Rescue Me, JP!

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Oh, Porter. Look at you. You’ve been through hell and high water, and you still look steely-eyed and determined–and gorgeous.

As for me, I feel every one of my 52 years and then some. A lot of “somes.” I have popped the muscle relaxer and the ibuprofen and fired up the heating pad to maximum velocity. The photos are now exporting from Lightroom to a subfolder on the desktop.

It will take a while.

I thought I took 500 or so photos. It was 706.  How in the heck did you take that many, my husband asked me.

I guess it had something to do with the 110 or so contestants and trying to get decent photos of each of them. I try to hold my camera very steady as I am shooting and, Porter, my shoulders are now screaming at me. And my back and hips. It was a long night.

I keep thinking of that Danny Glover tagline in the Lethal Weapon movies. “I am getting too old for this sh*t.” Danny, you and me both, my friend.

I know my various aches and pains, as loudly as they are screaming at me presently,  are nothing compared to what you’ve been through, Sergeant,  what with being shot and stabbed and water-boarded and beaten. You take it all with such amazing toughness and stoicism and then promise in the end to kill every last one of the bastards and rescue the girl and you manage to do it!

I don’t want you to kill anybody, just put a can of whup-ass on this pain, if possible.   I trust you to be able to do it, too.

I believe in the Powah of the Portah.

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Rescue me, JP, as only a genuine Armitage hero can . . .

About fedoralady

I'm an LA native--Lower Alabama, that is. My husband of more than 30 years and I live here on a portion of my family's former farm with two gorgeous calicos and a handsome GSD mix. My background is art education, and over the years I've been a teacher, department store photographer, sales associate and a journalist. My husband, his business partner and I have Pecan Ridge Productions, a video production company, for which I shoot & edit video and stills and manage marketing. I also still write part-time for the local paper. I love movies, music, art, photography and books, and my tastes in all of them are eclectic.

52 responses »

  1. I wish I could send John Porter to rescue you, or at least give you a really good massage. 😉 It sounds like you did an amazing job last night. Wow! But now it’s Sunday morning. Rest well, have another dose of muscle relaxer and ibuprofen, and let happy dreams catch up with you. Who knows, maybe John will find you after all.

    • It’s mid-afternoon and I am still exhausted and in pain and about to take some more meds. Fell asleep sometime about 4 a.m. Benny is trying to take a nap right now after waking up early again. He had to be on his feet too much, I had to sit too much, both worked against us. Sorry to say I didn’t dream of JP, but of ants biting me all over my feet, amongst other things. Make of that what you will. *shrugs shoulders*

      Amazing job, I don’t think so. Just the best I could. At least when I did this sort of thing for the newspaper, I was guaranteed a certain rate an hour, with this we don’t know what we’ll make, if anything. It’s frustrating, I have to say. Best thing about last night was seeing some old friends and one of my former students and knowing funds were raised for the fight against cancer. I do try to look for the bright side, even when I am feeling rather miserable. 😉

      I still need JP, so if anyone runs into him, send him my way, won’t you? A big hug and a “there, there, it’ll be alright” crooned to me would help a LOT.

  2. I guess you had a great time taking your pictures, Angie. 705? You can get a bit excessive sometimes, but I can relate to that, especially when it comes to digital cameras at special events or with special people, very special people. I’m so glad you do!

    Sorry you’e feeling so badly as a result of doing something that had to be a huge amount of fun. After 50 or so, fitness matters more than age in determining quality of life. One of the drawbacks of computers is that they encourage us to be more sedintary. You have to build exercise into your life, take the time for it, schedule it in, in order to feel good. A bit of TH Boot Camp every day.

    Now I don’t have FMS and don’t know a lot about it, so I may be speaking out of turn here. But I do have a few years on you (21) and a bad back and a history of pelvic fractures that limited my ability to move for many years.

    I have had astoundingly rejeuvenating results (less pain and more function) from daily using an inversion table for my back and more recently a TRX Suspension Trainer for general body strengthening, especially my legs, which became very weak from inactivity. These are things I have in my house, that are very convenient to use daily, that are completely non-invasive, that I control at all times so that I work at my own level, that never cause pain, cost no time or effort to get there, and absolutely no money to use other than the initial cost, which can be substantially reduced by careful shopping on the internet or other secondhand sales.

