I Didn’t Ask For More Pills
Slice of Life
By – Sheri de Grom



I’d gotten used to the ‘let’s get down to business’ style of approaching medicine my neurologist practiced. I couldn’t fault him in any way. He was always correct and that’s what matters in medicine – at least that’s what matters to me.

My doctor opened our appointment the same as always, “Have you fallen since I last saw you?” You may remember I’ve suffered five traumatic brain injuries and the last two were on his watch.

I was happy to report I hadn’t fallen a single time in the past three months.

Then he asked to see my hand and arm where I’d had surgery in February 2013.

Smiling and gritting my teeth required a bit more than I was capable of at that moment. This was a doctor that could see right through me. Darn him anyway. I hadn’t even opened my hand for him to see it wide open. Not because I didn’t want to, I couldn’t.

I predicted the next question, even before he examined my hand and my arm going all the way to my neck. “How long has this been going on?” He peered at me over his rimless glasses?

I’d rather have talked about anything else.

“Tell me about the pain.”

I wiggled in my chair. I didn’t want to admit that my entire right hand and arm felt as though they were on fire most of the time and that if I didn’t know better, I’d believe there were mini jack-hammers with picks and shovels putting on a mining exposition.

Doc swirled on his stool, “This isn’t going to get easier with time. “You obviously don’t want to talk about your pain, tell me, how are you sleeping?”

“That’s easy. I’m not. When I saw my endocrinologist earlier this week he wrote a script for 30mg Amitriptylin and that’s helping some.”

“Yes, it will help you get a little sleep because it helps your raw nerves calm down a little. I’m upping the dosage to 50mg per night. You cannot stay awake all night every night. Wait, don’t tell me you’re still taking care of your husband by yourself.”

“Yes, you know I am.”

“Sheri, here are the rules and they are not up for discussion. What I am going to do is set you up a series of appointments with an anesthesiologist and start you on a rugged schedule of physical therapy. You are entering the early phase of Stage II of CRPS. We still have time to slow this down.”

“This. This. What the heck are you talking about? And, I can’t start a regime of treatment immediately. I need at least two months to get things in order. I have deadlines and something critical is going on with Tom and we don’t know what it is. We do know it’s something neurological but I haven’t been able to find a neurologist to take his case. That has to happen first.”

“You have to know you could lose your right hand and arm if you don’t treat this ASAP. I’ll give you something for the pain but you have to follow the guidelines I’ll give you. Go home, research this disease and here’s my cell. You are not going to like what you read. Call me if you’d like to discuss this further. If not, I’ll see you in two months or less.”

What the heck. What was Complex Regional Pain Syndrome? I’d never heard of it.

My doc was right. I didn’t like what I read about the disease and I had a bit more respect for the pain levels. I also didn’t like the list of things I could no longer do or that I must cut back on immediately.

I’m to lift or move nothing over five pounds. Tom’s ill and we don’t know yet why he frequently falls. I help him up from the floor. He weighs more than five pounds. Of course, there are many other aspects of caregiving twenty-four hours a day that need to be addressed. I don’t know how to plan for Tom’s needs until I have a diagnosis and that’s becoming a real challenge. (Subject of another post).

I’m to immediately cut my gardening time by two-thirds. The garden is where I go to calm myself and find peace in my world. How can I not be in the gardens?

Cut down on my keyboard time. Shucks – why not just tear my heart out.

Bottom line – my posts won’t appear as frequently on Monday and Thursday. The doctor says I have to cut down and cut down I will. Please don’t count me out. I’ll persevere with a little help from my friends. I’ll continue to read your blogs as often as possible. Please stand by and I will posts as my hand and arm allow.                                                                         

Sheri's Garden

Sheri’s Garden

About Sheri de Grom

Retired Fed/JAG, 5 yrs. on Capitol Hill. Former book buyer for B and N. Concerned citizen of military drawdown. Currently involved in mental healthcare reform, health care strategist and actively pursuing legislative change wherein dual retirees are exempt from enrolling in Medicare at their own discretion without losing tertiary healthcare benefits. Monitor and comment on Federal Register proposed legislation involving Mental Health, Veterans Affairs, Health and Human Services, Medicare and rural libraries. Licensed OSHA Inspector to include Super Fund sites. Full time caregive to Vietnam era veteran. Conceptualized, investigated possible alternatives, authored, lobbied for, and successfully implemented Title X, Section 1095 (known as the Third Party Collection Program of Federal Insurance).
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115 Responses to I DIDN’T WANT MORE PILLS

  1. findingmyinnercourage says:

    I am glad you found a physician that would listen to you, that listened to your symptoms and didn’t treat you like you were just another number in his patient list. So glad you found what a doctor should be, they are hard to find!

