My New Playmates

So I love my new job. My coworkers and the providers I support are amazing. I work in a professional mental health office and no 2 days are similar. There is nothing boring about this job. In no particular order lets talk about a few of them. There is so much intelligence and talent in this office it is ridiculous. Our Steampunk Pushing Happiness And Sustainability/Scripture (SPHASS for short). I also feel the nickname SPHASS fits perfectly because she can be quite easily distracted.

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You can find her giving random puns, a heartfelt scripture, or secretly asking you how your day was and offering awesome advice and solace when no one is looking. She also has knack for being very in the zone and not paying attention until you say her name. So you can be talking right to her and having the most in depth conversation or question and then she pops up

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and says where you talking to me. And you have to start all over again. But please don’t get this twisted because we called her name, she was simply replying to her name. She seriously heard nothing and you really do have to explain the whole situation and she was just glad to be brought into the conversation. Much like me, I think we both feel a bit on the edge of the bubble somehow with some of the office conversations as we seem to be in some other world when things happen, so SPHASS like to show up at times dramatically for some of those conversations.

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We well talk more about these moments in depth later. SPHASS’s name also come with scripture and sustainability because is known for having the timeliest proclamations and self penned scriptures and sermons that she shares with us all. They are quite profound. Again I will expound more SPHASS  in the future but let’s meet the rest of my office playmates.

Then you meet the newbie that came before me.

Serendipty Spice is amazing she is always upbeat even when she is sleepy and needs a cup of coffee. She has a very BoHo chic style and is very into fashion creation and art. I was amazed that she created from scratch her own Halloween costume that looked just like Truly Scrumptious the female character below:

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She is also very into the Spice girls and wants to see the perform live all be damned no matter how many are performing it’s her dream.

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Serendipity Spice is so helpful and sees when I am struggling and because I am sitting right beside her gets most of my questions. She also sat in the hot seat right before I did and to me seemed to handle it like a pro. I did not see a crack. She shows me that asking questions is not a weakness which in fact was for me. After a few jobs that made asking questions a horror story I am glad to know that asking questions doesn’t make you look/feel stupid and Serendipity encourages. She runs over like a flash.

She also loves to dance. I mean a song comes on that she knows or loves and she is on it. point and case jingle bells came in and she instantly thought mean girls and busted out with their rendition and we all busted out laughing

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The multi-tasking the also ensues. While also managing to think of the additional providers and additional staff members just because. I have seen it and not to be nosy but simply asking questions and observing because I did not know thinking (the worst) what has happened watching Serendipity bring in flowers and cards for people just because.

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And finally and this is just my home office front staff I spend most of my time with them so I know them better I am taking my time to get to know everyone else. Without ado Mama Huxtable is up. She is a firm sweet person but just do what she asks. She is not overbearing she is not super lovely dovey. These things are not needed in an office and it is much appreciated. She is funny as hell. But she will give you a dose of truth.

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She keeps her provider on a tight a ship as possible and he is not able to move without her because she is his backbone. She is also the glue of our little ship. She can train give a different perspective on something you know you have asked 10 times and not snatch your head off and throw it across the office.

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She has NEVER said this but in my mind I am I believe after a question I have asked for the millionth time I would have had that thought!

She can has to listen to long winded patients, deceitful ppl, and panicked indivdials day in and day out and stays fairly calm even as I bombard her with a million Mama Huxtable questions about how to do this and that since I am still learning. I would just throw me away by now.

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She is the gatekeeper to her provider and they know it and that power calls for some HILARIOUS moments. She is not only firm here but those patients get extra nice after some not all were extra rude to us trying to get to her. So we let her know this too. Sometimes they are rude because she has already instructed us to tell them something and they insist on getting to her and we just say what she stated and they are salty because they are pouting. Adults who play with Mama Huxtable and don’t follow the rules are put you in time out for not following the rules will not win. It is funny when they think they will go around her to one of us though.

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Game Over her word is FINAL!

Anywho this team is awesome and I would not change it! They are supportive and helpful and help me learn and make this office a great place for everyone. The other staff, providers, and patients love them.

They have even helped me in a semi-crisis; so it’s not just when the patients have a crisis. We all have our moments. I have dealt with crisis situations at work and then one day just after a crisis situation I actually had a semi health concern that shook me and I broke down mentally myself and they all were very supportive. I was a bit embarrassed. but they were all solid when I was vulnerable. I was so glad. I was even more glad to still have my job after having to leave early. During that whole episode I was at work every day except missing the 90 minutes that day and 30 minutes days later for samples for the doctor. I had a bad virus that ripped through me for just over 10 days and I lost 14lbs in the process.

