Tag Archives: nerve pain

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.

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

Please leg don’t fail me now!

So this week at physical therapy I did squats… which is not my favorite exercise. I dislike doing squats and I do a modified exercise because of my damage to my spine. I am also under the close supervision of the tech while doing the squats. Well I’m not sure if we just did to many this week, or if it’s just the fact that I have no feeling in my right thigh or a combination of everything…but this morning my right leg, specifically my thigh muscle is buckling. Now the fun part is because I cannot feel my thigh or the muscle I get no warning until it buckles.

Which I want to remind everyone that my balance is REALLY CRAPPY! So to be walking and then all the sudden my leg to buckle is not working out well for me this morning. I was walking and it buckled and I stumbled. All I can think is I cannot fall this close to my surgery. I cannot break anything this close to surgery. I dislike that I cannot feel my thigh and that I randomly lose muscle control in my leg. I have a knee brace, but if this continues I have a feeling the doctors are going to evaluate if I need a longer brace on my leg for stability.

This is also why I told the hospital that I am 100% a fall risk. I can admit that my balance is crappy, I can admit that I have neurological complications, and I sway when I try to stand still. My back is not fused and my center of gravity is non-existent. I know this, and I have begrudgingly accepted it for now. It’s hard to accept what you cannot change, but it is wise to learn your limitations before you hurt yourself more.

Pain medication

There was a really interesting discussion yesterday in one of my doctor’s offices between myself, another patient, the doctor and one of the techs, the topic at hand…opioid pain medication. So both the other patient and I have long histories of pain but neither of us are on opioid pain medications. I know that had I stayed on pain medications I probably would be addicted at this point. My first back surgery was September 2014 and my back still is not fused.

We talked about how we have created an epidemic because doctors in the past have been too quick to prescribe the opioid pain medications and not try other ways of pain management. There are other things to try for a lot of patients. Now there are patients who do need pain medication for longer term use, but those patients are few and far between. A lot of patients who are on opioid pain medication don’t need them for long term use.

I will ALSO say that just because a patient is on opioid pain medication does not make them an addict. There are plenty of patients who are under doctor’s care and they are taking the medication responsibly and there are no issues. I know patients who need the heavier pain medications and they have tried other methods of pain management to no avail.

HEAT

Heat + Asthma = sitting in the A/C wishing for better air quality outside…..so it’s summer and I’m usually good with summer until it gets to be the 90 degree days. 90 degree days is when my asthma goes STAY INSIDE!! So today is one of those days where my asthma is calling the shots. I am chilling inside goofing off with friends on the Internet trying to remember life before I was broken!

It’s hard to remember what it felt like before I was broken. I seriously don’t really remember that time, I think it might be like when parents don’t really remember what life was like before kids. You can reminisce but it’s not REALLY the same. I mean you tend to make it all rainbow and butterflies and think about how wonderful life was before children because you don’t think about anything bad. I mean why would you? You tend to think about your life without children when the children are drawing on the wall with marker covered in chocolate syrup and they need a diaper change. You don’t think about your life before kids when they are perfect! So thinking about life before I had SO MANY MEDICAL ISSUES is similar. However I find it hard to really remember what life was like because pain consumes me now. It’s hard to remember that I actually had a time in my life when I didn’t have pain running through the back of my head. When I didn’t have to think about every step I took, I didn’t have to think about is the handicap stall free in the bathroom? Will I be able to get those jeans on over my knee braces? How far can I physically walk before I need to sit and rest and will there be a chair/bench/resting spot? Which stores can I walk around in and which stores do I need a wheelchair for? Every outing I have a million pieces that I have thought about, and planned including do I need to bring my blood thinner with me? Am I going to be out late enough that I need to bring my blood thinner with me so I don’t miss a dose?

Most people my age do not have a mental check list when they want to leave the house I do out of necessity.  I have to make sure that I will have everything that I might need do to my disability. I did not think this would be my life at this age, but I know that I am meant for greatness.

