Slowly But Surely, Step By Step

The last 8 weeks have been tough ones, as I try to get back on my feet. Or legs, more literally. Most of my cognizant effort has been trying to figure out how to stay on my feet the least amount of time, how to get from one room to another without aggravating the pain. It seems though, that I am actually making some headway.

I went to my pain management dr on Tuesday. After he twisted my hip and knee into positions that were torturous, he told me that he’s not recommending an epidural for me right now. He believes most of the pain is coming from my damaged SI joint/muscle. He made an appointment for me to come back next week and get a different kind of shot there in my SI joint. He said it’s less invasive than an epidural but more invasive than the cortisone shots he gave me a couple weeks ago.

Anyway, I was at the point that I don’t really care what they have to do, but they need to relieve this pain somehow so I can have a normal life. He did say as I left that I’m really doing much better, that I’m walking straighter (compared to walking like a 100 yr old woman with a cane.) And even though I still have pain, he’s right, I am taking less pain med (Tylenol) and have had more days I call “good” than “bad”. Slow but sure, I am improving.

I have gotten depressed in the last few weeks, which is not something I’m prone to. It’s just the constant pain, and my inability to do anything. Like washing a plate, fork and a glass is difficult. My house needs vacuuming, but I haven’t figured out how to get that one done. Maybe today. At least one room.  I decided as I went to sleep last night to make a list of productive things I HAVE done, because it’s not really that bad.

Here’s my list from yesterday. I read. I’m reading two books, one a rather heavy history, and one a lighthearted romance. When I get sick of one, I can go to the other.

I also colored, with my adult coloring book and colored pencils. It’s a wonderful way to stop thinking about my health problems. iT Helps me to focus on something else, and create something. Even if I don’t draw, I can create some form of art, which satisfies me.

I dropped off my prescription for 7 more hydrocodone at the pharmacy.

I got gas in my car.

I made potato salad. I can do that sitting down mostly.

I had a long conversation with my older sister, which I enjoyed.

I made myself a lunch, and a dinner. And cleaned it up. Without firing my nerve endings up. That tells me I am much better.

And I’ve lost 5 lbs. A silver lining of sorts.

I managed to stay off my feet for a good part of yesterday, which really helps to heal. I couldn’t sit outside too long though, as the heat index was over 100°, and even my shaded back deck was stifling. There was basically no breeze, but I did get out and enjoy the outdoors. Lots of geckos and butterflies.

It seems I had a pretty good day. The second day in a row. Today seems to be the 3rd. The improvement comes in very small increments, but if I put them all together, I am better. I’m hopeful about the shot I’m getting next week. I know it will hurt like hell when he does it, but I am pretty sure I will feel better later that day, or the next.

The virus is raging here. So, I don’t feel bad I can’t go out, because in this small town, about half the restaurants have had cases of COVID-19 among their staff. For the most part, that doesn’t even make them close down. They put the infected staff member in quarantine, but not the rest of the staff. They take temperatures of their staff when they report to work, but they are staying OPEN. So….I’m not going anywhere. There are a couple of restaurants I’d be tempted to visit where I know they go above and beyond, but even that is scary to me.

I can’t wrap my head around people who refuse to wear masks. My son had a family of 3 try to come into his store in CO yesterday, He informed them at the door that they needed masks to shop in his store. The man argued with him, saying it was not the law. He said, “It is, in this store.” So the guy put on his mask, which had been in his pocket, and covered his CHIN. Um….really? My son said, “no, you need to put it over your chin and your nose.” The man continued to argue, as his family (wife and a child about 3) watched. Great example, right? Anyway, after being repeatedly told (very politely) h couldn’t come in he continued to argue and refused to leave the store. So my son said, “Ok, then. I’ll call the police substation that’s 600’ down the hall, and they will escort you out.”

Which they did.

