Gimp Limp Pain Cane

I had my one-month followup with the chiropractor today, and despite me still having some hiccups in the performance and reliability of my right leg – he’s still impressed with the progress since I initially went in, nearly unable to walk. The biggest improvement, of course, is that the problem is only rarely in my back anymore. (All of this is “knock on wood” by the way…) He says that the problems that I’m noticing with my leg can still likely be improved upon – and he convinced me that I really do need that inflatable yoga/rehabilitation ball, even if I can’t do many of the “standard” exercises due to my gimpy left shoulder.

He says that even just sitting on the ball as I watch TV or work on the computer would help. It makes sense, in the same way that you can feel all sorts of little muscles working and correcting your balance if you try to stand on one leg as someone pushes against you – that’s what the muscles in my leg and lower back will be doing as I maintain my balance on the ball. So, he’s sold me on giving that a try for a while… much better than the “real” exercises did, which caused me to accidentally jack up my shoulder by over-doing it on my first attempt.

I stopped by CVS because I figured I could get some bread, pop, and chips at the same time as grabbing a cane and one of those balls… but of course they don’t stock them. (Next stop, Amazon) I guess it’s more rehab or exercise than “medical” but I thought for sure they’d have a few. I did grab a more practical and size-appropriate cane though, since the wooden one that I won at the fair years ago (and it was one of the “real” ones) is just too tall for the way that I need to use it. So that’ll help during the moments when I still need one.

But my leg… he said everything is still fine, and I shouldn’t feel any urgent need to bring it up with my family doctor yet. I mean, I could, obviously, but he reassured me that there’s nothing going on there that I need to be overly concerned about. And he’s probably right with everything he told me… it’s just that everyone wants to snap their fingers and be better, and sometimes things just take way longer than you expect.

Alright, gonna try to hit the sack early again tonight. I got plenty of sleep last night, probably from being worn out from all the crap that I was nervous about that day, so I’m gonna see if I can make it two in a row. Had some good conversation with friends today, lots of things that made me forget about things for large part of the day, so I’m hoping to get a little more of that tomorrow. G’night, all.

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Checked Boxes

I probably shouldn’t feel as relieved as I do right now, considering that I’ve still got biopsy planning to do in a couple of days, but it sure feels nice to be done with the lower back treatments. Even though I’m still having some issues with my neck, tonight feels totally different than the past few nights. ๐Ÿ™‚ Just knowing that the “every other day” of at least that particular matter is done with for now… it has taken a surprising weight off of me. Especially because the treatments really did help, and I’m feeling so much better than I did when the symptoms first appeared. I’m not back to normal, but I’m getting closer with each day that passes – and that’s all that I could really hope for.

I’m not pushing my luck, so I’m not going to do anything too physical for a while (and I’m gonna keep easing back into it as I do)ย but I’ve taken my improved mood this evening and did a little picking up around the house, went through my closet and picked out a ton of clothes to donate away, and still plan on getting all of my legal documents sorted, stapled, and ready to sign in front of a notary tomorrow.

And this next stuff… it’s bad news… but it’s not “negative” in the way I was meaning the other day, when I said I didn’t want to post about so much negative stuff. Jim’s ex-girlfriend Alex… I thought her mom had actually passed away a couple of days ago, but it turns out they decided to keep her on life support (brain death) long enough for her to be able to donate organs and tissue to as many people as possible. ๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿ˜Š Heartbreaking for their family, obviously, but it’s good for them to know that even in death their mom was able to keep helping some people. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป

And then another friend, who’s actually a little bit younger than me… he unexpectedly lost his son a few days ago. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ Losing any relative is hard enough as it is, but I can’t even start to imagine how a parent must feel when their son or daughter dies before them. I mean, it’s just expected that kids will almost always outlive their parents, so it seems that muchย more unfair when it doesn’t work like that.

But I’m gonna jump back into this little bit of work that I’m doing, so I can wrap it up and then aim some boiling hot shower water at my neck for a while. ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿšฟ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ”ฅ I’m hoping to sleep better tonight than how it’s been over the past few nights, so I won’t feel more beat up than usual when I head into town for a few things tomorrow.

Hurt, Heal, Push, Hurt, Heal, Push…

Yesterday evening ended up being bad. Normally you do some sort of physical activity, it’ll work up your muscles a bit, then as the day and night progresses – the pain or stiffness gradually goes away. Not last night. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ๐Ÿ˜  I left PT feeling awful and it continued to get worse all the way until I somehow fell asleep despite it. And even today, as soon as I effing woke up – neck is stiff, head and eyeballs are pounding with a headache still… heh… I really wasn’t anticipating it being this bad, considering the relatively limited movement that I allowed my bad arm and shoulder yesterday. ๐Ÿ˜’ Even being actively aware of and discussing it as I was going through exercises with the physical therapist, I still allowed myself to get this effed up. ๐Ÿคฌ

I got wrapped up in that “authority figure” syndrome thing. ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€โš•๏ธ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿซ๐Ÿ‘ฎ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€โš–๏ธ Where you’re talking to a cop or doctor or teacher or whatever… and because you see them as an authority figure, you’re more likely to just do what they say, or give their words more weight than compared to a “normal” person. ๐Ÿ™„ I wanted to do the exercises that they have determined should help me, and in “trying to do my best” (like always) I really messed myself up. ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ But anyway – I’ve already decided that I’m barely going to do any of that shit during the next visit – or at home, where I’m also supposed to continue the exercises.

