Susie Turns 11, I’m Recovered

This will be one of my bang-zoom entries; I’m going to a workshop on memoir-writing at Thurber House in just under 30 minutes.  (I’m writing at the main library.)  I just hope the class isn’t taught by James Frey.

I went to the urgent care at Mount Carmel West and the twice-daily Naproxen they prescribed seems to be doing the trick.  Not only is the pain gone, but the meds seem to be doing more than masking the symptoms.  I’m still not trying anything reckless or foolhardy when it comes to lifting or physical exertion.  I am just glad I found a working alternative to the Darvocet I was bumming from Steph–it aggravated my depression to the point where I was feeling suicidal.

On Sunday I went to The Oval at OSU to see Bruce Springsteen give a free concert.  Steph and Susie were planning to go when they thought Obama would be in attendance, but lost interest when I told them it would only be The Boss.  (Just to make sure, I checked with the Columbus Police and the OSU security guards–they would have had long powwows with the Secret Service if Obama himself was going to be there.)  The concert was quite good, and I’m glad I went.  I was close enough to the stage that I didn’t have to rely on the two Jumbotrons to see Springsteen.  Excellent renditions of "Thunder Road" and "The Promised Land" made me wish this concert would be released commercially.  Luke Perry was working the crowd, but I didn’t see him.  (One of my deep dark secrets is that I was a fan of Beverly Hills 90210 when it was on in the early ’90s.  I’d tape it and then watch it in the morning when I got home from my graveyard-shift job at the Cincinnati post office.)

Susie turned 11 yesterday, and she’s already received her big present–a German shepherd-chow mix named Emory, aged eight.  His honeymoon (with me) is over.  This occurred when he relieved himself (Number one and two) on my office floor.  I need to add Love My Carpet to the shopping list when I get paid Friday.  Susie baked her own cake and we had it for dessert last night.

Steph and Susie are at their respective choir practices at the Unitarian Church tonight.  My guess is that I’ll be home ahead of them.

Lasted Four Hours at Work Today

I don’t mean for this to be the second consecutive entry to sound like Fred Sanford and "I’m comin’, ‘Lizabeth," but I managed to stay at work for four hours today.  When I got home last night, I bummed a Darvocet from Steph (her heart doctor prescribed them in April, but they’ve sat untouched in her vanity drawer) and fell asleep.  I woke up in the morning, and I won’t say that I felt fine, but I definitely felt better, so I saddled up and went to work.

It may have been a good thing that the workload was light to non-existent today.  It turned out the Darvocet was only masking the symptoms, not curing them.  At 11, I took sick leave, went home, took another Darvocet, and slept until late afternoon.  Steph and Susie are at their respective choir practices at the Unitarian Church, so I’m at the Panera on the Ohio State campus (across from Barnes and Noble), complete with my bottomless cup of Diet Pepsi and the laptop.

Should this back pain persist much longer, I think I am going to see a doctor about it.  I’m reluctant to take any strong medications for it, because my experiences with alcohol and caffeine show that I’m hard-wired for substance misuse, but I don’t like walking around like the Hunchback of Notre Dame either.  When I lived in Cincinnati, in the days when I was single, un- or underemployed, and without health insurance, I took a pretty nasty spill on an icy sidewalk one night.  At first, I thought I had injured nothing more than my pride, but when I got up, I realized differently.  I walked with a rather noticeable limp for quite awhile after that, and I realize that I should have gone to a chiropractor or a masseur the next day.

Right now, I’m kicking myself for not bringing any of my breast-pocket notebooks with me.  I was asleep until about 4:30 or 5, while Steph and Susie were at the doctor’s office, and I had to hurry to get them their food "to go" (chicken pot pies) before they had to leave for choir practice.  As soon as they were gone, I caught the bus to downtown and from there to campus.  It wasn’t until I was on the bus that I realized that I hadn’t brought my notebooks.  I had a few lines of a poem already on paper, and was hoping that I could continue, if not finish, it tonight, but the furthering of early 21st-century American poetry will have to wait until tomorrow.  I’m sure I have some other notebooks or scrap paper in my knapsack right now, but I don’t feel sufficiently motivated to dig through all the flotsam and jetsam I carry around.  (I do have the staples–my journal, a few ballpoint pens, address book, etc.  Otherwise my knapsack is a portable junkyard.)

Post Whenever I Can

Now that I am Internet-deprived at home, I will post in here whenever the opportunity presents itself.  I picked up Susie from her geography class and we’re now at the Whetstone Library with brown-bagged sandwiches for the evening meal (Steph has Women’s Chorus tonight).  Normally, I would jump at the chance to be at the library–and to blog and check E-mail, etc.–but my lower back hurts like hell, and I’m not even sure how I did it.  At first, I thought it was my chair at work, but no matter how I adjusted it or changed my position, the pain never lessened.  Even going down to the nurse and bumming ibuprofen didn’t help, and now I’m walking like an invalid taking his first steps out of bed in weeks.  (The best way to describe it is to say it feels just like the lower back pain you get when your bladder is too full.  That is definitely not the case at the moment.)

A meeting I had during lunch did nothing to improve my back or mood, either.

The worst part of this was the bus trip up High Street.  They’re tearing up major portions of it in the stretch between Northwood and Dodridge.  High is the major north-south artery here in Columbus, so closing it completely is just out of the question.  The alternative is to have huge metal plates covering the open parts when workers aren’t there, and bouncing from one plate to another felt like a knife down my spinal cord.

The work day was a slow one.  I finished the specialist’s report I began Friday afternoon, and after that typed some lump-sum advancements and researched some IC-2 applications.  A co-worker loaned me a CD of the best of the group War (of “Spill the Wine” and “Low Rider” fame), and that made the afternoon a little more bearable.

I am dreading Steph’s return from Women’s Chorus tonight, because it will involve lifting her scooter, disassembling it, and bringing it into the house when her ride drops her off.  This is not a pleasant task when I am in (for me) tip-top shape, so tonight it’ll be hell.

Steph is planning for next spring and summer, with some projects that are quite green and will be hands-on for Susie when it comes to science.  Susie wants to start a garden, and Steph has said okay, if it is half vegetables and half flowers.  We’re buying some chicken wire to set aside part of the parking space we don’t use for cars to make a compost pile, and Steph has been researching the logistics of beekeeping.  I have always been interested in it in a superficial sort of way, but now that I see that it can be practical in the city, I’ve begun to look at some of the Websites that advertise starter kits.  Also, honey would be a good commodity to offer when bartering for produce in the farmers’ markets that pop up on spring and summer Saturdays.

Not much more to write about, and even if there were, I doubt I’d have the stamina right now.  My style of typing is so aerobic that if I kept going, I’d be in even more pain in my back.