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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Saw The Surgeon

I think this guy got his medical license from a Cracker Jack box or something.

What a most wonderful visit!! (NOT)

He started out wanting to know why I take the medication I take and I told him. He proceeded to tell me they never should have attempted to fuse my SI joint because "everyone's sacrum moves like that" (over 30 degrees of movement, very unstable)

According to him family history does not count in breast cancer, neither does the changes to my breasts, the calcifications noticed in 2006 should have been biopsied (no one mentioned it). No mastectomy because my reasoning for wanting it isn't good enough, and the above statements.

Lumpectomy only on Tuesday the 6th.

Would consider a mastectomy if a genetic test shows I have the gene (even though the gene and family history don't matter re: chances of developing cancer as he said earlier in the visit), and if lump is cancer then they will do a mastectomy.

According to him needle and core biopsies never have a false negative either.

Not a fun visit. Doctors really hate it when a patient comes in with ideas of their own and he is, apparently, one of those.

End result after crying from pure frustration: July 6th, complete lumpectomy to biopsy whole lump (which I requested and he didn't like but followed along on this point at least). That's pretty much it.

Came home, cried, went to bed. Apparently wanting my best chance at preventing breast cancer is not a good enough reason for mastectomy, the American Cancer Society lies to people, and everything I know is wrong. Lovely visit with a doctor *sigh*

So today I called one of the local oncologist centers and spoke with their nurse (the one who answers patient questions and such). After the way the surgeon so adamantly refuted everything I had been told, or read about breast cancer, I was confused and wanted answers. I wanted to be sure that my information was correct just for my peace of mind. So I called an oncologist office, I figure since they are the cancer treatment doctors they would have accurate up to date information regarding cancer. Yes family history does matter. If you have a first line relative (mother or sister) who had breast cancer, it increases your chances of developing BC. For me, my chance is very high because ALL female relatives had BC diagnosis, before menopause, and all died of BC on both biological mother and father's sides. The gene does count in increasing BC chances but apparently there are several additional genes that are being researched as possible contributors as well as the BRCA I and II. Yes enlargement, thickening of tissues (making it harder to diagnose possible spots on mammogram etc.), and calcifications in a person with family history can be "pre-cancerous changes" and/or precursors to cancer. (all of which I have) The nurse I was speaking with called this surgeon an "idiot" and I laughed. She then told me that despite prophylactic mastectomy being my best chance, I probably won't find a surgeon willing to take the chance on doing it until cancer actually shows up. She also recommended having the genetic test done because it would carry more weight with a surgeon and might tip the scales in favor of mastectomy since the surgeons are refuting an extensive family history are "not enough".

My primary care doctor's office called this morning to set an appointment for me to come in and discuss my thyroid test results, so while there (Next Friday the 9th) I will ask them to order the BRCA genetic blood test.

So at least I know that my information is accurate, even if my surgeon doesn't believe it to be. It is nice to know I'm not nuts LOL

All this stress, and today's lovely rainy weather, is driving my pain levels up pretty dang high. So its been a rough couple of days and it doesn't look like its going to get any better for a little while.

(This post will be duplicated on my stitching blog)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

How stress affects chronic pain

Having pain every minute of every day is not a lot of fun, but what makes it worse is knowing that every day things can make it worse. Changes in hormones and regular body changes before during and after menstruation make the pain worse. Stress also makes the pain worse. Stress often causes people to tighten up their muscles, without being aware they are doing so. This tightening can cause muscle spasms in some people (people like me with nerve damage or back issues for example) and just the added tension of tight muscles will increase the pain. The mental aspects of stress (such as whirling thoughts etc) lower my ability to deal with or pretty much ignore pain that is between a 2 or 5 on the pain scale. Instead, because my mind is so overwhelmed and I am mentally/emotionally exhausted, my coping skills are low and pain that is at a 2 might feel like it is at a 4. My pain tolerance goes down. This seems to be true for most CP (Chronic Pain) patients that I know.

Fighting pain, dealing with it, and/or just ignoring it every minute of every day takes a great deal of energy. If my energy is focused elsewhere (by whatever stressful situation is going on) then I have less energy to deal with my pain. This can cause me to feel more pain than usual, or even other symptoms such as all-over achiness that I do not normally have. I find myself napping multiple times a day and still sleeping for a minimum of 6 hours (or more) at night, I am tired after being awake for just a couple hours.

