Saturday, 30 March 2013

Post-op Day 4

I'm able to put more weight on my leg as time goes on, tomorrow I think i'll be able to walk with just one crutch. While my knee hasn't been more painful, it has felt more inflamed today. I've spent most of the day reading A Game of Thrones. I'll likely finish it off tomorrow. I really need to start working on my projects and tutorials >.>...

My leg with an icepack, 
the bandages are already starting to look ragged

The lovely easter basket and chocolate bunnies my MiL left us :)
You may notice that both the bunnies already have their ears eaten...

Friday, 29 March 2013

Post-op Day 3

It's been a long day. Bran, Milo, and I are house sitting for my MiL. This also includes watching after the adorable old shar pei MiL adopted, he's no trouble really but it's all extra work for Bran!

I've been extraordinarily tired today. I took a little nap this morning and i've just been resting most of the day (other than packing up a little and getting in and out of the car). Pain levels are ok, though the fibro pain is acting up a bit. I feel like my hips and shoulders are bruised, even though they aren't at all.

I've also started reading A Game of Thrones, it's following the series so far, but I like having all the extra details :).

Here is a pic of my leg, this time on a different couch!

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Post-op Day 2

I was on my own today. Not my favorite. I'm feeling much more tired and ended up taking a three hour nap in the middle of the day. Though on a good note, I was able to take a shower (on my little stool) without getting the bandage wet. It's nice to have clean hair :). I've been putting a bit of weight on my leg now as well, I haven't had any endone today so I can see exactly how much pain i'm in. Keeping in mind i'm on slow release panadol, but it's pretty bearable.  I'll take some endone tonight to help with sleep but I should be able to go without it soon. Took the brace off today as well, honestly I think it was more cumbersome than helpful to begin with. My wrists and shoulders are sore though...Here are some pictures!

My leg without the brace, you can see crutches in the background

I kept water and ice packs in an insulated bag next to the couch, handy!

Milo keeping watch, he isn't impressed with my photography skills

Little stool with non-slip spots on it, handy for couch-side table and showering

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Post-op Day 1

I am now 29 hours post op. How did it go? Quite well as far as I can tell! I didn't actually get the chance to talk to the surgeon again, only the rather cute resident doctor, but from what I gather it all went as expected. I have a big brace that i'm to wear until tomorrow afternoon (48 hours post-op) and lots of bandages i'm to leave on for a week, then see my GP and have her take them off. In two weeks I have the follow up with the surgeon (or maybe the resident again? Who knows..). 

Pain hasn't been too bad, i've been taking panadol osteo and the occasional endone. Which it is about time to take again. My throat is a bit sore from the tube they stick down it during the operation  but otherwise i'm pretty ok. I had to wheel and deal a bit to get to go home, the surgeon wanted me to stay overnight because he thought I would be dealing with intense pain. After working with the physios though they thought I could go home, and so I did! Just to let you know, it's really hard going up stairs using crutches! I can start putting a little bit of weight on my right leg tomorrow, though i'll likely still have to use crutches for a little while. 

My husband has been taking great care of me <3 he is so lovely :).

So here are some pictures I took over the past day, the leg pictures look really weird since they were taken from a laying down position >.> my feet look disproportionately small..

Name tag and the edge of my lovely hospital gown

My unstyled hair and scarf keeping me warm

 Ted covered left foot and right leg in brace + wrapping

 It took them a few times to get a suitable vein >.>

Leg today, with my tropical shorts :)
P.S. don't you love my sandal tan lines? XD

Monday, 25 March 2013

Pre-op Consultation

Tomorrow is surgery day! I had the pre-surgery consultation today, it seems like i'm likely to have to stay overnight :(. If I somehow get to be first in line for surgery, they may let me go home, but it's unlikely. So i've gotten a few books together and put a movie on my iphone, hopefully that'll get me through the wait (since they want me there at 6:30 am, despite that i'm not first in line) and to keep from being bored if I need to stay overnight. I'll keep all four of you that follow me up to date on how it goes ;).

