Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Update

Sorry, folks. Blogging has been the least vital issue in my life for the past few months. Between hospital stays and rehab centers, I just haven't been home enough to be consistent. I apologize for that and wish it were not the case. I know the good Lord has a plan for me (and I often wish he would clue me in!). But there is clearly a reason I have stayed alive through all my ordeals and, thankfully, live for another day.

You see, in the past 13 years (since September 2000), I have (in order) had:

Lower back discectomy (failed)
Lower back spinal fusion surgery
Developed osteoarthritis in my back (continues to get worse)
Massive heart attack
Quintuple heart bypass surgery (failed)
Stroke (somewhat minor and mostly reversed after a number of years)
Heart transplant
Heart valve leak and repair
Intestinal hernia and repair
Humeral rejection of the heart (which led to kidney failure)
End-stage Renal failure (now on dialysis)
Another herniated disk, along with numerous nerve compressions
Gout (severe)
Migraine headaches
Diverticulitis
Abscessed dissected colon/Ostomy placement
Ostomy reversal (failed)
Infection from incision site

Because of all of this, I have spent 6 total months in either a hospital bed, or in a nursing/rehab facility. At this point, walking without assistance (a cane) is not generally possible and maneuvering up and down the stairs is a daunting task. I can walk for short periods of time, but am often left in pain or stiffness very soon after starting.

The good news is again that I've survived these and am still around to bitch and moan about it. However, the other side of the coin leaves me pessimistic about my future. The pain from my back and legs are not getting any better and because there are so many "hot spots" in my back, more surgery really isn't an option.

Instead, I take some pretty heavy duty narcotics (Dilauded and Norco, plus I wear a Fentonyl patch). Also, I take muscle relaxers daily just to be able to get up and around. To be honest, I don't know how long my body can take the abuse from all my drugs that I take (for pain AND for my heart) and I fear spending the rest of my life confined to a wheelchair. But I also don't know how much my brain can accept the constant physical pain I'm subjected to.

For now, I take it one day at a time. I hope tomorrow brings relief and actually look forward to the sedation they are going to give me before my flexible sigmoidoscopy (sort of like a colonoscopy without the prep) tomorrow. The drugs they gave me to sedate me takes away whatever pain I'm feeling - even for just the 30 minute procedure. In the hospital, when I'm recovering from surgery, I am given Dilauded thru an IV. While not as long-lasting as the oral form, the IV push works better initially and takes away a great deal of the pain quickly.

Thank you for your patience and hopefully all of this will be past me and I can get back to a regular writing schedule.

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