Thursday, December 18, 2008

Health Update

First off I'd like to thank the kind lady who posted such glowing comments on a few of my articles. It's always very touching to find out that someone actually reads this thing of their own volition. It really helped me get through the day given what went on.

As I already explained I had a large growth in a part of the body that only males of the species posses. I first noticed it in early september and since then it's swollen up to the size of a kiwi fruit and been very painful. Being flat broke and having no health insurance I had to sign up for a medical aid offered by the county. It took quite some time for them to get the paperwork done and setup my appointment with a specialist, but I finally got to see one today. He took one look and decided I needed an ultrasound.

These doctors donate their time to the local clinics, so the're no slouches when it comes to their professions, even among the extremely exacting standards of most physicians. I got the ultrasound done about an hour later. It was no different than when they look at a baby in the womb, using that gel and wand. The only issue was this it was on a decidedly more delicate portion of my anatomy, and the lab tech was a very attractive young lady. The gel was quite warm and the wand gives off slight vibrations, needless to say I spent the entire half hour imaging session clenching my fists and thinking of baseball else I should inadvertantly offend the kind woman who was performing the ultrasound. She called in a radiologist, who looked over the results and promptly informed me that I had a tumor the size of walnut in one of my testicles.

I had kind of expected something like that with my luck. Thankfully he said it was insular, or turned inward on itself, and therefore much more likely to be benign instead of a malignant cancer. In either case it was both the radiologist's and the specialist's opinion that the testicle be removed in its entiretey ASAP. I'm now waiting for them to round up an anesthesiologist and get a hold of a surgery theater, which they say should be ready by the end of the week. I had never really intended to have children anyway, and since the other of the pair is still intact I most likely will retain the capacity. Yet I am a little bothered by the possible decrease in testosterone that may result. With as many odd things that happen to me I find it helps to have naturally agressive reactions to possible threats. In any case the possibility still exists that the tumor may be cancerous, if so then it will most certainly have had the chance to metastasize. As a result they will do a biopsy once the amputation is complete.

Oddly enough I was never scared, not when I first noticed the problem or when any of the physicians I saw tried to prepare me for the worst. My chief concern is waking up in the middle of surgery. I did so during the last 4 surgeries I had, despite the fact that I was given doses of anesthesia that were considered sufficient to put a horse in a coma, let alone a human being who wasn't even fully grown at the time. Waking up in the middle of serious oral surgery is bad enough, but this is one worse in my opinion, so I'll make sure to mention that history of chemical resistance to the anesthesiologist.

I'm hoping that it's just a side effect of the tumor throwing off my limbic system, but I've also begun to show the classic signs of hypothyroidism too. My skin flakes, my eyes are so dry they stick when I blink them sometimes, I gain weight despite the fact that I eat less than 1,000 calories a day, and I can sleep up to 16 hours at a time if I let myself. The constant mental fatigue is an issue as well seeing as I'm working on a contract with some very strict deadlines.

Of course there's also the issue of my Superior Limbal Keratoconjunctivitis. It turns out it's an autoimmune disease where abberant tissue begins to grow in a crescent shape over the top of my irises seperating the colored part of the eye from the white of the surrounding sclera. Thankfully this almost never causes any problems with vision, but it does cause extreme eye dryness, pain, and burning whenever my eyes are open and mild aching sensations when they're closed. Given that my job has me staring at a computer screen all day this is damned near an ironic tragedy. I started working at home because my stomach was too messed up to make attending any form of job a possibility. I finally think I've got a chance at making a career for myself and not ending up on the street once I'm living on my own, and the two things that I need my body for crap out on me: my eyes and my ability to concentrate for long periods of time.

I've seen an opthalmologist for it, apparently half of all people who have this disease also have thyroid disorders, which simply serves to back my concerns. He prescribed me a new drug in eye drop form called Restasis. Apparently it's an anti-cancer medication which supresses and reverses the growth of aberrant or non-standard living tissue. This medication came out several years ago, before that my eye problem was fixed by either thermal cauterization of the tissue (YOWCH!), or surgical excision of the tissue (YUCK!). In either case there exists the possibility that this tissue will grow back, meaning that the Restasis is my best chance at resolving the problem without serious, costly, and dangerous eye surgery. Unfortunately it can take up to 6 months before it shows good progress in fixing my eyes. In the meantime I've got to live with the pain and burning every moment that I'm awake.

I know lots of people have things far worse than I do, but please allow me a paragraph or two of self pity, as everyone's entitled to it now and again. I've got a loving family that understands and supports me, long past the point that I would've expected them to, and I feel terrible that as I grow older I'm not able to look out for their wellbeing as I thought I would when I was little. I still rely on them more than vice-versa. As a child my scholastics were encouraged and I thought I would go into something in the hard sciences, perhaps be an engineer like my father. Now I can't even work at the local supermarket because of ineffectively diagnosed and insuccessfully treated gastrointestinal disorders, thyroid problems, emotional disorders, and autoimmune problems. It makes me wonder what happens when there's no one there to look out for me anymore, and truthfully that's a thought filled with such oil-slick black formless chattering terror that it wakes me from a sound sleep at night and makes me work as I do now, regardless of fatigue or failing health. It's the moments of silence in the dead of night that I fear the most, when the day's work is done as there is nothing else I can distract myself with.
Funny that the prospect of dying on the surgery table in the upcoming days or facing a long losing battle with cancer doesn't scare nearly as much as these simple thoughts of being alone and not having the strength to support myself. I wonder what that says about me. I'll try to keep up my posts to this site, as you may know my other blog is on hiatus as I haven't the time to sit down and read books or watch animes to review, let along actually write the darn things. In my spare moments I manage to jot down a few lines and hope to build a backlog, so please be patient with me.
As always I'll tell you that I make a small portion of my living with the revenue from the ads on this site. If you want to do me a favor that costs you nothing but a few seconds of your time, please click on one of the links on the top left portion of this page. They're all legitimate and quite harmless. Also should any of you like to comment or perhaps establish a dialogue, your input would be more than welcome.

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