Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Herniated Disc Update

Hey guys, thank you so much for all of the well wishes and sweet comments.  Please don’t take my lack of response to each comment as me not caring; it’s just been really difficult to focus through this ordeal to write much.

I met with the pain doctor and his physician’s assistant on Thursday and thankfully they were able to squeeze me into a packed schedule for a steroid injection into my spine between the L3 - L4 area.  This was done via an epidural...yes, an epidural like you get while you’re in labor.

The steroid injection is supposed to reduce the swelling of the nerve.  I’ve been told it takes anywhere from 7 to 10 to 14 days to fully kick in.  This afternoon will make day 6, and I’m really hoping to be one of the lucky ones who gets relief on day 7.

At that visit last Thursday I was prescribed a different pain medication because the other two I was taking were making me so nauseated, plus they really weren’t helping with the pain.  Well, that medication did take my pain level down from a 10 to about an 8, but holy cow did I get super nauseated.  Basically all I could do was lie down with my eyes closed.  It’s a 12 hour drug and after spending Saturday in misery, I decided to not take my next dose.  So, the nausea went away but the pain shot back up.

I called the physician's assistant on Monday morning and got a prescription for an anti-nausea drug.  I didn’t want to try and switch pain meds at that point because everything seems to make me sick, plus our insurance required a written authorization for that prescription, which would take about a week to get, so we just paid for it ourselves...and we paid a lot.  My PA also gave me a prescription for something that specifically targets nerve pain.  I take it at night and this is something that takes weeks to fully kick in...why does everything take so long to work?

The good news is now that I’ve had a few doses of the expensive pain medication, my pain has lessened a bit.  I can’t stand very long or walk across my house without my leg hurting immensely, and I still cannot sit in a chair because that 90 degree angle compresses the nerve too much.   But I’m not groaning in pain and unable to find any comfortable position to lie in, so that’s a plus.

The bad news is that the anti-nausea medication is only helping a little.  I get a few decent hours and then I’m back to feeling barfy.  As you might guess, I’m writing this during one of my few decent hours stage.

I don’t know when I’ll be back to my regular blogging schedule, but I will be back one of these days. In the meantime I’ll leave you with some pictures of my constant companion.

Laying on me didn’t last too long as it hurt.
Laying behind me...better, but every time I’d move to adjust to the pain it disturbed him and then it took an annoyingly long time to get him settled again.
Yesterday morning he stayed in his bed.  I think we were both more comfortable this way.


Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Gonna Make This Quick

I’m using my iPad to write this because I cannot sit without intense pain, so the desktop is out for me.  I ended up going back to my doctor on Monday morning.  I could not take a step without hurting and I needed to get this issue figured out. After an X-ray ruled out a hip stress fracture, I had an MRI, which showed a herniated disc between the L3 and L4 in my spine.  This is pressing on the nerve and it’s the reason why I’m in so much pain.

I’m awaiting an appointment with a pain management specialist to get an injection into my back, which should decrease the swelling and take the pressure off of the nerve.  That is all I know for now; I’m glad to have an answer for this crippling pain.  Now onto a solution...it can’t come soon enough.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Scenes From My Weekend

Things took a turn for the worse with my leg and instead of going to PT on Thursday I went back to my ortho in tears as I could barely walk.  He gave me corticosteroid injections in both my knee and hip and I was told to stay off my legs for the next couple of days.  What I didn't expect was the increased pain that came after the injections...I had all kinds of pain relievers, both prescription and over the counter, and nothing was touching it.  I iced, I rested, I cried...it was not fun.
As you might imagine, Nurse Paco didn't leave my side.  I think this dog is an empath because when I was feeling the worst, he would start shaking and try to get as close to me as possible.
Although cramming sugar into my mouth sounded like an excellent way to alleviate my misery, I did my best to avoid that by casting on sock after sock.  I swear if I had more needles I would have cast on even more.
I glanced out the window Saturday morning and saw a raccoon walking in our yard!  Even with my leg hurting as bad as it was, you know I had to grab my phone and go to the window to take a picture.  He saw me and started walking toward me...
and came right up to the window!
We had a moment and then he decided to move along.  I love him.  His name is Fred.  

