Weird to the core

I know I’m odd…

But just to clarify… I have medical confirmation that I am really NOT normal.

Okay, so a lot of people have some strange medical problems. I’m just frequently surprised that some of mine are so… weird. And more than one…

Okay, first… My DS. Not particularly strange as it goes, but one of the more unusual types of weight loss surgery. When I see a new medical provider, I generally have to bring in a fact sheet about my surgery because half of them don’t have any idea what it is and the other half think it’s similar to the gastric bypass. Which it is not. At all. This presents a problem because if the new treating medical professional needs to prescribe any type of medication or provide any type of nutritional information, they are likely to totally screw it up. I can’t take extended release medications, they don’t stay in my system long enough to work. I’m at risk for deficiencies in WAY more things than a bypass patient. It’s generally useless for me to take anything other than a dry form of fat-soluable vitamins because I only absorb 20% of the fat I eat. I actually NEED a moderate amount of fat in my diet because of that. So when a nutritionist tells me to buy the low-fat cheese or eat turkey burgers instead of ground beef, I will generally stop seeing them because they clearly don’t get it. Do you know what happens if I eat a turkey burger? Neither do I because I’m not able to eat more than a bite. You see, low-fat, “lean” meats are drier and more dense and I am generally nauseous and in pain after one mouthful (was that a “that’s what she said?” Eh… Maybe). Low-fat cheese gives me gas and let’s face it, I really don’t need any more of that. I don’t get “dumping” symptoms like a gastric bypass patient because my pyloric valve is still intact and in use. The pyloric valve regulates how quickly food goes from your stomach into your small intestine. “Dumping” (gross term right?) happens because the pyloric valve is bypassed and the food you eat gets “dumped” directly into your small intestine where sugar is absorbed at a much faster rate. This creates a fast spike in blood sugar, followed by a fast plunge and the person experiences dizziness, nausea, passing out and all those fantastic symptoms that come along with a low blood sugar (and we know ALL about that). That doesn’t happen with me. Which means I can eat sweets without getting massively sick. Which might not be a great thing since I DO absorb all the carbs I eat. Regardless… 2 entirely different surgeries. And mine is much more uncommon and is, in fact, not even performed in this state. Good thing about it, and the reason why I chose this surgery? Long-term success rate. After 5 years, I am still at my goal weight. There are not a lot of gastric bypass patients who can say that.

Umm… Forgot where I was going with this… Oh right. I’m weird.

Second thing- I have really weird allergies. Like rare weird shit that I (again) have to explain to doctors. I have an opioid allergy. A real honest to god allergy. Common- Opioid intolerance; stomach aches, headaches, fogginess, sleepiness, etc. Less Common- Opioid pseudoallergy; itchiness, redness, asthmatic exacerbation, sneezing, low blood pressure, mild or localized hives. Extremely rare- Opioid allergy; all of the same symptoms as the pseudoallergy with the addition of… more severe and widespread (systemic) hives, rapid swelling in the face, mouth or tongue, difficulty breathing and possible anaphylaxis. That last one? I’ve exhibited all those symptoms except the anaphylaxis (thank god, that one’s life-threatening).

I also have problems (not an allergy) with whey protein (in most of the protein drinks you get) and soy. And mangos make me itchy.

Oh, and apparently… I’ve developed a localized allergy to the red ink in the tattoo on my calf. Which in itself is not super uncommon, but the fact that I’m developing the allergy after 10 years? Very weird. It’s incredibly itchy, bumpy and looks kind of like I got a bunch of bug bites, but only in the red areas. My ever-knowledgeable Google research said there’s pretty much nothing I can do short of having the tattoo removed and my skin will gradually just push the red ink out of my skin and after awhile the itching will be gone as well as all the red in the tat.

Yeah, cuz that’s totally normal.

Third- heterotopic pregnancy. I’d prefer not to explain that one again.

Fourth… So, these are just random things, and I’m not really sure how uncommon they are and most of them are total overshares… I don’t have a lot of body hair. Likely related to that, I don’t have a lot of body odor. My TMJ in itself isn’t unusual, but the severity of it is. I didn’t have acne as a kid but I have it pretty bad as an adult (not super uncommon actually). Trichotillomania. Fun one yes? It’s technically not true trichotillomania since that disorder is related specifically to pulling one’s hair out. I just pick. Constantly. At everything. My cuticles, my face, the peeling paint on the wall. It’s compulsive and most of the time, completely unconscious. I’ll be sitting at my desk and all of a sudden notice I have blood on my fingertips because I’ve been sitting at my desk, absently picking at a bump on my face untill it bled. The wall next to my bed at My Parents’ house in Florida had a patch, approximately 2 feet in diameter, completely devoid of wallpaper because I had peeled it all off. One miniscule strip at a time. And if I notice and try to stop myself by say, sitting on my hands in a staff meeting? I start to panic.  Honest, true, heart racing, breaking out in a sweat, breathing fast panic.

Did I prove my point yet?


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