Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Catch-Up and Sharing

Lots, lots, lots, lots, lots has been going on since I last posted. Apparently, summer is a bad time to blog. At least for me it is, or maybe just this year is a problem, I don't know. Due to chronic back pain, once the weather breaks and it's nice outside (or even steaming hot), I am outside. The hot weather actually helps somewhat with my back pain. I am also an avid reader and love to garden to the extent that I can. In my last post, I think I mentioned that I had been working on a small garden for 2 months. Lots of work and I can only do so much at a time which is why it took me so long to get done. Is gardening ever really done though? The watering, weed pulling (try not to do that so much), transplanting, fertilizing, etc. takes a bit of time each day. In between I read, read, read. I have probably read about 50 books in the past 3-4 months! I love going to The Book Lady to trade in my books and get some "new" ones. Sometimes they are new and sometimes they are used and old, but the price is right!

Anyway, on to my short back story. Several years ago I fell down some stairs at our house. I thought everything was fine, but as each day came and went, I was getting worse. I did have surgery, unfortunately there were other things that started to come up physically after the surgery. Nearly the last 8 years have been spent in constant pain. I have been on so many medications, gone through depression, had so many spinal injections, a nerve burning, and finally because there was nothing left to try, my doc suggested going through a trial for a spinal cord stimulator. Since I had nothing to loose, I decided to give it a try.

The trial went well, but was EXTREMELY painful because I had to be completely AWAKE for the whole thing! It was like nothing I've ever felt. Why is it a male will equate the fact that you've had a baby with you being able to stand any amount of pain you could possibly go through? Anyway, a few days later, I could tell there was some relief and decided to go ahead with the actual installation. It's been 4 weeks since I had the surgery, which I was knocked out for thank God!! This procedure is by no means a cure for my problem, it kind of (hopefully) just takes the place of taking all the medicine. THAT, is something I can't wait to do --- get off all the meds. The hardest one to get off of will be the fentanyl patch. I've already tried doing it too fast and have experienced withdrawal symptoms. Not fun! So instead of getting off the patch in a month like I wanted, it will probably take a few months. Can you tell I'm a bit impatient? The stimulator interrupts the signal of pain just like the meds do sort of masking the pain, but I think the stimulator does a much better job. I am still limited to what I can do because I can still get flare ups from over doing it and end up in bed. Hopefully my time in bed will be much less now. The true test will come when the weather gets cold.

I was very lucky that my sister came before the surgery and stayed for a few days after. Then my mother came for 2 weeks. It was nice they could get away and come stay with me. My mother did all kinds of stuff in the yard so I could just continue with my regular garden routine. One thing she did was to build a compost pile. Woo hoo!! It didn't end up being a single compost pile though. We had 3 beds that had been used for raised bed gardening prior to us moving into this house which we had been dumping yard trash on for the last 8 years. So, Mom got some plastic fencing and fenced in all 3 beds. These compost piles are HUGE!! I bet each one is 3 times bigger than a normal compost pile. :-) It's great to have it though because I thought hubby was going to have a heart attack buying all the dirt I needed for my containers. That's how I've gardened over the years, in containers. He dug holes for me and I tested out a small area for planting so next year everything will be in the ground. I have lots of work for him to do this fall in order to prepare for next years garden... In the end, it will be less work.

Below is a card I made as a thank you to my sister for coming to help out. She absolutely loved the card! Of course I used my copics!! I even worked it out that I got our hair colors right. This card was inspired by some wrapping paper I bought at Paper Source. It's funny how one little item determines exactly how you are going to create your card. The wrapping paper made me want to make my own background paper based on the design which in turn made me want to use the sisters stamp by Penny Black. It turned out pretty nice if I may say so myself!

I have been taking pics of the cards I've been working on during this hiatus from my blog. I can only hope I do a better job posting than I have been doing. Tomorrow I will post my Easter card. It's a card that was made at a SU! stamp club I go to. I just messed around with it and finished it up when I came home. Something I do frequently...

Happy stamping til the next time!