And I'm sure you are wondering how Paco dealt with having Fred come so close to the house - well, he didn't notice anything.  There are some perks to having a senior dog and one of them is that his eyesight and hearing are not as acute, so as long as I acted normally he saw no reason to get off the couch. 

As you may have heard, Texas had a quite a few tornadoes touch down on Saturday afternoon.  Jeff was outside laying some bricks down for a little paved area when I saw the tornado warning come across my phone - a warning means one has been spotted in your area and you need to take cover immediately.  I went outside and got him to come in but the tornado activity was a little north of us and while it was really windy and rainy we weren't in danger.  Sadly the town of Franklin was hit pretty hard - we drive through it when we go to Dallas and I can't imagine how scary that must have been for the residents there.  This was a rough weekend across the south with tornadoes striking all over and I'm sad for everyone who was affected.

I'm going to physical therapy this morning and hopefully things will begin to turn around with my leg pain.  I'll have more on that in my WWU post.

Friday, April 12, 2019

FMM - FO Friday Plus a Mini Comparison

I went to Target the other day for some exciting purchases like cat food, but first I stopped in at the in-store Starbucks to get my free drink (thanks to their reward program).  They had a bin of cup holders to take and attach to your shopping cart, which I think is a great idea - more than once I've tipped over my drink and even losing just a little bit makes me so sad:
You can put it anywhere, inside or outside of the cart. 

When I was leaving Target and walking toward my car, I had to stop and take a picture because the juxtaposition between my Mini and the pickup truck was too funny:
Talk about a size difference!
This isn't even the largest truck on the roads around here, by far.  I don't feel like I'm driving a small car while I'm in mine but seeing it like this?  Umm, yeah.

By the way, this area is referred to as the new car parking area - side of the building where fewer people park.  I don't mind the longer walk in, especially when I can get that particular spot next to the grass island and have one side of my car protected from dings.

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Remember when I showed you all of the sock yarn that I'd dumped out?  Well, I saw some leftover yarn that needed to become a baby hat:
I had just enough to squeak this one out!  Yarn is The Cozy Knitter's Bliss, colorway is confetti.  Pattern is Super Stretchy Baby Hat.

I named it Sweet Pastels but I really should have called it We Interrupt This Project because that's what happened - I stopped knitting my socks to make this.  Luckily it only took me a couple of days, and I'm back on my socks.  Oh - the socks that I made using this yarn were this pair:
I finished these back in November 2017 - they are still looking great which is nice considering I've worn this pair a lot, as I love the colors so much.

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File this under it helps to have friends - Jeff has been needing to get sand for a small brick paver project but without a pickup truck to haul it, he was looking at buying bags and bags of sand from the home improvement store.  Jimmymeow to the rescue!  He hooked us up with a yard of sand delivered from a mix-on-the-spot concrete truck, which I didn't know existed:
Nothing like a nice big truck to signal project time!
Inspector Paco approved.

Jeff has today off from work so it looks like he'll get this party - er, project, started!

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Well it's springtime in Texas, where the weeks are beautiful but the weekends are rained out.  It's also parent's weekend for Texas A&M which means hunker down and stay home for the locals.  Luckily I have my knitting and HBO - we reactivated our subscription because Game of Thrones is starting on Sunday night, but this means I can also catch up on movies and shows that I've missed.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Ukraine Do It 5K Recap! Well, Sort Of...

It's kind of funky but I'm a fan of the race t-shirt - I think I'm just loving the orange right now.

On Saturday Jeff and I were supposed to run the 7th annual Ukraine Do It 5K.  We ran this race back in 2013 when they held it for the first time, and it slipped off of our radar because there are so many races this time of year in our town, but I happened to see a notice about it recently so Jeff and I decided to run it again.

