Lens caps & Lollipops

cameras and food, daily things, photoshop and everything in between

Oh Blog, how I have missed you, but…. — June 19, 2015

Oh Blog, how I have missed you, but….

I know it’s been a while since I posted last, I think it was in the throws of some wicked pain from surgery and most likely I was pretty drugged when I wrote it.  In any case, I’m BACK baby!  For a few minutes anyway.  I have been out of work for almost a month, the first two weeks were pretty rough but now I feel like I should be doing something, and I want to do something, but doctors orders were “even if you think you can, DON’T”  so not back to work for me just yet.  I can at least move with out a considerable amount of pain and that is better than it was before surgery so they must have done something right.

I can’t wait for the day when I don’t have to take pain killers of any kind because my back feels like someone is twisting it until I break in two.  I am also enjoying the fact that my feet are not falling asleep every five seconds, thats wonderful.  So I go back to see the surgeon for the 2nd of three follow up appointments tomorrow and all is looking and feeling well.  My back is healing, I no longer feel like I am going to rip myself open, so that is a plus.  I think it is going to go great and I am hoping to get the go ahead and get back to work.  I obviously won’t be able to lift anything for a while longer but for now I will settle for asking for help and at least getting out of the house and getting paid for it too.

So while I have been home twiddling my thumbs I started thinking about my family history, you know you see all those Ancestry.com commercials,  “I didn’t think anything was going to happen but then I typed in my grandmothers name and a leaf, I got a leaf”.  Yup, that is how they get you, I got sucked in, and its true, after a few times you just can’t wait to see what that little leaf will reveal about your past generations.  So in my little adventure into family history I realized that my dear grandmother was VERY into this sort of thing and that is what she did with all her free time, minus ancestry.com though, which just seems crazy to me now.

So I was asking my mother about some of my history on her side and she mentioned that she had some of grams papers from when she passed.  So after about a week of constantly texting my mother who is VERY new to texting and still writes “Okay” I think she got sick of looking everything up and offered to send me the stuff that she had.  I took her up on the offer and when I went to pick it up it was not just an envelope, or a manilla folder, not a couple of folders or files, it was a whole god damn TOTE of files and folders and even a red floppy disc labeled “Reunion Pictures” I can’t even begin to think about how old that is and I can’t even look at it even if I wanted to, damn you Apple for making such high tech machines.  So after an entire day of looking though endless lists and files, folders and hand written family trees I am spent.  I am so tired, my brain hurts and now its time to say good night to all of this craziness.  Tomorrow I have my appointment, and I get pampered at the salon and then Tuesday we leave for Atlantic City, which is very exciting for me, I’ve never been there but I know I will need my rest.  So I may post some photos from my travels, in the next week or so.

Good night blog world.

I’m NOT crazy, I swear! Seriously though… — June 4, 2015

I’m NOT crazy, I swear! Seriously though…

A bit over a month ago, after months of extreme pain from a  seriously persistant horrendously herniated disc, my doctor prescribed a wonderful drug called Lyrica.  Now I’ve had the same herniated disc since at least 2011, that was the earliest MRI I had, but the pain started in high school circa 2000’s. When I was young, I looked healthy and I was only a teenager, certainly nothing serious could be wrong with me. One doctor, who was short and stout and about 100lbs over weight, told me my back pain was a result of my weight.  I was 16, 5’1″ and 120 pounds at the most, hardly overweight.  “Maybe if you just lose some weight it will get better…”  I was a D cup, 25 pounds of boob, at least, maybe, I don’t know how much a boob weighs.  I bet google could tell me… Anyway, I had physical therapy in high school for the same pain, and this very same pain has persisted until now, almost 20 years later and its only gotten worse.

In November of last year I fell in my kitchen, backwards, with a  large skillet with two handles and full of chicken and sauce.  I burned my forearm on the edge of the pan, and the palm of my hand when my instincts told me to just grab it and don’t let it spill.  Thank you instincts for that, next time tell me to grab the handle not the pan.  Ouch.  On top of all that the molten sauce had splattered all over me and chicken was strewn about the kitchen floor.  As if that wasn’t bad enough, I had landed squarely on my lower back with a fair amount of weight falling recklessly behind, like a train derailing and spewing it’s contents everywhere.  It hurt, it hurt bad, but I brushed it off and went on my merry way.  Cleaned up the kitchen, “shouted” out the grease stains on my clothes and iced my burns.  For a month as my burns healed my back persisted to get worse and worse.  My thigh and butt cheek were getting all tingly, then it was down to my knee, then my shin and finally all the way to my toes.  I couldn’t take it anymore, my feet were falling asleep while I was standing at work and pins and needles when i sat, I was done, I made an appointment and went to see my doc.

