A Nightmare

*Viewer discretion: Not for the faint-hearted*

Wow… I should have knocked on wood after I finished my last post. Storm’s leg condition spiraled downward fast and started to affect the hair/skin past her foot. Her foot became so bloody which left my house bloody. Blah!

 

My sister saw Storm’s condition and was going to make me bring her into the vet’s on the day I wrote my last post. She was even going to pay for the bill herself. I didn’t make an appointment at first but then decided to take her up on her offer and bring Storm in on the next day.

I brought Storm in around 2:00 and she was all smiles to the vet techs, while she had blood dripping down her foot. They took a sample from her foot wound and went to check it. My vet came back into the room and told me her foot was dead. “There is no blood flowing in her foot,” he told me making sure I understood what he meant. I had a suspicion that he would say something along those lines. I held it together while talking to him about what to do next. He mentioned the foot had to come off as it is useless and to try and stop the infection from spreading. I asked him a few more questioned and said that I needed to take the time to see if my mom would let me borrow some money. I also had to think about where I would want them to cut, at her knee or hip. It was just so much to take in…

Seeing the foot was dead, I asked if there was any reason to keep the cone still on her. He said no but to maybe wrap her foot in a sock or something to help with the blood getting everywhere at home.

As soon as I left I realized I needed someone to talk to, but it was in the middle of the day and everyone was still working. I tried calling my dad but after a miscommunication on my part he called right back. I told him Storm’s foot was dead and immediately began sobbing. I told him that I knew it was just a foot but it still had a huge impact on me. He understood and sat on the phone with me for a bit as I released all my sadness and frustration. We got off the phone and I realized my mom had just gotten off work so I called her and told her the news as well.

I came home and decided to wrap her foot so she didn’t have to wear that annoying collar anymore. I had leftover gauze and wrap from the night before when I tried wrapping it. I soon found out that I didn’t have enough of each and only half of her foot was wrapped. I quickly ran to Walmart to pick up the items and went right back home.

I opened my door and I saw blood all over the floor. Blood all over my love seat. Blood all over her foot—-no, wait. The blood was from inside her foot. She ate half of her foot.

I slowly came inside while creeping her way. She had blood smeared over the side of her face. I remember saying “no” and “Storm” over and over again. She didn’t seem fazed, she just watched me. I called my mom and with difficulty told her she needed to come over ASAP, that I needed help. My mom came inside and had a hard time with the scene as well. She told me to call the vet so we could bring her back in. We wrapped her stump with a couple kitchen towels and seeing that I was in no shape to drive, my mom drove us to the vet.

While originally talking to my dad about where to amputate, he mentioned a couple of points that helped me to make the decision of amputating her leg at the hip. We were told that she would have emergency surgery the next day.

 

I am stopping this post for now as I am sure it is quite a bit to take in for my loyal readers. This story doesn’t stop at this point though, sadly it continues and I will write another post hopefully soon.

 

Storm’s Never-ending Leg Issues

*Warning Includes pictures: Not for the faint-hearted

Annnnnd I’m back! Although I don’t write many blog posts or always reply to comments, I do “okay” with reading some of your blog posts. You may have noticed that I have been a little more quiet lately. Well, I meant to put one of my notifications in my spam e-mail and wasn’t thinking that ALL my WordPress notifications would go there. I suspect WP received a message or that e-mails were returned, and WP shut off my notices, email notifications, etc. Which is fine! I’m not blaming them for my less than stellar thinking. It sadly took me a couple weeks to realize that I had not read particular posts. Any-who, I have changed things under my WP account and am once again good to go.

I decided to try a mouth guard to help with my head and neck pain. I can’t afford a decent one from a dentist so I purchased one at the local store that you can do at home. One night after doing the annoying process of making the molds, I put it in. It certainly takes time to become used to it and I’m not exactly having luck with it. I have been taking it out of my mouth while I sleep. Soooooo that project is currently on hold.

Storm’s leg that had the torn ACL is once again giving her (us) Hell. This time it is her foot. A few days ago, I noticed that one of the paw toes(?) had started to swell up.

