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Sliced and Diced

Back in September, I fell while walking my dog with my husband.  I hit the ground pretty hard, falling on my left side and bruising my backside and hand.  About a month later, I started having incredibly severe back pain, and the last week of October had me out of work for nearly a week trying to recover.  My family doctor prescribed a steroid and muscle relaxer, and I was able to go trick-or-treating with my son (with a slight limp).

Three rounds of steroids later, my family doctor sent me for an MRI and referred me to an orthopedic specialist.  The MRI revealed a disc herniation at L4 and L5 of 7mm, and a lesser herniation at L5 and S1.  The larger herniation was pressing on my nerve, causing the horrible shooting pain down my left leg and making me miserable.  Some days, it took me an hour just to stand up.  I couldn’t put my sock on my left foot, couldn’t shave my legs without sitting down in the shower, couldn’t sit for more that 15 minutes at a time without severe pain, and couldn’t drive normally.  The orthopedic doctor recommended an epidural steroid shot that could fix the issue and help me avoid surgery.

I was unable to see the recommended doctor for the shot (thanks, insurance) so I was stuck seeing the doctor that Advantage decided was best.  The experience was horrible; Dr Ratzman in Indianapolis has a receptionist that does not answer the phone AT ALL, but lets all calls go to voicemail (one that she also ignores from what we witnessed in the office).  We were in the office for nearly five hours; it took us 90 minutes to get called back from the waiting room, and they definitely were not busy.  Dr. Ratzman decided that the shot should be administered through the side of my spine instead of through the top like the original doctor wanted to do.  Once I was finally brought back for the shot, it was over and done in 5 minutes.  I felt instant relief and had two very nice, nearly pain free days.

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I was back to work the following Monday, three days after getting the shot.  That evening, I had a lot of trouble sleeping due to discomfort, and I woke up Tuesday in unimaginable pain.  My son was on break from school and helped me a great deal throughout the day.  I could barely make it from the couch to the bathroom and spent most of the day crying before or after I’d pass out briefly from the pain and exhaustion.  On the advice of the orthopedic doctor, I went to the ER that evening and was admitted into the hospital.  They gave me an aggressive treatment of pain medication, muscle relaxers, steroids, and who knows what else.  After the hospital, I was referred to their physical therapy department and have been doing exercises that have helped with the pain. Unfortunately, the herniation has not resolved and I had a constant numbness in my left leg and foot that presented after the epidural shot and has not let up.  In addition, my left ankle has become extremely weak since getting the shot, and some days I need to have it wrapped tightly to keep it from giving out.  I was on crutches after leaving the hospital for weeks.

Fast forward to now, and I’m both happy and terrified about what I hope is a solution.  I have surgery scheduled for February 10th with my orthopedic doctor. He’s worried about nerve damage at this point (thanks, Dr. Ratzman) and wants to get the pressure off of the nerve ASAP so I can begin to truly heal.  I will also have to continue physical therapy and also begin a regular exercise program to keep my back healthy and avoid this nightmare from ever happening again.

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Since getting the surgery scheduled and coming to terms with the fact that I’m going to be sliced open in the very near future, I’ve been a total wreck.  Crying at the drop of a hat, getting inexplicably dizzy and nauseous, being overly sensitive, having mood swings, and being quite the pain in the ass around the house.  I’m absolutely terrified, especially since the doctor that administered the epidural shot left me in even worse shape and with possible nerve damage.  I trust the surgeon; he’s been fantastic every step of the way and has done all he could to get me better without cutting me open, but we’re out of options at this point.  I’m a big ball of nerves and crazy and I doubt I’ll calm down until it’s all over and done with.

Hopefully once this is over, I can get back to being myself and not flying off the handle at every little bump in the road.  My husband is an absolute saint for putting up with my nonsense, and he will be with me on Wednesday while I’m likely having a panic attack in the surgery center.  Please think happy thoughts about me, and when this is all over, I promise to give this page the attention it deserves and get back to regular posting.

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The Big Bad Scary Gays

Pastor Charles Worley is my new favorite person.  CBS Charlotte reported that Worley has a plan to “get rid of all the lesbians and queers.”  What is his brilliant scheme?  He will kill them off by keeping them all locked up behind an electrified fence!  His plan is to “build a great big, large fence – 100 miles long – put all the lesbians in there, fly over and drop some food.  Do the same thing with the queers and homosexuals and have that fence electrified so they can’t get out … and in a few years they will die out.”  His logic is that the homosexual community as a whole will die off because they are unable to reproduce.

Let that sink in for a minute.  This pastor, this man of God, wishes to lock up the homosexual community as if they were animals, drop food to them like you would to rats in a cage, and he expects the world to be free of homosexuals in a few years due to the fact that they will not be able to reproduce.  Reproduce more homosexuals?  Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m fairly certain that the majority of people in this world who are a member of the LGBT community have been born to a heterosexual couple.  Sexual orientation isn’t determined by some gene from your parents; a homosexual man and woman don’t create a homosexual baby.  Although, I suppose when you’re ignorant enough to still see evil in the LGBT community, you’re also ignorant enough to think gay is contagious or hereditary.