  2. I will not like this post. Simple because there is nothing to like except that you will post when you can. I know what it is like to go to doctors and get more diagnosis and medications. I fortunately okay at present. I do hope that soon you will say the same thing. I will include you in my prayers.

  3. Ouch. Your doctor sounds caring and knowledgeable.
    Thank you for visiting my blog and for leaving the Like.

  4. likeitiz says:

    Now I know I’ve been away too long. Traveling and working. Gee, Sheri. I am so sorry to hear all this has been going on in your life. I wish I could help. Even clean up your garden here and there. Or make a hot meal for you one evening.

  5. Daniel says:

    What a trial, but how fortunate you are to have found a physician that listened to you and knew what the symptoms meant. I suffered and endocrine disorder for 9 years undiagnosed and felt such relief when a doctor finally knew what I had. Life is full of trials, and I pray you have the good fortune to embrace yours with a sense of learning and optimism. Thanks for posting this.

  6. Elyse says:

    Hi Sheri,
    I followed you from your comment on Susie LIndau’s Wild Ride, read a few posts and ended up with this one.
    Best of luck to you — chronic illness is a horrible pain (I have Crohn’s). I hope they find an answer for you — or are able to ease your discomfort and enable you to do the things you want to do and need to do, for yourself and your husband.

  7. Gosh, Sheri, I’m so sorry I missed this post. I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve been struggling through more medically related trials. I know how disruptive that can be to a person’s psyche…especially a woman as strong and in control as you. *Hugs* Hang in there. I’ll keep you in my prayers.

  8. Patty B says:

    I am sorry I missed this post. Some days I have it all together and other days I am not sure what planet I am on! I wanted to let you that I am keeping both you and your husband in my prayers every day. I heard a song today at church called “4 days late” about Jesus coming to Lazarus 4 days after he died…it is a beautiful song about God’s timing, and that He is always on time even when He is 4 days late…so I hope you remember that God’s timing is always perfect even when we think He is late… Hugs dear friend!

  9. Sheri ~I am so sorry that I missed this post earlier in the month. My prayers for your focus, strength, and healing. Your doctor sounds very wise…… hugs ♥ paula

    • Paula – No need to apologize. I simply don’t get around to as many blogs as before. I also don’t get to comment on as many as I want. I’m indeed blessed to have a great neurologist – they are few and far apart in today’s medical world. Many of our great neurologist have either become hospitalist (great benefits package and working conditions) or they’ve taken the wonderful sign-on bonus offered by the military. It is indeed plush. [They do no war zone duty, receive $100,000 at sign-on, their student debt is forgiven, they are automatically awarded the rank of full Colonel although they don’t know a think about the military rank and structure and they only have to serve 2 years). How’s that for a sweet deal?

  10. You’ve an impressive background, Sheri, and are a great compelling writer. I love to start with the compliments then work into the compassion, I feel for you. I mean it but not sympathy, empathy and you’ve spoken so well, your condition, that I wanted to be sure to lend you my thoughts of support and wishes that the days get better, one way or another. I’ve learned a lot about this body of mine, not from my profession in the medical field, but my own chronic debility–not saying yours is chronic, mine is. No real advice for you as I can tell you’re one very smart lady — just so glad to meet and make your company. While you’re handing out in the sidelines, posting less, I’ll hold you in my heart. I mean that. Love, Paulette

    • Paulette – It’s so nice to see you here and thank you for the amazing compliments. If you’d like to share, either in a post or via e-mail, I’m all ears when it comes to learning about chronic pain or disease that has you by the throat and simply won’t let go. I’ve always been able to climb the mountains of my health care issues while taking care of my husband but I’m in a bit of a tight situation at the present time. I’m still doing everything for Tom but I know that has to change. I’m putting together a blog that addresses the problems we’re facing in getting quality medical care for Tom. My neurologist gave me pain pills until I get back to see him in early Oct to start treatment for my CRPS but I’m afraid to take them because I have to be alert and oriented for Tom. I’ve had fibromyalgia since 1994 when we had a terrible vehicle accident and migraines set on at the same time. As I’ve gotten older, the fibromyalgia flares up more often but I deal with it. I rarely use anything stronger than supplements for migrains but I do take a preventive. Now I’m going to venture over to your blog and have myself a look around. It’s so nice to have you here and hope you’ll return for a chat ever now and then. Sheri

