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.

Dry Spell

I’ve been searching my brain for days, trying to come up with something to write about. I guess it happens to everyone, but I wish it wouldn’t happen to me. I’m not even sure where this post will lead; I suppose we’ll find out together.

My pain level has been pretty high this past couple of days. I suppose that’s why I’m struggling with my writing. Chronic pain causes exhaustion, lack of concentration, and a total lack of desire to do anything, It takes everything in me to shake off that kind of depression. It’s difficult to do but when something you were looking forward to gets ripped right out from under you, it’s even harder. You wonder, “Why the fuck do I even try.”

Next week, I’m getting Gel One injections in my knees. I’m hoping this particular type will help more than the last, but I’m not getting my hopes up. I’m not too anxious about the shots since I went through this 6 months ago. I know what to expect now and I know it’s not painful; it’s mostly just pressure in the knees and a little uncomfortable.

I am looking forward to seeing my sister, my daughter and my grandson very soon! I wish I could cook like I use to. I would love to cook up a feast for them! The house could use a good deep cleaning….but I can’t do that either. The grandson is nearly 4 years old now. I haven’t seen him since he was less than 2 years old! I’m pretty sure that if my furbabies knew about this visit and could offer their two cents, they would say, “Noooooo! Don’t let them come!” I’m also sure they will make themselves scarce during the visit! They’re just not used to little people with loud voices!

Dad had a coughing fit tonight and just about scared the daylights out of me. He was eating tootsie rolls and I always warn him to be careful. Chewy candy, in general, produces too much saliva. Anyway, I thought I was going to have to do the Heimlich Maneuver, but he caught his breath and coughed it out. Thank goodness. That man scares the hell out of me sometimes. He will be 81 in February.

It’s nearly 1 a.m. as I type this. I should go to bed but I’m half-ass watching this LMN movie about a crazy guy stalking the neighbor woman whom he apparently knew in the past. She knows him from somewhere but can’t put her finger on it. It will all come out in the wash! These movies are so predictable and seriously if you’ve seen one it’s a safe bet that you’ll see another and another with the same plot with different actors!

Well, my eyes are getting heavy and I keep hitting the wrong keys. I must be tired. I hope my pain level is lower tomorrow because I have some errands to run. Dad and I usually have lunch out on Saturdays too. It would be nice to be able to enjoy some time away from home without too much pain….but, that’s my life. I do what I can, when I can.

 

 

 

10 Things On My Mind Today, Sunday

Just a few things on my mind tonight. It’s been a rough week.

1. My state of mind. I hope this improves over the next week because I can’t stand it when I’m depressed and feeling sorry for myself. I have felt so damn alone this past week. It really bites when you have chronic pain and mobility issues and you feel like a burden to everyone. I don’t like asking for help but sometimes when I do, I feel like I have just demanded someone’s first born child or stolen their soul for all of eternity.

2. My dad’s leg. He has cellulitis. I had been after him for weeks, if not months, to go to the doctor and have the rash on his leg looked at. His reply? “I have a doctor’s appointment in December!” When I took him to his Lifeline screening on Thursday, he was informed that the skin on his leg felt hot to the touch and that he should go to the doctor because it could be infected. Then, and ONLY then, did he allow me to take him to urgent care and have it checked out. Good grief. Stubborn man.

3. Hurricane Harvey. Oh, the damage you have done. Thanks to all of the rescue workers, paid and volunteer, who have helped save so many lives. Praying for Texas tonight.

4. My neighbor. She has spent the last couple of years caring for her mother who was suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease. She lost her mom this week. She was a nice lady and had an awesome sense of humor. Alzheimer’s is a terrible disease. It rips families into pieces…their hearts, that is. Prayers to the family.

5. The stray cat that I have been caring for, for the last month and a half. She needs much more care than I can give her due to my pain and mobility issues. She is long haired and I am still fighting the matted fur she arrived with. I am trying to find her a good loving home. She’s sweet, well-mannered, and has been spayed and received distemper shot. I hope I can find someone who will love her with their whole heart.

