Chronic Pain

A 51 year old female living and dealing with lumbar back pain and fibromyalgia. Sharing things I do for relief, reduce stress and control weight gain.

Friday, October 26, 2012

What next?

As I mentioned in previous post I had a date with some friends Wednesday night.  My therapist has been encouraging me to surround myself around positive energy since a couple of things in my life is draining everything positive right out of me.  Last week when I just felt like I really couldn't make it I didn't feel any different this week.  I'm not good at all at "pretending".  I thank you all for getting me out.  I was quite uncomfortable early on pain wise so I appreciate your willingness to move outside as soon as we were done.  I guess we'd been sitting for an hour and a half talking, ordering, socializing before I just had to stand up. I'd went to the bathroom, stood to greet a late arrival, then I was out of excuses to stand around a table of seated people.  My therapist always says, "whats wrong with that?"  You try it I told her.   It makes me very uncomfortable to stand and look down upon people.

I had a session with her today.  She asked me how it was and did I enjoyed myself?  I did I told her and I dealt with the pain.  I told her I was nervous about talking about my son and my back without breaking down..  Both have taken control of my life and my emotions.  I have to give it to her, I would have given up on me a long time ago.  She's given me so many exercises and advise on how to handle both.  Boundaries to stick to with my son.  How to not feel like everything with him is not my fault.  I guess it's just taking me longer than with most people.  She's really upset with me that I don't want to include my self in things that could be fun and or good for me.  Things that should be exciting and fun I sometime dread because I feel guilty for pleasure when someone is suffering.  I'm that way when anyone I know or care about is hurting or losses someone they are close to. That's where she is looking for me to feed off of others what I find missing in myself.  I just have to get strong enough to do it.  No matter how many times she tells me my son's situation is not my fault I can't help still hurting and being scared for him.  I know I can't do the thinking and fixing for him ( she says I'm actually hurting him and me by this) but it doesn't help you just turn off the emotions and let him fall.  

He just came by to bring me some money to give to his daughter's mom and money he owes us.  I'll be seeing her tomorrow to pick up my granddaughter.  I questioned him on some things I've heard about what's happening to his money. Where does it go?  After all, he hasn't had rent since August.  He probably felt I believe everything everyone says instead of him.  I had no means to defend him because he doesn't talk to me much any more.  He didn't have to tell me anything I guess but he informed me that he has been giving the "friend" who let him stay for a short while before he was out on the street again.  Besides child support and a loan note the rest of his money has been going to someone who was willing to loan him money to have legal representation when A's mom took him to court.  He said after he pays everything he gives them whats left. He said he is very close to paying them off.  I know that was back in March so now I guess I understand why he hasn't had any money even when he just gets paid. I've been telling him to pay himself first so he has gas and food money until next check.  I don't feel any better,  I actually feel worse because I was accusing him of doing wasteful things with his money.

So the afternoon of Wednesday didn't go so great.  Mr. R and I spent and hour and a half together.  We did manage to get some of the painful areas out, but no luck in getting my back coverage again.  It's low, to low to help me.   He went under Dr. Grahams recommendation in trying a high setting with a low frequency and lower until the "pinching" and "belt, rope" feeling goes away.  I may not feel it in my back but it could be helping regardless if I'm feeling the sensations or not.  If it starts to hurt he just wants me to just turn it off so I'm not so aggravated or angry.  One thought Mr. R had was that he had a patient who got coverage for his lower back in trial but it didn't help his pain at all.  He said he probably had a mechanical problem that none of the treatments we both have had will fix the problem. It makes sense to me because as the day goes on the worse it gets.  He asked me if I don't do anything at all does the pain go away?  It does, if I stay in bed all day, like when I had this virus  recently , it did.  I had pain from laying on my back due to the two surgery incisions and pressure from it but my normal back pain was mild.  That leads him to believe his thinking to be true.  What does all that mean?  In my heart, he'll continue to work with me, but I don't think he really believes we will get it without moving the leads higher.  

I'm going to be as positive as I can and hope that things change over next few weeks.  I guess they could.  It doesn't make sense that I was doing better two months ago than now.  It should have gotten better and better the closer to 6 months I reached.  It seems just like a make over of the surgery from '09.  Full of hope in the beginning only to be led along by doctor after doctor that things would get better.  

Fighting back, Theresa

The things you take for granted someone else is praying for. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Partial Answers

So I showed up at the surgery center a little early hoping they'd take me early.  I was getting out of my car at the same time as Mr. R.  I had a seat and he said they'd come get me pretty quick.  Gosh it brought back memories.  I've been in those cold freezing injection surgery rooms so many times over last 18 months.  I had to put on the good ol gown, hat and pants just like so many times in the past.  As I was climbing on the table trying to get comfortable I was thinking I thought I'd never have to come back to this room.  

After we got the pictures we needed Mr. R showed them to me right there in the room.  As far as he could tell everything looked good.  He asked me to dress and wait because Dr. Graham was going to come in and talk with me.  So I dress and waited.  Wondering what would he have to say.  He asked me questions about the specifics about what I was experiencing.  He seemed to see a slight shift to the left in one lead but Mr. R told him it was so minor he felt like it was the way I was laying on table.  It was really hard to lay there on my stomach.  Not something I can easily do.  If you put a pillow to make it arch outward its tolerable but with no support and my back dipping its was impossible.  He ended up putting a cushion under me.  

So Doc said since I've had it off a couple of weeks he'd like Mr R to try some ideas he gave him.  I didn't like the look on Mr. R's face. (a look of , tired that it's not gonna work)  Dr. Graham said as this pain from stimulation started the nerve damage I have is really irritated.  This is is speculation I believe.  He wants me to work with Mr. R one more time this afternoon to see what he can find for me.  If we can't get anything he wants me to try turning it on then backing down intensity until I can't hardly feel it because it may still be helping and I don't know it.  The next option is to give me a steroid injection, which he'd have to be VERY careful not to hit lead, to calm things down.  You can't see swelling but inside it is.  My entire lower back is sensitive to touch.  After that, if it comes to it we'd have to go back in to try and move things around. (the leads)  I shook my head at this.  Of course 2 years ago I shook my head at the idea of a pain pump or a spinal cord stimulator.  

