Tetanus Journal part 2

November 1, 2004 (Monday): Hospital put me down so bad yesterday. I explained some to Jill (the therapist I had been seeing through the Department of Vocational Rehab and Alan Graham) by email last night when I was afraid to go to sleep because of the contraction in my thigh yesterday a.m. Hand held phone battery dead. Today, while there’s significant sharp pain in my thigh, the contraction thing which is so much more severe didn’t happen. Corrine came over because she couldn’t reach me by phone. I’d forgotten to connect the cord phone after I took the hand held to recharge. I told her that I can take bigger steps now. She asked, “Full sized ones?” I said no, not at all. And I said I still can’t step over the phone cord where it’s raised a few inches from the floor. I told her about the ER visit and how they never even touched my toe. I showed her the crock pot I’ve been using to soak my foot so the water can be warm. I thanked her for Kathleen from Home Instead. I told her that I’d tried to put the remaining summonses together but that I couldn’t stand long enough to organize them. I showed her the returns from the summonses that Sara delivered, and I explained what still needs to be done.

November 2, 2004 (Tuesday): Open and read ballot; need number 2 pencil. Put number 2 pencils on my shopping list for Kathleen. Kathleen comes, is great as usual. She goes to bank and Wal*Mart. Wal*Mart is out of CDs for developed film. She does bring back B12 needles. Then she takes ballot to county clerk and 3 returns to file at district court. B12 shot. Watch voting results till early a.m. I don’t want to go to sleep for fear of the contractions in my right thigh. Muscles in thigh are really lumpy/hard and are sore to the touch. Eat raw garlic (Kathleen bought it) hoping it works like antibiotic on toe.

November 3, 2004 (Wednesday): intense pain in right thigh, early a.m. wakes me. It’s very scary because I know I can’t go to ER because they said I couldn’t come back. While the pain is very bad, it isn’t actually that of a contraction. I keep calming myself so the contractions don’t happen.

Get a couple more hours sleep. Soak my foot a total of a little over 2 hours. Start taking arnica to see if that helps muscles stop being so tight. Take less Ledum because there seems to be improvement… eat raw garlic… pretty intense. B12 shot.

November 4, 2004 (Thursday): pain in thigh woke me early a.m. again, but it wasn’t a contraction. After awhile got more sleep. When I got up, later, I could fill the Brita pitcher without the weight making my right back muscles feel like they would start contracting. Decide to try going down to 2 Ibuprofen every 8 hours, instead of 3. I’ve been worried about the amount of Ibuprofen I’ve been taking… for nearly a month, now.

Bending to change the heat setting on the oil filled radiator didn’t feel like it was stressing my muscles this morning. My voice is consistently stronger today, and my diaphragm muscles don’t feel as tight. Eat garlic with bologna and american cheese slices. Not quite so intense; eat several cloves. By 7:30 p.m. I’m feeling worse, more like last week. I’m missing the extra Ibuprofen and decide I will take three to get me through the night. I wonder if I can make it till 11:30.

Despite feeling bad, I soaked my foot for an hour this evening. Taking arnica every 6 hours; Ledum every 12 hours.

November 5, 2004 (Friday): red lines just as prominent in the a.m. as yesterday a.m. Pain in thigh intermittent, intense, like thigh is being shot with broken glass. Try vitamin B12 shot in thigh, feels weird because of numbness  — when I pinch thigh to make thicker place to give shot, thigh feels really foreign. Several hours later, early evening, try a second shot. Ate garlic during the day. Also took a lot of vitamin C — I’ve been forgetting to record that… about a dozen 500 mg two or three times a day. Kathleen got another huge bottle on Tuesday. Go to Ledum and arnica every 8 hours, but not on the same hour. Tightening of muscles doesn’t seem to happen quite as quickly. Feel I should work on my web pages but doing so causes my muscles to tighten badly so that there begins to be pain. Soak foot… red lines decreased by soaking.

November 6, 2004 (Saturday): good telly day on channel 5. Easier to just be in bed when there are interesting things to watch: home and cooking shows. From having joined health forums I’m beginning to understand that people with fibromyalgia have wide spread pain… and what I have is most often the tightening that I know from the day I didn’t give in to it and it turned into an appendix feeling pain, I can’t ignore… that was October 5.

Realize I should find better ways of describing the tightening, and not be calling it pain, even though I realize it is the beginning of the appendix type pain, but only if I try to ignore the stiffening. Also the longer I ignore the stiffening, the longer it takes to recover to the point I was before it started, but not in the sense of one minute equals one minute, more like 5 seconds equals 10 minutes…

Feel like thigh is a little better. Do two B12 shots again. Thigh still feels really foreign when I touch it because it’s so numb and also lumpy feeling, tight. My other tight muscles don’t seem to feel lumpy.

