Oh my Aching Back!

 

backWe all have a bad back every now and then, I think it is a fact of life.  I have had more than my fair share.  Most recently, since February, I have suffered with herniated disks and sciatica.  It has caused me a whole host of problems, included falling and double dislocating the fingers on my left hand, several hospitalizations, several epidural shots, and a surgery 6 weeks ago to do 4 laminectomies and 2 microdisectomies.

Apparently I have Oseoarthritis and Ankylosing spondylitis, which has helped cause these problems.  Whatever, all I know is that I have a bad back.  A very bad back.

After my surgery 6 weeks ago, I went right back to work (there were extenuating circumstances) and was driving to Libertyville 3-4 days a week plus working from home.  I was riding my lawnmower and my quad.  I was going to the pool.  I was dealing with my sleep apnea and going to sleep studies etc.  I was dealing with heart issues and going for stress tests, echocardiagrams and venous studies. I was doing WAY TOO MUCH.  So now I am back to square one with my back, and it is mostly my fault.  And my Catholic school guilt, which prevents me from putting myself FIRST when I need to.  So now I have ruined everything, and I don’t know if it can be fixed.  Crikey.

Tomorrow I go back to the hospital for tests and MRI, to see the scope of the further damage I have done to myself.  I am on very strong muscle relaxers and pain killers (so excuse the poor grammar etc.).  I am dizzy and in severe pain.  It takes me 15-30 minutes to get out of bed, because I have to wait for the zingers in my leg to pass enough to put weight on it without screaming.  Just like before my surgery.  I hate this.  I hate myself.

Sigh.  Why do I do this to myself?  I am my own worst enemy.  From now on I am putting myself first.  No matter what.  Please help me do that!

P.S.  You might want to read a previous post, in which I detail what happened back in February.  How was YOUR week? Redux

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How was YOUR week? Redux

Hi again.  Just wanted to update this post, since it’s SOOOOOOOO apropos.  Again.

Last Wednesday I had back surgery.  4 Laminectomies (L2-L5) and 2 Microdisectomies (L2 and L3).  They sent me home the same day.  I laid low for a few days and was feeling much better, but due to a situation beyond my control, I went into work Monday – Thursday.  Didn’t do myself any favors, and now my back hurts very bad again.  I feel like the surgery was wasted, because I didn’t follow the doctor’s directions.  Maybe some people are like Superman, but apparently I am not, and have enough additional problems with my health to really warrant taking it easy.  But alas, I am afraid it is too late.  Again.  Sigh.  But I will put my smile on and not complain, because I don’t want to be a drama queen or a negative person.  So here ya go.      🙂

 

how was your week

Everyone has good weeks.  Everyone has bad weeks.  I am no exception.

It seems, however, that I have more than my share of bad weeks.  I really do try and stay positive and rise above it, which makes me feel so sad when people try to tear me down for not being a more positive person, and I know there are so many people out there that have it so much worse than me, and my heart and soul hurt for them.  Nobody knows what another person is going through.

But let me have a moment.  I deserve to have my own moment, just one moment, when it seems that everything has gone wrong, and maybe get a tiny bit of props for just weathering the storm that descended upon me.

Before you judge me, let me tell about a week I had a couple of months ago.

I booked a little trip to Florida.  I was SO excited.  I had not been anywhere in many years.  The past four years I have spent dealing with hip replacements/issues.  Many surgeries/hospitalizations/nursing homes.  Not much fun really, so I was really looking forward to a few days of fun in the sun with my wonderful cousin.

About a week before I was to leave, my back started to cause me some issues.  I tried to baby it and ignore it as much as possible, but it got worse by the day.  I really didn’t want to cancel my trip, so I soldiered on.  I arrived ok and my vacation started off with a great evening!  The next day, though, things started to go horribly wrong.