Mr. R had some patients to see at another office but the good news is that I dont' have to go sit for the appointment with doctor.  He said it wasn't necessary.  As far as my battery being sore still he's still not concerned at this stage of post surgery.  Obviously, I'm home waiting to hear from Mr. R then I'll drive right back where I was for him to work with me.  I hope I can tolerate it long enough for him to find something.  Wish me luck.

It has hands to help others, feet to hasten to the poor and needy, eyes to see misery and want, ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men.  That is what love looks like.

Monday, October 22, 2012

It's Monday again?

It's Monday already?  If felt like it was just Monday.  Dancing with the Stars, three more days before moms surgery. Two more weeks before I get to see the doctor.  That's what I was thinking last Monday.  It's been a very long and depressing week. Even so it just flew by.  I have much to be thankful for but not much to be happy about.  

I seriously need a pedicure!

About mom, unfortunately she is still experiencing her pre surgery pain.  Darn it, makes me so mad and sad together.  What's the deal with our family and getting better.  The incision itself is better and she's feeling ok post surgery. We're all just  disappointed the pain is still there.  More when she walks. Her calf, ankle and hip.   She's hoping that in time maybe it will still go away but I'm afraid if it worked she would know now.  She has a much better attitude than me. Pain has turned me into a different person.  Ask my husband, I'm not the person he married. 

About me, heard from Mr. R today....finally.  I'm to go in the morning of my appointment to have an x ray taken of spine so when I go to see him in the afternoon he'll have it to look at.  He'll be at surgery center that morning for procedures so that's why they want me to go in the morning.  I questioned that being my appointment was at 3.  I wanted to go right before appointment so I didn't have a lot of time to kill before appointment time but he explained Dr. wanted to be there to oversee x ray. I don't know what to think.  If everything is ok then what's the problem with me losing coverage suddenly?  If somethings wrong, what do we do about it?  Number one thing I'm loosing sleep over.

About my new friend Donna. Keep her in your prayers.  She had her SCS implant surgery last week and she's really struggling with a lot of pain.  In particular muscle spasms. I went through that with my trial.  We've been emailing each other and seems we have quite a lot in common.  Her descriptions of things she talks about pain related is exact phrases or wording I've used.  I can't explain what that's like. You hate to know someone else is hurting but it's comforting in an odd way that someone really does understand how you feel and what your going through.

About my son.  Number two thing I'm loosing sleep over.  We let him spend a couple of nights at our house this week.  He looked awful when I saw him Wednesday during the day he was sleep deprived and starved.  He had been sleeping in is car past few nights.  Well, I say sleeping but he told me he really wasn't sleeping because everywhere he parked someone strange would show up and scare him off.  I guess he didn't call because he knows it's not an option for him to come back here.  So I let him sleep until work time which was for about 3 hours.  When he left, he forgot some things.  Or did he forget them?  I believe it was intentional for him to come back.  I absolutely hate when he puts me in the position to ask him to leave.  I was right, he called and said he needed his phone charger and clothes could he come by and pick up.  I said yes but I'm getting up early for Maw Maw's surgery tomorrow you'll have to get them and leave.  Didn't go like that at all.  He was hungry, no food.  Eats, then has to go to the bathroom.  That's a half hour stall.  When he finally left and I tried to go to bed I noticed his car was still in drive way.  Checked again at midnight, still there.  He tired his sister, brother in law looking for somewhere to sleep.  He had to work Thursday and was afraid of losing his job if he didn't get some sleep.  I don't know what happened on Thursday because I was at hospital until late.  He spent another night, Thursday night in his car.  I didn't hear from him so I didn't know until I checked on him on Friday am.  

I got a text from him at 4am Saturday desperate to come here and get some sleep.  He said it had been 4 days and if he didn't sleep he wouldn't/couldn't make it to work Saturday.  My husband and I agreed to let him come for two nights then he had to go back with his friend.  (we have no idea what happened and why he says he can't stay there any longer)  After he made it here I never could go back to sleep.  I couldn't get it out of my head, what is he going to do?  He can't keep this up.  I know exactly word for word my therapist would say to me about those questions.
So Sunday came and when we were ready to go to bed he was still here.  We had visitors coming first thing in the morning and I had to pull myself together and he needed to move on. I wanted to fresh up the room he'd been in also. I literally had to ask him to leave.  Heart wrenching.  Even my husband felt a little bad.  He kept looking out the curtain and saying that he was still in his car.  We checked at midnight and there he was still in drive in his car.  My husband agreed, if he's just going to sit in his car in our drive we might as well let him back in and he can leave early before our company arrives.  I let him know but he never answered.  I was still awake at 2am.  

Our friends came to visit.  They were our next door neighbors in the neighborhood we moved from.  This past May we went to see their new home in Waveland, MS and now they were here to see our house.  We miss them so much. I have always thought of Betty as my 2nd mom.  We had so many long visits and talks when we lived next door to each other.  We looked after each others place when the other was gone.  They are true TIGER fans.  They still travel over for the home games. They were both so complementary on all D's hard work in the back yard. I'm sure it made him feel so good.  It was nice to get my mind off of other things for a few hours.

After our company left we headed to town to take care of some errands then the text came.  We had just drove up at the eye clinic to get new glasses. It was my son.  Stranded in a parking lot not far from our house.  No gas. He said if we'd please help him this one last time and he'd stay away.  Can you begin to imagine how this made me feel? My husband admitted to me he saw his car still outside when he got up at 7 and it was gone shortly after.  Now I understand why he didn't leave last night.  He didn't have any gas and didn't want to ask for money.  We took care of our eye business then went straight back home to get my car so I could go help my son and D went on to do the other errands we'd planned on doing together.  

