Wednesday, September 26, 2012
I have used this phrase in reference to my hands and feet often, but this time I am referring to my nails.
They seem to be leaving the building. As in, 'Elvis has left the building'.
I've noticed that I dwell on this recent occurrence more than I should.
By then again, how can I avoid it? My hands are right there in front of me. I generally cover my legs with a pair of black tights and a skirt, so that doesn't nag me too often. But my nail-less fingers...it gets under my skin.
I needed some distraction from my nails, or lack there of.
Rather than focus on all of the things I have not been able to do for quite a while with the frail and now some missing nails (like opening soda cans, picking up a penny from the floor, actually pushing those 'push' buttons, etc. why not think up some fun benefits that warped and/or nail-less fingers CAN do?
Yes, many of my nails have 'left the building', but it was time to put a twist on this reality. It was time to get my giggle on. Check out what I came up with, Elvis style.
I visualized myself in metallic gold shades, flaunting a frothy pair of unaffiliated side burns.
Then I surfed my own personal wave of a Blue Hawaii daydream, as if channeling The King:
I could stir the peanut butter in the jar with my index finger, not having to worry about getting it stuck under my finger nail before making that fried PB and 'nanner sandwich.
Don't worry! I haven't actually done this. I'm just dreaming about it.
Mmmmmmm....drool drool drool.
I could play a guitar with a guitar pick, and not worry about using nails here either. I just might belt out, "All Shook Up" though. So be warned, I can't carry a tune!
I would have no problems hopping into and out of those polyester sequined jumpsuits since there are no buttons. Yay for giant zippers!
I took the shiny gold shades off and came back to reality. I seems that Elvis Presley is a good fit when I need a good distraction.
Bonus of Elvis daydreams: the rhinestone clad wardrobe distracts anyone (even myself) from seeing those mangled fingertips. Nice!
Friday, August 24, 2012
I am now referring to my frenzied stuff-face behavior as the 'Pig Pen response' (remember that kid from Peanuts?).
I know I am not alone here.
Have you ever felt like you just have a whirlwind of items on that to-do list, truly enveloping you?All are important, and all with an urgent deadline.
At that moment, the freezer and pantry light up like neon signs, advertising their sweet and salty contents like a mini Las Vegas! I won't tempt you with the food porn...
Speaking for myself, my raging stress response to pain could trigger my inner Pig Pen, or giving myself an unrealistic to-do list, etc.
But really, its all about my reaction to a trigger.
I've skimmed over recent events that lead to my last Pig Pen response.
My chronic pain had ruled most of my day. Big surprise here on what I did next. Yep, I saw the neon lights of the sweet & salty treats, and out of the depths of my memory, I remembered exactly where each of those items were hiding (candy under quinoa pasta, potato chips behind the pouch of flax seed meal, etc.). I sabotaged myself!
Stuff face. Rinse. Repeat. Yuck.
This is not an acceptable way to cope. Ugh.
I logged on to Spark and poked around for some motivation to fend off my inner Pig Pen. I read some great blogs by CANNIE50 and AAACK and decided to integrate them into my daily life. I've been working hard to "tidy up my side of the street" by keeping my inner complainer in check. Allowing that negativity into my life just piles up emotional 'trash', and trash stinks!
I'm also making sure that I do at least one thing per day that makes me feel accomplished (no matter how small), and then acknowledge that moment. It's amazing how such a small thing can keep you smiling.
I challenge you to make a mental list of your Pig Pen triggers.
Then list your personal battle tactics to prevent you from wolfing down your refrigerator contents. Be sure to put your action plan at the forefront of your mind.
After all, no one wants to clean up after Pig Pen!
Tuesday, August 07, 2012
Does that apply for hospitals?
For this trip I've been a 'guest' in the hospital for over 2 weeks. I've gotten the best care by truly talented people.
Initially I was admitted into the hospital via the E.R. over the 4th of July weekend, and stayed for 8 days due to painful nerve flares. I was so homesick and bolted at the first chance I was given to go home. Unfortunately I checked out too soon.
I was so happy to be home, but my disease refused to follow the doctor's orders. A few days later I had to return to the hospital. : (
I was in my room for less than 5 minutes before some of the nurses from my past visit came over to day hello.
'I'm so sorry to see you come back. Didn't the treatment work?', they asked. '
'Oh, I feel great. I just missed the food so much, I wanted to come back!' : )
And then I was plugged into the hospital matrix (har har).
Crisis Nurses were called in to start IV's on me since I am considered a 'hard stick' (small difficult veins that get easily irritated). God bless those nurses!
I surfed my gurney as it was rolled to the opposite side of the hospital into the O.R. to get my first epidural and catheter placed. I was then literally flipped over onto my back so that my doctors could do another nerve block procedure via my neck. The gurney roller coaster ride started up again, and I was wheeled back to my room.
Colorful wires were taped on my torso. A portable (heavy) cordless heart monitor stuffed into my gown pocket, constantly dragging my gown faaaaar too low in the right boobie region -embarrassing!
Throughout my time in the hospital, I received multiple types of drugs and treatments.
I had another vampire bite in the neck to administer a nerve block for my right hand.
I have had 3 long term epidural catheters inserted in my back to administer pain drugs to my legs.
I had a 4 day ketamine infusion (horse tranquilizer) for pain, and was warned that I might hallucinate.
