06 October, 2017

A Big Step

Someone once told me, "the only thing constant is change." I think I heard that when I was in middle school or early high school, and I thought it was the most profound shit I had ever heard.

Though probably not incredibly profound, it holds quite a bit of truth. I've always welcomed change. I get bored with consistency. I love to be constantly moving, constantly working, constantly traveling, constantly learning new things...you get it. I love change. I think it's great. Sometimes it's hard, but hey, it's something new to experience, so sign me up! I loved that my comfort zone sat in a field of change. My heart and mind were always soft and open to the new. Until a fundamental dream of mine decided to begin its metamorphosis.

Dreams change, too. That was a hard thing for me to grasp.

For, oh wow, perhaps my whole life, I dreamed of living in Colorado. I spent my summers in Estes Park growing up, and it was the number one thing I looked forward to every year. Driving the 8 or so hours from our house in Omaha across the vast, flat, boring state of Nebraska was worth it for that first look at the mountains. Colorado was a dream land. It still is. I've told a number of people that if I were to continue living in the US, the state I'd want to live in would be Colorado. So I set my dream boat directly West and set sail for Denver.

I was introduced to Metropolitan State University. I met professors. I saw the campus. I saw their theaters. I read about their speech pathology programs. I was SOLD. I based my education on being able to continue my academics right in the heart of Denver. Everything looked great. Everything was set. Tuition and scholarships were looking good, I was excited for classes, my boyfriend was excited to move, the whole shebang. Only one problem: I didn't have a place to live.

No biggie, right? Just gotta do some house hunting. That's when it all fell apart.

I knew Colorado would be expensive. Everyone is flocking there, and for good reason. I wanted to flock there, too. Things were looking decent...until they weren't. Situations out of my control caused my dream to crumble before my eyes. A trip to Denver turned out fruitless. I began to see the cracks in the foundation of the plan. I began to see how horribly crowded Denver became. I talked to locals, who grieved the loss of their once calm Denver to overcrowding and price surges. The crumbling turned to tears, anguish, and all that jazz. What was I supposed to do? I didn't have a plan B.

The only thing constant is change.

I had to change course. I couldn't just abandon ship. All this work? For nothing? No. I can't have it be that way. So I made sure it wasn't.

Fast forward to me, quickly scrambling to figure out a plan of action. I had seven hours between Denver and Lincoln to come up with a plan. Could I do it?

Of course I could.

Friends, I've kept this as much under wraps as I could, but I am here to officially announce: I AM MOVING.

Not to Denver. Not to England (though maybe someday). Not to a different city in Tennessee. Not anywhere particularly exciting even.

I'm moving back to Nebraska.

That's right. BACK TO. I'm going back to my hometown. I've fought to stay away for so long. I didn't feel a pull to ever be back. I didn't think moving "home" was a forward step, but as it turns out, it's the perfect step. A big step. A scary step.

I have been officially accepted into UNL's BA program for Speech Pathology. I! AM! GOING! BACK! TO! SCHOOL! Oh, joyous tears. It's finally happening. It's happening fast, actually.

I move in a month. Just a month. I finish my show (Stupid Fucking Bird, which by the way, everyone should come see) and I take off shortly after. I start school in January. It's finally happening.

Troy's coming too, for those of you wondering. Someone loves me enough to stay with me and my changing plans, and to do life with me every day. God, I am lucky. He is looking into going back to school too!

We love Nebraska. It'll be good to be back, actually. It'll be good to reconnect with my roots. It'll be good to see my high school friends more than once every few years. It'll be good to have a fresh start as an adult in a city I only knew as a child.

I'm both scared and excited. I have cried so many times thinking about the wonderful people I am leaving behind, but I know my time has come. Tennessee, you were both incredible and horrible to me. Thank you for these last five years. Thank you for the adventure. Now it's time to go.

To everyone who has supported me, I thank you too. I've had so many people cheer me on as I've tried to rebuild myself. I have so much support. I am surrounded by so much love. This was a hard decision to make, but my heart feels secure in hope.

