Still struggling

Well, it’s been almost a week since my steroid injection.  I have to say that the pain down my leg is significantly better, but the pain in my back is, if anything, worse.  I’m finding it very hard to walk.  Getting up out of bed in the morning has become so much of a problem that I didn’t do it this morning.  I had my cell phone in my purse by the bed, so I simply called in to work and told them I wasn’t coming.  Then I took a muscle relaxer and went back to sleep.  I did get up before noon and managed to get a little quilting done.  I actually feel so much better when I’m standing up.  I’m considering sleeping in the recliner tonight.  At my age, one has a tendency to wake in the middle of the night with an urge to visit the bathroom.  Getting up and down is not easy.  I will talk to the doctor who did the injection tomorrow and see what he recommends.  I don’t know if I need to wait longer, try another shot, or if I’m going to eventually need surgery.  I don’t even want to think about that.  Well, actually, I have thought about it and I really don’t want to spend my summer laid up in a bed or not being able to go out and do fun things.  Then again, I guess I’m already in that situation.  ARGH.

On a brighter note, I have been trying to find a good-tasting (I suppose in proper English, that should be well-tasting, but I just don’t like the sound of it) protein drink.  I can’t drink soy protein, as I am highly allergic to it, and whey protein just has a nasty taste.  I liked it before my weight loss surgery, but now I can’t stand it.  Some folks in my weight loss group were talking about this stuff called Achiev One — concentrated milk protein.  It’s not all that expensive, but since it is a ready-to-drink product, the shipping is awful.  Well, one site had a good deal on it, but you had to buy five cases.  I ordered it and decided I would drink it no matter if I liked it or not.  Turns out I love it!  At least the first flavor I tried.  I had Cappuccino for lunch today.  It really does taste like an iced coffee drink.  Tomorrow I will try the Mocha Java.  It also comes in Hazelnut Creme and Vanilla Nut, but those didn’t sound as appealing to me.  It will be very helpful to have something that will boost my protein intake and be a satisfying snack or meal replacement.

I’ve designed an applique quilt, with some inspiration from my friend Ronda and the help of some Dover Design Books.  Now I have to gather some fabrics (I will try picking some stuff out of my stash, but I always think I’m saving that for something else) and then have a go at it.  I have my pattern all blown up and will take it with me to work tomorrow and try to find some break time to start tracing some pieces out onto freezer paper.  If I do end up laid up, at least I’ll have something to do with my hands.

Tomorrow starts the Olympic Trials in Eugene.  I have to make sure I have my UO ID card with me, or they won’t even let me into the parking lot so I can go to work!  8-0 I am determined that I will drag myself out of bed an into the office.  They don’t make pain pills for nothing, you know!  I imagine things will be fairly crazy around campus with all sorts of people coming to not only participate, but to watch.  Hopefully, we will still be able to conduct business. 

Well, off to bed.  I guess I will give sleeping in the recliner a try.


All that worry over relatively nothing.  I wanted to get up off the table and just kiss this doctor!  He WAS kind of cute.  😉  Everything was so much different.  They gave me fentanyl, which I did have the last time, but didn’t get even the least bit drowsy.  This time I did feel a little loopy.  Then the doc injected the numbing medicine and waited a bit (what a novel concept!) before proceeding with the steroid injection.  He did tell me when he was approaching the nerve and asked me to let him know if I felt anything.  I did begin to wince, so he backed off, added a little more numbing stuff, and then finished the job.  It was not bad at all.  I cannot begin to express the relief I feel.  Right now my butt is numb and my leg is a bit tingley, so I’ll start my ice packs, take my meds, and sleep the best I can.  I have permission to get up and move about gently later in the day.  I think I’ll probably go out and prune the roses in the back yard if I feel up to it.

I am soooo relieved.  Now I just pray this is effective for relieving this pain and letting the nerve heal.  Thank you all for the prayers and wonderful support.  I think it all worked!

