kittytech: (Default)
Hi everyone. It's been a while yet again so I figured that it was time for
me to update everyone on things.

My tests last Friday weren't anything special, and I go back this Friday to
actually meet with the doctor. We'll see then if anything showed up or not.
Given my luck of late though they won't find anything and we'll still be no
closer than we were before to figuring out what's going on with me.

Saturday I'm going to be going to an all-day event that will have me out for
more than twelve hours. This will be the first really major outing since
August. I'm concerned in some ways because it's going to be a long day, and
because I'm not going to be able to lay down accept for when I'm on the bus,
but this is really important to me, and I really feel strongly that I need
to be there. Wisconsin is supposed to finally be getting our new ACB
charter, and I've been a part of this since the beginning and I just want
and need to see it through to the end. I plan to bring my travel pillow and
my Stream though, so at least I'll be able to rest on the bus and things.

Yesterday I worked for a total of 3.5 hours. It wasn't consecutive, but it
was something, and it's definitely more than I've done in a while so it was
a major accomplishment for me.

Well, I think that's about it for now. I'll try to be better about writing
so that everyone continues to be updated. Later everyone!
kittytech: (Default)
Hi everyone. I'm getting ready to go to bed but I wanted to pop in quick to
let you all know that I'm still here. I haven't written because there's
really nothing new to say at the moment, and there won't be until probably
Friday when I go for more tests. Oh yeah, I guess there is one update. I
found out today that the most amazing neurologist is back at the hospital
that I use, and I was able to get an appointment with him. It's not
currently scheduled until February 6th of next year, but it's an
appointment, and they said that there was a chance that things could be
moved up if there's a cancellation. I'm going to be calling patient
services about the other guy.

Well, I know this is short, but I'm going to go away for now. Talk to you
all later!

Stuff

Sep. 28th, 2007 03:55 pm
kittytech: (Default)
Hey everyone. I was looking through my entries and realized that I hadn't
posted publicly in a while so I figured I'd take a couple of minutes to
write. Not much new has been happening with me, which is why I haven't
posted lately. I have my next set of tests scheduled for Friday, October
19th, so I guess we'll see how those go. I still haven't heard anything
about the tests I had last week either, so who knows.

I've told some of you guys this story, but I wanted to write about it here.
I'm supposed to go back to see my neurologist, and in fact, should have done
it a few weeks ago now. For reasons that will become clear in a few seconds
though, I haven't even attempted to make the appointment. The hospital that
I have chosen for all of my medical needs is overall an absolutely
incredible place. It's a teaching hospital, so they've got very up-to-date
equipment and things, and I've always been quite satisfied with the
treatment that I've received there. During my hospital stay though,
something happened that really bothered me. If I did write about this
already, feel free to skip this stuff. I can't remember, and I'm too lazy
to go back through my past entries to look for sure.

So anyway, when I went into the emergency room, the neurologist who
evaluated me was more concerned about who took care of me than with my
current situation. He just couldn't imagine how a blind person could
possibly live independently, and pretty much insisted that I must have
someone to take care of me. Sorry dude, but I'm not in diapers anymore, and
I don't need someone to hold my hand while I cross the street. So, I was
already a little bit on edge. Then, the next day a different guy,
(apparently someone who's quite high up in the neurology department), came
in to see me. He started asking me questions, and I obviously was answering
them. I heard someone else in the room kind of shifting, so at one point I
asked him who was with him. Instead of answering my question, he asked me
how many people I thought were in the room. I said that I figured that it
was him and someone else. This is when he informed me that there were about
eight other people in the room; most of them medical students who were going
through their training. I told him that I didn't appreciate the fact that
he hadn't told me that others were there, and that I deserved to be informed
just like anyone else. He completely blew me off. The next day he brought
people in with him again and neglected to mention that fact to me.