I feel bad for my kid, because he was the only staff member on the floor. He has to monitor the door, the dressing rooms which are closed, and assist customers. Since no one can try clothes on in the store, he is faced with a pile of returns every day, And here he is having to argue with some self-centered idiot that can’t see that it’s not different requiring a mask than to require shoes. Come on folks. Could this family man not just pretend that he cared about his fellow human beings? Son deals with this crap every day, numerous times, though this is the first one he’s had to call for help on.

I’m grateful that he lives in CO right now, because their governor seems to have a much better handle on reducing the infection rate than our tRumpian governor, who, like his mentor, keeps passing the responsibility off to the county in much the same way as tRump does to the state, refusing to make a policy that works for the greater good and gives everyone guidance. A couple days ago FL had over 5500 new cases, has been setting and breaking records daily. And still no coherent policy.

I’m grateful that tRump seems to be falling in the polls daily. That also gives me hope.

So…it seems that I am grateful and hopeful, in a number of ways. And figuring out how to be even slightly productive, which is good.

I hope everyone is safe and well, and doing what they need to do to stay that way. Love and light to all.

Just a Little Stream of Consciousness

Ok, first of all, I am so pleased that trump’s rally was a HUGE fail. I’m so proud of the young people who pranked him into thinking a million people wanted to come. How funny is that? He couldn’t even fil the venue, let alone have “overflow” crowds outside.  Tulsa FD reported he had 6200.  It was a joy to read that they had to take down the overflow stage before the rally even started. And this morning I read that a poll, Reuters I think but am not positive, put him down 14 pts behind Biden. I know it’s early but the trend has been for that gap to widen, not get smaller. There is hope, however cautiously optimistic we have to be.

I slept well last night, and feel pretty good today, relatively speaking. I wanted to make BBQ chicken sliders in the slow cooker for Dan for Father’s Day, but they won’t get done until tomorrow. I needed to brine the chicken breasts for 18 to 24 hours, and I just couldn’t do it last night, I was in a lot of pain. But this morning, not so much, and I got the brine made, and put the chicken in it, in the fridge. So, tomorrow it will be ready to put in the slow cooker.

My BFF went to Walgreens yesterday for me and picked up my script so I didn’t have to go out. When she got here, we ended up sitting on my deck for the afternoon, having a glass of wine, and talking. It was a lovely way to spend the afternoon. It’s been pretty nice weather here, mostly around 90 but the humidity is not terribly high and there’s a breeze almost always. If not I take a fan out there, just to blow the air around, which reminds me that I need to water my plants.

So off I go to take care of them, and I hope everyone has a lovely Father’s Day! Love and light to all.

Fighting Through It, Getting Through It

Yesterday was a tough day. I had x-rays done of my hip, again, in the AM. I must be so full of millirems I fear I might start glowing. Which, I suppose, would not be a bad thing.

X-rays of my hip are painful for me because they require me to stand for too long while they set up each shot. The tech looked at what he was taking a picture of, and asked me, “What did you do to your back? Did you fall?” Indicating to me that my hip and back were f’d up enough that he could see how bad it was.

I walked out to the car afterward and was barely able to talk. Dan and I were really getting on each other’s nerves, especially me on his. I could tell he was a little sick of his unrelenting role as a caregiver.

Mornings are very difficult for me because when I wake up the pain has inevitably returned with a vengeance. I usually wake up a couple hours before Dan, which gives me time to take some acetaminophen, and sit on an ice pack, and eat some fruit and make some coffee, in silence, before Dan awakens. He loves to talk in the AM, about the news or whatever. I don’t. But after a couple hours to myself, I am ok with it. Yesterday, I awoke from a bad night’s sleep, in which pain kept waking me up, and I took some ibuprofen in the night, which really doesn’t mix well with the acetaminaphin. So my stomach was a bit upset. And I was tired, really tired. And, I didn’t wake up til almost 8 AM, about 2 hours after I normally wake up, and about 15 minutes before Daniel. We had to leave for the x-rays around 10.

