Friday, April 30, 2010

About that tummy tuck ...

It's on ...
It's off ...
I don't know what to do.
You see, I really, really, really, want to have a flat tummy.
Been coveting one for the past 30 years, at least!
And for over 30 years I've been told that the only way I'm gonna have that flat tummy is by surgical intervention.
Because I've had too many abdominal surgeries which have destroyed the muscles, negating all efforts on my part to flatten my tummy.
Doesn't matter how thin I get.
Or how many sit-ups I do.
Not gonna happen.
There is no muscle to tighten.
It's gone.
Destroyed with surgeries to remove my appendix; to explore and diagnose endometriosis; to correct all the damage from that endometriosis and ultimately allow me to successfully sustain a pregnancy and give birth to my little chickadee (the greatest joy of my life!); to then perform the hysterectomy that became necessary to finally rid me of the returning endometriosis three years after that successful pregnancy.
So now, I'm finally ready to proceed with the tummy tuck.
And I'm finally in a financial position to afford that tummy tuck.
And I'm ready for the short term pain for long term gain.
That was last week.
But this week, I'm not so sure.
I hate my flabby tummy.
I really really really hate my flabby tummy.
I want it gone.
But do I really want to go under the knife to get rid of it?
It really isn't all that bad.
It's just bad enough to annoy me.
I've learned to suck it in such that most people don't even know I have a tummy ('cept when I get sloppy about it). 
But the point is, it annoys me and I want it gone.
Yet, with all my other health issues, my gut is telling me not to go ahead with it.
My policy has always been when in doubt, don't.
Therefore, since I'm having doubts, I'm thinking I won't.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Oops, now I'm paying the price

I went for my massage session yesterday.
My therapist asked how I had fared following the previous session two weeks earlier and I reported that I had in fact suffered, feeling much like she had beaten me up.
But the effect only last some 24 hours.
Because of that, she said that she again could only massage me lightly and if I experienced the same phenomonen this time, I would have to let her know immediatley.
I asked how long that might be the case; i.e. how long after having taken that steroid shot should I be "avoiding" massage therapy.
The answer, of course, is four to six weeks (six weeks is the assumed effect of the shot).
As we discussed the issue, she was gently stroking me and explaining that because of the way my body responds to such gentle touch (and she was remarking on the many bruises she was seeing), she was concerned that she probably should not be giving me the massage at all.
And she made me promise that if I was sore as a result of the session, I would call and cancel my next scheduled treatment with her, possibly the next two.
I came home after the massage and John went out to his meeting and I was my usual sleepy (I'm always very relaxed after a massage) so I just sat around and relaxed; I really didn't feel like doing anything.
By the time John got home, I knew I was in trouble -- my body was already starting to feel like I'd been run over by a mack truck.
I woke at my usual hour to put on the TENs machine and I could barely walk!
John even woke up, which doesn't usually happen but I guess I was having great difficulty moving about so I disturbed him.  He asked if he could help, and I brushed him off, telling him I was just going to go put on the TENs machine, I'd be fine.
But I knew for sure I was in big doo-doo.
At each of the next two wake-ups (remember, I wake every two, two and half hours) the pain had spread and it seemed that more mack trucks had been running over me.
By the time I got up for the day, movement was almost impossible.
Obviously, I was paying the piper, big time, for having had that massage -- no matter how gentle she had been!
So the day in Ottawa that John and I had planned for today is now cancelled.
And I will have to stay put until the pain subsides.  I hope it doesn't last more than 24 hours.
And my massage therapist will receive a call today, letting her know that I did in fact respond negatively to the session so we will have to cancel my next appointment.  I'll let her advise if the following one should also be cancelled (it is scheduled for six weeks plus one day following the date I received that steroid shot).

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A post about nothing ...

That's right.
I have nothing in particular to talk about today, so this post is about nothing.
Yesterday, I went into the big city for my physio appointment.
And we taped my hips again, this time placing the tape in a more anterior position than was used last week (my physiotherapist agreed with my feeling that the tape was just a tad too far back last week, hence my lack of benefit).
The taping seems to be working more like it should this time.
Following that session, I stopped at a friend's place to take care of a few loose ends with her income tax return and my little chickadee stopped in to show us her new hairdo.
After I dropped my little chickadee off at her home, I headed back home myself (arriving here at 4:30 pm).
That made for a very long day for me, since I had been up since 4:00am.
So once again, I didn't see the 3rd inning of my ballgame last night.
And again today, I've been up since 4:30am.
Here we go again.
Another long day to look forward to.
John has appointments this morning that will keep him out of my hair so I'll use that time to work on getting his computers ready for the new system that should be arriving early next week (lots of clean-up, moving of data around, installing of software etc -- he has a complicated set-up).
One of these days, I'll have time to devote to my interests.
I just know I will.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

They got the job done

Wow, that was some productive Saturday we had around this household.
But, let's back up a bit first.
On Friday, we changed plans slightlly on how to get my beautiful boy here.
Instead of my driving all the way into the big city to pick him up, my little chickadee picked him up at his day care centre and we met at what is the half way point for each of us, thus saving me a great deal of driving (for which I was eternally grateful).
My beautiful boy sat back and watched a video for the drive home (I swear it's one of the reasons he likes for me to pick him up!) and we arrived home right in the middle of my favourite politics show so I was able to catch the end of the program.
Precisely at 6:00pm, Grandpa announced, "OK, man, let's get to work."
And off the two of them went to the woods to haul in the post for the new mailbox.
Now before any of you start chastising me for the lack of helmet on the boy, I've already been duly chewed out by his mother.
And I've apologized to her up one side and down the other.
The only reason I'm allowed to post the picture is because, as his mother so succinctly put it, "he came back alive!"
I was never in any doubt that he would (as if I would ever deliberately put my beautiful boy at risk, but it truly never occurred to me that I was ...)
It won't happen again.
When the boys returned from their hard work in the woods, they enjoyed a shrimp and salad dinner while we watched the ball game.
I'm determined to turn my beautiful boy into a baseball fan and apparently, I might be having some success because he seemed unable to keep his eyes off the action.
I know it has to be his growing love of the game that kept him glued to the TV set (it can't possibly be because he's a TV junkie, could it?)
By the time we finished dinner, it was getting close to what I felt should have been his bedtime, although he assured me that on Fridays' he "didn't have a bedtime."
His mother and I had a good giggle when he called her to say good night and I asked her what his bedtime was and he turned to me and whispered, "I don't have one."
In spite of those attempts, he had to go to bed when Grandma and Grandpa were going, so he settled down with his book, without argument.
It didn't take him long to nod off either!
The next morning, we were all up bright and early ready to start the day.
And he co-operated beautifully with his Grandma as she stayed in bed to read her newspaper (he stayed in his bed and played on his DSi).
After breakfast, it was time to work again.
He's tremendously helpful around the house, so while I cleaned up in the kitchen, he vacuumed the dining room and then did the same in the living room.
And he did a bang-up job too!
When it was finally time to leave for the trip to deliver him back to his parents (we were again going to meet at the half way point) we paid him for all the work he had done during this visit.  I think he thought he had died and gone to heaven.
For the record, I think Grandpa is a cheapo cuz he didn't pay him very much for all that hard work he did in the woods, compared to what Grandma paid him for the housework.
But my beautiful boy was perfectly happy with his earnings, and that's all that matters.
He jumped in the car, sat back and turned on his movie, picking it up where he had left it the day before (he loves that VES!).  When his parents asked him if he had a good time and might he go back again, perhaps more frequently now, he said, "Maybe."  (They're hoping.)
Pauple said, "So now, every time you get mad at us, you're just going to pick up the phone and call Grandma to come and get you?"
He just got his funny little grin on his face.  Like, "Hmmmm, not a bad idea, Dad."
We'll see.
I love that boy to pieces!
I got back home and had about a half hour of sit-down-and-breathe time before our guests arrived for what turned out to be a wonderfully enjoyable visit.
John's son and his wife (the one who is a year older than I -- gosh, I love playing with that one!) as well as John's sister and her husband joined us for a bean dinner.
The men took down the old drecrepit mailbox and installed the new one (to which I am now charged with affixing the house number and our name).
The women sat around the dining room table yakking.
And yakking.
And yakking.
When the men finished their chore, they sat out on the porch talking.
And talking.
And talking.
While the women continued yakking in the living room.
Eventually we sat down to eat.
And then we all  continued talking.
And talking.
And talking.
And then we moved out to the porch.
And continued talking some more.
Then I got too cold and moved back into the living room.
The women followed me.
I turned on the television to check in with the ballgame.
My boys were ahead in the bottom of the 8th inning.
Then the men came in and joined us.
And the Jays' bullpen managed to blow their lead.
Just like is their pattern.
Then my daughter-in-law (have I mentioned that she is a year older than I?) asked if I could check in with the Senators' hockey game, just to see what the score was, you realize.
And the Sens were ahead in the 2nd period.  Unbelievable!
So then we had to switch back and forth between the ballgame and the hockey game.
The blown ballgame ended -- badly.
So we watched the 3rd period of the hockey game.
And we watched the Sens blow their lead to allow the Pens to tie the game.
And we watched the game go into overtime.
And we watched the Sens let the Pens win the game.
And finally, Ottawa won't have to put up with Sens fever any more.
Again, it's over for another year.  Thank the good Lord!
And unfortunately, my step-son and his wife (the one who is a year older than I) had to then drive home -- right through Ottawa and past the traffic nightmare that would be all those fans leaving the stadium having just blown the deciding game of the series.
I wonder how long it took them to make that trip home?
But we had a fabulous evening with them.
And I learned that I still don't care to watch hockey.
But I do love to watch baseball -- even when my boys continue to play badly!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Busy Days Ahead

