Since I had my massive blood clot I have had to go to the clinic weekly to get my blood checked to see if it was thin enough but not too thin. When you take blood thinners there is this fine line between the two. You want your blood thin, but if it gets too thin then there is a problem. So I am sitting there yesterday for my weekly check and I meet another woman and I tell her my story. She is amazed that a woman so young would have so many health challenges and I am a walking miracle. I find out she was diagnosed with breast cancer on New Year’s Eve. So we are sharing our story and another woman says to me I didn’t mean to eavesdrop (its a small waiting area), but your story is amazing. I can’t believe you have gone through all of that in such a short period and I too have a saddle pulmonary embolism but I didn’t almost die from mine. I laughed and said yeah it’s not so nice when you have not 1, not 2 but 3 doctors and countless nurses look you dead in the face and remind you that you should be dead and/or tell you that you should be dead right now. So she joined in the conversation until they called her back for her check.
I was really blessed that this go round my INR was good and they are going to try to let me go 2 weeks between checks and see how that goes. So I got my checkout slip and Mom and I went out for lunch. Then we went to do some shopping and I ran into a man who had been at the clinic. It’s kind of funny, but the world isn’t as big as we all want to believe it is. So Mom and I did some shopping I rode around in those electric carts and she got her steps in. I know when this is all said and done and Mom and I aren’t going for weekly trips to the doctor I’m going to miss these weekly outings.
My Mom and I are a lot alike which is good and bad. Good because I can’t imagine a better person to be like. My Mom is kind, generous, optimistic and a leader. This becomes a problem because when there is conflict between us we react in the same way. I think a lot of parents and adult children find this to be true that once the child hits adulthood the dynamic of the relationship changes. I have been so blessed with the amount of help my Mom has given us since I can’t drive. She has taken me to so many appointments, she actually doesn’t work 1 day a week and that is to take me to doctor’s appointments and I try hard to schedule appointments to that day when possible.
Both of my parents have been so supportive since I have gotten sick, my Dad came to visit me in the hospital after he got off from work in the evenings. He is always just a phone call away during the day. I try not to call him at work unless I need to, but I know that he’s there for me. I also know that my wife’s parents are the same way. They came to visit me in the hospital, wifey’s Mom has taken me to doctor’s appointments as well. Her father is disabled and cannot drive, but he babysits me! There have been several times when I’ve gone over to their house after appointments and he and I have hung out and we laugh about him babysitting me until wifey is off work and then she drives us home. We are really blessed that both sides of the family are really supportive. Plus my sister in law and brother in law have taken me to appointments too. So when I say I’m too blessed to be stressed I mean it!
So I ventured out in what’s left of the snow yesterday to get my xrays and my cat scan. I’m sitting at the hospital and someone decided it would be the PERFECT day to check the fire alarm system…REALLY??!!! So we hear “CODE RED PRE-OP” The alarm is blaring. I cover my ears because I am overly sensitive to loud noises and bright lights, so the strobes that are also going off are also just as annoying. So I look over to the radiology desk to see if we need to evacuate and the nurse is just sitting at the desk. So I know this is just a drill. When I taught which feels like eons ago we did fire drills every month so I’m very familiar.
So I sit with my hands over my ears, and look out the window to try not to look at the strobing lights. Finally after about 10 minutes the alarms turn off. The nurse looks up at me and tells me only a few more minutes. I tell her thank you. They pull me back for my CT scan and apologize for the delay. It didn’t really bother me, I mean it’s a hospital and yeah I had an appointment but I know that if anyone comes in who is more important than I am needs that CT machine they are going first and when they decided to test the fire alarm they had to go through different steps, so it was all good.
So now we wait until my spinal specialist can look at the imaging and see where we are. This is where we it’s a catch 22, you don’t want anything to be wrong with the CT, but at the same time my arms are going numb. So I guess we’ll find out soon enough.
The radiologist who did my x-rays has done them multiple times at this point and she was laughing about me being back AGAIN. I told her I just couldn’t get enough of her shining personality. At the rate I am going I can have a deck of playing cards made with all my xrays. It’s all good, I mean I know they are being careful and watching me closely especially after that blood clot came out of nowhere in October and I prefer it this way honestly. I mean I would much rather them check the progress and err on the side of caution. Yes I understand the risk of the radiation, and we do have to balance that and the healing. However the blood clot almost killed me so I think right now we have to watch to make sure I don’t have any more complications. Lord knows I don’t need or want any more complications, 2016 is my year!
