Goodbye,”Sweet” Surgery #16.

Through it all, I’m very happy to say that made it out on top. Even through the fear and the worry, I came to find the sweetness from my support systems, my doctors, and ultimately in myself.

___________________________

Yeah, last night I had a good cry, I’ll admit that.

Just about every other surgical procedure I’ve ever endeavored, has ultimately resulted in me having some sort of surgical complication, or another.  

If you’ve gotten to know me by now, this is no secret in any way.

So as I began to mentally prepare myself for what the following day might hold– while still staying as openly optimistic as possible–  I physically felt like I needed to prepare for the worst case scenario.

The worst cases being, of course, either me being readmitted to the hospital for more observation, OR even worse.. A potential extra surgical procedure.

This was my worry.  I knew that it was a cruel and intentional torture I had tasked upon myself. Still, almost superstitiously I felt like if I hadn’t physically prepared myself for the next day, I wouldn’t be able to tolerate whatever news my doctor had for me, on either a physical or even an emotional level.

I barely slept.

My anxiety was also partially attributed to the fact that I could barely handle the pain of riding in the car down the road, let alone an hour away to the hospital.  I was a mess.

Luckily, once we hit the expressway I was able to catch a few Z’s in the car; with a bag of ice basically glued to my wrapped up and bandaged arm.

 

We finally made it to my Dr’s office, and I am beyond pleased to share that all of my worry was completely for naught.

I met with my surgeon and he took off my bandages for the first time since the procedure.

 

To my surprise(s), not only were my stitches the dissolvable kind, but I was also–thankfully–fully healed.

He then gave me the full clearance to move on ahead!

  • Thus meaning the following: I could start bearing weight on my arm/prepare to start doing yoga again, get my arm wet/ shower, and eventually get the hell off my stupidly-addictive and only-moderately-necessary painkillers. (don’t even get me STARTED on how much I LOATHED my portable nerve block -_-).

So yes, I may still be in a lot of pain, but I know that with physical therapy, that this all should either slowly begin to dissipate or I’ll eventually return to my usual rate of chronic/phantom-limb pain, in time.

I do now have a new badass scar where he removed a third large neuroma, which was causing pain on the radial side of my arm. Yet thankfully, that is now the section of my arm with the least amount of total pain, so I am definitely going to consider that to be a big win, right there!

The hope is that the fancy new neurocaps that my surgeon placed on the ends of my revised nerves could potentially prevent me from needing any further neuroma revisions in the future.  Still, I’ll say it right here and right now. Although this surgery was meant to be an outpatient procedure, do not let yourself be fooled, nerve surgery is NO JOKE, painful af.

Anyway, for now only time will tell. I’ve still got quite a bit of work to do and a long road ahead of me. HOWEVER, for now I’m just really happy to hear that, with time, life can start to return back to “normal” ..well whatever that may even mean in my book, anyway.

Deep breaths. Strength and Ease.  I’ve got this in the bag.

#16, parting has never been sweeter!

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“Do what you have to do until you can do what you wanna do.” – Oprah Winfrey

  Everything I have ever done and have chosen to do for myself has lead me exactly to this present moment. I am so beyond grateful for the many blessings that these past 4 years have brought me: new friendships, experiences, and learning opportunities. I’ve changed my perspective on my hardships and I’ve used them to feed the fire and motivate me to further my knowledge as a yoga teacher…. and there are so many more gifts this is only just the tip of the iceberg for what the future holds for me.
Today may have been my last day of my physical yoga practice for the unforeseeable future, due to my #neurocap surgery, tomorrow. BUT I’m making the choice to make a change. This procedure is still in its early stages, but the hope is that it will help to alleviate the same chronic nerve pain in my right arm, which I have been living with for the past 1,500+ days of my life. 

I’m setting my intention to have a peaceful and mindful recovery process. Simply because of bringing the practice of yoga into my life, I now have right tools to help me breathe through whatever stands in my way. I can now choose to respond to hard times rather than react to them, listen essentially to the best of my ability, and be able to acknowledge any negative thoughts for exactly what they are and make the choice to simply let them go. 

Thank you to EVERYONE @growyoga for everything you’ve ALL taught me and presented me with. I already know I’m going to carry every bit of good advice I’ve gained from knowing all of you with me, along the journey. 

 I also want to acknowledge my parents, already, for taking care of me through all of this and for dealing with everything else that comes along with the process of recovering. … alright. I’ve procrastinated packing my hospital bag long enough. Goodnight everyone 😘 and happy #MahaloMonday / #MeaningfulMonday to you! 

Thailand and a Summer Update!

