I go to the eye doctor today. I am supposed to tell him about the cancer and the chemo, and the peripheral neuropathy, because apparently all of that will affect what he has to do with getting me a new Rx for my lenses.
Next week, I have more tests, plus I start physical therapy to help treat my peripheral neuropathy. I’m glad because I have a lot of questions about how to get around with my walker and especially my wheelchair. Ugh, it’s literally like learning how to walk again. I have so many questions for them.
It’s weird because the next two weeks are going to change my daily life a lot.
I went in to see the doc the other day. My WBC still has me at bubble-girl status. They are also sending me in for a MRI on my brain because the peripheral neuropathy is so bad. They want to make sure it’s actually peripheral neuropathy and not something else (i.e. brain tumors.) Right now, they are treating me for PN (basically, the brain signals to my hands and feet are misfiring.) So I have new meds (yuck) and I have to split my time between a walker and a wheelchair. No more walking on my own. I’ve fallen too many times and they are worried about me breaking bones. They want me to continue typing and crocheting, no matter how frustrating it gets, so I’m under doctor’s orders to write and to continue decorating my walker and wheelchair (grin.) And I will be sent to physical therapy soon, so I can walk with the walker more and wheelchair it less. If it’s peripheral neuropathy, it’s caused by the chemo, and most likely won’t go away (since I will be on chemo for life.)
I go to the eye doc next week, so hopefully I will be able to see the computer screen again. (Apparently, vision loss is more of the peripheral neuropathy. So the chemo is really kicking my butt. But I will take PN over brain tumors any day. And I kick back. (grin.)
Here’s Wilbert, ready for spring/May.
Needless to say, not a lot of writing happened this last week (some did, but just a little bit) and I put together a Patreon.
Enough about me, let’s hear a sound off. How is going for all of you?
I’ve had a few people that have been stunned that I am “suddenly” using a walker. But I think most people forget that I have already been using a “mobility aid” for over 6 years now. Most of the stunned folk just didn’t understand my pre-cancer medical condition. I have had Meniere’s Disease since I was in my teens. It causes hearing issues, balance issues, and severe vertigo.
Amos was originally prescribed by my doctor as a balance/bracing dog, but we were totally blessed by the fact that he is a total pro at sensing my vertigo before it happens. So alerting was added to his job description after-the-fact.
After a few years together, Amos started showing signs of arthritis in his hips. This was around the same time Trent was in the hospital for his heart issues. I got a walker because I wanted to relieve Amos of some of his balance/bracing duties. And even legit service dogs are not allowed in the ICU and other areas of the hospital where masks needed to be worn (this was pre-COVID.) So I used a walker while Trent was in the hospital when I went to visit him.
Now that my cancer has metastasized into my spine, and one of my cancer meds causes severe hip and other bone pain, I am back to using my walker, but on a much more regular basis. I have Wilbert for use outside of the house and a slightly smaller version for around the house (Wilbert tends to crash into walls in our hallways.) The smaller one isn’t as trustworthy as Wilbert, but doesn’t tear up my house.
My oncologist said that she doesn’t want to see me without my walker because the Meniere’s fall-risk coupled with cancer in my spine coupled with the fact that radiation therapy weakens the bones even more, makes it so that if I lose my balance and fall, my bones (esp my ribs and spine) could shatter like glass. And that would be bad.
So for those who were surprised by my “sudden” use of a walker. (And who have bothered to read this far.) Suffice it to say, this has not been sudden. The regular use of a walker has been a long time coming, and my doctor said to brace myself (no pun intended) for the fact that a wheelchair may not be too far in my future. She said the only reason she doesn’t want me in a wheelchair right now is because she would like to do everything possible to avoid blood clots in my legs, which includes using a walker instead of a wheelchair for the time being.
So Amos is currently living the good life as a retired balance/bracing service dog, but is still alerting me at home. And Wilbert has taken over the duties of balancing me and bracing me while I walk. Wilbert is also much more patient with my desire to “decorate him”. (Amos was never into that, his mobility harness was far as he would let me go.)
So here we are, after quite a few years. There is nothing sudden about Wilbert the Warrior Wagon’s appearance in my life. Which is why I am so comfortable with him at this point.