Friday, August 9, 2013

Life in the Slow Lane

I'm feeling a bit behind on the eight ball lately.  Not that I actually know where that saying comes from, only that it is supposed to signify that I'm behind.  Not quite up with the play.  Not really in line with everyone else, ready for the game, focused, zoned in, or whatever it is!

Warning - rambling post.  Don't say I didn't tell you!

I'm tired.

Duh.  Like that's new news!  I've been tired for years.  Firstly, having chronic fatigue will do that to you.  The fact that I'm not a basket case on a daily basis is a major miracle of healing in my life.  That I can be a mother, or a student, or a wife (let alone ALL THREE AT ONCE) is amazing.  So I'm tired.  Big deal.

But I really am tired.  Very tired.  Bone weary tired.  Not my usual 'could have done with several more hours of sleep last night' kind of tired.  Trying to stay focused when driving kind of tired.  The sort of tired when you suddenly hear a small insistent voice from the backseat saying, "No, don't go home, go to feed the chickens!"  Opps.  We were nearly home.  I'd said we were going to feed the chickens, only then I got on automatic pilot.  Still haven't remembered to share that one with my dad.  He'd have a good laugh.  He used to try to take us to church instead of school fairly often if I remember correctly.  How embarrassing, I never thought I'd become like my father!  Not that being like him is a bad thing, he is an incredibly generous, loving dad!  But does go on autopilot when driving.  I did it again the other day too...ended up in completely the wrong lane at the lights, had to do a quick change (fortunately no one was in the other lane!) so I didn't have to do a major loop-de-loop to get to where I was supposed to be going.  The sad thing is that I had been thinking about the things I needed to print at church, and in the process forgot the turn off to church...ugh.

I finally figured out part of the tiredness.  Physio.  At least I hope I can attribute some of my exhaustion to that.  I'm having physio on my back after stuffing it up yet again.  The stuffing up is a frequent issue.  I've had physio once before, which did help but only the issue I went for (the specific pulled muscle).  As I've had problems with my back seizing since having Munchkin, I figured I really should do something about it.  After all, it means I never manage a catch up sleep (might have something to do with the levels of tiredness - three years of not getting a sleep in might do that to you!).  If I sleep longer than about 7hours (at a guess!), I get back pain. I just can't stay in bed.  It's like my lower back seizes up.  Used to be much worse, after three hours I'd be up pacing the hallway to get things mobile again.  As it's no longer that bad I've kind of gotten used to it.  But I still can't sleep long enough.  Munchkin was sick for two weeks, so two weeks of broken Mummy sleep.  Then Boyo snored for two weeks before that.  And has coughed since.  Equals very tired Mummy.  But I still can't stay asleep when I get the chance because of my confounded back.  So when I pulled it again, I took the recommendation of my (most fabulous!) hairdresser and went to her physio (who incidentally is also FABULOUS!).  We are able to look at the whole back through ACC as it all links together, although it is my upper back that gets the acute strains.  Turns out there's a patch in my upper back not working and a patch in my lower back, which puts pressure on the rest, resulting in ongoing pain, and the frequent pulling.  My upper back has been problematic for years (since my early twenties I think) but with a 17kg three year old, and shoulders trying to race each other to see who can touch the ground first (they slump majorly), it is getting worse and worse.  To the point that reaching in front of me hurts, reaching above my head hurts, carrying my son hurts, pushing the stroller hurts, you name it, it will probably hurt.  Hence the physio.  Enough is enough.  Time to get something sorted out.  I just wish I'd thought of it sooner...why is it that we allow things to get so bad gradually, to have something eat away at our quality of life like this and accept it as 'normal' and okay??!!!  NO MORE!  I am sick of having a sore back.  We don't have money for physio, even physio with ACC subsidies.  But I'm doing it anyway.  I just can't stand it any longer.  It's important, more important than a whole lot of other things.

But the physio is taking a physical toll (or at least I think it is).  I feel tired in ways I haven't for years, not since having fatigue.  I think perhaps it is that the physio is asking muscles in my back (and butt and thighs!) to do things they have not done in years (seriously, I wonder if the ones in my thighs have ever worked at all they hurt so much from a simple exercise!).  Plus there's the weekly push, shove, and massage to get vertebra to move independently and muscles to either loosen up or wake up.  Then, to top it all off, I have exercises.  Six simple exercises that look like they'd be a breeze.  Do not be fooled.  Physio exercises are anything but!  I have to think so hard my brain feels like it might explode.  I have to tighten muscles I didn't know I owned, remember to breathe, and count all at the same time!  Talk about multi-tasking.  I've learnt that I cannot do this while my son is around.  For some strange reason he seems to think that a parent on the floor equals a great climbing opportunity (I blame his father for this!).  So I do them in the evening.  They make me so hot.  Yet they are just stretches.  Nothing fast, nothing strenuous, just simple tighten and stretch!  But because they are muscles that I have under used for like, forever, this is seriously hard work.  I wonder how many calories I'm burning, 'cos I certainly burn up!

