For years I have sworn off posting medical information on this blog. I felt that there were enough medical blogs devoted to different diseases and ailments. I know that sometimes it is good for people to read that “they are not alone”, and that other people have taken or are taking similar journeys. When Allan was sick, I broke my “rule” and did write about many of our experiences. Some was to inform people, much was cathartic. Sometimes, it was to hopefully let people see themselves. One can always say what they will do in a situation, but until you are in that situation, you really don’t know. I didn’t want my blog to be the blog about pancreatic cancer, but Allan and I went on that short journey and I chose to relate some of it. The response from this silly little blog’s readers and my flickr contacts was incredible. Most of you were people that we didn’t know “on this little blue ball”, and some of you that we met “in real life”. You know who you are. When Allan lost that battle, there you were – those people met through my writing, who became friends who stood by me, and hugged me.
I was diagnosed with RA (rheumatoid arthritis) in 2008. I have been fortunate to have some great doctors that I am working with. Between several illnesses and surgeries in the last 20 years, and Allan’s trying to die with dignity, I have more experience navigating medical bureaucracy than I knew was possible.
My shoulder surgery in February was a bit of a surprise. Not the surgery itself, but the fact that it turned into so much more than expected. Once again, I was homebound and had a physical therapist coming to my home. Within three weeks, I was unable to have the physical therapist touch me, the pain was that intense.
For several months I have been on a journey. That journey has been to discover what is causing my pain. I have had every test under the sun, most have ruled something out. None have proved anything specific. My pain is so severe that after my RA drug was changed, I still believed that it wasn’t working. Blood tests have proved me wrong. The Humira IS working. My inflammation levels have dropped. I was so happy that I was wrong. That said, my level of pain remains unchanged. Yes, I have had neurological testing. That was another good thing, because it proved that my pain is not neurological. It also brought the new diagnoses of chronic fatigue (duh) and fibromyalgia.
All I want is to feel better. Good would be great! Like they say, I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. Unfortunately, one of the most painful parts of my body are my fingers and hands. I am trying to start to use Dragon’s voice activated software.
I will continue to try to post more often, I really do miss it. The posts might simply be one of my old post cards and some thoughts. Because, like I’ve said before, I don’t want this to be about my illness.
My Friend, Dannielle Karas Kendall 1959-2012
Danielle was a beautiful lady who absolutely, positively, refused to allow me to take her photo. I had a difficult time locating these few. I was thrilled to meet her and Tony when we became neighbors. We all became fast friends. Danni and I had so many incredible times together. Lots of laughs and the occasional teary times. I have never had the pleasure of friends like Tony and Danni. They welcomed me like family, we introduced all of our friends and relatives to each other. Even our canine and feline “kids” got along and we let them party like rockstar dogs and cats. What a cast of characters! More laughs. We went through the losses of our elderly pets together. More tears.
She was always there to help, and help she did. Danni was the ultimate caregiver. She was my angel, my chauffeur to half a hundred doctors and surgeries. Danni was with me, shaking her head and laughing as I wore a bedpan on my head. Last summer, she was a slave driver, in my room making sure that I did my physical therapy exercises correctly. Thank you, Danni.
I am so honored that Danielle was my friend. I love you and miss you so much.
Thank you to all the veterans and those currently in our armed forces who have helped make this country “The Home of the Brave, and the Land of the Free.” We can complain all we want about politics, but because of our veterans we have the right to do so freely.
Ahhh, yes – here we go again. Memorial Day weekend. Last year was worse. I should be able to get to the cemeteries this year.
So far it promises to be a typical Montana spring. We have had some beautiful days and nights. The farmer in me wants more moisture. I need to get out with a camera that is working properly soon. My Nikon Coolpix went back to Nikon for repairs, and came back still misbehaving. I guess I can use the DSLR or the Pentax, dogs in tow. I saw B.B. King on Monday with friends. It was a great concert. Short, but sweet! Yesterday, I discovered that I scored tickets for the Antiques Road Show for the third year in a row. Looks like a road trip will be in order.
Allan always checked the calendar to see when his birthday would fall on Easter. Wow – this would have been his sixtieth.
And to think that I was last wondering how November got away from me. What has been going on here? Let’s see. Physical therapy, graduating physical therapy, holidays, needing more physical therapy. Losing friends, gaining friends. Punking out on physical therapy. Surgery that turned into more than anyone expected. Home health physical therapy. Okay, enough of this nonsense. Is 2012 going to be the year of finding health or what?
I guess it’s true that time flies, even when you’re not having fun. Not that I haven’t had any fun, but I still have no idea how I lost track of this year. No, I’m not trying to rhyme, sometimes it just happens. My Thanksgiving was good. Peaceful, quiet and plenty to be thankful for.