Saturday, August 30, 2014

To Good Friends and Good News.


It's been a great week really, when all is said and done.

Monday came and went, floating away on the late evening happy news that I was indeed being discharged from hospital on Tuesday, as semi-promised to Teen Boy. Happy news indeed, what a great start to the week!

Of course, with all the toing and froing that comes with leaving hospital and getting so many things organised for home life - with back to school and me on one crutch to contend with - my online life had to be parked for a while. Which is a good thing really, I find. Take a break and hopefully return refreshed and all that.

It did bother me a tad though, but it didn't stop me contemplating and musing over all sorts of ideas and notions. You know, the strange and amusing thoughts that suddenly pop into your mind unwarranted, and the blogger in you thinking 'Ooh, I could blog about that, couldn't I?!

Then I thought about the friends we all have, in real life. You know the current, local, friends you have. Friends you enjoy chatting and meeting up with, friends you can turn to in a bind, and will regularly touch base with you if you ever suddenly find yourself in a long hospital stay situation! They are such good friends and we're all lucky to have them.

Then there are the friends whom you live far away from but still stay in touch with, who are also good friends. Meeting up so irregularly with these friends is especially enjoyable, you just pick up where you left off the last time and fill each other in on life's happenings in between. Over a bottle of wine, naturally!

And then we have the long lost friends. These are the friends that you may meet on the street, or in a shopping centre, somewhere bizarre and completely out of the blue, whom you 'haven't seen in YEARS dahling!'  Or the friends that make contact with you, or you with them, through facebook or some other means. These are friends whom you may not have seen in 10, 20 or even more years. It always amazes me that without fail, every single one of these long lost friends that I've talked to, face-to-face or on the phone, in the last couple of years, it's honestly like we've only spoken to each other the other day! You also seem to just pick up where you left off with these friends too, catching up with life events no matter how long the separation. Long lost friendships continued as if they were never interrupted....

And you never know what can happen when a group of long lost friends get together and go completely over the top with excting plans! Stay tuned... to be announced really soon!

Then we have our online friends, the ones we've built a connection with through twitter and facebook. We often ask each other how things are going, just like a friend in real life would. These friends are also good to have in a sudden long hospital stay situation! I am very grateful for their chats, interactions and laughter over the last three weeks. Kept me sane I can tell you. And not one of them even once chastised me for my wonky typing and spelling, that also came courtesy of controlled medications! That's true friendship, that!

So, now I'm home and it's been a happy but really busy week, with a hospital procedure to fit in too. I've touched base with my real life friends but not my online ones, which may appear as if I've dumped them! I've only been gone four days, I consoled myself, sure they probably won't have even  noticed my absence with busy lives of their own to contend with and all that!

So, this morning I cast my crutch aside and tentatively dipped my toes into the online world. Just a little like here, and a retweet and a comment there, to start with. Then I braved it with actual tweets and updates of my own! And yeah,  it's just like real life..... we simply carried on from where we left off.

So, having sorted out my friends, and my life, I then checked my emails. There were quite a few to go through, as you can imagine so I was delighted to find a special email, a gem buried among the debris, from the Blog Awards Ireland 2014 team to say that my little blog has made it to the shortlist! I even got this .... ahem... jazzy little badge to show for it!


  1. blog awards ireland

I don't expect to get any further but I'm delighted and congratulate all my fellow blogger friends who have also made  it thus far. And I urge you all to make the Finalist list..... if I don't make it  I want to see bloggers I know on that list again this year!

It's strange really. There was I taking a summer break from most online activities, blogging in particular, to make the school holidays a success. Well, you can't control online access for a teenager when you're stooped over your own laptop now, can you?! Then comes along an unexpected hospital stay and a blogging nomination to give me something to blog about and to blog for. And ironically, the time to do it!

I toast you all, good friends and good news, long may it continue and hope that you've had a good week also.




Opiate Disclaimer: I may be home but am still on the same medications so this still applies! All my recent posts are brought to you with difficulty (and take forever to do). All grammatical, spelling and syntax errors are brought to you courtesy of controlled medical substances. This disclaimer is also being extended to comments I make on your blogs, or on any Social Media Forums, anywhere. Why? Because while controlled substances relieve pain they also seem to act as truth drugs, and definitely induce brain farts....  




