A New Year, A New Start

I’ve not been writing much as of late. I’ve had much to say but no desire to write it down. Maybe that’s for the better. I sometimes feel like that’s all I do is write about my shitty problems. On the other hand, that’s part of why I started this blog. I wanted an outlet to write about the things I love, the things I despise, and things that make me laugh. Writing, or keeping a journal helps a lot of folks, not just me. It’s been therapeutic. It’s been a positive in my life so I’m not about to quit! I must, however, get back to it!

So, here I sit. So many things that have plagued my life over the last few months now seem less bothersome. Except for one thing: My pain issues. I have over the years tried many things to alleviate the pain, from OTC meds, creams, lotions, and patches to natural herbs and essential oils. I have purchased several items for exercise that I have either not been able to use or they just didn’t help. Last year, I purchased a recumbent bike because I was at the beginning of a weight loss journey that resulted in a 60 lb. loss, but even after the weight loss was still not able to use the bike! I was disillusioned and just plain pissed off! I couldn’t even use the floor peddler I had had for several years. I use to use it every day but when my knees got worse, it became more difficult and the pain would be increased by using it.

In December, I stumbled across a fantastic machine called an Air Walker. I watched a video of it being used and I realized that since I wouldn’t have to bend at the knee to use this machine, I’d have to purchase it and give it a try. I’m so very glad I did! I feel like my leg muscles are getting stronger just since I started using it at the beginning of the month. It has helped me kick-start my diet again and I’m back to losing more weight while making my legs stronger.

With any luck at all, this will be the year I get my knee surgery that I so desperately need to live a productive and quality life. I feel like the last 11 years of my life have just been wasted. Going from doctor to doctor, trying to get help, ANY help has been some of the most wasted time I have ever spent! I know that I need to do the work, that’s a no-brainer. No one can lose the weight for me. No one can exercise for me. It’s on me, I know. It would have been nice, though, to find a doctor who was willing to provide guidance and information, rather than the normal “fat-shaming” that does nothing but tear a person down!

So, I am creating a new me. I finally see a little light at the end of the tunnel. A real light, my own light! Not the fake light I thought I was seeing mid-2017.

Here’s to the new me! Here’s to 2018! Wish me luck!! 

 

So, What’s Next?

I am so sick of hearing people say, “Stay positive,” or “Have you tried x, y, or z?” No one understands the limitations of chronic pain unless they actually live it themselves. They think they’re being helpful with the positive outlook remarks and suggestions to cure my ailment. I know they mean well but they don’t understand. Those with chronic pain don’t want to be depressed. They don’t want to be sad. They don’t like staying home. When you’ve been trying to get help for over 10 years, you kind of lose hope and you lose yourself along the way too.

I’m nothing like the person I once was! I was a cross-country backpacker, worked with special ed kids, cleaned houses and started my own home Day Care for kids. I did volunteer work, worked as a Med Tech, started my own home business…and now I can’t do any of those things. I was a very independent young woman, with a great sense of humor. I was bubbly and always saw the humor in things. A great example is the time a co-worker and I were helping an elderly lady to the bathroom at the nursing home where we worked. We didn’t get her there in time and I ended up with “splatters of a yucky nature” all over my shoes. All I could do was laugh – not at the elderly lady – but at the situation. What else could I do? That’s just how I was. I had co-workers tell me they loved working with me because the day was enjoyable and went by faster. Don’t get me wrong; I still laugh a lot! I still try to find humor in my life daily, but that doesn’t mean I’m ok with being ‘stuck’ in this rut….and STUCK I am!

This chapter of my life is a most difficult one. I try to stay positive and focus on the things that I can do instead of the things that I can’t but do you know how difficult that really is? There is so much I can’t do! 

So, how do I create Deb 2.0? How can I reinvent myself when there’s so much I can’t do? My physical abilities limit the things I can do to actually change my life, myself. My bestie says that reinventing myself implies there’s something wrong with me in the first place. She’s right. There IS something wrong with me. I’m disabled. How does a disabled person change his/her life?

