Friday, December 30, 2011

A New Perspective

I went to see an orthopedist/joint care doctor yesterday and I had an epiphany of sorts. After seeing all the other patients who needed canes and walkers and wheelchairs, I am extremely blessed to be able to walk as well as I can. Of course, most of the people were at least twice my age, but still...

Unfortunately, the feeling of gratitude didn't last too long because my right knee started hurting soooo bad, I couldn't even get out of bed. The pain has subsided (as I read it would), and it was a common side effect...and I'm finally able to get out of my bed and walk around. So, back to being thankful...

Friday, December 9, 2011

'Til Death Do Us Part...Wait! WHAT?!?

Marriage is a construct that is drilled in to most children from birth. MOST. I was not taught that. At least I don't remember it. Why is marriage such an important part of society today? The fact is that not everyone will get married. Yes, maybe I am a bit bitter. I would like to get married, but I'm afraid that it's too late for me. I don't want pity, though.

Maybe my parents thought I wasn't the marriage "type". What is the correct type for marriage, anyway? They (my parents) never told me the fairytale that some man will come along and love me for life. Don't I deserve that? I see so many problems in marriages today, that I often wonder why I even want to be married. But then again, there are so many people who are YOUNGER than me with spouses, babies, and houses. It's not fair. When is it my turn?

And if I have to endure one more "In God's timing" comment, I'm gonna scream...then cry. I've never had a boyfriend and would at least like a chance. Even if I don't get married.

REALITY CHECK: MARRIAGE IS NOT THE END ALL BE ALL OF LIFE!

I only wish that a) people would realize that and b) I believed that :(

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Back to therapy

This should be my last time, though (for my back, at least). I certainly got a workout today! 6 minutes on the bike, stretches, and bridges. My back is good to go. I finally feel like I've healed. When I first got home after my back surgery, I was certain I'd never get any better. Two and (almost) a half months later; I have no pain and I'm done with therapy! Thanks belong to God...He helped me push through (especially when I didn't want to) and He's still doing it. Not much has changed...I really don't want to do anything; but yet...I have good days (like today) where I actually feel like cleaning my room.

We'll see how far I get...

Sunday, November 27, 2011

I love to blog. It's like my little outlet.

Today, I came to the realization that the anger inside has become too much to ignore. I was told it could be a side effect of one of my medications, and lucky me; it was! The problem is that the medicine is really helping me. What to do? What to do?

In the Bible, they speak of righteous anger...I don't think this is the case. Seriously, though...what do I do?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

So, as you (like anyone is actually reading this thing) may have noticed, I combined my two blogs since the road through physical therapy is just about over. But I've learned that "recovery" is a life-long process. There are ups and downs and starts and re-starts; and that makes life what it is.

Geez, when did I start waxing philosophical (whatever that means -- I just wanted to use the phrase...lol)? Anyway, here's the 411:

Physical therapy is getting harder -- my legs hurt and are unsteady...gah! I'm taking a break until I see the neurologist (Dec 14th)

I had to go into the hospital -- which put another damper on therapy. Fortunately, there was no clot in my hepatic vein (which is why I was admitted in the first place)

okay, maybe it was the 211 :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Days 19-27

Big gap again...well, pretty much nothing has changed. Except for the fact that I get tired very easily again. That seems to come and go; but really gets in the way of me doing my exercises. After doing them sporadically during the past week (maybe 3 or 4 times...I know, bad Kat), I'm going to try to get into a routine again. I just haven't felt like it lately. I haven't felt like doing much lately. :(

Monday, October 31, 2011

Days 17 and 18

I realize that as much as I want others to read my blog, it's really for me. I started this with the idea that I could get some accountability in keeping up with my therapy, and I am. I'm accountable to my blog! :)

I went to therapy today and my therapist looked at my progress (after I almost killed myself on the bike -- I never knew 10 minutes of pedaling would make me that tired -- BUT I did it...for the whole time). He told me that my range of motion has gotten better and I'm getting stronger. YAY!!! The exercises are getting easier and my legs actually feel stronger. It's working. That makes me a happy girl.

The biggest thing I need to remember is to STRETCH. Maybe 2 or 3 times a day.

Overall, I'm proud of myself...is that bad?

Physically, that is...

