Another surgery?!?!?

Hopefully the last one this year…..smh

I haven’t seen the surgeon to follow up about my foot surgery yet, so I’m not sure that I’m “done” there yet, but I FINALLY have surgery scheduled for Botox in my bladder on Friday.

The last time I had this surgery was February 9th of this year, and since it only helps relieve symptoms for about 4 months, let’s say I am WAY OVERDUE.

If you’re interested in reading more, the link to that post is here….

You’re getting Botox where?

Both the surgery and “recovery” for this one will be a piece of cake, to be honest the scheduling of it is the most difficult part.  I also hope that doctors are able to come up with some other “treatment” soon because I suspect my body will develop an intolerance or tolerance for it.  (you know when a treatment just stops working?)  and having to carry or wear a bag of pee just plain sucks.  (yes even though I have officially given it a name, it still sucks).  So YAH surgery?!??!

While I’ve got you here though, (I hope you’re still reading).  Can I tell you about my foot?  AGAIN?!?!?

First the “technical stuff”

Today marks one week post op.  I see the surgeon again on Thursday.  I have FINALLY been able to put  weight on it (with the Boot on)  AND can tolerate the pain without pills!

even upI have even been able to walk to the bathroom as long as I have the “even up” on my other shoe to help realign me, stand up straight?  I’m not sure how to explain it, but it makes my shoulders straight when standing and takes pressure off my right hip.  Win win

Since I can get to the bathroom easier now, I was able to take the foley out.  First time I am ever grateful for having such a small house.  (10 steps in one direction from my computer to the bathroom and 15 steps to my bedroom in the other direction).

I no longer have to stay in bed

Keeping my foot elevated is still important though.  I was even able to get the wheelchair out of my house by myself.  I went for a “different” kind of walk the other day, more of a roll?  While I wasn’t able to take my “normal” walk, I did make it around the entire block in the wheelchair, using my arms for a portion and my left leg for the other.  It felt great to be moving again.  I know it will still be a long time before I am able to really walk again, it was freeing to know that I can “get out” by myself…and it’s a hell of a workout to help shed the pounds from all the ice cream Jeri delivered.

Thing One and Thing Two

Although Thing 2 and her boyfriend have been helping tremendously, (Ice pack and coffee deliveries right to my bed)  it’s refreshing to be able to do it myself.  Thing 1 and her husband stopped by to check in too.  She is 5 months now and the baby bump is really there now!!!!!!  As I have said before, I’m only a LITTLE excited!!!!!!   Yah grandbabies!!!!!!

granny imageWhile having so much time to ponder, what I would like to be called,  I think I am going to hope for Mammy,  but I will write more about that later.  I do know for a fact that GRANNY just isn’t going to cut it.  I can’t hear the name without thinking of Granny from the Beverly Hillbillies….. While I do have her spunk, it’s just NOT gonna happen.

Several of you have commented the you are sorry that I am going through so much, and I really appreciate it, but please don’t feel sorry.  I have amazing friends (you included) and family, and have never felt so loved.  Even Einstein has delivered food and….shhhh cigarettes :(.  I will pick up that battle again, just not today.

Thank you all for reading and commenting.  I am sorry that I have missed so much going on in your lives, I will remedy that today.

 

 

 

Laughter is the BEST Medicine

Yesterday I let pain and confusion cloud and take over my judgment and mood.  I was so focused on what I couldn’t do that I forgot to use all the powerful tools I have at my disposal…..the biggest of which is the ability to laugh at myself.

I want to share some things with you that I hope will make you laugh, smile, or at the very least shake your head.

I wrote before about all the prep work you should do before surgery,  While I was getting groceries …….. a woman walked up to me and said, “Excuse me ma’am. I hate to tell you this, but your boots don’t match.” your boots dont match.jpg She was right.  I have no fashion sense.  It made me laugh.  Thank you random friendly stranger.  🙂

I was also racing around to make sure my house was clean, nothing to impede my movements in a wheelchair, etc.  I lost my balance, tripped, or something and came down hard ON MY GOOD leg….smh

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When I was trying to pull myself up (very difficult with the stupid boot on) I again lost my balance and hit my eye on the counter giving myself a black eye.  I swear you can’t make this shit up!!!!  I can only imagine what I looked like when I walked into the surgery center.

 

 

After surgery, when my dad was telling me what the doctor said and did, he told me and I quote, “So the doctor took off your big toe, reamed holes in your foot and then your toe, they put in a stud and then screwed your big toe back on”.  I was horrified, but I believed him. That is SO NOT what they did!!!!!  The sad thing is, when I was explaining to a couple of friends what the surgery was for, I told them exactly what my dad had said.  If they were laughing at me they didn’t let it show…..SMH….. I hope my father remembers he will be having his other shoulder replaced next year and karma is a bitch! 😛

plateBefore I continue, I THINK this is what they DID do to my foot.  Again, I won’t really know for sure until I follow up on Thursday.  I will try to take a picture also, but I have a tendency to pass out or get sick when I see or feel pain.