I would love to change my physical health but alas, that won’t happen until doctors decide they will help. I like who I am otherwise. I like my personality. I like my sense of humor. I am a strong, intelligent, creative, and compassionate person. So, how do I change this chapter of my life into something that I can be happy with?

 

Old Before My Time

I’ve not been writing much lately. Seems there’s always something that causes me problems of some sort. I’ve been thinking in particular about my appointment with the eye doctor a couple of weeks ago. My entire body seems to be falling apart! My eyes are just the latest body part to decide to give me something else to worry about. I had noticed a change in my eyesight for the last few months. My eye doc confirmed that it was not my imagination. It appears that I have a cataract forming in my right eye. Yippee….and if that’s not enough he noticed also that I may have the early signs of macular degeneration. Isn’t that peachy.

So, I was wondering….considering all of the problems I have with my legs, knees, hips, back, hands…and now my eyes….is it possible that I have worn out my body parts from all of the activity in my life? I mean, I’ve never been much of an athlete but I was always very active.

Was it the endless hours on my roller skates when I was a kid? Was it the miles upon miles I put on my bicycle or my countless falls? Was it the hours I spent in the pool in the summer? Did those things put too much wear and tear on my body?

What about as I got older…. Did I do too much hiking and backpacking? Did I carry too much weight in my backpack? Did I watch too many sunsets or sunrises? Did I spend too much time on nature walks? Did I stare too long at the waves on lakes as I diligently watched my fishing line, waiting for a trout to bite? Was the bird watching with binoculars too much for my eyes?

As a young adult, did I spend too much time with children; playing games and entertaining them? Did I put too much energy into my home Day Care? Did my children keep me too active? Did I try too hard to teach my kids (and my Day Care kids) too much in one day, as if there wasn’t enough time to do it all? Did I take them to too many parks, museums, and fairs?

Did I utilize the ladies’ gym with too much zeal? Did I walk to work too many times? Did I read too many novels over the years? Did I crochet too many afghans? Did I use too much black yarn? (That shit is hard to see!)

When I worked as a Med Tech and CNA, did I lift too many patients? Did I put too much strain on my back and legs being on my feet all day long? When I had my own home business, did I spend too many hours on the computer, teaching myself code and building my own business website? Did I stand too long in the kitchen, creating my own bath & body products? What about the countless hours since the age of 20 that I spent cooking every meal from scratch so my family didn’t have to eat processed crap?

What about the hours and hours I spent with my kids on after-school activities? There was boy scouts, girl scouts, t-ball, baseball, soccer, football, ceramics class, guitar lessons, and surely there was more….

Have I done too much? Is this what has caused my body to wear out too soon? It’s not like I have climbed Mount Everest or scaled the Grand Canyon. I’ve never participated in races of any kind, never played professional sports, or been a gymnast. Surely I’ve not put my body through any more than anyone else.

Whatever the reason, I am old before my time. I must persevere, endure, and maintain as much mobility and independence as I possibly can.

Stupid body….

EDIT: Just so y’all know, this post was not completely serious. Yes, I have many physical problems but this was written with sarcasm intended. I know I didn’t wear my body out with activity!! 

 

 

 

Excitement, Obstacles & Why Can’t Anything Be Easy?

I haven’t been writing much lately, for a few reasons. Just bummed mostly but excited for family to come. I had to get the house ready as best I could and get groceries so I’d have food to feed everyone. It was a good visit but not long enough. I lost a few hours with them too, because someone couldn’t bend a little. They’re gone now and I miss them tremendously!

