Surgery Tomorrow…

Tomorrow is six weeks from my radical hysterectomy surgery. This last week my bowels finally began to work normally, every day. Due to complication, I will be back in the operating room tomorrow for a big abdominal surgery to repair a hole in my ureter, clean out a hematoma and close the hole in my vaginal cuff. This time I will have a large incision in my abdomen and that is what has me scared! Another 6-8 weeks of recovery, but this time with a large incision and more pain.

I have prepared myself as much as I possibly can for this surgery, yet my nerves are a mess. I am to be at the hospital at 11:30am and the surgery is scheduled for 1:00pm. I have been reassured that everyone is on the same page this time and I will be well cared for with good pain control. So I continue to pray that this is the case and all goes well and I heal with no other issues.

Today I can only consume clear liquids while I do a bowel prep. I have to end the night with an enema and I have to shower twice today with special soap that I scrub into my belly for five minutes. I also have to do this in the morning before I go to the hospital. My blood work is good, so that is reassuring.

I thought I was nervous before my radical hysterectomy with the robot, this is much much more intense. Just so you know, if you ever have surgeries with a robot or laproscopically, don’t worry about horrible pain. The worse I ever had from those were a couple of days of gas pains in my shoulders from the gas they blow up the belly with to see. This time it is the large incision that has me so concerned. I keep telling myself so many others have had it done and made it through just fine. The key is keeping relaxed!

After surgery I will have two days of an epidural to help get me through the first two days that tend to be the hardest pain. In this time I will be focusing on breathing deeply to keep my lungs clear. This prevents pneumonia! I also cannot have anything by mouth these two days, only through IV. When they remove the epidural and start me on oral meds, I will keep calm and get up and walk to get my blood flowing and help me heal! Support my incision with a pillow and be very gentle with it, as to not cause any further trauma to the area. It is extremely important to baby the incision area and the abdominal muscles for a full 6-8 weeks. If you are not careful you can cause a hernia which will result in another surgery and I am not having any more surgeries!

A hysterectomy is normally a very easy surgery to heal from. I just happened to be one of the very few that had something go wrong. What went wrong was not my surgeon, but the staff in recovery who left me in too much pain and did not give me anxiety medications. I went into a full blown panic attack which ripped the stitches inside my abdomen and caused the large hematoma, which caused the hole in my ureter and the hole in my
vaginal cuff. To think tomorrow I would be six weeks out from that surgery and being released from restriction and feeling back to normal. Ugh!

So, here I am today. Trying to keep calm. Get through this day and stick to my well thought out plan for recovery. I am beyond blessed to have my mother coming up to be with me on Wednesday and care for me while I am on strict bed rest with just a few short walking sessions a day for 1-2 weeks. Today I get to eat jello, broth and Popsicles…..lol!

Please, send up prayers and positive thoughts for a speedy healing and a perfect surgery………….

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Unable to sleep, pain is intense…

It’s been a while since the pain has completely stopped me from getting any sleep. I Woke at 3:30am, I got up with a horrible pain in my right side that wrapped around to my back. When I used the bathroom I had signs that I may have a bladder infection, but I had never experienced this intense pain in my side before. So deep and so very hard. I took my pain medications along with vitamin C and Echinacea and I tried to go back to sleep. I couldn’t, the pain was just way too intense. I got back up again and took additional meds to help calm and relax me and then I tried to focus my mind away from the pain. Finally at 5 am I was able to fall asleep for a couple of hours. Then I woke again to this horrible pain. It is bad enough that I want to go to the hospital, but I hate hospitals and I do not want to have to stay over night there, so I won’t be doing that unless I am unable to stop crying from the pain.

I don’t know what it is and I fear it may have to do with the thing they saw on my MRI on my kidney, but my doctors appointment is not until the 20th now so I would prefer to find a way to deal with it until then. Laying down is impossible and I feel as though I am going to snap due to the amount of pain I am suffering with. If I could just find a position that is not so intense! I need to find a way to distract my mind from this pain. It is difficult to do when the pain is this bad.

What tools do you use to get through the horribly intense pain spells? I take a hot bath with Epsom salt and sea salt. I apply the rice heating packs I made to the area. I rub Biofreeze to the area. I try gentle yoga stretches to bring oxygen to the painful area. I lay down in bed with two comfort U pillows wrapped around me to support my body. When none of these help, I take additional medications. If that doesn’t help, I feel like I am trapped in hell and I don’t know what else to try. This is where I am right now. I have worked very hard on being in a positive place, but I am finding it increasingly difficult when the pain is this intense!

