celticdragonfly: (Laura - Shorthair)
Oookayyy. A couple different women on the t-bones support list have been talking about pain and how their doctors have told them it's because they're too skinny and have no padding there and only a couple of millimeters of skin between the chair and the coccyx/sacrum/sacral stump (depending on case). It boggles me that "gain some weight" does not seem to occur to them as a solution. I'm sure if the case was the opposite LOTS of people would be telling them to lose weight for their health and would nag them!

Me and my bountiful curves will be over here in the chair, knitting and reading online and recovering from the surgery way faster than a lot of people on the t-bones list!
celticdragonfly: (Default)
Yesterday's piece of wisdom - just because circumstances have forced me to "go back to work" now, rather than at the 6 weeks to 3 months that is apparently what's sensible for someone who's had this surgery, does NOT mean that I am at the state of recovery of someone ready to go back to work.

Now if I can just keep remembering that.

Ow. Damnit.

Nov. 8th, 2005 12:33 pm
celticdragonfly: (Don't wanna)
If you're sitting down to read this, take a moment to appreciate it.

Because you take it for granted, don't you? That you can sit down. And stay sitting down.

My FEET HURT. I spend almost the entire day standing up. Because I'm still recovering from this surgery, can only sit in certain chairs, and have limits for how long I can do that. My feet, shins, knees all hurt. A lot.

And we set the computers up so I *could* stand at mine - so that's where I am a lot. I'm tired.

There's one chair that works pretty well. But we need to rearrange things so I can use it at the computer. And it's a big wooden ladderback chair - and that's exactly how the kids use it, they've knocked it down on themselves several times already, so mostly I can't have it in the same room with them.
celticdragonfly: (Don't wanna)
[Marlin]I'm dead I'm dead I'm dead I died I'm dead[/Marlin]

I keep thinking hey, I'm doing better today, hey, it's okay, I can mange a bit more!

Then I try to go do a bit more.

Then I end up sore, pained, exhausted, and totally wiped out. And then Karl brings me food, a drink, and my pain pills.

He says I'm like the Calvin and Hobbes comic
{Thought bubbles}: Go ahead down. You'll miss all those trees. You can do it. You'll stop before you go over that ledge at the bottom. You won't go into that pond. Besides, the ice is probably real thick anyway. Go ahead down.
Calvin: My brain is trying to kill me.
Poor Karl.
celticdragonfly: (Firefly - Make it stop)
Okay, so there's good news and bad news.

The good news is that my incision continues healing. I need to make sure to sit on the firm wooden chair - fortunately Karl has a really good one, and has been so kind about moving it around the house for me to wherever it works best. That chair even is a reasonable height to sit at the table I used for a computer desk.

My computer used to be there, but when the coccyx problems got worse, we put Karl's computer Anvil there, and moved Agatha and her monitor over to the edge of the counter that divides the kitchen and living room, so I can work standing up. Trouble is that gets tiring and I get sore feet and legs.

So this morning we set me up to use Anvil, and put the chair at that table.

This is how I found out the bad news.

Agatha's monitor is old and rather fuzzy, and I typically increase the text size to be able to read things. I thought it was mostly my eyes getting old. Then I spent a couple of weeks on the loaned laptop (Bless you, Gerry Tyra!) upstairs in bed, and realized that hey, I wasn't increasing text size. When a somewhat older laptop screen is significantly better than your regular monitor, that says something.

The bad news is that Anvil's monitor is waaayyyy worse than Agatha. Which is why he has it, as he only works on it part time and I'm the one editing pictures and such. I hadn't realized how bad it was, and it must have gotten worse. Working on it this morning, I developed a really bad splitting-pains headache in the back of my head. I realized it was an eyestrain headache, and got one of the Big Pain Pills. When I went back to work on it later, I realized I could feel the eyestrain increasing.

So even though it was *working* for me to sit at the computer there, I can't do it any more. I feel dizzy and nauseated. I really really want to go shop for a new monitor - at least one, then we could have Agatha's handed down for Anvil - TODAY. Don't know if we can, but oh I want to.
celticdragonfly: (Default)
Hello, friends. I'm back to solo work today for the first time post-surgery. We will see how I do. I need to remember to stay on top of the ibuprofen. Probably best to stay off the Big Pain Pills if I can manage. I suspect it's going to be a week with plenty of videos, sigh. [livejournal.com profile] selenite may well come home early many days this week. He has been definitely told to tonight, so we can get the kids ready for Halloween.

