A forum that I was reading asked an interesting question… “If you could rid yourself of one chronic illness which one would you get rid of?” Many people posted I would get rid of this one or that one. Most chose the one that causes the others which makes sense. I read the question and I thought the back pain first and then I thought maybe the neurological issues, but then I thought well those are supposed to go away at some point so I don’t want to waste my magic wand so yes the back pain. Then I thought no maybe I need to get rid of the arthritis. The arthritis has been causing issues so maybe now that the back pain has a solution I need to get rid of the arthritis and the more I thought about the question the more I realized there was not an easy answer!
So then I decided maybe I could just save the magic wand and decide next year! I mean they didn’t say I had to decide NOW. I could wait see what shakes out and then think about what really annoys me the most and in the coming year make a decision. See most people given a magic wand could choose one illness to get rid of because they only have a few major health problems.
Last night I was on Facebook and saw this picture of a baby Chewbacca and the meme said that if heartburn during pregnancy meant the baby was going to have hair than they must be giving birth to a baby Chewbacca and I LAUGHED. I laughed so hard the cat got scared and ran away, like hid! I was laughing and laughing and Jenna looks at me because I’m laughing so hard tears are running down my face, I can barely breathe. She’s asking what I’m cackling over which of course makes me laugh all over again, and then I see the picture of baby Chewbacca and the baby bottle with the bite out of the bottom and I start laughing. So I finally put the laptop down show it to Jenna and say I thought of my sister! Which of course got Jenna laughing. My sister had terrible heartburn with her first pregnancy and my niece had a full head of hair when she was born.
The cat survived, she came back eventually, you would think she would be used to me laughing at this point. Every once in awhile I get to really laughing uncontrollably and she doesn’t like that. I find laughter is good medicine which is why I like to joke. I joke a lot. I joke about everything I possibly can because I can and I think it’s a gift that I should share. When I was in high school I took drama and the teacher was amazed at how well I did at improv but it’s because I like to be random and silly and I can think on my feet.
Mom and I were talking about when I lived in Spain. Yup I lived in Spain for a semester when I was in college. I lived in France too, down in Martinique down in the Caribbean, it’s an island. It was AWESOME. Trust me black sandy beaches (yes they have black sand because of the volcano it’s GORGEOUS!). I have also traveled to Switzerland, Canada, the Grand Cayman’s and Mexico when I was in Girl Scouts. So I have done a bit of traveling, but why my semester in Spain came up recently was the attacks in Paris. One of the US causalities was a study abroad student from California State University. Mom said she remembered that she and Dad told me that no matter how much it cost if I didn’t feel safe in Spain they would pay for me to drop out and come home. I was studying in Spain in the Spring of 2003 and the United States went to war with Iraq. The war was not popular and there were anti-war protest in the city I was studying in and while my safety was never compromised we didn’t know that in the beginning.
I did finish my semester with all As and Bs. I had wonderful experiences and I would love to go back to Spain one day if I am physically able to, which with the back issues and now the blood clot being a world traveler is harder and harder. I am thankful for all the experiences that I have had and I told Mom that there was only one time that I almost got caught in a protest and that was only because I turned right instead of left when I was walking home from school. I turned around walked really quickly the opposite direction found a safe place to stop and find the closest bus stop and hopped the bus to get home.
The world can be a scary place, but I do believe we have to live our lives because one day we can wake up and be making our wife breakfast in bed and the next minute you are passed out on top of her almost dead from a blood clot. I mean it happened to me! It didn’t happen when I was half way around the world in another country almost swept up in an anti-US, anti-war protest, it happened in my bedroom, in my home. We can’t control when our death will come, it will happen when it will happen. Doesn’t mean we should put our life in danger and do stupid things like lite a firecracker in our hand and see what happens, etc but we do need to live.
We have a cat named Creme. She is 8 years old and she thinks she is my girlfriend. Seriously this cat LOVES me, more than my wife which is REALLY funny. As my wife puts it she’s the Mom, I’m the girlfriend! The cat has an odd temperament that is for sure. She is part Siamese we can tell, she was a stray so we’re not sure what breeds she might be besides the Siamese, possibly Calico from her coloring, other than that anyone’s guess is as good as ours!
So after Halloween I found this t-shirt that said Treat Sniffing Investigator and is meant for a dog because let’s be real cats don’t let you put cute t-shirts on them…well most cats! Creme has learned to let me put the shirt on her, takes some pictures giggle and tell her how cute she is as she gives me this I would plot your death look, but then I would lose the love of my life so I guess I’ll just sit here and take it….Then I take my pictures, take off the shirt and give her a handful of treats which she eats and pretends to scowl at me, and usually in about 5 minutes comes over for petting. Yup, she knows how to play the game!
Now the wife shakes her head at the whole game because she can’t believe that Creme actually allows this to happen because if she would even come within about 5 feet of her with a shirt Creme would run. I do it and Creme just sits there, like I know this is going to happen one way or another so the faster we can get this over with the better. The other thing that happened this morning is that wife was trying to help me with putting on the shirt and Creme tried to bite her, but me she didn’t even bat at me. She did not like this game because obviously the rules are different for her.
