Moving Forward With CRPS!!

Hi again! Well the countdown is on as we are only about four weeks away from going to Disneyland with the kids. So far we’ve managed to keep it a secret but I do have to admit it’s getting harder to keep from them. I don’t know how many times over the last week while my 5 yr old has asked “Daddy can we go to Disneyland?”, and straight faced I have to look at her and say maybe someday we’ll be able to afford to. My wife and I keep playing up all the characters and how much they like them. One thing that’s for sure is that we’re going to have to peel her off the roof when we tell them on the way to the airport.

I’m trying to stay focused this week on things other than my CRPS. My symptoms as you know have been acting up a bit, and so I’m trying to keep my mind off of them so that I minimize the effects. The pain itself is staying very well controlled which in itself is huge! As I’ve said all along it’s about taking baby steps to overcome this disability. The one thing I’m not prepared to do at this point is put a time limit on it. First off it wouldn’t be realistic and secondly it would only be putting more stress on myself! The only person who knows the timing of all of this is God and so I’m leaving it up to Him.

I’m still dealing with some pain as a result of the surgeries but for the most part I’ve gotten over most of it. I’ve been dealing with some pain in my neck where the lead has been placed, but am being told that I’m just going to have to get over that. I’m also dealing with some pain in the area where they implanted the second battery, and my neurosurgeon said he would look at that in three months. Overall though I’d have to say that I’m feeling better than I did before surgery. Now it’s a matter of adapting to life with my implants and all that comes with it.

The hard part is getting through all the surgeries. For myself I had to go through five surgeries in order to complete the double implant. At first I was all stressed over what life would be like with them, but I’ve adapted now and it’s pretty easy. The batteries I have in me are rechargeable and so once a week I watch a favorite show for about an hour and charge myself up. My body has adapted quite well and I really don’t notice the stimulation now. If I turn it up then I do, but what works for me is turning it on low and running it all the time. The only real negative is carrying my remotes around with me, and trying to not forget them anywhere!

It hasn’t been easy to get to this point in my journey. There have been more ups and downs than I can count, and there were all kinds of times where I said I can’t do this anymore. You have to find something from within and for me that was focusing on God and trusting Him to get me through all of this. I truly believe that slowly day by day He is restoring my body and my mind. I now know that I will come out on the other side of this illness and that my life is going be so much better than when all of this began. Things aren’t perfect and there’s a long way to go but progress has been made and so I keep moving forward in faith!

Having A Bad Day!

I have to say I’m sorry about not staying on top of my posts the last week or two. There has been a lot going on, and I haven’t been feeling as good the last couple of days. Today the symptoms seem to be getting worse and so I’m trying to take things a little easier. Days like today are the ones I wish others not affected by CRPS or chronic pain could understand. I go through all this surgery to get relief from the pain and yet the beast rears its ugly head yet again!

Don’t get me wrong the neurosurgeon was pretty straight forward to tell me that I would still have my bad days, I would just have a little more control over them. It’s just that I’ve been doing much better, and then you get slapped in the face out of nowhere by the pain and symptoms that have changed your life over the last 6yrs. I’m in those trenches fighting a war that I refuse to lose. Over the last couple of days my ability to focus hasn’t been as good and so it’s been slowing me down.

Even trying to focus on my photography hasn’t been easy and I need to find a way to regain my motivation. So tonight I’m posting a few more pictures to inspire myself. It’s been snowing the last few days, and so it hasn’t been that easy to get around to take photos. So instead I had to dig into my archives. I’ve been spending a lot of time going through them recently so I hope you like these shots. The first shot was taken up at our family cottage on Vancouver Island.  There are such strong family memories associated with this place. I get homesick just thinking about it! I also included one that I took on a trip in northern Saskatchewan with a friend. The reflection off the pond was amazing however there was only time for one shot or be eaten alive by mosquitoes! I couldn’t resist the shot below of the kittens. I was on a walk and stumbled across them. I only hope the eagles never saw them!

As I spent time looking through all of my photos I was reminded of what I love about picking up my camera. It’s about looking at something and seeing the photo before you even pick up the camera, then making that shot come to life. Well I must have written the same line about three times over, and so I’m thinking that instead of getting to the point of frustration that I should probably just end this post. I hope to see you all in a few days when I’m feeling better

 

Small Victories Are Big Victories

Hi again! The last couple of days have been nothing short of frustrating, as I’ve been trying to deal with the person who has had nothing better to do than bother me with the numerous spam comments that they’ve been sending my way. It took me about three days to find the hidden comment that my spam filter missed, and for that matter that I missed as well. Do they not have anything better to do!! I was at a point where I thought I was going to have to turn off my comments to stop the spam but all is good. I hope none of you received any spam from me as a result and if you did I’m sorry! Like I say the problem is fixed.

