2.5

It’s been 2.5 weeks (or so) since my surgery and I haven’t written in over a week.  Nothing’s happened.  That’s not true – lots of things have happened:  I got my splint off, I started PT,  I’ve even been out of the house a couple times. I haven’t written about any of this because it doesn’t seem like something worthy of writing. But that’s not fair to you.  It’s not my place to determine whether my blog is a waste of your time or not.  It’s your time to do with as you please. If you wish to read it, then the least I can do is write it.

I think the true cause of this attitude is because the depression is returning.  It’s not a train barreling down the tracks at me like before.  It’s slowly creeping up behind me, carrying a cloak of darkness.  It’s a silent stalker, waiting for me to pause in my step, so it can work its dark magic.  Tendrils of familiar sadness flowing over me, binding my arms, slowly dragging me to the ground.  I’m fighting to keep moving but it’s not easy.

The physical is taking a toll on me as well. I can’t use my right hand for much of anything.  My arm doesn’t straighten all the way.  I can’t lift it to my mouth because it won’t go past my chest.  If I try to make a fist, I can get the tips of my (long) nails to just touch my palm.  Last night I was in a lot of pain.  I took a Percocet but it didn’t do any good.  It didn’t even make me tired.

My electronic communication is limited to left-handed typing and dictation because I can’t type or write with my right hand.  It’s taken me an hour to get this far in my post.  I have to ask for help with almost everything.  No wonder I’m depressed.  Maybe it’s situational, but it still feels the same.  Wisps of darkness enveloping me, beginning to drag me into its murky depths.  I feel like I am living in a cocoon, cut off from the rest of the world.

We increased my antidepressant but I have a hunch Celexa just isn’t going to work for me.  Sure wish I could go back to Paxil, but it will render the Percocet useless so it’s no good until after this surgery recovery is over.  I hate being so limited and dependent.  I am trying to stay upbeat but it is hard.  I am trying to be thankful for the small things but that gets hard too.  I am thankful that I have a good surgeon.  I am thankful for good doctors. I am thankful that my Dad is doing OK.  I am really thankful to have a good husband.  It’s the little things that help.  Like knowing someone will read this – so I don’t feel quite so alone.

© Manic Monday (manicmonday123). Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Overwhelmed by Medicine

Medicine: the art or science of restoring or preserving health or due physical condition, as by means of drugs, surgical operations or appliances, or manipulations: often divided into medicine proper, surgery, and obstetrics. – Dictionary.com

I am overwhelmed.

I am trying to recover from gallbladder surgery.  This should be my main focus.  Except that I still have to go to physical therapy – one is for worker’s comp so you can’t get out of it no matter how badly you feel – and the other to be evaluated for the followup on the tennis elbow problem –  and I see that doctor tomorrow morning.  I have (psych) therapy tomorrow night, and I had to find a friend to take me because I can’t drive on these painkillers (yes, I’m still on them, they even gave me more – I’ll come back to that) because my husband has to go for introduction sort of thing for his new part-time job.  Are you confused yet?  Because I am.  If my phone didn’t have a calendar app, I would never know where I am supposed to be or when I am supposed to be there – and I’m not even working.

Problem #1: Gallbladder surgery.  It’s been 5 days.  I still feel like crap.  I’m not eating meals so much as I am snacking on yogurt, smoothies, crackers and some fruit. (And the occasional fat-free/sugar-free gummy bear just for emotional sake.)  I’ve tried a couple of real meals and I just don’t feel well afterwards.  Now I am at the point where I don’t feel well at all.  Probably because my digestive system hasn’t reset yet.  Going along with this issue is that I am still in pain but I’ve been trying to cut back on the painkillers because they accentuate the digestive reset problem.  Also, I’m running out of them.  So I told the nurse and she conferred with the doctor, and they decided that I need to take the painkillers regularly (“as prescribed”) every 6 hours and faxed in a new prescription for me.  Lucky me.

I realize that some people would happy to have a fresh supply of Lortab but not me.  Why?  A couple of reasons. 1) I am allergic to aspirin, ibuprofen and probably all NSAIDs which means there isn’t much in the way of heavy-duty painkillers that you can give me.  So if I should build up a tolerance – well, then I’m screwed.  2) I am terrified of becoming hooked on anything.  I’ve been reassured by doctors, nurses, therapists and even articles that this is not going to happen to me in 2 or 3 weeks recovering from surgery.  Keep in mind, I never said there was any logic behind this fear.

