Home Away from Home - Winter 2020 travel blog


Exactly a week ago after doing not much of anything (these days there appears to be less and less that we can do), I awoke with a sharp pain in my lower back. At first it did not feel significant. I wake up with aches and pains every day; many improve as the day goes on and most are easy to ignore when we are busy having fun. But this pain got worse and worse and worse. The worst charlie horse I have ever had. I could not find a comfortable position standing, sitting or laying down. The pain got so bad I was screaming as if I was about to give birth. I could not sit still long enough to eat a meal. At any other time I would have jumped into the car and driven to the emergency room. But in these COVID-19 days, the hospital is the last place anyone should be. The pain continued to rage. Eventually we got ahold of our doctor back home and she prescribed 30-days of muscle relaxants. She said that if they didn't give me relief I should go to the emergency room.

Laying down seemed the least painful and I spent the next few days flat on my back. I needed help lifting up my leg enough to put on a pair of shorts. Brushing my teeth was excruciating. I could hardly get through the two minute routine my electric brush has. As the back pain lightened, the top of my thigh felt numb, as if someone had injected novocaine. Then the muscles in my thigh became a hard baseball sized lump. What was going on?

Dr. Google hasn't been of much help. An ice pack provides a brief respite. I use a TENS machine multiple times a day. Yesterday I finally felt good enough to eat my meals sitting on a chair. Eating spaghetti in a horizontal position takes all enjoyment out the meal and left me with orange stains on my pillow. I drank my morning coffee though a straw. It was a torture.

Today I finally feel a bit better. I could sit up to eat all my meals, put on my own clothes, and walk around a little. We went for a ride in the golf cart and I could prepare a meal. But I still don't know what is wrong with me or whether it will continue to improve. My doctor is at home, but there is snow in the forecast at home again this week and I don't know if I will be able to get medical help once I'm there. What terrible timing!

I could be feeling sad that we're not on a cruise ship sailing toward Europe, but now I am grateful that I can take care of myself and sit outside and enjoy the beautiful weather. I used to say I feel the most alive when we are traveling. Now I'm glad just to be alive.

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