Monday, July 10, 2006

Other happenings at the ABHW

On Monday, during the group therapy, I told Mr. Cliff I couldn't control the tears. He said he couldn't either, but you don't see him crying all the time.

And, when we saw the shrink afterwards, he said I didn't get the full effect of therapy by leaving after four days. You have to stay a week to get help.

The minimum stay?

4 days.

And there's supposed to be a family session, with the shrink, my parents, and I before we leave. We never had it.

Days 3, 4, and 5.

Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.

This day was a little less humiliating, but not by much.

I woke up long before we had to, though I lounged on the bed, reading. Around 8, I heard - from the sink area - "Wake up, Kaitlyn."

"I am."

After that, I assumed we'd be getting breakfast and hygeine things soon, but no. We have to wake up and sit there. Luckily, I had books.

Over the intercom, I heard come "Vitalsigns."

So, I booked out, I'm not going to be late.

I was the first there, so I got checked first. High blood pressure, low temperature, etc, etc. Mr. Cliff was there and he told the therapist next to him, "Watch out for this one. She cries. (to me) That's not going to happen again, is it?"

"No, sir."

Run back to the room, crying.

The only thing notable in group therapy was the feedback on my last 24 hours. "You need to stop crying so much."

A whole lot of nothing for the rest of the day.

The boys and girls were split up. We stayed in the day room, talking to a therapist. I repeated myself for the zillionth time.

The only reply I remember? "There's no homebound in college."

Oh, forget it.

Later, we had "recreational therapy" where we played a boys vs. girls family feud type game. The girls won, naturally. It was a lot of fun, and they really need to increase that.

Mom came, and she brought food, however, I'd just eaten, and if you don't eat, you're in trouble. So we talked about what happened that day. Mom brought some books and more clothes, and I gave her the ones I'd finished. A nurse had to go through the books and asked if all these were allowed. I replied that the doctor authorized this. She said good, we don't want you to escape in them.

The evening was spent with movies, books, and games. We had a wrap-up session with the shrinks. They asked what we learned today. I was silent.

Sunday moring, palm Sunday.

I woke up very early, the sun was still making its way up. It was very beautiful, though the wire in the windows was a detracting factor.

I heard an announcement for a church service and that was it.

It seemed like everything was later that day, and it appeared uneventful.

It wasn't.

That was the day I got chewed out every five seconds for not saying sir, and the day when this one kid lost it.

It was the group therapy session, first thing after breakfast. I said nothing new, but one kid didn't want to do it. He came from another psychiatric facility, so this was nothing new. We are allowed to ask to leave or not participate.

He wanted to leave.

They wouldn't let him.

He walkd to the door, and they grabbed him.

We were all sent to our rooms.

Then the girls were sent to another day room to do school work. Whatever. The only thing notable about that was when the door opened, we could hear him shouting, "I don't want a shot!" The next time we saw him, he was out of it.

We had more recreational therapy - musical chairs.

It was so trippy - moonwalking to Billy Jean.

Two other not-so-good things happened that day.

One girl came in late Saturday. She cuts her arms and they're so deep they're held together by staples. She was not allowed to be alone in her room. The only other person who required that was literally out of her mind. Well, she walked back to her room, right past the nurse's station, and got chewed out. It's not her responsiblity, they never tell us a thing, but we have to know how to behave.

I asked in the afternoon if we were supposed to shower every time we got the hygeine bucket - twice a day. Yes, we were. I said my dermatologist doesn't want me taking excessive showers. The nurse in charge, this annoying white guy who chewed me out for not saying 'Sir', he said don't worry about your dermatologist, take your shower.

I didn't, naturally, and sat in full view of the camera, reading. The speaker went off later. Oh shit, I'm dead. Nope, do you want to make a phone call?

Of course!

When Mom came, she asked about it, and a nicer nurse told us some of these kids won't shower unless they're forced to. "It doesn't apply to you."

Mom raised hell for those losers. Everything I said, she told them.

Oh, Mom told dad where I was. "Don't tell me she tried to commit suicide!" he grumbled. That's my daddy.

And that was Sunday. I met with the shrink Saturday night - he called his patients to the hallway and asked us questions. He asked me if it was working yet, or was it too soon to tell. I said, no, it's not working, thinking he was referring to the therapy. But no, he meant the antidepressant. Of course it's too soon to tell!

