2005/04/04

Miss A Little, Miss A Lot, Kinda Sorta, Help Me Out Here

DaGoddess @ 21:41

There are things that you never want to miss out on, and other things that you just don’t care about. That’s a part of life, isn’t it?

Since the moment my site went into the transfer-transition mode, I realized how much I missed writing and posting photos, how much I relied on my blogroll as links to my friends, and how much I was missing out on. At the same time, my back injury prevented me from spending much time on the computer and I just sort of pushed all that to the back of my mind. There’s not much you can do about certain things in life. You worry about the most pressing and move on.

It’s been over a month now since that happened and other things have definitely taken over in my world. Some of you care, some of you don’t. And, that’s okay. Some of you come here to check on me and/or Little Dude, some of you only want the latest Protest Warrior activities. Whatever your reasons for stopping in, you’ve most certainly not been entertained by much lately. For that, I apologize.

Truth be told, I’ve become more comfortable with the off and on, occasional update to the website thing than I had thought. Getting things back to the way they once were seems like such a low priority when there are bigger things in life that I must handle. Still, there’s a bit of guilt when I get kind emails from friends wondering what’s going on. Don’t get me wrong, I love that connection we have. It means the world to me! But, I’m often left wondering how to manage everything and still take care of myself as I know is necessary.

Healthwise, I have some major hurdles. I begin the first of several injections this week. The doctors are hoping that the injections will reduce the inflammation around the spinal cord and the nerves that lead elsewhere. With less inflammation, perhaps I’ll feel better. No matter what, I’m still looking at the possibility of surgery.

I’ve never been one to get too frightened over the prospect of an operation, but then again, I’ve never had anyone saying they wanted to go into my back and fiddle with my spine. My sister’s had it done – more than once. I’ve cared for patients who’ve undergone these procedures many times. Still, this time it’s my back and my pain and I have to come to some sort of peace with this. Living with uncontrolled pain is more than I can take most of the time and I’m coming around – sort of. My resolve waxes and wanes depending on the pain level and the effectiveness of the meds. You know how it goes. There’s a saying that nurses and doctors are always the worst patients. It’s true. As much as I try to be a patient patient, I fail miserably. I hate the unknown as it relates to me. I hate that I don’t have more control over some of these things.

The lack of control seeps into other areas of my life as well.

Little Dude and my daughter have both been shorted on their time with me. Outings have been rather…..brief. Grumpy Mommy has made an appearance or two. You name it. It’s disappointing that I struggle at doing the simplest of things with them. They’ve been wonderful though. God bless them for being so sweet and caring.

Perhaps the worst part of all of this down time is the fact that I’m suddenly unable to help those who need me most.

My father is having surgery next week. Instead of coming right home, he’ll be heading to a rehab facility – think skilled nursing facility and the type of patients you normally encounter there and you have mounting guilt. Sure, I can go visit and encourage him, but I can’t take care of him the way I’d like to.

But let’s not stop there. Today….today. Right about the time I was reaching for the phone to call Mrs. Smash and ask for her help on Thursday, the phone rang. It was Smash. Mrs. Smash was in the hospital. My hospital.

My friend, one of the dearest people in the world, was lying on a backboard in the emergency department. And I wasn’t there. Even worse, I won’t be there in an official capacity to help her through this. Once again, I found myself wishing I could be anywhere but here. I asked Smash if I should head down. He said no, that she was off to imaging for further testing. I thought about what she was experiencing. I know, intimately, how it feels to be the patient waiting for answers. How it feels to be lying there, in pain, trying to be stoic, waiting for relief, hoping that someone will say it’ll all be fine and things will be back to normal after a short nap. All I wanted was to go and wave a magic wand, making things instantly better. But, that hasn’t been one of my talents, now or ever, and I knew that I had to wait to hear more, just like everyone else.

Mrs. Smash is doing better now. I know she’s in good, more-than-capable, experienced hands. I know she has some of the best doctors and nurses looking after her. I’m still not there to help, but I know that those who are charged with her care will do everything possible to keep her warm, safe, and as comfortable as possible under the circumstances. Maybe things will look better in the morning and the doctors will allow her to return home. That remains to be seen. Should she be up for company tomorrow, I will do whatever it takes to get there and bring her a smile or two. In the meantime, please….say a prayer for her to make a speedy recovery. That’s what I’m doing.