      • I’m loving our conversation, like two long time friends. I rescued a dog around 17 years ago who came with ticks. One latched on to me, bulls eye rash and all. I was treated but had a treatment failure and 6 months later crippling arthritis, meningitis, paralysis, etc. That improved to land in my cardiac valves. Many years later I found my way back. Still struggle with some flare ups & fatigue, but I am 90-96% better. I don’t use any pain meds and am off all western meds. I’ve learned to handle myself with nutrition (real food, almost all organic), adequate rest, exercise (aeorbic, weights, stretches), cleaning up my environment, and a healthy mental attitude. I’ve learned to accept the hand I’ve been dealt and do my best, what other choice is there, than to sink into needless suffering (psychologically) and that is not my way, at least it’s not my nature. Imagery has helped me immensely with pain management but it’s not for everyone. Everyone has to find their own way whether acupuncture, massage, imagery, meditation, music, pain meds, etc. it’s all individual. Ultimately for me this trip has been a spiritual journey. I don’t write about it much at my blog, that’s mainly where I promote my book (profits all going to animal rescue) and tolerance (the subject matter of the book), promote my animal rescue work, or just share others things. I’ve no issue with discussing just about anything openly, especially being that I’m an NP by profession and taught in RN and NP programs, including UCLA, fyi. That’s the very short version of my situation. Your post has moved me, the way you write and express yourself–so authentic, resonates with me, and I’m grateful for this connection. Holding you and your Tom in my hearts that each day brings ease, one way or another. Love, Paulette

  11. The photo of your beautiful hollyhocks show that your garden must be as vibrant as your writing. Your account of what’s going on with you and Tom is riveting. I pray that good solutions are found for both of your conditions and that the constant struggles will become a thing of the past. THANKS for subscribing to my funny-caption photoblog and leaving the “likes”! I hope I can bring you a smile (or at least a groan) every weekday.
    –John Robinson

    • Hi John – I love, love your blog. I smile my way through it and comments of yours and others are so witty. When my husband is well he has that quick witt but most days I’m pretty serious. After all, I do read the Federal Register in different areas of law. It puts most people to sleep. I’m going to use my same blog but am trying to come up with a title all of it’s own so readers will know when it’s actually something that Tom and I have experienced with his disease. Tom’s doctors told me he wouldn’t live past 50 and he’s now 66 and for the most part, it’s a quality life. I simply want others to know that with unconditional love, two people can survive most anything thrown at them. I’m looking forward to your next post. Sheri

  12. Hi Sheri. I’ve come back to reread your last two posts. I am so impressed with your spunky spirit that is so focused on caring for your husband that your doc had to pry info out of you regarding your own health. Your doctor sounds so caring and capable; you are blessed to have such a good one.

    I hope that your limited gardening time is still able to recharge your batteries enough. It is hard for me to imagine which is harder to have to reduce – gardening or writing! I love both so much.

    Do take care so that you can remain able to do all that you love to do. Your love for your husband deeply touches me. He has a wonderful wife.

    Blessings ~ Wendy

    • Wendy – At 3:00a.m. this morning or whatever time it was and I couldn’t sleep after another medical establishment dissapointment on behalf of my husband. We’d waited months for this specific appointment and when we arrived at the clinic were told there’d been a mix up and Tom wouldn’t be seen. Again, my heart shattered and I felt powerless in helping the kind and gentle man I love that is in so much pain.

      I’ve had to have long serious talks with myself about how much gardening I can honestly do and how much time I can spend at the keyboard and such. After coming home from yesterday’s appointment and getting Tom settled into bed, I had two choices. I could either cry and rant and rage or I could go into my gardens. I pulled weeds that I’m positive sprung up overnight. I pulled far too many and my hand and arm are telling me about it today.

