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Posts Tagged ‘Doctors’

Life was busy in my early thirties. I was married, had two small children and we were running a small business. I was also going to the gym and felt fitter than I can ever remember being in my life so far. Then I started to feel, ‘not quite well’.  Exercise would cure anything, after all it had cured my  weight problem so it would fix this. I exercised harder. I looked better but felt worse. The doctor said I was fine, fit and healthy.

After several years of increasing problems I finally saw a specialist and it was decided I needed a hysterectomy – urgently.  I wasn’t concerned, I had my children and as I explained to the doctor, if anything did happen to one of my children (even though I knew nothing would) there would be no way I would want to try to “replace” them with another child.  I don’t know how much that thought was caused by knowing my children were going to be okay, or the unacknowledged situation which was slowly deteriorating at home. Either way I wanted this problem solving.

I went into hospital and the operation went really well. For the first time in three years I felt really good. Apart from an injunction to rest for several days, no heavy lifting, I was allowed home several days later. Unfortunately my mother in law had been asked to come down and help with the children whilst I was “laid up”. Another irritant, my husband couldn’t be bothered taking a few days off to help me or his children until I could take over again. Work came first, last and everywhere else before his family – oh, apart from his mother that is! (Yes, I realise my feelings have yet to be exorcised about the M.I.L. but that’s another story).

image from iwuvtheoffice.deviantart.com

Two days after I came home I started to haemorrhage slightly. I was doing more than I should, M.I.L. simply didn’t want to really help. Back to the specialist but everything seemed okay. However, by the next day it had become something I couldn’t ignore and I had to tell my husband. Another day went by as I felt things becoming worse. Finally it was apparent that the “wait and see” attitude wasn’t going to work.  It was now Sunday and the caring response was, “Well, let’s wait until tomorrow and see if it has changed at all”. OK, apparently I could bleed to death before it was urgent enough to take me to the hospital.

By 11pm I was really ill. I was losing buckets of blood. (It may be a slight exaggeration but that’s what it felt like). I had become as white as a sheet and finally the decision came to call the doctor.  Would you be impressed to be called at 11pm on a Sunday night? We were sent off to the hospital and whisked into Emergency. Of course, not knowing what had been happening the doctor had instructed the hospital staff to “monitor me for a few hours and let him know how much blood I was actually losing”. In retrospect that was so funny.

Ensconced in a room with an adjoining bathroom I barely heard the door close before I needed to rush into the bathroom; Hubby buzzing frantically for the nurse. Of course, by the time she arrived I was perched on the edge of the bed and she was holding a bedpan for me. Oh – too late! I wasn’t happy to be berated for not waiting, or finding out I was to be monitored for a few hours. Bedpans, oh how I detest bedpans.

image from commons.wikimedia.org –

I was in clean pyjamas so I took the nurse’s advice and climbed into bed. Oh dear! It appeared climbing up into the bed set things moving. I “yelled” reasonably quietly for my hubby to grab the bedpan and precariously climbed “on board”. Well, she had her sample to check but the altitude (or the blood loss) had an unexpected effect.

Weaving atop my bedpan I said, “You’d better call the nurse, I’m going to pass out!” Nurse appeared and bedpan was unceremoniously removed as I said, “I’m going over now” and backwards I toppled. There was a delicious feeling of floating and I watched the scene from above the bed. Mayhem ensued. The nurse called the sister who called the doctor on duty. From somewhere another sister appeared.

image from astralsociety.net

There I lay with someone at each arm and leg, blood pressure cuff tight and everyone patting an arm or leg and none too gently, trying to find a vein. My blood pressure reading had tanked. I got the giggles. I felt as though I was watching everything from a huge distance, my hubby wringing his hands in the corner. I heard my voice saying, “It’s alright, it’s not my time to go yet.” The startled looks set me to giggling once more. There was a feeling of drifting away yet being connected to what was happening. Sometime later I realised I was looking at a nurse who was looking somewhat uncomfortable and an IV line was in my hand. Whilst I knew on one level it was wrong I have to admit I felt strangely vindicated when I saw the ashen look on my hubby’s face.

