Skip to content

4

We talked about figuring out how to live with instability, with the unknown. I'm not a very flexible person. I'm not spontaneous, don't like to have someone jump out and surprise me. But my health is one big unstable lion that is silent for awhile but waiting for the moment to roar. We talked about being able to find a way to enjoy life with a lion lurking around.

I was encouraged by the Oncologist the other day to keep moving forward and let them worry. He wants me to leave it with the doctors and as he said, "Keep shooting yourself." In other words, keep taking the shots! He's so funny, and so positive.

Dr. D and I discussed the financial side of chronic illness and how that can bring added stress. I'm doing a lot better about getting dolls finished. I've got one near completion and another well along. There are 3 total in the works with 2 being commissions. I've also completed one painting and am working on others. This should help add more to my Etsy shop for extra income.

We also talked about my own inner child doll. I was unable to hold her or even look at her much but now she's out in the open and I just love her. Dr D asked how I feel about the little girl I once was. The first word to pop in my head was "respect." I have great respect for her and what she was forced to survive. Not only did she survive abuse, she was living with Lupus since age ten! That little girl fought hard to live. I have nothing but respect for her.

Dr D noted the change in tone and emotion for my child self. A few years ago I hurt for her immensely. Before that I was angry at her vulnerability. I was stuck on anger for a long time. I remember the humiliations like they were yesterday and thought she should have done something different to make my mother love me. I blamed her. As I move further along in healing I see so clearly what the child self had to endure. I think having an inner child doll helped me see my young self as little, defenseless, innocent. In my head I couldn't see me as young but for some reason the doll gave me something to relate my size to. Well, it worked. I see in my head a tiny kid and I have great respect for her.

This is my first biracial handmade ragdoll with long curly hair that can be combed.

Jordan

1

It's still a bit difficult to reach out, but I did with a friend this evening. I told her what the surgeon's prognosis is. I decided to risk and tell her that for an hour or so each morning I struggle with the feeling that it was pointless to wake up. It takes a good self talk to get up and live.

In addition to talking to myself about living, I'm trying my best to complete a few dolls that my neighbor ordered. When I went to look for my patterns I discovered they had all been thrown away back when the whole hospitalization happened. I was rather upset to lose them but I have to remember that anything that was lost to the trash is replaceable. Today I ordered new patterns. Lord knows I couldn't afford it but I went ahead and did it so I can get back to making dolls and bag holders. I don't want to put off doll making any longer.

I was able to go to the Kingdom Hall tonight. Boy was it helpful to worship in person and to see everyone. It was really good.

Here is a picture of Joey taking over my favorite blanket. Lol. Joe is very different from my old kitty Mary Jane.

Best blanket ever

I have to remember not to measure him by other pets. I just need to let his light shine without conditions. He's a good boy. He doesn't eat my plants or destroy anything. He doesn't bother me when I sleep and he uses the box without exception. He's quiet, loving, friendly and eats whatever you put in front of him. He really is a good boy. I just adore him.

Draw something mom.

It's time to sip ginger wine and go to sleep next to my furry buddy. ❤️

Faith

4

The problem with being told I'm strong is that it seems to give onlookers permission to let me be, do little, and go on as usual. I hate being told I'm strong because of all the hidden messages with it.

My doctor and I had conversation where I was asked if I really wanted to know about the true nature of this illness. She said, is it better to know than not to know? She said that at least knowing, I can be prepared. She said I'm taking it well and that I'm a strong woman. I'm strong when I can be but when strength is gone I require what everyone else requires, a friend. But if people have the idea that I'm strong at all, I'll get left. People will forget me or maybe they'll push me to the background and go on with life as usual denying that I'm falling apart because it's easier for their pain. It feels so negative. Alone. Labeled strong for the self preservation of others.' Yeah this is bad but she can do it, she can take it.' I hate being called strong.

