Sunday, November 4, 2012

My Fun Weekend

I want to preface this post by saying that my blogging about my daily life since my accident will not always by happy or cheery.  I suffer daily with challenges, and don't think it helps me or anyone else to try to hide that or paint a pretty picture over it.  I also don't think it's positive to dwell on the negative.  So, with that said, I am going to try to find a healthy balance between complaining and being overly positive.  Let's just say that I'm going to be honest.  Here goes.

This weekend was a tough one for me.  It seems like I'm in a cycle where I experience several good days followed by about 2 bad days.  Friday and Saturday were basically my bad days.  I was overly tired from lack of sleep and my body just seemed to ache everywhere.  On top of that, I had major bladder control issues and experienced lots of Autonomic Dysreflexia (AD).  If you're not familiar with AD, it's basically a warning system that people with spinal cord injuries develop.  For example, if I had an ingrown toenail I would be unable to sense any pain, so my body finds other ways to tell my brain that there's trouble down south.  These signals manifest as high blood pressure, headaches, muscle spasms, among others. My body unfortunately is very sensitive to my bladder.  If my bladder is full of more than about 200 mL (2.7 ounces) of fluid (less than half its capacity) I start experiencing AD.  My blood pressure jumps to about 165/90, and I experience horrible chest pains.  The problem is usually resolved if I empty my bladder.  So this whole weekend, I basically felt like I was going to have a heart attack.  Fun, fun!

Another fun thing I deal with is uncontrolled muscle spasms.  This is another joy that people with spinal cord injuries deal with.  Basically, the parts of my body I can't feel, i.e. my legs and abdomen, contract and spasms randomly or in response to discomfort.  Fortunately my spasms aren't too bad and don't cause too many problems except at night.  When I'm trying to sleep, my legs will start jerking and spasming at random.  The problem can only be resolved if I change positions (not an easy task).  This makes trying to get comfortable and sleep very difficult.

The last thing that has been driving me crazy this weekend is my shoulders.  My my rotator cuffs are extremely inflamed and irritated from overuse.  I use my shoulders excessively every day to push my wheelchair and transfer around. This has caused them to be very sore.  The solution to the problem is to strengthen my shoulder muscles, but I can't do that until they heal from where they're at which is taking FOREVER!

OK, it's late, and I've complained plenty.  Consider this post an insight into the world of a paraplegic.  Good times.  I will try to focus my next post on the wonderful things in my life because there are plenty.  Good night.


Anonymous said...

I appreciate this candor and honesty so much. Truth is we all have days we struggle through... though I'm rethinking what I have previously thought was difficult after humbly reading what you deal with.
Sometimes people of our faith--and by people I primarily mean women!--feel like we have to only express the most positive things and put on a happy face. While we often do feel that way because our faith brings us joy... we also are human and struggle and life... is hard. For everyone. So we all have pain and sad times.
Thank you for being so brave to share some of the hard times you go through as you fight this battle to regain your ability to walk.
You are in my constant prayers and
we'll add you to our fasts.
We haven't met, but I love your mother in law and your sisters in law and your husband! I hope you are finding joy in this difficult part of your journey.
You are a BEAUTIFUL, strong Daughter of God!

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Maggie Malone said...

It's okay to be honest and real about your experiences. It's better for us to let it all out, instead of trying to maintain a pretense of everything still being the same when we know it's not. To accept the reality of the situation and to know when to seek for help from others. It calls for us a different kind of courage, and I think you have already demonstrated that with your honest sentiments about what you are experiencing right now. Good luck on your future surgery, and to all the legal proceedings that will be necessary to deal with afterward. I hope your personal injury claims will be met, and you will emerge this a better and stronger person.

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