Friday, November 18, 2016

Longest update EVER!

Hello, Dear Friends!

I have a long update for all of you.  I suggest you clear a couple of hours from your schedule, go to the bathroom, grab a drink and a snack and then dig in to this super long post!

The day I let you know that I had finally been able to create a card all by myself, I left one detail out.  It certainly wasn't to lie to you or mislead you.  It was much more a wishful thinking that everything was going to be fine kind of thing.

I had way overdone it by making that card all by myself.  I had a good idea it was the case by the time I completed the card, but I was determined to ignore those signs and just celebrate my milestone.  I even decided to post my news here so all of you could celebrate with me.  As I was writing to all of you, while laying back in bed, I could feel my muscles begining to tell me, "This was a bad idea.  You will pay."  By morning, no matter how much I wished and prayed that I would be fine, I definitely was not.  My muscles simply weren't strong enough to make a card yet, even the simple card that it was.  You've heard the saying about pride going before the fall?  In my case, pride went with about three months of recovery from being hard headed and having to make one card all by myself.  

Good news, though!  By the end of August, I was finally stronger and doing better.  So, naturally something else went wrong.  (Insert nodding and laughing emoji in your head here.)  After all, that is how my story has gone since all of this started in 2013, right?!  All of a sudden I went from being in pain that I could tolerate and deal with while getting stronger to being in terrible pain that was almost unbearable.  It took us 2 weeks to figure out that I was no longer getting the Fentanyl from the Fentanyl patches I had been using for years.  Instead of working off of it in 3-6 months which is how I would have gone off it if I had gotten better, I had gone cold turkey in a matter of days.  The pain was severe in my lower back, down my legs and into my feet.  Thinking back on it, I can't even really put into words how awful it was.  The closest thing I can say is that it was the type of pain that normal people would go to the emergency room for immediately.  With my history of back problems and being a pain clinic patient, I knew that they wouldn't do anything for me, except release me with a hefty bill though, and that was the only reason I wasn't there begging for help.  

When we figured out the Fentanyl patches were the problem, I believed this was a very big deal.  However, the doctors I dealt with did not share that opinion.  We played phone tag back and forth relaying messages through nurses for over a week while I was prescribed medicines that weren't nearly strong enough to take the place of Fentanyl.  I found that out when I finally got to see a real, live doctor.  It took multiple medicines and different combinations to finally find one that would help me, five weeks after all of this started.  They still don't help quite as much as the Fentanyl did, but these medicines help a whole lot more than everything else we tried.  If medicine had been the only problem, I would have been in the clear.

I am a complex person, however, so my problems must like to be the same!  When I was in that terrible pain, I could barely stand to get out of bed and go to the bathroom.  I lived upstairs for three of those weeks in my bed and only got up to go to the bathroom or to go back to the doctor's office.  Once I finally saw a doctor, I had appointments to go back frequently, as in 3 times in one of the weeks.  All of those trips contributed to my body becoming even more run down.  Right when the meds were really kicking in, I got good and sick with a nasty fever and total exhaustion.  This added another couple of weeks in bed because my body was so exhausted, it just didn't have the strength to fight.  By the end of October, I was finally able to get up and moving again.  

Going down and then back up the stairs for the first time in weeks is not fun.  It is hard!  As great as it was to be free, it did not feel great to start making those muscles work again! Pushing my muscles again is rough, but thankfully, things are getting much better on that front rather quickly.  I've done this part many times before so I know I'll get stronger and moving will get easier.    

So that explains where I've been, what I've been up to and why I haven't been posting.  From a medical standpoint, my prognosis is not good.  There's not another cure for my pain waiting in the wings.  Of course, with all the research going on, something could pop up, but it's not immediatly on the horizon.  The doctors can try and control my pain, but that's about it.  While the spinal fusion surgery did help a little bit, it is officially a "failed" surgery.  That's very common with this type of injury and surgery.  Bummer, right??

