Wonderful Visit

What a wonderful visit I had with my friend Joan! She arrived on Tuesday evening, and caught the train to carry on in her travels this morning. Tuesday night we talked almost all night, so good for the soul. We did a lot of catching up, she told me all about her trip to Italy, with photographs and vivid descriptions of a palace, which housed rooms featuring various collections. She even came to Yoga class with me. I hope we see each other again soon!

My personal life continues to be very painful, and uncertain. There seems no possibility that a marital relationship can exist, Attila is adamant. Pain is boring, but it is intense, and it takes up a lot of space here at Mist Cottage.

The weather is mild, it has been raining off and on this evening. I took advantage of the clear roads to drive to the city. During my visit to the shoe store last week, I tried on many pairs of shoes, but only one pair fit reasonably well. They didn’t have my size, so they requested a pair be sent from another store. They called yesterday to say the shoes had arrived, so today I went in to try them on. I liked them so much I purchased them. Hopefully that will have me sorted for cool-weather casual-dress footwear for a decade or so.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

4°C
Date: 7:00 PM EST Thursday 11 January 2018
Condition: Light Rain
Pressure: 101.6 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 4.4°C
Dew point: 2.6°C
Humidity: 88%
Wind: SW 14 km/h
Visibility: 10 km

Quote

“The inner fire is the most important thing mankind possesses.”
Edith Sodergran

Pain: The Alarm System

On Wednesday I had some intense dental work, it has been painful since then.

I am a human who can tune out all but very intense pain. If I feel it, if it makes it past my defence of denial, it is bad. I am always surprised when doctors think I am complaining about the actual pain, because that is seldom the case when I take myself to see a Doctor because I am in pain. I take myself to see a Doctor because I know that pain is an alarm system, but not an early warning system in my case, and if I can feel pain, my alarm systems are screaming to get my attention… I’d best pay attention.

Yesterday, while we were at the Rideau Camp, I became extremely fatigued, so very tired. I felt as if I was coming down with a bad flu bug. But I knew just what it was; pain. Being in pain from Wednesday to Saturday had worn my body out, to the point where at last I was feeling ill. I took two Ibuprofen, sat with my feet up, and within an hour I was feeling much, much better. I wish I noticed the pain BEFORE it wore my body down, not after it wears me out.

I have had this “ability” since I was a small child. When I was pregnant with Terra, I had an infection underneath my big toe nail, the doctor had to drill through the centre of the toe nail into the bed, using a drill, to treat the infection. Since I was pregnant, and it was a very difficult pregnancy, he refused to freeze the toe, or provide any pain medications. I felt it, I was aware that there was pain, but I sat perfectly quiet and still through the entire procedure. The Doctor was dismayed, and confused that I reacted in this way. Another example was when I had my bad fall here at Mist Cottage in June of 2015. After breaking my tailbone, and sporting a huge sacral hematoma, I skimped on pain killers and kept up a very active pace. After a few days I ended up passing out from the pain, and was taken to the Emergency Department. Although I knew the pain was there, I wasn’t willing to feel it, but it was still having a big impact on my body. I learned well the power of pain, and now understand that it is best to heed it, and to take pain medications on medical advice, even when I am not feeling my pain.

Hopefully the pain will diminish over time, and my energy levels with return to normal. In the meantime, I will prescribe myself painkillers and rest.

I enjoyed the weekend though, pain or no pain.

On Saturday evening Attila and I sat around the camp fire at the Rideau Camp. Suddenly we heard loud thrashing noises high in the trees, very near where we were sitting. Something large, larger than a crow and an owl, was up there. Finally Attila caught sight of the culprits. Wild Turkeys, finding their roosting positions for the night, high in the tree tops. It must have been the rafter of turkeys that we saw a few weeks ago, several adults with 21 poults.

I listened for those Wild Turkeys this morning, when I awoke at the Rideau Camp. Not a sound. They must have left at the crack of dawn, before we awoke. They must have left silently, as our windows were open, and if they had been as noisy leaving, as they had been arriving last evening, we would have been awakened.

We have very interesting “guests” at the Rideau Camp. But I suppose it is more accurate to say that the local occupants at the Rideau Camp are interesting, and tolerant. They certainly do not seem to find us very intrusive, or intimidating.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

24°C °F
Date: 5:00 PM EDT Sunday 20 August 2017
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 101.7 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 23.8°C
Dew point: 20.0°C
Humidity: 79%
Wind: SSW 20 km/h
Humidex: 31
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“We only know of one duty, and that is to love.”
Albert Camus
1913 – 1960

No More “Genius” Moves

Another health focused entry.  Am I fixated?  Perhaps.  But I’ve learned something important about myself and I want to record it, so I don’t forget it!

I just arrived back from another visit to the emergency ward.

Let me explain why I went to the emergency ward in an ambulance, and what a “genius” I am 🙂

Last night I took Tylenol 3s, and slept like a baby. It was wonderful. Of course, this morning I did not take any pain medication. I felt fine at first this morning, even going to far as to tell Ariel, who I was talking to on the telephone, that I was much better. I figured I was.

