A bit down

Today I woke up feeling down, just an overall feeling of sadness.  I looked around the messy living room and felt unease.  I really wanted to clean it all up but was lacking the energy.  Also, I had plans for coffee with some friends.   I reluctantly went to coffee, for when I am down I am not feeling social.  It was a nice hour but I still felt down and tired when I left (despite the additional 16 ounces of coffee).

I keep wondering why I feel so down and today’s Headspace meditation had me realize one factor.  Today, it was focusing on if you are feeling pain and I realized my intention through the meditation and during this sick leave was to recover and rejuvenate.  I am still in pain through my arms, my entire back, and now my feet.  With virtually weeks of rest, my body has not rejuvenated itself.  It has actually worsened in some areas.  I was hoping when I was to return to work I would feel better than when I had my last working day.

A little bit more

Everyday I try to do a little bit more.  This weekend’s little bit ended up putting me twenty steps backward yesterday.  I felt horrible head to toe.  I did virtually nothing all day.  Luckily, Roger had a play date and ABA therapy that gave me rest time.  Then, we took Roger to my parent’s house and we shopped and ate dinner.  The shopping was a little too much for me, so I waited in the car for Rob.

Today I woke up feeling 19 steps ahead of yesterday.  I was dreading reading to Roger’s class due to how I felt yesterday.  However, it was a pretty painless venture despite half the class gabbing/interrupting and Roger unable to sit still since I was there.  Immediately following, I had a podiatrist appointment.  I have been in pain for quite some time in my left inner foot.  I had a similar problem a year or so ago on my right foot, but not this extreme.  I decided to go to a private practice rather than one of those big ortho offices, like I did last time.  He saw the orthotics I had gotten prior and said they were garbage and should not have cost me more than $10.  I believe that with the prescription the arches were around $50.  He had my foot molded for full length orthotics that will last 10 years, as opposed to having to buy them yearly.  He also said I needed to wear shoes at all time.  In the house, instead of slippers, I have to wear birkenstocks.  Once my arm is cleared, he gave me some stretches for me to do daily to help stretch the area.  Again, I am quite pleased with my decision.

Although it seems to be a year with some health issues, I am very content with my decision making and know that in the long run I will be healthier and happier!

Still on Medical Leave

Everyday I have thought about updating my blog and everyday I am too exhausted to open the computer.  The high allergens are not helping my activity level.  Add to that the limited activity of the day and I am an achy zombie most of the day!  I have not been consistently taking any pain medication (even OTC, especially due to the fact I am having a lumbar epidural next Wednesday).  My sleep and energy levels are the same post-op as pre-op, which I am not very happy about.  I have been sleeping alone downstairs and I still cannot get a consistent five hours of sleep per night.  I have begun taking melatonin which makes me fall asleep quicker, but does not aide in any other way.

I don’t want this post to be all bah humbug, so I will note some positive changes I have been trying to make in the past couple weeks.  I have been attempting daily meditation via the app Headspace.  Secondly, I have started using MyFitnessPal app again, consistently.  I have shed a couple of pounds but find it hard to lose weight if I try to eat more than 1200 calories, which is too restrictive for me.  Hopefully when I can add some exercise in, that will help my endeavor of losing these 35 pounds I have gained in TX the past 4  years!

Next Thursday, I have my next appointment with my surgeon and am hoping I can go back to work part-time, at least.  I am very bored but do not think I have the energy level for full-time work, yet.

Sunday, Glum Day

Well, I tried the hydrocodone with Benadryl to see if I could avoid the itchiness. It did not work, so I am taking 4 Advil every 8 hours or so.  I slept much better last night due to the lack of itching and lack of repeated daytime naps. The day of surgery was like one long nap most of the day. Yesterday and today, I took only one afternoon nap. 

