Showing posts with label cervical neck surgery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cervical neck surgery. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

SICK and TIRED of the "stigma" placed on so many of us with Chronic Pain and just how horribly it effects our lives, I feel it's time for me to step up and also state my feelings on the subject!

For a long time, I've kept my "mouth shut" when it comes to the business over those who want to make EVERYONE, with Chronic Pain and Chronic Illnesses, look like a bunch of junkies! But, I am just too fed up with it! It's gotten to the place that rather than focus on other countries who could destroy our nation with bombs, or talk about how to "help" those with pain problems, or use their talk to make available more research dollars, funding to help those who are ill, rather than make us all feel as if we are doing something wrong. 

As I use the example of someone with Diabetes, would you take away their insulin? A person with high blood pressure would you deny them medications to lower their blood pressure? I've been thru just about every type of other "pain reliever" you can imagine. chiropractors, injections into my spine and occipital nerves in my neck, injections into just about every joint on my body, I am on several medications for the Lupus and RA, yet some other medications that I had MANY SIDE EFFECTS FROM, that were supposed to help with chronic pain, I have every surgery that is a promise to help my pain, I walk daily, I don't stay sedentary, I try and do all I can to ease my pain. I've gone through NSAIDS that can cause me to have another heart attack. 

My 2nd MI partially was caused from chronic pain, and after the fractures to my hip, my pain level increased, due to many things such as the change of my gait, my neck in such bad shape, that he has to "stretch" it 2 INCHES, because I lost that much disc space... So, I KNOW ABOUT ALL F THE alternatives. Some of which work wonderfully for some people. I am thrilled that some find relief from things such as Gabapentin, which caused me to "hallucinate" even on a small dose. So, after going through SO MANY YEARS, of every type of other treatment available, what "works" for me, may not be what works for someone else. "Chronic Pain" in itself is extremely complicated. Due to having SO MANY CONDITIONS, that can cause this type of pain, it's taken an "army of physicians", medications, treatments, surgeries, injections, therapy, you name it, I've done it to find "what works" for me, with the least amount of side effects possible. 

So it just "burns my butt" to hear the crude and down right stupid remarks some say about us patients, that live with pain daily. I give a good example. I had NO CLUE, HOW PAINFUL, a fractured hip was, UNTIL IT HAPPENED TO ME! That was one of the most excruciating times in my life, as far as pain goes. OMG, kidney stones are horrible and unrelenting at times. But those two fractures of my right hip.... were almost unbearable. Every tiny movement caused me so much pain, I thought I would go into convulsions. Even being put on the stretcher and taken over my lawn to the ambulance, I was literally screaming, crying and probably cursing so badly and loudly, all of my neighbors heard me! I even waited over 2 HOURS, before calling the ambulance.

I wanted to "make sure" I had a fracture, and not just a "bruised hip" before calling the ambulance. Then them trying to do an X-ray or moving me in any way, I shook and screamed in so much pain. And those things are "acute pain" issues. So, you take some of those and put them with someone often daily or many times in a month's time, and see how well they would function in life for very long. I tend to be one of those people who try and not "show my pain" or illnesses in public. But, believe me just because I am not limping or using a cane, or whining and moaning in pain, does NOT mean that it's not there. So, some of you may get sick and tired of seeing me post about all of this ridiculous uproar over this so called "crisis", but I intend to keep on getting the word out as much as I can, and supporting EACH OF US, who would be "lifeless" if we had to withstand chronic pain and illnesses without any type of relief. 

The LONG LIST of illnesses that can cause relentless pain are endless. You can have "diabetic neuropathy", many different types of arthritic illnesses, autoimmune illnesses and syndromes, nerve pain from degeneration of the joints, of bones, of the spine, migraines of many types now, TMJ, FM, torn muscles and ligaments, surgeries sometimes can cause pain, "neuralgia" comes from so many types of illnesses, whether sciatic nerve pain, from a lower back issue, or pain in the arms, wrists, fingers, from a cervical neck problem, or from problems with diseases causing bone pain, cancers of many types, all types of "myalgia's", torn muscles, chronic sprains, cartilage gone in joints, certain types of chronic bladder problems, certain intestinal chronic health problems, and the list goes on and on about health conditions that can cause or contribute to chronic pain and chronic illnesses. 

I've decided that I am going to "fight" as much as I can online, with petitions, letters and such the ridiculous claims that "everyone" who takes a pain medication is "addicted" or an abuser. Whether it be governmental bodies, the DEA, the FDA, or the President, (HOW CAN any of those people who have NEVER HAD A SEVERE AND CHRONIC PAIN DISEASE POSSIBLY UNDERSTAND OR KNOW ALL OF WHAT WE GO THROUGH IN A SINGLE WEEK?" ALSO, I am SICK OF the health insurance companies "calling" constantly, wanting to "go over" your medications "over the phone" when NOW THEY DON'T EVEN SAY WHO THEY ARE ON CALLER ID! Now rather than saying the name of the company, Caller ID usually say "1-800" number calling... how do I KNOW THEY ARE WHOM THEY SAY THEY ARE? Why do I want to "discuss" something that honestly, is NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS! That is between MYSELF, MY PHYSICIANS, and if I NEED HELP, MY OWN PHARMACISTS? It is insane how many calls I get from so called health insurance, wanting to discuss, "this, that or the other" about my "health".... I HAVE A LIFE TOO, and I don't care to sit on the phone for an hour telling a person I don't know and have no earthly idea who they are about my medications or anything else for that matter!!!!! 

We are WARNED AND WARNED ABOUT NOT GIVING OUT PRIVATE information over the phone to those we don't know.... so this is a prime example of what irritates the hell out of me!

I got a call earlier in the week, from a "guy" who I didn't even "understand" asking for me? He never said where he was from, or whom he worked for, and then when he mentions my medications, I got irritated and told him I was NOT at that time discussing it with him. In the first place, THE MAJORITY OF THE TIME, THOSE PEOPLE EITHER CANNOT SPELL 

MY MEDICATIONS, OR THEY HAVE NO CLUE WHAT THEY ARE FOR! Why should I have to "explain" those things over the phone to anyone????

So, some of you may get sick and tired of my ranting on the subject, but enough is enough!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Visit with follow up on my Cervical Neck surgery, and facing Lumbar Sacral Surgery in the near future...

I saw my Neck surgeon yesterday, and I told him that I thought I had "bursitis" in my hips, they both hurt so badly, no matter If I walk, don't walk etc... but he says it is my lumbar/sacral spine, as it has been, just getting worse. 

So, I may try to have my pain meds "upped" just a bit, until at least another 6 weeks. He said my neck is "okay" as far as he sees for now. He said of course he can't tell how "fused" the fusions are, but so far, he told me "I am doing everything right" and to keep doing what I am - 

he told me I could drive with either of the neck braces, and that when I am out in public that I really need to wear one or the other, and to continue to use the bone stimulator, and "hopefully" my neck will fuse, then we MUST take action on my lower back. I've had problems for years, and it is really progressing... the pain is horrible and effects my hips more than anything... they have hurt so badly for the past 4 weeks almost that I just want to scream.... plus I am having other issues that are caused from the lumbar spine issues.... 

So, I know I face that.... but I heard a "little bit" of "hope" yesterday about my neck, yet he is still extra cautious wanting to give it all the time we can to heal properly.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Deep Bone Stimulator, Cervical Surgery and Life...

I am asking this because I knew when my Orthopedic Surgeon sent in the request for my neck surgery to my insurance, he had added something about a "deep bone stimulator"... I knew they used them, especially on osteoporosis patients, that have issues with bones not wanting to heal as properly or quickly as some others without the issue. Plus even with osteoarthritis, and like RA using Prednisone, and some of the other medications they use for RA, they can have an effect on bone healing, especially in the thigh and spine. BUT, he said NOTHING to me before the surgery or after. Even when I went in for my 1st recheck after the surgery, not one word was said, although he expressed concern about the bone back in my cervical spine not being much left there to do something with surgically if this didn't work.

Which left myself and my son and daughter concerned. Thus I am in this damned hard collar for these 5 weeks, which last time i only wore about 2 weeks, then wore a soft one, but I also was able to not wear one and could drive especially here locally. Anyway, I got a call from a Rep about a "deep bone stimulator" but it came in on my cell phone, I guess last Thursday or Friday and I never got the voicemail. I've noticed that happening some, not all the time, but at times either the phone does not ring long enough, or I don't find out about a voicemail or even text message for a day or at least a few hours. So this guy I guess works for a company in Plano TX, and was going to be down here last Friday in the area close by, in Waxahachie, and was supposed to try and get down to me, because MY DOCTOR had ordered it and my insurance had approved it... well I knew that it had been approved for a YEAR! I got notice from my insurance company twice in fact 3 times about the surgery and this stimulator being approved by my insurance. Anyway, so I didn't even get the message until yesterday, and called him back and left a message. What did get me, I guess the main company maybe located out of state or something, but the phone number he called from and gave me was way out of state, like on the

 East Coast, but he did say he was located in Plano.... so those kinds of phone calls get confusing. I've had several calls on my cell lately, that are "bogus" or either someone who had the number before gets a call and that has happened a couple of times, but what I thought is they HAVE TO HAVE CALLER ID. I know on my home phone if they don't have caller ID, I have them blocked... anyone legitimate will have a caller ID name... now I know they can get around that now and do by putting something in their that is not their real names, but it burns me up, for one and I am going to let my cell phone company know I am NOT getting my voicemails promptly, and that numbers are coming up "odd" and with no caller ID on them... so when I number comes in from some state that is strange and I do not know anyone from there, I don't answer it or it is usually someone trying to cause problems so I block that number. Fortunately, the guy left a message, so I knew to keep that number, but he had his name on it also. What also gets me though here it is 6 WEEKS, almost 7 since my SURGERY, AND THEY ARE JUST NOW GETTING THIS BONE STIMULATOR ON ME???? I read that should have been done on my 1st FOLLOW UP VISIT, NOT 8 OR 9 WEEKS AFTER SURGERY!!!

