Tag Archives: health

Medical Issues

Today I had to go and see the specialists over at RPA Hospital after my unsuccessful pap smear. I think the whole appointment can be summed up by the fact that I didn’t see one specialist, nor did I see two specialists – I saw three specialists. Turns out I have a congenital (present from birth) defect affecting my reproductive organs and possibly my urinary system. I need to go for a pelvic ultrasound to have a look at the extent of the defect and then an IVP to investigate my kidneys and urinary system. Then it’s back to the specialist to discuss the findings and if surgery is possible to correct some of the defects.

I have been told by the specialists not to give up my dream of having children as it should be possible for me to conceive. This is after me telling them that I have no desire to have children. I guess in their line of work they rarely see women who don’t want kids, especially since I was the only non-pregnant woman in the waiting room.

I must admit that I am a bit stressed out about this. Adding on the stress from work at the moment and you have only stressed out little vegemite. I just want the weekend to hurry up and get here so I can have some downtime to process this all.

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An interesting fall out of the current baby boom

Long time readers will know the story of my failed pap smear and my GP referring me to RPA to see a gynecological specialist. I have put off making the appointment, because it literally scares me to death. Today I bit the bullet and called the number my GP had given me. Instead of speaking to a person I got a machine which cheerfully informed me that “during this busy time there is no one to answer my call” and to please leave my name and number and someone would call me within 3 business days. That’s right, it is going to take me three days just to make an appointment. The OBGYNs at the public hospitals are so damn busy dealing with everyone that is currently pregnant that it will take me three days to make an appointment to see a specialist for a non-pregnancy related issue.

When Peter Costello decided to throw money at women for them to reproduce did he throw money at the public health care system to deal with all these pregnant women? Of course not! Therefore our already unfunded, stretched to the limit health care system has reached breaking point and what does the government do? Well it bitches and moans about the health care system being a state problem whilst it throws even more money at women to get pregnant. Seriously I am starting to think that the quickest way I will get in to see an OBGYN is if I get pregnant and then the government will give me $5,000 for my troubles. Also I would get my surgery done a lot quicker cause hell, I need it done to be able to have my kid.

Fuck, I hate dealing with the public health care system. However, such is the joy of having a chronic illness and other health related issues that I must negotiate the shambles that is our health care system.

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A Knee Like A Balloon

In the wee hours of this morning I was awoken by some impressive pain coming from my knee, on a close but blearly inspection, I saw that my knee looked really swollen.  I took off the tape that holds my kneecaps in place and hoped that for some wacky reason it was the tape causing the swelling.

At a more reasonable hour this morning when I pulled myself out of bed, it wasn’t hard to notice that my knee was still swollen and as I wandered around the house it was becoming increasingly painful. The weird thing is is that my knees never swell up.  I can be in massive pain and unable to put any weight on it, but the knee remains at its normal size, even though there may actually be some swelling in the joint itself. I have also done nothing out of the ordinary, I haven’t even been swimming this week since Monday.  Haven’t fallen or twisted it or done anything whacky like that.  No, it has just swollen up all on its very own probably because it knows I have things to do today.  I have to go grocery shopping this morning, have to go to an Australia Day BBQ this evening and the dog wash lady is coming to bath the furkids this afternoon.  I have places to go and people to see!  I don’t want to be dealing with a knee that is telling me that it is injured and will not be working today.

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Sometimes the easiest things turn out to be the hardest

This year, I made a promise to myself to go and get a pap smear done. I thought it would involve one doctor’s visit, a short time on the table where I would lay down and think of England and then it would be done. I should have know that with my freaky body nothing is as simple as it should be.

First doctor’s visit and it turns out that I am too early in my cycle to get it done. No worries, I make an appointment for a week later.

Today it was a week later and back I go to get the damn test done. I lay on the table and think of England, but there is problem. Way back when I was 20 and desperate to lose my virginity, I did something very stupid. I went and basically had a one night stand with a guy I didn’t love and barely really knew. Turns out my girly bits aren’t designed like everyone else’s instead I have a lovely piece of skin called a vaginal septum that divides the vagina into two up near the cervix. I have sex, it tears and I end up in the hospital having emergency surgery. Now I was under the impression that this miscellaneous piece of tissue was fully removed at the time of my surgery. But no, it wasn’t, it was just repaired. I still have this fucking piece of tissue there blocking my cervix and hence I can’t get a pap smear done.

So I am off to see a specialist over at RPA to see if either they can get the pap smear done with their fancy equipment, they will decide that I don’t need a pap smear or they will do surgery to finally remove this unwanted tissue and then go ahead and do the pap smear.

