Showing posts with label severe accident. Show all posts
Showing posts with label severe accident. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A Wreck, that has totally "wrecked" lives and where is the justice???? Now I am no longer "stifled" and can say as I please... Autoimmune Illnesses & the Horror of Life and Dismay

By the way, just got home from Mom's Kidney sonogram, and I FINALLY got a call from my PAIN DOC'S office! My pain pump IS APPROVED, thank goodness, AND they were going to do surgery this coming Friday, BUT due of course to the abscesses, I have to wait, and get a "clearance" from my PCP... and I have to call them to let them know I do not think these antibiotics are working.... and then tell them they HAVE to GET ME WELL ASAP so I can get this surgery over with! Wish me luck, and still "no word" on the other item yet....
and on a FURTHER DISTRESSING NOTE (to say the least) AFTER 20 MONTHS of all we went through, a marriage destroyed, and several lives totally destroyed in so many ways, we LOST! They "ruled" that "neither" our car, NOR the truck driver were "at fault".... needless to say, yes, that ends it, but it sure as hell does not help ALL of the other issues that went along with it. I will say more, but right now I am so upset and disbelief - so I shall tell more later...

I have said from the very beginning, that "something smelled rotten" about this entire thing.... for one these 2 "so-called" witnesses, I've seen where the accident happened, and unless someone was staring at that piece of I-45 all the time, they would never see anything... AND I also feel that both the owner and driver LIED on the stand, in their depositions, and more... I have no way to prove it, and probably never will, but I also had a feeling when I was there Friday, that the "jury" selection was really "biased" - over 70% were the same "nationality" as the driver and owner, and everyone else at that company for that matter.... I am still in shock to say the least, along with of course Jim, my Mom, my daughter... and she KNOWS all of the issues about a CDL License and rules and restrictions of drivers etc... her husband works for an oil field company, and a couple of their drivers have been in accidents, and she said NO WAY no HOW would that business gotten away with this... lots of stuff just not "right"... but as I said... nothing to do but try and move forward.... what a nightmare, over and over, living it every single day since March 26th 2014 and how much is destroyed, lives, a marriage, and a great deal more than that. BUT, it is hard to get something "fair and just" IF another side is playing dirty pool.... and now I can say what the heck I please...

I've felt this from almost the very first moment that we took this and decided to file a suit against them. I "watched" each and every tiny moment of how this company "acted" - how they from the 1st "denied" any wrong doing, and yet admitted he was ON A CELL PHONE, a car in front of him, that had time to get out of the way, and everyone, including experts, and in fact their own "expert" in re-construction of the accident admitted he should have SEEN our car, no matter what, and being a truck driver, if he had his eyes and mind of the road, he had more than plenty of time to stop! Even before Jim was out of surgery in those first hours, I spoke with my insurance adjuster, she she told me the two guys in the Tahoe, had been known for appearing to get hit, thus they cause the accident, but claim otherwise and had been PAID several times by different insurance companies that would "settle" just to shut them up... In fact, the trauma doctor that I spoke with while still in the lobby of the hotel there in Washington DC, when I 1st learned of the accident said two things to me, before he even began telling me about the extent of Jim's injuries, he said JIM WAS NOT AT FAULT AT ALL, HE WAS NOT SPEEDING, and he was driving fine... that an 18 wheel tractor trailer hit him from behind and basically "ran over" our car! Of course due to the fact, I was told this on the phone by the doctor, and my insurance agent had told me this about the guys in the Tahoe, it was "not
admissible" in court, because it would be considered "hear say".... in fact those two tried to get money out of my insurance company, and the woman there basically told them to take a flying leap... they had proof of them causing this type of situation in the past... Also they basically tried to say that my car, the Hyundai was not "road worthy" and that the hood flew up which began the accident... I know for a FACT, MY CAR WAS COMPLETELY ROAD WORTHY! The Monday morning just before Jim drove me to the airport 70 miles away, and back home. The hood on my car, was extremely difficult to even open. The hood was very heavy for a small car, and I had made that statement on several occasions... and it had a "double locking system"... and that was to keep it from being able to "fly up"... you had to unlock the first one, then push further into it, to "open" it, and same way closing... once I closed that hood, it was as secure as any hood could be.... I will always remain stating that they all "flat lied"... that they "paid off witnesses" - these people standing around in their "yards" on the side of I-45 coming into Dallas, and 2 of them "happened" to have witnessed this so called hood issue... I am sorry but that just does NOT add up.... the odds of that are slim to none... and I also feel the jury was "biased"... as I had said above, the company was owned by the same nationality of people as the driver, who basically could NOT even speak English... and way over HALF of the jury was the same nationality... now if that is not biased, I don't know what is... due to my own health issues, these abscesses on both thighs, the pain pump being stalled...and so forth, unfortunately, I was not there to even see the jury picked.. and I was only there briefly on Friday to give my testimony, and then I left and came back home.... I really was not supposed to go then, but my doctors told me if I went, testified, and came home, then it would probably be okay, thus that is what I did... I SAW the HOOD LATCH MYSELF at the impound the net morning, when my son and I went to see the car, and take pictures.. and that LATCH was still fine and in fact, they had pulled the wrinkle out of it enough, they had it "latched" down, I guess the tow truck driver did that... and I took pics of it.. but at the time, I did not realize that I should have taken more photo's and much closer to the latch, yet then I had no idea that anyone thought the hood flew up before the car was hit.... or I would have made double sure, I had more information, and then the Dallas Impound "sold" the car... and that was before we had retained an attorney, thus the hood had basically been removed, and the motor taken out before our attorney found it... fortunately it had not been crushed yet, but still all of that being taken off, did not help, they had removed all of the pieces of the latch on the hood, and the parts on the car that held it, thus that proof was destroyed before we had any photo's etc...anyway, I could sit here, and continue to go over and over and over each and every tiny detail, from that moment I got the 
dreaded phone call, and tell each and every detail of the entire ordeal, but it does me no good, I already have had to "relive" it so many times, and it just causes me more hardship, more pain, more emotional overwhelm, and will not allow me to try and "heal"... not that talking about it is a bad thing, and that is the one thing for me that is cathartic... to be able to "say" or "write" my feelings, thoughts and so forth.. that is what makes me the writer I am... but all of that will not change the outcome, and I can talk until I am blue in the face, and that will not "fix" the damage this has caused to Jim, myself, and my family and friends.... as I told my Mom several times, I feel "cursed", and this is not the first time in my life I felt that way... it is like some dark ominous cloud hangs over me, throughout my entire life, I have felt it and almost seen it - and if anyone says, "Well, everything happens for a reason" to me, I may smack them in the nose!!!! That is what we "say" when we are at a loss for words... and I am sure I have said it too in the past, but trying to "find the good" out of something so outrageously bad... sorry but I just don't see it.... so where to begin - to try and "pick up" the many pieces of a heart broken, a body well riddled by illness and stress, and an emotional realm that as "strong" as everyone claims I am, I am not sure at all, that I have any more "stamina" of mind to sustain me anymore... and even trying to put one foot in front of the other, and move forward... well, that remains to be seen.... my worst concern at this moment is Jim.... he stood the one that had more loss than anyone from this, and for him, this means no help with doctor bills for the future care he needs, no money to sustain him in life and he has lost much of the place in the brain to "hold" a thought process so he can again design and develop websites and so on... the "coding" is something that requires a vast amount of holding onto thoughts, that may have to require coding on several different places and pages within a site... and especially anything complicated as his clients have had, online shopping carts, and the "behind the scenes" information that must detail their sales, inventory and so forth. I "worked" with him on more of the design part for about 4 years or so, and since then, so much has completely changed... it would take me months, if ever for me to even be up to speed again to even do design work... so I know for him this is a devastation that goes far beyond what most even comprehend... again each and every thought and prayer are needed in a continuing way... to help sustain him, as well as myself, and my family..... 

