I am determined to get back in the saddle and write more regular posts on this blog... I always intended this to be my thinking space (so does this mean I haven't been thinking for the last few months? possibly...)

I have been pre-occupied with many things lately, starting clinical rotations... moving house... missing so many people... health 'stuff'

But just now I am on a high... finishing your first clinical rotation with such a good result can do that :) and if I can help it this new found feeling is going to stay with me for the remainder of the year!

Over the last 6 weeks I was taught how to have confidence in myself! I'm still in the early stages of this learning curve but my supervisors have started me off with a bit more self belief and it makes a big difference. I just need to find out how to nurture it and make it grow because I still have a ways to go.

Right now I am only looking forward, life feels so sweet just now and I hope I can keep hold of this feeling... I CAN do this, I just proved it by doing so well. I AM going to be graduating in December with my class I can almost taste it... no more me saying IF I graduate. I passed musculoskeletal (the area I find the hardest) so nothing is going to stop me continuing to do well in all the other placements... I just have to continue to believe in myself!
Its been a long month... and a lot has happened which I probably meant to keep updated on here but I'm sure you will forgive me :) the real world takes up so much time and energy that its hard to find the time to fit in all my cyber wantings.

So what have I been up to? Thats a good question.. and to save you reading a novel I shall bullet point the past 4 weekish.
*Studying for my pathology special exam (this took up several weeks with trying to study and not getting very far)
*Traveling back down to Dunedin in order to sit this special exam (6 hour bus ride)
*Missing the exam
*Sitting the exam (since it was miss-communication between two departments that caused me to miss it in the first place... I was a very stressed girl at one point)
*Traveling back home again (another 6 hour bus ride)
*Finding out I passed the exam (a big PHEW)
*Starting 4th year!!!!
*Surviving the very tough first professional study week (full time schedule)

Which brings me to now... its Friday afternoon and I have made it to the end of the first week with only one hitch (that included being kept late over lunch time for a lecture that was running late which stuffed my tummy up and caused me to miss the last lecture and be rather sick the rest of the day).

A few other things have happened... I've finally got the beginnings of a new GP who I'm hoping is going to investigate the nausea/vomiting issue in more detail and see if there is something we can do to at least make me feel more comfortable. I've been trialling Zofran which has been great... only down side is for the moment I can only get a total of 6 tablets a month rather than the 60 that would be useful.
Due to increasingly worse nausea and vomiting issues I have cut down on my regular medications (as I cant physically keep them down when I try and take them) and so far I think I am coping relatively well on the pain front.
My physio thinks I am doing pretty darn well as far as coping too but is not ready to wave goodbye any time soon... she wants to keep a close eye and is available at any time should I need some advice.
I've turned a corner with the non eating issue, now I'm really making an effort to eat despite how I'm feeling whereas before I wasn't really forcing myself... the dietitian is much happier I think because of this, just waiting to see if I actually start to gain any weight. Its been pretty tough this last month and I'm not sure despite my trying hard I will have made any headway.

As far as crps is concerned... I am hoping that it doesnt show its ugly face too much this year. I had a long talk with the clinical coordinator in my centre and she is very down to earth and not going to make me feel like I need to prove myself like I felt other years. She said that time off if I'm sick and need to go home is a non issue unless it becomes like every week (something I am not anticipating). She is just going to treat me like everyone else YAY!!! The only thing she has concerns about is my history of falling... and yes she is allowed to be concerned I suppose. I mean you cant have a balance challenged physio walking a balance challenged patient and even I can see that... I'm just hoping that my recent history (ie no major falls since August when I broke my wrist) is a positive step and a continuing trend. Lets just see how things go but right now I think MY major concern is the extreme fatigue I am feeling due to just being out learning all day...something I need to adjust to and then we'll be away laughing-heres hoping anyway!

So thats where I've been... and where I'm at... the beginning of a scary, rewarding final year (all going well) before I am let loose on the world!
"Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation." Brian Tracy

Could this be put better? Or come at a better time... a time when people often reflect on the passing of the old year and make resolutions for the new.

I'm not that keen on making New Year resolutions anymore, experience has taught me something... every day should have some kind of affirmation, some goal to work towards, something to strive for... and I find that one simple goal is more achievable than high hopes that are dashed within a week or lost in among the life changing events that so often occur when you least expect.

