A little bit of a catch-up as to what’s going on in my little corner of the world, besides, if I don’t write it down, how will I ever remember?
I got the results from the x-rays of my neck, it basically says I have Degenerative cervical spondylosis (often referred to as degenerative arthritis) with narrowing of C5-C6, retrolisthesis (the posterior or backward slippage of a vertebra) of C5 on C6, and bilateral neural foraminal encroachment (spinal nerve root is compressed on both sides) at this same level more extensive on the left.
I went in on Monday and got my injection. They did the injection between C7 and T1, a little to the right, because my right arm is the one that bothers me the most. When the nurse took me back to the procedure room I told her how nervous I was because of my hearing loss and Stuart couldn’t be back there. Since losing my hearing it’s very hard to have procedures BEHIND me without Stuart there to help me. She reassured me over and over that they would take good care of me. I had her tell me everything they would be doing, and I felt a bit more at ease. The doctor came in, this is the first time I met him, I only saw his assistant before, he asked if I could hear him at all and I tole him Yes, but after I lie down and he is behind me it will be garbled and I will have a very hard time. He seemed to understand. Obviously he didn’t, because it was horrible. He talked with his assistant the entire time, it sounded like just chit-chat but I can’t be sure because I couldn’t understand anything that was being said. I had no idea when he spoke to me. I didn’t know when he was going to stick me, nothing. I was terrified he was telling me to be very still or to move or something and I was not able to understand. When it was over I didn’t even know. I was confused if it was time for me to get up. When I sat up the nurse was there and asked if I was alright and I said, “I do not feel taken care of” and I burst into tears. I explained what happened and she said how sorry she was and that it should not have happened that way. I got myself together and went back to my room to get my IV out and leave. The doctor came out and made sure to catch me before I left and apologized. He was very nice and told me that he talks because it calms him, he was very sorry and it will never happen again. We will make sure we have a better way to communicate. I left feeling much better, and I was proud of myself for speaking up. In the past I would have held it in and gotten out of there as fast as I could and simply not gone back. Now they were educated and I had a much better experience.
Unfortunately, the shot hasn’t worked. I’ve seen no evidence of any change. We will have to try something else. I go back the day before Thanksgiving for a follow up, we’ll discuss the next steps then.
Now for an update on the psych side of things. I still haven’t gotten approval from my insurance company for the ketamine. They came back saying I needed to try TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) first, so my doctor’s office had to send back explaining that I can’t do that because of my cochlear implants. Of course, it takes the insurance company forever to come back with an answer. Geez. On the up side though, the new antidepressant she put me on, Fetzima, is doing some good. I’m not back to my normal self, but I’m not feeling like I’m in the deepest darkest depths of despair either. I saw my psychiatrist on Wednesday and we increased the dosage, I’m hoping it will bring me up a bit more. She told me to watch out for side effects, as it can cause headaches. I asked her, “How would I know?” I was being kind of serious, like, would they be different than this constant thing I have now? or what? But she said, “I guess you wouldn’t.” Well damn. Now how do I know if my migraine is actually getting better but this drug is causing me to have a headache?
We have been constantly looking for houses, trying our best to find just the right house for us before our lease is up. We can move into Stuart’s father’s house, but that means we’ll need to move twice. We thought about renovating the family home, but we don’t really want to live there forever, so we are still searching for a place to call our own. Crossing fingers and toes that a house we saw this week will turn out to be the one. We might just have a very magical Christmas.
Speaking of holidays, is there anything more stressful than trying to organize a holiday meal with people won’t tell you what they will and will not eat until you tell them what you are making and then they just say, “Oh I can’t eat that”, or “The kids won’t eat that”? Ugh! I used to really want to have a family holiday, but boy oh boy is it a pain in the butt. They can’t afford to do much, so we thought we’d do everything, but I couldn’t get anyone to tell me what they would eat. I swear you just can’t please some people. So they are bringing food too, we will have way too much food for 7 people, about half of it, I can’t eat. When we lived in NC we used to have an “orphans” Thanksgiving. We’d have a big meal with a bunch of people who had no where to go for the holiday. It was always so much fun. We’d often play games after dinner and talk for hours. I don’t know anyone like that here, of course, I don’t know many people here.
