Category: health

Pain Breakthrough

The problem disks!
The problem disks!

Let me tell you a little bit about my last 3 years…

It all started January 2011 when I tripped on the steep stairs of my Dad’s rental property putting away Christmas ornaments.  Because I was holding the ornaments I couldn’t catch myself and slammed head-first into the wall at the bottom of the stairs.  It knocked the wind out of me and I couldn’t move.

It was terrifying because nobody knew I was down there and I didn’t good reception down in the basement (don’t get good reception in Suncrest period).  When I did get through nobody was answering their phones.  I finally got a text out to an interested tenant who was coming to look at the house.  I told him ‘please come help me’.  Thankfully he did and we were able to reach my Uncle Jon and go to the emergency room.

https://smilingldsgirl.com/2011/01/08/the-big-fall/

Dr #1

They took an xray at the time but it wasn’t a very accurate one.  I was in so much pain I couldn’t lift my hands above my head without literally screaming.  They said it was just muscle pain and I should push it as much as possible for it to recover.  They claimed the last thing I wanted to do was rest, so I worked hard and yet the pain persisted.

Dr #2

My body got more achy as the days persisted and so I went to my regular care doctor.  He was at least honest with me and said he had ‘no idea’ what was wrong.  I felt achy in my ribcage, lower back, and my exercise recovery was terrible.  I would spend hours in bed sometimes after a simple workout.

Dr #3 (and 4)

I was assured by so many people that it was just muscle aches that I wondered if it was some kind of flare up with my PCOS.  I had been seeing an endocrinologist in Salt Lake but I wasn’t very happy with him.  He treated me like a drama queen and didn’t answer my questions.  Based on one blood sugar reading after I’d had candy he said I was diabetic, freaked me out (I cried) and then retracted it the next time saying it was just so he could prescribe me the right medicine (which I hated see Victoza is Evil) I still can’t believe he would make up a diagnosis just to give me some prescription.

Then I found a new endocrinologist that I loved.  He would talk to you for literally an hour.  Unfortunately he shut down his practice because of Obamacare (his letter said it not me).  Sigh…

Dr #5

Because I was feeling pain in my ribcage I along with my back I wanted to make sure it wasn’t something serious like cancer.  I decided to try an internal med doctor and she was pretty good.  We did do an MRI and that’s where we figured out about my ‘healed fracture’ to my thoracic spine. I thought this might have been the trigger for the chronic pain (usually is a trigger for it).  Then we tried some thyroid meds and they seemed to help a lot.

It was actually a nurse practitioner at this doctor’s office that I loved.  She had fibromyalgia herself and so she understood chronic pain.  Was very sympathetic and thorough (we tested for everything).  I also refused to take pain meds because I didn’t want to get hooked on anything.

Well, just as we were making headway they fired the nurse practitioner and the doctor tried to prescribe a weight loss drug and didn’t tell me that it was also used to treat epilepsy and could lead your brain to be foggy and unclear….That was the end of that  doctor for me.  I couldn’t believe she wouldn’t tell me something like that.

I refuse to take medicine that alters my brain.  I respect those who make that choice but it is not for me.

Dr #6-

http://utahchronicpain.com/

In May I saw an ad for a place called Utah Chronic Pain Center.  They said they treated the patient from the inside out and that you got 2 free laser massages to try it out.  I figured why not? I went in a little skeptical but I learned that it was doctor supervised not some hippy mumbo-jumbo.

What impressed me the most was their dual approach. We did all the normal blood work, increased my thyroid meds to a more aggressive approach and started a treatment with laser massage, compression and other techniques.  It was hard but almost immediately I sensed a difference.  I started going 3 times a week, than 2, and now 1 time; however, if I miss that 1 time like I did on my trip to Cali I have serious pain.

