Thursday, May 20, 2010

First World Problems

I can't seem to catch a break here people.
I don't know who I pissed off in my former life, but it must've been something good. I certainly hope I had fun doing it. And really, if that's the case, shouldn't I get to remember it? Who do I talk to about this?
Anywho, I digress (surprise!). Since, I last posted, 4 days ago, my pain had still not returned. A whole week! Woot! Yeah, don't get too excited, there are some reasons for that. Like, I wasn't moving much at all in the last four days. That fatigue thing I mentioned? Turned out it was the beginning of a virus. I don't miss a beat, I tell ya. Just to keep it interesting LittleSpeak got in the act too. Sunday night both her and I started running fevers. Let me tell ya, big fun to feel like crap, but have to take care of a kid who feels just as bad, if not worse? That's a level of fun that few get to experience.
On Monday, she was running 102 (ear thermometer, so probably 103) and I couldn't get it below 100 until 2:00 in the afternoon. I would've been more worried about it, but since I was running a fever (100, I avg 96, so that's pretty high for me) I wasn't really coherent enough to realize how it should be upsetting me. All she wanted to do was lay on me, which, I mean how does a mom say no to that. So we laid on the couch. I had the stream of Nick Jr. going, but after a while she just wanted to sleep. We laid there & sweated. Want to sit on my couch now? My virus, (Oh no, we can't have the same thing, we need to have something different so we can pass them back and forth.) included a post nasal/sore throat thing. Little's virus included a stomach bug. She never did get sick enough to throw up, but I know she wished she would on more than one occasion.
Tuesday, she was improving. Her fever was coming & going, she actually felt like eating a little and was happy to commandeer the TV. In other words, she wouldn't sleep. I was, of course, not that improved. I think it was rude for her to get better faster, considering I needed to nap and mope some more. Kids are like that though. Last night, I was running a fever when I went to bed, it's like a hot flash, but contagious.
Wednesday, I actually got dressed! I walked BigSpeak to school and took Little to gymnastics (Damn strait I took her! I need to wear that kid out!) My Mother In Law (MIL) was showing up today for a long weekend. It's Big's birthday weekend, so she thought she'd come to see us. My husband however, seemed to forget his mother was coming to visit and left the house in much of a state. My MIL comes to stay often enough that I'm sure she's seen the house in worse shape, but I prefer not to have the chores waiting for her when she arrives. (She's not good at leaving things alone.) I quickly scrambled to at least get the sheets on her bed changed. Check! And then to get the dishes out of the sink, which required unloading the dishwasher. Don't worry, I didn't get that far. The sheet changing was apparently "over the top" as once I got downstairs I felt my back spasm and familiar pains started down my right leg. I wanted to cry. I'd gone a whole week, more or less, without a pain pill! Granted, I spent a good part of that week lying down sick, but lying down has not been indicative of less pain, so I really thought the shots were helping. To have it potentially undone on the first thing I did is very disheartening.

I took pain pills, and laid on the couch as much as I could to try an help get it under control. I'm not dying or anything, but I'm pretty sure I'm not "off the pain pills" as I'd hoped. I'm not 100% for sure and Big's birthday party extravaganza is this weekend. Twenty 7 year old girls, glitter makeovers, fashion/dance show extravaganza! God help us all. I was feeling better when I signed up for this, I need to remember to stop doing that.

Yeah, I have a bit of a pity party going on these days. It’s frustrating at best. Part of me feels guilty when I get like this. No one is dying, or losing a limb. I have resources & support to deal with this never ending problem. I don't get to feel sorry for myself, there are so many people who have it so much worse. Upon thinking about it, I realized I need to allow myself some of this frustration without the guilt. What I have is a first world problem. No I'm not losing my home or dying, but that doesn't mean I don't have a sucky situation. Just because I don’t have the worst issue of everyone doesn’t diminish the suckatude.
I'm hoping that allowing myself to wallow a little in my suckatude (I love this word and will be using it often now) perhaps it will get some perspective and not last so long.

And maybe I'll catch a break one of these days.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Not Just Ruining Professional Baseball Careers

Had my last (3rd) epidural shot on Wednesday. That was 3 days ago. Honestly, I don't really seem to have any back pain now. The nerve pain is gone. Yup, you read that correctly. But before you start planning the party, you should know a few things.