And one of the major things I have to do today is frantically work on a last-minute knitting project for part of one of the Halloween costumes. While standing, mostly, for as long as I can. I should have had [livejournal.com profile] selenite bring down the big wooden chair that I've been using in the bedroom. Soft chairs are more problematic.

Looks like the chances of me getting local friends to come help me this weekend are not good - I'd forgotten that Satuday is going to be the ORAC meeting at the Tyra house. I wish I could go. I might be able to handle the drive, but not getting the kids in and out of the van and taking care of them without gates and such all day.
celticdragonfly: (Default)
Yesterday was a big day - the doctor's appointment, the long car ride, a couple errands - and then in the evening we went out and did a Walmart run for various stuff. I was exhausted.

This morning I woke up more cheerful than I have for a long time. I was stiff and sore, sure, but no more than I had been the morning before. I haven't gone anywhere today, but it's been a good day. I spent more time downstairs, I went up and downstairs a good bit more than I had been. I helped Kathy get laundry folded and put away. I played with the kids more, even got out my drums and showed them to Kathy and the kids and got the old kid drum out for them, after we got into a discussion on music and rhythm and dancing and music training for the kids. That was fun. The kid drum is like a small borran, and Jamie was wearing it on his right arm like a shield, and playing it with the other hand. He looked like a little lefthanded Viking. We went outside for a while and blew bubbles.

I am really starting to believe that I *will* be one of the ones with a good outcome and I will get my health back. Not yet, I still have a long way to go, but I am improving. And it's leaving me motivated to want to DO so much. I'm beginning to realize how MUCH the constant pain and lack of deep sleep have worn me down, wiped me out, and left me foggy brained. I feel like I've lost all that time. Now I want to start new educational projects, get more done on my fiber arts (well, I always want to do that), I want to get back to my harp music, go ahead and start trying to learn piano, get back to swimming, get back to dancing. Somehow. There's LOTS of logistical problems, especially as the mother of small children. But I want to do these things, a lot.
celticdragonfly: (Bobtail dragonfly)
So I started to add up the various costs of this surgery and more especially the support network we've needed to cobble up to get the family through this. Yeesh. For all this, my tush oughta be gold-plated.

Also, it's making me realize more the value of my "job", in seeing what it costs to replace me for a week.

ow again

Oct. 20th, 2005 11:45 am
celticdragonfly: (Don't wanna)
Overdid it last night, probably mostly due to doing storytime with Karl and the kids. I wanted to do storytime, darn it, I miss doing it with them, and I wanted to do the next chapter in the storybook. I hoped to do it mostly lying down, but Jamie's rambunctiousness made that not work and I was mostly sitting on the bed - which, yes, was one of the most painful things pre-surgery. Woke up in a lot of pain this morning. But the pain pills are helping.

Whups

Oct. 17th, 2005 10:35 pm
celticdragonfly: (Firefly - Make it stop)
Apparently going back upstairs has reopened a part of the incision.

Well, isn't that special.

Now I have to figure out what to do about tomorrow. Wondering if I should have Karl bring chairs up to the upstairs nook and ask them to come up and talk to me there.
celticdragonfly: (Default)
I have overdone it a bit.

I have started carefully sitting for short periods in my special folding camp chair. When I do it too long, ow, I pay for it and must go lie down again.

This evening, with Karl spotting me, I went downstairs. He made me go down a few steps then back up first, to prove I can do it. Going UP hurts much more than going down. I sat for a little, laid down on the couch a little, then managed to eat sitting up at the table. Quickly, so I could take my pain meds (require food) and go back upstairs. The body has had enough of that, and I have been lying down since.

I needed to do it, though. I'm going to need to go downstairs tomorrow morning. The speech therapist is bringing a sensory OT person to evaluate Jamie, and they're going to need to ask me a lot of questions. So I'll have Karl bring down my camp chair in the morning, and I'll go down for the appointment. I expect after that I will need to go lie down for a while.
celticdragonfly: (Couple-FenConII-kiss)
I'm CLEAN! Oh it feels so good.

Karl helped me get my hair and face washed yesterday. But just now he helped me through an entire shower. Oh bliss! Thank goodness for the tub with the detachable shower head and hose set. And for a loving dedicated husband willing to wash all the parts I can't reach because I can't bend, and to put a new clean dressing on afterwards.

