Not 100%

•August 21, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Last Saturday, my wife asked my hand therapist if she expected a total recovery for my thumb/hand. I was dreading the answer, as I was very afraid that my feelings about it would become the truth.

Care Bears

And she answered. She explained her answer. And it hit me in the feels…

As the answer was what I was I was expecting, unfortunately. No, she does not expect the thumb to recover fully to the way it was… A part of it is still too stiff and painful, and she expects that I will be able to recover totally from the pain (I would never dare to say that to someone with Fibromyalgia…). Of course it would be nice if all the pain I got since the surgery would kindly frak off and leave me alone. But I would also want to have all mobility back. As I love to game and to try to play some guitar. Both things I need a functional thumb/hand for. I’ve already given up on several hobbies ever since the Fibromyalgia took over my health and body. I don’t wanna give up any more.

This news made me sad, of course. And it had a bigger impact on me afterwards. As I really cramped up in my sleep last night and my stomach is making me feel even more miserable. Plus the constant thinking about it, mulling it over, trying to find peace with a less than 100% recovery.

I’ve followed all the rules, I’ve even bought some play-doh to practice (that stuff smells by the way), and still my recovery is letting me down…

The pain, though it’s less than before, is still around 24/7. The muscle aches that come with it are almost worse, as they cause spasms at times (mostly at night) which makes the area of surgery hurt more… I thought I would recover, I thought the pain would not be this bad. Why am I so often wrong? And it’s almost never in a positive way. I want to try to stay positive, but this bites and hurts and pushes me back to the ledge.

The ledge I’ve been fighting to keep off. The ledge my dark monster, or my dark passenger, wishes I was on most of the time. Then it has the most power over me. I don’t wanna be on that ledge, but the simplest things make me so tired. This stupid thumb/hand/muscle situation is costing me more of my energy than I can “afford” to spend, as I need it to safe guard my so called sanity.

Star Trek: TNG - part of the cast and my wife and I

I will watch some Star Trek before bed time. I just finished the seven series of The Next Generation (I’m re-watching them as I’ve seen them all before and before and… We’ll, I’ve seen them more than once), so I started with Deep Space Nine.

Will do some of my thumb and hand practicing while watching. Better keep that up as it should help me to improve to the best possible situation.

Thanks for your interest! Wishing you a wonderful and positive day. With luv, LW

Care Bear

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Doggy Facebook Page

•August 15, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Owwww I totally forgot to let you all know… Our galls have their own Facebook page now!

We maintain it in English, so most of our friends can follow the stories we post there.

We also post stories about our galls’ friends…

Interested to give them a follow, you say? You’d like to have the link to like them, you think… Well, let me help you!

https://www.facebook.com/arwenjennylabs/

There you go!

Thanks for your interest and have a wagging tail good day!

Slowly, painfully, but still…

•August 15, 2017 • Leave a Comment

… I tried to play a bit on the Playstation 3 and 4, not the heavy clicking games, but Bioshock and Ratchet & Clank (the original first one) on PS3 and Diablo3 on PS4, yesterday.

Ratchet & Clank, Playstation 3, original first game

It had really been a while since I could last hold a controller. Having your thumb, hand, wrist and arm in a cast isn’t really good if you’re a gamer, even if you’re a bad gamer like me ๐Ÿ˜Š. I had practiced a bit with the PS4 controller, as it’s a bit larger and easier to hold (plus I have a Hama set, a cover and grips, making it even better to handle for me). I could use the stick and after a while also reaching the 4 arrow buttons.

Bioshock gif image

So I finally decided I wanted to give it a try. It worked! It was painful, had to take some rests in between due to upcoming muscle aches in my wrist and arm. But I played a bit, died a lot and in the end I got a zone of Ratchet done as good as I could.

