[This is my Fifth installment of my Vacation Series of blog posts. For Day One, click here; for Day Two, click here; for Day Three, click here. For Day Four, click here. Day Five was Wednesday, July 19th.]

Here is the view I have had all day today

That black spot is a spider. I've watched it slowly migrate from across the room until it is now directly over me. Not a very good feeling.

I have only gotten out of bed to pee, eat and take more pills. The problem is that I hurt my lower back yesterday lifting Tony 2 Ton (aka, Samuel) over the baby gate multiple times.

For the record, I did NOT “throw my back out”. I hate that phrase because there is really no way to throw your back anywhere since most humans I know cannot remove their backs from the rest of their torso with their bare hands. And throwing your back would necessitate removing it from your person. So no, I didn’t throw it – I hurt it. And now I’m having back spasms.

Which is why I am lying here in bed instead of doing as my sister & her husband are doing – having a romantic mid-day swim in the pool.

Funny how unpleasant the word romantic starts to sound when you are in constant pain.


Our room faces both the ocean and the pool out one window, and the parking lot out the other window.

Here’s the view (the good one anyway).

From here on my bed, I can hear my nephew Trey talking to his Mama on the way to bed. I can hear Garrett crying in his bed when he doesn’t want to sleep. I can hear the blend of laughing voices and splashing and screaming from everyone down at the pool. And I can hear the wind blowing against the side of our condo.

It’s the sound of a vacation that I am missing all because of my back.

Pain Tolerance

I have a confession to make. When life gets really busy and hard, I start wishing for a break – the kind that can only come with an injury. So a day like today – where I spent all day in bed – should have been a dream come true.

Except it wasn’t.  And it wasn’t just because we were on vacation and my room was tiny or I kept getting waked up by boats speeding in and out of the harbor. It was miserable because the one part about this little dream of mine I had not foreseen was the pain.

The pain is so bad right now that no matter how I lay, it hurts. It hurts so badly that it could be mistaken for back labor – but without the hope of it ending. The pain originates in the small of my back on the left side, but wraps around to my front.

You know, it’s hard to enjoy having time off when there is a searing pain in your body. Just doesn’t seem fair.


Today Is Thursday

At least that’s what they tell me. I’ve been in a pain & drug induced stupor for a day or so now. Which wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t for the pain part.

Actually, things are starting to look up where that’s concerned. Somewhere in the midst of wallowing in self-pity because my mom, sister & SIL went to lunch without me, I remembered that the doctors now say just laying in bed isn’t the best thing when you are getting over lower back pain. Instead you’re supposed to gently stretch your lower back using some exercises I have been told you can find on the Internet. So even though we’ve had practically no Internet since we arrived, I decided to give it a try. The 3G gods smiled on me and low & behold – exercises to relieve lower back pain came up on my iPhone!  I did a few and the pain almost made me give up. But I pushed through because No Pain, No Gain, and suddenly, I could feel some of the tightness in my back release. It was an incredible sensation, good enough to convince me to try another exercise. After that, I felt good enough to get up and stay up for about an hour before the pain was back in full force. So I’m back in bed for now but am hopeful that a little stretching will go a long ways. That and some old fashioned drugs from the local Wal-Mart.

And Now I’m Crying

As if it’s not bad enough I’m stuck here in this bed while my whole family goes out to dinner together, now I’m also bawling my eyes out over something devastating that just happened in the fiction book I started reading during vacation.

I wish I didn’t get so emotionally involved in these stories. I wish. Because I’ve been given such a tremendous gift this week. From my original list of things I wanted to accomplish on vacation, here are the ones I’ve accomplished:

1. Sleep (Done lots of that now)

2. Read books on my Kindle (thus the crying)

3. Scrapbook

4. Swim

5. Get a tan

6. Eat no more than allotted calories per day

7. Enjoy my family

8. Drink coffee on the balcony and watch the sun rise

9. Ride on the boat

10. Reconnect with Brad

11. Enjoy the change of pace

12. Be still and know that He is God

I’ll call that 7.5 out of 12. Not bad! I’ve had time away from the kids – almost too much time!  I’m actually missing them. I’ve had quiet conversations with different members of my family. I’ve rested. I’ve slept. I’ve been swimming and I’ve taken a whole lot of pictures. And we still have tomorrow.

Yet despite all that I have to be thankful for, I’m not. I’m just hurting and bawling my eyes out because Justin has been killed by a roadside bomb and now Emily will never have her summer wedding [No, these are not real people.  They are from a Karen Kingsbury book I am reading.  And yet, I feel like I know them personally.  That folks, is a well-written book!]  I’ve been left behind again (the family has gone out to dinner) and I miss Snickers.