 I was so pissed about it, because I hate this damned collar, I am worried as hell and want to do things around the house, but everything I do I feel like I am not sure whether I should or not... even typing on the computer, I am concerned over... I know this doctor is going to get a piece of my mind when I go back in... this is ridiculous to not have something that important with me to use, supposedly 2 hours a day! I am so fed up with the entire thing. I am mad that I have to have this one for the holidays and my daughter and her family are coming, and it is my youngest Grandson's birthday... this will be the FIRST BIRTHDAY I get to celebrate with him since we live so far away from one another... I am so excited about it and we are taking him to the Fort Worth Zoo and in fact I have never been to it, I have the Dallas one, but not the one in Ft. Worth! I hope the weather is decent... I know right now it is not looking all that great for the holiday weekend.... and the Seniors are graduating this Friday also, so I hope they can have it in the football stadium... and they will if the weather holds out.... anyway, life sometimes just irks the heck out of all of us I know...

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Update on my Cervical Neck Surgery..... news is frightening honestly!

My visit went "okay" on my follow up 11 days after the neck surgery. What I found out though this HAD TO WORK AND IT NEEDS TO HEAL AND STAY WORKING! I don't have much bone to even work with anymore... he took out all of the hardware, and one of my other surgery levels had completely fused and was awesome. It was "between" the two the were new and then one that never quite healed right from the 2012 surgery. It is amazing to look at the X-rays and wonder how the heck they get all of that in there, and make it work. I am in the HARD COLLAR THOUGH another 5 WEEKS! 

Then i go to a soft collar, but he told me frankly we needed to take every precaution we could to make sure this does get the job done... my lumbar spine he said, and he was upset I did not tell him months back about how bad it had gotten, but my neck after seeing NO SPACE LITERALLY between two of the discs, and how he managed to put almost 2 1/2 inches of space and then remove a huge bone spur that was also in that area... but lumbar surgery could be done in about 9 weeks if it stays bad or gets worse. He said I could have lower surgery even a bit earlier as long as my neck progresses .... anyway, I then I think put myself in a "tension" after hearing him and then I think I am having muscle spasms on the left side where it is so bad, plus just stressed myself out so 

I didn't sleep again as well as I should have and was up "early" but at least not at 2AM and was actually asleep until about 3:30AM before I finally got up. I don't want to sit and type much. Right now although the pain and burning etc has really gone down so much so quickly, I don't want to chance i and I don't want to run into messing something up.... so that is my report... once I get the operative report, I will have to post some of that so you can hear just how much he had to do in orde to have enough to work with this time...

Saturday, April 22, 2017


I am home, thank goodness. Got home yesterday afternoon about 4:00PM... I thought I was staying another night... the surgery was COMPLICATED AND TOOK 3 HOURS!! Things were MUCH WORSE than even my surgeon thought. Was should have been a 1 or 2 level surgery, turned into a full 3 level surgery, plus talk about PAIN!!! MY entire chest, arms, head, neck, even my left ear HURT SO BADLY, they really could not give me enough meds to get it calmed down. 

My throat was so sore I could not even swallow a popcicle, so of course I stayed Thursday night. I found out yesterday morning we had waited WAY too LONG doing the surgery, thus the complications. My neck was over 21/2 INCHES SHORTER than it should have been, so he had to literally STRETCH MY CERVICAL SPINE ENOUGH to get those over 2 inches BACK AND put in the discs, and get the cage in, and then I had a BONE SPUR THE SIZE OF 2 INCHES, that he removed, and used it in the cage for my bone to hopefully regenerate itself. Needless to say I am miserable. This very HARD COLLAR, ALONG WITH THE STRETCHING, feels like someone put my head in a vise and literally PULLED MY HEAD AND NECK UP ALMOST 3 INCHES. Jason even said he could tell by looking how much straighter and longer my neck was yesterday. 

Anyway, I pray this all heals well, and never will I WAIT AGAIN, to have something like that done... of course my situation was crazy last year between Mom being so ill, then passing away so quickly, then between after the funeral and paperwork, my twisting both ankles, and then falling and fracturing my hip in December none of which was "my fault" for not having surgery much sooner... honestly the surgery should have been done December a year ago, but that is when my pain pump went out, and I had to have it replaced on the 29th of December 2015, thus about January 10th is when Mom then was in such a fast moving Dementia, I could not have surgery due to that, and the her passing away in June, I severely sprained both ankles the right one horribly worse, which my doctors feel contributed to me tripping and breaking my hip.... 

my lower back honestly has been getting worse now and really had been bad before the neck issues came up... so I feel I may face lower back surgery later in the year, especially if we see that things are worse, as I fear they maybe.... anyway, I am home, and now they have adjusted my pain meds, where I am not in so much pain, just MISERABLE FROM THIS DAMNED HARD ITCHING COLLAR!!!! I hope this does the trick, and now I get better as far as the cervical spine.... more later, I can't sit here for long and type at my desk, but I may be able to use my laptop soon on the sofa.... Hugs to all, Rhia

Saturday, April 8, 2017

"MUCH TO YOUNG TO FEEL THIS DAMNED OLD"! Ra, Lupus, Neck Surgery, Osteoporosis, joints falling apart, knee and elbow issues, and it just goes on and on....

I LOVE my home and I LOVE working on my home and in my yard, BUT it is to the point that the "working" should be more of "enjoyment" rather than feeling like it is making my Lupus and RA WORSE! I've also now "tweaked my right knee and yesterday "bumped" my left elbow that already has screws in it from about a surgery done in 1998 and it was already needing to be worked on again, but I must face the Neck surgery... so I CANCELLED my reservation for TOMORROW AT THE CASINO (as I thought about I HAVE NOT HAD ONE NIGHT AWAY AT ALL OTHER THAN BEING IN THE HOSPITAL IN OVER 16 MONTHS, AND I HAVE NOT HAD A "VACATION" SINCE MY Daughter's wedding and then a trip to Vegas in 2005!) THAT IS WAY TOO LONG TO GO AND NOT HAVE A DAMNED BREAK! I feel like all I do, is work inside the house, work outside the house, buy STUFF TO WORK ON THE HOUSE WHICH IS GETTING TOO EXPENSIVE! 
Then after BUYING ALL OF THIS STUFF, EVEN THOUGH ALL Rechargeable battery operated, even the lawn mower, I FEAR EVEN WALKING ACROSS MY HOUSE! IF I go outside, it seems i run the risk of fire ants, wasps, yellow jackets, bees, or having a damned accident, although I am SO CAREFUL. In fact even the BREAK OF MY HIP was inside, me stepping over a small gate i had stepped over a 100 times! 
So IT IS NOT LIKE I AM ON A 8 FOOT LADDER PAINTING, but stepped too HARD OFF A SMALL LADDER AND TWEAKED THE KNEE A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO, ON THE RIGHT SIDE ALSO, THEN YESTERDAY I HAD THE OLD WINDOW PROPPED UP IN MY OFFICE, PUTTING THE SCREEN INTO THE "STORM WINDOW" ON THE OUTSIDE OF IT, and that window (that I even propped UP MORE than the others because it is more loose and can fall, and dammit it came down on my left ARM, RIGHT AT THAT ELBOW AND THANKFULLY JUST SCRAPED DOWN, BUT STILL LEFT A "GOOSE EGG" KNOT that scared the hell out of me... THEY WENT UP ON MY HOUSE INSURANCE OVER 100.00 A YEAR! MY TAXES ARE GOING UP, The new A/C, the new saw, the stuff for ants, for wasps, for other bugs, ALL OF IT COSTS A FORTUNE, and I CANNOT PAY TO HAVE STUFF DONE! NOT THESE "smaller" daily things like hanging a new mini blind, or cutting a few small tree branches, or putting out fire ant killer... why I would be broke in a year or less, and hell I am going broke just BUYING THE CRAP I NEED! I bet I have spent over 2,500.00 AND I AM SURE MORE, ON JUST STUFF TO WORK ON THE HOUSE WITH INSIDE AND OUT, ..... it is just insane... 

Monday, March 20, 2017

NIH CUTS IN SPENDING??? TAKING MONEY OUT OF RESEARCH FOR US WITH SO MANY ILLNESSES, My own priorities and doctors, Rheumy visit coning & Neck Surgeon, and updates for all

Been a very BUSY and beautiful weekend for me! I FINALLY got that OLD A/C OUT of the window and cleaned that mess up. In fact, I went out this morning to take the trash to the road and someone had already picked it up and taken it thank goodness! I mowed my front lawn, knocked down about 5 BIG old WASPS nests from last year! BUT, those darned things showed up this weekend! I've been waiting, and are already trying to build nests! I had one can of wasp spray but went and bought 2 MORE, which will probably NOT even be enough. The honey bees are also about to drive me nuts.... I am having to watch them, because they may try and rebuild the hive in that old bus. The guy that came and got them last year told me to watch out this time of the year. If I saw many, then let him know and he would bring a box so they would go in there rather than building in the bus again. It took him about almost a month all in all last year to remove all of the hive he could get out, get the QUEEN then all of the workers etc. He came back over like 3 weeks time, and kept getting more and more that he waited to come into the hive, and he got LOTS of bees. He said he felt like that may have been 50,000 or MORE when he finished up. It was scary but amazing! 

