Are We There Yet?

Are We There Yet?
This is the sign that is over the front door of Aileen's and my house, our home, going OUT. Meaning that when someone leaves our house they are going into the ACTUAL Mental Ward.

I've always felt that way. When it is considered how much ugliness and killing and hatred there is in the world today, it actually makes perfect sense that this sign is over the door going out of the house.

Because that's where the real mental ward is.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Night from Hell

I don't know how many of those of you who are reading my Journal understand what sciatic nerve pain really is.  Most people believe that sciatic nerve pain basically is located in the back.  But that's only part of the story.  Because the other end of the sciatic nerve actually is on the outside of the leg.  Just opposite the kneecap.

So there are really two different types of sciatic nerve pain.  The most common form of sciatic nerve pain is the one found in the back.  But almost equally as common is sciatic nerve pain in the leg.  Now, when you have sciatic nerve pain in the leg.  There is a section of the leg just above the kneecap that actually remains numb.  And only at certain times, under certain stresses will the sciatic nerve at the knee actually begin to react.  And when it does, the pain is some of the most horrible.  You could ever imagine.

Now on, the good side.  Going up and down the stairs has of course increased my metabolism.  And this of course has improved my overall health.  What I was not aware of until last night, is that it was also putting stress on my left leg.

As I have explained before, my left knee has been partially crippled as a result of an accident or an attack that was made against me in 1962.  And in 1965 it was discovered I had broken cartilage and possibly damaged bone surrounding my left knee.  With that, my left leg has always had a certain degree of stress and issues functioning properly.

But about 25 years ago, the sciatic nerve at my left knee basically went through a condition known as, blowing out.  A blown out to sciatic nerve means that the end of the sciatic nerve at the knee actually exploded.  Which basically means that the nerve ending simply popped.  And when that happened, the sciatic nerve then became damaged.

Now the reason that this condition happens is of course because the sciatic nerve issues that anyone has is as a result of the sciatic nerve actually being pinched.  Somewhere at the base of your spine.  In my case, the sciatic nerve is actually pinched inside of my left hip.  Because when they did my spinal fusion in 1968.  My left hip had to be broken in two different places to do the operation and to take portions of my left hip to be used for my spinal fusion.

So the sciatic nerve actually got lodged inside and pinched in my left hip as the sections of my left hip were growing back together.

For years, there was never any reaction whatsoever.  And the only noticeable issues with my left leg were as a result of the damage to my left knee, which had occurred in 1962.  But as I said, about 25 years ago.  When I was sitting down.  I actually felt from the sofa I was sitting on right on to the floor.  And as I fell onto the floor I fell on my rear end.  And I had both of my legs correctly out in front of me.  And as my rear and hit the floor the sciatic nerve in my left leg exploded at the knee.

When a sciatic nerve explodes.  There's nothing really visible at all takes place.  The only thing that initially happens is you feel a slight pop inside your leg.  And then within 10 seconds.  You are feeling a kind of physical pain or nerve pain.  That is so absolutely indescribable am so horrible that the physical facts are extremely incredible.  You become nauseous.  You become lightheaded.  Your body chemistry actually goes out of balance.  Your entire body goes through a tremendous amount of stress, because the pain from that sciatic nerve is so severe that it affects almost every aspect of your physical chemistry.

Normally what happens is that within about 45 days the pain.  Virtually almost completely goes away, except when you're knee goes through any kind of undue stress.  But the section of the leg directly above the knee on the outside of the leg remains numb.

When this happened I actually saw three different orthopedic specialists.  But because of my spinal fusion and because the sciatic nerve is actually lives in the side of my left hip.  The prognosis was that if they actually went in to try to repair the damage.  I either might not ever be able to walk again or I would be in the hospital for at least a year and a half without being able to walk at all.  So the consensus was that it just didn't make very much sense to try and to perform the operation to fix the sciatic nerve damage.

So progressing forward.  I have been using the upstairs bathroom wall.  The downstairs bathroom was in fact being repaired.  Meaning, I was unclogging the drain in the shower of the downstairs bathroom.  And that of course meant that I was going up and down stairs a lot more.  Like I have said.  I was actually going up and down stairs and still am, about 30 times a day.

This of course is putting a tremendous amount of stress on my left knee, which already has a certain degree of damage.

