Friday, April 29, 2011

Congratulations William & Kate

I had planned to get up early this morning to watch the royal wedding.
But things don't always work out as planned.
Yesterday, we had a violent wind storm in this area.
It took out our power at about 1:15 in the afternoon, 45 minutes before my boys of summer were due to play a game (they won anyway)!
So, I sat and read, using the sunlight that streams through the windows of my sanctuary.  That effort resulted in my curling up and sleeping for about an hour.
When we discovered that the power was not expected to be restored before 8:00pm, we went into town to have our favourite pizza dinner.  On our return, we learned that power would be out until at least midnight -- we were a group of 88 homes among some 150,000 customers who were without power.
So we fired up the generator long enough for me to set the PVR on the television to tape the royal wedding coverage, just in case I didn't wake up on time to watch it.
Apparently, that wasn't going to be a problem though.
Our power was actually restored shortly after 9:00pm so I sat and watched Bones, which is a favourite show of mine (one of many favourites).  Then I caught up on the news of the day; I felt like I had been cut off from the world!
I finally crawled into bed just before midnight and resumed reading, turning off the light shortly after 1:00am.
That's when the tossing and turning started.  Both hips were giving me fits; neither one letting me get comfortable long enough to fall asleep.  So I tried my back.  That must have worked for a bit because I woke at 2:00am, this time because of the pain in my hands.  They didn't appear swollen but the pain, which emanated up to my elbows, felt like they were badly swollen.
And that was it.  Since it was almost time for the wedding coverage to start, I got up and checked a few things on the computer before I settled down on the sofa to take in the ceremony.
I managed to fall asleep briefly some time after 4:00am, but woke again about a half hour later -- because of the pain in my hands.
And that pain continues still.  I know not from where it comes, or why I have it, or what it means.  All I know is that it is very painful, right through to my elbows, yet there is no visible swelling.
So, while I had planned to "get up to watch the coverage," I didn't have to "get up" -- I've effectively been up all night.
I did see the coverage of the wedding, and how beautiful Kate looked as she joined her Wills at the altar.
I can't believe how she managed to maintain her composure throughout that long walk down the aisle, with so many people's eyes on her, knowing the world was watching her. 
And she said her vows without a wince or a gulp (or a giggle)!
All I can say is, "That girl has balls!"
Congratulations, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.  Well done!

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

The wait begins anew

Yesterday, I decided to clear up some medical issues that have been hanging over me.
First, I called the Sleep Centre to inquire as to the status of the study that was done on me back on March 25th.
"Yes, that was reported to your doctor a week ago.  We found nothing that would explain your sleep issues."
Surprise, surprise.  I told my doctor that I had slept like a baby that night!
But it is good to know that whatever is causing my interrupted sleep, it's not apnea.
I've requested a copy of the report from my doctor and expect to have that in the next day or two.
Then I fired off an e-mail to the Joint Assessment Clinic to see if I could get any information about the progress of my referral for that second opinion.  This morning, I had a very cheery response in my in-box:
"We have just obtained Dr. Au's dictated note and your referral has been sent to Dr. Paul Kim at the Ottawa General. You will be contacted by his office to arrange an appointment and the wait time to see him is approximately 2-4 months. If surgery is an option with him, then his wait time from consult to surgery is approximately 9-10 months"
So, based on that timeline, I can expect to see the second surgeon some time in July and if he opts for the surgical route, that won't happen before next March or April.
Oh fun!
Pain has become such a basic part of my everyday functioning, what's another year in the scheme of things?  Besides, Dr. Au (the referring surgeon) has already told me that it's going to get worse.  So by the time anything happens, I guess my doubts will be erased as to necessity for the surgery.
Obviously, it's time to get on with my life and to stop this "hurry up and wait" status that I've been in for the past while.
I just have to remember to pace myself very carefully.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Southbank Dodge Chrysler Service Department SUCKS.

Southbank Dodge Chrysler Service Department SUCKS.
On April 13th they "lost" my car in the queue when I left it to have the snow tires changed. I posted about that fiasco on the 14th ( 
On April 15th they left me a message saying the recall parts for my vehicle had arrived -- "please make an appointment to have the work done."
Today, I call to make that appointment -- "we don't have those parts ma'am; we have 200 on back order!"
Where are the parts they called me about on the 15th??
Did I mention that Southbank Dodge Chrysler Service Department SUCKS?
Apparently, someone will call me (again) when the parts arrive.
I guess I'd better drop everything and get there toute suite when that call comes in, if it ever does. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Spring is here?

