Tag Archives: DIY

Oh hai thar

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Oh hey guys, it’s been a while. The last few weeks have been insane — finishing classes and doing finals, finalizing my schedule for next year (finally done!) graduating, moving home…I’m pretty much exhausted. Thank goodness I’m done, though! Now to just find a job and work on some art projects this summer! It’s going to be so chill!

Oh wait, that’s not really true. Yes, I’m looking for a job, and yes I have a lot of projects to work on, but, as always, my poor health is rearing its ugly head, this time in a new way.

I went back to my sports med doctor for a follow up on the snapping hip. The good news is that the physical therapy (which I did rather sparingly, shame on me) really cut down on the snapping, clicking, and instability. It barely happens at all now. The bad news is that, even though the popping has stopped, my hip pain has gone up. Which is weird, because I didn’t really have much hip pain before all this, and now I do. Or maybe I just never really paid attention to it, since I’m dealing with pain in various places on a daily basis for year. But whatever the reason, whether it’s worse or I’m noticing it more, I decided I should probably bring it up with my doctor. She was concerned by that, and ordered x-rays. She also poked around my hips and they were SUPER sensitive around the trochanters. I was pretty much jumping and flinching with even the slightest pressure. And so that’s how it was decided that I would get cortisone shots in each hips. Yay me. I’m just glad she wasn’t in on the day my appointment was originally scheduled for, and that we had to move it back two days, because all of this would have made my birthday pretty crappy.

So we did the hip x-rays and she administered the shots (not fun). Afterwards, she went to look at the scans before the radiologist examined them. She told me that it looks like I have hip impingement, which I had never heard of. Basically it means that there’s too much friction in the hip, due to growths on the femoral head or the edge of the socket. It really increases the risk of arthritis and the need for hip replacement later in life (but earlier than average). It’s usually treated with PT, injections, and rest (all of which actually don’t really do anything except pain relief), but surgery (arthroscopy) is often needed. The surgery is minimally invasive, but still requires like six weeks on crutches and about four months to heal fully.

Hip impingement — the two types of growth.

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Seriously, though. I’m only (barely) 22. I should not be having hip problems at my age. And I really don’t want to have surgery again — my lap wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t fun. And hip surgery would be far, far worse. I mean, I guess I actually would have time, because I’m taking one semester and then I would have January — August for whatever. I was hoping to travel and work before graduate school, but if I absolutely had to have surgery, that would be a good time to do it. It would just be really not fun.

Ugh. Here I was thinking, “Hey, things haven’t been too bad health-wise lately. Fibro’s decently under control, my hip’s not popping anymore, I’m going to work on getting fitter this summer…what could go wrong?” and then bam, the universe was like “No.” How rude.

Still waiting for the radiologist report, though. That should hopefully come in the mail today. I guess I’ll wait and see what it says and then try to figure out what to do. Fingers crossed that my doctor read it wrong and that my hips or normal, or that the impingement is mild and surgery wouldn’t be needed now. Bright side, though: I’m pretty much covered for furniture for my apartment. I’ve got a table, five chairs, and a couch. I just need to touch up the stain on the chairs and redo the seats with new fabric and they should be looking pretty good! I’ll post a DIY post and pictures at some point!

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Ever feel like you want to cut your arms off?

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Ho. Lee. Crap. So today I decided to sand my six apple crates. I got them at an antique mall cheap, and I’m going to make this:

Coffee table! :’D

The other two crates will be used to make an end table. None of them will be permanently fastened, that way I can rearrange them if I want, as well as use them for storage and transport during moving. My crates will be stained darker, and the insides are going to be painted in greens, yellows, and turquoise. Let me tell you, I’m excited about this project. There will be a whole post about it once I finish!

But, so, the sanding. I decided to get working on them so that I can at least stain before going back to school, even if I don’t get to painting. I dragged them outside (in the 40ish degree, but sunny, weather) and got to work. It took me about two hours, but I get them done! They look great, and I decided to hold off on staining since it was getting late. I went in, sat around for a bit, ate dinner, and then realized…my arms hurt.

Holy. Crap. Do they hurt. Not, like, nomal post-exercise hurt, but like I-want-to-rip-my-arms-off-to-stop-the-agony hurt. This has only happened to me once before, my sophomore year after I had worked out on the bike. That time it was my legs, and I spent several hours in my dorm room crying (I almost never cry from pain) and alternating between laying down and limping around, unable to keep my legs still. My roommates were out studying, and I ended up calling my doctor at like one in the morning, trying to figure out what to do. This time it’s just as bad.