To me, that was just plain wrong. I don't object to others being in my room
or whatever, but any sighted person is going to know right away that the
doctor isn't alone. If you can't see that, it's only right that you be
informed. This is why I don't want to go back to him, that and the fact
that he just talked down to me. Switching to a new doctor in that
department is like pulling teeth, so I don't know exactly what I should do.
I feel like it's a waste of time anyway, and I'm just sort of letting the
other tests happen, but I've been told that I really do need to get back to
Neurology.

Anyway, that's my story, and my update for the time being. I've got a nice
weekend to look forward to, and as always, I intend to enjoy it. Later
everyone.
kittytech: (Default)
Hi everyone. I thought I'd write another message to sort of let everyone
know how things went this morning.

First off, my audiology appointment. They started off by doing yet another
hearing test. My last one was a few months ago, and at that time, for those
of you who didn't know, they determined that my hearing was at the low end
of normal. Today's test apparently showed more of a loss. I wasn't given
exact numbers at this time, however they said that I have loss both in the
lower frequencies and the higher frequencies. Although the tonal loss
appears to be about the same in each ear, I was able to hear about 94
percent of the words that were given to me in my right ear, and only about
50 percent in my left. They want to do yet more tests to see what might be
causing this. I don't exactly know what they are, but they have something
to do with balance and the inner ear. The doctor that I saw really didn't
give me a lot of time to ask questions, however I stressed to him at least
two separate times how my hearing has always been exceptional, and that my
hearing is so incredibly important and necessary for me. The way he
described my loss though was basically to say that my normal hearing is what
he would hear if he put his fingers in his ears. I don't exactly know what
that means, but hopefully I'll be able to get answers sometime during this
century.

Next on my list of things to do was go to my EMG. This test consisted of
two parts, and was related to my Restless Leg Syndrome. The first thing
they did was to put my feet and legs into a nice big bucket of warm water in
order to warm up the muscles. Then they taped some electrodes to my feet
and different areas to test the nerve reactions. They started off by giving
me minor electrical shocks basically. They then gradually increased the
electrical stimulation. This was actually fairly painful for me for
whatever reason, and of course my legs were jumping and jerking because of
the stimulation. Once the first part was done I was informed that my nerves
are great, and there are definitely no problems there. Next came the muscle
tests. They actually used a very thin needle and inserted it into different
muscles from my lower leg all the way up into my back. I found this part
incredibly painful. Once the needle was inserted into each muscle, they
moved it around so that it would catch different parts of the muscle. I was
then asked to do different things with my leg that would stimulate the
muscle further. At times it felt like I was literally being stabbed in the
leg, at other times it burned, and at other times I just can't describe how
it felt. At any rate, the entire thing left me extremely sore and drained.
Walking on the left leg, (which is the leg they used for the muscle tests),
was very difficult. That leg is still sore, however throughout the
afternoon and evening it definitely has improved.

My final stop was at the lab to have some blood drawn. I had Dracula
himself for this procedure, and he had lots of fun. I ended up being stuck
three different times in order to get the blood samples that they needed.
With that done, I decided that it was definitely time to head for home, and
all I wanted was to get back here and relax.

I called my cab, and let them know that I was blind and that I had a walker.
Pretty obvious, or so I would have thought. However, despite the fact that
I was sitting directly outside, right in front of the building, the first
cab failed to see me apparently. They sent out a second cab, and I finally
got back home, tired, in pain, but also relieved. Now I wait again for my
next appointments and my test results. Again, I guess only time will tell.
Later everyone.

Doctor

Sep. 17th, 2007 08:25 am
kittytech: (Default)
Hi everyone. This will be a really quick entry, and IO most likely won't have time to proofread it before I send it. I'm sitting outside waiting for a cab to take me to my two doctors appointments today. One is for yet another hearing test and finally a consult with a doctor, and then I'm having some sort of test where they're going to stick needles in my legs and things. Should be a real treat. The test is called an EMG, but for the life of me I can't remember what that stands for. So, let's just say that today's going to be a ton of fun. NOT!!! So anyway, I'll post more later, but wanted to post quick while I could grab a free wireless connection. Later everyone!
kittytech: (Default)
Hey everyone. Well, I thought I'd post again to let you all know what's
been going on with me over the past couple of days. I still haven't gotten
any local responses to my laundry question of yesterday, but I'm still
hoping. SMILE!

