Friday, October 31, 2014

Last Year's Trick

A year ago today, I learned that I had multiple ulcers in my belly. On the digital picture I brought home, I counted more than 50. About 10 of them were large and "oozing blood," according to the doctor.

I was quite sick.

The medication for the ulcers raised my cholesterol levels and who knows what else it has done. I lost some weight (which I unfortunately gained back as I began to feel better), and wasn't exercising much.

Tremendous pain in my tummy continued. I had two CT scans, which showed nothing. In August of this year, doctors at UNC Hospital for Women diagnosed me with pelvic floor tension myalgia. This appears to be the result of numerous surgeries, topped off by the removal of my gallbladder in June 2013. Scar tissue and adhesions have subsequently knotted my abdominal muscles, causing pain with movement, and pulling my pelvis out of alignment. This causes me to walk oddly on my foot, and so I have damaged tendons in my ankle.

Or at least that is the physical therapist's explanation.

Last Christmas I could barely get around and was, and still am, using a cane to get about. My doctor in March filled out the paperwork for me to get a temporary disability tag. I can't tell you how much I hated having to get that. Unfortunately I just renewed it.

I have been in physical therapy nearly weekly (except for a month off when my husband was injured in a farming accident) since April.

This Halloween, while I am feeling better, I still have issues with my belly. An endoscopy in September showed the ulcers mostly healed but I still have lots of redness and inflammation. I don't know when or if the knots in my stomach will ease up. Cold laser therapy on my ankle has helped with swelling and I am walking a little better so long as I keep an elastic bandage tight on that foot.

I try not to complain. I don't go on Facebook and whine about how much things hurt or how little I can get around. But every now and then I wish someone would pat me on the head and say "there, there, it'll be okay." That's when I know I'm feeling sorry for myself and need to buck up, as they say.

So on this anniversary of my ulcers, let me wish you Happy Health, not Happy Halloween, though I hope you have that as well. People who have good health don't know how lucky they are. A healthy body is something to be cherished and cared for. I wish I'd learned that lesson about 30 years ago.

3 comments:

  1. Gosh. How horrible. Have you considered a trip to Colorado? The CBD version supposed to treat pain and inflammation and not affect brain function. It is also the strain they give to children with epilepsy. I don't know if it would help, but if it did, then lobby for legalization. It is my method of last resort that I will use if there is no improvement for me.

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  2. I'm so sorry for your health issues. I do whine about mine occasionally, but like you say - whining doesn't do much, and a pat on the back doesn't fix it. I have shed a few tears now and then, wishing someone would take care of me like my mom used to do. I think I miss her most when I am sick - and how selfish is that? We're (women) supposed to be the caregivers, I guess, and don't really appreciate that until we are missing our mom because we are sick. There is just something about a mother's touch that makes everything okay (even if it isn't, really). Pain is exhausting. I'm glad your ulcers are healing and I wish for you a better year ahead!

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  3. I think that letting it all out is good therapy. Sometimes it's just too much to try to "buck up" (yet again) and carry your load and all that rot. You have had amazing fortitude to live through all of that pain! I really hope that you can get some of it off your plate by healing up over time. And, the disabled plate? You absolutely need that when you are on a cane, period. Canes may help you to get around but they are still not like a good, sound pair of legs. Canes serve more than one purpose, as you know. People seem to be kinder around a person on a cane. I know that this is long, but you need to be heard and this is another voice telling you, "I hear you". Take Care..

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