 

$40 Chair

I had physical therapy yesterday which isn’t anything new. I have been going weekly for months now. We have been working on strengthening my legs, and the muscles surrounding my knees because my knees are crap! When I am in the office I don’t have my braces on, so I look really normal. I also don’t have my stimulator on so that I can feel if the exercises are bothering my knees/legs. If I have the stimulator program running then it is disrupting the pain signals coming from my low back and legs which is not helpful when I am doing physical therapy on my legs.

So I went to sit outside my doctor’s office and there was a gentleman waiting to speak to the doctor. He engaged me in conversation this way…

Him- “This chair will cost you $40”

Me- laughs “You are charging the WRONG patient! I haven’t worked in years and I’m disabled and possibly won’t work again!”

Him- slight confused look on his face “But I saw you walk over here, and you look like you walk just fine…”

Me- laughs “Well I am one of those looks are deceiving kind of people. Last year I was told by 3 medical doctors that I should be dead because I got a saddle pulmonary embolism after surgery. One doctor told me I should be on medical mysteries because he’s not sure how I survived it. I’ve had 3 surgeries in 2 years and I’m about to have another surgery in August to have my neck fused because it’s bone on bone.”

Him- “So the neck…I guess that’s painful…”

Me- “Very painful. I get migraines multiple times a week.”

Him- “Hmm I guess you have more going on than meets the eye.”

Me- “Yeah and I’m here for my knees!”

Him- “WHAT? You’re not even here for the neck?”

Me- “Nope…I am currently here because I have MCL sprains on both knees and I have no ACL in this knee.”

Him-“Okay I guess I won’t charge you $40 then……”

He gets up and walks off

The funny part about all this was I had just said to the tech that for everything that is wrong with me I do walk well. I mean seriously! I know that a lot of it is all the physical therapy, all the stretching that I do at home, I do work hard to be able to walk. Walk in a straight line I do not, but hey I can’t be perfect!

Now this guy was not trying to be mean, he was really trying to be funny, he just got more than he bargained for! Because if you look at me especially without the braces on you really have no idea. With 2 knee braces on you have some idea that I have some knee issues, but still that doesn’t clue you into the back. When I have to check in, I have 12 tabs on a normal basis because each part of my body that is injured/hurts is a tab. Sometimes I have more because if I have something extra that hurts I have to add it, but I have 12 tabs that I have to fill out info on a normal day. And I know you are thinking WOW!! Yeah, that’s my life with chronic pain and yes it goes from my ankle all the way up to my neck and both sides of the body, so it’s not so fun. I try to keep a good sense of humor because I need something to escape all this pain!

Steel trap? More like a sieve

So I used to be able to remember EVERYTHING. It was very handy when I was a school teacher. Especially if I wrote it down. I had this ability to remember things really well if I wrote it out, I was able then to visualize it and then I was good to go. I loved to color coordinate things as well. I was super organized and I LOVED writing things down on a calendar. I still do. I have to write things down, but I don’t have the same recall like I did before the fibromyalgia. Today I have serious brain fog an I keep forgetting what I am doing. This morning I was in the middle of a project and I totally forgot about it and I sat down at the computer and 10 minutes later I look up and realize everything is still sitting on the kitchen table waiting for me to finish it.

One of the pharmacists at the coumadin clinic laughs at me because I have to have a specific color highlighter on my paperwork, I am very specific! He just laughs because if he picks up the wrong color I make him change it. Last time he picked up the right one without me correcting him! He’s learning!

It’s raining AGAIN, I didn’t want to get out of bed today, I’m actually thinking about climbing back in it to take a nap. I have a migraine and I am so sore. This wet weather is really playing havoc on me. I will be glad when we finally dry out a bit. I just want some warm sun on my face! Of course when it’s 90 degrees and we’re in desperate need for rain everyone is going to remind me of when I begged for the rain to stop.

There just needs to be a bit of balance! I mean like everything else in the world right? Balance makes things better!