Ok so now let’s talk about hindsight being 20/20.  Before surgery, I wrote about “practicing” for recovery.  I went through my entire house with the wheelchair making sure it fight everywhere I would need to go.  I FORGOT that I would have a leg support on the right side of the wheelchair which adds almost 3 feet to your turning radius.  DOH!

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This has come in handy though for getting my dogs to move out of the way.  Poor things haven’t left my side since surgery.

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20180908_122505There was also this ONE time, I forgot the catheter bag was hanging under the wheelchair when I was trying to transfer back to my bed.  I only forgot ONE time, and I don’t know if I will ever find it funny, but I don’t mind if you do.

 

I’d like to share a couple more pictures, but first I need to thank everyone for all your thoughts, well wishes, moral support and encouragement, and a special thanks to my dear friend Jeri for the 4 containers of ice cream you delivered!!!!!!!

swollen

 

This picture is from this morning, and although, it looks kind of gross, the swelling has gone down tremendously from the first couple days, and I do have faith that there are better days ahead.  BABY STEPS!!! literally with my GIANT boot.

Chris and Tom commented earlier about signing my cast.  I am not that technologically oriented to figure out how, but if you can feel free…. It’s a great reminder that I am not alone 🙂

My best friend Gary virtually signed my cast from my wrist surgery a couple years ago.

tiggerifficI hope you all have a great weekend!!!!!!

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“Practicing” for recovery

I wrote yesterday about preparing for surgery, and although I have been through this a gazillon times, I forget to mention something very important.  Try to envision yourself with your Post -op limitations and practice overcoming them!!!!!!

Over the years, several people have asked me what I considered to be the worst part of having MS, while the worst symptoms may vary day to day, my answer is…

The worst symptom of having MS, is the one you haven’t learned to adapt to.  By adapting, I don’t mean accepting it, so much as I mean finding a work around or a way to still accomplish your goal.  Sometimes you have to get pretty creative, but most symptoms can be managed with some trial and error.

Getting around your house in a wheelchair

While I have been in a walking boot for a couple of weeks now, after surgery I will not be able to bear any weight on my foot, which for me means using a wheelchair.  I’ve had to use a wheelchair before, but not in this house and for other reasons.  So yesterday my first step was going through my entire house using the wheelchair.  The only trouble I ran into was trying to get into the bathroom.  First of all, the door is only wide enough for the chair, NOT for my hands on the wheels.  Whoops!  *Note to self another home improvement project for next year.

squatty potty The next issue I RAN into (literally) was the squatty potty.

I can not get close enough to the toilet, pivoting on one foot with the squatty potty there, so it had to move.

The pain pills are not going to help with my normal issue of MS and constipation, so better I just make a clear path for using the laxatives I know I will end up needing.  Even “power pudding” doesn’t help with the constipation from Norco.

Selecting clothing for after surgery

Again, I have been in a boot for a couple of weeks, so I know there will be some challenges putting on pants.  Not that I like wearing them anyway, post op visits and physical therapy will require some form of clothing for my lower extremities, so I have purchased some guys basketball shorts to wear for those occasions.  Even those will fit over the cast.

CLIMBING into bed

tall bedThis one may not happen for a bit.  I have one of those really tall beds that you literally have to Climb up onto.

Okay not literally like this one, I am totally being dramatic, but I discovered it is difficult to climb on my bed without bearing weight on my right foot, so I will be sleeping on the couch for a few days.

I have packed a small bag of things to keep me busy, while I am NOT sleeping.  Notebooks, phone and laptop with chargers, tv remotes, and a couple of books.  The only thing I am missing is a mini fridge and a maid.  But at least this isn’t permanent.  (putting the things in a bag will allow me to transport them to another room easily without worrying about dropping them)

Thank you for letting me share my tips with you.  To be honest, this is part of my mental checklist to prepare for surgery as well. I will write more about the MENTAL part of preparing for surgery later this weekend.  I hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend.  If you do anything fun or adventurous please share pictures so I can live vicariously through you!!!

 

 

 

Too Many to count

I’m not just talking about the number of speeding tickets I have had. (although that number almost equals the number of years I have been driving) YIKES!

I’m talking about the number of times I have been “put under”.  When you get general anesthesia, you’re “put under,” which means that you’re totally unconscious and immobilized. You “go to sleep” and don’t feel, sense or remember anything that happens after the drugs begin to work on your system.

