Tag Archives: chronic pain

Sometimes You Struggle

Yes folks, today was another struggle. Instead of going into all the details, I talked about it on my Podcast, wrote a letter to myself and went for a walk with my mom.

I’m sick of this neck brace. I’m sick of not getting to pick up my daughter. I’m sick of not being able to drive. I’m sick of the next pain still. I’m sick of my brain being in a constant stage of confusion.

All you divorced folks out there, do you have specific schedules? We have a 5-2-2-5 Schedule. So one of us gets Mondays and Tuesdays, the other gets Wednesdays and Thursdays and we alternate weekends. We have been doing great exchanging days for holidays, birthdays, random things coming up, whatever. He and I work really well as a team.

Since the surgery our parenting schedule had been all messed up. Since I can’t take care of her by herself my mom either stays at my place and brings my daughter with her, or she will take us down to my parents house for my weekends. While I’m delighted that I even get to see her, I don’t want to have a baby sitter to spend time with my kid. Although, I do think it’s crucial until I’m cleared for the weight restriction, because the goofball is hyper and wants me to do somersaults with her once my neck brace is gone. The main point though, is with the changes in the parenting schedule and the meds and being loopy, I am all jumbled in my head. I never know what day it is. Because I’d normally have her today so I think it’s Thursday, but it’s not. Then I thought it was Monday, but apparently that isn’t the case either. I’m all over the place and it really stresses me out.

I hate the head fog feeling. On the plus side, I wanted a donut today, a long john specifically with chocolate on top and angel cream in the middle. Yum.. Instead I ate a peach. Then made a pan of brownies and melted marshmallows on top. Yay me! I have no idea what 10lbs is, but that brownie pan felt heavy. I’m sure there is no way near 10lbs, but then what does that say about me? I am seriously out of shape and my baby arms can’t lift anything. No strong man competitions in my future.

Hope you all got brownies, marshmallows, or brownies with marshmallows on this summer evening. And thank those that help you when you need it, even if you have too much pride to ask for it. Words can’t express my gratitude to my mother. She is most definitely overbearing and annoys me easily, but I love her to death and am forever grateful that she has taken care of me, even though she has a ton to deal with on her plate. I do love you mom, even when I’m a raging bitch I love you. You still are not a Dr. though so stop with the medical advice. Love ya!

Night everyone. XOXO

Divorce with Dignity part 1

Divorce doesn’t have to be ugly. Please continue reading. I’ve gotten more than my fair share of unsolicited advice that wasn’t helpful and wasn’t wanted. Divorce doesn’t have to look like it’s portrayed on social media. It doesn’t have to be miserable. That’s such a misconception. I know a lot of people, even some of my dearest friends who have had ugly, painful, and exhausting divorces. I’m lucky in that regard.

The main reason we separated was because of poor communication. We had become strangers that just so happened to be married and had a child together. It was lonely. The specific incidence that led to use being done was a painful experience, we both stopped trying. The specifics of the final breaking point won’t be revealed here. It’s complicated and I will not post about that here. Sorry, but that’s between him and me. I never want to do something publicly that I couldn’t take back. The internet never forgets and I don’t want something I say out of hurt or anger to be out there forever, because I would hate if he did that to me.

Ultimately, our relationship was slowly sinking and we didn’t pay enough attention to try to work it out. So when a major fight happened, I think we were both relieved it was a big enough of a reason to finally call it quits. If that wouldn’t have happened we would probably remain married for the next 40-50 years. We would be in the same situation, both lonely, poor communication, and basically married to a total stranger. We stayed together for our daughter. We stayed together because it was comfortable. We stayed together because both of our parents are still together and there was a lot of pressure and expectations for our married. We had a lot of resentment towards one another, guess what doesn’t fix that? Lack of communication. We might have listened to one another, but we never actually heard what the other was saying. We both felt attacked and both felt defensive. It became this awful pattern.

There have been plenty of opinions, expectations, and pressure placed on both of us since we declared we were officially done. He and I actually get along so much better. We communicate better, like, significantly better. Several times, either one of us would ask the other if we were making the right choice splitting up. Each one of those conversations we both agreed that it was best to divorce. Because we get along so much better, people think we will get back together, or that we should make it work. Honestly, everyone needs to back off.