Pain in the neck! I have been losing feeling in my arms and hands and that got me a one way ticket to the cat scan machine! YAY ME! I am going to get a scan of my neck to see if there is something wrong with my c-spine. I go see the spinal specialist on Tuesday. So I won’t have to wait long for the results. I also have to get xrays of my back too. I am so used to this at this point.
A family member had a child diagnosed with an illness this week and I thought about how much your life changes when you get a chronic illness diagnosis. When I was told I had to be on blood thinners for 6 months to a year it was overwhelming, but there was a time frame. I know when my end is, I know when I can say goodbye to the weekly blood checks, I know when I can say goodbye to the diet restrictions and HELLO BROCCOLI SOUFFLE! Trust me when I am off coumadin that will be my first dinner, I already told the wifey! When you get the diagnosis of say fibromyalgia it’s for life. You don’t get an end date you wake up every day and you feel tired, you hurt. You don’t get to think in 6 months I will get a reprieve.
I think about all the little changes we’ve had to make since my surgeries, since the blood clots. The assistive devices I use on a daily basis, how I change how I go about do things and just how I move. I am wearing a knee brace because of my knee sprain and that is putting added pressure on my bad knee. I am working on getting everything looked at and pieced back together but its a slow process. I got to reschedule appointments now because we got snow and businesses closed because roads were bad.
I had a moment this morning. I try to not have many of those because let’s be honest with all the health issues if I let all the health issues overwhelm me I probably would cry. I was washing my hair and it was coming out in clumps. So now I gotta make another appointment with my doctor and have a discussion with him about this. If we were closer to spring I would make a joke about shedding for warmer weather, but alas we are not close enough for that joke.
Okay so I don’t know if it’s because my wife is snowed in at her brother’s house, the snow or the cat is up to no good…maybe its a combination of all 3. The cat has been cozying up to me and she has been laying with her head on my leg sleeping soundly. I think this might be to get close to me so she can kill me in my sleep. With the wife snowed in at her brother’s house I think the cat feels she has the opportunity to kill me without a witness. Actually I think the cat secretly misses my wife but she would never admit that so she has to be cozy.
I have been binge watching “Blue Bloods” on Netflix which has been good because that means I have been staying off my sprained knee. I am not good about following doctor’s orders but with about 2 feet of snow outside the door it’s been good to sit and rest for a bit. It’s hard to do, I am stubborn.
I will be glad when the wifey can make it home again. It’s way to quiet without her around. I miss the conversations. We’ve been texting and calling, but it’s not the same as being in the same room giving each other goofy glances. Me sticking my tongue out at her and singing show tunes. Oh yeah I can sing have I said that yet? I love to sing and write poetry. I enjoy the arts a lot growing up I was in band and played several musical instruments.
So in case you haven’t heard Virginia is closed..seriously..okay maybe I’m being a bit over-dramatic again. Certain areas of Virginia, Maryland and DC are being dumped on with 1-2 feet of snow and everyone is losing their minds because this is unheard of for this area of the country. So other parts of the country like say Iowa are laughing. I know I have family there. Actually my cousin was teasing me slightly because that’s what family does about how everyone in Virginia sees a snowflake and flips out, but there is truth to the statement. People see a single snowflake and they forget how to drive, they buy all the milk, eggs, bread and toilet paper in all the local stores and we get round the clock news coverage on the single snowflake. We hear from dozens of people on the street about how the single snowflake affected their commute, how they are preparing for the single snowflake, etc. What do to if the power goes out due to the single snowflake, etc.
Right now I am guessing there is about a foot of snow on the ground here, it’s hard to tell because we got sleet last night for a couple of hours and with my knee I am not going outside with a ruler to measure. Normally I would because I would be curious to see, but with the high winds, and snow I probably would break something and my wife isn’t here to save me. Which brings me to the whole point of today’s entry too blessed to be stressed.