In fact, I was having so much pain after Cali that Dr. Luddington suggested I get some x-rays just to rule certain things out like scoliosis. I went to the US MRI and the xrays only cost me $65 (I don’t have pre-existing condition coverage from my job with Poler until November).  Isn’t that a good deal?  We did 4 x-rays and they put it on a cd-rom for me to take to the dr.

back2

Today I went for a treatment with Dr. Luddington and looked at the x-rays.  The treatment went way better than last week (amazing what a difference it makes if I miss one).  After examining the x-rays he showed me how the disk in the lower back did not have the fullness of the other disks and that they were ‘degenerative’ meaning basically they had been flattened by an extreme event- like falling down a flight of stairs.  This had led to the chronic pain.

The good news is the doctor is confident if I keep with the treatment, keep swimming and stretch like I should than it will continue to grow and heal.

But just think what this means for a second- we now know for sure that I fractured a bone in my upper back and hurt a disk in my lower back and yet I kept on training?  How crazy is that?  Who says this girl can’t handle some serious stuff…

So now I’m armed with knowledge and a doctor that will treat me as long as I need (you pay up front for treatment until you are pain free!). I also have the comfort of hearing a doctor finally say

“So all that time you weren’t making it up.  You were really in pain”.

I really was.  I knew it.  I was just waiting to find someone who believed me.

Oh and I also had surgery on my eyes twice during this time.  Mama Mia!

Have any of you experienced this type of injury or related chronic pain?  What has helped you?  I’d love to hear your stories.

And to all you doctors maybe you should treat people like they are real human beings and believe them when they say they are hurting.  They aren’t drama queens and they don’t need you making up diagnosis, prescribing them weight loss drugs, telling her she needs gastric bypass and treating her like a child.  This is not an assembly line no matter how many patients you see a day.  This is 3 years of my life.  3 years!

Have any of you experienced this type of doctor drama?

 

Peach Dish

I only have a second because I am working but my last box to try came.  Its called Peach Dish.  Its a meal service where you get delivered all the ingredients for a 4 course meal for 2 in the mail.  You can do it on a weekly basis for $20 or individually for $24.  They include all the recipes and everything is healthy and organic/grass fed (even the meat comes with it)

You can also buy grass fed beef and produce in bulk at very reasonable prices from the site.

peach dishI think this is a particularly smart idea if you are like me, single and cooking for 1, or married cooking for 2.  How easy to have everything ready to go? You just have to add oil, salt and pepper!

What do you guys think?  I will be posting a review of my favorite boxes later tonight.  What have looked the most interesting to you?  Which one’s would you subscribe to?  Thanks to all who let me try out there boxes for review at free or discounted prices.  It has been super fun.

Here’s my meal (posted later in the evening)

peach dish2

Slowing Things Down

I don’t think I have mentioned on this blog I have started a new pain treatment at the Utah Chronic Pain Center.  This is a dual approach of hormone balancing and laser/decompression treatment all supervised by nurse practitioners and doctors.   As part of the treatment I am supposed to remain active but not cause my muscles to be overly swollen, tender or pulled.   This would revert all of our progress.  I am also supposed avoid bending, twisting or sudden movement.  As a result I have moved from working out 4-6 times a week to more like 2-3 times a week.  I have also been a little less intense on the diet; although I don’t really have an excuse for that.

I have also been specifically told by the doctor to stop mixed martial arts for the moment because it is too jarring and too much potential for my muscles to be strained.  I miss it and hope to be back soon but for the moment, the treatment is very expensive and I’m inclined to listen. :).

Here’s the weird thing- I feel great.  I feel energetic, happy, and relatively free from pain.  In all the years I was working out hard core I kept expecting to be energetic from exercise but never really felt it.  All those endorphins were a myth to me, never a reality (and I mean never).  I can’t explain it but I feel healthier now than I have in years.  Hmmmm… Why does my body have to be a freakazoid and not response like everyone else’s!  Can any of you relate to what I am saying?  Please, please share your experiences.