Arnica, ledum, vitamin C, garlic.

November 7, 2004 (Sunday): Talked to Linda. All of a sudden began trembling. Said I had to go; took ages for the trembling to stop. I think it was from pushing myself after I’d gotten tired — even something as simple as just talking is exhausting.

November 8, 2004 (Monday): pain in thigh less intense. Soak foot and put wet, warm Epsom salt towel on thigh. Get radiator half way to bathroom w/shower; but then finishing making cup of coffee makes back muscles really tight — I press on them to make them feel better. While I was soaking my foot, I thought of lots of things I need to do, but now I can’t remember. It takes sooo much time to soak my foot, and rest and soak my foot. After I finish it seems like there’s less evidence of infection, but hours later or next day, it looks red and it’s painful if I press where it’s red.

By 1:30 p.m. I’ve managed to move the radiator all the way into the bathroom. It took three applications of time and effort, and the last time I made myself finish even though my muscles were getting not only tight but painful in the way the major pain that started that day when I went to the sheriffs and pushed myself too hard. So now I’ll have to rest in order to be able to stand long enough to take a shower.

November 9, 2004 (Tuesday): red lines going down toe now. Show them to Kathleen, can she see them? She says yes. Over night, use cotton wool compress ( 1/2 cup Epsom salts and 1/2 cup hot water) on my toe with ThermaCare heating things (that Kathleen bought) to keep it warm, with a sock to hold it in place.

November 10, 2004 (Wednesday): lines have receded; muscle pain takes longer to start after I’m up. I can be up about ten minutes first thing in the morning… then less long after a rest. I only took 2 Ibuprofen early this morning, about 1:00 a.m. and none again till this evening at 8:30 p.m. when my muscles were really uncomfortable when I wanted to get a cup of green tea.

I spent many hours today soaking my foot in the hopes of the red lines going totally away. My toe was painful today when I brushed it, as if something were in it and sticking out, like a splinter. So maybe that’s the infection being drawn out by all the Epsom salt soaking. Will use cotton wool compress ( 1/2 cup Epsom salts and 1/2 cup hot water) on my toe with ThermaCare heating things to keep it warm over night, with a sock to hold it in place.

November 11, 2004 (Thursday): Headache and stiff neck. Neck feels as if I’m getting mumps; wonder if that’s from using less Ibuprofen. Take two Ibuprofen at 8:00 a.m. 12:30 p.m. my neck is still stiff and feeling mump-like. I wish I didn’t have to rely on Epsom salts to get rid of the infection in my toe, if that’s what’s making the redness and red lines.

November 12, 2004 (Friday): Kathleen comes again… idea was to get legal stuff done, but it took me forever to explain things to her, I just could not keep on track and be clear. I said, “We’re doomed,” because not enough got done. But there was no way to change it. Part of problem was that I didn’t plan out today, yesterday. Felt too bad yesterday.

November 13, 2004 (Saturday): good channel 5 t.v. day.

Wonder how much worse I’m going to feel. Look up horoscope to see if I have a death type transit coming up. Luckily, not.

Interesting, day accident happened, horoscope said,

“Your assertive energy and individual expression are challenged by the planet of freedom, rebellion and sudden change. Obviously, this transit calls for lots of flexibility on your part. It could be a very busy time when you feel like the pile of work just never gets done, you don’t have any free time, there’s no respite. You feel restless, tense, in need of a break, but are suppressing those feelings and doggedly persisting in your treadmill. Watch out! This is how accidents happen!

Severely internalized tensions can also result in health issues that require surgery… What the Universe is asking you to do, here, is to confront yourself and recognize your own needs to be individual, to be free, to be able to do the things you really like to do, and to be able to stick up for yourself when necessary. Faceup to your needs and take positive steps to assert them, and this transit can result in very beneficial and creative changes that will make you feel more alive and free than you’ve been in a long time.”

September 30, the first contraction day, was interesting, too. The only transit that day, said,

“This is a long-term pattern indicating a need to consider carefully when and where to go “;full speed ahead” as opposed to cautious planning. You might swing between pushing too hard (and being blocked or frustrated by life or authority figures) versus giving up and not trying. Yet, a middle position allows you to consider carefully what must be done, then put great energy into working within the “rules of the game” to achieve your personal desires.

The key is to identify something you WANT to do that you CAN do — and do it.

Clashes with father or other authorities are possible until you solidly understand and use your own inner authority and expertise.

Control of self is desirable — unless it goes to extremes.

Positive expressions include putting lots of yourself into your work, being independent in your career, planning sensibly and then acting confidently.”

Pretty happy there are no death days… So while I feel pretty bad, and have been feeling bad… I think I’ll get well.