Wow, I'm facing a couple of busy days.
Gonna have to pace myself carefully.
Here it is, 6:00am and I've been awake since God knows when (not sure how long but it feels like forever, perhaps some time around 3:30am or thereabouts).
You see, my hip pain is getting worse, in spite of the wonderful athlete's taping that we've been using for the past couple of weeks.
After getting wonderful results with the first couple of applications, this last one isn't giving me the same kind of relief that I had been getting from it (of course, why should anything work repeatedly for me?).
It's possible that my therapist didn't get it positioned quite right this time -- the other times it went longer down my leg, and I believe it was positioned more forward than this is.  I'll discuss that with her on Monday because I'm definitely not getting the same benefit as I got from the two previous applications.  We'll try at least one more time, and if it doesn't work again, I guess we won't continue using it.  Which is really unfortunate because the earlier applications really helped relieve the pain of driving in particular.
Anyway, this morning I have to go to the laboratory to have that bloodwork done that the doctor wanted (two weeks from the time I started on the blood pressure meds) and I have to be fasting for  it so here I am, awake since 3:30am and I can't have even a cup of coffee for a lab that doesn't open until 7:30am!
Can my luck get any better?  I had planned to wake at 7:00am, crawl out of bed and make my way into town as the doors opened, to minimize my suffering.
Best laid plans of mice and Bonnie!
But my day will improve, honest it will.
How do I know?
Because last evening, as we were watching our politics show -- an hour during which my little chickadee knows not to telephone -- I received a phone call from my little chickadee's home.  I knew to answer because I knew it had to be my beautiful boy who was calling (he doesn't know about the prohibition on calls during that hour).
"Hi," my beautiful boy said.
"Hi, my love, how are you?" I said sweetly into the phone, as John paused our favourite politics show (there ain't nothing we won't do for that boy!).
"Fine." He's a man of few words already.
"What are you doing?" I asked.
"My homework."
"Oh, and do you need my help with something?" (It has happened, OK?)
"No, not that," he said.  "Can I sleep at your house on Friday?"
"Tomorrow?" I asked.
"How would you get here?" I asked him, as I mouthed to John that he wanted to come for a sleepover the following night.
"I don't know," he said very quietly.
John teasingly hollered, "It's a long walk!"
"Do you want me to come and get you after school?" I asked him.
"Yes, please."
So I explained to him that I would have to pick him up immediately after school, that he wouldn't have time to play at daycare (he always wants his Mom to pick him up at the latest possible time to allow him maximum play time with his friends at daycare).
That was fine with him, whatever I said, as long as he could come to my house for a sleep-over.
We worked out the logistics of the sleep-over and then I had him give the phone to his mother so we could finalize the plans (which we actually didn't do until after my politics show -- I do have my priorities).
John is really looking forward to this because he's been saving some shrimp to have for dinner with him (I won't eat that stuff -- but my beautiful boy will!).
So, this afternoon, at the worst possible traffic time of day, I'll drive into the big city to pick up my beautiful boy at his daycare so he can sleep at his Grandma's house tonight.  Like I said, there ain't nothin' we won't do for that boy!
His parents will make the trip tomorrow to pick him up -- I'm crazy for the boy, but ...
Tomorrow, we're having the bean supper that we had to cancel a few weeks ago when I had that unexpected meltdown.  My stepson and his wife (the one who is older than I), along with my sister-in-law and her husband, are joining us.  It will be a fun visit.  The beans will be put in the slow-cooker in the morning; the salad can be thrown together easily, and the bread will arrive with my sister-in-law.  Easy, no-hassle. Done.  Just sit down and visit.
And the boys will help John install our new mail box.
Not that we need one, you realize. 
It's a wonder we've continued getting delivery for the past three years with the state our current mailbox is in. But I finally convinced John that it had to be replaced so he went and bought a new box last week, and all that's left to do is pull out the existing post, haul in the new post from the woods, and install the new mailbox.
At least, that's the plan! (And, of course, if they start the job on Saturday, it had better be done before Monday's mail delivery ... )

Thursday, April 22, 2010

My Tummy Tuck is getting closer

I've made an appointment for a consultation with the tummy tuck surgeon.
Wednesday, May 19th, at 2:00pm --
It's karma; I don't even have to make a special trip into the big city for it.
Turns out that date falls on the same cycle as my physio appointment.
So, after my physio on that day, I'll meet my sister-in-law for lunch (she doesn't know that yet, but I'll bring her up to speed when I see her on Saturday); then I'll mosey on off to consult with the surgeon.
And, unless he has some compelling argument not to go ahead with this venture, the procedure will be booked for some four to eight weeks from that visit.
I'm told that the recovery takes a mere two to three weeks.
However, given my fibro, I'm sure I can count on perhaps double that time.
But I am oh so ready for this.
Which means that, given the timeline ...
By the time my 60th birthday rolls around ...
I'll have the flat tummy I've dreamed of for nigh on 35 years!
Stay tuned.  I promise to document the experience here.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I'm Related to Myself

