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Three score and ten or more

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Well, we made our flight to Washington.

I have not often flown by US Air, and have, for some reason, thought negatively about it.  Last year, we flew to Boston by US Air  and I was totally impressed.  The most impressive thing was the they seemed to go really overboard at taking care of older  people with problems.  Every thing was organized so well.

When I booked our flight to Washington through Travelocity, the flight out was scheduled on US Air and I was pleased.  I will have to say that they repeated the process of being thoughtful and  caring.  Our flight from Savannah to Charlotte went like clockwork though we arrived about fifteen minutes late and folks were really rushing to get us to our gate on time.  Just as we were arriving at the gate, the driver of the cart that was carrying us turned and said, “Well, we don’t have to hurry, you are going to make it on time but you aren’t going to be pleased.”

She then informed us that due to some plane trouble elsewhere, the plane, which was supposed to leave for Portland at 8:10 was about three hours late, and would not load until 11:20 PM.  Thus began one of the more difficult three hours of my life.  All the benefits received through the cortisone shots in my spine seemed to evaporate.  I could sit with relative comfort was every movement was painful.  Getting to the restroom was  really difficult, as was getting anything to eat.  I tried to take a nap and, apparently my adrenaline was in high gear. because I couldn’t nap at all and even had some difficulty reading.  My concentration was in total AWOL mode.

Finally the time came to board the plane.  Again, the people from US Air bent over backward to accommodate us, boarding us early and all of those nice things.  We were a little disappointed that the change of planes required  a change of seats.  In some ways the seats were better (much closer to the front of the plane, but we were separated.  We usually try to sit in aisle seats on either side of the aisle.  (The extra space is very good for folks with legs that don’t bend easily.)  I ended up with an aisle seat near the escape root while she sat in a window seat several rows ahead of me.

I usually can sleep easily on planes but my legs kept twitching and bouncing up an down.   I tried to read, and finished a couple of chapters.  I was please to see that Janet was sleeping.  The flight that was supposed to arrive in Portland at 11:20 but arrived at something after 2:30 AM.  My son was waiting for us  when we arrived and we were able to get from the gate to the parking lot with little trouble.  We both had wheel chair rides from the gate to the baggage center and I was most impressed with the attendant who pushed both wheel chairs at the same time, one in each hand.   (He got a very good tip).  We finally got to  bed a little after four, after a brief stop at a drive in for a snack.  I had a milk shake which calmed my sensitive stomach (I only drank half of it, but that was enough)

We finally got to bed about fourish and I was finally able to get to sleep, and I had no trouble sleeping in till every one in the family, grandkids, children and all had been awake for some time.    I am looking forward to the rest of the week, and am not all looking forward to the return trip.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Things are always a little better (tomorrow)

I got the back shots.  It was not a totally easy thing, but the results have been a real help.  

Before the shots were given, the pain Doc sent my to get some EMG’s.  EMG stand for Electro-something- mylogram.  The tests are given by putting (or, using a needle, inserting) an electrode on,or into one part of your body, where a nerve is, the placing an electrode on another part of the body which is where the nerve ends, then shooting electricity into the electrodes to measure the effectiveness of  the nerve in transmitting the electricity from one end of it to the other.

Having had a neuropathy (loss of nerve function) since 1992, I have had many many EMGs over the years.  I have told friends that an EMG is about the most interesting things that can happen to you in a hospital without a dental drill inserted into a nerve.  It really isn’t as gruesome as I  make it sound, but I have been having a lot of pain in my left hip that is caused, in part, by the disintegration of the disks between my lower three lumbar vertebrae.  I have been coping with the disintegration  for a number of years, but the new pain comes from spinal arthritis in the area which has created scoliosis in this area (thus disturbing the the nerves in anew way )  The current EMG was ordered to check which nerves are doing what.

The test itself was excruciating, well, not excruciating in itself but to take the test I had to lie on a hard flat examination bench and then had to move from place to place bending one leg, then the other and the movement stirred up nerves that had been relatively benign in the previous few days.    By the time it was over, I not only couldn’t stand up straight I had to have couple of people carry me to the car. 

The days until the shots were given were some of the worst of my life.  I couldn’t stand  comfortably, sit comfortably or even lie down comfortably.  Without the application of pain patches I am not sure how I would have made it. 

The day for the pain shots came, I got them, and the effect was almost magical.  Life isn’t   perfect , but I can stand up most of the time, sit comfortably most of the time, and best of all, I can sleep.

More adventures to come.  We ;flew to Washington and that was an adventure to be sure.