Friday, March 28, 2008

Comfort and empowerment

This is the month I decided to take back some control over my health, to search for answers, to gain power through knowledge.

I feel empowered... and like a pin cushion.

At this moment, I am sporting a nasty-looking bruise in the crook of my left elbow, courtesy of the blood draw from my brief exam for updating my life insurance (completed by some random tech the insurance company sent to my house). This is somewhat balanced by the brand-new pin prick in the crook of my right elbow--I got my favorite lab tech again. (What does it say that I have a favorite lab tech?) On my left upper arm is a band-aid covering the injection site of my tetanus booster. (-Have you had a tetanus shot in the last ten years? -Ten? No. Twenty? Just barely. Maybe I should get that.) On my right upper arm is a band-aid covering the injection site of my B12 shot. (Still tired? Let's see if this will help.)

On the plus side, all of my previous bloodwork came back with good news. Decent cholesterol (as usual, great HDL, OK LDL, great ratio), no signs of celiac disease (though a sensitivity is still likely), no thyroid anti-bodies, nothing that would indicate an immune problem or rheumatoid arthritis or excess inflammation. Mammogram and colonoscopy scheduled for the near future, both due to family history, rather than any expected problem. I should have a good idea of where everything stands by the middle of April.

This has been a healing process for me too. I have spent much of the time since my miscarriages feeling disconnected from my physical body. Not that I have been an amazing physical specimen for a good number of years, but I have almost always felt like I really knew my body. And it had never let me down like this before.

But between the examinations and increasing amounts of exercise and a return to Rolfing (which deserves a post unto itself), I'm starting to inhabit my body again, to feel the connections, to trust that I know it. I still do not have the certainty of a name that I sought, but recovering the sense of comfort in my own skin relieves another bit of the fear and gives me the confidence to move forward.


kittenpie said...

I have a favourite lab tech, too - I now ask for her by name, because she can usually get it in one draw, unlike some others who have poked me five times, then asked me to come another day to try again. Blech.

Laural Dawn said...

My circumstance is a little different than yours, but before I chose to have this baby, I realized I needed to work on my mental health (I had really bad ppd with my son and some other major issues to address).
Before trying to conceive I took a lot of control over some stuff that I needed to, and got myself in a much healthier place.
It's a wonderful feeling to be in control. I hope you get some answers.

Lisa b said...

I have a favourite lab tech but unfortunately he is not at my usual hospital. Not being stabbed multiple times is an important quality of life measure.
I'm glad you are getting these tests, you know I understand how data has healing power!

Mouse said...

Trillian was worried about the fact that I bruise easily from blood draws, but my doctor reassured me that it just means I have sensitive blood vessels. A little wiggle in the draw and I get a spreading bruise. This most recent bruise is now gone, but it lasted longer than the tiny spot from the draw my favorite lab tech did about a week later.