Oh, how I’ve missed making vlogs for you!  If you’ve been following along with my latest news update, well then you already know the spoiler alert to come.. but if you’ve just stumbled upon this blog or happen to live under a rock, well then.. I’VE GOT SOME BIG NEWS TO TELL YOU!!!

Not only that but I finallyyy had the time to finish piecing together clips from Thailand trip and I cannot wait for you to see it! ..and who knows, on a rainy day, maybe I’ll even find the time to share a few more pictures here, too!

However, it seems as though I’m going to be a very very busy lady for the upcoming summer.  You’ll just have to watch to find out why!

Please don’t forget to subscribe on youtube or follow me on instagram, trust me, you’re not going to want to miss this!

Cheers to 3 years!

As a young adult I’ve always loved the end of summer. “Off season” in South Jersey is usually the greatest time of year for us locals. The shoobies are mostly gone and we’re free to enjoy every little thing that our home -a.k.a. the shore- has to offer. I let my happiness for this time of year engulf me everytime it comes around, just like smooth waves rushing in over me.
Yet, in the back of my mind I can somehow remember that this time of year holds more meaning to me that even the joys of off season can’t seem to remedy. And for good reason.  

September 11th is the anniversary of the day I experienced a heparin induced thrombocytopenia, but I can’t remember it.

September 18th is the anniversary of my right arm’s amputation. I will never forget it.

Being a Jew, the fall is always a very important time of year for me and my family. Not only because of my “nubiversarry” as I’ve oh-so-lovingly coined the occasion, but because it’s also both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

I was in the hospital for both of those holidays, back in 2013. To say that there were many prayers being said in my favor would be a complete and total understatement. I was very heavily medicated at the time, but I was still fully aware of the amount of people out there who were thinking of me and praying for me. That’s something that I will carry with me for the rest of my life because it truly gave me strength when I was weak and I will be eternally grateful for it.

I don’t really remember at which point I realized that I was really in over my head at the time, but the dates ranging from September 6th- October 6th will forever live on with me like a tattoo to the brain. 2 hospitals, 3 ICU’S, 10 surgeries, 30 days. (4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42) Just like in Lost, these are all numbers that a person could never forget.  

BUT here I am, 3 years later and moving on to bigger and better things in life. The secret to it all? 3 years later and it’s still pretty hard, but the answer is in the question (young padawan). In order to move on, you just have to do it. One day at a time. Put one foot in front of the other. Just keep swimming. 

How to put your hair up in a bun with one hand

Hey there! So, as promised, here is my YouTube remake of how to put your hair up in a bun! It’s short, sweet and to the point-so I hope you enjoy it!

My original video that I posted back in 2013 was pretty awful.. I filmed it on my laptop’s photo booth camera, whenever I moved I would shake the camera, and the cherry on top was that I got the hiccups in the middle of it all. It was a heated mess.  So, hopefully this one is at least a teeny tiny bit better, and I’ll just keep the old one locked away for ever because it was just THAT embarassing…

Anyway, I hope the sun starts coming out soon ❤ and happy mother’s day to all!!

Spring, Sprang, [unicorns], Spaceships, Sprung

This is no joke, I swear but Happy April Fools day though! I’ve only been fooled once so far today.. so hopefully it doesn’t get any worse than that! Anyway, here’s another vlog update!! I wanted to introduce you to someone new, but as you’ll see, it was very hard for her to want to stay still…

Enjoy your weekend! Hopefully these April showers won’t bring you down too much, love you fools ❤

Just a walk in the park..

I totally spaced and forgot to post these!!! The story behind the photos is that I knew I really needed to update my headshots after I had my surgery 2 years ago.  So, back in the beginning of the summer I reached out to a friend and we started talking about where we wanted to shoot and when. Unfortunately, about a week later my “new” car suddenly had a water leak in the engine, which  resulted in the head gasket cracking and breaking. In English, it was bad news and I was going to need to find a new means of transportation…

Thankfully, everything finally came together in the end and I am so happy with how these ended up coming out!! They were done by Revtar Photography and you can check out more pictures here! Thanks again Rev ❤

Let me know what you guys think!!

 

Myoelectric Sensor Test

I almost completely forgot to post this entry, so I apologize in advanced for that! Anyway, something incredibly exciting happened this past week. On Wednesday I went to find out if I was eligible for a myoelectric prosthetic. I took a “test” to find out which muscles in my arm were strong enough to trigger sensors, which would be able to open/close a myoelectric hand.

