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X-ray fun and crazy results

 I miss the good old days when I could just walk in jump up on the x-ray table lie back and let them rip.  The x-ray machine that is. When I called to make my appointment for x-rays I explained I needed a lift as I am unable to transfer on my own. They told me they don’t have a lift and they’re not required to have a lift. I explained that the ADA says  any medical building/facility should have  ADA compliant equipment. Not according to them at Renaissance imaging Center.  They said they could get four guys to lift me out of my chair and onto the table. 😳  Are you kidding me? Not only is it dangerous for the patient, me, but it’s dangerous for the people lifting me as well.  I wonder how many people have been dropped or how many of the medical personnel have hurt themselves dead lifting a patient.  Realizing they weren’t going to help me, they explained I would need to go to the hospital for my x-rays because they have a Hoyer lift. So after my doctors appointment on Monday we went to the antelope Valley Hospital to have my x-rays done.  Easy Peasy right? Not so much.

When I got to the radiology department I explained I would need a lift for x-rays. She said they didn’t have one and got me her supervisor. He comes out and  says, “aren’t you able to stand up and transfer to the table?” I calmly explained to him that I would love to be able to stand up and get on the table but unfortunately I can’t. He got a little nervous and apologized. Then he proceeds to tell me only inpatient clients can use the Hoyer lift. WTF!!  So basically because I’m disabled I can’t get the same care as someone who is not. So again I explained about ADA compliant hospitals and rolled away.  Within five minutes into our drive home I got a phone call telling me that they could use the Hoyer lift. Well no shit Sherlock! I figured they would fix their fuck up. 😏 We turned the van around and went directly back to the hospital.

 Once we got back, the tech came with the Hoyer lift and we went into the x-ray room. My wheelchair can recline in to a bed position, so I asked if we could possibly do them in my chair.   Renaissance imaging had told me no, but now these guys said yes they could. I proceeded to recline my chair to an almost flat position and she hooked me up to the Hoyer lift. So all she needed to do was lift me few inches so he could slide the film underneath my back. Easy enough. For those of us that have had a child, think contraction. 😮 That was the pain I was in when I was lifted. I let out a silent scream and had tears streaming down my face. The poor girl working the Hoyer lift and the x-ray tech felt awful and I explained to them, it’s not you it’s just my back. 😥 I let them know that what we were doing was going to help find out why am in so much pain, so it’s a good thing.  And thankfully after being lifted three times, he got great x-rays and  just like that, it was over.

Yesterday, Thursday, I had my pain management doctor appointment to discuss the x-rays. The doctor walked in and the following dialogue ensued:

Doctor: well aside from your fracture at L1 everything else looks pretty good.

Me: my fracture what, where? What? 😲

Doctor: you didn’t know your back has/had a fracture?

Me: um, no 😢

So now I’m getting an MRI. It has to be done to the hospital because of the pain it causes me so that they can sedate me for it. The minute he mentioned an MRI I started crying because I know how bad it’s going to hurt. (refer to x-ray appointment above) So that’s why they’re choosing the outpatient route. 

We are thinking it may have happened when I fell in November 2013 and everyone assumed it was the MS that stopped my legs from working. But we don’t know yet. The MRI will give us more of a timeline of the break. I’m trying to pinpoint any time in the last five years that could’ve caused trauma to my back. 🤔

And while physical therapy was awesome for me the reason the pain has been so intense since then is because it aggravated my already fractured back.  In my humble opinion. 😳 Ya think!? So I’m kind of in a daze right now and trying not to overthink anything because it’s making me crazy. I just have to be patient and hope the MRI will give me a clear picture of what’s going on in my back. 

But honestly, it’s all good. I’ve got this! ♥️

** for those that had to read some of this already on Facebook, I’m sorry.  😘

Have courage and be kind.