6. Still working on my weight loss but it’s not easy trying to get back on track. I’ll never get my knee surgery if I don’t snap out of this slump!

7. Chocolate. Always craving chocolate. Gimme some.

8. I hope I get some sleep tonight. Sick and tired of tossing and turning….if you can call it that. I can barely move; repositioning is terribly painful.

9. What’s for lunch tomorrow? Dinner? Planning my meals for the week. Ugh.

10. What can I watch on Netflix? Need stuff to watch because I can’t go to bed early…because I can’t sleep. Ugh.

Learning & Moving Forward

The last 5 years have been extremely trying. I’ve had to deal with more than I ever imagined I would, and at times thought it would never get better. I spent hours upon hours upon hours crying my eyes out. I have felt helpless, and hopeless. I’ve felt anger and sadness. I’ve suffered through many panic attacks and raging depression. After a couple years trying to pull myself up with not much success, I began seeing a therapist. With her help, I learned a lot about myself, and other people.

My therapist has helped me make sense of much of what I was feeling. With her guidance, and my hard work to meet her challenges, I can finally say that my life is getting back on track. I don’t think I could have done it without her help. You may think these things are a “no brainer” but when you have been raised a certain way, treated a certain way, and had to deal with so many issues, it tends to overwhelm a person!! You sometimes lose yourself while trying to process things, and some things are shoved under the rug because they are too hard to deal with.

Some of the things I have learned along the way are:

*I have learned that the guilt and shame that I carried for so long, was NOT mine to carry. I am not responsible for the actions of others, and I have made peace with events of the past.

*I have learned to set limits and create boundaries. Just as I don’t allow just anyone to come into my house, I cannot allow just anyone to enter my mind, and my life and drain me of my energy or place unwanted expectations on me. I do not have to allow negativity from others to bring me down. I do NOT have to engage in their drama.

*I have been a caregiver for all of my adult life. I have always put everyone else’s needs above my own. I put my needs on the back burner, thinking they were not important. I have learned that it’s not selfish for me to take care of ME! My needs are just as important as anyone else’s!

*I am a logical thinker. I’ve learned that if I can’t make sense of something, in my mind it’s hogwash. I get along with those who are like-minded. I don’t mix well with people who do not think for themselves. I don’t understand people who follow anything blindly.

*I’ve learned that there are certain people whom I cannot help simply because they won’t help themselves. I can’t keep throwing them a rope and letting them pull ME under! Some people are emotional vampires, draining you of all the energy you have. It’s ok to take a step back (or several) and protect yourself! I know I don’t have to let them drain me anymore! (This goes back to setting limits and creating boundaries, as mentioned earlier in this post.)

*I’ve learned that my thoughts, my opinions are just as important as anyone else’s. All through my childhood, my mother stifled me. I was ridiculed for voicing my opinion, for asking questions, and for asking for what I needed for ME. I may still keep my mouth shut at times (because even though I have the right to say it, doesn’t mean I should) but I no longer let the fear of what others think, keep me from using my voice.

*I’ve learned that I can forgive myself for the mistakes I’ve made in my life. We aren’t handed an instruction book when we first venture out on our own, when we enter a new relationship, or when we begin having children. We have no clue how to do it, but yet we figure it out along the way! We make mistakes. Sometimes the mistakes are small and sometimes they are huge, but we learn as we go and we have to forgive ourselves for the mistakes we have made or we will drown in the “shoulda-woulda-coulda” mentality.

*I’ve learned that others will never understand my chronic pain if they have never experienced chronic pain themselves. I can explain until my head explodes but they won’t understand that I can’t do the things they think I should be able to do. They don’t SEE anything wrong with me, so they think I’m just lazy. They can’t see how tired I am, how much I hurt, or that I’d just like to crawl in a cave and never come out again. I don’t have to explain anymore. I’m good with whatever they think about me. I just pray that they never have to experience chronic pain themselves! (If you need to understand chronic pain, a good place to start is with “The Spoon Theory.” Google it. There is no better way to understand than this.)

