The Haunting Time Is Coming Near!

The Ghoullog - Mountaintop Haunt at Cranmore, North Conway, NH

Apologies to be Made

To three people.

To J, S & I for last weekend.
I apologize for being standoffish, and almost antisocial. I know you came out for me... And that O was there too, to share a few drinks and have fun. I tried..... Not as hard as I should have, but I did. I'm greatly appreciative that I was able to spend time with you, and I'm sorry for not saying so outright. Thank you, all four, for trying to make it a good night for me.

For me, lately, it's been a funk. I'm not sure whether I'm coming or going, which way's the right way, or what's up or down.
I don't need to explain in great detail why I do the things I do, why I make the decisions I do.
Most of the time, I know the outcome and consequences. And if I'm wrong, I admit it. Alternately... If I'm right, I also don't point and laugh and kick someone when they're down. There's a lot of things that are going, and some drastic changes that are coming. I thought I could put it off, but it appears I can't any longer.

This hurts me.
Even though I don't show it, or mask it with anger and not always kind emotional swings.... It's how I react. I don't necessarily mean to. While my head's telling me to shut the hell up, my heart is venting- saying what comes to mind, saying what and how I feel, and taking issues head on. Not really the best of things to do in all situations- but it's the way I cope.

Another reason, not excuse, for my behavior is that I've been in an incredible amount of pain- but not really letting anyone know just how bad it is this time around. The person I thought I could rely on to help me through this, is distant. Not that I blame O for wanting to back away from what seems like a rabid animal (me), but because he tries so hard to look past it and see the positive. When I'm in this much pain, it's hard to and my reaction is leave me the hell alone, or get out of my way. In my defense... It's kind of him to want to be around and help when he can. But when I really need him around- he's not here. This has only been lately- please don't think I'm saying he's never around. He's helped me a great deal.

To let you in on a little bit of this... The "back' story- pun intended. My apologies now for it being such a long read. Go on, grab a cup of coffee or a snack before you start...

Most of you know I have degenerative disc disease and arthritis in my lower back. While it's genetic and hereditary, it wasn't supposed to exhibit itself until much later in my life. However, being dealt the cards I have, I've tried to just get on with it, trying to move past and ignore it, hoping it will just eventually go away or get better. It started out with me getting a 2" door flung open on me at work. Workers Comp denied the claim, because I didn't make the connection between getting hit and my back problem until a week after it happened. Heck, it took three days for the injury to really grip me as it was. This was almost 6 years ago. After some time off my feet, I was back to work. I was able to recover fairly quickly, considering the injury, and I thought that was that. This was 2005.

Second incident was a horrible car wreck I had coming home from Concord, NH on March 24th, 2007. It was raining the entire way, and while they called for snow where I lived further North, it was too warm for it to stick even if it did switch over. The entire way, though, was rain. Tamworth, though, was a different story- and I was cautious after noticing the temperature was slightly dropping. Still, it was above freezing. After placing a call to my Dad, and lying about where I was on my route home, less than 60 seconds elapsed from the time I hung up the phone, put it in my cupholder and subsequently slid off the road, down a snowbank and ate a telephone pole head on. I should have known better- the road I took was always touch-and-go with weather. Mind you, I was going less than 20 mph because I had realized it was just starting to turn from rain to freezing rain... And the speed limit on the curve I was taking was 30. Up, over the hill, and it was a sheet of ice. I knew as soon as I crested the hill and zeroed in on the pole that I was going to head right into it.

The right wheel caught, dragged me over. I popped the car into neutral, and tapped my brakes to see if there was any traction... There wasn't. So I sat back, tried to steer into the other lane... Nothing... Tried to steer further into the snowbank, but it was icy. I just hugged it the entire way down. I had hoped that by turning into it- since trying to angle into oncoming traffic didn't do anything as far as moving me in that direction- the snow would slow me down and not make the impact so jolting. Unfortunately, my car refused to get up and into the bank.... Crash. Had it not been there, I doubt I would have survived. Just my luck, I had to crash in a cell phone dead spot. Just my luck, a volunteer fighter fighter came around the corner right as I crashed. The impact... Well... It was hard. The road curves to the right, and it angles in... So instead of slowing down like I was trying to, my car picked up some speed on the way down. They said I was only doing about 25 when I hit. All the airbags went off, and by some miracle I managed to throw my arms up so they took the brunt of the deployment from my steering wheel. I was, though, thrown forward- and had I not had my seatbelt on, I'd have flown through the windshield. These seconds seemed like they were slow motion...

