The first signs of Spring, broken bones

Wow, what a long winter…..and yes, it is not officially Spring but one step out into the world and the first thing you notice in addition to huge piles of melting parking lot snow, is every other person seems to be wearing a cast or a sling from their time in the non Olympic events of snow and ice walking!

These are just a few of the first signs that we are headed out of our caves, looking for any sign of crocus and daffodils, birds chirping, dented car fenders, clogged gutters, dirty cars, crater pot holes, anything that can tell us we are headed in the right direction, we survived, we have made it thru. It felt like an endurance race this year, it felt like it took the discipline of doing traction to keep the winter blues at bay. Every few days another storm, another arctic blast, another blow to the idea that next week will be short sleeve weather. Heck, at some point you found your self giddy only wearing three layers and wondering what your reflection would look like without ice stuck to your scarf. Dark, cold days, traction had prepared you for non fun events, preparing for tomorrow when today wasn’t a bowl full of cherries.

Who knew looking out at the icicles hanging from the roof would be entertaining when you sat in traction. Or watching the fir trees sway in the snow and wind would remind you of sitting in the same place watching the same trees sway on gloriously warm, blue sky days.

Come snow, sleet, rain or heat, traction always has a story to tell.

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A Cloudy Day at the Beach

We’ve all experienced that day that we’ve looked forward to for months and it’s not quite what we imagined it would be. It may be the drizzle on the first day of our supposed sunny beach vacation or a stomach bug that keeps us from the party where we’d reconnect with old friends or some other disappointment that at the time seems so “unfair.” Then something rings our bell and we are reminded we live in an unfair world and if someone promised fairness, they lied. My pain has been bad lately and I’m a tired grump. I’m frustrated with thinking about a future without solutions to my spinal issues, where spinal transplants are still something out of the Jetsons and I’m left with a hand shake and “I wish you the best of luck” from yet another Neuro doc.

How funny is it that some days when we remember that cloudy beach day and how unfair we thought it was, how unhappy it made us, how our concerns where nothing more than rooting for a good weather report, how weird is it in hindsight when those days feel so selfish, so silly, so not the point of anything. I get so stuck, so caught up in the one tiny moment that I forget to think about all the moments, in all the places, in all the world. If I had just really looked at that ocean on a rainy day I’d see what a little speck of water I am, and although I believe in the importance of my speck showing up, there are plenty of other specks out there with far worse going on than a disappointment that will all but be forgotten in a week or two. Sometimes I tend to focus so much on the rain I forget to take in the ocean. My pain is as real as the rain and on cloudy days I easily get caught up in the moment, but looking back or borrowing on tomorrow is a waste of time, today is it baby, rain or shine, today is all we have!

Rainy Traction

The room where I do traction is noisy when it’s raining, I guess it’s something to do with the pitch of the roof or something. We are forecasted to have inches of rain and I find myself looking up at the ceiling because the sound of the heavy rain is intense. I’ve thought about changing the room where I do traction, not because of the noise, rather for a change of pace but I’m pretty settled in this space and unless I’m traveling its just easier to leave it here. So Spring is within sight, and we have rain instead of snow and colds instead of flu and jackets instead of coats, we’ve traded a red santa for a green leprechaun, we’ve almost made it thru another winter….warmth is coming, hang on, soon I’ll be typing with a sunburn. Seasons come and go but traction is here to stay, I think I’ve typed that thought before but it’s so true it’s worth repeating.

The stars align in the right order, then it snows!

Yep, I’m frustrated. Here goes my little traction rant and this happened the other day and I’m still ticked…….So I have my traction gig and sometimes when I’m finished, well, let’s just say, you know I dislike traction, but my back hates traction, it puts me out of life for days on end. Depending on its’ mood it really, really hates traction. But let’s say it’s in an ok mood today which is huge and it’s one of your off days from traction and the rest of you that feels like it’s falling apart is in a good place too. You’re excited you might actually get some things accomplished. Hands and fingers are working, check, neck not throbbing, check, back there but tolerable, check, numb foot, normal, check, numb leg, normal, check, a night’s sleep, unbelievable, yes, it’s true, check, numbness in face, none, check, wow, hurry, get out while you can, double-check list, oh yeah, dizziness from meds, nope, yipee, this really is a good day, triple check! And we’re off, showered, dressed, excited to feel “normal,” be like the folks that get up and go, ok, so let’s open that door, ooooh…the hand is cooperating so nicely today, wow, this is great……….now what is it that my eyes are seeing outside, closer look, it can’t be, not again, not on a day when I feel well enough to go out, NO………..SNOW………SH……………really, I mean REALLY, it’s all aligned for me today, I feel well enough to leave the house and it’s snowing, AGAIN! Jeez……

Life, see you in the Spring when all I have to worry about falling from the sky is rain and bird poop, can’t wait!

