Monthly Archives: April 2016

Rain and pain

There once was a girl with bad knees

Who was severely allergic to bees

She tried knee braces

She never ran in races

I think she really could use some cheese


Yeah my knees are really bothering me no surprise. My back is bothering me no surprise. My neck is really bothering me no surprise. I am sitting on the couch with my feet up, spinal cord stimulator on, knees are taped because I was at physical therapy yesterday and hoping I can get some relief from the pain. Luckily because I have had several doctor appointments this week I have plenty of shows to catch up on! See looking at the positives!

I worked at physical therapy and I am hoping that we can get my knees stronger. I am getting frustrated because we seem to keep going back and forth between the two knees one gets a bit stronger and I sprain the other, etc. This sprain on the left is worse than they have been. I just want to give up, but I can’t! I know that I just need to keep wearing the braces, keep doing the physical therapy exercises and just see what happens in the next 8 weeks.

A positive attitude will get you a lot farther in life than a negative one. I think I need to start memorizing some new jokes however. I am starting to run out of them! I mean you can only tell the regular ones so many times before people know all the punchlines. I really do encourage everyone to keep a gratitude journal, and list 5 things that you are grateful for each day. Some days my list is harder to make than others, but I still do it because when you are focused on the good it’s easier to get through the day.

Upright..sort of…

1 knee…2 knees..1 brace…2 braces…up, down…all around. So I had the appointment about the sprained knee and the good news is it does not appear that I tore the meniscus. It looks like I have an MCL sprain in the LEFT knee to match the MCL sprain in the RIGHT knee. Well at least I MATCH…at least I am consistent. I cried. I am in pain, I don’t know what else to do. I had my knee braced and I still sprained it. Doc told me to just keep what I am doing keep both knees braced, keep in physical therapy and he will see me in another six weeks.

When I walked into the office I was losing my balance which isn’t anything new. I have balance issues some of it is physical, some of it is neurological. So the nurses behind the desk asked if I needed a wheelchair and I told them no and explained that some of this was physical from me spraining my knee last week and some of it was neurological and as long as I keep a sense of grounding I should be okay. Which I love people’s facial expressions because there are microburst that you can’t control as well and you could see the gears turning as they are trying to decide if someone who just readily admitted to neurological issues should be trusted to stand on their own two feet.

Which at this point I probably should be wrapped in bubbled wrap for my own protection. I can have a “FRAGILE” sticker places on my butt and you might have to special order the helmet since I have a big head..I mean size wise…yeah I know ego too, but seriously we have a heck of a time finding hats that will fit my BIG head.

Anything that will ward off another injury because I am just sick and tired of being broken.

When I close my eyes I see pain

I sprained my knee….again…walking…on a flat surface. Yes that’s what I said. Yes, it was braced. I give up! Seriously walking slowly, with it braced on a flat surface I sprained it again, something snapped, and it HURTS. It hurts so bad that I lay down and close my yes I see pain. I can’t really describe what I see because it’s not like the color red. I mean if I told you I saw the color red, you could close your eyes and you would see the color red. Pain is a whole different ballgame! I can’t tell you to close your eyes and see pain because everyone is going to picture a different picture.

I’m having trouble sleeping tonight, it’s a combination of too much pain and too little tiredness or maybe too much tiredness…not sure! My knee hurts so bad, but I don’t want to sleep. My brain hurts it’s so tired but my body wants to stay awake because I know what is waiting for me when I lay down and close my eyes and I don’t want that. Pain just sucks ass. There is no way around it. We try all sorts of things to not have pain, to dull the pain, to get rid of the pain, but pain is just part of life unfortunately.


Dueling Potassium

Frustrated does not even begin to tell you how I feel right now. If I was a cartoon character my face would be bright red and steam would be gushing from my ears. I got a phone call at 7:45am from the doctor’s office and my first thought was this can’t be good. I pick up and the nurse asked for me, I affirm that she is speaking to me. She informs me that my potassium levels have dropped. EXCUSE ME??!!!!! I try to stay calm on the phone because it’s not her fault, it’s not really my fault either. So she tells me the doctor wants me to temporarily stop one of my medications in hopes that helps bring the potassium levels back up into normal range. I confirm with her that he still wants me taking the certain dosage of potassium supplement daily which he does and then he wants me to repeat the lab work in two weeks. Peachy…..NOT!!!!

I want to cry. I want to give up. This is the part of chronic illness that I HATE! There are certain parts that you can fight the good fight, and there are others that no matter what you do you feel like you are fighting a losing battle. Right now I feel like I am losing an impossible fight. I have been eating lots of potassium rich foods (which when your potassium is this low the supplements are really the better help in bringing it back up), and I am trying very hard to do anything and everything I can to get it back into a normal range because of the LEG SPASMS. They hurt. I do not like them!

