Tuesday, September 8, 2015

What a Day!

A couple of interesting things have happened today, so I'll try to go in order.

First, I see a strange phone # pop up on my cell phone this afternoon at work.  Being that I do not answer #'s that I do not recognize, I didn't answer and hit "reject".  The  phone immediately rang again from the same #.  I did recognize that the # was from Bremen, so I snatched the phone up, worrying that something had happened to Steven.  It was Steven, calling from a gas station in Bremen.  The first thing he said was "Mom, I have an emergency!" and my heart fell and I got sick to my stomach, immediately worrying that he'd been in an accident.  Long story short, he managed to lock his keys in the car.  I told him I'd get Clydie or Brian to come get him, but that they'd have to come to the hospital to see me since I have the other set of keys.

I didn't even think to ask Steven what gas station he was stranded at, so while I was waiting on Brian to come get my keys, I Googled it and found the one he called from.  Brian came and got my keys, and we both had a good laugh about Steven's first "emergency".

While I'd been on the phone with Steven, he blurted out that he got the job he'd gone to interview for.  Seems the hiring manager was real pleased that Steven didn't have any job experience - Clydie and I both told him that was because the hiring manager knew they'd be able to train him their way, without him bringing any previous work habits into play.  (he got a server position at Cracker Barrel)

And the last interesting thing for today.....

Tonight for dinner, we had this luscious chicken Lombardy, homemade mac & cheese, and some peas.  Brian decides he wants a pepper for dinner, and I get to choose whether it's a jalapeno or a Carolina Reaper.  I chose the Reaper. 

But here's a little history on the Reaper - when I bought a pepper plant a few months ago, it was labeled Carolina Reaper.  A couple of weeks later, I went back and they had a plant that wasn't labeled, other than being in the box that said "Reaper, Scorpion, & Ghost peppers".  I knew the plant didn't look like a Ghost, so I assumed it was the Scorpion.  The one that was labeled Reaper already had some peppers on it that ripened quickly for us to try.  While it was hot, it really wasn't nearly as hot as I expected it to be.

Fast forward to this 'mystery' pepper - we were still thinking this was a Scorpion of some kind, but after looking at many photos on the internet, we determined that the original pepper that was labeled "Reaper", was in fact a Trinidad Scorpion pepper, and this "mystery" pepper is the real Reaper.  Some of you may know that the Reaper is considered to be one of the hottest peppers - in the world!  Scorpions are up there, as well, but I was really that impressed with it back when I tried it, as far as heat goes.  It did have a good flavor to it, but it wasn't as hot as I expected.

So tonight, I take a small piece of the Reaper (and when I say small, I mean about the size of a black eyed pea, split in half lengthwise) and bunched it up with some of the mac & cheese.  Holy shitballs that MoFo was HOT!!!  I have NEVER had a pepper nearly this hot - not even the HOT salsa Brian made this past weekend (that had Reapers, Scorpions, Habaneros, Serranos, Jalapenos, and Cowhorns in it) compared to the heat in this tiny bite!  There was an almost immediate request for a glass of milk, which Steven dragged his ass getting.  I had the "hot pepper lurch" 3-4 times (where your stomach lurches/jumps in protest to the fire I just consumed) in waiting for Steven to get the milk.  Then I rushed him to get me a piece of loaf bread to try to tame the heat.  It took a while, but my mouth finally settled down.

I do not believe I will ever, and I mean EVER, eat another Reaper.  EVER!!!!

Brian ate maybe a half teaspoon of chopped up Reaper, and his entire head turned as red as a radish, and he had tears watering up and was covered in sweat.  I thought he was gonna finish off the pepper, but nope, he stored it away for another day (or another batch of salsa).   He had Steven touch his tongue to the blade of the knife, and Steven was suffering from the heat!  Even just that little bit on the knife blade was enough to have him gulping tea and sipping on milk, too.  LOL

Monday, September 7, 2015



I promised you all last week that I would share my results, so that if it helps even one person, it will be worth it for me.

I had my ultrasound last Monday, and a thorough explanation of the blood work that was done the week prior.  Here's the results:

Through a process of elimination and my physician's expert knowledge, she has deduced that I have a condition called Adenomyosis.  I had already assumed this, as my previous physician told me 2 years ago that it appeared I may have this.  Here's a good definition of it:

Adenomyosis (ad-uh-no-my-O-sis) occurs when endometrial tissue, which normally lines the uterus, exists within and grows into the muscular wall of the uterus. The displaced endometrial tissue continues to act as it normally would — thickening, breaking down and bleeding — during each menstrual cycle. An enlarged uterus and painful, heavy periods can result.

I won't totally gross you all out by listing the symptoms, but if you Google the condition you can find the list of symptoms and guess what?!  I have ALL of them!  Not to mention my uterus is almost twice the normal size. (yay me!  NOT)

One of the "cures" for this condition is menopause, which is where we get into the blood work results.  It appears, based on my results, that I am at least several more years away from "the change", and since my cycles are almost like clockwork, I have many more months of agony to go along with the wait.  Other treatments include birth control pills to supposedly lighten things up (they never, ever have), an IUD (been there, done that, didn't work for me), continue taking Lysteda (helps some, cuts it down by maybe 40% if it's a lucky day), ablation (I'll explain in a minute), or having a partial hysterectomy.

Lysteda has been a help since I started taking it, but cycles are still painful and what I would think are heavier than the average woman's.  I'll continue taking it for now, until we can decide on a more permanent solution.

Ablation - simplified definition - the inside of the uterus is burned to destroy the lining.  Up to 40% of women cease having periods, and for those that continue having periods, 80-90% of those women have much, much lighter periods (and based on my luck and track record, I will be in the 10-20% that still have ball-busting periods).  The doctor also requires one spouse to be "fixed", as a pregnancy after an ablation can be life-threateningly dangerous.

Partial hysterectomy - removing the uterus.  The only 100%, sure-fire way to "cure" adenomyosis when you cannot wait for menopause.

I have shared on here before that I would love nothing more than to be able to have another child, so I asked my doctor what my real chances were, based on my hormone tests and the adenomyosis.  Her response - "if you got pregnant naturally, you and I would both be famous, and I'd be writing papers and getting published".  Statistics I read for women my age were that less than 1% of women would get pregnant without some type of intervention, and with adenomyosis, the risk of uterine rupture in the 2nd and 3rd trimester was fairly high.  Not to mention the risk of having a child with down syndrome and other birth defects is about 1 in 30 for us old ladies.  Risks to my health and a possible baby's health that I just cannot take.

I would honestly love to never worry about having a period of any kind again, but a partial hysterectomy is a really major surgery, requiring 4-6 weeks out of work, and while technically I can do that, I really don't want to do that.  Plus, insurance likely wouldn't pay for it, as I don't have signs of fibroids or cancer or other issues that generally warrant a hysterectomy.  So most likely I will be doing the ablation to give it a shot and see if that will help.  I really think it would probably be beneficial, I just worry that I will still have the ovary pain that is like knives stabbing me in the groin.  
I suppose it's time for me to start coming up with all the questions I can, to get those answered so I can make a final decision.