Monday, January 31, 2011

Exhaustive Progress

  I would like to start by expressing my sincerest apology to all of my readers.  I had never intended on letting my disability get in the way of providing detailed information and opinions to my readers' awareness.  It's been several days since my last posting.

  Truth be told, I've found myself very drained since my last set of medical appointments.  Last Monday I was scene in Milwaukee to evaluate my nightmares, and then a full day was spent this past Thursday at the North Chicago facility for evaluations in conjunction to my claims.  Progress was made, but was severely taxing on my own level of will.  I've spent several days now over the last week simply unconscious; with a mind to create and write, but no will to do so.  I'm not sure if it's a matter of depression, or simply my body quitting on me.  I'm unsure if I'd even want to know.  If it's depression I'm doomed to adding more mediations to an, already, oversized list.  If it's my body unable to handle the stresses I put it through then it stands to reason that future endeavors may put me out of commission as well...

  I learned that the symptoms I'm exhibiting are those of an individual with PTSD.  They prescribed Prazosin to help ease the nightmares, and want to keep an eye on me to combat my other symptoms if they get overly grand.  Sadly, because my trauma is ongoing, I can not be diagnosed with PTSD, but they'll be treating me as a PTSD patient...  I'm not sure what kind of medical sense that makes, but that's what I've been told.

  The full day of diagnostics on Thursday really took a toll.  I was examined by 4 different professionals and had multiple ex-rays and scans completed.  The doctors seemed honestly baffled that I was denied my initial claim.  The neurologist even told us that his initial write up was of an individual barely able to conduct the basest of human activity.  We were given his name and express instructions to contact him should we be denied another time.  Amy was allowed to be present through every examination except the psychological exam.  This was a major difference compared to previous visits.  There was a certain level of remorse and explanations that they couldn't comprehend how they denied the benefits increase.  I suppose that if things have to go to a hearing level we'll have their doctor's testifying on our behalf...

  I'm hoping that I've caught up on my sleep and have recuperated enough to start my life again.  I'm not overly tired at the moment and think I'll journal a bit (I keep a paper journal) and work on some poetry.  If I manage to stay awake tomorrow then I have plans to finish 'The Three Musketeers' and find a new piece of literature to delve into.  The last few days my vision has been terrible, and I attribute it to the exertions of last week.  Time will only tell.  I'll make plans to have a new post with updated information later in the week...

Thank you all for taking the time to read,

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Lacking Tools

  I was going to do a follow-up post about my appointment last night.  Amy beat me to it.  If you all don't mind taking a minute to click a link and read about it there, I'll fill you in on some of my views when you get back... (You may also want to follow her blog because she often has entries from a different perspective)

Amy's Blog

  I was privy to some profound outlooks on my disability by my Primary Care doctor.  The most profound was that he didn't believe RSDS/CRPS pain was worse than natural child birth or cancer.  It's been reported, consistently, by people who have had two of the three, but he doesn't agree with the reported findings.  Second, possibly tied with the first statement, was that it 'may be time to seek treatment somewhere else.'  This is a service connected disability, and he's the second medical professional to tell me I may want to look into getting treatment outside the VA....

  Mind you, that this conversation was taking place while I was on the verge of blacking out from my pain and mildly dribbling urine into my pants.  The appointment ended with a prescription for Fentanyl, and the feeling that all the evidence wasn't going to be included in the doctor's notes...

  That's a big kick in the chops, because the VA won't award me benefits due to the lack of solid notation by my doctors...

  So, I'm home, mildly stoned from the high concentration of narcotic (Fentanyl is more powerful than morphine), and trying to organize my thoughts into some form of attack plan for the rest of my day.  God willing, I'll get something done today!  ;)

Thank you all for taking the time to read.
You're appreciated,


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Let's Try This Again

  Last week I missed my appointment with my primary care because I ended up in the emergency room.  The appointment was rescheduled for today, and last night I thought I was going to end up in the ER again.  This morning is a different story.  I'm awake, in pain, but doing well enough to not need the ER visit.

  We'll see how the rest of the day goes...

  I've been trying to dedicate a little bit of each day to working on some writing.  I'm in the midst of co-translating a Danish novel for my friend L.G. Jensen, working on three poems, my own novel, and writing three songs.  A little bit each day is all I aim for, and, when I can do no more, I lay down and rest. It's aggravating not being able to work through things consistently, but I'm happy I get a little bit of time each day to try and accomplish things.

