Howdy, Folks! This is my first post from my new website. I’m in the process of moving everything from Facebook to the site. I will be writing my blog posts from MentallyUnique.com from now on, and not Facebook. The blogs will be shared to Facebook and Twitter from the site, and you’re also welcome to share! I would love for you to follow my blog at MentallyUnique.com. I hope this site will turn into a place of fellowship, resources and unity. I will share websites, phone numbers, local resources in Austin, and guest bloggers to share their information and stories. While I’m just starting out, I’m passionate about helping others. If you feel out of place or are recovering from anything at all (drugs, alcohol, attempted suicide, major surgeries – ANYTHING), feel lost, alone or want to find like people, THIS IS THE PLACE TO BE. If you’ve got family members who struggle from different forms of mental differences, or have suffered a trauma, or are lost, and so on, and you want to help them, this is the place to be. If there’s nothing wrong in your world, but you want to share your story, then you’re also welcome! Go to the Welcome In page to learn more about me, or feel free to send me a message via the website.
They say – whoever they are – the experts – that a new look will make you feel better? THEY are correct. I was feeling like I had major surgery, and so I wanted a change! WAIT – I did. 55 days ago, I had major neck surgery. Prior to my surgery, I cut my hair shorter so that the surgery would be smoother. 55 days later, my hair was blah, and it had grown to a point of frizzy blah. You all know what I mean. I lost a lot of hair after the surgery, and the surgeon had to shave some hair off the back of my head. I just needed to feel like me again, and not a patient. Today was a step in that direction. I cut my hair shorter and got it highlighted. I worried I wouldn’t be able to lean back to get the color washed out, but when I got there, Irene, my stylist, and I made sure I had all the right tools. If you’re nervous you may not be able to do something nice for yourself, such as a hair appointment, talk to your stylist. They will let you know if they’re comfortable, and if they’re good, they’ll make sure you’re comfortable. Irene @ Ulta in South Austin is really amazing! She’s been my stylist for a couple years now. If you live in Austin, and you’re looking for a stylist, contact me and I’ll give you her number! The fact that I can say I was able to get my hair cut and dyed is just amazing! This is progress! MAJOR PROGRESS!
I still can’t eat beef, chicken or pork and I struggle to swallow hard foods, but it’s getting easier. I thought I might have to go see a throat specialist, but I’m happy to report I don’t. My vocal cords are healing nicely. It looks like it will take almost 3 months to heal, as predicted by my surgeon. Imagine that! But, I trust him, and so far, he’s been right on. He specializes in complicated surgeries, such as mine. For those of you who are new to my story, I underwent major neck surgery. See photos below. I had to get hardware that spans from C3-T1. Previously, I had a fusion from C5-C7, which failed.
My surgery lasted 7.5 hours and I spent 6 days in the hospital, which led me to start writing a blog on Facebook. I did this so I could stay sane, and keep my emotions in check. In doing that, my blog spread to all areas of thought. So, I hope you enjoy!
I still hurt a bit when I brush my teeth, but if I’m using my electric toothbrush, then it’s OK. I bought some microfiber hair drying towels because I can’t use regular towels anymore. It’s too heavy on my head and I can’t bend down to put the towel on my head. These are great. See the link, if you’re interested! They come in a 4-pack, and they’re reasonably priced!
I still haven’t found a good neck pillow, so if any of you have suggestions, please let me know. I’m desperate!
I am still struggling to shave my legs, and other areas, so I purchased some personal shavers. Once I try those, I’ll review, and post, if worth it! I haven’t tried them yet, because it hurts, and I’m simply waiting until it’s so bad, I can’t deal with it anymore! It’s not super painful for me to shave my armpits, so I’m not completely gross, but if you’ve had major surgery, then you understand that it takes time to get back to normal.
AS of Friday, I am off the Dilaudid, and only on Tramadol. I’m on a low dosage of the Tramadol. I feel incredibly ACCOMPLISHED having gotten off Dilaudid. That’s a heavy-duty narcotic, and staying on it long-term just isn’t smart. I’ve talked about my years of pain pills intake, and while I was able to get off, being on narcotics is dangerous, and changes a person’s personality. BUT, I’ll be posting that post here soon.
I will finally be able to go back to work after being out all last week with some crazy flu virus. I was thinking about the fact that I hadn’t been that sick since 2004 – right after my 2nd neck surgery, and then I went further back in history and realized I was hospitalized a few months after my back surgery in 1999. You’d think I would remember all of this, but it comes back in waves! ANOTHER reason to get off the narcotics. It just erased memories, and events. Anyway, I’m signing off for the night, and look forward to talking with all of you again tomorrow! If there is something specific you’d like to see or talk about or learn about, please let me know. I’m always happy to learn or provide information, too!
Remember – this is a place where survivors can dream!