As I've mentioned here on more than one occasion, I'm an avid genealogist.
I've been researching my family tree for some 25 years now and I've gotten pretty damned good at it.
But several years ago, quite early on in my research as a matter of fact, I discovered a most interesting revelation about my ancestry.  I've traced my paternal grandmother's French-Canadian ancestry (on her father's side) back to the 1500s and it turns out that I am my own cousin, many times over.
This phenomena is not unique to my family tree. A surprising number of Quebeckers can trace their family histories back to the settlement era of the mid-1600s. Many of the original families married amongst themselves, and still do, resulting in Quebec's gene pool being particularly unalloyed, so much so that researchers wanting to isolate specific genetic characteristics -- such as obesity, or proneness to having twins, or certain heart conditions, or diabetes -- conduct their studies in Quebec.
Descendants of the Labrosse/Malette union are descended from more than one couple more than one time, making me both the 8th and 9th great-granddaughter of one marriage; and also the double 8th great grand-daughter of another marriage.  Here's how it works.
Mathurin Benard and Marguerite Viard were the parents of Jeanne and Marie (sisters).  Jeanne's 2nd great grand daughter (Clemence Biroleau) married Marie's great grandson (Joachim Legault).  Joachim Legault and Clemence Biroleau were my 4th great grandparents (the grandparents of Adeline Legault - my 2nd great grandmother).  Since Clemence's 2nd great grandmother and Joachim's great grandmother were sisters, their parents were both my 8th and my 9th great grandparents.
To add insult to injury, Pierre Biroleau and Marie Renould were the great grandparents of two boys:  Michel and Joseph.  Michel Biroleau's great grandson (Eustache Labrosse-Raymond) married Joseph Biroleau's great grand daughter (Adeline Legault).  Eustache and Adeline were my 2nd great grandparents -- making each of their great grandfathers my 5th great grandfathers.  Since my 5th great grandfathers were brothers, their parents are my 6th great grandparents, twice; and their paternal grandparents are my 7th great grandparents, twice; and their paternal great grandparents are my 8th great grandparents, twice; and on and on it goes!
Since discovering these two lines of descent from the above two couples, I have established that there are several other couples from whom I have two lines of descent, and there are three couples from whom I have three lines of descent.
The computer software I use to track all this information gives me one person's relationship to any other person on the tree. A kinship report of my own name indicates that I am my own cousin thirteen different ways: 7th cousin; 8th cousin; 8th cousin 1x removed; half 8th cousin 1x removed; 9th cousin; 9th cousin 1x removed; 10th cousin; 9th cousin 2x removed; 10th cousin 1x removed; 11th cousin; 10th cousin 2x removed; 11th cousin 1x removed; and 12th cousin.
Of course, since I'm related to myself, I'm also related in a similar fashion to each of my siblings, to my parents and my paternal grandparents (and by extension, to my daughter and grandson).
Admittedly, the inter-relationship is far enough removed to render it insignificant today -- but it is fun to be able to say:  "I should quit researching before I find out that I am my own grand-maw!"

Monday, April 19, 2010

Can't win for losing ...

My rotation for physio is Monday of one week and Wednesday of the following week (there's a reason ...).
Last week, I went in on the Monday; so this week's turn is Wednesday.
My physiotherapist has been applying "athletes' tape" to my hips the past couple of sessions.
With wonderful success, too.
The taping lasts from five to seven days, depending on activity.
I'm still new to the taping process so we weren't even sure that I'd get any relief from it.
It's really quite amazing, the benefit I get from it.  Too bad it doesn't last longer though.
On Sunday morning, I woke and was aware that the tape would have to be removed; walking was quite painful after having enjoyed several days of  an "almost normal" gait, and the tape was getting quite unsightly.  So I tore it off as I headed into the shower.
And it's been all downhill from there.
My hip pain progressed throughout the day, dragging me down with each hour.
The TENs machine was called into action again after not being needed while I was at home (I had stopped using it unless I was going out and about).
The pain prevented me from putting my mind into a genealogical project that I've been trying to finish for some time now (and I'd really like to get it off my plate so I can get back to my own tree again).
Sunday night, I took a sleeping aid on my way to bed because I was getting too far behind in the sleep department.
That little ruse left me feeling groggy all day today, in addition to the rising pain in my hip (for some reason, my right hip continues to emanate greater discomfort than the more seriously arthritic left hip).
So again, I wasn't able to put my mind to that genealogical project that sits waiting for me to apply myself (it is so close to complete, if I could just "get to it").
I languished on that stupid sofa for a good part of the day, even falling into a deep sleep at one point (OK, at two points, maybe three).
And the TENs machine burned through two batteries (it sucks its way through those things at an unbelievable rate!).
By dinner time, the cold sweats had appeared.  It was not cold in the house but I was freezing, with sweat pouring down my face.  (My doctor warned me last week that I might continue to experience mild symptoms of  withdrawal for a couple of months, most likely in times of "stress" -- ie high pain or lack of sleep.)
And as we sat watching the ballgame, I commented to John that "my leg is throbbing like it needs to be cut off."  He hasn't heard that lament in a very long time.   Until now, I've resisted using anything for pain, other than the TENs machine.  But I popped a Codeine Contin and headed off to bed (yes, during the third inning again!). 
In spite of having taken that painkiller that is supposed to last for twelve hours, here I am, awake -- two hours later, right on schedule.
And my leg is throbbing like it needs to be cut off.   Because apparently, I can't win for losing.
But Wednesday will soon be here and new strapping will be applied then.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