For me laying here right now, I simply say:

"Thank you God for giving me the strength, the support, the hope, the love, the friendship and the determination to get through the past year... and please continue to give me all these things to help me make it through the next. I place my trust in you, I will never give up hope and I will be faithful to you... when I falter please give me the grace to stand up and continue on my journey knowing you are always there."

But in saying that, I also hope that 2010 will be full of great things for so many... for my friends, for my family, and you all here who read my inconsistent rambles... you all share in a part of my journey, have touched me in some way and for this I say thank you.

Go forth and let this year be a year of miracles, hope, achievement... and as always-gratitude reminding ourselves that progress is progress no matter how small or insignificant it may seem.

So HAPPY NEW YEAR, MAY 2010 BE A HAPPY YEAR, A HEALTHY YEAR, a year full of joy and hope, a year full of accomplishments and may we all fulful God's promises for us and take on the challanges He has in store for us with faith and courage.

Happy new year! Happy 2010, a new decade to strive for good health and personal growth...
We had a little chat after an event last Saturday with a lady I haven't seen much (due to being away for uni)...and she asked me how long I had been away...4 years...so much has happened in those years its scary looking back at them!

So she turns round and exclaims to my Mum "did you know she's been away for 4 years?" to which my Mum replied "yes...and I know she's back cos my life is busier when she's around...dr's visits, physio appointments, surgeries, specialist appointments...." oops... sorry Mum.

But yes my poor Mother turns into a bit of a driver for many of these appointments as I cant take myself a lot of the time. Firstly I can't drive (yet...I'm working on this ok...in my head at least, but I do use alternative transport when I can), and quite often I need her as an extra set of ears because I forget so much. Being 24 and living with a chronic health condition changes what we classify as 'normal'...for me a meds schedule is normal, ongoing physio is normal, regular dr visits are normal, needing to rest during the day can be normal, struggling to stand up at the end of the day is normal, being unemployed is normal...and the list goes on...

None of these things were part of my 'normal' life 4 years ago, in fact I hardly spent much time sleeping and I worked my ass off to save money while studying full time, as well as having plenty of social activities I kept myself active with...and I didn't need to rely on my Mum to take me places much (I didn't drive back then either but I'd walk, cycle or bus most places).

Change, that is the one constant in life and sometimes it changes dramatically in ways you never thought would happen to you. When S said to my Mum "did you know she's been away for 4 years?" I starting thing wow...what a load has happened in that 4 years, my life completely changed...and you look back and think what a blessing it was to not know what was going to happen cos if I had known, I'm not sure I would have been game to carry on like I have....which brings me to my next point...

I passed second semester (yes that was a pass...), I've known this for a few days but its not been the climatic relief and didn't bring on the celebration bells quite as much as it has for a few other people in my year. Well, because I still can't say I passed 3rd year which is what all my friends are doing...I still have to sit that component I missed back in May...but now I have the date for that, 18th of January I get to go down and sit my pathology component and once that is done and graded I will be able to say I passed 3rd year. But until then I just am pretty sure I will pass it. But I dont KNOW it, and thats the difference, I dont want to jinx myself by saying I passed when I havent technically yet...pathology isn't too difficult though (providing I actually get down to studying and revising) so I'm going to pass.
But can you believe...I'm actually going to head into 4th year with the majority of my 1st year class...I have made it this far without lagging behind or failing anything..despite health issues, hospital admissions, too many accidents to count, and despite a number of people's disbelief that I could...hmm...now the test will be to make it through 4th year unscathed and my ultimate dream at the moment is to graduate beside all my friends knowing I kept up all the way through...now wouldn't that be something...so watch this space around this time next year...fingers crossed you see graduation photos!
Hip surgery 3 years on...

Its hard to believe it was 3 years ago today I had my surgery, 3 years is not that long but seems like forever when I think about what has taken place since. And now my open hip surgery for labral pathology and FAI has now become an arthroscopic procedure that my surgeon performs (and Jess knows that only too well lol).