Facing a possible mastectomy and cancer diagnosis is extremely stressful, and it is affecting my pain levels. The fear, the unknown, the being left in the dark right now isn't helping either. My pain is higher than usual, my tolerance is lower, and my skin is now sensitive to touch. Even a light hug with arms around my shoulders causes my entire back and pelvis to throb. This doesn't usually happen unless I am in a severe pain crisis. I know most of this is caused by the stress and worry I am feeling. I am trying to keep myself from going nuts, doing deep breathing, meditating, stitching, cleaning (My bedroom looks MUCH better now!) and other means of stress relief, but it isn't making the stress go away. These things are simply keeping me from going insane and just running away somewhere.

So how does stress affect chronic pain? It makes it worse.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Stream Of Consciousness Writing

This entry is a stream of consciousness writing, which means whatever pops into my head will be written down. It may not make much sense, but it is not meant to. This is just to relieve myself. In the past I've done this in written journals when a situation that was causing extreme stress was going on and I found that such writings did help to alleviate some of the stress. What surprised me about it was also finding that doing this occasionally made the whirling thoughts either slow down a bit or stop completely. These are the thoughts that are running through my mind since I was told the lump in my breast was not a cyst or infection and a biopsy would be needed. Having lived with this time bomb waiting to go off inside me (due to family history of breast cancer) I did not expect to be this upset, after all I knew this would happen sooner or later (and probably sooner than later). Despite this my reaction has been intense, very emotional, and very convoluted which surprised me. So I'm going to try this here to see if it helps. (Family history: every female on both biological mother and father's sides died of breast cancer, all before age 50. my mother at 44 [I think] and her mother at 31. none survived 5 years from diagnosis) So here it goes...

OMGOMGOMGOMGOMG a lump..shit..fuck..its cancer..I know it, its has to be. omg omg omg omg I can't deal with kids, what about my kids? my son..he's just 14, too young to lose his mother. no I won't die, I can beat this. but no one in my family has ever beat it, none lived longer than 5 years from diagnosis. shit shit shit fuck fuck fuck NO think positive, its just fibroid growth, think positive think positive. can't oh god oh god please, please just fibroid please god ok? please? my niece, she's 2, sees me almost like a mom to her, this will devestate her and sam, oh my god baby girl..sam..ohshit..this will kill her she's already very stressed...god please just a fibroid come on god give me a break please. what the hell am I going to do? calm down missy calm down, you can handle no I can't ..can't I just run away? run away from it and hide somewhere? I am so fucking scared. why am I so scared? I've known for many years that this would eventually happen. god that pissed me off when marty said that on Monday "you knew this was a possibility" like that made it any better..know he didn't mean it negatively but shit that hurt and pissed me off, like I wasn't supposed to be upset, like it is no big deal, like I shouldn't be scared, worried or anything....but he's right, I have been expecting this for years, I knew this would happen eventually I knew breast cancer (for me anyway) wasn't an "if" it was a "when" and apparently "when" turned out to be at age 41..I should be stronger than scared, so fucking scared...want to hit fucking scared and hurt and that always makes me angry..don't want to be angry, it doesn't help god please, please god don't let it be cancer, please god give me a second chance..I thought I would be able to handle this better but I can't, I'm failing Ron, my kids, my friends because I'm falling apart. They all expect me to be so strong, so to face anything and just deal with it..but I can't. so fucking weak and fucking scared..vulnerable.. Ron! this is going to devestate Ron, ohmygod I never wanted to hurt Ron and I know this is hurting him..he's so clingy now..he's not sleeping scared..I can see it in his eyes..never wanted to hurt or worry him like this..ohgod I'm failing him, failing myself, failing everyone..please make this go away, please please please...Ron, ohgod I need Ron..I love him so much and I know after his mother's death from cancer this will be flashbacks for him. he told me years ago that he didn't know if he could go through cancer treatment for someone he loves again. he's already had a heart attack..what if the stress of this causes another? oh god please no. please please please give Ron the strength to deal with this..please don't let him die or have a heart attack. ohgod I can't believe this..why now? isn't a lifetime of massive pain enough? Isn't knowing that the pain will just get worse every year, eventually needing a wheelchair and probably ending up in some shitty nursing home unable to care for myself due to pain enough punishment for whatever I have done that was so fucking wrong? what the hell was I in a past life, Adolf Hitler or something? what did I do wrong to deserve chronic pain and now breast cancer? think positive missy, think positive it could still be a fibroadenoma, it may not be cancer. you have to think positively. yeah right, come on you idiot you know its had pre-cancerous changes back in 2006 and after those type of changes a cancer diagnosis often follows within 5 years and this is the 4th year. the damn thing is 2.4cm long almost an inch and wasn't there 2 weeks ago. it grew fast..does that mean it is a very aggressive cancer? ohman please no. so tired..can't do this I just can't. this is horrible so horrible. I hate not knowing..why isn't there a simple blood test to detect breast cancer so people don't have to wait days or weeks and drive themselves insane? I don't even know when the biopsy will be done. why didn't I get the mastectomy in 2006? why didn't I push for a second opinion? why was I so stupid as to believe that surgeon that there were no other surgeons that do mastectomies in my town? stupid stupid stupid bitch. I should have done more, I should have been willing to go to pensacola or tallahassee or anywhere else to get a second opinion. I shouldn't have just let it go. I should have done the stupid genetic test he wanted despite the difficulties of life insurance and all that shit, just to get the mastectomy and lower my very high risk for breast cancer. stupid of me so damn stupid. why did I just let it go? why didn't I push harder? oh god this is horrible. breathe missy will be okay, stop freaking out...<breath > <breath> <breath> <close eyes and breathe for a minute or two>