Monday, June 22, 2015

"Cake" The Movie - A "must see" for all of us who suffer through at times "intractable pain" & just how it truly effects every part of our lives

I haven't finished watching the movie "Cake" with Jennifer Aniston in it. I started it earlier in the afternoon, because I've been waiting for it to come out. After seeing the information on it, on the Arthritis Foundation Website, and then watching a preview of it, I knew as soon as I could find it, I would watch it. I knew it would not be "funny"... and I knew it would probably be a very difficult and sometimes even emotionally painful one to watch. So far, Jennifer should get an Emmy, Golden Globe and whatever else they give out for "best performing" artist. She is totally amazing in this film, and she truly gives "heart" into just how horrid life can turn on a dime. As I took a break for a moment, and walked outside looking at the deep dark clouds around, I realized how within a "breaths space" as my saying goes, that life can go from "good, you are working, in a good relationship, have a home, family and all seems to be going well, and before you can turn around ALL of that and more become like someone put your entire life into a blender, blended it well, and poured it all over the floor... and like an extremely difficult jigsaw puzzle, you don't even know "which piece" to pick up, and how to begin "trying to glue" your soul, your heart, body, mind, spirit, everything back together... to even somewhat "resemble" how it used to be... pain, whether physical, mental, emotional... whether from accident, illness, or whatever may bring it on... can sometimes for some be much too hard to bear... we ALL step into the "space between"... dark and light... trying to decide whether we need a "flashlight" or a pair of sunglasses... and everywhere you turn... it seems to be the wrong direction... I have NO answers... but I STILL have the "want to"... to continue to put one foot in front of the other, to climb one inch up the mountain, and when I begin to fall, dig my heels in and sometimes they may bleed, along with the fingers that the rocks have dug into also... but determination, will, longing for the better, and knowing for SOME REASON I am HERE!!!! ... I continue to be "here".... I may never fully understand the "why's"... and honestly right now... if I try to even begin to figure it out, I just get more confused... so I just "am"... and I will listen to my heart, and my head... and I know those will point me in the direction I need to go.... I say this because I truly KNOW there are MANY just like myself... and YOU also, may not know the "answers"... but you can certainly take those "baby steps" to a better reasoning someday... as to the full truth.... Each of you that continue to ask about me, pray for me, be concerned about me... and love me... without condition, just as I am... Thank you... and if you feel you are "strong enough" emotionally, I ask you to watch, the movie, "Cake".... 


After I finished it, I was a bit "bewildered" by the ending. I know as she "Jennifer" did what she did at the very end, it was a signal, that from there she would begin to "heal". I guess I expected an ending possibly of a bit more of how she began to put things into perspective. But, then as I thought about it throughout the rest of the evening and this morning, that it was left up to us, the audience, and possibly those of us suffering from such a tremendous, almost unbearable heart break, that we vary, all of us, how we "move past" loss, whether of someone we love, loss of our "normality" of life".

I am glad I felt "strong enough" to watch this. In so many ways, it "fit" just what I am going through at this time in my life.... my own illness, pain, and all that goes with it (them), a "loss" of who I am, who I used to be, and still wished I was in some ways, a loss in a relationship, actually do to an accident, not the loss of a child, which I just cannot begin to fathom just how painful and horrible that has to be... but a loss in a relationship I've had for 13 years... basically due to a few moments, and within those moments everything in two lives changed forever....

