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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Home and Thoughtful

Well we made it home. Being with family was great, getting to see my daughter and her apartment was also great. Meeting her BF's parents was great. Having a wonderful meal with them was also great. But all the travel sucked!

First, the drive from where I live to Indiana where my in-laws live usually takes 13 to 14 hours. Thanks to severe pain and a line or tornadoes, we had to stop in Decatur Alabama the first night. I had spent the day before we left packing up my daughter's stuff to take to her, and my back and pelvis were not happy, so I was not surprised we had to stop. My pain level maxed out at the same time my FIL called the cell phone to warn us about severe thunderstorms, heavy rain, and tornadoes just north of us in TN. So we stopped. The next day was Sunday and we only made it about 2 hours. Just as we reached Nashville, between two sets of nasty storms, they closed all the highways that go through Nashville. ARGH! Now we had to find a hotel room. We managed to get one of the last 4 rooms at the second hotel we stopped at (the first was full and we had passed two that had no power so we didn't stop to see if they had rooms) and spent the rest of the day sitting in that room. DH and DS occasionally helping one of the employees sweep water away from the door to our room to try and minimize flooding. It must have worked because the carpet was only wet at the door and about 3 feet into the room. Day 3 we wake up to find out they have re-opened I-65 North, but many of the roads going there are still closed, yet we find a way and get going. On our way out of Nashville we got to see some of the areas that were severely flooded. It was pretty bad. So a normally long, yet not too bad, trip took us 3 days. I was in a lot of pain but it wasn't as bad as I feared, probably because of the longer stop in Nashville where I spent most of that stop sitting or lying in bed reading, thus resting.

Seeing the family was great. By Thursday I was feeling pretty much my normal self. Just in time to get back in the car for an additional 6 hour trip to Wisconsin to see my DD and her OH. My back was not happy with me for getting back in the car so soon, but I stuck it out. I managed to go to dinner and then the book store.

DD"s OH's parents are wonderful! I really liked them a lot! His mom and I talked all through dinner about all kinds of things. She is just so very sweet! Sam seems so very happy as well, which made me feel good. I was very glad that I pushed it a bit and went to dinner anyway. I look forward to spending time with them again in the future.

Friday morning we got back into the car for the 6 hour ride back to Indiana. That ride was too much and by the time we arrived I was in a full blown pain crisis. As soon as we got back to the house I had to limp straight to bed. I curled up on my side a pillow between my knees, left leg occasionally kicking or twitching, severe pain shooting through my lower back and buttocks and down both legs, the muscles in my left buttock and thigh doing the cha-cha with each other, (with the left being a bit worse than the right, as usual) and an ice pack stuck to the broken joint. I laid there crying for about an hour before I could make it stop.

On top of the pain were the usual roiling emotions that come with a pain crisis. I was scared, guilt-ridden, and terrified. Scared because I hurt so much. Guilt-ridden because I could hear everyone sitting at the table talking and sometimes laughing, but I couldn't participate. I was afraid people would be angry with me, specially if they knew I was crying. I was terrified because I knew that we were getting back in the car the next afternoon to head home again. I felt guilty that I could not sit with them and provide comfort to those I love during the days immediately following my DH's aunt's death on Wednesday morning. I tried hard not to give into those severely undermining thoughts that always hit during a pain crisis. The thoughts that I am weak because I can't just "grin and bear" the pain. That I make everyone's lives harder by being disabled and always in pain. And other thoughts in a similar vein. I felt so alone and angry at my own body for failing me yet again. I really hate it when my pain puts me in bed like that.

Saturday morning I woke up feeling a bit better. Still hurting more than usual, but no longer in crisis stage. DH and I took a nap that afternoon in preparation to drive home to Florida. We left about 6:30PM Indiana time. DH and I discussed how to help me through the trip and we decided to try something. We stopped at a liquor store and he bought a few of those tiny bottles of Crown Royal. Something I had not drunk before, but he assured me had a very mild taste. I can't handle strong alcoholic tasting drinks. With the bottles being small, they could be discarded right after using them so there'd be no "open container" in the car. Since I wasn't driving, DH couldn't get in trouble. So I drove for about 4 hours and then we switched. I drank some Sprite and Crown Royal, then laid my seat back and curled up on a pillow on my right side to take all the weight and pressure off the broken joint on the left side. I spent a lot of the ride that way. It worked. We had a flat tire when we were about 3 hours from home and it took a couple hours before we were back on the road. I slept for some of that time, waking up just as we were real close to home. I managed to keep myself out of a pain crisis, though I am still in higher pain than usual.

I figure it will take me a couple more days to return to normal. I certainly do not want to repeat that kind of travel again real soon!

I continue to read blogs written by other people with chronic illness or chronic pain. Many of them talk about accepting their restrictions and learning to do as much as they can despite them. They talk about having hope, learning from their experiences, and feeling an inner peace that was not always there before they got sick. I can relate to a certain point, but now I find myself wondering if I have fully accepted my own condition. I don't think I have accepted it since it worsened a few years ago when I re-fractured the joint by falling on a marble topped end-table. I find myself struggling with anger, resentment, and thinking alot of things I can't do anymore. Then my mind throws at me the things I do manage to accomplish despite the pain and I think, maybe I have accepted it and am doing better than I realized. It is very confusing. Right now, I find myself with whirling thoughts going back and forth on this issue. I wish I could say that I have that inner peace, hope, etc., but I don't feel it so I can't say if they are there or not.

Though, one good thing has occurred over the past week or so. I write, but writing became very difficult for me for a long time. It used to be that an idea would come to me and an essay, story, or poem would pop into my head, almost completely written and very insistently demanding that I find paper and write it down RIGHT NOW. I love that feeling! It has been a long time since it has hit me with the same strong intensity that it used to, and when it did hit it fizzled out quickly, usually before the item was completely written. Like the thoughts just vanished. Well, twice during our trip (once in Indiana, and once on ride to Wisconsin) that need to write hit and it hit me real hard! I wrote two essays with that same quick almost feverish intensity that I remembered so well. Ohman did that feel wonderful! One was inspired by a sentence I read in Stephen King's book The Stand about anger and resentment, and the other just showed up while we were traveling to Wisconsin. I look forward to cleaning them up and completing them soon. When they are done I will post them.

Well that was pretty much my week. I am home now and I have been taking it easy trying to get my pain back to its normal levels. Once I do, I should be able to play catch-up with the blog entries I have missed reading and stuff like that.

Thank you all so very much for your support and condolences. My DH also thanks you. He was very touched by everyone's thoughts and concern for him and the family.

See you all later!

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad you had a wonderful time with us! :) I miss you very much and having to leave again...ugh, it tore me up! *hugs* I love you very much, Mom. And I hope that your pain gets better and that everything works well and all that goodie-two-shoes stuff. :P


Thank you for taking the time to read and/or comment on my blog. For people who are chronically ill and/or in constant pain, it can be difficult to socialize as frequently as we would like to do so. Talking with others online is a way for us to socialize, chat with others, make new friends, reach out to others in similar circumstances and many more positive effects.

Knowing that someone has read my posts and commented on it, helps in many ways. The biggest two being that it helps ease the feeling of being "alone" and that no one could possibly understand. Secondly, it reminds us that others truly do care and that just feels wonderful!!

Thank you very much for taking the time to read and/or comment on my blog, it really does mean a great deal to me and is helpful too!