The surgeon told Rob that my pain level would not increase from how I felt post-surgery. That’s not really been the case. Today my inner arm and elbow both feel like they’ve been cut open (which they have). Plus, my right shoulder feels wonky. It must be because of relying on my right arm these past few days. And, of course, when moving some Garbage Pail Kids, my left lumbar back went out/popped. I took muscle relaxers and put the heating pad on it, but it still hurts.

I attempted my first shower with a garbage bag arm and Rob waiting right outside. Who knew that a simple shower that is usually refreshing could wipe someone out so much!  

Tomorrow is the first day of 1st grade and Rob’s last day home with me. Here’s hoping it is an easier day!

Post-surgery 

I slept in and off til about 6 pm yesterday. The most painful part of the surgery was getting my wedding ring cut off. I’m not being poetic — that archaic tool actually hurt!  I was in good spirits until around 1 am. 

At 1 am, my cat let me know she was in the room. I got up, let her out, and came back to bed realizing the ice pack leaked through one of my stacked pillows. Well, I took a hydrocodone and could not fall back to sleep due to the itching.  About an hour or so later, I realize my hand is swelling and googled if that’s okay. 

Fast forward to the dogs barking and me waking my husband up at 7.  He tells me to call the surgeon about my hand. She says it is not normal and to remove the ace bandage to see if that helps. If not, I have to call her back. 

I’m eagerly awaiting with two ice packs on my hand/arm. Not the best second-half to day 1 of post-surgery!

Twas the Night Before Surgery

Yes, tomorrow is the big day:  ulnar nerve decompression and transposition.  I haven’t written lately due to trying to get done as much as I can before surgery and before Roger’s first day of school on Monday.  I have been so wrapped up in planning that I have not had much time to think about the surgery.  That was until last night.

Last night, Roger woke me up around 1 am to move into his bed.  After he woke me, I started calculating the amount of hours I had before my surgery.  I was up the next two hours, consumed with thoughts of surgery.  Thankfully, I fell asleep for a couple more hours before starting the day.

Anxious is the feeling of the day.  Hopefully, that will soon pass, and the new feeling will be rested.

2nd opinion – ulnar nerve

Today’s appointment was the  polar opposite of yesterday’s appointment.  The nurse brought me back about 10 minutes early to thoroughly go through my paperwork.  A few minutes after that the doctor came in.  She wanted to see my cervical reports and wanted to make a clear determination of pain stemming from my elbow v. pain stemming from my neck.  She said that what I have is called “double crush syndrome”.  This led to doing many different tests.  A few showed “Wartenberg’s sign” where I am unable to keep my pinky finger squeezing my ring finger.  The tests were timed and by the time they were done both fingers were far apart from each other.  Another test showed my incredible weakness in my left arm.  I was not even aware it was so weak.  It seemed like one of those illusions.  She scratched along the nerve and did strength tests and she easily pushed my arm towards me.  Unlike yesterday’s opinion, she said the EMG had shown severe compression and my nerve is working less than 50%.  Due to all of the above, the only solution would be surgery on my left arm.  She said it was beyond the realm of physical therapy or just wearing a brace at night.  Also, the other surgeon suggested decompression surgery.  This surgeon disagrees.  She states decompression usually ends with another surgery down the line to move the nerve.  Therefore, the surgery would combine both decompression and transposition of the ulnar nerve.  From what I have read, a lot of patients agree with this approach and do not understand why their surgeons only opted for decompression.  She also thoroughly went through the surgery process and will have a pre-op with me to review the surgery and all my instructions.  She said to bring a list of questions.  Wow!  The other surgeon was not going to have a pre-op.

Surgery is scheduled for Friday, August 25th and the pre-op that Monday, August 21st.  She was so thorough that I currently cannot think of any questions! Three days after surgery is Roger’s 1st day of 1st grade.  I am hoping to be on my feet to see him into the doors of the school with Rob.  These next few weeks will be crazy and the following six will be in recovery.   Full recovery takes 3-6 months.  Roger was happy to announce that in 6 weeks after surgery, I can tie his shoes again!  Silly boy!