Monthly Archives: October 2015

It’s not easy being wheezy!

So I have asthma and when you have asthma you are used to having asthma attacks. I had one of those asthma attacks this morning just before 6am. If you have asthma or have a family member who has asthma you should know that asthma attacks rarely happen at NORMAL times. They like to happen late at night, early in the morning, at the most inconvenient times. Because I sleep with CPAP, I pulled off the CPAP mask and grabbed my rescue inhaler and headed towards the bathroom.

It didn’t take long for me to deem this a serious attack. Even after getting my rescue inhaler administer I was still having chest pain and I realized really fast that I needed medical attention. So after consulting with my parents and my wife, we went to the ER. This was the first time that my wife has dealt with a severe asthma attack. After taking my vitals and doing all the assessments it was decided I needed a breathing treatment, chest x-ray, blood work and IV for possible fluids.

My wife said it was interesting to watch the breathing treatment, but could hear a vast improvement in my breathing afterwards. I was glad to get one! My asthma has never been severe enough that I have had a nebulizer at home, but after today I am going to be talking with my pulmunologist to see what options might be available for me.

So once everything was said and done….I have pneumonia. Which was a huge shock to myself and my wife, even my Mom was surprised because up until last night I was feeling okay. So moral of the story when you have chronic illnesses LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! I knew I was having a bad attack and so we went to the ER and the doctor was able to do all the appropriate testing in a couple hours. I also knew I needed the breathing treatment.

Ahoy Mateys!

I think with all this motion sickness I should be getting travel miles with carnival cruise lines or somebody! I mean geez! So this is just about the right time for all the neurological symptoms to start showing up and just on cue….they showed up! Now really you would think the US Postal Service could have lost their invitation to this party…or I could have been better prepared and just not written an invited out to them, I really thought I had taken them off this party list…anyHOW…. today driving to physical therapy I got terribly carsick and pretty much stayed that way. Fun times…NOT!!!

Physical therapy went well this morning, I got off easy because they did a evaluation of my current abilities and then we did some easy post surgical exercises. Fun stuff like pelvic tilts and leg lifts, of course the hard part is doing everything slowly and controlled. My left side did better than my right side which just means there is probably more muscle fatigue on that side. My right thigh is numb so we know there is some muscle and nerve damage on my right side, I was just surprised when there was such a difference today in physical therapy.

I woke up early due to pain in my hip which is nothing new. I laid in bed and tried to fall back asleep, but that didn’t work so I got up, got dressed got my coffee. I watched the sunrise and enjoyed the quiet. Sometimes you just have to start your day thinking of all the things you are grateful for. A minute of gratitude can go a long way when you wake up in pain.

Duh!

Ever have a moment when the information you are looking for is right beside you? Like you are looking for a phone number and you are looking high and low and the you realize you have an ad or a business card on the fridge? That’s what I feel like today! I thought I needed something from my wife and she’s like ummm no you can just look here. As soon as she told me where to look I go DUH JENN!!!! I knew that, I knew that I knew THAT! I should have looked there. Oh well no harm no foul. I got what I needed done done.

Tomorrow is my first physical therapy session since January and I am looking forward to it. I like my physical therapy office. I like the staff. They like me because I’m upbeat and funny and I work really hard. I want to feel better. I want to be better. I don’t want to rely on everyone around me for everything. Now I know there are limitations with my body right now and we are working within the limitations of my body, but I also know that there is some wiggle room. I know I can build strength in the muscles, I know I can regain flexibility, but I have to work with the physical therapy staff to do all that. I have to do the exercises.

The cat and I keep having this staring contest today, she wants water out of the sink, and I refuse to be her trained human. Of course having this staring contest I think is her way of breaking me down…maybe breaking me in?? She keeps popping around the corner of the sofa and just watching me like I’m her next prey but not in a I’m going to eat you way, but I want something way. So I’ll look at her but if I say anything to her, she walks off like I wasn’t looking at you- you aren’t worth my time. Then a little while later she’s looking at me again…..

