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I collect tea and porcelain dolls. My body collects illnesses.

This is my second round of meds for the infection in my feet. At the beginning of the second round I had a side effect from the medication that caused a rash from my neck to my stomach, front and and back, arms and shoulders. I'm all jacked up with a yeasty rash!

I can only shake my head! I mean really? Can a girl catch a break, please? In the meantime, the infection is steadily growing in size on the left foot.

I could easily get depressed over all this but I'm trying to keep encouraged and keep on going. Taking care of myself and spoiling myself helps me endure things like this.

One of the things that should be helpful during this time is my CNA. For months things were good but right now they are coming to a rapid conclusion. There's trouble in CNA paradise. She and I had a long, long, pointed talk but I'm not sure anything got through. I see this ending soon. The problem is attendance and entitlement. She also lets me know just how expendable I am, which feeds into my abandonment issues. I told her that, but she wasn't able to hear it.

I know my plate is full right now but I have hope that things will soon calm down in a wave of relief.

Tonight I'm having BBQ ribs made in my slow cooker, a small salad and a baked potato. For dessert I'm having tea and carrot cake. I'll end the night by doing a soothing and healing wash in Tea Tree oil, Oregano essential oil and a dab of Lavender essential oil. This will help my chest and back situation. I then have a nice book to cap off my evening.

Faith

4

I've been going in to see the doctor more than normal because my body is having a hard time fighting the infection. The days I've not gone in she's called. I'm also to keep a photo diary of the changes to the wound site, which I've been doing. The infected area changes in size almost daily. It is amazing to see, amazing in a frightening way.

Today the doctor said the test results show I do not have MRSA. She originally feared it, but that is not the bacterial infection we're dealing with. She said it's necessary for me to go to see a specialist who will do x-rays to look at the foot, and a doppler to look for blood clots.

I was nervous about this appointment. I keep expecting the doctor to say there's nothing more that can be done for me. I fear more pain than anything else. Pain of the infection, pain and weakness in my legs, pain of another amputation. Pain. I fear it.

I never, ever want to come close to where I was in the hospital when the pain was so bad I prayed to die! I believe that happened 3 times. Even when I didn't pray to die, when I wanted badly to pull through, I feared I'd lose my mind because of the pain. Pain felt like it broke me. It left a crack in my head and on my heart.

I see in my head the way my body swelled with 70 pounds of excruciating, excess water weight. I see in my head and remember vividly black feet that once held the most painful, huge boils. It was horrendous! I fear ever having to do anything like that again. I fear I will.

The right foot is the biggest issue. The doctor said the meds aren't working but she wants me to try another round. So, more vomiting, more insomnia, ears ringing and other super fun stuff. The specialist will most likely change treatment but for now I do round two of the same.

I see the specialist Wednesday.

I'm discouraged and fearful but still determined to keep going.

It's 4pm, my CNA is gone for the day but we put dinner in the crock pot for me. I'm having roast with potatoes, carrots and green beans. There's a nice cup of tea in my future.

Faith

Three times last week I saw the doctor about my right foot because of the infection. She took a small biopsy to see exactly what type of infection is giving me the blues. I should know Wednesday when I return to her office.

I'm still handling it ok emotionally, I think.

I hate, hate, hate the medications I'm taking right now. They make me vomit, cause panic attacks and insomnia. I hate this crap but I know it's necessary. Last night I tossed and turned until finally I abandoned all aromatherapy and natural healing for a nice, green Clonapin. That helped some but not enough to keep me asleep.

Despite the feet being infected, especially the right one, I've had some really nice things happen this week. Here's my gratitude list :

  1. I was quite shocked and very grateful to receive 3 new, blue blankets in the mail. 🤗 I was so surprised and overjoyed. How awesome. I'm spoiled rotten. LOL. One of the blankets is a weighted blanket! Omgoodness I love it! Total score!
  2. I got a beautiful, large book on butterflies of the world.
  3. Using German Chamomile and Marjoram essential oils on my feet helps with Phantom Limb Pain, as does the weighted blanket.
  4. I had homemade strawberry shortcake with my CNA.
  5. I've had a lot of phone calls and visitors this week. I also got a couple notes which I will add to my card box.
  6. I heard, saw and recognized my first Catbird. Very cool bird.

Faith

1

Today I saw the doctor for the second time this week. She said, you seem really calm. I said, I know where this foot ulcer thing could easily go. I'm trying not to panic. I'm trying to do one day at a time without borrowing tomorrow's troubles.

