Sunday, October 3, 2010

MY LIFE LATELY! if anyone is interested....

In August, my daughter, a teacher, had an emergency appendectomy just before her school year was to start. So I drove her back and forth from Maumee to BG to Jerry City --to finish preparing her classroom, loaned her my Rascal scooter to get around in the school building. Then my sciatica kicked up --for which I had curative pain shots at the end of June successfully. This time the shots didn't help. I got worse and worse until I had an MRI --during which I was as comfortable and snug as a bug in a rug --despite my apprehensions about claustrophobia. But when I went to get off of the high, narrow table a week ago Tuesday, I could not move any which way without this thing in my hip "catching" and giving me tremendous unrelieved huge, sharp pain--talk about a pain in the A!!! pain down the right leg and my right toes and part of my foot feeling as though they were bandaged. SCREAMING, NOT PRETTY FEMININE HOLLERING as in on tv --but hoarse screeching like in a horror show. The worst pain EVER --NUMBER TEN TO THE MAX! And no one could help me. I knew they couldn't without just putting me under and there was no one around the MRI unit to do that at night--so I suffered helplessly to the car and could hardly get in --or get out at home --or get into the house --but then if I sat on the toilet, I had already learned that there would be some relief --as sitting on the doughnut shaped-seat seemed to gradually release the aggravation of the nerves.

What was it??? The MRI showed general disc disease of lumbar spine (common to my age?) , a bulging disk, some narrowing of something or other, and a CYST on a joint space near the nerve endings to sciatic nerve -or something like that --my layman's interp. I had two more of these screaming bouts when getting up from lying down before the pain clinic shot me up again two days after the MRI. Dr. said he tried to aspirate and flush out the cyst -so it wouldn't fill up again. But I don't think he was entirely successful. I've had some relief, and am getting around --but I have that tell-tale pain in the right "buttock" as Forest Gump would so plainly tell you --when I lie down. Otherwise some good days --and various pills --Lyrica, Percocet as needed, Celebrex --and sometimes Motrin as needed. A previous hip x-ray didn't reveal a problem in the joint where I feel it.

Meanwhile we've just signed up for a Tempur-pedic ? bed with the adjustable head and feet feature --thinking ahead. Our Stearns & Foster bed is as old as our oldest child --37 1/2 years old. We bought it in St. Louis when I was pregnant. Before that we were on a studio bed --one side mattress --and one side just flat springs. The current old bed is lumpy and dippy and no support compared to the beds at Banner Mattress. We also bought those wedge pillows for the car seat --as sometimes I can hardly move into the house after driving. Those seem to help. Unfortunately, Hubby still likes the old mattress which we have layered with a couple of memory foam layers --but I know my side of the mattress is aggravating my condition.

MOREOVER, my husband has suffered a terrible pain for a year, which started ruining his happiness in August --for which he had surgery--and his was due to an abscess that he thought was merely the family hemorrhoid curse --until the doctor looked into the matter. He is healing and was immediately relieved by the surgery.

91 year-old Mom? Nothing wrong with her!!! And I'm glad, because we don't need any more problems right now. I tell the Lord we've been tested like Job enough for one summer.

Mom had a birthday party last week --and I thank the church ladies who were available for hire to get my house caught up --and for Rob's help, too. Her sister and husband in their 80's came; her son and wife; all of our kids and our 2 grandchildren --15 total.

The party started here with appetizers, fall decor, floral bouquets and candles --then we went to show the visitors our daughter's new beautiful park-like home in Whitehouse at dusk, and then to Biaggi's Restaurant for a wonderful meal--and back to our house for cake and gifting. Mom was well-honored, and delighted. She has been taking the new higher dose of Aricept lately and it seems to me she is sharper --answering the phone which she couldn't figure out before --and speaking of her sister and husband by name instead of as "those people --the ones who are my relatives" and "my aunt and uncle," which they are not hers, but mine.

She still thinks her birthday was a certain day that it wasn't, the same numerical day as mine --instead of the day which has always been on her birth certificate and ID card. She complained to the hairdresser that no one celebrated her birthday on her birthday nor agrees with her about when it is --which is progress in that she even knows that her dream birthdate passed. She says to me with exasperation, "I know what I know. You weren't always around back then!!!" She also thinks she and her father looked at our property before there was a house on it --and also came to the Toledo Airport when it was being built, which is highly doubtful. She thinks she recognizes a lot of places which aren't really in her history.

