Friday, March 30, 2007

To sleep, perchance to dream.

Ah, back from our glorious West Virginia Mountain Vacation! Talmadge has blogged about it on his blog, complete with pictures. It was lovely, and the snow.....the snow was just COOL (literally and figuratively). It was the first time this South Georgia girl had seen this much snow. There was the time when I was 4 years old, living in Albany, and had what we considered a blizzard for that area - about 3 inches. It looks like we got at least 4-5 inches in our little West Virginia Winter Wonderland. Gorgeous! Then we had to come back to the humid 80-degree Fahrenheit sandgnat-filled weather of the Coast Empire. Bummer.

After our return, we had Tiger with us until the end of the week. I took him back to meet his mother in Ft. Valley, GA (the usual hand-off spot) and then I went northward a few miles to Macon where I ventured downtown on a search for Nu-Way Weiners. I saw them featured on a Food Network show some time back and HAD to try them when I got the chance. I am a sucker for a good chili dog and I've had some good ones in my time. People in Albany, GA line the block for a Jimmie's Hot Dog, wrapped in deli paper and stuffed in a brown bag that is nearly transparent from the grease by the time you get to your picnic spot (no inside dining there). Star-Ways and Lil' Red Dog House in Albany were also favorites. And, of course, when they ask you "What'll ya have?" at the Varsity in Atlanta, and you answer "Hot dog all the way!", you'll get one the way I like it - chili, mustard, and onions. Yum!

Now, Nu-Way DOES have several locations, one being just blocks away from the Burger King in Ft. Valley where I left what I can only assume was Josiebelle giving instruction to Tiger before handing over the car keys to him. There are also a couple of locations in Warner Robins - within blocks of the highway I had just taken en route to Ft. Valley and could have made the return trip on. But one thing that I have learned from my dear husband is that if you're going to visit a locally renowned and historic eating establishment for the first time, you've GOT to hit the original location if you can! Which is what I did.

It was tucked in a off-street and every bit the old-fashioned lunch counter I imagined it would be. I got three chili dogs for myself, one plain dog for Puddy (who had accompanied me on this trip) and a large triple-thick chocolate malted milkshake. I was in heaven! My only mistake was that I took the chili dogs with me and ate them in the car. It's especially challenging when you're trying to fight off a dog who has already wolfed down hers and is going after yours!! The chili dogs were not the best I have had - I think the Varsity still holds top honors with me - but they were still very good. But the shake was heavenly. I should have gotten the small, as it was so thick that I had to wait for it to melt a bit to get it through the straw. They gave me a spoon, but do you think I could have handled this thing with a spoon at 75 mph on the interstate? I don't think so! It took me nearly the full 2 1/2 hours of the trip home to finish it.

After the weekend, I had a couple of doctor appointments. Monday was the lung specialist (Dr. Maria) for my sleep apnea issue. We have a sleep study scheduled for this coming Monday night (April 2), in which I will go to the clinic where they have a "motel-like room" and sleep while they monitor me. I wonder if I will be able to sleep......I mean, with people watching me??? And, OH GOODY, when I wake up the next morning (provided I go to sleep, LOL) I get to go to the dentist for a possible root canal and a buildup for a crown. JOY! Knowing me, I probably won't get any sleep at the sleep clinic, but I'll probably pass out in the dentist chair. Hehehe.

Dr. Maria was telling me about some of the problems that sleep apnea can cause. To give you an abridged version, check out this brochure. After we find the right treatment, should she find that I do indeed have sleep apnea, my world is (hopefully) going to change for the better. I can't remember a morning since I was young that I actually woke up feeling like I got a good night's rest. I don't want to feel like a zombie any more!!

Tuesday, I had an appointment with the urologist. That went OK, and he says he can fix that problem at the same time they do the LAVH. (TMI! TMI!) This procedure is called a mid-urethral sling transobturator (some rather detailed drawings on this page - don't look if you're squeamish). I'm starting to get the feeling that I will be walking like a cowboy for a few days afterward these two procedures. The horse I will be riding will be named Ice Pack......yee haw. Methinks Tal will be able to sympathize with me on that, eh Tal?

SO, I'm almost set. Once I get the results of the sleep test on April 9th, we'll be able to get the hysterectomy surgery scheduled.

