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.

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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.

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˜„

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.

Self-Inflicted

The past several days have been remarkably the same for me, so I’ve actually gotten into a flow… albeit an annoying one, since my body is still giving me a hard time. ๐Ÿ˜’ But I’ve been able to build up the energy to do a limited amount of “whatever” each day, but I also completely crash after I finish whatever it is that I was doing. So I just kinda have to go into each “thing” with that in mind…

It’s embarrassing being this worn down all the time. ๐Ÿ˜ž It’s not being lazy, but it sure looks like being lazy. As I’ve described to others, it’s like I wake up each day with only 10% – 15% in my battery, and once I use it up it’s just gone. That leads to unintentionally falling asleep for several hours during the day, and then only being able to sleep about that same amount that night – effectively splitting one 24 period into what feels like two “days” for me, with the second “day” consisting of me not being worth a shit.

But I’ve chosen my projects wisely over the past couple of weeks… getting all my laundry done and put away, the kitchen, living room, and bathroom all cleaned, I did a huge grocery shopping session today and put it all away, plus several other things that I needed to do like changing light bulbs in several ceiling fixtures. ๐Ÿ˜– And let me tell you, having only one arm that I can raise above my head… removing heavy glass light covers and screwing in several bulbs was the most difficult (painful) thing I’ve done in a long time. With my ill-advised Memorial Day Walmart shopping trip being a close second. ๐Ÿ˜

I actually went to Logan instead of the one in Lancaster, because I feel like I “fit” more with the Logan people at the moment. Heh… that sounds bad, but it’s accurate… I’ve never seen so many grumpy looking average shlubs in a store at one time. It actually made it easier to shop… looking around at all these people who looked like they were significantly more annoyed than me to have to be there. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

Who Invited You

As I suspected, I had fun… but it wiped me out. We all ended up staying there for about an hour and a half, dodging the rain under the shelter house now and then as needed. Unfortunately, Aunt Sharon forgot to bring her packet of pictures. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‘ She asked if I would come out towards the end of the week to take her to see Mom anyway, so I’ll just grab them from her then and figure out what she wants to do with everything.

Lemme see if I can remember who all was there. ๐Ÿค” Me, Sharon, Jim, Vicki, Toni, Wendi, Gloria, Jamie, Chris, Me, Matt, Anna, Jamie, and Mark. ๐Ÿ˜ณ I think that’s it, although it felt like more people than that at times. I tried to absorb as many people’s stories as possible while they were talking, but you know how it is. ๐Ÿ˜ It was nice though. And they made a bit of a fuss about me showing up at one of the family “things” since I often don’t, but it was all in fun… and they’re not wrong. ๐Ÿ˜…

I allowed myself to zone out as I watched the ducks, geese, and babies every now and then. ๐Ÿ˜ต๐Ÿฆ†๐Ÿฆ† All of the critters helped to make it sort of peaceful once you reached the edge of where all the picnic tables are. I even sat right next to some geese for a minute and none of them tried to give me the business. ๐Ÿ˜„ But I’m back home now and trying to get back into “home” mode, and at least right now I’m looking optimistically towards tomorrow and some of the things that I want to do.