After an emergency operation I woke to find my hand the size of a grapefruit. The IV needle had “tissued” (gone through the vein and into the tissue) and I was uncomfortable. Actually it bloody hurt! Even though the emergency staff had put the IV in, because I had health cover, now that I was no longer “in danger” it could only be changed by a private pathology nurse.  You guessed it, they wouldn’t be on duty for several more hours. They refused to let me sign a waiver, I had to wait until someone came on duty and in the meantime the fluid in my hand continued to build up. Each inadvertent movement was excruciating.

Four hours later I had the IV moved, but my hand took days to recover. Strange that it was my hand I was more concerned about. My specialist popped in to see me. Apparently I had managed to lose a critical amount of blood, much more and they wouldn’t have been able to ‘save me.” I felt like saying “I told you so” but didn’t. He said they couldn’t find any reason for the haemorrhaging but neither could they refute that it had occurred. Tied up tighter than a trussed turkey I was allowed home several days later.

I have no idea ‘where’ I went when all the drama happened. I felt serenely peaceful and had the feeling that I was being told so many things, but I couldn’t remember anything later. I still believe that when the time is right I will remember. It was the most amazing feeling I’ve ever had, and telling everyone ‘it wasn’t my time to go yet’ still has the power to make me giggle. I simply knew that although it was really serious, everything was going to be fine. I wasn’t finished with this life; I had too much to do.

image from justchow.blogspot.com

Live life to the fullest and never ever look back, there is a reason for the future and a reason for the past. Love till it hurts and laugh till you cry and when your life flashes before you, make it worth while. Be happy for what you have done, and be happy for what you have over come, and most of all always be proud of what you have become.”   – Ritu Ghatourey

Some things as easy to explain. Some simply seem strange. Some are taken on faith or belief. I know what happened and one day I’ll remember what I need to from this experience. Years later I still find it funny.

.

Blessings.  Susan  x

© Susan Jamieson

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Midnight Margaritas from “Practical Magic”.                                                                          Image courtesy of  heathwitch-cottage,blogspot.com

April 21st

No need for second guessing,  I have Lyme dis-ease, along with 27 other little friends, all confirmed by the wonders of medical technology.  Now the fun begins but not with lime and coconuts, although a margarita might be good in a while.  Whilst I cannot say I’m surprised to be told I have Lyme, I was astonished to find the pesky blighter doesn’t, or rarely does, travel alone. What has been more difficult to accept is the refusal of the Government or the august members of our medical fraternity to accept or acknowledge that Lyme dis-ease exists in Australia.

There is this strange dance which has to be followed if you are ‘fortunate’ to find a doctor whose Hippocratic oath is solid enough to permit him/her to test for this dis-ease, if it is suspected.  That is, of course, if you are willing to pay for the testing which cannot be done in Australia since the dis-ease does not exist here! No, tests have to be sent overseas to be done and if the result is positive you either cannot get the ‘protocol’ followed in the US or UK where Lyme dis-ease is admitted to be, or if you find someone who can get it for you, it costs a small fortune.

Tick carrying the Borrelia burgdoferi disease Image courtesy of webmd.com

So, armed with my antibiotics, herbs, more requests for tests, CT and MRI scans, the slow waltz begins.  Nothing comes without cost and the medication to combat this has its own unpleasant surprises. I am nothing if not thorough and the list of likely side effects is enough to make even the strong quail.  Which is another reason why it has taken me so long to get back to my writing, it didn’t take long for some of the unpleasant side effects to kick in.

A daily dose of supplements, just add to antibiotics with water! Image from allnaturalme.com

I’m finding a really amusing side effect which I am sure has nothing to do with medication or herbs, perhaps the Lyme, who knows, but I find I’m substituting an ordinary phrase for a musical phrase – and I’m not musical!  Hence the title. I was thinking about my approach to this post and the song from Practical Magic wouldn’t go away. The song was sung by Harry Nilsson and perhaps there is a warped sense of humour at play…..

“She put the lime in the coconut, she drank them both up
She put the lime in the coconut, she called the doctor, woke him up,
And said, “Doctor, ain’t there nothin’ I can take,
I say, Doctor, to relieve this belly ache?
I say, Doctor, ain’t there nothin’ I can take,
I say, Doctor, to relieve this belly ache?” …………….. as I said, warped sense of humour!

