Monthly Archives: March 2016

Potassium

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Went to the doctor he upped my Potassium, he actually DOUBLED it. Which isn’t a surprise. I mean it was easiest to do that instead of taking 1 pill I take 2, in one week I will get my blood drawn to see if my Potassium is high enough. I have been eating potassium rich foods to also help bring it higher since we found out it was low again. I am tired of the blood draws. I am a hard stick to begin with so having to have my blood taken by the vampires is NOT my favorite activity!

My hamstrings are better today, but still very sore. I have physical therapy today and I am just going to take it REALLY easy today. Nice and slow and go from there. Sometimes you just have to slow your roll down. I’ve also been feeling dizzy and light headed, which I have a feeling is the heart rate. More cardiac testing soon. We will get this figured out!

Sore hamstrings and missing sheep

My hamstrings are cussing at me…they do not like me and they remind me every time I stand up to do anything. I have the knee braces back on today, the physical therapy doc had me try a different KT Tape on Monday but I didn’t like it so I took it off last night. So double knee braces today! Which my hamstrings are cussing about that too! I have muscles that I did’t realize were there! Actually the funniest part in all this is my right thigh is numb, but I feel my hamstring! It is SCREAMING with pain! I am using ice packs and the heating pad alternating trying to relive some of the pain. It is odd to know your thigh is numb to the touch, but then to get feeling from the inside.

This morning wifey accidentally woke me up at 6am. She didn’t mean to! She rolled over and that’s all she wrote! I woke up and all my night sheep were GONE! They had left the bedroom, apparently all of hers were gone too hence why she was tossing and turning. I guess we need to talk to Serta..or is it Sealy? Which one has the sheep? Whoever it is I need more sheep at night! I felt bad because I got up, I was awake and when you wake me up then I’m awake awake. She felt bad for waking me up early, but it really wasn’t anything she did per se, she just flipped over. I just felt like it wasn’t going to help her get back to sleep with me tossing and turning when I knew I wouldn’t fall back to sleep.

I am using my spinal cord stimulator a lot right now because of the change in weather its been nice and warm during the day and COLD at night, the back and forth in the temperatures means my back HURTS! My neck hurts too, but unfortunately my stimulator doesn’t go that high. My allergies are also starting to kick into high gear now that spring has sprung.

I just hope my hamstrings have recovered by tomorrow or the physical therapist is going to have to do a lot less with me!

Natural temper

I am a natural redhead. I have the fair skin, the freckles, the hazel eyes and the TEMPER to prove it. I am very soft spoken…usually….BUT when I get pushed to my limits I erupt like Mount Vesuvius. Today was one of those days that I was pushed to my limit and I erupted. When I was younger I would throw things, and I have to admit as an adult I do find throwing things still does have a certain adrenal release, but I tend to let my mouth do the throwing. I have learned that when I start to see the color red I need to just walk away.Ā Gingersnap

So I got up after yelling at the person who was driving me crazy and walked away. My heart rate didn’t appreciate the emotional stress, my head didn’t appreciate the emotional stress and honestly I don’t like conflict. I like to peacefully resolve conflicts. I like everyone to talk things out. I like mediation. I like peace, harmony and butterflies!

Just 2 more..

So we learned a few things yesterday during my physical therapy session a) my competitive nature will make me go farther than I probably should and b) my heart rate can and will go over 170 doing the exercises if I allow myself to be pushed. So I was working with the new guy, and he does know most of the medical history, he did know about the nuclear stress test, the tachycardia and the heart issues. What he doesn’t know about me is my competitive nature and that if you say to me oh you can do 2 more, I’ll do 4. So we got my heart rate up to 170 and today my hamstrings are sore from the exercises yesterday.

So I am resting today to allow everything to relax and repair from my session. Last night my knees kept buckling and I almost fell multiple times, so that wasn’t very happy either. I know part of that was that I was so tired from physical therapy, the other part of that was that we pushed my body too far. My heart rate was 170 and my oxygen levels were low and at one point I got dizzy. This is not a combination that is healthy. I am familiar with this combination due to the blood clot, but it’s not healthy. I also today am having some mild chest pains which I am chalking up to my increased heart rate yesterday.

