Friday, June 6, 2014

Those surgery related injuries to learn from!

One of the thing I heard over and over again at Rehab was "You are here until  we know you can go home and wont kill or injure yourself the second you walk in the door" haha  I wore a "fall risk" bracelet the whole time I was there, and they were very strict on what I could and couldn't do without supervision.  If you read my rehab experience, you know that I didn't only re learn how to walk, but I also cooked (which included using a very sharp knife with double vision haha) and had to prove I could shower myself without falling.   Joy oh Joy!  OH by the way, I learned that you are less likely to cut yourself with a sharp knife than dull one, because you will automatically be more careful with the sharp one and do not need to press hard.

However, unfortunate accident happens. To anybody, anywhere, surgery or not, rehabilitation or not!  The key is to learn from them!   I have injured myself bad enough for a trip to the ER twice in the past year.  Once in July 2013, and last one this past Monday.   Both are totally related to my awkward hands and wrong depth perception  resulting in horrible aim.   This was very severe right after surgery when I led my fork to my nose to eat, and snorted drinks thru my nose instead of my mouth. haha When I drive, I always take a tad longer than the person behind me would hope for.  It does  not matter if I KNOW that the cars are further than I see them, but I will just NOT take a chance!!   Its not that severe that it really makes me sit at a stop forever.  I rarely get impatient people, and I much prefer be safe than sorry.  SO as far as driving, I got this. However, for the "easy" jobs at home, I am not so good. I drop things every day because I think i am setting something down but miss the surface  by an inch.

In July, I "thought" i was putting a bottle of champagne (that I had bought for a
Independence day party the next day) in
the fridge, but I missed the shelf and it landed on my left middle toe.  I drop things on my feet all the time, but my hands are not strong enough to hold anything too heavy so it was never a big deal.  Makes me more mad that I cracked my tile floor than bruised my foot zillions of time.   Back to that bottle, it didn't break, it was intact, but after the initial sharp pain and making sure my bottle was intact, I looked down and saw my foot covered in blood.  I could feel how much pain my toe was in, but didn't realize how bad it was because the blood kept covering how bad it was.   I finally touched my toe and realized the top half was hanging. It had cut my toe in half but horizontally, not vertically.  Jay was in the living room and I was in the kitchen. I just said,  "I need help in here, I cut my toe." I am not a dramatic person. As much as it hurt, I was not crying or panicking, I just kept saying "I cut my toe". He didn't come until I specifically asked him to. haha  We went to the ER and i will never forget that, because I was laughing (at myself) and just limped to the counter and said "I cut my toe". The receptionist looked at me like "and... you are here for a toe cut??"  like I was crazy. I repeated, laughing " I think i cut my toe in half". She looked down and said "Holy Shit!!' and got me back. hahaha  They took care of me right away.  I didn't laugh anymore when they were cleaning it, and especially when they shot numbing medicine in there to numb it. That is just horrible. Jay was laughing at my face and I got mad at him. haha  This happened just 4 days before I was to leave on a road trip to my hometown, 2000 miles away.  Since it was my left foot, I decided that I was NOT going to change my departure date!  I got dissolving stitches for the "inside stitches and about 5 that I was supposed to go back to get removed after 2 weeks.  I wore a boot, learned how to removed stitches, and decided to endure the pain without pain meds so I could drive :) I was told the nail would not grow back since the bottle ripped it off, but it did.  It looks completely normal now. Guess what, it sucked and was painful, but I made it and my toe didnt fall off.

SO, that was my first severe injury.   Since then, I am extra careful when I put something down.  I have been dropping less big things. What I still drop are smaller things, mostly related at my poor fine motor skills.

Fast forward to Monday.  I was starving (just for your information, since its totally irrelevant to my story) teehee!!   and took my sharpest/pointiest  paring knife and cut an avocado in half.  OH wait, here, its the red one, from this IKEA set, and as cheap as they are, they are the bomb. I never use the blue one, it sucks, but the other two ware great!   I held the pit part in my left palm and aimed for the pit with my right.  I usually don't go as hard, but for some
reason, I did... and you guessed it, my perception of depth was off and I stabbed my hand.  Oh wow it was like an electric shock. Almost cool. haha   I knew right away it was bad because my thumb and index finger got numb right away and the pain, oh my!!    I put some pressure on there, wiped out the blood on the counter, went upstairs to tell my mother in law where I was going and just left. I didn't want to wake up Jay. I knew I could drive.  I went to Urgent care this time.  Its cheaper, and as efficient. Plus a great friend of mine works there and I didn't see her in a while so i figured I would catch up. She ended up being the one that cleaned my hand and put a bandage on it once I was all sutured up.    "Come back in 2 days" the Doctor said "So we can access the damage and see if you need to see a hand surgeon".  Urgh!!  I decided right away that my hand WAS going to heal perfectly and was not requiring a hand surgeon. hahaha      The doctor asked me how hight my pain tolerance is and I said "I convince myself than its high".  He laughed and told me "If you change your mind, do not hesitate to call me and I will call you some in"   I didnt want to take strong meds because I had a busy few days ahead, places to go and didnt want to burden Jay with driving when he is busy enough with work.  I have to admit it has been more painful than the toe, but I was so busy, including the set up of my customized workout that night, that time flew. Later that night, I went to stay over with Angelina at my wonderful friend that is moving to Chicago tomorrow.  I would not of missed that date for nothing, even if it was as school night.  We stayed up late drinking wine, had  a great time and wine turns out to be the best pain meds :)    My follow up appointment was yesterday and it is indeed healing great. It is very sore but I will not need to see a specialist. Yay!! From that, I have learned once again, to think before I do that. Such a ordinary action that I have to think about!!    When she saw my hand, the Doctor said "Wow you heal amazingly well!!"    :)  I do know that. :)

