Hello, dear ones! I wanted to let you know what’s been going on, since I have done a lot of complaining in recent posts. 🙂
First, the kitty. Midnight is on a different appetite stimulant that has really been stimulating her appetite since Thursday. She’s eating at least as well as normally now, and seems happier. I can tell she’s not feeling completely back to normal yet, because she still doesn’t want to leave my side, and really just wants to cuddle and/or sleep. But this is okay. She’s going to pull through, and I didn’t have to hospitalize her, and I am deeply and joyfully thankful for both of these.
Second, me. Sigh. It turns out that there is something I’d been suspecting for a while but not been able to verbalize. Every joint in my body is hypermobile, meaning that it can move too far without me knowing there’s a problem with this (i.e., without the warning sign of PAIN), and can then cause injury to the joint, to the connective tissues, or just general pain all around until it is put back into the right position. This form of hypermobility is hereditary (my mom has it, too, and possibly my son), is usually accompanied by easy bruising (check!), and usually leads to the early onset of osteoarthritis in the joints (my hands are already starting). The apparent cause of this is a problem in the way the body produces the collagen that makes up the ligaments, and there’s not a known way to “fix” this problem. There’s a pretty decent overview of hereditary hypermobility here.
What this means, in general terms, is that I have to strengthen and tone all of my muscles – especially the little ones inside the joints that most people never know they have – so that those muscles can do some of the work that my ligaments are unable to do. And I have to keep these muscles strong and toned for the rest of my life.
The first place we want to address is workplace ergonomics, since I spend so many waking hours sitting at a desk in front of a computer, at a cubicle and in a chair that are designed for people about a foot taller than I am. Meanwhile, I’m continuing in PT to get the shoulders back to where they should be, so that then they can help me get into a more generalized exercise program to help the whole body. I’ve been told to avoid absolutely anything that has impact, and to stick with things like tai chi, aquatic exercise, and Pilates. Yoga is out, due to the hypermobility, and the martial arts I love so much are out as well, because of the impact.
For the immediate short term, I’ve been prescribed a muscle relaxant and a painkiller that have relatively low side-effect profiles, as well as a sleep aid to get me sleeping through the night again. These do make me a bit slow and sleepy during the day, but I’m still more “with it” than I am when I’m in incredible pain. With the added benefit that I’m not in incredible pain. Just a bit. Still, all the time.
My daughter and I were hoping to get to a convention over Thanksgiving weekend in Baltimore, but I’m not sure yet whether I can do that five-hour drive each way. So we’ll have to discuss this over the week. I have resigned from the concert band I’d been playing in, because I cannot handle sitting and playing flute for two hours straight each week. Maybe in a couple years, after working the muscles up to tone, but not now.
However… I do have one bit of exciting news. My parish is hosting the ecumenical Thanksgiving eve service for the congregations in our neighborhood this year, and our organist had approached me about playing a flute/keyboard piece for the prelude. I took this a step further and wrote a prelude based on How Can I Keep from Singing? for flute and organ. I had much help from my best friend. I got to hear it for the first time today – other than through Sibelius on my computer – when we rehearsed after church this morning. I’m pretty excited about it; I can’t wait to hear it Wednesday night. And it will be interesting to see how long it takes people to notice from the bulletin that my name is in the place where the composer usually goes. Hee hee!