    I know it sounds weird–a little old gray haired septuagenarian climbing on an A-frame contraption, lying on what looks like a short, fat ironing board, rocking with head down and feet in the air! It takes all the gravity off your back, feels heavenly! I do mild, core and upper body exercises while rocking. The TRX was developed for Navy Seals, it’s fantastically simple, just two attached straps with handles that hang from a door. The three easiest exercises, rows, squats, and pushups, gave me noticeable benefit after a week of ten minutes a day.

    Enough of this commercial. I am NOT paid by either of these companies. Go to http://www.teeterhangups.com for much more info and testimonials. There are other brands of inversion tables that are cheaper. TeeterHangUps has a good site. There are medical contraindications listed on the teeter site. Gotta go and use this stuff. Feel better soon!

    • At some point I have to write about FMS and how it affects you in a more in-depth manner. But one problem is that while exercise is important, it must be of gentle kind. Stretching is important and I try to do that every day. Walking is something else I can do, but was hampered by our string of rainy days.

      I cannot do the types of exercise videos I once did. My body simply won’t allow it, and not just because I am overweight and aging. FMS changes you. Also I have the additional issue of my knee injury and subsequent surgery. I will never be able to do squats, lunges, deep knee bends and similar exercises again, because that knee will never be “normal” again. No running, no jogging, no high or medium-impact activities. Neither the knee nor my FMS like it. Not trying to weasel out of my lack of fitness, honestly, I know I could do better and if I am to continue these sort of marathon sessions with my camera, I have to. But I am caught in a rather vicious cycle, to which some of the other ladies here can attest easily happens with FMS.

      • “My name is Leigh and I have fibro…” Yes, I can attest that it is everything Angie says it is. It is nerve pain, not an inflammatory disease, so NSAIDs don’t work on it, only on some of the side effects. There’s not just pain, but the weakness and fatigue it causes, the interrupted thought processes and the “fog” that comes with a flare, lack of sleep because the pain wakes you up, the wreckage it makes of your gut, and the nuisance of not being able to rely on your body. Two hands on the coffeepot, use the handrail, don’t kneel on that knee, I keep having to remind myself. Exercise, right — this is the person who passed out with the pain trying to use a stationary bicycle and fell off. I can no longer run or do many of the other things I used to take for granted. My body simply will not do it. I have to do stretching and limbering exercises in bed and then see if I can stand up. Sometimes I can; sometimes I can’t. With luck and good weather, I can enjoy walking. When it’s bad, well, let’s not go there.

        • I was actually pleasantly surprised when I was able to walk today with a minimum of looking like the hunchback from Notre Dame. We had to go to Wal-Mart last night after leaving theatre and I couldn’t even push the cart. When I tried to look for hair color, I rocked back on my unsteady heels and almost fell into the shelves behind me. Said something very rude to myself. Haircolor will wait until Wednesday when I hopefully make it to CVS after humane society meeting and have smaller shelves with less stooping and bending. When it’s bad–and it’s bad today–it’s horrid. Good news? My hair, styled with my clip-free curling iron, really looked good last night. Look for that bright side . . . 😉

          • I’m so sorry it’s horrid today. (You know I’d send Porter to the rescue if I could.) Still, as you say, the hair colour will wait, and at least you didn’t hurt yourself (I hope) toppling backward into the shelving. I’m glad that you were able to straighten up and walk. Yay!! and hooray for the curling iron success, too. Like you, I hang onto every bit of the good stuff that I can, including the nice, warm, soft pile of black fur on my feet at the moment.

