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My Birth Control Tried to Kill Me.

Monday, March 23, 2020




So I know what you are thinking...

Does she only write blog posts while she is on bed rest?

It does seem that way but what can I say...2020 has not been my year! I mean between the bushfires ravaging Australia, followed by the floods, Donald Trump still being in office and now the Coronavirus pandemic, has it really been anybody's year?

To side step to the Coronavirus topic, how about that?!?

I think what's most concerning to me is how multifaceted it is. On one hand you have people sheltering away from the world because of the simple life or death aspect, people want to live. Beyond that, they want their friends and families to live and they don't want to recklessly deliver a death sentence to a passing stranger. Then you have people losing their livelihoods, facing this pandemic unemployed, scared and concerned for life after the storm. Thread through an air of uncertainty and the strain of mentally trying to prepare for something you can't grasp.It's understandable mayhem unlike anything we have ever seen.

When I moved back to Australia back in August I moved back in with my family while I found my own place. I had planned to be out by November but after numerous hiccups and setbacks in my job hunt and health, I'm thankfully still under their roof which makes this uncertain pandemic much more easy to cope with. I've also managed to keep my job, which I'm hoping can withstand the economic rollercoaster we are riding down towards the ground at full speed....speaking of rollercoasters, back to my almost murder.

A few weeks ago I started wearing a FitBit.

I had been wanting to accurately keep track of my fitness, partially because I wanted to keep more on top of my health and partially because I received extra frequent flyer points for achieving different fitness goals. I became quickly obsessed, and often found myself running in circles at the end of the day when I saw my fitness goals weren't met.

On one particular Sunday a few weeks back I noticed I needed to get my butt moving for the day and went and had a swim and brief mini aerobics session in the pool. After doing 100 squats and lunging my way around the pool I went upstairs to get changed, noticeably winded once I hit my bedroom. Although soaking wet, I sat down on my bed absolutely exhausted. How embarrassing!

After dinner I ran downstairs to show my brothers how wheezy my breathing had become and how easily breathless I was...Did they think it was Corona! I needed to know. Probably not...I thought but still booked myself in for a Dr's appointment the next day.

I didn't work out this day....This was just from walking around the house....heart rate going wild

'So....I might be being really dramatic...but I just wanted to check if you thought this was weird.."

I said as a I sat down with my Dr. He took my heart rate, it was racing. I pointed to my FitBit to let him know it had been resting north of 120 bpm since yesterday often jumping as high as 145 from a simply stroll to the kitchen. He took me over for an EKG...he wasn't just concerned, he was confused. Sudden Onset Sinus Tachycardia? He rubbed my neck trying to prompt a reset of my heart rate, nothing. He put me on beta blockers for the night and asked me to come back tomorrow, certain these would kick me back to normal.

"Nope, nothing!"

I exclaimed as I fell back into my chair the next day, out of breath from the walk to his office from the waiting room.

Sure enough, he took my pulse and there it was racing along.

He asked about my other symptoms, I told him I didn't have any aside from the fact that I had pulled my left glute while being over ambitious with the lungs the other day. He called a cardiologist for advice, and booked me in for an echocardiogram for a few days time.

I didn't make it to that appointment.

The night before I was scheduled to go check up on my racing heart, I got up from the dinner table in a rush. Running (as best I could) upstairs to run myself a bath. My glute was continuing to throb no matter how much ice or deep heat I put on it and suddenly the pain was unbearable! I frantically scrubbed at the dirty bath trying to make it acceptable to dip into before giving up and just jumping straight in, dust and all. I was crying from the pain, staring at the ceiling with my heart, of course, racing! I happened to glance down to see how much longer until the water would fully submerge my leg. That's when I noticed my left leg was purple.

I frantically got out of the bath, yelling at my brother to grab my step-mum. She came running, asking if I was ok before I asked her if she felt my leg was a different colour. She assessed it, unsure, and said we should go to the emergency room.

After throwing on clothes and crawling down the stairs, My Dad and step-mum threw me in the car and we were off. My Mum called from Vermont as we left the driveway but I quickly told her I couldn't talk, unsure if I should worry her with the details when I wasn't sure what was happening myself.

