So fed up….whining at this early hour

I am such a control freak that I am trying to control my recuperation. Yet here I sit at 12.34 am in the morning, on my couch, frustrated with myself. Getting a bionic neck (ok whatever) has been no fun at all. This recuperation is not going according to script. I was supposed to have surgery, take meds, feel better, the end.

I am exhausted. Anesthesia has really kicked my behind. Pain is also showing its ugly little face, and the side effects of the pain meds are having all kinds of ridiculous effects on my anatomy.

I turned off the laptop hours ago. I didn’t even have the patience to read the junky magazines a friend dropped off for me at the hospital that require less than one brain cell to read.

I want to just rest. But I am just not comfortable. I want to whine and moan and howl at the moon. I just had surgery and I totally need to give myself a break. But my body is not letting me sleep and I need it so badly.

I’ve done nothing all day long except for loll around eating ice cream and chocolate, and that has sapped my strength. I hugged the kids. I spent time with the KoD. I have done everything as prescribed by the doctors. I haven’t worked in days – I am totally giving myself 100% chance to heal.

It’s time for my body to sleep. I have a zillion pillows. None of which help. I want to curl up into a ball and cry. I do. OK I just did. And I feel totally ridiculous about whining – but it’s my blog and I get to do that as much as I want when I want. and I shouldn’t have to apologize for it.

I am not a patient person. I am probably an awful patient. KoD is being so calm and patient with me – he must be a total saint.

The nights are hard. Everyone is asleep. Peacefully. I look at their innocent little faces and I am filled with love and gratitude that they are home safe with me, and that Ima will soon be back to normal (ha!) looking after them again.

But for now, I just want to cry.

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  1. Rivkah T. says:

    Hugs, sweetie. It’s a tough process.

  2. Mandy says:

    Sorry I can’t offer more but virtual support!

  3. Welcome to being a spoonie. Though I hope your stay with us will be temporary.

    After surgery, you don’t have a lot of spoons and you run out more easily than you’d expect. Even more than before surgery when you were in pain all the time it sounds like. What I didn’t want to share with you that my friend that had this surgery was in pain from the surgery for a while after and sometimes still has recurrences but overall, her quality of life has gotten much, much better and over time (years) since, she’s gotten almost 100% better since her neck surgery. G-d bless when modern medicine can cure chronic pain because most of the time, it cannot.

    Again, I hope that these limitations are temporary but you need to accept that if you work against your recovery, it could be a much longer, harder road. For whatever reason, G-d needs you to rest. He also wants to remind you that you are a control freak who thinks she has control over life but really doesn’t. Personally, this is one of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn since developing chronic illness.

    I regularly have neck pain. I suggest getting much better pillows. All my pillows (I have several depending on the pain) are high-quality Tempur-pedic. I find that the travel-size is more comfortable than the standard size. Also, even the Tempur-pedic U-shaped travel pillow is awesome! If you include my pillow-system from the Relax the Back store that keeps my knees and my head/back elevated while I sleep, I have upwards of 10 (little) pillows and 2 gigantic ones (the system). Every other day, I have to reach for a different one depending on the pain.

    There are creams you should try. They don’t work for everyone but they give you some relief: Traumeel, Tiger Balm and as for non-creams Salonpas patches are your friends. All over-the-counter. Traumeel is available via Amazon. I don’t know what your doctor said but icing and heating regularly also work. You’ll figure out quickly which one works for you best. I ice twice a day if a particular area is hurting more than others. I love the numbing sensation.

    Being a spoonie means always being exhausted. Always. And learning to live with it being one of your limitations along with all the side effects of the pills. Some pills are better. I’ve been on just about all of them. Constipation is definitely NOT your friend. Nausea isn’t either. I’ll spare everyone the other possible details. These are your frenemies. You have to choose the side effects you can live with while having the painkillers do their magic elsewhere. . If you email me, we can talk about painkillers and the pros and cons of each

    It’s hard to do very much when your pain is at a high level. I find that watching television or listening to music helps a lot. Reading is only doable depending on what kind of pain. You might even try an audio book. I got into those when I couldn’t use my hands to hold a book. Even if you had to reread a thousand times, and with some books I have had to do this, you’re self-entertaining. But sometimes the pain and exhaustion has to win and you gotta know when to lie down.

