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3 posts from October 2007

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Chicken Pox

Matthew woke up yesterday covered in red dots.  I took him to the pediatrician and to our surprise he has Chicken Pox.  We are really shocked about this because he was immunized against the disease.  We have him quarantined in the house until he shows signs of improving.  Poor baby.  I'm covering him in Calamine lotion, giving him Benedryl, and Aveeno baths.  He is so uncomfortable.  I remember having it when I was a child and it was a miserable experience.

Susan

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Back pain is a pain in the back

BackPain1 I've had back problems most of my life and they aren't getting any better.  When I was 15 I was told that I had idiopathic scoliosis and a mild curvature of the spine.  As I got older and had babies, my back got far worse 45 degrees to the right in the thoracic region and 33 to the left in the lumbar region.  I couldn't breathe when I was in a lying position, my back hurt, I felt as though I couldn't function like normal, healthy people. So, when I was 23 years old, I had surgery to correct the curve with herrington rod instrumentation.  It was a horrible experience for me, especially with 2 young babies to care for, but I managed to get through it with the support of my family. 

I spent 10 months in a body cast and I understand that advancements in spinal surgery now don't require this long of a recovery and the cast is removable.  Wow! That would have been a field trip compared to what I went thru.  Nevertheless, I grew almost 3 inches and viewed the world from an entirely new perspective. I spent 2 weeks in the hospital because every time they tried to get me out of the hospital bed to try to walk I went blind for about 20 minutes. 

BackPain2 After about 9 days, the symptoms of blindness became far less.  My first night at home from the hospital resulted in me falling off the edge of the bed and slamming my head into the night table.  All I wanted was my mother's fried chicken, so with help, I figured out how to aim my head for the pillow before I laid down and took some aspirin for the headache.

Fast-forward 25 years later and 2 more children to add to my family portfolio.  I developed scoliosis in my neck and lower back (where the fusion and herrington were not placed) and now have been diagnosed with osteo-arthritis of the spine and degenerative disc disease.  Why am I not surprised.  There seems to be no fighting this.  I have lived with the pain consistently - even after the surgery, the only difference was that I could breathe.

BackPain3 I've had hot packs, massage, pain medications too numerous to mention, epidurals that don't take, and electrical stimulus, and the only reason, I believe, that I felt any relief was due to the momentary re-direction of my thoughts from the pain.  That might be why I love to paint and write, too, because it gets my mind almost entirely off my pain and into a frame of mind that blocks out everything going on around me. 

Unfortunately, as of the last 4 months, the pain is so intense in my lower back and hips I find it difficult to walk and move about.  I finally went to see a spinal specialist about what to do.  No surgery now - thank God - but physical therapy twice a week is the prescribed direction for relief - even if temporary. 

BackPain4 Honestly, I'm sick of the pain.  It is wearing me out.  I hate it.  If I could I'd check myself into the hospital right now and have them give me a lumbar transplant.  I want my life back!  It has been so bad lately that I swear I'll be one lucky lady to live to be 50.  I have thought for years that my days would not make it to 50.  I don't know why, maybe it is because of all the pain and health issues that are wearing me down.  I just hope that those thoughts don't make the worse come true.  God forbid. 

Got any suggestions for back pain?  I'm thinking I might try acupuncture in addition to the physical therapy.  I want a miracle and a new lease on life.  I am aging way before my time.  Any new therapies?  Let me know about them. 

Susan

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Going to the Orthodontist

By Sarah Vaughn

Orthodontist Yesterday I had to go to the orthodontist and get my braces tightened and my colors changed - the usual - but I also had to get my expander out of my mouth. I was scared that it would hurt. My brother's friend Alex said it would hurt and they would rip it out of my mouth quick and fast. So I was even more scared of going. All I wanted to do was beg my parents not to take me.

But my mom said she was not going to put it off. Then I thought about getting my expander off and said to myself, "If I don't get it off now then I will have to later, so I should do it sooner versus later." Wednesday came and yesterday I had to go. We drove there and went in. I signed in. I went in the back to play some games and I had about 10 minutes before my appointment. Every time I go to the Orthodontist and no matter how early I am - even 30 minutes early - they will take me in as soon as I get there. So before I could even start a game one of the orthodontists came in and said "Hi Sarah come on in!  I need to take some x-rays of your mouth first so come over here." I said "Okay" and followed her to the back room where she took my x-rays. No problem.

Orthodontist2 Then she took me to the room where they fix up your teeth - you know, where they put on the braces and tighten them.  She put back the chair and said "Lay down and relax, Okay." Everything was fine. She took off my colored rubberbands and my wire. Then she said "Okay time for me to take off your expander, are you ready?" I was scared and I admit I started to cry I was so scared. She asked me what was wrong and I told her I was scared and what Alex had said and she said everything would be all right and there is nothing to worry about and said that all I would feel is some pressure and that's it. I said ok.

Then she started and I'll say it hurt like crazy. I started crying even more and then it was out and I went to the sink rinsing out my mouth and I said I wanted my mom "can I go get her?" They said "yes." So I went to the front and asked her to come with me and she said "okay." When they start putting on new brackets and colors (I got orange and black for Halloween) I started to whine and cry a little bit because it hurt. I know I'm a Big cry baby when it comes to going to the Orthodontist but mom rubbed my legs and arms and made me feel safe.

When it was all done and my mom was talking about something to the receptionist, I went over and got 3 Chocolate cookies. As we were leaving, I had wanted to stop at CVS to get a Webkinz really bad.  I have some already, but they are just so cute. I was waiting for the right time to ask if I could go get one because there was a CVS right across the street and she looked at me and laughed and said "I was planning to take you and get you one today since you got your expander out." I laughed and said "well, I was already planning to ask you and I was just waiting for the right moment." So we went to CVS and I looked and then finally asked someone and they said they were all sold out. We went to some other places and all of them said: "Sorry, we are all sold out" or "Sorry, We don't sell them here." So we went home and my mom went on ebay and bought me one and I paid her for it too!  I gave her $12.00.  And so that is what happened yesterday from going to the Orthodontist to getting a Webkinz.

Sarah



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