Emotionally, I'm mad at me. I wish I could punish myself. Why do I feel this way? Why can't I get over this? I just want to be normal!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Days 13-16

Well, it’s been 2 weeks…I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at a setback. There were 3 days this week (Wed, Thur, and Fri) that I didn't do my exercises. I have been increasingly depressed since last Sunday (the 23rd), culminating in me crying hysterically last night. I gave myself a headache. It was not pretty.

I hate being depressed. It's become more of a struggle than getting through physical therapy. I forced myself to do my exercises today, and have to admit that I felt better. But still, I had to force myself. I didn't want 3 days to turn into 4...and then 5...

My back is feeling better and, although my hips are hurting, I feel better than I did 2 months ago. Physically, that is.

Emotionally is another story, though. I have a hard time explaining myself, but I'm just stuck. Things that shouldn't bother me are overtaking my entire world and I can't see past them. And I feel like I'm the only one on earth who has to deal with this. God help me.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Days 4-12

Wowsers. That is a rather large gap. And now that I'm sitting to write about it, I can't remember that far back. Oh well. I'll work with what I've got.

The beginning part of this "week" was not great. My exercises were tough and I was still hurting. I started going to therapy 2 times a week. It's been a lot of work for me.

I went to therapy when I was younger, but I didn't do the exercises at home. This time around, I was determined to do what the therapist told me. At first, I only did the exercises so I wouldn't get yelled at; but as time has gone on, I've decided that I want to get better. More importantly, I don't want to be stuck in bed all day. I guess that was the biggest thing that happened to me this "week".

I didn't see my exercises as a chore today...I didn't mind doing them. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad they're done; but I am starting to see the benefit. My legs are getting stronger and the pain is dissipating. Of course, some days are not this positive, but that's another part of the recovery process: taking things as they come. It seems learning that lesson is just as important, if not moreso, than doing daily exercises.

I also want to continue to lose weight. I'm almost at my goal...under 200 pounds.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Days 2 and 3

I was planning to do an entry each day, but that didn't happen. I am pledging to do at least two entries a week, however.

Sadly, I must admit that I forgot the exercises that the therapist gave me to do. :( But, there is a bright side...I made up my own! I did them both on Saturday and today (Sunday). I'd like to start pedaling as well, but I want to make sure I keep up with the leg exercises before throwing something else into the mix.

I still get tired waaaayyy too easily. That bothers me. I keep thinking I should be able to do this. I get nervous when I'm walking...always afraid I will fall...maybe I'll bring that up with the therapist on Wednesday.

I've been using my chair at church. It's kind of a catch-22. I feel awkward with and without it. I think I'm the only one who feels weird though. People are happy to see me regardless. I just feel so helpless and useless. I'm *ahem ahem* years old and need a wheelchair to get around sometimes; when I see people in their 70's and 80's who have no problems with mobility. I don't (usually) wish I didn't have a disability, I just think I'm too young to need that much help. Again, this seems to be more my issue than anyone else's.

I'm not trying to say I'm better than anyone else; more deserving; or even looking for pity. I just want to be real.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Day 1

Today I started physical therapy to help me recover from the back surgery I had almost a month ago. I actually don't have back pain any more, now it's just in my legs. I don't know if it's weakness or if it's my nerves. That's a separate issue, though.

So, PT went well. Of course, I was exhausted afterwards. But that's par for the course these days. I get tired after everything. I hope PT helps with that. I got some exercises to do...mostly leg lifts. We'll see how long I actually do them.

That's why I started this blog...to get some accountability for doing my exercises. Wanna help me?

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Epic Battle

Mind over matter. But what if the problem lies in my mind?

As I mentioned in my last entry, I'm having a tough time with this recovery thing. Not just physically, but mentally. I'm starting to feel worn out and drained (on both fronts). The actual pain is dissipating (not so much in my legs -- but PT should help with that), and I'm left with feeling guilty for laying in bed all day. Not to mention that I don't think I have a reason to be tired. But how would I feel if I allowed myself to rest...at least for a few days?

Guilt is a powerful thing. For me, it's as much a physical condition as mental. I cry about everything. Because I hurt, because I'm not 'better', because I shouldn't be crying...sometimes (no lie), I cry because I have to leave the dog by himself. I think the root of this is guilt...I shouldn't be feeling this way.

Sometimes I wonder what is wrong with me. Am I the only one who gets sad about everything? How can I win the battle over physical healing when my head is so messed up?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Recovery Time

This is taking too long!! It's just been two weeks, but the whole purpose of the surgery was so that I wasn't stuck in bed all day. I'm usually a patient person, except with myself. I need to get moving again, but I can't.

