Tag Archives: Anxiety

No Catalog….

“No, I haven’t seen Mom’s catalog.”

“I don’t know what it looks like.”

This is the point where I think my wife is talking to me and it’s not some just random dream….. so I respond.

“What catalog?”

“I can’t hear you what’s wrong? It sounds like something about a raccoon!”

So I take off the sleep apnea mask and I repeat what catalog? To which I find out that my wife who has been trouble sleeping the last couple of nights was dreaming about a Virginia Slims catalog….why she was dreaming about that not quite sure. So I know feel bad that I have awoken her from her dreams, so we go back to sleep. Well I lay there and lay there and lay there and now my sleep issues have kicked in. I typically can sleep for a stretch, but then once I’m up, I’m up, well apparently my body felt like I had slept for long enough that it should now be awake.

So after trying to fall back asleep for 20 minutes I get up. I check the info on my machine I’ve slept for 5.7 hours…YIKES! I’m hoping that I can go back to sleep here shortly, or even take a morning nap because I can tell you that is not enough sleep for me.

The other thing I noticed is that my leg is sore which there is a fine line right now because I have to be aware of different possible blood clot symptoms, but not cry wolf. Well my leg was spasming and hurt, and I my heart rate was up, but I don’t want to go to the doctor unless I have some other reason to believe I need to because I don’t want to be seen as a worry wort. There is this fine line between noticing changes and monitoring everything and going to the doctor for every ache and pain.

So for now I sit by the computer with the cat curled up next to me which is weird because she is not a lap cat, but I think because I’m up too early I took her spot and she’s getting back at me! hahaha and I’m drinking my water because it’s always important to drink water, and hopefully I can go back to bed in a bit and get some more rest.

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Wave the magic wand….

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.

ER or No ER that is the question….

So with this blood clot and everything else that is going on it’s hard right now to make judgement calls..well for me at least. I like black and white. I like yes and no. I like 0 or 1. I like binary. I like easy choices. I like to cut and dry choices with no fuss or muss but last night there was muss and I don’t deal well with that. I have a head cold. Which normally I wouldn’t worry about I would suffer through like I normally do, but right now I have this large blood clot sitting on my lungs so it complicates things.

Plus I am asthmatic so if things weren’t already messy with the large blood clot throw into the mix that I am asthmatic and yeah I was ready to have a mental breakdown last night. Oh did I mention that I don’t like messy situations? Oh did I also mention I am sick and don’t like making decisions when its not black and white? So last night I got into some bad coughing fits that caused me to throw up which of course then posed the question do we go to the ER because I had already taken cough syrup with codeine in it like the doctor told me to, but I couldn’t take the next dose for a couple more hours. I was concerned that I was going to continue to throw up, and all the coughing and throwing up and made my heart race. So the question becomes do I want to go to the ER. UGH!! I don’t know if I want to go…well I know I do not WANT to go, the question is SHOULD I go. So we decide to give myself 10 minutes to see if I calm down, we check my pulse ox and my oxygen levels were really good. The coughing started to go down, the heart rate went down, and everything calmed down in that 10 minutes, but we also decided that if I had a 2nd coughing fit we were leaving immediately no matter what.

I hate all this. I hate the increased medical appointments, the blood tests, the changes in diet. The having to record anytime I have certain foods with vitamin K. HOWEVER I am alive. I am the girl who SURVIVEDĀ the massive blood clot. I lived to tell another tale and for that I am grateful.

Wandering Wife…oh wait that’s me!

So I tried to give my wife a heart attack. I wasn’t actively trying to give my wife a heart attack, but it happened. My cellphone was dead, so I put it on the charger. I walked across the street to my neighbor’s house to tell her that I am alright, check in with her. I left our house at 11am and walked over. Our neighbor has back issues like I do and she just has neck surgery recently. So she and I talked and talked and then all the sudden it was 3:30pm! So I said to her I really need to go home and get some lunch! So I open the door and I see my Mother in Law’s car parked in our driveway. So I say umm my Mother in Law is here, so I really need to go!

I opened the door and yelled hi to my Mother in Law, and she was on her cellphone and I could hear her say I found her, she was at the neighbor’s house! I immediately guessed she was looking for me and talking to my wife. I didn’t realize I was missing. So I walked over to the driveway and very quickly picked up on the fact that my wife after not being able to get a hold of me all day long got concerned that something bad happened to me. So she called her mother to please go to our house to check on me.

So her mother gets to the house and finds the house dark and finds that I am not there. So after checking the house she informs Jenna that I am not at the house, but my purse is, and Jenna leaves work to come home. So when I come out of the neighbor’s house Jenna and her mom are talking and when her mom passes the phone to me, I can hear the relief in my wife’s voice to hear that I am alright. I apologize and explain that a) I didn’t mean to give her a scare b) my cellphone was on the charger c) I only meant to be gone for 20 minutes, not 4 hours.

I gave her a big hug and lots of kisses when she got home. We have laid down some new ground rules like anytime I leave the house I am to have my cellphone. I am very blessed to have a wife who loves me very much and a very supportive family!

In sickness and in health and a rainbow 2 x 4

I am so incredibly BLESSED, and I do mean BLESSED to have such a supportive spouse. I know not everyone has such an amazing partner to help in their struggles. Nennaface (my nickname for her) and I will be married two years in October, so she has been on this entire ride with me. She has been by my side through both of my spinal surgeries and helped me post op both times as well. She has stayed with me in the hospital and brought me ice chips and helped spot me in the hallways when I was ready to get up and start walking on my own. Having a support network is so important when you suffer any sort of long term condition because you need people to just laugh with. People who you can help create those “inside jokes” which speaking of “inside jokes” here is one my wife created before the surgery.