Now I have to get training again soon because I have the GSL swim coming up and I have been woefully out of the water this year.  (With everything crazy for Poler and Grabber I haven’t had time to get to the pool as much as I would like.  Going tomorrow though!).

What do you think of this?  Am I just deluding myself that these behaviors are making me feel good.  I don’t think so.  I really feel good.  Most importantly I am not in constant pain when I breath, move, bend over or walk.  What should I do in the future because I don’t want to lose all the training I worked so hard for but it was making me feel terrible and it never got easier after 3 years?  Never.   What would you do?  It’s like I have to decide pain or fat?

It’s so hard because you feel like you should almost be feeling bad when you are training but usually that goes away after a while.  For me it was a constant bad reaction to exercise.  Even swimming would leave me weak and frustrated.  There’s a limit how long a person can live like that especially without losing much weight.

I’m puzzled because it seems to go against what doctors and medical science thinks for me to feel better not exercising.  Thoughts?  All I know is what my body is telling me and it is definitely telling me to slow things down.

slow and steady wins the race
slow and steady wins the race

Holidays and Moving

Honestly folks what was I thinking? And how come nobody whacked me upside the head and said ‘finishing a house New Years Eve will make you crazy’?  I mean isn’t that what friends are for!  🙂 .

All joking aside the gruesome combo of building a house (especially as a first time home buyer) and trying to eek out a good Christmas is not something I’d recommend to anyone else.  It’s been brutal.  My apartment of 3 years is all a flutter, boxes everywhere (the chaos is making me feel chaotic!) and furniture is being sold or attempted to be sold (3 people have stood me up waiting for them to show up.   1 of them was for a free tv.  You think they’d have initiative to come over for a free tv).

The main thing we are waiting on at the house is the cabinets, which finally arrived Friday at the warehouse.  Now we have to find out the install date.  Once the cabinets are installed countertops, appliances, sinks and carpet can all be installed.  Stupid cabinets!

My stomach has been affected by the anxiety and I haven’t been able to digest things well or had much of an appetite.  I’ve felt nauseated and yet my sleep has been bad.

The thing is I know everything will be okay.  Even if I have to move my stuff up to my Dad’s for a few weeks, I have a back up, but knowing that doesn’t seem to make the worry go away.  Last week, for instance, I tried for 4 days to look at the positive and be hopeful, and I was miserable Friday and then Saturday I reached the breaking point where I had to take my anxiety meds (something I am loathe to do).  The only thing that makes me proud is that in the past I would have had a full blown panic attack on Saturday but I kept it under control.

What feels frustrating is I can’t explain it very well.  It’s a non-nonsensical experience.  It makes me feel like an idiot and a also a little guilty.  I know I am so blessed to have a house with amazing tenants.  Even writing that I want to throw up.

Sigh…And then there is Christmas.  I have had a nice holiday season but it has been more of a welcome distraction than a season.  I kind of wish I could pick it up and have it in February instead of December but I’ve done the best I can to be festive and happy.  Will it go down as one of my best Christmases? Probably not. Some of my friends seem to have the perfect responses to being single and stressful at Christmas.  I’m trying but I can only do so much when I feel like my brain is going to explode.  At this point I am on survival mode trying to be as happy and stable as possible, with as few breakdown as possible before move in day.

The truth is  I’ve also felt very close to the spirit during this time.  I know what I’m doing is right and that means everything.  When I feel anxious, prayer and study have helped me to calm down and lessen the nausea.  In a way I suppose I have been able to focus on the true reason for the season because everything has been so crazy.  Yesterday we had a tremendous Christmas program and it reminded me that Jesus Christ was born, lived, and died for me.   He loves me and love means everything.

So to getting through the next 2 weeks without any breakdowns!  (ok maybe 1 or 2 will be allowed? 😉 ).  I will write tomorrow to let you know how my solo crazy Christmas went.  In the meantime Merry Christmas!

