AQUAGIRL08   173,137
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AQUAGIRL08's Recent Blog Entries

Cleaning Out and Donating

Monday, December 12, 2011

Today I am cleaning out drawers and closets and looking for items to donate to Good Will. I've already done this twice so far in the last month so this makes time number three. I'm surprised at how liberating this can actually be! I love seeing all of those clothes that are now too big go into the "donate" bag! I've freed up space in drawers and closets and given to those in need. It's a win/win as far as I'm concerned!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PEGGYANNSCH 12/16/2011 3:00PM

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DONNABRIGHT 12/13/2011 9:28AM

    Absolutely! I keep a box in the laundry room and it is constantly having things put in to it. Our church has a thrift shop and that is where our stuff goes. It makes me feel good that not only will someone get something for a very low price but it also helps the church raise money for many community projects and I no longer have stuff that is not being used. Mine is a win/win/win! Always good to hear from you. I keep thinking I need to get blogging again but I seem to run out of time these days.


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L*I*T*A* 12/12/2011 8:18PM

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SLENDERELLA61 12/12/2011 7:37PM

    Absolutely a win-win! Congrats on your continued success. You are wise to realize the liberation of the donation!! -Marsha

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Update From Neurosurgeon/Physical Therapy

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Thursday, this week, I had my 13 week post-op check up with my neurosurgeon. I took a progress report to him from my physical therapist for my first 7 weeks of physical therapy. I've made some fairly great progress so far but have at least 3 more weeks to go.

My doctor was very excited about the rate of bone growth in my fusion at C5-C6. He said I'm ahead of schedule! Yea! The bones at C3-C4 are not naturally fusing at this time (bummer) but we have to be patient and give them time. Letting the bones fuse naturally will take a long time (if ever). This wasn't what I wanted to hear but time will tell. My infection appears to be gone although I still have one stitch that is making my incision sore at the spot where I had the abscess. I was excited to hear that I can go back into the water for water aerobics. My physical therapist has cleared me to try all of the motions as long as I skip the weights. I can also take the class called "The Healthy Back" which does many of my home physical therapy stretches and movements. Hooray!!! This was great news!

I have still been having problems with several of the nerves in my left arm. My physical therapist thinks that with continued therapy, it may heal. The neurosurgeon is willing to try this first before doing anything further. However, he actually feels that I had so much damage for such a prolonged time that I may have several swollen nerve covers that may need to be surgically repaired because they are pinching several nerves. We were actually able to narrow it down to the unavoidable movements that caused the injury and come up with a plan to fix it if the physical therapy doesn't work. My doctor's proactive approach, having a plan in place in advance, is very reassuring and comforting to me based upon my past experiences with neurosurgeons. I think he is very aware of this and is a very kind and gentle person for taking these steps to reassure me.

Over all my prognosis is very good. I still have quite a bit of pain due to the nerves in my left arm but that will either be corrected by physical therapy or additional surgery. I am more active than I've been in 3 years and in some ways I feel like I've been sprung out of jail. There are days when I forget about the time and have trouble reeling myself in but I know I must because I'll pay for it with pain later. I've been using the clock as a guide for the length of my activities because some types of pain I just don't feel until it's too late. One of my goals is to pay attention to my pain level so that I don't let it get out of control. If I do it is too easy to want to medicate myself with food instead of pain medication. I've been so good about avoiding that and I don't want to mess that up now!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLENDERELLA61 12/12/2011 7:41PM

    I'm so glad to read this update. You write very positively. I'm sorry you are still in significant pain. However, it is great to hear that you expect relief one way or another in the not too distant future. Glad you can get back in the water. Take care. -Marsha

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DONNABRIGHT 12/11/2011 12:39PM

    I am so happy to hear good news for you and that you finally have a doctor who understands and is treating you for what you need. Hooray!

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RUTHIEBEAR 12/10/2011 3:47PM

    This all sounds good! I am glad you have a plan in place. So happy PT is working so well for you. And hooray on getting back in the water! emoticon

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WILD4STARS 12/10/2011 10:52AM

    Sounds WONDERFUL. You have come so far. Sending prayers and energy for everything to keep progressing towards total recovery.

Happy Saturday and Happy Sparking,
Vikki

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L*I*T*A* 12/10/2011 10:45AM

    wow what awesome news!!!
way to go with your progress so wonderful to hear!!
blessings and hugs.......lita

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USMAWIFE 12/10/2011 10:10AM

    Congrats on the progress you have made so far. Find something to do so you will not medicate with food.

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My Vacation From Spark People

Monday, October 31, 2011

I have been getting quite a few questions about where I've been. I'm taking a vacation from Spark People for a while due to poor health. Lots and lots of pain due to infection and physical therapy. I needed to step back, rest, reduce stress and heal. It is something I should have done last January when things really started to get out of control for me. Hind sight is 20/20 and I just have to move forward. I need to try to play when I can and rest the remainder of the time. Right now I'm spending most of my time resting and going to PT. I usually take medication after a PT session that knocks me out because of the pain. Once I'm better, I'll be back again as a member but I don't want to be a leader. Thank you TBRANCH2, AMANDAJCD and WILD4STARS for everything you are doing for the team!!!!! See all of you in 2012!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ARSALLOT 11/29/2011 7:10AM

    hope you're doing ok

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MOM23CUTIES357 11/7/2011 8:44AM

    I hope you are doing well. You are good strong friend and will be sending prayers your way.