November 14, 2004 (Sunday): call Susan Waters and talk for a little bit. Get angry when Susan talks as if I’m not really very sick,or wouldn’t be if I thought differently about this. I say I shouldn’t have called because I just feel too bad.

Thigh is way better than ER day, but could be better still.

November 15, 2004 (Monday): some pretty fierce pain in thigh. Sitting in bed, watching telly when major incontinence hits. Stay in bathroom a quite long time, and keep returning to avoid more to clean up. Luckily Kathleen had shown me how to change the sheets most easy way. (good thing is I find an envelope with granting of US Appeals Court enlargement of time.) Pretty scared. Had thought that incontinence first ER day, after I was home, was from the pain killer or muscle relaxant in the IV. Now worry it’s serious part of disease. Each relapse has been so much worse. Hope this isn’t major relapse. Stay up most of the night to avoid problems.

November 16, 2004 (Tuesday): feel like I’m cleaned out… Don’t feel as bad as I expected. Thigh still radically painful, but in shorter bursts. Stay in bathroom periodically. Kathleen comes. She always helps, with her attitude that things will get better as well as her errands help.

November 17, 2004 (Wednesday): thigh pain upon waking is pretty intense. But doesn’t last as long as it has been lasting. Make coffee, let kitty out, feed fish, move phone connection into bedroom… up 12 minutes — most time so far.

Wish the infection in my foot weren’t there. Toe is quite red again, though the lines go away when I have a LOT of vitamin C.

November 18, 2004 (Thursday): stomach muscles so tight… toe still red on tip… lines when they go down, go much further now… almost along whole length of foot. Sabra brings me echinacea homeopathic and more Vitamin C. Neck very stiff. Thigh not quite so bad.

November 19, 2004 (Friday): for some reason I started to worry about incontinence during the night and spent a lot of time in bathroom to avoid problem. Then thigh pain which had seemed to be almost gone, came back: Very Bad. This morning, nauseous… not quite as bad as last several days. Corrine says no more caregiver: she had to give the $$ to a wheelchair bound client of hers — no idea what I am going to do. I wish she had called sooner so I could have organized. What will I do about court stuff that Kathleen had started?

Kathleen comes over just to be nice. Tell her it’s a miracle. Cry, feel like things will be okay. Work on web page to avoid worrying; after several hours I get out of bed and my diaphragm muscles are major tight (I’m not sure I know what the diaphragm muscles are — what I mean when I say that is the muscles below my chest) and by the time I get to the kitchen I’m pretty nauseated. Make tea anyway; eat ginger cake from Kitchen Angels w/tea, hope it settles nausea.

November 20, 2004 (Saturday): Only got about 4 hours sleep: pain in thigh acute, woke me repeatedly till I gave up trying to sleep. Good thing is that toe seems a little less intensely red, and over not quite so large an area. Neck not so stiff; can open mouth more widely. Chest seems to expand further for air.

Didn’t try to be up whole 12 minutes: made P&J sandwich so I’d have something in my stomach when I took vitamin C with coffee.

November 21, 2004 (Sunday): slept horribly last night because of intense pain in thigh… used panting to control reaction to the pain each time it hit…

Sitting up to sleep, which I still have to do, is uncomfortable and not very relaxing so with the pain as well to deal with, I woke up this morning with a headache. However, the Epsom salts compress from yesterday (using the ThermaCare thing to keep it warm for over 10 hours) did seem to reduce the redness and red lines from the infection — or it reduced the infection and as a result the red lines, etc. retreated a bit. But I also used large amounts of 500 mg. Vitamin C, and the Echinacea as per Sabra’s suggestion. I think that in reality, the Echinacea must have a major role in the improvement, because I’d been using compresses and Vitamin C for at least a week prior… with spotty results, and the red lines were going down my toe, and had actually begun traveling along my foot.

Plus, it seems as if a large streak of redness on the side of my toe may have been from the infection. I had not put it together with the infection because I thought it was a result of pressure on my toe because of how I had to keep my foot in order to avoid pressure on the top of my toe, which hurt.

The red streak is less intense and not as pronounced nor as extensive.

November 22, 2004 (Monday): intense pain in thigh makes sleeping fitful. Sabra comes over for a visit. Remember how much pain I was in when Linda and her mum visited back ages ago. That time my muscles got so tight that they felt like a constricting metal band around my midsection. This time, it just is so fun. No tightening. Happiness. Sabra says she will get food/supplies from Wal*Mart for me tomorrow.