And last, and I am definitely not finished learning….

*I’ve learned that you just can’t fix stupid!! I get so irritated with people doing stupid and inconsiderate things that I could just pull my hair out! I am still working on this one, but I’m getting better at just letting it go!! I let things get to me too easily sometimes. It seriously affects my mood when someone pulls out in front of me on a busy road, or when someone zips through a parking lot right behind me, even though I’m already half way out of my parking spot, or when a group of people are having a “reunion” of sorts in the store blocking the entire width of the aisle. When you approach, they turn and see you but still make no effort to move over so you can pass through! UGH. I could go on and on….. These things aggravate me to no end. I always try to be courteous and watch for others around me when I’m out and about. I know they have things to do just as I do. So, why don’t they behave the same way?

All in all, my life may be a bit difficult but I am moving forward. I continue to see my therapist and work on my issues. I use to think “I will never see a shrink because I can’t talk to a stranger about personal things! That’s what friends and family are for!” Well, I was wrong for thinking this way. Yes, it’s good to talk to friends and family but some things are too deep and personal to share with them! Sometimes, a complete stranger can see things more clearly. A trained therapist can actually help you figure things out!

Friendship Lost

Wow, it’s been over a year since I last posted in this blog!

Well, the good news is that I am back and after a long year of therapy, I am in a better place. Anyone who knows me, knows I have been through the wringer the last couple of years. Therapy has helped me separate myself from the actions of others and to not carry blame or guilt that is not mine to carry. I have learned to distance myself from things and people who expect more from me than I have to give. I have learned that I don’t have to help everyone. It’s not my job! I can’t help someone who won’t help themselves…which brings me to the subject of this post.

I had been trying for a very long time to get a friend of mine to get some help for her depression, whether it be a medical doctor or a therapist. She always responded with, “You’re the only therapist I need,” and other such statements. I’m not a therapist. I can’t help her with her depression. I was going through my own bouts of depression. I could listen, sure. But after every conversation, I would be exhausted, totally wiped out. I often wondered if this was normal in a friendship. Deep down I knew it wasn’t, but she was my friend. What was I suppose to do? I fought with myself daily! I tried to tell her that I was going through some things that I couldn’t talk about. I told her many times that I was having a hard time myself and that I couldn’t handle her problems AND my own. It didn’t seem to sink in. It didn’t seem to matter. She would dump everything on me and it would suck every ounce of my energy! Don’t get me wrong, I KNOW she has every reason to be depressed. She’s been through some horrible events over the past few years. I feel for her. But I want her to get some help.

Therapy helped me to realize that it’s not my job to take care of her (or anyone else) and that if she’s not willing to help herself then what else can I do? I had to tell her. I told her I couldn’t help her and she had to help herself. I told her I had to distance myself from her until she got help for her depression. That went over like a fart in Church.

Immediately, she went on the defensive. I expected that. I also understood. She was hurt. I knew that it would hurt her but I was taking care of ME, something that I had not done in many years. I always put myself on the back burner. Not anymore. I was done.

What I didn’t expect, was that she would take this to the extreme. She blocked me on Facebook and THEN called me a hypocrite. (Who blocked whom and then started talking trash about the other? Not me.) She made up lies and told half truths about me. She showed her true colors. She doesn’t know that I know what she said, but since I DO know, we will never be friends again. How can she be trusted?

Sad. She said I was throwing away our friendship because she has a disease called depression. It’s not the depression itself; it’s her inability or unwillingness to get help. I didn’t throw away the friendship. I put it on the back burner, instead of my own needs…. for once. She threw away our friendship when she gave me a bashing on Facebook.

This friendship has weighed so heavily on me for years because I couldn’t help her. If I didn’t care so much, then none of this would have been an issue. I did what I had to do to protect myself and it was my last-ditch effort to get her to do something. I hoped that it would jolt her into realizing she needs to take care of herself. I guess it was wishful thinking…but it’s her issue, not mine.