Thursday, January 31, 2008

Down and Out...

Hi, everyone. I haven't posted in about a week because the past few days have been rough. All in all, my recovery from my spinal surgery has been going well, but I overdid it late last week, and have needed a lot of sleep and rest subsequently. It's been hard, and I am trying very hard not to get discouraged. The picture above is my bed - isn't it comfy looking? Of course, Precious has been open to lots of good cuddling, so her TLC is quite healing.

But, the pain can be so debilitating. All of my pre-surgery pain is gone, but this post-surgery pain gets bad at times. Not only am I experiencing pain from the spinal fusion itself, but also from the bone grafts they took from both sides of my pelvic bone. All in all, my entire pelvis is aching constantly.

Ugh, I hate to complain, but I had to let it out.

I have an x-ray and 6-week follow-up appointment tomorrow. Hopefully, I will get lots of good news on my healing and recovery. I hope to hear that the bones are all fusing properly, and that I am on the right track.

Hope all is well with you!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Peer Pressure at its Best

So, I gave in to all of the encouraging peer pressure, and got myself a DVR. I mean, it will only be another $10 a month on my cable bill, yet the benefits are, dare I say, priceless. Why have I waited so long to join the 21st century?

The show I am most interested in recording? LOST!! For the past few seasons, I have purchased the "Season's Pass" on iTunes so that all of the episodes would automatically download to my computer. The price? Almost $40!! The DVR is much cheaper, and will record so many other shows in the process.

Especially since I am still spending so much time in bed, I am catching up on movies and shows I have always wanted to see. The latest viewings:

  • The Last Kiss (I sure love me some Zach Braff - though I found this a rough, moving, and particularly challenging movie to watch as I approach my thirtieth birthday)
  • The Wedding Banquet (great Ang Lee film about a gay couple, one of whom must get married when his traditional parents pressure him - hilarity ensues)
  • My favorite Scrubs episode, "My Overkill," which features my most favorite musician, Colin Hay!!
  • Classic Pop-Up Video episodes on VH-1 Classic (Metal Mania! Rock and Roll Heaven!)
  • The Celluloid Closet, a fascinating documentary about the depictions of homosexuality throughout the history of film.
Thanks for the good advice, everybody! You never steer me wrong :)

Rest in Peace, Heath

What a loss.
How sad for his family, especially his little girl.
We will miss your contribution to the cinema, Heath.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I really shouldn't admit this....

... but I am pretty darn excited that American Idol has started up again. Parts of me are ashamed of this, and hate being captured in this crazy pop culture phenomenon. Then there are the parts of me that are totally thrilled to watch every painful audition, cheer on every story that exemplifies the American Dream, and hold my breath as I await the weekly vote announcements.

(By the way - can you tell I'm feeling better??)

Anywho, I can't believe that I spent two hours of my life watching the premiere last night, and I know that I can't get those two hours back, but - I loved it.

Perhaps I should start a club of people who are too old to audition, but know that they would TOTALLY win if given the opportunity. Anyone want to join me?

I am nervous, though, that once I go back to work, I won't have time to actually watch American Idol, so I shouldn't get too into it. But, maybe it is finally time to get that DVR. My sister has been pressuring me to get one - will American Idol be the show to push me into getting one??? Oy.

What do you think - should I get the DVR? If you have one, what do you record?

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Trials and Tribulations of Daytime Television

Hi, everybody! I hope you are all doing well, and I am looking forward to getting back into a more regular blog schedule sometime soon (including seeing what's new with all of you!). I am definitely feeling stronger each day - I am no longer using the cane while in the house, I am showering on my own, and all gastrointestinal systems are back to normal (thank goodness.... oy!). As I mentioned, it is so amazing to actually be IMPROVING, following the past three years of steady decline in physical wellbeing and quality of life. The way I see it - in March, I turn 30, and it will truly be the start of a new chapter of my life. Woohoo!

I can't honestly remember the last time that I was home for this many days in a row (college winter break? No, even then I had a job). I am slowly being sucked into the roller coaster that is daytime tv. For instance, I have never watched Project Runway before, in my life. So, what did I wind up doing all day yesterday? Watching a marathon of the first season on Bravo. Granted, I slept on and off throughout the six hour block, but - PHEW! That sure took a lot out of me ;) Watching tv for so long is HARD WORK! Add in Ellen, Family Feud, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, various news programs, Biography Channel, etc.... there's so much!