I fell.  I fell pretty bad.  One moment I was getting out of the car, the next I was flat on the sidewalk.  I don’t really know exactly how I fell.  I was in a hurry to catch a train.  At first I thought I tripped.  But later, I realized that my sciatica leg most likely gave out on me, as it had prior to my trip.  So, I fell.  I remember thinking, oh shit, this is NOT going to end well.  I purposely fell straight forward, because I didn’t want to land on my hip.  So my poor hand took the brunt of the fall.  But the brain works in mysterious ways.  I fell, and immediately felt the pain of my hand, and looked at my fingers, and they were all bent this way and that way.  My first thought was, get up and get on the train, and you can worry about bending your fingers back then.  Then I made the mistake of wondering where all the blood was coming from.  I turned my hand over, and a lady who had run over to help me had to turn around and walk away.  Let’s just say it wasn’t pretty.  A lot of blood and bone.  Open dislocations I believe they call it.  Luckily my friend who was with me kept her wits about her (love her so much) and ran to get some tissues to wrap around my hand.  A nice young gent helped me get up and wanted to call an ambulance, but my friend insisted upon taking me to the Level I trauma center.  Thank goodness.  It was quite a night, a painful night.  Try getting double dislocated fingers pulled out when the whole back side of your fingers are open bleeding wounds and the multiple Novocaine shots are not working.  Ouch.  Did I say ouch?  My poor cousin had to drive a long way to come and get me, and my poor friend had to spend her evening with me in an ER.  So, after getting relocated (or undislocated), stitched up, and casted, I was on my way again, lol.  However, the drug store would not fill my pain med Rx because I had one on file back at home.  Where my pills were.  Back at home.  Ouch.  Did I say ouch?

I actually had a good time the rest of my vacation.  My cousin took great care of me.  We went for massages and wined and dined.  I do feel bad, however, because I did complain a few times.  I think I was crazed with pain. I made it home ok, had help on the plane from a nice young gent (again).  My co-worker picked me up from the airport and I went straight to work.  I lasted a few hours, and went home.  Next morning I was at the cancer infusion center to get a Crohn’s infusion.  5 tries for the IV.  Ouch.  Did I say ouch?  Then I went to the  hand surgeon, where they manipulated my fingers around looking for nerve/tendon damage.  Ouch.  Did I say ouch?  Next day I was back at work in bionic metal fingers.  Day after that I was in the ER once again, not able to walk anymore.  My back just gave up the ghost at that point.  ER tried 6 times for the IV.  In the same veins.  Ouch.  Did I say ouch?

Once they took me to a room a specialist came in and put in a mid-line IV.  Not fun.  So not fun.  They try to numb you up, but they have to go deep.  Ouch.  Did I say ouch?  So there I was, flat on my back, with open wounds on my fingers that had to taken care of, and a new herniated disk.  Ok fine.  The pain management doc couldn’t take me for an injection for a few days.  Ok fine.  So my Crohn’s Disease (inflammatory bowel disease) decided to join in the fun.  With a vengeance.

Let me define, with a vengeance.  It means having to get up out of bed, with one hand, and severe pain upon standing where you are immobile for a few minutes until the electrical shocks running down your legs subside enough that you can bear weight, and then shuffling off to the bathroom with a cane.  Every half hour.  With a buzzer on your bed so you can’t get out without assistance.  So you have to wait for someone to come.  Or just let the alarms go off.  They come quicker then, lol.   I’m not even going to say ouch at this point.  It was so much more than that.

Finally get my injection into my spine.  Always fun.  Even though they inject you with Novocaine, it’s still needles.  In your spine.  And you need multiple injections, until they get it in the right spot.  But once they hit that sweet spot, the relief comes quickly.  By the next day, I was feeling better.

Once again a co-worker came to pick me up, and took me back to work.  I worked for a few hours, and then went home.  And went about the business of trying to live my life again, living alone, in a house with many stairs.

I’ve got to say, I am SO over the ouch.  Or ouches in my case.  And this has been happening to me, off and on, for 4 years now.  I try SO. DAMN. HARD to stay positive and smiling through it all.  Sometimes it gets to be too much.  Sometimes maybe I become grumpy at times, or don’t “act” like I should.  Sometimes maybe I get angry at the situation.  Sometimes maybe I feel sorry for myself.   But mostly, I just am sad.  Sad that people don’t understand.  I have actually been accused of doing this all to get attention.  Seriously.  Sigh.  But I understand.  I don’t like to be around myself either sometimes.  I guess I can understand why people get tired of me.  But you don’t have to be a mean girl about it.  Just saying.

I am trying to be proactive now, and take steps to remove myself from this situation.  The sad parts, anyway.  I need to stay away from toxic people.  I need to learn that it’s ok if people don’t like me, not everybody has to.  I need to make some positive changes in my life, that will help me, instead of continuing to hurt me.  The emotional pain is SO much worse than any physical pain I have endured.  That is the real ouch.