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Too Disabled…

Well those are not the words that were used, but that’s exactly what was meant. I’m too disabled for the DMD’s. That unfortunately in my current situation I am more susceptible to the side effects. Because of my bedridden status my body is at higher-risk of infection. With my constant bladder infections it could easily lead to sepsis. Because of the cancer that runs in my family I’m more apt to the cancer side effect of Ocrevus. And, in a nutshell, it’s not really meant for the primary progressive form of multiple sclerosis. I hate being right. I knew that the big hype that this was the first medication for the progressive forms would not mean primary progressive. If I want to be on the medication they will classify me as secondary progressive… and that’s not happening. I’m numb right now and I’m trying to come to terms with this. I’m angry too. There are people out there going med free thinking that they’re beating the monster that is MS. In the background MS is still progressing and doing its MS thing. I’m scared for them because when the relapse hits, and it will hit, it will be too late for them. They are blessed to be able to be on one of the many medications out there now, and they’re not doing it. I understand it’s a personal choice, I get that. But MS is not stopping because they’re eating right and exercising. That’s not going to slow or stop the progression. That’s not opinion, that is fact! I’m angry because I want to be on one of the medications and I am not able to take one. And for me the side effects aren’t nearly as awful as the MS. I’ve had to be med free, I’ve done the good healthy eating, I do the exercise as much as I can, and I still progressed to being bedridden. I’ll trade anyone of you people to be on those medications. Do you want to trade your MS for mine? Yeah I didn’t think so.

Before anyone says get a second opinion, this is the second neurologist opinion. He did say to keep doing what I’m doing regarding exercise and eating properly. But he also explained that I shouldn’t get my hopes up because I probably will not get back the use of my legs to transfer etc.. The good thing is with exercising I’m getting what’s called muscle memory. That’s pretty awesome because it’s much better than atrophy. But it really is kind of a second gut punch to me. I know in my intelligent brain that I can’t really get back everything I’ve lost, but in my hopeful mind I wanted to believe I could. So I will keep exercising the best I can and continue on. I have to, there is no other option. I will not fall back into my negative mind. I will keep my new positive outlook going and fight through this as I have fought through everything for the last two decades.

The main thing I have to do now is to let go of the what ifs. What if I had gotten into a physical therapy straightaway when I fell November 2013?  What if my doctors had been more proactive with me? I can’t go back and change any of it and I need to let it go. I need to move on from here and continue doing what I’m doing.

On in a bit of a positive note I did finally get my x-rays done. That fiasco is for another blog. LOL I’m hopeful this will give them some more information in combating my pain. Right now that’s my focus. If we can figure out what’s causing my pain and get it under control I may be able to be in my wheelchair more. So that will be my next journey, the journey for pain relief.

If you’re able, go out and seize the day, because you never know what tomorrow will bring.

Have courage and be kind…

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Some days…

Seriously, some days I wonder why the hell I even bother waking up. No, I don’t mean the alternative. It just gets harder and harder it seems, to be trapped in this bed. Three months ago I was at the point where I didn’t care anymore. I kept my self medicated so I didn’t have to think about being in this prison. But then, I got help. My mind set changed and I saw that there was some hope left.  In a perfect world I would’ve been able to remain there until I could actually get up on my own. And no, I don’t mean up being a dancing fool, just able to transfer myself from my bed to my wheelchair.  In this world, insurance would have none of that. 😳

So I’ve been lying here for the last two days, angry and a little bit lost. It seems that since I had a glimpse of what might happen, I am not handling being trapped very well anymore. Hell, without the help I need, nothing is going to change. I feel like I’m fooling myself in a sense when I say that I can do this on my own. I want to keep that positive facade going so everyone thinks everything’s great… but it’s not. And no, I’m not giving up, but I am looking for alternatives. 🤔

I’ve been mindlessly watching movies for the last two days. Anything to keep my mind off of everything that I cannot do anymore. As I’m watching I constantly wiggle my butt 😏 move my arms 💪🏻 and try and strengthen myself. But in all honesty, that’s not going to change very much for me.  Right now while I’m talk typing, I’m wiggling my hips back-and-forth. Just keep moving is my new motto, and moving is what I will keep doing as much as I can. If only my dogs 🐶 had opposable thumbs and could understand me and be able to talk  and be strong enough to lift me up, everything would be aces. 😂  It could happen.

