anxiety, chronic illness, chronic pain, disabled, drugs, health, illness, medical marijuana, surgery

epidural steroid injection

on thursday i am going to have my sixth epidural  steroid injection. the injection helps control the pain from the problems in my back. i have spinal stenosis which is a narrowing of the spinal column which causes some if the discs to get squashed (like my technical term?) and pinch nerves.

i have problems at L4 and L5 as well as the sacroiliac joint. my pain doctor performs the procedure.

they say “procedure” but to me it seems a lot like surgery! i have to fast, stop taking NSAIDS several days before, etc.  i go to the surgery center and change into a hospital gown, a icky  papery shower cap sort of thing to gather up my hair. they give you cool socks with treads on the bottom. i love them. i’ve quite a collection now.

two nurses come in and put you under a blanket from a warmer, oh jeez that feels good. no matter how hot it outside, it’s freezing cold in the surgery center, plus it’s just reassuring to have a warm blanket over you. they put in an iv and ask me a million questions. even though i’ve done this many times, i still feel a little scared each time.

the nurses are so very very nice. when the doctor finishes her previous case she comes in and talks to me and then they roll me into the OR which is incredibly cold. i have to roll over onto the operating table and lay on my tummy. there is a head rest, like they use during massages. they start giving me fentynal and versed–conscious sedation. you are high as a kite, so it’s almost fun. lol

i hate laying there for 45 minutes with basically nothing on, my butt just hanging out, uncovered. joy. luckily the drugs make you not care too much because i find it extremely discomforting to be nude in a room full of people. there are lots of nurses. the doctor wears a lead apron because they use a giant x-ray  machine that is mounted  on the ceiling and tilts around as they need it to. that’s how they know exactly where  to inject the cortisone…pretty important since they’re putting it in my spine. the injections hurt some going in, but after that it’s not too bad.

when they’re done i get back on the gurney, more embarrassment because the hospital gown is totally open and practically flapping around as you move. then everybody gets to see everything!  i’m sure they don’t give a shit, seen it a million times. but i do! once you’re on the gurney they immediately drown you in warm blankets. the feeling is so good, like the drugs, it’s almost worth it just for that. lol

in the recovery room they put ice packs on your back, keep you awhile for making sure your vitals are good and you’re not going to have a bad reaction or flip out or whatever.

omg i have to pee once i get out of the operating room, so that’s a priority! another time i had this surgery, the surgeon was an hour an half late so i feel asleep. i woke up  and they were rolling me into the OR and i had to pee bad, i mean really really bad. but we were practically there so i couldn’t say anything. it was horrible!  i was pretty sure i would wet myself on the table. that’s not so good for a sterile environment. thank goodness the drugs made it so i didn’t feel like i had to pee. when i got out of surgery, i didn’t have to pee badly, go figure!

you don’t stay in the recovery long and your ride comes and takes you home. you have to have someone stay with you for 24 hours. then the back pain kicks in. it’s pretty unfun for a few days. i’ve got quite a bit of various medical marijuana edibles for that time.

after that, you wait. sometimes the injections work and sometimes they don’t. it’s a crap shoot. last one keep my pain low for about 9 months! most of the others did nothing. but i’ll try anything time after and after.  the pain is very motivating.

so now i get to worry about it until 8am on thursday. 😦

i’ll be ok though, i always am. 🙂

blogging, chronic illness, comics, depression, diabetes, disabled, drugs, fibromyalgia, h.r. giger, illness, medicine, Movies, spinal stenosis

update on the state of my mind

i heard an audioslave song, one of my favorites, on a grunge station and i choked up, got tears in my eyes. i keep wondering what chris cornell was thinking during that time between the show, alone in his hotel room, to hanging himself. what pushed him over the edge? all these years i’ve seen interviews with  him and he always seemed so thoughtful and intelligent. i have depression too (i’m bipolar), so i can imagine those feelings pretty clearly. i understand being able to play a show without anyone knowing that you’re feeling like you just can’t make it anymore. (not that i’ve ever played a rock show in front of thousands, but i have had to put an “i’m normal and happy” face when i had to. he had to a lot.  i know you can hide even the worst feelings.  i feel for him so bad. i wish i could have talked to him in that time between the show and his suicide. i don’t know if i could have helped at all, but it seems like if there had been someone there, who got how he felt, it might have gone differently. although, someone who wants to die enough to actually do it, will do it sometime, no matter what you do. i just wish and wish and wish it hadn’t happened. i try to hear it in his voice, when he sings, and i think i might.