            • More than anything, I would have been horribly embarrassed if I’d actually gone into the shelving there. You’d be surprised by how many people shop in Wal-Mart late Saturday night in my little hometown. I have this not-so-secret fear people think I secretly drink because I certainly stagger around like I am inebriated sometimes. Since they haven’t seen a lot of me in the last couple of years, it would be easy to assume I’ve been spending my time growing my hair and hitting the Kahlua and Coke a little TOO often. In truth, I’ve spent the time growing my hair, Richarding, and eating too many M&Ms LOL

              I really do like that curling iron. Found it on clearance at Wally World. I apply argan oil and let my hair dry naturally as much as possible to reduce heat damage and then work with the natural wave to enhance the curls with the iron. The curls stay, they look nice and soft. Even Benny commented on how good my hair looked. Only tricky thing is, with no clip you are wrapping the hair around the hot barrel. So a protective glove is necessary to keep from burning your fingers. Fortunately, I have one. 😉

              Thumper was curled up at Benny’s feet the last time I peeked in. He’s still napping, bless his heart. It was a hard night for him, too. After all, he’d also worked half a day.

              • Once–and I still cringe to remember this–I was in a Marshall’s and there was something I wanted to look at on a pretty low shelf. I bent down, overbalanced leaning forward, and one side of my face went into sharp corner of another shef. The next thing I knew, there was blood running down my face and I was so dizzy, I could hardly get to my feet. By the time I found someone who worked there, I was a mess–they rushed me into a back room and cleaned me up, but the looks I got! I know they were thinking I’d had a few at lunch, but they were nice and one of the managers gave me a card and said she’d have someone from the corporate office call me in a day or two and make sure I was okay (no one ever did). I was so mortified, I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. At least, it wasn’t a deep cut, but it was months before I ever went back there, since it was (of course) in my immediate neighborhood.

              • Oh, Stephanie, I can really feel for you and so easily imagine that happening to me. It’s horribly embarrassing. Glad you weren’t badly injured. Facial injuries can bleed like mad–after my car accident with the glass going into my face as it did I am sure I looked like something out of Night of the Living Dead. ((hugs))

        • I also can attest to everything Angie and Leigh have said about the challenge of fibromyalgia. For years, I worked two and three jobs at a time, most of them on my feel for hours at a time–and spent a great deal of time blaming the way I felt at times on that. The pain, the sleeplessness, the fogs that would descend and make me feel like I was trying to do normal, everyday things through a theatrical scrim–finally, I could no longer ignore it. At that time, I was also going to a massage therapist for a long-standing back problem–and one day, she said “I believe you might have fibromyalgia” while working on me. This was long enough back that I had no idea what she was talking about, I’d never even heard the term. However, I was one of the lucky ones in one way–my doctor then not only knew what it was, but had made a study of what little was known about it. He diagnosed me, then gave me the bad news–there were no known effective treatments. He did give a me a list of books to read about living with it as best you could, and bless him, at least I was armed with that information. I managed for quite a while, thinking that I could somehow “beat it off”–that lasted until about 10 years ago when growing older took on a whole new meaning and the fibro unleashed with a vengeance. I began to fall a lot, injuring myself relatively badly more times than I care to tell you. My long-time battle with insomnia grew worse. With the different family difficulties going on through those years, I could no longer afford regular massages ( which helped me a great deal) and my weight, which had always been a battle, went up by leaps and bounds. Now, there are not all that many exercises I can do anymore, mainly because my body just won’t permit it, and I’ve had to learn a whole new regimen of pacing myself on the bad days if I expect to get anything done.
          I feel for you both, believe me, and anyone else afflicted with this horrendous condition. It really changes your life as you know it, and there is only so much, even now, that can be done.

          • I extend a very gentle hug to my fellow FMS girls.

            What I’ve found quite interesting is that I really started reading more and seeing more about FMS in the media after a male doctor was diagnosed with the condition and went on to do research and write books. Somehow that seemed to foster more credibility in certain ppl’s eyes. Men do get FMS, but they are largely in the minority. Somehow, it seems, it’s not “just in your head” when a man who is also a medical professional has it versus all those silly females with nothing better to do than to complain about their aches and pains.

            And yes, I am being *very *sarcastic here.

            And I fear that many people who don’t walk in these particular shoes have a hard time quite comprehending what it does to you, not just physically, but emotionally and mentally. There’s no one treatment or medication or anything that works for everyone.

            Add in life’s other normal aches and pains and ladies and gents, all I can say is, in most inelegant terms, it sucks. And blows. It is a game changer, a life changer, and really all I know to do is take it one day at a time. And if I know I face a brutal day, as I did yesterday, not to plan anything strenuous to brain or body the following day if at all possible. Have to allow for recovery time.

