Doctor’s Orders.

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My neck injury from the wreck has been getting increasingly worse for the past week, including radiating pain down through my shoulders, arms, and hand. I’ve also gotten to experience fascinating symptoms such as burning skin, the superpower of being instantaneously heated from the inside out, tremors, and finger tingling.

All of this led to a 10 hour medical trek on Friday that included attempting to get an MRI to see if I need neck surgery, nearly going back to the ER, and ultimately seeing a doctor who specializes in neck and back injuries.

His diagnosis was serious ligament strains on top of the muscle damage I already knew I had, and the swelling ligaments and muscles are pushing on the nerves and creating all of my other symptoms. To deal with these things, he prescribed me a new kind of muscle relaxer and more pain pills, and told me I need to not stress or stretch my neck in any way for 2-4 weeks, and I need to take the muscle relaxers and pain pills three times a day for at least a week. No lifting, certainly still no running, and I can’t really even do my photography because my camera is so heavy.

I’m not exactly sure how I’m supposed to continue my life, drive to physical therapy, homeschool my kids, and be a mom while not moving my neck and taking narcotics and muscle relaxers for a week, and I’m going to desperately miss our outdoor adventures, but I do know that I need to clear my calendar and my stress as much as possible to somehow achieve it. My plan this upcoming week is to do nearly nothing, to lay in bed as much as possible, and to follow all prescribed treatment in the hopes that I can heal faster and that it won’t take four weeks. Because I need to be able to run – badly. On top of the neck pain and resulting arm pain, my Dysautonomia is significantly flared up from not running for the past two weeks, and I’m blacking out almost every time I stand up (my vision goes black, I get clammy and dizzy, and I have to hold onto something to keep my legs from buckling. It passes in a few seconds but it is still rather inconvenient.)

So. Although I still want to tell you all about our state park tour (which was most likely not helpful at all in my neck recovery), I need to take the week off from writing to try and focus on healing and resting and not being stressed. I will be back soon, hopefully with a happily functioning neck that doesn’t require surgery.

My neck appreciates your prayers. And chocolate.


p.s. For those of you who are local (and those who aren’t), please keep the Picture Birmingham shop in mind as you start to think about Christmas shopping. 100% of the profits go to The WellHouse to help rescue victims of human trafficking, and one of the things that has distressed me the most about these wreck injuries (and really, this entire year) is that it has kept me from being able to focus on raising money for The WellHouse through Picture Birmingham. I am trusting that God has a plan and He doesn’t need me to see it through, because since I can’t lift things, I may not be able to do any Christmas events, either. But everything is available online – prints, note cards, 2016 calendars, and canvases. I haven’t been able to add any of my newer pictures to the shop yet, but I can order any picture in any size or format (canvas, note cards, prints.) Just email me – rachel@picturebirmingham.com – and I can get any special order you need (although I might be a little slow for the next week unless you notate that you need it right away.)

THANK YOU!