(My thoughts have been so jumbled I’ve tried to write this post 3 times and failed so take it for what it is worth.  It’s been a challenging time for me.  Exciting but challenging).

moving-house-holidays

Guest Blogger: Children with Special Needs and Their Moms

When I decided to do NaNoWriMo I asked my friends if any of them would be interested in guest blogging so that I could focus on my book.  I was surprised by the response I got and below is the first guest entry.  It is by my friend Nancy who has a special needs son.  I had asked her a few weeks ago what was the best way to help a family with a special needs son in my ward.  I didn’t want to come across as patronizing or rude but instead helpful and loving.

Nancy gave me some good advice and I suggested she summarize her thoughts for this blog.  I hope it starts a discussion and helps make us all better.  Perhaps if church is not a part of your life you can apply the same suggestions to other situations where you interact with special needs families, making our world a tiny bit better and more Christlike.

Children with Special Needs and Their Moms

My name is Nancy and I am guest posting for Rachel this month. I have had a hard time blogging on my own blog but feel honored to post for her. Rachel and I served a mission in the same mission. I left as she came. My mission prepared me with a few things that would and have helped me in my life. However, it didn’t prepare me for what was fully in store.

In 2005 we found out we were expecting our first child. I was attending the University of Utah and had already applied and started school. We were very newly married and thought we had the whole world figured out. We had planned that I would finish my semester at school and be on my last final and would go and be induced the next day. Our official due date was December 25.

The last week in August we found out we were having a boy. We were very excited and scared and the reality that we were having a baby was setting in. September brought chaos.  Tyler decided to arrive 15 weeks early and was born September 21st weighing 1 lb. 11 oz.

our full story can be found on my blog.

Tyler is now 7. He has several diagnoses and is disabled. He has cerebral palsy, hydrocephalus and is legally blind. Tyler is not in a wheel chair but has very obvious disabilities. He is much delayed and doesn’t act 7, but ranges in abilities from about 2-7. Some days are challenging.

One of the hardest things to do is to go to church with Tyler. In Nursery he had a walker so he was not allowed to go in with his walker because it was a hazard to the other kids, and it really pushed us away for a while. It was easier to not go. As he was older, we have gone back and been active, and inactive, depending on the season. Seems weird to some, but we do what we have to sometimes.

Here are some things that might help others understand disabilities and church and how to approach a mom/dad with special needs and a few big things NOT to say!

So here are some don’ts:

  • Do NOT attend church if you are sick.  If you have been around people who are sick, have had a fever, or just don’t feel well. Kids with special needs tend to have a compromised immune system. Places like church are a breeding ground for sickness. A cold to you is a life threatening illness to them.
  • Don’t tell the parents that it is a “blessing to have a child like that.” Because the truth is, it’s very hard and most people go through a period where they don’t feel it is a blessing. It can also be a source of anger towards Heavenly Father.
  • Don’t be afraid to wonder what is wrong with their child and especially don’t be afraid to ask. Better ask than stare.

For the do’s: (Because there are more positives that you CAN do than not!)

  • Ask AND MEAN what can I do to help? Having a kiddo with special needs is HARD stuff and moms with those kinds of kiddos are tough as nails and don’t have time to sift through the fluff of who is just saying it and who isn’t.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask what their diagnosis is, what it means and offer something to help during church. I haven’t sat through a church service in 7 years. Ty gets overwhelmed. It would be nice to have someone offer to sit out in the foyer for part of sacrament, so I can listen every once in a while.
  • Understand that we are trying to keep our kids quiet and when you see a seven year old playing fetch with his brother in church it isn’t what we WANT them to do, but what we have him do so we can go to church.
  • When they don’t whisper, understand it is ok. Heavenly Father doesn’t’ really care if they are quiet or not. And then, reach up and ask if it is ok if you take him for a walk. Moms are so embarrassed by the loudness of their child, but a quick walk outside is refreshing. We would do it ourselves, but having someone offer gives everyone more blessings. Us for going to church and you for serving.