I had to cancel my last appointment with my therapist because it was scheduled the day family would arrive. I emailed her later to explain why since I didn’t get to speak to her personally when I rescheduled the appointment. I told her about a few things that have happened in the last three weeks and when she responded she said, “Nothing is ever easy for you, is it?” She nailed it! I’ve been saying that for years! Here’s a rundown of the things that have happened in the past three weeks:

  1. My insurance covered the last round of injections I received but changed their policies since then. They won’t cover them anymore, so now I have to struggle not knowing if they would have helped with my pain.
  2. Ortho doc won’t reconsider knee replacement surgery because my weight/BMI isn’t where they want it to be and my legs are still weak. I think by the time she decides to move forward with surgery, my insurance will no longer cover it. That’s just my luck.
  3. My new doc (since January ’17) that I searched for over the last 10 years, has left the clinic and they won’t tell me where she went! Figures. I finally find a good doctor; one who listens and actually tries to help, and she’s gone. Now I have to find a new doctor or see another in that clinic.
  4. I tried to include my first-born grandson, (who was adopted by his other grandparents) in our little family get-together even though I knew what the outcome would be. The other grandmother wouldn’t hear of it, even though she too, was invited. Instead, she went behind my back and made other arrangements for D.M. to see my daughter (his mother) and his little brother. This took several hours away from us. I’m glad my daughter was able to see D.M. but it’s a shame that other grandmother couldn’t bend a little and come to our house so we could all spend time with D.M.
  5. D.M.’s birthday was Oct. 23. I made arrangements to meet after school to give him his gift in person. This is what we’ve been doing the last few years for Christmas and birthdays. I didn’t think this year would be any different. The night before we were supposed to meet, I find out D.M. is sick. Ok, so I mailed him his gift. It has now been 2 weeks and I’ve not heard one word about whether he liked his gift from me and his great-grandpa. Nice. What a way to teach a kid manners, right?

Anyway, nothing is ever easy for me. It seems that I run into an obstacle at every turn. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t expect life to be easy but sometimes it seems the universe hates me! Every month, there’s something new staring me down…as if to say, “Don’t get too comfy!” I wonder what’s in store for me in November…..

It Never Fails

So, if you read last night’s post you know that I had an appointment for Gel-One injections in my knees. The last injections (Synvisc-One) didn’t help but for just a few short hours. I thought I’d try the Gel-One this time. I was hoping for the best but was keeping my hopeful thoughts stifled because I have learned in the past to not get my hopes up too high.

Well, I was right to not get my hopes up. After receiving not one, but two automated reminder calls for 2 days prior, which asked me to “press 1 to confirm your appointment” and being told to “please come 20 minutes early,” I hobbled into the Ortho building. I hoped I wouldn’t be waiting for over an hour like the last time before even seeing the doctor.

I was called pretty quickly. The male nurse/assistant/whatever-the-heck-he-was was pleasant and led me to the exam room. When I sat down, he proceeded to tell me that my insurance had approved the injections but then after some changes, they revoked that approval. Great. Just my luck. This is why I don’t get my hopes up for any kind of medical care. He said the shots were rather pricey, and I probably wouldn’t want to pay out-of-pocket. “Hell no!” I told him. “At $3,000 bucks a knee? Nope!” He said they could offer cortisone shots, which I had had before with no noticeable pain relief…..and that was way back in 2011. My knees weren’t half as bad back then! No way in hell is a cortisone shot going to help now!

The nurse/assistant/whatever-the-heck-he-was was very apologetic about the wasted trip. He said he wished he had caught the problem as late as even yesterday, so he could have let me know. Not his fault. I don’t blame him.

It never fails. Every time I get close to getting help, I get shot down. It’s been happening year after year after year, with one thing or another, since 2007.

AND….AND….AND….the new doctor I found in January, whom I like so much, has left and they won’t tell me where. I would like to continue seeing her but how can I if I don’t know where she is? She may have moved out of state, in which case I will have to search for a new doctor but I most likely will have to see another practitioner in that same office, at least for the time being.

So for now, I keep my head up high and carry on! I’ll do what I have to do to take care of me until the time comes when they decide it’s time to do knee replacement because that’s the only solution there really is for me to have quality of life. I’m pretty sure their injections aren’t going to help much, even if my insurance approves them again.