Warning to the squeamish types: there are 2 pictures near the end that might not be your cup of tea. It's NOT blood & guts; just a scapula shifted out of position. I'll post another warning when you get closer to it.
As I reflect back on 2014 the first thing that comes to mind is: what a long, hard, crazy, exhausting roller-coaster year!! It was a year full of so much travel seeing physicians that I had been referred to throughout the United States. We traveled approximately 7,542 "medical" miles! These miles were divided between trips to Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Colorado, Minnesota, and of course, Illinois. Talk about a lot of flying and driving just to see a doctor!!
When 2014 started I thought it was going to be a year of moving forward and having the surgeries that were proposed in 2013 done. Instead of moving forward though, it seemed like there was some higher power constantly putting obstacles in my path so those surgeries would not happen. At the time I was so frustrated and angry at my situation. All I wanted was to have the surgeries done so I could begin the rehabilitation process to regain some of my arm function and get my life back. When you're living with a chronic medical condition 24/7 and all the various challenges and pain that goes along with it, it's really, really hard to see how things could possibly work out because you're too close to the situation. When doctor appointments don't work out, my family and I constantly tell ourselves, "That doctor wasn't the one meant to help me." When I look back now on how all the events unfolded in 2014 I know I had somebody looking out for me the whole time. It's kind of an eerie feeling because the two big surgeries that I just wanted to get done and over with would have never worked.
November 17, 2014
Total game changer- Thank God for Dr. E! He has seen 6 other patients similar to me. All 6 are female, have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) or a cousin of EDS, are tall/thin, were once very athletic, and problems started at around age 16. It's a very difficult problem to treat and it's really hard for me to put into words what the issue is. In layman's terms, it's a very, very, rare, messed up/altered muscle activation pattern that Dr. E has only seen in this category of patients. The altered muscle activation pattern causes the scapula (shoulder blade) to "dance" because there is no stability. This causes both scapular and posterior (back) shoulder joint instability, decreased strength, and very limited motion. The first step of trying to treat this was to have botox injections into my trapezius and serratus anterior muscles. It was supposed to take about a week to kick in, would peak at around 3-4 weeks, and would take 3 months to be out of my system. As luck would have it, I reacted completely opposite of what the botox was supposed to accomplish. Things started feeling worse on day 3. Instead of relaxing my muscles it made my muscles ridiculously tight, decreased my motion even more, and skyrocketed my pain. I kept trying to tell myself it's only been X amount of days/weeks there's still a chance it will get better...time would tell. In regards to my neck, there's a major problem and I have "extreme hyperlaxity" in it. A neck brace was ordered and we're trying to see if it will stiffen up my neck. I don't think it's stiffening too much but it does help with some of my symptoms which I'll take. In regards to my right side it too has this weird muscle activation pattern, but it also has some weird nerve problem that is still being investigated.
When we arrived home from Minnesota, Thanksgiving was literally just a few short days later. It was the first time my mom and I had been home since August. It's kind of funny that the only picture that was taken of me on Thanksgiving was when I was messing around with our dog Daisy and not with anyone in my family.
|I tried to get it so it looked like she had on a babushka :)|
|Apparently my nephew thinks my neck brace makes a good mask too :)|
|So true haha|
|My favorite picture of my nephew Justin. His facial cracks me up.|
|This is what happens when I try to "push" the wall.|
It has been a very long week since this happened.
I've had to immobilize my arm every day.
|The other day my nieces, nephew, sister, mom and I all made a pie. There was|
a lot of love put into it and it tasted really good. We made a s'mores pie.
|My neighbor posted this quote yesterday and I found it very fitting|