Yep, I saw my cat Jit-Zu replicate and come to visit me in the hospital as a duo. Pretty strange, but an unsuccessful treatment.
I had a 3 day Litocain infusion to cool my constant burning nerve pain. Also unsuccessful.
I fought and cried through 2 (literally) burning treatments of capsaicin patches, which were sealed on my feet for 2 hours each time. The first round was unsuccessful since I have a very stubborn and evil condition.
I reluctantly agreed to a second attempt and now refer to this treatment as Chicken Fried Feet. Successful? Time will tell.
The next treatment that my pain doctors are recommending involves a drug called Prialt (snail slug toxin) to 'stun' my nerves. Umm, I'm still undecided on this one.
Horse tranquilizer, capsaicin chili patches and sea snail toxin? Wild!
Throughout all of this, I have had 2 shiny IV poles with at least 3 bags of medication hanging over my head at all times. This obviously has made just about everything difficult. Try fitting two IV poles in the bathroom with both yourself AND a nurse!
I quickly felt claustrophobic with all of the tubes and wires. Especially since most of pills and IV medication often made me quite sick. Feeling dizzy and barfy while hooked up to so many things is a terrible feeling. Then again, so is getting vomit in your hair and relying on the nurse to clean me up.
Bless the nursing staff for making the rough days much better!
I celebrated my birthday in the hospital. My husband tried to decorate my room and make the best of things. He even brought Sprinkles cupcakes for the nursing staff, whom we have gotten to know quite well. One of the nurses told me that a common joke around the hospital is that you can leave $100 out in the open and it won't be touched, but bring some desserts and they will get nabbed in a second. She wasn't kidding : )
I'll be checking out of Chez Hospital today (hope hope hope). This second stay added up to 15 days.
My solid-gold hubbie used up all of his vacation time to be with me. He came to my room daily in the morning and left late every night, taking a break only to go home and feed Olive. There were many days that were a fuzzy blur for me, and he still sat next to me as I slept. This entire experience really has been one of those 'for better or worse' vows played out. I know how lucky I am : ).
A HUGE thank you to Spark pals for keeping my spirits lifted throughout my time here. Believe it or not, its actually challenging to stick to a healthy diet in a hospital. I had free reign on the hospital menu, but found limited healthy gluten free options that tasted good. It was so much easier to order the cheese plate and an ice cream sundae daily. Thank you for the reminder that it's the little changes that add up over time - no matter where that time is spent!
Now, back to business. Do I get to keep the robe, err, gown? Perhaps I should leave it here. Talk about a wardrobe malfunction in the rear section every time I get out of bed! : )
*i wrote this a few days ago but was not able to post it until today. I'm recovering at home. Yay!
Sunday, July 15, 2012
The hospital I am currently a guest in is under construction. Yesterday the nurse came into my room and told us that we could not use the sinks, toilets or even drink the drinking water. They were not sure when the problem would be resolved and were not told what exactly happened.
A moment later another nurse brought in some blue bags with kitty litter-like crystals, and told me that I would need to 'go' in the bags which would be placed on commode chairs to avoid the toilet water. Hmm Ok fine. What could I do, freak out? I told my nurse that of course this meant that I instantly had to tinkle, but was not ready to deal with the bag thing just yet.
The staff were busy trying to alert everyone and went off to the other rooms. I'm sure this was no fun for the them!
I swear I could literally hear my husband start to stress a second later. He stood up. He paced. He said he would need to leave the hospital soon since he might need to pee and didn't want to go in a blue bag over the toilet. "Take me with you!" I joked.
I reminded him nicely that his predicament was much easier for a man. And I was the one who currently could not walk unassisted + had an epidural in my back and an IV in an arm - so it might be a bit more humiliating for me. But it could be worse right? So then I started to think of HOW it could be worse as the 'potty train' of commode chairs were being pushed down the hospital hallways.
What if all of the patients had just taken a laxative?
What if the hospital had a chili cook off?
Perhaps the fact that I had already been telling myself to pretend that I have been camping since last week to deal with my lack of real shower or clean hair helped.
I've gotten to know a few of the nurses a wee bit (ha ha 'wee'), and was joking about the hospital version of Soul Train we had going on in the hallways with the commodes. If the patients all hit their Call buttons then the hallway would light up like a disco! Woohoo its a Potty Train!
The nurse let out a loud guffaw and then told me that he was trying to get one of the nurses to wear a diaper under their uniform to add some humor to the situation. Ha! Sadly no one agreed to it. Boo : (
You know, it was barely more than an hour before we got the all clear to run the faucets and use the facilities, but you could literally hear the sighs of relief from the nursing staff, patients and their visitors throughout the facility.
Well I guess I can find humor in the strangest of circumstances eh?
Friday, July 06, 2012
And here it's Friday already. Sorry.
I've been fighting the pain monster all week it seems and still trying to keep my brain focused on my goals which are (finally) posted below:
My goal for this week was to to do some type of workout (even if modified) at least 5 days this week.
Also shoot for 2-3 completely meat free days.
Lastly, I want to continue to set small weekly goals each week since I need to feel accomplished right now at something, no matter how small!
This might seem like a short and simple list but I knew it would be challenging for me.
*So far I need to get another workout under my belt to meet my goals*
Wish me luck!
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