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Posts Tagged ‘pain’

On July third my right knee started to hurt more than usual and I wasn’t able to put any weight on it without it buckling and pain shooting down the front of my leg. I pretty much stayed off of it until the fifth when I got the doctor to order x-rays because I was pretty sure it wasn’t going to get better on its own. I was right. Friday, the results of the x-rays showed that I have something called advanced tricompartamental osteoarthritis. That means that all three of the bones that make up the knee are involved. The stabbing pain that I have been feeling is because the bones are rubbing against each other, the cartilage having been worn away.

The is no cure for it. The only way to treat it is with pain medication, anti-inflammatory medications, and a brace. In some cases they are able to inject a steroid right into the knee. In some cases, surgery is required to replace the parts that are worn away with artificial parts. In my case, my doctor says she feels that it is far enough advanced that she wants me to see the orthopedic surgeon. Yay. Not. I’m not looking forward to it. I’ve had six knee operations (on the same knee) in the past. They’ve been done through an arthroscope so the recovery has been “easier” and it was pure hell! I’m not looking forward to having them open it up. I’m hoping they are able to treat it with injections.

I haven’t even come to my one year anniversary since that last major surgery and now I’m looking at eye surgeries and knee surgery. Oy vey!

For now, I’m hobbling along using a cane, wearing a brace, smelling like Tiger Balm, and wincing in pain. I borrowed crutches and a friend gifted me a brand new walker (the kind with a seat on it) so at least I have some ways to get around so I don’t end up stuck in one room of the house!

Enough negative stuff! I’m hoping the weekend will bring a positive or fun (or both) post here. Come back and check!

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If we were having coffee, I would be embarrassed that, for the third week in a row, you would find me on the couch in pjs.  I wouldn’t be able to move very well so you would have to, again, help yourself to coffee, tea, and maybe some fresh fruit.

This has been a heck of a week. I think I previously wrote that part of my incision got infected. That was discovered on Monday and I was put on an antibiotic. That evening when my daughter was on her way to pick me up for the pharmacy trip, my four year old grandson and I were attacked by a swarm of wasps. It took about five very long minutes to get them off of him and me. Poor little guy got about twelve stings and four stingers left in place. Once the stingers were out, he seemed to be fine. Thank God he didn’t have an allergic reaction! I got three stings. One of them still aches now, almost a full week later. Then on Thursday morning I awoke to find my pjs and sheets completely soaked. It was kind of like that scene in The Godfather where the studio head wakes up to find blood all over his bed, without the screaming, though. It turned out that the infected part of the incision had opened up and was draining what I can only describe as “yucky stuff.” Every time I moved more would come, like a stream not a slow drip.

Later that day, the doctor cut open the incision and cleaned out as much yucky stuff as he could and packed it for me. The instructions were to keep packing it at home three times a day then go back in a week so he can see if the infection was clear. My problem is that I can’t pack it myself. It’s in the breast bone area and I can’t get a good look at it, even in the mirror. So my son-in-law has been doing it but he can’t get here more than twice a day so that probably means that it will take longer to heal than if he could do it three times a day but I am grateful that he can do it at all, even though it is embarrassing to have your son-in-law look at that area of my body!

Then on Friday I woke up about two in the morning with a horrible pain in my back which quickly migrated and intensified to the point where I knew it was sciatica. I’ve had it before so I knew the pain. This time, however, it was so painful that I couldn’t move even an inch without the pain being at screaming level and I do have a very high thresh hold for pain but this was pure agony. I live alone so I suffered here by myself, hoping it would get better but by the mid afternoon I called my primary care physician’s office. Unfortunately the office was closed (two hours earlier than usual). The on call doctor could only advise that I go to Urgent Care. By the time I could get a ride over to Urgent Care, the pain had intensified to the point where I was hyperventilating from the pain.

At Urgent Care, I got a prescription for a muscle relaxant. I already had pain pills from before which I had been taking throughout the day. There were other things they might have been able to do but couldn’t because I am diabetic (can’t take steroid) and post operative so that kind of tied the doctor’s hands. Luckily, the muscle relaxant worked and has continued to work through the weekend. The pain is there but it is very manageable, although I have had short periods of it being almost unbearable. The trick is to keep taking the muscle relaxant, I think. I’ll have to make a trip to my primary care physician on Monday so I can get more of the muscle relaxant as the Urgent Care doctor only gave me enough through the weekend. So hopefully I can get someone to take me.