This time was different, because I had fallen, and because my doc was afraid there was a hairline fracture or something he sent me for an MRI.  No fracture, no pieces floating around, nothing really suspicious, just that good ole disc being a pain in my ass, literally.  I did two rounds of steriods, that was awesome, I was a delight to be around both times but it only helped as long as I was taking them, as soon as I stopped the pain got worse again.  I was referred to the Pain clinic at my local hospital.  This time  was different, he prescribed Lyrica, something I had never tried.

  The first week was kind of crazy, I felt crazy, I felt like I was acting crazy, I’m not really sure if I was acting crazy or not, but I sure felt it.  I felt like I had diarrhea of the mouth and things were just falling out that I would normally not really say, or that I was just rambling on and on and on… and on.. and then on some more.  I felt like i was forgetting something constantly, I hate that feeling.  Like “oh shit, and I supposed to be at work today?!”  I hate that feeling.  But amazingly my pain was subsiding.  The numbness was going away and the pin and needles were less and less painful.  Don’t get me wrong, it was still an enormous amount of pain, but i was less than when i started. At the end of the second week my husband and I were discussing if the side effects out weighed the relief or not.  Was it worth the crabbiness, the forgetfulness, the crazy talk, the nigh sweats, the day sweats, the constant sweat, the dry mouth, the shaky hands and the weight gain.  Was it all worth it to have less pain?  Was it really?  Yes.  It hasn’t been easy though.

I am a little over a month in now and I have the dreaded “Lyrica brain”, the “I forgot what I had for breakfast” brain, the “I forgot today was actually wednesday and I had a drs appointment and I forgot to set an alarm to wake me up, so I got up 15 minutes before my appointment and put clean underpants on, a clean bra, clean sweat pants and a nice big comfy shirt only to realize it was indeed wednesday,I did have a drs appointment and I should probably go change and brush my teeth and try to look like a have way decent human being if I was going to leave the house” brain.  Its awesome.  I forget things almost immediately.  My husband “can you put a trash bag in the bedroom trash can?”

Me “yup, i’m headed to the laundry room now to get my laundry from the dryer, Ill grab a bag while I’m in there.”

Me, 2 hours later, on the computer doing something stupid and mindless, probably on Facebook or something, (I can’t remember)

My husband “did you get the bag?”

Me “Shit, no… I also didn’t get my laundry like I said I was going to do..”

That my friends is Lyrica brain.

I had to make 200 cupcakes at work yesterday, I can not tell you how many times I had to check, and recheck, and check again and then for a fourth or fifth or sixth time how many god damn eggs I needed.  It would have taken me twice as long if our intern wasn’t measuring everything out while I was mixing it all together and watching the paddle of the giant industrial size mixer go around and around and around.  The paddle scrapes the left side of the bowl ever so slightly, it must be dented or something…Yea that is what I got out of yesterday’s adventure. 

      

Ouch, that f-ing HURT! —

Ouch, that f-ing HURT!

So after almost 20 years of dealing with back pain, it’s a family thing, I did it, I had surgery and it really really fudging hurt. 

 I was worried, as anyone would be when facing any kind of surgery, but this was back surgery, someone would literally be digging around millimeters from my spinal cord, that is terrifying.  I’ve had a liver transplant and knee surgery, but this was by far the scariest.  My wonderful husband kept saying, it will be fine, you will be fine, it’s not going to hurt as much as you think it will.  Seriously?!  Its back surgery, of course it’s going to hurt, and its going to hurt like a mother…. well you know.

So I only had about a month of waiting, they managed to schedule me fairly quickly, but when your feet fall asleep every single time you sit down, I was glad it wasn’t pushed out further.  The waiting was the worst part, the not knowing what to expect, the expecting the worst and going through everything that could go wrong.  Finding myself thinking about how life might be with two bad legs, I already have partial paralysis in my right ankle and foot, and f-ing up my good leg would be unfortunate.

The day finally came, I showered with the disgusting soap I was instructed to use,  found some comfy sweats, gathered my phone and iPad, the chargers, some gum and made my way to the car.  The hour-long drive to the hospital was agonizing, I tried to make conversation with my mother in law, who I love dearly, but there was no taking my mind of the impending surgery.

I was totally prepared with my sports bra and comfy underpants, nothing metal, my wedding ring sitting neatly on my dresser at home, but no, when I got there I was handed a paper gown and a pair of rubber treaded socks and told to strip down, NOTHING was to be worn under the gown, not even a sports bra.  I don’t know about any of you but I really don’t care for going without underpants, never mind trying to get back into bed with a paper gown, without your ass hanging out or ripping the whole gown in half.  It was a challenge to say the least.