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Queenies Tea House

Today was the day! The day I celebrated my birthday with my family here in Oz :). Bran, my MiL, SiL and I went out to morning tea at Queenies. It was lovely to spend some time together, and once agin Queenies was top notch. My MiL and I both got regal high teas while SiL and Bran preferred bacon egg pies. There was even leftover treats that we took home and had for afternoon tea ;). Over all a lovely day. Tomorrow is the pre-op consultation where I will learn my fate. Not looking forward to it so much, but it must be done. I'll also try to get in and see my GP.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Dog Park Fun

Quiet day at home. Hip/back is still not awesome, but I was able to go for a good walk with Bran and Milo to the dog park. I love watching Milo run around and roll in the grass :) he made friends with a rather chatty dalmatian. We have my birthday high tea tomorrow with MiL and SiL.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Quiet Day of Rest

Quiet day at home. Hip/back pain is back up to a 5 :( probably need to up lyrica? I'm not sure if my GP will want that during recovery from the knee surgery though. Hopefully I can get in to see her. I've been choosing movies to watch during recovery as well :) hopefully Bran will like them or i'll be watching them on the compy.

Speaking of Bran, he had an interview yesterday that he wasn't too confidant about but the recruter e-mailed him saying it went really well! The office is a bit closer to us and apparently pretty casual. We'll see what comes of it :).

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Herbs and the Future

I'm pretty boring today. I had a nice long conversation with my sisters and father back home, then went to class. 

Class was fun though, we were talking about teas vs infusions vs decoction and succus. Here is the difference; a tea is steeping a bit of dried or fresh herb in just boiled water for about three to five minutes, an infusion is steeping a medicinal amount of herbs in water (1:20 herb to water by weight) in boiled water for 10-30 minutes, and a decoction is boiling an herb for a set period of time. On the other hand, a succus is basically juicing an herb and adding alcohol as a preservative. So today we made an infusion of chamomile, a decoction of different spices (which was basically chai tea, mmmm ;) ) and two different succi, one garlic and one lemon. They are going to trial the succi next week when i'll be home recovering, but it's great stuff to learn about! Plus i'm not too sad about missing raw garlic mixed with alcohol thats been sitting around for a week ;). 

We also had a presentation by a representative from The Herbal Extract Company of Australia. We compared their herbal extracts vs the Mediherb extracts we use in class and in clinic. Keep in mind these are both top of the line medicinal herbal extracts, but I liked the Herbal Extract Company's more. They seemed to be closer to the herb and had less of an alcohol taste, but maybe that is just my preference. I hope to someday be able to make my own herbal extracts to use in my own practice :). 

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Peanut Butter Pie and Broccoli Soup

Today I made something delicious. Any day I say that must be pretty good, right? My creation today is a delicious peanut butter pie, minus the crust as we had no cookies and I didn't feel like making a crust. I used the recipe here.

Peanut Butter Pie Minus Crust

It turned out lovely and creamy. I only made half the recipe and less of the chocolate topping as I only had a bit of chocolate, which is another reason why it is in ramekins. It is super quick to whip up too! I'll definitely be making this again :).

My husband Bran, on the other hand, made a delicious cheesy broccoli soup! I think this is the first soup he has made, and he did a great job :). The recipe is sort of a mash up of different recipes i've read, so it's sort of original? It makes a lot of soup <3 some for the freezer I think! I'll leave it here for anyone who is interested. 

Broccoli soup

1 large onion
2 cloves garlic
4 potatoes (5-6 small)
1 liter Stock
2 heads broccoli
2 cups shredded cheddar
1-2 cups Milk (cream, cream cheese, etc.)
Olive oil/butter 
Salt and pepper

Dice onion,  fry at the bottom of a 5 lt pot and until browned using butter or olive oil. Add garlic and stir until browned. C
hop up cleaned potatoes into 1 inch cubes, a
dd potatoes and stir for 30 seconds. Add stock, bring to a boil then cover and set on low heat.

