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

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Merry Christmas. Oh.

When I saw Dr. Mind yesterday we were talking about the upcoming holidays and how the changes in my family dynamics are making them stressful (we will have to celebrations that are completely separate so that people who don't want to mix don't have to).  We talked briefly about how hard holidays used to be for me (we used to work for 2 months on getting ready for them) and that this year isn't that bad but it's just hard because things will be different, my mom is struggling and I'm trying to be supportive and the reality is that we have no idea what will happen because of the legal issues that are pending.  Things could change from our expectations on Christmas Eve if that is when the grand jury comes back.

Dr. Mind asked me something that nobody had ever asked before and that I hadn't thought about on my own.  He asked if there was ever a good holiday when I was growing up.  And the answer is no.  I remember good parts.  I remember moments that were a lot of fun and that were special.  I remember some special gifts that were very meaningful to me or that were wonderful surprises.  I remember getting old enough to buy my own gifts for people and learning how much fun that is.  I even remember that one year I said something to my mom about how my father never got us gifts himself and he gave me a sweater that year, from him.  She probably picked it out and just had him put his name on the tag but it still meant a lot.  I remember being little and how much fun it was to listen to Santa go around the world on the weather radio.  I remember that my grandma was exhausted every year when we were little because she stayed up until the middle of the night wrapping presents.  She tied ribbons on in this neat way that I wish I knew how to do.  She also tended to hide things and forget about them so we would get Christmas gifts in August.  My grandma liked a bargain and once found underwear on a huge sale.  She was all excited to find Care Bear prints, a luxury we never got and so we all got Care Bear underwear that year.  Imagine my shock when I put my first pair on and discovered it only had one leg!  She'd found a 2nds bin, didn't know because of the crowd and didn't check the items she bought.  There was a very ugly plastic plant that my grandmother and father passed back and forth for several years, always decorated uniquely.  There was the year I was a ballerina for Halloween and after my father made a sarcastic remark about wanting the same outfit my grandmother made him his own ballet costume for Christmas.  It was so funny.

There are lots of little memories like that. There also are so many messed up memories.....the grandchildren playing hide and go seek at my grandparents' Christmas afternoon and I couldn't play because my mom didn't want me to be alone with my grandfather, a memory I didn't understand for years until I knew that she'd known he molested me.  There were the bizarre gifts my father started coming up with as things got more and more messed up at our house.  Once I got a coffee can filled with dirt and rocks.  No reason.  Another time I got wiper blades for a car that wasn't mine.  And the topper was the year I got a toilet base and my sister got the remainder.  That toilet was never even installed in the remaining years that I knew my father.  For all I know it is still sitting in an unfinished basement in the house owned by other people now.

Christmas after my parents' divorce was just unpleasant.  My father had all these demands about time and we ultimately started doing Christmas at my  mom's after the midnight church service to have time to enjoy it while meeting his time demands.  Later we had Christmas time that we more or less hid from him because nobody wanted to spend a lot of time with him.  It was just rough.

Believe it or not I toned down the crazy a lot.  I didn't even talk about the annual Thanksgiving forced march or the annual Christmas eve major fight.  Or so many other things.  Christmas as an adult has been better.  Having my nieces makes it much more fun and re-directs everything to that instead of sad old memories.  It's still hard in that in Anne's life Christmas has been different every year both as her needs have changed and as life has happened.  Three years ago we had to delay Christmas nearly a week because I was in the psych unit.  My mom had a hard time with that because she struggles more than anyone else with the lack of tradition.  I kind of liked it, to be honest, because it was very low pressure and nobody had to worry about getting to other family or anything.  The being in the hospital for Christmas part sucked though.  That was a terrible place to be in and I hope I never feel like that again.  