Suddenly last night at around 5 PM.  I had a sciatic nerve reaction in my left leg.  The reaction was so severe as I've said before, you can get nauseous and lightheaded or chemistry can be completely screwed up.  And that's exactly what happened.  The pain was just beyond anything you can even really describe.  It's not even the kind of pain, you can even laugh at because it's not just pain.  It's so painful that it actually causing chemical imbalances that take place throughout your entire body because the pain is so severe.

So, almost within 30 minutes, my blood sugar was basically dive bombing.  The pain was radiating throughout my left leg and into my lower back.  And at first I simply thought it might have been the position I was sitting in or leaning back in on my chaise lounge.  And then within a matter of minutes I realized it was my sciatic nerve.

So, what I did was that I went into the spare room where my dresser is.  And I got out, an ace bandage.  And today first aid wrap of my left knee.  As soon as I did, the sciatic pain completely went away.  And that's normal.  Because sciatic pain in the late response absolutely and instantaneously to acupressure.  It's actually one of the ways that they treat the pain in the leg.

But as soon as I did that first aid wrap with these bandage.  I realized that my left leg was actually going through a certain amount of stress by going up and down the stairs.  So I tried to remember if I still had my knee brace.  Somewhere in the house.  And I did not.  So I have left the ace bandage on my knee at this time.  And I have just purchased a new knee brace from Amazon.  Which should arrive by Thursday.  And that will solve the problem.

My blood chemistry meaning my blood sugar is slowly returning to normal.  And I was able to have a fairly comfortable night as soon as I put the ace bandage wrap on my leg.  I can actually laugh about it now.  Because it really just sort of caught me by surprise.

I had forgotten, with all the other things I'm trying to keep track of.  That going up and down the stairs like I was.  That I was actually putting a lot more stress on my left leg and of course causing the sciatic nerve in my left leg, which is already damaged.  Two of course become more reactive.  As I said, I'm laughing about it now.  Because the pain was so bad.  I could hardly even think straight.

I mean, I deal with pain every second.  This is true.  There is not a single second day goes by when I'm not dealing with between 10 and 25 different types of pain.  And for the most part we're talking about nerve pain.  And nerve pain, a lot of times is very dull and slowly throbbing.  And sometimes even sharp and stabbing pain of different degrees.

Generally, the pain that I deal with it is normally of the low and throbbing type.  And it is generally on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the most severe.  My pain level is normally between 8.5 and 9.5.  And perhaps one or two weeks of wearing the brace.  The nerve then begins to become less reactive, because it is damaged.  And then you are able to take the brace off and whatever reason, I have become used to that kind of pain so.  I simply somehow or other just work my way through it.

But when that sciatic nerve started to react last night.  I thought I was being strapped to a rocket and shot off into space.  In any event, it has subsided now.  And I have this ace bandage.  And by Thursday I will have the new ace bandage knee brace.

And the reality about sciatic nerve damage in the leg is that you don't always have to wear a knee brace or an ace bandage.  Because what ends up happening is that the acupressure of the knee brace actually quiets the nerve reaction of the sciatic nerve in the leg.  And at that point, you can then take the brace off and go about what ever you do normally.

The because of the damage of the sciatic nerve in the leg.  You're never really assured of not having to wear the brace most of the time.  Generally how it works is that you were the brace for three or four days.  Then you take it off for two days or three days.  Then he put it back on for three or four.  Like four days on two days off.  And the reason for that is so that you give the leg the added support of the knee brace.  But doing so without making the leg so dependent on the knee brace that your leg is not able to function without the knee brace.

And a first aid wrap simply is a diagonal wrap around your leg with a wrap going above and below the knee and the design of how you wrap the leg is meant to support but not to constrict.  Meaning that you want to have the ace bandage wrap the leg tight enough so that it actually puts pressure on the nerves around the knee.  But without constricting the blood flow to the knee.  Then when you finally finished wrapping the knee all you really have to do is take the end of the ace bandage and tucked it in somewhere and you have your first aid wrap.

And like I said, the practice really is where you where the ace bandage or knee brace for days on end in two days off.  So that you are basically giving your leg four days of support and backing pressure on the nerves surrounding the knee.  And then you are giving your knee to days without the acupressure to help your leg and your need to try to respond more normally.  Even though there is damaged in the nerves surrounding the knee.