When we got back to Dan’s, I folded a load of laundry while I sat at the kitchen table. I a yogurt for lunch, and all the while Dan was just relaxing in his recliner, because he was tired (he doesn’t sleep well) and because he was obviously a little peeved with me. I decided that I should try to go home, and spend a night by myself, to see if I can get through it, and to give him a break from taking care of me. Because, I was only an addition to caring for his mother, and his brother at times. I get it. He takes very little time for himself, and it piles up on him.

So I came home. Driving is not difficult for me since it is my left side, not my right that is all f’d up. I got home and it took me a few trips to the car to get my stuff, walking with my cane, and filling my other arm. Walking can be torture for me, and yesterday it was. I would walk the 30 steps from the car to the house and have to sit down and rest on the first chair I found. Then I had to put everything away, which I did in shifts. The next thing was to make an Instacart list because I had almost nothing in my fridge. So I did that, with a very foggy and exhausted brain. One of the things I ordered was 10 chicken wings from the deli and thought I’d have them for dinner. I also asked them to bring the groceries to the back door, since it is from the kitchen so I wouldn’t have to carry the stuff through the house. I also asked for a notification from them when it was delivered, because they often just leave it and don’t tell you.

So, of course, they left the bags at the front door, didn’t notify me that they were there. I had to carry them through the house, which shouldn’t be a big deal, but it is because I can’t walk much. And then when I unpacked the bags, finally, there were no chicken wings. I thought I’d make a couple hot dogs, but all I had were a couple of way-too-old ones in my fridge since I haven’t been here much for a month. Grilled cheese was the only answer I could come up with, and it worked. Luckily I had 3 slices of cheese in the fridge that weren’t moldy, lol.

Then I tried to turn on my TV, which has not been on in a month, and I couldn’t get Amazon Prime to load, because of course. Why should it? While I made the grilled cheese, after messing with the TV for about a half-hour, it all loaded and worked. Finally! Some success to my day!

By the time I was done with all this, my back/leg/hip thing was totally fired up, down through my knee. I wanted to take half of a hydrocodone, but didn’t because I only have a few, and I want them when I go to bed, to make sure I sleep, I tried every position on my couch to get comfortable, and couldn’t. I sat on an ice pack, one after the other, with very little benefit. I finally decided to go to bed, at about 9:30. I hooked up the TENS unit. I cut a lidocaine patch into 3 pieces and put one each on my knee, my hip, and my back. I took my half a hydrocodone, and called Dan to say goodnight. As I lay there talking to him, and the pill and the lidocaine patch began to work, the pain I’d been fighting all day began to subside. His mood was much better than in the morning, as was mine because stuff was working, and I was home in my own bed. I slept solidly for 2 hours, then woke up to some pain, so I took the other half of the pill, and a couple hits of medical indica marijuana which is supposed to help pain, and sleep. And it does….seriously. I use the stuff medicinally mostly. And it works. I went back to sleep til 5:30 this morning, when my old nemesis, PAIN, woke me up. I wanted to go back to sleep, but it wasn’t about to let me, so I finally got up about 6 and got to the kitchen for 3 extra strength acetaminophen and a nice frozen ice pack.

I am much better today. Able to walk a little more, and not have the pain take over my entire body. I go back to the pain dr Tuesday, so he can see what effect the cortisone shots he gave me have had. I am supposed to get scheduled for an epidural by my primary dr, and for more PT. I’ll have to check into that Monday since I just didn’t do it yesterday. Last night I realized I’d left a lot of stuff out of my grocery order that would make life easier for me, so this morning I have created another Instacart list to be delivered this morning. Then I think my cupboards and fridge will be full.

I talked to my BFF yesterday, and she’s going to come over today for awhile. She offered to stop at the drug store for me too, to pick up one of my meds. She’s such a good friend. She told me if I needed anything during the night to call her, or more precisely to call her husband since she wouldn’t have her hearing aids in and wouldn’t hear her phone ring if I called her.