I had my last OT session this afternoon. The papers were filled out and my
case was closed. She wrote that there was improvement, however the
improvements were fairly minor. She asked me a pretty interesting question
today too. Everyone's been asking me about when I'm going to go back to
work, and I'm honestly doing everything I can, but it's just not happening
the way I'd like it to. She asked me what I'd do if, on the off-chance I
wasn't able to return to work full-time. The answer to that question is
that I honestly don't have the faintest idea. Without a full-time job I
won't be able to keep this apartment or anything else, and if I ended up
having to move I really don't want to stay in Milwaukee. It's something
that I really don't want to think about, but after 5 weeks of being unable
to work I suppose it's one of those things that I seriously do need to think
about.

In any case, that's my story for the moment. I'm sitting here in my
recliner with Taz just sort of relaxing. So, I guess that's about it for
now. Catch everyone later.
kittytech: (Default)
Okay, I admit it. I just can't seem to be able to come up with anything
more entertaining for my subject lines. In any case though, I'm here, and
I'm writing an update.

This has been an interesting weekend. Yesterday evening I did my first meal
in the oven since all this stuff happened. It was a frozen dinner, but it
was great to have something other than microwave stuff for a change. This
morning I took the elevator up to a different floor here in the building.
The movement of the elevator, both going up and down was rather
uncomfortable for me, but I kept a good grasp on the railing and on my
walker. That gave me enough entertainment for one day though, and now I'm
sitting here writing to all of you peoples. I just had a grocery order
delivered and had a couple of hot dogs and some absolutely fantastic
chocolate chip banana bread and a bottle of ice cold milk. Later I think
I'm going to make some grilled cheese sandwiches, but at the moment I'm
definitely not hungry. I'm just sort of trying to think ahead.

Anyway, that's about it for now. My work appointment from last Friday was
moved to this Tuesday, so that still hasn't happened yet. I guess we'll see
how things go. Later everyone.
kittytech: (Default)
Hey everybody. I just got done with my OT appointment a little while ago
and something she said really got me thinking. I will have two more
appointments with her next week and that'll be the end of things. The thing
that really bothers me though is this.

There are so many people out there who are abusing the system, trying to get
something for nothing, and collect on debts that they feel they're owed for
whatever reason. I've seen this in all sorts of situations, not just
medical, and it's always really bothered me because it makes it so much more
difficult for those that really could benefit from the services.

Then there's the illogical way home healthcare is actually set up. There
are regulations that have to be met in order to qualify for services. For
example, if I'd been able to independently travel outside of my home over
the last four weeks they would have immediately stopped my therapy sessions.
So does this mean that if I choose to go out with someone, using a
wheelchair no less, that I'm considered mobile enough? Let's then look at
the in-home care itself. I am able to get in and out of bed, bathe myself,
and get myself dressed. Great, right? Wrong. Because I am able to do this
stuff, I don't qualify for any sort of home aid; someone to come in and help
with meals, do dishes or laundry, things like that. The logic that's being
used here just doesn't add up. So I can get in and out of the shower by
myself, and I can pull on clothes. But how exactly is that going to be
useful when I have no clean clothes to wear, or no more meals in my freezer.
Oh yeah, but I'm more than welcome to pay for someone to come in and help
me. That makes all the difference. Please don't misunderstand me here. I
don't have an issue paying for services, it's the fact that I can't pay for
services at the moment. It's one of those catch 22 situations that seem to
be all too prevalent these days.

I took a walk to the garbage chute and then outside during my session this
morning. When I got back here I had to sit down for a few minutes because I
was so drained. I noticed that I was starting to have problems processing
words again, which happens after that kind of exertion. This, friends and
neighbors, is why I haven't gone back to work. Tomorrow I am going to go do
an onsite evaluation for a potential job site. I don't know how long it's
going to go, but I'm supposed to install Window-Eyes onto a computer and
test some software. This is going to mean lots of sitting, coordination,
and concentration. Please everyone, wish me luck with this tomorrow.