So I talked to my doctor about my ER visit at the beginning of the month the cardiac testing that has been done and what will be done soon. He asked if they will be looking at the electrical element to the heart, I told him I don’t know yet. He suggested that might be the next step since the plumbing is looking good, but my heart rate is not, maybe looking at the electrical aspect of the heart is where we need to look since the blood pressure is spot on. So we shall see. It also looks like I will be coming off the blood thinners in the next month which I am HAPPY about!! YAY for BROCCOLI! I will be able to eat as much as I want without having to worry about INR levels! I am so excited about that you guys have no idea! I am going to be eating green smoothies and all the vitamin K foods, I might turn into Kermit the Frog for a bit from overdosing on greens..but I’ve missed being able to eat them to my heart’s content!

I was thinking about physical therapy and part of the problem with me is I am really competitive. As a child I did soccer, swim team and I did gymnastics for a short period of time. I mainly did soccer and swim team. If you tell me oh come on you can do 2 more, I will do 4 more just to prove you wrong, but then I’ll pay dearly for that. My heart rate going up so high and me almost passing out that was me being stubborn and not stopping when I should have. Later me almost falling and my knees buckling was not good. I need to learn to say no. I know my regular doctor was not happy you could read his face. There is a fine line and I went to far. The sad part was we didn’t do that much yesterday in the grand scheme of things which is why I think the new doc didn’t realize how far he was pushing me.

Weirdo Cat and Easter Bunny

Another big holiday today and I woke up multiple times in pain. The pollen is out in full force so the allergies are starting to kick up, I think part of that is we had the windows open to air out the house a bit yesterday. Our weirdo cat got to sit in the window sill and look outside for a bit.

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She likes to look at all the birds she doesn’t get to eat for dinner…I mean she is a cat after all! She also looks at the squirrels and anything else that might go past the window. Wifey is working on making a prayer/meditation space in the office, so she was moving furniture around. I cannot help her since I have some damage to my spine and cannot lift anything. She is making progress. I know it will be awesome when it is all finished.

So we are having family over for Easter and I am tired before we even start which isn’t that usual for me. I did not sleep very well last night. Wifey and I were discussing the sleep function on the FitbitĀ® and I said to her I don’t want to wear one because I really don’t want to know how little I sleep. I already get the apnea report in the morning, and sometimes I cry over that. I don’t need another measure of how crappy my sleep is right now due to the pain, and fibromyalgia. I also keep cracking my neck right now which if you are just joining us my C5 and C6 are bone on bone and I am getting those fused this summer. We are waiting to get cardiac testing done and some clearances before we make surgical plans in May for the surgery. I’ve had 3 major spinal surgeries and because of my saddle pulmonary emboli in October this one is going to be a pain in the butt because now I have to have a lot more of my specialist sign off.

So today is Easter the day that the Lord rose from the dead. We celebrate eternal life. I maybe in pain today but I’m happy to be spending time with family. I enjoy spending family time, and we have an Easter bunny! Otis my 6 year old bunny, loves Easter too, I mean how could he not? BUT that being said we do recognize the true meaning of this holiday. We are thankful for time with family, we rejoice in salvation and remember why Jesus died on the cross.

I hope that everyone has a very blessed day. I hope that everyone has a low pain to pain free day (if possible).

Don’t pity me!

So with the new 2016 Spring Catalog look…I’m getting LOOKS! Which after wearing a back brace for months I’m used to people staring at me, but somehow when you have both knees braced you get a different kind of look. I am getting the oh I feel so sorry for you, you’re life must suck look…the poor baby look. Now I just want to vomit when I get those looks. I know I should be more empathetic towards people right? There is a fine line between being empathetic with a person and pitying a person and I don’t want pity.