But, the damned thing "follow" me around. Yesterday I was working on my porch (I ALSO GOT OUT ALL OF MY HOUSEPLANTS ON THE FRONT PORCH) OMG, TWO OF THE HUGE ONES were difficult, but I have that dolly I can put them on and take them out on it... so I did that, weed eating more in the back lawn, sprayed for weeds again... put out more moth balls around the house and the storage building,did laundry, went to the market, I never made to washing the car, or getting to the cemetery yet... I HAVE THE FLOWERS, for Mom and Dad and my Grandparents all, but the weather was terrible at first, then the wind has been so bad, and that is fine for my parents... but my Grandparents are located where the wind is terrible so I have to actually tie down and anchor the flowers around the bottom of those "vases" on theirs so they will stay in... the flowers have been in the back of my car now for weeks... maybe I will get to that either today or sometimes this week. I have my doctors appt tomorrow FINALLY with my RHEUMATOLOGIST!! When they see how TERRIBLY MY THUMBS AND FINGERS, KNUCKLES ARE SWOLLEN ESPECIALLY ON MY RIGHT HAND I HOPE THEY DO SOMETHING. 

I am getting to where I lose more and more use of that hand daily. My grip is terrible. I barely can carry anything with that hand, and it stays so stiff, sore and swollen... if I get out and do anything, that involves my hands and fingers/wrists, they will swell and just almost not bend they are so stiff. BUT then next week I see my neck surgeon and my Cardiologist, and hopefully I can get the neck surgery done very SOON! The ONLY thing that SUCKS, IS that I MADE A RESERVATION TO GO TO WINSTAR on SUNDAY, NEXT SUNDAY, and my DAMNED APPT WHICH I DIDN'T THINK ABOUT WHEN I WAS MAKING IT IS ON MONDAY! So, I am not sure if I will change one or just "time" the drive back from Winstar to my doctors office, and drive back from there and see him. He is in Dallas, but I will have to really watch my time due to Dallas Traffic.

 It will be kind of mid-morning, my appt with him is at 1:15, so the drive usually takes around 2 hours from my home... so back to that Dallas area, would probably be about the time I would leave the Casino anyway. ALTHOUGH, NOW they are showing we MIGHT HAVE LOUSY WEATHER!!! OF course, always happens when I have something to do that means Dallas driving or if I make plans to run up to Winstar!!! GGGRRR... but that is TX weather this time of year. Anyway, I have got to look some stuff up and have 50 things, on my list... of course I maybe lucky to get 2 or 3 of them done today LOL... but hope all is well with everyone!!! BY THE WAY, DID EVERYONE HEAR ABOUT THE PRESIDENT WANTING TO CUT SPENDING WITH THE NIH???? THAT MEANS LESS MONEY TO HELP WITH RESEARCH TO CURE MAJOR LIFE THREATENING ILLNESSES! HE WILL build a damned wall, BUT does not CARE ABOUT OUR LIVES... WHAT A DAMNED JOKE! It makes me sick to even hear his name, what an ass... I SAID THAT IF HE WAS ELECTED WE WOULD BE IN A WAR IN LESS THAN 3 MONTHS, AND HE WOULD SCREW UP MEDICAL ISSUES FOR US... AND IT APPEARS MY PREDICTIONS COULD BE HEAD ON STRAIGHT!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Getting tired of yet another Acute Severe Pain from my Elbow to my hand for two nights - joints, nerves sick and tired of pain, surgery, and it taking over my life!

Well dammit it happened again this morning about 4AM!

 This searing, burning, tingling, pain from my elbow down into my hand and my hand seemed to be "swollen".... of course that is the elbow I had "tennis elbow" in in the late 90's about 1998 or so and had surgery. You can feel the screws etc where it was repaired. I know before it gave me problems about 8 years ago, and the diagnosis was it needed surgery again. BUT, so happened, it began to not hurt as badly, thus I avoided surgery. NOW, though I found out this has to be a "nerve" issue just as I thought. For some reason the nerve "ulnar" nerve that runs down into the elbow and then down into the wrist and hand has have a narrowing of that space it is in, or the nerve is impinged at the elbow... and it happening at night is the primary time this happens.

We usually bend our elbows at night, so that is when it entraps the nerve, causes the pain that is so severe, and the numbness and tingling... like my arm is asleep but rather than just "tingle" it burns like it is on fire and no amount of rubbing it, moving it etc helps. I got up, took everything I could take including my bolus this morning, and caught it before it was as bad as the morning before, and finally it eased enough I could sleep for a bit.

But, I know some of this has to do with the "old surgery" and that elbow beginning to wear and tear for one. due to my right shoulder, and arm after the complete reverse shoulder replacement on the right side, I use my left arm, and hand because up until now it was stronger, and I could do more with it... my right one I do well to hold a plate without me helping to hold it with my left hand etc.... so either that nerve entrapped is due to wear and tear of me having to almost overuse my left arm, or that elbow is definitely wearing down from the surgery before, and it could be a splint keeping it straight at night "might" help but as bad as it got and so quickly... dammit why could it not have happened on Sunday night?

Then I could have talked to my Orthopedic Surgeon who did my hip and actually he did the surgery on that elbow in the 1990's... so he would be familiar or have documentation about that issue. Now i don't know what to do. Do I just "wait and see" what happens? Or do I go ahead and be seen for it and what is happening? Now I was just going to be "set" to have the neck surgery, which will help with MUCH of my ongoing shoulder, arm and hand pain on both sides BUT it won't help that nerve in my elbow...

Plus I go to different doctors for the neck and shoulder replacement, than I did for the elbow issue years ago and then he repaired my hip. I thought yesterday, it was just a "fluke" thing because I've been doing so much with both arms, between yard stuff, and cleaning out that back room, putting that cabinet together, but I did use my cordless drill to screw those screws in etc... not a regular screwdriver that would definitely contribute to what is going on with this "new damned mess"... my joints SUCK, SUCK SUCK... and I am SO SICK AND TIRED OF surgeries, but I cannot live with the pain, the atrophy, the weakness, the loss of being able to type, to do MANY OF the things I love to do so much.... I am just at a loss now what to do.... and to top it off the past three days I CANNOT SEEM TO GET WARM! I know the weather is nuts and it is cold, especially with the wind, but dammit I just cannot seem to get warm, not unless I get on the sofa, sit on my butt in there with the heater going and watch TV! Well hell, I cannot waste my life away watching the television and sitting on my butt all the time.... this just sucks!

 Here is the UR: is to exactly what is going on:

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Talking about our own Advocacy work, activism, the GOOD you TRULY DO, & What makes "us tick" - all of us differ one to the other... and Chronic Illnesses and pain can create and reek havoc on us, as well as age....

I have a "surprise" for everyone, but I wanted to wait until our newspaper publishes it here locally, then I will post it on Facebook, in my personal newspaper and on my blog. I have a "Press Release" from a project, that is really a vital program for research in many different realms of chronic illnesses and/or pain. I've participated two times so far, after they "found" me. 
The 1st time, I guess we did not do a news release, but they have this time. I was so thrilled about it, because I always have to sign a NDA (non-disclosure affidavit) each year they ask me to do my part. I want to share it, not just because if it being "me" but MORE to show ALL OF YOU, HOW YOUR INPUT, YOUR ADVOCACY, WHETHER ONLINE, emails, a blog, Facebook, Twitter, or however you may help out when it comes to activism DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE! I've done advocacy and activist items now for about 5 years, for different organizations and in different realms. Some of them, really in depth, like getting to go to Congress in Washington DC with the Arthritis Foundation, or posting blog articles, or my Facebook things that I read, post, and try to help provide viable and possible solutions for so many of us, that truly need to be helped, whether through knowledge (which believe me KNOWLEDGE IS POWER, ESPECIALLY WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR OWN HEALTH, ILLNESSES, PHYSICIANS, SURGERIES, and all types of medical needs we step into during life.) I found out that although "some doctors do not like "educated" patients' MANY OF THEM are extremely happy to see patients taking an initiative to reach out, look for answers, make lists, ask questions, and not sit back and just rely on what our physicians tell us. 
LIFE and PATIENTS are too many and too busy, and our medical people NEED us to know all we can... so it saves lives, even our own. If you KNOW your medications, what you take, what you are allergic to, or have an idea about all of your medical issues, your surgeries and symptoms that are due to either a chronic medical illness such as RA or Lupus. Or if you are diabetic, you KNOW your own body, what you CAN eat, how to keep your blood sugar evened out, or other medications, know the side effects, understand when you NEED to call your doctor, OR when that side effect may not HURT you or even after a few days go away, rather than trying to call a doctor's office, and either stop the medication or go on taking it when something may not be right about it. I can almost go in when one of my joints, or my spine, or my muscles, or tendons (since MUSCLES CAN BE TIGHTENED BY EXERCISE) and TENDONS HAVE TO BE SURGICALLY REPAIRED OFTEN TIMES BECAUSE THEY DO NOT GET TIGHT AGAIN, LIKE A MUSCLE MIGHT...
That is why when you have a "torn rotator cuff" in a shoulder, you "may" strengthen the muscles, but if those "tendons" that make up the rotator cuff are too lax, or torn completely away from the bone itself, surgery may be the only option to get back mobility, strength, get rid of pain or much of it, and then strengthen the muscles after the tendons are repaired. You would be shocked and I know even ...
I recently began to totally "understand" the true difference between tendons and muscles. I "asked" the question, and my foot specialist explained it to me... like a rubber band may "stretch" like a muscle... but if it is attached to a board, and you actually tear it away from that board, no amount of exercise will give you back the loss from a tear. I now also realize WHY when someone TEARS TENDONS in their foot, or leg, it takes MONTHS AND MONTHS EVEN WITH SURGERY, to get that tendon "healed". It has to "attach" back to that bone. So, like my shoulders, or my left elbow the "severe tennis elbow" I had was "torn" away from the bone. My orthopedic surgeon attached the tendons back to my bones, with screws, nuts etc... BUT it took a long time for that tendon to actually "grow itself" back to the elbow, and often times, they don't attach back themselves, that is why, so often you never can do some of what you did with that shoulder, elbow, ankle, and so forth as you could at one time.