Okay, back to the real world. I think the worst part for me is that in my mind I can see myself moving my legs enough to be able to get transferred to my wheelchair. I can’t explain it properly. Sometimes as I’m lying here I can almost feel my body move on its own. I know that sounds like some crazy  psychotic shit. LOL  I wish I had the proper words for it. But I am literally drawing a blank. It’s like I can see myself outside of myself. Okay, now I’m  really going in to the realms of crazy psycho woman. 🤣  And I think I just said back to the real world. Welcome to my mind. 😳

I am now going to bid you farewell for the night.  You can thank me later. 💋

Have courage and be kind 🖤

 

health · healthcare · hope · medical · medications · multiple sclerosis · primary progressive MS · Research · Wheelchair

DMD – Disease Modifying Drugs

When I was first diagnosed in August 1997, there were only three DMDs available; the ABC drugs – Avonex, Betaseron, Copaxone. Being primary progressive none of the medications were actually for me, but we tried Avonex hoping to slow the progression. Alas, it did not work. Then when Rebif came out, we tried that. Nope, nada, nil. Finally when Tysabri came out I got on that immediately and it seemed to be working. Unfortunately it was not nice to my liver and I had to stop taking it. 😪

What I want people to understand is that these medications are there to hopefully slow and/or stop the progression. They will not repair your myelin, they will not make you walk again. People do notice a placebo effect and think that because they’re on the medication that’s why they are walking again etc.. While that is awesome, it’s also not the case.  What these medications do is, hopefully, suppress our over active immune systems and halt the progression. So any improvement, is all YOU and your awesome strength fighting the MonSter that is MS! 💪🏻

msdamage

As you can see from the picture above our immune system eats away at the Myelin thinking that it’s bad and in its own way protecting us.  If all goes well with the DMD will stop that from happening. At this time there is no other way except for these medications too slow and/or stop the progression of the disease.

HSCT – Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation, is looking very promising. I’m hoping at some point it will be available for all of the types of MS. To follow the Journey of another amazing MS Warrior, check out this blog, Making Sense Of M.S.

I am now in the process of discussing two medications with my neurologist, Ocrevus and Lemtrada. I have to be very careful because of the fact they suppress the immune system. Because of my urostomy, as I’ve mentioned before, I have constant bladder infections. So when these medications suppress my immune system it puts me at a very high risk of sepsis. So, I’m not taking any of this lightly, but I really want my progression to slow and if possible stop. If I find something bad is starting to happen then I will stop the medication, but I’m very hopeful that one of these will work. For me the benefits outweigh the risks.

I see all the time how people are going ‘med free’ and that scares me. I fully believe in a good healthy lifestyle [diet] exercise and all the that goes with that, but that will not change the progression of your disease. I hear people say that they’re out of their wheelchair[s] now etc. following this diet or that diet. And that’s awesome, but what’s happening is they’re [most likely] in remission, but the disease is still in the background doing its thing.  If you’re choosing this route, just please be careful. Make sure you get your MRIs when needed and keep your doctor in the loop. Better to be safe than sorry.

I cannot wait for the day when I read, we have found a cure for MS! I just pray it happens in my lifetime!

Until then, this is what I think of MS;

pissonms

Have Courage and be kind! ♥️

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Positively unsure…

I’m positive that I’m unsure about everything right now. Day in and day out I lie in this bed and wonder if things are really going to change. When I say being positive is new to me, it’s a true story. I never realized that it’s very hard to keep a positive attitude. And when your life takes a turn like mine took two decades ago, it’s fucking hard. When I found help on February 23, I believed my life was going to change for the better. I’m still hopeful, but it’s much harder than I thought it would be. While I can move my legs and feet a little bit, I still am unable roll on to my side. I cannot sit up without something supporting my back. As I sit/lie here all I have this time. I’m looking at this blank page before me with tears in my eyes not even sure what to say. I miss the girl I was. I’m so angry at everything and everyone and at nothing and no one. Half the time I don’t even know what I’m saying or thinking anymore. I’m alone and I’m lonely but I don’t want anybody around me.

