Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Trying to Pick Up and Keep Going

If I've learned anything from life, it's that sometimes the darkest times can bring us to the brightest places.  I've learned that the most toxic people can teach us the most important lessons;  that our most painful struggles can grant us the most necessary growth; and the most heartbreaking losses of friendship and love can make room for the most wonderful people.

I've learned that what seems like a curse in the moment can actually be a blessing, and that what seems like the end of the road is actually just the discovery that we are meant to travel down a different path.

I've learned that no matter how difficult things seem, there is always hope.  And I've learned that no matter how powerless we feel or how horrible things seem, we can't give up.

We have to keep going.  Even when it's scary, even when all of our strength seems gone, we have to keep picking ourselves back up and moving forward, because whatever we're battling in the moment, it will pass, and we will make it through.  We've made it this far.  We can make it through whatever comes next.

~Daniell Koepke

A dear friend of mine, whom just started out as a facebook friend with one thing in common - Jack White - has grown into a dear friend and as we speak more and more and learn more about each other, she is becoming even dearer to me.  We've been having chats that can get pretty long and take up an entire afternoon or morning but I don't mind on the time.  I really enjoy talking with her because she brings such light into my life and helps me to see things through a little differently or sometimes she's just there to help me get off whatever's on my mind.  She's learned a lot about me and I'm slowly learning a lot about her.  I knew she was an amazing woman but as I've gotten to know her better, I wasn't prepared for just how spectacular she is.  She is an angel to me.  And I am so lucky to have her in my life and so very lucky to have her as my friend.  She is a real, true friend.

This was posted on my wall yesterday and I thought it was amazing.  It fit me so well with what I'm going through, right now especially.  I'm in a very dark place right now and I'm trying to find the light in it all.  Hopefully I will find one of those bright places that this darkness can lead us to and with the help of my friends, family and my angels, I will pick up and keep going.

Thursday, July 25, 2013


I haven't written in some time because I haven't been well, physically, mentally and emotionally.  I've been battling some dark depression for the past few months.  And I've been battling health issues.  I went back to see the Orthopedist this past Monday and he gave me another cortisone shot but this time he put it right in the shoulder joint.  Last time he put it in the front of my shoulder where the tendon hooks into the shoulder joint.  But it didn't help me any so he decided to try it in the shoulder joint.  He said if it's going to help, I should notice a difference in the next couple days.  But it's Thursday now, and I'm not any better.  I'm supposed to follow up with him in three weeks again but I don't know what he's gonna want to do next since I asked him at my last appointment and his reply was, "Well, I'm hoping this is gonna work," referring to the cortisone shots.  So, I'm still in loads of pain and I still can't use my arm any better.

I also had a diabetic three month check-up appointment yesterday and it did not go very well either.  My A1C was 9.4.  9.4!!!!  That's insanely bad.  I've never had an A1C that bad before.  I was close once with 8.6 but never this high.  My jaw dropped to the floor when my doctor told me that.  She was shocked about it, too.  But when I told her I had been getting these cortisone shots, she was then not surprised that my A1C was that high.  Cortisone shots can raise your blood sugar quite drastically.  And my blood sugars have been very high lately.  But I never imagined my A1C would be as high as 9.4!!  So we did some adjustments and changes on my insulin pump. I also found out the name of my stomach problem that I have.  I don't know if you remember but maybe a year ago I was having problems keeping food down when I ate.  I would eat a meal and the food felt like it would just sit there in my stomach and then I would get nauseous and throw up my food.  This happened almost every meal.  So, I went to my PCP about it and he thought it was this disease that diabetics get but he could not think of what the disease was.  But he was pretty sure that was it so I got put on some medication for it and ever since then, I've been able to keep my food down and get it to digest.  Well, when I explained this to my endocrinologist at my diabetic check up she knew exactly what it was - Gastroparesis.  Gastroparesis, also called delayed gastric emptying, is a medical condition consisting of partial paralysis of the stomach (paresis).  This results in food remaining in the stomach for a longer time than normal.  The vagus nerve controls the contractions that gets the food to move down into the small intestine for digestion.  Gastroparesis may occur when the vagus nerve is damaged and the muscles of the stomach and intestines do not work properly, so thus food moves slowly or stops moving through the digestive tract.  So now I have a name to this disease I have had for awhile.  Just seems to go along with everything about my body not working or healing properly.

