Sunday, August 10, 2014

Summer Vacation

I'm a week into retirement. Wow. Mike and I drove down to Mena, Arkansas to pick up Sarah. It was nice to visit David and his family but the drive nearly did me in. It is simply too far to travel with back and neck trouble without proper pain medicine. I was pretty bad by the time we got there. Tuesday was even worse. I could not sit anywhere. They have nice, big cushy furniture and under normal conditions a good book would have worked perfectly. Unfortunately, my back and neck problems have all but ended the days I can relax with a good book anywhere. I read but not as long and not as much. I simply can't hold my head in a reading position for very long without a price.

I spent Tuesday in a kitchen chair to take some of the pressure off but it was only a slight help. We had an early birthday party for Sarah with David's in-laws and church family. It was really nice and Sarah had a great time. After everyone left we played a Wii game.. Just Dancing. You had to do what the character on the screen was doing. Let me tell you, I learned a few things about my children. Hysterical videos resulted.

Wednesday David took us to dig for diamonds at Crater Diamond mine. That was fun but I got to tell you, that's too much work for a tiny rock that isn't worth anything. And I suspect it would take more than 15 minutes to learn to recognize what to look for. We found a lot of rocks... and I think we had a fairly good time. The kids would have liked the water park they had much better but we weren't prepared for that.

Later that afternoon, I mentioned getting a rocker for them so when I came down I could sit in that. Felicia suddenly remembered she had a rocker and pulled it out of the office for me. It is a nice rocker. One of those glider kind you see so much of now. But let me tell you, such a big improvement! Not perfect, because no chair is, but it was such a vast relief.

We attended their church for Wednesday service. I enjoyed that but I was really uncomfortable by the end. Bro. Wilson had prayed for me at Sarah's party and he prayed for me again at the end of the service. 

On Thursday, Dave took us to Runestone Park in Heavener Oklahoma. My neck was a bit better as long as I was standing up. I must say, this site was a bit more my kind of thing. I'd heard, in passing, of the runestone in my history studies but I had the impression of a moderate sized plaque in a glass case with people standing looking down at it. Not so. This thing is probably ten feet tall by ten feet wide and is actually part of the mountain. It juts upward from the ground int a point. The runes are bigger than my hand. It is encased in a cedar shed behind plexiglass but in such a way you can clearly see the carvings. The valley it sits in is lovely and I suspect in the spring time a very inviting place to visit. This day it was very humid and hot. The climb down had us breathing heavy. Beware of lots of stairs to climb but it is well worth it.

When shuffling things around in my bags on Wednesday I happened to find a single Doxepin. If you've read me for a long time, you know this is a pill originally prescribed for my migraine headaches. I no longer use it for that but I found it worked great for some of my pain problems over the years, mostly fibromyalgia related pain but it also helped with some of my RA pain. No, I didn't bring the bottle with me. I just found one pill. I debated trying it on Tuesday and Wednesday night but the trip back to Evansville loomed before me and I decided to misery until Thursday night. Thursday was a moderately miserable day but with David and Felicia at work I didn't really have to be sociable so I just sat in the rocker they pulled from a back room.

Thursday we did nothing. Everyone was working and it was just me, Mike, and Sarah at the house so it was a relatively quiet day. I got our stuff washed and packed and everything ready to go. We gassed up that evening and got ice and some fruit for the road and headed out.

Thanks to my Doxepin I got a good night's sleep and woke with far less pain than I've had in weeks. The neck was still not good but I could live with it. We were on the road by 8 a.m. and headed home. Sarah napped a bit but overall she was awake and really good. My right leg is the only problem I had later in the day. Sciatica kicked in from all the sitting. Legs cramps are not fun but I have pills to take for that too and they go everywhere with me.

We took several breaks for potty and to let me walk a bit. I didn't want to get home with the same problem I arrived with in Arkansas. For lunch, we stopped at the W. Memphis exit. Although Sarah had Taco Bell tacos she still needed a Burger King shake. Fortunately, they were side-by-side at the truck stop. Mike and I had burgers, although it wasn't my first choice, Arkansas, from Little Rock to Memphis, has nary a Cracker Barrel. I had no intention of going as far as the Memphis exit and we weren't waiting as long as Dyersburg.

We arrived back in Evansville around 7 p.m. and dropped Sarah off. Mike picked up his scooter and went home and I went around unpacking and putting things away. I noted that my floors were a mess and decided I had no desire to wake up to that. I vaccumed the floors, ate something and spent the evening laying around till late.

And that is my summer vacation and the first week of retirement. I am happy I got to see my son and his family. I simply don't want a repeat of the pain I experienced from the drive. I will never leave home without Doxepin again.


  1. However when driving make darn sure you do the speed limit when going long trip's. But also at home!! If you speed you will regret it because ticket's aren't cheap. I'm never speeding again

  2. I am so glad you had a great time seeing your family. I remember how hard it was to get out of town, years ago. You have come so far. Welcome back!