Most days I just want to scream at the top of my lungs for no apparent reason. The highlight of my day is watching the hummingbirds drinking the glorious nectar that keeps them going. Sugar water, go figure. I can stare at them and keep staring praying that they won’t fly away too quickly…

Is it so wrong two want to escape from this prison that is my body? I don’t want to sound negative or sad but nothing really is changing. We can’t afford a caregiver and I can expect my family to spend every free minute they have aside from what they’re already doing to help me. The whole physical therapy aftercare is a fucking joke. I can only call so many times without a return call. And in reality, if they do call I have no way to get there… So does it really matter. My husband cannot keep taking off as much work as he already does take care of me. My kids work and they shouldn’t have to take care of me. They have done that their whole lives already. And then there’s the pain… the pain that never goes away. The physical and the mental pain Is exhausting. I’m trying so hard to stay strong to keep that positive light flowing.

No one understands that when just sitting like a normal person causes so much pain, it makes a person not want to get out of the bed. The minute my hips go to the proper sitting position the pain latches on and won’t go away. My legs have plopped the side [frog legs] for over four years [11/2013] and when my hips rotate it’s excruciating. Pain meds, muscle relaxants, cannabis, CBD, nothing stops it. I’ve l earned to grit my teeth, quietly let the tears flow, bare it, and warrior on because I have to! I have orders to get ultrasounds on my legs to check for clots, an order to have x-rays of my hips and lower back to check for arthritis aside from my degenerative disc, an order for a mammogram that I’ve put off for the last 2 1/2 three years. Breast cancer took my sister from me I miss her so much…

And I digress. So as I said, I have all of those things I need to get taken care but have no way to get there. I know that my husband will take another day off work to get me to these appointments and that is why I don’t want to make them. It’s also going to suck big hairy donkey balls because of the pain that’s going to happen when trying to get me out of my wheelchair to lie flat for the x-rays. I hope they have some strong men working that day and maybe even a chaser of morphine.

On the outside looking in people probably think I’m lazy. Although I don’t know how I can do much more from my bed. I fought for the last two decades against MS and it didn’t change a thing. I Just kept progressing to where I’m now. But don’t worry, I’m still going to fight and do what I can from this bed to keep going.

I’m going to put my arm weights on every day and do my exercises. I’m going to have my family help me move my legs when they get a free moment. I’m going to keep moving my legs as much as I can even if it is only a little. I know right now I can’t move them very much, but with hard work it can only get better. Or it won’t. But even in the dreary depressed mood I am in at this moment, I will never quit. I will never end up in the hospital again after trying to take my life. [2/2017] I will never end up in the hospital again contemplating taking my life. [2/2018] Because what that month of physical therapy DID give to me was a glimpse in to what might be. I know now I was just a body in bed but while I was there I learned the tools to better myself. I have all the paperwork showing the specific exercises; I know what to do. And even if nothing changes, no one can say I didn’t fight and fight hard! One thing I learned and I’m still learning is there truly is something beautiful in every. I didn’t see that before. That’s how I make it through now. As I’m reading through this I’m not even sure what I’m trying to say. But, I’m in here and I’m saying it and that alone is strength.

Have courage and be kind.

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Positivity…

This whole positive, optimistic thing is really new to me. I grew up in a somewhat negative family. Don’t get me wrong, there was a lot of love, but also negativity. These type of behaviors are learned. When you’re around negative forces it rubs off on your psyche. Now there were happy, positive times for sure, but looking back a lot of negative as well. And it was ‘taught’ in previous generations. It didn’t just start in my family, and it took me 53 years to realize this. The realization came while I was in rehab. The positivity train that that took over during that time made me re-evaluate a lot of of my life.

Again, there were a lot of positive things in my life. Unfortunately, negativity always took over many of the positive aspects. The issue I am running in to now is others in my life aren’t in the same place I am. I’ve also realized that the so called positive people in my life, truly were not all the positive. They preached positivity, but honestly didn’t live it. I have had to rid myself of many toxic things and/or people as of late. And while it is sometimes sad, I am actually okay with it. I finally understand the concept of, you have to take care of yourself first, or you cannot help anyone else.

