Sunday, December 29, 2019

a few late Christmas day pics...

Here are a few Christmas pics taken late Christmas Day:



Now we await New Year's Eve and our wonderful home-made eggnog!  

We have gone out to celebrate New Years Eve in the past... but no longer. It's usually bad weather and extremely crowded. So now we choose to sit by the fireside and toast the New Year in with home-made eggnog (spiked with a little bourbon)! We also like to watch the Waterford Ball drop... but don't always make it up that late.

New Year's Day Menu:

Pork Roast
Black-eyed peas

Wishing Everyone

Oh... and an update on my Spinal Specialist appointment:

First of all, I really liked this man. He is a big man, but soft spoken and the first thing he said to me is "I'm going to sit here and listen to what's going on with you... so tell me what's happening."

After we talked a while, he said that from looking at my x-ray and MRI, I didn't need any surgery. To paraphrase what he said - it was that everything looked fine for my age. The few abnormalities that he saw were nothing to worry about and he didn't believe were the source of any problem. What he did see was arthritis in my spine and that could be dealt with.  And since I reported that the steroid injection I had received did help a bit, he prescribed a few days of steroids, then Tylenol once or possibly twice a day if needed for everyday pain... and a daily exercise program. If this didn't work, he would order some physical therapy.

I told him that this was what I hoped he would say... but told him that I was worried about my back seizing up again. He said he couldn't guarantee that wouldn't happen... but the exercises should help... and to keep the muscle relaxant and pain pills handy in case it did.

So far, so good. 


Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Merry Christmas Eve 2019!

Merry Christmas Eve!  

Saw this on Pinterest and had to post it as it is so very much our house  during the holidays. Luckily we've never had the whole tree go down, but have had strings of lights pulled down and various ornaments knocked off. But that's OK... we put the tree up for the kids when they were young, now we put it up for the cats (and for that wonderful fresh Christmas tree aroma).

our tree 2019 - lots of little things hanging on bottom for cats

Well, my back is better, but not 100%. I'm worried that it may go out on me again, but I do have an appointment with the Spinal Specialist this week. 

I did get my Christmas baking done over several days and the last of it sent out yesterday. They won't get them in Hawaii until the end of the week, but that's OK. We're all a little behind this year for various reasons. I bake for friends and family in New Orleans, neighbors, a few friends here in Texas, and our 3 kids... 

My mother-in-law used to do it for all of us...

So I've taken up the tradition...

Last batch done Sunday

Well, I wish you all

a very
Merry Christmas! 

and a safe 
Happy Healthy 2020!


they were young and now for the cats.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Do I or don't I?

Tux loves my heating pad

For the past 2 weeks I have been unable to walk without pain... and have been taking Rx muscle relaxers and Hydrocodone. Now I'm able to walk again with a soreness, but thank goodness not the spasms I had before.  So... what caused this?  Will it happen again? Am I doing something I shouldn't?

The steroid injection I was given as well as the medications helped, but it seemed to me the condition had to either heal on its own or run it's course. 

My Primary Care Physician sent me for an x-ray of my lower back as well as a MRI. We were thinking pinched nerve(s), bulging disc, etc. But apparently nothing unusual showed up. Now he's referring me to a Spinal Specialist. 

I'm walking OK, but that soreness in my lower back remains. And I have to admit that I fear whatever it was might come back again.  Do I sweep, mop, dust? How can I not? Christmas is around the corner and there's so much to do. Is it age? I find that hard to believe. Age may slow me down, but surely I can still perform these simple tasks?

Well, that's about it. I'm not sure where I'm going with this. Wondering if anyone else has had this happen to them I suppose.
And if so, any suggestions?

cats sharing my sick bed

As always, thanks for dropping by.  I don't really expect any miraculous answers, but thought it wouldn't hurt to put it out there.


Monday, December 9, 2019

thank you for your input...

Ghost and Snuffy

I want to thank all of you out there who made comments and/or suggestions on my previous blog about my  back problems. I really appreciate that you took the time to do that. It means a lot to me.

Most of us will never meet in real life... yet I feel that I know many of you through your blogs... and consider you 'friends' (cyber/blogger friends?). Through our blogs we share parts of our lives and in that way get to know a little about each other; our likes, dislikes, joys, sorrows... possibly even things we wouldn't or couldn't share with those we're physically close to. 

And of course most of us (but not all) share the 'age' and 'retirement' issues. I'm 74 and my sister would be 84 (if she hadn't died at 51). My brother would be 79 (if he hadn't died at 59). What I'm trying to say here is that without my older siblings to ease me into this aging thing, I have to depend on older friends/relatives, etc. - and you, my cyber/blogger friends have proved to be a great source of information and comfort in this area. So, thank you again (if only for listening to me vent).

However, it's been 10 days since my back troubles started and I'm still hurting I do have an appointment to see the doctor this afternoon. The steroid injection I received from the Texas Health Dispatch last Monday was helpful, but the effect didn't last. The muscle relaxant (cyclobenzapr) and the pain pill (hydrocod/acetam) take the edge off, but it's still painful and difficult to walk. 