Saturday, August 23, 2014

Stolen Time


Life, as we all know, is like one long emotional roller coaster ride. It's a gamut of emotions, a rainbow spectrum of highs and lows and excitement and humdrum-ness.

Most of the time we just get on with it, we ride the ebb and flow of it all, and in the difficult times we try to get ourselves and our families out the other side, relatively unscathed. During the good times we make the most of the beautiful scenic moments and of happy family events and holidays. We store all these moments forming a precious memory bank where we, and hopefully in time our children, can mentally dip into, any time we want. We of course hope that the happy memories over-ride the not so happy ones, especially for our children. Yet there are important life lessons to be learned from all of life's events.

All these happy and difficult events are part of life and are character forming; they strengthen us all, adults and children alike, and in time helps us all be the people we eventually become. They strengthen our resolve, our minds and our determination to get through whatever life throws our way.

I think it's fair to say that I have been through quite a few of the colours of this emotional rainbow spectrum recently. A little trip to an exercise class has thrown me into a world coloured with relentless pain and endless pain relief and treatments; and my whole family into unexpected turmoil when I ended up being hospitalised. A place I am anxious to leave as soon as possible, although I am being very well taken care of here!




I dug deep for this and found my positivity and determination to fight, and get back to my usual agile and active self,  as quickly as possible. There were times when I really had to stop and take note of all the positive things that surround me.  However, if recent reports are correct then I will need this determination and strength of character for quite a while to come.

Sigh...

But now that things have settled somewhat, my medications and medical interventions (and there could be a few of those.... that hurt.... a lot) can be managed from afar; with me at home and attending regular out-patient appointments. Yes - me at home - that's  what I said! And if I follow all my physio instructions to the letter, which I do, then I'll enhance my chances of getting better and reaching my goals.

See? That's how this positivity and determination stuff works. You always try to find the silver lining. I'm still in pain but look how far I've come? I can now sit out on a chair and walk with just one crutch for goodness sake!

But then there are the days when you don't care if the world outside is coloured with glorious sunshine, because your indoor world is coloured a distinct shade of grey.

I had a day or two like that recently, days coloured by anger and sadness.

I was sad and and angry that through no fault of my own, my son's last month of school holidays have been ruined. He's been dragged around hither and tither and all in the name of being supervised because his mum wasn't available to be home.

This time was stolen from us both, all the things we had planned; movies to see, woods and lakes to be hiked and a planned trip, with others to a geological site of huge interest, that have all had to be cancelled.

Time that we will never get back. He will never be fourteen-and-a-half again, and being a whole year older next summer he may have better things to do then hang around with his mum! Although I wish that more than anything for him - there are those of you who will instinctively get this - we have definitely lost out this year. As we have also lost out on the little things we do as a family.

I was angry and sad that, in between entertaining Teen Boy, I have lost a month of enjoying some sunbathing, my solo walks and more exercise classes that I intended to pursue. The holiday weight I'd been working on losing too.

My ailing mother who hasn't had a visit from her daughter  in a whole month. That really saddens me.

The dance opportunities that are under discussion that I most probably will now have to say no to. This really makes me very sad and angry too..

Of course I could see the positives in this for my boy. The independence and maturity this whole episode will have given him and the time spent with cousins that he really enjoyed. It may very well be that in time, he will look back on this with a smile on his face! I get all this, really I do.

But then came a weepy, inconsolable day, a day when my hue of sadness had deepened a bit. Actually it deepened quite a bit.

The day when I was told that I may not be home for my son's return to school next Tuesday. There was no talking me out of this one! Of course the world wouldn't implode just because I'm not there for my son's first week back in school. The first week of his Junior Cert year. It will be fine, character building, blah, blah, blah....! As I've said before I get it, I do. And again there are those of you out there who will understand me.

Look, all this positivity and determination stuff is all fine and dandy and I am clearly a great believer of it and all that, but some days it just all goes to pot. Sadness and anger are just two of the many emotions we feel and we all deal with those weepy and inconsolable days in different ways. Some keep it in and some let or talk it out. Some even blog about it. And that's all fine and dandy too! In fact it's healthy.

