Tuesday, December 06, 2011
I am not sure why the phrase "scary bad" came to mind for me, but I think it just fits this situation. Our youngest son, Micah was terribly afraid of storms when he was small--now he loves them and cannot get enough of them. He knows miniscule details about the weather and loves to share them. (We decided to get books about storms to help relieve him of the fear he had as a small boy because he would have full-fledged panic attacks when a thunderstorm happened.) Maybe the snow that is falling and sticking to the ground as of 8AM brought this thinking on... back to my topic!
I decided to call my wonderful spine doc yesterday to let her know about my fall and how it was affecting me in every way before my injections for today. I was flabbergasted and beyond disappointed when the nurse who answered the phone told me that "Dr. Miller is no longer with us." What? I saw her a week and a half ago and we set up appointments and a plan for me for treatments for the next 6 weeks. I tried to get more info, but Nicole was tight-lipped. She told me that there would be "3 docs from upstairs who would be coming to share Dr. Miller's patients and provide care." I didn't sign up for anything like that. I want my wonderful doctor who has listened and found my issues and who gave me the best summer I have had in 8 years. I told her that I would come for the appointment, but that I wasn't guaranteeing that I was signing on for these "guys."
I fretted for a while and I finally called my pain doc. When I saw him last week, we celebrated the fact that I had a new, wonderful doctor. He talked about letting her do my pain management work or sharing my care with her--it was my choice. (What a wonderful choice to have between two amazing, caring doctors!) I decided to call Dr. F and tell him what had taken place. I pushed my way past "Nurse Ratchet" the gal who won't let me get to my doc as a rule by reminding her that I have Dr. F's home and pager numbers and that I would call him that way, but I would prefer to leave him a message. It actually worked and he called me. I told him what was up and after we were frustrated together, he told me that he had an idea--and that he would call me back. Unfortunately, his idea didn't work. He had his nurse call her so he could discuss something with her and all he got was shut out as well with the comment "She is not with us anymore."
It is my guess that the hospital let her go unceremoniously because she refused to herd patients through at a speedy enough pace, taking time to talk with us and find out everything she needed to know to provide good treatment. I saw my psychologist last evening and he confirmed that this could happen. He also told me to keep my eyes open and to watch the internet because often docs in this situation have to comply with a non-compete clause before coming back in a private practice or with another group. (That, of course wouldn't happen if they let her go, only if she chose to leave their company.)
In any case, I am definitely upset. She has been the answer to my dreams. Dr. Collins was so mean and destructive with me that I needed her kindness and willingness to accept that I needed further treatment. I will be looking for more information about her. I will see the "guy" today but I cannot guarantee that he will do my injection. My pain doc can do them and I will wait to decide on this person until I meet him, learn more about consistency of care, and my comfort zone in all of this.
This really is a setback that I didn't need.
Monday, December 05, 2011
I didn't realize that I haven't blogged in so long. I wonder what happened to the one I remember doing about my vision (??) Anyway, I will try to fill in a few blanks.
Last week was q big deal in my world of health. I saw the eye doctor on Tuesday. It turns out that I have 3 types of cataracts growing on each eye. I didn't know that there were "lots of different kinds of cataracts." I have two growing on the outside of the lens--both are slow growing cataracts. One is the regular pinpoint in the center of my eye type. The other is like the "spokes of a wheel" branching from the center of my eye to the outside. The ones causing the problem are on the inside of my lens and are like "someone dipped a paintbrush in gray paint and then just painted down the middle of my eye." It has not manifested the same in either eye and is causing me to have triple vision on the left while it also is blocking light from entering One the left eye, it is interfering with my distance vision. Neither of them match up and their rapid growth has significantly impaired my vision. (I knew that part!) I have an appointment with the cataract surgeon on Dec. 20th to set up surgery to remove them. It might be a bit expensive, but I may be eligible to get a lens implant that will make it possible for me to see without glasses. Of course we will commit to that financially--that is a tremendous gift. I will find out in a couple of weeks.
On Wednesday, I had an accident. We were int he grocery store and I sat on my walker. I hadn't noticed that a wheel was coming loose. It came off and my walker flew several feet down the aisle. I did a 180 degree flip and landed on my left arm and hip in a twisted position. the wheel was about 15-20 feet down the aisle. There were several people besides my daughter hovering around me when I got my bearings straight and figured out where I was and what happened. Somebody went and got me a motorized cart to use and I pulled myself to it. I realized that I had no idea how I was going to get up, given the fact that I cannot climb on my knees since I have knee replacements. A very nice gentle man--an older guy--simply lifted me to my feet. I am lucky he was so strong and so helpful. I was hurting everywhere and still kept my tears to myself until I got into the car. I got home and put ice bags on my shoulder, knee and hip, took pain meds and finally fell asleep.
On Thursday, I realized that I couldn't really push my walker because of the severe pain in my left shoulder and arm. I went to work long enough to teach my morning group and then to let the principal know I had to go to the ER. This turned out to be the meanest experience of my life. They did a work-up on me and determined that I had pain in my neck. I tried to explain to them that I had degenerative arthritis in my neck and that I had a report explaining that with me, but they weren't interested. They put a hard cervical collar on me and then made me lie flat on my back. That overrode all of my other pain--I tried to tell them about my back and it's previous surgery and that I sleep in a recliner, but they were concerned that I may have fractured my neck k. (Note to self, never let anyone know about neck pain!! Then, they put in an IV and it only took them 2 attempts after leaving nasty bruises on both of my arms. Even the pain of those sticks didn't relieve what was happening to my lower back. I was in that position for over 45 minutes as they did a C-T scan of my neck. The final nurse that I saw lifted the end of the cart up so it was at a 90 degree angle. That was the nicest gift ever. My back, particularly the lower right side and hip, has not gotten over that abuse yet. After that, they were able to do xrays of my left shoulder, knee, elbow, and hip and determined that all of my pain and discomfort is due to bruising and sprains. They gave me a sling and offered me pain meds, but I have those for my back and had already tried some. They may work better on the pain as I heal and it shows improvement. As time has gone on, some of this is showing improvement, but I am also having pain on other areas of my body--it was quite a spectacular fall. I followed that 6 hour hospital visit with a nap, my Thursday night class, and a trip to the pool to try and relieve my aching body.
