Week 3: Jessie passes the baton to Andrea as I slowly acknowledge some improvements.
Okay, so it's not really week three. It's more like week six and I'm totally behind on blogging! Very sorry! (I'm having college flashbacks of procrastination and excuses.) I had high hopes to blog regularly and chronologically, so my story would be fluid and helpful to future patients, but alas, I failed.
I think the big question everyone would like to know first and foremost is, "How I am doing?" so I'll start there. I have had some ups and downs and I think the expression "two steps forward, one step back" applies quite nicely. When I arrived, I left California in a state of chaos; it was the end of the school year and grades were due (I teach high school), graduation, my birthday, packing for India, fundraising and money issues, etc. I was exhausted and in incredible pain. I was overwhelmed, scared, excited, apprehensive, determined and, in many cases, dazed and confused. So, it needs to be said that any sort of relaxation would help improve my condition.
When I left CA, my symptoms were:
Lower back pain, upper back pain, shoulder pain, lyme fog, twitching a few times an hour (similar to Tourette's Syndrome), light/sound sensitivity, wrist/arm pain, right knee pain, facial numbness/tingling, fatigue, serious word loss, and a hard time putting sentences together.
Improvements by the third week:
Twitching stopped. Wrist/arm pain improved (I could actually stop sleeping on my arms/hands for compression, which I often did to ease the throbbing.) Right knee stopped hurting and I could slowly begin to take the stairs. Facial tingling stopped. Word loss improved.
But like I said, rest and de-stressing also helped; I'm sure of it. The real milestone is still ahead: Waking up without feeling like a Mac truck has hit me and being able to bend over without being in pain. That's my ultimate goal.
In any case, Jessie and I managed to get out and do a few fun things around my physio and injection schedule. We managed a short stint one Saturday/Sunday to the Taj Mahal (long drive in a taxi-van, but totally worth it!) and even gave an Ayurvedic massage a try. It is NOT relaxing, but a cultural experience nonetheless; imagine two women rubbing your body up and down with hot oil in a rapid, synchronized pattern as you lay on a hard, wooden table, holding on in a super-man position, trying not to fly off the table for like 45 minutes! It's, um, interesting?
Jessie left at the 2.5-week mark and I spent a few days alone Skyping friends and reading before my long-time friend Andrea arrived. She will be here for the remaining five weeks! (Well, two weeks left now.) How lucky am I to have not one, but TWO friends who were willing and able to come and help take care of me?! They made many serious sacrifices and alterations in their life to be here for me and I am truly grateful. It is mandatory to have a caretaker here with you, and besides the money, it is often the hardest aspect for most people. But rest assured, it really is necessary. (I have some perfect examples of why this…stay tuned for an up-coming blog about my migraine fiasco!) Having Jessie and Andrea here has made all the difference in my attitude and overall well-being and mental health. Sometimes we forget how much we really do need our friends!
Upcoming topics: Stem cell '"procedures," 6-week improvement list, the exorcism of a migraine demon, the life of a caretaker…