Today I was neither strong nor weak. I just managed through some severe fatigue and a few flashbacks from the hospitalization. My CNA was here when I was lying down and the flashbacks started. I turned over and dropped a few tears because the thought of doing that ever again is heavy. It took two or three minutes of silent tears and I was able to gather myself. I cry so quietly that unless you're right beside me you may not realize it at all. The CNA didn't know a thing which is exactly the way I wanted it.

As the doctor said, knowing means I can be prepared. I can, and so can the doctors. They know what to look for. They know the signs and how bad it can quickly get. (My heart is so heavy.) So yes, it's better to know what medications, what procedures, what surgeons and what hospital should be involved. We know who will speak for me if I can't speak for myself. Most of all we know this mixed up, emotional, half broken, headstrong woman wishes to live.

Jordan

1

A friend of mine came over and brought fried chicken and a bouquet of sunflowers. It was too sweet. We sat and talked while I ate. I was hesitant to talk about health stuff because I didn't want to depress her. It was a very nice visit though.

Yesterday after I blogged, I went ahead and took a nap then put on an encouraging 3 part movie. I watched 2 parts of it. My goal is to find something encouraging to do when I get medical news that's upsetting. I have to accept what comes but I can also influence my attitude by feeding my head positive things; reading, movies, art and whatever else gives me encouragement. I think it'll help, so will visitors.

I hope my friends will understand how fragile I feel. My strength is flimsy but I'm working hard to keep it. However, I feel like it would take very little to move from appearing fine to showing that I'm not ok. I feel all over the place.

I have confidence in my Vascular Surgeon and my Hematologist / Oncologist. I have confidence that my therapist will be available to me just as he was when I was in the hospital. I am sure my friends, as helpless as they feel, will be just as helpful as they have been. A text, an email, a hug, it counts when nothing else can be done. It means a lot to me. I'm not doing this alone, not by a long shot. It makes it easier, ya know?

I have a beautiful boutique of sunflowers close to my bed. They're lovely. So despite my worries, despite feeling all over the place, I can add sunflowers to my list of things that made me smile today.

Jordan

I went to the store today to purchase cat food for Joseph when I decided to stop by the shoe section to see if I could find something I like. It was suggested by friends and my nurse that I try buying 2 different sizes, one for the full foot, one size for the amputated side. I thought I'd look today.

I rolled up to the shoes and saw a dark pastel pink pair of sneakers that really caught my eye. As I looked for two sizes I thought, ya know, I wear Converse for a reason. I can't wear these "other" things. It's just not me. Yes, other shoes are cute too but Converse are my mark. So I'm going to stick with them except for when I wear a skirt.

I had no choice but to have the foot amputated, but I do have a choice to continue to wear the shoes that I walk in that make me feel good. More on that in a second.

As a woman, shoes matter. I got rid of my birkenstocks bc of the amputation. I can hardly walk so you know pumps are out. No shoes w the back out, no slip ons. My shoe choices are quite limited right now. As a woman who loves shoes, this hurts. So when I put on the Converse, I put on something I really like that I didn't lose to the amputation.

House slippers are out. Clogs, gone. One needs toes for flip flops. Converse are one of the things I like that I didn't lose so continuing to wear them is a security for me.

I'm not sure I'm ready for the step of buying 2 different size shoes nor am I emotionally ready to venture past high top Converse. I thought I was but I'm not sure. So instead of coming home with shoes, I purchased purple fuzzy socks that match my purple fuzzy robe. I so wanted big, stuffed house shoes to match that robe but I can live with fuzzy socks. Since they were on sale I got the pink ones, too. 😁 Lovin' my fuzzies.

I don't like wearing only Converse all the time, every day without exception. I long for birkenstocks and a broomstick skirt while rocking dreadlocks w homemade beads. That makes me smile. Those shoes are a thing of the past but maybe this new Podiatrist really will make me a pair of shoes I can wear with a skirt. Then I'd wear the Converse for everything else without grumbling. I like them, as I said. I'm happy I can still wear them when most shoes I can't. But skirts are a part of me, too and I'd really like to wear them without Converse.

The foot has healed 100% from the infection but of course that's not the end of the story. I've been a bit quiet about it bc it makes no sense to me to keep blogging about this&that foot crisis. It's being managed and it will hopefully not become a huge ordeal.

