The new normal
4am Saturday. Apparently 36 hours of sleep out of 48 is quite enough.
The second SI joint injection, while it did make it much less painful to sit, has not solved the problem.
Natural Childbirth was newly the rage when I was having my first child. It was all new news; if you took so much as an aspirin while pregnant you risked terrors unknown for your unborn. My mom drank coffee and ate sugar and took aspirin and look how well that turned out. What’s everyone worried about?
I slept, cocooned around the life in me, planning the joy of birth, all natural: breathe innnnnnnnnn breathe ouuuuuuuuuuut. Soon out would pop a pink face resembling the Gerber baby. Labor and delivery revealed to me a different world. And, yet, when my second child came along I repeated the process. This time there was no rosy glow surrounding my daydreams but I knew it was probably best for the baby.
When the twins came along, rosy glow or no, it was epidural time. One of them was crossways and he had two choices: breech or transverse, and the doctor didn’t consider either option optional. Loaded up with an epidural I gave birth pain-free. (This could explain why the carpet, 14 years later, ended up on fire. Small fire, quickly extinguished, but, still, fire. On my carpet. In the middle of the den.)
Cue the robins and rainbows and clouds: la-la-la-la wow. That didn’t hurt a bit.
For the intervening decades pain level for me has always been compared to childbirth. Am I being torn apart limb by limb? No? Ok, give me some ibuprofen. I may still hurt, and I may not be a happy camper, but just leave me alone to get through whatever’s going on, and I will.
It took me until this morning to put together this week’s clues. Like the Sunday puzzler, right?
1. Tuesday and Wednesday I walked 3 miles each day. Agonizingly slow miles (and please, no one get offended if they are walkers, because taking an hour to walk three miles when I did 10K in that time ten weeks ago, including allowing for the limping to the finish line the last two miles of the race, is a blow to my ego even though I should be above that type of thing. I’m a shallow, vain person.) I’m also impatient and stubborn, which is one of the reasons I run. Every time I walk I think, I could be done now…I could be done now… In fact, I’m going to admit something else that shames me. On Wednesday as I trudged along I saw a guy running past me in the neighborhood. I always try to make contact with other people out running and walking, a little wave, a little ‘hi’ if I have enough breath. No. I trudged along, head down, refusing to look up. I was mad. He was running. I was not. Nice attitude, eh?
2. (Here’s where genius comes in, see if you can figure it out before I did) Tuesday and Wednesday nights I had spasms in both legs – dozens, all night long – which would grab my legs and freeze them with electricity so hard that two days later my muscles are still sore.
3. Thursday morning after a night of pain I woke, exhausted. “I don’t feel so good,” I thought. I started to sit up. Ohhh, noooo …. and I hit a pace to the bathroom which would shame Usain Bolt, where I was immediately and completely assaulted with the worst stomach virus I’ve had in at least a couple of years. This set the day’s pattern. Sleep like the dead, awake, beat Usain to the throne. Twelve hours later, both Usain and I exhausted with the intervals, the last of the virus had been exorcised.
4. How sick was I? I never had any coffee all day. Yes. Now you understand the seriousness of the situation. Mere mortals fear to tread.
5. Thursday night I slept like Eric Northman in daylight. Another twelve hours and I woke, Friday morning, wondering why there was roadkill in my mouth and how I could possibly have actually melded to the mattress. And, yet, initial consultation revealed both seemed to be true. Further rumination revealed that I’d had no leg spasms. None. Oh, sure, twitches but that’s always there.
6. All this meant that Thursday’s follow-up visit to the ortho was, understandably, postponed to yesterday afternoon. After a lunch of Ramen noodles and sipping a Route 44 Diet Cherry Limeade, nectar of the Virus Gods, I headed to the Doc. Driving was not very painful. I didn’t find myself shifting restlessly in the seat, spasms in my hamstrings. Odd.
7. All Together Now: Why did I not have spasms?
8. Because lying around all day long is good for not having pain.
9. I refuse to accept a lifestyle that includes that as an option without exploring every other option possible. (see 1, above)
10. This has nothing to do with my back, but I have to tell you both about Murphy Munker and Mo. The entire time I was sick they would not leave me. Ok, well, Munker and Mo ran down the hallway like their butts were on fire every time I jumped out of the bed and bolted for the bathroom but that was just the suddenness of movement. Murphy, who will spend 8 hours outside in 40 degree weather if he can just find a squirrel to hate or a 24″x 24″ patch of sun to lie in, would not leave the bed. He went outside for a couple of minutes twice in 24 hours. If I moved to the couch, he moved to the couch. Munk and Mo followed. It was cute. Like a sick little parade. Me, wrapped in a blankie, shuffling downstairs, Murphy running ahead to clear the path: Make Way — Make Way — Munk and Mo following, occasionally stopping to playfully bat one another in the head. Once in the den they would put on a little cat show, running back and forth, hiding behind the plants or the chair, jumping out to pounce on each other. Look, Mom! Funny, Right? Smile? If you have an empty nest, I recommend you find some good used animals. You cannot overestimate the joy they add.
New Normal continues as we continue to puzzle out my Falling off Butt: My new BRDr.FF has scheduled me for another epidural which should happen next week. She said we’ll give it a week or so; unless I call her singing the Hallelujah Chorus and already planning my next marathon training schedule we will move into Plan B, Operation Save the World from Terrilee: visit the Neuro.
NEXT WEEK IS THANKSGIVING! What are you two planning? Regardless of my back and my whiny little tiny baby issues, I am blessed. I have many wonderful friends whom I love, and who seem to love me even without their drugs, a fantastic, wonderful, supportive, loving family, a job that’s out of this world and, of course, Murphy Munker and Mo. I could want more – and usually do – but I know the truth: I’m incredibly blessed.