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Be also thankful for the medical professionals in your life this year– and let them know!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Yesterday I went back to the Pain Center at the hospital for another nerve block procedure to try to take the edge off some of this ridiculous pain. With it being the holidays, only the skeleton crew seemed to be working, and my regular doctor was on vacation. A new doctor was assigned my case, and was trying to get himself familiar with the plethora of paperwork in my file.

This was the first time I had actually seen my entire file. I had only been a patient there for 6 months, but sheesh that file was a fatty.
Visualize a foot long hoagie type of thickness - a healthy hoagie of course : ).

The doctor was about1/2 way through that hoagie (what would that be, at about the pickle layer?), and there it was. A thank u card I had written to the surgical team months ago.
Huh.

I'm a big believer in thank you cards. The real ones, sent via snail mail. Because once in a while it's nice to get something other than bills, right?
Anyway, there it was.
I was pretty sure that my card would have been tossed within moments of opening.
They really keep these things? Who knew?

I perched myself at the edge of the chair in the procedure room and waited patiently for the doctor to find the current 'cocktail' of drugs for the procedure.

A few minutes later, one of the doctor’s who removed my spinal cord stimulator last week stopped in to see how I was doing. Soon after that, a nurse from when I was there 2 weeks ago came in to say hello. She wanted to thank me for the bag of oranges I brought in for the crew instead of Christmas cookies and fudge-y goo.

It was not my plan to get to know these people so well, believe me.
You don’t want to become a frequent guest at the Pain Center like you would accrue Starwood Hotels points - since I always need to be awake and present for my various procedures = no mint on my pillow. No frequent flier miles here - unless I was being administered a lot of heavy drugs, and THEN I would feel like a frequent flier, right? Ack!

I would have preferred to be in a dress and heels, out with my wonderful husband, enjoying each other’s company and enjoying a glass of wine. Not worrying about the looooong list of details that need to come into play perfectly (and I do mean perfectly) for me to look and behave like a mostly normal, healthy person for even a short amount of time. But for now, this is my lot in life.

But this blog isn't supposed to be about me me me.
There are so many people from the medical community who truly deserve a thank you (or a bag of oranges) for caring for myself (and likely you) at a time of two in 2011.
So I ask, have you thanked your medical professional(s)?

If you have had your teeth cleaned, saw a specialist about a hand injury (AAACK I mean you, feel better!), met with a registered nutritionist about re-vamping your diet, or shoot, even (gasp) survived your annual physical, be sure to thank the medical professionals involved in your life. Sometimes they really appreciate it : )

‘Nuff Said
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CTUPTON 1/7/2012 9:16AM

    Bren, reading your blogs is so uplifting. I don't know how you do it. You help us! My problems are so small compared with what you are going through. Thank you for writing!
Chris emoticon

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OOLALA53 1/2/2012 10:46AM

    Given some of your stories about how you've been treated, this is especially warm. And you are a talented writer! I know what you mean, though. I feel very grateful for my dentist especially. I'm so glad someone knows what to do to help me when I have pain! I wish that you will find more relief this year. emoticon

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MRSSCHENCK 12/31/2011 8:08AM

    Great blog. emoticon you thoughtful! Get it? That is an orange isn't it? Or is it a grapefruit. Anywho...you get the point. emoticon

Hope you're feeling better.

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REDSHOES2011 12/31/2011 12:50AM

    emoticonblog

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MALKS_ARIA 12/31/2011 12:34AM

    woohooo :) Thank You Medical Professionals!!!

Yep I thank my dr often... cuz I see her often! (I would prefer not to too).... I also thank many of my specialist as the list goes on....

Blessings to you and hope you have a great new year eve :)

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CATS_MEOW_0911 12/31/2011 12:32AM

    Loved this--very good points. As a (veterinary) health care professional, I can attest that a real "thank you" goes a very long way. Health care professionals definitely do remember and appreciate.

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RYDERB 12/31/2011 12:19AM

    Oranges! You're so thoughtful! I definitely need to send a Thank You to my OB/GYN. But I was thinking a Red Velvet Nothing Bunt Cake emoticon Is it any wonder I'm suffering from Cinnabon Booty (& Tummy) I hope this latest procedure, has brought a little more relief into your life.
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MISSLISA1973 12/30/2011 11:02PM

    Great blog!