I saw pieces of my own anger, frustration, wanting one moment to be alone, and the next wishing someone would just hold me... and tell me things will get better... and in the next breath the anxiety of how I will accomplish all that needs to be done, and then the realization, as ill as I am, I HAVE BEEN doing EVERYTHING anyway... so why is "now" any different than a few weeks ago? 

The pushing away people so they don't see the fear, the anguish, the heartache, or the pain, physical, mental and emotional... days like today, that I would just as soon sit on my sofa, with my two pups beside me, and do nothing but watch movies all day long. Which in reality, I could. But, that would not do anything but put me further behind in things that I either need to do or things that I want to have done, most of which I have to do myself.

So, chronic illnesses, chronic pain... all of them... whether autoimmune, that effects every aspect of your entity... your body, sometimes in so many different ways and in different parts of your body... emotionally having something chronically with you, illnesses and/or pain, tears you mentally to pieces... it just does and anyone that would say it does not, has not came to the "reality" that they are truly ill. 

The brain fog, the slowness of thoughts, forgetting things, having notes to keep up with notes, calendars, and still forgetting appointments, birthdays.. and even if you do remember more often than not, you just don't have the strength, or stamina to go to an event... even going to the doctors office or going for a test of some kind is just such a major ordeal, that I just find myself postponing a test, because I just cannot stand the idea of having to be put through it.

Besides I already at times know the results, and the test honestly is just to "cover" the doctors butt, and to shut the insurance companies up... they waste so much money and time... when you could have had whatever "fixed" and be healing rather than going through some expensive scan, test, etc... that still does not give them the things they need to know. I have more than once some to figure out, why it is to the point of so many tests, scans etc.... each and every time I had a "joint surgery"... when they actually can "see inside" the joint in the surgery, they find it was much worse than any CT, MRI or X-ray was showing... so to me, once again so many hundreds of thousands of dollars just wasted, along with a patients time... when surgery is the only answer to truly KNOW AND SEE what is exactly wrong.

I hope you do watch this movie, you get some things out of it, that shall help you find your way through it, and take something from it to help you, and your own chronic illness and pain...

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

When Life changes upon a "dime"... how do you cope? "It is not easy to be... me"...

Further information on our friend and client in Seattle. He may have that portion of his skull that they removed off for even a year. He will have to wear a helmet to protect his brain during that time (which I had also read). They will "freeze" that part of his skull in a special way and then can put it back later after things are settled. They say that even though he is responding and seems to know everyone and so forth, he seems to have no movement in his left side of the body at all right now. What really makes this difficult on Jim, my husband, is that after the accident a year ago, he is also basically left with his left side also the one with the most damage. Of course Jim's is from the nerve damage of the spine being basically "broken" from C-7 through T-7. But he continues to "regain" more use all the time in little ways. The nerves can somewhat regenerate, even though just a few years back, they thought they could not. Researchers now know that some nerves can definitely "heal" themselves, it just sometimes takes months or even years for that to happen. Fortunately it seems that his "autonomic" nerve system is intact. Even though they have him on a vent, he is breathing over and above it on his own. So, it will be a moment by moment watch for him. We never really have gotten exactly what happened, but it appears the brain bleed was probably stroke related. So, only time will tell. I am sure the biggest concern now, is of course the swelling on the brain, and fluid, he is extremely "puffy", his face and all are so swollen that he cannot hardly open his eyes. But, also I am sure they are watching and treating him for another bleed of the brain, or a blood clot would be my guess they would be concerned about now... so please continue to say prayers for them. As I said he and his wife have been "clients" now for over 10 years. Yet, before that Jim and he were friends at least 7 or more years before that. They own an online retail store, and he also has a business set up on E-bay. So that makes this even much more difficult. They were kind of "a family" business and needed to ship out parts daily all over the world. So, his wife is probably just in a terrible state trying to keep up with business and feeling badly she can't be with him all the time also. AGain, much like Jim and I a year ago. I needed to be home taking care of things here, and there was so much to make sure was taken care of after the accident, and then split my time being with his in Dallas at the hospital also. It certainly was not a great time in our lives, and in all honesty, things will never be the same for us. It has really taken its toll on the both of us in so many ways... more than you can know... and more than what we even thought it would. As I had said we would have to find a "new normal"... well that new normal changes from moment to moment. Between my own health issues, and all I have to take care of daily, and then Jim's lack of being able to do so many things, and his disability also, we both are truly at times on overload... I find us sometimes going for days and not really saying much to one another. We seem to get to a place that we are lost in our own thoughts, and tend to keep them to ourselves. I know I feel as if I am walking on egg shells all the time, and I am sure he feels the same. There seems to be "drama" about something every day... and now here I face this very invasive discograph, later in the month, again I cannot drive myself from, and then what if I have to have back surgery?? That is just another issue we face, and how we will get through that? I probably may not be able to drive for a few weeks... and who will take care of the dogs, and feeding us, and doing all of the errands and so on... so you can see, and all of you that have been through or are going through similar issues can relate....

When I think of the song by "David Grey".... that is how I feel these days... "It's not easy to me... me"....

Thursday, April 9, 2015

A "Daunting Challenge in Life" WEGO Health Writers Challenge April 9th, 2015

I could start off with a couple of periods in my life, that offered up a "challenge" or actually more than one, that truly put me into the realms of being not so sure I could "last" through that time.

I had a couple of those types of circumstances at 25 years old, and having to have my face "fixed" mainly my upper lip from a 4 wheeler accident that honestly I am here today wondering why I even made it? Another story for another time.

