Excuses

You see it all the time, everywhere they sell workout gear “NO EXCUSES”.

Is pain an excuse? I’m not talking about the muscle aches, or the pain you feel from exhausting yourself while working out, but the pain you already endure before you even start doing anything at all. The pain that makes you want to crawl in bed and pull the covers over your head. The pain that only gets more intense with every increase of your heart rate. Is that a valid excuse? Sometimes I think maybe I should quit using that excuse, but then as soon as I do any physical activity, my headache reminds me of my damn “excuse”…

I need to lose weight, I really do. I feel that less pounds will help my knee feel better. I just don’t know how! I have cut soda already for a while, I don’t eat that much, and I cook fairly healthy almost ever day. I hate fast food! I am addicted to sugar though. I love it. I can work on that…

To all the chronic pain warriors out there: What have you done to lose weight, while being in pain 24/7? I need some guidance.

No getting used to

I hear it often “Oh you must be used to the headache… you must be used to the pain….”

NO. I. AM. NOT. I cannot get used to it. I have been trying to figure out how I can live like this? How is it possible to be in pain 24/7 for over 19 years?! I DON’T KNOW! It really baffles me… sometimes I think maybe it used to be less severe, but no, then I remember, it always sucked big time, and it still does. The pain doesn’t get easier to bear. It does feel familiar, but it isn’t like it’s the welcomed guest at the party!

I have been trying this new medication for over a month now, but it hasn’t made a difference. I should give it at least 6 weeks according to the neurologist, and I will, but it’s not looking promising. On Monday I’m going in to get a Magnesium IV drip. We’ll see how that goes…

Sometimes I wonder what life would be like without pain. It’s not something I remember, so it’s hard to phantom, and to be honest it scares me a bit. I don’t know why though. Maybe it’s because people in general tend to be scared of the unknown? It’s crazy thinking…  I know I’ll never experience life without pain, and that’s okay. I don’t want to be greedy… just one less pain will do. If it could only be this headache!

Can’t fix it all

This morning while I was driving to my physical therapy appointment I realized why I was eager to get my knee replaced, for a minute.

My worst pain, the one that’s ruining my life, my headache, can’t be fixed. At least no luck so far. I think I was just excited about my knee replacement so that there was finally something I could control. A pain that I can make go away. But then I realized that living without that knee pain, isn’t going to make a whole lot of difference. Yeah, I’ll have one less pain, but it isn’t so bad, yet. I rather wait until it is no longer bearable.

Currently I’m still recovering from my previous knee surgery, which has only been 4 weeks. I want to see first how much different my knee will feel once these cutting pains go away.

Wait!

I think I’m going to wait…. I feel like I’m rushing this decision. I feel that it will be in my best interest to hold off a little while. I’m going to focus on losing weight so my knees get some relief, and on strengthening my legs.

I’m not ready to give up on my own body part. I can not undo that surgery. Currently, I can live with this pain. I know it’ll only get worse, and that it is inevitable, BUT in this case, the longer I wait, the better. I want to wait until the pain’s unbearable, or it interferes too much with my life.

At the moment my headache still rules my life, and as long as that’s not under control, having a pain-free knee isn’t going to improve the quality of my life that much. So I first want to continue focusing on finding a solution to my constant headache.

 

 

 

TKR

TKR= Total Knee Replacement

Apparently that’s my only option now… I have been researching it, and the more I read the less excited I get! I was relieved at first to have found a surgeon willing to replace my young, 36 year-old, knee, but now I’m not so sure anymore…

A few of my hesitations include:

  1. The recovery period is way longer than I had anticipated. At the very least I will be extremely limited for 8 weeks. That means, no cooking, cleaning, driving, shopping, doing laundry, or pretty much everything I’m OCD about!
  2. The new knee won’t last forever! I’ll have to have at least 1 to 2 revisions if I’m fortunate enough to live long. With each revision comes a reduced chance at a successful recovery.
  3. Taking pain meds is crucial to the recovery, and I am allergic to the heavy stuff, like Vicodin and Oxycodone. I cannot deal with strong narcotics. I’m sure they’ll find something that’ll take the edge off the pain, but I’m worried about the intensity I’ll most likely going to experience.
  4. The kids! How is this recovery period going to affect them? I’m not going to be able to take care of them!
  5. I’ll have no control over any of the recovery, since exercising isn’t going to benefit me at all. All I can do is rest, elevate, and ice. I have no patience for this!!!!

Is anyone here reading, who’s been through this, who had the same worries, and who can tell me not to worry, that everything will be just fine?! I need to get some feedback here… Please.

Helping out

Today was the due date for my second born in 2010. My son was born a week earlier via a scheduled c-section because of my previous pelvis fracture. It is crazy thinking back. I miss being pregnant… It is such a surreal, amazing, magical experience to have a little human growing inside your tummy. Both my pregnancies were considered high-risk because my first one was a suspected IUGR (Intrauterine growth restriction) which refers to a condition in which an unborn baby is smaller than it should be because it is not growing at a normal rate inside the womb. Delayed growth puts the baby at risk of certain health problems during pregnancy, delivery, and after birth. They include: Low birth weight. My daughter was just under 5 lbs when she was born, but was completely healthy and gained weight very quickly outside the womb. It was a scary time those last couple of months of the pregnancy. With my son the growth was fairly normal, but there was a higher risk of a chromosomal issue. The doctor offered the option to abort at 20 weeks, but thankfully I declined. My kids are the best thing that ever happened to me, and I cannot bear the thought having to live without either one in my life. My son has a bicuspid aortic valve, which is a heart condition, but fortunately in his case, he has absolutely no problems with it. He is just a normal, crazy little boy!

