Thursday, November 17, 2016

Progressing along..

Yes, I am still here. Thank God I don't blog for a living eh? Sometimes I open up to a new post and just stare at the screen. I think of all the things I could write but don't feel it is interesting. I don't know what is wrong with me. I want to write. I want to read your views and thoughts. My fingers and brain just don't want to cooperate. Maybe I can blame in on my CP?

I'm kidding!

Gotta say postoperatively has been up and down. I went for my six month check up this two weeks ago. Doc  reassures me the pain I'm experiencing is normal as well as the difficulty swallowing.  What was encouraging is the doctor told me he would me monitoring my progress for at least a year. It is how long it takes to recover and see if the surgery helped. He said it could be a little longer for me since I have my other issues. "SIGH"

He gave me the okay to drive. Ironically, as much as it aggravated me that I couldn't  just get up and go, I've not had an inkling to do so.  My first drive was to pay the water bill and it was okay as it was less traffic and only a couple of miles. It is awkward because I can't turn my neck as before and it continues to hurt when I move it constantly.

Yesterday, I had to go to my eye doctor (more frustrating news) and then I went to Walgreens to pick up a few things. The drive was about about 30 miles for the entire trip.  As I was walking into my house I was feeling dizzy and weak and my neck was hurting from turning it so much because people are freaking crazy on the road.

We take so much for granted and really don't think how  all of our body parts work together. Turning my head to drive was difficult and it totally aggravated the pain. But doc said as much as I move it will heal better.

I still cannot pick up anything heavier than a gallon of milk. I promise I don't want to anyway. As I chuckled with Hubby one time, normally I usually can't pick up more than a gallon of milk anyway. Well, not too much more anyway.

I've gone back to cooking and some daily chores. When my body says stop I do. I try anyway. But then I am wiped out for the rest of the day.

I have to give my awesome Husband some credit in my recovery. For the first weeks he did everything to keep the house running and taking care of me. He made sure I took my meds. He cooked and bathed me. He helped me in so many little ways that I am so thankful for. He showed genuine concern and care for me. 

I know you are thinking I SHOULD feel that way. I know this but with my child's father I never felt that way with him when I needed him the most.

When Hubby had to go back to work, he would put everything on the counter for me to use for my meals. He called me at lunch and before he came home.  I am blessed.

Good thing is I do have improvement in my legs. No more shooting pains and I can walk a lot more without hurting so much. YAY!

I want you to know I do read my followers blogs and others. I just don't respond but I will try to do so more in the near future. Thanks for the good wishes you've sent me through email, Facebook and here.  I want you to know that even when I'm not diligent, when I come back you are always here. I am humbly grateful. Thank you!

Until next time.

Word count: 652 words.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Post Op Surgery

Its been a month since my surgery. I feel like its been six months. I was warned it could be a slow recovery.  It is still hard though. I admit I'm not the most patient person in the world when it comes to recovery.

In general the surgery was a success. I have no more pain in my hips when I walk. I still get some shocking pains in my feet but not like before.

I still have pain from surgery but it is to be expected. Tylenol takes care of it.

My swallowing is worse than before. I understand they had to intubate me, as they had to move my trachea and esophagus to make a passageway. The doc and report said everything was put back. Nevertheless the swallowing is bad. Doc and nurse keeps reassuring me  it'll get better as time goes by. I'm not like any 'normal' patient. It seems it takes me forever to recover.

For those who don't know what intubate is, its when a tube is placed into the trachea through the mouth into my airway and put on a ventilator that pushes air into the lungs. When the anesthesiologist told me they were going to do that I nearly freaked. 

The first few weeks I scared the crap out of MyHubby (and myself). I couldn't tuck my chin to chest as I usual do to swallow so it was a challenge. The pill and water would go down but some of the water would go into my trachea causing me to gasp and cough. I couldn't breathe. It felt like I was drowning. Folks, that is a very scary feeling. Trust me.

Thank God MyHubby is the calm one. Of course, it is not him going through the experience. HA!  He was scared but he calmly talked me into taking slower breaths and be less panicky until I got my breath back. 

It is getting better but something is just not right. Hopefully, they are right and it'll get better.

Because of the discomfort I have good nights and bad nights.  When I wake up sometimes its like my head is locked in place. I eventually turn it (very slowly)  but it is excruciating pain.

I can't get into a good position. I normally sleep on two pillows because of my GERD and COPD. But the pressure causes a pain from the neck to my  head whether I am on my side or back. I definitely can't sleep one pillow. I tried sitting up sleeping but I end up on my back and in weird positions.