      You are so right about giving up time and not being able to use the time in the garden and keyboard. Last night I found comfort in your words and the fantastic photographs of the mountain you climbed and the equisite wildflowers. You are one talented lady, a honorable wife and a blessing to the universe in being an open and respectful, loving parent for your sons and their friends.

  13. Hi Sheri, I feel so sad for you and your husband. I was diagnosed with CRPS back in 2003 and told by doctors that it was likely to get worse. However, with the help of two excellent osteopaths who refused to listen to that prognosis I have lower pain levels now. I still work hard in my home and garden but I break it up into short periods, never doing the same occupation for too long. It’s the same with using my laptop, 15 minutes then take a break, as one of the chronic pain sites is my right hand. I have also learnt to use meditation techniques which help when burning pains wake me in the night. I hope you are equally lucky in finding good therapists.

    • Lynne – Thank you so much for stopping by to read with me. I sincerely appreciate your suggestion on connecting with an osteopath. My neurologist helps me search for alternative medicine in whatever path I want to try. I think the reason he’s recognized as one of the top ten neurologist is that he listens to his patients and works with them to find the right treatment for the individual. I first started seeing my neurologist due to traumatic brain injuries and treatment for migraines. He’s always been supportive of using supplements to help keep migraines from setting in as well as medical massage and other alternative treatments I’ve wanted to try. Once again, thanks for passing on what’s worked for you. I’m always open to suggestions.

  14. Am just today reading this post, Sheri, and wanted you to know that you and your husband are in my prayers, thoughts and heart. We share so much in common it’s unbelievable!. Much of it is about independence, right?! .Survival! As much as possible, I have your back. There. Now get on with your healing and be a good girl. Love you.


    • Jeanne – Thank you. You are correct. Independence and survival are definitely at the top of my list. They can bring out the wild woman in me. Another beast I’m finding hard is dealing with my pride. My friends offer to help and I push back. I’ve never asked for help before – not in this sense. I’m the woman that’s always been able to do it all. Well, she’s stepped out for awhile and it’s not a comfortable feeling. My vulnerability hides draped in the devil’s cape. Oh, Jeanne, thank you for being my friend a thousand times over.

  15. Laura Lynn says:

    Sheri I’m so sorry to hear about all your trouble and stress. I’m glad you are slowing down and listening to your doctor. I wish you the best in finding treatment for your husband and hope you both find healing and rest. Beautiful hollyhocks! I was sitting looking at the bees yesterday and a whole hour slipped by…you know how nice it feels when you are just in the moment? Find yourself a moment today and just BEE….hee hee…bad pun.

    • Laura – It’s hard for those of us that are used to doing everything we wanted whenever we wanted and now, well, we can’t do those things any longer. I’m trying to adjust along with the new requirements of taking care of my husband. He’s not demanding and I worry that he tries not to ask for anything. He’d rather go without a drink than ask me to get him a fresh glass of something cold and that’s just the tip of the iceburg, as they say.

      I certainly related to your wanting to dance all night in your high heels and swearing you’d throw them away but keep them anyway. I finally had to give in and the last pair of three inch heels out the door were my favorite red ones. It’s been almost ten years since I took them to the Salvation Army but that doesn’t make me miss them any less.

  16. Hwllo Len – I typed reply to you, when I read your entry, using my iPad. Evidently for one reason or another, the message didn’t come through to my comments page. I gave myself 30 minutes to deadhead in one of the gardens this a.m. It was wonderful to be out among the roses and lavender. I never cut flowers from my gardens to bring inside. Cut flowers for the house have to come from a vendor. My mother had lavish gardens in rural Kansas and her philopsphy was that the beauty of her gardens were blessed by God and therefore all flowers remainded in the garden. I don’t remember she ever brought one rose or anything in the house. I guess I inherited that from her as I don’t cut my flowers for the house. My friends volunteer to cut them for me but the answer is still no thank-you.

  17. shoe1000 says:

    My prayers are with you.
    Beautiful hollyhocks
    fellow gardener!

  18. jbw0123 says:

    Sheri! So sorry that you’re dealing with this pile of difficulties. Yeah for your doctor for being firm with you, and for really seeing what you need. Sounds like you have a few (ahem) other needs, too, like an alternative means of writing asap! And maybe a neighborhood teen to help with the weeding. I am hoping and praying you find a diagnosis for you husband soon, and that a physician, a real one who cares about healing and not just about money, takes on his care. Judging from this long list of comments, there are a lot of us out here cheering you on. May your garden continue to bring you peace, while you rest in it. May your PT and new regime of rest bring you healing. Of course we’ll stick with you! Best wishes!

