It Could Always be Worse

In my last post I failed to mention that Shelia, my Doll, had broken her arm the evening of Halloween by trying to take pictures of Haylee and Ivan on the front porch with their costumes on. So, with the desire to get everything in the pic she backed up. While doing so she tripped backward over a brick and she tried to break her fall, instead she “broke” her arm.

After I took the kids down to a local trunk or treat to accumulate an unbelievable amount of candy, I drove her over to the Orthopedic Clinic which was still open. An X-ray confirmed the break just like she exclaimed. They wrapped he arm up with a firm type bandage until she could see the Doctor the next day.

The next afternoon we went to see Dr. Branham and he examined her arm. Due to Shelia’s concern regarding potential Lymphedema, he didn’t put a cast on it with the explicit instructions for her to keep it bandaged and in a splint to not allow the bone to move. We made an appointment for two weeks later for a follow-up.

This may be a perfect tine to interject that it would have probably been wise to cancel our “Early” Thanksgiving dinner that I mentioned in my previous post. Now I am not saying that all Kentucky women are stubborn, but I will say the Doll is. I suspect that she had far more activity with that arm than the Doctor envisioned. I will finish the post with the “Rest of The Story”

The week after the wonderful Family Thanksgiving promised to be packed with activities.

On Monday I went to Pellissippi Toastmasters and gave a 5-7-minute speech on one of my past lives’ regression. It was the first speech I had tried in a couple of months, so I felt good about it and got some good feedback. I surely miss all the Toastmasters activities that I haven’t been able to participate in lately.

The next day was the 2nd Y-90 procedure day and we arrived about 9 am. I was hoping the side effects of this one would be less since they were scheduled to “only” radiate 1/3 of my tumor this time.

One of the things that was quite different this time is they gave me IV Benadryl since the steroids I had previously made my blood sugar skyrocket. I have never experienced the sensation I felt as they injected the Benadryl. My lips and mouth were already dry since I couldn’t have any food or drink since midnight the day before. But now my lips were thick.

But the weird thing was that my head seemed to be spinning a bit and I couldn’t speak without slurring. I tried to talk with Dr. Stevens when he came in prior to the procedure but it didn’t seem to be working well. When I attempted to mention it to him, he said he could understand me fine, but I noticed he glanced over at the Doll with a slight grin. I suspect he was “punking” me. LOL

The other difference in this procedure was that I only remember the attendant talking with me one time to tell me to breathe or hold my breath and that was toward the end. This procedure doesn’t require general anesthesia due to the patient interaction involved. But I suspect that the Benadryl put me under a bit deeper. I mentioned to the attendants that I felt like I slept the whole time and they said I had snored a couple of times.

I got back to my room and when I was fully awake and dressed, I went home. The Doll had to drive me and had the use of only one good arm. But we made it fine and I just tried to rest.

In the discussion with the Doctor it was mentioned that since we were only treating 1/3 of my tumor that the side effects, mainly pain, could be less. I am happy to report that the pain after this procedure has been much less and hasn’t come in two big waves like the last time. It has been about 8 days now and the pain is tolerable so far without medications. I hope it stays that way, but I am prepared to medicate if needed. However, the fatigue lingers, and the Dr. confirmed that it probably would for some time.

I was even able to attend the Pellissippi Toastmasters meeting this past Monday where I performed a speech evaluation and even was voted the best Table Topics Responder. It was six days out from the procedure, but I did well. I plan to manage my energy use wisely and so far, it is working.

What’s next you may ask! I will have an MRI/CT scan on Monday, January 14 and see my oncologist the next week. The result of these scans along with the lab work will determine the next step. The big hope is whether the treatments ere effective enough to allow the surgery that I desperately desire. Without the surgery there are no good options currently. Time will tell how many more trips I have around the sun, but I am hoping for a few more.

Now let’s back up to last Thursday where Shelia had her follow-up with Dr. Branham about her broken arm. After the routine X-ray the doc came in and when he stared going through the x-ray images on the computer screen it was clear that Shelia’s arm bone was way out of whack. That would certainly explain her increasing pain in her arm the previous few days. Two option were offered. One was to do nothing, but the bone and arm would eventually heal but be misshaped. Option two was to have surgery and place a plate and screws to get the bone straight and the arm strong again. Not much of a choice but who wants a less than functional arm?

As luck would have it, Dr. Bramham was going to be taking his family to Disney World for Thanksgiving week BUT he could do the surgery the next day on Friday. We would have to be at the Methodist Medical Center and it would be late in the afternoon. I really haven’t heard of much surgery on Friday afternoon, but this was important. The good news was that we were told after we went home that the first patient on the docket cancelled so we got moved up to a 1 PM check-in.

On the next day we arrived and check in went fine. Since there had been no time to do the pre-admission testing it took a very long time before she got pack to the operating room for surgery. I think it was about 5 pm when Dr. Branham came to consult with me. He said that he put in a plate and four screws and that surgery went fine, and she should expect a full recovery. He made me promise to have her weekend activity confined to doing nothing but resting, taking medicine when needed, and elevating her arm. I looked at him directly and said to him “Doc, do you realize that Shelia is from Kentucky?” He looked at me and said. “Bless her heart”.

After quite a while we were able to get her discharged and back home for a weekend rest and relation. It was about 7:30 and she was exhausted from her surgery and I was exhausted because that is what happens with me these days.

The weekend was uneventful, and we were pleased for that. We had a follow-up with Dr. Bramham’s PA in Oak ridge yesterday to check the dressing and wound. It was decided that only 4 days after surgery would not be long enough to remove the stitches so that is schedule for December 3. It was also decided to not put a cast on her arm and instead she would use a splint until she returned.

The joke I tell now is that Shelia’s is on the TSA watch list Level 3 because now she has metal in her back, her knee, and now her arm. I hope the next time we take a flight that the scanners have batteries that are fully charged. LOL.

I don’t know if any of you recall but I have shared many times with family and friends that Teresa (The Redhead) had a quote she used a whole lot. Even when she got terrible news regarding her medical condition and even when she was told her condition was terminal. She would almost always respond “It could always be worse”. Teresa was an amazing and brave woman and she could look at events and situations and have an attitude that at that moment – it could actually be worse. WOW!

Gentle readers, I will leave you with the thought that even though we are going through a lot right now,  “It Could Always be Worse”!


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