There is Good News…and There is Bad News (Part 2)

Good News and Bad News

Good News and Bad News (Photo credit: Mike Licht,

Well, sorry dear readers, I did not mean to keep you hanging there, but I was so tired and it was after midnight when I posted (There is Good News…and Bad News Part 1) in the wee hours of yesterday morning.  After an astounding 3 1/2 hours of sleep and one migraine headache,

Migraine Barbie has Snapped!

Migraine Barbie has Snapped! (Photo credit: Deborah Leigh (Migraine Chick))

followed by a long and semi-productive day at the office, and the opening of an IRA (at the credit union which readily accepts my paycheck but informed me I am not a member) to avoid having to send my least favorite relative, Uncle Sam, any of my hard earned cash – I am ready to complete my delivery of the news.  That sentence, right there folks, is deserving of a grammatical “time out” and a mandatory three-post probation.  Since I am too lazy to rewrite it, I plead guilty and will not appeal the maximum sentence…

Uncle Sam BW

Uncle Sam BW (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Good News is…I now know what is wrong with me.

The Bad News is:  I now know what is wrong with me.

The first diagnosis, delivered by an actual doctor (Dr. Mack the Knife), is that I am suffering from an intra-thoracic stomach.  This explains why, over the past 1 1/2 years, I have had extreme, painful, doubling-over, hurty, moaning, need-to-throw-up-but-can’t pain during meals.  At least 1/2 of my stomach is above the diaphram and is residing in the place where my heart and lungs are supposed to live.  In addition, the stomach above the diaphragm has a slight twist to it.  So, in typical k8edid fashion, at a time when every other body part I own has drifted obscenely SOUTH, my stomach has migrated north of the border.  All this can, of course, be surgically repaired if I want to, say, ever eat a real meal again.  Until then I am forced to consume small meals consisting of preferably soft or liquid foods (Ummm, Wendy’s Frosty anyone?).  Fortunately for me, I can live on peanut butter cups, milkshakes, ice cream, lobster bisque, Riesling, and creme brulee’ indefinitely.

Logo of NPR News.

Logo of NPR News. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The second diagnosis was delivered by NPR.  In a broadcast discussion of marital issues and health problems facing retiring baby-boomers, I was intrigued by the mention of this disorder:  Retired Husband Syndrome.  Wikipedia (that fortress of knowledge for all things medical) describes RHS thusly:  It is a condition where a woman begins to exhibit signs of physical illness and depression as her husband reaches, or approaches, retirement.  Symptoms can include depression, rash, asthma, high blood pressure and ulcers.  The phenomenom has been studied in Japan where Japanese physicians estimate that as many as 60 percent of wives of retired men suffer to some extent from “RHS.”

In this article from the archives of the National Institute of Health, Dr. Charles Clifford Johnson, MD identified the syndrome and wrote in 1984:  I have frequently heard wives rage with such allegations as, “I am going nuts,” “I want to scream,” “He is under my feet all the time,” “He is driving me crazy,” “I’m nervous” or “I can’t sleep.” These emotional statements are  frequently associated with symptoms such as tension headaches, depression, agitation, palpitations, gas, bloating, muscle aches and so forth. (Not to be confused with symptoms following a visit to the drive thru at Taco Bell).

This  (RHS – not Taco Bell) would explain the remainder of my symptoms.  My husband is retired.  He has had a couple of jobs since retiring, but they were not really what he wanted and therefore….he is home.  All day.  All freakin’ day.  If I were home all day with him, one of us would probably be incarcerated.  My job, and the soul-sucking commute, and the fact that he escapes to his “man cave” when I am home are probably the only things keeping me alive (and living outside the razor wire) today.

So, if I have surgery  I will have to stay home all day to recuperate with YOU KNOW WHO.  Pass me the lobster bisque, will ya?

