Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Whole New Me


It's been a rough five years. I mean five full years of happy marriage, and all of that. It's still going on. That part is working great.

It's also been a lot of surgeries, and hopefully no more for at least another five years. I don't know if that's going to be the case for long, but for now, no surgeries. Just think, only five years ago, Robert Downey Jr. was a white guy. How the world does spin.

You may be able to see in this picture, I have a nasty new issue. The problem is, this picture is over ten years old. The other problem is, no doctors picked up on it during that entire time. In 1990, I had a tonsillectomy, and the doctor also pulled a nice fist sized tumor from my pharynx. And no, that's not the part of your ass where poop escapes. Although, those who have seen my act wondered.....

I ended up on some iodine treatments, and some other things to ensure that the throat muscles wouldn't atrophy. If anyone ever offers you that, make sure they know if you're allergic to things like... iodine. I'm not but I've heard stories. I was also given prednisone for the first time. That is a steroid, and if given properly and monitored, should cause no issues except a bit of bloat and maybe a little bit of a moon face. It worked for Zappa, so I accepted.

Flash forward to 2001. I was off of all medications. I mean ALL of them. I used to drink "sleepytime" tea to fall asleep because the boy toy at the time was a horrendous snorer, and I wasn't able to attempt to sleep if he fell first. The tea helped. Sometimes I had Melatonin. It's not hippy, it's real, and it works. There were years, and I mean from when I was 12 to 29, when I was on anti-depressants. Some were great, some were vile. And, tegretal, a drug used for epilepsy was amongst them. I didn't like any of them and weaned off of them slowly...until I got married for the second time to a guy who had absolutely no interest in being married to me. After a few months of him, I was back on the meds. (Yeah, I worked three jobs to support us. I still don't know if he ever got a job.)

The meds did something weird. I gained weight. I mean not just a few pounds like the warning state, but a full two stone. (About 23 lbs for us Yanks.) The marriage was over, I was bicycling every day, and I still didn't lose any more than 15 of that. But, I was human sized. Not for me, but for the rest of the world. That's when I weaned off of the meds again...and voila, was back to normal tiny W.O.P. from Bean town doing stuff on stage, and feeling fine. Things worked out okay.

Then I started getting dislocations. I was put back on steroids. I hated them. Why? Okay so my shoulder stayed in place and the swelling went down- but I gained again. It made me depressed. I got put on antidepressants. Starting to see a pattern? The doctors didn't. I had a sinus infection right before I was getting surgery for a deviated septum- which I guess means nose job in Hollywood-speak.  I gained another 40 lbs. Seriously. In less than two months. People thought I was pregnant since I was newly married. Not a chance... kids are something I am allergic to, thanks.

Flash forward to 2006. I went to an endocrinologist to find out why I was reacting this way. Why was it that a medical journal said, "may gain a small amount of weight" meant, "may change name to Orca" with me. He said, "Stop eating so much". I became afraid of food. I hardly ate as it was- one meal a day, and a snack or a small breakfast. That was it. What could I cut out? I knew. The doctor.

I dropped about 38 lbs, and started to feel human again. Next thing I know..I'm gaining 3-5 lbs a week. Again, "oh are you going to be a mommy?" No, I'm just a mother, thanks. I'm at the gym three to four days a week, and sweating like Meatloaf in a New Jersey stadium show. Back to the picture. You may notice this is a shot of my neck. It's a big neck. I swam for high school, and oh yeah, rode horses. I have a big neck and shoulders. But, it's bigger than that now.

What the smarty pants doctor didn't realize was- I was growing a big old Thyroid. The blood tests didn't agree with my symptoms at that time, so he became a smart ass, and I became sicker. All this time, had he JUST paid attention to my history, or even looked at my fingernails, the way the weight was presenting itself, some female issues, or oh yeah, the STEROIDS and antidepressants I was on- well he may have figured I had the onset of Hashimoto's Thyroidosis. In other words, my body was fighting me against me. Yeah. Just like a video game.

Two years later, my blood tests are going kablooey. I have a rather large lumpy throat. I fortunately do not have to have surgery, but there is a chance that the nodes growing may have to cut out. (Go look that up on Austin medical and tell me it isn't the ickiest operation you've ever seen.) I'm now on synthroid.

SO what does that all have to do with comedy? I start a new show this year. It's called Short Bus Comics, and it turns out- I need one. Again. Pretty cool. More later.


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