  19. My heart goes out to you Sheri as you have to manage your challenges. Life can be so unbelievably tough. Wishing you respite and recovery. Take care.

  20. Ajaytao2010 says:

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  21. 1annecasey says:

    Hope things get better for you. Take care and every good wish.

  22. Oh Sheri, my heart goes out to you! What a formidable place for you to find yourself. Those flowers are just gorgeous, he didn’t say you can’t enjoy your garden, just not to the physical labor. Take some time, heal yourself and then you can go back to your lovely garden. I hope you get everything sorted with your arm and your husband’s illness. I’ll be thinking of you and praying for you. Hug hugs, my friend.

    • Tameri – Thank you. I’m not used to being ‘down and out’ and I’m having a bit of a hard time dealing with this new set-back. The gardens have always been a place for me to retreat to and become grounded again. Once I have Tom’s medical care sorted out then hopefully I can get on with my own treatment. Thank you for your warm wishes.

  23. Carolyn Dekat says:

    I’m sorry Sheri. Sorry I haven’t been by to read in so long. I hardly know what to say that hasn’t already been said. If I could, I’d be your garden buddy! 🙂 The hollyhocks are gorgeous. Hugs!

    • Hi Carolyn – Don’t feel bad. I believe our WordPress Community is just that – we’re here for each other and we all have our own set of issues we are dealing with. I will admit, it’s tough letting parts of the garden go. I’ve always found peace in the gardens and getting my hands dirty. I don’t like this new development. I do hope you are well.

  24. NotDownOrOut says:

    Sheri, I have been fully consumed with my move, but I read this and was so very sad to hear how you have to adjust to stem this terrible pain. It sounds like all your favorite forms of relaxation are getting taken away in addition to your role in caring for your husband. I can’t imagine it. This is so upsetting. I hope that these changes can work to make things better longer.

    How about “posting” in video format? Have you ever tried Dragon software? You speak and it types. It even lets you edit vocally. It’s not the same as typing, but I learned to use a recorder in practice and it can work.

    I know we’ve never met, but I am sending hugs and positive thoughts and prayers for better days ahead. Thanks for sharing with us. We care and want to be here for you.

    • Cheryl – I’ve been wondering how your move has been going. I hope as smooth as possible. Yes, I have Dragon and use it occassionally. I don’t like it because it is slow but beggers can’t be choosy. I can type faster with my left hand than Dragon can function. However, once my treatment starts, I have a feeling I’m not going to have a choice. All the years I worked I was supposed to dictate everything or use a recorder but hated doing that but eventually latched onto a wonderful administrative assistant that could turn my case notes into court documents. We worked so well together that each time I made a move or was promoted, I made sure she went right along with me.

  25. chris13jkt says:

    So sorry to hear all about this, Sheri. That’s why I don’t push the “like” button on your post. I can only pray to God to heal you and also to give you strength.

  26. gpcox says:

    Take your meds and get well soon.

  27. Len – Thank you and yes, I like to think my gardens are still gorgeous even with all the weeds. I’ve never had weeds before but I do now. I love the hollyhocks and they bloom for such a long time but they’ll be a part of the garden that won’t survive. It’s interesting to think they used to be considered wildflowers and they’ve been grown in greenhouses and cross-bred so many times, they won’t grow without a lot of extra help (for the most part).

    I hope I’ll be able to get some help for Tom through the VA. I’ve started tracking down some of the information. And yes, I have Dragon. Dragon and I have agreed to hate each other. We fight all the time about typing speed. I type faster than Dragon can listen to keep up and I get so disgusted I take the headphones off and start doing it all myself. I do a lot of my work using Dragon but that doesn’t mean I like the program.

  28. Patty B says:

    Sheri, I have been thinking of you and praying for both you and Tom. Take care of yourself we will all be here for you even if you post once a month. If there is anything I can do, although so far away all you need to do is tell me. God bless and heal you my friend.

  29. findingmyinnercourage says:

    Praying for healing and strength for you! Be strong and have the faith!