I don't know.  I'm working on coming up with happy memories.  That's good but it is disturbing that I cannot remember one single happy Christmas.  The best I can do is remember being little and my cousin and I who were only 4 months apart always had a lot of fun with the excitement and anticipation on Christmas eve.  We had Christmas afternoon together at my grandma's and I'm sure we enjoyed that too but I don't actually remember those afternoons or Christmas dinners.

I kind of wish he hadn't asked that.  It looked like something that just occurred to him and it's something to think about but it is so sad.  So very, very sad.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

About this blog

I seem to be writing here less and less.  This time I did have a good excuse (and also if I owe you an email this is why):  my internet has not been working very well for the last 2 weeks or so.  It feels like forever.  I think I finally reset the correct thing tonight.  We'll see.  It's been really frustrating.  On top of that I'm exhausted.  My body is pretty used to my pre-ankle schedule of Dr. Mind weekly and Dr. Brain monthly, on different days. Now I have PT twice a week for 30 minutes each time (and 30 minutes of driving total) and Dr. Mind each week.  One Monday per month I have both Dr. Mind and Dr. Brain and those are EXTREMELY long days.  They are absolutely exhausting, beyond what I can even explain.  Then there is my home PT work which used to be something I did for a couple of hours each day but now is a lot less than that because I can't do the balance stuff without a spotter.  I'm also dogsitting a lot more now that we have 2 dogs.  It's a lot and I'm very tired a lot of the time but I'm still not sleeping well.

I think 2 weeks ago I tried a med change; I increased my gabapentin (Neurontin) by 25%.  I was allowed to go up another 25% but I honestly felt worse with the increase so I gave it long enough to be sure and stopped it.  Dr. Brain will have to figure out something else since my mood is still kind of everywhere.

As far as the blog goes, I'm not stopping it.  There's just a big issue with the things I most would want to talk about I can't do that here.  The legal issues with my brother are all still pending and even when they aren't I'm not sure how much I want to put on here about that.  It's hard to explain but it kind of feels like this tragedy isn't mine.  I don't feel that it is his; somehow I feel it is my mom's, probably because she is the one who has been the bravest and I think the most deeply hurt with this.  And it's not something she'd want out there for anyone to read.  However, when it comes to what is on my mind and how I'm coping, those issues are huge.  I don't know when that stops.  I guess I'll just find out one day.  Right now there is a lot of confusion and contradiction in how I feel and until that is over it is even more difficult to say much.

The other thing that is on my plate the most is my ankle and I'm tired of talking about that.  It's been 21 weeks now and I still have months of therapy before I'm done.  I just went through a scary spell where I was standing on a wobbly surface (upside-down Bosu ball if you know what that is) and shifted my feet by scooting them.  In the process I twisted my ankle a bit and tore some scar tissue and irritated a lot more of it.  I was terrified that I'd injured the reconstructed ligaments but after a week of easier PT it is getting better.  The irritated scar tissue led to a lot of pain from a band of scar tissue on the bottom of my foot that I've been trying to stretch away without success since August.  I am finally allowed to do passive stretch and yesterday that partiailly released.  It's not done but it is much more comfortable now.  Passive stretching is hard.  I have so much scar tissue, which is desirable, but it needs to be molded into functional scar tissue that is supportive and the rest of it which needs to loosen up a bit.  There is one direction I still have almost no motion and that scar tissue is really tight.  I have a feeling I'll never have a lot of movement that direction but we'll see.  Therapy has been a little emtional this week as I realized that I am not progressing rapidly with balance and that this is probably the result of psych meds.  My injury was the result of psych meds but I hadn't thought about them affecting recovery.  So I now know that I'm a little behind but not too far, will need several more months to gain balance and proper gait and my PT tried to make me feel better about it yesterday by making the hardest balance activity (throwing a ball into a return net while standing on my bad leg) seem easier by putting me really close to the net to gain confidence.  I saw through it but it was nice of him to try.  It's just hard to think that after 3 months of therapy I have a genuine need for about 3 more.  And I'm not sure that counts my desire to do some therapy without a brace when I reach that point because I haven't been without a brace in 5 years.