I realized, though, that this is the first time that I’ve done any sort of strenuous exercise since my doctor cut my Lyrica back. I’m already seeing the impossible dilemma — memory or pain? Do I decrease my meds and get my memory back, but have increased pain levels, or to I go back up and have more memory problems, but less pain? Or do I try a different medication entirely?  This is what I was afraid of what she first reduced it, and now I’m seeing my fears come to life.

An extremely hot bath didn’t do anything for the pain, really (although it was nice — especially once I realized that if I just put my Nook in a bag, I could still read in the tub, even with my arms pretty much submerged. Score!), and I know I’m not going to be able to sleep tonight with it like this. I’m strongly considering taking some Lortab that my sister got from when she had tonsillitis (which, okay, can we talk about this for a minute? I’m in pain pretty much 24/7, and I get almost unbearable flare-ups, and I can’t get anything stronger than ibuprofen, and she has a bit of tonsillitis, goes to the ER, and they give her narcotics. Wut.). I did that once before, after a pelvic floor PT session when all of my muscles were spasming and I could barely move. It sure zaps the pain, but it makes me feel a bit loopy, and then ill a few hours later. But even that seems like a good trade-off right now. Ugh.

Oh, and quick update on my sports medicine/PT visit. Went today for PT. It was kind of odd. He did some stuff with me, had me do a few things to assess range of motion, and then gave me some exercises and was like “Make another appointment if you think you’ll need it!” What? I mean, I guess I’ve never had limb-related physical therapy before, but aren’t you supposed to meet more than…once? I’m going to do all the exercises, but I’m not sure how much good they’ll do, especially when I’m not getting at least some feedback about if I’m doing them right, etc. I guess we’ll see, though.

Anyway, hopefully I’ll be able to get this pain under control so that I can get to sleep tonight!

Ew, rain

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Guys. It’s gross out. It’s been raining all morning and I think it’s supposed to rain for the rest of the day. Yesterday was gorgeous — we got up into the high 60’s — but today is just blah.

For the first time really, I’m noticing how the weather affects my pain levels. I think it’s because I’m finally paying attention to all potential life and environmental factors and how they might be influencing me. Last week I had a beer for some pre-St. Patrick’s Day celebrations at my school and the next morning I woke up completely sore. My arms hurt, my legs hurt — everything hurt. Just one beer triggered a major flare-up. Wine doesn’t seem to do that to me, but beer does. That’s alright, though, because I really don’t like beer and I probably wouldn’t drink one just for kicks.

The weather is a problem, however, since it’s not something I can avoid or control. Rain seems to be the worst, as well as sudden weather changes. I’ve also noticed that high humidity increases my pain and I’m really sensitive to it — I know it’s humid long before I even go outside (typically I’ll be sweating and unable to sleep during the night as the humidity rises), while the rest of my family has no idea until they leave the house. There hasn’t been a big thunderstorm since my fibro has gotten worse, so I’m not sure what that’ll do. It also hasn’t been that warm since it’s gotten worse, so we’ll have to see what high heat does this summer. Cold isn’t fun, but it’s not terrible either. Finally, I’ve noticed that the time change seems to have thrown my body a bit out of sorts — I really hate adjusting to changing times.

Overall, a pretty blah day. My legs really hurt, which made going and staying asleep difficult last night. And now my arms really hurt, making typing this kind of difficult and painful. I think I’m going to make a trip to the chiropractor this week to get some adjustments done and see if that helps. I also have a sports medicine appointment tomorrow for my hips, so we’ll see how that goes. And, finally, a dentist appointment later in the week (which is always kind of awful — I have a hard time getting the dental hygienists to understand that I can’t keep my mouth open for six or seven minutes at a time like others probably can. It hurts too much, and I pretty much leave the office exhausted and flaring every time). In the mean time, I’m just going to try to relax and enjoy my spring break (key word — “try.” I realized as I was leaving school that I had completely forgotten to take an online exam that was due. So I’m trying to get that worked out with my professor. I really need to get this memory stuff fixed — hopefully this won’t stress me out too much this week!) and work on turning my antique mall-found apple crates into an awesome DIY coffee table and end table! Pictures of the process will definitely be posted!