Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A Long Road

It's been an interesting 5 months since I last blogged.

The main reason that I have stayed away from this blog is because my favorite reader and supporter has passed away. My Grandma lost her battle with leukemia in July and since then, I have been struggling a lot. I know my family has too. I think about her every day, and every day, I cry.

It's been brutal.

There are other things bothering me too, of course. I still struggle with ankle problems and I know that very soon, I will have to leave my current job because it requires me to be on my feet too much and it is disrupting my ability to function as a wife and mother.

I went back to my doctor and had a custom brace made, but it didn't stabilize my ankle, so it doesn't work. It frustrated me to no end.

I joined the YMCA because they have a pool and I do love to swim... once I get in the water. Brian and Drake go with me too and we try to go 3 times a week. However, over the last month and a half, it seems every time that we take Drake he ends up getting some sort of sickness from the kids at the ChildWatch. First it was a cold, then it was a 24 hour bug, then it was bronchitis.

My doctor diagnosed me with osteoarthritis. And once again, told me that I would need to have some sort of surgery in the future.

I don't want another surgery. The first 3 didn't help, and I am sure this wouldn't either.

I keep telling my job that I can't work so many hours, but I need the money. So it's a constant conflict of personal interest. Do I kill myself over something as petty as money? Or am I that desperate to live a semi-normal life?

Currently I am looking for other options, but seeing how it may take a few months for that to pan out, I just hope that I can hold on.

Drake is doing well. He is talking more and that makes me happy. He spends a lot of time with Brian's parents, because they come over to babysit for us when we are both working. They do it for free most weeks too. Sometimes we are able to provide them with gas money, or dinner, and sometimes we aren't. Most of the time we aren't able to.

I thought working outside of the home would provide more funds for us, but it really isn't paying out. Brian's started looking for other work too. We both know that if I keep on working like this, I really will be crippled and it will be either through another surgery, or just injury. I have no idea what to do and sometimes, I feel really lost.

Ok, make that most of the time.

Other than the existential crisis, I really am happy. I finally made some great friends, and I couldn't be happier in my life with Brian and Drake. I just really want a working foot so I can work.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Steroids, Pain Pills, and a Boot, to boot.

I love working my new job. It's right up my alley, in terms of what I want to do with my life. I really want to be a librarian but you know that requires going back to school, which requires funding, which I do not have. But HEY- this is a step in the right direction and will keep me happy at least.

Sadly, my ankle is not really up to snuff for this running around sort of job, at least not yet. I went to see my doctor on Monday and was prescribed steroids, pain pills and modified working conditions in addition to wearing a walking cast/boot. I have a love hate relationship with the Boot.

I hate that it is bulky, and that I have to wear it. I hate that I am asked 1,000 times a day what has happened and why I am wearing it. I hate being weak. I hate it, because there is literally nothing "wrong" with my ankle. Nothing happened. It's just weak. And that is a shitty feeling. It's weaaaak. My favorite response to "what's wrong with your ankle" lately has been "Nothing, I wrestled a bear." And that usually diverts it to a more humorous situation, in which I can come up with all sorts of crazy details about a non-existent bear fight, and how I managed to escape mostly unharmed.

I love the boot in that it allows me to walk and to work. End of list.

Look, my ankle hurts REALLY bad when it hurts. And it always kind of hurts a little bit, especially if I have to do any standing. I went from sitting on my (ever-expanding) ass for 5 years, to working a part time job where I have to be on my feet anywhere from 20-35 hours a week. It is stressful on my ankle, no doubt about it. It's stressful on the rest of my body too.

I know the boot helps, and I am grateful that I have it. I am not grateful, however, for the stigma that comes along with it. However, seeing that it allows me to work, and to keep my job, well, the Boot and I might be having drinks this week.

I hate being on steroids as well. I know they are great for reducing inflammation and swelling, and they do work--- but I hate the side effects. I am constantly hungry. I am gaining weight out of nowhere (like 10 lbs in a week.) Look I know I am eating a bit more on steroids, but I track every bite that goes in my mouth and nowhere did I eat an extra 35,000 calories.

I also was told that I needed to exercise my ankle and really focus on losing weight. I joined Planet Fitness again but haven't been able to go a whole lot, I went once. I really do like the atmosphere, but I have trouble finding time to go. I will just have to do better and make it a priority. Now that it's summer, I am hoping too to get in our apartment complex's pools and maybe do some water aerobics.

My ankle really bothers me mentally, not just physically. It bothers me that I am weak and unable to do a lot of things that most people take for granted. Not just running or wearing fancy high heels. I mean, like being able to hold down a minimum wage job and work 35+ hours a week. I mean being able to go to the bathroom without help. I mean not having to become personal with the Boot.

So be grateful, children, that your legs work as the Maker intended and you're able to do all those things. Because some of us are insanely jealous.

