Wednesday, September 9, 2009

So what is new . . . mechanical difficulties . . .

Mechanical difficulties . . . how to explain? You can go back in time in this blog and find out all about vagal nerve stimulators and my ongoing problems post-op for this unit for a year and a half now. I find it hard to explain and tiring to explain constantly to people.

Please visit this site to find out more if you are interested in an explanation:

http://www.vnstherapy.com/epilepsy/patient/About_Basics.asp

The implantation of the second unit didn't go as well as the first, and it is believed that the tissue holding it in place broke or ripped, making the device slip out of place in my chest, allowing pulling on the wires that go up my neck. This has resulted in constant pain and tension up my neck from the wires and surgical adhesions (scar tissue) grow around the device and break with activity, also resulting in pain. I haven't had a lot of problems lately - it seemed I had reached a point of enough scar tissue had grown around the device to actually hold it in place for an extended period of time.

On Friday, though, I irritated the wire by patient care at work. The wire is threaded subcutaneously over my collarbone and somehow I stretched the wire and irritated it a lot. The next day, the swelling and pain was spreading up my neck and became very visible. It didn't abate all weekend. I had to call in sick on Tuesday, since the pain and swelling got bad enough to not allow me to sleep very well the night before. I thought it got better on Tuesday night and I was able to sleep. I think the swelling has gone down significantly today, so I'm not as concerned. I just have to learn to be more careful. I just hate that I have to be so careful with this implantation when I didn't have to be the last time. Scar tissue, I guess, isn't so stable and is subject to ripping.

Work is going well. I just hate that I am doing my job as best as I can and am probably doing it better than I used to with a better attitude, but I am still being judged on what I cannot help. It's not in the forefront, I just know it is happening. Paranoia? I don't think so. My next meeting to see how competent I have been this past month is near the end of September. I have done my best. I work surrounded by nurses that have less experience, less critical thinking skills, less caring, less nursing skills, less stress coping skills, less knowledge and I will still never be as good of them because I am epileptic and that is a label that sets me apart, even though it is not apparent to the visible eye and I don't work like I have any deficit at all. It just sucks.

Running is going really well. Dropping down to the 5K at the Army Run has allowed me to love just running for myself, rather than training for something. I have to learn that I shouldn't just go from training programme to training programme, that I should have space in between to rest my body and mind. It is a hobby, not a job. I like the idea just heading out, with a rough plan, and enjoying the time in my head and the space all around. Beautiful!

Thanks for all your comments . . .