I can still remember waking up early that morning and eating fruit salad for breakfast before my NPO status started, still remember the butterfly feeling being driven to the hospital and all the nurses questions and conversation and everything, still remember my relief when my surgeon assured me I wouldnt need a catheter (though this turn out to be false hope lol)...I think the whole thing made quite an impression on me-it was after all my first ever surgery and was a big deal.
Back then I had goals that included things as simple as being able to tie my own shoe laces again and cut my toenails myself, and slighter harder ones that included being able to walk and then finally run. I celebrated the day I could put my socks on, shoes on, tie my laces, paint my toenails, walk without any crutches (finally), dance, ride my bicycle and a whole heap of other things too but one thing I have never really got on board is the running thing-and for a while now I've kinda thought of it as not important anymore. CRPS has kinda changed priorities in that regard.

But 3 years on, my hip is pretty damn good. It flexes (sometimes past 90 degrees if I work on it...yes yes I know bad bad physio student), it externally rotates to the envy of all in my little ballet class, and its not the body part limiting my walking any more lol. And gasp gasp, in just the last few days I've finally been able to lay on that side without it protesting (but to be truthful I think that is more limited by the crps pain from the incision site).
Its been an interesting teaching tool for my classmates at times due to the limited range and grinding sounds it makes and if the last imaging I had done is anything to go by I'm headed for an early hip replacement. But I dont care lol, at least I'm walking now and apart from the bolts of pain I get from stupid positions... its perfect...

So I think I'm going to say "Happy birthday" born again hip!
I've been working on this post off and on few a few weeks but now have hopefully finished it, I dont think its as good as I wanted it to be but I hope it makes sense despite that...

When the price for not doing is greater than the price for doing...

And that is a force to be reckoned with (and sometimes it needs to be).

What I’m trying to say is sometimes the pain and exhaustion associated with a certain activity or thing is outweighed by the feeling of achievement you get from actually going the extra mile and pushing through. This drive is probably similar to the drive that helps amazing people do amazing things. I’m not talking about the usual situation when you push yourself every day to get out of bed, when just laying there and waiting for the world to go by is the easy way out… I’m talking about when you need something more to give you the incentive to reach harder goals…and this is where price tag logic comes in.

Have you heard of the spoon theory? Heres the link just in case…but sometimes you just say “to hell with spoons, I’m going to do it anyway” this isn’t something to be taken lightly, and isn’t something that is done on a regular basis but its something I am sure most if not all people who experience chronic pain go through at varying points in their lives.

In my head, its something like this:
Getting up in the morning-1 spoon
Going out for lunch with a friend-2 spoons
Proving you can do something you’ve been told is impossible? Priceless…you cant put a spoon value (or any other energy value) on this because the price for not doing it is greater than the price you pay for going ahead and doing what you set out to do.

You will pay in many ways later and sometime dearly, but that price is worth the feeling of ‘normal’/’take that’/yes I CAN still…etc I hope you get the picture...

This is what has got me through 3 years so far of physiotherapy (PT) school…and what will get me through the next year and then whatever comes next and then next… If I was wanting to let pain take over and do the whole woe is me and wanted to sulk and wallow in pain all day, would I push myself? Hell no... would I push myself knowing that I was going to ‘pay’ for it? You bet not! But everything has a price and in the chronic pain game its getting ahead with stubbornness and pigheadedness to just say ‘go to hell’ to pain and do whatever anyway. There is also this kind of desperation to look and act normal whatever the price, the consequences don’t matter, or not until they come and then you deal with them but those memories fade and you still have the ones worthy of remembering.

There are times when this logic comes in with family time, with friend time, with study, with life in general…when you have the opportunity to do something you would have done without thinking BEFORE you became a chronic pain player…only this time you have to think more than twice and roll the dice hoping that doing it anyway isn’t going to push you over the edge. Just because something falls into the priceless category doesn’t mean it doesn’t come at a cost (you just pretend it doesn’t till later), sometimes the cost is so high you set yourself back…sometimes to the point of serious heath issues and yes I have done this-more than once too...and I expect there will be times I make the decision and this will be the outcome again. But would I change the decision I made? Probably not, those kind of memories are worth more than a few days or weeks of messed up life.

I think its important to remember to push for those things that MATTER, push harder than maybe you might ordinarily and be proud of what you achieve because you are showing the true grit and strength that by believing in yourself you are capable of. You are more than pain, and can overpower it (even if what you are achieving may seem small to others...what would they know if they don't walk your in your shoes?)