  1. I've been down this road before. From what I remember, I actually had a faster response to these shots last time, but they didn't last. In other words, I felt better, but I didn't heal. I'm reserving judgment this time.
  2. I'm feeling better, and have more energy, but I'm tired. Like fatigued tired. My guess is that there hasn't been a ramp up to this new energy level. I have energy because it was all be routed to deal with pain. The pain was all the eff'ing time, so that's a lot of energy being put toward something. That does NOT mean I have energy to go run laps, it just means I don't have to sit down after each & every thing I do.
  3. I have energy, but not strength. I want to do things, but I need to remember not to do them just yet. To pace myself. I should NOT be doing things that involve lots of bending over and/or lifting. Even though I feel like it's "probably fine." It actually probably isn't fine. Emptying the bottom of the dishwasher is one of the things I should avoid. Picking up laundry baskets also fall under this guise. Sounds like things that should be easy to avoid, but you might be surprised at how much they come up. I have lots of practice with avoiding these activities. This new found energy finds me awake staring at the sink of dishes because the dishwasher needs to be unloaded. Or the laundry basket that needs to be picked up. The call of those things can be surprisingly strong.

I have a whole new world of exciting symptoms I get to deal with now as well! Beside shrinking my testicles...or wait...I didn't have any testicles, maybe that's why they're so small now. ;-) I have the added bonus of a major break out, read: acne. Skin that is thin, dry & won't heal. Or won't heal very quickly. I'm scared to get a pedicure, and the thin, dry skin thing has made my heals a thing to be avoided, implying a pedicure is eminent. But I fear the beauty salon because of the healing thing and infection. My understanding is that steroids surpress your immune system, so I'm afraid of getting something serious (think MERSA, paranoid much?) and not having it heal. The skin on my face is a mess due to an acne break out & ingrown hair (chin hairs that have taken on new proportions, thank you testosterone increase,) that is out of this world. I assume these have stepped it up as a result of the steroids. I'm bloated, my face is rounder. So now, not just fat, but round faced, w/big ugly scabs & sores. Bet you're dying to see a picture now, aren't you? Fat chance.

I also have been dealing w/a very "fuzzy brain." I can't seem to remember things, or remember then clearly. That's not like me at all. Ironic, my brain was clearer when I was on the pain medication, than it is off. Go figure. My Twitter Dr. (who blows Dr. Google out of the water,) tells me that's more of an issue related to chronic pain, so maybe not from steroids, just from everything else. Not really a surprise. It's probably not new, I'm just trying to do and keep track of more, so I'm noticing it more is my guess.

I'm doing my best to keep some perspective on all of this. I am better, these things will pass & hopefully I will stay better, right? RIGHT?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

An Afterthought

I'm not sure what to make of all of this. I wasn't going to write about it. There are some things you self censor about, and relationship issues with DaddySpeak are generally things I treat as off limits, unless/until resolved. Even then, there's usually a bigger issue that I'm talking about and the "resolved relationship issue" is a side story. But there's a trend going on here and I'm not sure what to make of it. Maybe you can help me make some sense of it. Sometimes, you're too close to the subject to see it clearly, forest for the trees and all.

In the last month DaddySpeak has regularly "let me down"about some (what I consider) fairly major stuff. He's had issues with scheduling for all three of my epidurals. Someone has to drive me home from the appointment. I also, should have someone around that day, just in case. He made it to the first one, though he had to call in sick, because he requested the next week off. I could tell from his reaction that some how this was my fault. It wasn't, not only did we talk about it over the phone, but there were texts involved. It was short notice, but he was involved in the decision. I wasn't too concerned, other than the response that implied it was my fault. I was frustrated, but you know, it happens.

The second epidural was also my fault because, I "didn't email the dates and therefore they don't exist if they haven't been sent in email." Yes, that's a quote. Again with the attitude that there is fault implied and how dare I expect him to take time off for this, again.

After that, I emailed the last date of the epidural to him. He swears I told him May 5. Maybe I did. I'm taking pain, nerve dulling & mild anti-anxiety drugs. I'm in a fair amount of pain consistently. The pain dictates my attention span more than I'd like to admit. It is likely that I will make some mistakes here and there. I would think I would've remembered noting May 5 (Cinco do Mayo) but maybe not. Anyway, on May 4th when it came up that the shot was not the next day, but the next week, I was told he could NOT take me on May 12 because he rescheduled a meeting that day based on being out on May 5. Um, OK. I don't know how important this meeting really was, maybe it was that important, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit my feelings were hurt. I worked it out with my parents to watch the girls AND take me to my appointment. I would deal with being home alone after the appointment. I've been fine the other two times, I suppose I'll be fine this time as well.