My wife had to work yesterday so Wednesday night she packed her bag and then she packed gluten free food to take with her to her brother’s house. Her brother lives a few minutes from where she works and he and his partner offer her a place to crash when bad weather hits. We are grateful that she can crash at his house. The other option is her work gets hotel rooms for the employees. Of course crashing with her brother and brother in law means that she gets to play video games, hang out and other shenanigans that usually make me laugh and shake my head. Family is family right? So yesterday her job closed early due to the storm and she was trying to decide if she could safely make it home. I told her to be safe because that’s what matters most to me. Sure I would rather be snowed in with my wife than be snowed in alone, but I also know how dangerous it can be driving that drive in the snow, I’ve done it before. So she had to get her stuff first and when she was headed over there she heard there was a bad accident that was blocking the main road she was going to have to travel on, so she decided to stay put. I think she made a good decision.
Sometimes we have to choose safety over what the heart wants which was she wanted to be curled up on the sofa next to me. However we are too blessed to be stressed because she was safe and sound at her brother’s house and I didn’t have to worry about her getting into an accident. Once the roads clear she’ll come home. She is having an awesome time hanging out with the boys and playing video games. The animals miss her and I keep posting periodic pictures for her so she can see the snow levels. I’ve learned an attitude of gratitude will get you much farther in life than dwelling on everything that sucks.
The south is not accustomed do getting large quantities of snow, so to hear that we may get 2+ FEET of snow everyone is in PANIC mode. The snow has officially started and everyone is frozen in fear. Okay now I’m just being melodramatic for the fun. I am ready for the snow, it’s pretty to watch out of the window. I have been taking pictures of it every hour. Depending on which meteorologist you listen to depends on how much snow I should be receiving. I’ll believe it when the storm is over. They all seem to add a few inches for good measure when it comes to snow!
My one hope is that we don’t lose power. I can deal with not being able to leave the house as long as I have heat. I did fill the bathtub with water just in case. Of course this means the cat has been meowing at her reflection which has been causing me to giggle! She’s a nutty one!
I was thinking of different things to get ready prior to the storm, making sure I had some canned soup in case we lost power so I would have something to eat, bottled water, made sure we had food for both pets, made sure we had medications and all that good stuff. I am not a newbie when it comes to snow storms. I plan on taking pictures and binge watching Netflix. The best place to be is inside safe and warm.
I did charge my battery, and then I charged my charger to make sure that if we lose power I can charge my stimulator again. With the cold wet weather I have been hurting a LOT more. My hardware in my back hurts, my scars itch and I am just exhausted. I am about ready to give up. I hope we don’t get too many of these storms because my body just can’t handle it.
So much has changed and I am going to be getting more films to see hopefully what is going on and getting some answers very soon. I am going to get my knees looked at and get some direction on where I need to go there. I am working on getting this body pieced back together bit by bit. I think I need to write a song or two haha Actually I need to work on more material for my non-existent comedy routine.
So apparently the Washington, D.C. area is going to get 6 feet of snow!
Okay I know only 2…
I love how everyone is going to the store clearing the shelves of milk, bread and toilet paper. Which I get toilet paper because who wants to be stuck in the house without toilet paper? The bread I get because you can make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, you can even do meat and cheese because luncheon meat will stay in a cooler if you lose power. The milk is where I don’t get. I guess people eat a lot of cereal when it snows.
I am not thrilled about the pending snow. I do not want it to snow, I would like it NOT to snow. I would like to skip over this part of winter. I am hoping the lights stay on for all affected by the snow. I also hope that anyone who does have to be out in the snow stay safe. I know there are people who have to be driving in the snow for various reasons, but please if you do not need to be out in the snow stay home.
I used to LOVE snow, I used to want to go live in Colorado in the mountains where it would snow LOTS, now not so much! I think snow falling is still really pretty don’t get me wrong. I could sit by the window with a cup of warm coffee or warm hot cocoa and watch it fall it’s magical, but as soon as I have to go anywhere in that snow I start to dislike it. I think fear has overcome me now that my back is fragile, my knees are fragile and I have come to realize that one slip could cost me months of recovery time. I live in this world where one wrong step can set me back months. Even walking gingerly I am scared of snow and ice.
I don’t mind snow if I can stay at home and just watch it from the window, but as soon as I have to be out in it, I hate it. I don’t like it anymore its lost all appeal. I want to spray it all with warm water to make it melt! I sound like the Grinch I’m sure! I think anyone who has joint issues will understand. I also have higher pain days when its bitterly cold, so that does not help my battle with snow and ice. Yesterday we got some flurries, but it had been warm enough that it didn’t really stick. So I got to watch it come down, it was pretty, but it did not cause disruption to my life so all was well!