tumor..solid palpable mass..biopsy necessary. shit shit shit so fucking scared. will the surgeon do the is my best chance at beating it if it is already cancer or preventing cancer if its not cancer yet. but will he do it? God please, make the surgeon do the mastectomy, please god please please please..give me a chance here, for my kids' sakes..please don't make my kids go through losing their mother...please don't make Ron have to relive the worst time of his life..please god. chemotherapy, throwing up ohman I hate throwing up..losing my hair and being bald ohman ohman ..I can do this..I'm strong..I've come through a lot in my life..abuse..sam's abuse and her intense long struggle with ptsd, severe depression, d.i.d all of it..divorces..crap with my so-called family..this should be easier..but its not..its not any easier..this is so fucking hard..this is more terrifying than going homeless with an infant relying on me..ohgod pleasepleasepleaseplease make this go away..please can we do the last 10 days over again lump no nothing..I swear I'll demand the mastectomy I should have gotten in 2006..please god make this go away. come on missy stop being a blubbering baby..just stop this doesn't help anything going round and round like this..STOP IT..I can't..I wish I could because this is so stressful..I keep crying in the bathroom so no one hears me, so I don't upset anyone or make them any more scared than they already are..Kyle's statement when I got home after the mammo.."you're going to die?!?" keeps going through my head..the fear on his face..ohgod I can't do this to my baby..I can't promise him I will live because I might not and then he'll be even more pissed that I lied to him in addition to so hurt and angry that I died..shit shit shit shit..this is just horrible. <deep breath> OK enough of this shit..I'm going to go stitch something and force my brain to stop this round and round..tumor..cancer..its cancer, I know it instincts are screaming that it is..what if its not instincts and just fear..I've been scared before but never like this. now I know what goes through a person's mind after they hear they need a biopsy..this is something I think I could have lived without knowing..I don't like feeling this body has betrayed me again..hell after my back and pelvis I should be used to it, but I'm not. I should have been able to handle this much better, but I can't. I can't handle this with the calm I thought I would. I'm not strong like everyone thinks I am. I'm weak, vulnerable, terrified and small. ENOUGH MISSY! ENOUGH! STOP IT! GO STITCH OR CLEAN OR ANYTHING STOP JUST SITTING HERE DRIVING YOURSELF NUTS IT DOESN"T HELP. GO!


And that is how I finished "Frogging Around" the other day. This crap is still going through my mind off and on today and I've taken 3 naps so far to escape from it. I've done laundry to escape from it. My back is killing me so I can't do housework and vent the nervous energy that fills me. I don't know what to stitch now, I can't make up my mind. I feel like I am alternating between spinning in circles and being lost alone in the dark. This sucks.

I am trying so hard to be strong, to be there for my family and friends so they don't get more scared when all I want to do is run away or hide. I feel myself closing in on myself and withdrawing from others, curling up to lick my wounds. I know it is okay to do that when one needs to, so long as it doesn't last for too long, but I am not sure I can pull myself out of it. This really does suck.

I'm not sure typing that stream of consciousness helped or not, I will probably have to keep doing it until Monday when I find out whether the doctor will do the mastectomy or not. I am really hoping that he will, that he will realize it is the best option regardless of the biopsy results. His nurse called to remind me of my appointment on Monday and blew my mind. She asked me if I was okay and handling this okay, then listened to me babble for 15 minutes. She did not interupt me or tell me she had other things to do. She just listened and told me she understood and that it is okay to be scared. She assured me that Dr. Wong would listen to me and help me make the best decision and he is looking forward to seeing and helping me. She told him everything I had said when I called on Wednesday afternoon. This surprised me but also made me feel better. Is it possible that I really have found a doctor who is a doctor because he cares about people? I hope so because it will make this all a lot easier I think.

