Hits Deep! Incredibly fun. :)
Feb 19, 2014 8:12pmOh goodness. Here I go again, not writing for more than a month! Sorry everyone. I know a lot of you are friends with me on Facebook and can follow along there, but there are some who aren't and I don't mean to leave you all in the dark. I want to write about something VERY fun that I did last week, but first I have a few medical updates. Be sure to stick around long enough to read about my fun time.
(Note: My "e" key is sticking and sometimes when I hit it, it doesn't produce an "e" and sometimes it produces multiple. I try to correct it as I go along, but if you see some words without the letter "e" in it, that's why--I don't always catch it.)
- I had my dental surgery on February 4th. It went well and the pain I was having has lessened. I am still having some pain, but I don't think it is coming from my mouth. It's pain that I've had for almost 2 years now and I think it may be sinus pain. I think that I need to figure out what kind of doctor to see and have it checked out--but I have other appointments that take precedence right now so it will have to wait.
- I saw my PCP for my pre-op physical and talked to her about these crazy headaches I have. I've had headaches daily since 2007 when I started having muscle spasms in my neck and was told that not only do I have degenerative disc disease in my back, but also my neck. I no longer have (constant or often) muscle spasms in my neck, but I am still having horrible headaches. My doctor and I talked about how the Fentanyl patch and hydrocodone (along with regular Tylenol, taken frequently) have made my headaches worse. Her fear was that the BuTrans pain patch was making my headaches flare up. She thought the only solution was to lower the dose or go off of the pain patch, but she doesn't know what to replace it with since nothing else has worked for me or has given me headaches. Going off the patch with no replacement is not an option at this point because my pain has been flaring in my toes and has been very bad. So, she sent me to my pain management doctor for some advice.
- I told him how we suspected the patches were the culprit, but that after my dental surgery the headaches got mild for a while, so I don't think it is the patch because they should be consistent if that were the case. He agreed with that and didn't want to change my main pain medications. He suggested three things.
- The first is acupuncture (for the headaches), which is probably not covered by insurance. We will check into that and if it is covered, I'll try it. If it isn't covered, it will depend on the cost and how much I would need to go.
- The second thing is that he prescribed Voltaren Gel to put on my neck to see if it helps my headaches. It's an NSAID and I am not supposed to take them because I have had GBS and have kidney disease. I asked him if it would be as harmful on my stomach and kidneys as a pill would be since it isn't taken orally. He said that he didn't think there was a very high chance that it would be harmful. We asked the pharmacist too, just to be safe. I don't remember the numbers, but she said that there is a very low chance that it will affect my stomach or kidney. So I tried it last night before bed. I couldn't tell if it worked or not, but figured it would take some time. I had my mom help me put some on today before she went back to work after lunch, and after a short time, my head did start to feel better. It COULD be a coincidence and it's only the second time I've tried the gel so I am not convinced yet--but I have some hope that this might help... at least for some of my headaches. I imagine that they probably have several causes--neck and back pain, allergies, sinus issues, etc.
- The last thing he suggested was a lidocaine cream. I've used the patches and the 5% gel but neither work for me at this point. He prescribed 10% cream but it has to be compounded. Apparently 1% and 5% are common, but 10% isn't. My pharmacy doesn't do compounded meds so we had to go to the one place in town that does. The guy there wasn't sure if he could do it--he'd have to order some supplies and whatnot. He called today and he can do it, but my insurance won't cover the cost. He said it will probably be $50-100 and I assume that is for a month's supply. Yikes. My mom is going to see if the insurance will reconsider covering it and if not, we'll probably pay out of pocket for it to see if it works or not. If it doesn't, then we won't need to buy it again. If it does, though, it could get expensive. We'll see.
Okay, on to the FUN! My mom and I went to the Hits Deep concert on Thursday. It was TobyMac, Mandisa, Brandon Heath, Matt Maher, and Matthew West. We had seen TobyMac in 2012 so we were most excited to see Mandisa for the first time. We just LOVE her! I enjoy all the others as well.
Before I talk about it, I want to share the pictures and video so you can see who/what I'm talking about.
