Thursday, March 31, 2011


Warning: This posting contains a lot of bitching

I am starting to doubt my own strength.  I feel like I have learned to handle and awful lot; but wondering if there might be a point where I could burst.  I might be there.

Methotrexate (MTX), the intravenous drug that I take to shut-off my immune system, has some side effects.  Aside from the common dizziness, nausea, etc., MTX also boasts “Mouth Sores” which is why it is often partnered with a Folic Acid supplement, which I also take.  About a week and a half ago I got one; unlike any gross thing I have experienced.  I swore that I needed stitches. 

Side note:  When I was 18 I had my wisdom teeth removed.  After waking up bawling my eyes out from the anesthesia, I went home only to awake in the night to the most excruciating pain in the world, coming from all 4 spots where my wisdom teeth had been.  I ended up having dry sockets in all 4 holes which made the “Wisdom Tooth Experience” a 100% shitty one.  A few months later after moving into my college dorm, my dry sockets returned.  Thank goodness I chose a local school; my Dad had to come and pick me up every other day to go in to have my sockets packed with gauze and clove oil.  Every couple of years since then, I get tender at the same tooth removal site.  Never too big of a deal, but I always thought that maybe it hadn’t healed properly. 

I went to my dentist on Tuesday (who is fantastic, by the way).  I told him about the MTX, and about the sporadic tenderness in the past following my wisdom tooth surgery (they were all impacted).  After looking way back in there for a minute he said, “Yes, you’re right, something isn’t right there – it almost looks like a scar tissue of some sorts.  I haven’t seen something like that.”  He followed by giving me a topical anesthetic and poking it with a little ball tip instrument.  It’s a mass.

It could be one of several things; scar tissue that continues to get aggravated due to its location and tearing repeatedly, a tiny piece of leftover wisdom tooth that is trying to get out but can’t due to the scar tissue, or oral cancer.  They want to remove it right away.  Son of a bitch.  Just when I was thinking, “I could use a few more things to worry about.”

I headed down to the Oral Surgeon’s office for a consultation.  I was scheduled surgery next week, but they said that I was going to be really sore.  I said, “I can handle sore;” but I’m pretty sure that this actually means that I’m going to want to die and only be able to gum on pudding for a week.  I did reschedule though for the 13th.  I'll need to stop taking MTX the Sunday before because it's a drug that prohibits healing.  I also didn’t think that it was a good idea to head back down to the Mayo in search of my answers to life with a sore mouth.  It might be distracting.

Counselor Tuesday, Surgery Check-In Wednesday, Mayo Thursday & Friday, New Rheumatologist on Monday, Oral Surgery on Wednesday... oh yeah, and work every minute that I’m not at an appointment.  Keep up on all paperwork, get files to the right doctors, contact insurance, check on billing.  Call the bank, call HR, mail shit, pay things, AHHHHHHHHHGGGGGGGG!!!  This is where I feel the “bursting” element.

So there you go.  Just when I thought that I might be getting my shit together.  C'est la vie.  This is the first time that I have honestly had this kind of "Why Me" attitude.  It's one that I despise in others but can't seem to help it.

You know, throughout the past 10 months one thing has become more and more evident.  No matter how great a Doctor or Dentist may be, too many of them aren’t going to give a crap about you unless you really push the envelope.  Now, I have recently had the experience of a Doctor and a Dentist that have gone above and beyond for me; completely and 100% amazed me by their attentiveness and determination to get answers.  This however, only draws a great shadow on their predecessors.

Let’s have some examples, shall we?  First, there is the Doctor who nearly killed me twice by prescribing me lethal doses of Ritalin and Adderall.  One causing me to drop 15 pounds from my then, 115 pound frame in a matter of two weeks, the latter raising my heart rate to “Heart Attack Levels”; both due to major overdosing.  In both cases I was taking enough medication for a 300 pound man.  Infuriating.  

Next, there is the doctor who just decided to call the spots on my hands “Warts” and pass them off; looking into it further may have let me completely avoid the need for this blog.  Oh yes, and my Dentist who put a crown on me with Nickel in it, after I mentioned that I was allergic.  This caused me to have bloody inflamed gums around the crown for over 3 years, when he finally agreed to switch it for me.  Mind you, I was not the informed patient that I am now. 

How about my primary Physician who listened to me complain about persistent pain in weird places for years until I demanded that she figure out what it was.  She sent me to a Neuro-Specialist and an Allergist who said they didn’t know what was going on and dismissed me.  Those pains are called “Fibromyalgia” and could have been easy to diagnose if someone would have just taken the time to work with me.  Much of these experiences occurred when I was much younger and didn’t realize that I had a say in my treatment.  I would give anything to have learned that, 15 years ago.
So that’s it for now.  I am again, terribly frustrated and frankly, pissed off.  I'm too tired to cry, but I could probably go for some of that, too.  For the first time I’m feeling really justified for feeling angry about my circumstances and not worrying about anyone else.  I am genuinely pissed off.  Maybe this is healthy... which reminds me of Ken Jeong’s character, Dr. Kuni in Knocked Up.  He and Seth Rogan are in the hallway arguing.  When they’ve resolved he says, “This is good, this is healthy,” and now I’m giggling.  I feel like a freaking crazy person.

I've got to go to bed.



  1. :) Oh Maren - you definately have a lot going on! It's ok to be angry and informed gets results. I believe the correct saying is "I AM WOMAN - HEAR ME ROAR". :)

    I am glad you are posting these updates so we don't have to ask you millions of times what is going on.

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