First, I wish to say a big “thank you” to all my readers who have stuck with me on this Tarlov Cyst journey!
I haven’t posted during the holiday since I have been trying to do “things”. Life has been a battle. The husband spent a week in North Carolina in the busiest part of the weeks before Christmas. I hope he does not do that next year. I tried driving myself to the mall to shop and ended up spending the whole day in that area. Shopping? Nope. Trying to shop, yep. I would go thru a store and then have to find a place to park myself. Walk down the mall to another store and rest before entering it. Then rest before attempting any more. I think I spent as much time sitting as shopping. Then several stores were on the outside loop of the mall area and that meant getting into the car to get to them. Which meant me being my own driver. That is not always a safe thing to do, considering the amount of traffic.
It took me three days to get over the first trip. Then it decided to rain during this time. I don’t know if you know it or not, but, rain and fudge do not tolerate each other. Also, the amount of time it takes to make fudge, or really the amount of time I would have to stand at the stove, was not conducive to being healthy. During my second trip to another shopping area it started raining before I could even get the rest of the things I needed. Add to the stress that my legs were acting up, I was a mess. I decided to just head home and give up. Then would you not know it, the gentle sprinkle turned into a downpour. It was so bad that I had to pull over several times. I even went the back roads home. I was crying and that sure doesn’t help.
Everyone asks why we don’t order the items I want to give the kids for Christmas. Here are my reasons. One: someone might need the job that a real store provides. Two: shopping is supposed to be an experience and a way to socialize with strangers. This is becoming a lost skill for the human race which causes us to ‘hate’ each other. Three: I like to see what I am buying and to touch it before it gets to my house. If a material feels like straw then I don’t want to give it as a gift. If the color is not the color on the website, I want to know that before disaster happens. Then last is: For some reason if I order something on the internet our credit cards are stolen. I kid you not. I think each time I have ordered something this has happened. So, I go to the store and get them to send the item to my house and pay at the store. We did that with several items this year.
I finally got everything, with the help of my daughter being my chauffeur, the week of Christmas. I made the husband take me grocery shopping which just about ended that day. I was so disappointed that I could not make my normal candies. I did manage to make a sourdough flat bread on Christmas morning. And I started the meal; but my daughter and son finished it. I just love it when they step in and complete the meal for me. It becomes a lot of giggling and whispers. I had to retire to the bathroom a few times to cry a bit. I refused to take any narcotics since they would have made me nauseous. Think on that a bit. Take a pill to ease the pain but then look at food and wonder if you could even take a bit or tolerate the smell. I had enough of that when I was pregnant. But I was able to ‘quit’ after I ate a small portion. I did not even help with the dishes. The rule in our house is the cook never cleans.
Then my two angels decided to make the trip to West Virginia to visit with my Mom. She does Christmas the Saturday after. What most never understand is that that trip is pure torture for me. I have to lie in the back of a vehicle, I have to cause the trip to be almost three hours longer than it should have. Then my mom does not understand the issue with food. Granted, this year I refused to say for sure if I was coming in or not.
The day of the trip, I went up and down my stairs with the grand-pup more than I should have. So, as we were going down the stairs to climb in the car, my right leg decided to buckle. Thank goodness I was doing the one step dance and had a death grip on the railing. But each time we stopped to charge the car or refuel, my daughter learned her mom might take her down trying to stand up straight. Picture this. Two young people getting out of an electric BMW, then this old lady being pulled upright, out of the back seat. Then add that the old lady could not even put her own shoes on. I told my daughter that if she wanted practice putting shoes on a toddler then I could always wiggle my feet so much she would have to catch them. And of course, that got us to laughing and I might as well have been a toddler. Pain and laughter makes this girl uncoordinated.
When I had about as much as I could take, I did hit the meds. But as far as I could tell they were no help at all. Or maybe, they helped and I was so far gone that it seemed not to help. By the time we got to the last stop for the night I was just crying. Full on crying. We stopped at my sister’s home and they helped me get my cloths changed and sat on the end of the bed and talked to me. When I am in pain if I close my eyes after taking a pain pill I have to fight the head spins. So, just having them talk in the same room was a blessing. It has been a while since someone else had to undress me and then stick a nightgown on this body. Or maybe, I am confused. Maybe I just took off the pants I was wearing. Oh, I don’t know now. Anyway, a bed that did not move or have bumps in it was wonderful. I even slept a few hours.
The next morning, I was able to stand in the shower and wash my hair. A girl has to have clean hair. Then back in the car we went. For another four hours or so until we got to my mother’s. Who knew that the electric car could pull all those mountains and do it at speeds my son pushed it at. I had to take my pain med and it sure did a number on me. Of course, we are on the Turnpike and in between exits, the next one was about eight miles up the road. When the body started rejecting the pill, I was fighting tears and panic. My son always loves speed and racing, so he showed all those other drivers how it is done. If we had gotten pulled, I would have been punishing the state trooper. There wouldn’t have been a state trooper around that could have tolerated what my body was doing.
When we finally got to my mom’s, they both got me out of the car and put me to bed. My day was finished. My kids went out to eat and to bring their mom some jello. That was all I seemed to tolerate and I was starving. The next morning, I was functioning and helped with some of the meal prep. There was not a thing that did not have gluten or processed cheese in it. Did I say I was starving? I ate a few bits of raw veggies and some cheese, but that was it. Then later that day we started the trip back home. That meant more meds, and more stomach hating me. At one of the charging stops I had a bad case of vertigo from not eating. My son stopped at a fast food place and got me a sandwich. I only ate the meat and that seemed to help some. He decided to drive straight through to my home. Which was good, because I had already made up my mind that if I stopped and got out, I was not getting back in. Oh, and I never said a word about his speed.
After getting home in the middle of the night, or morning, take your pick, I just went to bed and stayed. I did a little bit of things today and might be more adventurous tomorrow. Next year? Nope, not going there. Any of my family wants to see me it is closer for them then it is for me. The trip would take them seven hours, where for me it is 10 plus.
My body has not gotten over the lack of healthy food. I have a rather large bubble of fluid next to my surgery scar. The legs are humming and going down the stairs are a bit of a scare. Also, I have no energy. Then to sit is like sitting on those brimstone that seem to find their way to my bumm.
This is my fifth year since my surgery. I will be doing a post to recap my thoughts on the “recovery” from it. Putting a post like that together is a daunting task for me. It brings about a lot of emotional issues. Bare with me on getting it posted.