Red Lobster – Lobster Bisque Recipe

A bowl of lobster bisque

A bowl of lobster bisque (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Filed under General Mumblings, humor

50 responses to “There is Good News…and There is Bad News (Part 2)

  1. Not an easy decision to make, that’s for sure. I am up for some lobster bisque.

    • Actually, Lisa, there is no decision to make. The stomach has to be repaired. The potential danger is that the stomach will further twist and blood supply will be compromised and I could lose all or part of my stomach. In that case it would be a major surgery, with a large incision, and a long recuperation, and possibly a liquid diet for the remainder of my years. I have an appointment with a “micro-surgeon” who is the expert in south FL for a minimally invasive procedure utilizing only one small incision, a very short recovery period, and reportedly very good results. Until the appointment (late May – he is a busy man) I have to baby the stomach along.

      I would love to sit down with you to a bowl of bisque. My next dream trip (now that I have done the one out West with Sweet Cheeks) would be a road trip with stops to see all my favorite bloggers…your house would be on the itinerary.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Interesting how our inner parts get “bored” with their location, get adventurous and decide they must find new resting places in our body. The micro-surgeon seems to offer the best hope. I know the end of May cannot get here soon enough and then you’ll have some decisions to make.
    RHS…my husband’s desk with computer floats out in the center of our study. I am located in front of him so he can see everything on my computer screen…click…he asks a question…click…another question…you get my drift…we bloggers do click a lot. RHS…so there’s a name for this?

    • My husband and I often sit in the living room with our laptops, clicking away. Sometimes his clicking gets very annoying, and I’m sure my tap-tap-tapping (I am a very fast typist) gets on his nerves. He really is a great guy and is so worried about me – I ALMOST hated to poke fun at him in this post.

  3. Jackie Cangro

    Definitely sounds like a good news/ bad news situation. At least they have finally been able to give a name to your situation. Another good thing is that it seems that Reese’s fall into the “soft food” category, no?
    Hopefully by June, you’ll be eating cheesy nachos once again!

  4. Yikes, so is there any explanation as to how your stomach crawled up and twisted itself? I hope this time passes quickly and healing is fast so that you can enjoy your summer.

    • Usually just a defect in the opening of the diaphragm where the esophagus passes through – well-behaved stomachs stay beneath the diaphragm, but wayward ones look for a weak spot and try to escape…only explanation I can offer.

  5. Katy,
    Good luck with the surgery. I have had GI problems (Crohn’s) since I was a teenager. Surgery (albeit on a lower part of the tract) has helped me enormously. Facing it is scary — but it will help. I would, however, get a second opinion, though. ALWAYS GET A SECOND OPINION for anything more than a hang-nail.

    As for the RHS, I live in dread of that day. I too love my husband, but I’m not sure that both of us will survive our mutual retirement. So they will have to carry me out of my office on a stretcher!

    • That will be the second opinion, third if you count my regular gastroenterologist who said something like “Damned if I know what’s wrong with you”. But at least I appreciated his ability to admit defeat early in the process and his referral to a colleague who said something like “I don’t know what is wrong but I’ll find out.” This will be the second surgical opinion and I’ve done a lot of research…

      And the RHS is supposed to be tongue-in-cheek. My husband is excessively worried about me and is such a wonderful guy. But it is a totally different dynamic when one or both spouses stop working. Sweet Cheeks would like at least a part-time job but I think there may be some age discrimination going on. He will take excellent care of me when I do have the surgery (it isn’t really optional) and I will try not to abuse him excessively. But I make no promises.

  6. Frosty’s are pretty good – but maybe not that good. Sorry you have to deal with this, but I suppose – as you say – at least you know what you’re dealing with.

    • Yeah, a Frosty is not a Dairy Queen Peanut Butter Cup Blizzard, for example, but they are ubiquitous, portable, and cheap.

      …and knowing IS half the battle.

  7. Good lord. I suppose at the very least, you finally know what it is so you can get it fixed and feel more normal soon. It sounds so painful! I’m happy to hear you can still have Frosty’s and pb cups. Isn’t it amazing how our organs can just up and move like that? How much recovery time are we talking here? Will you be able to drive your husband as crazy as he drives you? 😉 I certainly hope you have a speedy recovery.