  30. Jane Sadek says:

    I don’t “like” this at all. I refuse to hit the like button!! And another alphabet soup disease? I don’t like that either! I don’t know how you do it (well – there’s God and all, but still). I’ve been so distracted with my mom’s issues that I’ve hardly been faithful at anything, but I’m going to have to move you up several levels on my prayer list.

    I have to admit that I don’t get the gardening thing. Only people who hate me would ask me to garden. I wish you were closer in physical proximity, so I could do more than pray. Whatever I did probably wouldn’t be a valuable as the prayer, but it would make me feel better!

    • Jane – I still can’t remember the name of my disease – that’s how much denial I’m in. I have to look at my reference sheet as a reminder. I’ve gone through a being really mad day today. This is the year we were to go on a European River Cruise. Instead, today we picked up a walker for Tom, complete with wheels, a seat and a place to stash stuff.

      You have a full time job on your hands with your Mom. I do hope she’s doing better. I’ll be stopping by to read your blogs and wave a bit.

  31. I hated to check “Like” on this blog, because I didn’t like what it said. I can’t imagine any one person going through what I know of your ordeals, and I’m sure there is much you haven’t shared with us. You’re a sweetheart, Sheri, and you certainly have my prayers.

    I bought a large lapboard, and I put my keyboard on it anytime I’m typing more than just a few words. With it, my wrists aren’t bent like they are when I put the keyboard on my desk. You might try this if you haven’t already. Since I also have neck problems, I put my laptop up on a box to get it closer to eye level, which allows my neck to be straighter.

    God bless you, Sheri.

    • Thanks for the suggestion David. I normally type with the PC and am able to do the 80+ minutes with my left hand. The iPad is the best gift I’ve ever received when it comes to productivity. My left hand controls the entire operation. I’ll be reading your blogs and I’ll post some here and there. It’s taking me a bit to get used to my new reality.

  32. I am sorry to read this! I just found your blog! My heart goes out to you and your husband…along with prayers that things get better soon and you find relief. Many Blessings to you!

  33. Mae Clair says:

    Oh, Sheri, I am so sorry to hear what you’re going through. Between Tom’s illness and this new diagnosis, you’re juggling so much. I’ve never heard of CRPS but it sounds very scary. I know your garden and blogging bring you so much joy, it will be hard to cut back as counseled. In a few months, however, autumn will be upon us and you would probably naturally cut back on your time then.

    Listen to your doctor and make all the changes now! You won’t be able to help Tom at all if you’re incapacitated. It sounds like it might be time to look for caregiver help for him, even if only a few hours a day. I know it’s easier said than done (my siblings and I went down that road with my mother).

    I’m sending prayers and healing thoughts your way. You are so strong, my friend. Don’t let that strength stop you from following doctor’s orders!

    • Mae – I hadn’t heard of CRPS either and frankly, I would just as soon have stayed in the dark. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m having a tough time looking reality in the face. I simply don’t want to go there. I spent a bit of time in the back yard today trying to decide what I could give up. Thanks for your prayers and sweet thoughts. We’ve been together a long time and I expect to read at least fifty or so more of your novels.

  34. I’m so sorry about your discomfort, I know one more thing on your plate is not what you need. Rest and take good care of yourself, we will all still be here.

  35. iamforchange says:

    Sheri , thank you for your friendship it is a cherished gift if I may help in any way it would be my honor and pleasure to do so.. I replied to your comment on my last post yet it didnt post right.. the poem is yours as far as I am concerned and I am quite honored you felt moved by it.. Thanks Sheri, My prayers are with you and Tom.. 🙂 Joe

    • Joe – Thank you a million times over. I’ve often wondered where to write or how to find you. I decided I’d leave it up to the universe and here you are. Your poem is one of the most exquisite pieces of poetry of true love I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. I’ve thought of you and your talents often and prayed you were healthy and safe. God Bless.

  36. Lignum Draco says:

    So sorry all this is happening. Carers often neglect their own needs to care for the ones they love. All I can say is please listen to what your doctor has told you. He’s the sort of doctor I would like to have looking out for me.

    • Lignum – Thanks for the kind words. I have a lot of living I still want to do so I guess I must behave and follow the docs rules. My neurologist really is one of the good ones and we have a real shortage of neurologist in the US. Keep the photographs coming. I love what you do with that camera of yours. My husband studied with Ansel Adams but they primarily did landscape & seascape shots.