So what is the meaning of all this blathering on?  I just wanted to share a week of my life, which wasn’t the best week of my life, but it wasn’t the worst week either.  It does sound unbelievable.  But you can’t make this shit up.  I wish it was made up.

So if you see me and I am not little Miss Sunshine, please believe when I say I wish I could be that way all the time.  I will try not to be a drama queen.  I spend most of my time alone in my home.  And that is fine with me.  I am learning to love myself, despite my flaws.  And I’m really not alone, I have Ozzy, Izzy and Mickey Moo to keep me company.  Pets are great.  They love you unconditionally, and don’t judge you.

howwasyourweekendcat

P.S.  Today I have to go for another injection in my back, as the electrical shocks are becoming unbearable again.  For realz.  Ouch.  Did I say ouch?

P.S.S.  And I am booked to go to Florida again in another week or so.  Let’s hope this “trip” goes better!

 

How was YOUR week?

 

how was your week

Everyone has good weeks.  Everyone has bad weeks.  I am no exception.

It seems, however, that I have more than my share of bad weeks.  I really do try and stay positive and rise above it, which makes me feel so sad when people try to tear me down for not being a more positive person, and I know there are so many people out there that have it so much worse than me, and my heart and soul hurt for them.  Nobody knows what another person is going through.

But let me have a moment.  I deserve to have my own moment, just one moment, when it seems that everything has gone wrong, and maybe get a tiny bit of props for just weathering the storm that descended upon me.

Before you judge me, let me tell about a week I had a couple of months ago.

I booked a little trip to Florida.  I was SO excited.  I had not been anywhere in many years.  The past four years I have spent dealing with hip replacements/issues.  Many surgeries/hospitalizations/nursing homes.  Not much fun really, so I was really looking forward to a few days of fun in the sun with my wonderful cousin.

About a week before I was to leave, my back started to cause me some issues.  I tried to baby it and ignore it as much as possible, but it got worse by the day.  I really didn’t want to cancel my trip, so I soldiered on.  I arrived ok and my vacation started off with a great evening!  The next day, though, things started to go horribly wrong.

I fell.  I fell pretty bad.  One moment I was getting out of the car, the next I was flat on the sidewalk.  I don’t really know exactly how I fell.  I was in a hurry to catch a train.  At first I thought I tripped.  But later, I realized that my sciatica leg most likely gave out on me, as it had prior to my trip.  So, I fell.  I remember thinking, oh shit, this is NOT going to end well.  I purposely fell straight forward, because I didn’t want to land on my hip.  So my poor hand took the brunt of the fall.  But the brain works in mysterious ways.  I fell, and immediately felt the pain of my hand, and looked at my fingers, and they were all bent this way and that way.  My first thought was, get up and get on the train, and you can worry about bending your fingers back then.  Then I made the mistake of wondering where all the blood was coming from.  I turned my hand over, and a lady who had run over to help me had to turn around and walk away.  Let’s just say it wasn’t pretty.  A lot of blood and bone.  Open dislocations I believe they call it.  Luckily my friend who was with me kept her wits about her (love her so much) and ran to get some tissues to wrap around my hand.  A nice young gent helped me get up and wanted to call an ambulance, but my friend insisted upon taking me to the Level I trauma center.  Thank goodness.  It was quite a night, a painful night.  Try getting double dislocated fingers pulled out when the whole back side of your fingers are open bleeding wounds and the multiple Novocaine shots are not working.  Ouch.  Did I say ouch?  My poor cousin had to drive a long way to come and get me, and my poor friend had to spend her evening with me in an ER.  So, after getting relocated (or undislocated), stitched up, and casted, I was on my way again, lol.  However, the drug store would not fill my pain med Rx because I had one on file back at home.  Where my pills were.  Back at home.  Ouch.  Did I say ouch?