Other than that, I am very sore from the incision that had to be opened up. That means that at times I am having to ambulate with two canes, one in each hand. I’m pretty much staying in bed. Thank goodness I have lots of books loaded on my Kindle and I can stream stuff on TV as long as I don’t lose track of the remotes! Last night I tried to get up and do a little bit of tidying up, clearing my bedside tray and fixing something to eat. I think that activity is what made the sciatica flare up overnight. I guess today I try not to do as much, not that I did much, but you know!

So how have you been? I hope you are all well and not having any pain or any kind of medical problems. It really isn’t fun. Let me know what has been on your reading list this week. Have you watched anything interesting? Have been outdoors much? Please share with this girl that has not been able to leave the house other than to the doctor and urgent care. Let me live vicariously through you! Tell me something good!

#WeekendCoffeeShare is hosted by Diana at Part Time Monster Blog. Go check it out!

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What a week this has been! Tuesday was my daughter’s birthday. Very late on Monday, she texted saying she and her boyfriend were thinking of a spur of the moment trip to the coast if I could stay with the boys. I agreed but warned her that we had snow in the forecast and she should research the weather and road conditions before decided to actually do it. She said she would. Famous last words.

I really didn’t think they would go but I made a mental list of things I needed to pack in case they did go. It was only one overnight so I didn’t need much and I’m a short walk away so I could grab the boys and walk home for whatever I forgot. Or we could drive but the boys love walking here and back so I figured we could do that. Then she said yes, they were going and leaving in just a couple of hours. I hadn’t packed because I didn’t think they’d go. So I rushed and drove over there thinking I would take the boys out to the Dollar Tree to get a few craft supplies besides the ones I took with me. They left and about twenty minutes later, she texted saying it was snowing lightly and that I should take the chance to get out to the store if I needed anything before it began to snow here. I looked out the window and realized that it was too late. In the twenty minutes since they had left, it had begun to snow and there was already almost an inch out there and the snow was coming fast and heavily and the wind was blowing. Spencer convinced me to get his snow clothes on and take him out on the driveway. Of course, he didn’t stop at the driveway and he made me follow him, trying to catch up with him. He was fast, even in the snow.

spencer-walking-in-snow

It snowed all night long. Heavily. And it snowed most of the day on Wednesday. And the wind blew. Before long, the news was reporting that it was a record snowfall for Portland. Downtown Portland, which gets an average of less than one day of snow per year and that snow is trace amounts got over a foot of snow! Up here, in the foothills, we usually get more than downtown but we got less this time, about seven inches outside my door. My youngest daughter lives about ten miles away and she measured thirteen inches out in her yard. So yeah, we got a lot of snow. On Wednesday afternoon, the boys and I walked to my house so I could get a change of clothes because Tina and Chris were not able to get home that day because of the weather. It was a great excuse for them to play in the snow. There were lots of other kids out playing in it, too. While they played in the front year, I ran in and filled a tote bag with things I needed and some treats for the boys. When it was time to make the walk home (I didn’t want them staying out in the cold too long and although the walk is only about a half mile, because of the depth of the snow, it would take us about ten minutes or more) we put the tote bag in a little plastic snow disk that I pulled behind me all the way home.

boys-in-snow

That was Wednesday. Today is Sunday. The snow is still all here. We haven’t been above freezing since then so it’s sill all here. When I tried to drive my car home on Thursday, I couldn’t get it to start. Apparently, the cold zapped my battery. We eventually got it going and I was able to get home driving along the tracks of other cars but when I got to my driveway, I couldn’t get in so Chris had to come and shovel my driveway so I could get in.

I haven’t left home since then. Not just because of the snow. You might remember that I have been having horrible back pain. My back finally gave out on me on Friday when I tried to get out of bed. After two days of it hurting so much that I couldn’t walk without my cane and even at that it would take me very literally eleven minutes to get to the bathroom, which is only less than fifteen feet away from my couch, I took to the Internet to see if I could diagnose my problem. I did. By then, the pain was not along my entire back. It was just on my left side and it was way low and radiating down my leg. I discovered that it is, most likely, sciatica. Since then I have been applying heat, taking leftover pain pills a couple of times a day (long enough so that I can get a little sleep which I can’t do without the pain pills) and trying to get through the pain. It is quite literally a pain in the butt! I’ve tried to write this post since Friday but haven’t been able to get in a position where I could open the laptop and type without severe pain. Today, however, I woke up with a little less pain! There is still a lot of weakness so I’m still having to rely on my cane to get around inside the house…both for walking and for grabbing things closer to me. I still cannot bend over or reach up without pain but I am not going to complain because, for now, it’s so much better! I’m hoping it will continue to be better so that I can walk around, inside because there is still seven inches of snow outside! Walking is supposed to help work the muscle that is causing the pain.

