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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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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 🖤

 

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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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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!

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Must re-charge…

Yesterday I went to see my neurologist. I finally got to use my new wheelchair.

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When the doctor came in the room he looked at me and said, “You look so good!! No one would know you have primary progressive MS.“ I’m never really sure what to say when I hear something like that, so I just smile. We discussed the infusion, the newest DMD (disease modifying drugs), Ocrevus.  He said he would get an appointment for me and the drug rep as soon as possible. He is very worried about the ‘serious‘ side effects. We all know that the medications for MS do come with very serious side effects. The problem for me, is my urostomy. I am prone to kidney and bladder infections as well as kidney and bladder stones. Because my immune system is overactive, it’s fights off some of the infection. If I am put on a medication that suppresses my immune system, I could very easily become septic. So I’m kind of screwed. At least he is giving me the option and I will be talking to the drug rep about it. Hell, I haven’t had a cold or a flu for so many years thanks to my overactive immune system. The only time I have gotten sick was when I was on a couple of the DMD‘S many years ago.

Then I did my normal, “I need prescriptions“. The main medication I need is the daily antibiotic I have to take, twice a day, for my issues. Rapture! LOL  and we definitely cannot forget my antidepressants. Without those no one wants to be around me. 😈

After that we went to Walgreens to pick up my new prescriptions and then we went and got some dinner. I was only up for about three hours, but it totally kicked my ass. Today I am running on empty.

Must re-charge

Sadly that is what MS does to us… At least the majority of us. It’s very rare that we can go and do things, and then be able to go and do things the next day. It’s very depressing, especially when you were someone who was always on the go. This disease changes is and takes away everything we once were. That is why we must be stronger than our MS. We must fight it every day, which sucks hairy balls, but that’s what we have to do. And we do it because we are warriors!

                           Have courage and be kind

** I will be back with my positivity journey very soon. So much love to all! ♥️

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The Strength Inside – part IV

I had entered the hospital on February 16 and by now, with my best recollection, it is February 22. I had agreed to go to the rehabilitation Center at Palmdale regional. Or at least that’s what I thought. Again, I was heavily medicated with morphine and being in the hospital I wasn’t sleeping the best. I was just about to fall asleep when two very, umm, loud women came in my room.

Hurting my ears

The one woman mentioned that she was from a rehabilitation center in San Bernardino which was an hour plus away from my home. She and the other woman, the hospital case manager, both explained how ‘their’ rehab center had been in business for 22 years (maybe 24) and they were the best. Now in my morphine haze, I thought they were actually talking about Dr. Nasser’s rehab center. If I had been in my right mind I would’ve realized that his (Dr. Nasser’s) center was not an hour plus away from my home. But these women were so forceful in their ‘sales pitch’, that I just sat there nodding my head saying yes. Somehow they had heard about my interest in going to a rehab center, and ended up in my room pushing their place on me. I was a little taken aback because the case manager from the hospital was with this person. In my mind, this was a conflict of interest. [ya think] I felt as if these women were tag teaming me. 😂 I don’t remember much more except, I think, I agreed to go to their place. When they left I was very anxious and in tears.

As I was falling asleep, a man entered the room. Instantly I felt calm. He was good looking, he was dressed nicely, had very nicely trimmed and well-kept beard going on, and he was Zen like. He told me his name was Scott and that he was from the rehab center at Palmdale. So now my mind was going in all different directions. I explained about the two women that had shown up in my room and how they told me theirs was the best rehab center around. He smiled and told me that they are a well-established rehabilitation center. He explained that the rehab center at Palmdale was fairly new, only a tad over one-year-old. I knew immediately I was going to go with Palmdale. Not just because it was only five minutes from my home, but because this guy made me feel calm. His voice was even, he had a pleasant laugh, and he was not throwing me a sales pitch. I know I was high on the morphine, but he also made me feel high just talking to him. I told him my mind was made up and that I wanted to go to ‘his’ place. We talked a few more minutes and then he left. I was so calm by then I just remember falling asleep for a good four hours.

When I woke up, that evil little voice inside my head was making me very nervous. Telling me I wasn’t strong enough, that the pain would be too much, that I can’t forget I have primary progressive MS. As usual, I started to weep. And yes, ugly cry. And yes, snot running down my face. But then, as if a fire was lit inside of me, I dried my eyes wiped my nose and said to myself, “I CAN do this! I know it will be hard, but I know I have the strength and the courage to do it. My life and my families lives depend on this. I’ve got this!”

The next step…Life!

Love and Light

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The Strength Inside – part III

All about Dr. Hottie! His name is Dr. Thomas Nasser, DO. This part is about how he helped me start my new journey.

By now I had seen Dr. Muscles and awesome Dr. Pretty. [the psychiatrist] I truly need to find out their real names. All of a sudden the curtain opened and this very attractive man walked in my room. He introduced himself as Dr. Nasser. I looked at him and apologized because I told him they they sent me the wrong Dr. Nasser. You see his wife, Dr. Susan Nasser, is my primary care doctor. He laughed a little and said,” you must mean my wife.” All I could think of was they must be the power couple in the valley here. He explained that he was a pain management specialist and that he ran the Rehabilitation Renter at Palmdale Regional Medical Center. He had been told of my plight by Dr. Muscles. He wanted to ask me if I wanted to go to his rehab to get help. Again, for those of you that know me when I know something, I’m always right. I explained that I have primary progressive MS and there really isn’t anything he could do for me. Again, he just smiled and basically he told me, well then there’s nothing to lose right?

In this moment I had so many things going through my head. I was drugged up on morphine, and everything was still hazy about what had happened the day before. Hell this might’ve been the same day I truly can’t remember. All I  could think about was being told for so many years there wasn’t much I could do once the progression started. The new medication, for the progressive forms of MS [Ocrevus], I could not go on. Something about being too disabled. I will talk about that another time. All the while he just stood there waiting for my response.

I looked at him and said. “I don’t think you know what you’re dealing with, but yes, I would love to try it.” I told him that my insurance probably wouldn’t do it, and he told me not to worry about that. When he left the room I was scared. The pain I have on a daily basis is about a 10+. But As my fellow MS’ers know we learn to deal with it. I knew doing this was going to be hell-a painful and hell-a hard. And there was that little asshole voice saying ‘it won’t work.’ And, again, I was scared. No, fuck that, I was PETRIFIED!! Could I deal with the pain? Could it, would it, really work. NO, it won’t work!! Nothing will help!! That damn voice would not shut the fuck up!! Then somehow… from somewhere… a strange feeling overtook me. HOPE!! Real hope. A feeling that I had lost many years ago. You see hope was my mantra. Then, hope became paralyzing. Hope became a word that made me cry. But, at this moment, hope was back. I’m not a great writer, so bare with me as I try to explain the feelings that took over. I see/feel dark and light. Dark and light clouds, if you will. My cloud was pitch-black and gloomy over me. I felt the cloud ‘open’ and light enveloped me. I was shaking and tears were streaming down my face. Fifty-three years of negative forces went flooding past me and a rainbow of positivity swept over me. Maybe, just maybe, this would work. Maybe, just maybe, I could get my life back and save my family.

Now the real journey begins…

Have Courage and Be Kind

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‘Have Courage and Be Kind’ is a beautiful quote from this 2015 version of Cinderella.