Before I broke the hip, I had just about made up my mind to try and snow ski one more time in my life. That used to be my "birthday present" the week of my birthday for many years.... but after the replaced knees, and the shoulder replacement, I felt maybe I should not chance "wrecking" one of them again. But, I had decided I would give it a try once more... and thought about making a trip to Santa Fe NM, I've skied there as well as Wolf Creek Pass that I LOVED! 
But Santa Fe has lots of new courses, and much more to offer than they once did, and it is about 7 hours closer than Pagosa Springs, CO where you stay to ski Wolf Creek. But, once the hip was fractured, I then knew there would be no way I would try to ski... not really because of the break of the hip BUT a fear now since my bones are so severely taken away with osteoporosis, my fear would be to "break" more bones, or another hip, or injure my back worse, thus my days of skiing are over with. I have great memories... and in fact yesterday when I was going through looking for the photo's with the fish, deer etc... I started to scan a pic of me, when the "big hair" craze was in... Gosh I wished I still looked that young.... ;) Alas time has become somewhat of an enemy when it comes to skin, aging, and how our lines, wrinkles and so forth seem to develop out of nowhere.....

Friday, February 10, 2017

I was given a "press release" that I am very proud of ;)m- Goes to show ANY Advocacy Work is well worth doing especially for Chronic Pain and Illnesses

I've really been down and out lately at the numbers that are coming to my blog. Used to I would have at least 75-100 and sometimes 300 or over. But, over the past 4 months, even before I went into the hospital I noticed a huge drop in those coming to my blog.

I know "Google" have changed a great deal of their SEO stuff, BUT, I have many of their ideas and recommendations that I use. I've not went through the entire "book" of recommendations, BUT, I usually post everyday, sometimes more than once. I do miss sometimes, such as when I was "out of pocket" due to the hip fracture, but even then I still posted once I was feeling a bit better and had my laptop to post to all of my social media places.

The one thing that I have not done "much" and continue to try and not do, is get too deep into the "political" issues that are invading our lives DAILY! I know many are like myself and HOPED that AFTER THE ELECTION some of the DAILY CRAP WOULD STOP!

Well, I should have known much better than that. With the "Donald Duck" elected LOL, there is NO way to SHUT HIM UP NOR the NEWS. Everything he does, tweets, says, posts, and probably what he eats for his 3 meals a day are NOW LARGER ISSUES ON THE NEWS, THAN THE ELECTION!!!!!

I am SICK TO the point of NAUSEA hearing about "The Duck" this, that and the other.... I cannot even "type his name" it makes me so ill to see or hear about one damned thing he does.

I was a "voter" and I've voted for many years, without missing many. Of course I feel if we "vote" then we do have a right to GRIPE! But, for those WHO DO NOT VOTE, then you do not have the RIGHT TO FUSS because you did not allow YOUR VOICE TO BE HEARD!

I KNOW that my "typical" daily life may not interest you. thus I "try" my best, to put something useful, fun, information that you can use, new items from The Arthritis Foundation, to WEGO, to other health and human information especially for us that remain all too ill, from Chronic Pain and/or illnesses.

I am HAPPY that although I had TWO HIP FRACTURES, now in 3 days it will be 90 days since that 1st surgery, and I am doing very well. Even without a cane, and in fact, I left it at home yesterday and did not even take it with me.

I realize at times, I am still leery about being almost too cautious, in fear that another fall could even be worse. I also am in fear that if I don't try and do all I can to "never cure" the osteoporosis, BUT try and build "muscle" and "put protein" back into my body, I have a far better chance of not being a "fall victim".

The woman that was in the room at the Rehab place with me for part of the time, had already been in the hospital like 3 times BEFORE CHRISTMAS, IN LIKE 3 MONTHS! She had pneumonia a couple of times and was put in for that. She has also been a "Diabetes 1" victim since being a teenager, which I watched even after all these years, especially without a proper diet like she should have had in Rehab, she was always having way too many problems with her Diabetes. Then she had fallen and been in Rehab before Christmas I guess in August or September, then fell broke her pelvis, WHICH SURGERY OFTEN CANNOT REPAIR A BROKEN PELVIS, thus you have to spend WEEKS AND WEEKS IN BED TO ALLOW IT TO HEAL ON ITS OWN! Her pain had to be horrible. I know HOW MUCH PAIN I WAS IN WITH THE FRACTURES TO MY HIP, and I was yelling, screaming, cussing, bitching, crying and my entire neighborhood probably thought someone was attacking me, or I had just lost the rest of my mind. MANY of them came when they saw my son's vehicle here to ask what happened, that I was SCREAMING AND CRYING SO MUCH, they could not imagine what had happened. No one I guess heard me screaming and yelling and crying, while I was still in the house for over 3 hours, being too stubborn to call the ambulance. I "hoped" I had a "bad bruise" NOT a damned brake to my hip. But, alas dammit the news was worse, because I had TWO breaks in it.

I cannot begin to even express "ALL I LOST" in those weeks and weeks, through the surgery, through being an inpatient in a Rehab Center, from my own self-esteem, pride, I felt unworthy, useless, a burden, and just a totally screwed up person to be going through this and making my kids go through this also.

LOTS played into my issues with the entire thing, because of losing Mom to Lewy Bodies Dementia in June of last year, and having to take care of her, the 6 months prior, I was already more than behind on "caring for me"... I cancelled neck surgery at least 4 times, and just put my RA medication on hold, since I just felt I COULD NOT leave and go to Dallas for a few hours.

I AM STILL trying to "clean up" everything that needs to be done, and actually am totally confused, because I feel I did not "grieve" enough before trying to begin taking care of other affairs once she past away, that now I get to a place I am not sure what, what not, which, how, is done, not done, and my own "Christmas Present" to myself, is still sitting in my hallway, along with the new rug for my living room. But, now with the hip thing, I fear trying to turn the old sofa over in order to get the backs off of it. That is what has to be done, before it can be taken out of the house. Once that is gone, I can once again clean the hardwood floor very well, put the rug down and get my new sofa/futon/chaise lounge finally put up and using it.

So, NO the political issues I speak of are usually tied into "medical things".... whether clinical trials, or laws, or trying to get the government to fund certain research projects, and so forth, my "own personal beliefs" in whom should be or not be President, and so on down the agenda, I feel I did my part, I can now bitch all I want, AND then go on with my life and pray we have NO ALLIES by the time one YEAR has gone by with the "Donald Duck"....


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

More Post-Op Hip Pinning results, seeing a Foot & Ankle Specialist today & TELLING YOU, MY READER ABOUT MY BLOG!! By the way talk about one expensive accident!

If you have followed my blog, Facebook pages, or my Newspaper, you are probably aware of my fall on December 13th, that led to a fractured hip in two places, and the surgery, then PT Rehab that followed.

It seems it is never ending, and I had severely sprained that right ankle in June, in fact the weekend of my Mom's funeral. I accidentally slipped off the porch on wet grass, and sprained both, but the right one was very bad. It was black, blue, and extremely swollen for weeks and weeks. And still, if I am up on it for a long period of time, it tends to swell again.

But, after the fall and it being on that right side, I think it was my foot that actually got caught in what little device I had across the doorway to keep my pups out of the bedroom. So, I was in so much pain with my hip, it was not until after the hip was pinned and a couple of days after I noticed my foot hurt worse than my hip, and I could barely stand to touch it to the floor. They X-Rayed it twice, and there seemed to be nothing broken, but more probably torn tendons or ligaments, that the X-ray would not show. It got a bit better, but even after 8 weeks or so post-hip surgery, the foot swells and turns purple if I walk or stand on it for any period of time.

SO, I go to a foot and ankle specialist today, who is located in the same place my orthopedic surgeon that did my hip surgery is in. Which makes things easier, since they already have all of my information.

I have no clue what he will find, or not find. I just know I would like to have it looked at, so I will know whether it is going to just take time to heal itself, or what. It sometimes hurts so it causes me to want to limp on that side, which is not good for my pinned hip. I don't want to start limping, and make it a permanent thing. Also, last night for the 1st time, I had pain in my calves during the night. It woke me up in fact, and I thought it odd that the back of my calves were aching, so I got up took some medication, but I have not been sleeping very well anyway, thus I did not get much sleep last night, nor several nights before.

I tend to be "full of energy" one moment, and the next, just feel drained, and really just want to prop up my foot, and sit to watch a movie. Of course, I still face surgery, on my neck, which is giving me mortal hell, and the Rheumatoid Arthritis is bothering my thumbs and hands so much, but I need to get well enough to go to my Rheumatologist to get on some new medication.