What else?  Thanksgiving is coming and it will be hard.  There will be 2 of them because my brother isn't allowed near my nieces.  It will probably be the last one as a free man for him for a while so that's rough.  There is some chance my sister's family will be going away for the holiday and then we'll have one still weird meal here.

Fleas.  I feel so bad about this.  My long hair cat has been shedding a lot and throwing up hairballs to the point of aggravation.  This week he suddenly was missing a lot of hair and there were clumps of hair everywhere.  The shower actually had clumps of hair and some blood.  I took him to the vet and by the time we got there he had red patches in and in front of both ears and was clearly miserable and had lost weight.  I knew he had a flea allergy from when we moved into the house I owned and there were fleas; he wound up a mess.  But there didn't seem to be a way for him to have fleas here.  We went to the vet and I suddenly realized when she found fleas that the stray dog had them and I had been back and forth in the 24 hours it took his medication to work.  So apparently I carried fleas into my home.  By this point Noah had a skin infection as well as bald spots and fleas so he got a steroid shot, an antibiotic shot and both cats got flea treatment.  I got a lot of laundry and steam cleaning.  And a bad case of phantom-itchies.  I felt so bad for the cats last night; the fleas were dying and apparently biting as they did and both cats were miserably itchy.  I had to use a more gentle, slower working flea treatment because my old cat can't process meds so well.  Today they seem more comfortable although Noah is wide awake still which is the combination of steroids and itching.  Poor babies.

The old cat, in other news, is kicking butt and taking names.  She is off her nausea med that a  month ago I couldn't miss a dose of without dire consequences.  I finally stumbled into 2 foods that she tolerates and likes and she is eating real cat food again.  One of them is usually really expensive but is on sale through the end of December so I'm going to be buying immense quantities of it.  Truthfully the expense is pretty well negated at this point anyway if she just eats the food and there isn't waste.  This stuff is pretty much as close to just giving her actual, unprocessed food as you can get without doing that and her tummy likes it.  She's more comfortable, gained a bit of weight and I'm not throwing out any excess foods.  I'm thrilled by this and am now expecting to see her hit 19 1/2 in January. Not bad for a kitty who has had renal disease for 4 years.

Dr. Mind has finally gotten a helpful treatment and is back to being himself again.  I missed him and I'm glad he is better.  I never realize just how much he helps hold my life together until he isn't there doing that.  My depression is even a little better since I know that I have him back and able to focus again.

And that's everything I can think of to catch up on.  I think it's time to curl up in bed with a book and see if I can sleep.  Last night I slept so hard I didn't know the cat had thrown up in my bed until I woke up with a cold, wet sleeve.  I moved to the couch and didn't notice the remotes laying there.  When I turned on netflix today I learned that I had apparently turned on 1/2 of an episode of My Little Pony while I slept and never noticed it.

Hopefully I'll manage to blog a little sooner next time.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

It took 20 weeks....

to sprain my ankle.  Not badly, but enough that I'm spending the next several days icing and hoping my stomach, irritated by all the Seroquel I take, will tolerate the extra anti-inflammatories.  It's frustrating and a little scary and it hurts.  In a way hurts is the hardest because I've fought through a lot of pain to get here and I don't really care to go through more.

It happened so easily.  I do an exercise in PT that involves standing on a wobbly thing and doing squats.  It's hard and makes me nervous so when I did one squat and moved my feet without coaching Wednesday my PT commented on how well I had done with that.  After that exercise I adjusted my brace and said it felt like it was swelling a bit.  Which happens.  Later that day it started to hurt and kept getting worse until it kept me up part of the night.  I went to PT again Friday and we kept it very basic and still got it angry.  So I'm resting it and if it's still angry Wednesday the PT will call my orthopedist.  Hopefully it will be fine by then.