Sometimes it just takes a good night's pain-free sleep, courtesy of some more medication, to rediscover your innate positivity and bring-it-on-ness that gets you back on your distinctly shaky feet, to work it all out and to accept that what will be will be.

It doesn't matter if I'm there or not son, because whether you like it or not, or wherever I am, I will always (discreetly and from a distance, I promise!) have your back.





Besides, a little birdie - with a medical degree - hints that although I may not be home when you go to school on Tuesday, I very may well be there when you return!


If I am I am and if not, well then life will continue and all will be well.


Take care and stay positive.



Opiate Disclaimer: As you know at this stage I am most definitely unwell, so all my recent posts are brought to you with difficulty (and take forever to do). All grammatical, spelling and syntax errors are brought to you courtesy of controlled medical substances and pain. This disclaimer is also being extended to comments I make on your blogs, or on any Social Media Forums, anywhere. Why? Because while controlled substances relieve pain they also seem to act as truth drugs, and definitely induce brain farts....  






Sunday, August 17, 2014

Accentuate the Positive.......


Although correctly spelled , as opposed to the original phonetic form, the words of this old Bing Crosby crooned classic, are words we should all try to live our lives by. Some days it's easy to appreciate the little things in life, while others it's simply impossible to even see the glorious sun gleaming in the perfect azure blue sky, right before our very eyes.

If you've been following my blog recently then you'll know it's been an especially difficult and painful few weeks. I should never have mentioned the 'shining light of hope...' offered by the first Nerve Block I received in a recent post , because ultimately it didn't work and the second Nerve Block.... well, the less said about that the better. I simply couldn't bear it.

So instead I've decided to eliminate the negative, by accentuating the positive and to share all the things for which I've been recently grateful for, or that have simply made me laugh! Be warned though, this could be quite a loonngg post!

FAMILY

Forget about visits to family members who suddenly find themselves hospitalised, there are far more important ways to show you care, you know.

Like the family member who, in the blink of an eye, brought my son home to be enveloped in the fun world of older cousins, man-caves and dogs who loved to bring said fourteen year old out wandering the local grounds! Sorry Aunty M, but you may have just landed yourself an annual visitor!! And then she sends him home with lovely flowers, just for me!




Then there are the other two family members who, on two separate occasions, responded to my 999-drop-everything-emergency call, direct from my hospital bed - 'EMERGENCY, EMERGENCY chocolate and 7up supplies are dangerously low. RESTOCK.... I  repeat: RESTOCK....STAT... Move it, PEOPLE, MOVE.... (okay I know, I watch waay too much Grey's Anatomy!)

There's also my other lovely family member who, not only ensured that my mother was visited on my behalf, but on two occasions brought her similarly aged son over to hang out with mine so that my husband could go to work. And while she was there, on her off work days, she secretly morphed into a cleaning fairy and did some discreet tidying up too, hoping her efforts would remain hidden. Sorry cuz, you're busted!  

Even the older generation got into the act and my fourteen year old boy got to spend some quality time with his eighty-two year old Granddad... and his canine companion. Precious moments that may not oft be repeated.

It is wonderful to have family to turn to, even though they don't all live nearby, at such unexpected times of need and I thank you all. I also thank a kindly neighbour, who is practically family, for all her help too.

And of course I cannot forget my two 'boys' left at home holding the fort, supporting me and amusing me in their own unique and hilarious ways!

FRIENDS

We all have such very busy lives so I gave the same edict to friends as I gave to family: visits are not expected, only if you happen to be in the area. Instead I suggested how lovely the odd text or phone call would be. Admittedly I didn't realise how long I'd be in hospital when I issued this edict but I have been spoiled with daily texts and phone calls! Sure I don't have time for visitors, I'm far too busy making and answering texts and phone calls, and ensuring that my extremely temperamental iPhone is fully charged at all times to cope with the demand!!

Now, I do have to point out that there are friends and then there are true friends. The latter are the type of friends who will readily agree to your every demand - you are in hospital in extreme pain after all - and the lengths they will go to ensure that you get just a teeny bit of happiness into your bed-ridden days is unbelievable. I mean, they just simply mention in passing that they're looking forward to a glass of wine that night and all I have to ask is that when they they're done, that they have just one more glass, just for me as I can't have any. And just like that, with no twisting of arms or promises of handing over any future lotto winnings, and they readily agree! And not only that, they promise faithfully that whomever else they're sharing this companionable night cap with will do likewise!