Click here for pictures of the concert
Click here for the video of "Overcomer"
Click here for the video of "Funky Jesus Music"
Click here for the video of "Me Without You"
This was the first concert of this leg of the tour. While they were rehearsing before the concert, TobyMac's keyboard player fell off of the stage and broke 5 ribs! Ouch. The amazing thing is that halfway through the concert, he got back from the hospital and got up on stage and played for the rest of it! I was in awe of that. He must have had some pretty good pain medicine--or a very high pain tolerance.
We had great seats. The local Christian radio station had sent out an e-mail with a code allowing listeners to pre-order tickets a few days before they went on sale to the public. When we went to TobyMac's concert in 2012, we had second row tickets. Once we got there and got to our seats, we realized that it wasn't going to be good for me because people would be walking past me and I couldn't protect my feet. And if I needed to get out, I'd have to try to walk past a lot of people without kicking a foot or a chair. A nice lady ended up getting us two chairs and let us sit in the aisle where people aren't usually allowed. So anyway, when we were looking at seats this time, we went with the handicap accessible area. It's right up by the stage but off to the right about 2 feet off the ground (there's a ramp). I was in seat 1 and my mom was in seat 2 which was directly across row 1 and 2 on the floor. The benefit of course was that we were up off the ground and could see while sitting, which is good because I couldn't have stood for the FOUR HOURS that we were there! It was really nice because the only person anywhere near me was my mom. There was nobody in front of me, right behind me, or to my right. I didn't have to spend half of our time there looking down at my feet, making sure they were safe. It was nice to not have to worry. :)
Mandisa was taking pictures with fans and signing autographs (I know Brandon Heath did as well, but I didn't see where he was). I SO wanted to get a picture, but the line was SO long. We learned our lesson and next time we go to a concert or event like this, we are bringing my wheelchair. I just could NOT stand in that line, no matter how badly I wanted a picture. My mom had talked to a security guard 3 different times (without my knowledge of what she was talking about) about my health and how she wanted me to be able to get a picture with Mandisa. The first time she talked to him, we had no idea that she was going to have a line for pictures. The next two times, we knew but couldn't wait in the line. She wanted to know if there was anything the security guard could do to help us. He talked to another security guard and they went to see if they could possibly get Mandisa to quick take a picture, but she had already shut down the area (the backdrop and everything) and was getting ready to go back on stage soon. The guy did tell her "my story" and she signed a poster for me! You know those picture posters a lot of bands/artists sell that you can have them sign? She had them at her merchandise table for $5. So the security guard got her to sign one and came and gave it to me--for free. :) :) :) So, while I didn't get my picture (someday!), I got an autograph and I am super excited about that. It is now in a frame and is ready to be hung up on my wall. I just am not sure where I want to put it yet. In the album of pictures, the last two are pictures of the poster she signed (it's double sided). :)
It was a very long day and I was so sore for a few days after the concert, but it was well worth it to spend time with my best friend and see some of my favorite artists in concert--we don't take vacations or take days to go out of town and go shopping--this is the "big event" of the year. We almost ended up not going because I had been sick that week (thankfully I woke up feeling much better--perfect timing) and because we were supposed to get some snow/bad weather. I am SO glad that we ended up going because it was a blast. And I love that I got a lot of good, clear pictures and some fun video of the night.
If you made it all the way through this, you deserve a gold star. I didn't intend for this to get so long, but I guess that's what happens when I go a month in between updates. I will try to be better about updating more often. I have a lot of times when I think "I need to write about that in my CaringBridge", but then time passes and it just doesn't get done. Especially when the pain is bad, I don't feel up for taking the energy to write--it does take a lot out of me physically and mentally. I know that probably sounds silly to those of you without chronic health problems--but I know that some of you understand. Even the smallest tasks can wear me out, and sometimes I need to make the choice to conserve my energy, even if I want to do something.
I hope everyone is staying safe and warm out there in this (mostly) cold winter season. Is anyone else ready for spring? I'd sure like it to be here, but I am not ready for the summer that follows. I still think that I need to move to Hawaii. :) Ah... well, take care everyone! I'll try to update before another month passes. <3
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