Thursday, September 29, 2011

Well that explains it then!

All gardening plans are on hold for a while because it seems I have messed up my back. I have had back pain for years but this past summer has been particularly bad with what I now realize has been almost continuous, at times severe, and worsening pain that I have stupidly been trying to ignore. Now I know why.

Last week was even worse, well actually very bad and by the time I got to the Dr on Monday I also had weakness in my left foot. Very scarey. It appears that I have ruptured a disc in my lower back between L4 and L5 which is an area that has been bothering me for all these years and where I have had a bulging disc for some time.

I have been amazed and so very grateful this week for the fantastic and very rapid care that I have received from my primary care P.A, neurologist, and interventional pain specialist. Today I will be getting a steroid epidural, the first of three with the hope that it will reduce the swelling compressing the L5 nerve root and fully relieve the pain, (though this has been improving anyway), and more importantly, relieve the foot weakness. If this doesn't work I will have surgery, something I have always dreaded but which now seems like a much less scarey prospect. I am confident that all will be well and as my Mum said now perhaps I wont have as much pain as I have been having for all this time.

There are several lessons here for me the most important one being that I have to listen to my body more and go the the Dr when things get bad, well actually before things get bad. I find it so hard to ask for help, always have, and yet the outpouring of care and support I have been receiving from friends, family, and healthcare providers this past week has been totally overwhelming and moving for me.

I find it hard to write about myself, and my health in this way, and yet I feel that I need to because perhaps it may encourage someone else to get medical attention when it is needed, and not to leave it too long.

I'll write more later.

Update- 9-30-11. First epidural completed yesterday and I think pain has improved a little more though it can take a few days for things to really have an effect. Second one next week. Feeling good.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Weevil Saga Continues.....

This is what the corner of the yard looks like without my beautiful agaves which I pulled out this past weekend. I am quite surprised that it doesn't look as empty as I thought it would. I have temporarily dumped some river rock there but not to stay, just to get it out of the way.

Tex the garden dog had a very fun time out there with me "helping" by chasing everything that moved, and running around barking and generally making a pest of himself. I love having him out there with me though, it is his favorite place to be, and he is so entertaining!

I am going to leave the space for now but I think soon I will put in a couple of cactus' and towards the front some ground cover. I found several more weevils as I was clearing out the agaves and there has been a great deal of bird activity in that corner of the yard the past few days including a woodpecker so I am hoping that they are helping with the soil clean up though I am sure there are still evil weevils lurking out there ready to attack my other agaves next spring.

Friday, September 16, 2011


As expected the rest of my lovely Agave Americana's are now showing damage from the agave snout weevil. I pulled out two yesterday and actually found two of the dreaded weevils inside. The rest are slowly falling over but don't seem quite ready to be pulled out easily yet. I plan to get rid of the lot tomorrow and search for any weevils that may be lurking. I am resigned to losing these agave's but really don't want to lose any others though only time will tell if this is going to happen.

My cucumbers are finally growing well and looking good in the veggie garden. I think the somewhat cooler temperatures have helped. On the other hand my summer squash plants just didn't grow at all so I have pulled them and sown more seeds though it may be getting a bit late now. This weekend I plan to sow carrots, beets and leeks.

The backyard landscaping project has stalled for now. I need to order top soil, and gravel to finish it off but things are busy around here. I am back in school and my band has it's first "gig" next Saturday which we are trying to get ready for though it isn't easy to get everyone together because we all have responsibilities such as work, kids etc. It will be great though if we can actually pull it off and I have been working hard practising every day which isn't too much of an effort because I love it!

Monday, September 12, 2011


I was away last week visiting with my cousin in Vancouver. I got home last night full of emotion for so many reasons, not least of which had to do with the 9-11 anniversary yesterday.

I have so many feelings about my visit. My cousin continues to be very brave in the face of all that she is dealing with but each time I see her I sense a change in her eyes, and I see the toll this dreadful disease is taking on her. I love going there and being with her, and yet it tears at my heart to see her this way and to watch what she has to endure each day. I know that she doesn't want anyone to pity her, or to be sad around her and so I managed to keep it all inside until I saw my beautiful girls at the airport. Then I lost it for just a little while.

Now I am home and I feel so torn. I am happy to be home and yet I am so sad to be away from her too, uncertain of what I will find the next time I go. No one should have to go through what she and her family are going through right now and I can't make any kind of sense of it all.