I gave him some money for gas and fed him at the house.  He was definitely hungry.  Washed his uniform and went to work for 4.  So I'll be awake again tonight trying not to think about it but wondering where he'll stay.  If he'll be in his car.  I gave him a number to call last week to get some help. (mental)It's very obvious how depressed he is.  We've done it all to help him.  He has to decide to help himself.  My therapist is going to be so disappointed in me when I told her how I handled this week.  When he is here I'm angry at him because he won't take any action to make things better but the minute he leaves my heart breaks and I start feeling like a terrible mother.  What kind of mother just sends her son away with no where for him to go?  By the way, it's not just what my therapist advises.  Friends,family everyone says the same.  Stop helping him so he'll be forced to do something.  It's just much easier said than done.  Sometime I just feel like I'm the only person he believes cares about what happens to him.  What would happen if I'm not at least there for him to talk to.

I sure hope they get my stimulator working properly on Wednesday.  At least then something will be going in the right direction.  I had no clue just how much it was helping me until I had to turn it off.  I hope to be back to fill you in on Wednesday just depends on how I'm feeling.  I'm supposed to be having dinner with some girlfriends.  I cancelled on them last week because of the blues and the pain.  I guess I won't be able to get away with that two weeks in a row.  It doesn't seem right to be out enjoying myself know what a hard time my son is having.  I even feel guilty when I have something good to eat, wondering if he has food?  My husband really wants me to go.  I know my friends care about me and feel like visiting will cheer me up.  Hopefully their right.  

Fighting back

I'm trying hard to have this attitude

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Patiently waiting

9:30 I'm here at the hospital with family waiting for my mom to come out of surgery.  We visited with her for a while before they took her back.  I had a quick moment to meet the surgeon as they were wheeling her down the hall.  They told us 2 hours and the doctor would be out to talk to us as soon as he was done.  My mom and aunt love my hair.  Got it all cut off again yesterday.  Feels good to get ready in 15 minutes again!

2 hours.  Ok, what do I do for 2 hours after an hour drive here.  Sitting in the waiting area was not inviting to me at all.  My aunt and I picked out an area with a couch in the section which appealed to me in case I wanted to release pressure on my back, I could.  An hour and fifteen minutes passed by and the doctor came out.  He said everything went well.  Mom did great.  He answered all our questions and said he'd be by to check on her in the room before he left for the day.  

It's now 1:30.  I took advantage of the hour she was in recovery to stretch and go get me some food.  I'm in the room with her now but she's still pretty sedated.  Awake on and off.  
She wakes up and says, "oh y'all are here" Yes, we're still here mom.  The doctor did stop by.  He's nice.  Answered a few more questions and said he'd be back tomorrow and most likely she will be able to go home by evening time. 

As far as myself, I'm still struggling   I got a text from Lovely early this morning asking if I heard from Mr. R? No I haven't.  "Why? I asked"  She said he had talked to Dr. Graham and was going to get in touch with me.  No word yet.  I'm hoping they have me take the x ray before my appointment Wednesday.  I see no point in going sit there for hours to see him and he just looks at me without any tools to see whats wrong.  I started to text Mr. R but I'm working on being more patient so I'll wait.  My stimulator has been off since Sunday.  I sure miss it.  I'm so anxious about things being corrected. 

I saw my eye doctor for my annual exam that I was 6 months behind on.  Next will have to be mammogram, I'm a year behind on that.  Anyway, she said my vision has drastically changed.  Yeah, I knew that.  My readers were working better than my RX glasses so I knew some changes have occurred.   I was really happy to come home with some contacts for now. Trial, to make sure their the right strength.  I couldn't make up my mind about the frames so I'm going with my husband when he goes in the next couple of weeks.  I'd like a second opinion.  The darn things cost so much I want him to like them too.   

So my eye doctor tells me a story about someone she knows that had a SCS that  they never could get to cover area she needed help with. She had it removed, I didn't need to know that. I didn't ask where, but I know the lower back is the hardest area to get coverage.  I questioned my doctor really hard on my follow up visit after my trial because we were close but not all the way there during the trial.  At the follow up he said that I just needed that extra "paddle lead" in the middle.  So I'm just a little frustrated it's not working.  I have a right to be right?  I'm so tired of waiting.  I'm sitting here praying when my mom gets up to go to the bathroom, which they want her to do soon, that she feels the pressure off of her sciatic nerve and her legs and hip aren't hurting anymore.  

3:00pm I'm about to go take a walk.  I can't sit in this chair any longer.  I can't believe they expect the overnight guest to sleep in this chair.  Even if you didn't have a bad back it's pretty uncomfortable.  I'm not just complaining, my brother completely agrees. He's going home awhile and coming back later when I leave.  My aunt and uncle that sat with me this morning do a volunteer shift every week here at St. Tammany from 12-4.  They'll be back to visit after also.

4:00pm Mom made it up for a walk.  She said her lower part of her leg and foot are not hurting but....her hip still hurts.  I told her it's to soon to tell.  I remember everyone telling me that after the 09 surgery.   The patient in the room with mom, a lady I'd guess to be my age had neck surgery by same doctor the hour before.  I could hear her saying OMG, my hand has feeling again.  She was up walking around right after my mom was moved in the room.  She said, "This is so awesome.  It's been so long that I couldn't feel my hand."  Your so happy to hear someone is healed, fixed or whatever you want to call it but I can't help but wonder why didn't it go that way for me.  My aunt said the same thing when she woke up from her neck surgery.  She felt immediate relief when she woke up from surgery,  which was also done by the same doctor in 04.  We all were like one big room of people sharing stories.  No privacy here. No following HIPPA in this room.  lol

Ok, enough pity party.  Mom has some clear liquids that just arrived.  She's asleep again so I'm going to get her awake and see how she does with some food.   I'll head home to Baton Rouge when my brother comes back tonight.  Food went down well, no nausea so full meal for supper!

Donna, if your reading today I hope today was better for you and you saw some improvement.  Hang in there, it's gonna get better each day.

