Monday, 11 August 2014

9 Months In!

So skip this blog if you read for book reviews because this about me. A little over half way into 2014 and quite a bit has happened. I finally got the operation to have my spinal cord stimulator put in. I had to do a trial run first which was a bit creepy. Spent a week with a wire running from my spine to an outside device that I hooked up to. The wire was really uncomfortable because it kept catching on things. But it did work somewhat, reduced my pain by about 50% on a good day. A couple of months later I received word that I would be getting the actual permanent one. Pretty good considering I had to wait a year and a half just to get the trial one. I guess they have to be so touchy about who gets it because the device costs $30 000 Canadian so basically right now my body, or what's in it, is worth more than my networth. How depressing is that! So me being me, I Youtubed the operation first. Not a great idea, it scared the crap out of me....as it should. I was awake for the whole thing albeit under mild anaesthesia. I had to be able to tell them if the electrical impulses were hitting the right thing. When they inserted the cable like thing (looks like a cord from a phone line or modem) along my spinal cord it didn't hurt. That took an hour and a half but I had great doctors who talked to me the whole time and kept my mind off it. Plus they left someone's brain tumour X-rays up on the wall so I was checking those out. Then they had to tunnel around my body to my stomach to insert the other part of the device which is like a pace maker. They gave me more drugs which was quite nice but I wondered why my programmer (the lovely lady who controls where the eletrical impulses will hit my legs) left the area and went to the front well away from the operation. She later told me she knew this was the worst part and she usually has to leave. The first thing that happened was one of the student doctors was asking questions about my case because everyone always finds it interesting, my type of cancer, no history, the type of chemo used and the resulting complications. She asked my prognosis and, as I lay there supposedly drugged out of my head, they said, She doesn't have a long life. Well isn't that a kick in the teeth! Hello! I'm right here, awake, listening!! I have heard it so often that it doesn't have the same impact anymore, or I should say, I don't let it. I do pretty well at shoving it to the back of my mind. Then the pain started. Huge pain as he tunneled the wire around, all this sucking noise as they sucked the blood up, more than they expected. Meanwhile, my programmer and anaesthesiologist stood at the other side of the toom talking about housing prices. I weakly waved my hand saying, I think I need more pain medication. He said soon. I wanted to say, F*** you but was crying too much. The problem was that because I'm so short, I like to say vertically challenged!, my rib cage and hip bone are close together so it was hard to find room to put the implant. Finally the doctor came over, gave me more pain meds and held my hand. Two hours of this but I made it. I;ve never seen bruising like I had but recovery was fast and today it's in, working although pain has moved to different areas. The only problem now is that the implant seems to be moving to the surface somewhat so it chafes against my clothes. I will have to go in and have it sunk deeper. Uggh!
So this is a pic of my stomach/side area about a week after surgery. I took my own stitches out later. I'm so proud! Anyway, that's my life so far as far as my health goes. Still alive, still breathing, still fighting!