Friday, May 31, 2013

No Progress in Physical Therapy

So, physical therapy may be put on hold for awhile.  I have been going to physical therapy for about a month or maybe a little longer, and there has been no improvement.  My physical therapist said there should be some kind of improvement by now.  She has tried getting ahold of G to talk to him but he has been difficult to get a hold of.  After she talks to G she's also going to talk to my PCP.  But since there hasn't been any improvement, she wondered if I wanted to put it on hold for awhile until she was able to talk to my doctors and possibly get another MRI done.  She also said that the results of my MRI are like nothing she's ever seen and when she talked to the Radiologist who read my MRI, he said the same thing.  So there is something very weird going on here.  I don't know if something happened during surgery that G is not aware of or what cause it has just happened since my surgery.  I'm extremely frustrated.  I've been frustrated for two out of the three months this has been going on but now I'm really over it.  Tired of not being able to use my arm, tired of no answers, and tired of the pain.  This is getting ridiculous.

The pain this time is different to handle because with pain with surgeries, I know what's causing the pain and I know it will end eventually because it always does.  But this time, this time I don't know what's causing it and because I don't know what's causing it I don't know when it will ever end!  If something went wrong in surgery whether G knew about it or not, I'm not going to sue anyone!  I get the feeling that they're afraid of that.  I just want answers and I want it fixed.  I want someone to give a damn about it.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A Rook Piercing And A Graduation

Well, I had a very busy weekend!  One of my older brothers, Jake, graduated with his doctorate degree in Pharmacy.  So proud of him!!  It was a really grand weekend.

We left to Portland Thursday morning and got to our hotel that was really more like a little apartment complex.  Pretty darn cute.  Didn't feel like we were in a hotel at all.  Jake met us at the hotel not long after and a little later we were back in the car heading to Forest Grove for his Hooding Ceremony.  This is the ceremony where all the doctoral graduates receive their Hood for their doctorate degree.  They aren't allowed to wear it till the graduation ceremony because they haven't actually graduated yet so therefore they are not a doctor so they just hold them.  They get to wear them when they have actually graduated.  But it was very exciting to see him receive his Hood.  We screamed and yelled when his name was called to cross the stage to receive his Hood.

(Jake with the Dean after receiving his Hood)

That was Thursday, May 16th.  Then we had Friday all open to do anything before his graduation on Saturday, May 18th.  So we lazily got up Friday morning and got ready to go have breakfast with our soon to be graduate and doctor.  We had a really good breakfast at a little place called Biscuits, which had delicious food, and over breakfast we got to talking, half serious, about us all getting a family tattoo.  As we thought about what we would get for our family tattoo, I got an idea to go get the rook of my ear pierced again.  I got it a long time ago with one of my best friends back in the day but of course when I had my accident they took out ALL my piercings so I lost it.  But since then I've gotten my nose piercing back and I thought I wouldn't be having any surgeries soon because I think my burn surgeon wants to get my shoulder fixed up before we do any more reconstruction work so I thought this was a good time to do it.  So, on a total whim, right after breakfast we went over to the tattoo place where my brother got one of his greatest and best tattoos and he said they were good.  But when we went over there they said the woman who does the piercing wasn't in yet but would be in in another hour or so.  So, we went back to the hotel and relaxed awhile, had some lunch from Subway and made plans to go get my rook pierced and then go to Cinetopia Cinemas to see Star Trek: Into Darkness.  We had some lunch and headed out to Tattoo 42 to get my rook pierced.  I was stoked.  The woman was in that did the piercing and I got in right away.  She took me to a little room off the side of the entrance where I told her I had had this pierced before and that I was a burn survivor which is why I no longer had it.  She said she could see a tiny scar where it once was but just barely.  She marked my rook and asked me to take a look and see if it looked OK.  It did so, I laid down and she did some last minute preparation, then asked me if I was ready.  When I told her I was, she asked me to take a deep breath in and release it and when I released it she pushed the needle through.  It was just as I remembered it feeling like.  No real pain cause it's pure cartilage in the rook.  More of intense pushing and intense pressure.  It has to go through two parts of cartilage so it's not a real quick piercing, it takes maybe 3 good seconds.  But she did a great job with it.  I was very happy with how she pierced it and how it looked.  And I was very happy to have it back.  I feel like I'm very slowly putting myself back together.  Next I'm thinking my belly button :)  Also another tattoo :)  Yeah.