We have tried marriage therapy right after our daughter was born. We did give it the good ‘ol college try. Our relationship as romantic partners is beyond repair. We make AMAZING friends. I think since the pressure of our rocky marriage is no longer in the way, we are able to focus on our top priority, our daughter, and stopped resenting one another. We had a lot of anger towards one another, so much resentment. There are still a decent amount of people in our lives who don’t we are going through a divorce. I take pride in that because it shows that we are doing something right. An old therapist told me that our daughter doesn’t need married parents, she needs happy parents. That stuck with me. We are happy, we can do family stuff together and it’s not awkward at all.

Mini-me. She makes my world and recovery sweeter!

People give us their opinions all the freaking time. It is so frustrating. This has been like a 14 month process so far. Never once, has it gotten ugly. We’ve had a couple of fights here and there, but nothing like we have had while married and living in the same house. We would rather our daughter see us being able to being around each other, not being placed in the middle. Not being confused because mommy hates daddy and vice versa. Besides; what people see from an outside perspective don’t know all the little details that broke down our marriage. They don’t need to and we don’t have to justify or explain to anyone why it didn’t work out. It’s not their marriage, it’s not their divorce. So their opinions, frustrations, expectations, disappointments are on them. Not him. And most definitely not me.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not all sunshine and bunnies. It’s stressful. It’s heartbreaking. It’s scary. Neither one of us planned on ever getting a divorce. We didn’t plan on getting one some day. We have both hurt each other deeply. Both before, during, and after our marriage. In spite of it all, I couldn’t have gotten a better person to be my ex-husband/co-parent; whatever you want to call it. We are choosing how our divorce goes. We talk about it together. We work through issues together. It’s not easy at times, and there are a significant amount of tears.

From divorces I’ve seen and what you hear about other divorces, not to forget, social media and movies giving numerous examples of bitter, ugly, painful divorces; I didn’t know what to expect. He and I chose to do it our way. We chose and continue to choose to not just be civil, but get a long. When we start to bicker we focus on our daughter. At the end of the day, my feelings don’t really matter, neither do his. Our daughter’s feelings matter.

We were told that children of divorced parents who get along well, are statistically as happy and successful in their future compared to children growing up in a chaotic non-divorced home. They are also comparing that to married couples who get along. Remaining married to someone you resent and fight with all the time can be damaging for the kid(s). As long as we keep doing what we are going I think we will all be ok.

Right now, this is working very well for us. Our daughter is happy, healthy, and thriving. She is so loved and blessed to have extended family from both sides of the family near by to give her even more love. I’m proud of us. I’m thankful that we still work as a team. We weren’t working as a team while married, but we are figuring it out. There isn’t a manual for this. There is no one-size fits all divorce. We have found what is easiest for us and our daughter. We will continue to strive to continue to get along. We will adjust as our lives progress and there will be a lot of changes, probably a lot of curveballs along the way. I’m confident that we’ve got this. He’s a fantastic father and I’m proud to have him as my friend and co-parent. I will always be grateful to him. Also, our kid is by far the most beautiful creature on the planet and is so much fun. I hope others divorcing can find peace to get along or the ability to be civil with one another. Children are quite observant and watch everything we do, even when we think they aren’t.

Sorry so long, as always. I wanted to let others know that not all divorces have to be awful. Even when things aren’t easy and we’ve deeply hurt one another, you can get past it. It’s not an overnight thing. It can happen. I’m living proof. If I ever thought I’d be going through a divorce, I thoughts I’d be vindictive because he hurt me. While he did hurt me, I didn’t and still don’t want him hurting. He’s a great guy. I’m a great gal. We aren’t great together. Our divorce will be finalized sometime in August I believe. While this has been a long time coming, and even though we get along, it hurts. It’s sad. It’s painful and this was not a part of my long, specific detailed plan of how my life “should be.”

Once you’re able to get past the hurt caused by and to one another (if you can, some situations are significantly worse than others) focus on the important parts, your child(ren). If you remain married, be mindful of the child(ren). What they see is what they will expect to be treated that way or learn how to treat others that way. Respecting the other parent, whether you’re together or not, greatly impacts the future of your children’s future, self-esteem, school performance, ability to have healthy relationships with others, and a multitude of other things.