Also - they could not get my medication straight until Sunday, and even then we had problems.

Monday - I'm going home!

This isn't in chronological order, just what happened.

The shrink told me I seemed happier, I'm like duh, I'm going HOME today.

I am, aren't I?

Yes, the release papers are signed. Yay!

Unfortunately, I still had to participate. I wonder what would have happened if I'd sequestered myself in my room, reading.

Group that day sucked. Mr Cliff's an idiot.

He told me that he had to have another person in there when I was there, to make sure he didn't say anything bad. Apparently, Mom went and told the head people everything about him.

"You have more important things to talk about with your Mom than what Mr. Cliff said." Bullshit. Mom knows everything, you think I'm not telling her everything that happens here?

Then I saw the shrink.

I came back to therapy and gave feedback, participating. This one guy, he really hides behind his "controversial" ideas about religion and life. So he mentioned that day that God didn't exist. I gave him the first feedback - there's a time and place for this, etc. Everybody else gave feedback, mainly about how you shouldn't dismiss God.

I jumped back in for the last feedback, saying, "See? Every time you talk here, you mention your ideas. That is all people focus on, preventing any genuine help."

Mr. Cliff said, now, it's not that serious.


Then the shrinks and therapists came in and asked us for feedback about this place. I said we need more physical, fun activity. If we're all depressed, sitting around for hours doesn't help.

During 'school', I had to meet a therapist. The only thing I got from that was a hang up about addiction and that I came in at an inconvient time. Thursday patients are overlooked because Friday is spent getting others ready to go. And nothing's done on the weekend.

That's my fault? If you're going to take people in every day, you should be able to handle them.

Then the therapist came in to the day room, and we discussed ways of dealing with depression and anger.

I learned jack.

I tried to say something about my reaction to whatever with a preface about my family's reactions, and she said, no, this is about you, not them. And my parents don't affect how I behave?

Recreational therapy was painting door hangers. My doggy was purple. I think it ended up in the trash.

I didn't get picked up until it was almost time for dinner, in fact, we were sent back to our rooms so they could get dinner up here.

And I bit my mom's head off when she picked me up. I was tense and I honestly don't know why.

She couldn't get out early, and Becky was sick, but Dad took her to the doctor because if he came to pick me up, I'd still be there.

I got home and sat out in the backyard, with Wickett in my lap.

So, what was accomplished?


I don't know if the Cymbalta's working, they're all jackasses.

I've seen a shrink since then, and all I did was cry. He was disapproving in my eyes, and I didn't like him at all. I never spoke to him on the ward. Why didn't I get the same shrink? He didn't take the insurance out of the hospital setting.


I was told to buy the Feeling Good Handbook.

I've looked through it, and I'm not doing it. I refuse to fill it out. It seems to totally ignore the chemical part of depression.

Plus, there are way too many excalamtion points in there.

Mom says if I get bad, I have to do it. I agree, but I'm not bad.

My suggestions for that place - fully segregate the sexes, not this piddly stuff where we can't talk to each other, or can we?

Divide us up by disorder, not gender. I didn't belong with the angry kids.

This one girl who had a seizure and lost her mind didn't belong there.

More physical therapy.

More one-on-one with therapists.

Let us go outside, we're children!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Adolescent Behavioral Health Ward, Day 2.

I had trouble sleeping, of course. It was hot, I was in a weird place, I was miserable, and where is Puffy, my stuffed platypus? What about Wickett? Hello? These people don't know what they're doing.

But I guess I fell asleep, because, like I said earlier, I dreamt. Mom was picking me up, I'm going home after I see the doctor, then going to watch Henley and Prissy and cable tv at Miss Janet's until Monday...

So I woke up pretty early. I have no idea what time it is, the giant window's no clue, it's pouring rain. I made the bed, because I misunderstood (or did I?) a comment by the nurse about the beds. Then I read. And read. Good god, what time is it?

"Comegetyouvitalsigns,comegetyourvitalsigsn." God, just typing those words sends an unpleasant sensation up my spine. There's a system of intercoms and cameras connected to each room, that's how they summoned us.

I went out and lined up with the other girls, in room number order. I was practically the first person out there, but I had to stand in the back. Whatever.

First freak out of the day - a girl stumbles and complains about what medicine they give her at night. She's a zombie, and it scares me.