Also, at about 40 years old, suffering through a heart attack, by myself during the very beginnings of it, as I was also going through a horribly abusive relationship, him leaving completely, and the decisions that I had to make in order to basically "stay alive". Again, another story for another time.

There was the time at 50, I spent well over 6 weeks in two hospitals, and to this day, I don't think even my doctors knew exactly why I got so ill, in such a very short amount of time, and went through at least 4 surgeries, and was told to "call my family" on one of them, because they were not sure what the outcome would be. Once more for another time.

Then, there is what happened a year ago March 26, 2014. I had been in Washington DC, with the Arthritis Foundation, and their annual "Summit on Capitol Hill" for 3 days. I had found out very close to the date it was actually going to happen, and sent in an application for a "travel grant". I figured for one, I was too late to even get anywhere as far as a travel grant, plus at the time my health had been waxing and waning with Lupus and several severe flares I had been having at that time.

Yet, as "fate" would have it, I DID get the TRAVEL GRANT, and I was accepted to actually to go Capitol Hill, face the very Congress I had always wanted to face, and tell my own story, along with the story of others. I felt if I could do that, I could make a huge difference in how the nation, the world, and those in Congress "viewed" Autoimmune and Arthritic Diseases. Thus, it was a dream come true and I was in shock for a day or so, in disbelief I got the award to go.

Yet, I did. And even up until the very wee hours of Monday morning, April 24th, 2014, I was not sure I was truly well enough to go. But, a very good physician at one of our local Urgent Care Centers, happened to have Lupus himself. So, he gave me the medications I needed, along with an injection of corticosteroids, and I was up on my feet and able to make that flight. I was elated.

My spouses Step Mom lives very near DC, and since I had never met her, plus my husband had not seen in her over 10 years, he was going to fly out on that Wednesday the 26th of March, to meet me. We were to visit and also have a vacation until the Following Sunday, before flying home. It was kind of a trip of a lifetime for both of us. I definitely loved what I saw on Capitol Hill, and had felt like the trip had really given me more hope, that what I was doing as an Ambassador, activist, and advocacy voice, truly would make a difference.

On that Wednesday, my husband was to drive to Dallas, to the DFW Airport. It was about a 65 to 70 mile drive, before flying out. I had been finished with my own items to do with the Summit around noon that day, so his Mom was to come by the Hotel and pick me up. He was to get into DC around 7PM or so.

Just about the time it was close to time for me to be picked up by my Mother in Law, my cell phone began to ring, ring, ring, and ring. I had been outside of the Hotel, it was very noisy, so I really had not heard the phone ringing, until I walked back in. After seeing the number of calls from my daughter, I rang her back right away. Her voice sounded terrified, and as she said, Mom, Jim's (my husband) been in a very severe car accident in Dallas. He is in the ER at Baylor Hospital in Dallas, and the doctors need to talk to you ASAP! I almost lost it then, but I held myself together long enough to make that phone call. As I listened to the "voice" of the doctor over the phone reading out this "LIST" of things wrong with Jim, I just sunk to the floor and was sobbing uncontrollably. So, one of the kindest men I've ever known, had been in our group during the Summit, heard me. He came over and asked about what was happening, and I asked him to please take the phone and write down what the doctor was telling him. Most ribs broken, a very severe back injury from possibly C-7 through T-7, broken shoulder, concussion, a broken leg, a whiplash, a "nick" in the Aorta, and the list continued to seem endless.

About that time, my Mother In Law, came up to tap me on the shoulder. She of course didn't know any of this at the moment, so she thought I was crying because I was happy she was there to pick me up. I had to look this woman, my Mother In Law, that I had never met until that moment, in the eyes and tell her, that her son, was in critical care, headed to ICU in Dallas due to an 18 wheel tractor trailer "running over him" in Dallas. By this time, the woman who I just owe everything to from the AF had already spoken with Chris (the man helping me on the phone with the doctor), and they had made flight arrangements to send me to Dallas within a couple of hours. I am still in such awe and have so much gratitude for them, and her. I still feel I owe them so very much, for their kindness and generosity at that moment.

Basically, when I look back on it, the next 72 hours, I believe I ran off of shock, horror, dismay, and honestly I think I had truly become "dis-associative" in order to be able to "deal" with everything that needed to be done so quickly.

Needless to say, that date was just a year ago, this past March 26th. For almost this entire year, between my own ordeal with totally losing my own teeth to Sjogren's, Jim's long and laborious recovery, the doctors, bills, medications, therapy, the 3 months he spent in the hospital... all of the integral parts of him being partially parapalegic. He had been MY CARETAKER, before the accident. NOW, and probably possibly forever, I've had to become a caretaker for him, myself and honestly often my Mom, who will be 80 years old this August.

I've had many, many people ask me how I have been able to "cope". Truthfully, I am not even sure if I have. There are days, moments, weeks, that I feel so totally trapped, others I feel we will conquer, and times I am so ill myself, like I was last year right after his accident, I came down with double pneumonia. I had to do everything in my power NOT to have to go to the hospital. The doctor really wanted me to. Yet, I just felt if I could get well at home myself, then I could get things accomplished, that I would not be able to in the hospital.

Day to day, moment to moment, hours, weeks, months and now a year later, I'm not really sure if I am "sane", or if I've become insane. I've tried to take each step in stride, hoping for a better tomorrow, week, month, and years.

Yet, I am not sure exactly what to tell anyone in this situation other than, believe in yourself, try to take care of your own health as much as possible, accept others help when they offer it, or ask if you have someone that could help with some things. Try to stand tall, know that each moment, each step forward is one more to whatever a new "normal" will be. Also, keep hope and faith, along with asking others for prayers too, can be a huge help to be able to accept what has happened. You must finally in one way or the other truly "deal" with the issue, and then you can work on all of the other stuff.

