Weekly roundup

I turned 53 this week, and the plan was for my parents to put up a little picnic and for us to go for a drive in the car at lunchtime, stop somewhere pretty and eat it (we’d normally go to my favourite restaurant for lunch, but have knocked that on the head due to the rise in UK cases of Covid). But you know what they say about the best laid plans of mice & men………..yup, they oft go awry.

At 2am Tuesday morning I woke to find Bertie pitter pattering around the bedroom. I’d forgotten to close his doggie gate, so I said firmly “bed!” but he stood there looking forlorn, head down, ears back and I realized that something was wrong. He’s had a severely herniated disc in his lower spine for years, but it doesn’t affect his movement and any associated pain is controlled by daily paracetomol and Gabapentin prescribed by his Vet. Very occasionally, though, it seems to get suddenly worse and I realized he was walking about because he was in too much pain to sit or lie.

I got up and gave him an extra Gabapentin and another dose of paracetomol. This is my agreed plan with the Vet when he has these acute episodes. I then put him on my bed and stroked and rubbed his back to try to soothe him off to sleep. It didn’t work and it broke my heart to see him in so much pain 😥.

His last really bad attack was in 2018. That time, he was given a week’s course of Tramadol to take which really helped and I had a few tablets left over. In my 3.15am stupor and without my glasses I couldn’t read the ‘use by’ date on the bottle, but I gave him one anyway. I then got him settled in his own bed and stroked him until he started to relax. At 4am I got back into my own bed and, although he woke again at 6.30am, we both nodded back off until 7.30am.

But he was obviously still in a lot of pain and could barely sit or lie down. So I gave him another gabapentin and some more paracetomol at breakfast. My dog walker came at 9am as usual and took him on a very short, gentle walk during which time she said he was totally fine and acting normally, which is a brilliant sign because if the disc slips any further it could paralyse him. It’s only when he tried to sit or lie down that the pain seemed to really bother him.

At 11am I gave him another Tramadol and waited for the Vet to call me with a plan. This was to max out his pain relief for a week in the hopes we could get the problem to settle down. So he’s now on gabapentin+paracetomol at breakfast, gabapentin at lunch, paracetomol at 4pm, gabapentin at 8pm, then tramadol at 10pm. It’s a good job my phone has reminders is all I’m going to say 😁. It’s working well, and although he’s still not back to his usual self he can at least get comfortable enough to sleep.

However, there was no way he could cope with being jolted around in the car so my birthday picnic had to be abandoned and we just had lunch at my parents’ house instead. The house we’ve all been basically stuck in since March. Such is life in 2020.

To add insult to injury, the day before my birthday Aunt Flo arrived. She’d been awol for 72 days but like the proverbial bad penny she keeps rocking up with suitcase in hand. Did it have to be on my birthday though? Really?! I started my periods at the age of 11. That’s 42 years of four weekly torture due to severe endometriosis and adenomyosis. Enough all-fucking-ready.

Speaking of torture, I’ve been awake half the night with pelvic pain. I’m going to have to bite the bullet and contact my GP about my current pain issues as nothing I’m doing is helping, and having had this flare involving both my pelvis and right arm for nearly a year now I think I need professional help. It’s pointless being referred to my local physio team, though, as they are clueless about hEDS so I’ll ask for a referral to the city hospital as I know they have a couple of physios with special training in hypermobility disorders.

It’s fair to say this week hasn’t been without stress, but I still managed to have a lovely actual birthday. My parents did their best to make the day special for me and I had lots of lovely messages from friends and family 😊. If you’d told me last birthday that this year we’d be in the midst of a global killer pandemic, with lockdowns and “social distancing”, fights in supermarket aisles over bog roll or the last packet of pasta shapes I would have thought you’d been eating too many magic mushrooms, yet I’ve survived (so far) and that’s all the gift anyone could wish for.

To end, I just want to send my love to any of my readers affected by the horrific fires on the American west coast. I can’t imagine what you are going through and I pray you stay safe and well x

7 thoughts on “Weekly roundup

  1. Jan Groh

    Thanks Jak – our air quality in Portland, Oregon is at 511 tonight, off the charts! It feels like you’re living inside of a wood stove. I’ve taped my window and door jambs to keep it out. Everything smells like a campfire. But I’m one of the lucky ones. Way too many more are either evacuated, or worse. And some areas are at even higher on the bad air index, like around 1000, no joke. My MCAS is bubbling on medium high tonight. (I keep peeing every 15 minutes.)

    Happy Birthday, such as it was. I’m glad you could take some solace in at least getting to see your parents, and that they tried to make it a nice day for you. In a pandemic! I don’t even want to know what October is going to bring this year… and may Aunt Flo just pack her damn bags and leave you already! So sorry!

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    1. Jak Post author

      I’ve been watching the footage of the fires on TV Jan and it looks like Armageddon 😢. Really hope you can keep your mcas under control during this awful time. Between the fires and the pandemic it must feel like catastrophes of biblical proportions. Hugs x

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  2. Jan Groh

    Thanks- it really does feel – and look – like Armageddon out here this week. Some mountain towns down south were completely decimated – literally, like a bomb went off, the fire was so hot, nothing was even left standing. Really sad. I’m trying to remind myself that tonight’s smoke is a good thing: it means the air is still, no wind, giving the fire fighters a chance to catch up and catch their (smoky) breath tonight. (We had roaring east winds that both helped cause and blow up the fires starting last Monday.) Here’s a view of my current sitch:

    https://www.publicalerts.org/hazards/wildfire-2020

    If you zoom in on the SE edge of Portland, where the green bit starts, my bestie’s house is just to the left of the junction of I 205 and 212, above the northwestern most point of the yellow and orange bit. (They just dialed the yellow part back a bit tonight, yay, ahh… we can breathe and start thinking about staying put again now. Huge relief as she’s severely disabled with likely cEDS and bad Stage IV lipedema with lymphedema on top. So, not able to move easily. We’ve both had our bags packed and ready for a few days now, though I’m in Portland proper. I wanted to be ahead of the madding crowds should things have progressed.)

    California is as bad or worse, again (sigh) – with one fire alone at almost a million acres in size. If climate change is a hoax, I want my money back. Oh, and you can have the damn murder hornets back too, OMG! (Google that.) We’re getting those too now.. no joke! 2020 can take a leap!

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    1. Jak Post author

      😮 It looks like the entire west coast is on fire!

      Re the hornets, Asian hornets invaded the UK in 2016 and we have to report any nests or sightings. But luckily we haven’t had the Asian giant hornet (murder hornet) yet. Seriously, can 2020 get any worse?!

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