Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Almost show time again, and I'm feeling better, but..

I'm feeling better than I did for the last show.
Feeling 10x better than I did on Easter Sunday.

I have been listening to my body, really this time, and have not been lifting anything of consequence, have been going for physio (I love the traction) and acupuncture, moving around frequently, icing my back, and doing my physio exercises. And yet, I know how easy it is to be lulled back into this false sense of, "I don't feel too bad."

It is hard for me not to want to clean out my garden, finally cut the grass or dare I say, even vacuum — all things I was told to avoid.

While I have never been the most patient, and I've been told six weeks of healing is what I should expect, it is hard sitting on the sidelines.

In the meantime, I will sit back, and smell the peonies, so to speak.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The show must go on!

Yes it is spring and show season for me. This past Saturday I participated in my first juried art show, where I was the sole jeweller (an enviable position). I had tried to get into the Kingsway-Lambton United Church's, Art for Goodness' Sake show for the past three years. Third time lucky. Unfortunately, my back did not know that I needed to be upright, and functioning for April 14.

On April 7, I fell to my knees with the most excruciating pain, like electric shocks hitting my back, and I was on the floor, flat out, for three hours. Yes, I was one of those midnight infomercials, "I've fallen and I can't get up." Luckily, my phone was in reach, and I phoned my Mom. She happened to be on her way to my house anyway, and I told her to let herself in. She found me on the floor of my den, unable to move. Now I had strained my back the week before, and was guarded with it all week, taking it easy, or so I thought. I went from upright and mobile to, can't move, it hurts to cough, within thirty minutes. We worked for three hours to get me to be able to stand up without wanting to pass out. I knew my Mom had tylenol 2 from some surgery the week before, so sent her home to get that and some robaxacet. Neither helped. Lying face down, with my head hanging over my bed, I phoned my massage therepist Nancy, who I had seen three days earlier, to help me with my strained back. "Did you feel anything odd back there?," I asked frantically. She guessed as to what it may be, pinched nerve with a herniated disc, which was later confirmed, and said I needed some good muscle relaxers. Well, good thought, but, I couldn't move, let alone bend into a car. Thirty minutes later I had managed to get on to my back, a position I stayed in for the next 8 hours, with ice under my back.

When my Mom left for the night, I felt a sense of, "how will I survive without my ice and pain relief all night long?" I watched the clock all night long. At 2 am I thought, "my Mom is an early riser, I can phone her at 6, to ask her to come right over to give me my ice, and to find a doctor." And that is just what happened. I love OHIP, yes it has many flaws, but, I had a house call from a physician on Easter Sunday at 1 in the afternoon, who prescribed a wonderful cocktail of pain reliever, muscle relaxers and anti spasm medication. Relief was in sight. I wasn't moving, but I saw a light.

As the week went on, and I started to become more mobile, albeit dopey, but instructed by my doctor and physio therapist, not to lift anything, how was I going to do the show? I had to lift things to set up. How could I not do the show? The show became my focus. My Mom was GREAT. She took charge,  fed me, brought me ice packs, made sure I took it easy and generally took care of me. Thanks to the wonderful aid of my friend Belinda, who played chauffeur and courier for me on Saturday, and my Mom for being at my side throughout the show, I managed to have the show go on. And a success it was.

This did remind me howerver, of I show I did, three winters ago, when I had H1N1, and didn't know it, and did a show. I just thought I had a bad cold, and didn't have time to go to the doctor's till after the show. I was in bed with pneumonia for two weeks afterwards.

So, let this be a lesson, at the first sign of aches or pains or fever, check it out, and listen to your body. Had I iced my back, months ago, when I first started getting twinges, I may have been able to avoid this whole situation.

Still using ice packs daily,  seeing my physio therapist, having acupuncture treatments & not lifting anything more than I cup of tea, I look forward to the next show on April 28, upright and smiling.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Fifteen Years

It was fifteen years ago today, that I was standing in an ICU room in a hospital in Osaka Japan.

My Dad had gone on his first trip to Asia, stopping first in Japan, to visit and stay with an exchange student's family, my Dad's girlfriend had living at her house. My Dad wanted to experience Japan, and live with a family, and get a true feeling of the country and all its customs.

Shortly after arriving, my Dad developed signs of blood clots in his legs. Fit and active all his life, this kind of health issue got him completely off guard. He was hospitilized and his girlfriend phoned me to tell me of the situation.

I was booked on the next flight - literally. I had my passport renewed within an hour and within 24 hours of the call, I was on a flight to Japan, not really knowing where I was going, or what to expect once I got there.

I visited with my Dad for a week in ICU,  he was alert, not in any pain, but as weak as a newborn pup. This was not the Dad I knew. My Dad could do anything, lift anything and be stubborn enough to survive this horrible ordeal. That morning my Dad had gone into cardiopulmonary arrest and machines were now keeping him alive. The time came, when I had to make the decision. It was probably one of the biggest decisions I had had to make. Tests were done in front of me, to show he had no brain activity, and I gave the doctors permission to disconnect any machines keeping him alive.

It was a very hard thing to do, to put the final closure on my Dad's life,  one of two persons that gave me life.

As I said, it's been fifteen years, and I still miss him and think about him. It was cherry blossom time in Japan, and they now remind me of my Dad and this fateful day, fifteen years ago.  Father's day is typically a day to remember one's dad, this is my day to remember my Dad, and all he meant to me.

Dad, circa 1965, camera in hand.
One of my favorite photos of him.
Very Felliniesque.