I actually had a good time the rest of my vacation.  My cousin took great care of me.  We went for massages and wined and dined.  I do feel bad, however, because I did complain a few times.  I think I was crazed with pain. I made it home ok, had help on the plane from a nice young gent (again).  My co-worker picked me up from the airport and I went straight to work.  I lasted a few hours, and went home.  Next morning I was at the cancer infusion center to get a Crohn’s infusion.  5 tries for the IV.  Ouch.  Did I say ouch?  Then I went to the  hand surgeon, where they manipulated my fingers around looking for nerve/tendon damage.  Ouch.  Did I say ouch?  Next day I was back at work in bionic metal fingers.  Day after that I was in the ER once again, not able to walk anymore.  My back just gave up the ghost at that point.  ER tried 6 times for the IV.  In the same veins.  Ouch.  Did I say ouch?

Once they took me to a room a specialist came in and put in a mid-line IV.  Not fun.  So not fun.  They try to numb you up, but they have to go deep.  Ouch.  Did I say ouch?  So there I was, flat on my back, with open wounds on my fingers that had to taken care of, and a new herniated disk.  Ok fine.  The pain management doc couldn’t take me for an injection for a few days.  Ok fine.  So my Crohn’s Disease (inflammatory bowel disease) decided to join in the fun.  With a vengeance.

Let me define, with a vengeance.  It means having to get up out of bed, with one hand, and severe pain upon standing where you are immobile for a few minutes until the electrical shocks running down your legs subside enough that you can bear weight, and then shuffling off to the bathroom with a cane.  Every half hour.  With a buzzer on your bed so you can’t get out without assistance.  So you have to wait for someone to come.  Or just let the alarms go off.  They come quicker then, lol.   I’m not even going to say ouch at this point.  It was so much more than that.

Finally get my injection into my spine.  Always fun.  Even though they inject you with Novocaine, it’s still needles.  In your spine.  And you need multiple injections, until they get it in the right spot.  But once they hit that sweet spot, the relief comes quickly.  By the next day, I was feeling better.

Once again a co-worker came to pick me up, and took me back to work.  I worked for a few hours, and then went home.  And went about the business of trying to live my life again, living alone, in a house with many stairs.

I’ve got to say, I am SO over the ouch.  Or ouches in my case.  And this has been happening to me, off and on, for 4 years now.  I try SO. DAMN. HARD to stay positive and smiling through it all.  Sometimes it gets to be too much.  Sometimes maybe I become grumpy at times, or don’t “act” like I should.  Sometimes maybe I get angry at the situation.  Sometimes maybe I feel sorry for myself.   But mostly, I just am sad.  Sad that people don’t understand.  I have actually been accused of doing this all to get attention.  Seriously.  Sigh.  But I understand.  I don’t like to be around myself either sometimes.  I guess I can understand why people get tired of me.  But you don’t have to be a mean girl about it.  Just saying.

I am trying to be proactive now, and take steps to remove myself from this situation.  The sad parts, anyway.  I need to stay away from toxic people.  I need to learn that it’s ok if people don’t like me, not everybody has to.  I need to make some positive changes in my life, that will help me, instead of continuing to hurt me.  The emotional pain is SO much worse than any physical pain I have endured.  That is the real ouch.

So what is the meaning of all this blathering on?  I just wanted to share a week of my life, which wasn’t the best week of my life, but it wasn’t the worst week either.  It does sound unbelievable.  But you can’t make this shit up.  I wish it was made up.

So if you see me and I am not little Miss Sunshine, please believe when I say I wish I could be that way all the time.  I will try not to be a drama queen.  I spend most of my time alone in my home.  And that is fine with me.  I am learning to love myself, despite my flaws.  And I’m really not alone, I have Ozzy, Izzy and Mickey Moo to keep me company.  Pets are great.  They love you unconditionally, and don’t judge you.

howwasyourweekendcat

P.S.  Today I have to go for another injection in my back, as the electrical shocks are becoming unbearable again.  For realz.  Ouch.  Did I say ouch?

P.S.S.  And I am booked to go to Florida again in another week or so.  Let’s hope this “trip” goes better!

 

How do you say goodbye?

grave

Deep breath.  Another deep breath.

It has happened again, on the heels of another recent deep loss.  One of my dearest friends is gone.  My friend who has always been there for me.  And now he is gone.  We didn’t even have time to say goodbye.  Things like this are never planned.

I am SO grateful that I saw him a week ago Friday.  I am SO grateful that I got to hug him and tell him I loved him, like I did every time I saw him.