My default thinking process is that I'm not trying hard enough. But what if that's not true? Who is the judge of that? I guess there really can't be one. The problem is that if I tell myself to take it easy once, I'm afraid that I'll never push myself and won't get back to where I used to be (which wasn't so great to begin with).

The information I was given regarding the surgery specifically said that it may take several weeks before I'm not feeling drained all the time, but (in my mind), that doesn't apply to me. I will not allow myself time to rest (even though that's all I'm able to do).

What if that's what God wants...for me to rest? I'm so quick to do things for everyone else, but not listen to Him. And He's the only one who matters, right?

I'm starting to see the point of rehab. I wanted out so bad...but now that I'm finally out, I kinda wish I was back there. Everyone was so patient. No one cared if I was having a bad day and couldn't get out of bed. Unfortunately, I don't have the funds to stay there any longer that I did.

When I first got there, I was afraid I'd be stuck there forever. I was so depressed (still am--but that's another post for a different day). I didn't want to do anything...until I started physical therapy.

I start again tomorrow...maybe that's 'the push' I need.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A few thoughts on depression...

Okay, so I'm pretty sure no one reads this, but that doesn't really matter. And, no, I'm not saying that to be pitied, but rather, to throw out some heavy stuff. (And to let you know that I have a love affair with the comma)

The main character in one of the books I'm writing is suicidal. And I know a thing or two (or twenty) about that. I'm not right now (please don't call the police or try to have me baker acted -- been there, done that), but I have been in the past. I can't say that I've actually *tried* to off myself, but I've thought about it and there *may* have been some cutting. Anyway, I've been thinking about suicide/depression in relation to my character...drawing on my own experience.

Lately, I've been pretty sad...I've been stuck in bed because of the back pain. I'm hoping that will change after my surgery. But the guilt is overtaking me. I cry because I think I should get up. I cry because I can't do anything without resting. I cry because someone looks at me the wrong way. Am I crazy?

Friday, September 2, 2011

22 Years

I can't believe it's been that long since my dad died. Well, technically it won't be 22 years until Monday...but close enough. This is one of the few times of year I get sad over his death. Well, I'm not sure that I'd classify it as sad, per se...maybe reminiscent? Is that even a word? If not, I'm making it one for the purposes of this blog.

I've never really identified with having parents because they both died when I was so young. I find that kind of weird. I mean, it's not like I was raised by wolves (although my behavior sometimes might suggest otherwise); I lived with my dad's stepmother (my grandmother) until I went to college. Looking back on it -- I have to say that God turned that situation around. I was truly heading...well, I'm not sure where. I was not a happy child. Don't get me wrong; I loved my parents very much -- and miss them immensely, but it was hard. I'm not sure they knew how to deal with a child who was disabled, and therefore, did their best to protect me from the world.

Is it weird that this is coming up now? I don't know...

Speaking of things I don't know...I don't know a lot about my parents. How they felt about having a child with disabilities. How they felt about each other. Those are not the things a ten-year-old asks...or even thinks of. I do know that my parents fought. I do know that they loved me to the best of their ability. I do know that my dad scared me a lot of the time. Maybe I know more than I thought I did...

What kinda sucks is that I can't ask these questions. Well, I can, but I won't get an answer from them. What good would knowing those answers do anyway?

Sometimes I imagine what it would be like if my parents came back and saw me today. Would they even recognize me? I believe they would recognize parts of me...not the whole package. The main thing being that I've gotten worse (physically). I'm not sure whether they expected that. Did they even know what would happen to me? Did they think I would live this long? I certainly didn't.

I miss my mom and dad...it sure would be nice to have parents...now that I'm at the age to appreciate them...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Questions...

I was recently having a conversation on facebook with one of my relatives (sadly, I'm not exactly sure how she is related to me...cousin, maybe? but I digress) about asking questions when it comes to faith.

The whole thing started from an article I 'liked' about a letter written to Dr. Laura Schlessinger about homosexuality and the Bible. First off, I want to make it clear that I cannot stand Dr. Laura (hence why I'm not even bothering to check whether I've spelled her name right) OR her views on many issues. When I was younger, I made my disdain apparent to my grandmother (who listened to her on the radio everyday), and it became a big joke...my grandmother would put her on just to torture me. We'd have a laugh; and sometimes I'd even put up with it and just quietly (or not so quietly) mock her. Thank God that my school wasn't TOO far from home.