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LGAR519 12/30/2011 8:17PM

    Oranges! Who would have thought of that except you!! I love it. Praying that they will find a relief for your pain soon!!

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SUNFLOWERSAVAGE 12/30/2011 7:27PM

    You are so giving!
Hope this one helps you!

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SUNFLOWER4ME 12/30/2011 6:31PM

    "Blessed are those who can give without remembering and take without forgetting."

Thanks for the reminder :)

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SHERRIE_BERRY 12/30/2011 6:23PM

    You are such a doll! A bag of oranges...fabulous!!! I know you would much prefer your cocktail come in a tall stemmed glass, but that will come! You will go out in your oh so teeny dress and very high sexy heals...soon! How do I know that? Because you are one determined woman! You will soon get all of the goodness that you deserve!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Much love

Comment edited on: 12/30/2011 6:23:34 PM

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CANNIE50 12/30/2011 5:56PM

    I adore my doctor. She is a blessing and I have told her that, in writing, I am happy to report. This is a good reminder, dearest Bren. I am hoping and praying, as always, that one of these wonderful medical providers will find some true relief to deliver your way, STAT! I am thinking of you.

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A New Take on 'Unplugging' From Technology

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I recently completed 7 days of a spinal cord stimulator device. I can finally exhale.
As of this moment, I have decided not to have the surgery to permanently implant the device in my body.

Days 1-3 were so-so. Frankly, I simply could not get past the back pain from the procedure itself to focus on the electrical pulses rhythmically buzzing and crawling up and down my legs in an effort to ease my chronic pain.
I had 4 programs - my own playlist if you will. But the response time lag from my command to the remote control and the response of the program's intensity really never got any shorter than 10 seconds, which made for some involuntary yelps and shrieks numerous times each day. A genuine laugh, sneeze, or a simple cough was a shocking experience this past week (pun intended). A cattle prod comes to mind when I think back to it. Owie...

Days 4-7 just plain hurt. The device rep called daily to check in, and wanted to meet up with me over the weekend to see if he could help. We sat in the hospital lobby as he literally plugged me into his laptop. For all of you sci-fi geeks out there, this was surreal!

Unfortunately, things just kept getting worse. Each bump in the road, and even a support pillow behind my back were just too much to bear. I pretty much 'hovered' in my chair, or lay on my side. I was one cranky, sleep deprived (and electrified) woman.

On Monday I went to the Pain Center to have the leads on my spine removed; to unplug from the machine, etc.
After some initial scans, the doctor confirmed what they had feared, the leads had crossed over each other, and one of them possibly flipped over (belly up I assume?). That explained the jolts of pain that made me feel like a moth caught in that bright blue lantern on a summer's night.




The doctors were disappointed - They had hoped they would be able to document how this type of pain therapy actually worked on someone with my condition.

The rep was disappointed - He really tried to create helpful programs and provide me some relief for life.

My husband and I were disappointed - We were entertaining the idea of actually going on a date, or perhaps a night away from home. Maybe even going to see his family TOGETHER for the holidays.

I continue to be such a rare case that the docs asked if I would agree to be their case study for their next Pain Management Focus Group.
I had already agreed to attend an upcoming event at the hospital across from the Pain Center for their Conference dealing with rare cases as well. Look at me, so popular!

Part of me feels like a circus act. Being called 'a rare and acute case' is not always a nice thing to hear, am I right? Perhaps I could just focus on the 'rare' part, like a beautiful scarlet gem, or a shooting star?Sounds much more glamorous don't you think?

So what's the plan now? Well, I am scheduled for another epidural procedure next week, and I hope that provides some relief for a bit. The doctors are looking into some type of pump device to administer drugs internally. Hmm, would that make me my own personal drug dealer? Ack!

Perhaps I will go through another 7 day trial for the device that would be implanted in my neck to help with my limb pain, but not right now. I need a break.

All I wanted to do as they discussed my case (in front of me of course), was to go home and take an obscenely long shower. 7 Days without a real honest to goodness shower was punishment enough. I felt like I WAS my own petri dish!

My husband took me home and pointed me toward the shower. I scrubbed (gently), I lathered, rinsed and repeated. I got out of the shower and gingerly put socks on my very swollen feet. I put wound cream on my painfully cracked right hand. I tediously forced my hands to comb my long hair and try to look decent fort a very supportive husband (and for myself of course), in the next room. He just wanted to hug me; what we call a marathon hug to make up for the past 7 days.
I was so thankful to be back to my pain ridden self. Funny how that works.