OH, it feels so so so good to be clean and in clean pajamas!
celticdragonfly: (Default)
On the plus side - I slept decently well, and there were no middle-of-the-night children interruptions or problems.

On the down side - this means I woke up 8 hours after last taking my pain meds. The every-three-hours ones. OW OW OW OW OW ow.

Clearly this wasn't going to wait for breakfast. Since I have to eat with them, I got the emergency Ritz stash out and took them. I managed to get out of bed on my own, but had to wake poor Karl to get me to the bathroom.

Now he's back asleep and I'm online to distract me. Well, the meds will be kicking in better, and I console myself that Friday was better than Thursday, hopefully today will be even better.

I'm back

Oct. 14th, 2005 12:34 am
celticdragonfly: (Laura - FenCon2005)
THURSDAY: I had hoped to have the laptop working with a wireless connection up here in my bed today, thanks to Gerry Tyra setting it up for me last night, but sadly something went wrong after he left. We're hoping to get that fixed soon. In the meantime I'm going to type this up and save it to post later.

And yay, as you can see, I'm back online! Gerry is great. He is one dedicated engineer who is determined to fix a problem that's presented to him, and will be a very helpful force in my recuperation.
surgery and post-surgery experiences )
And yes, I'm up way too late. Poor Maggie is having night terrors - probably a mix of stress and worry over me, excitement of Grandma and the Tyras visiting, and a disrupted sleep schedule. She had some last night, tonight is worse. Karl was downstairs cuddling her for a while, and has been exiled to sleep in there with the kids to try to keep them soothed. I offered to bring her in with us, but he pointed out that would put her little kicky feet right at incision level. Right.
celticdragonfly: (Default)
Karl posting:

[livejournal.com profile] celticdragonfly is out of surgery, back home, and resting.
celticdragonfly: (Default)
So here I am, up and showered and dressed and ready to head off to my surgery. I am soooo tired, my eyeballs hurt, and I'm thirsty and hungry and can't have anything to eat or drink.

I hope it all goes smoothly.
celticdragonfly: (Don't wanna)
This morning (well, Friday morning, I'm up late) was my pre-op assessment visit at the hospital.

Hm. Good points, I now know where it is, I now know where parking is, and on my own at the end I went and found out exactly where to go on the morning of surgery.

Bad points, I got treated poorly in ways that got me very upset and took me back to experiences I'd not care to relive. Those who treated me poorly have been reported, as have the ones who were nice. And they won't be the ones actually working on me Wednesday. Hopefully those people will be nicer. Hopefully.

So everything ought to be fine.

In theory. In fact, I am not feeling too great about all this. Karl's being very sweet and supportive, and even arranged for me to catch a nap this afternoon.

pre-op

Oct. 6th, 2005 12:11 pm
celticdragonfly: (Default)
I had my pre-op appointment with the orthopedic surgeon this morning. It went very quickly. He's fast, efficient, gruff but with a bit of a twinkle. I find him a little intimidating, although I mostly think he's like that because he's that good. I hate to think how intimidating he must be to someone who doesn't process as fast as I do.

He seems to think this will be fairly routine. I hope so. He says I should be able to shower the next day, wait 2 weeks for swimming. He does these a lot - I asked, he does 15 to 20 of these a year, he gets people referred from all over Texas.

Tomorrow I go for the pre-op appointment at the hospital. I'm sure there will be lots of paperwork, and I think some blood tests. I have an envelope of papers I'm to take in. I went through them, and feel reassured, it looks clear that the problem is coccyx only, the rest of the back isn't involved. Interesting to see some of the things he was checking for last time that I didn't realize he was checking for - like in the one test, he was noting down that I can do the 90 degree bend with no problem.

I am a bit more nervous about it than I want to admit - in the errands on the way home, I stopped for some groceries, and realized I was getting Laura-specific comfort foods...
celticdragonfly: (Default)
So I'm sitting here reading through more and more of the coccyx.org site, going through more and more of the personal experiences entries. And scaring myself. Some of these I can dismiss as being cases clearly not like mine. But still. This is scary. It could go badly. Even if it does go right, I'm going to have a prolonged recovery period. People take many weeks off from their job after something like this. I don't know if I'll be able to do any. We can probably find a way to afford a doula for a week or two, for daytime hours on weekdays. There's still a lot of kid care the rest of the time. And I don't think we can possibly afford it longer. I'm scared. We just don't have a lot of support structure in our lives.