Ok I am going to work on Christmas Dreams I think, it is the wip I have that is closest to being finished. I am sorry if this post upsets anyone. Please realize that this was not my intention, I just needed to get it out of my head. I do feel a bit calmer, so that is good :)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Not A Cyst

Diagnosis from Mamo and Ultrasound: Solid Palpable Mass

Next step: Biopsy to determine if it is malignant (cancer) or benign (fibroid type growth or other non-cancerous mass)

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers, I appreciate it.

I'm going to go hide for a bit, cuddle with hubby and see if I can get my mind around this, get past the fear and shock and in to the "fight it" mindset.

Terrified and needing strength

As if a broken pelvis and chronic pain are not enough, I found a lump on my breast this weekend. I saw the doctor on Monday and she confirmed the lump. They are going to do an ultrasound and mammogram today. On an ultrasound a fluid filled thing (such as a cyst) will appear gray, a solid growth (like a tumor) will appear black as the sound waves can not go through them. I am praying for gray on the ultrasound.

Approval code paperwork has already been started for the surgeon in case I need a biopsy, this way I won't have to wait for approval codes.

I am terrified as breast cancer runs very strongly in my family and my chances are very very high (95%) to contract breast cancer in my lifetime.

I would appreciate any thoughts, prayers, well wishes or anything. Due to this I just haven't been stitching as I am too nervous to pay attention. Heck I haven't been doing much except praying for a cyst or something easy to take care of and not a cancerous tumor.

I'm sorry

Monday, June 21, 2010

Depression Messes With Everything!

Depression hurts those who suffer with it in so many different ways. First there are the emotions involved, feeling sad all the time, feeling down, anxious, overwhelmed and so many more. The loss of energy is also a major pain in the neck. Even if you manage to drum up the desire to do something, you are just to dang tired to do it. Body aches and pains are a nasty effect for anyone but especially so for someone who already lives with pain everyday. I am not trying to say that the aches and pains a non-chronic pain patient who is depressed feels are somehow less annoying or anything like that. I just mean that for a depressed chronic pain patient, the aches and pains from depression increases their overall pain level which makes it very difficult to manage the extra pain. Complete loss of sex drive also stinks. This can result in your partner wondering if you have lost interest in them, or no longer find them physically attractive or other negative thoughts. The complete loss of caring about anything is also a horrible effect of depression.

As I tend to be the kind of person who genuinely cares about other people, their situations and more. Losing that made me feel even worse. I am very happy with my compassion and empathy for others. It is, to me anyway, a good way to be.

These, and a few others, are all symptoms of depression that I have dealt with before and which feel "normal" to me, at least normal for when I am depressed. But recently I realized I have another symptom that really bothered me. Though I'm not sure if it is a symptom or just a side effect as logically it could be a step or two further down the "nothing matters at all" path that I wandered through with this bout of depression. Anyway I found myself once again able to enjoy my cross stitching hobby. Picking a chart, getting together the floss colors for it, picking out a fabric and getting a piece big enough for the design plus a bit extra for framing/finishing, then the actual process of stitching the design and watching it come to life on the fabric, each stitch bringing forth more and more of the design on my fabric; the whole process is just a great deal of fun and very satisfying to me! I may not have a job, but I know I am not useless or worthless because I can create beautiful stitched pieces of art! (leave my delusion alone please ROFL)

I have started a few different projects and picked up an old one. There is the Quaker piece, Frogging Around, the Delft Card (which is now finished!), Christmas Dreams and the Anniversary Sampler for Ron (DH) and I. As I got close to finishing the Delft Card I got scared! I kept picking it up, putting in a stitch or tow, then getting terrified and putting it away. Eventually I stopped even trying. This of course made me feel silly, sad, angry and more. I didn't talk to anyone about it because I was afraid they wouldn't understand, or think I was making it up to get attention, or think I was over-reacting and there really wasn't anything wrong.

But feeling my heart race, sweat break out on my skin, my hands shake and my breathing speeding up were all quite real symptoms and the emotion was also quite real; I was afraid to finish. I think the fear may have been two-fold in nature. The whole fear of failure/success so just don't try thing, I know I felt afraid of finding out that I couldn't finish it. Then there was fear of screwing it up real bad and having to start over. With all those doubts rolling around in my head and the fear knotting my stomach, it just became easier to put the design away rather than continue to try and stitch.

Last night I finally told my DH about how I have been failing, asking him to help me push past this. I also told my friend Angi, who is also a stitcher. I sat down, determined to finish the Delft Card I started at beginning of month to send to someone in the UK so they could sell it and raise money for cancer research. Angi and I sent text messages back and forth and both of them kept reassuring me that I could do it. I did ask both of them at least once if I could stop. The last time I asked I was 47 stitches from done. They both told me no and Angi's DH (Dan) piped in with a no as well. Thanks to their support I did finish the card. At first I felt mostly relief that it was done. Then came disbelief, I kept staring at it thinking "It's done?? How did that happen? Is it really done?" and checking for any missed stitches. I just couldn't believe I had done it! Then after a few minutes the wonderful rush of joy filled me and I got to experience the wonderful rush that accompanies finishing a piece and it FELT GREAT!

