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Three score and ten or more

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Ruminations on stuff.

I’ve never had a Cadillac, and last fall we bought a used smallish Cadillac with about 40,000 miles on her.  We needed a car, and Jan had found that flying was very difficult for her so we bought a car that had a front seat that reclined and soft upholster and all that stuff, with the idea that when we travelled to family out west or in Florida or Mississippi we would take our time, drive out un comfortable stages and have a good time.  Of course it didn’t work.  She quickly discerned that she couldn’t ride much better in a car than a plane, even though she had more room.  I found that the Cadillac gets even more lousy mileage that I thought it would (I drove a Lincoln Continental about the same size as the Cadillac for a few years that averaged in the high twenties in mileage, and the Caddy averages in the high seventeens—or less).  We are having some warranty work done next week that may help.

The most irritating thing is that I can’t seem to get into the front seat of the car without bumping my head.  I am just not flexible enough to avoid the the top of the car door opening.  I have a constant cast of Dagwood Bumstead hair on my right side.

On the other hand, whoever designed the seatbelts should get some kind of honor.  For arthritics and old folks fastening the seat belt often requires acrobatics beyond our skills, but in this Cadillac, when the driver sits, he/she drops the left hand to the corner of the seat and there is the seat belt.  One pull across the chest and it is fastened.  Every time I do it, it tickles me plum to death.  (Right side works just as well, though one drops the right hand to the seat belt gizmo.

On another track:  I mentioned in my last post that we have both been physically a  mess for the last few weeks.   Last spring I was having pain in my left shoulder to the stage that I couldn’t put on my shirt by myself.   I went to Janet’s orthopedist (to keep her company) and while we were there mentioned my pain (which I though arthritic).  He said “Let’s xray it"!” he did and came back to tell me that I essentially have no rotator cuff (I mentioned the possibility of reverse shoulder replacement in another post).  He gave me a cortisone shot and all the pain went away, till I fell down in my bedroom and caught myself with my right arm.  It was instantly very painful, I saw the doc and he gave me another shot and set me up for therapy (It was much less successful than the previous shot, and that’s life.

Soon thereafter my lumbar vertebrae (the doctors give them numbers, I can’t) attacked  me and I  was in excruciating pain in my lower back with sharp  pains in my hips and down to my knees.   I soon reached that stage where I was almost crawling most of the time.

This vertebrae thing has happened before and my local doc referred me to a neurosurgeon at the Medical College of Georgia, expecting me to have momentary surgery.  Instead the neurosurgeon made a deal with me that when the pain gets so bad I can’t stand it, I call him and he sends a prescription for a dose pack of prednisone.   (six tablets for two days, five the next two days and so on untill they are all gone.  He tells me I can’t do this very often because prednisone gives men boobs and aggressive attitudes and women facial hair .  At least it doesn’t make my facial hair fall out.)    At  any rate, I had been in pain somewhere in my body  almost  twenty four hours a day since March.   I took my first dose and felt almost instant relief .  After the second day it was even better.   On the third day I had a kind of epiphany.   I was driving down the road with Janet and suddenly became aware that I didn’t hurt anywhere; not in my shoulders, not in my back, not in my hips, nowhere.

I don’t think I can adequately describe what a wonderful feeling for an old coot, that, now for five days, I am pain free.   I feel like I want to go out in the street and shout, “I am pain free”, but with my luck I would get hit be a car and be full of pain again.  I know that this is a transient thing, that my pills will run out in four or five days and all of these pains will potentially return, but I am so grateful that I am sitting here at the computer, past bed time, (that is another side effect of prednisone, I think, to make one alert longer during the day)  with actual tears running down my face it is so wonderful, even if transient, to not hurt anywhere in my body.   

I am getting sleepy, but tomorrow I write about wild strawberries, real wild strawberries that I found growing my lawn.   Sometimes life is real good.


At 9:12 PM, Blogger Barry the Barbarian said...

Who cares about men getting boobs on prednisone. It's nice to be pain free.


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