I feel like I knew him forever.  I kind of did.  I knew him my whole adult life.  We met at work, we made life long mutual friends.  That was THIRTY YEARS ago.

We did have periods where we lost touch here and there for a few years.  But we always stayed connected and picked up right where we left off.  I remember him coming to visit and go boating with me and my family many times.  My family, neighbors, friends…all loved him.  He was always so friendly, so happy, so funny.

He got me through both my divorces.  He saved my life, literally.  He was always there for me.  He would comfort me and be my friend, when I needed a friend the most.  He helped me, he was just THERE.  Sometimes you just need someone you know you can count on, who will always be there for you.  Jack was that guy.

And probably not for just me.  Jack was the kind of person who would do anything for all his friends.  One phone call was all it took.

I can’t even count the number of friends Jack had.  Life long friends, from school, work, neighbors….heck, everywhere he went, he made a friend.  He always had a story, a joke.  (I think I could recite most of them, word for word!)

Jack married later in life.  His beautiful, sweet, lovely wife remodeled the house, taught him how to love a fur child, cooked gourmet dinners for him and their friends, and added a woman’s touch to his bachelor ways.  But she knew him and loved him enough to know that there no remodeling him, like so many wives try to do, lol.  He still went to all his beloved Notre Dame football games, and she continued with all her passions and hobbies.  I remember being in awe of her when I first met her.  She sailed, and did the Mackinac races!  What an adventurer!  She added class and culture to the mix, lol.  Jack was a beer guy, she was a wine gal.  My heart goes out to her.  She deserved more time with him.  We all did.

I loved Jack.  I loved him with my whole heart and soul.  He was my buddy.  I will have a huge hole in my heart.  But I know I will see him again.  We will have an eternity to catch up.

P.S.  I just had to go back and keep corrected sentences to make them past tense and not present tense.  That makes it so real.  I can’t believe I will never see him again and hear the same old jokes again.  But I am comforted by the fact that he has entered eternal happiness.  Maybe he will even learn some new jokes.

 

#CallMeCaitlyn

call

Bruce Jenner has now officially transitioned into Caitlyn Jenner.  A simply breath taking Vanity Fair cover and photos are out, and boy are they stunning!  Shockingly stunning.  Shocking when you think of how he looked most of his life.

bruce2Bruce was a very handsome man, and now she is a very stunning woman.

BUT.  (Isn’t there always a but?)  I saw the Diane Sawyer interview.  I saw Bruce up close in that interview.  He was dressed as a man then.  I tried really hard to imagine him dressed as a woman.  I could never have imagine this photo.

Because.  The BUT.  Up close, Bruce has wrinkles.  He has a lot of facial imperfections.  He has the loosey goosey neck old people get.  Crepey skin.  Skimpy pony tail.

You see NONE of that in the photos.  She is air brushed and lighted to the max.  And if that is all her hair, I need the number of her hairdresser.  Wait.  It’s Kim’s.  Never mind.  If you look REALLY CLOSE in some pictures, you can see a bit of age, cause, come on.  I don’t care WHO you are.  You can take off years, but not decades!

Bravo for Bruce/Caitlyn, but as a woman, I don’t think she is going to look like that on a regular basis.  Do you?  Does anyone?  Ok maybe a Kardashian.  But she is distancing himself from the show etc.  She is going her own way.  She broke twitter, for cry aye!

But when she wakes up in the morning as a 65 year old woman, she might look a little scary, just like the rest of us.  Hopefully, she will have enough time to be in hair and makeup for a few hours before she goes out for coffee.  But no matter, I think she is brave, and beautiful.

P.S.  But after seeing these pictures, I am even MORE confused when she calls herself a woman, but that she still wants to make love as a man.  She still wants to make love to women.  And she says she is not a lesbian.  Transgenders can be anything, apparently.  But it just doesn’t make sense to me.  How about you????????

 

Kardashians missed the boat on this one!

Jenner

Yep.  They sure did.  Kris Jenner pushed Bruce out the door and continued on with her lucrative lifestyle of the Kardashians.  Taking full advantage of being single.  All the while, Bruce was mostly behind closed doors, gathering up steam for his big reveal.

And boy, reveal he did!  The interview with Diane Sawyer was a huge success, and brought Bruce to the forefront of the spotlight, along with his first two families.  Where were the Kardashians?  A little late to the party.

