Tag Archives: Neck Surgery

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

Today Can Go Fuck Itself

This is such a roller coaster. I am typing this as I’m sobbing hoping that by getting this out I will feel better afterwards. I’m just feeling awful today. I’m not even sure why. I took my psych meds as prescribed. I ate breakfast. I already got a bit of sunshine. Drank water. My mom stopped by for a bit. Like, obviously, I’m bored, lonely, frustrated and in some pain, but I don’t think the way I’m feeling right now is related to that.

My chest feels tight. I’m on the verge of a panic attack. I don’t know what’s wrong, so I don’t know how to fix it. I’m stressed about my future. Instead of completely focusing on my recovery, I’m looking for jobs, but I’m not sure when I’ll be cleared to drive. I’ve seen several job postings requiring you to be bilingual and be able to lift 40+ lbs. So that’s a solid no for those. Then there are jobs for Master Degrees that pay $12 – $13/hr. I’m not trying to complain, but really? For a Master’s Degree you’ll pay me to do extremely difficult, exhausting work, while paying me an amount that I couldn’t even afford rent, be able to provide for myself, let alone, my child.

I just want my mommy and to be a kid again. Then I don’t want my mommy and I want snuggles from my kid. I want to be around people and alone all at the same time. Pain and Mental Illness are no joke. Why are they so stigmatized and dismissed? I know for a fact I’m not alone by a long shot in the way I’m feeling. We need to fucking talk about these issues because they are very real, very serious and can be very damaging. Has anyone else noticed that lately we see almost weekly that a famous person suicides? Think of how many there are that there will never be a story about.

If we don’t start talking about the issues and addressing them, then there will be more suicides. I guarantee you. I’m NOT suicidal currently. I do NOT have access to weapons. I have already reached out to one of my best friends. Just wanted to clarify that. But feeling this way makes me terrified to reach out to people, because we are trained to ignore real feelings. Or people get freaked out and overreact when someone does say they are suicidal. I’ve worked in the Mental Health field for around 10 years. At least 5 of those years where with the chronically, mentally ill. So I dealt with suicidal/homicidal people constantly. I also volunteer for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP).

This post may make some of you uncomfortable. I don’t care. I am not afraid to talk about it. We need to talk about it. I’m not weak because I struggle. I’m not weak because sometimes I do get suicidal. Whether they are fleeting thoughts or chronic thoughts, there is a significant difference between actively suicidal and passively suicidal. Active means you are planning to attempt to kill yourself and have a means to follow through. Passively suicidal thoughts are just that, thoughts. More of the “gosh, I wish I was dead now” or feeling like you don’t have a purpose on the earth feeling. We all through it around so easily. I’m sure everyone who reads this, has said at least once, that they would rather die than pick up dog poop, jump out of an airplane, or something similar. There is no weight behind saying that. Also, if someone is feeling helpless, and hopeless those are both words that can be taken as actively or passively suicidal. Take the words seriously, by asking them if they have thought about how they would ever kill themselves. (This will NOT make a person become more suicidal). If they have a plan ask it. If it’s something ridiculous like I’m going to the golden gate bridge and jump off; but they have no license, no car, no money for an airplane ticket; chances are they are struggling, want help and want to be cared about.

When people really talk about thinking about it, people freak out. Want to know what actually helps in that situation? Don’t panic. Don’t overreact. Don’t tell the suicidal person that they should be lucky or grateful because they have; blah, blah, blah. It doesn’t help. Usually, a person just wants someone, a loved one, sometimes anyone to just listen. Don’t try to fix it. Just listen. A 15-20 minute talk helps them through that crisis period. In most cases it will prevent the person from acting on their plan if they had one. Or they no longer feel suicidal. Most of the time when people say they want to die, including myself, just means I feel so lost, and I’m so scared of my future and about being a burden on anyone.

Sorry for this super long rant. No I will not be editing this one either. I’ve actually stopped sobbing, still crying a bit. And my cat jumped up on the bed next to me because animals sense those things. We really should be more like animals, sense when someone is struggling and just be there. No talking. Just a support. A comfort. DON’T tell a person what they “SHOULD” be doing to get out of feeling that way. Trust me, it doesn’t work. At all. Don’t judge. You aren’t in their heads. Sometimes just knowing you aren’t alone and the only person struggling can be very refreshing. Knowing that other people think like you makes you feel less isolated.

Again, I want to clarify that I am NOT suicidal. I have NO intentions of harming myself. I do NOT have access to weapons. And I do have a support system. Writing is one of my coping skills and I was feeling really horrible so I thought getting it all out would make me feel better and I really do feel better. I’m still feeling kind of blah, but that’s better than awful. I talked about suicide because I know about it from personal and professional experience and have extensive experience working with people in crisis. I thought I’d explain some of those things so that maybe a couple of people will understand the topic a little better.

If you are feeling suicidal you should call 911, or go to your nearest emergency room. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is (1.800.273.8255). There is someone there to speak with 24/7. They are trained to help those that are suicidal, loved ones not knowing what to do for a suicidal person. These are important numbers and make a big difference. The number for Colorado’s Crisis Line is (1.844.493.8255). There are suicide, rape, abuse, etc. hotlines all over the country, in every state. They all usually have national numbers as well and can transfer you to the specific services you are looking for. There is help out there. I know it isn’t easy to ask. I HATE relying on others.

I’m safe. The tears have stopped. Venting helps. I don’t need anything currently. I’m going to try to take a shower and make my neck less stinky. And my armpits. It has been hot here lately. I was just starting to apologize for talking about such a depressing topic and then I stopped myself. There is nothing for me to be sorry of or ashamed for. Sometimes life is too serious and the issues need to be addressed, no deflected and ignored. I hope you all are healthy, happy and safe. Tomorrow I promise to have a more uplifting post. Thanks for reading, and if no one reads this, thank you computer for being an outlet to get all the yuck out of me for right now. XOXO

I Hate The Phrase “Fake it ’til you make it.”

You fake it ’til you make it. What is that? I hate when people tell you the pretend to be ok, and then one day it will magically we the wonderful way. I hate when people say “it could always be worse.” That diminishes my experiences and how will that help me feel better or heal more quickly. I can’t remember where I heard this or read it, but I love what I’m about to say. SAYING SOMEONE CAN’T BE SAD/UPSET/DEPRESSED BECAUSE SOMEONE HAS IT WORSE THAN THEM, IS LIKE TELLING SOMEONE THEY CAN’T BE HAPPY BECAUSE SOMEONE HAS IT BETTER THAN THEY DO.

I carry that with me, and try to remember it often. Everyone is entitled to feel how they feel. Just because someone has it better or worse than they do, has no bearing on your own feelings or experiences. We are so quick to judge others and believe we are entitled to tell other people how to live their lives. Unsolicited advice is thrown around all day, every day. I’m sure most people don’t have malicious intentions. Nonetheless, it is annoying and pisses me off. I hate having others tell me how to live my life, how to parent, how to feel about my depression, how to be grateful for my neck surgery. Back the eff off!!!

Maybe I should be grateful. Right now this is not helpful. I’ve actually had an extremely emotional weekend and have cried a lot the past few days. I hate pretending that I’m doing better than I actually am. I feel the pressure to be strong. I feel pressure to say I have no pain because the surgery was meant to relieve it.

The truth is I am really struggling. Like I’ve written about before the arm pain, numbness and tingling are 100% gone. No nerve pain going down my shoulder-blade. My neck is really hurting me. Like sharp, shooting pain, similar to the pain I had before the surgery and before the pain spread to my arms and shoulder-blade. People tell me it will all be over soon. What is your definition of soon? When you’re having an easy day time flies. When every day feels like a struggle it feels like time slows down. I feel like I’ve been cooped up forever.

PC: Google Image Search

I did run a couple of errands with my mom yesterday afternoon, and that took all my energy and my neck ended up with shooting pain in the nerve in my neck. Hopefully, it’s irritated because there were screws and a plate inserted inside my body. Other than that, I’m lonely. I don’t want to ask for help because all my friends have their own lives, their own plans, family to take care of. I don’t want to be a burden. My mom has also done so much for me, she does so much for my family and her friends constantly, so I don’t want to burden her more. It breaks my heart the I have to rely on her quite a bit lately.

I’m sick of the restrictions. I’m sick of not being able to drive. I’m going stir crazy. This doesn’t help with my depression at all. I’ve really noticed that I cry at everything this weekend. A friend of mine said that the anesthesia can mess up your body for a very long time. I am always sensitive and a bit of a crier, but this just feels overwhelming.

Don’t tell me this will all be over soon. Don’t tell me I should be grateful. Don’t tell me to do or feel any specific way. I don’t want the advice. I want to kick your stupid kneecaps if you are annoying like that. I’m just struggling. A good friend of mine, who is my next door neighbor has been amazing. I came home from the hospital with a very sweet and lovely care package from her and her daughter. She also goes on frequent walks with me. I’ve been trying to walk every day, but the heat is ridiculous. But I’ve been doing it and doing it about 5 times a week. And I’d like to keep that up even after I’m healed. It is relaxing and nice to get the fresh air.

The moment I’m done with the walk and go back inside. I feel trapped. I feel all alone. I feel like a waste of space. I know my mom worries about me and I feel bad that I know she reads my blog. I know the things I write will probably make her worry about me more, which will just piss me off. I don’t need more sunlight in my room. I don’t need to do anything. I need to stop being in pain. I need to drive. I need my independence back. I need even a tiny shed of a decent life.

Some days, it’s just easier to plaster that fake smile and say I’m recovering well and am well in general. My mom and super close friends know I’m struggling because I’m short with them and whiny. I’ve done every single thing on the surgeon’s no-no list. Not intentionally, I swear. I’m tired of being tired. I’m tired of feeling like I’m not pulling my weight in any area of my life. I’m not working. I can’t watch my daughter by myself. I can’t feed my cats when they need it. I can’t drive. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t.

PC: Goggle Image Search for Feeling Trapped

One day, I know I’ll look back on this and probably will say it flew by. Right this second I have tears welling up. I hate feeling lonely. My neck is a pain in the neck, literally. Ha. Mom joke. I find it interesting that before you have a surgery and have been struggling with chronic pain for a long time, people don’t notice, don’t pay attention or just don’t care. Once you have a surgery, for at the most a week, you get visitors and well wishes. Then you’re forgotten about all over again. I’m not saying I need constant attention, I just wish I didn’t feel like I’m doing this with minimal support. Yes mom, you are a huge support. She’s the constant, but I also feel like I’m draining her energy and that I’m irritating her. And we both get irritated with each other easily because we are so similar.

Also, I’ve found that even with my giant neck brace in the community doesn’t get me any more respect. I always hold the door open for people, not just injured people. I do it because it’s polite. When I go on walks, I feel like I have to move out-of-the-way of other people using the side-walk. They don’t seem to care, that maybe the stiff walking girl with the neck brace would appreciate having the right of way. Seems silly to be annoyed by that, but where did basic manners go? Why so much judgment from everyone? Even though I’m lonely, everyone is pissing me off. So that’s a dilemma.

Heading to bed. Thanks for just listening to my rants, whoever you are that reads. I enjoy writing. I do go on lots of tangents. Some not even related to the initial topic. My brain and thoughts move more quickly than I can write to speak out. It races. There’s some weird shit going on in there. Sometimes I wish I could use a remote to pause some of the super wild parts.

Before I say goodnight, I really really really wish one or all of you could smell my neck. Also, I want you to touch my neck and neck brace after I’ve gone for a walk, or even just stood there. It is a special treat. The grossness factor will not let you down, but you may quit being my friend for a few months. If I could capture the smell, I’d put it in a jar and sell it to a store like an anti-perfume. Kind of like in Monster’s INC. Brilliant ideas folks. I noodle them out from my head. Wishing you all safe nights, happy dreams and wonderful snoozes. XOXO

I’m Addicted to Dr. Pimple Popper

DISCLAIMER: If you get grossed out easily, this is NOT the post for you. If you dare to continue, I’m not responsible for any disturbing feelings you may have. I am also not responsible if you throw up. I highly recommend that you look at these pictures and watch her videos on an empty stomach. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!!!