It's scary because it took so little to hurt it.  All I really did was slide my feet against friction.  I didn't roll it that I knew about, I had my brace on, and it didn't hurt any more than usual at the end of the session.  But the ankle hasn't had to do much work (hasn't been able to do much work) in the tiny movements to correct balance in 5 years so those are a big deal right now.  And apparently they are enough to injure me a bit.

It will all be fine.  At the worst they'll put me back in the boot for a little bit.  PT will go a little longer because I'm losing time with this but that's ok; I expected PT to last until about the end of January anyway because I was on track to be done around the time I finish with ortho (Dec. 31st) and I want another few weeks of working on balance and safety with no brace because it has been so long since my ankle was on its' own.  PT is not horribly expensive with Medicare and I get a 20% discount for making payments up front which is really nice and brings my sessions down to what they tell me will be about $8/session.  For a strong, healthy ankle I can come up with the money for those payments. 

Nonetheless this is sobering.  This surgery is supposed to be 6 months to be in pretty good shape, 12 months for full healing.  I can see that clearly at this point.  I'm clearly not going to be all better in 6 weeks and I seriously doubt I'll finish PT before about 8 months out.  I started at 11 weeks.  Needless to say everyone at the PT place knows my name by now.

I think it also didn't hit me until today that my psych meds make this harder.  Psych meds distort balance.  Benzos distort balance and I take a good size dose of those daily (and have been refusing to take the additional dose of valium that I need to sleep well because of fear of falling).   Balance is my hard thing.  In fact right now they seem to be scheduling me only with the male PT and I think that is because I've fallen once and needed to be caught a few times and the PTA is tiny (and thanks to the psych meds I am not).  I have been doing great in PT but balance stuff has not had the same progress.  I guess I should bring up the meds effect because the PT probably isn't experienced to know that the list of meds I take means bad balance.  In fact all this happened (in a way, it was going to happen eventually because I had so many sprains anyway, but the date it occurred) was because my balance was off from starting Emsam and then complicated by my blood pressure being lower on it and needing more benzos while my body adjusted to what is essentially a form of slow-release speed.  I got out of the car too quickly and didn't wait for my balance to be stable and stepped on something and over I went, not helped by my clogs.  I keep trying balance and I know that I'm struggling because we try the hard thing every week or so and then not again for several sessions.  I did fall doing it once and have lost my balance a lot of times doing it and have corrected or been corrected by just a slight touch, but it is not coming as fast as strength and ROM did; I flew through those things.

Oh well.  This will heal and someday will be just one more little part of this saga.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Med changes suck

They just do.  This is the 2nd day on my slightly increased gabapentin.  I am not sleepy at night but I was groggy today.  That may be the flu shot residuals, it may be depression, it may be exhaustion and it may be the med.  I don't know how to tell.  Maybe tomorrow it will be more clear.  It did not feel medicated.

The thing about this is that this is one of my "it may or may not work but it can't hurt to take it meds".  We know it had some effect when it was started and when I went from 300 to 400 mg.  So it does something.  There is no way to know how much though.  Probably not a lot, especially with the low dose.  I don't think it even really has research showing it acts as a mood stabilizer, despite lots of people being on it for that.  I'm willing to take it because at some point in the past it did clearly show that it helped a bit.  But I hate not having any way at all to know what is going on now.  I'll know in a few days if my mood is more stable I guess and if it isn't and I can tolerate it I can increase by another 100 mg.  That's the dose where I had a lot of problems in the past but other variables were in play then that make doing it this way worth a try at least.

I honestly feel like just laying in bed, closing my eyes and refusing to move or take meds or think for about a week.  I think I may cancel Dr. Mind since I am tired from the med (or from whatever) and I think that rest may be more beneficial this week because he is feeling so bad that he just isn't himself.  I can't see handling very well getting up and driving up there when exhausted and then having him not be well enough to do the session.  If I do that it would give me 5 days in a row without any appointments.  And that sounds blissful right now.