'Nuff Said

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MUSICALLYMINDED 12/23/2011 12:45AM

    Your positive outlook is really inspiring. How you can endure all this pain and go all through what you've gone through and still be so sunny?? You amaze me! I hope you find a less invasive way to get some relief from all your pain in the future. emoticon

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CATS_MEOW_0911 12/22/2011 12:47PM

    Bren, I'm sorry the device did not help as it should have. I hope the epidural helps and that you are able to find a more permanent solution soon...
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SNAPDRAGON1231 12/22/2011 11:28AM

  Soooo sorry it didn't help. Perhaps at this conference there will be a doctor that can help you, or a doctor that knew another doctor that had some success......that's what I am hoping for you anyway.

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LGAR519 12/22/2011 9:39AM

    I'm so sorry the procedure didn't help you. I would love to do something to make you feel better. I admire you so much for hanging in there.

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SUNFLOWERSAVAGE 12/22/2011 4:13AM

    You ARE a rare and stunning gem!

I wish I could take that pain away from you. You really don't deserve it.

Sending you huge gentle hugs my friend!

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CANNIE50 12/21/2011 11:25PM

    Oh, honey, I am SO sorry this did not turn out the way it was hoped it would turn out. You went through so much, and you go through so much, I just pray you get some sort of relief soon. How very exhausting. Your spirit is more powerful than that device can ever hope to be. oxoxoxox

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1HAPPYWOMAN 12/21/2011 11:11PM

    Golly woo, my darling girl, that is disappointing. You are a rare and precious gem, and you just keep sparkling through experiences that would shatter most of us.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RYDERB 12/21/2011 10:02PM

    Bren, I remain in awe of you. You my dear friend definitely have the spirt and resilience of a true champion. I'm so sorry that what sounded so hopeful turned out oh so very wrong for you. Take your break. You've earned it. I'll be here, for you always.
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Comment edited on: 12/21/2011 10:02:51 PM

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SHERRIE_BERRY 12/21/2011 9:56PM

    My dear friend Bren,

I so wished you would have more positive results to report. I'm just at a loss for words. I feel so sad right now! I wish I could be supportive and give you happy thoughts but knowing myself about chronic pain well, there is just no happy thought that I can throw out there! I guess it's a matter of dealing with the pain you know, rather than the pain you don't know.

Sending as always gentle hugs and cool breezes xxx

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Domo Arigato Mr(s) Roboto!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I woke up in such tremendous pain yesterday. I had to remind myself that the pain was from the Spinal cord Stimulator Surgery implant and open holes in my back. I tried to muscle through it, but kept crying, attacked with the question of, "what have I done?"




I began my Spinal cord Stimulator trial week as of this past Monday. The pain from my disease had pushed me to this last option sooner than I had anticipated, but a one week trial is supposed to help me decide if I want to permanently implant the device used to shock away up to 40% of my pain in my legs. It sounded so medieval and barbaric.

"What is more important to you", the device rep asked me, "the use of your arms, or your legs?" He said that I needed my hands to type, so he would opt for my arms if he was me.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
"How can you ask me that?" I replied. "I need my arms to type, and I need my legs to walk. I want both".
Unfortunately, that request would require 2 implants, one in my neck and one in my tooshy.
The doctor chose for me - we were going for the legs.

I've blogged about this in the past. I fought this procedure tooth and nail. But chronic pain has a way of dictating things like daily life. My pain management docs informed me months ago that I had reached my limit of steroid injections in my spine, and was now out of options.
I kept thinking about how I needed to put all of my hesitation aside, pray about it, and be confident that all would work out. A Spark friend gave me a nice thump on the head to remind me that I needed to stop worrying. Stop trying to drive the bus myself, right? Why is that so hard???

Let me walk you through the surgery of 2 days ago:
A team of doctors and the device representative collected in the (already warm) operating room. I was told that I was going to be 'tented' since the risk of infection was high. Call me crazy, but I was under the impression that the team would be under my tent too you know? (party in my tent!!!). But I was the only one being tented; covered from head to toe in a shallow Smurfy blue tent while they dove into my back, trying to get some lead wires attached to my spinal column. I was awake and needed to be present to help them navigate things. This was very tough. I was hot, sweaty, and starting to get very sick from the anesthesia. Even though there were 6 people in the room, I felt very alone under that tent, so I prayed.
I prayed through wavs of nausea. I prayed while the device rep took over to navigate and program my spinal cord device (4 programs), while trying to find my pain threshold limit - all without trying to inflict too much of that pain on me (owie!).