I still don't want to be like this for the rest of my life, though.
celticdragonfly: (Default)
I just got back home from the appointment with the orthopedic specialist. (For anyone not up to date, I have major coccygodynia problems)

WOO-HOO! They're going to FIX the problem!

They were efficient at getting me in. The nurse had clearly read the forms I'd filled out and the extra stuff I'd typed up detailing the pain, the history, and all that. She looked at the xray and said yeah, there's the problem. The doctor came in, talked to me about the pain and where it was, took a look at the x-rays I'd brought, and said "Oh, that's going to have to come out." He did a rectal exam, which was well, pretty unpleasant, but such is life.

I went in expecting I'd probably have to convince the doctor that yes, I was a good candidate for this surgery, I'd read up on it and here were these info papers I had on it and here was why I fit the profile. Whoa. I'm getting the surgery!

They offered a first date of Sept. 21st, but that would have totally trashed FenCon. I wish I could have gotten this done earlier and been recovered by then, but oh well, too late for that. So it looks like Oct. 12th is the likely date. They'll be clearing things with insurance and calling me to set it up.

The tough part is going to be recovery from the surgery. This is NOT something you just bounce back from. Once I do recover from it, life will be much better in the long run. But the short term is going to be problematic. [livejournal.com profile] selenite is concerned about me trying to do too much too soon and aggravating things and making the recovery a lot harder. He's threatening to record a message about it and make my PC play it every couple of hours. I'm all for taking it easy and making sure I recover properly. BUT - I have this 24/7 job that can't be set aside. Two small children. I was hoping that [livejournal.com profile] bkseiver (my mom) could come out and help for a while. She says she has Eastern Star stuff a few days after my surgery, and then is planning to help with a church fair in November, so it doesn't sound likely. I'm not sure yet what we're going to do. But we have to get this fixed. It's really dominating my life these days. And of course, all that pain is because the dislocated joints are causing tissue damage, the sooner that's cleared up the better.

This is going to be serious surgery, but I think it will really make things better. And I owe major thanks to [livejournal.com profile] technomom, who sent me to the www.coccyx.org site, that told me about this surgery and had the referral list of doctors that I found this specialist on.

Oh, and I feel MAJOR vindictive pleasure and a mad HAH! at the stupid previous specialist, who wouldn't listen to me and wouldn't look at the X-rays but insisted that I had a lumbar disc problem. HAH.
celticdragonfly: (HHGG - knitting - improbable)
So [livejournal.com profile] selenite is home, and we were discussing the varied things that could come of me going to a specialist for the coccyx problem. Surgery was mentioned, he was finding it worrisome, and I mentioned that the site [livejournal.com profile] technomom sent me to talked about it being done with a local. He hadn't realized that, thought it'd be general, although wondered if epidural was enough.

My opinion was that although I understand that they want to do surgery with as low a level of anesthesia as is feasible, that personally, I'd rather be out for such a thing. After all, I'd be bored to tears. I just know they wouldn't let me read. Or knit. [livejournal.com profile] selenite was amused at the idea of them trying to sterilize a book or yarn to take it into the ER. I figured you could do it with worsted weight cotton, and I could just work on a facecloth or something. That'd be an interesting history for a knitted piece! I told [livejournal.com profile] selenite just think, I could give it to someone! "I knit this while they amputated my coccyx. I thought of you." What a way to tell someone they're a pain in the ass!

Now see, other people would be all dignified about this sort of problem, and never mention it. But no, not us. I'm at least going to get all the humor out of it I can.
celticdragonfly: (Default)
I got a call from my doctor's office this afternoon. They have the report back, why yes, I do have a dislocated coccyx. They'd like to refer me to a specialist. I like the sound of this. The person that deals with their referrals is out until Monday, but I should be hearing from her early next week. Okay, sounds good to me.
celticdragonfly: (Default)
Hey, all. I'm home from Conestoga. I'm tired, and having a lot of ongoing spine pain problems, but I'm home safe. I had a good time. I got to hold hawks and falcons. There were panels, filk, books, etc. Good stuff.

I'm hideously behind on LJ and email, of course. I expect I'll catch up eventually, although some lists will get trashed unread.

Oh yeah, and I finished HBP riding in the car on the way back.
celticdragonfly: (Default)
Had another chiropractor's visit today. Read more... )

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