Monday, March 14, 2016

Life is hard

I haven't blogged in a really long time.  Life has been really tough the last.  My dad was really sick last spring, they couldn't figure out what was going on and he was finally diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia.  He went through 6 months of chemo and finished this past December.  It is chronic disease, so not curable.  He got the all clear in January that he is in full remission.  How long that remission will last is anyone's guess.  We are hoping it is years.  He is still struggling with not feeling the best, we are hoping it is the chemo and not a return of the cancer.  He will see his doctor the end of this month for his 3 month check-up.

In October, just a few days before my birthday our puppy Frankie passed away during a surgery.  On Friday I had picked him up from doggy daycare and he was acting a little weird.  I wasn't sure what was going on but once we got home and we were there for a little while, I realize something was really wrong.  We took him straight to the emergency vet.  They thought he had a hernia because he was in a lot of pain.  They admitted him and let us know he would go into surgery that night or the next morning.  The next morning the vet called and explained that it wasn't a hernia but he had an infection in his abdomen and had dead tissue that had to be removed.  They expected great success and a quick recovery.  The next couple days we spoke with the vet and they wanted to keep him on iv antibiotics.  Sunday night this started to go down hill.  He wasn't responding as well to the antibiotics and couldn't keep anything down.  By Monday the vet wanted to operate again because he was showing signs of sepsis.  That evening they took him in to the operating room again where he died on the table.  He was 14 months old.  I don't have kids, our pets are like children to us.  This was one of the most painful things I had ever been through.  I was devastated and had a hard time living life for a couple months.

To makes things worse, a couple weeks after Frankie died our other dog who had just turned 11, was diagnosed with fairly aggressive non-responsive to treatment cancer.  We tried some holistic stuff and prednisone which worked great for a few months.  We lost him a few weeks ago.

We did have some bright spots in this all.  About 6 weeks ago we adopted a 3 year old boxer named Molly from a rescue.  Her and our senior dog got along great and she was so sweet to him in his last weeks.  He was doing really well when we first got her so he had a great month with her before he started going downhill.  Molly has really helped us get through the tough loss of our amazing Ike.

I am doing okay all in all.  I don't mean to just give a huge sob story.  My weight is a disaster.  I have been eating my feelings for the past 6 months and need to get it under control.  I know eating isn't a good response to emotion, but it is what I know best.  My friends and family, and especially my husband have been incredible through all the drama.  Hope you are all well in blog land!

Monday, May 11, 2015

12 Week out and feeling great

It has been a little over 12 weeks since I had my back surgery.  I am officially restriction free... though I pretty much have some restrictions for the rest of my life because I have some other sketchy disks.

I am feeling good as new these days as far as it comes to my back.  However, my weight situation is not so super.  I started getting really hardcore today and counting calories and pre-planning meals.  I need to drop a good 20 lbs and my clothes are all tight.  I can't keep pretending that I am making good food choices and that I can handle it without counting calories. 

Now that I am okay to exercise again, I need to do more.  I need to have a physical in a couple of months and I would like to make a dent in my weight loss.  Hopefully it will stick this time.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015


Well, I am two weeks and 5 days out from my microdiscectomy.  It was the best decision I have ever made.  I woke up from my longer than expected surgery with zero pain, other than my incision pain.  I never knew how amazing that could feel.  Don't get me wrong, the incision and back pain sucked, but laying on my back never felt so good.  I hadn't slept through the night, or even been able to just lay on my back since October.

I went from taking 6 percocet, 4 gabapentin, and 2 Valium a day to taking a Motrin or two.  It is like a miracle.  My surgeon said the surgery went perfectly.  However, it was bigger and worse than he had first expected so he had to fish around more and got two additional pieces (besides the original rupture) out.  The first 3 days were heavy pain meds and valium and each day got better from then on out.  I still have to be very careful with proper lifting, bending, and sitting, and all that for a few months.  It is hard already because I feel so good.  I have a terrible "tramp stamp" from when I was 18 and I had hoped it would get cut so I would have a good excuse to have a cover-up... not such luck.  This is the tiny incision I ended up with.

I did have a really horrific time with the anesthesia even though they knew ahead of time.  I puked a ton.  I guess I told the recovery nurse, "Yeah, I am puking, and I am not going to apologize".  As soon as I was with it, the puking went away and I was up in out in about an hour.  I spent the first few days sleeping a lot.  I did have all my wonderful kitties and these two to see me through my recovery.

I love to watch the surgeries I have AFTER I have them.  If you are interested, this is not me, but it is the exact procedure.  Click the link for Microdiscectomy surgery.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Back Pain Update

So, I appreciate all the great advice and kind words from you all.  Let me start by saying... I have tried many things.  Chiropractor (tons), Decompression Therapy, Light Therapy, I bought an inversion table and used it many times a day, drugs, steroid injection, physical therapy, and more.