Yes wearing two knee braces is not the most comfortable thing in the world, but its more comfortable than hearing my knees click, snap and pop every time I stand up. They get hot to wear in warmer weather, they slip down as you can imagine, but they are helping. My leg muscles get sore from wearing them, my back gets sore and I lose balance every once in awhile from wearing them. So yes all that sucks, but I’ve had crap knees for 8 years now, this isn’t something new. I played soccer as a child and teen and probably helped them become what they are today from that. If you want to tell me how much the situation sucks go ahead, but be empathetic with me don’t pity me.

One of the images I will never be able to forget is having the trauma doctor look me straight in the face and say “I don’t know how you are alive. You should be dead!” A million thoughts raced through my head before I quickly replied back “Well I’m alive and I plan on keeping it that way, so what’s the plan?” To have a doctor tell you that you should be dead is one of the scariest moments a person can live through. To have to repeat that moment 2 more times, and to have doctors repeatedly tell your family she might not wake up is an experience I pray you don’t experience.

I know I laugh and joke about the health stuff, but at the end of the day I know how serious it is, I live it day in and day out. I live with the constant pain, right now I’m living with the high heart rate and chest pains. I live with the dizziness and the balance issues. I fill out the forms and I write and check all the yes boxes and I know doctors have to be thinking, she has to be kidding….but I’m not. They meet me for the first time I give them the medical history they hear about all the issues and wonder how I am still smiling. I’m still smiling because I beat the odds. I am still alive.

I was in physical therapy yesterday very frustrated because I couldn’t do what I wanted to do. I finally get the exercise down, we do the first set, we rest. I go to do the second set and I can’t remember how to do the exercise. I wanted to cry. I didn’t. I wanted to get mad, I didn’t outwardly get mad, but I just told them I can’t get my body to do what you want. I know I just did it, but I can’t remember how to do it again. THAT, that has been the most frustrating part of the neurological issues. Not getting my body to cooperate with me. We did have a good day even with my body not wanting to do the new exercise more than one set.

So moral of the story is keep in mind when talking with anyone with a chronic illness/chronic pain there is a fine line between empathy and pity. It’s fine to be empathetic but don’t make them feel like you are pitying them.

Spring 2016 Fashion Look

So when you have really crappy knees….you get braces on BOTH LEGS! WOOT! Yup my very FASHINONABLE look this spring is a brace on each leg. The orthopedic is having me wear a brace on each knee for the next 6 weeks (well to start with). Of course my hamstrings are sore from wearing the braces, but its all good! I am a little more off balance than I normally am, but I am good.

I am feeling better! YAY! My beautiful niece and nephew passed on a virus of some sort to me and the wifey. I got it first and wasn’t feeling well on Monday, then the wifey got it yesterday plus a MIGRAINE! So she’s battling both…I really feel bad for her because the migraine is hanging on because of the virus. So I’m feeling better and she feels awful. Isn’t that the way it works? One spouse gets over something the other one get its.

So the doctor prescribed her a liquid diet for a few days to help her stomach get back on track and to continue the migraine regimen. We talked to my Mom and she had it today, so hoping I can get to physical therapy tomorrow. We’ll see. I loved having the kids this weekend, but I don’t love the virus they gave me as a present!

 

Artist in the making

So the 3 year old loves to paint so we bought a couple of small canvases for her to paint with Aunt Jenna (wifey) while she was here this weekend. She had a BLAST! Aunt Jenna set up the traveling easel in the kitchen and she gave her a pallet and she got to pick her colors and paint. She learned about mixing colors and how not to put too much paint on her brush. She did a very nice job.

We have had the 3 year old since Friday night, and then the 1 year old since Saturday morning and we’re having a ball. We made Olaf waffles for breakfast and we had Easter pasta. The 3 year old helped decorate my cake. We also made Unicorn POOP! So you see we’ve had all SORTS of FUN! We have also learned that Aunt Jenn and Aunt Jenna have RULES and there are consequences if you don’t want to follow the rules. Hey kids need boundaries! However we have had so much fun that she still doesn’t think I’m mean, so I still have some work to do…No I’m not trying to make her think I’m mean, I just need her to know that I have clear boundaries and a clear set of rules she needs to follow at my house.