Last but not least, Joe the cat is awesome! He rocks. He's quiet, loving and doesn't know a stranger. He's just like me in that he doesn't like a lot of noise, but if I turn on a video he's right here on my chest watching it with me. It's too sweet. I'm so happy he's here.

Look at those big, green eyes screaming 'Love me. Love me.' Well I surely will.

Jordan

3

He's a chatter box kitty but as sweet as can be. He sleeps on my chest and purrs. He gives me little cat kisses. This is my new buddy Joey.

Joey is a tabby male, neutered and 9 yrs old. He's calm and friendly to visitors. He doesn't know a stranger. He's got big, bright green eyes and a strong purr box. I just love him, and so does my CNA.

Originally I told the owner I didn't want to adopt Joe, but I reconsider. I'm so, so happy I did.

Three doctors suggested I adopt. I didn't want to because of guilt associated with having to give up Clyde to my friend. Clyde, by the way, is very happy and having a gay old time! He's very happy, buy I grieve losing him. I feel bad that I had to give him up, like a terrible person. I'll have to work on the reality of the matter. I can't take care of Clyde. I physically can't take care of him. But does that condemn me to never adopting again? I had to! I had to get a new fur baby.

I'm not going to try to convince people of anything other than the need for fur in my life and that I think this senior cat is just what I need.

I like his speed. The boy is chill. I like that he seeks out affection and that when I get up to leave the room, he follows. He's been here a week and I'm totally in love with this boy.

Joey has zero interest in cat weed. That's sad because watching cats on cat nip is hi-larious. He does like balls with bells. And what cat can resist a woman's hair ties? He loves 'em.

My hope is that M. Joseph Austin will help with the depression and ease some of the emotional pain that has kept me boxed.

He came with the name Joey. I added Michael and my last name so that his initials are MJ just like the kitty I has for 12 yrs before she passed. Boy do I miss Mary Jane, aka MJ.

One thing about Joe is that he is declawed. Whomever declawed him removed the first digit which means like me, he's missing toes.

Faith

6

Where are my coping skills? Where is my ability to handle my health issues?

I wish I could say I am emotionally better than the last time I was in the hospital but I'm not. I'm just as shocked and stunned asking, is this really my life? Seriously, they were going to take the rest of my foot had Dr L and his team not come in and said you're looking at this wrong. I am shocked at how close I came to more pain! That's what I'm afraid of, the pain. And I'm stuck in the fear of hospitalization trauma. I'm stuck.

How many journal entries can I write where I talk about my health? So I write yet another bc my platelets are low. I'm physically exhausted! I'm emotionally exhausted from the up and down, from the constant medical crisis... one after the other.... I'm just exhausted. And I'm stuck in fear and shock. Can I get through next week without some health issue, please?

I can't seem to get my emotional footing. How do I do that when there's so little time between crisis? Due to health issues it feels like I stay in fight or flight. I keep waiting for the other shoes to fall. How do I breathe again? How do I feel calm inside and trust the moment? I fear becoming bitter!

I've not drawn in a month. Nothing at all. I don't even have art supplies by my bed anymore and I don't care. I have a ton of supplies, no shortage here, but there is no drive. Let me sleep, that's all I seem to want to do.

I don't tell my friends these things in detail. I have tried to tell a few but they seem shocked. They say stuff like, I'm so encouraged by you or you dealing with a lot and you do it so well. I know that's supposed to be positive but I can't reconcile it with how I feel. I am devistated and lost and afraid and tired of crisis after crisis.

Where is Faith? Where am I? I miss the girl who could find light in just about anything.

Me

6

It's nearly 11pm. I'm still up thinking. I feel so desperate and depleted and tattered.

Yes, I'm relieved I don't have to do another surgery and I'm relieved that there's no bone infection, but I'm also exhausted from the fight. Exhausted from keeping my head up as I tread the waters of chronic illness and chronic pain.