Otherwise I seem to be getting sleepy.  Going to take advantage of that.

Friday, October 24, 2014

or a flu shot

When I was feeling so bad yesterday I forgot completely that I got a flu shot on Wednesday.  I'm still depressed, that started before Wednesday but I don't think it is getting as bad as fast as I thought because once I rolled on my arm and remembered why it is sore I remembered that my mom felt bad after hers and that being so tired I didn't want to be out of bed would be a reasonable reaction to depression PLUS a flu shot.  So today I feel slightly better.  Not great, still depressed and tired, but I made it until I can stat my med change and tomorrow my mom is going to help me get my house clean again.  Which will be a vast improvement.  I've just barely been here in almost 2 weeks and that's not good.  One bad thing about a tiny place is that mess accumulates rapidly and just a little bit of stuff out of place is enough to look like a disaster has occurred.

The other thing with being tired that I need to remember is that I have not been allowed or able to exercise much at all for 19 weeks.  I can't even just take a walk yet, not long enough to really be exercise for more than my ankle.  So the increased intensity in PT this week may be more draining than it seems like it should be.  It's a long time still before I can do real exercise (not until January at the earliest) so I need to just remember my stamina is down.  I also want to find out if I can walk on a treadmill at home. I'm doing 5 minutes at therapy now and since my mom has a treadmill maybe I can start trying to walk on hers enough to get some real exercise, even if it is the 30 minute miles I'm walking now and without an incline.  Anything would be something at this point.  The treadmill also makes me practice proper gait and the more I practice that the sooner I will not be limping and walking with an exaggerated heel-to-toe pattern like I am now.  I want to walk so that nobody knows anything was ever wrong with my ankle.  It will take a while longer but that's my goal.

First though, I must recover from this flu shot that has attacked me so viciously. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Blagh

My mixed episode dramatically changed from being primarily agitated to being very depressed in the last 48 hours or so.  I went from sleeping less than usual to wanting to do nothing but sleep.  I'm even falling asleep before midnight and taking naps.  Those things never happen.  Tomorrow I increase my gabapentin which we hope helps and doesn't snow me.  I've been on 400 mgs of gabapentin for quite a while now without major problems but in the past 600 mgs was enough to knock me out and make me completely incapable of doing things like writing emails (I actually sent emails that read sdkjflasjdfoiajr and not to the person I intended to get that priceless message) so we don't know for sure what 500 mgs will do.  I hope help me feel better fast.  I suppose I probably could start my light therapy now but I want to see how things progress for a few more days before risking increasing the mania.  It's so hard to believe it is there, even my PT noticed today that I wasn't myself (ok, I've been going there 2-3 times per week for 2 months, probably it's not that surprising that they notice; the whole staff notices when I'm using the treadmill instead of the easier recombinant stepper) but still I usually can hide this for 45 minutes.  Not today.  If it doesn't work I have no idea what will happen because as far as I know the only remaining options are to add older, often nastier anti-psychotics at a low dose and hope for the best.  Because of my history of movement disorders that has to be done very carefully and we've tried to avoid it.  I also don't want to have to take meds 3x/day.  I'm just getting back on my morning meds, which often are forgotten when I have an episode.  Since one is thyroid it is probably part of why I feel so crappy but I can only do the best I can.  I'd go back to just taking it at night but I need to take nexium twice a day with this much Seroquel so I have to remember the AM meds anyway.    Even then I break the rules. I somehow didn't know synthroid had to be taken on an empty stomach and never did it that way so my dosing has always reflected taking it not quite right.  Not changing that now.

I realized today that it is going to be five years in a couple of days since my first hospitalization and starting Emsam.  That is one med decision I am absolutely glad I made.  Emsam and Serqouel XR made a huge difference in my life and even though they don't work as well now as they used to they probably keep me from feeling much worse than I typically do.  I was so afraid and the whole thing was ok.  I just remember how much of that depression I wore on my face and hate knowing that any part of this one is also visible.