OK, here we go, back to our "normal" state again.
Easter is behind us.
Spring has sprung (finally).
We had a fabulous time having my beautiful boy here over Easter.
As usual, he watched a movie on the "long drive" to grandma's house (my car has everything).
When we got here on Saturday, we set about making cinnamon buns for his Mom.  He is remarkably comfortable (and eager to help) in the kitchen, fairly adept at measuring precisely and especially good at breaking eggs.  Once all the ingredients were placed in the bread maker and I told him how long it would be to the next step, he went off to amuse himself and kept checking back to see if it was time to tend to those buns yet.  He delighted in the rolling of the dough and then was intrigued when I showed him how to cut the rolls with the thread; he immediately took over that task and did a stellar job.
Then of course the constant question from both him and his grandfather became, "When can we have a cinnamon bun?"
Dinner that evening was a culinary delight for John.  He prepared a lavish meal for the two of them:  froglegs and scallops (yucko!);  I had chicken.  There was also rice and broccoli and salad (which MBB had also helped prepare).  When I asked John why he was going to such fuss (he laid out an incredible spread!), he said "because it was very special having the monster here."  For dessert, they finally got that cinnamon roll for which they had been salivating.
I prepared MBB's "room" (my sanctuary) for him to hunker down for the night and he crawled into bed with his ever-present book, the television playing, and try as I might, I couldn't outlast him.  So I said my goodnights and instructed him to turn out the light ten minutes hence.  When I checked in on him some 30 minutes later, the light was out.  He is such a responsible young man.
The next morning, I was up at my usual 5:00am and made the coffee.  John brought me my newspaper at about 5:30am and I returned to bed to read, waiting for signs of life from MBB.  Some time around 6:15am, I heard John talking to him so I hollered for him to come see me.  Turns out he had been up since about 5:15am, reading.  He "didn't want to bother" me.  Silly boy!
He wasn't in a hurry for breakfast because "sometimes on weekends he doesn't have breakfast until later," so we took our time starting our day.  But John wanted to go to the gun club so eventually we had to get moving.
When we got to the dining room, we discovered that the Easter Bunny had left a treat for each of us.  There was an empty six-pack egg carton at MBB's place, suggesting that he should find six eggs.  So he went on a hunt and found his goodies (he doesn't actually believe in the Easter Bunny but he played along nicely).  And he didn't even attempt to eat any of that chocolate until after he'd had breakfast (who raised this child?).
Once John left, we dismantled his bed and returned my sanctuary to its normal state and he packed his stuff together so that he'd be ready when it was time to go.  His Mom called around 10:00am and we arranged to meet at the half-way point at 11:00am.
Again, on the return trip, he watched a movie (the only time that VES is used is when MBB is a passenger).
I got back here from the drop-off at about 11:45am and set about doing some spring cleaning that I've been wanting to tackle (but I'm pacing myself).
I really do wish I didn't have this pacing thing hanging over me because there are certain things I'd like to do and I'd like to just go at it, the way I used to be able to.  But I have to keep stopping, and resting, and waiting for energy before I can continue.  Everything takes so much longer than should be necessary.
Late yesterday afternoon, while John was out, I managed to put the canopy on the swing set (usually that's a job that we did together) so when he saw that it was ready, he thought we should have our pre-dinner drinks on the deck.  Watching the sun set through the trees from that spot reminds us of how lucky we are to live where we live.  Since we were out there, I got a hankering for cleaning the deck.  Once I picked up the broom, John got into the act and before long the deck was looking pretty good (it's not finished yet but it's sure a lot better than it was!).  Perhaps we'll get it completed today.
Then we'll tackle the porch.
With my need to pace myself, spring cleaning might be done by the time summer gets here.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Busy days ahead