Bioshock: the collection, Prima info book

After many deaths I wanted to try Bioshock. I had seen my wife playing it, she played it for me as I was so curious and could not play myself back then. And I was happy to have watched and read the book with tips a bit. So I created a new game and there I went. I was clumsy with the controls, Ratchet was a tad easier to handle, but I did manage to get around a bit. I didn’t die and some of those nasties did… *evil grin*

Bioshock, first part, on the Playstation 3

But after a while I had to give up. The muscle aches were getting too painful. Wish they would make a controller ๐ŸŽฎ like the PS4 had, but then to connect for the 3. Even though many people say it’s outdated, we put in a bigger HD and still enjoy many games on it. Some games we got for the 4 as well, but most games we have either for the 3 or 4. I love playing LEGO games with my wife. We have several. I sometimes play them alone, but my jumping sucks, so together with my wife, I get further in the games more easily.

6 LEGO games, 3 for the PS3 and 3 for the PS4

I would not mind having more of the LEGO games, but I have to check when they’re in sale, otherwise they are too expensive for me to buy, unfortunately. We have two downloaded PS4 LEGO games, bought in the PS store, Batman ๐Ÿฆ‡ and Harry โšก Potter. Ah well, I have them in wish lists and keep checking. Mostly I buy them on the UK Amazon site, as they tend to have good deals!

In the evening I tried to play my favorite Playstation game, I also live it on Pc, but Playstation controls feel better than the mouse, Diablo3. I got the Necromancer pack when it came out and… Could not play it due to the cast… Grumble…

Loading screen of Diablo 3, Reaper of Souls

I decided to make a seasonal Necromancer. I already got some seasonal stuff done on the PC, made a Demon Hunter there as everyone was already playing Necromancer. But as I didn’t have a Necromancer on Playstation 4, yeah let’s give it a go. I started with some storyline, but as you need to achieve stuff from the Adventure line, I switched after a while to start on that. I got to level 24 and then the muscle aches were too painful to handle…

But I am very happy that I got this form of “entertainment” back, as I live to play and at times, it’s the only thing my body allows. When I was in the cast, all I could do was watch DVD ๐Ÿ“€ or Blu-ray or switch to Netflix. But it’s all passive, so it doesn’t give the same satisfaction as gaming does.

Diablo 3 gif image of logo

So, now I’m writing while watching the third movie of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, of course extended and on Blu-ray (I have many, many versions, as I am a collector and I love these movies).

DVD and Bluray collection of Tolkien movies

Gonna make some food soon, eat it of course and then… Hopefully level my Necromancer some more. Hoping to achieve some of the seasonal parts to receive nice gifts.

I’ll of course keep you posted on my recovery and rehabilitation of the thumb. I’ll try to post regularly here, as I feel I neglected you too long (but unfortunately that’s how it seems to go with me, post, post a lot, drop off the face of the earth ๐ŸŒŽ and then slowly crawl back).

Fankoo for your interest and I hope you’ll have an awesome day! If there are any Playstation games you’d like to recommend, drop me a line in the comments please! ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜€

Timmy, Shaun the Sheep

Blegh.

•August 10, 2017 • 2 Comments

Been feeling like that for a few days now. Very tired, no energy, broken thermostat (sweating like crazy, shaking under a blanket), bad coordination… Just not really sick/ill but not good either. And I think I dislike this feeling even more than I dislike the chronic pain.

Why? I hear you think… Hmm, good question, lemme see if I can answer it for you.

The pain, even though it can change places, is more or less a constant struggle. They say you get used to it, but that’s not true. You learn to deal with it. But face it, if there was an option to get rid of pain, I guess no one would hesitate to take it.

But even with pain, you can achieve certain goals. But feeling like a washcloth, wet and no strength, it drains you. Lack of coordination gives you more bruises, and can cause more shards (I thought I had a firm grip on it…). Feeling so hot, sweat runs over your body… It doesn’t help you to feel fresh and good about yourself. Feeling cold, even under a blanket, also does not help.

I’d rather be in pain and have some strength, than shake from cold and only be able to lay on the couch. I feel like I’m letting down the galls as I can’t really walk with them. It hurts and I’m scared I will lose my coordination and fall. I’d rather have pain and then be able to at least walk a little bit with the galls. Be able to clean a bit without bruising my legs because I stumble again…. When I feel like this, I feel extra clumsy and useless. And, most of the time, my Tinnitus is more present then as well.