DSCN2409 (Copy)

This is not a belly ache! As you might guess, light sensitivity, ear ache and tinnitus, stiff neck and shoulder and that was before the pills had fully hit my tummy.  Teeth tightly clamped – just in case.

It’s not all doom and gloom and bad news. I was blessed to find a doctor who knows what he’s doing and not afraid to correctly diagnose. He’s also approachable and will answer my zillion plus questions with absolute patience. He even lets me have a star when I get the diagnosis for something related right. I guess I’m an involved patient. The last visit to see him we (Ray drove me of course, where would I be without my wonderful husband) spent over an hour and a half going over everything with him. That is some commitment to your patient!

I am eternally grateful to Nicole who pointed me towards this doctor. I’m relieved to finally have a diagnosis which explains all the anomalies I’ve been chasing down for a decade –

“Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered I have fought my way here to the castle beyond the Goblin City……You have no power over me!”  Jim Henson

David Bowie as the Goblin King in The Labyrinth image from http://www.kianleong.com

– which is how I feel about my ‘fight’ to find a diagnosis and I’m going to beat the beastie in the end.

I’m also endlessly grateful that I met and married the love of my life. He is by my side, holding my hand when I need it, driving me to appointments, giving me Reiki to ease the pain, and when I can handle it – cups of tea, cooking dinner and so much more. He is simply the rock I can lean on whenever and wherever we are. Without his support I am unsure how I would be handling this. I have truly been blessed to find such unconditional love.

Midnight Margaritas image from http://www.tumblr.com

….”she put the lime in the coconut and drank them all up”…………………whoooo whoooo!

“You have NO power over me!”   Let’s get them beasties!!!!

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image from http://www.encyclopedia.com     Robin Williams in Bicentennial Man.

April 12th

I’ve been missing for a while. The urge to write has never left me, even when I’ve been frantically busy. At least in my fevered imagination I’ve been frantically busy.  The nature of the human mind is to see things differently when we don’t like the reality we do see. It’s the way we protect ourselves from the unpleasantness we visit or have visited upon ourselves.

You see, I’m a little concerned. In seven short days I finally see my doctor and have the results of all my tests laid out in graphic detail. I have waited for nearly two months to find out, so it’s had a while to work its insidious worrisome thoughts on me. You might think the wait would be good, and in one sense it is, if I didn’t know what part of the result was going to be. I have Lyme disease. Apart from the confirmation from the blood test I have all the other signs and symptoms, and Lyme disease does not travel alone.

For the past two months I have watched and read my friends reports on how the treatment for this horrible disease has been attacking her body and wondering if I will face the same. I’m not sure I have her strength of will or her depth of faith, but I know I do not have her extended support group of family, friends and supporters, and this, well, this is causing me some angst.

I am so very fortunate to have a wonderful husband who is holding my hand each step of the way, but I wish I had her faith to fall back on. I know it has helped her enormously and I fear what its lack will do to me. It could be the final “straw to break the camels back” so to speak. At the least it may make my journey vastly different, but then by its very nature it has to be.

After a search of several months, we managed to finally find somewhere we wanted to move to. The frenetic behaviour began after that at the beginning of April, not that the previous months had been laid back. Searching for a house is not an easy task when you have a list a mile long and it MUST have all these things for it to work out ‘just right’.  I will admit that half of the list comprised the things I wanted, and the other half belonged to  – my other half! At the end of the day, and the search, we had found a place which ticked most of the boxes. Sometimes that is all you can ask for.

So, in the midst of the zillion of boxes, the USB cable for my camera is carefully hidden away, hence no pictures today of my new home.

The bedroom, the least chaos ruled room.

The bedroom, the least chaos ruled room.

We are currently watching the weather as darkness drops, waiting for another front to come through and dump torrential rain for a time on us.

And the rain came down.

And the rain came down.

So far we have spent most of the day going round in fruitless circles, first opening windows to let the air in and then dashing madly round closing them again as the rain pelts through the open windows. I have some really awesome photos of the weather rolling through, but that’s a teaser until I can find the cable. (Cable found, pictures now available! Yippee!