Mom stays in her room all day except for her daily trip to the mailbox --which will usually have a copy of her hometown newspaper. She spends her days looking out the window and re-organizing her photos, her clothes, my mail. If she can, she saves old kleenex boxes and candy boxes and the like--they're pretty and they might come in handy. She also tears her table napkins in half to get more use of them--and likes to use one square of toilet paper at a time. She gets her hair done on Saturdays--Rob drives her. I do the baths. He does the breakfasts. Sunday morning she is likely to change out of the clothes which I put her in, into something of her own choosing --which usually isn't' color coordinated --if she gets a chance. Unfortunately, whenever it is time to go anywhere, she heads for the bathroom again--just in case --even though she was just in there 5 minutes earlier. She will brush her teeth with a tube of hand creme if I'm not there to show her her toothpaste. She is out of sorts if she doesn't get her favorite breakfast, a fried egg, 1 piece of toast which she slathers with huge amount of jelly, orange juice and instant coffee with milk. She is not even polite about substitutions.

She did go to a bridal shower brunch with me Saturday morning and enjoyed that --I think. She and I do not go anywhere fast --what with my painful gait and our similar slow penguin walks.

I'm using a beautiful, Gandalf-like cane --a hickory stick, highly varnished and polished by Wayne Altman, of Holland, now deceased, who gave it to my husband many, many years ago. I do feel a little witchy using it, but it helps a bit to take weight off.

I'm trying a diet --no night-time eating. Lost a little. Plan to get back to daily swim --which I had not been doing mainly because I was busy trying to get two things done during this pain siege --driving a young mom to and from her community service obligation at Toledo's Botanical Gardens (right beside the old Mudrake's home --I drove by there once to see if he was there for me to wave at.) Then I would drive her baby over to a sitter from my church. Both lovely people --the baby and the sitter. Adorable baby!

Between the morning and afternoon trips, I was trying to learn the new Publisher 2010 computer program I bought in order to do a church newsletter for outreach to our own and others. I started it in August and had to keep changing the articles because the events I was promoting in September had passed --so I just wrote about them as re-caps in the past-tense. I had trouble using the newspaper format --I am very unskilled and had to have a friend wave her magic fingers over my keyboard --and had the publisher try to talk me through some problems like how to send it to them. I did take this to Welch publishing to print --in order to get it done fast without imposing on the church office.

We mailed it Friday after closing time at the Holland P.O. and people said they got it Saturday! Hooray!!!

My hat is off to the medical profession--and the post office! And Welch Publishers did a lovely job!

"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible


steve said...

I had sciatica a few years ago due to disc compression of the nerve root. I couldn't affort to get it treated so I fixed myself basically. I would use inversion boots and hang upside down for 5 minutes 2 times a day and gradually walk it out starting with a few hundred yards to a few miles. It only took about 2 months to get it resolved. You can get one of those inversion tables that are easier to get into and out of. I have to admit, for me, inversion therapy worked wonders.

Barb said...

From what did these "inversion boots" hang?? chandelier? rafters? balcony? My son said they sometimes have you swim with weights on the feet or use styrofoam noodle --to suspend your weight on perhaps, letting the body hang down in the water not touching?

Matthew said...

Back pain is the worst. I thought I was going to die until a certain good doctor from Holland called me late one night and said, "Wow, your back really hurts, doesn't it?" He was looking at my MRI results. Sciatica, pain in the rump, etc. Excruciating. Hope you get it resolved quickly.

My Dad has an inversion table, by the way. He loves it.

Barb said...

It's encouraging to me to hear that people have gotten over this cursed affliction! Because I fear living with it for the rest of my tortured days!!!

I'm afraid I'd get on the inversion table and end up upside down and no way to get righted and out of the contraption!

steve said...

Yes, they are scary looking. (I have boots that I put on and hang from a bar - which is a lot different from the tables) But I think that they are perfectly balanced so that all you have to do is shift your weight slightly and they right themselves. Maybe go to a physical therapist and ask them about it and maybe they can help you with a demonstration of how they work. Also, some people find relief with chairopractors.