Saturday, July 28, 2012

Anguish and Art

Two weeks ago, late into Willow's shift Friday night, I woke to her crying and struggling to shift gears as we neared our drop off destination in Marion, NC.  She sobbed, "My neck and shoulders are killing me,  I don't know if I can do this"  I got up and with Willow operating the truck we go unhooked from our load. Willow wanted to continue driving, there were a couple of hours before I usually started my shift.  After 30 minutes or so of driving through hills and having to shift  as we climbed she could not continue. We switched out in the parking lot of an strip mall near Marion.

That week had been hard, Willow's neck and shoulders had been bothering her since Tuesday and I had been helping with the loads on her shift. I would do the out of the truck tasks and Willow would drive.  We had tire issues with a trailer coming out of Chicago and were in danger of losing our last load of the week.  We were just back from our week off and wanted to get as many loads in that week to make up for short checks from being off the week before. Willow began to have extremely painful muscle spasms. Her pain would get near unbearable and then she would rest and it would lessen enough to drive again. We kept pushing on.

Finally,  it was just to much. Resting in the sleeper was not helping anymore and she could barely sleep. I had never seen her in so much pain. She could not move her head and was in pain with every bump in the road. We were both exhausted. I did as much of the driving as I could, and we ended up limping home on Sunday afternoon, very late in our week and unable to get in a mandatory 34 hour break before our first load on Monday.  Willow was going to see her chiropractor and possibly her doctor that Monday so we informed our Fleet Manger we would not be able to work on Monday.

I went with Willow to the chiropractor and it was awful.  There was little that could be done with that much pain, any attempt at adjustment left her in agony.  It was clear she needed to see her doctor.  We arranged that I would go out solo that week while Willow tried to recuperate and arrange appointment to find out what was going on.

Willow did the medical dance that week, while I headed out on the road.  After a number of visits to the doctor and an MRI she found that she had a bulges in several vertebrae and in places her vertebra are pinching the spinal nerve. She has been written out of work for the next month, at a minimum, while she sees specialists to further diagnose her issues.  She has applied for short term disability while she is out.

 In other major news Willow  has been working on publishing her book about hiking the  Appalachian Trail.  It will  be coming out the 28th of September. I have been witness to her preparing for this for the last few months, she has been working very hard.  I am really proud of her. She has been doing this while we are on the road and it is no easy feat.  Top that off with the events of the last few weeks. It is amazing what she can do. You can check out her book web site here and like her book page on Facebook here.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Lake Fontana, NC

A couple of weekends ago, Zygote and I decided that the daily grind was getting to us. We get one day off each week, Sunday. On that day, Karl empties our food bins, cleans out the truck and does the laundry. Later in the day, when I get up (I drove the night shift), I put the clean sheets back on the truck bed, do the grocery shopping and food prep and load the food into the truck fridge. In other words, it's not much of a day off. We leave the following morning long before the sun comes up. We are actually only home for about 28 hours.

On this particular summer Sunday, we decided to rent a pontoon boat and go out on Lake Fontana for a few hours, just to get away from 'truck stuff' for a bit. It was a gorgeous day. My oldest son, Joseph came with us.