Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Not Much Happening....

Please don't look at my unclean bedroom!!  This photo shows me without my Cervical Collar so you can see the Scar.  Dr Lynch was able to use my original Scar, just making it wider, rather than making 2 more Scars!!

And this photo shows me in the dreaded Cervical Collar!!!  Oh, and don't laugh at my old extra large pajama top!!

Hey Ya'll,

First off, I want to say that yesterday was my baby, Christa's 38th Birthday.  And she is in California, and we are here in Reno, NV, so I didn't get to see her....Happy Birthday Christa!!  I hope that your friends took you out to a great place to eat (like Lucille's), and to get mani/pedi's....And Sunday was our daughter Kat's Anniversary!!  She got married on Tax Day, as then they have no reason to forget it!!  And last Friday the 13th, was mine and Walt's 19th Anniversary.  But we have actually been together for 21 years!!  So so much happened in just 4 days time span.

Well other than the Birthday and Anniversaries, not much has been happening lately.  Just settling into the day in and day out of wearing this damned Cervical Collar!  The first week and a half, that I had to wear it I was totally miserable.  In fact, on the 6th night, I woke up in so much pain, that I was literally sick!!  I mean, feeling like I was having a Low Blood Sugar attack, or Low Blood Pressure incident.  Where I felt sick, felt hot and cold, shaky and the horrible feeling like I needed to vomit!

Which I actually had to run into the bathroom and give it several good attempts.  Luckily, nothing really came out.  And just like if you actually do throw up, you feel much better afterwards....well I felt much better.  But the pain level that I was in as far as my Neck and the Cervical Collar, didn't drop at all.  So I ended up taking it off, and sitting up on our couch with a pillow behind my Head to keep my Neck straight.  I ended up sleeping like this for a few hours.  Then when Walt got up to get ready for work, he made me take some more pain medication and put me back into bed.

That was the worst night, thank God!!!  Since then, the pain started to drop, to where I have very little pain at all.  I just get tired of having to wear the Collar!!  And I do occasionally have some pain because the Collar pinched my Neck or I laid too long on my Back, causing the Collar to cut into the back of my Head.

And probably the worst, is that although the pain medications still helps with the pain, they no longer help me sleep....so I am back to nights where I will lay there until 3, or 4, or 5 am!!  It's bad enough just to lay awake so long, but to have to lay awake when you are wearing something that is uncomfortable to wear, is not acceptable!!  And Walt has gotten used to me going to bed early because of the pain medications putting me to sleep, and me just needing to sleep more than normal.  But now, they aren't putting me to sleep, and he wants to force me to go to bed "early", just because.  Which is what happened last night!  He made me go to bed at about 11:30....and I laid there until 3 am trying to go to sleep!  Then I woke up with the Collar cutting into the back of my Head.  So I took it off and laid there for a while before taking more pain meds and going back to bed.

So, this is my life right now....Sleep, try to sleep.  Try to get something accomplished, but not getting anything accomplished.  I know what needs to be done, but I just can't make myself do it!  I have no real energy.  And I guess that I can say that although I don't mind not going out and doing something.  When you don't have any choice, and can't go out....it's a bit depressing.  I do like to have the option of taking a short drive to the store, or a movie, or whatever, just to get out when I want to, then stay in the rest of the time!!

But I can't drive right now.  And even if I wanted to, by taking the Collar off....I don't have a vehicle to drive!!  Walt put our Truck in the shop yesterday to have some work done, so he is riding the Bike this week.  And we are trying to sell the Bike, so that we can buy me a new car....do you think that this will ever happen???  I certainly hope so!!  We decided to not buy me the Can Am Motorcycle as my Spine is not in the best of shape.  So we had decided to get me a small car.  Now he is trying to talk me into not getting the car, and just keeping his Truck, and buying him another Big Truck!!!  Like a Big Rig!!  I said no....I want something that is mine to drive.  So keep you Fingers and Toes crossed that I really do get something that I can say is mine!!  Well, I am tired, my Forearm is killing me!  It cramps up whenever I try to type, so I am going to end this.  Till next time....

Aloha My Friends!  :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Walt's MRI...And Visiting Family

One of my two Best Friends and her Mother.  We were in Vegas!! 