It's more of a kind of physical therapy maneuver.  Because the real sure for fixing the problem is twofold.  When you have a blown out, sciatic nerve in your leg.  The first thing of course, if they do is they go into the base of your spine.  And they free up the sciatic nerve from where it is being pinched.  Then what they do is they go to the other and of the sciatic nerve in your leg to decide whether or not.  The nerve and other sciatic nerve is repairable or not.

Now depending on how the site and nerve blew out.  You are looking at possibly simply, from what I am given to understand.  And I have to say it that way.  Because I've only heard about this from the one orthopedic doctor of the two specialists who were talking to me at the time that this happened.

And the one orthopedic doctor said that the possibility was that they could go to the area where the sciatic nerve was in my leg and basically kill that portion of the nerve.  We as a nerve block.  But he also said that if they were actually able to free up the nerve at the base of the spine that the nerve in the late would no longer be reactive.  Because the nerve would no longer be patched.

But in reality, there really is no way to repair and exploded or a damaged nerve.

So on the one hand, the sciatic nerve in my left leg became more reactive, because I was constantly bending and putting stress on my left leg.  What the other movement is that when you're going upstairs and you are stepping up one step to another going upstairs.  You're also putting pressure and stress on the top of your hips at the base of your spine.  And that is key.  Because the sciatic nerve for me, is actually buried in the portion of my left hip closest to the base of my spine.

So the movement of going upstairs was not only putting stress on my left leg by stepping up from one step to another.  But it was also putting stress on the top portion of my hips, including my left hip.  Whereby as a result, the sciatic nerve is pinched inside of my left hip was becoming more aggravated from the stress, which then caused and a regular nerve reaction in the sciatic nerve, which is already damaged.  To the point where the nerve at my knee basically became as I said, extremely reactive.

So the reality is that was is probably going to end up happening is that I'm probably going to have to wear that brace.  As I said.  For days on end two days off.  Pretty much from now on.  Especially if I'm going to be going up and down stairs.

And that brings me of course to the other part of what's going on.  I have in fact, closed off the downstairs bathroom and shut off all the water to the downstairs bathroom.

The downstairs bathroom as I said, is in addition to the house.  It was actually built by one of my darling Aileen's good friends.  Before I actually met her.  And it really was not done that very well.  It's okay, but it really wasn't done as good as it should have been done.  It's all up to code.  It just wasn't done right.

 

 

This is the shower in the downstairs bathroom. The sludge is just the decomposed paper, that was lodged in the junction between the shower and the toilet.

So basically what's happening is the outside wall of that addition is actually the outside wall of the house meaning the back of the house.  And that outside wall is directly attached to and on top of the new foundation.  Which was built during the rehab that Aileen and I did back in 2000.

So there is no danger whatsoever of the entire room separating from the house.  That's not going to happen.

But inside the room.  The floor is starting to separate from the walls of the room.  And that's because as you will see in the pictures below.  The entire bathroom is basically sitting on the space between the outside foundation and the inside foundation of the house.  And there really isn't a lot of support.  So, what probably will happen is that the floor of the room will separate a little bit more from the outside wall, at the back of the house and at the wall that is closest to the doorway going into the bathroom.  And I don't believe it's going to be any big separation it's only actually right now.  A little over an inch.

 

 

Now, as you can see, the pipe coming in from the upper right is the shower line. The pipe coming in just above, is the toilet line. And you can see where they join together, just before they reach the "main", where the stack for the house is. The stack for the house is what houses have. Where gravity and air pressure, help to drive the water down into the main sewer line.

Now the "stack" for the toilet is something different. A stack for a toilet is really the piping connection, that is as large as the base of the toilet, or just about as large. And the toilet sits on top of the stack. Which feeds the water, from the toilet into the pipe below and to the main. (meaning the main sewer line.).

So the problem is two-fold. First the plug was located, in the above picture, at the joint between the toilet and the shower. And that, as I have said, has been cleared. And everything is working fine.

The other issue, is, as you can see in the above picture. the flooring above the pipes is pretty much not supported by anything. And so, the floor is slowly settling, or sinking slightly. And it's just not safe t o use.