I’m not gonna give up on trying to get my back to heal properly and train it for a little more endurance, but I’m not gonna be able to do it the way a completely functional human would. ๐Ÿค• Tomorrow is supposed to be my last appointment with them anyway, so it’ll be up to me to make the choices about how I’m gonna keep things moving in the right direction. Heh… I can’t explain how angry this pain makes me… it’s a combination of the actual pain, the resentment regarding the original injury that has made me this fragile, feeling like “taking the initiative” to push myself to heal just results in punishment, spending every other day hurting and recovering… meh… I’m just gonna basically drop the extensive PT and do what I can, because prior to this I was actually healing and feeling pretty good.

It’s just one of those days where as soon as I woke up I was already done with this day. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ Gonna try to make this headache go away and hopefully do something that can flip my mood. Apologies to anyone who has messaged me or sent e-mails and haven’t gotten a reply yet. I’m gonna try to get at all that before the afternoon is over. It’s hard to put on “happy, socializing face” when I’m feeling like this…

And I’m gonna find something positive to post about later too. Tired of being miserable.

Holy Crapola

Check out the classic consoles and games that are available in this auction tomorrow in Columbus. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ I feel like someone with real money is gonna swoop in there and make sure they buy every last damn game though, so I’m not feeling too bad about not going… but man, look at the pictures. And yeah, even though I don’t play the shit that much anymore, boy would it be awesome to be the new owner of a shit-ton of systems, games, controllers, etc. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿคจ There’s still probably a 5% chance that I’ll somehow talk myself into going up there. I’m just feelin’ whupped right now, after physical therapy and chiropractor sessions earlier today.

I knew I was going to be doing exercises to continue working on my back, but unfortunately the folks in that office don’t understand the scope of the disability around my neck and left shoulder. ๐Ÿ˜’ And even though it’s not like work is really being done on my upper back – just rolling around on the big inflatable ball, balancing, stretching, etc… it royally effed up my neck. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ And in a way where I didn’t even realize it was happening as I was doing those exercises. So we’re going to have to make some modifications to the way I’m expected to do things. I might have to go so far as to make it “Let’s just pretend that I don’t even have a left arm.” ๐Ÿ˜ I’m not gonna suffer like this in the spirit of making my back as strong as possible… not when I’ve actually been feeling around 90% with things. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

Just Keep Swimming

I’d say I’m at about 80% with my walking right now. ๐Ÿ˜ I’ve still got a couple more appointments with Dr Taulbee, then what I’m hoping is my final visit at his office with a physical therapist to complete my evaluation and give me some “homework” to keep things moving in the right direction. Blood panels came back okay, so whatever caused the swelling around my spine is apparently gone. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ I dunno… I’ve got so much medical shit going on right now, my brain is kinda refusing to care about or retain the details as long as things are “normal” as they say. ๐Ÿ˜’

I had to postpone my monthly WC doctor appointment so I could get in at the new dentist yesterday, where I’m getting ready to start catching up on everything that I’ve neglected for many years now. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ I’ve had a filling here and there, and one toof pulled, but we’re actually setting up a plan to take care of everything that needs attention now, before it gets too late. ๐Ÿ˜ณ It’s going to be three different big-ish appointments, where they are gonna focus on one quarter of my mouf at a time. The only toof that’s gonna have to go (at least as it stands right now) is my left lower wisdom, which has chipped and needed to come out anyway. They think everything else should be okay with a bit of fiddlin’ and updating.

I’ve literally had some sort of appointment or testing done every other day for the past three weeks, and it’s basically gonna be the same for at least another two. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ It’s my own fault… one, for not keeping up on things I should have kept up on over the years, and two, because I decided to jump back in and start getting everything back up to date all at once. ๐Ÿคจ When I started scheduling things, having my back suddenly go fucked wasn’t part of the equation, but I suppose if it was gonna happen it might as well be when I’m in “Alright, let’s do this.” mode with the rest of it. Thank gawd that I’ve got both the time and finances to be able to do this though… I know a lot of people aren’t as fortunate in both of those areas.

