On The Homestretch

This is a purely personal note today. The last few weeks have been somewhat trying, with the pain in my back building  a little more each day.  Earlier this week I put out a call for prayer from my praying friends on Facebook, and I was overwhelmed and humbled that so many responded.  I know it was only prayer and the covering of the Holy Spirit that took me through these last three work days, and I am thankful–more than I can express.

Tuesday, Aug. 22 is the date of my surgery on my right sacroiliac joint.  We did the left one in January. There was no trouble, no difficulty.  I’m sure this one will be the same, and I’m actually looking forward to getting it done. Will it cure all the things that are going wrong in my back? Well, no.  But it will give me blessed relief from this particular pain.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my mom lately, who often described pain in her lower back. As far as I can remember, there was never any treatment except pain medication, which she disliked taking.  Just a couple of years before she died, a doctor told her there was so much wrong back there that it would be impossible to repair it all.

I’m positive, from her description of the pain, that she had the same condition as I do. We’re both short, both sway-backed. I don’t know if the swayback has anything to do with the pain. Maybe. My point here is that she suffered, with very little relief, for several years.  I am so thankful that there are procedures available to help my pain, and that I have excellent doctors taking care of me.

Here’s a song I was reminded of yesterday.  It was a blessing to me, and I hope it will bless you as well.

Sloppalisa Saturday

One of the most irritating and embarrassing things that can come with aging is the dropsy. And no, I’m not talking about edema here.  That’s a whole different category.

I’m talking about my hands don’t work.  I pick something up, I drop it. I pick it up again, having to bend over to do so, and now my back aches.

You know, there’s just no justice. You work so hard to develop dexterity from the time you discover your own toes and shove them into your mouth, and then you get old, and you couldn’t reach your toes to save your life.  And it wouldn’t be cute, either, the way it was when you were a baby. Trust me.

This morning I’ve been cooking, preparing a casserole for the church luncheon tomorrow. It’s not a complicated dish. Hamburger, onion, red sauce, noodles, kidney beans, cheese. Easy.

Would you like to guess what all I dropped in the creation of this humble stew? Start with the can of tomato sauce that almost landed on my toes. The wooden spoon I used–after rinsing it off–to stir and break up the hamburger.  The onion, which rolled haughtily away from me, snickering until it bumped the wall.   I pounced!  “Gotcha!”  I hollered–and promptly dropped it again. Caught it in my apron, though, so it didn’t get too far.

Some people think aprons are too old-fashioned.  I couldn’t care less. They come in handy for all sort of things, including dropped objects.

While my goulash was simmering, I went into the bathroom to get out my daily allotment of medications and supplements.  Dropped two of the bottles before opening them (that’s a good thing!) and one of the pills.  Tiny little golden colored Vitamin D capsule.

And now we address another of the indignities of aging. I have graduated trifocal glasses.  I scanned the floor from a standing position, could not find tiny little golden pill. Bent over, eyeballing every inch of the floor, and still had no success. That’s partly because I have to keep moving my head up and down so I can see through the appropriate layer of stacked lenses in my glasses. Like this:


Still no little golden pill.  Phooey.  I’ll just get another one.  This time, I opened it up right over the sink, which I had plugged, so that when I dropped it–and I did– it would have nowhere to hide. Victory!

Well, I completed my kitchen task with no further mishaps, but I still need to grate the cheese and sprinkle it over the top of the stew.  Should be interesting.


The Day after Surgery

I won’t be posting in Isaiah today. The energy just isn’t there. I had a small surgery yesterday, a left-side sacroiliac fusion procedure.  Everything went perfectly, and I was home just three hours from the time the procedure began.  Amazing  what doctors can do these days.


I’m sore, of course, from the incision, but I’m taking pain meds and antibacterial meds, so I’m just a tad dopey.  My husband would say, “No more than usual”  🙂

I’m so glad the long wait is over.  Three months of waiting for a procedure that took about 1 1/2 hours!

Was it worth it?

Oh,  you betcha!


Update on My Health

I apologize for not getting right back to Isaiah, but I couldn’t think of a more efficient way to inform those who want to know what’s going on with me.  I promise, back to Isaiah tomorrow 🙂

So I saw the neurosurgeon this morning.  He cut right to the chase, which I truly appreciated. He put me on my right side on the examining table, and pressed on two spots that just about sent me through the roof. One was at my hip joint, the other on my SI joint (sacroiliac joint). Here’s a picture that will help you understand what’s going on:si-joint-dysfunction-image

The SI joints are the red areas.  It’s a pretty good sized joint, and ordinarily it is stable.  That is, it does not move. It joins the spine to the pelvic  bones, which of course needs to be very stable.

My problem, because of arthritic degenerating disc disease, is that the left SI joint has begun to weaken, allowing it to rub against the pelvic bone.  I want to tell you, the pain is most unpleasant, even debilitating. For six weeks, I’ve been inactive, taking pressure off the joint, so it feels better–until the doc pressed on it. Yikes.

So, I will be having  a simple but very effective procedure in which the doctor will  make a small incision right over the SI joint, where he will insert two screws that will immobilize the joint.  I will go home the same day, and there is a two-four week  recovery.during which I can sit, stand, walk, even do stairs.  No lifting, bending, or twisting, though.

The date for the procedure is January 10.  I had hoped it would be sooner, but God knows.  At this point, it looks as if I can plan on returning to work by the first of February.

