Not So Wordless Monday – a breakdown of my body’s breakdown

Back at the beginning of October, my body decided that torturing me with the whole possible cancer thing was so much fun, it didn’t want to stop. But rather than directly dangle the worry of the big C in front of me, it decided to play coy, to the point that all these weeks later, I’m still not sure what’s wrong with me, but I’m attempting a breakdown of my body’s breakdown.

But, before I get into specifics, here’s the final chapter (I hope!) in the Lumpy and Leaky saga. Instead of the huge post I planned, detailing my surgical adventure, I figure I’ll just skip ahead to the end.

Why was Leaky leaking? The Answer is…

My official diagnosis –

Breast, right, duct excision:
– Minimally proliferative fibrocystic change without atypia
– Duct ectasia with mild periductal chronic inflammation
– Negative for in situ or invasive carcinoma

Translated into normal speak –

Leaky’s surgery:
~ She’s a bit lumpy too, but no signs of anything troublesome
~ The bleeding came from a milk duct aneurysm (which the surgeon removed)

While I had an unexpected bout of leaking again during the recovery process, in all things have progressed well, if EXTREMELY slow. There’s still a slight bit of swelling, but the hematoma (just below the incision) is now only about an inch or two long and the pain from the pressure is almost completely gone. Almost.

A new kind of pain

One fine October morning – in fact, the day before our 28th wedding anniversary – I woke up while laying on my left side (my position of choice since the vertigo hit). Naturally, I used my right hand to push myself up into a sitting position. Mid push, it felt like an electrified fiery needle-nosed gun appeared under my hand and shot pain bullets all the way up to my shoulder. A few seconds later, I realized I couldn’t move my right thumb very well. After hours and hours a brief moment of cursing and crying, I took some ibuprofen, then tried resting and icing it.

However, by midday, the pain felt like it was radiating to the rest of my hand, so hubby took me to our local Urgent Care. They gave me a spiffy new brace, and a diagnosis of a pinched nerve (which the doc emphasized was not related to carpal tunnel, though not sure why that makes a difference). Before leaving, I also promised to follow up with my PC.

I know there’s something going on


Not a hard promise to keep, because I’d been having little things happen since this whole health fiasco started in July. I called and spoke to my PC’s nurse about my litany of concerns – primarily, I’ve been having chest pain, and cold water trickle sensation on the right side of my forehead (which I’ve heard can be a symptom of migraines). Also, since the nerve thing in my right hand happened almost exactly a year after my right knee injury, it made me wonder if some kind of auto-immune disorder (like Mixed Connective Tissue Disease) was at fault. She recommended coming in a few days later for a visit, so my PC could set me up with appropriate tests.

Our eldest kindly agreed to bring me to my appointment (she’s my designated driver, because friends don’t let friends cry and drive). Good thing, too. Usually it takes me a few minutes to break down, but I set a new record – there were tears before there were words. My PC did an in-office EKG, and said the result was “abnormal” (finally a test that understands me!), and set up referrals for further testing (a brain MRI, a throat/carotid artery scan, and a cardiac stress test). She gave me lab work for about ten thousand blood tests, and said if my symptoms got worse, I should head straight to the ER.

Time for a little R & ER

Needless to say, when I woke up three days later (a Sunday morning, of course) I had new symptoms – in addition to chest pain and a cold water trickle sensation in my head (something I’ve always associated with migraines, even though I’ve never been diagnosed with one), I had mild back spasms and pain running down my left arm. Even more disconcerting, I was seeing flashes of light randomly in the corner of my right eye, and the vision in that eye was blurry. Since hubby had already headed to work, I decided to take a couple of Excedrin (my late dad’s go-to cure for his migraines) and give it a little time before I raised an alarm.

By late morning, when there was no change, I sent hubby a message and asked if he’d be able to take me to the ER when he got home. I won’t repeat the words he said about waiting another four or five hours – suffice to say, thanks to his amazing boss, he immediately headed home (and only after I convinced him I wasn’t in distress enough for an ambulance).

The staff at the hospital was totally and completely amazing, and had me hooked up to monitors and such almost before I could shed a tear (to be fair, I started crying when the receptionist asked, “Name?”). Five hours and an EKG, chest x-rays, head CAT scan, and two blood tests later, they didn’t see any reason to admit me. Everyone was attentive and kind, and they made sure that hubby & I were okay with the decision to send me home. We were, especially since I had all the tests scheduled for that upcoming week. The ER doc said something to the effect of, “We don’t do long term fixes here. If it’s going too slow, we speed it up. If it’s going too fast, we slow it down. The rest of it is up to your regular doctors.”