6:15 My mom's dinner arrived and I have her all set up.  My brother and another aunt are on their way so I'm hitting the road.  Dreading the drive. :-(
My mom wants me to stand by the wall so she can take my picture.  She has plenty of pictures of me.  She loves my hair and wants a picture to show her hairdresser.  Um, it does not look the same at all in a picture.  Matter of fact, I asked her to delete it looked bad.  She agreed it doesn't look the same in picture as in person.  Oh well, it was good to have everyone laughing before I left. 

7:50 Made it home.  Just checked on my mom and my brother said she ate all of her supper and feeling ok.  They had given her some pain medication as I was leaving so I guess it kicked in while I was on way home.  I'm fighting the blues so bad.  Changing meds again.  I HATE this process.  Makes my body go crazy.  Between that, the long day at the hospital, limited sleep last night and worried sick about my son.  I'm sure to have another sleepless night.  I plan to take a day of rest tomorrow.  A real day of rest.  I plan on doing nothing!  I was going to go back to hospital but my mother, who takes care of everyone else insisted she didn't want me driving back over tomorrow.  She promised she'd call if she needed me to come.  A friend is bringing her home and my aunt plans to spend the night if she needs someone to. 


Monday, October 15, 2012

Weigh in Monday

Happy Monday everyone.  My day was fair.  I'm trying to stick to my promise to myself of good day or bad day no complaints behind.  It's a long day when I'm caring for baby C.  11 hours.  I leave my house at 6:30 and return home at 5:40.  Not complaining.  Even though it's tough I want to hang in as long as I can.  Being useful keeps me going.  The excitement and thank you's I receive make the pain a little easier.  Today baby C decided to pull herself up on a folding chair and then proceeded to start pushing it.  She didn't even realize at first what she was doing.  I reached for the iphone and got a short clip for mom and dad to see.  They were amazed.  Isn't technology amazing? That's why even though it can really be touch for me, moments like that make it all worth while.  Mom and Dad not missing out and knowing just what their baby girl is up to.

The other things she surprised me with won't believe this but I swear on my stimulator it's true.  She woke up from her nap with a dry diaper which is very unusual so I decided to sit her on the big potty.  No training potty at this time because who was thinking we'd need one yet.  Anyway, I sat pushed to the back and sat her in front of me.  Of course she was in the best mood in the world because she just woke up so she didn't mind sitting a few seconds.  What do you know.  I hear it hitting the water.  Woo hoo I told her.  You just made pee pee in the potty for the first time.  Mom and dad have to hear about this.  I really think she understood what she had done because she kept clapping and was so excited.

When I drug myself out of bed this morning I almost forgot to weigh in.  Yesterday was a VERY emotional day for me.  It started out wonderful but ended sadly.  I went to bed crying and was awake for hours.  No sleep really effects my back pain also.  Remember last week I figured my sudden drop in weight must have to do with the bug I had on Sunday/Monday.  Low and behold it only went up 1 pound.  I couldn't believe it.  I reweighed a second time to be sure.  I'm afraid stress has something to do with it.  Not a good way to loose weight.  I'd rather do it normal.  Exercise limited last week and even less this week so I have to stick to eating well.

Who's watching dancing with the Stars?  This is the first season I've ever watched.  Kind of wish I would have watched previously.  I love it.  Makes me really want to go back to dance classes.  My husband and I started classes in the fall of 2010 but after only 3 sessions had to stop because my back had went into a huge flair up that i never recovered from.   We met some great people and made new friends there.  It's fun, relaxing and great exercise.  I called them recently to make sure we could still come back if I get to that point.  We had bought a membership instead of paying corse by corse.  I am looking forward to the day when we can return.

Subject change.  I've been researching vacuums.  Mine is old and heavy.  I love that it's bag less.  It still works great.  The problem is that it is 13 years old and it's getting hard to get replacement filters.  It's really hard for me to handle too.  When D is home he usually gets it out and picks it up when I'm done. It's the pull time and it drives me nuts anytime I stop for something and lean the wand against the wall, chair or other furniture it always ends up falling down so I'm squatting down to pick it up.   Have you seen the commercial for the new dyson?  Lightweight...just what I need.  Floor or carpet.....just what I need.  NO cords!! Just what I want.  I hate tripping all around the cord.  We're still thinking but I'm really liking this one more and more as I research it.  Not many reviews because it's so new.  Tell me what you thinK?  Below is link to the dyson page with the particular model on it.  The DC44 animal.

Don't let criticism go to your heart and don't let compliments go to your head.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

I believe

Today I visited the First Pentecostal Church of Denham Springs.  I was invited by my friend Karen.  She had asked me a month or so back but I couldn't make it because we had guests at our house for the week end.  The church was having the same guest preacher again this Sunday who was there when she asked me the first time.  He has healed some people in their church.  After she read about my latest trials with my stimulator she invited me again.  "What have you got to loose?", she asked me.

I have to say I was a little nervous about it.  I've been to my daughter church numerous times so it wasn't the fact of going to a church different than my faith. (Catholic)  Every time I've been there obviously my daughter and son and law were there.  I went to my only grand son's dedication there.  I know many of her friends and would feel very comfortable walking right in and having a seat even if she wasn't there.  

My experience getting there wasn't a great start.  On my way to interstate I came to a road closure.  Ok, turn around and go another way.  I'm then making my way down the interstate and come to a sign that says "NEXT TWO EXITS DENHAM SPRINGS"  UGH which one is it?  I look down at the GPS deal on my iphone and it shows the red dot farther up which made me think I needed to go to next exit.  Nope, get off there and its clear this is not where I'm supposed to be.  I call my friend and let her know I did not change my mind I've just hit some bumps in the road.  She told me to come on in when I get there anyone at the door will know where I am.  