I’m not usually afraid of needles

I use them nearly every day when I’m quilting, I get two allergies injections each week, and I even give myself a monthly injection of vitamin B12, but I’m terrified of the epidural spinal injection tomorrow morning.  The last time I had one of these, I thought I would rocket through the ceiling.  I’m allergic to versed — the stuff they generally give you to relax you — I tend to try to punch people’s lights out when they give it to me, so they don’t.  So, the last time I had the injection, I was pretty much fully awake.  The doc started with the little numbing shot which numbed nothing.  Then they started with the BIG needle.  It didn’t hurt that bad.  Then he pushed into the area that needed the steroid.  My leg curled up off the table and I was screaming my bloody head off.  I vividly remember that pain and I really don’t want to go there again.  I’ve been lying awake for the past two nights worrying about it.  I really hope that this will not be bad tomorrow.  It’s a new doctor.  I’ve heard he is very gentle.  I’m praying this is true.  At any rate, I’m sure I will be fine.  Even if it is bad, it will be over in a short time, and I’ll be home, lying on my ice pack for the rest of the day.  I will be glad of the rest.  And then the weekend starts!

We finally had a day over 80 degrees today.  I guess we gave Spring a miss and will head straight into Summer tomorrow.  Lots of things will be happening in town this year.  This weekend is the Black Sheep Gathering at the fairgrounds, just about five blocks down from my house.  A celebration of the raising of sheep of a different color, they have lots of exhibits and demonstrations of fiber art.  Not sure I’ll make it to that.  There is a beading class (beginning wire twisting) at the bead shop on Sunday that I would love to take, but I should be quilting instead.  Then next week will begin the Track and Field Olympic Trials here in Eugene at the University of Oregon.  I imagine getting to work and back home again each day will be a bit of a challenge.  If my back is better, I may just walk.  Then will come the Fourth of July, then the Country Fair (wildness in the woods) and the Sisters Quilt show.  Hmm, I wonder what comes after that?  Well, too soon to worry about it.  I’ll read up and let you all know.

If it’s not one disc, it’s another

Well, the verdict is in.  It is my L4 disc pressing on my sciatic nerve now.  I will have a nerve block and epidural steroid injection next Friday and pray that it helps to ease the pain and inflamation.  My poor spine is crumbling a bit.  If this doesn’t take care of things I may be looking at more surgery, but I’m praying I will be comfortable and no more possibilities of falling from the glitch in my gait.  Geez!

At least the quilting is going well.  I can heartily recommend hyrdraulics to all who don’t have them and notice that their backs are stiff and sore.  I can quilt sitting, standing, bent over, straight up, anything to shift and get more comfortable.  It makes quilting an even more enjoyable experience than it usually is. 

The sun is also out for the first time in ages in Oregon.  I was really beginning to wonder if we were going to freeze out the very thin track stars who will be showing up in town for the Olympic Trials, which begin (I think) the week after next.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to walk well by then and can walk to work to avoid the crush of parking here.  My bus route disappears with the end of school (tomorrow), so it would be best if I can walk in.  It’s only two miles to work, so it would be good exercise.

Lots of work to get done, so off I go!  Have a great day all.