I'm out of here by 9:00am today.
Have to be at the eye doctor by 10:00am (routine check-up -- every three months).  She'll be disappointed (but not as much as I) to learn that the glasses I just bought in January are already not working for my mid-range and close vision.  I again have to remove them to read!    Thankfully, my distance vision doesn't seem to have changed this time so driving is not an issue. Will this nonsense never end?
Once I'm finished there, I'll kill time with errands (groceries etc) until my 1:00pm massage (aaaahhhh) in Carleton Place.
That will put me at about 2:30pm before I get home, and I'm always very mellow following massage, wanting only to sleep, so that will pretty much be the end of my day.
Tomorrow, I'm going into Ottawa to (finally) tackle my good friend LC's income tax.  This is an annual event of course, and the income tax part takes no time at all.  But we make a rare opportunity out of it, going for dinner etc, and I stay overnight so we have a good chance to visit properly. 
On Saturday morning, we'll go for breakfast before I pick up MBB to bring him home with me for an overnight visit with Grandma and Grandpa.  Since he'll be here for Easter, I've made sure that the Easter Bunny has been alerted of his presence.
His parents will come out here on Sunday to get him, giving us an excuse to prepare Easter dinner.  That's something we don't usually do so we're looking forward to the occasion.
I should be able to post here again on Monday, if all goes as planned.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

My Introspection

As I mentioned yesterday, I've been feeling extremely introspective lately (are there actually degrees of introspection?).
Now I am, by nature, an introvert.  And I do spend a lot of time "living in my head," as John calls the syndrome (I'm sure you know lots of people who do that).
But since I launched this blog (two years ago on April 12th, actually), I've gained a certain degree of comfort from voicing my thoughts here.  It seems that once I've put my thoughts to paper I feel relieved of the pressure that those thoughts had been bringing to bear on me.  Then all of a sudden, two years into it, I fall back into my old way of keeping my thoughts to myself.
Why, I must ask myself, am I doing this?
The only answer I can come up with is because I am conflicted about a situation that is critical to my well-being.
The Lord said, "know thyself."  And I know myself very well indeed.  When I struggle with a difficult problem, I turn inward until I've resolved the issue.  It's always been that way for me.
Now, what plunged me into this introspective state?  My visit with the orthopaedic surgeon -- on April 12th, the two-year anniversary of my having launched this blog -- to discuss the prospect of my undergoing hip replacement surgery.
That visit was not at all what I had expected.
First, the surgeon was predominantly concerned with the x-rays and the fact that mine showed "only mild" osteoarthritis and therefore did not meet the criteria for replacement.  (He did grant that my history, his examination of me and the fact that the cortisone injection had given me such profound relief all indicated that replacement of the hip would bring me relief.)
Yet, the material that I had been sent home with from the Assessment Clinic played down the importance of x-rays and stressed instead the three criteria that more closely identified the need for surgery: (1) interference with sleep; (2) prevention from doing activities that one would otherwise enjoy; and (3) effect on personal relationships.
The surgeon didn't even touch on those points.
Which leads me to wonder why I was given that material.  The Nurse Practitioner had made such a point of impressing upon me the importance of my watching the video and reading the material -- it would all help me in making my decision.
Apparently, she didn't share that view with the surgeon.
That visit left me wondering if I really need hip replacement.
What if it won't prove beneficial and in the end, I'd have undergone the procedure, suffered through the rehab, and come out the other end none the better?  What then?
My physiotherapist had settled me down somewhat, reminding me that examination clearly indicates the need for surgery (Lord knows we've tried everything else).
Then my massage therapist visited me and contributed her sage opinion.  She used to teach anatomy so she is well versed in how each part of the body is intrinsic to the other.
As she put it to me, what the doctors aren't understanding is that while I might be a person with only mild osteoarthritis of the hips, I am not just a person with bad hips.  I am a person with bad hips who also has other issues (fibro and bursitis) and those issues are worsened by the aggravation of the bad hips.  So the hips have to be corrected in order to control the pain of the other issues.
She made it all sound so simple.  But she brought clarity to the matter for me because she is absolutely right.  She also agreed that I was wise to ask for the anterior approach, given the problems I have with inflammation along the IT band, which is precisely where the lateral approach would cut.
And then when I saw my physiotherapist yesterday and we discussed how my pain level has been very good lately, she reminded me that the reason for that is my lack of activity:  I'm controlling the pain by doing nothing.  And in the past, as soon as I start doing stuff (ie "having a life"), I get myself into a crisis.  She too is absolutely right.
Bottom line is, if I want to "have a life," I need to have my hip replaced.  The left one for sure.  My jury is still out with respect to my right hip; perhaps that's not nearly so urgent.  That's an assessment that can be revisited once the left hip has been replaced and I'm sufficiently recovered from the experience.
My physiotherapist is confident that the decision to request that second opinion from a surgeon who uses the anterior approach was a wise one.  It will give us another perspective and perhaps a whole new thrust from which to look at this.  And maybe, just maybe, this other surgeon will have some input with respect to hip replacement and fibromyalgia. 
Since we know that surgery of any kind will incite a fibro flare-up, it's in the best interest of the patient to minimize that impact. Surely I'm not the first person to raise concern about the lateral or posterior approach surgery and its effect on fibro trigger points (although the surgeon I saw earlier this month said that it has never come up in their meetings).
Who knows, perhaps I've started a dialogue among Ottawa surgeons that will benefit the fibromyalgic community.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sorry for the absence

