Today’s post brought to you by the letter M


I’ve been scarce, lately.  No post since Monday, and I’ve not been reading any blogs, either.  In fact, I’ve barely been on the computer.  I haven’t exactly gone missing but it kind of feels like it.  So, here’s what’s going on….


…as in, Monday I have an MRI scheduled for my lower back.  It’s getting increasingly worse. Acupuncture has not helped; in fact, it seems to make my back feel even more angry.  I’ve been rotating between walking and laying down.  I can’t sit for more than 5 minutes at a time (unless I’m pretty medicated) and standing still is impossible.  So, I’m either walking on the treadmill at a slow but steady pace or I’m on the floor doing yoga stretches.  This has made my time in the studio very challenging.  I can’t paint and walk at the same time so I’m doing very short but furious bursts in between.  Not an easy task.  Still, I did manage to finish this little guy:

I went to the doctor yesterday and there may be a change in my diagnosis of degenerative disc disease.  He used words like bulging and/or ruptured disc. I asked him point-blank whether the excess weight in my younger days could have contributed to my condition.  Of course he couldn’t answer this with complete certainty but he assured me that if I were still carrying around those extra 100+ pounds I could likely be completely immobile right now.  This brings me to something I cannot stress enough: don’t abuse your body.  Respect every aspect of it, because It has to serve you the rest of your life.

Minus the Mister:

Tomorrow, my husband and I were supposed to be heading to Arizona to visit his sister.  I had to make the difficult decision to give up my ticket.  Sitting that long is an impossibility for me.  This was not an easy choice, but it’s the only answer for me if I want to protect my back from further irritation.  Besides, couldn’t you just see me in Arizona and then have my back go out?  I mean yes, there are worse things than being stuck in Arizona but what a nightmare that would be!  After a long discussion, I convinced my husband to go without me.  At least one ticket will be used and honestly, he really needs to get to a warmer climate for a few days.  Working outside in this single digit weather can be unbelievably draining.  So, it looks like I’m going to be a bachelorette for a few days.


As part of my decision to continue with my Gratitude Jar, it has become easier to find things to be grateful about even when I could feel sorry for myself for having another health crisis less than a year after major surgery.  Since walking eases my pain, it’s been a breeze maintaining my weight.  Chronic pain kind of takes away my appetite, anyway.   I can’t imagine what it would be like if I were completely unable to move.  I swear I’ll never again complain about my ‘dreadmill’.  It has literally saved my sanity.

All right folks, I’m outta here for now.  Be good to yourself this weekend and I’ll see you back here sometime next week. 



16 thoughts on “Today’s post brought to you by the letter M

  1. tree peters

    that painting is incredible. I am absolutely not a bird painting person at all. But I love it. I will need a print for sure. We have to talk about getting you doing giclee’s.
    I’m so glad you’re taking care of yourself!

  2. Sharon

    SO sorry about your back. Wish you could go to Arizona – the moderate temps would probably help once there. Being in Florida was wonderful for me. I’ve felt pretty rough ever since I got home. Good luck with the MRI – trying to lie still that long may not be easy.

  3. Jan

    Praying your appointment goes well tomorrow and that your husband has a nice trip visiting his sister. Sorry you’re not able to go. Hope you can find some relief soon.

  4. Brandi

    Oh Ellen, I am so sorry that you are still having so much back pain. I have never had that, but I do know people who have and it’s not good.
    I hope you feel better real soon and that the MRI tells you something.

  5. Greg (Transformed and Scaled)

    Sorry your back is giving you so much trouble, Ellen. Glad the walking is helping though. It sucks that you won’t be able to enjoy the warmth in Arizona.
    Good luck with your time in the dubstep machine. Hope they figure out what’s going on.

  6. debby

    I’m so sorry to hear about your back. I hope that they will find a solution with the results of the MRI. And that it will be an easy solution!

    You are right. We need to respect our bodies and take care of ourselves.

  7. Beth

    George turned out just beautiful Ellen!
    FYI…Mark had a ruptured disc with pains shooting down his right leg…sciatic nerve??? Anyways, this was YEARS ago, and he had back surgery on it and it did wonders! He immediately felt better.
    Hope your tests turn out okay, and that you get some answers and figure out what to do to ease the pain.
    Hope you are not too lonely without Craig…Mark was away for a week, and it was kinda nice to begin with, but then I started really missing him and being bored and lonely at home without him or even without the girls!! I’m sure he is not having much fun without you either!
    Hope he is home by your birthday :)
    Love you!

  8. Carrie @ Season It Already!

    I am so sorry to hear what you’ve been going through… I can totally relate because I’m going through similar issues with my back right now. All I know is that it’s a herniated disc, but my chiro suspects its degeneration from the last 10-15 years. I fear gaining all the weight I’ve lost and I’ve still got halfway to go…

    The pain is so difficult to deal with, so I completely understand your absence!

    I’m thinking of you and sending positive, strong, healthy vibes your way!

    1. vickie

      scheduled for uterus ultrasound tomorrow. Met with my new female issues doc earlier this week and she suggested it. I didn’t realize it, but when I filled out her paperwork, cycles were creeping closer together and longer. I had d&c and ablation in 2008, so luckily they are no longer heavy, but she was concerned there might be growths back in there.

  9. didi

    Oh, Ellen, I love your birds. You see things in a way that is so pretty.

    Sorry that you are having so much trouble with your back. I’ve been dealing with lower back pain for over a year now, and it’s total bollocks. I can’t imagine having to deal with not being able to sit comfortably. Hoping they can help, and soon!


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