better than we found it

Although I realize this age and stage is barely a blink of my eye, I am enjoying the adventures I am having with my favorite son right now.

Adventures that sometimes mean long car rides, eclectic music playlists, sharing jokes and talking about almost anything and everything; because conversation with a teenaged child is, for some reason, so much easier when sitting together in the mom car while on the road.

Note: it also sometimes might test a driver’s reflexes and attention to road conditions.

Driving to his happy place this week, we talked of microclimates, current events, fidget spinners and why he should not spend ALL the money he received as graduation gifts. We discussed the universal truth that everyone is/was nervous and a little scared to start high school – even his heroes – perhaps especially his heroes. I enlightened him on the origins of the San Luis Reservoir and the fact that it is as old as I am as we motored our way through the Pacheco Pass. He might think of me as old, but he was, nevertheless, impressed. This time.

Heh.

At his happy place, together we walked along the shore sometimes talking, sometimes not. Definitely skipping stones into the surf and laughing at our dog’s reaction to the beach for the very first time. We also carried a bag and gathered up discarded cans, bottles, bits of plastic, paper and anything else that clearly did not belong here.

This place won’t stay beautiful if we don’t take care of it. Right, Mom?

Absolutely!

This time together at this age and stage of his life might be fleeting, but it is also kind of satisfying. I’m proud of the young man this favorite son of mine is becoming.

You’re welcome World!

Leave this world a little better than you found it

~ Robert Baden-Powell

time

Nothing remarkably profound to say or do or share here except to say how thankful I am for time – time to spend making silly faces, whispering our best secrets and making the best pillow forts together on the floor under The Big Top with this girl who, like her mother, like her sister is growing up much too fast.

Slow down, please.

Stop!

Please!

I realize how fruitless my imploring is; but look at her! Can you blame me?

I want more.

I need more.

Time – please.

how does it feel

So I had a medial branch block in my lumbar spine on Monday and for a little more than 8 hours I was in pain-free heaven. I celebrated by over-doing it for several hours because there was no pain and because immediately after the injections, my doctor asked me to bend over and try to touch my toes.

I did.

I touched my toes and then  showed off a little and stretched just a bit more to touch the floor with my palms.

I have very long arms.

I was also showing off.

Then I cried. I cried happy tears because for the first time in months…many months, I was bending over and touching my toes and the floor and there was NO PAIN!!!

NO.

PAIN.

NO MOTHERFUCKING PAIN!

Yeah, I cried. Then I hugged the doctor and the nurse because there was no pain.

He brought me back to Earth reminding me that this block was only temporary; a test to see if the next step was an option. Go! Go for a walk…ride your bike…bend, stretch, reach for the sky…go do things he told me. Do all the things that you could not do without pain and write it all down in this Pain Diary.

My doctor asked me, a blogger, to write in a pain diary what I was feeling after the medial branch block.

Heh!

In other news, hurry up Insurance gods and give your consent for the RFA procedure. I am so ready!

 

living with the greatest evil

Saint Augustine once said, The greatest evil is physical pain, and all I can say right now is preach on good saint!

I like to imagine that I can handle pain. I mean I have birthed babies with no pain meds on board. I road a bike from Spokane to Coeur d’Alene and back the next day with my right arm in a cast. I’ve run my fair share of half marathons. Come on, surely I am capable to handle a little pain and survive.

But time, spondylosis, and osteoarthritis is telling me otherwise. Forget an exhilarating 5K run to start the day. The same goes for a slow walk around the park just around the corner from The Big Top. Reach for that salad bowl on the top shelf or bend down to tie my shoes guarantees the constant throbbing to amp up to knives stabbing the spinal column, hips and knees. The 20-30 commute to work just might kill you were it not for the salvation of the heated seat in that fun-sized Dory-car. The pain of swollen fingers,, hands, wrists and elbow promises that sleep will be interrupted numerous times through the night…or day for this night shift nurse. Yes, I tell my ortho doctor, I do take THAT much Naprosyn daily – my stomach is fine, for now. Late at night, as I attempt to console a baby born addicted to opiates because of mother’s addiction, I find myself having a better understanding sometimes what that mother must have been living with and trying to erase with prescription and illicit medicating. I’m still Team Baby, but as my back, neck, shoulder and elbow scream in protest while I hold their baby in comfort from their own withdrawal pain, I can imagine wanting to do just about anything to make this pain stop.

I’m working on it with the help of my ortho and pain specialist doctors; but this chronic suffering did not come about overnight so I imagine that relief or adjusting to a new normal that I can live with, work with and play with will take time too. I tell myself that. I tell myself that a lot – every day, every week.

Today though, today was not a good day because that chronic pain is peaking with no relief. I might have ugly cried at least three times – driving home from work this morning, trying to find a comfortable position to sleep this morning and waking up just an hour or so after falling asleep to that same pain. Days like today, and last night at work can be much too much sometimes.

But hurray for a new ball cap representing the fact that I am just a Steeltown girl and that, in spite of the pain, I woke up like this.

You just do it. You force yourself to get up. You force yourself to put one foot before the other, and…you refuse to let it get to you. You fight. You cry. You curse. Then you go about your business of living. That’s how I’ve done it. There’s no other way. ~ Elizabeth Taylor