    When I had a giant cyst, they told me all of my organs were basically flattened like pancakes, my intestines and bladder squashed so much they barely were functioning. And I went through over a year of misdiagnoses. One doc (a woman) told me I was ‘depressed’. Once they finally determined what I had during an ultrasound, I felt like dancing (as crazy as that sounds.) Yes! I finally know what I have! I’m not crazy!

    • My gastroenterologist was very sure I was having gallbladder issues. I personally was a little afraid it was something more serious – pancreatic cancer or liver tumors, stomach cancer or something insidious and deadly. I am actually relieved to know it is just an internal organ trying to escape. So yes, I can understand wanting to dance when hearing the final verdict.

      I am hoping to be able to have a “micro-surgery” (1 small incision) to repair the situation and have a short 1 week – 10 day recuperation. I am pretty sure I can drive him bat-shit crazy in that amount of time. but I suspect he’ll keep a safe distance by hanging out in the garage…

  8. Oh, my goodness! What a strange thing to have to deal with….it can’t be too common? Has knowing what it is helped you keep with the diet necessary to avoid the pain? Or had you already figured out that you couldn’t eat solid food? My husband has worked on a 10/4 schedule for the past 9 years (ten days on, four off). So every other weekend, when he is off, he was home on Thurs. and Fri. while I was working. This was enough of a peek into the future life with retired husband….I know that it would be very difficult. As it would be for him were I the one home while he was working. Luckily, we will finally both be on the same schedule again with his job change. Good luck to your husband-and you are right. There is definitely age discrimination. It is real, and very hard to overcome. Take care of yourself!

    • Yes, knowing has helped me plan and manage the situation a little better – lots of tiny meals, soft foods (mostly). I can eat solid food but it has to be chewed until it is liquified and diluted with a swallow of water – but only tiny amounts (or pureed, but I haven’t gone that route yet). I somehow have managed to maintain my more than adequate weight (ice cream helps!!). I’ll get through it.

      I think that we will manage retirement somehow but it would be nice if we both were working or both were home.

  9. That’s one hell of a hiatal hernia, sister! Ohh, not fun… but why did it take so long for them to figure out what I would think one single ultrasound or CT would tell them? I’m sorry that you have to consider surgery, but I’m grateful that it’s not a more serious diagnosis and that it can be fixed if you choose. Figures the one thing you want to stay down has to come up while everything else droops. No fair. Hmph.

    As for the RHS, well… that explains the migraine… but that one’s harder to cure! (Shakes head sadly, eyes down. Pats patient’s leg. Sighs.)

    • Well, all of the tests I had done were fasting tests, with the stomach empty, and apparently folded over on itself. It wasn’t until the CT scan with the stomach full of barium that they could see what happens when the I eat – the upper portion inflates and twists. Everyone was pretty sure it was my gallbladder – but that turns out to be perfectly healthy.

      I know, for the RHS perhaps that will require relocation of the “problem” as well.

  10. tsonoda148

    Hi Katy; Well it’s good you finally have a diagnosis. Bad to have an operation, but if necessary……well, just make like Nike and do it. I’ve hear of this RHS from many of my friends…..only not the clinical
    definition. I heard it defined using many colorful BEEP words. Tequila shots and dark chocolate were also involved with the delivery of said information, if I recall. I have no hubby so no RHS. I have other issues though, too many to mention. Two more things before I close this:
    1. Do you have Twitter? Are you k8edid on Twitter?
    2. I am now craving me some lobster bisque. Thanks a lot my friend.

    • I think I have Twitter. I think I am k8edid. I think I was a little tipsy when I set it up. I think I don’t know my password. I think I could check all this out… right back…

      Okay, I am k8edid2000 on twitter. Maybe I should write that down somewhere. See, I don’t twitter very much at all. But I’m learning..

      Lobster bisque! Get you some…

  11. Hi, Katy,
    If I lived near you, I ‘d bring over wine and chocolate chip cookies ❤
    —Glad you know what you know now, dear, even though it's still difficult…Xxx

  12. I’m sorry you have the problem, but I’m glad they discovered it before it got worse. It sounds as if you have been experiencing a lot of pain from the condition, so the sooner the better, right?