One day I feel great and the next I can feel like crap. I wish it was more consistent. I am so tired of doing nothing. I was craving rice and gravy. Hubby cooks (mostly microwave) and he does it well but he doesn't know how to make gravy. One day I decided to cook. Hubby had put the pot on the stove. I made it simpler than I usually do I threw some pork chops in the pot with onions and bell peppers then threw a can of black eyed peas. I was so exhausted after and hurt all over the next day. Yea, it taught me a lesson.

MyHubby has been so awesome. He has been supportive and helpful.

Next week I have my follow-up appointment and I have a list of things to discuss with him. 

Anyway, some of you have been asking me so I thought I'd write a short post. Thanks for your support, love and concern.

Until next time..

Wednesday, July 27, 2016


I've been rather busy. Two days after our long wait at my surgeon's office we were waiting for Hubby's dental surgeon. (This time it was about 2 hours.)  He has to prepare for an implant etc.  Thank goodness Hubby has perfect hygiene because this situation could be a lot worse.

Yesterday I went to Pre-op. I decided to go earlier for two reasons.

As mentioned before Hubby is having dental surgery the week before. Since the dental surgeon knew people (He is the only one in practice at that office ha!) we were able to schedule it before my surgery.

Two, ff the test shows something wrong, hopefully we'll be able to fix it before surgery.

Everything went rather smoothly. I was able to park close to the door for starters. Woohoo!

They called me at the exact time my appointment was scheduled. Double woohoo!

They were impressed with my well organized list of medicines and surgical history. Hey! I've been dong this for years I can't remember everything.

One piece of news they gave me absolutely made my day. I weigh 88 pounds. I gained 20 pounds since my visit with my pulmonologist a few months ago. YAY!

Of course, they needed some urine and I be darned if I couldn't pee! I made a point of drinking before I left. I think I get a mind block when I am told to pee at that moment. My brain just doesn't cooperate. The sweet compassionate nurse said it was no problem and she would give me some water (She did!) and hopefully by the time we were finished with the paperwork, EKG and bloodwork, I'll be able too. She was right. Thank you Jesus!

After everything was done the nurse escorted me down the long hall (It seemed long to me.) to x-ray and that's where I waited for about an hour. After my x-ray was done the technician gave me a bookmark with a prayer of St. Francis de Sales. 

I read it when I returned home. WOW! I believe God talked to me through this girl and bookmark. I have a feeling I'll be praying this prayer until surgery because the last line hit me in the gut.  I can't find my camera and it seems there are different versions of the prayer online. I wanted it to share it with you. If the color or font bothers you, let me know.

Prayer of St. Francis de Sales

Be at Peace
Do not look forward in fear to the changes 
and chances of this life; 
Rather, look at them with full confidence
as they arise.
God, whose very own you are,
will lead you safely through them.
God has guided you thus far in life. Only
hold fast to his dear hand and 
God will lead you safely through all things, and
when you can't stand, God will bare you his arms.

Do not fear what may
happen tomorrow;
the same everlasting Father who
cares for you today will take care 
of you tomorrow and every day.
God will either shield you from suffering 
or will give you unfailing strength to bear it. 
Be at peace,
 then, and put aside all anxious thoughts 
and imaginations.

I hope it helps someone! Time to get ready to see my BabyGirl, who I have not seen for months, it seems.

Until next time...

Word Count 496 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A Squeezed Spine

Yesterday I received an answer of why I'm having pain. It was a long exhausting day.  My appointment was at 11:30. We arrived at 11. You never know how traffic is going to be so we left a little early. They called us in at 11:30 like a herd of cattle, calling 3 people at one time. We were herded into a X-ray waiting room. I was confused as well as another person.

They started calling names and directed each of us to a different x-ray room. I asked the X-ray tech why was I getting an X-ray when I had MRI's. Her first question was what pain did I have.(WTH?) My first thought was she should know this if she read my chart. Being the nice cooperative patient I am (most of the time) I answered her. She said my doctor wanted an x-ray to see how my spine moves in different positions. I didn't really accept that answer wholeheartedly but continued to be the little good patient I am.

She took one x-ray and was called out of the room. (HUH?) A second later her head pops into the door and told me to take a seat. (WTH?) 