So I spent the next six days (who knew the MRI department was open on Saturdays?) having my neck ultrasounded, my brain scanned, and my heart tested. At the end of each visit, the comments were all very similar – “I don’t see anything that would cause concern, but I’ll send these to your PC.” In all but the cardiac test, she agreed. During my followup appointment with her, she said some skipped beats showed up during the exercise part of my heart EKG, so she wanted me to check in with a cardiologist in the near-ish future (which will be in about a week).

I asked her if wearing an eye patch over my right eye would help the cloudy-with-a-chance-of-lightning thing. She said it was certainly worth a try, and at the very least would lessen the annoyance of it. She also gave me the name of the ophthalmologist office she uses, and suggested I check in with them.

Suddenly I See – or at least, I will soon

When I called to make an appointment with the eye doc, the nurse receptionist asked me bunches of questions about my symptoms and general health. Then she said, “You know, with the symptoms you’re describing, we’d really like to get you in today. Does 6pm work?” I told her I’d make it so. Then sent hubby yet another, “Hey hon, would it be possible…” message. He got home from work just in time to get me there.

After an extensive exam, he told me I’m not going blind (because obviously, that’s what the voices in my head were whispering). Apparently, the lightning flashes, blurriness, and sudden increase in floaters in both eyes are all the result of posterior vitreous detachment. While it’s extremely annoying at the moment, he said my vision should start to clear up over the next few weeks. He scheduled another exam 6 weeks out, and said he’d adjust the prescription for my glasses and contacts accordingly, and I should be able to see just fine.

Still, I’m going crazy

So here I am, a bazillion tests later, and no one can explain exactly what’s up. My eyes are slowly clearing, but the rest of my symptoms keep dropping in to say, “hi.” For example, when the outside temperature dropped dramatically late last week, my vertigo was back with a vengeance. And just to keep things interesting, I’ve noticed some intermittent tremors in my right hand. I still have upcoming appointments with a neurologist, cardiologist, and my PC – I’m hoping we can get to the bottom of this soon. In the meantime…


breakdown of my body's breakdown

breakdown of my body’s breakdown. After many weeks of Mostly Wordless Mondays, today’s post is a Not So Wordless one – here’s a breakdown of my body’s breakdown.First, this is not a passive voice. Next, I am writing in an active voice. Therefore, my SEO will stop telling me how to write. Furthermore, these sentences are also shorter than twenty words. Rather, stop being so controlling. Especially since most of the sentences in this post are not mine. breakdown of my body’s breakdown. I will keep going while until you turn green. I can’t believe this is still orange. Finally, it has turned. Success! First, this is not a passive voice. breakdown of my body’s breakdown. Next, I am writing in an active voice. Therefore, my SEO will stop telling me how to write. Furthermore, these sentences are also shorter than twenty words. Rather, stop being so controlling. Especially since most of the sentences in this post are not mine. I will keep going while until you turn green. I can’t believe this is still orange. Finally, it has turned. Success! breakdown of my body’s breakdown. I will keep going while until you turn green. I can’t believe this is still orange. Finally, it has turned. Success! First, this is not a passive voice. breakdown of my body’s breakdown. Next, I am writing in an active voice. Therefore, my SEO will stop telling me how to write. Furthermore, these sentences are also shorter than twenty words. Rather, stop being so controlling. Especially since most of the sentences in this post are not mine. I will keep going while until you turn green. I can’t believe this is still orange. Finally, it has turned. Success!



44 thoughts on “Not So Wordless Monday – a breakdown of my body’s breakdown

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  1. ask them about hemiplegic migraines, i have retinal ones too these for me explained all symptoms but NOT the heart skip thing, thyroid and screwed up iron did those for me. i have also heard of some with emerging hemiplegic migraines to also present with POTS. I’m not a dr just a patient

    1. My PC (primary care doc) has a few ideas in mind, and we’ll be discussing further testing at my next appointment. I trust that she’ll get to the bottom of this soon (or soon-ish).

  2. I want to punch your body in the face for being such a jerk to you, but there’s probably not a way to do that without actually punching YOU, so I’ll refrain. Depending on what the upcoming tests find, I wonder about you going for massage and perhaps chiropractic treatment. Actually, I demand that you go for a massage STAT. The chiropractor is worth looking into, too, but I really think a massage – while not a cure all – would do you a world of good both physically and emotionally (especially emotionally). Really hoping you get some real answers from the neurologist and cardiologist and that they can “fix” you!

    1. LMFAO! Thanks for the giggle fits whilst trying to picture you punching my body without punching me.

      You’re absolutely right about the chiro – I’ve been holding off because Leaky was still being dramatic and sensitive, but I think she’s agreeable enough now to set up an appointment. Since the chiro our kidlets go to also offers massage, I had the eldest snag me some info when she went on Friday for an adjustment. I plan to shout out this week and get started with them myself. Thanks, Emily!