Saturday morning rolls around and it's the day of graduation for my brother.  And it's raining.  We take a look on to see the forecast for the afternoon and looking at the hourly forecast it just says it's going to be cloudy during the hours of the graduation, no rain.  But, of course, it rained and rained hard all during the graduation ceremony.  We huddled under umbrellas but we still got pretty wet.

(Mum and I huddled underneath an umbrella at graduation)

The graduates were led in by a bagpiper and drummer.  When we saw Jake at the end of the line we were so excited and we screamed and yelled again.  He heard us cause he looked up and waved.  They actually hurried things along pretty well so it seemed we were at the announcing of the graduates to be hooded and receive their doctorate diplomas in no time.  When Jake's name was called, and I watched him get hooded and receive his doctorate, my heart swelled with happiness and pride for him.  He worked so hard and for a long time to get this.  I couldn't help the huge grin in my heart and on my face.  We are all mighty proud of him for what he's accomplished.

We went out for a celebratory dinner afterwards with him at this great little local grill that just happened to be having live, local music by a guy named Matthew Gailey.  The food was incredible and the entertainment was kick-ass.  So much so, that after we were done eating and paid the bill, we went up to Mr. Gailey and his guitar player and talked to them for a short while.  I also bought one of his CD's.  It was a grand ending to a grand weekend.  Congratulations, Jake.  I'm proud of you.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Releasing In Order To Heal

