It's been a rough year already and I'm hoping the remaining 3 months are a little nicer 😕. Oh how I wish I could rewind at least the last 10-15 years off my life! This has been an eye opening week in reality checks for me and my doctors.
After hurting my knee 2 weeks ago & waiting on the MRI (to see if I have a meniscus tear), I had to cancel the MRI and reschedule the doc appt. My insurance needs more info to approve the test...typical! I've done more sitting the past 4 months than the past 2 years. But everytime I try to be active and do something that takes most or all of my day, I end up with a swollen knee & returned hip & groin pain, along with shoulder pain and recurring headaches, not to mention the sleepless or pain-restless sleep at night. Yesterday I had an appt that required me to walk a long way from the parking area to the actual office location (& back), then to see my stepmom, and then errands. By the time I got home I'd been out 5 hours and was exhausted, not to mention moving as slow as a turtle 🐢. I couldn't help think "I really must look as feeble, old & weak to all these people as I feel," after someone held a door open for me, the third time I struggled to hold it and get through it on my walker.😩. Needless to say my night was very pain filled and restless, again.
I'm really feeling more depression than normal of late, just the down & blue feelings. I'm becoming so dependent on others, even strangers, for so much help than I ever imagined. I lifted 30-40 lb boxes above my shoulders for 7 years before I quit work due to my health. I even helped my hubby lay floor tile, paint & remodel our house...nothing I couldn't do. And now I'm reduced to feeling as if I have nothing to contribute anywhere or to anyone at times. And what little I do ends up causing others to step in and help me. Just last weekend we went to a store and I got so tired I decided to go wait in the truck. I asked a total stranger if he could please lift my rollator into the back of my truck because I knew I couldn't, and he graciously did and I thanked him and asked God to bless him.🙏 I find myself often thinking about the days when I was so much healthier, hiking in the woodlands & National parks🏞️, or walking along beaches🏖️ for hours or even all day, for days on end. I could sit and ride or drive a car on road trips for 3-10/14 days. No problem getting through the pain I had back then; a little pain meds, massage, heat, a warm shower or jacuzzi soak, then a good night's sleep and I could do it all again the next day. Oh those were the days I still dream of! Then I think about when I started getting sick in 2007-2008, which led to the horrible surgery & most likely all these debilitating chronic autoimmune (& other) health issues that have me disabled.
Wow! At just 58 I wonder how will I get through another 10-20 years if I live into my 70's or beyond, especially if I continue to worsen and deteriorate like I have the past 10+ years. I pray to God I don't have a long life if that's what I have to look forward to, but it's all in His hands how long I'll be around. I just have to keep trying, little by little, step by step, one at a time.
On Sunday my hubby and I were talking about my appt with the spine surgeon on Monday. And I could feel the anxiety and frustration while we discussed the newest issue dumped on my plate (CTD), and the possible outcome if I decided to go through with the surgery proposed (to repair 2 failed fusions, add rods to my T-spine, deal with facet issues, burn the nerves at C2 that's causing headaches, and fuse T1-4). Yeah that's a huge cut along my spine through muscles tendons and ligaments! No wonder I'm freaked out at the thought. I asked my hubby where would I end up if that surgery fusions not only failed but left me with increased pain. He stated I'd be in a lot worse shape, and I bluntly stated "I'd be pretty close to putting a gun to my head." NO, I wouldn't do that... EVER!!! But that's how I could see myself feeling, that life would no longer be worth living. So we decided that at this point in my life I will only do "Comfort Care" where my spine is concerned from here on. I saw the physician assistant and had a long detailed talk about the possible outcome, not letting her know our decision yet. She acknowledged that it was highly possible my proposed surgery could fail also & I'd end up with increased pain. That's when I told her the amount of stress & anxiety & depression I was feeling, in regards to that surgery, along with my hip & knee & finding out I have CTD. I told her my hubby and I had decided for Comfort Care only, unless a life threatening emergency arises that can't be helped. She completely understood and agreed that in light of the new CTD dx it's probably the best option, and explained symptoms to watch for that might indicate an "emergency" need for surgical re-evaluation & possible intervention. I was really worried they'd push me to get a second opinion, but she said because my hip isn't healed and now I may have knee issues, I'm under too much physical health stress anyway & it's no wonder I've become anxious & depressed. Ya think! 🤔Her support gave me some relief, although it doesn't stop the worries that my unhealed cervical fusions may cause an emergency (the implanted bone has died so the only thing holding my spine together are screws & metal plates, which could come loose if my bone begins to deteriorate...DDD & OA). Yeah there's definitely concern & stress. But at least that surgery is off the table.
On the upside, my lung doctor says there is no change in my chest x-ray and my lungs are doing very good. She explained some symptoms to watch for due to my asthma doc reducing my inhaler strength, that may signal I need the higher side of med. I pray not! 🙏 And on the downside my legs are swelling again, so I've had to start wearing the tight compression thigh high stockings again. Ugh! 🌡😰 It's been so hot and humid here all year since March, but we are getting a short reprieve the last few days. My endocrinologist is running some labs on my parathyroid function and for anemia due to multiple new symptoms; itching, severe all over dryness, fatigue no matter my sleep quality or amount, etc. I'm waiting for the results.
As you can see my plate is full and I really need a break away from it all. Please know that I am always aware there are so many others out there who are dealing with much worse than me, and those who were born into life dealing with severe chronic health issues; while I'm thankful for the blessings I have, I also pray for others less fortunate than I am! As many of you know it's not easy to express these things, our pain & feelings, to those who can't possibly comprehend or understand. So anyway thanks for being here to listen! Hugs love & prayers that everyone has a good weekend!🙂❤🙏🌼