I've been a tad slack about this blog of late, I know.
And the only excuse I have is reticence.
Just haven't felt like saying much the past few days, so I haven't.
For some reason, I've been extra introspective and I'm acutely aware of it.
I really just want to be alone with my thoughts.
I'm not sleeping badly, but I'm also not sleeping particularly well.  And my hands are swelling again, making for difficult manual tasks.  They are really quite sore.
Usually, when my hands are like this, working at the keyboard is therapeutic but even that is excruciatingly painful this time.  So I'm keeping my time at the computer to a minimum -- check my e-mail and go away.
So, bear with me and eventually I'll be back to the "Chatty Cathy" state that is my norm.
I have faith that she will return.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

This 'n that

I saw my doctor on Thursday morning.
The visit was more for me to update him on my status vis-a-vis my visit with the ortho surgeon than it was for any true medical "problem," (other than to discuss my ongoing pain management issue).
He had nothing to add to the discussion about anterior vs lateral vs posterior approach for the hip replacement surgery.  But he respects my physiotherapist's assessment of the overall situation and he certainly can understand the concern about the lateral approach.  So he agreed that, since the surgeon wanted a second opinion, that opinion should rightfully be sought from a surgeon who uses the anterior approach.
When I reported to him that I had suffered an eight-day fibro flare-up as a result of my three-day trip to Toronto, he reminded me of the need to "pace" myself (I have fibro, you know).
Really?  If I pace myself any slower, I'll be stopped altogether!
Anyway, he was more intrigued to learn that I'm a "baseball-aholic" -- the image of me at a baseball game decked out in my jersey and ball cap caused quite the giggle fit.
He did offer the opinion that based on the flare-up I experienced from having taken that trip, he felt he could safely hazard that my recovery from hip replacement surgery could be delayed by as much as three to six weeks.  I simply won't have the ability to engage in the required rehab immediately following the surgery. 
He assured me that the physiotherapists would be sympathetic to that set-back and would develop an appropriate program for me.  They will have to go very slowly with me, and they will know that.  I sure hope he knows of what he speaks on that one because I won't have the energy to fight with them!
Following that appointment, I had a very enjoyable breakfast with my good friend RLR before heading home, where I spent the rest of the day "pacing" myself.
Yesterday, I spent a quiet morning, although I did manage to walk for six minutes before the pain in my groin necessitated my stopping that activity.  Then I went to meet my Angel for lunch and had another very enjoyable outing with her before again coming home and spending the rest of the day pacing myself (I'm learning).
So I've actually had a very full week.  In the space of four days, I've seen three doctors and my physiotherapist; I've visited MLC, Pauple and MBB; I took MBB for his breakfast with Grandma; I had breakfast with RLR; and I had lunch with my Angel.
And today, my massage therapist is coming to me.  She'll work out all the knots quite nicely, and then I'll spend the rest of the day lolling about the house, because massage always leaves me wanting to sleep -- so that's usually what I do.
I'm pacing myself, really I am.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A day of mixed emotions

