Manly Bits

August 20, 2010

So the hormone replacement therapy is working. Without going into the awkward details let it suffice to say that I’m going through a second; and highly accelerated puberty. While something like 85% of my readership is female (30% of it being my mom) and therefore wont be able to identify with this, I can honestly say that the worst thing about all this is that I forgot how distracting functioning male genitalia is. Not in the “oh look a new toy I wanna play with it” sense, but in more of a “I notice girly bits again” sense. It’s hard to get things done.

Should be getting the results of the growth hormone testing today, lets hope for the best. I’m definitely all for something that makes me feel like I can fly and shoot rainbow lasers out my eyes, but I’d rather not have to worry about finding the $500-$750 a month.

Hormone Therapy

Speaking of money, I had my re-evaluation call with the firm that’s representing me in my disability application. It felt somewhat awkward as they went down the list of symptoms on my previous application and most of the time I responded “That only happens every once and awhile and it isn’t an issue.” Which is a good thing I suppose. My case worker said that she thought I probably would get approved, but that it wouldn’t be until the third or fourth appeal.


The Horror

August 16, 2010

Today I went down to the Unemployment office and finished all of my paperwork and interviews. NOthing difficult. They gave me a series of tests consisting of different levels. On reading I made it to and passed level seven, which is the last. And I made it to level five on the math portion.

I also got ahold of Vocational Rehabilitation, but unfortunately while they would like to help me, the earliest orientation they have open is in October. Bah.

I was called today by the Bend Memorial Clinic, it seems that I will have my growth hormone testing done tomorrow morning. I am not looking forward to this, as it involves three solid hours of blood draws. Nothing to be done about it though. Bah again.

Now its story time.

I recently remembered an incident that occurred during my last brain surgery. Dr.Hadden screwed with me. In a kind of jerky way no less.

I recall hanging out in the pre-surgery prep room with my family, and the anesthesiologist came in and started in IV. The drugs started to take effect as they wheeled me to the back, but rather than do the “Count backwards from ten” bit, Dr.Hadden looked at me and said “Chris, we need you to get in this other bed. Go on, get up.”

Being in my drug addled state I tried to sit up and stand. I think I made it about 3 inches off the mattress before I passed out. All I can really recall was a giant shit-eating grin on Hadden’s face.

Thanks Doc.


August 9, 2010

Didn’t get any sleep last night, just tossed turned. MRI is today, one more can’t hurt right? From what I understand MRI’s are quite safe, the only real side effect to speak of is the radiation dose, which is equivalent to the amount of radiation you’d get over the course of a year. Still… this will be dose number ten today? I hope it doesn’t give me cancer… oh wait.

Got my first un-employment check in the mail. As much as I’d like to go off on on some big tirade about how this crushes the last of my dignity, I really don’t care. Here in Bend Oregon we have the highest unemployment rate in the state, sitting somewhere around 17%. Besides, I feel like I’ve been hemorrhaging money lately, so many bills to pay and little things here and there to pick up. A bit of cash will help.

Thanks Uncle Sam! Thanks tax-payers!

A Cautionary Tale

August 5, 2010

I am a child of the information age. I’ve grown up knowing that if I have a question, my dear friend the internet is there to give me answers (and sometimes other things). Where some children on the playground argued about what superheros could win in a fight, my friends and I argued about what search engine rocked the hardest.

Webcrawler represent!

Things haven’t changed much. I’m still the kind of guy where if there is a fact that comes into question during an argument, BAM out comes the cell phone to ask Saint Google. So as per my modus operandi when my doctor said “You may have a pituitary tumor.” I wanted to inform myself on the subject as much as possible.

This was a mistake.

While learning online is awesome for some things, learning about lethal diseases you potentialy have is not. The sheer amount of terrible things that can result of having a pituitary tumor sent me into a  out of control fear-spiral that ended with me rolling up into a little ball on the couch and incessantly blubbering.

