Day 21: May 7, 2018 – I AM KICKING ASS!
1. Didn’t sleep again. My puppy is allergic to grass, so she itched most of the night and I am still trying to figure out how to sleep comfortably. Left side? Right side? Back? New pillow? Old pillow? Wedge? I’ll figure it out. It’s usually all of those! I’m exhausted today.
2. Worked! That was awesome! I talked to my boss, who makes me laugh and he doesn’t know it, but, made me feel valued. That’s important during a phase of life, such as this. I am FORTUNATE to have a team of coworkers and boss who show me I’m valued. Thank you to them!
3. One of my friends, Matt, sent me a Daily Lift and it was…well…uplifting. It wasn’t just because of what he sent, but that he took the time to send it. Him sending me the posting reminded me of how I feel about the world. I’ve always been kind of weak physically, but, I’ve always been strong of mind. Not perfect, but, my spirit has always been stronger than my physical self. I will continue to feel blessed that my body is still here at all. The universe has had several occasions to take me, and hasn’t, so with this new info and healing body, I will feed it better, exercise it better and treat it with the love and protection it deserves, no matter how hard or how long it takes me. I have already begun. Google, family and doctors are helping me travel through this new chapter in my life. Strong mind. Stronger body. I will never stop learning about the world, human nature and myself.
4. As I’ve said in past posts, some of the necessary changes are no brainers. Some seem hard, but it it means better health, the struggle will seem easier. I know that I’ll be asked to stop drinking coffee, which means no caffeine. That will be hard, BUT, if caffeine will hurt me in the long run, then I have to listen to my body. There are things we do to our bodies and we don’t know it’s harmful for 10-20 years sometimes. When we’re young, we know and don’t care. But, it’s time to listen. I wish there was a way to get through to young people. I wish I would have listened. I am now.
5. Talk to your parents. Find out what your genetics carry, so you can define your self care based on your family history. It’s vital for your health and the health of your children and their children. So, this is 2 fold. If you’re a parent and you got some “stuff” in your genes, tell your kids! If you don’t know enough answers on those questionnaires you fill out at the doctor, ask both your mother and father and siblings. If you have adoption in your blood line, YOU have to make sure your children know all your issues. My Father was adopted and Jacob and Judy’s Dad was adopted, so it’s my role and duty to make sure Jacob and Judy have all the possible info on my side. Write it down for them by family member and issue. There is a kit now that gives you some health markers. I always said I didn’t want to do that, but, I’m thinking it’s a good idea. I think Jacob and Judy should do it, also. We simply don’t have all the info. I know a lot about my health, but it’s only what I know and what I’ve been through.
6. Just in the last year-ish, Mom, started opening up about her health stuff. It’s been nice. Since she almost passed back in 2016, she’s more open about her past health and she’s a super hero to me because she has really gone above and beyond to get healthy again. I’m so proud of her and I want her to be proud of me, too!
7. BIG NEWS: the doctor called today and my bone density scan shows full blown, advanced osteoporosis in my spine and osteopenia in my hips. I’m 45. It is incredibly rare for women of my age to have advanced osteoporosis of any kind. But, I have it. How do I feel? Overwhelmed. Sad. Thankful I have an answer I could have had 20 years ago, had a doctor thought outside the box. I’m a lot scared, but I have plenty of people around me who believe in my strength and my ability to show up for my health. I believe in me, too, but it’s nice to have my village on board helping and cheering me on! I’m thankful I had already started my path to better health.
8. Osteoporosis can’t be cured. Now, I’m in the position of doing a ton of research, finding out what’s healthy for my body and what will continue to help me stay healthy far into my life. I have the body of an elderly woman. How will I feel when I’m actually 70? Who knows! One day at a time! All I know is that I’m going to do whatever I can and be as positive as I can be. It’s not going to happen overnight. Mom has already given me a lot of info, along with the young women who have been diagnosed. I’m starting the bone strengthening process. It typically takes a year of bone strengthening to see if the disease has had any positive effect.
