Category: Health/sickness

A Lousy Sick Person

I remember the good old days when being sick meant chicken soup, movie watching, slurpees and my Mom reading me a story and giving me a hot towel to feel better…Sigh for those days are long ago. (I obviously had a great mother right!)

Working from home is a great blessing but I have a hard time really resting.  I regularly suffer from insomnia and unfortunately this does not decrease when I am sick.  I can’t seem to turn off all of the things left to do and it is so easy to do them, that far too often I do.  I technically took 6 hours of vacation  today but I should not have because I really worked all day.  Sigh…

So here was my sick day.  I woke up and worked solid until about 11.  Then I was coughing so much I had to lie down.

Cough, cough, cough
Trying to rest

I took some cold medicine and read my book club book Macbeth by Shakespeare (very enjoyable).   I still felt antsy and couldn’t relax.  I stopped an answered more emails, all which seemed immediate and I was grateful I had answered them.  (That is my greatest problem.  I am sure they could wait but in the moment it does not feel like they could).

I went to an insomnia specialist on Tuesday and we talked about my anxiety and struggles relaxing.  She challenged me to turn off my cell phone for 4 hours.  As she was saying it I grew involuntarily tense like she had put a spell on me.  I was surprised  by the strength of the response.  She quickly said in alarm ‘we don’t have to do that right away…’.  I want to work on this but not sure how. We’ll see.  I will keep chipping away at it.

Anyway, I decided to make some soup for sick little old me.  It was a lentil soup mix I had that required adding carrots, onions and celery.  I was chopping the ingredients (I had all 3 from bountiful baskets) and cut my finger badly.

Poor sad finger

I was worried I would pass out when I cut it and my whole arm felt tingly.  Luckily it healed up pretty good.

So then I tried to rest some more but I felt guilty for not checking the PO Box for Poler so I went out to get the mail.  Nothing there.  However, I used the chance to go and get my sick tradition- Slurpee (At least some things don’t change!).

Don’t worry sugar free

So now I will try to eat something tonight but I have no appetite when I’m sick.  It is the one time I wish I had a roommate.  Someone who could get me something tasty and comforting….Sigh.

I just hope can recover because there is far too much to do right now.

See what I mean.  I make a lousy sick person!

So there is my sick day.

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

2 Weeks Post Strabismus Surgery

So its been an interesting couple of weeks for me.  Still have a ways to go before the sutures dissolve and I am back on the mend.  I can’t wait until they dissolve because they itch!  My eyes just feel like I have bad allergies.  Puffy, sore, red, itchy.  Once the sutures dissolve there will be 6-12 months of vision therapy to try and help things stay in their place.  It’s going to be a long road but I’m excited!  To see better.  To see people better.  What can be bigger than that?

Here I was 2 weeks ago:

After surgery in the recovery room

Here I am today.  I think you could say contrast!

Big difference!

I am very grateful for good doctors that treat both conditions and patients.  I’m grateful for new and emerging technologies and how they bless my life.  I’m grateful for my eyes and that they can see at all with all the problems.  I hope they have it in them to see in a new way.  Hope and pray.

The New Year is coming!  I have one race left in October (which I am woefully unprepared for) but also Thanksgiving and Christmas on my own.  And my new townhouse!  That’s a lot of firsts!  I can’t wait to see all of that with my new aligned equal eyes!  Wahoo!

And I hope to someday be able to look all of my loved one’s in the eye and say ‘I love you more than you will ever know’.

 

 

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.

Waiting

strabismus surgery on my eye coming up Wednesday

I don’t know if there is anything worse than waiting. Especially waiting for something unpleasant.  I suppose waiting for your wedding day might not be so bad but waiting for surgery is the worst!  Trust me I know!

On Wednesday I have my strabismus surgery.  I had it last year and the recovery wasn’t too bad, but the day of the surgery was brutal. Recovering from the anesthesia was the worst of it. They also gave me lortab which made me sick and nauseated.  Hopefully this time now that they are changing that medicine my recovery from the anesthesia will be better.   I really don’t know how people undergo surgery just for cosmetic reasons.  The whole experience is awful.  A few months ago I had a discussion on facebook with some people that acted like cosmetic surgery was no bigger deal than a hair cut.  They clearly recover better than me!

https://smilingldsgirl.wordpress.com/2011/05/28/one-eyed-vampire/

My doctor also said my recovery from the surgery will be more challenging this time.  I have scar tissue from last year that will cause more pain and redness.  (Pleasant to think of hah!  The mind reels!).    This time I am going to do some eye therapy to try and make the surgery stick.  I hope it does!  Anyone out there had experience with eye therapy?  Anyone out there had strabismus surgery and done anything to make it more effective afterwards?  I would love to hear any of your experiences.

