Friday, April 22, 2011

Life's Little Surprises

"Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it."

~Helen Keller~

Well, life has given me yet another little surprise, this time in the form of several weeks of constant pain.  Not what you were thinking, huh?

Yeah, I wasn't really prepared for this either, it has put a real kink in my Spring plans.  As you can imagine, on a 1/3 acre, I have lots of yard work at this time of year.  It's when I put in most of the work, so that I can enjoy my garden all summer.

I woke up one Sunday morning, if you can call it that at 3:20am, almost three weeks ago, with excruciating pain in my left shoulder blade/back area.  Now, I had actually been feeling a little pain in that spot every morning for a few days prior,  but I took some ibuprofen and ignored it.  I had started working in my garden earlier that week  a couple evenings after work.   I had also worked on Saturday at my friend's Tux shop as I had been doing for the past couple months. Then, POOF!  I go from a week of hard work and accomplishment to flat on my back.

I have been to the Dr. several times, been given a cortisone shot (no help at all), been X-rayed, medicated, and lucky enough to receive free chiropractic services...some of which has helped, and at least gotten me mobile again.  Sitting here at my computer is probably the hardest...I imagine my time at work in front of a computer 5 days a week has contributed to the bursitis and arthritis that I've now been diagnosed with.  Sleep position also plays heavily as a factor.  I've researched a lot, trying to find healthy, easy solutions to my new found problem.

I've also learned a lot about pain, and the emotional and physical toll it can take on a person.  I've always been pretty healthy, so dealing with this kind of debilitating pain, that literally stopped me in my tracks, has been a humbling experience.  Oh, how I appreciate a strong and healthy body!!  I am trying hard to learn from it.  To learn to listen to my body when it is trying to say "ENOUGH!" and letting things go.

The most important thing I think I learned from this though, is the gift of friendship (& family) that I have.  I missed a whole week of work, and the past 3 weeks of my second job, a first for me due to illness/injury.  My boss and co-workers were there to provide dinners for my daughter and I, so sweet and generous!  Another friend had her husband come over and mow my much overgrown small task if you've ever seen my front yard.  Mowing the lawn was the task I had planned for the day my shoulder gave out.  The Dr. gave me a firm "no" when I desperately told him of my plans for the day.  Little did I know at the time that I'd be down for so many days and lose so much sleep.  My mother was there everyday day to  bring us food and drive me to the various Dr. appointments I had all week.  I am blessed to have her so close.

I am still in some pain everyday, but I am at least functional now. My youngest daughter and I were even able to make a quick trip to visit my daughter, sister, and precious nieces in Southern CA over this past week while we are on Spring Break. I drove down with ice on my back the whole way and a good supply of 800mg Motrin.  I probably shouldn't have pushed myself, but spending time with beloved family has a way of healing the spirit.
Our days with my daughter, sister and nieces were spent visiting, eating home-cooked meals and making cake pops together (above pic).  It was such a joy to have all 6 of us girls together for a few days.  I love them all so much!

I have yet to get back in my garden, something that bothers me everyday.  I plan to do a little work over the next few days, but I will jump back in gradually and take breaks often.  I am still learning my limitations.  Ugh, "limitations", not a word I'm fond of.

So, for now, I will keep dreaming of a personal masseuse, a pain free body, financial stability, and homegrown tomatoes....

Free flowers from my garden, one of my favorite simple pleasures!

Happy Thoughts & Happy Easter!