Category Archives: Surgery

Holy allergic reaction BATMAN!

So I had a horrible reaction to the steri strips the surgeon used to close my incision, so yesterday I called and the nurse told me to carefully remove the steri strips. I started taking benedryl and this morning my skin looked a LOT better already! So I am hoping that another day of benedryl will make my skin start looking more pale looking (aka normal) verses the fire engine red it looks now. Of course once it starts calming down I’ll have to put some antibiotic cream ¬†where my skin pulled off with the steri strip.

So the good news in all of this is the incision itself looks awesome! It is nice and closed and should finish healing nicely! I just wish I didn’t have the allergic reaction on top of it! I also am going to tell the surgeon no more steri strips because this reaction was so bad this year that if there are any more surgeries we’re going to have to think of something else.

Besides the allergic reaction healing is going pretty well. I am trying to get used to how my throat feels, the first few days I felt like I had a lump in it, as the swelling as gone down the lump as gotten smaller! The biggest challenge is not to try and look DOWN! You never think about how much you look down until you can’t!

I was talking with Mom about all the metal in my body now and I am racking up quite the list! Every time they ask I start at the head and make my way down and the nurse has to write fast to keep up with me! That is the life with chronic illness! I have to start with the head and move down or else I will forget something, I find that is the easiest way for me to remember everything. I was going over everything and my mother in law told my wife that I am almost as bad as my father in law!

I just keep reminding myself to take life one day at a time. I keep taking one challenge at a time. I just have to keep the big picture in mind. I think life gives you challenges and you just have to roll with the punches and tell jokes.

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Hey sexy I like your neck collar!

So I’ve heard a lot of pick up lines in my life time, but today’s took the cake. So I was with my Mom and we had stopped by the grocery store to get my Dad a organic yogurt that only 2 grocery stores in the area sell, so we had walked through and picked up a few other items. I promised the doctors that I would be up and active after surgery so we wouldn’t have a blood clot so today I would walk a bit and then rest, walk a bit and then rest you get the picture. So we were checking out and I kid you not the checker tried to use my neck brace as a pick up line…..

Guy- So how long do you have to wear your collar?

Me- Oh I don’t know yet.

Guy-When did you have to start wearing it?

Me- I just had neck fusion surgery last Wednesday and if my back was any indication I’ll be in it for awhile…my back was fused 2 times once in 2014, then in 2015 and it’s still not fused.

Guy-WOW! Yeah I had to wear one of those collars for a class I was taking and we had to wear it for the whole class period and it was really annoying! You have to turn your whole body when you move, and he starts demonstrating for me (as if I don’t have first hand knowledge here….)

Me- Yeah it gets to be a real pain when you are trying to look down and you remember you can’t!

Guy- I bet! I don’t know how you have been able to keep that one on the whole time, did they at least give you a soft one too?

Me- Yeah I have a soft one to sleep in

Guy- That’s good I would hate to think you were trapped in that hard one all the time, at least you can switch between the two!

Me- Yeah, it helps

Guy-I hope the next time I see you, you are free of the collar, or at least in less pain. But no matter what I hope I see you the next time you come in!

 

Yeah there is friendly and then there is I want your number and trust me with the body language this guy was I want your number! Too bad he’s not my type! #Prettysuremywifecouldtakeyou!

Neck brace, steri strips and allergies..OH MY!

So the neck brace isn’t so bad. I am switching between a hard collar and a soft collar and the hardest part is remembering to keep my head still. You don’t realize how much you nod yes or shake no until you aren’t supposed to do it! Then it becomes really obvious really fast. Also sitting up straight has been a pain! Here again you don’t realize how much you bend your neck until you aren’t allowed to! It’s all those little things!

So I took a shower and changed the outside dressing and boy am I having a reaction to the steri strips! OH MY! So we know every year that I am going to have an allergic reaction to the steri strips but this year is the worse! It is really angry looking and weeping and even I want to hide from it! So I will have to call Monday to get some steroids to take to clear it up because it itches SOO BAD! Which the hard part is not to scratch it! At least I know exactly what is going on and know its just an allergic reaction.