So, I feel somewhat like a tortured pretzel, back bent and twisted and I can neither stand straight or sit down – without pain. I have developed a curious habit of bumping into everything, whether it is in my line of travel or not, things simply jump out at me. The last thing I attempted to pick up promptly dropped me head first to the floor! Quite an acrobatic feat I would have cheerfully passed on. In short, succinct words – I’m totally useless and in the way at the moment, so all I have to occupy myself is to fret over what I’m going to hear in one week.  I haven’t even been able to type because there hasn’t been a place to “set a spell”.

So, I’m tired, grumpy, generally miserable and useless, and have this teeny gnawing feeling in the pit of my belly when my thoughts turn to doctors and Lyme disease and the other nasties that can come with it. I’m telling myself it’s normal to feel this way, I’m simply acting like anyone else. I’m Human, I have “feet of clay” and I’m doing pretty much what is expected and accepted, (except by me, so I have some work to do there).

With no pun intended, I will keep you posted.

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“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” – Helen Keller

Taking that first step into the unknown is probably the scariest thing we have to do, and at some point in time we all have to do just that. The real question is, how many times can we, with blind faith and trust, take that first step into the unknown?  How long is our piece of string?

I understand the premise that character is built through adversity. Trial and suffering are supposed to be the means to create a stronger personality. Yet I truly have to ask, does the soul need strengthening? I believe that we are all souls, here in a human incarnation to learn. I am always grateful and very mindful of this. Strangely enough I didn’t realise that so many people think that it is only through pain and suffering that we are meant to become “better” individuals, better “souls”.  In many ways it seems a contradiction in terms.

I know that they learning experience can be easy or hard. Sometimes we need to understand pain and suffering before we can be truly empathic when a friend, family member or a stranger we meet is going through the same thing. We need a frame of reference with which to understand the torment they are facing. Even then, we can only hope we understand because each person is unique, and what they feel and think may be vastly different to how we think and feel.

image from massageblog.net

I have always pushed myself, and pushed hard. Being second, (second best), was just not good enough.  My parents wanted me to do well, to get away from where we were, to have a better life. As the eldest child and only girl it was an enormous pressure.  I didn’t want to let anyone down, least of all me. Somewhere along the journey I became lost.  Yet that didn’t happen until much later.

I graduated, had my dream job where I believed I was doing something which made a difference, helping people who couldn’t help themselves in ‘these’ situations. I felt I had found my niche, I was good at what I did and I knew that in the rarefied field I worked in there weren’t many who could do what I did. I was okay with that.

But, then I fell in love and the person I chose didn’t want me to do what I did best. I made a mistake and I was talked into leaving. I thought nothing could be worse than that feeling of loss and emptiness from not having that thrill of going to work and doing what few others could do.

So I made myself change. I became the picture perfect “Stepford” wife and mother with everything always in perfect order, regimented and in a routine. When I was told I was “too fat” I joined a gym, even though I hated exercise.  Yet, there again my innate competitive streak found its first outlet in many years. From having two left feet and hating it I became good at aerobics, not just good, but very good!

image from tehparadox.com

Now I’m not saying I ever looked like this, but pretty darned close and I was just as fit as they were. I felt good for the first time in ages and I was in control of part of my life again. I spent the next twenty years as a “gym junkie’. I loved the exercise, being able to get my body to do things I had never been able to before.  But the Lord of Chaos wasn’t finished with me yet.  Despite my marriage going to hell in a basket, I had what was supposed to be a ‘minor’ accident.It appeared one trauma wasn’t enough.

Thirteen years later I am still doing the rounds of doctors and specialists. I have tried traditional and all manner of alternative therapies with little success. I am now waiting on another appointment, another doctor to see next week and I’m finding the wait almost unbearable this time. It’s the wondering if this time it will be the right time. Will I find an answer to why I’m not getting better, but worse. Why I’m able to do less and less and the pain becomes worse. The list feels endless so I won’t bore you.

For the first time in my life I’m questioning why I’m pushing myself so hard. Is it the constant pushing causing this to get worse? Have I reached the point where the string is about to break?

image from momsgetreal.com

I can’t answer that question because I don’t know how to give in, or give up. I haven’t learned how to stop fighting. There are a zillion other problems to contend with so how can I let one get the better of me? I guess I’ll keep fighting until I find an answer, either one which will free me or simply be an end to the search. At least for a short while.