The pain from both thumbs, and wrists now run up my arms, to my elbows, especially when typing or doing something tedious with my hands and fingers. So, it makes it difficult to sit here and type, when both arms hurt from the RA in my thumbs and fingers.

I know we have had this conversation now on several occasions, about life and how some of us wind up with all types of suffering, medical, financial, emotional, and it every realm, it seems to never end. I certainly feel that way, and I am so frustrated with it all. I have many mornings that I wake up with my stomach upset and nauseated so badly I have to take medication for it. I know I have GERD, and take meds for that, but this does not act like GERD. I am just plain nauseated, and not sure why. I have a great deal of head and neck aches, probably from where I need neck surgery, so that in itself will make me feel sick to my stomach. I also am trying to do the same eating routine that I did at the hospital, rather than eating breakfast late morning, I now try to eat around 8 to 8:30AM, then have some of that "muscle milk" or protein drink in between during the day. Maybe snack on a few crackers, or something in between, then eat dinner as usual about 5 to 5:30PM. I thought that may help.


I feel that I may have many out there who don't know about my blog, so they never see it.. So, for awhile, I am going to try and get the information out there about my blog, because it has lots of information, not just on myself, but RA, Lupus, Clinical Trials, different Organizations, such as the Arthritis Foundation, WEGO Health, the Lupus Foundation, the Alzheimer's Foundation, The Foundation for Autoimmune Arthritis, and much more.. medications, my experiences, events happening and my newspaper also keeps up with the latest stories and so forth at:

Life Chronic Pain, Autoimmune Illnesses, Arthritis and Dementia

PLEASE read when you can and I would love to hear from you!n IF there is a subject I should do more on, or something you may want to contribute, then please let me know and I will put more up, or consider some of your thoughts and your life stories....

and to top it all off, the EXPENSE OF WHAT THIS ACCIDENT IS COSTING ME, WILL HAVE ME PAYING FOR YEARS! It is totally ridiculous the COST of that surgery, stay for 5 days in the hospital and another 28 days in the REHAB!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Saturday is "D" Day for me (Discharge Day) from Rehab - Excited,Thrilled, Terrified, how to "move back" into real life yet knowing the Osteoporosis could cause further issues

Finally I knew that day was coming soon - the "D-Day" of my own life, discharging and going home from Rehab...

I've been asking "how much longer" now for months it seems; although it has been "weeks" and not months... Yet, after being told yesterday, I would be leaving Saturday, I felt a "good panic" and a "bad panic" in my head and gut.

I am thrilled to GET HOME! To my life, my eating, sleeping, and living habits, BUT I am still going to be limited as far as "what I can and can't do" - and that scares me. I am so used to doing my own thing, going to the market when I want, cleaning my house the way I want, messing around in the yard, caring for my plants, doing laundry, and all of the usual stuff, from vacuuming, cooking and cleaning, yet just now I figured out with this walker and going home, that even carrying a cup of coffee is not going to be the easiest thing in the world... trying to push that walker with one hand, and carrying the coffee was kind of "difficult". But, I've got to learn to "make my own ways" around, and hopefully I will be on a cane soon, where one hand will be free to carry some things...

BUT, on the other hand I am totally terrified to go home... since I left lots has changed just within a month tomorrow actually. I fell on the 13th of December and had surgery that night. I got to rehab about the 18th or so, and in the chaos of it all, I lost my precious pup Bub's who I feel grieved himself to death missing me. He was so upset for me to leave for a day, or a few hours, I think he just quit eating, drinking and laid on his favorite spot, and wasted away, waiting for me to come home. He passed away, and he had lost so much weight, I just could not believe it, when he died in my arms a couple of weeks ago. Peanut, is so much younger, so he has gotten used to Jason being there, and he so far seems to be doing okay.

I am going to be getting another puppy soon. But, first I've got to get me at the house and settled in. I need rails built on my front steps, and I need I feel a new set of steps built on the back. The concrete ones back there are so steep, even with rails, I feel they maybe too steep for me to try and bring groceries in, and so forth.

I never thought I would be one to be worried about being alone, but that is not because I fear someone getting in etc...I fear having an accident, and hurting myself again. This hip fracture was a total accident, but I am going to have to try and learn to slow down, not try and take on so many projects at once, and know that "tomorrow" on many thing is another day. After all, I face neck surgery soon, and possibly lower back surgery this year. I have that new car sitting there, and I am so used to doing so much on my own, waiting to have "help" putting on the plates, putting in the sticker and so forth, I am not one to put off something waiting on someone else to do it for me... So, my fear is my own restlessness. I also need to rearrange my kitchen where I can reach things that now are in the top shelves, and I must stand on my little 3 step ladder to reach. But, my kitchen cabinets are not all that great, and trying to arrange them will be difficult. Now I wonder if I should have picked Mom's house, maybe it would be easier to get around in... yet it is what it is and I've got to cope - I also know I am going to owe $$ on this damned fall and hip fracture, plus I'll have to cough up funds on the neck surgery, and lower back surgery also... so those in themselves are enough to worry me. My credit issues I spent 10 years or more getting straightened out from my 2nd marriage and all of the high bills he ran up maxing out credit cards, the last thing I need is to screw it all back up with doctor and hospital bills.

So, YES I am thrilled, and YES I am TERRIFIED to go home at the same time.....

Friday, January 6, 2017

Fearing...Home...Falling Again...Loss..Bad Blood work...Grieving, and more.... So Many Questions - Looking for Answers

I can't "fuss" too much about the care I've received in both the hospital and now the Rehab Hospital. Thank Goodness, it is NOT anything like a nursing home!

Although they have "long term" patients, there are 4 "Halls" of which each serves a different type of patient. So, those that like myself, are trying to "rehab" so they can go home and be able to care for themselves, we are all in one hall.

The others are for Dementia/Alzheimer's patients, and those that are probably here for the rest of their days.

I really have not encountered much that I would say was "wrong".... I usually get my meds when I ask within a reasonable amount of time, even though there are times, they have patients coming to to be admitted, or things get crazy, and I may have to wait a bit, or remind them. Most of the time, the nurses are apologizing to me, because they were not "prompt" in getting me my pain, muscle relaxers and my diazepam in a timely manner.

I've been able to shower by myself the past two times, and I am getting around MUCH better this past 4 or 5 days. Enough so, I am READY TO GO THE HELL HOME, I am SO BORED WITH IT ALL NOW!

But, complications, like a huge hematoma, at the repair site on my hip, has caused a delay in getting the staples out, my liver functions are all high, and my anemia really was a very huge concern. So far, it appears after the 3 units of blood at the hospital were given to me, my red blood cell counts have gotten better, but I look for them to bottom out again, once I am not here and on the supplements, besides I still feel that I have pernicious anemia, which is an autoimmune illness, plus even the liver issues, probably have to do with Lupus and the RA, causing the issues with my red blood cells being so low.... etc....

I realize I face yet another surgery my neck surgery,if I can recover from the hip fractures (or actually WHEN I recover enough to go and have it my lower back has to be fixed lower back and neck both were already needing surgery, then between trying to take care of Mom, and now the "jolt" from the fall, both are worse than ever.

ALL OF YOU, PLEASE stay with me!!!! I am certainly NOT giving up on my blog, my advocacy, writing and my other things I participate in so I can HELP OTHERS understand they are NOT alone.....

I am trying to find ways to increase my readers here on my blog, but I know I really need to make sure I have interesting and valuable information here for everyone, or all of you will get bored with it.

IF YOU have any ideas of what you may like to read, hear about, or have me talk about, PLEASE let me know. You can always email me at:

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

When Lupus, RA, & Osteoporosis is taking over Trying to Feel Like Catching Up on my Own Health Issues, Surgery Upcoming on my Cervical Spine and Lumbar spine soon, and everything else that "can happen, will happen" to me

I have been gone for the most part off and on, and also doing a great deal of stuff around the house the past several weeks. 
I have also been battling being ill myself, not knowing whether it's been another flare with the Lupus and RA, or everything else, from a stomach bug, to allergies, and this ever changing weather is NOT helping us either. So, rather than go through the entire ordeal, yes, I've been under the weather since before Thanksgiving, off and on, with a probable Lupus flare, but my cervical spine issues, and my lumbar/sacral spine problems have came to the place I can no longer put off surgery. 
SO, FINALLY YESTERDAY, I did go to Dallas, to my Orthopedic Specialist, to tell him what has been going on, and that I've developed "more symptoms and problems, especially when I was having to take care of Mom, I had done something back then, and also outside trimming trees etc, that BOTH my neck and my lower back need HELP! "HOPEFULLY" HE WILL be able to get me in there, scheduled and get one of the surgeries done before the end of the the year. 
Not that I am looking forward to holidays and surgery, but before all of the new year deductibles and so on roll over for insurance, I feel now is the time to get at least ONE done, and then face the other early next year. I know he thinks we need another CT Scan and I wanted to tell him NO, because I've have way too many, they are expensive, he SAW my NECK DAMAGE ON A REGULAR X-RAY last time I was in there, but I also know due to insurance and their bull, plus he can see if here is NEW damage and be prepared with the right things he needs in surgery to "repair" whatever all is there, so wish me luck. 
I do not like the WEATHER BUT we have been fortunate up until now NOT to have horrible weather as far as cold, dreary mess, and that makes it harder to have to go to Dallas for surgery, and then get home. I am hoping my son will be able to take me, and he said that he is now where he can take me, so if not I maybe calling on one of my close friends to take me up and get the surgery done. It will be one that I should go home that same day, IF it goes as planned and he does not run into further complications once he is in there and can tell what all is happening. I will keep you posted as I can and let you all know what is happening.... Rhia

Monday, November 7, 2016

Monday's seem to "hit" everyone in some type of lousy way, no matter who, where, when or why it is what it is.... & throwing our Circadian Clocks OFF

Well, between Monday's usual errands etc, I think I finally got caught up on my WEGO Health Bloggers Month Long Challenge! I am still NOT feeling all that well. I know part of my problems with feeling lousy is because I have "overdone" it and probably WAY overdone than I care to admit. I've thrown out old furniture, moved furniture, cleaned, dusted, been trying to get a couple more of my "inside" windows not stuck anymore. I have "storm windows", but before they put them on, I did not get a chance to really make sure the inside old windows were not painted shut, or just plain stuck because of the age of the home. So, it has taken me several months in all to get about 11 or 12 that I can open up the inside windows and then get to the storm windows and open them when the weather is nice, and get inside, in between those also... I have one very, very STUBBORN ONE over my kitchen sink. I finally was hurting so badly I sprayed it down with WD-40 and left it last night. I've not tried it yet today. 

