I am having surgery (update)

So something has happened to me and I thought I would talk about it.

A few weeks ago I noticed a little marble sized hard growth on my back. At first I thought it might be an ingrown hair on my back, but I wasn’t sure if it was anything I needed to worry about. I didn’t go to the doctor because the clinic we go to was having issues finding a doctor that would stay long enough to allow me to check in with them.

I was going to call them, but they called us asking if we would come see their new doctor because they wanted to introduce her to some of the less neurotic clients lol. I’m occasionally on the neurotic side. but I’m usually very calm, so I was a safe bet.

So we went and she looked at it and said it was probably an ingrown hair, which hello, I nailed. She gave me a antibiotic and said when you are finished in 7 days, we will refer you to someone to have it lanced and drained. Well, 7 days pass and I call them to let them know it’s time. By the way, it grew from that little marble and now it’s twice as long as it was.

I went to this general surgeon and was expecting him to lance it and drain it in that visit, but he told me that it looks like I have Kaposi Sarcoma. I didn’t know what that meant at the time, but it sounded bad and I went from excited to have this thing gone to feeling sudden dread. He couldn’t lance it or drain it, instead he told me they would need to do surgery to remove it, which will be this week on Thursday.

The next day the new doctor at the clinic called and wanted to know what he told me and I told her he said it was Kaposi Sarcoma. She told me that he didn’t write anything in his report about that, just that it needed surgery to remove.

Kaposi Sarcoma causes purple blotches on your skin and is a very rare cancer usually only seen in AIDS patients. Well, I do have the AIDS virus. I was diagnosed with  HIV in 1991, and then 2 years later I was diagnosed with Pneumocystis pneumonia, which the doctors said was a symptom of AIDS. Gradually over the years from 1993 to 2000 my t-cells had dropped to 50 and I was essentially dying slowly. When we moved to Bakersfield, the HIV/AIDS specialist doctor at the clinic I currently still go to changed my medicine. I was still taking AZT in 2001 believe it or not. Anyway, they changed my medicine and my t-cells gradually raised and I’m still alive and today my t-cells are in the 900 range and my viral load has been undetectable for years.

I told you that because the new doctor at the clinic told me that a patient who has a viral load and t-cells in the 50 range would be more likely to get Kaposi Sarcoma than me, so it’s unlikely that I have this rare type of cancer. Plus my back doesn’t have any strange colors. There is bruising on the skin over the lump, but that’s to be expected considering my skin has stretched a tiny amount and that this lump has caused a bit of trauma to the cell structure of the skin where the hair is grown. That spot has a open cell where the hair grows. I know this because I tried squeezing what I thought was pus out, and some did come out, but it was too hard and it hurt too much to come out.

So there are still a few more days until surgery and I will update this post if it’s a small enough update, but if it’s a lot to talk about then I will start a new blog post. Otherwise, I will keep you posted on the progress when it’s all over.

Update: Today is Thursday 8/31/2017 and I had my surgery. The doctor looked at the area that needed to be removed and noticed that the bruising was gone, and told me that he thought it was kaposi sarcoma due to the fact that he saw the purple color of the skin, and he realizes now that it was a bruise from the growth which was injuring my skin and causing it to bruise. So now he knows it is not kaposi sarcoma. So that’s awesome that he doesn’t think I have cancer.

He did the surgery and I am in a lot of pain, as I should be considering I had surgery lol. He said he will send it to a lab and find out what it was and he will let me know next time I see him. In the meantime, I’m not allowed to lift any weight or exercise for 2 weeks and I can’t shower for 2 days, which will be extremely difficult for me since it’s so hot and when it’s this hot, I usually take up to 3 showers a day. I absolutely cannot stand being sticky, sweaty and stinky. Luckily the right guard lasts a long time. We have some surgery wipes that I can use to at least clean my body.

So when I find out what the issue is, I will edit this post again with another update.

Update: Wednesday 9/6/2017

My follow up appointment with the doctor revealed that it wasn’t an ingrown hair, it wasn’t Kaposi sarcoma, it was an infected sweat gland. Who knew? So that’s a relief that it’s not cancer.

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Chronic Insomnia

WWS-Insomnia

I don’t know why, but I have suffered from chronic insomnia for at least 21 years. When I was in the hospital way back in 1994 with Pneumocystis pneumonia, I wasn’t taking any HIV medications. The doctor’s told me that I didn’t need to take any medication, so I didn’t take any until I was in the hospital. After I got out of the hospital, I started going to a HIV clinic in downtown Los Angeles. The medication was fine, but I started noticing that I couldn’t sleep very well at night, so when I was at one of my appointments, the doctor asked if I was having trouble sleeping and asked if I wanted sleeping pills, so I said yes.

The doctor gave me a medicine called Trazodone which I took for several years until one morning I woke up with an erection, which is usually common with men, but the erection would not go away. After several hours I decided it was time to visit the emergency room, and they had to inject something into my ass to make the erection go away. It was so embarrassing having to go to the emergency room, and the doctors snickering and gathering around me to look at my erection added to the embarrassment. I told my doctor about it and he told me to stop taking it, but didn’t give me a new prescription, and I was having trouble sleeping again, so I took it once more and it happened again and I had to go back to the emergency room. After that I tossed them in the trash.

After Trazodone, the doctor gave me Ambien which was a miracle for a very long time, but then gradually it stopped working for me. I was on Ambien for too many years, and I think my body built up a tolerance, so I would take it and it would be like 3am and I was still awake. I started eating when I took it, like a banana or toast or something, and that worked for a long time, but eventually that stopped working as well. Last year my insurance stopped paying for Ambien, so the pharmacy didn’t include it with the rest of my medication without any explanation. I assumed the new doctor didn’t want me to take it, but I found out it was the insurance company.

Last month I told the new doctor about my insomnia and the first thing he suggested was Trazodone, which I had to tell him that that medication is not good for me. He gave me Amitriptyline which he said was Elavil. My partner used to take Elavil and that stuff was potent. I would take it, but it would leave me groggy in the morning. He only gave me 25mg and they were tiny green pills as opposed to the big red pills that my partner used to get, but the Elavil 25mg tabs didn’t do a damn thing for me. I took that all month long and I was still awake until 3, 4 or 5am.

We just went to the doctor again yesterday and he gave me something else called Hydroxyzine. I told him about the depression and the anxiety caused from the flashbacks of my childhood and he said this should help out with my PTSD, but as far as it being a sleeping pill, it doesn’t work. It is a antihistamine, so that’s why he gave it to me. I’m supposed to take this one every 6 hours, which is odd, but whatever. I took it last night and was up until 5am and I ended up drinking some Zzzquil to help me get to sleep. I use that out of desperation.

Today I’ve slept the entire day away.  I don’t know if it was because of the Zzzquil or if it was that combined with the new medicine, but I just did not want to wake up. I woke up several times, got on the computer, took the dog out, but then went back to bed. As soon as I finish writing, reading and editing this, I’m thinking I’m just going to go back to bed. I hope I can sleep until morning.

I just hope that I can find something that will help me sleep because I absolutely hate staying awake so late and waking up around noon or 2pm. Although, I think in the summer it might be to my advantage because I can just sleep the heat of the day away.