Preheat oven to 150 C. Wash broccoli well. Chop up, including broccoli stems. Place on cookie sheet and toss with a bit of oil. Cook in oven until browned, about 20 minutes.

Add broccoli to soup once browned. Turn off burner. Add milk. Make sure soup is not too hot and add cheddar, mix until melted.

Blend with immersion blender until at the desired texture (or mash with potato masher and have it chunky). Add salt and pepper to taste.

This time Bran used some cream in place of some of the milk. It would also be good using cream cheese or sour cream, probably yogurt would be alright. You could use veggie stock and soy milk, ignoring the cheese, to make it vegan. Such variations! 

In other news, i'm nervous about the upcoming surgery. I'm not looking forward to the recovery mostly, but i'm so glad Bran was able to get a few days off with such short notice. Plus he has friday and monday off to celebrate good friday and easter (not that we celebrate either...maybe celebrate a late Mabon?), so there is some extra time that he'll be around to help me out. Mostly i'm concerned about stairs, as we live on the first floor. I'm pretty sure they have you on crutches for about the first five days, so I think i'll just have to take it nice and easy. 

My R hip has been a bit painful today, otherwise i'm alright. No mood swings. 

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Good News and Annoying Symptoms

Good news everybody! I finally have my knee surgery date! It's in a week!? It's in a week from this morning. Someone else had to cancel and apparently I was the first person who was free to take their place. This is both good and bad news. Good because I really would like my knee to not be causing constant pain and going off track at random times. Bad because i'll likely miss a week of school (or more) and have to do painful physiotherapy for at least six weeks. But still...after that it should be all good!

The surgery i'm getting is called a lateral release. Thats where they go in with small incisions and a camera and snip some connective tissue that is too tight and pulling the kneecap off center. The connective tissue will heal and be less tight and the physiotherapy ensures your muscles help hold the kneecap in place. It's an outpatient procedure, so hopefully i'll be able to go home the same day.

I'm hoping over the week to stock up my freezer with some meals so Bran wont have to do all the cooking (and i'll have something to eat when he is at work and i'm recovering). I'm thinking easy things like soups, especially since we don't have much freezer room. Maybe some french toast...

In other news, annoying mood swings today. Had an anxiety attack, which was stopped with the help of some passion flower extract. Then after I got home from class my head felt achey and was getting symptoms similar to when I came off cymbalta. It might be because i'm titrating off of amitriptyline, if I recall it has a longer half life so maybe i'm only getting the discontinuation symptoms now?

Pain in hip was up a bit, maybe 3/4.

Monday, 18 March 2013


Blah. Just feeling a bit blah. Pain is down though, so thats good! But just blah. Goodnight.

Saturday, 16 March 2013


Quiet day at home. Now much to update on. Pain is still down to a 2/3 so i'm a happy camper. I do feel like I look more bloated, but maybe thats just me... I've been tired today as well. So now i'm off to bed.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Haircut and Tea

I've had a great day! First, my pain levels are down to a 2-3, which is fantastic as i'm usually at at 5-6 and lately often a 7.

Second, I finally got my hair cut! The hair stylist was fantastic and a lovely person. I got my hair cut at The Ruby Room in Nundah, if anyone wants to know. They gave me coffee and a head massage as well as a fantastic cut. Plus she actually explained how to style my new haircut, which sometimes they neglect to do. So here is my new 'do:

Haircut <3

Third, I had a delicious afternoon tea at Queenies Tea House, which I will also be going to with Bran, SiL, and MiL next weekend for a high tea! They were also lovely, I had a wonderful sticky date pudding and some tea which I don't remember the name of but was also good!

I then (fourthly) went to my osteopath to get some work done, and everyone in the place complemented my new haircut :) it's always nice to get complements.