To make things much less stressful for Thanksgiving I ordered our meal from Wholefoods. I’m adding another vegetable, a desert, and some cookies. That’s all the cooking I’m going to do, and I love baking, so that’s not stressful. I also make my cookies in batches, I simply freeze the dough and cook it later. Also, if I can’t do it, it’s not a big deal, the meal is taken care of, and the other half of the family is bringing a pie, so everything is covered. I find, the trick to surviving the holidays when you are chronically ill is to have all your bases covered in case you can’t do the things you want to get done. Don’t over extend yourself. Rest often and don’t eat too much junk. Try to keep your normal schedule if you can. You might want to increase some of your supplements. I increase my vitamin C, D, and Zinc during the winter.
How do you survive the holidays? Any tips you want to share?
15 thoughts on “A Midi-Me Update – Injections, Psych meds, Houses…Stress”
Oops. Should have read this post before I wrote you an email!
Sorry the epidural didn’t work out. Perhaps the clinic will have some more options for you.
Good luck with the house hunting.
As for tips to survive the holidays? Hide in a closet until January 1st! LOL.
Pacing is important. Remembering to take care of yourself is too. And, thinking about what is truly important to you and those you hold special, not what is glittering, commercialized, indoctrinated, and idealized.
I find it feels good to share, if you can, with others. Give to a soup kitchen/food pantry. Donate a stuffed toy or two. “Buy” a goat for a family in the developing world. Put a dollar in the Salvation Army “kettle.” Volunteer. Give gifts of giving — such as a donation in someone’s name. Reuse. Recycle. Repurpose. Smile. Do small “nicenesses” as you go about your day.
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I hadn’t posted this before you emailed me 😊 but now I don’t have to answer some questions. 😉😄
I agree on all.
I wish people would remember to do these things all year, not just this time of year.
I’m happy the depression is improving. Stinks, though, about the headache. Great you were able to express about the scary experience with the nurse and doctor. I like your holiday plan. We’ll go to mama and I won’t have to cook. I may make something like shrimp that weekend. Since my taste buds are not great and I finally quit seeking rich flavors I’m not likely to give in to sweets. I have a good memory of how it used to taste.
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Sometimes the injections take a week or two to really start seeing pain relief. I hope it kicks in and you get some relief!
You are so brave and amazing for speaking up! That’s not easy to put out the extra effort to make yourself heard in the middle of treatment.
hugs love. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!! ❤
Wendy, how is your neck right now? I wanted to ask if you were able to move around and do whatever you need on your own but I was glad to hear you were cooking for family- however annoying their surprises can be. I want to kick that insurance company’s butt, delaying stuff like this. And I am glad the depressants are working for you, I have currently been on a different dose and been doing okay 🙂 And I understand how hearing loss can still impact being able to be social. I recently got a test done and turns out, my hearing ain’t so good which is why sometimes people get annoyed with trying to repeat things for me, but oh well, what can be done about that.
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Mon!! Hello! I think of you so often it’s so good to hear from you! Are you blogging? How’s life? I’ve missed you!
The injection seems to have helped a little bit. My arms aren’t going to sleep as much, nor do they ache as much. My neck still hurts. They had to reschedule my follow up because the doctor was sick, I can’t remember when I go back right now, soon. We’ll work on doing more to help relieve the pain bit by bit I think. I’m glad to here your antidepressants are working 😊 I’m feeling better. Much better. I can’t believe they still haven’t approved the treatment, if this medication wasn’t helping I’d be very desperate by now.
I’m so sorry you have hearing loss. No one can understand that who doesn’t have it, I understand. It sucks.
It is so good to “see” you.
Stay in touch. I really have missed you. ❤❤
Thank you Wendy! I am glad a lot of y’all remembered me :’) I’ve missed you too 😥 Just been kind of dealing with a brain-fog of some sort after certain events took place.
This is good that the medicine improved a few things. I guess slow and steady is the way for whatever progress can be made for the moments now. But I hope more pain can be relieved much sooner.
My hearing loss isn’t as serious as yours but it is enough to make people get impatient sometimes as I keep going, “What? HUH?” But I do feel for you, these situations can severely impact our social lives. And it’s good the depressants are working, because sometimes they can take too long to feel the effects I think or too long to maybe a particular med might not be for us. I will stay in touch more now :3 Thank you for the sweet commrnt :3 Love, Mon :3
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Oh Mon, you affect people much more than you know. If you ever need to talk, I’m here for you.
