If we were having coffee, I am and half of you aren’t!
I’d tell all of you that it feels like I’ve been waiting a month while you’re standing in line for your special tea or coffee-with-this-much-cream, or chai orders and I’m nestled here in our cozy corner booth sipping low-maintenance hot, black coffee.
But I know you’d laughingly scoff me out the door.
Instead I’ll tell you the truth. I’ve missed all of you, and I’m sorry I’ve been absent from blogging and somewhat absent from commenting on your blogs. P-A-I-N has been a lifelong, albeit unwelcome, companion. It comes; it goes; it has never achieved diagnosis (other than occasional hypochondria) and no remedy seems to be the magic bullet. After 12-14 months of triage treatment for injuries from my bike accident, I thought I was on the mend. But over the last three months, what was my typical before-accident daily pain progressed to full-bore, everywhere-in-my-body-but-especially-in-my-upper-spine P-A-I-N.
The kind of pain that:
- Makes a grown woman cry
- Makes me curl up on the couch all day
- Makes me say to Hub, “Aieee, don’t touch my head; your gentle touch feels like a hundred-pound hammer.”
- Makes me so cranky, I snap at Hub with nastiness when he so much as tells me he loves me
After years of the mysterious Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and undiagnosed pain, it becomes harder and harder to advocate for myself, especially when symptoms hurt the worst. Fortunately I had my annual physical in mid-March where I promptly broke down in tears and said simply, “I hurt everywhere, all the time.”
My new-ish doctor is the first practitioner to utter the “F” word.
The IBS-digestive equivalent for inexplicable neurological pain.
Along with a referral to a spine specialist, she suggested I switch anti-depressants to Cymbalta because it contains an ingredient that blocks nerve pain. After seven days of Cymbalta, I hesitate to say this (because I’m so afraid it’s the placebo effect), but I feel So Much Better. The past two days I spent the entire time in activities, including sitting at a table in a restaurant, which I haven’t been able to do in months.
My visit to my spine specialist was nothing but positive and hopeful news. My spinal fracture healed properly; I have no disc damage; but I have soft tissue injuries that were never addressed after my accident. He said it’s not too late to address those problems with treatments like ultrasound and dry needling, as well as working on exercises that will strengthen and realign my spine in order to support the weight of my head (no doubt all that brain power is a heavy load).
My fingers will be crossed as I go through the next six weeks of twice-weekly therapy sessions and pray the Cymbalta (or possibly another fibromyalgia medication) gets me back to significantly more ‘good’ days than ‘bad’. I know many of you suffer from a variety of life-altering chronic ailments, too. We’ve all lived with them long enough to know that’s the cycle – good to bad and back to good. But it’s best – even if it takes desperate tears – to ask/beg for help when the bad days outweigh the good for a measurable period of time.
Spring, oh spring, oh spring. Our most capricious season here in Colorado. I love that word ‘capricious”. I first read that word in an essay about springtime when I moved to Colorado and experienced a mid-May snowstorm. Yesterday and today we enjoyed spring – 70 degree weather with a light breeze; full sun in a blue sky as far as you could see; and bright green popping out in such rapid succession, you could almost hear those buds bursting.
That might be all the spring we get. Sometimes we get snow or rain right up until June. Other years April and May are so hot and dry we search the skyline daily for the dreaded wildfires, or the wind blows so fiercely our bikes and golf clubs gather dust in the garage..
But in the years when we have a true spring – when the redbud and magnolia blooms make me think I’m still in Michigan; when the lilac scent lasts for three blissful weeks – those are the years worth waiting for.
And Bling-o was his name-oh.
Oh, sorry … wrong song.
Yesterday was Hub’s birthday and we celebrated with the kiddos at Patsy’s, a local Italian restaurant where the garlic bread melts in your mouth without a chew. Raqi – bless her heart – always dresses up for our birthdays. Like so many who haven’t (yet, but someday I hope) learned the difference between comfort and bling, her closet floor is strewn with sparkly sandals and fashion-forward boots. How she walks in them, I don’t know. But that’s not my battle to fight.
About halfway down the block from our parked car to the restaurant door, she bent down to adjust her sandal, saying “this is rubbing me“. By the time we got to the door, she’d done it two more times.
On the way back to the car, she stopped suddenly saying, ‘Ouch!” and showing me the red spot on her foot.
When she commented on it again in the car, rubbing her sore spot, I suggested that it’s a fashion choice she’s going to be making the rest of her life. Comfortable walking shoes and bling-y high fashion shoes aren’t a matched pair I’ve found in my 64 years.
I clued her in that the runway models and singers and dancers – all those women that she so desperately wants to be RIGHT NOW – ditch their sparkly shoes the minute they are off camera. I insist that she wear safe, closed-toe shoes for biking and climbing on apparatus at the park.
But she’ll learn her own lessons and make her own decisions about B-L-I-N-G-O.
At least she listened with interest to what I had to say.