Worley, along with people such as he, are the ones who need to be isolated behind an electric fence.  Ignorant thinking people such as Worley are not born that way as LGBT people are, they are taught to be ignorant and intolerant.  Ignorant people are harmful to society; a man loving another man isn’t harmful to anyone.  Ignorant people spread their nonsense like a disease; you can’t become gay by contact or by education, as it is not contagious or a learned behavior.  Ignorance and intolerance was the cause of multiple wars, slavery, inequality, and poor treatment of human beings; homosexuality doesn’t cause any of those things, but it is sadly used as an
excuse for idiots to behave badly.  With those few examples, and there are many more, can you really say the LGBT community is the true danger here?

I am a product of an interracial relationship, as were my parents and grandparents and many members of my extended f  amily.Relationships such as these were once thought to be evil and horrible (and are still thought to be so by some of the fine members of the KKK, among others).  The world did not implode once interracial couples began to be generally accepted and it will not implode if people like Worley just shut the hell up and let people live and be happy.  The states that legalized gay marriage certainly didn’t catch fire when they began allowing two women or two men to be joined together.  Consenting adults have the right to love and bone whoever they damn well please and if Worley and like-minded people just shut up and ignore it, the problem ceases to exist.

I find humor in people who say idiotic things like Worley, but in all honesty it is a sad thing because there are weak-minded individuals who are buying into this nonsense and teaching it to their children who will likely grow up to teach the same garbage to their children unless someone or something is able to intervene and knock some sense into them.  It’s a sad thing that people still exist in this world who are so afraid of people who are different from them that their only response is blind hatred.  It’s pathetic that we, the so-called greatest country in the world, is still filled with such ignorance and stupidity.  It’s a damn shame that we are unable to move past it and focus on what is truly important and what is truly plaguing this country and humanity all around the world.  I promise you, being gay doesn’t even rank on the very bottom of the list of things we need to fix about our society.

Creepy Crawlers

I hate ants.  If I’ve learned anything in the past few days, it’s how strong my hatred for ants truly is.  They serve a purpose and I’m sure the world would be quite off balance without them, but I’d prefer it if they served that purpose outside of my house.  I don’t know how these tiny beasts managed to get inside or for what reason, but they began their invasion sometime over the weekend.  I first noticed a lone miniature red ant crawling along the screen of my phone.  He met his untimely end under my finger and I went about my day.  Later I found one chewing on my neck; after showing my husband the ant-shaped speck on the tip of my finger, he sprayed around the base boards of our place and we assumed all was well.  Unfortunately, I kept waking up with bites and was convinced that in hidden areas of our house, this was waiting for me:

My husband is a germaphobe and we both keep a clean house; the intrusion of these 6 legged creatures instantly made me feel dirty.  We began laying traps, one of which ended up swarming with tiny evil ants after a few hours.  They seemed to be confined to the bedroom.  Sheets and bedding were washed in hot water, despite the fact that we hadn’t seen a single ant on the bed.  Mattress was treated and flipped as well.  House was vacuumed and sprayed again and more traps were added.  Monitoring the trap that was receiving action showed that less and less ants were present, giving the impressing that they were dying horrible tiny ant deaths.  You would think this would make me feel better, but you would be wrong.

Everything that touched my skin, from a stray dog hair to the corner of my blanket to a microscopic piece of dust, was immediately assumed to be a stinging devilish ant.  Upon doing a bit of research, I learned that the ants will sting multiple times in the same location, more so when threatened or caught underneath clothing, leaving behind a beautiful display of red swollen bumps.  Did I mention that they itch worse than mosquito bites?  My mind was clouded by visions of attack ants, seeking to avenge the deaths of their brothers by stinging me as much as possible.  It cost me a night of sleep Sunday night.  And Monday.  Oh yes, also on Tuesday.

The reality of the situation was that we had acquired a few dozen ants, possibly from our neighbors activities, possibly from an open window.  They had made it into our bedroom and decided to attack only me, leaving my dog and husband in peace.  The trap beside our dresser that ended up being swarmed was probably enough to kill out the small colony, while the spraying and other traps will probably prove effective in killing stragglers and keeping others out.  Common sense dictates that the problem was solved over the weekend when the first traps were laid.  But I’m a girl, I’m squeamish, and anything exceeding 4 legs is automatically creepy in my book.

These ants burrowed so deep into my psyche that I talked my husband into inflating our air mattress and camping out in the living room last night.  It was the best sleep I have had in days.  The downside is that I let a few ants that are no bigger than a pinhead kick me out of my own bedroom.  Clearly the ants won this round.  At least I know that if there is a next time, and I hope there isn’t, I’ll be better prepared.

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