Now we are looking forward to a warm up in temperature AND heavy rain. That means the snow will melt and we will, most likely, have flooding. We haven’t flooded here where I live in the past and I am hoping that we don’t flood here now. The last time we had this much (and even more) snow was in 2008 and we didn’t flood, although the mobile home park just a quarter of a mile away from here did flood. Crossing fingers. Cross your for me, too, pleas.

I haven’t been able to read this week. I have watched TV, well DVDs. I pulled out my DVD copies of an old show that I really used to love. It’s called Once And Again. It’s a late 90’s ABC show about two divorced parents who meet at school while dropping off their kids and end up in a relationship, with all the problems caused by life, kids, and exes.  I’m hoping to maybe read today, after reading blogs. If the pain stays away, I can. If I don’t come around and read your blog, I apologize in advance. That probably will mean that the pain has returned.

What about you? What have you done this week? Has the weather effected you? What has been on your TV? Reading list? Please tell.

 

#WeekendCoffeeShare is a weekly blog link-up hosted by Diana at Part Time Monster. Please come over and check it out. We’re a friendly bunch and welcome you!

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The Lost Weekend

Well, first I was told at 1am that I would be needed to babysit at 9.  I’m supposed to not babysit on weekends.  Then I got up early to write my weekend coffee share post but I soon discovered that the Wi Fi was out. I tried rebooting the router but no luck. I called ComCrap to report an outage but the recorded message told me to go online to the outage page to see if it had been reported.  Duh.  If I could access the web page, I wouldn’t need to report an outage.

Then it was time to babysit. Spencer, the almost 2 year old, was very whiny which is most unlike him. I think he’s coming down with something. Anderson was great. He pretty much entertains himself needing me only to give him water and juice and food.

Then I got a horrible pain which was reminiscent of a gall bladder attack. It was all I could do to hold out till the boys’ dad got home at 7. I barely made it home (home is two blocks away) when I started vomiting which as far as I can tell was because of the severe pain.  Pain pill.  Trying to test. Pain pill again five hits later. Finally I was able to sleep fire just a couple of hours when the pain woke me again. When it was time for another dose, I took another pain pill. Now I hate taking any kind of pill so if I’m taking a pain pill, you know it’s bad.

Today the pain started again and I took another pill before it got unbearable.  I slept. Now that original pain is gone but there’s a different one now.  My daughter is stopping by after work.  If I’m not better tomorrow, then I think I’ll let her take the day off and take me to the ER. 

Sitting up makes my back hurt so I’m posting on the phone, laying on the couch.  So if there are lots of errors in typing, that’s why.

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Note:  This was posted in August of 2009.  The other night, while looking for something else, I came across this post and read it.  It had me crying by the end, and reliving all that pain.  I decided it would make a good repost.

My mother worked  hard, all day and all night  to keep the house clean, the food warm, our clothing and our bodies fresh and clean.  There were so many of us that the work never ended for my mother so we were taught  to help out with the housework.  When we got old enough to go to kindergarten, we were old enough to wash dishes so we had to learn to wash all the dishes and take our turn with the others.  Another thing we did to help is that we learned to iron clothes.  So, as she cleaned or cooked in the kitchen, we would keep her company, standing at the ironing board, ironing and listening to her sing with the radio or sometimes we’d talk.  I don’t remember how old I was when I first ironed but I think I was in first grade, making me about six years old.  I began by ironing the easy things – pieces like pillowcases, handkerchiefs, pants, aprons, and finally  I learned to iron our dresses and shirts.  We would always count the things we ironed  because we were supposed to get paid for each thing we ironed – I think we started out with a penny a piece, going up to a nickel a piece by the time I was in fifth grade.  It was actually silly because, for the most part, we never got paid.  Once in a while, though, when she could, my mom would give us a nickel to get a Hershey bar or  a package of my favorites – NECCO candy.  I loved NECCOs because the word sounded like “nickels” and  I used to pretend they were real nickels and I’d buy things from my brothers and my older sister, using the pastel wafers as legal tender.  When she did give us candy money, my mother would  tell us it was the money we had earned from ironing and it made me proud to know I had worked to earn  my candy!

