Monday, May 08, 2006

Another breakdown

I had another breakdown today. You know what I'm talking about. One of those "I just can't do this anymore" breakdowns.

I'd had a particularly tough day. First, my wrist has been hurting for over a week now. I bought a brace. I've been using heat and Ibuprofen, but the pain keeps getting worse instead of better. (I'm typing this with one hand, so it will probably be short. ) So, I finally break down this morning and get an appointment with the Dr. I HATE going to the Dr. Other than my yearly physical, I avoid Drs at all costs. One reason is because I'm a nurse and I don't like dealing with Drs anymore than I already do. Another reason is because you tend to have to go to them 3-4 times before they actually tell you what's wrong with you.

My appointment was at 11:45. My Dr. is 45 minutes away. I had a new patient to admit this morning, which is pretty time consuming. There is a lot of paperwork involved. She also had a somewhat involved dressing change to do, which didn't help my wrist at all.

I got done at her house just in time to leave for my appointment. The Dr. (actually PA) told me that the symptoms I'm having are a little weird. I didn't actually injure my wrist. It just started hurting. He took x-rays and nothing appeared to be broken. So, you guessed it, "well, Mrs. R. I don't really know what it is. Where you are hurting there aren't really any major tendons or ligaments. Maybe it's cartilage , blah, blah, blah...." In other words, "I have no better idea than you what is wrong with your wrist". He gave my steroids (which I won't take because I've taken them before and they drive me up the wall) and a prescription for something that has the analgesic effects of an aspirin. I'll just stick with my Ibuprofen, thanks.

I had left my cell phone in the car. When I got back to the car I called my mom. She'd just checked Riley's sugar and it was 67. She gave him some fruit snacks and he had eaten and his sugar was now 190. He's been low at lunch the last few days, so I made a mental note to do some adjustments when I get home.

I left the Dr's office and went to another patients house. This particular patient is what we in the medical profession call a train wreck. He's in his 70s, lives alone, has no children or family to help, and was just sent home with a trach. He is really just an accident waiting to happen. To make a long story short, the visit was filled with one problem after another. I had to make several phone calls to Drs, oxygen companies, and respiratory therapists. All the time, my wrist is throbbing. The PA was anything but gentle when he examined it. Oh, I failed to mention that just before I arrived at the patient's house my mom called to inform me that Riley's sugar was now 334. Great, just what I needed to hear.

I finished up with my patient and got in the car to go home. I felt so sorry for him. He's all alone and he's sick and I'm almost all he has and I only see him 3 days a week. That coupled with my pain and Riley's sugars was enough to push me over the edge. I had a 15 minutes ride home and I cried the whole way. I didn't just cry, I sobbed.

Most of it was a "diabetes breakdown". I need to have one every once in a while, it seems. I just feel like I'm not doing enough to keep his sugars under control. After a good cry I realize that I'm doing all I can, and I go on.

When I walked in the house Michael could tell I'd been crying and I just lost it again. I cried for another 15 minutes or so. But, now, I feel much better. Even though after I stopped crying I asked Michael to check Riley's sugar to see if it had come down and it had come 57.

Right now he is happily playing video games with his dad and his big brother. My wrist has eased off a bit after 4 ibuprofen. I've had my good cry and I'm ready to go another couple of months before it probably happens again.


bingsy said...

I think it could be from repetitive stress. You say it got worse from all the things you need to do in a day. I would be really mindful of positioning and stuff for a while and also look up some ot/pt type exercises you can do to alleviate the stress. It may be a couple of weeks before it starts to heal.

Everyone needs a breakdown every once in a while, or at least I do. It's normal.

bingsy said...

I hope you feel better.

Sandra Miller said...

Oh Penny,

I promise, with time those "diabetes breakdowns" will happen less often-- though I can't say they'll ever completely go away.

I think that every so often we all need to let this stuff out in a big way...


bethany said...

*hug* - i understand completely.

Jon Schlaman said...

You are doing a great job. Hang in there! Tell Riley Happy Birthday!

Caro said...


I think that not only is this completely normal, it is also totally healthy. Think what those emotions would eventually do to you if you kept them inside. You may feel like you are losing it, but I admire you for having strength to face up to it and let it out.

You are doing a great job, and putting in a trmendous amount of effort. Highs and lows happen, it is the nature of the beast.

I'm sending you a virtual hug, and hope your wrist gets better soon.

prayergal said...

I am sorry that you had such a bad day. I am praying for you and I love you!
Aunt Linda

julia said...

Sometimes those breakdowns can be of immeasurable help.

I hope the wrist continues to improve.

Scott K. Johnson said...

I think it's 100 times harder being a parent of a child with diabetes than it is to have it yourself. I give you and all other parents a deep bow of respect and thanks. All of the work you are doing makes a big difference, and it is worth it.

I also agree with all the others, the breakdowns happen, and are healthy in a way. Like Sandra said - the will happen less often I think.

You are doing a great job with Riley (happy b-day R!). I'm sure you'll figure out what's going on with your wrist, though it might take some trial and error (just like diabetes!).

Well wishes from me and you be sure to let us know if you need anything.

Penny said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Penny said...

It amazes me how much support I get from people I don't even know. While I'm sorry that you are going through this too, it is comforting to know that I'm not alone.

You're comment really hit home with me. I really do hope that this is harder for me than it will ever be for Riley. When I do have my weepy moments, a lot of times I just keep thinking that one day this will be his burden to bear and it just makes me cry harder. But, your comments have made me feel better. Thanks.

My wrist may be a little better today, but not much. I broke down and got the Prednisone. Now I'm jumpy and feel like I'm on fire. I may have to call the Dr. and see if there's something else he can order.

Kerri. said...

I'm glad you're feeling better today, Penny.

I'm sending big hugs your way, just in case you're not. :)

Penny said...

I am feeling better today, but I could always use a hug. Thanks!

karondaray said...

As a mother with 2 children with Diabetes, i totally understand. I go thru the ups and owns and some times its up and right back down. When my son got dx'd my emotions revolved around his numbers,becuase that was a reflection of how i was doing as a parent. Now I have a saying " Diabetes is an Art, Not a Science." I have had to pull back and say that not all of these numbers are my fault,but i am going to fix them. And with Diabetes we(parents) go thru the grieving process so many times it isn't even funny. For example......"this is her first dance with having Diabetes" " this picture was taken before Diabetes come to live with us".