The church caught my eye right away when I was close.  Big beautiful and a lot of people going inside.  I drove around to the back and found a place to park.  I started the walk down the sidewalk to front of church.  I had a long battle with myself before leaving do I turn on my stimulator or not?  If I don't I'll never sit the entire time, if I do it will help, but it will be pinching my side enough to drive me insane and not be able to focus.  So there I was at the front door looking in.  Right away a lady greeted me and said hello.  "Can I help you find someone?"
Sure, I told her who I was looking for and the gentleman behind her pointed me right to the pew where her daughter, who I recognized at that point, was sitting.  Making my way there I was greeted by many people welcoming me.  I figured I must have some flashing sign somewhere on me.  How did everyone know I was a guest?  I made it to my friend, her daughter and husband.  While we were waiting for service to start still more people said hello.  Behind me, in front of me.  I started feeling pretty comfortable.  Now I'm just worried about sitting still for a couple hours.  

It went fine.  During worship I had an opportunity to stand a few times.  Not for one minute did I loose concentration.  Everything everyone that spoke said was so interesting and captivating. Then it came time for me to go up to be prayed over and for healing.  My friend went with me, she could see how nervous I was.  I was nervous but I was believing this had to work.  I wanted it so bad I started crying the first step I took. Several preachers came close to me and everyone was praying.  I felt such peace.  For a moment I was so comfortable I didn't even feel my stimulator buzzing.  When we were done one of the preachers wife stopped me and told me she was praying for me and to know that I may not have an immediate healing but to believe and sometime it happens over time.  Come back and see us she told me.  I made it through entire service.  It's strange but I just kind of forgot about my back hurting during the rest of service.  Maybe it wasn't, I can't remember.  I do know I felt so good leaving there both spiritually and physically.  I turned out onto the main road to head back to reality.  I'm weak and feel a little sweaty like you do when your hypo glycemic, which I am sometime.  I reached down for a split second to grab some grapes I brought for ride home because I knew I'd need food after.  Just that quick I hit the back of someone.  Great end to a beautiful service. :-(

Thank goodness the gentle man was supper nice.  He was driving a rental car otherwise he told me we'd just go on but he was nervous that the rental company may find something.  We exchanged information and parted ways.   He said he'd call me tomorrow and confirm that the rental company didn't say they noticed anything.
I took a picture with my cell phone just in case.

I decided since my stimulator is driving me nuts anyway I was turning it off, for good. At least until I see the doctor. I text Lovely to see if she thought we could try one more time.  She didn't sound hopeful at all.  She encouraged me to just stick it out and wait for my appointment.  Easy for her to say.  I turned it off.  I went on with my day getting somethings done.  It wasn't so bad.  I decided to test the waters and go for a walk.  That went well also.  Tonight I'm pretty comfortable considering my activity level of the day.  So..I believe.  Maybe I will be healed.  Maybe it will be a slow healing and it's meant to be that my stimulator isn't working.  If so, what now?  I can't leave this thing in me for no reason.  I know, tomorrow could be a totally different day.

Just Wednesday at therapy my therapist when discussing with her the possibility of the St. Jude Rep being right about my lead moving out of place.  If so, what now? Lovely wouldn't answer that for me.  My therapist  couldn't either. She said, here you go with the why why why and the I need an answer now.  She said I need to be able to just wait until I go to the doctor and get some answers.  My anxiety causes me to stress about knowing what is going to happen and needing an answer.  They don't understand just how LONG I have been waiting.  This decision of turning off my stimulator helps me do just that.  I'm waiting for the healing and just living day to day to see how things will play out until I see the doctor on the 24.  LOvely is trying to get him to order an x ray to have for when I go in.

Tomorrow I spend the day with baby C.  Really anxious to see how well that goes without my stimulator.  I know something is helping because that great feeling spiritually left me as soon as I hit the front door.  More drama with my son and now at 10 at night when I needed to be in bed an hour ago.  My heart is broken and my eyes swollen where I can hardly see but I don't feel my back at all.  I don't know which pain will beat me first him or the physical one. 

Fighting back...Theresa

I may be lost but I know where I'm going... is that how it went sister Karen?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Gone but not forgotten

Beware...a lot of photos in this post.  Many I wanted to include and didn't and some I just couldn't leave out.

October 10, 1935 the year my dad was born.  He passed away on May 2, 2011.  He would be 77 today.  John H Hulin, know as Harvey, the A&P frozen food man and the best bus driver in St. Tammany Parish.  When he first moved to Talisheek, LA from his birthplace, Erath, LA he worked at the papermill in Bogalusa.  When I was growing up and waiting for the school bus in my grade school years there were many days when the wind blew the right direction you could smell it very strong.  The "frozen food man" came from all the years he worked at the A&P in Covington.  When he would finish his bus run he would go to the A & P to work until time for the afternoon run.  During the summer and school holidays he worked their too.  He was a very popular bus driver.  The other drivers admired him.  His bus was a tight ship.  He was strict and the kids respected him.  It was also the cleanest bus in the parish.  I know this because I swept it most week ends as a chore.  

I call him my dad because in every definition of the word "dad" he was.  I never knew my biological father.  My memories go back as far as 3 and 4 years old.  Which leaves me with no memories at all of him.  In fact he was in prison when my mom left him.   I remember some very special times when it was just me and my mom.  I also remember well when she started dating my dad.  She worked at A&P and that's where she met him.  They both loved to dance and went to a lot of parties together during the holidays.  I looked at them during the early years as a "life of the party" couple.  They hosted many at their house and were invited to a lot.  
Jan 29, 1971

The young boy in the picture is my older brother Don.  My dads son from his first marriage.  My mom and dad had a son in 1974, my younger brother Avery.   They had yours, mine and ours.  Although we never used the words "step" or "half" in our family.  He was a fun big brother.  He wasn't around all the time because he lived with his mom but when he was he was pretty cool.  Even let me tag along on a date with him once to the skating rink. LOL

 We had a lot of fun times in the early years camping down on the Pearl River canal.  My parents had a huge group of friends who also liked to camp.  At that time it was camping the old fashion way.  No electric or bathrooms.  We had a "pot" we took into the woods.  There was never any worry about being safe either.  They took an old bus and remolded it into a camper and pulled it down to the canal.  We used it a long time.  I can't remember when but at some point they got a pop up camper and started going to camp grounds and then to pull type campers.  The best years ever though were down on the canal.