Problem #2: Physical therapy.  Worker’s comp PT.  They had to make sure I came in 3 times this week.  Monday was definitely out.  I don’t have a driver for tomorrow, so that left Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday.  Rather than to cut a day out (which I am supposed to be down to 2x/week now anyway), they had me come in Day 4 after my surgery.  Seriously.  At least they did go a bit easy on me – I can only do some of the original exercises so they gave me new mild (in their opinion) stretching exercises to do. Worker’s Comp said that they would work with me regarding my surgery in terms of dates and obligations.  So I better not catch any crap for having to cut back on my exercises.  At least I didn’t pass out from the Lortab. Also, I had to have one more session on my elbow because I see that doctor tomorrow.  All this PT is definitely NOT GOOD for the gallbladder surgery recovery.  Just saying.

Problem #3: Elbow issue.  This is what technically put me on short term disability (STD) in the first place.  The PT said today that there isn’t much more they can do for me.  We stopped the ASTYM a couple of weeks ago and went with strengthening and it seems to be working really well.  My regular PT hasn’t been there for the past few times so another girl had to do my evaluation today.  She said that there isn’t much more they can do for me.  I have range of motion and a lot of my strength back, so maybe I do have to let the doctor cut open my arm and scrape out the bad tissue.  I get to discuss this with him tomorrow.

Do I have the emotional strength to handle another surgery?  Will it just get worse instead of better?  And what really are the odds of success? 90% or 60%?  I’ve heard both.  Does it even work at all?  I am nauseated by the thought of another surgery.  Especially on the heels of this one.  This is aside from the costs or the fear of returning (or not returning) to work.  I am at a loss.  I really need my friend Klonipin right now, but I’m not sure how well it would mix with the Lortab.  I think they are OK to use together (thanks interactions checker) but I sure as hell don’t want to die because of some stupid meds mixing.

I don’t know.  I am really overwhelmed.


© Manic Monday (manicmonday123). Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Worker’s Incompetent

Just had to share this…  I received a call yesterday from the company that (supposedly) coordinates my physical therapy.  They called to schedule my PT.  I called them back and said, “I really don’t understand this call, I have been attending PT for a week.”  So they check my file.  I go over with them where I am going to PT, how they got it approved (neglected to mention that they never told me about the approval but perhaps this is the first time they figured it out), and when I started.  I even told them that my nurse case manger knew all about it and it should be in my file.  Then they say, “OK, I guess your adjuster didn’t know.”

I relay this story to my PT today.  And she says, “They had to know, they are ones who approved it.”  I had already figured this out, but hearing it from someone else just makes it all that much more amusing.  There are too many people with their fingers in this pie, I am amazed that anything gets done.  Think of all the money the company would save (and how much faster the process would be)  if all this could be taken care of with just a doctor and one company handling the paperwork?

Now I have to go into work to see the company doctor because my personal doctor doesn’t want me working because of my right arm (well, both arms, but the right is the only one he’s allowed to treat), and the worker’s comp doctor says I don’t need any work restrictions, so I guess the company doctor will be the arbitrator of truth.  I give up.

Ah well, there is good news.  My blood pressure is lower.  A bit too low now, but we will work that out.  At least I’m not about to have a stroke.

 

© Manic Monday (manicmonday123). Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

PT Bruises

My arm is covered in bruises from physical therapy. And I have PT again tomorrow. It’s from a procedure called ASTYM. (http://astym.com/) It is supposed to be very good for tendon issues, and it has helped my right arm considerably over the past year, even if the first person who did it was doing it wrong. But I dread going back to PT, because, well, this $#@^% hurts!

ASTYM involves taking hard plastic tools and scraping them along the length of the tendon and muscle. (If you’d like to witness this torture, then you can watch the video: http://astym.com/video/)  Fortunately, they slather your arm in cocoa butter first so it glides along the surface. Can you imagine how painful it would be if they didn’t? And they don’t HAVE to bruise you in order for it to work, they just do.  And they keep torturing the same specific area.  My left forearm has more than 10 different bruises, many that run into each other, the largest of which is nearly 2″ in diameter.  I think physical therapists are secretly sadists.

The way it works is that it stimulates blood flow to the area which instigates healing.  This is especially important for tendons because they don’t get a lot of blood flow in the first place.  It’s also supposed to break up any fibrous tissue (aka scar tissue) so that when you stretch, the muscles & tendons lay down proper tissue in the correct direction.  Does it work? yes.  Has it worked for me? partially.  My right elbow should be completely healed by now, but it’s not.  But then I’m a bit of a medical mystery anyway.

I go to PT. I do my stretches every day.  My right elbow improves incrementally, but my wrist hurts more since I started PT than it did before. I’m scared.  I’ve started developing nerve pain in my left wrist too.  Keep in mind, the left wrist is the one that is “only a sprain” and doesn’t require any job restrictions, thanks to worker’s comp.

So what do I do now?  I don’t know. Keep going to PT I guess.  I have PT every day this week – either for the left wrist or the right elbow.  I realize that it’s my “job” to get better right now, but looking at that 2″ bruise and knowing it’s going to get pounded on tomorrow, makes me really not want to go into “work”.

 

© Manic Monday (manicmonday123). Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.