Those are the ones that I can think of. Heavenly Father understands why you miss church when you are sick; he understands why we stay home if we need to. He understands so much more than what we do as church members. Special needs are hard and not everyone ever accepts it as “Gods will.” It takes a toll on a marriage, family and the child who has the disability. But it also does bless us. I know for us, our testimony of unconditional love is one that only a parent of a child who has accountability missing could have. They don’t know or understand hate.

As the mom of one of these awesome kiddo’s, I appreciate all that anyone is willing to do to learn about my child and how to help him have a better experience. I am willing to talk to anyone about him. I am willing to share a bit of his amazing spirit with anyone who is willing.

Insomnia Specialist

It should be no surprise to any blog reader that I struggle with insomnia.  I have for years.  Even as a child I remember sitting up late at night wondering about things and staring at the wall.    High school and college were plagued with insomnia and even on my mission when I was tired all the time I sometimes struggled to fall asleep.  (My mission was the only time in my life I’ve successfully taken naps but I still sometimes sat up for a half hour to hour trying to wind down from the crazy days).

Well, I’ve recently had a few breakthroughs in my treatment.  I have been seeing an insomnia specialist that is a psychiatrist not an MD.  She can not prescribe medications but works with you to collect data on your sleep and change patterns.  I have been meeting with her for about a month and a half and already noticed some interesting trends:

1. I find it very difficult to sleep without having eaten and not just a snack.  Preferably something sweet seems to be helpful.  I’m not sure if this is the blood sugar that makes me tired or if it is something psychological but it’s certainly fascinating.  The doctor asked me if food gives me anxiety and at first I said NO!  I hate that fat person cliche that we are always crying into a pan of brownies, not true!  Still, I had to admit that the whole process of losing weight and food management does give me some anxiety (which is a different question than does it make me emotional).  It made me think of being a fat little girl who was bullied and I wonder if that anxiety made me a child insomniac?

2. I typically went to sleep around 2 am and woke up between 7 and 8.  We are trying to train my brain to sleep when I tell it to go to sleep so we’ve been forcing myself to stay up until 2 and wake up at 7:30.  It’s been hard but I think it is actually working.  I find myself getting tired earlier than last month.  Maybe it is just my rebellious nature? Can’t be told what to do even by myself!

3.  My doctor ordered me to not have blue light electronics (tv, ipod, phone, computer, etc) an hour before I went to bed.  I was skeptical but I must admit it seems to be helping me feel more tired.  Part of it is I have just been getting bored.  I can read for a little while but I’ve had a hard time thinking of anything else I could do for that hour but sleep and listen to an audiobook.  I’m not going to say the problem is so easily solved but I’m encouraged by the progress in the last week.

4. There are a lot of insomnia myths out there that don’t seem to make much of a difference for me.  For instance, the not eating after 8 pm rule clearly does not work for me (see rule #1).  Eating spicy food and even caffeine in the afternoon doesn’t seem to affect when I go to sleep.  I also can’t take a bath or shower.  Nothing will wake me up faster than that.  Sometimes I can’t even wash my face or brush my teeth (don’t worry do it in the morning) because the water (and peppermint) will wake me up.

5.  Still incredibly sensitive to light, sound and any other stimulus.  Can’t wait to move into my new house away from the pond and tree where I can customize my curtains and get the ultimate perfect sleep! It is my dream to have everything like at the hotel rooms I’ve stayed at.  When I stayed at the Hampton Inn in Folsom I slept for 12 hours! That’s the difference a controlled sleep environment makes for me, more than double my normal sleep!