Anyway, end of rant. I just had the urge to explain the convoluted system
that we seem to have here. Clear as mud now? Great, I thought so. More
later!
kittytech: (Default)
Hey everyone. Well, I just finished yet another PT session. My insurance
will only cover one more session, so after that I guess I'm on my own. OT
never actually happened yesterday, so that'll be happening this afternoon.

This morning I went to a doctor appointment where we discussed ways to
reduce the RLS symptoms. I'll be starting Requip tonight. It's interesting though.
I was told today that Requip is actually a Parkinson's Disease medication,
but it's one of those meds that has branched out into other areas. The one
bad thing that I need to be really aware of is that it could cause increased
dizziness. Then there's the nausea factor. I guess that if nothing else,
John and I will be spending lots of time together. SMILE!

In any case, it appears that things are still looking good. I don't
remember if I mentioned the last time I wrote that my walker tray had
arrived, and it's making it so much easier to get my food and other things.
It's great!

Well, I think that's about it for now. I just figured that I'd post an
update while I was waiting for OT. Catch everyone later.
kittytech: (Default)
Hey everyone. Well, I figured that it was time for another status report on
my recovery. I believe that I actually have some good news on that front.
When I wrote last I'd had a therapy session and some visitors. Saturday I
got to spend a good part of the day with [livejournal.com profile] angelissa and her
little boy Austin. After two years it was so awesome to be able to see her
and spend some time with her again while she was visiting Wisconsin. She
was nice enough to do my laundry for me; a task that, even in the best of
times is never fun to do. We ordered pizza and garlic bread and it was a
great afternoon. Sunday I pretty much took it easy, listening to things on
the computer and whatever else, and yesterday was more of the same. I've
really enjoyed having this time, even if it's not exactly how I wanted to
have it happen.

Today was physical therapy again. I also received the tray for my walker
which made my lunch preparation about 1000 times easier. I had a couple of
hot dogs, and a bottle of milk, and those things have never tasted better!
In therapy today we did more of the same; walking, balancing exercises,
things like that. I haven't noticed any difference in how I feel, but she
said that she saw a remarkable improvement in my overall comfort, stability,
and balance. I guess things are just changing so slowly that I'm not really
noticing it or something. In any regard, apparently there is improvement.
I guess I was leaning quite a bit on my walker the past several times, and
I'm not doing that quite as much. She also said that I'm not shaking as
much as I was before. I also was able to walk without the walker in the
hallway from one apartment to the next using the hand rails on the wall. It
was uncomfortable, but she didn't have to assist me like she'd done in the
past.

I've also decided to take one more trial step. As of next week I plan to
attempt doing some basic work. I'm still investigating RIM, and I'm going
to have my trial account reset so that I can work with it again and see if I
can do some short remote training sessions. I most definitely don't plan to
jump back in with both feet, but I do feel that I need to at least try doing
some sort of work or there's not going to be any money for bills and things.

The rest of this week I've got things going on. Tomorrow and Friday I see
the OT, and Thursday I have an appointment with a pulmonary specialist in
the morning to discuss my recently diagnosed RLS
and then another PT session in the afternoon. We'll see how everything goes
with all that.

This afternoon has been pretty good too. I spent some time chatting on MSN
until I got tired. I went into the bedroom and put in the first DVD of 7th
Heaven season 4 and curled up on the bed with Cally. I realized that I
really wasn't going to get any sleep though so I got up and came back out
here where Taz promptly jumped up into my lap and curled up.

So, that's about it from me. I will of course continue to update everyone
on my progress, but I felt that I needed to write this afternoon since there
was apparently such a noticeable difference from last week. Take care
everyone.
kittytech: (Default)
Hi everybody. I'm on hold with a medical supply company, and figured I'd
write an update to kill some time.