As soon as I entered the emergency room, limping and breathless I was rushed back to a bed. The Dr (Dr. Dan who my family and I all agree was top notch!) walked in to ask me my symptoms.

"If I walk from this bed to that sink (no more than 5 steps away) I will be out of breath..."

"Huffing and puffing, it's really bad" My step-mum added.

He pulled a face at me.

"You are 26....you should be able to walk more than that?"

He paused and looked me over, taking vitals and keeping that confused look plastered across his face.

"That is a very serious symptom....we need to treat this very seriously..."

Within 15 minutes I was being wheeled in for a CT scan, I don't think I will ever get used to being pumped with dye and made to feel like I've peed my pants. This is the second time in just a few short months I was rolled through that donut of radiation, heres hoping its the last!

After a brief waiting period Dr. Dan approached again....

"Unfortunately, what I suspected was just confirmed....you have bilateral pulmonary embolisms, and they are big ones."

I didn't know what that meant, but I cried instantly this time not from the pain, but instead the fear of how serious that sounded!

"You need to be in hospital for the next little while"

He looked down and I nodded, not sure what was really going on with my body.

Thriving, lazy eye and all!

It turns out that what all this really meant was that my lungs were full of large blood clots that were restricting my ability to breath and causing my heart to work double time.

In the coming days in hospital, I would find out that these pulmonary embolisms were started by a large deep vein thrombosis in my left thigh.

So that glute strain I thought I had? Nope! Actually a huge clot that ran from my hip all the way to my knee! The person who did my leg ultrasound was almost giddy with how large the clot was. She even asked it she could take extra pictures because she had never seen one like this before.

As soon as they found that large DVT, I was ordered to stay off my leg for 5 whole days which means I got a lot of experience with bed pans, commodes and sponge baths (I was also strapped to a heart monitor which meant every time my heart jumped too high an alarm would sound and nurses would come running....now remember whenever I moved too much my heart would soar, which means I can now happily say I have had numerous nurses run in on me peeing, sexy!)

I call this....sponge bath next to my commode 18+, way too sexy! 

Anyway, I digress! When the clots were discovered, I was immediately pumped with Heparin (blood thinner), and force to give vials upon vials of blood every 4 hours.

It turns out I'm a huge Diva (Difficult IntraVenous Access) which meant that it took multiple nurses, multiple attempts to get even the slightest amount of blood. I was bruised and defeated after a few days, and they quickly moved me to Clexane injections into the stomach and removed my drip of Heparin to stop the need for constant blood tests.

I ended up staying in the hospital for an entire week, lounging around, eating and watching the goings on in the ward. I made friends with the ladies around me once I left my own solo room after a few days, and got all but used to my routine vitals check throughout the night.

My friends stopped by to delivery flowers and Ferrero Rocher's (My ultimate sad time food) and my family visited daily to fill me in on the crazy happenings of Coronavirus bedlam on the outside. My Dad started a love affair with the chair next to my bed and the hand sanitizer I kept on my table at all times, and then after days of begging, they let me go home to further mend myself at home.

I limped out of the hospital, blood thinners and painkiller script in hand.

"Don't rush..."

My Dad fussed as he held the door and I stumbled toward it.

"Wow...one of your legs is bigger than the other..."

He pointed out as I looked at my throbbing purple leg....cute!

It's been a few days now and I'm happy to say I'm on the mend! I still hobble, I'm a little breathless sometimes and standing for long periods of time still sends pains radiating down my leg. But I'm mending!

The Dr warned me this would be a slow process.

I asked him what activities, stretches or pills I could take to speed things up and he laughed in my face.

The constant blood thinners I had been pumped with and continued to pump myself with at home would not be breaking down the clot. My body needed to do that on it's own and I needed to give it a few months to do so.

So that's what I've been doing, self isolating like a pro! Resting, de-clotting and recuperating to face whatever the world has in store next.

Now back to the title of this post...

Yep, it's true all of this was caused by a few days of the contraceptive pill (NOT EVEN A FULL SHEET!)

I had only started taking it in February in an effort to control my ovarian cysts. Apparently the oral contraceptive specifically is the best course of action for this buuuuuut it turns out controlling the cysts also translated to filling my body with clots!

