Sunday, October 7, 2012

It's Been a While...

And a lot has been going on.

When did I leave off? What did the New Year bring? An ongoing struggle with my health - mostly the right arm nerve issues.  A new dog.  A confirmed diagnosis and disability status. And a few other hiccups and glitches as every life  has.

Through the course of  a couple of independent medical examinations and seeing my own neurologist it has finally been confirmed / decided that I definitely have complex brachial neuroplexy.  Basically - the nerves in my right arm don't work right - whether they are being trapped and pinched by muscles or surrounding bone, damaged from injury at the surgery site, or a combination of the two, plus overuse and stress. So that means my arm doesn't want to work properly.  My fingers swell and hard to move.  My thumb, index finger and part of my hand are numb.  There's significant pain though my wrist and forearm.  My elbow feels like I've just smacked my funny bone all the time.  My bicep burn or throbs or pulses - ah, it can't decide what it is doing.  My tricep aches, it just aches constantly.  My shoulder is a whole other combination of pains, burning, aching, pinching un-niceness. And the pain extends up my neck and across my shoulders to the left as the left side is always trying to compensate.  The pain makes everyday activities challenging.  Typing and writing - writing is the worst, after only a few minutes I can barely hold a pen.  Carrying is limited to a couple of pounds.  Forget about anything requiring strength or the need to apply pressure like mashing potatoes, washing windows, etc.  It's not pleasant.  I don't recommend it to anyone.

I had a four month "vacation" courtesy of my neurologist from mid April to early August because of my nerve issues.  At the peak of my pain we tried two another medications to try and settle the pain down.  The first I had to stop taking immediately as the pharmacist said it counteracted something else I take.  The second I took for about 6 weeks and it was helping the pain but also helping me become a viscous, angry, miserable to live with person.  So that had to stop too. 

After a long struggle and with the help of my docs and my male boss I finally have a decision on my disability status from my insurer.  I am partially disabled.  Finally.  A decision. I'm still working on how I feel about that.

In early March we got a message from our dog Sophie's breeder.  Sophie's mom Macy had a little of 9 - 5 boys, 4 girls.   And 2 of the boys were not homed yet... were we interested.  Twisting our rubber arms, we adopted Titan, the first born, biggest boy of the litter.  He arrived home to us on May 2nd.  He and Sophie made quick friends and are inseparable.  Literally if one goes out, the other has to go to.  They are great company for each other and keeps each other entertained.

Titan, 1st born March 5, 2012
Sophie continues to grow and excel at obedience and agility training.  Titan is now in his 3rd level of obedience and is a little more headstrong than his big sister.  We're learning as much from them as they do from us.  Sophie, now 19 months old weighs in at 51 lbs full grown.  Titan at 7 months already weighs 61 lbs.  He's going to be a moose!

Left - Titan 7 months. Right - Sophie 19 months

As for the other hiccups and glitches??  

I decided early in the year to sell my motorcycle.  It was not an easy decision for me at all.  But knowing how weak my arm is and how much pain I am in, it was not at all safe for me to ride her.  I finally sold her in June to a very nice Asian man.  I see it all over town, so I know he's enjoying the ride.

We had to travel with Sophie to the University of Minnesota Minneapolis for a root canal on a lower canine tooth.  She ran into a fence post or her brother's head and shifted the tooth from the blood supply, killing the tooth.  You do not want to know how much it costs for a root canal on a dog.

I continue to try and promote education about Chiari Malformation wherever I go.  At my craft shows this year I have for sale Chiari awareness pins on cards with a brief description of the disease. 

I have also expanded my crafts and added dragonflies... and I'm loving them!! I just hope they sell!

But I guess that's all for now... I remain here, fighting everyday.

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