So at this point i'm lookin' good, nicely fed, and feeling good.

Now i'm having Red Rooster (it's a fast food place that serves chicken) and snuggling with my hubby :). Nice way to end a great day! I've fluffed up my hair a bit, and i'm so looking forward to playing with it and my new styling cream. 

Oh, and it's my birthday <3

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Manufacturing Class and Lyrica

So this is my 366th post! That mean's i've written (all together) a year's worth of posts. Pretty exciting.

Anyway, Lyrica is pretty heavy duty. I woke up in a complete fog. It was like walking in a fun house most of the day. It cleared up later, around 2 pm, so I was able to attend class. This is at 75 mg twice daily mind you, so i'm starting out a bit heavier than others i've read about (who started at 50 mg once daily). I think i'll be alright though. As I said, I made it through class and tomorrow is a day off then the weekend so i'll have some time to adjust. I'm also titrating off amitriptyline, though I don't think the fogginess was from that.

In other news, I had a really great time at class! We were learning about herbal tablets and capsules. We actually made some tablets (although they are wet, and would need to be dried out) :D. It's amazing how easy they were to make, but granted we had medical grade herbs in class. If we were making it for clients we would need to be much more careful about measuring and whatnot. Still, it was fun :).

Pain level was down today, maybe only a 2 or 3. Whether that is due to lyrica or just a good day i'm not sure. I'm getting a hair cut tomorrow :) quite excited for it.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

48 Hours Later

It's been a long 48 hours. Monday I was feeling pretty good, until the evening when my back hurt so much I had trouble sleeping and woke up a lot. Tuesday my back spasmed horribly, and more of my leg went numb (i've had a numb stripe since the microdiscectomy). ER, three crying fits, and a few hours later i'm sent home and told to see my gp and start some nerve pain meds. So thats what I do. I missed class again today (which I HATE doing) to see my gp (and have another crying fit >.>) and get a script for Lyrica.

I also got a script for sertraline. Because i'm not coping and my anxiety is up so high that i'm apparently crying infront of every health practitioner I come across. I'm not particularly proud of this...the crying or the sertraline...but I can't keep going like this, with either the pain or the emotions about the pain. I've used sertraline in the past with success, so i'm hoping it'll help carry me through this rough patch. 

So now i'm starting up a small dose of Lyrica and titrating down the amitriptyline before adding sertraline in 8 days or so. It isn't going to be a fun 8 days or so. I've already given warning to my husband. But i'm hoping this will help. I'm just so tired of this.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Class, Cooking, and Coconut

Back to class today! I missed my somewhat odd human bio class :). My back held up pretty well, it's feeling a bit sore now but i'm heading to bed soon. I'm trying to get back into the groove of things, I was able to do a few chores around the house and bring Milo for a little walk before class. I'll try and keep up the tempo tomorrow, though I do feel like i'm catching a cold or something.

Bran made a really yummy stuffed chicken breast for dinner :) he's becoming quite the cook! I like trading off cooking dinner and dishes (one cooks, the other does dishes), I think it's working out well. I don't need to worry about having to make dinner late at night, Bran is learning to cook new things, and we are trading off doing one of our least favorite jobs (dishes) it's a win-win!

On the other hand, I think i'm sensitive to coconut. I've used coconut oil once before as a hair mask, but it ended up smelling really bad. 'Ok, the oil must have gone off' I though, so I had no worries about putting some relatively new, definitely clean smelling coconut oil on my face last night. After maybe an hour it started to smell. Ok, maybe it's releasing toxins? Or maybe my body chemistry just doesn't work with it? So I rinsed off as much as I could. This morning I woke up to slightly inflamed skin, new break outs and blotchy cheeks. Yeah, not liking it so much. I've also gotten a sore throat from eating raw deserts made with a lot of coconut oil. Apparently I don't learn very quickly >.>.

