Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Gimme the works! Or, if yesterday didn't kill me, then nothing will.

It's been a crazy week.

Friday Jason had a job interview.  It's a company to which he had submitted an online resume a couple of months ago, and suddenly they contacted him to come in and do a code* test and go through an oral exam and a drug test and a bunch of other stuff.  Jason said it was the most rigorous interview/application process he's ever been through in 15 years as an electrician.

He got the job.  

Which is amazing for a number of reasons, not the least of which that his income will mean the difference between being able to meet our monthly expenses and, y'know ... not.**  And the company has been interviewing about 10 guys a day for the past month, and Jason is the first guy that they've hired.  And it's an awesome company - good wages, incredible benefits, a huge presence in Colorado.

So he's all chuffed and proud of himself and psyched to be contributing to the family fisc, and I'm so happy for him and for us, because it's great.

But because nothing is ever easy, of course there's a catch.

The job he's been staffed on is in Vail.  Which is 90 miles away.  

The company provides corporate housing for its employees, and it's a lovely apartment right by Vail Village with an incredible view of the mountains and all that.  So Jason doesn't have to commute 2 hours each way to work 10 hour days.  Which is good.

But that means that during the week, I'm by myself taking care of an active 19-month-old and a 12-year-old blind, arthritic dog, trying to keep the house from being a complete disaster, and oh, yeah, working a full-time job.  While pregnant.

And just to make things really fun, yesterday -- the day that Jason left for Vail and I started my stint as a part-time single parent -- I completely fucked up my back.  I don't know what I did, but a little while after I woke up, the muscle behind my right hip/sacrum went into spasm, and became gradually worse to the point that I couldn't walk comfortably or lift my right leg without excruciating pain.

I called the chiropractor and went in for an appointment at noon.  Two hours later I walked out of the clinic feeling like a tenderized steak -- but still in pain.

First he tried to adjust me.  Normally my lower back adjusts really easily, but yesterday my muscles were so seized up that nothing would move.  He put some heating pads on my back for 15 minutes and then tried again.  Still nothing.

"Let's try acupuncture!" he said.

"Um, OK.  If you think it'll help."

So he took me into another room, stuck a bunch of needles in my back and in the side of my left leg, and left me there under infrared lights for 20 minutes.  

Still no relief.

"Well, the massage person's here.  Let's have her work on you."

"Fine.  Anything."

The massage lady had the most intensely strong hands of any massage therapist that's ever touched me.  And it felt like she was helping, really working to try to loosen up the muscle, but she was digging in so hard that by the time she finished, I was sore and exhausted and ravenously hungry.  

And still in pain.  I knew that one of the treatments (most likely the massage) was going to help, but that it would probably take a day for my muscles to calm down and for the pain to subside.  So I limped out of there, chugged two bottles of water, scarfed down a turkey sub, a chocolate chip cookie, and a bag of potato chips, and went back to work.  I was filled with dread at the prospect of having to chase after Zeke later that night, when all I wanted to do was have a warm bath and go to bed.

Zeke ended up being mostly fine, though of course I felt horrible when I picked him up at school and the first thing he said was, "Daddy?"

"No, honey, we're not going to see Daddy tonight.  Maybe we'll see him tomorrow."


Great, kid.  Why don't you stab me in the fucking heart while you're at it.

That evening, I did have to deal with a temper tantrum (he wanted to stay outside and play, even though it was 45 degrees and raining), so I had to waddle down the block with a screaming toddler under my arm.  But once we got home, he was happy to look at books and bounce around on the couch and watch Elmo.  He had a blast during bath time, and ate a decent dinner. We cuddled in the rocking chair and I sang to him for about 10 minutes, and he was in his crib, asleep, by 8:15.

I hobbled around the house for another 20 minutes, picking up toys, doing some laundry, and washing the dishes.  I let the dog out to pee, had a bowl of cereal, put on my pajamas, and went to bed.  I survived the first day.

My back is much improved today.  So things can only get better from here.

If not, I'm in trouble.
* The national electrical code

**It's been a rough few months, financially speaking.  But for the enormous generosity of my parents, and the fact that I bit the bullet, killed the sacred cow and cashed in one of my 401Ks to pay off our credit card debt, we would have had to default on the house in Hawaii.  Which would have sucked, not only for us, but for our renters.  


  1. Goodnesss gracious! That is a full day. I hope your back is much, much better and you're able to get some rest - somehow! Congratulations to Jason on the new job, that's wonderful.

  2. Thank you! My back is better. It's a tough transition with Jason being gone, but we'll figure it out.

  3. Oh, Wendy, I'm so sorry. What a huge pile of stuff to deal with all at once. And back pain is just the worst.

    I'm really glad you're now living somewhere with loving friends and a good support system.

    Sending you positive energy and hugs.