But, it hasn't all been television... I have had some very nice visits from friends, including an awesome "Singstar Pop" duel with Sarene. Today, I hope to go out to lunch with a friend of mine who promises to take me to a quaint Scottish area here in Jersey. It will be nice to get some fresh air, though I am honesty concerned about sitting too long. I will have to really watch the clock and change positions as often as possible.

Well, that's all for now. What do you get "sucked into" n the television when you have the day off?

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Almost forgot to tell you...

By the way - it turns out that one of my vertebrae was actually FRACTURED!!! The surgeon couldn't believe it. He got in there and "was thrown for a loop" (according to the physician's assistant). No wonder I never got better - I've been living with a broken back FOR THREE YEARS!!!!

This surgeon was the first to notice something weird going on - he saw it on the most recent MRI, and said that it looked like either a fracture or a congenital problem. The fracture was confirmed during the surgery.


I feel so vindicated - so many people doubted that I was truly in pain, and couldn't understand why I wasn't getting better. They said "lose weight." "Try acupuncture." "Try my doctor." "Is it really that bad?" "You really can't come tonight?" POO ON ALL OF THOSE PEOPLE!!

So, there.

(okay, time to lay down - can't sit any longer. I promise to visit your blogs really soon, because I miss all of you!)

Lay, Lady, Lay

(trying to actually type this one at the computer - yay!)

Well, I am starting to learn more about what I can and cannot do, post-surgery. I was given a list of "precautions," which are activities or actions I am not allowed to do:

  • Bending
  • Lifting (anything heavier than a gallon of milk)
  • Twisting (so hard to avoid this one!!)
Plus, I am not allowed to sit longer than 30 minutes. This one is SO hard to do. Essentially, I am supposed to change positions as frequently as possible, so as not to get stiff, or put any pressure on the surgery site. It is definitely difficult to follow this strictly - for instance, at the doctor's office yesterday, I had to wait in the waiting room for FORTY MINUTES before they called my name. I started getting SO uncomfortable, and also knew that I was long past the legal limit. I went up to the receptionist (Yay for being assertive!) and she said that they were now, indeed, ready for me.

As far as getting the sutures removed went, it was more weird than painful. It is just a very strange sensation, having a string pulled through your skin. I just kept breathing, and hoped that it would be over quickly (and it was!).

Funny thing - as I was waiting for the nurse to get started, I was laying on the table, back and tush exposed (I was facing the wall). I hear a knock on the door, and a loud male voice says, "This is what you think of me?!?!" LOL - it was my surgeon, coming in to say hi. He wasn't actually scheduled to meet with me at the appointment yesterday, but he saw my name on the wall and wanted to pop in to say hi. What a nice doctor! He even took a look at the wound and said that it was healing up very well.

Now that the sutures are out, I no longer have to wear a bandage on my back. THANK GOD! It has been so gosh darn itchy, I can't believe it. Now there is just some surgical tape over it, and that is supposed to fall off on its own over the next week or two.

So, the moral of the story is, I can't sit so long. I am SO SORE today, all along my hips and tailbone. A good friend took me to and from my appointment yesterday, so I treated her to lunch after the appointment - another hour of sitting. Ugh. That didn't help. Consequently, I have tried to stay in bed most of the day today, while being very conscientious about ice and medication.

Overall, I feel better and stronger each day. 99% of the pain from my pre-operative life is gone, and I am only experiencing the surgery pain. After three years of getting worse, it is so great to actually IMPROVE!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Suture Removal Today

Should I be scared about this? I'm not sure... I think, though, that once the sutures are out, I will no longer need bandages on my back. That would be awesome - the itchiness is driving me CRAZY!!!

My mom went home yesterday - I can't even express how wonderful she was. She helped me on so many levels - lots of TLC, cleaning, picking things up off the floor, dressing me. I will be forever grateful to her for these weeks of care.

But now, I will be alone most of the day. Lindsay has been helping out so much, but she is working and very busy. I have to get through the day on my own. Thank goodness for all the little gadgets that they give you - a sock "puller-upper," a reacher, a long shoe-horn, etc. Oy, now we're at the hard part...

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