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2013 in Review

Sunday, December 29, 2013

I haven't had many bad years in general, but 2013 was pretty rough. In January my mom ended up in the hospital with a urinary tract infection. This was a pretty common occurrence for her with her MS, so we weren't too worried. She said something about possible pneumonia also, since she had been having upper respiratory symptoms, but it wasn't confirmed, so it was not addressed. In February she went to the rehab facility she usually went to so she could get strong enough to go back home. She was there for 5 weeks and then was all set to go home. She was the best I had ever seen her - had lost weight, was sitting up in her wheelchair straighter than she had in years, and was really happy. On a Tuesday, arrangements were made for her to go home on Thursday. Wednesday night she developed a fever and more cold symptoms but insisted she was going home so my hubby and I took all of her stuff home for her so she could go the next day.

Instead they told her she would have to stay another week because of her fever and then she tested positive for influenza A, which we think she caught there. So we took all of her stuff back. She never went home. By Monday she was in the emergency room with a pneumonia that grew MRSA (for those of you who don't know what that is, it's a medication resistant bacteria that is hard to kill). After many weeks of fighting, going back to the rehab place for 3 days and back to the hospital (in ICU and out several times), she finally realized that she wasn't going to make it through this one. She decided to go to hospice.

After giving my sister instructions on what to do for her funeral, she asked the doctors to transfer her to a hospice where my grandpa was before he died. She had fought through hallucinations, her MS acting up and making her feel like she was falling, and ending up in the ICU after a scary episode where they thought they were going to lose her. She went to sleep once she got settled into the hospice and died three days later.

I was scheduled for knee surgery on a torn meniscus found on an MRI in January on the day of my mom's visitation so I naturally postponed it for a month. Mom was an incredible woman who had a very hard life and didn't let anything get her down for long. I miss her a lot.

Fast forward to May. On the day of my left knee surgery, (May 7th), I was in the best shape of my life and 2 pounds away from my goal weight. This was just a temporary setback with a short recovery period so I could be stronger. Or at least that's what I thought. My recovery started off well, but after about 6 weeks my right hip started bothering me. I had gone through this problem the previous year and it lasted for about 3 months and then resolved.

But this didn't. July 27th I went to Tae Kwon Do class because a Master teacher from one of our other tae kwon do schools was teaching, and I really wanted to learn from her. I had been to two of her classes in previous weeks and really liked her teaching. During a set of roundhouse kicks on my left knee, I suddenly heard a pop and fell to the mat with a burning sensation in my knee where the surgery was. I was paying attention to the new hip pain because my knee was feeling good and this was a surprise. I haven't been back to class since. I went to the surgeon to check out the knee and tell him about the hip. He said I didn't re-injure the knee since it wasn't swollen and there was no fluid on it but x-rayed the hip. The x-ray was normal so he told me to dial back the activity for a bit and see how it felt.

It didn't get better. I had a hip arthrogram and MRI, which showed bone edema and arthritis. Then I had an injection of long acting numbing medication to see if it was really the joint. It helped for 2 hours and then the pain was back. I started physical therapy, started seeing a chiropractor and went from there. He also had me do a bone scan, which showed the same area of arthritis as the MRI. The verdict - suck it up. The only "cure" is a hip replacement and I'm too young so I have to control my symptoms with medication, therapy and chiropractic care.

I did go to the MS Challenge Walk in September because the doctor gave me permission to "try" it. I made 30 out of the 50 miles in severe pain, but I did it. It was very important to me because of my mom to do this and I'm glad I did.

The other problem, due to the forced inactivity of my hip pain, was the fact that I have gained 30 pounds since I was so close to my goal. VERY frustrating!

Thankfully, things started to turn around in October! I had been talking to one of the doctors I work with at the hospital about working with him at a new weight loss clinic he was opening and finally started there November 4th. It is only every other week at first because that is when he is there so I'm still at the hospital on the opposite weeks helping out until they fill my position. Then my co-worker the clinic and I will switch off days the weeks the doctor isn't there.

At the end of October, I was able to travel to California to finally meet 4 other wonderful ladies I had been communicating with for the past 12 years when we met on an online message board. We have been talking as cyber pen pals and when one of my friends lost her husband on December 19th last year, we decided we HAD to meet in person. So we all trekked to see her in Cali and had a WONDERFUL time!

I started the weight loss program at the clinic I'm working at because I was having trouble getting back to losing weight and have lost 7 pounds so far.

Thankfully, FINALLY, my hip pain is almost completely resolved. It started to get better when I changed jobs (go figure! Less stress!) and taking a home remedy of turmeric and raw honey along with glucosamine/chondroitin. I am SOOOO thankful this year is coming to a close and really looking forward to new beginnings. Let's DO this thing!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    You, my dear sister, are a strong and motivated young lady. It has definitely been a rough year. We hold our stress in our body - it comes out in different ways. I think your hip pain was your body's way of grieving. I am so proud of you. Your perseverance and support is truly inspirational.


    2667 days ago
  • KNH771
    Sometimes you want to turn the calendar page more than others. Here's to a less eventful 2014...
    2686 days ago
    Hi Chris
    I have followed your story for a couple of years now, hearing your highs and lows. I hope that 2014 brings more positives your way. Go back to the basics you have learned and don't stress about what you can't do. Life is just different now so we just do what is needed to regroup, refocus, reboot...Keep Sparking!

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    2686 days ago
    emoticon for your mom and for your hip. It seems like just yesterday reading all of those important parts of your last year. Wow, how time flies. Here's to a healthy, happy 2014!!
    2687 days ago
  • WINNIE1978
    I'm sorry about the loss of your mom and that 2013 was a rough year for you. I hope 2014 will be happier and healthier!

    2688 days ago
    Pretty amazing reflections, Chris! I can recall the individual postings through the year, but when you put them all together, they really tell the story. Here's hoping 2014 is a fantastic year for you and yours!
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    2688 days ago
  • MSHEL7
    It is good to see you back. I'm sorry you had such a rough year, not good here either, lets make 2014 great!!
    2689 days ago
    You had quite a year. It seems as though things are starting to improve for you. I hope 2014 continues to go well for you!
    2689 days ago
    Good to see you back here.

    Here's the deal...I had osteoarthritis in my left hip and gutted it out for over 2 years. It started interfering with every facet of my life. When I finally went to the doc, he told me I was a candidate for a hip resurfacing vice replacement.

    On the day of the surgery I woke up pain free for the first time in years. Today, I do low impact cardio (bike, rowing machine, etc), I don't run. But I lift weights and do all sorts of other activities.

    Bottom line for me was I wasted 2 years in pain for nothing. I can talk to you more about it if you like

    Here's hoping for a better 2014!
    2689 days ago
  • no profile photo CD13354694
    Keeping you in my thoughts/prayers!! Wishing you peace, blessings, happiness, and strength for 2014...
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    2689 days ago
    Wow! Quite an eventful year for you.
    I am so sorry for the loss of your Mom. Praying for God's comfort to surround you.
    I'll be lifting up prayers for continued healing of your hip and for your strength to be renewed. Blessings to you on your new job.
    May 2014 be filled with love and blessings.
    2689 days ago
    I am so sorry that you lost your Mom - there are no words to express this - huggies!

    I hope you are feeling better physical & am sending you blessings for healing.

    I am wishing you a wonderful 2014! All the best for you in the upcoming year!
    2689 days ago
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