My new shoes

Spending money (shopping) is not my bag; I truly hate the chore.
And the one thing I hate most is shopping for clothes and or shoes.
I know. How can a woman hate shopping? Especially shopping for clothes or shoes?
But I really do hate the task.  I regard shopping for clothing as a necessary evil of life.
And unfortunately, (or as some might argue, lucky for me), I am now in the position of needing to shop for clothing because I have shrunk considerably from the size I've been for too many years.
Whilst I was being massaged on Thursday, my therapist told me about a "tea and fashion show" she had attended on the previous Monday evening. Apparently, there's a shop in Carleton Place that she didn't even know existed and it carries a fabulous line of very fashionable clothing for women aged 20 - 70 (and the models ranged right on up through that age span). She was raving about the selection of clothing that had been displayed -- and there was a sale of 20% discount on all items through to Sunday (I wondered what her cut was for sending customers). She told me the name of the place and its 'almost' location (because she knows the town about as well as I do; 15 years residency isn't long enough to get the feel of the land, I guess).
Yesterday, I had the unusual pleasure of having a day of no commitments on my calendar -- and I could breathe -- and I was feeling fine. My nightmare appears to be truly over!
I decided to go looking for that fabulous clothing shop on Carleton Place's main drag (there was another errand I wanted to run in the town anyway so why not head out and take care of both chores?).
Well, one errand leads to another and John needed something from the Post Office which just happens to be on the main drag too.  As I was heading to the Post Office, I noticed the clothing shop that I needed to go to.
Alright, now I knew where I needed to go.
I left the Post Office at 9:15am and drove the short distance back towards the desired shop.
I parked the car a half block away and as I was walking towards the clothing shop, I noticed a shoe store.
Hmmmmm, wonder if they carry the Volks Walkers that my feet love so much.
So I stopped to look in the window and there's a pair of shoes that I simply must have!
Now, it's not often that such an impulse grabs me but, oh I needed those shoes.
However, I was on a mission to check out that clothing store so I kept going on down the road, only to discover that the clothing shop didn't open until 10:00am.
So I stopped to do a little window shopping; they sure do have some nice stuff on display in the window.
And there's one dress there that I absolutely must have (provided it looks as nice on me as it does in the window!).
Since she wasn't opening for another 40 minutes, I decided to pass the time by going back a few doors and checking out that shoe store.
In I go and ask about the shoes I must have.
And oh dear, he had my size and they fit like a glove and they are oh so comfortable.
I left there 15 minutes later with a pair of new shoes in tow, along with new laces for the Volks Walkers that I was wearing and new laces for another pair that was wanting at home. Turns out he does carry a few Volks Walkers (they are very difficult to find now) and he has a fabulous line of European shoes. He will be my first stop for shoes from now on (I've always had a hard time finding comfortable footwear that I like).
He had other shoes that I wanted to buy but I just couldn't justify the purchase at this time (I'm working on it though).
While I sat in the car waiting for the clothing shop to open, I called home to see if John had arrived from his errand yet and he had just come in the door.
"Where are you now?" he asked.
"Sitting in my car, waiting for the clothing shop to open," I said. "There's a dress in the window that I have to buy."
"Is it a dress-up dress?" he asked.
"Well, my husband might have to take me out somewhere," I responded.  "It certainly isn't something I would wear to go to my physiotherapy or massage appointments."
"I guess we can arrange something," he said.  "See you eventually."
When 10:00am finally struck, I left the car and was in the shop like a rocket.
"Good morning," I said, "there's a dress in the window that I need."
"Good morning," said the saleslady, "which dress would that be?"
As we both walked towards the front of the store, I said, "Well, the blue one, of course." (They were all blue.)
"OK, then," she commented, "that narrows it down quite nicely."
I knew immediately that I was in my kind of shop.
Once we identified the dress I needed, and we figured out which size I should try on, she went about looking for other items I might like and she very quickly determined that I didn't want anything purple, or with a flower print, or was sleeveless, or above the knee. I told her that my massage therapist had attended the fashion show earlier in the week and that is why I was there, and asked about capris because I understood that they carried some very nice ones. She selected a few capris for me as I went through the super-sale rack and found blouses and other bargains to try on.
Off I went to the dressing room where I don't know how many items were waiting for me.
Some items were too big; some too small; others I simply didn't like.
One dress I really liked, but not enough to pay what was being asked (even with the discount).
A blouse that I had found on the bargain rack had my name on it (I would never have paid the original asking price but the reduced price said "pick me").
One of the pair of capris was so comfortable I was tempted to leave them on (but the weather outside suggested that I put my jeans back on).
And the dress that I just had to buy?
I loved it as much on me as I did in the window (well, OK, maybe not quite as much but only because I tend to be very critical -- but I do love it!).  And the price was surprisingly low; the discount made it an even better buy.
So I left there with three items of clothing, having spent just slightly more than I had on my one purchase at the shoe store!
From there, I went on to the purpose of my original errand to Carleton Place -- to Marks Work Wearhouse, where I wanted to try on their pants/capris, several of which fill my closet.
These pants/capris are the best! The pants can be rolled up to capris and the capris can be rolled up to shorts, which make them supremely versatile. They are made of very light-weight cotton and they are the most comfortable pant in the world (in my humble opinion). I have several, in many different colours. Unfortunately, the ones I have (some of which I just bought last summer) are all waaaaaaay too big for me -- you could almost put two of me in them now (OK, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but they are too big and they look ridiculous).
There are two solutions to this quandary I have about the many items of almost-new clothing in my closet that are now too large for me. I could pay someone to alter them down to my size (depending on what it would cost per pair). Or I could buy new ones and give my larger ones to a very good friend who could actually wear them (and she would get good use of them).
Anyway, my intention was to go to Marks and try on the pants/capris to find out what size I need (I'm having difficulty buying pants that fit because I seem to be an "in between" size right now). They no longer carry the same pant as I like (don't you hate when manufacturers alter a design of a terrific item just enough to make you hate it?) but the capris are similar enough to what I like. And I am a size ten.
Did you hear me? I'm a size 10!
I left Marks with two pair of capris, a fabulous T-shirt (that looks smashing with the capris I bought at the other shop) and another top. Total cost for the four items: just slightly more than the single purchase at the shoe store.
So, what was so special about those shoes, you ask?
I love them, so I just had to buy them.
John thinks they're "pretty sexy" and I'm sure I can find something with which to wear them; if not, I'll just have to go out and buy another outfit.
Oh, and I still have to find a pair of shoes to wear with that dress that I had to buy!
Gosh it feels good to be back (and skinny!).

Friday, April 16, 2010

Should have cancelled that massage

Yesterday was massage day and my therapist always takes a recap of my health before I get on the table.
So we did the usual Q&A and then she leaves the room while I get undressed.
I jump on the table and when she comes back into the room, I mention that I forgot to tell her that I'm now also on blood pressure meds (we hope temporarily) and that I had had to see my medic the day before about my allergies.
And when I tell her that I had received a steroid injection, she steps back and starts asking even more questions:  Where did he give me the shot?  What was it? etc.
Then she tells me that she'll not be massaging my left hip area at all because she could cause damage to the bones so soon after my having received that shot; and she'll not be able to use the normal amount of pressure on me because I could end up with serious bruising and/or be extremely sore as a result of the massage.
Turns out it was a good thing I mentioned having received that shot!  I had no idea there could be such implications from having taken it.
When I asked if I should have cancelled the appointment, she said I probably should have but how could I have known that, and since I was there she would improvise.
So she massaged me very gently, commenting all the while that my upper back and neck were like rocks; that my legs were really in distress, yada yada yada.
After the session, I went on a couple of little errands in town and then came home.
Where I tackled a few chores around the house before I sat and rested.
It felt good to feel almost normal again.
I had had a day like I used to have:  take care of a few things around the house before going for my massage; pick up some groceries; come home and putter around the house before dinner.  All in a day, just like the "old days" -- "before the nightmare" days. And there was no hint of a meltdown.  Perhaps it's over?  Finally.
John went to a meeting in town after dinner and I settled down to watch my boys play ball.
Again, I didn't make it past the third inning (hell, truth be known, I didn't make it TO the third inning).
It's not unusual for me to be very sleepy after my massage so I wasn't surprised to find myself drifting off but I was surprised at how sore my body felt -- all over.
Even as I slept, I was aware of the overall pain creeping through my body.
I kept coming to consciousness and trying to work out the pain but it wasn't happening.
And it was an odd sort of pain; I really couldn't figure it out.
My boys were winning the game but I couldn't keep my eyes open.
And the pain kept getting worse, especially in my hands.
When John got home, he of course asked how I was doing.
I told him I was in agony and he naturally panicked -- until I explained that the agony was all over pain and it must be a result of the massage.
Even though she had been gentle, it must not have been gentle enough.
Obviously, we should not have proceeded at all.  Her caution was not sufficient for my crazy body!
Then John says, "What's wrong with your hands?"
To which I say, "They're sore beyond belief but why are you asking?"
"They're quite badly swollen." he says, "Look at them."
My hands were very red and you could barely tell I had knuckles.
"Wow, no wonder they hurt so much!" said I.  "Maybe I'll try wearing my arthritis gloves to bed and see if that helps."
So off I went to dig out my arthritis gloves (they live in my purse because I wear them when I drive) and I wore them while I slept.
And it did work because this morning the swelling is gone and my hands are only marginally sore.  Although my upper back and neck feel like they could really use a massage, the overall body aches seem to have dissipated so perhaps the effects of last night were temporary.
I'll wear the gloves again today and will continue wearing them until the pain subsides completely.
So now I have another experience for my memory bank:  Do not have a massage within 24 hours of getting a steroid injection (if I ever have another one)!
And for all you readers out there:  Make very sure you disclose everything medical to everybody medical, no matter how inconsequential you might think it is!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I can breathe again ...