I was thinking that maybe she was reacting to a bug bite or sting. But then it become worse…

And worse…

and continued going downhill it seemed…

This all was within a day or so. I brought her to my new vet and he wasn’t sure what to make of it. He found her pulse near her foot and said it was strong. He swabbed part of her foot and the results came up as bacterial infection (which is what her knee comes up as when it’s acting up). So she has 14 days of medication and it is taking FOREVER to start working.

At the vet’s 2nd time

The next day after a full dose of her medication, her foot looked worse. I brought her in for a quick look and my vet said it IS healing, that it will just look like it’s not. He also mentioned that for the healing process, it will keep filling with fluid until the skin splits open, then releasing all the fluid.

NASTY!!!

Just like when her leg acts up, she has begun leaking blood everywhere. I tried to wrap up her foot but don’t have anything that works. So for now, she is mostly confined to the love seat. I even bring her food to her at the love seat.

I feel horrible for her, she looks so uncomfortable. When laying, her foot is constantly moving and she cannot find a position that is comfortable. The vet said she is not in pain but I beg to differ. The only time she does not seem uncomfortable is when she is sleeping.

 

 

What Stress?

I want to apologize for not replying to all comments right away–I’m horrible at it. Which baffles me because I figured I would be good at it. Many times I am reading and replying to comments, then something shiny (a text message, an e-mail, taking Storm out–not that that is always “shiny” but you catch my drift) catches my eye. And when that happens, I usually forget what I was doing or working on. That is the product of my Lupus/Fibro Fog. Every so often I try to remember to go through the comments and see the ones that I have missed. The key words there are “try to remember.”

I found something I need to look at when feeling low. I suggest you look at Thug Unicorn on FB for some feel good and ass kicking mantras.  

from Facebook
from Facebook

These last two, or three (?) weeks have been very painful for me. Headaches (although at times they feel like migraines), earaches, neck and upper back pain non-stop, all day, every day.  I tried a few things and they didn’t work. I didn’t want to visit my doctor though because I knew what he would say, that I’m clenching my jaw at night and tensing up. Last time this happened, he couldn’t figure anything out so I went to an ear specialist. But that was so long ago that I can’t remember what the specialist said, all I know is that nothing came of it. My doctor decided though to switch up my night meds a little and see if it would help. I didn’t notice any difference that first night, so along with my new meds he also wanted me to take my old ones. Oh man, I slept soooo deep it was fabulous! Take that, insomnia! Ha! I love sleeping even more now. The downside is I am still in pain during the day. So I need to make another call to the doctor.

Like most people, I Googled my symptoms and I am fairly certain I have TMJ (The temporomandibular joint) issues. It mentions for TMJ issues that I would need to see a dentist. Well Medicare doesn’t cover dentistry. So, once I get my next monthly funds, I will be purchasing a mouth guard for night. I should have gotten a mouth guard years ago as I also grind my teeth at night. But I kept putting it off, maybe part being in denial that I actually need one. This time the pain is too great to not get one to see if it helps.

This pain has made me aware though, how much I am lacking with my mindfulness and meditation. So I am forcing myself to get back into those habits. I feel they truly make a difference in my life and I feel that life is better with those habits.

Getting back to my normal self

So mentally I am feeling better. I figure if my friends don’t want to be in my life, then I will just find some friends that care. Although it is somewhat difficult to do if you never go out and socialize. Ha! Most of the time I don’t feel well to go out. There are a couple writing groups that have had meet ups, but it’s usually only once a month and I tend to have more bad days than good in a month’s time. I will still try to go to future ones though, I’m not giving up.

At the beginning of the month my mom and I went to a showing of Cirque Du Soleil. I have never been to one before and it was BRILLIANT! Seriously, if you have the chance, GO. It is totally worth the money. Going to that with my mom really helped me get out of my depressed/negative funk.

Now how I feel physically is a different story. My Lupus is in a flare and has been mean to my stomach all of last week, making it feel nauseated and acidic. My fatigue has been horrible. I get about 12 hours at night then usually can’t stay awake during the day so I take a nap on top of the 12 hours. No, I’m not getting “too much” sleep. I listen to my body. Besides, with Storm wanting to go outside every 3-4 hours, I don’t have a chance. My Fibro areas have been painful and my Lupus has been making my joints ache. I know it will be fine though, the flare just needs to run its course.