Despite my aching hip and knee, I've actually been having a really good running season, which I attribute to being stronger thanks to my workouts at BCS Fitness, and I've been working myself up to running a 5K (3.1 miles) without stopping; I was planning on giving it a try with this race.  I had a new music playlist made with calm songs for the first mile so I wouldn't go out too fast, building up to peppier songs, and finishing with Thor's theme song (Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin) - you can't help but run fast when that song is playing!

The race didn't start until 9:00 am, and at 8:00 am, the strong thunderstorms that were predicted for start time had been pushed to 10:30 am - perfect!  We got dressed and made the five minute drive to the park where the race was, said hello to the organizers, and then went on a little half mile warm up, which I never do, before returning to the starting area - we actually have proof of that in this picture:
See us in the background?  (photo swiped from the event's Facebook page)

The start/finish area had a lot of fun signs but this one cracked me up the most:
It wasn't chip timed, so two people were set with a clipboard to mark down finisher order.
Picture courtesy of the event's Facebook page.

The organizers were keeping watch on the weather via their phones because of the lightning - apparently the city has a rule that if there is a lightning strike within 10 miles of an event, you have to stop.  We got as far as lining up at the start line, listening to the pastor say a short prayer, all the while hearing thunder in the distance...and then, lightning was noted 5 miles away.  DANG IT.  They took a picture of us looking disappointed:
Rats.

If this was going to be a quickly passing storm, we would have waited it out, but the radar showed some really heavy rain coming, and a lot of it, so the race was canceled.  I was sad because for once I felt ready, I wasn't nervous, and I was actually excited to run a race. 

The rain started falling and the lightning got closer so Jeff and I hightailed it to our car and went to Blue Baker, where just a few Renegades were there, but one of the most important ones was in attendance, so that was nice:
Very intently watching Despicable Me, his favorite movie..."GRU!"

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Since we didn't get to race on Saturday, Jeff and I made plans to run the route on Sunday morning.  We crossed our fingers that the weather would be better but nope - just more strong storms.  The Austin Cap10K, which we've run several times, was cancelled that morning as well - it was just a bad weekend for racing in Texas.

We ran at the park yesterday morning where it was only 59 degrees at 5:45 am, yay!  Of course the humidity was 94%, but still, it felt cool.  Jeff and I ran the first loop of the Ukraine Do It route, which had a nice hill at the beginning and another one close to the end, so my legs and lungs got a nice workout.  We ended up running 2 miles; I have to remind myself that 2 miles at the park is harder than 2 miles in my neighborhood, and I need to be OK with how much harder it feels.  Tomorrow we'll run the flatlands, aka our neighborhood, for 3 miles, and then we have another 5K on tap for Saturday; the current weather prediction is thunderstorms, but I'm holding out hope that they won't materialize until later in the day. 

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Workouts at BCS Fitness have been intense this week - a real heart-pounding sweatfest!  On Monday I noticed that nothing was registering on the monitors with the MyZone heartrate monitors that some of us wear, and sure enough, when we finished we discovered that there was a glitch and - get this - we didn't get credit for our workout!  Dang it, I wanted to see my red zones!  I wanted my points (you need to get 1300 per month to stay at your color level).  I joking complained to Jared that all I got out of that workout was muscle building and fat burning, but where were my points?! 

It's all good, I only started wearing the HR monitor to see if I was working as hard as it felt like I was working, and hey - I was.  When I'm there I give it my all for the 30 minutes; it's nice to have the validation of the MyZone stats but I know I'm doing as much as I can, so I'm fine with that.

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I started physical therapy for my left leg issues on Monday - the first visit was mostly an assessment, with some light exercises to work on at home.  I go back tomorrow and then for another couple of weeks at least; fingers crossed this helps!  I'll have more of an update when I've got a few more sessions under my belt.

Monday, April 8, 2019

You Should Know...

...that if I'm in the middle of a text conversation with you and it takes me a long time to respond, it's because I'm looking for a specific emoji.  Most recently it was the toilet 🚽and that should tell you how deep my texts are, 🤣.

