, although I'd already explained alllllll the aforementioned TWICE... She began to insist, telling me her own story, suffering from the pain of bursting ovarian cysts... At this point, I was finally losing my cool, and I wanted to stop her and scream "ARE YOU MY DOCTOR NOW?!?" So, not wanting to go into my gynecological history with this woman, I abruptly cut her off to ask her if she thought ovarian cysts were the cause of my inability to use the bathroom for more than a week, while taking daily prescriptive laxatives?

And then? Her response? - She told me she'd have to call me back, so she could find out what I should do next. I stopped her and asked her to please make an appointment for me to see my primary again and she interrupted, asking me what for... " Um, so I can get a referral to a real gastrointestinal specialist?"... She then insists she must call me back and I then insist that she set me up for an appoint now, before I find out later tomorrow or 3 days from now that that's what I must do anyhow, with a 2 months' out waiting time. She went ahead and made the appointment, but told me that she'd be calling me back anyhow...

I now have an appointment for next Wednesday, the 1st.

UPDATE, 7/31/07: I had my first unassisted poop yesterday = the first one in over 3 weeks' time! That's now a total of THREE times I've gone #2 in 3 weeks!?! Knowing this now, try to imagine how I've been feeling for the past 3 weeks, and especially now that it's been found that I don't have a hernia causing my problems - - now we have NO freakin' idea at all what's wrong! Fun stuff.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Lots Larger than We'd Thought...

The approach...
One of the many views from atop the Arc de Triomphe'Downtown' Paris, as seen from atop the Arc de TriompheThe Eiffel Tower, as seen from you know from where by now...
View from the Louvre entrance, through the Jardin des Tuileries to the Obelisque, down the Champ Elysees to the Arc de TriompheView of the Arc De Triomphe, from the Eiffel TowerFinally, the Arc de Triomphe, head onThe sculpture is ahh-may-zing...The view up Napoleon's skirt (b/c I'm strangely amused the figure's underskirt is so finished)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Why I Love Mah Honey-Man ~ Reason 12

Because according to my honey-man,
yesterday was my Unbirthday!

~ Yes, my "Unbirthday!"

See, my birthday is within 2 weeks of Christmas and it's always kinda sucked to some extent since the age of 20, often overlooked, many suffering from post-holiday burn out, understandably so (although still sucky). And in the last couple years, I've begun to complain... well, Wendy's dear niece, Kati, her birthday is only 3 days from Christmas, poor girl! And so, she always has an Unbirthday later in the mid-year to make up for it... so my honey-man thought it could be a good idea for me as well. What a genius kind of man he is!

So, unbeknownst to me, my honey-man had planned a lil' Unbirthday for me last night!!! [CORRECTION: It was actually planned for Monday, but I had unknowingly changed the Unbirthday plans by setting up Monday night plans for us with my sister and uncle Lo-Lo.] My Unbirthday was such a lovely event! Made me cry, dammit! And it was the best Unbirthday I've ever had (and only thus far ~ although I have a feeling I can expect them in the future!), replete with the most purrrfect lil' kitty card, the sweetest thoughts written in that card, and dinner with both my honey-man and the angel boy-O, plus balloons and streamers
AND A TIARA (my first ever tiara, not that I'm into bling), plus delicious cupcakes from The Cupcakery AND my very own DANCE FACTORY for the PS2!?! ~ And we played Dance Factory the rest of the night! And all this happened after we'd met and finalized the arrangements for my custom made wedding band ~ so I was already in a most fabulously happy mood!

(The angel boy-O is the one behind the open fridge door ~ hee hee)

[POSSIBLE CLARIFICATION NEEDED: These pictures are meant to feature my happiness (top shot, of course) and my wonderful Unbirthday decorations hung by my sweet honey-man - - not how messy our home is!]

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Our Own Lil' Parisian Palace ~ Chateau La Tour

Top and center, our flat was on the top floor, seen here to the left of the chimney, and it extended further left, beyond the view shown here. We had 2 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, and an Italian pull out bed, equivalent to two separate twin-size beds, and a stackable washer/dryer unit - - pretty generous space for a Paris apartment; we were repeatedly told the place was downright roomy, and with the 6 of us staying there, including 3 who stand at least 6 feet tall and then some, it was great! Can you believe this view?
Sunset as seen from that front room window...
The stairs to the flat, which I climbed and descended every day! The elevator - - supposedly big enough for 3 persons! This is just me and my luggage... There's a funny story about this for later.The back bedroom, which had a view of the Eiffel Tower...The room my parents had with the very best view of the Eiffel Tower, visible from the bed... the bathroom was directly to the right, unseen here and difficult to photograph, but very, very, very nyce. The table where we ate each morning... it was soooo pleasant (massive understatement). All my kitchen and front room shots have family members in them, not to be posted - sorry! And although you can see my father here, he's not exactly recognizable... This post's title will link you to the "Paris Perfect" management's website for the flat, featuring more and better pictures of the place. Hallway to the back bedroom, laundry and the 2 other bathrooms...Me, seen in the mirror over the mantel of our Paris flat.
The flat was just absolutely wonderful - - it couldn't have been more purrrfect.
Bottom of the stairs, tini elevator to the left...

Monday, July 16, 2007

Food, Glorious PARISIAN Food!

I've been home from my trip for a few days now, and so far, this is all I've compiled for a post about my 2 weeks' stay, off in Paris and London... pictures of my food while in Paris! (This post is obviously for Daly!)

But honestly, someone asked me what I loved most about Paris, and my first thought was to gush about the Parisian palette! Other than the crepe place we tried our very first night there (owned and operated by an Armenian, who's 7 yr old son took our orders and often had to correct his own father's French), everything was delightfully delicious... and I had croissants every day I was there (as was also the case in London, but don't get me started on London fare just yet)!

My very first breakfast in Paris...
(equivalent to my entire caloric needs for the entire day!)Gorgeous, golden, fresh pastries sold in the mornings on Rue ClerJust a few doors down from our flat...I didn't try every kind, but every one I did try, each was fabulous!
This fellow, he very patiently helped correct my French when I'd asked him for 3 flats of raspberries for 5 Euros... yes, three flats of 'em! Our 2nd night, we made dinner at the flat, and we chose ripe raspberries on top of Moellieux for dessert!A little goes a long, long way in Paris; very, very satisfying!Lunch at the Eiffel Tower at "Altitude 95" [Whatever that's supposed to mean, I never found out - - wait! NO! I remember... the restaurant is located 95 meters above sea level... (big whoop, right?) The food was amazing.]This is a piece of cheese, baked with 2 apple slices to absorb the salt... and it was delicious!It's possible I may have had too many of these,
but each one was like a rich lil' tasty work of art.
This is REAL quiche Lorraine - - and it was absolutely to die for!
(if one could die for quiche)
OMG = IT WAS ALL SO FLIPPIN' GOOD!Some pretty inventive stuff...Um, can you say "yum?"
This was my first lunch in Paris - and very, very French, it was - at the
Cremerie-Restaurant Polidor
. If my brain had been on at the time, I would have also taken a picture of the Tarte Tatin I ate there - - it was the very best thing I devoured in all of Paris during my stay.
More quiche! This with goat cheese, red peppers and zucchini!
My last breakfast in Paris ~ and that's a farm fresh egg I'd scrambled!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Back in the U.S.A.

I'm about to leave work, and although it's 1:06 am, London time, I've been doing reallllly well... details soon.

Very happy to be home!