Plus just that. Come to your own place that you must, you have to accept, "normal" as you knew it will never be again. You must find a "new normal"... and sometimes possibly several of "new normals" through out the process....

Rhia Steele April 9th 2015

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

People Taking Advantage of those that are Ill, Injured, and Life's Ridiculous Ways

Believe me everywhere I turn I am getting "chastised" for the accident. I am so sick of the "rich" and I am speaking of the "filthy rich" and the "government" pressing every nickel that we DO NOT have out of us. I had another incident this morning, that made my blood pressure rise 50%!!!!! Why the hell do they always want to take away from the sick, the people that already are living BELOW POVERTY LEVEL by 300%???? Ifaa Autoimmune Arthritis-Anthony you had better believe and you know how I am I WILL NOT stand around and allow them to just push us over the damned ledge and sink us like a damned wounded ship. I've had enough of being used, abused and taken advantage of. Even the business about this "new" doctor.... I can already tell he is a scam artist and one in the worst way. The very sad thing is, that HE GETS BY with what he does and is getting rich off of people's misfortune!!!! I can guarantee he loves seeing patients walk in that have been injured at work, or hurt in some kind of an accident of any kind. He "acts like" he is your best friend when all the while he has his fingers crammed in your pockets while he stabs you in the back. I don't care what anyone says, I can smell one of them, further than I can throw them... I have been more than once "used" even by the medical profession. The things I tell people sometimes, they just cannot fathom they happened, but they have. That entire ordeal about this stuff I went through due to the double vision, with that "specialist" in Dallas was no more than a freaking scam artist. He was literally running 50 to 80 PATIENTS A DAY through his office!!!! He had like 50 EMPLOYEES and took up an entire FLOOR OF A HUGE OFFICE BUILDING. Then he did a damned "surgical biopsy" on about every patient who came in. Plus he frigged up the nerve in the side of my head AND left a scar, which there should NOT have been one. Then to stand in that OR that morning, with me still on the operating table, and BLOCK out everyone to SHOUT, SCREAM, and THREATEN the nurse that was supposed to be taking care of me, it was literally insanity!!!!! If it had not been that so happened the anesthesiologists was still trying to awaken me, so he was with me. I would have been in that OR ALONE with that raving lunatic... and they even called security on him and he punched one of them in the face!!! So, did I sue??? Hell no... but I did report his butt to the Texas State Board of Doctors, and it went on for over a year... and the Board continued to update me, they even took my statement and I had to have it notarized... and they even asked me if I wanted I could have went to the hearing in Austin, but I was too ill at the time to make that trip. So, I am not one to just call out the hounds, and go for the throat when things happen... BUT I ALSO WON'T STAND AROUND AND BE STOMPED AND TREAD ON LIKE THIS EITHER... I just am so damned mad I could spit... I cannot fathom the audacity of some of this crap. And then people stand around and LIE to save their own skin. I've had 3 or 4 occasions in my life, I probably should have brought in the hounds, in other words, sued for what was wrong and unjust, BUT I DO NOT and still don't believe in doing something like that unless it is truly something like what is absolutely wrong.. if I walk into "Wendy's" and drink hot coffee and burn my mouth, well it is my own crap and not the fault of who served it, but when someone else is truly in the wrong, and they have forever altered not just the one person's life, BUT EVERYONE AROUND, mine, my Mom, his Mom, my family, friends, our marriage, MY HEALTH, then things need to be made "right", yet still we are being put through a meat grinder and ground up like WE did something wrong... that is what just burns me up... rather than feeling like the "victim" I feel like the "criminal".... sorry guys and gals, I've just had way, way, way MORE pressure and emotional drama, and mental drama, and physical drama than I can stand this week... I am sick and tired of feeling freaking abused. I am a person who believes for standing up for people. If I didn't then I would not be an activist, a voice out here in the nation, doing advocacy work, and being an Ambassador. I would not being writing letters to Congress, to the government, to those who represent us as people and giving them so much of my time, my brain power or what I have left of it, and all that I encompass. I do ALL of it because I believe in what is just and right. I believe all of us deserve a "qualify of life". I believe we deserve to live without these illnesses eating us alive every day, with pain, with stiffness, with fatigue beyond what anyone can believe, beyond the ability that most of us cannot even leave the house and go to the market, or shopping, or vacation that we don't suffer for days or weeks because of these illnesses. I WISHED I would have had the foresight to go into research or into the medical field in some way, before I got ill myself. I feel my "calling" has always been in the realms of medicine somewhere, yet I never really got that opportunity to live out that thing I felt should have been my life... a calling to help find a cure, medications, to help people feel better, or to be free of pain and suffering.... I had two other times that I should have "done something" ... and I didn't... the first was when I had the 4 wheeler accident... that was absolutely the fault of the manufacturer that the throttle stuck wide open and I had no "kill-switch" at the time, or no way to break it, once it stuck wide open. I was 26 years old. I lost most of my top lip, I lost a part of a front tooth, I was battered and bruised, and had to have two plastic surgeries. After that I was always and still am very self conscious over the scar on my top lip. I 've lived through that nightmare over and over again.. we should have went after the manufacturer of that damned thing, and at the time, just didn't really understand at 26 years old that I could have. I didn't die, and I was "wounded" which did take its toll on my "emotions" for a long time. For years I would hyperventilate when I got in the car. If I drove I was okay, but if someone else was driving I would have flash backs of the accident. The next time was in 2010 when the hospital ER almost sent me home, finally "admitted" me, and took out my gallbladder.... within 24 hours I was so ill, they thought I was going to die honestly. They rushed me to Dallas at Methodist, where I underwent I am not sure, at least 3 or 4 surgeries, for a "nick" in a bile duct. The "bile" and poison from my body was actually leaking into my abdomen, and into my blood stream... they went in 2 or 3 times to try and "fix" it... finally the 3rd or 4th time they did repair the place it was leaking into my abdomen and stopped the poison that was pouring into my body... but I had tubes running out of me for weeks and weeks. I came home with them still in... for several weeks. In all, I spent over 6 weeks in 2 hospitals, then had a heart attack the day I was supposed to come home from Methodist. I stayed another several days and had to go through all of those tests. Fortunately, my heart doctor said it was almost like what they call "broken heart syndrome".... all of the time I was ill, and many times feared I might die, took its toll on my heart, plus I gravely feared coming home because I was still so sick, I had not eaten one bite of food for 5 weeks!!!! They had something like 7 IV's going into me the entire time, and one of them was a special mixture of nutrients they gave me because I literally could not eat a bite of anything. I didn't even drink at all. The first thing I drank was some Coca-Cola a couple of days before I was to go home. From there I came home and had lost like 30 pounds, and I could not stand the smell of food at all. I went another couple of weeks living on drinking coke, and I didn't eat much of anything. Jim even brought home a load of "honey wheat" bread and I could not stand the smell of it, much less eat any... Anyway, come to find out that "NICK" in my bile duct happened when the surgeon took out my gallbladder!!!! LET'S JUST SAY HE WAS LET GO VERY QUICKLY, and very quietly. Even my own PCP has mentioned it since then on several occasions they felt I would not live, and at first they had no clue what was wrong with me. Even the issue of taking out my "gallbladder' may not have had anything to do with why I was ill... there was something very wrong, and the surgeon went for the gallbladder first, but no one has really ever came out and said why I got so gravely ill so fast, that I had to call 911 and be taken via ambulance to the hospital, and then why I was just totally "out of it" I was in so much severe pain, and so sick... then only to "seemingly" get better after the gallbladder came out, only to become almost gravely ill 24 hours later... it is a mystery that no one may ever solve and I should have racked the doctor over the coals on that one, because he DID NICK that bile duct... BUT at the time I was so terribly sick, no one thought about any of that... until months later after I got home, and very slowly got back on my feet... it was truly almost insanity.... so when I say I tell my stories and people are just thrown back by what has happened to me, they are all true, all happened, and now at times I may act like those things don't haunt me, but they do... my way of dealing with all of it, is to help others, be the writer that I am, blog, and try to stand up for those who are going through some of the same things or other things also... I realize even though I try NOT to think about it much, that my chances are much higher of passing away than some... I've had two heart attacks, I have RA and Lupus, osteoporosis, Sjogren's.... and so forth... so for all of those my chances weigh much more in the realms of not "making it" to a ripe old age, than some... all of us that suffer from these horrid autoimmune illnesses have a much graver risk than others.... Love you guys and gals... Rhia   

