The last couple of weeks has been extremely emotional for multiple reasons. The week of January 16th is always an electrically charged week for me. This year was a pretty big milestone, at least to me it’s a big milestone. It was the seventh anniversary of my mom’s suicide. Since I’m going to be twenty-eight this year that means that I have spent 1/4th of my life without my mom. It’s kind of crazy to even think about. I miss her so much every single day. I know she would be proud of me no matter what my brain tries to tell me otherwise.
Monday, January 16th, I ended up going to her grave and sitting there for a while. I’m not going to lie I don’t go and visit my mother’s grave as often as I should, but I don’t find peace there a lot. I know that she is not there that is only a place for her body to rest, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt. I am currently making her a headstone which is going to be a wooden cross with her name on it. I have it almost all the way finished. I just need to finish up the paint and touch up some details before it will be ready to go. I came home from the graveyard and ended up getting back in bed.
Wednesday the 18th, I had to go to Baton Rouge for the neurosurgeon’s doctor's appointment. All they were wanting was another myelogram, which is a set of images looking at the details of my spinal cord. The 3-hour drive started around 4 o’clock that morning. The ride didn’t seem as long as usual on the way there but then coming home it seemed to take forever. The test wasn’t scheduled until 10:30 that morning but I had to be there at 8:30. Once we got there, check-in took a good forty-five minutes to get through and get me in the back. Everyone was super friendly and knew a lot about my issues with my injury. One nurse stayed with me through the entire process which made it more comfortable for me. They put me on the table on my belly, I had to be on my belly for the entire test. I had done well up until it was time to lay me flat on my stomach and tilt the table where my feet were above my head. I started to get really sweaty, lightheaded, and just overall not feeling very well. The nurse told everyone that the test had to start and I had to get off of my stomach. There were only two more images that were needed so they decided just to forget about those two images since I was having such a hard time. They took me to the recovery room. I was given a Dr. Pepper for the caffeine and some graham crackers because I had not eaten anything all day, and the nurse could tell that I was extremely shaky The doctor had already forewarned me that caffeine would be my best friend during the day, because of the headache that was going to come with doing the test. After the test, I was not allowed to lay flat or at a 90° angle because they needed the contrast to not go and cover my brain.
Sunday, January 21 I got the text message that I had been dreading for the past few weeks. My Aunt Pam had passed away. She is my momma’s brother’s wife. She has been a very big part of my life even before my mom passed away but especially since then. In a lot of ways, she has been like a grandmother figure to me my entire life. Honestly, that’s just the type of person that she was in general to anyone she knew. She was a very Godly woman and I do not doubt that she entered the gates of heaven. My mom got to see one of her favorite people again. It may have been a sad day for me, but it was a glorious day in Heaven.
Tuesday, January 24, the afternoon was the visitation for Pam. I got in my chair earlier that day and did a few things around the house before we had to go. I saw a bunch of the family that I had not seen in quite a long time. We told stories about Pam and celebrated her life while we ate dinner. It was about eight or so by the time we got home and still had to do wound care. Needless to say, it was a late night.
Wednesday, January 25 I had a funeral for Pam. The morning started rough, not gonna lie. I don’t feel comfortable when getting put in my chair and the fact that clothes are not fitting or looking like I want them to. I need to work on my self-esteem. The funeral was at 10 o’clock so we had to get up kind of early to be able to get me up and dressed and do something with my hair. I sat on the second row. It was honestly nice to see all of my family it’s not very often that we see each other anymore. I couldn’t bring myself to go to the casket. I haven’t been able to bring myself to go up to any other casket since my mother's funeral. That is just not the last memory I want of the person, especially after the meltdown I had with my mom. When the funeral was over, I followed everyone to the graveside, but because it was raining, I didn’t get out. We all met back up at the church to have a fellowship and eat lunch together. There was so much food that it was kind of hard to choose what I wanted to eat. I already know that my belly will not hold much so if I got a whole lot, they would be a whole lot wasted. We visited with a lot of the family before we headed home and I got back in bed.
Thursday, January 26 daddy came to install the new detectors. I was in my chair before he got there. He even got one for the kitchen because there was not one in the kitchen at all. In all honesty that doesn’t make any sense to me because that’s where fires begin most often. I do understand that every time the kitchen gets smokey the detector in the kitchen would go off but I think it’s important. While my dad was here we told him about the check engine light and the trac off light came on in the van at the same time. We had previously gotten the oil changed and the tires checked and they saw the codes. He cleared the codes but it wasn’t very far down the road that they both came on again. He did something with the battery to reset everything. If it happens again I’m going to take it to the auto mechanic shop. I already have one in mind that would serve multiple purposes.
Friday, January 27th, I had to go back to Baton Rouge to see the doctor about my hands and elbow. The appointment was originally at 4 PM but thankfully they rescheduled it for earlier that day. We had to leave by seven that morning so we could still get there on time. The morning didn’t start well because I feel like I can’t get sit in the chair right and my clothes not getting put on correctly so I felt like I look horrible. The three-hour drive went by fairly fast to me and we got there by 10:30. We were stressing because we knew that we were going to be late and when we called them they said that there were only fifteen minutes after the appointment grace period to get there. Mallory and I both said that we were going to show our butts if we got there and they wouldn’t see me because we were late. Once we got into the parking garage. It took like five minutes for the elevator to go a few floors and pick us up. Of course, we went to the first building and it was the wrong one so we had to end up going around to the other building. We got signed in and only had to wait probably 15 minutes before they called my name, that’s where this visit started going haywire. We ended up spending three hours in the back waiting for the doctor to see us and for them to be able to find the correct paperwork. The first time one of the doctor's colleagues come in and said that they were needing more imaging. When the doctor finally come in, he sat down in the chair and explained what he thought was going on. He explained it to me as this is just a part of my spinal cord injury; they get worse over time. In his opinion, even my previous nerve studies do not show there’s not anything majorly wrong with my elbows or my wrist. The reason my hands stop working is just my spinal cord injury getting worse. He understood that after my last spinal fusion, I lost all hand movement and he did say that the other fusion could have messed with something. The new myelogram did show that some are tightening around my T1 which is located right under the C6 and C7 vertebrae. I had my C6 and C7 vertebrae fused in September 2021. Those were fused to my original fusion of C3, C4, and C5. Dr. Bowie of the NeuroMedical Center of Baton Rouge could go in and fuse the T1 and T2 vertebrae to my already fused C3-C7 and decompress the T1. He says there’s a 50/50 chance that this fusion will help anything but in his medical opinion he doesn’t see it helping. I told him about the pain and how my thumb literally feels like it’s going to fall off; including the muscle wasting in my right hand. He’s going to run another nerve study in my upper extremities with his special test there at the spine institute and see what it shows to make sure that there’s not anything going on in my hand. The only other thing he could do for me referred me to a neurologist at the same clinic that specializes in neuropathy. He’s calling everything more or less neuropathy now. So before we left his office I made an appointment to get my new nerve study done on February 10th in Baton Rouge and an appointment with the neuropathy doctor in March.