Finally, after four days of being plugged up completely (but with that leaky faucet syndrome), I can breathe again.
John took me into the big city yesterday morning, and we sat in my doctor's office, waiting to be "fit in" so he could give me a steroid injection.
Eventually, I was escorted into the examining room to wait for my beloved medic to come tend to me.
And since I would have to wait again, I was hooked up to the trusty blood pressure monitor so that he would be able to see if the new meds were doing their thing.
They are.  Quite nicely too. My BP is almost back down to what used to be my norm.
And that is comforting.
When the doctor joined me in the room, he of course starts questioning me about my request for some kind of steroid injection and why do I want that, yada yada yada.
So I refreshed his memory about my allergic history (which, of course, he had forgotten since I hadn't had to bother him with symptoms for the past fifteen years).
Then it all came back to him.
But he starts in about what are my symptoms and how there is no ragweed yet, so what could I possibly be reacting to.  Do we have a dog (yes, but not in the house and I don't interact with her anyway); and how about carpets (nope, hardwood floors); and what about my mattress (brand new, at great expense because of my damned hips, I remind him); and on and on the Q&A went.
So he asks if I've tried antihistamines.  Of course I have, and as usual, they don't work for me.  To which he suggests one needs to take them for longer than a day before declaring them non-effective and I agree.  Except that with my history and having just spent six weeks on a sick bed and how long does he expect me to go around in this state before I land back on his doorstep with a request for a steroid injection to put me out of my misery because nothing else works ... .
All the while, of course, he's examining me to prove to himself that my diagnosis is correct:  Yup, I'm definitely in an allergic reaction.  But to what?
I assure him that it is to trees and grasses, but he declares that the leaves aren't out yet.  And in exasperation, I declare that the trees are budding and the grass is growing.  And that's all I need!
That's all I ever needed, does he not remember my appearing on his doorstep at this time of year, every year, in agony, looking for relief?
So he suggests that he'll send me for allergy tests.  To which I respond,  "Why?  To find out that I'm allergic to everything that grows (and all things else)?  Just like the last time we went that route?  I'm not going to take the shots anyway!"
Then he looks at me ever so quizzically and says, "Oh yes, we tried allergy shots on you didn't we?  What happened with that?"
"Well, you know how a patient should wait 20 minutes after receiving an allergy shot, to ensure that there is no reaction?  I never had a reaction in that timeframe.  My reactions were always that evening or the following morning."
And he nods his head as he remembers, "You're a delayed responder. OK, I'll give you the shot.  The only reason to send you for allergy tests is if you would be taking the shots.  No point going down that road again ..."
Then we discussed the issues around using steroid injections and the fact that it is a treatment plan of last resort (which I knew) and I commented that 30 years ago, he had expressed concern because of my age and the problems that could ensue years down the road.  Since it was now "years down the road" were those issues not of lesser concern?
"It is always a concern," he said.  "This is still a treatment of last resort and the issues remain the same.  Let's hope I only have to give you this one shot."
So, I lowered my britches and he gave me the shot, explaining that I would get six weeks' relief for sure, but he really hopes that I only need the single shot to kick-start my body's defences again, because he absolutely hates going this route.
And this morning, I can breathe again, and for that I am ever so grateful.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My Doctor's Office is the BEST!

I called there this morning and explained my allergy situation.
Now you have to understand that his current staff doesn't truly know me, they are too new.
But I explained that my allergies have made a reappearance after 15 years of laying in abeyance (she didn't even know I ever suffered from allergies).
And I wanted my medic to call me tonight so I could remind him that he used to give me some kind of steroid shots to keep my reactions under control.  I wanted to secure one of the two "emergency" appointments for tomorrow morning (they are hard to come by and can only be given out on his say-so).
Well, she promised to talk to him and get back to me.
And get back to me she did, in very short order I might add.
She called this afternoon to tell me that he couldn't call me this evening because of other commitments, but he had instructed her to tell me to simply show up tomorrow morning and he would give me the shot I need.
Just like that!
So John will take me into the big city tomorrow (my eyes are so watery there is no way I could make that drive myself) and I will again see my doctor, after just having seen him last Thursday.
He knows that if I call and say that my allergies are back, it's because my allergies are back and I need his help.

It's Allergy Season

Apparently, my allergies have decided to make a come-back.
I haven't been really bothered by allergies since I moved out to the country back in 1995.  Prior to that, I was miserable from spring through to the first frost.
You see, I'm allergic to all things that grow:  trees, grasses, etc.
So from the first buds on the trees, I would start suffering.
Allergy shots never worked for me, mainly because I reacted to the shots (I also suffer from the usual household allergens, of course).
Antihistamines never seemed to do anything for me other than make me hyper (you'd have to peel me off the ceiling when I used them).
So years ago, my doctor would give me a series of corticosteroid shots to keep me under control.
But that treatment had its downside and was not recommended as a long-term solution in someone my age because of the problems that could develop down the road (that being the difficulty with administering anaesthetic, due to the body's inability to respond to perceived trauma).
When I moved out here, and was living in the woods, my doctor was actually quite concerned because he figured that my body would go into overdrive.
But exactly the opposite happened.
I didn't have my annual allergic responses.
At all.
So the theory at the time was that my body must have developed a tolerance to the allergens since I was living right in amongst them, essentially saying if I was going to live in the trees, there was no point reacting to them.
And it's worked that way for 15 years.
Until now.
On Sunday evening, as I was visiting in Ottawa, I started sneezing.
I knew it was allergies and thought it would be short lived.
Yeh, guess again.
That night, my nose dripped all night long.
By morning, I was in a definite allergic reaction.
Obvioulsy, my body wasn't liking those city trees that are budding.
I went to my physio session and my nose continued to drip like a leaky faucet.
By the time I met up with my niece and my little chickadee for lunch, I was in a full blown allergic reaction:  drippy nose, runny eyes, post-nasal drip causing a cough.
I just wanted to go home to bed.
Which is what I did right after lunch.
And the symptoms just worsened.
I managed to see the Jays' home opener but only to the third inning (seems to be a pattern developing there) and then I hit the sack, taking two Tylenol and an antihistamine on my way.
And again, my nose dripped like a leaky faucet all night long.  And the cough continued.
This morning, I woke feeling worse than I did last night (of course, I had awakened every two hours all night long).
And oh, I look awful.
I tried another antihistamine this morning; it took about an hour before that kicked in.
Historically, antihistamines don't work well for me (nothing works as it should with me, it seems).
So I don't know how long I'll put up with this misery before I put in an emergency call to my doctor and plead for a corticosteroid shot again (I'll have to remind him that we used to do that).  Surely my age now will not be an issue for that treatment plan.
The return of these allergies after a 15 year absence really raises the question:  What the hell did that Cesamet do to my body?  Is there a relationship between the one and the other?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

On the mend ... AGAIN!