It doesn’t help that my therapist, the one who massages me and helps be keep just a bit flexible. So my muscles are even more tense and sore. Which causes me to need more energy to move… Sigh…

Ah well. The worst thing is, I keep feeling so damned tired. I fall asleep while watching TV, even while gaming at times. I need to force myself to keep awake long enough to let the dogs out before going to bed. Which will be soon, yay. I hope I will be able to sleep and get some energy for tomorrow.

Thanks for your interest! Hope you will have a good day. And sleep well when the time comes.

Practice makes…

•August 10, 2017 • Leave a Comment

…perfect ๐Ÿ‘Œ?

“They” do say that, every once in a while and sometimes several times a day. But does it really make things perfect, or will you merely be getting better to a certain extent? As what can be perfect for me, can be too much, or too little, for someone else. It’s all in the eye of the beholder, “they” say.

Well, I practice a lot lately. You guessed it, the hand and thumb ๐Ÿ‘ coordination and all. Making my fingers move again, making my thumb my own again.

And I can assure you that it still frakking hurts. I still need some extra painkillers to be able to sleep. The muscles in my arm, wrist and hand are so incredibly sore, they hurt me most. Well, that and bending my thumb downwards. I shared a gif file in a previous post and I made a new one just now. I almost drop the phone in the beginning, but can’t redo it cause it hurts too much now. So hope you can forgive the clumsiness.

Gif file of my hand practice, August 10th.

I knew it would be sensitive for a long time. I knew there would be pain. But I was not prepared for this, to be honest. It’s more inconvenient and painful than I had imagined (or maybe also hoped). And the thumb is less useful (now) than I thought it would be.

“Luckily” I’m not a stranger to pain, so I kinda know how to deal with it. But my own physical therapist is enjoying his holiday, so I am missing his sessions a lot! The hand therapist I have, I don’t feel very comfortable with. Might be me, as I have great difficulty connecting with people. But today I’ll ask for another Saturday session so my wife can join and see if it’s me or her… And if it’s not me, I’ll move my hand away from the so called specialist and run towards my own therapist. As I have more faith in him than in her at this moment.

Practice makes perfect. It has also worn me out. So now, I will try to sleep.

Thanks for reading! Have an awesome day and practice what ever you wish to achieve ๐Ÿ˜„

Giving up

•August 6, 2017 • 2 Comments

Sometimes, in order to not give up, you have to give it up…

R2-D2 falling over

It might sound strange, but for me, it’s true. I can really dive into things in ways no NT person I know can do… I have had some hobbies that I enjoyed. They gave me pleasure, energy and even some strength. But…

I had to give some of them up. Maybe some temporarily, at least I hope so… And some I’ll never be able to do again.

I could try to hold on to the latter. But that would only remind me of so called better days. And that won’t make me feel happy. Nope, not at all and on bad days, it could even feed my dark monster, that ever following shade, the dark passenger.

I have cried over giving some of those things up. And yeah, when I see others going at it, it can make me feel jealous.

But I have to let it go. It won’t do me any good to keep holding on to things that were. I need to focus on things I still can do and perhaps even expand them with new things.

So for me, in order to proceed with life, for not feeding the monster, I need to give some things up. By giving them up, I can continue going forward.

That’s my own made quote, not sure if it already exists. But it’s what I kept thinking about, for some reason, and had to share with you all.

Sometimes, in order to not give up, you have to give it up.

Never give up, never surrender

Pain and anger

•August 4, 2017 • 4 Comments

I know anger won’t solve (m)any problems. But when the problems grow too big for me to handle, I do get angry. And most of them have a relationship with pain.

Ever since I slipped and fell in the shower in October last year, my left thumb had been hurting. So much, that I went to the GP. They didn’t trust it, so onwards to the emergency department of the hospital I went for x-rays. They assured me nothing was broken and physical therapy should be the key to resolving my pain. My therapist tried several things, most hurt like hell. I got a brace which isn’t comfortable and doesn’t help me all of the time. As the pain did not leave me, dispite the efforts of the therapist and the support of the brace, my wife called the GP again (after 6 months of lots of pain). I finally got a referral to an orthopedic doctor at the hospital. But, another 4/5 weeks of waiting until the appointment.