Jennclamps

The first of my 2 surgeries was to stabilize the spacer placed last September, then the 2nd surgery was to implant the spinal chord stimulator fromĀ St. Jude Medical. The spinal chord stimulator is going to help with the pain management aspect of everything.

Nennaface was serious when she took her vows that she was going to stand by me through sickness and in health which is good. I wrote out our wedding vows so they were pretty traditional, until I added that we would also fight the Zombie Apocalypse together as well. I mean what couple wouldn’t right? The other big joke between us is that Nennaface kept missing my initial advancements of flirtation, so I figuratively hit her over the head with a rainbow 2 x 4. Each anniversary has a different present, and 5th is wood, so on our 5th wedding anniversary I am going to paint a 2 x 4 rainbow and give it to her so she will always have it!

I feel like having a good sense of humor is important in recovering. If you have read all my blog posts, you will already see I’m goofy and I am even sillier in real life. I try to be silly and laugh and not sweat the small stuff (which is REALLY HARD!) I try to just enjoy life one day at a time (I’m a work in progress). I try to make the people around me laugh when I can. So today try to make one person laugh, it’s not that hard. Do something unexpected, and see how changing someone’s mood will improve your own.

Last day of freedom for a bit

So in 24 hours or so I’ll be running around like a crazy person getting everything ready to head to the hospital to FINALLY get this surgery. Today I’ll pack my overnight bag and make sure that I read all the instructions for today and tomorrow. I have to shower and use this special soap to wash any germs away, and then in the morning I repeat. I also have a list of which medications I can take tonight and which ones I take in the morning. Some I cannot take in the morning because of what they are, but some they want me taking. Luckily its all written out for me!

Today is going to be a day of getting stuff ready, any last minute details finalized but mostly just relaxing and trying not to stress. There are a million could have, should have and would have, but time is no longer on my side and I just have to release and let go at this point. My wife and I did get a lot done before today and we have been working on cleaning out the garage this summer to make the garage into a more usable space and while we have not gotten everything out that needs to come out of there, we made a lot of progress. Of course she did all the lifting and I did sorting. It was hard for me to accept my limitations, but it was also a good life lesson for me. Sometimes you have to stay on the sidelines and ask for help and not try to be superwoman.

Over the last two years I have really grown in this area of asking for help. I have also grown in the area of realizing when I am getting physically tired and allowing myself to rest. Before all this mess happened I was always pushing myself to go go go, and I still push myself harder than I should sometimes, but overall I am much better. I try not to get overly tired because I know that the muscle fatigue is just going to make me hurt more in the long run, which is not going to help me out at all and is just going to increase my pain which starts the cycle over again.

Yesterday I was walking in the store which I try to limit walking in stores, but it was a smaller store so I was walking and I started to notice that I was leaning to one side and I was getting sore, so I got the car keys and I went outside to sit and wait. I allow myself the right to tell people when I’m getting tired verses trying to be superhuman and push through.

So today I am going to make sure I have some comfy clothes for coming home in, and making sure dishes are all washed, stuff like that but besides that it’s going to be a rest up for tomorrow’s big day!

Only a minor coronary….

They say those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. So I learned from last year to call a week before my surgery to make sure we had approval from the insurance company. Last year when I had surgery we got insurance approval the day before my surgery, I was scared we were going to have to reschedule. For anyone with anxiety you can imagine what a basket case I was last year. So I learned from last year’s experience and I called the surgeon’s office yesterday. Well we didn’t have approval yesterday. I took a silent deep breath. She told me she would call tell them to push it to a higher priority make sure she had it and would call me as soon as she got it. Okay fine. So today when I didn’t hear from her I took matters into my own hands.

If I’ve learned anything from having an anxiety disorder its to be proactive when I can. Take the bull by its horns and not run from it like they crazy people do in Spain! Seriously who thought that was a good idea?? Let’s run in narrow streets from crazed bulls and see if we don’t DIE, sure sounds like a fun sport to me! Umm NO! Anyhow I call the insurance company and the woman tells me she can’t find any pre-authorizations for me for this year. I seriously think my heart stopped. My hands start shaking, my heart once it started beating was racing, I’m trying to stay calm and ask if maybe its under my wife’s name because my wife is the policy holder, so she checks and realizes she wasn’t looking under my name, so she checks under my name and finds the approval.

THANK YOU FOR TRYING TO KILL ME BEFORE SURGERY!!!

Seriously, don’t give someone who is about to have 2 spinal surgeries a coronary 6 days before surgery because trust me, if I have a heart attack tonight, I won’t need spinal surgery in 6 days! So I get the confirmation number and get off the phone as quickly as I can so I can scream bloody freaking murder at the phone. So this is pretty much how it goes after the insurance representative is safely OFF the phone.

Wife “I thought you were going to have a coronary when she said she couldn’t find anything for you for this year.”
Me “I ALMOST DID, I’M SHAKING. I was about to AT&T and touch someone, bet she wouldn’t even know what that meant. I miss that I’m getting so old people don’t know what that means any more, but AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!! DON’T GIVE ME A CORONARY THIS CLOSE TO SPINAL SURGERY!!!!!!!!”

Wife “Do you feel better now?”

Me “Yes, actually the screaming helped, I don’t think I’m shaking as bad.”

Wife “Glad that helped” now she’s chuckling slightly, yup that’s how we roll, I go on some tangent and yell and scream about some random randomness and she makes sure I’m good and then she laughs and all the randomness that just happened. That’s why we make a good pair!