Tomorrow is Father’s Day. I want to do something nice for Dan, who is a really good father. So I think I’ll make BBQ chicken sliders in the slow cooker. I’m just praying I don’t have another flare-up.

I’m actually looking forward to my day today, even though everything is a struggle, at least I’m home, and not feeling like I’m putting Daniel out, though I know he would deny that I was. I need to pick up my house before my friend gets here because yesterday it was all I could do to put the stuff in the fridge that needed to be put there. Everything else was still on my kitchen table this morning, so I am putting stuff away piece by piece.

Florida has become a raging hot spot for COVID-19, as everyone knows. We added 4000 new cases Thursday, and I haven’t even looked for today. Our esteemed governor says we’re not closing down again, and he also said the median age for new cases is 37 and getting younger. All those young folks down at the bars along the beach, no masks, no social distancing and many of the bars not even the servers have masks on. Me? I’ll stay home….even if I could go out, which is very difficult for me, I would stay home. Not interested in adding to my list of ailments, lol.

Obviously, I have not been able to take part in any of the protests in the area over BLM and also police brutality. I feel bad for the vast majority of cops who are good people, good cops, who have to deal with the repercussions of the ugly few. As for BLM, it has occurred to me that while I’m not racist, I am privileged, and need to recognize that fact, and empathize with all minorities more. I always have, but really was unaware of how systemic the nature of racism in our country. Every time I have an epiphany about it, I feel like and idiot for not acknowledging it before. I pray real change comes from all this, though I would expect that it will take an election and change of White House occupant for it to happen.

For those of you who made it to the end of this long post, thank you. Love and light to all.

Progress, and Throwing in a Little Joy

I’m feeling better this morning. It’s just a day, but I am definitely better. I have a bunch of lidocaine patches that were given to me a few years ago when I had carpal tunnel syndrome. I cut one in half and put it one on my hip and one on my lower back. They made a remarkable difference. I also ordered a box of 6 from my insurance company. Anyway, I managed to sleep from 12:30-6:45, which is epic, because I didn’t wake up from that 6+ hours of sleep in dire pain.

It did take me some work to get back to sleep. Like a half a 5 mg hydrocodone pill. But the point is, I went back to sleep and didn’t need a fresh ice pack. My feeling better was helped by the fact that I finally, after 4 ½ days, was able to speak to the referral person at my dr. (after I called a few times) and later, my primary care dr. called me to talk about my issues, again after quite a few calls Monday and Tuesday. But I will forget how long it took for the time being, and just be grateful that I have finally grabbed their attention.

Hopeful, for the first time, really, that this situation can and will be resolved. They are going to schedule an appt for an epidural in my spine, and start up the PT again. I told him I’m happy to do PT as long as it doesn’t torture me again. Plus I’m getting a back brace and more x-rays of my lower back/spine. Progress, anyway.

The weather has been lovely here lately, Typically for this time of year we hit 90 or thereabouts every day, but the humidity is generally below 50% which makes it comfortable in the shade. Nice. Dan made us a great steak on the grill last night, so I had a good meal. I’m happy that I’ve lost 4 lbs during this ordeal. Mostly because the acetaminophen/ibuprofen/hydrocodone kind of kill my appetite. Whatever, it’s a silver lining I guess.

Dan and I have discovered a band comprised of a father and his 3 kids, the youngest is his young daughter, maybe 5 or 6 years old. One son plays drums the other plays bass, keyboard, and bongoes. Anyway they are adorable to watch. The father is pretty well known in these parts, and started doing this with his kids during the shutdown. I thought I would leave you with a link to their youtube page, because theyare delightful to watch. Love and light to all.


