Recently in Health Category
I hope the poet of succinct apologies will forgive:
This is just to say -
Love means never sharing Strep -
Cough, Groan, Sneeze, Sniff, Moan
I think I might have actually improved upon the original, what with my homage to "Love Story" and inclusion of alliteration and onomatopoeia and all that. Please pay no attention to William Carlos Williams rolling in his grave.
I suspect this is just the sort of missive a pencil-pusher at the CDC sends to his loved ones. The royalties from Hallmark should come pouring in soon.
'Til then, I'm pushing pills and passing out tissues - as we all have Strep Throat.
I know several gluten-free people and thought it was quite prodigious when I happened upon a lovely gluten-free blog, Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef, this past week. Really, how many gluten-freen people do you know that are also married to their own chef? None, right? I suppose that is what makes this site so different.
The Gluten-Free Girl, Shauna James Ahern, tells about herself in quite a long narrative from 1966 'til now, so I'll let her tell you about herself. Basically she is gluten-free, married to a a chef, and eating wonderful food.
I think you'll enjoy:
You can also communicate with the Girl and Her Chef:
Think this incident is rare? At every school in my school district, my inhaler was considered contraband. Naturally, I always chose a possible detention or expulsion rather than forego carrying my inhaler secretly in my purse. Breathing is one of my priorities in life.
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year's. We managed to have a good holiday (as you can see from the children's glee shown above) despite illnesses and a death in the family.
If you follow my Twitter, you already know that my husband's last grandparent passed away right before Christmas. This is the same grandmother who gave me so many craft materials over the years, including the plastic canvas S used recently. After her death, all of her crochet yarn and metal hooks were brought to me, as she had requested. I also have many other items she had given to me over the years. I feel honored to have so many of her treasured things about me and I'm happy that she is once again at the side of her beloved husband who passed nine years ago.
Between her death and my brain surgery, I seem to have been slapped with the truth that we are all here for but a moment. It's not that I didn't take death seriously already, it's just that death is brushing too closely by me lately.
The night she passed away, H and I were sorrowful. We had not visited her as much as we should have. But while it's true that we should have made more time for her, I knew that we had always brought her a lot of joy and had worked hard to give her a close relationship with two of her eleven great-grandchildren.
Sometimes your best is not all it should be, just all it could be.
A post like this usually ends with a plea to spend more time with those you love, but I won't tell you that. Until Death comes riding down your street, such platitudes are empty. I will tell you, though, that regrets are many and days are few. Too many die with "I wish.." on their lips, but Carmen died with joy. I hope when my time comes that I do too.
This is my first time back on my computer since my surgery. I am still in great pain and am waiting to decide whether the surgery was worth the agony. I spent four, unpleasant days in the hospital. Since coming home, I have spent most of my time sleeping or watching TV. I haven't felt well enough to even read. The family has doted on me greatly and I have enjoyed having my husband home with me all these days.
The surgery was harder than I expected. After opening me up, my neurosurgeon was surprised to find my arachnoid membrane to be opaque and discovered that my trigeminal nerve was surrounded by scar tissue. It appears I must have had Meningitis as a child. The surgeon said it looked as though glue had been squirted all around. He removed the scar tissue and separated the trigeminal nerve. He also sectioned the nerve to cause numbing so that I won't received so many pain signals.
Right now, I have the pain from the trigeminal neuralgia and the surgical pain, as well. My jaw keeps popping out of place. My numb eye leaks and needs eye drops. It's difficult to open my mouth to eat. I have to be careful when I swallow because part of my throat is numb also.
I do feel a tiny bit better each day and hope I will eventually think this was all worth it.
My surgical tape fell off yesterday and we all got our first look at my wound:
D said it looks like she sewed me up (and she didn't mean that as a complement) and S cried for the first time of this whole ordeal. The one good thing I can say is that my long thick hair covers the wound perfectly. With my hair down, no one can tell I was a patient of Dr. Frankenstein.
Another good thing is that I received three bouquets of lovely flowers and that many kind people have called to see how I am.
I hope I will be able to return to my blog more and that my health will continue to improve.
Thank you all for your kind thoughts and prayers.
In October 2004, I went to the dentist for a root canal and ever since I've had a condition called trigeminal neuralgia (TN), a neuropathic disorder of the trigeminal facial nerve which causes "stabbing, mind-numbing, electric shock-like pain". For a long time, we had no idea what was wrong with me. I had three dental surgeries and a molar pulled before I decided the pain was not going to be helped by dentistry. Apparently, this is common amongst TN patients. After seeing many doctors, including an otolarynologist, I finally made it to a neurologist who quickly gave my pain a name.
I was happy to learn that TN is considered one of the most painful diseases to have; now, I didn't feel like such a wimp for feeling so bad. For five years it has hurt to brush my hair, brush my teeth, wash my face, eat, smile, laugh, live. TN is called the "Suicide" disease because so many with the disorder end up killing themselves. As I type this, it feels like a screwdriver is being jammed into my left ear - and I've only just woken. I lightly scratch an itch above my lip and the pain spreads there. As the day progresses, the pain will spread and get worse.
My neurologist is using the typical treatment for TN: anticonvulsants and opiates. Unfortunately, it is difficult to have a good life with these medications, especially in the large doses I'm prescribed. I have also gotten to the point where the opiates no longer control the pain. I have to take another option: Microvascular decompression.
So, next Friday, my surgeon, one of the best in the world, will cut a small hole in my skull behind my left ear and attempt to isolate the trigeminal nerve. If it appears that isolation is not going to be helpful, the surgeon will damage the nerve.
Patients are put to sleep using general anesthesia and are positioned on their back with their head turned or on their side with the symptomatic side facing up. Electrical monitoring of facial function and hearing is used. A straight incision is made two finger breadths behind the ear about the length of the ear. A portion of the skull the size of a half-dollar is removed exposing the underlying brain covering known as the dura. The dura is opened to expose the cerebellum. The cerebellum is allowed to fall out of the way exposing the side of the brain stem. Using a microscope and micro-instruments, the arachnoid membrane is dissected allowing visualization of the 8th, 7th and finally the trigeminal nerve. The offending loop of blood vessel is then mobilized. Frequently a groove or indentation is seen in the nerve where the offending vessel was in contact with the nerve. Less often the nerve is thin and pale. Once the vessel is mobilized a sponge like material is placed between the nerve and the offending blood vessel to prevent the vessel from returning to its native position.
After the decompression is complete, the wound is flushed clean with saline solution. The dura is sewn closed. The skull is reconstructed and the overlying tissues are closed in multiple layers. The patient is allowed to wake up and is taken to an intensive care unit or other close observation unit.
Here is a three-minute TV news report explaining TN:
Watching her neck then became the day's occupation:
Although Black Widow and Brown Recluse spiders may be threatening, most spiders that you and your children are likely to encounter are essentially harmless, especially if you leave them alone. They will bite if provoked; however, their bites are not considered medically dangerous. You can expect to see a reaction similar to that of a bee sting, including redness, pain and swelling at the site. Sometimes other symptoms including headache, nausea and vomiting may occur. Good cleaning techniques and proper first-aid should be practiced for all spider bites. If your child is bitten by an unknown spider:We followed this advice and here is her neck after topical Benadryl:
* Save the spider for identification purposes, even if the spider is dead.
* Clean the area thoroughly with soap and water.
* Check with your child's doctor about a tetanus booster.
* Apply topical antibiotic ointment to prevent infection.
* Hydrocortisone cream may be used to reduce inflammation.
* Consider using antihistamines for severe swelling.
* Analgesics may be taken to control pain.
* Contact your child's physician if the area becomes infected.