Any hearing loss can have a negative impact on your life. Be sure to let people know that you have hearing loss, they might be more understanding about the “Huh?” and “What?”s Of course some will always be impatient. I feel for you, it is challenging. I’m much less social now, and I miss a lot.
I so agree about the psych meds. It is such a crap shoot as to if they are going to work, and you have to wait so long to see if this one is going to work, not to mention the side effects. I am lucky that I was able to have a gene test to find out which antidepressants would be most likely to help, and which ones won’t work at all. Unfortunately some that it says will work on me, I can’t tolerate the side effects. Not to mention the anxiety meds. It’s just all so frustrating.
So sweet of you to care. I really am so happy to see you again. I hope university is going well. Love, Wen
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Oh thank you :’) That’s incredibly kind of you :”) But I swear, I am feeling lighter and lighter and my having posted just an update shows.
Yea, that has been my experience too. Some people are nice, some impatient. I feel for you about what you said, about missing it.
I am happy to “talk” with you again too. Thank you ha, and thank you once more :”)
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That sounds awful, not just poor communication from the doc but not looking after you full stop – you should be very proud for standing up for yourself and saying something, because it’s not easy to do as a patient. I find it incredibly difficult, perhaps because we’re inferior against these ‘professionals. I’m so sorry the shot hasn’t worked either. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for your follow-up with that side of things.
I’m glad the Fetzima is doing something at least. So are you still waiting now for the insurer’s to come back after telling them the TMS is a no-go?
Keeping things as straightforward as possible for Thanksgiving sounds like a good idea. As low stress as possible hopefully so you can survive the holidays and enjoy whatever parts of it that you can. While we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in the UK, there will of course be the ‘c’ word coming up. My tip for surviving it? Hibernate for the duration of December!
Fingers very much crossed for the house!!!
I just wanted to say WELL DONE!
Saying “I do not feel taken care of” must have been very difficult and taken a lot of confidence. I feel like I should say this more in so many situations. It’s great that the specialist came to speak with you afterward and that now, hopefully, they will take a moment to contemplate how they can make people with hearing loss feel more taken care of. You are an absolute star!!
I hope you are able to enjoy the holidays.
Lots of love from Madrid ❤
Wozer. I’m sorry. I’m so damn proud of you for speaking up! And I agree it was the best teaching moment that doc could’ve received! So, Thanksgiving. Yes? Well me and the hubs are solo for this years holidays. (We have been before, as you know!) we are doing egg rolls, pizza rolls, mozzarella sticks, and popcorn throughout Thanksgiving Day! If it can’t be eaten with your fingers… we aren’t having it! (Well, protein waffles for breakfast with fresh fruit… I need something healthy!) Anyway, I’m excited for the parade and some football! Oh! Ordering from Whole Foods? Smart lady! I’m feeling like my appetizer idea may not be a winner! Lots of junk. Hmmm… I’ll let you know! Happy Thanksgiving! 🍁
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Thank you. I’m very glad I said something.
I just got home from Thanksgiving.
Your Thanksgiving sounds wonderful. You don’t have to pretend for anyone, or be afraid you will get poisoned by some foods you can’t eat. I’m physically and emotionally exhausted. I’m very thankful for so much, but a certain member of member of our family isn’t one of them. 😥 I’m glad it’s over and I have pie. 😁 I hope you are have/had a joyous day. I’m thankful you are my friend. 🍁💕
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Awww no. I just don’t get why some people feel the need to be such assholes during the holidays! Why? I’m so sorry you are getting these bum deals! Doctors, family… dang. I’m thankful you are my friend as well! I’ll see you in January? I hope. We will solve the worlds problems in one afternoon! Be good to yourself. xoxo
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Oh Wendy, I am so very sorry that the shot did not work, that totally sucks! I was reading all that you have been going through and I became so darn tired! The holidays are so darn difficult and family can be such a huge pain in the butt……they just don’t get what it is like to do daily life, let alone the extras, ill, and many don’t try.
I have found surviving the holidays means limiting my exposure to extended family 🙂