Thursday, May 31, 2012

Back To The Back

It's about time for a quick update on Scott's back.

Remember when we went to the surgeon and he said Scott had arthritis?

Well, we went and got a second opinion. The second surgeon said "Arthritis? Really? Ridiculous. I don't think so." Pretty much the same reaction I had. However, this surgeon did also say that Scott is not a surgical candidate, but this one actually explained why.

I was so angry at the first surgeon. He said something like "Everyone has bulging discs. Everyone has back pain. You'll have to deal with it." I wanted to smack him...anyway. I didn't, which is good, because you smack a doctor and you end up in prison, and I don't think I'd like it in there. No yarn allowed. Anyway, all he said was "There's nothing I can do surgically." No explanation. The second surgeon told us more. She said that based on the MRIs we brought in, the bulge is small enough that shaving it would actually leave just as much scar tissue as what they shaved off, and so overall would do us no good. She also said that back pain isn't really what they treat; it's more like leg pain and numbness, like what you get from the bulging disc pushing on the spinal cord, and Scott hadn't had any before this weekend.

Here's the catch:

The last MRI Scott had was in March. And this past weekend, he fell down the stairs. He tripped on a Buster toy in the dark. I was up in bed and I just heard a giant THUD and then a "Errrrghhhhhuuuhhhhh." I raced downstairs to find my poor Scott lying facedown on the floor, groaning. "Want me to help you up?", I said. "No, I think I'll just lie here. It'll be easier", he replied. Slightly amusing, except the searing pain part.

So Friday night was when he fell, and all weekend long he was barely able to stand and had to spend the entire weekend lying flat on his back. Thank heaven he can hook up his computer to the big screen TV and that we have a bluetooth keyboard and mouse, because the poor thing would have gone crazy if he hadn't been able to at least kill zombies.

The Monday after the fall we went back in to see the doctor who's been giving Scott his injections, and he saw how much pain Scott was in, and based on what the surgeon said and how Scott was feeling (which included a new symptom, slight muscle weakness, numbness, and shooting pain down his left leg), wanted to get another MRI to see what had changed to put him in this much pain. Scott didn't want an MRI, since we haven't paid off the last one yet, so the doctor put him on a MEGA steroid pack to see what would happen. It seems to have helped, but he's still miserable. He can't function like this. The painkillers bring his pain back down to a 2 or 3 most of the time, but sometimes the pain breaks through.

I'm not really sure where we go from here. I suppose as soon as he finishes his steroids we'll call the doctor back and let him know how it worked, and then maybe we can try another injection into a different space in his spine. I feel like we're out of options, and only one of our doctors is willing to try anything. Blargh.

EGADS, this is killing me. And Scott. Can't forget him...

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A More Thorough Synopsis Of The Spinning Of Barbie

Here's another spinning update! Because that's all I ever do!

Here's how another one of the mini-braids spun up:

And the star of this post: Barbie! I asked Liz to make me a batt that was pink, gradiented, and sparkly. This is what she dyed and carded for me:

Let me tell you, after just spinning mini-batts and braids, this whole batt (and a smallish one, at that) seemed to take FOREVER. But I took lots of in-progress pictures, because I always intend to blog about all sorts of things, so I take lots of pictures. Anyway...

It got pretty heavy for the spindle, so I ended up splitting it up into two batches and then joining them together:

Here it is after I joined it and gave it a little vanilla-scented bath:

I hung it up to dry, borrowed Liz's niddy noddy the next day, and put it into a proper skein:

I have since bought my own niddy noddy so I can wind my own skeins. It's a shame how little of the sparkle I was able to capture on camera. It's so friggin' sparkly you'd die if you saw it in person.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I Do Stuff All The Time

A normal person would blog more often. Oops.

So I'll post a few spinning updates...because that's pretty much all I've been doing. Well, a bit of knitting and crocheting, too, but more spinning lately.

Here's a mini-batt that I got as a bonus gift when I ordered all of those merino mini braids:

And here's how it spun up:

I love the color on this. It's shimmery. Sort of consistent, too...sort of.

I actually spun this a while ago but never got around to posting it.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Five Years Later, I'm Still Nuts (About You)

Dear Scott,

The past several years I've written you letters on our anniversary. They've all been a little silly, and a little sweet, and filled with all the wonderful things I love about you. I've meant every word, and everything I've ever said about you still stands.

This year, I feel like I need to write you something more. This is our five-year wedding anniversary. Five years is a long time to be with the same person in this day and age, where people seem to give up so easily on relationships. I admit it, relationships are hard, and ours is occasionally no exception, but every bit of hard work I put into "us" is so, SO worth it.

Babe. What in the holy hell did I do to deserve someone as special as you? I never thought I'd be able to love someone like I love you, but you are so incredibly selfless that you make it easy. I know we disagree on certain things (politics...) and that occasionally we get snappy with each other. That happens to the very best of people. I know Jesus was supposedly perfect, but I bet he got snappy with people sometimes, too. Sometimes we have misunderstandings, or we genuinely get mad at each other, but we've never failed to work it out and come through stronger than we were before.

