Friday, August 31, 2007
It gives me great pleasure to announce we are officially done with the wheelchair. I can hear the applause and whoops of glee from all of you, not to mention the gratitude of my back to no longer have to lug it in and out of the trunk of the car. For anyone who has ever doubted that physical therapy works, we are here to proclaim it does. The progress we have seen over the past 11 days has been remarkable and we are hopeful Craig won't even need the epidural shot.
Speaking of the epidural, we saw the specialist in Fresno Thursday afternoon, well actually you could call it early evening. When we arrived at 3:45 the waiting room was packed with people. I listened as names were called and watched as patient after patient either went in or came out of the inner sanctum. I evaluated each one as to their limits of mobility, and compared them to Craig as to moving better or worse. Seeing the really bad cases put it into perspective how far we have come from those first days in dreaded Fort Stockton.
When we were finally the last two people sitting in the waiting room we knew we had to be next. At 5:15 we were called and off we went into an examination room. When we saw the doctor, he did a thorough check of Craig's mobility and pain. He encouraged us to continue physical therapy until an epidural could be performed. Of course, the earliest appointment wasn't until September 26. We are hoping that within the four weeks wait for the epidural that Craig will be recovered enough to resume work and that the shot will not be needed. Until then, his new mode of transportation is the "walker". I give him another week and predict he will be walking dapper in his top hat and cane.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Monday, August 20, 2007
Friday, August 17, 2007
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
So now the bad news. This has been a trying three weeks for us. With all that we went through in Texas, to be able to get back to California, where the weather is way too hot for our liking, it has probably taken with it a bit of our sense of humor. Craig doesn't sit well. He is one to be active all the time and to sit still, even for a movie is asking a lot of him. He is antsy, on edge, and in pain anytime he tries to move. I'm trying with all my might to have the patience of Job, and deal as best as I can with the situation. Craig's parents and my Mom have been a tremendous help to us, to which we could never thank them enough. But as soon as we know when this epidural treatment is schedule, and we have a window of opportunity to get out of the house, I think a trip to the coast will be in store for us. Ahhhhhh, I can almost feel the cool ocean breezes now.
Monday, August 06, 2007
Yes, that's right, we are in the raisin capital of the world, Selma, California. And what do you do when you are? You head to the Sun-Maid Raisin plant and visit their gift shop. While enjoying the many samples of every kind of sugar coated, chocolate covered raisins they had on the counter, we browsed the aisles for goodies we just couldn't ignore and that magically jumped from the shelves to our hands to take home. This was a very nice little side trip to take on our way home from our appointment this morning for Craig's MRI.
I have been very apprehensive about this MRI because I knew that Craig would have to lie flat, something he has been unable to do since his injury. I always knew that if he was unable to endure the pain and lie flat, that we would have to reschedule once again, hence prolonging treatment to help him recover.
About three hours prior to the appointment time I start with his medications and followed up with more when we arrived at the imaging center. After registering at the front desk, we only had a short wait before we were called. I was able to accompany Craig as they wheeled him into one of the rooms. Right away I recognized that it was not a MRI, but an x-ray machine. After a bit of a struggle to get Craig up on the table, I went into the other room with the technician. I asked her why they were taking x-rays when the doctor had ordered a MRI. She looked through the paperwork and saw that they had marked the wrong box and that yes, a MRI was in deed ordered. Can you say Murphy's Law?
Now we have to get Craig up off the x-ray table, back to his wheelchair, and then down to the MRI room where I slipped him another Valium and hoped for the best. Once again, it was a struggle to get Craig up on the MRI table, let alone in a position for the MRI to be performed and for the least amount of pain for Craig. As they slowly slid the table into the machine I said a little prayer and waited around the corner until he was done. I was so thankful and relieved when the technician came out and said they were done and that he was able to get a good picture to send to the doctor for our Wednesday appointment. At this point I think Craig was just as relieved as I was that it was over and that we were one step closer to getting back on the road again.
Sunday, August 05, 2007
Craig, in his drug induced stupor even accompanied me along on this little adventure. Midway through doing my hair, she even gave Craig a proper haircut. This past year we bought a clipper and Craig, putting his own personal appearance in my hands, allowed me to attempt to keep his hair looking somewhat presentable. So three hours after we arrived, which was filled with many stories of our travels, I left the salon feeling once again like I just might be 25 years old again. After all, as they say, you're only as old as you feel, and today I can say I feel pretty darn good. I'm ready to take on this new week and get Craig onto the super highway of recovery, and actually, it was nice to write about something other than doctors and hospitals for a change.
Friday, August 03, 2007
We relax a bit, confident in our assumption that the electricity would be on forth coming. Craig, again with the electronic toys, turns on his scanner, and we hear from the police dispatcher that the power was out citywide and the estimate for the power to return is at 10:30am. Okay, no problem, the appointment isn't until 12:30. Should still have plenty of time. The appointed time comes and goes and still no power. I start thinking of Plan B as the house slowly starts to heat up as the sun rises higher in the sky. We quickly get dressed and then I realize that the garage door opener would not be working. Hoping that the house key also opened up the side garage door, I ventured out into the heat with my fingers crossed. Hurrah! It opened, and I disengage the door from the opener and open up the garage door and move the car out so that I can load Craig and his wheelchair.
My first stop was at the doctor's office where I was to pick up the paperwork for the MRI. Of course their office was dark, and the receptionists were on cell phones calling patients telling them not to come in. I ask for the paperwork, they hand it to me, and calmly inform me that they may not be able to perform the MRI due to the power outage. Not to be sidetracked from my ultimate goal, I take the paperwork and head toward the hospital. Upon entering the darkened hospital and going to the registration desk, they apologetically inform me that the MRI is not operational and that I could reschedule. They had been informed that the best guess for the power to come back on was approximately 2pm. Again, like a mother bear protecting her cub, I informed her that we would like to wait and see if the power returned. I would not be denied this opportunity to get this elusive MRI performed.
As more people arrived for their MRI's and were informed of the circumstances, I was happy to see them leave with a number to call on Monday to reschedule, after all, the computers were also down so no one was able to get another appointment. After waiting 90 minutes, I see the lights come on and my spirits are lifted. Craig's spirits had been pretty high as I was steadily supplying him with his pain medication in anticipation of the MRI being performed. We get called to the desk and informed that yes, the power had been restored, but that the MRI machine could not be calibrated and that we would not be able to have a MRI. On top of that, we would not be able to reschedule at the hospital until next week Friday!
As calmly as I can, and taking into account what we have been through the past two weeks, I beg with the clerk to get us an appointment as soon as possible. Again, as with others I have pleaded with, she came to our aid and called a nearby imaging center in Hanford to pull in a favor. Within minutes we were given a Monday morning appointment. Only one more stop, back at the doctor to confirm that we would still be able to keep the appointment for Wednesday, and that the preliminary MRI report would be available for the doctor, to which they said it would. At last, although it didn't go as planned, we at least were not going to lose any time before treatment could be started.
Looking back over this little adventure we are on, you really have to laugh, because ultimately we really don't much control over the events, and as Craig always says..."It is what it is."
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
We have adapted well in Selma with his parents, whom we will be forever grateful to for allowing us to invade their home, bringing with us as much from the truck as we could. We even have our satellite dish hooked up and have managed to have the before mentioned recliner moved to the room we are staying in. So we will count down the hours until the MRI as I continue to keep Craig on his pain medication and as comfortable as I possibly can. I'll update again as soon as we have any news to share.