Hey Ya'll,

Well, my Dad's last remaining Sister from Southern California, and one of my Cousins (a Daughter of his Deceased Sister) from Tennessee, flew into Sacramento on Wednesday.  It is becoming obvious that my Dad doesn't have long to live.  So they wanted to see him at least one more time.  Especially since it has been years since they have visited.  So I am really glad that they did.  My Aunt told me over the phone, that my Dad's right Hand is swelling up, and he can't even close or touch his fingers together anymore.  She also said that his coloring looks sort of grayish.  Nor does the Radiation Therapy appear to be helping him at all, at least in terms of Pain.

Walt and I wish that we could have gone down to visit with them all together, but I was just not ready to travel that far.  I still have to take a nap during the day in order to rest my Neck/Shoulders and Back.  So trying to drive close to 3 hours each way, is just not possible right now.   But we will try to get down there in a few weeks, when I am closer to being recovered and a bit stronger (and the pain Medication doesn't put me to sleep every time that I take it!).

When I was talking with my Aunt on the phone, I found out that my she is also battling Cancer!!  First I find out that my Cousin (not the that came out to visit) is in late stage Bone Cancer, then we find out that my Dad has Lung Cancer, and now my Aunt has Colon Cancer.  At least it will be Cancer soon, if it isn't already Cancer.  She is to have at least 12-13 inches of her Colon removed in a couple of weeks.  Originally she was supposed to have her Surgery the day before my Surgery.  But she said that they had to postpone it until her Heart Doctor, and Urologist can clear her for Surgery.  I think that she does have Cancer, she just put it out to sound like she MAY have Cancer, or IT COULD BECOME Cancer.  She doesn't want my Dad to worry about her too, he has his own health and my Cousin's to worry about....she is like this.  She would try to down play her own health to keep my Dad from worrying.  So now I have 3 members of my family battling Cancer all at the same time. 

I just had my Neck Fused all up, and once I recover from this Surgery, my Neurosurgeon Surgeon will start checking out my Lower Spine, to see if there is anything that he can do to help me there too.  I have lived with major pain in the Lower Back, Legs, and Feet for most of my life.  So I am really hoping that he will be able to give me some good news in that he can help me.

Then last week, Walt told me that he has been having pain and numbness in one of his Legs and both of his Feet....So I told him that he should get it checked out!  So he called and got an appointment with our PCP Doctor last week.  When he went in, she agreed to setup an MRI for him, and he went in for his MRI on Wednesday.  The Doctor called him Friday, and told him that it does appear that he has some Disc problems in his lower Spine as well. 

So she sent over a referral to my Neurosurgeon Surgeon, Dr Lynch.  We were hoping to hear from them last week, but they didn't call him until yesterday.  So now Walt has an appointment with Dr Lynch, to go over his MRI with him.  I want to be there with him when he goes in.  And luckily, his appointment is the same day as my 6 week check up!  So we will find out what Dr Lynch thinks of Walt's MRI, and I will find out if I get to take off my Cervical Collar the same day!! 

Also last week on Friday, we went into our Optometrist so that Walt could pick up his new glasses.  But while we were in there, he wanted to speak with the Dr regarding something that she said in his report.  I had asked for them when we had our appointments, and while reading them, noticed that she said something that led us to believe that he has Cataracts!  So when he asked her, she pulled up her notes, and said that yes, he is in the early stages of developing Cataracts....he just turned 57 yrs old.  We think that that is just a little early for this!  The Optometrist said that there isn't anything to do except watch them for now.  Walt wasn't too thrilled to hear this!

So....this is about all that has happened here in the last week.  I guess I should go, my Neck is starting to hurt.  And I actually started writing this post a few days ago, adding a bit here and there!!  So, till next time....

Aloha My Friends  :)


Monday, April 2, 2012

I Think I Spoke A Little Too Soon!!

Here I am standing on the Bowfin Submarine at Pearl Harbor.  It was early morning and already about 80 degrees out!  And did I mention the humidity??  LOL  You would think that I would sweat off some weight!!

Hey Ya'll,

Well, yesterday and last night I was feeling much better, so much better that I thought I was over the worst of it, and posted about it!  Guess What???  I am NOT over the worst of it!!  LOL  Last night was the worst night I've had yet!

Walt and I went to bed like normal.  We stayed up until 10 pm so that we could watch the season opener of Game Of Thrones.  I had taken my Medications, so I was expecting to just fall asleep easily as I had in the past.  But Walt was having trouble falling to sleep, so I made sure that I didn't fall into a deep sleep, thus making me snore!  I knew that if he could go to sleep first, he would have a better chance of sleeping.  Thank God, he did eventually fall asleep.  That's when I allowed myself to drift off.  But by 2 am, I woke up in severe pain!