Oh dear, will this ever end?
I'm feeling much better this morning, again.
I actually managed close to ten hours of sleep last night.
Did you hear me?  TEN hours!
Not continuously, of course.  That just wouldn't happen.
Yesterday was simply horrible.  I spent the day wallowing on that dreaded sofa, wondering if this stupid nightmare will ever be over.  My energy simply wouldn't pick up.  By the end of the day, I was beginning to wonder if this new blood pressure med was a good idea.  But the monitor is clearly showing that my BP is elevated in the morning and lowers as the day progresses (I take the tablet in the morning).  Apparently, it is doing what it's supposed to do, so I will stick with it and continue monitoring as I have been instructed to do.
Finally, at about 8:15pm I took a sleeping aid and headed off to bed (no, I didn't even try to stay awake for my boys' ball game; I left them in the 3rd inning to win the game without me -- which they did!).
In spite of the sleeping aid, I still woke at the predictable two hour intervals but I didn't actually get up for the day until 6:15am -- that is somewhat of a record for me so I guess the sleeping aid did indeed help.
And I must admit, I do feel rested and ready to face the day today.
But I know I have to pace myself or I will be inviting another crash.
So I've altered my schedule considerably from what had been planned for today.
I was supposed to go into Ottawa mid-morning to meet some friends for late breakfast / early lunch but that has been cancelled (I actually cancelled it on Thurday/Friday during my meltdown).
Instead, I will go into the city early afternoon to proceed with a watered down version of what the original plan had been.
That is, I will go to my little chickadee's "second other mother's" place (it's a loooong story) and prepare her income tax (I play accountant to many, although my client list has shrunk considerably over the years) and we will have a nice leisurely visit, ordering in pizza for dinner while we sit and chat over a glass of wine.  I will stay there tonight (we always have a sleep-over at income tax time -- it is our one time of year that we get a chance to visit alone together and we both look forward to the opportunity).
In the morning, she will give me a wonderful breakfast before sending me off for my earlier-than-usual physio appointment (where we will change the athletic taping on my right leg, and introduce same to the left leg).
From there, I will meet my little chickadee and one of my nieces (whom I haven't spent time with since she was nigh-on-high to a grasshopper) for a leisurely lunch.  I'm looking forward to the lunch because this niece grew up in Kitchener-Waterloo so I didn't get to see her a lot as a child.  She's been going to school in Ottawa this past year and will be heading off to Inuvik for the summer so she's trying to connect with her family that lives in this area before she leaves.
Don't worry MFN, she won't replace you in my heart!
Then, of course, after lunch I'll head directly home to rest again.
But this time, no pit stops.
I think that's what contributed to my meltdown on Thursday -- too many pitstops enroute both in and out of the city.
I'm not taking any chances this time.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Had another setback ...

My doctor warned me there could be "setbacks" for another week to ten days (sure hope he wasn't short sheeting the time line).
To recap the past couple of days, I was quite pleased with myself on Wednesday, having made my first foray into the big city on my own, with little fanfare I might add.
But, as it turns out, I obviously was not ready for prime time yet.
My physio session went very well; I actually fell into a deep enough sleep to get to drooling (yes folks, I'm a drooler!), but my snoring woke me.  Before I left there, my physiotherapist applied athlete's tape to my right hip and down my leg (along the femur).  The tape will stay there for up to a week provided I can tolerate the adhesive (which, thus far, has not been a problem).  So I'm strapped up just like a ball player might be to allow him to go out and play in spite of his injuries!  It's proving to be an interesting method of pain control and one that will be added to my arsenal of techniques (we'll apply to both hips at my next session).  Score another one for my physiotherapist.
The original plan for that day had been that I would pick up my little chickadee at work and we'd hang out until it was time to go get my beautiful boy.  Yeh, well, that kind of changed because it was abundantly clear to me that I should not do that as I just knew that I didn't have the energy so I called her and told her I would just go straight to her place to crash and wait there for everyone to get home. 
Which is exactly what I did.  I didn't quite sleep, but I rested and I really needed it.
At the appointed hour we went to my hairdresser's home and she made me beautiful again, and we laughed and carried on the way we always do, and then my little chickadee and I went back to her place to get my beautiful boy and Pauple and off we went to get some grub at the local burger joint (the locale had been determined on the phone two nights earlier when my beautiful boy had called me).
Then it was back to my little chickadee's place and back to the recliner for me, where I stayed.
The next morning, Thursday, my beautiful boy and I had our breakfast date (we've been doing that since before he could actually eat real food from the menu) and then I delivered him to day care before I went to see my doctor.
My blood pressure has been of concern to me lately so he hooked me up to his new $1,000.00 machine that he has acquired and left me alone.  It takes five blood pressure readings, at two minute intervals, but takes the doctor out of the equation, eliminating "white coat syndrome."  When he returned, it was quite clear that my blood pressure is elevated and I have reason to be concerned, especially given my family history of hypertension.  Years ago, when he was convinced that I was on the edge of high BP, he had put me on a diuretic which only served to increase my leg cramps so I took me off it.  That's when I bought a blood pressure monitor and I've monitored my pressure ever since; it's always been well within safe numbers.  Until now, or at least until this nightmare experience with Cesamet anyway.  He gave me some sample pills and instructed me to take only half a tablet each day, and see him again in a month, but continue monitoring my own pressure at home.  His words were, "Given your ability to find side effects, I don't want to take any chances with you." 
I had no difficulty convincing him that I would not take the antidepressant that he had sent the week before (he actually agreed with my reasoning); nor would I take another narcotic for my pain (he agreed with my reasoning there too).   Then he asked what I was going to do about my pain and I simply told him that I would continue using the TENs machine, I showed him the athletic taping that had been applied the day before, and I told him that I would take a Codeine Contin as needed since I knew from past experience that I was able to tolerate using it that way.  He just shook his head in amazement because that is not how it is intended to be used, and that is not how it should be used.  But, if it works, it works.
I then headed home, in a pounding rain storm.  I stopped for groceries, and made a pit stop to drop off my unused Cesamet at my pharmacist's.  While there, I asked him what he thought of the blood pressure med that had just been given to me.  His words, "Couldn't have made a better choice for you.  That's the safest one to use, and I see he's halved the dose, because with your ability to find side effects ..."  I just had to smile at the similarity of thought.  He laughed and said that he should tell drug manufacturers: "If you want to find a side effect, just give it to Bonnie."
When I got home, I was pooped, both emotionally and physically.
And then it happened.
Total and complete meltdown.
The sweats and the chills and the crying and the nausea ... the whole nine yards.
I drew a bath and let the jets pound away at my body, hoping it would relieve the stress, which it did but it also provided an "aha" moment.  I realized that while I managed to make the drive to the big city on my own without suffering any particular stress, it took a physical toll on me that in turn impacted on my psyche.  Hence the meltdown.
But I had things to do that day.  Some very special friends were coming for dinner the next day and the house needed to be cleaned, and I had promised to make my famous creme caramel for dessert and ... and ..
And the following day my sister-in-law was coming with her husband, and my step-son and his wife were coming too, for a no-fuss baked bean dinner.  And how on earth was I going to clean up from one dinner and get things ready for another when I was oh soooooooooo tired.
There just wasn't enough time.
I came out of the bathroom blubbering to John that we just had to cancel Saturday because it was too much for me.  I was overwhelmed with everything that had to be done.
So John calmly made the phone calls to cancel Saturday's commitments because I simply would not be up to it.  No further explanation required.
And John made the dessert, under my careful tutelage.
And I rested.  And the dessert came out of the oven looking simply fabulous!
I took a Gravol and went to bed.
And on Friday morning, the diarrhea hit, which indicated that I was recovering from this setback, as long as I rested properly, (these meltdowns cannot be complete without a bout of diarrhea).
So I rested again, while John vacuumed the house and swept the entrance and set up the table and did all the preparations for the dinner well ahead of guests arriving.
And I continued to rest throughout the day and get stronger.
The only contribution I made to the dinner was the stuffing for the bird (it is my specialty) but John did the chopping and the physical stuffing and placing of the bird in the oven and ...
John cooked the entire turkey dinner with all the trimmings.
The guests arrived and we had a wonderfully quiet, peaceful visit and the meal was well received and the guests left well-fed and happy.
And the evening wasn't too stressful for me.
But I was certainly ready for bed, let me tell you.  (As was John!)
I slept in my usual two-hour spurts, just as I always do.  But in my last session, I had an absolutely horrific bad dream.  I'm told that vivid dreams are not unusual when you're in a state of withdrawal but I have had vivid dreams all my life so I'm not convinced that the drugs can be blamed for the phenomenon in my case.
I have an unnatural fear of bridges, and I've always maintained that I will die by water.  I know not from where that fear comes or why I think I will die by that method.  The fear and "knowledge" have just always been with me.  And this time, my vivid dream combined both those elements in a prophetic manner that woke me in such a state of panic that it took me almost fifteen minutes to calm down.  My heart was pounding with fear!
And John was sleeping like a baby, without a care in the world.  When I tell him about these horrid dreams I have, he tells me that I make too much of them.  But the realism is just too eerie for me; and I have them too often.  Never before have my dreams included him; they've involved my grandparents, parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins -- my direct family members.
But this one involved just John and me.
In my car.
Crossing a bridge.
Going over water.
And it scared the be-jesus out of me.
I don't know if I'll ever again be able to relax with him at the wheel of my car when we are going over a bridge!
Anyway, today, I'll be resting again.
I have no choice.
My body won't let me do anything else.
I am getting stronger, but since the doctor has warned me to expect these ups and downs for up to another week, I guess I'll have to slow down my pace somewhat, regardless to what I think I can handle.  Because I really don't want any more meltdowns.  They're not fun.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I've figured out the problem now ...