The rabbit is ignoring me for the most part. He’s ignoring the cat too which normally he tries to get the cat’s attention so I can’t tell if he’s mad at both of us, or if he’s just having a lazy Tuesday I’m having rabbit time kind of day.

Pop, pop, pop….

Every time I get up you would think I had hidden bubble wrap in my pants. Seriously it sounds like bubble wrap going off in my jeans. You hear pop, pop, pop…no crackle just pops so we know its not from all the Rice Krispies I ate as a child, although that would be a good second guess! Over the summer I did have cortisone┬áinjections in both of my knees because the insurance company wanted me to try that. So I tried that. I had had a cortisone injection in my left knee ages ago and it didn’t work and surprise surprise it didn’t work this time either. I can tell you from the constant pop, pop, pop that the cortisone injection in my right knee has fully worn off hence the sound of bubble wrap every time I get up.

I think I would rather buy a large economy size roll of bubble wrap and just sit and pop it instead! I mean how peaceful and fun is it to pop each little bubble and then you see the stories of them creating bubble wrap that the bubbles don’t pop! What kind of madness is that?? I mean bubble wrap with unpoppable bubbles???!!!! Say NO!

I know that I have put extreme stress on my knees due to the excess weight, but I am working hard to lose the weight to help my knees and my back. I am eating healthy and once I am cleared for exercise I will start any exercise the doctor tells me. Since March of 2014 I have lost 75lbs so I know that is helping my knees and back.

I was watching this video today about redheads and they were talking about that we have a higher pain tolerance and we need more anesthesia than other hair colors and I know this is true in my case. I have a much higher pain tolerance than most people which is a blessing and a curse. The anesthesia is also a blessing and a curse. I see my neurologist at the end of the month to adjust my medication because I am having issues since the last surgery with losing my balance. I am also noticing other issues that I need to discuss with him.

I can’t wait until I am healed from this surgery and I am feeling better and I can just go without having to take a 2-3 hour nap each day. I have been in higher pain the past couple of days, but I’m thinking that I need to come up with a song or something fun, get those creative juices flowing.

Steak knife….please?

I am in pain. The left side of my body seems to be leading the charge this weekend which is odd because normally I have more problems with the right side of my body, but I guess the left side was just feeling left out. I know from how the pain feels that I’ve pulled a muscle somewhere which makes sense since I just had two major spinal surgeries and I’ve had to be using my arm muscles more. Depending on how I move my left arm I get these sharp shooting pains, now I have figured out some positions NOT to put my arm in so I have been avoiding those-obviously, but I am still finding new ones that I didn’t realize were bad ones until I put my body in them and then I am quickly notified those are bad..VERY BAD. So last night sleeping was not fun.

I laid down, but I could tell my hips were not in the right position so my wife got a towel for me to put between my ankles to fix my hips and then I actually was able to fall asleep. It’s amazing sometimes how just a minor adjustment will make a difference between hours of tossing and turning and falling to sleep in less than 10 minutes. Since I’ve been dealing with all this crap for so long I’ve learned a trick or two, and my physical therapist taught me a trick or two to help me get in the right sleeping positions by using rolled up towels, pillows, etc.

The other issue that I had last night was I was running my stimulator rather high and I got shooting nerve pain in my most common spot. I have this “sweet spot” for lack of a better term when it comes to nerve pain. I get the worse nerve pain in this one spot right above my right knee in my numb thigh. Yes I just said my thigh is numb, but I get the sharpest nerve pain in that one spot. The issue is once I get the nerve pain there, I tend to then get nerve pain in other places. It not uncommon to see me hitting that place on my thigh with my hand to try and dull the nerve pain because its HURTS. And it’s not like it hurts and goes away oh no it keeps going and it can go for a good hour. Not that I sit and hit my leg for an hour, but I’ll massage that area, I’ll do anything to try and get my mind off the nerve pain, but last night when I could feel the nerve pain THROUGH the stimulator I looked at my wife and said to her “WELL THAT’S NOT FAIR!!!!” She looked at me with a very confused look and asked me what I was referring to, and I responded that I could feel the nerve pain through the stimulator.