So they check pulse, blood pressure, and temperature. My temp's somewhere around 96 (my normal's 97 something) and they ask if I've had water. No, do I look like I drink from a toilet? You people scare me so much I ain't stopping at the water fountain outside my room if my mouth is on fire. You don't piss off authority figures.

My blood pressure was high.

They checked it again. Still high. "Well, we can't record this. Just grab your hygeine bucket and go to your room."

I asked about my medications. "Don't worry about it."

So I grabbed the pink bucket with my room number on it. It has two small towels, one tiny towel, their soap and shampoo, my toothbrush, and my deoderant.

I went back to my room and got dressed in the clothes Becky sent - the Eeyore pants and Simpsons shirt. And read Stormy Weather by Carl Hiaasen.


So I took the bucket back, grabbed the tray with the room number (1624) and go on back.

This is food? I ate the frosted flakes dry and poked at the 'eggs' and 'bacon'.

Knock, knock.

In walks a kindly looking doctor, the first real nice face I've seen, along with a pretty nice therapist/social worker. It's the pediatrician. Remember, the nurses expressed great shock that I didn't have one. He did a basic exam. I had to pee in a cup the night before, but that's not brought up until Monday.

"You've got abdominal pain, eczema, and you had your thyroid removed."

He doesn't know what to do. Pediatric patients don't get endometriosis. C'mon, this is bullshit, and he knows it.

He told me to eat the food, and I said, "If that's an egg, I'm a chicken." Last laugh and anything near a good feeling for a long time.

Time to take the tray back and get my meds.

Well, I remembered the girl and how messed up she was, so I grilled the nurse. "What's this? What's that? Where's my birth control? Where's my diuretic? Why does the calcium look different?"

Get this. They did not get my medication routine right until Sunday because I take my synthroid in the middle of the day, so it's not with the calcium. They can't figure that out, and I'm trusting them with my sanity? This is going well.

Time for group.

I'm going to put this down right now, and stop trying to escape it. It was horrible.

Rules for group: Don't interrupt each other, don't interrupt the guy in charge, give feedback, stay in your seat, turn off your brain.

Well, group started out great. Mr. Cliff said, "Do you think this is normal? Having to ask permission to leave the room? You're here because you screwed up!" (Not the exact words, but that was definitely the gist of it.)

Cue horror in your obedient servant. I'm depressed, I didn't do anything. This isn't punishment, Mom said it wasn't, the nurses said it wasn't, it's not.

I don't know why I did what I did, but I did. I raised my hand and said, "So I'm being punished for feeling sad?" It wasn't facetious, I was nearly bawling.

"I don't appreciate back talk."

Oh. God. I've messed up horribly, get me out of here, my pale face is on fire, I can't stop crying, and group hasn't even started yet.

Group. For real. We say our name, where we're from, and why we're here.

Then Mr. Cliff gives his feedback, and then we get peer feedback. We can't respond to either.

The peer feedback: "You need to love your mom, she's the only one you got." "You shouldn't kill yourself."

I tried to go beyond that. They know that already, they're not morons. I go out of my way to respond to almost every person with a thoughtful, possibly helpful response.

My turn, I got no peer feedback. Oh, they laughed at me, but they didn't respond to me. Why should they? My problems were so small compared to theirs. I really hadn't done anything. They knew I was a goody-two shoes. Plus, I was crying the whole time.

Mr. Cliff's feedback didn't help, of course. He started with, "I've looked at your file, and if anyone deserves to feel depressed, it's you. However, I wish you were here last week when this little girl in a wheelchair was here. The things that have happened to her, they're so awful I can't say. But she always had a smile on her face. She never threw pity parties for herself."

Me, "But-"

Him, "No interrupting!"

Face goes in the hands, why can't I stop crying?

I ask if I can get some fresh air, I'm red and miserable, but no. No fresh air for the depressed kids. He said I could help him deliver lunch later, but of course I didn't. I hate that man, he's a vindictive bully.

Anyhoo, by the time everyone's said their goals for the day and all that happy crappy, it's time to go back to our rooms, so they can set up for school.

Since it's Friday, we're going to play Bingo with the states or whatever.

But first we have to order our meals for Saturday. I don't see the point, as I'm going home today, mom said I was.

But I filled it out. I expected to get what I ordered, and I didn't. Big surprise.

Before we can begin playing Bingo, the doctor appears. "Kaitlyn X?"

