Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Yes, it's that time of year again (154.2)

I hate this time of year.

Monday and today were cloudy and rainy. The days are much shorter. SAD has descended swiftly and in force.

It's like a switch gets flipped in my brain, and viola! the joy is sucked from my body and soul. My body feels like I've been moved to a planet with an extra dose of gravity. I'm fragile, on the edge of tears or anger or verge of collapsing in a heap of uselessness.

Hormones are also playing a part right now, so I've got a double whammy to deal with.

I write this sitting in front of my SAD light, later in the day than I should be in front of it, but I couldn't get moving this morning to get ready for work and got here late, and my light is at work because it's where I'm more likely to use it regularly. It's very hard to dedicate 30 minutes in the morning at home to just sitting still when mornings are so busy and I usually sleep as long as possible. Ideally I'd have two lights (one for home on mornings like this), but they are $300 so right now, it's one light and it's at work.

A note on sleep: I stopped taking sleep meds about a month ago. For whatever reason, I found that I can get to sleep and mostly stay asleep on my own now. That was not the case previously. I did have many, many sleepless nights before I started taking xanax and later trazedone to sleep. I talked about it being an issue every time I met with my nurse practitioner who prescribes my meds. Whatever the reason, I'm thankful I am sleeping okay and not drugged in the morning.

I read a Bible verse this morning in a devotional that offers some comfort:
"Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name;
you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames
will not set you ablaze" (Isaiah 43:1-2).

It doesn't say "when you pass through the mud," but I can extrapolate to that metaphor and take comfort in what God is telling me through Isaiah.

I am also eating more, which happens when I feel like this. And still not running. I know I can and will turn things around soon. Mark has been unavailable to help with the house or kids for the last month because of a big church project, which wraps up this Saturday. He and I are going to work out a schedule so I can take more time for me (and he for himself), starting next week.

I already feel better just writing all this out and having sat in front of my light for 40 minutes.

Regarding Sophie & the chiropractor:
She had a neurological exam by the functional neurologist chiropractor (Dr. Shaun) last Friday. Neuro exam involves such things as closing your eyes & touching your nose with your pinkies, closing your eyes & reaching out your arms in front of you & lifting your knees high, resisting push/pull on your legs and arms, flopping your hands back and forth over & over on your lap. Sophie had trouble with them all.

The doctor found that she has significant right side weakness. I watched as she couldn't keep her balance during the knee lifts, had trouble finding her nose with her pinkies, had trouble keeping a steady rythm with her hands, couldn't resist push/pull with much strength. He thinks she has left brain damage in her cortex and cerabellum.

He asked if she'd had head trauma in the last year. No, I said, but she was in a car wreck in April 2011. The impact was on the front passenger side, she was in the drivers side back seat. Her head would have been thrown to the left. A light bulb went off for the doctor and for us, realizing that the accident did more than give her a chest contusion (bruise that was found on a CT scan in the ER after the wreck).

He said the wreck could have also caused trauma in the myofacial tissue in her spine, which could have exacerbated the scoliosis to progress so quickly. The doctors we've talked to have all been shocked or disbelieving it moved from nothing (or next to nothing) at her 2012 checkup to a 50 degree S curve in a little over a year. The theory that the accident accelerated (or caused) the scoliosis helps explain the rapidity of the movement. He asked for a copy of the CT scan from the ER, so he could look at her spine and see where it was then. I gave it to them Monday, so we'll see what they find.

They are using cold laser treatment on her to strengthen the neurons, and she is responding very well. I watched it happen. The doctor put the laser on her abdomen and head, and she was able to resist his push/pull on her legs. She could feel her strength improve, too. He is confident we can retrain her neurons to reconnect.

Lest anyone think they are taking me for a ride to make money off of us--because insurance will only pay for her adjustments and nothing else--the wife part of the team (Dr. Amber) is picking up the cost of her husband's treatments. She knows we aren't in a position to pay them right now, and she doesn't care. She just wants to help Sophie get better. (This makes me tear up everytime I think of it. While it might be surprising, when I put it in context for what WE do for our clients--which is put them first, regardless of whether or how much money we make--it isn't surprising at all. There are still decent, generous people in this world.)

Amber is also discounting Sophie's orthopedic inserts from $500 to $200. They scanned her feet at Friday's appointment, and her arches are collapsed. She has no arch in her right foot, and only a little arch in her left. Amber also put a lift in Sophie's left shoe to get her body weight to shift to the right, because the scoliosis is throwing her hips off balance. Amber weighed her on two scales, and Sophie is carrying 8-10 pounds more on her left side.

They are not telling me to cancel our surgeon appointment. They think (hope) it's possible to reverse her scoliosis enough that we can avoid surgery, but they are not arrogant enough to know they can. We are moving forward with everything surgery wise, simply hoping that even if she has to have surgery, her spine will be in as good as shape as we can possibly make it. Best case scenario is the xrays the surgeon and chiropractors will take will show improvement. Worst case, she doesn't improve by the time of the surgery, or it gets worse, and we still have surgery. Either way, she's going to be okay.

1 comment:

Laura N said...

Insurance only covers orthopedic shoe inserts if you're diabetic. whatever.

In case your'e wondering, we did work with a lawyer for the car wreck. We settled at the end of February, almost 2 years later. We were just glad to get it settled and put behind us, as it was a nagging concern and we needed to be reimbursed for bills we had to pay out of pocket.

In hindsight, I could theoretically kick myself for settling so early (although 1 year and 11 months did not feel early to us), given the thought that they could be on the hook for brain/spine damage. But in reality, I have little faith we could prove without a doubt to the insurance company's (or judge's, because something like this would go to trial) satisfaction that the wreck caused this kind of damage. So, really, we are all fine and not kicking ourselves that we already settled.

Sure, we could have left it open, we could have set ourselves up for a decade of litigation and frustration--not just for us, but for Sophie, who would no doubt have to go through a lot more testing and exams for us to prove she was damaged by the wreck--and we could have possibly gotten a much bigger settlment. But honestly, that sounds like a nightmare--the time we dealt with it before it was settled was pain enough. I have no regrets that we aren't pursuing this further from a legal standpoint.