Then, about an hour after that, just as I was finishing my morning coffee, I broke into a sweat, felt very dizzy, and very nauseous. Then I thought, I should be getting better after ten days, not worse. I called the doctor’s office but he is away this week. I thought about driving myself into the emergency department, but it is an hours drive away and with me feeling waves of dizziness, and sporting a fractured tailbone, I thought it best not to push my luck with a long drive in heavy traffic. I thought about calling Attila in from work to take me in, but that would mean sitting in the car (painful!),  Attila losing a day’s wages, and causing problems for his employers on such a super busy day. So, I opted for calling an ambulance. I could lie on the stretcher for the duration of the bumpy ride, and I wouldn’t have to stand for hours waiting in the waiting room at the hospital, dizzy and nauseous. The other thing was, I didn’t know what was wrong with me, so I wanted some immediate feedback.

The ambulance came, and my vitals were all good, that was the immediate feedback I needed. They asked me if I wanted to go to the hospital since my vitals were good, and I said yes indeed. One of the drivers didn’t seem to approve of my decision, the other assured me I didn’t have to justify the decision to them. They couldn’t find anything wrong with me.

The emergency department was in a state of the “grouchies” today, more on the part of the patients than the staff. The hospital is switching to a new computer system, and the speed of the intake procedure was affected, long wait times, some grouchy patients. I was lucky though, I didn’t have to wait very long at all in the waiting area before they called my name.  Kudos to the staff for being so very upbeat during a difficult phase of change.

After the doctor saw my swelling and bruising she provided me with pain medication almost immediately. She did a thorough check up, and also had an ultrasound performed on the impact area of my back, which is still hard, hot and swollen. She said there were a few fluid deposits, but probably nothing to worry about. What I have is called a sacral haematoma (in addition to a fractured tailbone).

The upshot was, the dizziness, sweating, and nausea were probably caused by pain. She prescribed pain medication for me, and told me I must take it.

The interesting thing is, with the exception of Wednesday night, I have not been feeling what I would consider to be a lot of pain, unless I touched, or put pressure on, the affected area. In reality, I was experiencing serious levels of pain, constantly.

This is a wake up call for me. I have learned that when my body is in severe pain, I block the severity of it in my conscious mind, so that I am not aware of the depth of it. I know that there is some pain there, but I cannot judge how severe it is. I learned to do this as a child, it had become habitual, but I didn’t know just how good I was at it. While I might not have been aware of the severity of the pain, my body knew all about it, and was reacting very strongly to it, with sweating, nausea, dizziness.

Next time a doctor says I should take pain medication, in the first place, I will be following up on that suggestion!

No more “genius” moves like not taking pain medication when it is recommended.

Attila ended up having to take time off work after all, to come and collect me at the hospital.  Luckily it was a gorgeous day, so I walked about the the beautiful gardens near the patient pickup area while waiting for him, and Attila enjoyed a few extra hours off work.  The trip home was rather painful, but I was soon comfortably ensconced on the sofa, with my ice pack.

I am hoping that the diagnosis is now complete and correct, and by following the doctors orders exactly, I will be right as rain in the near future.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

23°C
Date: 5:00 PM EDT Friday 3 July 2015
Condition: Sunny
Pressure: 101.5 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 22.5°C
Dewpoint: 7.8°C
Humidity: 38%
Wind: SW 15 km/h
Humidex: 23

Quote

“All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.”
Galileo Galilei
1564 – 1642

Taking It Easy

Arriving back at the country house seems to have been perfectly timed. The weather is perfect, the bugs are sparse, and the projects are slowing down.

I had a rough night last night, sleeping only four hours. Most of the night I battled the pain and nausea, comfortable in one position for only a few minutes. The nausea, which began last night as we were leaving Harriet’s cottage, is less pronounced tonight. It feels a bit like having the flu. I had two short but sweet naps today, which refreshed me quite a bit.

I took no painkillers today, I am saving them for bedtime! I hope to sleep through the night tonight.

My God, how did I care for a newborn infant while coping with this kind of an injury!!! I think I will put it down to youth.

Unfortunately, we have to forgo an outing we enjoy, because I am simply not up for another car trip. There is an annual pie social, one that my Granny was involved with when I was little. We go every year, but the event is tonight, and I can’t tolerate the car ride, so no pie for us! Of course, that really means no pie for Attila, because with my allergy I don’t eat out.

Tonight, instead of eating pie, Attila is up on the metal roof, on the second storey of the house, adding a few snow braces. It is a good time to be working on the roof, it is dry for one thing, and I am here for another, so if Attila were to run into any issues I would be able to assist, or call for immediate help. He wears all the recommended safety gear for these little projects in the sky.

I spent the day updating the operating systems on all the computers, performing routine maintenance, and updating the software packages we use most often. I also finished the research on the last of those twenty nine relatives from the USA.