Co-Parenting at it’s finest. Our baby is almost 4!

Our daughter turns 4 this week. I can’t believe it. But we celebrated her birthday this past weekend and I wanted to show a pic of Her dad, M, and me. I’m sporting the new trend of sexy neck braces. Both sides of our families came, along with friends. It’s weird if you make it weird. He and I don’t make it weird and if we feel it gets that way with extended family we tell each other to ignore it because it isn’t our issue. Look at my sweet girls’ face. She is happy. See, I can have some positivity. But I have to throw in some complaints or I know you’ll just miss them. The pain in the back of my neck is being a little bitch again, but I took a walk today for much-needed exercise, and I threw up 4 times on my journey. So, that is something……XOXO

Apparently Anyone Can Be a Doctor

Yesterday was probably one of the top 15 worst days I’ve experienced in my entire life. The rollercoaster of recovery is frustrating. I showered, it had been a couple of days since I had. I did not smell like roses. I started with energy and was actually feeling pretty decent.

As the day went on, a sharp and throbbing pain in the back of my neck kept getting more intense. Ironically, I was working on paperwork for my lawsuit due to this accident. I was filling it out in a way where my neck was comfortable, supported and was awkwardly filling everything out. My mom called me in the middle of me working on that to check in on me. I got short with her because I told her I was in quite a bit of pain. She told me to call my doctor. I’m stubborn and hate calling anyone. We had a little baby fight and I told her I needed  to get off the phone because I was in fucking pain. That’s what I said to her.

Then, I started throwing up. The more I threw up the worse my pain became. The pain increasing led to me throwing up more. I was puking and ugly sobbing into the toilet. I rated my pain as a 7/10. That is super high for me. I finally caved in and called the Dr.’s office.

I was sobbing so hard it was difficult for them to understand me. Basically, I was told there wasn’t much they could do since I don’t do well with narcotics. I told them I wanted to die. I reassured them I wouldn’t do anything, but I was desperate for relief from the pain. I’m not going to lie, I really REALLY wished I was dead it felt so terrible. So maybe I was more like a 9 and I just need  to get over my pride of thinking I’m so tough. I whine and complain about pain, but I rarely cry over it.

I was desperate so I agreed to take Vicodin. You can’t call in narcotics to pharmacies you need an actual physical script. I can’t drive still, because I haven’t been cleared by the dr. and his office is about 35 minutes from my house. I called my future ex-husband. He didn’t answer. I called his office and asked if he was around and that it was urgent that I needed to speak with him. He wasn’t there, but his dad spoke to me on the phone and said that he would make sure he got approval to drive down there and pick the script up for me. Then the ex-hubby called and had heard from his dad, I filled him in I was sobbing and puking. He suggested I go to the ER as they can put something in my IV and get the pain addressed more quickly, since they still needed the script and wait for it to be filled at the pharmacy.

I didn’t know who to call. Everyone I know is working and I don’t have a large support system. I called my next door neighbor, who I’m friends with and she was conveniently about to pull onto our street. I was still sobbing and semi-hysterical and she said she would take me. So my sweet neighbor/friend took me to the closest ER.

We get to the ER I’m throwing up into a bucket. Nothing but bile as I had nothing left in my system. I was puking due to the pain. The Dr. came in and was very dismissive. I told him that I had ACDF surgery 3 weeks and I day ago. The “A” stands for anterior. If I had a PCDF the “P” would be posterior. This is stuff you learn in basic medical terminology classes. Anterior is the front, posterior is the back. This jackass looked at the back of my neck. Asked me where my incision was. This condescending douche was pissing me off. I was crying, he saw my puke bucket. I told him that I had recently taken the Valium and Flexiril that had been prescribed because I do poorly with narcotics.

He reported that I couldn’t take NSAID’S due to the surgery I had. My surgeon told me I can’t take any for at least 1 year post surgery. So Advil, ibuprofen are out of the question because anti-inflammatory’s can interfere with the fusion actually fusing. I’d like to reiterate that the Dr. in the ER even stated that I can’t take them.

