Ellie Vs. Cipro and a Hidden Waterfall

Hello human thingies!

Two weeks since my last post. My chiropractor that I see every two weeks tells me constantly, “I miss so much when I don’t see you because for you, everything happens within two weeks.” And she’s right. My life is constantly overflowing with madness, and every day just adds more to it. For most people, a lot can happen in a day. But for me, a day can start out as simply as me eating cereal and packing lunch, and end with being on the floor unconscious and terrified. Well, at least I’m not boring, right?

Last week was pretty much a clusterfuck, and this week isn’t really helping. It started out Monday when I had a day off work. I spent the day, after seeing my therapist of course, shopping with my dear friend Cassy who has honestly been a guardian angel in my life since I’ve met her. I am not very good at asking for help, but she constantly gives me what I need. She’s all around incredible, not to mention the best person to be in the hospital with because she’s completely hilarious. Why was I in the hospital? I’m glad you asked! After shopping for a dress she could wear to a wedding, I was feeling sick with a great deal of abdominal pain, not to mention I was peeing every two seconds. I had felt like this the week before, but on Monday, it quickly worsened. I told Cassy and she convinced me to go to urgent care, and even offered to go with me. So, off we went.

The symptoms I described are a no brainer for most women. What makes you pee constantly and gives you pain? A Urinary Tract Infection! That’s right folks! I don’t get them often, but boy, do those fuckers hurt. I went to urgent care, and after being poked and prodded, the doctor said that it looked like I might have a UTI, but he wasn’t sure. I told him that I was having majoring surgery in two weeks, and he said that since I had let the problem go for so long, we needed to kill it fast, because if the infection was severe, I wouldn’t be able to have surgery. You all know what I have been through to get my surgery to happen, so the idea of it not happening is my worst nightmare. So, I was sent home with Cipro, an antibiotic used to kick a UTI’s ass. Unfortunately, the ass that got kicked was mine instead.

I started taking the drug and my symptoms immediately got better, and then were replaced with the worst nausea I have had in two years. I am a little nauseous every day, so I’m a bit used to the feeling, but this was far above that. The last time I was this nauseous was two years ago when I had cortisone shots in my spine. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t do anything. I was fucking miserable. After no food, and being awake for over 24 hours, I was able to go back to urgent care, where they told me I did NOT have a UTI and that I could stop taking the Cipro. The fuck? What did I have then? I asked the doctor what was wrong with me, and he asked if I had been under stress. Me? Under stress? Chronic Illness, Major surgery that has to be hidden from my family, interstate move, trying to find a place to live, while still trying to have a life here? That doesn’t stress me out at all! I AM SO. NOT. STRESSED. I AM FINE. PERFECTLY FINE. *smashes head into keyboard* I AM SO CALM.

Okay. So. Clearly I’m kind of stressed. The doctor told me stress can even cause frequent urination, and definitely causes abdominal pain, so that was the most likely cause. I wasn’t exactly happy with that diagnosis, but I was thrilled that I didn’t have any viruses or infections. I was sent home, this time with nausea medication, and was basically told to wait it out. So I did. Despite taking the Cipro only four times, the last day being Tuesday night, it is now a week later and I’m still a bit sick from it, though not nearly as bad as before. One thing is for sure though; I am never, ever taking that stuff again.

Despite being bedridden most of last week and on the weekend, Sunday I had promised a friend I don’t see much that we’d go hiking. I love nature, and my friends, and this particular friend I have never really hung out with before outside of parties, so I didn’t want to bail on him. Sunday I felt better, so I figured I’d push myself to get out of bed and see what I could do.

We ended up at Uvas Canyon, which is by far my favorite place on earth. It’s a beautiful, massive canyon with a river and several waterfalls right in the middle of it. The rest is covered in trees, dirt, bridges, rocks and cliffs. I was so caught up in the moment, being in a stunning place and being with someone fairly new, that I was able to mostly forget how much pain I was in. I often forget what it’s like to not feel physical pain. When your body hurts every single day of your life, it feels like you’re imprisoned in it. However, every now and then when I am lucky, if I am with wonderful people or in a fantastic place, the pain fades away a little, and I am so grateful for the moments that it does. I even climbed a little cliff, which I hadn’t done since I was 14, with a few little pushes from my friend, of course. I was so proud of myself. We went on multiple trails, and many off road ones, and I felt like I could finally breathe after a week (and a life, really) of pain. I had to take breaks here and there, and nearly passed out at one point, but my friend was kind and patient and allowed me to rest as I needed.

