Sometimes I wonder just how much I can take. I seem to be going through something of late. Depression? a down swing? I'm not sure. I've always been the strong one - always been the one to take care of everyone. I'm pretty good at it. But I'm just burnt out. For reasons I won't go into here - I'm so burnt out. I feel I am at the end of myself - I have nothing left to give. And I hate it. People keep telling me to take care of myself. And it's been making me so angry. And I have finally figured out why it makes me so angry. I don't know how. I have spent so much time taking care of everyone else I don't know how to take care of myself. Telling me over and over and over again to do it - doesn't help - it just frustrates the hell out of me. What I do know how to do is work. I know how to work hard and I know how to take care of others. That's not helping and it seems to be making things worse for me, and for those closest to me. I don't even know how to let others help me.
Adding to that level of stress - my body seems to be rebelling against me. Earlier this year I had 3 broken ribs. They were broken near my back and I went through physical therapy to strengthen the muscles of my back in the thoracic region and in my neck to help support that whole region after they healed as I was diagnosed with T4 Syndrome where the nerves that go through that spot in the back tend to get pinched and it makes for fun in the arms and neck. I was told at that point - stress is contributing to this. Yeah yeah yeah - got it. Lower my stress. Can I go back to work now?
Then in June I had to have surgery with Dr. Enochs again. I was having pain whenever I ate. He believed it to be scar tissue from all of the abdominal surgeries that I have had causing the pain. Turns out that it wasn't that. I had "extra" small intestine up by my pouch where food was getting stuck. So he took out about 3 inches of intestine and re-attached it to my stomach. Oh yeah - that was fun. I took off 5 days from work and was right back at it.
A few weeks ago I took my girls to a birthday party at a roller skating rink. I know you know where this is going... Yes - I put those stupid roller skates on. Yes - I fell. Yes - on my butt. But what happened was I caused a compression fracture up in the thoracic region where I have been having problems and I now have a herniated disc at T8. The pain radiates around the ribs and around to the sternum at times. Right now the doc is hopeful that it will heal on it's own.
Those of you following the blog and my health history also know that I have had kidney cancer. I am about 2 years out from having my right kidney removed for stage 2 renal cell carcinoma. This past week I went for my 2 year check up. I am happy to say I am still cancer free. But my urologis tdid find a kidney stone in my remaining kidney. Not normally a big deal, but when you only have 1 kidney - kidney stones become a big deal. Kidney stones are quite common on my side of the family, but so are 2 kidneys. :) So my doctor wants to run some tests while the stone is still in the kidney to determine why I may be forming them. Is it hereditary? Is it a metabolic disorder? Is it a side effect of the Topamax I take? Having had gastric bypass surgery I am at a higher risk of formin them as well. I go back to see him soon to review the results of some of the tests I am going to be having as well as to see if it has grown. If it has grown or if I have more - we will be taking those suckers out. I am not to pass it by any means because I only have 1 kidney and if it were to block things I could become septic. So if in between now and when I go back to see him I feel that I am passing the stone it means emergency surgery. "You need to take care of yourself Pam - I fear you have too much stress in your life right now." Gee - where have I heard that before?
Just keep piling it on. Please? At what point will I just simply break?