After I was taped and sealed up like a holiday rack of lamb, I was moved to another room with the rep to learn how to use my remote control (my remote control?!).
He 'turned me on' from his laptop, and I felt the buzzing, crawling ants-like feeling rush down my legs to my toes. What a strange sensation. How could I describe this entire experience?

I had officially plugged into The Matrix!
I instantly felt like a Cyborg.
Was I a Bionic Woman? Hmm, not so much. I would have needed to add some false lashes and feather my hair...
Call me Elektra? Oh Lordy, although the push up bra would work wonders, I don't think that all of the tubing and bandages would be concealed under the leather bodice and pants. But I sure would have been a hottie... :)

For this trial period I was warned to avoid all scanners, and the shopping mall entirely actually, since I cannot be near those security contraptions at department store entrances.
Hey, maybe this will keep me from doing ANY holiday shopping damage? Ha!

I was also told to stay away from large electronic machinery and any x-ray machines (dentist, doctor's office, airports, etc.). This part should not be a problem for this next week, but I very painfully found out that due to bad cell phone range within my own home, the connection between my remote control and the device itself was not registering - WHILE I was urgently trying to turn it down, since it suddenly kicked into high gear on me. That scenario was a 15 second delay. Yep, I counted.

Note to self: Stop trying to use my remote control to change the channel on the TV! I swear I did this at least 5 times yesterday. AUGH!

Since I need to keep the remote with me at all times, I had to get creative. I found a new use for my husband's iPhone holster for the gym, go figure




I looked over at my husband last night, and thought about the weddings and parties and special events that we have not been a part of since I got sick. I realized that I not only need to do this trial for myself, but also for the love of my life, my husband.
I owed this to myself, my marriage and our future, right?

Maybe this will help me get back into the world socially.
Maybe we CAN go out to dinner without me literally wiggling from pain the entire time.
Maybe I can behave like a 37 year old woman and have a girl's night out (wow!).

I've strung a lot of "maybe's" along the lead wires currently connecting me to this spinal cord device, like a laundry line between two apartment windows.
But "maybe" sounds a lot better than "never", doesn't it?

I'll keep you posted!

'Nuff said.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRENTDREAMER 12/18/2011 4:27PM

    I'm proud of you for going through this with as positive of an attitude as you are.

You are handling this far better than I would.

Hugs, Sparkfriend

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CTUPTON 12/16/2011 1:22PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

But gentle hugs , of course!

Hope you feel better very soon! Chris emoticon

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MAMADWARF 12/16/2011 12:53AM

    God, you are one brave biotch.....that may be my future one day as well but right now I'm holding steady with the epidurals. I'm proud of you for fighting and not giving up. I know you feel like a freak but if it helps, then its worth it. Keep us posted. I'm your biggest fan....bzzzzzzzzz. I just zapped you!

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CATS_MEOW_0911 12/15/2011 11:29PM

    Bren, I so hope this gives you some much-needed relief--sending healing vibes your way.
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MILLIE5522 12/15/2011 1:00PM

    Sending you loads of positive thoughts. You are so incredibly brave. I feel honoured that you have shared your world with us here at SP emoticon

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LGAR519 12/15/2011 9:37AM

    Oh Been! I hate that you have had to face all this. I certainly hope that you get some relief now. My thoughts and prayers are with you!

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MRSSCHENCK 12/15/2011 5:24AM

    Bren,

Through all this....you are still soooo funny! How do you laugh without being in pain?

I feel so guilty now blogging about my back pain. I'm such a emoticon!

I wish you a speedy recovery.

Hattie



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AAAACK 12/15/2011 2:05AM

    So much...so much! Good stuff and scary stuff, hope and fear, gaining some things and giving some up. You are the most balanced person I know, and with the least reason to be! And I know it's exactly that about you that will keep you sane through these trying days.

I had been checking for word from you since Monday evening and was so happy to see a posting indicating that you really are ok.

You rock!

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1HAPPYWOMAN 12/15/2011 1:13AM

    Wow, Bren, you've been through a lot in the past while! I sure hope the SCS implant works out so that you and your husband can go out and have a blast.