Obviously Queen Kris did not think that America would take Bruce into their hearts like they did.  She tried to distance herself from him as much as possible, afraid he would “embarrass” her.  It was all about her image, not his.

Now, Bruce did credit Kanye and Kim with coming around.  I think Kanye can smell success from a mile away!  And Kim went along with him, eventually encouraging Bruce.  Bruce’s biological kids, Kendall and Kylie tweets were shown on the show.  That was it as far as Kris’s family was seen on the show.  His first two wives were shown as being very supportive, but Kris?  Simply, “No comment”.  She claims she was never contacted.  Really?  Biggest upcoming show on TV and she let it slide by?  Not buying it.  Of course, after all the hoopla settled, she did tweet a very encouraging statement.  Hmmph.  Too little too late, in my opinion.

I have seen no pictures of Bruce with Kendall and Kylie lately, but maybe they weren’t out in public.  I have seen pictures of him with his first two families, and I am glad they are standing behind him.  If anybody has right to be pissed, it is those children.  Bruce basically became a “Kardashian” and his other children were pushed aside.  I remember how hurt Brandon and Brody were.  In fact, it was even shown on the KUWTK show.  I sure hope Bruce can mend some fences, in more ways than just his gender crisis.

Now, I must admit, I was skeptical when I first noticed Bruce transitioning.  I thought maybe he was doing it to spite Kris, or for the money.  Bruce was my hero back in his Olympic days.  And boy, he was HOT!  I mean HOT HOT HOT!!!  All women were madly in love with him.

But.  Apparently this the direction he wants his life to take.  I say live and let live.  I have no problem with whatever people want to be.  My only confusion is over his sexual and gender identities.  He says the two are completely unrelated.  He says he is a woman.  He says he is a heterosexual.  He says (quite emphatically) that he is NOT gay.  I say this does not compute.  If you are a woman, and want to have sex with only women, does that not mean you are a lesbian?  I don’t know all the transgender language etc., but if Bruce does have the surgery, and fully completes his body transition…..well, I don’t know.  In researching transgender, my head spins with all the different types that are recognized.  Apparently you can go from to man to woman, still prefer women, and still be considered heterosexual.  It is based on your gender at birth, not at transitioning.

There is a whole world out there that most people are not aware of.  People are not just black and white anymore.  There are many, many ways to feel, and live.

I am not going to judge.  I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake it off.

 

Predni”makesyoucrazy”sone

pred2

One little pill a day.  A life saver.  A life changer.  A miracle drug.  A nightmare.

All of the above.  I’ve been on Pred off and on for 30 years due to my Crohn’s Disease.  When you need it, it can literally save your life, for a variety of ailments.

The side effects?  Suck.  Big time.  Insomnia.  Big time.  Hunger.  Big time.  Weight gain.  Big time.  Moon face.  Big time.  Mood changes.  Big time.  Sweating.  Big time.

pred

Everything I need, right?  Like I don’t have all those issues anyway, lol.  But sometimes you just have to suck it up and be a little crazy in order to straighten your immune system or inflammatory problems out.  I’m not going to take it much longer though.  Not good to suppress your immune system if you have long term hip infection issues like I do.  This is strictly short term, thank goodness.

I am severely sleep deprived!  And more than the usual crazy!

Count your blessings. Seriously.

thankfulI’ve been in kind of a funk lately, thanks to my hip.  It is SO hard to stay positive all the time, when you keep getting knocked down.  But that old adage?  That there is someone who is worse off than you?  It’s so true.

I know someone who had cancer, and went through a very rough year of treatment.  But she got through it.  She was so brave, so strong.  A real trooper.  We all breathed such a sigh of relief that she was on her way out the other side.  Her cancer was controlled.

But.  Always seems to be a but with cancer, right?  It came back.  With a vengeance.  In an even more difficult area to treat.  Hit her with a knock out punch, right out of the blue.  She had to make some very difficult treatment decisions, very fast.

But she did.  And if I know this woman, she will make it.  She has a long hard road in front of her, but she will persevere.

She made me feel ashamed of myself for my own self pity.  My problems pale in comparison to hers.  Yes, mine are bad.  But it’s not cancer.  It’s not life threatening.  At least not right now.  It can be eventually, but that would be my choice.