She finally comes in and asks me about the tests I had before. I told her and she went back out again.  (WTF??) Another 15 minutes later, she came in and apologized saying that because of my questions they went ask the doctor to confirm if he wanted the x-rays. She finished the x-rays. I was sent back to the x-ray waiting room.

We waited.  

And we waited. 

We waited some more. We were chitchatting with the other patient and her family making comments how long it was taking. When I sit or stand too long in certain positions my pain is threefold. The chairs were uncomfortable. I kept sitting and standing and walking to the door staying there to see what was going on. I saw nurses walking in and out of rooms. It was a long wait. When the doctor's nurse walked by and saw me standing against the door frame she said they were waiting for a room. 

Ironically, two minutes later she called my name. The other patient said that her appointment was before mine which was true. So the nurse told us both to follow her. Hubby said as we were walking he saw several rooms empty. I told him it was probably for another doctor's patien[pts but who knows.

We were one step closer. Again, we waited and waited. It was past 1 pm.  I told Hubby the doctor was going to come in and ask how I'm doing. My answer was going to be I'm hurting, my blood pressure is probably high from trying to be patient, my bladder is full and my tummy is empty, what does he think? It lightened our moods.

About two and a quarter hours after my appointment time the doctor FINALLY walks in. He examined my hands and shoulders etc. Then he stated my worse fear! DAMN!

I have to have surgery. I knew it in the back of my mind but had a glimmer of hope. 

A short summary is my C-5-C6 disc is herniated and its "squeezing my spinal cord to death"  His exact words. It is severe. (What is new with my old worn out body?)  I told you nothing is every minor.

He said he doesn't think PT would help especially with my spasticity. He is afraid it will get worse and more problems arises. Without surgery, it definitely will not get better. I could actually lead to paralysis or death. Of course the side effects of the surgery are the same. But the pros override the cons. He spent a a long time with us being thorough about our concerns.

We walked out at 2:15. Is that ridiculous or what?

It will be a long recovery.  It is going to be hard to be dependent on someone else for every day needs for 6-8 weeks, if nothing goes wrong. I'm blessed to have my Hubby take his vacation days to care for me and my family to help after he has to go to work.  That is now the hardest thing to think about. 

If you are at all interested the surgery is ACDF (Anterior Cervical Disectomy and Fusion and click the link to check it out. I think it is cool the way they do that.  I've always been interested in surgical procedures. I would prefer not on myself though.

Sorry this was so long!

Until next time...

732 words

Monday, July 18, 2016

It Is The Doctor's Responsibility To Give Patients Information

I understand doctors are busy. They see patients and deal with patients' prescription refills. I know they have heaps of paper work to go through to get paid for the insurances to pay for meds or pay their fee. 

However, I believe if they order a test or x-ray it is their responsibility to give the patient results that are clear and complete.  If they have their nurse call he should tell her exactly what to tell the patient in detail.

I understand most patients don't want to know or won't understand it clearly. But it is their right have a choice.

For over a year I've had neck pain that has gradually radiated to my back, arms and legs.The pain has worsen and numbness, tingling and weakness has developed.

Last year when my dad had his bad accident, my awesome physician said it just might be stress and put me on Baclofen but it wasn't for me. I let time pass taking hot showers and swallowing Ibuprofen to ease the pain.

Recently  I went back to my family physician and he decided to do a MRI of my neck. It showed degenerative disc disease which is normal for my age but after discussing further he referred me to a orthopedic doctor.

The good patient I am, I obeyed and saw the orthopedic doctor. He informed me that most pain and symptoms I've been having usually comes from the neck. However, to cover all the bases he ordered an MRI of my back (since I'm not your ordinary patient.) What is minor for "usual" patients, it is worse for me. It's been my life for 53 years.

The nurse called me a day later after my MRI and told me the orthopedist decided to send me to a orthopedic surgeon because the problem is coming from the neck. I asked her for more information but she didn't have any.

I was furious. But what can you do? If I see the orthopedic doctor again I will have a discussion with him.  

I've been fretting over what could be going on.  When I talked to the orthopedic doctor I was adamant that surgery would be my last option. I am (probably unfounded) paranoid about someone doing surgery on my neck and back.

Since the office has a patient portal I was able to see the orthopedist's diagnosis and it is scaring me. I looked up every diagnosis although I knew something about all of them. This fear would be less if I was given more information besides "it is the neck." I knew that already.. "SIGH"

Have anyone had this happen to you? Has your doctor given you meds, instructions or referrals without a full explanation?

Until next time..

Word Count: 459