You gotta move it! move it!

One of the thing that I was looking forward the most at being able to do again was working out. I have not been able to work out since I was diagnosed, May 2012, so 2 years already! wow time fly!!  

The past year has been focused so much on getting back to a more normal self, taking care of my family and not depending on anybody for anything.  I am forever grateful that I was so blessed to prove my local doctors wrong with their "95% you will be in a nursing home" prognostic!!  Dr. Spetzler has a very long list of people who are doing amazing after trusting him with this surgery! I am far from being alone.  

Back to working out, I did push myself every day, which I believe the body is made for; just gotta really find the balance of how much is enough.  My limits never allowed me to do anything very strenuous, and cardio is what has been super hard for me because as soon as my heart rate rises some, I get very very dizzy and struggle to breathe.  Anyway,  2 weeks ago, I signed up for a YMCA Membership and this Monday, I had a customized workout set in place thru a program called Activtrax  (yes with my injured hand, no way i was going to cancel this appointment)  I did my first workout yesterday and I never felt so empowered, hopeful, somewhat depressed, strong and weak all at the same time before. haha   

I was a bit nervous to see if I could complete the workout, but determined to find out.  This workout is a paper you print out and simply do what machine and cardio it says.  Yesterday was arms work and cardio was up to me, but at least 20 mins, and some core work.   I must of looked funny when I sat down to do my first arm machine and my right arm flew the weight while my left struggle to pull it.   I got up and it is only after 1 mins of scratching my head than i thought "Wait, my left side is THIS much weaker than my right?!!  Yes, that's it!!"   SO here we are, it took me 15 months to notice how much weaker my left side is. Both my hands are weak from surgery, and not very coordinated, and I drop things  ALL the time, but I never did anything to show me how much weaker is my left side.   I also noticed that my right side could feel the burn, but not my left.  I laughed and somewhat enjoy my discovery! Makes me feel in control somehow!   For just a very quick 30 seconds, I felt like crying, because here I was, so excited to finally be there again, yet here was another challenge.  “How am I going to do this now?! “ I thought for a very quick moment.   

My thoughts went very fast in my mind and I wondered how I would be able to work both side equally  when the left side is weaker and number.  This image popped in my mind of my right side being all buff and muscular and my left side all fatty and weak. hahahaha  Made me laugh and I just remembered that even if I didn't feel my aching muscles, it didn't mean my workout are not going to work!! So I made the choice right then to push those depressive thoughts aside and focus on getting my left side stronger!!   I learned so much in Rehabilitation that I feel very confident that I can do this myself.  I have experienced the amazing things the body is capable of doing and healing like i never would've thought possible if i never got thru it.  

SO, I was able to do all of my arm workout.  In the past, I would of felt SO sore from this.  I was able to lift between 10-50 pounds depending on the machine. I used to do a lot more than that, but I am not comparing myself to before anymore. This is now, and I am happy with that. It can only get better.   

I was able to do 60 mins of cardio.  I did the elliptical, and old favorite.  There are handles you can put your hands and it shows your heart rate. Its very helpful for me even if its just an estimate!  I am learning a lot about myself.  I do feel the burn in both legs, so again I discovered that my left arm is the numb one, but my leg left is fine.  Its very nice to discover those things.   The assessment given by doctors don't go as deep as really finding out your limits, like how numb your muscles are. haha

So all this said, I was not sore this morning when I got up.  Believe it or not, I cant wait for the day that I feel sore again. You may think “You crazy!!” hahaha  The thing is, my  legs has not felt human in over 2 years.  I feel like im dragging some robot legs. I just want them to feel more. They do feel pain on the outside, but its like the inside is numb. I did feel the burn while doing my cardio and I was so excited haha  

All this said, I am very excited, so excited!!   I cannot wait to lose the weight I put on, but more than that, I cannot wait to feel, and be strong again!!  I dont care if I fall, pant like a dog, struggle to catch my breathe, fart, pee my pants, rip my pants (you see the picture) I WILL do it!!    

According to my plan, it will take me 17 weeks to reach my goal weight, both with exercise and good nutrition.  I just want to get back into all my clothes and be healthy/fit!