When I got on my blog to post the "done" I found 4 comments awaiting approval. They were all very supportive, understanding, and encouraging. No one laughed at me either. It made me feel so much better!

Still this was a rather odd experience as it is not something I have had happen before, I have had something similar but the reason for it was very different as it was the result of an abusive relationship and it affected my ability to write. Heck I couldn't even write in my journal, though I have finally gotten over that and am writing again. So here is hoping that this is gone also! I did some more stitching on Frogging Around and should have it complete tomorrow I hope!

Being able to write all of this stuff down (so to speak) on this blog has been so very helpful to me since I started it. The comments I receive make my day and better still I have met other people in similar situations as myself. This has been very helpful to me! Just knowing that I am not alone helps a great deal!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The right person appears at the right time

I went to the doctor today for my pain management appointment. I was assigned to a new physician's assistant (PA) named Denise. After finding out yesterday when the office called to remind me of my appointment that I would be seeing someone new (this has happened for my last 3 appointments) I was worried. But since I knew it was a woman I was also hopeful that she would be as good as my old PA (also named Denise). In my experiences I have much better luck with female doctors or PA's than I do with male ones. Anyway she is a really nice lady, who actually listens to her patients. She did a physical exam, which I was expecting since this is the first time we've met. She also told me that the reason I am scheduled for an appointment every 3 months instead of every month is because I am listed as not being at risk for addiction, diverting my medications, or anything like that. I already knew this about myself because I am very careful to follow all the rules and only take my medication as prescribed, but it was still nice to know that my doctor's office knows that I am not a risk as well. So it was a great visit just for the new PA, but something happened in the waiting room that made it a truly wonderful and touching visit.

I was stitching in the waiting room like I usually do. Usually the wait can be a couple hours so stitching keeps me occupied and helps keep me from getting annoyed that I have such a long wait time. This lovely older woman came over to me. Her name is Grace. She asked to see what I was stitching. I was working on the Delft Card for a friend in the UK to sell and raise money for cancer research. She said it looked wonderful then asked to see the back. I knew right then that she must be a stitcher because only a stitcher would know that the back of a piece is important. So I showed her the back and I was nervous! With her age I knew that she had most likely learned from her grandmother and mother, add in her accent and I knew she had learned from an older generation in a different country. The older generations, when teaching younger people to stitch, emphasized that they do it correctly, including making sure the back is as neat as possible. Knowing all this I was nervous to show her the back of my work, that it may not be up to her standards but she told me my back was perfect! She started complimenting me on how neat my stitches were, how neat the back was and complimented my grandmother and mother for teaching me. I had to tell her that they did not teach me, that I taught myself. She was surprised but said I obviously learned well.

She then told me how her mom and grandmother taught her to stitch when she was a little girl, back in Panama. She told me she used to stitch a lot and tried to teach her 3 daughters, but none of them were interested. She asked me to put some pieces in the County Fair in October and mentioned how sad she was that there was so little needlework being shown at the fair now a days. I told her about the ribbons I got in the Cochise County Fair back when I lived in Arizona. She said she wasn't surprised because my stitching is so neat.

She went on to tell me that she still had many patterns that belonged to her mother and how she kept them because they were her mother's. She talked about how much they meant to her and had tears in her eyes while talking. Then, she blew my mind! (i'm still very pleasantly surprised!)

She wants to give me those patterns! Can you believe it? Some of her most prized possessions and she wants to give them to me! I still can't believe it.

She said many of the patterns belonged to her mother and grandmother, but since she doesn't stitch anymore and her kids aren't interested, she has held on to it all hoping to find someone who would treasure them to give them to, someone who would use them as well. I almost cried! I will certainly treasure every single chart! I am so touched that she would give me the patterns that obviously mean so much to her, specially since we literally just met! I started to cry a little and couldn't thank her enough. I know how much those patterns mean to her because they were her mother's and her grandmother's. She said that she had watched me stitch for a few minutes before approaching me because she wanted to see if I was really enjoying the stitching or just doing it to get it over with. She said that I appeared to be a true stitcher, one who stitches for the joy of stitching. I told her how much I enjoy stitching, that it is very important to me because I can't work, so stitching gives me something to work for. I kind of see stitching as a job almost, I may not be able to work but I can make beautiful pieces of stitching for people. She understood. So we talked for a little while about stitching, her coming to the U.S., friends, family and lots of stuff. She gave me her phone number and took mine. She said she will call me in a couple of days, after she gets the patterns together. Her husband asked for directions to my house and we talked about being transplanted Yankees living in the south (He is from Maine and I am originally from Mass.) They were great people and I really enjoyed talking with them. I am hoping this is the start of a friendship.