Maybe I did a bit too much yesterday and I am worried too much about it being something more serious. I am not sure, but I do know this is a different pain that I normal feel and it is extremely intense. I just prayed to GOD, to take away the pain and cleanse my body of all toxins. I am so very tired and deeply exhausted from the pain. I must refocus on positive things.

It is a beautiful day out today. The sun is shining and the temperature is in the mid to upper 70’s today. I cleaned the area I sit at outside yesterday and it is very appealing, to my eyes, to be out here this morning.

Everything is OK!

I AM at Peace!

I AM Happy!

As soon as someone gets up today, I will have them take me to the store to get cranberry juice and hopefully that will help with the bladder infection signs. I have control over my own mind and I choose to see the positive no matter what is happening in my body right now. Our mind is extremely powerful and when we put everything we have into something, we succeed!

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Me, a couple of days ago…..

Pondering…..

I am the youngest of five children. My mother always asks why it is, that out of five kids, I am the only one that has to be reminded that I am loved. Simply put, words become our reality. To me, saying, “I Love You!” Makes it so. Who doesn’t need or want to hear those words? I am a firm believer that our reality is created by the things we say out loud. I know when I spend a day in pain saying it out loud, my pain becomes completely unbearable and I soon find myself laying in bed for the remainder of that day. When I spend a day saying out loud the opposite of what I think, I am able to get through that day much easier. When I think the words, “I am so damn tired of this pain!” I then say out loud, “I feel great, I am at Peace, I am Happy, I am strong and resilient!” Somehow saying those words makes pushing onward through the pain, a bit easier for me. Those words refocus my thoughts in a positive direction and towards what I want instead of what I don’t want. This takes practice! This takes a strong commitment! Remember, it takes 21 days to form any habit! For me, this took a very long time before I was able to really apply enough effort to it! I would start out feeling good, but quickly forget all about focusing on the positive. I finally made a list of Affirmations that I speak out loud every day when I get up and I also refer to this list when the negative thoughts seem to control my entire world. For me, hearing my grandson say, “my bone hurts so bad!”, was the wake up call I needed that I was saying the negative things out loud and way too much.

Have you ever noticed that when you are having a good day, things always seem to fall into place? On a good day, we feel positive and the day floats by effortlessly. Then on a bad day, everything seems to go wrong and we find ourselves cursing at every turn. That bad day drags on forever and it just seems to continue to bring more crap with it. So we need to create more good days. No matter what happens, we need to speak out loud the positive things we want to happen, as if they are already true. By saying I AM Happy, your saying that it is already true. I AM…….. Powerful words! Any bad habit we have, was not created over night. Therefore, those bad habits will not leave us over night. We have to be determined to change things and we have to put forth the effort in order to turn it all around.

Have you ever day dreamed about winning millions of dollars and what you would do with that money? What do you see when you daydream about that? Everything is positive and full of love, isn’t it! While you are day dreaming, your seeing it as if it were true right now. Finding a way to make your current reality, actually feel like that day dream is real right now, seems to be where so many people have trouble. It is easy to day dream about the what ifs….. So how do you live your life, right now, like that day dream is true? How do you feel while day dreaming? You feel happy and life is easy because you have everything you will ever want or need. In order to make it a reality right now, we have to view our entire life as if it is already happy and you already have everything you want and need right now! That’s where being grateful for what you already have comes into play.

Years ago, I ran my own business and I made very good money. Life was very easy then, I had everything I needed or wanted and my days flowed by in happiness. When I become bored, I would just go to the store and buy items that I could create something with. Using our creativity is a key roll in keeping us happy. Always having something to do and the beautiful benefits from accomplishing something when it is done. If I craved a fat juicy steak, I just went to the store and bought one to cook. Now, I have lived the complete opposite of that life. Scraping by with not much food. I still crave a fat juicy steak some days, but I can’t just go buy one. Then I began focusing on all the negatives in my life and how hard it was and is. This had a domino effect! Suddenly every part of my life was negative and I felt very unhappy. I had absolutely no control over a single thing going on. But we do have control, even when we feel like we don’t. We always have control over how we think. The days I focused on all the bad in my life, those days, were always so long and painful. Then there are the days that I put forth the effort to be grateful for what I did have and those days may of started out hard, but they became easier as the day went on. I could never have been grateful for the little things in life, with out living at rock bottom. The most important things in life, are the ones that are free. Love is free! Happiness is free and a state of mind! We have control over what we think and say. Remember when your mother would say, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all”? We cannot take back the words that we speak. Words have the ability to be very hurtful to others. This is where counting to ten actually comes in handy. When you have negative words come up in your mind and you are about to speak them, take a deep slow breath and count to ten first. Just doing that, does actually change our perception of things. We suddenly realize that those words are not nice and we should not give a voice to them. Everything we say or do has an equal or opposite reaction. So, instead of putting out something negative and attracting negativity towards you, put out something positive so you attract more positive things towards you. Or you can say nothing at all! More importantly, what we say to ourselves is what shapes our mood and day. We all have a tendency to be over critical to ourselves. When we need to be more compassionate and loving to ourselves than to anyone else. How can you give love, if you do not feel love for yourself? How can you help someone else if you have not helped yourself?