I need sleep, but in order to sleep, I need MEDICINE and another day has gone by without the doctor calling in anything for me. I’m ready to shoot him.



Today is day 563 of our vacation and the doctor has finally called in a steroid pack plus muscle relaxer. Mom has gone to Wal-Mart to get them for me. According to the nurse I spoke with, the steroid pack will reduce the inflammation, which is the source of the pain. So I may have less pain by tomorrow – just in time to get in the car and ride a total of 9 hours in two days.

Again, why? Why come all this way, just to spend a week in bed?

I’m too tired to answer that question. I think I’ll sleep while Brad, Dad & the kids are at the beach. Bethany, Will, Meredith & their two little boys are flying back to College Station in a little while. I’m listening to Phil Collins’ Groovy Kind of Love. Just so it kind of feels like a vacation. I think I’ll play Another Day in Paradise next.

Tomorrow, We Head Back Into Civilization

I’m a mixed bag of emotions right now. A few minutes ago, Will buzzed us as he and all his family (and Bethany) took off and headed toward home. It’s the beginning of the end for this years’ vacation.

While Shan took them to the airport, mom & I began dividing up the food and packing it away in boxes. Then I came over here and started packing up our clothes, washing what we would need for the trip home. Until now, when my back – despite the first 2 steroid pills and some Xanax – hurt so badly I couldn’t take it anymore.


When Poppy took the boat out to the Intercoastal today, to take the kids to one of the little island beaches, Brad said they saw dolphins jumping out of the water in what he called the cut – which isn’t exactly the same thing as what I call the cut, but whatever. Matthew spotted them first and he was so excited!

Do you know how weird it is to be on vacation but not get to do any of the fun stuff?  They’ve played board games, gone swimming and walked over to Harbor Bait & Tackle for ice cream. Matthew & Samuel caught their first fish and all 3 boys are eating fish at mealtime now. They built sandcastles and made forts and picked up seashells. They are inventing and playing new games in the swimming pool. And through it all, I have been on my bed, in excruciating pain, unless by some miracle I was able to fall asleep.  

All this and a six hour car ride to Waco tomorrow (or is it 7?), followed by 2 more hours the next day. That next day is Sunday, so then on Monday, I have to drive to the vet clinic to pick up Snickers. Will I be able to drive by then?  Will I be able to sit all those hours in the car?  How am I ever going to pack?  And what is up with the bizarre drug-induced dream I had when I last napped?  

I think maybe it’s best not to think too much right now. Probably should wait until I’m not so emotional and in pain and on drugs.


On the road again

Well, our week at the coast is over and we are headed home. We’ve only been driving less than half an hour and I’m already leaned back as far as my chair will go with my little pink pillow under my back. Until I leaned back, I was almost in tears. The pain was a big part of it but also the realization that our week is over and I missed it. Of course I’m also on a heavy dose of steroids so that might have something to do with it.




In case I haven’t said it before, I love our home. I love our bed. I love our clean kitchen. I love our coffee maker. I love having WiFi and SuperTarget and clean carpet and my own, clean bathtub with hot water. I am just so happy to be home. Now all we need is our puppy and life will be complete.

The End Of The Story

I have gone ahead and finished this really long series of posts about our vacation because frankly, I was starting to bore myself.  Besides, life has moved on and I have new stories to tell!  But before I leave this series, I have to include a few last notes.

My back is now doing much better.  I am driving and sitting and managing without even the help of Advil.  However, I will be starting now to prepare my back for next year’s vacation.  Not sure exactly how to do that, except to start lifting Samuel over a baby gate…maybe I should talk to my doctor about that.

Also, we got Snickers home and she was really well-behaved for a couple of days, almost like she was afraid of being sent away to doggie boarding school again.  But she’s back to her old ways now.  That’s another series of posts for another day.

Finally, because I was so busy blogging about myself, I didn’t get around to writing about how Matthew & Samuel caught their first fish on this trip – or any of the other cool things that happened.  So here are some pictures that tell a little of the story that went on while I was up in my bedroom most of the week.

Matthew caught his first fish! He was so proud!

Brad took this as they were speeding out on my dad's boat. It's blurry but you can still see how excited Matthew & Samuel are!

This was the view from our balcony downstairs. It is my favorite scenic picture from the trip.

This HUGE boat, which was being pulled by a smaller tugboat, came by every day, twice a day. It would go out in the morning and come back in in the evening.

Another of my fav scenic pics

My bed, where I spent most of the week.

Brad's bed, where he didn't spend much time (obviously).

At DQ on the way home, Brad shows Matthew how far we have to travel.

At the same DQ, we watched the cotton harvesters go by.

The tugboat and construction platform came in one night. The tug almost lost control of it and it came really close to hitting our condo!