Today has been a big day for me. I actually slept in until about 9:00 when
Taz decided that I needed to get up. A little before 1:00, [livejournal.com profile] punster1 and [livejournal.com profile] ckrassman stopped over to visit with me. I
apparently did the goof-up time thing in my head again because I was
absolutely sure that my physical therapy appointment was at 3:00, but she
showed up at 1:00. I checked my calendar and I'd written it down right, but
I just couldn't get the time right in my head. Therapy was tiring, both the
physical today and the occupational yesterday. The good news though, (at
least I see it as some sort of progress), is that last night I ordered
Chinese food. Okay, that's not the progress, but the fact that I needed to
use a fork and a spoon for some of my food and had a little less trouble
manipulating them sure is. I'm taking pleasure in even the smallest things
right now.

So anyway, back to today. In PT I did more exercise stuff, and she had
me up walking again. The hallway was so warm and humid though that it only
made my dizziness and disorientation that much worse. She had me doing some
other exercises without the walker, but I did at least have the railings on
the walls to hang onto. I got back from that walk and drained a bottle of
water. She wanted to go for one more walk, but I just couldn't do it so I
promised her that I would get up one more time and go for another walk. I
did that a while later with [livejournal.com profile] punster1 and [livejournal.com profile] ckrassman.
My garbage was extremely full but I wasn't able to do anything about it so
they helped me carry it while I showed them where the garbage chute is in
the building. I warned them that they'd be moving like turtles walking with
me, but they were good about it. When we got back I was hungry and [livejournal.com profile] ckrassman nuked some chicken tenders for me. I had a major craving
for something unhealthy, sweet, and different so they went and found me a
package of mini chocolate doughnuts which I ate, and a nice big sweet roll
which I plan to eat for my breakfast tomorrow.

I took it easy for a while after they left, and then received a call from my
OT. She found a place where I can get a tray for my walker, and I placed
that order. Insurance really sucks sometimes because they don't seem to
want to pay for things. For instance, I need to have a grab bar installed
in my bathroom to make things a little safer for me. Insurance won't cover
it, which means that it comes out of my pocket. Then, let's add in the fact
that even if I bought the bar it couldn't be installed because the walls
don't have any studs so the bar wouldn't be safe. It's amazing how this
stuff works sometimes.

I still find myself getting frustrated when I can't do things that used to
come naturally to me, but I'm trying really hard to stay positive and not
let this get me down. I think it helps though being able to see even small
changes, and I hope they continue to happen. I also want to say thanks
again to all of you who have been following this whole thing, talked to me,
and helped in other ways. It really does mean a lot to me. I just don't
ever want to forget about this time because it really has been a wake-up
call for me in so many ways.

Anyway, I think that's about it for now. I'll post again soon.
kittytech: (Default)
Hey everybody. I've been wanting to write this post for a few days now but
I haven't gotten around to it so I'll write it now. I'm sitting here in my
recliner with Taz and my keyboard on my lap, my feet up, and the ceiling fan
on. I think it's a pretty good set-up right now.



As of tonight I will have been home from the hospital for a week. In many
respects this has been a very slow week, and in many others I can't believe
it's been so long because it doesn't feel like it. I've chatted with many
of you, and I continue to appreciate your comments, thoughts, and prayers.
This morning I saw a physical therapist here in my home, and she's
recommending a couple of minor things that should hopefully make things a
little easier for me. I've got an occupational therapist coming in a little
less than an hour, and I don't know at all what's going to happen with that.
I'm still not working until further notice, and I assume that'll at least be
the case for the rest of the week because I've got more PT on Friday, and
probably more OT as well some time during the week.