I'm guessing that our doctor will schedule me for x-rays and an MRI to determine what exactly is causing this. We all pretty much know/suspect that it's a pinched nerve(s) in the lumbar region... but what's causing the pinching we don't know. 

On a lighter note, you would probably laugh if you saw me now. Strewn across this bed are pillows, meds, coffee mugs, books, tissue, laptop, iPhone, kindle, that thingy that helps you pick up things when you can't bend over.... and of course several cats (who are a constant source of purring comfort)!

But before I shut this down, let me say something about the Texas Health Dispatch. Before this happened, I was totally unaware that such a service was available. As I understand it, it is a service that has grown out of a need to be an in between care for those who either cannot get to a doctor's office to be treated and yet don't feel their condition is a life threatening emergency that would necessitate a visit to the ER. And they take Medicare!  I would ask your own physician if he was aware of this type of service in your area. It certainly came in handy for me.


Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Update on back condition...

Well, it's Wednesday now... 5 days running... still in pain, but lessened due to steroid injection and muscle relaxants. I haven't yet taken the pain pills and am still trying to get by on Tylenol. I can walk with my mom's old walker... still hurts, but at least I can walk.

What happened is that it got so bad on Monday afternoon that I could no longer walk at all. I tried... spasms shot up my back so bad that I broke out in a cold sweat and thought I would pass out. So I called my family physician. He said to come in to the office. Said that I couldn't do that as I couldn't walk. Told me to call 911. Said that I didn't want to do that for as bad as it was... I didn't think it was life threatening

Then he recommended I call Texas Health Dispatch. I didn't know what this was, but apparently it is a kind of mobile urgent care that will come to your house, takes Medicare, and will evaluate your condition, treat it, or send you to the emergency room. 

So I did this. They were great.  Two ladies came out, examined my back, took my oxygen level and blood pressure, asked me a zillion questions, and then diagnosed Radiculopathy, Lumbar region - and after checking on my drug allergies gave me a steroid injection and told me to take the muscle relaxants the doctor prescribed.  

The steroid helped as by Tuesday morning I could walk some again. But I think it's wearing off . I'm trying to walk around more today as my back stiffens up so bad in bed or sitting, but it's not fun.  May try a half of the pain pill if no improvement by this afternoon.

I'm trying my best to accept this with a good attitude. After all, we have to expect life to throw us a few curve balls, right? I'll try the mantra "Breathe in, Breathe out, move on".... but its the moving on (physically) that's difficult at the moment.

Thanks for listening to me whine... so sorry for that. But it helps to vent.  

I truly appreciate your taking the time to drop by my blog. It's not exactly a fun one, not even educational or full of pretty photos... but maybe I'll post a few of the cats to spiff it up. All 3 have been laying with me on the bed for days. Tux is so worried. Even when the Health Dispatch showed up, he wouldn't leave my side.

Tux and Julie in my pile of bedridden necessities

Tux waiting for me to come back to bed


Sunday, December 1, 2019

Rabbit Rabbit! White Rabbit! Help!

Rabbit Rabbit! White Rabbit!

Today is Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019 and this 'Rabbit Rabbit!' is a little late in the day. But...  this tardiness is due to my inability to get around today.  Apparently I've done something to my back again. Can barely walk - the spasms are so bad.

First time this happened (September) I was pretty sure what happened. This time I have no idea. Possibly could have been caused by something I did while cooking and cleaning for Thanksgiving guests and dinner.  I forget that at 74 I can't do all that I used to do without consequences. 

I have to admit that my back was aching a bit the last few days, but Saturday evening I realized that it had 'seized up' again. Whatever it is runs from the base of my spine almost in the middle (but a little to the left) and up all the way into my left shoulder and down my left leg. 

Stayed in bed most of the day today applying heat and cold. Walked slowly around a bit with a cane to exercise and stretch a bit (was afraid I was going to either throw up or pass out doing this -  also was afraid my leg would give way) and am taking Tylenol (just one in the morning and one in the evening to take the edge off).

And all 3 cats stayed in bed with me.Tux is my worrier. He stayed close, licking my hands and purring the whole time.

my worrier

Anyway, I'm thankful that it didn't seize up until after everyone had left for home. We had a nice Thanksgiving dinner and birthday (youngest grand daughter's 7th) Thursday. Then we all sat around the fireplace eating, drinking, and talking (watched some football too of course) while the grand kids played video games and otherwise entertained themselves.  Got them to stand still for a few minutes for pictures (which was especially difficult for youngest who was being a grouch as you can see).

Everyone overnighted and Friday morning we all went out for breakfast, then took the kids with us to pick out our Christmas tree. We always get a live one (usually around 7-8 feet) and they help choose. The house smells wonderful... that Christmas tree smell!

So all in all, except for this dern back, it was a good holiday. And no matter what, I'm grateful to be here to spend it with family and friends (and to share it with those of you I consider my blogging friends). 

I sincerely hope your Thanksgiving was good too. Sending you wishes for a happy, healthy, safe holiday season!


PS: DH has been wonderful... bringing me my meds, cooking for us, and taking care of things that need doing. Obviously I'm thankful for him too.