Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Down in the Dumps Day

It's Wednesday. I'm feeling better physically, except I am really tired because I'm still having problems with the Bipap machine. The truth is, I'm depressed today and I don't even know why. I should not be depressed because I feel better. I am rather scared to admit it but even the nerve pain in my left arm is not as bad today. So feeling depressed seems foolish.

It's probably the lack of sleep or proper sleep that's causing this. I don't know what else I can do about it. I used a new mask last night and it did not help. I guess I just keep trying.

I am supposed to see my new primary care today. I don't think that would make me depressed but one never knows. I'm hoping it works out better than the one I've been using. She's a very nice doctor but I just think she's too inexperienced and I have some pretty severe problems. I really wish I could find another Dr. Like Dr. Beckman. The guy I see today is actually a fairly good doctor. I have used him years ago. I'm just really tired of having to find doctors that don't treat me like I'm an idiot. Of course, things have changed, and he may treat me that way, too.

I don't even know why I'm writing this. I've been sitting here all morning feeling down and too tired to do anything. I don't think writing this will help me feel better and I really don't know what will. Sarah has been with her other grandparents this week and I am really missing her. Maybe that's why I'm depressed. When she's here, she's a lot of work but it is work I enjoy and her company keeps me from thinking too much about things that actually do depress me.

At any rate, I'll stop this here. I have nothing else to say and there's no point in going on and on about how rotten I feel today.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

When Life Goes Sideways

I'm posting this on all three blogs to save time. I've not posted anything on them for a few months. This serves as an explanation, not an excuse. 

Here we are at the end of September and I can't figure out where the summer went. I was doing rather well at finishing my novel, Hidden in the Mist. In fact, I'm probably less than 2000 words away. It was the 9th of July. The story was going well. I was working on the study/den/dining room to get it repainted and reorganized. I felt pretty good. There were plans to sell books. Things looked . . . bright. The road seemed smooth and straight. 

That's when things always go wrong. Somewhere, in the dark I hit something. 

Actually, in the wee hours of Sunday morning at 3 a.m. I woke up screaming and had to call Mike to come get me and take me to the hospital. My whole left arm was in excruciating pain and felt as if it were on fire. It was also paralyzed. I'm left-handed. I couldn't hold my phone, dial it, or pick up anything. Every move sent me into screams. 

I went to St. Vincent's ER (Primary care is at that hospital) and they did x-rays, gave me a shot of morphine and a steroid, a script for valium, and orders to go to physical therapy. I have a pinched nerve. I went home. 

At 5 a.m. Monday morning I was back at a second ER. This time I decided to use the hospital (Deaconess) where my records were for all my ailments. After CT scan and a couple of shots of something they sent me home with Loratabs and ordered to go see PT. Monday I went to urgent care at the orthopedic urgent care and the doctor said I could shoot myself. Yeah. Scheduled me to go to PT a few days later. 

It would be two weeks before I could see a PT doc but they could do physical therapy before that. I went to my primary care doc on Tuesday and she prescribed steroids, Gabapentin and Skelaxin. Let me just say that at this point, not a single medication had any impact. The narcotics took the edge off to stop me screaming. The Gabapentin made me a zombie who felt pain and I stopped it but it took three days to get my mind back. I had acupuncture the second week and believe it or not, 50% of my pain disappeared in 2 hrs and I could actually hold my fork! Brushing my hair and wiping my butt was still beyond me. 

I won't go into the rest of the last two months. Suffice it to say I alternated between screaming in pain and writhing with gritted teeth and sobbing. Eventually, after a fainting spell in my RA doctor's office, I was sent to a neurologist who did an MRI and found I have a compressed spinal cord. She immediately sent me to a neurosurgeon. Turns out I have a ruptured disc. I have to have surgery sometime in the next couple of weeks to repair it and to fuse some discs. I hope.

And that is how life has gone sideways. 

I was unable to type for three weeks and still have problems after typing for very long. The pain in my arm is bearable but only just. It still feels like it is on fire on the bottom side of my forearm, side of my hand and third and fourth fingers. I'm very clumsy and that is frustrating because I've always been very dexterous. 

Now it is as if my hand belongs to someone else. Thankfully, as a lefty living in a righty world, I'm a bit ambidextrous and I've been able to do a lot of things with my right hand. I'll never be able to write with it and I can't remember to do some of the other tasks with it but it has been easier to let the right hand pull extra duty. As a result, the right hand is a bit more functional. Probably a good thing since the doctor said he couldn't promise my left hand would return to full function with no pain. Apparently, when a nerve is pinched this long (07/09 thru 09/17) it might not recover. 