Sure I'm getting sozzled most nights, with ne'er a drop passing my lips!! 


MY NEW FLYING FRIEND

Now, this new flying kite friend of mine causes quite a stir, and noise too of a breezy evening it must be said. He is quite the celebrity and flies right outside my room every day. He soars through the skies with the greatest of ease, with flights of fancy, swoops of delight and all sorts of tricks - just for me! But it would be rude to keep him all to myself so I invite all inquisitive passersby to 'come on in and have a proper look!' It's quite hilarious!



He has no name yet though, any ideas?!


TWITTER AND FACEBOOK

As I've said family and friends have been, and continue to be, amazing but I especially appreciate the many comments, personal messages and interactions - some in response to my updates/tweets and some completely unprompted - that I have received on these online forums. I am totally overwhelmed and appreciative. Some of you I have known for a few years but have never met you, yet you take time out of your day to contact me to see how I am, or to offer to deliver me chocolate in my hour of need! Me, a relative stranger! Thank you. And thank you to the very special friend, you know who you are, who even loaned me his tablet - technological tablet people, not medical. Jeez!

Facebook and Twitter aren't for everyone, in fact some don't get it all and never will. I understand that. Personally I have been supported, entertained and quite simply laughed my head off in the past few weeks but maybe you have not been quite as enamoured by my online engagement? If that's you then just remember that Facebook and twitter are a bit like TV - you can always just 'switch station' - i.e. mute or block me. I won't be in the least offended! Sure I probably won't even notice, I'll be off in the corner giggling too much at some comment or other!

But you should also remember that facebook and twitter are also a bit like Vegas.... what's said on facebook/twitter STAYS on facebook/twitter! And it most certainly does not get repeated to those who are not on it and 'don't get it' !! 
Got it? Good ;-)

HOSPITAL DELIGHTS

First off I have to say that the general nursing, caring, kitchen staff, Doctors etc here are so lovely and caring. There have been things that I haven't been happy about but I am always listened to.
I am extremely lucky to be in hospital and will be forever grateful that this hospital - yes it's Private so I am also eternally grateful for Health Insurance - accepted me into their care. The comparative  'care' offered by the public A&E had such dangerous consequences it's worryingly scary. But this is a positive post so just look at these desserts!! How could anyone not even feel slightly happy on a bad day seeing such delights as this coming their way each day....





DELIGHTFUL VIEWS

This needs no explaining but this is what I can look out out at everyday.
Except, I do have to give a special mention to the loveliest hospital porter that has ever graced the grounds of a hospital, ever. The one who kindly surprised me one day, when wheeling me back from some x-ray or some treatment or other - who the hell can remember at this stage- by going straight past my room and taking me to the nearby glass enclosed stairwell, to just sit there awhile and admire this Sandymount Beach panorama.....





THE MOST SURPRISING 'COMPLIMENTS'.... EVER

 1) This was admittedly in my pre-painful, hospital-pallor era - only just now, in all fairness - when I was recently getting a facial and the nicest beautician in the whole wide world very kindly told me that I had 'young skin'! I might  just type that into a pretty picture and hang it up. Everywhere!

2) Then there was the very kind female radiologist who was setting me up for a chest x-ray last week and asked the usual question she's obliged to ask..... 'are you wearing a bra, dear', when I responded in the negative she replied: 'wow, I wouldn't have guessed.... it's a compliment that I even had to ask'! Well, I guess as a woman in my fifties it is good to know that not everything is heading as far southwards as I may have thought! And you have to admit, it certainly beats being asked, yet again, if there's any chance you're pregnant or when was your last period!!

But this is the winner....

3) My kindly consultant when trying to re-assure me the other day, that my liver ultrasound reveals that everything is returning to normal after recent med changes. 'really, you have nothing to worry about..... you have a lovely liver'!!!!!

Well, there's really nothing else I can add to that, is there?!

Except - and I really can't resist this - 'My Lovely Liver': a potential Eurovision Winner??!!