I got there at 8, by 8:30 I was in my super fashionable gown and ready to wait another 4 hours for surgery, ready to watch a couple of episodes of True Blood, season 6 gets pretty crazy, but there was none of that.  Surgery was at 9 and they were very prompt there, which is good I guess.  Before I knew it there was an IV in my arm, and they were giving me the good drugs, the let’s go play with unicorns on rainbows drugs, it was happy time and I didn’t give a shit that I had no underpants on anymore.

After a few minutes I swear Hagrid from Harry Potter walked into my room, or maybe it was just a giant bearded man nurse that was hilarious.  He was here with the OR nurse to take me down to surgery, so there I went, fittingly on my unicorn rainbow adventure with Hagrid.  He always was my favorite character. 

 Before I knew it, it was over,  I was awake and I was still feeling pretty good. Those drugs are the bomb, thank you 1990’s slang for making a comeback in my head.  I was like really, your done, it doesn’t hurt at all, well maybe a little bit, but yea this is going to be a breeze. I was out of there before I knew it, into the car and on my way home.  It all seemed so not painful, so deceiving not painful.  That night I iced my back like it was a $10,000 bottle of champagne, and all was good.  The next day was a completely different story.

You know when you get a Charley horse in your leg?  multiply that by a million and then add a donkey punch and you will have what I was feeling the next day, all day, ALL day.  It started out pretty mellow, totally tolerable muscle spasms in my lower back when ever I tried to move my legs.  It got increasingly worse as the day went on, until it was spasming every single time I moved anything.  It started to look like the exorcist in my bedroom,  it was like “look mom I can do a back bend, I can touch my feet to the back of my head”.  It hurt beyond any hurt you can even imagine.  Ok, well maybe child-birth is worse, but at least you get something out of it when it’s over.  I’m not sure my husband really understood the gravity of the whole situation until I turned my head to say something and then my body went into devil possession / exorcist mode and I was crying and the more I cried the more it spasmed.  It was all kinds of bad news.  So I did what anyone would do, I called the drs office to see if there was possibly anything else they could drug me with and just make it stop.

Valium, Valium is what they were supposed to give me before I left the hospital, I was supposed to have it on hand to take at home just in case I needed it.  That would have been excellent information about 36 hours ago.  So off to the pharmacy my husband went, returned with the Valium and I have never slept better in my life.  I’m not sure it even had time to reach my actual stomach to dissolve before I was asleep.  It was AMAZING.  Well I was still in pain, lots of pain and with that pain went great embarrassment, out the window went my dignity and ended with no shame.  You really get to see what a person is made of when they have to heave your ass up off the toilet and pull your pants up for you because it is all you can do to hold your own self upright, not once, or twice, the entire day, again and again.  I am not the kind of person that goes to the bathroom with my husband or anyone for that matter in the bathroom.  I don’t pee with the door open and I don’t even like it when you stand out side, but this was different, there was no getting around the fact that I just could not find the strength though all the pain to pull myself up.  I apologized over and over, I felt terrible because I’m 31, my husband should not have to pull my pants up for me.

That was the peak of the pain, it was the mount fucking Everest of pain and there was no way I was getting over it without the help of my family, and maybe some really good drugs.  Day 3 was better than day 2 but only because the spasms had stopped, but the pain, the tightness and feeling that my back was somehow going to pull apart into two every time I sat, that was still there.  My whole back started to feel like I got kicked by a horse, about 9 times, every time my love handles giggled it hurt, I felt like I should have had an almost purple bruise across my entire back from my shoulders down to the crack of my ass, but it was just a few little spots the size of a half dollar on each side of the incision.  Weird.  I have more a  bruise from the first attempt at the IV than from the actual back surgery, so strange.

It is now day 8, a week and one day post op and things are slowly getting better and better. I don’t feel like my back is going to split in two, but it still feels tight.  I can’t bend over, I can’t squat down, I can’t turn or twist but I can get my own ass up off the toilet and pull my own pants up so that in itself is an improvement.  I still need a cane, just to take the pressure off my back when I walk, other wise it pinches and I wouldn’t be walking anywhere if it hurt like that.

I have my first post op doctors appointment in two days and I am expecting good things.  I don’t have any stitches or staples to take out, they glued me up like a broken tea cup and put some tape over it.  I am excited to see what they say, I feel like I am recovering pretty quickly, I’m not sure if that is to be expected.  I’m over the hump, and its all downhill from here.  My fingers are crossed that two months from now when I am all healed and there is no more swelling that this surgery will not have been for nothing.  I really really hope that it relieves the back pain I have been dealing with since high school.