            I used to get therapeutic massages, too, and they seemed to help, but without insurance and with price now charged triple what it was when I started, I just can’t afford it anymore. 😦

            • I really was fortunate–not only to have a doctor that knew “it wasn’t all in my head”, but one who at least had some knowledge he was willing to pass on. It really does alter everything you expect your life to be, even allowing for the changes that come naturally as the years go by. Dealing with the physical pain would be bad enough by itself–but the mental and emotional effects make day-to-day living almost more than you can bear at times.

              • I hear you, Stephanie. I think I reached critical mass this week. As I told Benny, several things attacking me at once was just too much. FMS pain, irritability and those blasted doubt fairies, IBS, sleep troubles, RL worries, just everything shaking its fist and pointing fingers, punching me and bad-mouthing me until I felt completely and utterly overwhelmed by it all. A bit like Thorin after Azog dealt him that hard blow and laid him out on that rock.

                Last night they were playing some music very loud (and not my favorite kind) part of the time (for the more comedic Golden Miss category) with the speakers right beside us, my fingers were all a-fumble trying to replace the camera battery, the pageant had all been going on nearly four hours by then, I hit the wrong button on the front of camera and everything went wonky–for a moment, I wanted to stand up and scream very loudly. That I manage to put up the front I do at times in public surprises me. LOL

              • Kudos to you, my dear–not at all sure I would have been able to act with that much equanimity. And I totally understand what you mean when it comes to getting landed on by numerous whammies all at once. I’m only now really starting to come out of whatever this grunge thing is that I’ve had going on for several weeks, which has completely sapped what little energy I had (another charming side effect of good old fibro) and becomes frustrating in the extreme when you know you have stuff that needs to be done and you simply do NOT feel like doing it. Sometimes RL becomes the toughest aspect to deal with.

              • I think about that saying “God put me on earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now, I am so far behind I will probably live forever.” And that’s pretty much true, the part about being so far behind. 😉

              • Amen. Stephanie, I’m glad you’re coming out of it. May the pain and its nasty associates let go of you soon.

                Angie, what can I say that hasn’t been said? It is overwhelming, especially when it all gangs up on you at once, when it’s difficult to believe that there will be better days. Still, you matter to us, to Benny, to your critters, to your family and friends. You matter a lot.

                Sending healing thoughts and praying that you both are better soon. I have to try to think this morning; it’s a struggle right now.

              • Thanks, Leigh. I know you do understand. So many people really don’t. I hope your brain starts working better, my friend, as the fibro fog clears.

      • Dear Angie, most of the physical and mental symptoms of FMS that you and the others have mentioned also come with age and other types of serious disabilities. The feeling of not being able to count on your body to do what you used to take for granted. My problem has been bones: broken pelvis and horrid back. Last May-June I was crawling to the bathroom and doing the stairs very slowly on my butt while hanging from the railing.

        I was 72 and going downhill fast. So what choices did I have? I’m not ready to die or accept being incapacitated for the rest of my life. (Traditional MDs are not the best sources of information on rehab, in my experience. I wouldn’t assume that your knee can’t substantially improve.) I found out about inversion, TRX, and a probiotic for gut problems by word-of-mouth from friends. What life changers they have been! Nothing helps your mood like feeling your body get better!

        The fountain of youth is exercise. Of course it must include lots of stretching and be gentle, at a slowly increasing intensity that is right for you. This is the beauty of an inversion table and TRX exercises. You start out easy for very short sessions, and work into it gradually at your own pace, doing only what your body can do comfortably while you learn the equipment. You can get lots of improvement for the time you spend on it. It never causes pain, and afterward, especially the following day, I feel really energized.

        A few months ago, I asked Sean, my handicapped son’s physical trainer, (who introduced him to TRX) to give me some very easy, beginning, little-old-lady-sissy exercises just to try. The results have been miraculous. I’ve given up my canes, and my body now does ordinary things more efficiently with much less pain.

        I have taken inspiration from our beautiful RA, and the stoical attitude he has toward the training he must do to keep in shape to play roles like Guy, Lucas, Porter, Thorin.
        At his age, he has to be feeling some aches and pains, and trim bodies like his no longer come naturally. Reportedly, he just gets on with it, even in the face of an insanely sadistical trainer!