We have really wet, dreary, weather so the wood is also swollen which makes it harder to work with. Then I spent an hour or more yesterday trying to get the small "cracks" sealed up on my front storm door. I had some of the rubber put on the bottom, but it was not really long enough, so I put a new strip on that has the longer rubber on it. Then I had to put one on the outside, plus put a piece on the side where the screen latches. This house has settled so badly, that it also why I have issues with these windows. It needs to be leveled, BUT THE COST OF HAVING THIS HOUSE LEVELED NOW PROBABLY RUNS ABOUT $15,000.00! It was about $10M when we checked on it years ago. They have to get under it, pour concrete posts, then take out the old creosote posts that are under there then try and shim and level it up. It sucks also because this house happens to be on ground that has room to get under it on one side, and then the other is very, very low to the ground. It would be a nightmare.... it was not a true "peer and beam" but just more like the "beams" under it. 

There is SO much that needs to be done to the house, that it makes my head hurt and spin just thinking about the cost of some of those things, like the foundation, and a new fence in the back, that requires cutting down trees MY NEIGHBOR NEVER CUT DOWN WHEN HE PROMISED HE WOULD AFTER TAKING A BUILDING DOWN THAT WAS ON THE PROPERTY LINE, TO BUILD A BIG HONKIN' GARAGE THAT IS LARGER THAN MY OR THEIR HOUSE, AND LEFT THE TREES, ONE HUGE AND ROTTEN. Half of it is laying in my back yard.... and that expense is astronomical to have someone cut down those trees. Some of them are small enough I can get rid of most of them, but about 3 or 4 someone would have to come in with a chainsaw to get them down. As MANY things as I STILL DO, ANYTHING TO DO WITH A CHAINSAW is where I DRAW THE LINE! I do okay with my "pole trimmer/cutter" and most everything else, but the "saw zsaw" and any kind of chain saw I know I would never be able to handle. I've lost so much strength in my arms, hands, wrists, especially my right one, and my fingers, thumb and hand is so swollen it almost kills me to sit and type. BUT, I make myself, so I hope that they don't get even worse, which I need to go back to my Rheumy. 

The MTX is NOT WORKING. and in fact I stopped taking it as of today. I was taking it once weekly on Monday, but I decided it was not worth it, since it's not doing a thing for the RA. It is much worse in my hands, fingers, thumbs, and now my neck, and lumbar spine and hips are just "on fire" they hurt so badly. So, I hope we will try Xeljanz next, but I am not liking my Rheumy's NP at all. She is wishy washy and said that was what she would do last time I was there, and then went back to the MTX after my Rheumy had stopped it a year or more ago, at that time due to me having so many infections.  I NEED the cervical neck and lumbar spine surgery..

A great deal of my pain I feel is due to my spinal issues. But, there are times just like when Mom became so ill, I had to put off having those surgeries, because she needed me during those months. I could not have helped her, had I went ahead with cervical neck surgery, and/or lumbar sacral surgery. So, we do what we can do in life, and at times that means putting up with some unpleasant times, and things. Hopefully making the "sweeter" pieces all that much better!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Dealing with Daily "Issues" that for those who are NOT ILL, can deal with them fine! Take someone with RA, Lupus, Joint Issues and they are Major problems! Here is my Story!

I would have to write a BOOK to tell all I've been through this past few days. First of all, my pup, Bub's who is highly allergic to any type of "bite"... was clawing and scratching himself yet I could NOT find one flea, have not seen a flea, and had been driving myself crazy. He has always had skin issues, especially being hyper-sensetive and itching... and he was whining, crawling up in my lap, and even when I asked him"Bub's are you itchy?" - he would head for the kitchen so I would give him a Benadryl. Anyway, I FINALLY got him where I could really take a good look on Friday, and found a bit of "flea dirt' (which honestly I had not known about) on his bottom...where I knew any flea loves to hide... yet still NO flea's! 

So, I sprayed him, sprayed the other one down Peanut, then salted and and put the washing type of Borax own my rugs, and let that sit. That was after spraying the outside of the house, getting more granules and broadcasting them in the back, front and everywhere I could outside. I sprayed down everything in the house with "Flea Enforcer" which a few years ago, worked like a charm, and you can spray it on even your bed, pillows, sofa etc.... so, I got some of that done, had to leave the salt and Borax to sit for awhile, and went to run errands. I was SUPPOSED TO LEAVE YESTERDAY FOR THE CASINO! 

So, I as "trying" to get ready for that. I had a million things to do, in the yard, in the house, running errands (this was Saturday) and my "light" to tell me my tires were "under inflated" came on. It does that when the weather changes from hot to cooler, but I checked them and they needed air. But, it was already late in the afternoon, I was exhausted, needed to get home to vacuum up that stuff, pack my clothes, so I decided to wait and I would air up the tires Sunday afternoon. So, I get up Sunday, preparing my meds, my clothes, deciding what to wear, and also when to leave to try and "avoid" some of the rush hour traffic Monday morning in Dallas, headed to Winstar. So, I go and get me some quarters (now it is like 1.00 OR MORE for air) and I went to air them where I always do... downtown, at the station across the street fro the automated car wash. Theirs is on the side, and not a lot of traffic etc... so I can park where I can be as up close as I can be... So I get all of them stem covers off, get my quarters ready, and get the line ready to pull, and it comes on, and I TRIED AND TRIED AND TRIED, but my arms and especially HANDS are so stiff, swollen, and I guess weak from the RA and all the trouble I've been having -

 I TRIED THREE TIMES (3.00) and I STILL DID NOT GET THOSE TIRES AIRED UP! By then I was upset, hurting worse than ever, pissed, off (AND THIS GUY CIRCLED THE STATION 4 TIMES, WATCHING ME, YET NEVER OFFERED ANY HELP! THE FREAKING JERK!) Well, It is Sunday, I have no clue where to go to have anyone put air in the tires, and hell now you cannot get anyone to do it, even when I had my oil changed, I was pissed because i ASKED HIM TO AIR THEM UP, MY LIGHT WAS ON BACK THEN) I GET IN THE Car and the LIGHT IS ON, HE NEVER put the right amount of air in them, they take 35PSI IN THE FRONT AND 233 PSI IN THE BACK! I know I've done it myself and hell been doing my own tire airing up for YEARS AND YEARS! Yet, I just could not pull that damned line, hold it up to the stem tightly enough, and the push the nozzle to let the air in.... my hands, wrists, even neck and shoulders just could not let me! SO, I GO HOME IN TEARS, JUST SOBBING.... mad, and so upset, because I would NOT drive the car to Winstar without the tires aired up correctly. I wanted to leave EARLY Monday morning about 6AM or so, so I was NOT going to find anyone to help me and besides by then I did not want to hassle with the entire ordeal. SO, I wound up COMING HOME, CALLING AND CANCELING MY RESERVATION AGAIN!

 I GOT HOME DID THE vacuuming, this was already 5PM or after by the time I finished all of that, and made me and the pups some dinner, and watched a movie. So, that meant NO TRIP again... I've NOT BEEN OUT OF ENNIS SINCE BEFORE MY MOM GOT SICK IN JANUARY! I've not had ONE break, all I have done, is do paperwork (which is still not finished) paint, clean, cut down tree limbs, spend BUCKS to get rid of bees, get stung by those damned wasps, and do any and everything else, but I STILL HAVE NOT HAD EVEN ONE DAMNED AFTERNOON OF A BREAK! MY NECK IS BAD! I need surgery and now, after hurting my lower back again the time Mom got home from the hospital my lower back is always killing me... 

YES, I GO AHEAD AND CUT TREE LIMBS, AND DO EVERYTHING ELSE, HURTING OR NOT, BECAUSE HOW THE HELL DOES IT GET DONE, IF I DON'T DO IT???? If I allowed myself, I would sit on that sofa, and let myself "wallow" in all of the pain, the upset feelings, the hurt, the guilt, and the MAD PLACE THAT I AM over what I TOLD MY MOM SHE WOULD CAUSE, BEFORE SHE PASSED AWAY! NOW she is GONE, AND GUESS WHAT??? Exactly WHAT I TRIED TO WARN HER ABOUT IS HAPPENING! IT IS DAMNED IF I DO, AND DAMNED IF I DON'T.... I am too tired, hurting too badly, and need a freaking moment that I do not have to DEAL WITH CRAP! So, that is why I've not been "online".... I've not felt like it and not only that I HAVE NOT HAD EVEN A MOMENT TO BREATHE... I HAD TO GO, BUY A 12 VOLT Portable Air "compressor".... it runs off of your car, and I bought that yesterday when I found it in Wal-Mart. 