Yet I know that right now I simply want to lay down and sleep. How about we start with four hours uninterrupted pain-free sleep? With no pain when I wake up? Then six hours and maybe even eight if I’m lucky. Yes, I know we are supposed to need less sleep as we get older, and I know many people say they only sleep for two or three hours every night. Yet I cannot remember the last time I had even one hours’ uninterrupted sleep or woke without pain, feeling refreshed and eager to meet the day. Well, that’s not quite true, the last time I had a good nights sleep and woke up ready for the day ahead was November 27th 2000, the day before  my ‘minor’ accident. Funny how things stick in your mind.

But tomorrow is a new day and there’s always hope, isn’t there? Miracles do happen.

You always smile after your wedding don’t you!

“Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.”    – Marcus Aurelius

But for now I think I’ll let Helen Reddy have the final say.

                       Oh yes I am wise
But it’s wisdom born of pain
Yes, I’ve paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to, I can do anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman

You can bend but never break me
’cause it only serves to make me
More determined to achieve my final goal
And I come back even stronger
Not a novice any longer
’cause you’ve deepened the conviction in my soul

I couldn’t have put it better myself, at least not at the moment.

Be well, be strong, love to you always,   Susan x

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“Dreaming is a world where wishes do not exist ; because dreaming is a world where our wishes are fulfilled just by the fact of imagining them so.”
― Yannick Heywang

dreams

image courtesy of 123glitter.com
As you may know I’ve been having a series of procedures on my back and neck to try to alleviate  the pain I’ve had almost constantly since a  car accident back in November 2000. It’s been a long haul and at times has driven me to the brink of despair.  A simple whiplash injury, which should by all,accounts have been repaired and a distant memory years ago.  Obviously this has not happened or I wouldn’t have been having the nerves in my lower back and neck ‘fried’ over the past two weeks.

I thought we had managed to sort out the kinks in the system last week, however it appears ‘Murphy’s Law” had not yet finished with me! As a rule   the special “RF” machine does not come to the Gold Coast on Mondays.  It needs to be booked to get it down here.  OK I get that. I made the bookings as per the referrals and went through the process of psyching myself up for the procedure. The machine did not arrive – it had not been ordered. Reschedule for Tuesday, another day to  ponder the advisability of what I was doing. I was reassured it would work out fine, but you never know.

Last week, although gruesomely painful,  endured with a stiff upper lip and much “praying of sorts”  went very well and except for the soft tissue bruising (6 inch needles look enormous and feel as though they’re going right through you!).  My wonderful husband nursed and cosseted me and I felt as good as I possibly could. I am delighted to report  that the pain associated with the spine has gone, and once the soft tissue has settled down I will feel like dancing! Well almost.

happy smiling wife

image courtesy of happymom.info

Back to the supposedly a scheduled appointment yesterday. It didn’t happen because the machine doesn’t ever come down on Monday!  Whoopee, another day to ponder the procedure.  Frustrated, but stymied as to what else I could do, I waited for my rescheduled appointment.  I wasn’t about to a have the darned thing spread over a number of days, I wanted it over and done with.  Of course, the hour delay didn’t help with my sanguine attitude. I did try though.

The needles are smaller than those for the back, an assumption since I didn’t see them. The anaesthetic  felt just the same and if anything more painful. How did that happen?  I must have a small streak of crazy running through my programming  because I thought it was not only weird but rather hilarious that when they sent the electrical charge along the ‘element’ to check they had the right spot, the absolutely right spot, the jangled nerves affected went to places I hadn’t thought of. One in  the base of my neck, the most painful  one, had the nerves jumping in my skull,  my arm right to the fingertips, down my back and into my hip and even into my and down my leg!  I was astonished, but with my focus on trying to breathe  and not swear blue murder (I really did ” my share” of “my kind” of praying)  I noted  the sensations and kept breathing.

