Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Da Pain, Boss, Da Pain!!

Oh, if only there was a Tattoo to lead me to Fantasy Island and Mr. Roarke, so I could wish the back pain away. But I am alive this morning after a truly long long night. At least my flowers are perky this morning. The hydrangea I planted over the weekend seems to be thriving so far. And now my gladiolas are starting to bloom- here is the first one to flower but I see many more that are close to it. I think I planted more glads than I did lilies, so hopefully soon the front flower bed will be a sea of many colors. We are going to Wal-Mart tonight to buy a longer hose, so I can hook up a sprinkler for the bed. The rain gods have been stingy lately, and some of the newly planted flowers are starting to look very sad. So it's time to stop waiting on Mother Nature and water these guys myself.

As the day and evening wore on yesterday, the residual pain from the epidural started to get worse. I expected it to, since I've been through this before. It became almost unbearable. Standing up wasn't so bad, but sitting down was near excruciating. I was very restless all day long, moving from place to place, trying to get comfortable. I stood in the kitchen quite a bit, doing the odd chores that didn't involve having to lean over. I took my regular pain medication throughout the day. When James came home, he found me outside on the downstairs patio, in a lounge chair, reading. The heat outside seemed to help me a bit, although it was still uncomfortable to sit there. I do admit, I'm stubborn, and I didn't exactly follow all the doctor's rules on the discharge sheet. It said NO lifting of anything for several days. But I did take my watering can around to hand water plants and fill the birdbath, and yes, full of water it was heavy. I carried down a very large framed piece of art from the studio down to the hubby's office. Heavy, and awkward. Which reminds me, I was also told NOT to take any stairs for a few days either, and yet I was up and down the stairs to the basement and the studio throughout the day. James told me this morning to please follow the doctor's orders, but hopefully he won't notice that this morning I've already picked up a large wooden screen and moved it into the guest bedroom. And I've been upstairs several times this morning too. Oh well, I'm sorry, I can't just sit around and be miserable. If I'm going to hurt anyhow, I might as well be doing something in the meantime!!

James got home a little later than usual last night, maybe close to 8PM. I didn't feel like eating dinner (trying to shed the 2.5 pounds the scale says I gained from the weekend foodfest), but I sat with him while he had a big salad. Later on I went outside with him while he played a little basketball, and as I sat in the lawn chair in the drive
way, a little frog popped up and sat beside me for a long time (see photos below). Back inside we started watching game three of the NBA Finals (go Magic!!- did you see that final score?!), but the longer I sat there, the more pain I was in. I finally broke down and put ice on my back, which to me is not soothing one bit- it burns. Finally I couldn't help myself and just busted out in tears because I was hurting so much. It was getting close to 10PM so James convinced me to go on to bed. He said "If you're sleeping, then you won't feel the pain." Wishful thinking. At 10, I followed my normal evening routine. Two pain pills, a sleeping pill, and a muscle relaxer. Except last night I took two sleeping pills just in case. This is my regular routine of "drugs", then I always go to bed and read until I get sleepy. But last night I decided to watch the new episode of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey"- love it!! As always, James came to bed at 11. Normally I am already asleep, or very very close to it- it usually takes my pills about an hour to kick in. Last night, I was still wide awake, but we went to bed anyhow. That didn't last long for me.

At 11:45 I was still awake, in a great deal of pain, and James was snoring like a power saw. Lying in bed I was still in agonizing pain, and decided that being on my feet would probably help me. So I got up. I came to the office to write a few emails, then went up to the studio to putter around. Monday at Target I bought a big magnetic board, and a small ribbon board to hold photos. I put both of those up. I've been hanging stuff like crazy on the big white doors of my cabinets (photos below)- I can't stand to see all that clean space not being used!! I'm hanging things using 3M's Command line of products, mainly the picture hanging strips and the poster strips. They are the bomb, they are so easy to use and so far nothing has fallen off yet! After that, I thought I would give sleep another try, so at almost 1AM I went back to bed. It didn't last long again, I was still not tired, still in a lot of pain, and James was still snoring. I got back up around 1:30 and decided to dig into my medicine box to use one of my prized possessions- a lidocaine patch. My doctor back in SC gave me a small stack of them- samples to try, but not a prescription. I use them only in extreme cases. Last night was a perfect time to use one, and now I am sadly down to my last patch (which I will save for my other epidural in two weeks). After I put it on, I stayed up for awhile reading. I flipped through the last pages of my latest issue of Natural Solutions, then I came into the office to go through James' books. I went back to the couch and started reading a huge book about Vince Lombardi that I've been meaning to read. My preference is non-fiction, and I just absolutely LOVE biographies, I really don't care who they are about. Heck, I'm almost done reading one about Chairman Mao. Anyhow, I read for about an hour. At 2:30 I headed back to bed once more.

It still took me a long time to get to sleep. I was extremely uncomfortable, no matter how I positioned myself. I decided that, with the lidocaine patch on, I would try to lie on my back. Folks, this is a weird but true statement about me. Every time I sleep on my back, I have bad dreams, the type that I wake up from terrified. I am not making this up, and I don't know why it happens. Last night, I kept dreaming that someone was trying to strangle and smother me, right there in the bed, and I couldn't fight them off. It was horrible, it's like I was half awake, very aware I was dreaming, but I was still asleep and thought it was real. In the dream, I realized it was my ex-husband who was trying to smother me, and it was a violent dream. In fact, I have "nightmares" about him every so often, and they are always violent. I haven't seen my ex since the day of our divorce four years ago, so I don't know why he pops up in my nightmares still. I finally woke up, and found that the comforter was covering my face, which is probably why I was dreaming about being smothered. This was around 4AM. I went back to sleep for good this time, only to get up at my usual 6:30 with my husband.

I told James about the dream, and that I thought I was crying out in the real world, because I remember doing it in the dream. He said yes, I was crying in my sleep, but he thought it was because I was in pain, so he left me alone so I would hopefully go back to sleep.

So that was my evening. I did not go back to bed today after James left for work, as much as I was tempted to. I wanted to keep my regular schedule today so my sleep pattern would get back to normal tonight. I instead put on a load of laundry, went upstairs to do more decorating in the studio, and now I'm on my blog. I decided that the real reason I couldn't get to sleep last night was because I slept until 2PM yesterday afternoon. So today I'm going to stay up and be as active as I can be. I'm still sore and in pain, but the lidocaine patch is still on- I can wear it up to 12 hours. I've got plans to spend the day in the studio, working on the vacation photo album I blogged about several weeks ago. It involves sitting, yes, but I will try to be as comfortable as I can.

For any of you who have never endured an epidural, do not let anyone tell you they are easy and painless!! So far from the truth. It's very much like dental work- you get a few sharp, stinging shots to numb the area, then the doctor starts digging around in there. The whole time I was face down on the table, my fists and jaw were clenched, and my entire body was tensed up- despite the three Valium. I let out several grunts and groans, and the doctor kept saying "It's almost over honey" or "You're doing fine sweetheart"- he's a super nice guy. Anyhow--- You feel intense maddening pressure, a dull aching sensation, but not acute pain. That comes later, when everything wears off, and you are left in the recovery phase with nothing but an ice pack and some Tylenol! I do have to get my fourth one in a matter of days, so I know what I am talking about! But, if it cures the chronic daily pain, then it will have been worth it. I would like to be able to do simple chores again like clean the toilets and bathtub, or give the kitchen floor a good scrubbing by hand, or unload the dishwasher's lower rack- all things that are nearly impossible right now with the sciatica.

Hope you all have a wonderful day. I'm going to head upstairs now (I know, NO stairs!!) to try and be artsy.

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