Ok, what’s going on?

Yes, it is the first day of a new month, but I shouldn’t be fooling myself or anyone else, its February, not April. Instead, I’ve just been fast forwarding a bit today, trying to make it beach weather. WOW, doesn’t that just sound so great? Really, even sand stuck to my sunscreen covered legs sounds appealing right now. Drinking beyond tepid water out of a plastic bottle could taste refreshing and welcomed. Sitting on missing glasses and trying to read sun faded magazines seems exciting and creative, eating melted chocolate along with soggy snacks could be fun and edgy. Goodness, I’m completely daydreaming of a blinding blue sky reflecting onto a shimmering sea. Where are you and when will I see you again?!

It’s days like today when the trees glisten, not with Christmas lights but rather with ice and brown leaves left there from the drought, where it all seems worthy of causing a Doctor Quinn Medicine Woman case of delirium. I’m so ready for spring, I’m sorry, I know I’m whining and somehow think I have a hall pass when I’m strapped in traction, but gosh, doesn’t a day at the beach right now sound a little like some glorious life that isn’t yours….so, for the next 20 minutes I’ll make it mine and dream away……….holy cow, I just felt a splash on my face.

glacier, blizzard, antartica, snow cones, frozen tundra

…….I’m trying to cool off. Sitting here with this thing around my head. This “thing” is an in-home cervical traction device, my head is currently wrapped in it and feels like it is hanging. The harness like thing around my head is attached to a metal piece that looks like someone perfectly bent it, therefore enabling it be tied to a rope that runs thru two pulleys all hung from the door above my head! (by the way I’m the absolute worst at describing things as you’ve just experienced) This thing that I’ve described earlier as a cheap looking bra is around my head and under my chin, it’s tight, snug rather (as it has a plastic bag with ten pounds of water pulling it) today it feels like an uncomfortable wool scarf. Jeez it’s hot outside….so I’m trying not to complain so much lately, hard to tell I know…… anyway instead of rambling on about that I’m trying to think of words to freeze my brain but hopefully not to freezer burn status.

So word association or rather mindless rambling has me passing the time today. I tried the new wild berry smoothie at McDonald’s, it gave me an intense brain freeze because I wanted to drink it way too fast as it was so delicious.

So back to thinking about words associated with cooling weather conditions that hopefully will ultimately help to stop this sweat from dripping down my face. When I think about blizzards all I can think of is I want one with cookies ‘n cream or m&m’s…..even though I have a great fascination and devotion to the weather channel, pretty sure I’ve never heard them describe a nor’easter with chocolate sprinkles.

Ok, so I’m trying to concentrate here, that’s what I’m calling it now, a bit more sophisticated than mindless rant. This thing around my head is the least glamorous thing I’ve seen the medical community come up with in a while, truly the middle ages kind of equipment. Any minute now a caveman will be coming around the corner yelling “DINNER!” carrying a wildebeest.

Maybe that’s what I need………. yeah, a celebrity to also need cervical traction and therefore bring attention to this ancient looking device and ultimately transform it into something chic! Next thing I know this little get up is on the cover of “Us Weekly”….ok…..see my mind is worthy of duplication it’s so full of fab ideas.

Wow, I can’t even get a decent mind association thing going to try to cool off. Pretty sad when you get startled out of your own stupidity trance trying to remember you were actually trying to concentrate on words like…..frozen layer of ice, Jim Cantore, salt, hail, rock salt, table salt, margarita’s, strawberries, winds whipped with cream, shaved lime ice, sleet, salt, chips and salsa, yeah, how many more minutes til I can take off this wool scarf??…..Oh holy caveman, I forgot to set the timer!!