  3. I imagine this is a frustrating and tiring process, Traci. I hope they can figure out what is going on soon. In the meantime, look after yourself and go easy x

  4. Well, damn girl. I am no longer the weird sickness gal around here. You take the cake. At least you’re not going blind. That’s good, right? I wish I could hug you and bring you homemade brownies.

    1. I get cake? Okay, I’m now wicked happy to be the weird sickness gal! Hey, cyber hugs work too, and virtual homemade brownies have less calories, right? Thanks, Christine!

  5. I am sure it IS fine…I know from my own experience the womans body at a certain age is a curious thing…it will give you every sympton possible…and the not knowing in itself is so stressful it can present you with a whole other list of stuff….it will will!Thoughts with ya.

    1. Yeppers – as I’ve said to many people (but can’t recall who said it originally), “Getting older sucks, but it’s better than the alternative!” Thanks so much, Clare!

  6. I’m glad to hear you’re not going blind. Let’s home the other symptoms go away. I wish I had answers for you. Take care of you. I’m sending you ((Hugs)) and prayers that everything turns out all right.

  7. OH for heaven’s sake! This is a whole lot for a human person to handle–luckily you are, in fact, a superhero.
    A friend of mine has been experiencing vertigo (and she’s an Ironman-also a superhero.) Her doctor said it was a reaction to excess yeast in her system and put her on a diet to reduce any food that fed yeast. It seems to have helped quite a lot. It took forever to get that diagnosis. Maybe worth a mention to some doctor somewhere?
    Anyway, I know nothing about the medical mess, but I do know you continue to be on my mind!

    1. That’s high praise indeed, Angela – especially coming from someone I consider a superhero!

      Thanks for mentioning the yeast connection. I’ve had issues with it in the past, so I know the things to reduce. I’ve been slowly working towards it (it would be so much easier if they made “healthy” coffee, chocolate, and vodka – LOL!), as well as upping my water intake and other basic healthy habits. Appreciate the suggestions, and the good thoughts!

  8. What I need to know most importantly is, can you still drink vodka? Seriously though Traci, this has all been bit of a rubbish time for you, hasn’t it? I’m sending you even more love & hugs from across the Atlantic. At least your eye is clearing up. Now we just need to get the rest of your body to behave xxxx

    1. If it weren’t for my vodka, I’d be a babbling ball of goo in the corner right now. Wait, did I say vodka? I meant, VODKA the support of my family and friends. Yep, that’s what I meant… *grin*

  9. Oh I am sorry that you are going through such an awful time Traci. It is good that your eye is now clearing up, and I hope that the doctors can get to the bottom of the rest of your ailments, You certainly have had more than your fair share of health problems and you must be utterly fed-up.
    Sending you hug and my best wishes.

    1. Thank you, Judy. I figure I’m just being efficient – getting all this medical stuff out of the way now, and then I’ll be problem-free for the rest of my days. That’s how it works, right? Appreciate the hug & well wishes.

  10. Traci, I can’t imagine how frustrating this all is. At least they’re getting some answers. Keep positive (which I know is hard when one feels like crap) and keep following up with the docs xx

    1. Thanks, Noelle! It’s getting easier to stay positive now that my eyes are starting to behave. Especially since it means I can distract myself with the internet again! 🙂

  11. If you have astigmatism, you’re more susceptible to vitreous separations. How do I know? I went to the ER with it last weekend freaking out about the flashing and then went to a retinal specialist on Monday. Then learned more about it in the ER AGAIN last night! Sliced my finger instead of the bread…… I’m so done with trips to Urgent Care. The football shape of my eyeball makes it easier to tear. 70% of adults will get lightning strikes in their lifetime. I have no activity restrictions and there’s no way to prevent them although it will heal. Welcome to the club!

    1. Ugh, Susie – sorry to hear you’re doing the “at UC so much you should have a reserved parking spot” thing too. At least this club has cool members, such as yourself! I’m happy to report that my eye doc was right, and the cloudiness is clearing, and the flashes are less frequent. The huge floater in my right eye is also getting less noticeable/distracting. I hope your eyes calm down soon, and your finger (mine, years ago, was from twisting that metal thingy around a canned ham) heals fast. Too bad superpowers didn’t come along with the lightning strikes!

      1. I would love super powers! I’ll need something extra to get through this week with this dumb bandage on my finger. Ha!
        I’m so glad I read your post. It made me feel so much better about the healing process.
        Thanks so much for the Monday morning shout on Twitter! Most appreciated. Happy Manic Monday!

  12. All the best at finding a name and hopefully a relief from your symptoms. Having a Mum with Parkinsons for over 20 years, the body can come with odd symptoms though that is never easy on the person who has to deal with it. Kia kaha [Maori for stay strong}

    1. Thanks so much, Suzanne. Sorry to hear about your mom – I’ve know people with Parkinson’s and it’s a tough and frustrating thing to live with. Love that Maori phrase!

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