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I'm not brave. I'm not. I'm not rolling with the punches, I'm just getting punched. As I said, I've walked through the fire and I'm all burned up. I'm skinny, starving for a moment of real rest, of relief. ...continue reading "The Brave Face"

Stone and Shadows
Stone and Shadows

I see "the surgeon" tomorrow, the one who amputated my toes. I wonder what kind of person it takes to look at a foot rotted black, take a saw and hack off a body part to be thrown away? What allows his mind to go there and his hands to follow? Though beyond repair, black as night, shriveled to nothing and dry, they were still mine.

My heart knows 100% that this surgeon was one who helped save my life, mine and many others. He is loved and honored, rightfully put on a pedestal. He has taken people with slim odds and brought them back from the brink. In my heart I see him that way, but behind my eyes I see the man who methodically removed part of me and threw me away.

Faith Austin

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I have a few more art supplies coming from Amazon.com which will give my heart another reason to beat happily.

I don't look happy in the photo bc I'm not. I was at the beginning of whatever my body is doing right now. I'm hacking and spitting up, vomiting and utterly miserable feeling. That's how my body feels but when I get a visitor I perk right up and chat and laugh like my old self.

I'm getting better settled in, getting used to such a small space for my own. At first I wanted to go back to the nursing home but not now. I just freaked out at the newness of it all. ...continue reading "Looking and Moving Forward"

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12 painful stairs to a tiny room. Each step felt like I couldn't cry any more than I did one step earlier. I made it up the stairs and laid on the air mattress with a slow leak and asked myself, "is it worth it?" can't I just stop taking meds and let nature take its course in a matter of days? Then the real me took a breath! I was reminded that this is very temporary. I'm with friends who, though of humble means truly love me. And honestly, I'd rather be here than in a nursing home with workers who like me but who don't do half of what they should.

The latest drama / trauma is that my insurance won't preauthorize the blood thinner medicine. Long story short, I have to travel every single day to get a shot at a clinic bc it's the only way my insurance will administer the arixtra shot. If I get it outside the clinic it'll be $1200 every two weeks! I've been traveling 4 hours daily for a one min shot at the cancer and hematology center. I'll do this daily until insurance figures this out.

Today I got a hold of some good CBD oil and something else I forget the name of. I spent $155 on the oil, pen and pure something or other. I can't remember the name. The white powder requires heat, thus the pen, but the hemp oil does not use heat. I started both today and intend to continue them so as not to so heavily lean on the major pain killers given to me.

Getting back to my living situation, less room with love makes me feel cramped but not suicidal. The pain and insurance ordeal made me question going on. I know I will ask again, why go on? Again I'll have an answer. I really want to live.

This isn't going to be easy here bc my room is up 12 stairs and I've got literally 5 feet by 3 feet of living space. This won't be easy but if I keep things in perspective, if I remember I have hope then I can do this, too.

I'll let myself cry and crumble. I'll let myself ask why, but I won't let myself give up.

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Fact: With healing comes pain. And I'm in a lot of pain. It makes me angry and irritable. I'm tired of it.

I am healing. The surgery incision is closing naturally and looks clean. Despite pains that shoot through it, it's healthy and progressing well.

I'm irritable and sensitive. ...continue reading "Pain and Healing"

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Altenheim nursing home June 2018

That's joy on my face. Walking brings joy to my face. I did 125 feet today. Another goal met was to begin giving myself the Arixtra blood thinner shot, which I take once daily.

Next week we will work on stamina issues. I'll begin learning to balance myself climbing the stairs. I'm going to need to practice the stairs because when I leave here I'm going to stay with friends who have a room for me upstairs. I won't brave them alone. Hopefully nursing staff will be in place so that CNA's can assist with getting up and down. Yup, the stairs are a bit worrying but I've got a bit to figure it out. I may scoot on my bum while on the stairs. We'll see. The good news is, even though I don't yet have an apartment, I do have a safe, clean place to stay. ...continue reading "Victory Laps and Wobbly Steps"

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July 8th I'll be discharged from the nursing home whether I have an apartment or not. Here's a shot of me holding my bears.

I worry about my lack of stamina and how it will prevent me from getting basic needs met. I'm not whole, not ready to be discharged to care for myself. How will I shower? I don't have the stamina for these things. ...continue reading "On fear and focus"

I wasn't nearly as afraid when I was in the thick of it. I knew what was stacked against me. I understood the odds were not in my favor yet I didn't constantly think about dying. I knew I wanted to live. Once I realized I may lose as much as both legs I tried to figure out how to live with it. Even at the time when I couldn't move at all and I couldn't feel from the waste down, I still tried to manage in my head how to live that way. If for some reason I didn't regain feeling and movement, I never once thought being bedbound was a reason to die.  ...continue reading "A Thousand Miles"

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I was shaking from head to toe. I couldn't think. I was naked, in the shower with a nurses aid standing beside me. A black woman was touching me! I might as well have been a child with my mother in the shower, that's why I was shaking. It didn't matter that the CNA was there to help and it doesn't matter that this happened several days ago. It's still heavy on my mind, still makes me shake. ...continue reading "Surviving Triggers"

5

I'm going to be in the hospital for a few days. Despite being on blood thinners my body has still created a blood clot behind my knee. There's an abnormality in the left lung but I'm not sure what that means, if anything at all.

When the doctor gave me all the information and options, I burst into tears!

I've been told to be strong. I've been told to have faith and courage and not to give up hope. I've been told I can take this... again... That I may not want to do it again but I can take it, I can manage more. I cried some more then thought, I'll try.

I'll try to tap into that girl inside, the fearless one, the head first, won't quit girl. Right now I'm angry and tired. I just want to go home, my home. I don't want to fight for every breath. I don't want this pain anymore and I want my dang on toes back. But what I need and want are different. I need a jackhammer to get to the part of me that can keep going at this pace and level of pain.

In all honesty, I may fall apart but I don't know how to give up.

The part of me that can keep the pace isn't far away. Perhaps she's letting me get out tears so we have more room for fight.

Faith

Update: The plan is not surgery but to up the dose of my shot a little bit and add an asprin. No surgery! I should only be here a few days. Also, I have the same group of doctors from the big surgery two months ago. They're still following me.
I'm relieved. They feel the clot is small enough that surgery is not needed.

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