** Ok, first things first – I'm having a giveaway beginning tomorrow and you will NOT want to miss out! I am SO excited about it, I can hardly stand it. Make sure to stop by again tomorrow! **
So, I have a confession to make. Right before I left for my trip to New York, Dr. Painless determined it would be in my best interest to have me fitted for a straitjacket.
Those of you who know me, and those of you who have been reading me for any length of time, are probably not at all surprised.
Dr. Painless was hoping he could have me straitjacketed before my trip to New York, but the entire transaction required more time than he had imagined and it ended up not happening until I returned.
That being said, the other day a Medical.Type.Person arrived at my house to "fit" me for my new NINE HUNDRED DOLLAR straitjacket.
I shit you not.
Fortunately, my medical insurance company has deemed me straitjacket-worthy (could there be any doubt?) and they're picking up the tab for all but $50 of the cost.
My new brace straitjacket looks like this from the front:
It's tighter than you can imagine even in your wildest dreams of tight straitjackets. (You do dream of straitjackets, don't you?) It zips up the front and squeezes me tighter than I've ever been squeezed. The lower portion wraps around my hips. It's made of spandex and … (?) other stuff.
The back of my brace straitjacket looks like this:
The straps pull my shoulder blades (including the one that doesn't work) back into perfect posture/alignment. It's something I can't accomplish on my own post-car accident. The straps then wrap around to the front, stringing me up like a Thanksgiving turkey.
Since my accident, I'm usually hunched forward – particularly on my right side. My right shoulder also is often raised very high if I'm trying to use my right arm. (Since my arm doesn't work, my neck muscles strain to lift my arm creating a hunched-up look.)
When I'm not using my arm, my shoulder falls down lower than it should because I can't keep it where it's supposed to be on my own.
When I have the straitjacket on I stand up tall. My shoulders are held back. My posture looks perfect. My breasts are flattened to near-nothingness. My fat squishes out in all sorts of places because it's being squeezed in all sorts of inappropriate ways.
I'm very attractive in my designer straitjacket!
(The straitjacket can be worn UNDER a shirt, but if I'm at home I wear just it. Oh, and pants. Sometimes shoes. Did I mention panties? A bra?)
The idea of fitting me with this particular brace straitjacket, is to hold my upper body in the position it's supposed to be in. I'm told it stabilizes my displaced shoulder. It apparently does what my non-working muscles/damaged tendons/missing ligaments can no longer do. The hope is that, in time, having the upper part of my body properly aligned will help with both my pain levels and the function of my arm.
I was in tears after ten minutes in the straitjacket on my first day. I can't even describe the pain. (Except to say … holy shit!) Each day I'm supposed to increase the amount of time I wear it until I can handle a full 8 hours a day. I'm up to about an hour now, but I need pain meds in order to handle it. Supposedly, as my body becomes accustom to the straitjacket, the pain will decrease.
I don't know if I believe the pain it causes will ever decrease because, damn, it REALLY hurts! (Not just while I'm wearing it, but for hours afterward also.)
To help with the pain, Dr. Painless has prescribed me pain patches. They are non-narcotic patches of lidocaine which is a numbing drug. These patches are generally used for nerve-pain – and yes, my arm and shoulder also have nerve damage. I cut the big adhesive patches into strips and apply them to my arm. I can wear them for 12 hours and they do help a lot, although nothing is strong enough to counteract the pain caused by the straitjacket.
Nonetheless, the patches are saving me lately. They're reducing the amount of narcotic pain meds I need. They allowed me to get to, and from, New York and function fairly normally while there. (Of course, that was pre-straitjacket and the increased pain that came with it!)
If I combine the pain patches with pain meds (and skip my straitjacket responsibilities) I feel the lowest pain levels I've experienced since the accident. With the straitjacket, my pain levels are quite high, but I know I'd be in even worse shape without the patches..
The straitjacket is hot.
I don't mean sexy hot. It doesn't breathe. It's a sweaty type of contraption. I'm also convinced it will squish my boobs out of existence. It's not a perfect device, by any means. (I wonder if it would still work if I cut boob holes in it? Probably not.)
Dr. Painless also wants me to consider having electrodes put in my arm and shoulder which would mean two (fairly simple?) surgeries. That's another story for another day, but it's something he'll be meeting with me about in the next two weeks. It could possibly help me a lot, but …?
If I have electrodes put into my shoulder, the two surgeries involved would put me at a total of EIGHT surgeries (so far) on my arm/shoulder. Are the docs going for a new world record?
In addition, I already have bionic nipples.
Do I really want a bionic arm and shoulder too?
© Twenty Four At Heart