    Cry. You’ve just gotta cry or laugh sometimes about this stuff. Otherwise you’d go insane. I made myself and my husband an elaborate Shabbos dinner the other week. I hadn’t done that in years. I was so excited to be able to do it and not be incapacitated for days if not for the dinner itself. Sometimes just walking is a mighty feat. Just reading. Just breathing. Just eating. Just going to the bathroom. Just feeling almost normal. Forget don’t sweat the small stuff. Appreciate the small things you were able to do…like reach out to us in this blog. There have been months were I couldn’t get onto the computer without incurring the terrible wrath of my pain.

    As I said, I am praying your time as a spoonie is temporary and this surgery will eventually alleviate your pain permanently. And when it does, you will look back on all this vaguely I hope. My friend had brain surgery 9 months ago and almost died. Now it’s just a hazy memory.

    Also, do NOT compare your pain to others. Your pain sucks. IT SUCKS. Even if it’s giving you a break, even if it’s giving you perspective you didn’t have and empathy for others who suffer like this or worse, remember your pain does suck so go ahead and cry, girl. Go ahead and cry, ask for hugs, write. Whatever you need to do to get through this hard bump in the road.

    Also, if you can’t sleep, you might want to ask them to give you something for that. Ambien is great temporarily and it will knock you out even if you’re in pain. Some painkillers are stimulants so they can interfere with your ability to rest even as they help your pain.

    No, I am not a doctor, just a permanent pain patient who knows you should comfortable asking and demanding that your doctor make you more comfortable. Pain breeds pain. Once your pain centers are activated, it’s hard to turn them off if they still can. Better to quash it right away before it thinks about spreading across your nervous system.

    The Spoon Theory from YouDon’

    I read this and reread this and have friends and family read and reread The Spoon Theory all the time. When dealing with chronic pain, it’s hard for people to remember you always feel pain so even when you’re not grouchy and awful you still hurt. And when you are grouchy and awful, you need all the patience in the world from your loved ones. Because pain can drive you nuts and them nuts.

    • sheldan says:

      I just read the article from “But You Don’t Look Sick” and I think I understand things better now.

      My wife has been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. In addition, we have had a number of setbacks this year. My mother died in March, we have had to put my father in the Jewish Home due to his dementia, and I lost my job at the community college this summer. My parents have been a second set of parents to my wife and she is taking this very hard. In addition, she has had problems with her back from a long-ago car accident and I think you can imagine that she is in a lot of pain.

      I try to help her as much as I can, but I have to admit that I am not always understanding, so when I read that article I think I now understand what it means to be a “spoonie” and I will try to be a lot more understanding when my wife talks about her pain.

      Incidentally, I think about you (Aliza) a lot and have been saying prayers for you to get better. (Air) Hugs to you for your blog (and Yasher Koach to your husband too; I subscribe to his blog).

  4. @wifeofmottel says:


  5. G6 says:

    Super hugs….
    Each day will be better than the last.

  6. wendy greenspan says:

    sorry recuperation has been bad – i know chocolate can soothe you – but it is easy to forget that it has lots of caffeine in it – (do not know if you are a regular coffee drinker or not) hope things get better soon

  7. Z! says:

    I’m sorry you’re not yet feeling the benefits of the surgery, though healing takes time. I know that after my mom’s heart surgery it was very difficult for her to stay still and relax. She is a relatively active person and has a schedule that she likes to keep. Somedays were better than others and her body would let her know when she had overdone it, sometimes for a few days afterwards! It was especially hard for her to rely on my dad and her friends to do the groceries and laundry and errands and cooking and cleaning. A year later, it’s back to the ol’ grind!

  8. Batya says:

    Sorry, it’s taking you longer than you’d been hoping to recover. It’s your blog and you can whine if you want to.
    Refuah shleimah and Shabbat Shalom

  9. Whining is completely legitimate :) I hope you get some rest and feel better soon — refu’ah sheleimah!

    This Good Life

  10. i hope you feel better soon.

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