Today is the one month anniversary of the surgery to get my permanent device. Surgiversary. (The surgiversary for the first surgery was on the 19th, though.) I have to say, it is making a big difference. Surgery seems like such a long time ago. I feel like it wasn't real. Sometimes I have to poke my back to feel the device to make sure it's real. It's cool in a gross way to be able to feel it. It really just feels like I have a giant knot back there under the skin. I'm also not supposed to fall down because of the chance of the device and wires either migrating (moving around) or getting broken. But I've fallen down/run into things quite a few times in the past month, and luckily everything is still intact. For an early birthday present, my mom got me this really pretty medical ID bracelet. I thought it would be a nuisance to wear one all the time, but it's not. I had one when I first got sick, but it was one of those kids ones because I was still passing out/falling down a substantial amount of the time and we didn't want to spend a lot of money on a nice one if I was just going to break it. But I plan to have this new one for a loooooooooong time.
I caught this really nasty stomach flu a few weeks ago. That's always bad because the Dysautonomia already makes my blood volume so low. I had to go the hospital to get fluids because I was so dehydrated. To give you an idea of how dehydrated - they still weren't able to draw any blood from my veins after a full bag of fluid, so they had to get the blood from my artery. It hurt worse and it took it too long to clot, but it sure seemed a lot easier than trying to poke my veins multiple (as high as 11) times unsuccessfully. Anyway - they wanted to do an EKG while I was in there and I had to turn my device off. I could tell an immediate difference as soon as it was off. It was kind of cool because it made me realize how much it's been helping.When I turned it off and felt pain and urgency I almost cried. From happiness. Because even though it sucked when it was turned off, it made it that much more apparent how much it helps when it's on. I am lucky. I am so lucky. I know this was a last resort treatment option. But it doesn't work for everyone. And it certainly doesn't help everyone's pain. But it works for me, and it helps my pain. I am lucky. And I just wish that 1) everyone who has chronic pain could experience relief like this, and 2) all my other issues had something to help them go away like this. I think #1 will be my birthday wish next week. Everyone deserves relief.
I've been having some issues with it, though. The device itself recently started throbbing and being sore. It also bulges out sometimes so I can really feel it and I can see it if I look in the mirror. But I think the bulging may be normal? But the pain is not. I think exercising is aggravating it a lot. There has to be a way around that. I'm hoping that it's just because it's only been a month and it's still swollen or something. I'm slowly but surely getting used to my left foot constantly twitching because of the electric pulsing. I tried to paint my toenails without turning the device off....my foot flung nail polish everywhere and it was out of my control. I need a foot tamer. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- It's finals week! All I have is one movie project, one paper, and one final exam to do. The one traditional exam is killing me, though. I have to score pretty high on the final to even pass that class. ("Pass" here means a C.)
I have a list in my notebook of blogs I've been meaning to write. It'll happen eventually - blog posts that AREN'T about surgery or passing out. Despite two surgeries, mononucleosis, and that killer stomach flu, it has been a pretty great semester with some pretty great people. I feel like a post with a list of happy things will be happening soon. :)