If I Could Put Time in that Bottle…

And smash it against a brick wall!

All good things must come to any end and these past few months, as I look ahead to some improvements in lifestyle, and some successes and projects that take less time than in the past, I’m doing pretty well.

There is that matter of my computer club. After about four(?) years, there has been no improvement or time-saving progress whatsoever.

When I first joined the club, it was for a purpose. I had begun to work as a computer instructor, a totally inexperienced teacher, but a very experienced administrator and office technology user. So it was a logical step. For support, advice, mentoring and keeping abreast of the latest developments in technology as it related to workers and also to personal needs.

At that time, I was fighting a spinal issue, and as time moved on it became harder and harder to stand to give my lessons, until I discovered I had breast cancer in 2008 and my 11-year teaching career began to come to a screeching halt. It was a little like seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

A few pounds of flesh lighter, and a painful back condition later, I found myself unable to work, and retired in 2009, after a respectable length of time for a career in mid-life. So what now about the computer users group?

Being a loyal to a fault person, I remained a member of the club, but in addition, became more involved in some of the duties of membership. I ran a couple of workshops, I ran a monthly workshop in word processing, I became the programs chair for a couple of years, wildly surpassing any past efforts and raising the bar on using my connections network to help that along.

Being that this is a short history of my efforts to retain my loyalty, I’ll put it this way. I became active in a couple of interest groups, especially the graphics group, which soon revealed itself to be a monthly sales pitch for some video software, and some irrelevant technologies such as 3-D printing and virtual reality software. Enough was enough.

I realized what I needed was to narrow my “causes” down to just a few essentials. So I picked and chose – my faith community; gardening; photography, and digital art. I redefined myself as a digital artist, and began to take day trips and network among some very creative people.

Albeit I found myself among younger, more vibrant, and actually people who used technology to create art. People who weren’t asking the same questions every month from the same seats in the same place. This was the opposite of the evening I presented a workshop in said video program, and nobody admitted to owning or using the program. That night was the last straw.

So, all this being said, it is the end of some things, time has been put in a bottle, stopped up with a used cork stopper, put on a shelf, and is already collecting the dust of ages.

Stanching the urge to crush and smash, I shall dust myself off and move on.


It’s … Baaaack! Life on Tramadol

I was just minding my own business, really. I did not plan on this. A year almost to the day, I dealt with a horrible decision. I had to do something. I was a mess. What on earth did I do to deserve this!

A year ago, I had happily submitted to a complicated operation, which required a commitment on my part that turned out to be a learning experience, that I would not wish on anyone. Now, I was experiencing a greater and greater inability to bear weight on my left leg, and ran not walked, or limped, to my pain specialist.

A noisy MRI later, I got the news while, yes, walking, that stenosis had worsened since the last MRI, pre everything in 2006, and was giving me symptoms, thank you.

So, I’m enduring a series of not one, not two, but three shots in the back, again. I’m so used to showing up there and being wheeled out like an invalid.

The first shot, a month ago, was great. I felt no pain, and was able to go about my business. The second shot, like the second shot in December of 2011, was not so good. I need to take my meloxicam and tramadol just to walk. But I will, and when the third shot is over, we need to make a decision on going forward. If I can without a cane or a wheelchair!

Meanwhile, I’ve kept up on exercise, PT, and stretching. It helps a lot, as does heat, ice, and just sitting still.

Let’s see where this goes (not another pun!)

It’s a Real Pain – 21

At 6 a.m. I take a Percocet for the pain. I cannot move my left leg. It is burning up with pain. I lay on my back with my legs up on a sofa to relieve the back. It helps a little bit.

I call my doctor, and she explains that she is in her office today, and that I can see her because of the severity of this pain. But, I tell her, I have an appointment with her the following morning. She accepts that, and tells me to be aware of incontinence (which is the worst thing with this sciatica. It means you’ve pretty much damaged your spine and should shop for your electric scooter or whatever), and I am freaked out, but have hope that I’ll be okay until then and not have to go to the emergency room.

Faithfully doing up my tazanidine and my Percocet and my gabapantin.

At 12:49 p.m. the attack of pain returns and I take yet another painkiller. Again at 2:30. My foot is now freezing cold, and my toes a little crampy. I procure a 12-hour type of painkiller and take that with my muscle relaxer, but before that, take a couple of pain killers and sleep for about three hours in the afternoon. My pain is at level 8.

It’s a Real Pain – 20


I have burning pins and needles on and off and also in the car.

After my second gabapantin I sleep for two hours in the afternoon. Energy is sapped.


It’s a Real Pain – 19

My pain level is 9.5 when I got out of bed. I do some leg exercises in the morning. Taking it slow.