i’ve had a lot of pain these past few days. it’s my back i think. that and my knees. the injections in my knees have worn off. you’re usually supposed to get the injections twice a year. you get them in your knee joint (or in this case knees).  you take them in three set sets, both knees each week for three consecutive weeks.

the last time i got them was a year and a half ago. i was having problems with my legs because of my spinal stenosis. at first they thought it was diabetic (yup, got that too) neuropathy, but then decided my symptoms didn’t fit. i was also seeing many doctors on the way to being diagnosed with fibromyalgia. in the middle of all of this, i got two sets of the arthritis injections (the medicine is called Synvisc) and each time my legs became incredibly painful. i figured it was the shots, since it happened each time i got them. i refused the third set (but it still worked for all that time!).  the pain was insane. the second time i ended up screaming and going to the hospital in an ambulance. the EMT gave me iv fentanyl . the pain was still intense, but it made me stop screaming. at the hospital they gave me a couple of shot of dilaudid and that did the trick. they sent me home and the pain went down a lot, but was still feeling too bad to function. it was like that for several days. i don’t know how i got up the stairs but i didn’t go down for 3 days. the staircase was impossible. sitting down on the toilet made me cry out from having to bend my legs.

so! it’s time for synvisc again and i’m fucking terrified. but the knee pain it too bad to live with forever, or even much longer now. i have to try sometime! eep. gasp. panic.

i’m doing something that might be smart, or it might be stupid as hell. i’m getting the one shot synvisc injection. you get all three sets in one injection. it’s 3x as much medicine as i’ve been getting spread over three weeks. the doctor says things like, there will be a great deal of pressure. and the nurse says, the reason not very many people get the synvisc one is because of the pain.

the medicine is thick and the surgeon puts a hypodermic needle that seems like it’s a foot long into the center of your knee joint. it hurts. a lot. but i could deal with it, i’ve been through a lot of pain over the years, so i was ok. but i’m scared about this one. will it be three times worse? i can’t imagine that. the only anesthetic they use is lidocane on the skin where the needle goes in. it doesn’t do shit and it hurts like hell when she puts it on, burning cold. beyond that, and more importantly, than that is the aftermath. will it be 3x worse? i can’t imagine that either.

i decided have the one time shot so that i wouldn’t have to go through the pain afterwards 3x. fear fear fear.  i have a lot of trouble with mental pain, but physical pain is usually something i feel very brave about. but this time is scary.

my tablet died. i finished orange is the new black and it was sooooooo super good. i can’t wait for the upcoming season. my new show is breaking bad. i missed it when it was so popular and i hear so many people say they loved it, i have to watch it. i want to watch better call saul, too, so i thought i’d better watch breaking bad first. i’m reading a superman comic called “secret identity.” it’s a little different than a superman comic we’re all familiar with. it starts with a kid whose parents’ last name was kent. they thought it would be a laugh riot to name him clark.  he’s the laughing stock of the town. but things change. i’ve only read the first couple of issues within the trade paperback. but already he’s developing superpowers that he keeps as a closely guarded secret, hence the title.

i saw Aliens: Covenant yesterday. a lot of the movies at my favorite theater play before noon. all of the movies before noon are half price! so i saw it at 11:30am. it wasn’t very  good. but that’s not to say i didn’t enjoy it. there were some jump out of your seat moments,  and some interesting new additions, but a lot of it was the same thing i’ve seen in all the aliens movies. people see pods and get right over them and look in, well surprise! an alien jumps out and plasters itself to their face. that never happens in an aliens movie! there were running down tunnels or hallways that are sealed and the person running gets locked in with the monster.  that’s an old aliens favorite. it was fun to watch, especially if you’re a die hard aliens fan, like me. one of the things that bothers me the most is that there isn’t any Giger art. i know why, he always battled makers of aliens, maybe ridley scott, or who knows else, used his art for almost nothing and i think they even used things of his after he left the job because they were screwing him over. (this might be quite flawed, but i saw a documentary about giger and that’s what i remember.) i know he was very bitter about it. in this film there were a couple of piles of drawings that you see that look or are giger’s work, but there are vast areas of things like columns with nothing on them when i can imagine them covered with carved giger art.

that’s about it for now, but i think that’s more than enough!

bye!