I have to share one more thing about those times.  My dad loved being on the water in the boat.  He wanted his kids to learn to love the water like he did.  We had to learn to swim and water ski.  My brother Don started off on a board then skiing on two then one ski.  He was pretty awesome at it.  I fought tooth and nail against this.  I didn't want to learn.  During some of my "teaching" sessions I would let go of the rope when he wasn't looking and it would make him so mad.  He'd turn the boat around, come back and get me.  "The sooner you do it, the sooner you can get out of the water".  I finally gave in at some point.  Of course I loved it.  He taught a lot of youngsters out there how to ski. 

2008 taking my daughter, son in law & friends tubing
We were you typical family.  We took vacations every summer.  With my dad driving the bus he had the summer off.  He still worked at the A& P but they pretty much gave him the schedule he wanted being he'd been around so long and was good at what he did there.  He was manager of frozen food section.  I remember him bringing home lots of different ice creams for us to try.  That was a ritual in our home.  Ice cream every night.  My mom would serve us all some ice cream after dinner.  I think my kids probably remember that too because it was still going on then.  Besides vacations we did a lot of camping durning the summer too.  Some beautiful campgrounds in Mississippi.  We were always able to bring a friend along.  

As I entered my preteen years my dad and I butt heads a lot.  He was a strict father with a lot of rules to follow.  I was a stubborn child.  I put a lot of hardship between my mom and dad.  I now know how hard it must have been for her since I deal with my son and husband not getting along.  The important thing is that I recognized what he did for me as soon as I left home and was on my own as a child myself at the age of 18 with a baby.   I hardly every made an important decision about anything without calling him and asking his advise.  He told me so many times.  His exact words, " I know I was tough on you kid, but look how great you turned out!"  He told me numerous times he never worried about anyone taking advantage of me.  

In 1980 my brother Don and his first wife had his first grandchild.  Melissa Renee Hulin.  She was a sweet angel sent down from heaven to spent a short 10 years with us.  I remember very well how hard my dad took her death.  I think it was the first time I had seen him cry.  He was always so tough on us.  I was used to him making me cry. I now know as a grandmother he was not only grieving for himself, but also for his son.  She left us on his birthday Oct 10, 1990.

March 1981
He was so proud of all of his grand children.  My brother had two other children, Jennifer and Jeffrey who are close in age with my kids.  I had two and Avery has three. So all together they 8 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren.  He lived to see all but the last born.  Kennedy.  She is 9 months old.  

Avery, Theresa, My dad, and Don
For as long as I can remember there has been a family reunion on my dads side of the family for New Years.  It started with my dad and his three siblings.  It grew and grew.  My dad was the youngest and the last to go but the reunion is still going strong.  I'm not positive but I don't think he ever missed one and he was always disappointed if one of his group couldn't make it.  This was in 2010. 

the same reunion, my two grand babies who are now 3
My mom told me so many times during the trials with my back that my dad always felt so bad for me about my condition.  He had back pain a lot and thought it was so unfair for someone at my age (as early as it started) had to deal with it every day.  That's just what parents wish for, to take away their children's pain.  He was no different with any of us.

Thanksgiving and Payton's birthday
October 7, 2006

My daughter's wedding
Sept 2009

One of my favorites of them both <3

Paw Paw with Avery's youngest Payton

Paw Paw with Aubrey, my grand daughter

Paw Paw with my grandson Parker

My dad liked to cook when we were camping.  I have so many pictures of him at the campground grilling or frying something.  Every now and then he enjoyed sitting back and letting someone else do the work and this was one of those times.  Crawfish boil at my house.

We all miss him so.  I still find myself wanting to pick up the phone and call to ask what he thinks about something.  His number is still in my phone.  Like the title says Gone but not forgotten.  Happy Birthday dad we love and miss you. 

At their home in Talisheek

  The things you take for granted someone else is praying for.  

I had to come back in and add that my dad shared his birthday with my sister in law Christi.
It's the first thing I thought of when I opened my eyes this morning after thinking of my dad.  I text her right away.  Not sure how I forgot to include that :-(

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

My Lucky, Unlucky day

As I mentioned yesterday I text Lovely last week asking her to let me know when she would be in town.  I'm struggling with my stimulator again.  As soon as I turn it up when I start to feel it it spreads every where.  Especially my stomach and a pinching in my hip on both sides.

Shortly after I published my post yesterday I heard from her.  She said she would be in BR tomorrow (today) and had some time at 3:00 if I was available.  I made myself available.  I felt so lucky that it worked out.  Not that I don't love Mr. R I just figured a different approach may help.  They have 2 different styles of reprogramming.  The last 2 times I met with Mr. R it seemed good at the time but within a few days my coverage was lost again.

She started out telling me she doesn't believe in having as many programs as I had.   It can become frustrating going through so many trying to get relief when your hurting.  I completely agreed.  I'd even told my husband it was so time consuming looking for the right one only to have none work.  She deleted all 16 and started with a clean slate.  I think Mr. R would have cringed.  He never wants to delete anything.  

I'll give it to her.  Lovely worked with me for hour and a half.  Put up with me crying.  Pulled up my x ray, called a co worker to get advise.  No matter what she tried we couldn't get it to not cut around my stomach or pinch in my hips.  On top of that most of the ones we tried, even if I could put up with that, didn't cover my back where I need coverage.  She was really puzzled especially being in month 5.  I told her I was doing much better in month 2 and 3.  The last 6 weeks have been the worst coverage wise.

Finally I just couldn't stand still any longer to continue to work. The longer I stood the worse my back hurt.  I believe she was probably ready to throw in the towel herself.  As we neared ending she said since I have an appointment coming up with surgeon that she was going to call and recommend I have an x ray before to bring with me.  She's afraid one of my leads have moved out of place.  That would be just my luck.  I know what your thinking, what does entail to fix?  I don't know.  My husband and daughter asked the same.  She recommended 2 things for me to do until I see my doctor in two weeks.