  The pain is getting very difficult to manage.  I hope today's visit will yield a better arrangement to controlling my pain.

Friday, January 14, 2011

One More Time, With Feeling

  So, for those of you who haven't heard yet, I spent the majority of Wednesday in the ER, and the majority of yesterday trying to recover.  Today is a new day, and I plan on making the most of it; the most of what my pain will let me.
  The ER visit was a 'new' one.  We were headed to the Milwaukee V.A. for an appointment anyway, so I just spent an hour, passing out here and there, in the car to get to the ER versus twenty minutes.  The doctor was great, taking detailed notes and switching me from morphine to dalauted and valium.  I was there for six hours, and they kept coming in every hour or so to shoot me up with more pain killers.  I wish I was closer to the Milwaukee clinic so I could go there for all my ER visits.  They really have a remarkable staff and facility there, and I would highly recommend anyone to go there vise anywhere else.
  Yesterday I felt like I'd been hit by a truck.  My heart rate in the ER was in excess of 170 beats per minute when I arrived.  My leg still feels like I'd been breaking boards with my thigh, foot, and calf.  The prescribed muscle relaxers aren't helping much either.  My muscles are still very knotted up and firing at odd times.  I'm surprised nothing broke mid trip.

  Today is a new day, and I plan to take full advantage of what my body will let me.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Wicked Dreams

  Yesterday evening we spent in good company.  Children doodled, smiled, ate, and talked excitedly while we grown ups talked about many things.   One of the conversations I enjoyed was about Jhon's book, 'Hands on the Hips', which is a must have for any poetry enthusiast, lover of good writing, or people looking for something new to discover.  We also discussed our current reads and his future works to come. I honestly can't wait to get my hands on his next collection.  From our family to yours, Jhon, our sincerest thanks for a wonderful evening.

  For the last few weeks I've been having these terrible dreams from which I can't escape.  I know I'm dreaming, and I can't wake up.  They're terrifying dreams where my leg and arm are being destroyed by one thing or another, and I honestly don't want to close my eyes.  Some mornings I don't even know if I'm awake, or still dreaming...
  I feel like I'm coming unraveled...

  Today I'm going to try to add some new songs to my growing list.  If you're interested in taking a listen you can find them on my SoundClick page or on my FaceBook page.  Hopefully I'll have two new songs up by the end of the week.  At least that's my goal.  And to keep writing, a little bit every day.
  There's a meeting of the Illinois RSDS Association, but I'm unsure that I'll even be able to make it today.  The pain in my leg is horrendous, and my arm is swollen and throbbing.

  In the near future I'll hopefully be getting another free art lesson from my good friend Scott Little.  He's a freelance artist in the Crystal Lake area, and he's VERY good.  I'm also highly anticipating another couple lessons on poetry from Jhon.  I couldn't be more fortunate when it comes to the incredible people in my life who are helping me.  God bless all of you.

Thank you for reading,


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Dust Settles

  So the dust has settled and I'm able to write again.  My family is safe and sound; gifted with parents who love us and took us in.  The Chicago Tribune article caused quite the ruckus, and I already have appointments for re-evaluation in a couple weeks.  Funny how it took months before, but now only takes a day or two...
  I plan on putting up all the ratings material from my case after the appointments and ratings letters arrive.  This can then be used for others in the military with RSD.  They can hand that in and use it as a template for how they'd like to be rated.  God willing, it will make their road an easier one to traverse than ours.  To all of you who have helped me with my cause, my sincerest thanks.
  The room I'm living in is providing me the capabilities to write, and record, my music because I can recline while recording and don't have to sit upright.  Sadly, my RSD seems to be spreading into my right arm and hand...
  My night terrors are getting worse, and I'm finding it harder to wake from them.  It's like being trapped in hell most nights.  Those dreams where you fall, and awake before you land...  I don't wake up and suffer the landing.  I have some medical appointments with a PTSD doctor to discuss these symptoms.  I pray they have an answer...

Wind blows.
Fire burns.
Water runs.
And the earth,
She's rising up,
To meet my feet.

Thank you for reading,