And because the floor is sinking slightly. That means that the "toilet stack" is also sinking slightly. Which means that there is some slight leakage coming from the base of the toilet. Not much. But enough to make the entire situation not as healthy, or as stable as it should be.

 

 

And this is the "trap"  for the shower. As you can see, the trap has almost no "drop". What that means is that the trap, that U shaped portion of the drain underneath the shower, above, is so directly near and connected to the drain of the shower, without any pipe extending downward from  the shower. That clogs then become much easier to happen. And you can also see that there is no real support for the floor of the shower.

On the one hand. Like said, the fix would be to tear up the floor and redo the entire flooring, with better supports. Then to reset the toilet stack. But doing that would cost a good bit more than $10,000.

So, instead. I'm just sealing off the bathroom. The floor will probably sink only a small amount more. But since the room has been sealed off, it shouldn't cause any real issues at all.

But it certainly isn't really very safe to use.  And it's not really that functional.  And the cost to repair it would be that the entire floor would have to be taken out and new supports put in throughout the entire floor and a new stack for the toilet.  So were talking probably about $10,000 worth of work.  And that's just ridiculous.  Not the amount.  But the amount of work compared to what I have available.  That's ridiculous.  Especially given the fact that I have a perfectly functioning upstairs bathroom.

So as I said, I have used this industrial drain cleaner and the drains are all clean and everything is fine.  The water has been shut off to the bathroom.  The tank in the toilet has been drained.  So, that is simply going to become dead space.  Which is no big deal.

The only thing that caught me by surprise of course was how my left leg and my sciatic nerve became so reactive that last night.  I ended up almost speaking in tongues.  (Just kidding).  But the pain was really that severe.

So anyhow as I said my sugar is basically coming back.  Meaning my blood chemistry is finally starting to stabilize.  And I have been treating my legs live electric blanket on low heat.  And I have of course, a first aid wrap on my left knee with an Ace bandage.  And finally, the sciatic nerve is quiet.  And as I said, I'm really laughing.  Because the pain was just amazing.

I mean, when you come out of that kind of pain.  You almost feel like you were strapped to the front end of some very high speeding truck that was just literally speeding down the highway completely out of control.

At this point all I have is a slight headache.  But because of my site nerve going basically nuts last night.  I'm taking things just a bit more slowly today.  I don't have any choice.  But because my blood chemistry basically got so out of whack.  I'm not going to be able to go at full tilt.  Probably for another 24 hours.

Anyhow, that was all last night went.  At this point, all I have is a kind of dull ache.  Which is okay.  That I can deal with.  But resting will of course help my body chemistry to come back more in line.  And the wrap up my leg is applying the acupressure to my sciatic nerve, which is slowly responding.

On another matter.  I wanted to explain.  When I said yesterday that I met this really amazing Christian social worker, who really had the spirit inside of them.  And I said that I had known some really nice Muslims who are very good friends of mine and have been for many years who also had this really great presence of the spirit inside of them.  I don't want anyone to think that I was only talking about Muslims.  Because I have met people in almost every different kind of religion, you can imagine.  And in every one of these different religions I have met certain individuals, where the spiritual presence inside of them was so strong that you could just feel the goodness inside of them.  The Enlightenment inside of them.  The kindness.

And that's what I meant when I was talking about the presence of the spirit inside someone.  Because they generally are extremely kind, extremely enlightened very broad-minded very loving.  Quite extremely understanding.  And unfortunately our world just doesn't have enough of those type of people in the world.

So while the reality is that this very nice, Christian social worker and I very probably will not really do much together because I have no plans of converting my religion.  I am fairly sure that at the very least, we have the potential of becoming friends.  And I think that would be a good thing.  Not only is he a nurse.  But he's a social worker.  And you can really feel this spiritual presence inside of him.  And as I said.  In our world with so much negative anger and fighting going on.  It really is nice when you meet someone or find someone as a friend or as simply an acquaintance or whatever.  Where you see, or you feel that spiritual presence.  Because it gives you a kind of hope, regarding life.

So I'm planning on sending this really very nice gentleman, that is Christian social worker and nurse, an e-mail sometime early this week.  Because I really do want to try to become an acquaintance at the very least.  He's only in his 30s.  But he's really a very remarkably kind and of varying intelligent and really enlightened individual.  And as I said, in our world that is so filled with all this hatred and anger.  He is just wonderful when you meet someone who is that well grounded.