Everyone following so far? So he then tells me that he can give me Valium, I told him I had recently taken that and I don’t want that because I have it at home. That I am in so much pain I can’t stand it. He was very dismissive. I told the nurse I was frustrated because I didn’t feel like the Dr. was listening to me and I was in a lot of pain and needed help. I told them I get very ill when I take opiates.

After 1 1/2 hours of my crying and puking, someone comes in with meds. At least 90 minutes after seeing someone sobbing, puking and it was obvious that I just had major surgery. I was wearing the neck brace. I’m impatiently waiting. They gave me Valium, already have that shit in my system, Zofran (anti-nausea), and the Toradol. I asked what Toradol was and what it was for. The nurse said the Dr. suggested and approved this medication. It is a non-narcotic medication that can allegedly help with muscle spasms. This mother-effer who said I can’t have NSAID’s prescribed me a NSAID. Are you messing with me right now? I asked why I was given it and he kind of backpedaled and didn’t really say much. I was livid. Then after I was already injected with the Valium they had me sign the consent to treat form. I know it’s just semantics right now, but aren’t you not supposed to sign any type of documentation for 24 hours after you’ve last taken a narcotic, muscle relaxer or a benzo? Pissed me off.

Then the Vicodin script that was given to me, my ex tried to get it filled for me. 2 pharmacies didn’t carry it at all and the third said to fill the script they needed insurance authorization. So when I said the other day that it could go fuck itself. I should have saved that for yesterday. I was discharged with little pain relief. My neighbor drove me home. She was so sweet, I was crying and feeling awful.

Then one of my best friends, Tanya, came over. We normally do our podcast together on Thursday nights. She just came to love me, take care of me and watch a movie with me. She’s amazing. So, basically almost the entire time she was at my house, I was puking on and off. There was a point that I was sitting across from her on my bed and was puking in my little puke bucket. She made me laugh mid-puke and it splattered on her hand. We laughed, but that is some serious friendship right there. So Tanya, I love you anyway, but so much for just being with me when I needed someone.

I puked several times through the night and several times today. Not the most fun I’ve ever had in my life. Called my Dr.’s office again to speak with the surgeon, because while everything else feels better my neck feels awful, even with how I feel right as I’m typing this. And this is with Vicodin and Valium in my system. Waiting to hear back, we’ve talked on the phone several times in the past few days. I just hope I didn’t mess up the fusion somehow. This is awful. And I was starting to have some good moments, and good days.

I’ll update you when I find out what is wrong, if anything is actually wrong, or if pain is normal. ER Dr.’s are not always very good, more often than not, I’ve found some pretty crappy ones. My surgeon is awesome but out of town. I hurt. I have the best of friends. I have the best neighbors and friends. I have amazing in-laws that help me out even though their son and I are divorcing.

Also, I felt bad pursuing a lawsuit initially, I don’t want the lady to be stressed out. But after yesterday I don’t give a flying fuck what anyone thinks. I am in hell. I want to rip my spine out. I want my life back. I want to be me. I want to be free. I want my sense of humor back. I want so many things. So many of those things were taken from me because a careless driver slammed into me at a red light where the car in front of me and myself were at a full stop and had been so for a few/several seconds.

Wishing everyone great friends to help them through the difficult times, the ability to ask for help (you aren’t weak for asking), pain free necks and Dr.’s that aren’t completely useless. XOXO

10 Things I Think You Should Know About Me

I’m pretty awesome. Even with the extreme body issues and depression, I sometimes feel empowered, fearless and fierce. Other days I don’t feel as awesome. I get paranoid that people don’t like me. That everyone I love will leave me. That I’m an absolute failure. Sometimes I think I have this amazing purpose to help change the world, and it can flip like a coin where I feel that I’ll amount to nothing and make the world a worse place. That is terrifying. I’m worried that I’m a bad mother because I struggle with my depression. I don’t want her to resent me in the future. For today, I just want to tell you some random things about myself. I’m hoping it will make me feel silly and fun.

1) I am deathly afraid of snakes. Big ones, small ones, they freak me out. Like I’m so terribly afraid of them that every single time I go to the bathroom I have to inspect the toilet to make sure there are no slithering bastards waiting to bite my butt. I’m not even joking. I will turn on the light in the middle of the night, just to be sure. It’s a thing you know. I’ve seen pictures on the interwebs.

