hollyslowly: Dark Angel; Max passed out on Logan in a hospital bed. (I did. I did. I do.)
[personal profile] hollyslowly
Well, since my last melodramatic update, I am the same/okay/mildly better, for those of you hanging in suspense. The professional conference was actually much better than last year’s and my boss and I both had a very productive day. The keynote speaker was Alex Sheen of Because I Said I Would, an Ohio-based nonprofit/social movement that, in essence, allows people means to be accountable to themselves about the commitments they’ve made. I was somewhat skeptical of it at first – why do you need a “promise card” to do what you said you’d do; just do it – but I’m trying to be more open and understanding in my old age, so I stayed with it. I’m not sure if the story is on their website in video form, but I very nearly cried at one point.

About thirty minutes into the 90 minute drive home, Heather got a call letting her know her older brother had dropped dead of a heart attack. It was a very sad car ride.

Lymph nodes have been mysteriously swollen since mid-August and I’ve had the energy of a wet paper sack, which I imagine has contributed to my general sense of malaise. Haven't been able to concentrate enough to read a book in a while, so my Goodreads count has held steady at 45/52. I went to my primary care doctor twice and got two different 10-day antibiotics and a daily antihistamine, then to an ENT specialist after finishing the antibiotics and still being swollen, got a 6-day steroid pack. ENT seemed quite patronizing, but I was also quite upset, as I had been ill for three weeks at that point and was pretty well convinced it was cancer. Felt mostly better for a while, then flared back up after the first laser treatment (more on this below). Only slightly swollen today. Woke up this morning so dizzy I had to sit with my eyes closed on the side of the tub for about 10 minutes. Pretty sure it’s the fault of the antihistamine, because I took it for the first time last night and that is the primary side effect.

At this point I’ve decided, “Fuck it.” I’ve accepted that I need to take an anti-depressant every day because my brain, if left unattended, will try to kill me, but my allergies are not so bad that I need to take a pill for them every day. I don't want to be on 10 different medications. One reason I was so upset at the ENT's office (aside from the cancer fear) was that I didn't want another pill to treat my symptoms; I wanted to address the root cause of whatever was making me sick. If the swelling isn’t completely gone by Friday, I’ll go back to the ENT, because he said it wasn’t urgent/anything to worry about until the 6 week mark, which is coming right up. One of those rare situations where I would honestly be thrilled to be wrong.

I got a shitty tattoo in January that has been bumming me out hardcore for eight months now, and after talking to multiple different artists about the likelihood of being able to cover it, had my first laser removal Saturday.


Based on everything I'd read, I wasn't expecting to see any improvement after the first session, but about 50% of the shitty shading is already gone. On reflection, I think this means that it was even worse quality than I initially thought, because it's supposed to be a lot harder to get rid of newer tattoos.

I went to the artist who did my thigh piece, which I love, because she had done such a good job and I trusted her to do this one. An artist friend of mine later pointed out that they are very different styles: the thigh piece is very artistic, with lots of bold lines, whereas the new one was supposed to be fairly simple and understated. The line work looked like she had done it on day two of heroin withdraw. She put in a shit-ton of dark shading that we hadn't talked about to try to cover up the bad lines. It was devastating. I'm not even exaggerating; I was devastated. I've been wearing button-up shirts since January so I don't have to look at it.

Anyway, the laser place is 1.5 hours from me and it costs $199 a pop, but (a) fortunately you are required to have at least two months between sessions, so you can heal and (b) my mental health/not dissociating from my body is worth putting back $50 a paycheck to save up for it. (Look at me, all grown up and prioritizing my needs.)

The funny part (to me, at least) is that once I get this removed, I might try the design again with a different artist on a different part of my body. I still want a Star Trek tattoo; I just haven’t figured out what. If I could ever be bothered to do weight lifting and actually develop arm muscles, I’d get a watercolor of the poster for The Search for Spock.

By the way, last week in my spare time I painstakingly painted a wooden pallet and mod podged magazine cut-outs from the 50th anniversary stuff to make a Star Trek collage, which is now displayed next to my TV. I am who I am.

Date: 2016-09-20 01:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kita0610.livejournal.com
I wanna see pics of your Collage!!!!!!

Don't let a male doctor poo poo your health. Get a second opinion if he's an asshole. It's hard to stand up to 'authority' but you're worth it. <3

Date: 2016-09-20 01:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] formanymiles.livejournal.com
I'm so proud of myself: SHINY.

The actual process of creating it, with the multiple coats of black paint, carefully cutting out the precise images I wanted, and layering the crap out of it with mod podge and glitter, was SO SOOTHING. I want to make more. I'm thinking about making my mom one with our pictures from the beach this summer.

I was surprised by how overwhelmed/upset I was; usually I'm very level-headed in these situations. I think, over the past three years or so, I've just gotten accustomed to having a female primary care doctor who listens to me and treats me like a person; she was actually the first medical professional to take me seriously when I told her I needed help treating my depression. I'm prepared to be a bitch if I have to go back to the ENT.


Date: 2016-09-20 01:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kita0610.livejournal.com
Dude that's Awesomesauce. It kinda looks like an old record album cover in that pic. You should totally do the thing for your mom AND POST PICS of it.

Be a bitch. Bitches get shit done.

Date: 2016-09-20 01:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] formanymiles.livejournal.com
I totally see what you mean about it looking like a record! The part that makes me happiest is the top right corner, which is actually duct tape with polka dots. DUCT TAPE. WITH POLKA DOTS. What a world.


Date: 2016-09-20 02:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kita0610.livejournal.com


Date: 2016-09-20 06:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] carlyinrome.livejournal.com

I don't want to be on 10 different medications.

Oh, you sweet summer child. I am on eight daily medications, some of which are in multiple pill form, which means I swallow about fifteen pills daily. Then there are the as needed drugs, some of which are in injection forum (fun!). The best part is: I still feel like crap! But I'm trying, and I honestly believe medicine is the best medicine, so.

Please please stay on top of this lymph node thing. I'm sure it's nothing serious (although I 100% understand your mind's immediate jump to I'm gonna die!, because this is also how my mind works), but it's obviously causing you stress and discomfort, so I want it to go away. If it won't go away on its own, I will come up there and fight it. (Also, if the ENT guy is a dick, you're going to have to advocate for yourself. This is maybe the hardest thing I've learned re: adulting, esp. while ill: you have to assert yourself, take no shit, and be constantly aware of whether someone is acting in your best interests. Fucking fight, Holly. You have to, because no one else will do it for you. (Except me, I guess, as earlier stated. Heh.))

*plays Eye of the Tiger*You got this!

Date: 2016-09-22 11:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] formanymiles.livejournal.com
I agree that medicine is the best medicine! I think my primary concern was that at the ENT, he was just giving me pills to make me go away, and he kept saying, "I'm not giving you another antibiotic," because I was on two at the time, and I finally almost had to YELL, "I DON'T WANT ANOTHER ANTIBIOTIC, I WANT TO KNOW WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME." Just thinking about it makes me angry again.

I am feeling a lot better today; a lot of the inflammation is gone, and I wonder if it would all be gone by now if I hadn't had the laser treatment over the weekend. If the problem persists, I'll go back to my primary care doctor, because she listens to me, even if she is not a specialist. Also, she's Canadian, I think, because she said "a-boot" once, which I find soothing and amusing.

Date: 2016-09-20 07:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] carlyinrome.livejournal.com


Date: 2016-09-22 11:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] formanymiles.livejournal.com


hollyslowly: TOS; Kirk looking down, Spock looking at Kirk. (Default)

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