The injection gave me absolutely no relief and may have actually made the pain a little worse.  After going back to the pain management doctor and talking about options, he went over my MRI with me.  I have a true rupture that is very substantial.  He called it gargantuan.  I met with a neurosurgeon.  He also said the rupture is just too large and too far gone for anything but surgery to work.

I feel like I gave it the college try.  It has been almost 4 months and I can't live like this anymore.  A week from Thursday (2/12) I will be having a microdiscectomy.  As far as back surgeries go, it is fairly easy.  It will be out patient but the recovery will be hard for me since I will be so restricted.  I will go back to work after 4 weeks off.

I can't believe I am having surgery again.  But, I feel positive that I can finally get some relief and get on with my life.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

It has been a couple months... UPDATE

Okay, so it has been a couple of months since I have blogged anything.  In mid October of last year I started having sciatica.  It was annoying at first and I was able to get by with Motrin.  By the time I posted my last post I had begged my doctor to do something and she sent me to physical therapy.  A few weeks after I started physical therapy I went to see my doctor and had a major melt down.  By that point I wasn't sleeping (maybe 3 hours a night) and was really hurting 24/7.  The Motrin was barely taking the edge off and I was having a hard time functioning. 

My doctor referred me to a pain management doctor.  By this time it was late December.  I saw the pain management doctor who sent me for a MRI.  The MRI confirmed I have a ruptured disc.  The doctor said he wanted to send me for a epidural injection and hope for the best but he thinks surgery will be needed.  My injection was scheduled for 1/13 but on 1/11 I went into Urgent Care with a bad sore throat.  I had an infection and needed antibiotics.  The injection can't be done while sick or on antibiotics so now it is rescheduled for 1/27.  I am still not sleeping, taking lots of narcotics, anti inflammatory and a nerve pain blocker.  It makes very little difference.  I am miserable! 

Sitting hurts, laying down hurts, standing hurts... I am so tired and miserable.  The strangest thing is, I have no idea how I hurt my back.  For the past few years I have had issues with muscle spasms a couple times a year.  I would take some muscle relaxers for a couple days and be good as new.  This is an entirely different ball game.  I work full-time, and getting myself through the day can be really hard.  The mornings and nights are the worst and if I can get myself moving and stretched out I can tolerate the pain with the meds. 

With all this going on I have totally neglected any exercise or good diet.  Sometimes I eat just because it makes me feel better.  The good news is one of the only things that brings me relief is walking.  So, when I am up in the middle of the night I get on the treadmill and walk.  I walk a couple miles every morning before work.  The bad news is that my diet has not helped me and I have only maintained me weight.  Losing is not at all of a priority though.  Surviving is my only goal right now.

This post sounds really depressing, and though I am hating every second of this... I am making due.  I am just praying I don't have to have another surgery. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Sleeve is a Strange Animal

So... I lost my motivation, and then I found it again, and then I lost it for a couple of days and then I found it again.  I am trying to string together enough days of motivation to start making a difference.  My anxiety has been through the roof lately, and I just don't handle eating well when I am in a place of panic.  It becomes the least important thing to me even though I know eating well improves my anxiety. 

I have had chronic anxiety my whole life... and I am on meds which help a lot.  Lately I am wondering if I need my dose upped.  Anyway, I am not looking for sympathy or excuses.  I just want to keep it real.

On to my sleeve story.  In January I will be two years out from my sleeve surgery.  I had a band for nearly 3 years before that and felt like I had a pretty good handle on the basics of eating post weight loss surgery.  Today, I was eating dinner at work (I work until 9) and I was eating some plain baked chicken (forgot the bbq sauce) and brown rice and some carrots.  I was eating at a fairly good clip because I had lots of stuff to get done.  I do this often and it is never a problem.  Well after I finished eating I was sitting at my desk working on stuff and I started to feel really nauseous..  Then I started having stomach pain.  I can't tell you how long it has been since I have been "stuck".  For God sake, I can easily eat 2 pieces of pizza while driving if I want to with no issues.  After about a half an hour it was getting worse and I knew I was going to puke.  I bet it has been a year since I have puked from a sleeve related reason.

After I thought about it, all the food I ate was really dry.  Also rice could potentially be a problem sometimes but hasn't been for months.  I got cocky, and I pushed my stomach... and I paid.  My misdeeds have been noted.  Hopefully I won't do the whole puking thing for a long time.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The struggle is real

Here I am, back again after a way too long hiatus.  I am now a year older and zero pounds lighter.  I was just too busy celebrating my pre-birthday, birthday, and post-birthday.

I did however, dress up as a squirrel for Halloween.  It was fantastic.