Posts Tagged ‘back problems

12
Jul
09

Long time, no post

About three weeks ago I was talking to one of my friends at work, who said “You know, you *sound* like you feel better.” I realized at that point that I *did* feel better – and had for at least a week or so. I’m working full-time, and actually have energy when I get home to do stuff besides sit and read – and except for a migraine¬† this past Friday, have been feeling pretty darn close to normal.

We had friends visiting for the Fourth of July weekend, and we had fun, although I wasn’t able to do as much as I wanted to. We had the hottest weather of the year so far that weekend, and I don’t do well with heat. I used to live in Livermore, CA, where it would stay in the 90s to low100s for weeks at a time; and I worked outdoors at a dog kennel to boot. Never had a problem with the heat. A few years after I moved to Portland, I started getting sick if I spent much time in heat over about 85 degrees. I get a headache that feels like a migraine, nausea, and lightheadedness. If I don’t get somewhere cool fairly quickly, I actually get worse than nausea, and start vomiting.

Of course, our main plan for the weekend of the fourth involved going to the Waterfront Blues Festival. We got to the festival on the afternoon of the 3rd, and I was only able to stay for a bit longer than an hour. Brian ended up taking me home and driving back down while Matt and Nancy stayed and danced Zydeco. Saturday I didn’t even try going – there was just no way I was going to be able to enjoy it, and we’d bought tickets for one of the Blues Cruises on the Portland Spirit – I just pictured being stuck on the boat, sick, for 2 or 3 hours, and decided that I didn’t want to subject them or myself to that. So I spent the day and evening at home, and tried to get Robin to woofle whenever he heard fireworks – that worked for the first hour or so, and then he spent the rest of the time under my feet.

Sunday was considerably cooler, just mid-80s, so we went down to the Saturday Market and wandered around. After a couple hours of that, it started getting too warm again, so I cruised on up to Powell’s City of Books, where Brian, Matt, and Nancy were going to meet me when they were done at the Market. On my way up, I noticed that my back was starting to hurt – I haven’t had problems with it for quite a while, but I couldn’t come up with anything I’d done specifically to set it off. Once I got to Powell’s, I broke my book-stash-diet – there were several sequels to books I had read that I just *had* to have. Matt and Brian sat in the cafe while Nancy spent her time in the Drama section, and I was in there looking at graphic novels. We all met an hour later to check out, and drove on up to NW 23rd to wander around. We walked on down to Marrakesh, where we enjoyed a delicious dinner, although I learned that my body hasn’t completely recovered, because I was stiff and sore. I’m pretty sure that didn’t help my back any.

This past week, my back has been bothering me, mostly both sides of my lower back. It would stiffen up and be painful after sitting at my desk or in my recliner in the evening, but it seemed to be clearing up slowly. Thursday morning, I got up at 6 a.m. to go pee, and it seemed to be completely fine. When I got up at 8 a.m., my right-side lower back screamed at me, spasming so badly I could hardly walk. As of today, it’s down to about a 3 on the pain scale, from around a 7, and I’m trying to move around a lot, so that I don’t spend too much time sitting in any one position.

In some ways, I’m pleased to have this kind of problem, instead of being inundated with poisons, or recovering from surgery or chemo. It seems pretty normal.

14
Apr
08

April 14, 2008

Friday was disappointing because my weight was up – only 0.6 pounds, but still. . .

Friday was great because we had beautiful weather, and I had to leave work early for a doctor appointment, so dang! I had to lower the convertible top. I hate it when that happens ;-}

Saturday was *hot*. I had to put the top down Saturday, too. Plus I went to a trunk show at Beads at Dusti Creek, and found some brilliant bargains, and have all sorts of new beading projects to work on. Dang.

Robin got a couple really good walks this weekend – on Saturday we went with the poodle and her mom to Bethany Lake park, and the only problem there was that it was firmly dusk coming back, so the gnats and mosquitoes were rising. We saw a miniature Australian Shepherd – I’d never heard of them before, and thought she was a puppy, but she was about three years old. Robin was intrigued, but didn’t stray from his poodle-love. On Sunday, we walked through the greenspace park north of our neighborhood (again with the poodle and her mom), and got to practice not freaking out on the busy street when cars come up from behind. We’re getting better about that ;-} Our next-door neighbor Arno, who’s around 5 or so, came over Sunday to ask if Robin could play, so they ran around the front yard, only it was hard to decide which one was chasing the other – I think they both thought they were in the lead.

I also power-washed part of the driveway – it is filthy, and had moss growing on it. It wasn’t too hard on my arms, but I realized too late that I was bending forward just slightly most of the time, and it made my back problems act up. I took an Epsom Salts bath when I came in from the yard, and I’ve been stretching and focusing on my core-strength exercises, trying to get it to clear up – I’ve also used an ice pack periodically. Unfortunately, I can’t take any anti-inflammatories, because of the blood thinner. I’ve got one month to go on that – I will be very happy to be done with the whole blood-clotting thing. But Brian gave me a nice massage last night, and that helped a lot. As long as I remember to get up and walk around periodically during the day at work, it seems to be maintaining, and not getting any worse.

Not much else to update – this was my second weekend after starting back to work, and I was not nearly as exhausted as I was on the first weekend. I still get tired, and my evenings after work consist of dinner and some reading, but I definitely see improvement in my stamina.

Interestingly, I don’t think I had a single hot flash today – either that, or I’m getting so used to them that I don’t notice them – nah, I definitely notice them!

My hair is really getting an attitude – it thinks it needs to be very curly, but it’s so short that it pokes out all over rather than laying flat. I don’t think I could get it to do this if I tried – oh, the wonders of chemotherapy! I see the plastic surgeon on Thursday for my 7-week check-up on the reconstruction. There’s still some swelling, but for the most part, I think he’s going to be ready to release me to doing whatever I feel like with lifting, etc., after one more week.

A reminder – there’s still time to join our walking team for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event on May 10. We’d love to have you walk with us – the link takes you to my page where you can either sign up to walk with the team (you don’t have to be a coworker – all friends and family are welcome), donate online, or print out a form to mail a donation in. There have been several extremely generous donations, and in addition to making a donation, my employer, Schrodinger, is buying our team t-shirts for the employees who sign up to walk. I still feel a little overwhelmed by how many people are showing their support by either walking, donating, or both. Thank you all – and know that as well as my gratitude, you have the gratitude of those who benefit from the American Cancer Society’s research, even if they can’t thank you in person.

Julie




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