9. Tomorrow, I’ll hear from my doctor the names of 2 docs who specialize in advanced osteoporosis and osteopenia. One will be an endocrinologist and one will be a rheumatologist. I asked if one is known for specializing in diabetes and one in rheumatoid arthritis, where does osteoporosis fit? She said both specialties cover osteoporosis. I asked how the treatments will differ and she said they wouldn’t. I guess we’ll see. I have no doubt my village will weigh in. Doc said it can take months to get in. My doc did say that I’ll be the youngest patient there. Not sure if she was trying to make me feel feel better or lighten the seriousness. I appreciated her effort. Maybe because I’m 45, they’ll get me in sooner. I can hope! She’s contacting them today.
10. I’ve found a few women who have it, but, it’s rare and, as my doc put it, I’ve got the body of 65 to 70 year old in my bones. Organs are healthier than most 45 year olds. Mom was 55 when she was diagnosed with osteoporosis. It wasn’t advanced like mine, but, that’s young, nonetheless. Since she’s into natural ways to keep healthy, I’ll be combining that with modern medicine options. I will start taking supplements this week, based on my research, talking to other doctors already and Mom. Who knew we’d get to journey together with osteoporosis. But, silver lining!
11. ALSO BIG NEWS: Due to the diagnosis of advanced osteoporosis, I am not allowed to drive until May 18th, and I have to wear the neck brace in public and in cars AND I can’t go back to work part time until next week. So, I’ll be in the office part time and home part time. I still can’t drive next week, but, I’ll find a way TO GET there! I AM SO READY MENTALLY TO GO BACK TO WORK! Early mornings are tough because of the pain, so I have to figure out the best timing to be at the office. I’m excited.
12. I cried when I was told I had advanced osteoporosis and that I couldn’t drive until May 18th. I have to be honest about my feelings or this isn’t genuine. I’ve been through some pretty extensive issues lately. It’s ok to be overwhelmed. I am.
13. Kayla came over and just chatted with me today. It was nice having her come over.
14. Jamie came home for lunch to check on me, which was also nice. It always makes me feel happy when he comes home to me with me.
15. One of my homeowners let me know he was happy I’m back. That made my heart happy. I feel good I am back, even tho, I’m at home.
16. I have a plan to go back to work and that means structure and goals outside the house. Yay!
17. My home PT comes tomorrow and I’m looking forward to continuing the journey to healing.
18. I know that even when I go back to work, I’m not magically healed, but, it’s just the continued path to healing and strength. I am going to try and be realistic about it.
19. I still can’t swallow, talk well, burp, laugh or sing and I’m still choking. It’ll get better! The singing makes me sad because it’s always brought me peace. I tried to eat fried fish. Nope. I was able to eat some mashed potatoes, green beans and…. strawberry shortcake. Hmmmmm. What do think my fave thing was? BUT, I can turn my head to the left and right better than I could yesterday!
20. Brushing my teeth still hurts, but it’s part of my exercises. Washing my face requires a wash cloth. I can’t put my head down very well yet. All of the hygiene activities are getting easier!!
21. The front where my incision is located is numb. Same with the back. I wish the muscles were numb in the back. No dice. That will get better, too. That’s where the bulk of the pain comes from. That’s what happens when they literally have to tear your muscles to get to the back of your cervical spine. Now for more fusing healing, which will take longer because of the osteoporosis.
22. Jamie says I’m kicking ASS! He’s with me every day, so I believe him. I will be going back to work 2 weeks before the doctors predicted.
23. Mom called and that always makes me feel good. I love her and am so thankful I am not doing this without her!
24. I got to talk to a friend who I haven’t talked to in some time. I need to better about reaching out to those who have impacted my life.
25. Judy lost some high school mates in the last week. Please keep her and her friends families in your thoughts and prayers.
THANK YOU to those who helped me in some way today! Jamie, Kayla, Mom, Robin, Matt, Wes, Andrew, Dori, Judy, Les (you can bring me a shake soon), Bella (she’s funny and makes me laugh). Sandie, Meghan, Zoltan, Kevin, Deea (you’re just cool and I think of your encouraging words when you send them my way), Leon.
Photos of my incisions!