Finally! See the shrink, get the fuck out of there.

That was what I expected, but it didn't happen.

I saw him and he looked over my file and I went over the same damn thing, for the third time in 2 days.

Then he told me he'd put me on Cymbalta and I could go home Monday. It was obvious I was too smart for the peer group, but he had to make sure there were no side effects, and four days is the minimum. I begged to talk to Mom, and he said later.

Somewhere in there, I threw another tantrum. My glasses got flung off, and the whole thing was, "Get me out of here, NO ONE IS LISTENING TO ME, I didn't do anything!"

That started the condescending attitude of the doctor.

"Two year olds throw tantrums, Kaitlyn, you're not two."

"But I never throw tantrums!"

"You just threw one here."

"This is hardly normal circumstances, the surroundings are so depressing, they make you suicidal!"

"Are you suicidal?"

"No! I was exaggerating. Why is it so strict here?"

"Because most of these kids need it, they just came from Juvie or another facility or they're on their way there."

Another tidbit - "Eeyore, huh? You like him because he's sad all the time?"

My response was pointless.

He let me take all my books to my room, as they are my coping tools. He even helped me carry them all. Most were MAD related, naturally.

Back to school, but it's over, because of that big blob of red on the tv. Tornados in the area, the sirens are going off, and we're on the 16th floor. One girl was upset because she didn't know if she'd get to go home today, could her mom make it? They wouldn't let her call to find out.

Then the doctors and therapists came in and we did group lite and the doctors answered our questions, including mine on when can I call my mom?

Back to the rooms to wash up for lunch. I read.


Lunch was inedible chicken fingers and soggy, cold french fries. I learned something very important at that time: you don't eat the 'food', they assume you're still depressed and keep you here longer. Ergh...

For the rest of the day, I read my book in the dayroom, while my peers watched tv or played games. Seriously. That's all we do after lunch.

Ah, but I was called to Dr. S's office again. I can call my mom. She's at home, the schools were letout early because of the storm. I'm crying and begging her to pick me up, I can't do this. The doctor talks to her and tells her I'm trying to play down my depression, and that it may not be a good idea for her to visit this evening, as I may throw another fit. I don't, I merely cry, but that's later.

Anyway, I'm stuck there til Monday, may as well suck it up. I actually felt my mood go up, because I knew there was an end in sight.

Now, normally, after lunch, we're supposed to have a structured play therapy. Not today, most of the therapists have left to pick up kids let out early.

Nothing of any importance happens.

I get my hygeine bucket, take a quick shower.

Then it's dinner time. The same rock hard chicken strips from this afternoon. Back to our rooms, but I'm called out again because I've got a visitor: Mom!

We sit in toward the back of the dayroom, and I cry, but it's not as bad as that morning, it's just tears running unchecked. I tell her everything that happened that day, but apparently, I was supposed to talk about how I felt and how I was working to feel better. Screw that. Mom knows exactly how I feel, I know how I feel, we want to know why. We still don't.

I tell Mom about the kids, even though I probably shouldn't. But she shouldn't tell me about her kids, probably, so we're even. She tells me that Mr. Cliff sounds like my dad, in fact this whole thing smacks of him, which explains why I'm such a mess. This is punishment to my subconscious, no matter what my conscious knows. Though what my conscious knows only enforces the subconscious views.

Mom tells me she knows who the smiling kid in a wheelchair is. Yes, she's been through a lot, but she's hardly perfect. And she throw pity parties for herself all the time. She was in this place because she's a difficult kid, but she's got CP, she's blonde, she's in a wheelchair...

After the visitors leave, it's back to the dayroom for everybody. I read, they watch movies.

Night time meds, my first dose of Cymbalta.

Then to bed, where I read. (Ooh, rhyme!)

Sleep came a little easier, because my room was now an icebox. I like iceboxes.

And that's day 2. Humiliation and misery in the morning, absolutely nothing in the afternoon.

This is psychiatry 2006.

Oh, and a couple weeks before, I read One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. Yeah, brilliant idea, but how was I to know?

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Adolescent Behavioral Health Ward - Day One.

I was committed, Thursday, April 6, 2006 in the ABHW at a local hospital.

Why? Depression, probably caused by the illnesses, being stuck at home, being kicked out of school, being stuck at home, etc.