Yesterday was a mixed up day, emotionally.
I was in turmoil about the situation with my hip replacement status, until I got to my physiotherapist's office.  She was jumping out of her skin with excitement, waiting to hear how the appointment had gone.  When she heard my report, she was at first disappointed that the surgeon hadn't relied upon his examination of me, and my history.  But she was encouraged that he wanted a second opinion.
Then I told her about my wanting to pursue that opinion with a surgeon who would use the anterior approach, and I had my research material with me for her to see.  She was intrigued.
Once she studied the material, she agreed that I was absolutely right to want to stay away from the lateral approach, given my history with inflammation in that area of my body.  And her husband having just undergone the procedure, she has intimate knowledge of which she speaks.
I left her office feeling much more confident in the decision I had made, and I finally relaxed about the matter.
Then it was on to the car dealer to leave my car to have the snow tires removed.  I also had a recall notice with me and when I had telephoned about it earlier in the week, I was told they didn't have the parts for that repair, which would take about three hours.  I would have to reschedule to have that work done.
I arrived there at 2:30pm.  He plugged in the information about the recall and was checking to see if they had parts, in case they could do the work that day.  I made it very clear to the gentleman that under no circumstances were they to start any work on the vehicle that could not be finished the same day because I HAD to have my car back that day.  (The service centre closes at 6:00pm.)
"Oh, don't worry," he said, "you'll have your car back today.  It'll be ready in about 90 minutes."
I took from that statement that the parts for the recall repair weren't there, just as I had been told earlier in the week.
My little chickadee picked me up and we went to her place to wait for the dealer to call me.
At 5:10pm, when no call had yet come in, MLC and I left to go get my beautiful boy and while she was in picking him up, I called the dealer.
"Yes, I'd like to know if my car is ready, or near ready, please.  I left it there at 2:30 this afternoon."
"Name please."
"Um, was there any chance you were leaving the vehicle here overnight m'am?"
"No, there was no chance of that.  In fact, I made it quite clear when I left it, that I could not leave it overnight.  Are you telling me that it isn't ready?"
"I'm trying to figure out what the paperwork here is telling me m'am."
"Please tell me they didn't start doing that recall work and then went home with it half done."
"You brought it in for recall work?"
"I actually brought it in to have the snow tires removed.  Has that been done?"
"Are your tires here m'am?"
"Yes, are you telling me that you haven't done that work yet?"
"I need to figure out what this paperwork means.  I'll call you back.  Is this the number I can reach you at?  I'll call you right back."
So, I waited.
And I waited.
And I waited some more.
At 5:45pm, I arrived on their doorstep asking about my car, indicating that I was still waiting for that call back.
"Your tires are being bolted on now, as we speak, m'am."
So, at 6:00pm I paid for the service and found out that had I not made that call to inquire about my car, it would have sat there overnight, no one any the wiser -- except for me who would have been looking for my car.  As it turns out, the mechanic who got my car saw the recall order (which had been stapled on top of the "change the snow tire" order), knew the parts weren't there, so he put it aside.  And had since gone home.
The guy who did the intake for my car was supposed to check the status of the vehicle before he left for the day (he's the one who was supposed to be calling me when my car was ready 90 minutes after I dropped it off).
Oops, it seems he forgot to do that.
They apparently "would have found it in the morning."
I can assure you, when I left there, they knew that I was not impressed.
My parting question was, "I did get my own tires back did I?"
At least my beautiful boy had lots of big hugs for me -- they're good enough to make all the hurts go away!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

