Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Happy Anniversary to ME!!

Quote for the Day:
"It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver."
~Mahatma Gandhi

One year ago today, I sat in my primary care physician's office and heard these words, "We need to think about putting you on disability.  Not today, but soon."

I was at the crossroads.  My pain medicine doctor could only offer me radio frequency ablation of the nerves to help with my day-in, day-out back pain.

  • The physician uses x-ray guidance (fluoroscopy) to direct a special (radiofrequency) needle alongside the medial or lateral branch nerves.
    • A small amount of electrical current is often carefully passed through the needle to assure it is next to the target nerve and a safe distance from other nerves. This current should briefly recreate the usual pain and cause a muscle twitch in the neck or back.

    • The targeted nerves will then be numbed to minimize pain while the lesion is being created.
    • The radiofrequency waves are introduced to heat the tip of the needle and a heat lesion is created on the nerve to disrupt the nerve's ability to send pain signals.
    • This process will be repeated for additional nerves.

    Burn my nerve to stop pain impulses???  Ummm...no...thank you very much. 

    My neurosurgeon said I wasn't "bad enough" to qualify for surgery because "we don't do surgery for pain, we do surgery for function"...and I hadn't lost "function"...yet.  "But call me when you can no longer use your hands or fingers, or when you start falling, or lose bowel or bladder control."  

    Ummm...gee, thanks for that encouragement, but that doesn't sound like fun at all!

    By this time I was in my second go-around of physical therapy, but it didn't seem to be helping at all with the pain.  

    I was barely able to keep up with the part-time work load of my Recovery Room job that was 2-12 hour shifts/week.  I was definitely at a crossroads and didn't know what else to do or try for what was, by that point, a three year stint of back pain.

    As I sat in my primary care doctor's office, I told her that I wanted to try one more thing before we gave up.  I had an appointment with a new chiropractor that afternoon.  She told me to try it and see if it helped.

    Later that afternoon, I sat in Dr. Leonette's office at Enliven Chiropractic while he looked over my MRI and x-ray results that I had brought in with me.  He looked me in the eye and told me, "I can help you".  And that, folks, was like throwing a drowning person a life preserver.  He had such conviction in his voice that I couldn't help but believe him.

    He proceeded to do the initial exam, x-rays, etc.,  When he was done he said he would look over the x-rays and I was to come back the next day for my first adjustment.   

    Here it is, a year later, and not only am I NOT on disability, but I am actually working TWO part-time jobs...my Recovery Room 2 -12 hour shifts/week, AND 8-12 hours a week for Dr. Leonette!!

    Cured???  No.  But my life...and health... have been given back to me, and for that I will always be grateful!!  I am once again able to do activities of daily living that most people take for granted...but I never will again!!!



    Sunday, September 7, 2014

    Kitchen Renovation DONE DONE DONE!!!

    Quote for the Day:
    "Do not plan for ventures before finishing what's at hand."~Euripides

    Almost 3 1/2 years after we started renovating our kitchen, it is FINALLY DONE!!!  You cannot even begin to fathom how happy that makes me!!!  

    At the end, Andy finally threw in the towel and told me to hire our friend, Jeff, to finish up the job.  I had been through enough waiting that I readily agreed.  The last couple of weeks have been difficult as we lived with a torn-up kitchen...everything out of the pantry and the free-standing cabinet was moved into the dining room and living room so that the kitchen could be finished up.

    The remainder of beadboard was applied to the walls, crown molding added, baseboards replaced, walls painted, and new flooring installed!  My part of the job was to paint the walls and shelves of the pantry before the flooring was to be done, so last weekend was spent doing just that.  After painting the shelves, I covered them with peel-n-stick floor tiles, which has become my modus operandi.  Since discovering that little trick on Pinterest, I now cover all of my shelving with them now.  It makes them very easy to clean and won't need to be changed in my lifetime!  And if anything ever spills on it, a sponge and soap and water makes clean-up a breeze!!  I even cover the shelves inside my cabinets with them...makes it really nice under the sink...if there is ever a water-leak, the wood of the cabinet won't get ruined!  It's like spilling water on your floor...get a towel and mop it up!  LOL

    Okay, okay, okay...twist my arm and I'll show you pictures of my new kitchen!!!

    I'll start off by showing you what the pantry looked like after I finished last weekend with the painting and shelving...

    There were free-standing plastic shelves against the left wall and in front of the window.  Those have been removed and have been replaced by chrome wire shelving units. 

    The peel-n-stick tiles on the shelves...

    Now for the kitchen tour...25 cents please!  :) 

    These are our new counter-tops.  They are laminate, but look like granite.

    This is the north-west corner of the kitchen.  The doorway to the dining room is just off to the right that you can't quite see.  I have strategically cropped out anything having to do with the dining room because of the HUMONGOUS mess in there!  ;)  I still have to apply the hardware to the doors/drawers in this bank of cabinets, but that will get done eventually.

    This is the north-east wall of the kitchen and is where the fridge resides...it was still pulled out in this picture because Andy had to run new water line to the ice maker, which he did yesterday.  The doorway to the dining room is to the left in this picture.  The door that you see on the right goes to the basement.  This picture shows the crown molding and beadboard well.

    Continuing on around the kitchen, this is the south-east wall.  The door on the left is the basement door, again, and the door with the window goes to the side part of the wrap-around porch.  

    This is the south wall.  We did the stonework two years ago, but I just got it sealed last weekend...something that has been on my "to-do" list.  It is called AirStone and was sooooooooo easy to install but really made a big impact in this kitchen.  There is a vintage, metal, free-standing cabinet that usually resides between the stove and the outside door.  It had some rust on it so I sanded and spray-painted it last weekend and it hasn't made it back into its spot, yet.  That will come later today.

    If you continue turning to the right, you will come to this wall...the west wall...

    This door leads to the walk-in pantry that I showed you in the first pictures!  Here it is with the new flooring...

    This flooring is Highland Hickory XP by Pergo.  It is 10mm laminate and has the padding already attached.  However, since we have an 86 year-old house, we decided to go ahead and put down an underlayment anyway to help keep down noise, etc.  I can tell you that this floor feels as solid and is almost as quiet as our hardwood floor that we had installed in the foyer!  This is the first laminate floor we've ever had in a house and I am quite impressed!!!

    This weekend has been spent getting things put back into the pantry in an ORGANIZED manner so that we can actually FIND THINGS when we need them!  What a concept!  LOL

    And now...I have to get back at it...there is so much to do with company coming in on Friday!!  Thanks for taking the tour!  :)