I am sitting here thinking about what I want this year to be, what sorts of goals I want to reach and I’m not sure yet besides getting healthy. Of course sitting here my knee hurts, my stomach is upset and my chest hurts so that could be why most of the goals I can think of are health related! I just want to have a better year health wise. I mean it’s got to be better this year. I don’t want a repeat of last year. I’m just going to keep taking life one day at a time and work on what I can work on.
I’m working on continuing to lose weight which I know will be good for my knee issues and my overall health. I am going to continue to follow all the stuff for the blood clot which hopefully we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel on that. Going to be back in physical therapy in a few months hopefully to work on strengthening my core muscles to help protect my back and then we’ll go from there. One step at a time, one day at a time. I am also going to talk to the doctor about doing some more extensive blood work on me because I think we’re missing something, not sure what that something is, but something isn’t right still. Hopefully we can find that piece of the puzzle and keep on trucking. I just want to get everything figured out. Be more proactive.
In 2008 I had knee surgery and I fear that when I see the orthopedic for my latest knee woes he will tell me that I need knee surgery again. The issue now is that I have the issue with my back, the issues with the anesthesia, the blood clot complications, its just messy. I don’t like messy when it comes to medical and the more that happens the messier its getting. I have the red cheeks thanks to the oral steroids right now.
I am appreciative of being on the steroids to get the swelling down, just not the side affects of the steroids. The good news from the steroids is that the swelling is going down and my knee looks better, doesn’t feel a whole lot better right now, but it does look better at least. I am learning to love the brace again…maybe..not really but I figure if I keep lying to myself about how wonderful it is, maybe I CAN convince myself! I keep thinking of it as a cartoon with a little ticking bomb inside but I can’t see the numbers to see how long I have to diffuse it before it goes off. I know only me right? In all seriousness I am being gentle with it because technically this is the good one. I know that since the thigh is numb that’s not doing me any favors right now so everything is going to just be slow and steady and being mindful of my posture and my stance.
It also helps remind me to SLOW down. I don’t like moving slowly. I try to do everything FAST. I think about my niece who likes to run around and zip, zip, zip, of course at 3 years old that’s pretty much the speed you know. I laughed at a story Mom told me about her telling her she was a FAST cheetah and when Mom wanted to get a picture she slowed down and told her she was being a SLOOW cheetah. I started laughing and go well I’m glad she knows that cheetahs can be both! I think I had forgotten how to just slow down, but in the last 2+ years since my accident and messing up my back BOY have I learned to slow down. My thoughts might still go at lightening speed but that’s about the only part of me that does these days. I often have to remind people to slow down for me because I just don’t walk as fast as I used to. It’s okay because I am more at peace within now that I take more time to just sit and be still, it drives me crazy to be still because I am still learning how to be still, but I keep telling myself it’s good for me.
I think when I look back on this period of my life and the lessons that I was taught I will realize that all this pain and suffering was for the greater good. I’m not exactly sure what that greater good is right now because right now it sucks, but I think when I look back I will see the life lessons and realize I came out on the other side a better person. I mean not many people can say I have had multiple medical professionals say you should be dead and be able to say well guess what? I’m alive! I can!
So I was innocently walking to the kitchen. Slowly carefully walking to the kitchen. I wasn’t carrying anything I was minding my own business when the good knee decided to pop out of joint. Yup we saw it actually move out of joint it was a little disconcerting to be honest. Heard the pop whole nine yards. So I grabbed on the counter and the chair and just stood. Caught my breath because lets be honest it startled me and thing I thought CRAP!!!! That’s the good knee. You see the other one has no ACL in it. It was torn a long time ago in a different accident. Right before my first back surgery I sprained my MCL in this knee so it’s not the first time I’ve sprained it. I have an appointment for this afternoon to go to the doctor. I have a feeling he will say x-rays and to keep it braced and keep icing it.
Hopefully I didn’t snap the ACL in this one, if I have, not sure what we are going to do. I have a feeling we are going to have to look at surgery, but honestly not sure I want to do surgery right now. Not with my current track record. We tried physical therapy for it but that didn’t help, we’ve done the injections that was HORRIBLE. So I’m not sure what the next step outside of surgery would be. Guess that’s part of what we’ll talk about today.