Things are fantastic with my boyfriend, hopefully soon-to-be fiancé. We have been together now for almost two years-- it'll be two years on February 23rd. Wow. It's amazing to me that I've been with a partner this long & that I've been HAPPY. He convinced me to find a therapist last year & my doctor also put me on Wellbutrin XL this year. Both together have made SO much difference!
Around this time last year I was still so broken from the trauma that my ex-LT put me through, but I have come SO far since! I am actually happy, really happy, most of the time. I've been able to get my even-keel back & it is fantastic! I still have my days that are hard but I'm coping so much better. It really helps that I have basically THREE best friends now-- & I hope to marry one of them in the next few years-- that I can turn to when I need support & a therapist who really helps me with ALL of my issues.
Recently Luke & I took our first real out of town trip, just the two of us. It was so amazing. We didn't have an argument even ONCE! We went to Grand Prairie, Texas for the Hallowe'en Twins of Evil concert/Freaker's Ball. The line up was DJ Devil (Jon Davis of Korn), Marilyn Manson, & Rob Zombie, but the line up changed from DJ Devil to DJ Starscream (Sid Wilson of Slipknot) a couple weeks before the concert. I was a little bummed because I've been wanting to see DJ Devil.
The hotel we stayed at was ironically, in a dry county, so we had to go a little ways to pick up alcohol in Arlington, Texas. The hotel concierge gave us directions to a store called Big Daddy's. It was so damn BIG & SPACIOUS, just like their business name promises! There was almost every kind of alcohol ever there & there was so much space to walk around! It was pretty awesome. We ended up getting Luke some Bacardi & 12 pack of Coke, while I got a shot glass & some Petrón Silver <3. We had plenty of booze & indeed still have a ton left in our fridge.
Luke & I got all dressed up for the concert. I recycled an old Candy Corn Witch costume from SpiritHalloween.com (sans hat) that I never got to wear years ago, added a long-sleeved fishnet shirt that I've had since high school, garter belt with fishnet stockings, inch-wide lace choker, an amazingly cool violet UV LED cube necklace that I found on ThinkGeek.com, my knee-high big black boots (or as my mother has called them for years-- my hooker boots), & a pair of Necomimi ears from Neurosky.com. It was really adorable & more modest than it sounds due to my height making the skirt come almost to my knees. The batteries in the ears died about half-way through the concert & I found that the LED necklace turns itself off after a while, but it was so much fun!
Luke had no idea what he was going to do for a costume. He wanted to go as the Big Boner Skeleton costume from SpiritHalloween.com, but then he wanted to go as a nerd, or maybe a zombie, or maybe not dress up at all? He just could never make up his mind, so we ended up smearing some fake blood on the bottom half of his face, he wore his Christie's Toy Box shirt from when he used to work there many moons ago, & used some Liquid Skin BandAide stuff to paste a clean tampon string next to his mouth. He went as a "Good Boyfriend". He looked awesomely gross enough that many people at the concert would just stare at him in disgust & he'd just smile. It was really entertaining (& it was my idea, inspired by "shark week").
We decided to take a cab to & from the concert so that we could both drink beforehand & didn't have to worry about parking, etc. It was a fantastic choice! We liked that so much that we are going to do that for the next concert we attend, regardless if it's in OKC or not. It was just a really good way to do it & the fare was not expensive in the least.
We got there just before the time printed on the tickets as when the concert would begin, but they had started DJ Starscream's set early so we only got to catch like the tail-end of one song. We were a little disappointed, but it soon passed. The funniest thing to us about the whole thing was that the venue was in a dry county, but there were TWO FULL BARS inside the venue! It was pretty darn cool. Most everyone that was there was wearing a costume, which was awesome for us as it quelled some of Luke's anxiety over us possibly being the only people to dress up. I had previously reassured him that "It is Hallowe'en! The only people who will look odd are the ones who DON'T dress up!" It was really cool. Even the waitresses walking around with the tube shots were dressed up adorably. There were even midgets dressed like the performers!
Marilyn Manson really sucked, like bad. He had gained weight & didn't bother to tailor his costumes to reflect that so everything he wore fit horribly. He spent most of his time with his back to the crowd fussing with his make-up. At one point when he was up in a tower for his set, he started screaming angrily at someone that was backstage. It was, well, pretty embarrassing. He also couldn't carry a tune in a bucket! It was really horrible, but Rob Zombie's set(s) were fucking amazing!
