Wednesday, November 27, 2013
I cannot help myself---I keep thinking about what my doctor said about the possibility of my back simply breaking at some random time. I was so scared of the proposed surgery, but I cannot even garner much in the way of thoughts and feelings about that when I keep thinking that I could be doing anything and my back might simply break. I'm thinking it would be best to be proactive and have them do it medically rather than letting nature do it at some time to be announced while I could be at work, in the pool, at church, taking a shower, sleeping, even eating. I am a nervous wreck with this important knowledge. I think it is easy to understand why I hadn't been told earlier. I just want to know what is best for me.
I understnad the dangers in any surgery that requires you to be on your stomach and under anesthesia for more than a couple of hours. You can lose memory or you can be come blind--or of course, you can die. I am sure that the act of taking the vertebrae in your back apart and reassembling them is dangerous and that the time it takes to build a "little cage around your spine" to keep it in place is more than a few moments.
I need to go finish shopping for Thanksgiving in a few minutes and I will play games on my phone to try and just keep my brain off these topics. I need to think about all of this at some point, but it isn't now. I am not liking it seeping into my thoughts right now. I sure wish that they would have given me all of the information when I asked instead of putting me off.
OK--my husband is ready to go, time for my happy face and my phone. Live on Candy Crush...
PS Happy Thanksgiving from our house to yours. Having another daughter is a wonderful thing and I am so glad that she and my son are making this official. I know there's a date now--so the race is on for them!!
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
I've had this lousy cold in my chest for a complete week as of today and it is not letting up. I know it is a major contributor to my mood and tired feelings right now. However it is not the only part of things nor is it the biggest problem I am facing.
I called my pain doc last Thursday. He gave me his home number and his cell number some five or more years ago and I am very careful to not take advantage of it. However, this dilemma with the treatment of my back issues is driving me wild. I told him the story and I physically heard him sigh, with relief. He told me that he and some of my other doctors have been afraid that at some point my "back would simply break" as I was living my life. He told me that quite honestly, he knows that the "quality of my life is $hitty." That caught me way off guard and we had an honest talk about things. He told me that if he were telling me what to do that I should call the folks at Mayo and tell them that I wanted both, the ablation for short term pain relief and the surgery to repair and strengthen my back.
I decided that I should at least talk to the doctor at Mayo about what my doctors here are saying, so when they called to schedule the ablation, there is a time gap of an entire day during the procedures and I asked if I could have an appointment with the doctor to discuss this. Her nurse called me back today with a succinct message, "she is not a surgical candidate." The nurse was very uncomfortable with something--and she told me that they are "very conservative at Mayo." We had a very uncomfortable silence and I told her that there was nothing else I could do about that and that to go ahead with the week of appointments for the ablation procedure.
I called my pain doc back this evening and we talked some more. I found out at almost the same time that he inadvertently ran into my husband and daughter today. My husband thanked him for helping me when we talked and he told my husband that he wanted to see me have a chance to a decent life. He explained that the surgery I was looking at basically involves correcting the issues in my spine and then building a tight cage around it to hold it in place. It is a grueling, long procedure with risks for the patient. Some of those risks certainly involve being under anesthesia so long as you lie on your stomach. One possible issue with any procedure over an hour or so long in that position is blindness. Anyway, he told me and my family that he would help me to get any referrals to any doctors I might decide that I want.
I have decided to call the doctor who gave me the diagnosis in the first place and ask for a referral to University Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. I need to learn more about all of this and to make sure that I am not shooting myself in the foot by either not having the surgery or by agreeing to do it. I do not know enough about any of this. I think that getting a second and third and fourth opinion when so much is at stake is important. I think having all of the available information is important to drive what could be the first chance at being able to walk unassisted since the turn of the century--13 years. I need some help. I understand that the folks at Mayo want to help me in the safest way possible. I understand that I have doctors here who have tried almost everything there is to help me.)
I asked my pain doc why we haven't tried an ablation and he told me that he hadn't had any indication that going through this procedure would give me relief, let alone the long-term relief I need. I am aware that if it gives me any pain relief that this week long process in Rochester has to be repeated every 6 months. If I had it done here, it is at least a month until the first appointment and then each part of the procedure will be several days apart. It isn't exactly an easy solution either. It might be easier than life-threatening surgery though.
This is bigger than a big, life-changing decision. There is no good answer and there is no easy solution to my need for a decision. However, I won't die if I take my time--I just won't get any better. I won't have any better of a life and I won't have a worse one in the short term, but if I wait, my back might simply break during some daily life activities. It might not too.
Does anybody see any stress in my world? If this isn't enough, I have other things going on as well... I could list them but those of you who know me well know many of my regular stressors and those of you who don't know me probably don't want to listen to a perfect stranger whining about the issues in my life which may or may not be different than your own.
All of this and a cold too.
Is life working overtime to cause me grief?
And, I fell asleep around 9 tonight and woke up at 11:45. I took my pain meds and am hoping to get back to sleep soon... I need it.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
I started losing my voice yesterday and on my way home from work, I had a headache that was so nasty that I put the seat down in a reclining type position and couldn't open my eyes. Since then, I have been fighting to maintain my mood and attitude. I think it is a sinus/ cold thing but with my back issues, I don't have the energy to cope with it. I hope that it doesn't take the traditional week to get rid of it because that may wear me out altogether.
