Friday 24 December 2021

dusting off the cobwebs — again!

So it's been three months since my last post which is pretty dismal considering all my plans to post more frequently. I have lots of excuses but there are two main ones. 

Firstly, not long after my last post, I woke up one morning and as I walked down the hall, I felt a clunk inside somewhere between my lower back and right hip. It stopped me dead in my tracks for a few minutes. From that point, my back pain worsened to the point of being debilitated. It was the type of pain that made it hard to focus on anything at all. I dreaded getting up or down as the pain was so severe. As my last CT scan had been 3 years ago, my doctor ordered another CT scan on my back which revealed severe multi-level disc degeneration (Osteoarthritis), substantial changes in facet joints in my mid to lower spine, narrowing of the spinal column (Canal Stenosis), and Spondylolisthesis (Slipping Discs). The Canal Stenosis is particularly worrying to me. My doctor wants me to see a Spinal specialist in the new year. Wish me luck.

Secondly, towards the end of October, my 86 year old Mum ended up hurting her back again.
 Photo taken of Mum in 2016

Three years ago, Mum fractured two of her vertebrae and recovered as well as could be expected with Osteoporosis. Mum was very stubborn though and felt she was okay to do all the heavy stuff again.  She ignored all our warnings, even doctors' warnings, and continued to do heavy stuff that she should not have been doing at all. Every time we visited, her lounge room furniture was changed around. I'm talking heavy recliners and solid pine tables, not to mention yard work.
Mum's back did get sore but she ignored it until it finally gave in and demanded her full attention. CT scans revealed that Mum had basically been crumbling her lower back away. One of the vertebrae had lost 75% in height, the others are badly worn down too, hence all her pain. The bad news is that her back will not recover and will gradually get worse. With Osteoporosis, there really isn't anything they can do except manage her pain.
It was clear that Mum needed assisted care so, the only decision that could be made was for Mum to go straight from the stay in hospital to a Permanent Aged Care facility where all her medical and care needs would be met. Mum is angry at herself and deeply regrets not listening to all our warnings. She misses her home and her little dog, Teenie, who is now with me. That said, she has come to terms with her situation and understands it is necessary.

[ Added next day — I should clarify that Mum was a big part of the decision-making process regarding her going into Assisted Care. She was actually afraid to go back home and said she knew she could no longer cope alone. She needs daily medical assistance, unfortunately. Despite that, it was a big change for her and she still had to come to terms with it all. They allow pets to visit the Assisted Care Home but Mum hasn't wanted Teenie to visit as yet. Mum misses her but wants what is best for Teenie. More on Teenie in a later post. Mum admitted that she was having trouble caring for Teenie properly prior to her recent back injury. She is so happy that I have Teenie and it has given her peace of mind in that regard.

My sister takes her dog in to visit with Mum and Aaron, my son, took his little dog in the other day. I think, in some ways, even though Mum misses Teenie, she is relieved not to have the responsibility for caring for her any more. ]

Teenie is 10 years old, a Pomeranian, and adorable! She already knew us so has settled in very well.
After a few weeks, Mum's back seemed to be doing a little better where she was able to move about with a walker. although she was still reliant on regular pain medication. Just over a week ago, Mum injured her back even more when she participated in a group activity which involved dancing to Christmas songs. She had fun but overdid the dancing and is now in agony and being given stronger pain medication (Opioids). It's been very hard to see her in so much pain. It's like she is back to the pain severity of when she fractured her back.

As you can imagine, it's been an emotional roller-coaster ride for me regarding my Mum and also dealing with my own back plus hand pain issues. I keep praying for Mum's pain to ease while she screams out for God to take her. It's been bloody hard I can tell you but I keep hoping she will improve.

Taking all of the above into account, on top of daily responsibilities, I haven't felt like posting.