1) When I'm using the stimulator and it really starts to bother me when I'm getting the uncomfortable sensations just turn it off.  She said I'm just setting of nerves that don't need to be involved so I may just need a break from that.  She was surprised to learn that I never turn off until bedtime.  As soon as my feet hit the floor it's on and stays on until ready to go down for the night.

2) She set up a program that runs 20 minutes and off for 10 minutes automatically.  She said that may be just what I need to tolerate the uncomfortable areas for now.  I'm willing to try.  She also recommended going a day now and then with it off and see how I do until we get some answers.  That's fine, I've been living with it like that for sometime but it means increasing the pain meds again to get through the day.  That I'm not happy about.

It's been a strange evening having it off.  It's the first time since 1 week after surgery that I haven't had it on.  It just kind of becomes what's "normal" so at this moment it feels odd to not be there.  So I felt lucky last night knowing I was going to see Lovely today.  I just knew she was going to fix me up.  I was pretty bummed when I left there.  I was hurting from standing still in one spot for so long and just saddened at the thought that this might not be fixable.  I cried most of the way home.

I'll try and keep my chin up.  Until the doctor says there is nothing we can do I have to believe there is an answer.  She text me tonight and said she has a message in to talk to my doctor and as soon as she knows something she'll be in touch.  

Tomorrow's a new day.  Maybe these four new ones will at least be a little more tolerable than the previous 16.  If not, I'll listen to Lovely's advise and turn the darn thing OFF.  

GNA have a pain free and good nights sleep. Theresa

Minister:" So your mother says your prayers for you each night.  What does she say?"  The youngster replied, "Thank God he's in bed."     CHARLES SWINDOLL

Monday, October 8, 2012

Weigh in Monday

It feels like fall in the air, and in the stores.  As soon as the kids go back to school it seems like the holidays just sneak on in without enough time.  One holiday following another.  Speaking of holidays Happy Columbus Day. 

I had every intention on a post this week end but my week end didn't go as planned.  For sure my Sunday didn't.  Today either.  Friday evening I watched P for my daughter and son in law so they could go out to dinner for their anniversary.  Their anniversary was on Sunday but Sunday was going to be to busy day for them.

My son had his daughter, A for the week end.  I hoped for him it would be special and great for him being it has been so long since they've spent time together.  Friday when they got here she wasn't interested in eating some her favorites.  That's not normal for her.  She usually eats any time and anything. Shorty after I discovered why.  She had an obvious upset stomach.  The entire time she was here with P she was pretty quite and without too much information made several trips to the bathroom.  When they left I sent a bag incase it wasn't over.  I heard from my daughter later on that they had another episode on the way home so glad I had sent something.  She slept through the night and the next morning was hungry and talking about going to the party so we felt pretty sure it was over.  Over for her that is.

watching Little Einsteins
On Saturday I went to baby C's birthday party.   I can't believe 8 months have gone by since I first started helping care for her.  My son brought A.  She had a good time.  She really loved baby C and wanted to hold her like she was still a real little baby.  She got to feed the baby ducks along with all the other kids.  She ate some of the delicious food they had so I was glad to see she had her appetite back.

After the birthday party my son and granddaughter went back to my daughters house and I went home to watch LSU game with my husband.  Before I went to bed my stomach was bothering me.  I didn't think any thing of it.  Sunday morning when I opened my eyes it was still there but a lot worse.  Within minutes I received a text from my daughter that my son woke up in the middle of the night sick and was still sick that morning.  I don't blame her, but they were ready to get out of house to avoid getting sick.  Problem was he wasn't feeling well enough to drive at the time.  I knew if he felt anything like I did just moving was painful.

It was such a wasted day.  I was so sick I couldn't take any of my medications and laying in the bed all day really aggravated my back.  I moved from bed to bed and to the couch trying to get comfortable somehow.  It was an awful bug.  Don't remember being that sick in a while.  I had a bite of banana in the am and on and off I tired some sips of water or Fresca but my stomach couldn't handle it.  It was a long miserable day and night.  I was still awake at 3am.  Partly because I didn't have my medications, one helps me get to sleep and also the monster in my stomach was determined to keep me uncomfortable.  I haven't had a virus in sometime so I forgot how awful it can make you feel.  

Which brings us to today.  When my husband left I had only been sleeping a couple of hours so I moved to our bed to see if I felt better there. I was trying to keep him from getting sick.  I slept for another hour and then decided to get up and move around and see how I feel.  Even though there was nothing left in me, I felt, so I still got sick twice before I tried a piece of toast.  Thank goodness I did ok with that.  Then I braved a second piece a couple hours later.  It's 3:15 nausea gone, stomach cramps gone just still really weak and like I've been run over my a bus.  It's getting better every hour that goes by thank goodness. Although another waisted day.

I did stand up long enough this morning to do my weigh in.  I don't think it could possibly be accurate.  That would be 6 pounds since last week.  Nope, I've only lost 2 per week at most.  When I entered in the Weight Watchers plan on line it told me I was now an unhealthy weight.  Matter of fact it increased my daily points so I guess they want me to eat more.  I wanted my goal set for 130 when I started but it wouldn't let me set lower than 132.  Guess thats why I got the warning.  If there is anything unhealthy about it, it's how I got there.  My stomach has was empty for 24 hours so I'm sure we'll see next weeks number up a few.  

I don't know if anyone watched the revised Steel Magnolias on Lifetime.  It was great.  Very funny.  It sounds as if they will be repeating a lot so catch it if you can.  

I contacted Lovely last week to try and meet up with her soon.  I'm not getting much use from my stimulator right now.  It's all out of sync again, not coving where I need it.  The few that are it pinches somewhere that makes it to uncomfortable.  She said she let me know if she comes to BR.  If I'm free, hopefully I can see her.  

That's it for today.  I hope to post a little more this week than last but we'll see.  Btw, sorry B & M I was so sick on Sunday it completely slipped my mind about your anniversary.  Sorry you didn't hear from me.  

