Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." Genesis 9:13

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Life

So I've made it 6 weeks into this ankle reconstruction journey.  I had my cast removed on Wednesday, x-rays taken and a walking cast put on.  I am allowed to walk with crutches as much as I want to.  It has been somewhat uncomfortable to adjust to weight-bearing at the same time that my ankle was pushed into a new position in the cast but the pain is improving.  It is SO GOOD to walk, especially since I've been pretty agitated lately.  I can also drive now and do a lot of things that have required help since my operation.  It is a lot easier to cope now.  I will admit that the longer I am casted the more frustrating the itching is.  Nearly all of it is my toes which are inside the cast but can be reached.  I keep trying to get the dead skin off but without being able to use water (or alcohol, which they gave me at the clinic to get the majority of the peeling skin off my leg) it's kind of hopeless.  So I just try to not scratch them in public.  I'm fairly sure I should leave them alone since I don't think I have full sensation in them yet but the itching is pretty compelling and I make it worse by rubbing my toes on the cast liner a lot.

The rest of life moves on, even when it seems it isn't.  I got a nasty reminder of that this week when I saw Dr. Mind and talked about a nightmare where he left.  And so I got more information than I was prepared for about that.  He has been kind of iffy about the other position he was being considered for.  Another has come up that I don't think he will not take if it is offered---and the place is rather desperate to hire.  So good-bye is coming pretty soon.  I may be able to continue working with him via Skype which is good to know but I'd prefer he stay.  It's hard because I want him to be happy and to do what he has been dreaming of doing forever.  I just wish that it would be a bit closer.  I think I'd convinced myself that all was going to be well there and so it was shocking to find out otherwise.

This has led to one monster panic attack that lasted for many hours and which didn't respond to anything and several smaller ones plus the feeling that I'm on the verge of panic at all times.  I want so badly to be able to walk until the feeling goes away but that isn't possible.  Last night I walked many laps around my tiny living room/kitchen.  It didn't help. Today I went for a longer walk at the park which made my leg ache so that is completely not happening tonight.  I took part of a pain pill so I'm hoping that makes me tired finally.  If nothing else I talk to Dr Mind more Monday and that's tomorrow now.  It hadn't occurred to me that I may have to go through losing my brother to jail and Dr. Mind to life at the same time, potentially while I am still recovering from surgery.  Now that I have realized this it is too scary.

My brother was here again today.  I got a reminder that I needed that his Asperger's makes him socially bizarre but also kind of annoying at times.  It is good to feel normal about him, at least in one area. There is a chance he will be living here for a while and that's just one more thing to cope with that I'm not sure how to handle.  My mom has let me say no about this and I can't because I don't want to be the reason he is homeless.  And there is the pesky certainty that I am supposed to maintain a relationship with him, something I have decided is the absolute hardest thing God has ever asked of me because I feel so ill-equipped.  The stress is causing more panic and disturbingy diarrhea which is not a good thing when it takes crutches to get to the bathroom.  I don't wear the walking boot in bed and when I have to move fast I'm hopping on the crutches.  Last week my stomach was upset for several days after he was here; this time it is starting while he's here.  I'm doing my best to do what God has led me to do but it is so incredibly hard.  Dr. Mind reminds me that God will equip me with what I need to do this but when I find it nearly impossible to sleep while he's here I think I need more blatant help. 

I know I'll be ok.  There's just too much change happening.  After seeing Dr. Brain on Saturdays for the last 12.5 years I have to set up appointments for her main office during the week.  Dr. Mind may become a person on a computer screen.  I have no idea how that would work but i know I want to try.  I'm feeling like I'm being forced to be resigned to so much that I don't like at the moment.  And I have too much time to think.

I got a reprieve from this during the worst of the recovery time.  I can at least get out now and am not glued to bed.  But I just want to get past this part of my life.  In 6 months everything will be different and I am scared of how that will be.

All I can do is keep going through.



Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Oh so rough

My mom's friend has had some complications (nothing terrible but very difficult for him) with his surgery and so she's been gone more.  Yesterday she wound up staying at the hospital all night and so my brother came down.  I spent hours with him and while it was ok I'm not so ok now.  It was so uncomfortable because there are so many things that feel like they should never be mentioned, yet how do you not mention normal things? 

I had to cancel Dr. Mind and of course now I'm crumbling like toast.  So I'm wavering on trying a phone session, something that is generally not that helpful.  I want to just be able to drive but I can't yet have my leg down that long.  All kinds of feelings about my brother came out and so I couldn't sleep last night.  When I did get a nap this afternoon I dreamed that Dr. Mind was leaving in a few months and that I was regretting "wasting" these last months that I know I'll have him.  And the truth is that I have no idea if that is true; I didn't understand what he told me about the decision being postponed and I just was glad to accept that a few months ago.  Now I am back to needing to know and yet I don't think that's a phone call kind of discussion.  So I don't know what to do, try to wait a week or try to call in.  I guess I'll decide based on what happens with sleep.

Dr. Brain gave me a med adjustment but it hasn't worked out to do it yet.  It potentially involves being really sedated and that has to happen when I don't need to be anywhere, am not feeling totally uncomfortable b/c my bother is here or am going to be very much on my own.  So I've not tried it but it seems like I shouldn't complain until I do.

I'm anxious about my dr appointment Wednesday because I am afraid that he will brush off my foot pain in my good foot which is limiting my mobility significantly.  I also am afraid that the boot I get this week will cause more pain because it is even more awkward than a cast.  It's also a very long day and I don't feel like it right now.  I have decided that once that boot is on I'm going to start driving if it is at all possible.  I am so tired of being dependent and I need to get to Dr. Mind when I need to do that.

Some of this is just because I've spent 5 1/2 weeks in bed or on the couch, some is because of the cancer diagnosis with the friend who is part of our family, part is seeing my brother, part is not enough sessions with Dr. Mind lately , part is that I am struggling with seeing my old cat get sicker, some is that i thought I'd lost weight but apparently I haven't, I just have a more toned abdomen and wasn't getting an accurate reading on the scale, part is my nightmare of Dr. Mind leaving, but I'm just tired of everything and everything feels stressful.  i don't even think it's my mood, I think it's just entirely LIFE.

I am just so tired and so very ready to do things myself again.


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Nothing

I realized I haven't said anything here in a long time.  That's because I've spent 36 days in bed.  I get out to see Dr. Mind or for doctor appointments.  I went to Walmart this week briefly and I've gone for a ride or two.  I went to Anne's 4th birthday party last week.  And that's it.  Otherwise I pretty much sit right here with my leg propped on 4 pillows and I read or play on the computer.  I watch Netflix a good bit.  I get a shower a few times a week and take sponge baths in between.  I've learned to wash my hair at the kitchen sink standing on one leg so I can do that when I feel gross.  Showering is really hard work and requires my mom to be here for longer than usual so we limit it.  I have safety equipment and know how to be safe but it just isn't the safest maneuver.

I go to the ortho Wednesday.  They'll take my cast partially off and then send me to xray.  When that's done I'll see the ortho and if I'm healing well I'll move into a boot so I can start to do ROM.  Frankly I DREAD the boot.  They are heavy and my recollection is that they are also hot and itchy.  The cast is slightly itchy although usually it is my incisions that itch or dead skin that is around the top of the cast.  It really isn't bad with that and it is light and not overly hot.  I hate sleeping with it but I'll hate sleeping with the boot more.  So I am not excited about this part.  Maybe I'll be more excited about it in a few more weeks when the boot means I can start putting weight down.  I keep hoping he'll say I can do that now but he said 8 weeks and yesterday was 5 so I think I probably have some time left.

In some ways it feels like forever and in some ways it has gone fast (mostly the part where I was on more pain meds went fast and the last 10 days have been slower.).  I'm well enough now to really, really want to do everything myself and most especially to just take a shower and have that be easy and independent but just cooking scrambled eggs yesterday was actually quite difficult.  Just getting in the fridge is quite tricky.  So I just have to wait and know those things will come.  Some of the things I want to do are so simple, like seeing Dr. Mind in HIS office instead of the first floor not as nice, not the safe place I'm used to, office where we have been meeting.  I can do stairs on the crutches now but his are steep and I have no idea what my skills will be like when the boot goes on so we wait. 

