geekery, drawing and then some

Posts about health

Spent the morning in the hospital, drawing.



Detail of booklet, page 2

I spent the morning in the hospital, getting my iron-IV. My heamoglobin levels have dropped slowly since surgery and my iron supply has fallen well below normal levels. This probably plays some part in my ongoing fatigue and my doctor decided that instead of pills, I'd get two iron IVs. Today I had my first, next week the second.

I expected to have to wait a while and brought my drawing book, and then drew the IV several times.

I've drawn my IVs before, once when I had to get a CT-scan for my lungs (in the beginning of getting ill) and then when I had surgery and they had to give me a new one every two or three days because it kept clogging up.

Trying to find stability.

Moebius strip.

I've had a hard time trying to get into some form of stability. I had a bad cold after Christmas and I thought it went away, but it came back. Whenever I feel ill / weak, eating doesn't go well either, which in turn makes me more weak and causes highly undesirable weight-loss. I take my (many many) vitamins and take my medication, and make my food and try to handle it all. Unfortunately, I haven't felt happy or stable for quite a while.

I don't seem to have the energy to do much, fun or needed, which results in TG doing my laundry, which makes me feel bad for not doing it myself. I do want to do fun stuff, but I feel so (physically) tired and my head just doesn't want to work straight. I so very badly want to do fun stuff and crochet and draw and be creative, but most of the time it feels like the button for my creative juices got stuck on 'off' and I don't know how to turn it on again. It makes me sad.

I've comforted myself by watching other people's drawings and bursts of creativity, and sort of feeding on that. I especially look forward to Michael Nobbs' 4th Beany and have splurged a little on some new crochet-books (I only had a twenty year old one...). I need to re-think my attempts to get some sort of schedule, I think I've based it too much on my old ideas of myself. I need to stop hanging on to the idea that I can actually do all those things I could do, before. I need to start over with many things, basically starting them at '0' again and see how far I can get.

I miss bread and pasta etc. I found gluten-free pasta and bread, but it just doesn't taste the same. The gluten-free baguettes however did work very well in my cheese fondue (I'll get some more). I've also eaten a lot of roasted vegetables, which go down extremely well, and I rarely feel ill after eating them and they taste good (big win). I haven't yet figured out how to optimise my eating, and I wish I could use the freezer more for that but somehow, that hasn't worked out so far. One of these days I'll get it though.

In the meantime, there's always tea. Tea fixes everything.

Away with the nausea.

When I woke up from surgery, about half an hour after they sewed me up again, I felt nauseous. They gave me an injection of something which helped a little, though I did stay nauseous all the time in the hospital.

I have an anecdote there: I got this medication that didn't help so much, so one of the nurses (bless her) switched me to something else, and that worked great. This after exclaiming:

But this stuff relaxes your stomach! You don't have that anymore, I will give you something else.

The stuff I got after that worked great. The next time they wanted to give me that other stuff again, but I protested heavily and I got the other stuff again. They also turned down the epidural (took away one of the opiates) to help with the nausea.

It never went away completely.

Now that I've removed certain foods from my diet (wheat-products and milk) and have stopped taking the Plaquenil I have a lot less nausea. It hasn't gone away completely (yet), however, it has gone away a lot. Instead of mostly nauseous with some nausea-free hours, the reverse happens most of the time. I only have the last week or two to look at, so I won't yet do a little victory dance. It looks good, though, and that makes me happy.


Some time ago I had to go to the hospital.

Due to a genetic mutation I have an extremely high risk to get (and die from) a particular nasty kind of stomach-cancer. To prevent the getting and dying part, I decided to have my stomach removed (a total gastroectomy). Because this runs in the family I have seen what it can do to someone and what happens when the stomach gets removed. I've had five family-members before me, and two after me having the same procedure.

One can live without a stomach, it just takes time to adjust.

It has taken a bit more time than I expected, though, but I'll manage. Due to complications I had to stop taking my rheumatoid arthritis medication for a while, which caused it to flame up. I have started them again and now have to wait for things to calm down again, which takes a month or two.

Dealing with this consumes a lot of time (which I have plenty off) and energy (which unfortunately, I have very little off), and I try to still do fun stuff. My RA tends to flame up during winter so I suspect I have a bumpy ride ahead of me still. During this time my fridge has started to act up, something I do not want as the lack of stomach acid also means I have far less protection against evil germs in food. Luckily I saw it as an opportunity to channel my creativity into designed a new area for my fridge and pantry (with drawers, yay!).

I have found ways to boost my energy a little, so I plan to do more fun stuff (and update my poor blog a bit more cough). I'll probably post random content, of anything that keeps me busy, and drawings where possible. The RA makes drawing uncomfortable and I don't want to see drawing as something painful, I have to limit it for now.

So, who has the stomach for some horror-surgery-stories?

I just couldn't help myself!

Back from the hospital.

Drew my IV in the hospital.

I got released from the hospital about three weeks ago and have stayed at my parents for a while. Right now I still have a lot of recovering to do, and I haven't drawn as much as I wanted to. I did however make this one drawing in the hospital when my IV once again got shifted from one arm to the other. All went well, no complications during surgery and only a minor pneumonia after (which caused no problems). I went home after 9 days with a feedingtube still attached. Recovery will take time, hopefully I can spent much of it drawing.