Wednesday Schedule Unscheduled
The kids are on spring break. I’m on long-term leave. I had septoplasty (out-patient surgery to fix a deviated septum. This was my third scheduling of the thing. If it didn’t happen, I was done trying. Third time was the charm!) last Friday. It is probably the most minor surgery I’ve ever had done unless you count wisdom teeth, but even for that I woke up in the middle of and remember being a lot more miserable and in pain from that one. That could throw an additional wrench in any plans or dreams we had for this week.
i decided to keep it fairly low key the first couple of days. Every time i asked the kids what they wanted to do for spring break they said veg and play outside. The weather had not been promising us any sort of Spring in the Midwest, so I wanted to have some manageable adventures up my sleeve.
Here’s my list:
- swim at the community center
- see the Crown Center to see the Wizard of Oz 80th Anniversary interactive display
- go see a movie,
- day trip to Columbia
- take Aaron to a vegan restaurant, The Happy Apple, in the UMKC area
- take Allyson to Dairy Queen for a free cone on Wednesday (I think it was because it was the first day of Spring).
- trips to the library, maybe even Woodneath (a forty-five minute drive)
This seemed like a pretty manageable list of things for us to do. Nothing, except Crown Center would be the thing that could have tricky mobility ramifications. Our Day trip in Columbia had one for sure visit and that would be to Papa’s Cat Cafe which I knew I would be able to navigate enough to take the kids there.
Wednesday. I was hoping for a fun day. I figured a little more than 30 minutes drive time to get to Crown Center. I had scheduled out thing in my mind: 10 or 10:30 arrive at Crown Center we could spend 15-30 minutes there depending on when we arrive and how much time the kids wanted to spend. These free events were geared mostly toward the 4-10 age, so I figured we wouldn’t spend a lot of time there and if it was a flow we could always walk around to the shops and see the crayola cafe. If the kids wanted we could eat at Crown Center instead. Then we’d dine and head to my first appointment at St. Luke’s Plaza. Depending on the time, I had to swing by a friend’s home in Hyde Park and pick up a cool table she’d made just for me. We’d drive back to town and go to my second appointment at St. Luke’s East for some pain treatment for my spine and sacrum. After that I wasn’t sure what we’d do. Old Navy was having a sale and Allyson needs a new swim suit. We could go get ice cream at Dairy Queen hoping to avoid the after-dinner and still working crowd, too.
Well, I went to bed around 9:45 Tuesday night. Hoping that I could fall asleep soon. I had one more night of the removable septoplasty side-effects: packing in my nose and sleeping above a 30 degree angle (how do you measure this? Have your husband measure with a giant protractor? I just said, okay, half of 90 is 45. If i stay staying up half-way, I’m covered if I squirm down a bit in the night.
1:40 AM Wednesday. I was still awake no pain medicine, no heat, no ice, no lidocane patch was going to take the sciatic pain away. Whole left leg affected. It happens any time I’m seated or laying down on my back. It sucks. What happens is eventually the exhaustion from the pain takes over and I fall asleep. This was about 2:30 AM when it finally happened! But, I didn’t set an alarm. I didn’t want to. I knew how tired I was already and I knew that if i didn’t let my body sleep as much as it could, Wednesday wouldn’t happen at all except for doctor’s appointments and it may only be the nose one at best.
9:30ish AM Aaron finally knocks on our door. “Can I put on a show in the living room?” I know he’s been up reading quietly waiting for the rest of the family to wake up. Allyson, these days sleeps 12 hours. Welcome to being a toddler part two, aka. Teenager phase. “Sure. I give a thumbs up, too in case he cannot hear my horse voice. Chris gets up and starts making coffee and talking with Aaron. Chris brings a cup of coffee in and sets it on my night stand. “Coffee’s done.” He leaves and goes about his morning business. i don’t move. I am willing the coffee’s smell to wake me up more. Eventually it’s the pain that wins out. I know i’ve got to manage to sit up to get some pain medicine so I can get out of bed. So this is about the pace of my morning. I didn’t make it. It was 10:30 before we were ready to leave the house.
Things get in the way of leaving quickly when you’re a patient with chronic illness and traveling more than 10 miles from your home (which is most trips unless it involves Target, the US Post Office or the library. You have to pack your “go” bag. (It sounds better than diaper bag, although sometimes I wonder if Chris and I aren’t far from needing one). We have snacks that won’t interfere with our stomachs, lots and lots of bottled water, snacks for the kids, entertainment for the kids, Joe and Bob and Jay or Jay’s cousin, Roelenator (This is the Rollator, I believe he’s the walker equivalent of the Terminator). Today I wanted to go out in my jeans, but for one procedure needed clothing with no metal and elastic waist pants. It’s also in an in-between springy weather phase, where it’s nice out until the wind kicks up. I packed baseball hat, sweater and yoga pants today.
Are you tired just hearing what it takes to leave the house? Me too. But we made it. Chris was hesitant on if we’d make it to my appointment opting for the Happy Apple Cafe, despite my pleadings that it’s no different than going to Spin Pizza, which is where we ended up (and running into people we knew! (Happens every. single. time. in this city. Kansas City is the biggest little town there is.) We ate and made it to my appointment with five minutes to spare. We were in the room on time. Never happens there’s always an emergency or patient who needs a little extra attention. This doesn’t bother me most of the time, because I am that patient, too, who has needed and may need the extra time with the doctor. I’m always updated and always apologized to. It makes it better.
Okay, I’ll hurry this up. Made it to get my table and to the epidural. Epidural hurt as bad as my pain in m left leg and hip ever does, because those nerves in my spine are right where they put the medicine. They were angry little buggers. Chris wasn’t feeling well by then end of the procedure.He had to go home. When we arrived, I lost all energy. A nap seemed to be calling me from the bedroom. NOPE. RESIST i told myself. It was only free cone day once and I wasn’t going to disappoint my people. I tried to save the day offering a trip to any park within a ten mile radius. “You know I’d really just rather play with Adam,” Aaron says about his neighborhood best friend. “Yeah. I want to ride my bike,” Allyson adds. “Okay. Go outside.” I opt to join them. of course it takes me a lifetime to get my book, paper, pens, phone, drink and blanket outside (remember the wind is chilly). I read for maybe five minutes before Allyson’s bike was ruined because th handle bars wouldn’t stay up. “See?” she asks me. Inside my head says, “Yeah, because you keep wiggling them up and down like that!” I try to get Chris to help, but he’s on a mission to rid vermin from our yard. Eventually I make it to his “tool” box in the garage and get the monkey wrench set. This doesn’t mean i fix it immediately. She’s wondered off. Chris needs something and the bike needs to be brought to me and held so I can hold the handle bars and the wrench at the same time. Allyson and I are finally commencing and Chris comes through the back door to the patio. “Here, give me that.” He has no confidence in my ability. Although before him I fixed a lot of stuff.
EVENING: We make it to Culvers, the kids turn in Scoopie tokens they’ve been saving and get a free kid’s meal and a stuffed cheese curd. We get ice cream at DQ and go to the park. I swing. YUP. It’s been about two years. The shot was working already. My pain was low enough that I could sit on a swing and swing. It was only two minutes, but boy it was fun and felt good. We went to Old Navy. It was a bust for swim suits, but Aaron finally found his “Toby Mac” Sunglasses and we found Royals shirts for the whole family (30% off). What do you think of Aaron? Did he achieve the look? We swung by Lowes for more vermin control items and made it home. Full from a day fully lived.
Thursday may not be as eventful, we will need the extra rest. Even when your best plans are laid out with contingencies, chronic illness doesn’t always follow the plan.