Birthday Reflections

Today is my cake day.

As I sit here watching the 2009 reboot of Star Trek (so well done, I really hope the rumors of more installments are true) I reflect on the last 6.5 weeks and the last 52 weeks at large.

In June I officially “came out” as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, and while I know I am a part of the community, I am not sure exactly where I fall on the spectrum entirely yet. I just know I love all types of people no matter the color, race, gender, creed or identification. Still working on a lot of things related to that, but everyone, including my family has been super supportive of me and I can’t ask for more than that. Throw in I am now a member of the disabled community, and well lets just say my mental health can be interesting right now.

I undertook a weight loss endeavor in Mid-September 2021, and I lost 80 lbs before I was hospitalized. I have in the 6.5 weeks since been able to maintain, only really gaining 1/2 lb. I do have goals to lose more weight, but for now I feel that maintaining where I am is an appropriate goal. I really am looking at summer before I try to really get back with the program, and lose more weight sustainably. For now, I just plan to keep going with mindful eating, and eating a healthily as I can.

I had a PT re-evaluation today, and confirmed I am NOT ready to move forward to outpatient therapy quite yet. Although I am moving better about the first floor, I still get tired really easily, struggle with balance (I’m pretty good with the feet shoulder width apart but otherwise it’s bad). While I am using a cane, PT says I am still putting a significant amount of stabilization weight through it and If I don’t have a cane or mobility device I am at a huge risk of falling still.

My levels of feeling really haven’t changed since I’ve been home (almost 4 weeks now), and that is not atypical. Nerves only regenerate at a maximum of 2mm to 5mm a day and that is not guaranteed. The fact that I have probably 90%+ feeling returned in my right leg when I started with less than 30% is pretty remarkable. I credit the high dose steroids I received in the hospital for that. Control with the right leg is pretty good too, generally does what I ask it to do without much complaining. I’ve been relying on the right leg a LOT.

Left leg hasn’t changed much. Still at most I get tingles or searing burning nerve pain from the knee down, otherwise, can’t feel anything. I can feel hot and cold, and my foot constantly feels like an ice block (the right one does too) but everyone tells me the feet are an appropriate temperature when they feel them. The upper leg I can feel a bit more, and I am aware of it in space, but it is nowhere near the right leg. Control is much less, and the muscles like to spasm much more.

Muscle spasms have been increasing this week, maybe because I am pushing too hard with getting my place ready to sell. Both legs spasm regularly, and so does my back. Heat helps, but I do have a message out to my primary about a different muscle relaxer than the one I am on, since it is not helping a lot. Since starting the Gabapentin, the nerve pain while not gone, is much, much more tolerable.

I had a urology appointment this week, and there is good news there. I had been been fighting a UTI on and off (mostly on) since October 2021. They finally identified the organism, and now know how to treat me going forward. Now though I have bigger issues with the spinal cord injury. I am having some incontinence, and standard protocol for SCI’s (spinal cord injuries) is to undertake a urodynamics study once they think most of the spinal shock has passed. I have mine scheduled for late April. Good news is no signs of infection right now, and I am not retaining much if any urine, though I have problems starting my stream. I’ve started a new medicine to hopefully help me have fewer accidents.

Lorraine in the Litter Robot

My OT (who is great for frank and real conversations) says I am going a little too hard right now, and I need to make sure I am getting enough rest. She understands I have a lot to push for in the next week, but she wants me to try to take a nap for 1-2 hours almost every day. We have been working on IDL skills, and this week it was laundry and cleaning the cat boxes. BTW, so far I am loving the litter robot, Lorraine has taken to it 100%, but I am not sure if Marty has used it.

The cats have also when I am not in it, taken over the wheelchair as one of their sleeping spots. I suspect because it smells like me. Still they are adorbs when they are in it, so I am inclined to let them go. They are adjusting well, and so is Dixie. My Mom and Dad are adjusting, and generally they are being good cats which helps. The weekend ahead will be busy with closing out my house, and tomorrow is all about saving lots of energy for what promises to be a busy weekend.

All and all, my trip around the sun the last year has not been too terrible, and could have been much worse since I came out alive.

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