Also, that week my darling little sister was at home with pneumonia and bronchitis, hacking up a storm. I wasn't exactly Little Miss Healthy 2006, and my nerves were shot. After snapping at her for something slight, I'd hide out in my room. My emotions were a mess. I was crying all the time and I didn't know why.

I still don't.

So. I'd been wondering if I was depressed, and if we should do something about it. Finally, on the 6th, we did. First we went to our Primary Care Physician, who said, "Yes, you are depressed, here's a referral for a shrink."

And away we went. Mom spent a while on the phone, telling everyone it was urgent, but the only one in town who accepted our insurance didn't have an appointment until May.

So we finally went out to the hospital that took our insurance, over in Southeast Memphis. I was questioned by a receptionist after being jostled around for some time because it was shift change time.

So, we talked to the lady, she asked me if I'd be okay with hospitalization. I said sure, knowing it was the quickest way to get seen.

We waited some more, and I finished both my books and called Becky, begging her to pack me a bag with more.

Finally, the lady took us to the elevators. She told us my shrink was the best, oh, everybody loves him, he's great.

Here we are. 16th floor.

It was a little disorienting, and we went over the same stuff again, with the nurses there. Mom, the nurse, and I checked out my room, and yes, it was nice to have a window, but could it be more spartan? A bed, a desk, a chair.

After Mom filled out paperwork, she left to go get my books. I had to go to my room.
I gave Mom my books, after all, I didn't need them, I'd finished them.


The room.

Somehow, something broke down, and I began to pace, crying, asking, "Why me? I didn't do anything!" I eventually cried myself to sleep, only to be awakened by a nurse coming to take a lot of blood.

After that, I was sent to the day room, and I could see Mom in the nurse's station. I didn't know what was going on, I was sure when I talked to her she'd let me go home.

This time in the day room was 'free time' or 'tv time', whatever. I begged the attendant to let me see my mom, he acquiesced.

I hugged her (I rarely hug - I hate it) and begged her to take me home, it's awful, I can't do this. Naturally, I was blubbering away.

Mom said yes, but the nurses told her no, I need to stay here, I need to get help.

Mom left and I was sent back to the dayroom where I cried some more.

There were snacks available, underscoring the weirdness of the place, because I'd been told while waiting that it was a long time till breakfast when I said I wouldn't eat dinner.

Before going back to our rooms, we had to sit in a circle and state our name, where we were from, and why we were here. I was supposed to learn everybody's name, a Herculean task, because half were going home the next day. We went back to our rooms, and the nurses let me take some of my things, like my soap and poof.

But I had to go back, I didn't have my precious hygiene bucket. I got it, and the change of clothes sent - fleece Eeyore pants and a black t-shirt with Homer and the Glimmer Twins - and went off to take a shower. Since I didn't know how long I'd have water, I just stood there and cried.

Well, I can't keep the bucket, heaven forbid! So I walked back up there, barefoot, because, c'mon, I'm in my PJs.

But no. The bitchy nurse, I still hate her, told me I can't go around barefoot, this is a hospital, you don't know what's on the floor. She told me it was "part of the deal."

That's it!

I threw the bucket down, shouting, "I didn't sign any deal! I didn't do anything! I want to go home!" The whole time I'm saying this, I was backing up, shaking, and crying.

The other nurse came up and said, "Kaitlyn? I can't believe it was you shouting. You were so together earlier. If you don't calm down, we'll have to restrain you."

Of course, what shit-for-brains doesn't realize is that this is good. I never throw fits. I always bottle it in. But no, we never get to that, the entire time I'm there, and they use the fits to justify treating me like an idiot. You have a lot of time to work on conspiracy theories in a place like that.

The SOP for pitching a fit involves sitting in the nurse's station until you calm down. The bitchy nurse tells me I need to stop "doctor hopping" and that it's impossible for the endometriosis to hurt me so much at 17.

I demonstrate my great maturity a few minutes later when I try to take all my books back to my room. But no, I can only read one at a time, buzz us when you need another. I never want to see these people again, I'm buzzing nobody. Finally I'm allowed to take a few back.

I read for a long time, because there's no automatic lights out, thank God!

Finally, I laid down. It was hot. Of course, why shouldn't it be?

I had trouble getting to sleep, due to the strange surroundings and super-bright hallway light showing through my door.

