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Sunday, June 14, 2015

Getting Some Things Out

I seem to come here when I need to vent.

I thought my sciatica issues might be improving, at least a little.  I am pretty sure there will be a surgery of some kind this year (at least one); I just don't know what it will be.  I had kind of gotten to the point in my thinking, since my back doctor said there wasn't much they can do surgically to help me at this point, that it would probably be a knee replacement that I need first (unless I need surgery for the injury that occurred about a month ago on the other knee).  However, the last couple of days I have been on my feet more than usual and the sciatica flared up.  It is quite evident that it is still a big issue.  I am trying to get in to see a neurosurgeon that was recommended to me, but have to get my paperwork in first.  Hopefully that will happen soon.  And hopefully an epidural injection will help me a lot more than I think it will.

 As far as the injury on my right knee a month ago, I don't think we are done there.  It has been swollen and quite sore.  I think there has been some ligament tear or something.  I have a follow-up appointment next week and we will talk about it then.  If there is something there that needs surgery, I would think that would be first.

As far as a knee replacement, I am hopeful I can have a partial knee replacement.  The damage is all on the inside of the knee and there is plenty of space between the bones on the outside.  That is usually the criteria.  Recovery from partial would be so much easier and faster than a full replacement.  It is true that the last injection helped my left knee a lot, but it wore off in about 6 weeks and I can only have one every 3 months, and I think only 3 times a year.  And the injections  tend to weaken tendons and ligaments, which might make me more susceptible to injury.  So I think it might be time to go ahead and get that taken care of, especially since I am so close to meeting my deductible already this year.  It just depends on what happens with the injury on the right knee.  I do know that having them both hurting is making life very difficult.  And the sciatica on top of that is making life miserable.  I just can't keep going like this.  I am near tears more and more, partly from pain and partly from the difficulty of coping with it all.

As far as the pain goes, I am learning that it is important for me to get on top of the pain as early as possible in the day.  Sometimes I tend to think it is better to take as little as possible, but then it makes the day so much harder because I am in too much pain.  If I get on it and get it under control early in the day, it makes the rest of the day go better.  So I need to keep that in mind this week.  I have alarms set to remind me when it is time to take medicine, and before, I would turn off the alarm and still procrastinate about taking the medicine.  Right now, when the alarm goes off, I am like, "Thank God it's time for medicine."  There is no procrastinating.  I guess that tells me something.

I am frustrated with things like the house is a mess and I have to be wise and not overdo so I can function and get to work the next day or on Monday.  For the first time in my life, I actually do not mind cleaning and have found I like having things clean and in order.  But I just don't have the energy to do it right now, nor can I tax my body beyond a certain point lest I make things worse.  I wish the kids would help more, but I haven't been successful in convincing them to help enough.  And I need to learn to be less of a mess.

My daughter and I are thinking about moving.  If it was up to Stephanie, the decision would already be made.  I am finding more pros than cons about moving to the place we are looking at.  The biggest con is that I live less than 5 minutes from my job and that took a LOT of pressure off of me in other ways.  The new place, instead of being a 5-minute walk from my job would be a 5-minute walk to the train station and a 5-minute train ride.  So that is not bad.  It just depends on how smoothly that goes.  My daughter and I are going to go on some practice runs to see how it goes.  Now, here are the pros:

    1. I think the concrete floors where I live are taking their toll.  I think they are adding to or exacerbating my physical problems.  The new place has "hardwood" floors in the main living area, and carpet in the bedrooms.  The carpet worries me a bit because of my dog, but that leads me to the second pro.
    2. It would be much easier to take my dog out to potty in this place.  We would keep the doors to the bedrooms closed up during the day, and my daughter plans to come home during lunch to let him out to potty, and taking him out otherwise will be easier than in this high rise loft where I live on the 16th floor.  This place has its own little dog park where he can not only potty, but he can run around and play and get outside.  He needs that.  And he can do that without me having to walk him if I am not able to.
    3. We would have much better use of space in this place.  It is 100 square feet more, but it is also designed much better.
    4. I would have an absolutely awesome kitchen!!!!  Where I am not just has one line of cabinets where I have about 3 feet of cabinet space between the sink and the stove and very little else.  As much as I cook, it is very frustrating.  The kitchen in this place is huge!  I would have a pantry, LOTS of counter and cabinet space, a side-by-side refrigerator, an island, etc. (see below).  The kitchen itself would almost sell me on it.
    5. Stephanie's room would be a little bigger, which would leave her feeling less claustrophobic.  Mine would be near the same, but to me, would feel much more private than what I have now.
    6. We would have more closet space in this house.  I have a pretty good-sized closet where we are, but the rest of the place is lacking, so when there is nowhere else to put something, it goes in my closet.  Stephanie would have a lot more closet space and there is an entry closet for coats, vacuum cleaner, etc.
    7. It has a nice sized patio that we could actually use with patio furniture, an electric grill or smoker, etc.  Also nice for Cas.
    8. Steph and I would have totally separate bathrooms.  Right now we have two toilet areas and Steph's sink area is in her toilet area, but we share a bathtub/shower in the same area as my toilet sink area.  It's called a Jack and Jill bath, I think.  I would rather have ours separate.  Would also help on the privacy issue.
    9. This apartment complex is actually connected to a Signature Kroger.  So I can walk/ scooter to the grocery store every time I need to.  That means I can buy enough produce for a couple of days and then go get more, so we cut down on spoilage and our refrigerator would stay less full, etc.  It also has a lot of retail/restaurants in the area and is much closer to shopping.  I like that.

I think I have pretty much made up my mind about this except for two things.  We will have to see how smooth my commute is, and it will depend on the price they offer me.  Right now it is slightly more expensive than what I pay now, but they said in the winter the price goes down.  Especially in December, because nobody wants to move in December.  But that is when my lease is up.  It cost as much as $300 less than what they are listing it for right now.  So we will see.  I imagine in the next few days I will test out the commute.  At least on my scooter, I could take the train and be guaranteed of having a seat.  There is a designated place in the center car for handicapped riders.  If I was feeling better, of course, 5 minutes standing up on the train (if it was that crowded) would be no big deal.  If getting from the apartment to the train station goes smoothly enough, I am willing to sacrifice the 5-minute walk for the other plusses about this place.  And if they offer me the right price.  Even then....

My daughter and I have worked out some financial issues between us.  We have agreed on an amount she will be paying me every month to get what she owes me paid back, and after that, she will be paying an agreed-upon rent.  I told her if she pays rent, when we move, then she has the right to get a dog, as long as it is not a huge one (she was wanting a Great Dane !!!).  I would also like to find some assurance that the dog she gets is a calm dog.  Her health still does not leave her in shape to handle a really rough, overly energetic dog.  But her having a dog also would assure her helping take care of mine (if she takes hers out, then she can take mine out).  Of course, there would be times I would have to do both, but not until I feel better.  Anyway, the amount she is paying me now leaves me in better financial shape.

The only other thing I have to say is I got frustrated today and have not eaten like I should.  It was the constant pain and the fact that I am not losing weight no matter how hard I try.  It was sugar, though, and not wheat.  Hopefully the visit to the functional medicine doctor will help get things moving along.

That's it for today.  I just needed to get some things out of me.

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