Have I been doing any sketching? Barely!
Back in October, I did manage a rough, incomplete, pencil sketch of Aaron's miniature poodle., Scarlett. I will be doing an acrylic painting of her soon.
My Kindle has been my best friend over the past few months. I met my Goodreads annual Reading Challenge. I elected to read 40 books for 2021 and exceeded that. Currently, I'm at 46 books. YAY!

Sorry if this post has seemed like a bit of a downer but that has been my life of late.

Things are also getting scary as our Government opened our State and International borders a couple of weeks ago and our Covid case numbers have risen dramatically. I can't wait to get our 3rd booster. We wear our masks whenever we're out in public and sanitise regularly. How are things in your area re. Covid?

I will be back tomorrow with a Christmas post as it's already Christmas Eve here. I hope you are all keeping safe and well. I hope to get around to visit you all very soon.

Love, Light and Peace


  1. Sorry about both yours and your Mum's backs. I hope they can do something to help you, and your Mum's pain can be managed enough that she can tolerate it. Glad you were able to take Teenie, and that she's settling in well.

    Covid is bad over here, to the point they're going to be bringing tighter measures back after Christmas. Personally I think they relaxed things too much too quickly, and spent too much time telling people to get out to help the economy, and now we're paying the price for that. I mean, I appreciate that the economy suffers when people aren't going to places like they used to, but I'm sad for all the lives lost because people took it to mean you could act like everything was back to pre-pandemic days again. Not helped by the fact so many people seem to be convinced the jab makes you completely safe from the virus, despite the fact it only actually gives you a better chance of avoiding a bad case of it. Anyway, what it all boils down to is that it's lucky I don't like to go out much, because between the way things are and my issues with reactions to the jab, not to mention the recent discovery that I have a mild form of autoimmune disease, I need to make sure to limit my in person interactions to a very small circle of people.

    1. Thank you, Tori.

      Yes, it's all about money for the government. Covid has been around for too long in their eyes so they relax things and dang the consequences.

      I feel the government have opened our borders way too soon. Prior to the borders opening, here in Queensland, we had less than 5 cases daily mostly from people coming from interstate and already in quarantine. Since the borders opened, our daily numbers have climbed dramatically and, yesterday, we were just under 600 cases in one day. Southern states are around 2000 new cases a day. My son and I are vulnerable, especially my son with his life-threatening things have become quite scary for us.

      We are homebodies too and we will self-isolate if we need to. Yes, even vaccinated people can get it and pass it on but they won't get it as bad which seems to be the case.

      Stay safe, Tori. x

  2. I can understand your not posting, what with your back problems and dealing with your mum. It was nice to see your post, though. And I loved your drawing. It was stunning.

    I feel sorry for your mom. I don't care how old and fragile I get, I would not want to move to an assisted living facility. And don't these places realize that having an animal lowers a person's blood pressure? I will never give up my cats, so I think your mom was braver than I could ever be.

    I hope your Christmas eve is fabulous, and I will wish you a very healthy, safe, and joyous Christmas.

    1. Thanks so much, Elizabeth.

      I should clarify that Mum was a big part of the decision-making process regarding going into Assisted Care. She was actually afraid to go back home and said she knew she could no longer cope alone. It's because of the daily need for medical assistance, not that she is old and frail, unfortunately. They allow pets to visit the Assisted Care Home but Mum didn't want Teenie to visit as it would be hard for Mum and also stressful for Teenie. Mum misses her but wants what is best for Teenie and she admitted that she was having trouble caring for Teenie properly prior to her recent back injury. She is so happy that I took Teenie in because I had Teenie for just over 3 weeks the last time Mum was in hospital with her back and Teenie bonds very well with me.

      My sister takes her dog in to visit with Mum and Aaron, my son, took his little dog in the other day. I think, in some ways, even though Mum misses Teenie, she is relieved not to have the responsibility for caring her any more.