While I’ve since regained my composure, it is far too easy to see the worst possible outcome. This is why I think things like WebMD are evil. It can turn a cough and bellyache into something terrible like Diverticulitis. I’m not saying that some light googleing on your condition is ill-advised, just that you should remember to take everything with a grain of salt.

Positively Positive

August 1, 2010

I received some test results in the mail today, seems that I don’t have mono. This is a good thing, I don’t think i could handle one more thing that’s primary goal is to make me feel tired and ultra-poopy.  Wheather this means I have strep or a staph infection or something else remains to be seen. Maybe it was just some kind of cold or mild flu bug, wouldn’t tat be cool?

This whole “You don’t have another terrible sickness” thing has got me feeling all sun-shiney and hopeful, so I’ve decided to try and put a positive spin on the whole “You may have a brain tumor.” (Holy crap, way too many quotation marks in that sentence.)

So without further ado,  in no particular order here is a list  of a few good things about potentially having a tumor/cancer:

I won’t have to worry about global warming.

I won’t feel compelled to recycle. (You may be saying, “But its for the children!” Sorry, at this moment I am unable to have any so I’m playing the selfish card.)

I’ll have something to say to the old-ladies who give me dirty looks when I park in a handicapped space.

If I ever visit a theme park I’ll get to go in the short lines.

I wont have to stress that apparently everything is carcinogenic.

Best of all?

Not having to deal with stupid people anymore.

Went to see Dr.Busby yesterday, I’ve been having a sore throat for about a week so I figured it was time to get it checked out. To make a long story short, it seems I have either strep or mono. The rapid culture for strep came back negative, but that doesn’t surprise me, even when I’ve had strep it usually only tests positive after being cultured. So now I get to sit around and wait.

Today was the very last day for my job as well. After my Game Crazy shut down I got transferred over to our sister store Hollywood Video to help with the liquidation process. As far as I know we were the last of all the Hollywoods to close, we received several 10,000 plus shipments of leftover merchandise from other stores over the past few months.

I took some pictures so I could be all nostalgic in the future if I want.

Chris Died

July 27, 2010

No not really.

Allot has happened, unfortunately none of it has been good so I have been moping and not wanting to talk about it.

To give you the short version I saw Dr.Hadden and he said all the symptoms I have are normal and that they will last up to a year, perhaps even permanently. So I may have to deal with being sick/migraines the rest of my life. Honestly, I’m ok with this.

I can actually think now, which is awesome. I don’t feel like im wandering around in fog anymore and can do things like count and drive again.

I have heard back from disability, they denied me. They say that my illness does indeed disable me but that they don’t think that I will be sick enough in a years time to still be unable to work. This is a disaster on many levels. The most obvious is that my job is ending, the store’s last day is this Friday.

My boss has been extremely understanding and has allowed my extremely flexible shifts, the fact of the matter is that in a super competitive economy I don’t think I will be able to find a new job. Bend has the highest unemployment rate in the state, sitting somewhere around 18%. I can go on unemployment, but because I was so sick last year my weekly benefits will only be about $90. Better than nothing I know, but not nearly enough to live off of.

The other bad side to being denied is that I now no longer qualify for the health insurance plan I’m currently on, I simply cannot afford to go to all of the doctors I am seeing now on my own. I have no idea what I’m going to do on this front. I’m appealing the decision about SSD, not because I think that I will be approved, but because while the claim is in process I will still have OHP, a temporary solution at best.

I am now seeing a new general doctor, her name is Dr.Busby. I met with her once and she had a full blood panel run, the long and short of it is that my testosterone and white count are still abysmally low. I’m seeing an endocrinologist and a rheumatologist  today, im expecting to have to do testosterone replacement therapy for the rest of my life.

I was going to see a hemotologist to figure out the white count thing, but apparently my doctor talked to the local guy and he said I didn’t need to be seen. I have no idea what this means or why, and the clinic Dr.B works for is a low-income clinic, meaning they are always extremely busy and understaffed, so my phone calls have not been returned.