In the meantime I am waiting.  I hate waiting.  On my mission my mission president made me right a 20 page paper on patience (He saw the academic in me and the impatience!).  I guess I am a bit of a control freak (aren’t most people in the end control freaks?  Don’t most people want to have control over their lives?).    That’s why I hate dating.  No control.

Anyway, it sucks.  Please come out and visit me Thursday-Sunday.  Would love it.  My Mother is coming into town tonight which is the joy of having surgery.  I get to be taken care of by my mother.  I have not been a needy kid and the downside of being from a family of 6 kids is that I rarely get the lone attention of my Mother and what girl doesn’t want that?   Thanks Mom!

I also get meals on Wednesday and Thursday from the Relief Society.  My first time! That’s the benefit of being in the family ward.

So how do you handle the waiting in your life?  In the end, I suppose all we can do is put the waiting in God’s hands and ask Him for strength and patience.  Like the scripture says “In your patience possess ye your souls” (Luke 21:19).

Please send prayers my way that the surgery will work and that my Doctor will be inspired and watched over.

strabismus surgery

Well, I will end with a joke:

Things you never want to hear your surgeon say:

• Now where did I put that scalpel…. I KNOW I just had it a minute ago…..
• Ooooppppssss!!!!!
• I need that hooky thing, you know the one with the little…..
• AhhhhhhhhChooooooo!
• What the hell is THAT ???
• Ok, now where should I put this
• I’m sooooo tired I can hardly see straight
• Damn! lost one of my contact
• Wait a minute, if this is his spleen, then what’s that?
• Accept this sacrifice, O Great Lord of Darkness
• Bo! Bo! Come back with that! Bad Dog!
• There go the lights again…
• Ya’ know… there’s big money in kidneys… and this guy’s got two of ’em
• Are his relatives waiting outside?
• What do you mean, “You want a divorce”!!!
• FIRE! FIRE! Everyone get out!
• This scissor looks rusted
• Rats! Page 47 of the manual is missing!
• Isn’t this the one with the really lousy insurance?
• Now where did this spider come in from
• Hmm!! Looks like I removed the wrong one!!!!!
• Yes, nurse, hand me the whatchamagigger and the doohickey and hold this whatchamicallit, while I get a hold of the thingamabob. Thanks

 

 

Best Sick Day Movies

Throughout my life when I push myself I almost always get sick right after (doesn’t bode well if I ever have a honeymoon! 🙂 ).  Even when I was in high school after a swim meet or play I would get sick the next week.  These are not imagined illnesses but real legitimate sicknesses.  It is then no surprise after my 5k that yesterday I felt unwell all day.  I tried to fight it through lunch with an old friend but when I got home it was official.  I was sick.  I wish I could stop this from happening but it seems no matter how hard I try with the positive self-talk my body can only take so much and it becomes vulnerable.

Anyway, today I was sick and despite a few emails (it is impossible for me to not work a little in a day!) I had the whole day to hang around.  What do you do when you aren’t feeling well and need to get in some healing time? Watch some movies of course!

Everyone knows I have a large DVD collection and I have no problem watching a movie again and again.  There are movies I have that I could watch back to back repeatedly.  I have whole scenes memorized.

So what movies do I reach for when I’m sick?

1. Guys and Dolls- The song Adelaide’s Lament is probably the best song ever written about being sick.

2. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off- What we all wish we could do on our day off instead of being sick.

3.Disney Nostalgia movies like Parent Trap, Old Yeller, Mary Poppins, Pollyanna, Swiss Family Robinson.  Something about the nostalgic movies are comforting, like a hug from your mother.  I love these types of movies.  I wish that quality family films were more frequently made today.

4. BBC Miniseries- When you are sick you have lots of time in bed so what better than to watch a 7 hour movie from the BBC like good old Downton Abbey, North and South or Pride and Prejudice.  I can’t think of a much better way to spend a day even if you are sick!

5. TV on DVD.  I love to get out my series and watch a bunch of Simpsons, Cosby Show, Reba or The Golden Girls.  You can fall asleep for hours and just start a new episode.

6. Dorris Day romantic movies such as Pillow Talk or Calamity Jane.  Also Bringing Up Baby, His Girl Friday and Talk of the Town are favorite comedies that I could watch a million times.  Let’s be honest we are all a little depressed when we are sick and good laugh never hurt anyone.

What are some of your favorites?

Also- after a day of rest I’m thankfully feeling much better!