I am feeling better. The pain dr. gave me 2 HUGE cortisone shots, one by my spine, one in my hip. They were, to say the least, painful. But he used a sonogram to direct the needles, and hit the right spots, and lo and behold, I can walk upright for short distances without a cane. I can’t begin to tell you the relief I feel without that excruciating pain.

He told me that it’s basically all arthritis, in my spine and hip. The shots are relief, they are not a cure. He wants me to go to a spine dr, and to get some more x-rays of my hip. I have some herniated disks, and some scoliosis, though it’s not real bad. He thinks of the spine dr can give me an injection right into my spine, it would be very helpful to me. He said my hip is a mess from the arthritis, which is why he wants more x-rays. Whatever. I can also resume PT, now that the pain is dramatically lessened. Don’t get me wrong, it still hurts like a bear when the tylenol or ibuprofen wear off, but nothing compared to what it was. He didn’t want to give me any pain killers, saying they wouldn’t help. Dan was with me and informed him that I’d been taking half of a leftover hydrocodone from his shoulder surgery and it really helped. So the dr. gave me a script for qty 7, 5 mg pill. Wow…. Drs are so afraid to prescribe opiates, and I get it, but since I have no history of using them, have never asked for a painkiller in my life….you’d think they could figure out that I really need them. Whatever. Maybe I won’t need them. That’s my fervent hope.

Daniel has been my hero through all of this. Doing almost everything for me, because I couldn’t be on my feet for more than a minute or two. He never ever complains, though when I held out my glass of water for a refill and said nothing, he did say, “You’re getting a little too comfortable with that! Not even asking for me to refill it.” But then he laughed, and smiled, and went in the kitchen to fill my glass. Yesterday we drove to my house to pick up mail and a few other things, but I still am staying at his house, because I’m afraid to be alone with this. However, I did manage, yesterday, due to lack of pain, to do some laundry, unload the dishwasher, and make breakfast. It was nice for a change, to be helping out. It’s also really nice to be able to stand up and give him a real hug. Such a blessing in my life. I know that I have under-appreciated him in the past. I feel bad about that, but also know that going forward, he will never have to question me.

I began to write a political post the other day, just to put my thoughts out there. But never finished it, and now, idk, there’s so much already being said, that I don’t feel like repeating what people a lot more invested and involved have said. Most people know where I fall on all those issues. I am anxiously awaiting November 3, when hopefully we will kick the orange child out of the white house and have some return to normalcy.

Normalcy, not even sure what that is any more. But hopeful that it is a trend toward less pain, more love, more kindness. Love and light to everyone.

Catching up

A lot of stuff to write about this week. I guess first I want to address what’s happening, or happened, all across this country. What is completely unreal though, is our president’s total lack of leadership, and total incapability to empathize, to care at all, about any of it. I mean, what part of that walk to Lafayette Square was acceptable? Certainly not the part where he disbursed the peaceful protesters with tear gas, shields, and rubber bullets. Nor the holding up of a Bible, as if he were a Christian man, or even had an inkling of what the Bible teaches. He’s depraved. He’s a mentally ill mental midget.

I keep thinking of Iyanla Van Zant saying, “When someone tells you who they are. believe them the first time.” I’ve never had a doubt as to who that man is, but hopefully some of those who weren’t convinced might now be. Especially combined with his threats of sending in the military to fire on American citizens, and other incitements to violence. Do they believe him now?

There is so much wrong with all that he’s done. It’s impossible to list them all. And actually, trying is not a healthy thing for me to do. Makes me nauseous.

Ok, enough of a rant on that. We are all (at least most of us) sick to death of him, and his childish chest-thumping while our people beg for leadership. Thank God for all the calming rhetoric from Presidents Obama, George W, and Jimmy Carter. Thank God for generals who will tell him he’s dead wrong. It gives me hope.