        • Lynne, I appreciate all your willingness to offer suggestions, and I commiserate with what you’ve been through, because my back has been a problem almost my entire life (due to a congenital anomaly) I’ve suffered a broken tailbone on top of the serious damage done to my knee. I actually removed an underdash tape player with the knee and knocked it into the back seat when the car impacted the bridge. Frankly I am lucky to be alive.

          There was much more extensive damage done to it than was realized at time of accident. It deteriorated over time to the point where it would suddenly and unexpectedly buckle while I walked.

          I underwent six months of PT trying to avoid surgery and had the best orthopedic surgeon in Omaha do it. I then spent six more grueling months of therapy trying to rehabilitate back to some degree of normality. And I was in my early 30s at the time. They didn’t lie to me: the knee is not and never will be truly normal again. I will not be running any marathons or running, period, any time soon. I tried tai chi and my knee simply wouldn’t allow me to do the moves, not even with a knee brace. I wasn’t happy to have wasted more than $100 on that class, either.

          I am glad you’ve found something that helps you. With no job, a cut in my unemployment benefits and no insurance, things are a little tight on that front from me. Which only adds, of course, to my levels of frustration.

          Sorry, I am just not in the best frame of mind at present.

  3. I just checked the teeter site and they are running a great sale. I have the one for $299. There is a safety strap that prevents you from inverting completely. I never do, just gently rock and keep my upper body moving. It comes with a booklet and video for instruction. I paid 500-worth every penny in ack of pain.

  4. Wow,sounds like a rough night all around–also sounds like you are paying in spades. Wish I could just twitch my nose and have Porter on your doorstep. Try to get some real rest and downtime today, my friend–I think you have very much earned it.

    • Thanks, Stephanie, heating pad back on, meds taken. I need to find some photos of a contestant to send to Benny’s computer and then I go back into “veg” mode.

      • Vegging sounds great to me–unfortunately, I have a rather nasty case of the cranks myself today. I need to go feed my kitties and fix myself some kind of dinner so I can just chill the rest of the evening. I have a project in the works, so may just spend time working on that. I’ve only got about a week to get it ready to go out.

        • Benny is kindly putting something together for supper. He was able to get in a nap, which is good. I have “Selfridge’s” and “Game of Thrones” set to record, but not sure I can stay alert well enough to follow the plot. Hooray for the DVR. Got caught up with “Doctor Who” and “Orphan Black” in the wee hours when I couldn’t sleep. Still definitely in “vegging” mode.

  5. There’s the whole getting back into shape thing, too. Lecturing is not strenuous but I have a sort of 4-refractory period afterwards. The first two weeks of term it’s often 6 hours because I have ot et back into it …

    • It’s hard to explain isn’t it? It’s not physical, but it’s a huge energy output nonetheless. I really don’t like back to back sections for that reason.

      • yeah, i used to do that, 3 sections of W Civ 2 in a row. By the third section my mind and memory were completely gone. I’d have to say, “have I mentioned this to you yet?”

        • That’s the double whammy..back to back of same class! I hate that…makes me look like such a dope when I can’t remember what I’ve said to which class. It’s like Abbott and Costello gone wrong.

          • it’s ridiculous. No one would ask a concert pianist to play the same program 3x in a row, nor would an actor have to do the same play with a pause of less than six hours in the interval.

            • 6 hours! That’s a good one :). I might get six minutes…IF I don’t have to change rooms or use the restroom. My chair is pretty good about not stacking though – TG

              • The last two jobs I’ve had have been good in this regard. I don’t know how high school teachers do it. Five or six sections of US government in a day?

              • I know…between that and helicopter parents, I could never teach HS. It might also explain why so many kids get to college with so little understanding of so much…they were in class 4 or 5 for that tacher that day?

          • I’ve been lecturing off of PowerPoints since 2001, but even when I had written lecture notes, the lecture really changes form based on what questions the students get asked. I try to let the students’ questions shape how the lecture takes form, so it can be the case that I do the slides out of order, or that one anecdote gets told in one section but not in another, etc.