Pop... Pop... Pop... Pop... Pop.... Pop... I could feel each vertebrae from the bottom of my butt to mid-shoulder stretch, move, separate. My initial thought was Oh Shit... Adrenaline. Shock. Kicked in. Tried to start my car back up and back out of the telephone pole- until I realized I had crashed. Crashed. Totalled the car. Shit... Turn it OFF... Removed the keys. Felt my back tighten. Had to get out, headlights were right there. Voices. Phone was in my hand, not dialing. Numbers weren't going through. High heels sinking into the dirt on the side of the road, I somehow unbuckled myself and got out of my car. Pain... Chest... Neck... Seatbelt scraped me from the impact... Back spasm. Adrenaline, no pain yet. My salad is all over the back of my car. Call Dad, he has to know... No cell service. Fire fighter has signal, tells me he has the ambulance on the way. He's sliding down the road, trying to keep me calm. Eerily, I was calm.

Moments tick... Back, slight pain, it goes away. Sirens. Already? They're close. Station's nearby. Face is wet... Blood? No, tears. I didn't realize I started to cry. I didn't hurt... Yet. Phone rang through at home, I somehow picked up a signal, got through, Dad, I crashed... Come get me, please... Tamworth... I lied... I'm sorry... My car... My... My car is... Wrecked... Yes, I took that road.... I'm sorry, I shouldn't have... I thought it would be quicker... But I was near where I said I was... It didn't seem icy... It was only raining... I'm sorry... Sirens, they're almost here... Daddy I'm sorry...

Lights. The police were here. Woman trooper, telling me to keep my head still. I nodded, she put her hands on my neck and held me stiffly. High heels sinking back into the dirt, and she told me to keep my eyes open. I jerked, she moved to catch me, spasm. Shouldn't be doing this. The cop car was in the snowbank on the other side of the road, why? Odd place to park... Usually, they close the road off. Minutes more.

She tells me to keep still. More tears, I can't believe I did this. My coat, in my car... I'm cold... But I don't really feel cold... I'm just shivering. It's a long time standing there. Ambulance lights... Sirens... They're here... Seems like forever ago. But the ambulance keeps gunning it... They're just past my car... Why? Neck brace goes on, ask if I'm alright. Dazed, but ok. Yes. I'm fine. The ambulance moves up the hill again. They check vitals, and I hear a familiar rumble. Dad's here... They're trying to get me to lay down on the gurney, No I want to see him first... Then another voice. My sister... Oh, why did I DO this... Dad gets me to lay down. They strap me in, and I hear him talking to another trooper. They get bags, and start moving my things out of my car. It has to be towed.

Cop jokes, WHAT does she have in there?!? Lots of stuff. I didn't have a chance to empty it out. I was going to, tomorrow..... It was too messy... Jerking spasm again... Was going to get all that stuff out and have my car nice and clean again.... Pain is setting in, I'm starting to feel the muscles in my back... Uh oh... Can't lay down on the gurney straight. Leg curled up a bit, and my back is arched. They load me into the ambulance. Oh, they had to keep gunning it... Because it kept sliding backwards down the hill... It's ALL ice!? IV goes in, pinches for a moment. Spasm so bad I nearly pass out from the pain. Lights reflecting off the inside of the sterile truck, snowflakes now swishing by. The EMT tells me to relax, breathe... I am... Not helping any... Ride takes forever. Hospital, more checking me out, x-ray, spasms continue. Poor Mom, home alone not knowing what happened. I close my eyes and cry.