So we will stop this medication and see what happens and either my potassium will go back to a normal range and the doctor will be right it was the medication or my potassium will not go back into a normal range and I will be right that it’s something else to which he will have to run more tests, so maybe this is a blessing in disguise. So in the meanwhile I will continue to eat potassium rich foods, take the supplements as directed and hope for the best because honestly my potassium levels need to go back up in normal range.

State Award

When you have any major joint issues excess poundage adds to those issues. I have been actively working on losing weight for the last 2 years. In 2014 I lost 34lbs and in 2015 I lost 50.6lbs. Yesterday I was recognized by my weight loss group for having the highest weight loss in my weight division for my state! How exciting is that?! Of course I have known about this for about a month and I had keep that information top secret! Mom took me shopping for a dress because for the awards ceremony we had to be dressed formally. I even wore tights which let me tell you was a feat! Mom helped me put them on because let’s be back doesn’t work that way! But I looked stunning! I wore a long dress with a royal blue sweater, and my silver butterfly necklace that the wifey gave me for our first Valentine’s Day. I wanted her to be there with me in spirit.

After receiving this award they asked each of us to read a pre-prepared 250 word story on our weight loss journey. Staying true to myself I had a bit of humor in my story. I also told them about how 6 months ago they told me I should be dead. They had also asked for us to provide a before picture and when I told the audience my starting weight, there were a lot of wows. It didn’t surprise me because often people think I’m skinnier than I am. I remember the EMTs under guessing my weight by 50lbs and I corrected him because in an emergency situation 50lbs makes a BIG difference!

I am really proud of myself for taking the weight off through my health challenges. It has not been easy. I have hit some roadblocks at times, but I keep going and living life one day at a time. Getting up in front of several hundred people and being able to tell them yes I lost 50.6lbs last year even though I have all these health problems and I’m walking with a cane (I twisted my knee at dinner the night before…yeah even in the brace!) but you can do it too!

Friday night I was in the New You Parade and showed everyone how I have gone from a size 32 pant to a 22 pant size. Everyone was shocked. I have to say I was pretty shocked when I pulled the pants out of the closet after not paying attention to them for so long and held them up to me and saw the difference. I mean you don’t really think about it, but it’s been a BIG change. I am hoping to be back up on stage again next year to tell a different story, to inspire a new group because the more weight I take off the better I am feeling, it hasn’t solved my health problems, but it does make me feel better.

Life is good

Mother Nature needs to stop all this COLD WEATHER!!! I mean this morning my right arm and elbow hurts. It’s hard when you have so many chronic pain issues, fibromyalgia, chronic pain syndrome, etc. I woke up this morning and my elbow hurt! I mean really?! I think it’s probably a combination of the cold weather and the fact that I push up using my arm because of my back. It’s the same thing with my hips being out of alignment because my knees are in braces, when they pop then my hip tends to get out of alignment. I also tend to lean to one side when my back hurts. I try really hard to keep good posture because I do know how important it is, but I am human after all!

I straightened my knee out and I heard a really loud POP! Ah the joys of having knee caps that don’t want to stay PUT! I really wish they would however. Is it too much to ask for my body parts to stay where they are supposed to stay? I mean I shouldn’t have to say to the knee cap stay knee cap, stay..good knee cap! The physical therapy is helping, I know that it will take time to get all the muscle groups to be strong enough to take over for the knee, but it’s all good. I am upright and that’s all that matters.

It’s a good day when you get out of bed and you are upright, people who have been confined to a bed understand this gift. People who have back problems and have been confined to a bed understand this gift even more! Being stuck in a hospital bed and told you can’t get up or you will die definitely not a highlight of my life. I almost want to make a top ten list of things I really wish I hadn’t heard from a doctor and You should be dead would be number 1 for sure. Still can’t figure out why the doctor didn’t brace us for that news! I mean seriously!

I really want some heated blankets today it’s cold, wifey opened the door to the house to leave and a gust of arctic wind hit her and she was breathless. She was not expecting it to be that cold in April. The weather just has not been that cooperative. I just want warmer weather in hopes that my joints won’t hurt as badly. I mean I get that they hurt, but right now they hurt so badly I want to disown all of them one by one!

Deja vu

So yesterday wifey wasn’t feeling well and she went to the ER. So I met her there. The ER was busy so they got her back for triage quickly, but then sent us back into the waiting room until a bed opened up for her.

While we were waiting I played on my phone. I had my spinal chord stimulator on hoping to keep the back pain at bay as best as I could. Sitting in the ER waiting room chairs is really hard on my body, but I knew wifey wouldn’t choose to be in the ER unless she needed to be there. When we finally got back to a room it was a trauma room…it was my trauma room from 6 months ago.