I am hurting pretty good after the poking and prodding, but I wanted to share this story before taking a nap. :)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Busy Day

I realize it is Thursday June 10th but I am going to write about Wednesday Jun 9th.

I had a fairly busy day today. I did a spot of yard work because someone on my street turned us in to the city for our yard being overgrown. The code enforcer guy showed up yesterday and took pictures. He then told me that we needed to clean up the yard including any and all overgrowth. My yard did not look like a jungle or anything and we had raked the front yard for leaves a couple weeks ago, but those dang trees just kept dropping leaves so the front yard doesn't look like we raked much at all. So now we have until June 22nd to get the entire yard cleaned up. This is not going to be easy as Ron (DH) will be gone all next week at a symposium for his job, Stephanie (DSIL) just had surgery removing her gall bladder, I have a broken pelvis, and Brian (my brother) has issues with his legs that cause a great deal of pain. The only one in the house who is healthy enough to do yard work is my son who just turned 14.

So we are doing a little bit every day. Already we have a very large pile of branches. vines etc sitting at the edge of our front lawn. We have to pile the stuff at the edge of the front of the house for a truck (with an automatic scooper on it) to come by every couple of weeks and pick it up. It can't be in bags or anything, just piled there where it can easily be distributed all over the yard by wind. Ron went to pull out the lawnmower (we don't have much grass, but we do have weeds and the easiest way to remove those is to mow) and mow down the weeds, vines and such that are growing, but of course the stupid thing doesn't work. He did everything he knew how to do (replace spark plugs etc.) but it still won't work, so we have to buy a new one. In the meantime Kyle (DS) and I worked on cutting back some of the overgrown bushes. Ron asked me to stop when my pain hit a 6 and I did. I did get most of this really ugly palm type plant next to the air conditioner unit all cut down.

When Ron got home from work he started doing some work with Kyle and Brian (DB). It is looking better. I don't see us having a problem getting it cleaned up by the 22nd. However, this whole thing really annoys me. Whoever it was that turned our yard in to the city as in violation could have just come to us and told us they would like it if we did some work. (We did some a few weeks ago, I posted about it I think) Or even bothered to ask why our yard was overgrown. Apparently whoever it was never bothered to consider that we may have some kind of issue that makes keeping the yard looking perfect difficult for us. Nope, instead they called the city to get us in trouble. I would love to have a yard with thick green grass, pretty flower beds and always have it neat and tidy. And its not like it was badly overgrown or filled with trash. Sadly we don't have much grass, most of what grows in our yards are weeds, one of which is a vine of some sort that grows over the ground until it reaches the wall or the back deck, then it grows up those things. Oh well, we'll get it done.

Anyway, I stopped when my pain hit a 6 and of course the rest of the muscles in my body are sore because they aren't used to me trimming hedges with manual clippers. But I am proud of myself because I took care of the palm type plant and got it cut down (it will grow back, the root bulb is too big to remove) without going in to a pain crisis.

I also cooked dinner tonight. So today was a productive day. Of course my pain went up, but it was not real bad most likely because I stopped at a 6 instead of a 7. With my back and pelvis sometimes if I stop at a 7 the pain continues to rise after I sit down and relax. Often I go from that 7 to a 9 in a matter of seconds. So Ron told me to stop at a 6, in the hopes that once I sat down and relaxed, it wouldn't shoot up to a 9. It didn't. It shot to an 8, but came back down to a 7 once I took my meds. I'm still at a 7 now. So I'm guessing my new limit for doing things is a 6. This sucks because there are many days where I wake up at a 5 and getting to a 6 only requires walking to the bathroom. LOL

Stephanie had her gallbladder out on Tuesday and came home the same afternoon. They did arthroscopic surgery, rather than a standard incision on her abdomen. She has 4 1 inch incisions that were glued rather than stitched or stapled. She is hurting but nowhere the same amount of pain she had after her c-section. Arthroscopic surgery is less-invasive and seems to make it easier on the patient. We are making her take it easy, not that it is difficult, she is good about following doctor's orders. I am hoping this takes care of the pain she was feeling from the gallstones she had, since they are now gone.

