Saturday, October 23, 2010

In Praise of Drugs

The new muscle relaxant, Metaxalone -- say that ten times fast -- is working very nicely indeed. It keeps pain to a dull roar and isn't very sedating at all; I was comfortable driving Gary downtown to see an opera simulcast this morning. And it's allowed me to be quite productive. Yesterday, I graded eight essays in my rocking chair (this may not sound like a lot, but since I type a full page of comments on each paper, it's significant).

The problem with meds for back pain, though, is that if they work, the patient can be tempted to overdo it. Hence I discovered that after my happy grading run yesterday, the rocking chair was no longer comfortable. I worked in bed most of today, moved to an upstairs rocking chair when lying in bed became painful, and am now back in bed after the second rocking chair went ouchy on me.

Today I've graded ten more papers. I think my comments are even coherent, although my students will have to be the final judges there. I have about ten more to do tomorrow, plus a set of exercises and prep for Monday. Most of these papers are for a Wednesday workshop in my freshman comp class. I'd ordinarily save some of them for Tuesday, but I'm trying to clear as much time as possible for the MRI and physical therapy, both of which I fervently hope will happen sooner rather than later.

I miss the other things I'd hoped to do this weekend, my hospital shift and dinner with friends. I'm hoping to swim and get to church tomorrow -- today's technically my second and last day of resting at home -- but we'll see how I'm feeling then, since I maybe haven't been resting enough. I'm pleased with what I've gotten done, under the circumstances, but I hope I haven't inadvertently caused more damage.

It probably goes without saying that I haven't written and haven't even attempted to practice the viola! I've knit a little bit, and my Kindle's been a very nice companion. So have the cats, both of whom love having a warm human, lying among blankets and pillows, to use as a radiator.

Normally I tend to focus on what I haven't gotten done, even though I'm well; now I'm focusing on what I have gotten done, even though I'm sick. So it's a definite glass-half-full kind of thing, and I know I need to work on maintaining that attitude when I'm feeling better.

I do hope, though, that you're all having more fun this weekend than I am!


  1. I've taken that, though it was under the name Skelaxin, and it is a lifesaver! It's the only thing I can take when my neck is in really bad shape that allows me to function. Feel better. :)

  2. Anonymous7:53 AM

    Checking in for the first time since Friday, I'm glad to hear you're feeling better!

    Wishing you the very best with the grading, the doctors, the rest of the work, the search for a good physical therapist, and whatever else you may happen to have on your busy, busy plate,


  3. Oh Susan--I've gotten way behind on blogs and just learned of the loss of Harley AND the "attack of the killer disk." I'm so sorry. I know how much you miss Harley, such a gorgeous fellow.

    Definitely PT before or instead of surgery. I have bulging disks at C3-4, C5-6, L1-2, L3-4, L5-S. No surgery so far.


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