So love yourself today, take pride in your achievements and think back on the times you overpowered pain and made a PRICELESS memory. Cos I'm proud of you too...
So after all that I have made it through my exams unscathed...typing saved my bacon so to speak though-without that compromise things would be a different matter entirely. I still don't know if it was enough to gain passes though-again, time will tell. Its weird (well not for me really) not sitting exams with my classmates...in fact when I think about it, over all my years of study, only one final exam have I sat in 'normal' circumstances...every other one has had either extra time, separate quiet room and then this lot a computer to type as well. I'm not ashamed that I needed extra help, just noting a fact because without this extra assistance for my written exams I have a feeling I wouldn't have made it through the way I have (although we are yet to find out if it was enough this round).

I am proud of where I'm sitting (well actually laying if you want the complete truth), I finished 3rd year of my physio degree...I made it through 3 years of tough study and though I faltered at times-I never gave up! Thats an achievement because we went from a class of 112 to 93 between 2nd and 3rd year and its not been easy on anybody.
I've had a bit of time to think recently and although I never got the grades I wanted or had set as goals, I still proved I can do this-even with pain and set backs which I am still soldiering on with. I CAN do this, I CAN push through, I DID show that despite everything I CAN do what the rest of the class can do, and I can do it well. I need to think about that and be proud of what I did achieve even if it doesn't quite match up with what I had set in my head.

I have had a few disappointing things recently, its pretty clear that I now have CRPS in my dominant hand and arm BUT knowledge is power this time round...I dont have such fear associated with symptoms like when I wasn't diagnosed in my leg. This time I knew and wasn't scared (ok I was/am pretty bummed out) of what was/ is happening. But I hate the dark extra hair already, it looks yucky to me lol and I'm not sure about the dropsy symptoms, a few broken glasses already and I cant write-which I have to fix before summer is over.
Also my knee MRI came back fine, which means, yes you guessed it...crps reaction in that too...my whole body seems to be up in revolt and crps is rearing its ugly head everywhere I have hurt by accident which is causing me to reevaluate my actions somewhat. Without noticing so much I have become way more cautious about doing stuff and I dont think thats the answer but for now I'll let it be. A little care wont go amiss.
And finally I got my DEXA scan results back which show generalised mild osteopenia which isn't technically an issue (haha) but requires that I maintain proper calcium intake (umm so yea we are working on that with the dietitian lol) and incorporate weight bearing exercise into my day.

I can just see the (physio torture) um fun I will have this summer...but summer is here and I am back home with all my accumulated belongings (what a heap you can collect up over 4 years) sad about losing some parts of my old life, but excited (and scared) to be starting a new chapter of my life and wondering just what its going to bring.

Check in for more regular updates lol, now I'm on summer break blogging will commence with more frequency :)
One down, three to go...
Practical exam went quite smoothly considering the rough patch I am going through. Not expecting amazing marks or anything but I consider my performance solid enough to warrant a pass-time will tell of course!
I'm getting through study slowly but surely, combining study group sessions with study at home limiting my internet use (it is my weakness and a very good way to procrastinate). And of course I'm looking ahead, reminding myself that this too will pass, the 6th of November isn't that far away and with that will come my last exam for this year. We are getting passed the worrisome inability to write for any length of time but applying for use of a computer, fingers crossed I will hear in the next day or two whether its been granted.

Onto other things, I have an MRI of my knee this Thursday to see whether its miniscal tear or bone bruise or what, I'm hoping it comes up with some diagnosis anyway because just now with the inevitable crps involvement its almost impossible to figure out what is injury related and what is my body's 'normal' response. And "as an aside" (the specialist dr's exact words) I'm having a bone scan on Wednesday morning because of my recent radial fracture, the fact my knee x-ray showed possible bone thinning (and my low bmi also was/is a concern). Like I need to know I have more issues to deal with. I'm just hoping it was the x-ray exposure rather than anything wrong with my bones. But the good thing about all this is its being done private so I dont have to wait, ACC to pay for the MRI, and a drug company is paying for the bone scan-lucky me!
I'm also seeing the hand therapist on Thursday, she has just been to a conference and said she has some good ideas so I'm excited to hear what they might be, I'm working with what I got but any extra ideas are certainly welcome!
All this while continuing to study for exams and continuing to work with my scheduled eating plan. Which I am so happy to say I have finally made a move in the right direction! My weight was 0.9kg more than it was 4 weeks ago and I am sure this is due to the addition of the antinausea/increased gastric motility meds. Less puking (though not completely stopped), and not so much really intense nausea-really helps in the eating department.

