There are mixed feelings when it comes to antidepressants. Some people feel they are given too frequently to people who simply don’t understand that you can’t be happy all of the time. Others feel it is a necessary drug and many people do actually have the problem of a chemical imbalance in their brains. No matter which way you feel, I think we can all agree that taking medication is a serious matter and should not be taken lightly.
About two years into my treatment for chronic pain, it became painfully obvious that I was, in fact, depressed. I spent almost all day sleeping, was not a happy person, and frankly I had thought about suicide. I went to a psychologist and was prescribed an antidepressant as well as referred to an in house therapist. The medication (and therapy) did help some and I continued the medication up until my second surgery in November. (more…)
This is another inspirational saying I try to live by. At first glance the message, “Anything can happen if you let it,” may seem confusing. However, it simply means do not stand in your own way. You could be harboring negativity that results in you not believing in yourself or a treatment that could help you. It could mean you need to reach for higher goals because you’re not letting your dreams come true by limiting yourself.
If I had decided two or three years ago that nothing could ever help me and I gave up like some of my doctors did, I wouldn’t be feeling better today. I knew, or sometimes my mother reminded me, that I had to let the possibility of anything (in this case “anything” was a cure or a fix for my chronic pain) happening be available. I couldn’t limit my possibilities, I wouldn’t, and I won’t ever. I still believe that I can be anything I want, can do anything I want, because anything can happen if I let it. (more…)
People with chronic pain know it’s not always easy to go to sleep on command. You sleep when your medicine makes you tired and the rest of the time you’re pretty much SOL. Basically, this means chraintims (my abbreviation for chronic pain victims, pronounced CRANE-TIMS) are awake at night, alone, often. Obviously we have to do something to fill that time, although we mostly keep busy to distract us from the pain. Yeah we watch TV and play games on our phones, but sometimes we can’t sleep for hours. So I thought maybe, somewhere, someone might find the weird things I do at night interesting/funny in a weird way, not a haha way.
The first thing I do is watch YouTube videos. I mostly go for parodies of famous music videos because they are entertaining and funny. However, I recently discovered Philip DeFranco and he is hilarious and has amazing common sense that I feel is severely lacking in the world. It is basically pop culture and hard-hitting news all delivered in an entertaining package. Best part? He posts videos Monday through Thursday, so there is almost always a new video to watch! I highly recommend him the next time any of you can’t sleep. Or, you know, the next time you find yourself awake. Here is a link to one of his latest videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-1LOSYXnW4&list=UUlFSU9_bUb4Rc6OYfTt5SPw
Me at six weeks. Noticeably less swelling.
Almost six weeks post-op and I haven’t posted for about a week. Let me tell you why.
So after I had my jaw unwired early I was sent to the orthodontist who informed me that after 12 years of braces, two jaw surgeries, and five years of pain my bit still might not fit together. Yes, I was angry, but more than that I just felt sad. I know I’m not dying of cancer and it could be a whole lot worse, but can’t I just catch a fucking break?! Wtf jaw?! Just fit together already! Stop screwing me over! GRRR!
*Takes deep breath.* Anyway, in order to get it as close as possible they are using braces on the back of my teeth and rubber bands to pull my STILL BROKEN jaw into place. And let me tell you, it’s as freaking painful as it sounds. Right now you can actually wiggle the bones in my top jaw, that’s how loose they are.
So because of the pulling and prodding of my bones (which by the way also hurts the broken sinus bones) I have had to take more pain medication than usual. Because of the upped dose of narcotics, I have been asleep for the past week. Yup. That’s my
Had a blast with my mom and twin brothers at the Mission Inn. (The Deaf event was down the street.)
entire explanation. It hurt, so I was asleep. (more…)
So I absolutely love inspirational quotes, videos, etc. This means I will probably share a lot of my favorites with all of you. This is one of my new favorites. I was looking for some new quotes and as soon as I read this I started crying. People with chronic pain or people just recovering from surgery know that sometimes you can become wrapped up in feeling bad. You’re in pain, your jaw is messed up; or for others it could be you are in a one parent household, you don’t have a lot of money, you fell ostracized by your peers, etc. Any/all of these situations suck. They make life difficult, maybe seem impossible. (more…)
Taking my first bite of food in a month. It hurt a little, but was extremely satisfying.
