Archive for the 'Health' Category

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it here on Real World Mom before, but, I was in a car accident on April 16 of this year. As I was slowing to stop at a red light, the person in the car behind me never seemed to even slow down, and plowed into the back of our car. Not once. Not twice. But, at least three times! It happened so quickly, I didn’t even know what was going on until she finally stopped running into me. Here’s what happened to our poor car:

Rear-end of Toyota smashed in.


Besides fear, the first sensation I remember feeling is the pain in my neck. Within a couple of hours, my whole back also began to hurt. Pain-wise, it’s been a miserable 42 days. A week and a half ago, I began receiving massage therapy and chiropractic care. Below is the ‘fun’ table I got to try out today. It’s purpose is to stretch my neck, and help to get some fluid moving back in between the vertebrae. All-in-all, it wasn’t too bad. The right side of my neck started to hurt from the grip of the machine, and it really hurt my lower back lying there as long as I did. The ‘neck stretching’ feels better (good even) when Dr. J. does it manually.

Table at the chiropractor's office where I had my neck 'stretched.'

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End of the Week Catch Up

January 19th, 2013
Posted in BlackJack, Career, College, Dogs, Family, Health, Home Stuff, Life, Madison, Pets, School, Tim | Comments Off
Madison 1-11-13


I can’t believe it’s been one week today since we said goodbye to our sweet “Mooch” (aka Madison). I miss her every single day, and I know that Tim and BlackJack do too. There is comfort in knowing that she is no longer suffering, and has joined my sweet Gemma over the rainbow bridge. The sadness I feel is for those of us that she left behind. There will never be another dog like our  Maddie Girl. Tim took the above photo (he’s got skills!).

My first class of the semester went well. The professor did a PowerPoint presentation with some general psychology information, and it reminded me why I love psych so much! If he posts the slides, I will share some of them here so you can see what I’m talking about. The rest of this class will be online (whenever someone gets around to making it accessible–time is wasting here, people!), which should be helpful, because it’s one less class I have to get to on a certain day, at a particular time.

I would like to find a job that will work around my crazy class schedule (which won’t be easy), because I am only available during very narrow time frames (and how many employers want to deal with that?). Even something where I could work a few hours every week would be helpful. Tim busts his ass every day, and I want to pitch in. Of course, part of me thinks that’s a totally insane idea, because I literally spend hours and hours (and hours) on school work every day (even when I’m not in class). Basically, if I’m not doing the good ‘housewife’ stuff, I am studying. There is no free time. If I add a job to that, I’m really going to feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day. I’m going to take it one step at a time. Keep my eyes open for an opportunity, and then I can always give it a shot. If it’s too much, and my other responsibilities begin to suffer, I will have to make the necessary changes. All I can do is try!

Tim and I are in the process of trying to decide whether we should shell out the $ to get our old car back in shape (it needs quite a bit of work), or, if we should cut our losses and buy another car. It would be another used vehicle, so, I feel as though we would be taking a bit of a gamble on what may be wrong with it. At least with our Toyota, we have a fairly good idea of what its issues are. Decisions, decisions…

I’m still dealing with the cold that I first came down with on Christmas Eve. It’s a sneaky bugger (pun intended), because I start to feel better, and think it’s gone, only to have it rear its ugly head all over again. And again. Think I’m on round three (or maybe four), hopefully this is the last one!

So, how was your week?


Madison and me at the vet on New Year's Eve

Madison and me at the vet on New Year’s Eve

This is a not-so-Wordless Wednesday this week, because I need to talk about our sweet Madison (aka “Maddie,” “Maddie the Mooch,” “Maddie Girl”).

Over the last couple of weeks, she has not been acting like herself. When she stopped inhaling all of her dinner several days ago, we really started to get worried. Then, her abdomen bloated terribly, and we knew there was a problem.

Unfortunately, I was convinced that we were going to lose her, so I put off making an appointment with the veterinarian (yes, I know that was the wrong thing to do, but I was scared). Tim sprung into action on New Year’s Eve–naturally, all of the veterinarian offices were closed–so we took her to an emergency clinic.

They were wonderful. The doctor said he is fairly certain that Madison has a tumor somewhere, that is causing a build-up of fluid in her thoracic vertebrae.  Maddie will be 11 years old in March, so, based on that, the doctor said that trying to locate the tumor (which may or may not be cancerous–and could be anywhere), and having her undergo surgery, just isn’t a viable option. We thought we were coming home without her that night.

The doctor said he could drain the fluid, and that would relieve the symptoms she was experiencing. So, we were able to do that. Sadly, we don’t know how long it will take for the fluid to build up again–and it most likely will.

I adopted Madison from the SPCA when she was only eight weeks old. We weren’t together for about seven months, after my ex-husband and I separated, and before we brought her here to live with Tim and I, in April of 2007. I can’t imagine life without her. She is the sweetest, friendliest dog I have ever known. Her constant mooching and “tail of destruction,” used to be annoying. Now, they are welcome sights.

Tim and I will do whatever we can to make what time she has left with us as comfortable and enjoyable as we possibly can. I know it’s selfish, but I hope that we have her with us for a long time to come. I’m not ready to say goodbye to my “Maddie Girl.”

Skeleton of a dog

The thoracic vertebrae is the area where the doctor believes the fluid is coming from.

Clouds blocking the sun in a blue sky.

“There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds.”
-G.K. Chesterton


White, puffy clouds in a blue sky.

“I never get tired of the blue sky.”
-Vincent van Gogh


Light and dark clouds block the sun.

“The sky is the daily bread of the eyes.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson


Assorted fruits.

Can You Spot the Calories in These Foods?

About sixteen years ago, I was diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in both hands. The symptoms alone are not enough to earn you a diagnosis, as many of you may be aware. You must endure two medical tests, which, in my humble opinion, are pretty barbaric! For more information about Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, check out online nursing classes that can teach you the conditions and diseases that cause Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.


Carpal Tunnel diagram of hand

Image from U.S. National Library of Medicine.

At that time, my right hand was the worst, so, after wearing a brace for several weeks (which was a major pain in the butt), I finally had surgery (Carpal Tunnel Release). The brace helped my left hand enough that I was mostly symptom-free until just a few months ago.

Since about November, it has progressively gotten worse; it often wakes me during the night (sometimes it is very painful), and the thumb and first three fingers often become numb/tingly/painful off-and-on throughout the day. It’s interfering with my daily activities, so I spoke to my doctor about it. Unfortunately, I had to have the archaic diagnostic tests again. (Yeah, I was dreading it.)

So, about two weeks ago, I went to a neurologist for the testing. First, there was the increasingly uncomfortable nerve conduction velocity (NCV) procedure, where they ran electrical current through various positions on my hand and arm. At first, it wasn’t as bad as I’d remembered, and I even mentioned that to the doctor. Perhaps that was a mistake. The shocks got stronger. I survived.

Next up was the Electromyography (EMG). I’m certain this has been used as a method of torture–and possibly still is. This is when they inserted a needle into the muscles of my hand and arm, and had me contract the muscle (ouch!) to measure how well the muscles react to nerve stimulation. This was the worst of the two tests by far. I don’t care to repeat either one ever again!


Machine used for EMG.

This is the machine that inflicts the torture (with the doctor's help).

At the end of all this, the doctor confirmed what I already knew: I have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Now I have to wait until my doctor receives the neurologist’s report so that we can discuss the next step. Personally, I’d rather get the surgery over with sooner rather than later (and prevent me from going through these tests again in the future!). We shall see.

Have any of you had Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? How did you treat it? How are you now? I’d love to hear!

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