Tag Archives: osteoarthritis

Can we have a redo?

Sometimes you just need a redo, I mean the day you just need to climb back into bed and start over. You just want to climb back into bed pull up the covers and try again. That was the day I had today. I have done pretty good with the blood thinner shots, but today I must have had the angle wrong which considering that I can’t look down and I’m having to use the mirror to give myself the shot I think I’m doing pretty well. So I gave myself the shot but it hurt, then after the needle was out it hurt even more. So that was not pleasant. Mother Nature has been giving us temps in the middle to upper 90s with feels like temperatures over 100 degrees so it’s HOT outside.

So I’m pretty sure I am melting like I should have reached my melting point at some point today…and of course I remember that one summer I worked for that theme park and I would be outside in 115 degree weather..yeah that was fun…NOT! So then I decide that maybe I haven’t reached my melting point yet. But I decide to eat a popsicle to cool down just to be on the safe side! Not that I think I need an excuse to eat a popsicle because now that I am an adult I pretty much can eat one whenever I want and I have a valid excuse for eating one. It’s 6am and I’m eating a popsicle because it is orange and I decided to have frozen orange juice with my breakfast…yeah because I’m an adult! See how that works?

So then later in the day I was walking and my leg started to give out on me and I’m thinking to myself see this is the melting point my leg is giving out on me because it’s tired and it’s telling me that it’s giving up on holding up my body weight. It’s going to go on strike and it will not longer participate in fighting gravity on my behalf. I’m sorry body but you are just to heavy and gravity has won this battle…BAM! Body meet your new friend floor, floor meet body where you will be staying until further notice.

I used to watch all those commercials with the old people lying on the floor and they would say “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” and you would think aww poor old people they are so fragile! How is it at 30-something years old I could be in one of those commercials? When did I become so fragile that I could be an actress in that commercial and lying on the floor telling the world I can’t get up and really mean it?

The issue would be the people watching at home would be like that chick is too young for this commercial! That can’t be right! Fire the casting director! These are supposed to be OLD people, she doesn’t even have grey hair! The issue is that I am clumsy enough for the commercial!

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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.

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.

Attitude of Gratitude

Attitude of Gratitude can go a LONG way when you are dealing with a lot of health problems. Heck it can go a LOONG way when you aren’t dealing with a lot of health problems! So earlier this month we got repeat xrays on my back which at this point I think I could do in my sleep because I’ve had them done so many times the tech rarely has to re-position me, I usually know exactly how she/he needs me! I was frustrated when I saw the report that said no significant change since January (Healing SLOOOWLY). I saw one of my doctors who has been helping specifically with my back recovery this week and he confirmed that the fusion is happening but at a snails’ pace… he also confirmed that there has been little progress between January and present. He also showed me some other areas of concern on the xray, which were not new areas, and I teased back that one area in particular I was complaining about to him which is why we had recently changed focus in the treatment plan.

So what does this mean? A) I do know what my body is going through because I can feel it. The one issue I had complained about which is why we did the xrays in the first place and the xrays showed exactly what I have been feeling. B) We are going to have to keep doing the xrays to watch for metal fatigue because right now a few pieces of metal is what is holding my spine together (yeah let that sink in for a minute…) C) We continue with the physical therapy and D) Keep up with the supplements.

Mentally what does this mean? ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE! I could be on here whining about how life sucks and I should have never done the surgery and I was better off before, blah blah blah but I honestly don’t believe that. The leg spasms have decreased, I have lost a bunch of weight since I had surgery (the surgeries really gave me the motivation to start losing the weight and then keep it off), and I do believe that I will get better in time. I have an amazing team of doctors. I was talking with one doctor about the upcoming surgery and he said something about that my back hadn’t fused. I said if I had lost my faith in the surgeon I wouldn’t be allowing him to perform the next one, but I haven’t! I have total faith in the surgeon. The surgeon has done everything possible to set me up for perfect fusion, my body has just been SLOOOOOOOW to recover!

So I am going to keep on trucking, keep moving forward and keep looking at all the things I have in life to be grateful for, because at the end of the day…THERE ARE A LOT!!!

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!

 

High pain + Disappointment

So I have been quiet at least on here, I am in a high pain period. I am trying to get stuff done before my surgery which means a lot of doctor appointments. Everyone has to sign off that I am cleared to have surgery. Lots of boxes to be checked. I am also finding that my arms are going numb a lot more often which is frustrating, but then I also have validation that I need the surgery. I know the time is right.

Today I have pain from the base of my skull down the right side. The nerve must be slightly pinched. I keep rubbing it gently hoping it will feel better. I got the packet about the upcoming surgery and it says you can’t take over the counter pain killers for 3 months or until your fusion is complete which brings me to my disappointment…

So I got x-rays done a couple weeks ago on my back. The last set were done in January and it showed that my back was still not fused, but there was some signs of fusion just not a lot. I just got the x-ray report and it says there has been no change since January. Which is a huge disappointment because we really thought that with the hardware my back would fuse. This also makes me wonder WHY isn’t my back fusing. I mean it’s been 22 months since the first surgery, it’s been 10 months since the hardware was put in, but no fusion yet. It is frustrating to say the least. So I’ll take the images to the doctor to find out his opinion on things, ask some questions and see where we go from here.

I do know that no matter what ALL IS WELL! Even with this disappointment I am well.

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.