Category Archives: Pinched Nerves

Life in a senior high rise

This has been quite an experience. It has been one month now.

Today I set off the alarms for emergencies such as falling etc. The guard (yes we have guards here) was pounding on the door. Scared the hell out of me but hey I know it works.

So far most of the time I get in a handicapped spot and don’t have to worry about the  placard since I got license plates instead. Some of the closer spots are not handicapped so sometimes it is better to park there. This is at the back door. My guests have to come in the front so I can use the intercom and buzz them in or else I have to go downstairs and let them in. They have to sign in anyhow might as well come in the front although that means they have to walk around to the front door. There are a few spots in the front side of the building, but they rather park out back so if they do they get to walk around. I have an intercom for a reason.

We have been getting a lot of rain and thunderstorms this week. I am on the 6th floor and can see the trees below me swaying in the wind. A unique experience.

I can’t remember if I mentioned the knee going out and the trip to the hospital since I couldn’t put weight on it. Stayed one night and then sent home with no one to help me. I was using a walker for when I had to get up and I had my family take the food and medications and put them down on the counter. The only thing they did for me was a referral for home care, but even though they were covered under my insurance it wasn’t for the services they wanted me to have. They couldn’t get that through their head. Thus I was on my own. Thank God I have hand rails in the bathroom. So far I had one shower. My leg isn’t strong enough to hold my weight to get in and out of the tub so back to basin washing.

I have put a lot of money into my car. The accident cost me $500 in repairs and now another $500 for new brakes and calipers before I have another accident. The brakes just catch and slam the car to a stop as if I slammed on the brakes. Very disconcerting and now I am waiting til Friday for the parts and repair. Only drive if absolutely necessary.

These unplanned expenses are coming out of my apartment fund for things I need. It is dwindling fast. I have to make a very tight budget and live by it and it doesn’t leave much for fun things. I will be lucky if I can get food all month. Since it is public housing my rent is 30% of my disability check so everyone is different. Though it is considered senior housing, they have disabled people like me who are younger. I think the cutoff is 50 for them and must be 62 for a senior. I am 61 1/2.

This apartment is a fair size, but Tessa the hoarder is having a hard time letting things go. I did a bunch before we moved and now I find I must get rid of more. And they do inspections here and can’t have a mess, Trash must go out every day to the trash chute in the hall. Recycles must go downstairs. Kind of annoying, but they are trying to avoid nasty little critters. Exterminator comes tomorrow.

Tessa – advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses, also devout Christian

Author – (this blog contains my old work), new work is on this blog



Pain, hospital, shocking disclosure

You guys know of my pain, unfortunately the 2nd lumbar epidural did not do much to relieve the pain and I had a strange thing happen: I lost my vision in both eyes and though only a short period of time, ended up at the hospital. (Terrified that I could have been driving,)

They immediately decided that I had a mini-stroke and admitted me and started running tests none of which proved stroke.

As they were finally discharging me, I asked the dr why the ER claimed stroke and admitted me with no signs of it other than a brief loss of vision in both eyes. He told me that when they want to admit someone they find the closest disorder or disease that might fit and admit and run a particular set of tests.

I was angry because they scared my family and I with the thought that I had had a stroke and I didn’t. This has happened before with blood clots and other things. Really stupid if you ask me.

Now I am going to the ophthomalogist to have a complete work up on my diabetes damage and glaucoma pressure to see if one of them is having a problem.

Tessa – advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses, also devout Christian

Author – (this blog contains my old work), new work is on this blog


I was warned…

I was warned that day 2 and 3 after the epidural injection could and most likely would cause more pain before leaving.  There is a chance it may not leave, but we are not entertaining that idea.

Today is day 2 and I have some mild pain return. I had a faith healing from my dad to help me and I still have the neck to deal with. I expect another epidural at the minimum in my neck.

It was painful, but bearable so this time I won’t have to be as in fear as I was with that first one. I had these with local anesthesia and not general iv surgery like the first time 7 years ago.

I think moving around  more would also help. I tend to stiffen up the longer I sit or lie down.

Teresa (Tessa) Dean Smeigh

-Advocate for Mental and Invisible Illnesses

-Author of Articles, Stories and Poems (no longer canceling this blog, just not adding new work to it, sign up for for the new posts).

Epidural done yesterday, feeling much better

The local anesthesia was the worst part. Didn’t feel the actual steroid injection. By the time I got my pain pill a couple of hours later it took a couple of hours to start feeling better.

I could turn over in bed without the resulting pain and this morning getting out of bed was easier. I can walk easier, not all stiff and little steps as I did with that terrible pain. I haven’t felt this well in decades.

Ruby I kept your prayer cloth in my pocket right next to where they were working. It gave me comfort. Thank you to you and your church for praying for me.

Teresa (Tessa) Dean Smeigh

-Advocate for Mental and Invisible Illnesses

-Author of Articles, Stories and Poems (no longer canceling this blog, just not adding new work to it, sign up for for the new posts).

