Thank you all for your patience while I took a break. I was burned out and having a rough time with my mental health. Unfortunately, infertility is still a major part of our lives, but that has needed to be put on hold for a few months because I need to have surgery on my right hip.
On August 13th, just one week from now, I will be having surgery on my hip. The surgeon we met with originally had been practicing in Denver, but then she moved up to Vail (which is two to two and a half hours from Denver). She is an amazing surgeon and was willing to work with all of the complications of my life and health conditions. We live in one of Denver’s suburbs, but we will be driving up to Vail for my surgery. Since it’s such a long drive, and surgery check-in is usually very early in the morning, we will be spending the night up there before the surgery.
“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” A common phrase almost all of us have heard at least once in our life. (At least I know it’s common here in the western USA, let me know in the comments if it’s common in your neck of the woods!) Even though it’s common, it’s a phrase I do not like. At all.
The phrase is supposed to mean “make the most out of a less-than-ideal situation.” Yes, it’s a good idea to take whatever circumstances life has handed you and try to make the best of it. However, I’ve found it gets used a lot to minimize or dismiss uncomfortable feelings. Using this phrase, or other phrases, to dismiss the negative feelings that come up when life gives us negative situations does far more harm than good.
When life hands you lemons, it never hands you the sugar needed to make the lemonade. It’s alright to be frustrated, or even angry, that now you have to go track down some sugar and take the time to make the lemonade. If life had handed you the oranges you had ordered, you would already be enjoying your citrus-y snack!
As I talked about in my first self-care challenge, not all self-care is glamorous or fun to do. Sometimes, it’s simply doing what we need to do to keep ourselves alive, even when we don’t want to do them. “Self-care” just means taking care of yourself!
One of the things I really do not like doing is sorting my medications for the week. I take a lot of pills every day to keep me functional, and for infertility. (This is not something that is open to debate and comments telling me to get off pills will be deleted. My doctors have put me on each of my pills for specific reasons.) With Dan also taking a lot of supplements prescribed by our fertility clinic, it’s easier for me to sort out all our medications at once because I’m already sorting pills.
I’ve always hated the phrases “online friends” and “friends in real life.” Sure, back when the internet was first getting popular for social uses, all your internet friends were “friends in real life,” and it felt necessary to differentiate between people you enjoyed talking to (usually anonymously) in chat rooms or on forums versus people you knew and socialized with offline. But, that’s not how the internet works anymore.
I know several people who met their now-spouses (or serious significant others) online, and many of us with disabilities find that a majority of our social lives take place online. Via this blog and my associated Instagram account, I’ve met some amazing people and have greatly expanded my world. My sister went on a foreign exchange program while doing her bachelor’s degree and made friends from all over the world, and I used to be jealous of that. However, I’ve realized that I have close friendships with people from all over the world, as well. Granted, a majority of the people I’m close to are from the USA, but I have good friends in other countries even though chatting with them is more difficult due to time zones. When I think about it, my sister is probably the only person I know “in real life” that has friends that are more spread out than I do.
Physical pain is a part of life – everyone experiences it at some point. For people with chronic health conditions that include pain, physical pain is a “normal” part of our daily lives. Thinking back on my life, there isn’t a single day in my memory where I wasn’t in some form of physical pain. I have a genetic connective tissue disorder (G-HSD: generalized hypermobility spectrum disorder), and have had symptoms of it my entire life. Pain and I are old friends, but that doesn’t mean I won’t do whatever I can (within reason) to shove pain out the door for even a few minutes. Continue reading →
It’s been just over four weeks since my elbow surgery. The surgery will hopefully correct pain and numbness that I’ve had in my right arm for over two years due to cubital tunnel syndrome. You can learn more details about why I had the surgery here, and read the immediate post-op update here.
As Dan had said, the surgery went well. I made sure to request they not use Versed during anesthesia (we learned I reacted poorly to it after my SI joint injections), and waking up was a lot easier without it! I was nowhere near as nauseous as I have been after every other surgery. They still gave me IV Zofran right after I woke up though – I was a tad nauseous and nerve pain can always make that worse. I was dealing with pain (and somehow able to give it a number while barely conscious), and they gave me several (3) doses of IV fentanyl before releasing me. (I just looked at Dan’s post-op update, and they also gave me a Dilaudid apparently.) Below is a slideshow of pictures from my surgery day!
*sings and dances*
I’m broken and I have proof, I’m broken and I have proof!
Before I get to the good news, let me back up a little. Earlier this year, I went to an immunologist my ENT/allergist had recommended I see. It was the worst appointment I have ever seen and because of it I terminated my relationship with my ENT/allergist and decided to seek care elsewhere. You can read more about my appointment from Hell: here.
After that awful appointment, I went to my rheumatologist. Some of what the horrible immunologist had said about my conditions really shook me, so I wanted to double check on my fibromyalgia diagnosis and get a little more clarity as to why I had received the diagnosis exactly. I also wanted to get a recommendation from him as he is an amazing and brilliant doctor and has given me many excellent recommendations in the past.
I set up an appointment with the new immunologist for February 26th. That first appointment was amazing: an hour and a half of him truly listening to every single thing I said as we went through my history system by system, asking me in detail about many of my parents’ health conditions, him formulating hypotheses out loud about what may be going on and what may be connected to what, and then figuring out testing to run. He requested records from several doctors to make sure they hadn’t missed anything in their tests, and he ordered a bunch of lab work. Continue reading →
Hey everyone, Lizz here! I had surgery on my elbow yesterday (March 27th), and knew I would likely be incapacitated for a while. However, I know a bunch of you wanted to know what was going on as soon as possible – especially since we weren’t sure which surgery I would receive. To easily update everyone, I am having Dan write this post (I’m writing this blurb in advance)! I will write my own update as soon as I am able. There may be a few non-updates that come out in the meantime, as I have a few drafts that Dan just has to hit “publish” on. Be sure to keep an eye on my Instagram, as I’m more likely to be able to update that before I can update here.
Without further ado, here’s Dan’s update:
Post-Surgery Update – Dan’s Perspective
As Lizz indicated in her intro, yesterday was her surgery day. Since her arm pain began, over two years ago, it’s been quite a journey trying to figure out the cause. There was definitely a little tension built up from having to deal with that and the looming surgery so I’m happy it’s finally done. Here’s how it went.
For the past two years, I have had rather severe nerve pain in my right arm. I haven’t talked about it a whole lot because we had no idea why it was happening or what we could do about it, so I just tried my best to keep going despite it. The past six months, however, the pain has gotten to a point where I just cannot ignore it any longer.
I am right hand dominate, so not using my right arm just isn’t an option for me. These past six months, I have had to give up writing anything by hand past a few sentences, change how I use my phone, modify my typing, and change a lot of my habits with how I move around during the day.