A lot has happened since I posted last. Highlights:
- Gloria is back!
- Miranda is on her way out the door!
- Lazyasfuck asst. manager is still lazy as fuck
- Busy VP/Manager, busier
- Me? Super tired but healthier than I was
Toward the end of May, I was at my wit’s end. I was in pain daily. My usual intake of B12, Cramp tabs, Naproxen, Ashwaganda, Kava kava… just wasn’t doing it. I had twice in the previous two months negotiated favors for some prescription pain medications and I hated that.
I hated waking up in pain, taking pain medication, working in pain, choking down food that made my stomach hurt but I needed because I was on so much medication, never being comfortable because I was in pain and going to bed in pain… more often knocking myself out with sleep meds to push past the pain so I could sleep.
A scary thing happened. My legs started to swell. Four days straight of being unable to tell my calves from my ankles, of feeling like I had water balloons inserted under my skin. I came home from work, cried my eyes out for half an hour then I made a call to the nearest GM I could find. I had almost no money but enough for a copay. When she emailed me the forms, I realized that it was not a GM, it was a pain management specialist. A chiropractor. I stared at the forms, debating on whether or not to call back and cancel but then I decided that if it was pain they managed… they could manage mine.
By the time my appointment came around, the swelling was down like it never happened and I was in so much pain, I just wanted to die.
The fellow was nice. He went out of his way to make sure I was comfortable and he took some x-rays. Equipment was down but instead of making me wait, he invited me into the computer room to view my films. My L5-S1 was in trouble again. It wasn’t herniated but it was compressed and probably pinching nerves. He hooked me up to the best e-stim machine that I’ve ever been on and I went home with less pain and an appointment for the following week to be adjusted. I wasn’t pain free but I could think. I could cry tears of relief that there was a pinpoint of light at the end of this very dark tunnel.
I started taking inventory. I’m over double the weight I should be but being geographically locked, I’m unable to do a lot of shopping the way I should but I have my produce delivered and I can move a bit…. but not enough. I formulated a set of goals.
- Have no pain – do whatever the doctors said to make it go away.
- Eat better – just better choices based on my wallet and what I could get my hands on
- Lose weight – incrementally but have it as a goal
- Determine a desired weight and how many pounds would get me there – quarter that and make it my goal
- Exercise as able and within guidelines sent for movement
- Save money – as able and probably after my appointments were done
- Need a car to access better food options
- Need a car to be independent in accessing better exercising options
I had my plan. Since then, I have been back to the doctors twice a week (I skipped one when I had a bug). I did e-stim for several weeks to reduce pain. We walked through a bunch of exercises and discovered my right leg is still useless for things like walking long distances, any sort of running or riding bikes. At their office, I use the hand bike to get my heart rate up. I do micromovement exercises to ease my disc back open. We took more x-rays and my neck is out of whack. I get adjusted at every visit.
As of today, I am down to 1 visit a week. I am pain-free. I am able to walk without a discernible limp (but my right leg still fights quick movements). I smile more. Just cause. My neck is starting to realign, as are my hips and I can feel that I am better. I feel fantastic. The doctor was surprised I’d made so much progress and I am, too. I powered through this. I can power through anything.
I haven’t felt depression as deep but the voice is still there that tells me that I deserved my pain that I should stay inside all the time because the outside world doesn’t like me.
My anxiety is down to just your garden variety social awkwardness. I didn’t realize how much I missed people. Laurel was over a few weeks back and she wanted to eat on my patio… I hesitated to go outside. On my own damned porch. Damn the anxiety. I’m two weeks off my kava kava and ashwaganda.
I’ve taken advil twice for headaches but otherwise, I’ve been off pain medications altogether.
I would like to be social but I know this is too fragile. I’m just… I went to a baby shower last weekend and there were so many people and I had to be “on” the whole time… I didn’t say anything to my ride on the way home. I still haven’t quite recovered from the socialness but… it did feel good to get out.
Not sure I’m going to start dating again because my inner-feminist rankles at the first impressions I get off of 90 percent of men who approach me. I’ve started to be vocal about what ticks me off. Like one of my coworkers touching me all the time. It’s not sexual in nature but it’s intrusive and he’s of the opinion that I just need to get used to it and I keep telling that doesn’t work that way. My space is my space. I asked at first. I told for a long while. So I did snap the other day. When you walk up behind a person, touching their back is not okay. I’m barely okay with significant others doing that. Even now that I’m not in constant pain, I dislike my back being touched. Every single person I work with, except that one, gets it. That’s a topic for another day.
Next week when I go back to the doctor, we’re going to do a testimonial and get a plan going for weight loss. My goal is to lose 162 pounds. My first goal will be 40. Something reasonable and attainable. A focus.
I can breathe. I can sleep. I can work. All without discomfort and sometimes it makes me cry to remember that I was in so much pain.