I have trouble believing it's time to start therapy.  I am still so tired.  Not that this will be physically taxing at first but it seems like more energy will be needed soon.  I guess I'll be getting that back soon since I'm sure I'll have more when I use more.  I hear that being tired into the 4th month is pretty normal and since I still have at least 3 weeks of elevation/bed sitting I'm sure that is true.  I do excercise as I can but it is limited.  I have gotten incredible balance skills and can clean up messes on the floor without falling now.  I'm sure doing that on one foot will serve me well in the future.????.

Today I have some kind of stomach bug.  I've been really glad for zofran to control nausea and very thankful for not vomiting.  The bathroom isn't too many hops away but it is not close enough to get there fast (the other side of the room is about the only place that is possible) and vomiting would be a nightmare.  So I'm just praying that the nausea stays controlled.

There just isn't much to say.  It's been cool here nearly all week and the fresh air has been wonderful.  It's hard to be stuck inside all the time for weeks on end.

So more from boringtown eventually.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Starting to struggle

It's been 28 days now.  Honestly that doesn't even seem possible.  I'm trying to stay so in the moment and so focused on whatever the next thing that means a change in my life or progress in my healing that time has gotten away from me.  Undoubtedly pain pills don't help although I'm about done with those.  I will need them again when I start physical therapy but for now it's been 2 days.  I still have pain sometimes but it is muscle spasms and the pain pills don't help and I don't like taking the valium prescribed for those because I'm afraid of falls.  So I live with them.

I really did pretty well up until the last 2 days.  I've been a little teary the last week or so but there were reasons.  Trying to sort out how I felt about seeing my brother and then my mother telling me that I could find my little brother who I haven't seen in 13 years online was big.  I know that this is not a time I can make decisions that could be painful because I can't deal with them.  Yet I want so much to reach out.  But now is not the time.

Things got worse on Wednesday.  I used my crutches for a total of 20 minutes spaced out over the day.  I had to use them to go through the parking lot to Dr. Mind's office instead of being let out at the door because another car was in the way.  Then I went into the pet store but they didn't have a wheelchair so I just stayed in the front of the store and soaked in some different stimulation.  And that is when my good foot began to feel like it was on fire.

Four years ago when I was on crutches then limping a lot I developed an overuse injury in my good foot.  It was really hard to treat and get under control and surgery was going to become an option when something finally worked.  Now that injury is aggravated and it isn't liking my being up much at all.  Which is not good because I'm not up much at all, just a few bathroom trips per day and maybe two trips to the kitchen/living room.  Those 20 minutes on crutches were the only times besides ADL trips that I was moving around in 8 days. 

I'm sure that this is partly non-supportive shoes and worn out orthotics.  I tried to contact the dr's office but the nurse who doesn't listen or help, ever, told me to start using the orthotics I've been using and to reduce my activity level.  Given I spent 23.5 hours per day with my foot propped up on 4 pillows I can't see that this is very possible. 

The injury is freaking me out.  I have it taped now and that is helping at least without a shoe.  But I can't help but overuse that foot and I'm terrified that I'll need surgery on it when I finish with this.  It still has month of abuse ahead of it.  I can't wait to see the ortho to have him look at it and tell me what to do.  That's 12 days off.  I truly hate his nurse at this point.

I'm also getting lonely.  My mom spends less time here now and isn't staying to visit at all.  I don't think she is aware of this.  I think she is sick of having to help me and next week she'll have her companion to help too as he is having surgery to remove pre-cancerous/cancerous nodules from his kidney.  He hopefully will have it done laparoscopically and heal quickly but she is clearly dreading having both of us.  And so instead she rushes in and rushes out.  It makes it really hard to ask her to do things, so my bathroom floor is getting grungy and I can't bring myself to ask her to clean it.  Dealing with the kitty litter warrants a complaint per day.  And sometimes she's not in a big hurry to help.  Yesterday she met my sister and nieces and had some fun.  But she was 2 hours away at the 6:30 she had planned to be here to heat up my dinner.  Which was a problem because I couldn't get to a pan.  So I wound up eating a bunch of cereal bars and didn't eat until 8:30.  Which would have been ok if I'd known.  I guess I could have had PB&J but I'd had that for lunch.  I just didn't think my way through that; the tuna casserole was defrosted and thus was to be supper.  oh well.

