October 11th, 2006

Cut cuddle and be Cute

PT and pain progress

When I hit the really bad RSD flare, I never thought I would see the end of it, but, (holding my breath), it might, finally be over. I am actually waking up with pain levels of three or four. And I have only had one episode of nausea caused by the pain in the last week and a half. Controlling the pain actually does make a difference. My swelling is so far down, my foot almost looks like it did before the surgery, and I actually called to cancel a nerve block. When I have a bad spike, I take care of it, and things get better. I never thought I would experience a day where I felt like I was controlling the pain. There are still bad times, but not like they were for this first month of school.

In physical therapy, I'm making strength progress. I'd been given a band that's about two strength levels above the red, and just couldn't get there. Yesterday, they had a band available that's just one level up, and I can do it! This is wonderful. I have new exercises to do, and so far, no major issues with doing them. We're also trying this thing called TENS. It's a method of using electrical stimulation to block pain signals. We need my doctor to sign an order so I can take a unit home, but during PT, it's really helped with keeping the pain down. I'm extremely happy about this, and I hope I can get the unit, so I can use it at home. The idea is that if I have a spike in pain, I can use the TENS to try to get it down. Maybe it will work.

I am working on some other writing, not focused on the four letter F word (foot), but have been incredibly busy this week. Enjoy the day!

Cut cuddle and be Cute

Socialwork struggles, or chances to hope.

I'm sitting here, studying, eating, taking pills and writing in this blog because I have a social work test coming up tomorrow. I'd originally had something I was going to post about hopeful things that have happened recently. Well, it got a lot long winded (longer than an essay I wrote for my Bible and literature class), so I decided that I wasn't ready to post it. In my experience, when things get that long, I need to take a good, long look at the writing before I put it out. So, this is my "Sparknotes" version, with random social work thoughts intersperced for good measure.

As I've dealt with all of the pain issues, I've learned that a hopeful attitude is incredibly important (some people claim it releases morphine-like chemicals if used right). I've been reading, recently, about burn out for social workers and other people who work in helping or health professions. It comes up in case studies we're reading for class, blog entries I read and the questions I ask myself when I'm between awake and asleep. So, I'm wondering how I can keep a hopeful attitude, even if I'm heading toward burn out. Or maybe it might be possible to keep a hopeful attitude and deal with emotions to avoid cashing and burning.

This week, I've had it hammered home that you can't always predict catastrophe. The people who died in today's plane crash couldn't predict that it would happen to them. If you're thinking that's not very hopeful, hear me out! They couldn't predict catastrophe, so why do I assume I can? Bad things are going to happen. I'm sure I'll have a client ly to me, cheat me, cuss at me, or even injure me. I'll have clients who refuse my help.

But if I thought that was ALL I'd do, I wouldn't even bother majoring in this field. I can't predict catastrophe. I'm taking great comfort in that. The people I'd like to peg with the "failure" label (which I hope I never do), could be the people who make strides. They may not be big, but I think it was Mother Theresa who said In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love." (Yes, it was thanks Google!) Anyway, those little things ae going to be what carry us through. Those little things will be the little drops of water that extinguish the fire of burnout.

I don't take comfort in the pain of those grieving those lost in the crash. I know that grief is painful. I pray for the people all over the world who suffer. It is for them that I must keep my hope alive.

And now, I must go. Studying awaits me.

Cut cuddle and be Cute

Important observation

It is too cold to read Braille. I.E., I can barely feel my fingers. I was going to write a link post tonight, but I'm going to have to wait. Once I get all comfy in bed, it won't matter. However, tomorrow, I'm learning where the thermostat is.