How I Spent My Spring Vacation*

April 8, 2008


If you’re reading this page, you’ve landed on the old site.  Please visit the new location by clicking here–and don’t forget to update your readers and blogrolls!

As always, thanks for reading.  I look forward to seeing you at the shiny new Diet, Dessert and Dogs!

“Um, Mum, we are coming with you, aren’t we? Because (and sorry to have to tell you this), we actually have more fans than you do on this blog.”]  

*Or, It’s a Long Road “Back”

*Or, Things You Think About While Lying Flat on Your Back for Ten Days

Well, I may not be completely “back” just yet, but I am at least vertical once again–if only for a couple of hours a day.  YIPPEE!  Talk about an ordeal. I wouldn’t wish that kind of pain on anyone, nosirree.  Not even the nastiest bully from grade school.  No, not even the most loathed former boss.  Not even the rudest clerk at the video store.  Or even the most reviled ex-boyfriend (He of the Black Leather Pants).  Yes, it was that bad!

And I am thrilledl to finally return to the world of blogs and blogging!  It feels like eons since I’ve written on (or even looked at) this site, or any of the other blogs out there I so enjoy reading. I promise to catch up on them all over the next week or so.  But before I even begin to write about my unanticipated interval of Great Bed Rest (aka Grevious Back Relapse)–or GBR, I want to share a recipe I discovered as soon as I returned here:

Blogger Twice Marinated in Wet, Salty Broth

1) Get Ricki to hurt her back, badly. Result: first marinade in wet, salty broth (also referrred to as Crying Jag Number One).

2) Get the HH to write a short note explaining her absence (no easy feat, considering the blog-shy HH).

3) Have Ricki return to the blog about 10 days later, read the parade of amazing, supportive and sympathetic comments from readers and other bloggers. Result: second marinade in wet, salty broth (also referred to as Crying Jag Number Two).

4) Allow Ricki to marinate for about 5 minutes before she returns her attention to the blog.

5) Accept her heartfelt gratitude for your wonderful, generous outpouring of good wishes, which is appreciated beyond words.

6) Wrap carefully and store in a safe place.  Will last indefinitely.

In other words, THANK YOU ALL for your comments and kind thoughts while I was away! I have missed you all, and am very, very happy to be “back.”

And so. . . what the heck happened, anyway??

Well, the official diagnosis is a one-two punch of, first, a bulging disk (sometimes erroneously called a “slipped disk”), followed almost immediately by an inflamed facet joint (the latter occurring due to an overly strenuous exercise regimen prescribed by a zealous physiotherapist, only ONE DAY after the original injury! Definitely a no-no).

I had thought the initial pain was pretty bad, but the second injury catapulted it into the realm of “no adjectives available.”

It’s true, the HH and I have no children, so I never had the experience of childbirth as a reference point for that particular brand of agony.  Nevertheless, I can only attempt to express the depths of physical torment inflicted by this back attack:  for the first three days or so, each time I even ATTEMPTED to get off the bed, I would be overcome with an immediate draining of blood from my face and I’d begin to black out. If not for the deft and sturdy embrace of the (relatively) strapping HH, I would have surely ended up in an unconscious heap on the floor.  And though he’s not especailly musclebound, the HH was, thankfully, still strong enough to lift my mumblemumbleundisclosednumber-pound frame back onto the bed.

[“I really hated it when you were sick, Mum.”]

As it turns out, the word “vacation” in this blog entry’s title, above, is not merely a euphemism.  You see, here in Ontario, colleges run year-round, offering three full semesters (including one through the summer months).  I happen to be one of those weirdos trailblazers quirky teachers who prefers her holiday in the winter, and who teaches all summer. Given my oft-declared abhorrence of winter, being able to curl up by the fireplace, hunker down, and just do nothing when the snow makes its unwelcome appearance is a privilege I truly appreciate.

And while I did spend the last 10 days or so lazing around, reading, sleeping as much as I felt like (more than I felt like, actually), and being waited on hand and foot (I am eternally in your debt, Oh Great HH), it was not, by any stretch of the imagination, akin to a “vacation.” Being stuck in bed with nothing to do but follow the aimless peregrinations of my (painkiller-enhanced) thoughts did, however, allow me to formulate some interesting observations.