I couldn't even call up my silly little fantasies I use to entertain myself at home when I'm trying to sleep, walking the dog, riding my bike, or just away from intellectual stimulation.

That scared me more than anything. I couldn't even put the silly little characters into loony bins. Probably because I feel affection for them, but what can you do?

I guess I finally fell asleep, because I know I dreamt. I actually had a dream related to my desires. Mom told me earlier that she'd pick me up after I talked to the doctor, and that's what she did. In the dream. In addition to a lot of other weird things I don't remember.

Another thing - during the interminable time in the day room, I was called out for an EKG. It was weird, because the nurse kept telling me I'd find Jesus one day, no ifs, ands, or buts about it.


What happened after I woke up, will come sooner or later, depending on how much people care, and my emotions, I feel awful bringing this up, though I know I should sort it out.

Friday, May 26, 2006


It's something the doctors want me to worry about. Why? I'm in pain, almost constant pain. Don't I have the right to ride my bike or jump on the trampoline or brush my dog without sharp pain that makes me want to curl up in a fetal position?

Oh. I don't. Nevermind.

Whatever. Since I was committed to the Adolescent Behavioral Health Ward for four days (depression), I've been battling with addiction. No, not actual addiction, but the concept of it. Every time I hurt and it's not bad enough to make me vomit or cry, but I cannot function or think, I wonder, should I do this? Should I just suck it up? I honestly don't know.

The doctors aren't much help. Take a hot bath - no, my dermatologist and urologist would kill me. Take an ibuprofen or naproxen - no, my gastroenterologist would kill me. Take tylenol - okay. How much? How long do I wait? Why isn't it working?

They mean well, of course, but addiction never came up when my skin was infected in 2003. Why? Well, the pain was obvious. People could not look at it without wincing. Nobody quibbled when I needed something stronger, though lortab was my mainstay. I had to take it for almost a month straight, about 3 or 4 times a day, otherwise I was in acute misery. I was miserable anyway, of course, I still had an oozing mess on my legs and posterior.

But no mention of addiction, and I went back to school fine and dandy.


No thought of pain medication whatsoever until the kidney stones, but that was very short term.

And then along came this mess.

I think the doctors' reluctance comes from a number of places. One, endo is inside. We're still kind of clueless about the female parts and why they do what they do. Two, endo can be microscopic. Three, the pain and severity can be inversed. I may have one tiny growth that's causing me legions of pain. Somebody else may not have a clear spot and feels nothing, even on her period. No one knows why. Or they do, they just don't feel like telling.

And, four, they're guys. My inner psychopath wants to take some pinching device in the office and use it and glue it on a sensitive part of his anatomy and tell him, "It's not too bad. Walk it off."

The equivalent, I guess, is kidney stones. It's not as bad, most of the time, as my the first kidney stone movement I had, but it's close. The pain is in my lower abdominal/pelvic region, on the right and left side. I don't get more pain on my period, in fact, the worst pain I've had in a while came the day after the period, the next day, and the next day. I was a basket case.

So, I'll cross that addiction bridge when I come to it. I don't need to worry about addiction in addition to being in pain, it's not conducive towards relaxing, let me tell you that. I don't know what kind of bridge it will be. Will it be a concrete monster over a dry creekbed or a washed out rope bridge over raging rapids? Who knows? Not me, and certainly not you.

My health sucks.

Ha. Well, this is my first blog, and, I probably should have started it this February, or in April, but I've started it. My problems are not horrible, by any means, they're just incredibly annoying and constant and they definitely affect my quality of life.

Let's start at the beginning, shall we? I was born August 11, 1988, about 4 weeks early, due to a minor fender-bender. I was a healthy baby and a healthy child. My first problem was dental, so it doesn't count for this. When I was nine, we discovered I had allergies. To everything. Oh, and this was about 3 years after moving to Tennessee from Iceland. I don't do well in heat. (I also tend to ramble. Sorry.)

So, skin allergies to tons of things at nine, followed by chicken pox! One of my big allergies is dogs, and the summer prior to the diagnosis, I got my first puppy. She's passed out on the couch right now.

Anyway, we tried shots for a while. They didn't work so well. We tired Zyrtec. Not so good. In the end, though, I got a good dermatologist and took benadryl if it got upset.

That's childhood.