OK, it's Friday night. Just got home from work and finishing this blog entry. Tal and I will be heading to the Y in a bit, then back home for some chicken and rice. (Tal's favorite - his mom's recipe: One can of white meat chicken mixed with one can of cream of chicken soup, served over rice.) So easy, one day Tal might be able to make it. (hint hint) Like maybe Thursday nights coming up. (hint hint) :) (love you!) Maybe we'll get a movie, I'd like to see "The Pursuit of Happyness" (yes, that's how it's supposed to be spelled!) with Will Smith. It just came out on DVD this week and looks to be a good movie. Then off to sleep. I've got a cake class from 1-5 tomorrow. Sunday I will probably do some rat-killing in the house. (That's what Tal calls a major house cleaning - NO, we don't have rats.....or mice......or even roaches, thanks to Jackie the Exterminator). I may do some yard work and get my garden plot dug up. We'll just see how much energy I can muster. Knowing me, I'll be lucky if I can get the dishes done and all the mess out of the living room!

Have a great weekend!

-Seraphim "Did I miss Spring????" Gleck

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

To cut or not to cut.......

.....that will be the question.

I had an appointment with Dr. Amy today. Talmadge went with me to the appointment. Scratch that - he went to the appointment and I got there late. :) Gotta love that Savannah traffic. I thought I'd try to be smart and avoid what's probably one of the worst intersections here. Then thought that I could get on the road that would lead me right to the hospital where Dr. Amy's office is. I ended up on another road, stuck behind a school bus stopping at every freakin' block, so I tried to go down another street, then another, then another until I thought I was in Dead End Hell! Finally got turned back around and to the street I SHOULD have turned down in the first place. Got stuck in a long light at the intersection there. Tal calls and says, "Where ARE you?" I told him, "I'm stuck in line at a traffic light about 1/4 mile from the hospital but I've got a lovely view of a big azalea bush in some folks' yard so I'm not bored!" Poor Tal had to go into the Dr. Amy's OB/GYN office by himself. I'll bet he was glad to see me walk in! Well, he's ALWAYS glad to see me walk in, but he was probably especially glad at that moment.

I was almost 10 minutes late getting there. Not that it really mattered, as we ended up waiting an hour and a half to see Dr. Amy. Several pregnoids came and went with their "baby daddy". I was praying that none of them would attempt a conversation with me by starting with, "So, when are YOU due?" Because I had worn a rather loose dress and with my gut I could probably pass for an 11 1/2 month pregnant woman carrying quadruplets, and I was sitting there with my husband, it could have very well been an easy assumption. However, the mood I was in after dealing with the stupid traffic and waiting for so long to see the doctor, no telling what I may have said.

So we finally got taken to a room where we waited a little while longer, then Dr. Amy came in and talked to us. Looks like sometime in May I will be scheduled for an LAVH. Dr. Amy said hopefully this will go OK and she won't have to switch mid-operation and do a Total Abdominal Hysterectomy (TAH) where the uterus is removed through a large incision in the abdomen. This is the last resort, as recovery is longer and more painful than it would be with a LAVH. Dr. Amy said that since I haven't had any children the LAVH might be a bit more difficult to do because (entering TMI zone) my vagina has not been stretched out by some big ol' melon-headed rugrat. So if she finds she can't git r' done with the LAVH, I'll be getting cut. Pray that this does not happen! She will also be removing my ovaries and fallopian tubes. I will also have to have HRT after the surgery. Basically, at age 37 1/2, I will be going through (surgically induced) menopause.

I will be seeing a lung specialist before the surgery to be tested for sleep apnea (as I believe I mentioned in the previous post). In my heart, I feel like when all is said and done I will feel so much better. Maybe my hormones will actually get straightened out, I'll be able to get better sleep if the sleep apnea is treated, and hopefully I'll get fixed so (TMI zone again) I won't pee myself when I cough, sneeze, laugh, or bend over to pick something up. (That will be yet another doctor - a urologist - I will be visiting prior to surgery.)

So.....feeling like you know much more about me than you cared to?? LOL.

In the meantime, I am working like crazy trying to get caught up and ahead in work so I won't have that hanging over me. I don't know if this is a blessing or a curse, but my boss and Dr. Amy go to church together. Hopefully, they will both respect my privacy and not discuss me more than relating our "three (two?) degrees of separation". Bosslady has had her own health issues recently and asked me not to mention that to Dr. Amy, which I wouldn't, so I am sure she would be reciprocal.

So, as of right now I am vascillating between being being scared poopless and feeling optimistic that my life is about to change for the better. One moment I want to cry, the other I feel giddy. Weird, huh? I'm truly a work of art, ain't I?


Saturday, March 10, 2007

Gimme a mulligan??

So, here I am again, blogging. It's been over a year since my last blog entry. Sometimes I take for granted that my husband, Talmadge Gleck, blogs everything that goes on in our lives and for me to do so might be a bit redundant. For those who periodically visit my blog to see if I have finally written anything, thanks for visiting! I'll try, once again, to keep up with my blog this time.