              • Yeah, really hard to come back from something like that. If you’re going to repeat a datum (fact, anecdote, chart, joke) you have to find a different meaning for it …

              • Yeah, awful! “Stop me if you’ve heard this one…” I can see a lecture being guided by students’ questions, but I’d think you would be “lost in space” by the third section, no matter what memory aids you used.

              • It’s an ideal and one I don’t always achieve. But the only way they are going to remember any of it is if their needs structure the concerns I address. And my homeworks are gauged on getting them to prepare for class so this can happen, which in turn sets them up for the longer assignments.

                Part of the problem for me is that I can’t bear to hear myself talk, uninterrupted, for more than about ten minutes. So the 75 minute regular format, or the 3.3 hour extended evening format, will kill me if I don’t protect myself.

              • I have the reverse problem…I can easily straight lecture for 85 minutes, but I don’t want to, and they check out after a time anyway. Most of the time I have enough interactive things to prompt discussion, but I have a class right now that refuses to engage…they make me crazy, but on average, perform better on the same exams than the class that does. Arghhh!

              • That “tune out” is what kills me.

                What you mention is why the one-size-fits-all trends in pedagogy are annoying me right now. Every class is a new river every time you step into it. What works in one setting for one group doesn’t work for the other. The professor has to be very flexible. And will have to be more flexible, as the schools become less and less influential on forming the student who enters the university …

              • I guess I was lucky. With slides, a blackboard, physics demonstrations, and such, I had it timed so I actually spoke for 45 minutes with breaks to do the demonstrations, 25 minutes to take questions and discuss, and 5 minutes to remind them of the reading for the next class and due dates for papers. I did give some flash quizzes, one paragraph on a quotation in 15 minutes.

              • I’m sure professors in the sciences still do demonstrations. They also mostly have a clearer syllabus of things that have to be covered than we do.

                But the history classroom of my university years, a prophet on a pulpit, is dying off. I’m not really sad about that. I didn’t want to be that person.

              • I was doing a science/humanities convergence class, so I was covering art, history, science, math, philosophy, and literature in the same section. Some students were “humming a few bars and faking it” to fill a breadth requirement, a few seemed lost but didn;t come to office hours, and some were into it. I guess things don’t change all that much.

              • That’s about when I’m forced to turn on my absent minded professor charm…and then hit them with a due date reminder so I can maintain some semblance that I am actually in control of the room 🙂

      • Sure, you’re “on” for how long at a time? My lectures were timed for 1.5-hr sections and they were a workout, back when I was much younger and stronger. Even doing Shakespeare was not as strenuous, because typically you’re not in every scene.

        • Yep..depends, some are 85 min, some are 3 or 4 hours..although aren’t really fully lecture courses. I joke to my husband that I do 3 shows daily 🙂

  6. Angie I hope that you are feeling better today: Monday. Pain is no fun no matter how old we are. I also think once you break a bone after a certain age it will never be the same. I fractured my ankle September 2011, after 5 months in a boot, 2 months in an air cast and 2 months in brace ( I gave up when it got to hot) I am not the same. Back to work to soon and standing and lifting heavy pans, cases of food all day I think did not help either.
    Servetas, Obsura, and Leigh I also feel your back to school pain. After 12 weeks and to go back to all the walking, standing, lifting and bending we do in the school kitchen the first couple weeks are awful. Then we get into the swing of things and it gets better.
    Everyone needs a hero and Porter is just fine. This Katie’s hero!

    • I was feeling a lot better until I fell again, Katie LOL. Angie, thy name is “klutz.” And you are right, pain never is fun (which is why I can’t quite understand the attraction of BDSM, but never mind). I totally agree about breaks and fractures leaving you with lingering problems. Benny fractured his leg in two places a couple of years ago and it still gives him trouble, especially when it’s damp. I don’t think my tailbone will ever quite forgive me, either. And of course I fell on Even Worse Knee tonight, which isn’t great on the best of days. C’est la vie!

      It’s always a big adjustment to get back into a routine, isn’t it? I remember how tough the first few days of school were after summer break, getting back into the teaching mode, on my feet for a lot of the day. And yes, JP is a fine hero, indeed. Katie’s hero and ours, too!!

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