So hows that for a lot of good news! Bring on Summer break though I say, I really am exhausted and need some time to rest and recuperate.
Its been awhile since I updated on here, that’s because I’m about to rush head on into finals (2 weeks left of class and then right into them).
Things haven’t been amazing in a few areas to the point I’ve been musing on giving up…I never would I promise! But sometimes the thought that it would be the easiest thing to do crosses my mind.
I am frustrated with how things are going, I’m behind in study but kinda lost motivation at the same time, every thing seemed just way too hard. I usually write screeds, that’s how I study and I cant write much at the moment. But I started over the weekend (baby steps) so now I feel like I have a plan and things look more achievable or at least attemptable lol.

My cast came off last Wednesday which caused a little bit of excitement (for the nurses NOT me), the vibrating cutter thing caused so much unexpected pain I passed out. Very embarrassing! But the spin off from this is I have crps in my arm to my shoulder although we are NOT going to let it settle I have promised myself that. I was referred to hand therapy and the lady is lovely and said that if things had been straight forward she would have let me manage my own rehab but since I’ve got symptoms its best we keep an eye on things (I was relieved to hear this). I’ve got colour changes, temp differences, burning, allodynia, and the all too familiar pain BUT as I said, its not going to settle, this is going to go away…
So, its causing more issues than when I had the cast on, clinical placement has been tricky with me being sent home 2 out of 3 days due to looking and feeling like I was going to faint. The funky arm involvement has caused lovely flaring in my legs and the combo has increase the nausea etc. Joy of joys. I’ve emailed my crps physio though in the hopes that she will come up with some ideas that I haven’t thought of. I’ve been mirroring my hand exercises because doing them on their own just flares everything up. And I am asking about best TENS placement and whether it’s a good idea to try.
I need to sleep! The burning and allodynia gets so bad at night I cant find a comfortable position that keeps both legs and arm relatively happy.

I’m finally on some antinausea meds though (and am going to retry also the reflux ones with them) and are starting to make me feel slightly better, not amazing but at least in the right direction. I’ve yet to actually put on some weight and the last weigh in I had continued to go in the wrong direction which I have to admit is now worrying more than just the people around me (it’s actually worrying me, shhhh)

Oh and just to complete things, when I fell and broke my wrist its possible I tore the meniscus in my left knee at the same time so I’m in the process of getting that checked out…x-rays and specialist referrals because its not just pain, its locking and giving way on me several times a day so now I have 2 legs that can shove me on the floor-nice!
I am learning that there really is no such thing as can't.

Its funny analyzing your thought process, thinking through the possible whys and reasons behind your actions and emotions...why did I react like that, why did I say that, why did I decide to do this over the other choices? "Why?" is such an open question and sometimes its scary finding out the truth.

My initial thoughts on coming off tramadol and decreasing gabapentin were almost of panic as much as I am ashamed, its the truth. Why? It was a lot of fear and catastrophizing. In my head all I could think of was my upcoming big exams (feeling I'm going to fail), the pain last year that meant I got put on the tramadol in the first place. And that I had turned the meds into my validation and justify that I have pain. I'm not proud of my thought process in relation to the drugs but at the same time this is real, this is my life and this blog is my place to be real to you. I never felt like I just NEEDED the drugs, and I had no trouble stopping them despite the withdrawal symptoms but I still felt like without them life would just suck in general (and I didnt want that after 9 months of what I felt was reasonable pharmaceutical managemtent).

Do I really need drugs to validate pain? This is a hard question to answer but simple too, NO I dont need drugs to prove I am in pain and really why do I need to prove I am in pain anymore? I should be working towards it becoming just another part of my life like having to arms and needing to wear glassing to see properly. People dont make a big deal about those and I think what I want to work towards is CRPS becoming just like my slight vision impairment, something of no greater importance (I dont want to say it is not important because I think it still is, just as it is a part of my life now but it is no more important than anything else), I dont want to be known because I have pain, rather known because I know how to help people get to the same point I am working towards.

