This weekend we only have Andrew with us. With all the jostling of schedules to accommodate Christmas parties, travels to see my family, travels on Dakota's end, and New Years it seems we have gotten into a glitch with the kids being on the same weekends here and away. As it turns out, the way Dakota and I switch weekends (when needed) isn't the same way Stephanie and her ex switch weekends and the ex on that side refuses to be flexible in any way, shape or form. Which means Dakota and I will need to work out a way to flip the schedule back on our end. And apparently to make sure it returns to it's "norm" every time it is flipped. Dakota goes out of town for work and pleasure a great deal which means we are flipping a lot in the course of a year. This will be interesting to see how we can make sure we keep the kids in sync with each others schedules. Oh the joys of blended families and visitation schedules. I'm sure Dakota and I can figure it out...we are very good at this co-parenting thing and we are both flexible enough with our schedules to make it work.
I have to toot our own horn in that respect. We do work very well together when it comes to the children.
But back to today.....Andrew really wanted to go see The Hobbit. I have zero desire to see it so I decided that while Stephanie and Andrew went to the (very long) movie, I would use the time to run some errands (Costco, Home Depot and WalMart) and then come back home to veg out alone. Over the years, I have learned to really enjoy being alone but it has become a rarity now that five of us are living under the same roof. So...when I do get time home alone, I really enjoy it. I love the silence of it. I don't need the TV on, or music on. I can just sit here in the quiet and think, or read or write. It's nice.
Yesterday I went to the doctor so today I have spent a good deal of time thinking. It appears that my Syringomyelia may be advancing since my pain and over all discomfort has increased. I was hoping..and still am..that the cold has just made things flare, but the doc is more concerned than I would have liked her to be. I haven't really been seen for this condition in five years - here and there, yes but nothing consistent. Things went crazy for about a year before I was diagnosed and I spent way too much time in and out of medical appointments. Once I was diagnosed, and learned the warning signs and what could and couldn't be done for it, I stopped going to doctors. No point really. I didn't want the pharmacy of drugs they could give me for the symptoms, there is no cure, and things weren't advanced enough to warrant surgical intervention (thank God). I was supposed to get an MRI yearly to watch the progression, but given the cost and lack if increased symptoms, I let it slide.
I'd say "My bad." But for me, I think letting it slide was the right choice. Besides, over the past few years I've had more than my fair share of stress in other areas.
So......now another MRI has been ordered and I have a bottle of pain pills to help enough that maybe, just maybe, I can get some sleep. For the past few weeks I have gotten very little rest since the pain has been keeping me awake and interfering in the few hours I have managed to get. I'm sure the pain level has been increased by my working in the schools. I mostly stand, lots of times outside in the cold, or sit in child sized hard chairs. All those things are hard on my back but a girl has to do what a girl has to do. When I work at my office job, sitting in my chair, bending , filing and moving things around have the same effect. It's a "damned if I do, damned if I don't" kind of of thing so I just push through and do what I need to do.
Of course, all that earned me a lecture from my doctor. Do I really want to put my health at risk? Is ending up in a wheelchair my goal? Ummmm...no. So apparently, that means an MRI to find out where things stand.
I'd really rather not know. I kind of already know that my syrinx has grown. I can feel it. I wouldn't be surprised if it is impacting my cervical spine now. My neck kills me way too much those days. My doc is only ordering an MRI of my lumbar and thoracic spine though. For now. It's the areas we know are trouble and will, therefore, be easier to get insurance to approve. Then wcan go from there.
After Stephanie and I left the appointment, I said "Must be January. I think I am learning to hate January." Everything really bad medically has happened in January. My bike accident in 1974, breaking my back in 1997, the Syringomyelia diagnosis in 2007, my bad pap in 2010, learning I had a hiatal hernia that required surgery last year..... *sigh*
But what's a girl to do? Onward and forward is the only direction to go.
But I do wonder, at times, what my life would be like if I had never taken that six foot fall and had never broken my back. And what if the Syringomyelia had never developed (which they say is probably from breaking my back and which I say is from the disastrous spinal they tried to give me when Kaylen was born. My symptoms started within weeks of having Kaylen and continued, increasing along the way, for two years before I received the diagnosis. I had an epidural with Kelton and had no problems whatsoever. I endured 26 pokes in my spinal cord trying to get the spinal block for Kaylen's csection birth and the finally, the anesthesiologist moved from trying to do a spinal block to placing an epidural and that worked on the third time. My back was one big black and blue mark for weeks. Syringomyelia can be caused by trauma. Right there was some real trauma. Just saying.)
Life would certainly be different.