Monday, July 27, 2009

The Month in Review... July

Wow, it is still July and I'm getting this post out!!! July literally flew by!

  • I'm 13 months past the partial resection of my Grade Three Brain Tumor
  • It has been 9 months since I completed external beam radiation
  • It has been 7 weeks since I had my first complex partial seizure and 6 weeks 4 days since my last simple partial seizure.
  • It has been 2 years since I was hit in the face with a baseball starting this journey and nearly 2 years since the tumor was discovered.
Medically - I am still getting headaches but they are more on the "constant but bearable" stage than the unbearable I was having. When I remember to add them in, two Tylenol every 5 hours seems to keep them at bay. (Sometimes waking up at night, sometimes not.) I have only had to reach for the ibuprophen in high quantities twice in the past week and that was after majorly overdoing it with the hat. I have decided I need to just quit with things on my head because truthfully, the bald spot isn't that visible any more.

The saga with the doctor's office continues... Remember when I said:

"He wants me to call next week to schedule an appointment with him to discuss the scan in more detail and schedule the next MRI."

Note that both John and I heard the doctor make the above statement. I call the doctor's office Monday morning to make this appointment. The reception area had to send the request to the nurse. First off she was snippy with me about why I was calling AGAIN. I told her that the doctor at the clinic had said that the doctor wanted me to make an appointment to discuss the MRI and future options. She replied (again very snotty) "well didn't the doctor at the clinic discuss the results with you?" I calmly replied "yes, but she said the doctor wanted to speak with me." Her response was again not professional, "Well everything is stable so let's schedule you for September 8th and it's a work-in so make sure and be there." (Note that September 8th is almost exactly 2 months after my last MRI and the radiologist had said 1-2 months.) Getting quite ticked off myself, I didn't push the subject since I knew it was no use fighting a stubborn !BEEP! and that I would be better off taking it up with the doctor when I finally get to see him. However, since it takes "two weeks to get an MRI scheduled", I will be calling her at the six week mark to get my MRI scheduled. If she doesn't have it set by the time I see the doctor, there's one more strike against her.

So I've decided that the nurse is a HUGE problem and her and I are going to have to have some rounds before she gets it into her head that I [s]probably[/s] most definitely know A LOT more about my condition than she does and therefore she needs to stop acting like she knows what is best for me and what to "waste the doctor's time" with. If I get any issues with getting the MRI scheduled, I will be going to the administrator of the clinic and filing a formal complaint. Furthermore, if the MRI is delayed and it shows any sign of problems that might have been prevented/caught earlier had I been allowed to speak with the doctor and get my MRI sooner... I will be pressing far beyond a complaint and if all goes well, she won't be a nurse for long. I'm not usually this way but she is playing God with someone's life, not a puppet and that someone just happens to be me!!! Besides, last I knew a nurse did not have a medical degree nor the right to make decisions about a patient's health. Therefore she should also not be deciding what to pass on to the doctor and what to conveniently leave out. UGH. I need to get off this subject my blood pressure is rising!

Emotionally - Well, it hasn't been a good few weeks in the emotional department either. I'm very short tempered right now because of the headaches, lack of sleep, and total frustration at the nurse. The other day I came up with a thought that puts it all very well into perspective. I feel like I'm a prized fighter in the match of my life (more of a fight for my life) and those that are supposed to be standing in my corner and giving me a boost and support (medical community), are instead taking sucker punches at me trying to make me lose. I've come to realize now why so many people do not take their health into their own hands and be their own advocate. When you are met from constant and total resistance, it's hard to find the fight. It would be much easier to sit back and let the doctor manage my life. Heck, maybe I should have long ago started chemo and then we wouldn't be in this place right now (I'd probably be in worse shape but I'd be getting my MRIs!)!!! Oh to be able to take the easy way and just follow whatever the doctor says without researching alternatives and getting the facts. That would be the easy way and I've never taken the easy road.

Mentally - I can't deny that the loss of my license is taking it's toll on me mentally. I hate being reliant on others and having to coordinate an already crazy schedule just a bit more. I spend as much energy on this as I do most other things in my life. My son and I had plans this summer during my company shutdowns. Now it is "just another week stuck at home". It feels a lot like last summer did when I also could not drive. I just hope this isn't a pattern and that things go smoothly next summer. (Of course, hopefully the economy has improved and we don't have the shutdowns next summer.)

I've buried myself a lot into facebook because it's something I can do that is mindless and can get me away from everything. That's not a good thing but it works. I don't even really get pleasure in my Harry Potter sites right now or even games for that matter. I'm sure it's just a low part of the roller coaster and I'll get back ahead of it, but right now this whole thing sucks and it's making me someone I'm not.

Physically - Well, my physical side can be summed with one word... headache. Honestly, things have been better this week than they were the previous week and I've managed to get motivated to work on the house some and my energy is a little better. Not a lot but a little. Now if I can just add more than 6 hours of sleep a night into the equation, I might actually feel pretty good again!

Well, I'm officially down a pant size! One day over lunch my mom and I went shopping and I got a couple of pairs of pants that fit me pretty good. They are a size smaller than what I've worn since I had my son and honestly, I'm probably not far from being able to go one size smaller yet. Unfortunately, I do have two problem areas that are not my tummy and therefore I struggle with the next size down because I never get it far enough up to be at the tummy. I don't want to be uncomfortable so we'll stick with this size for a while!

If all goes well, I may be getting my first haircut since I had surgery. I'm hoping we can figure something out to make my hair lay better than it does right now. I'm struggling with the very thing I hate about natural curl... it always looks unkempt to me no matter what I do to it. Maybe we can change my mind's eye on this a bit. LOL

Work/Family/Play - Well my son got a blue ribbon in foods and a blue ribbon in his consumer project at the 4H show. He will be showing in woodworking and electricity on August 3rd. He has been working with his dad to finish up these projects in a timely manner. It's nothing like waiting until the last minute!

Today my son left to go to Chicago for a trip with 4H. I think he will have a blast. It's only an overnight trip but it's good for him to get away since other plans became shot when I had my seizure. This is two summers in a row that plans didn't exactly go as planned thanks to my health. However, next summer we are going to Disney come hell or high water!

We also found out that school starts for him on the 19th. This is going to cause a few minor issues because we were planning on all being out of town during this time. I guess we will have to find someone for him to stay with so he can stay home and not miss any school. I think they start earlier and earlier every year. It's just not right to start school before the State Fair is over!

All jurors were dismissed for John's first week of jury duty. Now he has to wait until August to find out if he'll have to serve on that round.

Well, I think that's about it for now. Hoping I get more sleep tonight than the three hours I had last night. Hoping this is finding everyone well. *huggles*

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