At one point, we found an extremely tiny little trail among the trees. I didn’t even notice it at first, but my friend did. The thing I love about Uvas Canyon is that despite going there for years, is that every time I explore it, I find something new. This tiny trail lead to a broken rock wall, and as we climbed over it, we found a hidden waterfall. It was truly beautiful; despite the severe drought here in California, a small, steady stream of clear water trickled down a wall of shining rocks. It was surrounded by even taller walls, covered in bright green moss, and at the very top, all the massive trees made a canopy above it all. It was like a little secret spot of heaven, and we were so thrilled that we had found it. One of the rock walls was quite small, and had several large rocks jutting out of it, so we decided to try to climb it. I was honestly intimidated. Like I mentioned before, the last time I climbed anything, aside from climbing into bed, was when I was 14 in Monterey, before my health got as bad as it is now. But I am a stubborn little asshole, so I was going to at least try to climb the cliff before I said I couldn’t. And guess what. I DID.

I was stupidly proud of myself and I couldn’t really hide it. For my friend the cliff was nothing, but for me, I felt like I climbed Everest. Between my bad back, bad legs, and my marshmallow core, I’m not exactly great at that sort of thing, yet still, I prevailed. I PREVAILED, YOU GUYS!

After five hours of hiking I felt amazing, if not tired and a tiny bit hungry (I hadn’t had anything to eat that day but a little rice, but Cipro destroyed my appetite, which is saying a lot since I’m normally a foody fiend). I drove home, said goodbye to my friend, then took a shower and a nap. However, the moment I hit my mattress, I was flooded with pain. My abdomen, legs, sides, and arms all felt like they were swollen and strangled. My stomach felt like it was attempting to be an acrobat, flipping and twisting and making me too nauseous to move. I was in so much pain I couldn’t fall asleep, yet so exhausted I couldn’t be fully awake. Talk about torture.

Clearly, five hours of hiking after a week of sickness and immobility just might have been a teensy bit too much too soon. The pain from the Cipro and hiking has still not subsided, and to put the cherry on the top of the clusterfuck cake, my period came this morning! So now I am barely able to walk, in tremendous pain, sleepless, and just a miserable little ball of awful right now. But still working!

Despite the fact that I am barely holding myself together right now, I don’t regret my hike. Yes, I definitely overdid it, and I don’t enjoy the overload of pain, but I pushed myself extremely hard, and I discovered a little slice of magic deep in a Canyon. How awesome is that? While I’m sure we were not the first to discover it, it was the first time for us. I haven’t felt that happy or that healthy in years. So fuck you, muscles. I still kicked ass.

As for my period, my partial hysterectomy is only two weeks away! Can you believe it?! It went from barely a concept, to a concrete idea, to a rejected concrete idea, to a possibility, to a plan, to my very near future. I truly cannot wait for it. I’m terrified, excited, and other feelings that we probably don’t even have the words for in the English language. I’m struggling a little with the whole, “I’ll never give birth” thing, while daydreaming about the day I get to adopt children who are in need of my love. It’s a pretty complicated mix of emotion, and some days are definitely easier than others, but I think I’m on my way. The thought of being able to walk better, passing out less, and being all around healthier is what keeps me going.

Sitting here now, my body swallowed in excruciating pain, I’m mostly just excited to not be this way anymore. I really just can’t do it. But there’s a lot I can do as well, which I often forget. Climbing that cliff not only reminded me how beautiful the world is, but how strong I can be on my own. Most of the time I feel my strength is drowned out by anxiety, depression, and physical and mental pain. But buried under all that nastiness, I do have strength, and courage, and resilience. That’s a little hard to remember when I can’t stand being in my own skin, but I’m trying to remind myself, because in the end, while friends and family should always support us, your biggest fan and cheerleader should always, always, be yourself. I don’t think I’ve made the team quite yet, but I’m getting there.

Rise above, gonna start the war!
What you want, what you need, what’d you come here for?
Well an eye for an eye, and an “F” for fight.
They’re taking me down as the prisoners riot.
The shackles on my words are tied,
Fear can make you compromise.
Fasten up it’s hard to hide,
Sometimes I want to disappear.

Houdini – Foster the People *this is one of my favorite music videos 

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One thought on “Ellie Vs. Cipro and a Hidden Waterfall

  1. I had a UTI once and it was awful! I think they gave me Cipro for it and fortunately I tolerated it fine, but I have heard horror stories about it. Glad you didn’t actually have a UTI, although the pain sucks. I have all my lady parts but have decided not to have kids. It wasn’t an easy decision, but it will be ok. Like you, if I ever feel sad about not bearing offspring, I think about adoption. Good luck with your surgery!

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