I tried what I could in the meantime, but I only felt I could do less and less… So when finally the appointment came, I was very curious to what was causing the pain and discomfort. He checked the old x-rays and saw a dislocation of my thumb… Yes, on the OLD x-ray… So it was there to see 7 months prior… He sent me to make new x-rays to compare them with the old ones. And it showed him that there was onset arthrosis. That was the main cause of the growing discomfort, even with the brace, the taping and exercises my therapist did… And then came the word I had been fearing: surgery.

Of course I wanted the pain to leave, the discomfort to end and my thumb to be usable again. So well, yeah, OK, plan me in for that surgery.

It would take another five weeks until the date of surgery. The pre-op talks I (well, we, as my wife supported me) had a week previous to the surgery were weird. My questions seemed unwanted and their response was not very open. When I told about my intolerance to paracetamol (a sort of painkiller, this is the name it has in the Netherlands) the woman told me without even blinking an eye that my reaction to the medicine was a normal one… Well, in all my years of living with the intolerance (even when it’s an added bit to another painkiller, I get those reactions), no one ever told me that migraine like headaches and throwing up loads were normal reactions towards paracetamol. Nor could Google tell me that, as it seemed that even the largest search engine could not find anything that proved that woman right. On the contrary, paracetamol was often the medicine to use against headaches (as I already was aware of)… So when the surgery date neared, I had mixed feelings. But I wanted the pain to end, I wanted most of the functionality of my thumb back.

As the hospital provided me with no information on paper whatsoever, I again had turned to Google. There I found information on the surgery and the recovery afterwards. Several sites mentioned a recovery time of 4-6 months, several others mentioned 6-9 months. So, pessimistic as I can be, have my mind set on a good recovery in nine months time… OK, I’ll be more optimistic and say 4 to 9 months then.

The day came and my wife brought me to the hospital. I had my night bag with me, just in case… The pre-op was very, very painful. The way they shoot your arm full of the numbing drug, that hurts! My wife was not allowed to be there when they did that, but had I known before, I would have begged for her to be allowed during that… It hurt so much, it made me a bit scared for the surgery itself. But I tried to be a happy camper and did the best I could. When my arm finally went numb… I had to pee… I went before I got my bed, around 8:50 and it was now around 11:20. They tried a bed pan thing, but I already told them I couldn’t use it due to my pelvis after all those triple osteotomy surgeries. But they had to try so I endured the pain and they saw it indeed did not work. They got me a pee stool thingie and with help, I got on and it felt like a huge relief. Half an hour later, they send me to the OR.

I got a sleeping help thingie so I’d be out during the cutting and all. When I started to come around, they were just about to sow me up. Then some plaster around it to make a heavy cast. When all was done, I had to get on my bed again and they wheeled me to the recovery room. It didn’t take me long to be well enough to get back to the room. So the nurse called for me to be picked up. And I waited… In the meantime, a man got wheeled I the area next to me and damn, he was giving me a headache. It was an asylum seeker who spoke absolutely no Dutch nor English and kept yelling stuff… Staff could not get any decent answers and even joked abiut sedating him some more cause of the noise he was making… I then asked a nurse if a, she knew when I would be picked up and b, if there was no translator around… Seeing that he should have consented with the surgery, so someone should have translated it… She quickly called again for me and then indeed if there was a relative or support for that man. He was so incredibly loud…

After about 30 minutes after the first call, and 20 minutes with that loud dude, I finally got picked up. That nurse asked me if I wanted some food, yes please, and I asked if she could call the wife to come pick me up. She acknowledged it and went off. Came back with food, so I ate while waiting. When she came again to pick up the plate (about 20 minutes later) I asked if she got hold of my wife. She hadn’t even called yet… Sigh…

When I finally got picked up by the wife, I could get into my own clothes. Then pick up the painkillers and head home. I felt OK, a bit sleepy, but the meds were still working. My left arm was so not mine, I tried to put on another shirt at home, and I hit my own head with the heavy cast. I thought I was holding my arm up…