At first, because of the amount of pain I was in, I figured that it must be about 5 am.  I figured that I had missed a dose of the Pain Meds, so I was now paying for it.  But once I got out of bed, I realized that my Pain level was different than it had been in the past.  I went to the Bathroom, and was planning on taking another dose.  But within 2 minutes of getting up, I realized that I was going to be sick!  I was in so much pain, that it was making me sick, and was about to Vomit!!  Which of course, is something that we want to avoid.  My Neck is still in a fragile state, and doesn't need my bending over and Vomiting.

Luckily, it passed soon.  But I was still feeling shaky and not well, so I made the decision to sit up on the Sofa without my Cervical Collar.  I was feeling hot, and needed to cool my Neck down.  Walt got up and got me my dose of Meds, and I lay back onto the pillows.  Somehow I managed to sleep in this position....poor Walt didn't get much sleep afterwards.  I think that he was worried that I would fall asleep, and lay down (or fall down), bending my Neck!

By the time Walt got out of bed to go to work, I was feeling much better.  So he gave me another dose of Meds, and I went to bed.  This time, I slept like a baby!!  Who knows why this keeps happening to me??  This is the second time that I have had this sick feeling since I have been home from the Hospital.  But this was the first time that I actually feared that I would Vomit!  And actually had the Vomit spasms.

Apparently, Walt was so concerned that he called the Surgeons Office this morning, after he got to work, and described my episode.  They said that so long as it is a once in a while kind of thing, it will be ok.  But if the Vomiting becomes more constant, then they will want to see me.  They told him that I can lay down without the Collar (while I am awake) while relaxing, so long as I am aware of myself.  Meaning that I cannot fall asleep without the Collar on, as I may then move into positions that could cause harm to the Fusion.  So I will do this!  It really helps to be able to take the Collar off periodically to allow my Neck/Shoulders to relax.

Oh and I am embarrassed to say this, but today was my first shower since Surgery....and it felt sooo good!!  I have really thin, fine, oily, greasy hair, and after 3 days, it looks horrible (for that matter, the next day it looks horrible), but the worst part was that it was actually hurting....my scalp hurt!  So now it feels so good to have it clean.  I was going to shower yesterday, but my window of opportunity was gone, so I had to wait until today.

So, now that I have confessed my sin of being over confident that I was past the worst of my Recovery after only 1 week, I need to go lay down for awhile.  Till next time....

Aloha My Friends  :)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Almost 1 Week In, and Only 5 Weeks To Go!!

This is a photo I took at Pearl Harbor.  The shot was taken with the Bowfin Submarine in the water, the Bridge to Ford Island, and the most beautiful Rainbow I had ever seen!!  This particular trip, we decided not to go on the Arizona Memorial itself.  I have been on it at least 5 times in the past though!

Hey Ya'll,

Although I am not feeling anywhere near 100%, I am feeling much better today.  Let's hope that this continues to get better, and that I don't have a relapse!  LOL  Well, here's my Surgery story....

We never got the call to arrive earlier to the Hospital, but Dr Lynch was working ahead of schedule!  So we checked in at 10 am as scheduled.  And it wasn't 15 minutes, before they took me back to the Pre-Op Room.  Christa and the Grand Kids had just arrived as we were being taken back, but we were told that they would be allowed into the Pre-Op Room with me, once they got me prepped and ready for Surgery.

We were surprised to have such a large room.  The Pre-Op Rooms that I have been in in the past, was barely larger than the Bed I was laying on!  But this one was at least 3 times the normal size, and there was plenty of space for Walt, Christa, Walker and Emily to be there, even with the Nurses, Dr Lynch's PA, and the Anesthesiologist coming in and out!

So we got to spend some quality time together.  All in all, I was in the Pre-Op Room for about 2 hours.  After being wheeled into the OR, I remember thinking that the OR wasn't quite as cold as they have been in the past.  Cold enough, but not enough to make me shiver before I was out!!  LOL  I remember speaking with the PA again, the Surgical Nurse, the Anesthesiologist, and another Nurse.  I also remember speaking with Dr Lynch, but he was standing behind me, so I didn't actually see him....Dr Lynch told me that I was his 7th Surgery of the day so far!!  Then the next thing I knew, I was waking up to someone saying my name and that it was time to wake up!