There's always a silver lining, isn't there?  I'm hopeful because God is good and I've got stuff to do. 

As a side note, during all of this, my son Mike fell off the delivery truck at work (about 4 feet) and broke his right arm and injured his shoulder. So the one person who helps me the most is also incapacitated. 

See, I told you there was a silver lining. 

And that's the way it is as of today, Sunday, September 17, 2017. 

If you pray, put us on your list. 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

An Update from the Ledge

Whew! What a crazy few weeks it has been and this one isn't over.

I was awake at 5:30 this morning after about 5 and a half hours sleep. I just woke up and I realized after a couple of stretches that I wasn't in any major pain. I lay there a few minutes and figured I'd go back to sleep but my left brain kicked in and told me this might not happen again. I decided to get up.

So, I did.

I made coffee, made breakfast, ate, dressed and got the garbage out of the house. I'll get it to the street soon. Now it is 7:12 a.m. and I'm feeling pretty good. Seriously. And I'm tremendously thankful for that.

It looks like a beautiful day out but I know it will probably be very warm. I thought about cutting the yard but we've had some showers this week and my weed trimmer is on the fritz. It needs a new part and the stores don't carry it. I can replace it myself because it is the line cover but you'd think they'd carry something like that. Duh.

For weeks now I've been having problems with sleep and pain. My sleep has been insane and I finally made a decision two weeks ago to go with my body. Sometimes that's all you can do because you're sort of being held hostage by it, particularly in cases of inflammatory diseases. They're assassins.

Anyway, my sleep pattern seemed to go haywire and I found myself unable to sleep till 3 a.m. On top of that, I was having some pain problems. I really was hurting. The weather conspired to take me down as well, and it did a pretty good job of it. I simply couldn't get up in the mornings at a decent hour.

The other odd thing was that I'd be in pain most of the morning and sleepy but by 3 p.m. I felt really good. Of course, I'd attempted to go to bed before midnight for a while but finally, I realized it wasn't happening so, I just decided to go to bed when I got sleepy. In the small hours of the morning between 2 & 3 a.m. I went to bed.

I set my clock for 9 hrs later so I didn't sleep all day. And it worked for the most part, although I rarely got 9 hours sleep, more like 5-6 hours. Still, I was so tired that I spent most mornings dozing in a chair. Nothing was getting done. Thankfully, my friend Sue, and her daughter/my ex-daughter-in-law, Becca came on different days and helped me with housework. Just because a marriage doesn't work doesn't mean people can't remain friends. These ladies are lifesavers to me. I love them both.

Also, I stopped fighting the clock two weeks ago and started going with it, allowing myself to sleep when I felt the need and trying to do what I could around the house. I gave up a normal schedule and was reminded that when I was young, before children, I often sat up that late writing or reading.

This week, I noticed that my hours were shifting back and I was now able to get into bed before midnight and yesterday was my best day yet. I was tired until afternoon. Then, my energy boost kicked in and I actually painted some in the den. I felt really good. I took it easy last night, watched t.v. and read and went to bed. This morning I woke up on my own, virtually no pain, and I have some energy.

So, I'm about to go and tackle the painting again. I have some mild back pain and my right hand is a bit painful. Since I'm predominately left handed this won't be too bad a problem.

I also got some writing done over the period. Not on what I wanted to write but still on one of my stories. Several thousand words at least and I'm happy about that.

My vacation plans fell thru several times. I planned to go to my aunts in Atlanta, drive to our hometown for a visit, then drive down to see my sister in Florida. I planned it to give me the shortest driving times possible. I simply was so messed up sleep wise and had so much pain I couldn't do it. Then the car battery went and I had to replace the tires. So, twice I canceled my trip: one for pain, the other mechanical. I was going to go this week but I don't think I'm going to make it. I have to pick up Sarah on the 22nd of next month and my sister Phyllis is going with me. We planned to visit our niece in Texas on that trip. If I'd been able to go earlier, as planned, I'd have had the finances to do it but the battery and tires cost me quite a bit.

Now, I've got to get going before this energy wanes. I hope I've learned my lesson and will start letting my body direct me better.

I ordered more books so if you'd like to buy one direct from me, it is $10. You can pay thru PayPal and I'll mail it to you. Or you can purchase it thru Amazon or CreateSpace.