Pregnancy as a chronic pain sufferer was hard though. I’m sure it can be hard for any woman, regardless of physical condition, but I can only speak for myself. I don’t take medicine regularly, but I occasionally grab some ibuprofen to take off the edge when the pain is ridiculous. During pregnancy however, Ibuprofen isn’t allowed. So I suffered, a lot. I don’t know how I did it, to be honest, but I actually also continued to work full-time all the way til the end, both times. Looking back, I wish I would’ve given my body a break. I should’ve stayed home more to rest, to prepare, to enjoy.

For a long time I begged my husband to let me be pregnant again. I don’t want another child, but I missed being pregnant so much, that I wanted to carry a child for a woman who couldn’t. I wanted to be a surrogate. I wanted to give a family the opportunity to be whole, to feel the love I experience each and every day. My husband understood my desires, but also kept me grounded and reminded me of the struggles I had during my 2 pregnancies. The uncontrollable headaches, and other pains, made it unbearable sometimes. He also told me he loved me too much, that he was too scared to loose me, for the kids to be without their mom, since every pregnancy bears this risk. So I let it go.

I still have this urge to help. There are too many horror stories in the news about abused children, and I would love to be that safe haven for at least a few. I wish I could foster all the kids who so desperately need guidance, or just a hug. I try to volunteer when I can. Right now, with this stupid knee, I can’t even drive my kids to school, let alone be useful anywhere, and I can’t stand myself. I know it’s not my fault, I know this will pass, but I just have this desire bursting inside of me to go out there and help!

Helping others makes my pain more bearable. It gives me a purpose beyond myself… beyond the disabilities. I need it.

Give me a break

Why can’t my body just have one pain at a time?! One… I can handle one. This pain in my knee is all I need. The horrendous, debilitating headache, and this excruciating pain in my back, should give me a break. It’s not because I feel these pains all the time, that I’m used to them! I want to be without, always, forever, or just for one day… I’ll take what I can get.

Useless

For having had minimal invasive surgery, I am disappointed at the amount of pain I’m still dealing with. My headache isn’t showing any mercy either. Because of the amount of time I’m sitting/laying in the couch now, my back is aching outrageously as well.

Last Wednesday I asked the physician assistant for a different painkiller, since the oxycodone was making me too itchy and too “out of it”. So I am taking Norco now, which doesn’t help a whole lot. It makes me sleepy though, and I’m feeling light-headed and nauseous 😣

I feel so useless. There are so many things I want to do! My folks are still here. I’m sure they’re bored out of their mind. I’m getting emails from the kids’ teachers about class parties and donation requests and all I want to do is get up, go shopping, and start helping out, yet I can’t do any of it. I hate to be like this.

Day after

Day after surgery #17. The 6th one on my right knee.

The surgery went well, but not as planned. They were supposed to do a bone graft, but once the surgeon saw the extend of the damage and deterioration, he decided to close the knee back up, and have me scheduled for a total knee replacement in the near future.

Because this surgery wasn’t invasive, I am able to move around pretty good. I even went to my son’s school this morning to deliver treats to the classroom for his birthday. My dad drove us and carried the box with homemade Belgian waffles!

I did have to take an oxycodone when I got home, because of course I overdid it a little… but my son is worth it. I’d do anything for my kids, no matter how much it hurts.

Tomorrow I’m having a follow up appointment with my surgeon, and he’s going to give me a referral to the knee replacement specialist. Hopefully we can have it done this year. I just want it over with now, you know. No reason to postpone anymore.

I suck

Since my previous medication was making my headache significantly worse, my neurologist prescribed me something totally different: Memantine (or Namenda) which is used to treat Alzheimer Disease… It’s unofficially also given to patients with OCD, anxiety, bipolar disorders… So it’s quite interesting, and I’m curious if it’ll do me any good. At this point I have nothing to lose anymore, so I guess we’ll give it a shot. I am not keeping my hopes up, I can tell you that. I’ll start taking them after my surgery and when I’m cleared by the Orthopedic surgeon.

My knee surgery is on Monday. I am still trying not to think about it. I was told the bone graft wouldn’t be covered by the insurance, since it’s considered “experimental”. Have I ever told you how much I hate everything related to the medical field? Doctors, insurance companies, pharmaceuticals,… It’s all so much bullshit.

I have been going to L.A. for physical therapy a few times now. They recommended a TENS unit to reduce my headaches. I’ve bought it (on Amazon) and I have yet to use it… I just don’t get around doing it. I was also given a bunch of exercises to do at home, but of course, one; I’ve lost the sheet with the instructions, and two; I have been either too busy or in too much pain to get them done. I’m so bad at this!