Less pain, feeling hopeful

November 23, 2004 (Tuesday): intense pain in thigh didn’t last quite as long each time it happened last night. continue to feel good in terms of muscles: no relapse. Infection in toe continues to recede. That makes me feel much more hopeful. Sabra gets all the things I need from Wal*Mart. Big relief. No meal from Kitchen Angels because of snow. I was going to make spaghetti, but find I don’t have any sauce. Ate baked beans. Still no relapse, think healing may be well under way. Hopeful and happy. Put compress on toe, but discover that the heating things aren’t working. Only having had the Epsom salts quite warm to begin with, it stayed warm just because of insulating of theThermaCare product and sock.

November 24, 2004, (Wednesday): call county about home help. Takes a long time to answer all questions; exhausting… muscles become tight, but not extremely tight. Remain hopeful. Dedicated to putting compress on toe each day, for more than 12 hours, plus Vitamin C and periodic B12 shots.

November 25, 2004 (Thanksgiving): continue to feel happy and as if I’m improving. Lovely Thanksgiving meal from Kitchen Angels, and Sabra brings over treats, as well. B12 shot. (I haven’t been faithfully recording these, I’m afraid.) Do several loads of wash. Feeling so hopeful. Stick with fresh compress, lots of C. No B12 shot today. Thigh was somewhat better again.

November 26, 2004 (Friday): had only minutes of sharp pain in right thigh, slept better. Hopeful. Vacuum for two minutes: makes improvement in how my place looks. Work on website. Feeling really hopeful because of how much better I feel. I can take slightly larger steps. The best thing is that I’ve not relapsed, and before this, every time I felt better, I got much worse almost immediately and that took days to settle back to how I felt before the relapse.

Compress, Vitamin C (12 or more tablets with a large mug of tea three or more times a day). B12 shot.

Less numb

November 27, 2004 (Saturday): forgot melatonin last night: woke every couple of hours. Algae eater died. Hard to take it out of fishbowl, put it in wooden tea box to bury, and put it on geranium pot outside; takes long and muscles get too tight. Good thing is: pain in thigh is no longer so intense when it hits. Thigh feels less numb, too. If I run my fingernails lightly over it, there is sensation over a larger area. When I take yesterday’s compress off, none of the lines go all the way to the bottom of my nail any more. Take a photo while toe still wet.

Feel bad about algae eater, it was too cold for it. I had thought about that but the fish bowl was too heavy for me. Getting ready to do fresh compress, bend to take closer look at toe and major sharp pain hits in abdominal muscles, like the Tuesday after I’d gotten so much better. That time I’d gotten rather far from home, doing things, because I didn’t think anything had really been wrong (seriously wrong, as opposed to discomfort); and before I’d left to do the things, I’d torn up my house: washing bed clothes, etc. So I had to finish just to have my bed.

This time I immediately rested. No activity. No computer at all for an hour. Tried to get up to do compress. Abdominal muscles sharply painful (like appendix feeling last time, only this time it seems like it’s in higher up muscles). Rest more, eat saltines for breakfast (already here because I eat a couple each time I take Ibuprofen, and when I’m nauseated.

Though since I realized that I got nauseated after my midriff muscles got tight, I’ve been careful not to push myself once those muscles start getting tight, and I’ve not been as nauseated so much of the time.)

Finally manage to get compress materials together and get it on my toe. Hope that because I didn’t push myself after the appendix like pain, that it will go away.

Think I won’t do B12 shot so I don’t have to get up.

Do have to stay in bathroom because of feeling like major incontinence is starting.

November 28, 2004 (Sunday): thigh not good, affects sleep; two B12 shots. Compress still helping. 3 mugs of tea with massive Vit. C. Abdominal muscles still have sharp pain. No incontinence. More happy than not. Force myself to stay quiet.

By evening know relapse is not as bad as others.

Stick with homeopathics (and have been pretty regularly), so too Ibuprofen.

November 29, 2004 (Monday): slept much better re thigh pain. Must have been the B12 shots. Call the 1 1/2 hour free help county line and they are going to investigate. Whew. Toe not red on right side, but still very red on left side (of top). Fresh compress, lots of C and tea. Cold in the house: central heat not on… Kathleen was going to help me with that but now she’s not coming any more. No B12 shot because 2 yesterday.

Thigh is really very good.

Melatonin as per usual.

November 30, 2004 (Tuesday): slept great first part of night, then thigh began to wake me, so B12 must have worn off. Want to take a shot but do not because of the cramping I used to have when I took them without exercise after.

Try to focus on how I’ll have one after it’s light.

Compress very cold when I take it off about 11 a.m. Toe is more red on top than usual, and there’s a light brownish streak below my nail, heading toward ankle… Can’t get house much warmer; too late to ask Sabra to bring more ThermaCare. Corrine calls, that’s good. : )

Will call Dr. Keith to confirm that she’ll come. Put fresh compress on about 11pm, with ThermaCare to keep it warm, to avoid the cold stopping it from working, like last night. Mug of tea with C.

Continued.

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