A really rough week

I haven’t written in a while. Part of it was that I rarely write (or return emails, or notice the outside world much at all) when I visit my husband. I had planned to visit from Wednesday, October 24th, to Sunday, October 28th. But the best laid plans, and all of that. My visit was unexpectedly extended, and not in a good way. I didn’t leave for home until Tuesday, October 30th.

I had a good time with the husband on Wednesday night (after making the drive to Cornwall in record time, about 5 hours and 45 minutes!), and we drank and made merry on Thursday night. Friday, however, I awoke rather crippled. At some point, as I slept, I did something bad to my back. Friday wasn’t so bad, but it was worse on Saturday, and as bad or worse on Sunday. The long limp to the restaurant was daunting and nearly unmanageable at times. Finally, Sunday, we went to the hospital. We once again made record time, despite one cripple (the husband with his broken ankle) pushing the other cripple (me, with my back spasming so badly that I could barely get in and out of the car) around in a wheelchair. We were quite the sight, I’m sure, but we were in and out of the ER in about an hour.

I got pain meds and the diagnosis that it was probably a herniated disc or something like it, and I was told to take it easy and “these things often work themselves out.” The drugs at least helped alleviate the pain, or at least make it rather distant, like it was someone else’s problem. It was a very frustrating weekend for me and the hubby; my visits are supposed to be a reprieve for both of us, a time when we replace boredom and missing each other with noise and joy and snuggles and fun. Instead, there were a lot of tears and a lot of frustration. I think it was worse because we both so look forward to those days together, islands of normalcy in the sea of strangeness where we both live. We have high hopes for those weekends, hopes which my injury and subsequent whininess dashed.

The drive home was pretty much sheer misery. The first couple of hours weren’t so bad, despite fighting a tremendous wind for most of the drive, but the last hour made up for every moment I’d spent in any state as pleasant as mere discomfort. The last two hours or so of my drive are through the Réserve des Laurentides, 200 km of hilly, winding highway with a single gas station and some power lines the only signs of civilization. I simply call it “the wilderness.” I entered the wilderness just as darkness was falling, and just as it started raining. Moose, like deer, move about a lot at twilight, so my nerves were already on edge trying to watch everything in front of me at once, sure that some asshole of a moose was lurking just ahead, waiting to jump out in front of me. Once full darkness settled on me, I entered my own personal hell. I had trouble seeing the lines on the road in the rainy darkness, I was nervous of lurking moose and truckers that wanted to drive 110 kph down the hills, and 70 kph up the hills, kicking up huge sheets of water every time they passed me or forced me to pass them. I drove with my high beams on much of the time, sorry that the other drivers had to deal with me, but unable to see the lines on the road at all with just my low beams. I’m pretty sure that final hour lasted at least 4 hours in reality. The clock stopped moving, and I felt sure I would never again be anywhere or doing anything that was not driving through the darkened and treacherous wilderness. I was too nervous to try to fight the acute pain that came with every adjustment to my position, so my back, tailbone, and hips added their screams to my count of miseries. I did eventually make it home, though, and without seeing a single moose (though I’m sure they saw me).

But things improve. I had one of those days yesterday when EVERYTHING was so much more difficult than it should have been, and I didn’t even come close to crying. I went to the depanneur to get gas. My debit card didn’t work to pay at the pump, but sometimes that happens. I filled up and went inside to pay. We tried to run my debit card three different times with no luck. I was at a loss. I only had perhaps $10 in cash, and I’d put $46 in gas in my car. Thankfully, Isabelle was working, the one who high-fived me last week for using my French with her. She was sympathetic, and agreed to let me go to the bank and come back with cash to pay. I’d have been pretty royally screwed if I’d stopped someplace where they didn’t know me and didn’t speak English! Got to the bank to find out that ALL Bank of Montreal debit cards were acting up; I couldn’t even use their ATM. I had to wait for the 20 people in front of me to finish up, and then request money directly from the teller. My French is still terrible and limited, but I managed to muddle through and get the cash. Ran the rest of my errands and settled up at the depanneur.

I’m still not feeling great, but I’m getting better. Lentement mais sûrement. The hubby’s getting around better, too, walking without the boot now. Hopefully we’re both healed up by the time he gets home (less than 7 weeks now…still a while, but the days do go by). I’m rather sick of regular things being difficult, and difficult things being impossible. I’m tired of moving like an old lady, as if I’m made of brittle glass and afraid of breaking. I’m tired of the little insults added to my injury, like losing a cripple race to an old man with a cane in the grocery store parking lot. I’m pretty sure that canes are considered illegal equipment in cripple racing.  I’m also pretty sure that I could beat him, cane or no cane, if we had a rematch today.

So yeah, the past week and a little bit has been a really rough time, a time I’m glad to see steadily fading into the past. Just going to try to take care of myself and get well and hope for the best. I think it’s time for some good things to offset the bad. Had a good evening with a friend yesterday, and have plans with other friends tonight. Time for a bit of a turn-around…

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