I'm trying not to complain, except right here.  And I'm doing that because I'm hoping that talking will make it so I don't cry quite so much.  I've been crying at everything the last few days.  The news has become a minefield.  I have cried and cried for that family murdered in Texas.  I have no idea why.  I can't even think of other examples, but I've cried a lot.  Oh, the worst one...
Anne is turning 4 next week but her party is this weekend.  I am giving her a terrarium kit.  I couldn't find a book about this for kids so I wrote one.  I've worked really hard at this given it's all been done from bed. I am extremely careful that I make sure that gifts are ok with my sister so that I don't tax parental reserves, give something unwanted or something someone else is giving.  Great-grandma on the other side just doesn't do that.  So she's giving Anne a fairy garden.  It is complete and not the same but also not that different.  I cried for a couple hours over that one.  (It came too close to the stupid nurse's email). 

Mostly I am probably just tired.  I cannot sleep well in this position and without my weighted blanket (which isn't safe right now, plus I'm so hot with the cast that I can't stand to be covered at all most night which is really rough when you usually burrow under 5 blankets and a 22 lb weighted one.  I get a boot in 12 days but I imagine I'll be sleeping with it for a while which will be more uncomfortable since it is heavier and hotter than a cast.  I've grown to rather like the cast.  After my ankle has been so unstable for so many years I like feeling like I can't hurt it.  The cast feels safe and I haven't felt safe in that leg in so long.

The fatigue is also just part of the healing.  Anesthesia takes a while to get over.  Laying around makes you lose muscle and endurance.  And weight.  I've lost 15 lbs (almost) by eating differently and getting exercise with every movement I make.  Having a limb that is immobile and that takes effort just to move is hard.  So I have that as well.  Weight loss is great.  But when I'm losing weight because it burns more calories to get a snack than it does to eat it that's exhausting.

I do see Dr Brain tomorrow and I'm hoping she has a magic potion.  Dr. Mind said the tears were ok but they've gotten a lot more frequent and a lot worse since I saw him.  So we'll see.

Money worries me.  Always.

It's just everything.  There's not much to write about or say about my days; they're all the same.  I sleep a lot but less than when I was taking a pain pill daily.  Today was different because I deleted 2000 emails and because I cried and begged God to not let this become depression.  I can't imagine dealing with depression at the same time as I am coping with house arrest.  Bed arrest.  Whatever.

Anyway, enough for the sad place.  More in a few days when something worth talking about happens.




Thursday, July 03, 2014

Some days

Some days you just can't win.

Yesterday I went to the dr and had my sutures removed and a new cast put on.  They were very, very busy (2 hours behind) and although I said it didn't feel right I was assured it was fine and sent alog.  Well, it's not.  My toe is down and my heel is mostly up unless it is pushed into the place it goes.  I can move my ankle in ways I shouldn't.  And it rubs on my incisions because it is too loose.  At the top I can stick all my fingers in the opening; with a brand new cast it should be more like 2.  I fought a hard battle about complaining because I could be wrong but the sensation that my ankle is going to get pulled up into the cast affected my decision. 

In the meantime my nieces and sister are up here to visit and go to a museum thing with my mom.  I had thought that I'd call them today and go up tomorrow to get fixed up.  I forgot about the part where tomorrow is the 4th of July. So, my mom is going to have to come back from the museum faster than planned and I can tell she's frustrated.  She's mad because I didn't tell her I was calling this morning; I didn't think it mattered because I was going to tell them I didn't have a ride.  Plus she's just made so many trips up there and has many more to go between her companion and I.

