Thursday, June 21, 2012

Heavy Metal

It's been a weird week or so.  I'm feeling, well, weird.  I think I'm feeling weird. Actually, I don't know how I'm feeling.

For those of you who have been following the lovely saga of my health issues, thank you so much for the messages and questions and comments.  I wanted to fill you in on this yesterday but I felt way too spacey to make words into sentences.  To the rest of you, feel free to look away!

Tuesday I went to my second session of chelation therapy.

Maybe I should back up.  Last Thursday I got the results from all of my tests back.  Some of them were great.  Apparently my liver and digestive system are both kicking ass.  (GO VEGETABLES!  GO VODKA!)  But, the biggie was the metals tox screen test.  I had really high levels of mercury in my system.  (Please save all Jeremy Piven jokes for when I'm drunk.)  Growing up, I had a ton of fillings.  Metal fillings from the 80s that apparently slowly leeched mercury into my body for years.  Ten years ago, I had them replaced and suddenly started experiencing crazy symptoms.  That's when I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia.  That's when the fatigue and pain and random health stuff started happening.   The doctor thinks the dentist didn't use the proper precautions when removing the fillings and that a lot of mercury was absorbed into my system.  Yay!

So, Tuesday I went to chelation therapy for the second time.  It's the worst possible thing to ask someone like me to do.  I'm a total wimp when it comes to body stuff.  I hate needles and blood and even thinking about a vein.  But, chelation therapy involves sitting in a chair for twenty minutes with an IV in your arm getting creepy cold stuff pumped into your veins so it can flush out the metals.  If I want it out of me, I have to suck it up or, um, suck it out.

There were a lot of other people in the little room, IVs in their arms, reading books, playing with their phones or eating apples. They looked normal, casual even!  I felt like a crazy person.  Immediately my palms started sweating.  I tried to play it off.  I read my book.  I listened to Band of Horses through my headphones because I thought chill beard music would be soothing.  I looked up at the drip pack every five seconds to see how long was left.  It was all I could do not to rip the needle out of my arm and run from the room.  (It doesn't hurt, it's just uncomfortable and soul-sucking and ick.)

Both times I've done it I've felt shitty for a few days afterwards.  This time I barely made it home before feeling like my body was shutting down.  I've had to skip parties I wanted to go to and I've made a lot of old man noises on the couch.  I've perfected the tragic deep sigh.  There's headaches and body aches and fatigue.  I've been strangely hungry and excessively emotional.  But, the worst is the brain fog.  Yesterday I tried to work all day long and came up with nothing.  The only evidence that I existed yesterday is a couple of bad tweets and a photo of my dog I posted on Facebook.  Not to be an asshole (here comes the part where I'm an asshole) but, I can handle the pain.  I'm good at that part.  It's the not being able to write that bugs me.

Yesterday I was fantasizing about being in a little house in the middle of nowhere with, like, a stream running through the backyard or something.  There is a wine cellar and there are flowers and there is nothing around but my laptop and a stack of books.  No IVs, no supplements, no neighbors, no laundry, no prior engagements I have to cancel.  I think next week, when I'm sitting in the IV room, I'm going to think of that place. I mean, I only have to do ten treatments.  I can do this.  And, really, I'm super grateful to be able to try this treatment and I'm very hopeful it will help.

I'm also thinking that next week I will bribe myself with cookies.  Chocolate chip cookies.

*photo by HotelsIreland.