Yes I have.
I'm going to wake up every hour, hour and half if I don't use the TENs machine; and I'm going to wake every two hours, two and half hours if I do use it.  For a total sleep complement of six and three quarter hours of sleep per night.  Each and every night.
Because the issue is, always has been, and continues to be one of my need to switch sides:  I cannot remain on either side for longer than that at one time (the TENs machine gives me the extra hour of relief/sleep).
You see, because of the bursitis in both hips, my legs don't work like a "normal" person's.
The only way I can describe it is it's like there's a disconnect between my brain and my legs.   I simply cannot command my legs to do what I need them to do. That's why when I get tired (i.e. too much walking; shopping, etc), my legs start to feel like lead and I can't manage one more step.   And I need to use my entire body to roll over.  Most people switch sides several times a night without realizing it, but I have to wake up when it's time to do that.
And that is true whether I'm using pain meds or the TENs machine, and whether I'm taking a sleeping aid or not.
After what I've just been through, I absolutely refuse to take another narcotic pain reliever.  I simply will not risk my life that way again.  I most definitely will not subject those I love, and those who love me, to that level of stress ever again.
So, obviously, when I see my medic on Thursday morning, our discussion will again revolve around:  what the hell are we going to do about the pain in my hips?  My inability to sleep through the night has little to do with fibromyalgia and everything to do with bursitis.
Will we ever find the solution?
Yesterday, I ended up with only five and a half hours' sleep because of  "bad dreams" that kept waking me once I did get to sleep, and then the "scare" prevented me from getting back to sleep.
And it was my darling's birthday!
We went for a special birthday lunch.  He chose the meal and the locale (there's a restaurant in Almonte that serves the best damned pizza EVER).  Turns out they make a mean Caesar's Salad too!
Bonnie and John celebrate his birthday - April 6, 2010
OK, I know, he looks a tad scared but he's just a little territorial about his cameras (and he was indulging me in my silliness -- I can turn anything into a birthday cake!).
Last night, again, I managed only a total of five hours, in two sets of two and a half hours (I was using the TENs machine).  So I hope to grab a brief nap before I have to leave at noon.
Today, I'm driving myself into Ottawa for physio, and after nearly six weeks of total dependence on John for my every movement, I'm soooo looking forward to this first foray into the big city, under my own steam.  After physio, I'll go get my little chickadee at her workplace and we'll hang out before going to pick up my beautiful boy at his day care (oh, I can't wait to see him!). 
This evening, I have a haircut appointment (time to get beautiful again!) and I stay overnight at my little chickadee's place (it's been a loooooonnng time).
Tomorrow morning, I have a breakfast date with my beautiful boy before I deliver him to day care (lucky boy, his day care is right at his school!).  Then I'll head off to see my doctor for that on-going battle about what to do with Bonnie!
And then I'll come home and rest up for the busy week-end that is ahead of us.
Honest I will!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Happy Birthday Darling

Happy Birthday to the man I'd marry all over again.
 C. Bonnie Cherryholme becomes C. Bonnie Fowler
January 25, 1997

I still love laughing with you!

