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Striding forward, in a manner of speaking

Maybe I'm still using a cast boot on my foot when I'm moving around. Maybe I'm not even putting all of my weight on it yet. Maybe I'm frustrated that this is how I've spent two months of my summer. But I still have made progress, and I think it's fitting tthat on the two month anniversary of the surgery that I use this space to take stock of where I've been, where I am and where I'm heading.

Where I was: Right after surgery, I woke up in recovery and started crying. First I asked if I said anything stupid. Then I asked if friend could bring me Brewberry's. Then I cried because I thought I'd lost my small amount of sight. Honestly!

Before the surgery, I'd kind of smirked when the nurse read me the consent form and "blindness" was listed as a side effect of anesthesia. Yes, I know, it's serious, and I'm not laughing at the thought of anyone going through it. But at the time, I needed something to laugh at (I was so nervous I had a blood pressure of 150/100). But I wasn't laughing in recovery. You see, my memories of hospitalizations included lots of bright lights. Now, apparently, they want the patients to wake up calmer, so they dimm the lights. I don't think it had the desired effect.

Even in recovery, I was trying to be tough even though I was scared. I made up some ly about my eyes watering when I wake up (they can, but not that much.) As an aside, if I say that to you, please slap me and tell me to quit lying. Anyway, that first day, I couldn't even get to the bathroom without throwing up or without assistance. I couldn't eat or drink, and I certainly couldn't take my pain medication.

I received everything through an IV; I needed anti nausea medications, pain medications (morphine makes me sleepy), saline or whatever and possibly other stuff.

After that first day, I started eating (although for a while it was difficult on the meds). It still took me ages to get to the bathroom using the walker, and going somewhere public without a wheelchair was out of the question. At first the pain and swelling were normal for my procedure, but soon the RSD flared.

I had to transition to a cast boot before the pins were out. I was in more pain than right after the surgery. It wasn't pretty, but at least I could use Lidoderm patches.

Then, last week, the pins came out. I still couldn't walk, but I could bath my foot and use lotion on it. The nastiness of the skin went away. My foot no longer feels like an aligator.

Where I am: Most of the time, my stomach behaves itself. When it doesn't, there may be other explanations, the meds, the heat, maybe the pain. The scars are healing well, and the sympathetic block last week is still helping. I can put 25% of my weight on my foot, so it's easier to accomplish most things on my own. When I need to cook, I know how to use the wheelchair safely so that I can carry things. The doctors seem thrilled with how well things are going.

Where I hope I'm heading: I hope I will be on my feet without the aid of a walker soon. I want to get back to working Julio. I hope that with propper medication management, physical therapy (if I need it?), blocks as needed and a lot of effort, I'll be able to keep the pain under control. I want to enjoy myself at college again this year. I want to have fun and make a difference. I want to grow and learn. And I want independence.

So, that's the short version of my progress notes.

Hugs!
Nickie

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