Update on my health issues. I got to the pain dr. on Tuesday. He was utterly surprised that my primary dr hadn’t ordered x-rays or an MRI. He ordered them. I go Monday morning at 8. Then he can begin to deal with the pain, once he knows what’s causing it. Needless to say, I am not happy that I have to wait another week for treatment, but I do feel like he’s going to find the answers and that I’m headed in the right direction.

Last week I was in the pool one morning for about an hour. I spent most of the time, but not all, floating on my back. It felt so good. I didn’t have sunscreen on, because I wasn’t going to be there long. Well….my neck and upper chest go sunburned really badly in that time. About 45 minutes. I didn’t realize it until the next day when the skin on my neck was a little tender. I looked in the mirror and my neck and upper chest were deep crimson red. And now…a week later the skin feels like snakeskin, and it’s beginning to peel and it’s really itchy and also stings.

Because there was another physical thing I needed to deal with, I guess.

Waah, waah waah. I’ll have some really good cheese with that whine……

Dan is still taking such good care of me. He went to the grocery store this morning. He got up in the middle of the night last night to get me a fresh ice pack. He cooks dinner and cleans up. I try to help as best I can. But I’m not a whole lot of use.

So….hope everyone is well. Love and light to all.

I’m Back, With a Bit of a Rant

I’m back. This will be a bit of a rant, because I’ve been dealing with this back/hip/leg issue for a month now, and it seems worse, not better. I’ve been going to physical therapy and they really can’t do much because I have so much pain. My dr. refuses to give me any pain meds, and the pain gets so bad at times that I consider crawling around rather than try to walk. I have learned that pain is exhausting, waking me in the night for more tylenol and a fresh icepack. So, I have just been getting through the day, sleeping a lot.

However, I at least got a reference for a pain doctor from my primary care, and will see him on Tuesday. Why my dr. didn’t offer to send me to a pain specialist the first time I asked for help, I will never know, but it irritates the crap out of me. Not like I’m a habitual user of pain meds, since I’ve never asked for them before. Now 2 weeks later, with the pain worse, I called to ask if they would refer me to someone who could actually help me, since they won’t. . I called the pain dr, and they asked if I have any x-rays or anything. No….my primary care never asked for them. To me, it’s so obviously a deteriorating condition, that it seems it would have been prudent to get x-rays or an MRI done immediately, since the cause of it is a fall, I think, onto the base of my spine. Just seems logical.

It’s all part B Medicare, and believe me, I will be looking into changing drs and insurance companies. This guy seems fine dealing with the RA and the diabetes, but when he gets something more complicated he’s not capable of handling it.

I have been staying at Dan’s for a week. They opened his pool finally, for one thing, and floating around on my back feels like heaven. But as the days wore on, I have realized that I am basically not functional. Like walking into the kitchen from the couch, about 20 steps, is torturous. I am grateful every minute for his care and concern. He’s doing all the cooking, and cleaning up, because I can’t. I”m grateful for Instacart because I feel guilty always making Dan go to the store for me. He’s doing enough for me as it is. It costs me an extra 15% to 20% but at least I can get the groceries.

Virus restrictions are being lifted here, for the most part. Beaches will be fully open as of Monday without the group of 10 people limit. We quickly made a decision to not hold a sound healing for a number of reasons. The first being, we really don’t feel it’s safe. Our curve, while better than some states, is not flat even, it’s still increasing, although the rate has slowed. Still, we definitely don’t want to feel responsible for bringing a bunch of people together and finding someone is infected. The other 2 reasons are my issue, whatever it may be, with my back and leg, and the heat. It’s getting really hot here, and also rainy, so we have to consider that if we want to schedule anything.

Well end of my frustrated and irritated rant. I hope everyone is well, and safe. Love and light to all.

