Mountain Rain, Purple Reign.

April 30th, 2016.

Wow.  It is absolutely POURING rain here tonight.  It woke me up, the pounding on the roof was seriously loud in the middle of the night but it makes me smile, remembering my Dad’s comment to me when I was nine or ten:  “The best sound is that of rain on a tin roof”..

Okay, I’m emotioanlly derailing.  Back on track.

We’ve had a few quiet days here in WNC this past week; it’s been so hot (80s) Zuma just wants to loaf on the bed and do absolutely nothing. I’m going along with it.  I yearn for the pool to open up.  Z and I have both been chilling out in the heat (not humid, just bone-warming) in between short walks and running around trying to replace a Hula Girl fuse issue (now repaired, thankfully, major kudos to Chris next door for identifying the problem and, after three visits, thank you to the repair guy who finally pulled it together).  I’ve been doing a lot of reading and researching, snapping photos and taking drives around Asheville and area.

The RV Park emptied out on Friday and we bid adieu to many fine folks we met the past week or two and now it is filling up again. Amber, a lovely 17 year old who visits next door, pops by on weekends when she comes with her Mom to stay with her Dad.

She brought her little Yorkie x Poodle named Buckwheat this trip.  Zuma and Buckwheat are in love.  There is nothing Zuma adores more than a cool little dog and Buckwheat weighs about 4 lbs maximum and he is feeling pretty terrific that he has a big friend.

As Emma would say …. WANT.
OMG.  He is adorable.

We had a blast walking the two of them around the RV Park together for a few days; Buckwheat trotting at top speed trying to keep up with Zuma’s gentle, slow-paced stroll.  We met a lot of people who were delighted to see the odd couple of dogs interacting so peacefully.

Doug is in Maine and returning here in a few days.  Back at the farm, he’s catching up on work duties, farm and house chores.

As the world mourns the sudden and untimely passing of the phenomenal musical genius Prince, I read one headline brilliantly entitled PURPLE REIGN so I had to borrow that for this post. Please don’t sue me wonderful writer of this title.

Back to Prince.  The sky is crying.
“This is what it sounds like when the doves cry”.

When I experienced a life-threatening accident in 2004 and nearly lost my lower left leg (I was asked to sign for amputation in case they couldn’t save my severely smashed knee and lower limb).  I had compartment syndrome and historically, amputation is the solution.  After the surgery, I was given Oxycontin.  I don’t even take aspirin if I get a once every five year headache.  But I required two surgeries and I had no choice but to take pain-killers.  This drug is a narcotic, an opiate.  Sure, it kills the pain and I would scream for it in the night as I was in absolute agony.  It was so unbelievably painful I seriously wanted my leg amputated. But the pills worked.  They killed the pain.  Yet they rendered me pretty much emotionally physically and spiritually useless. My orthopedic surgeon didn’t forewarn me of the horrific side effects nor the addictive properties.

I find that unforgivable.

One snowy Winter morning, cooped up in the house since early September, I started searching the internet.  (I had to elevate my leg so computer surfing was pretty much impossible with my leg propped up on the desk to avoid painful swelling and numbness). , Even with home visits from a nurse to administer medications and iv and a physical therapist who worked with me to regain muscle tone and strength, I was unable to get upstairs to sleep in our bed for over three months.  I slept in the living room in a crunchy plastic-coated rented hospital bed, leg elevated, for over three months.

This past week, when I heard that Prince was suffering painful knee issues, I felt sure he was on this drug.  And he was.  Call it what you like, Percoset/Oxycontin/Vicodin (Oxy’s baby brother). These are horrible horrible highly addictive drugs. Sure they kill the pain for a few hours, but I find it disgraceful that my surgeon didn’t advise me of the side effects.  I’d never heard of this drug.  I didn’t realize this is the stuff people break into pharmacies to steal, risking jail time.

When I researched the drugs that lonely cold snowy morning, my gigantically swollen leg hiked up on my desk and found out I was on opiates, (argh), I decided to quit taking them cold turkey (don’t do this, it wasn’t pretty, this is not the chosen/advised withdrawal route).  For four days nobody could talk to me, touch me, or even be near me.

Emma sobbed, “I’ve lost my Mother” and I cried for two solid days. I couldn’t walk, I could barely have a shower.  Doug was away in Europe on business for three weeks.  It was the lowest point of my life.  It was Emma’s birthday.  I was disabled. I guess it’s like coming off heroin.

I took Ibuprofin, on doctor’s orders, but I couldn’t eat.  I was so weak.  I couldn’t think straight.  I was weak and frail. Friends came and stayed with me Years later, I was diagnosed as having PTSD. Yes.  I do.

I was fortunate, while Doug was away on business, friends came and stayed with me, cooked and cleaned (thank you Sandi and Susan).  Poor Emma, she suffered the most.  She managed our three horses all Winter, changing their blankets and shoveling, tossing hay and hauling water.  I was useless and I won’t ever forget it.

Em spent a lot of evenings in tears after chores and homework and my futile efforts making crappy dinners.

When I figured out the pill issue, I sat in my wheelchair in the dark feeling sorry for myself for four long dark days but I was determined not to be on poison pills.  People called to cheer me up but I didn’t want to depress my family or friends, I couldn’t handle worrying people and I didn’t make sense.

Prince was one of a kind and I grew up enjoying his music.  As it pours down on the roof of Hula Girl tonight with thunder booming it’s giant voice and lightning flashing over the mountains nearby, I am thinking of his famous song Purple Rain.  RIP Prince.  You gave so much to this world and will be missed forever.  Your music will live on.

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