To add to this, my recent bloodwork results came back to inform me that I also have the Factor V Leiden gene...which means I'm susceptible to clotting, who knew!

The moral of this tale? Take care of yourself, know your body and pay attention to the risk factors involved with certain medications. The idea that sure, things can happen but they wouldn't necessarily happen to me, can almost kill you if you let it.



Take things seriously and always listen to your body and it's changes.

It could save your life!




The Curious Case of the Disappearing Cyst.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Well guys, I survived surgery.



I sent the same picture to literally 12 different people. Letting them know that, in true meme fashion, "I lived bitch." I'm so young and cool it honestly makes me physically sick, Also, Sheyenne has her priorities very confused!


A little back story about my medical adventure. A year or two ago I started to rapidly gain weight without making any major diet changes. I thought it was most likely the joys of growing older, and that maybe I needed to focus more on what I was eating but when I would focus on my eating for a few months, I noticed that I still continued to put on weight aka not the desired result.

I figured there was an underlying issue there, but since I lived in the Good Ol' US of A, and even with medical insurance a doctors visit cost me a couple of hundred dollars, I decided to learn to love the chub, and keep it moving irregular periods, abdomen pain and all. Not Advised.

Flash forward to a few months ago when I relocated home to Australia and within a week of landing I was sat at the Dr describing my symptoms. We did bloodwork to check my thyroid and a various combination of things which came back clean as a whistle, and I was told to go and get an ultrasound. Not so clean, far less whistley. The day after my ultrasound I received a message from my Dr asking me to come in and see him that day. The whole "No News is Good News" isn't so comforting when the news is coming hard and fast! 

It turned out I had two sizeable ovarian cysts taking up residency within me. My largest almost 14 centimetres/6 inches simple yet taking up my entire ovary, and the other complex and more scary looking to the Doc. 


Love that for me.

Over the next few weeks I met with specialists, did a CT scan, a pelvic exam (with not one gynecologist, but 2 additional attractive medical students watching on....a real life highlight) and booked in an appointment to take those bad boys out!

Although public healthcare is affordable in Australia (These copious appointments scans, pokes, prods and eventual surgery cost me a total of $25 all up without private healthcare! Take that America!) it means that if not life threatening you must wait a little longer for a surgery, so I was listed as Category 2 and booked in for surgery within 90 days. 

While booking my surgery they informed me they were aiming for a "laparoscopic bilateral ovarian cystectomy" but due to the size of the complex cyst they thought it likely they would need to make a larger cut across my entire abdomen (The "Full Yum Cha" as I randomly started referring to it one day) and potentially remove one or both of my ovaries. The Dr very reassuringly told me he wouldn't know what would happen until he opened me up, we were flying blind people! How long should I take off work for recovery? Will I be unable to have my own children?  Literally who knows, just guess! 

During the weeks leading up to my surgery I could often be found with a hot water bottle attractively tucked into my waistband, cursing my ovarian children. One day in particular I felt a stabbing pain rip through my abdomen, a pain not dissimilar to a UTI which I used to encounter quite frequently....so fun. I jumped into action, throwing myself into a scolding hot tub fully clothed and calling my Mum. After a few excruciating hours and a quick Dr visit to check my cyst didn't rupture (she assured me it didn't without laying a finger on me...trust me...I would apparently know!)  I felt fighting fit.

Flash forward to this morning. 




My appointment was scheduled for 6:30am, so for a third time in as many months my Dad and I had a Daddy-Daughter Gynecologist date! After an hour or two of paperwork, sitting in a robe and heated blanket watching the same news update about Harry and Meghan ditching royal tradition on repeat and a quick brief with my anesthesiologist. I was ready for...well..whatever was about to happen...because again...we are flying blind here! After installing my drip, shuffling me onto the operating table and informing me they would be shoving tubes down my neck and instruments into my vageen (TMI, but this is real life folks), I was huffing and puffing my way to dream land. 

After waking up what felt like moments later, in a drunken haze I yelled to a nearby lady in scrubs,

DID I KEEP MY OVARIES?

She laughed at me, apparently she had no connection to my operation but thankfully the lady directly to my right I didn't even see, did know. 

