Sunday, May 6, 2012

I hurt

For the last 15 months, I have woken up almost every single night with my back burning. The pain has been so bad that I have to leave the bed and finish the night in our Pappassan chair (thank you Pier One) so that I can put my back in a neutral position and stretch out the burning. When I started having weekly massage, the pain went away. However, it came back a week later and even the massages aren't totally getting rid of it. I won't see a Chiropractor for it. The last time I tried that, I couldn't walk for a month until I stopped seeing the Chiro, who was supposed to help it. I've always had back problems The curve in my lower spine curves much like a gymnast's, except mine is genetic. When I was smaller, I could use strength training and lots of walking to keep my back healthy. Ever since I had three epidural insertions with J's birth, everything I could do to manage that back pain has been pointless. I've been at the mercy of the pain when it comes and stay at it's mercy until it goes away on it's own. It's been here for 15 months and just not getting better. Yesterday, I had the brillant idea that I would use the Pappassan to hold the overflowing clean laundry while I work to try and get it caught up. That meant that last night I didn't have the chair to go stretch my back in. By sunrise, I was in so much pain I could barely move. So, I threw some clothes on, tossed my hair back, grabbed a water bottle and sweater (it was in the 30s here this morning) and went walking. By the time I was 2/3 of the way through my walk, my back was starting to move and not burn so badly. It still hurts. It still hurts pretty badly, but it's better than it's been in awhile once the pain starts. I'm hoping a warm shower will help as well. I really do think if I focus myself to move when I hurt instead of curling up and hiding, then I might help this pain somewhat. I just don't have time in my life to be stopped by pain. Everyone around me keeps telling me that I have to take care of myself. Really, I try. However, when it gets like it is today, I don't have time to stop and be IN pain. Today, I have too much to do. I have to conquer that chair of clean laundry. The children wash and dry the laundry. I sort and fold it and then they put it away. If I have anyone else sort it, they do strange sorting and everyone loses clothing. So, I'm the only person who can do that sorting process. II doesn't know which clothes belong to whom anymore than the kids or the nanny do. It's my job, and it's one job I cannot delegate. It's piled up right now because I ran all last week and my laundry hero for the week didn't wash the stuff. So, this week's laundry hero has to wash a ton to catch the clean clothes up, and I have to sort and sort and sort until I want to pull my hair out. It's the only option. In addition to Mt. St. Laundry, we're doing work on M's bedroom. We thought we had it secured well when we moved here. He's autistic with major behavioral issues and the medical advantage that he can have his behaviors. He has bad habits involving body fluids--all of his body fluids. His room had carpet in it. So, we've pulled all of the carpet up. Underneath was old tile. We weren't sure how old the tile was until this morning. Whomever laid that tile floor put newspaper between it and the old hardwood. The newspaper was dated November 1945. The hardwoods don't need sanded. However, they need to be scrubbed well, any loose boards secured. Then, II is staining his hardwoods and sealing them with polyurethene. I know there are more environmentally sound options. However, poly is the only option that keeps hardwoods safe from M. Poly hardwood survives M quite well. Nothing else really does. We have to re-do the acrylic casing in front of his window. M also has a habit of destroying windows. So we cover the entire windowframe in acrylic so protect him. It wasn't secured quite as much as it needed to do for M's needs, so we'll reattach it properly. Then, we're painting his baby gate. M has to have a homemade baby gate. It's basically a dutch door made of plywood. We didn't paint it when we moved it. Raw plywood does not wash M's bodily fluids off well. This morning while II is working on those hardwoods, I will be painting M's babygate with a high gloss fire engine red paint. Red is M's favorite color. He'll like the color of his safety gate, and we'll like how easily those bodily fluids wash off of the high gloss shine. This afternoon, someone gave our family tickets to the circus. We took the kids for the first time a year ago. Now, we're going to take them again. It's odd. People find out about M and they gift us with things to bless us. At this point in the process, I don't try to stop anyone. Every bit of joy that can be given to these children is something they should have. I remind myself that the days of joy with M are running low. We need to embrace them as much as we can.

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