Rob Zombie's sets included giant robots, giant aliens, giant devils, smoke, confetti, fire, awesome set designs, porn, serial killers, and fireworks! He & his bandmates even wore costumes! He was a grim reaper, his bassist & guitarist were Gumby & Pokey, & his drummer was a werewolf. Even his wife & kids were there wearing costumes! In fact, he introduced Sherry Moon as "the Nerd he married on Hallowe'en"! It was adorable. He had so much energy as well-- he never stopped jumping around or dancing or crowd surfing or throwing colorful rubber balls into the audience or whatever. He was just so much fun to party with. He also promoted a new movie during the concert with a preview that is supposed to come out in 2013-- Lords of Salem or Hordes of Salem? I'm not really sure what it was called because I never could see the first word in the title, just the last few letters of it. It was kind of like a break for the band to rest & hydrate, but they soon were back to just having a total blast on-stage. Luke & I both were sad when the concert ended. We will absolutely make sure to go to another Rob Zombie show!
It was really a great trip except for some frustration with the directions we had not matching up with the exits/roads. We think it was because of the construction that was going on EVERYWHERE. We decided to just map it on my phone for the trip back. It was much easier that way. Luke drove most of the trip until we got back into Ardmore, Oklahoma. At that point, we gassed up & I drove the rest of the way home while he DJ'd our music in the car. It was so much fun & we've been able to keep that peace since.
We've gotten so much better at communication. We talk about EVERYTHING. It's fucking awesome!
So, November 5th has come & gone. It wasn't too bad for me. It certainly was much better than last year. I made sure Luke knew what day it was so he took it easy on my emotions ie made light-hearted jokes, made sure I didn't misunderstand anything, etc. His mom's birthday is on that day, so we wished her a happy birthday. The day actually ended up pretty stressful for us. His MS symptoms have just been going apeshit lately. His doc put him on an antidepressant called Celebrex on the previous Friday. It made everything so much WORSE! His tremors just would not stop & by the time Monday rolled around, he just couldn't take it anymore. We also suspect that he had a couple of minor seizures over the weekend.
About half-way through the day, he called me & told me that he was on his way to the doctor's office to have them change something because he hurt so bad & was experiencing horrible double vision & issues speaking/thinking. The doctor he saw this time wasn't his primary care physician, but Luke has decided that she is WAY better than him! He liked the fact that she was more holistic in her approach to treatment in general, & she ACTUALLY LISTENED TO HIM & didn't treat him like he was a hypochondriac, like his primary doctor kinda does (he's been Luke's doctor his entire life). She immediately took him off the old anti-depressant & put him on a different one called Amitriptyline, which as it turns out it also prescribed off-label to help manage MS symptoms! She also gave him a prescription for Diazapam (Valium) to help with the muscle tremors. This combo has helped significantly-- so much so that he actually sleeps through the night & feels rested, daresay, even GOOD in the mornings!
She also referred him to a neurologist to get an MRI to see if the brain cyst has changed any over the last 11 years. He & his mother have been suffering quite a bit of anxiety over this, but I'm doing a pretty good job at keeping my cool about it all. I keep telling Luke that we already KNOW the outcome of the MRI (even though they haven't told us yet), so there's no sense in obsessing about it, but I also understand his fear. I am hoping that this time around the neurologist will immediately put him on a MS-centric regimen. I want him as mobile, happy, & alive for as long as possible.
His job (IT for a large company) has been giving him LOADS of grief about his sudden absences, even though it's medical & he has doctor's notes to cover the time off. There's one supervisor in particular that just won't drop it & keeps harassing Luke & telling him that his job is in jeopardy because of the absences. It's causing Luke so much extra stress on top of everything else, which just exacerbates his symptoms. He has a friend at work who is in a different department (but outranks that supervisor) who has been reassuring Luke that they cannot legally fire him for missing work due to medical issues & if they try, he will have his job back in no time. That is true-- under the Americans with Disabilities Act he cannot legally be fired for missing work to attend doctor's appointments, whether or not he has sick leave or just uses unpaid leave, which is what he's been having to do. He has an appointment with the head of HR later this week & I have found lots of information about MS & ADA for him to take with him, just in case he needs it. I told him that we'd nip this shit in the bud before it's another repeat fiasco like Dell. He's one of the favorites there & is good at what he does. He's had three promotions in the last year & is a supervisor now. I am so very proud of him.
As for me, I have my own upcoming ordeal. On December 12, I will be going through breast reduction surgery. It's something that I wish I had done years ago, but I was never really in a position to do it. I am confident that it is the right decision. I have a small frame (5ft 3in) & my breasts are very dense & heavy. I started developing around age 9 & by the time I was 12, I was already a C cup. I am currently a DD & have been since high school. In fact, the size of my breasts are one of the reasons that I quit gymnastics (as well as a horrible coach that filled in one day for my regular coach; he was spotting me & DROPPED me on my HEAD while he was teaching back tucks-- the silver lining being that it happened on a trampoline instead of the floor). I'm pretty miserable. The strain on my back & neck constantly hurts & causes headaches. Late last year I had a displaced vertebrae & was on muscle relaxers until I could get to a chiropractor to remedy it. She put my spine back in-line & told me that I have a weirdly shaped spine-- like an upside down question mark-- that's due to slight scoliosis, but that it shouldn't cause me problems. She said that the cause of the pain was my posture due to the weight of my oversized bust. I am in constant pain that has been getting worse as I get older & I have what I think may be permanent grooves in my shoulders from bra straps. I never really consciously noticed just how MUCH pain I was actually in until earlier this year. My wake-up call occurred when I realized just how much OTC medication I had to take just to cope with the pain daily.