Yes, ovaries are still very much intact, and your cyst was removed laparoscopically with only four small cuts and minimal healing time.

The ideal solution....but wait...did she say cyst? As in singular?

I paused.

They left one?

No kids, my big bopper, 6 inch oldest child...had left home early.

That sharp pain that I winced my way through was most likely it's rupture and I'm just a tough ass bitch.

I would be lying if I said I wouldn't be pushing for another ultrasound or CT scan to verify this during my follow up appointment next week, but for today...I'll take it!

After two short hours, a sip of water, half a sandwich and bleeding through two diaper sized pads (Hi, you are welcome) it was time to drunkenly wander through the hospital in my compression socks and no shoes while my Dad whistled "When I'm 64" by The Beatles (Side note: It was his 64th birthday today and he celebrated by listening to that song on repeat to and from the hospital and spending 4 hours sitting in the car playing Sudoku and watching The Bourne Supremacy before eaves dropping on Dr gossip in a hospital cafeteria, a legend). 

I slipped my shoes on over my knee high compression socks to walk across the carpark, this is Fashion.

Once back at home, I spent my afternoon watching Forrest Gump (literally twice...back to back...my favourite movie), eating my favourite snacks provided for me by my brother and his girlfriend who came to babysit me in my post-anesthesia daze and insisting on taking out the trash so I can get my post surgery steps in. 

Coming through with the good-goods. 

Minus the fact I'm rocking a PM diaper and I'm unable to remove my compression socks, I actually feeling top notch, fertile and fighting fit.

Can not bend at waist. Must stay compressed forever. 

The moral of the story here is take care of yourself, go the Dr every once in awhile and don't stress yourself out focusing on the worst case scenarios when sometimes things are a lot simpler than they appear! 

Diaper Gang.


Harrah for Modern Medicine. 



P.S. Fashion Icon, Happy Queen, Double Chin Goddess.











Jingles, Jangles and Jester Pups

Monday, January 6, 2020

Part of me is very concerned by the fact that ever since I stopped posting these past few weeks, suddenly this blog is getting consistent views day over day.  I didn't intend to just stop posting, but it turns out that being unemployed left a lot more time for blogging! Alas, I have returned to my little home...

So what has been going on these past few weeks...(I'm awful at taking pictures of things that are going on, a trait my mother truly hates, so enjoy this smattering of things I randomly snapped.



We watched (or slept through) some Jazz.


I spent some time people watching in the CBD, becoming increasingly more frustrated by a busker playing the pipes (not bagpipes....plumbing pipes...hitting them with a thong/flipflop like a bloody science experiment) I never want to hear Seven Nation Army again for as long as I live. 

I insisted everyone wear spacky hats and listen to Christmas music on repeat from about Mid-November. I spent over $100 on  Christmas related costuming and I'm not even mad. Never too early to jingle those bells.....not even exaggerating, bells were involved. 

I cleaned out my purse and realized that old age means constant aches and pains and a penchant for being prepared!

I spent Christmas Day with my family, they loved being with me. I'm very fun and exciting at parties. 


Very. Fun. And. Exciting.



My brother sat behind the wrapping paper box while unwrapping Christmas presents which meant my Dad and I spent .2 seconds unwrapping and appreciating a gift and a whole minute crunching the paper into balls and lobbing it into the box using his skull as a backboard (It's a good thing I'm a bad aim!) The Court Jester was very unamused. 



I responded to texts from younger friends out drinking with pictures of me drinking at home with my Dad. He made me retake this when he realized he forgot to pop up his peace sign..




I Christmas-partied until my bells fell off. 



I rescued this little dog for the second time in a few weeks. We spent all day together while waiting for his owners....we have a bond now...


Buttons and Billy don't share that bond. 


I watched my 18 and 20 year old brothers have a brutal lightsaber battle like the grown men they are becoming. 


And I lay on the floor and withered in pain due to the really lovely 13cm and 6cm cysts occupying both of my ovaries.

Thankfully those suckers are getting kicked out on Thursday and I can finally un-duct tape the hot water bottle from my abdomen.

I'll report back post-op!

Happy 2020 suckers.








Bye Bye Funemployment.