I can truly say that at this point they are growing on me.

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I have at least 2 more that sit at the front 2 more that are at this office that help at the front with me and work closely with us that I want to speak about but that will be another post. Until next time.

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Thymectomy Part 3: Recovery

The worst part of recovery was changing the bandages. I have sensitivity to tape and prednisone causes thin skin and to top it all off  my bandages were in awkward areas under my breast and lower armpit area. So yes it tore my skin and causing this to be more complicated that it already was after a hard surgery and of course it was still tender.

What I was not ready for was the nerve pain and the nerve damage though I was warned about the nerve damage and possible loss o sensation. I could have dealt with a bit more of this with all the bandage changing. However, the nerve pain was almost unbearable at first. It would be sharp shooting pains and it felt worse than knives cutting into my skins. I was then put on 300mg of Gabapentin 3 times a day. I was unaware this was going to make me sleepy. And yet I was still driving but had no idea why I felt a bit off. My doctor was shocked I had made it to the follow up appointment with that dosage. However, Since I was healing well and I do not like to be on an medication long and they were taking the stitches out about 10 days later I asked to be taken of the Gabapentin since my family make-up has a history of addiction. I also called my neurologist and asked her opinion. My neurologist was very irritated that I was placed on such a high dosage and immediately tapered me down before the hospital doctor could even respond. Every time they mess with my meds my Neurologist are like:

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But then the absolute worst for me was the first time I saw it and felt t myself with gloves and how butchered I felt. The holes literally holes in my skin that took months to heal. I literally had to stick my finger just inside one of them daily to pack it with gauze and each day I broke down just a bit. I know it is never as bad as it seems and I am not vain it was just the shock. I just broke down. I thought that was the end of it all though once I healed physically. that’s it.

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Or so I thought

But then started new pains like the numbness that has still not gone away a year later in some parts of my armpit and upper back. And the mental anguish that came with the fact that my MG is resistant to a thymectomy and quite aggressive and requires something more that such a surgery since I never had a thymoma and I was just reaching for anything since at the time they had nothing else. I went through such a process for nothing it seems.

Unfortunately it also seems they wouldn’t let me go through to the phases I get to go through now unless I had a thymectomy to prove how resistant my MG is. That is both a shame and a gift to be one the other side. I just pray that in the future others do not have to go so far if they don’t have a thymoma and they can see beforehand that if they are already so resistant that perhaps just trying the noninvasive treatments first may help. I was going to try Rituximab but in the year since we talked about it an even newer medication with nearly no side effects and less time from work has come out and better results.

I will be doing Eculizumab in the near year. Look for my next post to talk about the benefits of both.

A brighter Future

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Thymectomy day 2 They surgery date

Surgery day was filled with emotion as usual and worry about body order as you have to wash with the most extreme hospital surgical scrub several times the night before to get all body oils ever.
Your body is dry and if you sweat like me from stress you are very concerned about this; however, with as cold as it is in there (for this very reason I quickly put this out of my mind.
You are allowed when you have MG to take your MG meds and they ever tell you not to you are with the wrong specialist and you WILL be sorry as I have learned at my very first surgery every years ago. You will have an exacerbation and they will have to wait hours to begin you surgery after they give you those very same meds.
So ignore ANY doc who tells you not to take them before (at least when it comes to your mestinon type medications). However, this day and age they have since learned their lessons. 5 years ago I had doctors fumbling. My specialists since then have told me what I am telling you (insert funny pic)

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I did not want my mom to leave me and just before she did I sent texts to everyone letting them know I was about to go in after they gave me the sedative (BIG mistake). it was actually something to calm me down before the sedative but I could not see straight or think straight and my texts when sideways quick. I sent the first short ans sweet then the second a few spelling errors. Why I did not mass text I will never know. Then the last was to my boyfriend Philly. and it came out as follows:

Gloo ppl_me n muh t ongue hol my eyes r warpee

If you can interpret this go for it. He still laughs and sends it to me every so often as it he locked the text just so it never goes away. Never going to live this down.

