Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Presidential Visit and Sweater Progress

There was a real flurry of excitement in my neck of the woods yesterday....President Obama held a town meeting in a Kroger supermarket in Bristol. Above is an image of Air Force One that I captured from the webcam at our local airport. Only Kroger employees were invited to the town meeting, but lots of folks gathered along the route to welcome the President. Some, of course, took the opportunity to voice their opinions about the proposed health care reform. All in all, things seemed to go well. I expected delays getting home since my usual route was closed for security purposes, but the alternate route I used was fine. I got home at my usual time.
Mom and Dad saw Air Force One fly over their house on the way to the airport. Pretty neat, huh?
My leg is still hurting, but the pain is now manageable. I am looking forward to getting it FIXED though.
Last night I was able to knit for awhile before bedtime and got my sweater up to the point of the neck ribbing! Real progress! Now all I have to do is knit the neck ribbing, do the underarm grafting, and hide the ends. If all goes well, I should be able to finish it this weekend! *keeping fingers crossed*

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Referral....Finally

I finally got a referral to an orthopedic surgeon yesterday appointment is on August 10. AUGUST 10. A month. Sheesh.

Oh well, at least I know when I'm going to see someone, at least. Sunday and yesterday were bad days. Today's not great, but so far not quite as bad as yesterday. I bought myself a microwaveable hot pack to bring to work so I can put it under my thigh while I'm at my desk. It seems to be helping a bit.

Off now to eat a bit of lunch, then back to work!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

It's All Relative

If I've learned anything in the past few weeks, it's that it's all relative. On a scale of 0 to 10, my pain level right now is at about 4. But Wednesday and Thursday were both 9's; yesterday was about a 7. So, relatively speaking, today is a good day. :-)

I've learned something else, though. If my day starts out as a 4, I'd better do anything that involves sitting at my home computer early in case my pain level goes up later in the day. I really MUST get myself a good computer chair for home. I'm thinking very seriously about getting one of those balance ball chairs. I think it would be good for my back; it would certainly be better than my dining room chair I'm current using!

Now for the latest health update: I finally got my MRI results Wednesday. I have a cyst in my back that's apparently pressing on my sciatic nerve. No WONDER I'm getting worse instead of better! So I'm now waiting for a referral to a neurologist. I called the doctor's office Thursday ("They're still working on your referral, but you should hear something soon.") and yesterday ("They're still working on your referral, but you should hear something today or Monday."). Yuck. Nothing quite like waiting.

So, today will be spent in the recliner with my phone, remote, knitting, and MeggieDog. I've already done what few household chores I have to do today other than feeding myself. Mom has taken care of that, as well, supplying me with yummy fresh green beans, cooked potatoes, squash casserole, fried squash, tomatoes, corn, and corn muffins. All I have to do today is heat and eat! Well, except for breakfast. I've not had that yet, but that will involve putting water in my wonderful electric kettle (a Christmas gift from Kris and DID I ever live without it??) and making tea and instant oatmeal. Not a lot of effort involved in cooking breakfast at my place. :-)

And so, I'm off to "cook" breakfast and slide carefully into the recliner. Hope everyone has a lovely weekend!

Monday, July 06, 2009

Gray Monday

Back to work this morning after the holiday weekend. I woke with quite a bit of pain, but took a pain pill after I drove to work, so now I feel much better. I'd like to think that I might hear from the doctor today about my MRI results, but really don't expect to hear anything until tomorrow.

Friday was a rough day; I was in a lot of pain when I got up that day, too. Mom came and did the sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, and changing my bed, bless her heart. I'm still just not able to do that for myself. Even though she's very glad to do it for me and I really appreciate it, it just makes me nuts that I'm still not well enough to do it for myself. Hopefully that will change soon.