Puberty, now. I got my first period at 11. I had terrible headaches at 12, and by 13 and one month, the headaches were horrible, I'd lost tons of weight, I was exhausted all the time, my pulse was racing when I half-asleep, I had a hyperactive thyroid. This was diagnosed in a roundabout way, of course. I took a medication for the headaches. It gave me heart palpitations. Went off the meds, my heart was still funky. So we went to a cardiologist. He did alot of tests, including the first of many blood tests. That's when the naughty thyroid was found.

So we experimented with medication from about November 2001 to August 2002. Nothing was working long term. Now in August, I went in for the radioactive treatment. What fun that was. "Here, put this in your mouth," from people wearing lead gloves. That really made me feel confident.

It couldn't be done, there were nodules or growths, or something. This was at the beginning of my freshman year of high school, a year I missed because of the thyroid.

So in February, surgery was the option. I had my thyroid and parathyroids removed on February 22, 2003. The paras were removed because they were too tiny to function. I also got this disgusting drainage bulb to wear for a week, hanging out of my neck.

Of course, just because it was out didn't mean we were done. We had to figure out the synthroid dose. That was easy. What wasn't easy was the calcium. I ended up in the ER in April because the tingling was out of control and I needed an IV.

Finally, it got sorted out, and everything seemed hunky-dory. I went off to visit rich California relatives that summer for a grand total of two full days, and I was ready for my sophomore year.

However, it wasn't ready for me.

It started bad. My sister's puppy died the second day of school. Bad enough, of course, but our oldest dog had died that January as well, along with my paternal grandfather. Yuck.

But I did okay, until, let's say Thanksgiving, because I have a definite memory of going to somebody's house over the break and being in exquisite pain.

My skin was back. Back on homebound I go until after spring break. What happened? Beats me. The eczema on my legs got infected. I literally could not move without 2 Lortab in me. It was hideous. It would not go away. We tried steroids and cremes and whirlpool baths. Finally, towards the end of January, something clicked, and it began to fade away.

What a relief. So back to school I go, hey Jasmine, how's it going?

This string of good luck continues through my junior year, where I aced my classes easily and begged for AP courses for my senior year. I was so excited. A senior! Me!

About September of last year, though, the skin came back. Not quite as bad, but it was getting there. I started Raptiva last fall despite being underage and not having psoriasis. I knew it didn't work early on, but the doctor kept pushing it. By the time we stopped, I had such a low tolerance for pain, I couldn't even inject it anymore.

Oh, also in September, the calcium came back in the form of crippling, get me out of school, I will throw up on you pain. So we went to the ER again. After about 3 weeks of waiting, they see us. After I'm drugged, imaging is done. Kidney stones. Caused by? Unabsorbed calcium. *bonk bonk bonk*

The kidney stone passed a week later with little pain. I still have one in the right kidney, and I am now on a diuretic for that.

So, skin's behaving, in January, I'm going back, my health won't keep me down.

But no. Abdominal pain. Pelvic pain. It's not like the kidney stone, but it hurts so bad. More tests done. Ovarian cysts!

Well, I'm put on birth control. No relief.

So we do a laprascopy on Valentine's day. "Lalalala, what have we here... polyp on the bladder, endometriosis, and the cysts are deflated."

Endometriosis? This isn't fair! Sigh. So I go back to school after getting the stitches out, only to discover that if I miss one more day, I don't get to graduate. They can't do that, of course, but they think they can. And it's easier to go homebound again, we don't want to jeopardize my senior year.

Oh, I was mad. How dare they! I fell fine, they are such losers, who needs them anyway?

Well, that was premature. I've been in almost constant pain since about March 15th, at least. Oh, and I've had a bladder infection, on and off.

I also have ulcers, because my gynecologist wanted to rule out everything else in the abdomen so we did a scope where a camera went down my throat while another went up the butt. I was mercifully out of it. What'd they find? Ulcers. So now I'm on Nexium and Mylanta. Never had an ulcer symptom.

Now we've got another gynecologist. We're going to start Lupron next month and see what happens from there.

And also, in about a month (April 12th to May24th), I lost 12 pounds and I don't know how. Yes, I had to do a course of laxatives for the IVP to make sure there were no bladder issues, but that can't be it.

Thanks for reading. I'll try to update by Tuesday. (Holiday weekend and all)

Graduation Saturday!

Edit on January 3, 2007 - 'My Health Sucks' was the name of the blog originally.