Does anyone else have a sick obsession of looking at disgusting things? Because I sure do. It’s like a car wreck. You know it’s awful but you just can’t help yourself from looking, even if it’s just a little peek. Just below is the woman who has uploaded numerous cyst, pimple and black head extractions on YouTube. Thank you Dr. Pimple Popper, you have entertained me for hours.

PC: Dr. Pimple Popper Google Search

My best friend and I have literally laid in bed together trying to find the most disgusting of her videos posted. Lindsey can eat while watching this. I can not. Her stomach is stronger than mine. I gag sometimes, but I still have to watch it. I must know what is behind those bumps, pores, divots, and holes.

PC: Dr. Pimple Popper Google Search

This poor man. That is A LOT of gunk in his nose. Do you ever wonder where all the gunk lives inside your body? Like, if you have a black head in your nose that has as much stuff coming out from your nose like the picture above, where had it been hidden? I seriously want to know this.

PC: Dr. Pimple Popper Google Search

I would be fascinated and thrilled to pick at this guys back. Do you see all those blackheads?! Amazing! I would definitely wear gloves and a face shield so nothing would get in my mouth or on my skin. Ick. Sometimes what really frustrates me about Dr. Pimple Popper is that she can’t hear me speak to her through the computer. I would direct her to the ones I want her to pick at the most. She misses some amazing ones sometimes. And I hate that she uses the tools sometimes. Get in girl! Use your fingers, not the tweezers. I know you don’t have all the time in the world for each patient, but please let me come and assist!

PC: Dr. Pimple Popper Google Search

Holy black head! I bet there is so much dark, nasty gunk in there! There will be a gaping hole left I’m sure. I’m grimacing a tad as I’m typing this. It really is gross, but sometimes people just can’t help how their skin turns out. People also can’t see their own backs so I could see some of those guys becoming ginormous.

If you want to watch any or all of her videos, just go to YouTube and type in Dr. Pimple Partner. You won’t be disappointed. Unless you think this sort of stuff is disgusting. You will be very disappointed, so maybe don’t take a gander at it if you don’t want to see it.

I have a solution to the pimple issues. It’s not realistic or a thing at all. But what if we could open up our faces, like jus the skin part. Then we could just wipe all the yucky gunk that would have come through our skin. Once all the pus and whatever is wiped off you could close up your face and have perfect skin! I have brilliant ideas, but some aren’t a thing, and some I don’t have to money to get it going.

I wanted to write about something not super depressing. So instead I went with gross. This sort of thing does entertain me. Today has been a little rough for me. My arms, hands, shoulder, and shoulder-blade still are doing really well and have NO pain in any of them.

My hip hurts when I use the stairs but it’s manageable, I’m just getting around a bit slower. I wear the most restrictive collar more frequently. The soft collar makes it so easy to be careless and do more of the things the Dr. said to avoid. I am trying to be more patient. I’m trying to retrain my body to respect it so I heal more quickly. The nerve in my neck still hurts. It is pretty painful, but with the pain I was in before was significantly worse. It’s a bit frustrating that my neck nerve still hurts. I am also getting migraines again, or still? I’ve been getting dizzy and almost passed out last night and a couple of times today. Maybe I didn’t get enough water? It was weird.

My scars are healing really well so far. I know this is ridiculous but I’m kind of disappointed because I thought it would look more bad ass. Such a silly thing for me to think. Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed that pictures I provided for you viewing pleasure. I also hope you continue to be slightly interested in my healing journey. It will be a roller coaster. I had a good meltdown earlier. I feel so much better after a good cry. I wonder why that is? Probably because you just release all the bad energy, emotions, thoughts and all the other things we are “supposed” to keep built inside us. I always do enjoy a really good cry after it’s been building for a long time. Pain and depression go hand in hand. Vicious cycle. I’ll have a lot more to say about that in time. I’ve rambled enough for one evening.

Happy weekend to you all! I hope it’s filled with love, fun and happiness. Have sweet snoozes. Be safe out there. XOXO