Wishing everyone a great week...Theresa

Parents spend two years teaching children to walk and talk and eighteen years trying to get them to sit down and be quiet.  Ted Engstrom

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

My Golden (band) Girl

This past Saturday night my daughter and her long time school and band friend participated in Alumni week at Tiger Stadium.  I've been asking her for some number of years when she was going to do it.  She never seemed to be to interested in participating so when she told me a couple of months back that her and her friend were going to do it I was so excited for them. 

I really wanted to go and see them but it just didn't work out.  The weather and having a way in and out for me just made it impossible.  I had hoped to at least go and watch them preform but if you've never been to an LSU tailgate a lot of walking is involved to get from one area to another.  I would have had a long walk from tailgate area to the place where they practice so it wasn't something I could do alone.  My friend Karen, she is B's friends mom, made it to game after weather was better so I did get to see some pictures. 

What I was most interested in was knowing what it was like for B to be in her glory again.  Watching Tiger Band in Tiger Stadium is amazing so I can't imagine what it must be like to be out on the field again with all those people and the noise.  I figured the best way to know is to ask B to write about her experience for me.  Yeah, she could have just told me but I thought how cool to have it documented for years down the road.  It seems like yesterday when she was in High School doing amazing things with music and determined to be in Tiger Band.  Now she is 6 months away from her 30th birthday.  I feel so old :-(  Enough babbling from me.  I could go on and on because I'm so proud of my baby girl.  Here is her own words of her Saturday night  experience in Tiger Stadium again.

I can remember pretty clearly the first time I mentioned to my parents "I want to be in band." I was in 6th grade and Mom asked me the typical parental questions, "Are you sure you want to do this? You can't quit in the middle of the year. If I buy you an instrument you'll have to practice...are you going to practice?" I also remember thinking in college, "I bet Mom never imagined we'd be three flutes, three schools, and 11 years down the road still playing..." One thing I don't remember is when I decided I wanted to play in Tiger Band. It just always was. I was going to LSU and I was marching in Tiger Band. The End. 

There are thousands of words, hundreds of paragraphs, countless stories I could tell you of my band years through middle school and high school. How the majority of the time it kept me out of trouble, with a great group of people, how important my music teachers were in my life, how those friends are still with me - some far and some near - but this is about Tiger Band so we'll skip ahead.

Trying out with 30 girls for 14 spots was one of the hardest weeks of my life. I tried out with my best friend who also played flute and piccolo. I would practice parts at home in the dark in my living room so I wouldn't wake up my Mom and brother at 1am. I would try not to tear up when my friend would cry on the way home, saying she wasn't sure she wanted to go back the next morning. It was outside, Louisiana August from 8am to 10pm for an entire week. Monday through Saturday. It was grueling and plain ole HARD. The day we drove 40 minutes up to LSU just to see if we'd made the cut, knowing if we hadn't we had a long ride home, knowing if one of us made it and the other didn't we weren't sure what we'd say, do, or think....we were beyond elated. You'd think we'd have gotten into HARVARD...jumping, screaming, calling our parents. Not sure what all the excitement was about looking back, we still had two more days of tryouts for our pregame spots....THEN we had practice Tuesdays through Fridays and every Saturday morning before a home game. Memorizing a new show, music and drills, each week while taking a full time load of classes. The work wasn't over, but the fun had just begun. To that point nothing was more work or more worth it. I loved every minute of it.

Those three years playing in that band, with those 325 people, those relationships, people I'll never forget that live across the country (some across the world) - I'll never forget those moments. I was lucky to have grown up with picture taking fanatics. Not only am I blessed with many pictures my Mom took of those days, I thought it was normal to have a camera every waking moment, so I have hundreds of my own to flip through. And of course my best friend and her Mom are still showing me pictures I've never seen! Those girls were hilarious, those boys stunk (literally, even before practice ever started they already smelled horrible - it was a phenomenon really), that football team was incredible, I loved Tiger Band. I couldn't imagine the college life any other way. 

My friend and I made a pact that we wouldn't go back for the Annual Alumni Band until we were sure we didn't know anyone still in the band. There is this apprehension there, this idea that it'll never be the same. A fear that if you go back you'll just be sad because it's not the real thing. I was actually nervous that I'd hate it...such a strange feeling. But the moment we walked into the practice arena, I knew it was going to be incredible. We walked right to the same spot we always sat on Saturday morning practices. We started playing through the songs. We weren't expecting to have to actually march and play at the same time, but some how that didn't seem challenging. Like riding a bike I suppose. Of course we weren't thrilled with our skills (a little rusty) but for 9 years out the box, I think we sounded beautiful. We've always been able to match each other within seconds, something that hadn't changed. We were in tune immediately with each other, our attitude toward the band was this "well, we sound ok, its them that needs work..." HAH. Some things never change. The funny thing was - when we played Pregame, I felt the exact same way I used to. This anxiety started to build in my chest, my brain started freaking out, trying to figure out when my instrument should pop up, when to take the first step, play the first note...worried I wouldn't be able to hear because the crowd was so loud. Then it hit's just get to stand here! You don't have to move like you used to! I love that I'll never loose the excitement that song brings. I told my friend how strange it should've felt standing on the field looking up at a stadium that held 92,000 people. But to me, the field felt like home. Felt like a place I had missed so long. Looking down on it like an outsider for 9 years, it was like coming back to the house you lived in as a kid. Knowing you'd be able to visit every year if you wanted to. Have this memory for as long as you wanted. I'm hooked. I don't think I'll ever miss the Alumni Band Reunion ever again. 

Its official. I'm still a BAND NERD. I love it, and I always will!!

02 in Arkansas day after Thanksgiving
Sept 29, 2012
Our girls <3
The Golden Band from Tiger Land!!
I could post a million pictures I love of them from the past in their uniforms looking so sharp.  I am not home posting this so this kept me in control!!  

Peace and Prayers for pain free days to all....Theresa