Tag Archives: osteoarthritis

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?

 

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$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!

The rain is falling EVERYWHERE!!

So we had over 4 inches of rain fall this month! CRAZY! I hope the gardens everywhere are SOAKING IT UP! I mean I want lots of fresh veggies at the local farmer’s markets, because someone should be benefiting from all this rain, rain and yeah MORE rain! The wifey planted a small garden for us and she has a few more plants to get in, but all this rain has made that a bit of a difficult task!

My knees have been rather swollen, I noticed last night they were about twice their normal size, they still have a nice click, click, click, if I was Dorthy I wouldn’t have to click my heels, my knees should do it! I could just close my eyes and bend my knees “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home!”

I really am over being sore. I had to turn the spinal cord stimulator off for a bit earlier to give my stomach muscles a break. I have had my stimulator turned up higher than normal because I am in more pain, so my stomach muscles can feel the buzzing which normally they don’t. So I can only take that for so long and then I have to give them a break.

I do like the stimulator and I am glad that I have it, if only it covered my WHOLE back I would really be in business! I mean my upper back and lower back I wouldn’t complain. Actually they are working on a wireless one that can be put in to do other regions and I do believe they will be able to do neurocord stimulator all over the body in the next few years. So who knows maybe in the next 10 years I will have the ability to have it over my whole back….

For now I am going to enjoy the coverage on my low back and legs. Try to cover up the really annoying nerve pain in my feet and enjoy life because life is too short!

Good signs

So I got my tests results and they were positive results. The Nuclear Stress Test matched the 2 previous ones so that is a positive in my world. Matching is good. I felt like saying Tic-Tac-Toe three in a row! The echocardiogram was good too! The heart is going back to normal size, not quite back to normal size, but getting there. Doctor wants to see me back in July so I’ll see him right before my neck surgery. He did give me a letter to give my neurosurgeon to tell him that from a cardiac standpoint I am good to go.

As far as the blood thinners he says I can come off of them, but suggests I go on a low dose aspirin to keep the blood thin to try and prevent another clot from forming. He and I also discussed that I am at a really high risk for developing another clot after this next surgery which I know. This is nothing new, BUT I cannot be afraid of it either. The moral of the story is I could develop another blood clot at any time. I am educated now, I know the signs now. I am much better versed in what to look for which is good.

So doctor has been having me take 2 potassium pills to try and raise my potassium level up, but it didn’t work, so now I’m going to take 3 potassium pills for the next week. I’m not sure what the plan will be if 3 pills don’t work. I still want to know why my potassium is low with taking the supplements. I get that the doc thinks its the blood pressure meds, but I’m not convinced. I really think it’s something else. I think this little experiment will be good because if he raises it to 3 and the potassium doesn’t budge I’m going to say to him okay what else could it be because you’ve tripled the potassium and my level is staying the same something is going on!

The weather was nice and pretty and then it got COLD! I don’t want it to be cold, I’m done with cold. I want nice and pretty! I like nice and pretty! Wifey is going to be planting the garden soon, I’m excited! Life is good. Pain levels are high due to the changing weather patterns, stimulator is on more often than its not, but I try to make the best of it. My hips are misaligned again and I’m leaning to the right, so I’m trying to be mindful and stand up straight, but it’s hard when I’m tired I fall into old habits. Plus just being stiff from everything else. But I’m upright, so that’s a plus!

Ouch!

I get hurt in the DUMBEST ways possible! Seriously! When doctors meet me for the first time and say so how did this happen and I tell them I’m sure they are thinking I wonder how this really happened, but then after they get to know me they realize no she really is just that clumsy!

Im not clumsy

So yesterday was another round of physical therapy but I was having chest pains so we did everything passively, did muscle work, massage, etc and watched the heart rate like a hawk, doc even took my blood pressure which was awesome btw! He’s just as concerned as I am about the heart issues. So then he told me to brace the right knee and he taped my left knee with green and yellow tape! AWESOME! So fast forward to dinner wifey and I are about to get up after eating at a round table (yes that is important to this story) and I SMACK my right wrist on the underneath of the ROUND table to the point that I now have a red crescent shape red mark on my wrist….FANTASTIC!! I am being very careful not to curse because we are in public, but trust me when I tell you it HURT!!! So Mom and wifey shake their heads not because they thought it was funny but more like I cannot believe you just tried to break your wrist on a table from just STANDING UP! Like how would we explain that one to the ER doctors? She was just standing up from dinner, nothing more, nothing less.

I mean my track record for getting hurt doing normal stuff is pretty impressive actually goes all the way back to 3rd grade when I broke my hand in 2 places playing during recess. We were tossing a rubber ball to each other. Not hard just tossing and I broke my hand in not 1, but 2 places. When I told the first teacher, they told me to run some cold water on my hand thinking the rubber just burned it because they knew we were just tossing it to each other and they knew that I was an athletic kid, I played soccer, swam on swim team, etc. No one thought that I had actually BROKEN my hand. So yeah….I’ve dislocated both knees walking on flat surfaces, torn the ligaments in my ankle walking home, etc. Yup I pretty much can do harm just walking…Wifey says she is going to bubble wrap me, I keep waiting for a huge box to show up from Amazon with an economy sized roll of it.

Family time and pizza

I am exhausted right now, like nap ready level exhaustion, but HAPPY. Meet up with the parents, brother, sister, brother in-law, niece and nephew and spent the day with everyone, but I am ready for a NAP! It’s a long day for me when the whole family gets together, but it brings me so much JOY. I mean the smiles, the giggles, warms my heart how can I say no to that? My niece reminds me a lot of my sister and I and she is a ball of pure energy which I could use a shot of right about now!

We hung out for a bit and then went out for pizza. I haven’t had pizza in while so that was a niece treat. Pappi and I shared a veggie pizza and we fed the nephew mushrooms, green peppers and black olives off of it. Then because he likes lemons I was feeding him a lemon. The kid really likes lemon! You also know we take LOTS of pictures in this family because the kid’s first word is “CHEESE” and he knows to turn and smile any time a person has a camera! I was laughing today at the table, he kept turning and smiling saying CHEESE!

Both of the kids were on good behavior, but it was a long day for them. We had a good day, good food, and definitely good company! I wish wifey could have been there, but it was her weekend to work, so she missed this time, but hopefully next time she’ll be there.

So my birthday is around the corner and I’m thinking about cake and what kind of cake I want, I know I am going to do another butterfly cake and the niece is going to help me decorate it which is EXCITING!! I mean a 3 year old pastry chef is AWESOME! I couldn’t ask for a better helper! In all honesty the niece does know her way around a kitchen. We are working on helping her with her cooking skills under adult supervision obviously, but I want her to be adventurous in the kitchen and learn new skills because she enjoys it so much.

I also need to decide what meal I want to go with my birthday the traditional is eggplant parmesan which is probably what we are going to have with gluten free crackers since we are gluten free now. I am looking forward to my birthday to celebrate with family, to celebrate with the wifey to celebrate one more year of being me. Silly, goofy me, yeah things definitely were crazy scary at points this year, but guess what I got through them, I got the scars to prove it! Life is good. I think you just need to sit back and remember life is good. Even when everything is falling around you, or you feel like that take a deep breath and remember what is most important you are still breathing, as long as you are still breathing, life is good.