  37. ksbeth says:

    i’m so sorry to read this sheri, it must be very hard to deal with on many levels. do what your doctors recommend and know we’ll be here to read your words whenever you are motivated and able. i am hoping for your healing before long, beth

  38. Terry says:

    If I was there, I would help you my friend. May the Lord work quickly in healing you two. Big hugs

  39. atempleton says:

    I wish you luck. Three things that are great stress relievers–gardening, writing, and cooking all unfortunately require use of you hands. For keyboarding pain, perhaps you could try voice recognition software–not sure how useful it is. Will look forward to hearing from you whenever you can manage it. Hang in there.

  40. Sheri … I am so sorry to hear that your hands and arms aren’t any better. You have endured so much, both you and Tom and then you with Tom. You know we all miss you when you are not here … however … I have a good friend with severe RA and her fingers are all knarled. She uses the voice reg. software and it helps. Use it to do your book or to blog if you like. But you should use it often and from now on to help with your healing. Feel better 🙂

  41. Sheri, I’m so sorry for what you are going through. It sounds like you have a doctor that truly cares and his advice is more important than anything else right now….for your sake and for your husband’s. I hope that you can find someone that can help you out for awhile. Maybe you could look into some naturopathic medicine as an added or alternative treatment for you pain? As for blogging, you will still have your loyal followers no matter how often you post.
    My thoughts are with you.

  42. booklaurie says:

    Oh, Sheri, I’m sorry! Prayers coming your way…

  43. So sorry to hear, Sheri. Will miss your posts, but take care of yourself as a first priority!
    All the best,

  44. Oh my goodness, Sheri. I looked up CRPS and I understand what your doctor was talking about. I agree with Len (above) that you should look into the Dragon program and also (as much as I’m sure you hate this) see if someone can help you out with Tom. While reading your blog I just wanted to immediately write you and ask if there is anything I can do to help you out. I am wracking my brain but can’t think of anything but if you come up with something that I can do for you writing-wise or anything, I am here.

    • Patti – You are indeed a darling. I have Dragon and know how to use it – except I haven’t done the last 3 or 4 updates. I can type faster than Dragon so I get really irritated with it. I know I’m going to have to have some help with Tom but it’s so hard to let go. I still have a lot of denial going on. Thanks for your offer, your loyal friendship is worth so much. I haven’t been restricted from reading, so you keep writing!

  45. We will keep you in our prayers! God bless.

  46. sozanich says:

    Sheri, I had no idea. . .I am sorry to hear of all this that is at work in your life right now, well has been for some time apparently. I do enjoy your posts………and patient I will be until you post again. Most importantly, I want you to know of my prayers for you and Tom. . .happens to be my husband’s name also.

    May you continue to be blessed!

  47. Wow… this was such a difficult read. I feel for you. When one has to enter medical care, there are times when it just seems to get bigger and bigger before it gets better. I am glad your dr was so firm with you and placing your health at the forefront. You demonstrate such strength and awareness. I hope you are getting the support that you need. Good luck.

    • Kimberly – Thank you for stopping in to read with me. I’d been reluctant to post this particular blog. Putting everything out there made it all real but I knew I couldn’t keep up the pace I’d set for myself. This set-back with Tom really pulled my feet out from beneath me. I guess I thought I would hold up forever. Thanks for your concern. I’m starting to put some of the pieces of support that I need in place.

      • I know what you mean. Sometimes writing about something suddenly solidifies everything. But, it also shows us our thoughts, our hopes, and our desires. I think for many of us, it is difficult to lie to ourselves in our writing. So, I wish you the best. Health issues can be one of the greatest ‘unknowns” that we face. I look forward to reading more of your journey when you have time.

  48. Beautiful double Hollyhocks, I bet your gardens are gorgeous. As for doing as the doc said …DO IT!!! can you afford to have help in with Tom or know someone to volunteer help? Now you can sit in your garden for quiet time the solitude will relax you, you don’t have to weed for they are natures bouny and beauty as well.As for blogging there is a program called Dragon that you are able to speak into the headphones and it will type for you it is voice identified and simple to use. I know several that have it and love it.
    I will pray for healing and strength for you and continue to pray for Tom as well take care my friend and know you are loved. God Bless

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