Behind The Mask

So it’s been a week since the surgery, and while the incision site seems to be healing well, I can’t say that I’m too impressed with how my body is acting. I’m anxious to talk to the doctor again about this, so I can find out exactly what’s going to be done to get me back closer to “right” again.

Each day I’ve tried to do this or that, to see how I feel… and I feel stuck at about ten minutes of activity before it starts to affect me. The energy just isn’t there, and I get overheated when trying to do pretty much anything. Again, like I’ve said before, I know that there will be adjustments to my medication that should hopefully help with this – but it’s just frustrating how I’ve kinda been “waiting out” this first week to see if things would just gradually get better, when it seems like they’re not going to.

I’m gonna take a shower today though, while keeping my neck out of the water, because these cat baths aren’t cutting it – and I haven’t washed my hair since last Wednesday, so I’m far overdue. I haven’t shaved either, since I’m nervous about getting the area around my stitches, so I’m looking rather homeless right now… and that doesn’t help to make me feel any better when I look in the mirror.

Meh… it’s just been a long week and I’m feeling pretty miserable.

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Wringer

Pardon the length of this entry, but yesterday was kinda tough, basically as I anticipated. Anxiety had me up most of the night, so I ended up doing all this stuff on only three hours of sleep – but at least that meant I was awake at dawn, so I could just hop up and start getting ready instead of grumbling at my multiple alarms squawking at me every two minutes until I rise and shine.

From 8am until 12.5pm I was doing “something medical.” ๐Ÿ˜ Starting with my monthly neck doctor appointment, where we also covered my upcoming surgery, some of the medications that I might have to start taking because of it, and how they should or shouldn’t react with whatever meds I’m getting from him for my fusion spot, nerve damage, and grumpy muscles in the area. ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€โš•๏ธ

Next was another blood draw for multiple panels of testing. ๐Ÿ’‰ I already had this done a little over a month ago, but they not only wanted to get the most current results, but there were also specific tests that they needed that weren’t in my other test. I volunteered my right arm, and the girl did her best… I mean, she hit the biggest vein available there, but for some reason it was only spitting a little bit of blood – and it was definitely not enough to fill the three vials needed. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ My left arm ended up being successful, and of course now I look like a junkie with two big bruises on each elbow-pit. ๐Ÿ˜

Next was theย electrocardiogram, which actually didn’t take that long due to it (thankfully) not including stress testing or anything like that. Just the normal dozen-or-so electrical leads, a few minutes of holding really still, and on to the next. ๐Ÿ™‚ But the next thing was where it started to get shitty. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ

Since they’re going to have to manipulate my head quite a bit while they’re working on my neck, and since they’re aware of the C5-C7 fusion, they had to take a crapload of x-rays while my head and neck were in extremely stretched, compressed, or otherwise super-uncomfortable positions. โ˜ข๐Ÿ˜ฃ I do my best each day to not move my head in all of the ways that I had to do for those x-rays, so my neck was fucked after everything was said and done. ๐Ÿ™‡๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ So not only will my surgery site be painful, but the ways they are gonna have to move my huge lump-of-a-head around while I’m under anesthesia… let’s just say that I’m really not looking forward to how that area’s gonna be feeling when I wake up.

I almost wasn’t able to complete all the scans that they needed, since one of them (while standing) was given with the instructions of “Put both of your arms straight up, directly over your head.” ๐Ÿ˜ง If there was a bar or something above my head I could have done it with little issue, but the only way I could do it without my left arm shaking was to get the arm up there, then actually lean against the plate/target of the x-ray machine to basically jam it up there in that position. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ The fella doing it was really patient and understanding, and after reviewing them he said that the results should be fine, including that one which I thought would be pretty uncertain.

And I know, to a healthy person that all probably doesn’t sound like much… but man was I worn out after everything was done. ๐Ÿ˜“ Between the lack of sleep, the multiple stops, the blood loss… heh, the painful x-rays, and then my leg jumping around between “fine” and “omg stop” heh… I was just thankful that I was able to knock all of that stuff out in one day, along with being able to just go home and recover at my own pace. ๐Ÿ˜” It’s all good though… all of this stuff is now done with a couple weeks to spare, so I’m just happy to keep everything on track.

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.

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.

Sunday Didn’t Count

When I write here, I need to start focusing more on what I did, rather than what I’m gonna do… ‘cuz my plans for “what I’m gonna do” rarely go as planned. ๐Ÿ˜ I didn’t get my lazy day yesterday, since I didn’t sleep the night before and ended up finally falling asleep at 7pm – after 36 hours of awake time. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ I think that doing doctor / medical research all day on Saturday just kept my brain spinning… but I did make it to Lancaster on Sunday to see Dad and Mom like I had planned. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป But yeah, this 12-36-12 / asleep-awake-asleep thing isn’t gonna work for me.

Except for a few things, I’ll probably leave it in neutral for most of the day today. That way I’ll maybe get that lazy day that the weekend owes me. ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ I don’t think it’ll make that much difference to all my “stuff” if I take a knee for the day.

The Moose Out Front

I swear… life is testing me right now.

Monday:

  • Called my doctor to make an appointment about my thyroid. They said the earliest they could get me in was the end of June. The end of fucking June. ๐Ÿ˜ 
  • Looked around and learned that the FMC-linked clinics in town have “Walk-In Wednesdays” for new patients, people that don’t have an appointment, etc. ๐Ÿ™‚
  • Oh, and despite being nowhere around poison ivy when I worked in the yard the other day, I now have a bit of poison ivy on both of my hands. ๐Ÿ˜‘ Awesome.

Tuesday:

  • Went to the MRI place to have them print out my results for me. Sat for almost an hour before they were able to get that done. ๐Ÿ˜’ย (New computers or something.)
  • Now that I’ve been able to read them myself, they aren’t good, but they aren’t necessarily bad bad quite yet. ๐Ÿ˜• A little more urgency for the Wed appt now.
  • Received the determination from my Franklin Co Court workers comp case, which is 21 pages long and full of case law and obscene amounts of legal-ese. ๐Ÿค”
  • The results were in my favor, which is awesome, but my mind is still focused on getting up early to make sure I’m at the walk-in clinic on Wednesday when they open. ๐Ÿคจ

Wednesday:

  • Slept about 4 hours (the same as most nights lately)ย then woke up at 4am and waited until close to noon to head in town and get in line at the doctor’s office.
  • Arrived 15 minutes early to an empty parking lot and a sign on the door that said all of the offices were closed today for employee training. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‘๐Ÿ˜ฃ๐Ÿ˜ก๐Ÿคฌ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ
  • Sat in the parking lot, debating if I should drive around town looking for someone to run down, but decided to go visit Dad instead. (I’ll leave it up to the reader to decide my level of joking on that last comment… heh)

Keep in mind… I’m already twitchy about phone calls and appointments and such, I’m already feeling physically miserable lately, plus I’ve got workers comp shit on my mind. Plus plus I now know what the results of my MRI are, and it’s rather important that a few additional tests are needed sooner than later. ๐Ÿ˜ณ

I’m glad that I went out to see Dad though. I had already psyched myself up and found the energy to potentially endure a long, long wait at the doctor’s office – so hanging out for a few hours with Dad, talking, was definitely a better way to spend that time. So I do have those couple of silver linings… the win in court (which, unfortunately, can still be appealed to the Ohio State Supreme Court) and the visit.

I’m taking the rest of the day off now. I’m not gonna think about any of this negative shit for the rest of the day, so that way when I get up tomorrow I can hopefully make some phone calls regarding insurance, cards, workers comp shit, etc. ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป