Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Honorable Mention?

For those of you familiar with Darwin Awards, my most recent "stupidest injury" should definitely have earned me an honorable mention, that is of course if I had had any control over the event which transpired.

I was sitting in line at a drive-through window, and I twitched. It dislocated my collar bone, which collided with my larynx, rendering me unable to breathe for a few moments. It took the better part of my drive home, including drinking my entire medium iced tea, to put my throat back where it should be.

That is my life again. Twitching. Choking on myself. Reducing my dislocations. Wash, rinse, repeat.

On a happier note, the fundraiser for the precious little 4 year old girl I mentioned was a great success, and the parents should be able to pay for her rehabilitation until the health care system gets its collective head out of its @$$.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Much Too Much

Today is the fourth anniversary of my fathers' death.

Sitting here, I have been trying to figure out how I've aged twenty years since he passed. I certainly wasn't the average carefree 19 year old when he died. I had already gone through the horrible experience of a failed pregnancy, and I was resigning myself to the possibility of life without children. I was aware that I would probably end up in a wheelchair well before my peers. But at that time, even with the dislocations, I was still able to stand, and walk, and bike, and rollerblade, and hike...

I've gotten married since he passed. Both of his parents are gone now too. I've isolated myself from his side of the family. I've bridged the gap again, finally being able to see them and not think about him. I've built a convincing mask for myself; a protective shell which only breaks down around certain people, or if I've neglected to give myself an outlet for the pain for too long.

I've been hardened. The world stopped being a welcoming place for me. The softness left. All I felt for a long time was sharp, searing, hard.

I am learning to be open again. To express my feelings.

I can no longer keep my mask on. I have too much raw emotion within me to convincingly contain it any longer. I have rage inside me. It is directed toward the health care system, and the ways in which it is failing me, and the people I care about.

I met a little girl yesterday. She has had over 20 surgeries on her brain. During one of the most recent ones, the surgeon screwed up with a stent placement, and scratched her brain in the area that controls motor function. Her eyes are no longer synchronized in their tracking. She has lost the ability to walk unassisted. The surgeon fucked up. The medical system is denying liability. The wonderful health care we are supposed to have in this country is failing this precious little 4 year old. Her parents have to pay for her rehabilitation out of their own pockets. Because someone else fucked up. It has renewed my rage. I want to walk arm in arm with this girl's parents, march into somebody's office and demand that something be done. NOW. For God's sake, she's just a little girl. She should not have to pay for someone else's mistake.

The misery I live with pales in comparison to this family. I want to help. I want to fix the system. I want to find the bastard responsible, and I want to beat him. Repeatedly. Until he admits what he's done, and vows to do everything in his power to fix it.

Alas, I am just one person. We all must band together, and force the government to fix the system. It is broken. And all the people who really need help are so discouraged by the bureaucracy, that they in turn become broken; unable to fight the system any longer, and nothing gets changed.

On this day, of all days, I would expect karma to give me a break. I'm dealing with so much, even though it shouldn't matter that my father died on this day 4 years ago. I miss him all the time, but it sinks in more when you can call it another full year. I got a letter in the mail today, which tells me I owe the government money, because someone gave me false information. Right now, between 2 or 3 different branches of the government, or through government run institutions, I am owed a great deal of money. They're charging me interest on what they say I owe them, but do you think they'll pay it on what they owe me, if they ever decide to pay me? Probably not. That's not the way they work.

I could really use a break. From everything. I just want to be able to not feel for a while. To get away from the finances, the medical issues, the memories, the pain, the injustices of the world.

You don't want to be around me right now. Not unless you really feel like listening to me rant. Loudly.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Life is Crazy

I've been experiencing everything to the extreme lately. I'm either in so much pain that I can't leave the couch, except to lay on the floor to realign my spine; or I've got so much energy, and my pain is so low (2-3) that I can actually go out and accomplish things (that was just the one day though).

The problem with the latter is that I end up doing too much, washing the dishes, making supper, going out to the mall, and wandering around looking for long-sleeve t-shirts, going to Canadian Tire, and Wal-Mart looking for windshield wipers, going grocery shopping.

I feel it the next day, and I have to just lay still. Not moving. Until the cat comes and lays on my ribs, pushing them into a "normal for most people" position. But that happens slowly enough, with the constant weight and heat that I don't notice it until I sit up. That's when the screaming pain starts up again, and the evil clowns once more try making balloon animals of my spine.

