Today is a devil-is-in-the-details sort of day. You know what I mean, right? Where theoretically it all looks fine, but when you get down to it, all kinds of little things go wrong.
I woke up 15 minutes before I needed to leave for physical therapy. That’s normally plenty, since I just toss on a pair of shorts and a tank top, cram some breakfast into me and the dog, dress the dog, and head out the door.
It wasn’t enough today.
First off, I woke up with my neck and shoulder so cramped that my shoulder was almost touching my ear. It took me a good 5 minutes just to that worked out enough that I could manage to drive. It hurt like hell, and I was caught between needing to get moving pronto and needing to be gentle enough that my physical therapist could still work on the muscles in my neck.
What do you do with 10 minutes to get ready? You mutter at yourself, throw your clothing on, stumble down the stairs, dress the dog, and then realize that your keys are lost. Crap. 5 minutes later, I discovered that the couch had eaten my keys, but not in the usual place it eats things. I promised the dog I’d feed him when we got to physical therapy, crammed a poptart in my mouth, and scrambled out the door.
I would have been on time.
Well, if not for the workers repainting the road. It took 45 minutes to move 1/2 mile. The freeway was at a stand-still 1/4 of a mile before the exit, and I was baffled. This just doesn’t happen, especially not for such a length of time. Maybe there was a car accident, I thought. I eventually got up to the end of the off-ramp, where they were doing the painting, and I swore a blue streak. If they had put signs up, I could have avoided this exit and gotten off at the one before and saved myself 30 minutes at least.
So, 45 minutes late for physical therapy, I get parked, explain the electronic meter system to a guy who is staring at the pay station looking bewildered and intimidated, pay for my time and get my stub to put on my windshield, and then realize that I left the dog’s breakfast at home. Shit! Double shit! Agh, my poor long-suffering Hudson.
My physical therapist is a wonderful, wonderful man. He’s a great PT, for starters, but he’s also incredibly accomodating. He managed to squeeze me in around another patient, letting one of his assistants supervise me doing the exercises on machines that I needed but doing all the body work himself. That man has amazing hands. A-freaking-mazing hands. He manages to tease out tension with almost no pain when I or the boyfriend would put me into tears to get the same result. We talk while he works, and among other things I brought up the fact that I miss roller coasters and was wondering if he thought it’d be safe for me to ride on them, if I wore a soft neck brace. We talked about what kind of rides I should probably avoid (sharp lateral motions, or rougher rides like wooden coasters), but he agreed that it would probably be safe for me to ride the kind of roller coasters I like best, the big aggressive fast looping type. Aw yeah. Pity for the boyfriend that he’s not crazy about those, aheh.
Right. So now it’s 2:00 when I’m finishing up instead of 1:00, because of that damn traffic jam and because it takes a little longer to be seen when you’re being squeezed in. I feel really, really bad at this point, because the dog should have eaten at 11:30 when I got up.
So we need to head home. On a Friday of what promises to be a scorcher of a summer weekend, I’m NOT about to risk the freeway after noon. I drive past the onramp and feel justified by the traffic I see building up.
The only trouble is that using streets rather than freeways takes a whole lot longer. 50 minutes instead of (ideally) 25. So by the time I get home, I’ve been driving for a total of 2 hours and 15 minutes, and I don’t take driving well. It stiffens up my back and makes me soooore. And oh man am I exhausted, ’cause I slept badly with my boyfriend out of town.
I get home, undress the dog, finally feed him (poor pooch!), let him out to pee, and damn it I’m awake again so I can’t even go back to sleep.
And this is the point where I find out that shit is going to hit the fan this weekend.
When my boyfriend took this out of town job for the next 3 weeks, he was told it would be Monday-Friday, that he didn’t need to be there on the weekend, and hey, the pay is great. Well, it really is 3 1/2 weeks, because he had to go in on Thursday of this week and be there today, and for chunks of Saturday and Sunday.
Saturday and Sunday when he’s supposed to be driving me to service dog classes. Classes I can’t miss or I risk losing Hudson. You see, we are required to attend 6 classes during our first year. My first year with Hudson was rough as hell healthwise – there were the months when I was having maybe-they-were-seizures, there were multiple ER trips that interfered with us getting to classes, there was my schedule being less than ideal making us miss classes, and oh yeah, there were migraines. So I missed almost all of the opportunities to take classes. And thus, here I am, just over a month from when we must have our classes done by, with only 2/6 done. So I somehow have to make it to 4 classes. And I’m dealing with POTS and aggressive summer heat. And the service dog classes take place an hour from here. And with the exception of the classes on the weekends, they last all damn day.
There are 2 classes that will take place in my city. One would involve driving to 45 minutes west of my city during the early part of morning rush hour, getting on a train, riding said train for an hour, walking around the city center for 3 hours, and then riding the train an hour back out so I could get in my car and drive back into the city into the teeth of evening rush hour. The other would involve being out at the zoo all day – a place that has virtually no air conditioning, when I’ve been fainting in the heat. My doctor nixed the second one, and frankly doing the first would put me at serious risk of getting into a car accident from fatigue.
So the boyfriend is going to drive about 5 1/2 hours tomorrow to get me to a terrible baseball game 45 minutes from where we live because on Sunday, his required chunk of time is going to coincide with my class. So on Sunday, I MUST be able to drive an hour there, be there for 2 hours, and then drive an hour back. The sum of this is that I need him to drive me tomorrow so that I hopefully will be able to make the drive on Sunday.
And all of this is happening while I can’t get a signal on my phone in the house. Texts are unreliable, and calls are unheard of. I eventually figured out a way to fix it, but this was after hours of worry and frustration, and about 2 days of not being able to get or make calls.
I called my doctor to ask about possibly adding a medication to help with the POTS, since the gatorade was only helping under certain situations and not in others. Well, my blood work is back, and the news isn’t good. My thyroid is apparently very low – low enough that it could be causing some of my dizziness, fatigue, and near-fainting. I need to start taking calcium supplements, which may be adding to the problem and could be behind the mysterious muscle cramping I’ve had lately. And the real humdinger of the whole thing: my blood sugar is high again, and has been high every time it’s been tested in the last year. Which means I’m probably pre-diabetic.
This is worse news than it appears at first. For those of you who know diabetes, you see that and think that I need to ease up on the carbs and the sugar, add some exercise, and all will be well. Here’s the thing: my diet is already pretty restricted from my IBS. A number of the things you eat to make a more diabetic-friendly diet are things that make my IBS miserably worse: whole grains, veggies, that sort of thing. And frankly, I’ve needed my easy to digest carbs and sugars. On bad days or when my reflux is really bad, that’s about all that I can get into me. On bad days, the fatigue and pain means that I eat what is ready to eat, and ready to eat foods are HORRIBLE in terms of carbs and sugar. And exercise? When I’ve been dizzy and near fainting just from existing? Who ARE you kidding?! I do my strength and flexibility exercises that I need to prevent more injuries and pain, and that’s all I can manage- no cardio, no way.
I could have dealt with one or two of these things without it making for a bad day, but in sum, they represent a really frustrating, worrying, irritating, and downright crappy day.