This resonates hugely with me.  I actually wrote a post on releasing the past not too long ago.  But I have recently realized that there are some other things I need to release and this quote put that realization into practice. 
I am still learning to release my past.  I know I need more work on it but I'm trying.  Sometimes though I may think I'm doing well and then it creeps up on me like the silent stalking of a cat to a bird.  I'm the bird and my past is the cat.  But I think an important realization I had was releasing any attachment I have to my current situation as well as releasing the identity I've become too comfortable with.  I've never really looked at it like that. 
Releasing myself from any attachment to my current situation is a tough one because I'm constantly reminded of my situation.  I'm often in surgery, sometimes more than often, which then puts me in almost constant recovery.  I am constantly reminded with my pain and the suffering my accident has created.  But here's the lightbulb, the key word - attachment.  I may be reminded of my situation constantly because of surgeries, pain, recovery, complications and suffering as a result of all of those things but I can release myself of my attachment to my current situation. 
I really need to release a few people who I thought were my friends but really aren't.  They once were but have not shown any care for me, any interest in a very long time.  For some reason it is as if I'm being treated like an ex-boyfriend by some, and by others, someone of no value or interesting or worthwhile.  Even probably by some as feeling sorry for myself or dragging out my accident for too long, like I should just "be over it by now" which, by the way, really angers me.  One friend has actually told me he/she just couldn't be there for me right now because he/she had too much going on in his/her life.  Then I constantly see him/her out with friends in pictures he/she posts and posts made by his/her friends about what fun they had together.  I also see him/her involved in many projects out in the community but somehow he/she just doesn't have the time to be there for me.  It really hurts.  These friends, who shall always remain nameless because I'm not out to expose them for being bad people cause they aren't, they just are not good friends to me because they hurt me and hurt me some more and punch me in the gut for having once been dear friends of mine that I thought would always be my friend, maybe not as close a friend as we were, but at least care for me and what I'm going through like any friend would or even SHOULD.  One of these friends once told me that a friendship goes both ways.  I agree.  EXCEPT in exceptional situations where one of the friends may withdraw due to some kind of trauma and may need help so the other friend may have to put in a little more effort and carry more of the load.  So it may become more of a one way friendship for awhile because that's just how it happens when a friend is having a hard time and withdrawing.  The other friend needs to reach out to this friend, a friend like myself, to help them through their struggles and it may take awhile on what has now become a one way friendship but a real, true friend won't mind because they care and love the friend.  And soon, that friend who is struggling will come out of it and it will become a two way friendship once again.  And one day, the other friend who was helping the friend in need, may come to find themself in a struggling situation and will find themselves withdrawing like the other friend did and will be in need of the same help they once gave.  And a real, true friend will carry that burden of a one way friendship because they understand and truly love and care for their friend who once did the same for them.  Most the time a friendship should always be a two way street, but sometimes, one of those friends may come to struggle with something and it becomes a one way friendship for a little while.  But real, true friends shouldn't care when it becomes that one way street in their friendship.  I am such a friend who is struggling and have found out who my real, true friends are.  Many of my friendships before the accident have disolved, amost as if we were never the best of friends.  And that is painful for me.  But a few of my friendships before the accident have gotten stronger and I have been so thankful for such friends who have stuck around to support and love me.  There are also some friendships I have now that were made post-accident and they are some of the best friends I've ever had.  They don't mind if our friendship may be one way sometimes because they really truly care for and support me.  They understand that because my life has been turned upside down and so much has been taken from me that our friendship may go in and out of a two way friendship because I've been through such a trauma and am really struggling.  And I care for and love them deeply.  I hold them near and dear to my heart for what they do for me, the understanding and patience they give me, the support and awesome friendship they give me.  But those other friends that are really not my friends anymore still hurt me for their non-friendship and non-understanding of what I'm going through.  And those friends are the ones I need to release because they only hinder my healing instead of helping to progress it.  But I have found it to be harder than it seems because they were once my friend.  It's like breaking up and breaking up is hard to do. 
I do have a wonderful church family, even though I don't attend regularly.  Despite my absence in church, they pray for me every Sunday and help out me and my family whenever they can and for them I am truly thankful.
To help progress my healing further I also need to release the identity I've become too comfortable with.  And I'm not talking about the releasing the identity of being a burn survivor because that's acceptance and healthy.  I'm talking about the identity of being a trauma victim and the identity of someone who is ugly and scarred and never going to find love.  I need to release the identity of being a trauma victim and be a survivor.  I went through a trauma but being the victim of that trauma is not who I am.  I am a SURVIVOR.  I not only survived a trauma I should not have survived but I am surviving my daily struggles.  There are days when I really do want to give up but so far I haven't.  So I continue to survive every day as I make it through the struggles of the day and wake up the next morning to do it all over again.  And as for releasing my identity of someone who is ugly and never going to find love, that is going to be one of the hardest challenges of all but a challenge that is desperately needed to overcome for my healing to REALLY begin.  A dear friend of mine posted this to me yesterday on my facebook page and it really speaks to this challenge:
Not only do I need to solely identify myself as a survivor and not a trauma victim, but also as a beautiful person because I have known defeat, known suffering, struggle and loss.  "Beautiful people do not just happen."  Beautiful people are created by knowing these hardships and finding their way out of the depths.  This is something that if I can learn to identify with, I think my healing would really take off.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Dealing With Life's Difficulties

For the past five years now, life has been dragging me back with difficulty after difficulty after difficulty.  Maybe even a few years longer than the accident.  But most particularly since the accident.  The difficulties have been things from losing my independent life to surgery complications to complications in recovery to the physical pain and the emotional pain.  Sometimes I've dealt with these difficulties little bits at a time and sometimes they've hit me all at once to deal with.  I don't know what's worse, difficulties coming at you piece by piece day after day or having a break from it all for a short while only to have it all hit you at once for a few days.  But it seems that for me, I'm dealing with one or more difficulties every day.  Every single day.  I never get a break.  I like the above quote because it gives me hope that these difficulties that hammer me every day and drag me back will finally release someday and launch me with incredible strength into something so great beyond anything I imagined for myself post accident.  I have to hope.