In any event, as I said.  I'm slowly coming back into focus.  What a night.  The pain was so bad I almost can't remember everything that happened.  I mean, I remember everything that happened last night except there are sections of time from last night that seemed to be sort of foggy.  And obviously that's because of the pain.

But the good thing or the good news is of course that the bills are paid.  And everything is done for the month.  And I now finally have an online bank account where I'm going to be able to take care of business from now on much more easily.  So that is always a good thing.

But doing things like the laundry or anything really strenuous today, is out.  I'm already coming back from where I was last night meaning that I'm beginning to feel a great deal better.  But my strength is still sort of shot because of the level of pain.  I had last night.  But it's okay.  I got through it.  How the hell I did, I have no idea.  But I did.

So I probably won't really be doing petitions today, or answering very much e-mail, if any.  I'm probably just going to have to rest and take naps.  Because when you're body goes through those kinds of chemical changes.  It's not just your blood sugar that is affected.  It's your like the lights and all of the other chemical processes that help you to function normally.  And what I'm talking about your electrolytes.  I'm specifically talking about the chemicals that help your nerves to react more normally as well as your muscles.  So it really ends up being a very strenuous situation.

And the best thing you can do is to be as patient as possible.  Because that's what it takes.  Thank God the weather is going to be in the mid-40s and sunny by the end of the week.  This weather for the past 10 days in Cleveland for anyone who has any kind of arthritis has been just probably the worst weather you could ever want.  And I've already shown a picture of my right hand.  So, it has definitely been an interesting ride.

The other thing about doing a first-aid wrap on your leg for what I have just said, like a sciatic nerve reaction, is that you probably should read wrap delayed periodically like every four hours.  In order to take away some of the pressure from the leg to give the leg a little bit of chance to not have constant pressure and that helps the pressure you are actually applying to be more effective.

Of course, when the knee brace finally arrives on Thursday then I won't have to worry about that anymore.  Because I'll just slip the brace on for three or four days and then take the fall for a couple of days and then just simply go on with my life.

But my energy level is definitely low.  And the other thing also to remember is that when you are going through this kind of situation where your a chemistry has basically been thrown into gyrations.  He is definitely not advisable under any circumstances to drink lots about ball or lots of coffee.  Not at all.  What you want to do is have things like tea.  Of course you want to hydrate yourself with water.  Because the more fluid she passed through your system the more you irrigate your nervous system.  And that will also promote a more balanced condition, especially where the nerve reaction took place.  And then you just simply want to stay off your feet and be patient.  Because within about 24 to 36 hours.  You will definitely feel more grounded, more balanced.  Your leg will be a lot less reactive.  And then you can simply go forward.

So I'm probably not even going to try and wash my face or anything today, but only to use the upstairs bathroom of course when I have to go to the bathroom.  But other than that I'm going to pretty much stay off my feet.  As I said, I really am laughing about this.  Because it's just sort of funny.  It really caught me by surprise.  I've had so much else on my mind, I just didn't think about my sciatic nerve.  I've had this condition for over 20 years and have gotten fairly used to the portion of my left leg above my left knee always being numb.  So, I just sort of got used to it.  And it really did just catch me by surprise.

But that's the good thing.  Because if you don't have things like this periodically in your life then your life really gets to be fairly boring and that's never any fun.

In any event, I will definitely try to write later.  But I've had some Ramen noodles this morning, and a bowl of cereal.  And as I said my blood chemistry is slowly coming back to normal.  My sugar is still just a little bit off, but nothing major.  I just to a little bit like someone knocked me off my feet.  Thank God I had that ace bandage.  Because it really isn't anything you can do for that kind of nerve pain.  Not unless you want to take some really very serious and not very pleasant pain medication.  And for me that's not an option.

Now, with my left ear.  I have been your wax solution.  But what I'm thinking of doing this that I'm going to treat my left ear but not until just before I take a shower, which will be on, probably Wednesday.  And that way after I have treated my left ear.  The solution will have worked and the wax in my left ear should then have an easier time.  Finally being cleared out.

But I will have to write later.  As I really am sort of running out of energy.

Thank you very much for listening.