BTW, your back looks so strong in that picture. You are so strong on the inside too, even though I'm sure you don't always feel strong. Your strength is in your kindness.



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SUNFLOWER4ME 12/15/2011 12:21AM

    Firstly, my dear, your back and hips are so tiny! Props!

I have complete faith that you are going to do just fine, Bren. Borrow one of my favorite quotes for a moment now: "Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes. You must look into that storm and shout. Do your worst, for I will do mine! Then the fates will know you."

You, chica, are capable of handling the best of life with your spunky free spirit, fun loving attitude, but more importantly you are capable of handling the worst of life.

Looking forward to hearing of your success. In the meantime, I leave you this creepy cheerleader to shout you some spirit and encouragement! emoticon

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CANNIE50 12/14/2011 11:50PM

    Oh, sweetpea - this made my heart ache for you. What an unbelievable ordeal for you, and R. to endure. I am praying this is the solution to much of the pain that has tormented you on a daily basis. Nice job on the blog, particularly the last paragraph. I am, as always, thinking of you and am anxious to hear how you are feeling. oxoxoxoxox emoticon emoticon

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RYDERB 12/14/2011 10:46PM

    Bren, you're so brave. Wow your surgery was such a complete ordeal for you. I had no idea. You face so many challenges everyday, and I'm praying that this surgery will be a first step for you to get more Cinderella time, in your life, because you really deserve the happily ever after ending. Besides those glass slippers will make your legs look amazing!

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SUNFLOWERSAVAGE 12/14/2011 9:31PM

    LOL...you are so funny. I love the remote control :P

I really hope it works for you Bren. You deserve to have some relief from that pain.
You deserve to have a social life.


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MUSICALLYMINDED 12/14/2011 9:15PM

    I hope it works out great for your sake and your husband's. You are very lucky to have a good man to stay by your side through your sickness. That is a wonderful thing.

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How do YOU keep the holiday calorie elves away?

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

One of my Sparkly pals told me that she would prefer to stay home inside of her own little bubble and avoid the holiday family gatherings, since she did not want to be tempted by the treats. I asked if there was room in the bubble for me too, since I felt the same.

There are many who feel that the avoidance is practically self-sabotage, and I do agree, but that does not make me want to climb out of that bubble either : ).

Instead I suggest something sporty and active to fend off the butter filled fiendish treats.
Shoot, take part in any of these events and you'll surely burn off some extra calories too!

Its the Winter - homemade holiday confection - Olympics!!!

Cookie Tennis: When neighbors come to your door with homemade snickerdoodles, be sure to have your tennis racket handy so you can serve up a swift backhand move and launch those suckers down the block. Be sure NOT to snicker...

Oven Mitt Hot Potato: Juggle back those hot cubes of fudge that are so sugary they make my gums want to recede back in horror at the sight. C'mon back gums! I wasn't really going to eat it!

Apple Pie Discus: What a great visual, eh? No need to add a description, just warn the neighbors to stay indoors!

Mini Marshie Archery: Keep that bag of mini marshies away from the sweet potaters and fling them toward a platter used as a target. Fun for the whole family!

Hmm, this might not be the best way to react to holiday fare. Perhaps you're better off reading the recent Spark article on how to survive these next few weeks...

And maybe I should go apologize to the neighbors : )

'Nuff said. emoticon emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RYDERB 12/8/2011 9:17AM

    You had me at Cookie Tennis! emoticon
Christmas sugar cookies are my favorite, catastrophic over indulgence emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/8/2011 9:18:30 AM

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SUNFLOWER4ME 12/8/2011 8:55AM

    Is it normal that I thoroughly enjoyed thinking of different ways to dispose of MY calorie elves?

Peanut butter dodge-ball: hurl those little PB rolls at my brother, show my sibling love
Snickerdoodle smash: put those cookies like little stepping stone and jump from one to the next, all around the house (hopefully someone else gets clean up)
Gingerbread men battle: Line those little stinkers up and have them fight til the death

And anything else that comes up, calorie shot put. Proper form and all, tossing that sucker as far as I can. Can I get 10 yards you think? emoticon

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TRENTDREAMER 12/8/2011 8:09AM

    Relatives that live far away (and co-workers) can be the perfect recipients of some home made treats. Never have to mention that the home that the treats were made in wasn't yours ;)

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KRZYKAT3 12/7/2011 10:44PM

    rofl, you are too funny. I think these are wonderful ideas.