6. Go to bed only when you are sleepy.  This I learned from my regular sleep doctor but its been reinforced the last few weeks. Never try to get yourself to sleep for more than 20 minutes.  If you can’t sleep get up do something and then when you feel tired try again.  When I think of that horrible incident in February where I couldn’t sleep for over 2 days a lot of it might have been solved if I had just stopped trying and done other things (although my brain was so worked up then I don’t know if that’s the case)

So, I think that’s a lot to learn in such a short period of time.  I’m grateful for good doctors while they last and soaking up all the knowledge I can.  My endocrinologist decided to not do the pay for practice so I have lost him… 😦  I don’t know what I’m going to do.  Makes me weary just thinking about it- maybe that’s the cure for insomnia, think about finding a doctor!

I know many of you struggle with insomnia and I’d encourage you to keep a detailed sleep log and try different strategies, even if they seem counter-intuitive (like eating before bed) and see what works.  I’d be curious to hear your findings and how they match up with mine.

Btw, the name of my doctor is Dr. Lori Neeleman and she is such an easy person to talk to, so insightful.  I really like her.

 

 

Strabismus Success and The Difference

I just wanted to show all of you why I got the strabismus surgery and went through all that pain.  Some of you may have wondered “I didn’t notice a weird thing in Rachel’s eye.  Why did she go through that?”

Here’s why.  Look at the difference between these 2 pictures.  One taken in January, one yesterday.

Before Strabismus surgery.

It is almost painful for me to look at this photo.  My alignment is so clearly off and it had serious impact on my mental, physical and social health.  It made dating challenging, job interviews impossible, and even a barrage of other activities difficult.

Here is my face today:

Pretty amazing difference. Right!

Just wanted to share that with you because to me it is very exciting!  I’m so grateful to my doctor and all the nurses, family and friends who supported me.

To read all my posts on this surgery check out these links.

https://smilingldsgirl.wordpress.com/?s=strabismus

Things to Help and Hurt an Anxiety Attack

Cycle of Anxiety

Hello readers.  As you all know I suffer from mild anxiety and occasional panic attacks.  I find that those not familiar with mental illness struggle to help people out of an attack.  I am no doctor but after dealing with this for most my adult life here’s my advice

THINGS THAT HELP

1. Continual encouragement.  Remind them the episode is like a foot cramp, temporary and it will be over. ‘You can do this’.  ‘This is really hard’.  ‘We love you no matter what’.

2. Remind them of the deep breathing exercises and get them to walk, eat, do something physical.  Make sure they are not suicidal and do not need immediate hospitalization.   If they really can’t breathe and their symptoms are getting severe (heart palpitations, seizures, temperature) take them to the hospital.

3. Ask them to think of some of the processing skills learned in therapy.  In my case I study cognitive therapy so using my charts to write it out can help.

4. Remind them that they are not stupid and then when they inevitably feel guilty over the attack and apologize just let it go say something like ‘that’s what family is for’ or ‘we are always there for you’

5. Try to be empathetic and tell them (even if you have a to fake it a little) ‘I can see how that would be very upsetting’.

6.  Distraction can be very helpful in calming down the mood.  A song, a board game, a trip to anywhere can be helpful.

7. Medication can be a powerful and helpful tool.  I use it on an as needed basis and sometimes it has saved my life.

8.  Get them to make a decision.  Often for me the what if’s, should be’s and what will they thinks are  at the root of most of my anxiety.  By making a decision I am taking control and will feel more confident (sometimes quite dramatically).

9.  In general I find to be as practical as possible is helpful.  What I mean is get them to think of something practical they can do immediately to give some confidence like make a sandwich, get a glass of water, or do an errand.

10.  Realize some people may be triggers and should just be avoided during this sensitive period.

11.  Meditation and essential oils really do help me.

12.  Realize that every anxiety/panic attack I’ve had has been one of the scariest experiences of my life.  For about 30 seconds I feel like I’m going to die.  It is awful.

I’ve learned a lot over the years but I will always have the potential for anxiety. It will never completely go away.

THINGS TO NOT DO!

1. Do not tell them that things could be so much worse and life is terrible for wounded warriors or starving children in Malaysia and that we should all just ‘grow up’.   I feel anxious just writing that sentence down.