So, my mom took a short little video clip and you can see me go through the testing (which was exhausting) and even try to move a hand (which was equally as exhausting). It was such a redeeming feeling though; to even attempt to get a reading was exciting enough for me. Watch the clip below to see whether I was successful or not…

An April Update

Just in time for the end of April, I’ve finally come around to give you an update!! 

So in the last month I’ve been keeping pretty busy, which is probably why you haven’t heard from me until now.
I saw my surgeon a few weeks ago and had my final post-op appointment with him! It came with both good news and bad news. The good news was that as far as surgeries go, I am done! There is nothing else to be done surgically, which would be good news, if only I wasn’t still in pain.
So, the bad news is that I can’t say that I am fully out of the woods just yet.
..But what else is new?
In order to manage my pain I am currently trying some different approaches, other than with surgery. I am seeing a pain management specialist and I’ve also restarted going to physical therapy in the hopes of trying to desensitize my arm. This helps to make it a lot less painful when putting pressure on it, which would help me to eventually get into a working and functional prosthetic.
Now before you jump the gun, I know that in the past I may have expressed some negative opinions towards prosthetics and wearing them. So although my view hasn’t really changed, I know that at the end of the day the point of wearing one would only help me to become more independent (than I already am).
As a side note, I have recently become enamored with watching Dancing With the Stars. (Yes it was total bullshit that Willow went home this week, we weren’t supposed to have to say ‘goodbye’ to Prim until November..)
However, Noah Galloway is the man.
If you have not seen him dance, I am pretty sure that you MUST be living under a rock.. but I’ll attach a video below just so you can see what I’m talking about.
Noah is an army veteran who became both an upper and lower extremity amputee while in service, but he has typically only worn his leg prosthetic before dancing on the show.
To make a long story short (you’ll see what happens in the YouTube clip), he too ended up having the same issues with wearing an upper extremity prosthetic as I’ve had. Basically, he felt that life was much easier when he worked the way he normally did–without a prosthetic. So it was kind of comforting to hear that.  But even after all of that, I am still excited to go through the process of being fitted again!
I mean, who doesn’t like getting new toys??
I will be heading back to Hanger Prosthetics in May, but this time I’ll be looking into getting my very first myoelectric prosthetic (one that would work very much like the one in the video).
There are a lot more exciting things to come in the month of May, so make sure to check back to see what I’m up to!
Also, if you want a chance to watch or vote for Noah Galloway (please DO NOT let him lose to the Bachelor, Chris Soles -_-) Dancing with the Stars airs LIVE Monday nights at 8 on abc.
As always, thank you for all of your support!! See you in May!

March Update

Well hello there! I hope everyone is as ready for Spring as much as I am! If you haven’t already heard, I just recently celebrated my 24th Birthday! HOORAY!!  …there really aren’t many milestones for when you turn 24, other than being a year away from turning a quarter of a century old. So, I guess that’s exciting? …anyway


So here are some updates with my health and healing and all that.
Over the past infinity amount of weeks I have been to and fro between home and my endless amount of doctor’s appointments, most of which were located an hour away in Philly. This month alone I think I’ve been up and back at the very least 10 times each way.

I’ve mostly had to go up to see my surgeon. My arm still wasn’t fully healed from the last surgery. So, I had been checking in with my surgeon at least once a week.
However, I saw his Physician’s Assistant last Wednesday and she was happy to say that I’m finally doing a lot better!
Now, a week later, my arm is all finally healed up! (What a great birthday present, right?) She also told me that I won’t be needing to see them again for another 4 weeks!

Also among my many numerous amounts of Philly doctor visits, I was able to see my Hematologist (blood disorder doctor) and my Rheumatologist (lupus doctor). Both of whom gave great reports so far, but we are still waiting for some blood test results to come in.

If you’re squeamish, skip to the next paragraph =D.
My two doctor’s ordered so many test results that I ended up having to give 12 vials worth of blood -_- I’d say about half of them were a little smaller than the rest.. but still. That was a doozy.

Anyway, outside of my medical life, I have finally been able to get myself up and out of my house for extended amounts of time without feeling too tired! It ended up working out so that I was able to actually go out on my birthday weekend and even enjoy a few beers at our local Beer and Music Festival!

So, what have I been doing during my many many weeks of recovery? Well, I became best friends with HGTV and I also got a lot of writing and organization done for the book I’ve been working on, too.

And I made this little treat for all of you!

Being in the hospital is absolutely NO fun. But if I start to get a little stir crazy when I’m there, I’ll try to make the best of it and entertain myself in whatever way I can. So, since I was in and out of the hospital so much, I began to document what that kind of boredom looks like. So I hope you like it! If not, at least way down the line somewhere I’ll have it to remind myself of what this past year and a half of my life has been like!