It does explain why attempting to wear a tampon is the most painful experience ever though. It is also a jolly good thing that I am not attempting to have heterosexual sex or have children cause neither of those things would occur without a fair bit of pain, lots of bleeding and more surgery.

I am totally pissed off the the damn septum wasn’t actually fully removed in the first place. Not only did I not get a blood transfusion after hemorrhaging for 8 hours and then spent the next eight months destroying my immune system whilst I tried to get rid of the staph infection I picked up from the hospital, but now it turns out they fucked up the surgery as well. Trust me when I say that I am not eager to undergo the whole experience a second time (although the two days on morphine were mighty fine).

Now I am off to do battle with the public health care system to get in to see the specialist and we will see where things go from here.

I did learn something interesting today though -if you are exclusively lesbian ie never ever have had sex with a man, you do not need a pap smear. Therefore, if I wasn’t such an idiot 12 years ago, I wouldn’t be in this situation. I would still have that damn piece of unwanted tissue though.

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Doctor, Doctor, give me the news..

I went for my doctor’s appointment this morning, but I did not get my pap smear test done.  Now before you all start thinking it was because I chickened out – it wasn’t.  Apparently, the best time to get your test done is between day 10 and day 20 of your cycle.  I was on day 7.  At this time, the uterus can still be shedding some of the lining which would have shown up as an abnormality on the test and I would have not only freaked out, but been condemned to yearly pap smear tests for a couple of years.  The doctor suggested I put it off until next week and I already have my appointment – Monday at 1pm for those of you who want to keep tabs on me.

I also wanted a general check up done and the doctor started doing this by going through my long record of health problems – the joys of having a chronic illness that likes to gather friends.  When she got to ‘Asthma’ she asked me what medication I was on and how often I take it.  I don’t currently take any meds for my asthma as it doesn’t really cause me any problems since my asthma is exercise and flu induced.  My doctor was appalled and immediately sent me down for a spirometry test and to be bronchodiluted.  The spirometry test is basically blowing into this little device which measures your lung capacity, which I have done multiple times before.  However, I have never been bronchodiluated and had to admit it sounded kinda scary.  Fortunately, all it involved was being put on a nebuliser of Ventolin for 5 minutes.  The Ventolin dilates or expands your airways making it easier to breathe.  So there I sat for a while with an oxygen mask on breathing in Ventolin and trying to stop my nose from running.  Afterwards, I performed the lung function test again to see if there was any change- there was a little improvement but not much.  The nurse was expecting to see a huge change.  I have no idea what all this means and if I will have to go back on my asthma medication again.  I really hope I don’t have to, cause I don’t need even more medication to take.  Then again, if it helps me with swimming and being able to exercise longer, then I guess it is a good thing.

I was warned about the side effects of Ventolin one of which is shaking but I did not expect it to hit so suddenly nor for the part of my body to be more affected by it being my butt.  It was a very strange sensation indeed standing at the reception desk with my butt vibrating all over the place.   Even now an hour after the Ventolin, my body still feels all shaky and I can’t concerntrate.  It is extremely annoying and work is not the place I want to be when I feel like this.  I wonder if work would mind if I just crawled under the desk and slept until the effects of Ventolin wear off.

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Bah Humbug

I am having a rough couple of days.  My fibro has flared up once again and is attacking my legs.  I am in pain, having problems walking and am extremely grumpy.  Unfortunately this has coincided with friends of ours coming up from Melbourne to visit for the weekend.   Needless to say, I haven’t been a great host.  I just want to curl up into a little ball and wish the world away.  Our friends are currently amusing themselves walking around Darling Harbour, a place I probably wouldn’t join them even if I was feeling well.  It is just so trashy, touristy and highly commercial.

To get myself mentally away from the pain, I have been curled up on the couch reading Elizabeth Moon’s Trading in Danger which is the first book of the Vatta War series.  I love Elizabeth Moon’s work and the Vatta War series is my favourite.  I thoroughly recommend it to anyone who loves a good sci-fi adventure and loves seeing strong female characters in literature.  Despite the pain, I have had a nice weekend lost in a good book.

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Doctor’s Appointment

Kelley, Bettina and everyone else who has been harassing encouraging me to make a doctor’s appointment to get a pap smear, you will be pleased to know that I am going to the doctor’s next Tuesday at 10:15am.  The appointment has been made and I will be there. 

Now you can scare me with all your horror pap smear stories.

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