Here’s what went through my mind as I contemplated my lot over the past fortnight or so:

  1. Never begin an exercise routine for a sore back the day after you first injure it.  Never.  NOT EVEN IF THE ZEALOUS PHYSIOTHERAPIST TELLS YOU TO.  You will regret it.  You will rue the day.  So, never!
  2. Dogs are strange and wonderful creatures, and I love them more than ever. Throughout the Great Bed Rest, every day and all day, Elsie and Chaser held vigil at the foot of my bed. Not quite close enough for me to touch them, but close enough so that I knew they were there. Eventually, we three began to sigh, heave, and sleep along the same diurnal pattern, until the HH came home.  (“Um, don’t mean to hurt your feelings or anything, Mum, but we were actually just worried that we might not get fed any more–not that we weren’t concerned about you, too, of course.”)
  3. When you are stuck in bed, staring straight up at the ceiling for over a week, the stucco finish begins to look strangely like snow.
  4. When you are stuck in bed, staring straight up at the ceiling for a week and the stucco finish begins to look strangely like snow, the actual snow outside will melt, and so when you finally get up again, it will be spring!
  5. The HH is one helluva good sport.  Can’t cook worth a dime, unfortunately, but nevertheless one very sweet guy. He took care of daily housework and chores, walks for The Girls, feedings (theirs and mine), hairwashing (mine), as well as other less appealing ablutions. He came home from work at lunchtime each day to ensure I had food and a break, and also to confirm that the house hadn’t burned to the ground in his absence (an outcome I would have been helpless to prevent, in any case).
  6. Finally, I came to the clear realization that this GBR would never have occurred at all, had I not gained all the weight I’ve been earnestly trying to lose since I began this blog. And so, this latest episode has prompted a reaffirmation of my resolve:  I must get healthy! 

It’s with renewed determination that I return here to focus on all three: DIET, dessert, and dogs.

And, of course, all of you.  Thank you all for continuing to visit, for reading, and for commenting (I love hearing from you!). 

And while the latter part of the Lucky Comestible posts will have to wait until I can stand a bit longer, I’m looking forward to scanning my files and posting about some previous exploits in the kitchen as the back continues to heal. 

Yes, it’s great to be “back”!

(Oh, and I promise never to write the word, “back,” in quotation marks, ever again.)

[“Glad you’re feeling a bit better, Mum!”]


22 Responses to “How I Spent My Spring Vacation*”

  1. Andrea Z Says:

    Oh yay, you’re back. (no quotes) I’ve been checking periodically to see if you were getting better and I’m so glad to see you’re on the way to recovery. Hope you continue to improve quickly. HH sounds like a gem.

  2. romina88 Says:

    Yoo hoo!! You’re back. I missed your entries. My mother’s back has recently been giving her grief so I can somewhat understand your pain, and I do hope you recover soon enough. =)

  3. kathryn Says:

    Glad to hear you’ve survived Ricki and welcome back.

  4. Hi Ricki,

    You have my complete sympathy been there done that, well not the recovery part still trying that one, had the epidural to prove it….

    Have to agree with your number 1 I took a nice little amount of felt like a stretched muscle referred pain and managed to make it 4 hourly codeine still aint getting relief pain under the guidance of a physio and a surgeon telling me if I don’t stop listening to above and start bed rest I was gonna end up in hospital.

    Now I have an osteo… feels like hell for the first 12 hours but gets significantly better after that.

    Although I probably shouldn’t say this I don’t agree with number 6. Loose weight if you want to but try and keep it extra slow and steady…. I did mine about 5 months after I lost a very significant amount of weight… So please keep it slow give your body time to adjust.

    Kind Regards

  5. Johanna Says:

    lovely to hear from you – your entertaining posts have been missed – hope you continue to take it at a gentle pace and look after your back – but of course I am looking forward to hearing about it too!

  6. Ricki Says:

    Thanks so much! (I appreciate the no quotes). And while I guess I already knew it, yes, the HH is indeed a gem!

    Thanks! So sorry to hear about your mum. Send her my sympathy and best wishes!

    It does feel like surviving! But better every day. Thanks.

    Oh, so sorry to hear about your own woes! I think you must take the doctor’s advice and give yourself enough rest to let things heal. Being immobilized (when my brain was on overdrive) for so long was the hardest part, but it did the trick. And believe me, there is no risk of my losing the weight too quickly, at the pace I’m going!! 😉

    So great to be here, too! I think being gentle with myself is going to be my new mantra, so thanks for the advice! (And I missed reading your blog as well–so much to catch up on!).