I can’t do all the things I want to do these days. Blogging has always taken a backseat to life, but now…..now, more than ever before, I know this. If my posts are infrequent, I apologize. But, I want to feel better so that I don’t have to stand on the sidelines when the people I care about need me. I want to be there for them. In order to do that, I have to let some things simmer, other things grow cold, and allow still more fade into the background – all in the name of getting stronger and getting back to work.

In the big scheme of things, as much as I miss blogging and the wonderful friends I’ve made online, life has reared its head and demanded my attention. I’m not giving this up…no. I’m simply hoping that you’ll understand where my priorities are and why I’m not updating my site or visiting your site and leaving comments like I have in the past .

I’ll ask you again to say a prayer for my friend, Mrs. Smash. If you’d like to leave comments for her, please do so. If you would like to pass along words of encouragement for Smash, I think he’d like that. You can stop over and check his site for updates.

Me? If you want to get in touch with me (I’d love that and I want to know what’s happening with you!), it’s best to email me at dagoddess – at symbol – “gmail.com” (seems that all my other email is AWOL and I don’t have the time nor the patience to figure out why.)

Thanks for your prayers – for me and for the Smashes. Every kind thought is always appreciated.

25 Comments

  1. Oh wow. I’d no idea that everything had come to this for you. I don’t pray, but I can promise you that you, along with Mrs Smash, are in my thoughts.
    xx

    Comment by Rae — 2005/04/05 @ 02:14

  2. Rae, for a number of reasons, I’ve been vague about my injury and the progress (or lack thereof) here. It’s not that I don’t want to be forthcoming, but rather, I didn’t want to go the whiny blogger route. Cuz, honestly, I feel pretty damn whiny lately. Sometimes it’s just easier to be silent than truthful.

    So much for me being silent, eh? As if that could happen for too long anyway.

    Comment by Da Goddess — 2005/04/05 @ 02:46

  3. Yeah, that’s fair nuff. I don’t put lots of details onto mine either. There’s a lot that I leave out.

    And anyway, none of expect you to be silent! Whine away! We’re here to listen and hopefully lend a hand. :)

    Comment by Rae — 2005/04/05 @ 03:12

  4. Keeping my fingers crossed for both of you.

    Comment by rita — 2005/04/05 @ 05:15

  5. I will be keeping you and the Smashes in my prayers.

    Comment by Dana — 2005/04/05 @ 12:12

  6. Joan,I think about you and check here everyday. I am always just a phone call away if you need to vent.Perhaps when you have surgery which you will have because you are strong and brave and will do what you have to do!!I will be able to come and help you recover.
    I hope Mrs. Smash feels better. If you think so highly of her I know she must be a wonderful person. I send her my best. Call me if you need me.

    Comment by Karen — 2005/04/05 @ 14:39

  7. Here’s for you, your father, and Mrs. Smash- Chins up!

    Comment by Michael — 2005/04/05 @ 15:08

  8. I know you will do the right thing.

    Take care of yourself.

    We love you.

    Comment by David St Lawrence — 2005/04/05 @ 18:52

  9. Mercy, your plate is full. I will continue to pray for you and Mrs. Smash. I know that you will be a comfort for Mrs. Smash, and will be there to help her through these times. Wish I could be closer to you to help you however.

    Comment by David — 2005/04/06 @ 03:08

  10. Get Well Soon, Mrs. Smash

    My outspoken and well-known antipathy for the sufferings of Jennings and Arafat is mirrored by my sympathy for the world’s good folk.

    Smash’s wife took a fall from a horse. I had the honor and privilege of breaking bread with them at a Bear Flag Le…

    Comment by Aaron's cc: — 2005/04/06 @ 06:17

  11. Keeping a good thought for you as well as for Mrs. Smash. Back injuries are tough… tough to treat and tougher to tolerate.
    You do what you can and you give it your best, and then you accept that you’ve done what you could and given it your best. Your friends will never ask more, and the rest have no business asking.

