Friday, September 29, 2006

Why I'm So Quiet Lately

1. Classes have resumed. My time for blogging is more limited.

2. My mother-in-law, who has Alzheimer's, was paying a visit. She needed a watchful eye. She left yesterday morning, but I now have other matters to catch up on.

3. I'm going to multiple medical appointments as I pursue a definitive diagnosis for my back injury. At the moment, I have to put up with physical suffering as medications have been withdrawn to conduct various diagnostics.

I'm still here, however, posting, reading all comments, and making blog rounds when I can.

39 Comments:

At 9/29/2006 7:31 PM, Blogger The Merry Widow said...

Your sciatic nerve may have taken a hit, but the backbone is pure steel! I do sympathize with the pain, ice was of some help to me. Just as long as you say HI, we'll be glad to know you're still around. Be praying for your classes, a bad back and standing can be "unpleasant"!

tmw

 
At 9/29/2006 8:09 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

TMW,
I'll be lurking around the blogosphere--a quieter presence for a while. I thank the Lord that my spinal column is fine. The situation could be worse. Still, the pain and weird sensations in my left leg and foot are distracting, to say the least. Ibuprofen during the day and aspirin plus a muscle relaxant at bedtime make my condition bearable--barely.

Groups of homeschoolers are a joy to work with. They recognize that I'm not feeling my best and cooperate fully.

At least I have a relaxed working-environment. I can wear casual clothes and comfortable shoes--sometimes no shoes at all! LOL. Were I working in a traditional classroom, I'd be up the creek because, right now, I simply can't "dress for success."

 
At 9/29/2006 8:19 PM, Blogger The Merry Widow said...

Honey, I was referring to your personal resolve as being a steel backbone! And yes, homeschoolers are in general a courteous, understanding group! Very helpful too, bet you don't have to carry much when you're there!

tmw

 
At 9/29/2006 8:20 PM, Blogger The Merry Widow said...

P.S. as for shoes, well, we are in the South!

tmw

 
At 9/29/2006 8:25 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

TMW,
I have plenty of helpers, plus a rolling suitcase. My husbands loads the car at home, so no worries there either.

I was referring to your personal resolve as being a steel backbone!

Literally and figuratively. :)

 
At 9/29/2006 8:44 PM, Blogger Old Soldier said...

AOW, I understand back associated pain in the legs. I live with it too. Mine is degenerative disk disease associated with flying helicopters for way too many years. Now building a new home is taking a toll, too. When the pain gets real bad, I take a hydrocodone and enjoy a few hours of relief; then it's back to pain as usual. I know I'll pay a price for pushing though the pain and working anyway, but one day there will be no more pain. A few days (or years) of discomfort is a small price in the grand scheme of things.

I'll remember you in prayer. God bless.

 
At 9/29/2006 8:54 PM, Blogger Raven said...

I really miss having you around :(

But I understand...there have been oooldes of times when I have been quiet too- working, traveling, family issues...

I hope they can figure out whats up with your back and make it better. And soon.
You've been in pain far too long now.

 
At 9/29/2006 9:31 PM, Blogger Pastorius said...

I empathize with you. I hope they figure it out soon.

 
At 9/30/2006 1:59 AM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

Hydrocodone... generic Vicodin. I saved the ones I got from my last dental adventure so I'd have some on hand for one of those days that hurt too bad.

Back pain is the worst. I'd rather stub my big toe repeatedly than get the pain that feels like I'm impaled on a pogo stick gone hoppin' mad.

Take care of yourself AOW. That's an order!

 
At 9/30/2006 7:59 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Mr. Beamish,
the pain that feels like I'm impaled on a pogo stick gone hoppin' mad.

That's one of the sensations, all right!

My husband and I have had some dental adventures and saved the medication. But now I'm out of the supply, though I still have some muscle relaxants. Of course, poppin' pills treats only the symptoms. Tuesday, I see the neuro again; this time, I think he's going to address my problem instead of being a mere consultant. Until last week, the docs didn't want to believe that I was so seriously injured in a car accident. Well, they "get it" now--almost 1.5 years later. I've been chasing a diagnosis for that long!

Take care of yourself AOW. That's an order!

Yes, sir!

 
At 9/30/2006 8:03 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Old Soldier,
one day there will be no more pain. A few days (or years) of discomfort is a small price in the grand scheme of things.

Meanwhile, time crawls while we're suffering.

Thanks for your prayers.

 
At 9/30/2006 8:04 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Pastorius,
It would be solace to have a definitive diagnosis. I'm working in that direction at long last--I've stepped out of my HMO. Sure, it's costly, but I've reached the point where I have to get help, which the morons in my plan don't seem capable of giving me.

 
At 9/30/2006 8:09 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Raven,
You've been in pain far too long now.

The chronic pain is wearing me out! It's also affecting my thought processes.

Having MIL here didn't help because I had to be on watch to keep her out of mischief. Her condition is pitiful and irritating at the same time.