What I really wanted to talk about though is something I've learned through
this whole experience. Think about your morning routine. Typically you
probably get out of bed cussing out your alarm clock and the thing that you
stubbed your toe on as you head toward the bathroom. Then there's the usual
bathroom things, breakfast, and whatever else you do. It's the stuff that
comes naturally and you pretty much pull it off without thinking about it.
Now, imagine this same morning routine again. This time though, imagine
that you're about 80 years old. Your hands may or may not do what you want
them to do. Your bathroom, although very close to your bedroom, seems like
a very long distance away. Common tasks like eating, brushing your teeth,
or even just using the toilet or shower are now things that you really have
to concentrate on doing. I know that some of you on my Friend's list have
already experienced some of these things for various reasons, so you can
relate. What I've noticed over the last week though is how much I really do
take for granted. Walking down a hall, holding onto items, so on and so
forth. These are things that I've done for years and never given them a
second thought. Now though, these seemingly small tasks take some
forethought, and in some cases, deliberate concentration.



The first time I took a shower last week was an absolute thrill to me. I
was able to get my walker into the bathroom, sit down on my shower chair,
and get my legs over into the tub. I realized the advantage of having a
smaller tub at that point. I have my chair in the middle, and I am able to
reach in front of me or behind me for items that I need. I felt so good
after that first shower because I knew that I'd done it on my own.



I'm finding other ways of adapting as well. With an extension cable for my
keyboard, I'm able to sit in a recliner rather than at a desk in a regular
chair which cuts down quite a bit on the constant dizziness. And, it has
the added benefit that I can play audio on the computer, or just lay back if
I want to take a quick nap.



Walking is a very slow process. I was told today that I am putting a lot of
weight on my arms with the walker because I guess I'm counting on it for
balance. Every time I move the world spins, so I try to move as slowly as
possible, and support myself fairly often on the walls in this building. I
try to make it a point to walk at least once a day in order to keep my blood
flowing and everything. Sometimes just a short walk exhausts me, and other
times I can go a little farther.



Anyway though, I just wanted to post and say that the next time you do
something that just sort of comes naturally, stop for a second and think
about how great it is that you can do it so effortlessly. I know I've
learned not to take the small things for granted anymore, and any successes
I have, even the extremely small ones, are successes that I'm proud of.



Okay, I'm done now, but I've been thinking about this for a while and wanted
to post it. More later.
kittytech: (Default)
Hi everyone. I wanted to post a really quick entry to let you know that I'm
still here. I started writing something up last night but got so completely
and utterly tired that I started to write things that made no sense to me.
So, hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to provide you all with a status report.
For now though, good night.

Home

Aug. 15th, 2007 01:52 am
kittytech: (Default)
Hi everybody. I wanted to let you all know that I am now home. After
running several tests on me they determined that I did not have a stroke.
They seemed to be centering in on my heart for a while yesterday afternoon,
but there are no problems there either, and no brain dysfunction. So
basically, there is absolutely no logical reason for what's happening to me.
I am still incredibly dizzy, and am using a walker in order to give myself
more stability. I am not to work for the rest of the week, and I plan to
make the most of my days off. In a day or so someone will be coming here to
do an in-home assessment for physical, occupational, and speech therapy. I
don't know yet what the recommendations are going to be, but for those of
you who I've talked with in person over the past couple of days you know
that verbal communication has, at times, been extremely difficult for me.
As someone who has always been a talker and who usually has no problems
expressing myself, this is not just a minor setback for me, it's really
beyond frustrating. Let's not forget to mention the tiny little fact that
my job revolves around typing, speaking, and the ability to walk. So, who
knows what's going to happen.

Anyway, I'm going to close, but before I do, I wanted to thank everyone for
your comments, wishes and prayers. I haven't read everything yet, but I
will be, and please know that even if I don't respond I do read all
comments.
kittytech: (Default)
Hi everyone. This is Bruce Toews. Caroline asked me to post this entry on her behalf to let you know what has happened. Caroline had some pretty major dizzy spells yesterday, combined with other symptoms that required a trip to the hospital. She has had a series of tests, and the staff is attempting to work out what is wrong. I know we all hope she will make a speedy recovery, and I know she appreciates our thoughts and/or prayers. She sends along her warmest regards. Thanks, everyone, for taking the time to read this.

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kittytech: (Default)
Caroline C

May 2015

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