I am so blessed for all the prayers and concerns that you have shared on my behalf these past several weeks.  Many of you I know only  because you read this blog. It is wonderful to have friends out there in cyberspace 🙂

So–more waiting.  Something I’ve never been very good at, but it’s unavoidable. God is teaching me patience, and I am thankful.


Catching Up

I’ve been lazy about both my blogs  lately.  It’s time to get  my discipline back.  I could use pain as my excuse, but the truth is, I think, that I just needed a little break.

So on Monday, I’m going to get back on schedule.  We’ve left poor Isaiah spinning in the wind way too long. I’ve done better with my writing blog, but that’s because it doesn’t take a whole lot of effort.

The news from Monday’s MRI is that there have been only a few “minor changes” since the last one was taken. Minor, huh?  Then why is the pain so major, huh?  Well, I have four more weeks before I can get in to see the surgeon.  I’d best just suck it up, right?  Use my time off work profitably.

I’m trying very hard not to have a “poor me” attitude here.


I can’t stand a cry baby.If I’m not careful, I’ll become that. crying

Well, give me a break.  It HURTS!  Okay got that out of my system 🙂

Last night some good friends who used to live in the area, and are up here for a visit, brought us a yummy chili supper.  Good to see them, good to talk, good to enjoy fellowship. We didn’t mention politics.  How refreshing was that!

 Tomorrow I’m looking forward to a visit from a young woman  I’ve become friends with.

So here I sit, in my jammies, still, at 9:16 a.m., drinking the coffee my husband made, enjoying a comfortable chair and planning on doing some purely recreational reading when I finish here. Life of Riley, right?  Nothing to complain about.

Need a Laugh? Here you Go :)

I wasn’t going to post this morning, but this is just too funny to keep to myself.

I’ve been slow to get moving this morning,  just now getting around to doing my normal face routine–toner, moisturizer.  Nothing fancy, takes just a few seconds.

So I grab the big plastic bottle of toner, fill up my cotton ball swab, and swiped away. It felt unusually cold, but I was thinking of other things and kept going, over my nose and to my other cheek. But my nose said, “Hey!  Cut that out!  What are you using, you birdbrain?”

Image result for woman using toner on her face

The smell was so sharp it made my eyes water, so I, being an above-average intelligent woman,  took a second look at the bottle in my hand.

It was fingernail polish remover. Acetone. On my FACE! Oy.  Same size bottle as my toner, and boy, do I feel silly!

Washed my face three times, used my toner, used my moisturizer. It still feels tight.  I just hope it doesn’t make my skin disappear like it does my fingernail polish 🙂

Did you laugh?  Did you smile?  You’re welcome.  Did you shake your head wondering how anyone could be so dumb?  Just wait.  Juuuuuuust you wait 🙂

Saturday Morning, September 3

I borrowed this pretty picture from my blogging friend Olive Ole over at Travel Much?  on Word Press.   She writes wonderful travelogues, with great pictures and historic detail.


This morning she was talking about how fast this summer has gone, and she’s right. At this moment, we have all the doors and windows open because it is FINALLY cool outside.  Time to get all the summer air-conditioned funk out of the house. I don’t miss the heat and I hope we don’t get any more long stretches of it, but there will be lots of days yet when the temps are in the high 70’s and 80’s, always cooling off at night.

Back when I was teaching, my summers were filled with domestic tasks I didn’t have the time for during the school year.  Major cleaning, sewing, organizing. We also had a garden, and there were lots of wild berry bushes in the woods around our house.  I canned, froze, made jam and jelly. Lots of work, but I miss those days when the kids were all home and I had good help from them.

Where we lived, in central Minnesota, the evenings always cooled off no matter how hot the day had been.  Terry and I used to go for a long walk after supper, or we’d all pile into the van with Tick, our silly Springer spaniel, and go to one of the lakes nearby.

I liked to swim, but Tick didn’t understand that I wasn’t in danger. One time I swam out too far for his liking, and he came out after me.  Springers are strong swimmers.  He circled around behind me and pretty much herded me in toward shore. When I tried to dodge him, I paid for it with his claw marks across my back. He wasn’t going to let me drown 🙂


We had awesome storms there in what was still prairie, even as far north as Brainerd.  Huge cumulus clouds  that looked innocent in the afternoon would darken and turn to grey-black threats as evening approached, and then the lightening would start, bringing thunder to rock the foundations of the world!  Rain would pour for maybe half an hour, and there was a good strong wind. Sometimes there was damage, even a tornado now and then. Scary, but amazing to watch. When it was all over, everything was fresh, clean, and revived from the heat of the day.

Here in our corner of Pennsylvania, we do get good thunderstorms but there’s no prairie. The hills tend to slow down the wind, and tornados are rare. The worst storm I remember is four years ago in November when Hurricane Sandy invaded our state and did a great deal of damage. That was the year Terry fell from a ladder and broke his heel, so it’s all tied together in my memory.

His heel, by the way, is still giving him a great deal of pain. We went to the doctor on Monday morning this past week, and he said the next step is something called an Arizona Brace. It will keep his foot and ankle immobile, and should relieve the pain.


Sure hope this works, because I’m thinking the next step will involve surgery. I don’t even want to think about him going through that again.

Well, this has certainly been a ramble, and it all started with how fast the summer went by. You just never know where you’re going to end up here 🙂