Well that is pretty much it for me. Thank you all for reading and leaving comments. Your comments brighten up my days and mean a lot to me! I hope you are having a good day!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Rain rain go away...come again another day

We've had some thundershowers move through off and on today and as usual this increases my pain level. Both joints are swollen which really sucks. Of course this happens during my period, which raises my pain level anymore. But I keep noticing how different the pain is since my intense depression has gotten so much better. Even when I hurt a lot, I don't feel the need to curl up and hide, or lay in bed and cry. I seem better able to deal with the pain I do feel, and the pain seems lower even without the radio frequency. I expected some improvement, but not this much. I am amazed. I know I keep repeating myself but I just can't help it. Every day it hits me again, specially on days like today when my pain has hovered around a 7 and 8 all day, that I am dealing so much better with the pain.

I've continued doing chores around the house, which is nice. Tomorrow will be a fun day. It is my DS's 14th birthday. Where did 14 years go? Wasn't he just a tiny baby yesterday? He has turned into quite a handsome young man and I am so very proud of him. He wants to go to the roller skating rink for his birthday. So we will probably do that for him.

I did some stitching today, working on that card. It is now over half done. Well that is it for me so far :)

I hope your weekend is going well.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Another Painful Night

Tonight is not a good night for me. As usual my period has increased my pain and even though I have spent the last 45 minutes laying in the dark trying to sleep, I just can't. The pain is keeping me awake. I wish it wasn't because I want to sleep, I am tired. Oh well.

So far this week has been pretty good. I've been able to do household chores every day, which makes me feel good. I've also been able to stitch every day, which is really nice, especially since I am once again enjoying the process of stitching as much as I used to. It really is nice to have my emotions back and my ability to enjoy things as well.

I packed up all my old D&D (Dungeons and Dragons) books, box sets, maps, and everything. My friend came today to pick them up. Since I do not play D&D anymore and I needed the shelf space, I decided it was time to get rid of all my gaming stuff. Since my friend still plays regularly, I offered them all to him. He lived with us for a few years but he moved out 18 months or so ago. So when he came over today to pick up the boxes of stuff we got to talking. Poor guy ended up staying for 3 hours (or maybe 4, not sure which) but he seemed to enjoy the conversation. We talked about the campaign he is currently playing in and some of the funny things his character has done. We talked about his apartment, old games I used to run (as the dungeon master, the one who writes or sets up a prewritten adventure), WOW and lots of other stuff. It was great! I really enjoyed the visit, it was a blast. Though I think I talked his ears off. LOL

On old friend of mine sent me an email today that made me laugh. It is a list of jokes that only people from the Boston area of MA would completely understand. I got all but 3 of them and found myself nodding while I was laughing because so much of it is very true, hysterical but true. For your amusement here is the list.