My very first surgery was having my wisdom teeth removed when I was 16.  Between that time and my most recently scheduled surgery (having screws and a plate put in my right foot on 9/4/2018)  I have lost track of the number of times I have been put under.

I really do need to keep better records.

The most notable surgeries were:

  1. an emergency C-section with Thing One
  2. a hysterectomy
  3. CMC joint replacements in both my hands
  4. the power port being placed in my chest (on valentines day…smh)
  5. a laminectomy of my thoracic spine
  6. and my every few months Botox in the BLADDER surgeries.

You could almost call me a professional surgeree?  I don’t really think that’s a word though, so let’s stick with patient.

I’m not writing this post to elicit sympathy, but rather to share some of the things I have learned over the years to help me prepare for going under.  For me, preparation for surgery begins more than a week before surgery.

The FIRST thing I do is take a look at the amount of recovery or down time that the surgeon is recommending, then DOUBLE IT.  (Most people probably don’t need to double it, but I’m going with MY past experiences, AND the whole plan for the worst, but hope for the best scenario)  Make a list of all the things that you are responsible for during that time period and begin to look for someone to COVER for you.  Your list should include the basic necessities of adulting like eating, bathing, paying your bills etc.

In my case I have purchased enough groceries for a month.  I won’t claim that they are the healthiest options available, but this will allow me to be as self sufficient as possible.  All of my bills are set up for automatic bill pay.  I have hired someone to take care of my lawn.  My kids will be grabbing my mail for me a couple times a week etc.  As far as bathing goes, I just won’t do it.  I’M KIDDING!!!!!  I have a shower chair and after the number of  medical procedures I have had performed, I have no modesty left, so my kids and some close friends are helping with that.

shower clothsIf you are not comfortable sharing that much with your family, they do sell bathing wipes that you can use by yourself.

While on the subject of modesty, BEFORE surgery is also a good time to PUT away anything you might not be comfortable sharing with friends or a caretaker.  (Don’t put spare cash for food delivery in the same drawer you stash, “OTHER” things.  If you catch my drift.

Most importantly, don’t try to be a hero, super or otherwise.  Just because you THINK you can do something, try to error on the side of caution, at least while you are on pain meds.  If you wouldn’t do the task after drinking a 12 pack, maybe wait just a little bit longer or ask for help?!?!?

drivingWhile I have figured out, kind of, how to drive with my left foot, I will be relinquishing my keys for the next couple of months.  While I have proven to myself that it CAN be done, it’s really not safe and is against doctor’s orders.  I would hate to have the issue come up if I had a flat tire, or worse was involved in an accident.

I have more that I would like to share about preparing for surgery,  especially about the night before and day of, but I still have more to do and a few days before surgery, so I will write more later.

Have you ever had surgery?  Can you think of anything I have missed?  Any funny stories to share?

Let’s get moving…

Thank God not the packing and unpacking kind!  I mean the putting one foot in front of the other moving kind of moving.

So I bought a “generic” Fitbit.  By generic I mean the $30.00 not name brand one from amazon.  ( If interested….click the picture!!!) While the specs say that I can link it to my phone, check my heart rate,  and sleeping patterns, the only thing I investigated about it, is how many steps I take in a given day.

I’ve heard people talk about making their goal 10,000 steps in a day, and wanted to see where I compared…..

NOT EVEN CLOSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

On an average day, I took about 1500 steps.  WTF?!?  I am busy from the time I wake up til the time I “pass out” each night…. That couldn’t be accurate!!!!!

Well it turns out it is.  I spend so much time driving, waiting at doctors, playing on the computer, fighting with insurance companies, reading, doing laundry whatever…that I really don’t move.  SMH

Time to fix this shit!  I made myself a challenge to get at least 3000 steps in a day and I have done it!!!!!!!  Can I have a cookie now?.… No I’m actually serious…..Ok I’m not, but I AM feeling good!  I am proud of myself.  Not only for setting a goal and making it, but for facing a huge fear of mine by walking alone again.

I am not quite up to a mile at a time yet, but I have learned that if I can beat the heat (waking up at 5 am), I can come close.  I have even started taking my dogs with me again… ONE AT A TIME, and holding the leash very loosely.

Walking by myself in a residential area is kind of boring,

road hazard

 

and to be honest it is still kind of scary for me considering a crack like this can be a major road hazard. but it is still better than walking on a treadmill and every step I take hopefully keeps me out of a wheelchair that much longer.

 

Sometimes, I can con my neighbor into walking with me, but she works nights and doesn’t appreciate the early morning “Hey let’s go for a walk wake up calls”.

A bonus is that I don’t smoke when I walk, so if I can keep increasing my activity, maybe it will help with the quitting smoking goal too.