Once, when I was in second grade, I was in the kitchen ironing, while my mother  cooked .  My brother, Carlos, sat and talked to her.  It was a Sunday afternoon.  My father was at the cannery, working.  In the kitchen, we had the radio on to KLIV, listening to the top popular songs. When my father was home, we listened only to Spanish radio but when he was gone, my mom would let my brothers turn it to the English station.  I liked to  iron because when I ironed, I got to  spend time with my mother.   She never left us alone when we ironed so we wouldn’t burn ourselves.  I also liked staying in and ironing   because,  most of the time, I would get to listen to things my brothers and sisters missed while they played outside and I worked inside.  On that Sunday, I had been ironing a long, long time.  I had ironed a stack of pillowcases and handkerchiefs and even some of the dresses I’d wear to school.  I had earned about fifty or sixty cents so I had been ironing for more than an hour.  Carlos and my mother were laughing and talking.   I joined the  conversation and I put the iron on it’s “standing end” while I talked.  My mother had taught us to be careful and pay close attention when we were ironing.  I looked up to answer a question.  I was laughing as I felt first the weight of the iron and then the heat.  I was frozen by the scorching pain as the “cotton heated” iron ate through the layers of my skin.  I could not talk.  I could not move.  I could only smell my skin as it burned, layer by layer.  By the time my mother realized that something was horribly wrong, I was in shock.  I only remember that when the iron was taken off of my hand, it hurt so much that I passed out.  My mother called my father to come home from work so they could take me to the hospital.  It was Sunday and the doctor’s office was closed so we’d have to go to the hospital.  The office at my father’s work was closed.  Carlos and Richard rode their bikes to the cannery to find my father and tell him to come home.  He said he couldn’t come home because there was too much work.  There was no one else there to do it and no one to tell that he had to go home.  He told Carlos to tell my mother to call Dr. Johnson and see what he said they should do for me.  All afternoon and throughout the night, my mother sat by my bed, looking at my hand, taking my temperature, and crying.  I remember smiling at her and holding back the tears as much as I could so that she’d  stop saying it was her fault and so that she’d stop apologizing.  My mother layed down with me and cried.  My brothers and sisters were very quiet and behaved like angels so my mother  could take care of me.  At one point, the pain was so intense that nothing helped – not even the little orange baby aspirins – not the bandage my mother had put on – and not the tears and so I began to whimper and moan and I did not stop until everyone in the house heard my cries and felt my pain.  I stayed at home, in bed, when the others went to school the next day.  Two days later, the pain was less and so I went back to second grade, wearing a dress I had ironed on Sunday and a gauze bandage my mother had put on my hand.  I remember that the school nurse had me go in to her office every day so she could change the dressing, rub some medicine on it,  and watch  for infection because she knew my parents didn’t have the money for a doctor visit.  Slowly, the pain got less and less and months later, my hand had healed and there was hardly a scar left to remind me of the smell of my own burnt flesh or of the pain that had reached deep beneath my skin.

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I was going through my journal the other day and came across an entry that I had forgotten about.I wrote it one day when I was sick in bed, with a lot of pain in my lower back.I’m not one to make a big deal about pain or I’d be making a big deal quite often but I do remember how excruciating the pain was that day.The part about the pain is unimportant but thinking about it made me remember a scene from a long time ago, at least 45 years ago.Just as a side note, I have written so many memoir pieces from the Point Of View of a child that I almost automatically revert to that POV when I write about my childhood.There’s a little of that in here. (more…)

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A Gem To Learn From

Tonight my daughter was watching a movie so I sat to watch it with her. It turned out to be Home Alone 2. I remembered taking my kids to the theater to see it when it came out. That was a particularly rough Christmas for me and I’ve never been able to watch parts of that movie without crying, until tonight. That one part that always makes me cry didn’t make me cry tonight.

The year it came out, was the year that I became separated. When I took the kids to see the movie, it was a very fresh hurt. Their dad had just left about a month before that. I remember sitting there trying to watch it and just being numb. Then there was the part that made me cry. For those of you that have seen it, there is the homeless lady in the Central Park that goes and feeds the birds and speaks to no one. In the scene where she takes Kevin and fixes him hot chocolate and they talk, she tells him about how she used to have a job and friends and a house and a family. She says that she was happy until the man she loved fell out of love with her. She tells Kevin that she stopped trusting people that day. That’s the part that always made me cry. Tonight I felt that tug and I could certainly identify with the woman and with anyone that has gone through that before. But it didn’t make me cry. I got through it.

I think the silly antics in the movie are worth sitting through for just that one part. There’s a lot of truth in it. A lot of pain. And a lot to hope for.

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