Thursday, April 18, 2013
Well, here I am, back after a seriously long hiatus from sparkpeople. Looking at my last post it has been almost a year and half since I was active at all on this site-and that was minimal. I feel blessed to be where I am today after not knowing how my life was going to turn out back in November of 2011.
If you read my previous blog I had been hit by a vehicle while on my bike-to make the story short I wound up with a severe concussion that threatened not only my ability to stay in grad school but also to stay working as a RN. I ended up taking off one month after the accident to try and recover and looking back I tried to go back to soon which just led to more problems with my recovery as well as led to me eventually losing my job after being on leave for another four months.
Basically the head injury made me impulsive and lets just say I might have said a lot of things to co-workers that should have kept to myself. I was also having trouble with short term memory even though my primary doctor and the neurologist I had seen told me I was fine and OK to go back to work. Well, I still had horrible headaches but was coping ok with regular life so I had gone back to work-that lasted for 4 months until my complaints to co-workers about my headaches combined with things I was saying made them concerned I wasn't fit to work. This led to much more specialized testing which showed my short term memory was hovering around the 18th percentile or so (my doctor said I probably should have been around the 90th percentile or higher). Given the test results and the complaints at work, my head injury doctor took me out of work until my results improved and said it would be better if I stopped school. After a long discussion about school she said as long as my clinical rotations were supervised I could continue with grad school. Well, I was still having a hard time learning and even reading a full page and retaining any information was next to impossible so one of my classmates who I had been studying with started reading me ALL the study guides and information I needed to know for the exams (talk about God putting people in your life for a big reason) and I found that although it as more difficult I could still learn and continue on in my graduate program.
Fast forward to today-I managed to finish grad school with a 3.96 GPA, pass my national certification to become a family nurse practitioner, get my license, and am now working at my dream job in an urgent care center. I still have pain in my right hand and wrist that is still being worked on, a few more aches and pains in my knees than before but I can tolerate that, my shoulders give me problems sometimes but it appears I will be able to avoid surgery to correct the torn cartilage. The main problem continues to be my headaches which seem to be worsened by activity that aggravates my neck and sunlight. I at least have finally found a doctor in town who can give me an occipital nerve block (it's a shot of lidocaine in the back of your scalp that works quite well for my particular headache type) which takes away the worst of the pain and more importantly allows me to tolerate being in the sun for small periods of time. I have neck pain that is probably the cause of my headaches and the doctor I see really wants me to have surgery on my neck as the headache never goes away I need the nerve blocks about every two weeks now. At this point I am holding off on surgery and waiting to see a specialist who is both certified for neurology and pain management and specializes in headaches. I'm hoping she will be able to help with other interventions not involving fusion of my neck. Either way I know everything will be ok and I'm learning to enjoy life again in spite of my limitations. Now, I just need to get back in shape and start eating healthy foods :)