I have no idea why, but when it was all finished and they were helping me to sit up, not only was I a partially deaf (it passes) and being as dizzy as a wheel (it passes), I suddenly found I had a fit of the giggles. Whether it was relief or something else I have no idea, but inappropriate or not, I just found  bouts of giggles erupting. I guess it’s better than crying and certainly made the doctor and his assistant smile.  I’m good with this.   After thirteen years of increasing pain it felt good to be numb! If that seems strange then so be it.

laughing girl

image courtesy of howtoattractagirl.org
You see I have been asking and praying for a remedy to this debilitating pain for years. It has stopped me from being active and at times made life sheer misery, not only for me, but for all those sound me.  Guilt is a strong motivator. I wanted to be fit and healthy, as healthy and fit as possible so I could live the life I dreamed of. Now it will happen, but I have to be careful. Whilst the nerves are gone the damage to my neck and back are still there. The Universe decided to remind me of this on the weekend.

The battery on the wretched fire alarm had decided to start peeping at 1am! Of course it happens then, but I cannot ignore it. I was feeling quite good and I  thought, what a wonderful idea, change the battery myself and let my husband sleep.  Humph!  I got the alarm down but became dizzy, stepped down very quickly and hit my lower back on the coping of the wall. OUCH!  Ray came running down the stairs, so much for letting him sleep, and I felt more than a little chagrined by the episode.  (Learn to walk before you run!)

dragonfly
image courtesy of swittersb.wordpress.com            Don’t you just love dragonflies?

So, here I lay, wide awake, working out what I’ve learned from this. (A good exercise for a sleepless night.)

Things don’t always turn out as you thought they would. Sometimes they’re even better. They usually are in fact.

Asking for help is not weakness, it is strength and honours the person who gives you the help.

My head will not fall off, it just feels like a rag doll’s at the moment. Patience will bring all things in due time. The Universe’s timing, which I trust because it always, but always works out so much better anything I may have thought of.

My business appointment  tomorrow will be a hoot because  I will still be ‘under the influence’ of something.

I’m being given a beautiful sign from Spirit that I’m on the right track because my Boobook Owl hasn’t stopped calling the entire time I’ve been doing this. Way to go! Hoot Hoo!

So, all in all I’m more than grateful  for the experience of the past few weeks. If nothing else it has allowed me to learn that you don’t always get what you might wish for, it’s usually much better, and for that I am truly grateful.

butterflies and astronaut in alien world

image courtesy of art.com

“Patience, grasshopper,” said Maia. “Good things come to those who wait.”
“I always thought that was ‘Good things come to those who do the wave,'” said Simon. “No wonder I’ve been so confused all my life.”
Cassandra Clare, City of Glass

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“Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but – I hope – into a better shape”. –Charles Dickens

happy relaxed person
courtesy pinjarrahealthfoods.com

I am feeling more than a little worse for wear tonight, and that would have to be one of the most outrageous understatements I have made for some time. I have a high tolerance for pain, or a high pain threshhold. It’s really a matter of which way you wish to look at the situation.  Either way, the end result is the same, I have been pushed to the outer limits of my threshhold today and I am holding on by a thread.  There have been no tantrums but tears and many prayers. I have wondered if I lost any degree of sanity I may have laid claim to when I signed on for this. This being torture by any other name. 

 I described my “procedure”  earlier, this is the second part, the lumbar or lower back “procedure”.  Don’t  get me wrong, I have an amazing doctor and a wonderful assistant. They are kind and considerate throughout the entire episode, even asking if I would prefer to stop, have a break and start again. I appreciate their concern, however, when faced with 32 needles of varying sizes, (I should add that the small ones at the beginning, whilst being the smallest do carry a wicked sting and the rest simply become larger and, depending on the successful placement carry their own degree of ‘sting’ and pain!), it would take someone more foolhardy than I to agree to halt the proceedings.

hypodermic syringe

courtesy oocities.org
To be fair I have been spoilt, pampered and cosseted since I left the doctors office by my wonderful and I’m sure long suffering husband.  Without him this would be no simple, never ending nightmare, but an ongoing and never ending sample of Dante’s Inferno!  Perhaps worse than the pain, which I know will eventually fade, is the feeling of facing future decrepitude.  An interesting definition, or description of decrepitude I found is:

the state of being old and no longer in good condition or

 good health”

In other places it directly refers to being useless and feeble, both states I have felt in full measure this evening. There were times as I attempted to painstakingly shuffle from place to place that I had a clear and multicolored picture of a very old cottage, timbers riddled with dry rot, falling apart before my eyes. It was quaint, it was in some ways picturesque, it most definitely was real, and most importantly to me at the time, it accurately bespoke how I felt and saw myself in the future.  A future I should add that did not seem very far away! 