  1. Any Red Sox World Series win was, and will always be, one of  the greatest moments in your life.
  2.  The guy driving in front of you is going 70 mph and you're    swearing at him for going too slow.      
  3.  When ordering a tonic, you mean a Coke.        
  4. You went to Canobie Lake Park as a kid.       
  5. You actually enjoy driving around rotaries.        
  6. You do not recognize the letter 'R' as a part of the English  language.         
  7. Your social security number starts with a zero.        
  8. You can actually find your way around the streets of Boston.  
  9. You know what a 'regular' coffee is. 
  10. You keep an ice scraper in your car year-round.  
  11. You can tell the difference between a Revere accent and a Dorchester accent. 
  12. Springfield is located 'way out west.' 
  13. You almost feel disappointed if someone doesn't flip you the bird when you cut them off or steal their parking space. 
  14. You know how to pronounce the names of towns like Worcester, Billerica, Gloucester, Peabody and Haverhill. 
  15. Anyone you don't know is a potential idiot until proven otherwise.  
  16. Paranoia sets in if you can't see a Dunkin Donuts or CVS Pharmacy within eyeshot at all times. 
  17. You have driven to New Hampshire on a Sunday just to buy alcohol.  
  18. You know how to pronounce Yastrzemski.  
  19. You know there's a trophy at the end of the Bean Pot.  
  20. You order iced coffee in January.  
  21. You know that the Purple Line will take you anywhere.  
  22. You love scorpion bowls.  
  23. You know what they sell at a Packie. 
  24. Sorry Manny, but number 24 means DEWEY EVANS.  
  25. You know what First Night is.  
  26. You know at least one guy named Sean, Pat, Whitey, Red, Bud or Seamus. Bonus: You know how to pronounce Seamus. 
  27. McLobster=McCrap  
  28. You know at least 2 cops in your town because they were your high school drinking buddies. 
  29. You know there are 6 New England states, but that Connecticut really doesn't count.
  30. You give incomprehensible directions to tourists, feel bad when they drive off, but then say to yourself ,'Ah, screw them.' 
  31. You know at least one bar where you can get something to drink after last call.  
  32. You hate the Kennedys, but you vote for them anyway.  
  33. You know holding onto the railing when riding the Green Line is not optional.  
  34. The numbers '78 and '86 make you cringe.  
  35. You think the rest of the country owes you for Thanksgiving and Independence Day. (...and they DO).  
  36. You have never actually been to 'Cheers.'  
  37. The words ' WICKED' and 'GOOD' go together.  
  38. You' ve been to Fenway Park.  
  39. You've gone to at least one party at U Mass.  
  40. You know what a Frappe is.  
  41. You know who Frank Averuch is.  
  42. ADVANCED: You know Frank Averuch was once Bozo the Clown  
  43. You can complete the following: 'Lynn, Lynn ......'  
  44. You get pissed off when a restaurant serves clam chowder, and it turns out to be friggin' Snows. 
  45. You actually know how to merge from six lanes of traffic down to one.  
  46. The TV weatherman is damn good if he's right 25% of the time.  
  47. You never go to Cape Cod,' you go 'down the Cape '.  
  48. You think that Roger Clemens and Johnny Damon are more evil than Whitey Bulger.  
  49. You know who Whitey Bulger is.  
  50. You went to the Swan Boats, House of Seven Gables, or Plymouth Plantation on a field trip in elementary school. 
  51. Bobby Orr is loved as much as Larry Bird, Tom Brady, and Ted Williams.  
  52. You remember Major Mudd.  
  53. You know what candlepin bowling is.  
  54. You can drive from the mountains to the ocean all in one day.  
  55. You know Scullay Square once stood where Government Center is.  
  56. When you were a kid, Rex Trailer was the coolest guy around. Speaking of which.... You can still hum the song from the end of Boom Town 
  57. Calling Carrabba's an 'Italian' restaurant is sacrilege.
  58. You still have your old Flexible Flyer somewhere in your parents' attic.  
  59. You know that the Mass Pike is some sort of strange weather dividing line.  
  60. The only time you've been on the Freedom Trail is when relatives are in town. 
  61. The Big Dig tunnel disaster wasn't a surprise.  
  62. You call guys you've just met 'Chief' or 'Boss.'  
  63. 4:15pm and pitch black out means only 3 more shopping days until Christmas.  
  64. You know more than one person with the last name Murphy.  
  65. You refer to Savin Hill as 'Stab 'n Kill.'  
  66. You've never eaten at Durgin Park, but recommend it to tourists.  
  67. You can't look at the zip code 02134 without singing it.  
  68. You voted for a Republican Mormon as Governor just to screw with the rest of the country. 
  69. 11 pm? Drunk? It means one thing: Kowloons!  
  70. 2 am? Drunk? It means one thing: Kelly's Roast Beef! The one on Revere Beach not the one on Route 1. 
  71. 5 am? Drunk? It means one thing: You wish you had a blanket in your back seat.  
  72. You know that P-Town isn't the name of a new rap group.  
  73. People you don't like are all 'Bastids.'  
  74. You've called something 'wicked pissa' or 'ballsy'.
  75. You'll always get razzed for Dukakis.  
  76. Saturday afternoons meant Creature Double Feature with Dale Dorman.  
  77. After school or Sunday mornings meant the Three Stooges on Channel 38.  
  78. You've slammed on your brakes to deter a tailgater.  
  79. No, you don't trust the Gorton's Fisherman.  
  80. You think Aerosmith is the greatest rock band of all time.  
  81. Your town has at least 6 pizza and roast beef shops.  
  82. You know at least three Tony's, one Vinnie and a Frankie.  
  83. 20 degrees is downright balmy as long as there's no wind- then it gets wicked cold.
  84. You were very sad when saying goodbye to the Boston Garden.  
  85. Thanksgiving means family, turkey, High School football, and the long version of Alice's Restaurant. 
  86. You know the guy who founded the Boston Pops was named Athah Feedlah. 
  87. You know what the Combat Zone is.  
  88. You actually drive 45 minutes to New Hampshire to save $5 in sales tax. 
  89. You've pulled out of a side street and used your car to block oncoming traffic so you can make a left. 
  90. You've been to Hampton Beach on a Saturday night.  
  91. Playing street hockey, basketball or football was a daily after school ritual.  
  92. Hearing an old lady shout 'Numbah 96 for Sioux City !' means it's time for steak. 
  93. You remember Jordan Marsh, Filene's, Grants, Bradlees, Caldor, Zayres, Woolworth's Riche's or Ann & Hope. 
  94. You actually get these jokes and pass them on to other friends from Massachusetts.