2. Do not try to solve whatever problem it is at least at first.  My first panic attack I ever had was because a kindly boss agreed to solve an employee dispute I was in on Monday.  This meant I had 3 days to worry and panic about what would happen.

3. Saying things like ‘well, you should just quit your job/marriage/friendship whatever if its causing such anxiety’ is not really helpful.

3. Do not assume they need to talk it out.  That can be the worst thing.   Eventually yes, but not in the moment of the attack.

4.  Do not tell them you understand unless you really understand.

5. PROBABLY MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL-  Do not look for or expect a rational explanation or problem.  Again, people have anxiety over opening a door or shaking a hand.  It is not a rational experience.  That does not mean it is stupid or they are a weirdo.  We all have irrational responses to life.  How many of us shrink back at a garden snake that is harmless or shriek at a spider that is almost always harmless.

6.  At least for me solving the exact trigger for the panic attack does not help much because it like fixing a decoration of a cake made out of glue.  The tipping point is just one part of all of the things, so trying to fix that one thing does nothing and may add additional anxiety.

7.  Realize that stress and anxiety are not the same thing.  My last post I wrote about stress.  That is day to day, how am I going to get everything done emotion.  Anxiety is like a fever of the brain.

8.  Don’t assume saying ‘calm down’ will do the trick.  That puts pressure on the person and can actually cause more anxiety.   “I love you”.  “You can do this”.  “It will be Ok”  Much better.

READ FEELING GOOD by DAVID BURNS.  It gives you so many PRACTICAL solutions to help.

Long of short of it- I’m not going to slam the dam any more.  Extrapolate from that and the post above what you will 🙂

Ok.  Got tons of work to do today.  Getting to it!  🙂

I took from some inspiration for this post from Jamie from her blog James and Jax blog.  Her post is great as well and I did get her permission for using her inspiration.   http://jamesandjax.com/2012/04/09/what-to-say-to-someone-having-anxiety-6-suggestions/

Day 3 Recovery Strabismus

Quick update on my condition.  I am doing pretty well.  Eyes feel more irritated now than anything else.  Sore, puffy and putting off a lot of fluid.  I honestly wish I could take the rest of next week off but I’m also getting stir crazy so work will be good also.

My Mom left this morning and I will miss her. What a treat to have a mother in my home, taking care of me.  My Mother is so good at mothering.  She is warm, kind, interesting and wonderful.  We had a pleasant visit despite the surgery.

My best friend Emily came and visited today which was wonderful.  I have been itching for company because I can’t really read or focus on TV for long so chatting with friends is so great.  I wish we lived in a world where people paid visits on a regular basis.  That was a nice tradition of the past.  Now I think everyone has to have a reason or event to get together.  Just visiting for the sake of visiting is a rarity.

Still, I’ve been grateful for my friends and especially their prayers on my behalf.

I haven’t driven yet but I’m hopeful that I can drive to church tomorrow.  We will see how I feel.  I can see fine but it hurts when I focus for about 30 seconds.  My eyes get sore and I tear up.  It would be kind of like driving when crying.  (It was funny yesterday I went to pick out colors with my Mom for my townhouse and a lady came in and looked at me like ‘why is she crying when picking out colors?’.  I explained it was my eyes not my emotions!

Anyway, in conclusion, the recovery is going well.  Still feel tired and eyes feel puffy, itchy and are very red.  The itching really is the worst.  It is so hard to not touch your eyes when they are itchy.  I keep my eyes patched sometimes just to keep me from itching and touching it.  I may call the doctor on Monday and see what he can do about the itching and puffiness.

Starting tonight I have to put my own eye drops in.  It is challenging.  That is a benefit of living with someone.  Someone to put drops in!

Each day shows improvement and I’m grateful for that.  Please continue to send those prayers my way.  Not seeing double any more so I’m grateful for that!

Eyes today.