WOW! That was an extremely long and highly unnecessary tangent. Oh, well...it was fun. Back to the topic at hand: so the author of the letter written to Dr. Hot Air basically poked fun at how rigid our lives would have to be if we took every part of the Bible literally. (here is the link in case you're interested: Homosexuality and the Bible) As an aside: I'm NOT going to get into my personal views on the subject (or any other law in the Bible). That's another blog entry on a day when I am more confident (and certain) about what I believe.

OKAY...so my point in bringing all this up is that some people get rather funny when others question things in the Bible. And my 'cousin' (J), feels that she has taken a lot of flack for having this approach when it comes to Christianity...that she's not a true Christian.

Well, J, I think your critics are wrong and they have no right to judge you. Only you and God truly know your 'level' of Christianity. I think they are uncertain about themselves and are projecting it onto you.

All that being said...my BIGGER point in bringing all this up is just that. I am uncertain about myself. With my impending surgery (yes, I'm having it. YAY!!)...yikes! that sounds so ominous. Oh well, it fits with the weather. ANYway...with the surgery coming up in less than a month, and a noticed decrease in my abilities; I've begun to question what I believe and why.

I was brought up in Catholic school and taught that some things just are. For example, God created the universe in 6 days. Okay. Jesus was born to a virgin and was eventually crucified. I can get behind that. In order to be a good Catholic, you must go to church every Sunday, and when you kneel, your butt cannot rest on the pew behind you. Wait! What? Apparently, I was misled.

As time has gone on, I've learned that not everything is black and white (and that Catholicism is not for me). Oh, and it's not a sin to get up and go to the bathroom or cough during church (I told you, I was misled...or scared into submission). And some of the things that were givens when I was a kid might need to be looked at again. Also, I don't know if I like the idea of believing in things just because I was told that's how things are.

Does God really want the best for me? And if He does, why am I constantly in pain? How is being stuck in bed for most of the day the best? What is my purpose in life when I can't work or do anything worthwhile? I'm finding it hard to believe that my writing is going to do anything for "the harvest". And these days, even writing is tough.

The bigger question for me is what do I believe? I said I wasn't going to get into the whole homosexuality debate, but that brings up an interesting point...do I agree with the Bible's teaching on "hot" topics like these? In most cases, I'm finding that the answer is no. I listen to mostly secular music, swear like a sailor, and can be gossipy and judgmental. Why does God love me...I'm not perfect and I'm disabled. I can cry at the drop of a hat. What can He do with a mentally (and physically) unstable mess?

No, this is not a pity party. I'm not asking anyone to feel sorry for me. In the least. In fact, if you do feel sorry for me, chances are I won't like you. I have had *ahem* years to get used to the challenges my condition presents. I roll with the punches. Most days. Other times, however, I get angry. I hate not being able to walk to the kitchen. And then I feel guilty...like I'm not trying hard enough. That opens the door to the depression and crying. I mostly cry because of the guilt. And the annoyance of my body being too tired to get a damn bowl of cereal! WHY??

In addition to feeling like I'm not trying hard enough, I'm convinced I did this to myself. How is it possible to cause a central nervous system disease, you ask. Well, I don't know exactly, but I still did it! By laying around, I guess...this is the root of all my problems. It's a Catch 22...I need to get out of bed and move around so I doesn't hurt as much, but it hurts too much to get out of bed. Where's the justice in that?

Well, I don't know if I answered anything; but it felt good to get this out. Maybe now I can move on...

Friday, August 19, 2011

Finally...some good news!

So, I went to the back surgeon yesterday (no, this is not the beginning of a cheesy joke) and it turns out that surgery is a good bet for me in regards to this pain in my leg and hips and back! I was leery about doing the surgery (which, the doctor told me, is the only way to truly get rid of the pain) because I heard that only about 50% of people are helped and it's not guaranteed. Well, cliched as this is, nothing in life is guaranteed...except death and taxes...ha! and I've learned that lesson at least twice over. Well, the death part anyway...I've only had to pay taxes for 5 years...at most.

Anyway, as long as my insurance covers enough of it (which it appears that they cover ALL of it--there HAS to be a catch somewhere. I'm such an optimist), I can go ahead and schedule the procedure!! Whoo Hoo!!