I am not depressed or worried though.  God has gotten me this far and I know He will continue to give me the strength to deal with whatever comes in the future.   I don't believe God is just going to leave me in a bedroom in central Illinois for the rest of my life.  I believe someday, sooner or later, He will restore my back and I'll be able to serve Him out in the real world again like before.  Even if He doesn't though, I know that God will continue to provide for me and bless me and I will continue to praise Him for doing those things and so many more!    

While I don't tend to get very religious, for lack of a better term, on this blog, I am a Christian.  Letting you know that God is helping me deal with what would seem to be an unthinkable turn in life is part of my story.  It's part of my life with a wiener dog and how I can go on, joyfully, in spite of everything that has happened.  .

I know that nowadays, many people believe that religion is just a crutch that weak people use to help them deal with their lives.  My story might be a good example for them to prove it.  They are wrong, though.  My God is not a crutch.  He is my Lord and Savior.  I know He exists and is in my life as much as I know the computer I'm writing this on is real.  (This is not all the drugs, either, just in case you were wondering.  LOL!)  I have peace, love, hope and joy and I know those gifts are because of my faith in God and His blessings.  They definitely don't come from my circumstances which seem to be rather hopeless- that's for sure! 

 This definitely wasn't part of my original plan, so I have new little plans for my immediate future.    

One of those goals is to get back to stamping.  I miss it sooo much!  My cards will be clean and super simple, but that's okay.  I'll get to be creative again!  Plus, it's a great way to deal with stress.  Life is still stressful even though God is with me.  Plus, my arms are sooo weak, I'm hoping this will help strengthen them as well!  Stamping as physical therapy!  Can't beat that with a stick!!!

Hopefully, you'll start seeing a card here and there on my blog.  Maybe you'll see some images that I colored just for fun!  If not, you'll know another setback has occurred and I'll be back again, hopefully sooner than later!  I'm not a quitter, no matter how many times I get knocked down!

I must congratulate you if you've read all the way to here.  It's been long, I know.  Now you're all up to speed on me.

SOOOO....what about Frank???

Frank is 15 1/2 now and lives a very good life being spoiled by both of my parents.  He is having health problems as he is getting older, but he is still the same funny, opinionated, smart, sweet and wonderful wiener dog that I've had since he was 6 weeks old.

Because this is already so long, I will post again in a day or two and tell you all about Frank.  Who knows-perhaps I will even include some pictures so you can see that cute little fella!

Thank you to all of you for your thoughts and prayers for me that have continued even when I haven't been able to stay in touch.  I know they have been heard and answered by God getting me through so many hard times during all of this.  You are one of my many blessings!  If you would continue to pray that God will help my body get stronger and that I will be able to enjoy my favorite hobby again, I would appreciate it.  I promise this time I will be patient and ask for help until I know I'm able to do everything myself!  I'm not a quitter and I learn from my mistakes!  Until we meet again...

Happy Stamping!


Anonymous said...

You just made my day as I know it took a lot out of you to do such a long post! It was just so good to see that you did it! I will keep this short as I am making cards for the nursing home project and I need to mail them out at the latest Monday. I have 60 done and would like to try and do 40 more.

Sending good thoughts, well wishes, and prayers to you, Frankie, and your wonderful parents!

Chris R. from Iowa

Kim Heggins said...

Angela...just so wonderful to hear from you and I continue to pray that you improve to the point that you are able to make a card, even and clean and simply one. Sending gentle hugs and more prayers your way and looking forward to your next post.

Unknown said...

Hi Angela and Frank, It is so good to hear how you are doing. I love how optimistic you are and how your faith never waivers - always trusting in God for everything knowing he is always there for you. That is such an awesome testimony to me!! I wish you a blessed Thanksgiving and know that I will continue to pray for complete healing and God's strength daily. Give Frank a pat on the heard for me and I hope to see a card post someday soon! Pam

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