So tomorrow I see the neurosurgeon to see what type of progress I’m making with my recovery. All things considered I feel pretty good. I’ve been having some increased pain in my neck and in my lower back where they internalized the battery but things overall have really settled down over the last couple of weeks. I can honestly say that I feel like I can put the surgery behind me once and for all! Now I just have to continue to heal. I’m not done yet as there is still a long way to go but the hardest part is behind me, and I feel like I’ve won a small part of my fight. Besides I have to keep making progress because in about 6 weeks time I’ll be at the “Happiest Place On Earth” with my family. We are surprising my daughters with a trip to Disneyland! They won’t know until the day we go and with each day it gets harder not to tell them.

I have to be ready to walk the grounds of Disney with my family so I have a lot of work to do to strengthen my leg. If you had asked me a year ago if any of this was going to be possible, I would have had a lot of serious doubts in my mind. These implants though have made all the difference in the world, and although things may not be perfect they are a whole lot better. I can’t begin to tell you the emotion that is built up inside over being able to do this with my kids. The psychological impact of this is huge, as I’m able to take back a piece of what was stolen so many years ago.

Nobody can really say how much my health will end up improving, or how much function I will get back in my limbs. What I can say though is that there’s improvement and that’s something to get excited about. It’s a huge answer to prayer because I’m beating something that doesn’t have a cure! Once again I am being rewarded for placing my trust in Gods hands. Where there was once fear in my mind there is now strength! It used to be that there was all kinds of doubt as to my abilities, and now I feel as though I can do anything that I set my mind to!

Post Op Ceck-In!

Here’s to hoping that all of you out there are having a great week! I know mine has been busy because my kids have been off school for the week. So it been a week filled with lots of family time. I’ve also been very busy putting all of the final details together for my Etsy shop, and slowly working towards my opening. As I told everyone here I was hoping that I would open it this week but as I work on the details I keep finding other things I need to work on before I can launch. So I hope you can be patient because I’m really hopeful that your going to like what you see. So here’s another from my recent winter series I last posted.

This week I haven’t been having an easy time as I continue to deal with a few issues from the surgery. Mix in sleeping issues and it makes for a bad mix! With my sleep not being very good at night due to my CRPS, I’ve always had a tough time with the morning and waking up. It seems that just as my body wants to relax and shut down it’s time to wake up and get going for the day. This week with the added pain from my surgeries flaring up, it has made getting any sleep that much more difficult. Finding energy then during the day becomes difficult, but you find a way to get that second wind and push through. The surgery last month has taken a lot out of my body, and so I’ve found it hard to run at the same energy level.

In about another week I see the neurosurgeon and we will assess how things are going. A good report from him is what I’m looking for  The pain caused by the CRPS seems to be under control for the most part which is really great news! I’ve had a few minor flare ups but they seem to be fairly well controlled by the electrical stimulation.

On Saturday I decided to really put my implants to the test. I was walking to my bedroom and turned the corner through the door a little to tight. As I did this I stubbed my toes on my bad foot! Now if you’ve stubbed your toes on something I’m sure you know the intense pain it causes, well add chronic pain into the mix and it’s something completely different! After saying a few choice words to myself I got on with my day. It wasn’t until I got into the shower the next day that I realized that I had a small problem. I looked at my toes on my left foot and they were dark purple! To make a long story short I had x-rays done and I’ve broken the toes! So it’s added to my pain needless to say.

Overall though I slowly continue to get better with each week. Although I feel at times that I’m being tested my confidence is at an all time high, and for that I know God is responsible. Since the surgery the stress level has come down and that makes it easier for my brain to handle things. With this week being the exception this has also been another big answer to prayer because if the stress level stays down then it means a lot less fuzziness in the head and less headaches, leading to a much clearer thought process.

It’s been a very slow process and I knew it would be, as well as knowing that there were going to be setbacks along the way. However I’ve been asked many times now by many people if it was all worth it. Even though there is still a lot of healing to do the results so far have made it all worthwhile. I couldn’t get through any of this though without God being right there beside me helping every step of the way!

 

 

 

A Frosty Morning!

Today has been a day filled with all kinds of intense pain. In an attempt to try and divert attention away from the pain I decided that I’d do some editing of some pictures I took the other day. In my part of the world during the winter there is nothing better than the horror frost we get on the trees. This winter however I haven’t seen all that much, so the opportunities haven’t been there to take pictures. So when I woke up to this I made a break to snap a few pictures. There was a lot of fog along with so the conditions weren’t as perfect as I’d have liked them to be.It was one of those days where everywhere I turned I saw the perfect picture in front of my eyes.

I’ve been waiting very patiently to get some winter pictures this year, but that’s been next to impossible because winter just hasn’t arrived! So when this arrived my mind started going crazy thinking of the possibilities.

What do I like about winter? Your answer is right here in these pictures! The horror frost transforms things into a winter wonderland.

I could have kept going the entire day except for the fact that the frost started to fall off the trees. After a while it got frustrating because every time I’d go to take a picture melting frost would fall off the tree limbs and go down my neck. I’m just happy that I felt good enough to go out and spend some time doing what I love to do!

I don’t have a lot to say about my health today because I refuse to let pain control my life. This is one of those rare days that I just want to focus on something other than CRPS. Hope you all enjoy the pictures!