It seemed like forever... My parents and sister come in, they've given me the pain medication... I start to blabber. They tell me to be quiet, relax, I can't. I need to talk... Wow, pain goes away... I can't stretch out, the muscles are too tight... But it's relief. Hours go by... I drift in and out.... Concern, I'll be just fine. Bumped and bruised, and the back is an issue because of the impact now... More medicine, more spastic blabbering about anything that pops into my head. Uncontrollable. I can't help it. I want to go home. Stood up, nearly fell over... Parents caught me... Went to get the car, couldn't bend to get in, needed to crawl into the backseat and put my head in my sister's lap. Ride home bumpy, I didn't remember it being like that... Comfortable bed, warmth, drifted off to sleep...

It took me weeks to heal from the superficial injuries. Months passed before my back would relent in the spasms. I learned, however, to stretch before I got up in the morning so I wouldn't incur the wrath of the back at any point during the day. But right after Christmas the following year, I fell down the stairs at home. I didn't stretch before I got out of bed, I had to go to the bathroom bad... First floor... Bounced from the second stair, down to almost the bottom. Passed out momentarily from the pain, brought out by screaming. Realized it was me. My back felt funny..... Not in place...I couldn't move. I couldn't straighten my back... And my leg hurt. Bad. Back to the hospital, X-rays done. Told me to go home, take meds and rest. See the doctor to get the reading on Monday. Preliminary diagnosis was that I didn't have any noticeable damage. Monday's Dr. C was the hero of the day.

He was able to pop me back into place... Only to tell me that I had DDD & arthritis, You mean the ER didn't tell you that from the x-rays?? Are you kidding?! No, Dr. C, I'm not. He said it wasn't advanced, but there's a disc that's out of place- potentially herniated. Need MRI. Did it, not herniated. Just bulging. Torn ligaments on both sides- from falling the way I did. Resulting in a pinched sciatica, when inflamed. Most likely, some of the damage was also done by my accident... But the disc, even with his magic hands, wouldn't go back in to place. So not only would back spasm, my leg would tingle and then go numb. Was fired from work for "performance issues' on my birthday that year of 2008, 2 months after I fell. Funny, I missed 2 days of work and still showed up on time the rest of the duration I was employed. Even being on medication I had no business taking while at work, but to cope with the pain it didn't affect me very much. Dr C. wanted me out of work 2 weeks to allow my body to heal, and I argued- I had bills, needed to work at least 20. He okayed it... Boss, well, he fired me. He didn't have the balls to actually... It was someone else that did it for him. Still dealt with the pain, the adjustments, the spasms that wouldn't let up. Through April.

Then I moved. A week before I did that, I was able to start walking again, after mostly crawling around for the months I couldn't move. Still taking meds to deal with the pain and spasms... I started seeing an awesome Chiropracter in VA... And up until now, it's helped. I do my exercises and stretches... But sometimes my back goes anyways.

For the past week and a half, my right leg has been mostly tingly and numb, with bouts of me losing feeling/strength and falling down because of it. This has happened at least half a dozen times. So, friends, if you notice me walking very slowly, and staying near walls or other objects... This is why. Topple can be slowed down so I don't just hit the floor. Which leads to my decision over the past few days.... I'm getting this fixed for good.

Getting ahold of a great doctor I've been referred to in Maine. Surgery to fix what's broken, so that I'm not remaining broken and in pain like I have been. This will happen as soon as possible. Fusion won't happen- there's too much of a risk of the discs above and below the fusion will degenerate. It happens often, and knowing my bones... Quite unavoidable. Options will be discussed, but most likely disc replacement. This way, the disc that doesn't quite fit where it used to will be replaced... And I'll be able to walk, hike, do the things I used to be able to do without worrying about having to pay for it later by being incapacitated. I'm too young for this to be happening.... And the time has come that the decision is made.

So please forgive me if I'm short tempered, mean and cranky.
Forgive me for things I've said because I'm not really in the right frame of mind in trying to process both this amount of pain, and trying to be social. I've hated being limited like this... And I know I take it out on those closest to me without meaning to. Forgive me for not really seeming like I'm terribly interested in being out and about- I know the intentions are well meant, and I appreciate every bit of it. Just... My head is trying to process both what my body is screaming at me, and how I know I should be acting like with everyone. They haven't meshed well lately.

I'm sorry.
Especially to O.


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