The wold will go on whether you move with it or stay put

The last few years have been a roller-coaster. Things have settled quite a bit in some aspects of my life, whereas in other areas things have happened that I never, ever anticipated. At this moment though, I feel like I’ve run out of gas. I’ve been tired and short-tempered lately. This last weekend it finally hit me hard. Aside from feeling tired,  I couldn’t get much sleep between nasty headaches and really painful heartburn that I’ve had for a few weeks. I’m getting an endoscopy next week, or sooner if need be. Right now I’m on a diet of water, saltine crackers and Zofran as that’s about all I can tolerate. I managed to get through my flight this morning for work without vomiting, so that’s something.

Some things I didn’t expect over the last 3 years:

  • Getting a job that pays well
  • Getting a house (first house)
  • Deciding that I want children
  • Getting my vasectomy reversed
  • Getting another dog
  • Making it to 40 in spite of depression (almost; less than a month away)
  • Liver and kidney problems getting better, then worse, then better, then worse, rinse and repeat

Those are all but one, good things. On the flip side there’s the depression part. Sadly, that would fall on the list of things I did expect. Monday of next week I see the psychiatrist and I need to decide if this will be the usual three month check-in for refills, or if I tell her that in spite of being chocked full of psychoactive medications that I’m still having days where I seriously weigh the pros and cons of pushing forward. Pushing forward.. That’s about as watered down of a euphemism as I can come up with. I still manage to get out of bed each day, am present and functioning relatively well at work, and hopefully, being a good husband.

So, do I dare say anything, or not? If I were giving advice to a friend, I’d say without hesitation to tell their psychiatrist/doctor that they are still feeling pretty awful. On one hand I don’t want to feel like this more often than not, and on the other I just don’t want to go through the trial and error process of medications. Again. That leads me back to where I weigh pros and cons. I go through these mental gymnastics, but the only option is to push forward. I can either let it crush me or live my life in spite of it.

(I honestly wonder how long I can keep this duality thing up)

Behind schedule

I’m at a client site today. I’ve been working with this client since the new year, which is oddly long to be still working on a project. I run an incredibly tight schedule with a few delays built in because things rarely ever work out perfectly. People get sick, or emergencies come up, etc. Because of how booked up I am though, even with planning for problems, once that schedule has been exhausted, moving forward to complete a project is incredibly difficult. That’s where we are with this client. I gave them 5 weeks to get back on track on their end, then walked in this morning to find that essentially, nothing has happened since I was here last. 

I’m not sure how this will play out moving forward. I can’t forward-fill my every free day with them indefinitely. Because of this, Friday won’t be an in-office day as I had planned. I’ll also likely be working through the weekend again as result.

I’m tired. I’ve had a stomache thing going on for days that isn’t improving. I need downtime in the worst way. 

Sorry for the complaining. This is just frustrating. I only have work to write about because that’s all that my life is at the moment. Work. Grrr…

A little better, and more of an update

So, I’m several days back into being compliant with my medications. The doc also prescribed Adderall for my trouble focusing, though she did bring up the point that I may just have too many things going on at work and home with all the travel, planning for travel, managing 23 active clients who need training or support from me, programming a $750k project from scratch, implementing three web to print solutions, managing three customers who are having color issues with their jobs (each is either environmental or operator – machines are fine), learning the new software solutions introduced last week at corporate, working on two certifications and learning javascript, HTML5 and CSS3 on the fly because one software vendor we support completely shifted their design tool to use web based standards for designing instead of their really nice designer tool.

Add to all that, trying to get my wife pregnant with a scrot’ that hurts still (this has improved a lot since my last post), planning and paying for the in-laws to visit for a couple of weeks, and keeping things up around the house/yard, dealing with specialist appointments for fertility checking, liver disease kidney disease, and a mild autoimmune difficiency.

So.. It’s possible she’s right. To be fair, though, she agrees not much can change in the short-term. So.. Amphetamines! Not ideal, but it does work.

I was up until midnight the night before last and finished more on that massive programming deal in 9 hours than I had in the last week. I was even able to solve two coding problems because the information I’m converting has some sloppy code in it from where the original developer apparently decided to deviate from standard practices Part of the project is converting a huge library of Delphax forms to PDF’s to use as background. If you’ve ever tried to hand-code PostScript or PDF, you can appreciate the challenge I’m facing. Which reminds me.. I’ve another client with something I coded a huge solution for before that they’ve changed something and have no idea how to update my code.. I need to give them a call and walk them through it.

So, yeah, work. I’m booked out for the next 7 weeks solid. If I get sick in there, I’m completely screwed and whatever customer has been waiting an unreasonable amount of time for me would also be screwed. I’ve been sick twice over the last couple of months and went to one of those urgent care clinics that have popped up everywhere, gotten whatever was needed to treat my problem, loaded up on cold meds and trained customers completely hands-off on mt part (pint, click here, etc).

I’ve also decided to start eating better, and less overall. I need to lose weight. As my sister-in-law would put it, I’ve blown up like a tick over the last three years living off from restaurant food without regard to the ingredients and having an aversion to veggies. The advantage and disadvantage to being an adult.. You can eat whatever the hell you want, and I apparently eat my feelings.