In other news, I've been battling some heavy depression, which is why I haven't been writing.  I just have no interest in anything.  I'm bored all day long but I have no interest in doing anything that I have interests in.  Not to mention the problem with my shoulder keeps me from doing many of those interests as well because either I can't do it with the limited movement I have with my arm or I'm in too much pain.  So then I just fall deeper into depression.  It's a viscous cycle and I can't find my way out.  I hadn't gone to therapy for quite some time, several months, and I finally got back into it last week.  I go again tomorrow.  Then there's some other health issues that I may be dealing with that has got me down.  I can't get into it yet, not until I know more but, it could be another major health issue for me.  So, I'm also dealing with that.

I don't know how to climb out of this, how to help myself.  I'm so tired of feeling this way but it's not something that is easily fixed.  I've got so much going on with my health and thus so much going on in my head about it.  I wish I could just have a British stiff upper lip but that's not who I am.  I feel and I feel deeply.  I get caught up in it, lost in it.  I don't know how to bury my emotions and just slap a smile on my face.  That's not to say I go about my days overly expressing my emotions.  Most of the time I'm quiet about what I'm feeling even though I'm feeling it so deeply that my heart hurts with it.  My therapist said something in my session last week that resonated with me.  She said she wonders how long I'm gonna put up with my life until I do something about it.  Until I pull up anchor and go after what I want.  I think I'm ready to pull up anchor any time, but there are a few things that aren't allowing me to pull up anchor yet, like surgeries yet to be done and needing a lot of care.  I know my anchor will be down for at least another year but I know there are still things I could try to figure out to do until I am able to pull up anchor.  It's not about being ready to pull up my anchor because I think I'm ready.  It's about things that are not yet allowing me to pull up anchor and move on.  I've gotta make the best out of my position right now.  But being in a heavy depression halts that development.  So, I guess I got some things to work on.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Happy 38th Birthday, Jack!!


Today is my love's birthday.  Jack White was born John Anthony Gillis July 9th, 1975, the youngest of ten children of Teresa and Gorman Gillis.  His first instrument was the drums at the age of six and since then he has never stopped learning instruments, learning music and writing music.  He is truly an amazing musician and my favorite musician ever, since the first time I heard De Stijl.  I was immediately in love with him and his music.  His music has gotten me through some incredibly tough times in my life, especially now.  I can spin a record of his and have wet tears on my face from the time I put the needle down on the record, lay down and close my eyes and listen to his music and by the time the needs runs out of music to play, the tears have dried.  I forget my pain and anguish for the time being that his music fills up my world and I get lost in it.  He has that power over me and my pain.  He helps heal me.  Thank you, Jack, for being you.  For being brave to be who you are and giving me and millions of us your gift.  You mean so much to me.  Thank you for all that you do.  Happy 38th birthday, Jack.  

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Orthopedic Appointment Results

I had my doctor appointment with the Orthopedist yesterday and I think I finally got an answer and possible solution.  After doing some x-rays, talking to me about what was wrong, going through both my MRI's and then doing some tests on my arm and shoulder he concluded that he believes what is really happening is Biceps Tendonitis.  The bursitis that showed up on the MRI is just a side effect of the biceps tendonitis.  He explained to me what this is.  Biceps tendonitis is an inflammation or irritation of the upper biceps tendon.  This tendon, which is a strong, chord-like structure, connects the upper end of the biceps muscle to the bone in the shoulder.  Symptoms of biceps tendonitis include pain in the front of the shoulder and weakness.  Both of which, I have.

(Normal Shoulder Anatomy)

(Anatomy of Biceps Tendonitis)

I asked several questions, one of which was how this could have happened and he said that during the surgery, my arm may have been placed out in a position that pulled on the biceps tendon.  Another question I asked was I knew bursitis could cause severe pain but what about this biceps tendonitis and he said, "Oh yes, it can cause quite severe pain."  So then we discussed treatment.  The biggest thing is rest.  Then there's cortisone shots which can relieve pain and help it to heal.  However, care must be taken with cortisone shots cause in some cases steroid injections, like cortisone, can further weaken the already injured tendon.  He said, often in the first 24 hours after the cortisone shot, the pain can get much worse before it gets better.  I am definitely experiencing the "worse before it gets better," cause I hurt much worse than usual.  He also said patients sometimes see immediate effects but so far I can lift my arm no higher nor move it any easier than before the cortisone shot.  But it may take a few days before you start to see results.  In some rare circumstances, surgery is required to repair the tendon and strengthen where it attaches to the shoulder socket.  With my case history of my body being difficult to heal, I have a horrible feeling I'm going to be one of those rare circumstances.  We'll see how the next few days go.  I have a follow up appointment in three weeks.  But my mind is resting easier now that I have a more likely answer to my problem, an answer that makes sense with possible solutions to fix it.  I just hope the solution will be the easier of them all with the cortisone shot and rest.