Here I sit, on my deck, with an ice pack on my back, still. It’s Saturday, so there is not much sound except for the birds, and the low hum of air conditioners from around the neighborhood.
Every day I awaken around 4 AM, which I guess is about the time the pain killer I took the night before stops being effective. Sometimes I go into the kitchen then and get an icepack to help me get back to sleep for another hour or two. Sometimes, I just need to move a little, and can then avoid the trek to the kitchen in the dark. Once I finally get up, between 5:30 and 6:30, I hobble to the kitchen and sit down in a chair because that 20 ft is about as much as I can take. I pull a chair over to the freezer, which gratefully is on the bottom of my fridge, and get a nice cold icepack, put it against the back of a kitchen chair, and lean against it, until I am able to stand up for a short time without too much pain.
It’s a real process, for me to get to a point where I can make coffee, or get a bowl of fruit. Then I sit and read Apple News, and Facebook and try not to move off the icepack for a good hour or so. I move out onto the deck when I am able, which was about 8 am today.
This Wednesday I am scheduled for an epidural and I am praying that it helps. Sometimes it takes 2 or 3 of these shots. But I’m hopeful that I may be able to walk more, and better, after this shot. I have to go to a surgical center to get it. The appointment is for 9, which I’m guessing will mean I need to be there before 8 am. If it allows me to begin to get back to my normal life I will be so happy. When I first started with this problem, it was March. Now its 5 months later. I never expected to still be dealing with it now.
I’ve found myself getting a little depressed lately. I have to say it’s not a state I’m familiar with, really. Nor do I want to become too familiar with it. But the inability to just do simple things gets to me at times. Sometimes I press on, because I just get sick of telling myself things like “no, don’t change your sheets, it will hurt.” Because I did that the other day, a little at a time. Pull off a sheet, rest my back. Pull off another rest my back. Put another on and (this is the killer) tuck it in at the bottom, which you all know means lifting the mattress a few inches. I did this. I thought I was ok. I thought I’d rested enough during that process to not screw myself.
I was wrong. By late in the day I was dying. Walking bent over like I was 100 years old. “Fuck” I said to myself. “You shouldn’t have done the sheets.” Imagine, I cannot change my sheets without someone to help me. So, between my inability to do much for myself, combined with searing pain, I fell into a sad and tearful state until I went to bed and took another hydrocodone. Since I only got 7 of them I only take one at night. It allows me to get 5 or 6 hours of sleep, and then I can usually get one or two more hours if I’m lucky. I am also grateful that I have a medical marijuana card, because marijuana really helps me to deal with the pain. It doesn’t stop it, but it removes it from front and center of my brain so I can rest, and sleep.
I miss going to the beach. Usually, in summer the beaches are not crowded at all down here because it’s just too hot. I don’t go, because I can’t walk from the parking lot to the beach, maybe 500’ or so. I miss seeing my friends at the open mics around town. And lots more stuff. We all do.
I’m so sick of it all. Of the pain, of needing pain meds, of the side effects of the drugs, and of COVID-19. I allow myself a bit of self-pity on those days.
But not for long. I just can’t. I feel sorry for myself, and then remember that this week my girlfriends came over and social distanced with me on my deck. My sister came up for a visit and brought me the best lunch of grilled salmon and a salad. One of my friends offered to take my garbage to the street and bring it back on garbage day (she lives a few houses down from me). And then there’s Daniel, who texted me one night last week to tell me he’d ordered a pizza for me, to be delivered about 6:30. He knew I was wanting pizza and in this small town, there is only one place that delivers, and their pizza sucks. But he ordered it from a restaurant a few miles away, and it was pretty good, even though they messed up the order. And there is my son with whom I talk usually multiple times a day so that even if I can’t see him, I feel like I am part of his life.
I have a lot of blessings for which I’m so grateful.
The morning this morning is beautiful. Not a cloud in the sky. It’s hot, but not too hot yet to sit outside There’s a gentle breeze out of the east. A half dozen butterflies are flitting around. The geckos are racing around the deck and the yard. It’s lovely.
However, this peacefulness is, by all forecasts, going to be interrupted this weekend by a hurricane. It will mostly stay on the east coast of Florida, and the Bahamas, but you never know where a hurricane is really going to go. And it could mean power outages and flooding here, despite the assurances we are presently getting that we won’t get a lot of rain. Just seems like we have enough crap going on, did we really need a hurricane too? Well of course, no one NEEDS a hurricane, but geez 2020, haven’t you given us enough obstacles this year? I hope everyone stays safe.
I guess that’s what we are all wishing for isn’t it? Safe from COVID, safe from hurricanes, safe from leaders who don’t lead, but spread fear, and hate. Maybe that’s 2020’s lesson, to teach us all to care for and about each other in broader terms than we’ve ever done before.
Here’s hoping that love and light find you, every day.