 

Strabismus Round 2

After surgery in the recovery room

I can’t write much because I can only focus for about 30 seconds at a time but I wanted to update my readers on my surgery.   Last year I had a strabismus surgery where they create an incision in your eye and move it with a suture to try and align the eye.   This helps you to not see double or have a lazy eye like I do.

Unfortunately my eye did not accept the new alignment and reverted back to most of its original position (was a 20 right left last year, down to 8 after surgery, back up to 14 this year, 25 up and down).

So I went in yesterday and my wonderful doctor, Dr. Peterson at Rocky Mountain Eye Care, performed the surgery.  This time on both eyes with the sutures on my left eye instead of right like last year.

I was very impressed with everyone at the IHC Surgical Center in Murray.  All of the nurses were very reassuring and kind.  The anesthesiologist put in my IV because my veins wiggle so much and are so hard to find.  I was grateful that the nurses didn’t poke and prod me like last year. The operating nurse was wonderful and very reassuring.  We talked about Hawaii and how much I love it as I went under (not a bad way to enter the zzzz)

I also went with a different pain medication, perkiset, instead of lortab, and I responded much more favorably to it.

Wish I could say the same about the anesthesia.  It makes me very nauseated.  Even with the zofram I vomited when I woke up.  Luckily I had a pretty good nurse who was a tough cookie.  Instead of consoling or feeling bad she just said ‘get it out and you’ll feel better’.  Its true.   Anyway, it wasn’t pleasant waking up from surgery but my time in the recovery room wasn’t quite as long as last year.

I don’t know how anyone can go through a surgery for purely cosmetic reasons like plastic surgery.  It is so miserable for me.

A 2 eyed pirate

After about an hour they wheeled me into the recovery room and my Mom was there.  She kindly came out to take care of me, which is such a treat.  I told her I may have to undergo surgery every year to get 4 days of her all to myself.  Thanks to my Dad for holding down the fort in Cali so my Mom could come.

Luckily I didn’t throw up in the car this time going to the doctors for the final suture adjustment.  They have to do that after I’m awake to make it the most accurate.  This was painful but my doctor is so reassuring and kind it helps.  My only complaint was having to wait a long time when I was so uncomfortable but oh well.

So I got home and my sister Anna came up to help which was very nice and I had tons of well wishers and even a visitor (Thanks Melissa).  I listened to audiobooks (reading wonderful memoir by Marcus Samuelson called Yes Chef) and guazed both eyes in spurts.  The perkiset helps a lot with the pain.  Its a strange pain kind of like a prickly burning feeling more than a stabbing pain.  The sutures itch which is obviously uncomfortable and I found it difficult to sleep with my eyes burning but have been trying to rest as much as possible.

I’ve also been enjoying a few breaks from the diet.  (I mean if there was ever a moment for comfort food this is it 🙂  ).    Today I am going to have one of my favorite things in the world- Harmons fried chicken.  A very rare but delicious treat.   I also love frog eye salad and anything smooth.  (My throat is still a little sore from the tube they insert during surgery.)

I love frog eye salad when I’m sick. It doesn’t have a strong flavor and is so yummy. Never eat it in regular life.

Today I feel some improvement and I am not as sick from the anesthesia as I was last year.   Its hard because my world is still very fuzzy and my eyes are irritated and sore but I think I’m improving from last year.

Anyway, thanks so much for all of the love and support I have received.  I have felt the prayers of people from all over the country building me up.  I am so blessed.  Please come on out and visit as I’m sure tomorrow and Saturday I will be quite bored but still needing to rest. 🙂

Please also continue to keep me in your thoughts and prayers.  I need them!

I’m thankful to all my friends, family, good doctor and nurses and my eyes.  Here’s to hoping the surgery takes this year and I won’t need a repeat again. 🙂

My eyes today. I should go to a twilight screening with my red eyes 🙂

Sorry if this isn’t quite up to my usual posts.  I am touch typing it and my brain is still a little cloudy.  Love you all.