So I wait again

I saw the surgeon yesterday.
My 1:45pm appointment finished just before 3:30pm (I didn't actually see him until shortly after 3:00pm!).
He wants a second opinion.
It seems that my x-rays don't show severe enough degeneration to warrant hip replacement.
BUT, that's not always the indicator.
And on examination, and based on my history, and given the fact that I got such significant relief from the steroid injections (which prove to be very diagonistically beneficial), he could comfortably proceed with hip replacement in my case.
He just thinks it would be prudent to get another opinion from  one of his colleagues.
I asked about the surgical method (anterior vs posterior vs lateral) and how it is determined which approach is used.  "Surgeon preference," he replied very readily, "and I trained using the lateral method, so that's what I'm comfortable with."
We discussed the matter of my fibromyalgia and the impact the surgery would have on it.  ("It will get worse as a result of the surgery," he cautioned me.)  I expressed my concern about the impact the lateral incision could have on those fibro trigger points.  He admitted that he didn't know if anterior would be better than lateral or posterior and he offered that the question had never come up in any of the meetings the surgeons have.  He did agree that it sounded like a valid concern for fibromyalgic patients.
While he had wanted to refer me to one of his colleagues at his hospital, since none there performs the surgery using the anterior approach, we agreed that the second opinion would be sought from one of the two surgeons in Ottawa who use that method.
So, now I wait again.
The Queensway Carleton Hospital's Joint Assessment Clinic will send a request to the Ottawa Hospital, General Campus Clinic, asking that I be seen at the earliest opportunity by one of the two surgeons there who perform hip replacement surgery using the anterior approach.  And if that surgeon agrees that I am indeed a candidate for hip replacement, I guess it will be done at the General Campus.
Not as convenient a location as the Queensway Carleton Hospital would have been, but what price my end comfort and recovery potential?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Finally, the day has arrived

Well, today's the day I see the orthopaedic surgeon to discuss my hip replacement surgery.
I'm not sure how I feel about this; I'm really conflicted.
After ten years of being told that my problem stemmed from bursitis and/or fibromyalgia, I guess I'm having a hard time convincing myself that replacing my hip will end my difficulties.
And frankly, if I'm still going to have difficulty sleeping and moving about because the probably bursitis and/or fibro will remain an issue, what's the point of going through the surgery and all that it entails?
I remind myself that my doctor has ensured me that replacement of my hip joint involves removal of the bursa -- therefore, end of bursitis if in fact that has been a contributing factor, which he knows it has been.
As to the fibro, there are no easy answers for that and I know that there are no guarantees.
But knowing that the hips are fibro trigger points, and mine are obviously easily enraged, I worry about what I might be inciting.  And whether we'll ever get it under control afterwards.
On the plus side, however, is the vast number of people I've heard from who have had the procedure done -- all with excellent results.  I've not heard a bad report.  Without exception, everyone who has had a hip replaced feels that they should have done it years earlier, they are so happy with the results.  (They all had very easy recoveries too, but my physiotherapist has already cautioned me not to expect mine to be quite so easy, because of my fibro issues.)
So I guess I've just talked myself into proceeding with the surgery because life has to be better afterwards.  It is for everyone else who has it done; I have to accept that it will be for me too.
I do know that, because I have fibromyalgia, I can expect to be plunged into a flare-up -- that's a given.  How long that flare lasts is an unknown. 
Today is the first day I have any amount of energy -- the eighth day since my return from Toronto.  (I actually managed to walk ten minutes this morning.)  I guess I can use that as an indicator of what to expect following the surgery.  I also recognize that all this doubt stems from the funk I've been in during this recent flare-up.
Perhaps this will be a matter of long term pain for longer term gain?

Monday, April 11, 2011

This fatigue has GOT to end!

I, for one, have had enough of this.
Fatigue, be gone, I say!
Pain, too, for that matter.
In spite of the fatigue, I vowed I was going to walk this morning.  Oh, sure I am!
Right from the get-go, my right hip was objecting, big time. And a mere three minutes into the walk, my left hip started giving me old what-for.  By the time I gave up, at the six minute mark, my hands were swollen again and it was an effort to put one leg in front of the other.
This flare-up is obviously in the more serious category of flare-ups.  I've never had one last quite this long before (at least I don't recall one ever lasting this long).
Yesterday, I managed to do two loads of laundry.  But it took all the energy I had.  That was it for the day.  Now that, my friends, is simply pathetic!
Today, I've managed to make breakfast, get in that six-minute walk, strip the bed, put in a load of laundry, and do my bookkeeping.  I'll re-make the bed later, when I have a burst of energy -- hopefully that will happen some time before bedtime!
Really though, this is getting beyond ridiculous.
A three-day trip!  That's all I did.  And I have to pay with seven (or more) days of absolutely no energy?
My little chickadee suggested that I must be fighting something; it can't just be a flare-up.  Perhaps she's on to something.  Because yesterday, I was also freezing.  Just couldn't get warm no matter what I did.  Then five minutes later I was sweating buckets.
Time will tell.  I'll either get sick(er), or I'll recover.
I'm seeing two doctors this week -- ortho surgeon tomorrow to discuss my hip replacement surgery, then my own doctor on Thursday.  Perhaps it's serendipitous that I have that Thursday appointment.  By then, there might be more evidence of whatever I'm fighting and the doctor can actually diagnose something?
Maybe he can fix me.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Horrid night last night