My sister is frustrated with me for deciding to spend time with my brother.  She is so adamantly opposed to anyone doing this that it has caused tension with my mom and now she's turning that on me.  She's not angry really, just disgusted.  I don't know how to explain to her why I am doing this.

So everyone is annoyed with me and it's fairly likely the casting tech will be too.  I can't wait.  I'm already exhausted from yesterday's trip so that's the other thing:  I'll be so, so tired tonight. 

OH well.  Such is life.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

3rd week

I've read that the 3rd and 4th weeks post-op for this surgery can be emotionally hard.This is, I think, week 3. I really have been fine except for dealing with how I feel about my brother and seeing him and that just needs to be discussed with Dr. Mind.  Tomorrow my cast comes off and I get a new one that may be my last one (to be followed by a boot in all likeliehood; this will be on for I think 6 weeks since he said I could start weightbearing at 8 weeks if I was healing well.

Today has been harder because I've stayed flat on my back or rolled very slightly to the side with my leg elevated as high as it was the first week trying to get the swelling to come down from yesterday's time with Dr. Mind.  It was frustrating and I didn't realize how much I've liked my few hours on the couch the last few days.  I also think I've been using the milestone of 'stitches out" so had that I was glossing over the new cast.  I knew it was happening and I'm even glad because this one is getting too loose (except for the swelling that is almost gone now).

During the time I was up today (just a little bit) I tried on the 6 pairs of shoes I had ordered because my current sneakers are worn out and my good foot has terrible arch pain that will become planter fascitis if I don't replace them.  I have one shoe from before I started wearing braces that fits and doesn't hurt but it is somewhat worn out.  However the 6 pairs didn't fit comfortably, mostly because they had pointed toes and I HATE pointed toes on sneakers.  There needs to be space in these for swelling when I start walking and they just didn't fit.  So they'll go back, I think I'll try to manage with the old shoe until I am close to walking and then I'll shell out $120 for another pair of really good sneakers that will get even wear.  I was trying to avoid having one shoe pretty well worn before the other was used by getting cheaper ones but even the expensive one I bought just in case didn't work. 

So the whole day has been spent sleeping, taking a quick shower (which isn't really pleasurable when using the shower bench and worrying the seal with break on the cast protector and drench my cast or that I'll lose my balance and need help while naked, trying on shoes that I ordered from Zappos last week when I could grab a few minutes, and reading and reading online.  I had too much time to think and that is bad.  I'm nervous about the sutures coming out; they've been in for 2.5 weeks and so they'll pull more.  I know he wanted the incision to be well closed and I'm glad of that but I don't want it to hurt.  I've only had sutures removed once before and that was my knee scope and there were only 3.  I have 4 sutures just in my 2 scope holes and without being able to count last week I'm going to say 20-30 small, tight ones in the main incision.   I'm also wanting to talk to Dr. Mind again before Monday which is't possible because we're not having this discussion on the phone.

I had a point when I got on here but I have no idea what it was now.  I guess the 3rd week blues are hitting a bit.  I also got terrible sleep last night and during the day.  Sleeping on my back flat makes me snore and I wake myself up.  I have mild sleep apnea and that is probably what this really is but usually it is not a problem because I don't sleep flat. 

I think it's also hard to know that tomorrow will be a LONG day and I'll be exhausted after it.

I think the biggest thing is that I'm fully expecting to be told that I'm supposed to continue elevating.  I had hoped that this would be reduced somewhat so that I could get to go to a store or something occasionally.  Yesterday showed me that there is no way that I'm going to be keeping my leg down for an hour yet.  Which is frustrating.  Even to go to the store and use a scooter there is out because of the need to elevate.  'and I don't move quickly so it's not like I could just go from a few minutes.

This is so stupid but I'm also tired of trying to figure out how long I can wait to go to the bathroom.  If I am not careful I make too many trips and each trip means untangling the blankets that I'm encased in so that my leg but not my cast is lightly covered and my good leg is covered.  It is hard to get there with the walker.  And at night I have to also balance out whether I need more water or a blanket or another pillow or snacks or cat food from the kitchen.

