02 February 2010

Owie

11 September 2004
We have been planning for months to climb American Peak today. With American flags. But my pinched nerve is so sore, I can hardly move. So we did nothing. I've lost the entire weekend. Nothing helps. This hurts so bad.

13 September 2004
Saw the doctor today. He says I need to get rid of my wheelie chair at work, turn my whole body when I multitask, not just my arm or my arm and my neck, sleep on my side not my tummy, keep my spine straight when I sleep and stop crossing my legs. I've known about leg-crossing for years.

He isn't sure which of these may have been IT, and stress could be a factor. I could even have done it while thrashing in my sleep. Bottom line is that I will be taking all these steps to make sure it doesn't happen again.

14 September 2004
I was feeling pretty exuberant last night after getting everything popped back into place. Five minutes after getting in bed, though, it happened again. I'll bet I didn't get three hours of sleep. I now have not slept in four nights, and my work product shows it. Plus, I can't stay awake. And yet, I can't sleep, either. It is so intense. There is no comfortable position. And the pain just keeps getting worse.

16 September 2004
The most humiliating moment of the day – I couldn't zip my dress this morning. I had to change into something without a zipper because I couldn't dress myself. Then I had difficulty putting on my shoes, then tying them. It hurts so bad to move.

20 September 2004
Healing FieldsThe Lizard took me to Northglenn to see the Healing Field flags. He had to take me because I can no longer drive. I'm glad we went when we did, even though I was sore, because they were taking the flags down. If I'd waited one more day, I would not have seen them. They had a flag for every person lost on 9/11. To see that many full-sized flags in one place and know what they symbolize is almost too much to bear. For a moment, I forgot all about my own pain.

14 October 2004
I went to the doctor right after work, and he sent me to the hospital for x-rays. Now I am waiting to see if I have to have an MRI.

23 October 2004
Why is it that I can take these stupid pain pills that I'm not supposed to take while driving, and I'm more awake than I've ever been on any trip?

24 October 2004
I had to buy groceries because I have run out. I could only get one yogurt and a soymilk because that's all I could carry. Everyone says I waddle when I walk.

25 October 2004
I can't tell you a whole lot about any given day because I've been Halloween in action. I'm a total zombie. I go through motions. Some days, the pain is crippling. Some days, the pain is tolerable. I'm on valium and percoset. Oh, and steroids. Lots of steroids.

1 November 2004
My doctor is sending me for an MRI tomorrow, and he is sending me to a neurosurgeon on Wednesday.

2 November 2004
An MRI when you have severe back pain is about the worst thing that could happen, next to being flattened by an 18-wheeler or a mammography unit. The Lizard said I had to crawl up the stairs at my apartment. I don't remember that.

3 November 2004
The neurosurgeon, after looking at my x-rays and MRI, decided I need to have a what-he-thinks-must-be-a-herniated-disk removed.

4 November 2004
From the releases I had to sign about blood transfusions to the releases I had to sign for if I die on the operating table, I am scared.

6 November 2004
I no longer have shooting pains in my leg, but this also is the first and so far only time in my life I've ever had morphine. I don't remember much, except that trying to go up three flights of stairs seemed pretty daunting. They won't let me go home until I can do three flights of stairs.

I didn't have a herniated disk after all. I had a dime-sized bone chip embedded in my sciatic nerve. We may never know how it got there. The wounded nerve feels like a burning bullet hole now. And I feel like I have a 2x4 stuffed in my back.

11 November 2004
YUMMY!!!I held my food down today!

25 November 2004
Today my skin didn't feel like it is ripping. The superglue or whatever they used to seal up my incision came unraveled or unstuck. Whatever. That's what the "ripping" feeling was, I guess. Now it's gone.

30 November 2004
My doctor said I can use the stairstepper or my bike on the trainer for five minutes ONLY if I stop if it hurts. He said to be very careful because it might not hurt until the next day. He said my legs are very strong. He added two stretches to my routine, which I can start again in the morning. There are two normal stretches I still can't do yet. He said be patient and don't push or I will be really sore.

He said I can go snowshoeing in one to two months. He said not to carry a backpack. But he said I'm doing remarkably well and to keep it up.

18 December 2004
I could see my scar for the first time tonight. To me, it looks six inches. Ugly. Red. Huge. But the doctor said it's healing very nicely, that it's only two inches, and that it's pink, not red. Sure looked bigger and darker and uglier to me.

29 December 2004
I did 20 minutes and 4.6 miles on a stationary bike this morning.

31 December 2004
This has been a great year. I spent months being the equivalent of grounded. But my back is healing. I can walk. I can bend. I can shoot. I can sew. I can knit. I can crochet. I can sing. I can bake. I can write. I can rhyme. I can meet deadlines. And one day I WILL be able to ride my bike again.

2 January 2005
I snowshoed nearly two miles today!

11 January 2005
Two weeks ago I felt like I had a 2x4 in my back. Last week and this week it felt like I have a ruler in my back. I tell everyone I'm working toward chopsticks. They burst into laughter, and then add the next step – "toothpicks!"

I still have sharp pains when I turn certain degrees to the right. I still have moments of exhaustion when I feel the bullet hole in my butt more than ever, but not sharp like it was before the surgery. Just scratchy. I still feel like I have a brick in my back when I shower. Go figure. That is the most weird of all.

I'm not as good as new, but I can feel a difference every day.

23 January 2005
I walked through the valentine aisle of the grocery store tonight. I’ve been avoiding that aisle for YEARS. Maybe even decades. I can’t remember.

Today, I got to walk through it. And look around. And smile. And NOT cry! It took me a few minutes to realize, “Holy cow!!!!!!!!!! I get to buy valentine stuff this year! Woohoo!!!" So I did. [huge grin]Waterton Canyon

I rode 12.6 miles up Waterton Canyon, which is more than I've done on the stationary bike. Ten miles on the stationary bike is like maybe two or three miles on a mountain bike. So I wasn't really ready for Waterton. A couple of times, I didn't think I would make it, but I did.

Of course, I couldn't do the steep part, and neither could The Lizard. The snow is still too deep.

3 February 2005
I'm not sure my back will ever be the way it was before October. I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to do the things I'm yearning to do.

Everyone was really good about helping me carry things today. People keep telling me to stop trying to lift. But I keep trying. I'm so afraid I will lose all ability if I don't keep trying.

I’ve got be able to do more than I’m doing now if I'm going to do Ride the Rockies. 2005 route to be announced in less than 48 hours now…

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