To my Nebraska friends: hello again! I can't wait to have you all over for coffee or booze or both. I can't wait to hopefully have some SNOW! I can't wait to see the holiday lights all over town. I'm ready for the glorious sunsets and the horrible road construction and everything that comes with Lincoln. I really am. Let's reconnect.

I'm ready. Life's happening. Let's go. 

22 May, 2017

Miss Diagnosis

God. It's like I can't win.

I was diagnosed with endometriosis a year ago. I was put on a regimen of birth control to hopefully ease the pain, and make my periods lighter, as I was losing an incredible amount of blood each month (and being anaemic, well, it wasn't good). All the medicine did was regulate my periods (bless -- they were so sporadic), but there was little to no aid in the pain department.

I started seeing a new OB/GYN, and was put on a different birth control. The amount of hormones going through my body with all of my other medicine was causing a lot of problems health-wise. The new birth control had a smaller dose of hormones, but my pain gradually increased. On my first visit, we found no signs of ovarian cysts or any other cause of pain, so my diagnosis for endometriosis was thought to be spot-on.

A few months later, after trying the new birth control, my pain became so unbearable I couldn't live a normal life. I would miss work, miss days of meals, and barely make it out of bed during the worst days of my cycle. I went back to my OB and had a vaginal ultrasound. The doctor found a large cyst growing on my right ovary, and a surgery was quickly scheduled to remove it. A surgery to fully diagnose my endometriosis, called a laparoscopy, was also ordered, to knock out two birds with one stone.

The day of the surgery finally came, and everything went smoothly. The cyst (which wound up being half the size of my uterus!!!!) was benign, and removed without a problem. The catch? There was no trace of endometriosis. Which, is great, yes, but finding out that my diagnosis had been wrong the entire time? Honestly horrible. It's great to not have endo, but now I'm back to square one in the diagnosis process.

I am now a little over a month post-surgery, and my first full period (I had one during recovery too, which, let me tell you, was NOT FUN) was HORRENDOUS. Awful pain, so much blood, sporadic bleeding. I kind of expected it to be slightly abnormal, as my body is learning how to cycle without that cyst inhabiting my lower regions, but DAMN, did this last cycle suck. At my post-op, I scheduled an appointment to get an IUD at the recommendation of my surgeon. We were hoping that the focus of hormones on only the affected region would help my body process everything, and hopefully reduce my pain and flow.

So today, I went into my appointment, both nervous and excited. I've heard so many great things about IUDs! I was excited for the excellent contraceptive, as well as the focus of hormones on only one part of my body. I took the medicine prescribed to me as directed, and off I went to the OB/GYN.

I was ushered into the ultrasound room. The medicine was making me feel a little crampy, understandably, as it was meant to soften the cervix. As I laid back on the table, I got ready for the understandable cramps accompanied with the insertion. Little did I know, it would be so much worse.

My doctor did everything she could, but my body rejected every attempt to clear a path into my uterus. She tried four or five different times, and my uterus pushed back. I have never been in so much pain. My body was convulsing so severely, and the doctors all knew they had to stop. I was given pain medication and asked if I wanted to try again, and I said yes. So we tried again...to no avail. Pain pain pain. Worse than, God, I can't even think of words to explain just how much pain I was in. My uterus was not having it. I'm not having it. I couldn't stop crying, both from the pain and the disappointment. I wanted the IUD to work for me so badly. Maybe it will in the future, but for now, the pill is all there is.

There's no winning with this body. We don't know where the pain is coming from. We don't know a cure. We don't know a diagnosis. We simply don't know. And boy, is that terrifying. I'm tired of being in pain. I'm tired of putting my life on hold. I'm tired. I'm exhausted. I'm disappointed. I'm a mess. I am fighting for my life back, and nothing seems to move me forward.

So here I am, back in the waiting game. Just sitting here, hoping and praying for answers. Hoping and praying for relief. I know I'm not the only one suffering. I hope and pray for a cure for each and every person dealing with this unknown origin of pain.