Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Happy Birthday!

I meant to make a post yesterday, but forgot.

25 years ago on November 14th during the wee hours of the morning I was born. Little did anyone know the crazy turns my life would have taken in its 25 years, but I like to think that those twists have given me experience and perspective. None so much as what I have experienced over the course of this last year, though.

It was kind of funny, even with the last few months being pretty terrible as far as life goes. Having to leave my job for medical reasons, bills stacking up that I have no way to pay, having to leave my Master's program because I would be unable to do the classroom visit requirements and being told by the Social Security Office that I "hadn't worked long enough" to qualify for Disability. That last one might work itself out, though, because I do qualify for SSI. Of course they have 90 days to decide if they are going to give it to me or not and the process normally involves several rejections.

Even with all of this going on I had a pretty wonderful birthday. I think part of this is because I have a new perspective about things. I have come really close to hitting bottom and have no where left to go but up. I've done a lot of thinking lately (I have the luxury of the time to think) and had come to the conclusion that I've got everything I could possibly need or want so when my mom asked me what I wanted as a gift for my birthday there was literally nothing I could think of.

The best gifts I got were the time I spent hanging out with my mom and sister, going window shopping. Even though I had to stop and get a wheelchair midway through the day I was grateful to have the ability to go out and do this.

On my birthday itself I had a doctors appointment with my rheumatologist. We discussed the symptoms that have been constant for me and talked a little bit about doing a stronger form of chemotherapy. The ultimate decision was that we are going to wait a little bit and see if the bigger symptoms calm down (I did just have surgery) and to see what my lab work looks like.

While there I was able to talk with their phlebotomist, she is the only person that has ever been able to get blood from me without significant pain and bruising. She has also never burst any of my vessels. I spoke with her for a bit about the problems they had getting my per-surgery blood work. The day I went in to them was a poor circulation day in my hands, they were literally blue and even holding them under hot water would not warm them. My hands are the only place where anyone can get blood from me without a lot of problems.

After three tries and not even a flash into the needle, they got someone else to come try. This new person didn't listen to me when I said she needed to use a butterfly needle because the other needles are larger than my veins. She decided to try for a spot along the "suicide track" down the underside of my forearm just under my wrist. In doing this she burst two of those veins and I went into surgery with a black arm.

I explained this to Sabrina, the phlebotomist at my rheumatologists office and she flat out told me that because I was a patient of hers, all I need to do is get the blood work order from the doctor, bring it to her and she can draw the blood and run the tests for me. This is a life saver!

Afterwards I went out to lunch with my mom and later that evening my dad brought home a cake. One that he searched for and had to ask the bakery to get from the back specifically because it was the only vanilla cake they had. The rest were chocolate. I love that he was willing to go to extra lengths to find one that I like even when I know he isn't feeling his best either.

My birthday was wonderful.

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