Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Empty Nesters

September Journaling

1.     Just a quiet day at home, bbq-ing burgers and cleaning a bit.

2.     Another good writing day, my last before I head back to work tomorrow. Also went out for coffee after dinner, with my husband. Am I a bad mom if I say I’m enjoying the first day of our empty nest?

3.     Back to work tonight. I’m nervous about it only because my pain has been getting worse and the pain killers are slowing me down. Straight from work in the morning I go to see a specialist. A Rheumatologist; they specialize in problems with bones and joints and muscles, like arthritis and lupus. I’m hoping to get a step closer to a diagnosis for what’s been causing me pain for the past year and getting some relief. The Robax aren’t holding the pain off for longer than two hours now.

4.     So after driving through rush hour traffic (I don’t know how people do that every day) to the wrong place at first, then waiting another hour to see the Rheumatologist, she told me she doesn’t think I have Polymyalgia Rheumatica, but a Chronic Pain Syndrome brought on by the Mononucleosis I had last summer. She said if that’s the case there’s no cure. She ordered more tests to rule out other things, and told me to wean off the Robax and gave me Naprosyn and Baclofen, a Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory and a stronger muscle relaxant. Relief would be nice, I hope it works. But it was discouraging to hear there would probably be no ultimate relief from it. I’m only 50. Do I have to look forward to a few decades of pain? I can see how this could lead to depression. At this point I was hopeful that it could get better. Even if it had been the PMR instead, that is usually self-limiting and goes away spontaneously after about two years, which would have been okay since I’m already into the second year, but alas, it’s not. But at least I know it’s not in my head, and that I don’t have to worry that each new ache or pain is some new dread disease. A girl can get paranoid.

5.   A good night last night. Hopefully, I’ll have a good sleep today.

6.    The medication has made me light headed, but I don’t mind, because I can move much more freely with these new medications. 

7.    My mom is coming home from Finland tonight after 10 weeks away.

8.    Back to work for four nights, but I don’t even mind because my pain is 85% improved. Thank God! I don’t feel light headed anymore either. For the first time in a year I am not thinking about my pain every minute. I am leaping around the house, jumping for joy! Here is a picture of me, jumping for joy, from a few years back, but that’s how I feel now.

9.  Wow! What a change! I have energy and mental alertness. I feel like I can do my job. When my husband came home and asked how my pain was, I said, “What pain?” I haven’t answered him that way in almost two years.

10.  A very busy night, with only two of us instead of three, but I got all my work done and didn’t have that feeling that I missed something. That’s a nice feeling.

11. Slept poorly again.

12. Slept all day, then cleaned out a closet.

13.  We went to the maternity home I volunteer in, and my husband put together a change table for one of the new moms. I was glad he was able to come and see what Wings is all about, and meet Marion and get a tour. I think he’ll be helping there as well as much as he can.

14. Being pain free has given me so much energy. Cleaning and rearranging cupboards and furniture. Also had a doctor’s appointment to rearrange meds. She was shocked to hear my pain was controlled.

15.  I had my first meeting with the counsellor and even though I didn’t think I’d cry, just bringing up the pain over leaving Faith did it. I also didn’t realize how many losses I’ve been dealing with these past two years. Yikes! Anyway, this was just an assessment day, and they’ll assign someone else to be my counsellor. This one knew my daughter and said, “She’s awesome! I know we’re not supposed to have favourites, but…”

16. Work. Thankful when my mom offers to cook for us. I can sleep longer or just wake up slowly.

17. My husband is taking a course at Toronto Baptist Seminary on Early Church History. He’s loving it. He’s only auditing it so he doesn’t have to hand in assignments but he’s trying to do them anyway, just to challenge himself. Dr. Haykin is a great teacher.

18.  I volunteered at Wings today. They didn’t need anyone for childcare so I helped with lunch. I made a homemade tomato soup, and they also had chicken pot pie, Caesar salad, broccoli and pumpkin pie. Delish! I didn’t realize how fast time would fly and navigating in someone else’s kitchen slowed me down. I was thankful she eased me into it this way, where I wasn’t responsible for the whole meal. I’d like to do that again. What a challenge, but so much fun.

19.  Weekends fly so fast, but I have more energy. I almost forgot what it was like. Also we had friends over from out of town. They were just over for about six hours, for dinner. My husband made jerked chicken, and we had a Jamaican meal. The best part was that they were so supportive about our church situation. They go to our former Pastor’s son’s church and he has been very understanding as well.

20. So this is what summer is supposed to feel like! It says something about how bad our summer has been when the first heat alert occurs in September.

21. I can’t get over how much easier work seems since I am not in pain every minute.

22.  Oh. My. Goodness. What a busy night! Fifteen patients for two nurses. But it’s over and I’m off for four nights.

23.  I got a message from the daughter of a former founding member of our old church. She read the book I compiled, Testimonies of Faith, and encouraged me. She said I did a great job. Nice to hear. Someone else who read it said it’s a great legacy to leave at Faith even if we’re not there anymore.

24. I went to the walk and talk with some women from church. It’s nice to get to know some of the women.

25.  My appointment was changed again as the counsellor had a family emergency. Now I’ll be going in two weeks.

26. My youngest daughter came home for a day to attend the funeral of her Pastor here in Toronto. Not a nice reason to come, but it was nice to see her. I also had a good day reading through my manuscript to see which final few scenes I need to write and what I still need to research. I also went through each scene to see that I knew what the goal and conflict was, and looking for plot holes that needed to be filled.

27.  My new church had the first women’s meeting/breakfast of the fall season. We also brought baby clothes for a local pregnancy care centre. (I also bought something for my grandbaby). I also bought paint for a desk, but I won’t start painting till Monday.

28. A great day at our new church today. Pastor Randy started a series in the evening, going through 1 Samuel, which is great for me, since that impacts my novel writing set in the same time period. I’m trying not to think that today is the 50th anniversary service at Faith. It breaks my heart to think about it. I think as time goes on, the pain seems to get worse. We also got two calls yesterday from people there, asking if we’d come back and saying they miss us. When people don’t know what happened, they imagine things, and don’t understand why we couldn’t come back. What would we be coming back to? What would we be celebrating? No, our days there are over, but I’m still upset about how it happened and the stories that are still circulating. We’d like to move on.

29.  I started painting my desk, table and shelves. It’s kind of brighter green than I expected, and shiny, but it’ll be a statement piece, if nothing else. I can’t tell you how much of a big deal it is for me to even consider a project like painting. I haven’t had the strength, energy or motivation to work on a project for two years.

30.  I also went to Value Village and got two wall shelves and a low square desk for $11 which I will paint the same colour as the desk and put them in my writing room. Good deal, eh?

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