Although I still had to mess with it, and dammit, I know better, I've got to go and buy some stem covers, I always wind up dropping them... BUT I GOT MY TIRES AIRED UP CORRECTLY YESTERDAY AFTERNOON AND THE LIGHT IS NOW OFF! Plus NO MORE do I have to worry about pulling on a damned air hose, I can air my tires up anywhere.... It is small and fits right into my hatchback, with my car cleaning stuff... so PROBLEM SOLVED FINALLY!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Updates of Life, Illness, Fur Kids, and All that usually "happens" to me - I always have something "weird" going on.... so I wanted to tell everyone what's the issues for now

I can have more hell with everything! Damned, every time I walk outside, one of those red freaking wasps seems to come directly to me. Between those, and damned ants, and so forth, I feel like all I do is fight some kind of bugs in the summer time. I cannot believe I've been stung twice, and I got rid of 2 nests I found, but I know there has to be one somewhere out by my fence somewhere in the carport, or even built in one of the open spots in the fence gate.

Anyway, then a couple of days ago, I seen something odd over by my air conditioner unit (I have window units) and damned if it was not leaking in the house. Well, at 1st I know sometimes if the humidity is really bad, they will get pretty full of condensation. But, I even have "extra" holes drilled in the outside of mine and I went out, made sure they were cleaned out and nothing was stopping them up, and it was leaking even worse. I got concerned because even with a bowl under it, or a towel, it was dripping and running down the wall, and I feared it going into the wall plug and shorting everything out or worse. So, I only have that one, and a really small one room one, that I usually don't use in the bedroom. So, I knew that one "really" was not enough to keep the house all that cool, and this is already late yesterday, and I was just so pissed. So, I turned off the bigger one, turned on the small one, and put a fan in the bedroom door to pull the cool air into the living room... and then with ceiling fans on, it was "cool enough" that we made it fine, and slept without being hot. Of course this happens after it gets the hottest... not a month ago, when it was much cooler. So, I KNOW that both this larger unit here, and even the one at the other house are getting OLD... it would not surprise me if either of them go out, just because I know mine has to be getting close to 10 years old, and so is the other one.

This one already has lots of rust on it... and I know that it is going to have to be replaced. SO, I go out to WALLY WORLD this morning, thinking I may have to just buy one, and get my neighbor to help me put it in, plus the bigger one needs to be either in that bedroom window where it can keep the living room cool OR in a living room window but that means me moving a bunch of crap around to put it in one of those... so I think we paid something like 200.00 for like a 12,000BTU back then, and like 99.00 for a 5,000BTU one... DAMNED the 12,000 ones are 326.00!!!! I almost fainted.... and of course that is the only one they have right there in the store... they have LOTS more online, where I could pick... BUT I never thought until today looking at them, DOES ANYONE KNOW HOW THE PORTABLE UNITS DO IN A HOUSE? I know some people use them for like a garage but there are LOTS OF THEM ONLINE EVEN AT LOWE's and THEY CAN BE MOVED, thus I could move it if I needed to... I see you have to use a sleeve kind of like you use on a dryer vent to vent out the heat, so it comes with a "kit" to put in a window and some of them even do not have to be drained at all, they "use" the condensation.... others you can drain and so forth... lots to pick from but I would like to know if anyone has had any experience with a PORTABLE A/C BUT USING it DAILY FOR A HOUSE?  If you have, I would love to know how that works.... I mean of course once you have it set up, you would want to leave it due to venting the heat out of a window BUT if you needed to move it for some reason that would be a heck of a lot easier than a window unit...besides trying to keep a window unit clean, clear of stuff, and make it really "sealed" in is difficult to do, but it needs to be done so your air does not just leak out.... any thoughts or comments would be appreciated.... So, that is one issue... Now I have the pain for the kitchen, which the darker blue I posted I am doing the kitchen cabinets in, then I picked a much lighter blue for the walls, and thought I may use it in the bathroom since for now, I may NOT get that old tub out of there and have a shower put in...

I know to get that old iron tub that they covered in porcelin long years ago is a pain, and they have to be either sawed in pieces, or we broke this one with a sledge hammer to get it out... but it would be a big undertaking, then probably I would have to get the tiles down that are there now around the tub in order to put one of those two piece type of showers I am talking about it... so I may have to settle for the "bench" I bought already and then a really good shower head on a handle like I use now, and just try and get that tub as "clean looking" as possible. I got ALL of that rusty stain crap out of the toilet - that Lime Away took every bit of it out with a bit of letting it set and then using a "Magic Eraser" on it... I got just about every bit of it out... now I just need a new toliet seat... and the sink is yuck but I can live with it for now I guess... it is frustrating since I have my "big honkin shower/tub" that was expensive and we had to put together when it got here but that is okay... not that huge of a deal... So, I am trying to get as much painting done as I can, and then I ordered a floor "buffer" after seeing it was over 40.00 A DAY to RENT ONE, hell I bought one on Amazon for just a bit over that, for the hardwood floors... I will need it anyway, so to heck with renting one... but now today I have this "Smart Beat" Appointment at my Doctors office.

They have been trying to get me in to do it for months, but due to Mom, I've had to put it off until now... and I really DO NOT have the time to mess with it today, but decided it will "take the place" of having to go back through getting "testing" to have my neck surgery... which my surgeon would make me go back through before doing the neck surgery since it has been months since I had it all done... they may not do the Chest Xray BUT my Cardiologist can order it and the blood work, or I can have it done at Urgent care for cheaper than anywhere... anyway, so I have to do that at 2PM... and my Bub's, my Chiweenie, has nails that he totally refuses to allow me to cut, in fact at times we have to muzzle him even at the Vet, depending on his “mood"  anyway, he has one front paw that has been bothering him and it looks kind of swollen, so I figure it is those long nails either he hung that one on something, but they are awful... I know I let them go too long, but I just hate taking him because he just hates having them cut so badly.... but he is getting up older now, and he concerns me, because he just does not play and do like he used to... he will play some with the "Holy Terrier" Peanut, but Peanut is a total pest, all the time he wants "attention"... he is still on my "trial" list and I've continued to think if he does not "grow" out of some of this mess he pulls, I may have to take him back... anyway, if it is not one thing it's the other... my right ankle is still swelling up, if I am up on it for very long... and now for some odd reason it hurts... it had not really "hurt" very much, but the past 3 days all of a sudden it hurts... so I am not sure about that either... strange.... like me strange... okay, well time for me to get my butt in gear and go get this "Smart Beat crap" done... they do some additional tests on the heart and listen to the carotid arteries and so forth, since I have had heart issues... it is no charge to me... the insurance pays for it all.... so like I said I think most of it will also be what the surgeon wants done before my neck surgery... and then tomorrow I take Bub's in... but I have GOT TO GET TIME to freaking get on the painting! It seems it is something every day... I did get my new cell phone... so I am now a proud owner of an "I-Phone5" and I even broke down and bought a really nice case for it this morning.. hell I won't use have the stuff on it LOL....

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Decisions - Of ME Wanting to Attend an Arthritis Conference, Neck Surgery two weeks before, and dealing with my Mom's Dementia and absurd behavior... at times... I need suggestions

My internet has been down most of last night, then I turned my computer back on this AM and I sill did not really have but "off and on" internet until about an hour ago... so I have stuff I have to do for Mom, BUT I NEED SOME ADVICE or some suggestions etc. Mom is of course STILL not the best... and even the "Home Health situation" IS NOT really going well, but because of HER - she does NOT want to cooperate with them, and if she will not allow them to do their jobs, then she will not get better, and I told her that yesterday... so she "acts" like she cannot get up, but I made her walk to the bathroom about 20 steps away from the bedroom yesterday AM...

 THEN she really would not eat much, so I had to go back over the PART TWO EVENINGS, and make sure she eats something... anyway, as you see below, I have this wonderful opportunity to get to go to Nashville to this Conference, and I am so totally elated... I applied for the "Travel award" a couple months ago, & never gave it a thought until I got a phone call last evening. So, that is going to be MAY 20-22nd - Friday thru Monday... and I am so wanting to attend... but I have to figure out a way to get someone to at least check in on Mom from at least Friday afternoon, thru sometimes Monday, one time a day will probably be fine... SO does ANYONE KNOW OF ANY BODY who does this type of thing? If you do I would love to have someone let me know who does, the expense etc... and I am sure that my pups will be taken care of by Samantha my dog sitter.... 

BUT I also have the neck surgery scheduled on May 4th which is just over 2 WEEKS after surgery... of course I will still be in a cervical collar for 6 weeks, BUT the only thing I see is to make sure I get up some, move around, and even wear compression stockings due to blood clots that soon after surgery... that sometimes riding a long ways in a car or in an airplane can bring on... and I apologize for "not talking" much this past over a week. I had promised to call someone and I have just been in such an overwhelming, overwrought, and almost "maddening" place emotionally, that I just cannot make myself talk on the phone at the moment. I really needed to straighten some things out in my own head, and think things through... lots of things happening, and needing to be done... so that is where I stand... any suggestions would be deeply appreciated! Rhia

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Another Week of an Elderly Mom, some type of "Dementia", me trying to cope and deal with her, and all of my severe pain, and missing surgeries, and doctors appts because she is ill....

