Dealing With Physical Limitations on the Homestead
First of all, sorry about the lack of posts. I decided to take December off because it was crazy, and that sort of turned into taking January off too. My bad. But never fear! I am back and I’ve got several things to talk about! Go me!
Alright. Let me start off saying that I don’t really like talking about this, because I don’t like thinking about it and it bugs the heck out of me saying that there are some things that I can’t, or shouldn’t, do. However, some things are happening now where it’s going to impact what’s going to happen on my homestead in the coming year, so here goes.
See that x-ray up there? That’s my spine. As you can probably tell it isn’t exactly straight. I have a 60 degree curve in my thoracic spine and a 20 degree curve in my lumbar spine. Now, this is not a new development. I’ve had scoliosis for as long as I can remember. When I was in high school a specialists wanted me to have surgery. I said no, because hello scary spine surgery! All anyone had to say was “risk of paralysis” and I just shut down. Nope, nope, nope. Not gonna happen. Then they wanted me to at least wear a brace. Now, if you aren’t aware, a scoliosis brace is a hard plastic brace that goes from your collar bone down to over your hips. As a high school girl who was already very anxious and picked on a lot, not to mention this was in Louisiana and it gets HOT there, well, that just got a big resounding NO as well.
Anyway, my back has always hurt. I get tension headaches almost every day because my neck and shoulders are always in knots, by the end of the day I can barely stand, etc, etc.
But I dealt with it. I learned to live with it. I do just about everything a normal person does. I mean, sure, by the time I go to sleep there are more days than not that my back hurts so much I can’t sleep without the aid of sleeping pills, and if I do something like process chickens I hurt so bad I feel like I can’t breathe, but it was normal life for me.
Seriously, I’m not complaining. Many, many people have it much worse than I do, and I can’t STAND being treated like I have a disability. It actually causes a lot of arguments between my husband and I because he wants me to not do as much and I can’t just sit around on the couch, it would make me crazy!
This is kind of all over the place, sorry.
Anyway. A few months ago I started noticing that I was having a harder time reaching things in my cabinets. Things that I could reach two years ago when we bought this house. And then I took a good look at myself standing next to my husband. Now, I have been 5’7 since high school. My husband is 5’6, and it has always been a kind of a joke that I’m taller than him. Suddenly I was noticing that I WASN’T taller than him anymore. I was, shorter? What?
I was totally freaked out.
So that, coupled with the fact that my pain had gotten significantly worse spurred me to make an appointment with a spine specialist. I got officially measured at the doctor’s office and found out that I’m now 5’5. I’ve lost 2 inches in height in two years. Color me concerned.
Anyway, there were x-rays taken, a physical done, and then I waited while they reviewed my x-rays. And waited. And waited.
Finally the physician’s assistant came back to see me and told me that my scoliosis is what he would classify as severe. That I definitely needed surgery, and that he really thought I should see their specialist while I was there, even though they knew they couldn’t help me there. They were rearranging his schedule so he could fit me in. That was a little concerning, but okay.
Anyway, I spoke with the specialist, and he urged me to get surgery, and to see someone who specializes in scoliosis surgery. He let me know that there is no one in state that he would recommend and that he really thought I should fly up to New York state for surgery.
Well. That’s not going to happen.
So what is going to happen? I’m going to have surgery. I am going to The Hey Clinic at Duke University Hospital, which is one of the best in the area. The place I’m going specializes in scoliosis surgery, so that’s good. My initial appointment with them is Feb. 13th, and I’ll know a lot more after that.
Now, if you are feeling brave, go ahead and look up pictures of scoliosis surgery. I probably should not have looked up any pictures, because it totally freaked me out.
And how is this going to alter my plans for homesteading this year? It kind of depends on when surgery is. I’m hoping it’s soon, because I really want to be recovered by summer when the major work begins. Thankfully I have some nifty new neighbors living in my barn apartment who can help out with the garden, fencing, chickens, pigs and all the other plans we had for this year. So I guess I’ll have an update for this post once I find out when surgery is.
Anyone else deal with chronic pain? Do you have to use the Spoon Theory in your daily life?
Linking up with The Prairie Homestead Barn Hop.