So I got the shirt on, got my pictures, got my giggles told Creme what a pretty kitty she was to which I got the usual death stares. Which of course made me giggle more because I knew she was secretly plotting my death and that somehow amuses me. Then we took it off her gave her a few more treats and I put the shirt away.
So thank you Mr. Blood Clot…. I don’t always have weakness in my leg and need to walk with a cane, but today I did. It’s a combination of my last two spinal surgeries and the blood clot apparently. Well the thing about walking with a cane is you have to be a little more coordinated than I am, or you have to be set at a slower speed than I am…or maybe its BOTH! I am getting better at walking with the cane, but it is not for the faint of heart…which is kind of funny when you think about it.
I did NOT give up on walking with it today so I think I should get a mental dozen roses for that one and a pat on the back! OUCH! I think I patted myself too hard.. JUST KIDDING! Often when I get frustrated I want to give up, but I stuck with it today even when I was starting to get frustrated. I know that it’s a rhythm and the more I practice the easier it will be for me and the more I stop thinking about it, the more I will just do it. I think often I over think stuff.
Today was a good day, my body decided to be a rooster and wake up an hour before the alarm was set, and usually I just go back to sleep, but today I was too awake for that, so I got up. I got dressed, fed the cat so she would stop meowing at me and got myself dressed and ready for the day. Got some bills paid and ready for the mail.
This is the beginning of the holiday season and things are going to kick into high gear and before we know it 2015 will be over. So I’m trying to enjoy the slow days while they last!
It’s a yucky day. So I decided to make vegetable soup with mixed beans in it. I eat a high fiber diet so I used pumpkin, green beans, carrots, peas and corn in it. I put chili powder, vegetable bullion, garlic powder, cumin, and celery salt in with the beans while they fast soaked (I boiled the water and then they soak for an hour). Threw everything in the slow cooker and now I’m enjoying a day on the couch. I had enough activity yesterday I need a day of rest.
However every time I make any type of soup I think of Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi episode with Elaine. I mean how can you not? I will share my vegetable soup with the wife tonight. We’ll both enjoy it, it smells really good! There is just something about cold rainy/overcast days that make me want a good hearty soup. The nice thing about having my slow cooker is I can throw everything in it and then just leave it be all day. I like nice and easy!
So normal activities you don’t really think about until you have an injury that prevents you from just doing them. Well for me there are lots of activities now that I have had to rethink how I do them. One of these is the shower. After the first surgery I had neurological issues stemming from the anesthesia which caused balance issues along with vertigo and nausea. Oh yeah that was a LOT of fun…NOT! So we installed a balance bar, which is not to be confused with regular support bars. A balance bar cannot support weight on it, it is simply there for me to touch/hold while I take a shower to provide my brain for a reference point otherwise my brain gets confused and I fall backwards or get dizzy or other fun things.
Well this morning that wasn’t the issue, today it was the water hitting my nerve spot on my leg. Yes the water was working against me which as you imagine water is a pretty big part of taking a shower. I mean if I didn’t have water running I would look pretty silly in the shower stall. So I had to keep strategically moving so the water wasn’t hitting my nerve spot while trying to keep a hand on the balance bar while washing my hair…umm yeah…I did not try out for cirque du soleil for a variety of reasons. So in my efforts of trying to keep from having seering hot nerve pain, falling backwards, protecting my back, washing my hair, the water starts to get cold because oh yeah I can’t have the water too hot or else the other nerves act up…okay maybe I really didn’t want a shower today, but I’m so close to being done that I’m not stopping now, plus I already have half my head shampooed so there’s no turning back now! So we turned the water up a bit trying to find the right temperature again, and then go back to my balancing act.
I wish this was a once in awhile event, but anyone with chronic pain will tell you this is an everyday, every task event. You learn to adjust, you learn to get creative, but you learn you have to give up more energy to do the simplest of tasks. I mean right now I could use a nap and basically I took a shower and got dressed. I try everyday to get dressed no matter how bad I feel because it gives me some sense of normal in my world because with all these increased doctors appointments and changes in routines right now life doesn’t feel normal. Not that I’m sure I really know what normal is, but I like to pretend!
So most people have heard of the saying “beware of the Ides of March” you know when Julius Caesar was killed by his so called friends. Well the Ides of March happens on March 15th. Well apparently my body has something against the 16th of the month because on October 16th is when my blood clot decided it wanted to try and kill me. I survived! Then early this morning at 1am I woke up with incredibly chest pain. I woke Jenna up and told her my chest hurt. She was just about to call 911 for me when it stopped. I just looked at her and said it stopped. It doesn’t hurt anymore. So she asked if I wanted to go to the ER, so I asked her to go get the pulse ox meter to check my oxygen level and heart rate. We check everything is normal. So I told her since I felt normal I didn’t want to go to the ER.
I do have a doctor’s appointment today to be checked out because we have a feeling the blood clot shifted and that’s why I had the chest pain. I have decided that it’s November 16th so I might have to come up with my own name like the Ides of March. I am just taking life one day at a time. We’ll see what the doctor says because I am not a doctor, I don’t even play one on TV. I get my blood checked again on Wednesday, but I was within levels last week. One day at a time baby!