Sunday, October 27, 2013

Progress

It's being made, even if it's been slow. I'm not having to rely on the pain meds so much now. Usually by the end of the work day I'm still shattered. I sleep as soon as I get home. I have lots of stretches to do that help the nerves come back and the massages at therapy have helped muscles relax for at least a little bit. I still am not able to turn my head fully or for very long without my throat swelling and my neck straining.

I was also told I could start doodling again, but for no more then 10 - 15 minutes a day and with a thick pencil. Small ones are still hard to grip. I bought a new sketchbook... kind of as a new start... but I've been to scared to put pencil to paper. I've had it since Thursday. I know it will hurt. I know that I will have to practice like mad to get back to where I was and I know my beloved colored pencils are still out of the question. I know it will still hurt, and that is the part that scares me. I'm really tired of being frustrated and being told no.

It is here and it is waiting for me to get the courage to try. I'm still not cleared for fabric though but I was told I can use it to help strengthen my grip. It's not to be working on exercises that I can see will get me somewhere.

Friday, October 11, 2013

It does not pay to be stuborn... sometimes

I did make my return to work. Going against what my doctor had originally wanted, I decided I was well enough to do a full 8 hours. Around 2pm on Monday, I was yawning, exhausted, but refused to admit defeat. I'd been out a month, I should be healed enough to work a full day, right?

WRONG! As soon as I got home, I passed out. Day 2 was about the same except I didn't pass out once I got home, I was up until almost 11. Both days I didn't have to take any oxy until the evening. I was ok with that. I was in control... or so I thought.

Wednesday I woke up with the hint of the start of a migraine. I shook it off and chalked it up to not really eating anything. I ignored the fact it was on the right side of my head and not in the sinus area where my migraines normal start. Something told me this wasn't going to be good though, I popped 1 oxy and ran out the door.

I got to work, I was drained. Oxy doesn't make me sleepy, it makes me wired and lovey. I was ready to pass out where I sat. The pain was also getting worse. The office manager looked at me and told me to keep her posted but she thought I should go home right then. I pressed on, but was barely about to fake a smile at that point. I went to hide in med recs, but now the pain was behind my eye and in my teeth. MY TEETH!!! I tried to call the front desk and couldn't figured out why the extensions didn't work. I was using patient account numbers as phone numbers. This is when I started contemplating the scary bus to go home.

Thankfully, a coworker printed off a sheet with a different and safer bus route with express buses to get me out of north Seattle. Another coworker took my hand, pinned the instructions to my jacket, grabbed Sakura Bunny and drove me to the transit center across the freeway. She said she didn't trust me to leave unescorted. I quickly jumped on the first bus that said it was going downtown and started to crash. Completely ignore my rule about not sleeping on an unfamiliar bus. I got downtown, getting off at Westlake and got a happy meal. The lady at the counter didn't bat an eye and asked if it would ruin my day if I didn't get a Wizard of Oz toy. I told her my day could not get any worse at this point, just as long as it was pink, I didn't care.

My throat had swelled again though so I really didn't eat. I did down the large coke I got and wished I'd gotten soft serve instead of real food... or semi real food. I'm not a fan of McDonalds, but I was so low and confused at the point that was all the sounded good... and soft serve. I promptly finished what I could and jumped on a bus home. I called the doctors office and asked for a new note setting my hours to 4 - 6 as tolerated until my next follow up in November.

When I got home, I took a bubble bath and barely made it to bed before passing out. I slept for 13 hours, something I've never done. I had a heating pad on my neck and my microwave homemade one over my eyes. After another round of oxy, the pain was still there. I was sick every time I got up for 6 hours. It was horrible.

Thursday I did 6 hours, but just barely. I also talked with the new manager who'd started while I was out. She was super helpful and supportive. She kept reminding me to not push. She'd looked up what I had/have and was surprised I was even back at work. She assured me that with the note covering me, that I needed to focus on healing, to not push it. I was so grateful to hear that from someone that meant it.

Today, I started physical therapy. My trainer is about my age and had had neck surgery over the summer. She knows where I'm coming from and it's actually really helpful. It was really discouraging seeing the numbers for my strength and mobility on paper... to admit that I can't open jars or cut my own food. She asked my goal and I told her it was to have my sketch book as part of my arm again. I want to draw so bad but even she said that it will be a couple weeks before I should try. While she worked with me today, she let me hold on to Hope, the little fox I carry in my purse. She commented on who my body will react to the painful spots long before I say anything and I told her I have a very high tolerance. She said that the scar on my shoulder was not healed enough to really work with but the one on my neck had. It was a good experience... but also frustrating.