So before my one month post op I had gotten pretty impatient with the whole only eating liquids thing. So I started breaking off pieces of solid food and shoving it in the space where my wisdom teeth are missing in the back. I obviously did this because I was hungry and wanted food, but unfortunately that resulted in breaking the plastic splint on the back, right side. I ended up cutting my pointer finger up pretty bad from the loose wires too. I also broke several rubber bands and one wire holding my jaw shut. Needless to say, I was glad I had an appointment.
When I got to my appointment my doctor seemed totally unconcerned. He decided to remove the plastic splint altogether, which was pretty painful with all the tugging and trying to open my mouth farther than I wanted to (my jaw is locked shut to a certain extent). He surprised me by just putting three bands in my mouth so I could open my mouth about an inch. Which means NO MORE STARVING! I then commenced plan “Eat Food Because Jaw is Unwired and I’m Hungry” that I described in a previous post. This mostly meant eating mozzarella sticks and seasoned fries from Denny’s right after I left the doctor’s office. It was freaking delicious. (more…)
This has been one of my favorite quotes since dealing with chronic pain. There are times when you literally can’t get up and do what you need to do. You’re either throwing up or in too much pain or are just too tired. But those days you get up anyway are the days you are controlling your illness instead of letting it control you. I have literally been taking a final, gone out into the hall and thrown up, then walked right back in and finished it. (My teacher was Deaf so he didn’t know just how badass I was being, but my fellow students did.) So I know the quote is a bit of an oxymoron, but it made a difference in my life during some of my most frustrating days. Hopefully it will help you too.
P.S. This quote has always sort of bugged me because Jack Dempsey seemed to think only men could be champions. Now I know since Dempsey was a boxer he was most likely referring to his sport when he said this, but there are some kickass female boxers too! So when I saw this photo with a woman next to the quote I loved the metaphorical finger it was giving to his sort of thinking.
Are there any powerful quotes that have helped you during difficult times? Or are there any quotes that piss you off? I’d love to hear and discuss them with you in the comments!
In case anyone needed reminding, this is what I looked like days before my surgery.
As I am approaching the one month mark of my surgery (the official mark being my second post-op on Tuesday), I thought it was important to share my experience with swelling. It is always hard dealing with such a big change in your appearance, especially since it’s not a good one. So I decided to share with all of you the nitty-gritty photos, starting with the in-hospital post-op photos. My lips were extremely swollen and were cut up very badly, so that’s why they are so damn big. However, the swelling goes down quickly.
Now, I’m at the point where the only swelling is in the apples of my cheeks. My cheeks are still numb, along with my nose and upper lip/gums. I’m starting to get back feeling in my lip and it’s sort of painful. However, it is nice to be able to feel my lip again mostly because I’m tired of not being able to feel it when I drool. Don’t underestimate how much that can suck. (more…)
My terrier mix Winnie.
You all know what a therapy dog is, right? It’s the golden retriever who acts as eyes for its blind owner. It’s the Corgi who alerts others of its owner’s seizure. Or in my case it’s the terrier mix who offers emotional support, as well as alerting my parents when I need help.
I found my dog Winnie at an adoption event in town. We originally went to get a dog my mother and brother had seen earlier, but when she had already been adopted I started looking around. I’d love to say my eye went right to her and I knew, but that’s not the case. I first saw another dog who looked calm, but when I approached proved to be too hyper for our household. When I turned away, I saw her. She had a long dirty, but beautiful, white blonde coat and was curled up while the other dogs were barking at whoever passed by. (more…)
My jaw is wired shut. No, not just wired shut; my jaw is wired, then my teeth are blocked from behind with plastic, and then banded strategically shut. What does this mean? I’m STARVING!
The first thing I wrote when I got home from the hospital
In the hospital and the first week home I could only take liquid medicine along with my liquid diet. This meant that any pill/capsule we couldn’t get in liquid form had to be crushed/opened and mixed in with water and/or my other medication. And let me tell you, opened/crushed pills taste nasty. I had to wake up every four hours to take this medication, and because I didn’t want the medication burning a whole in my stomach, this also meant I drank a fair amount of chocolate Ensure every four hours. Needless to say, as soon as I didn’t have to take the medicine so often, I decided to never drink another Ensure again. (more…)