I’ve neglected writing a post recently because there really isn’t a lot happening in my life as far as progress from the stem cell treatments and gaining any improved function in my body. I know I get as tried of complaining of the pain that is coursing through my as the people who read about it, so why bother? Basically, my life has settled into a routine of struggling to get out of bed each morning, getting ready and going to work, leaving work to go to the gym to workout or to have PT, going home to crash to recover enough energy and motivation to get through the evening, showering and going to bed. The whole routine repeats itself every single day. Pretty much a drag.
I have not seen or experienced any changes in my body’s response to the stem cells or from the repetitious drudgery I subject my body to. Other than dealing with increasing pain I am not getting any other signs of progress. They say pain is a sensation. A sign of things reconnecting. But if that is all that is forthcoming, then I can live without this kind of progress. This is not the improved ”quality of life” I was hoping for. I’m not ungrateful about the things that have transpired in my life since I first received stem cell treatments in November of 2007, but I had hoped for different results I didn’t start down this road with unrealistic expectations. I knew that I could experience unpleasant sensations as well as possibly regain function and sensation in my lower extremities. To me it was worth the chance to try. If you don’t try, how can you have hope? Without hope what do you have? Nothing. Emptiness. All I can say is that it my life is not progressing the way I had hoped and it is extremely difficult dealing with the trials and tribulations that life throws at you on a daily basis Will that change, who knows? All I can do is take it one day at a time and hope. Only time will tell if my prayers will be answered or not, but the reality of the situation is that the odds aren’t looking real good right now.
In therapy we are still working with a bariatrics walker, one with cradles for my forearms. While this does relieve the pressure on my wrists and forearms, and helps minimize the tendinitis in my right wrist, it is excruciatingly hard to walk with. I can’t just shift my weight to each side (pushing down with the associated arm to unload the opposite leg) and articulate my hip and leg forward like I can with a straight, normal walker. Everything has to be done with the stomach, back, shoulder, and upper arm muscles. This is doubly hard, and sucks the life and energy from me. I have never sweat so hard in my life. Even when I use to run in the Summer heat, I didn’t lose this quantity of fluids. My soul drips from my body one drip at a time, leaving a trail to mark my passage. We have been working on my wrist for 6 weeks now, trying to get it to heal so I am better able to use it. Tracy, my PT, has utilized; electric stimulation, heat, cold, massage, splits, and wraps. Nothing seems to improve the pain and discomfort, nor is it getting any easier to grip and pick things up. I just can’t stop using it. That would give it time to heal, but I live my life in a wheelchair, utilizing my arms and hands as my legs. I have 2 doctors’ appointments this week and next. I’m hoping to get the wrist X-rayed to see if there is any bone chips floating around causing the pain and inhibiting my ability to use it normally without cringing and over-compensating with my left arm/hand. There has to be an explanation as to why it won’t heal. This impacts my other gym workouts too, as well as my daily living. I have to really pay attention to what weight-lifting I do. To minimize the compression of the joint. That seems to impact it the most; weight-bearing, torquing it, and compression. It’s bad enough not having my legs to walk with, but now I’m being reduced to an one-armed man.
As for the rest of my life, what life? It’s been too damn hot to go outside and exercise or enjoy. If I go rolling my wrist hurts. If I do nothing, my back hurts from the inactivity of not stretching my muscles and joints. We have gone fishing several times, but even this is work. Every time we go, I pee my pants from the exertion and bending associated with the excursion. The only redeeming aspect of the activity is that it is cooler in the mountains and the scenery is much prettier, but eventually we have to return to the heat and grind of the valley that we live in.
As of January 1, 2011 I will be out of a job. Xcel Energy is closing the power plant that I work in for purely political reasons. They made an agreement with the governor of our state to cut their “carbon footprint” by 10% in Colorado by closing our plant. The consumers don’t get it, Xcel is just going to provide power from another source that emits the same amount, if not more carbon footprint than our plant. Plus, they made an agreement to convert some of their coal plants, on the eastern slope of Colorado, to burn natural gas in order to reduce the CO2 emissions from burning coal. Natural gas costs 3 times as much to produce electricity as does coal and Xcel can pass the increased gas fuel costs directly onto its customers dollar-for-dollar, adding a “transportation fee” to the bill because the gas travels through their pipelines. Incredible! Anyway, I will have worked 33 years for this company and they won’t make an effort to find employment for me in another location, close to Grand Junction. Being a Union member, I have put in for 11 transfers to another Xcel Energy facility in Junction, but because I am disabled and only work 4 hrs/day, Xcel doesn’t want to or have to accommodate me in any way, in any position. Work is what keeps me going. Without work, I have no direction in my life, no reason to get out of bed and face another day, no prospect to challenge me and giving my life meaning. I don’t know what I would do with myself if I couldn’t go to work each day. It was what got me through rehab when I got hurt in 1998. I focused on developing whatever functions and skills I needed in order to return to work. Proving to the world, and myself, that I could still be a functioning member of society and provide for my family. Now, my world is crashing down around me. This sucks! Well, enough feeling sorry for myself. You don’t want to read that crap anyway. So, until the next time when I can summon up enough material to put down on paper, goodbye.