This morning I am stiff and sore and a bit grumpy! Normally I am chipper and happy and annoying! Today I want to put a sign up to tell everyone shop is closed. I just didn’t sleep last night. Every joint in my body hurts, my nerves in my legs have been bothering me more than they normally do which is annoying. I take medication to help, but it’s looking like that medication might need to be adjusted. I normally rather enjoy St. Patrick’s Day. Today it feels like any other day of the week. I didn’t even put on a green shirt, the wifey commented on my lack of enthusiasm for the day, I gave her a glare.
I do have a bit of green on my shirt for all those inquiring minds. This month has been hard. They think I might have frozen shoulder syndrome which means that my right shoulder has been particularly sensitive. I am also having problems with my hand falling asleep again which is equally annoying. When both of my arms would go totally numb I got used to having my arms and hands numb, but since the neck surgery I have rather enjoyed having feeling back in my hands. I am also noticing that I am increasingly having problems opening jars, medication bottles, etc which I am not sure if that is due to the frozen shoulder or something else. I have an evaluation next week and I am going to ask the person doing the eval if they are related or something else.
I am trying to keep my head up and enjoying the ride, but this has just been a hard month. I have had 2 deaths in the family and I think that is taking it’s toll on me emotionally. I am emotionally exhausted at this point . We all know that when you are drained emotionally, physically it can make you a bit grumpy. That being said I am trying to take a step back and remembering all those self-care tips and not over tax myself.
I think that is one thing I have learned from all of this. Do not try to play Superwoman, because you will never be Superwoman again. I physically cannot play the part. I do not have to play the part, and no one expects me to play the part. I need to recognize my own limitations and just breathe.
Recovery is like a cha-cha you take lots of steps forward and then you go back. So I had been making progress with my neck. The imaging actually looked so well that I don’t need any more imaging on my neck right now. It’s healing properly! It’s fusing the way it’s supposed to, which is such a blessing! I was so glad to hear that after all the headaches with my back (more on that in a minute). I have had so much radiation from x-rays, cat scans and MRIs over the last 4-6 years that the doctors are getting concerned because I am young. So the neurosurgeon in January decided to only do a cat scan of my back, that my neck looked stable.
So we did a cat scan of my back and this time there is enough bone growth to consider me stable. It still has not fully fused (which is highly frustrating, but I’ll take what I can get) but there is enough bone growth that I am out of the woods finally. The hardware is stable, and they don’t feel like it will break off. There is some peace about that. When people talk about metal fatigue and how it could break and puncture you, it is a little disconcerting. However with my history I figure that’s the least of my concerns!
So the real problem I am having is with my shoulder. I think that when both of my arms were totally numb I possibly tore my rotator cuff. I didn’t know any better because I had no feeling and now that I have feeling back, it has been bothering me since about October last year. We have also been doing physical therapy on it since October last year. I will get better for a bit and then it gets worse again. So this past week it has gotten a lot worse for no apparent reason and I finally have broken down and made an appointment with the orthopedic doctor.
The neurosurgeon doctor and the physical therapy doctor both agree it’s time to see the orthopedic doctor about my shoulder. So we will see what he says, of course I could be wrong and it could be something totally different. I just want to get to the bottom of it and find out so we can fix it. I just hope I don’t have to have surgery, but this having surgery every year is getting VERY OLD! I stopped wishing for no surgeries because I have learned that is just asking for a surgery to happen, so I am just going to go with the flow and see what happens. All is well no matter what!
When you have any major life event there is a before and after. After awhile you can’t remember what life was really like before..you have this rose colored glasses view of your life. You forget how hard life was, you forget the problems you had because life is hard now, life is different now and you long for your before life. I make a lot of jokes about my injuries because it helps me deal with the fact that I will never have my old life back. I will always log roll to get out of bed in the morning. I will always have to watch the placement of my feet when I walk. I will always be careful about blood clots for the rest of my life.
When I was young I was in a major car accident, I survived. I thought that was the worse thing that could ever happen to me. I will be celebrating my wedding anniversary. I remember my wedding day and how excited I was and now I forget what life was like before I was married. You get used to what life is like now.
I am used to going to the doctor all the time, physical therapy every week. Home exercises, working to strengthen the muscles that have weakened. I was talking to one of the doctors this week about permanent nerve damage because in my thigh I have permanent nerve damage and they are concerned that I might also have permanent nerve damage in my arms. There is also a possibility there is permanent nerve damage in my neck, but we think it’s only temporary nerve damage! It’s sad when you get excited about temporary nerve damage.
But for me there will always be a before and after for me. There is a life before all these surgeries and the blood clot, a life that I don’t remember anymore. A life that I barely remember anymore. Life without daily pains, wearing braces, watching where I move, how I move, and what I do. I can’t just do what I want anymore.
So I will be having surgery 3 or 4 if you want to be technical since I had 2 surgeries last time-they just happened the same day. The big issue this time is my risk for a blood clot has increased significantly. So in the surgery plans we have to talk about how can we reduce the possible risk of another blood clot. What can we do to have the best possible outcome? This means more appointments with specialists who can give consults and their expert advice/opinion on the best course of treatment.
I have met with my surgeon, I am going to set up appointments with some specialists and I have some imagining that needs to be done. We are going to take everything step by step. I had someone ask me are you sure you need this surgery? Yes, I’m sure! I’ve had a couple doctors look at the film they all agree I need the surgery. It’s hard when you have had surgery every year for the last 2 years and you need another one this year. HOWEVER I am taking this all in stride. I know all is well.
I know things are good, we have a solid plan. I’m glad I have a solid team of doctors to take care of me. I will be glad to get the rest of these ducks in a row and have this surgery, I’m at the point where I just want it over with! The prep for the surgery is the worse! The longer we go the worse the possible nerve damage can be, which I know from my leg.
Speaking of nerve damage in my thigh…so the other day the doctor was doing a check of the blood flow in my legs and he pressed right above both knees and it was the weirdest sensation for me because in my left leg I could feel him pressing, but in my right I couldn’t. I knew he was because I could see him, but my right thigh is still numb from surgery. I will never get the feeling back in my thigh at this point. They were hoping I would, but at this point the nerves have been damaged for so long I am as good as I will get.
Right after surgery I would drop my right foot a lot when walking and I have built up the strength that I don’t do that now (unless I am really tired), but I still do not have the same muscle tone/strength in my right leg like I have in my left. I have been working really hard in physical therapy to try and build up those muscles in my legs to help support my body because I want to be able to move again. Moving after this next surgery is going to be critical in preventing a blood clot.