Opiate Disclaimer: As you know at this stage I am most definitely unwell, so all my recent posts are brought to you with difficulty (and take forever to do). All grammatical, spelling and syntax errors are brought to you courtesy of controlled medical substances and pain. This disclaimer is also being extended to comments I make on your blogs, or on any Social Media Forums, anywhere. Why? Because while controlled substances relieve pain they also seem to act as truth drugs, and definitely induce brain farts....  












Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Stay With Me A While....

It's two am and once more I finally wake through my drug-induced hallucinations to realise that yes, I am in that horrible and seemingly endless painful section of my night, yet again.

I really don't want to be, I told them that. I dread it so much. I warned them that if I have to wait for two more sleeps to get the repeat procedure that I desperately need, then I could not and would not endure two more nights of this horrendous pain.

They changed my medications and yet here I am, same time, same place. Same struggling to wake though the mad dreams to face the actual reality. The same moans as I once more press the bell that brings the lovely nurse, to whom I apologise yet again, with her magic knock-me-out-pills rushing to my bedside.

The same moans and groans as I gobble down those pills and moan my way through the pain. I even struggle on crutches, moaning all the way to the bathroom, hoping that the movement will help.

I am vaguely aware of the stunning street light show of Dublin and Sandymount Beach that spreads out just beyond my window.

But I am way too moany to appreciate it.

As I moan I thank the lucky stars of the person who does not have to share a room with me and hope, for their sake, that a shared room does not become available. For they will never survive me.

I am way too moany on these horrible nights and I want them to end. I want it all to end. All this horrible pain.

And now all of a sudden it seems that I've just blogged my way right through my pain tonight and with the help of some magical Oxynorm, and your wonderful company, I very well might now sleep a while. To awake a few hours hence, in a far better frame of mind to appreciate the stunning views laid out before me. 

One more sleep to the treatment that might bring some long term relief. 

Same time, same place tomorrow then?

Bring some positivity, I sometimes misplace mine.

Many thanks, your company is always appreciated. 


Opiate Disclaimer: this post is written under the influence of extreme pain. Any spelling errors, bad grammar and syntax are purely the cause of  said pain and opiates!


Jazzy

Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Coffin and the 'Go To Words'

Okay so, a very quick update, just to give  you an idea of my current situation and my need for your assistance. No need to worry though, a coffin isn't one of them. But all will be revealed very soon. I am merely setting the stage. Oh, and I am blogging from my iPhone so there will be no embedded links or my usual fancy signature. There will also be no previewing or 'spelling check' and PicMonkey is not available on mobile devices so my photos are as they are. I am purely winging it here and at the mercy of the blogging gods! 

As you know from my last post I was in A&E last Friday and very much expected to be back there pretty quickly. After two nights crying on the sofa in severe pain, after consuming their so called mega 'controlled medications', I decided that they should either be less controlled or WAY more mega. So my husband had the pleasure of driving me back to A&E on the Sunday. Apparently being in severe pain and entirely unable to sit is not emergent enough a reason for a patient to call for an ambulance. Nor is it reason enough to avoid sitting for an hour on a hard chair in the Emergency Department, no matter how nice you are to the receptionist or the Triage nurse. Or even if you ring in advance. (Although telling the exact truth about how you felt your previous visit went may not gain you an entry onto their 'be nice to this patient and see her first' list either?!)

After said hour I was seen by the same Doctor who'd seen me two days earlier, but this time I told him how badly I felt through my veil of many flowing tears and, pardon me, snots. In other words, I was in even worse pain and extremely distraught. The best way to be seen by ED Doctor it seems!

Anyway I'll bore you no more with these serious matters, they will form part of a more serious post that will hopefully raise a few important questions. Suffice it to say that after an overnight stay in the A&E CDU unit I was eventually transferred to the nearby Private Hospital (why it took took me two days to utter the magic words 'Private Insurance' and  'Private hospital' will forever remain a mystery. Personally I blame the 'mega' 'controlled' substances... They knew exactly what they were doing! 

So there I am in my continued pain, lying in my new private room with the biggest smile on my face as I spot something wonderful to cheer me up. A window!! With a view!





Followed by an immediate request to fill in a very important document..  My menu choice (yeah.... choice!) for my evening meal and breakfast! This smile was likely to be a regular facial feature here.

