Thursday, June 28, 2012

I just want some pain relief!

My physical therapist came to see me today, along with the senior territory manager of the company I get my TENS unit through.  They brought me a new unit, called an Electrotherapy System (I'm still going to call it a TENS unit or system since it's shorter!) to see if it would help me since the TENS unit I had used stopped doing the trick after two weeks.  When the lady put the new, much larger electrodes on my body, I was thrilled at how much better they adhered to my skin and when she turned the unit on, I liked what I felt.  This system has a very intense setting for the first half hour, yet I didn't think it would be too much for me as I had been dealing with my old TENS unit on the maximum strength for up to 16 hours per day.  After half an hour, I can set it to work as a regular TENS unit for the rest of the day and evening, except this one goes up much higher in its intensity.  Ahh, finally I would get relief!  Or so I thought.

Along with this new system, I was given two sets of rechargeable batteries and charger and was told both sets of batteries were fully charged.  So imagine my surprise when my TENS stopped working less than three hours into using it!  I figured the batteries had not been completely charged so I switched the batteries and proceeded to put the used ones on the charger.  Not even two hours later, the new ones quit on me.  What the hell?  Frustrated, I put a pair of regular AA batteries in the unit and they DIED after less than four hours.  Ohh my goodness!  This system uses so much more power than my last one that there is no way in hell I will be able to use it all day long as I need to do!  I will definitely be calling the territory manager to let her know my utter surprise and disappointment in this system as I need it to work the entire day.  Why can't it have a power cord?  That would be wonderful as I'm sitting next to an outlet most of my waking hours and this would save much time on switching batteries over and over again.  All I can say is I'm frustrated out of my mind and dying for some relief.
I had a very unsettling incident yesterday as Dorraine and I returned to my home with Emmi Sue after her blood sugar veterinarian check.  Dorraine brought her in, so the only thing I was carrying was my purse, but as soon as I walked into my house, my body suddenly became extremely weak.  The weather was a lovely 75°degrees and breezy, so it had nothing to do with excessive heat, but my body suddenly bent forward and my legs had almost no strength.  I walked a few steps to the kitchen counter, where the sink is located, and leaned my backside against it as Dorraine looked at me with the strangest expression.  I must have had the oddest look on my face as I told her I couldn't move.  I was stuck in that position and was honestly very frightened.  I finally managed to ask her to pass me my cane, which I have rarely used inside my home, so I could try to walk over to the computer chair.  I don't even want to know how horrible I looked as I dragged both legs those few feet to my chair.  What would I do if this lasted?  Today was Dorraine's day off and I would be alone all day.  I knew I could call my parents but they worry too much as it is and didn't want to cause them extra distress but they would, eventually, need to know this had happened, which I shared with Mom earlier today.  And yes, I do plan on getting a Lifeline unit for my home as soon as I get a phone line.  The state will actually pay for Lifeline (or MedicAlert, I'm not sure which one) and I will take care of the line itself.
I'm scheduled to see my friendly neighborhood chiropractor tomorrow (ok, technically today!) but I'm sure I will end up cancelling as we are expecting another scorcher.  The temperature was near 100°today and is expected to be even hotter tomorrow and I can't imagine what the heat will do to my body.  I'm afraid of having another reaction as I did just yesterday and it wasn't even because of the heat! Ugh, summer is the worst time of the year for me and I can't wait until fall although winter is damn horrible, too.  There's really no good time of the year where I live, which explains why I rarely leave my home.

Monday, June 25, 2012

A peaceful day full of reflections

This has been a peaceful day and evening for me.  I wish we could all have such lovely days where the phone doesn't ring, our children (human or four-legged) are on their best behavior, body aches are mostly under control and the day goes by without incidence.  It really has been ages since I've had one of these and it was much needed.
When I first saw this posted on Facebook, I thought to myself.. hmmm, this isn't me anymore.  So above the image, I wrote:  "The funny thing about me is that I don't want to be who I used to be before the MS.  I don't remember what that life was like anymore and I really love who I am today.  I would just love to be without the pain or needing to depend on others as much as I do.  Otherwise, I guess you could say that I've made my peace with MS and the life I have."  And as those of you who follow my blog know by now, this is exactly the way I feel.  This doesn't mean I don't miss doing things I did in my youth but to spend too much time looking back with anything but fondness would only cause heartache and not accomplish anything but hours of tears and wanting for something I can never reclaim.  So why bother?  I prefer to remember what I can and smile that I was able to do what I did and relish in those times when I'm sure I made my parents insane with my craziness!  Those are the memories worth hanging on to, not the ones which would make me cry.  I'm sure we all have enough sadness in our lives already and I, for one, do not wish to be more heartbroken than I need be.
When I was told I had MS, I felt it was the end of the world for me but what I hadn't realized was that it was actually the beginning of a new life and a new, exciting way of thinking.  It's true that I didn't allow this change to really take place until I was around the age of 37 or so, but it finally happened when my mind was able to embrace what lay before me.  How did this happen?  It didn't actually hit me until earlier today but I had hit rock bottom, which is when the greatest changes tend to occur in most people.

I had just gone through a terrible break up with my paralyzed ex-boyfriend.  It was so bad, in fact, that I tried to commit suicide as a way of making him stay with me.  I still cannot put my mind around the fact that I had done that, but that was how desperate I was for the mental abuse to continue because it was all I thought I deserved.  After two ex-husbands who had not treated me well and then this man who was not too mentally stable, I was afraid for him to go so I did the unthinkable.  I shot myself up with far too much insulin and followed it with a handful of Valium.  I ended up in the emergency room and then stayed for a couple days in the I.C.U. (intensive care unit) until my body stabilized.  While in the hospital I asked one of the nurses for some paper and wrote a diary entry, as I had kept a diary for around 25 years, and when I finished writing I signed it Lucy.  It was at that moment when the old me was put to rest and a new me began to emerge.  I would never look back after that point.
I am always a work in progress but there is one thing that changed drastically in the last few years.  I really and truly love who I have become and this is something I could never have said before.  When this change took place exactly, I can't even say, but it happened.  Maybe I just got tired of being miserable and finally realized the only one who could change my reality was me.  I'm not even sure but I think maybe that was it, or at least part of it.  Or maybe I wanted to be as wonderful as I felt my three little girls believed I was.  Yeah, there's more truth in that than anything else I could ever say.  I wanted to be more like them!  I embraced more of a carefree attitude (which my younger brother would probably debate!) and realized that not believing in a higher power and announcing this was the right thing for me and in doing this, I freed myself from the prison my heart and mind had been living in.  From that moment forward, each day has had more promise, seemed brighter and I've been happier in my own skin so it has been one of the absolute best decisions I ever made for myself.

Each of us has our own path to take and our choices are ours alone but the consequences of these options can be either damaging or life affirming.  I choose to no longer make harmful decisions and take my time before selecting what to do, whereas I used to behave rather recklessly.  This is my one chance at life and I intend on making the best of it.