What a Week

It’s been a rough time around here at Ch√Ęteau Whatever-We-Call-Our-House lately.

For me, the rough part actually started exactly two weeks ago, when I woke up to what turned out to be a pinched nerve in my right clavicle, with accompanying soreness there and down my left arm. Coincidentally this was just over 14 years since I had a pinched nerve in my neck on the right side with very similar symptoms. The difference is that last time I found a way to hold my head which could relieve the pressure temporarily, while this time I found one somewhat awkward position (holding my left arm up and bending it to touch the back of my neck) which provided a little relief, but not a lot. And it wasn’t conducive to, well, being able to do anything else. It was also worse when I was seated while driving. It was bad enough that it was disrupting my sleep.

Coincidentally I had a doctor’s appointment scheduled for Friday, where my doctor – who I’ve had for 20 years – prescribed the same thing he’d given me last time – methylprednisolone, a cortical steroid. I started the treatment on Saturday and slowly felt better over the next few days.

I also learned that I am probably developing tinnitis, which stands to be somewhat annoying, although my brain already seems to be rewiring itself to ignore it pretty effectively. It’s also been coming and going, so who knows. It beats the alternative, which apparently is that hearing sounds can be associated with cardiovascular problems. No, thanks.

Should I be feeling old now? Honestly I feel rather lucky: I could be dealing with much worse. I am so over this nerve pinch, though.

The next thing arrived on Tuesday, when a rain storm followed by an incredible wind storm knocked out power at home, and at work, and in large swaths of the South Bay. It also knocked over two sections of our fence. This has happened before, about 8 years ago, and we’ve had a number of posts replaced since then since the original builder did a poor job of putting them in cement. But it seems there’s yet more to do.

The power was projected to be out until Friday night. We picked up dinner both nights, and went to bed early. The animals were very confused. Debbi’s office had power, so she went to work on Wednesday while I walked to have breakfast at Hobee’s, and then cut back the jasmine on the fallen sections of fence so the repair guy could examine it.

A downed fence is not very compatible with a dog who spends a lot of time outdoors. Domino was actually really good about not going into the neighbor’s yard, though he was curious. (His yard is also fenced in, but not necessarily dog-proof.) So I took his 30-foot leash and attached it to our outdoor couch, which did a pretty good job to keeping him from wandering.

We charged our phones and watches from our laptops – since we weren’t really using them anyway. My comic shop guy even let me charge the laptops at his store when I went over on Wednesday.

Happily, the power came back on Thursday morning, a day and a half ahead of schedule, and I was able to go back to work, too. But we did throw away a lot of refrigerated and a little frozen food. (Our chest freezer in the garage did a good job of keeping everything solid, though.) I made a grocery store run to replace most of the food we’d tossed.

Friday the fence guy came by to give us an estimate, but also the bad news that they were scheduling out in May already. Boo! He said they were so busy they might start working Saturdays and might be able to fit us in that way. So this weekend we went to Home Despot and bought some temporary fencing. I mowed the lawn for the first time this year and then put it up. Domino was a little baffled but didn’t really test it. Debbi also bought a cable with a corkscrew anchor to attach him more firmly.

Finally, today while I was out for a post-lunch walk, the fence guy called Debbi and said they had an opening today. By the time I got back they were already setting up. So I grabbed some shears and cut away the rest of the jasmine blocking one of the posts they had to replace, and by the end of the afternoon our fence was back!

Amidst all this I’ve also been working on pulling together taxes, paying bills, and trying to have a little fun here and there as well.

My nerve is not entirely better, but it’s not significantly affecting my sleep (just annoying it a little). Hopefully it will clear up over the next month or so, and that it will be more than 14 years before I get another one.

Anyway, I think I’m ready to sleep for a week or two.