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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sad Update

There's a reason I've been so quit lately, and it isn't good
news. I seem to be losing the battle with my arm pain. Nothing
is helping. It's getting worse every week. I feel like I'm
sinking into some horrible, painful trap.

It's not just my elbow anymore. I still have pain at the
incision site. I expect that will continue for another six
months or so. What's really killing me is pain in another tendon
on both elbows, as well as pain in my shoulders, neck and hands.
My muscles are very tight. There's extreme tension in my neck
and shoulders. Sometimes my shoulders get so tensed up that they
are practically touching my ears. That can't be a good sign.

Acupuncture didn't help at all. I went four times but it had no
effect. They decided to send me to massage therapy instead.
Then a doctor put that on hold. He was afraid it might cause
more pain. He ordered some blood work. They took eight vials
of blood and some urine, too.

Guess what? I'm totally normal. At least that's what the test
results say. Everything comes back normal or negative. I look
so perfect on paper. In reality, I'm pretty darn screwed up.

I'm no longer able to function in my life. I can't read or type
much. I'm not reading for pleasure. I had to leave all the
deaf-blind mailing lists. I only write a few emails per week.
I'm not blogging. I don't do text messages or IM any longer.
I'm losing everything that mattered to me.

Signing is the worst. I can only manage for a few minutes
before the pain gets to be too much. I had to stop attending my
classes. I'm still doing creative writing via email. But I had
to drop out of ASL v. I worked so hard to get where I was in
school. To leave like that was devastating. But I had no other

The doctor finally said what I was most dreading. He thinks
the pain is a worsening of my neuropathy. It was probably set
off by the elbow surgery. It was a crushing blow to hear this
diagnosis. Neuropathy is scary. There's no telling what it will
do or how long it will last.

The strange thing is that this has been totally different than
the first time that neuropathy caused havoc on my body. The
pattern and pain are completely different. I still have
sensitivity in my hands. It doesn't seem to be spreading to my
legs or other peripheral or sensory nerves. That much is good

The worst part is knowing that I did this. I did this to myself.
I didn't absolutely need to have the elbow surgery. Maybe we
could have treated it in some other manner. Maybe I could have
learned to deal with the pain. I thought it was bad then but it
was nothing compared to what I'm dealing with now. If only I had
left things alone...

I just want my life back. It wasn't much of a life but it was
mine. I was moving on. I was going to school and learning to
live more independently. I had friends. I could entertain
myself with reading or writing. I just want that back. I need
my arms back. I need to be able to function without all this

I'm doing pool therapy twice a week and taking pain medication.
Tomorrow I will see a pain management doctor for the first time.
We will also set up an appointment for massage therapy. Beyond
that... I don't know. I have no clue what will happen next.

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