Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Mirror

Never trust a mirror,
For a mirror always lies,
It makes you think that all you're worth,
Can be seen from the outside,
Never trust a mirror.

It only shows you what's skin deep,
You can't see how your eyelids flutter,
When you're drifting off to sleep,
It doesn't show you what the world sees,
When you're only being you,
Or how your eyes light up,
When you're loving what you do,
It doesn't capture when you're smiling,
When no one else can see,
And your reflection cannot tell you,
Everything you mean to me,
Never trust a mirror,
For it only shows your skin,
And if you think that dictates your worth,
It's time you looked within.

~Erin Hanson

Someone posted this on a burn survivor page I'm in on facebook today and I remember reading it a long time ago but when I read it again today, I felt a different feeling towards it.  It can connect to so many readers who don't like what they see in the mirror but I think it really connects to people who have been physically damaged, disfigured.  And the reason I say that is because I know personally, from being physically damaged, disfigured and marred with scars and when I look in the mirror, I don't recognize myself from the girl I was physically before the burn.  It's hard to see anything but the my disfigurement and scars when I look in the mirror now.  The scars and disfigurement are so powerful that I can't see beyond the physical in the mirror to what's deeper.  It's so powerful that it's overwhelming and I avoid mirrors at all costs because I feel like me on the inside, but when I look in a mirror, I don't see me anymore.  I'm conflicted with what the mirror shows me and what I feel on the inside.  And so, it is quite fitting when Hanson says that a mirror only makes you think that all you're worth is seen on from the outside.  That's what I feel and see when I look in the mirror.  I see ugly.  I see someone who will never be loved by another.  I see failure.  And because what I see is so powerful, it can make me feel it, too.  Right now, unfortunately, I do trust that mirror.  I trust it and I believe it.  I don't yet trust and believe the better things I feel inside.  Trusting and believing those things weigh me down and like Marilyn Monroe once said, the bad are much heavier to carry.  I need to perhaps read this every day so that maybe I'll start believing in the good things inside me that you can't see in the mirror.  I need to believe that the mirror only shows my skin and not what I'm worth.  I'm just not there yet.  I hope I am someday, though.  I'm tired of being weighed down by negative thoughts and images of myself.  I want to someday look in the mirror and see what I feel on the inside and, most of all, believe it.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Second MRI Results Are In

The doctor just called me about my second MRI results.  Well, his nurse called, actually.  She informed me that the edema in the humeral head has resolved but, bursitis has showed up.  Which, makes sense cause bursitis is very painful and I have been in a lot of pain.  I know bursitis is painful because I had it in my ankles in high school when I was playing volleyball.  It hurts like hell.  And anyone who has had bursitis in any joint will agree to that testimony.

In case you don't know or have only a vague understanding of what bursitis is, I'll help you to understand better.  A bursa is a fluid filled sac, that functions as a gliding surface to reduce friction between tissues of the body.  There are over 100 bursa sacs in the body but the major ones are located near the larger joints such as the shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees.  Bursitis is inflammation of a bursa sac and it can be caused from injury, infection, or an underlying rheumatic condition.  In my case, shoulder bursitis causes "focal tenderness" of the inflamed tissues and can also cause a "pinching" pain when the elbow is moved away from the body.

I get both of those types of pain so bursitis is making sense for answer to my shoulder problem.  However, my PCP is not sure how this relates to the problem of me not being able to raise my arm so they are sending over a referral to an Orthopedist here to work on that problem as well as the treatment of the bursitis, which can involve aspiration of the bursa fluid and/or cortisone shots.  The treatment can get much more complicated if the bursa fluid is infected so that will have to be determined as well.

Luckily, the outlook for bursitis is good unless it is accompanied by scarring around the shoulder joint and then it requires long term physical therapy which, I'm worried about because I just had surgery in my shoulder area so there could very likely be scarring.