Monday, April 5, 2010

I'm almost getting 7 hours

So, here's the scoop.
Saturday night, I managed to get 6.75 hours of sleep.
Not continuously, of course, that would be too bizarre.
No, I had gone to bed at 9:30 pm on Saturday.
Woke at 10:45pm - again at 11:40pm; again at 1:30am; again at 3:00am and again at 4:30am.
That's when I got up for the day -- Easter Sunday.
Now, we don't "celebrate" Easter around here -- it's just another day of the week for us.
In fact, we had arranged for a friend to come over and help John clean up the grounds from the ravages of winter.  My angel's son arrived at 12:45pm and they worked like dogs until 5:00pm -- the yard is all cleaned up and ready for the season.  He is a wonder, my angel's son -- just like his mom!
I spent the day doing many loads of laundry (don't worry, remember I have the stair lift so I'm not actually "climbing" stairs) and giving the porch a work-over to get it ready just in case we can use it on Friday when some friends are coming over for dinner.  (The porch will now become part of the house that the cleaning lady will maintain throughout the year until winter turns it into our extended freezer again.)
And I rested between chores because I very much still have to pace myself.
Last night, I hit the sack at 9:45pm.
Woke up at 10:45pm; and again at 11:15pm.  That's when I put the TENs machine on so I was "up" until about 11:30pm.
Woke next at 2:00am.  Obviously, the TENs unit allows me to sleep longer if I use it so I'll have to get into the habit of always putting it on at the first wake-up (I hadn't been using it for the previous nights).
I stayed up then and watched some canned television until 4:00am when my eyelids were getting really heavy, so I went back to bed.
And disturbed John, who had been sleeping continuously since 9:30 the night before (God, I envy him that ability!).  So John got up to start his day and he went and fetched the morning newspaper for me.
I managed to get through the first section of the paper before my eyes were losing the fight so I turned off the light at 5:00am and slept again until 7:00am.
It would seem that 6.75 hours is my "total" sleep allotment.  At least that's what I seem to get, regardless of how I manage to acquire it; be it in one and a quarter hour increments, one and a half hour increments, two hour increments ...
Today, my angel's son is coming back and he and John will tackle odd jobs around here to further clean up and make the place presentable.
I've got a few chores mapped out but I plan to take it much easier today than I did yesterday.
Today is Opening Day of baseball season and, as my little chickadee can attest, once the season starts, my schedule tends to revolve around the Jays' games.
Bonnie Fowler
Let's Play Ball - April 2010
At 2:00pm today, I'll be busy catching my beloved Blue Jays' first game of the season.
Later.  I have things to do before 2:00pm, and as someone famous once said -- tempus fugit!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Horrid Night in Miss Mills

What does 21.5 hours of awake time do to someone??????
Causes a relapse of withdrawal symptoms, apparently.
It certainly wasn't by design that I had been awake for 21.5 hours, really it wasn't.
You see, as I recorded here yesterday, I had become frustrated with awakening every hour on Thursday night so when I got up at midnight that night, I stayed up for what I thought might be a few hours before going back to bed.
I posted on this blog at 1:00am Friday, and then I watched some canned television until 3:00am and started getting heavy eyed again.
Another headache was developing too, so I took a couple of Tylenol #1.
So I headed off to bed.
But sleep just wouldn't happen.
So at 4:30am, I gave up trying and got up for the day (that's not an unusual time for me to start my days anyway).
It was my expectation that at some point late morning, I'd be able to have a nap of some duration (hell, surely I would need a nap by mid morning.)
Yeh, guess again.
My boys were playing ball at 8:00pm (first Exhibition Game to be aired -- the second to last game before the season opens on Monday!) and I really wanted to see the new team in action on my new big screen TV.  If I didn't nap at some point, there wasn't much chance of my still being awake to even see first pitch!
John was banished from the house for two hours so I could indulge myself without torturing him with the music of Jesus Christ Superstar (and oh, it was fabulously enjoyable -- on the big screen tv, playing at a volume to be heard in the next county, I sang my lungs out!).
You'd think that would have been enough to wear me out, but oh no!
I still wasn't able to go to sleep when I finally stopped.
And stop I did because physically, I had nothing left.
Remember, I'm still trying to recover from my lost month of March and it's going to be a long, slow recovery, so I'm told.  The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.
One of the best ways to put me to sleep has always been to sit me in front of the television.
So, I again put on one of my canned shows and my eyes got heavy, but sleep just wouldn't happen.
Later, when John was cleaning the deck (on April 2nd, no less -- can you believe it?) I even went out there and assisted with the physical labour (albeit limited participation because, again, I'm in recovery mode so I have to pace myself).
And still sleep would not come (John made dinner and hoped that I would at least "nap" while waiting --hah!).  I was sure I'd fall asleep in my soup because I was by then soooooooo tired, my eyelids were like lead.
I don't know whose energy I was using by that point, but it surely could not have been mine.
Well, I did end up making it to see the first pitch of my beloved Blue Jays' Exhibition Game.
Saw several pitches after that too.
Made it through to the third inning.
And finally, I crashed.
So I went to bed at 9:30pm last night.
And woke at 10:10pm.
And again at 10:40pm.
And again at 11:45pm.
That's when I woke with an urgent need for the bathroom.
Where I stayed for a half hour.
When John came looking for me.
"Are you alright?" he asked.
"No, I'm not," I almost cried. (That's not what he's used to hearing when he asks that question.)
He cautiously opened the door (I can imagine what he was fearing he would find) to see me bracing myself against the counter, probably white as a sheet.
"Do you have the trots again?" he asked.
"Yes," I said, "four times in the past 20 minutes!"
He helped me back to bed, and I crawled under the covers and the shivers started again (I was drenched in sweat because the room was hot as hell, but that didn't matter to my body!).
And then the waves of nausea started.
"I'm going to be sick," I whimpered. "When the hell is this ever going to stop?"
I knew this had to be happening as a result of my having been awake for 21.5 hours straight -- it didn't matter that I had been "going slowly" physically, and "taking it easy" to rest and recover.  Staying awake for such a long period of time takes a toll on one's body (and it certainly is not recommended for a fibromyalgic).
John got up again and fetched me a Gravol.
And again later to get me a Ginger Ale.
Eventually the Gravol kicked in and the nausea stopped.
And sleep finally came again, at about 2:00am.
But I continued to wake every hour and a quarter (I've taken to keeping a written record of my wake-ups).
So at 5:45am, I rose for the day.
I can't say that I feel especially rested this morning.
But I do feel like I'm back in the land of the living.
No nausea; and my gut has settled right down.
Today will be yet another day of rest and recovery.
As will tomorrow, and the day after that.
And the day after that, too.
Because on Wednesday, I plan to drive myself into Ottawa for my physio appointment -- it will be my first foray into the city on my own since this nightmare started.
I have a sleep-over booked at my little chickadee's place that night.
I haven't seen my beautiful boy in a month, and we have a breakfast date on the morning of Thursday, April 8th, before he goes to school and I head off for my doctor's appointment (man, is that going to be a doozy of a discussion!).
And there ain't nothing going to interfere with my Wednesday/Thursday booking this time, my Little Chickadee!  No way, no how.

Friday, April 2, 2010

My Dirty Little Secret

OK, folks, I'm going to reveal my dirty little secret to the world.
Today being Good Friday, I will be observing the day as I have done every year since oh, about 1982, I guess.
That's the year I bought my first VCR.
And one of the first tapes I bought was "Jesus Christ Superstar."
Yup, I love that movie.
I even have the CD and play it in my car (I wouldn't dream of subjecting others to my vice, 'cept maybe my little chickadee).
When my little chickadee was a wee thing, she would curl up with me on the sofa and we would sing along to the music.  (She won't admit it, but she knows every song, and she actually likes most of the music too.)  I believe it was last year that she caught it on television (check your guide -- it will be playing somewhere today) and she couldn't believe it when my beautiful boy was mesmerized by the scenes and music -- a boy after my own heart!
I've gone to a high school production of it and I've seen the stage production at the National Arts Centre on more than one occasion. The year it came to Ottawa (was it 1997?) with two of the performers from the original film was a most memorable experience -- worth every penny just to see Ted Neeley perform live.
There are very few movies that I'll watch a second time; but I never tire of the music in JC Superstar.
So today, as soon as John heads outside, I'll press "play."
Because I certainly won't subject him to the misery of listening to it. (I play it at quite a volume; otherwise, why bother?  And what's the point of living in the country if not to enjoy music played the way it should be heard?)

"What's the buzz...  Tell me what's happenin'...  What's the buzz...  Tell me what's happenin'..."