    • It will be repaired and I’ll be good as new (well, maybe not that good). It has been causing trouble for a long, long time – off and on since at least Thanksgiving 2010. The “attacks” are more frequent and have been lasting longer so avoidance is the keyword right now.

  13. I hope your stomach problems are resolved happily and soon.
    I regret to inform you, however, that RHS is incurable. (and I also am happy I can go to work and escape.)

  14. Kate, have the procedure -medicine is amazing these days. i’ll be alright. continue…

  15. I’m sorry for all your pain and trouble, but I’m so glad they finally put a name to your problem, and that there is a (relatively) simple solution. That has to be a giant relief to you!

    As far as RHS, I bet the condition is not made any better because you are working full time and making a hellish commute, and he doesn’t have to. Even if you know intellectually that it isn’t his choice. Deep, deep down inside our rational adult loses the fight to our 8-year-old self who just wants to wail “But it’s not fair!”

    • You are so right!!! Part of me wants to stay home, but the more rational part of me knows I am better off moving on down the road each day. Bless his heart, he does a lot of stuff around the house. Some of it I’ll have to redo, of course, in my spare time, but he does try.

  16. Wow. My stomach migrated south after my hysterectomy, giving me problems with, let’s call it, regular elimination. I never heard of body parts moving north. Do you do yoga and a lot of inverted poses? 😉
    Sorry to hear that you’re having so much trouble in the eating solid foods department.

    As for the maladies associated with RHS, I totally understand that. I treasure my alone time. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. So, if you two end up together because of surgery and you just happen to assault him, there is an upside: prisoners have GREAT medical care and you’ll appreciate the conjugal visits… 🙂

    • Prison wouldn’t be too bad if I could lie around and blog all day. There would be some interesting posts, I am sure.

      No yoga or inverted poses for me, except I used to be able to stand on my head when I was younger…

  17. True – the good news is you have a diagnosis… the bad news is you have a diagnosis. Funny how that works.
    I am glad there is a diagnosis, though. Now, I hope, you see a light at the end of the tunnel. And here’s to the clean tunne and future good meals! Until then, enjoy the mush. Oh, and watch this movie: “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead.” Here’s a preview.

    • Thanks for the movie trailer, I think. Although I like all the ingredients in those green shakes, I am not sure I could drink them…and certain I couldn’t drink ONLY those green ones. Yes, it will be good to get the old stomach straightened around and things back to “normal” HAHA

      • Oh, you need not do the drink thing he did – but you may like the movie. It was excellent. Do you have Netflix?

      • No, no Netflix and I can barely watch the 2 shows I DVR each week. This blogging thing has cut into my use of almost all other forms of entertainment. Or maybe it’s that work gig that has tied up too much of my time. Maybe I’ll buy a lottery ticket…

  18. Oh, Katy, I’m sorry to hear that! Although I imagine there’s some relief in being able to eat lobster bisque, I mean, knowing the diagnosis and treatment 😉

    And BTW, this means you get to indulge in guilty pleasures minus the guilt during recovery. And your retired husband has to wait on you hand and foot.

  19. Bummer about the ailment. How “Murphy’s Law” is it when everything else is going south, there is one free-thinking organ that just has to go north. I’ll be thinking of you as you go through this.

  20. #1 Son

    I have a solution to the RHS problem! Send Scoots McGruber up to the great white north for the summer. Junior was just saying how he was tired of paying for golf. As a matter of fact, why don’t you just come up here to stay? Who wants to live in FloriDUH anyways? See what happens; when you move to God’s waiting room, you have to take a number! I have a house you could rent, and imagine being able to see all 34 of your grandchildren ALL the time! You could always rent your house to a meth cooker, they ALWAYS pay on time!

  21. I’m glad you have a diagnosis! Want me to start the liquid food diet with you? Because I will. I have some ice cream right here.

  22. that sounds like a really painful condition, RHS! See – sarcasm is my thing too. Seriously, I am sorry to hear that you have the stomach condition and yet it is so great that you can have it fixed. I had a heart ablation two years ago and am like the Eveready bunny! Just think of all the time you can spend with your hubby – Bonus!

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