Wish I could think of one myself! lol

thanks for the smiles.

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SPARKL3 12/7/2011 10:30PM

    Your blog entries are always entertaining to read. I can always relate to them! emoticon

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SUNFLOWERSAVAGE 12/7/2011 9:40PM

    I really should wear depends when I read your blogs. emoticon

Do you ever read the Blogess? I think you would like her.

http://thebloggess.com/

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SOARINGPHOENIX 12/7/2011 9:29PM

    That sounds interesting.

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CLOVER2 12/7/2011 9:15PM

    emoticon Ok guys, so when you get it all put together, do remember to send out the invitations! I for one would LOVE to be able to spend some time maiming any number of holiday dishes!

emoticon emoticon

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CANNIE50 12/7/2011 8:40PM

    My events would be "7 layer bar" discus - tossing these squares of sugary madness as far as I can possibly fling them; EggNog hurdles - jumping over and around mugs of mad amounts of fat (and I don't even mix booze in); and Frosted Cookie frisbee golf - tossing cookie after cookie after cookie at Christmas trees.....
At least you just have to apologize to the neighbors, how am I going to explain my bad behavior to my mother?

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What if the Phantom of the Opera did NOT wear that mask?

Monday, November 28, 2011

We weren’t able to travel for this past Thanksgiving to see my in-laws since I have been suffering from a nerve flare in my right hand and both feet for going on 3 weeks now - OY!!!

My wedding anniversary (lucky #13 this year!) was this past week as well, and I was fighting falling into a depression about feeling squashed by 1) tremendous pain and 2) looking at my hand and feet in horror at what they seemed to rapidly transforming into.
Let me tell you how un-sexy this can make a lady feel on those 2 special dates last week – my wedding anniversary and Thanksgiving.
Both should be joyous, and both should be a time to rejoice and celebrate overwhelming love, right?

Instead of going out to dinner or staying in a nice hotel on our anniversary, I sat on the sofa at home, wiggling with my pain, and wiping the flop sweat from my brows often (and trying not to cry anymore!). My poor husband sat next to me, trying to do anything to help. I am so lucky to have him and I know it…

So when my next door neighbor invited us to spend Thanksgiving with her family, I said that I would do my best to make it work, even though I was a bit anxious – ok honestly, I was FILLED with anxiety.
What if we couldn’t even leave the house because nature’s elements were assaulting me? Some days the sunlight, the wind or even the texture of my clothing feels like nails on a chalkboard. What if I can’t eat anything being served? What if it was warm in the room? (temps over 65 trigger my pain symptoms).
What if what if what if???
So I told my inner spaz to chill out, and decided to make it work.
I couldn’t be so selfish and steal Thanksgiving from my husband too, right?

On Thanksgiving I put on a pretty skirt and top, beautiful pearls, some nice opaque tights (to cover my nerve flare in my feet), and did the best I could with my hair and make-up. See, I am right handed and this CRPS flare is in my right hand (of course).
I packed my own dinner, and informed my neighbor that I had too many food intolerances to list, and didn’t want anyone to have to go out of their way. I swear she exhaled a sigh of relief : ).
We were about to walk out the door to the car when I looked at my hand… It was purple and red and swollen and blistered and…… gross.

I grabbed a nice scarf and wrapped it around my hand as gently as possible. This was my only solution. I mean, what if one of her many family members tried to shake my hand? Should I have bandaged it to give them a warning not to reach out?
Would the Phantom of the Opera have done others a favor by NOT wearing that mask?
Would it have been considered offensive and rude to show the painful scars and ongoing damage right from the start?
I was so confused as to what to do – or not do.

I kept the scarf on as we walked in. Her family and friends DID come up and introduce themselves by extending their right hand, to which I swiftly replied, “My right hand is injured, so I’d love to use my left hand if that’s OK”. For those I had met before, I offered more detail about my health when I was asked, and for everyone else, the left handed shake worked out fine.

I did sit myself in the corner of the room when it was time to eat though, since I still hold my fork with my right hand, and I didn’t want to offend anyone once the scarf came off. Let’s just say that my hand can be quite an appetite suppressant, and this was a Thanksgiving feast after all.