Alzheimer's is awful. When I'm feeling better, I may post a bit about what it was like here for four days. Thank God for her boyfriend! He takes such good care of her and is so patient. His love for her and his sense of humor keep him sane.

 
At 9/30/2006 8:12 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Pastorius,
As you know, the past few weeks I haven't been up to posting much at Infidel Bloggers Alliance. But I try to stop by IBA every day, even if I don't post or leave a comment.

Thanks for your empathy. I'm hoping to get started on some type of treatment plan next week.

 
At 9/30/2006 9:13 AM, Blogger Brooke said...

All the best with getting a diagnosis! Many doctors are the type that will roll their eyes and assume you're just being "dramatic" when THEY cannot come up with a proper answer. If you find a truly dedicated Dr., stay with him.

Alzheimer's is indeed awful. My time spent in twelve hour shifts in an ER dealing with such patients was difficult, even though I had the help of the rest of the staff, and got to go home before coming back for another twelve. To deal with it around the clock... Whew!

It is so frightening, to see someone who has completely lost control of their mind! And, being human, our patience wears thin, even though they cannot help themselves. Being grown, they are capable of causing a LOT more trouble than an adult... Thinking they'll cook, (and then not) and leaving the stove on... Oh, the smokers are hard to keep out of trouble! They sure can remember to light up, but not to watch the cigarette afterwards... Remembering to use the "facilities"... And, if she's reached the point that is grumpy and combative, you're in for REAL trouble!

Sorry, didn't mean to ramble... My point was, YOU DESERVE A BIG, BIG BREAK!!!

 
At 9/30/2006 9:15 AM, Blogger Brooke said...

Oops, I meant causing a lot more trouble than a child!

 
At 9/30/2006 9:25 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Brooke,
I'm about as undramatic as a person can be when it comes to physical ailments. In fact, I tend to ignore and/or to work through them. But now the pain has become so chronic that even a casual observer can see it on my face, and I have dark circles under my eyes. My orthopedist and my neuro do not question the severity of my problem, but I had to fight to get the referral to the orthopedist; getting a lawyer helped in that regard. Unfortunately, the neuro is not in my plan, but he's "the best," so I'm going to pay to get proper care. HMO's!!! GRRRRRRRR!!!

My MIL is not aggressive nor particularly grumpy; for the first time, however, she seems dissatisfied--probably boredom combined with a lack of fulfillment because she cannot recall the fun time she just had a few moments before. She used to keep herself occupied by reading, but that's beyond her now. Sad.

Sorting out my clothes after she had ransacked the master bedroom took time--time I really didn't have to spare. A lock on the door prevented a recurrence of the ransacking.

 
At 9/30/2006 10:56 AM, Blogger Steve Harkonnen said...

Take care.....my aunt also has Alzheimer's. She's 80, and thinks she was never married. They have to change her diapers at least five times a day in the nursing home up in Detroit, which reminds me, we're going up there next month to see her.

 
At 9/30/2006 11:49 AM, Anonymous George Mason said...

AOW,

However busy or far away, you are never far from our thoughts and best vibes. Talk about living the Morton Salt slogan! We always are standing by to assist, to quote the old Navy flag signal.

 
At 9/30/2006 6:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alzhiemers is the toughest of all the maladies we face. Oddly my grandmother would be lucid at three AM but not the rest of the day.

 
At 9/30/2006 6:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know The American’s Creed, which I found on your site, was set to music at some time in the past – I sang it as part of my parochial school choir in Baltimore, MD in the 1940s. I have looked everywhere for the music with no success. Do you have any knowledge of it, or suggestions as to where I might find it?

 
At 9/30/2006 6:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry - first time, so goofed. If anyone has information on the music to The American's Creed, I would appreciate it if you could send it to me at
thecolonynews@yahoo.com
Thank you,

 
At 9/30/2006 7:01 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Anonymous,
Thank you for your interest here. I have sent you an email with some possibilities for locating the music you've requested.

Perhaps another reader here will have other ideas.

Thank you for stopping by with your inquiry.

 
At 9/30/2006 9:49 PM, Blogger Obob said...

get rest and make your students do the legwork. They really enjoy it under the groans

 
At 9/30/2006 9:52 PM, Anonymous Debbie said...

Have your doctors checked for a pinched nerve? That can cause the leg pain.

I only had severe back pain once, and I thank God every day I don't have that kind of pain now. I still have no idea what caused the pain.

I hope you can find out what is wrong and get it fixed if possible. Meanwhile, there are many different kinds of pain medications. Ask your doctor for something that is not quite so addictive to use when you really need it.

 
At 9/30/2006 10:05 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Debbie,
I know what caused my problem--a car accident, rear-end collision.

I've had the necessary test to determine whether or not the problem is a pinched nerve. It's not. Still, something has happened to the sciatic nerve--probably trauma, if not permanent damage.