Lately I have been obsessed with a book series about a demon chic that kicks ass! 🙂 The author is Pippa DaCosta and the first in the series is called Beyond the Veil. Seriously, it’s been ridiculous. It’s the only thing I do during the day and as soon as I finish one, I immediately go online and purchase the next in the series. It has been quite some time since an author has grabbed my attention like that. But it is possible that I can’t stop reading her books because I haven’t read any other demon series/books. I’m not sure if men would like it as it has some romance. But check it out! The prequel is a bit darker than the rest of the series, but the first in the series is currently free on Amazon. And that is how I became hooked. 🙂

I had a couple ‘snaps’ from Snapchat that I thought you guys might like. Here is one but I will make another post for a few more. I hope you guys are doing well and I will try to visit some of your blogs as I know I am behind! 🙂

LOL sometimes it is difficult to tell which way she is looking!
LOL sometimes it is difficult to tell which way she is looking!

Holiday Depression

Holidays (mostly Christmas) can be very depressing for someone with a chronic illness, especially if they do not have a significant other. It could be that that person is not able to partake in festivities due to how shitty they feel. Another reason may be because they are on disability income and cannot afford gifts for the important people in their lives. Yes, it’s not about gifts, but it’s about being with family and friends. However it’s hard to keep that thought as everyone around you are opening gifts. And TV sure as hell doesn’t help. Every other commercial is about gifts, and what you are getting your loved one. Because more than ever, you want to be watching the surprise and happiness on their face when they open the gift from you.
These last few weeks I have been in a downward spiral with my depression. I am trying things and skills I learned in therapy to try and get back in the right mindset but nothing is working. I feel completely alone and lonely. It’s been a long time since I have cried this much. A factor that doesn’t help is I feel my close friends have not been there for me during this difficult time. A support group/circle is very critical to someone with a chronic illness (even for a normal person). Bless my mom for her support and putting up with my depressing texts, I would be worse off if she were not in my life. I have thought about contacting my therapist but I keep telling myself that I will soon feel better and back to my old self (and actually believe it) so there is no need to. But that hasn’t really been working either…
This is where my therapy skills that I learned kicks in: The negative thoughts (I thought about putting “voices,” then decided against it haha) are saying that my friends don’t care about me (I have voiced my opinion to them that holidays are depressing but they haven’t bothered to check on me.). But my therapy skills say, ‘let’s list reasons why they are unavailable and then choose a more realistic reason why they aren’t there for me: Do they have kids? A job? Significant other? Health problems? So every time I think a negative thought, I counteract it with a positive or realistic thought. But it’s not sticking. 😦 And I realize that everyone has a life so they will be busy and that’s why I don’t hear from them. But my depression makes me focus on only ME and nothing else. Why things aren’t working out for ME. Me, me, me. I’m not dismissing that depression is fake, it is very much real. When I find out my friends are not happy or sick, I try to contact them right away to see if things are okay. But I feel that they don’t do it in return. Don’t I deserve to feel loved? 😦

Two Fish, Three Fish, No Fish

Hey everyone, sorry you haven’t heard/seen me lately. I forgot how much my Fibromyalgia hates winter and cold. I was in more pain than normal all of last month. I went through some of your blog posts but that was all you were going to get from me. Haha! Around Thanksgiving I had a bitch of a migraine that wouldn’t disappear. Finally on the 5th straight day, I knew I had to go in and ask for something different/stronger than my Percocet. My sister, M, was kind enough to pick me up and take me to acute care so I could get a shot at the top of my butt. 🙂 It had been quite some time since I had to get a pain shot and whewwww it burned. Now, I am mostly feeling better.

And naturally, if it’s not me having health issues it’s Storm. Yes, she is still having issues with her leg and it started to swell up again. Either she opened her old wound or it burst open on its own. I have her blood/fluids on my floors, furniture and blankets because it is slowly draining. I’m impatiently waiting for her wound to heal so I can start deep cleaning. On Monday, I take her in to get an x-ray to see if that will show anything unusual. Sigh…this damn dog is getting to be too expensive for someone on just a Social Security income. 😦

See that big 'ol ball of fluid on what would be her kneecap?
See that big ‘ol ball of fluid on what would be her kneecap?

