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Sorry I’ve been gone so much!

The Waterfall we hiked down to.

One thing I’ve learned is that a time comes when you have to decide what needs to come first and what has to take a back seat.  For instance with Jk’s foray into teenagehood, and the addition of facebook so she can talk to her friends from church and family across the country, I’ve found I need to be on there to watch out for her safety, and to keep her on task with schoolwork when she is on the computer and not chatting it up during school time.  We have also started using facebook chat to see if she can follow my directions and cook.   I often get calls from my older daughters when they want to cook something they like that I make.  They often get frustrated when it doesn’t turn out like moms because they forgot one of my instructions, so I thought teaching Jklyn how to follow my instructions on how to cook something without me standing over her was an important step.  This is important since my health issues are making it more and more impossible for me to deal with the stairs in our house, and keep me sick and in pain a great deal.  Tonight she made ham, hashbrown and eggs by herself just by following my instructions step by step over chat, and they were delicious.  Other days in the last few weeks she has baked cod, baked salmon, and made a delicious Shepherd’s Pie, all following my step by step instructions on Facebook chat.

Another thing that has kept me from here is that I’m still working on things for a Cross Stitch Business site.  I make a point of taking a couple hours a day designing cross stitch patterns to sell on it.  I am up to about 140 designs now, and I’m still waiting for my husband to take some time and help me get the site and set it up.  This is one of the most important things I’m doing since it will help our family finances when it takes off.  Until then I keep working on things so I can offer the best on the site.

Over all these I try to deal with my health and my relationship with Christ Jesus the most.  Making sure I’m daily in God’s Word, and reaping God’s wisdom and instruction from it is important to me, especially since it is through my relationship with the Lord that I’m helped to get through my health issues daily.  I also spend time reading a devotional, because it gives me another insight on what God teaches in the Bible.  I’ve tried to share the ones that speak to me the most here on my blog when I can’t be on here.  I hope they have encouraged and touched you as much as they do me.  With my health, my husband found a new medicine that is reported to have good results with patients who have fibromyalgia, severe arthritis, and bone spurs, all of which I have.  I’ve been taking it for about 3 weeks and I have seen an increase in my energy level and an improvement by 10 minutes on how long I can stand or walk before the pain is too much.  That allows me to fold a whole basket of laundry, or iron 2 or 3 things before I have to go back and rest my back with heat on it.  I did learn something about leaning back on a heating pad for too long, as I burnt my lower back to the point of blistering one day when the pain was severe.  Now I try to limit myself to 5 minutes at a time and then change positions to alleviate the pain until I can use the heating pad again.  The blisters have healed, but now it looks like I have a map of the world on my back in bright red.  Can’t wait to see the doctor and explain this one…lol!

Another thing that keeps me away is homeschooling Jklyn and trying to use good days to do things with her that I normally don’t get to do.  We already took a hike to a waterfall in a nearby state park.  I was excited about this new medicine making me feel better and decided to test myself.  I should have picked an easier test.  I made it down to the waterfall, and barely made it back up from it.  But it was worth it all to see my daughter, my granddaughter, and my husband enjoying the water and nature.  I hope to blog our adventure and share the great pictures I took of it soon.  As I’ve said before Jk is slightly dyslexic, and when she struggles with learning she tends to find distractions, so teaching her means keeping focused on her all through her school time.  We have moved a desk size table into my bedroom and a 4 drawer rolling cart that fits under the table, for her to do school at, so that I can rest my back and see her working at the same time.  Having only been into this school year for just under a month now, she is already testing her limits and feeling the struggle of her learning disablility.   She has started back to Homeschool Choir though and is volunteering to watch the Orchestra Director’s son while the Director is in teaching the Orchestra.  Jk also gets time to do P.E. in the Church Gym with all the other Homeschooled kids from the choir.  She loves this day more than any.  She is taking on Beginning Algebra this year, American History, More Grammar and Vocabulary, Reading, and we have started doing Creation Science for her Science time, but in a way that will allow her to cover many areas of Science from geology, to astronomy, animal husbandry, biology, and more.   We still have some English books to get for her, but I’m keeping her busy with reading, writing, spelling and vocabulary until we find the ones we need.   I have challenged her to use her new vocabulary/spelling words in conversations with her friends and family on facebook.   She really gets a kick out of this because it really challenges her friends, and gets funny responses from our family and friends.  She does have to use it in the context of what it really means, so sometimes her conversations take funny twists.  Imagine using the word “tyranny” in a conversation with your adult uncle or aunt or an older brother or sister.  Another thing she likes to do is use the Spanish she has learned to speak to those who have no clue what she is saying.  She tried it with me until I answered her in German.  I had 4 years of Spanish in elementary school, but what I remember is sparse.  I had 2 years of German in High School and I can remember a little more of it.  But I can read and pick out enough familiar words to translate what she is saying.  She tried it with her Uncle Bob, and thought she would stump him…that is, until he answered her in Spanish, and used words she hasn’t learned yet.  It was hilarious to see the look on her face.  I reminded her that the true test of her language abilities is to speak to someone who does know the language, not those who do not.  I think she met her match in her Uncle Bob.