And speaking of the kitchen I need a substantial snack so that I can take my ibuproferon.  I really need to remember to talk to them about the aspirin I'm taking as a blood thinner.  It is hard on my stomach and now that i only need ibuproferon for pain I can't take it as much as I'd like, meaning I take narcotics instead, becasue of my upset stomach.  I'm on Nexium twice a day so I don't know if it can be helped or if I just need to wait it out a bit but it's annoying.

Sorry.  I'll be upbeat again soon, I promise.  Today has just been the hardest day thus far, probably because I didn't have pain meds knocking me out but I was bored which made me anxious all day.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Life keeps moving on

Yesterday I took a very big step (NOT literally, I only take little hops these days :).  My brother was here to help my mom with some stuff and I agreed to have him come visit for a few minutes.  It was ok.  I handled it much better than I thought I would and in 5 minutes no damage was done.  It wasn't really something I anticipated doing quite that way (I had wanted to do this away from home and when I was mobile but this was clearly the way it was supposed to be).

Today I went to see Dr. Mind for the first time in 3 weeks.  That's the longest I've gone without a counseling appointment in 12 years I'm pretty sure and certainly for 8.5 years with him.  It went well; I'm not at a place where I'm willing to get overly worked up about much so aside from taking that huge risk yesterday because all I can do right now is think about things and that isn't good at all.  Plus I'm doing petty well.  Oddly vicodin is a good mood stabilizer for me.  I have noticed that in the past and this time I was on a lot more of it so it really has kept me level, more level than I almost ever am.  I'm almost off it now so the fun should begin; this is my highest risk for mania time of year so we'll see.  I am praying that by staying inside all the time this year I'll avoid that because I couldn't handle it. 

My brother was back down and so I suggested to my mom that they bring supper to my house so they did and it went well enough.  He called me the nickname I never want to hear again but I can't bear to hurt him by telling him that so I guess I'm stuck with it.  What I know now is that I prayed a LOT about this.  I wanted to just let go and never felt right about it after the initial shock.  So I prayed and prayed and I truly feel this is what I am supposed to do.  So I'll be in his life.  If that means visiting jail I will do that.  If that means traveling across the country after he is out of jail/off probation then that's what I'll do.  His voice is the same.  He has still broken a large piece of my heart and nothing is going to change that but I already have one brother I haven't seen in 14 years and I grieve that loss.  I have a father I haven't seen in 16 years and I grieve that loss despite his absolute cruelty.  My little brother I had not say in what happened.  My father was the right thing to do for safety.  This is something that would leave me with huge regrets because it would be my choice and I'm not willing to make it.

Naturally I now desperately want to talk to Dr. Mind but I can't go back until Monday and even then is a little up in the air depending on how quickly I get the swelling under control. I can keep my foot elevated petty well in the car but sitting in the waiting room I can only prop it on a couch and in the interns' office where we are meeting for now (which is not half as nice as his upstairs office that I can't get to for a while) I can't prop it very far unless I bring my own pillows.   So it was not above my head for 75 minutes and it swelled up a great deal.  I really need the swelling to come down by Wednesday so that my new cast is tight enough.  This one has gotten loose and I accidentally moved my ankle and hurt it yesterday when I stretched after I yawned.  I haven't had much pain lately so I didn't like that.  I want a tight cast and not tight like it is right now from the swelling.  I predict a flat on my back day tomorrow.  That means lots of Bridezillas.  Yes, I have somehow gotten addicted to a ridiculous reality show.  I've never watched one before but I am still too sleepy to follow a series yet and it is hilarious to watch the over-dramatic women on that show. Last night I watched a full 30 seconds that all but 3 words were beeped out.  I didn't even know it was possible to string that many curse words together without practicing.  It meets my current needs.  Hopefully Netflix has many seasons; I haven't actually checked that.