I was able to have my surgery on Friday, in spite of all of this. It was scheduled for the same hospital but a different location. The were quite kind and gentle with me. They slipped the IV in without a bit of trouble. They purposely put it in my left arm because they knew the OR staff would treat it more gently because of the IV. They lifted the back of the cart in the OR for me which seemed to bother the anesthesiologist. The nurses insisted and I stayed in that position at least until I fell asleep. It will take a week to two weeks to get a report on if my uterine polyps were cancerous or not. I am inclined to believe that they weren't since my cervical biopsy was negative for cancer.
I stayed home from my weekend class after that 6.5 hour hospital visit. I had a nice lunch and took several naps. My poor body was awful. I had to (have to) use my right hand to move my left arm. My left hip has a rock on the inside of it. I am a mess and moving is unpleasant. I am now under doctor's orders to not use a pool, hot tub, or bathtub. I have tired walking and bicycling to give myself some relief and to loosen my painful muscles. I am going to work on Monday. I have an appointment for injections on Tuesday and I am hoping my wonderful back doc will help me out.
This might be an explanation why I haven't posted in a while. I think I am weary of pain and this body right now--I know I will come around soon...
Take care of yourselves--It is important!!
Saturday, November 26, 2011
I know that it shouldn't seem so surprising--yet, as our kids get older, sometimes it seems as if they aren't really changing much. They still bicker and quarrel, and refuse to help out. It has been something else--especially int he morning or when one of them thinks that one of their siblings is getting more than their fair share or some other dumb things. it is amazing to have witnessed the kind of things I have witnessed this weekend.
My back has gone wonky again. I am having a lot of pain and when I saw my very helpful, kind doctor on Wednesday, it turns out that it is time to do my hip and lower back injections again. When my back is at its worst, I cannot stand for long, walk much longer or bend over much. That made this holiday have the potential to be pretty tough. However, our kids have come through. They divided up tasks and did most of them. My husband lifted the turkey and ham, and with only a little help got them in the oven. The kids did veggies, made desserts, helped with cooking... All I had to do was come and supervise a couple of casseroles being put together. They did the table and some cleaning too. It maybe wasn't quite the way I would have done it--I would have changed to a different table cloth and I would have used the good china. I was smart enough not to mention either of these unimportant details and I simply enjoyed their efforts. It was very nice indeed.
My older son's car has been on the fritz and it has been interesting to watch the guys work together to help get it going. They need to replace the fuel pump tomorrow. They have given each other ideas, help and rides. Again, this has been without my begging or needing to maintain peace. I am so pleased when they show me that I have taught them something all of these years.
Although, I miss having them be babies and small children, this is a real gift. They do grow up physically, quite quickly. Seeing them grow up emotionally and socially is a true gift.
It's been an awesome holiday weekend.
Friday, November 18, 2011
This has been quite a week--but I am learning how much I can do and how much I can overcome when I need to do so.
I have been working hard on multiple projects for my two classes--a sample of assessment, a presentation and related article activity, 3 chapter reports, a brochure, a group presentation, and a lot of reading...
I have been really working hard on caring for my students. I am seeing a group of children the three mornings before school that I don't have meetings and another child after school on the four days that I don't have a meeting. I am trying hard to find some ways to restructure my daily scheule to find a better way to serve children who have such a varied group of needs. I need to regroup them which is very difficult given the complicated schedules for each classroom to contend with. However, I have some children who I am not able to challenge enough given some who are really needy and I want to do right by each and every child.
I sent home a supply request list to parents for materials like ziplock type bags, tissues, antibacterial wipes and so on that I have always bought out of my own pocket. I have never asked before, but I have had a small response already and I am thinking I should do this each year. I am not sure why teachers like me have to buy everything like that when classroom teachers get their supplies provided.
I am in the middle of cleaning a storage area here in my house. We have a lot of things to donate to Goodwill and a lot of other things I am going to donate to the trash. It is not making a couple of "hoarders" here very happy.
I saw my ortho on Tuesday. He recommended surgery on my left hand, and doing it soon. His first available surgery date is December 14 at some time in the afternoon. That is almost 2 weeks after my female surgery on December 2. I guess my holiday month will be as crazy as last year when I was having rotator cuff surgery. Somehow, I should have known that I wouldn't have a "surgery-free" year. It is just what I have to do in my spare time, lol. This will be my third surgery on my left wrist and hand. It is taking a lot of work keeping it working properly. Oh wait, I forgot my dental surgery in August. My mouth is still not completely healed from that and I sometimes forget.
I have gotten to the pool every day but my Thursday class nights. I believe that is keeping me and my body going. I also go to church at least once a week and I believe that keeps me going spiritually and keeps my faith strong. I go to my therapist almost once a week so I have someone who is working to keep me out of mischief and who is challenging me to focus on self-care. He also is teaching me to play chess because he thinks that it will give me a strong past time to challenge my mind and give me something social and fun that isn't related to my demanding and time-consuming job.
I have been so busy this week that I haven't been to my teams much. My regular threads are far behind and I haven't read many blogs. I am taking Friday off from homework, so I might get here for a while after the pool to check up on you. Please use the comment section here to give me a little update on yourself. I know this is a crazy blog with little purpose and I want to know about you.
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