 

anxiety, chronic illness, dessert, disabled, fibromyalgia, Japanese food, Movies

going alone

lately i’ve been having fun going to the movies alone. in the past i would have never done that. i would have expected it to make me really anxious. i buy a reserved seat on the aisle (i have to be on the aisle…so i can make a quick get away! lol). it’s a long way to the theaters from the front of the movie plex. i launched myself along to the theater. sometimes i went with the boot on, for my Achilles tendinitis and then i could really move. who would have guessed? 🙂

i like going alone because if the movie is bugging me i can wander around and get a refill on my giant soda, or primp and preen in the bathroom. if i really hate it, i can get up and leave! i don’t do that too often, but i have a few times and it’s fab not to worry about what somebody else wants! the seats at the theater (there’s only one i will go to…it’s close, i know my way around there and there is lots of handicapped parking!) best of all are the seats. they’re like nice recliners, more comfy than my furniture at home. the seats go back and a foot rest comes up. there are cup holders for your giant soda.

today i went out to lunch alone. that was fun too. i had red bean mochi for dessert and my husband wasn’t there to look disapprovingly at me. lol i can take as long as i want and i can look at my phone the whole time, if i feel like it. i don’t have to make conversation, which is sometimes awesome, but today i just didn’t feel like talking. i got there just before the lunch rush, so i got a booth all to myself. i had ramen (real japanese ramen, not the abomination in the plastic wrapper.) they make it with five different broths, you choose one. my favorites are shoyu ramen and miso ramen. it comes with a big piece of pork and a runny egg. i ask them not to give me those. ugh. there are still green onions, weird but tasty mushrooms, fresh corn, lots of noodles and broth. the broth is so go i eat most of that before i even start on the noodles, which are usually my main reason for ordering dishes like this. it was expensive, but entirely worth it. i’m a regular there now! the sushi chef plays bob marley allll the time. i’ve never been in there when he wasn’t playing it. i love that!

i always go to coffee on my own because my huz hates starbucks and only drinks the espresso he makes. i’m not so snooty. right after i get up and get dressed (sometimes i wear my pjs, it’s early) i go to 7-11 and get hazelnut coffee. if they don’t have it brewed, or if it’s been sitting in the container too long, they make me a fresh pot when i ask. i’m really, really a regular there.

there are so many bums around  there, men and women. i’m going to go bankrupt with all the money i give them. i probably shouldn’t, i mean, i don’t especially want those people around, even more so when i first  get up, but my heart goes out to them. i was talking this guy and he told me it had been months since he got to sleep laying down. i imagined that and was horrified. he walks with a cane, too, so i really feel his pain.

everybody is looking for bus fare. ha! they should build a bus stop and right next door, the the cigarette and liquor store, with weed dealers outside next to that. lol. they could have a sign…homeless people with a lot of change welcome here. hahahahah

so, try going places alone, you can make your own choices, independently, doing just what you want! it’s freeing and once you get over feeling weird about it, you’ll really like it, but i don’t thing many people would want to go *everywhere* alone. i sure wouldn’t. but it’s fun when your looking for freedom.

chronic illness folks, you can take as much time as you need to with out worrying about someone else wanting to go faster. you can stop and rest, you can decide it’s too much and just go home. having a handicapped placard makes it soooo much easier! i know some of you just can’t go and i’m sorry about that. i hope this post doesn’t make you feel bad!

have an awesome wednesday!!! ❤

 

anxiety, chronic pain, comics, corgi, dachshund, depression, diabetes, disabled, dog, dogs, dorgi, fibromyalgia, oakland california, pets, pictures

My angry toe.

I am having a difficult time today because my pain has been bad. I have a decent size split in my big toe. It has something to do with dry skin, but it seemed like it was much better since I was getting pedicures and doing the lotion and socks thing regularly. Now it’s open and slightly bloody. it doesn’t seem red or swollen. It’s throbbing and is super ouchy to walk on. Good thing I already use a cane!

The part that worries me is that I’m diabetic and this is a cut on my toe that hasn’t healed. I don’t have diabetic neuropathy, but if I did, I might get wounds on my feet that I wouldn’t feel until they were in really bad shape. It can lead to foot or leg amputation. You have to have regular tests, very simple, that check to make sure you have feeling on the bottoms of your feet to avoid all that. I’m going to the doctor tomorrow, just to be sure. That, and because it hurts so damn bad.

I went to the dispensary at last!!! I bought good stuff, buds and pre rolled joints (actually, cones). I smoked one of those joints when I got home. Such pain relief and relaxation, huge improvement in my mood, too. I managed keep my munchies to fruit. I smoke now and then, actually most of the time when i’m hurting this much.