I feel like this past year has been hard for us. For the most part, things are fine, but we've both been dealing with health issues, depression issues, and body image issues, and those are some of the hardest issues to deal with. Some days I feel like I can't go on, or like I can't be as strong as I want to be for you, and I get the feeling sometimes that you feel that, too. But dude, I love you no matter what you're going through, physically or emotionally. And I'm right there, going through these things with you, because we're in this shit together.

Some of the things we've wanted to do together we haven't been able to. We have so many more plans for the house that we have to put on hold until we figure out how to fix your back. It's possible that it'll never happen like we want it to, and we'll take a loss on this house. That's one of the big dreams we have together, but you know what? It's not important. What's important is that whatever our adventure turns out to be, we will face it together. You're my source of strength. You're my source of happiness. You're the one and only person on this earth without whom I couldn't live.

Sweetheart, I love you so much. You have no idea. Except you do, because you love me that much, too. I know that because you tell me every day, and I can see it in your eyes.

I hear people talk about their spouses every day. They talk about fights they've had, or annoying things they've done, or ways they've been hurt. They talk about their shortcomings, inadequacies, and imperfections. Every time I hear these things I thank The Universe that I have someone who makes me so happy that I don't ever have complaints. I won the husband lottery. Seriously.

Here's what I hope for our future: that we resolve conflicts as well as we've done in the past. That we keep talking about everything. That we keep laughing together. That we show each other how we feel each and every day. That our love grows like it has for the past five years.

The past five years have been an amazing, albeit slightly bumpy, ride, and I wouldn't want to share it with anyone else. Here's to another five years. And five more after that. And five more...


P.S. Five years is a long time to stay with a crazy person. You get bonus points for this. Please take me to a delicious and slightly expensive dinner, and you'll get anniversary snuggles in return (if the Back Pain Gods allow it, anyway...)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

It's "Art"

That is all.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Barbie'll Cheer Me Up

I got about half of the Barbie batt spun up before it got too heavy for the spindle. I'll do the second half and then do a Russian join to get one big skein of yarn.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Arthritis? Really?

Hey, check it out, I'm here, not dead...

A number of people have expressed concern about my absence of late. This makes me happy. I love to know that there are people out there thinking of me and wanting to make sure I'm okay. Seriously, you guys mean the world to me.

I have so many good things in my life. I really do.'d think that I'd be able to handle the things life throws at me, because overall, things are great. But, you know me: Anxiety Girl!

Work has been pretty crazy lately. Business has been GREAT. We had a record month at the lab in April, and almost half of our total sales were ME. Seriously, just me. It's been tiring, but it's been very rewarding, as well. It makes me feel like Invincible Superchemist again. Many of my coworkers have expressed appreciation for my hard work and for my taking initiative and GETTIN SHIT DONE. I always try to spoil my clients with extremely quick turnaround times, and they appreciate that, too, so when we have any sort of issue they're totally fine cutting me some slack. We really need that lately, because we've had to shut the lab down for some repairs and I'm way behind.

My hours have been long, and my feet hurt, and when I get home after working ten or twelve hours (yes, you read that right) I'm so tired that it's all I can do to stay awake until a decent bedtime. I know that so many people work longer, harder hours than I do, and I respect that, but dude. I'm nuts. I have a lower tolerance for exhaustion than most people. This is making life a bit difficult.

Whine, whine, whine. I just had to get that out of my system.

On to the next depressing topic.

Scott got a third epidural injection in March...or maybe early April...who knows.  Regardless of when it was, it didn't work (again), so we got a referral to a neurosurgeon. The doctor we'd been seeing had made it very clear that surgery was the next (and final) option. We made the appointment with the neurosurgeon (6 weeks out...) and waited, only to go in today and have the surgeon's PA tell us that there was nothing surgically that they could do for us, and that we had no options except medication because Scott has...get this...arthritis. Um. No, I don't think so. We're going to get a second opinion.

Here's the thing. Lorotab no longer does anything for Scott. He has had to move on to stronger narcotics. He fights as long as he can not to take them, but there always comes a point where the pain is unbearable and he can't focus at work, and have you ever tried writing code while your back is spasming and giving you excruciating pain? He just has to take the narcotics. There isn't a choice.

We were hoping to get him in to surgery, have those discs shaved, and then start the healing and recovery process. We wanted to make a real step toward getting him functional again, and now I feel like we have nowhere to go.

I started crying during the appointment when the PA said there was nothing they could do, and it took every ounce of self-control not to totally lose it. Scott got me out to my car, and then I let myself sob. I cried and cried, so hard, because my sweetheart, my favorite person in the entire world, for whom I would give my life, is hurting so badly and can't be helped. And then I had to go back to work and act like my world hadn't been turned upside-down.

If it were me, I could handle the pain. But I have to sit here, helpless, and watch Scott lose his ability to move around, function off of pain medication, and enjoy simple things like walking the dog (not to mention things he really enjoys, like skiing and paintballing).

You guys, I don't know if I can handle this one. I really don't. My baby is hurting and I can't fix it.