My knees are bruised. I still fall. On my good, productive day, I was standing in line to pay for my groceries, and I fell. It would have been comical if not for the concern on the faces of those around me.

I went to a bar recently, walking with my cane. I went out for several smokes throughout the night. People stepped so far out of my way. Every time I went out. They apologized for being in my way. They weren't. It was almost like they were apologizing for existing, it was said so many times. I felt horrible. I was ready to hit people with my cane by the end of the night. "Stop saying you're sorry!!!" as I whack them over the head. "It's not your fault I can't walk normally" as I hit them again... "Stop. STOP. STOP!!!" Maybe that's an odd way to feel, but it really grates on my nerves when people apologize like that, for things they have no control over. I could understand apologizing if they'd run into me, or accidentally kicked my cane out from under me, but not for standing, or walking, well out of my way. I'm prepared to get out of YOUR way. I'm the one with cane. I should be the one to change MY path. That's the way it works.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

And the Winner Is...?

I had a follow-up appointment with my neurologist yesterday, and I had to drive half an hour to see him, for a 3 minute appointment. GRRR... Anyway, I don't have epilepsy. It's still not tourette's. The neurologist has no other ideas. He says normally the next course of action would be to send me to the movement disorder clinic, which I've already been to, with horrible results.

He is going to recommend that my family doctor sets up a 24 hour blood pressure monitoring test, as well as a test to check if I have POTS (These tests would be for my unexplained falling down, and have absolutely nothing to do with my twitching).

The weather lately has been weird. It's at its coldest point this year so far, and it's still significantly warmer than one would expect for this time of year.

I have started taking Gabapentin (Neurontin) 300's 2-3 times daily, and they seem to be reducing the frequency and severity of my twitches. Which means I don't dislocate my shoulder every time I twitch now... Just sometimes. When I looked at the symptoms this drug is used to treat, it fits the symptoms I have; including pain and spasticity, as well as helping me fall asleep and stay asleep.

In other news: I feel like I was attacked by an evil clown. It feels like he tried to turn my spine into a balloon animal.

I have a new stupidest injury... I really wish I could stop accumulating these... Yesterday I was washing my hands, and I grabbed some paper towel to dry them off. While I was trying to dry between my fingers, I simultaneously dislocated ALL of my fingers at the base knuckle. It hurts to do anything with my hands today, and I've been dislocating and subluxing my fingers all day.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lest we Forget

I never lost anyone to war.

But my family has served, or is currently serving in 3 different countries on land, at sea, and in the air.

My grandparents never talked about war around me, so I don't know what horrors they may have witnessed, or what deeds may have haunted them.

But the best thing they taught me was acceptance. Acceptance of people from all races, cultures, and backgrounds. They taught me not to judge others by the way they look. They taught me that all people are equal.

They taught these things to their children, their friends. They tried to rid their circle of hatred. They spread joy, and helped those less fortunate.

My grandparents are both gone now, they left this world peacefully, surrounded by family.

My hope is that all soldiers are so lucky.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Good News, Bad News, and My Own Stupidity

Bad news: My Cool Mom had a heart attack Monday night.

Good news: She's fine, and was released from hospital Tuesday afternoon.

Stupidity: I went to the hospital after work yesterday to visit her. I parked my car about 6 blocks away from the hospital, because it's the closest free parking. I walked with my cane. It took me about 15 minutes to get to the right part of the hospital, and to call the nurse desk to get a room number. The response? "Oh, she was discharged earlier today."

Which is a good thing, REALLY. That made me happy. But instead of a nice visit where I could recuperate from my walk, I now had to immediately get back to my car. About 3 blocks away from my car, I had to switch which leg I was using the cane for, thanks to an earlier ankle injury, but I still had to use my right hand for it. A block from my car, I dislocated my wrist and shoulder, and had to hobble back to my car without my cane.

I get into my car, and pull the door shut, resulting in THE WORST dislocation I've ever had with my left shoulder, and I screamed a bit, because OUCH. Dammit. PAIN.

On my way home, I stopped at a liquor store, and got some rum. While I was trying to pay, I was twitching so bad I thought the lady might call the cops on me for impaired driving (cuz sometime it looks like I might be on crack). Once I was home I had 2 large glasses of rum and Pepsi, smoked some medicine, and went to bed.

All of that was after an absolutely hellish day of falling down and dislocating my left ankle, knee and foot; as well as both hips, my left shoulder, and various fingers. I don't know how I make it through the day. Today, I can feel EVERYTHING that I went through yesterday. I just wanna go back to bed.