I have found myself more than once falling back into that angry negative place. When that happens, I pause, take a breath and move on. I just give myself a little space from the negative forces that be. It’s been a very hard journey to get where I am at today. I will not let anyone take away my new outlook. Sadly, I feel like there are a few out there trying to do just that. Like I said, they’re still in that not so good place. I truly hope they can find their way out of it, but either way I will not go back.

d7a51b48621909d116597e862a0721ec

We truly are in charge of our own happiness no matter the hardships in our life. Believe me, it would be very easy for me to just lie down and die. And, I almost did just that. I will not go back there and I will not let anyone steal my happiness. I will not let anyone takeaway my new positive, optimistic, and determined heart. I have worked too hard in the last two months to get to this place. I also will not apologize for it.

Just a small glimpse in to the life that is me. I will get back to the journey that got me here… eventually. I hope those of you following/reading my blog are living your life to it’s fullest potential. We ALL deserve to be happy, no matter the circumstance.

Have Courage and Be Kind

 

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Being Defeated is NOT an Option!

Yesterday was not one of my better days. I had in-home physical therapy in the morning and then my appointment with Dr. Nasser in the afternoon. I was feeling okay in the morning and after physical therapy. All of a sudden it felt like a Mack truck had run over me. I just started feeling queasy and was having a hard time sitting up. At around 1 PM we started getting me ready for my appointment. I am unable to dress myself so I need to be rolled and moved a lot. The pain was unimaginable. By the time I was dressed, leg braces on, and Hoyer lifted in to my power chair, I was done! I could’ve canceled my appointment, but I knew I needed to go. He deals with my pain management, so I needed to go badly. The drive was excruciating. When we got there it was 83°, and heat is not my friend. The combination of everything started to bring about a little bit of depression. I was angry. I’ve been trying so hard to get better and to feel better… then this hits me. I felt like I was being punished for getting dressed. LOL I know that sounds crazy, but that’s how I was feeling.

Bottom line, I was feeling defeated, I’m not gonna lie!

By the time I got into his office I felt like I was going to be sick. Then I realized that my Hydro flask had leaked water all inside of my purse. It looked like I peed myself. Which, I’ve done before, but this time it wasn’t me. LOL Roger took my purse outside and dumped all the water out. He left to go upstairs this doctors appointment and I went into the room for my doctors appointment. The room was so small and it was so hot in there I thought I was going to pass out. Thankfully Roger’s  appointment finished before my doctor came in the room, so he came in with me. Sometimes I just need my hubby. Sometimes! 😉

My doctor finally came in the room, we exchanged pleasantries, and then took care of business. I got my medications refilled and hopefully four more physical therapy appointments. I explained I was a little perturbed that someone had dropped the ball because it took three weeks before I even got physical therapy started after I left the rehab. But, I have to let that kind of shit go because all it does is upset me. Those of us that deal with chronic illness and doctors know that many times we are not the priority. While my time in rehab was awesome, follow has not been the best. Luckily, I am a little bit of… okay a-lot-a-bit of a bitch, and when I set my mind something… nothing will stop me!

We wanted to go grocery shopping after our doctors appointments, but that wasn’t happening! By the time we got home my pain was so intense I just wanted to get into my bed and hide under the covers. And that is what I did! There were a lot of tears and, again a lot of feelings of defeat. I started second-guessing myself. All I could think was, if doing the little stuff that I did was going to knock me the fuck out like it did, then what’s the point? Is it ever going to be easier? Do I want to keep putting myself through the horrific pain every time I move? The answers are: I’m primary progressive and yes the little things probably will kick my ass, it’s probably not going to get easier, and I do have to put myself through the pain if I want to get better.

I may be down right now, but I will never be out.

Have Courage and Be Kind

** again, I’m sorry for bad grammar, typos, run on sentences. I’m a business major not an English major. LOL PEACE!