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Some Updates on the Wreck, Jim's Progress, My own Illness, with the pneumonia, teeth etc. and life

As you can tell, we are still reeling in many ways from everything over the past several months. Jim is home, and he is doing quite well. Honestly, much better than I, Him and I think even his doctors thought he would by now. He still is suffering from some abdominal pain, but more when he eats, and all of that pushes against those ribs. He had about 19 broken, at least on in two places. So, as he drinks water during the day, eats and so on, it seems due to the "lack" of nerve feeling, and then the "SOMEWHAT" odd places he right now has no feeling, the pain is better, but he is still dealing with some, especially when he is very tired, or after outpatient Rehab a couple of times a week.

Anyway, it seems I have been able to kind of "open up" for the first time in a very long time today and "hear" my own "voice" again... as far as my writing goes. Honestly, I truly felt I had lost all of it this time. For many reasons... first of all, my mind was not here, just the shock of the wreck, the plight of my own fall, my teeth, or lack of them, a continuous flare, not knowing where Jim would be, whether he would even walk again was a huge question right after all of the damage, the surgery, and everything there... more spinal cord damage was there, than initially thought... so there were many things holding me back from being able to truly "write" what I was concerned about. I even was ashamed of myself about feeling not up to truly doing my volunteer and advocacy work, which I love. But, I realized that will and is coming back now... it was just everything going on that those things were temporary. I am already putting a foot forward, baby steps, in trying to get myself settled back in my duties of volunteering, advocacy, and ambassador things.

but, since there have been a few more updates over the past week or so, I thought after posting to Facebook, I would also post here... I HAVE t get myself back into my blogging. It is so very important to me... and I feel my blog will continue to be somewhat the same, but I feel I will be adding more things in the realms of spinal cord injuries, rehab, and I will be adding more information about things such as Baclofen, which they use for SCI's and MS also. I have also been dealing with more other realms of medical issues, that also will tie into the autoimmune illnesses too. So, if you see me taking a bit of a different track, know I am "adding in" not taking away at all.

So, I will "paste" a couple of my FB posts below from today. They have updated information that some of you maybe interested in.... much more to come (this has not taken all of my will power yet)... even though it such made a dent in it this time.....

Facebook posts below from today and yesterday.....

