Wednesday, September 30, 2015

what's in you wednesday (the ficus edition)

It's been a while since I've written one of these "what's in you" posts ... but I'm trying to get in to a better habit of jotting down thoughts more often than I have been; and tonight when I was at the gym (Me, at the GYM! Miracle of miracles!), it struck me that it was Wednesday.

So I decided I'd blog about this, and leaning back - took a picture of my little workout partner, who was taking 214 steps a minute, next to me who was only taking 120 steps a minute, and then nearly toppled off the machine because holding on with one hand while snapping a picture with the other hand, as you're on a moving ellipse machine is really not a good idea.  


Point is!

The same week we moved to Texas, two months ago this week, I picked up a little cold.  It stuck with me for the entire drive south, and then knocked me flat a week later.  The week of our 21st wedding anniversary ... I developed an ear infection, which was so painful, it woke me up in the middle of the night in tears. After waking Charlie up and telling him that he was on alert to take me to the hospital, I guzzled Tylenol and tried to sleep while sitting upright with my head on a heating pad.

When the sun rose, I went to the ER and they told me, "Yep, you have an ear infection." They prescribed antibiotics and pain medication, and sent me home.  Three days later, it wasn't any better. So the ER doctor referred me to the ENT at the end of our street (so convenient!) and after a hearing test, they informed me that yes, I do have an infection, and also - I have at least 50% hearing loss in my right ear.

Say what?!

No, really. What did you say??

I was sure that the hearing loss was due to the ear infection, and if they could just get the fluid out of my inner ear, my hearing would return.  Perhaps they could put in tubes??

But my highly respected otolaryngologist, who ordered an MRI and multiple CT scans, didn't agree with my theory.  During my second or third visit, he held up one my scans and said, "This is a very unusual and complicated case. There's something happening here and here, and here, and see this shadowed area on your temporal bone? This is especially curious..." so I've been referred to a chief neurologist in Houston.

I've noticed a very strong similarity between me and a ficus tree. You know how every time you move one of those plants, they get so stressed out by their new environment - they lose their leaves?  That's me!!  While a somewhat different scenario this time, I'm just losing my leaves, again.

But soon the roots will be down and everything will grow back JUST FINE!

I'm confident that the "curious" issue will be demystified and my hearing is soon restored. Although if it isn't restored until AFTER the children get in to a good routine with their homework, and aren't so "vocal" about their displeasure of completing it ... I wouldn't mind.  (At least not terribly.)

Meanwhile, Charlie completely and totally threw his back out last weekend.  It was our last day on a beach weekend, and we were packing up to leave.  My husband was innocuously bending over to toss a box of Ziploc bags in to a crate, and his back seized up on him.  He let out a yelp, grabbed his lower back with both hands, fell to his knees, before going face first on the floor with a thud.

He told me later, it felt like he had been hit with a taser.

Thankfully, our good friend who was with us, has had a history of back problems, so never leaves home without a full supply of prescription grade anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxers.  Charlie took two flexeril (we later learned that he should have only taken one), a handful of ibuprofen, and got in to the car before falling asleep for the next 24 hours.

Last week was a tough week; he could hardly move for four days.  Next week, the day after I see my neurologist, he'll be seeing an orthopedist about his back. Oh, and his foot. It seems he has a Morton's Neuroma that needs to be surgically removed, because after receiving steroid shots every six weeks for the past 18-months, it's been suggested that he get it resolved once and for all.

All this to say ... THIS IS LIFE! 

Everyone - at some stage - has health challenges.  As for us, we're getting older, and things break.  Although I look at my former boss, who has 15 years on me but still manages to work out every day, completes several triathlons a year, and is strong as an ox.

His Fountain of Youth is and always has been, Exercise. 

So in an effort to combat the effects of gravity and time - we recently joined the YMCA and have penciled in to our calendar that we will go - three times a week - come hell or high-water or fifth grade homework times three.   The goal is that we'll get stronger, and the kids will, too.


At a minimum, we'll hopefully be demonstrating that carving time out of your day to take care of yourself and keep your body strong, is one of the most important things you can do in your entire life.  (Making sure you always have extra strength pain medication on hand is a close second.)