Sunday, 10 March 2013


Quiet day at home. I'm looking forward to going back to class tomorrow :). I've decided to try using coconut oil on my face. It's meant to help clear up all sorts of problems. The skin on my face feels quite nice. I'll see how it turns out tomorrow. My back is feeling back to it's normal level of pain, I was able to go on a walk but got quite fatigued after about 20 minutes.

I also made a banana cake. It turned out alright, though I think I like my better-banana-bread more.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Confusing, but OK

I've had a bit of an up and down day. Pain-wise i'm feeling just about back to my normal level of back pain (which is to say, annoying and not normal, but nor so horrific that I need to take narcotics). I'm not sure what helped in this...or if my body was just like 'eh, that was fun, back to normal now'. It's something i'll have to talk to my doctor about.

I was able to do my normal grocery shop with my lovely MiL, but I ended up getting an ocular migraine. It isn't so much fun having the world tip to either side and get fuzzy in patches. I only had a bit of a headache on the right side, it was more the visual disturbances. Not sure what triggered that. I've had more dairy than normal? My gut is telling me it's unhappy. I'm not sure why it's fine sometimes and unhappy other times. Crazy body.

So I was feeling unhappy at that point, but I was ok. The migraine subsided and Bran went out to see his friends and watch footy. I'm glad he wasn't watching it here ;). Nah, i'm happy he had his 'man time' out with his friends. I took this opportunity to mope around, watch an episode of glee, be more mopey, then finish a paining. There is something about painting, listing to music and singing like a scalded cat that is so cathartic XD. I now have another painting I can hang on our walls, started a new one, and felt much better for it. Then I cleaned the stove and watched a happy sappy movie.

So I end on a good note, feeling alright in body and mind. Milo is feeling much better too btw. His paw is still a bit pink but the inflammation is gone and the hair is growing back between his toes.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Break in the Storm

Feeling tired. Today my levels were significantly down, thankfully. I'm not sure why...the only differenced are that I laid down more yesterday and I actually took my panadol osteo at 6 am this morning. Whatever it is, i'm thankful. I had a nice chat with my counsellor as well. She called me rather than have me go in, as it's still difficult to walk. She thought it was good that I was able to make the connection between the childhood trama and my fears about getting worse. I'm thankful to have her as a resource. I'm hopeful that i'll be well enough to go back to school this week.

Thursday, 7 March 2013


I had a bit of a break down today. I woke up in a lot of pain and quite stiff. To the point where it took me an hour before I could kneel down and feed Milo. Even then, I ended up dropping his food and had to clean it up (while crying because it was so painful!).

I never wanted to end up at a point where I would need someone to help me with daily living tasks (bathing, feeding, using the toilet, etc,) but today I was almost there. I had trouble washing my hair yesterday, today I could barely clean myself. It's a hard thing to think about, i'm only 23! I don't want to have to have someone help me clean myself! It's bad enough that I need Bran to help out with so much else, but I will not ask him to help me take care of myself in that way. I never want to have to ask him to. I don't want to get to that point!

I don't know what i'm going to do if I get any worse...

I remember working as a nurse's aide, helping others with their daily living task. They were the elderly or the severely impaired. I had no problem helping them, but I am so sensitive about other people touching me. I think that's what it might come down to. I don't know if i've come out and said this, but I was sexually abused as a young child. It has impacted me in ways i'm still sorting through today, but i'm thinking this may be one of them. I don't want to lose control of my body ever again. It's beyond the embarrassment of having someone else clean me, I know they don't care what my body looks like. It's that I don't have control over my body. I'm figuring this out as i'm typing this, so sorry if it's a bit repetitive.

I think this is something i'll need to talk over with my counsellor.

Milo's paw is looking much better BTW.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Some Good News!

Another day at home.

But on a light note.......I GOT A TICKET TO SEE JOSH GROBAN!!!!!

I'm ridiculously excited about this :D. It's kept me happy through today, where I have experience some of the worst pain i've ever had. And this is while on endone! Milo's paw is looking much better. Also tomorrow has his work review. We are looking for it to be really good so he can ask for a raise :) I think he'll get it, it would be so helpful for us and he has worked so hard.