    Comment by Always Question — 2005/04/06 @ 09:07

  12. I don’t know if this happens to anyone else,but when I post here it goes to the name above mine. My last post has Dana’s name on it and I am credited for the post underneath??Just thought I would let you know..Karen

    Comment by Karen — 2005/04/06 @ 09:43

  13. DaGoddess,

    I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned it here, but B-complex w/vitamin C will help reduce the inflamation and pain. However, not one or two pills a day, or one or two pills several times a day–I’m talking two every hour until the pain lessens, then one every hour until the pain is managable, then at least three a day until you get better. The B and C vitamins are water soluble, so you don’t have to worry about taking too much. Give it a shot–you have nothing to lose by trying this stuff, and you *might* be able to avoid surgery.

    Comment by Lornkanaga — 2005/04/06 @ 12:35

  14. I’ve already checked in with Scott and seen that you were out and about.

    Now take care of yourself, ya hear. We are praying for you and for your Father. That back thing of yours may take some time. A guy I work with was out for six months before he finally got the surgery and got better. You Milage May Vary, but do take care of yourself.

    Comment by The Thomas — 2005/04/06 @ 15:16

  15. I want to clarify something here, and I hope that Lornkanaga doesn’t mind my reposting of the information I sent her.

    You CAN take too much Vitamin B and Vitamin C. Anything that is a supplement to your normal dietary intake has the potential to cause you harm. Supplements are meant to act as fillers to what may be missing from your diet. Many health conditions may also be impacted by the ingestion of higher levels of certain vitamins. Additionally, if someone is taking other medications, it’s wise to check with a pharmacist to see if vitamin supplementation is contraindicated.

    Vitamin B toxicity can cause: Heart palpitations, insomnia, agitation, high blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, hypersensitivity, flushing (Vit B3), headaches, edema, severe fatigue, joint pains, reduced protein metabolism, high blood sugar, high uric acid, jaundice, sweating, rash, raised stomach acid, joint pain, raised VLDL triglycerides, calcification, calcium loss, increased choline requirements, dehydration, depression, numbness and tingling, Kidney damage and disease, liver disease, kidney stones, etc.

    Vitamin C toxicity can cause: bone decalcification, diarrhea and abdominal cramps, increased urination, insomnia and irritability, joint pains and headaches, osteoporosis.

    The italicized symptoms are major concerns for many of my patients as well as for myself – with any sort of heart or endocrine problem, you have to be very careful what you take – especially if you’re taking other medications.

    It’s very dangerous to advocate the liberal use of vitamins without knowing what other issues a person may face regarding their health. What might be recommended for one person could seriously harm another.

    Again, while I understand that many people believe that vitamins are a more natural way to cure what ails you, there are a plethora of factors that come into play. As a healthcare professional, I have routinely encountered patients whose supplements have caused further damage to their already overburdened organs. People think nothing of taking over-the-counter medications and dietary supplements, and many times fail to notify their doctors of this. By the time I get them, their organs are failing and the only option for them is dialysis, transplant, or, sadly – there are times when there is no treatment available.

    My personal situation cannot be fixed by non-surgical means. The only question is – do we do the surgery sooner rather than later? I have such a great deal of bone loss that I have little support for the spinal cord itself. The injury to my back was – no pun intended – the straw that broke…..blah blah blah.

    In my particular case, if I were to attempt to treat myself with vitamins, I could cause even further bone loss and lose even more function, movement, and/or sensation than I already have.

    As a general warning, I caution everyone to look carefully at the potential side effects of any medication (prescribed or over-the-counter), herbal or vitamin supplement, and/or any combination thereof. There is great potential for serious damage to your body if you take too much of the wrong thing, combine the wrong things, etc. Ask your doctor and be honest about every medication, supplement, or herbal preparation – it could, literally, mean the difference between life, death, or even worse….a living death. (If you don’t know what that’s like, ask somebody on dialysis or someone awaiting an organ transplant.)