I'd improved enough Saturday that I went to Mom and Dad's to visit. Mom fixed a wonderful lunch with peanut butter pie for dessert. She hadn't made one of those in a long time, so it was a lovely treat. Our friends Joey and Beth dropped by late that afternoon for a visit on their way to their camper down on Cherokee Lake for the evening. It's always fun to see them. I've not been able to see them much lately because we usually get together for camping, and camping hasn't been an option yet this season. Phooey.

Yesterday I spent the bulk of the day in the recliner with my knitting. My knitting has fallen behind because some days I hurt too badly to sit upright, and I haven't figured out a way to knit while laying on my side. I did make some progress yesterday on a sweater I started a couple of months ago. I finished knitting the sleeves and joined them to the body. I knit about 1/2" more around the body. Another inch and I begin the decreases for the yoke. Hey, I might finish this sweater YET!!

Lunch break's nearly over, so I'd better get back to it. Hope everyone had a wonderful Fourth!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Sciatica Update

Well, after my last post things got progressively worse. My nine-day course of Prednisone was 3 tablets for 3 days, 2 tablets for 3 days, and 1 tablet for 3 days. I could tell when I went from 3 tablets to 2 that my pain level increased; when I went to 1 tablet, it got much worse. By Friday I was in so much pain that I called the Urgent Care center to have them go ahead and schedule the MRI. They called in a prescription for me for Celebrex to help with the pain in the meantime. The Celebrex has helped, but I'm still having a lot of pain. Now I'm also dealing with occasional numbness all the way down my leg.

Yesterday I went for my MRI. Now THAT was an experience. First of all, I'll tell you that I am VERY claustrophobic. So much so that if I'm in the car for longer than a half hour or so I have to open a window. So the thoughts of being confined in a tubular machine was not comforting. I knew the day was not going to be great when I woke at 4:00 am in pain and on the verge of a panic attack. I actually had to take a pain pill to be able to get dressed. Not a good start.

I went to the office and worked until 1:30 pm, then drove to the diagnostic center. I arrived at just past 2:00; my appointment was for 2:30, but I wanted to get there early enough to allow a little extra time to walk into the building in case it was crowded (and it was). I soon learned that because of some emergency procedures, the technician was running behind on his appointments. It was after 3:00 when they called me back. Sitting in the waiting room chair had really made my leg hurt much worse, and I could barely walk back to the dressing room. I changed into the provided gown and scrub pants and waited another 15 minutes.

By the time I got into the procedure room, I was really hurting. Then I saw the tube. I asked how long I had to be in it. 30 minutes. 30 MINUTES. *full body shudder* They gave me a signaling device to let them know if I had to come out of the tube and put a set of headphones on me that played elevator music in my ears. When he started moving me into the tube I closed my eyes and didn't open them the entire time I was in it. I knew that if I saw how close the tube was to me that I wouldn't be able to stand it.

So what's the procedure to test for the cause of excruciating pain probably caused by a back problem? We make you lay on your back, stick you in a confining noisy tube full of horrible noises, and won't let you move for 30 minutes. Sheesh.

Daddy had been in for an MRI they day before (rheumatoid arthritis), so I knew it would be uncomfortable. On top of the shoulder pain he had from having to be in a painful position for such a long time (his was 25 minutes), he said that he couldn't keep track of the time so he didn't know how much longer he had to tough it out. So, I knew to start counting songs they played in my ear. I figured that your average elevator music pop number probably runs around 3 minutes. So, I knew if I could make it through 10 songs, I'd be okay. One of the songs was "House of the Rising Sun", so I only had to make it through 8 songs. :-)

About 5 songs into the procedure the pain became nearly unbearable. The only thing that kept me in the tube was the knowledge that if I gave up, I'd just have to go through the whole thing again at another time. The pain in my leg was so bad when the technician brought me out of the tube that he had to help me sit up. I've never been so happy to have a test finished in my life.

And so, now I wait for results. Because of the holiday weekend, it will be at least Monday before the doctor gets the reports. I just hope they can DO something. I'm so tired of this.