Horrible, horrible depression tonight. I just want to give in to the urge and end this madness. I won’t, but I really want to. What the hell was I thinking not staying compliant with my meds? This is day 3 back on the regular regimen. That leaved 11-14 days before I’m back to normal again, or at least as normal as I can be…

A long overdue update

This will contain what may be considered NSFW as it relates to my vasectomy reversal procedure performed not two months ago.

Continue reading A long overdue update

Week 4 post-op

3 1/2 weeks ago I had a vasectomy reversal. It was performed by the professor at a well known university who has been teaching current methodology and techniques for the last 25 years. He does roughly 50 reversals per year and has a 98% success rate, so I’m feeling very confident that barring any physiological problems, we should be able to conceive within the next few months.

I figured I’d write about the surgery from a patient perspective. Most of what you can find via a Google search is all of the same pre-op and post-op info. My surgery went well and he was able to do a traditional reversal, meaning he could reconnect the vas deferens as the side with the testicle was able to push sperm through once the end of the previous surgery was removed. The alternative would have been to put the outgoing side of the vas deferens directly into the epididymis, which is a far more complex surgery and has an 89% success rate.

Going home from the surgery was with very mild pain. Think of a bruise that’s about a week old and just about healed. I was feeling pretty good about this and thought it was overkill for the surgeon to prescribe 40 high-dose hydrocodone pills at up to 8 per day if one followed the instructions. Days 2-4 were hellishly painful, even with the hydrocodone. Swelling was up to the size of a decent sized orange and remained as such for over two weeks. Urination was difficult during that time. Sitting to do the other duty in the bathroom was also extremely painful and difficult as you weren’t to use your abdominal muscles for two weeks as it could cause damage. With the swelling you couldn’t point down. If you get the surgery done, get a portrait urinal from the pharmacy or a surgical supply place. Urination in that first week is difficult. Be prepared to stand there awhile. Three swelling makes it incredibly difficult to start or maintain a stream until your bladder is empty. 

After a week the swelling starts to go down. In my case, which isn’t common, because of the rather extreme swelling, some of the stitches at the top of each incision points bust, spreading to where the inner layer of stitches were. This is as painful as it sounds. After a short notice revisit to the surgeon’s office, they put me on antibiotics and a steroid to cut down inflammation. The bad thing about steroids is that they often slow wound healing. They opted not to redo the stitches as that would produce a pocket of skin ideal for bacterial infection. By the end of week 3 the pain where the incision points started didn’t hurt anymore.

The incisions themselves are about 2 1/2″ per side. Each has 20 internal stitches and 21 external stitches. There are two sizes for the incisions that are possible. Given that it had been almost 20 years since my vasectomy, he needed more room to work. That and the techniques then were…a bit destructive. After all – it’s meant to be a permanent surgery.

The stitches themselves are self-dissolving. For anyone that’s never had these, they do eventually come out on their own. They have a texture similar to fishing line. If you’re wondering, yes, from a profile view it appears that someone else’s manhood was attached by none other than Dr Frankenstein himself. It will heal with minimal scarring, though. Not that I’m looking for a scrotum to have a beautiful lift as a bonus or anything, but he said it’d barely bee noticeable. At 3 1/2 weeks, the external stitches haven’t fallen off or out yet. 

It’s fairly major surgery. Your under anesthesia for anywhere from 2 1/2 hours to 4 hours. I was under for 4. I do well with waking up and becoming alert after having been under anesthesia, so we left about 45 minutes afterward. You’ll need someone to drive you afterward. 

When they say you’ll need supportive underwear, they aren’t kidding. Get some briefs and breathe. Adidas brand athletic underwear works well for this. It keeps moisture down and offers support below. 

We’re in Key West right now for vacation. We had assumed I’d be all healed up and we’d be starting to try to get pregnant this weekend. I’m still on a no sex restriction and frankly, the thought of trying right now is fear of pain. We’ll see how the next follow-up visit goes. That’s in 3 weeks. 

What is still painful is that it feels like either a small sting or pinching on the skin on the underside of the scrotum. It’s not bad if you aren’t moving around, but if you are out walking, it’s uncomfortable after about 1/2 hour. Good supportive underwear helps greatly with this. 

So, I guess my story is one of if there are minor complications post-op. It’s not terrible, but if you have a non-labor job, take a week off. If you have a labor job, take off longer. If you heal quickly, well, you get an extra day or two to chill, which is rarely ever a bad thing. 

I’ll update again in a couple of weeks. I’ll write a separate post about my life in general as I’ve not posted in a really long time. Work has soaked up most of my time. I’m working on two time sensitive million dollar implementations Abd I’ve a lot of programming and training to do for both after extensive testing. 

New added medication is working.. I’m feeling almost human again, and have energy and focus. I was real close to asking fit adderall without seeming like I was med seeking. This worked, though. I’m getting things done and don’t feel lethargic.

I was also promoted two levels at work. I’m now a Solutions Advisor as opposed to a Production Analyst or Senior Production Analyst. I’m now technically management and two steps away from being executive management. It’ll be one step this year as I’m only one certification away from the top Advisor level. Never, ever thought things would have turned out the way they have over the last 5 years.