May 4th was also the date of my first physical therapy appointment since I started the epidural shots. The appointment involved mostly massage, and a little exercise. It didn't seem like much, but I was definitely feeling the affects of it by that night. I did not sleep well (i.e.--at all, more or less) that night from the pain. In the morning, when DaddySpeak was getting ready for work, I noted that he had already planned to take the time off. Since I was exhausted and hurting, perhaps he could stay home as planned. I was told no. He had things to do at work that day. This was the same day that after calling in the late morning to ask that he come home soon because I was NOT improving, Little jumped on my stomach. At that point, I called and TOLD him to come home NOW. I was seriously hurt and pissed.

So, my medical related needs are not the priority I feel like they ought to be with my husband. I can't say he hasn't been here for me in a big way on a day-to-day basis, because he has. And this has been going on forever. (In our FOURTH YEAR.) I get that. But like I said, I'd be lying if I didn't say my feelings were hurt.

On Mother's Day I don't think I had high hopes for much. But I did have a few small expectations. My expectations; sleeping in, a Starbucks mocha (preferable in bed, but not required) & breakfast (also preferably in bed, but not required). My mom's birthday fell on Mother's day this year, and as with all years we celebrated her b-day on Mom's day. This ends up meaning that once out of our house mom's day is pretty much over & it's my mom's b-day. It has always been this way, for me so I never gave it much thought, until I had kids of my own. I was going to host her b-day at our house this year, but because of my back issues my mom insisted she wanted it at her house. (I think she was secretly please, gave her something to fret over before hand and she could control the whole day to her satisfaction.) I think my hopes for mom's day for myself were small, but not small enough I guess. Little got up at dark o'clock. OK, I can't complain to much. She now sleeps in till SEVEN AM. No, it's not 10, but it's not 5:30 anymore either. She came in our room for snuggles. She wants to lay on MY side of the bed. (To get into stuff on my bedside table.) I convinced her to hit the middle of the bed, hoping she'd snuggle w/Daddy, and maybe I could go back to sleep. He tickles her till she gets annoyed and moves back to the edge of my side. Then he rolled over and WENT BACK TO SLEEP. Little will last, maybe, 30 min and then wants to get up for breakfast. I KNOW he was still awake when she started in to do this, but he feigned sleep. I GOT UP at 7:30 AM on Mother's day & made the kids breakfast. It wasn't anything fancy (toaster waffles). It's more about the point of it. This is like the one day of the year I ought to get to sleep in, right? Daddy got up at 11. Yeah, he totally slept in. When he got up he was all, "You let me sleep in till 11?" I just looked at him. I'm sure he did fall back asleep, but I KNOW he was awake when I got up with the girls. He then told me he'd be right back. He ran out and got me a mocha & an orchid. I guess, I should be grateful for the coffee & plant. It just felt so half-assed at that point, I was having trouble finding my graditude. Then I had to remind the girls it was mother's day & they had gifts they made for me at school. (It would have been nice if someone else had waited 10 minutes to get on the computer and reminded them for me. Maybe I'm getting into bitchy territory here, but I don't think it's much to ask for. I'm asking for some consideration.) Thank goodness for the schools or nothing would've happened for me. Because it was my mom's b-day, I then got to go to the grocery store 2x for the desert I was making. In the process, I saved DaddySpeak's butt, but reminding him to call him mom with the girls. (I did it for her, not for him.) Once at my mom's house, the guys all sit and watch TV, which means the women pick up, put together, feed the kids, and clean up. My dad did BBQ the meat, and do the dishes. But the dishes thing, was mostly because my SIL and I were in full protest by that time and refused to do them. I believe my SIL and I (and actually my BFF, which is another story) all should get a do-over on Mother's Day.

Today, I had my last epidural. This is the one he couldn't miss work because of a meeting. When leaving for work I noted to DaddySpeak that he would need to pick up the girls after work. That's when he sort of remembered I was having the shot. He never called today to see how I was, in fact, tonight he had been home for about 4 hours before he inquired. When he picked up the girls he said he was going to grab sometime to eat on the way home. I assumed he'd call when he figured out what they were getting to see what I wanted. He didn't. The girls came running up to see me and told me they had a surprise for me. They got me dessert. He "forgot to see if I wanted something." Obviously, I wasn't completely forgotten, dessert was procured. I wouldn't really think much of it all alone. The accumulation of these events is what's bugging me.