...that I've found the perfect descriptor for my life in the form of a card that I am willing to purchase but not willing to pay the shipping cost, so I'm just going to post a picture of it here and link to where you could buy it to assuage my guilt:
 
Nailed it.  I really should buy the giant bottle at Sam's Club considering how often I take it.

...that I'm actively trying to not spend any extra money at the moment (but I would have spent $5.50 on that card so obviously I'm not perfect with this), and whenever I want something, I write it down on a list for when I feel like I can spend money.  On the one hand, the list isn't incredibly long.  On the other hand, it's about 50% hair products and tools, so when I finally start spending, my hair had better be gorgeous.

...that I balk at paying for shipping which is probably a good thing because it keeps me from impulse purchases.  Well, most of the time.  If there's a pretty hand-dyed yarn that is calling me, I'll pay shipping.  Basically my motto with yarn is HERE'S MY WALLET NOW GIVE ME ALL THE YARN.  I have a problem and the only solution is more cowbell...er, yarn!

...that I love it when random things happen on Words With Friends:
  Eh.  Eh.  Makes me chortle.


Now, what about you?  Tell me something I should know that you do in the comments - share your eccentricities, please!

Friday, April 5, 2019

FMM - Another FO Friday!

I forgot to do a Finished Object in last Friday's post, and I had a cute one, too!  Luckily I remembered for this post - here's my Box of Crayon socks:
Yarn is by Must Stash, colorway is Kama Sutra, with a random gray for the toes and heels.  

I love these socks - the stripes are nice and narrow so you keep getting to the next one quickly, which kept my interest.  And I got them finished at the same time because lately I've been casting on one sock using JMCO (Judy's magic cast on) and a long set of circular needles, getting the toe increases done, switching to my 9 inch circular needles, and then I start the second sock.  I usually allow myself to knit three stripes on one sock before switching to the other sock to catch up.  It's been a great way for me to end up with a pair of socks instead of a single and me fighting the urge to cast on a different color.  Also it helps to have a couple pairs of 9 inch circs (OK, four.  Sometimes I have two pairs of socks in progress at the same time).

Speaking of socks, I probably shouldn't show you this but what the hell.  Don't judge me - this is my hobby and my love, so I have a lot of supplies...pretty, pretty supplies:
I was trying to find some yarn to use for toes/heels of my next pair of socks so I dumped out a couple yarn bins to see what I had.  

I love color, I love yarn, and if I could display it on the wall of my office without it getting sun damaged or dusty I totally would.  Seeing all of this makes me happy!  And it was fun to get it all out and play around with color combinations - I came up with a couple options for my next pair of socks plus I think I've figured out what I'll knit with after them.  And the next pair.  And another pair.  It's too bad I'm not a fast knitter but hey, I get to enjoy the yarn a lot longer than some knitters, so there's that, right?

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Guess who is acting like himself of yore?  Wait, is that a title, like a noble duke or something?  It's Paco, Himself of Yore!  Having that foot issue taken care of has brought back the Paco that we used to know - he's happy, playful - well, as playful as a nearly 13-year-old dog can be - he's content, he sleeps well instead of whining and moaning in his crate all night; it's like having a new dog!  It's a noticeable difference and makes us really glad that we opted for the surgery.
 Wrapped up on a chilly morning...
He just crashes in the evening and it's nice to not have him be asleep and then startle awake to chew on his foot - he's getting some good rest, finally.
Clear eyes, no infections - ahhh.  Life is good.  Well, Paco says it would be "gud if papratzi stop boddering me" - but he's so cute, I have to take his picture!

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Oh, that shot of Paco laying on me?  I was icing my knee when he jumped up there:
He didn't seem to mind lying right next to the ice pack, but I decided he was worth taking the ice pack off for.  Also my knee was pretty frozen.  But hey, I'm working at making it better!

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We have a little local 5K on tap for tomorrow.  Of course, right now the weather forecast is calling for thunderstorms but hopefully they will hold off until late morning.  That's not too much to ask, is it?

Have a great weekend!