At least tomorrow I'll be back at my house in my bed with my poor cats.  I've been dog-sitting for 2 days and the timing just couldn't have been worse.  I'm also mad because somehow nobody asked me to do this and I found out at the last minute when I had planned a med change already.  I need so badly to just be able to sleep as much as I want to for a couple of days.  If I cancel Dr. Mind which I might I don't have anything until Wednesday which would let me get some rest and adjust to my new dose of gabapentin.  I'll figure out Dr Mind this weekend.

Otherwise not sure what to say.  All I want to do is sleep for as long as I can and with the dogs that won't happen.  Hopefully they'll let me go back to sleep in the morning like they did today.  Also hopefully my mom will be home earlier than I really expect her to be to take over.

And I just realized that I have only a week and then time change rears its' ugly head and will mess with me even more.  That is really not good.  Hope I get through a lot of this in the next few days......But in reality things just are going to be kind of rough for a while.  Lots of tough changes happening any time now.  Holidays.  Potentially the first holidays with things vey different than ever before and they will be very different no matter what.

Anyway, I have nothing interesting to say.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Silence

This is the least I've posted in any month ever.  It's been a hard month to come up with things to say because usually I am writing about what I am thinking about.  This month I've been running from my thoughts.  Partly this is a mixed episode that started longer ago than I realized and I just haven't been in the mood to write.  There has been a lot of grieving over my brother and I don't want to write much about that on here.  But there's also been an issue with Dr. Mind being sick and he has missed some appointments and when he is there he is kind of out of it and so while he at least made sure I got the mixed episode treated medically last week (sort of; read on) counseling isn't the support it usually is and that's making me avoid my racing thoughts in every way I can.  That's been even more true as I've been pretty paranoid this time around and it's better to not let your mind and words run free while paranoid. 

Dr. Mind being sick has been really hard.  I don't know what to say beyond that aside from I miss him and I feel so bad because he truly has been suffering terribly, but this is showing me how grateful I should be that he isn't leaving.  To be honest I'm sad for him that he isn't doing that, he really wanted to and it was his dream for many years and it is so hard to have a decision made by your health.  But I know now how much I miss him when I'm seeing him every week so I can't image having to say good-bye.

Along with those things my life is just busy now.  I am only doing PT 2 times per week now instead of 3 but I usually spend around 2 hours a day working on it at home on non-PT, non-painful days.  (Sometimes I overdo and pay for several days).  On painful days I do a lot of stretching.  Last week my mom was out of town and I thought I was going to have a very quiet week but right before she left a golden retriever mix showed up.  We did everything to find his owners and nobody responded or contacted the pound.  So I went to get tags for him and the pound lady remembered him from him being in there the week before after running away from home.  I told her to call the owner (he was legally mine) and arranged to have him picked up. Then I cried all day.  He had been neglected and had no socialization with humans or other animals and he is the smartest, sweetest boy ever.  I wanted to keep him so badly.  Giving him back was going to be awful.  But she actually asked if I wanted him while I was working up the courage to ask if she wanted to give him up and so we gained a dog.  He's really my mom's, I can't have a dog with my cats in this tiny space but I spent all of last week with him helping him to adjust.

I had a med change ordered (increased gabapentin) but we agreed I should wait until my mom was home to do it because I had trouble being very out of it on a higher dose of gabapentin in the past and we've kept it low to avoid that possibility.  I wasn't very aware that I was out of it the last time so I wanted my mom to tell me if I was out of it and unsafe to drive.  I arranged PT so that I'd have several days to adjust and then found out that my mom was going to be out of town with my sister and nieces for a few days this week and I'm dog-sitting and somehow they forgot to ask me.  My mom feels really bad about it but I'm not going to get to start the med change until Friday night now.  I'm just not going to worry much about missing counseling Monday.  It's not going very well anyway and this is a dreaded 5 weeks between social security checks month so missing a counseling session helps my budget greatly.  I just hope that it works.  I'm tired of feeling bad and I really need this drug to help because the options are quite limited.  Dr. Brain has a few people on more Seroquel than I am taking, however it doesn't seem likely that I could handle that because I am having a very difficult time peeing on this dose.  And once you are on so much there isn't a small boost that is going to do anything anymore; 50 mg is such a tiny percent of my dose that it isn't going to be more than a drop in the bucket.  I had a panic attack that was really bad a week and a half ago and I absolutely couldn't pee until it settled down because I have to focus on relaxing to go and mid-panic attack (it lasted a couple hours) I can't do that.

I can't even remember what else has been going on.  My keyboard wasn't working for quite a while and that was making typing a blog post pretty difficult.  My Anna cat seemed near the end for a while but I took her in and begged for an antibiotic shot to see if it helped her because she seemed to be at the end for days and that turned into a couple weeks and nothing was happening, so I talked to the vet about hospice and she can have unlimited antibiotics until they don't work anymore, and she has been doing great for the last few weeks.  I cut back her nausea med to once a day and she is actually eating cat food again and eating a much larger volume than before.  Hopefully she doesn't get puke-y again. 

I spent quite a bit of time with my brother last week and we talked and laughed and I honestly felt good being with him.  It was a good thing and very much needed.  I hope that I can maintain something like this until things change again.  That could be about any time now.  It could be months more but it is nearing the average wait time.

otherwise I need to empty the kitty litter.  I really meant to do that earlier but I fell asleep.  I bought some of that new lightweight stuff and maybe it is ok for cats who aren't in renal failure but for my cat who pees gallons it sucks.  So I have to totally empty the thing and start over.  I'll wind up with a smelly trash can all night because i'm not going out in the cold to the trash bin but it's better than a smelly bedroom.  I want my Anna to be here as long as she has a happy life but I absolutely will not miss the kitty litter in my bedroom.

I am so tired.  Maybe I'll get to sleep early tonight.  It would be great since I have to sleep at my mom's the next 2 nights.  Ugh. 

Or can I just fall asleep with icky litter one night??????  I think we shall see.  Tomorrow is so much easier to manage all that.  Or not.  Guess it depends on falling asleep.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Placeholder

I am still here.  It's been a crazy few weeks.  My laptop keyboard settings were messed up by my cat walking on the keyboard one night when I fell asleep without closing my computer.  There have been trips to the vet, a very dramatic story involving adopting a stray dog while my mom is on vacation (he'll be hers), there is PT and this week was my first day with both Dr. Mind and Dr. Brain in the same day (which works out to a very, very long day), sleep deprivation, a mixed episode, a few days of being really paranoid, some changes in how I am seeing my brother (again and this is partly why I'm not writing; I can't explain it well without saying more than I want to at this point) and more. I'll catch up soon but probably not until my mom is back and I'm not watching the new dog constantly.  He's a very good Houdini so I can't just let him into the dog yard until we know for sure he cant jump the fence.  I even spent a long time today with a drill, spare boards and zip ties sealing off an opening so he cannot possibly get out that way. 

I'll be back soon.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Two shoes!

I haven't been feeling very good the last few days (stomach issues and now a migraine would like to start along with that which is directly from a very long day going to see the orthopedist with the largest possible number of bad drivers each way).  So I'm going to keep this short but it's a big day, so here goes:  I am weaning out of my boot and into a shoe.  I took my first steps unsupported at his office and then at home I wore a shoe for a couple of hours until it was really making my incision sore.  I'm going to have to wrap that for a while until it toughens up.  There are places that the incision goes over these bone anchor things whichare little pins things that will eventually be absorbed into the bone.  They stick out a little and rub the healing tendons and irritate the skin as well.  I can't do scar massage yet because of them. And they seem to be getting pressure from the shoe as well.  I have a brace to wear when I'm in the shoe for the next 3 months.  Since I won't have that or the shoe on at night I guess I'll be using crutches at night until I can walk barefoot safely.  I am retiring the night splint though.  Free sleep!  Bliss!

He confirmed everything has healed well.  I've been having some concentrated soreness and he was able to get my repaired tendons to come in and out of their groove a little bit but not like they were before and not in a way that is bad, just something they are doing enough to get sore while healing.  I don't know if that will stop when they aren't inflamed anymore.  That would have been a good thing to ask.  If they are a problem I know there is a procedure to widen the groove they rest in; I'm not sure why I didn't have it with the other if there is an issue but as long as it is harmless I do not care at all.  The ankle is welcome to click away.

And now I'm going to try to figure out whether my tummy or my head needs help more.  I so much want to go to sleep but if I do I will wake up at 11 and be up until 6 and that would be bad.  Big day showing off in PT tomorrow.

I thought I had one more thing to say here but my tummy is making it hard to focus and get through thoughts.  So another time I guess.

I go back New Year's Eve and that will be my final visit and should be the end of the brace as well.  At that point I will be 6.5 months out so it will be about time.  I never dreamed it would take so long.


Monday, September 29, 2014

ankle

I will start this by admitting that I am obsessing.  For most of the time I've been recovering I've known what day I was on.  In the last few weeks I lst track of the week.  I figured that out today and now it makes sense again that I thought I was walking at 4 months, not the 14 weeks I seem to have gotten my brain stuck on.  It actually IS 4 months. 

I am so afraid that he'll see something wrong.  I know in my mind that it is great but my perspective is weird when I look at it and the swelling that has built up in the last week or so makes it look really weird.  It's probably also weird because I don't have normal anatomy but I don't know that yet.  I am sore in a different place, a place with puffiness and it feels like something is rubbing on something else.  Realistically a tendon is rubbing on a bone anchor, which is going to resolve itself as the anchor is absorbed into the bone.  But it feels strange.  Not strange bad necessarily, just strange. 

I am so proud of my ROM and that I even have some strength in all planes.  Dorsiflexion I even have fairly reasonable strength, I think a 3/5, maybe 3+ if he was generous.  I have been stretching a lot on my wobble board (a circle that has a round base so that it tips in all directions.  At first I practiced control of movements with it, now I use it to stretch at home and we use weights on it at therapy.  I can move it more than I thought I would be able to by this point when I got the last cast off.  I even can alternate feet on the stairs if there is a rail and the steps are deep enough.  I won't be able to do that without the boot for some time but I can do it now.

I think I'm just conditioned to getting bad news about this ankle.  All the times I've heard that I need surgery, the injuries, the inability to treat my sprains because the damage was already done.  And now I have to learn to trust it.  That's not easy.  It's especially not easy when things are different.  

My foot is still returning to foot shape.  Scar tissue has altered it's shape quite a bit.  One of my exercises really pulls on that and I do the exercise many, many times per day to help with that.  Once before I was doing that and felt scar tissue tear and a nerve came loose from the scar tissue, causing some weird nerve sensations and burning for 5 minutes or so.  I think I am on the verge of having more tearing and probably more nerve release as I feel what I was feeling just before that happened.

I am scared of what he'll say about the popping on the inside (all surgery was in the joint or outsde).  I know that in reality he'll probably say that I still had a lot of swelling in the joint on that side when I was last x-rayed and that it is irritating a tendon or ligament. 

It's all stuff I can answer myself but it's hard to not worry.  After 4 months you want to hear that things are perfect in the healing process.  Honestly they probably are although I may have more irritation on the outside of the ankle than normal; that has just flared up the last few days. 

Whatever.  It is still several days away.  It's a combination of excitement and terror that are hard to explain but which make it hard to wait and hard to not worry.

Maybe I should sleep some......another busy week is about to start.