Thankfully, I no longer have a dating life so I am able to take care of Storm and myself. I really hate the dating life. The guy I really liked saw me for a few more weeks. One night we had a REALLY great night at my place. His wall finally came down a little. I found out he loves peanut butter too so we talked about it for about five straight minutes. What started our convo was that he asked if I had something to munch on and I showed him my box of peanut butter and chocolate chip granola bars. He said he was going to eat the whole box and I thought he was joking so I said that it was fine. He ended up eating the whole box! It was a brand new box! Haha! We were cuddling on the couch and it had been almost three weeks since seeing him last so I said I had missed him and he said he missed me too. Shortly after he took off so I could sleep. I texted him the next day and I got no response. I texted him the day after and the day after that. Nothing. Okay buddy, I can take a hint. I don’t want to assume but I think maybe he got the feels for me and that scared him. I don’t find it a coincidence that I express my feelings by saying that I missed him and him disappearing after that night.

I decided to meet up with another guy to see how that went. We started to watch a movie and he didn’t waste any time in pulling me in to cuddle. Red flag! I thought that I would see how it went it a little longer. He asked me if I wanted to know anything else about him and I mentioned that I couldn’t think of anything at that time. He said that he wanted to know something else about me so I asked what he wanted to know. He said, “I want to know if you are a good kisser.” I giggled, he was being so corny. So I thought, sure what the hell, and we started making out. Um, wow… Within minutes, the bottom half of my whole face was covered with his slobber. After an agonizing amount of time, I finally had to pull away and casually wipe my face.

I thought maybe I could try again but try to stay in charge and show him how to kiss me. I moved closer annnnnnnnd he stuck his tongue out in between his lips… Bahahahaha! He didn’t try put his tongue back in, he just sat there like that. HOW DO YOU EVEN RESPOND TO THAT?!?! I would lean in like I was going to kiss him,  but even then he wouldn’t pull it back in so I would awkwardly pull away. I tried a couple times yet nothing changed, so I just gave up and acted like I wanted to cuddle. Haha. He decided to give me a hickey on my neck. What the hell?!?! Are we back in high school?!?! And holy hell it HURT. It hurt so much that I could only grit my teeth in pain and not think about speaking up. Sure enough it was deep purple and hurt for a couple days after. *Shivers* It was such a bad date. He was a “one and done.” Soon after that, I deleted my profile on POF. dating

Book Review – How To Be Sick

I normally don’t write book reviews on here but felt I needed to get the word out about a recent one that I finished. Mostly because it has to do with being ill/sick and I know some Spoonies/Lupies follow me. The book I am talking about is called, How to be Sick by Toni Bernhard.

As pictured, I bought the paperback version but you can also purchase this book as an e-book or Audiobook. I like to get my “nerd” on and highlight things to remember, and sometimes an electronic highlighter just doesn’t cut it (I love office supplies!). 🙂

I am pretty much making this my sickness Bible. Toni offers a great amount of examples which helps the reader think of ways they can apply it to their lives. And if you are a Byron Katie fan, Toni mentions her and includes some of her quotes.

Here is a list of the chapters to give you a better example of what you will be reading.

  1. Getting sick – A romantic trip to Paris
  2. Staying sick – This can’t be happening to me
  3. The Buddha tells it like it is
  4. The Universal Law of Impermanence
  5. Who is sick?
  6. Finding joy in the life you can no longer lead
  7. Soothing the body, mind and heart
  8. Using compassion to alleviate your suffering
  9. Facing the ups and downs of chronic illness with equanimity
  10. Getting off the wheel of suffering
  11. Tonglen – Spinning straw into gold
  12. With our thoughts we make the world
  13. Healing the mind by living in the present moment
  14. What to do when (it seems) you can’t do anything
  15. Zen helps
  16. Communicating with care
  17. The struggle to find community in isolation

As the last chapter finishes, the author has a guide to help with specific challenges (I loved this part!!). A couple challenges include: Blaming yourself for being sick, feeling ignored by family and friends, and suffering due to uncertainty about the future.

I want to thank my cousin, Rebecca, for recommending this book. And of course, I would like to thank the author for writing it. 🙂 The author has two other books for sale, How to Wake Up and How to Live Well. I currently have How to Live Well on my bookshelf and can’t wait to start it! 🙂