I looked at the trauma bed and I had flashbacks of laying there and being told by the doctor I should be dead. Flashbacks of them not being able to get the IV in. I was not real thrilled to be in the trauma room where I had my saddle pulmonary embolism diagnosed in. At least wifey was not on the trauma bed, she was on the other side of the room. She got to lay in the normal bed. They ran testing and determined that she was stable that there is no infection, but her specialists are going to need to run more tests. She sees one on Friday and one Monday. So we’ll go from here. I’m glad she had a better outcome than I did in that room.



For anyone with chronic pain you get to this point where you just want to fire whatever hurts. Yesterday my right leg was spasming so badly that I wanted to just remove it, put it in the corner for awhile let it do it’s own thing and then when it was done pick it back up. It hurt so badly I wanted to cry. Crying doesn’t help however. It makes me just feel worthless. I feel powerless over the pain, the cramping, the spasm. I just watched as my leg seemed to have a life of it’s own. I tried massaging it, I tried taking my knee brace off hoping for some kind of relief. I even tried heat, ice and any other trick that I have ever used for relief, but nothing was working yesterday. I felt totally powerless over my right leg.

So I was venting about how I just wanted to fire it. I just wanted to look at my right leg tell it YOU’RE FIRED! You cannot hold up your end of the deal, sorry I will have to have you replaced. If you wish to reapply once you get your act together you may, but for now you are terminated. I had this picture of Donald Trump and the TV show Apprentice in my head where he fires people. It did make me giggle. The leg spasms are so frustrating to me because they have been going on since 2013 and I think right now it’s a combination of the low potassium (which I have to get my blood re-checked later this week) and the back damage. If the potassium is still low I might lose my mind. 1 pill it’s low, 2 pills it’s low, and then 3 pills it’s still low? You’ve got to be kidding me! If on 3 pills it’s still low we’ve got to try something else because I’m not going to keep taking more and more potassium pills hoping it goes up. I’ve been eating potassium rich foods like they are going out of style, but the most recent leg spasms are making me think the potassium is still low.



I really like butterflies. So yesterday after we got my hair cut which it needed to be cut, we went into retail chain shop that has a bit of everything. You can buy everything from food to furniture. So first thing I made sure to do was turn my back on which Mom asked me if I was okay to walk in the store and I told her I was because I’ve learned I gotta turn my back on for prevention. If I turn my back on I will last longer. If I try to turn my back on once it starts hurting its not as effective. Learning how to work with my body verses against it has been giving me a better quality of life, now if we could just get my body to work with me we would be cooking with Crisco® as the saying goes!

So this is my favorite time of year to find items with butterflies on them because it’s spring so all sorts of home decor comes out with butterflies! So yesterday we found a new sign for the kitchen that says “Welcome to Jennifer’s Kitchen” with butterflies, and these butterflies that have LEDs in them that you stick to the window and they light up! I was all giddy! I seriously act like a 4 year old some times! So last night I light one up on the window and I am putting dinner away and I seriously turn and think WHAT IS FLASHING IN THE WINDOW!!!!! Then I calm down and’s just my new butterfly! I start laughing and wifey looks at me and goes what are you laughing about? So I admit to my butterflies freaking me out and she laughs and shakes her head at me. Hey, at least I can admit that I freaked myself out!

We also got a new shepard’s hook that has a butterfly on it for outside that I am excited about too because hey the more butterflies the better! They bring me so much joy. I am looking forward to the warm weather, the garden that wifey plants and fresh food from the farmer’s market (and our garden of course!). The warmer weather will also hopefully mean less pain days, but time will tell!


So after you have had major back surgery there are lots of things you used to be able to do that you can no longer do. One of these things is tie your shoes. So after the first surgery I wore Velcro® shoes, but I didn’t like them. I was so used to this one brand and style of shoe that of course had laces that every other style of shoe felt wrong. Also the Velcro® shoes just made me feel unstable. I had been used to wearing non-slip, oil resistant soles and the Velcro® ones seemed to be made for little old men in the nursing homes. I know lots of people wear Velcro® shoes but every time I wore them I really felt much older than I am. So I started trying to figure out a solution for how to get back in my old brand of shoes, the ones that I had grown to love so much, the ones I felt comfortable in. So one day I am reading in a blog and the blog writer had been given a product to test, she liked it, so I buy it. I have been wearing Zubits® for about 6 months now and they are the answer to my problem.

I added Zubits® to my favorite pair of shoes and now I don’t have to worry about lacing them! It really was the solution I was looking for. I have them set up so I can slip my foot in and out of the shoe because that works for me, the magnet is strong enough (I wear I size 3) that the shoes stay snug on my feet. I really can’t say enough positive things about them. I often have people ask me about them because they notice that my shoes aren’t tied, but they aren’t the normal no-lace products they have seen either. So I tell them what they are.

So right now Zubits® is having a 40% off limited time sale on their website and I would recommend you checking them out.