Within five minutes I saw my smiley handsome Consultant for the first time and after a fashion he told me I was to get my MRI tomorrow! Yeah... Tomorrow. Still smiling here!! Through the pain.

Oh my God. Am I in hospital or in heaven? 

This next bit is for my serious post ( I NEED drugs NOT just to calm me down but to keep me out of pain so that I can lie perfectly still for the possible thirty minutes required for an MRI) but for various reasons my MRI didn't actually happen for another two days. But I'm still smiling, did you see the sunset I see every night from my room?
 


I'm nearly there.. stay with me now, okay?!

Then MRI day came and I got nervouser and nervouser as the day progressed. 'Shit .... Crap ... Jesus, will they have my drugs visibly ready this time? .... Will I internally combust inside this very noisy mechanical,  claustrophobic pod? ..... Will I be mysteriously lobotomised from pure fear?!  these were some of the thoughts going through my head. Feck.... I won't tell you anymore for fear of freaking you out, so I did the only sensible thing I knew. I went back on to Facebook and twitter, where my true virtual and real friends gave me their totally honest and completely positive MRI experiences, with some good advice to boot. 
 
Now, before you read any further I will remind you of my disclaimer in my previous posts. I am still under the influence of Opiates., I can get away with... Sorry, I mean please try to afford me some leeway in what's to follow! Okay? Remember this now!

My husband, bless him, did his best too,  in real time, to comfort and advise me. He confirmed that this was nothing to worry about at all, you'll have your drugs including Valium and plenty of people have been through this, lots of times, it is nothing to worry about. 
' besides, it's just like lying in a coffin' 

JESUS, FUCKING, CHRIST (yeah, this does warrant swearing and capitalisation) 

Now I'm  no angel, I can swear with the best of them but I never use the four-letter 'C' word. EVER. And in my six years of blogging have you ever seen me write out a really bad swear word, in this my most revered and precious blogging space? For crying out loud I even spell out my numerals!

But I do have my 'Go To Word' list to help, that gets uttered in a loop in times of extreme duress. Like when you're due a very scary MRI and then the next day you're told, with very little warning, that you're also to have a Nerve Block- that's a needle directly into your back near your spine, just in case you're wondering or are about to be annoyed by my next utterance of:
JESUS, FUCKING, CHRIST.

Now these are not my usual utterances in times of difficulty,  but I feel  they are totally warranted in this my second  (see?!) week of extreme pain.

In the interests of full disclosure here is my 'Go To Words' list, so you can see why I need your assistance. Remember the Opiate Disclaimer now....

Shit 
Crap
Feck
Fuck
Crapitty-Crap
Fuckitty-Fuck
Fuckitty-Fuck-in-a-basket 
Shitty pants
Pissy Knickers
Bollocks - Bollix doesn't quite do it
Bollicky-Bollicky- Knickers- a personal favourite

And then, numb with fear before any needle in my back, and in pure desperation from having finally exhausted my 'Go To Words' list this was the best I could do yesterday: 

Bollicky-Bollicky-........ POOH.

Seriously, in my ultimate hour of need this is the best I could do???

I am seriously in need of your help. 

A dangerous question I know, but what are your 'Go To Words' in times of need? Maybe you can help me out?! 

On a serious note, only relatively clean ones will be published here, no worse than my rarely used ones is the basic rule! 

I've no wish to jinx a good thing but there seems to be a gleaming light of hope shinning just a little bit away. Although my MRI (which was so relatively easy-with the help of drugs it must be said - that I dozed off!) shows a ruptured disc and my first Nerve Block provided some much needed and fairly prompt relief but I am still in need of other pain relief. Today is a good day but there is every possiblity that a long road of recovery lies ahead.

I need to expand my list!

Opiate Disclaimer: As you know at this stage I am most definitely unwell, so all my recent posts are brought to you with difficulty, especially this one from my hospital bed with an extremely short iPhone recharger! All grammatical, spelling and syntax errors are brought to you courtesy of controlled medical substances.. And the fact that blogging straight from a phone is no easy feat at the best of times!


Jazzy







           

Saturday, August 2, 2014

What? I Need An Ambulance?!


