Posts Tagged ‘December 2011’

10 out of 12 Ain’t Bad

Sunday, December 18th, 2011

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10 out of 12 ain’t bad.
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At least that is what I am telling myself.
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You remember September right?
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December’s sweater isn’t going to happen either.  At least not this December.
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I herniated a disc in my neck 3 weeks ago today.  C6/7.  It was incredibly painful and I like to think I have a pretty high threshold for pain.  I mean a few months after my son was born, I drove myself to the ER with a kidney stone.  Not pretty.
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I wish I had a great story about how it happened.  I don’t.  I just stood up on a Sunday morning.  Just stood up out of bed ready to take on the day and felt the sharp stabbing pains in my back and down my left arm.  It literally knocked me down.  The only thing I could do on that day was lay flat on the bed.  That was the only way I felt some relief from the pain.
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By about 7:30 that night, I couldn’t take it anymore.  My sister came over to watch our kids and my husband drove me to the ER at Lakeview Hospital in Stillwater.  Let me just say…that place is great.  And I am not just saying that because as I was getting a shot for the pain, my amazingly kind nurse said “Don’t you own that yarn shop on Main Street?”  I said I did and she said “I thought you looked familiar”.  What was it I wondered, the tear strewn face or the fact that my pants were pulled down for the shot that made me look familiar?  Funny.  She said “I LOVE that shop, every time I come home with a Darn Knit bag my husband gives me a look”.   It was a great moment of levity in an otherwise horrific time.
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Anyway, the pain medicine worked (oh except for the nausea from the narcotic…yep, throwing up is not fun normally imagine doing it with a herniated disc in your upper neck).  For the next 3 days, the only way I was comfortable was with my left hand on top of my head.  The telltale sign of someone with a C6/7 herniation I have come to find out.
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12:30 am on Thursday morning was our 2nd trip to the ER.  This time the doctor said he was recommending to the general practice doc that I get an MRI asap.  I got 2 more shots of pain drugs and left with some Vicodin.  For the record Vicodin is trouble.
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That night at 8:00 we headed back to Lakeview Hospital to get an MRI.  Now, I had no idea what an MRI would be like.  It was not pleasant.  They were trying to take images of my neck, so they kept asking me not to swallow.  “This next one is going to be 6 minutes Aimee.  Try not to swallow”.  Yeah right.  And does it have to be that loud?
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The next day we had an appointment with the Neck guy who recommended a steroid shot in my neck, he said it was likely to offer me immediate relief.  I was all for it.  The whole shot in the neck thing was super easy actually and didn’t hurt at all.  The only part that hurt was the nurse telling me “well, with age comes degeneration of your discs”.  WHA???  I’m not even 39 yet.  Ouch.
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The shot helped immensely and I could take my arm down from my head!  Wahoo!
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Now I am in physical therapy, and religiously using ice and advil.
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I do have a whole new appreciation for those living with chronic pain.  Pain makes you crabby.  Pain makes you depressed.  Pain makes you not care much about things you should care about. Pain makes you snap at people you love.  I feel lucky that I started with a pretty high happiness level.  I have great family and friends that are incredibly supportive.  This too shall pass.
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But, in the mean time.  The December sweater is a casualty of the herniation.  It won’t happen.  My pointer finger on my left hand is numb and the top of my left hand hurts.  I am a picker, I knit continental most of the time.  This isn’t working for me.  I plan to get my hand back in working order and get ready for January 1st.  I AM casting on for January!
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So, thanks to all of you for your well wishes, advice and impromptu massages.  Thanks to Carly for handling the shop with grace (even through her own injury) and thanks to the DKA staff for your hard work picking up my slack these last 3 weeks.  I appreciate you.
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Bring on 2012.
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