Tuesday, April 24, 2012

It's The Little Things

I got this recently from the drugstore for a whopping 99-cents because I needed something for those rare moments I actually have cash (everything in Atlanta is done by way of debit card, it seems) and my current wallet is really only good for plastic and discount cards.
This little cheap coin purse just makes me so happy!  Every time I dig a quarter out of it, I imagine I am a woman in the 30's or 40's in a fabulous vintage dress with a stylish hat and doing a bit of shopping or perhaps lunch at a small diner as a break while I ran my errands.  Yes, I am fully aware that the print on this coin purse is more mod than that but I don't care.  It's more the act of opening the coin purse that does it for me.

And it makes me happy. :)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Feeling down

Even though I don't post as often as I really should, at the very least I have tried to keep them upbeat and positive (because that's just who I am)  if they are not about a project that I am working (sadly lacking these days).  Lately, however, I have just been feeling somewhat disheartened and I can feel it taking it's toll.

Here is the short version done in bullet points to force myself to keep it short.
  • July 2011 - scraped my left leg setting up for a one-night art show and had a lovely bout of cellulitis by the time I left the club.
  • August 2011 - through traveling and working on my sister's engagement party, the wounded area reopened and cellulitis came back
  • October 2011 - for my sister's wedding and subsequent travelling, etc. the wounded area reopened again but I lucked out on the cellulitis portion this time.
  • December 2011 - wounded area finally healed and no more signs of infection. Once you get this skin infection once, you are more prone to getting it again, unfortauntely, so I check my skin daily for any signs of it.
  • March 13, 2012 - no wound or sore but signs of cellulitis on my right knee.  Dr confirmed it that same day and I started the antibiotics. 
  • March 20, 2012 - follow-up with dr who gave me another antiobiotic . A few days later, my right knee starts to really hurt with the left one hurting slightly less a day or 2 later.
  • Image source
  • April 3, 2012 - Another follow-up and lortab for pain (which did NOTHING for me, btw) and sent me straight to an infection doctor to make sure the infection had not moved to the joint...even though both knees hurt. Infection doctor said "Nope but get an MRI on right knee and come back to make sure." 
  • April 9, 2012 - through a series of events, I manage to get the MRI.  They still look only at my right knee.
  • April 12, 2012 - infection doctor confirmed no infection but sees the start of lymphedema as well as a tear in the meniscus of my right knee. He told me to go to an orthopaedist for the tear and physical therapist for the lymphedema.  He also gave me a prescription for percocet which, again, had no effect on me other than made my head feel a little weird.
  • April 16, 2012 - saw Dr. F*ckweasel, an orthopaedic surgeon, who said the meniscus tear is minor and untreatable but said I have the beginning of osteoarthiritis in my right knee.  Here is how that conversation went:
Him:  Hi, my name is Dr. F*ckweasel. Your MRI does show a meniscus tear but it's small and in a spot that where is nothing to really be done for that so it'll heal on it's own. You do have osteoarthiritis in you knee, though. I can give you 3 weekly shots of synthetic rooster comb. Here's a pamphlet. Think about it and let me know. Goodbye."  (stands up to leave)
Me:  "Um...whoa...wait. What if I research this and this is not for me?"
Him:  "Then learn to deal with it. My job is to make it better.  Goodbye." (walks to the door)
Me:  "Wait!  What about my other knee?"
Him:  "You were only referred for the right one. GOODBYE"  (leaves)
Me:  (dumbfounded) 
I tried asking the nurse questions and her attiude was basically "Dr. F*ckweasel God has spoken" and showed me out.  I sat in my vehicle for 10 minutes and just cried.
  • April 18, 2012 - saw the physical therapist for the first time who confirmed the beginnings of lymphedema. She also said she can help with the OA in my knees and help me find some relief but she needed me to call the infection doctor to add it to his referral.  I did just that and also asked for a referral to a different ortho, one who has a different name.  The infection doctor sent the new referral but refused to give me an new referral. I have no idea why.
  • Today - I had my first appointment with PT today and now both of my legs are wrapped from knee to toe in compression bandages.  The bandages add 2" to the circumference of my feet so I have 1 pair of shoes I can kind of wear, though I fear they will cause a heel blister because they are a size too big for me.  So I need to deal with that.  They have to stay on for 6 weeks but, since my PT appointments are at 7am, I will get to take them off before I shower on the days I have the appointments (Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays).  I have to wear garbage bags over my legs in the shower the other 4 days of the week.  My knees still hurt but some simple desk exercises have actually helped the lessen the pain which is a wonderful thing.
  • Here is my right leg with my pants leg rolled up to show the bandage
I will need to find shoes this weekend that I can actually walk in but I feel like such a freak.  I went down to lunch and a lady in the elevator was staring at my shoes because they are untied but quite "filled".  And with the bandages and shoes, my legs are very heavy to I sort of plod along like a donkey.  I know that this is the right thing for me to be doing so it doesn't get worse as time goes on.  I definitely prefer a proactive approach to things rather than treating things after it gets bad. 

I am just feeling extremely self-conscious.  I can feel people thinking I am another fat chick who is suffering because I "let" myself get to this size.  Both the infection doctor and physical therapist said these issues happen to everyone, not just people my size, but I know that's what other people are thinking and for the first time in a VERY long time, it is bothering me.  A lot.