Saturday, February 11, 2012

2/11/12 Back Week

Hmm, I haven't blogged much this week. It's been an interesting week, with being partially disabled with this back problem and attending doctor's and physical therapy appointments and needing to lie down a lot.

Somehow I accidentally got involved on some high-profile projects at work, and when they hit, they hit fast. It's been a real challenge -- not so much technically, but rather struggling with how to handle myself with real customers, both on the phone and in person. I'm keenly aware that the livelihood of the salesperson I'm backing up depends a lot on how I conduct myself. My main strength, which is intense technical discussion, can be a liability -- not all customers want to be bludgeoned by the icky ins-and-outs. I'm getting coaching, but there's no doubt this isn't natural to me.

And there are tricky discussions, such as if I'm working with one vendor to spec something out, and that vendor asks if we're looking at other vendors (Cisco, anyone?). My way is to blurt out the truth -- I need to learn how to, and more importantly when to, delicately sidestep the question.

I've never felt like such a geek in my life -- something I aspired to and would normally be proud of, but now I'm not so sure! Everyone seems to love my research and write-ups though. I'm much better behind the scenes, safely hidden away in a closet.

I'm finally walking without a cane! I tried exercising this morning for the first time, with mixed results. I can feel real pain in my lower back now, and worse, the foot-buzzing is back. This hasn't happened for a while, but it's happening now: when I sit for too long, my feet buzz and get irritated and eventually fall asleep. It's really uncomfortable.

Today Katrina came down from her room showing off her new TinkerToy contraption: "Look Mom, I made a cane!" Uggh! I hate that my children will remember this awful weakness of mine.

And Ski Week is coming up!! I am SUCH an idiot, and I was SO upset on Friday: I finally called Sugarbowl to make ski school reservations, thinking it wouldn't be a problem with two weeks' lead time. Nope! Full!!! Waiting list!! I couldn't believe it -- I've been planning on going to Sugarbowl and taking kids to ski school there for months, and I waited WAY too long to make the reservations that our whole trip hinged around. ARGH!

Partly, I putzed because I wasn't sure if or when Laura and Ryan could join us, but they told me in plenty of time (that they couldn't make it, sniff), and I still didn't make the reservation. I'm so focused at work it's really hard to take that 15 minutes out to make the call.! I got a call today from Sugarbowl's Mountain Learning Center: they managed to fit us in!! The timing isn't perfect; it's spread across 4 days instead of 3, but still, whew. As I told my ski friend, "dumbasses can't be choosers." Now I CAN'T WAIT, despite the challenging logistics of not having everyone in ski school together. Looks like Gabriel and I will be skiing a lot together (yay).

But my back had better cooperate....limp limp.


Thursday, February 09, 2012

2/9/2012 the lunch mistake

Last night, when I made lunches, everyone got the same sandwich: cream cheese and jelly. Sometimes, especially when my back is hurt, everyone has to "suffer" with the same lunch.

Katrina didn't take this affront so lightly, and spent the better part of the afternoon at the CDC writing me a letter:

Dear Mom, I don't like cream | cheese and normal | yellow cheese Please, please start Wowbutter again, don't end Wowbutter again. Love, Katrina

with lots of surrounding blah blah blah blah blahs....

OK, so, tomorrow I guess it's "Wowbutter" (a soy substitute) for lunch!!


Monday, February 06, 2012

2/6/2012 Bedtime!

I spent most of the day curled up on my bed, napping on and off. I'm very grateful that we have so many new channels now, from a recent change to our cable service. My back doctor couldn't see me today, but as usual, the physical therapists came through and I got an appointment there today.

This "annular tear" episode in my back is tricky -- I can actually stand up better than I usually can the first day, but there's a lot more pain than usual. Physical therapy usually makes me sore at first, but this time was much worse, it was really hard to walk to the car after treatment. But then, after lying down for a while, I can almost walk around "normally," though when I catch a glimpse of myself, I'm utterly pathetic.

As has happened before, it's interesting that of all the kids, Gabriel seems the most concerned. I have to wonder again if he's truly concerned about me, or if it's the very understandable kid-thing of not wanting to see your mother in a weak state. I remember when my mother had pneumonia when we were kids, and thinking she might have to go to the hospital -- it was terrifying. You'd think of all my kids, Gabriel would be the most blase, but it's quite opposite. I make light of it for his sake, but in truth I'm very frustrated that I'm so prone to being disabled in an instant.

Tomorrow: doctor, more rest, more ice, more drugs (prednisone advanced the healing fast last time), though I'll attempt to go into work in the morning. As much as I'm enjoying the Military channel, I'm getting tired of all this lying around!


2/5/2012 Back goes blooey again

I should be writing about what a great time everyone had at Gabriel and Julian's birthday parties today -- and we did. It was one party package, but essentially two parties since each boy invited their own set of friends, and we were at the trampoline place where each group could do their own thing. It worked great; it was unusually un-crowded when we arrived, and immediately every kid was jumping and having a great time. I thought the biggest crisis would be when one of Gabriel's classmates' pants ripped completely open, which I dealt with by buying shorts at the trampoline place.

Just as we were about to do cupcakes, I was sitting at the table with Betsy and remarked to her that I felt something in my lower back, on the right side where the injury happens -- but it wasn't so bad because usually when my back snaps, it's instant and that hadn't happened. I shouldn't have said anything, because a few minutes later, lightning struck -- that's really what it felt like. A complete seize-up, and boom, it's cane city again.

Fortunately Betsy was there to help, she called Dave right away, and was able to help serve cupcakes, gather kids, and carry stuff to the car (thanks Betsy!!). Dave arrived with Katrina, and drove Gabriel and his new BFF, Raschelle, to her house to continue the playdate, while I drove Julian home. I took a hot bath, whatever drugs I could conjure up from last time, and spent the rest of the day in bed, with a break to have some dinner and hobble around to make kids' lunchs. Dave did the rest.

This stinks! What is wrong that my back has to do this?! This episode is among the most painful I've had, and by far the most shocking moment when it actually seized. And then, after zooming around this place perfectly healthy, and doing a lot of jumping myself, I had to hold someone's hand for help and then use a cane. How pathetic and embarrassing is that! This episode is up there with the really bad ones.

Well, on the bright side, at least I was done jumping and I'd had a great time with the kids, playing games and having them show me what they can do. And I got in a nice run Saturday morning, noticing that there was not a peep from my ankles. My back has been well-behaved for a while, but I think the seat-drop things I was doing with Julian's friend Jake were too much.

Tomorrow I'll be trying to get an appointment with my back doctor, and with physical therapists, the usual. I just don't want anyone to tell me I can't do stuff like that, it's just too fun and I have to figure out how to do a back flip first.

And the tired boys afterward was definitely worth it!