Being a Vampire’s GF Ain’t Cheap

You’d think for as much as much blood as I’ve been donating the past couple months, I would start to get some nice dinners, handbags, flowers.  Being a vampire’s girlfriend is so glamorous in the movies.  Sheesh!  All I get is anemia and a bundle of envelopes asking for money?  I swear…

Anyhoot – I’ve been such a blog fail the past few weeks!  Too much going on at once – ramped up marketing campaigns at work, housing madness, shuffling in and out of UT Southwestern’s facilities, etc. etc. etc.  I started this blog as a place to journal about my lifestyle changes, and it’s been cathartic for me to vent about the bad things or share excitement over new quilts, recipes or things I’ve tried.

Most of you following along have seen my frequent flyer status at UT Southwestern.  I’ve been through a zillion labs, two specialists (with one to come) and taken all kinds of tests.  The good news is that the Big Bads were all ruled out – no cancer, no lupus.  The bad news is that my stomach is still a cranky asshole (for no good reason) and my platelet count continues to drop.  And drop.  And drop.  There’s no treatment until I hit a critical place, so the best thing I can do in the meantime is continue my weight loss, take good care of myself, and check back every six weeks for more testing.

At the rate my platelets are dropping, I’ll hit the critical place this year, so I need to be as healthy as I can when I start getting force fed steroids and God knows what else to get my blood in line.  And that’s without knowing what the rheumatologist has in store.

The scary thing is paying for all of this mess.  Well, scary and annoying.  I’ve been squirreling away cash for a new house, so being hit with $2k of lab and hospital bills really stinks.  Sure, I’m happy to have insurance, but let’s be honest – insurance sucks.  Health care is just really expensive no matter which way you cut it.  I dropped down to a lower plan this year because I NEVER go to the doctor, but also because I know I have the financial security to pay up to my deductible.  And lucky me…I already hit the deductible this year.  I’m still a ways from out my out of pocket max, but at least Aetna will pick up 80% of the tab for the next few months before finally committing me to me and going for 100%.  Sheesh.  Worst date ever.

Oh well, such is life my friends.  I’m thankful to be relatively healthy and thankful I can pay for my care.  I know many people aren’t as fortunate as I am!  I was also fortunate to have my momma with me during most of these tests, and she’s been a great sounding board for my freak outs.  Because heaven knows I’ve had them.

More good news – the inspection round for my accepted home offer went well, and I’m just waiting to close!  May 20th is the big day, which also happens to be my Pop’s 65th birthday 🙂  Fingers crossed that the house appraises…one less thing for me to worry about.

  • Health – managed
  • House – in process
  • Quilts – still a go
  • Dating – meh.  Maybe once H & H are done.

Cheers!

Being Thankful :)

First, I just have to say thank you to everyone who has been following along, sending me sweet texts, emails and Facebook messages and giving me support.  I know I’m a big baby on my best days and the extra love has been so, so nice.  I’ve tried to handle all of this uncertainty with a sense of humor and I do better some days than others.  I suppose I’m allowed to be human 🙂

I really did hope to have more answers this week than I got, but I’m still in wait and see mode.  I likely will have some info back from my ultrasounds at the end of today, though, and I already know my stomach is functioning properly.  This is good!  I am being referred to a rheumatologist for the inflammation issue, though, and we still have Tuesday’s bloodwork to read.

One thing I did find out for sure is that despite having a low platelet count, the platelets I have are young, plump and strong.  That made me giggle.  So I may not have the platelets I should, but at least the ones I have are hearty.  It’s quality over quantity, right?  So, idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP).  Mouthful, right?  It’s a bleeding disorder in which the immune system destroys platelets, which are necessary for normal blood clotting. Persons with the disease have too few platelets in the blood.  For now there’s no treatment necessary, but I’ll have to keep going in and having my levels checked.  If they drop too low, then we’ll take action.  Also, my body is an asshole.  Stop destroying those nice platelets!

Let’s talk about Thursday’s adventures, shall we?  Started the day with an ultrasound for my gallbladder, liver, kidney and spleen.  I’ve had to have an ultrasound on my left breast several years back so I knew a bit of what to expect, but it’s a lot more poking around and digging in with a wand than a movie about pregnant people would have you believe. (BTW, the girls are fine.  They’re just apparently “lumpy” but having a mammogram and ultrasound when you’re 32 is super not fun.)

It was interesting to watch the process, though, and I had to laugh when FINALLY someone told my mom to stop taking pictures.  Thank you, radiologist!  Mom is excellent at documenting the process but thankfully also excellent at not posting 🙂  Don’t get me started on the first time I had a mole biopsy and stitches, and I bet she would have video taped my first eyebrow wax if given the chance.  I’ll add the selfie and the mom-taken ‘why am I waiting in this godawful room’ bitchface pic.  Don’t mind the beautiful bracelet accessories.  Hospital plastic is all the rage.

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After the ultrasound came the radioactive breakfast, and I will say again that it was disgusting.  I LOVE eggs and I was so concerned when I did my ALCAT several months ago that I would have a sensitivity.  Well let me just tell you that I’m pretty sure I have a sensitivity to slimy, scrambled hospital eggs with radioactive sprinkles.  Yikes.  And my first piece of toast in who knows how long?  I thought about skipping it to avoid any tummy trauma but I had to have it (along with the Welch’s extra high fructose corn syrup strawberry jelly) to choke down those eggs.

Like I said on social media – the ambiance in this restaurant is terrible.

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The cool thing is standing up against the machine (top right with the squares in the pic) and seeing where the eggs were hanging out in my stomach, though.  Wait an hour, then have another pic taken.  Wait an hour, have a third pic taken.  I lucked out that my eggs where mostly at the bottom of my stomach where they belong at the end of the third hour, so I didn’t have to wait for a fourth.  End result is that my stomach functions on the lowest end of normal, but normal is good!  We still have to figure out why I get sick so much, but at least I know it’s not my stomach being hateful.

Well, no more hateful than usual.  I felt awful all day thanks to that stupid breakfast.  I was able to keep it down and had an insanely delicious lunch at Zoe’s, but still felt gross all day.  Oh well, suppose spending five hours at a hospital is enough to make anyone feel gross.

Thankfully, mom hooked me up with some delicious eggs this morning for breakfast.  (Along with avocado, chicken sausage and freshly peeled grapefruit and OMG yes I am totally stuffed.)

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I’ve got her one more day while we wait to get blood and ultrasound results back today.  I will hang onto her as long as I can!  Love my momma.

Cheers!