That being said, I am going to go take my steroids and a pain pill, and play some video games until my husband gets home. Then I will hit the gym.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Hello? Is this thing on? *taps mic*

Hey there blogheads. If anyone still reads blogs on blogger, that is. Did you all move to the Tumblr?

It's been ages since my last post, since just after New Year's to be exact. A lot of stuff has happened since then, but let's just narrow it down.

I work at a bookstore, and I love it. I also have been having severe issues with my ankle again. I went to the same surgeon/foot specialist I saw all through my teen years and I had some x-rays done today. My ankle is extremely arthritic, but other than that, it is all good. Nothing to worry about other than general weakness causing some severe pain. I got a cortisone shot and a prescription for some steroids. I have a couple of bone spurs on the right side of my left ankle, but they are not bone-on-bone, and asymptomatic, although they are moderate in size. All my pain is on the left side of my left ankle.

My doctor also heavily suggested getting in shape. I know losing the weight will help my ankle in the long run and some strength training will help it in the short term as well. I was given a list of physical therapy exercises to do, and I bought some of those elastic resistance bands at work. Hey, they are 30% off with my discount, so I am totally taking advantage of it. So I was told to do the elliptical on no resistance and 0 incline, and the stationary bike as well as doing some core work.

I've been doing the physical therapy exercises for a while now, and I do think it is helping, although I do not do it religiously, and I really need to. Same with the exercising.

I am on a work restriction for the next 6 weeks until my follow up appointment. I was so worried that I was going to have to have surgery or be told that I can't work, and I do not want to lose my job. I love it so much. I have never been happier in a job, my coworkers are awesome, I really love the management as well. They are super accommodating, especially to a newbie gimp like me. I only started there at the end of April so to have their support and seeing how willing they are to work around my disability... yeah. It feels awesome. Super awesome.

I have lost a little bit of weight since I started working there, but not a whole lot. Just 5 lbs. But hey, 5 lbs in a month is super awesome!

Part of me was really hoping I would lose 10-20 since I have not been on my feet much but you know what, I think a lot of it is water weight too, I have been swelling up in my feet, so I drink tons of water now.

We finally have insurance. It's through Obamacare, but I am happy to have it. We got the three of us covered for both health and dental and we only pay $70 a month for it. It is brilliant and I could not be more pleased.

Brian went to the Appleseed Comic Con 2 weekends ago and he had an artist table. He sold a lot of prints and commissioned sketches over two days and I am so proud of him. He also got an interview with a local university! We made a good bit of money too, which had me extra proud of him. I went into it thinking we were going to be at a loss, because it was our first convention and he is not that well known yet. I thought we were going to be rewarded with some exposure and experience, but I was (delightfully) wrong!

I think that we are going to do another one this year, probably in November. We will be able to do a little bit of traveling for it, and that makes me happy. Brian said that he had a lot of fun and if that is what he could do for a living, traveling and going to conventions and selling artwork, he would be so happy. So I am going to try and make that a reality for us.

Brian had gone to the dentist and needs to have a lot of work done on his teeth but thankfully we have dental insurance now and that makes me so happy that we will be able to afford to send him.

I work part time at the bookstore, but part time is around 30 hours a week, so I am making more money than I was at home and that makes my heart happy. I know I just started working there and I still am in the honeymoon phase of my job, but I have always wanted to be a librarian and this fulfills that dream of mine on some level. If I can manage to become full time at some point, they also pay for schooling, and I would love to go get my bachelors and eventually my masters in library science.

I have made so many friends with my coworkers too. It's nice having my own set of friends that I do not have to share with Brian. They all think (know) that I am crazy, but I don't think that they really understand the depths of my isolation before, and how utterly lonely it is not to have any real friends of my own.

These people are also insanely geeky and I love that about them. I find I have something in common with most of them, and that I can really relate. Some of my coworkers even live close by, so that makes it even easier to hang out with them. Have I yet? No. But it's going to happen.

I went in today to drop off my doctor's note and to talk to the managers, and all of my coworkers came up to me and asked me how my doctor appointment went, and I could see the genuine concern in their faces. I was so worried that I would have to have surgery and lose my job, and I could tell that they could see it and that they didn't want me to lose it either. Six plus weeks is a long time to request off for surgery, especially since I was only hired a month ago. I got a few hugs too, when I told them that I wouldn't be needing it. I told you they were concerned.

I almost cried then.

But I didn't.

I finally saw Frozen. Did not like it, it felt really loose in the plot. We are doing a Frozen party at work, and I totally did not volunteer to help out. I can't stand the movie, so I would not be able to handle all the parents and kids belting out "Let It Go" all day long.

ah well, I have to get going. I am meeting a friend at the gym. It's my first time going since I renewed my membership last week. I haven't been able to walk since then, so it will be nice to go.

Closing thought: It's really hard to drive a stick shift with a walking cast on.