I walked Mackie a bit since I was feeling better and being outside in the bright warm sun was joyous.
We played more inside. Mackie barked his happy bark several times. I answered him and we had tehe most bonding happy dance!

mackie_rolling_in_the_grass

 

I ordered a wonder woman comic as well as a volume of daredevil and a one of the most recent justice league books and the sandals that I lost one of (how the fuck can I have done that??!!),again. That’s a testament to how much I like them! They were going to be my all the time shoes.

addidas sandals

I got dropped from my car insurance after getting in two accidents on a week. I don’t think that will ever be funny.

dent in hood

The drive to Oakland, home of Harborside Health Center, was nice. It’s the only place I can go on the freeway without having a panic attack. it’s a 40 mile drive from here! I’ve done it so many and been so scared that I’ve conquered it! But I can’t get off course at all ever. lol

Have a great night!🐸

anxiety, chronic illness, chronic pain, depression, disabled, dogs, fatigue, fibromyalgia, medical marijuana, Movies, stress relief

taking a hard fall

the huz and i went to Beauty and the Beast. it was all about dresses and dancing. it was visually fantastic, but that’s about all it did for me.

as i was coming in the house i tripped on the first  step into the living room i tripped and feel on my face. the mega huge soda that i refilled when we leaving the theater and went flying all over the room. i hit the floor with my hip and hand. now i have a sore wrist, a really sore hip, and a sticky floor. the floor is wood, which made the fall delightfully hard. grrr! gahhh! hopefully it was no more than some soreness. i fear this might bring on a flare (just like any kind flare up is like other kinds of flare ups, but in this case, the flare is increased pain) of my fibromyalgia symptoms.

i may spend the evening in bed or maybe one of my prescription NSAIDs. they help quite a bit. ice packs and heating pads will feel good and my pjs and of course, Mackie.

remember those adidas sandals i was stoked about?  i left them together and after the cleaners  came, there was only one. i hardly think they stole it. what would they do with it? lol i trust them anyway. i have looked and looked looked for it and can’t find it. sometimes they put things in odd places that i’d never think to look in or take it away with all their bags of stuff. now what, right? i suppose buy them again, but it just makes me want to scream. the huz will look. he’s good at finding things.

i guess i’ll just smoke a lot of medicine. of course that makes me worry about running out because i  think i really am going to. that’s only happened once before.

so the day sucked. the evening hasn’t happened yet, it might get better.

anxiety, bipolar, disabled, feelings, fibromyalgia, Life, medicine

snapshot

i usually get coffee, about 7:30. i get my coffee at 7-11. i can make better coffee at home, but i like getting up and going somewhere. the guy working smiled and greeted me, and i him. he knows i like the hazelnut coffee, so if it’s gone or not fresh he’ll make a pot for me as soon as he sees me. 🙂 so the coffee is always really hot and fresh. sometimes, ok, i’ll admit it, most of the the i get a donut, a chocolate long, bar shaped one. it has custard inside. ahhhhh…when i’m feeling strong about losing weight i don’t get a donut. yesterday and today i didn’t get one, yay! i sit in my car and eat my donut, drink my coffee and drive around or go  to a store and buy something under a dollar.

i never want to be around the house when people are getting ready. it makes me wonder what it would  be like to be able to take a shower everyday.it makes me wonder what it would be like to look nice with my hair looking nice and jewelry on. it makes me want to be able to socialize with my co-workers and enjoy it.i’d love to have NO MEDICINE to take before, during, and after work.

i have a lot of things most people with jobs never have, good things. not working, can be as much a bad thing  as a good. you enjoy it for about the first six months and then you start to feel bored and useless. and you have to accept you’ll never work again. i was politely asked to go on disability. that was in 2000. gaaaaaaaaaaaaah i expected to be successful, not shuffled out the door. i felt like i was fired. i never dreamed that it could happen to me.

as i was saying i was there are bad things about working and i miss having to  have something to do with my life, but c’mon, i get up when i  feel like it, at least by the time my huz gets up when his alarm goes off. that’s at 8. when i worked we had to be there and bright and shiny, between  5:00am and 7:00am, depending on the schedule.i’ll never miss that job, except for the stock, but that’s an entirely different story.

