Not literally – at least not yet. But their problems are starting to wreak havoc on my energy and stress level. Not a good thing for someone trying to live a good life with fibromyalgia.
I’ll get into their problems in a minute. First, the results. I woke up this morning feeling like I wanted to have someone put me out of my misery. I had the most God-awful headache I have had in several years. One a pain scale of 0 to 10, this headache was a 50. The pain was sharp and stabbing. It radiated from my upper back, between the shoulder blades, up into my neck and up the back side of head. It was bi-lateral. I also had a headache in the front of my head, centered in my forehead right between my eyes. It was all I could do to get up out of bed without falling over. But I knew that if I continued lying down, the pain would only escalate. I’m glad my husband hadn’t left for work yet. He helped me by putting a Thermacare hot pack to my back and heating up the neck wrap I have in the microwave. I took an 800 mg Ibuprofen and a muscle relaxant. I ate 2 mini-bagels (to prevent the Ibuprofen from eroding my GI system.
That was an hour ago. My pain level in now down to around 7. That’s a significant improvement but not enough yet when you look at my day to come.
My step-dad had cataract surgery yesterday. My sister had the day off, so she took my parents in to the hospital for that. I had a quiet morning yesterday. Then my mother called. Isn’t it odd how one simple phone call can set of a whole whirlwind of problems. My mother called to let me know that the surgery went well and they were home (about 12:30 pm, after I had just settled on the couch to relax with my husband during his lunch break).
My mother didn’t stop at letting me know what time they needed to be picked up for his follow-up appointment today. (That’s right kids, I get to pick up my parents and drive them to the city then back home in my condition!). She talked about her health (congestive heart failure, scleroderma, “mild” diabetes, carotid artery blockage. . . . She can’t walk further that 5-10 feet without getting winded. She is having to work to breathe even when she’s sitting down. When she goes anywhere, she needs to be pushed in a wheelchair.
She lives in a one family, two story house. Business used to be downstairs (now mostly storage) and the living quarters are up a long, steep flight of stairs. I can’t imagine how she’s getting up and down those stairs now. They heat with wood that has to be hauled upstairs. Up until now she has refused to consider: selling and moving to a smaller, 1 level house; getting a reverse mortgage to fund repairs and improvements; getting a smaller, more fuel efficient vehicle than their current 8-10 yr old conversion van; getting some assistance in maintaining their home through elderly services (like light housecleaning) since they can’t do them (“I don’t want anybody in my house doing that!”). I guess it’s better to drop dead trying to climb the stairs (with or without wood, laundry, groceries, etc.). They still have to go to the go to the laundromat to wash clothes even though they’ve had their own home since 1974.
I was so concerned by my mother’s condition that I called my sister in the afternoon to see what she thought of my mother’s condition. She is concerned, too, but not enough to get involved. She has no ideas and doesn’t like any of mine. At one time she had said she had an interest in my mother’s house, but now says she doesn’t. It needs too much cosmetic work (I’ve got news for her, it needs more than cosmetic work. How about a septic system that meets current state codes – it’s required to sell the house.
My sister had breast cancer about 12-13 years ago. She’s done fine ever since. But she is overweight, has migraines, hypertension, panic attacks occasionally and several other issues. Her husband is rather loud. He runs a small business selling scales, cigarette papers and other items (strictly for use with tobacco). They have no children because of the cancer. My sister is supposed to be in “chemical menopause” but has now had 2 periods in the past 3 months. She’s got to go back to the doctor. Not happy about that. No help with my mother.
My son, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, is starting to backslide. He’s spending too much time on the computer, watching movies and reading that he’s not doing his chores without being pushed (nothing I like more than nagging – I love that attitude I get back when I nag!). He’s also not happy with his job but he doesn’t know what else he’d like to do and he hasn’t been willing to go back to school to get some training or degree that would lead to a better job. He lives with us at 25 y.o. but wants to live on his own. I’m not sure he’ll ever be ready. I sometimes use a group home as a threat – things usually improve temporarily when I do.
My daughter called last night about 9 pm to finish up my night. She had the day off and didn’t do much – not that that is a bad thing for someone who usually burns the candle at both ends and the middle. She wanted to know how her grandfather made out. Then she wandered off into any number of other topics, most of which were unrelated.
My husband came through with a save, though. He’s decided to take me to Hilton Head, SC for President’s Day weekend so I can relax and walk the ocean. I’m praying for sun.
That muscle relaxant I took is starting to take a toll and it’s 10 am. I’d better go see if a quick nap will work, because I’m a bit nervous to drive with eyes that are drooping closed.
The thought occurs to me that I’d like to drop my parents off after the appointment, get back in the car and drive west without looking back. But I’d miss my husband. So the nap will have to do.