I say do this one thing today….. Write five positive affirmations on a piece of paper and say them out loud. Do this as often as you can, just for today. Then before you go to bed tonight, ask yourself how you feel compared to how you felt before you made the effort to be positive today. Better yet, do this for the entire week. Life is full of obstacles, but we have the power to see those obstacle as anything we want them to be. We have power over our own perception. There will always be difficult days, but our thoughts and the words we speak can build us up or break us down. The choice is ultimately yours and yours alone, because you have the power over your own life! You are in Control of your thoughts and actions at all times. Everything in life is a choice, so what will your choice be today?

Coping Mechanisms…

Last night, I was reclined in my chair and I was so tired I could barely keep my eyes open. So, I got up and got ready for bed. I climbed in my bed and snuggled down, then I could not go to sleep! This happens to me all the time. I take medication to help me sleep, because if I don’t take that medication, I do not sleep at all. How can you be so tired and barely awake, then wham…. You cannot go to sleep? It takes me over an hour to fall asleep with my medication. I take the medication two hours before bedtime. Sometimes, I can crawl into bed and it will only take about 15 minutes for me to sleep. But generally, it’s a good hour. I suppose stress and worry all play a role in being able to fall asleep. My mind has been full of all kinds of worry and stress and that generally causes me to have trouble shutting my mind off. Though, usually when that is the case, I am not falling asleep in the chair before I get into bed.

I woke today with one of my horrible headaches that I think come from my neck. My entire head feels like it is being crushed into my brain. I feel it is caused by my neck, because when I stretch my neck in certain ways the pain is alleviated mostly during the stretch. I have these headaches often. I do have Degenerative Disc Disease and arthritis in my neck, as well as through out my entire spine and coccyx. My pain in my neck is usually less noticeable, due to my tailbone being one of the most intense pain sites. I know the pain is there, but when another area is maxed up in pain, it lessens the trauma of the pain in other areas. For instance, my head is screaming at me right now, so my mind is mostly focused on that pain. However, I feel the tailbone pain and my crushing foot pain too. My mind is acknowledging all the high pain areas and then focusing more on the one area with the most intense pain. That is why it is so important to me, to occupy my mind as often as possible. Focus the brain on other things and the intensity of my pain does decrease. It never goes away, but it is a helpful tool in my arsenal.

18 Years ago, when I first became burdened with panic attacks, I started meditating and while meditating I began the process of using a trigger word to help me relax when I was not meditating. This is done when you are in a deep relaxed state, you focus on a word. My word is “RELAX”! I see it and feel it. It took me several weeks to get this trigger word in my relaxed states and then be able to just see the word and breath to relax myself. To this day, I use the trigger word. All I have to do is see the word in my mind and take a few deep slow breaths. My body then responds by completely relaxing. This has helped me survive panic attacks, as well as, high blood pressure and pain. Just by breathing rhythmically and focusing your mind on that breath, you can ease some of the most bothersome things in life. It does not make it all go away permanently, but it is another wonderful tool to have in your arsenal.

How do we survive all the horrible pain, trauma, disorders, attacks and so on? Many people commit suicide to end their suffering. So, how do we all find ourselves still here? We have found coping mechanisms. Things that help us get through and survive the worst of the worst! Some of us have wonderful support systems to help with the burden we find ourselves in. I may not have a support system and I find myself at the bottom of the barrel on many occasions, but I have used coping mechanisms to make it this far, so they must be helpful. My tools are: Meditation, Relaxation, Focused Breathing, a Trigger Word, Taking my Medications on Schedule, Writing this Blog, Talking to others who also Suffer (it’s good to know you are not alone and to have a place you can be open about your pain and suffering), Focusing the mind on crafts or tasks, Epsom Salt Baths, Rice Heating Pads, Biofreeze, OTC medications for inflammation and Journaling…. What are some of the coping skills you have found to be helpful? I would LOVE to hear them………….

