I just wanted to check in to apologize for the lack of posts here at the moment; quality and otherwise. It's been an over-whelming few weeks for me, and the stress and pain combined with a stifling heatwave and writer's block have all made blogging difficult.
I've tried to write so many times, only to find a lack of inspiration or motivation stopping me from typing. I actually have twenty-three posts in my drafts right now, and I'm not inspired to write any of them. I think I'll probably delete most of them and start again; there's no point forcing something that I'm clearly not motivated to write. Normal service should hopefully resume soon.
I have found the motivation to give my blog a little face lift, though. I've been trying to work out what to do with it for months, designing images with a lot of trial and error, but never liking the result when I put it all together. Now I'm doing it as I go along, I finally seem to be getting somewhere; although it's still a work in progress. I've added more pages and subjects to the right hand side bar, as you might have noticed, but I still have pages to edit / finish, and about 600 posts still to go back through and relabel correctly. It might take a few weeks, but hopefully when I'm done Polka Spots and Freckle Dots will be better organised and easier to navigate.
Aside from the blog, as some of you will know, two and a half weeks ago, I began my journey in to private health care. I had three appointments in the space of one week- efficiency I'm just not used to after so little support from the NHS.
Last Wednesday, I got the results of my X-Rays and MRI scans. I didn't expect to learn anything I didn't already know- I'd had an MRI on the NHS in 2011 which (eventually) diagnosed my multiple disc injuries, so I wasn't expecting any new developments.
Let's just say I was in for a surprise!
My Doctor began by showing me the X-Rays, and I could instantly see my spine was not exactly that of a healthy person. My discs were still all in various states of degeneration; the herniations were still herniated; they had not miraculously healed in the last three years... but I'd expected that.
What I didn't expect to see was that my spine was slightly- but visibly- curved in places, and that there was a little shadow near the base of my spine. Even to my untrained eye, I knew that was not how a spine should look.
The Doctor explained that near the bottom of my spine, there was a little bone on the side of one of my vertebrae that shouldn't be where it was, and there was a good chance it was causing a lot of my pain. It looked like a little butterfly beside another piece of bone.
I was too overwhelmed by the new developments to remember to ask questions, so right now I'm not sure if the bone is out of place, or just not meant to be there at all, but I suspect the latter by what I could see on the scan.
He told me the curves to my spine could be a result of all the pain I'm in. Three years of relentless pain has obviously had some affect on my posture, but I never thought that it could physically affect my spine!
I'm left wondering for now, and I'm curious as to what caused both of these 'new' issues. Whether they were caused by injury, I was born with them, or whether they're the result of a condition.. or something else entirely. I have a lot of questions to ask next time.
All I could do was listen to what he was telling me, respond with "okay..." and stare at the images on his computer as I tried to process it all. I wasn't frightened or upset by the news; I just couldn't believe there were more problems I didn't know about. The NHS hadn't picked up on them, or if they had, they didn't tell me.
The good news is, he told me he didn't see anything that told him to wheel me off to surgery there and then. That was a relief; the last thing I want is to go down that road, if I can help it.
Instead, he discussed a few options with me and instead of telling me what to do, he asked for my opinions and asked what I'd like to do. We talked about physiotherapy and hydrotherapy, which I've already had; spinal injections, which cost a shocking £1500- each!; and CT scans- deep joy, another scan!
I asked him what he recommended, but also told him physiotherapy isn't working one little bit.
We came up with a plan...
The next step will take me to London for a CT scan. Early next week. I'm not quite sure why I'm going all the way to London for the scan, since it's a couple of hours drive from where I live, but he wants to get a more in-depth look at my insides to see what's going on. He also needs to find out where he should stab me with spinal injections for best results, as I'll be having three of them after the scan. I hope they don't hurt as much as being injected in the toe (with anaesthetic, not drugs!) did. After that, I think I'll be having intense hydrotherapy, since physiotherapy has never made the slightest bit of difference. I've had a few hydrotherapy sessions before, but not enough or often enough to find out if it could've made a difference.
So, yeah, there's a lot going on, and things are moving in the right direction. There's no guarantees anything will work, but I have nothing to lose at this point. Hopefully the CT scan will tell me more about what's going on, so I can find out what the future holds, and what might help to get me back on my feet.
I'm looking forward to visiting London again next week, even if it is for a hospital visit. It's been three years since my last visit and I've missed those days out- I used to go several times a year to shop, sight-see, catch a musical, go to a gig, or visit an attraction. My Dad's driving me up, so hopefully I'll be able to persuade him to take a scenic route or visit something during the three hours between the dye injection and the actual scans. I can't even remember the last time I spent a whole day out with my Dad, just the two of us.
The day is going to be a long one, and will involve more hours out of bed than I've managed in three years, so I'm preparing myself for a lot of pain and exhaustion, but I'm actually a little excited for the trip. Crazy, I know! I guess that's what happens when the most exciting part of your life is managing a trip to the supermarket. Haha!
Anyway, I'm sorry for so many personal posts recently, and I'm sorry for the lack of quality content. I'll do my best to get back in to the swing of things this week, starting with my Sunday favourites post tomorrow.
I'm also sorry for leaving your comments and emails unanswered for so long, and I'll be setting some time aside to reply to all of them over the next few days. I have read them and I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who left me messages of support for my MRI scan; they meant a lot to me! You guys are all so lovely and your words have not gone unnoticed!
I'm a useless blogger, and I need to give myself a kick up the backside!
If you've made it through all of this, thanks for reading! And thanks for listening.
Have a great day!