I called the folks at Mayo last Friday to share my sad update that the injections didn't make a difference and to discuss what we need to do next. The spine doc's nurse told me that she would relay the message to her and they would get back to me on Monday or Tuesday. Well, that hasn't happened yet, so I'm expecting to talk with her tomorrow.
The work load I'm dealing with is adding a lot to my mood and my attitude. I am feeling overwhelmed with the big number of students in our building, the big number I am seeing, the big number on my "waiting lists" that I cannot fit into my day and the big number in each classroom that is growing daily who teachers cannot physically get to as much as they would like if they could only do it. We have classrooms with 30 children in them and that number might grow all the way to 35 for math when the kids get put into math groups that match their own academic needs. That is too many children in primary grades for one classroom. Even third graders are young children and they don't need to be jammed into classrooms so crowded. I wish that the state of Illinois and our communities around here could fix these problems. I want these future leaders to get a better start to their educational careers.
I'm wishing that everyone, myself included, has a wonderful Wednesday. My day will start with a meeting and end with two more meetings before I head to physical therapy. It will be another long, long day.
Thursday, November 14, 2013
I want to share something so beautiful that happened in our lives recently that helped make up for a period of great difficulty going on in my life.
Our son Mitchell began running to help himself lose some weight and get more healthy. He ran his first half marathon in April. About a week and a half ago, he traveled to Norwalk, WI and ran his first marathon, the "Rails to Trails." (Hmm, or was it Trails to Rails? Not an entirely important detail at this moment...) He finished it in 5:01.
Anyway, at the end of the race, in a wonderfully choreographed plan, with a lot of friend present who came to cheer Mitchell on, he "dropped on one knee and asked Laura a very important question."
He bought the ring and had it shipped to our house. He invited a special group of their friends to the race. One of them held the ring so it didn't get lost. She jumped into the last five minutes of the race to "push him on," but really to hand the ring back to him. He had people in the right places to take photos. He sent her parents and us an email letting us know what was going on since we couldn't be there.
Oh, by the way, if the expression on her face didn't tell you--she said "yes." I don't know if there's a date yet, but I do know this is the sweetest thing ever. It was great to have good news--and it was wonderful to share this happiness with you.
Saturday, November 09, 2013
I've been busy, overwhelmingly busy. I can't get time to do much of anything--I worked until after 6:30 twice this week. I can't seem to get caught up. I'm tired too, it is all I can do to work these days. Any thoughts on this?
As for pain, my bubble has burst. It seems as if these injections hav already worn off and aren't helping me. I don't know where exactly this will take me. I call the spine doc at Mayo Clinic at the end of the week. I intend to talk to Dr. F this week (Tuesday) to run everything that I've learned by him to see what his take is. My pain doctor knows my anatomy better than any other living soul but me. I do know that stress can exaggerate pain and fibromyalgia, so I am doing my best to eliminate my stresses and to manage what I can't eliminate in order to care for myself. I am faithfully keeping my pain journal, so hopefully we will find some patterns and triggers in it.
Speaking of, our 15 year old is going through the nastiest case of adolescent opposition that I have ever been through. He hasn't been kind or cooperative with me or Floyd in weeks and it is very hurtful. He is taking the bulk of his anger out on me, most likely because he has been able to talk to me and I have listened to whatever he has needed and wanted for his entire life. He seems to be striking out against me because he knows I love him and that I care. He is resisting all parental controls and decisions, and his resistance is hateful and hurtful. I'm trying to understand that it is a phase and not personal, but it wears me down when it doesn't let up on me. I have taken away his access to the Internet for as long as it takes. He moves between negotiating and anger...
Floyd got some orchid plants for our anniversary on Wednesday and he took me out to dinner. Last night, I left work just before 7 and Miles took Micah, his father and I out to dinner. There have been some nice things taking place this week. It is hard to enjoy them the way I'd like to with work being at the level it is at. I'm having a lot of difficulties with such an overwhelming workload that is getting increased multiple times a day at anybody's whims. I'm afraid to open my work email these days because of what it may tell me that I have to do that's an added activity. I have a good 8 hours of work sitting here this weekend and am hoping to catch up. Today is the day for my lunch date with my best friend, then I'm going to the pool before I go to school to do a couple of hours of work. It is my goal to get my work load under control during this three day weekend to give myself some respite. When work reconvenes. It's a gift to my well being like going to the pool.
That's about all I can share. I've been receiving notes from my friends who are missing me and my participation here. You are not forgotten, I am simply on over load and the real world trumps the cyber world. I have always hesitated taking on too much here at SP because I know what teaching can be about and how it can take more than it's fair share in my life. I do it because it is that important to start with and because I cannot do it any other way. I'm committed to my students and my profession right after my family. Everything else comes in next.
Please trust that I haven't forgotten and that ill be back when time allows and I have some breathing space. Wen a teacher misses work, that teacher has far more work than. Se had to start with. Tis is a big difference than any other vocation that I am aware of. Even I didn't expect all of this after missing 4 days last week.
Get An Email Alert Each Time ENUFF81020 Posts