The Best Laid Plans

Yesterday Morning

Another boring day in quarantine, in a long string of them. On tap for today:

  • going to physical therapy
  • walking out to get my mail
  • trying to write (which means staring at my laptop screen for long periods of time. Writing a few sentences. Deleting those sentences. Stare, write, delete, repeat. Until I’m sick of it.
  • Making dinner. Chicken tortilla soup.
  • Reading. “A Hero’s Journey” by Joseph Cambell.
  • A bath in epsom salts and lavender oil. To soothe my back/hip/leg thing
  • pick up my kitchen table.
  • Watch TV. The Durrells in Corfu

Yesterday Evening, or What actually happened:

  • Went for physical therapy
  • Came home in pain.
  • Made egg salad for lunch
  • Sat down on the couch to read after lunch
  • Promptly fell asleep for at least 1 ½ hours.
  • Read when I woke up but not Joseph Campbell. I like Campbell but can only deal with so much mythology. I can’t remember the name of the book I’m reading. It’s on my Kindle, which is in the bedroom and I don’t want to walk back in there to find out.
  • Did not take a bath in Epsom Salts
  • Made an easy dinner of coconut shrimp, green beans with almonds and potato salad. No Chicken tortilla soup.  Would have had to stand too long.
  • Watched 5 or 6 episodes of The Durrells
  • Killed flies.

A friend is coming over today for a couple hours. Dan is coming for dinner and to spend the night. And the sun is out. Which all means today won’t be as boring as yesterday. Crazy friggin times for sure.

Un-oppressive Silence, and a Few Bugs

I kind of have an unwritten rule, for myself. I don’t turn on the TV all day, until dinnertime. This rule only applies when I’m home alone. It works out, usually, because I’d rather sit on the deck and read or write there, enjoying the breeze and the shade.

It does not work well when it rains. Because, of course then I’m stuck in the house. Which was today.  A violent storm blew in off the Gulf this morning, complete with lots of lightning, thunder, a tornado warning and a water spout.  Forecast was for rain and showers on and off all day.   So I was inside most of the day after I went to physical therapy this morning and my back/hip/leg were killing me this afternoon. I sat in the living room, in silence…no birds, no cars passing by, no voices in the yards next door. Dead silence, especially with my hurricane windows, which shut out sound as well as wind, really well.

I promptly fell asleep. Considering I slept 7 hours last night, I was wondering why I was so exhausted. I slept for at least an hour and a half, in my recliner. I guess pain is exhausting. At least today. So, I woke up and actually did read for about an hour. In the silence.

For some reason, the silence did not oppress me. At first, it was. Oppressing me. It seemed thick, it was like the lack of sound created its own sound. I didn’t even hear my own ears ringing, though, they still are, and now that I’m awake, I hear them loud and clear, But the silence was like a cocoon I was living in, in this little house. I was hoping I would morph into a writer again. The words used to spill out of me, now I struggle to find them. I was living in sensory deprivation. It was a little weird.

So now, it’s almost 9:30. PM. I am watching a delightful series, from Masterpiece Theater, called The Durrells in Corfu. And killing flies. I swear, I got invaded. I’ve killed 5, with my own bare hands. In my pajamas. They are attracted to my TV screen, even though there are lights on. The screen makes it easy to kill them, though. They don’t see you coming. I broke a slat in the new blind Daniel bought me for my big kitchen window while I was chasing one. He bought it because the old one had a broken slat, and now the new one has one. I tried to tape it, but if you take a good look you can see it. Now I want to get another and put it up, so he won’t see how careless I was. Which is ridiculous, I can’t even walk through Home Depot, let alone put the blind up.

I’ll worry about it another day. It’s a $22 blind, for Pete’s sake. More important is the spider, small and black, that I keep sweeping off my leg while I sit on the couch. WTH? Flies, spiders. Did I just not notice these critters before because I’m outside so much? Well, I’ve watched 5 episodes of the Durrells, maybe one more and bed? Idk, I slept so much today.

Love and light.

