Tuesday, November 23, 2010

No sleep

I'm awake quite early as that is my 'normal'. The first thing I did was check on the woodstove as I was expecting to see some extremely low temps this morning but it's close to 50˚ outside. What? Yesterday, we pulled all of the Mandarin oranges off the tree and had harvested all the green tomatoes just so they wouldn't be harmed by the freeze. Well, the weatherman now says that tomorrow morning it will be 25˚ at this hour. He's a day late or we were a day early.

Will we go walking today? The winds are in the 12 to 20 mph range and rain is forecast. I guess we'll make that decision when the sun is up. Now yesterday was a great time for walking as the park was at its best. A Kodak moment at every turn of the trail. I have a feeling that this wind will strip most of the colorful leaves off of the trees and leave us with a stark winter scene for the weeks to come.

I'll be back in the park on Thursday morning for the Jesus Center Run for Food, a 5k walk/run. I did this race in 2006 and haven't been able to participate since then. I did a practice walk a week ago and was able to come up with four 15 minute miles in a row. I should be able to do that easily in a 3.1 mile race. I just looked at my journal and I see that I did the 2006 race in just under 37 minutes, giving me a sub 12 mile pace. 11.94 to be exact. Ah! The good old days when I was only 66 and my lower spine wasn't fused.

Yesterday, I was reading Nance's blog, Mature Landscaping, and she was writing about pain. Constant pain. Something she knows only too well. And it made me so thankful for the surgeon I had/have. He still has me on Gabapentin, which I hate because of the muddleheaded feeling I have to live with. And live with it forever, or so he says. So why am I thankful? Because he told me right away, as soon as I became his patient, that pain was the enemy and he was going to make sure that I had very little of it. He gave me Dilaudid and Norco and told me that he would take care of the addiction problems when it was time to do so, but in the meantime I was supposed to stay pain free if possible. Shortly after the first surgery the pain was just bearable with those narcotics. I can't imagine waiting all those months for the bones to fuse without those drugs. It's been ten months now since the last surgery and I only have to take a Norco on a rare occasion and it's been three months since I last needed a Dilaudid. The pain will never go away but I'm adjusting to it. Or so I hope. I know that I spend too much time thinking about it. And commenting about it. At the same time, I do know that my surgeon told me that if the pain becomes too much for me, he had another plan for me, an implantable spinal cord stimulator. Very cool! No, I'm not ready for that yet. I have my Wellbutrin to keep me happy. Yikes! We live in a chemical age. And I'm a willing participant in it. Perhaps I just need more nap time with Boo the Magical Cat. And more painting.

Speaking of painting; today is Tuesday and that means I get to spend three hours at the Chico Art Center with all my friends. My artistic friends. I have some Derwent Inktense pencils I want to share with them. They're great watercolor tools for accents as they won't wash away.

There are about ten of us in the group and all are better artists than I am. I'm the one in the group that tries every new thing to come along while they spend their time honing their skills. But…they all encouraged me when they exclaimed over my entry in the Small Canvas, Small World exhibit. I'm growing in my art and it's really exciting at times. I have half a dozen canvases now that I'm really happy with and I will post them to my art blog as soon as I can figure out a good way to photograph them.


  1. Steve,
    I'm glad you've found ways to continue doing the things you love, even if that means dipping into some potent drugs now and then. I bet you didn't think you would ever racewalk again, after you had surgery last (?) year. Good for you!

  2. Paula;
    I don't have the best racewalking form any more but I'll take what I can get!