Friday, June 17, 2005

An Old Rag Doll

Monday after breakfast I bit down on something hard after breakfast (late...around 10 am). It took me a good hour to realize what that hard thing was. It was actually a 1/4 chunk of my upper molar! When I went to take Katie to the bathroom and spoke to her, I noticed the large, sharp gash in my mouth. Tuesday the same thing happened to the molar on the other side of my mouth yet the piece was smaller.

I told my father that I felt like in an old rag doll because I was falling apart. A rag doll is much loved throughout the years but eventually the limps and clothes get tattered and the eyes, nose, and mouth either fall off or begin to fall apart.

It seems within the past year something new and unpleasant is always happening to me. Not trying to be negative but the word "better" is beginning to lose its luster. Everytime I begin to feel "better" or think I am getting "better" something else gets thrown in the mix.

Ok let's count it up: 1) I no can no longer hear any sound (which I resigned myself too and felt was fine if that was the only price to pay)
2) Half of my face has suffered from facial weakness which not only affects my outward appearance but has physical consequences as well (such as loss of tear production, the inability to completely shut my right eye and thus blurs my vision, and double vision at times) 3) I have lost most of my sense of balance and stagger around the store like a drunk and it is draining to try to walk normally let alone trying to walk as far or as fast. 4) Not sure how to explain this but my eyes are messed up now. I can no longer look to the side of me without losing focus (like falling down or driving off the road.) I believe this is called my vestibular ocular reflex (VOR). It is the inability of the eyes to maintain focus on an object while moving. Thus when I am moving I cannot make out faces and I must completely remain focused ahead on the road while driving. 5) My damn back teeth are falling apart! 6) My hands and feet routinely go numb and feel uncomfortably prickly (like pins and needles are being stuck in them). I have now learned that this might be due to a condition called "neuropathy". 7) My hair in the front of my scalp has begun to thin. 8)I am not sure why but recently I have had certain pain or stiffness in my body. My back is thrown into spasms when I am doing the dishes for a little while, my ankle is stiff and sore, and my one thigh muscle has begun to get sore and cramped up as if I had been at the gym the day before doing squats. The truth is I rarely work out because I am so weak now. Just going for what I used to consider a short walk is absolutely exhausting now and I am slower!

If you were to repair a rag doll it would not be as costly unless of course you decided to use diamonds and emeralds for the mouth, nose, and eyes! Each root canal costs over $2,000 (only a very small portion of that is covered by dental insurance)! I need at least 2 (which would make it a total of 4 root canals in my lifetime).

I guess that is the price I pay for staying alive. Yes I brush my teeth. The dental problems stem from the chemotherapy I went through 12 years ago. The problem is compounded now due to the radiation and meds causing "dry mouth" from decreased saliva production (you need saliva to kill the bacteria in your mouth).

On the plus side, my fingernails are harder than they have ever been (they were always soft and easily breakable before). In addition, the facial weakness has made the genetic wrinkle between my eyes disappear!


Anonymous said...

You are truly an individual that is unique. I don't think I could ever be able to shoulder as much as you have. I love you for your strength, I love you for your determination, and i love you for your self worth. You are worth far more than Diamonds or emeralds or any gem out there. You are precious to so many, but I can only speak for myself just how precious you are to me. You are undoubtedly, unconditionally loved by me.----Angel

Anonymous said...

couldn't remember my password so I had to come in as anonymous, sorry!

Anonymous said...

hi, was just reading random blogs when i came across yours. it really touched me, and i completely agree with everything in the first comment post. cheers and i wish you all the best.

Rebecca said...

Thanks! Your words help me continue on and get through all of this!