I’ve been looking for jobs online, and have applied to a few. But I don’t have much hope. I don’t have a car, so anything that isn’t telecommuting has to be within walking distance, which for me is two blocks or less. Really limits my options. I did apply for a telecommuting job as an appointment setter for a music firm here in town, but haven’t heard back yet.

I can’t really think of anything else to update you on at the moment, though I’m sure I’m forgetting something. I am putting a lot of my hopes into my appointment with the endocrinologist today, im hoping that getting the proper levels of manly-juice in my system will help me feel better. I’m also hoping it will help me stave off depression, it’s getting to crippling levels.

Whats this?

June 14, 2010

I know what your thinking. “Is Chris dead?”

I promise, I’m not.

I haven’t been posting lately for a few reasons, and for that I apologise.

One of them is that things at work have gone from bad to worse. The company which bought us out to liquidate has decided they don’t need as much staffing as we can provide and has decreed that there shall be no more then 40 hours spent on all non-manager labor. Meaning, I’ve gone from having 40 hours a week to an average of 12. I was trying to squeeze in as much time while I could and was exhausted by the process.

Another reason I haven’t been posting is that I haven’t been feeling well. I’ve been getting progressively dizzier and not having to write about it means that i don’t have to acknowledge it. I’ve thrown up a few times and i fear the worst. I’m hesitant to call Dr.Hadden as I’ve come to realize that he is a neurosurgeon not a neurologist. So while I think he’s great I don’t know if he is the one I should be talking to.

Speaking of doctors, I’ve started seeing a general practitioner at Mosaic Medical, she cool. They drew a bunch of blood and it looks like almost everything looks good, with the exception of some hormone levels (but I expected that).

I honestly don’t know if i can say that I’ll be updating more frequently, though I do promise to try.


May 30, 2010

Sorry I haven’t posted in awhile, life seems to be happening all at once.

Been working allot lately, three or four days a week. It tires me out and it makes me dizzy but i’m doing it, which I count as a victory. Been seeing lots of doctors as well. Got a CT scan and visited Hadden twice, he says my brain is looking better now than any other time he’s ever seen it. He wanted a follow-up appointment… but in a year. I kind of going to miss him.

Had my first appointment with my new general care doctor, she seems very nice. We basically just went over all of my issues and started talking about possible plans of action. Before she did anything she wanted me to re-do all my past blood work, so I got to donate about 12 of those little vials all over again. Its funny, the lab tech thought I was crazy, i get freaked out by needles very easily, and she was acting calming and giving me the whole “it’s no big deal” speech. But when she prepped me she noticed the marks on my arm from giving blood and laughed. I didn’t know that blood-giving needles were bigger, guess you learn something new every day.

Depending on how the lab results come back the new doc thinks they will start giving me testosterone injections, apparently when my brain was all swollen it crushed my pituitary gland. Whoops. I’m actually excited for the shots, as the new doc said that it would make me feel not as sluggish and a balanced hormone level would make me feel better.

Hmm, and all this time at school they said juicing was a bad thing. =P

I miss lost already.

May 24, 2010

So the Lost finale was last night as I’m sure everyone in the world with electricity knows. I went to a Lost-Party with Des and we had a great time.

But I realized something while I was there, I wasn’t feeling well, and I didn’t really care. I’m tired of being sick and I’m tired of it preventing me from doing stuff on a daily basis. I no longer want to be defined by my illness. So I’m not going to hold back and baby myself anymore, consequences be damned. If I get dizzy and fall over so be it, at least I’ll be out and about. It’s true that I’m getting exhausted easily, but so what, I’ll take a nap and then carry on with my day.

I had a CT scan on Thursday and am having a follow-up appointment with Dr.Hadden this Wednesday, I’m curious to see whats going on inside my skull.