And of course, the worst of the remembrances from Surgery came back....with the driest Mouth EVER!!  LOL  So I asked for Ice Chips, lots of them.  Over and over and over again!  I'm thinking that about an hour after I woke up, they were calling to Transport, to take me to my ICU Room.  BUT!!  It actually took about 1 1/2-2 hrs for them to arrive!!  That has to be the only complaint that I had, waiting for Transport to be taken out of Recovery to ICU.  I know that Walt, Christa and the Kids were tired of waiting.

Apparently, poor Walt had to go ask several times as to when I was going to be taken to my room, as they had been informed that I was ready to go to a room, at the same time the Transport was requested....So he finally started to get pushy about it!!  What's funny is, I heard the Nurse in Recovery tell one of the other Nurses, that someone must have been complaining about how long it was taking Transport!  Even she had called for Transport 3 times, I heard her!!  Once Transport actually did arrive, about 5 of them showed up!!  It only takes one or two to push a bed!  LOL

Then I was taken to an even larger private ICU Room!!  It was almost twice the size of the Pre-Op Room.  And we were totally surprised that they allowed the Grand Kids in ICU.  But I must say that they are really good kids, and very well behaved....And the ICU Nurse that was taking care of me, only had one other Patient.  They like to keep the Patient/Nurse ratio close for better care.  And the other guy she was taking care of, got moved in the middle of the night.  So she gave me excellent care!

And of course, I needed to Urinate shortly after arriving to ICU, and of course, I wasn't allowed out of bed at this time, so I had to go in a bedpan....not my first choice!  Luckily for me, later on, they said that if I felt up to sitting up, that I could use the porta potty!  Hell yea!  So although I couldn't get out of bed on my own, at least I didn't have to lay down on a bed pan to go either.  The ICU Rooms are usually for really sick Patients, not ones that can move around on their own!!  LOL

And if you don't include trying to actually SLEEP, in the Hospital, I did very well in there!!  The only problem that I had was the pain from the Cervical Collar!  Try laying on it 24/7 and it not hurt!  Since my Neck was so swollen in the beginning, we couldn't get the Collar to sit right, where it didn't hurt me.  If I laid down on my Back, which was most of the time, then it would cut into the back of my Head.  And it always cut into my right Ear!  And don't get me talking about the base of the Neck! LOL 

So although I was self Medicating with Morphine (gotta love that drip), I couldn't get to sleep that first night at all.  Partly because of my normal routine (staying up until 3-4 am), and partly because of the pain.  I would just about get to sleep, and one of my Machines would go off, etc.  So all in all, I got about 20-30 minutes of sleep from Tuesday morning 7:30 am, until about 10 pm Wednesday night.  Dr Lynch came in during the early morning, and said that although I was doing well, he wanted to be safe and keep me one more night.  But of course, that would have to be in a regular, Semi-Private Room!!  BUT!!  Don't count out the Transport team....(ha ha)  Dr Lynch gave the go ahead to move me to a regular room at 9 am Wednesday morning, and I wasn't moved until 8 pm that night!!  And believe me, I wasn't complaining at all!!  I would have loved to just stayed in the Private Room the 2nd night too!

So by Wednesday night, I was ready to sleep!  So even in pain, I managed to sleep.  I was allowed to go home after Walt's Doctor's appointment, so we left about 12:30 pm.  Walt had stopped and picked up a bunch of Donuts from a fantastic Donut Shop in South Reno, for Christa, the Kids and Walt to eat.  I nibbled on one of the Glazed Donuts until I managed to eat about half of it.  Christa and the Kids had picked me up a piece of Cake from this great Bakery in the Eldorado Casino, while they were there, and I ate half of it when I got home!  It was soooo good too!!  It has been 2 years since I had that cake!

Let me tell you, after being taken care of in ICU, I really hated to go to a regular room!!  But I did....And once we got home, I basically slept until today.  I was released on Thursday, and I found that if I didn't take the Medications as prescribed, I would end up in more pain than was necessary, and then I was unable to relax and sleep, since I couldn't get comfortable.  But if I stayed on top of the Meds, I could actually sleep.  And now today, I have not needed the Meds nearly as much.  So hopefully this means that I will only need them when I am sleeping or up a long time.

I go in on April 9th for a 2 week follow up, to see how the stitches are faring.  And then again on May 7th, where I am ever hopeful that I can go without my Brace!!  I wanted it off as soon as I woke up with it on!!  LOL

Anyway, I am sure that I have left something out, and if so, I will post about it later on....but I am getting tired, and just about ready to lay down again.  Till next time....

Aloha My Friends  :)