Saturday, October 5, 2019



Well kids, I finally did it, I found a job. It may not be exactly the role I was looking for BUT it will give me my first job in Australia, ever. So far, I have worked just two days, and let me tell you, after more than 6 months off, my muscles are not feeling perfect. 

Although I've loved living at home for these past few weeks, I am excited to spread my little freedom wings and start carving out my own little life here. I initially moved out of home when I was freshly 18, that's eight years of being responsible for myself, so although there is very few things better than finishing work and coming home to a fully cooked meal you didn't even have to think about, I'm excited to find my own home. 

Aside from crying over the Irwins, eating my weight in Weet-Bix and staying up until 3am playing cards with my brothers, my days have been spent...


I have of course been tending to my seedlings. These pots designed for children, have since become my children, acting as the trial run for my impending garden. 

Spending time laughing with, and at, my family. To give you some backstory on this picture. When we go out as a family, my dad will drive us there and it is my youngest brothers job to drive us jolly drunks home. On this particular occasion, my dad decided that he would park on our family friends front lawn, surrounded by trees and cars, completely wedged in to a space he deemed his. This was all well and good until my newly licensed 17 year old brother had to figure out how to get the hell out of it. As you can see, he had quite the audience there for support...but of course not standing too close...just in case. 


Sending pictures of kangaroos that I had lunch with to many Americans. This was at a nearby golf course where I was having lunch with my Dad one day. It was one of the most traumatic experiences I have ever had. As soon as our food arrived, four magpies transcended upon us, sitting around us in ever direction by about 6 feet. They stared us down, squawking and threatening my life and the life of my first born. I was so freaked out I had to cover my head and failed to take a bite. My dad merrily munched away, as if the beasts were not nearby. To make matters worse I was absolutely starving, so I did what any sane person did, I picked up my burger and went and stood in the corner and ate it. 


and running up and down this stretch of land in the hunt for a missing child.  Some backstory, the other day I was sat in the plaza, people watching when I witnessed a lady come tearing past frantically screaming, two small girls in tow. I watched for a while as she dropped all her belongings in the middle of the pathway and told the girls to remain there while she continued running. After two or three bog laps a pair of tradies (for my foreigners, that's a tradesman, decked out in fluro shirts and work boots) approached and I wasn't too far behind. She informed us two of her girls had wandered off and she couldn't find them, she quickly showed the small crowd a picture and we all began hunting around. A few minutes later and after our search party had increased due to a large brigade of mothers with prams rushing over at the distant murmur of a lost child, they were found inside a restaurant they had retreated to for help. As someone who relaxes to the sounds of true crime documentaries, I was relieved to say I wasn't connected to one that day!


And that is pretty much it for updates! Newly employed and ready to jump into being an adult in Australia like.....







Music Monday XI

Sunday, September 29, 2019



I've always wanted a love like Jenna and Matty! Build me a pink house Mark Ruffalo, I'll love you forever in it. 

 

Speaking of men I love, John Mulaney! I fell into a worm hole of watching John Mulaney interviews the other day and it turns out he is a huge Steely Dan fan, and this song has been in my head ever since. 



The entire Innocent Eyes album was the soundtrack of my life for a good chunk of my childhood. I was absolutely obsessed. At this time in my life I had a best friend who would sleep at my house every single weekend and we would pretend we were Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen (I was Ashley) and that we ran a hair salon. We would play for hours and listen to this album on repeat top to bottom all day while we took reservations and cut my teddy's hair. 





I love a Canadian.

 

When I was in high school I heard this song covered on a reality show and loved it, but have since decided that this is my favourite version. 



I love Chevy Chase. 

 
I randomly started singing the chorus while in the shower the other day and I couldn't figure out what song it was, completely slipped my mind. I found it...obviously.

 

As stated above, sometimes I just prefer a cover even though that may be an uncool, unpopular choice...sue me!



I watched Big this morning.