I get it, he's distracted. There's some stuff (position changes, people above him, not him,) going on at work, but he says it's fine. I don't know what to think anymore. I do know what I feel.
I feel like I matter very little right now.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Too Good To Be True - No Really

If I'd written this last night, I would've told you that I'd been pain-free (basically) since Thursday night. I had a Physical Therapy appointment that night and took a pain pill before it (precautionary) and that I hadn't needed a pain pill since then.

That's right, I didn't NEED a pain pill for 3 strait days. Crazy, huh?

But I didn't write last night, I went to bed. (Which is totally where I should be now, so this is going to be short.) Last night I did start to have pain, but nothing a little Advil couldn't handle. The muscles in my back were letting me know they weren't happy and spasms that tend to stay in my lower back area were traveling. I had a good one going under my right shoulder blade. But, like I said, nothing I couldn't handle. This morning I woke up and the spasms had increased. My back's way of early warning I guess. I took my Advil and got the girls off to school. I'd been planning in my head all the things I'd like to tackle around the house. Not having pain increases one's energy level exponentially. But, because I've burned myself in this respect before (meaning I have a tendency to overdo, I know who would've thunk it?) I'd been playing it safe. Laying low, feeling better, but waiting for the other shoe to drop so to speak. I got home and decided to sit on the couch for a few minutes. Driving in the car did not improve the way I was feeling. After about ten minutes I finally admitted to myself the nerve pain was back. I realized I was trying to talk myself out of taking a pain pill. Gawd! Sometimes I'm a moron! It's not a contest. I don't win a prize for not taking my pain pills when I need to, and it's nerve pain, I need to! It's not something that's going to be massaged out or something.

I took a pill and laid down. I ended up having to play catch up on the pain, and honestly I haven't really caught up yet. I had a physical therapy appointment this afternoon. He spent most of it working on massage. I'm pretty spasmed out. It wasn't a massage that felt better, it woke up a lot of unhappy muscles. I did do some grocery shopping and such after my appointment, but that was all I had in me.

So, I was feeling better! Yeah! But now I'm feeling bad again! Boo!
I have my last epidural shot tomorrow morning (Wednesday) . Hoping that I have some big positive response to it. I believe this weekend was a result of the last one, so I'm hopeful. I suppose that's something, isn't it.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Mommy Abuse

I'm here! Barely.
I had my first Physical Therapy appointment since starting the epidural shots and I'm rough around the edges from it. That was on Tuesday (It's Thursday night.) Tuesday night I was actually having quite a bit of pain. Not nerve pain (down my leg) though, more muscle spasm pain. It's good news. Signs of good things I suppose. But it makes for a grumpy mommy. It also affects how well I sleep. Tuesday night was "not very well." When I don't sleep well it really affects my pain level.
On Wednesday, I was obviously trying to take it easy. LittleSpeak was NOT so much into taking it easy. She started by wetting the bed at 4 AM. This is only the second time she's every wet the bed. There's not a good time to do it, but her timing did suck. I got things situated and then got DaddySpeak to actually change the linens. Then, BigSpeak decided to get up at 5:30 that morning. OOOOK. My kids are trying to kill me. Since Little was already in a mood she started with throwing tantrums for everything. And I do mean everything. She wasn't even waiting for me to say no, if I just didn't immediately say "yes" then she was on the floor whining and screaming. Lovely start to the day, no? She had her first timeout at 7:45AM. The day progressed more or less like that until we got Big from school. I was letting them watch a TV show to wind down when we hit bottom. Because I was exhausted and in pain, I was laying flat on the couch and had Little sitting on my hip. (Keeps me aware of anything she's getting into.) She got off for a second to get a book or something and, all the sudden,
She knocked the wind out of me. Remember, I have to brace my back to sneeze or cough and she hit me full force in my midsection without warning. When my voice came back I told her, "Get off of me!" It wasn't loud. I was still getting my breath back. But it was stern. And it scared her. She became a complete puddle. When I was able to get myself into a sitting position I gave her hug & comforted her. She told me I scared her. And I told her she hurt me. And she did. I fear, and it feels like, she undid the last 3 weeks of healing. Yes, I'm sure I'm being melodramatic. I'm sure it's not that bad. But right now, I'm a mess.
I called Daddy & told him to, "come home NOW." I told him what happened and explained that I wasn't sure what my back was doing, but it wasn't good and I'm pretty sure it's not improving in the near future. Once he got home I took pain pills and laid down in our bed. And was not able to get comfortable. Last night I think I got 2-3 hours of sleep. I was up and down all night. The pain is bad. I get into a position that it tolerable, but it doesn't last. I couldn't stay in any position for more than 30 minutes. More like 10-15 most of the night. It was a very, very long night. Luckily both girls had school today. I was surprisingly mobile after those 2 hours. My movement is good, so that's a good sign. I went back to bed and slept until Big came home from school. I took a shower in the afternoon which seemed to help a bit. Tonight I went back to physical therapy. My PT worked on making things move, and very minimal exercise.
I am tender to the touch EVERYWHERE in my back. It's reacting. But like I said, my movement is good. I'm hopeful about sleep tonight. I think it I can get to a point when it's not so tender I can get some rest. If I can get some rest, and keep this amount of movement, I might be on the upswing. If my kids stop beating on me. And actually let me sleep.
Who do call for mommy abuse or neglect? (The Spa?)