    Comment by Da Goddess — 2005/04/06 @ 16:56

  16. Back problems SUCK! Sounds like you’re a pretty smart cookie though, and you’ll do what you have to do to get back to normal. I’ll say a prayer for you, and I’ll say a prayer for from Rae since she doesn’t know how to.

    Comment by tony — 2005/04/06 @ 21:54

  17. Joanie!!!

    I’ve been pretty busy over the past six weeks or so. So busy in fact that I let my blog decay to the point that EVERYTHING I’d written was sent to the archives. (So, since you’ve gone to MovableType, you need to think about how you set the decay factor…)

    As much as I enjoy reading what you have to say, I’ve gotta agree with you that blogging should always take a backseat to the kinds of lives we live. Leave that posting every 30 minutes to those that want to approach life from the “spectator mode.” I’d much rather being “playing the game,” wouldn’t you?

    Pass my best to Lil Dude…one of my heroes that gives me faith that his generation will be able to carry on some great American traditions. Can I help pick out his college?

    See you on the high ground!

    MajorDad1984

    Comment by MajorDad1984 — 2005/04/07 @ 14:40

  18. You were most definitely in my thoughts today.

    I hope the blogroll restore makes you smile and dulls that pain a bit.

    Comment by Anton — 2005/04/07 @ 14:50

  19. Hey, Joanie – I wondered how you were doing. If I knew all that was going on in your life and knew you put blogging first, I wouldn’t like you, anyway. Get ‘er done, baby. :)

    Comment by Gardenwife — 2005/04/07 @ 16:05

  20. Glad I didn’t have to comment about the dangers of mega doses of vitamins and other supplements. Hope the injections work and you don’t have to have surgery. I am retiring at the end of this month partially due to back problems. After 14 years in critical care nursing my old back has just about had it. Of course the rest of me has just about had it also. lol

    Comment by Pat Johnson — 2005/04/08 @ 14:12

  21. The more people I know with back probs, the more I’m convinced that God made backs on Monday! Hang in, Joanie dear. Hugs and prayers.

    Comment by Indigo — 2005/04/08 @ 15:32

  22. [HUGS] I wish I could do more than think good thoughts :(

    Comment by Ith — 2005/04/08 @ 18:06

  23. DG-
    Sorry about the delay- I just got back from call in the MICU.

    Hypervitaminosis is much more a problem with the fat-soluble vitamins (D,E,A,K), than with water-soluble vitamins- Lornkanaga is correct to a certain degree. Too much of Vitamin A will certainly cause hepatic damage, but most of us who take too much Vitamin C merely piss the excess away. However (!), the ability to clear the excess vitamins is only as good as your kidneys, so it is possible to have hypervitaminosis with water-soluble vitamins.

    As for the anti-inflammatory/analgesic properties of B-complex/C? There’s no literature to support it. Oh sure there’s one review article listed in pubmed on the benefits of vitamins in relieving rheumatism, but it’s in a journal that may be an industry house organ, for all I know. If there’s no evidence…

    The key issue (which you have already raised) is that neither drug nor supplement should be ingested without a clear understanding of why it’s being taken, whether or not it’s efficacious, what the potential interactions with other drugs/supplements in your regimen are, as well as any potential side-effects and their likelihoods. It’s a lot to find out, which is why many people don’t.- and while doctors often do know (or can find out quickly enough) these issues, they don’t always know what a patient is taking, even though they ask!

    People MUST understand that vitamins are NOT harmless little pills. They are useful supplements, but *anything* in excess is likely to be bad for you!

    -Michael

    PS- Even if the vitamins were just thing somebody like you needed, I still wouldn’t recommend them over the internet without a full history and physical exam– doctor/patient legal issues, you know? Feel better!

    Comment by Michael — 2005/04/08 @ 18:10

  24. butterfly XXXXX

    MB

    Comment by Madame Butterfly — 2005/04/12 @ 14:49

  25. Joanie,

    I’m so sorry to hear that you’re not doing better.

    I’ll be sure to keep you in my prayers!

    Comment by Janette — 2005/04/14 @ 18:55

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