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I believe it was trying to say something like my feels feel funny or I love you or something because I forgot the  love you I am going into surgery now part. However; my mom had me covered on this. Everyone knew this as it was the biggest surgery of my life and they could contact my mom on updates.
Then I was rolled back, they asked me a few questions about my favorite music to calm me as they set up because you know it wasn’t for me as I was going to be sleep, then they gave me a sedative to calm me as they put in the arterial blood line to get my heart rate as I slept. No blood pressure cuff for this surgery. Then I was put out. I woke up in the Thoracic ICU (TICU) and then my parents were there. I was happy for that. But the Pain was there too and OMG. I had NEVER in my life had such pain. It was indeed the worst pain ever like they had broken my ribs. Because in fact everything near them was bruised since they went in near them both on the side and near the sternum through the side. I could not express this feeling enough.

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I was given a squeeze pillow shaped like a heart like the heart surgery patients since it was like open heart surgery but I got to have mine through the side of my chest with the Da Vinci robot instead of through the middle of my chest.
I had a chest tube draining liquid out of my chest hanging from the side.
I felt like Frankenstein’s monster.
I was so upset. You never realize how many muscles need the chest until you don’t want to use them. I could not breathe deeply, cry, cough, which from the surgery you needed too to get the fluid out, I could not yawn, laugh, yell, turn, and walk, far… what’s that!?! I did not even want to poop. I was so scared it would not heal. Then when my parents said they were leaving I cried involuntarily.

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The tears just popped right out my eyes. (they just started again as I wrote this part). I relieve this every time I write but it’s necessary for people who choose this who do not have a thymoma but hope this may improve their MG.

Outside of coughing one of the worst moments when the one time and it ONLY happened once to remember; a nurse helped me to my chair to sit for a bit to and change my linens on day 2. She finished and forgot to put my call bell back near me and I needed to use the bathroom and though I had a catheter it was not a catheter moment and I was in pain on top of that. I was in bad shape. I tried to call for help and did not have enough wind I found. I could not even really get to my regular level I just started crying. Luckily, other med supplies were near my area because the hospital never has space and another nurse saw me and I asked for help and they were a bit indifferent and help me get on a bedside and get my call bell. I felt so thankful, embarrassed, and exhausted. I went to bed not long after.

You stay in ICU until your vitals stabilize and they can find a room for you.
This took 2 days for me. They were packed.
Keeping your pain in Check was VERY hard you had to stay AHEAD of it before it creeped up, there was no, well maybe it will subside. Every thing was on a scale of 1-10. You had to not let it get above 4 because by the time they were able to get back to you even if it was 10 minutes later mine shot up to an 8. I got smacked often with pain like well like this:

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No but seriously that was more like the 4

The 8 was like a ghost was doing this to my ribs:

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And my lucky day before leaving I hit an 11 finally and they almost kept me for additionally days because it took over 3 that time hours to get the pain to come down fearing infection and even a stroke in my neck and left arm.  that felt like:

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I didn’t even see it coming

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I had never experienced anything like this. Even with the normal encounters during this visit it only took about 2-3 hours for the pain to subside. Each time the nurses would work mercifully trying to help me. Nurses are awesome. I tried to do so much on my own and for once during a hospital stay I could not and they did not want me to.

They kept making me lay down and would only let me walk on my therapy walks or to the bathroom. I was embarrassed to ask to get help to be bathed and groomed. I am so used to being independent. When I finally got the tube out I was happy but I was far from recovered little did I know. Mentally and physically.

Part Three WILL be here tomorrow!

My Hiatus Before Continuing….

I would love to just continue where I left off in my last story but I have that seems a bit crazy if any of you follow me and have wondered where in the heck I have been. Also I owe you a big apology. I apologize! I am back and glad to be in a better head space. To sum it up I went on a horrible depressive stance for the last year. I was terribly lost.

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A divorce, losing a job that I thought somehow I could find a career with even if not with that company, and then losing my home was just more than I could bear, then the catalyst was the biggest surgery of my life that did not change anything for me. It opened my eyes and perhaps the eyes and it also caused my team of professionals to become more blunt with me possibly out of pure sympathy and not so much out empathy anymore. They now are now not just saying the hopeful things and pumping me full of hope like before the surgery which we all need but they are actually finding more ground breaking method that are less invasive and more aggressive that have more research and coming to me with that and letting me decide based on that first.

They saw how broken I had become and now they know how resistant and aggressive my MG & migraines and other symptoms are. They have now offered me and have come up with a few solutions. I am so thrilled and this truly gives me so much hope and delight.

Now back to our regularly scheduled program

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