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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Unexpected News

I got a voicemail last evening from my doctor’s office.  They must have called when I was walking home from work and I didn’t hear my phone ring.  It was my back doctor’s PA.  She acknowledged that she knew I had an appointment in a couple of days, but she said my doctor had just reviewed my MRI report and told her to call me.  She asked me to call her back.  I have a call in to her, but she was with a patient and I am waiting on a call back.  I don’t know what this is about, but it doesn’t sound good.  I don’t know why she would call when she knows I have an appointment in two days.  This says to me that it is more urgent and they didn’t want to wait the two days.  You will likely get the answers to this at the end of this post, but at the time I write this, I don’t know what is going on.  Of course, all kinds of things are going through my mind.  The scariest thing going through my mind is that they have seen something that has nothing to do with my back.  That is just the product of an overactive imagination.  Last time I had an MRI on my lower back, it mentioned that “bilateral adnexal cysts are seen” and that a ultrasound of the pelvis was needed to check these out.  That scared me at the time.  I had a sonogram and it turned out they were normal cysts that form as part of your monthly cycle and they had already burst by the time I had the ultrasound.  I am sure this is about my back and not something else, but I hate that this makes my mind try to jump to anything and everything.
 
I had a very good day yesterday.  Here is what I ate:
 
Breakfast:
3 celery sticks
Atkins vanilla shake
 
Lunch:
3 dill pickle spears
Atkins strawberry shake
(nice combination, huh?)
 
Snack:
2 celery sticks
Atkins chocolate shake
 
Dinner:
Baked chicken stuffed with pesto and cheese
Roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon
 
Evening snack:
SF hot chocolate
 
96 oz. of water
 
That was it and I was satisfied.  Atkins shakes are 160 calories.  I am guessing I had around 1,000-1,200 calories and it was pretty low carb – most of the carbs coming from the hot chocolate.  I will have a similar day today.  I am having baby carrots with my breakfast, which will have a few more carbs than the celery (that is good – I don’t need to go too low carb).
 
If the doctor tells me I need to have surgery soon (that’s what I kind of expect) and the abdominal fat is still an issue, I will likely switch to a strictly liquid diet of 5-6 Atkins shakes a day, just until the surgery.
 
I debated on whether to sleep in the bed or the chaise last night.  The bed feels better on my neck, shoulders and arms, but even sleeping with a lot of pillows to elevate me, the bed makes my lower back hurt and/or causes the sciatica pain to fire.  I elected to wear my neck collar and sleep in the chaise.  But I woke up with even more pain in my shoulders and arms this morning.  It seems I can’t win.  It does feel, though, like maybe the problem is that I close my shoulders in toward each other and that is causing the pain.  So I am going to work on stretching that area back as I go through the day.  I will go back to the bed tonight, and I am going to lay flat (except with pillows under my knees) and see how I do.  If I am better, I need to know it.  If I am not, I need to know that too.  I feel I should not have to be choosing between the lesser of two evils when it comes to sleeping.  I’m ready to move on with treatment.  I am pretty settled in my mind now – I want the surgery unless something drastically improves soon.
 
I will be glad when I have something to talk about besides my back issues.  I am ready to talk about workouts and getting fit.  But perhaps someone is/will be going through the same thing and something I say will be helpful.  And I just need to let it out.  I am glad that I have found an eating plan that is working for me when I cannot get much physical activity.  If I were going backwards weight-wise in the midst of all this, I would be getting really depressed.  Ultimately I want to be eating healthy, whole, non-processed foods.  But right now I am just trying to make progress and be ready for surgery, if that is what happens.
 
I try to guzzle my water when I think about it, to get more down.  Today I am a little stuffed up.  It’s tough to guzzle when you can’t breathe through your nose!  Lol.
 
One thing I am thinking about – if I am going to be out of the office for 4-6 weeks, beginning in the next few weeks, I want to make sure my desk is in as good of shape as possible.  I know people will be “snooping around,” looking for things, so I want it to be organized and tidy, with anything very personal put away.  I did that for a little while until other work took over.
 
I FINALLY heard from the doctor.  It turns out the message was non-back-related.  I have another cyst.  However, the MRI report says it is bigger than the last time and this is abnormal for a woman who is postmenopausal.  Last time I had not gone through menopause yet.  They said they could not exclude two things, one being a benign cyst and the other one being a malignancy.  So I have to have a sonogram.  That's a little scary, but I did a little reading about it and the size of it is small enough where it's likely not malignant (or else they saw it really early).  I am not really worried about it.  I will get it checked out, but I am not going to get myself all worked up about it.  I don't know any more about my back, except that I read the MRI report.  I will find out what she says about it Thursday.
 
That's it for today.  Over and out.

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