Monday, December 22, 2008

Absence

I can't believe it's been 2 weeks since I've been able to sit down & blog. No, I haven't been on vacation. No, I haven't been busy preparing for Christmas. Heck, I haven't even finished my shopping yet nor have I wrapped any of my gifts, baked any cookies or even finished decorating our tree (see pics below). All of that has been put on the back burner due to my health problems. What started out as shoulder pain 5 weeks ago (or is it 6 weeks now?) has led to so many more problems that I don't even know where to start! Thursday, December 11th, my orthopedic surgeon had a cancellation, so I jumped on it. After he saw the pain I was in, he decided that a cortizone shot would be best for me, along with physical therapy. So I got the shot that day, hoping & praying that this was the end to my problems. On Saturday, the 13th, I spent 8 hours in the ER from Kidney Stones! The pain started Friday afternoon & by Saturday morning, I couldn't even crawl out of bed! This was my first time going to this particular hospital for anything, other than for my MRI of my shoulder & let's just say, it'll be my last, too! To put it mildly, the care sucked! Since I was also constipated (okay, I know, TMI, huh?), they decided that I just needed to have an enema before they even tried to find out why I was in so much pain! Okay, no problem.....I can handle an enema.....at that point, I just wanted out of pain! One of the nurses brought in this bag of stuff that looked like something chocolate, but it sure didn't look like something I wanted to drink! Turns out, the enema was made from milk & molasses! YUCK! And it was the most disgusting thing I think I've ever had to endure! Who the heck thinks up these things anyway??? About 3 hours later, they finally decide to take me down to get a CAT scan & after waiting another 2 hours for the results, I was told that it looked like I had already passed the kidney stones as there was blood in my urine, but they still saw one in my kidney.
So my family doctor wanted to schedule me for an ultrasound of my kidneys, which I had done on Thursday, the 18th. Jim took the day off work so he could drive me to the hospital for the ultrasound as I was still in a LOT of pain with my shoulder (so much for that cortizone shot working!). Afterwards, I had another appointment with my orthopedic surgeon to find out why the pain in my shoulder was getting worse.....at this point, I couldn't even raise my left arm. Jim even had to help me wash my hair! Well, let's just say that I'm not too happy with my orthopedic surgeon right now, either! He didn't even look at my shoulder that day.....now his attention was on my hand because when I got there, Jim noticed that my left hand was cold & swelling up. The orthopedic surgeon then mentioned something called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy & called a hand specialist. He wanted me to go to this doctor on Friday, told me to cancel all of my physical theraphy for now, which I still didn't get a chance to start because the office couldn't get me in yet & that was that....didn't even do anything else about my shoulder. Afterwards, I went back to see my family doctor as he said he wanted to see me if I still wasn't feeling any better.....plus I needed to get some more pain meds! Luckily, I have a wonderful family doctor & he got me right in, but there's only so much he can do. He's now worried that maybe there's something wrong with my neck area instead, since now the pain is going into my feet, legs, hands & arms. So he decided to order another MRI, this time of my neck.
On Friday morning, they were forecasting 6-10 inches of snow! The appointment with the hand doctor was down in Warren, a good 30-45 minutes away from us on a regular day, so I knew that there was no way we were going to even attempt to go to the appointment. Jim called the office to cancel our 8:15 a.m. appointment which the orthopedic surgeon set up for us. The lady told Jim that we didn't have an appoinment at 8:15.....instead, she said it was at 11:00 a.m.! Do you have any idea how pissed I would have been if we would have gone there, only to find out that our appointment was almost 3 hours later?!? She then said that they probably wouldn't be open anyway with the snow storm.
Saturday evening was my appointment for my MRI on my neck. She did a regular one first & then injected me with some kind of dye & did some more tests. This time, I decided to ask if they could tell me anything, but she apologized & said she can't :( So now I wait some more......I just hope & pray that they'll know something before Christmas! This past weekend the pain was the worst! Jim had to get out his crutches for me to even get around the house! My feet have been throbbing for the past 48+ hours. But let me tell you, I have the absolute BEST husband in the entire world! He's helped me take showers, wash my hair, dried me off, blow-dried my hair for me, did all the laundry, cleaned the house, shoveled the snow, made fudge, ran errands AND put up with me the whole time! All while still battling a cold himself! Yep, now I know why I'll be happily celebrating 19 years with this man on Christmas Eve!

All of the above pictures are of the snowstorm we got on Friday. Our town/area was hit the hardest with 12"! Plus we've had at least another 6" since then! I think we'll definitely be having a white Christmas. But then again, they are calling for rain on Christmas Eve! What a mess that'll make!
Here is our partially decorated Christmas Tree. The lights & ornaments are on, but I still need to add the garland & the angel.
Well, since I've turned this post into a book, I think I better stop here. And besides, it's time for another pain pill :( Something I absolutely hate having to take, but also something that I'm very thankful for right now!