My Friend The Ice Pack

I’m sitting with an icepack on my lower back, and wired up to a TENS unit, as I have every morning for about 2 weeks. I have something called piriformis syndrome. The piriformis muscle is located under the butt muscle, and the sciatic nerve runs alongside it or through it. The syndrome is caused, in my case, by a fall I took off the bottom step of my deck and landed pretty squarely on my tailbone last November. The fall causes the piriformis muscle to spasm, and that squeezes the sciatica nerve, so the pain is making a trip from my lower left back, around my left hip, and down my left thigh. Often I can only walk all bent over. I went to the chiropractor then for about 6 weeks in November and December, and it seemed like it was ok.

I went on the cruise in December and came home really sick. I keep thinking I had COVID-19 back then, because I had a temp for a few days of 102°, a terrible cough, shortness of breath, no runny nose or head cold, just cough and fever…all the symptoms. But it was only the end of December. I went to the dr who told me I just had some kind of viral infection and I had to let it run its course. Yeah, ok. No one had really heard of coronavirus then. But I think I got it on the ship. I would take an antibody test, but they’re $170, no insurance. I felt pretty good a month later, and then in February, my back started acting up again, and has just continued to get worse. I’ve just finished a run of prednisone, which at first helped but toward the end seemed to make no difference, as the pain got worse. It’s difficult to walk from one room to the next, and is made bearable by an almost constant ice pack and the TENS unit. I’m scheduled to start PT on Monday. It’s a weird kind of thing. Does not hurt when I sit, or lay down. But walking or standing are very painful.

I called the dr back yesterday to ask for something for pain relief until I start the PT. He wants to see me again this afternoon. Which means I have to shower, etc, and drive over there.

I have no idea what caused it to act up again. Recently, in the last few days, I’ve read so many articles about all the secondary problems of COVID-19, and wonder if this is not somehow related to the illness I had after the cruise. That maybe it settled in my piriformis muscle after the cough went away. It was about 2 weeks after the cough was gone that this started up again.

I guess a little information can be dangerous, lol. And all this isolation just lets my mind come up with all kinds of theories…I guess I need to stop and just let the dr. do his job. I just hope he can give me something for the pain to get by til I start PT. Dan had some tramadol pills from when he had shoulder surgery and I took one of those, but it did basically nothing. I don’t do well with opiates, like Percoset or Vicadin, they make me nauseous. I actually have a few Percoset from when I had gum surgery, but I haven’t taken them because they make me feel so shitty. I only took one when I had the gum surgery and it made me feel so sick I decided I’d rather have the pain, and just took tylenol.

This getting old thing is not for sissies. I’m so sick of being in pain. My TENS unit uses a 9V battery, and I am on my 3rd one this week. Well, hopefully, the dr will be able to do something for me today.

Dan has been so good to me through this. Making me food, and helping me get around, rubbing my back, just being there for me. It’s so nice to have someone who can actually feel empathetic.

I just saw some stretching exercises online that are supposed to help this particular thing. I’ll try them in a little while.

Dan and I celebrated, as best we could, our 3rd anniversary of being together. We went to our favorite Italian restaurant and got take out, and had a bottle of wine. It was nice. But immediately upon finishing dinner, we realized that my AC was not working. The unit was new when I bought the house 4 years ago. We drove back to Dan’s house to sleep, but I was up early the next morning so I could be home when the service guy came at 9 AM to service it the next morning. It was a clogged drain, which cost me $260 to have fixed, and a new float switch installed. I also took out a service contract with them, to have the unit cleaned and checked out once a year. Good thing for the stimulous check, right?

Things are starting to open up here, though I personally feel it’s too soon. A few restaurants with lots of outside seating will be open today, and a couple who are good friends and musicians got a Friday night gig to play there, outdoors. I’ve been wanting to go, but unless the dr can give me some relief, I’ll be staying home. I also need to see if people are wearing masks and social distancing, because I won’t go if they are not.

I guess that’s enough whining and complaining for one day. Time to try to get in the shower, and go do some meditation. I hope everyone is safe and well. Love and light to all.