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Not The Way I Wanted to Spend My Evening

Spent the evening in ER.
Yup, you read that right.

Big cracked her head on a neighbor's driveway this afternoon. Nothing earth shattering, but apparently skull shattering. I'm kidding, and no I don't have a day job to quit. It wasn't a bad fall, we played it down when it happened. That should have been our first clue, because we ALWAYS think it's no big deal when it actually is a big deal. A few hours later she was throwing up and I was on the phone with the advice nurse. Now, before you get all, why were you on the phone, and not in the ER, you should know that the stomach flu has been making it's rounds through our neighborhood this week. The kids we were playing with today, in fact, had the bug earlier in the week. AND, Big has had a rotten cold for that last couple of days. It's been all nasal, and it could even be allergies, but I've been holding my breath to see if the stomach bug has made it our way. My point is that she hasn't been 100%. When she bumped her head, (she fell off the back of a kid's battery powered ATV,) she cried, we put an ice pack on it, and then she played some more with her friends. It was clear that she wasn't into playing anymore and it was that time of the afternoon anyway, so we came home. She asked if they could watch a TV show, so I put one on while we started dinner. She complained about it being hard to watch the TV. But DaddySpeak thought she was being melodramatic because of questions we'd asked about her sight after the fall. We figured she knew that it was more serious if it was hard to see, and therefore, would garner more attention. She finished her show, but didn't want to watch anything else. She'd been complaining of a headache, but wasn't specific about where it hurt. She was also complaining about a sore throat. Then she bolted for the bathroom. I wasn't convinced it was related to the fall, but I was going to error on the side of caution. I was on the phone with the advice nurse as round 2 started. At this point, she was also acting like she might have chills, didn't want to be touched, was hot, was cold, was nauseous, etc... Also, all symptoms of a stomach bug. The advice nurse sent us to ER. While waiting in the ER she started acting sleepy, not exactly despondent, but not really wanting to respond to anything, (she wanted to be left alone). She just wanted to lie down. They took us in back & let her do that. She started to doze, and I watched her carefully. (I might have put my hand on her stomach a few times to be sure she was breathing.) I still thought it might be the flu. She wasn't running a fever, in fact, she was low, 96, but if you're fighting a bug, everything she was doing was exactly what you want to do in that situation. They woke her and gave her some medication for nausea and wow! how do I get me some of that next time my kid is sick? Within about 5 minutes of taking it she was a different person. Her eyes were clear (they'd been glassy,) her color was better and she was yakking away and acting like herself. I was feeling pretty certain this was a case of the flu with bad timing, but they were doing a CT to be sure. CT was clear, (obviously, or I wouldn't be writing this right now). And, we were set to go home.

Doctor came in to confirm paperwork (I know, the doctor did it, weird, huh?) and just give us an update about the next couple days. He told us there was no bleeding around her brain, so "good news". I said, "so she's got the stomach bug that's going around?"
Him: "No! She's got an upper respiratory infection, but no stomach bug. She was absolutely sick from her head injury. She took a good hit."
And then I threw up.
OK, not really, but the seriousiness of it sort of started to sink in right then.

Really, the seriousness of it hit when I saw my baby laying on the CT table. She suddenly was so small and vulnerable. If I go the rest of my life without seeing one of my children on a CT table it will be too soon.

They want us to take it easy on foods; clear liquids tonight, BRAT in the AM to build up, just in case nausea returns. Want her to stay home from school tomorrow, but otherwise she's fine. I told her we'd have a lazy girls day round the house tomorrow and she got all excited.
If I'm feeling up to it maybe we'll go do something like a movie, or tea for lunch or a pedicure.

Somehow, a lazy girls day feels a bit more special than it did yesterday.