I’ve been agonizing about whether writing this post is a good idea or not. The purpose in creating The Modern Hepburns was about a positive course correction in my new life as a momma and wife, it was about not losing myself in my new role and forgetting who I used to be, but the the last month was a bit rough. I didn’t want what I was experiencing to tarnish the voice I’d built here, so I kept quiet. Now that I’m starting to feel better and life is returning to normal I feel I can talk about it honestly and hopefully not come across as being over dramatic. Being open about things has been hard for me, it’s difficult to know who you can trust and who has your back at a time when your most vulnerable. Yet here I am exposing myself all over the internet, I’m a walking, talking oxymoron.
But here it is… I was in pain every waking minute of the day and night. I had experienced the same physical symptoms in the fall and had visited to 2 doctors int the city, a dentist, had far to may labs done, 2 rounds of antibiotics, and visited a yogi. I hesitated in making a trek all the way out to no man’s land to see my trusted family doctor of the last 30 plus years, because I knew this trip with a finkie baby would be a nightmare, so I just suffered in silence and popped pain killers like candy. Nothing I’d tried worked and I was becoming afraid of what might happen if I let it continue. Everyday was unending, I dragged myself out of bed and went through the motions of appearing fine. When someone asked how I was doing I’d answer with gritted teeth through the pain that I was “great, never better”. Reality was, my head was constantly splitting, my neck ached, my shoulders felt as if they were being pulled apart, I was constantly dizzy (I didn’t trust myself to pick up Miss E), and the worst part was the longer I let it go the further the pain spread through out my body. Some days I could barely move.
It wasn’t until I was out with Miss E (please note I was wearing her in the baby carrier at the time) on a mission to pick something up for dinner, when I was over come by a wave of dizziness and splitting pain which was going to cause me to faint. The fear of falling and my baby girl getting hurt made me stop to sit on the closest bench I could stumble to. I tried calling Mr.H to see if he could come walk me home, but his phone was busy. So, I called someone who everyone calls when their in trouble not 911, but my own Momma. Just hearing her voice was reassuring even if she couldn’t help me, because she lives over an hour away. I needed to have someone on the phone to talk me through it and to be there in case anything did happen, causing Miss E who was already pretty helpless to be put into a dire situation. I didn’t want to leave her unprotected at a time when I was to weak to do anything. I eventually was able to pull it together and a 10 minute walk home took me a half hour with no dinner in hand. (Thank you Dominos delivery for being there for me that night). That day was my proverbial “straw the broke the camel’s back” moment. My Momma called me later that night and told me she had made an appointment with our family doctor and that she was going to pick us up (btw as most city dwellers, I don’t drive), so we were going!
When the day came, my Momma picked Miss E and I up and we drove all the way out to “Scarberia” (as it’s unaffectionately know by everyone) to see the Doctor. My Mom sat with a rowdy Miss E, while I went in for my appointment. My Doc checked me out, moved this part , felt that gland in my neck, checked my eyes… yada yada… order some testes (ex-rays, blood work), but said it looked to him that I might have Osteoarthritis in my neck and spine. He would wait to confirm this after the tests, but this was a major break through for me. No more worrying about a botched epidural, my pain finally had a possible name. After my test results came in his suspicion was confirmed at our follow up. He gave me some exercises to do, told me which medication to take, and a few alterations to my diet I would be feeling great. For the most part his recommendations worked, but what I didn’t know was that if you suffer from Osteoarthritis expect to have seasonal flare ups. Some are affected by the cold weather or humidity, but for me the dampness of early spring and fall are a nightmare. Let’s just say I would rather go through childbirth again then live in constant gnawing pain for months. Funny thing, at the hospital they always ask you from 1-10 what is your pain level…at the time labor wasn’t bad pain wise I could manage at a pain level of 7 or 8. That was until they gave me oxytocin, contractions every 2 minutes or less for 8 plus hours = no fun, but that would at least end, the arthritis pain will be with me forever and some days it’s a 6 others it’s a 9.
For most of March up until last weekend I’ve been fighting through it and trying to go about my daily life as if everything was normal, but that was not the case. I stopped doing things I loved in favor of taking care of the priorities, because I knew I only had enough in me to get a few things done. I was doing my exercises 3 times a day, knocking back pain killers and just hoping that it would end. People would tell me I looked tire, then make some off color comment about how the baby must be keeping me up, uh wrong! The pain kept me up and thank you very much for telling me I look like a tired piece of crap, it’s greatly appreciated. Me being nice would just laugh and say “oh no, she’s a great sleeper I’m so lucky” then walk away, when we all pretty much know what I really wanted to to say. On the positive side, I’m starting to feel better and I have all these half finished posts I’d been working on last month, that I need to edit and get out there for you to read. I didn’t realize till I logged in today how much material I had, but just didn’t have the energy to finish ( sitting the last month has been excruciating, so being on a computer for any length of time was painful). I’m going to be working my way through my back log posts the next couple of weeks.
If anyone out there is experiencing something similar, don’t worry I got your back. I’ll explore new recipes using foods with anti inflammatory benefits, share with you my failed exercise attempts, what works and what you might want to avoid, and be your sounding board for any crap that comes our way. Osteoarthritis might be here to stay, but I’ll make it my bitch.
Be well and be kind