Monday, June 23, 2014

Listing to the Left (or, My Month in Bullet Points)

I had written a whole whiny blog post about this over a week ago, but it turns out that just writing it and ruminating for a while was enough to get the angst and frustration out of my system. The bullet points?

  • I hurt my back a couple weeks ago (almost right after my last blog post).
  • I was in heaps of pain.
  • I am now doing physical therapy for a bulging disc in my lower back as well as sacroiliac joint dysfunction.

I wasn’t feeling very happy or articulate the week it happened which has led to more blog silence than I had hoped when I so optimistically laid out our summer plans. I was, however, able to sketch out a picture which, I feel, accurately captured my mood as well as that of the people who have the good fortune to call me mom.

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I’ve sold my art before, people. True story.  This was a masterful self portrait. #unappreciatedinmyowntime

A few weeks into rehabbing my back, I am feeling much better but I am certainly not pain-free. But then, I wasn’t pain-free before this most recent excruciating occurrence. I had been having more and more frequent events (caused by participating in such activities as lifting things, bending, and sleeping) that caused postural crookedness, stiffness, and back pain. I still wake up every day with back pain. I am happy that, at least now, I am doing something about it. At the tender age of 33, I have a lot of life left to live, and only one back to see me through. So… fixing ‘er up is a good investment.

The sticky part is that, while I am convalescing, I can’t lift things (or people). I have decided that I will limit my lifting of anything heavier than… oh, let’s just say… my sewing machine :) And, since I have been told to spend several hours of every day (and every night) lying on my back with my legs elevated, I have also solicited a lengthy list of summer reading material from people I respect. I am several books into that list at present, and am enjoying it:

  • The Client, by John Grisham (a re-read for me, but it was on hand before the requested library books were available)
  • The Daughter of Time, by Josephine Tey (excellent, and interestingly written from the point of view of a man who was also injured and recovering while flat on his back)
  • The Endurance: Shackleton’s Legendary Antarctic Expedition, by Caroline Alexander (simply fascinating; still in progress, but the gritty reality of crushing icepack and survival-against-all-odds is inspiring)

Lots of resting is not to say that I can’t still do most everyday tasks at this point in life, since I have no tiny baby to care for (just a tantrum-prone 3 year old and 3 big kids who can do almost everything for themselves). I still go grocery shopping and cook and take the kids places, but I need to be reasonable with my activity. Which means I have had to shelve basically all of my home improvement plans for now. I had wanted to do a few projects after school was out but before a baby shower that will be at my house next weekend, but that was clearly just not going to happen. I am supposing that mid to late July might be a good time to think about picking up where I left off, and in the meantime I am dreaming of what else I want to do:

  • Paint the entry and stairs and hallway. And all the interior trim I have not yet painted (there’s a lot).
  • Caulk the exterior and the sunroom (winter will be back before we know it!).
  • Re-color the grout in the kitchen/hall/sunroom/bathrooms. Painstaking and tedius hands-and-knees work, but it will be worth it at some point.
  • Paint the exterior doors and shutters. I was initially thinking of doing a faux wood finish, but (after thoroughly considering the wear-and-tear of 4 kids with varying degrees of proficiency on bicycles) I am currently pondering red doors and black shutters. Classic colonial. Still not sure what I will do about the garage door. And I might replace the current falling-apart-injection-molded-ill-fitting shutters with DIY correctly-sized board-and-batten ones with authentic-looking hardware. So, the jury is still out and maybe some more thinking is a good thing.
  • Renovate the sunroom bathroom. Remove a couple defunct cabinets and counter and put in a full closet with doors for towels, sunscreen and other pool items. Replace the sink/counter/cabinet with something nicer. Paint the bathroom.
  • Repair the fallen and loose tiles in the pool, and fix the damaged pool coping. Learning that pools can be spelled W-O-R-K if you don’t have piles of M-O-N-E-Y.

Of the things I can do without guilt or fear of hurting myself, there is also quite a lot to keep my upright daylit hours busy:

  • I just helped my parents stage their rental house (the one I grew up in) to hopefully sell it.
  • I made strawberry jam.
  • I am planning to continue to work on making custom window treatments for the whole house - I just finished up and installed 4 curtain panels for the boys’ room.
  • I made some baby gifts for my new niece or nephew due October-ish.
  • I have a small cushion reupholstery project to finish for a friend before school starts.
  • The list goes on.

So… there you have it. A moment in the life of a recovering person who stinks at doing nothing. I will report back, hopefully soon, of the things that are occupying my mind and hours. It is still summer, after all, and I intend to enjoy it…

1 comment:

Our Family said...

Glad that things are still on the upswing! Been praying for you. Let's get together soon and I'll tack on another project that doesn't require heavy lifting! :)