I now also have some amazing hot pink tape on my back.  I'll get a photo sometime if I remember to ask Boyo.  I thought it would be awful.  But I love my tape!  It's helping me pull my shoulders up and back without it hurting like crazy.  It's early days still to see how much change we can create here, but I'm really hopeful that the physio has a great combination of strategies to get the best results.  But so far it's not really helping my sleep.  Maybe one day a week?  If I don't over do things and hurt my back again (did that twice in the past two weeks), and definitely not getting better sleep the night after physio (note to self: next week, take panadol before bed on Tuesday so you don't spend the night wriggling and annoying yourself and your husband!).  But it is gradually starting to feel a bit better.

These days, my favourite past-time has been sitting in my chair, footrest up, hot water bottle (or two!) behind my back, blanket over my knees, knitting in my hands.  Hopefully something good to watch too.  The heat therapy on my back is great.  Better than a bath much easier!  But my knitting is behind on the eightball too.

I missed the deadline.  Not through any real fault of my own.  I didn't see the article in the paper.  They moved the Packing Party two weeks earlier.  Need to get things into the containers earlier to make room in the shared warehouse for Samaritan Purse's shoe boxes apparently.  They did tell everyone last year.  But I never actually GET to the party, only arriving afterwards to drop off my blanket as my son was always asleep then. I was SO looking forward to getting to go this year!  And I missed it.  Gutted.

I don't mind so much about the blanket.  It's not finished anyway.  I'm honestly not sure if I'll ever manage a whole blanket a year again.  They increased the size you see.  A whole extra row.  9 extra squares.  Doesn't sound like much, does it?  But it is so much more.  I could just (only just) finish a 56 square blanket in a year.  It was just hard enough to really motivate me to make it.  But 63?  Too much.  I am feeling very blah about the whole thing.  My blanket would have been finished in time if it wasn't for those last 9 squares.  I'm on about 5 of the 9 now.  It's really sad.  I had been carefully trying to get it all pieced together and I'm still late.

The lovely coordinator for Operation Cover Up gave me contact details for a lady looking for things for an orphanage in China to do in December, so my blanket might yet end up there instead...I guess it doesn't really matter.  I like Operation Mobilisation's one as I've seen footage of what they do and the difference a blanket can make, but I guess as long as someone is going to be blessed by it somewhere that's all that really matters.  I've got wool there for another one for next year, just not sure how I'm meant to get one finished...or if I'm going to try.  Maybe it is time to slow down?  Not worry so much about it?  I'm not sure.  I just love the knitting.  And there's something about watching a blanket take shape under my fingers that I cannot explain.  It brings me so much satisfaction and quiet delight.  I don't want to miss out on that.  I like having a deadline, just not one I don't think I can achieve.

Munchkin is always my willing helper when blankets are out - not the wool scraps in his hair - he decided to pretend it was snow or something!
Deciding where to put's all crocheted together now, except for a narrow strip down each side that I'm currently knitting - those extra 9 squares.
My life in the slow lane is going to have to pick up some next week.  I start a very large assignment.  Off to the library I will go, laptop ready to take copious notes.  Need to get it done before my second paper starts.  And before I have to work on that extra assignment that links to my RPL (recognition of prior learning - aka cross credits).  I started the bigger guinea pig hutch.  There's a bit of frame in the garage.  Lying on it's side.  I haven't forgotten about it, but you might be forgiven for thinking I had.  I just lack the motivation to do it.  I'm tired.  Tired of trying to get things done, of pushing to achieve, of using my willpower to get my body to keep moving.  That's part of the issue at present.  I'm not just incredibly tired physically, but I'm emotionally tired too.  It's been a long haul.  I feel like I'm a marathon runner, at that point in the race where it feels like it will never end, where the lactic acid starts doing awful things to their muscles (not that I would know, I have never run nor ever intend to run a marathon!) that point where you can't see the finish line, although you know it must be there somewhere.  You've come so far, you just want to sit down, have a rest.  But you can't.  The race isn't over yet.  You must keep going.  One foot in front of the other.  If I keep going, surely at some point some adrenaline will kick in again?  When I see the finish line?  When someone cheers?  Surely there will be some energy for the final lap, the last stretch?  We're halfway there.  Halfway through studies, I'm telling myself it's natural to feel tired.  It's been a long four years.  But we've got to keep going.  Half a degree's not much good to me.  I need the whole one.  I can do this.

But in the meantime, I think I might go to bed.  Soon.  After some heat therapy.  And tomorrow?  Tomorrow is Saturday.  Saturday Family Day!  We are watching a movie.  I'll try and remember to take photos (didn't take the camera on our outing last week).  Tonight I am not putting the washing away, or sorting photos, or doing filing, or doing ANYTHING other than resting (okay, so this blog post might not typically be classed as resting, but it is processing, and that's helpful and not overly strenuous so that's okay!).  Tomorrow I'm not going to get up to much either.  I will probably have a half hour nap when Munchkin has his 'rest' in his room...he usually just brmms his cars around, having discovered the joys of no day sleeps he is loath to really rest, but it's enough for Mummy to have a nap so I'm okay with that - I've had at least three this past week I think - that's got to be a record!

What are you getting up to on the weekend?  I hope is is a peaceful one.



MaxineD said...

What a long and rambling post - I do hope you feel better now having processed it on your blog :-) I didn't mind reading it, and I hope you have a quiet weekend. Yes backs can be a problem, especially when we let them seize!
Love and blessings

Elizabeth said...

Hope the back is starting to feel better now. Good on you for finally doing something about it, sometimes we have to bite the bullet and 'just do it'!!!!