I’m not gonna lie, I did have a very bad year, actually year and a half, with this damn hip.  I have had 7 surgeries, 6 hospital stays, 2 ER visits, 3 nursing home stays that totaled 3 months.  Add in the hospital stays, and I’ve spent 4-5 months away from my home.  The worst was my 2 month stay, where I felt like I was in prison.  My free will was taken away from me.  I felt so helpless.  I could not leave, even if I wanted to.  I had all my choices taken away from me.  Even food, lol.  I had massive surgeries, horrible pain.

Luckily I came out the other side.  I breathed a HUGE sigh of relief, and was SO THANKFUL, GRATEFUL, that it was done.  I could walk.  I was attached to a bed, a wheelchair, a walker, a cane.  I was FREE.  I thanked God every day, and all the prayer warriors who prayed for me.

But.  Always a but with these things, right?  It came back.  Just like before.  Almost right away.  And just like before, I am going to have to walk the same path, again.  Against my will.  I SWORE after the last time I would NEVER do this again.  Of course at the time I never expected to have to face this again.

Monday I go back to the hospital, for yet another procedure, to find out what is growing in my hip this time.  If all the planets align right and God is with me, maybe it is just inflammation from something else, maybe the blood tests are wrong.  If God is with me maybe it will be a simple fix.  I do know something is wrong.  It has felt wrong since the beginning.  Although I will say that it seems to have gotten a bit better, but more likely, I have just adjusted to this new level of pain.  I have not been pain free for a year and a half.

Most likely I will have to start from scratch again.  I know the path ahead of me.  I do not want to walk that path again.  Neither does my friend.  Sometimes, we just gotta do it, no matter what.  Or I could choose to do nothing, and let nature take its course.  I only hope I have the courage to choose the right path.  I only hope I can be as strong as her.  I only hope I can be positive.  I only hope it will get better.  And STAY better.

Thank you, my friend, for having the courage to fight your battle, and giving me the incentive to fight my mine.  My prayers are with you.

Death with Dignity

deathI purposely did not want to post a picture of Brittany Maynard, either before or after her illness.  She stated several times in her videos that she no longer wanted to be photographed because of the weight gain from all the steroids she was on.  It was painful to her see the change in her body in less than a year.  Therefore, I will not post any pictures of videos of her.  You can all google it yourself, it’s all over the news.

I am not going to pontificate on her decision to die, and whether it was right or wrong.  For her, it was right, and at the right time.  That’s all that matters.

Many people were surprised to learn she did indeed choose to die on her original date of November 1st because a new video was posted a few days earlier that she had changed her mind and might push back the date.  However, I do believe I read somewhere that the video had been made a few weeks prior, and her condition had indeed worsened.  In fact the day after her final bucket list trip to the Grand Canyon, she had two very severe seizures.  She was scared.  So she stuck to her original date of November 1st.  I can’t believe how hard that must have been, to say goodbye to her husband, her family, her friends.  To actually take the meds, swallow them down, and then wait.  They say she went peacefully.  I’m glad.  Whew.  Big stuff.

I did read up on her condition.  None of the medical sites talk a lot about the quality of life issues, the pain, the debilitating aspect of the tumor.  They do point out that it is mostly fatal, and the average life span is not very long.  So I respect her decision to chose not to take chemo or do radiation.  She went for quality of life over quantity of life.  What’s a few more months of life, if it is spent in pain and suffering from side effects?

But.  As a Catholic I am troubled by the whole suicide aspect.  However, I really don’t believe that “Death with Dignity” is the same thing.  If God is all merciful, would he want us to suffer a horrible death?  But now I am veering into that whole religious debate, and I promised not go there.  Too many questions to ask and answer in that whole realm.

I just hope that when it is my turn, I can make a courageous decision, based on fact, and be at peace with it in my heart and soul.

What is your worst nightmare?

sickPeople all have “worst case” scenarios running through their minds at times.  At least I do.  I’m so careful about things.  I try to be an optimist, but so many times, I am disappointed.

Like now.  My hip is infected.  Again.  That’s right folks.  Just like before.  Although this time I had 3 months infection free after the revision surgery.  Yay for me!  But now….

My worst nightmare has come true.

The sad thing is that I wasn’t surprised.

Prayers are greatly appreciated.  Again.

Thank you so much.  I have nothing more to say.