decrepit old cottage

courtesy of wikipaintings.org

“It is by no means an irrational fancy that, in a future existence, we shall look upon what we think our present existence, as a dream.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

I was not feeling sorry for myself, this was after all, exactly what I had agreed to, and in the fullness of time, I believe I will be pain free and able to do all the things I have missed doing over the last decade.  Things I did and took for granted until I could no longer do them.

areobics

courtesy of 123rf.com

There was just one small hiccough to this positive frame of mind. Each and every time I sat down, or indeed moved, I got a clear and present warning that my back did not appreciate the treatment it had been subjected to.  What could I expect really? In all honesty could I expect my body to appreciate being used as a human pincushion! Of course not!

To add a little more interest to the night I was doing my Gratitude Journal, not as difficult as one might imagine, when I asked my Guides (spirit guides) to give me a sign that they were there, with me. It may seem nonsensical to some, but it meant a great deal to me.

 Suddenly, (doesn’t it always happen suddenly?),  I heard the sound of my resident owl calling, ‘whoo who, whoo who.’   It was my Mopoke owl. Depending on where you hail from, it is called a Mopoke, Boobook, or Tawny Frogmouth. He is beautiful and I love both seeing him and hearing him, but none more so than tonight when I was feeling more than a little low. This was the sign I asked for and which came so quickly. He stayed close by calling without pause for half an hour before he left. I am truly grateful for his visit. 

mopoke or boobook owl

courtesy of thinktag.com

So, whilst still in pain, feeling somewhat decrepit at the moment, and unable to sleep, I have been shown that all is and will be well in my world.  I am going to find a semi comfortable position, find my meditation crystal, get my iPod set up with a good meditation track and rest.  Rest is what my body needs tonight and probably tomorrow and that’s the message from my owl friend, so that is what I will do. A few pictures for you which I cannot make my iPad cooperate with and “that’s all for me folks “. 

positive future happy image
curtesy of davishypnosis.com

  “Walk with the dreamers, the believers, the courageous, the cheerful, the planners, the doers, the successful people with their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground. Let their spirit ignite a fire within you to leave this world better than when you found it…”

         

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“The person who sends out positive thoughts activates the world around him positively and draws back to himself positive results.” Norman Vincent Peale

There is nothing quite like the knowledge that you have to undergo “a procedure”. It sounds like such an innocent little thing but it’s only when you get right down to the nitty-gritty that you find out what you’ve let yourself in for. So it is with me. I’m currently wondering if I am ready for later today.
worried lady

image courtesy of truthaboutwater.com
For more than a decade I’ve had a problem with my back and neck, courtesy of an insignificant little car accident! It  was quite silly really. We were stationary and the other vehicle simply T Boned us at a relatively slow speed. Nothing to worry about. Right?   I carefully checked everyone out. No broken  bones, no bruises and no blood!  Too simple. All we needed was to exchange details  and away we could go.
“car accident” courtesy of photobucket

There was however an itch on the back of my neck I simply couldn’t ignore. So as soon as we arrived home out came the trusty camera, the car was photographed from  stem to stern and we started to write down chronologically exactly what had happened.  By the time we had finished I had a rather nasty headache which I put down to delayed shock.   Mistake number one !  A couple of painkillers and a very hot bath later  I went to bed to sleep off the ‘headache’.

The next morning was something out of a cartoon show. There I was as stiff as a board and unable to get out of bed without help. I still had some misguided notion that I could go to work and so, another very hot shower later I had to acknowledge that it simply wasn’t going to go my way! I called the closest doctor (mistake number two) and drove to see him.  (mistake number three).  A pattern was emerging but I was too sore to realize this and was still hanging onto some vague notion that I was going to be able to go to work! It was a simple whiplash and I was assured that a couple of days bed rest with the trusty  Valium and I would be fit and raring to go again. (mistake number four).
woman in pain
I could still only move around with a great deal of pain but I was prepared to give it a go. (number five and counting).  There followed two years of infighting with my employer who didn’t want me on Work Cover. I didn’t want to be on it either but that didn’t appear to register.  The number of mistakes by this time were too numerous to count. Eventually  I lost my job under a beautiful little loophole in the Industrial Relations Act and found myself unable to get a job since my neck and back has been well and truly ‘wrecked’ beyond belief  and much of the time I staggered around unable to ‘tie my shoelaces unaided’!  The major irony according to the specialists, was that if I had been allowed to change my ‘duties’ after the accident I wouldn’t have the back problems I now have.  If I sound a little  bitter you would be right.  Was this a “life lesson?”