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SARALOUOT 11/1/2011 9:43PM

    Take care! Work on your pain management and get plenty of rest. Hope to see you back soon!
Sara

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SLENDERELLA61 10/31/2011 8:05PM

    Best wishes for pain relief. Hang in there. Know you are missed. Take care of yourself. Glad you are prioritizing your recovery. Take care. REally no one can take care of you but you. Wish I had a magic wand, but I do have confidence that your life will improve. Your great attitude and good sense will prevail!! -Marsha

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EILEENV3 10/31/2011 7:33PM

    Will miss you but understand. Take care of yourself-you deserve the best.
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AMANDAJCD 10/31/2011 4:53PM

    Hang in there, Cyndi -- just rest and feel better!

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TBRANCH2 10/31/2011 3:45PM

    Take care of yourself and hope for a happy and speedy recovery!

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DONNABRIGHT 10/31/2011 11:55AM

    Thanks for the update. Be well and happy. We'll look forward to hearing from you soon.

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L*I*T*A* 10/31/2011 11:51AM

    you are the most important right now.........
take care of you......we will surely miss you....
wishing you all the best with your recovery...
positive thoughts and prayers...
blessings and hugs..............lita

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WILD4STARS 10/31/2011 11:39AM

    You have been through so much. It's understandable that you need some time to focus on YOU.
Take care of yourself, we'll look forward to your fit and healthy return.
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LOSE4LIFE47 10/31/2011 11:28AM

    Hope everything works out for you!!

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Medicating Myself With Food

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Physical Therapy is hard and very painful. Couple that with a painful infection and fatigue and it's a recipe for disaster. I found myself reaching for frozen yogurt last night to comfort me. Partly this was due to emotional upset but mainly this was due to pain. I sometimes allow myself a modest portion but this went way beyond that. I haven't done that in ages. I won't do it again.

Today I'm right back with my program. I doubt that the frozen yogurt will affect me in the long run. I'm pleased that I could recognize what I had done so quickly and get back on track. I have a treatment plan for dealing with the pain and I intend to follow my plan instead of using food to medicate myself.

The other thing I've done is reduce my stress and obligations. It was a hard choice to make but a necessary one. I've had to pull back in many areas in my life even though the heart was willing, the body just couldn't do it. Having just had major surgery with an infection requires me to take a big step back. It's very nice to focus on others but there is a time when I have to focus on myself. Now is that time. Healthy food, sleep, low stress and healing. Proper medication if necessary but never medicating with food. Lesson learned.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PEGGYANNSCH 10/29/2011 11:01AM

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SLENDERELLA61 10/27/2011 4:24PM

    Oh, Cyndi! So sorry for all your pain and challenges. It is time to focus on you. I totally agree and at least partly understand. Hope I still get to see you at least from time to time. Highest regards, Marsha

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IMMORTALTESSA 10/27/2011 3:54PM

    I am very glad that you are taking some time for yourself. You deserve it. I hope that you find the rest and comfort that you truly need. Good for you for stepping up and saying "NO" and listening to your body. Your spirit and love is evident in all the support and encouragement that you give those around you. We need to start returning it a bit more. God speed your recovery. I am proud of you for doing what is right for yourself and seeing the forest for the trees. Love you bunches!
Tess emoticon

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DONNABRIGHT 10/27/2011 1:56PM

    Take good care of yourself - that is the most important thing.

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WILD4STARS 10/27/2011 1:38PM

    emoticonYou have a solid plan. All this has made you stronger. emoticon

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L*I*T*A* 10/27/2011 12:59PM

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NANCYSINATRA 10/27/2011 12:21PM

    WOW!!! Yogurt?? How can you be so strong?? Its candy bars and chocolate sorbet for me when I'm down. Great Job!!

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The Hard Collar Is Off

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I had my six week post-op appointment this morning. The good news is that I'm now out of my hard collar and I start physical therapy on Monday afternoon. The bad news is that my surgeon had to test my incision infection just to be safe because it still hasn't cleared up. He also put me on some strong medication. I have to follow a strict protocol to try to get rid of the infection, otherwise he has to surgically clean and remove part of the infected area. That doesn't sound like fun at all.

I have been cleared to work out on land only.Water is currently a prohibited work out choice due to the possibility of bacteria exchange.This is for my protection and for the protection of other people. It's a shame because I miss my water class friends but at least I have my collar off!

I am very excited about being able to drive and run errands again. There are many things that I've been unable to do that I'd like to do. I realize that I need to take it slow because it has actually been a whole year since my neck, shoulders and arms have functioned anywhere near normally. I am very aware of how quickly those muscles fatigue and thus the need for physical therapy. Right now my head is quite literally too heavy for my neck to support for any large time span sitting up without support. The physical therapy should take care of that problem. I have also been unable to use my arms normally. With therapy, I'm hoping to begin strengthening them enough so that I can start an at home weight program.

I realize that all of this will be done over a period of time. It took me a year to get like this and it will be months before I get my strength back. I am just thrilled that my surgery gave me back 100% of the use of my left arm and improved my overall balance. I can work within a structured program once it is set up. That shouldn't be a problem even if it takes a long time. I'm not at all worried about the time element. I can do this!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PEGGYANNSCH 10/22/2011 9:21AM

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SLENDERELLA61 10/21/2011 11:20PM

    Yes, you can do this!! So glad your left arm now works. How great! So glad you have the freedom to live without the collar. I know how dedicated you are and how hard you will work to regain your strength and range of motion. Patience is also a great virtue you have. Take care. Hope to see you soon. -Marsha

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DONNABRIGHT 10/21/2011 3:31PM

    Oh, this is such wonderful news - thank you so much for letting us know. Physical therapy will be a snap for you.

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L*I*T*A* 10/21/2011 9:55AM

    awesome news!!!

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PJBONARRIGO 10/20/2011 9:48PM

    I'm glad to hear that you are on your way to recovery!! emoticon emoticon

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