I am MOSTLY on the sofa today I HOPE! This has been another week of hell... to say the least... Mom "seems" to do better on the days I go over there... but yesterday I was trying to get my yard down enough so with this rain it would not get any taller than it already was.... so between my cordless weedeater and my cordless lawn mower it was even hell with all of the weeks and it still being so wet from the humidity... I cleaned out from under my mower at least 4 times trying to clear that mess out from under it... but I got "most" of the tall stuff back and front down for now... I am paying for it today... and have been paying for it all week... I NEED THIS NECK SURGERY and now I KNOW I HAVE TO HAVE THE LUMBAR/SACRAL surgery also... I keep "putting them off" because of Mom mainly... until I know that the Nurse, and the Home Health is going to go over, and she is getting one meal brought to her daily... I feel I cannot go through with the surgeries... I feel she does NOT even grasp that I will be "down" for at least 2 weeks, I should not drive, even though I will probably have to around town... after a week, but that means I can "barely" take care of me and the pups, and I will NOT be able to lift anything heavy, or be taking lots of stuff over to her, or be able to go over there every day, for at least a week or so... after that, then I still will be in a neck brace at the very least 6 weeks maybe longer because this surgery calls for taking OUT all of the "hardware" he put in , in 2012 and redoing it plus the new issues with discs compressed... so then he also is calling for some type of "bone growth stimulation" which I gather he means on the outside, I will have to wear because due to my osteoporosis, the RA and Lupus, he fears I may have further issues with my vertebra and getting all of that to fill in and heal... which takes 6 months or longer for "my own bone fragments" to heal in the "cage" they put in and if they have to use "other types" it may take longer.... I rescheduled the cervical neck surgery for May 4th and unless something horrid happens I HAVE TO HAVE THIS SURGERY NO MATTER WHAT! I will be "well enough" to go down to Corpus Christi to what my Granddaughter graduate, and hopefully stay a day or so, then come through and stay in San Antonio for a night, and see the Riverwalk before heading home... I will have to see how well I am feeling.. with the 1st neck surgery I felt GREAT even before I left the hospital, all of the pain in my shoulder blades and down my arms was "gone" almost right after the surgery, I can only hope I do that well this time... that has been 4 years ago, and lots can change with a body in 4 years.... anyway, 

Mom is NOT EATING! In fact, I got PISSED at HER yesterday! I told her if she continues to LAY IN BED, NOT EAT, NOT DRINK (AN NO CARBONATED ANYTHING), and NOT think she can live off of Ensure, and get back to eating some, supplementing it with the Ensure, and begin to move around some, that her "bowels" (which is what she keeps griping about) were NOT GOING TO DO RIGHT! Plus if she continues to NOT TAKE HER MEDICATIONS, she will NOT be well, or feel well. So, I MADE HER TELL ME SOMETHING SHE WOULD EAT... and I went and got the chicken strips (although fried anything she would put in her system), mashed potatoes, and a roll... plus I brought her LARGE GLASS OF UNSWEETENED TEA, and told her she needed to drink ALL of IT! She is also "dry and dehydrated which does NOT help either... she cannot expect her stomach NOT to hurt, if she puts NOTHING in it, and for her intestines to "work" without getting up moving around some and taking her proper medications... when I ask her if she too her meds... 

I get this answer "Well, I took something"... NO she took NOTHING of her regular daily medications, they were in the pill box on the table! Plus she is drinking milk, which Mom NEVER drank milk or ate much of anything with "milk" in it.. SO I TOLD HER SHE COULD BE LACTOSE INTOLERANT" and may not even know it... because up until the past month or so, she never ate much cheese, never drank milk, never ate much of anything other than breads, bisquits, etc... other than that not much dairy stuff... and if I take her to a doctor he will basically TELL HER THE SAME THING I AM SAYING... she has to EAT some, TAKE HER MEDS AS SHE IS SUPPOSED TO, get UP and MOVE, and quit laying in that bed 24 hours a day... and LAY OFF THE COLA'S AND THE MILK... 

I told her to drink water, drink "green tea" some, but nothing dairy, and nothing carbonated at all, no coffee, nothing with caffeine in it, and continue to drink the ensures but EAT WITH IT! Anyway, when I left yesterday afternoon, she had taken all of her medications, she DID EAT SOME, and of course she can't hold a lot at a time, because she is NOT eating.... and she was drinking the tea, I left a pitcher of water and a glass there, and gave her one pain pill. 

Then I told her after that pain pill begins to kick in to get up and quit laying down all the time... to at least move around to the kitchen, get up and sit in her chair in the living room, but MOVE AROUND SOME... and today through the next several days our weather is supposed to be HORRIBLE, THUNDERSTORMS, FLASH FLOODS, HAIL... no telling what from today through at least TUESDAY.. so I told her I was NOT well either, I've been in pain, unable to sleep, my stomach is not the best either, but mine is nerves and stress more than anything, and the nurse and the aid are supposed to start next week, but I prefer they not come until our weather is a bit more stable after Tuesday or so... I will NOT get my car out in possible hail if I can avoid it.... anyway, I had to get all of that off my chest., it hurts so bad to sit here and write dammit, and I need to write and do some things online, but it is hell for me to sit here very long... keep us in your thoughts and prayers... it is going to honestly take a "miracle" I think for her to get "better".... Hugs, Rhia

Saturday, April 2, 2016


I wished my "mind" would rest, but I just cannot stop thinking about what ALL has to be done. There is so much to get done for Mom, but also my own stuff, it seems endless. To add to that, I have not felt the best myself, my night terrors are just horrible, and I have had a headache from hell now for at least two days. I know my doctor told me I had a sinus infection last time I was in, and he put me on antibiotics, but at night I wake up so stopped up I cannot breathe. I have to use some nasal spray, and then I can try and get some sleep, but I feel like I am suffocating. I know part of it is this stupid weather.... 
we have had NO winter, and now one day it is almost too hot, then the next, like yesterday and even today, it is very cool... it is sunny, but we have had rain for a couple of days now, so my back lawn HAS to be mowed before it gets too tall for me to do it with my new mower. But, our mornings the dew is so heavy it is like rain. So, there is no way to mow it, until later in the afternoon once it dries out.,.
I have to go and get Mom a microwave today, and I need a few things, so I have to go do that first, and then I guess I will try and get this back yard mowed... I am also trying to knock down some of the taller grass on my back lot before the city starts griping and then I will have to pay someone to come in with a tractor to mow it... I had gotten some of it down and then sprayed the weed killer on the weeds, so I had it kind of coming under control. Then of course it rained, and without the sun, now it is getting tall again, and I still have not had time to get the people that may get these bees out of that old piece of bus back there... so it will be hard to find anyone who will help me try and get that back "forty" as I call it cleared and cleaned up... I have so many dead trees, and limbs and the grass now is getting too tall, plus my neighbor never got all of his crap from the goats and chickens he had back there before he had to take the goats somewhere else... it was so nice with them back there they kept the grass, weeds and even all of the trees trimmed for me...LOL.. 
They would stand on ther back legs and reach up into the trees as far as they could and eat the leaves out of them, so even the trees stayed nice and trimmed back there... anyway, I hae been trying to do a couple of things here I needed to do at home, and now I am going to take my meds, eat some cereal, get dressed and go and see if I can get that microwave and pick up the other stuff I need... then I have to go over to Mom's and check on her... get her medications reorganized, and see how she is doing... she was in bed again yesterday when I went over, and I gave her some of her pain medication for her back, and got her the phone, some water, put some Ensure on the nightstand, and left everything that she needed and came home. I have not talked to her this morning yet but I had to apply for a new insurance card, SS card and her Medicare Card... somewhere down the way she LOST those in the past week or so... I cannot find them anywhere, so I got that done this morning... but I still have to go to the post office, with the form I filled out and her Drivers License and Birth Certificate to get her SS card... I thought I maybe able to do it online, and could everything else, but not the SS card yet... in some states you can order it online now, but TX is not one of them yet... anyway, thanks all of you... I need to get going... I HOPE TO BE A BIT MORE SETTLED TOMORROW SO I CAN CATCH UP HERE, ON MY BLOG, MY NEWSPAPER ETC...
I am so far behind on my advocacy work, blog, and everything... I am just frustrated I cannot find time to do my own stuff... and I am supposed to have surgery on my neck on April 13th!!!! I just do not know if I will be able to... if we get HOME HEALTH coming out for MOM by then, MAYBE I CAN HAVE THE SURGERY, but I MYSelF MAY NEED HOME HEALTH HELP AFTER THE SURGERY FOR A WEEK OR SO... I will be in a NECK BRACE 6 WEEKS! And I won't be able to LIFT, BEND ETC... until that begins to "heal" which takes at least 6 weeks for it to begin those BONE GRAFTS TO BEGIN TO ATTACH TO ALL OF THE HARDWARE IN THERE... OMG YOU SHOULD SEE ALL OF THE STUFF HE TOLD THE INSURANCE COMPANY HE HAS TO DO TO MY NECK... HE HAS TO TAKE OUT THE OTHER HARDWARE, AND TRY AND FUSE THIS OTHER DISC, THEN PUT IN NEW HARDWARE TO HOLD ALL OF IT IN PLACE... so this is really much more complicated than my 1st one.... plus my lumbar spine is giving me fits also, so I know I face having that surgery also... Hugs to all of you, Rhia Steele "All things Autoimmune"