I think that I've finally found a doctor to come up with a treatment plan--18 months after the accident. My HMO balked and tied me up, so I'm going outside the plan.

 
At 9/30/2006 11:46 PM, Blogger cube said...

Sorry to hear about your problems. Glad to hear you will continue to lurk (and/or comment) in the blogosphere.

Don't give up the fight!

 
At 10/01/2006 10:18 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Cube,
Don't give up the fight!

My resolve (aka bullheadedness) is still intact. I'm just going to have to improve my time-management skills. When the need for rest calls, I'm going to heed that call. As one doctor advised me, "Quit torturing yourself."

 
At 10/01/2006 10:24 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Steve,
My mother-in-law hasn't made the final descent. No diapers--yet. And she still remembers her husband. It's the loss of short-term memory which is the worst part, so far.

George Mason,
I appreciate your offer. I'll sing out when I need to. One thing I've learned in all this back trouble: ask for help. That was a hard lesson for me to learn. Having to hire a cleaning crew was something I fought against for month after month, but I finally surrendered. Just having a clean house had a positive effect on the muscle spasms.

Beak,
Lucid at 3:00 a.m.? Perhaps some form of sundowning.

O Bob,
get rest and make your students do the legwork. They really enjoy it under the groans

Some of them truly do enjoy doing the work. In fact, one of my homeschoolers painted my front porch last summer.

 
At 10/01/2006 3:19 PM, Blogger JINGOIST said...

Good luck with your mom AOW. Mine had a stroke a year ago and it drasticly altered her attitude, so I feel for you. I know it's not easy, but we only get one mom and taking care of them is part of the fifth Commandment. Again good luck.

Morgan

 
At 10/01/2006 6:18 PM, Blogger LASunsett said...

AOW,

I have been blessed with excellent health until my surgery last week. My pain though, is acute and will subside with time. But your pain sounds like it's not going away anytime soon. Even though mine shouldn't last much longer, I have a new found empathy for those that live with it everyday.

I will remember you in my prayers.

 
At 10/01/2006 7:36 PM, Blogger benning said...

Hang in there! Get healthy!

 
At 10/02/2006 9:57 AM, Blogger Farmer John said...

I feel for ya. Make sure you get plenty of lumbar support (driving/ sitting). And lift with your legs, not your back! It took me months to recover from a fall waterskiing. I kept re-injuring it (twisting while playing frisbee, picking up laundry baskets, body-surfing, etc.) (I guess you can tell I was much younger then).

 
At 10/02/2006 10:01 AM, Blogger Truth-Pain said...

Boy do i know how that feels!... I just came back from a month away myself. Be well my friend. Life does go on, doesnt it? Even while not blogging?... :)

 
At 10/02/2006 11:09 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Farmer,
For several months following my car accident, I babied my back, as you mentioned above. Nevertheless, mere walking now triggers the pain as well as the other symptoms.

Truth-Pain,
Yes, life goes on without blogging. But it's not as much FUN!

LA & Benning,
Thanks!

Jingoist,
Stroke can indeed change personality; I saw that with my grandmother, who was much different after massive strokes.

As for my MIL, she is very fortunate to have a devoted boyfriend, who also has a medical background. He takes excellent care of her and is so patient, the latter because he has such a wonderful sense of humor. Most of the time, she recognizes him, whereas she doesn't seem to recognize my husband and me. My husband is her one child far away from where she lives, and I'm not sure if she still recognizes her other children.

 
At 10/02/2006 12:57 PM, Blogger Farmer John said...

I used to have trouble walking too (there were periods where I had to lay flat in bed for days before I could even stand up - and then walked around like Frankenstein for weeks afterwards).

Good luck! Avoiding "unsupported" furniture or "car seats" is the only advice I can offer. I never got in to taking meds.

 
At 10/02/2006 7:10 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Farmer,
Lying flat makes the pain excruciating. I guess that my injury is different from yours. And different from my husband's too--he can lie flat and get relief.

My life has been on hold for nearly a year and a half! Time to get help.

 
At 10/03/2006 12:32 AM, Blogger David Schantz said...

My wife and I lived in her Grand Mothers house for five years so she could take care of her after we found out she had Alzheimers. She had to spend the last year of her life in a home. Good thing my wife is a strong person, you have to be to be a care giver. All sharp objects had to be hidden, the knobs were removed from the kitchen stove. If she was outside alone for just a few minutes she would take off. My wifes job was 24 hours a day.

It sounds like back problems are something a lot of us have in common. I've been getting injections plus pain killers for almost two years. Hope your feeling better soon.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

 
At 10/03/2006 7:12 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

David,
My MIL gets restless in the afternoons and has taken off on a few occasions. The other manifestations you mentioned have not yet appeared. But if my MIL lives for her Alzheimer's to progress, she may well have to go to a facility. She is 86 years old and in excellent physical health.

Thanks for your well-wishes for my aching' back!

 

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