Not much new

I realize I haven’t been blogging much lately.  There’s actually not much to write about.  I’ve been in a great deal of pain and haven’t really been able to do much.  It got so bad last night I went to the ER for a shot in the butt.  It helped quite a bit, but I could still feel the pain, just not so intensely.  I did manage to get a really good night’s sleep out of the shot though.  I stayed home from work today and have been mostly lying on the couch, on top of an ice pack.  I’ve tried alternating heat too, but the heat seems to make the pain get worse.  I did do some laundry, but standing up and walking around tends to send great waves of pain down my leg.  To the extent that I feel very sick to my stomach, so I’m not doing a lot of moving around.  This really, really sucks.  I have so much I want to do, and nothing is getting done.  Even worse, I have an appraiser coming to the house on Monday or Tuesday afternoon.  I have a chance to lower the interest rate on my house by quite a bit, so I’m hoping to neaten things up before the appraiser gets here.  Or, perhaps they can send me someone I will never see again as long as I live!  My house is a disaster area, and I’m not in much physical condition for cleaning.  It will have to be a light organizing routine and quick (but gentle) vacuuming job before anyone can come in.  I will try to go to work tomorrow.  We’ll see how that goes.  I can’t take sitting in the chair much, but I do have things I need to get done before I have the fusion surgery.

Hopefully soon I will have something other than whining to share with you all.

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Looks like it’s fusion time

Well, sometime in the future that is.  I called my neurosurgeon’s office today and was lucky enough to get in on a cancellation.  I got to the office at 2:00 and really didn’t have to wait long in the waiting room.  They had my MRI pictures up and ready to look at.  My doctor asked me to stand up (not easy) and then asked me if I could arch backwards.  Well, I began to arch and the next thing I was nearly on my knees.  She caught me before I fell.  Yep, she says, it’s your discs!  <rolleyes>  So, we went over the MRI pics and she showed me where the discs are squished, in some areas not enough space between the vertebrae to keep from pinching the nerves.  I’m not a candidate for disc replacement, because they can only do that if you have one bad disc.  I have three.  So, how do we tell exactly where the problem is?  Apparently, they do a procedure called a discography — they take you into the room, stick some needles into your back, pump some dye in to see where it leaks and where it causes the most pain (get it?  No anesthesia for this one – full pain is the idea) so they can tell which disc(s) need to be worked on to give optimum relief.  I have an appointment for August 6th, but am on the list for immediate call if they have a cancellation.  I then have an appointment to see the surgeon again on the 7th.  We will then need to do a CT so they can map the offending disc(s) and plan the onslaught — they go in with a cannula, suck out the part of the disc that is most squished, pry open the vertebrae, insert a little ‘cage’ with morselized bone in it, and then let the vertebrae go back into place.  Eventually, the bone material will grow and fuse the joint.  Ai yi yi!  I’m not looking forward to this test.  I have been told it will be painful.  Usually, they tell you something won’t be that bad and then you find out it IS painful, so when they tell you something will be painful, you really expect the worst. 

So, in the meanwhile, I lie here on an ice pack with percocet flowing through my system.  I had to email my customers this evening and tell them I probably can’t do their quilts for quite some time.  One needs her quilt for our guild’s show in October, so I know she will not be happy.  I have offered to help find a quilter for both of them.  I also have two quilts to do for my sisters that I will not be able to do for some time.  Yipes!  It will probably be October before I can quilt again.  I guess I’ll get my applique’ project ready.  Looks like I’ll have lots of time for hand sewing.

Other options

Well, I had my second epidural spinal injection today.  I talked with the pain management doctor before the shot and we talked about the results of my last one.  Some temporary relief down my leg (the pain did come back) but little to no relief in my back, which has just continued to get worse.  He said this will be the last injection and he thinks it will help my leg quite a bit, but it’s time to explore “other options” for my back.  I had a feeling this was coming.  I realize that all the joint juice in the world won’t fix my crumbling spine.  I guess I’ll know in a week or so what we’re going to do.  I have a feeling a fusion is what is called for, but maybe they have some spiffy new disc stuff they can put in there or something that will save me from an extensive surgery.  I do want to get it fixed up though.  I’m tired of the pain.

So, I spent most of the day sleeping today.  I was really groggy and a bit sick to my stomach from the procedure, so I just racked out.  Now I’m up in the middle of the night.  I did manage to load the dishwasher and the sound is lulling me to drowsiness.  I’ll try to go to bed again soon.

Tomorrow I start my sister’s quilt.  It’s sort of like a Montana Cart Wheel, but not really.  She wants custom, but the fabrics are dark and busy.  I’d rather panto it, but I’ll humor her.  I expect my back will be numb for most of the day, so it shouldn’t be a problem.  I have three more customer quilts and a quilt to do for my other sister, then I may be able to sneak something for me on the table.  After that, it’s three more king-sized quilts for a good customer.

Independence

Hmm.  Independence is a wonderful thing.  I remember moving into my first apartment, all prepared to take on the world by myself.  I had a mattress on the floor, one Revere saucepan and one Revere frying pan, a few plates, a few glasses and cups, a few utensils, and a wooden fruit crate with a couple of boards nailed to it for a coffee table.  Life was good.  I think it was a couple of weeks before I actually acquired a chair and a couch for the living room.  Longer after that before I actually got a table and chairs for the dining room.  So, where in the heck did all this junk come from?  I have been doing my best today (well, it’s after midnight, so I guess I should say yesterday) to declare my independence from JUNK!  My spare bedroom has been a depository for nearly everything that has been cluttering other rooms in the house, to the point where you could barely walk into the room.  Well, you can walk into it now.  Unfortunately, that means there are now piles of stuff in the living room!  🙄  The good thing is, there is a recycle pile, a donate pile, a trash pile, and a keep pile.  The keep pile is very small.  I need to get back to the simple life, where all I have is exactly what I need.  I want to get rid of the clutter so I can buy more thread, more fabric, more paints, dyes, crystals, notions, batting, etc!!  Retirement is coming.  I have to have the things I will need.  I don’t need clothes that are too big, too small; I don’t need books that I have read and no longer have time for (thank goodness for Audible); I have boxes of photos that are ancient.  I suppose I should find time to scan them into the computer.  I have tons of financial paperwork that has to be organized and filed.  I have unsuitable furniture that should be donated to someone who can use it.  I need a wife!!  No – wait – I was going for independence here, not dependence.  Oh nevermind, I’ll get back to getting rid of this stuff on my own.  It may take some time, but I’ll get there.