So here I am, trying to sleep, obviously ineffectively, waiting on the next procedure to get some pain relief.  I’m all booked in for a “medial branch block of the C3 – C 7” area of my neck. I’m still not sure if they chose my neck first because it hurts more than my back or if I’m just lucky!

It’s now much later in the day and the procedure went well, which is a gross understatement.  To say I was a little nervous would be making  light of things. The idea of all those needles in my neck was daunting but I was  desperate for some lasting relief. You get that way after a decade or so. Finally here I was in my little  paper gown waiting to go into the room where it would all happen!
cervical medial Cervical medial branch block

image courtesy of springerimages.com

It’s now much later in the day and the procedure went well, which is a gross understatement.  To say I was a little nervous would be making  light of things. The idea of all those needles in my neck was daunting but I was  desperate for some lasting relief. You get that way after a decade or so. Finally here I was in my little  paper gown waiting to go into the room where it would all happen!

I should add at this point that I haven’t been able to lay on my tummy for over a decade. I have had to succumb to sitting in a reclining position to sleep at night. This was a challenge as I had to lay face down for at least half an hour and be absolutely still. A huge challenge.  So there I was lying with my nose squished to the tiny pillow as the CT scan was used to find the correct places for the eight needles I required. Please note that was eight needles, big ones!

The first eight were the “small” injection of anaesthetic I needed to numb the upper layer of  tissue. The following eight were taken right into the neck and as close to the nerve as possible.  Very uncomfortable! Deep breathing and prayers were beginning to flow  at  this point. Fortunately the anaesthetic was very quick acting and I didn’t feel the ‘needles’ going in which would touch the nerves.

This is where things became very uncomfortable. It had taken much longer than the  half hour anticipated, in fact it was close to an hour. My back had long since decided to punish me for placing it in a position guaranteed to create pain. The agony from this reached from my tail bone, over my entire hip area and was closing fast on my shoulder blades. It was now a close race on which area would be number one in the agony stakes!

Then came the nerve ‘block’. A strange name for  something which a felt as though a red-hot poker was being jabbed into each nerve to see if it reacted strongly enough to the stimulus before the anaesthetic was administered.
one injection image courtesy of  metacafe.com

(picture this repeated four times on each side of the cervical bones).

When I was praying the loudest they decided they had found the best places. (You might substitute a strangled scream for the prayer!)  The relief to know it was over was immeasurable.  The fun, if you have a warped sense of humour, then began when I had to try to move. My back was frozen solid with the pain of laying absolutely still for well over an hour. My husband told me it was close to an hour and a half.

Sitting was hilarious. My sense of balance had gone completely, as had my hearing and my eyes refused to focus. I can’t really comment about my legs, they were there somewhere but we’re not functioning quite the way they should. However, the bright spot in this was that I couldn’t feel a thing in my neck so my thumping headache had gone. I guess I had a win there!
dizzy personimage courtesy of balancenadmobility.com
I’m now sitting in bed, still wobbly, still unfocused, at least somewhat, and praying I won’t lose too much hair when the dressings are  removed tomorrow.  I’m lucky I know. I’m much more fortunate than many, but at the back of this wooly brain is the thought that come Monday I have this same procedure lined up for my lower back.

This is part one, if successful the next phase is “ablation”, burning the nerves. I’m nervous and medical procedures don’t usually concern me overly much, not after all the research I do. Yet this does make me think. It’s much more painful for some time afterwards and there is too much to be done on the work front.  It’s a difficult decision to make; pain for some time versus freedom of movement, pain-free movement when it subsides. It’s not a cure-all, those wonderful nerves regrow so the entire thing has to be repeated in about a year – if you’re game that is.

As Charles Dickens said:
“Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many – not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.

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