 No way, I thought. Don't be ridiculous. Why on earth would I need one of those? Okay, I'm still in excruciating  pain and I can't walk anywhere. Well , I can stumble to the loo and back, but only with the help of a lot of moans and groans and a massive stream of heartfelt expletives. Until I return exhausted to collapse onto the sofa, that at this stage has the imprint of my whole body on it. Sure all I need is more opiates. Just give me more Lyrica. I mean that sorted out the pain in my lower back and in my ass after my second Doctor's visit, didn't it?

The doctor wasn't happy with that at all.  He was very unhappy with the fact that my left thigh had seized up and was causing severe pain. He was so unhappy in fact that he insisted on calling to my house to see for himself . 'Oh shit' I thought ( expletives when blogging under the influence of opiates and severe pain are entirely acceptable) 'I think I might be in real trouble here..... Oh crap'.

And I was. I put my best drug-induced arguments forward, to no avail. He didn't like that there was no reflex action from my left knee. I blocked out the words 'paralysis' and 'spreading' from my mind completely. I couldn't let them feature in any possible outcome. He did mention , umm.... 'toiletting' and how that could become a serious issue. To be honest it already kind of was. Don't tell anyone but for one extremely painful moment I thought to myself, as I was sitting there in the most unbecoming of positions: 'Gawd... Is this how Elvis Presley felt??!' But that was clearly the opiates speaking. Ahem....

And so it was that an ambulance was called to take me to St Vincent's Hospital for an 'URGENT ASSESSMENT AND MRI'. I had an MRI booked for next week in a very efficient private clinic but my Doctor wanted me to have one NOW. (Note, I was in no position to receive an MRI last week as I was in such pain)

It took 2 hours for the ambulance to arrive and for the lovely Paramedics to load me as gracefully as possible  into the ambulance. In front of all my neighbours of course, who were looking on and kindly wishing me well. How embarrassing!!

After a lovely chat with the nice Mr Paramedic (bloody opiates again!) we arrived at St Vincent's and were greeted by the welcoming nurse, not with the words 'hi there pet, how are you, you poor thing '. No, her welcoming words were 'MRI? You  won't be getting one of them, we don't do those at weekends,' ?????? 

What the hell......

I don't know why but I stayed there and after an hour I was examined by 2 doctors. They told me that as I already had an MRI booked for next week, there was nothing they could do. They could however help some more with the pain. So they increased my Lyrica- see?! and replaced my painkiller with a seriously strong opiate one! 'Yessss... for that alone it was worth it'! Oh, and they gave me a very handy pair of crutches too!

They also told me that even if I was an inpatient I'd be waiting 2 weeks for an MRI. I am apparently lucky  to only have to wait one week - in excruciating pain to most likely find out that one of my discs is lying on a nerve and that I may very well need an operation. 

If the HSE could organise for all scans to be available at weekends, like Euromedics do, then this dependence on painkillers and on being in unnecessary pain for an unnecessary extended period of time could be avoided.

And I wouldn't have to spend the whole week trying to keep the words 'paralysis' and 'spreading' out of my head.

Increased opiates or not I could also avoid a whole other week of not being able to have a shower and hobbling on crutches to and from the loo, with my massive stream of ever-growing and makey-up expletives!

For now all I can do is wallow in opiates.... and chocolate! And hope for the best.

Mr Leo Varadker, please excuse my humour - it is merely my way of coping with my pain and worry. You really have your work cut out for you, This should not be so , I should not have been sent home in this state. The necessary facilities should be available at weekends instead of me (and others) suffering unnecessary pain, possibly becoming dependent on opiates AND possibly having to face an operation.

And no doubt facing more medications while I wait for an available appointment if I do need an operation. This is my back, my spinal cord we're talking about here. This is also putting a strain on the cost of medications (it exceeds your imposed monthly limit so you're paying for it) and on GP surgeries and causing unsuccessful trips, by ambulance, to Accident and Emergency services across the country.

Please, please sort this out.

Disclaimer: this post is written under the influence of extreme pain. Any spellings, bad grammar and syntax are purely the cause of  said pain and opiates! On the plus side I only spent 4 hours in A & E, most likely as I arrived by ambulance. And the staff were lovely too. 