The first 12 hours of being in the ER when they thought I had Osteomyelitis, I thought, oh man I don't want to do this. I was so scared but I knew I'd have to get in the zone and muster up strength, but I sure didn't want to. I just wanted to go home and have a regular life. I want the kind of life I assume exists. Most of all, I want to fall asleep effortlessly. No thinking. No flashbacks. No unrelenting pain.

My body is marked with bruises from daily blood thinner injections. I've got small hematomas on my swollen stomach. My feet are scarred up and look like someone dipped them in black ashes. My fingers are numb, my hair is thin and my eyes are weak! My heart is heavy and tired of being sick. Lupus sucks.

I try not to write like this for fear of sounding pitiful, but this too is a very real side of illness. We all fall. I've fallen.

Chronic illness wears a person down emotionally so that all they want to do is sleep and escape. I just want to sleep and escape but night time brings more pain. I swear if I could take my legs off and put them up for the night, that's what I'd do. If it stops the pain then that's what I'd do. After so long it drives me crazy. I just want to scream, "Stop it! Stop it! Stop it! Stop hurting!" Argh!!!

It's going to be a long night, this one. And yeah, I'm going to kick in to coping skills but dang it I'd rather just fall asleep in a way that resembles normality.

I'm not strong tonight but there's always tomorrow.

Faith

I was tested twice more and the final answer is no. I don't have a bone infection. No Osteomyelitis. The infection from the ulcer reached deep, but the bone wasn't infected at all. I'm in the clear on that one. Also, after 2 months and much fuss, the ulcer is nearly gone. I'm not even on antibiotics anymore because they knocked out the infection w the blast of antibiotics in the hospital and oral meds. I'm now on acidophilus supplements to clean up what the antibiotics left behind. So, I'll see the Podiatrist one more time in 3 weeks then I'll be 100% cleared of this tribulation. Boy has it been crazy.

I started acidophilus because there was a concern for C. diff, a potentially dangerous side effect of antibiotics. Acidophilus will return to the gut what the antibiotics destroyed! I can't believe the amount of antibiotics they put in my body. Wow. I'm on a topical antibiotic for what's left of the ulcer but there are no concerns w that.

I was thinking, chronic illness is expensive! I have forked out so much money this month for medications and for equipment for my wheelchair not covered by insurance. Equipment and four of my 16 medications are not covered by insurance leaving me totally broke this month. I could have been a few dollars ahead of myself but I went ahead and purchased the purple, fuzzy robe. Yay, it's here. It's purple and very fuzzy. I love it. It's worth being totally broke for a few weeks. 😁 I don't mind it for this.

In addition to medications, there's a cream my doctor wants me to use on my feet that isn't covered by insurance. I'll purchase that cream for years to come. There are essential oils for pain and anxiety that insurance doesn't cover. Compression socks and TENS units with supplies are out of pocket. Chronic illness is not cheap at all. I'm very happy to be in a much better position financially to cover most of my needs, but I know far too many people go without their chronic illness needs fully met.

2

I smiled every time the doctor or nurse walked in the room. I smiled at the Radiologist, Podiatrist, Hematologist, Wound Team and the vampire, blood sucking Phlebotomist. I'm not an easy stick and hate getting my blood drawn, thus the name calling. Anyway, I smiled at them all, genuinely, because I was greatful for good care.

The partner of my outpatient Podiatrist saw me at the hospital. That doctor did the same as her partner, she did the debridement without numbing the area first. I hate that! I wonder if they've ever felt it? If so, they'd know that it hurts terribly. The other two times it was done by her partner I managed bc I couldn't feel much. This time I cried pretty hard because I felt that razor slice each time. She finally stopped. I was quite relieved. The second time she came I didn't smile at her. I couldn't.

I'm thankful to everyone from the person who cleaned my room to the CNA's who brought warm blankets. I was treated well by doctors, nurses and transportation personnel. The best way to show it was to smile and say thank you.

Thank you to the individuals who knew I was in the hospital and wished me well and offered prayers. You are very much appreciated.

Faith

%d bloggers like this: