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

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.


Michal McAllister said...

Well, the good news in your difficulties is that you "LIKE" your cast and find a certain security in the support it's giving you. I gather that you got a new new one.

Thanks for sharing the news even though many factors are stressing you. I will be praying, my friend.

Hugs, Michal

Jean Grey said...

I don't know what is going on with your foot, but one of the PT's I work with thinks that most foot and ankle problems can be improved by strengthening the core. If you are steadier proximally, then the foot and ankle have to do less work to steady you. Maybe you can do some core exercises and quad/hamstring strengthening? There are things you could do supine- starting with isometrics, leg lifts, "butt lifts" (I don't know what else to call them- you probably know these)with your operated foot propped up. And then just ROM exercises with you foot might be helpful.

I think you are doing pretty well given how long you have been basically housebound. The only good thing is that you know this comes to an end.

Just Me Jen said...

I'm doing some supine exercises. I think a lot of the problem is that my center of gravity is so far off right now and with the crutches it is a lot more variable than with the walker. I did find a pair of shoes that is more supportive and I had much less pain when I wore that shoe to my niece's birthday party today. It was funny, I have them because of her. I had one pair of these and they are what helped the PTTD start healing the last time but when Anne was born I was so paranoid about germs I got a 2nd pair of sneakers so that I had work sneakers and non-work sneakers. These are the ones that wound up in the back of my car in case of emergency when both pairs wore more or less out. Hopefully it will at least get me through tomorrow and then I shouldn't be up on that leg again until I see the ortho the 23rd. Hopefully he has some good ideas. I saw that there is a contraption you can wear on a shoe to level out the shoe with a boot so that the gait is more even; I'm going to ask about that. My history of stress injury with the boot makes me very anxious about it. But it must be used. I am so bizarrely attached to casting right now; the boot has so many bad memories that I really kind of dread it. I keep trying to remember this will be a really high quality boot rather than a whatever the store has boot and that will help. And things are improving anyway. I've been on it the last 2 days and had 1 pain pill per day. So that's not bad. No pain pills on days that I'm not moving.

Michal McAllister said...

Good to hear the update and Jean Grey's suggestions!

Hugs, Michal