Attila worked late, so when he arrived home we took our dinner out onto the screened in porch, enjoying the breezes and the last of the day’s sunshine as we ate.

How did July arrive without notice?

Worldly Distractions

Weather

18°C
Date: 8:00 PM EDT Thursday 2 July 2015
Condition: Sunny
Pressure: 101.5 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 18.2°C
Dewpoint: 7.4°C
Humidity: 49%
Wind: WNW 9 km/h

Quote

“Mistakes are the portals of discovery.”
James Joyce
1882 – 1941

Reconnecting

Yesterday I attended my first appointment, an assessment, with the physiotherapist. I didn’t like the feel of the physical building, just something about it that felt, well, aggressive. Then I discovered that the clinic shares facilities with a small gym. That explains it, there is an air of pushiness to the place, and gyms strike me as places that encourage the push. While perhaps that is warranted at a gym, it is not a great energy for healing. So that is one strike against the place, a physical plant issue.

The physiotherapist came out to greet me with a smile, she was young, and friendly, and not aggressive in the least. I liked her. So that is a strike for the place.

She asked me if I had brought shorts with me, no one had mentioned that I might need them during my initial call to set up the appointment. Another strike against the place, an administrative issue.

She went through the assessment efficiently, and kindly. She explained what she was doing as she went along. She asked for permission to touch me, when she needed to touch my body. More strikes for the place.

Her assessment made sense, she taught me two knee exercises to build strength around my knee. She printed out a sheet outlining the exercises, and wrote a few notes on it based on my questions. Very professional, and great “bedside manner”. More strikes for the place.

When I tally up the strikes, and weigh them as what is most important to me, this clinic is acceptable, and it is close by. I wouldn’t rave about the clinic settingj, but I would rave about the physiotherapist.

I began with the exercises last night. I was shocked, truly shocked, by the weakness in the injured side of my body. I have been babying this knee for quite a while, without thinking, and my muscle strength and tone have deteriorated significantly as a result. I know this because I do the same exercises with the uninjured side of my body, and the difference between the two sides is shocking.

I have postponed further visits to the physiotherapist until I have been to the Orthopaedic Clinic for the assessment there. If I need surgery, I will need all of my health coverage benefit for the post surgery physiotherapy. When the benefit runs out I will be done, as we have no financial means of paying for it ourselves. I explained this to the physiotherapist, and to the administrative person who processed my payment. I had to pay for the appointment myself, and must apply for reimbursement.

The visit to the physiotherapist, and the exercises, force me to centre my attention on my body. This is a tough thing to do, as I suffer from various forms of chronic pain. My method of dealing with the pain is to universally disconnect from painful sensations. That means that reconnecting with one source of pain means reconnecting with all of them. Yikes is all I can say!

Hopefully my brain will soon train me to “localize” the pain sources; to disconnect from some, while remaining connected to my knee and leg area. Fingers crossed!

Sunshine! It was very cold here this morning, but it was tropical compared to the temperature at the country house! Attila is going through another phase where he must get up at 3:00 a.m. to fire the masonry heater, then get up again at 6:00 a.m. to close the damper and get ready to leave for work. During these spells the country house can be quite chilly during the day. Attila is not there during the day. I am glad I am not there! If I was I would be wearing long underwear, layers and layers of sweaters, a down vest, a scarf, and gloves, just to keep from getting chilled. I can do it, I did it for over ten years. I would still be doing it, if it weren’t for the isolation in the bush and cabin fever, which are the reasons I am staying at the little house in the city.

I am reminded of my Grandmother, when she was in her seventies, during harsh winters. They heated their house with wood, it was cold at night! Granny wore a balaclava to bed at night, which was a great idea! I remember thinking how clever she was, figuring out how to stay warm!

I had a busy day, managing to get around with Tank, doing errands. I filled Tank’s tank with gas, for the first time this month. It wasn’t that low, but I wanted it topped up. I bought a few items at the discount store, things on Attila’s list. After the discount store, the last stop was the grocery store. Resisting the temptation to buy more fresh vegetables, the list was followed, milk, coffee, soda, olive oil. Then it was home for lunch.

The afternoon was spent at the laundromat. The wet laundry was carted home and now festoons the furniture and every available flat surface. It will be dry by morning, ready to fold and store away.

It was a pleasant and uneventful day.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

The Country House
-26°C (-14.8F)
Date: 7:00 AM EST Tuesday 20 January 2015
Condition: Clear
Pressure: 101.7 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -25.6°C
Dewpoint: -28.0°C
Humidity: 81%
Wind: WNW 4 km/h
Wind Chill: -30

The Little House in the City
-16°C (-3.2F)
Date: 5:00 AM EST Tuesday 20 January 2015
Condition: Not observed
Pressure: 101.5 kPa
Tendency: rising
Temperature: -16.1°C
Dewpoint: -19.2°C
Humidity: 77%
Wind: NW 9 km/h
Wind Chill: -22

Quote

“Success is following the pattern of life one enjoys most.”
Al Capp
1909 – 1979