I don't know what I have to do, really I don't.
I sat around and vegged all day yesterday.
It's getting to the point of ridiculous.
We returned from a three-day trip on Monday, and on Friday I was still suffering the effects of having taken that trip.
When I saw my physiotherapist on Thursday and complained about the fatigue, she opined about how, as we age, we all take longer to recover from everything.  I commented that my husband, who had celebrated his 79th birthday the day before, was not experiencing the same ill effects -- he was good to go on Tuesday!
"Ah," she said, "but he doesn't have fibromyalgia, does he?"
Damn, this cursed fibro!
OK, so I end up in a fibro flare-up for having enjoyed a Blue Jays outing.  But does it have to linger so long?
I went away for three days, and I'm still suffering four days later?
Enough is enough, I say!
And to add insult to injury, last night my hips decided to get into the action (just in case I was getting complacent about the need for surgery perhaps?).
All night long, even through my disjointed slumber, I was aware of the pain and the fidgetting as I tried to get comfortable.  It wasn't just one hip either; noooooo, this time, both hips were yelling at me!
When morning finally struck an acceptable hour, I got up feeling like a wet dishcloth.
Simply don't feel like doing anything.
Will my energy level ever return?
Just how long will this fibro flare-up last anyway?
The swelling in my hands has gone down, but only slightly.  In the past, my hands have always been a fairly good barometer of my fibro status.  So perhaps this one is on the decline now.
Three days.
That's all I took.
Three lousy days of fun, and fibro makes me pay with six days of suffering.
Makes me wonder what I'm in for following the hip replacement surgery, which we know is going to plunge me into a flare-up.  How ever will I have the energy to recuperate properly?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Rogers SUCKS!

OK, I just have to get something off my chest.
As I've mentioned here on more than one occasion, I am a huge Toronto Blue Jays fan.
I do not, however, think much of their owner, Rogers Corporation.  Our recent visit to Toronto didn't do anything to endear them to me either.
Sunday, April 4th was a promotion day -- the first 10,000 fans through the gates would receive a Jose Bautista Bobblehead.
Anticipating high interest in the item, we headed off to the ball park early enough to ensure that we'd get one (we've always managed to receive the promotion item in the past).
Bob dropped us off near gate 9 so I could enter at the elevator access which we had discovered the day before.  John and I walked up to what was labelled gate 9 (it was a 'door' rather than the usual 'turnstile' entrance.  There were several security guards at the door but they didn't stop us from entering.  The usual ticket collector was inside and she scanned our tickets but did not offer us a bobblehead.  I saw that further back in the entranceway was another guard with a box full of the promotion items, so I asked for one.  She questioningly handed me one, then handed one to John.  I was perplexed by the attitude but proceeded on my way.
When Bob joined us, he was quite dejected because he thought we had not got them (they were in a bag, under my seat).  I was shocked that he didn't have one.
He had entered at gate 12 and was told that they had run out at 11:15am (we arrived at about 11:45am). 
We noticed that everybody else who arrived after us was without a bobblehead.  (We had agreed before the game that if John and I had each received one and Bob did not, we would give him one of ours since our household really didn't need two of them.)
Fast forward to the end of the game.
Bob left to go get the car and we waited for him across the street from where he had earlier dropped us off.  It was a much longer wait than usual due to some extreme traffic tie-ups.
While we waited, we witnessed several groups of police men leaving the Rogers Centre, their shifts over.  Each was carrying a bag containing one or two bobbleheads (a few even had three in their bags).
I was stunned!
The promotion is limited to the first 10,000 fans through the gate.  Attendance was reportedly 35,500 for that game, which means that a bobblehead should have been given to 3.5 out of 10 people who walked through those gates.  There were six people sitting behind us and none had a bobblehead.  Bob mentioned that as he walked to the parking lot to get the car, he calculated that about 1 in 20 people might have been carrying a bobblehead.
So now we know that the Bautista promotion was given to paid staff rather than distributed to paying fans.
Go Rogers Go.  Way to keep the fanbase happy!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Five more sleeps