So lucky to have the weird allergic reactions!

Neck surgery, recovery and sticky cat…

My neck fusion surgery is complete! I had the IVC filter placement and the neck surgery this past week! What I love is doctors who upon meeting me realize I do know a lot about medical procedures. The doctor that placed the IVC filter had NO IDEA who he was talking to when he met me! He asked me why I was getting it and I gave him the very abbreviated version of the story, and how I had already gone over all the risks associated with the IVC filter and I understood that normally doctors do not recommend IVC filter placement before surgery but I was the exception to the rule.

So they used lidocaine to numb where they were going to cut my neck open to put the camera down my neck into the vena cava and they found the hardware in my back, they saw my stimulator in my back, but because I didn’t need sedation I only had a 30 minute recovery period after everything was said and done which ROCKED!

Surgery went well and I only had to spend one night in the hospital which was good. I like the shorter stays gets me out and back home to recover. The physical therapist and occupational therapist were the same ladies that saw me the past 2 surgeries and so they knew I was a pro. We go up and walked and I showed that I am much better at walking than they expected, but hey I have my issues!

Last night I slept pretty well, the pain woke me up a couple of times, but I took medicine and was able to get back to sleep quickly. My arms fell asleep (aka were numb) but hopefully as the swelling goes down from the surgery that will take care of it’s self too! I am happy that the surgery is over and I can go back to living. I know I have to take it easy and I have even more restrictions on me, but I am going to keep getting up and being as active as possible because that is the best way to prevent post surgical blood clots.

Speaking of blood clots…they have me on shots for the next few days to prevent blood clots and I am not thrilled with having to give myself a shot, but eh it could be worse! I have to remind myself that life could always be worse. I am home, I am healing, I am blessed beyond measure!

Creme (the cat) has been stuck to me like GLUE! She is helping me heal I’m sure, but it’s too hot for all that! I love her, but she needs to back up a bit! She always gets this way when I disappear for a couple of days, she wants to make sure I don’t run away with the circus or something… I’m just glad to know she missed me, another reason that I am…..

Tooblessed

Oh Potassium….

For those of you who have been on this journey with me for awhile you know I have this waltz with potassium. For anyone just joining welcome and let me give you an abbreviated version of the story…. Last year right before my 2nd & 3rd spinal surgeries I had my routine blood work done and it was found that my Potassium level was a little low, so they put me on potassium supplements. Then I had a saddle pulmonary embolism (massive blood clot both sides of my lungs), to which I was apparently supposed to die, but I refused..well I’m stubborn like that…to which I continued to battle with the Potassium for months until they stopped one of my medications in hopes that my Potassium would return to normal. I got a good reading and all was SUPPOSED TO BE RIGHT IN THE KINGDOM!!!!

Fast forward to yesterday…..I had to have more routine blood work done for my upcoming surgery (do we sense a theme here?) and I got to see the results this morning and I’m looking at all the results and everything is looking good some stuff is a little on the low side of normal, some on the higher side of normal, but all NORMAL so I’m like good, good, good..and THEN….I get to the line that says POTASSIUM….I think it’s going to become a curse word in my vocabulary. I mean seriously…. it’s LOW. REALLY???!!!!

So I suppose I get to take supplements again until time of surgery…BLAH…however this also just proves my point that I didn’t think it was the medication necessarily lowering my Potassium levels, I thought it was something else. However I don’t have an MD behind my name! After all is said and done I feel like I could pass my medical boards however! (Trust me that is said very tongue in cheek). If Potassium was a tangible thing and we were in the wild, wild west I would be meeting it at high noon!

Luckily I know it’s no big deal and I’ll just have to take supplements and they’ll draw the blood right before surgery and all is well. It does annoy me however because it’s been this on going battle to get the Potassium to STAY UP.

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New Diagnosis?