I actually was awakened last night by the nerve pain in my leg which wasn’t fair either but at this point I’m used to. I’ve gotten used to that the nerve pain is part of my life and I can’t get away from it, it’s part of me, and will continue to be part of me until I die. They still can’t figure out why some people get random nerve pain why the brain gets overloaded and then sends out pain signals. Nothing that I had done should have caused the pain I was in, I was sitting on the couch with my legs up, I hadn’t walked far, I hadn’t climbed stairs or done anything else to make my body send me all those nasty pain signals yesterday. If I could raise the white flag I would, but you can’t. If I could take a steak knife and just cut out that part that causes the pain I would. Yes I know I can’t it’s not that easy! I also know that if I could just get my surgeon to fix that he would have done that already. In the world I live in you make peace that some days you are going to have excruciating┬ánerve pain and you rejoice the days you don’t!

Memo please!!

Obviously my back did not get the memo that I only accept pain from my low back! I mean seriously! I can deal with low back pain (and have dealt with low back pain for over 2 years now) this upper back pain NEEDS TO GO! It’s funny (and not in the ha ha sense) how you can deal with one type and you get so used to it that it becomes second nature but as soon as that pain moves a few inches its like the grim reaper has stepped in and all hell is starting to break loose!

Now I’m sure part of the upper back pain is that with the surgery I have 2 incisions in that area that start just about between my shoulder blades and go down and they are roughly about 2-3 inches long, and b with my low back being out of commission again due to the spinal fusion I am be very careful to push up with my arms, and I’m sure my upper back is saying I’M TIRED!! You are abusing me again!! Go to the gym and workout next time! (And yes it’s okay if you laughed)

When you are so used to being in one type of pain it really is amazing how when another type of pain creeps in you have very little tolerance for it. It’s like okay if we are going to have pain I want this type that’s it alright meeting adjourned! If only it worked that way! Seriously! I would be a happier camper if I could just tell my body how to work and then be on my merry way, I think anyone with any chronic condition is right there with me on that statement.

So today I am going to pull out the heating pad for my upper back and rest and play Candy Crush because I can and relax and rest because that’s the real memo my back is sending me REST. I dislike that four letter work see not all four letter words are cuss words, I can think of a lot of four letter words that people dislike DIET, REST, WORK…,see I bet a couple popped into your head too. The best thing I can do is just take it easy even though this morning I got a million ideas, but I think for the sake of my back I will put the list aside and just rest.

Charging my butt!

So once a week I have to have the charger for my battery on for 90 minutes. So for me its easier to do it on Fridays because I have all my Thursdays shows to watch on Hulu. Two shows and I’m pretty close to being fully charged. A long time ago I decided I would rather have fast Internet than cable, so I pay for Hulu and I pay for Netflix and I’m good.

So the rep from St. Jude suggested charging once a week for optimal battery health. Now I am an on the go type person. I talk fast and I always have stuff going in a million different directions so to tell me to sit and let the battery charge for 90 minutes is no easy task which is why I set it up so I catch up on my must see Thursday shows! Actually there is a belt you can put the charger in and walk around, but I find it much easier just to plug in to Hulu for my charging period.

Of course being me I have encouraged jokes about the battery placement which is in my hip, but you can’t do that many jokes about the battery in my hip so we say its in my butt for better material. So this morning I put up time to charge my butt on Facebook. Needless to say I got one of my Fraternity brothers (yes it’s co-ed) to tell me I’m kinky to which more ribbing started. I’m so glad I can bring joy to everyone’s Friday! Seriously I love making people laugh. I’m pretty sure I was a stand up comic in some alternate universe. I actually have been told out west I have a doppelganger who is a stand up comedian and that sounds just about right to me!

I deal with being in pain all the time and I really do try to laugh and make other people laugh because there is enough pain in the world. I know some of my post are more serious than others, but I really hope that you have realized by now that I am a funny person and I try to see the good stuff in life. They have done studies on the health benefits of laughing and laughing is WAAY cheaper than those medications you pick up from the corner drug store so I say let’s get your laugh on!