Where HAVE you been?

I haven’t been writing on my blog over the past 3 weeks, because I have been indisposed with back pain. I believe I have mentioned it somewhere in a previous post, but for convenience sake I will mention it again here. I have an exceptional back that, most of the time, takes me to great heights and far distances. Occasionally however, it gets a bit out of whack and causes me pain and dizziness. This is nothing new to me as my back and I have been on quite a long journey together. As I age though it reminds me from time to time, that it too is tired and cannot perform as it use to. 3 weeks ago it did just that, but because I didn’t listen to the little nudges of discomfort, I got slammed with debilitating pain, total posterior muscular seizures and dizziness whenever I moved my head or laid flat.

For 13 years I have cursed my house, saying that I feel like I live in a shoe box (my house is tiny compared to the victorian farmhouse that I use to live in), but 3 weeks ago, I became very grateful for the narrow hallway and small rooms, because it meant that I could touch the walls for balance as I navigated my way from the bedroom, to bathroom to living room.

My heating pad and hot water bottle got a workout, as did every single one of my ice packs. After 7 days of doing nothing but walking back and forth to the bathroom and watching endless hours of tv, I had had enough. I have no idea how people can sit around all day doing nothing, it drives me batty! Bat

So somewhere around the end of the first week, I forced myself to go into the kitchen and prepare small meals. It took me twice as long as normal and the tiny 4’ (unwalled) area between my work surface and the sink seemed like 20’, but I prevailed.

The second week was much better than the first week as I could do much as I pleased without help or support, but the dizziness persisted so I had to take it slow. This past week I felt really good with almost no dizziness at all so yesterday I spent 7 hours in the kitchen cooking, baking and canning, just to find out around 5:00 last evening that something in my life has got to change, because my back simply does not work as it use to.

Throughout the last two weeks I have managed to get all of my Crossroads blocks finished though. I averaged 2 a day, but some days it was all I could do to get 1 done.

Crossroads blocks

Sewing doesn’t bother me too much as I tend to go from the cutting area, to the machine, to the ironing board so I am moving every few minutes which never gives my back a chance to seize up. Hand quilting however is a major problem for me. In fact it was the 2 days of hand quilting that triggered the whole back episode. I simply cannot sit for more than a hour at a time, and I cannot sit with my arms out away from my body, which hand quilting requires. Many people think that when you have a “bad” back, that you have to sit all the time. That is positively not true, in fact the opposite is true. Sitting makes it worse. When you have spinal issues movement and strength is 100% the answer. The stronger your back is the less pain you will have, even with ruptured discs.

All of this structural instability this past month has lead me to the conclusion that my life has to change. When I started the Created by Bella journey early this year, I wanted to share my knowledge and inspiration with others. Regretfully though, being physically inactive on a daily basis has caused deterioration of my muscular strength and therefore deterioration of the supportive strength of my spine. I don’t want to close down the Created by Bella site, but I am going to post less often. I try to post once a week, but if I don’t please know it is because I am working on something and I don’t have anything to share yet.

Thanks for sharing my journey with me,


5 thoughts on “Where HAVE you been?

  1. Bella, I can relate! I have Meniere’s and if I ingest too much sodium, have weather changes, or a lot of stress, I am going to eventually experience dizzy. About 3 years ago I had a bad spell only to find out that there are “crystals” in our ears and as we age, they can get out of place – especially if we bend down, lean over, head down. They call it BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo). It happens when small crystals of calcium get loose in your inner ear. There is a “therapy” exercise that takes 2 minutes that gets the “crystals” back in place. Check out this You Tube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KzLWOX770i4

    As for the back – I have had 4 back surgeries and now at 72 have 2 ruptured that will not be fixed so I use a back brace. The brace has made a world of difference. I walk 30 minutes and when it is too hot we have a stationery bike and I ride it to no where for 30 minutes. This morning in South Texas we have a weather break and I did 30 minutes walk outside and it was great. We had a horrible summer with 100 plus. I made it walking until the 2 week in August and had to change to bike only. I have also tried Radio Frequency (RF) treatments for Sciatica and they helped, but the back brace did the trick.

    My heating pad is my bestest buddy and has been for many years. I do hope that you get over this spell and I am so sorry about your Vertigo. It can be so bad. When I was diagnosed with Meniere’s I was told to not eat out so I do not (very rare and careful with preservatives and sodium items)..

    I have really enjoyed your post – as I just found you about 6 weeks ago. I will enjoy your post as you can get to them and I certainly understand. I wish you prayers and strength and hope that you will start getting better.

    I had to have both hands operated on for carpal tunnel this summer and I too do not understand how people can just sit around. I have 10 more days in the light brace and I will be home free and hopefully back to where I was in May – been a long long long doctor and heat summer! Where is the snow!

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    • Thank you for the link Nanette. Because I have received a lifetime of person and professional advice against surgery, I have managed to avoid it so far. I appreciate you sharing your story with me and the other readers of my blog. I hope your hands heal quickly, please keep me updated on your progress.


  2. I’m so sorry to hear you have been in such excruciating pain and discomfort, and you really need to put yourself first. Whilst I’m a big believer in the mental health benefits of embroidery, I also am aware of the amount of physical strength we need to have to maintain the sitting position for long periods of time. Admittedly I always try and walk around every hour or so, as I get dreadfully sore if I don’t! I’m about to start pilates back up again, as I’ve decided core strength will help!

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  3. Oh Bella, I’m sorry to hear about your back struggles! My mom struggled with spinal arthritis and degenerative disc disease, and she had a terrible time until she learned to listen to her body and read it correctly. I feel for you! I agree with Catherine, when you are able to do so, core strength is a great help to spinal health. I pulled something in my back a few years ago (6 weeks of NO LIFTING) and now I am a firm believer in walking, planks and yoga to help me stay strong and not re-injure those muscles. Best wishes for a full recovery, my dear.

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