I am now in more pain than I was when I was taking tramadol, but now I have an opportunity to use all the the tools I have been shown or learnt over the last year or so of searching for information and also the little that has been presented to my class.
I had a long email conversation with an amazing lady in Canada who has such an understanding of pain science that I wish that oneday I will understand some things like her. She asked some thoughtful questions and made me really think about my faulty coping mechanisms. And that maybe some of the things I'm doing might not being treating my nervous system in the best way.

The one I let go first of all is being calm, as soon as things happen out of my control I lose control of me and also loose any sense of being cool calm and collected. I need to change the way I react in order to control my physiological and psychological body reactions.

I feel like I have an advantage in a sense; I have access to many resources due to my studies, I am in contact with people who have such a great understanding and who work with people in chronic pain. I am human and I make mistakes but I also have some baseline knowledge so I can see what I'm doing and how it is affecting me physically but more importantly emotionally because afterall, pain has such an emotional component.

In the last few days I have had time to reflect while sitting on the bus (I've turned a negative into a positve :), its about half an hour of time in the morning and then the evening, to think; about either whats going to happen through the day or how I think the day went. It also gives me a chance to day dream, relax and notice that this 'reflective' time is something I have missed out of my day for a long time. I'm consciously telling myself to slow down, to relax, to not worry about exams, to breathe and you know what I think in time this 'mind regulation' will be just as good as drugs (and better because it doesnt include toxins) and that is my goal...

I have proved I can still get out of bed in the morning with less drugs in my system, ok so the first few were harder than I thought, but the point is I did it.

The next step is learning to stay calmer and not get frustrated with my body, I'm going to try the whole 'go with the flow' thing and see, and if my feet say "take those shoes off now" you know what? I think I will listen...

...those days when I feel overwhelmed by everything. But at the same time so ashamed that I feel like this, after so long, so much education, so much knowledge and I still end up at the bottom.

I have cried in frustration, pain and exhaustion (can I blame hormones you think? periods suck...). Where is that magic wand when you need it?

I'm going through withdrawal coming off tramadol, despite coming off it the way I got told but I managed to survive the 6 hour bus trip without succumbing and being tempted to take some. Its funny but at least this is just because of physical dependence (quite different from addiction) and my body has to adjust in its own time. I'm not sleeping, I feel crappy and teary and had the 'jitterbugs' lol. Pain has increased and not only in my crps areas but also in my wrist, abdomen and also my 'fixed' hip (and its just like pre surgery pain). I think this revelation has me slightly gutted because I thought after 2.5 years things were finished with it for now. I know that I still have impingement that wasn't able to be removed and the beginnings of OA and I have been pushing it lately but still. Why did it have to join in now? lol and I still have the gabapentin to decrease yet too, what will that bring?

I asked the dr what are we going to do if coming off the meds doesnt change anything as far as the nausea/puking is concerned (bad on my part because that is just negative thinking), he said we will decide if/when that happens. I just feel like all this is bad timing, why now when I have 6 weeks left and then big exams?

I'm doing ok really, just being human and wishing things happened instantly rather than you having to have patience and wait and hope. If I learn nothing else through this I have to learn patience with myself or I will not get through. Things will get better and for what ever reason I am supposed to be walking this road just now and what I have to focus on is doing my best and showing I will do my part in the getting better thing-not at all easy when it involves things that make you feel worse in the short term but I am persevering.

My Aunt always says that you are never given more to cope with than you can handle, you just have to realise that plans are meant to be broken and not to have unrealistic expectations.

So, today is my 'write-off' day and tommorrow I will start the day with a smile (and breakfast) and hope it goes better than today.
I got asked the other day if I was home on break or home because of the break lol! Technically I'm home on break but if it hadn't conveniently been a scheduled uni break I may have had to take time off anyway.
The OT has been persistent in reminding that the shaken brain deserves time to heal and that not giving it what it needs now may come back and bite me in the back so to speak.
Also with all the things going on with me recently I was told (rather bluntly) that if I dont take care of myself just now I am going to crash and be back here next year redoing the whole year again. And as my disability support lady said to me I've been through a lot in the last 2 years that to crash and fu*k up in the last 6 weeks of this year is not something she is going to let happen. Ummm so I think I heard that message loud and clear lol.

Wrist is confirmed as a definite fracture, and a total of 6 weeks casted is required-not a happy thought and currently driving me insane. I got a bright pink one cos its girly and I can scare people :) so far though, most people like it!

