Thursday, August 20, 2009

Things I've taken for granted

The human body is an amazing creation. Sometimes we don't really grasp that till we lose something we've always had. Many people my age are familiar with some level of pain from injury, disease, or simply getting older. Others are fortunate enough to not have any major health issues.

Before reaching my mid-forties, the only experience I had with real discomfort was in bearing and delivering my three birth children. I was virtually accident and illness free through my adulthood.

Now I know how much I've taken for granted. I've alluded to some of my limitations in earlier posts and would like to give you some more specific examples. My hope is that there will come a day in the not too distant future when I read this and am thankful I'm not experiencing these things on a daily basis anymore.

-I can't comfortably read a book to Samantha because it involves sitting next to her; couches aggravate my pain.
-I struggle to help Samantha clean up her messes because it involves a lot of awkward bending or twisting.
-I can't drive or ride in a car for very long without feeling pain in my lower left back.
-I can't push a grocery cart unless it's perfectly balanced and even. I've had to change carts several times after getting into the store. I can't accumulate too many groceries at once or I have trouble.
-I can't sit very long in the family room to watch TV because I have to turn my neck and it messes up my alignment. We have a TV in our bedroom also but I can't see it very well because it's farther away.
-I can't lift a full basket of laundry and carry it w/o aggravating my condition.
-I can't pick up Samantha or anything heavy.
-I can't go w/o shoes while walking/standing or my pain increases.
-I can't vacuum or clean bathrooms.
-I can't climb flights of stairs too often in a day.
-I can't do yard work or gardening.
-I can't do cardio exercise except mild walking. Even being in a pool is difficult.
-I can't sit at a booth in a restaurant without hurting. Straight chairs are the best.
- I have great difficulty keeping my legs and feet well groomed.

Okay enough examples. I can still cook. I can still run errands. I can still type. I can still attend church (with my pillow). I can still read and have my devotions. I can still do paperwork and laundry. And many other things too.

When am I totally pain-free? When I'm sleeping. When I wake up in the morning, I'm "cured." For about 15 minutes or so. Then the cycle starts all over again. When (not if) I get better, I'll never never take the small things of life for granted again.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The princess and the pea

I, the princess, have finally found a comfortable position. First, some background. When I first started having leg trouble, I couldn't function on my feet but was fine sitting. Then, when I started PT and got an injection, I started getting better on my feet but couldn't get comfortable sitting.

And thus my search for a comfortable position began. First of all, my therapist recommended a lumbar seat cushion. I tried hers out for a week and then bought four of them. Yup, four. One is on my dinette chair, one is in my car, one is upstairs in my bedroom, and the other one that I thought I'd use somewhere ended up being on Samantha's dinette chair.

But the real purpose of this post is to tell you about my recliner which I searched high and low for. It all started when we went to Sam's and they had this incredible deal on a sofa/recliner set. I sat on the sofa and reclined it and vuaola! it suited me to a T. It had a continuous leg rest that connected to the chair and put my legs in a downward slope. Very comfortable. Right price, wrong color. Would have had to redo the whole family room, maybe even curtains. So no go on that one. Started checking out other furniture stores for similar item, and of course the price was way more, I mean WAY more than I wanted to spend. Besides, most of the sofas and recliners were HUGE. It's all about theater seating these days. So no go on that stuff. Finally off I traipsed to Lazy Boy. Oh yes, they had sofas and recliners of all shapes and sizes, anything anyone could want. So I found a recliner that fit me perfectly, ordered it, and upon getting it home realized it was too dark, even tho it was "neutral." You know me, not acceptable. So returned that and gave up for awhile. Then on a whim one day, I decided to go back to Sofamart because the first time I looked I was looking at sofas and not chairs. Well I found a really "cheap" chair that had a nice firm cushion, fit me beautifully, and came in the color I needed.

You're wishing the story ends here but unfortunately it doesn't. When I got the chair home, I thought it strange that I hadn't noticed it was a rocker recliner. That was problem #1. Problem #2 was that my feet didn't touch the floor like they did in the store! Ugh. Finally, when I reclined it (which I don't think I tested in the store), it put my legs in an upward slant, not straight or downward which I really wanted. Sooooooo, in order to get my feet to touch the floor, I ordered yet ANOTHER cushion for my back, but since I was ordering online I got two different ones, not knowing which would work. Of course, neither one really worked too great, one was too cushy and the other was too hard. Oh yes, princess and the pea. But you HAVE to understand this is not just comfort, this is just wanting to be free of blasted pain, either in my leg or up in my SI joint/lower back.

Yada, yada, yada went thru numerous combinations of cushion positions, non-reclined, reclined and still didn't feel settled. But at last I think I've found it (I've had this chair for about six months?) - I'm sitting here reclined but not fully reclined, with the cushy cushion under my knees, making the recliner "feel" like it has a continuous leg rest, what I wanted in the first place.

Are you totally confused? Or at least a little amused? Did you make it this far? Do you think I've totally gone bonkers? Maybe so but at least I'm in no pain! Through typing this whole long crazy story.