      I hope you have a lovely Christmas too. Stay safe and well. x

  3. So sorry to hear all this health news! Have a Merry Christmas as best you can Serena.

  4. I did one post in the past few months so not doing any better in that regard. Mostly just feeling really sad about so many things and constantly trying to find ways to stay positive but finding it difficult. A lot of people don't even bother wearing masks here even when in public places but I still do. It's been two years since we traveled anywhere and this place really wears me down. My husband is getting his booster this next week but I'm not able to get it until the beginning of March it seems. I do hope I'm able to go to the States in the spring to see my boys and my mom. Sorry to hear about the back issues for you and your mum. I hope you both can find some relief. Teenie sure is a cute. Is she able to visit your mum at all? Sending healing energy your way. Happy holidays.

    1. Thanks for the well wishes, Tammy. Yes, I could take Teenie to visit her but Mum has said no at this stage. Currently, she is in so much pain. I pray it eases for her soon.

      I totally get where you're coming from, Tammy. It is hard to stay positive at times.

      We do have those who won't wear masks but thankfully, they are in the minority. We also have new rules where the unvaccinated can't go into restaurants, cinemas, etc. so that has not been received well. Covid had brought about changes to our lives on numerous levels. I wish we could go back to pre-Covid days.

      Even if the current mask mandate is lifted, we will still wear our masks when out in public. My son has a life-threatening condition and me with asthma makes us both vulnerable. Being vaccinated doesn't stop us getting Covid even though it will lessen the severity. Still not a risk we want to take. We are looking forward to getting our boosters which I think will be some time in March....possibly January/February with them bringing the booster time forward from a six month wait to four months.

      I do hope you get to visit with your sons in the Spring.

      Happy Holidays to you and your family. x

  5. When pain is that bad and can't be ignored it is difficult to get anything done at all. I'm glad your mom decided she needed to be with care and not go home again. You all worried about her so much. Even if she still overdid the dancing she has people around her all the time keeping track of her now. That has to be such a relief! I remember how it felt when we got my mom back up to Minnesota in a senior apartment.

    Teeny is sooo cute! I'm glad she fits right in.

    I do hope you are feeling a little better and that 2022 will be a better year. *love and hugs* :)

    1. Thanks, Rita. Yes, Mum is in the best place she can be. They are all so lovely and look after her well. I just hope her severe pain eases soon. It's taking a lot out of her. :(

  6. I am so sorry about your mum Sarena. It is hard when your beloved mum is in pain and you can’t do anything more than what you are doing to relieve her pain. Do take care of your back and I hope your doctor can sort it out for you. I had to have a surgery when I developed severe back pain. They found one of my discs had prolapsed and my coccyx had broken of which I was not aware of. They have told me that i should not do vacuuming and moving heavy things. So now have had to have a maid but each time they leave I have to train the new one to clean the house to my standard. I am a bit particular about cleaning since my husband is an immuno suppressed patient and want everything very very clean. Anyway hope your back gets sorted out quickly but take things easy

    1. Thanks, Shashi. It has been very difficult for her and for us to see her so bad.

      You poor thing. Back issues are very debilitating for sure. Yes, Mum was told not to do the heavy things as she also has an Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm that could rupture at any time through any strain. Mum just seemed to think she was invincible and ignored all the warnings, even from the Specialists. I'm glad that you paid heed and got help. We were all there to help Mum with the heavy stuff but she was so stubborn and wanted to show that she could do it all alone. Now she is paying for that stubbornness.

      I hope you and your husband stay safe and well, especially in these Covid-times. x

  7. covid here is getting out of control again, im getting a 4th shot in january because of it. people should be wearing masks but usually are not :(

    1. Yep, totally agree. We have never seen numbers like this in Australia. I've noticed that, while the case numbers are climbing, there are only minimal people requiring hospitalisation and fewer in ICU so the vaccines must be working. We plan to wear our masks, mandate or not. Most here are wearing masks but a few don't.

      Stay safe, Jen. x