Tonight I talked to my mom for a few minutes when she was tucking me in.  She told me something that my brother had admitted to her that I have needed to hear since April 4th.  It is what I needed to know before I could open my heart as well as my mind.  I mean, my heart has been open.  I have prayed for him so many times.  I ask about him nearly daily and truly have cared how he was doing.  But in terms of connection to him or willingness to forgive him I needed to hear these words.  And then I told my mom more and I think that I sent her home in tears which I feel bad about but I'm doing this my past is coming out of the closet to the extent that lets me have support.  This is a multi-lane highway and secrets nearly undoubtedly contibuted to this problem.  If my biggest secrets hadn't been kept as secret for so long it might have prevented this from ever happening.  'that was a function of time and place as well as my family but at some point it got twisted into this huge secret that just has caused everyone more pain.  I'm tired of that.  When I tell Dr. Mind that he is going to first fall out of his chair and then proceed to want me to bring my mom in to talk about it.  Not happening.  They can meet in the hand-off of the very wobbly on crutches me (I don't use them much so I'm not that great with them yet.  My walker is so much easier and I try to combine up times so that a bathroom trip also includes picking up a snack or water or a pillow from the couch or whatever and if I'm going to carry something I need the walker tray.

I am so tired.  I can't believe I'm still awake.  I usually sleep most of the day.  Nights are really hard because I don't like to sleep on my back, I tend to have more pain then, my knee gets stiff and sore from not moving on the pillows it's elevated on (I think that I am unconsciously afraid of moving), and I can't take meds to increase sleep b/c they'd decrease my balance.  Today I've been up since 10:45, had my big trip out into the world, had dinner with my brother (stressful), and went to bed thinking I'd fall asleep at 7.  And now it's 2 AM.  Which is fine, it will help me keep the leg way up high tomorrow.  I'm hoping to make it all night with 4 pillows and a couch cushion under it which has my knee and hip nearly fully extended but seems to be letting the swelling go down.  We'll see how that works.  For now I"m typing flat on my back with 2 of my best purchases (a "bedrest pillow" and a travel neck support) holding me up enough to see the screen.

I was trying to read until I fell asleep but this book, which I have read or listened to on CD, is annoying the crap out of me because Every!sentence!ends!with!an!exlamation!point!.  It is so overly cheery even when that isn't the intention.  And it's hard to hold a book in this position.

Oh, and I've lost 10 lbs (more or less, hard to get an accurate reading on the scale with one leg and the other in a big cast) since surgery.  Non-weight bearing is a lot of exercise and I've been tying to eat really healthy meals and my snacks are mostly fruit things, fiber/protein bars, and some junk with water.  My abs are getting tighter every day as well.  I'll have to do sit-ups when I can walk again to keep this up.  It's amazing how much I have to do with my abs and arms.  I can't tell you how hard my stairs into the house are.  It takes all my stength and I have stong arms. 

That's it from bedrest land.  Not bad for someone not doing anything.


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Life: Round 41

I don't know the whole story and I'm not going to try to share it because leaving out parts can make it seem even worse than it is, but after months of not feeling good and test results that didn't make sense but ultimately were declared "nothing" my mom's good friend/unofficial member of our family had a scan today that detected results the prior scans didn't.  An appointment was made for him at one of the top specialists in oncology of the specific organ that is involved for Thursday.  She'll be taking him; at least she's getting good at finding the hospital.  But it looks to potentially be very serious and I am afraid. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Laying around

Still here, still laying around.  I saw the dr. Wednesday and got the Bigfoot cast off and a more normal cast applied.  The effects of following the bedrest/elevation orders are immediately obvious as there is almost no swelling or bruising.  The incision is pretty big and I'll have quite a scar but who cares?  It beats being braced and certainly beats repeated injuy.  The dr. seemed pleased.  I liked him this time.  It appears he likes to do surgery.  He doesn't like to talk about a theoretical surgery but he'll happily discuss once he got to cut.  They did a lot of clean-up in there, tightened ligaments and tendons and sewed it all back up.  He said 8 weeks until I can start putting weight down.  That's better than 12 which is what he told my mom Friday.  I'm in my first cast now and that comes off in 2 weeks for stitches to come out and then I get another one. 