You can see my list of things to do is long, and doesn’t include cleaning and such around the house.  We are looking forward to the next 3 months and visits from various family members each month, including a surprise visit for Jk at Christmas if all works out.  Just this cleaning is a real challenge since I have now been limited to 10 to 20 minute spurts before my pain is unbearable.  But it has to be done, and I know to get it done right I’m going to have to buck up and deal with it.  This week I’ve been focusing on laundry first, then getting the ironing done.  My husband was a sweetheart and did the kitchen and diningroom floors for me last Saturday.  I appreciate his help.  Jklyn has taken on the dishes, and really helps with the cooking she does.  Dyslexia causes problems with her organizational skills and other things so cleaning is one thing she struggles with.  That is normal for those with dyslexia, and so we have to have her make a list of steps to take just for cleaning her room and bathroom.  She has been trying to keep the livingroom vacumned and picked up on her own though.  Because of my health, our dream house has become a challenge in more ways than I can say.

Well, that is what is going on with my life right now.  I’m sorry I haven’t been here as much and I hope you all understand.  Please keep me in your prayers, because it is those prayers that keep me from the common pitfalls that happen to those with fibro, like depression.  It is those prayers that the Lord  has heard that have helped him know that I need him.  I really appreciate them so very much!

Two happy girls looking for frogs in the stream close to the waterfall.

 

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Giving it to God!

Today I received news about the results of my MRI from last Wednesday.  The good news there has been no change in the damage in my back that had originally caused my osteoarthritis.  The bad news I have bone spurs.  I began with a feeling of relief, that is until I did research on bone spurs and the treatment for them.  As I’ve said in another post, I’m a hyper personality, who has in recent years been slowed down physically by health issues.  The latest of which is severe pain in my lower back, along with extreme pain in my right hip and leg when I stand or walk for longer than 10 minutes at a time.  I’ve recently had to use a cane to aid me when I walk or stand, which may be great for protection should you be mugged, but I’ve found brings much consternation my way by rude people, who think it is quite okay to run over a older lady with a cane, or knock it out from under me so I lose my balance.  I’ve found that the cane can be a great help when I need to reach things from a top shelf at home or the store, but is useless in helping me keep up with my daughter when she walks.  But despite my personal vanity over being perceived as weak, I’ve finally accepted my future with a cane.  Especially since I know if someone is rude enough to run into me, or treat me in a disrespectful way because of my slower walk and need for the cane, that the cane makes a great weapon to reach out and trip them with.  Okay…not really, but a girl can dream can’t she?