Sunday, July 27, 2014

Exercise With Caution....


I really enjoyed our fun holiday abroad this year and, as usual, having tired slightly of all the over-eating, I was looking forward to eating more healthily and getting back to my gym on my return. For a while at least, I knew the novelty would soon wear off but those excess holiday pounds needed shedding! And quickly.

You can imagine my surprise when I subsequently found that my beloved Curves gym that I'd been attending for over 6 years had closed down overnight. What now I thought? This gym was so easy to fit into my day, I could just pop in every morning for 30 minutes and be home before a certain Teen Boy even opened a sleep-laden eye.

I've been looking for an alternative ever since. Luckily my Teen Boy brought me on some interesting hikes, with more planned and lots of stories to share with you anon. But then he went on his scout holiday and I was left to my own devices. Solo walks are quite acceptable and even enjoyable but I needed something else. I toyed around with some dance work-out DVDs at home which were fun, but had no motivation that comes with a live instructor and real class members.

Then I discovered that my local gym has Pilates classes. As an ex-dancer Pilates really appeals to me and I'd attended classes some years back too. Besides. Curves had kept me quite fit and I'd also ended every session with some dance-like stretching exercises of my own that's maintained some of my flexibility from my dancing days. Yes, Pilates is perfect for me I thought and off I sashayed to my first class. I mean, Pilates is highly thought of and is even recommended by Physiotherapists. What could go wrong? 

The first class went well, leaving me with expected day-after muscle soreness, demonstrating how hard I'd worked and how effective this class is for core strength. And it was good to have others to work out with, others standards to motivate you. Or make you push yourself harder than you should?

However it was the second class that caused all the problems. Although it got off to a very positive start. I loved it. The instructor was great, initially,  and spent time explaining correct positioning and how to engage your core muscles, which the previous instructor hadn't done. These are crucial concepts for Pilates. However neither instructor bothered to ask the class who was new, or to go around the class checking everyone's positions. This is also crucial for a successful Pilates class. 

Although I enjoyed the class I haven't enjoyed the days since. Being in constant pain and unable to walk properly will do that to you. The problem revealed itself just before bed time the day after the class when pain shot up my leg and, forgive me, into my ass! Funny yet not so. Not when you inch down the stairs during the night crying with the pain!

It's been 5 days now and sometimes the pain is excruciating. That's despite a trip to the doctors to receive an injection and being on regular opiate medications ever since! 

To say I've been feeling quite miserable wouldn't be lying. But I got a lovely surprise visit today from my very good friend Looking For Blue Sky who together with the fabulous Smiley made up this cheery and thoughtful present, that really brightened my day:

                                      
                                                       Thank you Blue Sky :-)

Of course I also have my Teen Boy with his comic updates to amuse me and the news that my little blog has been nominated in Best Personal Blog category in The Blog Awards Ireland 2104 to also cheer me up! My thanks to the person who nominated me as this really was some cheery news in a painful week.

Tomorrow will be another trip to the doctor methinks, I may even see the inside of a hospital yet.

And all because of Pilates, a highly recommended form of exercise!

For what it's worth here's my advice on attending a Pilates class, and on how to survive being laid up:

* It is my opinion that gym instructors are trained in many forms of exercise of which Pilates is just one. If you're attending a gym run class tread carefully, and choose one that at least streams it's classes.

*Preferably attend a class run by an instructor who is Pilates specific. These classes are more expensive but more safely run, in my opinion.

*Remember, just because you're fit and flexible for one form of exercise doesn't mean you are for another.

*If you find yourself stretched out and drugged up on the sofa for days on end then accept that your house will be a tip. You may also want to:

*Put the local takeaway on speed dial.

*Teach your teen to make his own goddamn lunchs and snacks.

*Ensure they know how to iron their own clothes. You may need to draw a map to show where the equipment is stored.

*Ensure that you are not the only one in the house who knows how to correctly load and use the dish washer. Everyone should know where the dishwasher tablets are, which compartment they go into and where the power switch is. Jeez...

And now you must forgive me for this hastily written post, from the strangest sitting position ever. All grammar and spelling errors are purely the courtesy of  opiates.

And now I must go and take some more, and tuck into the chocolates and toffees :-)