now i  only have appointments like taking my dog to get his claws clipped, or for  my manicure, very very low stress.i don’t have to have short lunches where i run around and try to get errands done.i don’t have to deal with rush hour. i have a dog that’s getting older and i can take him out every two hours, i can’t imagine the poor thing shut out on our balcony having  having to wait desperately for 8-9 hours. he wouldn’t get enough  play or exercise.

weekends still excite me! i think TGIF! or have a good weekend or it’s gonna be great to have some time off. all my time is free time. the huz is home on the weekend.and i’m really glad about that!

mind you, that’s all great but i’m chronically ill. the only time i leave the house is that trip for coffee. i’m in pain, i have limited mobility, fatigue,  on and on.

so maybe i should say, i wish i had somewhere to go in the morning, to have a point to my day and be able to do a good job. but all that hinges on my being healthy. and i’m not.

but i try to make the best of it. i still do thing  things as though i was getting ready. but on fresh clothes, brush my hair or and do zillion things to my face, make sure my nails are ok; put on psoriasis cream, put lotion on my legs and feet. and then i have to carefully clean up after myself because we share the master bathroom double sinks and the huz is a nazi about that counter. it has to be completely bare except for our electric toothbrushes and some hand soap. i had to fight just to get the hand soap on there, too. jeez.

so, it’s complicated, and i think i won’t think about it anymore! Shame on you fibromyalgia, spinal stenosis, and diabetes. there is nothing good about any of you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

chronic illness, chronic pain, diagnosis, disabled, drugs, fatigue, fibromyalgia, illness, insulin, spinal stenosis

spinal stenosis, why haven’t i written about this before?

i’ve written about fibromyalgia and diabetes and psoriasis but i’ve never written about spinal stenosis. i’ve never really talked about it to anyone before. it’s a bit hard to explain, or at least it takes a little while and not nearly as many people have heard of it.

spinal stenosis causes me more pain than any of my other ailments. it’s a narrowing of the spinal column, caused by a few different things, it’s arthritis in my case. the problems occur at  L4 and L5. the column narrows enough to cause the discs to bulge and pinch nerves. i also have the same problem at the sacroiliac joints.

i have a very hard time walking, i’ve talked about that a lot. people don’t believe it when i tell them about how long i can stand up and how far i can walk. more about walking in another post. i walk with a cane most of the time. sometimes i wish for a walker or that i could collapse  into a wheel chair. like fibromyalgia, the spinal stenosis has flares.

when it’s bad i have to drag myself around with my cane. trying to go upstairs makes me cry. laying in bed is better than standing or walking, but it’s far from comfortable. there is intense pain in my low back. pain in my hips and butt, weird inside pain in my pelvis. that pelvic pain makes me nauseated. i felt pain like that from endometriosis, too. i should talk about that, too (endometriosis, that is). pain from internal organs is different than any other. awful. nerve pain is also different than any other. then there’s injury pain, like broken bones, and the pain from pain in muscles and ligaments is all it’s own too. ahhh and arthritis pain. argh! and stomach pain. lol, i have it all!

my legs are very weak. i trip and fall too often. it bothers me. i see stairs and i imagine falling down them  and just feel terrified. every once in awhile i wipe out at home and end up on the floor. it’s no fun! standing is very difficult. if i am in the kitchen and i want to use my phone to control my stereo, instead of being able to just stand there and do it, i have to sit down just to do that. i don’t go to stores very often because i can’t trust my legs to survive it without buckling, or getting a stab of pain down my leg or in my back and making a grunty ouch noise, lol, cause sometimes i just can’t help  it! leaning on things like shopping carts helps a little but not nearly enough.

the stenosis is bad enough that my huz has to do 99% of what needs doing to keep things going well in our lives and home and meals and shopping, laundry, etc. my  jobs are to make his lunch before he goes to work and taking the dog out to pee (he takes doggy out to poop 2x a day) 6 or 7 times a day. he’s getting older and i want to make sure he’s comfortable. i have to make sure i take all my meds and my injection and blood sugar, take care of myself (it can be a challenge because of the fibro fatigue.. we hire people to clean.

it didn’t take too terribly long to diagnose this. an MRI shows everything they need to see. it’s cool to be able to look at the MRI pictures with the doctor and have him show me exactly where the problem is and what’s going on.

there are drugs to take to make it easier. in general you don’t take narcotic pain relievers for it because it’s chronic. i take a prescription NSAID, use hot and cold packs, do stretching (i could be a lot better about doing that on a regular basis!) and unfortunately, bed rest.

i have degenerative disc disease, which means things will just get worse.

one day at a time!