Stay warm,
Benita

12 comments:

Lida said...

Oh my god Benita, I am so sorry you are going trough all of this, sending you a warm hug and hoping you feel better and they fidn out what is going on.
Hope you have a nice Christmas!

Lorrie said...

Benita, OMG... I was wondering about you. I can't believe you're still dealing with this. You'll be in my prayers, hoping that they find out what is wrong and that you get relief and healing soon. The waiting is so hard. Consider yourself hugged my friend!!

hpoormon said...

I have been checking each day wondering what was up. I am sooo sorry you are going thru all this crap!! Hopefully our prayers for you will be answered real soon. Have a Merry Christmas!

Kim said...

My goodness, Benita, you have been through the ringer. I hope you feel better soon.

Merry Christmas!

:Jayne said...

Sorry to hear you are in such pain, especially over the holidays. I hope you feel better soon and get some answers to all this pain!
I hope you stay warm and have a Merry Christmas!

Darcey said...

Oh No! I am so sorry to hear about all of the health problems! I really hope you can get some answers and relief! May you have a happy & healthy 2009!

Christine said...

Hi. My name is Christine. I too have RSD/CRPS. The CRPS stands for complex regional pain syndrome. Many people have RSD. There are forums, websites, and support groups out there to help people like us.

It sounds like the Ortho canceled PT for now only to make sure nothing else was going on in your body to be causing your problems.

I have had RSD now for 2 years. There is no cure. However, if caught early enough it is possible to learn to manage this, if not put it completely into remission. I am in the learned to manage my life with the pain side. I am also implanted with a Spinal Cord Stimulator.

The way I explain this condition to people is that my nerves turned on and never turned back off.

Since you have an amazing Primary Doc then you are already on a really good start/path to learning to manage.

Please visit the following VERY beneficial sites:

RSDHope.org (great letter for family and friends to help explain what you are going through)

RSDS.org - This site/org. has been around since 1984 to help promote awareness/research/help to everyone.

Aggressive treatment will also help you.
Primary doc (which you have)
Water Therapy
Physical Therapy
Pain Management
Acupuncture/Chiropractic (alternative care can help - first make sure nothing else is going on)
Psychologist/Psychiatrist (possibly even both - this condition causes depression because you cannot do/be what/who you once did/were. It's very hard and you will go through the stages of grief that people who have lost something go through.

You can stop by my site if you'd like. I keep a website:
http://AfflictedWithRSD.com
a blog:
http://blog.christineleiendecker.com

Through my website under additional support you can find a link to my forum, which is not active for chatting, but instead active for people who have an RSD/CRPS link to let other people know they are out there to help.

Please be strong. If you cannot, please seek someone to help you try to be strong. The pain is bad. It hurts, badly. I know. I am very happy to read that your husband is very supportive. What a blessing.

Also, on a side note: your background is black and your lettering is black. I had to highlight your whole post to read your post :)

Stacy said...

Oh Benita...my heart just breaks knowing that you are so miserable!! Just know that you have a lot of friends thinking & praying for you. My Christmas wish for you is that you find relief & answers - not knowing "what" or "why" is just horrible - thank God for supportive husbands!! (mine is showering me & doing my hair too - I just had surgery on my right wrist & I'm casted to my armpit! Minor compared to you, but still a challenge)

BIG HUGS!!

Linda said...

Benita, I'm so sorry you are experiencing all this pain. I'm sending out healthy prayers to you. I hope you have a Merry Christmas

Aimeslee said...

omg, benita, my hands are killing me today but i had to break my rule of no posting when i read this. i am putting you at the head of my prayers, girl. i think there might be something to that nerve thing christine is talking about. i know that years of having a pinched nerve in my neck that affected my left leg has caused a lot of damage to my leg and foot. nerves are lethal once they are not healthy anymore. if you can possibly stand the pain, try to stretch out your entire body like doing yoga stretches. it is the only thing that helps me sometimes and it hurts like heck til afterward, then is quite helpful. email me if you want to talk further, hon. i am the expert on pain, lolol. hey, i sent you some mail to milcrest, did ya get it? hugs, xoxo

toners said...

Oh Benita, you're in one of those situations right now where (as we say back in Scotland) "it never rains, but it pours", right? Hang in there...thank goodness for medication for conditions like this one.

Janet said...

You poor, poor girl! That is just awful! I'm just catching up on your blog and am so sorry to read that you've been going through this! {gentle hugs!}