The doc told me that it's a success 95% of the time, 1-2% possibility of needing surgery again, and I won't need rehab. Sounds like a winner to me!

The major downside (to me--there always has to be one) is that I'm afraid of losing my disability status. I admit, that sounds weird (and almost psychotic), but I've been living under the term 'disabled' since I was 8. I've gotten used to it. I get treated differently (in a lot of cases--better). I (well, the person who's driving me) get better parking. People are kinder and nicer. I guess it all comes down to feeling like I won't be 'special' anymore. But I'm still special to God. Why doesn't that seem to matter?

I need a reality check...having excuses for not having to do things isn't good. And liking that I have an excuse...well, that's not normal; it's kinda sick...sad too. What I fail to realize, I think, is that a) this surgery is on my back; not my nervous system. This isn't going to 'cure' me and b) being is less to no pain means I won't need excuses not to do stuff. Right now, all I can see is pain. I can't imagine a life without it...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

At the brilliant suggestion of a friend from church (props to you, DeNeal!!), I've decided to re-enter the blogging world. My life has (in my mind) taken a tumble, and I can't seem to wrap my poor brain around the changes in my life. Granted, they aren't that big a deal; but to me they are crushing.

I guess the main 'problem' (and I use the term loosely) going on right now is my disability. I really can't complain, but I’ve been in a lot more pain recently and it’s getting harder to just accept it and move on. Some days, it’s a toss-up as to whether I’ll be able to get out of bed.

The inability to do things is the hardest, I think. The other day, I washed my new sheets and mattress pad, and when it came time to get them out of the dryer, I had this overwhelming fatigue in my whole body and was barely able to do it. I cried for about 20 minutes because I couldn’t make my own bed. Of course, I only succeeded in making matters worse. But I hate that tiredness. I feel so ridiculous…I walk from my room to the kitchen, and I have to rest. I’ve found that sometimes, getting a bowl of cereal (even just thinking about it) makes me so tired. And it’s not just my legs…it goes through my arms…I even have trouble holding my head up. Gah!!!

Then there’s the pain. I have a multitude of issues going on in my back, the worst of which (as of right now anyway) is sciatica. And it’s not just my back…no, siree. That would be too easy. I have a pain radiating down my right leg. The only way to describe it is a pulled hamstring that never gets any better. The whole thing is a catch 22. Gotta love that! The way to keep my legs/back from getting stiff is to move around, but moving around is painful and difficult. What’s a girl to do?

Since I live with a dog (literally), it is my responsibility to let him out during the day. I do this 3-4 times each day, and it has evolved into a routine. Also, it is 3 or 4 times I have to get out of my bed…and, while I’m up, I’ll eat…(and possibly do laundry, clean my room, etc…) unless I am fatigued or sitting upright is too much for me to deal with. Since my nutritional intake is horrid, I drink a Boost drink everyday…which might end up being a meal.

Where does God fit into all of this? Well, lately I’ve been asking why. Why am I in this pain? Why can’t I do anything? Why bother being alive? I can’t possibly do any good lying here, hurting. Maybe that’s where my writing comes in. It’s how I reach people.

The bigger thing to realize is that it’s not about me…

Friday, January 14, 2011

Catching Up

So...

My computer died right before Thanksgiving. I lost all my files and music. My grandmother replaced the hard drive (not herself, but paid for it) and gave me back a usable laptop as part of my Christmas present. After being computerless for about a month, that makes a happy girl!

I didn't get my stuff back, but it's good. I can feel that I'm moving on; not lamenting for my files (as much). It is still hard; I'm not exactly upset or sad...just regretful. Like, 'oh, I wish I could work on that story' or 'I used to have that CD and now I have to pay for it.'

As it turns out, iTunes was able to restore some (most) of my purchased music. Wahoo!!! And now I'm being a lot more discriminating on what I actually want to pay for and have on my computer and iPod.

The Bible study is in limbo at this moment. It's been a week or two, and to be honest, I'm not sure when I'll get back to it. Funny how ever since I got my computer back, my time with God has all but disappeared. Hmmm...hope He doesn't take it away again. I need to make more of an effort.

I was planning, at one point, to post my daily readings/thoughts on my blog...maybe I need to do that. I'm such a baby sometimes; accountability is the only way to get me to do things...