Busy, busy, but lazy, lazy

I haven’t blogged in forever.  I’ve been really busy trying to get my life in order so that I can have back surgery in November, but in between organizing things, I’m very guilty of lying around doing nothing.  It’s easy when you have pain, you can make the excuse that you need to lie down, but things still need to be done!

I have been spoiling myself for the past week and will do so again this weekend.  I went to the Ocean Waves Quilt Camp in Twin Rocks, OR last weekend (well, Wednesday-Sunday) and I am going to a quilting retreat at Silver Falls State Park this weekend (Friday – Monday).  I figure I need to have fun before I’m laid-up for a long, long time.  Quilt Camp was so fun.  I roomed with six other women and we all snored like freight trains, but we were so pooped from quilting, running errands, laughing, having a glass of wine, laughing, creating, laughing again, that it really didn’t matter.  I did intend to take lots and lots of pictures.  I did take my camera.  I took a few pictures at dinner the very first night and they came out blurry, and I never got the camera out again.  Too busy having a good time!  It has really been hard to be at work this week, but I’ve gotten a lot done and will really have to ramp up the volume tomorrow so I can feel good about being gone for more days.  I’ll get there.

I got my info packet for my surgery today.  It has an activity chart for after surgery.  I MAY be able to drive within three weeks of surgery (I hope so, I need to go back to Portland for a re-check!).  I CAN walk and do stairs, which is good.  I’m not supposed to do laundry or vacuum for SIX MONTHS!!  8^0  Woo doggies!  It’s going to be stinky and dirty in this house.  The cats won’t be doing that stuff for me, that’s for sure.  I can swim after 3 months, so that’s good.  I got a membership at the UO’s Student Recreation Center — much cheaper than any gym in town, so I’ll be able to enjoy that then.  Looks like I’ll need to do much more preparation than I had thought, so I’d best be getting to it.

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Surgery is scheduled

Well, after all that mess, I have a three-level fusion scheduled for November 19th.  I won’t know what time surgery is until the day before — that’s when they set the surgery schedule.  My dear friend Ronda, without whom I would be totally lost, has offered to come and get me the day before, let me spend the night at her house, and take me to the hospital in the morning.  It’s not like we’re exactly next-door neighbors.  She will have to drive an hour and a half down the freeway to come and get me, then turn around and drive an hour and a half back, with me yacking up a storm in the car.  😉  I think I will leave my car key for my brother, sister, or niece, who will house sit for me while I spend my four days in the hospital (that ought to drive me right over the edge) so they can come and get me at the end of my stretch.  I’ll need a comfortable, reclinable seat to get home in, and I don’t want to put Ronda out on both ends of the deal.  She’ll tell me it’s no trouble, but let’s face it, even fish begin to stink after three days!

The surgery scares the heck out of me, but it is comforting to know a little bit about the future and have a few things to plan around, instead of being in the midst of chaos.  An info packet should be arriving from the surgeon’s office and then I can formulate any questions I haven’t thought of yet.  Most importantly — when can I get back to quilting? 

Between now and surgery, I will have to spruce the house up so I can function and my houseguests can find things that I will be needing (oh how I hate having people take care of me — I hope I won’t need anyone for long).  I also have two long quilting weekends to attend.  I don’t know how much sewing my back will be able to take, but I’m going to give it the old college try.  I may spend the whole time on the floor with my knees up knitting socks instead of sewing, but I’m going anyway!  My first outing will be the Ocean Waves Quilt Camp, Oct 23-26, on the Oregon Coast, and then October 31-November 2 I’ll be at Silver Falls State Park for the GetAwayGirls Fall Retreat.  Might as well live it up before the big pain comes.  If i work this right, I can start a quilt at camp, perhaps finish piecing it at the retreat, and maybe get to quilt it at the end of my recovery period.  We’ll see!

Confusion reigns

You know at the end of Moonstruck, when they’re all seated around the breakfast table, and Cosmo looks over at his poor father, who is all hunched up and says, “wassamatta, pop?” and the old man says, “I’m CONFUSED!” ???  Well, there we have my situation in a nutshell.  I am so confused.  I saw the surgeon in Portland on the 16th.  He said yes, 3-level fusions aren’t generally recommended, but given the degree of arthritis and degenerative disc disease in my lower back, it wouldn’t fuse together well on its own, and it should probably be fixed.  We did more tests to make sure the rest of my spine could take it, and I went back to see him on the 30th.  He says, “well, the rest of your spine looks good except for a little arthritis in the thoracic area, so maybe we should do nothing.”  WTF???  Are you kidding me??  I sat there stunned.  Then he says, “unless it’s really bothering you.”  To which I said, well, yeah, that’s why I’m here, that’s why I wear narcotic pain patches, that’s why I’m whacked out, and that’s why I’m so confused!!  So, since it is bothering me, he says, “well, let’s go ahead and fuse L3/L4 and L4/L5.  We’ll leave L5/S1 alone.”  L5/S1 is the worst of the discs and it is the one that causes me the most pain.  He had a little guy, a very polite doctor from Viet Nam in the office observing, so I guess I felt restrained from coming unglued.  I lef the office dazed and, yes, confused, came home and wrote him a note the next day.  Apparently, he didn’t get it, because they called today to schedule my 3-level fusion!! 8^O  Now I’m REALLY confused.

Luckily, Robin, the assistant who called today, said that she’s not sure Dr. Hart is up on how to read the messages in the my chart, so she sent me a blank email so I could respond with my questions, which she will forward to Dr. Hart.  Hopefully, I will hear from him next week.  PHEW!  It is so hard to decide what to do.  But then, I try to do out for a walk, and it becomes so apparent that I really need to do something.  I don’t get far before the pain is intense.

On a more fun note, our guild show is this weekend.  I have three quilts in the show.  My whole cloth titled, “For Clara, in Memory of my Mother,” “Whole Cloth Sampler,” a little number I whipped up after taking a class with Sherry Rogers-Harrison in Houston on how to fill large blocks with feathery items, and “If I Had Two Mice, I’d Give You One,” the little quilt I did for the MQX pet challenge last year.  I’m not counting on it, but a ribbon or two would be really nice.  I will be the vendor angel (sit in for potty breaks) tomorrow morning from 9-12:30, and then I do the binding demo on Sunday morning at 11:15.  I still need to take the photos and make up the binding demo handouts.  I’m so exhausted, I probably won’t get to it till Saturday afternoon.  I do have something ready to bind, and I do have my sewing machine back from the hospital.  I also have one that Ronda loaned to me just in case!  At least I can try to put the back stuff out of my mind and have a really quilty weekend!