Friday, July 18, 2008

The Week in Review 7-18-2008

Wow, two weeks in a row... I might be starting a trend...

We're five weeks three days post surgery now.

Medically - I haven't made any further progress on establishing email contact with my new NS and his team. Something tells me I will be trying to move back to my other NS as soon as I can arrange it. Even if he wasn't the one to operate, at least he took an interest in me and took the time to answer my questions and the like. I'll send another email to my contact and see if I can start getting some preliminary answers before my appointment on the 28th.

In other medical areas, I saw my GP twice this week because of the swelling and the leg pains. We wanted to rule out a blood clot with the leg pains and the good news is that we are pretty certain it is just the potassium deficiency causing it not a clot. He doesn't seem too concerned with the swelling unless it is in the legs so I guess I'm on my own there. UGH.

Emotionally - I did have a few moments this week of second guessing my decision to do surgery. I have felt really crappy all week from the swelling and I'm sure that is what fueled these thoughts. Otherwise, I have been holding up pretty well. I am looking forward to hopefully getting at least a partial release when I see the NS so that maybe I can start getting used to my new normal a little bit. I long ago accepted (even before surgery) that I would not be the same after I had surgery. I don't think it is possible to go through something as major as this and come out exactly as you were. I mean you really do learn to appreciate life a little more and think about things in a little different light. There are also other little things that I have picked up on but the truth of the matter is, I may be a little different and look at things a little differently I'm still Amy in the end... just a slightly improved Amy. I will return to normal... it will just be a slightly different normal than I knew before surgery.

Mentally - My clarity continues to improve with each passing day. I am able to focus with much less concentration and greater ease now. I was actually able to think enough to do some basic computer troubleshooting this week. That's the first time since surgery that I've had the ability to think in that manner. This is good and important since that's what I do for a living.

My short term memory is pretty out of whack right now. I keep forgetting things. I can't really say at this point if it is better or worse than before... maybe it just seems worse. (I have always been bad about starting something and then getting sidetracked with something else or walking from one room to the other and having no clue what I was going after.) I need to get back in the habit of just writing everything down when I think of it and then I have it.

I'm sure it is just caused from too much going through my mind but I've noticed other weird things that have affected me. For instance, as some of you know, I am a huge Harry Potter fan. I have been part of a HP online community for almost two years now. One of the things we do on there is play the wizarding game of quidditch using Harry Potter trivia. It's really a fun site if you like Harry Potter. Anyway, I have always been pretty good at this because I have always been good with answering things about HP. I have apparently lost my ability to do this. How do I know? For some reason I was trying to remember the names of the two "goons" that hang out with Draco Malfoy. I actually had to look it up because I had drawn a complete mental blank. So much for playing quidditch on Friday. I hope it improves but it's an example of things that have just escaped me. I am hoping my brain is just rebelling a bit and saying I'm tired but time will tell. (Wouldn't it be horrible if they removed a section that was the Harry Potter part of my brain? YIKES!!!) P.S. For anyone interested in checking out the site I am talking about it can be found at:

Physically - This was a very rough week physically. To make a long story short, I'm the type of person that apparently has more problems withdrawing from steroids than taking them. This week I have struggled with muscle cramps and major swelling over my entire body. I have had swelling in my face for over a week now and occasional swelling in my legs and arms. I have also had a couple of episodes where my stomach swelled to the point that I looked 9 months pregnant and ready to pop. (It actually got so bad you couldn't see my stretch marks from having my son because it had the skin stretched so far.) Basically, it was a pretty uncomfortable week and I feel like I've taken a few steps backwards in recovery. However, the doctor's aren't concerned with the swelling as it's just caused from the steroids. (You can read more about it by reading this blog entry... Steroids.

I had to slow down a lot this week because my body just didn't have it. It is protesting big time to the swelling. However, I have continued to improve my strength but I am getting some pain in my knees from the cartlidge that still hasn't fully healed from the steroids. I am hoping that will improve soon. (I have bad knees anyway so it's hard telling what the steroids did to me.)

In other physical news, my incision site appears to be completely healed at this point and the scar is already starting to go down and is harder to see. My hair that they shaved is a good quarter inch long now so it is growing very fast. I have moved to being able to use nothing but a ball cap now to hide it. I don't have to tie a bandana or anything like that on it just put on a baseball cap. (I don't think I've posted much about this. Basically, they shaved the front quarter of my head for surgery... yes this is more than they initially told me but I'm cool with it. Needless to say, I need to learn some techniques of hiding it in public. I'm learning but for now ball caps are easier.) For those interested, I will post a picture.

Family - The boys are still doing well. My son and I haven't killed each other yet so that's a good sign. This week he is getting things finalized for the remaining 4H shows that will be coming up soon. He's still got a bit of work to do to get ready.

John had to miss a lot of work this week because of taking me to doctors with this swelling. Luckily, he's not extremely busy at work right now so he was able to do so without any problems.

Otherwise both are doing well and I just look forward to being able to drive again soon. I love my boys but being with them 24/7 is starting to take its toll on me. I might just have to make my daily walks venture further than several times around my house. Maybe I can call my neighbor and we can see how far I can go before going too far. I can always call John to come pick me up.

Play - Still no play this week. We're pretty much sticking to things that have to be done at this stage. Although I am considering sending the boys to town one day to do something fun... just haven't decided for sure yet. I may join them but I'll probably just stay home and enjoy being by myself for a while.

Ok, that wraps it up for the week. I can't think of anything else really to write.


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