Major Blood Sugar Drop to 50, 70 is considered low

I had a major drop today and felt like I was going to pass out. Glucose tablets weren’t working and I felt worse so I actually ate some carbs which is not recommended by the group I am in.

Now it is 3 AM and my sugar is 233 so I took some insulin and some low carb food to attempt to bring it down some without going too far. It is a nasty merry-go-round sometimes. The endocrinologist doesn’t want me to go below 100 to 170 which is simply too high for a diabetic. It leads to more meds and body damage that you hear about. If you talk to long time diabetics they know that the recommended amounts are too high and cause damage. However, one of the possible side effects with keeping our numbers in check is lows. I was doing really good there for a few weeks now I have an occasional low which usually isn’t too bad, but this 50 was stubborn and refusing to come up at first and then even though I was at 84 finally I still felt like passing out so I had a couple of mini cookies. Eventually it did come up and is now 233. So totally the wrong way and out of control tonight.

I hate playing this game. It is dangerous and we are subjected to damage such as eye loss, diabetic neuropathy,  amputation and our body organs shutting down from high sugars. The trick is keeping them down without going too low. Epic fail tonight.

Add to that the pain I am in. I don’t understand how you can take a higher dose of pain meds and still feel worse than you did on the lower dose. Plus still trying to get my arthritis meds refilled. I think that is part of it. Then of course, there is the lovely Fibromyalgia. It is flaring big time right now.

I am back to wanting to cry again the pain is so intense, my diabetes is already out of control and I haven’t had the steroids yet which are going to raise them super high and nothing I can do about that because those injections are necessary. I refuse to let this diabetes beat me. Diabetics so often die young because of uncontrolled blood sugars, but my doctor wants me to keep my numbers higher to avoid the lows, but if I do that I risk other problems

Oh and I got my EOB on my prescriptions and my fast acting Novolog taken with  meals is over $2000 for 3 months and the slow acting is almost $500 just for one month so $1500 for 3 months. The needles are over $152 for 90 days and the strips are another high number which I have forgotten. If I didn’t have extra help from the state I couldn’t even take them or any meds, Currently they aren’t charging me a copay for the meds at all thank God!

Hopefully my therapist and I will be working on positivity. I need it. Anything at all happens and I immediately go to the negative side. Can’t see the positive til maybe later if things work out which thankfully they usually do.

Teresa (Tessa) Dean Smeigh

-Advocate for Mental and Invisible Illnesses

-Author of Articles, Stories and Poems (moving posts to other blog and will be deleting this one).

The higher strength meds not helping much…excuse all the mistakes

Part of the problem is that I ran out of my arthritis meds and didn’t realize that the narcotic did nothing for that pain and so all of my joints have joined into the fray.

I am trying to get those meds refilled. I need a new script, now pain management promised to take care of it and the office tech came and asked me which pharmacy I used and sent it, but the pharmacy didn’t get it and they can’t get through to pain management because they won’t talk prescriptions over the phone. So I tried calling the rheumatologist who originally gave me the script and I had to cancel this most recent appt because I am seeing an orthopedic dr and pain management right now and didn’t think being redundant was necessary. Now I am hoping he will rewrite that script without me going in for an appt. So far I haven’t heard anything and it is after 5 PM and I know the drs office is closed. She said she would call if there was a problem. So I will try the pharmacy soon since they also promised to call if it came in. I know how that works with the best of intentions and all.

My life is so confusing right now. I am stumbling through it the best I can. The narcotics are affecting my ability to think though. I am finding lots of writing mistakes on posts and correcting what I do see.

Teresa (Tessa) Dean Smeigh

-Advocate for Mental and Invisible Illnesses

-Author of Articles, Stories and Poems (moving posts to other blog and will be deleting this one).


Stronger medication, but not much relief, just grogginess

I called the pharmacy today to make sure they had given me the right medication. It was supposed to be stronger. I couldn’t sleep all night due to the worsening pain and when I finally got up I found myself very groggy and my therapist wasn’t going to let me leave since I was driving a car.

I over rode her objections and drove home carefully as it wasn’t far and climbed into bed. The pain though was still worse.

Now it is evening and it is starting to lessen and I am not as groggry. I still don’t understand why a medication that was stronger was actually working less. I can understand why I was groggy, but that is all.

I will see later how I feel when I take the next dose and climb back into bed.

i called pain management and they will send the script for the required EKG for the injection and they are working on the pre-certification as well. Hope my insurance is more accepting of this procedure than they were of the MRI.

I must say I am much more relieved now that I don’t have to have surgery. I was really a mess over that.

I am not thrilled with the series of injections in my spine, but much prefer them to surgery especially with all the stories of failed back and neck surgeries.

Teresa (Tessa) Dean Smeigh

-Advocate for Mental and Invisible Illnesses

-Author of Articles, Stories and Poems (moving posts to other blog and will be deleting this one).