2) I enjoy sad movies (stupid because I have horrible depression, right?). I love watching documentaries that make you think and see the real, raw parts of things. We hide from the bad. We are afraid of it. People think I’m a masochist because I work in a profession where there is so much negativity, I love being in my bed with the drapes shut. They all make me cry. Sometimes they make me enraged.

I like it because it’s real. I like it because it lights a fire under my ass to want to make the world a better place. It actually inspires me. When I doubt my abilities to really make a difference it’s because people in my life put me down. “You can’t help everyone, Mergen.” “You can’t change the world.” “You’re too sensitive.” “You’re grandiose.” When they tell me those things, then I begin to doubt my abilities to actually make a real change.

While that is a fear, why do I care about the naysayers? I CAN make a difference. I WILL make a difference. There is not much that I feel confident about, but I am damn good with people. I am a born empath, born with a tender heart. In this world, I think there needs to be more “delusional people wanting to change the world” around here. Not more of the cold, selfish, power-hungry people. While I do cry at everything, and while my heart hurts for everyone and all the injustices in this world, I would rather be just as I am than the heartless souls out there. I AM good enough. I AM strong. And I AM fierce. I need to remember that more often.

3) My mind is a hot mess. I’ve got racing thoughts constantly. I have so many interests and I’m very creative and intelligent. What I struggle with is putting my thoughts into action. I have brilliant ideas actually, some silly and fun things, some creative, and some that I believe can really make a positive impact with prison reform and mental illness. Now if I can just pull it together enough to put these ideas into action; I’ll be all set.

4) I have jumped out of an airplane 606 times. I used to love it! Then I lost some loved ones to the sport, then I had my daughter. Priorities change one you have a child, even on our worst days I choose her over my best days skydiving.

5) I have 4 cats. No regrets there. None.

6) I still sleep with my ratty old baby blanket, and brought it with me to the  hospital with my ACDF surgery. I think I wrote about that when I was in the hospital, but my brain was all foggy.

7) I have so many dreams I can’t keep it straight. I would LOVE to someday own acreage, an old farm-house, and a rustic barn. I could have a pumpkin patch in the fall and a little farm stand in the summer. I have a total black thumb, so there does need to be some research and practice ahead of time. While living on the farm I will also be a writer. I want to write short silly stories, and then maybe some how to books regarding mental health and suicide. Like how to write a good mental health evaluation. Or suggestions on how to deal with someone struggling with suicide, suicidal thoughts. Short manuals, I don’t think I have the attention span to write a long book. As evidenced by my chaotic writing style on here.

8) My daughter is almost 4. She is one of my largest frustrations, but the most incredible part of my life. I love being her mommy. Her temper tantrums really, REALLY test my patience (which I don’t have an abundance of) she always steals my heart with a huggy, a kissy, or when she is fast asleep.

9) I have 11 tattoos. I definitely plan on getting more when I get some moolah. I have had 13 surgeries including wisdom teeth.

10) I am extremely allergic to shellfish. How did I find out you ask? Here’s the little story. So, for anyone following my blog, you will know I am a life long vegetarian, for those that don’t understand vegetarianism, we do NOT eat seafood either.

Last summer we went to a restaurant where they prepare your food on one big grill in front of you?  Well, we went there one night when it wasn’t busy and there were only 2 other people there. Long story short, I felt weird when I was eating my non-meat, 100% vegetarian meal. My lips started to feel stingy, my throat felt a bit weird, so I went home. By the time I was home, my lip looked like I had some overdone fillers. I was NOT cute. At least I know what my lips will look like if I ever wanted to have a ‘lil something something done. I took some Benadryl and went to bed. I broke out into hives as well a few times over the summer, that I just blamed on stress because my husband and I decided to divorce.

I finally got into see an allergist. I told him the only thing that I could think of other than stress was that at the restaurant  someone had some lobster with their food. The Dr. said the chances of cross contamination was very minimal. Guess who was wrong? It sure wasn’t me. I have a shellfish allergy. A bad one. Who knew. Good and random that that’s how I found out.

Yet again, what I thought would be a short post, turned into another ramble. I think the posts will get shorter once I have some freedom. Who knows. I think I’m going to take a shower and go for a walk. Need that exercise.

Thanks for reading! XOXO