Wednesday, August 27, 2014

This is Good

The folks over at the pain clinic LOVE those plastic ID bands, for which I'm grateful. One has my name and information, the other my drug allergies. AND they marked the correct butt cheek with a sharpie indicating "x marks the spot". Excellent identification, people.  

Yesterday's epidural went swimmingly and as I write this I'm lounging comfortably with an ice pack propped behind my back. Nice.

John is relieved and happy that it went well, as am I. He's decided that we need to celebrate my pain-free tushie by putting it -- and me --- into Goldie and head out over the long holiday weekend on one of our famous meandering getaways.

I can support that idea wholeheartedly.  The ahhhhh factor registers consistently high on the John-and-Julia-rest-and-relaxation-meter after trips like these. So after a day or two of rest and ice and assuming that my recovery continues uneventfully, we're throwing some ice packs, water bottles, our luggage, my favorite travel sized pillows and snuggly blankies, hat and sunscreen, and a Garmin updated with the latest map information for the continental US into the car and begin a new adventure.

Destination? East. After that, who knows? Anecdotes and pictures to follow. Woo hoo! I get a mental boost of positivity when we scrutinize our road atlas planning potential destinations and points of interest. We debate the merits of various snacks and drinks to include in the car and I download several audio books for the journey. We love planning these things almost as much as actually participating in them. Almost. Because if I have a pleasant outing looming in my near future, the anticipation tends to put a rose colored tint to my emotional glasses. Yeah. This makes me happy.

When people ask me how I can keep a somewhat healthy attitude after dealing with the long course of my disease, I tell them about events such as these. I know that I am incredibly blessed that John actually likes hanging out with me for days on end cooped up in the car; and that he has a job that allows these types of outings; and that so far we have returned from our trips still liking each other. Excellent.

Many years ago as a staff educator for caregivers in an Alzheimer's facility -- dang, I still miss that job -- one of the classes that I taught dealt with mental illnesses including depression. I often find myself thinking back to the curriculum for that class provided by the state. It contained some really good information regarding these diseases and the medications used to treat them, but more importantly it also included behavior modifications and strategies to minimize the severity of depressive symptoms. One of these strategies that had great success was planning positive events and to encourage the patient and their caregivers to follow through on that planning.

It was good information and advice not only for those with diagnosed depression; but for all of us regardless of the type of our challenges.

Pleasant events in the future for anyone out there? I recommend them highly.


Heda said...

Sounds like a good weekend in store. I'm planning a 4 day walk on the Guraygir Coast Track in October. Wish me luck because a flare will kill the plan and maybe me but I'm still prepared to test myself and my illness. Staying calm, positive and looking forward to it.

Nicole said...

Have fun!

I totally agree with you about planning fun stuff. It really does make the drudgery part go faster. :)