And I got a Josh Groban ticket. I have to wait almost two month! What agony ;)

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Puppy Paws

I had another day at home today. Milo really needed to go to the vet as his paw was not looking good. We did go (after wrapping his paw in a sock and a plastic baggie) and he is to take antibiotics for three weeks. Poor thing :(. But he was happy enough to get out for a walk and get two extra spoons of peanut butter (with pills secretly hidden inside). We've both been resting for the rest of the day. I took my hard won endone, while it help with the pain only a little it does also make me foggy brained (and thus think about the pain less). I'm up to the therapeutic dose of amitriptyline now, so i'll give it a week or two and see how we go.

Likely i'll stay home and rest for the rest of the week, which means i'll be missing class :(. Not my favourite thing, as these classes are quite important, but I need to do what is best for me and sitting on those horrible chairs for three hours a day isn't doing me any favours.

We also found out that our neighbours (yes, the ones we've had problems with) have sold their unit! Good for them :) hopefully they move to a nice house away from here. Though I wonder what the new owners are like.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Being Thankful

Today was a not-so-much-fun day. I woke up with horrible back/sciatic pain. Really the worst i've had since I hurt my back working. Just aching, shooting, deep pain. Luckily, I already had a GP appointment. She was really great with everything, she think Lyrica will be the thing to help but I want to get up to the therapeutic dose of amitriptyline before I try anything else. She gave me some endone to get me through the worst days, with warnings not to get too attached. Which I wont. Because I hate the cloudy head feeling I get on anything heavier than 1 panadeine forte.

After a loooong travel back and a arduously slow hobble back to the apartment, I open up my new bag of trick to find that the pharmacist forgot the endone. W.T.F. After a hissy fit, I call them and of course there is a process to go through since it is a restricted drug (being a stronger opiate). After some time and a few calls the pharmacist says that he can't see on the security tape whether they did or did not give it to me, but as they know me he will drop it off at my apartment tonight. Really? Tonight? Yup. Returns my faith in humanity :). Thank you nice pharmacist. About an hour later I get my endone hand delivered to my door with apologies.

I'm so thankful to have people on my side, believing that i'm telling the truth. I'm so thankful to have people looking out for me :).

Milo, on the other hand, still had a sore paw. We are going to the vet tomorrow.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Puppies and Cakes

Milo's paw continues to look bad :( we are doing salt water soaks. If it's not looking at least a bit better tomorrow i'll bring him to the vet (who is luckily just down the road!). Now it's time for Downton Abbey :).

P.S. I made cupcakes :D I used this recipe that I found from Down to Earth. I also halved the sugar and used cream cheese frosting left over from valentines day (kept in the freezer). They came out quite lovely!

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Again and Again

Still in a bit of pain, but much improved from yesterday. I was able to go shopping with only a little trouble. Milo's paw is still irritated, we've used a salt water bath on it to try and help it clear up. It's raining again.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Rough Stuff

It's been a rough day. I woke up thinking I heard Milo whimpering, so of course I sat straight up (scaring him in the process) hurting my back. He was fine, it was actually a bird calling that I heard. But here I was in a lot of pain.

Thankfully I already had an appointment with the osteopath, so after spending most of the day laying on the couch in horrible pain and doing the 20 minute (usually 10) walk down to their office I was offered some relief. Relief in the form of more pain as the osteopath pushed against knots in my back and manipulated bits and bobs, but goodness did it help! I feel about 70% better than I did this morning. Still not awesome, I wouldn't go for a long walk, but I might be able to manage grocery shopping tomorrow.

Milo has been licking one of his feet again. Just his back left, so I don't think it's an allergic reaction, but it's worrying none the less :( poor thing is a bit OCD about it. He is back to wearing a sock.

Upping amitriptyline to 60 mg.