The next few weeks were hard. Surgery was in Thursday, on Saturday (after my wife made several calls to hospitals), we spent over 4 hours in the ER to get me a new cast. My hand was so swollen, I thought it would burst. And I held my hand high, cooled it, tried to move my fingers, I did everything I needed to do and still my had became a balloon. But it took them four hours to cut the cast and give me a new one. When the first one was cut open, I felt like I was gonna faint. The room started to spin, I started to sweat, I immediately said I didn’t feel well. Wife remarked that I was as pale as a white sheet. So within a minute, I was on the bed instead of next to it. So much pain, holding on, being strong… I was so happy, because within an hour I already felt and saw a difference in my hand. I was angry that I had to wait for 4 hours while I said I was in a lot of pain and it was clearly visible. That next week became, like I predicted, the hottest one we had so far this year (I was joking beforehand to my wife that it would be my luck to be in a cast during the warmest week of the year…). The people who gave me the new cast weren’t the best… I already noticed at the ER, but the bandage that they wrapped around the plaster was getting loose quickly. And when my arm started to lose some fluids as well, it felt like my stitches were stuck in the cast. It hurt every time the cast moved a bit and I can tell you, that happens a lot! So when I could get the new cast, a plastic one, no more plaster, I was very happy. Getting the stitches out of my arm was another painful adventure. And then I got the new cast, whoop it was bright yellow and lighter and I loved it. Well, as much as you can love a cast I guess. It after a few days, my wrist kept hurting more than it had done before. I felt a pressure around the wound and it drove me insane. So wife called hospital again and we could come back that same week. And indeed, there were deep pressure points around the wound and someone with sensitive skin like me, that hurts. Soooooo another cast and this one stayed until the end…

Lots of sleepless nights, lots of pain and even oxycodone to help me through the night. I even took zoplicon to help me sleep as I was driving myself insane. I could not function and I thought removing the cast would make it all better. Especially since we were about 5 weeks since surgery day and with all that rest I had in that cast… By the way, the hand looked so awful when the cast came off, wow… Dreadful. So when I got home, I started treating my hand. Slowly peeling off old skin and then using moisturizing stuffs to get the skin more soft and flexible. But the hand, it felt like it wasn’t mine. And the thumb itself… Still feels like it isn’t mine, even now, 7 weeks later. Probably some nerves have been damaged, which makes physical thumb therapy even more painful. When I (or my wife/therapist) do the bending practice, I feel like they (or even I when I do it myself) are trying to break my thumb.

I keep doing my exercises, keep trying to use the hand as much as I can. The thumb is still a bit swollen, so movement might be good for the fluid drainage.

When the pain gets too bad, I get angry again. Angry because if the people at the hospital who looked at the xray last year October had looked closely, they would have seen the dislocated thumb and referred me to take the right actions. And not just send me home, get some therapy and keep using it. Because all that usage is what caused the arthrosis, which got me into this surgery in June… It could most likely all have been prevented and saved me so much pain (and probably money as well, haven’t gotten the bill yet). When I saw the xray, even I could clearly see the dislocation, without knowing about it, with an untrained eye. They must have seen it and just said “it’s not broken, keep using it as much as you can and get some therapy”. That indeed makes me angry.

I am also, at times, angry with myself. If I had been more careful, I might not have slipped… Also angry that I need so much more help with things I could normally do myself. I already have given up so many things, both fun and also necessary ones like jobs around the house. I really hoped I could start doing them once the cast was removed. As I have gotten no information from the hospital (another thing I’m still angry about), I thought I would need therapy to regain strength in my hand. Not that my thumb would barely be able to move and when it does, it makes me wanna cry.

I know for sure that both hospitals with that name, been to the other location for my hip back in 2006, will never have me as a patient again. Hip surgery had many issues and mistakes and now again… Like waiting 4 hours for a cast… When my wife called they first wanted to give me more painkillers. My hand was like a balloon. All websites say that when that happens and the high holding/cooling and all doesn’t help, you need to get to the ER asap… So much frustration, so many mistakes.

So, I’m now gonna try to add some images to this post and the finally post it. It took me several hours to type… But at least I got it all out.

If you made it all to the end, thanks for reading, thank you very much. Comments, questions, kind words… All are welcome in the comments area. Have an awesome day and thanks for caring enough to read all my babbling.

 
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