Hello all..I've been trying to get here to update everyone on Jim's homecoming and first f/u with his back surgeon, and then my situation. But it seems too much to do, too little time to do it, and feel like hell... all three make for some frustration. The back surgeon was VERY pleased with Jim's recovery process! In fact, I think he was almost overwhelmed at that fact, that since they have NOT gotten Jim's wheelchair out to us yet, that he walked the entire way all day on Thursday with his cane!!!! :):) The wheelchair is actually just for LONGER walks, like through a huge store, or to the doctors where like Baylor it is a nightmare sometimes to walk to where your doctor is, etc. He is going over to Rehab twice weekly in Waxahachie, then doing his other exercises etc, walking here at home. He has now began to have some spasticity issues, which usually show up about 8 to 10 weeks after a spinal cord injury. So, we had asked about Baclofen, and he said absolutely. He thought he might already have been put on it, while in Rehab. But the symptoms of it did not really begin until about a day or so before he was to come home. So, we were not sure at the time if that was what it was or not. But, it is and just like someone with MS... it should help immensely. From there we had to go have my pain pump refilled. Which now they can do in their office, thus not the nightmare of outpatient at the hospital, much quicker and much LESS expensive. My lung X-ray last week on Thursday came back and appears the pneumonia is gone, even though I am still wheezing, and rattling. But. they thought it was more of an asthma development, and put me on another inhaler, and I am already on Singular, plus a huge 60mg dose for 5 days of Prednisone once again. But the next day, of course never happens while you are AT the doctor, I got up to about 4 massive ulcers on the bottom of my mouth and something in my throat that hurts like hell. I have a tooth (more than one) that HAVE to be pulled, but no way he could work in my mouth as it was, thus I am trying to get some of it healed up for Monday, so I can get the ball on the roll. I am thinking having these rotten teeth, what few I have left, could be also causing me to have the other issues, almost like a constant flare. Also, I still have not gotten to have my 2nd round of Rituxan due to the pneumonia, thus one ankle the right one swells up horribly, and the pain is back in my fingers, thumbs, toes, ankles and feet with a vengeance .... but I also run the risk of having further mouth infection, if I am on it, when having 5 teeth at a time pulled, and going through all of that, and trying to not have a flare, BUT moreover NOT getting dry sockets and infections. So, I am in between a rock and a hard place. The pump is filled through September, yet my pain over the past week has been terrible. I think just ALL going on, and as I said I seem to be in a constant flare... anyway, so between the two of us, lots going on. We kind of have to grin about it, because it seems both of us are dealing somewhat with the same issues now when it comes to our physical bodies.... We saw the Xray of the surgery, right after it was done that night. He has a set of 7 fusion bars, so he beats me by 4...LOL! funny but not, talk about looking odd though... I know when I saw mine, it was like WOW, that looks like something I would work on the house with, nuts, bolts, screws and bars. So, for all of you that have been with us through every step of the way, I again and Jim too, appreciates every one of you.... we also both ask for your continued thoughts, well wishes and prayers. We have a long way to go for both of us.... but as I told him yesterday, from what I watched about 6 weeks ago when he was at the hospital, versus what I see now at home.... I now see much of the "normal" parts of Jim more and more each day! :):) He is still in pain, but he is determined to be able to walk without the cane, which may or may not happen. But even if the cane stays, honestly he is a walking miracle. Between the both of us and all we've been through, my pain doctor was almost in tears. He did not know how badly things had been since he was me earlier in the year for my pump refill. And I had forgot to mention I had fallen that same night of Jim's surgery also... We are truly blessed, but I admit these last few weeks, sometimes I have to truly "hunt" for those blessings... the pneumonia and all of my own weakness, pain, my mouth, the ulcers, my throat, a huge swollen ankle.... I have to make myself STOP every once in a while, and truly THINK just what a blessing we do have.

AWESOME NEWS!!! OUR LAWYER FILED SUIT AGAINST THE 18 WHEELER COMPANY THAT RAN OVER JIM. It was official yesterday! And THEY LOCATED THE CAR! We thought it may have already been crushed, BUT the company that bought it from the auction, still HAS IT! So even better! OUR PICS were GREAT BUT NOW they have their own Professional inspector that can see it up close and personal!!!!!! :):) This is truly incredible news....

I so appreciate all of the "Thumbs up" and support.... as things began, you really do not think in the "monetary" terms of something such as this. But, now as we see the bills coming in, we think about having to buy the car, time lost for his work, time and money on Rehab, traveling, doctors, medications, pain and suffering, the issues of me "losing" my care taker in many ways, modifications to the house, you name it... now this part begins to set in.... and even though I am NOT ONE for believing in "suing" as some do... under these circumstances, I truly believe if all is as we have seen and heard, this company should be responsible for ALL of it. They have refused to even speak to our insurance company or our lawyer. Even turned away certified letters, or even allowing the lawyers to speak .... they have told "lies" as far as we know about the happenings of that event... as far as even having the driver of the 18 wheeler say he was NOT in a wreck, and he was not driving that truck that day. It was also picked up and towed away by guess who? Their own company, very quickly, even before the investigation got underway after the accident... thus they are refusing to cooperate in any fashion at all. That tells me... they are hiding something, or they would be out telling the story as "they" saw it.... as far as the two (without a driver's license due to NO INSURANCE anyway) in that Tahoe they are already out of the scene. They also would not cooperate at all, and basically "disappeared" along with the so called "witness" that just happened to walk out on his porch about the time our car went sailing under the Tahoe, (due to the 18 wheeler shoving the car under it)... anyway, that person suddenly disappeared also. My insurance refused to pay them a dime... and closed that part of this weeks ago. So, the portion now is the 18 wheeler tractor trailer business who owns the vehicle... As I said I do NOT believe in suing ... and honestly, probably may honestly think about having a "side suit" in for my own losses due to losing Jim as my caretaker. It has caused my own health, mental and emotional status harm... and our lawyer is the one who even mentioned it. He said that it may take longer to try and get that all in order and settled, but we should think about it due to my own pain and suffering, health issues, and the fact that now we may both be facing totally disability... and "no" outside caretaker. My Mom sure can't... bless her heart, she is doing more than she should right now at home I think because she hates to ask me... yet she should allow me to do some of what she is trying to do before she winds up accidentally hurting herself. Thus, it is up to the both of us, possibly later on some in home health care... and like I told Jim, I don't know where my own health issues may take me... I may face being on a cane, etc... in the future... the progression of the Lupus, Sjogren's, RA..... etc. has been extremely bad in the past 6 months.... so we both maybe having to use assistance to walk etc... anyway, just another "piece of the pie" of life... when things like this happen. You don't want to face these parts, but there comes a time you have to.... it sucks... but it is one of those "necessary evils"...

Question for those of you on "daily prednisone"? What dose do you take if you are on a daily dose of it? I have been on a maintenance dose of 2.5 daily, which honestly I cut down, it is supposed to be 5 mg. daily.... but the doctor told me as long as I was feeling okay, the lower the better... BUT when the doctor put me on the 60 mg tablets (2 20's daily) for 5 days... the swelling in my ankle is almost gone, and I've noticed some of the fatigue better, and anywhere I have any type of inflammation going on, even with the "asthma" issue, that is so much better. BUT we know that another "necessary" evil, is this "wonder drug", prednisone, or the "corticosteroids" .... they do magic... but they also can freaking wreck your body at larger doses for an extended time if taken. So, now I face another dilemma... do I ask to have an "increase" of like 10 mg daily.. or so ... I fear I will blow up like a balloon and have MORE issues caused from the prednisone... gosh this crap sucks. 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Want to Update everyone here.... things are not very well right now

I am going to just "post" a few of my Facebook posts so everyone will know WHY I have not said much here about the Arthritis Summit....

I will say it was AWESOME! I would go back again in a heart beat! it was one of the best experiences of my life. When I get some pictures out of the camera etc. I will definitely tell you more about all of it.

But, just about the time the Summit finished up, my family suffered HORRIBLE, almost NIGHTMARE NEWS!!! My husband Jim, has only a "Step-Mom" other than me in his family. He had not seen her in over 12 years and I had not met her even though we have been married almost 10 years. So, Jim is originally from Washington DC. This was a perfect time for him to meet me after the Summit on Wednesday, we could stay with his Mom, and get to visit with her. And he could show me the "rest" of DC!!! Well, she was coming to pick me up, His plane was not due in until after 5:00pm due to me thinking we may not get back from the House of Representatives until 5pm or so from the schedule. But, we were back by noon. So, she was going to pick up me, and take me to her home, and he was going to come into Falls Church via the Train or whatever... anyway he would be very close once he got his luggage & came to that station. Well, she misunderstood and went to the "other" Hilton in DC, thinking I was there, rather than at the Capitol Hilton. So, she was late. I was outside enjoying the sun, since the day before we were in sleet and HUGE snow flakes, and COLD all day long. The wind was still cold, but the sun kind of warmed it up a bit. Anyway, due to the buses, etc. my cell phone was ringing, but I could not hear or feel it. I happened to go back in and see if I had missed her somehow and then I saw my daughter had called like 7 times!!! I knew SOMETHING was very wrong....So, I find out that my husband Jim, while on his way in Dallas to the airport to come to DC, was in an extremely bad car accident. As best as we know at the moment, an 18 wheeler rear ended him, and then shoved him up under a car or truck in front of him. We also were told the car may have spun him into other traffic. Needless to say, he is in one heck of a mess. Just about every RIB on BOTH sides are broken. They did massive 8 LEVEL back surgery Thursday that took 7 hours... from C-7 DOWN to T-7.... He has a "shattered" shoulder, a broken leg, a tiny "tear" on the outside of his main Aorta, a mild concussion, and he cannot "feel" himself move his legs right now. They first stablized his spine, then are going onto work on other things. I have some updates on my Facebook page. and I will just put a link to it here... that way if you want to know changes, and how he is doing you can....

I am also in not great shape. I fell that early morning he had the accident and cut through my bottom lip, bruised the heck out of my chin, skinned up both artificial knees ... I am barely able to walk, I am SO SORE from all of it and my hips are just hurting so badly... I DO have a Rituxan infusion FINALLY  SCHEDULED for Wednesday... but I have an appointment with the dentist. I have cracked off several teeth due to this Sjogren's and I have one that really needs to be pulled... it is hurting badly... I also think I maybe coming down with bronchitis... so I may have to make a trip to the urgent care center today, so it does not mess me up worse with everything. I cannot help him, if I am sick... thus I have to try and get the care I need also.

Here is the "Facebook" URL: 

I am updating that page above so everyone can know what is going on. I realized it is just easier to do all of it in one spot and that way everyone knows the same information.... I appreciate everything that so far you are all saying... and wishing for us... Please keep Jim and I, and my family, his Mom and so forth in your thoughts and prayers. This is a very BAD situation, and sounds like as I hope IF things ar as they say, someone, (not m husband) was very in the wrong... but as you will read, I cannot even get the police report for another about 7 days or so... see the page above for updates and as soon as I have things from the Arthritis Summit I will post them :):) What an incredible experience! I am definitely going through to become an Ambassador.. and all they did to help me get back to Texas after Jim was hurt so badly was just totally amazing... along with another gentleman that helped me so much. He got hold of the proper people, helped me get on the plane, and back to Dallas very quickly... I will never be able to thank Chris Nieto and Laura Keival (Arthritis Foundation)..... along with Serena, Kerri, Pam .... everyone was totally amazing!!!!!

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