Luke has been very supportive of me in this. At first when I told him that I was seriously considering breast reduction surgery, he wasn't really on-board because he said he liked me the way that I am. However, he has changed his mind since as he has begun to understand somewhat how much of a handicap they really are. He was absolutely SHOCKED when he found how just how expensive good supportive bras were. He also hates seeing me in constant pain, as he knows what it's like to HURT all the time. He told me that he will take good care of me through this whole ordeal. I am very glad about that because I am really going to need him throughout this. Lucky for me, the surgery date falls on one of Luke's days off so he won't have the headache of trying to get time off work. Josie said she'd come to the hospital on the day of the surgery, & my mother may come stay the first few days post-surgery to help Luke take care of me as he's a bit squeamish when it comes to blood & may have some trouble with the dressings & drains (should they put those in), but that is still up in the air.
My surgeon is Anureet Bajaj & she is pretty cool. For my first consultation, she came in wearing leather biker boots that sported chains! She's very rock & roll. She's also very tiny-- shorter than me! She really put me at ease & I didn't experience much anxiety while in her office, which is rare for me to feel anything other than anxiety at a hospital. I think she will do a FANTASTIC job!
I'm still not too sure how much time I will be away from work. The surgeon's office said they recommend 2-3 weeks. My LT has a friend who had breast reduction surgery a few years ago (with complications), & she was back to work after 3 weeks. I am hoping that I can be one of those cool patients that heal really fast & I can be back to work in a week, but I'm not going to kid myself. I am going to do this RIGHT. I only get one chance at this & I am determined to heal as beautifully as possible. But, hey, it gives me something to shoot for! I have a post-surgery follow-up on December 27 so I should know more about timelines when they asses my incisions then. I actually had really mixed feelings when I found out that I was approved for the surgery. I was so HAPPY! But then I thought about how I would be screwing over my coworkers because of the date of surgery being the ONLY available date before both the end of the year & the insurance deadline & I felt really guilty. Everything worked out for the best as it turns out the new schedule was actually better than the old one. WHEW!
I am a little scared about the surgery as I've never had surgery before. The anesthesia is what makes me most nervous, but I'm sure everything will go fine. I just hope I don't wake up during surgery or have some weird hangover from it when I wake up, but if I do, I probably won't notice due to the pain elsewhere.
I know that this is going to be a long recovery, but I absolutely believe that it will be worth it! The pros FAR outweigh the cons. I know that I will be in a lot of pain for a few months while I'm healing. I know that I will look like Frankestein's Bride for a while until the incisions heal. I know that I will be in a lot of pain, I'll be itchy, & will be generally uncomfortable. I know that I will be forced to sleep on my back for months. I know I will feel disgusting not being allowed to shower for days. I know that I also will have trouble dealing with being stuck at home for an indeterminate amount of time. I know that all of the swelling & bruising will make everything look horrible & wonky & worse than it really is. I know that I will have to wait a very long time before I even know what size I will end up with. I know that I will have days when I will think they're still too big or they're too small. I know that I will have scars that I will hate some days because I'll feel ugly, but I also know that when I think about all the problems I've had all my life due to being top heavy, I will have no doubts that I made the right decision.
The thing I am most looking forward to (aside from not being in constant PAIN) is not having to always wear a bra to go out in public! I will be able to wear bikini tops without feeling obscene or like I've got buckets of water hanging from my neck! I will be able to finally buy clothing from popular stores! My clothes will actually fit & not appear too tight or too frumpy. Exercise will be SO much easier! I will be able to buy pretty lingerie that doesn't cost an arm & a leg if I WANT to! I will be able to try STRAPLESS clothes! I will also be alleviating my biggest PTSD trigger. I will no longer be known as "the girl with the big boobs" or be harassed or shamed because of their size. I will FINALLY be able to see what my figure actually is! I don't even know if I have HIPS or a BUTT!
This is going to open so many doors for me. I'll be a completely different person in 2013. I will get to do so many things that I have NEVER been able to do before! I am so excited! I really wish I could have done this years ago, but I am not spending one day more than I have to dealing with this pain every moment. I have no idea how awesome my new life will be! I feel like it is FINALLY starting!