What's happened this past year? To start out, since my last blog entry, my Cuz has had an amazing recovery from his incident. The man who shot him has been sentenced to 60 years in prison - he's in his 30's now. Cuz still has the bullet lodged in his neck and will undergo more surgery to his upper jaw in the future. He still has some psychological issues to work out but is doing much better since his attacker has been sentenced. He is back to work on a light duty basis. He's received several commendations from local and state law enforcement agencies and has also been featured on Court TV twice - this is video from one of the shows.

Tal and I have done a little traveling, I got a new job in October at the university I work at (yay, less stress!) and started teaching cake decorating classes at a local craft store.

I've got a few health issues that I am dealing with. Gotta lose weight, and Tal and I have started going to the Y as often as we can. Baby steps...... Been seeing doctors for female issues. If you do not care to hear about them, just scroll to the bottom of the post because from this point on, many of my blogs will more than likely tread into the TMI zone. Well, it won't be that bad, but most entries will probably be about my female parts for which I will not hesitate to use the proper terms. If you are cringing now, you probably won't want to continue. :-P

In early December, I went to my regular doctor for my 3-month follow up visit. She's following my blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol. I have a previous diagnosis of PCOS which I've been kinda treated for but since it's such a mysterious malady there just still isn't a real comprehensive course of treatment for it. PCOS can really mess up the ol' menstrual cycle. I haven't been to a GYN for a while, so my doctor referred me to one. I saw the GYN in January who discovered a couple of endometrial polyps growing in my uterus. February 20 found me in Day Surgery having a hysteroscopy (where they insert a scope up into your uterus, blow you up like a balloon, and take a look around). There was not just 2, but 3 polyps and hyperplastic endometrium (thickened, tough lining as a result of the PCOS) which they removed. Tal calls this procedure a "Roto-rooting". I had a similar procedure done 5 years ago with no real follow-up treatment, which is why I had to have it done again.

My GYN called me this past Monday with the pathology report. It's called complex hyperplasia without atypia. This sort of a pre-pre-cancerous condition that could eventually develop into endometrial cancer. There are 2 courses of treatment for this: progesterone for 13 days out of each month and a biopsy every 6 months.........or a hysterectomy. What a decision I have to make. Now, normally a 37 year-old woman with no children whose only been married 5 years would not even CONSIDER a hysterectomy if there was still a chance of her getting pregnant. But I'm not and never have been normal. I've got several cards stacked against me: PCOS means I don't ovulate. Those of you who regularly read Tal's blog know that he's mentioned getting the snip-snip not long after his son, Tiger, was born. Meaning: world peace will happen before Talmadge and Seraphim Gleck procreate.

That being said, the only obvious decision will be to have the offending organ removed. I'd love it if they could do a tummy tuck while they're down there. :)

I had an appointment with my GYN - who I will refer to as Dr. Amy- this past Thursday. Tal was going to go with me so we could discuss my decision and what to expect and prepare for. Unfortunately, Dr. Amy had the flu and was not able to see me that day. So I will be seeing her on Tuesday. In the meanwhile, I have been surfing the net and reading everything I can about hysterectomies and the aftermath. I've got a good list of questions for Dr. Amy. I also came across this support group, HysterSisters. Cute site.

I've already started a shopping list of things to take to the hospital, like an eye mask - a' la Dorothy Kilgallen of "What's My Line" fame:

I told Tal that I wanted one that looked like a pair of open eyes with lots of makeup, like Tammy Faye Baker's. If anyone comes across one like that, let me know! :) Hey, just because you're in a hospital doesn't mean that you can't have fun! You know the saying, "Laughter is the best medicine!".

Before I have any surgery, though, I will have to be tested for sleep apnea. When I had the hysteroscopy, I had a tough time coming out of it and getting my blood oxygen levels up. Back in my Day Surgery room, the alarm on the pulse oximeter (the machine that measures the amount of oxygen in the blood) kept going off and the nurse kept getting after me to breathe. My mom and Tal were in there coaching me,"Breathe! Breathe!" You'd swear I was in labor or something. I thought my mom was going to hyperventilate and probably pass out (the woman has consciousness issues, I swear) from helping me try to breathe.

Tal and I are going up to West Virginia for a few days next week. I'm looking forward to it. We're renting a small cabin up there and will go to Charleston for a couple of days. We'll spend the night in Chattanooga on the way home.

OK, so I guess that's kind of gotten me caught up. If I think of anything else, I'll be sure to blog that, too!

Sweet dreams!