My life has been pretty much like the title of the play "Stop the World -- I Want To Get Off!" In spite of my detailed records and preparations, my appointment with my accountant was over 7 hours long -- a marathon! Before I had time to recover, I made the mistake of checking my email in my office to discover that, in restructuring, one of the companies I've been working for managed to cut my income to less than half (that's reinforcing isn't it!) The next morning, I again checked my email (yes, I'm a glutton for punishment), and discovered a job offer from an associate in Africa where I would be a company representative in America. I haven't had time to pursue this, pre-op, but the whole situation struck me as very ironic!
I've been in incredible pain (head, neck, shoulder, arm) for two weeks and pretty much have written it off as stress and osteoarthritis (I have "spurs" in my neck); however, one of my orthopedists decided that wasn't the entire problem, so I was fitted with a hand/arm brace yesterday to hopefully relieve some of the pain. I also still wear a brace on my left leg to support the broken fibula (thanks arthritis) due to my deteriorating left ankle, and walk with a cane much of the time. I contacted one of my African companies to begin making arrangements for my return to work in October in Africa; however, I discovered that my program costs had suddenly more than doubled, which makes the cost prohibitive. I am still returning to Africa for the month of October, but won't be working for that particular company.
My final challenge (I hope) for this last week, was to be fitted in my wheelchair since I won't be allowed to walk post-op for 2-3 months. Even with the leg supports removed, I discovered that the chair is incredibly heavy, so I enlisted the help of a friend to carry it into my house. I've had to be in wheelchairs before, but never in my own home, so I didn't realize the challenges and obstacles! The only way I could maneuver the is if:I walked behind it (which probably wouldn't work post-op)!!! So I again called my surgeon's office who referred me back to the ortho-supply place who, when I carried the other chair back to my SUV, refitted me for a different chair that WILL work in my house. My final concern for the week was pain. As mentioned before, my pain has been worse this last 2 weeks than since I developed arthritis. Although I seldom take pain meds, it's nice to know that "help" is available when the pain gets really bad. I was nervous about this because, as most of the readers are aware, NO meds, even like Advil can be taken for one week before my operation. I've never known why, until I finally talked to one of my doctors yesterday, who explained the meds are stopped because they tend to also be blood thinners. What I didn't realize was that it's OK to take prescribed narcotics during that time because they don't thin the blood!!
So I REALLY KNOW this all will work out. I'm trying very hard to focus on my abilities and NOT my disabilities. I was recently making a gift for a friend, and discovered a package of peel-off stickers called "Wonderful Words." I keep them in my office as reminders to be grateful IN SPITE OF MY Arthritis. The list often helps me put things in perspective, to be more positive on those incredibly painful days. Words like trust, dare, pray, hope and believe.
I have arthritis, which is rearing its ugly head more than ever with me right now, but I have a disease, NOT A LIFE SENTENCE. With God's help and modern medicine, the love and support of special friends and family, I, too, will get better!
Published On: March 17, 2009