Thursday, March 3, 2011

Another health update

As mentioned, I saw the surgeon today.  He took X-rays and concluded that the antibiotics just hadn't cleared the infection, and that I need more aggressive treatment.  What that means is a major surgery where they will remove any area of bone that looks infected.  He said they will try to save as much of the bone as possible, as well as preserving my facial nerves, but there is some risk of facial numbness. 

So will you guys still hang out with me if I have a big scar on my face/neck and possibly have droopy facial features?

As I was leaving the surgeon's office, I got a frantic call from my immunologist.  They had run an immunology panel on me on Wednesday (hence the seven vials of blood), and along with that, I requested they run my INR, which I have to have tested weekly to manage the blood thinners I'm on (which are themselves a result of the deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism I had last month.)  The lab reported back that my INR was 9.7 -- it's supposed to between 2 and 3, and anything greater than 5 is considered dangerous.  Another measure, called a PT, was 109.  Normal is like 25-30. 

What this means is that I'm at extremely high risk of bleeding, and that the surgery, which was supposed to happen on Monday or Tuesday, as to be delayed until my INR level is back within normal range.  I'm frustrated by this because I feel like my life is on hold until this stupid surgery is done.  My face hurts, I can't make plans at work or with friends or anything, because I don't know when I'll be going in.  Also, I had keyed myself up for the surgery, and now it's that sort of anticlimactic let-down that happens when you're expecting something that does not actually manifest.  It's a state of anxiety that I'm not entirely thrilled to be experiencing. 

My allies have come through marvelously to help me deal with this, even those that aren't actively playing the game.  People have sent me music, funny stuff, messaged me to tell me they're thinking about me, and -- as evidenced by Lindsay's post before this one -- come up with game-related ways to respond to this giant cluster of a situation.  I deeply appreciate this, and I definitely think that if I weren't operating in the SuperBetter paradigm, I'd be a lot more upset and freaked out right now.  I even managed to NOT cry at the surgeon's office! Whoo hoo!

So, quick request for allies: Something I forgot to ask was for someone to step up once every day/every couple of days to give me achievements based upon my activities.  I'd kind of forgotten about this part of the game, but I reached the SuperBetter section of Jane's book last night and it reminded me of this.  As she describes it, these achievements are important because they create that feeling of fiero, of positivity and success, that helps us heal.  And it means more if someone else gives them to me than if I give them to myself.  So I'll continue to post my daily activities, and if you guys can bestow upon me anything that you guys think is an achievement, that would be awesome. :)

Today's activities:
Work - 2 hours (10 XP)
Doctors appointments - 2.5 hours, plus another 1.5 hours driving all over town to get to them (25XP for appointments, and I gave myself 8XP for the driving, because, seriously, it was like 70 miles just around town)
Blog post (2 XP)
Total: 45 XP

Then I came home and played WoW and watched The Hunt for Red October, wheee. 


  1. I would totally hang out with you... try and stop me!

    Sorry I haven't been as involved this week... a vampire tore through our house and managed to sink a little venom into each of us. I'm shaking off the effects still, and my brain's about as useful as an Englishman with a claymore. Och!

  2. I'm looking up everything I can to figure out how to best help you when we talk.

  3. I would hang out with you even if an alligator ate your head. Not even your whole face--your ENTIRE HEAD. Granted, in that event the conversation might be a little one-sided, but I think I could deal with it.