So, I have a possible answer to the pain and treatments so I am relieved at this bit of news.  But we'll see what the Orthopedist has to say to the not-being-able-to-raise-my-arm problem, if I also have an infection, and then what kind of treatment we will proceed with.  Let's hope it's not infected and that the second part of my problem will have an answer and solution soon as well.  Getting closer but more needs to be determined.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Too Much Pain

I haven't written much lately cause things have been tough and I haven't felt well for a long time.  My shoulder has been the main source of pain but I've had a couple new pains.  Well, one was an old pain that went away and has now returned, which is the feeling of my skin being pulled tight in opposite directions.  It's very uncomfortable.  The other thing is I think I'm starting to get migraines.  I get most of the symptoms but I've never had real problems with headaches and never a migraine.  I also have experienced a few of the triggers that can cause a migraine on the days that I've experienced this horrible headache pain.  I don't know.  Something I need to see my doctor about.  I also had a frenectomy done last Monday and my goodness it has caused me a great deal of pain.  I didn't think it would hurt like it does or last as long as the pain has.  It's been a week, and I'm still in pain from it.  It hurts to eat, hurts to talk, and just hurts to sit here typing.  I know this pain will go away but, man it's been incredibly bothersome.

So I've been spending a great deal of my days, uncomfortable and in pain, feeling awful.  And for too long now.  I had a second MRI done on my shoulder this last Friday.  I hope nothing terrible shows up but it's at the point now, almost four months since the pain and inability to lift my arm and use it started, that I'd be OK if something bad did show up this time as long as there was an answer to why this is happening and a possible solution to fix it.  That's how bad this shoulder problem is, that I would be OK with bad news.  She said a radiologist would read it that day and would get the results to my doctor within 24-48 working hours so I hope to hear something by Tuesday.  Having the MRI was uncomfortable so it made my pain worse.  This weekend has been extremely rough with everything.  I've just been lying down, often with a cool cloth over my eyes, taking pain meds, off the computer, alternating between icing and putting a warm rice bag on my shoulder, and doing a whole lot of nothing.

It is Father's Day today.  I gave my pops a card and a small present this morning.  I think he's enjoying his day today.  Despite any arguments we have, he is still my daddy and I love him.  Thanks, Daddy, for all that you've done and do to make my world better.

(My dad and me at the top of The Rock in NYC)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Finally Heard From G

I had a bad weekend that followed into Monday.  I was having great pain from my shoulder and then my whole body just hurt.  My skin and especially my legs just hurt.  Bad.  Hurt so bad I had to retire to bed around 7:30 PM.  I woke up this morning, late, and it's not as severe but my whole body and shoulder just hurt.  My legs feel like they ran a marathon and my skin hurts everywhere I'm grafted like it's pulling so tight.  Not to even mention my shoulder.  But speaking of my shoulder, yesterday I sent off a little bit of a stern email to G because my physical therapy is put on hold until my doctors chime in on what to do next since I'm not making any progress.  I haven't heard from G in three months so it was time he got in on this.  So I sent off the stern email telling him of my non-progress and that I'm still in a lot of pain and no one knows what's going on and that I'd really like to hear from him.  I knew I wouldn't hear from him on Monday cause he's in surgeries on Mondays and Fridays but I hoped to hear from him today, which, I did.  I got a little nervous opening up the email cause I thought maybe he'd get mad or be distant but he apologized and said he would refer me to an orthopedist asap and see if they would have any answers for us.  I don't know if he's referring me to someone here in LG or in Portland but I guess we'll see.  Hopefully I'll get a call here soon for an appointment with an Orthopedist and maybe get some kind of answer or another piece to the puzzle, hopefully an answer.

I also go to see my PCP tomorrow.  Let him know what's going on and also to talk about my anemia and talk about some new pain meds cause what I'm on right now just isn't doing it at all.  I'm too, too tolerant to it.

I hope I hear from an Orthopedist soon.  In the meantime, I'm still waiting, still in pain and can't raise my arm.