Tonight family is coming over for ham and baked potatoes and we’re going to have CAKE and Ice Cream! So happy to have family time for my birthday! Oh and I’m sure we’ll dig into the Unicorn Poop too! Best served with carrots and celery.

Considering in October they didn’t think I’d see another day I am blessed to be celebrating another birthday with my family! I see each day as a new gift, a new adventure and a new day to make an impact. What will you do today?

Birthday!

So I am REALLY excited about my birthday weekend, and normally I only celebrate for one day, BUT we have the niece and the nephew so we’re going ALL WEEKEND LONG! I’m excited! It’s going to be FUN! I mean my wife is going to have her hands full with a 4 and 1/2 year old (me), a 3 year old and a 1 year old, but she’ll be okay…right? I mean OF COURSE SHE WILL BE!!! We have crafts, we bought the niece a canvas to paint with the wifey because she wants to paint with Aunt Jenna. So excited to see how it turns out.

I am so excited to have the kids here this weekend. I told the wifey this will be practice for when we have kids. I also know that we will have our hands full. Mom is planning on coming over to help with the tag teaming since I wear out. But I am very excited. We have a lot of stuff planned to do with the kids. We have cooking stuff, song stuff, game stuff and a 20 gallon tote filled with toys! I am 4 and half after all…I do own quite a few toys….

I love spending time with family and I appreciate family time even more now. When my Mom got stuck in the ditch the first thought was of my sister. I laughed I wasn’t mad, it was happy thoughts. Now laughing probably wasn’t the appropriate response in the moment but I was remembering my sister and a fond memory. I miss Karen and things like that make me remember the good times. You take the good with the bad, you take your lumps and you keep on trucking. Plus it makes for a good story!

 

Tow truck and KT Tape

I had physical therapy and I was laying on my back. I realized that having my back turned on and doing my physical therapy is NOT A GOOD IDEA! My brain gets WAY too confused! So I asked to stop and turned off my back, which is kind of funny when you think about it. Hey can you give me a minute I need to turn my butt off… I actually said back off I was trying not to raise an eyebrow. So I did that and then went back to my knee exercises. I then did my normal stem and then they said they weren’t going to tape me. So I said okay and I put my knee brace back on and then in comes doc and he asks if I want to be taped..so I tell him I thought I wasn’t being taped and he laughs and said he went out to his car to get it for me! Aww how sweet! So I got ducted taped again! (It’s actually KT tape!) So I’m good to go!

So Mom and I had a bit of a rough start…she got her car stuck in my ditch. So she tried to push it out, no such luck, she called Dad and together they tried to push it out, no such luck. They ended up calling a tow truck for the car. Now when it initially happened I started laughing because my sister Karen, may she rest in peace, did the SAME THING probably 5 years ago or so. So I laughed not at my Mom, but really more remember the situation and how it had transpired. But we were fine, the car is fine, it was an expensive start, but all is well. Dad saved the day by lending us his car and he stayed with Mom’s car until the tow truck arrived, they played rock, paper, scissors, Spock to make the decision.

I have noticed that my chest has been bothering me today from the stress test yesterday. I know this is normal. I told the pt doctor that I had the stress test, he asked about results I said I wouldn’t hear for at least a week and if I hear faster than that we’re all in trouble! I also told him I might not hear anything until after the echocardiogram and my follow up appointment which needs to be scheduled. My pt doctor asked if I ran on a treadmill and I look at him and say “In case you haven’t noticed I have crap knees! They chemically induced it. This was the 5th or 6th chemically induced stress test.” So we discussed how I am really calm during the stress tests because I’ve had so many at this point. I think I should get a punch card for them! I want a t-shirt after 10! It should say “I’ve survived 10 stress tests, GET OUT OF MY WAY!!!”