Thursday, July 21, 2011

Home at Last

I drove the few hours back home a little over a week ago. To say I was nervous would be an understatement. I hadn't driven in probably two months and I wasn't ready to leave the comfort of my mom's house. I think I was overwhelmed. It feels like I'm mostly out of pain and now I should get right back to my old life- working at least 25 hours a week and going to school full time. I mean, why wouldn't I? I feel overwhelmed. So I'm trying to take things one step at a time and give myself a break.

I am enjoying being out of pain. It's been 4 years, which, at 25, might as well be a lifetime. To say that I'm completely pain free would be a lie, yet it's minimal and I can handle it. Sometimes the stimulator bugs me. I can't exactly explain why, but I just turn it off to give myself a break. I have it on for the majority of my day and I usually sleep with it on. I keep it very low, around 1-1.5. The power goes up to 10 (or so I'm told, I turned it up to 3 and it really started to hurt). I also found that keeping the pulse width low (25-40) gives me more relief than turning it higher. I have 4 different programs I can choose from (A1, A2, B1 and B2). They are all a bit different and I usually stick with the A's. The B's seem to irritate my scalp which makes it itch.

I'm trying a new scar removal patch. I bought Bio Oil and despite the label that told me it was not oily, it really was. I let it dry for an hour then put on a shirt and stained it. So I bought ScarAway silicone patches since they are supposed to work well and they were affordable ($20 for 8 weeks). I know they are not the highest rated on the market, but I couldn't afford the $50+ for the Cica Care which are supposed to be the best. I enjoy the patches since they do not get in my way at all. I put them on at night, leave it on for 12 hours and take it off. Each patch is good for one week and you get eight in a box.

I have been trying to push myself to get out of bed and do something every day. My stamina is totally shot and I get exhausted easily. I know that it's going to take a while until I'm "normal" but it's almost fun working up to that goal. Next week my boyfriend and I are taking a vacation. We'll be going to the California coast and camping. But not real camping, KOA camping with cabins and all since I'm not quite up to sleeping on the ground.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Heading Home

I'm going to be going back to Nevada in a few days. This means I'll have to return to a normal life where I won't have most of my meals cooked for me, I'll have to do the dishes, my dog will have to be walked (I will miss just letting her out to romp on my mother's five acres), and of course, school next month. I have been very lucky that my mom has been so supportive and such a big help during my recovery. Part of me doesn't want to leave, but I'm bored. I personally consider boredom to be a good sign since it means I'm feeling well enough to be somewhere other than in my bed watching tv. My stamina is ridiculously low and I figure it will take a long time to build it up. That task is daunting and I'm not sure what my future looks like. When I was sick I thought getting out of pain was my whole battle, but I was wrong. There are emotional/psychological issues that I need to deal with now that I can.

I finally got my stimulator programmed correctly. I told my rep that I was unhappy with Mike, the rep that was at my revision surgery so she met me at my general practitioner's office. Turns out Mike did not change the programming at all after my stimulator was repaired, despite the fact that I told him before and after the surgery that it needed to be fixed. It frustrates me I was in pain for a week and a half longer than I needed to be, yet there is nothing I can do about it now.

I went to my post-op on Thursday with my neurosurgeon. He took the time to answer every question I had which I really needed. I wanted to know if I am able to get pregnant and have a fairly normal pregnancy with the stimulator (though I absolutely am not planning on children for years) and he said I should be fine. I asked him if I'm going to run into an problems with the battery pack moving if I lose weight. He said it might shift depending on how much I lose and I may need a revision at that point. I've been having some shoulder pain caused by the tight wires in my neck and he suggested physical therapy before it heals. I feel more confident about it all now and I'm ready to be done with doctors for a while.

My stimulator is still giving me great pain relief. It seems I get some soreness if it's turned up too high just because the wires are in a very sensitive area. I get frustrated with it all sometimes though. It's not that the sensation is annoying, it just gets frustrating to need it so often. I am hoping with time I will be able to use it less and less.