  7. VeggieGirl Says:

    Ricki!!!!! Welcome back!!!!! PLEASE take care, rest, and COMPLETELY get well soon!! :0)

  8. grumpy chair Says:

    Glad you are back and vertical. Take it easy.

  9. a-k Says:

    so sorry you have been unwell, but yay for feeling better! i can only imagine how back issues and laying down for days would drive me crazy. but you made it! and also, i tagged you!

  10. Lizzie Says:

    Oh, Ricki! I am so glad you are “back.” 😉

    I can’t begin to imagine the pain you were in, but having the Girls and HH be so supportive sounds like it made the situation more bearable. And we’re all here to support you in your quest for health.

    I really, truly missed your posts. What a treat it was to see one today. Welcome “back!” (sorry, I couldn’t help myself) 🙂

  11. Cakespy Says:

    Lucky you for having the HH–and happy to see that you are back, in more ways than one! (See, resisted the quotes).

  12. Glad you’re feeling better! I missed your posts so much! Cute pup photos as always!

  13. Deb Schiff Says:

    So happy for you that you’re feeling much better! Yay you! Nice to know you have a sainted HH too! Oh, and of course, the puppy vigil is so touching. Good dogs. Pet, pet, pet.

  14. Goodness, I hope you are done marinating now!

    It’s great to have you “back”.

    (I couldn’t resist– just because you can’t use it in quotes again doesn’t mean I can’t!)

  15. Lucy Says:

    I can’t even imagine how much pain you were in, Ricki, but I can imagine that if you are at the stage of near collapse, things are officially Very, Very Bad.

    So glad you had furry company the whole time. I was so pleased to see your return (note deliberate lack of the ‘b’ word!!).

    By the way, that HH of yours? Bloody nice guy!

  16. Ricki Says:

    Thanks so much! Now that I’m getting the correct type of care, things seem to be getting better by the day!

    Grumpy Chair,
    Thanks so much! I guess sometimes, it takes something like this to force a step back and some rest!

    You’re right–in some ways, the ennuie was worse than the pain! But glad to be up and about, at least on a limited basis, for now. And thanks for the tag–will check it out!

    Having the HH take over, and The Girls in the room really did help a lot. Thank you so much for the kind words! I am thrilled to be ba. . . here again. 😉

    I guess these kinds of episodes do make us realize how lucky we are in other ways. . . yep, that HH is a peach, all right!

    Thanks so much! I missed all of you, too, tremendously.

    Well, “sainted” may be taking it a bit too far (wouldn’t want the guy to start getting an ego at this point!!). But the pups? Okay, we can spoil them, at least! 🙂

    Yes, done marinating, for now (hmmm. . . unless it will result in a little weight loss, in which case I might reconsider. . . ) 😉 .

    While I may have a tendency to exaggerate in some situations, I swear I wasn’t re: that pain! Never, ever have I felt anything like it (and hope to never, EVER again!!). And yes, the HH is, indeed, a nice guy. . . but let’s not tell him, shall we? Wouldn’t want it to go to his head, or anything.

  17. Courtney Says:

    Well, clearly I am a little late, but I will add my note along with the others–it is great to see you posting again! I feel your pain–I have had bulging disks in the past, and I know what you are going through…it is not fun. Hang in there and I hope you feel better soon! Take the time you need to heal!


  18. Lisa Says:

    Welcome back Ricki! You have been missed. I wish you a speedy recovery.

  19. eltentwelve Says:

    That’s a cute dog. I wish you more time to rest to zoom back to function. Cheers!

  20. Ricki Says:

    Thanks so much! But sorry to hear you’ve gone through the same thing. . . I will try my hardest to ensure that that NEVER happens again! Hope you are totally back to normal functioning now!

    Thanks so much; I have also missed the world of blogging!

    Thanks for your comment, and welcome to the blog! Well, I think both dogs are cute, too! And thanks for the positive wishes!

  21. Shayna Says:

    Welcome back!!

  22. Vegan_Noodle Says:

    Oh my goodness, sounds like it was a rough week or so!! Back problems are no fun. Glad you are on your feet again…. and it sounds like spring has arrived up there 🙂

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