One Month Post-Surgery Update: Lizz’s Perspective

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!

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Immunology Lab Results: I GOT ANSWERS!

*sings and dances*
I’m broken and I have proof, I’m broken and I have proof!
*keeps singing*

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

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Post-Surgery Update – from Dan

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.

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My Upcoming Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Surgery

chronic illness warrior strong arm (1) signedFor 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.

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Infection Survival Guide for the Chronically Ill (and “Normal” People, too)

Respiratory infections, sinus infections, ear infections – oh my!
Gastrointestinal infections, viral infections, bacterial infections – oh, die…

Currently, I’m extremely ill. I have some sort of awful infection in my head and GI system. I’ll spare you all of the TMI details, but let’s just say I’m a giant ball of disgusting. Lots of phlegm is involved, nausea, and too many trips to the restroom. There’s also severe full body aches and bone crushing fatigue. It’s not pretty.

It got me thinking, what are some must-haves for surviving a nasty infection like this? Here are my product recommendations (and why I recommend them) for surviving an infection while dealing with chronic illnesses. Continue reading

Upright MRI Results

My neck pain and headaches have been getting worse lately, and I noticed that they are significantly worse when I am upright for longer periods of time. I also started getting headaches that are either (or possibly both) occipital neuralgia or trigeminal neuralgia. After some research, I discovered that sometimes these symptoms can be due to craniocervical instability (CCI) which is common in people with connective tissue disorders. To see if CCI is causing any problems, they use an upright MRI.

I talked to my neurologist about it, and he agreed an upright MRI could show us something that my supine (flat on my back) MRI had not. He found a place nearby that did them, and filled out the orders for me.

Upright Cervical MRI signed

Image of my upright MRI. This view is as if you were staring at my left ear (you can see my chin pointing towards the left of this image).

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Annoying Urgent Care Visit and Quick Immune System Update

In the middle of December, my immune system decided to crash. It did this once, several years ago. The major difference is that back then, we had an obvious trigger, and this time it just happened. It’s now the last half of February, and I’ve been sick more than I’ve been okay. Tho, I was just healthy for two weeks prior to my current issue.

I write a bit more about it here: Rough Start to 2018

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A Rough Start to the Year

Hello everyone!

I’m currently working on a different post that will be a little more fun, but it’s taking quite some time. I’ve been having an extremely rough start to this year, and it’s showing in literally everything I try to do. I’ve even started to appear sick, which is worrisome because normally I don’t look sick or tired (except facial expressions) on a regular basis – but now there are dark circles forming under my eyes, and my eyelids are always a little too pink and puffy.

It’s easiest to post on Instagram regularly, since I don’t need a computer and computers can cause me migraines. I would recommend following me on Instagram to get updates the fastest: findinglifessilversun on Instagram.

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A Look Back at 2017 – part 2

2017 was an extremely busy year for both of us (Dan and me). I was writing my “Look Back” post and it got extremely long, so I needed to divide the year in half! You can find the first half of the year here: “Look Back part 1.” This post covers July through December 2017!


July

Lizz

I followed up with my cardiologist, but had to see the nurse practitioner because his schedule was too full. I don’t like seeing NP’s for cardio because they can’t ever do anything for me. At least she talked to my doctor and then called me with how to change my medications.

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A Look Back at 2017 – part 1

2017 has been a chaotic year for both Dan and me. Honestly, it’s hard for me to even wrap my head around because it flashed past so quickly – I feel like I haven’t gotten to take a break since last Christmas!

I wanted to write up a little summary of our year, both so you can know what we have been up to, and so that I can have something to look back on myself. Since this is a summary, I will include links back to any relevant posts so you can read more detail. All links are either to my personal blog posts or Instagram posts.


January

Lizz

My pelvis and back started causing a lot of problems in October 2016 (read more here and here). By January, I was in excruciating pain 24/7 and having to spend most of my time on the couch. Thankfully, I saw a new doctor (a physiatrist) and at the end of January, I got a cortisone injection into my right SI joint.

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