Throwing Throwing, Back Back

Wednesday, September 25, 2019


2013: I gave myself a concussion this night. That stupid flamingo cup full of whiskey was the complete death of me. It was refilled countless times, I had eaten not a single bite all day and I proceeded to throw up all over myself in front of 30 or so people in my apartment. Thankfully since the party was at my own home, it was easy to put me to bed and lock me away so I would stop embarrassing myself...unfortunately my bed was pushed up against my window sill so while falling on it I smashed my head and knocked myself out....I also lost my phone that night...it literally vanished. There are a couple of options, one of the party guests could have stolen it....I could have thrown it off of the roof....or I could have dropped it out the window...no idea...


2012: The infamous Blarney Stone Bar in Midtown. This was me intoxicated, messy and with a wig hanging on for dear life to my head....This was also the night the guy I left with fell into a large pile of vomit while skateboarding through Times Square. A car full of guys pulled over to reiterate that he was now laying in Times Square vomit but he was too busy hating his life and I was too busy laughing my ass off to really take any notice of them. Hilarious. 


2012- A couple of tall girls shooting hoops in Maine. I have referenced these Old Orchard Beach trips many times so I really have nothing new to add. I love tradition and miss this little tradition we had. Of course, it was inevitable as we all spread and our schedules got more and more conflicting, but one day I'm determined to get us all back there just one more time. 


2012- I don't think you can really tell but in this picture I'm wearing no top, my roommates backpack and sunglasses and a drunken face. This was the summer where we always had people back to the apartment and I could merrily get drunk within the comfort of my own home with very little effort. What a dream. 


2017- This was a picture taken while in line for ice cream at our regular childhood haunt the "Quack Shack". We had come home to catch up and ran into an old school friends mother (center). She was a huge part of our childhood because it was often her house we would crash at for our weekly sleepovers. Steven Tyler (from Aerosmith) is right over my left year. He has had a house in the town pretty much his whole life and can often be seen just roaming around, our towns biggest claim to fame!


2014- Two happy kids, another messy day. On this particular day we started drinking extremely early after befriending the waitress at brunch, meaning she started feeding us free shots. We went home temporarily where I proceeded to throw up in the bathtub, my roommate made me a bagel, we rallied and then when to a concert held in a mutual friends apartment. The next day the guys all I wanted to do it again and went back for more brunch, I elected instead of lay in bed and cry about my choices.


2016- Double fisting juice. This was a time in my life where I was spending about $1000 a month on pressed juice alone....Think of all the extra money I would have now if I wasn't such a dumb 23 year old!


2016- My brother and I lived in New York City together for less than 3 years, it's our only life overlap since I was about 15 and although we lived pretty much opposite schedules (sometimes we would even high five while passing each other on the street at 5am...me going to work...him coming home for work) what I do miss is our little sibling dinner dates. Every few weeks we would get together and eat and drink before I left him to continue drinking the night away and I went home to be the grandma I had become by that point. 


2015- These flowers arrived at work on Sunday. I had received a text from my friend Betsy before my shift was freaking out because I huge box with my name on it was waiting. Something I will say, if there is one thing I dislike it's when florists pair roses with baby's-breath...I can't stand baby's-breath




2014- This picture sums up my employment at the time. I was working for a messy company and was forced to watch my boss, aka the sweetest person I've ever met, be bullied by her boss who had also fired my best friend (thankfully he also got fired just a few months after we left...but he really was the worst human).  My boss and I would sit in the basement during breaks and commiserate about our job hunt and life situations in general which actually made the whole ordeal pretty hilarious and much more enjoyable than it really was. 


2007- My friend Lauren sent this picture to me a few years ago. It was from a time in our life where drinking fluorescent green vodka Cruisers was the height of cool. The other day my underage brother went to a party and lied about how much alcohol he consumed, I on the other hand would come home after a party and show my parents all the dumb drunk pictures we had taken on my bright pink digital camera. 


2017- This picture just cracks me up because I look so freaking overjoyed and happy to be in Vegas. This was the night I got so drunk on tequila and pineapple that I accidentally stole my friends purse, climbed into a strangers suitcase and got kicked off numerous tables for taking pictures while gambling. 



2014- This was one of the many nights spent drinking Bulleit at Jake's Saloon after hockey games at Madison Square Garden. There isn't much of a story to that...it just became tradition with whoever I took to games because the Garden is in literally the worst part of Manhattan with literally nothing around it. 



And a drunk selfie to round us out!