The left foot (amputation site) is aggressively infected with a foot ulcer. Everyday it looks worse despite following orders, taking all medications and keeping up with dressing changes.

Yes it worries me but I can't panic right now. I feel like I did when I was in the hospital and they told me I was going to lose the foot. I told them to do what they needed to do, just return me to my family and friends. I was afraid but determined to live. I was determined, grounded and clear about continuing my battle. That is how I feel right now, determined, grounded and clear in my desire to never give up, come what may. I have Lupus so stuff is going to come! But right now I have a bit of extra gas in my emotional tank which let's me feel strong enough for this, again.

So far I have not lost the leg due to the infection. So far further amputation (from the knee down) has only been discussed to let me know all the factors in my current situation. The goal is obviously to stop this infection and manage my circulation and blood system. I would say that treatment is appropriate right now and that a little time will tell where we go from here.

Since I don't know exactly where we go from here, since nothing is sure, I've chosen not to borrow anxiety and troubles. I've decided that day to day work is best for me. Thinking too far ahead may even compromise my health by adding to the stress my body is already under. When needed, I've let myself cry. It relieves stress and helps things not build up inside.

Last but not least. I'm in need of a blanket. Because I'm not fully continent, I had an accident. It was last Saturday after my nurse's aide left. So I got in the shower on my own then stripped the bed. I was going to try to put on new sheets only to discover all were dirty and that I only own one blanket, which I just stripped off the bed. I would have done the laundry but it's on the second floor and very far from my apartment. I am physically unable to get there and I can't transport laundry in a manual wheelchair. To make matters worse, no nurse's aide was to come until Monday morning which left me wrapped in the flat sheets without a blanket until then.

This will never happen again! I will be getting a blanket when I get paid on the 3rd of June. It's already humiliating to have accidents but to lie on a stripped, cold mattress bc of it is nothing short of insult to injury. I've got a decent amount of sheets, but I'll hit up the Amazon website for a blanket very soon. I've got a nice blue blanket in my near future.

In all the madness, I am still painting and focusing on my goals.

Faith

I'm in a decent mood despite health issues. I'm still struggling with an infected foot that requires wound dressing changes daily. It's kind of ugly at the moment as far as the foot goes. I'm still on antibiotics and steroid cream.

Well, I've been able to paint and do some collage work in my art therapy book. I had this apartment messed up bc I pulled out papers and stuff for a collage. Looks like I'm going to need to start collecting collage materials again. I don't have many materials for it to speak of, so collect I must. It felt so good to let go and let art! I quickly cleaned my studio apartment after I let go, but let go I did. It's the first collage in a year!

I go in to see Dr. D two times a month now which is really helpful bc I feel like there's actually a point to the art therapy. I was just describing it to him over the phone each week then showing it mass when I saw him once a month in his office. Now that I see him every other week I feel like there's a point to doing the assignments. Sooo, there's a lot more art in the book than normal and not just geometric shapes. That's a huge step forward, moving past just geometric shapes in black and white. It feels good to let go.

I knew I was shut up inside. I knew I was closed off and that was why I could only get out shapes. I wasn't trusting the process, or much of anything at all. But, I had some really good break throughs the last few weeks. Those revelations have given me strength and the ability to better endure. I feel as if I got a bit of information that put a little extra gas in a tank that was running on empty. With this propulsion, I've seen an increase in art. I couldn't be more pleased.

While I am still struggling to get my foot healed up right, I am doing much better emotionally. What's interesting is that people tell me my voice sounds stronger, more calm. I feel better inside, that's for sure. With a little emotional healing and a lot of art, I just may be able to see this battle through.

Faith

Saturday at 2pm I'll move to the new place. I'm excited but I won't have the internet for a few days. In the few days off line I hope to set up my art table and supplies. I need to see my belongings again. It'll mean a lot to see my stuff. It's hard to explain why I look forward to seeing gadgets and odds and ends, but I do. Part of the things that were thrown away for various reasons, were all of my bound books, including my Shakespeare collection, Maya Angelou book and poetry collections as well as my cookbooks, some of which I had for 20 years.

They say 'things' can be replaced but they forget to add that we will mourn these 'things' for awhile. All my dried flowers, including sunflowers were tossed by the person who cleaned out my apartment while I was down. Every dried rose I have is gone. It hurts. I have every last one of my dolls and every single piece of jewelry, every leaf of tea and every single piece of artwork and art supplies. Those items are sacred. I feel like my poetry collection fell in the category of sacred, but l wasn't there to say so.  ...continue reading "The Move"

5

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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