When I went back to work, I struggled to do the bare minimum. I finished what I could before admitting defeat. I didn't take the bus home today, I slept in the vanpool van... after ditching my bar and having a good cry.

When I'd talked with the new manager, I told her how frustrated I was because this isn't me. I started early and often stayed late. I'd jump in when we where short. I worked through lunches to make sure other people got their breaks. When this got worse, I started to stop doing that. I'm not this person and I'm scared that people will think I'm taking advantage of things... but I realize now I just can't do it... at least not yet. She told me that while I was gone, everyone talked so highly of me. She kept hearing how Lin would jump in and help. Lin made sure birthdays where extra special. Lin knew all the answers. Lin would brighten any day for anyone, even when she was having a bad one. I've never worked anywhere where I've had so much love or have been so respected.

The guilt is slowly fading for not being super hero girl (gold star if you know who sings that song!) While I try to remind myself that you can't fix 10 + years over night, I still struggle. A coworker put it best. "Now is not the time to be stoic. Don't ignore the pain anymore. Take the meds when you need them. No one likes to take pain meds but right now, you need to. We understand." So, I'm trying my best to take care of myself. I'm asking for help and trying to do what I can at work. I'm trying to not be so down about it, but I know there will be gray days for a little while.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

POL again






So, today I decided to be a dragon. Yes, that is a Toothless cap and it has all the ears and flappy things, it's just hard to photograph it in all it's glory. Yes, I know I don't smile. This photo is important for 2 reasons, 1 being I'm a dragon RAWR!!! 2 being that this was the first time in nearly a month that i was able to wear a bra. That's HUGE for me.

It's actually a bittersweet victory though, it's strapless. I attempted for the 2nd or 3rd time yesterday to wear one of my lovely's. While it hurt at first, it was manageable without meds. Then the random nerve pain started... then it felt like my shoulder was on fire. I then said fuck it and went into Lane Bryant asking (almost in tears) for their best strapless bra. It really really REALLY bothers me to go out in public without the girls up where they belong. Hell! It bothers me to walk around the house with people here and not be wearing a bra and borderline pajamas have been the extent of what the depression and the ability to reach over my head have allowed!

Tomorrow I go back to work and I'm scared to death. It's hard enough to blog, I don't know how I'll manage an 8 hour shift. We will see. I know I have a huge support system at work, but I always tend to push myself and that gets me in trouble. I was suppose to go back last Thursday but I got so frustrated I attempted to scrub the kitchen. It did not end well my friends and the kitchen didn't look good enough to justify the amount of pain I was in after. It was horrible.

The one spot that wouldn't close has finally scabbed over. I'm still scared to death of it. If I don't keep it covered I pick at it. While it is closing, it's still a pretty epic scab and the though of picking it and causing what's left of the stitches to come out is just... no... nonononono!

I start physical therapy on Friday and while that is a good thing it doesn't offer much comfort. It looks like Halloween is cancelled for me this year. What really stinks is that is the 3rd year in a row that going to the pumpkin patch is being cancelled. It's been my birthday wish to go with Shadow but something always happens. The first year I was sick and the weather was horrible. Last year I broke my ankle and I was laid up. This year... well I can barely cut onions or tomatoes. There is no way I can carve a pumpkin. I think back to last year and how much I struggled carving the one I had. Thinking about it bums me out because this is my favorite holiday. I can be myself and show off my skills. :) I might still try and do something that doesn't require sewing but I don't know. We will see. I know there are other Halloweens, but this is a pattern. It use to be something horrible would go wrong on my birthday, then I rebelled and started celebrating a birthday month and had a good year or 2. Then fate caught on and laughed and said no. I kind of feel like, since I broke my ankle last year I've had bad luck health wise. Since then that's caused a slew of doctors visits after years of avoiding them.

I'm hoping this will be the end of it. It will be a year since I broke my ankle this Saturday. No more broken bones, asthma issues, migraines from hell or nerve issues... well that last one is wishful because I know it will be a bit before that's normal again. Hopefully this time next year I'm covered in paint and thread. I'll let you all know how tomorrow goes... if I'm not to shattered and living off oxy again. T_T