The PAIN woke me at 4am…

I finally was able to go to sleep around 1am, then at 4am I was suddenly awakened to crushing pain in my low back, hips, tailbone and abdomen. I took two Aleve Liquid Gels and waited 40 minutes. Nothing, still being crushed to death! I took my muscle relaxer and waited a half hour. Nothing, still being crushed to death and quite tired of it! So I took a pain pill and after a solid hour I attempted to go back to bed. I finally fell asleep around 8:30 am. I then woke up again at 10am. Ugh……….

Needless to say, I am going back to bed as soon as I am finished with this post. I am really struggling to get through these days. It’s horrible! Pain that intense is impossible to busy the mind away from. Then you are also so exhausted on top of it all. I am listening to my body today and I will stay in bed or go back to bed as many times as is needed. Lack of sleep and the pain drains the energy from your body as well. Not a good combination, my mental health is showing definite signs of it already.

What are some things you have found to help you get through the severe episodes of pain? I have tried many things. Usually, on a normal day, I can occupy my mind and not dwell on it so much. Yet the severe days seem impossible to get away from. I appreciate any and all comments or suggestions.

It is 3 AM and I am unable to sleep!

I just cannot seem to find sleep, even with all the medications that should put me to sleep! Both of my feet have been getting worse in the pain department. At the balls of both my feet I have a crushing and throbbing pain. My three middle toes on both feet are numb and have been for a year. It seems like every Fall the pain spreads. I feel very tired, yet the pain will not allow me to go to sleep. I just saw my Pain Management Doctor on Thursday, well his PA anyway. I am tired of always seeing the PA and I demanded my next appointment to be with the actual doctor. The PA just keeps trying me on every type of medication possible in the category of seizure medicine. I can’t take the stuff! Only one helped with my actual pain and that one made me gain weight and swell so I was taken off of it. The PA decides to put me back on it, but at a low dose. SMH! I cannot even fill the prescription because it is not covered and I cannot afford to pay for it! I ask every single time about other treatment options, since they said two years ago that there were many to try, but they only did a dozen epidural steroid injections until I said, “No More!” They did not help! The anti seizure meds make me feel really stupid and they do nothing for the pain. A few have made me severely depressed. I pointed out my feet and how I have a space gaping between the two center toes now. He just barely looks at it and then goes on the path of the seizure meds again. I am calling on Monday if this continues. By then I will be completely miserable with no sleep and so much constant pain, that I am sure to be a joy to speak with. It has become very hard to just walk from one room to another!

Why, do we have to suffer so much, while drug addicts find ways to get all kinds of medication that are meant for us, the ones in real pain? My muscle relaxer doesn’t do much for me anymore, I have been on it for over a year. I think the dose is now too low. I get so tired of waiting for ever to see the doctor, then being pushed in and out like I am nothing! I have had severe pain for four years, three of them being constant! Finding a doctor that is worth a damn is next to impossible here. This is my second pain management doctor, since back in the beginning I went to a complete jerk who liked to torture me. My general doctor sent me to this doctor after hearing what the other doctor did. There are two pain centers here. With my insurance, it tends to be very hard to find a doctor who really cares or takes his time with you. What do we have to do in order to get it through their heads? If we could touch them and let them actually feel the pain we live with, I bet they would change their attitude and treatment of us!

Sorry for the rant… This is what happens when you cannot find any break from the pain your in, then it starts effecting your sleep, the one thing that allowed you a break from your pain!

Fall approaches yet again…..

I absolutely love Fall. The weather is amazing. The draw back to fall is that is when I tend to either become bed ridden or in a wheel chair. Sure enough, today I am unable to walk or stand without horrible pain. So I am in bed and it is very boring here! No TV!

My cat is pressed against my side. She loves it when I become this way. because she gets tons of loving petting. I think she can sense my pain too. She will settle down and sleep then suddenly look at me and meow until I pet her more. It is soothing to pet her.

I called the doctors office today and left a message. Their recording even says they call you back the same day. They never called me back, so I left another message and now I am sitting here thinking that I am just not worth their time. Do I go to the ER or wait until tomorrow. The ER will most likely only give me a shot so I will still need to talk to my doctor. But I may need that shot in order to sleep. I guess I will wait and see.

I am so hungry. When I do get up to go to the bathroom I have to walk hunched over. I cant make myself something to eat like this and the pain – OMG! Which sends me into the wonderful world of depression. What joy!