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I'm sorry I haven't updated in a while, I feel like I'm busy all the time anymore!

I've been steadily increasing my hours at work, although I haven't worked my full shift yet (7-4). I've been doing 7 to 2:30, or earlier if I'm struggling with pain or exhaustion. I'm noticing that by Thursday I'm exhausted and have a hard time making it through. So I think I'm going to start breaking up my week until my stamina is back enough to do full time. So this week will be full time Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, til 2:30 on Tuesday and Friday.I would have broken it up a little differently, but I have a neurosurgery (spine) appointment tomorrow at 3:30.
I think this appointment will be important. At my last appointment, my spine had made no change. This time I have been up and around more frequently, and putting more pressure on my back which is what the doctor ordered. He thinks if I stand more, sit up more, then the pressure will stimulate my spine to regenerate. I will likely get xrays tomorrow, and I'm pretty sure (but what do I know,really) that this will be the definitive appointment to decide if I will need a spinal surgery or not. I can handle another surgery on my foot, but the thought of a spinal surgery gives me the willies. That would mean putting the back brace back on, and that would mean spiraling into depression again. No thanks!

Healing is a slow process. I think I have reached a plateau. I was healing at a really rapid rate. I mean it has been 2 months and I have both casts off, a fracture boot on the left side, a real shoe on the right side, no back brace, and up on a scooter and hopping around. That is pretty incredible. But now I'm kind of stuck. I have that wound on my heel (where the pins came through) that has shrunk to the size of a nickel but is still there. If you think about it, that is 2 straight months of having a wound there. GO AWAY WOUND. I took off my sock yesterday and the scab around the diameter of the wound ripped clear off. So there is still scab in the middle, but not around the edges. Which also means it is way more prone to infection. I have made it this long, by god, I will not get an infection. I am so lucky I didn't get MRSA, you are prone to it with hospital stays. I still have another surgery in December so we are going to be vigilant about hand sanitizer! Last time Mom put the bottle between my casts, so if someone went to touch my feet, they immediately saw it. 
The swelling has gone down immensely. When I wake up in the morning (after elevating it all night, which I hate) it is the size a foot should be. But going to work and being active makes it swell so by the end of the day it's chubby again. I can feel the nerve damage a lot more when it's swollen, the skin actually feels like it's burning when touched. Except for the incision on the outside of my heel, and on the bottom of my heel, I have no feeling there. I actually have some parts of my shin that I can't feel. 

Onto good news. My amazing auntie/friend/coworker Margi wrote to American Furniture Warehouse on my behalf, and they sent me a giftcard to buy a new bed! I have a really hard time getting comfortable at night, so I've been sleeping on the couch this whole time so I can distract myself with TV til I drop off to sleep. We went to the warehouse on Wednesday last week and Cheri, Mom, and I laid on everything. The salesman was so funny, he gets all serious (after talking our ears off) and says "You know, I sold a mattress to the Century 16 shooter a few months before the shooting". I think he was expecting us to go "Oh my hero! You could have died!" and he appeared really disappointed that I was able to one up him, by living next door to the shooter's apartment and being there when they detonated some of the bombs. He was so hoping we would swoon, but we just said "Oh how interesting..."
Anyways, I bought a lovely memory foam bed that absorbs body heat so it keeps you warm, and it doesn't make my back hurt! 
We took it home and set it up on Saturday, after we bought an awesome new bed spread from Kohls. Saturday night I slept so good, I didn't wake up til' 10:30! It was amazing. I feel like my healing will progress better with me getting some sleep at night. Last night I didn't sleep as well, but I think it's because I went two days without pain killers. I have 6 pills left, so I need to be off of them soon which is kind of daunting. So I'm saving them for days when I'm really in pain. 

The change has been incredible. I feel like I'm starting to get close to the end of the tunnel, to see that this was a good thing. I am working on changing my mindset on things, learning how to change my attitude. I think this was meant to be a cleansing, a restart button. I'm doing my whole apartment differently (when I move), I picked a different wardrobe, I even cut my hair differently. Time for change. 
I'm setting a goal of staying single for a year. I want time to heal, to focus on myself, learn lessons that I need to learn. Spend time with friends and family, do yoga and swim, read a lot, work on my tattoos, find happiness without a partner. I think everyone needs to learn that. How can someone else make you happy if you can't make yourself happy? 
One last thing before I quit jabberjawing. Another thing I think was brought into my life because of the fire was Shaina, that wonderful girl that carried me away from the building after I fell. She has just been so incredible. Bringing me socks and boots and a sweatshirt and heat packs! We have kind of absorbed her into our circle, she even has a toothbrush set aside for her here! She has quickly become one of my best friends, and I really think us being friends was meant to be.

I'll probably write a blog entry tomorrow after my spine appointment. Tonight Mom, Merri and I are going to see Shearwater and Dinosaur Jr in concert. The only other heavily populated place I've been to was Ikea, so this should be interesting. I'll hide out in the back. Maybe I should pick up a glow stick and tape it to my foot so people avoid it? 

Love!

Alina