The only thing I’m kinda nervous about is my upcoming appointment with the ENT, since my PCP referred me to him so that he can order a biopsy on my thyroid. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ The ultrasound confirmed that it’s a “complex” mass (aka the bad kind) and that it has grown since it was first spotted during an MRI of my spinal fusion site. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ So, that’s not great news, but I’m doing my best to put it all out of my mind. Whether it’s my regular doctor, my WC doctor, the chiropractor, the dentist, or this guy… until I get whatever “news” it is that they have to give me, my brain has put up a firewall. Like Nope. Not interested in bouncing this around until we actually know something.” or whatever… ๐Ÿ˜

And hey, if they say I’m dying at least I won’t have to blow all that money at the dentist, amiright? ๐Ÿ˜„

Incremental Progress

It’s been a while since I’ve had to work… but all of these doctors, specialists, tests, and referrals that I’m dealing with right now – I can’t imagine how someone with a job would be able to do hardly any of it. Since last Friday, there’s only been one weekday where I didn’t have to be out and doing something related to my current medical situation. ๐Ÿ˜’

Like I told my dad though… I know that this is just what people have to do to keep their motors running, but I’m just having a hard time adjusting to needing all of the maintenance. I mean, my neck and shoulder have been fucked for a decade, yeah, but other than that I’ve been mostly healthy and capable. ๐Ÿ˜ So suddenly dealing with multiple new medical things, plus adding dentist stuff on top of it… having it consume so much time on so many days… it’s just hard for me to get used to it when I’m feeling miserable, considering that my schedule essentially used to be blank prior to all this.

It really is all headed in the right direction though. And I appreciate that my doctor’s office calls me quite often, nudging me to do whatever it is that they’ve wanted me to do, making sure I’m making the appointments with the specialists. ๐Ÿ˜ I actually need that, since my fucked back has been the only thing constantly in my brain for a while now.

Cassi came down yesterday to help me out, which I really appreciated. Sitting here in the messy house was twitching me out, so she came down and picked up the living room, vacuumed, took the trash buggy out to the curb, did some laundry… just stuff to make my brain a little happier, and so I didn’t have to push myself too hard too soon. I was also able to see Dez the other day, by stopping by her job after my ultrasound and hoping that she might be getting off work… that way I wouldn’t have to try and walk inside. (And I probably wouldn’t have, because it’s embarrassing, the way I have to move in order to not hurt.)

We sat in the parking lot and talked for almost a half hour, and I gave her her birthday/graduation present along with a letter that I had written her in case we didn’t get to talk when I dropped it off. ๐Ÿ˜Š She told me all about the past couple of months, and she was so happy with her present. I think it wasn’t even so much about what it was, but more that even though I’ve been kinda “gone” lately – I was still thinking about her, being proud of what she’s accomplished, and wanted to give her something nice to hopefully brighten her day. ๐Ÿ™‚ But yeah… it was nice seeing her again… she’s a great kid.

Exhausted

The experience at the chiropractor today was fairly positive. I wasn’t even sure I was going to be able to make myself go in town for it after sleeping only a few hours and waking up barely able to take a step again this morning. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ By the time I took a shower and got dressed, I was almost done… but knowing that my car would evenly heat my back and butt on the way was just enough to keep me focused.

I’m already self-conscious about anyone seeing me like this, all hunched over, walking super slow with a cane… and yayhow lucky for me… the chiropractor’s office is downtown, and the effing Art Walk is going on – so there were people everywhere. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ I parked off of the road though and was able to slowly sneak in, with a nice older lady who saw me coming from inside and opened the door for me – joking as she left that it would be ten dollars for the extra service. ๐Ÿ˜ I really appreciated that, because I’m sure she could see in my face how I felt, and she was sweet and wanted to give me a little levity that didn’t come off as pity.

The doctor was nice (they are considered doctors right?) and seemed to genuinely care about what he was doing. Asked me loads of questions, and manipulated my legs in all sorts of awful ways during the exam portion. Did you know that there’s an “excruciating pain button” on the back of your knee? Cuz there is. Heh… I told him not to worry about doing things that would hurt, since I knew that it would help him diagnose. His conclusion was what I hoped/figured… most likely “just” an irritated disk with inflamed areas that are royally pissing off my sciatic nerve. (Which is what the “excruciating pain button” is connected to.)

Sadly, he told me to stop putting heat on it… the only thing that really makes the pain temporarily go away. ๐Ÿ˜’ I’m supposed to ice it as much as possible over the next few days, as well as move as much as possible – within reason, of course. I’m supposed to go see him three more times next week. I’m glad that he’s willing and able to jam a bunch of treatment into such a short time, but I’m nervous. ๐Ÿ˜ณ Today kicked my ass. I mean, the stuff that he did to relieve the stress on the muscles actually did work, and I was able to stand up straight for a few moments afterwards, but the goody was only good enough to get me home. ๐Ÿ˜” I don’t know how I’m gonna be able to do three chiropractor appointments, a blood draw, and an ultrasound all being jammed into one week. (My fault for not getting my blood drawn already, but I sure didn’t anticipate this back shit.)

Okay, that’s about enough for now, but don’t be surprised if I come back to this topic. It’s really wearing me down, and “putting pen to paper” helps me to feel better, at least getting it out of my head.