Only five more days 'til my visit with the orthopaedic surgeon.
Can you tell I'm anxious?
Each day, as I have less and less trouble with my hip, I find myself wondering if I even need surgery.
Then I hear my physiotherapist reminding me to "do the test" and I remember, "Oh yeh, I'm having less pain cuz I'm doing nothing."
And the whole purpose of having the surgery is to restore my ability to do things.
Like a normal person, sort of.
Yet I know that because of the fibro, I will still have limitations, even after the surgery eliminates the hip pain.
I'll still have to pace myself because I will forever be faced with the problem of extreme fatigue that plagues most fibro sufferers.
For instance, my fatigue level these past few days has been at an all time high.
All I want to do is sleep and it's really quite annoying, because I also need to be doing other stuff.
Like, I don't know, live a life perhaps.
I'm sure the fatigue is payback for having had a weekend in Toronto cheering on my beloved Blue Jays.
And I knew I'd pay a high price for that enjoyment.
Is it worth it?
You bet.
It's worth every ounce of suffering because, not only did I enjoy the weekend, so too did John, and our host loves having us come to visit and take in some games.  So much so that he's already asking when we're doing it again.  That's three for the price of one, I think.  How often do you get that much satisfaction from something?
So, will I do it again?
In a heartbeat, if other commitments in our schedule allow it.  Right now, we're looking at possibly taking in the Yankees series in mid-July, or the Texas series at the end of July.
We'll know better once I've seen the surgeon and have a first surgery date.
Our Blue Jays schedule depends on what my surgeon has to say.
And that's only five more sleeps away ...

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Happy Birthday to my favourite photographer

Today is John's birthday.
One year shy of a very important milestone.
Next year, we'll have to do it up real big.
But this year, he won't even tell me what he wants for dinner.
Since he "had" to have his birthday present two weeks ago, today seems somewhat just like every other day of the week.
But in my heart, because birthdays are special, it is a very important day.
So, Happy Birthday to my favourite photographer.
Love you.
A very old photo of my darling husband
-- this even predates my relationship with him.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

What a week-end we had!

What a fabulous week-end we had in Toronto!
John and Bob (our host) went to the ball game at the park on Friday night.  I stayed at Bob's and watched the game on television, preferring not to subject myself to the abuses of sitting in the nosebleed section and all that that entails.  Apparently, I made the right call too.  It was wild in that place that night.
On Saturday, our host treated us to his usual wonderful breakfast before we headed out to the ballpark.  My boys won that game too.  And had it not been for the three men sitting in the seats next to us, it would have been a perfect outing.  Those guys really should have gone to a bar to watch the game because it seems they were more interested in the beer stand than they were the ball game (at least that's what it seemed to me, the occupant of the aisle seat who had to keep getting up to let them out and then back in every five minutes!).
On Sunday, I could barely walk, more from the after effects of all the yo-yo-ing of the day before I'm sure.  Again our host treated us to a terrific breaskfast before we headed back to the ball park.  This time, we were entertained by a young man sitting directly behind me who was also really into the beer but he was funny, rather than obnoxious so it was easy to take.  He just really wanted his team to score big (and he thought I was awesome, just awesome!)  Sunday's game was incredible, albeit a loss.
We won the week-end series with what turned out to be a most exciting three games indeed.  My boys are ready for the season this year!
Our train ride home was uneventful, until we got to the Barrhaven station and I realized that we had retrieved someone else's bag from the train.  It took a while to straighten that mess out -- ours was in Ottawa, and the owner of the bag we had was also in Ottawa.  A switcheroo was organized and everyone was happy.  (I'll get my bag from my good friend, RLR, on Thursday.  Fortunately, she lives five minutes from the station, and by the time we got home, she already had my bag.)
Today, I'm simply catching up on things around here (including my breath) and I'll go for a massage later today.
I'm not suffering too badly for having made the trip, but my left hip is certainly letting its presence be known.
Tomorrow, I'll rest completely and get back on track.