I cant write, cant cut things with a knife, cant wash, rinse properly or put my hair up. Its just completely awkward, dont get me wrong I'm not complaining but its certainly creating a lot of situations where I have to work out a way to get around the immobilised wrist. Also means I cant ride my scooter to uni so now I have to get up earlier in order to catch a bus into town and am at the mercy of their timetables. Last week I waited over an hour (in the dark sitting on the pavement) for a bus to get me home and still have to walk a couple of blocks before I am truly home. Its just so much more exhausting and I am going to have to do this for at least a month if not more. It also costs a lot more than petrol too, $25/week rather than $5-6/week.

The mirror is coming out daily, its the only thing that helps with the uncomfortable pain that has come with the new cast. At times all I want to do is rip it off!But for now I'm enjoying my week off, catching up on sleep, getting over a bad cold, relaxing, seeing friends and just being lazy...as well as working on my eating plan.
That is a quote from a text Jo sent me yesterday...CRPS has certainly had the upper hand this week, but have we given up? I think not!

Poor Jo had a nasty fall on Tuesday afternoon and I am still worried about whether she did some serious damage to her back when she fell on the concrete but I am hoping that it will settle down soon as long as she takes it easy. She didn't have a nice time in ED which is worrying when they do not take someone in pain seriously. Please say a few prayers that she will bounce back to feeling better really soon. I feel bad cos I would like to be able to help her out and make things easier for her but I cant.

Another of our friends (who also has crps) is having a rough time at work and it is not helping the situation. I think by Friday it became too much to handle so a few prayers for her would also be much appreciated. That her work situation settles down soon and that things are made easier to handle for her. Its bad enough the stress of working full time without people having personal vendettas against you.

And as for me, I followed in Jo's footsteps.
I had a fight with a judder bar (speed bump or whatever you call them) on a down hill driveway. It won...
Apparently I looked like I was doing a stunt double or something. I was walking down the driveway to the entrance of the rest home where I was on clinical placement and lost sense of my leg and tripped over the judder bar and fell down the bank thing. Lost consciousness for a minute or so. Apparently I was not keen to go to hospital but the RN who was checking me over decided it was necessary. I spent more than the minimum observation time because I was still pretty out of it 4 hours later so I was told. My dr and nurse were absolutely lovely though, it makes being in hospital so much nicer when you are treated well. I have holes in my very expensive clinical trousers, plenty of bruises and a few scrapes, concussion and apparently fractured the distal styloid process of the radius on my dominant hand.
Now the dr did say that she thought she could see 2 cracks in it so I'm hoping that when I go to my fracture clinic appointment that they will say it was all a mistake and not fractured afterall-I can always hope right?

I got rung up by the Occupational Therapist yesterday, she is concerned because I have concussion symptoms and am not taking time off. I dont have time to just now because I have a presentation to do on Monday etc, but I am going to have to monitor how I'm feeling and might just have to do as I'm told. She made some good points that if I push through things now and dont let my brain heal that I will make things worse and wont be able to do anything and be out of action longer. I am taking it a bit easy this weekend hoping that will be enough...
Which involved dressing up first...

Now we are ready for the proper photos...
At the ball...Discussing the interesting display of human behaviour...

What we were thinking of doing part way through the night (Jo regretted her heels) and couldnt get in the door fast enough when we got home lol!
Feet up on the couch...ahh that feels so much better (and then we had trouble getting up again and putting ourselves to bed)

It was fun dressing up and making the effort to go to the ball, but I felt much happier knowing I had Jo to stand beside. We had an interesting evening watching people drink themselves stupid, being kicked out by security for dangerous behaviour.
Frankly drunk people scare me! They are people I know, work with, are friends with but when they are drunk they are positively scary. In your face, hyper and they dont even remember anything afterwards. Why would you pay so much and then drink yourself to the point of nothing.

I was embarrassed actually, this was a large group of future health professionals acting very unprofessionally but that is the student culture at my university. Something I am not a part of.

But apart from that, we danced a little and chatted to people who weren't drinking into oblivion and enjoyed ourselves (I think-did we Jo?) but it was nice to go home afterward and chat in the quiet of Jo's house.
We both suffered the effects the next day (and the next and still...) Jo really overdid it having spent the day of the ball motobiking in a boggy field or two! But to dress up and be girly it was worth it.