We needed to leave pretty much the moment after my husband finished his last bite of dessert, since I had hit my limit with pain, but I MADE IT! I did my best to enjoy the afternoon, and give my husband a much-needed break with friends.
My neighbor walked us to the car and told me that she thought that my scarf was a great camouflage, and she would not have known otherwise. I was glad to hear that. The night was not about me anyway, right? It was about all of us. And I was thankful for that.

As I type this with my right hand uncovered, still swollen and not fully functioning, I am thankful to be able to type. I don’t feel like I need to hide my right hand and both feet all the time, but for this Thanksgiving, I thought it would be best to just take a break from it, just for a little while…
Is that so wrong?



‘Nuff said

Bren

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AAAACK 12/4/2011 3:54AM

    You really are completely amazing. I hope you know that! And I am so thankful for your friendship. Surrounding ourselves with beautiful people enriches our lives, and you definitely enrich mine!

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CLOVER2 11/29/2011 5:24PM

    Whenever I get a chance to share in your life, I look at my own and wonder how on earth I can be boohooing about me. You are one of the bravest, kindest, most giving people I have ever in my life come across, and you never ever stop astounding me. You are emoticon!!
emoticon, gently, gently

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TRENTDREAMER 11/29/2011 5:23PM

    Kudos for making it through. Sorry to hear about the pain that you are going through. I really hope that you heal and this all goes away soon.

emoticon emoticon

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TIGGERJEAN 11/29/2011 4:29PM

    *HUGS*

I have had a terrible skin infection the past 2 months - and I completely sympathize about the writhing in pain on the couch during your anniversary. *HUGS* I'm so glad you did go and be social - and I know how much of a challenge it was! emoticon

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LGAR519 11/29/2011 1:11PM

    It doesn't matter what your hand looks like. You are Beautiful inside where it matters. I am so sorry you have this pain. Love you!

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WINACHST 11/29/2011 4:07AM

    You are such an inspiration to me. I am so sorry that you have so much pain. emoticon

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PURESTILLWATER 11/28/2011 11:59PM

    oh my dear friend. My heart aches so much for you. I wish I could hug you. This virtual hug will have to do. emoticon

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SUNFLOWERSAVAGE 11/28/2011 10:44PM

    Bren, you are absolutely amazing. Even while suffering through that pain, you are thinking of others. You handled the situation with so much grace.
You are so beautiful, inside & out.

I truly hope you get some relief soon.


emoticon~D

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SUSANLYNN51 11/28/2011 10:39PM

    Sounds like you have a really nice guy for a husband to be with you like he did on your anniversary. You received a true gift- the kind that money can't buy.

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CANNIE50 11/28/2011 10:30PM

    Oh, honey, I want someone to fix this for you, and take away your pain. How very elegant of you to set aside intense pain, dress in a becoming fashion, think of others (esp your man), and venture out when most humans would want to burrow into a cave of blankets, deservedly so I might add. So, the answer to your question? I think if the Phantom had not worn the mask it would be much like the soldier hero on "Dancing with the Stars". I don't watch the show, but I have been following his story. He spent his first 18 or 20 years as a handsome boy and has spent the years since his injury as a beautiful man. I think it is not revulsion that causes most people to turn aside when confronted by evidence of someone's illness or injury, I think it is empathy because many of us immediately imagine the pain involved. I am, as always, thinking of you and wishing and praying for you to get much deserved relief. oxoxox emoticon

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MALKS_ARIA 11/28/2011 10:06PM

    Hang in there!

My hands turn colors, but don't swell as badly as yours did in the pic above... I sadly know the pain too well...

Glad you made it through the Holiday Meal!!! I so know the frustration of not being able to do all you wish! Hang in there, and keep your chin up...

aria

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RYDERB 11/28/2011 9:59PM

    Oh honey! I'm sending you gentle hugs! I hope you know how proud I am of you. You are the most selfless person I "know". I hate that your body is failing you, and there's nothing your doctors can do right now to make you feel better. I'm so glad you fought through your pain once again, and made the most of Thanksgiving day, with friends, and your hubby. I'm definitely thankful for you, your friendship, and the lessons you continue to teach me every day, about how to make the most of life.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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AZURELITE 11/28/2011 9:53PM

    Sorry that you have such intense pain. I hope your flareup calms very, very soon.

And by the way, I would not find your hand to be an appetite deterrent in any way, shape or form.
Your soul, your thoughts, your laugh, your voice are much more important to me than what you look like.




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JUDYAMK 11/28/2011 9:46PM

    Oh my gosh that looks so painful what causes this?

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