Part 2: DC
Friday, December 24. An uneventful day. We slept in, then spent time with the family, looking at photos, etc. We did a little shopping, never a fun thing on the day before Christmas. Had dinner out, drove around and looked at the displays of holiday lights on all the suburban houses.
Saturday, December 25. boyziggy emerged from his morning shower with terrible lower back pain. His back had been bothering him ever since our flight on Monday, where he used the lumbar support function of the seat which ended up being a weird inflating-and-deflating cushion. Now he was practically immobilized with pain. We had to stay behind and miss a family gathering while Ziggy lay on the floor talking to an advice nurse about what to do. He could barely walk. Only hot water seemed to help at all.
Sunday, December 26. Ziggy was more mobile, but needed a walking stick to get around. He managed to feel well enough to drive to the grocery store so we could get more food, as we'd gotten there just before closing on Christmas Eve. We took a short walk in the park with the family to find another geocache. I helped Signy a bit with some problems she was having with her Mac, and Ziggy helped Dean fix a problem with their cable reception.
Monday, December 27. Ziggy's pain had subsided somewhat. He wanted to go stay at his father's so we would be closer to his other friends. After a short walk we began driving there. His back pain forced him to stop three times along the way as he could not tolerate being in a sitting position for more than a few minutes. We made it to his father's, had dinner, and he had a soak in the hot tub. It was cold in the house, noise carried easily, and Ziggy's father and stepmother turned in early. Plus, I noticed at dinner that Ziggy was missing his wedding bracelet. Searches of the car, Ziggy's father's and sister's, and the gas station we stopped at have yet to turn it up.
We tried to get comfortable on the pull-out bed in our cold room. I eventually managed to fall asleep, but found out when Ziggy woke me at 4 a.m. that he had been up walking all night, unable to lie down or even sit because of pain radiating down his leg. When his father got up at 5:30 a.m. he drove us to the emergency room. Fortunately the ER was empty and they accepted our insurance. The doctor diagnosed the pain as a pinched nerve, gave Ziggy Motrin, and prescribed more Motrin and Vicodin.
We returned to his father's as the nearby drugstore wasn't open yet. I tried to get more sleep but Ziggy still could not rest because of the pain, and kept us both awake. I finally gave up and got up around noon, and Ziggy phoned his father at work and got him to take him to the pharmacy to fill his prescription. Even with the Vicodin he could not rest. Only soaking in the hot tub seemed to help, and only for the duration that he was in it. Ziggy tried to get an appointment with a local doctor but our health group was uncooperative. One nurse suggested that alcohol was a good muscle relaxant, so he drank some wine, which I thought was a bad idea, but the nurse said ("off the record") that it was OK as long as he didn't take it at the same time as the drugs. He managed to schedule an appointment for next Monday after our return, but needed relief sooner. His father returned but we decided not to go back to the ER, which by now had a five-hour wait, but instead to return to Ziggy's sister's, who had a more comfortable house.
As Signy has a four-bedroom house I went to another spare bedroom so that I could get some sleep, knowing that Ziggy would be up every few minutes. I slept like a rock and was very careful not to risk waking Ziggy until the cleaning lady came in the morning and started running the vacuum. As I predicted, he had slept only in short fits and bursts. Meanwhile, from the cold, stress, and sleep deprivation I had caught a cold, as I predicted would happen. I holed up in the bedroom, not wanting to risk getting the baby sick.
Ziggy managed to make an appointment with Dean's chiropractor, which is not covered by my insurance but may be by his, and in any case we're both willing to pay out-of-pocket to get him relief. He left for his appointment with Signy and Lee a few minutes ago.
This vacation can't end soon enough. We even considered flying back early, but will probably stay till Saturday as planned at this point. I hope the chiropractor and/or the drugs are able to help enough so that he can endure the flight. We were planning to attend my friend Casey's wedding in Annapolis on Friday, but that seems extremely unlikely now. I'm waiting until Ziggy returns from his appointment to phone Casey, just in case he has a miraculous recovery, but I'm not getting my hopes up. I was supposed to sing at the wedding too, and now I have this lovely cold.
If Ziggy has a herniated disk, he could be in pain for weeks or months, or even need surgery. All we can do at this point is hope for a better new year.