Anyway, the finding of these bone spurs, although normal as we age, has also become a trigger for more extreme pain for my already fibro pain racked body.  Not quite knowing what bone spurs were, nor the treatments available for them, I immediately went to my computer to do some research.  It didn’t do much to alleviate my fears, and in fact left me in tears of fear of possibilities to come.  Right now I am being put on 2 new meds to deal with inflammation and pain.  This should be fun, since a baby aspirin can knock me out cold, I plan on being asleep or loopy for the next few weeks, which I hate because I can’t get anything done, and as a homeschooling mom that is not good.  If these do not help, the next step is a Pain Management Clinic and Specialist.  Well, I did my research and that is where the fear really came in.  They go through the normal use of chiropractors and physical therapist, but after that the thing I fear most as far as medical treatments came into view…SHOTS!   Yep, shots into your spine to lessen the pain was one of their normal treatments.  You see, I hate shots of any kind!  I can’t stand to see the needle enter the skin, and if I see it I pass out.  I can’t stand the pain from getting a shot.  To me it seems that Hell is a big, humungous hypodermic needle with my name on it.  I’ve had shots since I was a young child, whether for asthma, immunizations, strep throat, dental work, pneumonia.  No matter what I’ve had to go to the doctor for it seems they have a needle waiting for me with my name on it.  But these shots are the worse.  At 19 after having a shoulder injured by an abusive ex-husband I was sent to a specialist, who immediately decided the best thing would be to ease my pain by giving me a new shot therapy.  Laying on my stomach, he proceeded to stick a needle filled with cortisone into my spine between my shoulder blades.  I’d never felt anything so painful up to that point and it didn’t make things better.  Women who have had epidurals can tell you how painful these shots can be, even if they leave you numb afterwards.  But this shot didn’t leave me numb like the 2 epidurals that they gave me for the C-section that I had with my youngest daughter.  It felt more like a clamp being squeezed down on my nerves in my spine.  I didn’t think anything could be worse.  That is until they gave me cortisone shots in my neck to ease pain from disk damage.  It left me nauseated, in excruciating pain from my head to my toes, besides triggering a massive cluster migraine that didn’t ease for weeks.  The pain from this shot was so excruciating I nearly passed out from it as they were doing the shot.  I don’t think there is anything I could equate this pain to, except maybe that split second when your head is being cut off and the nerves are being severed and reacting to it.  No I’ve never had my head severed from my body, but that is what I imagine it feeling like…except this pain lasted for over a week after the shot.

Well, now you know why the word SHOT sends waves of fear through me.  I am not afraid of dieing because I know where my soul is going when I do.  What I am afraid of is living in severe pain?  Which I do daily live with, but not in the amount that the one shot gave me.  It’s not something I want to be feeling, nor living with, and so the thought of having to go through a shot therapy for bone spurs isn’t pleasing at all.  It is quite fearsome to me!  Of course my brave retired military husband will tell me to “Buck Up, because it isn’t that bad!”  And of course I will tell him, “Then you take them for me!”  Which he will refuse to do, because the truth is he doesn’t want the pain either.  This is when you find out how uncompassionate the people around you are, and how uncompassionate people in general are.  You will get comments about not being a baby about it, about how it really isn’t that bad, and so much more.  It isn’t bad when it is coming from someone who has had them, but when it comes from someone who hasn’t had a shot in their spine for pain it is utterly disrespectful sounding and very discouraging, instead of helpful and caring.

Having said all this to explain the situation and the fear, there is one thing I know and I have faith in.  There is a Lord and Savior who cares and is truly compassionate when we face things like this.  He has experienced the suffering and pain to a level that I can’t even imagine, even more than what I will face with these shots.  I know that God will not tell me that this is going to be a breeze, or that I’m being a baby about it.  Instead when I give it to God in prayer, he will hold my hand through it, just as he held my hands through the MRI, as I’m as claustrophobic as you can imagine.  But that is another story for another time.  The Lord will calm my heart even in that last moment of facing that needle.  He will comfort me in the tears I cry in fear, and give me peace to replace those tears.  He won’t think of me as a sissy, a whimp or a crybaby.  He won’t minimalize what I’m going through, like many others will.  He will pick me up and carry me during the worst part of the pain, and ease my mind about the future beyond it.  When I give it to the Lord, I receive the greatest love and compassion a person can be given in this world.  This is the compassion of one who has suffered the greatest pain ever, the weight of the entire sins of the world taken to a cross and crucified for them.  He suffered the scourging, the shame, the guilt, the pain, the hurt we all feel, all at one time, and took it to that cross for us.  That is why the Lord can understand what we are going through, and why he shows us great compassion to help us through it ourselves.  Yes, I will still fear those shots!  Yes, I will still fear living in extreme pain!  But I know that when it gets to be too much, I can give it to God, and he will see me through.  So from this moment on I’m giving it to God!

 

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