Monday proves to be too much for me

I don’t know if I just wore myself out quilting this weekend or if I’m having a weird progression of digestive problems or what, but I didn’t manage to make it through Monday.  It was hard for me to get up this morning, I was very tired from working hard all weekend and not getting enough sleep last night.  I had difficulty getting my socks on because of my bad back.  I made it to work in time to get a parking space and got to my office, had my coffee and my breakfast and started to feel sleepy.  I do sometimes feel oddly sleepy after eating a bunch of carbohydrates, now that I’ve had my weight loss surgery, but we’re talking about eating things I shouldn’t have, like cookies or something like that.  I was freezing cold, as they have turned the heat off in our building, but I had my space heater on and I made myself a second cup of coffee.  I walked around a little bit to get my blood moving.  At lunch time, I had a cup of chicken vegetable soup and part of a turkey sandwich.  By then, I could barely keep my eyes open.  I was fighting to keep my eyes open.  I walked around, still felt overly sleepy.  My stomach also felt upset.  Eventually I realized that I would be of no use to the office, so I told everyone I was going home and left.  I made it into the house, walked straight into my bedroom, dropped my bag, took off my coat, and crawled into bed.  I was immediately OUT.  I woke up in the early evening in time to deliver the quilt I finished this weekend.  I then came home and have been dozing on the couch all evening.  I’m about to go to bed.  Not sure what has wiped me out so badly, but I have absolutely no energy.  I hope my batteries are recharged when I wake up in the morning.  This is just awful.

Blessed weekend

Ah, there’s nothing like being able to get up when you feel like it, then sit down with a good cup of coffee, read your email, and just enjoy the morning!  😀  Of course, I need to get upstairs and get to quilting, but for now I’m just content to sit and relax.  I took two pain pills last night so I finally got a really good night’s sleep.  I sort of doubt that I moved all night.  Well, I did move once when Junior (also known as Fat Bastard) decided he was cold and wanted to come sleep with mom.  He must sleep under the covers, so I was awakened by him pawing at the top of the blankies.  I let him under and then had a splendid LARGE furry heating pad for the rest of the night. 

I’ve become a bit of a coffee snob over the years.  I’ve always ground my beans fresh at home and made my coffee each morning, along with some frothed half n half.  Well, about a month ago, I got an offer from AARP (yep, I’m old) for a Senseo Coffee maker for $15 — just shipping charge — for answering a questionnaire and saying that I tell people about products I like.  Well, I’m here to tell you this is a product that I like.  The pods the machine requires are a bit spendy, but if you’re crafty, you can figure out how to make your own from fresh ground coffee.  I’m crafty.  Or, I have craft (can’t remember a F%$#ing thing!).  Anyway, I really love the coffee this machine makes and I really enjoy sitting here with my cup.  I look forward to the day, a year and a half from now, when I can sit here and not have to worry about Monday coming.  I did try to put a retirement countdown widget on my blog, but I just can’t seem to make them work.  Oh well.  I know it’s something like 543 days until I retire!

Off to quilt.

From peaceful to very noisy

After a weekend of lush green peace and quiet, I got to spend this morning in one of these:

MRIs are generally not painful, but my back has gotten so bad that half way through I began to have muscle spasms and was blurring the pictures, so we had to stop and start over.  Thankfully, only three of the 4-minute scans needed to be done again.  I also had to have a few done with contrast to differentiate between scar tissue from my December surgery and my regular tissue.  I see the surgeon on Wednesday.  I wish I could hope that there were an option other than bolts and screws, but at this point I’m afraid that’s what I will need.  My back is just very unstable.  I’m fine except for when I walk — not good.

The good news is that, thanks to the hydraulics my brother installed while I was at MQX, I can quilt quite comfortably.  I used to sit a lot to quilt, now I stand most of the time.  That’s a much better position for me.  I have a couple of easy all-overs to do this weekend, so hopefully I’ll make a dent in my backlog.

Happy weekend all!

Retreating is good for the soul

I spent the weekend at a quilt retreat at Silver Falls State Park in Oregon.  It is one of the greenest and most beautiful spots in the state (in my opinion).  Because I’ve been having problems with my back (especially when walking) I did not walk the trails down to the falls, but I did walk on the trails near our lodge and took pictures of many of the wildflowers that were blooming.  I get such a sense of tranquility in the park at the conference center.  The lodges are nice and comfortable (even though the walls are way too thin), but I find that more than just a half a glass of wine can drown out the snoring from the room next door.  My roommate and I slept fairly well.  Here are some photos:

South falls - from a previous trip