Thursday, July 07, 2005

And the tummy continues to turn..... 

Went to the gastroenterologist today about the abdominal attacks I've been having. She said it's very unlikely that I have an ulcer because I've been on Nexium for two years. I may, however, have a problem in the bile duct.

She told me that even though I had my gallbladder removed six years ago, sometimes, tiny bits of would-be gallstones might have migrated out of the gallbladder prior to its removal. One of these only has to be the size of a grain of sand to cause painful spasms. So I'm going to have an abdominal ultrasound on Friday to make sure I don't have an enlarged bile duct.

If that comes back normal, I will have to wait for another attack before I can have bloodwork that might point to the problem. Apparently, it has to be within 24 hours of an attack. She wrote me a script to have the testing done so that when an attack happens I can just go to a local lab without seeing a doc first.

I'm hoping either that I never have another attack or that if a problem is found, it's very minor. I'd rather avoid further surgery if possible. At least I probably don't have an ulcer.

In other news, got up this morning and saw that Dan had cleaned out my desk at work for me. He had everything in a box on the kitchen table. It made me want to cry, seeing the remnants of a ten year job and knowing it was over.

I have to talk to my disability insurance company tomorrow and probably my union rep and human resources. I'm nervous, as if stating that I am not returning to work is pronouncing my doom or something. I can see why some people drag their feet about applying for disability as it is somewhat intimidating.

So I suspect my mourning period will go on for a bit longer. Not to be melodramatic, but it does feel a bit like something in my life has died. As brave as I like to be, certain types of change do inspire fear.

I know I'll get through this ok. But I also know enough about grief to know that I must acknowledge its existence before I am able to change my life for the better. That's just how I operate best.

The people that say anyone collecting Social Security is just lazy really have no clue. Why would I put myself through this if I didn't need to? Why would I choose to give up a job with excellent pay and benefits in favor of accepting one-fourth of that amount from the federal government? Call me materialistic if you wish, but, hey, I'd much rather be collecting the big fat paycheck I had grown so accustomed to, because the work itself wasn't difficult, had I not gotten sick. I'm trying like crazy not to feel like a bum, trying to ignore the fact that some people will see me as one when they find out I'm not going back to work.

Yep, adjusting is gonna take some time.

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