I can see now why he does things differently.  Usually the bigfoot dressing is on 2-2.5 weeks and then is removed, stitches are removed and the cast is put on for the rest of the time.  My doctor is more tightly controlling how much movement I get by never letting a cast get looser from decreased swelling.  The cast is even done differently than a usual ankle cast.  It goes completely over my toes, which has made doing stairs really hard and scary (I call it my flipper) and it is contoured so that there is an arch to my foot and around the foot it is form-fitting.  It is much bigger in the ankle where I have a lot more padding over the incisions (2 on top of my foot and the big one on the outside of my ankle) and then I have additional padding on my heel because I have 2 stage I pressure sores there.  I apparently was propping my heel on things and didn't know it because you can't feel it through the Bigfoot thing (or the flipper either) and so I have to be careful about that now too. 

Anne came over to visit and watch a movie today.  She was really sweet and really careful with me.  Such a sweetie.  Her sister was here too and gave her very first hug ever to her big sister who was thrilled.  The baby is a little beyond my abilities right now but I did get to hold her for a minute.  She crawls at the speed of light and pulls up on everything so she requires someone who can move quickly all the time.  Anne asked me questions about my brother today, which is expected.  When I admitted I couldn't explain it partly because I don't understand she told me that she thought grown-ups understood everything.  No, 'fraid not sweet one....and especially not this.

Anyway, just wanted to say I am still here, still in bed.  Tomorrow I'm going to try showering I think.  I can't wait for that.  Mostly I just lay in bed and try to make sue I'm low enough in bed that my foot is way up.   That's much easier with the cast as is nearly anything.  There's not a lot to share as not much is going on in my life right now.  I sleep a lot.  Today I've been quite itchy from the pain meds.  My cat is snoring loudly; that's tonight's biggest news as I don't know how to stop him without jabbing him with my cast which seems mean. 

2 more weeks and then I'll find out if I can be up a little more.  I think they're going to want me to stay down as much as possible for the entire time I'm nonweightbearing from the way it was said yesterday.  I'll take that 2 weeks at a time though. 

More soon,
Just Me Jen

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

That will do it

Today I had a really upset stomach and lots of bathroom trips.  I didn't eat much and just felt lousy.  I also was wide awake since 7:30 AM.  Part of this was because my nerve block shifted and started working far too well so that my entire foot went numb until I called the pain center and turned it off.  They said I could put it on again if I needed to but I have been ok and it was coming out tomorrow anyway if all went well.  So I guess that is one thing taken care of.  But if just was a rough day  and I thought it was the pain medicine.  Until I got my pill box and discovered I didn't take my meds last night.  So I was in benzo withdrawl and probably fine otherwise.  (I just feel gross because I haven't been able to shower since Thursday and sponge baths are only so good, but it adds to feeling sick I think.  Plus I'm hot then cold then hot again despite having the air conditioning at freezer temperatures.  I'm assuming this is from anesthesia but it's annoying.

Anyway, lessons learned: nerve block wasn't doing as much as I thought although it was amazing the first day and a half; I hate having a numb foot; sometimes my ankle wants to be elevated much farther over my head than is required and that is to be obeyed at all times; take your sedatives and addictive meds daily. 

You'd think at least one of those would be something I knew............(To be fair I've had a lot of things in my body and forgetting a dose of routine meds isn't surprising since I also forget seemingly everything else.  I'm making my poor squeamish mother go into the doctor with me Wednesday so that she can remember things.  I just promised she doesn't have to look at the incision or anything else.)

Hopefully tomorrow will be better.  Actually it will be because we are washing my hair and that is a BIG DEAL since it hasn't been washed since Thursday and it is gross and long and sweaty and in a bun on top of my head to keep it out of my face.  I usually shower and wash my hair before bed and that's a big part of my routine so between that and hating to sleep on my back falling asleep at night has been tricky.  I miss the hospital bed where I could achieve real comfort for sleeping.  Don't miss the rest of the hospital but that part I do miss.  I can sit on my couch but not really easily so we've decided to make that an experience for after my real cast goes on Wednesday.

Yawning, maybe going to sleep.....