You’re sitting in the doctor’s office and you get a new diagnosis..what is the first thing that pops in your head?

a) WHAT?

b) NO!

c) IMPOSSIBLE

d) I’m switching Doctors

e) HALLELUJAH!

The thing about having a chronic illness is that often e is the one that pops in your head! You’ve been to the doctor so many times, they have run multiple tests and when you FINALLY get a diagnosis you want to jump up and down and scream and shout! However usually by the time that happens you don’t have the energy to jump up and down or scream and shout! This year alone I have had multiple new diagnoses, some I was happy about, some not so much and I might be getting a couple more by the end of this week…yeah not sure what my response will be.

I am tired right now. I am so exhausted from everything that is going on that I am in survival mode. I am falling asleep at night on the computer in mid-typing which is the clue I need to hang it up and go to bed. I know part of the issue is the heat, it is HOT where I live right now and so being out in the heat is not helping, I have had a lot of medical appointments getting everything ready for the upcoming surgery, but the other part of this is just ME! It takes a lot of energy to do everything. When I walk I have to be aware of my foot placement because my right foot likes to drift and then that puts added pressure on both knees, which I don’t need. So I have to be careful of how I am walking. My left ankle has been sore which I can’t figure out if I just stepped funny at some point in the last week and didn’t realize it, or if something else is going on.

I have really bad balance issues so I am always having to be aware of my surroundings to make sure I don’t bump into something. I don’t want to knock anything over because I am closer than I think I am, which happens. I have been having headaches because of the weather, and my allergies have been acting up as well. So things are just all sorts of complicated right now and I have to work hard at keeping them uncomplicated. That takes a lot of physical and mental energy. Add the fibromyalgia in the mix and I’m done!

Sunday I was walking out of the bathroom at church…this should have been an easy task…but it’s a narrow bathroom. I did not walk to the handicapped bathroom. I lost my balance and my knee brace got caught on the cabinet. Wifey asked me if I was alright and I assured her I was, and I was it was more embarrassing than anything else. I sat down and fixed my knee brace. I wanted to make sure that when it got caught it didn’t get twisted.

I just like to make life interesting for everyone around me! I like to keep everyone guessing! I will be glad to have the rest time after surgery! Right now I feel too busy which I know that will slow down to a halt very soon and I will have time to breathe again!

 

Healing SLOOOWLY

So I’m getting ready for another surgery, and I was talking about the first spinal surgery yesterday with 2 doctors (they work together) and how I am healing REALLY sloooowly from the first surgery. The first surgery was in 2014, and then I had to have the surgery repeated in 2015 because it did not take in 2014. Now since then we have found out that I have an autoimmune disease so that slowed healing, but it should not have slowed it down by this long. We’re actually not sure if I’m totally done healing even YET! I just got new xrays of my back done this week and I’ll find out soon if I am fused finally. My guess from the way they are talking, I am NOT. Which means that it’s been almost a YEAR since the surgery in 2015, it’s been almost 2 years since the surgery in 2014 and I’m STILL not healed…something is definitely WRONG.

So the one doctor asked the other doctor about if I had been diagnosed with pseudo neuropathic joint disease and the doctor said they were waiting to look at the images. I would have had the images for them, BUT there was an issue putting the images on a disc and I didn’t get it in time for my appointment. So what I find interesting with this is that in 2015 they had to put hardware in my back to keep everything stable because things were not fusing properly, but after reading I think they might be on to something as if I need something else to add to my laundry list of ailments. I have been leaning again which is what is concerning the docs. Of course that is an old habit from before the first surgery and I am trying really hard not to do that, but old habits die HARD!

I will have the images to the doctor before the next appointment so they can look at them to see how the fusion is looking. I want to know myself to be honest. I’m ready for it to be DONE, but from what they are saying its sounding like its still not healed…(they had the report just not the images). So we shall SEEEEEEEEEE. I just keep on taking life one day at a time. I can tell there has been some shifting in my hips/low back which is what they are working on right now to try and get me to correct my posture again. The pain just gets so bad…who wants to stand up straight when it HURTS?